Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Annie Belcher
~ Annie Beez Folk Art ~

We asked Annie:
•Where do you live?
Outside Chicago in the western suburbs.

•Can you tell us a little about your family?
I have a wonderful husband of 25 years and 4 kids, 3 are still at home and 1 goes to Marquette University in Milwaukee. Oh and 2 very funny cats!

•Do you have any hobbies/what do you like to do when you're not creating?
I have too many hobbies, mostly needlework related! I love to try everything and I have the stash to prove it! Besides making dolls, quilts, stitcheries and cross stitch, I also scrap book and enjoy painting in watercolors. I also have a large garden and really enjoy canning my own fruits and vegetables, making pickles and things like that. I love making my own homemade natural foods for my family and will go the extra mile to achieve that! My husband helps me in the garden a lot, it is something we enjoy doing together. We are planning to put in a beehive this coming spring so we can have our own honey!

•What are some of your favorite things?
Well I love antique and vintage things of almost all eras. Lately I have really been inspired by the 1930's through the 1950's era. I truly love the cheerful colors of the 30's style, and I love the 1950's kitchen!
•Do you collect anything in particular?
I collect china teapots and cups, dolls old and new, pretty china plates, old silverware, and vintage embroidered linens.

•How did you get your start in your creative business? When?
In 1999 my youngest daughter Isabel was born, and I realized I just could not continue to work outside the home and take care of my four children the way I wanted to. I stayed home after she was born, and started making dolls for my 2 girls to play with. I entered a few in local craft shows and they were very well received. At the same time we were new to the internet and I discovered primitive dolls. I was just filled with ideas and began selling them on ebay. I had a lot of success and my business was born!

•Tell us how you got your business name?
My husband made up "annie beez"as an email address and then it just stuck as a business name. I have had a love/hate relationship with the name for years and even tried to change it a couple of times, but now I am ok with it!

•Is it in the genes......does anyone in your family, now or generations before create?
My side of the family is loaded with artists and musicians, and my daughter Chelsea is a wonderful artist in her own right! And my son Aidan is super creative, especially in writing.

•How do you keep ideas coming?
I buy a lot of magazines to keep up on the trends-I'm addicted to them really! I also read a lot of blogs.

•Who/what inspires you?
Well ultimately it is God who inspires me, but a lot of my inspiration comes from homemaking. Everything I make is something I would display in my own home. I love decorating!

•Do you have a studio or do you work in different parts of your home?
I don't have a studio right now because I have given it up so my oldest daughter can live there while she attends the local college. However-she is getting married and then I will get my space back! So right now I have a corner in my bedroom. Its way too small!I usually lay quilts out on my bed, and sometimes when the weather is nice I paint in the back yard. Its a temporary situation and when I do get my space back I'm sure I will really appreciate it!
•How do you organize your supplies?
I have extra storage space in the basement, so I only keep what I am using right now in my work space. I like to keep it organized and try to do a good clean up after every project.

•Do you like to listen to music while you work, if so what ?
Sometimes, I listen to folk and bluegrass. But mostly I listen to internet radio and books on tape.

•Do you have a favorite piece of art that you've created?
My favorite piece is what I am working on at the moment!

•What have you learned about marketing
To keep a consistent stream of work out there. If you take any time off the world will forget about you immediately. There is just so much out there it is easy to get lost in the crowd.The other thing I've learned is to be better about tooting my own horn. This was something that was very hard for me to learn. I was good at creating but I didn't want to promote myself because it felt like bragging. Once I realized it was about business and that if you don't sell your work it won't go anywhere, I had a lot more success.

•What keeps you motivated
Probably my love of fabric! I always see something new I want to use!

•Do you sell your work in any shops, or will you be in any upcoming shows?
I have a lot of cross stitch patterns in shops across the nation. My doll and stitchery patterns are mostly sold online.

• Has your work been published in any magazines? Have you received any type of awards/recognition for your work?
I have been published in Soft Dolls and Animals, Country Marketplace, and Contemporary Doll Collector.

•Do you have any tips you would like to share?
Create from the heart and give God the glory!

•Tell us something about yourself that may surprise us?
I have never driven into Chicago-I am terrified of big city traffic!! LOL!


  1. thanks for letting us put you in the spotlight Annie! It's been fun and interesting to read all about you! Love your home canned goods!~

  2. Thankyou for letting us in. I have often seen your work, now it makes it all the more meaningful.

  3. Really enjoyed your spotlight and getting to know you better. Your work is so wonderful and comes from the heart.

  4. Thanks for sharing a bit about your life with us Annie!!!

  5. Annie your such a doll, Im so glad to have the spot light on you. Whatever you have canned in them jars looks great. I would love to have my own Honey.
    Love all your work. Hugs~~Pam

  6. What a great post Annie!! Not only are you extremely talented, you are an absolute sweetheart too. ♥

  7. Very nice to see a inside view of you Annie.
    You are a doll and it always shows in your work!

  8. So nice to learn more about you and your family, Annie. Thanks for inviting us into your home.

  9. Annie - what a wonderful interview - Loved getting to know you better, you are so very talented and just as cute as can be!

    thanks for sharing a bit of you with us ♥


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