You will not be disappointed with this shop's stunning bead work and design.
Click any image to visit KJ Creations.
1) Tell us about your work and what drew you to it!
I picked up a bag of seed beads at a local rock and gem shop. That was over 20 years ago, and I've been immersed in the bead world ever since! Beads are little portable works of art that bring together color, imagination, creativity, symbolism and the energy to create them. I'm acutely aware of the natural resources it takes to make a bead. Making beads is energy intensive - (mining stone, drilling holes and melting glass, for example) so I try to honor that in my work. I appreciate the time, sacrifice, and ingenuity it takes to create the most humble bead.
2) What is most enjoyable about your work?
Bead work gives me total freedom to play with an infinite variety of color and form. I'm never bored! I also really enjoy creating that special custom piece for someone and seeing their smile!
3) What is your biggest challenge?
Finding time to create while also running a business and a household. I keep a sketchbook handy for those moments of free time for my ideas. I have too many ideas and not enough hands! Right now we are planning to move this winter, so making time is a bit more difficult now.
4) How are you inspired?
I've always been a color junkie, so the beauty of nature always makes it juicy. Walks in the woods, the color of a butterfly's wing, the cloud shapes in the sky all inspire me. I also like to check out fashion magazines and other artist's work for new techniques and ideas (never copying them of course!). I've also studied gem and color symbolism, so my work can express meaning as well as beauty. Lately I've been exploring the idea of the machine world in relationship to the natural world. Maybe I'll call it eco-steampunk. : )
5) Apart from creating, what do you enjoy?
I love being outdoors - camping, walking in the woods, and gardening. I like to cook with herbs that I have grown. I enjoy curling up with a good book. I also love long conversations with my mate about life, the universe and everything.
6) What is your most cherished handmade item?
I have an amazing wire work piece from a friend that tragically died of AIDS years ago. I have never seen anything else like it. It reminds me that there is always more to learn and to appreciate each day given to us.
7) What could you never live without?
Coffee, chocolate, laughter, and books!
8) Tell us your top five!
Colour Lovers, a site for creating color palettes and sharing them with others - FUN!!
Beads on Sale, a great site for nice gemstone beads at good prices
Brassologie, a great source for brass findings, right next door in Galena, IL
Zoa Art - Great mixed metal cast pieces
9) Besides Etsy, where can your work be found?
Right now, I'm only on Etsy. I am planning on hitting a couple shows next year near my home in SW Wisconsin.
10) Do you have any current or ongoing specials?
I'm having a 'recession special' sale that is ongoing. 20-30% off all jewelry in my store. We are all in this together...