Shelly Graham Turner of the "Fabric of My Life" invited jewelry artisans to celebrate her birthday by sharing their stories in a special literary blog hop on July 17th. What's in a name, she asks, pondering the details that make jewelry blog artists inspired: "the story behind your jewelry business or blog name, why you chose your font, color palette and logo. How did it all evolve?"
If you'd like to join in, visit her blog to RSVP. Then enjoy hopping on Shelly's birthday!
I met Shelly and her wonderful blog when we both participated in the "Toolbox Challenge" blog hop hosted by Sandra McGriff of Creative Chaos , where I was very lucky to meet many creative, motivating and beautifully gifted artisans! Networking, supporting and sharing are the qualities that make the handcrafted jewelry community unique and very special -- more so than any other art community I've ever experienced -- and I'm honored to be a part of Shelly's birthday party blog hop also today!
So here's my jewelry artisan, Facebook page, Flickr & blog story.
I first had the opportunity to think of a name to represent myself when I became a reviewer at JTV. I had tons of their gorgeous jewelry, and as I considered how I loved giving jewelry, I came up with "GemFairy" (a little like the birthday fairy or the tooth fairy ;) and later, when we reviewers wanted a way to connect and share, I started the "JTV Friends" on Facebook and came up with "GemFairy's Jewels" for the blog and for Flickr to describe the amazing jewelry treasures and friends I connected with because of JTV and gems!
"Toltec Jewels" was a name I thought of years before, after reading about the ancient Toltec culture in a magazine and being moved by the idea that thoughts and attitudes play a much more powerful role in creating our lives than we really imagine. As I practiced looking for good and appreciating, I felt empowered. My spouse at the time was working as a gourmet sous chef, and we often threw around the idea of opening a restaurant complete with attached jewelry store, Toltec Jewels.
Ten years later, I began to make my own handcrafted jewelry and the name fit :)And as the JTV online community grew, JTV Friends on Facebook became "Jewel School Friends" as more and more customers learned the art of jewelry making thanks to "Jewel School."
I had discovered the amazing world of jewelry artisans, handcrafted components, and all the richness of the jewelry arts. Artists like Margot Potter, Lilian Chen, Dale Cougar Armstrong, Lauren Andersen, Fernando Dasilva and Lori Anderson blew me away with their cool work.
As a reviewer, my love of photography grew as I practiced and photographed with my silly but beloved JVC camcorder (finally, a "camera" with depth of field), and the world of macro photography and gem photography opened up.
I was delighted to photograph jewelry for reviews, like these pictures I took of Margot Potter's Original "Zigzagged" necklace for my review of her book, BEAD & WIRE JEWELRY EXPOSED.
Now it seems enchanting that a big part of creating handcrafted jewelry are the photos that go along with it!
Today, the names "GemFairy's Jewels" and "Toltec Jewels" are celebrations of the jewelry arts and the incredible community that creates that art. Nothing makes me happier than featuring the work of jewelry artists, special gemstones, and treasured gifts like this amazing labradorite cabochon from by Dale Cougar Armstrong.
And this awesome agate from Christiane Ross! You'll see it during Christiane Ross' upcoming guest appearance teaching chainmaille bezels on "Beads, Baubles, and Jewels" Season 16. She and the agate are the star jewels!
And this gorgeous heart gem from artist Ann Kelly and her lovely mom, also a jewelry artist, who both made me feel like a part of the Jewel School workshop 2011with their kind package full of rose quartz, cool gemstrands, hearts and even the workshop program!!
The names I choose, the fonts I use, the background images I like all reflect my appreciation for gemstones, beads, and handcrafted treasures -- as well
as the amazing people who live artfully, giving of themselves and creating beauty. Artists like Shelly Graham Turner, who made her birthday a blog hop party for all! Who is interested and affirming and generous -- the very best gifts we can give friends.
Happy Birthday Shelly! May all you share return to you and fill your day with beauty, joy and treasures beyond measure. May you have a great birthday, a year full of wishes coming true, and much to celebrate and love!