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Monday, February 28, 2011

Featured Interview of Handmade Treasures: Deb of Paxton Valley Folk Art

Deb of Paxton Valley Folk Art has graced this blog since its inception. She makes all sorts of delightful handmade goodies, specializing in folk art painting, sewn ornies, bowl fillers, and much more!
Do you have any favorite medium? Is there anything you eventually want to get in to and master?
My favourite medium is paint, I am working mainly in acrylic paint now but love watercolours as well. I took watercolour painting classes a few years ago and would love to get back to them; watercolours are so beautiful, I love the ethereal look you can achieve in that medium.

What kinds of artistic projects do you like to work on?
I love creating my epatterns; I'm no seamstress by a long shot so figuring out how to sew what I am imagining in my mind can be a challenge! But I love the process and love watching my ideas come to life.

What do you like to do in your spare time when you're not creating art?
We live out in the country and are surrounded by forests and mountains, so anything that takes me out into the wilderness is my idea of heaven! Hiking, camping, cross country skiing, I love it all and am so very lucky to be able escape to the wild whenever I want or need to!

How long have you been crafting?
I started crafting in the 80's; started out with cross-stitching then got hooked on watching Aleene and Carol Duval on TV and through them tried many different types of crafts and mediums. I still have some VCR tapes of their shows, boy have times changed!

When did you first start selling your handmade items? What inspired you to do so?
I started selling my crafts at a local craft mall about 15 years ago after everyone that I was giving my crafts to as gifts kept saying "You should be selling this stuff"! Actually, they were probably just saying that so that I'd stop giving them handmade gifts year after year LOL! [Nooo, Deb! I'm quite sure they were truly delighted at receiving something you made with your talented and artistic hands!] I started selling online at eBay and Etsy about 5 years ago and started up my selling blog last year.

What style do you decorate your home in?
Early hand me downs LOL! We live a very casual lifestyle with lots of critters in the house so decorating is not high on my priority list. I guess country casual with a very strong helping of primitive would come closest to describing our home.

Were you artistic as a child?
I really enjoyed sketching when I was young, especially animals as I was (and still am!) mad about animals. I don't think that I was especially talented but I enjoyed the creative outlet. I don't remember doing real well in art classes at school but I was always an enthusiastic participant!

Did anyone inspire you as a child or when you were starting to become artistic?
I didn't know anyone who was "artistic" when I was young, no one in my family was involved in arts or crafts as I was growing up. But as I started to explore my artistic side in the '80's, I took a class in tole painting from a local artist here in Kamloops and she was very encouraging and pushed me to continue painting and to create my own art. I have to thank her for giving me that push because I don't know if I would have continued without her encouragement.

Was there a point when you realized "Wow, I'm an artist/artisan!"
I think that moment came for me when I finished one of my first epatterns "Crows In The Cornfield". It was one of my first original designs and when it was completed I said to myself "You done good girl, you are an artist after all!" It was a great feeling and for me a great accomplishment.

Confession time: What does your craft room/studio really look like? Is it organized?
Hah! My craft room always looks like a bomb has exploded in it! But regardless of how cluttered and disorganized it looks, I always know where everything is. I continue working until the time comes when I have covered every conceivable surface with paint bottles, brushes, fabric, patterns, etc, etc, etc and don't have a clear space to work in anymore! Then I spend a day putting everything back where it should be and start the process all over again LOL! It may not be a very efficient way to work but as the saying goes "I'm not messy, I'm creative"!

Please list the urls to your blog(s) and shop(s).
Paxton Valley Folk Art Shop
Paxton Valley Folk Art Etsy Shop
Paxton Valley Folk Art Blog
Tole Town Blog


  1. Tracy! Just found this post, thank you so much for publishing my interview! Folks, Tracy is an amazing woman and is the driving force behind the Sunburnt Cow Handmade Shop, without her hard work none of this would exist. I hope you'll take the time to visit her blog The Prairie Patch ( to see how talented SHE is. Thanks Tracy, you're the best! {{hugs}} Deb

  2. This was fun to read, Deb. And I agree about that Tracy. She is the best!