Meet Carrie of Phoenvix, our CraftBritannia Shop of the Week! She makes pretty beaded jewellery and accessories and one-of-a-kind ACEOs. In this weeks interview she tells us about her diverse interests and plans.
Describe your “typical” working day or week
I don’t really have a typical working day. I work Monday-Wednesday as a legal secretary, so don’t have the energy for Etsy related stuff until I’m off work. Then its a case of going with the flow. Often, I’ll do things in batches i.e. make a load of things, photographs, or descriptions.
When you are not doing Etsy related things, what are you doing?
Tumblr, Facebook games-Bejeweled Blitz and Colour Cross Online are particular favourites. Also, listening to music, drawing, reading and – uhm – sleeping (my favourite non-creative activity)!
What was the first piece you ever sold?
The first piece I sold was a simple elasticated bracelet called Jade Thoughts (pictured above). I often don’t give my pieces fancy names nowadays, SEO doesn’t allow for it but back then all my work had a title.
What advice would you give someone taking up your craft for the first time?
Research. Research, research, research! If I’d researched jewellery as much as I perhaps should have, I’d have known it was going to be a lot harder than it looked! Also, if it is something you really want to do, don’t let anyone dissuade you. It’s not going to be easy but if its something you really want, then go for it! My family don’t understand why I put myself through the loops of having an actual business, being tax-registered and all for a shop that sells, sadly, very little. But I do it because I want to do it, and I enjoy doing it – even through the rough times.
What material do you most enjoy working with?
Beads! Beads of all shapes and sizes! I admired them for years, I’m a fan of pretty things (I collect My Little Pony and dice!) and taking a pile of beads and turning them into something pretty and usable is always a great source of pride. Also, I recently got a set of Copic Ciao markers and they are wonderful to use, you really notice the difference between them and most other markers/pens – well worth the money paid (a lot)!
If you could try a new craft, what would it be?
Gosh, there’s so much out there! I’d love to be able to sculpt pretty things from clay, or make beautiful videos or lovely plushies. I’m a part of the My Little Pony fandom and recently, with the advent of what I call “The Brony Generation” there has been an upsurge in creativity – some people can make absolutely gorgeous plushies. Me, I’d struggle to hem my trews! I also enjoy the look of papercuts – its amazing how people can create beautiful works of art from just cutting paper.
Which piece of equipment would you be helpless without?
My bead board. It helps me plan out designs, lets me lay out several lots of beads to see which would look best, and makes a useful holding place for spare beads.
Tell us about what inspires and motivates you
Mostly the beads themselves, but anything from a piece of art to dreams can inspire creativity. Often, the reason I’d buy beads was not because I could see any specific plan for them, but just because I could see the possibilities (and also, a lot of the time it was just “Oooh, pretty!”) .
Tell us about one handmade item that you own and love
One of my more recent purchases, my Blackberry case (pictured above) for “Ryoko Crackberry” (as my phone is known), made by the lovely SewGifted. I just love hot pink and black and, although it’s actually hot pink and navy, it certainly passes! It’s also extremely well-made, so much so my dad asked me to get him one from her when he also got a Crack-er, Black-berry. He he 🙂
What plans do you have for your shop in the future?
Well, I’ve been working on doing some ACEOs/ATCs, going back to my first love of artwork, and I’m also writing a novel which will be published online in sections. There will be art work popping up for that, hopefully in the near future, and I’m aiming to build a fanbase for my characters. This is the “Big One”, the dream I’ve had since I was a little girl. And if I pull it off? Well, J K Rowling ain’t got nothing on the world of Foxannia! The internet is a wonderful medium, there is just no way I’d be able to get the story out there without it – getting agents and sorting out publishers is a long, hard, slow, gruelling process. I’d much sooner whallop the middleman with a lurker stick and get on with it myself!
Thank you Carrie, we loved reading more about you! Have a great week.
Keep up to date with Carrie here: