When Bean was 1 year old I pulled out my old sewing machine, started up my online shop- Lilikoi Lane and immersed myself in the world of selling handmade items online. 3 1/2 years later, my favorite part of owning Lilikoi Lane has been the fabulous, inspiring, creative women that I have met along the way.
When I first started this blog I had planned on calling it She Is Sew Creative and I had the idea that I would showcase different handmade artisans that I found inspiring along with sharing crafts of my own. Along the way the “She Is” was dropped but the idea for spreading the word about my creative friends remained.
Today I am very excited to share the first “She Is Sew Creative” Artist, Eleanor Deacon from Moo and the Bear.
Eleanor Deacon is one of my online friends that I also know in real life. We met in prenatal class when both of us were pregnant with our first children. After we gave birth we stayed in touch through Facebook. When I started Lilikoi Lane Eleanor was one of my very first customers (which I find horrifying now because I can’t believe how much my skill level has changed).
2 years ago Eleanor opened her own Etsy store called Moo and the Bear where she sells beautiful, handmade, keepsake jewelry. I immediately fell in love with her work and always nudge my friends her way when they are looking for a gift for themselves or a loved one to help celebrate the birth of a new child or a wearable piece of art that represents their family.
My husband and I, like most married couples, wear wedding rings on our left ring finger. After Turtle was born I wanted a way to celebrate The Hubs and my commitment to Turtle and Bean. I contacted Eleanor and I surprised The Hubs on Christmas morning with these beautiful silver bands with Bean and Turtle’s names and dates of birth. We wear them on the ring finger of our right hand.
Clearly I love Eleanor and her work so I am so excited to share Moo and the Bear with all of you readers. I asked Eleanor (pictured below with her son, Caleb) a few questions so that you all could get to know her better.
Tell us about you and your shop?
My shop is called Moo and the Bear and I sell hand stamped keepsake jewelry.
Where did you get the idea for your shop name?
Naming my shop was difficult. In the end, I went with my kids’ names. My daughter’s nickname is “Moo” and my son’s for-real middle name is Bear. My husband was the one who thought to use their names and it took a while for it to grow on me. My jewelry tends to be family-focused…so it just made sense. I’ve considered changing it thinking that I want to appeal to a wider audience, but the truth is that I’ve found a niche that works for me and I really enjoy the clients that I have attracted by focusing my designs.
Where do you find creative inspiration?
Everywhere. I’m a pinterest addict and a font collector. I love anything vintage. I regularly stroll the aisles of second-hand stores and Craigslist for vintage scores. New tools inspire as do new techniques. I also find inspiration from friends. I have a treasured handful of creative friends. They are always in the back of my mind when I am working on something new.
Where do you do your work?
Depends on what you call work. During the day, you can find me in the classroom. I am an Elementary school teacher…something I won’t easily give up. I love bringing creativity and nature into the classroom.
When I am making jewelry, you can find me in my kitchen or out on my back deck. I have a small but efficient area set up in one corner of the kitchen but oh, to have a real studio!
Do you craft items other than what you sell? If so what is your favorite craft project?
I love working with vintage paper and vintage kids books…the more beat up the better. I sold a bunch of Christmas cards at a craft fair once. They were made with images from an old Golden Book version of “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” They sold out! Might have to start doing that again.
If you could learn one new craft skill what would it be?
Only one? It would definitely be a new jewelry technique. I’d love to add colour by learning how to enamel. I learned in high school when I took Jewelry 10 but it has been a long time and I could use a review.
Non-jewelry, it would definitely be screen-printing or how to use a printing press. See! Always something to do with print.
Other than your own Etsy shop, tell us about one Etsy shop that is your favorite?
I love Gennine’s Art Store. Her illustrations are amazing and vibrant…make me happy. I have yet to buy a print but she tops my favorites list.
Just in time for Mother’s Day, Eleanor would like to offer Sew Creative Readers a 15% discount on handstamped jewelry from Moo and the Bear! Until Midnight Sunday (April, 14, 2013) use code SEWCREATIVE15 at checkout to save 15% on your order. Hint, hint dads… mom’s love Moo and the Bear jewelry for Mother’s Day!