Hello designers, and welcome to this month's Spotlight!
Halcraft Collection is excited to announce Tania Miranda as our March 2020 Spotlight Designer! Not all who wander are lost, and these words ring true for Tania Miranda of Wanderlust Crafts and Gifts. This boho babe travels the world searching for inspiration and trinkets for her designs. She then masterfully creates next level earrings, bracelets, and necklaces.
Come on a trip with us without leaving the comfort of your own home! Read on to learn more about Tania and her beachy designs featuring Bead Gallery® beads by Halcraft Collection.
When did you first start beading? Tell us about yourself.
My beading journey started as a little kid with those big funky bright plastic beads from the 70s. I didn’t start making anything you would want to wear until I was in my 30’s. I have always been crafty and loved making things. One day a coworker came in wearing a gorgeous handmade necklace that I immediately fell in love with. Since the jewelry was out of my price range, I decided to take a trip to the bead store! The funny thing is I spent way more money on beads and supplies. That necklace led me back to my creative path and reminded me how much I enjoyed making jewelry. I haven’t stopped creating since.
Tell us about your jewelry business.
I was inspired by handmade jewelry, art, and home decorations I would see at farmer's markets or galleries on my trips. These items were too big (or out of our budget) to bring home. My hubby is an artist as well. Between the two of us, we decided to start creating driftwood suncatchers & wind chimes. These designs include some beading, shells, and handmade glass, which is basically just jewelry for your home. One thing led to another, and I was making beaded jewelry again! At first, my beading focused on driftwood art, dreamcatchers, and beach-inspired home décor. Then I fell in love with metal stamping, and primary focus turned back to jewelry design. I did (the first of many) craft shows in 2014. I needed a business name/license to sell at the shows. I was able to marry my two passions; travel & making things... Wanderlust Crafts and Gifts was born!
I sold at my local Farmer's Market and galleries for 3 years. But now I mostly focus on my online Etsy shop. I'm so grateful to be able to ship my jewelry worldwide!
What is your favorite project that you've recently finished and why is it your favorite?
On our trip to Croatia last year, I found some fantastic necklaces with handmade fabric beads. I bought these baubles as gifts for my friends.
They so inspired me! When we arrived home, I started creating my own beads out of Batik fabric scraps I had lying around my craft room.
I wasn’t really sure what to do with them until I found this excellent Turkish pewter collar piece that absolutely needed some funky beaded dangles! Of course, a necklace like that required some matching earrings, and I was happy to oblige.
See bottom of page for an example of these beads!
What are your favorite beading techniques and materials?
I love making 108 beaded Mala Necklaces. The number 108 is considered a sacred number in Hinduism, Buddhism, and in the yogic tradition. A string of 108 beads is used in devotional meditation, mantra, and prayer. The knotting process soothes me. I enjoy feeling the weight of those beads feel in my hands! Another personal favorite is my asymmetrical earrings (or as I call them, "cousins, not twins.") I don't like to follow patterns or instructions. Putting my own spin on a design is a must. My style is mixing natural/rustic stones and antiqued metals with a bit of bling! I am all about the boho and incorporate as many unusual pieces as I can into my creations. I'm always collecting beads, coins, shells, sea glass, yarn, etc. when I travel. This allows me to design a genuine one of a kind piece!
What are some of your favorite beads or components on the Halcraft Collection website?
Loving all the magical metal & quartz beads. My eye is drawn to both the raw and shinier varieties. I'm easily distracted by shiny objects for sure! The carved bone, Titban prayer beads, wooden beads, and any turquoise tone are also my favorites. At this point, I am pretty sure I own every single bead offered in turquoise. I also adore all the buddha and hamsa charms. I'm Looking forward to playing with the new black and white patterned enamel Hamsas.
Where do you get your beading inspiration? What most inspires you?
Travel is my number one inspiration! Every single culture has its own form of jewelry. This is something every human has in common (and some animals too!) We all like to adorn ourselves with a decoration of some kind. It's so cool, everyone has their own style. Other inspirations come to me by the architecture, nature, color schemes, and of course, local art. I try and mix these ideas into something I can design and wear. Objects inspire me too! Coins (especially those with holes in them) make fabulous earrings. Sea glass, shells, and locally made artisan beads mixed together make beautiful bracelets, necklaces, and sometimes windchimes, too.
Do you have any tips for the readers regarding building their social media reach?
Instagram drives my online sales for sure. I would say consistency is key! It may take a while, but once you find your design and photo style, stick with it, and then post daily. Check out feeds by artists you follow that inspire you. You will most likely see a very consistent pattern. PSA: Being inspired by is fantastic, but copying another artist's work is a huge no-no! Engage with your audience and have fun. That's what this is all supposed to be about!
What jewelry trends are you excited to incorporate into your beadwork?
Excitement! Pleather fringe is back! It's always been a personal favorite of mine. I'm thrilled to start playing more with it. Mixing and matching leather and stamped metal with a bit of bling or natural stones makes me all kinds of happy! I am using metal stamping (brass and copper are favorites) more and more in everything I create. I also enjoy the personalization of stamping. Playing with the shape and texture of a blank truly one of a kind piece!
What jewelry techniques would you like to learn?
I would love to spend some quality time learning more about and playing with Precious Metal Clay (PMC.) This would allow me to create my own charms. I'm also interested in learning macramé beading and enameling. Another goal is to get more comfortable with soldering (not sure that will ever happen!)
Tania was born and raised in San Diego, CA, but feels most at home in the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia.
Beach dwelling is her thing! She loves rockhounding and looking for driftwood on rocky beaches up north!
Making wind chimes, suncatchers, and loom weaving are some of her many talents.
She has collected a mountain of yarn and takes trips specific to weaving. An example is an icy blue and white weaving with Icelandic wool inspired by her hike on an Icelandic glacier.
Her yarn collection is from around the world. The skeins are filled with happy memories of her trips.
Her new passion is creating crossbody purses. These purses feature beaded and fringy tassels!
Having a generous nature, if she does not sell, she will end up giving away one of her designs.
She has 34.2K followers on Instagram.
Are you interested in being in our Designer Spotlight?
Join our Beaded Jewelry Facebook group today and tag us in your projects on Instagram with @halcraftcollectionbeads, #Halcraftcollection #beadgallery #halcraftprettypalette #prettypalette!
We choose a new designer to spotlight each month and would love to celebrate you!
Denise Yezbak Moore is a self-taught artisan. She is a senior jewelry designer for Halcraft Collection and loves to create jewelry with bohemian flair. Denise resides in Orange County, California, and enjoys hearing from fellow beaders worldwide. Be sure to follow her on Instagram @deniseyezbakmoore