Eileen is the curator of three Etsy shops: Goofing Off Art Supplies, Miss Eileen’s Jewelry Supplies, and Metal, Woods ‘n’ Water. Among these you’ll find: Sewing Patterns, vintage and out-of-print, vintage rescues, a little bit of stained glass fun, handmade items from recycled fabrics, Jewelry supplies, original and vintage jewelry, bones, shells, unique finds from the Suwannee River and North Florida Woods, and Unique Wrought Ironwork. (Whew, that’s a lot.)
How did you learn your craft?
I learned stained glass by another artist, jewelry making at school, sewing from my grandmother. My love of vintage has always been a part of me, learning antiques is a daily research project. Nature is also a part of life here in the woods; we don’t live entirely off the land but we do have a “partnership” with it. Identification of bones, harvesting driftwood and the like, are from our walks through the woods or while fishing. The metalwork is from my husband, a certified welder since age 16.
As for the vintage, it’s the thrill of the hunt. It is exciting to find a cookie jar that turns out to be a McCoy.
What materials do you use?
The potholders are from an old shirt with nice machine embroidery.
I also make handmade hairpins with vintage jewelry. They are unique and great to wear with updos.
Has this changed over the years?
I have always been a recycler; now I have taken recycling to a profitable level.
What's your favorite?
Driftwood. It has so much natural beauty and texture in every piece. I am constantly challenged in finding new ways to use it so the beauty is complimented and not overwhelmed. I have used it for signs, wind chimes, jewelry (casting), and now a mezuzah case.
Do you have another job other than your Etsy shop?
I work full time as a critical care nurse and I am going to school part time. I also sell my jewelry at a shop in Gainesville, Florida - McIntyre’s Stained Glass.
How do you budget your time?
Early morning is my best time to study and do quick updates to my Etsy shops. My days off are part housekeeping, shopping, posting and promoting on Etsy, and packing for the post office. I go to the post office twice a week, Monday and Friday. Weekends are for yard sales. I try to include the yard sales on my trips to everywhere.
What do you use for inspiration?
I go to my husband’s garage. He is also very creative, so seeing what he’s doing gives me ideas.
What do you do when you're totally uninspired?
Take a walk, watch an old movie, or visit with my friends.
What are some favorite items in your shop right now?
And this quilt rack. It was custom made for me by my husband and holds my vintage bedspread. I love it! The one pictured is mine, he’ll make one to specifications for anyone.
Photos are so important; do you have any special process for taking yours?
I take my pictures in my laundry room. The lighting is good there. The object I am shooting dictates the background. I experiment with background colors but if it is bones, I use black or dark blue. If I am shooting almost anything else, a plain background has been best.
Why is EtsyChai important to you?
I love connecting with other Jewish artists throughout the world.
Be sure to check out the many talents of this versatile EtsyChai member!