I am a mixed media artist and teacher who finds inspiration and possibilities in everything around me. Recycled materials and items found at yard sales spark me to create. My art is meant to bring a smile or empower or help someone think positive thoughts.
I have always been a creative soul. I have been creating all types of art since I was a little girl, thanks to being influenced by my very talented mom. I recently chatted with my 92-year-old Grandma who is also artistic, and she remembered HER mom and grandma being creative and artistically talented. That was the first time that I realized how far back and how deeply rooted my passions are for everything artistic. It makes sense to me now. It is difficult for me NOT to create something. I am compelled to make art, sing, dance, act, write, take photos, and teach. Everything inspires me. My family, my friends, my students, other artists and teachers, strangers, nature, books, discarded materials, and everything that ends up finding me…they ALL mix in the right side of my brain and influence what I make.
I am also very interested in exploring all the arts and how they empower others. As a “mixed media” English Teacher, I use the arts in my lessons as much as possible. My curiosity is strong and I often ask the question, "what if...?" and then try the "what if" in my teaching world, my art world, and the rest of my world (these parts of my world are actually very blended and not separate). That is why my art may seem to change and morph into something very different than is seen now. I might follow one of my "what if's" and it may bring me to a very different type of craft. I work very intuitively now, not planning what I am creating. I have found that process to be very liberating, leaving the critic out of my mind, and playing with possibilities. The only constants I want to keep in my small business, Kind Finds, is to make sure I use non-toxic and eco friendly materials as much as possible, to use recycled or found materials somewhere in each of my pieces, to actually CREATE at least one of the beads in each of my jewelry items, and to give a portion of my proceeds to a charity.
It was about August 2012 when I started making recycled art to sell. I never thought I would make jewelry...it just wasn't part of a plan. None of this has been part of a deliberate plan. I am a full time teacher, mother, and wife. My plate was already REALLY FULL. Summer 2012 was a serendipitous time for me. I was taking art classes at Plymouth State University and frequenting Saturday yard sales. I just found some beads and glass tiles at a yard sale and wasn't sure what to do with them. I also like to recycle, so I have been saving interesting images from magazines, wrapping paper, envelopes, and so on. I saw “possibility” in all the things I was collecting. Finally, it all came together when I started making glass magnets with images and words. Then I thought, I could use the same techniques to make a cool pendant, then I just went crazy and made earrings, bracelets, pins, stationery, more magnets, and garland. It was the CREATING part that I enjoyed, and I started accumulating a lot of goods, so I signed up for some local craft fairs to sell my artwork. Kind Finds became my business name and that was the start of selling my work. Making the shift from creating to selling has been an interesting path. It’s still a very new path that is unfolding. I have always been behind the technology curve, and so this immersion in e-commerce has been a little like being on a different planet. I am rapidly acclimating to the possibilities of a virtual storefront. One of my favorite aspects of Etsy is connecting with artists and customers from all over the world. I feel fortunate that people like my work and find it fascinating that I make something out of what someone else saw no other possibility in. Having an Etsy shop is a TON of work, but it brings me joy. I still don't know where this will take me, but I am open to whatever paths this adventure presents.