This week's featured Moo Crew artist is Mary of MaryMule. Her Etsy shop features work in upcycled and new fabrics.
By way of introduction, Mary tells me she lives in Sheboygan with her husband and their large dog Ty. "I work full time as a physician assistant. In my free time I sew 'handmade fabric accessories' like tote bags, zipper pouches, coffee cozies and coupon organizers."
The name of her business came about because Mary wanted something different. "I didn't want something generic like 'Mary's Creations' so I decided to use a nickname. My husband calls me Mary Mule because he thinks I am stubborn. However, I think *he* is the stubborn one!"
Mary decided shortly after her marriage to teach herself to sew. She was inspired by some tote bags she had seen at a farmers market. "My first project, some PJ pants, were a bust, but I tried a purse and tote bag after that. I made a bunch of tote bags for Christmas presents, and liked making them, but didn't have a need for zillions of tote bags. Enter Etsy! After the intitial tote bags, most things I have made have been out of necessity. I like functional items. "
To make her creations stand out from the crowd, Mary uses upcycled fabrics, such as mens shirts for her masculine items, and vintage linens. Not everything is made with upcycled materials though. Mary goes through phases of upcycling items and working with new fabrics. She makes every item personally in her pink carpeted sewing room! Mary also does custom orders, so be sure to contact her with your needs.
When Mary isn't creating, she is working, walking the dog, spending time with her husband planning their next vacation ("There's always a next one! I plan lots of "phantom" trips!"), or reading.
Mary isn't originally from Wisconsin, but she is glad to be settled here. "I was an ARMY brat growing up and have also lived in California, Washington, Montana (twice), Missouri, and Illinois (for grad school)."
I asked Mary her thoughts on what the best part of being an artist is to her. "Honestly, I make things that I like, and when others like them too, that feels good. So, I like sharing my creations."
Mary does an occasional craft show and will be at this weekend's "Craft-Apple-Ar" in Poynette (Sunday, August 28). You can find her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/marymuledesigns, and her Etsy shop address is http://www.etsy.com/shop/marymule?ref=pr_shop_more
Many thanks to Mary of MaryMule...and good luck on Sunday!