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Blog

Filtering by Category: feeling

Flashback to the time I co-produced a fashion show - Aurelian Nights

Lisette Fee

Confession time - I fancy myself fashion designing. When I was in early middle school, about twelve years old I dreamed of being on MTV House of Style or Fashion File - the big fashion shows on television. I would dream up weird yet artistic outfits. Once I sketched a harlequin ensemble! It was super cheesy but interesting.

Local college students, business owners and more were models for the event. We even had them walk down the street to promote the event.

Local college students, business owners and more were models for the event. We even had them walk down the street to promote the event.

So it’s no surprise that I finally lived out part of that dream in working on a jewelry and fashion show with my good friend Paula Chrismon. At the time, five years ago Paula owned a consignment boutique in Uptown Greenville and I had my studio at Art Avenue. And I loved the idea of merging the two, consignment fashion with art jewelry. Paula provided the clothing and shoes, while I worked with some of my art jeweler friends to provide the mega jewels. And all of the clothing and jewelry would be black and gold. Hence the name Aurelian (translates to Golden).

We worked it out that we secured sponsorships from local business’ at three monetary levels, $50, $75 and $100 this was able to pay for our lookbook, video, food and signage. It was probably one of the most ambitious and gratifying projects I’ve ever worked on. We were able to generate so much interest and attendance in the show that we were bursting at the seems, and mind you we didn’t charge an entrance fee for the event.

We even made a video, for which I’m so proud and happy we did. The video combined our love of fashion and production. You can watch it below.

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Me with my friend Gabi. The show was the talk of the town.

Me with my friend Gabi. The show was the talk of the town.

Danielle James necklace - how amazing and cool is the way she created a brick window into a necklace?

Danielle James necklace - how amazing and cool is the way she created a brick window into a necklace?

I enlisted my friends to sell and promote the jewelry.

I enlisted my friends to sell and promote the jewelry.

When I recall this amazing event Paula and I put together I’m struck by how much I loved working with my friends and community in showcasing local talent. Granted it was alot of work however the fashion show elevated the status of consignment fashion and art jewelry. I think it’s so important to remove the curtain in a sense of art, to show it as everyday.

I’m hoping that I can work with other talented individuals in my new town of Farmville. What I’ve learned over the years is that when I work with others it makes a project not only more fun and enjoyable but also it creates alliances and new relationships that didn’t exist previously and those relationships carry over into future collaborations.

As always, thank you for reading and you can learn more about my projects and events below.

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.

 

Practicing Self love

Lisette Fee

You may think to yourself, well yes I do that all the time.  But do we really? I'm not talking about having a glass of wine or going to the beach.  I'm talking about the act of giving yourself love daily.  I've been pondering more and more on this, that our daily habits and our work and life patterns truly effect our mental and physical well being.    But the big takeaway that I've discovered is that when you love yourself you also share that love with others and this essentially makes the world happier. 

Just laying outside can lower your blood pressure. 

Just laying outside can lower your blood pressure. 

So what can you do to practice self care/love daily? Even if it's just for thirty minutes or fifteen minutes.  Now these are self care suggestions that aren't the indulgent ones but ones that speak to your spirit and soul.   Studies have shown that when we're content and feeling good about ourselves, other people notice and feel that vibration.  Here are some suggestions for you to practice self care and love:

  • Go for a walk or bike ride, anything physical.  Endorphins (happy hormones) are released in your body when you move. 
  • Call your bestie and catch up
  • Grab a blanket and lay outside and look at the clouds
  • Take a soothing bath
  • Play with your cat, dog or pet or someone elses
  • Work on your garden
  • Do an activity that gave you joy and happiness when you were a child, like coloring or playing with legos.

It's funny how we've lost some of these activities the more technology that comes into our life however taking time to do an activity that uses your hands and mind has big benefits and impacts for not only your happiness but the longevity of your brain.  Many studies have shown that working with your hands and playing games can prevent Alzheimers and dementia.

So even when it's a crazy busy day and your stressed, which is when you need self care the most.  Stop, breath and go for a walk or do whatever gives you joy!

 

 

Tap into your third eye with your jewelry

Lisette Fee

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This is a super brief yet easy reminder that we can always tap into your inner teacher and third eye to guide us to more clear and conscious living. 

Tonight is the pink full moon in Sagittarius.  We can use this time look deep inside ourselves and ask, what is calling to us? So take a lil time out, even five minutes to be still and quiet and use your jewelry as a source of focus. 

thanks as always for reading and stopping by.  And click on the link below that takes you to my One of a kind jewels that will aid you in your meditation and journey to your inner teacher.

My journey and self discovery

Lisette 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.  

***peep my brief interview below going into more detail of my process.

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 that your net will appear.   Be patient with yourself and give your space to explore and question yourself. 

Thank you as always for reading!

How I've juggled being a Momboss

Lisette Fee

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!

Growing a green thumb

Lisette 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!

Valentine's Day Gift guide

Lisette 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

Lisette 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!

Maiden, Mother and Crone - and what you can learn from each archetype

Lisette Fee

As a mother I've entered a completely new and life altering stage in my life and it didn't really dawn on me until I reflected on the fact that I have a new title.  And I also reflected that my own mother is in the crone stage.  Several of my friends are in the mother stage as well despite not having biological children they are very maternal and I look to them for guidance.

The maiden, Brigid, young, alive and naive.  Photo by Aileen Devlin.

The maiden, Brigid, young, alive and naive.  Photo by Aileen Devlin.

This really had the wheels in my head turning when thinking how many of us can benefit from understanding these roles and how throughout our entire lives we need the wisdom and lessons from each archetype.  And especially as women we're often pigeonholed to remain static - that you shouldn't have long hair when you're older, or it's not proper to have gray hair when you're younger etc.  

So let's go over what each of these roles mean and the lessons we learn in each of them.

Maiden: By word association we can go by - youth, enchantment, excitement, carefree and erotic.  She is represented in several mythologies in the Greek myths she's Persephone - purity - and a representation of new beginnings. Other maiden goddesses include: Brigid, Nimue, among others. 
What we learn from the Maiden - When we are weary, over worked or the feeling of disparity enter our minds we can remind ourselves that everyday is a new beginning, every year we can start over and allow the maiden mind frame to give us the time to wipe the slate clean.  In addition, there is a strength in being naive and unburdened by the toils of life.  You look at life with a new perspective.  This is what I love about my younger girlfriends, their zest for life!

Mother: She is the caregiver, nurturer, loving, ripeness, fertility, fulfillment, stability, and power.  The Mother Goddess in Greek mythology is Demeter, representing wellspring of life, giving and compassionate. Other mother goddesses include: Aa, Ambika, Ceres, Astarte, Lakshmi.
What we learn from the Mother aspect:  To nurture and care for a project, another life, even our animal and plant babies we find that we learn so much in ourselves.  A sense of passing on wisdom, education, pride and fulfillment.  We also learn a great deal of patience and the lesson of giving immensely.  Oh and one major aspect is protectiveness and a very fierce love.

Crone:  Wisdom, clarity, insight, repose, compassion and knowledge.  The Crone in Greek mythology is Hecate - wise, knowing, a culmination of a lifetime of experience. Crone goddesses include: Hel, Maman Brigitte, Oya, Sedna, Skuld, and others.
What we learn from the Crone aspect:  What I find most insightful from the Crone is letting go, that death is only the beginning and we must embrace the change and pain.  And she is often what we do not want to confront and accept.  We only gain wisdom through our experiences whether they be good or bad.  I'd also say that I ADORE the crones in my life, the women that teach me how to love myself and how to take time and learn. 

We receive so many blessings from each aspect of the trinity. 

We receive so many blessings from each aspect of the trinity. 

 

I hope that you enjoyed this post and that it gives you pause for thought in the areas of your life that the triple goddess can guide and assist you. 

More thoughts on the triple goddess:

These aspects may also represent the cycle of birth, life and death (and rebirth). Neopagans believe that this goddess is the personification of all women everywhere.

Followers of the Wiccan, Dianic, and Neopagan religions, as well as some archeologists and mythographers, believe that long before the coming of the Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, the Triple Goddess embodied the three-fold aspect of Gaia, the Earth Mother (Roman Magna Mater). A mother goddess was worshipped under a variety of names not only in the Ancient Near East and the Aegean and Anatolia, but also in pre-Islamic Arabia.

Neopagans also claim historical antecedent for their beliefs, holding that in Old Europe, in the Aegean world, and in the most ancient Near East, the Triple Goddess preceded the coming of nomadic speakers of Indo-European languages.

In South Arabia the moon-god Hubal was accompanied by the three goddesses: Uzza the youngest, Al-Lat "The Goddess" and Manat the Crone, the three cranes.

Wiccans often work with the Goddess in her triple form but may sometimes look at a particular goddess as Maiden, Mother and Crone even when there is no historical proof of this. An example of this would be the goddess Hecate, who was originally depicted as three maidens when in triplicate or as an old woman by herself in later times. Another example is the goddess Morrigan.

Another cross-cultural archetype is the three goddesses of Fate. In Greek Mythology they are the Moirai; in Norse mythology they are the Norns. The Weird Sisters of Shakespeare's Macbeth and Wyrd Sisters of Terry Pratchett's novel of the same name are believed to be inspired by these Fates. The three supernatural female figures called variously the Ladies, Mother of the Camenae, the Kindly Ones, and a number of other different names in The Sandman graphic novels by Neil Gaiman play self-consciously on both the triple Fates and the Maiden-Mother-Crone goddess archetypes." -via Crystalinks

Featured artist: Christian T. Berry Dreamcatchers

Lisette Fee

I'd like to introduce you to a wonderfully talented artist of various practices - tarot, dreamcatchers and yoga, Christian T. Berry.  I met him through the wonderful people over at Everyday Magic.  I'm a bit obsessed with his beautiful dream catchers and I decided he had to be featured on my blog because I know you'll become just as obsessed with his work as I am. Here's a lil interview with Christian and images of his exquisite pieces.

 I grew up in the clay covered Red Top Mountains of North Georgia, a now very conservative place, but what once used to be an incredibly free and wild land filled with wonder. I think mountains have an innately magical quality to them. So much folklore and mystery surrounded these specific mountains, with sightings of mythical creatures, ancient trees and springs, even Bigfoot.  As a child, I remembered hearing these tales and started conducting my own searches, only to come up short each time. But what I did find was an even greater gift, a deep love of trees, stones, nature, and the many cycles it goes through.

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As I got older, the magic in me grew. I would think about it often and dream of far off lands where I'd find gorgeous crystals and ancient woods and make powerful talismans with them. It never occurred to me to make them in real life. Visual art was a skill I thought I would never possess, seeing as how I could barely draw a stick figure, so that reality always passed me by, until I was in my early 20's. I had gotten really into Tarot cards and crystal healing. Reading them, studying them, meditating with them, cleansing them. The Wild Unknown was one of my first Tarot decks, depicting gorgeous imagery of nature and animals alike. I would draw cards from the deck, but one card always seemed to keep jumping out, the three of wands. I agonized over what it meant, but never came to a conclusion. One day I heard a message, from who/what I'm not sure, that said, "Listen with your eyes." Of course that made no sense because how could you listen with your eyes? But I interpreted the message as best as I could and gave it a try. I sat and stared at the card. And something clicked. The card shows three gnarled branches tied together to create a triangle, window type shape. Inside of the triangle is a beautiful, swirling, colorful cosmos. I immediately thought, "Wow, I could make this." And suddenly the dreams from my childhood of that far off land making crystal and wood talismans made sense. This was it. So I gave it a shot. And like everything, it was rocky at first, but I found a method, a flow that not only supported the piece, but myself as well. It inspired me, humbled me, gave me a confidence I had never been able to find in myself. I remember posting my first finished piece on my Instagram account, not for sale and kind of timid that people would think it was ugly or strange, and within five minutes, someone had messaged me offering to buy it. I proceeded to get messages about custom orders, an offering I had never even written about, and before I knew it, I had six custom orders in my lap.

blue dream catcher.jpg
Magic was wild feelings, the kind that escaped out of you and into the world and changed things. There was a lot of skill to it, and a lot of learning, and a lot of work, but that was where the magic began, the magic to enchant the world.
— The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman

I've been making these talismans, dreamcatchers of sorts, for almost two years now. It has been the greatest gift, the greatest discovery because it has taught me worlds about who I am and where I exist in this big, bad world. In a nutshell, it's been a deep exercise in intuition. I found that the most profound method for making custom pieces was through having the client write to me about where there are/what they're looking for in the form of a questionnaire. I read them and intuitively pick a combination of stones for each piece, building the dreamcatcher around the energies of those stones and crystals, which often have a life and personality of their own. I've come to feel very proud of my process, using organic beeswax thread, only wood that has naturally fallen from trees, and feathers ethically sourced and naturally shed from a few incredible bird sanctuaries around the globe. I cleanse each crystal in a lavender and Florida water bath, as well as burning Palo Santo and White Sage, letting them dry in direct sunlight. Everything in life is based in intention. We shape the reality that happens around us. Constant negative thought typically leads to a constantly negative reality.

This is definitely my favorite one!

This is definitely my favorite one!

My biggest intention for my dreamcatchers are to be visual and energetic stop signs, making you check in and remind yourself of the control you have to create change, filled with whatever intentions and combinations of energies the stones provide (anxiety relief, manifestation, protection, self-love, etc.) And they double up as being pretty unique, hand crafted wall decor! Each piece is deeply rooted in trust and unconditional love and my hope is that it radiates to each person that comes into contact with them. That is what my process and my art is all about, our obligation and duty in this lifetime, to never stop dreaming and building the most magical, abundant life for yourself.

A variety of dreamcatchers by Christian T. Berry

A variety of dreamcatchers by Christian T. Berry

I hope that you enjoyed this featured artist post and that you shop Christian's beautiful pieces.  If you do purchase a piece from Christian, please mention this post and you'll receive FREE SHIPPING. 

Juggling being a mom and a boss babe

Lisette Fee

For some reason it's really hit me over the past several weeks how overwhelming it's become to be a stay at home mom/working mom/part time worker.  Maybe it's because Tallulah is now 5 months old and we're reaching the age where she's really becoming a person, aka laughing, smiling, babbling and almost eating real food.  I lay in bed at night mulling over my business, how to be creative and make it all work.  I know, it is a bit unrealistic to 'make it all work' because really it won't ever be perfect.  And I can't have one part of my life be fantastic without one chunk of it taking a hit.

Tallulah and I on a mommy and me lunch date.  She was about three months old.

Tallulah and I on a mommy and me lunch date.  She was about three months old.

And I want to share this with you because I want to be transparent and also provide some background as to why it's taking me SO long to get new designs and pieces on the website. 

I also know that as a consumer myself, I like seeing new and fresh ideas come from the makers and people I support as well.  I'm slowly learning how to schedule my free time, with sketching, creating, organizing my studio and workspace along with finishing custom orders, regular orders AND the upcoming holiday show schedule.

...a giant swell of emotion came over me - I am doing what I love, what I envisioned close to twenty years ago when I was only dreaming of becoming a creative person.

I volley between feeling completely overwhelmed and lost to determination and resolve to prioritize my time.  What usually ends up throwing my confidence is when I do the comparison game, and knowing that there is SO much that I want to improve with my business.  Then my mind spirals into an abyss of all the tasks I want to accomplish. 

So here it is folks - it's going to take me time and understanding to get to a place that flows.  In the end I have to say that I'm incredibly blessed with a supportive family and worklife that allows me to spend time with my daughter as well as run a business that I love.  Last week, as I sat at my desk journaling these exact same feelings a giant swell of emotion came over me - I am doing what I love, what I envisioned close to twenty years ago when I was only dreaming of becoming a creative person.  And I knew in that instant that I am willing to fight and work incredibly hard to keep my dream alive. It may sounds cheesy but in this current world where many individuals feel helpless or unworthy, one can not take for granted the opportunity to do what you love. 

I hope that this post gives you encouragement to follow your own dreams, because it is worth it.  Allow yourself to dream to incredible heights with limitless possibilities.  It is what gives the rest of us hope and light.

thank you for dreaming and allowing me to dream!

Mamma Mia

Lisette Fee

Just as much thought as I give to what inspires me, I also consider what has influenced me. Influence and Inspiration may be thought of as the same thing however I consider influence to be a mainstay whereas inspiration changes.

Her jewelry was a lesson in historical craftsmanship and styles that spanned the globe. They taught me that color, material and style can be interpreted in so many beautiful ways.
My mom at my Senior exhibition.

My mom at my Senior exhibition.

So here goes, what has influenced my style and jewelry.

Number #1 goes to my mother. When I was younger, maybe 12/13 years old…and embarrassingly enough to this day, I would take out all her jewelry and play, putting it on and asking her where she got it and when I could have it. She’d say ‘when you’re older’ which at that time seemed forever! But now, she gives me her jewelry on my birthday or Christmas…or when she’s feeling generous. My father was in the Army and we traveled and lived in Central and South America and when I was just a baby we lived in Japan. She has a treasure-trove of international pieces. Her jewelry was a lesson in historical craftsmanship and styles that spanned the globe. They taught me that color, material and style can be interpreted in so many beautiful ways.

#2 – My beliefs and spiritual inclinations. Just before I graduated from college I began to explore various religions; I was at a place where I wanted more than the usual church/bible experience nor did it resonate with me (Catholicism). So I began reading what really fascinated me, Norse and Celtic mythology. I know, it may sound hoaky, but in general mythologies always intrigued me. The stories of Gods and Goddesses rising up (or descending) from the earth mingling with humans, shape-shifting and the symbolism of governance of land with higher principles and ideals. Of course the same can be said of Christianity but Celtic culture and beliefs just made more sense.

Behind the scenes of my Valkyrie photoshoot from 3 years ago. 

Behind the scenes of my Valkyrie photoshoot from 3 years ago. 

Where am I going with this? What I create with my hands and the images that come into my mind are based on my own beliefs and fascination with the Celts. In addition to their innovation and spiritual representations. Bronze, gold and copper chased bowls, torcs and headpieces are amazing outlining a myth.

#3 – Other artists and mentors. Lately, I’ve been discovering some amazing work and ridiculously innovative ideas that has spurred me to think outside of the box, to consider ALL materials, functions and methods. One recent artist that has me baffled and curious is Lisa Jeun, she uses fake nails, FAKE NAILS to make incredible brooches. I love it how she mixes them with enameled steel and silk floss. My jaw dropped gazing at her pieces. That is one criteria I aim for in most of my pieces, a mix of elements, leather, metal, shells – whatever just as long as it’s all mixed up.

As for mentors, I’ve gained several over the past 10 years. In the jewelry world, it’s difficult to find one especially because they’re all busy just trying to get their business going. However, the wisdom and knowledge they’ve dispensed to me is worth the time. Abby Goldblatt my enameling teacher has had a big influence on me, she’s one of those great teachers that knows just when to offer advice but also when to listen and let me run wild with an idea. Just when I feel frustrated and want to throw a piece across the room she offers options and ideas to turn something shitty into a gem!

Thank you so much for reading!