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Deadhead Art Alliance Artist of the Month – November – Janice Reed– Store –Beadwork4Sale and December’s Featured Artist Debbie from ThunderRoseLeather

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Deadhead Art Alliance Artist of the Month – November – Janice Reed– Store –Beadwork4Sale and December’s Featured Artist Debbie from ThunderRoseLeather

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My name is Janice; I’m somewhat of an “eclectic” bead artist and an unabashed self-proclaimed bead addict. My husband and partner of 20 years, Dan and I, live in “The Golden Heart City,” of Fairbanks, Alaska. We love to spend our summers camping and fishing, while traveling throughout “The Land of the Midnight Sun!”

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On the other end of the seasonal spectrum, we spend the rest of the year cozied up to the woodstove during the long, dark, frigid cold winter season. Yes, friends – two seasons is what we’re really dealing with here in the Interior of Alaska! With that said, once summer abandons us and Old Man Winter arrives, I find myself hunkering in for the long haul and focusing on doing what I enjoy the most – playing with my beads!

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My greatest passion at this point of my life is designing and creating “distinctively you” handmade beaded jewelry and other unique pieces of beadwork. I enjoy operating my “one woman show,” while working behind the scenes of my Etsy shop “Beadwork4Sale – by, Janice.” Each piece of beadwork offered for sale is exclusively handmade by me within the comforts of my log home studio – every item truly is a labor of love!
My shops philosophy is to strive to offer beadwork that speaks directly to the heart!

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The creative process for me usually begins with whatever strikes my fancy at any given time. As I mentioned previously, I’m a bit of an eclectic bead artist – meaning, I enjoy using a wide array of beading techniques, design styles and type of beads. With that said – I usually determine how time-consuming a certain project will be and the time I have to complete it, before getting started on creating my next piece. Additionally, due to the “diverse” nature of my work – I’m never short on projects that need to be finished.

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I do enjoy doing freeform beadwork; it’s a lot of fun and very relaxing – not to mention the incredible creativity it nurtures. However, I also have an abundant appreciation for precise patterns and select designs – so, deciding on a next project can be somewhat challenging for me. My-oh-my…so many beads…so little time…such a dilemma! ☺ Seriously though, I think focal pieces are what jumpstarts my creative process. Once I’ve chosen the primary component to highlight, I choose the type of beads, their color and finish, and lastly – the finishing elements I’ll use to compliment the main focal piece.

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I’m in the process of making a couple of new beaded hair barrettes; they’re more time-consuming to create but are always worth the wait – and, I love how they come together in the end. In addition to beads, I really enjoy working with leather and have been making a lot of key chains lately. I think it’s important to conscientiously create gender neutral items to offer in my shop; it’s something that I continually strive to do better. In addition, I’m currently working on ringing in the New Year by offering more beaded leather designs in my shop. So, stayed tuned for more to come in 2016!

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Tiny little seed beads will always be my first choice in beading supplies; they’re the most versatile and comfortable materials for me to work with. There’s truly nothing like the feel of a threaded needle and the smooth flow of beads gliding along effortlessly in the process of creating something so beautiful and unique as a one-of-a-kind piece of bead art. Yes, I’m a complete and total bead addict and ironically, beading is my therapy. As much of an oxymoron as that may sound to some folks, it’s absolutely true, lol!
I started selling my beadwork at craft fairs and local bazaars; however, it wasn’t until after I lost my mom to Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) that I decided to open my Etsy shop. I had previously been working as a social worker, providing services to violent offenders and domestic violence survivors – during which time, my mom and I were both also in the process of being placed on the waiting list for a kidney transplant.

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It wasn’t long after my mom’s passing that my kidney health began to deteriorate, which eventually led to my having a second transplant in April of 2012. In loving memory of my mom and in an effort to help “pay it forward”, I opened my Etsy shop shortly afterwards and began selling green ribbon pieces to help raise awareness for CKD and Organ, Eye and Tissue Donation. My mom continues to be the primary source of inspiration and motivation for my designing and creating each piece of beadwork featured in my Beadwork4Sale – by, Janice “Awareness Collection” today.

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The first crafts I remember seeing being made as a child were my mom’s crocheted hats, scarves and panchos – she made us kids’ crotched gifts for Christmas. One of my favorite childhood memories is of my mom teaching me how to do embroider when I was 8 years old. My uncle used to draw peacocks and floral designs on denim shirts for her to embroider. On a smaller scale, my mom taught me how to embroider pretty floral designs on the edging of white cotton hankies and pillowcases. My dad gave me my first sewing machine on my 15th birthday. I taught myself how to do alterations, how to sew quilts and anything else I could find to sew. My early endeavors with embroidery and sewing definitely play a huge part in my beading today.

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My favorite piece in my shop right now is the “Sea Life” beaded bracelet shown here. The turtle used in this cuff was an original piece of a coconut shell salad serving set that my brother gave me as a gift while he was living in Hawaii back in the late 80’s. At some point it fell off one of the spoons and I held onto it over the years until one day I was inspired to create something special to bring it back to life! I happened to purchase the abalone dolphins and ovals at the same time as the floral troca shells, all of which are hand-carved pieces from a wonderful family in the Philippines. The design “magically” took on a life of its’ own, coming together without a lot of thought or effort on my part. Needless to say – this piece holds a very meaningful and special place in my heart!

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I love the creativity that beading offers – it continues to allow me to expand and hone my bead-working skills, while learning different techniques and trying out new beads and other jewelry making components as they’re introduced to the market. As a bead addict, buying beads has become a huge piece of what keeps my job interesting!

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When things are slow, or sales are tight – I don’t spend cash money on supplies and I focus more attention on social media activities. I’ve enjoyed becoming part of a wonderful Etsy community via joining a couple of teams that I’m committed to helping “spread the love” of my fellow team mates. The Deadhead Art Alliance and Rainbow Artists teams are where I find myself the most welcome and at home – everyone’s really laid back and shares a sense of community! I’ve met some truly kind and sincere friends that I enjoy interacting with daily, as we turn to each other for support and encouragement during both good and bad times – big hugs and thanks to each of you!

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I don’t ever really have any “down” time, beading is something that I always love to do – at home, in the car, while camping and fishing, on vacation…you get the idea! I think there’s so much more to beadwork than the actual act of physically beading. I spend time drawing and coloring new designs, I have a bead tool computer program that I enjoy creating patterns with, and I’m always reading books and flipping through beading magazines. I’m continuously learning new techniques and trying out new types of beads – it’s all part of what I love about beading. It also helps that I’m very fortunate that Dan and my family totally support and encourage me in my bead endeavors.

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The first quote that comes to mind when asked if I have a favorite would have to be:
“Don’t take your organs to heaven; heaven knows we need them here.”

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Being a “product” of the sixties (born in 1965), music has always been an integral part of my life. I can’t remember a time when Dylan, Janis, the Stones, the Dead … or any of the other Greats weren’t playing on the stereo. My mom’s love for music and dancing was so infectious; it became a part of who we are today. When we were kids we went to a few outdoor music festivals with my mom, but even more memorable – were when we had parties at our house. There was always so much great food, live music, kegs of beer, and tons of people dancing and partying – hanging out and enjoying life!

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(That’s me in the pink shirt with my back to the camera!)
When I was 18 yrs old, I went to see Elvin Bishop with my mom and some friends from work. He came over to our table and sat on my lap while singing and playing his guitar – my mom kept yelling at me, “give him a kiss!” All I could think of was the spittle flying out of his mouth as the bright lights lit up his face – no way was I going to kiss him!

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The last live performance I attended was soon after my second transplant a couple summers ago in Anchorage – where Michael Franti & Spearhead were playing. I absolutely love and adore Michael Franti; he’s an outstanding human being and artist!

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Selling Venues:

Website: http://www.beadwork4sale.com

Etsy: http://www.beadwork4sale.etsy.com

Artists Contact Info:

Email: beadwork4sale@yahoo.com

Social Media Links:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/beadwork4sale/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Beaadwork4Sale/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/Beadwork4Sale/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Beadwork4Sale

Tumblr: http://beadwork4sale-byjanice.tumblr.com/

Beadwork4Sale – by, Janice Etsy Shop
CLEARANCE section is now available – until all items are SOLD!

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This month’s Artist of the Month winner was by contest, and we’d like to Thank and Feature another wonderful artist and team mate that is responsible for Janice being Chosen as our November Artist.

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Debbie

Leader of Deadhead Art Alliance & Captain of the new Rainbow Artist Team

https://www.etsy.com/shop/thunderrose

  By networking and building relationships, Etsy artists can come together to assist one another in Promotion and build life long friendships- for this we’d like to feature Debbie Rodgers from Thunder Rose Leather as our December Featured Artist

Forever Grateful, Deadhead Art Alliance Team – thank you!

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DHAA Artist of the Month – FEBRUARY 2014 – Margaret Adams (Maggie-Jane O) – Store: Knottymama

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Banner courtesy of knottymama.etsy.com

Hello! I am known to my fellow cohorts as Maggie-Jane O. I was born under the sign of Pisces in the first year of Reagan’s presidency. I am a dreamer of change, an organic farm-ess, a booty shaker, a naturalist, I vote, homesteader, wife, renegade seamstress, but more to the point, I am a Knotty Mama! Knotty Mama is my business, a giant hunk of my life, designing and creating handmade upcycled clothing and accessories out of second hand and orphaned clothing and fabrics.

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Maggie-Jane

My artist process is dominated by the material itself.  I would not be surprised if most upcycled artists begin the same way.  Most of my fabric collection consists of pieces that right away I knew what I would create.  A vintage table clothe with a lace border is already a skirt in my minds eye.  I have stacks of old clothing made from every conceivable material in a rainbow of colors. I love to go to yardsales, and buy those mismatched sheet sets!

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The design of any given piece is determined by what kind and how much of fabric I have.  Patchwork is an obvious way to handle any combination of colors and patterns!  One of my favorite parts of the creation process is the choosing of the materials and draft up patterns.  Makes me glad I listened to my grade school teachers about math being really useful in the real world!  I use geometry and algebra and arithmetic everyday.  My notebook is full of chicken scratches.

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I sew all my garments on my Sears Kenmore from the seventies!  My Aunty Caroline is kind enough to temporarily share her sewing room with me.  We split the glass windowed porch down the middle, though I must admit my chaos does often flow over to her side.  I love my hard core metal beast!  I use flat felled and french seams instead of serging. These seams are professional and long lasting!

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My father says we come from a family of artists.  My sisters and I always wore handmade hand me downs from my cousins.  My grandmother made barbie doll clothing.  When my sister and I were little, the family print shop was in my grandmother’s basement.  The sounds of the press is like music to my ears mixed with the smell of paper and ink.  Both my parents inspired us to be very artsy and to express ourselves in all mediums of art.  I started upcycling at a young age.  I made barbie clothes out of socks from the no-mate basket.       ( Who is that sock bandit? ) 

 

 

1503062_642071015831159_33977829_oI love the process of creating, so it is hard to pick a favorite piece.  I am constantly in love with the piece I am currently working on, if I don’t like the way it is shaping up it ends up in what I call the crap pile. The most rewarding pieces are the ones that challenge me. I have been honored enough to get to create some amazing wedding dresses.  The joy of creating the perfect garment for someone, is only intensified for that very special occasion.

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Everything inspires me to create. I have to make art or I will just die.  I love growing things, it blows my mind that you can take a tiny seed, add a little love, leave the rest to mother nature and you end up with a giant pumpkin or delicate chard. That’s pretty much my life in a hand bag.  The seeds of imagination can culminate into any dimension of the magical.

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I feel like the luckiest person in the world.  I have been able to make a semi living from sewing my entire adult life.  I literally love all of it, except maybe having to seam rip something I have sewn wrong, twice.  Nothing beats finding the perfect score at the thrift store.  I love designing something challenging and using pure force of will to make the material do what I want with the proper tools.  I really like going to show and meeting new people!  The most rewarding part of sewing for me, is when I see someone wearing the clothes I have made!

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vending booth

-here is a link to a 2003 article from a local newspaper my old partner and I were interviewed while vending     http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Farchives.dailyegyptian.com%2Fimported-20111018203805%2F2003%2F12%2F10%2F25th-annual-craft-sale-draws-large-crowd-of-students-and-com.html

 

My husband, Ethan, is extremely supportive, in fact he basically set up my etsy half a decade ago.  He serenades me while I work and picks up the slack when I am working over time on the sewing machine. No matter the situation, he encourages me to keep creating. My family has always been my biggest supporters.  Fortunately, simple living requires little money.

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me and the husbandito

I am busy as a bee,  when I am not in the sewing room, I have a wide variety of tasks.  My husband and I also run a growing organic farm aptly dubbed, ” Dirty Feet Farm”.  From spring to fall I spend a lot of time in our garden, there is always weeding and mulching not to mention the planting and the harvesting. I put in a lot of time in the summer kitchen, canning and pickling produce and jamming.  We have a pack of mutt dogs, and chickens that require attention.  Sometimes when it feels like it’s too much, I lay in the hammock  all day with a good book to recharge my energies.

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Dirty Feet Farm

We are trying to get to the point of 100% off the grid.  We currently reside in a military tent, on top of a deck, like the one in Mash.  We have solar power for light and for charging our electronic devices.  In the summer when the panel is getting good light I can even sew there.  This is temporary.  We have been scrimping and saving to build our dream docile for several years.  We have plans to build an earthbag dome this summer, complete with a studio for my sewing and Ethan’s music.

tent in the woods

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studio and living tent

Growing up, the first live music I was exposed to was around the fire at my parent’s parties.  My mother, sisters, and I would compose impromptu operas doing house work or in the car.  But, I had little experience with contemporary or popular music, I was only allowed to listen to the oldies radio station until I was in Jr High.  My first live concert was George Clinton and the P funk, a free concert at the local university.  It was pretty amazing!!  I was introduced to the Grateful Dead through some beautiful people, who have become life long friends.  The fist time I heard “Fire on the Mountain,” I was instantly addicted!!  I had these old boot leg tapes that I would listen to over and over.   The first festival I attended was Woodstock in ’99.  Three friends and I packed up in my 1987 Monte Carlo and drove to the east coast.  It was a life altering experience, especially because when I came back I made my first mama top.

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Living a simple free spirited life is my main goal!  I truly believe that everyone needs to be the change they want to see in the world!  For me, running my eco friendly sewing business fits in perfect with my homesteader bohemian view of the world.  I do not have to sacrifice any of my morals, Knotty Mama allows me to make a small living off of other people’s waste.  I also really like the fact that I am offering people a different choice, they do not have to buy poorly constructed clothing made by unfair labor practices, sold in earth destroying big box chains.  Soon I will be able to do all my sewing  with the power of the sun, then I will be really dancing down my path!!

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favorite quote

“Let the beauty of what you love be what you do”-Rumi

 

She is also the leader of our DHAA team in charge of the Quilt Team and we’re happy to say that 20 artists and almost a year later we’ve completed something special!

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Selling Venues:

Knottymama.etsy.com

Artist Contact info:

Knottymama@gmail.com

Social Media Links:

www.facebook.com/knottymama

www.facebook.com/dirtyfeetfarm