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Monday, June 13, 2011

Interrogation::: Amanda {Flex Family Arts} + GIVEAWAY!

Good Morning Everyone!

Today's guest is a new friend to me, and boy am I glad we found each other! {Thanks Rac :) } Amanda from Flex Family Arts is such a fun loving person and she tells such great stories I was hooked on her blog immediately. Not to mention the totally bitchin' embroidery pieces her and her Mr. create together! Those can all be found HERE and HERE and HERE. Now for the interview!

At the end we will have another giveaway!


1. Tell us a little bit about you as a person.


   I am Amanda, one half of the Flex Family Arts team.  I live in Atlanta with my five-year-old son and the mister AKA James.   I work as a medical social worker at one of the nation's largest public hospitals by day and create art with my Mister at night and on the weekends.  James and I met in May 2009 and immediately fell for each other.  After a few months of trying to fight it off...we surrendered to the fact that we were meant to be together and that was that.  We spend most of our time with the Baby (my little guy) listening to music, playing legos, obsessing over Atlanta street art and daydreaming about new patterns to make.

2. Tell us how/why you started Flex Family


   I originally started the blog as another platform to get exposure for our trio of etsy shops.  I have been a blog-lover for years and have a handful of bloggers that I have followed for years off and on.  I had a personal Mommy-type blog for awhile back when I was a stay at home mom with my son where I basically wrote about daily life, attachment parenting and shared photos of our adventures.  I decided that it seemed like most of the successful shops on etsy also had a blog attached o it...most of them I was already a reader of and I figured, "why not?" I originally started a Pilous Percilla blog after our first embroidery shop, but quickly decided to create something that encompassed all of our work and thus started the Flex Family blog, named loosely after James' photo shop.  While the blog was originally intended to be a marketing opportunity for the shops, it has become much more that that for me and I think I honestly spend more time working on the blog than anything. 


3. What are some of your favorite things about blogging and your blog in particular?

   I think my favorite thing about blogging is the sense of community that you can quickly build with readers and other bloggers/artists.  I have already met and worked with so many awesome ladies and it seems like every week I meet someone new.  My favorite thing about our blog in particular is the artist features.  I know how hard it can be to struggle to get your work recognized and your name out there and I love doing anything I can to help someone else in that area.  Plus, there is so much cooperation between myself and the artists I have met both local and from the WWW. I think we all want success for one another and are happy to work towards that together.  Its an amazing feeling to support and be supported by other awesome artists/crafters.  My other favorite thing about our blog is the Friday "Dear Mister" posts.  I love putting out a little weekly love letter to my Mister that lets him know the little things he does every week that mean so much to me.  I think he really likes them too...

4. What networking do you to that you feel most helps your blogging business?

   I think "meeting" new bloggers and etsy shop owners and collaborating on features, giveaways and common projects has really been the best form of networking for us and has helped grow our blog the most.  We tried paying for advertising in the beginning and while I liked working with bloggers who I love to read, it just didn't seem to show any improvement in our readership, certainly not enough to be paying the money each month.  We do still have a paid spot with one of our favorite couples in blog-land and I think we will continue that...its the only one we see serious numbers from.


5. What can we look forward to on Flex Family?

   More artist features, more goofy love letters to my Mister, more emphasis on local artists from Atlanta and an upcoming collaboration with several other blogging ladies later this month...stay tuned!

 6. Tell us about your craft and how you got started


   While James does photography, our main project is the embroidered portraits.  My mother attempted to teach me how to cross stitch as a child, but I didn't have the patience for it and never completed my kit that she had purchased for me.  Many, many...one more I think...many years later I started teaching myself different types of needle work using some Sublime Stitching and Subversive cross stitch patterns.  For years I used this skill for making various handmade gifts for folks and just within the last year started making the embroidered portraits with the Mister.  James used to give me these awesome hand-drawn cards (almost daily...what happened James?) and knowing that I love the circus and sideshow he made me a card featuring General Tom Thumb, the world's most famous midget.  I LOVED it...and after thinking about it decided that it would be cool to try and make an embroidery of James' drawing.  I asked him to make it into a pattern for me and that was it, we started making patterns and embroideries of famous side show performers and Pilous Percilla was born.  All Night Diner came about when we decided to branch out into more pop culture subjects...like musicians we loved and TV/Film characters.


7. What has been your best experience through your Etsy shop?

   Meeting all the amazing artists is probably the best part but also being invited to become the team captain for etsy's needle arts team has been pretty exciting.  I have made so many new "friends" through etsy...and even some locally that it has been well worth it just for that.


8. What is your favorite item in your shop and why?

   Right now I think it is the Hunter S. Thompson portrait...probably because its new...and let's face it...Hunter was so interesting and handsome...who doesn't love him??

Thank you so much Amanda for being here and for such a fun interview!!! I seriously love your story and so many of your pieces! I'm thinking of keeping the giveaway item for myself...do you think anyone will notice?

JUST KIDDING EVERYONE! Don't freak out :)
Amanda has offered one of her embroidery pieces - The Jackalope - for this weeks giveaway! Here are the details:

What you will win: Embroidery Piece - The Jackalope
How to enter: Become a follower of Yellow Bird, Yellow Beard as well as Flex Family and leave me a comment telling me you have done so. PLEASE ALSO LEAVE ME A WAY TO REACH YOU!!!
One additional entry: Leave me a comment telling me which piece of Amanda's you like best.

The giveaway will be running till midnight on Friday and I will announce the winner on Saturday! Good luck everyone!

xoxo
Janee

43 comments:

  1. this was really fun for me to read. i already follow flex family and enjoy reading amanda's posts on a regular basis, but it was fun for me to get to know her a little better through this interview. thanks, janee!
    also- regarding your email- my husband has played in various bands over the years here in denver/boulder. he knows a lot of the people in the denver music community. he actually used to live with shaun, the drummer from devotchka :) we ran into him recently at one of our favorite mexican restaurants here in denver.

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  2. ps- i love the jackalope (of course) so i hope i win. i also love the Schlitzie Surtees the Pinhead and the phonograph. and someday i might beg amanda to do a custom piece for me of a vintage camera :)
    i'll post this giveaway on twitter and facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/MySoCalledVintage/281019040954?ref=ts

    http://twitter.com/#!/MySoCalldVintg

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  3. I follow both blogs.

    kiddomsg at gmail dot com

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  4. Hunter S. Thompson is by far my favorite!

    kiddomsg at gmail dot com

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  5. That mustache is pretty, damn awesome.

    ♥ sécia
    www.petiteinsanities.blogspot.com

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  6. I'm a follower of both blogs. :)

    soypea@gmail.com

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  7. And my favorite item is the jackalope, actually. I've seen this piece before, and loved it- which is why im entering. :)

    soypea@gmail.com

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  8. following you both via GFC

    marija.majerle at gmail dot com

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  9. The Log Lady embroidered piece is an instant favorite. David Lynch is a close second. Gotta love that hair!

    marija.majerle at gmail dot com

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  10. I'm a GFC follower of both!

    cheyenne dot robertson at gmail dot com

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  11. Love the jackalope. :) My husband and his family are from Wyoming -- I never knew what a jackalope was until I met him! This would be the BEST gift for his mom, possibly ever. :)

    cheyenne dot robertson at gmail dot com

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  12. I follow both blogs! The Hunter S. Thompson portrait is absolutely classic! Such a cool guy captured in such a cool medium! I also of course adore the jackalope! I mean, who couldn't?! Reminds me of the "liger" off Napoleon Dynamite! This is such a cool form of art I have discovered! Keep it up, really, I am so so impressed!
    mia.slater1@gmail.com

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  13. i follow yellow bird and flex family
    yanuzo at hotmail dot com

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  14. i like the Storm Trooper Helmet Star Wars Embroidered Wall Art
    yanuzo at hotmail dot com

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  15. Great interrogation and love her stuff! I am now a follower of both blogs ( :

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  16. I am now following both wonderful blogs- I am so happy to have found them both, since they are totally awesome!

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  17. Oh, and I LOVE the Dolly Parton & Freddie Mercury portraits!!! rianne dot kravitz at yahoo dot com and/or www.dreamshappythings.blogspot.com

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  18. I am now following both of your blogs.
    redshadow1606@gmail.com

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  19. Jenna-
    I love your john wayne looking portrait.
    redshadow1606@gmail.com

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  20. I follow both blogs!
    jrhammlett@yahoo

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  21. My husband and son would both flip for the Storm Troopers Helmet!
    jrhammlett@yahoo

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  22. I'm a new follower of YBYB & FF via GFC.

    cereza25 at yahoo dot co

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  23. I love the frying up something greasy and good spatula wall art.

    cereza25 at yahoo dot com

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  24. I follow both of your blogs! I'd had your blog bookmarked for at least a week, but for whatever reason I thought I clicked follow, but perhaps I didn't... anywho, it's fixed now! I'm your newest follower!
    "Hi!!"


    <3 MuffinLovesBiscuit
    little.mrs.biscuit@gmail.com

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  25. Which of Amanda's pieces are my favorite? That is a tough question since I LOVE her style... but I think I'm going to have to say the Jackalope... It's how I found Amanda blog... I fell in love with the Jackalope on etsy! It's just so cute!!!

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  26. follow both=fun and funny!

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  27. I am now following both blogs and glad I found them!

    sandy(dot)hardman(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  28. My favorite piece would have to be the dearly departed Hunter S. Thompson but the Log Lady really brings back memories too!

    sandy(dot)hardman(at)gmail(dot)com

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  29. Hi am followers now and of flex family :)

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  30. hello i am a follower
    rinei
    rinei.martiani at gmail dot com

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  31. i like that hunter stitch
    they do very detail and it is very "alive"
    rinei
    rinei.martiani at gmail dot com

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  32. I follow Both on GFC

    Miranda Ward

    freebiegoddess03@aol.com

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  33. I'm following YBYB as Magpie Shinies and Flex Family as Kimberlee, both on GFC.

    kimbahleigh666 at gmail dot com

    I'm a big embroidery fan, I love this!

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  34. My favorite is the jackalope, but I love the two-headed cow, too.

    kimbahleigh666 at gmail dot com

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  35. i am following both
    susansmoaks at gmail dot com

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  36. awesome!!! love it and thanks for the chance
    kendraco22 at yahoo dot com

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  37. Thanks for the giveaway...GFC Follower of BOTH: Brian E.

    senorpiero [at] yahoo [dot] com

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  38. The comments for this giveaway are now closed! Thank you for entering!

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  39. But wait! I wanted to enter!!!!

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment, it's a huge encouragement to me! I respond to comments directly, that is why you don't see any replies from me here.