Monday, November 15, 2010

In the Michigan Studio with Mitzi's Collectibles and a Giveaway


I'm in the Michigan Studio today with Mitzi Curi, and like me you are going to wonder how she finds the time to do everything she does.  It makes me tired just reading about it!  Take a look:

Your name: Mitzi Curi
Other art shop(s): I sell antiques and some of my creations using vintage materials at the Antiques Market of Williamston, in Williamston, Michigan, and the Livingston Antique Outlet in Howell, Michigan.

FK:Where in Michigan do you live? Did you grow up there or someplace else? 
 
I was born and raised in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan.  It’s now well-known for the Native American casino and resort called the Soaring Eagle.  It’s also well-known for Central Michigan University.  When I was a kid, things were much different in Mt. Pleasant than they are now. I like to think my years in Mt. Pleasant were like living in Mayberry from the Andy Griffith Show. I have great memories of walking to the Five and Dime to buy some embroidery floss for a special project, or going to the downtown drugstore to have a soda at the old fashioned lunch counter and soda fountain.
 
When I was in grade school my parents became antique aficionados, and I accompanied them on many buying trips around Michigan.  Our home was decorated with a wonderful array of mostly primitive antiques.  Eventually, they started an antiques shop in our garage as a part time business.  I learned a lot about antiques and acquired a love of collecting from my folks.

FK: You now live in an area I'm very familiar with. I lived in Lansing for 10 years and attended both Lansing Community College and Michigan State University, where I received my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. 

I've lived in East Lansing since 1987. East Lansing is home to Michigan State University since1855, when the Michigan legislature established the agricultural college of the State of Michigan. As the first agricultural college in the United States, the school served as a prototype for future Land Grant institutions under the Morrill Act enacted during President Abraham Lincoln's tenure. The school's first class graduated in 1861 right after the onset of the Civil War. 

 

East Lansing is - big surprise - east of Lansing, the State Capitol of Michigan. Our beautiful Capitol building was lit up in pink last month for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 

 Living in the "middle of the mitten" also makes it convenient to hit the road and go up North or to the Detroit area, or even to Chicago on occasion.

My husband and I bought a home 12 years ago in one of the older neighborhoods of East Lansing. 
 

We enjoy the close proximity to Michigan State University, with all of the excitement of the activities and the beauty of the campus. 

FK: You know MSU has a beautiful campus when it once got me to go out in a minus 20 degree ice storm to take pictures! How is the area around there for antiques?

It's pretty good "pickins" for antiques. I get most of my shop inventory from auctions within about a 60-mile radius of East Lansing. Each weekend I plot and plan to find treasures to sell or use in my craft projects.


FK: Do you have an art education background? Or are you self taught? How did you get started?
I attended CMU in Mt. Pleasant for college and grad school.  I majored in Psychology and had an art minor.  As I worked my way through my 20's and 30's as a school psychologist, I took art and architecture classes at Lansing Community College  just to keep learning and creating.  

FK: Tell me about your etsy shop.

My Etsy shop sells “Vintage and Handmade Treasures from the Midwest." This includes my avante-garde jewelry designs, such as pendants made from furniture hardware and old municipal badges ...


... rosette corsages made from vintage and new materials ...



 

 and flapper girl figurines modeled after old carnival prizes. 

 




 
FK: Tell me about your creative life. Where do you do your art – studio, spare bedroom?
I consider myself equal parts blogger, artist/crafter, and business owner.  I’m not sure which activity is the most enjoyable for me.  I love it all! The blog was started to promote my Etsy shop, but it has morphed into a creation that I am really proud of and enjoy immensely.  I also like the challenge of running a business.
The best gift my husband has ever given me was agreeing to convert our rarely used dining room into my full time studio.  I make a huge mess in there every day and don’t need to clean up unless I want to, which is awesome!  I get inspired every morning by getting online around 5:30 a.m., blog hopping and viewing some of the creations around the web, or from pictures on Flickr. Other inspiration comes from shopping antique malls and flea markets.  I’ll get an idea, such as covering a vintage suitcase with old wallpaper, and run to my studio and get working.


I’m a “hoarder” of vintage supplies such as ribbons, fabric, and wallpaper.  My ever-growing stash takes up a lot of space, but I love having access to these wonderful materials that you can’t just go to a craft store and purchase.  Besides that, using vintage materials is a pretty “green” way to re-purpose old things and use them in our modern lifestyle.





Many of my creations end up for sale at one of the antique malls, along with my vintage finds that I mostly acquire through auctions.  I love the challenge of “the hunt”, and have sold everything from an old coffin to Steiff toy animals, hats full of millinery blossoms to bedroom sets of painted cottage style furniture.  I never know what’s around the next corner, and trying to get things for a good price is always a challenge.







FK: What part of being an artist is the most gratifying to you? What part of being an artist is hardest for you, or that you dislike the most? 
I love getting into the creative “zone” for hours on end, then sitting back and admiring what I made.  I really consider myself more of a “crafter” than an “artist.” I’m learning that teaching others how to create something special is really fun too.  What’s even more gratifying is selling something I made to someone who appreciates it.
There isn’t really anything negative about being an “artist” for me, but maybe that’s because I’m not trying to earn a living at it.  If that were the case, I think the lack of money would be the biggest negative! 












FK: What do you do when you’re not being an artist? What activities do you enjoy?

I’m a full time school psychologist in Lansing.  All of my creative life - including managing my various antique mall spaces, my Etsy shop, and my blog - occurs when I get home from work and on the weekends.  We also have generous summer vacation time, and that’s when I switch into high gear creatively.  I enjoy visiting antique malls and resale shops around Michigan, always looking for cool stuff or inspiration. 

Spending time with my husband and two dogs, Chauncey and Cheswick, is about the only other activity I’m interested in.  I’m what you would call “driven”.  I need reminders to stop and smell the roses from time to time.  I’ve planted several rose bushes in my backyard to remind myself of this!





FK: Well, Mitzi, I think this interview has given us all a chance to stop and smell the roses while reading about you and seeing all the beautiful work you create.  

Now, tell us about what some lucky reader is going to win.




I would like to offer the winner their choice of one of my vintage silk flower rosettes. I have several designs listed in my shop. 














That's great. They are so lovely! Here's what everyone has to do to be entered in the drawing.



 

You will have several chances to be entered into the random drawing. Each one must be entered as a separate comment.  


First entry: Visit Mitzi's shop or blog, come back here, and enter a comment about your favorite piece(s). 



Second entry: Enter a comment if you have signed up to follow Mitzi's blog (or comment if you already follow).



Third entry: Enter a comment if you have signed up to follow Mitzi's Facebook page.
Fourth entry: Enter a comment that you signed up to follow my blog (or comment that you already follow).


Fifth entry: Enter a comment that you signed up as a fan on my Facebook page (or comment that you are already a fan).



That's five chances to enter for the random drawing!  I will use random generator to pick a winner after 12 noon EST on




Tuesday, November 23.



80 comments:

  1. Hi Felicia, What a great interview! It's so interesting to discover other Michigan Etsy shop artists! Love Mitzi's work!

    I am already a follower of your blog.

    xoxo, Sleepy Mama ( Aka Mary I)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Another entry! Sleepy Mama is now a follower of Mitzi's facebook page. Good luck Mitzi!

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  3. Enter me please! cute giveaway!
    I love Vintage Costume Jewelry, Lace and Silk Flower Rosette Corsage Brooch Cream.


    Ana Belén R.M
    fisiwoman(at)hotmail(dot)com
    Spain

    ReplyDelete
  4. following Mitzi's Facebook page (Ana Belén R M)


    Ana Belén R.M
    fisiwoman(at)hotmail(dot)com
    Spain

    ReplyDelete
  5. Following on FB (Ana Belén R M)


    Ana Belén R.M
    fisiwoman(at)hotmail(dot)com
    Spain

    ReplyDelete
  6. Following via GFC, as fisiwoman.


    Ana Belén R.M
    fisiwoman(at)hotmail(dot)com
    Spain

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love the Unique Vintage Crochet necklace, but I also the costume jewelry magnets, what a great idea.
    jhbalvin at gmail dot com

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  8. I follow this blog as jhb on gfc.
    jhbalvin at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  9. I am now following mitzi's collectible via live rss feed.
    jhbalvin at gmail dot com

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  10. The vintage porcelain escutcheon keyhole skeleton key pendant necklace is really cool! Thanks for entering me into this giveaway.

    unforgetable_dreamer_always (at) hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. Favorite item:

    http://www.etsy.com/listing/55629495/vintage-costume-jewelry-lace-and-silk

    pickledpandasATgmailDOTcom

    ReplyDelete
  12. I subscribed via feed burner

    pickledpandasATgmailDOTcom

    ReplyDelete
  13. I love the gypsy rosette corsage brooch!

    hrfarley at gmail dot com

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  18. What an amazing giveaway! Love the roses, and EVERYTHING in Mitzi's shop! But I thought this was particularly cool: Unique Vintage Crochet Necklace Cameo Handwriting

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  19. I follow Mitzi's blog via the subscription (at aelwyndaeira@yahoo.ca).

    ReplyDelete
  20. I follow Mitzi's Facebook page under Aelwyn Daeira.

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  21. I signed up as a fan on your Facebook page under Aelwyn Daeira.

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  22. My fave is the Gypsy Rosette Corsage Brooch with Vintage Costume Jewelry Blue and Cream, it's beautiful :)

    sswpss at yahoo dot com

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  23. I love the VIntage Costume Jewelry Lace & Silk flower Rosette Corsage Brooch Cream. eclairre(at)Ymail(dot)com

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  24. What a lovely store...drooling! I really like the Vintage Feedsack Fabric Yoyo Quilt Button Embellishments, so sweet.

    debyeo at hotmail dot com

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  25. Anotherbright idea Facebook fan (Deborah Davey).

    debyeo at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hi,
    I like a lot this:http://www.etsy.com/listing/60169181/vintage-bling-colorful-costume-jewelry
    igea777@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  27. I follow eliciakramer.blog as wolfsrain
    igea777@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  28. I become fan on your Facebook as antonella mazzariol
    igea777@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  29. I follow Mitzi's Facebook page as antonella mazzariol
    igea777@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  30. I like Vintage Costume Jewelry Earring Magnets!!! Amazing!!!

    ksyshenka(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  31. I signed up to follow Mitzi's blog!

    ksyshenka(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  32. I like Mitzi's Collectibles on Facebook!

    (oksana vladimirovna)

    ksyshenka(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  33. Following your blog via GFC!

    ksyshenka(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  34. I like you on Facebook!

    (oksana vladimirovna)

    ksyshenka(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  35. I love the Vintage Costume Jewelry, Lace and Silk Flower Rosette Corsage Brooch Cream

    Thanks for the chance
    abstufftobuy(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  36. What a great giveaway! I enjoyed looking at her shop and the flapper doll Gigi is my fave. so unique and pretty! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  37. I follow her blog. jacquecurl1(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  38. I follow your lovely blog. jacquecurl1(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  39. Vintage Costume Jewelry, Lace and Silk Flower Rosette Corsage Brooch Cream is my favorite

    boswife @ gmail . com

    ReplyDelete
  40. I love all the flowers...so beautiful! But I also love the Unique Vintage Antique Porcelain Key Escutcheon Pendant Necklace...its awesome too!

    picnut1512 at yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  41. What a wonderful interview of Mitzi! I know her through her wonderful blog - and recently bought one of her darling flapper figurines from her Etsy shop. It's so adorable!

    I'm looking forward to perusing your blog and Etsy shop too!

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  42. I adore Mitzi's blog (and she's super nice, too!). Love everything in her shop, including the lovely flower pins, but those "Wet Paint" signs are super cool too! Thank you!

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  43. Following via GFC
    email: paranoid[dot]butterfly[at]gmail[dot]com

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  44. I love the Pink Cream Puff Vintage Lace Rosette Corsage Brooch from Mitzi's shop
    email: paranoid[dot]butterfly[at]gmail[dot]com

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  46. I'm a big fan of Mitzi!! What a great interview!! Mitzi is so talented and creative, and such a busy lady! I love the corsages. They are very pretty. I follow Mitzi via FB & blogger.

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  47. My favourite items are the 'Vintage Costume Jewelry Magnet Trio Repurposed Bling'

    Kate1485 at hotmail.com

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  48. I'm a fan of Mitzi's Collectibles on Facebook (Kate Ryan)

    Kate1485 at hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  49. I'm a fan of ABI on Facebook (Kate Ryan)

    Kate1485 at hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  50. I'm already following via GFC as Jasmine1485

    Kate1485 at hotmail.com

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  55. I love the Gypsy Rosette Corsage Brooch with Vintage Costume Jewelry Blue and Cream. Thank you!
    bridgestranslation at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  56. I love the Vintage Bling Colorful Costume Jewelry Repurposed Magnets

    Thank you for hosting this giveaway

    Louis
    schnitzomage {at} gmail {dot} com

    ReplyDelete
  57. I like your blog on facebook (Louis Here)

    schnitzomage {at} gmail {dot} com

    ReplyDelete
  58. Very cool interview! I've been a follower of Mitzi's Collectibles for quite a while. Very inspiring!

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  59. My favorite item is the Vintage Retro Automobile Puzzle Piece Pendant Necklace.

    so.kitsch at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  60. I'm following Mitzi's blog via Google Reader:
    so.kitsch at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  61. I'm following Mitzi's FB page. My username is wunderfraulein.
    so.kitsch at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  62. I'm following your blog via GFC!
    so.kitsch at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  63. I'm following you on FB. My username is wunderfraulein.
    so.kitsch at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  64. Unique Vintage Antique Porcelain Key Escutcheon Pendant Necklace is my favorite. Such unique pieces!

    jentabulous at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  65. following you via gfc!

    jentabulous at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  66. i like another bright idea on facebook, yum!

    ReplyDelete
  67. am a fan of mitzi on facebook!

    jentabulous at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  68. I like: .Vintage Pink Lingerie Lace and Silk Flower Rosette Corsage Brooch
    theknitwitbyshair@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  69. the pink and blue floral vintage corsage is very pretty!

    Cerena-Leigh
    Luckycldh(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  70. the cream lace and silk rosette corsage brooch is definitely my favorite!
    jesage@asu.edu

    ReplyDelete
  71. liked mitzi on facebook
    Jessica Sage
    jesage@asu.edu

    ReplyDelete
  72. liked you on facebook
    Jessica Sage
    jesage@asu.edu

    ReplyDelete
  73. GFC follow your blog
    Jessica Sage
    jesage@asu.edu

    ReplyDelete
  74. This is my favorite item: http://www.etsy.com/listing/55665922/pink-layers-vintage-lace-and-fabric

    fashuneesta[at]aol[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  75. Gosh, lot of things i adore, but this one is the faviest http://www.etsy.com/listing/55629330/pink-vintage-lace-flower-rosette-corsage

    Much Thankies for the chance dear
    Good luck for me and everyone :)

    liz_crowny(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  76. Hi, I already fan of you in FB name doki doki co :)

    Much Thankies for the chance dear
    Good luck for me and everyone :)

    liz_crowny(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  77. Hi, I already fan of Mitzi's Collectibles in FB name doki doki co :)

    Much Thankies for the chance dear
    Good luck for me and everyone :)

    liz_crowny(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete

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