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Author interview: Lelani Koen

One of our latest offerings, Scrapbook maps, has turned into an instant hit. Author and scrapbook fundi, Lelani Koen, answers some of our questions ...

Lelani Koen has been scrapping for many years. She studied marketing at Stellenbosch and worked in advertising and graphic design before starting an online scrapping club – Get Scrapping – to turn her favourite hobby into a business.

She loves needlework, beading, knitting and music or being creative in other ways. She is also quite sentimental, which makes scrapbooking the perfect hobby. Her motto is, “life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful.” She recently launched Lilly K, her own line of craft embellishments, décor and gifts.
Lelani is married and lives in Paarl where she enjoys raising her two boys.

What was your favourite book as a child?
Ever since I can remember I loved paging through magazines and cutting out pictures of things that tickled my fancy – anything from décor to fashion.  When I was younger I wanted to become a fashion designer, then later a jewellery designer ...  I remember how my friends and I would stick pictures from the “in die kol” section of Huisgenoot in our homework books – or what was supposed to be our homework books/diaries. There was no space to write anything!
How did you first become interested in crafts?
Both my parents are very creative. I remember building beds, tables and chairs for my dolls with my father in the garage and then sewing curtains and bedding for it with my mom.  I also loved making my own cards for friends and family on birthdays and anniversaries.  I enjoyed art and sewing class in primary school and when I went to high school I took art as an extra subject.  I started sewing clothes for myself when I was in high school and also developed a love for knitting and beading.  After school I was introduced to decoupage and fabric painting.  I started scrapbooking in 2003 when I was pregnant with my first son and ever since scrapbooking has been my #1 craft.
What craft do you specialise in, or are you a multi-crafter?
I am definitely a multi-crafter but since I started my own scrapbook company I must admit that I haven’t had as much time to do anything but scrapbooking.  Or I should rather say I have many many unfinished projects in the other crafts I love.
What other hobbies do you have?
I love to sew, knit and do interior decorating.  And I love love love photography!
What is the most interesting crafted object you have ever seen?
My cousin made a ceramic candleholder for me when I was in high school.  She coloured the candle holder by digging a hole in the ground, putting the candleholder in the hole, covering it with sticks and setting it alight.  The heat from the flames made the most beautiful colours and patterns on the ceramic candleholder. Truly amazing!

Written by: Metz Press - 11 July 2012
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