Candie Cooper and I have just finished working on her wonderful next book with Lark, Earringology: How to Make Dangles, Drops, Chandeliers & More. This follow-up to Candie’s previous offering, Necklaceology, will be available in June but can be pre-ordered now. I recently sat down with Candie to ask her a few questions on a range of topics.
Lark: Candie, as you may not know, in a former life I used to catalog phone conversations for the National Security Agency. A couple of my former colleagues have informed me there was a unicorn sighting recently in north central Indiana where you live. What can you tell me about that?
Candie: You did?!? That’s crazy. But yes! There was a unicorn sighting on Halloween weekend here in town. In my backyard actually! Ok, it was me. My husband got us horse and unicorn masks to wear for Halloween this year. They were creepy and fun and strange all at the same time. I made a special crystal rainbow necklace to wear with it. It was pretty fun!
Lark: I see. A lot of horsing around, I imagine. So now that you’ve wrapped work on your latest writing effort, you must have all kinds of time on your hands, right? What are you up to when you’re not sleeping late and watching daytime TV?
Candie: I actually do tune into Rachel Ray and listen while I work. I like her. But I’m onto the next series of projects, working on some top secret product development stuff (ask your NSA buddies about it), new book ideas, and filming craft videos for different craft companies. I’m also doing a lot of holiday projects for Plaid’s website, Paint Me Plaid.
Lark: That’s a full agenda! Now, in all seriousness, tell me why you were excited to write a book telling your readers how to make beaded earrings. (By the way, they are all really pretty, and the instructions are easy to follow, the materials are readily available, and the photos in the book are fantabulous. But of course, in the spirit of full disclosure, I must make it clear that I work for the publisher—and also never really worked for the NSA, but as a running joke it’s a fun story to imagine.)
Candie: Well, writing books is kind of like watching a good movie that you don’t want to end. I loved it when I was offered the opportunity to write Earringology, which is the sequel, so to speak, of Necklaceology. Plus, earrings are so instantly gratifying. Most anyone can make them in an evening, and that always feels good. I also had more techniques and new tools I wanted to share with people!
Lark: It’s mid November. All thoughts turn to the coming holiday gift-giving season. What are a couple of the favorite items you’ve made in the past as gifts?
Candie: I love making beaded beads into pendants and earrings with Swarovski crystals. They’re especially great around the holidays. In fact, here’s a link to my blog tutorial.
For my family, I usually make everyone an ornament. This year it’s going to be stenciled burlap ornaments with everyone’s initials on them immersed in glass. Sounds weird, but trust me, they’re cool! Should I be worried any of them are going to see this?!
Lark: Well, we want as many people as possible to see this blog, but I’ll talk to my buddies at the previously mentioned top secret government agency and have them monitor your family’s internet traffic. We won’t let them near larkcrafts.com.
Other than telling us to start making projects ten months ahead of time, what advice or thoughts can you offer about making your own gifts for the holidays?
Candie: Mmmmmm, keep it simple. I’ve learned over the years that if I try to make everyone something really involved, it gets tedious and exhausting. Holidays are supposed to be fun! If I do make something tedious, it’s usually for my mom (because she is AWESOME). My second tip is to wrap your gift as pretty as possible (but still simple). The presentation is just as much part of the gift (at least for me it is). I love tying a sprig of evergreen onto packages with a lace ribbon.
Lark: Speaking of gifts, we are offering up two sets of signed copies of Metalworking 101 for Beaders and Necklaceology. Just leave a comment on this post telling us about an piece of beaded jewelry or any handcrafted item you made as a gift for someone by Tuesday, November 26 at noon EST. We will choose two names at random from among all eligible comments and will announce the winner on Wednesday, November 27. (Click here for the official rules.)
Candie: Woot! Woot! THAT is a great idea! I’m all for it.
Candie Cooper is the bestselling author of Metalworking 101 for Beaders and Necklaceology. In addition, she is a featured guest on the popular PBS series, “Beads, Baubles, and Jewels.” Currently working on product development for the jewelry industry, Candie also designs new products for craft companies and teaches creative beading workshops. Visit Candie’s website for the latest on what Candie’s been up to lately.