Monday, December 3, 2012

Celebrating Crafts and Christmas with Christy!

Welcome to the first day of Celebrating Crafts and Christmas, a blog party dedicated to - you guessed it! - crafts and Christmas! Get ready for some inspiring interviews and great giveaways this week!

Today's guest is Christy Janes! I first "met" Christy through book blogging. Southern Sassy Things - her lovely and creative book blog - was always a fun place to visit! Christy has recently turned her online focus from books to jewelry... And I am now one of Christy's satisfied customers! I've bought a necklace for myself and various pieces for family and friends as gifts, and I am quite pleased with the quality and beauty of my purchases.

Be sure to take a look at her Etsy shop, Belle on a Budget. (You can click on the various jewelry pictures throughout this post to go to those pages on her online shop and do some shopping!) Read on to learn more about Christy - and about her awesome giveaway!

***

Amber: Welcome, Christy! One Dictionary.com definition of the word “craft” is: “an art, trade, or occupation requiring special skill…” How did you get started in the jewelry “craft,” and what special skills does your craft require?

Christy: All my life, I’ve had my hand in something “crafty!” When I was growing up, I remember my mom spending hours at the sewing machine making all kinds of beautiful dresses for me to wear during my baby, toddler, and early childhood years. Once I became a teenager, she gave me a sewing machine of my own, and began to teach me, what is now, almost a lost art. I cherish those early training years because that was also about the time I started to learn many other hand crafts.

Jewelry, however, didn’t come along until I was an adult. The complete story can be found HERE, but in a nutshell, it all started with some prodding from a few co-workers back in 2006. They knew that I spent my lunch time hours either reading or working on cross-stitch (or some other portable craft), and asked if I could whip up something quickly for Valentine’s Day for everyone to wear. A trip to Hobby Lobby and a few cute jewelry items later…well, that was all she wrote!

As far as skill goes, anyone with a good eye for matching colors, textures, shapes, etc. could easily find themselves fascinated with making jewelry. It’s something I love to do for hours on end, and the feeling I get when a piece comes together in the most perfect way…I tell ya, it’s pure bliss. :o)

Amber: Love your enthusiasm! 

Please share one of your favorite Etsy shops/jewelry businesses. In what ways does it inspire you to keep working on your craft?

Christy: Honestly, there are several Etsy shops I visit, and it would take quite some time to list them all! Each shop has something different which makes the whole of the Etsy website just fascinating for people who like unique, handmade items. What is always eye-catching are those shops whose photos are just so clear and crisp, and allow their item(s) to be the star. Maybe one of these days, my puny photos will be in the same league…they always seem to be a work-in-progress!

Amber: I enjoy browsing the photos you post - especially the ones with books as props! ;) 

What do you hope to share through your craft?

Christy: The one thing I constantly strive for is to be the best I can be, and do it to the glory of God, because without Him, I wouldn’t have the talent to begin with. In addition to that, I want to share that jewelry can be cute and affordable, yet be well-made. The budget-conscious side of me is always looking for a bargain, and after a few years of knowing what supplies to look for, where to look for them, and then, a good dose of patience while I wait for them to go on sale, I can’t in good conscience charge a fortune for something that didn’t cost me a fortune to begin with. Also, I take the time to make sure that every piece I finish looks the best it possibly can with quality materials. If I’m not happy with the finished product, then I take it apart and start again.

Amber: That's great! Do you have any other crafts you enjoy?

Christy: Well, as I mentioned above, I’ve dabbled in a bit of everything from sewing to cross-stiching, but jewelry has really become my crafting passion. I’ve been eager to expand my knowledge here lately, and want to start learning some different techniques as well as creating other jewelry items besides the ones I currently have in my shop.

Amber: Since the Christmas season is upon us… Will you be doing something special this season that involves your craft?

Christy: I usually make a few gifts for family members, and this year will most likely be no exception. The inspiration hasn’t quite hit yet for what those items will be, and it better hurry because time’s a wastin’! Seriously…can you believe we’re already at DECEMBER?!

Amber: Definitely crazy! 

Now, these next two questions are "just for fun": What is your favorite color?

Christy: Oh, forevermore it will be blue. It can be bold and regal, but also calming and peaceful. My favorite shade would be Williamsburg blue. *sigh*

Amber: Bracelets, earrings, or necklaces? (Which is your favorite to wear and/or make?)

Christy: Wow, that’s kinda tough because I wear and make all of them! Earrings are the most versatile to wear, especially for my day job. On the other hand, necklaces are probably my favorite to make, although sometimes, they have a mind of their own (kinda like how authors describe their characters, ya know?). :o)

Amber: Hehehe, very fun! Thank you so much for joining us today, Christy!

***

Extras!

Find Christy on:
Christy has offered a coupon code, which any of you can use at her Etsy shop! Just type in this code at checkout:
  •   NewBelle10  
Giveaway!


Christy has generously offered to give away a hand-crafted bookmark to one of my readers! The winner can choose any one of the three color options (as shown above) - blue, purple, or pink.

To enter, just leave a comment with your e-mail address. Please note that you must have a U.S. mailing address in order to enter the drawing. A winner will be chosen randomly and announced on Friday, December 7th.

15 comments:

Christy Janes said...

Amber, the post is beautiful...thank you so much for including me in such a fun feature this week! Excited to see what the rest of the week has in store!

Julie said...

Beautiful jewelry Christy! I too enjoy your Southern Sassy Things blog(have you closed it down?). Looking forward to the rest of the week Amber, it is always fun to visit your blog :)

gravesok(at)gmail(dot)com

Amber S. said...

Christy,

I'm so glad you like how it turned out! :) Thank you for letting me host you! The jewelry you make is beautiful, and I'm happy to help spread the word about your craft!

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Julie,

Aw, so glad you dropped by! I'm excited to share some more craft-y posts with y'all! :)

And aren't those pieces lovely? Christy does a great job!

~Amber

Anne Elisabeth Stengl said...

This was just lovely! I am, alas, not a crafty person. On a REALLY good day I can sew a straight seam. But that's about it. Everything else I try turns into what my mummy fondly calls, "Annie Arts and Crafts" (i.e. a mess). I'm just not patient enough!

All that to say, I have dabbled enough to be VERY impressed by other people's craftsmanship. This was a fun post to read! Thank you for sharing, Christy, and thank you for hosting, Amber! :)

Oh, and I would love to enter my name for one of those pretty bookmarks . . .

aestengl(at)gmail(dot)com

JillStengl said...

This is such a fun way to celebrate holiday crafts, Amber! Such beautiful pieces, Christy, and a fun interview. I agree that sewing is almost a lost art--sad!
I would love to win a bookmark!
jpopcorn@charter.net

Amber S. said...

Anne,

LOL! I know what you mean - I am not a crafty person either! My grandma taught me how to do counted cross-stitching, which I enjoy. :) But when I had a big tear in my Halloween costume last year, I had to go to my RA's roommate to beg her help in sewing it up! She was very nice about it, though. ;)

I'm glad you enjoyed reading the post! Aren't those bookmarks so pretty??

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Jill,

Thank you for your comment! So fun to see you here! :)

~Amber

Bluerose said...

It's always fun to find another that shares my love of the color blue! ;)

I agree with the others! This was a beautiful post filled with beautiful jewelry. As much as I want to be crafty, I'm simply not. Most days I'm happy to let others do the crafting for me, but every once in awhile, the crafting bug bites. Unfortunately, the results are never good. ;P It's a good thing there's folks like Christy out there. She's very talented, indeed!

bluerosesheart at yahoo dot com

Michelle said...

I'm a fan of Christy's jewelry as well! I ordered a beautiful bracelet from her a few months ago, and I love it! :)

I enjoyed the interview ladies! Thanks for the chance to win one if the lovely bookmarks!

Michelle
Scraphappy71@sbcglobal dot net

Amber S. said...

Bluerose,

LOL! :) Blue is a very pretty color...as is purple, I must add!

And I totally agree - it's definitely good that there are people like Christy out there! :) Thanks for stopping by and entering the drawing!

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Michelle,

It's really fun picking out pieces on her site and admiring them when they arrive! :) I got a few pieces for friends and family for Christmas presents, and I'm looking forward to giving the jewelry to them!

Glad you enjoyed the interview, and glad you visited today! :)

~Amber

Marissa said...

I just love those bookmarks!!! They're adorable! And those Christmas earrings get me in the mood for the holidays!

marissamehresman(at)aol(dot)com

Amber S. said...

Marissa,

Me, too! :) Thank you for stopping by and sharing your enthusiasm!

Good luck in the drawing!

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Note to self: Enter Danie in the bookmark giveaway. :) (Refer to Goodreads messages!)

~Amber