"In 2009 my sister-in-law discovered jewelry making. Since we spend Sundays together she thought it would be fun to do together, so that Christmas she gave me a jewelry making starter kit as a gift. But, honestly, I was not too excited. My only other experience with making jewelry was at a church retreat. We were given memory wire, multi-colored seed beads and charms to make a bracelet. I was exhausted from no sleep the night before and my eyes burned. I found the tiny beads so painful to work with that I gave up, put the materials in a bag and went for a walk. Once at home, however, I felt compelled to finish the project. The bracelet was nice, but the experience did not spark a love for the activity. However, I did not want to appear ungrateful so I decided I needed to make at least one piece of jewelry with the kit my sister-in-law gave me. It turned out that with a good night sleep, bigger beads and my choice of colors I really liked making jewelry. That began my Sunday hobby of 'beading' with my sister-in-law.
"As women we always think about our looks. We want to look our best. We try lotions, make up, clothes, shoes, jewelry, etc. to make ourselves shine. But the truth that we often forget or perhaps never knew is that each woman already possesses an incomparable beauty given to us by our Creator. No one can ever create that kind of beauty. My hope is that the jewelry I create is a glimmer of that inner beauty placed in each woman by God."
"It is my desire that all women know of their beauty and worth. Sadly there are some women who are in such abusive relationships they know nothing of their beauty and worth. These women need help from others to show them another way of life. That is why I have chosen to donate 10 percent of the income from my sales to the organization Alternatives for Battered Women (www.abwrochester.org)."
"You will notice when you visit my shop that most of the beads in my jewelry are glass. I love working with glass. I love how the light reflects from it, passes through it and creates movement across the piece. I feel uplifted, energized and at peace when I'm working with glass and bringing colors together to create something beautiful. I think I am so drawn to this medium because my spirit is drawn to the light of Jesus. When I think of Jesus, light-filled images of nature come to mind. After all "He is the way, the truth and the light..." Glass is also an ordinary material but when placed in the hands of an artisan it becomes something extraordinary just like you and I in the hands of God. How can I not love spending time with glass when I am constantly reminded of my God?"
"I wrote out a detailed explanation of the color symbolism with Bible verses to give to her to help encourage her further. Here is an excerpt. The dark blue crystal symbolizes perspective. There is a popular phrase that says "Don't sweat the small stuff." You will soon discover most things are the small stuff. The Serenity Prayer says:
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him Forever in the next. Amen.
The response to this bracelet has been overwhelming to me. The ease in which it came together leads me to believe that it is the result of God's handiwork and I was a mere vessel. It is so humbling to know God would choose to use me in this way."
"I have been blessed to know Jesus since childhood. My closeness to the Lord has changed over the years. I've spent time in the desert; time on the mountaintops. I have not always been aware of God's presence in my life. But as I look back, the evidence of his faithfulness to me is abundantly clear. My hope is to design more inspirational bracelets as the Lord leads me. I cannot do anything apart from him."
"My encouragement for other artists would be to enjoy your artistry, never forget where your gift comes from and remember that the beauty of your art is an opportunity to point others to God."