Happy Little Bluebirds

18 July 2012
Tags: kids , Little people, market day, stall holders, Upcycled

Amanda from Happy Little Blue Birds has kindly shared her story with our readers.  You can meet her this Sunday at our Makers Market.

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Tell us a bit about yourself. Who do you live with? Any pets?
I‘m Amanda, a 30 year old mum, crafter, thriftier, and hunter gatherer of all things vintage. I live with my partner Adam, our daughter Indigo and our British Bulldog, Buddha.
I am the designer and creator of Happy Little Bluebirds. I make vintage inspired hair pieces for newborns to little ladies.
I studied Visual Arts and Visual Merchandising before working in the VM industry for nearly 10 years. After the birth of my daughter I started back in the industry working part-time as a stylist.


Where do you do your crafting? Kitchen table, studio ect...
When we moved house last year I was lucky enough to transform the 3rd bedroom into a studio where I can work and store my enormous, overflowing fabric and embellishment collection.
However on any other day you are still likely to see a mountain of craft projects happening on my dining room table. I am creative and messy! I do my best work amounts chaos.


Why did you choose your business name and what does it mean to you?
My daughters name is Indigo Ava which means blue bird, Indigo "a deep shade of blue" and Ava "like a bird". Happy Little Bluebirds in a line from the song Somewhere over the rainbow. It is a favourite song I sing to my daughter because of the meaning of her name. I wanted my business name to have meaning and reflect the love of my daughter as she is my biggest inspiration behind my designs and my want to start my business.


Why do you do your craft?
I initally wanted to create a small business where I could work from home and be with my baby girl.
Before HLB I had a small handmade jewellery business for 9 years and a monthly market stall. I love having a creative outlet to express myself in. I have always had to have a hobby. Since the birth of my daughter I was dramatically inspired to create unique hair pieces for her outfits. I discovered there wasn‘t much variety in the retail shops and nothing with a vintage look. I decided to make them myself.

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When do you find the time to do it?
Crafting is ultimately what keeps me sane. It is my "me" time. You have to make time to do things you love. I usually get crafty when Indigo is napping or has gone to bed. My house might be a mess sometimes but I am a happy mum.

How else do you spend your time? What are your passions? When you are not creating what do you like to do?
I am very passionate about being a Mum. I love spending quality time with my family, visiting craft or flea markets on the weekend (if I don‘t have a stall), cooking, sewing, gardening and growing vegetables. Luckily we all have similar interests. I love to paint but rarely find time to do it. I enjoy taking photographs of my daily life, and capturing moments passed. I also enjoy travelling and visiting places I haven‘t been before. I recently visited Byron Bay for the second time and was so inspired by the landscape, the people and the atmosphere and this will be reflected in my Spring/Summer collection.

How do you relax?
I find it hard to stop and relax, but a glass of wine and addictive, trashy reality tv usually does the trick:)

What are your favorite materials to work with?
I LOVE vintage fabrics, linens and doilies. The quality and prints are so different to todays offerings. I enjoy finding a forgotten vintage scrap of material and transforming it into something beautiful again. I also love to play with pearl beads and rhinestones and these feature a lot in my latest collection. Oh and I love lace, lots of lace!

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Where did you learn your craft? Classes, self taught, trial and error?
I am self taught in most areas. I have been exposed to crafting and sewing for all of my life as my Grandmother was a Dressmaker from the age of 15, so I guess I picked up things along the way. I spent many school holidays in my Grandmothers sewing room.


What do you expect the future holds for you and your craft?
HLB is only a year and a half old but I have big plans to evolve the brand and products. I am teaching myself to sew and pattern make with the assistance of my dressmaker Grandmother. I hope to grow my business in the ares of bedroom and nursery decor and children‘s clothing. I am starting out with Bunting‘s and throw pillows made from vintage linens, materials and lace. I would also like to give boys hats and bow ties a go too, in a vintage style of course. This is only the beginning for HLB!
HLB definitely has a vintage feel about it. I think this is translated through the choice of fabrics, the colours, and the selection of embellishments I use. I suppose I tend to work in this style as it is something I am passionate about. It‘s pretty, girly and delicate...it can also be a bit over the top sometimes, but that is always fun.

What advice do you have for a beginner, or someone interested in learning your craft?
Just have fun! Experiment with techniques and materials. Find what works for you.

Where do you draw your inspiration?
I draw inspiration from my daughters outfits and from the vintage fabrics I buy. I can find a vintage piece of fabric or linen and can instantly feel inspired and know what I am going to do with it.
I also draw inspiration from the 1920‘s era. The clothes, the hair, the hats and accessories. If only I could go back in time.

Why should people support handmade?
Handmade is such a passion for me. It is an entire process where someones individual ideas are given a chance to turn into an actual item. Every hand made piece has been made with love, respect and creative energy and it carries a piece of the makers heart. This is what makes it something special and one of a kind! You are also supporting the crafter in their small business and their big dreams.


What couldn‘t you live without?
My family :) I am who I am because of them. They are my biggest supporters. They are my world!

If you had $500 to do with as you pleased, what would you do with it?
That would be a toss up between a little family weekend getaway or hitting the vintage and thrift shops and just going crazy! Hmmmm....

Happy Little Bluebirds on facebook.

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