World Crafters are people who make things in different parts of the world. Some turned their hobby into a profession, some are balancing a day job with small crafty business, some chose to keep their hobby and just enjoy making, creating and giving.

Apollinariya, a designer of exclusive beaded jewelry, is taking us to Maribor, a beautiful town in Slovenia, which is rich in architecture and magnificent nature.

I’ve “known” Apollinariya for several years, following her creative journey and watching her grow as a crafter. Today I am happy to share with you a story of this lovely woman, her beautiful creations and a sneak peek into her working process. 

How did everything start for you as a crafter?

I think everything started a really long time ago, I just didn’t realize it. I remember a lot of kids used to make beaded personalized bracelets with their names on them and little beaded crocodiles for the key chains. And I couldn’t. I just never understood  how it was even possible! I remember taking a book on beading from a school library, but couldn’t understand a single thing.

At the university I fell in love with beads and started to collect them. I didn’t do anything in particular, just kept them in a box. I was delighted with this collection, always trying to add something new, especially as many shades as possible of one color! Then I had an idea of creating different ornaments with beads on a paper and even framed some of them. I think this was a dead end for me as a beader, but definitely not completely pointless. It was a great experience!

When I moved to another country six years ago, my precious boxes moved with me. I really felt the need to express myself creatively. I literally tried everything – from painting to scrap-booking. And then I plunged into bead embroidery. I started to make very simple brooches.I didn’t know a lot about the process and techniques – didn’t  even have the slightest idea how to trim the edges, for example! And the fact that you could add stones and crystals in the beadwork was something completely out of my reach. I was unaware how much information is out there, so I didn’t even look for it. Only after some time I started to read the books on techniques and get deeper and deeper into it. And then I just started to experiment.

I know you are an architect. Do you still work as an architect or your craft takes up all your time?

At the moment I don’t work as an architect, I don’t feel it is something that I want to do right now. But I am still happy that I chose this profession and learned so many things that help me a lot in my beading work – color combination, composition, different techniques, etc.  I really love my day job right now – I am a designer at a local crafts store. I give classes there and teach our clients new techniques and give presentations of new products.

I always have this question for crafters. What happens when you cross the “hobby” line and become a “professional”? Do you feel more pressure?

I still don’t feel that beading is my profession. It is my hobby that I love with all my heart. I am resting when I work on my pieces, it soothes me. But it was not easy to admit, first of all to myself, that I don’t want to pursue my first career as an architect. Right now I want to concentrate on my favorite work, beading, develop it and move further and further. All my relatives and close people support and trust me. Even my husband helps me in developing my small business. I think if you love to do something you always find a way to balance it. For example, I always have projects that I work on for my business, just for fun and for experimenting!

Knitting blog beading

CANCER Necklace. Zodiac Signs collection.

What is your favorite part of the creative process?

My favorite part is when my jewelry pieces find their “home” and are being worn with love.  I also feel excited when I get new materials for work. And I absolutely adore this moment when you make the last stitch and look at a final product in your hands!

The most difficult thing?

The most difficult thing is to get the materials. Sometimes I can’t finish a piece just because I can’t find the materials that I need.

How do you estimate your work? Is it hard to put a price tag on your creations?

Oh, that is really hard. The bottom line is that I really want people to be able to buy my jewelry and wear it, so I don’t go overboard with my prices. I try to put a price that will be fair for me and for my clients.

Your jewelry is just unbelievable! What was the most difficult project for you? 

Thank you so much! The most difficult piece for me was Alice and The Gryphon that was made for the Battle of the Beadsmith 2014 contest. This year I want to do it again and hope to create something even more unusual.

How much time does it take you to finish one piece?

It’s very hard for me to estimate the actual time I spend on each piece. Sometimes I take breaks and put the works in progress away for some time, and sometimes everything happens literally in one breath!  But I really need to count the time someday – a lot of people ask me that 🙂

What is your personal favorite work?

I love many of my works. But I am really proud of my latest collection Beaded Nouveau. It turned out exactly how I envisioned it! It took me so much time to find all the materials and the way to bring these pieces to life. But I can finally say – it was so worth it! I plan to make more pieces for this collection.

How does your creative process looks like?

Usually I plan everything beforehand. Recently I started to work on collections where I think through the general theme, color palette, approximate size and form of jewelry pieces. But the creation of each of them totally depends on the mood and inspiration!

Knitting blog beading

What is your favorite place to create?

Next to the window! I like to work with natural light, lamps make it harder to focus for my eyes 🙂

Knitting blog beading

Like most knitters/crocheters I am in love with yarn and have a very decent stash, what about you and beads? What is your verdict – guilty or not guilty of overstashing? 

The truth is I don’t “overstock”. I don’t why. 🙂 I have boxes of very modest size with Swarovski crystals, beads and other materials. I think I just really meticulously choose materials for each project and don’t hold anything for “just in case” orders. So I think I can claim – Not guilty 🙂

Knitting blog beading

How many works do you have in progress?

Usually there are two works in progress. But if I start one part of a project I have to finish it before switching to another piece.

People create in all parts of the world. Could you, please, tell us about your town?

I LOVE my town. Maribor is my inspiration. I adore spring in Maribor when the town is filled with fresh air! Amazing architecture and magnificent nature win your heart immediately!

Knitting blog beading

Maribor, Slovenia. Through the eyes of Apollinariya.

Slovenia is a paradise for creative people! And my town in particular is very creative. I always have my master-classes fully booked. There are a lot of events dedicated to crafts, for example different handmade fairs. But materials are not that easy to find. Usually I order everything I need on the Internet or buy it when travelling. But I am lucky – my very good friend has her own crafts store and we share the love for Swarovski 🙂

How did your craft change you and your life?

You know, I think I became a better person… I am not afraid to bring my ideas to life and to experiment. I am not afraid to admit that I chose this way for the reason and it is the right way. I am happy to find so many crafty friends and grateful clients from all over the world. Every day I am discovering new and new dimensions of my craft. Right now as soon as I finish writing it, I am going back to creating my pieces – this interview definitely inspired me to create!

Dear Apollinariya, it was such a pleasure and honor to have you as a guest on my blog!

You can find more Apollinariya’s works on her website – Follow Apollinariya on Facebook and Instagram to see her latest works! And don’t forget to visit her Etsy store. These beautiful pieces will make a perfect gift for you or your close people. Unique and definitely made with love!

Have a nice crafty weekend!

P.S. See you on Sunday. Get ready for a giveaway!!!