THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. WINNER TO BE ANNOUNCED.
I have written before about the Facebook artist group I became involved with last year. It’s such a great group of women (well, we did let a few boys into the clubhouse!). I enjoy spending time with them and I like to tease the younger members that they wear me out just reading about their seemingly constant movement and various activities.
One of those younger members is my interview subject today. This vibrant, friendly, multi-talented woman accomplishes so much that I’m convinced she has somehow found another 5-6 hours a day that the rest of us don’t have! She is managing to maintain her jewelry business while simultaneously holding down a day job AND graduating from Wayne State University with a degree in journalism!
Did I mention she also has a great sense of humor?
So ready or not, here she comes!!
Your name: Jennifer Michelle Cline
Your etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/breathingmoment
Your blog: My jewelry blog is: breathingmoment.com/blog
The blog I write for my day job is technology-related: core3solutions.com/web/blog
Your website: breathingmoment.com
Your Facebook page: facebook.com/breathingmoment
Other: My jewelry is also available at Michigan Artisans in Eastern Market, Detroit, Michigan
FK: Well, that’s a long enough list to keep you busy! Let’s start with something easy – where in Michigan do you live? And did you grow up there or somewhere else?
I currently live in Ferndale and I absolutely love the vibe of this city. I grew up about five miles away from here and as an adult decided that Ferndale was the perfect place for me. It has a small-town feel that makes it easy to meet many friendly folks. I adore the array of ma and pa shops located in downtown Ferndale. The city’s slogan is “Fabulous Ferndale,” and represents a welcoming community that doesn’t judge anyone for anything, no matter your gender, culture, sexual preference, hobbies or taste. Ferndale is a loving place with tons of great art, events and people. One of the landmark events is DIY Street Fair, which takes place every September, and exhibits live music, handmade goodies, food and adult beverages. Last year, the Ferndale Downtown Development Authority also initiated the ARTWN project, which installed 11 pieces of artwork throughout the community. It’s just a great place with some terrific people!
FK: Ferndale is all that you say it is, Jennifer. Such a great little city. Tell me about your art education. Formal education, or are you self-taught?
When I was really young, my parents bought my sister and I Rose Art bead sets. They had to buy us new ones each year, because I would use up all of the beads and lose the stuff I made. The sets came with easy tutorials to make cutesy items. Then as I got older, my parents upgraded us to embroidery floss and we learned friendship bracelets with books and simply playing around with the string. Then when I was in high school, my mom asked if I had any interest in intermediate wire working classes being offered in Royal Oak. I jumped at the opportunity and have been relatively serious about expanding my techniques since then. I do a lot of experimenting to work out my designs nowadays. If I can’t figure out how to do something, I usually watch a YouTube video for some guidance.
FK: What about your etsy shop? What inspired you to open a shop and when did you get it started? By the way, I LOVE the titles you give your pieces.
Thank you. At one point, I realized if I was going to continue making jewelry, I couldn’t just hoard the majority of it in bags that I’d tuck away in my craft supplies. About two years ago, I invested in some supplies with the hope to open an etsy shop. I spent last summer making tons of items, photographing each piece and setting the shop up. I hope to eventually open an e-commerce website. Etsy is great because it connects you with artists you wouldn’t otherwise meet, but I see a lot of potential in developing my website more so I’d love to do both.
A lot of my jewelry is inspired from steampunk, nature and vintage items. ‘breathingmoment’ means finding those small, simple things in life that just give you a moment to stand back and breath: natural elements, like trees, owls and flowers as well as antique simplicities from the past such as vials. Life gets really busy sometimes, and I try to make sure I find time for uncomplicated stuff.
FK: Your life is definitely busy, but I'm glad to hear that you do find time for a "breathing moment." Talk to me about your creative life. What’s your inspiration to get going and how the heck do you find the time??
Right now my creative life doesn’t get enough time between the everyday necessities. It’s hard to find time, but it’s such a happy hobby so I try to fit it in when I can. When I find time, I usually sprawl all of my supplies out on the living room floor and just play around with charms and color combinations. I usually start with one focus piece (a pendant, vial, key or something else) then construct the piece around that element.
I cannot wait for the day that I live somewhere with an entire room dedicated to my crafty hobbies. However, for now my supplies are tucked under my side table, and my living room floor makes for an interesting studio that often gets interrupted by my cats, dog and boyfriend trying to pass through the house.
FK: Sounds like your “studio” is in the middle of Grand Central Station! What part of being an artist is the most gratifying to you? What part of being an artist is hardest for you, or that you dislike the most?
The most gratifying part of when each individual jewelry piece is completed. It’s such a journey to get to that finished product – deciding color combinations, picking centerpieces, figuring out the layout. When everything is finally laid out and looks right, it’s pretty cool to look at.
The hardest part for me is finding the time to really dive into my creativity. I have so many other projects going on that outside of the jewelry world that I rarely get to play around with all of my supplies. If I find time to make jewelry, I go in with a direct mission and produce the piece. I can’t wait until I have time to spread my jewelry stuff out and really play around more with the possibilities. Jewelry making is a time-consuming but rewarding process.
FK: What do you do when you’re not being an artist? What activities do you enjoy? Are there things going on in your life that influence your art?
Much of my life is consumed by my nifty job in digital marketing and spending time with family. I just graduated from Wayne State University with my degree in journalism, and love exploring how my love for writing and knowledge of digital marketing can add exciting things to my life.
Much of my college career was spent in Detroit and that really sparked a love for the city. I love exploring and learning about Detroit. It often gets a bad reputation, sometimes with good reason, but the city is full of amazing people and places. Locating those gems and telling those stories through my articles really brings happiness to my day. (You can read some of my articles here.)
I also love gardening, and I’m so excited that my boyfriend and I redid our yard last year to include a vegetable and butterfly garden in the back and front yard respectively.
And I spend a lot of time learning new craft projects – D.I.Y. everything. This summer I’m going to develop my jewelry display to sell my work in shows and experiment with a variety of craft projects. Life completely inspires my work. I try to be optimistic and enjoy the simple pleasures of life, and I hope that my breathingmoment collection can encompass that.
FK: Did I not say right at the beginning that this is one busy woman? I so admire you, Jennifer, for everything you’re accomplishing. Now tell us what your giveaway is going to be.
I'm happy to say that the winner can select any one item from my etsy shop. Their choice!
FK: That’s wonderful! Thank you, Jennifer, for an enjoyable visit. Now let me tell everyone how to enter to win one of your beautiful pieces of jewelry.
How to Enter
You have several chances to be entered into the random drawing. Please read carefully; the entry requirements have been changed.
First entry: Visit Jennifer's shop, come back here, and tell us about your favorite piece(s).
Second entry: Enter a comment if you have signed up to follow Jennifer's Facebook page (or comment if you already follow).
Third entry: Enter a comment that you signed up to follow Jennifer on Twitter.
Fourth entry: Enter a comment that you signed up to follow my blog (or comment that you already follow).
Fifth entry: Enter a comment that you signed up to follow my Facebook page AND/OR my Pinterest page (or comment that you already follow).
Still with me? That's five chances to enter for the random drawing! Please be sure that your correct email address is in your profile; if it is not, include your email address in your comment. I will use random number generator to pick a winner after
12 noon EDT
Tuesday, June 11.