Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Hi there! I’m the “Stephanie” in StephanieCake. Mild mannered writer and curriculum coordinator by day, super-human maker of things by night… I’ve been a resident of the Baltimore area for almost 12 years.

I’ve been making stuff for as long as I can remember. In fact, my mother claims I was born holding knitting needles and a glue gun. Yikes! At the tender age of three, I gathered up a pile of her fabrics (she’s a seamstress) and cut out the centers with a pair of pinking shears. Imagine my shock and dismay when Mom wasn’t as pleased with my handiwork as I was!

My ensuing childhood was filled with structured crafts… you know, Brownie Scouts… art classes… and lots of random mess-making with the slew of art supplies my family maintained. A typical weekend might have focused around my dad teaching me how to weld or my mother schooling me on the finer points of decorative hems. I guess I was a pretty weird kid. The summer before 12th grade I was accepted to a young sculptor’s summer study program at Virginia Commonwealth University. Then I managed to work things out so I could take three periods of art my senior year. I was totally punk rock and totally an artist, gosh darn it. And by that point I was sure I was going to be a sculptor or painter, living out my successful career in New York or LA.

My acceptance to VCU’s art foundation program felt like the first day to the rest of my life. And then I realized how much I hated art school. I stuck it out, though, and declared my major in the School of Crafts – focusing on jewelry design and textiles. Along the way I also got a minor in Art History. Immediately following graduation, I came to the realization that a lucrative career as a studio artist was simply not waiting for me. But life goes on.

Somewhere between then and now, I picked up a husband… had a baby (he’s 10 now!)… and embarked on several professions including: human resources generalist, recruiter, writer and training consultant. While crafting and art making have taken a backseat at times – stacking the cheese and raising the child aren’t always minimal activities, ya know? – making stuff has always remained very important to me despite my near ruination from art school. Over the years, I’ve been known to try just about every art and craft known to the civilized world. However, I have most consistently returned to textiles, collages, and mixed media assemblages.

In 2001 I started lurking around some art/craft bulletin boards and began selling some of my creations through boutiques. The fabric confections, jewelry and other decorative items I was making were marketed under the business name Kitty Black Designs. I then began making more elaborate art quilts and assemblages by 2005 and sold those under the business name StephanieCake. I also got the opportunity to take on a fair bit of commissioned work.

These days I continue to make the fabric confections – accessory bags and Moleskine covers have been coming off the sewing machine lately – and I’m focusing on the evolution of my mixed media projects. My massive collection of junk and vintage doo-dads is finding a new life in the form of decorative elements adorning tiaras, jewelry boxes and art quilts. My silversmithing equipment languishes in storage except for the occasional one-off commission or gift. But I have a feeling those skills may make a comeback at some point!

My random thoughts, including musings on my totally unproductive obsession with knitting, can be witnessed on my blog at: Please stop by! I don’t bite. Usually.

Post written by StephanieCake

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