Open up to page 30 of this month's Southern Living, and up in the top corner, you'll see a piece from this lovely lady - Jessica Jones of Burnt Creative out of Blacksburg. She is a great inspiration to other crafters/artists that struggle with lack of space(she shares her studio with her husband), and balancing life and career(she's got a little boy and, along with making organizers, puts together a handmade and vintage outdoor market, and is in the process of opening her own boutique) We were smitten when we first got her application and she gave this as part of her bio:
1. Black is my favorite color. I know I know. Black is not a color. I don’t care.
2. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve watched Harry Potter. Which one, you ask? All. of. them.
3. I make sure I do at least these 3 things every day without fail: laugh with my son, deeply kiss my husband, and pull one weed in the garden.
4. My house is a never ending project and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
5. My garden is a never ending project and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
6. I LOVE my 20yr. old GMC Sonoma long-bed pickup truck.
7. I collect children’s books, and not because I’m a mama.
8. My mom and my sister are my two biggest role models. Mom keeps me striving for self-improvement and Jillian keeps me laughing at myself.
9. Sour Patch Watermelons are the best candy in the world.
10. I <3 Buttons.
11. My favorite thing to do on a Friday night is drink beer and play poker with friends. I promise I’m a girl.
12. I used to smoke. And about once a week, I wish I still did.
13. If I had 3 hours to myself on a sunny afternoon I would spend it sitting on my back porch with a stack of craft/design magazines, a Coke on ice, and a bowl of potato chips.
14. I get excited over thunderstorms.
15. I know the farmers who grow my food.
16. My milk comes from a cow named Ruby who spends her days in a field 45 minutes down the road.
17. When I’m stuck, creatively, I go thrifting. I also go thrifting when I’m bored, or need to get out of the house for a bit, or just because it’s daytime and they’re open.
18. I LOVE my neighbors.
19. I’m a night owl. I love the quiet and stillness of it.
Is there a story behind your shop/blog name? Yep. Guy in high school was always calling me "burnt." When I was brainstorming names for my business I wanted something that would make it easy to secure a domain name. "Burnt" kept coming to mind, but because I hated that guy, I didn't want to use it. Finally, two months later, I still didn't have a good name so I went with it and I'm so glad I did. It's completely unique to me and it's a fun story to tell when people ask.
What's the process behind your work? The artistry in what I do is in the fabric selection and coordination with accent fabrics and felt so I spend a good bit of time browsing through fabric stores. As for the actual production, I assembly-line as much of it as I can. Cutting out the box pieces for 15-20 containers, then assembly, then priming them, then wrapping them, then lining them with felt. Makes the work go faster and I'm able to create containers in waves, which frees up my time for fulfilling custom order requests.
What's your studio playlist? Usually something mellow. I'm totally in to Sucre and Lisa Hannigan right now.
Where is your studio? We have a very small house and my husband and I are forced to share an office/studio. Him with all his music equipment and me with my studio. I literally operate out of an 8' x 12' space. Needless to say, a good portion of my time is spent keeping things organized and/or cleaning after failing to keep things organized. Funny, huh? I spend so much time organizing and I've chosen to make organizers for a living. Funnier still is that I don't even have my own set of the organizers I make.
What's your dream project - that creation in your mind that if you had all the time and materials given to you to complete? An outbuilding in my backyard that houses only my studio and a little reading nook with a cozy armchair or window seat. All the cubbies and bins and organizers and curtains would be hand made by me. What a dream!
How do you balance? I don't. I live by the creed "Fake it 'til you make it." Only I don't ever imagine I'll make it. I like the chaos though. It keeps me on my toes.
Movie... Dream for an Insomniac
TV show I'm obsessed with right now is... Castle
Book... My go-to is Pride and Prejudice but for inspiration, I like Proust and Voltaire. The former for the flowery language and the latter for his dry wit.
What's your favorite local haunt? Lately, local to me, is a coffee shop called Lucie Monroe's. (Christiansburg)
What artist(s) influence your work - who are your creative idols? Jessica Stockholder
Ninja or pirate? Cowboy? Princess? No contest. Pirate.
In addition to Kitsch, you can find Jessica's work here (you can also find out about the handmade and vintage market she organizes in Blacksburg- the next one being October 20th, also a great time of year to enjoy the western part of this gorgeous state of ours.) She also has an indiegogo campaign going to help her open her boutique of handmade and vintage items - if you want to see some vintage and handmade goodness come to the Blacksburg area, here's the link to help her out!