Friday, January 30, 2009

Art Fire Artisan Spotlight: catinalife

As promised, I am shining the light on one of my fellow Art Fire artisans, and this week's feature is all about catinalife. Joy, the owner, is a true joy. She really had me at cat-in-a-life which should be the title of my story. Check out her q & a, then head over to Art Fire to pick up one of her unique and heartfelt creations!
1. Tell us a little about yourself.

This is the hard one right off. I am a BA/RFH.. Beadaholic, rock, fossil hound. I know it, I admit it, I’m OK with it. (Worse addictions.) I am a very young at heart (love video games/alternative music, and more) just over 50, mother to 3 and grandmother to 11. I work at home doing on-line med transcription when I am not making and selling the jewelry I love to create. Other than that I live a quite a boring life compared to most now. I grew up in NE Illinois not to far from Chicago and have had to resettle in Iowa. Much much slower pace of life here. I miss the Lake the most. I have been in Iowa since 1994 after a 19 year marriage that was physically/mentally abusive, I basically grabbed my kids then 11, 13, 15 and got away with my life and theirs, God bless the shelters out there. I took my life back. I am now 15 years free, safe, and still living.

2. How did you discover your artistry?

I started making jewelry around the age of 8, my mother gave me a Creepy Crawler set (ouch) for Christmas, I went back to school selling plastic butterfly pins to my classmates. I love all the sparklies, making my own jewelry was a way to have unique and affordable jewelry without the cost. No comparison to Mother Nature’s own beauty in the stones (diamonds included).

3. Do you craft full time or do you have another full time profession?

I am working towards crafting full time, as I work at home I can be available to my customers every day on-line. I am determined to make it full-time.

4. What brought you to Artfire?

A few things, on eBay my work is lost in the mix, as well as Etsy, which has been lets say, slow. At Artfire I feel my work will be seen and that is all I can ask, it is ultimately up to the buyer.

5. What are some of your favorite materials to use?
Gemstones, crystals, Czech glass, glass…oh heck….all of the jewelry making materials I can find, standard and unusual.

6. If you could learn to do any other craft or artistry, what would it be?

I have always been envious of those that can draw, paint, sculpt. I do good with stick figures and turkey hands that is about it. I do cross stitch, embroidery, Macrame, right now I am honing my Chain Maille skills in hopes to combine with gemstones at some point in the future.

7. Do you have a blog, website or other craft venue that you sell on? Now on eBay(at present glass/stone supplies). is my own site also though it has some bugs right now. I always try to add a little smile for the day joke…some are pretty funny…need a smile take a look. Smiles are free.

8. What’s your overall impression of Art Fire and would you recommend it to fellow artisans?

I am loving it so far. The talent I am seeing there just blows me away. The AF community is coming together and there are daily changes, they are listening to the sellers to help make it a great site. I recommend it as a great venue to be able to sell your crafted wares. Differing from eBay in that your buyers are looking for you, you will be seen, as well as low fees where I can pass on the savings to my customers.

9. Now, for the fun!!!
a. Coffee or tea? Coffee, lots of coffee.

b. Cat or dog? Catinalife……my shoppe on AF…definitely cat

c. NY or LA? Neither. Chicago/Milwaukee.

d. Paper or plastic? Paper biodegradable.

e. Fame or fortune? I have it, I am famous with my family and fortunate to have survived to this age after a heart attack and stroke in 2000. If you do what you love in life and live it like it is your last day, (and I do) you have all the fame and fortune you will ever need.

Wow!!! I purposely did not open the answer to Joy's questions until the day of this post because I wanted to be surprised (yes, I did say surprised) at her answers. Joy, you rock (pun intended)!
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer all my nosy questions, and you're a survivor! God bless you and your family, and much success to you!

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