There is something wonderful about birds and bird feeders that help you feel as though you are at one with nature. My yard specifically, has many bird feeders hanging all around the yard inviting birds to come and enjoy. Do you? At Handmade in April, we are excited to have Ranell from Eclectic Farm Girl who will feature some of her bird feeders. Keep reading to learn a little more about her and how she creates.
Ranell, please introduce yourself!
My name is Ranell Johnson. I’m married and I have one son. I’m an avid genealogist and when I’m not creating I can be found researching my family tree, traveling the world or working on the renovation of my little “Canned Ham Trailer,” a 1956 Honorbuilt Romer.
Where did your creative spark begin and can you trace your path to where you are today?
I was creative from a young age. My mother taught me to sew and encouraged my creative endeavors. As a child, I made and sailed Zucchini boats down irrigation ditches. I made dolls out of Hollyhock flowers, corncobs and husks, and miniature animals out of Pussy Willows. I went through a phase of making people and animals out of rocks. My grandmother made dolls. Her specialty was Raggedy Ann and Andy’s which she made and gave away.
If a pattern didn’t exist she made one up. I remember being enthralled with the “Miss Hickory” dolls that she made with hickory nut heads and twig bodies. When she died I inherited all of her doll making materials –shoe boxes full of patterns and little bits of this and that that she used to construct her dolls. In Junior High and High School, I took fine art and industrial art classes.
My favorites were Silversmithing and Leatherwork. After marriage, my creative pursuits took me on journeys through scrapbooking, card making, and other paper crafts; a welding class; quilt making and most recently learning the art of wheel-thrown and hand-built pottery.
What do you create and what makes it so special?
My current creations, Wild Bird Feeders, happened quite by accident. I was looking for something I could make and sell at a charity market. I had so much fun looking for unique glass and metal pieces to make into my creations, and selling them, that I decided to just keep making and selling.
What materials do you use?
I use vintage glass and metal, and repurposed items to make my Wild Bird Feeders.
Where do you create?
My current creations are made all over my house. I drill my glass and metal in my garage. Then everything gets washed in the kitchen sink. I then assemble everything in my small craft room –once a bedroom, once a sewing room, and now it houses my glass and supplies for making Wild Bird Feeders.
This is a space where I can dream, create, and make a mess that I don’t need to clean up. I surround myself with things that make me happy: purchases from other makers and artists and souvenirs from my travels.
How did you choose the name for your business?
With regards to choosing my business name, Eclectic Farm Girl, this is the little blurb I put on my Etsy Shop Profile:
The name of my Etsy Shop tells you a little bit about myself. It tells you about my roots and my interest and love of all things shiny, sparkly and collectible whether they are old or new.
What do you enjoy doing when you are not creating?
Genealogy is one of my passions and I’m proud to say that I descend from a long line of farmers
I find that I am happiest when I am in the process of creating something — ANYTHING. I love the hunt for the perfect pieces and can be found looking for treasures in thrift shops, vintage markets, estate sales, garage sales, and your grandmother’s closet if you’ll let me.
I have a darling little dog named Cooper. He is my partner in crime. Each order that goes out will be “pre-sniffed” and — possibly licked, by Cooper, and given his stamp of approval.
I love to find treasures! I love to create!