Monday, November 10, 2008

DIY Magazine Interview - Nov 2008

DIY City Magazine Blog


Today I want to introduce you to Pam of
Sara: Please tell me a bit about you and your background.
Pam: I am the person behind “MagdaleneJewels”, Pamela Baker; although my kids and all their friends call me Pammy; on Etsy, I am know as Mags, MJ or Magdalene. Now about me personally, I have been single for many years, raising 3 children, Kelly, Keith and Ryan who now, as adults, have grown into their own person. My daughter Kelly has been married for 2 years, of which I have a few pictures from her wedding on Flickr. I have lived in Scarsdale, New York for my whole life (moving exactly one mile when I was married). I was raised by my grandparents, who were the nicest people, and were always accepting of anyone they met. I think that is where I get my easy going personality from, never judging anyone, accepting them for who they are.
S: How did you get into arts and crafts?
P: For as long as I can remember, I have always had a creative nature within. My first memory is of my little 6” high sewing machine, which I would create my own doll clothes. No pattern for me, I would just lay my doll whatever fabric I had (sometimes my Grandmother’s beautiful silk and lace blouses) and just cut away. To this day, I still do not know how to use a pattern. As I got older, I started embroidering, crocheting, knitting, and quilting; all of which I taught myself and still love to do. Actually, I didn’t start designing jewelry until about two years ago. Truthfully I didn’t even know what a crimping bead was; but somewhere in my mind it was something I wanted to attempt. The first time I walked into a bead shop and saw all the beautiful colors of crystals, I was hooked. My favorite shop, located in Nyack, NY, which is a 15 minute drive going across the Hudson River, not only has the most beautiful colors of crystals (ones I can’t find any where else), but Judy and Grace who run the shop, have both been my mentors. I use Swarovski Crystals for most of my pieces; I love the various reflections the crystals give off when gleaming in the sun.
S: Do you sell your work? What inspires you when making your jewelry?
P: Although I have a shop on Etsy:, I primarily do a lot of custom orders, and craft shows. Recently, I started showing my work on YouTube; creating my own videos, which has also increased my custom orders: (don’t forget to turn the volume on!)
It is hard to explain where my inspiration’s come when designing one of my pieces. There are many days when I look at the beads sitting there, and just can’t decide what I should create. Then somewhere in my head I get a vision of something; colors and design all worked out for me. I immediately set to work creating the vision I have. As my children will tell you, it is not uncommon to find me at 4am sitting in bed beading away. At times I will also see a beautiful pendant on Etsy made by one of my friends there, and immediately know what I would create with that piece. Of course, I have to purchase the pendant first, and anxiously await to receive it so I can start working on what I have envisioned with that piece.
S: I know that you are a very passionate crafter, often highlighting other causes through your craft blog…why is this work so important to you?
P: For those of you who read my blog, you will find my main passion, which is writing. Thanks to Sara, from Sara’s Crafts of Texture, I have had many articles published. I usually have to be totally passionate about what I am writing about. About 10 months ago, I started a quilting project called, “Tragedy and Triumph”. My main objective, which I have written about often, is to bring to light the Tragedy’s and Triumph’s which historically have affected so many of us in this generation. The quilt is made up of many quilted blocks contributed by Etsy quilter’s. They have designed a quilt square either commemorating something which may have touched them from their own personal experience, or something that may have affected all of us, whether “Tragic” or “Triumph”. I hope to have this project finished within a few weeks. I have also been quite involved along with another Estian, Diane Clancy, in bringing to everyone’s attention “The Orphan Act”. This is a Bill which Congress tried to pass this past April, which would affect almost every artist: painter, quilter, jewelry designer, photographer, etc. whose work they may put on the internet. If this Bill was passed into a Law, it would negate any of these artists to own their own work. Unless we buy “copyrights” to our own work, it becomes the property of anyone who chooses to copy or use it for their own purpose. After many petitions being circulated and many articles making people aware of this Bill, as of August 2008, “The Orphan Act” has been shelved.
S: Do you have any other interests?P: In between all of this, I am also member of a local theater group as their costume designer, as well as having had a few small parts in some of their plays. One could say it is a family tradition. My mother joined this same theater group in the 1950’s. When my daughter joined about 8 years ago, as an actress and stage manager for many of their shows, it was only natural that I would follow their footsteps into the theater. One can kind of say that I have joined forces in my work, while designing the costumes, I have also designed jewelry pieces for some of the actresses to wear on stage.

by: Sara Millis of Sara’s Texture Crafts.
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November 8th, 2008
DIY with Sara
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The Filigree Garden
What a pleasant surprise to see my Etsy team mate and her lovely jewelry featured here! Nice to learn more about Pamela.November 9th, 2008 at 6:52 pm