Please tell us a little about yourself.
I'm C.M. Cameron, husband, and father of two little girls, Charlotte and Alice, and am overjoyed and inspired by the way my girls learn and play. I love seeing the world through their eyes, experiencing things for the first time with them.
My ambitions to start an Etsy shop started about a year ago when my wife and I bought my oldest daughter, Charlotte, a children's tea set for Christmas (you know... the cups and plates and spoons). To go along with it, I made her a set of felt cupcakes, cookies, tea bags and strawberries. She LOVED IT SO MUCH!! Her friends LOVED IT SO MUCH!!
So, I started making small sets for Charlotte to give to her playmates for their birthdays, and boy oh boy, did their mommies LOVE THEM SO MUCH!! So I started making more and more and more, and the rest is sweet history.
Felt Like Sweets isn't my day job. By day, I'm a Chemical Engineer working in the pharmaceutical industry making vaccines (a job that I truly enjoy!). I've found though that I need a channel for my artistic and creative energies, so I make these felt cookies, cupcakes, and tea sets to wind down at night, after the girls are asleep.
I've worked in may materials in the past: watercolor, clay, handmade paper, photography... Like children, it's much to difficult to select a favorite. They all have their own endearing qualities (and challenges that may drive one crazy!!).
Recently I've taken a liking to felt. I find it to be quite forgiving; I love the texture, the warmth. I sew most of my felt pieces by hand, which I think gives them a one-of-a-kind look. The tiny imperfections are part of their charm.
Many of my pieces also include beading. I love the seeming endless variety of beads that are on the market today, the vast majority of which are quite inexpensive and readily available in most craft stores (or amongst the pages of the Etsy supply shops!!). So many colors, shapes, sizes, sparkle-y-ness (is that a word?). They're just as versatile as any paint or fabric.
What challenges have you faced in the creative process?
Aside from TIME, which I anticipate is the challenge that I share with so many, I also find that my biggest challenge is focusing on what to work on... setting all the other millions of "great ideas" or "I-could-do-that" notions aside. As I stroll the isles of the craft store, I find myself seeing a hundred things that inspire a "great idea." The next reaction I have is to buy said items for as-soon-as-I'm-done-with-what-I'm-working-on-at-the-current-moment. You know this feeling!!
Steve Jobs once said, "Innovation is saying 'No' to 1000 things.
I take this to heart... I really try to set aside the really great ideas that aren't aligned with my immediate goals and vision for what I'm trying to create. Sure, I could make felt sushi, or chicken wings, or pancakes or corn-on-the cob (or paint all those things in water colors, or sculpt them out of clay or photograph them), but I'm choosing to refine and perfect the felt cupcakes and cookies... exploring those for a while, editing and re-editing and refining to make them more unique, more superb, more exciting, more fun.
I'll know what it's time to move onto the next "great idea!'
What drives you to create?
For me, creating comes easy. Not because I have some special gift or talent, but rather that it's natural to me... it's obvious, it's what I think about when I'm driving home from work, or taking a quiet walk around the block. It's how I see things...
I do find that I'm easily inspired by materials. Just having paint or fabric, some ribbon or thread in front of me is enough to come up with a few ideas for their use. I'm also not afraid of failure. I've painted many a picture that look terrible, thrown many a clay pots the fell or were lopsided. Failure doesn't scare me; it isn't bad. It's a lesson for how to improve upon the next go-round.
What is coming up next?
Like I said above, I'm into felt right now... cupcakes and cookies. I've been experimenting with scents and fragrances. Wouldn't you love a strawberry shortcake-scented felt cupcake? Mmmmm...
Once I get through the cupcakes and cookies, I'm going to stick with the tea party theme for a bit... perhaps some candies or chocolates, maybe some tea party games? I don't know. Any suggestions. Of course, like I said above, one trip through the craft store, and I may find myself quilting or candle making.
All images provided by C.M. Cameron of Felt Like Sweets.
Find out about more crafts through the entire materials and techniques series. I'm always looking for new people to talk to, so if you'd like to share what you do, please get in contact.