This Quarter’s Featured Artist for the Home Sweet Home board is beeker
She makes beautiful home décor out of natural items for other Craftsters in swaps, and even recently posted a tutorial
for all of us!Why did you start making gourd crafts?
My mother is a very artistic person. I grew up watching her paint and craft. I learned to love crafting from her. She always encouraged me to try new ideas and techniques. Mom helped me learn woodburning as a part of a 4-H project. I can't remember the first gourd I tried woodburning. I did learn that gourds burn a lot easier than wood. I really enjoyed making the gourds so I kept at it. What inspires you?
I find a lot of inspiration in nature for my subject matter - leaves, dogwood blooms, butterflies, maybe an occasional squirrel. The gourds themselves also inspire me. It sounds kind of corny, but sometimes the gourd tells you what it needs to be by the shape or the coloration. If I use paints I like to keep them soft and let the natural patterns of the gourd show through.Besides gourds, do you craft anything else?
Gourds are my main craft. I also dabble in needle felting, which I would do more of if I could stop breaking those needles and if wool grew on cows. (I have those, but no sheep;) )
I am kind of a random crafter other than that. I craft for the occasion. Teaching music, I have to create sets for my Christmas programs. I have made an 8 ft paper mache snowman, 5 ft Christmas cookies with a 5 ft glass of milk to dip them in, and giant gingerbread houses. For my sister's wedding I helped make boutineers and corsages, and countless lucky origami stars for the tables. I like finding creative, crafty ways to solve problems. Did your first gourd turn out like you wanted it to?
I don't specifically remember my first gourd, but I do know they don't always turn out the way you imagine. I have left the woodburner sitting too close to the gourd and ended up with a big black spot. I try to incorporate it into the design, but sometimes there is just no saving it. I don't throw away gourds, if nothing else I can chop it up for parts. What is your favorite gourd that you’ve made?
My favorite gourd is probably the one I made for the Awesome Swap
It wasn't my dogwood like I do on a lot of my gourds, but it turned out just how I pictured it. I was happy I kept my lines fairly straight. Usually straight lines elude me. A close second would be the gourd for my first swap ever. Do you have any artists that you admire or who inspire you either in real life, or on Craftster?
There are so many awesome Craftsters out there. I am a big swap addict. I know that if I see certain names on the swap sign-up list I feel confident jumping right in. PJHerbert
makes some really wonderful things. I was fortunate enough to be in the Geezer Swap
with her recently. The whole package was amazing, but the shawl she made for me was unbelievable.
I'm in love with PhoenixFireDesigns
tree of life pendants. Also, I really like what Noooitaremybirthday
makes. Her style is so different than mine, I think that is why I like it. Nooo's projects are always so vibrant and full of joy.
What is your favorite Home Sweet Home project that another member has posted? Coloringmyworld
made a tree for her foyer and I think it is beautiful! I would love one in my living room.
What is your favorite non-Home Sweet Home project that someone else has posted? It's hard to pick a favorite. It would probably have to be Pinokeeo
’s paper pottery. It is so simple and clean. I can't imagine how you could make paper look like pottery. I would love to learn how make something like this. Some more of beeker's beautiful work!