How I got started in my medium:
My nana and little sister taught me how to crochet when I was little (I had some trouble picking it up and originally preferred knitting). Then a good friend of mine (Amanda Bruso) taught me how to graphgan around 2015 and I thought it was the coolest thing ever. She had designed and was crocheting a dala horse blanket and I wanted to make one for my mom and nana (who are both Swedish). Then, being a bug nerd started designing ones of insects and the like for myself. I didn't have the idea to start selling them (or the patterns) for at least a year or two after I started crocheting them.
The biggest influence in my art is nature. I love insects, reptiles, plants, fish etc. I think they are beautiful and have thoroughly enjoyed creating patterns and tapestries of them to hang on my walls or curl up in at night.
I have always loved art, especially as a child. My sister and I grew up being very artistic. However, my sister ended up pursuing it professionally as a graphic designer. Crocheting and designing tapestries is a side thing for me that I am very passionate about. I makes me very happy to have found a way to express myself and put it out into the world.
My sister's art has always been a big inspiration of mine. My sister is my favorite artist.
I have really only started to make any kind of money off of my art in the last year. It is definitely not a lot but I'm hoping it will grow into more.
I also make wire wraps, insect jewelry, breed geckos, and vend places (including reptile expos, which I haven't really been doing since Covid). I have my bachelor's degree in business and accounting that I haven't used in a few years since I started working with animals as my day job. I was a commercial credit analyst for a long time before I moved to New Hampshire where I worked for Friendly Pets as an animal specialist. Since I've moved to CT (I'm a navy wife so sometimes I need to move because of my husband's job) I have been working at a coral lab for a company that maintains fish tanks.
I would like to expand TheBuggJar with a lot more patterns. In addition to more insects and arachnids I would also like to add more plants, animals, sea creatures, fish and reptiles and such.
All of the above images are copyright Stacie Renda and shared here with permission.
Try it yourself
Learn to Crochet
Daily Dash of Life made this great video to teach you how to chain stitch.
Once you have practiced, practiced, practiced, you can learn to make a bracelet with Erin at KnittingHelp.
I have just published an artist study journal that would be perfect for learning about all of these great artists. You can find it on Amazon.
The Artist Study Journal is designed for all ages, to help students gain a thorough understanding of an artist. It is perfect for Charlotte Mason Picture Study, Art courses, or home school. With room for 12 artists, 8 pages for each, you can choose who you want to study. Journal about the artist's life and work and learn to recognize their art.