I am excited to share my latest interview with you.  I met Cindy, of akaCinders, on Twitter.  We both live in Northeast Ohio, which is probably how we connected.  We haven’t had the opportunity to meet in person, but I suspect her creative self would rock the socks off of my left-brained self! 

I hate to describe Cindy in any cliche terms, but she IS generous, creative, and inspiring.
I am grateful that I met her. She uplifts other artists by sharing their creations, she shares her wisdom on her blog, and encourages people to try new things.

We discovered that we grew up several miles from each other along the shores of Lake Erie.  Perhaps we are kindred spirits because of that.  We both enjoy searching for beach glass and Cindy has turned some of those finds into gorgeous creations.

Unique Root Beer Beach Glass Earrings

We also share some history in our involvement in the lighting field.  Sometimes we talk business, sometimes we talk sewing, sometimes we talk about parenting and life.  As her twitter profile says, she “sews and makes jewelry and irreverent comments.”  There’s never a dull moment around Cindy!  So what fun it was to get to know her a little better!

Tell us about your shops and what you create.

I have loads of crafting skills, so I try to create something marketable and unique. I love to make jewelry, but have limited space and supplies so I had to be creative. At akaCINDERS I make felt flowers from recycled soda bottles and charms from fabric scraps. I make a few other things from all new materials, but love recycling. At PoppysGardenGate I make aprons and other soft housewares and accessories. Both shops are on Artfire but I also sell on eBay.

Autumn Hoot Owl Rustic Vintage Style Charm

How long have you been creating?

I made my first commercial product when I was 16. I made hand painted leather jewelry and some macrame clothes and bags. So that has been….a lot of years, OK about 40.

Were you trained in the arts?

I started at Cuyahoga Community College in Marketing, then eventually Graphic Arts. I transferred to Cleveland Institute of Art where I received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Industrial Design, with minors in Graphics and Metals. When I was in High school I wanted to be a fashion designer, so I took Art and Sewing/Tailoring. I worked in a High End Drapery and Slipcover sweat shop to help pay my college tuition.

The Beatles Clutch Bag Purse

What’s your favorite thing to create?

I love to work with copper, hammer, heat, patina. Everything copper! I could do it all day, every day, but don’t have the place for it right now.

Why do you blog?

The main purpose of my blog was to offer advice for other sellers. I’m a bit of a natural educator, so I like to share what I know. I don’t mind if doing that gets a little traffic to my shops as well.

Do you enjoy other hobbies?

My favorite thing to do is enjoy nature. I love to garden, that’s where the inspiration for my flowers come from. I also love to spend time at the beach, cook, and do a little home repair and remodeling.

Who inspires you?

I’m inspired more by spiritual people than just artists, like the Dalai Lama and Maya Angelou. They are wise and giving of their very souls. I am totally inspired by nature and the strength and will of humanity.

Handmade Jewelry Floral Necklace Bachelor Button Trio

Do you work and/or study outside the home?

I am a real homebody right now, but I do love to travel. I’m sure I’ll get back to it after I get a little rest.

Are you a small town or big city girl?

I am a true mix. I grew up in the poorest section of a wealthy neighborhood on the Lake Erie shores, spent weekends with my father and his large family in the country, and spent Summer and Spring with my Uncle in Greenwich Village, New York.

Favorite vacation spot.

I guess it would be on the water. Big bodies of water are the best, Atlantic or Pacific Ocean, Gulf of Mexico. I love South Padre Island and  I had a wonderful time in Cebu in the Philippines. But I think any beach on a beautiful clear sunny day without hurricane and with a Margarita in hand, would be lovely.

Fondest childhood memory.

I guess it would have to be the time I spent sitting around with my mom when I was little. She adored me and I loved that feeling.

Who would you like to be for a day?

I know this sounds silly, or maybe even arrogant, but I really like my life. I love what I’ve done and where I’ve been and I wouldn’t want to be anyone else.

Best advice on raising kids.

I have no good advice on raising children other than to hug them daily and tell them you love them, no matter how much they protest.

Transformers Necktie T -Shirt

What’s your favorite chain type restaurant?

I love seafood, and I think for chains, Landry’s is the best, but the closet one to Cleveland is in Pittsburgh.

What things are unique to where you live?  As in special customs, favorite restaurants, slang, etc.  (I love to find the unique things of an area when I travel. So much of the US is homogenized – Anywhere USA).

The most unique thing about where I live is that there is practically no commerce here. I do love the peace and quiet, and the lake we live on, but we have to travel miles to shop. I buy a lot on the internet. Our closest town is mostly Amish, and shopping at Walmart with the Amish is interesting to say the least.

avorite candy.

Any kind of dark chocolate. I’m not crazy about sugar. Never liked it much.

Favorite book.

I don’t read much, ADD.  A book has to really grab my attention. I like any Anne Rice books or Dennis Lehane. They seem to have a style that keeps me reading.

Favorite movie.

I have so many loves, but the one that will get me watching over and over is the Keira Knightley version of Pride & Prejudice.

Favorite musical artist.

Right now I’m really enjoying Lady Ga Ga.

Your scariest moment?

I don’t scare easily. I guess the thing I hate the most is a job interview or giving a public presentation. Now that really scares me.

What helps you when you are in a bad mood?

Breaking glass. I try not to do it anymore, because I always end up hurting myself. But the sound of breaking glass just calms my raw nerves. If I didn’t hate heat so much, I might have been a Glass major, or a glass recycler.

Use one word that best describes yourself.


Halloween Black Cat Rustic Vintage Style Necklace

Original – yes!  Cindy has generously donated one of her Halloween Black Cat necklaces to give away! (And she is sharing some of her amazing creations with me and my family, too!)

This giveaway is open to US and Canadian readers and will close on September 25th at 12:00 Noon.  To enter, please visit  Cindy’s shops and leave a comment about what your favorite creation is.

For additional entries and just because you will be happy that you did:

And because you want to share the love, if you tweet this giveaway (there should be a share button below this post) and/or share the contest on your Facebook page, you will get another entry!  Tweet on multiple days for more chances!

Please leave a comment for each action because those comments will be your “raffle ticket.”

Thank you Cindy for sharing a bit about yourself!