Welcome to Our Blog


My name is Penny Cheng, Chainmaille Artist and the Owner/Designer Of Jewelry by Saniki Creations. I am lucky enough to work on my designs at home while taking care of my three girls. Life is hectic, but fun...

This Blog is about my life, my business, and my creations plus I enjoy promoting my fellow Artists.


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Featured Artist Special ~ Meet Elsa L'Abbe

I finally found some time to do a feature on one of my favorite artisans.  Fellow Canadian Elsa L'Abbe's specialty is little baby shoes (she also crochets too!).  Now we all remember how our parents/grandparents would bronze the first pair of shoes their children wore. It was cute and dandy, but Elsa takes it to the next level.  Instead of bronzing, she uses paint, glitter, ribbons and transforms those little shoes to something unique, adorable and be proud of.

But enough of me chatting, here's the interview:

How and when did you start your business?
I started selling my "treasures" about a year ago, as I was so in love with what I do, I was constantly at it.  Of course, after a while, I had so much, selling was the next logical thing to do.

Do you remember the first item you ever made?
The very first item I ever made was a pair of old skates that I had painted and glittered and added some old socks.  I gave them as a gift, and the rest is history, like they say, a monster was created.  The monster was me.
Every Artist has a personal "creative process", can you explain yours?
I work a lot of "old" items, shoes, boots, skates, etc, and also new.  I often can tell immediately what I want to do when I see that special pair of old baby shoes, or a certain color of wool.  It is exciting and sometimes I even wake up at 4: 00 AM to work on my latest project.
When people start doing their art/craft, they tend to try a lot of different things before settling down to something that resonates with them.  How has your art/craft changed since you began?
Unfortunately, I jump from one thing to another, decorating baby shoes, painting skates, creating unique items, knitting, crocheting. etc.  There is such a variety of items in my studio, but it's so much fun, as I never know what my next project will be.
How many hours a week do you spend in the creative side versus the business side?
I spend most of my time creating, and a little on business, like listing, etc.  I don't really like the business side, as I am more an artist than a business woman.

What inspires you creatively?
I am inspired a lot by the look in people's eyes when they see my creations, and the joy they express when buying unusual items.  It's wonderful to use up old items too, like baby shoes, boots, skates, etc, instead of always buying new, helps with our mission of saving our wonderful planet.  But it's fun too to also work sometimes with new things like wool, and new shoes which I paint and can be worn.

Where do you sell your art/craft?
I sell a lot to people who have already purchased from me at shows, and are repeat customers.  Also on internet sites, like ArtFire and Etsy, and from my own website.

Can you tell us about some important goals you have achieved with your work?
My goal was to gain confidence in myself and my talent by creating beautiful things that others would actually want to buy.  I feel that I am more than a wife and mom, that I can actually work hard at something that I love to do, and feel passionate about.  Something to lose myself in, it's so wonderful to have a passion. 

What advice would you give to someone who is interested in or starting out a business relating to their art/craft?
If you feel you want to start a business, first you must have confidence in yourself that you are offering something others want and will enjoy. Decide how to promote, either internet, shows, etc  There are many ways like Etsy, Artfire, your own website, to promote your work.

Who are some of your favorite Artists and Crafters?
I have so many of them, I really like a lot someone who uses old items to make new creations.  I love so many handmade items, and really respect artists as I know how hard they work and how passionate they are about their work. 

What do you like to do in your spare time other than making your art/craft?
I have so many interests, I am so torn between crafting, painting, crocheting, etc.  I have 2 horses and love to ride.  So much I love to do, so little time.  I wish the days were twice as long as they are, so I could do all I would like to do.

Last thoughts or words of wisdom?
An artist puts a lot of passion in their work. Only another artist can understand the wonderful feeling it gives when we create something, it is very rewarding.  It's a wonderful world we live in, we are blessed with many opportunites.  I thank God for my health, and my abilitity to work hard and enjoy my life to the fullest.

Be sure to check out Elsa's Website, Artfire Studio, Etsy Studio, Facebook Page and be sure to follow her on Twitter!

Stay tuned for more wonderful artisans to be featured soon....

If you would like to participate to be a Featured Artist, please send me an email and I would love to interview you!


  1. Thank you for doing this! It turned out so well, as it expresses exactly how I feel about my art. It's all about loving what you do, and doing what you love!


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