Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Jewelry-Making Contest 2011 featuring Gemstones
Gold Medal Prize Winner
Meet the Designer-Artist
Where do you live? Washington
Describe your artistic style. Freestyle beading focused on beading hearts, more specific sutured hearts; with some raised beading.
What inspires you as a designer-artist? My 15 year old son was born with Hypo-plastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) basically he only has the right half of his heart. He underwent 3 open-heart surgeries all by the age of 3 and he's now in heart failure and awaiting a heart transplant. One day while beading, a heart shape started to form and my son asked if I could make a sutured heart design; with luck I had the perfect shaped stones that allowed me to do just that and my beaded sutured heart was created.
What materials do you most enjoy working with? Seed beads, semi-precious stones but mostly Swarovski crystals.
What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story? True Love Always
What inspired this design? My eldest son's 3 open-heart surgeries. The healing of one's self and of a family.
How did it come together? I didn't plan on a sutured heart when I started, but once it started coming together I decided to make more; use different colors etc.
Share Your Background
When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading? I started beading just last year; 2010 in December. I took a class and fell in love. It also really helps relieve stress and is very therapeutic.
Who introduced you to beading? Jody Young of Bead-Art-Worth and Beyond Beads Gallery in Spokane, Washington.
Do you have an artistic background? The only artistic background I have is art class in school.
How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®? I saw an advertisement in a beading magazine; went to the website and fell in love with all the treasures I saw.
What other hobbies do you have? I love the outdoors. I target shoot and hunt; I also enjoy fishing and photography.
What role does jewelry-making play in your life? Beading is a huge stress reliever for me. Having a child with a life-threatening illness is difficult and my husband is a Disabled Veteran so there's lots of medical issues in our family. Plus I'm a cancer survivor. Luckily our younger son (13) is healthy (knock on wood). Beading has become a full-time hobby. It allows me to focus on positive energy and get unstressed. I put my heart into every piece.
If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry? I haven't started to market my work yet; but would like to.
Do you participate in any charity fundraisers? I have donated a couple of pieces to different charities; Most of my designs are for Congenital Heart Defect awareness.
Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists? Follow your heart! Stick with it, there might be days when you're not sure of a design or piece, if it doesn't feel right-go ahead and rework it.