The Military Brats of Etsy Global Street Team ~ ~ ~ January 2009 Brat Feature ~ ~Every few weeks we feature one of our members….We are proud to Feature: LizEdgar
To view a photo gallery of other jewelry she has made, please visit:
Also posted in the brat blog;
1-Tell us a bit about yourself (name, location, affiliations, and personal stuff).
My name is Elizabeth, but I go by Liz. I was born in Salt Lake City, UT, but pretty much grew up in San Diego, CA. My dad was in the Navy. During my first year of life he was sent to Vietnam. Mom says he was different when he came home. He was stationed to San Diego when I was a toddler. I wasn’t’ a brat who moved every few years, but a lot of my friends were. We had a common thread that drew us together. Dad went to the Philippines on his last cruise when I was five. We stayed behind in San Diego. He finished out his career and retried a chief. I have one sister. She is career Navy. She is a chief and will be in the Navy 14 years this February. We are fortunate that she has been able to stay stationed in San Diego the last few years. There was a time when she was in Oklahoma. We are very close. She has a son whom I have helped take care of when either she or her ex-husband was sent out to sea. I am married to a Military Brat. His father was Army and Navy. He is not in any branch of the service. I have three children. My sons are 19 and 14 years old and my daughter is 10. My oldest completed Marine boot camp last summer. For now he is stationed at Camp Pendleton.
2-What is the first thing you can remember making by hand?
How and why did you make it?I totally loved creating as a child. Making mud pies with dandelions were a specialty. I had the standard finger paints and play dough as a kid. One year I got a Spin Art set for my birthday. I made a bazillion pictures with it. I remember the cardboard macaroni tree spray painted in gold I made in kindergarten for Christmas. My mother cherishes that tree. I think my favorite was the bean mosaic I made in elementary school. My mother still had it hanging up when I was a senior in high school. I have an Associate’s Degree in Child Development. I like to say I majored in cutting and painting. I have crocheted, cross stitched and latch hooked. I have worked with pellon and felt making finger puppets and props for teaching. I got into the craze of puffy paints and made decorative sweat shirts and t-shirts for family members.
3-What inspires you? Where do your ideas come from?
I first got into jewelry making when my daughter’s friends brought their beads to a sleepover a few summers ago. I worked with hemp and knotting. I dabbled with elastic string. I prefer bead stringing wire. I started out making bracelets for myself to match the colors of the clothing I had. I received many compliments. My confidence in jewelry making increased and I began making jewelry for friends and my children’s teachers as gifts. One of my friends and co-worker suggested I start selling the pieces I have made. In March of 2005 I was diagnosed with cervical cancer. I made inspirational bracelets to keep my spirits up. Thank goodness it was stage 1 and operable, but at the time I had no idea what I was getting into. While waiting for results between biopsies I kept myself busy making jewelry. It was a great stress reliever.
4-What are your favorite materials?
I really like using glass beads of all shapes and sizes. I like fiber optic because its cat’s eye resemblance. My most recent favorite is glass pearls. I just love their shininess and the array of colors they come in. I prefer bead stringing wire, but have worked with nymo thread. I also enjoy making ribbon bookmarks and cell phone charms. I love the search for colors that complement each other. I also like adding charms to personalize the bookmarks and cell phone dangles. I have a few favorite bookmarks I have made for myself to use in the books I am reading.
5-What have been the most valuable lessons learned from other artists on Etsy?
I learned about Etsy from my sister. She had heard about in on a morning radio show. The show was flagging online sites that don’t get much recognition. I did a lot of searching on Etsy to see what others were doing in their shops. I opened my shop in June of 2007, but didn’t list anything until August of 2007. I liked what I saw and through the forums and I found that I wasn’t the only one who was new to the whole thing of selling my handmade items. I have really been blessed with joining the Military Brats team. I have found so much love, support and belonging. I really appreciate the kudos I receive from other members. It is very encouraging. I am also a member of the San Diego East County team. SDEC started out as a really small group, but we are increasing as the weeks go by. A few of our members are also members of the Military Brat team. It is really neat to have local folks to meet and share with.
6-Why should people buy handmade?
I feel handmade items are made from the heart. I know with the items I make I put a lot of thought and time into each piece I create. Handmade in my opinion represents the person who makes it. Handmade is more original than assembly line products. I love unique items and feel handmade is the best way to achieve that uniqueness.
7-Where do you do your creating?
Initially my work area was either the living room floor or on my bed. I kept my materials and supplies in storage containers stacked in my bedroom. As my collection increased I moved my work area to the kitchen. I took over the kitchen table, but still left a little room for meals. Now my work area is in the living room. I have rearranged the living room and my work area a few times. At Christmas time I took down my work table to have room for our tree.
8-Apart from creating things, what do you do?
When I am not creating, I take care of my best friend’s baby boy. I have been taking care of him since September 2008. He is 7 months old. Before that I was working at my daughter’s elementary school as a noon duty. I would supervise the children during lunch time and their lunch recess. I did that for three years. I did teach preschool for approximately six years. I left teaching when my daughter was born.
9-Read any good books lately?
I love to read. I was hooked on the Twilight series. My girlfriend and I read the books together last November and December. I have read the Harry Potter series. I dabbled a little with Stephen King’s books. I really like Susan Wiggs. She writes romance novels, but they are not raunchy. I have a Nicholas Sparks book in the waiting. I have read most of his books. I am currently reading “The Shack.”
10-In ten years I'd like to be…Hmm, I haven’t given much thought to where I would be in my life in ten years. I will be celebrating my 40th birthday next month so I would be 50 then. I am happy with who I am. Of course, I would like to be healthy and have my kids near. I would like to be a grandma and spend lots of time with my grandchildren. As for crafting, I am sure I will be doing it in some shape or form. I don’t foresee feeling the need to own a boutique or shop to sell my wares.
11-How did you pick your business name and your etsy avatar?
My Etsy shop name is my name. A friend of mine whom I had given many of my handmade bracelets to totally encouraged me to sell my jewelry. She would rave and flaunt the bracelets I gave her. She called the bracelets she had from me the “Liz Edgar Collection.” Bingo! My shop’s name is LizEdgar. As for my avatar, I wish it was a picture of one of my cats. I have always had cats in my life. I love frogs, too. As a kid I remember going to the frog pond and stepping in the mushy mud to find frogs. So, my avatar is a kitty with a frog hat.
12- What has being a brat at Etsy meant to you?
Being a brat at Etsy is totally awesome. We have a common thread that ties us together. At first I didn’t think I qualified as a brat since my family didn’t move around like other brats. Being a brat at Etsy has given me an extended family. Thank you so much.Go Brat Pack Go!