Art We Love: Katie Fenske Bridges/budpnq + Necklace Giveaway

This week, we are returning to our series "Art We Love" with a wonderful artist, Katie Fenske Bridges, and a giveaway. So exciting! Katie is Jonathan's sister and so very talented. She's a beaded jewelry artist with the Etsy shop budpnq (say, "budbud"), painter, mom, wife and a really beautiful soul. Katie made a completely gorgeous necklace just for our blog to giveaway away to a lucky reader. Want to enter? Just leave a comment below on the blog. If you also share this post on Facebook or Twitter, you'll receive two entries. Just let us know in the comments you did so. We'll draw a name on Friday, Aug. 30, 2013 and announce the winner. Easy!

Now, let's dive in and learn more about Katie and budpnq.

Fat and Appy Blog giveaway

Jennifer and Jonathan: Your beadwork is luscious, fun...just plain playful. How did you get started making jewelry? 

Katie: Every time we visited my grandparents in Florida, Grandpa had a craft project for me to work on. The summer before my 8th grade year, I stayed with them for a couple of weeks and on the days he took me with him to work, I spent my time stringing up necklaces with an assortment of glass beads he'd given me. I turned to jewelry-making a few years ago, because for someone with a constant need to involve her hands in making, beading necklaces is not only a fun return to my twelve year-old self, but rewarding. They come into existence fairly quickly and can be put to immediate use. My mom got me hooked on using vintage glass beads when she supplied me with a trove of necklaces in various states of disrepair from a church tag sale. I dismantled the necklaces and cleaned every bead. When I saw how much Mom enjoyed the necklaces I was making, it drove me to make more and eventually, I found a style that represented me accurately. Most of those tag sale beads have long since been put to use and I now have a couple of suppliers I regularly purchase from so I am able to create with a bit more consistency and frequency, two factors that keep the creativity flowing.

Katie Fenske Bridges from Etsy jewelry shop Budpnq

Katie Fenske Bridges from Etsy

You seem to be tapping into your Scandinavian heritage. Tell us a little about that inspiration.  

Our paternal grandmother's family was Swedish/Norwegian. My memories of Grandma, though time-faded, are ones of nurturing. For my brothers and me, her Swedish pancake breakfasts were a highlight of many a Florida vacation. I actively seek out Scandinavian illustrators, crafters and bloggers for inspiration because their work is not only great fun, but also comforting. I hope the work I do reflects both elements in some way.
Etsy shop Budpnq
How long does it take you to stage product shots for Etsy? Your pictures are very good. Thank you. The picture-taking is almost as fun as actually making each necklace. My "lördagsgodis" series has me listing a different necklace every week so when it comes to taking pictures of those necklaces, I just wait for the sun to come into my workspace and arrange them as whim dictates. It doesn't take long because I'm usually trying to sneak in the shots before our toddler, "Turtle," wanders in. Often, elements of her presence can be found in those pictures. She's always leaving her toys in my office; therefore, they get used as props. I smile when I look at my shop and see the evidence of being her mom. When it comes to collections of necklaces, I like the pictures to be more cohesive so I need to do a little planning. Our oldest niece, Taylor, faithfully agrees to model for me and we'll spend an afternoon either at my place or on her mom's beautiful property in the country. I will do Tay's hair and makeup according to a loose mental sketch and then off we go chasing the light.
My favorite piece of equipment is the Canon 50mm 1:1.4 lens a good friend surprised me with. I use it all the time because it allows me to give my photos the softness I like.
Etsy Shop Bud Bud

Tell us what a typical day in the life is like for an artist, Etsy seller, wife and mom. 

Katie Fenske Bridges from Etsy shop Budpnq

Katie Fenske Bridges from Etsy Shop Budpnq

My routine changes often based on my husband's work schedule and our toddler's needs, so I don't get too set in my ways but right now, I start my day with a bright greeting from our daughter and a cup of coffee. Chris will have already given her breakfast so if she is entertaining herself, I get on the computer to check my Etsy shop and other social media outlets. I do some tumbling or pinning while I finish my coffee. It's not long before Turtle is needing my time so we will play or craft together, run errands or, as a treat, we meet Nana & Poppa for lunch. In addition to having the Etsy shop, I also do the occasional portrait photography session or small painting job so Chris and I have carved out a set time for me to work on any freelance jobs I've taken. (If it weren't for his eagerness to help me succeed with all my creative endeavors, I'd never get anything accomplished.) The three of us eat dinner together and Turtle and I watch Curious George before the bedtime routine begins. After singing "Sea of Love", "talking to God" with her, and kissing her goodnight, I repeat my morning routine minus the guilt of not giving all my time to Turtle. And minus the coffee. Most necklaces are created late at night. Every Saturday, Turtle goes to her Lola and Lolo's for most of the day so I'm able to finish anything I wasn't able to during the week, but usually I just create more work for myself by starting something new. Chris and I try to get in coffee dates when we can. On days he's off, we share late night snack dates at the dining table. Right now, it's all about the little things.
You have thousands of Pinterest followers. What's your most popular pin?The most popular of my own work is this one which features my first four lördagsgodis necklaces grouped together. I ended up making a necklace for the commenter, Kati Driscoll, that is four random necklace strands tied together into one necklace. I thoroughly enjoyed that project and have been wanting to do another, but something always overtakes it on the priority list. After a quick check, it seems my most popular pin of someone else's work is this playhouse from Ralfefarfars Paradis, a Norwegian home living blog.

Tell us what artists or designers are inspiring you right now.
Elisabeth Dunker of Fine Little Day
Sabine Timm, known as virginhoney on Flickr
It was so wonderful to chat with Katie and learn more about her inspiration and art. She graciously agreed to make a necklace (inspired from Jonathan's toy paintings) that we could give away on the blog. In the course of making the necklace, Katie was drawn to launch a new collection of beaded jewelry called "Leksak" which is Swedish for "toy." The entire collection will be available in Katie's budpnq shop on Etsy.To enter our contest, simply make a comment on the blog, below. Share this post on Facebook or Twitter and your entry will count for two entries! Just tell us you shared it in the comments. We'll randomly draw a name on Friday, Aug. 30, 2013 and then announce the winner of Katie's Leksak necklace. International fans, you're in luck! Katie will happily ship to you. Good luck! Also, Katie is so cool, she's offering 10% off in her store for our readers. Just use code FATANDAPPY.