sometimes I feel brave.

A little while ago there was a knock at the front door. There was a priority mail package addressed to me, and I was curious because I didn't recognize the writing or the sender's name. I didn't remember ordering anything from etsy that I hadn't received yet, so there was a little thrill in opening the package. About half way through untying a ribbon that was wrapped around a tissue paper covered box, I remembered. The necklace project. I'd signed up for this months ago in a moment of bravery. I got an email from Mindy earlier this week, letting me know the package was on its way to me. I have been excited and a teensy bit intimidated to be a part of this project. No matter who you are and what you do, you most likely have moments (sometimes days) of questioning yourself: Who do I think I am to contribute to this? What will I make that will be good enough to be on such a lovely piece? But the day I emailed Mindy that I was interested in participating, I was feeling brave. Stay tuned for my addition to the necklace...

I was visiting Mindy's lovely site, recently totally redone and made even more beautiful. I saw this blog post by Carmen and thought I'd participate. I love getting to know other artists/ bloggers and find out more about their behind the scenes selves. If you'd like to do it too, go to this post on the wish studio blog and link to your blog post with the answers. Maybe you'll make a new friend! Maybe you and I will be new friends! =)

Before I get to the questions and answers, I have to tell you that I am super excited about my blog post for tomorrow. I'm (finally) starting my weekly blog feature: Friday's Featured Artist. I'm starting off with SUCH a good one! The new season of HGTV's Design Star starts this Sunday night, and one of the designers on the show is a friend of mine from college! I emailed him earlier this week to see if he'd be interested in an interview, and then went through the HGTV screening process, and got his answers back yesterday... you're going to love him. Be sure to come back tomorrow to get a preview of the heart behind the talent of my pick to win this season's Design Star!

Inspiring Minds Want to Know questions:

1. You’ve got some amazing things happening and I can’t wait to hear more about it! Can you tell us a little about yourself and the inspiration behind what you do? I'm a girl who likes to make things. I'm a wife and mom, plus part time barista. I had a great grandmother who was very nurturing in my early years, and I think that my love of making things came from her. Her name was Ruby Hart, and I've named my business "jenuine ruby" in her memory. I was a consultant for Creative Memories and an avid scrapbooker for years, but I really like the freedom of having my own business and playing with all sorts of crafts. (Plus when you have your own business, you get to make the rules!) I like to do mixed media paintings, sew, experiment in the kitchen with recipes, and I'm wanting to learn some needle crafting. I don't like to commit to one certain medium or product... I like to keep trying new things and keep the passion to create things fresh.

2. We’re dying to know, what inspires you more than anything else in the whole world? The beauty of nature. The colors, the sounds, the smells, the rhthyms, the One who created it all.

3. What is your big dream? Yes, the BIG one! The really, super big, pee your pants when make it happen dream. The one you feel a wee bit nervous saying out loud. Yep, that one! I love to travel, and would love love love to take my wares on the road to different craft fairs all over the place. I have a dream to live in an RV (at least for like a year). My husband is a tattoo artist, and he could tattoo at different shops on our journey and I'd participate in craft fairs (selling my handmade items and art, and making new friends!). We have four children who would get a great on-the-road education as we learn from life and the world as we experience it.

4. Tell us how you’re going to feel when you make it happen! (I love that you phrased that "when (not if) you make it happen!) SO full of gratitude and excitement. Of course there will be trials and challenges along the way... but how amazing that would be for our family! And the opportunity to show our children the power of pursuing to realizing a dream... priceless! (Although... I have to say, we're in the thick of this right now too. My husband is pursuing his dream currently and it's been a hard/ amazing process. We aren't at the end of the hard part yet, but I believe we're getting there!)

5. What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail and fear didn’t exist? I've never been one to put my heart on my sleeve, so putting my work (and even my blogging) out there is kind of a stretch for me sometimes. But I would put it all out there with reckless abandon in hopes that I might bring encouragement/ inspiration/ blessing to someone.

6. What’s next for you? I'm most likely participating in our town's farmer's market- type even this summer. It's six weeks long, and it will be my first time putting my stuff out in the public arena locally. I'm busy making things for this right now and will show you when I have new things available!

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7. What are you working on right now that you could use some support and encouragement on? I've been blogging for a couple of years now, but I'm just now making efforts to build an "online presence". If you'd like to grab my blog button (there are a few options to choose from in my sidebar), that would be super fantastic! And there are links in my left sidebar to follow me on twitter and "like" me on facebook! =) I look forward to getting to know you too!

8. What advice, tips, resources, and overall good-to-know information would you offer someone just starting out with regards to finding passion & inspiration and digging in? Don't wait until you feel like you're "good enough"... just start where you are and if the passion is there, it will show in your work. And don't ever feel like you have to be as good as someone else. Just be who you are, because you are amazing and that's totally enough. I was just listening to a Jonatha Brooke song in the car (the song was "Be True"). The line that really resounded with me was, "Be true to yourself and you'll be magic."

9. Is there anything else you’d like to share? Just that I have been so encouraged by the love and support amongst bloggers and artists in the online world, and from friends and family. We are truly better together and I'm so thankful for the connections in real life and on the web.

10. Where can we find you online and what is the best way to connect with you? I love blog comments, so that's a great way. I'm also on twitter, facebook and flickr. And of course, my etsy shop.

Thanks for reading! Be sure to come back tomorrow for my interview with Design Star finalist Trent Hultgren!

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