Wednesday, October 20, 2010

An interview with... re:deem designs

I recently interviewed Vicki, the very talented lady behind re:deem designs and Red Punch Buggy. Vicki creates a myriad of delightful things, from gorgeous purses and bags, crochet, papergoods and upcycled bound journals and is passionate about recycling and supporting aid causes. I originally came across Vicki through DUST, and discovered her talent when I was lucky enough to win a beautiful scarf on her blog. I have also since purchased a couple of her gorgeous bound journals, upcycled from vintage books... and understandably, crave many more ... See the interview with Vicki below ...

Vicki working in her Gold Coast studio

Awesome re:deem journals I've bought and the lovely scarf I won

How did it all start?
I grew up surrounded by art and creative types so I have been crafting in many mediums for as long as I can remember. Handmade gifts were my speciality as I have always thought a handmade gift had more soul than a store bought one....massive sparkly diamonds not included. When I was a young mum I sewed, knitted and crafted for my children and myself mostly out of our tight budget constraints... it certainly was a creative challenge living on a shoestring!!!  The creative process inspires and energises me. Even when it doesn't go to plan I still learn something and you can always hide those mistakes in the bottom of a cupboard LOL

If you could describe your style in one word, what would it be?

What’s the difference between your two stores, re:deem designs and Red Punch Buggy?
On the surface not much, you will find the same things in both stores. re:deem is in a sense my aid arm. I have always been involved in supporting others through aid organisations but I was very attracted to funding projects that helped them build their lives...the whole give a man a fish feed him for a day, teach a man to fish feed him for a lifetime thing. So out of that desire re:deem was born. Red Punch Buggy is because I am about to become a full time uni student and we are back on one wage so I want to be able to contribute to my families income. With Red Punch Buggy I also wanted to be in the Aussie market place and be able to explore other handcrafts that technically do not fall into the recycle/upcyle ethic as strongly as re:deem does.

I notice many of your items are made from recycled or upcycled materials. Why do you think it’s important to use recycled items in your craft?
Ok you mean apart from the obvious... be kind to our planet, lessen our carbon footprint and cut back on rampant consumerism? No seriously, that's very important and something I am working hard on (not always good at it). Make do and mend was something I grew up with. I've always loved the tactile history associated with objects of age. So if an object has served it's purpose as one thing it's very satisfying to me to see it reborn as something else. I think recycling/upcycling embodies in it the same spark of human ingenuity that enabled our pioneers to forge out a life with what they had in their hands. I love anything that carries a sense of history and permanency with it.

What are some of your favourite items you’ve made?
Ooooh a hard one. Like I said mostly everything I have made has been as gifts for special occasions. I think some of my favourites were the ones where I tried a new craft and it worked!!!! For example I made and hand embroidered a teddy bear for a friends 1st child, I handcut with a scroll saw and painted a american folk christmas angel flying with trumpet on a stand like a weather vane. I've made scrapbook albums, painted paintings and decoupaged handmade wooden boxes all for the first time and felt pretty proud of my work and had the satisfaction of seeing my gifts loved and treasured.

Where does your inspiration come from?
Honestly, it can come from anywhere. That sounds a bit vague I know but I really do find inspiration in the strangest places. Nature, people, books, music, words, smells, shapes, textures I guess if you have to give it a word I would say Life.. Life inspires me, it's a gift given to me by God and that creative force is in everything and I'm inspired by that. It's probably why I'm so eclectic there's so much variety in life and I love it all.

Are there any other handmade artisans you admire or handmade items you covet?
So many talented and gifted artisans. Hard to know where to start. Ok here's a short list of current faves for various reasons and I covet basically anything they make.
Brinda kay design
This list changes a lot and is tiny compared to all I really really like .

Do you have any new designs you’d like to share?
I want to have a go at hand binding books so there are a few ideas bubbling there. I also want to do printmaking and digitally designing my own fabrics. Thats just a couple but there's a few things I'm short of.... time and money haha

Where can people find you? 
~ re:deem designs on etsy
~ Facebook (redeem designs and redpunchbuggy)

Thanks so much for allowing me to interview you, Vicki!


  1. Wow Bri, so totally honoured to be picked. And you have done an awesome job with your Blog! Thanks so much for your lovely words and encouragement. mwah mwah.

  2. So nice to find out a little bit more about you Vicki! I really love your bound upcycled journals. Might have to add some to my Christmas wish list. ;)