How it all began....
My first love has always been art, as far back as I can remember, I always had a pad of paper with me wherever I went, sketching or doodling to pass the time. Throughout my school years, art, in one form or another, was always the first class I made sure to fit into my schedule. Painting, drawing, and sculpture work in high school progressed to throwing pottery, print making, and metal work in college. In the midst of my college years, I married my high school sweetheart in 1987. Not long after, I graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Wisconsin Stout, and set out for a career in Interior Design.
I worked in the residential design field for 12 years, and although I loved my work, I found myself becoming bored with the grand projects of others, and began to feel the yearning for something more. In 1993, my husband and I were overjoyed with the birth of our daughter Kendal, what a wonderful addition to our little family she was, and is! Over the years, I had always had an art project of some sort brewing, whether it was designing a new garden feature, changing the decor of yet another room in our home, or just something crafty, but in the summer of 1999 everything changed, for I had entered my first bead store! It had hit me, the addiction of beads, according to my husband's account, I was in that store every day, little does he know I was in that store more that I should have been!
Over the next year, my habit grew more controlled, and I actually began creating more pieces than I was buying beads. Slowly people started noticing the bracelets on my wrists, inquiring where I had purchased them, and eventually talking me into parting with them, which was no easy feat! From this was born Coliebug Beads, named by and after our daughter, Coliebug coming from her middle name Nicole, which had long been our nickname for her. In the fall of 2001, I purchased a kiln and a torch, and set up my studio to start making my own lampwork beads. I set out fulltime as a lampworker, and left my fulltime job behind, selling my little works of art at bead shows across the country and online via Ebay. A few years later, I once again had that nagging thought in the back of my mind that something was missing, and I gradually began adding metaI to my repertoire and workbench. I am now am making beads, components, and jewelry fulltime and loving every single minute of it. I have finally found my passion, actually I think it has somehow found me!