Dreams of May

Welcome to the twentieth artist interview on miscellany!
owl scrubbies
Owl scrubbies ($5.75)

(1) Tell us about yourself:

I live in Corona, California.

I am the mother of a wonderful 29 year old man, Louis, who is a tech at BWM Ontario. He is my pride and joy and my only family.

I really don’t have a typical day. It can vary so much due to what I think needs to be accomplished. Depending on what I am trying to accomplish my day can consist of research (new color trends, stitches, yarns, etc), social media (have to keep up with it but not always easy to do), crocheting (new projects, finishing others and developing patterns), photographing items that need to be listed in my shops and looking for new shops to write about in my blog (this is a new endeavor for me). Occasionally my son and I will go on Pokemon runs. This is always fun and filled with laughter. When I’m not working on my craft or social media, I enjoy reading, some of my favorite authors are Clive Cussler, Jayne Ann Krenta, Lillian Jackson Braun, and Rita Mae Brown, just to name a few.

tomato scrubbies
Tomato scrubbies, set of 3 ($7.75)

(2) Tell us what you create: 

I create whatever I can with a crochet hook and yarn. Most of the time it’s dish scrubbies, beanies, scarves, cup sleeves, ice cream pint cozies. I also do custom orders for afghans and clothing (some of which I have designed myself). My grandmother started teaching me to crochet when I was about 5 years old. She was so patient but also very insistent that I learn to crochet the proper way. She started teaching me to do a chain and wouldn’t teach me the next stitch until I could chain repeatedly with the same tension. She did this with all the stitches. I am so thankful that she did this. As a result, I get comments from people all the time about how professional my work is and they wish their stitches looked as even as mine. Through the years I have taught myself other crafts, everything from tatting to quilting but, always stay with crochet. When I was in school, I crocheted to de-stress, now I do it full-time. I believe my work stands out because my items are so unique, I have yet to see scrubbies in the shapes that I make, and have never seen a rasta beanie with crocheted dreadlocks like the ones I create.

citrus scrubbies
Citrus scrubbies, set of 4 ($9.75)

(3) Tell us about your handmade art business: 

My shop got its name from my grandmother who taught me to crochet and who also taught me to never give up my dreams. Thus the name Dreams Of May. I started my Etsy shop years ago with prodding from my then boyfriend (now friend). I now have a shop on ArtYah and do the Corona Farmers Market in the Fall and some craft show around the holidays. My scrubbies (which are a huge part of my repertoire) were the inspiration of my son. I used to make the really large dish cloths. He asked if I could make something smaller that he could fit inside a glass, with his hand. He also wanted to be able to use them to scrub the pots and pans. Yup, he actually does dishes by hand.

My studio is anywhere I happen to be. I take a bag with me wherever I go that may involve a wait of over 2 minutes so I can pull out a project and work. I don’t do waiting well. At home a have a really comfy chair that I park myself in to crochet. I have my yarns stashes in bookshelves, bins, closets, drawers and cupboards (wherever I can find room). My patterns are in my computer, flash drives (yup, more than one, in case I lose one, which I have), shelves, file cabinets, binders, boxes and binders. Well, you get the idea, it has kind of taken over my space.

(4) Tell us about your customers: 

My customers are anyone who wants something fun and unique. I have all ages and genders. I was at a model train show (long story but I had my scrubbies there to sell) and my first customer was a gentleman who came up to me and said his with told him he could buy what he wanted as long as he came to “The Scrubbie Lady” first and got her some scrubbies.

purple cup sleeve
Cup sleeve ($7.00)

(5)Tell us where I can find your art: 

DreamsOfMay can be found on ArtYah, Etsy, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ and Instagram.

My blog can be found here. On Twitter I am @dreams_of_may.

During the fall and holiday season and sometimes in the spring, I do the Corona Farmers Market and the Holiday show at the American Legion in Norco, CA.

I am a member of a couple of teams on Etsy, the primary being The Goal Miners. They are a wonderful group that is so supportive and helpful. Also, the ArtYah community is wonderful. My son and a couple of very close friends are my main support in person. They are always willing to give me honest feedback on new items and color combinations. My son even helps me set-up and tear down at the farmers market and keeps my vehicle in great working order so I can get to shows, the post office (to ship orders) and shops (to buy supplies).

(6) Tell us about your favorites: 

I have so many favorites that it’s hard to pick just one or two. If you follow my on my social media sites, you can see who I favorite. But, if I had to pick a couple, I would say,





http://www.artyah.com/seller/KarenBurkePhotography .






My favorites from my shop differs all the time. Right now, I would have to say it’s my Mr. and Mrs. Piggy Dish scrubbies. When I make the, I can’t help but smile, seeing their faces come to life. Also, the snowman, dish scrubbies and cup sleeves, their faces are always different and again, make me smile.

ice cream pint cover
Pint of ice cream cover ($10.00)

(7) Tell us anything else: 

My advice to others would be the advice my grandmother gave to me, follow your dreams and never give them up. You can do anything you set your mind to. Just keep trying. A couple of inspirational sayings, “Don’t be the cause of your failure. Be the reason for your success” and “One smile. One kind word, one simple act of kindness, can be like the ripples in the water and spread to the farthest shores. Start a ripple.”

On a final note, my first book of patterns is being published by Leisure Arts and should be available sometime in August of 2016. It’s called, “So-Cute Scrubbies.” Look for it at LeisureArts.com and your local craft supply shop.

I really hope you’ve enjoyed the interview with Robyn! Please take a look at all the cute and practical crocheted goods in her etsy shop (and elsewhere) and consider purchasing a piece or two!

Handmade Monday: Jewelry Art by Dawn

Welcome to the nineteenth artist interview on miscellany!
Amethyst Crystal Necklace
Amethyst Crystal Necklace ($60.00)

(1) Tell us about yourself:

I live in a small town in the beautiful mountains of Northern California. My immediate family is quite small and consists of my husband and my sister.

We have no pets at this time. Our last two dogs were black labs and they were such clowns; not a day went by that they didn’t make us laugh. They’ve gone to the Rainbow Bridge three years ago and we have decided that we won’t have any more dogs, at least for now. They were the last of many we’ve had over the years and we just don’t want to go through that pain again, but we will always treasure the time we had with them and the memories they left with us.

As far as a typical day; two years ago, I retired from my job as an elementary school secretary and can’t begin to tell you how much I am enjoying my new found freedom. A typical day starts without an alarm clock going off which I absolutely love. Once up, I savor a cup of tea while checking email, my shop, a jewelry forum I help moderate, my blog and the news. I usually make it into my studio between noon and 1:00 and call it a

day around 6:00. The rest of the evening is spent making dinner, spending time with my husband, taking care of business related tasks and winding down before bed.

We also enjoy traveling and have much more time for it since retiring. We spent three months in Asia last winter visiting Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. It was a wonderful time and we plan to go back in a year or two.


Celtic Style Cuff
Celtic-style Cuff ($20.00)

(2) Tell us what you create:

I started making jewelry in 2006 after receiving a handful of charms in the mail from a friend who was living in France. They charms were from Lascaux which is the location of several caves that are well known for their prehistoric cave paintings. I wanted to make them into a charm bracelet but had no idea how to go about it so I visited my local bead store to find out. The wonderful employees there showed me how to crimp a crimp bead on beading wire, helped me select beads and a clasp for my project and helped me put it all together. I was hooked from that moment on!

Not long after I started beading, it occurred to me that I might be able to combine my love of painting with jewelry making so I started painting miniatures not much larger than an American quarter and turning them into pendants that were then made into necklaces.

I also found myself fascinated by wire wrapping. After trying my hand at it, I realized that I am not a natural wire wrapper, but I spent hours experimenting, practicing and consulting tutorials online. After a while, I started getting decent results and now feel pretty comfortable working with this material which is a good thing because I love playing with wire!

I work mostly with copper because I love it’s rich, warm color, but sometimes venture into silver, brass, bronze or gold if the design calls for it.

Most of my inspiration comes from nature. Because I live in the mountains, it is not unusual to see wildlife and all sorts of plants both native and domesticated and this is where I get most of my ideas. Jewelry making is a very competitive field, but I believe my little paintings help my work stand out from the crowd. Jewelry design started out as a hobby, but I hope to grow it into a successful small business.


dead of the dead necklace 40
Day of the Dead skull necklace ($40.00)

(3) Tell us about your handmade art business:

After much thought about a name for my business, I realized that it was right in front of me the entire time. I make jewelry and art and my name is Dawn, so Jewelry Art by Dawn seemed like a really good fit.

My business got its start when friends and co­workers and even strangers started noticing my jewelry and wanted to know if it was for sale. These local sales led to consignment arrangements with several local art galleries and gift shops and eventually to me opening my online shop at Etsy.

My “studio” started out as a 3 x 3 foot drafting table in a corner of my husband’s office. As my skills, techniques and bead stash grew so did the space I needed and it wasn’t long before it was just too small a work area. This led me to claim an unused guest room that was slowly turning into a storage room. I painted the walls in shades of bright blue, chocolate brown and light mocha. My work bench is in front of a window and I often look up to see deer looking in at me! I absolutely love having this large space to call my own and feel that I’ve grown as an artist since moving in.

(4) Tell us about your customers:

It’s a hard thing to identify a target audience and I think most artisans struggle with this part. I certainly do. If I really think about it I’d say they are nature lovers, gardeners or animal people. Putting an age on my target is something I really don’t like to do as I don’t feel there are age limits when it comes to art.


Faceted Blue Opalite Briolette Copper Wire Wrapped Pendant Necklace
Faceted Blue Opalite Briolette Copper Wire Wrapped Pendant Necklace ($30.00)

(5)Tell us where I can find your art:

Currently, my jewelry can be found in my etsy shop. I also write about my jewelry journey, travels and collaborate with other jewelry designers at my blog which is jewelryartbydawn.blogspot.com and moderate a jewelry design site that is geared towards supporting and encouraging independent jewelry designers. It is known as the Jewelry Artisans Group and can be found on the internet at jewelryartisans.proboards.com

(6) Tell us about your support:

My support system comes from my husband, who happily runs packages to the post office, helps me build displays and who played a key role in getting my studio up and running. Another source of support is from one of my best friends to whom I will always be grateful ­ she is a cheerleader, sounding board and my best customer! I would not have had my first consignment arrangement if it hadn’t been for Bonni.

three hearts button ring
Three Hearts Button Ring ($20.00)

(7) Tell us about your favorites: 

There are two blogs that I currently follow; Echoes of Ela at WordPress and Cat’s Wire at Blogger. Both of these ladies are friends and very talented jewelry designers whose
work is very different from mine and I enjoy following their artistic ventures immensely.

(8) Tell us anything else:

Because everyone’s businesses and goals are different, my only advice to other sellers is to do what feels right for their business/hobby and to stay true to themselves and their art.

I’d also like to thank you, Margeux, for providing this opportunity and for featuring me and my work in your fabulous blog. Thank you!

I really hope you’ve enjoyed the interview with Dawn! Please take a look at all the wonderful jewelry items in her etsy shop and consider purchasing a piece or two!

Handmade Monday: Ananke Jewelry

Welcome to the eighteenth artist interview on miscellany!
brown mandala necklace
Brown Mandala Necklace ($30.50) << My Favorite!

I grew up in Novi Sad, Serbia and currently live in Tel Aviv, Israel with my husband (just married!!), two cats and a rabbit. I spend most of the day in my home studio with some good background music, where I create jewelry, taking pictures or reading

About three years ago, I started to make jewelry. Somehow, between jobs, studies and endless art experiments, I found myself doing something that I’ve never thought about before. It started when I was playing with polymer clay for the first time and made necklaces for my friends and family. Playing with different materials and colors became my new obsession. After a while, my mother told me I should finally start doing what I really love and she was right. When I opened my online shop, a new world has been discovered. The more I learned, the more interesting I found it all. The inspiration comes from the nature, from its beautiful shapes found everywhere, from the four seasons, and a little bit of sacred geometry. The main goal is to make people enjoy the little things. My jewelry is happy, energetic and made with love & good vibes. I love changes, so the shapes, colors or materials are always a bit different

Blue Leaf Necklace ($33.50)
Blue Leaf Necklace ($33.50)

Lately, after getting married with my favorite man, I made a big step, left my job and started a new life. Ananke Jewelry became a full time job and I can’t wait to see it growing! It’s like a dream coming true

The name ANANKE has a personal meaning for me. It comes from a moon of Jupiter. It used to be called Jupiter XII (twelve), which is probably my lucky number, because I was born on 12/12. Sagittarius, my astrological sign, is ruled by Jupiter
In Greek mythology, Ananke was the personification of destiny & necessity

My studio is a room in our apartment. My desk is surrounded with shelves, pictures and colorful boxes. Sometimes my cats sit and work with me too

Boho Feather Necklace ($34.50)
Boho Feather Necklace ($34.50)

My audience is handmade lovers, mostly women who love simple, bohemian style jewelry or nature lovers, but the items in my shop can fit any style or occasion. Many times the buyers are men who are looking for a gift for their loved ones

All the items for sale can be found in my Etsy shop. I also like to share the process and some pictures from my everyday life on Instagram and Ananke Jewelry Facebook Page

I also started to cooperate with few local shops and hope to create more international relations in future,
meet more interesting people and their projects.

Right now I work alone, but I have a really big support and love from my family & friends for everything I do. They are my best teachers

My favorite blog is Sandra Diekmann,(Illustratior). I’ve just purchased some of her beautiful works. I also love Geninne’s art and Kirsty Elson’s art

Collar Necklace ($33.50)
Collar Necklace ($33.50)

My favorite necklace from my shop is a chain necklace: www.etsy.com/listing/241671257. It looks like a part of mandala when you wear it and its simplicity and “optimistic” look is a reminder for me to stay simple and positive. It was “born” when I was doodling in my notebook, without planning to make a necklace out of it

For the end, I would say that, if you really love & believe in what you do, there’s no reason to be afraid to show it. The most important thing is, that doesn’t matter what it is, just spread the love and smile, it can be that little thing that made someone else’s day happier

I really hope you’ve enjoyed the interview with Dana! Please take a look at all the wonderful items in her etsy shop and consider purchasing a piece or two!

Handmade Monday: Raven Creations

Welcome to the seventeenth artist interview on miscellany!

Love, 12x9 original ($25)
Love, 12×9 original ($25)

(1) Tell us about yourself: I was born and raised in Michigan in the metro-Detroit area. I moved up north to Bentley, MI a year ago to be closer to my mom and boyfriend. It was a change I needed in my life, to leave the busy city for a quieter life.

I have a 5 yr old Boston Terrier (Mattie). She is like my baby. And living with my boyfriend, we also have his 16 yr old lab (Ebby).
A typical day: Tuesday through Thursday I get up and go to my day job at a law firm 36 miles away from home. At night I will come home, make dinner, take care of the dogs, and spend time relaxing by either watching tv or working in a project. The weekends are always busy. Either going to auctions, taking a day trip, or we attend antique/craft shows as vendors.


(2) Tell us about what you create: I started off with knitting scarves about 15 yrs ago as a hobby. I would make soaps, candles, and lotions and give them away as gifts.

In the past five years I started painting. I have only had 2 formal classes with Vivacious Jo downstate, but they were not just about technique. The classes were more about getting in touch with yourself. I love to paint, abstract, based upon how I am feeling personally. Every piece is different. I have been inspired by music, thoughts I have driving, and love to paint while listening to One Tree Hill playing on tv in the background.
I would love to turn this into more than a hobby now. I never thought of selling my art until a friend I knew asked if he could buy a piece I painted based upon a picture he showed me of when he was working for DTE and it was him in the sky working on the power lines. I just thought the lighting in the picture was amazing so I wanted to recreate it on canvas. I didn’t know how to go about trying to sell anything though until I met my current boyfriend. He is interested in antiques and coins and he is the one that encouraged me to start selling and display my work.
I also make zipper bracelets, distressed mason jars, and Christmas ornaments.


Tidal Wave, 4x7 wall painting ($17.99)
Tidal Wave, 4×7 wall painting ($17.99)

(3) Tell us about your handmade art business: I do most of my work in the living room. I love to sit on the floor at the coffee table with music or the tv on in the background for noise. I don’t like quiet. I keep my supplies ticked away in my craft room, organized in dressers so I know where everything is. I’m a neat freak.

I came up with my name because I am inspired a lot by what I see or how I am feeling while I am driving. And I love the show One Tree Hill and their basketball team is the Ravens.

(4) Tell us about your customers: They could be anyone. I am not trying to market to any one person, although with my jewelry and scarf accessories, I tend to see more women. With my art, I just hope to inspire others and it is age appropriate for anyone. Some of my art is inspirational and great to give as a gift and some would be based upon a persons personal taste.

Goddess Within, 12x16 original ($3.99)
Goddess Within, 12×16 original ($3.99) >> My favorite!!

(5) Tell us where we can find your art: I sell on eBay under user name RavensCreations. I have a Facebook page. My boyfriend and I also sell at local mid-Michigan vendor events. For details as to when and where, people can follow me in twitter or FB. We have sold at the Big Ol Barn Sale and the Midland Antique Festival, both in Midland Michigan. We have attended tractor shows, been to 28th Street Studio in Grand Rapids, MI and Burley Park.

(6) Tell us about your support: I get encouragement from my mom and boyfriend. My boyfriend and I work together to set up for vendor shows. The work I create is my own, although I will bounce ideas around with my boyfriend if I’m feeling blocked.

Snowy Road, 10x10 original ($17.00)
Snowy Road, 10×10 original ($17.00)

(7) Tell us about your favorites: I follow the artist vivacious jo and Echo Vaas Art on Facebook. Their work is inspiring. I love the shop Country Chic Creations in Houghton Lake, MI. The owner there is so nice and very talented. We both live the color turquoise. And I follow some of the etsy forums on FB as well to see what other artists struggles are with creating and selling in order to learn and better myself for when the time comes for me to start selling more on etsy.

(8) Tell us anything else: I am self taught, learn from my mistakes, and continue to learn daily. I have made major life changes within the past year, giving up a full time job of 10 yrs to move up north with no job and only knowing my mom, her friends, and my boyfriend. I was inspired and compelled to paint one day and starting painting, having never painted before. I love to make people happy and to put a smile on their face when they find a piece they live that I created. It’s why I do what I do.

And for advice, never give up. Dreams do come true as much of a cliche as it is. Sometimes when you are stuck in a rut, a change of scenery is all you need to make life great and successful.

I really hope you’ve enjoyed the interview with Dana! Please take a look at all the wonderful items in her eBay shop and consider purchasing a painting or two!

Handmade Monday: The Little Gecko

Welcome to the sixteenth artist interview on miscellany!

*** The lovely Miss Coralie is French. I have chosen to include her responses in her native French, followed by an adapted English translation. ***

Embrace of the Octopus ($54.81)
Embrace of the Octopus ($54.81)

(1) Tell us about yourself: 

J’habite à Cabris, un petit village dans le sud de la France. Je vie avec mon mari Ludovic et mon petit chien Milhkà, un berger islandais croisé avec un corgi.

Une journée typique pour moi, c’est créer des bijoux, promener mon chien, entretenir la maison et jouer au jeux vidéo ou regarder des séries. A cause d’une maladie chronique, douloureuse et fatiguante, je ne peut pas travailler à mon poste actuellement.

Biographie: Depuis toute petite, je suis tombée amoureuse de l’art sous toutes ses formes. Je me suis donc mise au dessin, à la musique, aux arts du cirques (équilibriste et contorsionniste), à la poésie et bien d’autres activités de création.

Je souhaitai en faire mon métier, mais je savais qu’il été difficile de percer dans le monde de l’art. J’ai donc effectuée des études et obtenue un poste de cadre de la fonction publique.

Malheureusement, mon état de santé liée à une maladie chronique ne me permet plus de travailler normalement. Je me suis donc relancée dans la création d’oeuvres de type bijoux et décorations dans le but de me divertir et dans l’espoir de pouvoir devenir une professionnelle.

Pour réaliser mes oeuvres, j’utilise différentes techniques comme le travail du plastique à la main, la pâte fimo, le tricot en côte de maille…. Je compte bientôt me lancer dans l’utilisation du soutache et de la dorure à l’or fin afin de satisfaire mon appétit de créatrice ^^

TRANSLATION: I live in Cabris, in a small village in the South of France. I live with my husband Ludovic and my small dog Milhkà, an Icelandic shepherd crossed with a corgi.

A typical day for me, it is to create jewels, to walk my dog, to maintain the house and to play in video games or to look at series. Because of a chronic, painful disease and fatiguante, me cannot work on my post at present.

Biography: Since I was a very young girl, I fell in love with the art under all its forms. I thus began myself in the drawing, in the music, in the circus arts (tightrope walker and contortionist), in the poetry and many other activities of creation. I wished to make my the arts my job, but I knew that it would be difficult to make it in the world of the art. I thus made studies and obtained a post of frame(executive) of the public service. Unfortunately, my state of health,connected to a chronic disease, does not allow me any more to work normally. I thus relaunched the creation of works of type jewels and decorations with the aim of amusing me and to be able to become a professional. To realize my works, I use various techniques as the work of the plastic in the hand, the fimo dough, the knitting and the rib of stitch…. I soon plan to launch into the use of the braid and of the gilt in the fine gold to satisfy my creator’s appetite.

(2) Tell us about what you create: Mes créations, actuellement, sont des bijoux et des décorations réalisée manuellement en impression 3D de plastique PLA et ABS. Je fabrique aussi des fleurs en pâte fimo et des bijoux en côte de maille.

Je passe 4 heures par jours à créer mes oeuvres. Mon inspiration me viens de l’observation de la nature, des défilés haute-couture, des oeuvre originales, et surtout de mon imagination. Mon travail est unique. Ce n’est pas mon travail à plein temps, je suis fonctionnaire d’Etat,  mais j’aimerai en faire mon métier.

TRANSLATION: My creations, at present, are jewels and decorations realized manually in 3D printing of plastic, PLA and ABS. I also make flowers in fimo dough and jewels.

I spend 4 hours by day to create my works. My inspiration comes to me from the observation of the nature, the parades high sewing, works eccentrics, and especially of my imagination. My work is unique. It is not my full-time work, I am an employee of State, but I shall like making my art my business.

Pink Flower Earrings ($9.33)
Pink Flower Earrings ($9.33)

(3) Tell us about your handmade art business: Le nom de ma boutique, The Little Gecko, vient du fait que j’adore les gecko, petit lézard qui est adorable. En plus, ma première oeuvre a été un gecko de décoration à accrocher au murs, et donnant un effet stickers.Mon affaire à commencée depuis que je suis en arrêt maladie. Mon lieu de création est tout simplement mon salon, où je peux déguster du thé et regarder une séries en même temps que je travail.

TRANSLATION: The name of my shop, The Little Gecko, comes because I adore gecko, small lizard which is adorable. Besides, my first work was a gecko of decoration to hang on a wall via a sticker. My business in begun since I’ve been on sick leave. My place of creation is simply my lounge, where I can drink some tea and look at a series and work at the same time.

(4) Tell us about your customers:  Mes clients cible sont principalement les femmes et adolescentes pour mes bijoux. Cependant, je fabrique des boucles d’oreilles fleurs en fimo et en argent véritable adaptées aux petites filles. Je fabrique également des décorations qui peuvent être appréciées par les hommes et les femmes. Mes créations sont destinées aux personnes qui ont un style geek, tribal, victorien, moderne, hippie chic, boho, haute-couture, fashion, gothique, kawaii, etc. Mes gammes de prix sont plutôt larges, de 5 à 100$.

TRANSLATION: My customers are mainly the women and the teenagers for my jewels. I also make decorations which can be appreciated by men and women. My creations are intended for the people who have a style geek, tribal, victorian, modern, smart hippy, boho, high sewing, trendy, Gothic, kawaii, etc. My prices range from $5-$100.

Dance of the Snake ($39.65)
Dance of the Snake ($39.65)

(5) Tell us where we can find your art: 

My etsy shop and my facebook page (in French).

(6) Tell us about your support: Je travail seul, mon mari m’aide seulement pour les photos. (I work alone, and use my husband only for taking my photos.)

Gecko Wall Decor ($51.31)
Gecko Wall Decor ($51.31)

(7) Tell us about your favorites: J’adore le site etsy, il y a beaucoup de produits originaux. (I adore the etsy site, there are many original products.)

Voici quelques boutiques que j’aime (Here are some shops which I like):

Le bijoux que j’aime le plus dans mon magasin est le collier poulpe pieuvre, car il est très original, drôle et difficile à fabriquer. (Jewels which I like most in my store is the octopus necklace [see photo number one], because it is very original, fun and difficult to make.)

(8) Tell us anything else: Je peut réaliser vos souhaits, je peux presque tout faire! Je donne un code de – 15% aux fans de ma boutique. (I can realize your wishes, I can make almost everything! I give a code of – 15 % to the fans of my shop.)

I really hope you’ve enjoyed the interview with Coralie! Please take a look at all the wonderful items in her shop and consider purchasing a piece or two!

Check back next Monday for my interview with Dana from Ravens Creations!

Handmade Monday: Drewbie’s Zoo

Welcome to the fifthteenth artist interview on miscellany!

Pumpkin ($25)
Pumpkin ($25) >> All of Drew’s Halloween amigurumi are my favorites!!

(1) Tell us about yourself: My name is Drew, I’m 27 and I live in Los Angeles California. I’m from Michigan originally, which is where my parents, older brother and my beloved golden retriever Benny Hill still live. I grew up with a love of animals and a flare for the dramatic. I went to college at the University of Michigan where I received a BFA in Theatre Design & Production: Costume Design. I’ve also lived in Chicago, Illinois and spent a semester of college in Germany.

As a costumer, there is no such thing as a typical day for me. Some days I’m out endlessly shopping for wardrobe, and other days it feels like I’m chained to my sewing machine. Then there are the days when I’m on set, sometimes till 4:00 or 5:00 in the morning.  Most days my life is a tornado of fabric, thread, yarn and glitter. When I’m not working on a production, I spend my time crocheting away in my living room, with Netflix blaring in the background, taking frequent snack breaks, of course. The best part about LA is the amount of incredible vegan food.  I usually stay up too late and get up too early.

(2) Tell us about what you create: I make handmade crochet stuffed animals, often called Amigurumi. I like to describe my style as adorably squishy. I’ve been crocheting for about 9 years now. When I was ten years old, my Grandma taught me how to knit, which I did on and off for the next few years. The summer before my senior year of high school, I picked it back up and decided to branch out and try crochet as well. Crochet is such a wonderful creative outlet because it really gives you control over the shapes you make and the types of projects you can create.

When I was living in Chicago, shortly after graduating from college, I lived down the street from a Borders (remember Borders?) and I found a book on making crochet creatures called Amigurumi. My first project was a set of Harry Potter characters that are still sitting on my bookshelf, next to my hardcover HP books. From then on, practically every gift I gave was crocheted. I’ve been writing my own crochet patterns from the start, and with amigurumi, it’s all about turning basic geometric shapes into adorable creatures. I think one of the things that sets me apart is my eye for design: being able to turn a quick sketch into a 3D critter. I also use 100% acrylic yarn and polyester fiberfil, which are hypo-allergenic and cruelty-free.

For the time being, my shop is a lot like a part-time job. It’s not my only focus, but it’s safe to say that it’s more than a hobby. Who knows, maybe someday it will blow up and become my full-time job!

Starfish ($13)
Starfish ($13)

(3) Tell us about your handmade art business: My shop had many names when I was first starting out. I kept trying to think of good crochet puns (a lot of “hooker” jokes were made), and I have many creative friends who made awesome suggestions like “Drew’s Zootique”. I landed on Drewbie’s Zoo because it was fun to say, and it was a play on a nickname of mine: Drewbie-doo.

The idea for the Zoo came about a year after I moved back to Michigan from Chicago, one of my close friends from high school and his wife were expecting their first child. At the time I was working in a small art house movie theater, and with the latest indie movies as my backdrop, I labored over a baby blanket, stuffed turtle and stuffed lion.

Rhys was born in November of 2013, and by July 2014 I was living in Los Angeles. David and Alana, Rhys’ parents were on me to start selling my stuffed animals online. It took me a while to figure everything out and get enough animals made to open up shop, and now here I am!

The nice thing about crochet is that it is a very mobile art form. My “studio” is anywhere I feel like working. Most of the time it is this squishy recliner in my living room, under a pile of yarn. I do have a small shipping station set up in my bedroom, as well as shelving unit where I keep all of my yarn and finished animals. It always feels good to walk into my room and be greeted by a bunch of little faces smiling at me.

(4) Tell us about your customers: Most of my customers are new parents or have friends with new additions to their families. While my animals are perfect for small children, I like to think that they are appealing to people of all ages. I think that there is a major market out there for handmade children’s goods. I really believe that when you make something by hand, you put a piece of yourself in the finished project. Each animal that I make has some of my love and positive energy inside of it. On a spiritual level I think that people really feel comforted knowing exactly where their products come from.

I also offer custom orders so that people can get exactly what they want. If your son’s favorite animal is a gorilla and his favorite color is chartreuse, it seems unlikely that you’ll be able to find a chartreuse gorilla at a big chain store, but I’d be more than happy to make one for him!

Crab ($30)
Crab ($30)

(5) Tell us where we can find your art: Right now everything is on Etsy! Everything can be found at drewbieszoo.etsy.com. I’m hoping to branch out soon and get a booth at some local craft shows. But in the meantime I just stick to my social media outlets:
Instagram and Twitter: @DrewbiesZoo
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/drewbieszoo
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/drewbieszoo
DeviantArt: drewbieszoo.deviantart.com

(6) Tell us about your support: As far as the day to day operations of my shop, I’m a lone wolf. I make the animals, I list them, I ship them. But of course I couldn’t have done any of this without the support of my family and friends. They are the perfect sounding board for new ideas. They are also incredibly patient when I send them thousands of pictures in the middle of the night. “Does this look better like this? Or like this?”. I have an incredible group of friends who all bring different skill sets to the table, from both the creative and the business side of things. I’d be lost without them!

Manatee ($35)
Manatee ($35)

(7) Tell us about your favorites: One of my all-time favorite Etsy shops is Plusheez. It’s run by Marci Hunter and it can be found at Plusheez.etsy.com. She makes incredible plush toys of everything imaginable, but what I like most is that she makes comfort pillows in the shape of human organs. It’s such a beautiful idea to give a snuggly adorable pillow to someone who has recently undergone surgery, and it’s even more adorable if it’s in the shape of whatever body part was the focus of the surgery.

I also love Cocomilla.etsy.com for its beautiful watercolor prints. They are so colorful and beautiful.

As far as favorites from my own shop, it’s hands-down the manatee. Manatees have been my favorite animal since I was 4 years old. When you don’t live in Florida, it’s pretty rare to come across stuffed manatee toys, and I’m so happy that my own manatee is the most popular item in my shop!

(8) Tell us anything else: Selling handmade goods online is an intense business. There are so many moving parts to consider, like creating a brand, marketing and promoting and figuring out the tangled web that is the United States Postal Service. My advice to anyone who is thinking of opening up and online shop is that the devil is in the details. Invest in a notebook and really map out everything involved, from your prices to your shipping methods right down to what image you’re going to use for your profile picture. It can be a lot like juggling, but as long as you love what it is that you do, it will never be harder than you can handle. Thanks so much for reading and best of luck to everyone out there thinking of opening a craft shop!

Bat ($25)
Bat ($25) >> So cute! I love Drew’s little witch & ghost, too!

I really hope you’ve enjoyed the interview with Drew! Please take a look at all the wonderful items in his shop and consider purchasing a cutie or two!

Handmade Monday: T and K Crochet

Welcome to the fourteenth artist interview on miscellany!

Crocheted Knight's Helment
Crocheted Knight’s Helment ($39.95) >> My favorite!

(1) Tell us about yourself: I live in a rural area outside of Lakeville, Indiana, with my husband and our cat and 2 dogs. A typical day for me consists of getting up early to work at my office job for 8 hours, then coming home to spend time with my little family and work on some crochet while binging on Netflix. Right now I’m about to finish Mad Men!

(2) Tell us about what you create: I crochet anything and everything. My mom and sister both tried to teach me when I was younger, but I couldn’t get the hang of it. Then several years ago, I decided to give it another try, this time using the internet to learn. I really caught on and started giving my items as gifts.

I get inspired when I see a pretty yarn. I don’t normally think of what I’ll make until I have the yarn in my hands and I can see its potential.

My crochet stands out from others because I like to add a modern twist. I love looking at vintage crochet items, but mine is not the style of our foremothers. Whether it be color combinations, construction, or the very item itself, I like to bring crochet into the 21st century so young adults can enjoy it and pass it on.

Earwarmer with Flower ($18.95)
Earwarmer with Flower ($18.95)

(3) Tell us about your handmade art business: My shop got its name from my and my sister’s initials. Tara and Kayla – T&K Crochet. I think it has a nice ring to it.

People seemed to really like the crochet Christmas gifts I was giving them, so I began selling to others. My sister is a crocheter as well (a brilliant one) and she sells with me. My “studio” is my living room, kicked back with my feet in the air and a good, epic series playing. I have to watch shows that are heavy on dialogue because I’m looking down at my work most of the time.

(4) Tell us about your customers: I like to think my crochet can appeal to all people, but right now a lot of my fans are young mothers who like buying something adorable for their baby or something luxurious to spoil themselves.

While creating, I try to have something for everybody. Men, women, children, even pets. There definitely is something for everyone in my shop.

Baby Booties ($32.95)
Crocodile Stitch Baby Booties ($32.95)

(5) Tell us where we can find your art: 

Right now I sell mainly in the Etsy shop, but I also take orders on Facebook and in person.

I have a blog where I give some insight to my process and also to my love of food. I call it “Hook & Fork.”

(6) Tell us about your support: T&K Crochet is a two-woman team. My sister prefers to do a lot of freehand work that she thinks up on the fly. I like things to be perfect and uniform. Together, we complement each other very well and cover our bases pretty thoroughly.

Convertible Infinity Scarf ($44.95)
Convertible Infinity Scarf ($44.95)

(7) Tell us about your favorites: I don’t currently have a lot of time to follow blogs or websites, but when something catches my eye on Etsy I add it to my favorites list. If you take a look at that, you’ll see I have a love for all things weird and sometimes creepy. Right now I’m kind of obsessed with a shop called TheFirePitGallery and it’s a goal of mine to someday have one of those incredible fire pits.

It’s so hard to choose a favorite from my own shop, because I love all the things I make. But if you’re going to twist my arm, right at this moment I’d choose the blue and green convertible infinity scarf I designed myself last winter. The colors are luscious and you can wear it as an infinity scarf or a regular scarf.

(8) Tell us anything else: I would like for people to know that when they are purchasing a hand crocheted item, they are getting something unique that will last for a very long time, and that can’t be reproduced from a machine. Time, effort, and talent went into each and every stitch. The money you spend is spent on quality and that makes every cent worth it.

As for other sellers, I would like to emphasize a point I find myself repeating a lot – do not undersell yourself. Your time is worth something, and the right person will come along who is willing to compensate you for everything involved in what you make. Until then, keep creating!

Fingerless Gloves ($17.95)
Fingerless Gloves ($17.95) >> Too cute!

I really hope you’ve enjoyed the interview with Kayla! Please take a look at all the wonderful items in her shop and consider purchasing a piece or two!

Don’t forget to check back next Monday for my interview with Alycia of Padme’s Playhouse!

Handmade Monday: Laura Bijoux

Welcome to the thirteenth artist interview on miscellany!

Emerald Green Dream necklace ($46.51)
Emerald Green Dream necklace ($46.51)

(1) Tell us about yourself: My name is Laura Torster, owner of Laura Bijoux. As a Brazilian now living in Portugal with a German husband, I consider myself a citizen of the world.

We live in a beautiful village next to the sea in Portugal where we have our house, our garden and our 2 babies (my dogs) Ulla and Lawry. My day begins very early with a nice breakfast with lots of coffee. Then I feed my babies and start to work.

I love being at home with my two babies and my husband. I also enjoy reading good books, going to the movies, and of course making my jewelry.

(2) Tell us about what you create: I’ve been making jewelry for more than 20 years. I first started making jewelry for myself but soon my friends and family took notice and my days were filled with beads and baubles!

I began to work mostly with beading jewelry. I think this was, and still is, the main technique I use on my jewelry. I also love working with polymer clay but I don’t consider myself to be an expert on this technique so I do not do a lot. But it is something I do love to do. Working with polymer clay is a little addicting! Now I am trying to work more with “natural” material from Brazil, such as seeds, stones, and mother-of-pearl, for example. I love to mix rustic materials, such as seeds, with fine materials, like crystals. I think that this mix brings about amazing results. For me, one of the most important aspects of jewelry making is the finishing and I try to make a point of finishing my work to perfection.

Although I began making jewelry as a hobby, my dream was to convert my hobby into a business. I was fortunate that I was able to have my jewelry in many boutiques throughout Brazil. When I came to Portugal I took a few jobs in other areas and, for a while, I made jewelry only for myself. I’ve since decided to dedicate more and more time to my jewelry and I now have a small business. But for sure I want to try to make it a full time job.

Elegant Earth Colors Beaded Chocker ($34.88)
Elegant Earth Colors Beaded Chocker ($34.88)

(3) Tell us about your handmade art business: Well, when I came to Portugal I decided to begin to sell on eBay. I needed a name for the store, and the first name that came on my mind was LauraBijoux, this is me.
I began to make jewelry around 20 years ago in Brazil. One day my sister saw a beautiful necklace at a store, but it was very expensive so she didn’t buy it. I looked at the necklace and then bought all the supplies I needed to make it and went to work. I think the result was very nice. Many of my friends and relatives asked where she had bought the necklace, and this is how I started out making jewelry.

I have a room in my house that is my studio. There, I have a desk to make my jewelry with all of the things I need. I have a little cabinet on my desk with various odds and ends. There is a shelf with my seeds, mother-of-pearl, beads, nylon threads, tools, gift packaging materials, books, etcetera…

I also take the photos in my studio. I have a little table near the window and a lighting box for the darker days. Oh, I cannot forget “Chiquinha”, my black tailor fashion dummy.

(4) Tell us about your customers: I only make unique jewelry. I think that, nowadays, people want to be different and not just one among billions. I think my jewelry is for those people. It is at the same time modern and timeless.

Genuine Portuguese Cork and Silver Beaded Bracelet ($16.86)
Genuine Portuguese Cork and Silver Beaded Bracelet ($16.86)

(5) Tell us where we can find your art: I sell my products around the globe, mostly online, but I always like to make special items for my friends in Portugal, Brazil, Spain, the UK, the USA, and in Germany.
Currently I am selling on my Etsy shop. I’ve been an Etsy seller since 2009. I didn’t list my products there for a while, but now I am back. I also sell through Facebook and Twitter. In addition, I am hoping to have my own online store at some point during the next year.

Etsy shop:

Social Media Links:

(6) Tell us about your support: I do everything by myself. I purchase my supplies. I make the jewelry by hand. I do all the photography and publicity. I also, personally, handle all packing and shipping. My husband lends me a great deal of encouragements and lends a hand from time to time when he is able. I also get a lot of support of my friends and family by having family and friends share links to my items on social media. I think this is a big group of people helping each other. I just love Twitter and Facebook is invaluable.

My clients support me a lot. Satisfied customers tell their friends and they tell others. I rely heavily on this word of mouth approach.

Rainbow Brazilian Seeds Bracelet ($18.37)
Rainbow Brazilian Seeds Bracelet ($18.37)

(7) Tell us about your favorites: I love fashion, craft, beauty and cooking blogs. I like and need to be updated every day on all the new trends. I’m also crazy about cooking blogs because I love to cook and eat!

My favorites are:

http://www.lilypebbles.co.uk – Great British blog about fashion, beauty, etc
http://apipocamaisdoce.sapo.pt/ – Portuguese blog about fashion
http://www.craftingforpurpose.com/ – American blog about craft, ADHA
https://kochfokus.de – German blog about cooking
http://www.jamieoliver.com – I think Jamie Oliver needs no introduction.

Probably my favorite piece of all of my creations would be what I call the “Rainbow Brazilian Seeds Bracelet.” It reflects the colors of my country. I’m also very partial to a necklace I made last month, the “Açaí Brazilian Seeds and Multi Color Beads Necklace.” It is, once again, an item that was inspired by my beautiful and amazing homeland.

I love to browse through my friends’ Etsy shops every day. My favorites are:

www.etsy.com/shop/inesrocio – Inês is a great Portuguese watercolor artist
www.etsy.com/shop/Bitzas – They sell lovely knitting toys, I love them
www.etsy.com/shop/supersoftknits – Lovely knitting boleros
www.etsy.com/shop/GlassNatalyaDarlin – Great Russian glass beads artist
www.etsy.com/shop/TheBestBeadsShop – A Czechian glass bead supplier
www.etsy.com/shop/MyBeachStore– Caribbean Beach Findings, Larimar & Amber Supplier

(8) Tell us anything else: As I say on my Twitter and Etsy profiles, making jewelry is my passion. Naturally, being able to sell my pieces and make a living from my art is fantastic, but what really makes me feel special is the knowledge that my creations can now be found on every continent in every corner of the world. This is really priceless.

My advice for other sellers is to not quit at the first mistake! As W.C Fields once said: “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” Be patient and work hard.

I really hope you’ve enjoyed the interview with Laura! Please take a look at all the wonderful items in her shop and consider purchasing a piece or two!

Don’t forget to check back next Monday for my interview with Kayla of T&K Crochet!

Handmade Monday: fatash1 Creative Designs

Welcome to the twelfth artist interview on miscellany!

Bridal Baroque statement necklace ($60)
Bridal Baroque statement necklace ($60)

(1) Tell us about yourself: I live in a small town called East Greenwich, Rhode Island, with my husband. I have two kids, a boy and girl. My son is 23 and my daughter is 21 years old. A typical day would be checking my emails, reading the news, and checking to see if there are any orders I need to ship. Head to my studio based in my basement. I put my music on and start working on my passion.

(2) Tell us about what you create: I worked in higher education for 10 years but came to the realization that I’m not happy with my work. I have B.A. in business and an M.A. in education. But Art was my first calling always. I do mostly jewelry design. It started as hobby and turned into a full time passion. I have been crafting all my life, knitting, sewing, drawing and painting, to fixing and changing my own jewelry. I make one of a kind design and no two pieces are ever going to be alike.  I like to experiment with different medium from making my own polymer clay beads to crocheting my jewelry, and repurposing vintage jewelry. I like my pieces colorful and vibrant. My inspiration comes from experiencing different cultures and travelling and living in different countries. I lived in the Middle East, Europe and America.

Black and White Multi-Strand Necklace ($36)
Black and White Multi-Strand Necklace ($36) << MY FAVORITE!

(3) Tell us about your handmade art business: My shop name fatash1 Creative Designs is based on my name and my original unique designs. It started when I was recovering from a surgery. I started my Etsy shop with no idea how to run it and manage it. My generation didn’t grow up with computers. I just ran with the idea and got carried away. At the beginning I had few items posted. Thinking people are going to find me, and once I realized it’s not that easy I started adding more to it. I also did not promote my shop at all.  I was very naïve about on line selling. My Studio is my basement. It is a huge open room for my crafts. I have my jewelry and my drawers and drawers of beads. My collection of yarns for knitting, and my sewing machine which I use for making bags, which I have not posted on Etsy yet.

(4) Tell us about your customers: My target audience is a woman who is looking for unique pieces, and one of a kind item, that is not commercially produced. She loves vibrant color, and appreciates handmade, has a shabby chic style.

Labradorite Bead-woven Bracelet ($32)
Labradorite Bead-woven Bracelet ($32)

(5) Tell us where we can find your art: I am mostly on Etsy, also attend some fairs and festivals. I had a store for 4 years and learned how much the customers loved my designs. They were very encouraging to me. I had some health issues and needed to cut back on my work schedule and take care of myself, because I designed, created and ran the business. Here is my Facebook page, and here is my Pinterest account.

(6) Tell us about your support: I work alone, and enjoy being on my own, but I have the support of my family and friends. I’m very close to my sister who lives close by and visits me often with my niece and nephew, ages 5 and 10.  My friends were my first customers, and they encouraged me to continue.

Purple and Peal Beaded Earrings ($23)
Purple and Peal Beaded Earrings ($23) << MY 2ND FAVORITE!

(7) Tell us about your favorites: Here are some other etsy sellers I love:

(8) Tell us anything else: Start small, learn and read all the info about running an online business. If something fails try a different way, its all about trials and errors. We learn everyday, and we never know unless we try.

I really hope you’ve enjoyed the interview with Faye! Please take a look at all the wonderful items in her shop and consider purchasing a handcraft or two! Do not forget to check back next Monday for my interview with Laura of Laura Bijoux!

** If you would like to nominate a handmade artisan, please e-mail me (info.miscellany@gmail.com) with a description and link to their work.

Handmade Monday: Brandi Star Creations

Welcome to the eleventh artist interview on miscellany!

Planets with Mountain Range Silhouette original acrylic painting ($75)
Planets with Mountain Range Silhouette, original acrylic painting ($75)

(1) Tell us about yourself: I’m 28 years old, and live in Whitney, TX. I’m divorced, with no kids. I spent a lot of time with my mother. I have three older sisters and an older brother (him I haven’t met, but have spoken to). I have a four and a half year old cat, who is everything to me. He’s a Siamese mix named Puck. A typical day for me, consists of getting up at about 5:00 a.m., having coffee with my mom, and then going to my day job. I’m an Administrative Assistant for a church – though I’m not religious. Takes about an hour to get to work, and I start at 7:30. I leave for home at 4:00 p.m., and then spend some more time with my mom, usually watching TV or just talking. Depending on how long I do that, then I’ll either paint, or just go to bed. I do most of my paintings and things on the weekend. – it sounds like I live with my parents, and I do, yet I don’t. I have an apartment above their house. Lame, I know. Haha.

(2) Tell us about what you create: I mostly paint, though I have dabbled in a few other things over time. I didn’t know I even could paint until somewhat recently. Before this, I did a lot of wood burning, and just general drawing, and putting pretty things together like barrettes, head bands, and piggy bank-esque things. Early this year I had remodeled my apartment – painted, and what-not,  and I wanted to put up some art on the walls, but I couldn’t find anything I liked that I could afford. So a few friends suggested I try to just make something myself. So, when pay day came, I bought some canvas, paints, and brushes and got to work. My last boyfriend – we were together for nearly three years, but in that three years we broke up something like three times, and at that time we were broken up. The painting turned out better than I could have hoped for. It was so dark, and reflected how I felt nicely. That one, I did actually hang up and it isn’t for sale, but it was really good if I do say so myself. Haha. Painting it was oddly cathartic, so a few months later, I decided to paint some more and then eventually I opened my Etsy shop. I’m bipolar.. medicated.. but still bipolar. I’ve discovered, what I paint usually depends on my mood. If I’m feeling okay, it isn’t quite as dark – but honestly, my head is always a pretty dark place to be. I hate to say it, but they tend to be better when I’m upset, at least to me they are. My head is a dark place to be, but I kind of like it. It is just a hobby, I opened my Etsy shop more for instant gratification than anything else. It doesn’t really matter to me if I sell any of them (though it would be really nice haha). Ultimately, I paint for me. It’s calming and helps relieve stress, because lets face it, I definitely need some stress relief sometimes. I try to get out about two paintings a week, but sometimes I get more, sometimes less. It depends on what I have going on, and what I have to spend on more canvas. I have a bit of a different way of approaching my art. It’s a little morbid, so I try to use vibrant colors to liven it up a little to enhance the idea of the art.

Cameo Barrette ($17)
Cameo Barrette ($17)

(3) Tell us about your handmade art business: I did spend a lot of time thinking about my shop’s name, though it doesn’t seem like it. I kind of settled. I couldn’t think of anything that would accurately depict what I do – because it varies – and the things I did think of that I liked were already taken. Part of the reason I started it though, was instant gratification.. I wanted to know that other people liked my stuff. But also, they really start to pile up after a while. I have a one bedroom apartment, and I’m running out of room to store them. Haha. My “studio” as you say, is my kitchen table. I haven’t been able to afford an easel yet, so I have a clear plastic table cloth over my kitchen table, and that’s where I paint. Luckily, I rarely eat at my table. That is partially because it’s always covered in paint and supplies now, but still. My dream, is to eventually buy my own house, with an extra bedroom which I will turn into my art room. And hopefully I’ll have won the lottery so I can fully stock it with everything Hobby Lobby has. I don’t agree with their politics (Hobby Lobby), but I REALLY love that store.

(4) Tell us about your customers: I really only consider myself; I paint whatever I feel like painting. I want people to like my stuff, but I don’t really “target” a specific audience per se. Obviously I don’t think senior citizens will like my stuff, or the very young, but you never know. I guess on some levels I do think of other people a little, otherwise it wouldn’t be so colorful. Sometimes my mind is just TOO dark a place to be, and while I want to show it, I understand that some people just aren’t as open to that as I am, so I add more color. My art is for everyone who likes it, or can enjoy it. But a lot of it, is just for me. If I can get what I’m seeing or feeling out of my head – I will.

Cemetery with Splatter, original acrylic painting ($)
Cemetery with Splatter, original acrylic painting ($85) >> My favorite!

(5) Tell us where we can find your art: I have my shop on Etsy, and I have a Facebook page, and I have a Pinterest account, but other than that, that’s pretty much it. I don’t have a lot of time to manage websites and what-not. I have a full-time job that takes up most of my time. I’ve considered doing a fair my town holds every year in October, but I haven’t fully decided yet if I want to mess with that. I go back and forth between, “Oh come on Brandi, just do it.” and “Ehh…”. haha.

(6) Tell us about your support: I work alone, but my friends and family are incredibly supportive. They always let me talk about it to them, and even show them what I’ve done. My mom really enjoys seeing my work. I tend to show them to her before they’re even done because her enthusiasm makes me feel good about it. My boyfriend or.. ex, now, actually… he used to be a big support too. He was really supportive about everything, really, and I always looked forward to showing him my work as well. He was honest. He’d tell me if he didn’t care for one, and what he did or didn’t like about a piece. My mom does the same though. Neither of them liked “Acrylic scary tree and moon painting” haha. I enjoy constructive criticism, to a degree. Haha.

tree girl cat
“Acrylic girl with umbrella and cat in woods painting,” original ($150)

(7) Tell us about your favorites: I don’t really follow any blogs of websites really. I spend a lot of time on Pinterest – well I used to anyway. There are a LOT of people on Etsy that I definitely admire. They have some AMAZING stuff and I can only hope to ever be as good as they are. Anthony Hicks – Tinplate Studios, has some AMAZING items. They are SO morbid! I love it! It isn’t paintings, but it’s still just downright amazing. The link to his shop is: https://www.etsy.com/shop/tinplatestudios . Then there’s Megan Downing at TwisterTrails. Her painted tapestries are so colorful and vibrant and just beautiful. The link to her shop is: https://www.etsy.com/shop/TwisterTrails . Sarah C. Pilon at SasperryDesigns is another favorite. She features a lot of trees in her artwork like I do, but they’re amazing. Her use of music sheets speaks volumes and it’s just amazing. The link to her shop is: https://www.etsy.com/shop/SasperryDesigns It’s really hard to choose just certain artists to mention – there are a LOT of really awesome people and shops on Etsy. As for my shop, I think my favorite is “acrylic girl with umbrella and cat in woods painting”… long title I know. But the one with the red eyes, not the glow in the dark one. Full disclosure, I was off my medication when I painted that (and the bigger one with the glowing eyes). To me, it’s the one with the most feeling. Which makes sense because I was REALLY feeling things then. I had a lot going on, along with being off my medication.

(8) Tell us anything else: I haven’t had any sales yet, so I don’t know what “advice” I could offer other people with good conscience, at least on how to sell successfully. But I’ll give you this – do what you love. Make sure you put feeling into everything you do. Don’t second guess yourself. The best results come from the things you truly care about, the things that show how you feel. And trust me, expressing your feelings through art, is probably the best, and most cathartic way to get out any pent up feelings you may have. Me – I’m anti-social, full of constant stress, and I’m sad. Very very sad. Pretty much all the time, even with the medication. Life is… painful and messy, and just a general pain in my ass. The things I see when I close my eyes, would terrify the manliest of men… so this is how I release it. Not necessarily by painting the monsters themselves… but just by painting at all. It lets them go, at least for a little while. It doesn’t matter if it’s any good. Just do it for yourself, if it’s what you want to do.


I really hope you’ve enjoyed the interview with Brandi! Please take a look at all the wonderful items in her shop and consider purchasing a handcraft or two! Do not forget to check back next Monday for my interview with Faye of Fatash1 Creative Design!

** If you would like to nominate a handmade artisan, please e-mail me (info.miscellany@gmail.com) with a description and link to their work.