Beverly Durbin, mother to seven children, is one of those people who seem to find time for everything--including working full time as an office manager.
Her busy time, however, is Christmas, when she hawks her hand-painted whimsical musical wooden figures at various boutiques in Orange County.
All the figures are attached to music boxes.
She has been a regular seller at boutiques for 15 years, using the name Beverly's Musical Whimsicals.
"I'm very outgoing and maybe that's why my little people turn out so good," said Durbin, 53, of Yorba Linda. "I try to give them style, and everyone of them has its own personality. I get a lot of satisfaction out of making things with my hands."
As for other motivation, Durbin says frankly, "It may be mean to say, but I'm out for the money."
"It's really fun talking to the people who come to boutiques," she said.
Durbin was born in New Zealand, where she earned a business degree at a commercial college and later owned an interior design business.
"I can design anything that can be cut from wood," she said, noting that she most likely inherited her artistic ability from her father, a bus driver in New Zealand who moonlighted as a commercial artist.
"I drew a lot and painted a lot when I was a youngster, although I can't ever remember doing anything significant then," she said. "I've always felt I had artistic ability."
While money is the bottom line in making her wooden figures, she contends that there isn't all that much to earn.
"Crafters really don't make a lot of money," Durbin said. "You can't charge what they are really worth. If I charge $10 for a handmade item, I'm only making $5."
Despite the recession, boutique sales over the recent holidays were very good, she said.
"I had orders coming out of my ears," said Durbin.
And since boutiques attract regular customers, "we have to come up with new items all the time," said Durbin, who introduced Christmas trees and candy canes with hand-painted faces at her Christmas boutique last year.
Early on, admits Durbin, some of her ideas were gleaned from catalogues.
"I once saw a piece of wrapping paper and took the design to make a figure," she said. "I sold them for $30. I sold a lot of them."
Husband Donald Durbin, an aerospace contract estimator, cuts and assembles the cartoon figures for her.
At times, some of her children help.
Besides her regular job and her boutique business, Durbin is busy writing her life story.
"I want it on record for my children," she said.