Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Meet our Team Twitter Maven April Vinson

Today, I'd like to introduce you all to Team Member April Vinson of April's Originals. April is our Team Twitter Maven and has been doing a bang-up job promoting Carried Away.

She is having a Crayon Keeper giveaway on her blog this week. IT ends TODAY 11/12, so enter right now!

If you live in North Carolina, visit April at the Ole Time Winter Festival on December 6th.

Like all our Team Members, April loves custom orders. Check out her flickr gallery for past work or the sold items in her etsy store.

And now, peer into the mind of the crafter!

1. What inspires your creations?
Fabric is my biggest inspiration, I just love designer fabrics. The vibrant colors and patterns are so gorgeous. When I see fabric my mind starts racing and I feel like a painter with a blank canvas, I can just see what I want to make with it and sometimes I even hold onto fabric until I have found the perfect fabric mate to pair it with. My husband thinks I am crazy but it is my art!
2. What was the worst mistake you ever made on a project? Did you toss it or turn it to your advantage?
Probably the worst mistake I can think of was cutting out a bag and realizing after I had all the pieces cut out that fabrics design was sideways. In other words the cut pieces were not cut in the right direction so that the design on the fabric was running from left to right instead of top to bottom. I ended up cutting out new pieces for that bag and later I used the boo-boo pieces for a smaller bag and they did not go to waste.

3. Do you like commercial patterns, making your own up, following tutorials or a mix of all three? Which one do you like most and why?
I am terrible at commercial patterns, I end up changing them around so much they are more work in the end so I come up with all of my own designs. For me it is just much simpler and allows me to easily make changes for customization. I rarely use a tutorial, I am better at doing then watching so for me trial and error works out better. I like to make things my own, I am not really into copying but if I see something I like I will try to come up with my own version of it. I get requests all the time for customers to make something new and as long as they are willing to be my guinea pig I will give it a try!

4. Tell us about your crafting space.
I home school my son, he just turned 5 this year so this past summer I decided to move my sewing area into half of the larger spare bedroom in our home, I have my sewing desk and all my supplies on the one side and the other half is our classroom area. We have shelves of books, craft/school supplies for my son (we do lots of craft projects) and then in the center I have a table set up for him to do his school work on. This allows me to do my crafting while he is doing his work or crafts!
5. What is your favorite creation ever?
The Mommy Bag is my favorite creation! Aprils Originals all started about 3 years ago when my son was about 2, I was soooo tired of hunting for the perfect diaper bag. You know, the one that doesn't look like a diaper bag but functions like one. I could not find a bag that looked chic and beautiful with the right amount of pockets that didn't cost $200.00!! As a stay at home Mom there is no way I could justify spending that kind of money for a diaper bag! I learned to sew from my Mom when I was a little girl but I did as a lot of us do I put away my sewing machine after I got married and worked full time, there just never seemed like there was enough time for crafting. So as I grew tired of blowing money for bags that just did not work I decided to dust off my sewing machine and get to work making myself the perfect bag. After many attempts and different designs I eventually came up with The Mommy Bag. The Mommy Bag is completely customizable with size, amount of pockets and lots of other options. Every Mommy should have one :o)

6. Besides making bags, what else do you create or enjoy doing?
I do all kinds of crafts. I crochet and knit, I have made soap and candles, I cross-stitch, make jewelry, occasionally I scrapbook and probably a ton more I just can't think of right now. For the last year or so I have primarily been sewing and try to crochet or knit when I get the time!

7. What's your favorite creation you have for sale right now? why?
Well The Mommy Bag is a fav but a close second is The Crayon Keeper that I make. I decided after one too many melted or broken crayons in the bottom of my bag that I had to come up with something to carry my sons crayons around in. I had seen many different crayon roll ups but I wanted something that would be different and that wouldn't get crayon marks all over it on the inside. Hence the Aprils Originals Crayon Keeper was born! It folds in thirds like a tri-fold wallet and has a velcro strap to close. The strap also helps to keep the crayons from falling out in my bag or my sons backpack. Inside it comes with 16 crayola crayons (it will hold more but it comes with 16) and a 3X5 notepad. The inside is lined with laminated fabric to keep the crayon marks to a minimum! PERFECT!! I carry mine in the front pocket of my Mommy Bag, it fits perfectly!

8. Any advice for fellow bag makers?
My advice to any artist (yes I think bagmakers are artists) is to do what you love and not worry so much about what other people think. If you love what you do and you are happy then others out there will love what you do too!

9. Favorite thing in your craft space?
My sewing machine!!!!

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