Meet the Maker: Family Crafter Mary Alice Baldwin
Meet keen mummy crafter, Mary Alice Baldwin and discover how she makes craft exciting for both her kids and herself!
Describe yourself in five words
Five words to describe myself? Focus. I can do this.
1. Creative (this feels redundant given the circumstances of this interview!)
2. Goofy (Making someone else laugh is my most favorite thing in the entire world.)
3. Friendly (I love people! And making them laugh, have I mentioned that?)
4. Adventurous (I like moving, going, and discovering new things. I don’t like to sit still for too long in one place.)
5. Nature Obsessive (Nature is the greatest asset we have! There is so much to learn from it and so much inspiration to be had!)
How did you get into craft?
I have been crafting for a very long time. I started sewing when I was about 12 years of age. I was driven by the fact that I could not find clothing that fit me well. I decided I would just make my own. I have been experimenting with all mediums of crafting more or less since that time.
What is a typical day like for you?
Coffee comes to mind. It is the very first thing I do. Once I have completed a delicious cup of coffee (Mocha Lattes 4 Life), I consider what I might like to make that day. I am driven to create projects based on the materials I have on hand. I find that resourcefulness is extremely important and that my best creations come from the ability to be resourceful. I try to consider the environmental impact of my crafting and proceed with projects that include recycling or reusing as much as possible.
What are your favourite medium(s) and why?
Well, to know me is to know about my current love affair with salt dough. Let me count the ways that I love salt dough. Actually, there is not enough time for that. Just to briefly describe the reasons I love salt dough I must tell you that salt dough is extremely versatile! It is environmentally friendly (WIN!) and it is cheap (EQUALLY BIG WIN!) I have written a blog post about it! You can find it is on my website!
Tell us about your favourite creation
One of my favorite projects recently was my “Build a Cactus” game. I made pieces of cactus from salt dough. While forming the dough, I placed skewers inside. I baked it with the skewers, creating a handle for the cactus pieces. I then took a bowl and placed beans into it. I let the kiddos place the salt dough cactus pieces into the bowl as they chose. They love this game! They play it often.
What projects are you working on now?
I have several projects working at any given moment. I am currently interested in developing a craft for the dried flowers from my garden. My garden has had the richest colors this year. I’d really like to harness the beauty and translate it to a fun craft idea.
Where do you do most of your work?
I work on my dining room table. Fortunately, I live in a home with an open concept floor plan. This allows me to hang out with my kids while developing ideas! It also means we really don’t have a dining table any longer.
What has been your favourite new product or discovery over the last year?
Egg cartons. I mean, they have been around for a very long time but I had not discovered the wonder of the egg carton until about 6 months ago. They are extremely versatile! They absorb paint well and they are cheap! (Plus you get bonus eggs when you buy one!) Here are some things you can do with an egg carton:
Where do you get the inspiration for all your amazing projects?
I find inspiration basically everywhere. My kids will say or do something, or I’ll see an image somewhere and my synapse will fire away. (You know, that lightbulb moment.) Nature is a large source of inspiration for me. There is so much beauty, and wonder found in nature. I often look to the outdoors for a change in my perspective or when in need of new ideas.
What are your top tips for anyone looking to get started in crafting?
Consider what you enjoy looking at most. For instance, if you are really drawn to paintings, consider starting with that medium. If you are drawn to tapestry or other wall hangings, consider learning to weave! I personally find that filling your home with things you have made, is extraordinarily satisfying! There are many ways to go about learning a new skill such as painting or weaving. You can find books in the library, find tutorials online, go to classes locally or perhaps, reach out to a friend who may already possess these skills. Whatever it is that interests you, you can find a way to do it! Sometimes, it is as simple as acquiring the materials and giving it a go!