Eilisain Jewelry

Powerfully Divine

My journey and self discovery

Changes, divination, fantasy, feeling, garden, mediationLisette Fee

One of my most treasured self care rituals is taking a bath and this evening as I lay there in warm soothing water (my element as a Pisces) I thought of what to post here on my blog; and it came to me - sharing my journey and path to jewelry and love of gems, tarot and the Occult.

I will not shy away from saying or writing that word - THE OCCULT - because in my mind it isn't bad or riddled with horrible things but of magic.

 Shot from the Valkyrie collection.  The cup represents water and the cauldron.

Shot from the Valkyrie collection.  The cup represents water and the cauldron.

When I was in my early twenties I was at my lowest in self confidence and direction.  I was lost; and of course I got into trouble.  I went through so much inner pain and anguish and filled the deep void within myself with material objects.  And as with many individuals whom get lost, I found faith.  First through Christianity but eventually I became fascinated with the old gods, with their tales and myths.  Mind you, I've loved storytelling since I was a child in middle school.  Their tales gave me hope and renewal.

 Enamel brooch, 2011. 

Enamel brooch, 2011. 

Fast forward roughly ten years, I still had some emptiness inside but I learned to channel my fear and doubts with keeping my hands busy.  A thought formed in my mind of melding my two loves - faith and adornment.  Ritual adornment has fascinated me since I was a girl attending the traditional catholic church and prayers.  I loved using the ritual beads and iconography.

Thus I continued my passion for making jewelry and became fixed on turning it into a career.  As humans, our nature is to create culture - to embody the Gods by also making and forming with our hands and mind.  And I'm most happy and fulfilled when I'm being creative and not just in the studio but in my garden, my kitchen and with spirituality. 

When I moved to eastern North Carolina I was thirty years old, at a precipice of venturing into the wonderful world of jewelry and metalsmithing.  I'd found my calling and it felt liberating to embrace it and take the leap.  It changed my life moving to North Carolina, and it's not so much the place but the people I met that challenged me. 

So my tale has come here, to a happy and growing place of contentment and exploration.  I hope that it gives you hope to leap, and the net will appear. 

Beauty of the Beast

animals, Birds, Changes, divination, fantasy, exhibitionLisette Fee

I don't often participate in exhibitions so when I was invited to submit several pieces for the Greenhill Gallery at the Greenhill Center of the Arts exhibition Beauty of the Beast, I was extremely honored and thrilled to participate!   Below are the details and concept behind the exhibition.

bb.JPG
 So many amazing and talented artists from North Carolina and abroad. 

So many amazing and talented artists from North Carolina and abroad. 

What I love most about the concept behind the exhibition is merging art with the wild - because when you truly think about art - nature and the wild is the ultimate creation, the ultimate form of art.  And North Carolina has such a rich history of both art and appreciation for wildlife.  I truly became in touch with animals and my own inner strength because of them when I moved to Eastern North Carolina.  I hope that the exhibition brings attention to preserving our parks, rivers, streams and oceans.   Now more than ever we need to be aware and also be active in our wild environments.   If you live in Greensboro, I hope you can attend the exhibition and events the amazing staff at the Greenhill Center of NC Arts have organized.

 The Bast One of Kind necklace will be on display along with other signature EJ pieces. 

The Bast One of Kind necklace will be on display along with other signature EJ pieces. 

How I've juggled being a Momboss

boss babe, Changes, feeling, handmade, moodLisette FeeComment

It's been one year since I became a mom and it's been one fun, overwhelming and gratifying experience.  I've also somehow managed to keep my business going while caring for our baby everyday.  Even though one year is very little time, I thought I'd share with you what I've learned and how I continue to juggle two of my biggest roles. 

First off, it wasn't as scary or impossible as I thought it'd be.  And somehow my flow of work continued only with minor adjustments.  Nap time is KING! That is when I run around the house and my studio.   Whether it be working on jewelry at the bench, preparing and shipping out orders or handling administrative tasks.  Tuesdays are my full on work days, as my generous inlaws watch Tallulah all day.  My husband also watches her in the early evening and one day on the weekend so I can get more intense pieces finished.   It truly does take a tiny village to raise a tiny human!

My husband and I can't afford childcare and honestly, I feel so grateful that I can stay home and raise my daughter.  Most days it can get quite boring watching Sesame Street on repeat BUT I get to feed her the food that is good for her, take her for walks and generally enjoy raising her. 

 My 'office space' in our second kitchen, it's part of the mother in law suite of our 1950's house.

My 'office space' in our second kitchen, it's part of the mother in law suite of our 1950's house.

I think the hardest part of working from home AND watching Tallulah is deciphering what to address as the most important and pressing need of that day as well as planning for the future.  I'm just now hitting my groove where I can finish work in my studio but also sit down and plan for the following weeks and months ahead. 

Now if you have any friends or family that are business owners themselves, you know that there are SO many facets to running a small business.  What has really helped me to not feel so overwhelmed is to compartmentalize each task.  For example, scheduling specific days for certain tasks.  Mondays I plan out the week and handle administrative work, Tuesdays are primarily studio days (finishing jewelry or wax work), Wednesdays I may follow up with clients, reach out to boutiques and press, Thursdays are for sketching, planning and working on new or current designs and Fridays are for doing any of the other tasks I didn't do earlier in the week.  Then on a Saturday or Sunday I'll working half or full days in the studio depending on the time of year, holidays are crazy busy so I definitely work on the weekends. 

 Tallulah and I on her first birthday.

Tallulah and I on her first birthday.

I will admit though that lately I've come to a place where I'm viewing my business and goals from a new perspective and I'm thinking of changing the overall model of what I produce.  I absolutely love making one of a kind, highly personal pieces versus more production jewelry.  I think this is due to the fact that I can't churn out a ton of work because I also care for our child, which demands the most amount of time.  

I also acknowledge that over the years, my demands as a mother will change and so will my business, so I'm trying to be 'loose' with my schedule and go with the flow.  Which can be SO incredibly hard because at the same time, if I don't stay on my toes and maintain a consistent level of communication and new jewelry for my clients and customers then I won't keep that flow of sales which are essential to our household income. 

 She doesn't even have to try and be cute!

She doesn't even have to try and be cute!

The pressures are there, but when I reflect on our life before Tallulah, it seems less bright and I wouldn't change that for the world.  Tallulah has given me a new meaning to life and I'm so grateful for that.

Thank you for following me on this journey and for reading my blog.  You can stay in more touch with me on my newsletter - sign up at the link below!

5 Eastern North Carolina Artists you should follow and support

Lisette Fee

It's been awhile since I've shared with you some of my new obsessions and since it's springtime and we're all wanting a bit of a refresh in shopping and supporting artists it seems like the perfect time.  Some of these makers are new to my radar and some I've known for awhile - but you don't so here is my list of artists I know you'll love!

1. RIVTAK - I met River several years ago when I began selling at the Durham Patchwork Market and she is the sweetest most talented lady around!  She is obsessed with textiles and repurposing clothing and discarded textiles.  River not only creates beautiful clothing, objects and jewelry she also teaches workshops and printing processes.  

 Here I am wearing a  handmade full moon kimono  River made.  It's my new go to piece!

Here I am wearing a handmade full moon kimono River made.  It's my new go to piece!

You can find River's handmade goods online and in several shops around the triangle area and in other states.  I promise you will go BANANAS for River's fun and beautiful handmade goods!

2.  Lo & Behold - 100% Natural Body Care - Okay I went a bit nuts when I discovered Lizzie's amazing products, especially her cuticle cream, it was a lifesaver for me last winter.  Lizzie's products are so rich, creamy and soothing for the body.  And Lizzie is a total BOSSBABE, I'm in awe of how successfully she runs her business and invests in her community. 

 For a jeweler like myself, cuticle cream is essential!

For a jeweler like myself, cuticle cream is essential!

3.  Caroline Hedgepeth - This talented artist really doesn't need much of an introduction, you've probably seen her name on my blog/IG/FB feed over the years now.  I've truly come to appreciate the talent and amazingness that is tattoo and Caroline is way up there.  I don't know how she does what she does - but she KILLS it with her artistry.  Not only that, Caroline is ONE OF THE BEST people you will ever meet. 

 That's Caroline to my right. 

That's Caroline to my right. 

4.  Victoria Sexton - I've long admired Victoria's work at Emerge Gallery in Uptown Greenville and I finally purchased one of her pieces.  They're super quirky, weird and fun! Victoria's pieces visualize what we feel internally, perhaps we're mending our hearts or feel like the joker.   And you can shop Victoria's amazing work locally at Emerge Pitt County Council of the Art's gallery!

5.  Vincent Li - There are some artists that you're dumbfounded by their talent and that is Vincent, he's got such a fine touch with the paintbrush and creating images that come from another world.   I've known Vincent since my days at Art Avenue, when he was interning with us and now he's painting murals around Farmville and Greenville and receiving commissions.  I'm so proud of how far he's come and where he'll go. 

 Bigsby's Dream, oil, 9.5x11 on display and for sale at East Carolina Art Space. 

Bigsby's Dream, oil, 9.5x11 on display and for sale at East Carolina Art Space. 

Art and the handmade isn't just for museums or for the wealthy, but something for all of us to enjoy.  And it can be in the everyday, from your coffee mug to your tattoo on your arm.  I share these amazing makers so that it not only helps my friends gain exposure but to engender a sense of community.

As always, thank you so much for reading!

Growing a green thumb

Changes, animals, feeling, garden, herb lifeLisette Fee

There seem to be these phases of growing into adulthood, other than the usual kids and buying a house.  And I believe one of them is becoming a gardener.  I've always loved flowers and herbs but not enough to truly grow a garden.  And now that we have a very large backyard - I'm very excited to begin cultivating it.

 I can only dream that my herb garden would produce this much of a harvest - one day!

I can only dream that my herb garden would produce this much of a harvest - one day!

Last weekend my husband and I planted a pear and fig tree.  We're still not there yet on the raised beds but we will get there. What I absolutely love about having a garden is being able to go right out my back yard and pluck a cherry tomato for my salad or add rosemary to breads or oils.  There is something precious about cultivating your own food. 

I will say I'm also incredibly lucky that my inlaws are experts at growing a vegetable garden AND they have chickens.  Their eggs are the best! And you know whats also cool about having a garden you actually don't need a large backyard.  You can grow vertical gardens in tight spaces or simply keep small potted plants on your porch - it's what we did before we had an actual yard. 

I hope you enjoy this season with fresh herbs and vegetables - especially if they're from you garden!

Do you want to play with fire?

class, color, handmadeLisette Fee

It's that time, to teach classes at Emerge Pitt County Council of the Arts at the end of the month.  I really do love teaching these small classes, I learn so much and so do my students.

In the session I taught two years ago several of my students took it to the next level with their pieces.  One of the best parts of taking a jewelry/metals class, as well as teaching, is that making objects trains your brain to think in new ways.  You are actively challenging yourself to figure out how parts can go together and which way of connecting them makes the most sense.
 

 My friend Carrie sanding her piece. 

My friend Carrie sanding her piece. 

 These are all made by Caroline Hedgepeth in my class from 2016.

These are all made by Caroline Hedgepeth in my class from 2016.

In the pieces Caroline made, especially the enameled pendant on the left, she made two pieces and tube riveted them together (or that is the plan).  She wanted the texture of the piercing to overlay the splatter enamel she did. 

Even if you don't feel like you have a creative bone in your body (which in fact we all do) you will still love working with metal and making jewelry.  It's so much fun!

Sooooo, here's my pitch. If you live in the Greenville (Pitt county) area and want to learn jewelry making or take your jewelry to the next level - take my class! It's every Wednesday night, 6-8:30pm at Emerge Pitt County Council for the Arts.

As always, thank you for reading and stay lovely!
xo
Lisette

How divination is healing and restorative

Lisette FeeComment

Many, many years ago, about fifteen years ago, I began playing with tarot cards, runes and several other forms of divination.  At the time I was at a cross roads in my life, I had graduated from college and moved into my parents basement.  I needed some direction, a sign to show me - this is it, this is where you are and what you're going through and tarot cards provided a visual representation with symbols of patterns in my life.

 bone divination.  Photo from  Love by the Moon blog .

bone divination.  Photo from Love by the Moon blog.

And I believe firmly that divining answers using tools, whether it be runes, tarot, tea reading, palm reading provide a physical way to show what is going on in your life that you may be ignoring, neglecting or need to address.  Generally most of us know intuitively where we need to go but as humans, we don't want to acknowledge the painful or difficult or even obvious. 

 My tarot keepsake box made by Stone and Violet.  My runes, Skullgarden tarot deck and gemstones. 

My tarot keepsake box made by Stone and Violet.  My runes, Skullgarden tarot deck and gemstones. 

With tarot you are able to call upon a symbolic image to provide you with a path to investigate and grow.  I also believe the simple act of taking time out of your day to reflect on your current situation is often what we need most.  In our day and age of oversharing and giving so much of our lives to technology we neglect our inner teacher and voice.  

A great Awakening has begun. People around the world are opening their eyes to their own spiritual natures. They are beginning to see who they truly are and what they have always been beings with an eternal past and a glorious future.
— Betty Eadie

What is most important is to give yourself space to reflect and listen.  And specifically with tarot you want to sit with the cards, look at patterns and see how they connect.  Here is a small list of some of my favorite tarot decks and methods of divining. 

1.  The Rider Waite Tarot deck:  It's the all classic, tried and true tarot deck that many of us begin our practice.  It's direct and fairly straight forward. 

2.  Runes - not only are the runes a form of divination but also as language, the Germanic people created runes as a way to communicate enchantments and messages to each other on stone, wood and religious objects.   I don't often use my runes however that they are fantastic way to study larger life meanings and themes.  

3.  A simple yes or no will do:  I have a special stone that I use  to give me an a yes or no answer, using a map either with paper or cloth the left is no the right is.  I hold my pendulum, quiet the mind and ask my question. 

 Divination cloth used for basic questions.  I used this when I was curious what Tallulah's sign would be. 

Divination cloth used for basic questions.  I used this when I was curious what Tallulah's sign would be. 

What you gain from reading cards or simply sitting and reflecting is a sense of awareness and perhaps resolve to change and grow.  One of my goals for this year and the future is to dedicate quiet time, be aware and in the moment and to also use specific tools such as the new jewelry I've been making for ritual objects.  Necklaces specifically offer a fantastic way to carry with you intention.  Think about it as a rosary, just as Catholics and Buddhists use beads to count prayers so too can you use a necklace to call upon intention.  

I believe humanity is going back to the old ways, reaching back to ground us in the now.  Divination is showing a big resurgence and it's no coincidence.   Even if you don't necessarily believe or have confidence that what you're doing is the correct way, it really doesn't matter as long as your intentions are true. 

 Ritual and divination jewelry. 

Ritual and divination jewelry. 

I hope you enjoyed this post and you give tarot a try, it's fun and relaxing - plus the images on tarot decks are simply beautiful works of art.  You can shop for tarot cards at my favorite NC shop - Everyday Magic

Don't forget that Eilisain Jewelry makes the perfect accompaniment to your tarot divining and also for the stone magic it brings!

Valentine's Day Gift guide

Changes, feeling, gift guideLisette Fee

All commercialism aside, I love celebrating Valentine's Day, y'know why? Cause I'm a lover, I enjoy connecting with people and showing people with gifts and memories how much I love them.  And we've come to a point in culture where we recognize that it doesn't have to be romantic love to celebrate on Vday, it's your bestie, your Aunt or Uncle or your work wife/husband!

So with that said I have a fun and affordable gift guide for you this year.  And I can attest that each of these makers are ones that I support.

I was unable to provide a link in each image so here they are:

Immortal Mountain chocolates

Blue Earth Curio Embroidery

Watercolor moon print

Hibernation recharging mode

Changes, animals, feeling, unisexLisette Fee

Are ya'll done with winter yet? I bet many of you are but I can't help but feel grateful for this time that keeps us all inside!

 A print of a bear on lace, I did this for my screenprinting class at ECU in 2011.

A print of a bear on lace, I did this for my screenprinting class at ECU in 2011.

Just as a grizzly bear goes into 'torpor' sleeping through the winter, many of us use this dark and cold time to work on projects and inner self.  I've been studying tarot again (I initially began tarot over 15 years ago), working on home projects such as purging and cleaning up my studio and eating healthy.  It's been good to get myself organized and back on a schedule.

It's what we can learn from a totem animal such as a bear.  it amazes me that such a large animal is a fast runner?! It's one of those characteristics and strengths of a bear that we can use for ourselves.  Storing up our energy, and preparing for the spring and summer.   Other animals that utilize the wintertime are snakes.  They also hibernate and go underground. 

 My first photoshoot shot by Sim Asher. 

My first photoshoot shot by Sim Asher. 

The bear claw charm that I cast is a smaller bear claw that came from one found in eastern North Carolina.  I find it comforting and symbolic of winter. 

So take ease, enjoy this time and think on the bear when you feel fed up with winter!

It's a clean slate

Changes, boss babe, custom jewelry, custom orders, handmade, small businessLisette FeeComment

I'm so pumped for this year, it is one of the reasons why I love to the start to the New year, beginning anew. 

Maybe it's because I'm coming off from a relaxed time at my parents house this past weekend during New Years or that I've got new stones in the studio to play with.  Either way, I'm ready to take on this year with new projects, goals and plans. 

 Goofing around in my studio during my shoot with Aileen.

Goofing around in my studio during my shoot with Aileen.

Albeit even with a sweet almost-toddler, she's now 9 months old! I know deep down that I can accomplish whatever I set my mind to, it just takes careful crafting of time and balance.

Some of my plans for this year I want to share with you. 

  1. Create a new collection! Hint, hint if you've seen some of the new pieces I've been posting on instagram with the Ondine element you'll see where I'm headed.
  2. Create a program for YOU to recycle your old metal (aka silver and gold - no bronze tho) that way we can recycle and reuse.  still working on this but stay tuned.
  3. Share more stone magic with you and how to incorporate your jewelry not just in your outfit but in ritual and mindfulness.
  4. Streamline my in studio processes, so that I'm more efficient and spend less time on repetitive tasks.
My biggest goal is to make it easier and more informative for you to shop on Eilisain Jewelry. I want you to be involved in the experience and it be customized to you!
Trunk Show49.jpg

Every year I learn so much about how I want to run my business and where I want it to go, and what I've learned mainly from 2017 is that cultivating relationships with my customers/friends creates such a happy and positive experience for both myself and you.   Especially with those that are local. 

As always thank you for reading and I look forward to sharing more!

It's the month of EVENTS

Holiday, gift guide, handmadeLisette FeeComment

Are you as inundated with holiday events and parties as I am??! Goodness, seems like every weekend there is something fun to do. 

Let me just add more to your plate, but truly it's options.  Let me preface that several weeks ago I went to Charlotte to sell at the Vintage Charlotte show and I had SO much fun! There were lively people, music, delicious food and most of all  - fabulous vintage and and handmade goods!

VTGCLTPOP.png

Thus I am excited to share with you another opportunity for you to purchase more incredible local and handmade gifts.  Vintage Charlotte Pop, December 8-21st, a pop up shop organized by Amy Herman (organizer of Vintage Charlotte).  I sent a load of my cat claw earrings, the badger claw necklace and several other popular hunted and talon pieces.

LisetteFee30.cropped.jpg

Soooooo if you live in the Charlotte, NC area please go and support local and handmade.  I can NOT stress it enough how much of an impact and financial boost shopping local is for our state economy.  You are putting money in your neighbors pockets and that is huge. 

As always thank you for reading and if you are in the mood now.... you can do some last minute shopping.  My last day for holiday orders is Friday, December 8th. 

The Holiday gift guide is here!

Changes, gift guide, Holiday, handmade, small business, unisexLisette Fee

I'm seriously baffled at how quickly the holidays arrived....AND that it's time to get those holiday gifts.

I put together a short and sweet guide of some of my best sellers and new pieces to add to your holiday gift inventory. 

Some other very important dates to remember this upcoming Thanksgiving week:

Black Friday - November 24th - ONE DAY ONLY - 40% off EVERYTHING.  But you've got to be on my email list to get the code.
Small Business Saturday or CATurday - FREE pair of bronze cat claw earrings with any purchase over $100.  These make purrrfect stocking stuffers.
Cyber Monday - FREE Eilisain Jewelry stamped polishing cloth with any online order (trust me, you'll want a polishing cloth for all your jewelry)

One last thing - THANK YOU for shopping handmade and local this holiday season, you are pretty much helping your neighbor and community.  More revenue goes back into your hometown with dollars that are spent on local business.