FeaturedArtist for November - Penguinetta Afghans

"Winters are Cold and Afghans are Warm"
Quote from Valarie

Every month, the Brat Team chooses one of it's members to “highlight;” this week, we are pleased to introduce our FEATURED ARTIST–SELLER…Valarie of Penguinetta Afghans.

*Tell us a bit about yourself?
I am a Navy brat, the oldest of six. My Dad retired when I was 14 and we moved back to his hometown in Mn. It was sever culture shock to say the least.

*What is the first thing you can remember making by hand?
How and why did you make it?The first thing I made was a macramé belt. I was in the 7th grade and got a macramé’ belt kit for Christmas; I was hooked! Before that I had attempted to make things but never finished a project.*What inspires you and where do your ideas come from?A lot of my inspiration comes from need; winters are cold in Mn and afghans are warm.

My ideas come from everywhere: a pattern I may see or something someone says will trigger and idea.

*What are your favorite materials?
My favorite material is whatever I can find. When people know you like to craft they tend to give you things like, left over yarn or an old sweater that they think you can unravel and make something new with. I like the challenge of making something from nothing.

*What have been the most valuable lessons learned from other artists on Etsy?
I think the most valuable lesson I have learned so far is that we are all connected. The brat team is great at supporting each other and rallying around to lend an extra hand when another is learning.
I opened my shop when I was jobless, homeless and depressed; For the first time in my life, I was very far away physically and emotionally from family. I felt an instant connection with the brats and realized that I wasn’t any worse off than anyone else and I was a lot more fortunate than many.

*Why should people buy handmade?
A handmade item is unique. Why have something that is exactly like something that someone else has?

Boy Friend Scarf

*What features/services would you most like to see on Etsy?

I think it would be helpful if each new Etsy member was offered a mentor. There are so many tricks to getting your shop set up and things that you only learn once you’ve been around etsy for awhile

*Apart from creating things, what do you do?

I am the Safety and Training Coordinator for Johnson County Public Works in Olathe, Kansas. I began working in Sept after being unemployed for 10 months.

Tartan Plaid Afghan

*Read any good books lately?

Baking cakes in Kidcaria.

*In ten years I'd like to be?

Settled and looking forward to retirement.

*How did you come up with your Etsy Shop Name?

My birth-mom is always calling me Penguinetta because I, the girl from Mn, is always cold. My sweetheart came up with Penguinetta’s Afghans.

*What is the connection between being a Crafter and being a Brat?

Moving all the time was difficult. I was shy and my mom was a bit over protective. I turned to crafts to fill my time. It gave me a sense of purpose to create things for people.

You can find me at http://PenguinettaAfghans.etsy.com and

Thanks for stopping by and getting to know one of our FAVORITE Brat SELLERS!


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