Cranberries Knot

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I came across Anna’s shop, “Cranberries Knot” on Instagram when she won one of my giveaways and I fell in love with her work… I mean, her stuff is incredibly cute!! I’m so excited to share her work with all of you!

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How and when did you start making amigurumi? And when did you open your Etsy shop?

I have always been a creative person and I’m in love with Japanese culture so when I casually read an article on the newspaper about these crochet stuffed animals and toys called amigurumi I decided to try to make them. After lots of hours practicing I finally started to crochet amigurumi as a hobby. It happened about three years ago and last year I got married and while I was preparing all the details for the wedding I thought it would be nice and very personal to make my own wedding favors. So I crocheted little cakes for every guest and cute bunny couples as a gift for friends who also were getting married. Everybody liked them and other friends asked me to make their wedding favors and after that I started to receive messages from other people and friends asking me to make them amigurumi. 

I opened my Etsy Shop on 2012 but I did not list any item until beginning of 2014 when I finally decided to give a chance to this hobby and I tried to make it more professional.

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Your items are all so cute! What inspires you to create such adorable things?

I love babies and all the cute things made for babies and children like soft toys and cartoons. I always liked Japanese culture and I’m addicted to everything you can define with the word “kawaii”. So I crochet lovely animals like birds, bunnies, and bears always giving them an adorable face. I’m always busy with new ideas and custom orders are always welcome in order to make different and unique pieces. Now I’m making a new line of crochet dolls like mermaids, ballerinas and some inspired by known characters like Disney’s Tinkerbell and Little Mermaid.

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How would you define “Cranberries Knot”?

Cranberries Knot it’s my most personal project where you can find cute stuffed animals, dolls and accessories for everybody. I conceive them more like decorative objects than toys and their handmade quality makes them unique. The name of Cranberries Knot is a reminding of the first day I held a crochet hook: I was on the sofa eating cranberries and trying to crochet a chain but all I got were knots. Fortunately after hours of practicing I began to understand how to do it!

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Are you a full time artist or do you do something else?

I wish I could be a full time artist but meanwhile I am the co-owner of a chicken rotisserie and takeaway shop with my husband for seven years now. I work on weekends and holidays and I am also graduated in Media Communication and now I am studying Law at Open University of Catalonia. So I can say I’m always busy finding new things to do!

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Tell us how a day in your life looks like.

I live in a town near Barcelona where everybody knows each other and this is one of the things I love from where I live. During the week I’m half housewife and half student so I usually spend major part of the week crocheting and designing new cute amigurumi for my online shop. I work on weekends in my Rotisserie and takeaway shop that for now is where I get the money for living!
I also love swimming and spending hours going for a walk with my husband and my Jack Russell named Peach.

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Share 3 things that you have learned about being an artist/crafter.

The first thing I’ve learned is that you have to believe in what you do and don’t let other people’s comments affect your work because only you know how many hours you have spent on creating something with your own hands. Undervalue comments and opinions are one of the most annoying things an artist or crafter has to deal with everyday. I hate justifying myself for the things I do and the price I sell them, there are lots of things behind the final result that an artist has to take into account before pricing the final item and it seems like nowadays manufactured objects are more appreciated than the handmade ones.

Obviously being a crafter is not easy at the beginning I can say I have just started on this adventure and you have to be perseverant and you have to move yourself and your creations through all possible channels. Social networks like Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest give you all the tools you need to let others know you but you can’t forget the local markets which are truly inspired in all handcrafted things are a very interesting way to reach people near you and listen to their opinion.

Finally the third thing is that you have to know how to combine your work and your leisure time and don’t have to stress when you have too many orders at the same time. Sometimes deadlines are very negative for creativity. I conceive making amigurumis something that I really love doing and as crafter I can’t let that become a nightmare because I want to enjoy every single thing I crochet.

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How has being an artist and a small business owner made you change and grow?

It has made me realize I can do whatever I set my mind if I don’t let other tell me what I should or shouldn’t do with my products. I  think of being an artist as a way to explore my creativity and I love the way it gives me the chance to have a small business and reach other people through my creations. Knowing that little things made by me are on someone else’s homes all around the world means a lot to me and is what makes me want to continue improving everyday as an artist.

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Share 3 artists, crafters, blogs and/or Etsy shops that you love.

Obviously I adore “Anita’s Gatos” totems and figurines, which I discovered through Instagram few months ago. {Ahh! Thanks Anna!}

I also would like to introduce you to “Biterswit”, two lovely girls: Norma and Carlota who own a graphic design studio in Barcelona and also an Etsy shop. I met them in a craft fair in Barcelona and after talking about how difficult is starting in this world of artists and crafters I decided to let them design my logo for my Etsy shop and I absolutely adore it!

Another crafter I met in another craft fair was “Numon” which is a brand of bags and accessories that are born of reusing vintage fabrics, made in their beautiful home and studio in the countryside. Núria can make a cute purse with old jeans and bed sheets or curtains it is what she defines as “Bags with History”. She has an online shop and also an Etsy shop

And finally, I would like to share Canadian blogger Stephanie Lau who inspired me to start crocheting amigurumi through her lovely blog. She always posts cute designs and patterns and also tips of materials and ways to make your own projects. She is so kind and mixes in her blog her passion for crocheting and creating amigurumi with her personal life. She has been published in different crafty magazines and other blogs of US and Canada.

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There you have it, folks! Now you should all go check out Anna’s Etsy shop and get yourself or a loved one something cute! Also, don’t forget to check out her Instagram! She’s also on Facebook and Pinterest as @anlady86

-Anita

 

 

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WildHumm

If you love colorful things like I do, then you’re also going to love what Bianca from WildHumm does! She is a 24 year old artist {and chemist!} from New York currently based in Boston with the dream of moving to Brooklyn.

I have been following Bianca on Instagram for a little while and I am in love with her unique art and I’m more than happy and excited to have her as a guest on my blog!

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How and when did you start making art? And when did you open your Etsy shop?

I grew up in a house of artists – my parents have an impressive (and seemingly never ending) set of skills and I feel lucky to have been raised by such creative hands. I’ve been painting since I was very young. Art is such a huge part of my life, but I went to school to study chemistry. Whenever I had a free moment when I wasn’t drowning in work, I would paint. My apartment quickly began to fill with paintings and my boyfriend suggested that I make an effort to sell them instead of just hoarding them as products of a stress outlet. So, following his advice, I opened my shop in 2012 as a hobby, but I didn’t seriously put any effort into it until last year, my first year of grad school (more stress=more creative production!).

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Your art is so unique and abstract. What inspires you to make abstract pieces?

Abstract art makes you think. I find that I never look at an abstract painting and see the same thing twice. What you see is completely a reflection of who you are at that moment in time, and in a way the painting can grow with you. It’s not just a static portrait; it’s something more than that. I also find the freedom and movement allowed in an abstract painting to be the most exciting to make.

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How would you define WildHumm?

That is an excellent question! I really don’t like to put myself in a creative box- I like to make things that make me happy at the end of the day, so there is definitely a mix of mediums and styles in my shop. But, I suppose everything is bright and fun, maybe that’s what defines my work?

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Are you a full time artist or do you do something else?

I wish! I’m actually working on my masters in Environmental Science right now, focusing on contaminant transport in a local river. I’m in my last year so things are pretty hectic right now! I try to pull myself away from my thesis, my classes, and mountains of grading, and keep at least the hours between 10pm and midnight reserved for painting during the week.

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Tell us how a day in your life looks like. 

Well, right now things are pretty hectic and boring at the same time because I’m still finishing up my masters. But, my favorite day of the week is Saturday- this is the day that I just throw out every responsibility and do whatever I want! I’ll meet my boyfriend for coffee and walk over to this awesome local bakery and get something delicious and handmade that day (shout out to Clear Flour in Brookline!). Then, we usually go for a walk around Boston, maybe feed the pigeons, and I’ll spend the rest of the afternoon painting. I’m a seriously messy person when I start painting; I’m definitely my father’s daughter. There’s paint and tape and paper all over the place, my poor white Ikea desk is so stained and battered at this point!

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Share 3 things that you have learned about being an artist.

1- Welcome mistakes, you might learn something new if you just go with it.
2- Don’t compare yourself to others, in style or “success,” you will only drive yourself crazy and fill yourself with doubt.
3- Do what makes you happy, and do it as often as you can!

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How has being an artist and a small business owner made you change and grow?

It’s certainly still a learning curve for me. When I first started out in 2012, I thought that if I simply put my work out there on Etsy, people would notice. But, they didn’t! It’s all about reaching out to people, and learning the new ways to get your work out into the world. It is a lot of work, but definitely a labor of love.

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Share 3 artists, blogs and/or etsy shops that you love.

Three artists that I love:

1-Beautiful handmade weavings by Jujust 
2-Adorable hand painted ceramics by Marinski Handemades 
3-Oil portraits by Kail Samuel Davis 

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Make sure you to check out WildHumm and get yourself some original art -paintings, stationery, illustrations, banners & garlands. And don’t forget to keep up with Bianca’s social media for shop updates, sales, and all sorts of pretty colorful art!

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Anita

*All images by WildHumm

Bring home baby Zaruba

Hi friends!

Anita’s Gatos is a proud sponsor of the adoption auction to bring home baby Zaruba! This is a 48 hour auction happening on Facebook so go help them out by getting your deer and owl totems {Bidding starts at $10.00!!!!}… and a lot of other goodies! ;)

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Also, go check out their story, you can do so HERE. I literally cried when I read it!

HERE  is the link to the auction. Also, if you would like to donate separately, HERE

Let me know if you have any questions :)

-Anita