Handmade is great! The quality is far superior than items in stores of a comparable price range. The pieces are unique, often one of a kind. Haute couture for the financially challenged, right?!? That’s me – champagne taste on a beer budget!
I'm a 911 dispatcher. Its a great job, definately rewarding but also extremely stressful at times.
I am a great mixture of Native American, French Canadian, and Japanese. And other than my siblings, I have never met anyone else with the same ethnic background, LOL.
I live, love, and work in the historical Motherlode gold country of California. The history and beauty of this place is amazing.
I graduated from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in 1994, San Francisco campus =) Rock on!!
What got you started crafting?
wow, I have always been an artist, making things, coloring, drawing, imagining- for as long as I can remember. I was kind of an odd kid, I think, preferring to read books about far away times and people and places than watch TV, and often those books sparked my imagination. I sat outside imagining I was Cleopatra and playing in the mud. I envisioned the jewels and robes I was wearing, and would often draw them too. My uncles were amazing sketch artists, and my grandmother sewed all my mother's and aunts and uncles' clothes when they were little, so I always watched them and learned. Art and creativity, thankfully and luckily, run in my blood. My father used to design and make and bead all of his costumes for when he would perform the snake dance on the local reservation where he grew up. My aunt and grandmother both sang. I used to draw and color and come up with these drawing of my "master plans". I remember one time drawing and designing a homemade water slide, complete with measurements.
Nevermind that it made out of wood!! ouch!!
What is your source of inspiration?
I am inspired by everything. Literally! I get inspired seeing beads and yarns; in fact that is how I come up with most of my designs. I find a great yarn first, then later think of what I want to make with it - how can I maximize what I love about this yarn?
For my jewelry, I'm like a crow - attracted to shiny or colorful objects - so I buy beads whenever something catches my eye. Then later, I dig thru my stash and see what looks good together and come up with ways I can use them together.
Everyday, in regular life, I can just be sitting there and see, hear, smell, or imagine something and whammo! Idea! From childhood til now, it's still the same.
What have you made recently?
I recently made several native American inspired items, and also items that would be appropriate for men.
The reason for the Native inspired pieces is in honor of my father, who is battling cancer. I regret seriously not having him teach me how he used to make his crafts long ago. So no, my items do not look "authentically native" but the inspiration behind them is very clear.
As for making things for men; I love the scale and simplicity of it. I love that I can use larger items in a very simple form. Hence my large dragon pendants on Etsy! Very large and bold and fierce.
Where do you sell your crafts presently?
I only sell on two websites at this time, Etsy and Artfire, but I plan on expanding out to other sites very soon. I am also looking into doing the local farmers markets and craft fairs this summer. Ironically, most of my sales have been in person; either someone buying something off of me that I am wearing somewhere, or my coworkers buying or custom ordering things from me.
Why are handmade crafts important to you?
Handmade is great! The quality is far superior than items in stores of a comparable price range. The pieces are unique, often one of a kind. Haute couture for the financially challenged, right?!? That's me - champagne taste on a beer budget!
But seriously, what could be better than something made with love and care over something made on a machine?
Every handmade piece or item has a little bit of someone's heart and soul in it- including my pieces - and that really appeals to me.