I always dabbled in jewelry making. As a teenager I'd sit and play with wire and create these off the wall pendants to wear. I didn't have fancy tools, I didn't know any particular technique and how too's, I just made what I saw in my head. I had always loved wire then and still do now. It also scared me lol yes can you believe it?? I was scared!!! Of wire!! Whodathunkit!!!! It's true though, I didn't know there were different gauges, I didn't know there were tools and techniques to use, I just knew I HAD to use it. Oh yeah I'd add little seed beads for some color. One piece in particular always stood out it was a peace sign with bright green and blue beads lol . I have no idea what ever happened to it however. Years went by and life happened... I went to school to become a medical assistant while also battling what is now called fibromyalgia. Then I was called an enigma and was basically a guinea pig for all sorts of not so fun tests and medications. I was used in medical studies as I was 16 at the time and woke up one morning and couldn't walk, my legs were useless, my pain unbearable. It wasn't pretty, but it wasn't going to stop me from living life either.. After I graduated High school, went to medical assistant school, graduated and went on to begin my career as an Ophthalmic Technician. Oh what an incredible many years of my life did I spent as an Ophthalmic Tech. I worked with the most amazing people, doctors, hospitals, etc. Then I got pregnant, got married, then had another baby and that's when things went into a downward spiral, you see the Fibro never left but it did cause more issues, my health started to deteriorate , my body was in constant pain to the point where I now only feel the pain when it is too late to do anything, when its in its peak of pain and all i can do is ride it out. My second c-section was scheduled my daughter will be 12 tomorrow!! She was worth any and all of the pain i had to endure. After that c-section I had bad spasms, they thought I had an early onset of Parkinsons Disease... I was 24 at the time.. So imagine my horror that here I was a new wife , a young mother, and I would have this life changing disease. Scary right!!! I was not able to work because no one would hire me for all the restrictions I had. The first year of my second daughter's life I was barely able to hold her because I would shake really bad at any given time, no medications helped, and the one that did sort of help made me feel like I was in a coma and who could take care of a baby feeling like that? So after many more attempts to see what could be done, what type of help there was, I was put on a regimen of different medications, BTW none of them helped, and I didn't want to become addicted to medications. So I refused to take anymore. I deal with it now by forging thru the pain, with Tylenol and Motrin if needed. The biggest issue is I'm soon to be 38 .. as in like 3 weeks :) I don't pay attention to the triggers that begin a Fibro flare up. I can only say it feels like your body is on fire from the inside out and that the pain travels and can be a dull pain or an extremely painful type of pain... you just really never know.
I had my son in 2009!! I was at that point a stay at home mom, which I'm extremely grateful for and saddened by at the same time, does that make sense? My kids are my life, they are only children for so long before they too become adults and so I cherished the time I was given with them, and yet I felt a sense of loss that I was not able to work and help support my family. I felt lost in many ways, as if a part of me was missing. I became depressed though you'd never know it, depression can hit you in many ways, I was always good at making others see that I was happy and go lucky because I truly was, It's hard to even explain how you can be very happy and content and also lost and missing at the same time, but I'm living proof that it does indeed happen!!
My husband was , still is, and always will be a hard worker. However I still wanted to be able to help financially in some way. One day Liam (my son) took a walk to the local second hand store, on a gorgeous sunny spring day, I'll never forget that day and his laughter, the birds whistling, the warmth of the sun on our faces, the pink leaves on the ground from the Cherry Blossom trees, the noise of the city traffic, the joy my son had just from exploring the outdoors. I felt energized, I felt happier that day than I had in so long, It was because I felt a change coming, oh yea I felt it bone deep, I felt inspired, I felt that my life would change and yet I had no idea why... I just soaked in the feeling I had. I figured whatever was to come would be a great thing!!!
Let's fast forward a wee bit here.......
A few days later my Husband took me to A.C. Moore where I picked up some beading string, some acrylic beads, some clasps, jump rings, and crimp beads.... I think I may have even grabbed a kit thing that had a little of each in it. I went home and looked on Youtube for how to use this stuff. Figured I would make myself a necklace or a few earrings and bracelets. I learned how to string beads, and use crimp beads and clasps etc.... I remember that feeling of being totally happy like that was the moment that started my journey. After a few weeks, yes a few weeks I decided to see if anyone would want to buy some of these amazing creations .... my family did for sure, they were very supportive, a few friends did to and I thought that was amazing too. I then got a call for a custom order, three strands, all Swarovski crystals , it was to be a mothers birthstone bracelet.... It was gorgeous, blingy, and had shiny sterling silver!!! I was so proud of myself!!
That my friends was the beginning of this wonderful, magical, amazing journey. I myself have grown as an artist and a person so so so much. I have met and continue to meet the most amazing people, I have become a part of the most amazing community of artists. I am thankful to so many for pushing me to do better, for challenging me, for lifting me up, for holding me together, for inspiring me, for teaching me, for showing me, for helping me grow not only as an artist but as a person in life, for opening my eyes to a much bigger more colorful world, for believing in me, for standing by my side even when I though my world had crumbled, for giving me the most amazing opportunities, for not shunning my weirdness, for being exactly who you are and accepting me as I am. THANK YOU!!! Each and every one of you have touched my life in some way whether big or small.
I did take a break a few months back, I wasn't sure Id ever come back, and I knew it would hurt like hell to leave but It was a personal decision and the best decision I ever made . I had much time to reflect on myself, my abilities, this gift I was given. That's exactly what I have is a gift. A unique gift. I could never put it behind me, I knew in my heart I belonged here, I knew I could never not create jewelry. I knew another change was coming however i felt it deep in my bones, and I am but a vessel being guided to where I am supposed to be for reasons I have yet to learn, I can most definitely say I am in a very very good place right now, there are many amazingly awesome great things happening to me at this moment that my soul is totally and completely joyous.
People ask me all the time... why do you make jewelry? There are many ways I could answer that, but I'll stick to the one I say and feel the absolute most and that is because I love to tell a story with jewelry, I love to see the emotions on a customers face when they make a connection to a design that I poured my heart and soul into, that my friends is what its all about. Ahh I have chill bumps as I wrote that... It's absolutely true however, I'm able to creatively tell a story using my gift, and in turn I get to see the emotional impact is has on the person meant to have it, that in itself is the most rewarding part of what I do. Its the biggest reason I continue to create, and the one thing that will always feed my soul.
I am but one of so very many artists , so the next time your at a fair, or a craft fair, or want a great piece of jewelry please consider handmade because a machine cant make you feel that way!!!
Thanks for reading this long blog, I'm not sure why I was compelled to write this today but it hit me out of no where that it needed to be said, and so I hope whomever it was meant for sees it and for whatever reasons the universe thinks you needed to know my heart and my story I truly hope it impacts you the way it is meant to.
" Life is but a journey my friends, live it up, laugh lots, love unconditionally, and dance often" -The Beadwench