I'm just north of Hollywood and I go by a few different names. Lisa when I'm on camera as an extra in movies and television, Rina Slayter when I'm making purses or sewing costumes, Ashleigh Raine when I'm writing romance novels and Twyla when I'm making Twilight's Fancy necklaces. I also happily answer to "Hey you!"
-What is your shop name and what does it mean to you?
My shop's name is Twilight's Fancy. It has a couple different meanings. In college when I was a theatrical lighting designer, I earned the nickname Twilight through my use of color. My work is creating what I fancy. Thus, Twilight's Fancy. However, there's an equally important genesis. In the romance novels I write with my best friend (as Ashleigh Raine), there's a character named Twyla, a corruption of twilight, and she makes necklaces that are fancy. Again, Twilight's Fancy.
My shop at Artfire is http://TwilightsFancy.artfire.com . That's where I post my necklaces. I also have a shop at Etsy http://rinaslayter.etsy.com where I post my purses and various other bits I make or would like to pass on to a good home. I didn't think I'd really dive in as much as I have, so I never imagined I'd end up with two shops, but that's how it went. And so it shall go forward! I list something new every day. It's a challenge, but one I happily accept.
- How long have you been crafting?
Do pipe cleaner candy canes count? If so, since I was about three or four! In other words, I've been around various crafts all my life. My mom used to sew and arrange flowers and my grandma was a seamstress and knitted a lot. I don't do the same things they did, but by being around them watching, I learned that if I wanted something bad enough, I should just make it. Following that logic, in junior high, I got very heavily into jewelry making and recycling old broken necklaces. Since then, not much has changed!
-Tell me any interesting things about you that you would like to share.
I'm a strange bird. No, really. My friends say I'm weird, but they love me that way. I've been in more than one hundred movies and television shows. I write romance novels with my best friend. I never learned how to ride a bicycle, but I drive and work on my classic cars. I'm a paranormal investigator for the TAPS West Coast Home Team. While I don't get to investigate with Jason and Grant from Ghost Hunters, I'm on their team and they're really awesome guys. In high school, I was a band geek (flute, piccolo, xylophone, saxophone). In college, I was a stagehand (props, carpentry, lighting, sound). On Fridays, I usually don one of my wacky, tacky, ugly vintage outfits and boldly wear it while running errands. Yes, it takes a lot of nerve to wear a plaid burlap pantsuit like it's just another outfit!
-What do you sell in your shop?
For the most part, I sell my handmade glass beaded Twilight's Fancy necklaces in my shop. I also sell handmade purses and ribbon choker necklaces with beads.
- Tell us about your crafting space.
I love my craft room. I really do. When I first met my husband, he'd just bought the house. The previous owner's wife used to sew, so the room already had a cutting table and a long counter for sewing machines. (Don't tell hubby, but that sewing room was one of the reasons I married him!) We've added shelves over the years in order to hold all of my supplies: beads, fabric, tools, antique doll parts (doll restoration is one of my many hobbies.)
-Do you belong to any guilds, teams or other indie craft organizations?
I'm just getting started in organizations. I've joined a few on ArtFire, but not yet on Etsy. Give me some time. I'll definitely get involved one way or another!-Where do you find inspiration?I dunno where I find inspiration. It kinda finds me. Usually, it has something to do with color. I'll be organizing my beads and a certain color will just stand out and I'll have to make a necklace out of it. Also, since one of the characters I write in the Talisman Bay series makes necklaces, too, I like to pretend I'm her and live in her world as she works. Twyla's a firecracker and I can only dream of having her guts!
-Tell me a bit about your creative process
First I either choose a color or the color chooses me. Then, I may or may not choose a second color. From there, I look through my bead inventory and pull out all the beads that seem appropriate. I begin laying them out and see what happens. Usually, I'll have a full necklace designed in about a half hour. From there, I have to build it. That can take anywhere from a half hour to three hours depending on how the necklace is constructed and how cooperative my beads are that day.
- Where have you learned to do what you do?
In high school, I tried to take a jewelry making class, but on the second day, I brought in a few of my pieces and the teacher told me there wasn't anything to learn from his class. He is an awesome teacher and even told me to transfer out that day, but keep working, keep creating, keep building. I most definitely did. Part of me wishes I'd taken the class, the other part of me is glad I didn't because I went off to experiment on my own to find out what works for me.
Sure, I love my purses and ribbon choker necklaces, but my Twilight's Fancy necklaces are truly my heart. They've been with me the longest and I'm at my happiest when I'm designing and building them. My favorite item right now is my most difficult to make, but good golly it looks awesome. It's a necklace I've titled "Good Omen". It's much harder to do than my signature Twilight's Fancy necklaces. I never make the same necklace twice and while I'll continue this design, I don't make them very often. In fact, I've only made two from this design. The first one was a prototype for myself and then I made Good Omen. It has dangles as well as a second strand, but since I don't string the beads, it's difficult to balance the correct lengths using beads on eye pins. Each link is done by hand and it takes a long time and requires a lot more precision than a regular Twilight's Fancy necklace.
-Why is it your favorite?
It's my favorite because it's awesome! http://www.artfire.com/modules.php?name=ViewListing&product_id=98136
- What is your favorite part of your craft?
My favorite part of making necklaces is seeing people's eyes light up when they smile at my work. Making Twilight's Fancy necklaces brings me joy. Seeing my necklaces bring joy to others is why I make them in the first place.
- What is your least favorite part?
My least favorite part is the big dent I get in the end of my left thumbnail from securing beads on the eye pins. It's the best tool I take with me everywhere, but it's not exactly the prettiest.
-How did you get started with your craft?
I got started making jewelry because I had no money, but I had a bunch of old broken necklaces. I made the best of what was around me and still do. In college, I was a seat filler for some rather large televised awards shows (I even tripped and face-planted in a celebrity's lap once! I was so embarrassed.). Anyhow, I didn't have the money for a gown and jewels, so I made my outfits from $1/yard fabric and recycled old broken necklaces. Also, a friend of mine bet me that I couldn't make something out of the frayed and broken clutch cable from his car. Yes, the prototype Twilight's Fancy necklace was made with a broken car part even though no one would ever guess. That necklace inspired the one I made while I was a seat filler. That necklace inspired me to write Twyla as a necklace designer in the Talisman Bay series by Ashleigh Raine. All that just because I didn't have the money for what I wanted, so I just made it myself.
-If you sell on more than one site which is your favorite and why?
I'm not real sure why I like ArtFire more than Etsy, but I do. I think it might have something to do with how user-friendly it is, but I find myself surfing ArtFire more often than Etsy even though there's more traffic at Etsy. I figure that if ArtFire keeps going the way it is, it'll catch up to Etsy traffic-wise. We just gotta get the word out. It's still sort of a secret, but I think it's catching on. More people are hearing about it.
-What makes your shop unique?
My shop is unique in that my necklaces are the real thing from the Talisman Bay series novels. I list a new one every day and I never make the same necklace twice. Sure, they follow a similar design, but that's what makes a Twilight's Fancy necklace, a Twilight's Fancy necklace. All of my purses and ribbon choker necklaces are unique as well. I never make the same thing twice.
-What advice do you have for other independent crafters just starting out?
Don't give up. Laugh a lot...even when the cards are stacked against you. If you stay true to what you love, what you love will stay true to you.
-Where else can we find you on the web?
My website is http://rinaslayter.com where you can find out all sorts of crazy stuff about me. I'm into a lot of different things and I try to blog about them all.
I'm also at http://myspace.com/rinaslayter
and at http://profile.to/rinaslayter on facebook.
My twitterfeed is at http://twitter.com/rinaslayter
and my shops are http://rinaslayter.etsy.com/