Thursday, November 17, 2011

G'Day! Knitted with love from Australia...NEW GIVEAWAY!

Meet my new Etsy Friend and fellow team mate from Etsy Kids Team, Marie West from Mad West Designs http://www.etsy.com/shop/madwestdesigns.  She is from down unda and crochets and knits the cutest things.  Marie has been married for nearly 20 years and has two kids, a boy and a girl.  She says,"We have the stranded pets: birds, goldfish, turtles, Jack, our dog who thinks he is human.

She says sometimes she sews when she gets the urge to get her machine out.  She says, "hopefully soon my daughter will join me with her items as well."  As for custom orders, "I do love someone to give me a challenge though and ask for something, this gets me away from the mundane and gets the creative juices flowing.  I thinks sometimes we can suffer writers block as well."  Yes!!!  I totally agree.

Marie says, " From little things,  big things grow.....well the same could be said of me.
I have always done some sort of craft since i was about 4.  At about 7,  I saw a teacher knitting and I found out that my dad could knit(just basics though), so i got him to teach me what he knew.  The rest i taught myself working through patterns until i got it right. Sometimes i could ask someone for help but not often.  It was not a popular pastime when i was young, not like it is now. It's funny because Facebook has allowed me to catch up with some old school friends, some i haven't seen since i left high school.  I went to college to study Clothing Technology and was not mainstream for 11 - 12 years.  Most of those friends never knew that i could knit, yet i made and wore all my own jumpers.
In recent years, i have taught myself to crochet just because i could.  It was something i wanted to know how to do.  This time it was easier because i had the Internet to help and my collection of books had grown quite dramatically. I love having books to refer too, these don't get lost as easy as a page on the Internet.  They(pages on the Internet) seem to disappear never to be found again,well at least they do for me.
 Marie is a dressmaker by trade and has recently started to draft her own patterns again.  The plan this time is for her to work on knitted and crocheted garments instead of fabric.  When she starts on an item, she says she is not really sure what exactly she is going to make.  She says, "I start something and they just take shape.  Sometimes i will do several before i am completely happy with them.  This is why it will sometimes take me a while to get new product done.  This is also why my shop is made to order once the initial item is sold. Sometimes i will have some stock on hand especially when things aren't working i will go back and make some that  do."                                                                               http://www.etsy.com/shop/madwestdesigns

As for her shop name she says her daughter who is now 14 (wait...have you seen Marie???  Does she look like she has a 14 year old daughter!!!????  :) Lookin good girl!)has been a crafty little person since she was about 4.  She was also entering and winning many prizes in local shows,  Marie and her daughter came up with "Mad" for mother and daughter (M&D).  "West" is their last name and they stuck "Designs" on the end because that is what they do.  Mad West Designs is the end result.  I just think that is so funny...here I was thinking she named the shop after the wild west or something.  :)


When it comes to juggling being a mom and her Etsy Shop Marie is not really sure how she does it all.  In addition to Etsy Shop owner, crafting, and being a mom she works four days a week from 9am - 5pm.  She says on work days she goes home and does all her mommy duties and chores including ironing which she says, "Which I just hate!" She also says, "I am lucky though because my Husband and i share a lot of home stuff and my children are old enough to get themselves to an from school or wherever they need to be. My son has just started a part-time job and got he's learners permit to drive, so we need to fit all that in too.  I coach my daughters netball team,  which went through the recent season undefeated and won the Grand Final.  We both umpire and play as well as being on the Associations committee so this takes up Saturdays all day and sometimes Sundays when we play tournaments. I have also taken on the Admin role of the Club."  MAN!!!  And I thought I was busy!
                                             http://www.etsy.com/shop/madwestdesigns

Marie says she does most of her computer work (emails, FB, ETsy, etc.) first thing in the morning after tea.  Oh that sounds so lovely!!!  After tea!  I think we all could use tea time here in America instead of go, go, go!  She says that at 8pm she sits down and relaxes with knitting and crocheting until 11pm.  She says ROUTINE IS KEY to fitting it all in.  She says the tiniest little thing can put her behind. "I have being told i am a control freak.  I don't think I am, I just like to be organized."

I myself suffer from Carpal Tunnel, so I asked Marie if she struggles with that with all the knitting and crocheting.  She says, " No carpal tunnel but i do suffer every winter from chilblains, sometimes to the extent that i cannot bend my fingers because my knuckles are so swollen. The constant use by knitting and crocheting keep them moving and circulation flowing so it actually helps me more. If they ache it could be because of the weight of what i am working on so i change to something else."


I asked Marie to list her four favorite Etsy Shops and this is what she listed.  If you get a chance check out these shops to add to your favorites as well. 

http://www.etsy.com/shop/LouisaCatharine   her jewelery is just beautiful and most of the colors she use's are my favorite.
















http://www.etsy.com/shop/beanforest   whenever i feel in need of a laugh i go here.  The man is just so spot on with the quotations on these badges.



http://www.etsy.com/shop/alexandraferguson?ref=pr  The cushions here also hit the spot, as far as laughs go.







http://www.etsy.com/shop/wildwildthings?ref=seller_info
  Love the art work here especially the Jack Russell one as they are so much like my Jack.





 I asked Marie why she liked being on Etsy and she said,
"Oh well there are so many talented amazing crafters of many, many different crafts.  It's just phenomenal! One of the first things i came across was a knitted rat that had being dissected every little detail had being taken into account. I love to browse people's treasuries and just follow whats in those.  You just never know where you will end up." http://www.craftcult.com/ is a great site to use for that.  I have also just become a member of Etsykids Team so i hope to meet even more amazing people."  Welcome to Etsy Kids!!!  I am also a member!
Tell us what you like most about living in Australia?  Is Etsy popular there?
"I'm not sure about Etsy being popular here.  I think quite a few people are on madeit.  i did have a look at it not long ago but it is not open to overseas buyers and you are only allowed to have handmade items, no vintage, no supplies, etc..  So i couldn't see the point. Besides there is just so much more to drool over on Etsy. "
I have a friend from Perth, Australia, and she has told me a bit about the area.  What is one place you would say is the prettiest place in Australia that I MUST visit if I ever come out there?
"Too hard a question there are way too many beautiful places in Australia.
I am in Victoria the eastern side of Australia,we get  Perth weather about 3 days after they have had it. Where I am is Bendigo a country city of about 100,000 people in  Central Victoria about an hour and a half from Melbourne,Victoria's capital city. It's right in the middle of the 1800's gold fields so it is very heavily visited by tourists.  We still have a working gold mine that you can go underground in. Then about 20mins out of town, we are surrounded by bushland which was extremely scary when we had the Black Saturday brush-fires. We were about 5mins from the one we had in Bendigo and had actually driven through it twice before realizing how bad it was. At Easter we have the oldest festival in Australia which features the Chinese association who have a huge presence in Bendigo with the Golden Dragon museum (home to the biggest Chinese dragon in the Southern Hemisphere).  The dragon only comes once a year if it is not raining to take part in the Easter Parade following an awaking ceremony in which thousands of fire crackers are used. I cannot remember a time when he has not being present.
Echuca is about an hour away from me and is on the Mighty Murray River.  We often go and have lunch on the paddle steamers while cruising the river.
My family's  favorite holiday is Hamilton Island.  We went there on our honeymoon.  We went back twice with our kids.  The last time, 12mths ago, we flew over the Barrier Reef in a Helicopter.  It was the most amazing experience! Our first time in a helicopter and the reef is just amazing!  No matter what age or what you a looking for in a holiday it caters for you."  Ok...off to buy a ticket to Australia...NOW!!!
True to my style, I have to end the interview with an off-the-cuff question.  I asked: Kangaroo or Koala and why?
"Koala they actually are quite cute to cuddle if you get the chance.  They do smell though and can have very sharp claws.
Kangaroos cause too much damage to your car when you hit them.  We now eat the both animals on our coat of arms."  
GIVEAWAY

 Would you like to win this adorable hat for your daughter, niece, granddaughter, friend, etc.?  It is the perfect lil gift and so cute!
This hat is size 12Months to Teen
Here is how to enter the GIVEAWAY:
As always, please follow our blog first before entering.
Please remember to tell us what you did for each entry by posting it in the comments on this post and please leave a way for us to get a hold of you if you win...etsy shop or email etc..
*First entry - heart/favorite her shop on Etsy http://www.etsy.com/shop/madwestdesigns
**Second Entry - heart/favorite your favorite item in her shop and come back and tell us why here on this post's comment section.
***Third Entry - Like her FB page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bendigo-Australia/Madwestdesigns/173992562646191 and leave a comment saying we sent you@ lillollipopsdesigns.blogspot.com 
Good luck!
Giveaway ends 11/23/11 at 10pm Eastern Time



20 comments:

  1. Follow you on gfc
    "hearted" her on etsy
    robinlscott
    robinlscott4 at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love these Christmas slippers and "hearted" them:
    http://www.etsy.com/listing/55555047/handknitted-christmas-slippers
    robinlscott4 at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  3. like her on fb
    Robin Scott
    robinlscott4 at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  4. I hearted her shop on Etsy- mframe00
    mframe00@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. following your blog via GFC!

    passions0123@yahoo.com
    http://kimberly-theaveragejane.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. favorited her etsy shop

    passions0123@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. I heart her shop on etsy (id: megnate)
    I heart the Girls Crochet Hat in Pink and Black
    I liked her on facebook (same name)
    I follow you on GFC (same name)

    megnate at telus dot net

    ReplyDelete
  8. love the pink mary janes, so cute!

    ReplyDelete
  9. hearted the shop! mvegan5.etsy.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. following your blog via gfc and hearted her shop on Etsy
    brendawitherspoon at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  11. I like the Hand Knitted Funky Feet and hearted them
    beewbedard
    brendawitherspoon at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  12. Liked her FB page and commented
    brendawitherspoon at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks for the giveaway! I hearted Madwestdesigns on etsy (as RachelKate16)


    Rachel
    vintagequeengf(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  14. I love this pretty blue scarf from the shop - it has a lovely victorian look to it: http://www.etsy.com/listing/55554866/crochet-scarf-ooak

    Rachel
    vintagequeengf(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  15. I'm a GFC follower and I added her to my favorites on etsy. (shannyfoust)

    Shannon F.
    shannybakes@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  16. I favorited Hoot the Owl. My niece is addicted to owls and it looks so well crafted and just beautiful!

    Shannon F.
    shannybakes@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  17. I liked her on facebook and left her a comment!

    Shannon F.
    shannybakes@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. follower - hearted her shop

    elizabethglassturner (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  19. hearted the crochet girls beanie - perfect birthday present for my niece!

    elizabethglassturner (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete