||Meet the Designer-Artist
Where do you live?
I currently live in Markham, Ontario
Describe your artistic style.
I have no style. And by "no style" I just mean that there's no one defining theme among the different pieces I've designed over the years. There are so many types of pieces I like to create that I've never settled on one ... well, style. I design pieces for the modern woman that will complement any outfit from day to night, and from classic designs to fancy and fun. I feel that jewelry adds to your personal expression, and should be as unique as the person wearing it.
What inspires you as a designer-artist?
I cannot really pin down what inspires me to create each unique piece. Many times, there's something about the colors, shapes and layout of my materials that just speaks to me. I have always loved to do artistic things, and with the enticing world of beads, and their myriad of shapes, colors, and textures, the design possibilities are endless. I am always thinking about new ways to put designs together so that each component is enhanced by those around it, and with the intention that each piece of jewelry is unique as the person wearing it. "I'll see certain colors and shapes and I just have to put them together!"
What materials do you most enjoy working with?
I enjoy working with Swarovski crystals, fire-polished crystals, semi-precious stones, sterling silver, and other metals.
What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
What inspired this design?
I wanted something bright but not over the top. A design that was simple yet stunning and the colors I used made me think of tropical waters and bright sunshine.
How did it come together?
It defined itself as I began to work.
Share Your Background
When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
When I retired from showing horses and left the farm to move into a town house, I found I had a lot of time on my hands and was starting to go stir crazy. Then one day I was out with my mother and I wandered into a bead store and I was instantly drawn to all the colors shapes and textures. I started seeing all these designs in my head. That day I bought several different beads and materials. It was just a hobby at first. I would give away a lot of what I made to family and friends as gifts, but then I started to get asked if I sell it, and that's when Blingz the Thing was born.
Who introduced you to beading?
In some ways I guess it would be my mother for taking me downtown to the bead shops, but other than that no one, I was just drawn to it.
Do you have an artistic background?
My artistic background comes from my family. My mom is one of the most creative people I know. I would watch her for countless hours designing and sewing all our horse show outfits. She did folk-art painting, flower arrangements, scrap booking, interior design, sewing everything herself, and that's only a few of her many talents. My Pop-pa (grandfather) was into model trains he designed all the scenery himself. He also did knotting, model ships, and crest painting. My aunt is an interior designer, who also does photography and drawings. I would make different chests and boxes, restore old furniture, I'd make hair bows and brooches. Now besides designing and making jewelry, I love to scrapbook, draw, paint, flower arrangements and other home accessories. I have a basement full of crafts that only someone with a passion for making and creating things would love and appreciate. So I have always been into crafting something or another.
How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®?
From BeadStyle magazine
What other hobbies do you have?
I enjoy all sorts of crafting, gardening, and spending time with my family.
Do you belong to any beading societies or beading groups?
Not at the moment I don't I haven't really found any in my area and the ones that are the closest all cost money to join. Money I just don't have at the moment.
What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
Jewelry-making plays a big role in my life I would eventually like to make it my full-time career, but at the moment that's not financially possible. I've found that there is nothing quite as relaxing as beading and designing jewelry. No matter how stressful my day may have been, the moment I pull out my beads I can feel all of my tension start to melt away. Plus I get to create beautiful things that make other people happy, while doing something that I really love. Who could ask for more?
If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
I have just finished making my web site (www.blingzthething.com) and it's been up and running for a couple of months now, I have been to a couple of festivals and I would like to do way more when the funds are available to enter. I haven't entered any contest yet, but I'm looking into it.
Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
I have donated a few pieces to different fundraisers for silent auctions, but that's it so far. I am looking for other ways I can help out.
Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
The advice that I can give to other aspiring jewelry artists is to just follow your passion. Make what inspires you and then go out there and sell, sell, sell. Put yourself out there and just have a fun time doing so! Just don't give up.