Cat Kerr: Mixed Media Artist Extraordinaire

cat kerr mixed media artist collage

Intrepid, Insightful, Inspiring

Cat Kerr is a mixed media artist driven by curiosity, constantly inspired by the materials she handles. For Cat, the creative journey is paramount, often outweighing the final result. From a young age she was always drawing.  Initially, her dream was to be a fashion designer. Inspired by her grandmother, Belen de Carvajal, this was also the name she chose for her business.

In her 20s, Cat’s artistic focus shifted to manipulating paper and incorporating found objects. The thirties brought an obsession with resin, metal, and rust, experimenting with their combinations. In time, she moved on to working with wood and plastic, particularly enjoying the creative potential of plastic films from Graphix.

Currently, Cat’s art revolves around color, whether through acrylic paints or wax sticks. And she’s having a great time combining all the materials and techniques she’s explored over the years, including the use of canvas, metal, assemblage, and art journaling, reflecting a bit of everything in her artist’s toolbox.

Cat Shares Her Journey and So Much More

In this episode, Tammy and Cat discuss Cat’s creative journey, her love for experimenting with different mediums, and her passion for inspiring others to create without fear. They also touch on topics such as organizing art supplies (the ongoing battle many of us face!), working directly with manufacturers, and the value of your artwork. And, so much more.

 

Visit Cat’s Linktree for access to all the places you can find her. 

 

Social media plays a dual role for me—it’s both a business tool and a platform to share my excitement for art. My goal is to inspire others to create fearlessly and explore new techniques. I hope my followers feel this excitement and are motivated to try new things themselves.

Key Episode Takeaways

  • Say yes to opportunities, even if they are unpaid, as they can lead to new learning experiences and connections.

  • Embrace curiosity and let the materials guide your creative process.

  • Don’t be afraid to try new techniques and push the boundaries of what a medium can do.

  • Organize art supplies in a way that allows you to see and easily access what you have.

  • Make connections and reach out to  manufacturers if you have ideas for new products.

  • Consider the time invested when determining the value of finished artwork.

  • Encourage others to create without fear and inspire them to try new things.

  • Finding the right balance between creating for joy and getting paid for one’s time is a challenge in the creative industry.

  • Art has a healing power and brings grounding and meaningfulness into our lives.

  • Having a focus, defining goals, and staying disciplined are key to achieving success in the creative industry.

Keep Learning, by Cat Kerr

Chapters

(times are estimates)

00:00

Embracing Creativity and Curiosity

05:44

Exploring Different Mediums and Techniques

09:28

Organizing Art Supplies for Inspiration

13:26

Making Connections and Collaborating with Manufacturers

24:15

Inspiring Others to Create Without Fear

27:22

Valuing and Monetizing Creative Work

29:38

The Healing Power of Art

31:02

Finding Grounding in Art

32:30

Challenges of Getting Paid for Fun

34:33

The Importance of Focus and Goals

The Nibbler, mini journals; by Cat Kerr
Assemblage by Cat Kerr

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The Artist Rolodex Solution and More

Barnidge-header  (1920 x 800 px) - 1

In This Episode of Heart & Hands of a Maker

Sandra Barnidge  is a writer who wears many hats. She’s most often a freelancer for universities, nonprofits, and foundations, where she writes in-depth features about scientists, entrepreneurs, and creative thinkers. She also has a novel about religion and sports in the Deep South forthcoming from Belle Point Press.

Recently, Sandra and her brother launched a new project, called Handcraft Nation. This is an online directory of artists, crafters, and makers of all kinds who live in the United States. Think of it as a rolodex for crafters, especially those who sell their work predominantly at arts and crafts shows and festivals.

Tune in to Heart & Hands of a Maker to hear more about their mission and future plans to become a hub for all things handmade, including jewelry, personal care items, and clothing.

For a limited time  you can sign up for an annual membership for free! In the future, as a listener of Heart & Hands of a Maker, you can apply a special code and save 10% on your annual membership. Use code: HeartHands10

Artists work shown above (center) can be found on Handcraft Nation.

Clockwise starting in the upper right:
Copper Baskets
Shepherd Industries
Sand’s Stones
Dara’s Soapery

Handcraft Nation Artisan Directory

Handcraft Nation is a platform created to support artists and makers in the United States. 

This online tool was created to address the challenges artists face on social media platforms, where algorithms limit their reach and direct traffic away from their own websites. Handcraft Nation aims to connect consumers with local artists and makers, promoting sustainability and supporting local economies. The platform currently has around 60 makers listed, with plans to expand and become a hub for personal care items and clothing made by independent artisans.

Key Episode Takeaways

  • Handcraft Nation is a platform that supports artists and makers in the United States by providing a directory of their work and linking to their websites and online shops.

  • The platform addresses the challenges that artists face on social media platforms, where algorithms limit their reach and direct traffic away from their own websites.

  • Handcraft Nation aims to connect consumers with local artists and makers, promoting sustainability and supporting local economies.

  • The platform plans to expand and become a hub for personal care items and clothing made by independent artisans.

Design by Sandra Lupo

Chapters

(times are estimates)

00:00

Introduction to Handcraft Nation

15:13

Buying Less and Buying Better

33:37

Putting Small Towns on the Map as Creative Hubs

43:03

The Path Forward: Embracing Creativity

Copper Baskets by Virginia Fisher

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Allie Perry: Jewelry Designer, Entrepreneur, Mentor

Meet Allie Perry

Allie Perry is a contemporary goldsmith who lives and works in Connecticut. An avid nature lover, her one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces are frequently inspired by her surroundings. With professional experience spanning decades, Allie draws on her knowledge and specialized experience to create custom, heirloom-quality jewelry that is meant to be worn and enjoyed. She does this while taking great pride in the fact that the making of each piece often supports multiple small businesses.

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Get Allie’s comprehensive ebook, Find Your Perfect Jewelry Size, for FREE when you join her Insiders Club, In The Loupe! You can opt-in here.

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Find and Follow Allie in the following hubs:

 
 
Sterling silver clipper ship pendant by Allie Perry

In This Episode of Heart & Hands of a Maker

Allie Perry started making jewelry in high school and pursued it despite societal expectations. She took on various jobs in the jewelry industry, learning new skills and navigating a corporate environment within the fine-jewelry space. After losing her job during the COVID-19 pandemic she started her own business. 

In this conversation, Allie emphasizes the importance of trust in oneself, being flexible, and finding inspiration in nature. She encourages aspiring designers to embrace their unique style and put their work out there.

Tammy and Allie discuss the challenges and roadblocks faced by jewelry makers and small business owners. Allie emphasizes the importance of taking action and not waiting for the perfect time to start. She also highlights the value of community and finding support from like-minded individuals.

Allie shares her experience of being part of jewelry-specific and small business owner groups, where she can ask questions, seek advice, and receive feedback. Allie shares her plans for the future, including transitioning her business back into fine jewelry, offering online classes, and writing informative articles and eBooks to educate her customers.

Key Episode Takeaways

  • Trust in yourself and go for it!
  • Be flexible and willing to adapt to changes.
  • Find inspiration in nature and embrace your unique style.
  • Put your work out there and believe that there are people who will appreciate it.
  • Don’t wait for the perfect time to start your jewelry making business. Take action today.
  • Find support and community in like-minded individuals who can provide advice, feedback, and guidance.
  • Continuously learn and adapt to changes in the industry to stay relevant and successful.
  • Consider diversifying your income streams and exploring passive income opportunities.
  • Share your knowledge and experiences with others to help them succeed.
  • Focus on building relationships with your customers and providing them with a personalized experience.
  • Don’t be afraid to make changes and pivot if something isn’t working or making you happy.
  • Take care of your physical and mental well-being to avoid burnout and maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Sterling silver and Prehnite cicada pendant by Allie Perry

Chapters

(times are estimates)

00:00

Introduction and Background

09:01

Navigating the Jewelry Industry

16:26

Embracing Challenges and Overcoming Self-Limitations

30:52

Taking Action and Overcoming Roadblocks

44:46

Diversifying and Adapting in the Jewelry Industry

53:06

Educating Customers through Informative Content

59:49

Building Relationships and Providing a Personalized Experience

Sterling Silver functional penny farthing by Allie Perry
14k yellow and white gold diamond wedding set, displaying a wave motif by Allie Perry

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Sandra Lupo: Jewelry Designer, Instructor and Inventor

Meet Sandra Lupo

I became a maker in my 30’s while raising two children. I had worked in the corporate world for most of my 20’s and married. I discovered I liked to work with my hands and create after I had my best creations, my children! I didn’t enjoy the needle arts or sewing (as my Mom did) but I sure liked getting my hands dirty and rough, i.e. furniture refinishing, upholstery, stained glass. Jewelry making and playing with fire was next!

Jewelry Designer, Instructor, Tool Inventor

Join Tammy as she talks with Sandra Lupo, a renowned artist, educator, and tool inventor. Lean into Sandra’s journey, which includes the creation of her tool, Conetastic. See the transformative power of collaboration in DIY and jewelry making through Sandra’s eys. Gain invaluable insights into overcoming self-doubt, handling criticism, and navigating the business landscape as a creative entrepreneur. Explore the essence of creativity, staying true to your passion, and the vital role of sustainability in the ever-evolving DIY community. Tune in for a vibrant discussion filled with wisdom, encouragement, and the joy of crafting from the heart.

To find Sandra visit these links; be sure to follow her to stay in the loop!

Find her Conetastic tool at your favorite jewelry supplier.

Conetastic tool invented by Sandra Lupo; manufactured by Beadalon

Key Episode Takeaways

  • The importance of DIY

  • The value of teaching and collaboration in the maker community

  • The challenges of bookkeeping and studio organization in running a jewelry busines

  • Social media can be a necessary part of all we do but can also a chore

  • Teaching in person provides a unique and fulfilling experience, but online teaching has become more prevalent due to the pandemic.

  • Collaboration and community are essential for personal and professional growth as a maker.

  • Incorporating personal talents and experiences into one’s work adds a unique touch and helps to create a connection with customers.

  • Staying relevant in the DIY space involves staying informed about trends, being mindful of sustainability, and continuously learning and growing.

  • Traveling and exploring different environments can provide inspiration and broaden one’s horizons as a maker.

mixed media, layered necklace: wood, wire, freshwater pearls, crystals, gemstones, cotton By Sandra Lupo

Chapters

(times are estimates)

00:00

Introduction and Finding Creative Inspiration

03:00

Sandra Lupo’s Creative Journey

13:10

The Invention of Cone-tastic

20:22

Continuing to Create and Make

25:48

Navigating the Business Side

30:09

Collaboration and Bringing Personal Talents

37:56

Dealing with Self-Doubt and Negative Feedback

45:31

Final Thoughts and Embracing Fun

“Sun worship Duo” originally published in Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist. Wire wrapping beads and stones, half-round wrapping, wire components fabrication, sheet manipulation, bezel making and stone setting

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Francesca Watson, Jewelry Designer and Instructor

Heart & Hands of a Maker

Francesca Watson is a passionate metalsmith and jewelry-making instructor. She, along with her beloved husband Nick who is also an artist, manage the operation of The Makery. The Makery is a working and teaching studio in Old Village in Downtown Bulverde, Texas where they host in-person and online workshops, retreats, and more.

In addition to The Makery, Francesca is host to an online community and co-director of Heart of the Maker (now open for enrollment!) , alongside Jessica Coté.  As an aside – their next collaboration will be called Hands of the Maker. And yes! It’s a complete coincidence their programs and the title of my podcast are so similarly named.

Passionate maker, instructor, supporter of all who want to learn and grow

In this episode of Heart & Hands of a Maker, Francesca shares insights from her personal maker journey, emphasizing the intrinsic value of creativity and making. Aspiring entrepreneurs will receive invaluable advice from Francesca, highlighting the imperative of seeking professional guidance and crafting robust business strategies—before(!) you start. Francesca emphasizes the value of community, sharing our knowledge to lift others up, and to never stop learning.

I took a beading class, fell in love with rocks so picked up wire wrapping (because torches scared me), dabbled in metal clay as a “work around” to soldering, and finally bit the bullet and dove into metals wholeheartedly. My first experiences were not … let’s just say encouraging. Not encouraging at all. I was in love with the work of Connie Fox and could not get soldering to work for me at all. I was ready to just admit I was a failure and give it all up, but I took a class with Richard Salley and Jessica Jordan Coté that changed everything, and I really owe it to them that I’m a metalsmith.

Boho sterling silver earrings by Francesca Watson

Find and Follow Francesca Watson

To find Francesca, please follow these links then follow her to stay up to date on all she has going on and is offering: 

Francesca offers her thanks and appreciation to those who have influenced and helped her along her maker journey. Those she references are as follows and can be found through their respective links:

Richard Salley

Jessica Coté 

Charles Lewton Brain 

Loretta Lam 

Tonya Davidson 

Connie Fox 

Key Episode Takeaways

  • Creativity is valuable for its own sake and does not need to be monetized to be worthwhile.
  • Aspiring business owners should seek professional help and create a solid business plan.
  • Balancing teaching and making can be challenging, but it is important to give oneself permission to focus on personal creative projects.
  • Busy is not a virtue, and it is important to make time for stillness and creativity.
  • Embrace failure and learn from mistakes
  • Don’t worry about what others think and focus on your own journey
  • Take classes from different teachers to gain different perspectives and techniques
  • Create a safe space for students to learn and grow
  • Find joy in making pretty things
Hope, necklace by Francesca Watson

Chapters

(times are estimates)

00:00

The Value of Creativity

21:01

Advice for Business Owners

34:22

Personal Creative Projects

43:24

Creating a Safe Space for Learning and Growth

57:00

The Joy of Making Pretty Things

Redemption Series, work in progress by Francesca Watson

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Jen Cushman: Freedom Through Art and Spirit

Jen Cushman is a natural storyteller drawn to the imperfect, the quirky, the artsy, and the authentic. She’s spent 25 years as a mixed-media artist and instructor, authored two jewelry-making books, appeared on numerous DIY television shows as a guest artist, and has been published in national magazines. Currently, she is a contributing artist on the MadeTV maker network. 

To learn more about Jen, visit her website  or follow her social media:

YouTube
Instagram 
Facebook 

To learn about Jen’s retreats in the South of France visit: soulstirringretreats.com

Each Monday, at 11:11 am Arizona time, Jen hosts her Magic Mondays livestreams, where she teaches about personal growth, wellness, energy medicine or spirituality.

She also does mini readings for a handful of her live viewers using her own Joy FULL Oracle Card Deck for Creatives, Healers and Feelers.

In This Episode of Heart & Hands of a Maker

Jen discusses the importance of self-care and setting boundaries. She emphasizes the need to prioritize oneself and overcome cultural conditioning that often places women’s needs at the bottom. Jen also encourages embracing failure as a learning opportunity and reframing mistakes as feedback. She highlights the freedom of art and the power of embracing imperfection. Additionally, she challenges the notion that artists are not essential and asserts that art brings beauty and meaning to the world. Jen concludes by emphasizing the importance of supporting and empowering each other on our creative journeys.

Key Takeaways

  • Embrace authenticity and be true to yourself in your creative journey.

  • Art and spirit are interconnected and combining them can lead to a deeper understanding of oneself.

  • Business evolution often involves finding a balance between teaching and creating.

  • The pandemic has led to a pivot in business strategies, such as Soul Stir Magic, and a greater appreciation for in-person connections.

  • Digital learning has become more accepted and provides opportunities for both convenience and connection.

  • Taking care of oneself is essential, and it can be achieved by starting with small, manageable steps.

  • Authenticity is valued and appreciated, and it is important to embrace and share your unique gifts with the world.

  • Embrace failure as a learning opportunity and view mistakes as feedback.

  • Challenge cultural conditioning that undermines the essentiality of artists and recognize the value they bring to the world.

  • Support and empower each other on our creative journeys.

Chapters

(times are estimates)

00:00

Introduction and Creative Journey

13:43

Art Plus Spirit

19:10

Business Evolution and Teaching

26:01

Creating an Oracle Card Deck

29:44

Pandemic Pivot and Soul Stir Magic

33:29

Balancing In-Person and Digital Learning

40:00

The Importance of Authenticity

41:15

Resetting and Taking Care of Yourself

45:36

The Importance of Self-Care and Setting Boundaries

47:26

Embracing Failure and Learning from Mistakes

50:12

The Freedom of Art and Embracing Imperfection

52:30

Challenging Cultural Conditioning and Recognizing the Essentiality of Artists

56:17

Supporting and Empowering Each Other

57:51

Final Thoughts and Call to Action

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Chris Anderson: Tool Maker, Jewelry Designer, Lapidarist and More

chris anderson - tool maker, lapidarist, jewelry maker

In This Episode of Heart & Hands of a Maker

We’re talking with tool maker Chris Anderson of Lion Punch Forge. Chris has been a maker nearly all his life and embraces new paths and challenges without fear. Not only is he a tool maker, he is also a jewelry designer, lapidarist, and so much more. Chris is a voracious reader and applies all he consumes to all facets of his life. His knowledge serves him in his pursuits including all he does to help others with their businesses, tool needs, and more.

Tool maker, lapidary artist, community leader

Through this in-depth conversation, Chris shares the value of building a business around a community that supports (and protects) each other. He highlights the importance of meeting customers where they are and providing support for their needs. Chris shares his perspective on success as a journey. He also discusses the importance and value of networking with other businesses.

To find Chris and Lion Punch Forge:

Be sure to also read this fascinating “welding in a small studio” article by Chris, published in Southern Jewelry News.


excerpt: “
A welder can be used to tack (lightly attach) a complicated soldering operation into position, saving set up time and increasing the success of that operation. Combining solder and welding can yield very successful and timely results. A welder can also be used to create complex jewelry forms that may otherwise be out of reach using just a solder join.”

tool maker, jewelry designer, lapidarist Chris Anderson of Lion Punch Forge

Key Episode Takeaways

  • Be adaptive and willing to change in order to succeed in business.
  • Find inspiration in your surroundings and incorporate it into your art.
  • Embrace mistakes and persevere to create beautiful results.
  • Spread positivity and hope through your art and interactions with others.
  • Take risks and be unique in your creative work.
  • Attend shows and events to make in-person connections and learn from others.
Fine silver foxtail chain with pendant featuring an Ellensburg blue agate
Fine silver foxtail chain with pendant featuring an Ellensburg blue agate. "The general construction of this necklace isn’t very complex. The complexity occurs when it comes to the stone setting. In this case the bezel setting is inside the hollow form and suspended." By Chris Anderson

Chapters

(times are estimates)
00:00

Introduction and Background

01:23

Jill’s Creative Journey

03:12

Discovering a Passion for Teaching

04:06

Starting an E-Learning Company

05:05

Transitioning to Making Dog Wear

08:19

Embracing Technology and Overcoming Fear

11:04

The Rise of Makers and the Importance of Handmade

12:46

Creating Custom Fit Dog Wear

15:10

Teaching Others to Make Dog Wear

17:29

Marrying Passion for Making and Teaching

19:25

Advice for Those Starting Out

21:39

The Importance of Goal Planning

23:58

Dealing with Imposter Syndrome

25:22

Balancing Work and Pursuing a Passion

28:10

Taking Time for Yourself

29:23

Believing in Yourself and Overcoming Fear

31:38

Transitioning from One Business to Another

32:08

Dealing with Imposter Syndrome

33:34

Finding Joy in Creativity

35:32

Creating New Designs and Overcoming Fear

39:24

Teaching and Empowering Others

40:43

Closing Remarks

two finger hollow form ring in sterling silver, adorned with leaf shot made with Kevin Potter's plates. The ring itself has 11 set stones including amethyst, vintage tourmaline leaf carvings, citrine, and peridot.
"A challenge ring" - two finger hollow form ring in sterling silver, adorned with leaf shot made with Kevin Potter's plates. The ring itself has 11 set stones including amethyst, vintage tourmaline leaf carvings, citrine, and peridot. The challenge was I dedicated myself to doing the construction with a plumber's torch. By Chris Anderson
Titanium solder pick made by Lion Punch Forge, personalized engraving
Chain. By Chris Anderson

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Historical Look Back at Tucson Gem and Mineral Shows

Tucson Gem & Mineral Shows Attract Collectors and Then Some!

Tucson, Arizona, a city found in the beautiful Sonoran Desert, transforms into a global haven for gemstone and mineral enthusiasts every late January early February. What began as a small exhibition in the 1950s has burgeoned into the largest and most renowned gathering of its kind.

amethyst geodes

The Genesis

The Tucson shows date back to the mid-20th century when the Tucson Gem and Mineral Society (TGMS) laid the cornerstone. In 1955, the TGMS organized the first showcase, intended primarily for local collectors and enthusiasts. Held at a local school on East Glenn, this humble event laid the foundation for what would eventually evolve into 45+ shows that take over the whole city!

amethyst slices on display
amethyst slices on display

Over Time

The first Tucson Gem & Mineral club show was a success and moved to the local fairgrounds for the next decade+. The show continued to grow, attracting more exhibitors and more visitors. In 1960, the curator for the Smithsonian was invited to exhibit—and he said “yes!” The curator brought with him an exhibit and, it is said, this changed the course of the shows from their forward.

Tucson-Skyline

Pivotal Growth

By 1970 there were 100 exhibitors and $2 million worth of collections on display. In 1973 the Tucson Gem and Mineral Society hosted their club show at the Tucson Convention Center. This was a significant milestone and offered them space to accommodate the swelling number of participants, including international vendors and attendees. Change from here forward was exponential.

Gemstone strands as seen in the Dakota Stones booth during the Tucson Gem & Mineral Shows
Gemstone strands as seen in the Dakota Stones booth during the Tucson Gem & Mineral Shows

Time Marches On

Each year, the Tucson Gem and Mineral Shows continue to evolve, welcoming new technologies and trends. The rise of e-commerce and online platforms has influenced the way business is conducted, enabling the show’s global impact to extend far beyond its physical location. However, the in-person experience remains irreplaceable, as it offers a tactile and immersive encounter with all that can be found in this beautiful city.

Cabochons carved by Joe Jelks of Horizon Minerals
Cabochons carved by Joe Jelks of Horizon Minerals

Nature on Display

The shows also celebrate the artistic aspect of minerals and gems, showcasing the natural specimens as well as craftsmanship of lapidary artists who transform raw stones into juicy pieces of art ripe for your next jewelry making endeavor. From intricately carved cameos to beautifully faceted gemstones, these creations add a layer of artistry to the event, elevating it beyond a mere trade show.

American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) show held inside the Tucson Convention Center
American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) show held inside the Tucson Convention Center

Culmination

To this day the shows attract visitors, collectors, and dealers from every corner of the world. The Tucson Gem and Mineral club show is still a cornerstone of the Tucson Gem and Mineral shows and it is still held at the Tucson Convention Center which also houses the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) show. The AGTA show is held early in the weeks the shows can be attended and the TGMS shows runs the last few days of the cycle and it remains a “must see!”

During the MOJO event, l to r: Katie Hacker, Meredith Roddy, Sandra Lupo, Wyatt White, Tamara Honaman, Deb Floros

Tucson Gem and Mineral Shows Offer More Than Gemstones

The Tucson Gem and Mineral Shows (as a collective) is more than just a commercial event. The shows are a melting pot of cultures, knowledge, and artistry. The shows play host to a diverse array of exhibitors, from individual collectors, dealers showcasing their finest gemstones and minerals, finished jewelry pieces as well as raw stones, fossils, lapidary art, and the latest finds, fresh from the Earth. You can also learn how to make jewelry while in town! 

Tucson’s geographical setting plays a significant role in the show’s success. A hub for “snowbirds,” there are many more who like to escape winter and flock to the desert southwest! There is also great food to be had, friends to connect with, art, and culture, too.

For a more in-depth look, be sure to read Terri Haag’s account of the shows history. 

Milagros Rivera Mixed Media Artist

Meet Milagros Rivera a Mixed Media Artist and Instructor

Milagros Rivera is, at her core, an artist. She breathes life into any material that speaks to her and empowers others through her words and imagery. Mixed Media is her passion!

Milagros is also a business woman, operating The Paper Boutique Scrapbooking Studio in Puerto Rico since 2006. Here, she hosts in-person workshops as well as live workshops and education sessions. You can also shop with her, in-person or virtually.

Her boutique is filled with all the materials you could need to create until your hearts content. You’ll also find her signature stamps which speak to your soul. Follow her on social to catch her lives, listen to her words, be empowered by her art. 

In This Episode of Heart & Hands of a Maker

Milagros Rivera, a mixed media artist living in Puerto Rico, shares her creative journey, how her business came to be, and how she navigated the challenges of hurricane Maria and the pandemic. Milagros shares the importance of being adaptive in business and finding inspiration in her surroundings. She also emphasizes the power of giving and sharing, as well as taking risks and embracing mistakes. Milagros encourages artists to be unique and authentic in their work and highlights the value of in-person connections at shows and events.

Key Takeaways

  • Attending in-person events is crucial for learning techniques, making connections, and seeing products up close.
  • Adapting to challenges and taking risks is essential for success in business.
  • Being unique and original is key to getting published and standing out in the creative industry.
  • Building a community and giving back can bring joy and fulfillment in the creative journey.
  • Finding inspiration from the surroundings and embracing mistakes can lead to new ideas and growth.
  • Attending craft shows and in-person events provides valuable opportunities for learning, networking, and showcasing creativity. Creativity is essential for personal growth and self-expression.
  • Finding inspiration can come from unexpected sources.
  • Challenges are opportunities for learning and growth.
  • Building a community of like-minded individuals can provide support and encouragement.
  • Advice for aspiring makers: embrace failure, be persistent, and stay true to yourself.
Be Bold; Scribble Stick and ink, by Milagros Rivera

Chapters

(times are estimates)

00:00

Introduction and Creative Inspiration

02:17

Starting a Creative Business

03:43

Overcoming Challenges: Hurricane and Pandemic

07:02

Adapting to Change in Business

09:42

The Importance of Being Adaptive

10:32

Supporting the Community

12:46

The Power of Giving and Sharing

15:33

Getting Published and Being Unique

19:15

Taking Risks and Making Contacts

20:53

Finding Inspiration in the Surroundings

23:39

Creating with Unconventional Materials

27:15

The Power of ‘What If’

28:39

Being Spontaneous and Experimental

30:56

Embracing Mistakes and Persevering

36:17

Spreading Positivity and Hope

38:31

Upcoming Projects and Travel

46:22

Preserving Puerto Rican Culture

49:41

The Value of In-Person Connections

50:09

Closing Remarks

Espiritu Libre; watercolor by Milagros Rivera
Yesterday is Heavy; acrylic and ink, by Milagros Rivera
Stamps designed by Milagros Rivera

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Jill Bartlett eLearning Expert and Dog Wear Designer

Jill-Bartlett-cover-sm

Meet Jill Bartlett

Jill Bartlett, dog wear designer at Scouterwear

Jill Bartlett is the visionary and creative force behind Scouterwear and Thank Dog We Made It. Following her passion,  Jill has found a way to combine her love for teaching others while also creating with her hands. 

Jill started out as a graphic designer and animator then launched an eLearning company, which she co-owned for  over 15 years. As the corporate chaos increased, Jill started craving a creative outlet to unwind from all the stress. Knitting, sewing, and carpentry were her salvation.

Jill is now a dog wear designer with a line of dog wear suited to fit dogs of all sizes and she teaches others how to make their own dog wear—whether sewn using a variety of fabrics or knitted.

In This Episode of Heart & Hands of a Maker

Jill thrives on pushing boundaries and challenging norms, a sentiment that now echoes in every stitch of the original dog wear she designs. Jill also finds joy in teaching others to make their own dog wear. In this conversation, Jill shares her creative journey, her transition from a corporate career to making dog wear, and her passion for teaching others how to make their own dog wear. Jill shares her experiences with imposter syndrome, the importance of goal planning, and the joy she finds in creativity. She also offers advice for those starting out and emphasizes the importance of taking time for oneself.

Key Takeaways

  • Follow your passion and believe in yourself.
  • Plan for the future and consider where you want to be in the long term.
  • Don’t be afraid of technology and embrace the opportunities it offers.
  • Take time for yourself and prioritize self-care.
  • Overcome imposter syndrome and believe in your abilities.
  • Find joy in creativity and embrace the process of learning and trying new things.
  • Teach and empower others to pursue their own creative journeys.

Chapters

(times are estimates)
00:00

Introduction and Background

01:23

Jill’s Creative Journey

03:12

Discovering a Passion for Teaching

04:06

Starting an E-Learning Company

05:05

Transitioning to Making Dog Wear

08:19

Embracing Technology and Overcoming Fear

11:04

The Rise of Makers and the Importance of Handmade

12:46

Creating Custom Fit Dog Wear

15:10

Teaching Others to Make Dog Wear

17:29

Marrying Passion for Making and Teaching

19:25

Advice for Those Starting Out

21:39

The Importance of Goal Planning

23:58

Dealing with Imposter Syndrome

25:22

Balancing Work and Pursuing a Passion

28:10

Taking Time for Yourself

29:23

Believing in Yourself and Overcoming Fear

31:38

Transitioning from One Business to Another

32:08

Dealing with Imposter Syndrome

33:34

Finding Joy in Creativity

35:32

Creating New Designs and Overcoming Fear

39:24

Teaching and Empowering Others

40:43

Closing Remarks

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