We are back with another fabulous artist for you! This time we chatted with Kelley Norris of Dixie DarlinsKelley is a fabulous resin artist who specializes in all types of jewelry and tumblers. She is such a light in our community and we can’t wait for you to get to know her better!

Kelley sat down and shared part of her story with us. She started her resin journey by making a resin belt buckle and hasn’t looked back since. She branched out into other types of jewelry and then got in on the tumbler making fun. Kelley is looking for ways to expand her craft further and to provide a supportive and informative community for artists!

Ask an Artist: Featuring Kelley Norris

We asked Kelley to tell us a little bit about her family…

“I grew up in a small town about 30 minutes outside of my current hometown of Tuscaloosa, AL and am fortunate that I have 2 amazing supportive parents who are still there.  And I was blessed as the mother of a wonderful 25 year old son, who lives and work in Mobile, Al.”

And about her work life…

“I have a Business degree from the University of Alabama and spent the first 15 years of my career in pharma/medical sales.  Then I left the professional world behind to help manage hunting and fishing camps in Canada.  With the border closing in Feb of 2019 we have been unable to operate our camps with clients unable to cross the border.  So this is actually one of the reasons I was able to grow my tumbler business.  I had the time to invest in making tumblers and consistently posting on social media while waiting on the border to reopen.   I’m currently spending 8-5 business hours at  local non-profit in Tuscaloosa and making tumblers and content by evening.”

Where she would go if she could go anywhere in the world, and why…

“I would love the travel to Israel to explore Jerusalem, Cana, the Sea of Galilee, Capernaum, the Jericho Road, Golgotha and the Mount of Olives. It would be such powerful Biblical journey to walk where Jesus walked.”

Where she sees herself in 5 years…

“I have a strong love for the crafting community and enjoy making content that inspires people’s creativity.  So my dream big plan is continuing to grow the Dixie Darlins community and expand into other areas beyond tumblers.”

One of her strengths and one weakness…

“I try to always bring a positive attitude to everything I do and everyone I interact with and with an honesty that others seem to relate to.   I was raised being told “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all”.  Life can be tough and we never know what someone is going through or who watching us needs a little positivity or encouragement.  And when I can provide that for someone else, I’m the one who receives the greater blessing.”

“A weakness is that I have a hard time telling people no. So, I definitely struggle with over extending myself which can lead to delays in getting things done because I just get too much on my plate.”

How she got started with resin…

“Back in 2012, I saw someone with a belt buckle on that I fell in love with and decided I would try to recreate it myself.  So after a little research, I purchased the resin required to make it.  The buckle was just as I had imagined and I was asked to make several more.  This is where Dixie Darlins began and has evolved from belt buckles to a full line of jewelry to tumblers.”

“My mother gifted me a Cricut in July 2019 and I started researching what crafts were being done with the machine.  When I came across a few glitter tumblers, given my history with using resin, I knew I wanted to try one.  So I purchased everything necessary for making my first tumbler and that lead to another tumbler and so on.”

How she balances her art, family, and work…

“I think this is something everyone struggles with and I have found that being very focused on the tasks for the day is helpful for me.  I have a list to mark off each day in order of what has to be done first, last etc.  And then at the end of the day, I plan for the next day.  And now that I have a grown child, its much easier to balance day to day.”

Her favorite project…

kelley norris

“My favorite project is definitely my red dress tumbler that I created with CCDIY Culture Sculpt.  I had this image of the “red dress girl” on a cake saved on my Pinterest board and I just kept going back to her.  I knew my desire to recreate her on a tumbler would not go away. I had never attempted anything similar before so it pushed me to think outside the box.   It was so exciting to be able to bring her to life on a tumbler in a way that was completely outside my comfort zone.”

And her least favorite…

“I don’t have just one that stands out.  My least favorite projects to work on are the ones where customers give exact details or tumblers they want replicated.  And I love these customers but I enjoy having creative freedom and not repetition.”

Her favorite CCDIY product…

“This is a tough one but I would have to say Quick Coat.  It is so versatile and there really is not another product on the market that compares.  I use it to seal chunky glitter so resin completely adheres when applied and I seal all my vinyl to prevent lifting upon resin application.  A close second is the Artist Resin and Fast Set.   But beyond the products, I love the CCDIY team.  They are so giving to the craft community and have been amazing to work with!  Their customer support is amazing and they are continually adding new products to meet the needs of resin artists.”

Her must have tool for resin art…

“Oh I don’t think I could pick just one!  I love my torch, silicone brushes/pens, craft knives and painters tape for all my vinyl wraps, sanding blocks,  and definitely my turners.”

What tip would you give to beginner resin artists? 

“I would say to beginners don’t be afraid to try and don’t give up.  The social media days we live in, its easy to get discouraged and compare yourself to others.  And see all the beautiful work out there, but know that we all fail and there are hours of practice, persistence, and a lot of strip piles that you may never see that go into one creation.”

The Wrap Up!

We love that Kelley is part of our fabulous community of resin artists. And we really enjoyed getting to know her better. Kelley strives to teach and inspire other resin artists and does an amazing job of it! You can subscribe to her YouTube channel and watch all of her awesome video tutorials. You can also follow her on Instagram and join her Dixie Darlins Facebook group. You can also check out her Linktree where she has discount codes for some amazing tumbler making supplies! Oh, and don’t forget about TikTok. You can find Kelley just about everywhere and we hope you do!

You can find awesome video tutorials on our YouTube channel!

Be sure to follow us on Pinterest so you can stay on top of everything that’s new and never miss a blog post!

If you want more inspiration and information we have a Facebook group for that. Join us in Counter Culture DIY Artist Support where we, and other artists, offer ideas, answer questions, and support each other!

Do you have an art project using any of our products that you want to share? Send it to us at support@counterculturediy.com, and we can feature them here!