It’s probably fair to say that Jessica Wackenstedt loves Christmas. Her Etsy shop – Bloom & Barnacle – is currently stuffed with handmade stockings, festive cushions, advent calendars and gift bags, all vintage-inspired with a bit of a modern twist.
Shy and introspective as a child, Jessica spent her days making stuffed animals and Madonna-esque outfits for her Barbies. Now, she uses what she learnt while working as a muralist to make some stunning home décor pieces in her “vintage cottage chic” style. We hope you love her work as much as we do!
Arts vs. crafts
“I guess I consider myself an artist more than a crafter. I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember, so I don’t think there was ever a point when I became an artist. I’ve always just been better with pictures than words.
I do remember using all of my mum’s expensive oil paints to dye my Barbie’s hair when I was about five, though.
“I don’t do it for a living, however. I have a full time office job, but I’d probably go nuts if I didn’t get to use something like this as a creative outlet.”
“Right now, I’m really enjoying making my mini stockings. I love that they’re made from something discarded and I love hunting down fun colours and cool prints. And I like deciding which colours to emphasize and that they’re limited. There’s something really cool about there only being a few of them in the whole world.
“I go through phases where I think that making my own clothes is going to be fun, so I buy a bunch of patterns and start a couple, then realize I’d have saved a lot of time, money and frustration if I’d just gone shopping! I just don’t have the right eye for it. But guaranteed I’ll talk myself into it again at some point!”
“It was interesting being a muralist and I got to see some amazing houses and come up with some crazy ideas, but I got really burnt out on painting. I was painting for other people eight hours a day and it just got draining. I wasn’t inspired and I needed a change. And sewing isn’t as messy!”
“I love San Diego and have since my first vacation here when I was about five. I always felt like I belonged here. I love the smell of the ocean and how you can feel the sea in the air. One of the really cool things about it here is that it feels like a really big city and small community at the same time. There’s a huge variety of communities that exist in such small space and a lot of inspiration for me here.”
We've got a fab Christmas how-to coming next week from Jessica - so make sure you keep a watch on the blog!