In this week’s 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 we meet Jenny from A Bird In The Hand Art. She works with many different methods and materials to create her art, but despite the variety, maintains a solid voice by incorporating a strong motif- birds. I think it’s brilliant, and I’m sure she never runs out of inspiration. Jenny is also the first crafter to claim sandpaper as one of her favorite tools! One Project You Are Particularly Proud Of 1. A tray that I painted a couple of years ago. It was the first bird that I had ever painted and I did it by following a step-by-step out of a songbird painting book. We still have it in our apartment because I don’t think I could part with it. Two Mistakes You’ve Made in the Past 1. Only two? Well, staying in grad school as long as I did. I was miserable six months in but I kept hoping it would get better. Nope! I don’t regret going to school though because I think it taught me a lot about finding something that I love and not worrying so much about finding something “successful.” 2. Painting our kitchen orange. Ugly, ugly, ugly. Luckily it is turquoise now. Three Things That Make Your Work Unique 1. Using materials in new ways. It’s both my gift and my downfall. As soon as I make one thing or learn a new technique, I’m looking for ways to use it in a new way or combine it with something else. It’s led to some unfinished projects. I can’t ever knit anything too large because as soon as I figure out my technique works, I want to start over and try something new. 2. Variety. I can’t stick to one craft so I’ll try anything. Painting, knitting, sculpting, metalwork. If there is a class or book on it, I’ll try it. Shoot, I don’t even need that, just give me a craft store and I’ll read the back of the box. 3. Novelty. I try to keep my pieces fresh. I definitely am inspired by others and don’t presume that no one has ever made something similar to me. But I do my best to make every piece really stand out. Four Tools That You Love to Use 1. Pliers. Essential for jewelry-making and pretty much anything I do. They are my daily crafting tool. 2. Sandpaper. It’s such a small thing but can make a huge difference between a finished and unfinished piece. 3. Sewing Machine. I just learned to use it this year, but it’s been so helpful. I’m no longer limited by thinking “oh well it would take so long to sew that.” I can do a quick seam whenever I want! 4. Photoshop. Of course for editing photos for showing off my work, but also for editing images to use in my work. I paint birds but then love to use the images over again in different ways. Photoshop is great for editing them in the way I need. Five Inspirations 1. Nature. If you’ve spent any time on here, you know I use birds in a lot of my work. They’re so pretty! 2. Pinterest.com. Yeah, I could spend hours looking on here. 3. Thrift stores. I like to go about once a week and do a lap. I’ll find fabric to use in my pieces or a cool wooden box to fix-up. 4. My Husband. He is so supportive and a great designer himself. I love bouncing ideas off of him and listening to his thoughts (yes, you can go awwwww). 5. Blogs. I subscribe to way too many blogs because there are about 150 new posts in my google reader every morning. Oh my. There are just so many creative people out there!