Cast On Magazine
Nov 2008, Product Review - by Penny Sitler, Executive Director, The Knitting Guild Association
“Have you ever been sitting in a waiting room working on a knitting project, only to have your yarn roll off your lap and across a not-so-clean floor? How about when you’re knitting away at home and the phone rings? You madly scramble to collect your project, set it down without the needles slipping out, and rush to the phone, only to have it stop ringing before you can get there.
Avid stitcher Mary Shooshan has developed the most brilliant project container I’ve seen – the KOALACaddie™ - because of those same scenarios. Part craft apron, part project bag, the KOALA Caddie wears like an apron, and has a pouch to hold your project. Snap it shut, and your supplies stay put. Untie it and everything is protected till you’re ready to get back to work. Each is uniquely handcrafted of lovely fabric, with a matching satin lining.”
Kona Bay Fabrics - Blog Post April 24, 2009 - by Douglas Eagleson, Owner & Founder of Kona Bay Fabrics
“The Etsy Community boasts nearly 2 million members and growth doesn’t seem to be slowing. Each seller has their own shop where you can buy their products and learn more about them. It’s boutique shopper’s paradise! I’ve also heard that it’s a source of inspiration for many. I wanted to share a few fun products I found today.
KOALA Caddie has developed a unique craft apron for knitters and crocheters. I think these clever aprons could be appreciated by handywomen (and men!) of all kinds.
Visit Kona Bay to see what’s new and Etsy for inspiring ideas on how to use your stash so you can make room for new designs.”
Cultured Expressions Fabric Challenge
Winners Announced on the Cultured Expressions Website, June 2009, by Lisa Shepard Stewart
“It’s time to announce our Fabric Challenge results! Congratulations to our winners, and thanks to everyone who submitted entries in our first Challenge, representing the three categories of Quilts, Home Decor, and Fashion/Accessory. It was fun to see the many ways people are interpreting our CE Border Fabric.”
“Grand Prize Winner is Mary Shooshan. Mary’s Craft Apron/Tote is an original design, primarily for use by knitters and crocheters, but equally useful for many other activites, even as a great casual handbag. Notice how the cowrie shell section of the stripe is highlighted along the opening panel.”
LISA SHEPARD STEWART is an award-winning author and designer specializing in the use of African fabrics and world crafting techniques for decorating, sewing, crafts & quilting.
Many thanks to Lisa and to Cultured Expressions for this honor. A wonderful basket arrived filled with products from the Cultured Expressions shop. I am humbled by Lisa’s work and the unique stature she holds in the world of quilting and design.
~ All is well, Mary
Monday, July 20, 2009
This week’s featured artist is Mary Shooshan of KOALA Caddie. Mary is based in Onset, Massachusetts, at the beginning of Cape Cod and she has been selling on Etsy since mid-March 2009.
How did you choose your shop name?
I named my shop for my creation, the KOALA Caddie Yarn Craft Apron. I designed this apron/tote to offer yarn lovers a smarter way to knit and crochet. The name combines the form of the marsupial koala with the function of a golfer’s caddie.
What is your specialty and what drew you to it?
My favorite craft is crocheting. However my idea for the KOALA Caddie calls on the sewing skills I learned from my mother. Using the finest materials and working with care on a useful product bring me satisfaction and joy. This idea is a gift and I am very grateful for it. Bottom line, though, it’s all about the fabric!
What inspired the “birth” of this item?
The arrival of my grandchildren saw a resurgence in my crocheting. After a while I had a list of things that annoyed me: interruptions, fuzz on my clothes, pet fur in my work, early rows fuzzing from friction, and plastic bags holding skeins of expensive yarn. Other things made me cringe: a project falling from a lap onto the floor; a shedding pug heading towards a work in progress; a child’s sweater pulled from a plastic bag in a germ-laden waiting room. I said to myself, “There has GOT to be a better way!” I developed the KOALA Caddie to offer just that: a new and better way to knit and crochet.
Does this item have any personal significance to you?
This KOALA Caddie is made from fabric designed by Kaffe Fassett for Westminster Fabric. I had the pleasure of meeting him at the Annual Meeting of the Greater Boston Knitting Guild in May. I presented him with a Caddie made from one of his wonderful fabrics, and he kindly autographed another that I will treasure. I have a post about this event in my blog at www.koalacaddie.com.
What is your favorite part of the process of creating your item?
I have to be honest – I LOVE choosing the fabric and selecting the perfect coordinating satin, snaps, and cordlocks. I get a mental glimpse of the final product and then I’m just “itching” to get started on it.
Please briefly describe a workday in your “studio” and how you created this item.
I am an early riser. After coffee I make the Caddies I’ve chosen for that day. There are about a dozen steps in the process. I make each one from start to finish and try to make at least two each day. In addition to sewing, I mail new orders, prepare for demos, and update my shop or blog. I love setting my own schedule and agenda. I always check my Etsy favorites for new fabric listings and I read the Storque faithfully, leave comments, and convo other sellers.
If this item is part of a special line that you do, has there been an evolution in your process? For example, if we were to compare the first one you made to this one, what differences would there be, if any?
The first yarn craft apron I made looked like something Florence Nightingale might have worn during the Crimean War. It was about 3 times the size of the current Caddie and even had a bib. I was using buttons and elastic loops where I now have fabric tabs with snap closures. I have streamlined and simplified my design while adding touches that enhance its utility and versatility. I’m sure this process will continue and I’m excited to see where the path will lead. Thanks so much for the opportunity to share my KOALA Caddie Yarn Craft Apron with your Etsy Team.