Name: Kim Connelly
Links: Twitter | Facebook | Etsy | Flickr
Business: Milkybeer Handmade
Relax. It's simply an anagram for my first name. In the years since I started the Milkybeer blog I've heard all kinds of guesses about where the name came from: that it's my nickname (nope), I'm making a comment on drinking beer while breastfeeding (WTF?), that it's my daughter's nickname (that would be a hell, no!), etc. Truth is, I just took an easy way out in coming up with a blog name and used an anagram generator. I am so sneaky aren't I?
What do you make?
I describe what I make as handmade goodness from a West Coast girl living on the Prairies. Most of the time, I make things that are sewn either by hand or by machine. My projects include quilts, housewares, baby items, bags, and decor items. Occasionally, I also dabble in paper art, food, or some other creative endeavour.
What/who inspires you?
Sewing and craft books are a huge inspiration for me. I love flipping the pages and picking out projects I want to try. I feel the same way about sewing and craft blogs. I spend a fair bit of time lurking around my fellow crafters' blogs and mentally making notes about projects and techniques I'd like to try myself. I have been known on more than one occasion to jump up from the computer and go try out a new project right then and there.
How did you get started?
My mom taught me to sew when I was probably about 10 years old on her trusty old Kenmore sewing machine. If I remember correctly, my first project was a pair of pink bermuda shorts that had palm trees on them (yuck!) I sewed a wee bit throughout my youth but it tapered off when I went away to university. Thanks to The Dear Sweet Husband who bought me my very own Kenmore sewing machine a few years ago, I picked it back up with a vengance in 2007. In terms of selling my wares, it all started with this very special memorial quilt (for which I, of course, wasn't actually paid) which got a lot of attention from friends and coworkers who began asking me to sew things for them. The first project I was ever paid to make was a set of patchwork baby items that is still one of my all-time favourite creations.
What are your favourite materials to work with?
I love working with good-quality quilting cottons. The selection available these days is amazing! There is nothing more disappointing than trying to sew with crappy materials or fabric that just doesn't want to cooperate. For me, quilting cotton is like an old friend: reliable, predictable and it brightens my day! I'm also a huge fan of linen. I love the natural texture and sophistication linen brings to a piece.
What is your favourite part of crafting?
This is an easy question! Picking fabrics is, hands down, my favourite part of what I do. Bliss for me is having an hour or two to wander through the fabric store pulling bolts off the shelf and seeing which ones go well together. I'm always surprised at what I manage to pull together...it's never where I thought I would go at the beginning.
What is the hardest part of crafting?
Putting a project down for the night. It kills me to leave projects unfinished.
Do you really call your daughter Abner?
Rest assured, we did not actually name our beautiful little girl Abner, though truth be told, I do call her that in real life on occasion. Her real name is similar and if you keep your eyes open in the comments or in some pictures, you'll be able to figure out what her real name is. But for privacy reasons, she will forever be known as Abner on this blog. For that matter, my husband will forever be known as TDSH (The Dear Sweet Husband - which he is!).