Welcome to our B.O.C. blog. Learn about the world of handcrafted ceramic beads, buttons, pendants & components.



Who is Kelli Pope?  Many in the Etsy world might not know Kelli (mcpeanuts as an Etsy buyer) since she doesn't have an online shop.  She has, however, connected with many folks who create handmade components since she uses lots of handmade in her jewelry.  Many of her pieces use ceramic beads from other beadmakers, but recently, she has even started making some of her own.  The black peice below is made with all of Kelli's own beads and not to mention, she does all the
wire-wrapping as well. My fingers ache thinking about it!!

I own five pieces from Kelli that I absolutely LOVE and do hope that someday she will have her own shop for others to enjoy.  In the meantime, she does make custom items and takes requests through her email.  This weekend Kelli is off to yet another show, so chances are that she won't even see this until the show is over.  When Kelli isn't busy creating jewelry and selling jewelry, she has a wonderful supportive husband and two big white shepards, who, from what I'm told, are very spoiled.  Kelli also spends her daytime hours helping lawyers settle insurance claims.  Not too much stress in that, I'm sure ;o)  ...For a closer look at each design, simply click it on to open in another window....Thanks for reading...MaryAnn

....so without further ado as they they in the show business world, let me introduce Kelli....

I realize that you are currently a buyer on Etsy and that your jewelry is not yet available online, but you have come up with an interesting name for your future shop. What inspiration is behind that?

 McPeanuts? :) It's sentimental, actually. I was very close to my aunt and uncle. When I was born, my uncle nicknamed me "Peanuts". My wonderful, funny, nutty aunt nicknamed me "Kelli McKay". It was something she came up with on the spot when I was about 15. I was shopping with her, and a guy asked for my name. Being protective, she popped out with "Kelli McKay" before I could open my mouth. :) My maiden name being Kelli Kay McCubbin, she just ran it together. They both called me by those names until I lost them in 2002. McPeanuts is a combination of the two.

How long have you been creating jewelry and how did you first get interested in this form of art?

I've been creating "something" since I was about 6 years old. I grew up going to art fairs with my older sisters, and always, always wanted to be an artist. In 1993 I started handpainting sweatshirts and selling them at local art/craft fairs. The jewelry "bug" hit me randomly, actually. I had a favorite bracelet that broke, and hit the local craft store to buy parts to fix it myself. A short time later, my mother mentioned she wanted a turquoise necklace. I asked her to let me take a stab at it. I was HOOKED! My pieces started out very simple. I tried making what I thought was popular, and selling those at the shows. I wasn't very successful. I then decided to make what I liked; earthy, natural, casual, artsy, but affordable. My sales went through the roof immediately. I'd found my niche. That was about 6 years ago. I've been hooked ever since.

Could you tell us a little more about the inspiration behind your specific designs? For example, do you have a vision in mind and sketch it out or do you just start with a bead and go from there?

A bead or a certain component will inspire me. I can sit down for an all day session, and each piece will start with just one bead.. one color... one shape, and I run with it. Of course, I do have little sketches all over the place, but those ideas usually hit me when I'm driving, or having dinner, at work, etc. Sometimes I use the sketches, but not often.
I do my best work when I just let the creativity flow.

When you include ceramic beads, what qualities does this medium have that works well with your designs? -

The earthiness. I especially love unique shapes, textures and colors.

Where else do you sell your jewelry? Are you involved in shows,
museums, shops, etc.?

Could you tell us a bit about that? - I sell at about 10-15 shows each year in Kentucky. My pieces are on consignment at the Kentucky Museum of Art & Craft, two Regalo locations, 21c Museum Hotel, all in Louisville, Kentucky, and at the Janet Mason Museum in Cadiz, Kentucky. They are also for sale at Gina's in Mississippi and Ursus in Ohio. All of this keeps me VERY busy, which is why I haven't opened my ETSY shop yet. That's still a goal of mine.

What colors are your favorite to work with? What are your least favorite? Do you find that you tend to gravitate more to certain colors?

My favorite colors are earthy; brown, copper, bronze, turquoise, dark red. I love making pieces with more neutral colors that people can wear with a lot of different colors. I definitely gravitate to those colors the most, but also love blues and greens. My least favorite would be pink and purple.

I've noticed that most of the pieces that I've seen have various wire designs which make your pieces very unique to you? What is the inspiration behind such designs?

Hmmmm that's a tough question. I think I just like the flow of the wire. The way I can make a simple pendant 3 dimensional by twisting and turning the wire, inspires me. I love the way the wire will swirl and twist, and never look the exact way twice.

I've been told by you in the past that many of your sales are custom created. Is this difficult to do and are your requests usually right from scratch or do buyers have certain jewelry pieces that have previously sold that they would like you to re-create?

 Most are from scratch. I've rarely been asked to duplicate a piece, but I will do it, making it clear that no 2 pieces are ever exactly alike. I take my beads, handmade components, wire, tools, etc to all my shows and make pieces to order. I initially started doing this so that I was able to alter pieces on the spot, if somone needed something longer, shorter, etc. Then I found that someone would want earrings to match a necklace, or vice-versa. A great deal of my show sales come from pieces I make there. Some of my regular customers will bring me some of their own pieces, and ask for something to match. I'm very blessed to have a wonderful sister and others to assist me at the shows so that I'm able to concentrate on making jewelry for my customers.

What is your favorite part of the process (jewelry designing, shows,etc.) and what is your least favorite part?
Creating a piece is wonderful, but my favorite part is seeing a piece purchased by the exact person it was meant for. That happened this weekend. I had a piece I made over a year ago for jurying into an art guild. It was very rustic, and different. It had all of the elements I loved, but it just didn't sell. A woman purchased it this weekend, and her face lit up when she put it on. It looked like it was made especially for her. I love that!! I knew how much joy it gave me to make it, and to see my art make someone else that happy is wonderful validation. Least favorite would be the business side of this process. The more I sell, the more of a "business" it has become. I just want to create!! :) ...... although, tearing down and packing up a show when it's 101 degrees outside would probably fall into the least favorite category as well.

Thank-you Kelli for the interview.  If you are interested in knowing more about Kelli's jewelry, feel free to contact her through her email.


  1. I LOVE Mcpeanuts! Her jewelry is phenomenal. modern, tribal, free.

    I loved this interview and I am so happy to hear a store is in the works!

  2. I LOVE her too!! Incredible jewelry....

  3. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE her work! Kelli you couldn't open a store soon enough for me! PLEASE let us know when you get it up. Your work is so fun and care free yet still with a funky rustic edge! Great Style!

  4. Great interview (2 Kelly/i's in a row!) I love her jewelry - the handcrafted metal links really personalize each piece!


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