Q: Tell us a little about Hundreds and Thousands Mag
Taz: It’s a magazine made by two sisters in law. It’s like our pinboard of things we love but in magazine form, released a few times a year. It’s totally designed and put together by us, except the printing of course, which is by a local printing company. It’s a celebration of everything handmade.
Mezz: Hundreds and Thousands is independent, collaborative, handmade and local. It’s full of handwritten recipes, simple craft ideas, and wonderful people doing creative things.
Q: What inspired you to start the mag?
Taz: Well, it was Mezz who planted the idea in my brain, but I think once that happened I ran away with it and got so terribly excited about all the things I could do. I loved the idea of creating a magazine I would love to read! I was already online, sharing crafts, people, blogs, food etc, so this was just taking it to the next step! I loved the idea of introducing wonderful people to our potential readers!
Mezz: It started with an idea that Taz and I could write a book together, based on what we were both blogging about. Then I realised there were already so many wonderful crafty books published by bloggers come authors, and I wondered if there would really be a need for another one by us! However, I couldn’t shake the idea off completely, and that’s when the idea of making a handmade independent zine was born! A mini magazine, handmade by us. We could fill it not just with craft ideas, but also recipes, cool local music to listen to, garden tips, guest writers, and articles about people doing wonderful things. The idea grew and seemed crazy, but I’m so glad we went for it, because the response has been amazing.
Q: What has been your proudest creative accomplishment?
Taz: The magazine is definitely one but outside of that, probably teaching myself to sew. I’m now churning out handmade dresses and people are buying them!!!
Mezz: I am so proud, not just of the magazines we make, but also the amazing online and offline community that has grown quite unexpectedly around this zine. I never imagined what an amazing feeling it would be to help create something like that. I am also a musician, and I must say releasing an album while raising a toddler was a great achievement too!
Q: What does creativity mean to you?
Taz: I’ve not always been a creative person. It’s only been the past 5 or so years that I’ve got myself into it. Before that, I didn’t really do anything. But now, life is just so busy and in good way. Being creative gives me something to do and plan and share which is such a wonderful way to spend my time, especially when stress and challenging things come my way. It’s introduced me to a whole new world of creative people that I now feel part of and continue to be inspired by. Actual joy can be felt when I watch and see people achieve something they have worked on for so long, and the ideas people have are amazing. If more people could spend their time being creative, making instead of buying, and sharing for the joy of it, what a place this world would be!
Mezz: Creativity means so many things to me. I write songs because I have a story to tell, I sew pretty vintage sheets into clothes because I am passionate about upcycling, I bake cakes because it makes my family happy, I crochet because it relaxes me. These are just a few examples. Simply put, creativity is a way of life for me.
Q: Is there a creative skill you would personally like to master?
Taz: Yes, understanding and using patterns to make clothes. Especially if I’ve picked up a pre cut pattern from an opshop, the lines and numbers make me dizzy!
Mezz: I am still very frightened of sewing patterns that involved zips! I’ve been avoiding zips for years now! Pathetic, I know.
Q: Tea or coffee?
Mezz: Tea. Always. We are both tea drinkers which makes our magazine making days easy. The kettle is pretty much always on.
Q: Who is your biggest creative crush?
Taz: I follow a lot of creative people online. They seem to all make and do things that I love. I don’t really have just one. But if I think about who’s blog and instagram I get excited to see, its an old favourite of mine, Zara from Zaranne-handmade.
Mezz: As far as bloggers and instagrammers go, I’m totally crushing on Allison Sadler and Her Library Adventures. Other creative people I admire deeply and am constantly inspired by are Charlotte Bronte, Kate Bush, Joni Mitchell, Sarah Vaughan, JK Rowling and George Harrison.
Q: What inspires you?
Taz: Again, the people I follow online are so inspiring. I may not make what they make, but it’s seeing the process and their love for it that inspires me. Reading blogs, IG, magazines, craft books, visiting peoples homes, even going on a walk can create new ideas in my head. I often think of my grandmother who was a creative lady, what she would do, and what she would think of my crafts. People choosing to be creative as a hobby, job, way to keep mentally balanced, they inspire me. People who choose to have crafternoons, make gifts, wear handmade clothes, potter in the garden, bake homemade food, they inspire me and remind me that’s what life’s about. Doing simple things, making, and being with like minded people.
Mezz: People, stories, my neighbourhood, bloggers, Intsagram, crafternoons, vintage fabric.
Q: When is the most creative/productive time of the day for you?
Taz: Oh it can hit anytime. The worst is after 10pm, cos then I know I’m up for a late night. But as a stay at home mum, it’s usually when my son is playing by himself or sleeping, so I have to do little bits here and there. The evenings are good, if I’m not too tired. On magazine days, its the morning. Our kids play and it gives us time to work on the magazine!
Mezz: I am a morning or a very late night person. I find the afternoons are my least productive time, I just want to curl up on the couch with a book and a cuppa.
Q: Can you share a technique you use for getting your creative juices flowing?
Taz: I wish I had one. I can go for weeks without touching my sewing machine or cutting pretty paper. Besides the magazine which I work on all the time as there is someone else on the team, my own stuff comes and goes. I don’t mind that at all. I make and get creative when it feels right.
Mezz: The biggest lesson I have learnt from making Hundreds and Thousands with Taz is that working in a team is wonderful and so productive. Having another person that you meet regularly keeps you accountable, and you can bounce ideas off each other until you find the perfect thing. Until this project I have always worked solo on most of my creative endeavors and I must say it’s much lonelier and less productive (for me at least.)
Q: Where else can people find you online?
Hundreds and Thousands Magazine
@hundredsandthousandsmag on instagram
Taz: @tarryncarr on instagram
Mezz: @mezzcoleman on Instagram