Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Moo Crew Feature

This week's featured shop is A Thousand Dreams Designs.
This shop's wonderfully handcrafted pendants & beaded jewelry sure to please!

1) Tell us about your work & what drew you to it!

My artistry has evolved over the years, beginning in the 1980's with textiles & basket weaving. While learning about the history of basketry, I became interested in beading, and learned the traditional Native American bead weaving stitches. I have since branched out to working with many kinds of beads & metal clays. I often combine several materials & techniques in one piece.

When my work is going well, I'm filled with a sense of harmony. I want to leave a small imprint on earth. I seek out natural materials & use metals from recycled sources & only use non-toxic chemicals & processes. I am happy if a piece finds a person it speaks to. If someone were to dig up a piece of my work in the future, I would only hope it might make them smile & perhaps speak a message of human unity & peace.

My favorite materials include silver-lined delica beads, pearls, crystals, silver & all metals. I love adding a patina to metal to make it look like an ancient find. One of my favorite pieces right now is a nut pod from a tree that grows in Peru in the rainforest, electroplated with copper, & with a patina added as I talked about above. The stones are turquoise. (shown below)

Each year I also make a limited edition series of free-form peyote stitch (mostly!) bracelets, one for each season. The current bracelet is also always one of my favorites. I just finished the Autumn, 2009 bracelet. I was getting into a rut, I thought, with my favorite color palettes of reds & purples (my favorite colors) & decided to break out of that with this bracelet. (shown below)

2) What is most enjoyable about your work?

I love to touch the beads! And the colors! I could never work on an assembly line & I like the fact that I can always be doing something different. When I say that no two of my items are ever alike, that is so true!

3) What is your biggest challenge?

Finding enough time to create, while working full time & maintaining relationships with family & friends.

4) How are you inspired?

I am inspired when I think of beadwork that has survived for centuries or more, & when I imagine the life of the person who placed each bead. To get new inspiration, I might just take a walk. I notice the pine trees swaying in the wind & listen for the bird symphony that echoes through the woods. I check out the mood of the river, & look for patterns in the clouds. I sometimes think of one of my favorite childhood books, The Secret Garden, & I look for secretplaces that I can go back to later in my mind.

5) Apart from creating, what do you enjoy?

Running, biking, reading, camping & hiking, geocaching - the list coud go on. Again, it comes back to finding time...

6) What is your most cherished handmade item?

I knitted a teddy bear sweater for my son, Ryan, when he was about two years old. I loved it & it looked so cute. My second son, Corey, also wore it. I've kept it & Itreasure it for the wonderful memories.

7) Is there a rule you can't help but break?

I don't really know what the rules are- that's probably breaking a rule right there.

8) Name one thing you could never live without!

Family & loved ones goes without saying. I love a glass of red wine with dinner, but I could live without it.... only if I had to. : ) Books, though. I'd have a tough time living without books.

9) Tell us your top five books, movies, songs/books, &/or websites.

My favorite book is often the book I'm reading. Right now, it's Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimanda Ngozi Adichie, a stunningly written novel of Biafra's struggle for independence in the 1960's. The book is sad, but hopeful, funny, & serious, with wonderful characters. I love seeing musicians in small, intimate venues where I can sit right up close. Some I really enjoy are Jonny Lang, Alice Peacock, Becky Schlegal, Bruce Cockburn, & Brandi Carlisle.

10) Besides Etsy, where can your work be found?

I have a blog & a Facebook Page. I haven't yet done art fairs or shows, but I do hope to do one this fall before the Christmas season.

Enter to win this georgeous silver focal bead pendant at A Thousand Dreams Design's Blog.
Click here for more details.


Mimi said...

Thank you for the nice feature!! And don't forget, everyone, to enter the contest for the give away!

Xanthe said...

Great feature and beautiful work.
In your sold items, well I like a lot, but I love the simplicity of the heart stamped charm.
I hope you had a good vacation!