Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Tuesday Talk :: Jersey's Freshest

Hi all! Welcome back to Tuesday Talk! This week, let me introduce you to Molly Larobina of JerseysFreshest. My Tuesday Talk interviewee from last month, Rain at Cheeky Kumquat,  recommended I check her out. She was spot on in knowing I would love & appreciate Molly's work. She is another excellent greeting card maker, another gifted crafter.

Let's chat...

Jersey's Freshest? Where did your shop name come from?

I make cards, which really has nothing to do with the name of my shop. Although, they are made in New Jersey, and I feel that they are rather fresh. If you hadn't guessed, I'm a New Jersey resident; born and raised. Anyone who is familiar with Jersey birds should know that most of us have this weird station pride thing going on, although on the inside, we have a love-hate relationship with the state. So, when I was brainstorming a name, I had a moment of Jersey pride, combined with our state's produce motto, which is Jersey Fresh. And so was born JerseysFreshest.

I love this from your Etsy profile: I love art, and cards are art that I can share with other people, and then they can spread the love, by sending them to others. How often do YOU send cards? Who do you sent them to?

I'm not a card-sending fiend or anything, but I do send and give cards to close friends, family and my daughter's teachers for occasions that warrant it...My daughter often makes requests for certain people to have certain cards, made by me - the latest project she has me working on is a kitty birthday card for her little cousin. I have also been known to make and give the occasional card set in gift baskets, mostly filled with other handmade goodies, made by myself or my 6 year old daughter.

Seriously, we are birds (though, not Jersey birds) of a feather. I love giving handmade gifts.

Also in your Etsy profile I noticed that you studied paper making in school. What a labor of love! Do you ever still make paper?

I do...but that paper I make is nothing like the paper I  made in school. It's really just for personal use, mostly due to the quality. Without a press, it's nearly impossibly to get the aper to any sort of standard. I just save up my scraps of a paper, and when it's warm enough outside, I blend up some pulp. and pull some sheets with a mold and deckle made from picture frames. I press it out with cookie sheets, and lay it out to dry. It sometimes get a bit wonky, but once the paper is dry, weighting it helps all that. I know I could just recycle it, but I fell like reusing is better than recycling.

When did you start making greeting cards?

A year ago, in Janurary...it all started with a set of handmade Valentines for my daughter's Preschool Class.

Instead of adding designs TO the card stock, you seem to design by taking it away. I love all your cut outs! Where did the idea for that technique come from?

I'm pretty sure the idea came out of necessity...sort of...I remember the first card I cut - It was a Mother's day card I was making for my cousin to give to her mother last May. I was drawing designs and staring at them, thinking hey that's pretty nice, but it's not saying enough...I think it would look better cut out, with a design showing through...I really liked the design and wanted it in my shop. Replicating the card made ne realized that cut designs would be more accessible, than all of my one of a kind, collages *Which, really, I wasn't too happy with anyway...but, hey, that was all a part of finding myself as a card designer.) After that, came summer and all card-making ceased due to motherly duties. Once fall returned, I began drawing up designs and must have had that flower card stuck in my brain, because most of the drawings turned into cut outs.

Can I ask a non-stationery related question? Is that YOUR tattooed finger in your product pictures?? It's awesome.

It's mine. It's my engagement and wedding rings, actually tattooed in two installments. I don't wear jewelry, so I decided that his was a better fit. My husband has  band tattooed on him as well...He likes to say "until death or laser surgery do we part."

You knit!! Me too! Where do you like to buy yarn? Any favorite projects?

Ahhh, knitting... I love it...almost too much. Honestly, a lot of my yarn was given to me by my aunt - two garbage bags worth. I have given myself the challenge of using as much of that up before buying more...Prior to that, I liked buying yarn from knit pick, or I would just find some random little shop on the internet that had just what I was looking for. 

As for favorite projects...first I must confess, I love finding patterns on Ravelry:

The Bee Keeper's Quilt by Stephanie Dosen of Tiny Owl Knits (tiny owlknits.wordpress.com)
Vintage Hankie Washcloth by Julie Tarsha of Simply Notable (simplynotable.com)
And, one I just recently finished: The Keyboard Cat (www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/keyboard-cat)
Mine wound up looking like the Mouse from the Children's book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, but I was thrilled witt that, since it was for a two year old, and I firmly believe in books for birthday presents.

You're on Ravelry! Me too! I will look for you...Other than your own stash, where do you go for greeting cards?

I really don't go anywhere else...Sometimes I use carsI have made, but I really enjoy making something new, and personal for the particular recipient and event. I enjoy the challenge of making the card a "perfect" fit. I have, however, considered buying cards to tie to my husband from other sellers on Etsy - The Cheeky Kumquat, Sweet Perversions and Fun Girls Cards to name a few. The humor in them is hard to resist, but I do because he is pretty much anti-cards...maybe I should change that.

A friend says to you that they are terrible at sending greting cards. They ask you how they can be better at it. What advice do you give them?

I think I would suggest a marked up calendar...I find that when I don't send cards it's because I've simply forgotten until it's too late.

Plans for the rest of 2013? Beyond? New cards coming out?

Plans...hmmm...make it though Christmas...joking. Really I just want to focus on growing my business more, outside of Etsy. I want to keep on making cards, and focus a bit more on wall art and notebooks. As far as new cards to come, a confident yes is in order.

Molly, thank you for hanging out on the KBatty Blog. I look forward to seeing what you come up with next!

I had a seriously hard time picking product photos for this post. Others I considered are numerous...like these gift tags, or her entire section of Wedding/Anniverary cards or her smiley card, this coffee card...the list goes on. Go find your favorites on her Etsy shop & make sure to "like" Molly on Facebook.

Next month, Tuesday Talk will feature one of my EtsyNY team members & her illustrated cards. Adorbs!


Rain said...

Love love love her cards! I would never have the patience or outright talent to do what she does, but man is it beautiful. So glad you chose her for your Tuesday Talk!

Kerry B. said...

Rain, I'm so glad you suggested her!! Thank you!

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