Meet Tina Kistinger, a long time South Pasadena resident and avid crafting authority. For years, her passion has been eternally tied with the simple joys that crafting can bring and has made it her mission to share that enthusiasm with fellow South Pasadenans. Crafted Living was founded in the fall of 2012 by Tina as a creative catalyst that highlights simple yet well designed crafts as a means to express oneself and brighten another’s day.
Forging her fondness for design in her younger years, Tina cites both her mother, Joanne, and her high school art teacher as mentors that cultivated her fascination, saying, “I started crafting because I wanted to make things. I saw what my mother could do and thought, ‘I can do that too.’ During junior high and high school, I was fortunate to have teachers that encouraged exploration by pushing the creative boundaries. In high school, one of my favorite projects was making paper dodecahedrons. It was an intense project with lasting impact. The teacher, Mr. Dalton from SPHS, hung all of the dodecahedrons from the ceiling beams in the art studio. They decorated the space for weeks and it reminded us all of what we accomplished.”
Reiterating the good fortune of having a supportive family that influenced her creative thinking, “My mother was my initial inspiration as she encouraged me to embrace my creativity. When I was very young, she created beautiful batik prints and I’m proud to say that I have one of those prints hanging in my living room.”
Eventually her pursuits led her to UCLA, obtaining her Bachelor of Arts – Design degree, where she sharpened her creative insights and applied her knowledge to the crafting world and her overall teaching method.
Tina aims to make the handmade process an accessible and therapeutic experience that can be shared with anyone, “I always tell people to try it. The sense of accomplishment is an amazing feeling and I want everyone to have that feeling,” surely a sentiment that she shares with her students and clients alike- speaking with her about crafts and design is delightfully infectious:
“Recently, I saw a colleague from my previous office job and she told me that she still has a heart favor that I gave her two years ago. It proudly resides in her pencil cup on her desk. My heart melted when she told me because she cared enough to keep it all this time. Such a simple gesture can be meaningful and impactful.”
Her crafting hands work year round, consisting of all kinds of different projects for each season; from Spring to Fall, from Halloween to Easter.
Working predominantly with her favorite material, paper, it’s amazing to see the kind of ornate embellishments she can conjure up, “Cards, favors, tags, and wreaths are some of my favorite projects to create.” With a certain brand of flair yet simplicity applied to each design, Tina emphasizes, “The creative possibilities are endless.”
Drawing inspiration from the Arts and Crafts movement, Tina’s design sensibilities do have a certain rustic touch to them, employing the same kinds of “medieval, romantic, or folk styles of decoration” in her work as the movement itself followed. Tina’s own Craftsman Bungalow home can also be attributed to her list of creative muses as well, serving as an ideal working environment.
As a proud South Pasadenan, Tina has been living here for half a century and sees her home as a spring flowing with positive creative energy and sincerity. Her hopes to reach out to others with the gift of crafting extend into the cyclical nature she sees surrounding her community and hopes to give something meaningful back to it:
“The independent spirit plus the fact that South Pasadena actively promotes and protects its architectural and cultural heritage (is an influence). South Pasadena has always followed its own path and doesn’t cater to what is trendy. I follow that same philosophy when I create. I design and create what I like, which happens to be what others like too.”
Overall there is a sense of purity when it comes to Tina’s interests. She relishes in the sense of calm that crafting can give her and genuinely sees that as something she can share with others. She considers Crafted Living a platform in which people can tap into their own creativity without the feelings of intimidation.
Deconstructing the old, tired stereotypes of the snobbish designer, her philosophy remains true that art can be universally accessible. With a smile and amiable attitude Tina urges people to take up the pastime she holds so dearly:
“Everyone is creative, but as we age we can slowly lose the ability to connect back to it. It is never too late to start. Think of me as the creative, crafty friend you always wanted, but never had.”
Thanks for being that friend, Tina.
You can follow Tina and Crafted Living here, with frequent updates, tips and tutorials.