Thursday, December 30, 2010

A New Year A New Journal

Before Christmas I went to one of my favourite book stores and bought myself a few presents. I have never done that before - buy myself Christmas gifts. It felt fantastic and I am so thankful that I did it. One of the gifts I gave myself was a new journal. It is made by one of my favourite artists Sabrina Ward Harrison. It is called The True and the Questions. It is a beautiful combination of her drawings, collage, and writing. It gives insightful and soulful prompts so I am not left staring at a blank white page wondering which neurotic thought I should start writing about. The pages are thick, colourful and silky. I have been writing and sketching, adding my own thoughts and dreams to hers, taking her prompts and letting my own messy life flow into it.

Here are some highlights.....

I love the last line...."and trip holding your hand because I am listening so closely".

I'm not sharing my top kisses with my darling readers....but I am looking forward to flipping back through the kisses of my life so far, and filling this page in.

I changed this one to "I Want to Show The 2011", I thought it was fitting since we are nearing the new year.

And one of her many beautiful drawings.

Sabrina has many other beautiful art books that she has published. You can find them all on her website

2011......Lets do it. xoxo

Monday, December 13, 2010

Keeping Jewelry Secrets......

Something that I never realized when scheming to become a jeweller is that I would get to be involved in so many secrets and surprises. I LOVE it - I feel honored to do it......... but it is a little hard for me.........I'm just not that good at hiding things.....I bought tickets to go and see Mumford and Sons for my good friend Sheila's birthday and I almost told her twice before her birthday. She actually had to stop me from telling her once. I just get sooo excited that I can't wait and I spill over with delight and ruin the surprise.

I obviously have to keep it together for the sake of my business integrity when it comes to jewelry surprises.......and so far so good.

In the past few weeks I have been in on some amazing, sweet, loving surprises. I just can't tell you about any of them just yet.....hehehe.....sorry. You know I want to.

Until I can tell you I thought that I would show you some of my new pieces that I still have for sale....there is still time to pass this blog post onto someone who loves you and hope that you too will be one of the lucky recipients of a PKK design surprise this holiday season.

love heart necklacesterling silver heart necklace
If you've read my blog before you will have figured out that I like to talk about love......This year has been a very tough one for my heart.....It has has opened has looked at the has taken back some of the pieces that got lost in the chaos. These two Love Heart Necklaces are made from sterling silver, that has been blackened and scratched up with a really gritty texture. "The Cracks In Your Heart Let The Sun Shine Through" The small one hangs on a 16" inch chain and is $50. The big one hangs on a 24" inch chain and is $75.

sterling silver enamel necklace
silver enamel necklace
And of course.....the Love Heart Necklace with a little colour and pattern. This one has a rich dark purple enamel. It hangs on a 30"inch chain and is $98.

Please email me if you are interested and we will work out the details.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Eastside Culture Crawl - What it means to invite you in

In the spring I moved my studio to the Eastside. Along with moving into a space shared with some of my best friends I was also moving into a space that was a part of the Eastside Culture Crawl.

The Eastside Culture Crawl has been happening for 14 years in Vancouver. It officially began in 1997 with 45 artists in 3 Strathcona studio buildings, The Onion building (my studio) being one of the 3 originals. The first event was attended by a few hundred people. Now 14 years later there are over 300 artists in 60 studio buildings and the event is attended by over 10,000 people.

The Culture Crawl has to be one of my most favourite events that happens in Vancouver. It is such an incredible honor to be participating in it. For this weekend only we will all be opening up our studios to the public. Usually our studios are private. The days I go to my studio I will wake up at around 6am, roll out of bed, make coffee and head straight there. I will stay there for hours.....sometimes taking a break, walking down to the Union Street Market to get more coffee. I will chat with the other artists in my studio, inspired by the creative energy in the building. My creative process is mostly solitary, it's inside my head, it's inside my soul. My creative space, my studio is also mostly solitary, it is small, it is filled with things that I love -tools, metal, and things that inspire me -a picture of my baby nephew, rough pieces of sky blue larimar and royal blue lapis lazuli.

When we open the doors to our studios we are saying something bigger then come and buy our art. We are letting you into our creative space, the place where we explore, take risks, make mistakes, and some moments create things that are exceptional. We are asking you to feel something, the creative energy that moves us to keep going back into our studios. We are asking you to experience art, and to get to know the artists. We are even hoping to inspire you a little and inviting you to come over to our side, to draw, paint, stitch, move metal...............join us......

Prepare to be Amazed

The Eastside Culture Crawl
Friday, November 26th 5pm-10pm
Saturday, November 27th 11am-6pm
Sunday, November 28th 11am-6pm
The Onion Studio 1103 Union Street
Vancouver, BC

Monday, November 1, 2010

2012 Show Dates

Please sign up for my newsletter to receive details on upcoming shows, exhibitions and exclusive sales! 

The Eastside Culture Crawl 2012
November 16th-18th
The Onion Studio 1103 Union Street
Vancouver, BC

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Beautiful Innovative Gift Ideas

Beautiful Innovative Gift Ideas. Enjoy!

How much would you love to come home each day to a fresh flower with a little hand written love note from your sweetie on one of these very creative chalkboard vases? Designed by Ricardo Saint-Clair and available online at the MoMa Store.

I am in love with this. It is masking tape made from washi, which is handmade Japanese paper. How much prettier would wrapped gifts look with these beautiful colours? Also available at MoMa.

This is the Boskke Sky Planter. It is a planter that you can hang from your ceiling. I think this is perfect for a small cozy place. I also think that this just might be the answer in getting my cat to stop eating my plants, although knowing my trouble maker cat, she would likely just figure out a way to hang from my ceiling.... These are available at Walrus in Vancouver.

UPPERCASE Magazine. I adore this magazine. Every issue is beautiful, inspiring, and playful. My perfect day would involve leafing through a pile of luxe magazines while sipping tea and UPPERCASE would definitely be in that pile. Find our more on their website.

I would love to hear about your beautiful gift ideas so please feel free to share!

xo patsy.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Love Match Contest - Fire Starter Sessions

The past week in my jewelry filled life has been quite the ride.

I was chosen as a finalist in Danielle LaPorte's Love Match Contest. I have been reading Danielle's blog for the past year and I am often profoundly moved by her insight, humor, and honesty. Her Fire Starter Sessions, which she sells for $150 have been something I have longingly looked at but it just hasn't been in my budget. Living the life I do, I make sacrifices. I know many of you do too. I don't work a high paying job, I don't get to take annual vacations. What I do get is to create things with my hands....which feels amazing. What I do get is to nurture my artistic side, hang out with amazing artists, and continually breathe life and love into my business -something that I created.....something that is truly a part of my soul.

So, when Danielle asked aspiring entrepreneurs to vie to win a copy of her Fire Starter Sessions, I was so freaking in! In order to win we had to answer some very thought provoking questions, we had about 24 hours to come up with our answers. I contemplated mine with an amazing friend over wine and Greek food at Stepho's.....and then ended up waking up the next morning at 5am to write out my answers. Here are her questions with my answers:

a) Give us a quote that explains how you see life.

To live in this world, you must be able to do three things: to love what is mortal;

to hold it against your bones knowing that your own life depends on it;

and, when the time comes to let it go, to let it go. Mary Oliver

b) What's wrong with the world?

That people seek answers outside of themselves.

After much more time to think about this question I would change my answer to McDonald's.....I think that McDonald's really encompasses all that's wrong with the world - corporate greed, environmental destruction, fast food, inhumane treatment of animals, mass consumption. I might also add Ugg boots......I just don't get them.

c) What does the world need more of?

Yoga. Bliss. Strong independent women. - Yup, I'm sticking with this.

d) What's one great businesses idea you wished you thought of?

Ceramic Artist Lori Koop sends out an "Upword of the week" every Sunday to inspire, and make you think. She connects the word to her ceramic work every week. It's brilliant.

e) Name 3 people you admire and 1 word on each of them to describe why.

Pema Chodron - Peace
My Dad - Stability

(and because he still washes my car when I go home to visit, he's my rock)
Kelly Cutrone - Entrepreneur (read her book, "If You Have to Cry go Outside" and you will know why)

f) What's your cocktail line?

I turn stories into metal.

g) What does/will your business bring to the world?

I create beautiful, original, colourful works of art that can be worn, cherished, and adored. I want women to connect with a piece and the story behind it, and when they put it on their body feel bold, passionate, and alive.

h) What problem do you solve for people?

I save amazing women from feeling blah, ho hum, boring.

i) What are your current or intended revenue streams?

Wholesale sales to boutiques
direct sales to customers through shows

j) What did you used to believe that you now think is silly?

That I could save someone from themselves.

k) What's your biggest entrepreneurial obstacle, and how will The FSS help you turn it to ashes?

I tend to get caught in the research and the ideas and have a tough time moving into action. I hope that it will give me more creative focus and the ability to move forward without being blocked, by lack of money, time, fear.

l) What chapter in The FSS do you want to read first?

Module 1: Strength and Desire- I'm a start at the beginning type of gal.

m) For you, what word is interchangeable with "success"?


n) What's one business question you'd like to ask me?

How do you balance the personal and the public?

They narrowed it down to 4 key questions and they choose 15 finalists who would vie for 7 copies of the Fire Starter Sessions, yours truly being one of them. and then we had to get the votes. I have to say I hustled a little. I am a Capricorn. I am also born in the year of the Dragon. I've got a natural competitive edge to me that I soften with hours of yoga. But I really wanted to win one of her Fire Starter Sessions and I wanted a bit of glory....I was leading the pack in first place for the first couple of voting days, but on the final day Kai Soremekun passed me on the inside and I ended up with 2nd place. Second place is pretty amazing for little me! I'm just a girl living in Vancouver trying to get the world to buy my jewelry. I'm ecstatic to have won the Fire Starter Sessions and I can't wait to dive into them. I'm thrilled to have met a whole bunch more amazing, interesting, talented women through this online world and I'm excited to continue to grow on this incredible journey with all of you.

Thank-you to Danielle, the wonderful generous people for donating a Fire Starter Session for this contest, to the other amazing finalists, and to all of the lovelies in my world who voted for me.

What a fun ride!!!

xoxo pkk.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Perfect Mistakes

We Move Metal - A collective piece by Jewelers/Metalsmiths in the Onion Studio

We move metal with our hands.

We use techniques that are ancient - practiced throughout centuries to create beautiful objects. We use techniques that are new, contemporary, and innovative – pushing the boundaries of our craft.

Inspired by a project called Nuit Blanche, by the Metal Arts Guild of Canada, I have created this collection that shows you our process. Every new technique we learn we need to practice, experiment, and make mistakes. Every spark of an idea we think we could turn into metal we need to explore, hammer, enamel, bend, push, twist, and turn.

This is our process. A collection of our thoughts, passions, mistakes, ambitions, defeats, struggles, and successes. A collection of metal objects – a collection of our journey to become experts at our craft.

This is a wall piece that I created with the help of the other talented jewelers in my studio. It will be on display at our studio during the Eastside Culture Crawl. It is a collection of all of our practice pieces, our mistakes, & our experiments.

Contributing Artist's:
Patsy Kay Kolesar
Simone Richmond

Cory Bigcharles
Linda Read
Heather Matwe
Jessica Taylor

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Fashion Body

I have been in conflict with my body lately. It has been feeling things that it usually doesn't....pain....pressure.....uncertainty. I so far have no answers for it, just a series of bruises from multiple blood tests (I bruise easily and I hate needles). Feeling out of touch with ones body is a funny thing. It does something bizarre to your mind. Pain in my body makes it harder for my mind to stay calm, focused, clear, loving. This past year I have felt a connection to my body more then I ever have before. I have had a fairly consistent yoga practice which has the ability to connect my physical body with my mind in such a harmonious way......those who know,'s hard to explain in words.
I have moved my body more, running, hiking, walking, feeling music.......I have felt more loving towards my body then I have ever felt before. It is so easy to be critical of our bodies....I'm too much of this.....I don't have enough of that.....I hate my.......why can't I have her........It is much more of an effort to offer our bodies love, acceptance, & admiration.

I make things to adorn your body with. Most days when I leave my house, I wear a really big ring on my middle finger, I wear earrings that dangle, and a necklace...sometimes two. These pieces make me feel beautiful, ready to take on the world. On days that I need to re charge I wear absolutely no jewelry, It feels risky, like I'm more open and vulnerable.....a day without armour.

I came across information on this very cool project called The Fashion Body on The idea behind it is about how linked fashion is to the physical body. They asked a bunch of different artists to create a short video on a particular body part. The results are all very different and worth checking out. I have posted links to three of my favourites.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Growing a Jewelry Business

My business is growing. It is not growing really fast....I tried the fast and furious method when I first started out in business two years ago....lots of stores, big in people to be as honest as I am. I learned that business can be a tough world and when dealing with sharks "niceness" doesn't always get you paid. I learned a hard lesson early on in my career and I am thankful for that.

I now am pleased to be growing my business slower, and smarter. I am not a big flashy company. I am me. My two hands, my passion, my skills, the stories of my life turned into jewelry. I am my most alive self when I am creating...designing, hammering, enameling. I am my most content self when I am surrounded by art, by beauty, by other things that have been created by two hands and a whole lot of passion.

This is why I am delighted to have Patsy Kay Kolesar Design in Tartooful. Tartooful is a stunning little gallery located in Edgemont Village in North Vancouver.

Tartooful, 1.n. an object that is both beautiful and functional. well designed; of lasting value. 2 v. to beautify through simplicity. declutter; find the essence of beauty; surround oneself only with works of art. 3 adj. stylish and whimsical.

Tartooful is indeed filled with beautiful and functional products. It is stunning from the outside and draws you in. Once inside the shop I was in bliss - it is thoughtfully designed like a great art exhibition but also has a welcoming warmth to it that makes you want to engage with each of the carefully selected lines. The owner of the shop Cathy Church, chooses items for her space that she connects with, that tell a story and that offer something a little bit different to the world.

I think that it is a great fit for my jewelry. I am happy to have PKKD a part of this lovely shop. I am happy that my business is growing slowly, carefully, and with integrity.

You can click on these links to follow Patsy Kay Kolesar Design and Tartooful on Facebook. It's a great way not to miss out on new designs and to get updates on events.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What Love is.......

Some musings about Love.....

I'm often moved by words. Recently while reading one of Danielle Laportes inspiring posts I was struck by this one sentence:
"But at this point, I'm tender and tough enough to know what love is and isn't".

I would like to think that I always know what love is and what love isn't. I think deep down I do know, I should know by now............shouldn't I?

I'm in my early 30's...and I like being here. Pain hurts a bit more, but only because I now have the ability to let it hurt, to feel it, to dive the fuck into it and come out stronger. Joy feels incredible, but only because I know how devastating life can feel without joy, and I make sure to do things that make me smile, laugh, and soar.
I have figured out some big things.....I've done some hard work, I've looked at some of my pretty dark and twisted places, I've accepted things about me that may always be flaws, I've accepted things about me that are amazing, incredible, strength. So, why don't I always know what love is and isn't? Why do I sometimes still allow things into my life that bring me down? Why do I still doubt myself sometimes and not trust the voice that is telling me what love is and what it isn't?

I want to always know what love is. I want love to be truth. I want love to be honesty. I want love to move me, to challenge me, to lift me higher. I want my art to be filled with love and my love to be filled with art.

Here are a few things that I love.....and things that bring me love:

  • Brooke Castillo's Blog - Personal Coach - her blog posts always seem to come at the exactly right moment in my life.
  • Yoga in Daily Life - My yoga center - This is pure LOVE.
  • Kate England - Artist who designs beautiful and functional icons - I love hearing about her design process and I fantasize about being as organized as she must be one day.
  • Peregrine Honig - Artist who I fell in love with through watching Bravo's Work of Art - there is something about her work that makes me a little breathless.
  • Kathleen Edwards - Canadian Alt Country signer - LOVE her, her voice moves me.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I Have A Million Fears

This post was originally written for the Doodle heads blog.

When I came across the Sketchbook Project I thought that it was the coolest project ever. I spent two weeks agonizing over which theme I would pick.....Facing Forward was what I finally concluded. I have been meditating, doing yoga, self reflecting, and figuring shit out for the past number of months. I was pretty sure that it was time to Face Forward.

I received my sketchbook and was delighted, gleeful, I couldn't stop stroking the book and flipping it's lovely crisp untouched pages. I sniffed it, I hugged it, I was super stoked. Days went by and I would pick it up, hold it and put it down. I was frozen with fear.

I've got a couple of big fears that I am fully aware of - fear of commitment, and fear of Failure.......hmmmmm, turns out this sketchbook project is bathed with both of these big time. There is something about knowing that every pen mark I put into this sketchbook is permanent....and others will see it, there is no backing out (hello fear of commitment). And what if it sucks....I sketch jewelry designs and they don't all turn out lovely, some turn out okay, some turn out brilliant and some kind of suck (howdy fear of failure, oh you again).

What to do.......okay I thought I would ease into it. I took my theme and started sketching in one of my more familiar books, a tried and true one.....easy breezy, I designed some unique earrings based on my them Facing Forward and on Self Reflection.
Okay, I thought I was pretty much ready to start on the real a necklace in the empty gray moleskin book taunting me from my coffee table......nope.... couldn't do it. Again I picked it up and put it down and went to the comfort of my old private sketchbook.

This Facing Forward idea is turning out to be challenging in ways I didn't see coming. And now I am here with all of you, absolutely delighted to be asked to participate in this doodleheads blog. So excited to connect with a new community of artists. So nervous....I'm a jewelry designer.....I draw be amongst all of these other talented artists who can draw amazing is pretty crazy intimidating. But I'm going to do it. It's all about the risk right? Being an artist, being an entrepreneur, it is all about risk. I will Face Forward and I will start filling that sketchbook with pure brilliance....and some not so brilliant and I will share it with all of you.

Looking forward to this journey with everyone.
Patsy Kay Kolesar

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Facing Forward and Self Relfection

I have been designing new jewelry pieces inspired by my theme for the sketchbook project, Facing Forward.

For the past while I have been designing jewelry inspired by love stories. I have been in a very self-reflective place. being uncertain. being doubtful. being hopeful. being in awe... of love. I have been meditating,practicing yoga, and figuring some shit out.

I started to wonder if it was possible to still be self reflective while facing forward? and what does self reflective look like? what does facing forward look like? I started sketching ideas for earrings that represented both of these themes........

My design for self reflection had to feel a little twisty, circular, curvy, deep, and beautiful. My design for facing forward had to remind me of birds. birds have made themselves very present in my life the last number of months. My beautiful Papaya art prints around my home have uplifted me every time i look at them. and I have seen eagles, cranes, humming birds and yellow finches all around me. The design had to be soaring, wing like, clean lines, beak like, bold, strong.

Lots of ideas. I spent a day playing in my studio and decided that these two designs are my favourite. I have been wearing them around proudly the last few days.

Facing Forward Earring
sterling silver earring
Self Reflection
sterling silver earring

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Sketchbook Project

A couple of months ago I came across the Sketchbook Project. "It's like a concert tour but with sketchbooks", how cool is that? Anyone can be a part of it, you just pick your theme, order your sketchbook for $25, fill it and send it back to them by Jan 2011. They take the sketchbooks on a cross country art tour and afterwards all of sketchbooks become property of the Brooklyn Art Library. Pretty much the coolest project ever. It took me two weeks to pick my theme, I know that they say that the theme is "loose", but having a few rules in life has always helped me focus. I finally chose "Facing Forward" whooh, yup, facing forward.........My life has been in the digging deep, reflective, self-discovery stage now for a little while and I'm pretty sure that it's time to face forward.

My sketchbook is gray with lovely white pages.....I have a bit of a thing for sketchbooks, art supply stores, stationary stores.....something about the that really weird?

I thought I would show you some pics of my other sketchbooks, I rarely have only one on the go.....and when I fill one up I could never throw it away.

They have over 10,000 people who have signed up so far to be a part of the Sketchbook Project. I think that there is something amazing knowing that so many people around the world will be sketching away, filling these little books with a piece of themselves. All with a collective goal in mind. I would love for all of you to be a part of this project too and share your process with me a bit. I will be posting photos from my sketchbook once I start filling it......There is something about taking my pen to that very first page that is a little scary, exciting, bold. I will let you know when I get there!

Monday, August 2, 2010

The What We've Created Brooch

About a month ago my Dad asked me if I could make a piece of jewelry for him to give to my Mom for their 40th wedding anniversary. My Dad is usually the pots and pans type of gift giver so I was shocked, touched, and delighted to take on such an amazing project. I spent a lot of time thinking about what to make, what was special enough for this moment, what spending 40 years with someone meant........

This is what I ended up making,

"The What We've Created Brooch"

What we've created in 40 years is a home that echoes with laughter long after the Christmas decorations are packed away and the Bar-b-q's are done for the Summer.

What we've created is two strong, compassionate daughters who have never doubted for a moment that they have incredible love and strength to catch them when they stumble and push them gently when they need support.

What we've created is a house filled with love and new giggles of a very special grandchild and another on the way.

What we've created is a love that is true and committed and a friendship that has grown stronger and stronger throughout 40 years.

Their anniversary was yesterday, August 1st. My Mom was overjoyed with the gift, and in shock that it had been my Dad's idea. My Mom gave my Dad a card....My Dad is now gloating that he is "one up" on my Mom in the gift giving department, hehehe. I sure hope to be able to still be laughing with someone after sharing 40 years with them.
The brooch is made from sterling silver that I have hammered, twisted and blackened. It is, of course embellished with pearls and a bright red enameled disk. The wall piece is made from copper, which I have enameled and made a special little place for the brooch to clip in when it is not being worn.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Amanda's Love Story Necklace

This is Amanda's finished Love Story Necklace, for her to wear on her wedding day. Amanda was one of the two winners from my Love Story Necklace Contest, where I asked brides to be to tell me their love story in order to win a custom wedding necklace.

wedding necklace
wedding necklaceAmanda's beautiful love story filled with pain and strength, twists and turns, and the photo below inspired the design for this Love Story Necklace.

The sweetest moment of a relationship captured.
honesty. playfulness. trust. fun. strength.

I designed Amanda's necklace while reflecting on this moment. I think that a partnership, a marriage is about making life a little easier for each other. I know, I know.....relationships and marriage are not easy, far from it. But I do believe that because of these moments they become worth the work. Having someone there to pick you up when you fall, to make you laugh when you hate the world, to hold your hand when you're getting blood taken is............ kind of nice.

Life is risky. We take risks every day. My generation is skeptical of marriage. We've seen a lot of failed marriages and many of us are unsure if it is worth the risk. I think it is though. I know that love is amazing, falling in love is pretty damn fun, and loving someone with all of your heart and feeling that love in return feels incredible. When we take risks every day of our lives, why wouldn't we take a risk on one of the most amazing feelings we get to experience in this world? Why not take a risk on love?

One of my favourite inspirational life coaches and blogger Stacy Curnow posted this quote by poet Mary Oliver on her blog the other day and I think it is perfect:

To live in this world, you must be able to do three things:
to love what is mortal; to hold it against your bones
knowing your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go, to let it go.

-Mary Oliver

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Persistence and Designing Jewelry

I've been thinking about persistence lately.

When i design new pieces of jewelry - I sketch. I can sketch the same piece over and over and over again until I get it exactly right. Some design ideas never become just right and they never get built into a piece of jewelry. Sometimes I can go a few weeks of sketching without getting a design that I totally love. But I never stop designing........I try a different sketchbook (I have many), I try a new location - I persist and eventually I get something special, something that excites me, something that moves me a little, something that makes me want to start moving metal.
These are three new sketches that will turn into something more.

Artist Kerry Smith is the creator of the Artist's Survival Kit, which I adore. They are clever and hilarious. Kerry just moved to Vancouver with her family to teach at Emily Carr. I loved reading her newest post on Vancouver - there is something amazing about seeing your city through someone else's eyes.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Designing Amanda's Love Story Necklace

I design jewelry inspired by love, because that is what it's all about.......isn't it?

My Grandpa, wrote a book about his life story. He gave each of us grand kids a copy of it before he died. I have been reading it lately. In his dedication he wrote "I dedicate this, my life story, to my dear wife Alison, who gave me four lovely children and the happiest years of my life." My grandparents were married for 60 years.

I spent a sunny afternoon recently designing Amanda's Love Story Necklace. Amanda was one of the two winners of my Love Story Necklace contest. I had a photo of Amanda's beautiful dress and lovely wedding venue to inspire my design, but the design kept coming out not quite right. I kept thinking about Amanda and Matt's love story and about this one picture of the two of them that they sent me.
Amanda had wrote underneath this picture. "Here we are, Matt helping me up after I fell down, like he always does." You can tell that they are both laughing. I loved being in on this moment. It is this moment that inspired the design for their necklace. Because isn't this moment what makes a relationship beautiful? You help each other when one of you falls, and you laugh together through all of it. The horrible, the scary, the really fucking painful moments in life, you stick together and make it a little easier for each other.

Amanda's necklace is in the works, almost is the design.

Amanda's Love Story Necklace, has an elegant strength to it just like Amanda. This necklace symbolizes the ups and downs and twists and turns that Amanda and Matt have already endured in their relationship. But like their relationship it is also happy, beautiful, and forever.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Gracie's Love Story Necklace for her Wedding Day

I am so pleased to share that Gracie's Love Story Necklace is complete. Gracie was one of the two winners of my Love Story Necklace Contest.

When I emailed Gracie and told her that she was one of the two winners these were her words,
"I am so excited to be chosen! Thank you so so much!!! This really means a lot to me, I am glad my story touched you. I can not wait to see the finished product and wear it for my wedding day! I look forward to the process of creating something truly original. Thank you a million times over! You made my day!" - Gracie

There is just nothing better then the feeling of knowing that you made someones day.

After choosing Gracie and Steve's inspiring Love Story, I gathered more information about their unique wedding day and I designed a Love Story Necklace that was one of a kind and exquisite just like Gracie.

Then I spent about......4 days in my studio constructing the necklace.

Lots of hammering, twisting, turning, bending.......

I use my torch to solder each of the pieces together. Lots of careful positioning, adjusting, and patience.

I solder each wire onto the necklace base which will hold the pearls, the little red dots are felt pen marks to show me where to solder each wire......I like a lot of pearls......

I hand polish the piece, using my flex shaft, a felt wheel and 3 different polishing compounds.

I use a silk screen to sift the powdered enamel in a pattern onto the sterling silver circles. I used a thistle pattern and chocolate brown enamel for Gracie's necklace.

I fire the piece with my torch until the enamel flows and fuses to the silver.

Then there is about a gazillion other little steps that I do to finish the piece and once I have made some changes, tried it on a few lovely necks around my studio, and thoroughly examined every aspect of the piece I can officially say It is finished and AMAZING!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Bold. Colour. Passion.

My life is filled with bold passionate colour. It is not always pretty colours. Sometimes it's angry reds, some days it's crushing blues, and sometimes it's even head under the covers gray. But it is always interesting, engaging, and colourful.

When I was little I used to draw faces over and over again. I had one of those amazing cases of crayons with every colour imaginable and I would sit in front of a blank stack of crisp white paper and draw women's faces for hours. I would give everyone of them a name and a number, hole punch them and stick them in a binder. Some had dangle earrings, necklaces, bold make-up, and crazy hair. I was enchanted by all of the different colours that I could play with.

Playing with colour is something that I still get to do and is why I am so drawn to enameling jewelry. The colour combination possibilities are endless and I am constantly inspired by my colourful world to try new things.

I saw these photos the other day by photographer and former Heatherette designer Traver Rains.

Bold. Colour. Passion. Incredible......

All photos Traver Rains Photography

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Living The Creative Life

I have spent the past three days in my studio making Gracie's Love Story Necklace. It has felt fantastic to be locked up in my creative space, surrounded only by other artists working, amazing art everywhere I look, and my own creative ideas flowing.

I am sooooo close to finishing Gracie's Love Story Necklace. It's turning out fairly amazing. I was hoping to have it finished today, but I figure two more nights of final touches and I will be able to show it off.

Being able to spend the last three days focusing only on my creative passion, making jewelry, has felt incredible. Sometimes it is easy for me to get caught in the tunnel of "I shoulds", I should be blogging more, I should be tweeting more, I should have more facebook fans, I should have more stores, I should be doing what everyone else is doing.........It is an easy place for my mind to get stuck in, but it is a tunnel. It keeps going around in circles and the only way for me to get out is to physically do something about it. Picking myself up and moving my whole body to my studio does it. I start to tap on some metal, I start to play with some stones, sketch some designs and I remember what I am doing. I remember that life is about finding the things that you love to do and to keep doing them over and over again. It is so easy for all of us to get stuck in our "I shoulds", but those things will happen. I will get more facebook fans, I will get more stores, but to get there I need to keep doing what I love, what I'm good at, and what feeds my soul. I need to keep creating.

A fellow artist and blogger, Lori Koop shared this video link on her blog this week and I thought I would pass it along. It is Elizabeth Gilbert speaking about nurturing your creativity. I found it insightful, funny, and honest. Definitely worth the watch.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

You Are A Beautiful Freak

I have had some great conversations with some amazing women in my life this week about risk taking and embracing our unique selves.

I have always felt a little bit like a freak. I have never chosen the easy path in life, the straight road, the road that society feels comfortable around. I have been a vegan for 12 years. I worked for 5 years of my life in feminist women's centres. When I was 28 I took a giant leap and went back to school to pursue a career as a jewelry artist.

There are times when I am at a restaurant trying to devise a vegan meal from a meat and dairy heavy menu, when I will tell the server that I am allergic to dairy. For some reason, I think that I will be taken less seriously as a vegan. In my mind I see the server going back to the kitchen and snickering to the chef that there is a freaky vegan in the restaurant tonight.

I am often told by people that the way to make money as a jeweler is to cast everything. To mass produce. To come up with a simple design, make a mold, and produce it over and over again. Yet, still I continue to make every piece with my own two hands, too make pieces that are one of a kind, and to push myself to continuously come up with unique, original jewelry designs.

What I have learned in the past few months of my life is that I need to trust who I am. I need to embrace my freak, not apologize for it. I need to to trust my instinct. Trust that there is many other people who embrace the unique, who want jewelry that is one of a kind, who will buy jewelry that is authentic, and made by hand. Trust that other people are also embracing what is freakish or different about themselves and honoring it.

On my living room wall I have these two Papaya Art panel prints with a mirror beside them. Every time I look in the mirror, I am reminded that I am a beautiful freak. A big thank you to all of you other beautiful freaks out there! You inspire me!

For some more beautiful and unique inspiration this week check out Papaya Art Designer Anahata Katkin's blog.