deannecrim

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Glendale, Arizona

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Deanne Crim

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Deanne Crim

About deannecrim

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On Etsy since 2010

Are you looking for a unique craft project to learn? Do you need a show-stopping Trinket or Unique Gift for a special someone who has everything? You've come to the right place!

I've been an artist, writer, and creative soul since I was old enough to walk. My life has been a marvelous adventure of creativity, as I blossomed on the "Blue Jewel" we live on. Drawing and oil painting was my introduction to the world of artistic expression, when I was 9 years old. It sparked in me, the creative juice to propel me into a wide variety of mediums and skills. I am primarily self-taught, though I have found great value in many seminars & workshops I have taken over the years.

As a child, growing up in Southern California amongst the Hollywood Stars and ocean waves and glorious sunshine, I learned to dream...and dream big! It was self expression that drew me most. Specifically artistically and with words. I am as much a writer as an artist, but writing has up until now, been a private form of expression. Creative arts have been my focus, even obsession. If I am not working on a project, I am devising its plans in my head. I seem never to be vacant of ideas, which is a blessing and a curse. It feels like I am never "finished".

At 10 years of age, I was bit by a creative bug that has infiltrated my soul. Perhaps I wasn't bitten, I was just born to be a creative explorer. It was a perfect storm when I visited the Renaissance Faire with my family, seeing a booth of the most adorable fairytale themed rag dolls. It was almost more than I could take. I didn't ask my parents to buy one, as I knew money did not grow on trees at our house, as I had been told on many occasion. Instead, I purposed in my heart to somehow teach myself how to make them. "It can't be that hard?" I told my juvenile self, and I was inclined to believe it.

I was certain my mother would teach me how to use the shiny Singer sewing machine that rested, ever unused, inside the cabinet in the front room of our house, although I wasn't even sure she knew how it operated. Somehow, we managed to figure it out together and I was on my way! Within the week of that extraordinarily inspiring Renaissance Faire encounter, I was hunting the library shelves for guidance. Having discovered that my elementary school library had nothing to share in my quest, I rode my bicycle 3 miles to the local public library, to discover what I needed, and I hit pay dirt! I was thrilled to find the small hardback book with a photo of Goldilocks on the front cover, alongside Little Red Riding Hood and Cinderella. And an obsessed young artist was born It was the beginning of my self-driven creative adventure that hasn't taken a break in my 56 years of life.

On occasion I've been asked what my favorite art medium is...what I like to create most...but I have never been able to come up with an answer. I love it all! Its like trying to choose which of your children you love most?!?! I have massive love for miniatures, which incorporates many craft medium and skills, which satisfies an ever present hunger to create. Sculpture in clay, papier-mâché, and epoxy clay provide me with endless possibilities in designing artwork, jewelry, figurines, trinkets & unique treasures. Crochet, macrame, weaving, and Kumuhimo (Japanese braiding technique), offer the opportunity to work with incredible fibers, yarns, threads & fabrics to create visually stunning artwork & wearables. Beads come in so many extraordinary shapes and sizes, colors and textures, made from endless medium choices from glass to ceramic, metal to plastic, crystal to gemstone, each with a story to tell, be it in jewelry to wear, or artwork to display.

Repurposing and upscaling items that would otherwise be dumped in the trash, offers more than just art, it presents the opportunity to make the world a better place, so I reuse, repurpose, and reimagine items into new things as often as I possibly can, from bottles & jars to old broken jewelry, or anything I can transform with fanciful ideas. Working with wire is an unexpected and fulfilling creative experience, and can involve much more then wire-wrapped jewelry. French Beaded Flowers can deliver lasting bouquets of love, while wire crochet blooms ignite a colorful blast in the form of a cuff bracelet. Small bits of wire are twisted with colorful threads to form whimsical miniature penny dolls to capture your heart in a world of miniature wonderment. Capturing the essence of childhood dreams, propels me on an everlasting adventure in miniature doll and teddybear making, whether full size or miniature, fabric or porcelain, thread-wrapped wire or wooden toothpicks, polymer clay or stuffed in a tiny glass vial to wear as jewelry, each speaks the language of love that cannot be described with words. These, among many other creative pursuits, provide me with endless inspiration and art adventure possibilities. It is impossible to choose my favorite.

Working with leather is another medium that fits into many aspects of my creative process. Not only is it applicable to clothing & wearable items, it is a way I can add detail & deliberate soul warmth to my projects. I give honor to the creatures of GOD who sacrifice their lives for such frivolous, yet honorable objects of my love expression. My appreciation of leatherwork was birthed at a young age, having been introduced to a local Leather shop owner by a childhood friend of mine, when we were just 11 years old.

Herrick P. Gibbons, was his name, and he was the coolest VW van driving, long-haired, long-bearded, hippie guy that you could ever imagine. The leather store was a short bike ride from my house, up Mulholland Drive, in the Alpha Beta Shopping center. Rick was one of the most kind, generous, uplifting, people I had ever met, and he treated me with respect, and as a valued human being, never mind I was only 11 years old. He invited me to make some leather bracelet bands when I came back to his store the second time, and took me on as an apprentice. I wasn't paid in money, but I was able to freely make bracelets and key rings, which was better than money to me. I don't think my friend Lisa enjoyed spending time there, as she never returned. I helped Rick sell items at the store, as well as at the local Pumpkin Festival of Arts, in Calabasas, California, near my home, learning valuable entrepreneurial aspects of a creative life. I wish I knew where Rick was today, so I could thank him for all he taught me, without ever spelling out a word!!

Polymer clay sculpting is a big part of what I do, having discovered it while I was attending college at the University of Hawaii at Manoa (Oahu). There was a small gift shop in the Ala Moana Shopping Center, across from the old bookstore where I purchase books for school or general reading entertainment, and I became obsessed with the miniature Japanese "sushi plates" near the cash register beside a small metal display rack of FIMO® polymer clay. A few questions later and I was purchasing a colorful assortment of clay packages to gird my new creative journey.

This was in 1979, long before polymer clay crafts were being discovered and explored in the United States. There was no literature to instruct me this time, so it was all trial and error. Fortunately, there wasn't much error, and before I knew it, I had launched a small cottage industry, making cute characters and pins/brooches depicting miniature baseball players with personalized jersey numbers, selling them to the family and friends of the UH Rainbow Baseball team. My then boyfriend, Chuck, (now my hubby of nearly 4 blissfully happy decades) was a pitcher on the team, and I didn't miss a game. Suddenly, I found myself taking orders, sometimes earning up to $100 per game (which was a LOT back then!), as I delivered orders and sold various styles of pins for fans to proudly wear on their caps, shirts, and island attire. Before I knew it, I was creating much more than baseball accents. I found polymer clay to be an integral part of my creative arsenal, and I continue to use this medium in my creative projects. There are many resources for Polymer clay now, and loads of tutorials and books on how to make cute things...I could kick myself for not writing those 'books' that I imagined in 1979!! If only...(lol)

When I discovered the world of miniature artist reproduction Teddy Bears, my world turned upside down. I have always been a teddybear loving girl, even through college, not ashamed to love a bear who can keep my secrets. When I laid eyes on my first 3-inch Teddy Bear marvel, I could barely speak...and I mean that! I couldn't afford the $30 price tag attached to it, so I once again, purposed in my heart, to somehow teach myself how to make one.

So...you guessed it...I headed to the library to find a book on how to make teddybears. I had no idea how the construction worked, and was determined. There was no information in books or anywhere I could find, teaching how to make miniature teddybears, so I went another route. I checked out a book on making big teddybears, and decided I would implore the assistance of the Xerox™ machine at my parents business, to reduce the patterns I found in a book. It worked perfectly! In a matter of days, having rounded up velvet fabric that seemed like it would work in miniature scale, I had a 4-inch jester bear!! I still have that first bear I made and honor it in a curio cabinet of memories.

That was all the inspiration I needed. It was only a matter of time before I discovered that there was an entire world of Teddybear collectors, with magazines and conventions to attend all over the country. But there wasn't much available information on miniature bears. So what does one do when they find a big gaping hole in the world? That's right, one FILLS THE HOLE!! So, I formed an organization for Miniature Bear Artists & Hobbyists & Collectors, in 1990, S.M.A.L.L. (Society of Miniature Arctophiles Loving & Learning). I shared patterns, tips, contests, swaps, and we held annual Tea-Party Weekend Workshop events. I offered a printed newsletter, club pins, shirts, the whole wonderful magilla with membership! The International club's direction changed somewhat when the internet was born, as we gained an online presence in 2000, for our 10th anniversary, we shed the newsletter and opted for online connections. We never quite hit our stride, as there was a recession at that time and crafting seemed a luxury that some could not afford. Our roll slowed, and though I tried tirelessly to give fire to the belly of the teddybear, it just didn't happen. The group still exists on yahoo-groups, although there isn't much active participation from the members. But hope springs eternal and I look to the future when at some point in the future, we can reignite Tiny Teddybear fervor! In the meantime, I continue to explore the miniature teddybear world on my own.

I suppose this would be a good place to mention, that I have the time to work on such marvelous creative endeavors, because I am married to an extraordinary man who supports my journey. Chuck is now retired from being a professional baseball player. As mentioned above (or maybe I forgot?), we met in college at the University of Hawaii, but we were both raised in Southern California, just 15 minutes apart! It was kismet...not to mention Love at First Sight! After Chuck signed to play professional we navigated the world of minor league baseball in the Milwaukee Brewers organization from 1982-1986. In 1987 he was called up to the Big Leagues where he pitched for the Brewers in Old County Stadium from 1987-1991. In 1992 Chuck was traded to the California Angels, where he played through 1993. In 1994, Chuck signed with the Chicago Cubs, and had a promising season in the books until the player's union made the decision to strike in advance of a new bargaining agreement. It got ugly and for Chuck a free-agent lost in the shuffle, the luster of MLB was lost. He decided to retire in 1995.

At that point, Chuck turned to another driving passion in his life...a new dream...competitive Bass fishing. So we moved our family to Branson Missouri, (Reeds Spring, actually) with 30 acres on Tablerock Lake, where he joined the Bassmasters Tour, Central Pro-Am, and other fishing circuits to make his mark. Chuck's choice of traveling careers has left me with ample time to explore my own creative endeavors, which has fed me sensationally over the years!

It isn't that we tired of living in the country with our two sons, Cody & Jacob, it was the fact that they did not having access to adequate education that concerned us most. We made the decision to move back to Southern California to be closer to family and give our boys the opportunities they deserved. Amidst the challenge of moving back to the city with nary a job in sight, Chuck took on coaching the high school baseball team to spend more time with our eldest, and to 'plant good seed' into the athletic dreams of others. Its just who he is. It was a magical yet extraordinarily difficult time, but we don't need to dwell on the latter details about the annoyances of dealing with high school athlete's parents right now, do we?

With Chuck's reentry into the world of baseball, albeit high school, he began crossing paths with various people in the business, who saw his extraordinary value going to waste...clearly placed in his life by GOD. One such friend was Rex de la Nuez, a Scout for the Cincinnati Reds organization. He encouraged Chuck for two years, even nagged at times when he sensed resistance, for Chuck to attend a local event where MLB Scouting Directors gathered, so he could meet the right people. We owe a gigantic hank you to Rex. He kinda saved our lives!

It was no coincidence that at that scouting event which Chuck finally agreed to go the following year, that he ran into an old teammate, Dave Klipstein. By the way, I don't believe in coincidences, only GOD-incidents! Dave was excited to catch up with Chuck after 20 years and when he learned of Chuck's desire to become a scout, he introduced him to the Scouting Director and Assistant GM of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Logan White. If there is such a thing as 'bromance at first sight', thats what happened between Logan and Chuck. He recognized how much Chuck had to offer and something in him was willing to take a chance. Normally, former players don't want to deal with the grind of scouting. It isn't glamorous on any level. Its hard work and lots of freeway driving time when you're in Los Angeles. But Chuck was game and within two months he was hired to be the Southern California amateur scout for the Los Angeles Dodgers. It was his childhood hometown dream team. To be working for them was an opportunity he had never expected. When he was invited to take his talent to the field coaching for the 'Tommy Lasorda Elite Games' at Dodger Stadium, he was over the moon.

After 3 years of scouting, in 2009, Chuck was hired as the Rookie Minor League Pitching Coach for the Odgen Utah 'Raptors', and the rest is history. He climbed the minor league ranks in unusual speedy order, going to A-ball in Midland Michigan in 2011 with the 'Great Lakes Loons', then AA-ball in 2010 with the Chattanooga 'Lookouts', and in 2012 he was signed by Dodgers GM, Ned Colletti, to a Major League contract to be the bullpen pitching coach in 2013, where he remained through the 2015 season. It was a dream and nightmare all at the same time for me, but thats a can of worms to open on a different day! The most important part was that Chuck achieved 100% vestment in his MLB pension plan, which was his main goal...so WIN WIN!

When the new Ivy-league-30yr olds were hired to run the front office, the writing was on the wall, and they soon cleaned house of all the 'old school' coaches and scouts, some of whom were Hall of Famers, others had worked in the organization for 35 years. It was tragic, but thats the way baseball rolls. They saw no value...their huge loss...our HUGE GAIN!! We now have a real life and get to own our own schedule! It has given me a new vigor to expand my creative business and share EYE CANDY CRAFTING with the world! Its my time now!

One of the things that accompanies my intense desire for learning new things and growing my life experience, is my desire to share knowledge. I'm a teacher at heart. And I'm not one to keep secrets when it comes to creative projects, like many artists do. Teaching workshops has been one of the greatest joys on my artistic journey. Sharing hints and tips to spark creativity is a guilty pleasure for me.

During my years living the island life while attending college, there was a cozy craft cottage just up the street from the Honolulu Zoo, called "Strawberry Hill", owned by a wonderful woman named Barbara Delpiano. It was a closer source for my FIMO® purchases and I soon discovered she offered craft classes. It wasn't long before I was teaching polymer clay sculpture classes there, and honing my instructional skills. There comes great satisfaction, sharing skills with others, watching them give birth to unexpected talent. I continued to teach classes there until we moved back to the mainland, but I will always hold a special place in my heart for Barbara and Strawberry Hill.

Having a knack for teaching has led me to a multitude of students in various places. It was a natural progression for me to teach miniature teddybear workshops at large collector conventions, in addition to our S.M.A.L.L. tea party workshops. And I finally finished writing a miniature teddybear making book...but then lost the data in a computer crash that wasn't backed-up properly. I have been working on it feverishly and hope to have it re-formatted in the very near future, to share with customers in my Etsy shop and on my blog.

Just because I could, I taught french beaded flower classes and beaded jewelry classes at a friend's bead store in Newhall, California. My grandmother first introduced me to french-beaded flowers when I was a child. Something about the vintage-style blooms sent me down an artful avenue to explore as an adult. I have a special appreciation for projects that bring vintage crafts into a new light and I am always spinning ideas together, combining yesteryear with tomorrow, to create future heirlooms.

From my varied items offered in my etsy shop, be it patterns, tutorials, jewelry, or whimsical gifts, you can easily see that I don't possess limited focus. It might seem like a wild ride, and it is, as you discover Boho Chic jewelry, wearable art, mixed media creations, Christmas Magic, Tiny Teddybears, Miniature Dolls, Magical Dioramas, and Artfully Altered Delights. I think of my work as "Eye Candy" which comes in many forms and mediums. Just like the imaginative world that flashes through my ever flittering mind, I am honored to bring these wonders to life, and even more blessed to be able to share them with you! <3

Please visit me on Facebook on my Crafty Crusader page...and be sure to join our Crafty Crusader's Group for upcoming craft-a-longs and inspiration! There's never a better time to get your hands dirty!!

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  • Deanne Crim

    Owner, Designer, Creator

    I have spent my entire life creating the most unique, decadent, awe-inspiring, "Eye Candy" I could possibly imagine...creating...exploring...& discovering. I am blessed to share my whimsical fantastical world of wonder & beauty with YOU!!

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