Craft Corner with So She Sews

Do you love crafts and coffee plays a major role inspiring and fueling your crafting? Contact me if you would like to share your story in the next “Craft Corner”.

Today’s guest crafty chick is Brooke Helfen from So She Sews. She incorporates reused and eco-friendly materials to create her crafts.

Photo Credit: Se She Sews
Photo Credit: Se She Sews

For me, coffee and crafting have always gone together like airports and taxis… gardens and sunshine… a roller skating rink and a disco ball. When I was young, having blossomed in the age of 14 as a little rebellious artist, in the midst of a straight-laced town full of golfing enthusiasts, I would often find myself convincing my parents to drop me off at the local coffee shop so that I could be with all the cool kids. We’d slouch on dirty couches or uncomfortable folding chairs, sipping our cappuccinos and Jolt Colas and discuss things like Andy Warhol or the best way to sew a patch on your pants from your favorite punk band.

I remember the owners of that particular coffee shop. They were so mellow, so kind. They had a gaggle of bored, restless kids hanging around in their shop all the time and they managed to treat us all with the utmost respect. They supported the local art community by offering pretty-much the only alternative venue for showing anything other than a watercolor painting of a golf course, and they regularly held poetry slams and open mic nights.

Crafting Fuel
Consuming coffee became a social ritual then. And many years later when I found myself jumping head-first into a crafting career – an artistic catalyst. From late night design sessions to early morning sewing and ironing power-throughs, I drank so much coffee that the coffee mug became as much a symbol of my creativity as my sewing machine. To this day, it’s a rare sight to see my studio devoid of at least one mug. It’s difficult for me to even begin the creative process in the morning without the warmth and comfort of my coffee. Most mornings I enter my crafting studio with mug in hand, ready to take on the day.

Photo Credit: Brooke Helfen
Photo Credit: Brooke Helfen

I always take my coffee black in the morning, as I really enjoy sampling the aromas and specific notes of each roast unaltered by the introduction of milk or sweeteners. My taste buds are particularly alert in the early hours, and I like to let my palate dance as my hands dance with my fabrics and crafting supplies. It’s not just about the caffeine… my creative standards in art translate into everything I do – and coffee is no exception. And why should it be? It’s something that I enjoy every single day, and that’s a big part of my life. The care I put into my creative work should also be reflected into what I consume.

My preferred method for brewing is a pour-over using a Bonmac cone. While I wait for my water to boil in my BonaVita water kettle, I select a mug from our collection dangling from our mug chandelier in our kitchen. When my husband and I first moved into our home, we needed a way to display our growing coffee mug collection. We crafted a large mug chandelier where each mug hangs from a rope with a hook at different lengths. When the chandelier is full with our collection, it takes on the shape of a fancy chandelier!

Coffee Cozie Concoctions
My general love of coffee led me also to devise a design for a coffee cup cozy within my own line of accessories. It’s easy to create your own cozy for any shape of cup: you simply wrap a piece of paper around your vessel and trace where you would like the top and bottom to be, and mark where the pieces need to overlap. Then, use your traced outline of your cozy as a pattern to cut, knit, sew, crochet or glue your cozy. You can use many different ways to “secure” your cozy, from buttons to snaps to velcro – or you can make it a solid circle, easy to slide on and off.

So, the next time you’re feeling crafty, I encourage you to make an excellent cup of coffee to foster your creativity. A large Chemex brew shared between friends on a fun crafty night will add a little warmth to your heart and a little flavor to your crafts. And, when feeling a little down in the crafty dumps, remember that artistic inspiration could simply be just a mug away!

Brooke Helfen_soshesewsBrooke Helfen is a designer and professional crafter in Atlanta, Georgia. Her line, called SoSheSews, features clothing, accessories, and artwork created from eco-friendly, reused materials and features coffee cup cozies and beer coozies with humorous printed sayings. Buy goodies on her etsy store

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Jennifer has been in the coffee industry since 2003. She started Daily Demitasse to educate and share her experience with other passionate coffee enthusiasts, from a Barista, Cafe Manager, shop Owner and freelancer perspective. When she's not working or blogging, you can find her at Transpire Life.

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