inspiration wednesday: magda de lange

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and that’s how Magda de Lange experiences the world.

The hellohart team only met Magda once, but her insatiable zest for life made it a bond not easily broken. We love how Magda views the world, one heart warming photo at a time. Her blog, pigtails, gives us a peek into her colourful and enchanting world. This is my interview with her …

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What inspires you?

I find the majority of my inspiration through global residency and travelling the world extensively. We are currently based in Dha, Qatar. The patterns of landscapes, urban grit, textures of peeling paint on decaying buildings, interesting sounds, colours and proportions, beautiful thoughts and the human condition is what my soul hungers for and what I am inspired by when I create.

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When did you start crafting / knitting / crochet / sewing and who taught you? 

I was 10 years old when I learned to crochet.   I was taught the basics of the craft by a wonderfully interesting character who assumed the role of my maternal grandmother. She owned a farm with her husband and we visited frequently during our school holidays. During the day she dressed like a man, acted like a man and worked the farm like a man. She had piercing blue eyes and wore her shock of fiery red hair very short – like a man. At night, after dinner and a bath, she dressed in a flimsy negligee, gently picked up her steel crochet hook and crocheted the most delicate of shawls, table cloths and doilies. I was simply mesmerised by her character and craft alike. I made a sizable 150cm x 150cm giant granny blanket and sold crochet covered coat hangers to supplement my pocket money after I mastered the Double Crochet stitch.   I think I was more interested in reading though, and retired from crocheting by the age of 11, until I reacquainted mysef with the craft form some 30+ years later. 

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What do you think will be the next big thing in the world of craft, especially in your area of expertise?

Textiles (including knitting and crocheting) are making a comeback in lieu of materials such as wood and leather. It appears that after the recession, people are in need of “more is more” which is not the aesthetic I live by, but this is what is apparent trend wise. The economic shock also placed new focus on skills rather than qualifications in many societies. The depressing economy can be a bleak landscape for marketers, but the consumer trend associated with “craft” seems successful in this economy.  Anything that appears whimsically or uniquely handcrafted – whether it’s jewelry, fashion, wrapping paper, home accessories, bedding, beer, wine, cheese, cupcakes, or dog biscuits  – is finding a market now.

Who on the international craft scene do you admire most and why?

I admire the people who bring to life the visions of designers such as Sophie Digard and Anne Claire Petit. These almost forgotten crafters from Madagascar and Asia are hugely talented and certainly deserves our admiration.



What is your favourite blog and why?


‘Süsk  is a photographer, graphic desiner, knitter, crocheter and was adopted in Japan by Americans and eventually grew up in Germany; Banoo is Persian, although he calls Paris home, and a professor in mathematics. The two of them  moved from Paris to Helsinki and is now back in Paris. I love the ambience ‘Süsk creates with her amazing photography, I love the stories, but most of all I love the fact that I can associate with them, as a global nomad.

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If you had more time on your hands what would you do?

I have to admit that I live a full and fullfilling life and whenever I feel the need to try something new, I simply do it. I always find the time. I find excuses regarding time quite lame – all of us have the same 24 hours in a day!

Have you bought something online and if so what?

I mostly buy books and patterns online. Due to our lifestyle, I get to experience many different countries and therefore prefer shopping from independent shops and markets all over the world. I find it quite interesting to see how shops manipulate our senses to shop more through multisensory retail. I am able to resist though – I live a minimalist life and do not enjoy cluttered spaces and massive wardrobes. I much rather spend my money on experiences, buying “memories” rather than “things”. I will shop yarn online from I LOVE YARN though, Stephanie and Elaine have a thorough understanding of my fiber likes and dislikes and I trust them completely.

Would you buy a pattern, or the whole kit online?

Absolutely! I often buy patterns online and really enjoy buying pattern books published by Amanda Perkins. I would also most definitely buy kits online as these are not only fun purchases, but it shows an appreciation for another designers work.


What is your favourite yarn store / craft store and why? 

I really enjoyed buying yarn from Elaine and Stephni, the two yarn whisperers from I LOVE YARN. Their shop is a haven for savvy shoppers with discerning taste. I quite detest the “yarn snob” label. Having good taste, understanding fibers and being educated about animal and plant fibers, does not mean one is a snob! I LOVE YARN rises above this labelling and still manages to offer exquisitely beautiful high quality yarns.

Isn’t life just amazing?!

Our horizons are broadened through friendship, that stretches across borders and oceans. Magda, you’ve definitely opened up a whole new world of creative wisdom to us.


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(original post on 13 august 2014)

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