Artist Interview: Kristen of Peaceful Treasures

It’s time to introduce you to an artist that I think is a pretty big deal. Not only does she have a great eye for color, a great knack for quality workmanship in her assembly, but she’s also got a very bright spirit and even bigger heart. Kristen has actually had her stuff for sale over at Urban Gypsy for a little while and I remember talking with Ashley about her. So when Kristen approached me about her work, not only was I already familiar, but I was already a fan. Being an even bigger fan of Urban Gypsy, however, I didn’t want to have the same work in my shop. Unnecessary competition isn’t what cool people do. Kristen not only understood but took it upon herself to talk with Ashley about it and created a very large collection just for us!

I can talk for pages about Kristen and her work and her awesome drive, but I want you to get a chance to meet her. So read her interview below and then swing by the shop and check out her work. She’s one of our best selling artists so far and we haven’t even given her the official “plug” yet . . . so you know she’s gotta be good!

Name:  Kristen Reimer

Age Group:  Cherry Blossom

Business Name:  Peaceful Treasures (Jewelry)

Facebook Page Facebook.com/Peaceful-Treasures

WebsitePeacefulTreasures.Etsy.com

ALBH: What got you started making jewelry?

KR: After falling in love with another artist’s jewelry at a farmer’s market, I decided I could make my own.

ALBH: Would you consider the art of jewelry making hard to learn?

KR: Not yet.  It has come naturally so far.

ALBH: ‘Jewelry’ is a pretty broad hobby and can be made from just about anything. What materials do you enjoy using most?

KR: I love silver, particularly sterling.  I would use all sterling if it was affordable for my hobby.  I use recycled paper beads made by women in Uganda who are struggling to get out of poverty.  The non-profit fair trade organization I buy from is called Beadforlife.  I also like glass and semiprecious stones.  I enjoy making my own fabric beads in various different shapes.  Lastly, I like to edit digital images to fit certain pieces of jewelry, like bracelets and earrings.

ALBH: You’ve got quite a collection – how long have you been at this?

KR: I have been creating jewelry for about a year.  I have had my ETSY shop since February 2011.

ALBH: Does your jewelry require any special care?

KR: I wear my jewelry and keep it with my other pieces.   I have tested the recycled paper beads by submersing them in water for a period of time.  They did not distort, but I don’t recommend wearing any of my jewelry while bathing or swimming.

ALBH: What’s your long-term goal as an artist?

KR: My long term goal is to be happy and to bring happiness to others.  I want the women in Uganda who are often HIV positive and war refugees to be educated to make better lives for themselves and their families.   I want to be able to donate my pieces to various organizations to help others.  I want people to be inspired by my jewelry and my company.

ALBH: I always have to ask – what does the word “Hippie” mean to you?

KR: Love, peace, unity, tolerance, and good music!  While I don’t condone all of the activities of the actual hippie movement from the 60’s and 70’s, I tend to be a mainstream contemporary hippie/bohemian at heart.

ALBH: As a bench jeweler myself, I’m always interested in similar artists’ approach. How long would you say a typical piece take you to make?

KR: It depends on the piece and my creative energy.  Earrings typically take the shortest amount of time unless they involve my fabric beads or if I have to find paper beads that somewhat match.  Each bead is unique, so that can be difficult.

ALBH: What is your typical day like?

KR: I am a full time Mom.  My son and I like to wake up late, between 8 and 10am.  We have breakfast:  coffee for me and whatever he will eat for him.  When we stay at home, we play, clean, read, do crafts, snuggle and play with our dog and two cats.  When my son entertains himself and/or naps, I make jewelry.  In the evenings after my husband gets home, we hang out as a family.  I make jewelry whenever I can and whenever I have an idea.  I am constantly thinking of new designs and ideas.   I am very fortunate and know it!

ALBH: It sounds like your days are already pretty full, but I always like to ask – what do you do for fun, outside of your art?

KR: I love to garden, cook, entertain and read.  I enjoy a good glass of wine.  I love hanging out with good friends and my family, extended included.

 

I can easily to speak to Kristen’s sense of charity and giving. For the silent auction that was just held for SARA, Inc, Kristen didn’t donate 1 piece of her jewelry. She donated 5 individual pieces. It’s refreshing to meet someone that is passionate about others and her community and willing to help . . . a true “Hippie!”

Artist Interview: Monica of Monica Moses Designs

It’s a simple question, really: How do you feel about buttered toast? On your shoes? Sounds messy, right? Well, I promise it’s not. It’s pretty awesome, actually. Buttered toast not quite your thing? How about a killer bunny? Or a doe-eyed monkey face? Personally, I’m after the buttered toast. Read on if I’ve managed to successfully pique your interest – I want to introduce you to Monica of Monica Moses Designs. She adorns (and adores) china flats.

Facebook: Monica Moses (It’s mostly tattoos though, although I will add some shoe and hair pretty photos soon.)

Art Medium:  Shoes with hand crafted felt appliqués

ALBH: How did you get into adorning china flats?

MMD: I have always loved Mary Janes and I wanted to customize them.  At first I only made them for myself and to give to friends and it morphed into an etsy account and now selling with A Little Bit Hippy.

ALBH: How hard was it learning how to put the patches together and get them to stay on shoe well enough to survive normal wear?

MMD: The medium was not hard to learn.  I just figured it out as I went along.

ALBH: What kind of materials do you use in your projects?

MMD: I used pre-made Chinese style mary janes and make the appliqués out of felt and thread, sometimes buttons and googley eyes.

ALBH: How should your shoes be cared for? Any advice you want us to pass on?

MMD:  Wear them as you would any shoes, but you might want to avoid mud puddles, unless you are going for that antiqued look.

ALBH: Do you make a variety of items or do you have a pretty standard design motif?

MMD: I sure do have a variety…  My designs include, but are not limited to, vampires, frankies, nautical stars, flowers, buttered toast, skulls with bows, flowers, monkeys, flying pumpkins, anchors, sacred hearts, roses, cherries, killer bunnies, cupcakes, robots, and mushrooms.

ALBH: What’s your long term goal as an artist?

MMD:  My long term goal would be to decorate everybodys tootsies north, south, east, and west of the Mason Dixon line.

ALBH: What does the word “Hippy” mean to you?

MMD: What does hippie mean to me?  Having large hips.

ALBH: Do you have advice you’d like to pass along to other artists?

MMD:  Advice for other artists:  Don’t make a TLC show.

ALBH: What do you find to be your most recurring inspiration?

MMD: My inspiration is anything cute or scary, especially if I can put those two together.

ALBH: How about your “typical” day – what’s that like?

MMD:  I tattoo all day and I make goodies all night.  Sometimes I eat and sleep.

In addition to these super cute shoes, we also brought in some of Monica’s other goodies. So come take a look before it’s all gone on August 30th!!

Celebrating the Next Generation

We worked pretty diligently in getting the word out about our Grand Re-Opening Party that was held at the shop on July 1 and I had to write a little something about it for everyone to look back on. The day was AWESOME – a perfect start to a holiday weekend and I can’t thank those of you that helped and showed your support enough.

For those of you that weren’t able to make it, we had Aphrodette in the back doing readings, Sally up front working her henna magic, balloons and stickers littered around the shop for the kiddos, and Susan and I got to hang with all of the folks that came in to visit and spread the word about our 10% off day and extra clearance items. We were JAMMIN’!!

Now, I’m not a photographer, so my pictures aren’t the greatest, but we tried to capture some of the energy for you so you could share/remember what a great time it was. Again . . . I can’t thank you enough for your support and who knows – maybe we’ll make this a recurring event!