Saturday, 24 March 2012
of PORTIA'S CRAFTS
If there are any arachnophobes out there ...
please don't jump! Even though the jewelled
spiders and bugs you are about to see look
very real, they are works of art and stunning
I came across Pat's work recently, when she responded
to a project design I had put on Facebook. I'm always
looking to promote other craftspeople's work and skills ...
so I caught up with her and below is the result of my
WHEN DID YOU START CREATING YOUR BEADED INSECTS
AND WHAT LED YOU TO THIS?
I've been making the spiders and other bugs for the last year.
I first got the idea from a friend who said she had seen something
similar at a craft fair. I was intrigued and started looking it up
on the internet, only to find spiders of all varieties and how to make
Every spider has the same head, body and legs (you can't mess
with nature!) but everybody's version of a spider is quite
different. My bugs are made from beads and crystals and I
use head pins and florist or jewellery wire for the legs.
At first, I was quite tentative with the design of the spiders I made,
but over time, I have noticed that my spiders are tending to get larger
and more extrovert looking as I gain confidence.
What is fun about creating spiders, is sourcing the perfect body bead.
It's now quite hard for me, not to look at someone's chunky necklace
without seeing a potential family of spiders!
I just love to search in charity shops and at car boot sales for beads.
I quite often find some absolute treasures!
Spiders came first and then I ventured into dragonflies and butterflies.
Strange shaped beads are handy for the
odd moth and flat beads are great for brooches.
Occasionally, I'll make little bumblebees, but having never seen any bead
that resembles a 'bee' body, I have to create them from polymer clay.
ARE YOU SELF-TAUGHT OR HAVE YOU ATTENDED
COURSES & CLASSES?
When I retired 6 years ago, I had no craft experience at all.
I first started with card making and then discovered a class
for jewellery making run by Elaine Hodgeson of:
Elaine taught me all of the different techniques for
jewellery making and from this, I've developed my skills.
I have loads of books, piles of magazines and no end of
craft 'favourites' saved on the computer. The internet is
just the best thing ever for researching methods!
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
... The internet is what inspires me ! I can be surfing aimlessly
or simply browsing Facebook and all of a sudden, I see something
(with all the instructions for making it) and I just have to have a
I always like finding new ideas, because I believe too much repetition
of the same thing can get boring and too much like 'work'! I am
supposed to be retired after all!!
Last year, I was in a bridal shop with my daughter and I was looking
at their tiaras (and the frightening prices attached). When I got home
I couldn't do anything else, until I had made my first tiara!
My inspiration is also fuelled and I get excited when I can turn something
that someone regards as a bit of 'junk' into something new and special
that someone else wants!
DO YOU SELL YOUR WORK - IF SO WHERE?
I've very recently made my first ever website:
It was fun doing that and I was so thrilled when I
got my first sale!
I frequently go to a car boot sale/Sunday market where
I have all of my crafts on display. Despite the fact that
most people do go to a car boot sale for an absolute
bargain (me included!), I still do manage to sell
enough of my pieces at normal prices to make it a
worthwhile way to spend a Sunday morning. I get a
lot of fresh air as well, which I tend to miss out on when
I'm tucked away crafting in the spare bedroom.
During the summer months, we live in our narrowboat.
can be seen
canals of England and Wales in the summer.
... Just imagine ... a sunny day ... peace and tranquility and
spiders, dragonflies and butterflies hanging in the
boat windows, sparkling! Not only is it a handy way to
show and sell my bugs, but it is a great conversation starter
and we get to meet some really nice people on the canals
I also sell on Ebay when it's a free listing weekend, but rarely
list items when there is a listing fee. All the little fees here and
there in the Ebay process really add up.
I only tend to do two regular craft events: the Rotary Club
Hobbies Fair in Goole and Christmas Fair at Gools Waterways
HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT PROMOTING YOUR WORK?
Word of mouth. Business card. Website:
Portia's Crafts is also on FACEBOOK and I have a blog:
(although I am a bit hit and miss with my posts on these
sites - don't forget ... I am retired!).
WHAT ARE YOUR ASPIRATIONS ABOUT GOALS FOR
I want to continue to be enthusiastic about making things
and I would like to want people to keep buying the pieces
I create. I'm not really trying to build a business as such,
it's more a of a hobby that will tick along at a comfortable
pace. For me, the biggest thrill is when someone tells me
they love my creations! I really inspires me to make more
and more ...
I simply have to sell them as well, otherwise I'd be knee
deep in beaded spiders!
******************************************************THANK YOU, PAT, FOR SHARING YOUR
BEAUTIFUL CREATIONS WITH FELLOW
YOU ARE INSPIRATION TO US ALL - TO
LOOK TO NATURE, TO MOTIVATE OUR
IMAGINATIONS FOR NEW DESIGNS !!
HAPPY BeadyBug MAKING!!