TGIF and Happy National Margarita Day! What a combination, right? A little early to start the blender but not too early for the Friday Feature ;) Remember, Fridays are when I would like to introduce you to other talented artisans and/or bloggers -- so if that applies to any of you reading this and you're interested in being featured, all you need to do is become an official "follower" of MIDGE (right-hand column - Google "Follow" option with the photos) and I'll be in touch.
Today, I'm so happy to learn more about and introduce you to Kayla of The Eclectic Element: Handcrafted & Vintage Jewelry (blog) and The Eclectic Element Handcrafted & The Eclectic Element Vintage (Etsy Shops).
Explain the story behind your shop name.
Unfortunately due to chronic illness, I haven’t been able to work a ‘real life’ job for more than 3 months at a time, so one day I decided I wanted to do SOMETHING to bring in a little money and keep myself busy (I don’t do idle very well). I had heard of Etsy and wanted to open up my own store, so one night I pulled an all nighter with a pen and pad of paper, writing down and pairing words that described me, my jewelry, and just words I enjoyed until I hit ‘The Eclectic Element.’ It just FIT.Explain how and why your work has changed in the last years.
I started making jewelry a little after I got sick 9+ years ago thanks to one of my kind-hearted high school teachers who took me under her wing. Since then, it’s been a lot of learning, experimenting and trial and error. I’ve noticed a lot of change has happened after I’ve been challenged; For example, Lori Anderson’s 6th Bead Soup Blog Party was a big inspiration and changing point for me.What influences your work? How do you find your muse?
I’ve noticed that I’m mostly inspired by the materials I work with. Since I can’t afford the best of the best, I usually work with a lot of found, upcycled and gifted items and each is so very unique, they all ‘speak’ to me from the beginning of the designing process until the very end!What do you enjoy most about your work?
While I really enjoy everything that goes into my jewelry, there are two things that I enjoy the most; Firstly, I really enjoy working with found and upcycled materials, not because I can’t afford much else, but because they’re all unique. No one piece of jewelry I make is the same and that’s due majorly in part to my materials. Second is the satisfaction of knowing I’ve created and built something for myself out of what seemed like a nothing situation.What is your favorite piece in your shop(s) right now and why?
There are not many pieces in my shops, but my favorite so far is my Dream a Little Dream bracelet.
It’s the last bracelet I made and I just LOVE the way it turned out. I’m sure the piece I make next will be my next favorite. LOL
You can find and follow Kayla and her work here:
The Eclectic Element Handcrafted (Etsy shop)
The Eclectic Element Vintage (Etsy shop)
The Eclectic Element: Handcrafted & Vintage Jewelry (blog)
The Eclectic Element: Handcrafted Jewelry (Facebook)
The Eclectic Element (Twitter)
Thanks for sharing, Kayla!
Next week - meet one of my oldest beading pals (and I don't mean by age! definitely clarifying that, Vicki!) ;) from Orion Designs. Until then, get those blenders warmed up and let me know what margarita recipes you might be trying out tonight - we've got a special one all set to go - I'll let you know on Monday how it turned out!