Member Spotlight: Tremundo
A peek into the world of Handmade Philly Member Traci Nelson of Tremundo.
Traci, where are you from originally? Where are you located now? I’m originally from Moselem Springs, a beautiful part of Berks County, where I spent a lot of my childhood exploring the outdoors. I gradually kept moving closer and closer to Philly until now I live right at the border of Philadelphia. I enjoy where I live having the convenience of the city and the burbs!
Tell us a few things about you? Creativity has spawned from attempting to keep a simple life that tends to have chaos attempting to interrupt! As a 2/3 empty nester, my life has been busier than ever as I fulfill my goals while still holding down the fort. I’m really fortunate that I am able to do what I love and still enjoy the time with my kids and live life!! My most recent hobby that I started a year and half ago is working on my bucket list, I’m having a lot of fun crossing experiences off the long list and didn’t want to rush; this also birthed the bucket list journal.
What do you create? My imagination tends to take me all over the creative map from sewing, painting, refurbishing and more. My main focus is hand bound journals with original artwork on the canvas covers.
What materials do you most enjoy working with? I enjoy working with anything that I can dig my hands in and make a mess! The feel of different paints, mediums, papers, fabrics often inspire me to create. I can’t say I enjoy one material more than another as it tends to change with what I am working on or what I am inspired to create next.
Describe your studio or workspace and tell us a little about your process? I tend to work where I’m comfortable yet still feel in the mix of home.
My studio is surrounded not just by supplies, also the things I enjoy that bring a sense of calm all the while there’s usually music blaring in the background! Yet it manages to spill into other parts of the house while I might be binding journals or sewing while watching a movie with my daughter. While I do work in bunches such as cut paper all one day, sew covers another day, etc. I usually have a couple projects going on at the same time.
When are you most creative? One of my favorite days starts at 9pm and I paint, sew, write or bind until the sun comes up. I have always been a night owl and find the silence of the night to be the time when I can really allow the creative flow.
What (or who) most inspires you? My greatest inspiration comes from the world around me, especially the outdoors, always a tomboy at heart.
I love the fall and all the brilliant changes in the trees evokes a sense of color explosion that recently motivated me to create new mixed media pieces. I also find that when I’m in the creative rut, the best place, for me, is the beach as it brings all my senses to live while clearing my head for new creations.
What do you love most about being part of something that is handmade? The originality of handmade and seeing all the “products” of creative minds is amazing. Each piece that is made is a part of the artisan. When I make a journal, I know my mind was in some place or another, a part of my perspective is in the artwork and find it rewarding to know that someone will be building upon and adding a piece of them into the journal.
Tell us something about you that very few people know? Any hidden talents? One of my hidden joys is traditional hand quilting. I like the challenge of creating a quilt, the right fabrics, colors, patterns and find the handwork to be relaxing. I appliqué, embroider and quilt all by hand with a quilt hoop. My grandmother was an amazing quilter and I have memories of her and friends quilting together. I’ve had quilts featured in several magazines and one is in a museum.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given? Do what you love and the rest will work out.
What’s next? The past couple months, I’ve worked with various organizations and schools in creating journals specifically for the organizations. I hope to expand the network with the various organizations, schools and groups in hopes it will inspire others to create. I have several new designs in the works that I hope to have completed prior to the holidays.
What have you enjoyed most about being a part of Handmade Philly? Handmade Philly is a great network and with all the different artisans, it’s great to hear different perspectives. The supportive and informative talks are so helpful to so many people.
Any parting words or advice? Use your gifts and follow your passion to create what works for you. I often hear artisans struggling with business aspects or trying to make things work. Having a business plan is a great way to set goals and stay focused as long as you refer to the business plan and adjust to any changes. With the business plan, keeping accurate records of all income, expenses and inventory so you can evaluate the true profit margin and analyze what you can do to increase your profits. Another piece of advice…find what works for you. Each person and goals are different and while there is a lot of advice online, to take the information and apply the points that work for you is more beneficial that trying to do something that might not work with your goals.