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Best Holiday gifts under $100

Lisette Fee

Are you scrambling for presents last minute? I know I’m still searching for the perfect gift for several people in my life. So here’s a quick list of my items under $100 because that’s reasonable but also generous to your loved one.

  1. Bird bone bracelet or ring, starting at $55

 The delicate yet interesting shape of the bird bone make them perfect as a gift.

The delicate yet interesting shape of the bird bone make them perfect as a gift.

I’ve already given these sweet pairings as gifts - the bird bone ring or bracelet and my friends love it! The bird bone bracelet was cast from a sparrow bird bone and it’s so light and great for layering. The bracelets start at $55 and go to $135 plus you can also get them in a set with the bird bone rings.

2. Cat claw earrings starting at $40

These make purrrfect stocking stuffers or a sweet gift for the cat lover in your life. These were cast from the claws of my cat Stevie. Cats shed their claws and when I found hers on the floor I had a Eureka moment!

 I love wearing these as extra studs to my larger more statement making earrings.

I love wearing these as extra studs to my larger more statement making earrings.

3. Crow claw earrings

These are just as dainty and fierce as the cat claw but with more length. I love wearing these higher up on my ear. They make fantastic gifts for the bird lover in your life.

 Some say they look like dragon talons.

Some say they look like dragon talons.

As with all Eilisain Jewelry orders this holiday season your order will arrive with a complimentary polishing cloth and special gift.

This holiday season take the time to order from someone local and a gift that is handmade. Trust me when I say your recipient will truly appreciate the craftsmanship and quality.

Decking the halls with jewels

Lisette Fee

Not only is the holiday season about giving it’s also about the parties and celebrations. As a self proclaimed fashionista (tho less so now that I’m a SAHM/WFHM - stay at home mom and work from home mom) I LOVE holiday parties.

There is something to be said about putting on a glitzy dress/outfit with all the jewels and decking the halls with your friends and family. It’s magical, fun and wonderful.

Over the years I’ve had my jewelry featured in collections of outfits to help you coordinate and style your jewels. Here are some of my favorite press mentions of holiday outfits and jewels:

 How gorgeous is this whole outfit, down to the perfume.  And when you’ve got  The Hunted triple crow claw ring  on EVERYONE will notice your hand and selection of jewelry.

How gorgeous is this whole outfit, down to the perfume. And when you’ve got The Hunted triple crow claw ring on EVERYONE will notice your hand and selection of jewelry.

 As a former DC/VA resident I was so smitten they chose  the Hunted II owl talon cuff  with this badass outfit!

As a former DC/VA resident I was so smitten they chose the Hunted II owl talon cuff with this badass outfit!

 Okay this isn’t necessarily a holiday outfit BUT it is great for lounging around with the family or when you meet up with friends for casual drinks.

Okay this isn’t necessarily a holiday outfit BUT it is great for lounging around with the family or when you meet up with friends for casual drinks.

This holiday season, whether you’re going out to the theater or to a holiday work party, dress up your outfit with jewelry. Jewelry ALWAYS amps up your outfit.

Get all your holiday shopping done at local craft shows

Lisette Fee

Wanna in on another secret holiday tip? Shop at local craft shows. And if you live in North Carolina you are lucky because there are SO many amazing shows happening before and around the holidays.

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Craft shows allow you to pick up a little bit of everything, clothing, jewelry, food, bath & body care, baby items, vintage etc. and the best part is that you are truly supporting a local economy (and hopefully handmade).

Okay so here is a run down of some of my favorite local craft shows and events:

  • Jaycee Park Holiday Art sale - Jaycee Park Center for Arts & Crafts is always a fav because they have such a wide range of makers and artisans AND it’s super affordable. GO ON: Saturday, Nov. 10th 10am-4pm.

    *Take the kiddos too and have them play outside or check out their art studios!

  • Emerge Gallery and Art Center - The Holiday Artist Market is Emerge Gallery's annual holiday sale featuring handmade fine arts and crafts by so many super talented North Carolina artists, many are good friends of mine. The gallery is set up in a boothstyle with each booth featuring one artist or business. The sale will kick off with a ticketed preview night on Thursday, November 30th, and the show will remain up through December 22nd.
    November 30, 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.
    Cost: $20 per person, $30 per couple

And as you may have guessed I try to participate in the best of these shows.

Above is my schedule for local shows. It’s my one of my favorite parts of the holiday season, getting out and meeting you! I hope to see you at one of these shows. we can share our love of jewelry and animals.

My top 3 FOOD gifts for the holidays

Lisette Fee

When in doubt, give FOOD for the holidays. You thought I was going to say jewelry and yes I’d love to suggest jewels - food is the second best thing. It’s SO easy and a no fail situation. Over the years I’ve come to the conclusion that when gifting, especially to my parents it’s easy to give them food.

So here are my favorite small business run food companies that I like to support over the holidays.

John & Kira - One of my best girlfriends gave me their chocolate stuff figs for the holidays and ever since, I’ve been giving them as gifts to my best people.

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NC Made - From BBQ to home brew beer flavored gift boxes, the flavors are the bomb and my Dad finished his box in a week!

Sea Love Sea Salt - I mean salt makes ANY meal taste better. And their rosemary sea salt? To die for.

Now, jewelry is the next best thing. And I’ve created several super easy gifting options to help you this season. Check’em out down below.

Drawing down the Moon

Lisette Fee

One of the most cherished pagan books, I absolutely love the title and what Margot Adler means by it. When we live in tune with the Goddess and the moon we draw down it’s power.

Thus I became inspired to create a collection of images and jewelry that drew inspiration from the moons guidance and beauty. I worked with some super talented artists, my friend and photographer Gigi Hoggard and Meagan Wilson, makeup artist and fellow boss girl.

We shot on a super humid and sunny day at a beautiful water dam in the country hills of North Carolina. Shooting outdoors is always the given option, as my jewelry draws immense inspiration from the land and animals.

The Kaltes Collection is named after the ancient goddess of the Ugric people of Siberia. She governs the moon and her she is said to shift into a hare. I found all of these aspect incredibly meaningful to what I had been doing with my jewelry, the moon calling to me as well as using the bones of a rabbit.

Isn’t my model, Michelle Torres stunning? She really captured the confidence and bravery of a Goddess. To be strong when we feel scared inside, to put on the dark veil and submit to the shadows. This is what I find fascinating and insightful to stories and myths; they give us guidance and examples of how we can face our inner demons.

We all go through periods of our life when we need to be brave. Who hasn’t felt nervous, worried, anxious or fearful? But it is how we grow from the tough periods of our lives that make us who we are.

I hope that you also find comfort in the tales of our ancestors, and be hopeful. Every day is a new beginning. Just take two deep breaths and and take the plunge!

You can shop for these pieces and more on my site. Thank you as always for visiting.

How to manifest your dreams

Lisette Fee

Such a grandiose statement, and believe me I’m no expert however one dream of mine that I can see a timeline of how I manifested was my jewelry career. That over fifteen years ago I began a journey of discovering a passion and career of creating jewels that began with simply playing.

But what truly pushed my dream forward were several very simple and easy things I did on a daily and weekly basis. Here I will share my secret to how I manifested my dream of being a jeweler.

Probably the hardest part of manifesting your dream is knowing what your purpose is, we can go a long time in our life in the journey of finding our purpose. Using my hands and making small objects began when I was about ten years old, my mom would give me thread and toothpicks and I’d create little dolls. Or I’d use clay and ‘friendly’ plastic. I loved making things.

But as the story goes, we grow older and are taught to pursue more practical careers. When I finally came to the conclusion I wanted to follow my true life’s journey of being a jeweler I was 25 years old. Working a 9-5 job with not much enthusiasm or joy, I signed up for evening jewelry classes, then worked part time for professional jewelers. All along I journaled.

This is a key component to manifesting your dreams.

  1. WRITE DOWN YOUR GOALS: There are studies that writing things down imprints in your memory. You want to put on a piece of paper your dream. Write exactly what you want and how you will go about obtaining it. For me it was writing it down as a New years resolution.

  2. SPEAK IT: I heard recently on a podcast that using your voice to speak your dreams and goals is like casting a spell, you are putting the energy out into the world. I’ll never forget the feeling of telling someone that one day I was going to have my own jewelry business. And I felt scared yet thrilled, I was speaking my truth.

  3. SHARE YOUR GOALS: I told my family, my friends and some select coworkers my dream. I knew that if I told them, they’d hold me accountable. Now, make sure you share your dreams with people that will nurture your passion. Some people will be pessimistic or they are unhappy themselves and don’t want you to be happy. When you share your dream with people that support you they will help you on the journey.

  4. FIND MENTORS IN YOUR DREAM: Once you begin following your dream, you will automatically be led to individuals that share that same passion. Ask if you can help them on the weekends or for advice. Through my journey I did meet people that I wanted to be my mentor but they weren’t necessarily available, and that’s okay. But you will find others that will take you under their wing. Several of the teachers I had were more than willing to write recommendations for me.

  5. REPEAT, REPEAT, REPEAT: There is something to be said for continually repeating a phrase or MANTRA. it burns in your brain. I wrote down in my journal constantly of wanting to be a jeweler, I documented my journey and I would repeat it, in my words and in my actions.

I’m a firm believer that it takes time and hard work to achieve your dreams but most importantly it takes dedication to following your dreams. You have to be consistent, my parents taught me that. One other piece of advice, your integrity is worth it’s weight in gold, I’ll admit there have been times where I’ve messed up but when people know they can trust you, it’s immense.

Below are some photos of the amazing people that have guided me on my journey.

 My enameling teacher, Abby Schindler Goldblatt.

My enameling teacher, Abby Schindler Goldblatt.

 These two guys mentored me on silversmithing and jewelry repair. Some of the best in the business in Old town Alexandria, VA.

These two guys mentored me on silversmithing and jewelry repair. Some of the best in the business in Old town Alexandria, VA.

 How cute is my old boss and mentor Ellis Cutrell? He owns the Jewelry Doctor in Greenville, NC

How cute is my old boss and mentor Ellis Cutrell? He owns the Jewelry Doctor in Greenville, NC

Learn more about how I manifested my dreams of becoming a jeweler and what propelled me to go for it! Click on the link below:

Updated: My new top 5 favorite new podcasts

Lisette Fee

Since I don’t work in a conventional office space or even really have a 9-5 job, I keep myself feeling less alone by listening to podcasts. I love it because it’s a way for me to learn as I work. And lately my new podcasts are super engrossing and informative. They challenge me to grow, think outside of the box and challenge my perception of reality and time…..

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So here are my new favorite podcasts:

  1. The Melissa Ambrosini Show - If you’re into the metaphysical, meditation, yoga etc AND you love Aussie accents then this show is for you. I love her guests Melissa has and her Motivational Monday series. I just feel better when I listen to her show.

  2. Goal Digger Podcast with Jenna Kutcher - She is the ULTIMATE bossbabe. Jenna is so real and authentic and she gives away so much FREE knowledge. She has awesome guests from Melissa Ambrosini (that’s how I discovered her) to other super amazing and talented entrepreneurs.

  3. Mind Your Business with James Wedmore - I’ll admit, the sound of James is voice is a bit salesy but he is super grounded and I truly enjoy how he melds the metaphysical with abundance, success and growth in your life and business. I also found him through another podcast of Melissa Ambrosini.

  4. Don’t Keep Your Day Job - Cathy Heller will motivate you anytime you listen to her, she is so inspiring, positive and authentic. Cathy’s story of working towards becoming a singer to writing her own songs is a journey that many of us can related to in the sense that, sometimes what we think we’re destined for isn’t exactly our journey. She champions each of us to follow our dreams.

  5. Witch Wave - The pagan in me has to get my dose of ethereal and weird. Pam Grossman delves into the everyday lives of pagans, witches and earth practioners. Pam brings it all back to me, melding spiritual with everyday ritual and culture.

    If you’re looking for a brief motivational story or background noise, podcasts are a great way to listen and enjoy the ride. I hope you liked my updated podcasts list.

    And you can continue to stay updated on all the things I enjoy listening to while I’m in the studio by subscribing to my email list! Sign up below.

Music + Handmade = Good times

Lisette Fee

This weekend in Raleigh is the annual Hopscotch Music Festival,  so many great musicians and artists come out to share their talent and music.  Plus it's a fun way to celebrate the end of summer. 

I'll be there with my jewelry right in the middle of downtown Raleigh and it's going to be fun! I"m super excited - cause you know me, I love to get out and chat with friends old an new.  So I hope you'll come out on Saturday, September 8th from 12pm to 7pm for handmade and music!

 I'll have my super popular bird bone rings and bracelets!

I'll have my super popular bird bone rings and bracelets!

Teach me how to make jewelry

Lisette Fee

This video popped up on my feed and it brought back some fun memories of showing my friend Natalie Saywich, Greenville Reflector reporter, how to make a simple ring band.  Natalie did a series with Mixer magazine (a companion to the newspaper) on teaching her how to do jobs around Greenville.  

Creating a simple ring band is one of my favorite demos and ways to show people how to create jewelry while also getting to work with the torch, which most people love.  

Watch us in action!

Mom bossing update - Balancing my daughters growth and my own sanity

Lisette Fee

It's been awhile since I've updated you on the whole, juggling being a SAHM (stay at home mom) and WFHM (work from home mom).  Both of these roles present challenges yet so much gratification.  And it is ALWAYS a work in progress. 

Tallulah is now 17 months old! Nearly two years old and she is constantly on the loose, she absolutely LOVES being outside and getting dirty.   Thus we have taken to being outside as much as possible, she loves digging in the dirt, pulling up weeds with me and in general being a flower girl.  But all our play outside gets me exhausted - I now understand why having kids when you're younger is sensible.  My nearly 40 year old body gets just a bit more tired than it used to!

 My daughter is obsessed with flowers, though this is really sage with it's flowers. 

My daughter is obsessed with flowers, though this is really sage with it's flowers. 

 She loves digging in the dirt, so I have her help me with repotting plants.

She loves digging in the dirt, so I have her help me with repotting plants.

What I really want to address though in this post is how I've balanced working from home and caring for my daughter.  I truly had to be transparent with you and my customers on the process of getting orders and custom pieces made because the timeline now is much longer.  There are days, such as today, when I put my daughter down for a nap that I just want to lay around and do NOTHING - but my inner bossbabe brains yells at me to get up off the couch and go work.  Or there are nights when I just want to watch the Real Housewives series when I know I should be on my laptop marketing or working in my studio. 

So what ends up happening? A little bit of both.  Some mornings I will race around, handling all the household chores and then scramble to post a photo on social media then sit down and drink my coffee.  Then we go for a long walk around our neighborhood and I'll listen to podcasts while Tallulah points at the trees or birds.  We stop at the playground and she runs around and climbs.  By the time we get home she is ready for her nap and I'm tired from our walk.  That's when I have to ask myself, what needs to get done in my business today.  More importantly, what is the most pressing thing I need to do?  It can be a mix of everything.  I'm trying so hard to pre-emptively work at scheduling all my marketing and social media posts so that I don't have to think about them however this requires setting aside a very large chunk of time to do so.  But where does that time come from???? Dangit if I didn't wish there was a time jar that I could stow away chunks of time!

On the same token I do try to set aside time for self care.  Some nights I'll go up to my meditation room, light sage and maybe do a lil tarot reading or crack open my favorite herbal book and read for an hour.  I've found that this time to myself is critical for my own sanity.  I need time to rest my body and brain.  And not just that I crave time to be inspired, to dream and journal my thoughts. 

 At my most recent show, the Durham Patchwork Market in Durham, NC.

At my most recent show, the Durham Patchwork Market in Durham, NC.

I'm fortunate in that I have such a supportive family and husband.  On the weekends my husband will take our daughter to his parents house in the country which gives me time to either work in my studio or do things around the house.  I love that time to zone out and get creative.  I typically get two full days of work in my studio and what I produce in those two days are critical to the rest of the week.  And I'll be real - sometimes I set lunch appointments, massage or just a shopping trip on my 'days off'.  Once I got a massage and it was AMAZING! I felt revived!


You may be wondering, why doesn't she just hire a nanny or babysitter.  when it comes down to it - we probably could afford some part time help but we're both so worried about saving money and paying our bills that we don't want to spend it on a nanny when I could watch her.  This is the conundrum I often think about, that what if I did hire someone and worked those extra hours to produce more one of a kind pieces or work on the business side of things?  I'm hoping that I'll soon be in that space to do so but not just yet. 

Thus I continue to juggle a million things at once and hope that somehow our lives will go smoothly - HAHA! wishful thinking but in the end, I do feel so incredibly blessed to spend these critical months with my daughter. 

thank you so much for reading, following and supporting my small business, it means putting food on our table and that is immense!

What I love about Durham? Handmade and local!

Lisette Fee

I'm SO SO excited to be returning to Durham this coming Sunday, 12-5pm, for the summer Patchwork Market show!!  It's been several months since I've done a show and I really miss being out and about meeting people and sharing my love of handmade and jewelry.

If you've never been to a craft show or more specifically a handmade craft show (there are so many variations of types of craft shows) BUT they are so much fun.  The quality and craftmanship you get from handmade objects and jewelry are WAY better than what you get at the mall. 

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As a SAHM (stay at home mom) I get a bit lonely - as much as I love playing with my sweet girl, I crave being social.  Thus show time is a serious joy for me.   Plus I get to catch up with my fellow makers and bossbabes!

AND I get to shop handmade as well, seriously I do most of my gift shopping at the shows I participate in, because it is pretty amazing to connect with the person that hand makes your favorite mug, handbag, tshirt, print, jewelry and more. 

Now if you can't make it to the Durham Patchwork market you can always still shop with me online - wink, wink.  Because honestly my best pieces usually sell at these shows. 

Also check out my post on my 5 Eastern North Carolina Artists and Makers you should follow. My friend River of Rivtak is featured and she will also be selling at the Patchwork Market. 

Embracing your shadow self

Lisette Fee

I have a confession, I just learned what this meaning was recently, the shadow self.  And this discovery of the word makes complete sense.  Not only do I feel that it is extremely beneficial for our well being to address the shadow self and work with it but also to accept it as an asset.  Think about it as the Star Wars saga - you see a hero that works with his inner teacher but faces the darkness.  It's the yin and yang of who we are. 

I'll be the first to admit that there is a secret side to myself that can be conceited and self rightous. WE all have an inner struggle with what we know can be mean, ugly, jealous, and so forth however our good angel, the one that knows and understands what is morally good. 
"Carl Jung stated the shadow to be the unknown dark side of the personality. According to Jung, the shadow, in being instinctive and irrational, is prone to psychological projection, in which a perceived personal inferiority is recognized as a perceived moral deficiency in someone else."

 Being  my sassy self. 

Being  my sassy self. 

So what can we do to work with our shadow self and harness that side of us that is nasty and dark? Turn it into something tangible like art or change that energy and thought.  I tell people all the time that the jewelry I create, the aggressive talons, the large and possessed pieces reflect the badass part of me - the side of me that is unhindered. 

I once read the performer and singer, Marilyn Manson say that his music channeled his aggression and violent thoughts however it didn't mean he went out and tried to do any violence to others.  And I felt that it resonates so much with why it is so important to release certain energies and thoughts into good action. 

thus - make art, dig in the dirt, go for a thrill seeking bike ride through your neighborhood, go to a ropes course with a friend, do some yoga, meditate, climb a tree, go swimming in the ocean - physical movement or activity stimulates some of the same chemicals in our brains as those found in certain drugs. 

I hope this gave you some insight and thoughts about the shadow self and learning from all the aspects of yourself.  The good and the bad.


How to style your jewelry this summer and all the time

Lisette Fee

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Make your jewelry the centerpiece of your outfit - a long necklace brings the eye inward, your hair pulled up shows off your new gemstone earrings
— Lisette Fee

You - my dear customers and friends are the ones that have showed me how wonderfully you wear and show off your jewelry.  The ladies above are all dear friends and models of EJ and you can do the same!

click the link below to receive more tips and tricks on how to style and use your jewelry in your daily life.