AREtsy Featured Member: The Beehive

Okay, okay, I know we were just going to do one feature a week - but a few of the AREtsy members felt that we needed to feature Sunny of The Beehive because she is such an asset to the team. She keeps the forum thread going even when the rest of us have fallen to the wayside, she is always supportive of other members, and is just a positive person to talk with. She also blogs regularly about crafting, treasuries on Etsy, and her dog, Mr. Cash Pugface. Sit back, have some tea, and get to know a little bit about Sunny.

Tell us a bit about yourself name, location, affiliations, personal stuff.

Hi! I’m Sunny, the elbow grease behind The Beehive on Etsy where I sell my custom scrapbooks, premade page layouts, memory catchers and other paper crafts. Basically, I’m a paper junkie! In a past life I was a graphic designer. I earned my BFA in painting and graphic design at the University of Arkansas Fayetteville. I did at one point work a “real job” as a type designer at a greeting card company for about four years but then got hired on in my most important, most difficult, most rewarding job to date, motherhood!

There was a time that I would have laughed heartily at the suggestion that I might become an avid scrapper, but now that I am the evolution from artist/designer to scrapbooker seems obvious. In college I learned an appreciation of design and an eye for seeing design in all artistic endeavors, in my post college job I gained a love for design and for the medium of paper. As a mamma I lost the time and space for my first love, oil painting and gained the desire to document the story and fantastic memories of my children. Actually I’m a bit of a nostomaniac and always have been, I’m constantly snapping pictures, collecting memorabilia in boxes of all shapes and sizes, I scrapbook, journal, blog, and I’m constantly snapping pictures and taking mini videos afraid to lose all those fantastic moments in life.

Apart from creating things, what do you do?

I run around like a headless chicken! My super hero husband and I have been married for 7 years and together for 13. He’s a youth director and I’m a stay-at-home mamma. We have two little boys, the youngest is 3 years old and the oldest is about to be 5. We also have an old cat, a slightly neurotic herding dog, and, the true love of my life, a black Pug named Mr. Cash. He’s a dog, a hobby and an obsession all rolled into one!

What first made you want to become an artist?

I know this sounds so stereotypical, but I was an artist before I even knew what that meant. My favorite thing to do as a kid was color, and not just fill in between the lines but try to study the work of other avid colerers to determine what I liked and didn’t about th
eir work and to try and come up with my own Crayola inspired techniques! It was hopeless for me! My Dad and Grandpa always doodled and my Mom was the Queen Bee of sewing and general crafty creativity who often shared her daydreams of having a shop where she could sell her hand sewn wares.

Please describe your creative process how, when, materials, etc.

Most of my general, business related, things-to-sell ideas hit me in the shower (what I lovingly think of as my sensory deprivation chamber since it’s the only place where I can’t be distracted by kids!). I then hurriedly jot them down in my obnoxious silver glitter notebook before the idea falls out of my head, lost forever. But my ideas for specific aesthetics happen on the fly. It generally starts with a trip to the shop to ogle papers, buttons, ribbons, brads. I’m getting to where I know how much I need for each type of project which is nice, so I don’t end up with tons of excess supplies. Now I can just shop for the specific projects at hand. Then I try to use my time wisely and take advantage of the boys, naps and my day off. I have a fantastic husband who knows that being a stay at home mom is no walk in the park and requires a day off so he gives me one of his and takes over with the boys while I hole up in my craft room! I try to create as much as possible on the weekends and take and edit product pictures Sunday or Monday so I can list new items to my shop throughout the week.

What handmade possession do you most cherish?

There are so many! I guess because I cherish anything given to me that was made in love and care by someone’s own hands. There’s the happy, bright yellow prayer shawl our church gave us while I was in the hospital having my first baby, the quilted baby blankets made by Great Gran, the crib and wooden rocking horse made by Great Granddad, the knit shawls made by my best friend’s mom for her wedding…I guess if it came down to what I would grab on my way out of a burning house it would be my scrapbooks. I guess that’s true of a lot of people, they grab the wedding and baby photos.

Name your top five books, movies, songs/musical groups, and web sites besides Etsy.

Books: East of Eden by John Steinbeck, The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint by Brady Udall, Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky, On The Road by Jack Kerouac, The Cheese Monkeys by Chip Kidd

Movies: One Hour Photo, The Royal Tenenbaums, As Good As It Gets, Pulp Fiction, Romeo and Juliet (the newer one with DiCaprio)

Websites: http://Craftster.org , http://designspongeonline.com , http://pugvillage.com, http://craftcult.com, http://handmadeology.com

How do you promote your work?

I have a blog, http://thebeehivestore.blogspot.com and a twitter account, http://twitter.com/thebeehivestore both of which I’m very active with. I also have a flickr account that I try to remember exists, http://www.flickr.com/photos/thebeehivestore/. Other than that I just try to stay active in the etsy forums and post new items to my shop as often as possible. I try so hard to remember to hand business cards out whenever and wherever I can but I just can’t seem to make that part of my habit.

What are your favorite things about belonging to AREtsy?

Etsy has done a great job developing a community of artists and crafters but it’s a big big place that I often feel a little lost in. Being part of AREtsy makes the Etsy world a little bit smaller and more personal. It’s nice to think that I can actually get together with some of these ladies in real life!

In ten years I'd like to be...

Wow, ten years sounds like eons from now! I’d like to be making money with my crafting, design work or maybe even a brick and mortar shop of some kind. I’ve had this idea of starting a community of art studios that I think would be fun. Mostly what I don’t want to be doing is finding myself back in a working-for-the-man 9-5er. I’ll have 2 teenage boys so I guess I should really be praying they don’t eat me out of house and home at that point or smash the family car into oblivion!


Sunny said...

Thank you so much! AREtsy rocks!

idyll hands said...

It's the members and artists of AREtsy that ROCK - not the group alone :)

kellyvanhook said...

Thanks for the feature on the beehive...she is a great team member and I'm glad to know more about her!

Punkinhead said...

Great movie choices Sunny! I'll bet you like the Coen brothers' flicks too, right? :)