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.
“Dream Garden” bead embroidered necklace with vintage glass cabochons. Many of the beads and stones feature an aurora borealis coating. This finish creates beautiful play of light effects, which lend an ethereal, dreamlike quality.
I’m still trying to participate in NaSeBeMo. I say “trying” because I have not been able to bead every day as I had hoped. As I mentioned in my earlier posts, I have had a TON of custom work this month, so most of my creative energy has gone to that.
Still, I’ve made a conscious effort to get in as much beading time as I possibly can. While I have not been able to bead daily (which is the goal of NaSeBeMo) I have managed to do a bit of beadwork at least 4-5 days a week. This is significantly more beading time than I have had all year. Hopefully I can continue in this vein.
Most of my projects have been small ones. I took one evening earlier this month, and glued a bunch of cabochons down to a beading substrate. I mean a whole bunch… there are vintage glass stones, old Swarovski, and an abundance of jaspers and agates. This prep work has made it possible for me to work in a bit of bead embroidery whenever I have a spare minute or two. Many of the stones will decorate my leatherwork, while others will be bases for me to build into more complex jewelry pieces.
In addition to the smaller projects mentioned above, I’ve completed the two necklaces shown here, as well as an assortment of earrings and bracelets. They’re all simple pieces, but it feels really good to be getting back into the habit of beading again.
Another factor in all of this is that I recently got glasses. I have needed them for some time, but kept putting it off because the adjustment period is so intense for me; as a self employed artist, I really can’t afford to have impaired vision for an extended length of time! I’ve been wearing my new glasses for 3 weeks now, and I still have some rough side effects (dizziness, nausea, headaches) but it is getting easier. So while the transition phase is slow and uncomfortable, I expect a long term benefit to my beading practice. I am already noticing a huge improvement in my vision, which should make beading a lot more enjoyable 🙂