Posted on Leave a comment

Taking a step back, and pausing the Etsy shop.

Wild Fae Leather Headpiece

Friends, I’m going to take a giant step back in hopes that it will get me moving in a better direction.

To start, I’ll be putting my Etsy shop on pause as of March 31st, 2019.

So if you like to shop with me on Etsy, please do so this week before I put the shop in vacation mode! My website will remain open during this Etsy break, but I won’t be adding new work for a bit, and older designs will be retired as they sell out.

Last week I shared that I found counterfeits of my work on Amazon –

What I didn’t share is that this is the 4th time this year that I’ve found my exact photos, designs and/or writing reproduced by other vendors … and it’s only March! While it’s true that this is just an occupational hazard for online sellers, this ©rap is getting out of control. It’s simply unsustainable for my small business and sanity, and I need a minute to regroup.

As awful as that sounds, it’s been a big wake up call. This has forced me to really think about how this current version of my business aligns with my goals.

Somewhere along my Etsy journey (and through the recession years) my focus gradually shifted from creating work that I love and feel challenged by, to worrying too much about making “stuff that will sell”.  And apparently, that stuff is attracting the wrong element. So I’m taking a breather in order to refocus and realign.

It’s scary to just walk away from my primary source of income for a couple of months, but I really need to love what I do again. Otherwise, what’s the point?

To get to that, I’m taking a leap of faith and giving myself permission to make the things that my heart really wants to bring forth into the world. Hopefully the world wants those pieces too, and the *right* people will connect to them. Or maybe I’ll just fall. Either way, this has to change.

Thanks so much to everyone who has supported me along the way! And many thanks to my beautiful daughter (pictured) for her insight and encouragement in making this choice.

Posted on Leave a comment

Vintage Photos from My Vending Days

Thought I’d share these “vintage” photos from vending days gone by: The first photo is from the Chumash Pow Wow in Ojai, CA, circa 1994. We’d just finished breaking down our vendor booth. By that stage in my life, I’d already been vending at art shows and festivals for about 7 years!

The woman on the left was a sweet friend from England, who used to import my work so that she could sell it in her stall at the Glastonbury Festival! (Does that event still exist?). The babe in my arms is now 26 years old, and in grad school.

The second photo shows some beaded leather bags that I made around that same era. As you can see, my style has changed a bit in the 25 yrs since these pictures were taken. Some things remain constant: my material choices (beads, leather, natural gemstones), a love of color and natural themes, skilled craftsmanship, and passion for my work and the people who inspire me to create.

handcrafted beaded buckskin bags circa 1994

This path has not always been easy, but I love it all the same. I’m grateful for all the lessons behind me, and hopeful for many years ahead. Some of you have been with me through this whole journey (thank you, I love you!) and some are just joining now (thanks, you rock!).

Please know that I genuinely appreciate every bit of support and encouragement along the way. May it come back to you tenfold  ❤

Posted on Leave a comment

Precious Things

I was cleaning out my studio recently, and it struck me that I tend to collect – and cherish – the oddest things. I have saved every little note or scribble my daughter has given me over the years, along with pebbles, feathers, sticks, bones and other random mementos.  As I tidied up, I arranged some of these things into more contained groupings. This one is my favorite:

  • The abandoned nest came from good friends – they came across it doing yard work and they saved it for me, knowing that I would love it. 
  •  The little white stones were collected over a decade ago, when I lived on the beach. My daughter and I loved to go beach combing with the neighborhood kids. They would pick a different color of rocks and shells to collect each day, and we’d bring them all back to my house and put them in clear glass jars, which we lined along the long stone wall between my yard and the beach. When we moved out, I saved this small handful of white pebbles to remind me of how much fun we had.
  • Friends of ours have an old family cabin out on Whidbey Island where they hold an annual camp out, which is where Robb and I met. We found this feather on the beach that weekend.
  • The rose petals are from one of the first rose bouquets he ever gave me.
  • The little dove skull is particularly special to me. I’ve always found beauty in the antlers and skulls that I find while hiking. A few years ago, I (very randomly) told Robb that I thought birds have the most beautiful skulls of any animal, and I wished that I would find one some day. Later that week, I was hiking in my favorite city park and I stopped to catch my breath. I noticed some owl scat at my feet, and a little voice inside my head said “maybe it’s in there?” I laughed at myself for being so ridiculous, but some hopeful part of me kicked it with my toe just in case. Out tumbled this perfectly clean and intact mourning dove skull! Whenever I see it, I am reminded that sometimes the universe grants our wishes.

Those are the stories behind this little collection. Most people will see an old pile of worthless tidbits … I see symbols of time spent with family and friends, precious reminders of childhood innocence, memories of falling in love, and proof that dreams and wishes (even really silly ones) can come true.
.