Let's get to the feature, plus enter to win a giveaway for your own creation!
Tell me a little bit about yourself!
My name is Crystal. I grew up in a small desert area of Southern California about an hour northeast of LA. Growing up, I always loved to create. Coloring, painting, makeup, crafts, food... anything I could make, I wanted to try. At 16, I started cosmetology school and completely found my niche. I met my husband at 18, started dating at 19, and we were married when I was 22. When I was 25 I had my first daughter and cut down to just two days in the salon which enabled me to stay home with her most of the time. My second daughter arrived just 20 short months later and again, I cut my time down in the salon to one day a week. I'm carrying my third baby girl right now and there will be a 19 month gap between the second and third. Having the three little ladies in such a short period of time was NEVER my plan, but God always knows better than me and my husband and I are so very much in love with them.
Where did the name of your store come from?
When I made my very first piece I found it very therapeutic. I had a simple piece of wood with some nails in it sitting in my lap. I slowly started pulling the string in all directions and as the gaps of wood became less evident, a picture began to form. I looked at my husband and said "Look at this, this is so cool and really therapeutic." He laughed at me and I said, "I'm serious, I'm gonna start a business and call it Thread Therapy! It's perfect alliteration!" Again he laughed and I laughed too.
Why did you start making goods for Thread Therapy?
I was asked to teach a DIY class at a local consignment store where I had some various things for sale. I dabble in everything from acrylic painting and watercolor to sewing and refinishing furniture, but I didn't feel like I had anything great to teach. I looked and looked at crafts online and bookmarked a few things. I am forever saying "I could do that" when I see a project, so I decided to try a few to see which would work for a class. The first thing I tried of course, was the string art because to me it seemed like a skill you learn and develop and can then turn it into a gift for anyone in your life, so it seemed great for a class. My first piece was a star that came out a little crooked because it was a little harder than I had anticipated. I went to sleep that night plagued with images of string and dancing nails. The next day I made a few more and figured out a few techniques. I posted it on my Instagram page (with no real intentions of selling these) and within an hour I had my first order and probably close to a dozen other inquiries. Thread Therapy was born and I never did teach that class.
What is your favorite item?
My favorite piece that I've made is hanging on my living room wall. It's a larger piece around 2 feet long and it says "peace" in variegated tones of yellow and green. My living room is yellow and green because I love color and I wanted a cheery, happy, yet PEACEful place to hang out with my babies. Peace is something that everyone craves in every area of their lives, it's the reason behind nearly every decision you make. You eat, pray, listen to music, hang out with friends, exercise... All for what? To bring a sense of order and peace to your life. In this day and age there is so much chaos and ugly happening in our world, people spend their whole lives looking for peace, I have found mine in God. I seek peace daily in my own home with my crazy girls and since I'm a visual person, I wrote it on my wall.
What is your most popular item?
Popularity seems to change, venue to venue, but overall, I would say my most popular theme for string art is tribal. Wether it's an Aztec inspired design, a series of geometric triangles, a feather or a group of arrows, the more tribal and earthy designs are in right now and I love it.
Where do you get the inspiration for your work?
Wow, I find inspiration EVERYWHERE! Like I said earlier, I'm a very visual person. I might not be able to remember a conversation we had last week, but I can tell you what color/pattern you were wearing, and what color the store display was where we were talking. Everywhere I go, I absorb the colors and shapes and patterns and textures. When I sleep at night, (and this sounds weird to people I have been told) pictures come to me. I've always painted things that come to me while I sleep and most of my best ideas wether it's about hair, crafting, or my own house, come to me in my very vivid dreams.
What makes your store unique?
As a wise man once said, "There's nothing new under the sun." This is abundantly true in the world of string art. This was by no means an original idea on my part, as you can find pieces that were made in the 1970's. The big difference between me and other artists is my designs. If you do a Google image search of string art, you will undoubtedly find hundreds, maybe even thousands, of examples. Some of these are very rushed through with poorly planned designs, some of these are very well done and just as meticulous as my own; However, no one is making things with the designs I have. I pride myself on having fresh, clean designs that are executed well.
What is the toughest part about making your goods/your artistic process?
The toughest part of the whole creative process is really finding the time. Trying to take care of kids, run a house and work part time is a lot, when Thread Therapy started, chaos ensued. Haha. I LOVE everything I do, and I'm passionate about all of them, so I just make it work. The most difficult about string art specifically, is the nails. Try hammering 200 tiny nails into a piece of wood and see how straight they all are... There's a technique to it, but it's not easy.
Do you take custom orders?
I absolutely take custom orders. I welcome all inquiries about making string personal for you and I always do my best to oblige. I don't charge any extra for a custom piece, my prices are 100% based on size, intricacy of the design, and the number of colors of thread. Time is another thing that is based on those same factors. I have done pieces as large as 6 feet tall, so some orders just take longer, and certain times of year are busier also.
Where can I see more of your work and buy a gift?
Are you going to be at any shows soon, so I can see your work in person and say hello?
I'm hoping to do Patchwork in December 2014, and there are a few more I'm considering, but nothing is for sure yet, I'm a mom first, so my time for shows is limited.
How pretty are these! I can't decide which one I like best, so maybe I need a few all around the house... :)
Now, let's get the giveaway! Enter using the widget below, and...