Happy Birthday July Brats

7-2 buttfreckle
7-7 beadstoo
7-7 Thetatteredgypsy
7-13 modcustomjewelry
7-13 teristreasure
7-17 CraftBonanza
7-17 Odannysgirl
7-19 scooyouphotography
7-19 designsbymariejulie


Featured Artist - Gini of Mod Custom Jewelry

“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.”
"Mother Theresa"

Every month, the Brat Team chooses one of our members to “highlight.” This month we are pleased to introduce our FEATURED ARTIST – SELLER…

Gini of ModCustom Jewelry and Oceans Findings

*Tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Gini Briggs, from Marshfield Missouri (in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains and as far from the ocean geographically as humanly possible). I’ve been married for almost 16 years and am the mother of two big stupid dogs.

*What is the first thing you can remember making by hand? How and why did you make it?
I remember making salt clay with my Mom; I must have been about 3 or 4, because my sisters were at school and I wasn't. I don't remember what we made from it, but I still remember the smell! I loved doing crafty things with my Mom.


*What inspires you and where do your ideas come from?
The ocean and everything in it inspires me. I get most of my ideas in dreams. But I have to keep a notebook close by the bed, because I forget my dreams really quickly after I wake up.


*What are your favorite materials?

I love silver, copper, bronze and gold. Gold is probably my favorite metal to work with because it’s easy to work, but being it’s so expensive I don't get to work with it often. I also love gemstones, shells, coral and sea glass.


*What have been the most valuable lessons learned from other artists on Etsy?

I have made some of the best friends on Etsy! I've "met" people from all over the world and actually gotten to meet several in person during my travels. That's the best thing about Etsy, having a camaraderie borne of the common thread of handcrafting.


*Why should people buy handmade?

Because you don't want to walk around as a carbon copy of everyone else! Anyone can mass produce "stuff", but it takes an artist to make something unique and it takes a unique person to wear art!


*What features/services would you most like to see on Etsy?

I wish there was more cracking down on mass produced stuff. I see so much that is not truly handmade. If you buy something at Wally World and attach a sticker to it, it's NOT handmade, no matter how you try to spin it!

*Apart from creating things, what do you do?

My education is in Accounting and Spanish, so it makes perfect sense that I've made my living as an air traffic controller for the past 20 plus years. Believe it or not, it's a very creative job. There are definitely rules under which you're constrained, but HOW you go about working within them is up to you. It changes every day and keeps my mind occupied. Plus, there's never anything piled up in my inbox when I come back after being gone for a few weeks.

I'm very involved in our union on a national level and I'm currently traveling the country teaching other air traffic controllers about a new safety reporting system. I love to travel, so that's great, but it is taking a toll on my art. I sneak in as much studio work as I can on my few days home each week.

My husband and I are also both certified licensed Divemasters. So we travel the world exploring our great planet's underwater treasures every chance we get.I'm also the best DogMom in the world...I love my two Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs, Rosie and Ruby.

I have tons of photos on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/modcustomjewelry/

*Read any good books lately?

Believe it or not, in spite of all I do, I read every day; usually for an hour or so before I go to sleep. Il have 5 or 6 books of various genres going at one time. I'm currently working on "Mists of Avalon," "Atlas Shrugged," "Bloody Bones," and Nelson DeMille's "Wild Fire." How's that for variety?

Visit Gini’s Blog - MOD, Missouri Ocean Design http://waterloggedblog.blogspot.com/

*In ten years I'd like to be?

Ten years younger!!! Seriously, I'm going to be retired from my government job, probably consulting about aviation safety on a contract basis, traveling and diving all over the world with my hubba-hubba-hubby and making more jewelry than ever!

Visit Gini’s Gallery http://www.missouriocean.com/

*How did you pick your business name and your etsy avatar?

My heart and soul belong to the ocean and have ever since the first time I dipped a toe in the icy North Atlantic. Making jewelry feeds my soul just like proximity to the ocean does, so I tied my physical location (Missouri) to my life's love (Ocean).

I'm a BIG Jewelry Geek: http://www.jewelrygeeks.com/modcustomjewelry

*What is the connection between being a Crafter and being a Brat?

My Stepdad was in the Navy for over 30 years. My Dad was in the Army, but long before he was my Dad. My husband is retired after 23 years in the Army. So the military has been a part of my life for a very long time. Some of my best lifelong friends came to me as part of the military family. I love that the Brats are such a supportive group and that they're as diverse as the art they create.

Visit Gini on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=513392614

and follow her on Twitter http://twitter.com/ArieltheMermaid

Thanks for stopping by and getting to know one of our FAVORITE Brat SELLERS!