SUNY Potsdam's Anthro department was a perfect place for me to flourish. My heritage as the granddaughter of a Northern Forest lumberjack and the descendant of Quebecois immigrants was honored, my writing abilities were put to work editing the Collegiate Anthropologist and my interests in traditional arts were nurtured as I was allowed to create a series of independent study courses in traditional arts and archaeological illustration. I read Morris and Ruskin. I learned how to document and care for antiques and ancient artifacts. I studied other cultures and thought about the reasons why we adorn ourselves. I loved being a student and I was good at it.
D&C 42:40) and the promise in my Patriarchial Blessing that I would bring beauty into my life and the lives of others through the work of my hands. I made bread for a while (got pretty good at it) and then started beading. You can keep a little girl (and her mom) happy for hours with a bowl full of beads and a string.
I picked up a couple of beading books at a service auction and learned peyote stitch and a few other bead weaving stitches. I started gathering a modest stash of beads. I learned how to sew little girl clothes. I began working with Polymer Clay (oh, how I wish I had never touched the stuff!) and with the encouragement of a friend, began attending craft shows.
One day I picked up a Belle Armoire magazine. There was a scarf on the cover with a glorious netted fringe. I knew that I needed to learn how to make that netted fringe. First, I needed a scarf to put it on - but not a scarf from a store. No, certainly not that. I needed a scarf that I had dyed myself.
issue of Belle Armoire had an article about Complex Cloth written by Jane Dunnewold. My friend, Brenda, and I had been playing with tie dye that spring. Now tie dye bumped up to a new level in my house and I ordered a silk dyeing kit from Dharma Trading Company.
Now, years later, I am still a Stay at Home Mom but I have a great deal to do with my intellectual and creative drives. I create hand dyed and painted scarves with and without beaded fringe from silk, velvet and satin. I dabble in silk fusion, needle felting, ribbon and yarn dyeing, embroidery, crazy quilting and sewing. I make beaded jewelry of all kinds - everything from simple wire strung earrings to intricate bead woven flowers and medallions. I work as the class coordinator for my local Arts Council and teach classes there. I have two Etsy shops and an ArtFire studio and several local galleries that carry my work. I have two wonderful children who create with me (turns out little boys like to string beads, too!) and a husband who encourages me to keep learning and growing in my arts. I feel richly blessed to be able to pursue my talents in this way.