Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Around The World :Treasures by Teala

 Week two of around the world....and we are off to Canada

Teala holds a special place in my heart .... she was the driving force behind the Undiscovered Artists of Etsy.

She is my right hand woman, and I just love what she does.

So what is it she does I hear you ask..... more like what doesnt she do.

Teala is one very busy Lady ....... So with out any more blabbing from me let me introduce Teala to you

Teala where do you live and what is it like...

  I had been sort of transient ever since I started my undergrad degree at the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada. Studying biology, I did field courses in China and Costa Rica, and moved to London, England and Gainesville, Florida to complete my master's degree. Getting to experience different environments is inspiring as a biologist and an artist. The tropical plants, animals, and insects. Different sights, smells, and cultures.  I met friends from around the world. Those years were full of excitement and adventure. But the love of a wonderful man brought me back to the area I grew up in, the Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada (I live close to Niagara Falls).  Staying still has been an adjustment for my flighty personality, but I have my partner, my dog,  and my family here to keep me grounded. Through this last year, I've begun to rediscover and fall in love with the beauty of this area. We live on lake Erie, I can literally see the lake from my back door. And the changing seasons bring ever changing visitors to our yard. In the winter, the chickadees and an occasional woodpecker would visit the suet and bird feeder. I saw a lot of rabbit tracks too. Now that the weather is warming above 0 C, spring migration has started. These beautiful white swans have stopped to feed in the fields across the street. I'll try to get a picture, but they're shy. This morning I saw a fox run across the still-frozen lake, and soon you'll hear spring-peepers calling at night.  In the late spring and summer there will be bustling farmers markets selling local strawberries, peaches, potatoes, lettuce, cheese, eggs, you name it! The lake will be very different. Cottagers will come for vacation and we'll hear children laughing and playing. Fall is my favorite time of year. Birds and Monarch butterflies will be migrating south and squirrels will be in a mad rush to prepare for winter. The days will be warm, and the nights cool. Trees will be bursting with orange, yellow, and red leaves, and the asters will have purple blossoms. Even though I've come full circle, moving back to my childhood area, I feel like I've grown to appreciate  my unique home.

1: Lake Erie in the winter, with frozen queen Anne's lace
2: Teala's  front yard, the bird feeders & the shed.  
3: Sunset over lake Erie in the winter

What is your craft..where do you work from... workshop, home?

 I design and create handmade jewelry, using some very unique supplies. When I was a kid, my mom was a jewelry maker, selling her earrings, necklaces, and brooches at craft shows. I was delighted to recently find an old box of odd supplies hidden away in the basement of my parents house and was inspired to use these found materials as the bases for my new pendants. Giving new life to these very old (my guess is 15-20 years) pieces of copper plated metal, linoleum tile, and metal chains has given me a greater connection to my past & has inspired some very antique looking jewelry. I also use driftwood and recycled laminate flooring as the bases of my new pendants (since I'm having trouble finding more recycled linoleum). I make these pieces out of my home. I'm also a photographer...Mostly because I'm obsessed with nature. I started really getting into photography while in Gainesville, Florida as a grad student. Many of the photos on Etsy are from the Kanapaha Botanical Garden in Gainesville. I used to go for walks there to clear my head and de-stress. My newer photos explore the beauty of my own back yard as it changes with the seasons.

What inspires you?

 I like to see things in a way that most people wouldn't, then try to capture it. Sort of a 'stop and smell the roses' mentality, only visually. I love natural texture of leaves and wood, light and shadow, hidden surprises, and weird angles. It often means I'm lying in the dirt or half in the bushes taking a photograph, but it's fun! I think my love for nature comes through my jewelry, but I also am drawn to art deco fashion illustration. If you look carefully you'll see a lot of flora's, trees, birds....basically nature in these illustrations too. You just have to be looking for it.


Do you sell anywhere else other than Etsy?

 I sell pendants featuring birds at a local shop in Port Colborne called Yardbirds, and my hairdresser was nice enough to feature a few pendants as well. But my best sales are from family friends who drop by the house. I've made a few custom orders for friends as well. It's so much fun!

 What made you start your business?

When I graduated in the summer I found myself with all this free time that I never had before in my life. I was kind of sick of science (I wrote and defended my thesis in a whirlwind month) and decided to give some much needed attention to the creative side of my brain. When I discovered my mom's jewelry supplies I became a bit obsessed with making jewelry. It was so rewarding to have an idea and make something you could hold in your hand in a day. My friend told me about Etsy and I decided to give it a try.

Canadian Geese during fall migration on Lake Erie.
To visit Teala's Shop  Treasures by Teala 
Teala also has a blog which I recommend you to pay a visit A 21st Century Green Goddess
 And a Face Book Fan Page  

Teala thank you for this wonderful insight into your world...... 

♥ Rachel

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