Archive for February, 2011
Sometimes a memory consumes me.
Every Wednesday after swimming lessons I look at the vending machines and I am transported through space and time. I am at Concordia pool waiting for my Dad to pick us up and I am begging my Mom to buy me some Beep from the vending machine. I rarely got Beep, maybe only a handful of times yet this is one of my strongest memories of swimming lessons.
Do you remember beep?
I have a problem in my kitchen. It is a nice size but there are too many windows and doors and a poor layout so there isn’t much counter space. Taking up precious counter space for me is a rotating spice rack filled with many spices that came with it that I will likely never use. I am sure a lot of people struggle with the same thing in their kitchens. But there is a solution!
Meet Katrina, of Salt City Spice on Etsy. She makes gorgeous magnetic spice racks which you can hang on your wall that are often upcycled from old pieces of metal. You can get a spice rack that is both gorgeous and functional!
I’m married to my college sweetheart with a darling 13 month old daughter. I pretty much love everything related to food except, ironically, the word “foodie.” I’m a terrible liar and like to think I’m funny (my husband doesn’t always agree).
How did you get started in the world of crafting?
I’ve always loved crafts – drawing, making doll clothes, and creating jewelry were favorite activities growing up. My mom encouraged me by supplying seemingly endless supplies like markers, fabric scraps, beads, kits, and even a knitting machine at one point! I wish I still had that in fact – I would use it to make bodyless sweaters. Wait, what do you mean they’re called arm warmers?
Your etsy shop is called saltcityspice, does this have any meaning to you? How did you choose the name?
I’m sure you’ve figured out the Spice part, haha. We moved to Syracuse, NY (aka, the Salt City) a few years ago and thought we’d be missing out on our favorite big city restaurants. We were pleasantly surprised to find out that Syracuse has its own small, but strong food scene and that people here are placing more and more emphasis on local products – I want to help support the Buy/Eat Local movement in any way I can, so I figured my shop name was a good place to start.
What is a typical day for you?
I wake up at noon, put on something fabulous, read the paper while sipping a perpetually hot latte, then spend the rest of my day cooking something intricate for dinner. Ok, not really – I’m a stay-at-home mom so a typical day is a bit of a juggling act, but I love and appreciate every day I’m home with my daughter and wouldn’t have it any other way.
What inspires you?
I’m inspired by creative reuses of materials, either by salvaging what most would consider waste and turning it into something beautiful and functional, or upcycling an item into something more useful or relevant than the original piece. I’m constantly looking at things and wondering what else they could be with a little imagination.
What is your favourite thing in your shop and why?
I had the idea to make a combo spice rack/chalkboard like this when I first opened up my shop but couldn’t get the materials quite right at first. As soon as this one was done, I immediately made another and put it in my own kitchen!
If you could go back and give yourself advice on starting out on etsy, what would it be?
Really treat it like a business right from the start – take your time to figure out your focus, put together a cohesive shop look, and get a business plan in place. Also, ask for help when you need it! There are people out there willing to give you honest, constructive advice if you just ask.
What are some of your favourite etsy shops?
Well, there’s this one shop that sells gorgeous hand-knit items called ImpossiblyAlice! Really, I have so many favorites – lately, the organizational junkie in me is loving the posters from Popchartlab and the functional art side of me loves the unexpected edible creations from andiespecialtysweets.
Do you do any other types of crafts?
Only for my own intents and purposes – I’m proud of having made most of the decorative items in my daughter’s nursery like her bedskirt, mobile, and wall art. If cooking counts as a craft then I do a lot of that too.
Is there any craft you wish you knew how to do?
I’d love to get my hands on a letterpress and do a little old-fashioned graphic design. I like the result of the words actually imprinted into the paper – it’s such a lost art form.
Zombies, pirates, ninjas, or vampires?
Pirates (they all look like Johnny Depp right?)
This scarf is loose and airy, perfect for wearing in the spring and summer! It is a gorgeous shade of teal. And the best part? I knit this scarf our of fair trade handspun banana fibre. That means that by wearing it, you are helping women in Nepal work towards a better life for themselves and their families, and you are wearing an eco-friendly renewable resource. This yarn is actually made from harvesting the bark from banana trees. You will not believe how soft and silky it feels.
“If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?”
This is the topic for those participating in the daily post which, as you can tell, I am not a part of but I really liked this question.
Right now the obvious answer is being a stay at home mom. But what about when my baby is in school? I will need something to fulfill me. And being a stay at home mom is not in the cards right now. I would also love to be a full-time etsy seller but I would have to be a lot more dedicated to make it work, and since I have to work right now that isn’t really possible either. I am waiting on a large yarn order and then I will make more items and fill up my shop for the upcoming spring/summer seasons!
So, for now, I have to be a corporate drone so we can continue to live in the lifestyle that we are accustomed to and I can save money for hopefully a second maternity leave. I have been thinking a lot about what elements would be in my perfect job and I don’t think I want to much, I just need to figure out where I can find it.
Some of my best skills or problem solving and organizing data and concepts (as long as it isn’t a physical object). I like to be creative and think of new ways of doing old things. I like to work with people but I do not like being in customer service. I am not a morning person but I find I do better work when I start early in the morning. I would also like to work somewhere where I feel like my work makes a difference.
Does anyone have any suggestions on where I can find this? I continue to find this feeling every day in my current job and I think it would be convenient if I can find this feeling in my current job. I used to have this feeling before my maternity leave, so perhaps I can find it again.
WordPress also suggested we talk about our worst jobs. Not to name names but I worked at a fast food giant and it was awful. A lot of people have fond memories of working there but any that I have are because I worked with some of my friends. I have a lot of awful stories of my life there, but one of the best ones was when I was taken to the back and the manager tried to teach me HOW TO TAKE BIGGER STEPS. I guess my leg length was not up to the company standard.
I had another job that wasn’t so much as awful, but more pointless and I couldn’t believe they paid me to study. Eventually, they realized that my position was pointless and all I did was study and they let me go.
Do any of you have any awful jobs in the past? What about your dream job – are you able to think of fantastic and unpractical careers that I am unable to think of today?