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Maker Monday: Melanie Cutler

I am the creative designer, maker & shaker behind Plant Babies Terrariums. I love to create living art that is not only beautiful but will thrive and survive. I started making terrariums as a personal hobby and grew to love it so much that I branched out into working with air plants, and creating and designing my own air plant displays.

When did you first become inspired to start creating? I was making terrariums as a hobby, then friends started to ask if I would make the arrangements. My love for air plants started when a friend asked me to make her wedding favours.

What is art to you personally? Art gives me joy, hope, appreciation for life, excitement, frustration, and exhilaration.

Why do you create? What is your spark? Plants make me happy. I’m giddy when I find a beautiful plant, and thrilled when an arrangement finally comes together.

Tell us about the progress you've made since you first started I’ve learned how to make arrangements that will thrive and survive. I know what plants do well together, how to arrange them so that anyone can keep them alive. I’ve learned how to work with different materials like cement and hydrostone and to make my own silicone molds so that I can make the perfect display.

Who/what are your biggest influences? Montreal Botanical Gardens - the gardens never cease to amaze me and inspire me to create my own miniature plant worlds

What does success mean to you? Overcoming challenges and frustrations and learning from my experiences to become stronger and hone my craft.

Were you born an artist or made an artist? I was not born an artist, but I’ve always had an eye for decor & crafts.

What is your favorite tool/thing to work with? My father’s tweezers that he used for model boat making. They help me to perfectly place things in my terrariums and they mean so much to me because my father was a true artist and I think of him every time I make a new arrangement.

If you were a canvas, what would be your color palette? The colours of a sunset

What keeps you up at night? Worrying that I’m the only one who likes what I do

What is the hardest part of running your own business? The hardest part of running my own business is the time it takes to get everything perfect. It isn’t just about making a pretty arrangement, it means taking good photos, editing the photos, putting things up on my online boutique, coming up with descriptions and translations for my website, posting on social media, making sure I’m active in social media, fulfilling orders, packaging, shipping, delivering. Most people only see the final product and they don’t understand all the work that goes into things behind the scenes.

What are your go to snacks while creating? I can’t eat while creating!! Although a glass of wine does help… What is your favorite painting or sculpture? Starry Night - Van Gogh. I’ve seen it in person and it brought tears to my eyes. Each brush stroke forms the image but also tells the story of the artist’s passion and intensity.

What is your favorite material to work with? Tillandsias/Airplants - they are remarkable little plants with a huge variety. They are easy to care for.

What’s the best part of working with plants? They’re alive.

What’s the worst part of working with plants?

When I get pricked by a cactus. I love cacti but those suckers bite sometimes!

Follow Melanie Instagram: plant.babies.terrariums Facebook: @plantbabiesterrariums

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