I am a little bird driven by a passion to bring like minded makers together in a space of belonging and acceptance. Where creative people gather, magic happens. "Kindness-Community-Handmade" is my mantra because only through a positive, kind and constructive connection can a true community of makers thrive.
Like many, I learned creative arts from my grandmothers. One taught me needles arts and gin rummy, the other taught me sewing and painting. But these were always things I did with grandma and I never thought about doing them at home. I grew up as an only child in a tiny family. I kept myself occupied as best I could through school, clubs, and music. After three years singing competitively with my junior college we managed to scrounge up the money to send me to a university to finish my bachelors degree. Around that time my grandmother gave me my sewing machine (shown above, which is my main machine still today). But it was not love at first sight.
I used my sewing machine haltingly for a few years. I sewed two flat sheets together to make a duvet cover and made a sad attempt to cover a goodwill couch with sheets. Once I got married though, my sewing machine became a life line. Marriage made my anxiety rise and before I knew it I was having regular panic attacks. Having married the man of my dreams I sought help and my therapist spent at least 6 months telling me I needed to work with my hands to relieve my anxiety before I got my sewing machine out.
Right about the same time, Pinterest was born! My dear friend who was a graphic designer kept sending me links to cool things on this Pinterest website. I did not do social media so I could not sign up. Back in the day you had to have a Twitter or Facebook account, and an invitation to join Pinterest. But the basic premise of Pinterest was so intriguing that I eventually set up a fake Twitter account just so I could join! That was probably the most pivotal point for me. The ability to store tutorials for all kinds of crafty things was HUGE and before I knew it I was reading tons of tutorials about how to make zipper pouches and This Little Bird was born!
I opened This Little Bird on November 1, 2011 and began selling zippy pouches and home decor items on Etsy. The following spring came another pivotal moment, although I did not know just how influential it would be when it happened. I discovered a conference called Craftcation, held in Ventura each year, only a two hour drive away. I could learn new crafts and take classes on how to run my craft business and I remember taking the registration fee and dividing it up by how many classes I could fit in (17 that year) to make sure it was a worthwhile investment.
What I did not know was the investment I was making in myself. That first year I remember thinking I was never more myself than I was during that four days. And every year since I've felt that way. But somewhere around the third year I understood. These amazing people brought together for this amazing 4 day weekend were my people. They were my tribe! They were where I felt like I belonged.
If you have never felt like you belonged, and you suddenly find yourself part of an amazing community of people that you love and respect, the impact is strong. My craft community, you, are my family. In my craft community I am the most me I will ever be. In my craft community I am passionate and excited and whole. It is difficult to put into words the impact of belonging and it is difficult to express the depth of meaning it has for me, but if you've read this far you know that when I say kindness matters, I mean it from the bottom of my heart.
I'm excited to have you join me on my journey to bring this community to others, to expand upon it and make it great. I'm also excited to share another turning point in my journey, the transition from solely a maker to a maker AND teacher AND sharer of things that matter to me. I hope you will hang out and have some fun.