I am finally giving the ACJ website the love it deserves!
What that means is for a very short time, the best way to get to all of the ACJ goodies is directly through my Tictail Marketplace page. So here’s the link.
I’d planned to have it all shiny and new before I announced the big update, but the last thing I want to do is leave you hanging in an endless redirect to my blog. Cause, that’s what happenin’ right now…
So, let’s just avoid the “wait, wasn’t I just here? where’s the site? I need my gemstone energy like right now!” drama and go to
Well, I can add a few more things. For starters, I finally hung up my big ski sweater, which had become standard survival gear in my studio. Working in an open space with lots of natural light has always been high on my dream studio must-have list, so I tried to not complain too much.
More ACJ in more places. I am delighted to announce that Amy Cousin Jewelry can be found in two new locations!
Homespun Decor and Gifts – Minneapolis, Minnesota
I met the husband-and-wife team of Ben Cooney and Jill Hayes last year when ACJ participated in the Twin Cities Social Justice Arts Festival. They recently opened Homespun Decor and Gifts, which features everything from soaps to lamps to jewelry, all handcrafted by 75 Minnesota artists and makers. Needless to say, I’m honored to be in that number. It’s a beautiful shop and I added a few pieces to my wish list while I was delivering my own pendants and earrings. Homespun is located in the Nokomis neighborhood at 5006 34th Avenue South, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Fort Hill Farms and Gardens – Thompson, Connecticut
Spending a day at Kristin Orr’s Fort Hill Farms and Gardens is an experience not to be missed if you’re in the New England area. Every year, she and her family plus staff create a beautiful maze in their 6-acre corn field. Kristin also has several lavender gardens, from which she makes ice cream and tarts as well as soaps, lotions, and essential oils. She sells them in her Bee-tique, which now features Amy Cousin Jewelry’s line of bottle pendants – perfect for holding Kristin’s amazing lavender essential oil.
Kristin has also cultivated a place of peace by creating lavender labyrinths in the stone foundations of an old barn on her property. I can’t wait to visit! Fort Hill Farms and Gardens is located at 260 Quaddick Road, Thompson, Connecticut.
Tictail has selected Amy Cousin Jewelry for its globally curated Valentine’s Day collection!
Tictail started out as an ecommerce platform based in Sweden but has since expanded to a brick & mortar boutique in New York, as well as frequent pop-up shops in San Francisco, London, Paris, and Stockholm. I am honored to be included in this worldwide celebration of independent creatives and Love.
Like my previous article, I had a great time talking about three lovely sparklies – Sunstone, Moonstone, and Labradorite. I also created a few new pieces to add to my Sun Moon Stars collection while writing this article and I think they demonstrate how beautiful it is to connect to the amazing energetic flow of these gems.
Intuition, Confidence, Action. And looking darn good! Read my post about these three stones of intuition on Kimberly Elise’s website, then head back to ACJ to get your jewels!
I’ve started talking about gemstones – energy, lore and crystal healing – over at KimberlyElise.com, where the award-winning actress celebrates natural beauty and healthy living.
As much as I enjoy talking about gemstones here, this time I invite you to hop on over to Kimberly Elise’s website and read my post there. While you’re at it, take a look around – she and Team Kimberly have created a beautiful space!
A few weeks ago, UpcyclePost asked me if I would join the team to beta test their new Marketplace. Let’s see… help a movement that I adore succeed in creating a groundbreaking platform for artists such as myself to promote and sell their creative works? Uh… yeah!!
What is upcycling? You’ve heard the phrase “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure”, right? Recycling is an example of that – taking someone’s discarded item and reusing it. Upcycling goes a bit further by taking the best of recycling and adding the creativity of Do-It-Yourself-ing. Upcycling is a vehicle to view and use discarded items in ways that often add more value to the item than it had in its original form. Upcyclers are more likely to say “Trash? What trash? How could you possibly think this is trash? Don’t you see the new shirt/ring/shoes/table/lamp etc. that’s just waiting to be made out of this? It’s beautiful. Here, let me show you…” And they proceed to create the most amazing treasures.
I have always recycled scraps of wire to make elements, and I started purchasing reclaimed wire years ago when a local refinery offered it to jewelry artists. I also recycle/rescue from vintage and broken jewelry. My first experience with upcycling occurred before I even knew it had a name. My husband was fixing his car and had to
replace a ball bearing ring. He cleaned up the old one and challenged me to make something out of it. I made a kinetic meditation pendant with an onyx accent. I wore it until a woman stopped me in a grocery store to ask me about it. Before I finished my shopping list, she approached me again and asked me if she could buy it from me. Cool!
Since then, I’ve kept a small stash of “someday I’m gonna make something out of this” items including a crashed motherboard, coins,
laundry tokens, and orphan flatware. No, I’m not a hoarder (beads don’t count) and now I have a way to make good on my word. My shop in the UpcyclePost Marketplace is already filling up with the “someday” projects that I’ve completed.
When I had to get a tire repaired, I spent most of my waiting room time drooling over the mechanic’s impressive collection of road detritus that brought customers to him –
nails, bolts, chunks of glass, antlers. I could see bracelets and earrings and necklaces in just about everything on his shelf, and asked him if he would be willing to part with a few items. He gave me that ‘lady, you’re scaring me’ look but declined to part with his precious.
I am proud to be a member of this movement, and I’m always on the lookout for my next creative challenge. And so it goes with most upcyclers: the products we create range from functional to decorative to wearable. Some of my favorite upcyclers are furniture makers and lighting artists. The craftspersonship and creativity of the artists in the UpcyclePost Marketplace is amazing. I hope you check out the site, shop and join the movement.
Happy Monday! We’re expecting at least twelve inches of snow today. Normally I would be ranting about winter too soon and such, but last week I won the Halstead Bead Inc Apron Challenge Giveaway, and that definitely trumps a rant about snow.
Why am I just now writing about winning something last week? Pictures. Of me. Major reluctance going on here. When I emailed Erica at Halsted to thank them, I also promised to post a pic of myself in said apron. I clicked send, and then realized that in order to post a picture, I’d actually have to take a picture. of myself. What have I done??? I’ve become somewhat of a Lemony Snicket unenthusiastic
when it comes to photos of moi. I’d much rather take pictures of my jewelry. Took a few pics, hated them all. put the camera down. Remembered that this isn’t about me, it’s supposed to be about my new apron from Halstead Bead.
So I put on my new apron, and made some earrings. I’m in my tiny studio, wearing my new jewelers’ apron, and I’m making earrings. It doesn’t get much better than that – except when someone squeals with delight after they receive a pair of my earrings.
I discovered that my new apron solves one of the inconveniences of my tiny studio. Whenever I drop a bead (which is fairly often), retrieving it requires a bit of maneuvering under my table with a flashlight. Because, you know, under the table is the favorite hiding place for rogue beads. Well, my lovely apron caught every bead and wire in its front pockets. Score! I am in my jewelry making happy place – thank you, Halstead! I will wear my apron proudly. And here’s a picture of one happy jewelry designer, rockin’ her new apron.