CraftSanity Podcast Episode 121: A Conversation With Betsy Timmer

by jennifer

We’re going to time warp just a tad on this episode of the podcast. We’re going back to a coat closet inside the Grand Rapids Public Art Museum (GRAM) where I interviewed artist Betsy Timmer this past fall about “Rag Rug,” the piece that she entered in ArtPrize, the international art competition held annually here in West Michigan.

The coat closet wasn’t our first choice of recording locations but we decided it was our best option after we were interrupted by a band that started jamming outside moments after I hit record. We even postponed the interview a day in the hope that we could record in peace, but heavy ArtPrize attendance resulted in lots of chatter and shuffling feet, so into the quiet coat closet we went.

Despite the repeated interruptions and ridiculous interview location, my conversation with Betsy was most enjoyable. Tune in to hear how she created her “Rag Rug” piece that placed in the top 75 of more than 1,700 entries during the 2010 ArtPrize competition, her thoughts about the difference between art and craft, and the challenge of balancing life as a fine artist with the realities of holding a day job.

Betsy is a Michigan native who now lives in Lawrence, Kansas where she works as an adjunct art professor and does freelance graphic design work to support her “art dreams.” (Check out the mop dress she talked about during the podcast here.)

Kansas City listeners can check out Betsy’s latest creative project. She was selected as one of 12 artists selected for the Kansas City Power & Light District “Holiday Windows” competition. Betsy’s display is in the window of Envolve Boutique, 1380 Main Street in Kansas City, Missouri. The winner is determined by public vote which is ongoing through Dec. 16. The winner will receive $5000. (Good luck, Betsy!)

If you’re an artist of dream of someday becoming one, you’re going to really enjoy Betsy’s story. So pour yourself a cup of tea and settle in for a nice long chat.

Visit our sponsors

CraftLeftovers – a blog all about making with my leftover craft supplies, free patterns, tutorials, and loads of inspiration for running to the stash instead of running to the store.

Kristin Roach started back in 2006 as a way to keep herself accountable to using up my leftover craft supplies and ever growing stash. Now four years later, it’s a place for others to find patterns, resources, and inspiration to use what is on hand too!

Swell Cloth
Swell Cloth has fabric, patterns, and notions for the modern sewist at

Swell Cloth offers fabric lines from today’s most well-known designers — Joel Dewberry, Amy Butler, and Anna Maria Horner, to name a few.  Fabric is available by the yard, half yard, and fat quarter. Custom cuts are are welcomed.

Patterns in the shop range from Schnibbles quilts to Heather Bailey’s baby gifts to Amy Butler’s bags.

Now through December 31, CraftSanity listeners can receive 10% off their total purchase using code CSL10.

Swell Cloth was born out of a passion for sewing and quilting. In addition to her shop, Swell Cloth owner Sarah is the host of the Stash Resolution podcast and blog. Stop by the shop and get inspired to stitch!

Check out Linda’s Etsy shop and art blog Her shop features handmade leather journals created by hand, all one-of-a kind.

Linda enjoys the process of bookbinding and also the idea of creating a useable item that inspires someone’s creativity – to make a mark – to art journal – to really express themselves creatively.

Support the show!
Sponsor an episode or check out my etsy shop to snag a copy of the new CraftSanity Magazine and see my handmade line of wooden peg looms.

Review us on iTunes
If you haven’t already, review the show on iTunes to help get the word out about the show.

Taking Names
Who do you want to hear from next? Send your comments, guest and show topic suggestions to

You may also like

Leave a Comment