Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Etsy Artist Feature 12: thescenicroute

It is important to show the world the charm of handmade items. I plan to do this one Etsy artist at a time. Today I feature thescenicroute from Philomath, Oregon. This two-person team makes beautiful, creative, and fun notebooks out of recycled products.

Below you will find their interview:

1. What is the first memory of crafting that you can recall?

Home Economics was a required course in my seventh grade year. I'd always been terrible at crafting so it was no surprise that my guitar pillow came out looking like something out of a Picasso painting. I couldn't curl ribbons with scissors, much less sew a straight line! Gene was much the same way. The "whole craft thing" was completely alien to both of us and neither of us ever imagined that our perspective would be changed almost overnight. Now, we're enamored and almost obsessed with creating things! In a short span of time, the list of crafty ideas we have has grown so long that we'd never be able to try them all out even if we lived another century. It's been unbelievably fun and it's nice to finally be able to relate to the crafters who create things for nothing but the simple joy of creating.

2. What do you specialize in?

Our primary focus is on crafting notebooks and journals from product packaging and other reusable materials. There are many reasons we enjoy creating notebooks out of these things, but the one that is really satisfying is that it makes us feel like we're making a difference in the problems facing the world today. It's a major part of our efforts to help reduce, reuse, and recycle.

I'm practically jumping up and down in anticipation of some of the secondary specializations we've been exploring. We have a growing horde of odds and ends from games and puzzles we've taken all the notebook friendly materials from. We've come up with some fun ways to repurpose those things, too! The idea of taking only the notebook materials out of games and discarding the rest seemed downright rotten, so we're relieved that we can use every resource down to the very last pink $5.00 bill and make some really neat things in the process.

3. What made you decide to open up a shop on Etsy?

We couldn't resist the idea from the very beginning! We were so excited about the notebooks we'd been making for our family members that it was impossible not to share them. Etsy was without a doubt the best forum for doing it. It was an honor to join the ranks of so many talented and clever artists.

4. What are your hopes for the future?

You might ask what the lyrics to our siren songs are! Neither of us can ignore the distant dream of self sufficiency through days filled with creating art and consciences buzzing with the thrill of making a difference in the problems that plague our environment. We try to remind ourselves daily that the dream truly is distant, and that there are risks and obstacles every step of the way. Say it with me: "Patience, Grasshopper!"

In the near term we hope to create few more hours a week to dedicate to our projects. After the day jobs it seems as if there isn't enough time for family time and obligations and even less for crafting. It's all such fun, though, and we have the will to make a way!

5. What are some of your favorite past times?

It's hard to choose just a few! We all love cooking. My daughter hopes to be a cook when she grows up, so cooking often becomes a family affair. We are currently head over heels for our new baby chicks. We enjoy taking care of our worm farm (nope - that's not a typo!) Gene and I love to go backpacking. We all like to read. And then there's the crafting! Notebook crafting, especially.

6. Try to sum up your workspace in as few words as possible.

If you don't hear from us again in five days, send help! We've been buried alive!

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Yes! Thanks so much for promoting other Etsy sellers.

How can people get in contact with you?

Etsy convos work well, and we check our email regularly. Write

Also, check out our blog at

How do you feel about custom orders?

We adore custom orders! See our Etsy history for some examples.


Thank you so much for reading! it is very much appreciated.

CM Designs
Elite Art for the elite at heart.


Anonymous said...

here is a good website on worm farms and vermicomposting.

Crazy Times Candle & Bath Co. said...

Very nice feature! Those notebooks are great!!!

We've updated our blog today as well.


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