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Lucy ClasenLucy Clasen

What is your mafia nickname?

Hammer

What is your craft?

I use silver smith and lapidary techniques as well as other media to make jewelry.  I also enjoy doing papercraft, fiber art and other crafts.

Why do you do your craft?

Because it is fun to make something beautiful from raw materials suh as a sheet of metal and a rock.

What are your sources of inspiration?

Nature, art, geometrics, birds, butterflies, kitties and anything beautiful

What is your favorite Chicago haunt?

United Center to watch the Blackhawks play

What is your favorite beverage?

Water

Where do you buy your favorite beverage?

The city of Chicago

What is your weapon of choice?

Of all my tools I enjoy using the hammer on metal the most.

What would you be doing otherwise?

I would still be doing a craft and watching sports, especially hockey.

Do you have any advice for other crafters?

Have fun and try different media to expand your creativity

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Michelle Kafko, Snarky Sleeves

What is your mafia nickname?

“Swears McCussAlot”

What is your craft?

Making reusable coffee cup sleeves with swears on them.  And the occasional rug made completely out of old T-shirts.

What are your sources of inspiration?

Fellow crafters who make useful things or upcycle stuff.  Images of Martha Stewart in an orange jumpsuit.

What is your favorite Chicago haunt?

Any place with great chocolate cake.

What is your favorite beverage?

Green tea with lemon or earl grey with lavender.

Where do you buy your favorite beverage?

I’ll buy it any place that stocks Snarky Sleeves.

How did you come up with your business name?

Wordclouds, brainstorming, thumbing through a thesaurus, then going with my gut.

What is your weapon of choice?

A seamripper.  Seems small and innocent, but with the right force and proper angle you could do some real damage.

What would you be doing otherwise?

Spending even more time at my photo studio.  Or in jail for some kind of crime committed with a seam ripper.

Do you have any advice for other crafters?

Gorilla Glue is a lot stickier than it looks.  Wash your fingers after using it.

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Cinnamon CooperCinnamon Cooper, Poise

What is your mafia nickname?

The Ripper

What is your craft?

Making high-quality, creative, and fun handbags, purses, totes, and bags.

Why do you do your craft?

Because I can’t sit still for long periods of time without falling asleep and I have an obsession with purchasing fabric. The first purse I made was donated as a silent-auction item for a non-profit organization. It didn’t take me long to realize that I could support more organizations by giving them bags and selling bags to raise funds for them.

What are your sources of inspiration?

It could be the way a woman’s suit jacket has frayed around the cuff, or the short-shorts worn by Daisy Duke, or a friend who says “I wish I could find a bag to hold my stuff.” I carry a small notebook and am always drawing little sketches and pasting in images I’ve clipped from magazines or newspapers.

What is your favorite Chicago haunt?

If I were a ghost I would haunt the downtown library. It’s a beautiful building and I just love being surrounded by all that knowledge. Since I’m alive I have to give props to Vogue Fabrics in Evanston. Much to the chagrin of my boyfriend who has sit waiting for me, I lose all track of time as soon as I walk in there.

What is your favorite beverage? Where do you buy your favorite beverage?

During the winter I love Duchess duBourgogne from Hopleaf, it’s rich balsamic flavor makes winter just a wee bit warmer. During the summer I’ll take a mojito or glass of sweet iced tea while sitting in an outdoor cafe.

How did you come up with your business name?

While visiting New Orleans a few years ago, the owner of the Bed and Breakfast gave us a cheat sheet of “suthun’ sayins” and one of the items was “poise = purse”. It stuck and I brought it home with me.

What is your weapon of choice?

My main weapon is my sewing machine. My Juki TL-98E gets hugged, cleaned and oiled frequently.

What would you be doing otherwise?

Probably watching a lot more tv, taking more naps, and spending a lot of money on therapy. My happiness increased as my crafting output increased and I don’t doubt they’re related.

Do you have any advice for other crafters?

If you find yourself saying “Someone really ought to . . .” then maybe that someone is you.

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Lindsay ObermeyerLindsay Obermeyer, LBO Studio and Enjolive

What is your mafia nickname?

Mad Hatter

What is your craft?

Knitting, needle felting, beadwork and embroidery with a dash of crochet.

Why do you do your craft?

I make, therefore I am.

What are you sources of inspiration?

Mother Nature – flowers, cell structures, light refraction.  My family.   The Victoria and Albert Museum.   Architecture.   Candy.

What is your favorite Chicago haunt?

Any coffee shop with excellent pastries, closely followed by the Cultural Center, and libraries.

What is your favorite beverage?

Morning – coffee.  Afternoon – Earl Grey tea.  Evening – Pinot noir.  In-between – Chicago tap water (without ice).

Where do you buy your favorite beverage?

Trader Joe’s and Argo Tea.

How did you come up with your business name?

LBO Studio – my initials.  Enjolive – French (first and third person, present tense) for embellish or to make life better.  The first name is used with my artwork and the second for my design work.

What is its significance?

LBO is sorta obvious, n’est-ce pas?  As for Enjolive, it’s French.  Need I explain more? I like that folks have to ask how to pronounce it.  It keeps me practicing the language.  Besides, it looks like a mish mash of Enjoy + Live or Enjoy + Olive.  Olives are one of my favorite food groups.

What is your weapon of choice?

Needles – knitting needles, bead embroidery needles, felting needles….

What would you be doing otherwise?

Living in France eating chocolate, cheese, and olives.  Oh okay, you might also find me in London at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Do you have any advice for crafters?

Be true to yourself.  You have to love what you make, because if you don’t, your customers sure won’t.

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Rebeca MojicaRebeca Mojica (formerly Blue Buddha Boutique)

What is your mafia nickname?

Links

What is your craft?

Chainmaille (mostly jewelry but also sculpture and accessories)

Why do you do your craft?

Because I’m addicted. Um, I mean, because it is fun, and extremely gratifying to create something with my own two hands.

What are your sources of inspiration?

Geometry, fractals, high fashion

What is your favorite Chicago haunt?

Anyplace with good sushi.

What is your favorite beverage?

Water

Where do you buy your favorite beverage?

The tap, baby!!!

What is your weapon of choice?

My mind.

What would you be doing otherwise?

Nonprofit public relations and development, or teaching English in a foreign country

Do you have any advice for other crafters?

As Harold Thurman Whitman said, “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

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