Friday, March 2, 2007

Meet Melissa!

Handmade Parade is happy to have the very talented Melissa Valeriote on board with us! We asked Melissa why she was a crafter and she shared these words with us:

Why I craft...

We all have it. That little voice inside us that's always been there. It begins as a whisper, a tugging, a what if. Over time the whisper becomes a calling. If we listen long enough and trust in our talents we no longer have a choice but to take action. Next thing you know your dog is covered in glitter, your floors are splattered with paints, ribbons, and fluff and your fingers have been glued together on more than one occasion. Your destiny is revealed... you are a "Crafter".

After surrendering to the call, I began tapping into my love of holidays by sketching, sculpting, assembling and creating holiday pieces in my studio. I can't help but have fun when I begin each day surrounded by glitter, paper clay, wire, ribbons and small colorful bits of silliness that have accumulated through the natural course of my life.

This journey has brought me exciting opportunities in the retail market and the chance to participate with fellow artists in local folk art shows. Being part of this community of artisans and collectors is truly refreshing, bringing me great joy with endless sources of inspiration. I am grateful to have a career that is an extension of who I am and to be surrounded with things and people that truly inspire me.

You can see Melissa's work at her website Holiday Queen and two online marketplaces, Glitter and Grunge and American Folk Art (which will go live April 1st).