Not only does Laura make comic book accessories for her Etsy shop PopCycled Baubles, but she’s a huge fangirl herself! Check the wonderful interview I had with her where she gives her thoughts on the new DC 52, the lack of geek merch for girls and more! And readers get 15% off her online store using the code: GEEKGIRL (good until the end of the month).
Interview with Laura of PopCycled Baubles:
Laura: Hi! My name is Laura and I am your regular “Geek Girl”. I live in the lovely town of Charleston, SC and I have a wonderful and super talented artist for a husband. I work a normal day job, managing a database for a non-profit housing agency. At night I can be found cuddling with my pup and reading comics, playing videogames or rocking out D&D sessions with my friends.
I am a massive fan of Star Wars and my favorite character – by far – is Yoda. I have to admit I am a convert – 12 years ago when I met my husband I had no interest in sci-fi or comics. He slowly indoctrinated me and since then my interests have expanded to cover pretty much every aspect of geekonometry.
GGG: How long have you been making jewelry? What is PopCycled Baubles origin story?
L: I got started about a year ago, when a friend of mine showed me a piece of upcycled art on the Internet and I figured it would be pretty cool to make some of my own. So after doing a little research, I built a small run of ten pendants that all of my friends loved! Based on that – I created 40 more and featured them in my local comic book store on Free Comic Book Day 2011. They turned out to be a tremendous hit, and people asked for more!
Geeks like to show off the things they like! We’re not subtle and we don’t like to hide our fandom. However, one thing I have found being a Geek Girl is that sometimes I feel a little left out by the merchandise that I find offered by retailers online and locally. This is because a great majority of fandom is male oriented, or at least is perceived that way marketing wise. For instance, a good friend of mine just had a birthday and she loved Batman. So I went to find her a Batman birthday card! It does NOT exist, unless you’re a 5-year-old boy! I couldn’t even find one for a 5-year-old girl! Nothing for girls except Bieber and Barbie! What’s that all about?
So I began PopCycled Baubles as an attempt to right that ship. Geek Girls are out there, and in my experience are avid for anything that is aimed at them. Many of my geek girlfriends gush if they see their favorite character or setting made into items aimed directly at them!
That’s not to say however, that men don’t enjoy my product as well. While pendants can be seen as a girlie item, many men have jumped at a chance to grab one of my pieces because they just love that character. And that’s what is so great about fandom, and is why we try to display a wide array of items. Currently we offer pendants, paperweights, and the aforementioned coasters, which are currently being produced and are looking towards other items that can also be PopCycled, like bracelets, rings and even Christmas decorations for the tree.
GGG: Do you have any funny crafting stories?
L: I do actually. Well it’s funny now, but at the time I thought it would as far from funny as could ever be possible. When I was creating my very first large run of pendants, I thought it would help speed up some of the process if my husband helped. He was happy to and aimed to make a great assistant. But about 10 minutes into his helping me I noticed he was dipping his brush in water to clean the glue off before starting to seal a new piece (He was sealing the backsides of the image with glue). As I am sure you can imagine water is the enemy of paper, and the water was soaking through the paper and separating it from the glass. I lost about 35 potential pendants that day and a good portion of my sanity while I was trying to recover what I could. Needless to say he does not assist me in this fashion anymore. I am, however quite grateful that I have a husband who was willing to sit at a table and help make jewelry – not to many men like that out there!
GGG: Which have been some of your favorite pieces to make?
L: I am in love with the larger 30 x 40 mm or “oversized” pendants as I call them. They are such a wonderful size and allow me to capture far more of an image than the smaller 1” pendants. I am going to be using those much more going forward, the glass also has a small magnifying quality so that really helps to make the characters pop.
I’ve recently started making coasters and paperweights for home décor – what a great conversation piece I think. And is it possible to have too many coasters featuring your favorite characters?
L: It is no secret I love DC – just a quick peek into my shop shows a heavy slant towards the DC heroines. That’s not to say I don’t like Marvel – they have had some stories over the years that I enjoyed (such as Garth Ennis’ run on the Punisher) but DC has more characters I personally enjoy reading and talking about with friends.
GGG: Favorite comic books?
L: With the new DC re-boot my list may grow quite a bit, but for now, I’ll be reading without fail: Wonder Woman, Catwoman, Supergirl, Batwoman and Batgirl. I’ve read almost all of the new titles and so far I am really loving some of these reboots.
GGG: Thoughts on “The New DC 52”?
L: You know this is a great question, personally I love the idea of a “universe wide reset”, so to speak. It is a great way to not only breathe new life into some characters, but to open the doors of comic shops around the world to potential new readers. People who were curious about comics but don’t want to catch up on years of backstory can go in now on the ground floor. I love that! I am kinda sad though that they took away Wonder Woman’s pants and put her back in the bikini bottom. She looked really awesome in pants.
L: Other than comics I am a massive fan of Dr. Who. David Tennant was my favorite Doctor by far, but Matt Smith has grown on my tremendously, almost like a fungus – but regardless he’s still growing on me!
I also love an absolute cubic ton of other material such as Star Wars, Star Trek (yes you can like both at the same time), Farscape, Gears of War, Mass Effect, BioShock, and so many other things I couldn’t possibly list them all without it sounding like I’m listing the dictionary of Sci-Fi. I really just love great story, characters and visuals no matter the medium presents. I find it gives me an awesome outlet to not only express myself artistically but also is just great fun and escapism.
GGG: If you were on a deserted island what would video game, comic/book, movie, TV show would you bring? (this deserted island has electricity, you can bring one of each)
L: It sounds like I’m at an expensive spa! I think I would have to have to find a way to compress some games! I cannot decide between Call of Duty, Gears of War or Mass Effect. Mass Effect may win though since I can keep finding ways to make the game different from the last play through.
Maybe I’m trying to pull a kobayashimaru here, but can I bring my iPad? I’ve got 64gb of room and that can hold a ton of literature. I cannot imagine deciding on one book to bring somewhere; that’s why I love the invention of e-readers.
GGG: Where can we find you in the web?
L: I can be found at the following online destinations…
I have a website also, right now it is just a portal to the etsy shop. Perhaps one day I’ll set up a cart and sell through there. www.popcycledbaubles.com