Tell us a bit about yourself (name, location,affiliations, personal stuff).
Hi, I’m Dody Sullivan. Aka: the Spaz. I live in Jenks, OK, a town just outside of Tulsa. I am married with two kids, Kate and Van. I made my first quilt when Van was born over 19 years ago. I’ve been, among other things, a professional quilter for the past 13 years or so.
I came to hand spinning through the back door,you might say. One day I was at the bookstore looking over the quilt books, and I saw a little tome about Hand spinning your dog’s hair. I thought it was interesting and glanced through it, set it back, and promptly forgot about it.
Fast forward a few years. It’s spring, my lab/chow mix is shedding her winter coat. I’m desperately trying to brush as much of it out as I can. And then, I remember that book. So now -I’m on a mission. I get on the internet, learn how to make a drop spindle with a CD and a dowel, and suddenly, I’m grossing out my kids with the dog’s hair in yarn form! After brushing the poor dog to near baldness, I set out on a quest to find the “normal” spinning fibers. I got involved with my local hand spinning guild where I met my fiber pimp. It was also there that I learned you should start spinning with wool, NOT dog hair, and then work your way up to other fibers. Really? Oh. Well. I’ve never done anything in a normal fashion before. Why start now? It was there at the spinning guild where I was christened “the Spaz” for my fearless attack on anything that had spinning potential.
What is the first thing you can remember making by hand? How and why did you make it?
I was about 5, and I made an earthworm mud pie. I remember that I packed it very carefully, making sure it was nice and even on the edges, and the same thickness all the way around. It was very important that all the “wormies” stayed inside. I also remember force feeding it to my little sister, Deb. Sorry ‘bout that sis!
What inspires you? Where do your ideas come from?
I’m inspired by my car payment.
Oh, you wanted a real answer? ok. A beautiful day. Water. The sunshine. The colors of nature-the ultimate color wheel. Laughter. Tears. Life. Babies, especially baby lambies and goaties.
What are your favorite materials?
I love the natural fibers….. Wool- good wool can almost feel “alive” in your hands. Alpaca- There’s nothing else that feels like it. Cashmere- It’s just decadent. Dyes- whether chemical or natural, they can transform something mediocre into something stunning. How can you not love that?!
What is your favorite color?
What are your most and least two favorite films?
Favorite film: To Kill a Mockingbird.
Least favorite: Giant
What are you reading right now?
The back of a cereal box. And the random magazine that finds it’s way into the bathroom.
Any tips on selling handmade stuff?
Learn your craft. Learn it to the point where you can let your instincts take over. Learn all the rules and then break them with abandon! Believe in yourself and your uniqueness. Trust that part of you that says “what if…………….” That’s what will set you apart from the rest. And always, pay yourself a living wage!
Apart from creating things, what do you do?
As little as possible. But I do love to watch the birdies in the backyard, play golf, and watch my oldest play bass in her Irish pub band.
How can Etsy be improved? Any feature requests?
An Etsy yarn shop, pretty please?