mix and mend.....you've all seen pictures of it now, and since it's landing on shop shelves even as we speak. perhaps you've already seen how richly textured and detailed the designs are in real life. they truly are a sight to behold.
this collection is unlike anything we've ever released....and some of you clever cats figured out why the moment you saw the revea! we approached the lovely, gifted, unique sassafras design team super Michelle Clement to design the entire collection.
today Michelle gives us a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at how Mix and Mend came to be....and it's a great story, so get ready to be inspired!
sass - Tell us a little about yourself!
m - Hi! I’m a 25 year old crafty girl living by the beach in
I actually took a beginner’s scrapbooking class when I was around 12 with my mom & sister, and vividly remember sticking Mickey stickers all over my bright cardstock
I guess it was an instant hit, though, because I then made a weekly journal/homework assignment in Jr. High that resembled more of an art journal, and started on my own actual scrapbooks. I was always trying different mediums & ‘the it thing’ & pouring over Creating Keepsakes and the like, so I learned a lot of ‘artsy’ techniques back in the day – but it took me a few years to find my style, and it’s still always evolving!
A little peek at Michelle's workspace:
sass - Mix and Mend is full of the unique Michelle Clement style that we know and love…you obviously put a lot of your personal favorite touches and techniques into creating the designs. How did you do it? Tell us about the process! (was it a lot of drawing, digital designing, photography, hand-sewing and raw materials, all of the above, or what?)
m - He he...this is the funnest question! It’s been so fun to see the ponderings about whether this collection was digitally made or not. Truth be told – every page (except for the floral patterns…) was physically made, I could hold them all in my hands! Basically, I scrapbooked without the photos for these designs, as I normally would, so there was a lot of handmade love put into them!
As for the process of this - first, I started with sketches and we decided where to go with the collection color-wise. I sketched/colored each page out roughly, did a test or two, and then jumped right into making them! They were mostly based on canvas, so I dyed/prepped the canvas and stitched it onto a sturdy surface. I then began layering the ephemera & fabric and adding all of the artistic touches – everything from painting doilies to hand-stitching little bits and bobs – and I went through at least 30 bobbin threads, I machine-stitched that much! lol. I love the look of an actual *made object*, so I wanted to have everything as physical as possible – plus, as we know, I’m a paper girl at heart – I’d much rather rip and dye than sit at my computer desk! He he. Once each page was made and tweaked and finalized, then I started the process of scanning each page/piece in digitally for print.
A look into some of the process/work:
sass - What was the overall experience like designing Mix and Mend? Was it fun, difficult, freeing, stressful...more or less time consuming than you expected? were you concerned during the design process about how people would react to the finished product?
m - When I first started the actual page-making, it was a little daunting to be working on something *so big* (I mean, usually it’s one 12 x 12 page, not 12 matching-but-not-matching ones!) and it also felt *super weird* to make a physical page without any pictures. lol. Really weird. I started, and then got a little worried that I wouldn’t be able to do 12 no-picture pages! Luckily, I got over that initial dilemma pretty quickly & then it was actually very freeing!
It took a little more time than I thought to make, because I can be kind of a slowpoke, but mostly because I was figuring out the technical details like what to use to fuse the canvas down to paper so it wouldn’t buckle/bubble when I dye it, etc. It was a little stressful when I was done a page and I’d go to top it off with a few paint splashes, too, and had to make sure that I didn’t mess up the splashes too badly and wreck the page. lol. I was just having fun though, really - making what I like to make with paper! Thank my lucky stars for Rebecca and Tim liking it! :)
sass - What are some personal favorite designs or details in the mix and mend collection?
M - I really really love the little blue & white doily sticker in the Sweet Treats, because it’s one of my favorite thrifted finds (one of those too-precious-to-use-on-a-page-right-now goodies), and also the ‘Fancy Free’ paper, because it’s a thrifted/salvaged tablecloth that I hand-stitched to some yellow canvas fabric, which will soon find it’s home on my couch as a pillow cover!
The ‘delicate olio’ is a great mix of the vintage sheets I took the initial color inspiration for the line from, too! And all the stitched trims were so fun to make.
I’m still over-the-moon at having had a chance to design a collection for my favorite paper company, really really! It’s seriously a dream, I’m pinching myself constantly!! lol.
Thanks Sassafras, Rebecca & Tim for letting me make some paper for you, and for the warm welcome, paper world! I can’t wait to see the lovely goodness you guys all make with it!
thank you for the inside scoop Michelle....it's super neat to get a peek from the design side of your beautiful collection. with all of the love, style, and handmade touch it's no wonder that mix and mend is at the top of so many people's shopping lists. it is going to be so much fun to see what projects people create!!