As my “About” page says, I seem to surround myself with incredibly creative people. There’s something about the energy, the sense of fun, and the endless possibilities that artistic, musical, dramatic, crafty people seem to bring to the party.
I hope to dazzle you with the wonderful talents of people I am fortunate enough to call friends. To start with, I think a monthly introduction will work well. Of course, you’re just dying to meet some of these fabulous people, so let me introduce you!
Let me introduce you to Adrienne Sklar, a passionate, innovative educator, with boundless energy; she is a loud and proud cat lady, takes April Fools’ Day very seriously (nobody is safe), and can rock a silly costume like you wouldn’t believe! As if that weren’t enough, Adrienne has a ridiculous ability to make beautiful, original, wearable art. It took about two minutes for me to know that I wanted Adrienne to be my friend. Actually, I’ll let Adrienne introduce herself.
Adrienne Sklar, PixieWinkle Jewelry
Learning by Leaping
There are those of us who like to paint, draw, design, or build. Some do it for fun and as they move into adulthood they abandon their much cherished hobbies due to life’s distractions. Then there are those of us who take our work to the next level, sitting behind a table at a local market to pedal our wares. I took this leap fifteen short years ago and I haven’t looked back. This is a little bit about how PixieWinkle Jewelry came to be and the learning I have done along the way.
Ever since I was a kid, I made jewelry out of whatever treasures were lying around. Twist tie? That could be a ring. Dandelions? A woven necklace. Even strings off of my cut-off jean shorts would absent-mindedly find themselves wrapped around my fingers in an effort to create the latest fashion.
I was always a crafty girl. My birthday parties and sleepovers would continuously feature some kind of craft. We made Christmas ornaments, melted ‘friendly plastic’, braided embroidery thread, and oh my, did we ever make a lot of gymp bracelets–do you remember these colourful woven plastic cords?
As the years passed, I continued to dabble with different materials and at some point it became apparent my own jewelry collection (along with my friends’) was getting out of hand. If I was going to justify the continued purchase of supplies in order to try new designs, it was time to take my work to the next level. So, I followed the advice of a gal I knew who was selling hemp necklaces at a local festival and joined the ranks of so many crafters before me by deciding to set up shop!
Wow, back then, my work was so different. I started by making my own clay beads and putting them on woven hemp necklaces and bracelets. Next, I created intricately layered beaded collars with seed beads which were beautiful but very time consuming to create. I set everything out on a big and bulky display I built which needed to be hauled in a truck—and no one could see my work since I had put it on a distracting silver background! But we all learn our lessons and we all need to start somewhere.
Over the years I have learned so much. I have learned to manipulate wire and wrap anything from the sturdiest stone, to the most delicate sea shell. I have taught myself how to hammer patterns into metal, create my own pendants with resin, and blend colours with paint, wire, and glass.
I continue to find my greatest joy in coming up with artful new designs, and spending time outdoors all summer long. I have sold my pieces in stores and galleries. I have participated in dozens of festivals and I am now a proud member of our city’s Farmer’s Market, where I have been able to build a clientele of loyal customers.
The decision to take my passion to the next level has allowed me to push myself creatively and to meet lots of interesting people from fashion designers to other like-minded artists who love to create. I love the sense of community I have found with the Farmer’s Market and other Festival Vendors and I shine with pride when strangers brag to me about the compliments they receive when wearing my designs. It’s was scary when I took the step to go from making stuff for fun to setting up my own small business, but it’s worth the work. It’s amazing to think it started all those years ago with nothing more than a little girl and an imagination.
Thanks for joining the travel.taste.create. party, Adrienne. Next time, let’s show up together in costume!