Kristina Marie is an enchanting shop full of the most beautiful handmade garlands. Each garland is made by Kristina using vintage papers and each one is so dreamy! We had a little hiccup in scheduling her interview (she was caught up in the travel confusion caused by that Icelandic volcano!) and I’m so happy to be able to share it with you today!
Q. Could you tell us a little about yourself?
Yes, my name is Kristina and I am a 25 year-old artist/designer living in northern Connecticut where I grew up. I love process. If it’s complicated, requires many steps and is considered a lost art… I’m all over it. I feel very strongly about understanding where things come from (ie food, products we use every day) and hope to one day live a sustainable and fairly self-sufficient lifestyle. My desire to learn about how to make everything has developed very lasting memories in my family including the creation of 23 temporary walls in 2 weeks, conducting dye bath experiments in the garage and the hard cider experiment catastrophe of ’08.
Q. How did you begin making garlands?
Well it was a bit of a happy accident actually. I was brainstorming gift ideas for my mother last October and considering her love for decorating at Christmas time, it seemed like the perfect idea! She totally loved it and with in the first 6 hours of listing my first strand on Etsy, I received a custom order. I’ve always loved crafting items that we as consumers are accustomed to purchasing. Paper garland just clicked.
Q. Your shop is so pretty! What is your creative process like?
Thanks! Oh goodness, I am all over the place! I guess you could say my creative process is a bit like putting together a puzzle. I come up with an idea and try to write or sketch it out before I lose my train of thought. These are my puzzle pieces although to which puzzle they belong, I have no idea. Some ideas and concepts I’ve been working on for years while others are a bit simpler. Lately I’ve realized how important it is to play around with materials without the pressure of productivity. Just today I fooled around with my sewing machine and to be honest, the few things that I made were not at all attractive but it was the process that led me to an idea I wouldn’t have come up with otherwise. Seeking out critique and input from friends and family is a significant part of my creative process. When I feel like my mind has been completely maxed out I usually call up a friend to get another point of view.
Q. What’s a normal day in your life like?
These days are anything but normal! I currently don’t have a full time job, so I’m forced to find as many odd jobs as I can to fill up my week, but almost every morning begins with a perfectly cooked omelet, made with fresh eggs, basil, Vermont grafton cheddar cheese and grilled toast (I really like my omelets). If I was feeling especially motivated maybe I’d go for a short run which would be followed by whatever non-related Etsy work I can find. I often visit antique stores scavenging away for old books and paper ephemera… It’s amazing what you can find if your persistent. I tend to do my Etsy work in batches, spending a few hours at a time stocking up on handmade receipts, sewn packaging or punching as many circles as I can while watching tv. It’s hard to remember the last time I sat to watch tv with out a circle punch in hand.
Q. What inspired you most of all?
Lately I’ve been particularly inspired by the work of Interior Stylists like Amy Atlas, Lucyina Moodie & Maria Grossman– they’re incredibly talented ladies. I’m also inspired by unassuming and ordinary objects like a neatly stacked wood piles, terracotta pots & antique kitchen tools! It’s every day, raw, functional objects untainted by these days of mass-production that I find beautiful and inspirational. I’m a scavenger that goes to tag sales and antique stores every weekend and I always return home with loads of inspiration and materials for new garlands. It’s the simplicity of the materials and the concept of re-purposing, using the abundance of materials already in existence that motivates me. That’s inspirational.
The Giveaway: the exquisite Recycled Hymnal Paper Garland Strand (10 foot version) as seen in Martha Stewart Weddings Spring 2010!
To enter just visit Kristina Marie and leave a comment here about your favorite item. The giveaway will be open until May 13th. Good luck!
PS. You can keep up with Kristina over at her blog!