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Meet Alexa Lett of SODDY DAISY

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alexa Lett.

Hi Alexa, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today.
Vintage and handmade have always been a part of my creativity. Many forms of art have evolved over the years. A handmade gift and accessory business was the beginning, which included 22 sales reps and a sea of moms doing piecework. It later evolved into a book entitled “Homemade” which was full of recipes you could not eat… which then led to create segments on various HGTV and TLC television shows, magazines, ‘how-to’ styled books, speaking engagements, and teaching workshops over the years. But, motherhood began to take more time and a different creative focus began.

My passion for ‘all things stitched’ became my art form of choice for many reasons. I love the creative process, the beauty of imperfection, and the ability to determine ‘handmade’ in a nanosecond. Years of supporting an athletic daughter led to hours of sitting on a bleacher. This time became the foundation of teaching myself the art of stitching. The need to be creative had to become mobile for me, so this medium was perfect. Plus, a giddy zeal for vintage fabrics and notions collected over the years provided enough supply to last a lifetime of ballgames.

Now, the nest is empty and my little bird has successfully entered adulthood. And just as quickly as my motherhood responsibilities began to diminish… my caring for an aging parent with Alzheimer’s began. Many hours of sitting in a hospital, nursing home, and doctor’s office entered my world, and once again, the ability to carry my mobile art studio became my lifeline.

Years of making little snippets of sewn “things” began to develop as an art form. You can only collect so many piles of hand-sewn doo-dads… and not figure out some useful purpose for them. Plus, the advent of creating myself a delightful little studio to focus my energies store all my hoarding supplies of vintage fabric and notions and provide a plethora of space for my many artful endeavors.

Alzheimer’s won the battle with my mom and a successful career in another city has filled my daughter’s time. I am now, ‘all things creative. Mixed Media textile art and stitchery are the medium of choice. The ability to not be driven by structured corners tucked threads, and predictable outcomes are my inspiration. I let the wonky, tattered, aged fabric and color lead the creative path.

I had my first solo show, as an “artist” in 2018, and just recently, in August 2022, welcomed my latest exhibition in Dalton, GA. The creative world for me is blossoming. What was once a time filler and brain escape… is now a focal point and goal for my creative future.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Is anything smooth? For me… never. Bumpy…  struggles…. all generally a necessity. What clearly began as more of a hobby in its processes… had to transition into something more. How do you go forward from a more “craftsy” background and begin to ‘tip toe’ into a form of fine art?

There were many questions…  struggles. These questions include how you find your audience… price… display… and exhibit. I still struggle to determine what category of art I currently fall under. I’m not fine art… but, am I folk art? I feel I fall somewhere in the middle of these two areas. Maybe? The struggle is still real.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
Many various forms of creativity and life have led me to this very place in my art. The evolution of what you do is largely influenced by every angle. Years of collecting antiques, quilts, stitchery, notions, books, photographs, fabric, and just about anything kitschy is the norm. This collection became a huge hoard. It had to diminish… become something else… go away. This raging heap became the inspiration for my work.

Stitching is what I do; it only seemed natural to use the massive pile of supplies growth in my garage. My affection for worn, torn, and used became one-of-a-kind pieces of art. The unfinished needlepoint craft kits, former packing quilts of strangers, and vintage juvenile moth-eaten clothes are now repurposed through hours of layering and stitching.

I spent months stitching, sewing, creating, and making one-of-a-kind pieces. Through the portals of social media, it is easy to find your kindred spirits. I did a few small art shows and listed some pieces online… and oddly, I started selling them. It seemed others liked the rawness as well. Who knew? I was so excited to see something I created with a hodge-podge of seemingly ratty forms of forgotten textiles assembled together and visually enjoyed by others.

When someone looks at something I stitch or assemble, I want the consumer to look at a piece and see different layers of the past. I want them to always reminisce. Pieces of the past stitched together with obvious hand-made imperfection are exactly the visual you will see.

The highest compliment is to see people pointing at specific fabric or buttons on a piece I create, and quickly the next sentence out of their mouth is….”I remember __________.” It gets no better.

Do you have any memories from childhood that you can share with us?
I am an only child and grew up on a farm. Supplies of sticks, mud, weird foliage, barn wood, and junk laying around was endless. Sometimes I reflect upon my childhood, and clearly give it credit for my creative use of miscellaneous things in my art.

Tying fabric bows on feral cats (a challenge in and of itself), coupled with mud pies sun-baked in tractor parts, all teach you the art of “make-do”. Happenings in the past may seem mundane at the time… but, after years of reflection… it becomes your favorite memory.

Contact Info:

  • Instagram: @alexalett
  • Facebook: Alexa Lett – artsy designs
  • TikTok: @alexalett

Image Credits
Stephanie McIver

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