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Friday, April 10, 2009

Team Spotlight! Interview with BeagleBeads

MsAnomaly's interview with BeagleBeads

1. When did you open your Etsy store and begin selling?
I opened my store on December 17, 2007.

2. How did you select your shop’s name?
The shop name was inspired by my beagle, Wilson. I don't remember the exact specifics, but my husband and I were just playing around, throwing out ideas, and BeagleBeads stuck. Wilson tends to inspire a lot of our ideas.

3. What do you create and sell in your Etsy shop?
Right now, the shop is devoted to one of my newest hobbies, beadweaving. Specifically, my husband and I enjoy making beaded cabochon necklaces (a cabochon is a smooth, dome-shaped stone, or piece of glass, porcelain, button etc). Lately I have been having fun making seed bead bracelets. The agate cabochons are beautiful, but they tend to limit my color palette to earth tones, so I've enjoyed getting to play with color in the bracelets. There are also a few miscellaneous beaded items in my shop, based on randomly discovered materials and ideas. I'm always on the lookout for cool beading components in thrift stores, flea markets, etc. I get almost ridiculously excited about recycling and reusing.

4. How did you become involved in your craft?
Upon meeting my husband (about 4 years ago), my first thought was "What a cool necklace he's wearing!" Turns out, he made the necklace himself and has worn it continuously to this day. (It is permanently sewn on.) While we were dating, we spent a few months "crewing" on a sailboat and had lots of leisure time on our hands, so he taught me how to bead. I have always had a multitude of hobbies, and I was happy to learn another. We have really enjoyed beading together. Many of the pieces in my shop are joint creations. The cabochons entered into our designs because my boss has always been a gem and mineral fancier, and he has a huge collection of agate cabochons. I always thought they were so beautiful, and one day I found a book at the library called "Beading with Cabochons". It was meant to be.

5. Explain your favorite part of the creative process.
Beading is my down time, usually done while watching a movie, so I pretty much enjoy every part of it. I love selecting a yummy cabochon and trying to find the best bead colors to bring out the natural beauty of the stone. The stones have such depth and detail to them. I also love looking through all of my seed bead supply and coming up with fun new bracelet combinations. And of course, a trip to the bead store to add even MORE colors to my palette is always exciting.

6. Do you sell in another Etsy store or anywhere outside of Etsy? If so, where?Currently, BeagleBeads is my only venue.

7. So far, what project are you most proud of?
I just finished a necklace that I think is one of my new favorites. The colors just all worked together so well. Maybe it's just because I've got spring fever.
I've also been really happy with the Red, White and Blue bracelets. They just look yummy enough to eat. My husband says he thinks they are some of my best work yet. :) I figure any piece of jewelry that gets the male approval must be alright.

8. What advice can you give to someone who would like to learn your craft?
I love crafts, especially ones that are easily portable and accessible to learn. I live in a very small space on limited resources, so beading is a perfect, low-tech, small scale craft. I am very much a book learner, and there are many good books on beading. My advice to someone wanting to learn beading would be to get a few beads, a few books, and have fun! You can build up your supplies as you go and as you find out what types of beading you're interested in. Learn a few basic techniques, and then strike out on your own.

9. What motivated you to join the Etsy Beagle Street Team?
I had been on Etsy for about a year before I realized there was such a vibrant community right under my nose! I was searching through the list of team names, and as soon as I saw the Beagles Team, I knew I had to be a member. Three years ago my husband and I went to the pound to find a dog, and my husband was immediately drawn to this little beagle (currently known as Wilson) sitting morosely in his cage. All the other dogs were barking and jumping and saying "Pick me! Pick me!", but Wilson looked like he had lost all hope. He had reason to be despondent as this was his second time in jail. He was originally picked up as a stray, adopted, and then returned to the pound a month later by his new family because "he was too depressed". Well, their loss is our gain. Wilson has been the perfect dog from day one, and we couldn't imagine life without him. Shortly after adopting him, we found out he suffers from periodic seizures, which is probably why he was taken back to the pound. That is certainly not reason for us to want to get rid of him. We are happy to be able to provide a safe haven for him, and I'm doubly happy to report that he is going on 2 months seizure free! About a month ago we adopted a second hound dog (what were we thinking!) named Lily, and she is proving to be a real sweetheart. I don't have a photo of Lily and Wilson together yet, but this interview has a photo of Wilson.

10. Any other places we might find you (Flickr, blog, MySpace, etc.)?
My husband and I are "homesteading" on a small farm in rural Virginia. We chronicle our goofy adventures on our website:


MsAnomaly said...

Beautiful beadwork, and I love the natural stone cabs. Very cool that you are homesteading! It is beautiful country there! :0)

tricia said...

What a lovely interview....Amanda makes lovely beaded jewelry! I think that is so cool that your hubby does beading too! That photo of Wison is so cute!
I ended up reading the blog too...great farm life! I started my life on a farm, so i know the wonders and joys of that life!

dogsrule said...

Awesome Bead Work! WOW! An an absolutely ADORABLE BEAGLE! Very cool interview!

CK said...

I really, really love your beadwork and the name of your shop is just adorable. Wilson is very lucky to have you as his puppy parents.