What a treat is in store for you today! This is my special feature on a Folksy seller Jacqueline of J Austen Jewellery Design. She has kindly agreed to share her work and background and what inspires her creations. Over to Jacqueline:
"I have been selling on Folksy since 2010 and have enjoyed my time here. Everyone is so friendly and supportive."
"I am a mum of three boys (so far) with my next baby due in August. My love affair with jewellery making began as a child where I made and designed pieces in copper and enamel to give as gifts. I studied Geology and my love for stones grew. A typical girlie, I love things that sparkle! My husband is very generous with his support, although in the beginning, when I first started out trying to sell my work, he wasn't too sure if I would make enough income from my jewellery. At the time I was working full time. I have had several government jobs before I gave up full time employment to have a family."
"I left school and began medical research into BSE (showing my age here!) then moved on to cancer research for many years. I used to run a lab at Manchester University, back in the dark ages! After further posts in the same role, I changed tack and started to work for Customs and Excise, as it was then, before leaving to have a family and working part time at our local butchers before having baby number three. I now fit my jewellery making in round the boys, so unsociable hours in the main!"
I asked Jacqueline: "What is the inspiration/motivation behind your designs?"
"I am very often inspired by the stones themselves. I can get quite animated about a really good specimen - I tend to see them as geological delights more than just pretty gems and I love the whole process of how they are formed and their chemical make up etc. I am very keen on archaeology and some of my designs are inspired by museum pieces. The world around me and my interpretation of it is the most common source of my inspiration, oh and most importantly, my imagination and what I think would just look 'pretty'. I am not a follower of trends - I make pieces that I hope are timeless and above all that I would like to wear myself."
"Making decisions about what to make next is quite hard at times. I have a very large collection of stones in stock and I often just get the boxes out and look at the beautiful contents. I am inspired from there, sometimes with more success than others really!"
"I do have other creative interests. For many years I used to press flowers and compose and create greetings cards with them, often teamed with water colours for a little creative twist. I like to paint, though I can not remember the last time I did! I used to sew and have made my own clothes - all from patterns mind you - I am not cleaver enough to do it any other way. I like to knit and crochet, but I am not particularly fast at it, so haven't made anything too ambitious. I used to make and design all my dolls clothes from off cuts of my mums fabrics when she was sewing. Also knitting jumpers from sewing thread for them, using sewing needles. Even then, the scale of the stitches had to be right! Details matter to me I suppose. At present, I bake for local events, such as markets etc. (I am registered with the local council) so try to make a few pennies from this as well."
I asked Jacqueline: "What are your three favourite items from my Folksy shop?"
"It is very hard to choose as everything is so lovely, but here are three I think are super..."
"I don't have a Facebook page at the moment - it is on my to-do list, but I still haven't plucked up the courage to take the plunge!"
"I have a blog page - I am trying to write a blog a day at the moment - a sort of personal challenge to promote my fellow Folksy daily listers, other Folksy artisans and a some of my designs. Here is the link: http://jaustenjewellerydesign.blogspot.co.uk/
I don't have a twitter account or my own website as yet, but like with Facebook, I am working on it!"
Huge thanks to Jacqueline for sharing this. I think her jewellery is stunning - don't you? Do click on the photos and they will take you directly to Jacqueline's Folksy shop. Have a browse. Here we only have a taster of Jacqueline's designs - in her Folksy shop there are lots more beautiful jewellery to drool over!
P.S. I have decided to have a HALF PRICE SALE on all my notebooks and journals. SALE starts 12 noon today (11 May) runs until 12 noon on Monday 13 May. 50% discount will be refunded via PayPal after purchase.
Lots of lovely notebooks and journals to choose from - they make lovely gifts so stock up for birthdays or Father's day. Please visit my Folksy shop and choose your favourite.