Ever stumble across something so innovative it took you a few minutes to realize exactly what you were looking at?

Yup, that's what happened to me when I first came across this person's GORGEOUS, STUNNING jewelry. Now, don't get me wrong, I thought it was gorgeous and stunning before I even knew what it was! But somehow, the meticulous and time consuming process just made it that much more precious.

I am VERY proud to be encouraging the creativity and innovation of Rachel from UniquePaperBoutique.

This lovely lady is very new to Etsy, but I have a feeling it won't take long for people to find her or her beautiful creations...:) She's been working SO hard to revamp her shop's look for the better, working on her pricing and descriptions...She's just plain been working hard!

Something else she's worked hard on is what to Giveaway! You guys get the chance to win a BEAUTIFUL pendant made by Rachel worth 36$. Have a look see! Who here can tell me they DON'T want this puppy? *sees no raised hands* Thought so...:D

For ONE entry
♥wander on over to UniquePaperBoutique's Etsy Shop
♥select your favorite item from her shop
♥come back here and tell us what it is, and most importantly, a brief explanation WHY

For ADDITIONAL entries
ONE more entry: read the interview below and briefly tell us what part you liked most.
ONE more entry: Heart UniquePaperBoutique's shop
ONE more entry: Follow GiftedDesigns on Twitter
TWO more entries: blog about this Giveaway and Feature on your own blog! Don't forget to provide the links back in your comments so we can see...:)
TWO more entries: follow my blog! You'll find the Follow box to the left by scrolling down a bit...:) If you already follow me, just say so and it'll count!
FIVE more entries: Purchase from either Gifted Designs or UniquePaperBoutique! Purchasing from both triples your entries to FIFTEEN! Don't forget to tell us what you got by linking to it in a comment...:)

So that's a possibility of 28 entries...;) Of course, you don't HAVE to do all that, but I'm sure you'll want to! A random number generator will be used to choose who wins! Just make sure to include as many comments as you have entries...:) Don't forget to leave me contact info too!

Now let's find out more about the lady behind these lovely works of art!

1- What started you down the path to creating your own papers?

Years ago I had begun pondering the uses of paper. I had visions of hand formed, waterproof paper bowls. One day when I was rather upset with my husband, for good reason I might ad, I went to the basement and stayed there for months. Large garbage bags full of disaster were filled in search of my vision. Out of frustration I laid one of my wet and soggy disasters on a flat screen. Out of this my non-traditional paper was born. Oh, and I did manage to create my bowls as well.

2- What is the process in creating your own paper?

My paper is not a conventional paper. It is very thin and created from acid free white tissue. I wet sheets of the tissue paper, add acid free book binding glue to the mix, flatten and press the paper. At this point, depending on the use, shapes of cut tissue are embedded into the larger sheet. Now there are three different paths of applying color and the occasional extra fine sparkle. Acid free light fast inks and dyes are applied to dry, damp or very wet paper. The effects differ greatly. An oven and sealant are also involved at various points in this process as well.

3- What is parastyrene and how durable is it?

It sounds mysterious doesn’t it? The type I use is a clear, very thin and flexible, plastic. It was the only substance I could find that allowed me to create the pieces of jewelry I had in my head. It is easily cut by hand and I can stick a pin through it also. People freak out when they touch and hold my work. It looks like glass, is less than a millimeter thin and is as light as a feather.

As far as durability goes, it is water proof and stands up to everyday abuse when combined with the polymer sealant I paint on the edges of each piece. My jewelry takes a good deal of abuse. I have worn the pendant around my neck for about eight months, accidentally showered with it a few times, and it is still wonderful!

4- Do you intend on ever creating your own dyes to compliment the papers you create?

I could see when I am old and have little to do with my time creating my own dyes. Honestly, the array of colors I can choose from when I purchase by the bottle is wonderful. The shimmer and iridescence in some of them are outstanding. Of course I mix and ad powder shimmers to them as well. The time it would take to ad a step in the lengthy process is not worth it monetarily. However, creatively creating my own dye batches sounds delicious!

5- Your jewelry and sun-catchers are absolutely stunning. Aside from those applications, how else have you used your craft and will we be seeing them in your shop?

Thank you for saying about my jewelry and sun-catchers. I love them too!

Yes, I make works of art, frames and covered wood vessels with my paper. The hand molded vessels I spoke of have been put on the back burner until I am famous and people will pay zounds for them! The frames are my least favorite right now to be honest so they may not make it to my shop. The covered vessels and art will appear at some point. I am overwhelmed by the internet and Etsy, as I am a newbie. I am unsure if all of my work should live in one spot or do they need to play in separate sandboxes? Do I sell them framed, I would dread that, or unframed. Really, how do you buy a framed piece of art for a space in your home? I couldn’t. Time will tell. If any of you have ideas or insight, feel free to contact me!

6- What would you say has most influenced your artistic direction?

Mental stability, time constraints and physical space all play a part in my artistic direction. I have created many forms of art including murals, watercolors and pastels. My bigger more personal pieces have eluded me for many years. Mental blocks due to the tapestry of happenings in life. My daughter is just 4 years old and she is the bulk of the time constraints and I live in a smallish space where I have to work on the space in which we eat our meals. The paper art fits well enough into all three of the aforementioned categories. So the paper and I are friends and I truly love it for all its beauty. It lets me play with color and that is always at the center of my work.

7- You’re very young by Etsy standards. In fact, you joined on my birthday! Do you have any other places where you’ve sold your jewelry and art?

Happy belated birthday wishes to you. I’ll be timelier with my wishes next year!

As far as selling on the internet, no, just Etsy for the moment. My youth on the internet shows. Unfortunately my gray hair and wrinkles are apparent in the real world.

At the end of this past year, I did a few shows with my jewelry and I am in one shop. I just started making the pieces in October after several months of product development. So this is a brand new path for me. My goal is to place in at least 8 shops this year. As mentioned above, I have done many forms of art so this brought me to many venues. I have done murals in peoples homes, sold work privately, used to sell watercolors at small shows as well. My pastels are very personal. I hope to start creating them again soon. This time I will sell them, but they are pricey.

8- What part of the entire process would you say is your favorite part of being an Artist/Vender, starting from the concept all the way to listing the finished piece?

The color. Playing with texture and the juxtaposition of color is what drives me. There are endless possibilities. I adore how the dye and ink run together or splash erratically when I flick a brush. Collaging the sheets of paper allows a second phase of color play. Subject matter has never been the draw for me, just how will I represent it with color.

9- What goals would you like to accomplish by your Etsy Anniversary next year?

In my head I make a great featured seller. Also, I hope people seek me out to look at my lovely wares. Actually, I love when people look, just to look because they enjoy the beauty of my work. Specifically, I would like at least 40% of my income to come from Etsy. Really, I think I can, there are no other options!

10- What is your favorite book and why? :)

This would be Surrealist Games compiled by Alastair Brotchie. It is an odd compilation of all that is surrealist including photos, quotes, art and thinking games. One line from the book is, “Have you had the experience of re-entering a dream at the point where it left off, one or more days before?”.

A thinking book.

Thanks for reading a bit about me and thanks to Shannon because she rocks! (Isn't she the sweetest?!)

Wasn't that an interesting read? I'm always about learning new things and I certainly learned a thing or two...I also have an urge to buy that book!

My very favorite piece that I wanted to bring home has been taken from me...*queue overly dramatic music*...but that didn't stop me from ogling THESE favorites too!
Summer Orange, Bit of Purple and Green, Handmade Ink and Dyed Pressed Paper, Pendant on Sterling Silver Snake Chain
Pink, Blue and Purple, Handmade Ink and Dyed Pressed Paper Earrings, Hung On Sterling Silver
Sun Catcher, Light Catcher, Handmade Ink and Dyed Pressed Paper, with Translucent Greens for a Window ornament, car, office, home

Feel free to link us to your blog or Etsy shop in the comments...we'd love to see what you've got! The WINNER will be announced the same way Chris was in the post below...:D So be sure to come looking!

Have fun reading and admiring her absolutely gorgeous creations and thank you to everyone who enters in support!


UniquePaperBoutique on April 1, 2009 at 8:09 AM said...

To Shannon, I say thank you for featuring me on your nifty blog! I appreciate all of the time you have taken with me and your insight on my little shop.

Best Wishes on your new blog,
Rachel AKA UPB

Heather Leigh on April 1, 2009 at 10:30 AM said...

Great interview!!!

I love this piece:

The blue really draws me in...


Whimsical Creations on April 1, 2009 at 2:40 PM said...

Love the Deep Pink, Handmade Ink and Dyed Pressed Paper, Earrings with Crystals On Sterling Silver.

=) melanie
melanieadey at hotmail dot com

Princess Caitlin on April 3, 2009 at 11:30 AM said...

I love the turquoise, pink, and white leaf pendant! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=22865686

It's so colorful and fresh. It's perfect for spring and summer, and would match lots of things I wear. :D

Princess Caitlin on April 3, 2009 at 11:30 AM said...

I'm a follower!

Tommye on April 4, 2009 at 10:20 AM said...

I hearted UPB a while ago and these earrings have been on my favorites list too. I love lavender and purple.


Great feature. I'll add a note in my blog.

Great feature. Tommye

Tommye on April 4, 2009 at 3:39 PM said...

Fascinating that Rachel and I both are drawn to and inspired by the color and combining them in whatever medium.


Anonymous said...

I love learning more about sellers!

CathyH on April 9, 2009 at 8:30 PM said...

My favorite is Ocean Blue and Deep Sea Green Pressed Paper Pendant on Sterling Silver. I love the beads and shape and the colors match my eyes :) I love hand made papers and how Rachel uses them artistcally!

CathyH on April 9, 2009 at 8:31 PM said...

I hearted the shop

CathyH on April 9, 2009 at 8:31 PM said...

i follow now..hello!

CathyH on April 9, 2009 at 8:33 PM said...

I enjoyed this interview because of the explanations of the artist's technique and process. I found it very interesting. (i work with handmade papers too)

Ceridwen on May 8, 2009 at 1:03 PM said...

I love this: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=22865686 The crystal adds an extra pop and the colors are fantastic.

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