Cindi Gardner

Magatama Crochet
Meet the Designer-Artist

Where do you live?
Orlando, Florida

Describe your artistic style.
Balanced, but eclectic. Organized, but fun. Outside the box, but not TOO far.

What inspires you as a designer-artist?
Color, especially earth tones. If there's a way to work the beads into a crocheted rope, I'm all over it.

What materials do you most enjoy working with?
Seed beads and how they can be embellished.

What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
Magatama Crochet

What inspired this design?
When I first started the crochet, it reminded me of pine cones covered in snow from when I lived in Pennsylvania. I just couldn't stop crocheting, and this was the result. I have several bags of magatamas in other colors just waiting their turn ...

Share Your Background

When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
My daughter bought me a bracelet on memory wire from a craft sale for Christmas about ten years ago. I figured it looked easy enough to duplicate with different beads, so I went looking for the memory wire. A small "Mom and Pop" store (Seahorse Arts and Crafts) was the only store in Orlando with memory wire, so I bought some and signed up to take a stringing class the following weekend. The rest, they say, is history. I've gone from being a student (stringing) to now teaching original designs at an Orlando bead store (The Bead Bar).

Who introduced you to beading?
I've made lots of friends through beading, many of whom have helped me either learn a new stitch, shared their passion with me, or just encouraged me to not give it up in a moment of frustration. ("Put it down, walk away, have a glass of wine and it'll get better.")

Do you have an artistic background?
I've been crocheting since age 6 and did lots of counted cross stitch, most recently with beads. Other than that, I can't draw a stick figure to save my life.

How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®?
I was searching for clasps after attending a bead show. FMG had the same clasp I'd bought for about 1/2 the price.

What other hobbies do you have?
Reading, cooking and spending time with friends and family.

Do you belong to any beading societies or beading groups?
I belong to the Bead Society of Central Florida.

Beading Success

What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
Beading is my therapy. It's a retreat at the end of a stressful day and enables me to have calm conversations with my family if the day's been particularly chaotic.

If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
I don't sell my work unless someone specifically asks for a duplicate of something I'm wearing. I have entered pieces in our local fair for the past five years and won at least two ribbons each year.

Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
I crocheted a rope using a mix from Lydia Borin (the Bead Wrangler) and attached a wire-wrapped rivoli as a pendant, and donated it as a raffle item to my daughter's high school drama club. I believe they made $200 from the raffle tickets.