Inspiring Creative Women #1: Katalina Jewelry

I'm thrilled that my first artist of the Inspiring Creative Women series is someone whom I 'met' early in my blogging. Her work caught my eye immediately, and she has been a kind and generous follower. A fantastic, published jewelry designer who doesn't tend to wear jewelry, meet Kathy Thompson from Katalina Jewelry ...Her creativity extends far beyond jewelry!

The Inspiring Creative Women series is dedicated to
in-depth interviews designed to bring the
creative process into sharper focus.

or my Pinterest Page for appropriately attributed pins

Shake It Up Baby!  The silver caps from
salt & pepper shakers inspire this gorgeous pendant

{Christina:} Kathy, tell us about yourself and your interests.
{Kathy:} I’m married and have two grown sons. I live in Eugene, OR. My husband and I like to take advantage of the beautiful summer weather with camping and biking. My favorite activity is tennis and I try to play at least four times a week.

{Christina:} No wonder you look so great! I would never have guessed grown sons. How & when did you start designing jewelry? What drew you to it?

{Kathy:} I started designing jewelry about four years ago. I had just quit a faux finishing business and was looking for something that was less physical but still creative. I’ve already been a florist and did not want to go back to that, so I chose jewelry. The funny thing is that I rarely wear any jewelry, not even a wedding ring.
{Christina:} Well that would require flexing the creative muscle, then! So how do you come up with your ideas? When or where do you tend to get great ideas?

{Kathy:} Most of the time my ideas just come to me when I see a product or an object. Maybe not the finished design but certainly a desire to create using the object. I do a lot of thrift store shopping and love to find ways to use ordinary items that I can pick up for next to nothing. Re-purposed items that are not intended for jewelry are far more rewarding and interesting for me to work with than ordinary jewelry materials.

"Geometry" -Shoe straps and grandmother's vintage
earring meld for a marvelous modern choker.

{Christina:} I think that's what I love best about your work! It's the thrill of encountering the unexpected. You really caught my eye with your "Girl and her SHOES" series, which I featured *here.*
Kathy, you are extensively published. How did you begin down that road?

{Kathy:} I’m thrilled to have so many published articles featuring my jewelry. Several years ago, as a florist, I was lucky enough to work with a publisher so when the editor (at the time) of Belle Armoire Jewelry contacted me about publishing my work, I was already familiar with the process of writing instructional articles. She had seen photos of my jewelry on Flickr and asked if I could send a few pieces in. I did, they used them and from there I just kept submitting designs and have been lucky enough to have several of them published.

{Christina:} It's amazing how life experiences can connect like that. What advice would you give others about being published?

{Kathy:} My advice to others is to put photos of your work out there. Editors are constantly searching blogs for new and exciting designs. I would also suggest that you send your work in. Most of the publishers will have the submission guidelines in their publications or on their websites. The worst that can happen is they send it back.

Road Trip - Junk to Jewelry. Overalls, a gauge, and old
cash register buttons create wearable art with character!

{Christina:} So you were on Flickr and were published... What prompted you to start your blog ...and what role does it play in your creative process?

{Kathy:} I wanted to start a blog for quite some time but like most people I was a little overwhelmed by the whole process of it. Will I have time? What will I put on it? And who would even want to look at it? It was thoughts like these that kept me from taking the first step. Finally, I had some encouragement from a few friends and jumped in and did it. I spent several hours…no…days setting up my blog. My sister-in-law already had a blog and she was very helpful with information and I was able to answer several questions with a Google search.
I find that having my blog has forced me to become more creative. I don’t want to put projects out there that are boring or overdone so I’m constantly stretching my imagination to come up with ideas that someone might actually say, “That’s something I’ve never seen before!”
{Christina:} I love that about blogging, too. It's a way to keep creatively tuned in. But you also have a shop and work as part of a creative team. What’s the most challenging thing about them? Do you have any advice for someone considering starting a shop?

{Kathy:} Starting a shop is a little like starting a blog: if you wait till you think you’re ready you will probably never start. Don’t expect a sudden overnight surge of sales. It was a couple of months before I had a “real” sale (from someone other than I knew). I haven’t done much of this on my blog, but you could use your blog to promote your shop or to offer discounts to your readers.
My work as an ICE Resin® Creative Team member is fun but it’s also challenging. I get to experiment with the product (that’s the fun part) but there is some self-placed pressure on myself to make sure I produce new and creative ideas.

Ice Queen Iridesses: Kathy helped a local charity auction raise
money by creating and donating this amazing masquerade mask!

{Christina:} You mentioned your family... I'm also curious: is your art your job or do you also work elsewhere? How do you balance your projects, blogging, family, etc.?

{Kathy:} My sons are grown and I do not have another job so I have plenty of time to devote to my creative side. I’m forever grateful to my husband who does work - what I call - “a real job” so that I have the freedom to work “a hobby that pays for itself and brings in a little extra cash every now and then.”

{Christina:} Kathy, thank you so much for allowing us a glimpse of your creative process. Before you go, what are your favorite projects that you would like featured?

{Kathy:} I guess some of my favorite projects are: Road Trip, Shake It Up and any of my shoe series necklaces. But really, any projects that you would like to feature are fine with me. You have such great taste that I trust your opinion 100%.

{Christina:} You are too sweet! But really...there is no way I could lose because every one of your projects is 100% in great taste!  This has been a true pleasure. I made a special feature button for you below. All the very best to you, Kathy!


You might be the next artist featured in the Inspiring Creative Women series!

See this week's features in my
More Inspiring Creative Women *Here*

{I host a weekly linky party. Come find out more here!  I'm sharing this very first, premiere Inspiring Creative Women interview with...Monday:  CraftomaniacMaking The World CuterProject QueenThe Girl CreativeThe Gunny SackAlderberry HillA Round TuitSkip to My LouCherished Bliss, Northern CottageTuesday:  Not Just a HousewifeThe DIY Dreamer, Sew CraftyTip JunkieToday's Creative BlogUncommonOopsey DaisyGingersnap CraftsWednesday:  The 36th Avenue, Blue Cricket DesignIt's OverflowingNest of PosiesSavvy Southern StyleSomeday Crafts, The Trendy TreehouseVery Merry Vintage StyleWhat We Wore & MadeThursday:  Shabby NestFriday:  Finding FabulousMy Simple Home LifeRomantic HomeTatertots and JelloThe Shady PorchThirty Handmade DaysFaith Trust & Pixie DustNaptime Crafters, Too Much Time on my HandsClassy ClutterStuff & NonsenseCraft Junkie TooSaturday:  Be Different Act NormalFunky Junk InteriorsFrench Country Cottage,  Sisters of the Wild West, Sew Country ChickSunday: Nifty Thrifty Things, DIY Project Parade, Under The Table and DreamingMy 1929 CharmerSew Darned Crafty}


Rachelle said...

What a unique post! Thank you for sharing!

Danni@SiloHillFarm said...

How great to know more about Kathy! She was one of the first people to help me a little when first started blogging and didn't even know what my jewelry tools were called! I love her jewelry tutorials! They are so great!

Katalina Jewelry said...

Thanks so much, Christina! You did a fabulous job with this and I'm so honored to be the first featured artist! I'm looking forward to reading your future interviews and learning more about the Inspiring Creative Women you choose to feature!

Katie @ Creatively Living said...

What incredible pieces! It's really fun to read about the journey too!

@ Creatively Living

Beth said...

I love this new take on the Link Party! Kathy makes some stunningly unique pieces and I'm glad you chose her so we could see her work!

Lorraine said...

I have to say that most of the Etsy jewelry people assemble pre-done jewelry findings into pretty but not terribly unique pieces. These are truly creative and done with such an artistic eye! True artistry....just LOVE your things!Thanks you Christina for choosing Kathy and I look forward to reading your other artist selections....well done!
Blessings, Lorraine

Jennifer said...

Thanks for this fun read about a truly creative artisan and an all around wonderful woman!

cathy @ma vie trouvee said...

What a fun article! I am also a big fan of Kathy's and have been following her blog for several months. Her work is so creative. I am new to your blog (hopped over from Kathy's) but I plan to read more of your posts!

cathy @ma vie trouvee said...

What a fun article! I am also a big fan of Kathy's and have been following her blog for several months. Her work is so creative. I am new to your blog (hopped over from Kathy's) but I plan to read more of your posts!

Susan @ Second Chances by Susan said...

I've known Kathy for years...even before she married my brother! Trust me, she has ALWAYS been a creative person. It doesn't matter what her latest artistic passion is (jewelry, faux painting, floral design, decorating, etc.) she always produces excellent results! How wonderful for her to be featured on your blog!

Gluten Free A-Z said...

absolutely enjoyed the interview and love the jewelry pieces. This is my first time on your blog ( visiting from Not Just a Housewife blog carnival) I'm subscribing, following on GFC and Linky. would love a follow back.

Jill said...

What an interesting interview! Kathy certainly is one inspiring lady!!

Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
Hope you have a fabulous week!
Jill @ Creating my way to Success

In the Light of the Moon said...

A wonderful interview of dear Kathy.I was suprised to hear that you do not wear much to..Shhh.xoxo Cat