Meet our first ever featured blogger, Rubyellen!
Rubyellen writes a wonderful blog called Cakies, which we first stumbled across when she mentioned a Free People–inspired bag that she made! (We get an email showing all the sites that mention us each day.) We went crazy over all the amazing things she makes with her hands and her sewing machine! She is so creative! We knew she was just perfect to be our first featured Blogger!
Aside from agreeing to be interviewed, she also created a wonderful craft project to share with you! Click here to learn how to make an awesome bag inspired by Free People!
Where do you live?
My husband, our two kids, and I live in a suburb of Los Angeles, about one hour from main city of Los Angeles.
Where did you grow up?
I have always lived in southern California.
When did you start sewing and how did you learn?
I started sewing right after I gave birth to my first daughter, True. I wanted something a bit more funky and personal, and since I am a stay-home mom, I couldn’t afford to have a shopping habit, so I turned to sewing.
I learned to sew by taking lessons at a local Joann’s fabric store. It was nice because the teacher let me choose what I wanted to make, then she would show me how to make it! It taught me enough basic skills to figure out the rest of sewing. Then, when I bought my sewing machine, the shop where I bought it offered free sewing classes! That place really helped me learn more tricks of the trade.
What advice would you give to someone who’s never sewn before but would like to start?
Learn how to do a straight stitch and after that you can pretty much learn to do anything!!!
What other crafts do you enjoy?
The first medium of art that I loved was drawing, but I haven’t done that in so long! I also love to crochet, needle felting, and how I wish I could paint! I would also love to learn how to make pottery one day…
What or who inspires you?
My husband, Ben, and my two little girls, Brave and True, are my greatest source of inspiration, but sewing for my little girls is what started all this. Ben is my quality control guy, and he just tells me if something looks cool or not!
Okay, not just because this is Free People, but Free People and Anthropologie catalogs really inspire me too!!! I get so excited and can look at each page over and over again! If you look at my inspiration wall it is nothing but torn pages from the two catalogs.
Also, I have a list of favorite blogs that I often frequent, which include:Black Eiffel, The Black Apple, Sugar City Journal, Soulemama, and so many more! (You can see a link list on the sidebar of my blog.) There is so much talent and creativity out there that I think everyone is learning and growing from one another.
Flea markets are also inspiring. I love that people can take something old and used, but give it new life with a new purpose. It is the same with sewing, taking something outside of the box and making it work. A tablecloth could be used as a dress or bag, doilies could be sewn in for some detail, the possibilities are endless…
What are your favorite projects?
I have to say I enjoy making myself a new bag every season and sewing dresses for my girls (and for me). There are just so many different little things I like to make that it is hard to pick a few!
Where are your favorite places to find hidden treasures for projects?
I love perusing through Etsy because there are so many ideas there that will spark another idea for me.
What are your favorite websites?
I have too many to name! (You’ll see I’m not lying if you look at the favorite websites I list on my blog!)
Where are your favorite places to travel?
I would love to go back to London & Paris, but with two kids, who knows when we will be able to do so!
Being a busy mother, a wife, and working, how do you find the time to balance it all and still make such wonderful, creative stuff?
I have been very blessed that my little girls both still take two 2-hour naps, so that allows me about 4 hours a day of alone time. This is when I try to get as much craft and work time as possible.
Please tell us about your little girls!
My daughter True is 2 years old and is really bashful and playful. She has honestly loved shoes since before she was a year old (scary, I know)… always has been drawn to putting them on. She can sometimes be very opinionated about what she wants to wear.
Brave, my 1 year old little girl, eats anything in sight! She just started walking, so she is keeping me really busy of late.
Their names are very different, but we love them and that is all that matters! When we meet people, I can’t wait for them to ask what our girls’ names are because their reactions make me laugh. You can really tell who likes them and doesn’t by their reaction! True wasn’t named until the day she was born–we fought the whole 9 months! And with Brave, it was worse–she came home from the hospital without a name, and was finally named 4 days later! I am little nervous for when we have more kids because who knows what we will name them!
Tell us about your blog and your Etsy shop.
Cakies is the name of my blog and my Etsy shop because when my girls were each in my belly and nameless, since we couldn’t think a name, we called them both “babycakies” -hence, we have Cakies.
On my blog, I try to document all of the different crafting adventures that go on in our house and other parts of our lives. It is a fun little space and community to learn and grow from one another. In my Etsy shop, I mostly sell hand-crafted hair accessories for babies to adults, though I do plan on adding more items for adults! When True was a baby (I guess she still is), I couldn’t find anything cool to put in her hair, so I experimented and came up with these hair clips. I love them because they had dimension and were different from the bows and flowers you see on all the other little girls, plus they were the only hair accessories that got a thumbs up from Ben to put in their hair, otherwise, he would have them in Mohawks all the time!
Don’t forget to check out the fantastic craft project RubyEllen made for us! You will want to make this bag! And if that isn’t enough, Rubyellen has generously offered to give away the Free People-inspired bag she made! To win her gorgeous bag, (shown here) just go to Cakies and leave Rubyellen a comment on her post about Free People! Be sure to tell her your favorite crafting site, and which items you like best from her Etsy!
Thank you so very much Rubyellen!
Good luck everyone in the give away, and happy crafting!