Meet The Maker: Sheila Echols-Smesny of Red Shoes Red Wine
Sheila says she is a geo-cartographer in real life, but in blog life she’s a world traveler, cruiser, wine enthusiast, runner, shopaholic, camper/hiker, DIYer, costumer, party host, OCD organizer, self-proclaimed nerd, wife, and dog mom.
In other words, she lives life to the fullest! We loved getting to know Sheila and touring her workspace.
Tell us a little bit about the types of crafting you do and how you got started.
I’ve never been able to sit still and not be doing something productive or creative. I started crafting anything and everything with a glue gun, and then a few years ago I learned how to sew. I make costumes now more than any other craft, and share those costumes on my blog. I launched Red Shoes. Red Wine., my travel, lifestyle, & hobby blog in 2015 to share my experiences, love of wine, crafts and costume tutorials.
What is your favorite part of the creative process?
I’m obsessive but impatient, so other than planning and sourcing supplies, I love seeing projects come together and take their final shape. It’s very satisfying reaching the point where I really feel like I’ve created something and seeing the concept come to life.
Tell us about your previous workspace setup.
I had an overflowing armoire and guest bedroom closet, and tons of projects on the horizon. I used to pile everything on the guest bed and wouldn’t see the bed for months, just a mound of fabric and plastic storage boxes. I decided to replace the bed with a sleeper sofa, and that made room for a proper supplies cabinet. So the room is still a guest bedroom when needed, and a more functional workspace.
How did you first hear about The Original ScrapBox?
A friend posted a video of The Original ScrapBox to Facebook and I immediately fell in love. It really didn’t take much justification given my setup at the time. I bought it almost immediately, but I did wait for the Knotty Alder in Chocolate to become available before I pulled the trigger on the credit card. That’s about as much self-control as I could muster.
Why did you decide to purchase a WorkBox?
I needed a place to store all the random craft materials, fabric, and paper that I’ve collected from various projects. Purchasing a WorkBox freed up a ton of space in the closet so I could store completed costumes and other large items.
Tell us a little bit about the delivery and assembly process.
It was quite possibly the largest thing we’ve ever had delivered, and it showed up in a very impressive box on a pallet in the garage. My husband assembled the structure after work over a few days, and I spent a couple evenings after work setting up the shelves and totes. It took several months of working on projects until I really got a handle on where everything should be.
What inspires you?
I’m inspired visually. Lately, it’s been comic book movies and historical fiction. I’ve been making costumes inspired by 18th century historical dramas, comic book characters, Vikings, and Renaissance. I like texture, bold colors, and balanced lines.
What are some of your favorite projects you've completed?
I’ve had a lot of fun with wine cork crafts (mouse ears, cork boards, etc.) and I’m very proud of some of the costumes I’ve made recently since I learned how to sew such as my costumes from the Wonder Woman film, and costumes inspired by Outlander.
Tell us more about how you've decorated your box and the rest of the room to fit your style.
I’ve upgraded the box with a door upgrade kit for more small shelves, and recently upgraded my old fabric totes to the clear totes. I added marble contact paper to the table for aesthetics and to protect the table from hot glue. The box is open about half the time when I get really busy. But when not in use, I still need the room to be a guest bedroom or a quiet space of my own to blog or read. It’s truly a multi-functional space.
Tell us about the behind the scenes. What does a typical day look like for you?
I work full-time at an energy company in Houston, so my downtime is spent working on projects. That’s my hobby. The pockets of free time that I find dictate which craft I work on, so I bounce around between projects. Small tasks during the week if I’m not too tired from work and traffic, and larger tasks on the weekend. Some weekends I’ll stay in my pajamas and work from sun up to sun down. Depending on the time of year, I’m either sewing costumes or making gifts (cards, preserves, and cork crafts).
What are some of your other hobbies or interests?
I love to travel. We go on at least one cruise a year, travel overseas about every 18 months or so, and take weekend trips and road trips whenever possible. I’m a runner, so sometimes the trips are to participate in races. And some trips are to costuming conventions.
Why do you create?
I work in a very structured corporate environment, but I need an artistic outlet. I create because it satisfies and fulfills me, and I love learning new skills with each new project.
Visit Sheila's blog for more fun and inspiration!
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- Ashley Puriri