Crochet = Amor

I first came around this necklace months ago and have saved Maria's shoppe, Kjoo, in my favorites for some time now. When i 1st started to write about artists, she one of the few i already knew i would have to interview. Her style is amazing, and i love the colors and textures of her work. She does beautiful crochet pieces that is absolutely practical artwork to wear!

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My name is Maria João Ribeiro I am Portuguese and I live in Palmela, a small beautiful mountain next to the capital, Lisbon.

How long have you been crafting?

I have been crafting all my life. Specially on my adolescence when I was always making modifications on my clothes and crafting some jewelry's and accessories for personal use. Crafting with the intention of making business of it, I started at about one year. More or less December 2006, after a few months thinking on what should I do for life.I was not happy at all with the professional offers regarding my formation area Graphic Design.

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Did you always craft in this genre?

I am still exploring the materials I am crafting with. Since started this projected not so long ago, I am still learning new ways to use crochet and felt. And I am also introducing some new materials such as silver, plastic, glass and other fibers. My work is also very experimental so I am always seeking new ways to use shape and color.

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Who or what inspires you?

I can get inspiration from everywhere. Can be a movie a book a website and illustration... What really inspires me is finding some unusual color combination. I am always seeking color combination and I have not many rules regarding color I just like to explore.

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What challenges have you found while taking your craft into the business world?

I think the most difficult part of this is get your name out there. Be noticed takes time and effort. Anyway I have to say that I have been really lucky. I work many hours a day and I have been really lucky to have receive really pleasant invitations (like this interview) that get the word about my work out there. I have taken the option of making my business almost all an online commerce and I am really happy with the results so far. I just need to organize better my time to be able to answer all the invitations, have new items available in the shop and for other proposes.

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Not only is her work wonderful, but many of her images are lovely as well. i LOVE the way she photographed the pins on the plate with the chop stix, so clever! :)

Ohh...Put a cork in it!

What started off as a search on Etsy for "trees" led me to the intriguing Cat from Uncorked. A clever Etsy shoppe devoted to jewelry crafts made obviously, from cork. :) It was crafting love at 1st site. Her idea is creative, the packaging is the cutest, and her photographs are awesome. Plus, the icing on the cake? This all started out as a science fair project..! Read on...

1. I have been crafting always! I remember my poor mother going to work with a pocketbook made from ziplock plastic sandwich bags covered with purple feathers and having to store her kitchen supplies in decoupaged cereal boxes and fabric covered Pringles potato chip cans!

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2. This is the first time I have ever crafted jewelry and I am certainly no jewelry artist! I have always worked with industrial supplies and always sought to re purpose those supplies into something new, unique and beautiful. As a science teacher I started my Uncorked line after receiving an unusually wonderful supply of cork with my test tubes. I found myself rolling the cork around in my hands, reminding myself of the clay I have always loved to work with, and really within a few minutes I had a picture of my jewelry in my head. I wanted to use Uncorked as a way to inspire girls with my love of science and math, especially my crafty girls, who I am always trying to convince of the connections between science and art! I am determined to get my artsy students to see the beauty in Tesla coil, exploding glass and, yes, cork! And I am equally determined to get my computer students to see the beauty in their binary numbers!

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3. As a scientist I am continually inspired by the things I do not know. When a student asks a question in a way I had not though about, I get excited. When I hear something I am unfamiliar with, the researcher in me kicks into high gear. I love to google! I am also a born skeptic so I love to experiment. As an artist I am always inspired by the rawness of real emotion and the contrast of color and texture. I have been an artist all my life. College was kind of a crossroads where I choose science as a career because I knew the art would always be there for me (and maybe I copped out a little bit for the money, but just a little bit because I am a teacher after all!).

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4. Bringing a craft into the marketplace is a challenge because when you create something you are not thinking - can I sell this? If you are thinking that you will probably never create anything new or exciting. The scope of my pieces changed quickly from science and math themed into the humor and more modern illustration that my wholesale customers requested and those pieces have also been the primary sellers with my retail customers, so my line has evolved from the influence of the marketplace in a way I had not anticipated. It has been a bit of a trade-off to get my work out there. I am still determined to get my science and math themed pieces (UNCORKEDucation) into the hands, or I should say around the necks, of girls though! It may take a bit of good luck to do it, but luckily I am a mad scientist and luck is something I strongly believe in!

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If her images alone aren't enough to interest you to go to her Etsy, i don't know what else will! She's a swell gal and would love for you to check out her shoppe! :)

Knit This Time!

Can anyone guess what these bracelet charms are?? Oh come on, you must have guessed based on my blog title. These stellar jewels are made from knitting needles. So clever!!! Nancy has a shoppe called Sassafras Creations. She makes me want to take up knitting as my second hobby. Okay, maybe not, but they at least make me want to turn something ordinary into jewelry. :)

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I have always crafted; I'm 46 now, so let's say 4 decades.

I did a lot of sewing in my teens and 20's and also learned to knit somewhere in my early 20's. In my late 20's I had 3 sons (#2 and #3 are twins), so I pretty well lost all my free time for a while. After my twins got out of diapers, I found I had a little more free time again and I got into beading and jewelry-making, then eventually came back to knitting. I was laid off from my 24-year corporate career in 2006 and I became determined to do something more creative with my time, so I took some metalsmithing and jewelry-making classes. Somewhere along the line, I got the idea of using aluminum knitting needles in my jewelry - they're colorful, come in assorted sizes and are very lightweight. So, for the past 6 or 9 months, I've been playing with that idea and just seeing what I can come up with.

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Inspiration comes from all over - I read lots of knitting and jewelry magazines and books. I also have a tendency to try to apply whatever medium I'm currently working in to everyday situations -- a few years back I was heavy into working with polymer clay; when a plastic guide rail on my dresser drawer broke, I made a new one out of polymer clay. I also tried to knit with polymer clay - it could be done, and it was unique, but it was a heck of a lot of trouble to make the string. Now I'm using the tools of knitting and seeing what else can be done with them.

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The challenges I'm facing right now are questions about my own capabilities and where I want this to go - I'm ramping things up slowly and trying to be very conscious of my production time - since I am making all of the little pieces that go into my jewelry, I have to try to calculate how much it costs to make each one, in order to ensure that I am really able to pay myself for my time. But I'm having a lot of fun and have really enjoyed the positive responses that I've gotten from folks all over.

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Nancy has plenty more awesome jewelry items for you to look at, so head over to her Etsy site and tell her hello!!

Tea Party!

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Seriously! How much fun did you have playing tea party when you were little. Heck! I still have fun, only now my plastic cups are china. Carry the nostalgia of having your own tea party, but wearing this cute ecclectic necklace!

Would you like your tea with one lump or two?

I Heart Purple.

Purple Kingdom

Purple was always my favorite color as a child, that was until i discovered yellow. (But shh! don't tell Purple i said that!) Yellow has quite a competition on her hands after i finished making this necklace. The facets in these gorgeous necklace. The facets in the Amethyst rondelles are to die for!!

So much to do!! :)

Howdy ya'll..

Strawberry Peace

[Strawberry Peace] necklace. So perdy. Strawberry quartz, Sterling Silver, and Swarovski crystals. How divine! :)

My goodness, so much is happening in my cheery Cherry world. Currently I'm quite serene, i just came back from my FAVORITE tea house! I'm in love with this tea house, and can spend hours there. They have brilliant selection of teas, a wonderful staff and the most delicious biscotti I've ever had.

Oh Honey! You'll LOVE this tea!

Other then that, my website is in the last stages. It's taking WAY LONGER then i have ever anticipated. I've been uploading and fixing images, writing descriptions and inputting all of the info on my site for about 10 hours and not even slightly finished. It's quite overwhelming.

Show Your Sorority Spirit!!

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I've been trying to promote myself to soroities for some time now. I guess i'm not trying hard enough, and the times i do try, for some reason i get pushed away. So, when i heard that 70 girls from Alpha Epsilon Phi were coming into the Art Studio i work at, i knew i had to bring in some awesome jewelry for them! (And cross my fingers that someone, any of them, are interested and some beautiful, custom jewelry! What do you think?

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Some with their letters. [AEphi]

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Some with their animal. [Giraffe]

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And...some with their flower. [Lily Of The Valley]

So, if your in a Sorority and want something origional, something that none of the other stores can offer, let me know! :)

Custom Jewelry for friends = really fun!

I have two awesome friends who are dating. When my friend asked me if he could help create a necklace espeically for Courtney, i didn't bat an eye. Of course!!

So, the obvious name for this set is called "Courtney". Faceted Amazonite rectangles, 6mm Spring Green Freshwater Pearls, and an adorable Sterling Silver Flower charm make this necklace a favorite.

Courtney

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Amazonite faceted rectangles and Sterling Silver flower charms make these earrings a stable "go with anything" earrings. Just enough dangle, yet not to overpowering.

Match them with the Courtney necklace, and your accessories will be a hit!

As the song i dislike says "...It's been a while..." (since i last posted)

Nothing majorly exciting happening in Cherry Runway land right now. I've been trying to make and photograph like a fiend so portions of my catalog is actually complete. I'm actually having to make three different ones, because I'm sending catalogs to three different types of bouqties and galleries. So, that's quite time consuming, but it's fun, so it's worth it.

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Other then that, I've mostly been trying my best to stay motivated, but getting distracted by Izzie, my beautiful acoustic guitar, she takes away my concentration. On the bright side, i've writen two new songs as of late.

Okay, well, i hope everyone is doing well!! Craft on!