Today I’m starting a new series of blog posts dedicated to other makers who share a passion for creativity and craft techniques like me. This will be a space to share experiences and inspiration and talk about creativity and entrepreneurship. Let’s start!
For the first episode of this blog series, I had the pleasure to talk to Sabine from I’m Sew Happy. Our journey started when I moved to Germany last summer and Sabine became one of my happy customers. Since then we have kept in touch mostly via Instagram, sharing tips and supporting each other with new product ideas. We will soon brainstorm something cool for the new year. In the meantime, get to know Sabine and stay till the end, because she has got a special surprise for you!
Meet The Maker: Sabine from I’m Sew Happy.
Indigo: Hi Sabine, welcome to this series of blog posts called Meet The Maker. I’m very happy to have you here as my first guest. For those of you who don’t know you yet, would you like to introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about what makes your (crafty) heart jump?
Sabine: Hi there, I’m Sabine, mum of 2 boys and as I just found out, also a scanner personality. This means that I am interested in many different things and always curious about trying out new stuff, materials, machines, techniques… I live in a small village near Nuremberg in a house of our own. I have a sewing room/office and occupied our little garden house with all of my machinery. As a child, I always felt happy around paper, pens and glue. Later on, I made an apprenticeship as a dressmaker and started sewing like crazy. Now, kind of back to the roots, I prefer doing papercrafts rather than sewing. I’m constantly trying out new stuff and machines and every year I visit the Creative World Fair in Frankfurt, on which I spend a lot of money on all kinds of new things I discover there. Kind of lucky, that this year the fair has been cancelled due to Covid-19. Now I might have a chance to save lots of money 😛
Indigo: Our journey started some months ago when you ordered one of my DIY Paper Marbling Kits. What did inspire you to learn marbling? Can you tell us about your experience and what you like the most about this technique?
Sabine: I remember I once had a marbling session in my parent’s garden, I was in high school, around 16 years old. I kept the original papers because I didn’t want to use them for crafting something – they were too valuable in my eyes. In the past months, I have realised that I am getting more and more interested in all kinds of things which I first tried when I was a teenager: making paper, handmade pottery, bookbinding, and of course marbling. I can’t really tell you why. I always thought marbling was a very old fashioned technique and even got rid of some books about marbling. Then one day your online shop was highlighted at Michaela’s newsletter, Müllerin Art, and I realised that marbling can look really modern, too. Your bright colours and the simple marbling Stone pattern looked so fresh to me that I had to give it a try! Once the kit arrived I tried it and it went quite well. Marbling is like some kind of meditation. Although I tried other patterns, the Stone pattern is still my favourite.
Indigo: You shared some behind the scenes from that marbling session you had after purchasing my kit and I remember you said you have marbled more than 50 papers in one day! Tell us what have you done with these papers or if you have any project in the making!
Sabine: Indeed, I actually marbled around 60 papers. I wanted to get the most out of the materials and since I had already prepared a fresh marbling bath I didn’t want to waste it for anything. I could have marbled even more papers but the floor in my office was already covered with papers and there wasn’t a free spot where to lay new papers down anymore. Actually, I kind of forgot to rinse the papers after marbling them… This might be the reason why I had some extra time for marbling more papers the same day. I wasn’t sure if they are colour-fast, so I opted for not using them for complicated projects. But for two kinds of products, I definitely want to use them: as a background for greeting cards and for boxes, headers and footers on some of my digital products.
“I am a scanner personality and am interested in a lot of things. I like experimenting and trying out new things and also combining techniques.”
Indigo: But you had a secret project, you showed me some snippets of a few weeks ago. This turned out to be a marbling design printed on fabric, which I found gorgeous and then you used it for sewing a little bag you gave me as a present. Tell us where this idea came from.
Sabine: To be honest, I cannot really tell you how this idea came to my mind. The patterns on some of the marbled papers were uneven and only parts of them looked nice. But then I realised I have designed a hexagon pattern to be used on fabric and thought that these marbled patterns would look great in such a hexagon design. I digitalized my hand-marbled papers, edited them in Photoshop and then used them to fill in the hexagons. I was quite pleased how it came out and thought it would be nice to print as fabric and then use it for sewing something. This is usually how I design most of my fabrics, I take pictures of objects or shadows and with those, I create structures or backgrounds for my designs.
Sabine surprised me a couple of days ago with this lovely handmade bag.
Indigo: So far we have talked about marbling, paper crafts and sewing. But you seem to follow many other creative pursuits. What other crafts or hobbies do you love. Is there a favourite one right now?
Sabine: Yes, that’s true. As I mentioned above, I am a scanner personality and I’m constantly interested in a lot of things. I like experimenting and trying out new materials and also combining techniques. Right now I don’t have a favourite one, but many! I could tell you a favourite one now, but by the time this interview would be published, I probably would have changed my mind and picked up a new hobby 🙂
So I came up with a quote which reflects pretty much the way I experience creativity: “Crafting every day keeps the doctor away”. As long as I can be creative and make some of my ideas come to life, first in my head, then with my hands till I have the final product, then I’m happy. If ideas are lying on my hard drive and never make it to real products I don’t really feel fulfilled.
Indigo: One of these ideas that came to your mind and transformed into a product is an online course you just launched last weekend. What is this course about and what can you tell us from your experience of creating such a digital product?
Sabine: Thanks for mentioning it. This course is about creating a layout and designing a personalized planner in Canva, an online design tool with a free and premium version. The best is that you don’t need any design background. I show you step-by-step how to create and edit pre-built templates, e.g. to change the colours according to your needs and create a look and feel that is as unique as you. With this online course, I want to share my passion for notebooks, planners and all kinds of printables you can create in such designing tools. This course is not about perfection, but about taking time for yourself, learning something new and creating your very own printables.
It was a learning process for me, too. In the beginning, I made a plan about what I wanted to share on each lesson and pushed the record button. It felt strange talking to a camera and hearing my own voice… Then when I started recording the screen and explaining the steps to follow it felt easier and more natural than talking to the camera. It was a nice experience to get used to recording and editing videos. I’m really happy about the result!
Indigo: Thank you for sharing all these insights with us, Sabine! Is there anything else you want to tell us about your creative journey?
Sabine: Yes, I would like to share what happened while I was recording the videos for my online course. At first, I was struggling hard with the technique, lots of things went wrong and I was really discouraged. But then I said to myself: there is no time pressure, I’m doing this because I want to share my passion for design and layout and once I’m finished, I would be able to hold my own planner in my hands. So I did, step-by-step.
Remember, everyone is creative. We all have a creative maker inside, sometimes you just need to wake it up. Try it: it’s worth it! Creating your own products with your hands, starting from scratch – first the idea, then the finished product: the sense of accomplishment is very satisfying. Once you start practising and having a routine, it just gets better and better. No matter what you do: baking, cooking, gardening, lettering, bookbinding, sewing…
Sabine is running a special launch promotion and she sent me a little present for you: 20% discount* on her Planner Online Course this weekend.
Use the code HAPPYINDIGO during checkout to grant your discount or click here.
Where to find her:
* Discount valid until Sunday, November 15th 2020 via the Etsy Shop of I’m Sew Happy.
** All product recommendations are based on my personal opinion and are non-affiliate marketing related.
*** All pictures courtesy of I’m Sew Happy.