Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Wow! I Won Something?

Cindy @ 12 Tribes Giveaway
I'm so grateful to have won this piece of word art from Cindy of 12 Tribes.  As Cindy said, "It can sit on a shelf or hang just about anywhere.  The mini-chalkboard is the perfect place to put a word you need to see over and over, a character trait you are developing in your life more fully."  My word is going to be "brave".  I want to continue being brave in developing my art, brave in my blogging, brave in getting my art out there.

I love owning art from other artists.  Thank you, Cindy.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

"Women Who Create Beautiful Things" - Angela and Andrea of CLaraBeLLa MuraLs

When I first met Andrea and she was telling me a little about herself, of course, we had a connection with our love of art.  She begins to tell me this story that you will read below about her and her sister.  As she is talking, I am trying to restrain from sobbing, but with much difficulty.  Anyway, here's the heart wrenching  story about two sister's love of a child written in the voice of one dedicated sister and mother, Angela.

How did you get into painting character murals. How did it all begin?

As identical twins, Andrea and I have always shared a love for the same things, especially art.  We never pursued this interest professionally.  It was merely a hobby.  In 2003 my little girl Clara was diagnosed with hepatoblastoma (liver cancer) when she was only 16 months old.  We soon began spending countless hours in the hospital.

To make things as fun as they could be for her I began bringing my large art pads and started painting pictures. Andrea flew down for a week to be with us and with her help Clara and I were able to decorate the doors of all the children on the cancer floor.

Each time Clara was admitted to the hospital, Clara and I would pick a theme and decorate her room inside and out with paintings of her favorite characters.  In 2005 my sweet little girl Clara passed away after a brave battle with her cancer.  I was overwhelmed with the grief of losing my little girl.  

During my grieving I began to receive several phone calls requesting murals. The business could not have come at a better time.  I was allowed to do something I loved that also reminded me of the fun times with my little Clara. 

Andrea and I started painting together almost full time.  Our waiting list at one point was 8 months out.  We didn't do any advertising, our business was solely by word of mouth.  We soon decided we needed a business license to make everything official.  

In Clara's memory we named our business "CLaraBeLLa MuraLs".  Andrea and I began painting for private residences, professional businesses, hospitals and home shows.  Today little Clara's inspiration lives on through our art.

What is your favorite room and why?

We have painted numerous rooms.  It is hard to pick a favorite but it is easy to name a few of the ones we love.  "Snow White", "Alice In Wonderland", "Winnie the Pooh", "Beauty and the Beast", "The Little Engine that Could", and "Dr. Seuss".

It sounds like you have a pretty special relationship with your sister. How do you work together?

Andrea and I laugh when we think of how much time it takes to paint one room. We use several different techniques and the process for most of what we do is performed in layers and everything is freehand.  Andrea can look at anything and draw it to scale, therefore she will usually draw the characters while I work on the background.  Once she has finished sketching and painting the characters I will go in and add shading, put all the details in and add the finishing touches. 

Do you work on the same wall together with your sister and what parts do each you paint? 

The funny thing is, being mirror image twins Andrea is left handed and I am right handed.  Therefore it comes in very handy when we get stuck in a corner… We just call for help and the other twin swoops in for the rescue!!  We spend countless hours together with little sleep when completing a larger project.  It could be a good thing or a bad thing to be locked away with another one of "yourself".  Andrea and I have to agree that we could never spend as much time as it would take with anyone else but each other.  We are the only two people we know that can scold one another and still be best friends five minutes later.

It has been challenging since I moved away, talk about across the country!  Andrea lives in Utah, and I live in Florida.  You have to have a passion for what you do in order to make a challenging situation work.

Do you have any advice for someone who might think about doing something like this? 

Any advice we could give a young artist is do what you love!  Don't limit yourself.  When you find a talent, think of every possible way you can grow and develop it.  Andrea has not only kept her painting to walls and canvases, she now has been refurbishing furniture and hand painting on it.  It's amazing how much one can accomplish when they have an imagination!  I have been writing children’s books and am currently working with a publishing company.  Andrea and I have been able to use our creativity to illustrate the stories.   A creative mind is worth more than money!  Not everyone is able to create things, if that talent happens to come to you "don't sell yourself short" and remember there is no limit to what you can do!

Best of luck to all of you!

Thank you Angela and Andi, for sharing your amazing story with us. I am truly grateful.

Readers, I will be taking a little break from the series, but please contact me if you would like me to interview you in the future.  I'm always interested in your stories.  I really do love learning from your experiences and successes.  From the series, I gained enough nerve to enter a Art Show and to put my art up in a coffee shop.  See what a positive influence you have been in just me alone!  Thank you all!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Sneak Peek Friday

Hurray!  Two of my entries got into the Randy Higbee Gallery 6" Squared Show in Huntington Beach, CA!

Thank you everyone for helping me by voting when I posted my entries here.  Because you unanimously were all so random, it made me think I better bite the bullet and enter all 5 of them.

The Gala Artists Reception will be Saturday, April 16.  I know I'll be there with any friends and family I can drag there and my camera in tow!  Whoopie! 

On Sunday, you must stop back for my "Women Who Create Beautiful Things".  This is a heart wrenching story about how something positive can come from tragedy.  Come read about  twin sisters,  Andrea and Angela and their creation of CLaraBeLLa MuraLs.

Once again, I am linking up with Studio JRU and all of you lovely Sneak Peek Talents!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Green Earth Coffee Shop Artwork Display

Some cheesy shots showing my artwork on display at the Green Earth Coffee Shop in Lake Forest, California.  My daughters and I worked so hard all day Saturday in order to display my artwork.  You might think, "How hard is it to hang up a few  pieces of art".

Well, a previous photographer had hung or should I say glued their work to the walls and the owner had told me that I was welcome to hang my work if I could get the photos off and repair the wall.   So, we started in an area not so noticeable and when we pulled the picture off, so came half the wall!  These pictures were not going anywhere even in an earthquake!  I had thought, "Oh my gosh, what did I get myself into?".  We had to run to Home Depot for spackle and matching wall paint.

So, after that one, I felt so defeated that  I was ready to throw in the towel.  Anyway, my daughter encourage us on (thank God for the energy of the young) and the next one we used a razor blade to cut the picture free from the glue tape.  This time, we got it off without any damage to the wall.  Once the picture was down, it wasn't over.  There was a residue of glue left and we had to use our fingernails to painstakingly pick it off. 

Me and my work crew
I won't bore you with all the sticky details, but we were there to almost closing.  The girls took shifts working with me throughout the day.
My profile page on the right with business card below

As you see, all this was a great exercise and experience in displaying my work.  I needed to make a profile page to talk about myself and put on the wall.  I chose the wall you see coming out of the bathroom.  Remember buying art is an emotional thing, and hopefully, other people from town might connect with me and my art.

I also had to figure out pricing cards and I did a small info handout that someone could take with them.

I love this picture of people gathered in the shop with my artwork in the background. 

My support team

We finished up on Sunday and enjoyed a couple of well-earned coffees. 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Women Who Create Beautiful Things - Elizabeth Gonzalez - Borboletas

It's been such a pleasure getting to know some of my fellow bloggers better lately, and really I get the secret advantage of thinking up the questions I've always wanted to know about our creative friends.  Hopefully, you wanted to know, too.  As I've said in my last post, I'm am a big admirer of my next guest ceramics and mixed media art. 

Without further ado, I am very pleased to post this interview of Elizabeth Gonzalez for my "Women Who Create Beautiful Things"....

Tell me a little about yourself. 

I have loved the process of creating since I was a child. I grew up in a very big family, eight girls and 5 boys with artistic talents, mostly in music. Since I am the tenth of thirteen, I grew up watching my grandma, my mom, my aunt, my older sisters and brothers in many different forms of art like sewing, drawing, painting, singing, playing instruments, writing lyrics or poems.  My mom and my aunt taught me crochet when I was nine. Later I learned sewing, needlepoint, embroidery, paper work, glass work, ceramics and recently painting and collage. For different reasons I ended up in a professional career as Industrial Engineer and college professor.  It is interesting that when I tell people about my teaching experience they ask if I teach art.  It is so funny watching their faces when I tell the list of courses I teach like probability and statistics, operation management, math, organizational theory and so on.   

By the time I decided to enroll in a ceramic course I was working as a part time industrial engineer consultant, part time Executive Director for an engineering association with 26 countries as members and a part time college professor teaching mathematics and I was raising my kids. From all those things I was doing the only one I was enjoying was raising my kids. Going to basketball and soccer games and all the activities related to them as babies, toddlers, teens and now as young men is what makes me feel grateful, blessed and alive.  In fact, I love family life.  The most valuable treasures I have from my childhood are the family reunions on Sundays at my grandma’s whose house was far away from the city with lots of chickens, hens, dogs, cats, pigs, pigeons, vegetables, and lots of cousins.   

It is no surprise that my designs are inspired by a truly passion for nature and family life.  I am in loved with my three sons of 29,27and 25 and my two adorable grandchildren Javier André (2) and Aliany Gabriela (7 months).

What’s it like living in Puerto Rico.  Have you always lived there?  Has it been beneficial to your art career?

Puerto Rico, called the “enchanted island”, it is the place I was born and I have lived all my life.  The beneficial part is the tropical climate and the richness of color we have for the 365 days of the year.   We can be inspired in a beach or in a forest or in a dessert in this 35 x100 island. The green mountains and trees with flowers are always present in our live.  I love the tropical flowers and fruits. In the art area we have many talented artists and art teachers in almost any area who inspire me.   The not so beneficial is that we are indeed small. We don’t have a Michael’s or Ac Moore or anything similar to that.  We have a lot of stores, BIG stores but not for art supplies.  Art supplies are found in a few small stores and Walmart but it is not the same.  Added to that, sometimes we feel “small” as it is our island. It is common to think we can not reach where others living in big countries can.  We have to overcome this feeling of being small if we want to succeed.  I keep looking at people born in Puerto Rico like Ricky Martin, Raul Julia, Rita Moreno, Tito Trinidad, Jennifer Lopez, and many other talented artists who dreamed big and succeeded.

Tell me about how you started in ceramics.  How did that come about? 
I got madly in love with ceramics a little late in my life when I was raising my kids and after a trip to the Old San Juan. Actually, it was the store that sells my art since 2001 the one I visited more just to admire other artist’s work.  I used to walk the store and dream that someday I could have something there made by me.  Finally, in 1996, when my kids were 14, 12 and 10, and I was struggling to find something I could do with passion, I enrolled in a ceramic class. The class was for a specific project but that was all I needed.  This was the beginning of my creative journey and the first steps for my now creative business. 

The most important thing I learned in that workshop was that I could transform that clay in almost anything I wanted. After that class I began a creating process and I started practicing braveness. In less than a year after that ceramic class, I took some of my first projects to a lovely store in my home town I the owner was impressed and bought everything and asked for more.  I was so emotional that I almost cried!

How did you get your work in a couple of stores in Puerto Rico?

As I said I practiced braveness a few times. In 2001 I got divorced and I wanted to make some extra money aside from my salary as a college professor and I called the Old San Juan Store.  We made an appointment and I took some of my work, even some broken pieces.  The owner said:  “I like everything, can you sell it to me today? WOW, I was blown away. After that awesome experience I did the same with another store, now in the BIG Mall Plaza Las Américas, and the experience was the same.  Both stores were selling everything and they kept ordering again and again.  The Plaza store closed but I have a lot of good memories. It was a very important store and still today people see my work at shows and ask me if my work was in that store, Nostalgia, because they have one or a few pieces.   The Old San Juan store, PR Arts & Crafts still sells my ceramic work.   Other stores contact me after a fair or a show.  I can tell you that this is the best way to sell to a store, they see your art in a show and they get interested.   

That was what happened to me in November 2010 with my collage painting. I don’t want to sell any more ceramic work on stores, just in a few because I get bored of making the same piece again and again. I need to create new things every day and I have so many different designs that is impossible to make them all by myself or to supply for all the stores that want to have them.  The Poets Passage and Patchouli at the Old San Juan are now selling my collage painting prints and original and two more stores contacted me recently to begin to sell them, too. These two saw my collage painting in the San Juan store.  

I understand your artwork is being looked at by a distributor.   How did you make that happen?

Back in 2002-2004, AVON Puerto Rico contacted me because they saw my work at the Old San Juan Store PR Arts & Crafts .  They wanted to reproduce two of my Christmas Collection pieces.  I made the pieces and they sent it to China to be reproduced and the result was astonishing.  They made the piece in resin but it was almost identical.  They sold 4,000 pieces in only one week before Christmas season and they ordered more.  They sold a lot. After that experience they bought 9 more designs.  I didn’t have the experience and knowledge on this kind of business and the decision didn’t bring me good money but the experience was excellent. My photo was included in all catalogs selling my designs and that was awesome.  Still these days I find people that can recognize my work because they bought one of those reproductions.   

The company they contacted to make this project encouraged me to do other pieces with them.  The same company, now sold to one of the partners is the one I contacted to distribute my collage painting prints and my casted set of butterflies which will be on the stores in 4-5 months under the trademark Borboletas. The distributor is very positive and grateful that I gave him this opportunity. Another seller from Puerto Rico who lives in Philadelphia wants to represent my work out of Puerto Rico. Now that it is easier with collage painting we will be meeting soon to make this happen. Today I have an important meeting with the owners of two stores located at important mall in the metro area who once wanted to sell my ceramic but now I will show them my collage painting prints and the possibility of other products made from them.

What are your dreams and goals for your future?

In my creative life, licensing is what I have been dreaming for a few years since I worked with AVON.  After KRR E-Course and the support of the community I am part of now, I know I can make it happen. I would like to see my ceramic designs casted and reproduced in high quality materials selling in big stores like Bed Bath and Beyond or Macy’s or any other store.  As Tara Reed says…Painting in my pajamas is what I dream.  I would love to see my art in many products. I dream of designing lots of decorative and functional products that can bring smiles to people enjoying them in their homes. 

When people tell me that my art make them smile….I know the hard work and the patience has paid off.  Now I have more faith in my work and a strong desire to have more time with my family and I believe that my creative business is taking me where I want to be.     

Anyone wishing to purchase Elizabeth's products, check out her Etsy Shop or her Blog for some of her beautiful things!  Thank you so much Elizabeth!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Sneak Peek Friday

So excited to be hanging my art at the Green Earth Coffee Shop this weekend.  I'm sure I will need to make a few trips deciding what goes where, buying frames, etc.  I enlisted my art lover friend for some help and company in figuring it all out.    Knowing the owner like the more mixed media style, I made this little piece by printing the tree from the commissioned piece I did and then adding some more collage pieces on top of it to give it an original feel.

I also found this quote from the Oprah magazine in the index pages and liked it...  "You are the creative type.  We all are -- even if we don't know it yet".

Many of you will recognize my next interview just by this painting, "Enjoy the Ride".  Please come back for this Sunday's interview, "Women Who Create Beautiful Things", of one of my favorite bloggers, Elizabeth Gonzalez of  Elizabeth Glz. I was one of the lucky ones to receive a beautiful ceramic ornament this past Christmas, and the detail on it is so beautiful.  I just love it.

Once again, I am linking up with Studio JRU and all of you lovely Sneak Peek Talents.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Happy Dance News!

Green Earth Coffee Roasters, Lake Forest, CA

What?  Did you hear the news?  Diana Mulder's art on display at Green Earth Coffee Shop in Lake Forest?  Just amazing. 

Well it will be amazing when I get all my stuff up there.  I'm very excited. I met with one of the owners today, and she liked my mixed media work.  There is already a photographer's work on display, but I can fill in my art on some of the other walls. 

I have to give a special thanks to all my friends and bloggers, who gave me encouraging comments supporting my art.    It was all of you that gave me the courage to finally say when I opened my mouth, "I am an artist!" and not, "I'd like to order a latte".

Of course, I will take pictures once everything is in. Doin the happy dance over here!  Woot Woot!


Sunday, March 13, 2011

"Women Who Create Beautiful Things" - Katrina Sloma, The Kat Eye View of the World

I met this talented woman and photographer like many of my friends and fellow bloggers through the Kelly Roberts e-course.  So today, I'd like to share my interviewed  for  "Women Who Create Beautiful Things" series, an artist,  photographer and teacher and a very talented woman, Kat from The Kat Eye View of the World.

Tell me about yourself and how your family ended up living in Italy.

Thanks Diana, for inviting me to join you and do this interview!
Hi everyone, I'm Kat! *big wave*  I'm an artist and my favorite medium right now is photography.  I'm a wife of 18 years, mother to a 9-year-old son and work as an electrical engineer for my day job.  Even though I've spent the last 19 years working as an engineer for a large corporation, I've recently rediscovered, since living in Italy, that I am truly an artist and a teacher in my soul.

Our route to Italy was more like a serendipitous detour than the result of any forethought.  In May 2008, I began leading a project at work that required working with a company here in Italy.  I took my first business trip to the Milan area in June 2008, and something inside me whispered, "You need to be here."  I was a manager at the time, and was planning to hire two engineers who would temporarily reside in Italy as part of this project.  Before that business trip, I hadn't even considered the positions; I had other career plans.   After the trip, the strong feeling of wanting to come live and work in Italy would not go away.  My husband and I talked, did a little research , and we decided to go for it.  I took myself out of the hiring position and applied for the job myself.  In August 2008 I was offered one of the positions.  Another 8 long months of work permit applications, immigration paperwork and the international move, and we arrived in Italy in April 2009.

I smile when I look on your Flicker site and see through your eyes all of the wonderful countries you have visited while living in Italy.  Tell me about your experience from the first time you realized that photography was your passion to where you are now.

To answer your question, I think I also need to tell you a little bit about how I found my passion in the first place, because that is an important part of the creative journey I've been on.  When I got to Italy in April 2009, I was pretty empty personally.  I had just finished leading this successful technical project at work, but I didn't gain as much personal satisfaction as I had expected from that success.  I had also been reevaluating the whole career path that I had been following, since accepting the Italian assignment and moving out of the managerial role.  Up to that point, I had been defining myself through my work, but that was no longer enough.  Something was out of alignment with me internally, yet I didn't know what.  You might call it a mid-life crisis.  :)

I began my time in Italy with a desire to find myself again.  Somewhere in my life story of daughter-student-wife-mother-career I had lost who I was.  Right before moving to Italy, I had picked up a copy of Julia Cameron's, "The Artist's Way" and upon reading it knew that creativity was the right path.  We also started traveling extensively around Italy and Europe. As part of that travel I began visiting art museums, initially as a tourist thing to do, and discovered looking at other artist's work was a fantastic inspiration for me.  I got the urge to paint in bright, bold colors.  I purchased my first set of acrylic paints, not even knowing the right words for everything in Italian!  I hadn't painted since taking watercolor classes in high school.  Looking back now at this early time in Italy (summer 2009), I can see how this was all part of the rebirth of my creativity.  The love of art and creativity has always been inside of me, but had been diminished to a background role for many years.  I hadn't been paying attention!

This leads into my interest in photography.  My skill and interest in photography has been slowly building over the last 10 years.  I purchased my first 35mm SLR camera in 2000 after I had been scrapbooking for a couple of years.  I didn't discover photography as a true passion, however, until after this creative rebirth period during our time in Italy.  Between all of the wonderful places I was capturing with my camera during our travels, my immersion in the creative process and regular writing in my journal and on my blog, the artist in me emerged.

 It is powerful and exciting to be aware of this love of art, creativity and photography now and to own it as part of my core identity.  I would love for others to have this same experience.  I wrote a series on my blog called Lessons from Abroad, taking some of the lessons I've learned and making them useful to other people -- without having to move internationally like I did.

Since taking the Kelly Rae Roberts e-course, how has that affected your dreams and goals as a photographer. 

Kellie Rae's class opened my eyes to a lot of great ideas!  She confirmed what I was already feeling -- you have to follow your heart and be yourself in your creative endeavors, or you will not be able to sustain it.  Your efforts need to feed your energy, not drain it.  When you connect to your passion, there is an energy that is born.  The things that you do for that passion do not feel like work, they are fun and fulfilling.

At the beginning, I wasn't sure if her course would apply to me since I had no desire to sell my art.  I discovered so much of here information applies regardless of your creative endeavor.  I wanted to help people reconnect with their creativity, since that has been such an amazing experience for me.  Her course helped me to define and refine the direction I wanted to go -- teaching online, sharing my love of photography and the whole creative process.

A couple of direct outcomes of her course are the Exploring with a Camera series I write on my blog, as well as the first e-course I delivered early this year.  There are many more things to come, I can see myself going back to Kellie Rae's course material again and again.

I noticed you gave your first e-course recently.  Tell me about that experience.  How would it help someone like me? 

Teaching my first e-course, Find Your Eye: A photo course with heart and soul, was a wonderful experience!  The course idea started out of my personal experiences, to help others learn what I've learned on my photographic and creative journey.  I wanted to help people connect to the reasons they started picking up a camera in the first place -- the thrill of a photo that connects to your heart and soul.

The reality of teaching the course was surprising.  I learned so much from my students and it was exciting to see them connect with my process.  My love of creating and teaching this class showed me that I am on the right track creatively.  Continuing to develop and teach on line courses is definitely my future direction.

As for how it would help someone like you, I have some great ideas!  I am actually going to split the content into two unique parts:  A digital photography basics course, which is perfect if you are new to digital photography, and a "Find Your Eye" course series.  The part that is closest to my heart is the "Find Your Eye" process.  This series of courses is for anyone who wants to deepen the connection of their heart and soul with their photography, or really any art form.  I believe you "Find Your Eye" when you learn to express yourself with confidence in your art, not following someone else's formula for success.  My process helps people to recognize, internalize and "own" their unique style.  There is nothing better to build your confidence as an artist!

I think that the "Find Your Eye" process would work for any art medium, and I would love to have some other artists join me in the course and try it out!  I am planning to offer the newly revised courses starting in July 2011.  I have so much fun teaching these, I can hardly wait.

Tell me about Mortal Muses.

I'm so glad you asked about Mortal Muses!  It is such a great participative and collaborative photography site started by Tammy Lee Bradley.  I am one of nine regular contributors called "muses".  Each day, one of the muses writes a post on the current theme, pairing one of their images with a photo from another photographer who submitted to our Flicker pool.  Every 9 days we change the theme, and everyone is welcome to submit their images and has the opportunity to be featured.  And it is fun to be featured, isn't it?

I love that there are nine of us, each with unique styles, involved in this project.  Since we are all different people and artists, there are nine perspectives on one theme.  Having nine people choosing the photos to feature ensures a wide range of photographers and styles are featured.  

I encourage everyone to join in with us.  You never know when you might get featured, but you have to participate first!  I was asked to join after being a regular participant, so there are other potential benefits of participation as well. 

What are your plans for the future as a photographer when you return to the states?

 We return in July of this year.  We are so close to the end I am sad to be leaving, but also excited for what comes next.  I will definitely continue regular posts on my blog.  Writing and sharing photos has become a key part of my creative process.  I will be starting up my e-courses in full force again in July.  I already have my course schedule planned out through the last half of 2011 and will be working on creating some new courses.

Of course, I will also continue my own photography practice, that's a must to stay creative!  I already know I will have to search out new subjects and places to photograph, since I won't have the rich history and texture of Europe on the other side of my camera lens.  I am starting to plan to sell some of my photographs online -- I love the idea of my images brightening someone's day as a postcard or hanging on the wall.

I look forward to rediscovering my experience of Italy through a serious review of the photos I've taken in the last two years.  I'm sure that I'll learn even more about myself, my art and my creativity through both review of my photos and moving back to my home in Oregon.  You will get to follow along, as I write on my blog.  It should be interesting!

Thank you Kat for sharing your story with us.  I'm sure a lot of other readers will enjoy it as much as I did.  If your interested in how Kat and I first connected, check out her blog today!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Sneak Peek Friday

Aqua Wave - 12 x 16 Collage on Paper

How coincidental that I was working on this wave last night and to hear this morning about the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan. "Let us lift a prayer for Japan. As the night covers their nation in darkness, let our prayers be their light." written my one Tweeter.

Hopefully, my collage will evoke more tranquil feelings.

courtesy of The Kat Eye View of the World
I am so excited to post on Sunday an interview with one of my favorite bloggers and photographer, Katrina from  The Kat Eye View of the World.  Come back on Sunday  for my "Women Who Create Beautiful Things" series and read her wonderful interview and how she ended up living in Italy.

Once again, I am linking up with Studio JRU and all of you lovely Sneak Peak Talents.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Women Who Create Beautiful Things - Melissa Prell of Lissa Bee Creations

I've been fascinated with the "story" behind some of my favorite bloggers, and today it is my pleasure to post an interview of a very nice person and fellow flyer, Melissa Prell of LissaBee Creations.

When did you learn how to crochet and realize your love for crocheting? 

I learned to crochet as a young girl, probably 9 years old by my maternal grandmother. The first thing she taught me was how to make a granny square. I made a pillow for my mother in some really bright yellows, oranges, pinks and greens. I also learned how to crochet in rows and made a toilet tank topper. (Say that 3 times fast!) After learning, I didn't pick up my hooks again until after I was married. My mother-in-law taught me how to make crochet edgings around baby blankets.

That was when I really started getting interested in crochet. I made lots of baby blankets and then taught myself how to read crochet patterns. I used patterns to crochet angels ornaments, purses, and clothing.

Do you design the little boxes and baskets you make in your etsy shop ?  (I especially like the hemp boxes with the lid and the blue shell basket.)   

Yes, I designed the boxes and baskets in my shop. I love the design process. I have an idea of what I want to accomplish and it is fun to see the idea take the shape of a colorful basket.

I understand you took the same e-course as many of us from Kelly Rae Roberts.  What has impact you the most from that course?

The biggest impact from Kelly's course was instilling in me the belief that I had something valuable to offer the world. It is easy to get caught up in perfectionism, that what I do is not good enough. But it is. I also believe that it is okay to make mistakes, to learn from them and to grow as a business owner and a human being. I love the friendships I have made with some of my fellow course takers. There is an abundance of support and encouragement in our group.

What are you plans for the future?  Do you teach crochet?  Will you venture into making little critters?

I plan to nurture my etsy shop and make it successful. I would also like to sell to retail shop owners. I don't teach crochet right now, but am looking into it. As far as making little critters or amigurumi, I just might! I am also thinking about crochet jewelry.

Thank you for taking the time to do the interview.  I so appreciate your talent and beautiful things! You can find Melissa's beautiful things on etsy at LissaBee Creations.

Please join me next week to read an interview a very talented photographer living in Italy, my friend, Katrina of  The Kat Eye View of the World.