AREtsy Featured Artist: ElsBells

I know, I know - it's been a couple of weeks since our last featured artist. I really just wanted all of you to build up a ton of anticipation for who the next one would be. Eleanor of ElsBells is one of our newer active members of the AREtsy Street Team. But don't let "newer" fool you. She's very supportive of the team members, always offering up kind words in the forum and has a fabulous shop to boot! I can't wait for all of you to get to know a bit more about her.

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

My name's Eleanor Evans, and I live in beautiful, sunny Bentonville. I'm 31 years old, single and a social butterfly. I'm loud, opinionated and can usually be found at the karaoke bar every week.

Apart from creating things, what do you do?

My first love has always been writing. I was a newspaper reporter for several years until I was laid off early this year. Since newspaper journalism has reached a dead end, I'm now working toward being my own boss - getting freelance writing gigs, odd jobs and nannying. Much happier than I was when I was someone else's employee!

What first made you want to become an artist?

I had a friend who started crocheting a couple of years ago and I decided I wanted to get into it as well. It's hard being a lefty crocheter because books either tell you to learn to do it right handed or try to read the directions backwards, so I had a fellow lefty teach me how to crochet. I just loved the idea of making things, and my relatives and friends have really enjoyed the gifts I have given them since I started crafting. Since I do nothing from patterns, I consider myself a crochet and jewelry artist.

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

I just started making jewelry about a month ago and I absolutely love it! For jewelry, I just like to make things that I know I would wear myself. I usually sit at my table with my bead organizer and put beads together to figure out what looks best.

I love working with Czech glass beads and metals - and my favorite beaded jewelry to make is earrings. I ALWAYS use nickel-free ear wires when making earrings, because I am allergic to anything else and completely understand the problems a lot of women have with finding cute, fashionable earrings that actually work.

But lately I've discovered Shrinky Dinks. The first thing I made with shrink film is a pair of Flight of the Conchords earrings that sold almost immediately. Since then I've made a few other pieces, and I plan to make a lot of 1960s advertising ephemera charms. I love the mod styles, bright colors and general kitsch of 1960s advertising. Be on the lookout for some really fun pendants and earrings!

What handmade possession do you most cherish?

A navy blue chenille afghan my mother made for me about six years ago.

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


The Handmaid's Tale, To Kill A Mockingbird, Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, The Color Purple, Animal Farm


Harold and Maude, Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, A Clockwork Orange, Sunset Blvd., My Fair Lady

Songs/Musical Groups - oh dear, do I have to pick five? I'll just pick what pops up when I hit "random" instead: Yael Naim and David Donatien, Weezer, Snow Patrol, The Beatles, Madonna w/Justin Timberlake.

Web sites: twitter.com, facebook.com, socialspark.com, picnik.com, crooksandliars.com

How do you promote your work?

I have only been selling my work through Etsy since mid-April. I use my twitter account (@bellesouth if you'd care to follow), as well as my blog at bellesouth.blogspot.com. I also use Facebook - and word-of-mouth.

My mom has been my biggest cheerleader since I opened my store and also tells all her girlfriends to look at my work. Things are starting out slowly, but that's to be expected.

What are your favorite things about belonging to AREtsy?

First of all, artists have the power to lead and to drive Arkansas' economy. If you haven't looked through The Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation's report on Arkansas' Creative Economy, I highly recommend it. I believe our future is not going to be in giant manufacturing plants, but rather cottage industries.

Also, to find other artists in my home state who are passionate about what they do and who have the drive to create, inspire and be inspired by others is wonderful. I've only been a part of AREtsy for a very short time but I really hope to become an active part of what seems to be a wonderful network of folks.

I also like making new friends.

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

Proud owner of a house with separate studio room, an adorable rescue dog, and maybe mom to an Elsbells Junior or two. And finally able to knit something.


Clear Lake Creations said...

Congratulations on being featured. I am so pleased to see another creative member from Arkansas.

Your items are wonderful. I will definately be watching your store often.


Danielle said...

E! Wow, too cool! I'm so proud of you and everything you have accomplished in such a short amount of time. You are most awesome go getter I know and I am so excited that you are following your passions. :)

elizabethjayne said...

Thanks for the WinRock tip, I always forget about checking in there. Good luck and great feature!

Sunny of The Beehive said...

Nice to get to know you more!

TSmithDesign said...

Congratulations on a great featured seller article.

I am going to read that article as well from the WinRock. Sounds like a lot of good information.

Best wishes with your Etsy store.

idyll hands said...

I want to hang out and do srinky dink art with you! :) We should organize a party.

Anonymous said...

And I always pictured you as a talk radio host! Who knew? Love your stuff! Kelly Roark's Mom