Trudy Blankenship grew up in Kansas City, where she’s lived her whole life. She travels a lot with her husband, though, and they’re always dreaming of new places to move. Trudy has two crazy Boxers named Kaiser and Liesl. She loves rainy-day movies with her husband, working out, visiting with friends and reading. She also creates jewelry and mixed media collages. She’s eaten the same thing for breakfast for the past 10 years – a peanut butter granola bar. On the average day during the summer, you’ll find Trudy wearing cargo pants and a tank top and listening to Norah Jones, Sting and the Black Eyed Peas. During the school year, she teaches English to 7th graders. She describes herself as organized, funny, loving, creative, outgoing, sensitive, nurturing and compassionate. You can view all her wonderful designs at her store.
What was your inspirations for using objects like bingo chips and dominoes as a base for your art?
I love to give objects new life!
How long have you been making necklaces? How did you get started?
I got started in March of 2008. I have a passion for paper and jewelry, so I started making necklaces to give away to my friends as gifts. I wound up making more necklaces than I had friends and family, so I decided to sell them.
Can you tell us a little of your process?
I adhere Japanese papers or designer papers to my medium (vintage bingo chips, mini dominoes, bamboo tiles, maple disks, scrabble tiles), I embellish them with tiny beads, and seal them for a glossy finish.
Do you have a dedicated work area/room?
Yes. I have a little studio in my basement.
Did you go to an art school of some kind?
No art school – but, I’ve been creating all sorts of items since I was a little girl.
Is this your full-time job? Hobby? Fun?
This is my part time fun hobby job…I am a 7th grade English teacher by day. What started as a mere hobby has turned into something wonderful. I now wholesale to several boutiques worldwide.
Is it hard to work on such a small surface?
At times, yes! The little beads that I use are about the size of a grain of salt. It gets a bit tedious after a while because I am a perfectionist, but I simply love making my necklaces.
Where do you get your materials?
All over – my vintage materials come from scouring Ebay, my papers come from a Japanese paper maker, and my other supplies typically come from internet stores.
Where do you get your ideas?
I let the design of the paper take over, and then I decide the best placement for the beads.
Do you do other kinds of crafts?
I knit, I create mixed media collages, and I especially like creating altered books.
What do you see yourself doing in 5 years?
Teaching school in Austria or Germany with my loving husband beside me, and my crazy dogs running amuck in the countryside. And, of course, creating necklaces with love for people all over the world.