Screaming Sardine

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Julie of Blue Morning Expressions Artisan Interview

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I was recently introduced to Julie through her great blog, The Blu Print. She holds a weekly link party where online shop owners help promote one another. Julie not only is a big supporter of online shops, she’s also quite a talented artisan and photographer. She even offers supplies for fellow jewelry makers!


Lampwork Bead Bracelet Lavender Glass with Swarovski Crystal Earrings

Tell us about your store. What kind of items do you offer?

I am a self representing jewelry designer and bead artist. I work primarily with my own polymer clay beads and lampwork beads that my favorite flame artists have created.

In addition to polymer clay jewelry, I do a lot of buttons and novelty items that are geared towards a lighthearted bunch.

I mainly create beads and polymer clay canes, which is raw clay that has been used to create the flowers that are thinly sliced and applied to the clay bead before baking. Polymer clay is not a clay, but a plastic that is easily manipulated and used to mimic many different mediums and things like bone or gems.

How long have you had an interest in polymer clay and making jewelry?

I have been making polymer clay beads, sculptures and jewelry for almost nine years. My beads, sculpture and jewelry have been seen in Beadwork, Stringing, Beads 2011, Polymer Cafe and Beadstyle.

How did you get started? Did you start by experimenting around, or did you take a class and go from there?

I got interested in polymer clay after a hurricane in 2004 when we were without power. The library had power and I was working with colored pencil flower sketches and picked up a book on polymer clay flowers.

I took the book home and decided to give the clay a try when and if we got power restored. As it turned out, we had another direct hit by a hurricane and I went to work for FEMA for about a year, so my clay was put on hold for a year while I worked and read every book I could find on clay.

I have learned the medium by reading every book I could find and making a lot of mistakes and hideous creations. I have not taken a class and probably won’t in the future, but there are a few classes I would love to take. I do have a lot of dvd lessons that I have had for a few years, but have never looked at them because I never seem to have time.

Are there any particular mediums you like working with?

Besides polymer clay, I have done a lot of pencil portraits and love to work in colored pencils. My portraits have sold at auctions and I have done commissioned drawings. I cannot paint worth a lick, but love to look at paintings and some of the details amaze me.

I am a writer and a photographer, so I do work in those two artistic mediums professionally.


Polymer clay fun dangle earrings

Is there anything you eventually want to get in to and master?

My mother is a professional artist and she works primarily in oils. I would love to be able to paint with something! I would love to be better at my color pencil work and devote more time to learning other sketching, drawing and painting techniques.

I have a passion for lampwork beads, to the point of being an extreme hoarder of beads. I would love to make lampwork beads, but realize that is not something I will ever do because I cannot conceive one more work space to set up and I am fairly certain I would end up setting something on fire. So, I will be content in coveting the beads of those talented flame artists.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I read – a lot. I always have a book in my hand. The bigger, the better. When I am not reading, I am hiking and taking photos of the mountains in Montana and Yellowstone. I am on an extended vacation in Montana and am all over the Rockies and a regular visitor to Yellowstone.

What’s a question you wish I would’ve asked? And please answer that question. :)

The most important things to me are my family, friends and the ability to create. If I am not able to create, I am fairly certain I would blow up.


Santa Claus Thimble

Please include ten fun facts about yourself. (Example, I like black jelly beans; I love “24;” etc).

1-I am a published author in numerous magazines and newspapers. I write music and have done some public performances. I have done a lot of plays over the years. I am still afraid of a lot of people and terribly shy.

2-I think my dog can talk. He has his own blog.

3-I love the movie The Wizard of Oz and have seen it more than 30 times. I even own it. I am over 50, I suspect I will see it a few more times in my life.

4-I love cotton candy and know how to run a cotton candy machine. Do not run one in the wind; it blows into your hair.

5-I have read the John Jakes’ American Bi-Centennial Series – The Kent Family Chronicles (all 8 books) over 10 times and the first time I read them, they were just coming out and had to wait as they were released. I have all of the books he has ever written.

6-I have been to all but 8 states in the United States and plan on getting to all of them before I die. I travel as much as I can and am a buff of all things National Park.

7-My brother-in-law is a jockey and he was in the Kentucky Derby. My son is a police academy graduate and he is in security in a Florida beachside community.

8-I think Stevie Nicks is one of the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. I have all her music, in triplicate and every outtake she ever accidentally recorded.

9-I love to cook and bake. I am forever trying new things and I have a homemade pizza that is about the only pizza we eat any more. I come from a family of bakers.

10-I was raised in the midwest with horses and farms before I moved to Florida in the mid 80s and embraced Jimmy Buffet. I have a home in Florida and am renting a cabin in the Rockies. I will have to go back to Florida sooner or later. I will miss the mountains. They provide me with a huge sense of security and peace.

Please list the urls to your website, blog, and/or online
Blue Morning Expressions
The Seed Bead Pattern Store
X Stitch Patterns
Clip On Earrings Boutique
Blue Morning Expressions on Artfire
Saracom on Etsy
Polymer Clay Beads on Etsy
The Blu Print Blog
Polymer Clay Canes Blog
Julie L. Cleveland
Julie L. Cleveland on Zazzle


Christmas Cheer necklace

Linking up to A Creative Princess, Suzy’s Sitcom, and Homemaker on a Dime

Written by Screaming Sardine

December 3rd, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Artisan Interview with Lea of LA Jewelry Designs

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Today’s interview is with Lea of LA Jewelry Designs on Etsy, which features beautiful lampwork glass beads that are works of art! She’s quite busy, having another shop on Etsy as well as on Artfire.


Sky blue speckled lampwork boro glass spiral bead

Tell us about your store. What kind of supplies do you offer for artisans
I have 2 Etsy shops. In the 1st, LAJewelryDesigns, I sell my handmade lampwork glass beads and on occasion some of my OOAK jewelry pieces. The 2nd shop, LAGypsyDesigns, is where I sell upcycled sweatercoats and armwarmers.

Is there any particular item you sell that you like to use regularly?
I like working with lampwork focals because they give me the freedom to create unique pieces.

When did you open your store and what inspired you to do so?
I opened my LAJewelryDesigns shop in November, 2007. I have a hard time marketing my work. The thought of walking into a store or gallery to sell my work is enough to give me hives so when I learned about Etsy, I decided to give it a try. It’s been a great decision.


Lampwork Glass Focal Bead, Mystical Amethyst

What do you offer your customers that the larger stores can’t?
This is a very easy question. To begin with, I welcome custom orders. I also offer personal attention. Since I’m a night owl, I’ve been known to respond to convos and facebook messages till all hours. I love interacting with my customers, many of which have become friends over the years.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
Most of my spare time is spent crafting in 1 form or another. When not crafting, I love spending time at the beach, going for walks and looking for treasures.


Apple Green Purple Upcycled Sweater Coat

What’s a question you wish I would’ve asked? And please answer that question. :)
How I got into lampworking. I had been making jewelry for many years and would often find that there was a particular bead that I needed for a design, which of course I didn’t have. So, when a friend mentioned a lampwork class that was being given at the local art league, I jumped on it and was immediately hooked.

What are ten fun facts about you?
1. I love chocolate, especially if it has nuts in it
2. My favorite ice cream is Baskin Robbins’ Jamoca Almond Fudge
3. I love cherries.
4. I was born in Transylvania.
5. My favorite European country that I’ve visited is Italy.
6. My favorite cruise was to Alaska.
7. I love to bake
8. I hate to cook
9. I collect seashells and rocks
10. I can tie a cherry stem into a pretzel with my tongue.

Please list the urls to your website, blog, and/or online shop, social media, etc.
LA Jewelry Designs on Etsy
LA Jewelry Designs on Artfire
LA Gypsy Designs on Etsy
LA Jewelry Designs Facebook
LA Gypsy Designs Facebook
LA Jewelry Design blog
LA Jewelry Design on Twitter
Lea Avroch on Pinterest


Buttery Lemon Yellow Interchangeable Ring Topper or Pendant

Linking up to A Creative Princess, Suzy’s Sitcom, and Homemaker on a Dime

Written by Screaming Sardine

November 26th, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Renee of Studio Renee Artisan Interview

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Today’s interview is with Renee of Studio Renee Etsy Shop. One look at her shop, and you’ll see it’s filled with a wide variety of unique and beautiful handmade items.


Paper mache rustic balls

Tell us about your store. What kind of items do you offer?
I have a store on Etsy and a store on my home website. In both stores, I offer an assortment of my work, including paintings, sculpture, jewelry, and decor and gift items.

How long have you had an interest in creating art, making jewelry, paper mache, and all the various beautiful things you make?
I’ve been creating since I was a small child. Like most people, I was given crayons, Play Doh, and coloring books. But the fascination with creating never ended with me.

How did you get started? Did you start by experimenting around, or did you take a class and go from there?
I grew up experimenting with lots of media, and when I didn’t have traditional art supplies on hand, I created with found things. Luckily, my family recognized my growing love and encouraged it. I was mostly self-taught, through trial and error, and many, many books. Thanks to my mother, who exposed my brother and me to our public libraries, I had access to books on almost any creative technique or medium I wanted to try.

Are there any particular mediums you like working with?
It’s hard to limit that list, but I love working with salvaged materials, creating things with wire, plastics, and papier mache, and I love the classical mediums, such as oil, acrylic, pencil, and pastel. I have other favorites, though, and the medium I work in on any given day sometimes depends on my mood, commissioned work, or the pace of the day. I know some people find it strange that I insist on working in so many different mediums, but I do it because I love it!


Dangle copper and pearl earrings, with recycled paper beads

Is there anything you eventually want to get in to and master?
I love to paint, especially in oil and watercolor because they can produce such vibrant results. I look forward to having more time to hone my skills in that arena and completing a respectable body of painted work.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
When I have spare time, I enjoy getting outside, exploring, traveling, getting excercise, reading, and any combination of these.

What’s a question you wish I would’ve asked? And please answer that question. :)
What would you be if you weren’t an artist? I would probably be an engineer or inventor, because I have a mechanical aptitude, and I enjoy figuring out how things work and fixing or improving them.


Chunky knotted leather adjustable ring

Please include ten fun facts about yourself. (Example, I like black jelly beans; I love “24;” etc).
I am an awesome shower singer.
I am highly into time management and figuring out how to live my life more efficiently.
I love old black and white movies and collect them.
I love dancing.
I don’t have any celebrity crushes (I like real guys :o).
I like to cook, but I’m better at baking.
I am terrified of being near bodies of water at night.
I have a messy, cluttered artist side and a neat freak side.
I sleepwalk sometimes.
I can’t sit still for t.v. very long, because my hands need to be doing something creative. It ends up being background noise while I wander off and work, lol.

Please list the urls to your website, blog, and/or online shop, social media, etc.
Studio Renee Etsy Shop
Created by Renee on Facebook
Renee Zance Art website
heArt of Renee Blog


Set of two paper mache ornaments

Sharing with Homemaker on a Dime and A Creative Princess

Denise from Going Tribal Artisan Interview

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Today’s interview is with Denise of Going Tribal Etsy Shop, which features beautiful colorful jewelry for women and men, as well as fine art photography.


Sundance Live Your Dream Dangle Necklace

Tell us about your store. What kind of items do you offer?
Going Tribal Jewelry humbly showcases my handmade creations of women’s necklaces, earrings, and bracelets and men’s necklaces and bracelets and some of my photographs. I try to create classy but simple jewelry a person could wear everyday. I encourage custom orders.

How long have you had an interest in making jewelry?
About 15 years ago I dabbled in earrings and beaded watch bands, then life took a different path. In March 2011, I took a rare vacation to New Mexico – I bought a beaded cuff bracelet (that was not “finished out” well) and thought “I can fix this.” Then I knew I could create exactly what I wanted.

How did you get started? Did you start by experimenting around, or did you take a class and go from there?
I just dived in … I’m an “all or nothing” kinda girl! ha I had a little experience so I picked up a few instruction books at the craft store and watched a lot of tutorials to get started … and off I went!

Are there any particular mediums you like working with?
I have a connection to stones – jasper and agates are my favorites – turquoise too … I love color! I thrive on the tediousness when I’m being creative and learning and trying new techniques.


Turquoise silver Indian head nickel men’s bracelet

Is there anything you eventually want to get in to and master?
Oh yes, silversmithing! I’ve seen incredible and elegant designs with such simple tools! I’ve contacted an instructor and hope to get going very soon!

What do you like to do in your spare time?
Hmmm … photographing things in nature that others don’t notice. I’m learning how to create fractal art. I’ve started pleasure reading again. Currently I’m knee-deep in “Atlas Shrugged” and loving it!

What’s a question you wish I would’ve asked? And please answer that question.
1. How did you come up with your shop name? “Going Tribal” is about getting back to “what’s real” – rediscovering how creative my hands can be … and letting creativeness make its own path.
2. Where do you discover inspiration? My youngest sister is a classy fashionista. I always think of her when I’m designing.


Sterling silver earrings

Please include ten fun facts about yourself.
1. I love yogurt and trail mix – together.
2. I’m 60.
3. I dig exploring people’s minds – what makes them “tick.”
4. I don’t like slimy food – gotta have some texture – crunchy is best.
5. I wear socks year-round.
6. I love to hike and explore out-of-the-way places.
7. When inspired, I write “flash fiction” (sort of an intense 1-act scene with a moral).
8. I’d rather be trying to stay warm than staying cool (you can never take off enough clothes to be cool)!
9. I have a “thing” for frogs and rocks … the uglier they are, the more precious they are.
10. I’m all thumbs without a mouse … that touchpad thing is too “techy.” ha

Please list the urls to your website, blog, and/or online shop, social media, etc.
Going Tribal Etsy Shop
Denise McIntyre on Facebook
Going Tribal on Facebook


Fine art photography – Stone Stairway

Sharing with A Creative Princess, Suzy’s Sitcom, and /Homemaker on a Dime

Written by Screaming Sardine

November 12th, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Laura of Tucson Sun Artisan Interview

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Today’s interview is with Laura of Tucson Sun Etsy Shop. Her shop offers a wide range of beautiful beads and gemstones for the jewelry artisan at reasonable prices!


Pandora style beading in purple, mauve, and blue

Tell us about your store. What kind of supplies do you offer for crafters and artisans?
My store is Tucson Sun (named for my favorite place on Earth!) I carry unique items for the jewelry designer including charms, beading, and findings. I promise…some of these items you will not be able to find anywhere else! I also carry gemstones which can be carried and are said to relieve certain ailments, provide luck, offer assistance with finances, etc. My beads are sold by the strand, individually, and in groups, depending on the item. I love working with designers (whether seasoned or newbies) and helping them create beautiful works of art!

Is there any particular item you sell that you like to use regularly when you’re creating?
When I did dabble in jewelry design, I loved working with amber chips and bone beading. The pieces in which I used these items not only sold well, but appeared to take on a personality of their own!

When did you open your store and what inspired you to do so?
Tucson Sun has only been open for a few months. I would love to see this supplier take off on Etsy. I love working with gemstones and beading, and I love selling them and working with the custoner even more!


Green vesuvianite stones

What do you offer your customers that the larger stores can’t?
Incredible prices. If you are just beginning to design jewelry, or are looking for that unique piece to complete your design, Tucson Sun is for you. Personalized service, unique inventory, and amazing prices are all part of the deal!

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love to run, am VERY into yoga, and I love to read (steampunk is my favorite!)

What’s a question you wish I would’ve asked? And please answer that question. :)
What began your interest in gemstones and beading? A book titled The Essential Guide to Crystals. Not only did the book identify crystals and gemstones, but also taught the healing powers and magical powers the rocks possess.

What are ten fun facts about you?
I have a Master’s Degree in Forensic Psychology. I have hiked half of the Appalachian trail. My weakness is ice cream. I love steampunk novels. I am addicted to Twitter and Facebook. I visit Hawk Mountain every year to watch the North American hawk migration. I own a sweet German Shepherd and a very evil cat. I love to garden. I hate to cook. Fall is my favorite time of year.


Large dyed rhondite rounds

Please list the urls to your website, blog, and/or online shop, social media, etc.
Tucson Sun Etsy Shop
Laura Venet on Twitter
Laura Venet on Pinterest
Tucson Sun on Facebook


Silver Teddy Bear Pandora Style Charm

Sharing with A Creative Princess, Suzy’s Sitcom, and Homemaker on a Dime

Written by Screaming Sardine

November 5th, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Andria of McKee Jewelry Designs Artisan Interview

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Today’s interview is with Andria of McKee Jewelry Designs , which offers some very pretty jewelry of Andria’s own designs. She’s been published in jewelry magazines and a book and also has two other online shops: The Bead Need and McKee Jewelry Beads.


Sunny Day Boho Earrings

Tell us about your store. What kind of items do you offer?
My main store is a jewelry store where I make mostly Bohemian style jewelry.

You’re also starting a new shop offering supplies. Please tell us more about it.
I just started a new shop offering trinity brass supplies, which I hope will grow to offer Greek Ceramic beads, gemstone strands, and findings, but one day at a time.

How long have you had an interest in making jewelry?
I have loved working with beads since I was a little girl carrying around my plastic case with plastic beads. I really came into jewelry making after re-settling my life in Seattle, WA. Starting with playing around with some beads I had laying around in 2010. I found I had no idea what I was doing but it was fun and thought I would start teaching myself.


Trinity Brass Co Antique Gold Affirmations Charms

How did you get started? Did you start by experimenting around, or did you take a class and go from there?
I have never taken a class. I bought some supplies and taught myself. Bought some books and experimented.

Are there any particular mediums you like working with?
I love working with metal and gemstones. I admire more metal working but I have not gotten to that part in jewelry creating yet. I love thread, ribbon and mixed media. It’s hard to pick a favorite medium.

Is there anything you eventually want to get in to and master?
I would love to get more into metal working someday.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
lol. I don’t have any spare time. I have small children.


Catherine Parr Ephemera Circle Pendant

Please include ten fun facts about yourself.
I have 2 children, both boys.
I have 2 cats.
I just got married and he is the most wonderful man to me and father figure to my children I could hope for.
I live near Seattle, WA. I moved here from Portland, OR, and I love Seattle!
I love art and history.
I love colors. I don’t have a favorite. They change all the time.
I hope my business will keep growing as it helps support my family.
I love Tudor history! I have since I was in the 5th grade.
I love being able to craft and use creativity.
I am an avid reader.

Please list the urls to your website, blog, and/or online shop, social media, etc.
The Bead Need Etsy Shop
McKee Jewelry Designs Etsy Shop
McKee Jewelry Beads Etsy Shop


Ginko Leaf Ceramic Pendant

Linking up to A Creative Princess, Suzy’s Sitcom, and Homemaker on a Dime

Written by Screaming Sardine

October 29th, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Betsey with Sweetgrass Trading Company Artisan Interview

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Namaste wool felt figure

Today’s interview is with Betsey of Sweetgrass Trading Co on Etsy. As you can see, she makes amazing and unique “‘Earth-felt People’ inspire contemplation and joy for our spiritual connection with the natural world.”

Tell us about your store. What kind of items do you offer?
I create 3-dimensional figures of little people, about 6 inches high, that are designed to sit on shelves with their feet dangling over the edge. My customers initially assume the figures are Inuit or Alaskan, but although they wear hooded parkas, mittens, and mukluks, they don’t represent a specific geographic area or people. Some of their faces are pale, some dark, and they could be any one of us who live in the cold northern climate.

I also make dragonflies with tiny Japanese glass beads, and design necklaces and bracelets.

How long have you had an interest in felting and sculpting?
I just started making my little people about 18 months ago! Needlefelting is a fun way to work with fibers, is fairly easy to learn, the supplies are not expensive, and they don’t take up much room.

How did you get started? Did you start by experimenting around, or did you take a class and go from there?
I was participating in a small Christmas craft show and the show organizers invited all the artists to create something special for the “naked” tree in the middle of the show floor. When the customers voted on their favorite, they chose my decoration! I had created a little person, about three inches high, from materials I had stashed around my work space. I had a lot of fun making her, and the First Prize was just extra icing on the cake.


Dragonfly pin or window jewelry

Are there any particular mediums you like working with?
I need to teach myself new skills every time I begin a fresh design, and the variety of what I do keeps me challenged and constantly learning new things. I work with clay to make their faces, I handsew their outfits from wool felt, and use my beading skills to decorate the parkas and mukluks. Although I explore antique stores and thrift stores for materials to use, have had to learn how to make miniature canoe paddles and birdhouses out of wood, miniature penguins, cats, and seals out of sheep’s wool fibers, and books out of real birchbark.

Is there anything you eventually want to get in to and master?
I’m still pretty excited about what I’m doing now. I have many, many ideas for what I will be creating this coming year. My problem is NOT “writer’s block”; rather, my problem is that I have a zillion ideas. I write them down on a list I keep handy, so I can remain focused on just one little person at a time. Otherwise, I would never get anything done.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love to canoe and camp in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northern Minnesota. I use to do solo trips to the wilderness, but ever since my summers got so hectic participating in art shows around the Midwest, I usually try to make sure I can mesh my camping schedule with my boyfriend’s schedule…..it’s very romantic up there under the stars, as long as the mosquitos aren’t out.

What’s a question you wish I would’ve asked? And please answer that question.

“What motivates you to create your artwork?”

I design my art dolls to honor our connection with nature, music, and the arts. The entire process is fun and very joyful because the designs grow from positive thoughts: be kind to others, handle animals with great gentleness, respect the earth, delight in the arts, make happy music, and enjoy the movements of our active bodies.


The Knitter wool felt figure

Please include ten fun facts about yourself.
1. I used to be a Marine Corps Officer.
2. I am teaching myself to speak Spanish, which is not an easy thing to learn in northern Minnesota.
3. I never met a cat I didn’t like, and I sometimes walk around the neighborhood trying to convince cats to let me pet them.
4. If you offer to give me a back massage, I will follow you anywhere.
5. I have a mole on my back that looks like a woodtick.
6. When I was a baby, my family moved to a new house in a different town and my Mom packed up the 5 older kids into the car, locked the front door, and drove away, with me still sleeping in the crib in the old house.
7. When I was 10 years old, I broke both of my arms at the same time when I fell off of my brother’s bike. He is still angry at me for scratching his bike and brings it up at every Thanksgiving get-together.
8. I have a very smart, very naughty, black cat named “Lucy” who is my business partner. Or perhaps she is my boss, I dunno.
9. I once met one of the U.S. presidents, although I doubt he would admit it.
10. I am blessed to be able to take a nap anywhere, anytime I choose.

Please list the urls to your website, blog, and/or online shop, social media, etc.

Sweetgrass Trading Co on Etsy
Sweetgrass Trading Company on Facebook


Cat lady wool felt figure

Sharing with A Creative Princess, Suzys Sitcom, and Homemaker on a Dime.

Written by Screaming Sardine

October 22nd, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Artisan Interview with Cat of Two Penny Lane

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Make sure to check out the awesome galleries filled with great handmade and vintage items.


Handbag Locket Necklace

Today’s interview is with Cat of Two Bad Bananas Etsy Shop and Two Penny Lane Etsy Shop. Both of her shops are filled with very different kinds of whimsical jewelry – from “quirky kawaii jewellery” to “fairytale and dolls house vintage inspired jewellery” – but both shops feature her incredible talent in creating such small treasures! From

Tell us about your store. What kind of items do you offer?
I have two jewellery brands. The first, and oldest of these, is Two Bad Bananas, which is inspired by my love of Kawaii style (that’s Japanese for “Super Cute”). I usually describe it to people as “putting faces on things and making them oh-my-God-cute!” I offer bright, fun, and quirky jewellery, and my favourite items are my handmade fruit, vegetable and mushroom charms, all made individually from polymer clay. I give all the charms a name and a personality, because I’m a bit weird and feel that once they have a face they’re nearly alive!

My other jewellery brand is called Two Penny Lane and is a little bit more grown up. I generally describe these lines as jewellery for people cleverly disguised as responsible adults. Despite looking beautiful and vintage inspired in style, the majority of pieces are inspired by things I loved as a child – books such as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz, and other fairytales, and I have a whole range of jewellery made from repurposed dolls house miniatures – inspired by the Borrowers, one of my favourite childhood books, and also my dolls houses!

How long have you had an interest in making jewelry?
Not very long really! I’ve been making jewellery for just over three years, and I started out with items that you can see now in the Two Bad Bananas shop. After a few months I was selling items in the shop I work in, as well as making jewellery for me and friends. After Christmas I spent all my Christmas money on new supplies and that’s when I started making Two Penny Lane. I didn’t even get my ears pierced until I was 21!


Kawaii Gingerbread Man Necklace with Top Hat

How did you get started? Did you start by experimenting around, or did you take a class and go from there?
Bizarrely I was a pure academic at school, no artsy type subjects. I got a Masters Degree and then had to get a full time job in a shop because being a student really, really doesn’t pay. Whilst thinking about moving on to my PhD, I was looking at the jewellery we were selling in the shop I worked in, and thinking, “If I did that I’d do it like THIS…” so one night I bought myself a few charms, a few chains, and a pair of pliers off eBay, and started making jewellery for myself. I look back now and genuinely can’t work out how I actually made ANYTHING with only one pair of pliers but apparently I did! I didn’t even know what any of the findings were called, which made searching for supplies online really hard! After I started to sell more jewellery in another shop I had a bit more money to spend on tools and supplies, and I also started subscribing to a jewellery magazine which really helped, especially with the names of tools and supplies! Now I’ve started a miniature collection of books so I can expand my skill set.

Are there any particular mediums you like working with?
I love love love polymer clay. My favourite brand is Fimo. I’ve used it since I was little, when I used to make food for my Sylvanian Families. One time, I made a whole grocer’s store, with wicker baskets and all the fruit and veg you can think of. I think that is where the inspiration for a lot of my jewellery in both brands comes from. I carry that childhood hobby through into making the miniature food charms in Two Bad Bananas and have upgraded them with the kawaii faces, and also I get to buy all the dolls house miniatures I could never afford with pocket money and turn them into jewellery as an adult for Two Penny Lane!

Is there anything you eventually want to get in to and master?
I’d really like to work with resin. I’ve been put off before because a lot of the instructions you find online are American, and refer to American brand names you simply can’t find over here, and there’s a fair amount of kit involved to try something and then find out you’re rubbish at it! But now my business is more established, and soon (fingers crossed) me and my boyfriend are buying a house, in which there is space for me to have a whole room dedicated to my jewellery. I cannot explain to you how amazing that is. I look forward to it more than I look forward to Sean Bean, and I REALLY love Sean Bean! Once I’ve got the space, I can use what I’ve learned from my jewellery magazines and books and give it a proper go.


Sewing Machine Necklace

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I don’t get much spare time, between working full time and running my shops, so I tend to do things that aren’t very energy intensive! I like to watch documentaries on TV (I really am that much of a geek) especially Archaeology and Science and Nature ones, and I’m a big reader of Sci Fi and Fantasy books. I like playing Lego computer games, and also Plants VS Zombies.

What’s a question you wish I would’ve asked? And please answer that question. :)
I wish you’d asked me… what I’m scared of. I’m actually scared of succeeding with my business. Where I work, I run the ship so to speak, but it’s not my money or financial investment, so it feels empowering but very low risk! I’m reaching a point where my job is starting to hold my business back which infuriates me but then I’m too frightened of losing the financial stability of employment to make a big push with my business. I’m the only thing holding me back!

Goodness, that was a little serious, wasn’t it? My apologies. I’m scared of spiders, toe socks, and chickens with teeth.

Please include ten fun facts about yourself.
1) My favourite colour is green.
2) I have an MSc in Palaeopathology (I apologise if you have to look that up!)
3) I don’t like toes.
4) My favourite book of all time is Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones.
5) I have a cat, called Adobe, who is named after Photoshop.
6) I’m obsessed with Plants VS Zombies.
7) I’m obsessed with Plants VS Zombies. (Haha!)
8) I can’t dance, and I don’t iron. Or it might be the other way around. I forget.
9) All day today I’ve been salivating at the smell of curry.
10) Sean Bean is saving himself for me. He just might not know it yet.

Please list the urls to your website, blog, and/or online shop, social media, etc.

Two Bad Bananas Etsy Shop
Two Bad Bananas on Twitter
Two Bad Bananas on Facebook
Two Penny Lane Etsy Shop
Two Penny Lane on Twitter
Two Penny Lane on Facebook


Kawaii Chocolate Cake Ring Adjustable

Linking up with A Creative Princess, Homemaker on a Dime, and Suzy’s Sitcom.

Written by Screaming Sardine

October 15th, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Interview with Leesa of Waalaa Vintage

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Today’s interview is with Leesa of Waalaa on Ruby Lane. She also has shops on Artfire and Etsy. Her shops are chock FULL of a large variety beautiful vintage jewelry in all price ranges!


Photo above: Vintage Kate Hines Brooch

Tell us about your store. What kind of items do you offer?
I love all antiques and vintage, but my shop is almost exclusively vintage and antique jewelry. I just love the sparklies!

Where do you find all your great vintage finds?
I’m pretty addicted to thrift stores, antique malls and yard sales, so I get a lot of my treasures there. Auctions and estate sales are fun too! I feel like a pirate searching for treasure when I shop for vintage jewels!

How long have you had an interest in vintage/antique items?
I remember going to auctions when I was a child with my parents and how much fun it was to watch my dad bid on items and win! My mom always collected antiques, and my grandmother’s house was full of them, so of course I have my grandmother’s things all over my house. I love the history and the stories behind vintage and antique pieces, and I love to imagine the person who might have worn my jewelry in the past.


Photo above: Vintage Butterfly Brooch

Are there any particular vintage items that are your favorites?
I love the pin that is my shop avatar. I acquired it when I was just beginning to learn about vintage jewelry, and of course I severely under-priced it. A kind stranger emailed me to tell me it was valuable, so I researched it and examined it more thoroughly. It was, in fact, very valuable, 14k gold and very old. I never forgot that someone selflessly helped me when I needed it, and that’s why I use that brooch as my avatar. It reminds me to be patient and helpful to others if I can.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
Well, I don’t really have much spare time! LOL I have a fabulous husband and two college aged kids (my son just graduated as an RN, and my daughter is in her last semester to become an elementary ed teacher). My “day job” is as a medical transcriptionist, which also involves a lot of research, even after 20 years! And to top it off, I have three BIG dogs…they are a joy AND a handful!

But when I do have a chance, I love to paint and do all kinds of crafts – I think I have probably kept Michael’s in business! I also love photography. Finally, of course I also love to play with my jewelry, take pics and research on line for fun!

What’s a question you wish I would’ve asked? And please answer that question. :)
Hmmmm – that’s hard! You could ask if I could travel anywhere, where would it be? I’m so glad you asked! I love traveling all over the U.S. (the Smokies and Longboat Key in Florida are my favorites), but I think I would love to travel to Ireland. I have a lot of Irish ancestors and so does my husband, so I think it would be wonderful to visit some of the beautiful places where our ancestors lived.


Photo above: Jelly belly goldtone wire mouse vintage brooch

Please include ten fun facts about yourself.
1. I love Stephen King novels, the spookier the better.
2. I am addicted to the Food Network – I experiment with gourmet dishes constantly!
3. I play video games – not just old school games, but games like Resident Evil, Bioshock and Skyrim – I’m a child!
4. I grew up in the city, but I now live in the country with three dogs – but at one time we had 3 dogs, a duck, a rabbit, 2 rats, a cat, gerbils, tropical fish, and an alligator snapping turtle! We love animals!
5. I collect bears – Bainbridge Bears and Cherished Teddies are my favorites!
6. I also collect Santas – I decorate with them year round – every day is Christmas!
7. My dream car is a Jaguar, so if anyone wants to donate one to me…
8. My grandfather was a country/folk artist who played at the Newport Folk Festival with Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan and Maybelle Carter, and he is in the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Library of Congress!
9. I love to go fishing…with worms!
10. I’m a Southern girl with a vegetable garden…who doesn’t like fresh tomatoes!

Please list the urls to your website, blog, and/or online shop, social media, etc.
Waalaa on Etsy
Waalaa on Ruby Lane
Waalaa on Artfire
Waalaa on Pinterest
Waalaa Store on Twitter
Waalaa Vintage on Facebook
Waalaa Vintage Jewelry Blog


Photo above: Vintage black bracelet
    
    

Linking up to A Creative Princess, Homemaker on a Dime and Suzy Sitcom.

Written by Screaming Sardine

October 8th, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Sandy with Treasured Linens Interview

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Today’s interview is with Sandy of Treasured Linens Etsy Shop. Are you wondering where to find vintage aprons, linens, and other finds? Then make sure you check out Sandy’s shop; you might find what you’re looking for!


Vintage mid century retro half apron Green salad motif

Tell us about your store. What kind of items do you offer?
I prefer textiles and sewing items, but am still selling my antique store inventory.

Where do you find all your great vintage finds?
I find them in my “magic” basement.

How long have you had an interest in vintage/antique items?
I think I was born old. I started browsing the shops when my youngest started kindergarten 35 years ago.


Antique white on white applique doily

Are there any particular vintage items that are your favorites?
Sewing collectibles. I currently collect buttons and darners.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
Play Scrabble on the internet. I also travel to Europe-used to be two to three times a year to buy things for my shop. Now I go just once. We are snowbirds and I winter in Arizona.

What’s a question you wish I would’ve asked? And please answer that question. :)
Why/how did I start selling on Etsy? Answer: A shop customer told me about it. I was selling shop inventory on ebay and it became too expensive.


Authentic Victorian velvet and lace pincushion with two large glass head pins

Please include ten fun facts about yourself.
I have 5 great grandchildren
I love buttons
I love Eastern Europe
I belong to Couchsurfing
I love people
I have been married 48 years
I have a part time job helping people downsize
I collect sewing things-but do not sew
I am a snowbird-therefore I have two lives
I have one spoiled cat.

Please list the urls to your website, blog, and/or online shop, social media, etc.
Google Plus
Treasured Linens Etsy Shop
Tomorrow’s Antiques on Ebay


Antique Sterling Silver glove darner and Needle case

Written by Screaming Sardine

October 1st, 2012 at 12:00 pm