Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Love Story Necklace Contest Winning Stories Part 2

Today I want to share the second winning story from the Love Story Necklace Contest. I ended up choosing two winning stories for very different reasons. They each in their own way really embodied what the Love Story Necklace is all about.

Amanda's Love Story -
Matt and I weren't supposed to meet, fall in love, or get married. We are 95.7% opposites. We met through MySpace for crying out loud! I met Matt my junior year in college. I wasn't looking for a relationship and he was so I blew him off at first. Then when he wrote to me again asking to get ice cream, I caved and after meeting him, I was done.

We moved in together right after i graduated college and were happy for awhile, then it started to get hard. We were living in a tiny 1 bedroom apartment with no privacy, nowhere to be alone and it was just too much of each other and it really brought out our differences. So I moved out and back home with my parents, thinking that was it, it was over.

We still talked and neither of us were dating other people. We decided to start going out on dates again and doing things together that we both liked instead of being apart. Things got better so I moved back before Christmas. We then started looking for a home together and found one.

The following January we were laying in bed reading and I had a pain in my chest. I felt around and found a lump the size of a large walnut. I instantly knew something was very wrong and started crying, breast cancer runs in my family and I was only 25. My cousin died at age 26 from cancer, this couldn't be happening to me. Matt held me and told me that no matter what he loved me and would always be there for me. I said even if I lose all my hair? He said he'd shave his head too. At that point I knew I had found the man that would stand beside me no matter what. After tons of appointments and biopsy's the tests thought it was benign but they had to take it out to be sure because of it's size and shape. I had surgery and Matt was there to nurse me back to health, change my bandages and just be there for me. The tests came back 100% benign and we finally breathed easy again.

That August we went hiking to our favorite waterfall, hidden from the general public, we had found it on our third date. We hiked down with our tripod and camera to take some photos. After many shots Matt told me to stand still so he could get one of us together, there in front of the most beautiful spot he asked me to be his wife, through sickness and health, whatever lies ahead. We are now planning our dream fall wedding for October 16, 2010. This Love Story necklace is perfect for me to wear because it symbolizes the twists and turns that we've had in our relationship, but no matter what it's one piece that will stay together forever, like us.

What I loved about Amanda's story was that the two of them have been through so much as a couple. Relationships, although amazing are hard and I think it takes great compassion and great strength for a couple to fall apart and then come back together. A little over a month ago one of my closest friends was diagnosed with a brain tumor, thankfully it also turned out to be benign. Life is scary and short, and it is the people and the love that we choose to have in our life that make it incredible and a little less scary. I would say that Amanda and Matt are a pretty inspiring and courageous couple. I am honoured to be making Amanda a Love Story Necklace to wear on her wedding day.

I wanted to share with you another inspiring and courageous woman and artist, Kerri Smith - I am loving her blog these days

Also for all of my brides-to-be I thought you might like this very pretty blog for a little wedding inspiration

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Love Story Necklace Contest Winning Stories

My inspiration for creating my first Love Story Necklace came to me when I was reflecting on why love and life have never been easy for me. Didn’t someone convince me when I was 6 that eventually life would be happily ever after? I decided to do some research on love, so I watched all of my favourite love stories; Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, Bed of Roses, Love Story. These were the movies that had taught me what love was and shaped my ideals of love. After spending a weekend watching these and a few other favourites, I realized that all of my favourite love stories were, like my life, complicated. They had amazing highs and devastating lows, but what survived in each of them was the ability to believe in love even when life was at its darkest. I became inspired to create unique pieces of art that honored the curving, unique path that relationships can take us on.

About a month ago I asked brides-to-be to tell me the twists and turns of their love story in order to win a custom made Love Story Necklace to wear on their wedding day. I was amazed with how many women connected with the Love Story Necklace and shared their amazing stories with me. I thank each of you who entered, it was such a hard decision. I fell in love with every story. In the end I picked two winning stories for very different reasons. Today I will share one of the winning stories and I will share the other one tomorrow. Enjoy.

Gracie's Love Story -

I met Steven online. After going through the most traumatic experience of my life 2 years prior, I never thought I would date again, let alone get married. I had been engaged once before and the groom-to-be called it off over the phone just 3 short weeks before the day. I was completely beside myself, as was my family. I was finally able to get over the worst of it and started becoming interested in life again, and along with that came boys. I decided to sign myself up for

After a month of first dates that never went anywhere, I was matched with Steve. He was everything I had never dated before. I took a chance, honestly thinking it was probably not going to work out. He was cute, but we didn't seem to have much in common. I soon found out that didn’t matter. Besides feeling like I had known him forever, we had similar up bringing and morals and that was what we would build our relationship on and soon, our future family.We moved in together 7 months later. Merging our tastes and styles together has been a difficult task but we have met each other half way. Which really means, most of Steve's hand me down/bachelor pad decor went to Goodwill and I decorated the house.

The next month Steve and I decided to invite our families and friends over to our house for Steve's Birthday. I was stressing out about how we were going to fit everyone in our place. First to arrive at the house was Steve's dad John & family friend Dave. Steve told me that he was going to take them out to where he works and show them the construction site. I felt overwhelmed with getting everything ready but Steve promised he would be back in time when everyone showed up.

Over an hour later, everyone was at our house and Steve still wasn't back yet. I introduced the family and friends who hadn't met yet and got the show on the road. Finally Steve showed up and we started to BBQ. The food was great and everyone loved our new place. It couldn't have gone any better.(Or so i thought...)During all the mingling and chatting Steve and I barley saw each other. Looking back now... I would guess he was avoiding me. He was hanging out in the garage with the guys and the keg, probably trying to calm his nerves.

I called everyone into the kitchen for cake. We all gathered around Steve and sang happy birthday. Steve blew out the candles and thanked everyone for coming. He then continued to talk about how much everyone meant to him, especially me and the time we have shared together. I thought this seemed like a strange turn of events but it never occurred to me that he was about to pop the question. I stared at my mom and then my sister from across the room, thinking to myself "Where the heck is he going with this? Is it a birthday tradition in his family to make a speech or something?" Then he said something about the last 8 months being the best of his life and then i think my knees started shaking because I realized what was going on. Meanwhile I keep staring at my mom looking for some kind of clue as to if she was thinking the same thing. I turned my focus back to Steve and he was getting down on one knee in front of all our family and friends! Then he asked me to marry him. I honestly don't remember much after this point. According to the photos though, my mouth was hanging wide open and at some point I said yes.

It couldn't have been a more perfect proposal. I always wanted a surprise and for all my family to be there with me and I got exactly that. Turns out 98% of the guests at the party knew that he was going to propose. He bought the ring earlier that week and when he was "showing his dad the job site" they were actually picking up my engagement ring!He also asked my parents for their blessing earlier that week as well, which means the world to me. I can't believe my mom was able to keep it all a secret!

Our wedding is August 28, 2010 in Auburn ,Washington.

I am in the process of designing Gracie's Love Story Necklace and I'm soooo excited about it. I will be posting pictures of the design process and construction of the necklace over the next few weeks. I fell in love with Gracie's story because of her strength and resilience. I don't believe in happily ever after, I believe that life and love is about hard choices. We all get hurt, we all have our hearts broken, but with time, you choose to make your past the past and move forward. You choose to give love, you choose to embrace the incredible.

For more inspiration and the incredible, please enjoy these words by one of my favourite inspirational bloggers Danielle Laporte.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Love Story Contest Results Coming Very Soon....

Promises...promises. I was supposed to have posted the winning Love Story from my Love Story Necklace Contest by now. However, I am on Vancouver Island for a little mini break from my busy life in the big city. I am dividing my time between my parents place and my sister's beach cottage. My parents have a PC with a painfully slow internet connection, so even writing this "quick" blog post is making me want to poke my eyeballs out. My sister's cottage is perfect for typing away on my laptop, but I of course can't get an internet connection there. So, what I can tell you is that I have chosen two beautiful love stories - yes, that's right my decision making inability lead me to choose two, not one, winning love story. They both won my heart with very different love stories. Both of my brides-to-be have been notified and are excited and willing to be my muses for the next month or so while I create their Love Story Necklace's.

I will be posting their stories as soon as I can find somewhere in this quaint place that has wireless.......In the mean time I will be enjoying my time spent designing new jewelry and watching bald eagles swoop into the ocean.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Alternative Wedding Dresses - a few of my favourites

Finding alternative wedding dresses and alternative wedding jewelry can be hard. There is so much of the "other" to wade through that it can be a lot of work finding something truly unique. I thought I would share with you some of my favourite alternative wedding dresses of the moment. Enjoy!

alternative wedding dress This one is my favourite from Elizabeth Dye's 2010 bridal collection "Heroines"
I am actually in love with her whole collection, it was very hard to pick a favourite.

alternative wedding dressThis amazing silk skirt, top, and belt is by the Norwegian designer Oleana. Oleana makes these gorgeous silk pieces in a variety of rich colours that are perfect for a unique wedding day.

This dress is from the 2010 bridal collection of Alabama Chanin. Each of their pieces is made by hand, using a combination of new, organic, and recycled materials. The hand detailing on this dress is incredibly intricate and unusual.

Love Story Necklace patsy kay kolesarA one of a kind Love Story Necklace (above) or Cherry Blossom Necklace (below) would add the perfect finishing touch to any one of these alternative wedding dresses.
alternative wedding necklace canada

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Love Story Necklace Contest Closing

Friday was the closing date for my Love Story Necklace Contest, originally launched on Offbeat - where I asked brides-to-be to tell me their love story to try to win a custom made one of a kind Love Story Necklace. I am excited to pick a winner. I am also a little sad that I won't have beautiful love stories in my inbox every day.
How amazing, how complex, how exciting, how confusing, how incredible love is. I feel so touched that so many women were open and honest and shared their love stories with me. There is such beauty in each of them. Through reading all of the loves stories I have learned that our ability to love surpasses any amount of pain and heartache that we go through. I feel so touched and honored to have read each of the love stories that I received. Now, for the hard part, picking the winner....I'll keep you posted. I will be consulting with my creative team this week, I will be announcing the winner next week.

sterling silver wedding necklace