The last 83 days I’ve been Periscoping almost every night for a “100 days of focus” challenge, I decided to start 83 days ago. One of the awesome people to join me on my self-reflective scopes, who helps to keep the conversation going, is a talented print and jewelry maker Erika of Little Mousie Creations. I was drawn to her work because of the details she puts into her pattern making and jewelry, everything seems deliberate. It’s minimalism’s older more bohemian sister. As I love to celebrate the creative spirit and put a spotlight on how other’s are traveling through life, I interviewed Erika to find out how she stays creatively inspired and stories that have shaped her adventure.
When did you get into print and jewelry making?
Well, designing and creating jewelry has long been a passion of mine. I remember making some pretty cool friendship bracelets out of embroidery thread in third grade and attempting to sell them door-to-door to my neighbors. Entrepreneur from the start!
Flash forward 10+ years to 2011, I opened an Etsy shop as Little Mousie, selling hand-folded origami crane necklaces. I didn’t know much about what I was doing, but it was a start. Myself and my jewelry have come a long way in the past five years. I have moved from self-taught, costume jeweler to taking several classes in Metal Clay, which I now absolutely love working with. (You can find a brief description of what Metal Clay is on my website here: www.littlemousie.com/jewelry-information)
As for print making, the medium and method are quite new to me. I took some short lessons on it in my high school years, but have really just picked it up again in the past 6-8 months. I have plans to get more involved and intricate as I play with carving.
Ultimately, that is what captivates me in my work—meticulousness, intricacy, and detail. Creating jewelry with metal clay involves a lot of steps and is a delicate medium. Hand-carving into lino blocks is also incredibly intricate work. I love working on small details, getting up close to the piece I am working on.
What inspires you?
Simply put—Life. I look to music, my faith, nature, friends… I sit or lay in nature with music playing and enjoy the whole process of peacefully being inspired. This year I have pushed myself to remain simplistic, even in detailed work.
What would be a dream project or collaboration?
I have dreams of connecting creativity with community. Short-term, this dream looks like hosting encouraging events for women and teens, while a more long-term dream has been to own a storefront/studio where I have designated spaces to sell curated hand-crafted items, as well as host workshops and events.
Best hole in the wall (can be restaurant, store, café etc) you’ve discovered?
So, I didn’t actually discover this place, but was introduced by my husband and father-in-law. Hands down best hole in the wall: El Michoacano on the corner of Lankershim and Sherman Way in North Hollywood. It is a midnight, authentic taco fav. Order at the window and eat in your car or sit and enjoy at one of two tables outside. Thank me later.
At times being a creative person can feel like a curse, but what are a few of the blessings it’s brought to your life?
For me, creativity has allowed for a release. I am a total feelings person. I feel emotions much stronger than many people I know and creating has allowed me to express emotions in a healthy way.
Do you have an awesome book or documentary recommendation?
I wish I could say I read often or watch documentaries often, but…Life. I definitely enjoy each when I have been able to prioritize time for them. Since I was recently sick, I did relax and watch The Champions on Netflix. This is a documentary about the rescued Michael Vick dogs and even though I for sure bawled my eyes out, I loved it. Now, all I can think about is how much I want a Pitbull.
Spontaneity is the spice of life, do you have a great story that was born from a spontaneous moment?
I am the worst spontaneous person ever. I am horrible at surprises. Even attempting to surprise someone else, I often accidentally tell them. However, my husband has enough spontaneity-spice for the both of us. After deciding to propose, he bought my ring with every intention of waiting a month until our dating anniversary to do so.
Yet after only a day of having the ring he couldn’t wait. We were going to be having a best friend over for dinner and got into the car to go get groceries. There was a gorgeous sunset with beautiful pastels and fluffy clouds. He began going a different direction, looking for a hill to see it better. I was annoyed. Yes…I was yelling that we needed to hurry up and didn’t have time to stop! He ignored my frustrations and stopped somewhere where I refused to even get out of the car. After much convincing he just held me, telling me all these sweet things…then I knew what was about to happen. And of course, immediately felt bad for being a brat. Don’t ask me what my response was, *face-palm*.
Who are five fab people we should know about?
1. If you don’t already, get to know Bekka! Her Periscope (@basicallybekka) is where I started following and it’s been real ever since.
2. Definitely, Cara. Instagram: @molluskgrl. She’s a writer and artist who constantly reminds me to take the first step and Show-Up.
3. My girl, Kristen. Instagram: @kindredcinema. Making all my video dreams come true. This lady is incredibly giving of her knowledge regarding utilizing video for your business.
4. For sure, Amanda Christine. Instagram: @amandachristinestudio. Encouraging, talented, and honest. I just love Amanda and her photography + art.
5. Absolutely, Meredith. Instagram: @wildflowerroots. Another inspiring jewelry designer who creates the best pieces for everyday wear.
Honestly, I have found such an amazing support group on Instagram, this list could go on forever.
Blanket Fort Adventures is on a mission to redefine wanderlust as a way of traveling through life, how do you want to travel?
Road trips. I have only done extended drives across multiple states with my parents as a kid, but I would love to do this with my husband. There is something so freeing about spending time talking deeply, singing loudly, and playing car games with loved ones as you explore together!
What do you think we need to travel through life and have the best adventure?
Loving on people. I absolutely feel that being real and authentic, while cultivating a network of genuine relationships is where you will find the greatest adventure. This is where my life is becoming more meaningful.
View Erika’s creations in person at the Patchwork Show in Long Beach, Sunday, June 12th from 11am – 5pm. It’s free to attend and one of my favorite creative markets to go to! Also, follow Erika on Instagram @littlemousiecreations for all her creative updates and your can peruse her online shop at www.littlemousie.com/jewelry.