An Unexpected Spark

I think my absolute favorite part about what I do is getting to meet new people and hearing all of their amazing stories. It had been almost a year since I visited Bead Gallery in San Diego. Last Friday I met Belinda. We chatted for a little bit and I showed her a couple samples and pieces. She collected a few items and went on her way. It was a typical interaction in my eyes. When she returned on Sunday, my perspective on our encounter completely changed. She walked in with a huge smile and walked over to me to show me what she had created. Check it out!
by Belinda Butler

I looked at it and I loved it! She has used several different techniques which the big reason why I love mixed media jewelry so much. There are no rules! Anything goes! She had handmade several pieces using resin. She mixed them with several charms and components she had purchased from me and finished it off with a few extra special charms and beads that were very significant to her.  Belinda went on to tell me how she had lost her home in the wildfire catastrophe that surrounded Southern CA in a ring of fire a few years back. She lost everything as so many did, including one of the owners at Bead Gallery. Entire neighborhoods were leveled and have since been rebuilt. Belinda had managed to salvage only a few beads and a heart charm from the rubble that were slightly damaged from the fire. She included these pieces from her past in the new creation. All I kept thinking of was a phoenix rising from the ashes. Something from nothing, I could totally relate to everything she was saying.
I thanked her for sharing her story with me and asked if I could snap a few photos and share her story with you!

When I got home I received a lovely email from her. She went on to explain that besides the fire, the last few years have been filled with many personal challenges. She lost her creative seems more than actual "things" were lost in the fire. She was elated that she had found her creative outlet again and was so thankful for our chance meeting. It wasn't until I received her email that I fully grasped the impact we can have on someone. I was just treating her like I treat all of my customers. I didn't really think twice about what I said to her. I think sometimes regardless of our job we feel like we are just going through the motions at times. It amazes me how a few seemingly insignificant kind words can cause major change in another's life. It just reminded me that I am on the right path, some things are more important than any amount of monetary gain.
I came across a quote recently. It really spoke to me personally and is pertinent to this encounter.

"At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each one of us has cause to think deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us."

My own creative spark had grown dim a few months ago thankfully mine was re-lit by another angel in a completely unexpected manner. I was so glad to learn I unknowingly was able to pay it forward to Belinda in relighting her creative flame. So the lesson here kids is be nice to everyone you encounter! You don't know who you are going to meet and how they might change your life! We are all connected in an intricate web. The ripple effect is staggering. I can't wait for this weekend's show. Who knows what will happen next!

If you are in the area I will be at my hometown bead store Garden of Beaden in Upland, CA with my vintage and mixed media supplies, as well as several pieces from Melanie Doerman's Estate. They are truely a sight to see! I will be there Sept 13-15, 2013.
Friday 10-7pm
Saturday 10-7 and
Sunday 12-5pm
Come out to see what's new and feed your artistic flame! Hope to see you there! Glitterfest is also rapidly approaching... Save the date -Oct 12th in Anaheim!

Sparkle On!

New friends and new perspective!

It has been crazy over here kids! Three big shows 3 weekends in a row! The Pasadena Bead and Design Show,  Scottsdale, AZ Art Unraveled and Concord, CA for the Bead and Boutique Show! 


I am finally home and settled. When I got back from Concord, CA, it was my Birthday!  I have spent the last week restocking, re-cooperating and celebrating! I have so much to share with you. I had the most amazing time. I made so many new friends and connections. I am always amazed by how lucky I am to meet so many incredible people along the way.  I guess we will start in Pasadena...

My good friends, Renee and Heather, were sweet enough to help me this time in Pasadena. I was revisited by so many familiar faces and so many new ones! Sometimes I get stuck at home in my Etsy bubble I forget how much I love getting out and exchanging ideas with all of you. I learn so much every time and I get so inspired. All I want to do is rush back to my studio and create. I have finally learned to write down these flashes of inspiration in my notebook so I can refer back to it when I finally do get back in the studio. One of the first faces I saw was Therese Magnani. She is an amazing seed bead artist who was also deeply taken with my dear friend Melanie Doerman's work. We were not fortunate enough to me until after Melanie had passed. It still blows my mind how many incredible people who's paths I have crossed because of Melanie. She sends angels my way all the time and Therese is no exception. She makes beautiful meticulous seed bead jewelry. She often incorporates cameos, which I hold a personal affinity for dating back to childhood digging through my Grandmother's jewelry box. She has also a Etsy shop DG Enterprises (Domestic Goddess) and is always creating something special! Please check it out...

I always have a ball with all the vendors! This time I had a moment to speak with PMC Artist, Christi Anderson. Anyone that knows me knows that she is speakin' my language! Ravens, Key holes, Doors, Cathedral windows...incredible work! I thought I was crazy about details- she is just taking it to a whole new level! I just had to grab a new pendant for myself! (which is a rare treat- I'm bad about buying things for me but I couldn't resist!) Please have a peak at her award winning line Elemental Adornments...

This is the Door pendant I choose. Appropriately enough without knowing what I chose, it is her Greek door and I am Greek. The reverse is a Turkish Door. One of my best friends Danielle Hebert is living in Turkey for the next few months. We were just saying because of Facebook it feels like she is just next door! Meant to be or what?!!!
So I left Pasadena and a few short days later I was in Arizona! I love the desert- always have, so I didn't mind the drive. I decided last minute to vend at Art Unraveled's Shopping Extravaganza! It is here I finally caught up with one of my Artistic heros, Michael deMeng! He was too nice and recognized me from Facebook :) I admit I was a litle star struck! Check out his amazing work here...

I adore reading his blog and watching how he makes the seemingly mundane into the extraordinary. I ran into so many people that shopped me in Tucson including Lisa Pavelka-who is just a doll! I also made friends with some of the coolest neighbors a girl could hope for! I love it when we all help each other and we all are successful. It was a whirlwind event! I will be back next year and hopefully will have time to take a class or two! This time, I had to hit the road. Concord was just a few days away and to be perfectly honest I was running out of stuff! I got home and made as much as I could before heading north. 

In Concord, I continued to have fun as I always do at shows! I was thrilled so many sweet people that shopped me last time made a special trip back in hopes I would be there. I made friends with some other vintage vendors and got some sound advice from a bead veteran or two! Carol of Benicia Beads is so my people lol! We were sending people back and forth between our booths and combining our treasures to make new creations. We had so much fun! If you are in Northern CA be sure to stop into her shop! She has scores of cool unusual bits and pieces!

On my way home I stopped to visit a dear friend. We relaxed,  ate amazing food, and talked for hours and hours. The conversation unexpectedly became life changing. It's incredible what kind of impact a slight shift in perspective can have on you. I feel so happy, grateful, and positive. I know I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be beyond a shadow of a doubt. Everyday I wake up expecting miracles and everyday my expectations are exceeded beyond my wildest dreams. I am a lucky girl to get to share my gifts and learn so much from others! Good big things are in the works! I will let you all know as soon as I have more details. In the meantime, I have a few local shows...

Bead Gallery in San Diego Sept 6th-8th 
Garden of Beaden in Upland Sept 13th-15th 

I hope to see you all soon! Until we meet again... stay positive, stay inspired and keep making great art!

Sparkle on!

An unexpected surprise!

  It's been about a year since I decided to go full time with my company Vintage Fairy Finds. I could not in my wildest dreams imagined how many amazing, kind, creative and talented people I would meet through my travels. When I opened for business, I knew what I wanted to provide as far as customer service. I felt like I could give more personal attention at a show, but I wanted that to carry over into my Etsy shop as well. I knew how I liked to be treated when I shopped online and I wanted to give my customers that same experience. I have 3 main commitments when it comes to my online shop...

                       1) Speed
                       2) Quality
                       3) Kindness- good old fashioned customer service :)

I love when I order something and it shows up really fast, so I make almost daily trips to the post office. Luckily I live around the corner from one, so it is convenient for me as well. Next, I only buy what I love. I personally use all of the components that I sell. I sometimes find myself having a mental tug of war over whether or not I can part with most of them. I make jewelry that lasts, so everything is tested for quality before it goes up for sale. I also love to get a surprise in my order. I always include something in my orders no matter how big or small. The main reason is I want you to smile when you open your package!  No matter how good or bad your day has been, I hope to bring just a little bit of happiness into it. Plus it's good Karma right? I love random acts of kindness!

  I have lots of customers who have written beautiful thank you notes and have shared personal stories of how jewelry making and art has saved them in some way. This is main reason why I absolutely love what I do. I have always firmly believed you get what you give. I feel so grateful and fortunate for all of the people I have crossed paths with over this last year. The support and camaraderie with the designers and creative souls has been priceless.  

  A few days ago I received and email from a customer I met a year ago my 1st time vending at the Pasadena Bead and Design Show. Julie had recently decided to take the plunge too. She had a bunch of great ideas and as we spoke I could feel her excitement as well as her hesitation. Let's face it -on some level all of us are a little insecure about what we create. It's like letting someone peek into your diary. I tried to reassure her that her ideas were amazing and our conversation got my wheels turning as well. I received a thank you note from her for our chat and she said she hoped to do something nice for me someday.  It made me smile and feel that I was on the right track. If I could make an impact on just one person at a show, then all the hard work was worth it. Few days ago I received another email from Julie, but I never expected this...

Julie got published in this Summer's Jewelry Affaire Magazine!

Isn't her work stunning?!

I was so happy and excited for her! I ran out to my local bead store, Garden of Beaden, and grabbed a copy! (You be sure to do the same! It's a great issue!) Her pieces are gorgeous! She also let me know as thank you she listed my shop in her materials list. I was so excited! It meant so much to me that she would even think to include my store in her materials list and how cool to get to see what she made with the rhinestones she purchased from me! 

There I am! Vintage Fairy Finds :)

It was so kind of her and unexpected.  I wish her much success and creative inspiration in the future! Her act of kindness just proves that what goes around comes around.  Good things do come back to you and sometimes when you least expect it. She made my day- (heck my week!) and reminded me it's almost time for Pasadena again! I can hardly wait! Who knows who I will meet this time?

Check out Julie's Etsy Shop Ribbon Tapestry...
be sure to stop by and see all the new treasure in my Shop too...

I hope to see you at Pasadena in a few weeks! Until then, keep on creating!

Sparkle on!

Time to Catch my Breath!

OK I know this post is long overdue, but so much has happened so fast, I hardly know where to begin... I guess I will start by recapping a little...

January 2013
I was at the Pasadena Bead and Design Show for my second appearance  I had so much fun seeing everyone and I made so many new friends and connections. I can't wait until July to see you all again!

Two short weeks later I was off to Tucson in the beginning of February. I have wanted to go to Tucson for the last 15 years. I have friends that have gone, so I thought I knew what I was in for. I finally made it! I'm in Tucson! Apparently I hadn't a clue how busy it would be!

I met so many people from all of the country and in fact all over the world...Japan, Australia, Minnesota, name the place, someone was there representing. I was ill prepared! I ran out of so many things on the 1st day!  A good problem, but needless to say a problem by then end of the six day show.  I always learn something at a show. Now I know what to expect for next year! I was amazed at how many people from opposite ends of the earth were drawn to the same aesthetic as me. There were several people I met that I felt like I had known them for years and yet we were meeting for the first time. I guess creativity and the love of things with a past was our bond. Towards the end of the week I met Shannon Rutt. Shannon and I hit it off right away. She owns a traveling bead store called "Beads on the Bus." If you are in Colorado look her up! She has converted a VW bus into a creative caravan! I love the look and just think it is the coolest idea! She travels around to outdoor markets and does private parties from her bus! It was nice to meet someone with a similar drive and love of jewelry making. I wish her the best of luck with her business! Please check out her Facebook or website if you get a chance and be on the lookout for Beads on the Bus!
Beads on the Bus - Highland Ranch, Colorado
I met so many kindred spirits that were taking classes in the same building. Most people came back and shopped a second time once their creative wheels began to turn! I think that is my favorite part of what I do. I love seeing it all click when the person realizes there are no rules! It's too cool!  I have to admit, I was a little star struck when Lisa Palvelka stopped by and shopped my table along with some of her students! Besides new customers, I continued growing bonds with my fellow vendors from the Pasadena Show. We all had so much fun! It is hard for me to believe that I get to make a living doing what I love. I had not anticipated that I would sell so much jewelry and art in Tucson and I was leaving for Northern CA in just a few days! I came home from Tucson and only had 10 days to create new inventory for Glitterfest which was rapidly approaching on March 9th as well as make some samples for Concord. I locked myself in my studio and created as fast as I could! 10 days later I was restocked, but ready for a nap needless to say :)

  By the time I got to Concord, CA, I felt like I was back at bead camp for the weekend! I couldn't wait to catch up with everyone! It makes working so fun to be constantly surrounded by creative people. We all feed off each other and then magic happens. We inspire people and get their creative juices flowing. Before you know it we are sending people across the ballroom to get chain from this person and a finding from another vendor and we create this synergy between the vendors that I just love! 

I arrived home just in time for Glitterfest on March 9th, my favorite Art show of the year! I was so excited for the new venue! It was a fantastic show. I cannot wait for the Fall. The food trucks were amazing and the room was huge! 

It never ceases to take my breath away looking across that ballroom at all of the amazing creations. 

I met some new people and was very glad to see so many familiar faces! I was super happy I sold my new angel! I had be wanting to make another since the first one was kidnapped. Once again I forgot to take a good photo in all of the hustle and bustle, so this is what I caught with my phone before this one flew away.

One of my favorite customers that I met at the Pasadena show walked up and said he had to add this one to his collection. She took 2 days and a ton of solder to create her. I am super happy she is in good hands! Transformation has been sort of an undercurrent in my life for the last year :)

So now you are caught up! All this has been happening while I run to the post office to make sure everyone gets their treasures from my Etsy Shop as quickly as possible. It's been sooooo crazy but so much fun! I wouldn't trade it for anything! After Glitterfest I decided it may be a good idea to take a few weeks off from shows and get a chance to catch my breath, but not for long...
 My next event is on April 18th from 7pm-11pm. It's an art event taking place in Pomona, CA at the Luna Lounge on Temple Ave. I was contacted through my Etsy shop my one of the curators. I will be showing my art and jewelry designs. It's through a really cool organization called RAW Natural Born Artists. They feature all mediums including performance art, fashion, as well as the visual arts. There will be about 30 local Artists showcasing. Please come down and support us! Let me know if you can make it & I will put you on the guest list!
I have much more happening in May as well as some local bead store events that are in the works! Check out my calendar for where I will be next and check out what's new in my Etsy shop! Hope to see you soon!
Sparkle on!