Hi there and happy Wednesday. I hope that wherever you are that the day is as beautiful as it is where I am. Today’s lovely warm temps and a bright sunny day are making me in good mood—this will change when it again turns into cold November later this week. Anyway I digress, the reason you are here is to see who I am sharing with you for today’s Wednesday Indie Artist Fixx and it is jewelry artist Shanalee Hampton of Cookoorikoo. Shana combines her love of the fabric yo-yo with an eye for color and pattern to create fun hair accessories and jewelry pieces. I own a couple of her designs myself and I find that I usually wear them on a day like today, bright and sunny and full of promise.
Enjoy the interview (there’s a cookie recipe involved) and make sure to visit Cookoorikoo.
What’s the name of your business, what do create and sell and how did you get your start?
My business is called cookoorikoo. That’s Russian for cock-a-doodle-do and it makes me giggle.
I make jewelry and hair accessories with fabric yoyos, vintage repurposed jewelry and vintage millinery supplies. I started making yoyos when I saw a picture of a fashion exhibit in Japan that featured yoyos prominently–yoyo dresses and vests and yoyo garlands hanging from the ceiling.—I just started to think about yoyos in a different way. And now I’m constantly thinking about what else I can do with yoyos. Sometimes I actually dream about yoyos.
I’m also inspired by all the time I spent sorting through my grandma’s button tin and jewelry box. One of the greatest compliments I’ve ever received was that my shop was grandma chic.
What’s something you’ve learned as an adult that you wish you knew as a kid?
I wish I hadn’t spent so much time worrying about other people’s expectations, worrying about all the things I was “supposed” to do. I’ve realized we need to pay our bills, take care of ourselves, be kind and happy. But that’s it….everything else is gravy. Life is much simpler, and happier, that way.
Share something silly about yourself.
I cannot snap my fingers. Many people have tried to show me how and I just can’t seem to make it work.
Were you an arty craftsy kid? What other types of crafty stuff do you do?
NO! My mom is VERY crafty and she always felt like she failed with me. I learned to sew and crochet when I was really young but never showed much of an interest—until I picked up a camera. I loved photography— and still do! I also knit and sew. I still don’t crochet though. That’s never really stuck. I do like trying new things and challenging myself. I’m currently trying my hand at making hats.
Do you have a favorite type of cookie and do you have a recipe you can share for it?
I do! Natalie of Bake & Destroy made these cookies for all her friends who were at Renegade Craft Fair two years ago and they’ve become our favorite cookies!
Peanut Butter Chocolate Pillows from Post Punk Kitchen
makes 2 dozen cookies
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
3 tablespoons non-dairy milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened dutch processed cocoa powder
2 tablespoons black unsweetened cocoa or more dutch processed unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup natural salted peanut butter, crunchy or creamy style
2/3 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons soy creamer or non-dairy milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a large mixing bowl combine oil, sugar, maple syrup, non-dairy milk and vanilla extract and mix until smooth. Sift in flour, cocoa powder, black cocoa if using, baking soda and salt. Mix to form a moist dough.
Make the filling. In another mixing bowl beat together peanut butter, confectioner’s sugar, 2 tablespoons of soy creamer and vanilla extract to form a moist but firm dough. If peanut butter dough is too dry (as different natural peanut butters have different moisture content), stir in remaining tablespoon of non-dairy milk. If dough is too wet knead in a little extra powdered sugar.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
Shape the cookies. Create the centers of the cookies by rolling the peanut butter dough into 24 balls. Scoop a generous tablespoon of chocolate dough, flatten into a disc and place a peanut butter ball in the center. Fold the sides of the chocolate dough up and around the peanut butter center and roll the chocolate ball into an smooth ball between your palms. Place on a sheet of waxed paper and repeat with remaining doughs. If desired gently flatten cookies a little, but this is not necessary.
Place dough balls on lined baking sheets about 2 inches apart and bake for 10 minutes. Remove sheet from oven and let cookies for 5 minutes before moving to a wire rack to complete cooling. Store cookies in tightly covered container. If desired warm cookies in a microwave for 10 to 12 seconds before serving.
What’s better all the money in the world or all the free time?
Free time, definitely. I had a job that paid really well for eleven years. I quit about a year ago and although some days are easier than others, and money is sometimes tight, I’d still rather have the freedom to structure my own day. If I want to go on an adventure with a friend in the middle of the week, I can. If I want to spend a day trying out a new idea, I can. That just wasn’t possible before and I love it.
Share 3 things that you are crushing on right now from other indie artists/crafters/designers.
Megan Brain’s paper sculptures are A-mazing.
Bettie Newell’s photography. Maybe its because she’s a new friend of mine but I love her images and I’m eager to see what she’s going to do next.
I love EVERYTHING she does.