One of my favorite designers and crafty ladies is Lotta Jansdotter, whose Scandinavian-influenced design sense, beautiful screen prints, ceramics, and stationery, as well as her fabulous crafting kits and books provide endless inspiration. (Speaking of books, you simply must check out her newest one here.)
Lotta took some time off from her holiday preparations and new designs to answer a few questions for us. Read on for information on everything from easy holiday DIY gifts to integrating craft space into a small home. Prepare to be inspired!
CasaSugar: I love your studio space. How do you suggest that crafters who don’t have a studio, or even a room, for sewing or crafting integrate their supplies into their home while making it easy to access them?
Lotta Jansdotter: Thank you, I love my studio space as well. It has so much natural light, it is wonderful and I am very lucky to have it. Yes, not everybody has room for a permanent workspace, so here are some suggestions that might work out. Do you have a space under your bed? Can you place a box with rollers under it? Great, maybe then you can store your craft supplies and projects there. I keep my knitting and crochet projects in a tote that I hang on a hook on the back of my bedroom door. Can you clear out one shelf in your closet in which you place your sewing machine and a box (cardboard, wood, or canvas) with your supplies in it? Can you sacrifice a wee bit of sweater room for your craft? Surely so!
CS: How do you decorate your own home with your work?
LJ: My own work, and work of other talented designers and makers, is what makes my house my home. It adds personality and warmth. I do like to make different kinds of pillow cases for our living room and bedroom, which I switch out and change every now and then. On our bedroom wall, I have recently stenciled some of my designs. It was really fun to see this pattern slowly grow and become a pretty decorative accent that brightened up the room.
Keep reading for Lotta's ideas on making gifts this holiday season.
CS: What easy craft projects do you recommend for people interested in making gifts for friends and family?
LJ: The best gifts are ones that show you care, and nothing shows thoughtfulness better than a homemade gift. A foolproof way for beginner crafters to learn my best DIY tips and techniques is to visit the Rowenta Craft Lab site where I have three step-by-step crafting videos . . . Crafters of any caliber can watch my videos and create one-of-a-kind gifts for their friends and family.
CS: How do you keep the holidays sane and beautiful when you’re also trying to create your own presents/decorating elements?
LJ: Well, the holidays tend to get sort of wacky don't they? For starters, it is great if you can manage to start your holiday crafting and gift making early . . . like in September. But that rarely happens for me, so what I try to do is to be realistic and not put too much pressure on myself. I do not start huge projects a few weeks before Christmas Eve. Make simple projects that are easy to do. To be able to give something handmade to somebody is what counts — the thought and effort. It does not have to be a super-complicated piece with time-consuming steps.
Thanks Lotta! To make a not-so-super-complicated DIY gift from Lotta, try this pillow tutorial.