My Fantasy Kingdom

Today, I’m delighted to introduce you to Claudia, the artisan behind “My Fantasy Kingdom”! Here is our interview:

1. Please tell us a few words about yourself.

My name is Claudia and I’m from Portugal.

I was born in Angola in 1973.

I’ve been a first grade teacher since 1997.

I am a mother of 2: a 6 year old boy and a 3 year old girl.

I’ve been married to Bruno since 2002 and I know it sounds cheesy, but he’s my perfect match and I’m still mad about him. He is the one who helps me keep this online kingdom in place (Site, Blog, Flickr, Etsy, Facebook, Twitter, ArtFire, YouTube…).

I have always been a very creative person, now I’m certain of that!

I have two beautiful cats, named Mupi de Sir Dine and Milady Bug de Sir Dine (Mupi and Milady) – royalty names. 🙂

I love coffee and chocolate.

I also love creating: drawing, sewing, painting, embroidering, mixing everything together…

Almost all of my dolls are named by my son.

I laugh during horror movies. They don’t scare me at all!

2. Who’s idea was it to start “My Fantasy Kingdom”?

Well, it was my idea.

“Reino Já Cheguei” means “I’ve Arrived at the Kingdom”.  When my son Tiago was born (2004), we used that expression to give the good news to our family (“I’ve arrived!”). Three years later, my Joana was born… she has finally arrived too (2007). With a prince and a princess, we became a kingdom.

I have always been a very creative person, and after I wrote my first story book for children (2008), I had to make all of those characters real. I had to name my blog and my site so… that name seemed appropriate.

Several pieces of my work have been published in various blogs and websites. I love designing/sewing my toys. There is something so wonderful about creating them – they seem to develop their own personalities as I craft them – it’s almost like I’m creating something organic! I’ve recently started to make altered books and several assemblages. One of the most exciting things is to think of my work in other people’s homes all over the world, hopefully inspiring them to get creative too!

This kingdom is my real passion. I run a blog, an online shop … where I sell my handmade toys and my books hoping that my fantasy kingdom arrives increasingly far.

3. All your products are adorable!! What inspires you?

My inspiration is definitely my son and my daughter. Everything that I create is inspired by them. The name of my Kingdom is inspired by them. They are the main characters of the stories of my book: Prince Tiago and Princess Joana. My logo is a mix of my two children: they both have curly hair (represented by the snail) and my daughter´s name is Joana. Little Joana means ladybug in portuguese.

I also find inspiration in nature. I always stop to look at all the beauties nature has to offer. A special light, a tree branch, a little rock or even the way the leaves wave at the wind. All of this little but beautiful and magical nature’s wonders are truly inspiring.

4. What is your favorite product to make?

I always love creating new things and using different materials. That is my favorite part. If I could, I would only make one item of each. But thankfully my dolls are well accepted and people keep asking me more dolls «just like that»!

5. Any advice for your fellow crafters?

Never EVER give up!!

Follow your dreams!

Take good pictures of your products.

Be original.

Always tell the history behind your creations, that is what makes a unique piece. Why did you give that doll that name, why is she smaller than the last one…

6. If you were to start all over again, what would you do differently?

I think that I wouldn’t do anything different. I am aware that I’m a committed person. I always have lots of goals. I always give more than 100%. I’m not perfect but I always make my best effort, and that’s why I think I wouldn’t do anything different.

7. Any plans for the future? What are you working on?

I imagine that my kingdom will be known by more people and that my products will be sold abroad frequently.
1. I’d love to be able to conciliate my job as a teacher with the creation of my pieces. The day should have more hours…
2. I’d love to have more time to be able to learn more and improve my techniques;
3. I’d love to have a physical space to sell my products.
4. I have my new book almost finished. Some illustrations are missing and I need to make some final adjustments. After this, I’d need to better distribute and promote it, that’s why I’m trying to publish it through a professional publisher.
I recently took part in a project called “Discovering new authors” You can read a little more here.

I also promote my book through this channel. We’ve held exhibitions all around the country with this project.

8. Anything else you’d like to share?

I would like to share with you a video I recently made. This is about never giving up, about doing things your way. Why must roofs be equal everywhere? Why can’t trees have windows, why can’t we just do and live as we feel like? Why must we all be similar? Are clouds inhabited? Why can’t they be? Be original. Be you…

9. Just curious… how did you find Craftsyble?

Well, I just googled craft, motivate, inspire… Then I saw that Craftsyble was also on Flickr, Facebook, and Twitter too. I loved your logo and… there! I found you and got inspired. 🙂

10.  Where can we find you?

Here is the arsenal:
WebSite: www.reinojacheguei.com
Blog: www.reinojacheguei.blogspot.com
Facebook: SiteStory BookProductAuthor
Twitter: @ReinoJaCheguei
Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/reinojacheguei/
Etsy: www.etsy.com/shop/reinojacheguei
YouTube – www.youtube.com/user/reinojacheguei