It’s another interview with a crafty lady and yet again we’re in Italy! How I wish I were actually in Italy..! Anyway! Aina is half Italian and half Norwegian and I think you can definitely tell that there’s a Scandinavian..thing going on in the things she makes. Right? Aina doesn’t have a shop, but she really ought to – those aprons are really cute! Ok, let’s see what Aina has to say!
Grazie mille, Aina!
My name is Aina and my blog is Casa Andersen (my mother’s surname)
Where in the world are you?
I live in a small village surrounded by vineyards in the north of Italy.
Briefly describe yourself and what you make
I am a working mum, aged 35. I am half Norwegian and half Italian and my husband is French. I love my home, which is in a constant state of change, thanks to my children! I started sewing cushions, aprons and throws so that I could quickly and easily change various corners of the house and turn it into a real nest.
Who or what inspires you?
My inspiration came from the Andersen home … from a child I saw my mother paint china, draw and sew cushions for the sofa. I have always known that if there’s a will you can do it yourself. In choosing materials I draw inspiration from nature’s colours, its seasons and its flowers but also from cross-cultural influences. I adore Scandinavian design from the 50s, 60s and 70s.
When / how did you learn?
In fact I am still learning. However, I took my first steps with a sewing machine last year, on my own and working blind. One day I decided I wanted a pink cushion that would look good on the sofa and I went out and bought myself a cheap sewing machine. It was the start of a love affair! When my mother in law visits us, I take advantage of it for mini courses in sewing and patchwork, but I know that I have a long way to go (a journey which I am happy to undertake) and that the world of sewing and handmade articles is boundless.
Why is making things by hand worth the ‘effort’?
It is worth while making things by hand because even if we get ideas from others what we create by ourselves is always unique and shows our own personal touch.
What is your craft ”philosophy”?
My craft philosophy is to start simple, reusing as much as possible the materials to hand. I create for enjoyment, knowing that when I cannot find what I want in the shops I can always try to make it myself. Making things is believing in oneself and to persist in improving what we do.
Fondest craft-related memory?
The most enjoyable part comes at night when the mind combines the images colours and designs that passed before me during the day, then in the morning I open the fabrics cupboard and get going on my project!
Have you always made ‘stuff’?
Since I was a child I have created, invented and experimented ….clothes for Barbie dolls, cartoons, whatever takes my fancy.
Do you use a sketchbook or journal?
I have many sketchbooks around the house; they follow me and my ideas wherever I go. Some ideas get carried out, others remain on paper, becoming a sort of archive or memory album.
What impact (if any) has the internet had on your craft?
Internet and creative blogging inspired me to create my own blog, to share my enthusiasms and has allowed me to discover a world full of inspiration, continuously in riotous evolution! In moments of creative block, I have always found there a positive impulse and I am enthusiastic to be a part of this world.
If you could make any project without limits to cost, materials or skill, what would it be?
Without limits of cost, materials or ability, my dream would be to renovate an old caravan with fabrics and paints, and install it at the bottom of a mature garden where I could enjoy relaxing afternoons with my family.