1. Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Kami, aka Kamika, and I live in North Vancouver BC with my husband Ryan, our two katz and a 28 week old fetus growing in my belly! I love to create and craft and if I have a single moment of free time I can be found at my craft desk whipping together some sort of crafty goodness. I sew, knit, paint, and embroider and have recently ventured into the world of silk-screening. I collect vintage teacups, elephant statues and kitschy Virgin Mary items. I also love to garden and enjoy growing organic veggies and fresh herbs for my family. Oh, and I love to bake pies almost as much as I love to eat them.
2. What do you make and how did you get into this?
I currently create stuffies out of eco felt, embroidered wall art, children’s accessories and funky pins/brooches. I have always had a creative side, my earliest memories involve me studying Walt Disney characters for hours on end and drawing them over and over until I could draw a character from memory. When I was in high school I discovered photography and mixed media art, as a troubled teenager this became a healing and creative outlet for me to express myself. I was often found with a camera in hand or ripping out pages from magazines to collage with. More recently, at 29, I entered one of the deepest depressions of my life. For reasons unknown to me, one day I just went on autopilot, pulled out my grandmother’s sewing machine from a dusty corner of my storage closet... and started creating. I soon started documenting my healing crafty adventures on my blog and before you knew it, I wasn't sad anymore. I was happy and productive, and had a huge pile of awesome crafts and no idea what to do with it all. So I began to participate in local craft fairs and Kamika Kraftz was born.
3. How did you come up with the names for your blog and shop?
My blog is called Searching for Serendipity. I chose the name because at that point in my life I was so desperately sad and really just wandering around in a daze. I was searching. Searching for something, anything, that would make my heart sing again. I longed for these "serendipitous" ah-ha moments you hear of... and I decided that was the irony of my situation. That I was so busy "Searching for Serendipity" that I often missed life as it was passing me by. As far as my shop name "Kamika Kraftz" Kamika is one of my nicknames and I just felt that the two words together, combined with a cute spelling of craft captured the child like joy and creative expression you can find in my creations.
4. Where and when do you like to create?
I currently craft in a crammed corner of our second bedroom. This is also my husband’s closet and our nursery. SO needless to say it is a very lived in room full of life, love and laughter!
5. What or who inspires you?
OH! So many things inspire me. I adore Frida Khalo, bright colors, Mexican Virgin Mary iconography, crows, skulls, roses and buttons... millions and millions of colorful textured buttons!
6. What’s the best thing you’ve made so far?
Although I no longer make them as often as I once did, I would have to say my Dah-Duh's. They are an original stuffy idea I came up with for my best friend’s son, Koan. When he was younger he would call everything in sight a "dah-duh" using different tones and pitches for different things. One day as a joke I drew a silly monster picture for him with swirly eyes and a toothy grin, naming it a Dah-Duh. He squealed with delight when I showed it to him and from there my first plushie idea was born. They have always been one of my most popular items at craft fairs.
7. When you create what do you like to drink, snack on, listen to, or watch?
I love to watch TV shows on DVD. Some of my faves are Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Big Bang Theory, 30 Rock and How I Met Your Mother. I drink lots of OJ and/or water and snack on anything and everything. At 6 months pregnant and I kind of perpetually grazing lol!
8. What skill would you love to learn and who would you like to be your teacher?
I wish I could improve my sewing skills and that my grandmother was still alive to help me do this. She first taught me to sew when I was in Kindergarten by teaching me to hand sew teddy bears from scrap fabric, stuffed with dried beans. Eventually those teddy bears were made on her sewing machine and I loved the whirring sound of its motor. Even today when I cut fabric, with her original pair of steal cutting sheers, I am taken back to my childhood.
9. What are you working on now and what are your goals for the future?
As I mentioned above I am learning how to silkscreen. I am currently trying to expand my line of stuffies into a range of products such as t-shirts, aprons, onsies, burp clothes, bibs and blankets. I would love to one day have a full line of products all centered around my "woodland" themed eco-felt stuffies.
10. What are your favorite websites?
I have far too many to list, but currently I am really enjoying Pinterest. I love how all of the images have original credit sources. I also find it helpful for brainstorming for future blog posts. Rather then having a million bookmarked pages, or a computer bogged down by too many downloaded images I "pin" things that inspire me!
11. Where can we find you online?Janmary Designs