Welcome to the eighteenth artist interview on miscellany!
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
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
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
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!
Welcome to the seventeenth artist interview on miscellany!
(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.
(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.
(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.
(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!
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. ***
(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.
(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.
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!
Welcome to the fifthteenth artist interview on miscellany!
(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!
(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!
(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!
(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!
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!
Welcome to the fourteenth artist interview on miscellany!
(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.
(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.
(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.
(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!
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!
Welcome to the thirteenth artist interview on miscellany!
(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.
(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.
(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.
(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.
(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!
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:
(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!
Welcome to the twelfth artist interview on miscellany!
(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.
(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.
(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.
(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 (email@example.com) with a description and link to their work.
Welcome to the eleventh artist interview on miscellany!
(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.
(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.
(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.
(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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) with a description and link to their work.
Welcome to the tenth artist interview on miscellany!
(1) Tell us about yourself:
I’ve been making jewelry for about 10 years, mostly beading. I had a bath and body online shop a few years ago (and want to reopen in the future, fingers crossed), but I fell in love with beading. I grew up in Queens, NYC. Now I live in Raleigh NC and I love it. There is so much here to gather inspiration from. I spend my days working hard on my jewelry and I hope to start branching into craft shows soon.
(2) Tell us about what you create:
I create jewelry pieces with techniques ranging from beadweaving to looming and bead embroidery. I am completely self-taught, with some help from my beading basics “teachers” such as Jaime Cloud Eakin. I love the attention to detail when it comes to putting tiny beads together to create something special. I also have a few beading patterns available to those who wish to take the plunge into beadweaving and looming themselves. I am also expanding my creativity into cagework, which is taking metal filigree components and weaving beads and other embellishments to them, as well as combining different lacy filigree pieces to create fantastic, elegant necklaces, bracelets and more. I love the magical fantasy look of the jewelry pieces I finish.
(3) Tell us about your handmade art business:
I have a small office with a table where I do all my beading and it is comfortable and serene, very conducive to creating lovely pieces of jewelry. I had originally opened my shop last year, but certain circumstances forced me to close it temporarily and I reopened again this past April. I’m still learning the ins and outs of it all and although it is really hard work, I’m enjoying every minute of it. I’m in the middle of planning a bridal jewelry line featuring my lace cuffs. I get so thrilled when someone orders a piece of jewelry from me, because I put so much care and love into it, my hope and wish is that it brings the one who wears it much joy. My day typically starts with laying out the materials I want to use, switching on Netflix and getting to work, not finishing my day to at least 6:00, sometimes going into the late evening. I watch everything from “Supernatural” and “Arrow” to “Last of the Summer Wine” and “Keeping up Appearances” Sometimes I’ll even listen to music.
(4) Tell us about your customers:
They type of people that I consider when creating my jewelry are those who love elegance, a bit of sparkle. Those that are not afraid to stand out, and wear something different from the norm.
(5) Tell us where we can find your art:
Right now, you can purchase my pieces on Etsy and if you’re on Facebook, you can browse and buy from the company page. I do have a blog: Beadweaver Dreams and a YouTube Channel. I am also on Pinterest (@graybowe), Twitter (@pbowedesign), Instagram (@patriciabowedesigns) and a few other sites.
(6) Tell us about your support:
I am a one-woman business! From creation, to packaging and marketing, I do it all. My mum encourages me and wants to get in on the action when I start doing craft shows!!
I wrote in my “About” page on Etsy that I never thought that aside from singing, I never thought I had artistic talent as far as working with my hands. My family is VERY talented when it comes to putting pencil to paper, photography, music, you name it. My family is a family of artisans. So to discover that I am able to take teeny beads or bend pieces of metal and create something wonderful is something that only God can bestow upon you. And between singing and this wonderful gift, I learned that yes, I am truly blessed and humbled by the whole thing. My advice: Never give up. What may look like a scribble or an unrecognizable crumpled ball of clay today could be your next masterpiece tomorrow. Love what you are doing. And remember to give Praise to Whom praise is due.
I really hope you’ve enjoyed the interview with Patricia! 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 Brandi of Brandi Star Creations!
(If you would like to nominate a handmade artisan, please e-mail me (email@example.com) with a description and link to their work.)
Welcome to the ninth artist interview on miscellany!
(1) Tell us about yourself:
I am a graphic designer based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. When I’m not on my 9-5 grind, I love spending time at home with my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Jasper (affectionately nicknamed “Snuggle Baby” or “Mr. J”), and following my true creative passions. I’m really into kayaking and basking in the joy of summer weather (I am not too keen on the cold winters here in Minnesota!). On the weekends (or any day that I’m not at the office), I love painting my signs outside, or rolling up my sleeves and getting into my dyeing process. It’s very relaxing!
(2) Tell us about what you create:
I have been making art since before I can remember. I have always been a creative person, and my parents always nurtured my desire to explore every medium possible (no matter how much my supplies took over our house!). I do use my knowledge of graphic design to make the prints in my shop, but before I studied graphic design I was very involved in more physical art-making processes. My hand-painted signs stem from my education in and love for drawing and painting, and my fabric dyeing is a newly discovered passion of mine. I have always loved color and working with my hands, so I was hooked immediately! Besides what I do in my shop, I am also a printmaker (mostly intaglio etching). There is something about making art yourself that is deeply satisfying, and I am drawn to that energy and the feeling of making art. I love macro photography, and I draw a lot of inspiration from looking at the little worlds on earth that most of us pass by every day. There are so many fascinating patterns and colors hiding in plain sight!
I love my hand-dyed scarves most of all in my shop, and I think they stand out because I make what I would want to wear. I am a huge scarf fanatic (just ask my closet), and I always love finding unique and vibrant scarves that are a statement on their own. Each scarf is completely unique, even when using the same dyeing technique over and over. I think that is absolutely beautiful, and speaks to the life that is found in art.
For now my art is a passion/hobby, but I would absolutely love to make it full time at some point. In my heart it already is!
(3) Tell us about your handmade art business:
My shop gets its name from one of my sorority’s colors, azure blue. I originally started Shoppe Azure to help fundraise for my chapter’s future housing (50% of my shop sales go towards this fund), but it quickly grew into a full-blown passion in a few short months. I love that I can pursue my passions and also give back to an organization and a group of women who changed my life so much.
My creative space is far from professional, but I still love to be there. I mostly create in and around my house, outside, and at the sink (for dyeing). My house has a screen porch that I love to sit out in and paint my signs or design my prints. I love to be outside, so I soak up every opportunity that I can! In the winter months I usually just move inside to a table or other quiet space, put on some power music, and create!
(4) Tell us about your customers:
I love to think about people who are conquering the world while retaining a good sense of humor and style. Vibrant colors, inspirational phrases, natural accents, and one-of-a-kind fashion!
(5) Tell us where we can find your art:
For now I am holding down the fort with my Etsy shop, but next summer I am going full-force into farmer’s markets and craft fairs! I have received multiple invitations to sell at farmer’s markets this season, but I am starting next spring to make sure I bring my A-game and have plenty of prep time. I am also starting to contact local boutiques to partner with, so stay tuned! For my printmaking passion, I sell my prints at www.amykmathews.com (also my graphic design portfolio website).
(6) Tell us about your support:
There is an insurance radio commercial here in the states that highlights people who did things solo, but were never alone. I believe that is exactly where I fit in. I run my shop by myself in that I am the sole creator, but I was never alone. My sorority sisters and friends who encouraged me to open my shop, my family who run emergency stock errands for me, and the people who have been following and cheering on my shop on social media. I would be nowhere without the support of my friends, family, and shop fans/followers, and I am eternally grateful for all of them!
(7) Tell us about your favorites:
Eliseblaha.typepad.com and andthenwesetitonfire.blogspot.ru are my two favorite blogs to follow, and I love so many of the shops I follow on instagram! Go to my “followers” or “following” pages on instagram (@shoppeazure) and you will find some seriously amazing makers. Some of my favorites are @aromasoy, @merybradley, @fiveacredesigns, @eternalbirdjewelry, @bycharlieshand, and @ohmyheartembroidery. There are countless others, but these come to mind right now!
(8) Tell us anything else:
I give each package a little hug when I send it off to its new home. I know it seems silly, but each piece of art is like sending off a little piece of myself into the world. I want that art to have a great and positive energy when it reaches its destination!
Some advice that I want to give is to be patient. Everything will work out how it is supposed to work out and things will be amazing if you give them time. Success doesn’t happen overnight, but little by little it does happen!
I really hope you’ve enjoyed the interview with Amy! Please take a look at all the wonderful items in her shop and consider purchasing a handcraft or two!