Q. Where did the name “jenuine Ruby” come from?

A. My great grandmother’s name was Ruby Hart. I have fond memories of sitting on her lap, eating grapefruit (sprinkled with sugar), and also of seeing her behind her sewing machine. She was the crafty one in my heritage. She sewed baby blankets, clothes and dolls, and she crocheted doilies and curly hair ribbons for my sisters and I. She died when I was really young, but she left warm memories and I decided to use her name to honor her heritage.

When I considered what’s important, as part of who I am, as well as what I want my business to represent, the word genuine came to mind. Genuine, as in true, authentic, sincere, legitimate, actual, honest-to-goodness, natural. I changed the spelling because it jives with my name. =)

my great grandma Ruby and I, 1973

Q. How would you describe your style?

A. “Practically imperfect”, because imperfect is more practical. I put a lot of love and effort into my work, but especially in mixed media art, I love getting messy and allow imperfections to become part of the beauty. I love bright, cheery colors as well as natural fabrics and backgrounds. I prefer shopping for fabrics in person rather than online, simply because I love to feel the textures and choose fabrics that feel good. It’s all part of the process.

Q. When did you start making things?

A. I’ve loved arts and crafts since I was very young. My interests have varied from all types of crafting, but it seems I’ve loved making things for as long as I can remember. I started scrapbooking shortly before having my first baby (and became a consultant with Creative Memories), and enjoyed photo journaling our family’s daily life as well as events and celebrations. I started sewing with making baby blankets as gifts for friends when my oldest daughter was a toddler and never stopped. I’m sure I’ve made well over a hundred of them at this point.

Q. What else do you make?

A. I started sewing coffee sleeves several years ago, which combines my love of gift giving with bright colors, quick projects, sewing, and coffee. I also make sleeves for laptops and iPads, as well as other accessories like scarves, bags, pouches and purses.

I also love mixed media art. There’s just something about getting messy with paint and paper that I absolutely love. Sometimes it’s therapeutic, and sometimes there’s a word, Bible verse or phrase that keeps coming up and I just have to get it onto a canvas. Many times as I go through seasons, there’s a lesson that I need to learn or a truth that I need to remember. I paint it out and sometimes keep it for myself, but sometimes I push through the vulnerability of exposure and offer it out in hopes that it may benefit someone else who needed the same truth. (Side note: I feel nervous every time I put my art out there. It feels very personal and scary, but if it can encourage someone, it’s worth it.)

Q. When did you start painting?

A. I discovered a love for mixed media painting shortly after my fourth baby was born in 2008. I came across Kelly Rae Robert’s book Taking Flight and devoured it. I checked out every resource she listed, and became acquainted with Mati Rose (who also lives in the SF Bay Area). Mati was looking for an intern, I mustered up some courage and got in contact with her, we met for coffee and connected, and I became her gal. She taught me a lot about her painting process, as well as some business tips, and I helped her organize and get her etsy orders packed and shipped. I’m so grateful for the time we spent together. She was very generous with her knowledge and encouraged me so much. We also had some pretty great lunches throughout the Mission District of San Francisco. She’s the real deal and a great source of inspiration to me. Bonus: You can learn from her too! Check out her book!

Photo 375

This necklace was a gift from Mati for helping at one of her events. It features her artwork inside! Love!