20 Questions with Christine Tyler

In our brand-new segment “20 Questions,” we’re going to be asking fellow bloggers about their passions and fashion!  Our premier interview is Christine Tyler, author of The Writer Coaster and creator of the adorable Peeta Bread earrings our editors are so in love with! 

  1. Where did you come up with the idea to make such cute earrings? I had wanted to dress up as Effie Trinket for the midnight showing of the movie. Unfortunately, I was a little short on cash for it. I wanted to make *something* for the special event. I like really basic designs, icons that stick in your head. Peeta was my very favorite character from the books, and bread was the obvious symbol to represent him, along with a little hot pink heart to show my love for him.
  2. You’re obviously a diehard Hunger Games fan – were you happy with the movie?  I loved the movie. I especially liked Josh Hutcherson’s performance. He had such a sweet, balanced take on Peeta’s character that came across perfectly for me. I actually liked Jennifer Lawrence’s portrayal of Katniss better than how I imagined her in the book.
  3. Tell us a little bit about your blog.  I’m writing a novel about a harem wife who joins an underground society bent on overthrowing her husband, only to find that her newfound “friends” are willing to sacrifice her in order to do it. The Writer Coaster is a place where I “learn out loud” about structure, style, publishing, and how to crawl out of the black hole of literary hermitism. It’s a lot sillier than it sounds.
  4. It seems the majority of the jewelry you make is inspired by literature. Have you always loved reading and writing? I have! I can’t remember learning how to read, and my parents can’t remember teaching me. My second-grade teacher used to let me read to the class during lunch, and I remember holding the book out sideways just like the librarian did, so the other kids could see the pictures. And yes, I’ve always written as well. I used to write stories and comic books for boys I had crushes on. Their girlfriends never liked that much.
  5. What are your favorite mediums to work with?  I love painting with watercolors. They’re the most hardcore art medium out there. You mess up — you’re screwed. There’s no covering up mistakes. Do or die. It’s art on the edge, haha.
  6. Okay, now for some shallow fashion questions, since we are a style blog…What is your favorite piece of clothing in your closet?  I’d say my number one stand-by is a leopard/floral print tea-length dress (pictured, below). I bought it when my husband and I were just dating, and it’s seen me through our first road trip, first kiss, dates in Seattle, meeting the in-laws, and our honeymoon. I can just throw it in a suitcase and it never wrinkles. It is THE dress.
  7. What are your favorite stores?  I often shop second-hand. The price is always right, and everything is “pre-shrunk.” You know what it’s going to do over time, so you naturally buy nice items that last. Finding local consignment shops is one of my specialties.  I’m more than happy to shell out the dough for handmade clothing, though. It’s worth the time and effort that go into making a quality item. I love supporting small business.
  8. Who are your fashion icons and inspirations?  “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication,” said Leonardo Da Vinci. That’s pretty much my approach on fashion and life. I do get excited about clothing, especially when it is comfortable, durable, and either very classic or very unique. I go bonkers when I find something like that. So, Da Vinci, I guess.
  9. Do you have any favorite designers?  I think KupuKupu on Etsy is brilliant. I want everything in her store.
  10. As a jewelry-maker, do you have any specific place you like to get accessories from?  My favorite jewelry is earrings, especially ones with sentimental value. If I buy them for myself, they’re often souvenirs from some roadside stand. If I want to get ready for a special event, I’ll often pick up a really nice pair at Macy’s or Ben Bridge in the mall.
  11. Do you have a favorite piece of jewelry?  I have three, other than my wedding ring. One of my best friends is from Mongolia. She used to tell me stories at night about her city, Ulaanbaatar, and customs of the nomadic herders up North. I called it Mongolian Magic. I met her during a period of challenge and growth, and before we parted she gave me a silver necklace (pictured, left). The stones set in the center are representative of the different provinces of Mongolia. I have a pair of turquoise earrings from the 70s that belonged to my mother (pictured, below). When my husband and I were dating, we went on a road trip to Saint George, Utah. I wore all white, with turquoise floral shoes and these earrings. That trip was our first kiss. When I was a teenager, I made a hemp necklace with two glass fish at girl’s camp (pictured, below). I was madly in love at the time, and wore that thing to the ground. I don’t wear it anymore, because it belonged to a different time, but it still represents a special memory. Maybe I’ll give it to my daughter someday, when she has her first love and doesn’t mind wearing little glass fish.
  12. Describe your favorite pair of shoes.  Beat-up, hole-in-the-toe Blowfish moccasins from 2009. I look like a hobo but I can’t give them up.
  13. Are there any trends you like?  I’m really enjoying bright coral as a color trend. It’s one of my favorites. I love expressive clothing that feels like it fits the wearer inside and out.
  14. Are there any trends you loathe? I saw some schoolgirls wearing fake tails the other day. I thought, “that is the dumbest, most ridiculous thing I have ever seen — If I was in middle-school, I would be all over that look.”
  15. And some final questions…Your Etsy profile states you live in Washington state. What is the best thing about living there? (Our other editor is moving there in June with her husband, so I’m asking for her lol!)  I’ll give you three because Washington is just that amazing: 1) Seattle is everything you’ve heard and more. Take advantage of the Emerald city, and you’ll find yourself surrounded in creative culture. There are museums, studios, superb dining, fresh-food markets, grand sports stadiums, and more funky pop culture than you can shake a stick at.  2) Ferries. Probably the most fun transportation system in the US. You can get all around the Puget Sound by ferry transport, and take your car with you, for just a few bucks. There are the San Juan Islands, Seattle, Bainbridge…heck you can even hike it up to Alaska or Victoria BC on the ferry.  3) Everything is green. Trust me. You’ll know it when you see it.
  16. Do you get often get asked questions about Twilight because of your location?  Only when I’m not in Washington, haha, and then yes. All the time. The temperate rainforests are real!
  17. Name your all-time favorite books. The Once and Future King by TH White, Peter Pan by JM Barrie, The Chronicles of Narnia and Perelandra by CS Lewis, Harry Potter (especially The Goblet of Fire) by JK Rowling, and 100 Years of Solitude and Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
  18. You have amazing hair. Tell us how you keep it looking so fabulous.  I only shampoo it every 3 days. I use a heat-protectant spray when I use hot tools. I also haven’t dyed or highlighted it in…11 years. I usually get a very short haircut (like the one I have now) every 2-3 years, and then let it grow out long until I am sick and tired of styling it every day. Then, I chop it all off until I miss it and can’t wait to style long hair again.
  19. Tell us about your wedding and your dress. Everything else about your style is so amazing, I want to know how your wedding day was. My husband and I dated for about a year, but when we decided to get married, at 2am under a giant Christmas tree in Seattle, we called up our parents and told them the big day was in two weeks. I’d call it a “fair-warning elopement.”  To us, it made perfect sense. The most important thing was being married. We had a simple ceremony in the Seattle temple and ran away for a week-long honeymoon. We came home Christmas Eve, and had an open-house December 26th. My mother decorated the house in red and gold, and had the event catered by a complete genius who made amazing bangbang shrimp. Instead of a cake we had sugar cookies shaped like cakes. It was intimate and gorgeous, and I only wish I’d eaten more of that shrimp.  I wore my mother’s wedding dress. Against all odds, she had timeless taste in 1982. I’m pretty sure the dress was from Saks Fifth Avenue. Thanks to her, I wore that neckline and the fitted lace sleeves even before Kate Middleton. It fit like a miracle.
  20. What’s your son’s name and does it have a particular meaning?  His name is Anwell, which is an old Welsh name. It means “beloved” or “wanted.” We found it in a baby name book when we were dating, oddly enough, and we never forgot it. We waited until he was born to name him, but as soon as we saw him we were both like, “Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Cause this kid’s name is Anwell!”

Contest Alert: As per Christine’s request, we are asking our readers to submit your own interesting stories about a special piece of jewelry.  The winner will be awarded a free pair of Peeta Bread Earrings!  Please submit your entries to theskinnystiletto@gmail.com.  Contest ends June 30th!

2 thoughts on “20 Questions with Christine Tyler

  1. My favorite piece of jewelry is a leaf necklace I bought at Forever 21. It is very detailed and has two rhinestones in it. I have had it two years now and love it. I also love shopping thrift store jewelry racks. The 80s jewelry is always fun to wear.

    • Hi Chrystal! Sorry for the delayed response – this bounced into our SPAM folder and we never saw it! Would you be willing to send us a photo of your favorite jewelry and why it’s your favorite? We would like to feature it & the back-story! Then we can send you a brand-new pair of Peeta earrings! :)

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