I was born and raised on the west side of Indianapolis, near Speedway. After kindergarten I spent a good amount of time on buses so that I could be involved in special school programs. I went to Shortridge Junior High and then Arsenal Tech for High School- pretty much an hour on the bus each way and lots of time for doodling.
Where are you now & what led you there?
Now we are located in beautiful little Franklin, IN. Our first house on Indy's near-eastside had quickly become a scary place to try to raise children. I'm hopeful the Super Bowl investments can help the community turn things around. We picked Franklin for its small town feel and closeness to major areas like Greenwood and Columbus. We're pretty much smack dab in the middle of my mom and my husband's family which means convenient and FREE childcare!
What types of creations do you sell in your Etsy shop(s)?
Most of my current stock is jewelry items, with a few exceptions they are one-of-a-kind original pieces centered around natural stone pendants. I'm very close to adding photography (including handmade cards featuring my photos) and handbags/purses. Somewhere down the line I'd like to include my just add photos pre-embellished scrapbooks, too. If you subscribe to the RSS feed on my shop you'll know when these new items are added!
What's your educational background, as it relates to your work?
Well, I have a Bachelor's degree in Psychology which means I can infiltrate the minds of would-be passers by and entice them to buy things from me.... I only wish they taught us cool things like that, maybe they save that for the PhD courses. I'm mostly a self-taught artisan thankful to find other experienced crafters willing to share their nuggets of knowledge!
How'd you get started creating?
I'm a very visual person- When I was in first grade I won a blue ribbon for one of my art works in the 500 Festival. When I was about 10 I begged my parents for a camera and they gifted me with a little 110 film camera that I carted EVERYwhere. Pretty soon I moved on to being the 'official' family photographer and using my parents Pentax k1000. That beautiful camera lasted me over ten years - through both high school and college photography courses. About 5 years ago I shifted to a digital SLR (Konica Minolta now known as the Sony Alpha) and love that it's a film photographers digital. Most of my images have minimal editing- I'll crop, adjust the brightness, or maybe shift the contrast slightly, but in general the image you see is as it was captured.
I started making jewelry as a form of self-prescribed therapy! After having dealt with some not so cool personal emotional issues, I found myself needing an outlet for expression that didn't require words. With three home schooled kids (ages 7 1/2, soon to be 5, and 3 1/2), two dogs, and one husband (I don't think I could take any more than that!) my life has a good portion of chaos. Jewelry making lets me take disconnected items and create something with order and beauty from them. I've tried to stifle my creative side and it just doesn't work - After painting something like 18 different colors throughout our house, as my husband found out, it's less work for him if he just lets me create.
Do you belong to any Street Teams? If so, which ones and why? If not, why not?
I'm a fairly new member of the Indiana Etsy Street Team, go INCrowd! Mostly because I was hoping to find some nearby mentors willing to hold my hand while I begin to establish Spice of Life Designs. I couldn't have asked for a more friendly, helpful group of caring people than those I've met through the INCrowd. When I get a few more free minutes I'm looking to join the SHETeam, Schooling at Home Etsyans, too.
What's your favorite thing about selling on Etsy?
My items have gotten to travel across the country to people that I may never have come in contact with if it weren't for Etsy's broad range. Pretty close to that, is how great and supportive the community on Etsy is.
Recommend your five favorite shops on Etsy.
elfine - Her images are just SO soothing and beautiful! is one of my favorites.
myhandboundbooks - check out her AMAZING teeny tiny leather journal.
tagscats - She paints custom portraits of your pet onto hand selected river rocks. We recently lost our family cat and I want one of these to place in his favorite spot a the top of the stairs as a touchstone.
budanart- Her original paintings just sing!
luster - This one's sentimental, she was my very first Etsy sale, and she also happens to have an absolutely gorgeous shop featuring hand-hammered jewelry.
Show us three photos of your favorite items from your own shop.
Chaste Tree - Aquamarine and Biwa Stick Pearl Necklace
Chocolate - Onyx and Bronzite Necklace
Fruits de la Mer - RARE color Bamboo Agate, Turquoise, Ocean Jasper and Pearl Bracelet
You can also catch me, LIVE and IN person . . . at the Fountain Square Art Fair on September 27, 2008 and the IUPUI Fine Arts and Crafts Fair on November 22, 2008.
Beautiful items, beautiful shots, Megan!! Glad to finally get them on here.