D: When did you first start beading & what drew you to beading in the first place?
Ever since I was a young girl, I loved beautiful things. I remember seeing an embroidered pillow and I wanted to learn how to do needlework. Those first stitches became a pathway to learning other crafts that would enrich my surroundings and those of my friends. I started to do floral arrangements when I was unable to find a wreath for my door that I really liked. One wreath became many as I began to make arrangements for others. During a discussion with a friend, the term “sticks” was used instead of stems. When a very fashion forward friend told me that I was going to accompany her to a “beading class,” my initial reaction was that this should be interesting as I had somewhat of a negative notion of what “beading” was all about. I was very wrong. Beading is artwork with “stones.”
D: What is your favorite project that you’ve finished recently, and why is it your favorite? (include an image, if possible)
I was commissioned to do a bead-embroidered cuff as a gift. The client could have purchased anything from a high-end jewelry store and the recipient of the gift was also in that league as well. Both individuals loved that it was handmade and unique. That my cuff pleased both people was very rewarding. I have found that when I make something that makes a person happy then it becomes a favorite project. (Cuff pictured right side).
D: Do you have a jewelry business? If so, please list it here so that we can share that with the group and tell us a little about how and when you decided to start selling your handmade jewelry.
I don’t actively market my jewelry as that is very labor intensive and I work full-time. I do have a Facebook page called Sticks & Stones where I post pictures of my florals and jewelry http://www.facebook.com/SticksandStones206. I am also fortunate to be associated with The Artsmiths of Pittsburgh (https://artsmithspgh.com) where my jewelry can be purchased. The Artsmiths of Pittsburgh does an incredible job of marketing local artists in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania region. The Artsmiths tries to educate the public on the value of something that is handmade. Buying something handmade not only encompasses the materials used but also the time, effort and the skillset the artist has learned and developed over years to make something unique.
D: What are your favorite beading techniques and materials?
That is a hard question! There are so many ways to work with beads and I have not found one method that I don’t like. I do like to incorporate different techniques into pieces such as stringing beads and using macramé. (Example of Patty's macrame' pictured right side).
D: Where do you get your beading inspiration? What most inspires you?
The creativity and talents of others inspire me. There are so many who have mastered techniques to make beautiful creations. I look at what they do and I want to keep learning.
D: What jewelry trends are you excited to incorporate into your beadwork?
I’m glad to see bold jewelry is making a comeback. While I love delicate pieces, I do like statement-making pieces with a wow factor.
D: What are some of your favorite beads or components on the www.HalcraftCollection.com website?
I think Halcraft has such a vast selection of material. What is great too is that the products are affordable and you can make great pieces of jewelry without spending a fortune. You are only limited by your imagination. I must admit I am partial to semiprecious stones.
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