Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Weekly Featured Seller/Artist: Elena of Elena's Fancy Beads and Elena's Felting!

Before we move on to the next (and again was my birthday last week!) featured artist and seller, I want to thank Christine, Shay, and Syndey for being such lovely features!  I wish you 3 the best of luck!

Fancy Beaded Necklace "Lone Leaf"
Lone Leaf
Moving on, this week's feature is a very multitalented artist and Etsy seller, Elena from Elena's Fancy Beads and Elena's Felting.  This woman is double trouble doing both felting as well as bead weaving, and her creations are so unique and absolutely fabulous!  I found her through her beadweaving (a medium if you know me at all you will know I LOVE!), particularly the piece on the right.  And as soon as I saw her work I knew I had to feature her.  Her beadweaving is SO unique.  She uses mainly peyote stitch, creating tapestry-like and tube pendants, which are very clean, earthy, and fun!  I have never seen anything like it before, and I have seen a lot of bead weaving! 

After talking to Elena, she pointed out to me she also has shop selling her felted creations, Elena's Felting, with more extremely unique work!   Not only does she do the more "usual" felting work, like scarves and shawls, she also creates jewelry, purses, and rugs!  And her felting, like her bead work, is earthy while colorful and absolutely beautiful.  

So I'm sure the question on all of our minds is, How does she have the time to work in 2 mediums in 2 Etsy shops as well as juggling life?  And as always, I feel the artist herself can say more about her work than I, so here is our interview!

Felted Red Passion Bracelet
Red Passion Bracelet

Erika with a K: Hi Elena! Before we begin I have to tell you I love your work. So unique! And can you tell us a little about yourself?

Elena:  We came to Canada almost 14 years ago from Russia. I have a family – husband, son and dog; I work as a Drafter, and I have two hobbies – felting and bead weaving.

Erika with a K: My first question is how did you begin doing bead weaving? How did you learn?

Elena:  I love stylish and fancy jewelry... jewelry you can wear with evening dress or in the office... One of my friends making beaded jewelry as well, so I thought – why not? I can try and create something different and (I hope) unique, something new, something stylish… And yes - this is my style and I hope you will like it! Talking about learning, it was self-study – I’ve found a lot of free tutorials on Internet, I’ve bought and studied several books about making beaded jewelry. I was making my first bead weaving project more than 2 months starting over again and again until I had result I liked.

Erika with a K: And I noticed you also do felting, how did you learn to do that?

Beige Sepia Cafe Mocha Pastel Rustic Wool Shawl and Brooch (set)
Rustic Wool Shawl and Brooch
Elena:  Yes, I have Etsy store “Elena’s Felting” Felting is a long traditional craft in my native countries Kazakhstan and Russia where I was born and raised. People there continue to use felt in many interesting and creative ways. I learned from a lot of great artists, I had workshops taken here in Canada, England and Russia.

Erika with a K: Which medium do you prefer?

Elena:  I love both mediums I work with – wool and beads.

Erika with a K: What advice can you give anyone who does or wants to begin doing bead weaving or felting?

Elena:  Be patient; practice a lot; take workshops; use any information you can find.

Erika with a K: Who or what are your biggest inspirations?

Elena:  Hard to say… honestly. It’s just coming… Sometimes it takes a time to come up with idea, and sometimes it’s like light strike – boom! and you have complete picture in your mind.

Erika with a K: What do you do in your free time?

Grassy Light Green Wool Silk Pendant. Gift 35
Grassy Light Green Wool Silk Pendant
Elena:  You know, I almost have no free time at all ;) I have full time job as Drafter, I have family – husband, son, dog – I’m taking care of, and we have house with large backyard (planting time now!!!), then I am doing my bead weaving and felting… so I am very happy if I just can sit with book or in front of TV for an hour… Saying that, I wouldn’t change my life – I really love what I am doing.

Erika with a K: Do you sell at any other venues besides Etsy? If so, where?

Elena:  I am participating in different local handcraft shows – One of a Kind Show in Toronto, Just For Us Originals, The Moose Show… This year I’ve applied again for One of a Kind Christmas Show and Just for Us Originals.

Erika with a K: What business advice can you give us?

Elena:  It’s pretty hard to start your own successful business… be optimistic, don’t give up, tell yourself – I can do it!

Erika with a K: And I’m dying to know, who is the model in your photos?

Fancy Bead Tube Jewelry "Midnight Blue" Peyote Stitch Design
Midnight Blue
Elena:  This beautiful woman is my best friend Marina; I desperately needed model to show my felted stuff and fortunately she agreed to try… she is not a professional model, but she is very talented and now she is like beautiful face of my store.

Erika with a K: Is there anything else you want to tell us?

Elena:  Erika, I am very glad you were interested in my beaded jewelry, and I hope your blog readers will like my jewelry as well. Best wishes to all your readers!

Thanks so much Elena!  We wish you a ton of luck in your business!  Keep up the good work.  

Please remember all photos and designs are property of the artist and are not to be used without her permission!


  1. Thank you Erika for you post. Really appreciated! I hope my work will be interesting for your readers. Thank you very much.