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Blog

Filtering by Category: animals

Death and Decay - Memento Mori

Lisette Fee

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Thanksgiving, when I was about twelve years old, we were living in Northern California at the time and we received a phone call that my Abuelito Rene had passed. We lived on a depressing, beige Army base and I’ll never forget feeling as if we lived in some mirage, miles away from anything colorful or different (aka Panama, where we had moved from prior). I recall hearing my mom crying in my parents bedroom and feeling incredibly sad for her, I wasn’t that close to my Abuelito, I have fond memories of him but at the time I didn’t experience intense sadness for his passing.

I recall this as my first association of death, I can say that I’m somewhat fortunate that I haven’t experienced the immense loss of a a loved one that I was close to or even the death of a family pet. And for the most part of my life I haven’t known that loss. It changes a person. Well I’m changed, a week ago we buried my cat Stevie.

Stevie was not the prettiest cat, she was rough around the edges. I found her about eight years ago when I first moved to Eastern North Carolina. She was abandoned by someone and being the cat lover I am, I fed her and next thing you know she’s my second cat.

Stevie obliging a photo.

Stevie obliging a photo.

Stevie had feline aids, so her immune system was weak but not her spirit. She was a chatty cat, always talking to me and she LOVED fresh warm water! What a weirdo! I named her of course after my favorite musician, Stevie Nicks. She truly embodied that name, so sweet and loving.

Her passing has given me a new understanding for life and now death, she struggled towards the end to keep food down, she peed everywhere…my studio was a bit stinky due to her accidents. But I realized that we have to care as much for our beloveds near death as we adore them in the beginning. It’s rough but that is what love is. Our American culture doesn’t like to acknowledge death, we tuck it away, move the body and bury them before even giving them one last hug or kiss.

When I found Stevie outside of my studio, I gave her a last pet, cried quite a bit and lit some sage and said a prayer. I thanked her for her love, her sandpaper licks and all our fun conversations.

The decay, the slow movement of and change of life can be slow and almost seem nonexistant but then you look in the mirror or you see your child grow two inches and you’re reminded of the swift passing of time.

God I miss the moments of holding her in my lap and petting her.

God I miss the moments of holding her in my lap and petting her.

Memento Mori is the concept of acknowledging our mortality everyday, knowing that anything could happen and to appreciate all the the precious moments of life. I try to do this at the end of the day, writing in my journal three things I’m grateful for, the reminder of all that I was blessed with.

My jewelry has meaning in this, the Bast necklace I created from a cat skull was to honor that cats life. My cat claw earrings and charms came from Stevie’s discarded cat nail….the things you find can take on a whole new meaning.

Hold your loved ones, your pets and family close. Tell them you love them and hold them dear. If you ever would like to commemorate the life of your familiar, your pet, I am more than happy to help create a custom piece for you. Click the link below to start the conversation.





Every city should have a cat cafe

Lisette Fee

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Okay, maybe I’m biased, cause ya’ll know I’m an official CRAZY CAT LADY but still, cats are SO awesome.

Which is why I’m so SO ecstatic that my cat claws are now at Crooked Tail Cat Cafe in Greensboro AND in Winston-Salem. I’ll paint the picture for you. Last year my husband and I took a lil’ trip to Greensboro, he had work and I had never visited so I walked around downtown (which is pretty awesome btw) and I happened upon Crooked Tail, of course, i had to pop in and get my cat fix while out of town. I had such a great time watching the cats play, there was one black tuxedo cat that seemed to own the place.

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I was fortunate that when I visited, Karen Stratman, the owner, was there, and we chatted for a bit. I love Karen’s story, her animal journey of studying them at the University of Florida (go Gators, I’m one too). And it’s pretty badass that Karen opened the first cat cafe in North Caroline too! Of course a light bulb went off in my head. My cat claws would be purrrrrfect for their cat shop area. I can’t believe the idea didn’t dawn on me sooner.

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And now here we are with my sterling silver cat claws are now being sold at Crooked Tail Cat Cafe! So if you’re in Greensboro or Winston-Salem pop in and give a cat some love and maybe you’ll walk out owning one. That’s the best part of Crooked Tail and all the other new cat cafe’s, there is the opportunity to find a loving home for a cute fur baby.

Fifi, my first cat model. Isn’t she fierce?!!

Fifi, my first cat model. Isn’t she fierce?!!

If you want to find more locations where Eilisain Jewelry can be found, click on my stocklist link below. Thank you as always for visiting!


The Power of Myth

Lisette Fee

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When I was eleven years old I distinctly recall picking up a book at the library about Greek mythology and finding the stories and deeds of Gods and demigods awe inspiring and fascinating. At the time I was intensely creative, I sketched fashion outfits, I made clay jewelry, and dreamed up my own stories.

Reading the infamous Greek myths gave me an opening into the massive tales of love, betrayal, deceit and loss of innocence. The myths were a window into other worlds and life lessons.

As I grew older I still found myself drawn to myths and legends. I became particularly enchanted with Celtic myths and the land sites that connected humans to the fairy realm. Not only that I LOVED learning about the sacred objects that connect us to the gods and goddesses of the Celts. There is something magical when reading about giants that roamed Ireland and fought over each other and called upon druids and witches to protect their offspring and homes.

Later when I entered university, my ‘major’ was Anthropology which seemed so fitting, for someone who is now a jeweler. See the intersection of handmade objects and human activity in our world resulted in culture which also ran it’s course with religion and mythology.

What I love so much about mythology is that their UNIVERSAL and most can relate to the human emotions in these epic tales, why do you think we’re so obsessed with Marvel and the Avengers movies, they’re essentially mythologies.

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When I first began creating my jewelry collections I knew that I wanted to create stories and themes to the pieces I created. For example my Valkyrie Collection was shot with my friend Claire who has gorgeous short red hair and the presence of a Viking.

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Mythologies guide us through life, and connect us to the universe at large. When our ancestors looked up at the night sky and saw the twinkling beauty of planet Venus and constellations they told tales of our our world came to be.

We can travel through time to another era when we read the Celtic, Nordic, Hindu and many other world mythologies and tales. We can understand how greed leads to destruction, rebirth and renewal of the earth.

Kaltes Collection drew from Ugric peoples of western Siberia. She was a shape-shifter.

Kaltes Collection drew from Ugric peoples of western Siberia. She was a shape-shifter.

I hope that this post gives you pause to open a Greek myth book or revisit old myths and legends. There are so many lessons and takeaways.

Flip through some of my lookbooks and videos inspired by Gods and Goddesses of past.


Mother's Day Gift Guide

Lisette Fee

Who truly holds the world up? Mothers. For real, they get shit done and also manage to be amazing. All the mother’s I know are absolutely incredible. They’re bossbabes, stylish women on the go that also make time to read to their kids, take them to whatever sport activity and run a household.

So let’s treat mom’s to badass jewels!

Here’s my gift guide for all the fierce women in your life, and to the fur mamas too.


This gift guide covers jewels for the dainty mamas to the fly standout moms.

The new bird bone and gemstone ring. You’ll feel like a fierce goddess.

The new bird bone and gemstone ring. You’ll feel like a fierce goddess.

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I do hope that you take time to honor the role of mother this year, especially for those that mother’s that may not have a large family or friend base. Send a card to an Aunt or family friend that has carried her role as mother with pride and dignity. I’ve created a list of women that have aided me in my life and been there for me.

I’m quite excited that my own Mother will be visiting our family this year and that we will have a chance to celebrate with Tallulah. When I think back to being a young child and not realizing how hard it must’ve been for my own mom to be strong and lift us up when we needed it, I am incredibly grateful and thankful.

Thank you for visiting and stay fierce!

PS - Don’t forget I’m releasing my Labyrinth Collection on May 8th just before Mother’s Day. These will be incredibly one of a kind and rare jewels. See the sneak peek photo below.

Swirly malachite is so rich and deep.

Swirly malachite is so rich and deep.

Introducing my wedding jewelry page

Lisette Fee

It’s about time I dedicated one spot on my website for you to shop my ‘wedding’ jewelry. I put that in quotes because if you want, ANY of my jewelry could be wedding jewelry. But honestly, if it makes it easier for you to shop specifically wedding styles then, duh? why not?!!!

I also wanted to highlight some of the custom wedding pieces I’ve created over the years. As you’ve read here before I truly enjoy the process of creating special ritual jewelry - and probably the biggest ritual of our lives will be a wedding!

The earrings below were created as a set for a client who had a perfect set of london blue topaz stones for earrings, a ring and a necklace. These were cast in 18kt karat yellow gold. Aren’t they stunning? I’ll be honest I was a nervous wreck setting them!

Nontraditional wedding jewelry truly gives you so much more meaning and when YOU are involved in the design process it adds even more intention and joy.
— Lisette Fee
Here are the London Blue topaz talon and crow claw bridal set.

Here are the London Blue topaz talon and crow claw bridal set.

Now when it comes to custom orders I always want to err on the caution of enough time, so please do make sure when you are thinking about a custom order that you plan about 3-4 months buffer time. This gives me time to sketch and design, consult with you and then create the pieces.

Nontraditional wedding jewelry truly gives you so much more meaning and when YOU are involved in the design process it adds even more intention and joy.

I also want to add that I’ve created jewelry pieces for the bridal party. One of my clients loves amethyst so I used a small yet sizable amethyst around a simple design piece so that each member of the party felt the appreciation of the bride. I’m more than happy to work around your budget and style - as long as it’s within the realm of Eilisain jewelry.

How cute is this couple?! They got engaged two years ago over the holidays.

How cute is this couple?! They got engaged two years ago over the holidays.

Longtime Eilisain Jewelry customers Zach and Maggie got engaged a year ago and Zach had begun the custom order process well in advance to prepare for his proposal. I was so very honored to create the Brigid bridal ring that has cat claws clutching a herkimer diamond. There they are above celebrating. Somedays I honestly can’t believe I get to create jewelry for couples in love!

Wedding season is just around the corner, and I’m here for your BADASS jewelry needs! I’m available for in person consultations, phone calls or emails. Here is a handy form to help you in the process.


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.

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.


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!

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.

Beauty of the Beast

Lisette 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.

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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. 

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!

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!

Queen of Autumn

Lisette Fee

If you've followed me over the years you know that I truly enjoy working with other artists and partnering with other creatives in my community.  I've long been an admirer of Madalyn McLeod's illustrations.  We were both in the art and design program at East Carolina University years ago and I've been following her journey as a budding artists and finally I reached out to her to create a fantastic autumn gift package.

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And it was so timely that I recently created a new ring from a tree branch (and perhaps more tree pieces to come).  Thus I'm excited to release....on Samhain my our Autumn gift package! When you purchase the Dryad ring, a sterling silver ring with two orange topaz gemstones (2mm) which is $185 you get a signed print copy of the Queen of Autumn by Madalyn McLeod!

The Dryad ring came about from a special commission for two very good friends of mine who recently got married, they wanted rings that were nature inspired and to be honest, I've mostly stayed away from pieces that are cast from twigs, nuts or branches because I felt they were too 'done'.  As in, popular however I've come around to the fact that whenever I create new pieces, they will always have my signature stamp and aesthetic.  So I felt drawn to create more branch inspired pieces, plus I've been so consumed with growing my own herbs and truly connecting with herbalism and growing things. 

They pair SO so perfectly, plus this is a great collectable piece and one that works well for your gallery wall or a gift for the holidays. 

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Mark your calendars - this beautiful combination will be released in one week, on Samhain - All Hallows Eve - Halloween. 

Thank you for reading....stay posted friends!

I could so see the Queen of Autumn wearing the Dryad ring, the orange topaz is perfect with her dress. 

I could so see the Queen of Autumn wearing the Dryad ring, the orange topaz is perfect with her dress. 

The BEST fantasy movies

Lisette Fee

My favorite genre of movies and books has always been fantasy and sci-fi.  Perhaps it's the Pisces in me but I love nothing more than dreaming of far off worlds with wizards, witches, fairies and all sorts of fantastical creatures.

And since I was a child I devoured the classic fantasy movies such as Neverending Story and Labryinth.  These movies informed so much of my jewelry and art.  And often times jewelry and adornment is a central role in these movies - hello Lord of the RINGS?

Shot from the Valkyrie Collection.  We used one of my husbands many swords.  Inspired by myths and legends of the Vikings.

Shot from the Valkyrie Collection.  We used one of my husbands many swords.  Inspired by myths and legends of the Vikings.

1.  Lord of the Rings - This truly is the ultimate fantasy movie grounded with universal themes.  I can't tell you how obsessed I became when I heard Peter Jackson was directing the triology, I checked the blogs daily for updates on the movie.   The artist in me is most in love with how much dedication the film crew put into making all the props, costumes, music, weaponry so realistic and detailed.  It's what I love about the appendices, they show all the background scenes and I eat it up!

2.  The Labryinth - There is something so extraordinary and exhilarating about movies that take us to other worlds.  Unlike Lord of the Rings, this story takes us from the human world to one where everything is upside down - literally.  Jim Hensen's characters are funny, silly and endearing.  Who can't relate to wanting to escape your 'annoying family' to one where your the princess or queen with, none other than the uber cool David Bowie?

3.  Neverending Story - I'm sure almost every kid that lived through the late 80's to 90's grew up watching this movie.  What I love most about this movie is that it's about a nerdy boy that loves books and stories and then becomes the hero of his own story.  I used to dream about what I'd do with an infinite amount of wishes!

4.  Pan's Labryinth - Another labryinth story although this one is much darker and sinister.  Guillermo del Toro is a master of demonstrating the subtle yet powerful archetypes that are both at play in the real world and fantasy.  Where humans are more monsters than the hideous and grand ones of the underworld.  I absolutely love the young actress in this movie, she conveys the pain and loneliness of that time and era. 

5.  Harry Potter series - I'll be honest, I have always been reluctant to be a fan of the Potter books and movies because they came out around the same time as LOTR and I'm very loyal to that fantasy triology.  However lately I've come to really respect JK Rowling's brilliance; she developed a character that we can all relate to, as well a fantastical world we all want to visit.

6.  Willow - There is something so endearing about Willow and his quest to be a magician as well as protector of Elinora; and I feel that he has the same qualities as Frodo.  The baby dropped in his lap and he never wanted to be a hero but the moral of this movie is that he finds the courage and confidence to be who he is meant to be. 

7.  Legend - I just finished watching this movie and what resonates most is that we've all been young, dumb and in love trying to impress someone and then being reckless and learning from our mistakes.  As do the young couple (Mia and Tom Cruise). In addition; there is the obvious parallel of light and dark, good and evil, female and male. 

The Epona ring for the Momentary Myth photoshoot with Sim Asher.

The Epona ring for the Momentary Myth photoshoot with Sim Asher.

8.  The Dark Crystal - Another movie I've always been on the fence, yes yes Jim Hensen is a genius but there is something slightly nightmarish about the skekkis and some of the other creatures that I almost couldn't get past the wonderdful imagination behind the story.  Still this movie does belong on the list.

There are certainly other movies I'd add however I feel they belong in their own subsection (Coraline, The Witches, Interview with a Vampire etc - those are more Samhain/Fall movies).

And if have some other suggestion please feel free to add in the comments section. 
As always thank you for reading!