This week for Feature Me Friday, we have Janet of
Monkey Dog Studio from Richmond, VA.
Who is MonkeyDogStudio?
I'm a bricoleur. I make things from the things I have around me.
And I can't seem to stick to one medium. I'm always trying to
figure out what I can turn things into. And I love to use
materials that are reclaimed, vintage, remnant, leftover, or
otherwise destined to be discarded. Lately I've been doing a
lot of bookbinding.
What’s the first thing you remember making?
Oh gosh, that's a tough one. I remember making a bookmark
with pressed flowers and glitter when I was in first grade.
And I vaguely recall trying to make a whammydiddle, but
I don't think it worked out very well.
Why work with recycled materials?
Why not! Being green isn't really a choice for me. I'm green
because I'm compelled to be. I can't stand to see things go to
Where do you work?
I have a studio space in my home. It takes the place of our
dining room. It's a bit of a mess, but I *did* take a pic of
the little production area I set up for printing.
How do you get from A to Z?
There's usually a lot of time involved in getting from A to Z.
Sometimes I'll stash materials that I know I can use for
something. Then I just have to wait until inspiration hits.
Though the impending deadline of an upcoming show can
sometimes give me a much needed boost.
What are your favorite tools?
I use several different tools depending on what I'm working
on, but my favorite is my sewing machine. My grandmother
bought it used from a school surplus sale in 1983,
and later passed it along to me.
What music do you listen to while you’re working?
I don't even know where to start with this one. I host a
music show at our community radio station WRIR, so most
music I'm listening to is a batch of randomness intended for
my next week's show. I tend to like surf guitar and retro-
sounding girl groups, and lately I've really come to
appreciate the upbeat pop of Sweden's Owe Thornqvist.
What are the five best things you’ve purchased on etsy
and where did you find them?
Janet and Mark Chickenpants from AbsolutelySmall.
Words can't express how much I love these!
Jacques plushie from Mumka.
So sweet with his sleep sack, beret, and pet bird!
Buttons from ButtonKitty.
She's my go-to-gal when I need promos!
Nice Rack t-shirt by MixedSpecies.
Because how can you resist a deer with 6 legs &
way too many antlers?
And my Doggie Day Pack from LuffDog comes in handy
Read any good books lately?
I feel bad saying it since I have librarian friends, but I really
don't read much. I tend to stick to DIY and How-To books
or coffee table books with lots of gorgeous, inspiring images.
Been to any great exhibits?
The Van Gogh exhibit in Washington DC in 1998.
Point of View: American Folk Art exhibit in 2002.
I also worked at a university museum for a few years, and
had the great fortune of seeing many great works of art
Who/what inspires you?
Joseph Cornell, a crazy-quilt made by my great-grandmother,
folk artist Fernand Chatelain, traditional Japanese boro fiberwork
What do you do for fun?
Spend time with my husband and dog.
Occasional duckpin bowling with friends.
Besides Etsy, where can we find you work?
Outside of Etsy, I sometimes vend at craft shows in the
Richmond, VA area. I'm considering trying to participate
in some regional shows as well.
How do you promote your work?
Right now I don't promote as hard as I probably should.
But I'm trying to be more involved with groups such as
the Etsy Trashion Team, and promoting my listings and
craft shows on Facebook.
Have any words of wisdom?
Make what you like. Because if no one else likes it, at least
YOU will. And that's better than being stuck with something
you DON'T like.
What’s in your future?
I'm looking forward to the next Saturday Stroll in downtown
Richmond. And a big crafty yard sale at the end of July!