Featured Artist: Sherri Smith

Featured Artist: Sherri Smith from MargabeadaGirl on EtsyI love upcycling and creative reuse projects, so I was absolutely thrilled when I discovered Sherri's items in a recent Crafty Saturday Show and Sell link-up.

Sherri, from Margabeada Girl on Etsy, creates stunning paper beads and paper bead jewelry. (I have an added appreciation for Sherri's craft because I have tried making paper beads before and it is a rather time consuming process.)

Now, let's meet Sherri!

Featured Artist: Sherri Smith from MargabeadaGirl on Etsy Who are you and where are you from?

My name is Sherri and I reside in the beautiful windy city of Chicago! I am a full-time working mother of two. I have a 24 year old son and a 10 year old daughter! This keeps life interesting! I’m married to this awesome man whom I’m convinced is my true soulmate. He supports me and encourages me in all that I do and smiles while while doing it!
What do you create?

I create handmade paper beads that I then use to create beautiful and very unique paper bead bracelets. I’m also currently creating paper pendants that appear to be very heavy metal but are actually extremely lightweight. My paper jewelry is just what I’m creating to sell on Etsy right now. I’m always in the middle of some other projects at the same time. I especially like working on “Trash to Treasure” projects. I’ve got a couple of really great old windows right now that I’m trying to decide exactly what I want to make with them. I’m always on the hunt for old discarded shutters too. I’ve created some really great tables and lanterns for my deck for free from shutters that were destined for the dump!

Paper beads and jewelry by Margabeada Girl on Etsy

Is crafting a hobby, business, or something in between?

I craft for the calmness that it brings to me and I craft from my soul. When I make a sale it’s just icing on my cake. I do have dreams of continuing to build my paper bead bracelet collection until I reach at least 2000 pieces. Once I reach this goal then I plan to enter into some of the larger juried craft fairs here in Chicago. Also, I plan to retire from my job in five years. I will then be assisting my husband with his photography business and hope to then turn my crating into a business venture as well.

What is your favorite craft or hobby?

I love creating custom ordered paper bead bracelets from photographs, birth announcements, wedding invitations and other memorabilia. My friends, family and customers love wearing a special piece created just for them and they tell me that these bracelets make great conversation starters. However, I’m really passionate about “Trash to Treasure” projects. I love repurposing old junk into great “new” items to use or display around my home. I’m sure I’ve embarrassed my Husband more than once when I’ve had him stop on the side of the road while I scooped up my next treasure!

When did you realize your creative passion?

I’ve had a creative passion for making handmade things for as long as I can remember. When I was younger my family didn’t have much money and therefore I would gather discarded items and create something out of nothing. I still love the challenge of this today and I show that in my recycled paper bead bracelet collection. I currently have over 700 recycled paper bead bracelets in my inventory!

What inspires you in your crafting and why do you create?

I don’t have any one particular thing that inspires my crafting. I just think I have something deep in my soul that is a true need and passion to craft. If I didn’t fill that need I think I would feel like I have a big empty void inside my heart and soul. I create because it relaxes me and gives me a calmer sense of being. It is my stress reliever from a very busy life.

Paper beads and jewelry by Margabeada Girl on Etsy

Paper beads and jewelry by Margabeada Girl on Etsy What’s your philosophy about crafting and/or life?

I believe in being an honest person. I try to be true to myself and others in my life. When it comes to crafting I like to be original. I like to take a basic concept like making paper beads and create something unique that makes me stand out. An example of this would be the Faux Raku embossed paper beads that I make. I try to create new ideas myself. Being different is something I have always done and have always been proud to be different.
What other interests do you have?

I love to crochet, garden, cook and travel. However, I love crafting with just about anything I can get my hands on.

How does culture influence your work?

There is such a great vast of cultures here in Chicago and these cultures inspire me to believe I can create and be anything I want to if I just believe in myself and my work.
Paper beads and jewelry by Margabeada Girl on Etsy

Featured Artist: Sherri Smith from MargabeadaGirl on Etsy

How did you choose your brand or shop name?

It’s kind of a funny story actually. I originally began creating my paper bead bracelets to sell in a fund raiser for a small community town. I thought that I could sell the bracelets and that my friend would want to join me in the fundraiser (it’s her community). She makes a pretty mean Margarita and I thought we could do a booth together. She would make the Margaritas and I would sell the beads. So, I combined the words Margarita and beads and came up with Margabeada. I planned to make us a banner that said “Margabeada Girls!” However, due to some things that were beyond my control I never got to take part in this fundraiser. So, I was left with about 200 bracelets and through much encouragement from my wonderful husband my Etsy shop was born and I became “Margabeada Girl!”

What is a typical day for you?

Up at 5:30 a.m. to make the best of my day before I head to work at 1:00 p.m. I work full-time outside the home so I enjoy getting up early enough to be able to sneak in my studio for some quiet time by myself before it’s time to start my busy day taking care of my home and family.

Paper beads and jewelry by Margabeada Girl on Etsy What is an ideal day for you?

A good book, sunshine, sandy beach and no where to go! So, since this isn’t really reality then I would say an ideal day for me would be to stay at home with my family and end the day in my studio staying up way too late because I’m so excited about what I working on!
What projects are you the most proud of?

I have always created my children’s Halloween costumes completely by hand each and every year and they are always very unique and the kids love wearing them. One year I made a robot costume for my son who is now 24. He still talks about it to this day! He says he felt so cool because all the other kids wanted to play with all the gadgets that I had put on his costume!

What is the strangest thing you have ever created?

Probably a replica of a dead body in a body bag! I absolutely love creating and decorating for Halloween. So, when I stumbled across this project on Pinterest I got busy immediately to create one for my front porch. It was quite scary and was a perfect spook for Halloween!

How do you deal with crafting failures?

I once read a great quote that said, “Mistakes are proof that you are trying!” I love and often live by this quote because some of my best projects have started as failures. I’m not one to give up very easily so I usually continue working with my failures until I’ve turned them into something completely different and wonderful. A failed attempt at applying words on a barrel bead bracelets was actually how I got started making textured bracelets and embossed bead bracelets. I had this great bracelet with really cool shaped beads but I really didn’t like the way the words looked on the beads. So, I began layering different papers on the beads to cover the words and ended up with my wonderful textured beads. I admired these and their wonderful textured so much I decided to take it a step further and add even more texture with embossing inks and powders. My embossed bracelets look very much like Raku and so I decided to list them in my Etsy shop as “Faux Raku Bracelets!”
Paper beads and jewelry by Margabeada Girl on Etsy

Where do you do most of your crafting?

I have a small studio in my home. I love to go to thrift stores to find items like old vintage spice racks and spice jars to use as storage. I love the challenge of upcycling discarded items into usable pieces. These pieces add character and a stories to my studio. I’m always on the hunt for my next thrift store treasure that will be repurposed for use in my studio.

Have you ever experienced a dry spell when you put your crafting aside? If so, what brought you back to crafting?

Yes, I’ve had dry spells. Usually they happen when I get so busy with other things that I don’t have time to focus on my crafting. I dive right back in when the busy times quiet down! I usually have a million new ideas that I’ve been collecting in my head that I want to try so that gets me excited and rolling again!

What keeps you busy when you are not creating?

My home, family and a full-time job! These things don’t often leave me much time for anything else.

Is there anything else you’d like to share about yourself, your craft, or business tips to help others with small crafting businesses?

My advice to fellow crafters is to just believe in yourself and be patient. Keep trying and your dreams will become reality if you work at them hard enough!

Stay Connected with Sherri

Website: www.margabeadagirl.com
Etsy: MargabeadaGirl
Facebook: Margabeada-Girl
Pinterest: MargabeadaGirl
E-mail: Sherri@margabeadagirl.com
Featured Artist: Sherri Smith from MargabeadaGirl on Etsy



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The Chilly Dog: Featured Artist: Sherri Smith
Featured Artist: Sherri Smith
Meet Sherri, from Margabeada Girl on Etsy. She creates stunning paper beads and paper bead jewelry.
The Chilly Dog
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