Someone recently asked me if I still do beadwork. The question surprised me a bit, because I feel like I have *always* done beadwork! (FWIW, I started beading in the 1980’s).
But a look at my social media made me realize that I haven’t shared any intricate beadwork for a while. Most of the jewelry that I made during the pandemic was either leather jewelry or simpler strung gemstone jewelry (like the layering necklaces shown here).
While I do enjoy making and wearing the simpler stuff, it made me realize how much I miss the slow, meditative process of bead weaving and bead embroidery. My studio time will be limited for the next few months … so perhaps I will use what little creative time I do have to circle back on my beadwork for a bit!
Here’s a happy customer, wearing the “Healing Heart” druzy amethyst necklace that I shared a few weeks back. It features a gorgeous amethyst cluster heart, similar to (but smaller than) the larger palm sized stones that I posted the other day.
Sometimes a piece of jewelry goes to the exact right person – as if it was made just for them, and I didn’t even know it. It’s an honor when that happens, as is the case here.
Thank you, my friend. Wear it in joy and good health!
So happy to share that my work is featured in the Spring issue of Belle Armoire Jewelry magazine, hitting the stands today!
I’m still waiting on my copy, so I’ll share better photos when it arrives. In the meantime, here’s a photo of a beaded leather luna moth necklace that was included in the article. This one features a boulder opal cab with brilliant fire, along with Nevada turquoise, moonstone, Moss agate and charoite.
Many thanks to Stampington & Company for this wonderful opportunity!
I’ve updated the site with a handful of new beaded semiprecious stone necklaces. Several feature labradorite, many have lunar themes (which I’ll be exploring throughout the year), and a couple give a nod to Bowie. From left to right, as seen in this photo, they are:
“Serious Moonlight” (sold) – a pair of simple yet beautiful gemstone layering necklaces. These are less intricate – and thus, more affordable – than a lot of my beadwork, and they were fun to make. I’ve already had requests for more like these, and will do my best to comply as time allows.
“Snow Moon” – Bone and amethyst necklace inspired by the February full moon
“Blackstar” – Labradorite and sterling silver with charcoal glass beads.
“Owl & Moonstone” – A carved leather owl on the wing, with Welo opal and moonstone.
“Eclipse” – Labradorite, hematite and freshwater pearls, set in dusky blue seed beads.
Oh – and I’m trying something new with this update, and including tidbits about symbolism and folklore. Over the years I’ve come to realize that many people wear jewelry as symbols or reminders of ideas that are special to them (mothers’ rings, for example) so I’ve included some of that info. Believe it if you need it, if you don’t just pass it on.
There are a few stragglers that still need finishing touches and/or better photos, so they’ll be added as time allows. I’ve needed to rebuild my jewelry selection for months now, and this feels like a good start!
My friends Phil and Julie are a couple of hippies who live up in Alaska, in a house that they built themselves. Now some of you might react by thinking “ewww, hippies!” but rest assured that they’re the cool kind of hippies; they are homesteading, homeschooling, organic gardening, child rearing, chicken raising, art making hippies who make the world brighter just by being in it.
Julie is a beadworker, and Phil helps with her small business, Baked Alaskan Designs . As you can see
from the photos, she creates gorgeous, heirloom quality bead embroidered barrettes. Her “Stealie” barrettes are very popular, though I’m especially fond of her rosette style barrettes. They remind me of the type of beadwork that I used to see at Pow Wows – bold, elaborate and carefully crafted. Recent instagram posts from Julie suggest that she may have some new tricks up her sleeve as well. I’m excited to see the new ideas that she’s working on; so far, they look stunning!
She opened their Etsy shop a little over a year and a half ago and quickly found her niche, not only in terms of her work, but as far as community. She gravitated toward groups of artists that network and encourage each other, and she clearly strives to support her fellow creatives. Julie often shares tips and info with me, and she shares my work (and the work of her many creative friends) on social media. Those things may sound small, but they’re actually HUGE. Making a living as an artisan is no small feat, so it means a lot that Julie not only focuses on trying to make her business successful, she actively tries to bring others with her on that road to success.
With that said, I’m inspired by Julie’s art AND by her attitude. Thank you for being one of the good ones, may it come back to you tenfold <3
This photo was taken at the Grateful Dead’s 4th of July “Fare Thee Well” shows. It’s particularly special to me, not only because it’s a photo of some of my favorite people, but because it represents a much needed realization and a shift in perspective. Sales have been lean since Etsy jumped the shark, and it’s been hard not to take that personally. The lull in business has made it hard to get by and frankly, it has caused me to question my creative work as well as my sanity!
There were several times that weekend when I looked up and realized that ALL of the beautiful women surrounding me were wearing my beadwork! These ladies are not only beautiful, they are powerful… healers, teachers, mothers, artists and so much more. It dawned on me that all of these goddesses that I admire are rocking MY work — and many of them have chosen to do so for decades! Seeing this was an incredible affirmation that my work – and its maker – will be just fine.
So at the risk of being long winded and/or sappy, I’d like to say thank you to the life long friends who have supported me all these years, to my loyal customers, and to everyone who shares and encourages my work today. It means more than you know, I’m deeply grateful <3
Throwback Thursday — an early beaded cuff, done in size 15/0 seed beads. This bracelet incorporates a series of semiprecious stone cabochons, including 3 rose quartz and 12 tiny faceted garnet cabochons. Circa 1992.
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