I live in Nashville, work at the Children's Hospital, and have 2 grown up boys. I started beading some 2 years ago and this has become a wonderful passion.
Have you always loved to create?
Not really. I rather loved reading books or listening to music. But I had a black dress for which I wanted "dangling red earrings" and could not find the ideal ones I was looking for. I though may be I could make them. I took beading classes and make my ideal earrings! Since then I always wear earrings that match my outfit. I also have make lots of earrings for friends and colleagues as birthday, Christmas or wedding gifts. It is a wonderful feeling to be able to say: "I made this" and even more gratifying to tell a loved one: "I made this JUST FOR YOU!"
What is the creative process like for you?
When I find beads or stones that I think are beautiful, I just buy them and take them home, even if I have no idea of what to do with them. Later I look at them and hold them in my hands to see if they are ready. The first step is to decide if they will go best with silver, gold or copper. I put them next to other beads to find the colors, shapes and textures they may match with. I then try the pattern with plain metal findings, and if it looks pretty, I make it with the final materials. If I do not get any ideas it is OK, ust playing with stones is a great way to unwind after a long day!
When I wore the first pair I made (the red ones!) I was of course very proud. I put them on and asked a friend: "Do you like my pretty earrings?" She did and I made her a pair as well. The word got around and other friends and colleagues would ask me: "Can I also have a pair of your pretty earrings, or can you make me a pair of pretty earrings to match a dress I have?" So it seemed quite the natural thing to call my creations "My Pretty Earrings". I always say that name with a smile and lot of affection. Plus it is easy to remember!
Where do you get inspiration from?
Craft books sometimes, but mostly from looking at the beads or stones, holding them, putting them next to others and trying to figure out what they want to be. At other times I may be sitting in a cafe or a restaurant and notice a woman at the next table wearing a pretty hairdo or an interesting outfit and I imagine a pair of earrings that would match her colors and outfit. I carry in my bag a small sketchbook and a box of colored pencils to draw the ideas I get, and later I try to give them a reality.
What is your favorite blog?
Currently the blog of my beautiful niece Joanna on healthy eating
and just for fun, what is your favorite picture book?
I love children's books, I think they are small works of art (and so easy to collect!). My favorite one? You may not find it in stores, it is called "My Pet Fish" and was written and drawn by my son Andrew when he was 6 years old. It is a funny and tragic story with a not very happy ending. Another of my favorites is "Are You My Mother?" by P.D. Eastman.