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Friday, April 25, 2014

Friday Feature: Susan's Charming Trinkets

I am so pleased today to finally feature my Bead Soup Blog Party partner, Susan Walls of Susan's Charming Trinkets.  Susan and her art are all about creativity and fun, and I am having such fun getting to know her as we participate in this year's soup exchange.  I hope you'll get to know her a little bit more here and take the time to visit some of her sites. Welcome, Susan!

Explain the story behind your store or trade name.
Let’s see…to be honest I’m not entirely sure how I came up with that name. My business started for me back in 1996 (or before) as Hardwear by Susan. I was into everything creative and focused on nothing. It was (and still is sometimes) pure artistic schizophrenia. The original name was a play on words as my husband is a software computer guy…Hardwear, software…most days that’s an inside joke. As I started to hone in on jewelry as my focus, and themed charm jewelry, Charming Trinkets was uttered one day and I thought it sounded right. I’ve been that ever since…but am having a branding identity crisis yet again and I’m seriously thinking of changing it to Susan’s Art Circus. (my current web and blog name) Just the word circus explains my creative process, my home life, and so many other things!
2.     Explain how and why, if applicable, your work has changed in the last 5 years.
Change has happened gradually with the opening of ideas and really concentrating on what I love to do and shedding the things I don’t like so much. I’ve zeroed in much better on running with my intuition and gut rather than overthinking everything. (not everyday but more days that not) That translates into jewelry pieces with more of a mixed media flare, more varied mix of materials and themes, and much more of my sense of humor. I don’t worry so much that the general public will or will not like it. I just go with it…
3.     What and/or who influences your work?  OR  What and/or who motivates you in your work?  How do you find your muse?
My family is perhaps my best inspiration on a daily basis. We hang out together a lot and share many humorous stories, jokes, or situations. There always seems to be laughter in my house. Aside from that I love all kinds of people. Part of my career was spent in the restaurant business dealing with hundreds, if not thousands, of people. Faces show up constantly.  I work all the time so motivation comes in waves. Sometimes it’s the pressure of an upcoming show, other times the thought process of an idea. And the days when motivation seems to be lacking? Well, that I can normally fix with a cup of strong coffee and some studio clean up!
4.     What do you enjoy most about your work?
Two things: the freedom of being able to work for yourself and the control that comes with that. It’s very freeing after many years of working for someone else to be able to figure it out for yourself. It’s also a blessing (and some days a curse) to be able to figure out your own destiny and work your passion.
5.    What is your favorite piece in your shop right now?  Why?

I hate to admit my shop is totally empty currently. I am headed into my first show of the season and everything is going with me!* But if I had to pick something off the table it would be a bracelet filled with images from my own mixed media painting. It’s a fairly new technique I’ve been creating and allows me to take photos or fragments of a painting or larger work and turn it into a wearable piece of jewelry.
*Susan completed this interview over a month ago, but I'm just now posting it (see earlier post "Excuses, Excuses, Excuses"). ;)
You can find Susan and her work at the following sites - be sure to stop by!  (my jewelry supply shop)  (my old blog but has lots of stuff still there)

"Stay tuned" as Susan and I (and almost 500 other "beader-bloggers") participate in the 8th Bead Soup Blog Party next Saturday, May 8th - stop by here to see the creations I make from Susan's wonderful soup and start hopping to Susan's blog to see what she created with my soup...and on to the other talented designers!

"Friday Feature," is a highlight available to artisans/bloggers who follow this blog - just become a "GFC" (Google Friend Connect - in the right hand column) and I'll forward you the information.  If you know of someone who might like to be featured, let them know about this opportunity!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Excuses, Excuses, Excuses

Awol, I know...and when I've been supposed to be blogging about the amazing Bead Soup Blog Party exchange that I'm participating in (our big "reveal" of creations is coming NEXT Saturday, May 3rd).  If it matters, I do have some good excuses (a couple of unexpected hospital stays, a much needed vacation), some reasonable excuses (extra Mimi time with the kiddos, some final celebrations with soccer girl as she approaches graduation, a calendar full of graduation and wedding preparations), and yes, those excuses that just don't hold water (procrastination, "oh, I've put it off for so long so where do I begin now").  But, I'm here now so here we go...

First, let me say I am thrilled to be paired with the multi-talented Susan M. Walls of  Susan’sCharming Trinkets.  Just a reminder, with the BSBP, each partner sends a "soup" of beads which must contain at least one focal and one clasp and a variety of other beads. As the "cook," our guidelines are that the design(s) must use the provided focal and clasp.  I was wonderfully surprised and so excited to receive the following soup from Susan - who apparently miraculously tapped into my love of all things "ocean" :)

As soon as I opened the package, I immediately knew that Susan had a great whimsical character and sense of fun that I would love. :) 

 Each package was wrapped carefully with a touch of beautiful color.

I felt like Susan was right there with me as I opened her package :)

And in a way, she was  :)
And look, such a gorgeous soup, I have to work with!!

You'll learn more about Susan when I feature her and her work here on Friday.  As for me,  I better get working on this soup!!