• Design
  • Illustration
  • M Chen Wears
  • M on the side
  • dad
  • Contact


Posts Tagged ‘purses’

Lightning Round with Rebecca from 3rd Life

August 27th, 2009

I met fellow Ottawan and Etsian Rebecca, the creative-head behind 3rd Life, a few months ago at the Ladyfest Spring Craft Sale — we already followed each other on Twitter, so it was nice to put a face to the name. Rebecca creates funky accessories with recycled and vintage materials; her pieces also really well-made… and tempting (this, coming from a girl who doesn’t own a purse)!

And with that, I’d like to welcome Rebecca to the hot seat…

1. When and how did you learn to sew?
I pretty much taught myself to sew and to do things my own way. For one of my first sewing projects I used my grandma’s sewing machine to put floral fabric down the sides of my cut-off jean shorts, I was the envy of the trailer park. No, seriously.

2. How was 3rd Life born and how did you decide on the name?
It happened pretty naturally, I was given a secondhand sewing machine and I needed fabric so I raided my closet and started cutting things up, it eventually took off from there. I chose the name 3rd Life because I am committed to giving new a life to old materials.

3. What was the first concert you ever went to?
I went to a bunch of concerts with my Mom as a kid, but by my own choice the first was Furnaceface.

4. You’re a fellow Ottawan (woot woot!)… what’s your favourite thing about living here?
My favourite thing is probably wandering around the market, but very soon I will be trading in my Ottawa life in for a small town one!

5. Chocolate or vanilla?
Vanilla please.

6. Happiest kid memory?
Summers at the lake, swimming all day and collecting rocks.

7. What do you moonlight as in your day job?
I am a custom framer.

8. Congrats on being a new homeowner! What’s the best thing about your new abode?
The best thing is that it’s mine.

9. Got any party tricks?
Hard to describe, but I can hold my hands behind my back and bring them to the front without letting go, and I can turn my feet around almost backwards!

10. Worst job you ever had?
Wearing the same Halloween costume for 2 months while blowing up balloons.

11. Where do you find and buy your vintage fabrics and materials to upcycle?
Garage sales and thrift stores are my favorite place to fabric hunt, and I get some great donations from my friends and family.

12. How do you decide what form/shape a fabric will take when you get it?
Often the finished product is determined by the shape and size of the garment I am repurposing. I also draw my ideas in a book and look at them when I need inspiration.

13. If you had the time, what’s something you’d work at improving or learning?
I want to learn more fine art skills, I’m going to be taking a print making class and I’m pretty excited about that! I’d love to learn more about business and someday get over my fear of the telephone.

14. Most often visited website(s)?
etsy.com for sure

15. What is your kryptonite?
Iced caramel macchiato

16. How did you come up with bicycle top tube pads?
They were a request from my friend Jose of Joe Mamma Urban Cycles.

17. Dream job and dream location?
My dream job would to be an artist, living anywhere near water and trees with a high-speed internet connection, and my husband can come too :)

18. What are you most proud of right now?
My shed.

19. What do you like best and least about running your own business?
The best part about my little business is seeing a customer’s eyes light up when they see something they love – that makes me so happy. The thing I like least is taking care of paperwork.

20. Finish this sentence: “I am…”
…working on my zombie escape plan.

You can check out more 3rd Life creations via:

Thanks Rebecca — hope to see you at another craft show soon!

etsy.com, good peeps , , , , , , , , ,

Lightning Round with Jill from John Met Betty

June 25th, 2009

I’d ogled the clutches from the JohnMetBetty etsy shop in past… for a girl who doesn’t own a purse, it was a foreign feeling to want such dainty things. Maybe it’s the vivid colours or the terrific retro fabrics, but whatever it was made me drool over these items. So I was stoked when Jill (the mastermind behind John Met Betty) and I recently got to chatting via Twitter, and we ended up doing a swap; I can say officially that her little care package has single-handedly upped the glam quotient of my wardrobe. Not only that, she kindly agreed to be victim #2 of my Lightning Round….

1. Who are John and Betty, and how did they meet?
John and Betty are my grandparents. My grandparents met and fell in love in Vancouver BC, they shared their first date riding bicycles across the Lions Gate Bridge. They first laid eyes on each other at church, my grandpa walked into the church and saw my grandmother singing as part of a choir. He, to this day, says he was reminded of an angel in the clouds when he saw her :)

Hot Pink Lilies - Mini Clutchette - Wristlet - Ready to Ship

2. You’ve done and studied a lot of different things… how did you land on sewing purses and accessories?
Long story; to make it short, I worked as a design assistant for a small company in Ontario. I wanted to gain more skills in pattern making and construction so my boyfriend at the time (now husband) and I moved to Toronto. I studied Fashion Design at George Brown College. I started designing purses when my parents (who are quite thrifty) found an entire warehouse full of purse frames for $50.00! I was then living in a small apartment with boxes of purse frames in which I decided I must learn how to make frame purses so I could see my dining room table once again!

3. Favourite breakfast spread?
President’s Choice Strawberry Rhubarb jam — can’t get that in the US. One of the things I stock up on when we make our monthly trip across the border.

4. Worst job you ever had?
The 5 years I spent working at Pizza Hut as a teenager. I did everything from working in the dish pit, oiling pizza pans, to cleaning the mens bathroom. It was disgusting!

5. You’re a fellow Ontarian (high-fives!) — where did you grow up and what do you miss about it?
I grew up in many places (our family moved a lot!) I spent most of of childhood in a small town called Waterford, Ontario; the thing I miss most about it is Pumpkinfest!

6. How did you end up on Bainbridge Island?
Another good question with a long story! We moved to Seattle when my husband got a job with an online book selling company (can you guess which one)? We lived in Seattle for a few months, one day we took the ferry over to the island and decided we liked the quieter pace of life. It’s a small town with a really close knit community and beautiful scenery.

7. What was the first concert you ever went to?
The first concert I ever went to was Ashley MacIsaac for my 16th birthday. My parents paid for a whole group of us 16 year olds to jump up and down wearing kilts at the concert :)

8. Where do you find and buy your vintage fabrics?
I find my fabrics everywhere: some people give them to me, some I buy at flea markets and garage sales, some I find online on Ebay and Etsy.

Pink Tea and Macaroons - Small Coin Purse - Ready to ShipPink Tea and Macaroons - Small Coin Purse - Ready to Ship

9. Ideal lazy Sunday activity?
Sitting in our backyard or down at the marina having a glass of wine with friends.

10. Really nice to hear that your hubby’s so supportive! Can you give us a little intro to him?
My hubby is very supportive, I feel so lucky! Patrick is a software engineer, he works for Amazon the gods of books and other goodness :) He’s a wonderful guy who brings me flowers on occasion ;)

11. Dream vacation spot (barring logistical/budget limitations!)?
I would love to spend a month in Paris!

12. Got any party tricks?
I was going to say no until I remembered my dog can dance ;) Is that a party trick?

13. What is your kryptonite?
Hmm, I don’t know about who but I know about what: coffee, chocolate, and good food would be my kryptonite.

14. Who would you thank if you won an Oscar?
Everyone, my family, my friends, my dog, my cats, and of course my Twitter peeps! ;)

15. What do you like best and least about being your own boss?
I love being able to pick my own hours, work when I feel creative and make what I want to make without someone telling me I can’t. There’s not much I dislike about it, I’m quite content :)

16. Most often visited website(s)?
Twitter, Facebook, Etsy, blogs too many to list here!

SALE - Cozy in the Cottage
17. What would you be doing if you weren’t doing this?
I would most likely have a job in the fashion industry of some kind, maybe as a fashion buyer or designer.

18. What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned from running your business?
So far I would say be creative and be yourself. Find your creative niche, and everything else will fall into place. Strive to bring the best customer service possible and value each and every sale you make.

19. Wallflower or first-to-the-dance-floor?
I’m somewhere in the middle, always in a different mood. Sometimes I like to be the wallflower who stays in and sews all weekend, but on occasion I like to party like it’s 1999 ;)

20. Finish this sentence: “I am…”
…born to be creative

You certainly were, Ms. Jill. Thanks so much for being a great sport, and keep truckin’ with your delicious creations. Oh, and huge congrats on becoming an Auntie this week!

Find out more — check out:

etsy.com, good peeps , , , ,

© 2010 Emily Chen Design & Illustration. All Rights Reserved.