I am so happy to introduce you to Brooke Schmidt of Wyndmoor, PA, and her fabulous shop!
How long have you been creating things for your shop?
I opened my Etsy shop in January 2009 primarily as a way to shuffle off some of a large pile of drawings from art school. It was winter, and I was decluttering. But as I got to know Etsy better, I realized what a gem it was: instant contact with the artists themselves, and amazing handmade works at affordable prices! Over time I expanded to add more collages, sewings & works on paper, handmade clay and vintage book magnets, altered books, and embroidered Mokeskine journals. I try whatever takes my fancy. My latest additions are prints of my Polaroids, which I am so excited about. I love Etsy for it's simplicity in getting my work out there with a minimum of fuss. I have sold pieces to people in Alaska, in England, in Brooklyn ~ it's fascinating! I also like it when someone writes me requesting something special and specific that I can make for them. I feel like I'm granting a wish.
Photographing? How did you get started?
Growing up in Florida, our family went canoeing a lot on the Myakka River, and I remember my mom would keep her Canon 35mm camera in a watertight Pizza Hut cooler, in case the canoe tipped. In high school I was also wrangling photos out of an old point-and-shoot knockabout camera: I remember a favorite photo in which my friend was holding the moon on a hilltop. I love using film because I'm never sure how things will turn out. I used my mom's Canon and soon found one of my own, and then a vintage Pentax 35mm camera, which I took on road trips and backpacking trips to Europe. My first real digital was a Lumix Panasonic pocket camera, bought about 3 years ago, which I still have and use. Now I own a Nikon D90 and mostly use a 50mm lens with that ~ it's a fantastic camera. But my real passion, the camera that makes my heart beat, the camera that I wake up for every morning, is my SX-70 Polaroid Land camera. An eBay find that I purchased after finding Susannah Conway's blog last year and seeing her amazing Polaroids. It produces the most magical shots. I would also say Flickr was and is invaluable to me in seeing what's possible and being inspired.
What is your favorite thing in your shop?
The Snail's Dream, an 8x8 inch print of a Polaroid I took with my SX-70 camera. It's a dreamy and soft polaroid of a snail, luminous and with those wonderful eyes on stalks, contemplating a world of wood sorrel. It completely knocked my socks off as to the true possibilities of an SX-70. I was, at the time, on a road trip in California and that photo made my week. I have the original framed over my bed. Oh, that snail!
What are your other hobbies?
Reading, a lot ~ Gardening ~ Walking ~ Hiking ~ Tea-drinking ~ Road trips with my husband, Tim ~ Travel and living out of a suitcase or a backpack ~ Baking chocolate chip scones once a week ~ Collecting rocks when I travel ~ Thrift shopping! ~ Requesting books and audiobooks from my local library ~ Scrabble ~ Loving my dogs, Donovan and Lucy ~ Yoga ~ Reading in the back garden in an adirondack chair with my cat, Mimi, on my lap ~ Sitting by a fire and chatting ~ Collecting Agatha Christie paperbacks, Pyrex bowls, Fiestaware, textiles, wool blankets and things cobalt.
What do you listen to while creating?
I have a DVD/VCR player in my studio and often half-listen to old Agatha Christie flicks with her famous characters Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple. For some reason, those get me in the zone. I also have a collection of my favorite films like Gosford Park or Manon des Sources which I'll put on and listen to like most people listen to a cd. I never listen to music while working, sometimes listen to a book on tape (British readers only, please!) and often just work in silence, which really isn't silence at all but a flexible space for thoughts to grow and for the wind to fill. Hours disappear that way.
Because I am a food lover....what is your favorite thing to eat?
Warm chocolate chip scones with butter slathered on them, and a tall glass of cold milk! My recipe found HERE
Please make sure you go and thoroughly explore her shop....there are so many fun things to find! Polaroid prints, hand made clay magnets, these cute little embroidered journals and so much more!
Just go visit her shop, and leave a comment letting me know your very favorite item.
Comments will be accepted until Thursday, 5/27 at midnight, and the winner will be announced Friday.
Tweet/facebook/or blog and come back for an extra entry!