When I was younger - much younger - I used to dream about living in an artist community where I could be surrounded by myriad of vastly creative people and that the interchange would lead to something magical. -Sort of a modern day Bloomsbury Group-. Sadly, I am no Virginia Wolf, but I have recently stumbled on to a community of the most talented artisans and vastly creative people: Etsy. Yes, I sell my little finger puppets there (among other things). But beyond that, I have had the opportunity to metaphorically rub shoulders with some amazing people.
One such incident occurred when I was contacted by a young mother (and fellow Etsy shop-owner) from Australia who is currently living in the states who wanted me to make her some finger puppets for advent calendars she was in the process of making for her friends. She wanted Old MacDonald themed puppets to fill certain pockets of the calendars. I have been in the process of putting together sets of my puppets and an Old MacDonald set was at the top of my list, and so I was more than happy to oblige her request.
It got even better. She was hoping to have them look somewhat like the animal illustrations in a book that belongs to her young daughter. I got the ISBN# from her, got the adorable book from our local library and proceeded to do the mental exercise of how to literally make those creatures jump off the page.
Then, it occurred to my client that she would like to include some way of storing the animals after they were retrieved from the advent calendar and I had been mulling this same problem... What would I put my Old MacDonald set in for storage? I was able to offer up a solution for both of us: a simple drawstring bag. So, I made those for her as well! I was such an easy solution, but so elegant!
By making those bags for her, I was able to experiment a little with what I'd like to offer in my shop. She was thrilled with the results and gracious enough to send me the sweetest message of gratitude. But it is I who am grateful. The partnership we forged in creating this simple gift for her friends was so rewarding for me. And this is an experience I have had repeatedly at my little "cyber artist commune". It stretches me and makes those late nights in my sewing room worth it and not seem quite so lonely.
|Here is her adorable advent calendar... I want one!|
|This is how my puppets played into the project.|