Hi I am Vesna. If you like to craft, or learn how to, you are in the right place. I will share with you techniques, ideas and projects to inspire you to be crafty and curious. If you don’t think you are creative, don’t worry. My story started the same way.
I was born in Macedonia, a land far away in Eastern Europe, tucked between Greece and Serbia. My parents were hard workers. Their moto: work hard, work hard, work hard, and get a job. Around high school time I had to decide what to dedicate my hard work on, so I chose to study foreign languages. It felt natural at the time. I knew few words in French, and even fewer in English, so it was going to be a long journey.
I was 15, when I schemed to get out of town and see the world. By 16 my wish came true. I set sail (well I flew actually) to the land of opportunities: The United States of America. I first set foot in Virginia (close to where the first pilgrims landed, really). For a year I lived as an exchange student with a very kind couple and their daughter who was just a year older than me. I went to high school, I learned to speak English (and had a cheat sheet of all the bad words, in case other teenagers tried to play games on a poor foreign kid), we took road trips, we went to the beach. It was fun! The year ended and I went home.
At home things had changed. Or I had changed. I found out that my year in the States didn’t really put me ahead, in fact I wasn’t going to receive any school credits and I had to repeat the year. I packed my suitcases again and I was back on the road (well I flew again). The family I lived with in Virginia was happy to have me back. Their daughter was in college, so I was the only kid around. And then, they got military orders to go to Nebraska. I didn’t know where that was so I was happy to go anywhere. It was a very cold November day when we got there, the year 1996. Snow and all! Brrr. I managed to get through the winter, and soon it was high school graduation time. Diploma in hand, yay! But, I had some thinking to do. Do I go back? Do I stay? Do I go to college? Decisions, decisions!
My dad had come to visit and with him I went to visit a long lost uncle in California; uncle Pavel (a mad Greek of sorts, although he doesn’t speak Greek). While there I ended up buying a car. An old Volvo. Older than me, actually! I called it Da Beast. It was a beast. I needed an extra cushion to sit on so I can see through the windshield. I drove Beasty back to Nebraska with my dad. He left. I went to college in Omaha, Nebraska. I got a job at the college library and my tuition was free. I loved my library job! I have some interesting stories from those days.
It was my last year of college when one night I went to an opening in an art gallery. I knew one of the photographers. A few days later my photographer friend wanted to introduce me to the other photographer artist that shared space in the gallery: David Miller. It took a month to meet this David Miller. And when I finally did it was at a bar, he was tipsy and one of the first things he said to me was that he’d like to photograph me. Straight faced I said: ‘I don’t do nudes!’ That was it…..some time later (a year or so) he became my husband.
We got married the day after Christmas (something about a tax break), in June we had a wedding party at a barn in Nebraska and two days later we moved to Arizona. With a puppy!! It was 2002, a hot summer day in July.
I knew no one in Arizona! Not a soul! We were jobless! David got a job first as a school photographer that took him all over Arizona. And took the only car we had. Eventually I got a car (thanks dad!) and a boring office job. Then I got a job at a travel agency, and finally a job at Alaska Airlines where I have been since 2004. Wanderlust is in my blood, I have to travel!
I worked at the reservations office on the night shift. When it wasn’t busy in the middle of the night it resembled a craft factory. The ladies around me were crocheting blankets. I remember my mom crocheting, and knitting, and sewing. And my grandmothers spun yarn. They wove! All of that was awakening my senses (maybe my destiny). So I started crocheting. Scarfs at first. Then I added some beads to a thinner thread and made jewelry. Later on I took a sewing class. I made a button down shirt with two left sleeves. Yes I was gifted!! Then I tore apart existing garments and made them into something new. I was recycling! I took a soldering class. I made more jewelry. I learned to bake shrinky drinks, and made even more jewelry with that! I experimented with stitching fabric onto paper and made greeting cards. I bought a couple of stamps to use with my card making, and then a few more, and a few more and I now have three boxes full. I carved my own stamps when I couldn’t find what I needed. I got my hands on any crafty project or workshop that presented itself, preparing myself for the day when I will be a professional crafter!
Being an artist was never part of the plan. Partially because I don’t remember my parents encouraging me to become that. Their moto ‘work hard’ didn’t pertain to art. Even though I think being an artist requires a lot more hard work than a cozy office job.
Today in my small studio, tucked at the back of my house you will find: two sewing machines, a cart full of paints, a chest full of fabric, a basket of clothes to repurpose, a suitcase full of beads, a few boxes of odd and mismatched trinkets, lace, ribbon, paper……and who knows what else.
Welcome and feel free to poke around! I hope you get inspired to craft.
Official Bio: I am a mixed media artist with a passion for recycling and using the left over textiles and papers that were destined for the landfill. My work has been published in over a dozen publications by Stampington. I have taught classes at Chandler Parks and Recreation, Craft Rave in Phoenix and online on Skillshare.com