Sunday, October 27, 2013

Twinzzshop - Kelly Zalenski

Twinzzshop - Kelly Zalenski
Kelly Zalenski creates unique hand-sewn appliques by recycling old t-shirts, pjs and sweaters. Each design is drawn, cut and hand-sewn onto onesies or t-shirts. While many of her designs celebrate twins(or siblings) like “milk & cookies”, “rock & roll”, and “OH & IO”, she also creates fun, nostalgic pieces for single babies and children. She now has over 125 designs and still LOVES custom orders for birthdays and other special occasions.
She works out of her studio in Reynoldsburg, Ohio or where ever her twins take her (one of the reasons each one is hand-sewn!)
Kelly is focused on creating fun, unique art for kids (while keeping their parent’s taste in mind) and introducing nostalgic classics with a fresh look to today’s generation.
Artist Statement:
I create works that are fresh, bright, and sometimes nostalgic. I'm currently inspired by all that my 4 year old twins bring to my life (hoping just a bit of their imagination and creativity are reflected). My designs are for all the children in our lives as well as the young at heart. Enjoy!
In Feb 2008, when my husband and were shocked to find i was pregnant (after being told the previous November it wouldn't happen for us), we got another surprise during the ultra-sound when my doctor asked "do you see what i see?" we had no idea what we were looking at, I saw two "blobby things" and she replied, "well, there are definitely two"... "two? two what?" those 3 words changed my life as we welcomed our b/g TWINS that following August!
They inspired my shop of "TWIN ZZ"s tees for twins and because of our last name, they were the "Twin Z's" in the NICU for a month after their birth.
I remember being at my baby(well, "babies" shower!) and thinking, where is all the cool twin stuff? This is a special thing, but I didn't get anything that really celebrated twins, unless you count the card I got that had "baby" crossed out and replaced by "twins"! I made the first set of twin onesies (my twinzzs) for them at 6mo old I think, it was some time after the "big blur" and it was "milk & cookies" then I followed with "pb & j" and "peas & carrots" .
I still make them t-shirts that coordinate, like the fireworks shirts they wore to the 4th of July parade this year, or for the Disney trip we're taking this fall, so I'm always adding to my shop as they inspire more.
• I imagine a design (usually a twin set!) and hand draw it to create a pattern to trace for future orders (usually on old cereal boxes to reuse the abundant cardboard in our recycling bin).
• I hand select each color of every applique from my stock of old t-shirts (which started from my husband's closet but is now my own stash of donated and thrifted tees) to keep my products green! why buy fabric when there are so many discarded ones that are just waiting to be repurposed?
• I use a washable, safe temporary glue to hold the different individual colored shapes I've cut out by hand, in place.
• This is the step that allows me to make these with two 4 year olds, I HAND STITCH each design. Hand-stitching can take more than an hour for some pieces (the owl ones or ones with a lot of text, you'll see the difference in price which means i need to switch thread colors often or cover a lot of surface area). Hand-stitching not only makes my designs look shabby chic and vintage, but they LAST wash after wash.
Come out and shop Kelly on November 30th!

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