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Archive for March, 2008

GG’s Exclusives

Posted by Ivonnardona on 03/29/2008

chainmailleswarovski.jpgTell me a little bit about yourself.

My name is Ginny Moore, I’m 48, I reside in Batavia Ohio which is a suburb of Cincinnati.  I’ve been married almost 26 years; we have three children and three grandchildren.  My “day job” is working in an animal hospital which helps me take care of my animal habit!  I’ve lived in the same county my entire life, and in fact, I’ve only moved a total of five times my entire life!  I enjoy music, movies, working with animals, hiking, taking “day trips” to state parks to learn more about our state.  I enjoy horseback riding and my goal for THIS YEAR is to adopt a rescue horse and get back into riding again after many years of health issues which prevented it.

Tell me a bit about your background and how long you have been an artist/crafter.

I’ve always been “artsy”, ever since I was a small child. I’ve done sketches in charcoal, pencil and oil pastels, dabbled in painting, did “country crafts” for several years, love computer graphics but my biggest love is designing and creating jewelry.  The jewelry I started making when I was somewhere around 13 or 14, which means I’ve been doing this for almost 34 or 35 years!  A LONG TIME.

What is the first thing you can remember making by hand? How and why did you make it?

The very first thing I can remember creating of jewelry was this little swirled wire bracelet.  My cousin brought us some wire from old phone cable and it had all kinds of pretty colored wire inside it, and we took it and wound the ends up as spirals and then joined them all together.  I can’t even remember exactly how we did it now!  But that got me hooked.  After that I started playing with stringing beads, and from there playing with wire working and here we are.

What inspires you? Where do your ideas come from?

I get inspired from all kinds of places.  Mostly seeing combination of colors, sometimes in nature, sometimes in clothes.  I do a lot of spiritual jewelry as well, so the seasons inspire me, animals, that sort of thing.  Mostly things just come to me.  Sometimes I’ll just be sitting or laying in bed even and an idea hit me for something to try.  I never know where an idea or inspiration is going to come from! 

What are your favorite materials?

Oh, that’s a tough one, because I tend to bounce around a lot and I work in a lot of mediums. I love sterling silver, copper, I also enjoy beading and chainmaille, AND I also enjoy designing and creating art beads from polymer clay, which I sell and also use in my finished pieces.  I enjoy using Swarovski Austrian crystals, gemstone beads, lampwork glass my husband makes.  SO many different things, and they are all my favorites at the time, I just get “tired” of doing any one thing for too long, then I move to the next and eventually work my way back around.

What is your favorite color? What colors are you drawn to?


Oh, this is an EASY question, I adore purple.  I have to watch myself or I would make EVERYTHING in purple.  I do like purple combos though too, I love purple and peridot green together, and red, pink…..  I’m going to try some purple, peridot green and brown, which seems to be getting more popular these days.  But I’ve never been one to follow color trends; I go where my muses take me!

If someone were looking to take up a craft, what advice would you give them? 

Do something you like.  Be original, don’t “copy” what others do, be your own person and make your art your very own.  Do it for the love of it, and for no other reason.  Selling it is great, but do it for YOU, and you’ll be happy.

What is your area of interest in crafting? What do you specialize in?

Designing and creating jewelry and designing and creating art beads are my main focus right now.  I’ve tried other things, but my jewelry and my beads are my bread and butter and so those are what I am sticking with.  I specialize in wire worked and wire wrapped jewelry, also chainmaille, and in beads, I specialize in lampwork styled polymer clay art beads and hand-sculpted flower beads.  I have gotten so many compliments on my beads, people; even experienced artisans think my polymer clay beads are lampwork!  I take a lot of care and put a lot of work into my beads, and I really enjoy making them.

What would be your top 5 tips for a beginner?

1) Be honest and have integrity about your work

2) Don’t get discouraged, everything takes time

3) Find a mentor, someone whose work you admire

4) Don’t get dependant on classes or instruction books, let your imagination take you!

5) Learn how to ferret out great sources for your supplies, and find different things to use than others have!

What would be your top 5 items of essential equipment?

1) Tools YOU can handle well.  If cheapies work for you then USE THEM, but GOOD tools will make your work better and easier.  I still have one of the first pairs of pliers I ever used, they look horrible but I cannot part with them.

2) Organizing tools, so you can easily find what you need, makes your work so much easier

3) If you’re selling, good displays to photo on and a GOOD CAMERA for the photos, I feel photos are better than scanning as scanning does not allow you to use “props” which really add to your presentation

4) A cloth or pad to work on so you can lay your work out without it rolling around all over the place

5) Plenty of space for storage, this habit tends to take over your life!

Can you recommend a technique or ‘tips’ book ideal for a beginner? 

Ummm, this is tough as I am totally self-taught, never had a lesson and I don’t read books about it.  If I was going to recommend something I would suggest to anyone to go to the one person they admire the most and ask them if THEY give lessons on their techniques and go that route.  Books can be good, but many a great would-be designer gets dependant on copying designs from books, and the whole purpose is to be a DESIGNER not an assembler!  So learn techniques NOT designs.  And if your favorite artist isn’t able to help you, find a local bead store and see about classes.  If you can’t find any, the internet has plenty of tutorials out there, or go my route and grab some tools and practice the way you think it’s done, until you get it down!  🙂  Use cheap wire at first (24 gauge brass is good), and once you have your technique down, move on to the precious metals.  Learning all on your own can be tough, but it’s far more rewarding.

Can you recommend any brands to look out for, when buying equipment or kit?

Well, be careful of cheap imports on tools, if they “jiggle” when you open and close them, leave them.  Also, when buying pliers, close them, if you see space, forget them.  For round nosed pliers you want them to meet together NOT cross over one another.  For wire, go with SOFT, working it will harden it, or you can always hammer it, often wire that is half hard or hard is BRITTLE and won’t hold up over time if it’s stressed at all.  I don’t buy kits or use them, so I’m not much help in that department, but I’d have to say to make sure WHAT is in it, and WHERE it came from before taking the plunge and spending your hard earned money on it.  And if I was to buy a kit, I’d buy one that was put together by a designer and NOT a packaged kit from a craft store.

wirewowrkedlampworkswarovski.jpgDo you sell your work, or is it purely for pleasure?

I do sell it, but it still gives me pleasure!  I put a lot of ME in my work, and I feel about my jewelry and beads almost as if they are my “children” meaning, they are little parts of me I have put out into the world for others.  I’ve sold all over the world, so I’ve sent my love and heart and soul to the four corners of the planet, and that gives me a great deal of pleasure.  To know little pieces of me are out there giving pleasure to others is a tremendous joy.

What is your Etsy shop address and name? Where else can we find you?

I have two Etsy stores, one for my jewelry http://www.ggsexclusives.etsy.com/ and my bead store, http://www.ggsexclusivelybeads.etsy.com/ and my main website http://www.ggsexclusives.com/ , folks can email me at ginny@ggsexclusives.com for any questions!  I’m also soon to be launching some new work with a friend and fellow designer, and when I do that info will be on my blog http://ggsexclusives.com/whatshappening/.

Posted in Interviews | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

FEATURED ARTIST ~ ClassicAddressSigns

Posted by Ivonnardona on 03/13/2008

Military Brats of Etsy March 2008

The Military Brats of Etsy Global Street Team Announce ourFEATURED ARTIST ~ SELLER …..ClassicAddressSigns 

http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5008064 http://www.classicaddresssigns.etsy.com 

Every few weeks we will be choosing one of our members to “feature”.  We are proud to Feature: “ClassicAddressSigns” as our third Artist ~ Seller.  To see photos of their work click the links between questions. 

1~Tell us a bit about your self (name, location, affiliations, and personal stuff). 

David and I were both born in Germany to Air Force dads and dependent moms. We both traveled all over along with the rest of the baggage. When we finally met it was no surprise that our photo albums were almost identical right down to the poses at the Grand Canyon. It was a miracle we didn’t meet as kids! We now have 5 kids ranging in age from 23 to 4. My husband tried both Air Force AND Army but figured civilian life was more for him. When our youngest two came along I just couldn’t do the whole daycare thing again so I took our little hobby to the next level and turned it into a full fledged craft business and all our kids help even the little ones! **Here are a few flickr photos including their work space their family and craft fairs they have been in…. a lot of really good photos! 


2~What is the first thing you can remember making by hand? How and why did you make it?

I think the first time my husband and I made a sign was after my dad had a heart attack and it took EMS 1 hour and 22 minutes to find his house. He had a lovely wooden plaque with his house number on the house but you couldn’t see it from the road. The local fire department had tried to sell my mom a reflective address plate for the mailbox but my mom thought it was too ugly! I came up with a wrought iron design with some curly~ques and had my husband weld it all together. Then we bought a metal plate and some reflective numbers and put it all together. All their neighbors wanted one too! But a year later they were all rusted! So we started working in aluminum and polypropylene. We re-made everyone’s signs! They still look great today! And the last time my dad had a heart attack EMS was there in 18 minutes! Every winter we come up with a new design or two! Today we cut our own metal plates in any size we need, we make our own reflective numbers, letters and even images!


3~What inspires you? Where do your ideas come from?

Since both of us have spent many years in Europe, the whole concept of Brackets & Shingles (the English term) comes from old European shops. The designs have become more elaborate as our skill level matured. We also love feedback from our customers. Our newest design (will be listed in May) was a customer encouraged design.


4~Why should people buy handmade?

Everyone should buy handmade whenever possible! It helps strengthen our economy and encourage more small businesses to thrive. It also gives a lot of people that are otherwise unable to work, an alternative to welfare or unemployment. 


5~Apart from creating things, what do you do? 

Besides creating reflective address signs, decals, and license plate, we may be raising the future president of the USA! Our kids are the focal point of our lives. At this point, our craft business is all we do. Neither my husband nor I work outside our home. 


6~Read any good books lately? 

David doesn’t like to read but I love Sci-Fi and Fantasy books. The last one I finished this week was Heir of Stonbe by S.L. Farrell. It’s the final book in the Cloudmages series. This book does not have a traditional happy ending! It does make you think about what impact ones decisions make for the next generation and many to come.


7~In ten years I’d like to….

In 10 years we would like to be debt free and have our signs in all upscale garden centers in the USA. We have 10% of NC covered for now and a long, long way to go to make either of those goals but they are do-able! 


8~ What has being a brat at Etsy meant to you?

I think having been a Brat has created a more flexible frame of mind for us than having been raised in a traditional household. We both keep an open mind, we don’t mind traveling and we both adapt easily in the craft festival circuit. This has help make us a desirable vendor and helped our income sky-rocket!!!


Go see their beautiful signs…..Then come back here and tell us about it. 

Posted in Etsy Military Brats Street Team | 1 Comment »

Susan See Photography

Posted by Ivonnardona on 03/13/2008

My next interviewee is Susan See and what I love about her photography is the ability to catch life as it happens.  To capture expressions and hold them still forever in a photo, to me, is a rare and unique gift.  Some of my favorite shots that she has done happen to be the ones that involve crowds as she gets the shots without interrupting the flow of energy that is going on and she captures what is meant to be taken away!

Tell me a little bit about yourself.

02fallenangel_web.jpgLet’s see…..hmmm…I’m 37 years old, about to turn 38….the gods blessed me with being born on the cusp of Pisces and Aries so it’s a constant battle between water and fire in my brain.  *lol* I have two older brothers, one 39 and the other 40.  My father was Army and I lucked out with being born in Europe, Naples, Italy to be exact.  Unlike a lot of military brats, I’m continued to live a bit of a vagabond life never living in one state for longer than 10 years.  My current plan is to move back to Europe in 3 or 4 years as I left Italy when I was only 3 so I truly long to see the country that I was born in. I have an insatiable desire to explore the world and to learn from it, which is one of the reasons I’m not satisfied with just visiting a place.  When I do go on vacation I do my best to avoid the “common” tourist places, instead looking for the back alleys.

Tell me a bit about your background and how long you have been an artist/crafter.

I’ve been shooting for as long as I can remember….first using my parents old Kodak.  I think the negatives were 3/4 format.  My first camera was a Kodak 110 which I used until 1987 when I began using the Pentax K1000 for the high school yearbook class I was taking.  My school was so poor that we had the film developed and printed at the local Safeway grocery store!  *lol*  For graduation my family got me my own K1000 with a 50mm lens, a 135mm lens and flash.  I think I was the happiest I’d ever been.

As young as 13 I’ve wanted to document the human race, telling my parents how important it was for me to move to El Salvador at the age of 14 during the civil war in El Salvador.  I have a degree in Journalism and Photography and have written and shot for a variety of newspapers in Colorado, New York, New Jersey.  I worked as a staff photographer but discovered a lot about the industry that just didn’t sit well with me and for about a year I did very little shooting, feeling rather discouraged and confused about what I was really meant to do.

What is the first thing you can remember making by hand? How and why did you make it?

*lol* Actually, my first true memory of making something was this paper mache dinosaur in 1st grade.  I remember because I had actually been terribly sick with the flu and had missed the days when the class worked on their dinosaurs but when I returned to school the teacher still let me make my dino.  

What inspires you? Where do your ideas come from?

Humanity.  Mother Nature.  I’m a news junkie…hard core.  Even when I’m sick of hearing about this politician or that war or such and such new bill, I still watch the news.  On my iGoogle page I have widgets for Reuters, BBC news, ABC news, CNN news, Guardian UK….yeah like I said, I’m a news junkie.  *lol*

Human emotion is something I never tire of.  The first thing I notice about a person is their face, primarily their eyes and smile.  Do they look at me when we’re talking?  I love watching people interact with each other, especially children.  Children’s behavior is uninhibited for the most part and thus you really get the opportunity to see humanity at its purist, for good or bad.

What are your favorite materials?

Human beings, bright color contrasts such as graphics, neon, Gerbera Daisies, architecture, and decay.


What is your favorite color? What colors are you drawn to?

Yikes…this is a hard one.  I mean, there are the colors I like on myself or for my home. Then there are the color schemes that seem to pop-up in my work.  In my photography I like anything of intense contrast, whether the contrast comes from the colors or the textures or shapes.

I don’t think I have a fav. color in terms of my art.

Personally, I like mostly deep tones; forest green, burgundy, navy blue but then over the past four years I’ve gotten into lime green.  

If someone were looking to take up a craft, what advice would you give them? 

Well….if they’re graduating from high school I would recommend to them that they not look into jumping into college right away.  Especially if they’re thinking of being a photographer.  I’d tell them to find a mentor in the area of photography that they are interested in: fashion, news, commercial, etc.  Get a job doing something in the biz, whether it’s working at your local hometown weekly newspaper or answering phone calls and getting coffee for a commercial photog.  Find out if this is truly what you want to do with your life before you head off to college and spend all that money and time not actually getting any real world experience.  

Now don’t get me wrong, college is an excellent idea and I highly recommend it but you need to be aware that you won’t be getting much experience, just education.

What is your area of interest in crafting? What do you specialize in?

Photography, documentary, portraiture and landscapes.  I also enjoy shooting bands; live gigs and promo material.

What would be your top 5 tips for a beginner?

1 – If you’re not good with math & numbers…GET GOOD!  Take an accounting class, talk to your local small business people, talk to a bank.

2 – Research the artists that you admire as well as researching the art that you are drawn to.  Find out what makes those artists successful.

3- You’re a human being.  You’re going to stumble and fail.  It’s ok.  Pick yourself back up and get back out there.

4 – You MUST love what you do and be willing to make sacrifices.

5 – Surround yourself with people who believe in what you do and who you are.

What would be your top 5 items of essential equipment?

1 – Start with a 35mm FILM camera, not a digital and it must be able to shoot on manual.

2 – 24 or 28mm 2.8 or wider f-stop

3 – 50mm 2.8 f-stop

4 – flash unit with swivel head

5 – flash synch cord to get the flash off the camera for better control

and a #6 – plenty of batteries (preferably rechargeables)

Can you recommend a technique or ‘tips’ book ideal for a beginner? 

Honestly….No   Really, the way I learned was to shoot and shoot and take notes.  Lots and lots of notes.  I can’t say I ever got much out of any photo “how-to” book.  As for digital, I will say that the Dummies Guide books have been invaluable.

Can you recommend any brands to look out for, when buying equipment or kit?

Yes and No.  Really it’s all about preference, esp. with camera bodies.  I shoot with Canon equipment because #1 – it was the brand that was being used by some pro photogs I knew when I went looking for pro equipment and #2 – it felt right in my hand, like it was meant to be.  Canon and Nikon are still considered the kings of professional photojournalists with Hasselblad being the choice for most portrait and commercial photogs.

Currently, my source for all things digi photography related is a website called Digital Photography Review:  http://dpreview.com/.  They have the best resource and buyers guide that I have found online as well as an excellent forum.

Do you sell your work, or is it purely for pleasure?

Both, my life goal is to eventually do my photography 24/7 and not have to have a “day job” to pay the bills.

What is your Etsy shop address and name? Where else can we find you?

Susan See Photography


my portfolio website:  http://www.susanseephotography.biz/

Posted in Interviews | 4 Comments »

Lori Paximadis – Virtuallori

Posted by Ivonnardona on 03/09/2008

jade1.jpgA day late posting this interview, so sorry, a little under the weather.  I would like to introduce to you Lori Paximadis with Virtuallori.  Lori needs little introduction, as she does a fabulous job in telling her story.  Some of my favorite pieces of hers are her charm necklaces, they are colorful, unique, and vibrant.  My favorite piece is the “circles and squares charm necklace”.  But don’t let me tell you what to choose, check out her shop and take a gander!


Tell me a little bit about yourself.

My name is Lori Paximadis, and I’ve been creating jewelry for about five years. In my other life, I’m a freelance editor and publishing project manager, in addition to doing some small business marketing and website work. My work schedule is completely flexible, so long as I meet my deadlines, and the nature of that work is generally cyclical, so I have the opportunity to work in time to create, take classes, do promotion, and participate in shows without having to work around the rigid schedule of a more traditional job. I am 41 and recently married, and I am grateful every single day that this is my life.

Tell me a bit about your background and how long you have been an artist/crafter.

I’ve been an artist all my life. My mom saved a drawing I did when I was three, a funny little person in blue crayon complete with nipples and a bellybutton. She captioned it “Lori drew this at the table tonight instead of eating her dinner 3 yrs old,” laminated it, and stuck it in my baby book. Despite a ten-week drawing class at the Honolulu Academy of Arts — at which I failed pretty miserably – that was the pinnacle of my drawing career. I won a city-wide award for a collage piece I did when I was eight; learned crocheting, embroidery, and cross-stitch from my grandma when I was nine or ten; took up photography in sixth grade; and added ceramics post college. I still do photography, but set ceramics aside for jewelry. I may go back to it someday.

What is the first thing you can remember making by hand? How and why did you make it?

Other than typical kid stuff on paper, I remember — and my mom still has — two pieces from around first or second grade. One is a clay koala, which went along with a school unit on Australia, so that must have been second grade. I remember the teacher having to help me hollow him out a little so he wouldn’t explode in the kiln. The other is a turtle made of stones that we glued together. I decoupaged tissue paper on the big stone that is his shell, so it looks like a real turtle shell, only in fantastic 1970s colors. I think I was lucky that my elementary years happened in the craftastic 1970s!


What inspires you? Where do your ideas come from?

The rhythms and the intricacies of nature are one source of my inspiration. I know that sounds cliché, but for me it is absolutely true. A lot of my thinking and working out of problems is done when I’m out walking or working in my garden, so it is natural to me that those surroundings work their way into my creative outlets. I look at leaves or grains of sand or individual flowers and see that each is unique in and of itself, but together they conspire to make a stately tree, a lively beach, a picturesque garden. I get a real charge out of looking at the world through a macro lens and using what I see in creating a cohesive whole from various parts.

What are your favorite materials?

I love mixing it up: silver, brass, copper, steel, glass, stones, beach glass, found objects… Materials don’t have to be expensive or super-precise to be beautiful. I’m looking forward to working more with silver clay and glass this year, since I will be getting a kiln very soon.


What is your favorite color? What colors are you drawn to?

It’s hard for me to pick a favorite; it really depends on my mood.  Overall, I’m really drawn to greens and blues, which is borne out by looking at my bead stash — the blue and green drawers are overflowing. 🙂

If someone were looking to take up a craft, what advice would you give them?

Take workshops. Not only will you get the benefit of learning a new technique or a new way to use an old technique, but also you can make some great connections with other artists. It gives you a chance to try something new without having to commit to purchasing expensive tools and supplies before you know if you will really enjoy it or not. And don’t be afraid to call yourself an artist.

The best piece of advice I received was to follow my own artistic path and to not let others discourage me because my work is a little different. You can learn interesting techniques by replicating the work of others, but in the end you have to develop your own style and your own way of working and gain confidence in what you are doing. You can’t listen to people who insist that it’s not worthwhile work if it’s not all sterling silver and at least Swarovski crystal if not perfect gemstones. If my work is not to your taste, fine, but it doesn’t make it any less legitimate.

What is your area of interest in crafting? What do you specialize in?

I’m all over the place, but most recently I’m really loving metal. I finally feel confident in my soldering, so I’m looking forward to spring, when I’ll be bringing out my new line that uses a lot more metal.


What would be your top 5 tips for a beginner?

I’ve got all kinds of tips for all kinds of situations, but for someone learning a new craft:

1. Pick one aspect at a time to learn, and master that before moving on to the next.

2. Start with simple projects. No one is going to be successful at knitting a sweater the first time they pick up needles.

3. Take classes and workshops. If you don’t “get it” the first time, take another class or workshop with a different instructor. Sometimes that can make all the difference.

4. Make connections with others who have more experience than you and those who are also trying to learn, whether in person or online. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Everyone was a beginner once.

5. Practice, practice, practice.

What would be your top 5 items of essential equipment?

For what I do:

1. Good-quality pliers: chain nose and round nose.

2. Good-quality cutters: side and flush cut.

3. Files of all shapes, sizes, and finenesses.

4. Torch. I use a butane torch that fits comfortably in my hand.

5. A sturdy table.

Can you recommend a technique or ‘tips’ book ideal for a beginner?

I adore Tim McCreight’s “Fundamentals of Metalsmithing” (http://tinyurl.com/26rtta), and I just received my copy of Susan Lenart Kazmer’s “Making Connections: A Handbook of Cold Joins for Jewelers and Mixed-Media Artists” (http://www.susanlenartkazmer.net/publications.htm), which I’m very much looking forward to diving into (I have taken several workshops from Susan; she’s a fun teacher and has great energy). I’d also recommend Belle Armoire Jewelry magazine.

Can you recommend any brands to look out for, when buying equipment or kit?

I have no particular brands to recommend, but I am careful that the tools I buy are high quality and feel good in my hand.

Do you sell your work, or is it purely for pleasure?

I have been selling some of my work for about four years.

What is your Etsy shop address and name? Where else can we find you?

I sell on Etsy (http://virtuallori.etsy.com/), at local shows, and at Rometrics Salon-Spa (http://www.rometrics.com/) in Westlake, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland. The majority of my sales to date have been through shows and word of mouth. My goals for 2008 include getting my work into more local shops and exploring avenues outside of Northeast Ohio as well, in addition to building my presence on Etsy. My Etsy shop currently shows only a very small portion of my work.

My website: http://virtuallori.com/

My local Etsy team: http://clevelandhandmade.com/

Posted in Interviews | 3 Comments »

Nico Alexander Designs

Posted by Ivonnardona on 03/04/2008

Please help me in welcoming a very talented jewelry designer and photographer.  Pam with Nico Alexander Designs not only can create beautiful works of art, she also has a talent for photographing them.  But I’ll be quiet now and let her tell you about herself…

after-eight-bracelet3.jpg1. Tell me a little bit about yourself. 

I am a married 41 year old stay-at-home mom to a 2 ½ year old son.  I’ve lived in Maryland all of my life except for when I attended The University of South Carolina where I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology.  I’ve worked full-time in the office environment all of my life until I had my son.  It took me a while to find my niche as a stay-at-home mom but now I love it. 

2. Tell me a bit about your background and how long you have been an artist/crafter.

All of my life I’ve been a creative/artistic person but never really applied myself until I became a stay-at-home mom 2 years ago.  I’ve dabbled into many different types of crafts but once I started making jewelry about 6 months ago, all of my other crafts were kicked to the curb.

3. What is the first thing you can remember making by hand? How and why did you make it?

The first piece of jewelry that I made was a mommy bracelet for myself.  I loved the look of the mommy bracelets and was so proud to finally be a mom.  But the cost of buying one online seemed really high to me, so I set out to make my own.  I went to the local bead store and asked the lady at the counter what materials I needed in order to make one.  She directed me to what I needed and the rest is history.

4. What inspires you? Where do your ideas come from?lapis-bracelet2.jpg

I buy any beads that catch my eye.  Then I decide later on what I’m going to make out of them.  I lean toward the larger, chunkier styles.  Right now I’m concentrating on bracelets and earrings but I’d like to eventually make necklaces.

5. What are your favorite materials?

I love the Swarovski crystals because of the variety of shapes, sizes, and colors that are available.  I also love the earthy colored stones in the flat oval and nugget shapes.  I really like the round stones and am now incorporating them into my designs.  Bead caps are also really becoming a favorite of mine.  They change the whole look of the bead.  I prefer to use sterling silver for any findings and when wire wrapping.  I also really love lampwork beads.

6. What is your favorite color? What colors are you drawn to?

My favorite color is blue.  But I also love blacks, browns, and purples.

7. If someone were looking to take up a craft, what advice would you give them?

I would say to start out by looking online for free tutorials that are simple to make.   Try different types of crafts until you can narrow down what really grabs your interest and utilizes your talents.  Then go to a book store and look through some of the craft books.  I like the ‘Dummies’ books.  They tend to cover a little bit of everything on the particular subject that you’re interested in.  Start out small and if you find that you really enjoy doing it and can do it well, go for it!

8. What is your area of interest in crafting? What do you specialize in?

Jewelry making.  Beadwork and wire wrapping.

9. What would be your top 5 tips for a beginner?

1.     Be patient and persistent.  Practice makes perfect. 2.     Browse online for design inspiration.  3.     Don’t be too hard on yourself.  The more you do, the better you’ll get.  4.     Reach out to other people who do the same thing you are aspiring to do.  You can get some great advice this way.  5.     Start out with free online tutorials and then once you get the basic techniques down, get more adventurous with your designs.

coffee-cream-bracelet1.jpg10. What would be your top 5 items of essential equipment?

1.     A well-lit working space. 2.     A good quality set of basic jewelry making tools.  Don’t waste your money on the cheap stuff. 3.     A good size organizer box to hold your various beads and a bead board. 4.     A good jewelry makers catalog, such as one from Fire Mountain Gems & Beads.  You can browse through this catalog to acquaint yourself with the different types of materials used to make your creations. 5.     A good digital camera – after making your designs, you’ll want to take pictures of them

11. Can you recommend a technique or ‘tips’ book ideal for a beginner?

1.     Jewelry Making & Beading For Dummies. 2.     Easy Beading by BeadStyle Magazine (nice selection of fairly easy projects)

12. Can you recommend any brands to look out for, when buying equipment or kit? 

I don’t know of any particular brands but you should only order supplies from reputable websites such as Fire Mountain Gems & Beads.  Also, when buying gemstones, always look for the quality or grade of the stone.

13. Do you sell your work, or is it purely for pleasure?

It started out as being purely for pleasure and it still is very pleasurable.  However, I opened an Etsy shop in January and am hoping to start selling some of my designs.  I just had my first official sale this week!

14. What is your Etsy shop address and name? Where else can we find you?    


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