We don't usually think of knitting as a young person's art form. The very concept of working with yarn tends to evoke images of little old ladies knitting blankets. Enter Houston's Ginny Braud Bivens, who is singlehandedly bringing sexy back to the land of knitting. We've been following her on Instagram and have become, well, a little obsessed with her one-of-a-kind loom creations, her sexy-nerd fashion sense and her brand-new DIY rose gold hair. She recently launched her own Etsy shop showcasing her craft textiles, so we sat down to find out just what gets Ginny all yarned up.
What got you into the world of yarn and DIY?
I’ve always liked to dabble in DIY. I like making stuff, even if it's just a mess. When it comes to working with yarn, a college roommate taught me to crochet. We’d sit and watch TV surrounded by balls of yarn and a few bottles of wine. There was something so cathartic and stress-relieving about it. I also follow crafter and DIY enthusiast Rachel Denbow of Smile And Wave, who first introduced to woven art. She makes these gorgeous wall hangings full of color and movement—it was just so different to me.
Earlier this year I purchased my first lap loom from Oake & Ashe. I didn't even take the loom out of the packaging for a month because I was so intimidated. Now I am addicted. It’s such a cool medium. You're always learning new techniques, experimenting with different fibers, shapes and patterns. When it comes to starting a new project, I don’t ever start out with one specific "vision" for an end-product. Things just kind of evolve as I work, and that's part of the appeal of weaving. You can make it up as you go along.
Where do you shop?
I love visiting Space Montrose. They have such a wonderfully curated jewelry collection from makers from across the country and there’s always something new. For clothing, I buy the majority of it online. I’m all over Garmentory, and this summer particularly I’ve been snatching up all the linen pieces from these Lithuanian Etsy shops like Linenfox and notPERFECTLINEN. They make these wonderful, minimalist items that you can customize and I’ve been collecting like crazy.
There’s also this locally run online boutique, Sunchild, that I really like. I've bought a few PO-EM pieces recently, but also have heart eyes for the Ilana Kohn, Rachel Craven and Esby Apparel items they carry. For housewares, my friend Amy is the owner of Thirds in Austin. She carries some beautiful ceramics, stoneware, textiles and even apothecary items. I buy this lavender seaweed scrub from Moon Rivers Naturals out of Tyler, Texas, on the reg. The thing about these locally driven retailers that I love so much is that they sell high quality products that you’ll have for a long time. So, you’re investing in really good things that will last.
What’s the most unique craft item you have ever given, received or made?
One of the most unique pieces I’ve ever been given is a necklace from the now-closed shop La Camella by Camella Clements. My friend Lea [Ed. note: a style setter in her own right] gave it to me for my birthday in 2012 and I didn't know how to wear it back then. I didn't get it. But now I get it and wear the hell out of it … it only took me five years!
The most unique item I’ve ever made was a “what I love about you” kind of mini-scrapbook I made for then-boyfriend, now husband, back in 2009. We were doing the long-distance thing and I had been collecting ticket stubs and little keepsakes from our visits. It’s very special to both of us and it’s a good reminder to pay attention to the little things.
How do you incorporate being crafty into everyday life?
I work 8-5 at an oil and gas operator, so it’s not very easy to be crafty in that space. I think it’s important to try to make time to make things. You don’t have to create a masterpiece. Just make a cocktail…or a taco…maybe a pizza. (Can you tell its lunchtime and I’m hungry?) Crafting anything is well, being crafty.
Where would you like to see yourself and your art in 5 years?
I want to go bigger! I’d love to have a giant loom the size of a classroom chalkboard so I can make focal-point/statement pieces. That would be so much fun. More importantly, I just want to keep learning. I’ve met and connected with so many amazing and inspirational women through weaving that as long as that continues, I’ll be happy.
Give us one quote that sums up your personal sense of style.
“The simplest things are often the truest.”—Richard Bach