Treasures, Treasuries, and Thoughts

I swore I would never do a blog! So much for swearing. I didn't think that I would have much to say or share. I was wrong! I have been so blessed with a wonderful family, loyal friends, sharing colleagues, and the support from so many that I will never run out of topics to write about.

I have opened an on-line store at a place called Etsy (rhymes with Betsy). The items on the left are available for purchase there. These will change from week to week to show you my latest creations. The link to the store is in the upper left corner of this page.

I also have items for sale listed on Art Fire. The link to my Art Fire Studio is

I hope you will visit this blog, my Flickr page ( and my Etsy and/or Art Fire stores often. (

So come along on my Trail of Treasures! It will be a Spirit Journey for me and I invite you to join me on the trip.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

December 21: Winter Solstice

Example of prayer stick available from
While all the world is knee deep in Holiday shopping, planning the menu for a succulent Christmas feast, writing that annual newsletter, and creating "Visions of Sugar Plums", another important holiday in Native American culture is often overlooked or completely forgotten.

Winter Solstice is Dec 21. For Native Americans it is a time of transition, of looking back at the old year and looking forward to the new. Many cultures around the world have celebrated the winter solstice for hundreds, even thousands of years as they watched the days grow shorter and waited for the sun to return.

Native Americans honor the cycle of life during Winter Solstice.
Endings are remembered and new beginnings are anticipated just as our ancestors did before us. While different tribes and their individual members honor Winter Solstice in many ways, here is one tradition that you might like to learn about.

Prayer Sticks are used in the Winter Solstice celebration. The ritual of the Prayer Sticks honor ones ancestors. Re-commitment is made to one's belief system. Prayers are offerd. Gratitude is expressed.

Prayer sticks are made by everyone in a family four days before the solstice. On the day of the Solstice, the prayer sticks are planted. At least one stick is planted by each person of the family in small holes dug by the head of the household.
Each prayer stick is named for an ancestor.
Traditional prayer sticks have these characteristics:
  • Made out of cedar and are forked
  • Are equivalent to the measurement from the maker’s elbow to the tips of their fingers
  • Are taken from a tree that the maker feels connected to.
  • Tobacco is offered to the tree
  • Permission is asked to take a part of its relative.
  • The bark can be stripped or.
  • The bark can be carved on the stick.
  • One feather should be added to the prayer stick. Traditionally this is a wild turkey feather.
  • A bit of tobacco is placed in a red cloth and tied onto one of the forks.
  • Fur or bone from an animal that the maker wishes to honor is tied onto the stick.
  • Metal or stones should not be tied to the stick.
  • It is also customary to say prayers silently as one makes the prayer stick

Many Native American Artists make and sell prayer sticks but one can easily follow the directions above and create a personal ceremonial Prayer Stick to celebrate the Winter Solstice.

Whether you have a Prayer Stick or not, take time on December 21 to give thanks to those who have gone before you for they paved your way. Honor your friends and relatives who have contributed to who you are and to your welfare. Reflect on 2009 and ask for guidance as you plan for 2010. Then you can resume work on making your Holidays merry and bright.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Monday, December 7, 2009

We've Been Exposed!

Today, Vicki Diane, owner of Vicki Diane Designs on Etsy, curated this wonderful treasury that "exposed" eleven of my Bbest Team members and me. There I am, second row, first person on the left!

The Bbest Team is comprised on artists who are beyond 39 years of age (some of us are many years beyond) and own Etsy stores. We are a group of fine artists, jewelry makers, candle makers, yarn spinners, clay artists, photographers, soap makers, vintage vendors, paper artists, knitters, crocheter, seamstresses, glass artists, writers, needle felters, silk painters and about any other art or craft you can name.

Part of the charm of the Bbest Team is our variety in chosen mediums. However, we are like minded in spirt, promoting one another, sharing in milestones, chatting about life, lessons learned, and little things that bring smiles across the miles.

Vicki Diane, who lives in Spain and the UK, describes herself as one who changes her creations regularly to keep them fresh and inviting. She relates that she has bursts of colour phases .. today red , tomorrow pink or turquoise .. next week - all animal print ! Vicki says, "What the hell .. I'm a modern crazy woman - fickle, fanciful and full of fantastic new flowing ideas that overtake me !"

Curating Team Treasuries is just one example of those fantastic ideas that have overtaken her!

To see the wonderful things that she creates when she isn't promoting other Etsy artists, offering sage advice in forums, and adding fun to the Etsy community, check out her store at:

Here is an example of her work entitled Red Stiletto Baby:

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Native American Christmas

This wonderful treasury was posted on Etsy this morning by Giftbearer. Giftbearer, AKA jewelry artist Pippit Carlington, specializes in high-end indigenous jewelry drawing inspiration from nature and a variety of cultures close to the earth. It is such an honor for me to have her select one of my bracelets (first row, center) for inclusion in this beautiful tribute!

Giftbearer's store is full of wonderful items. Her work is anything but primitive. She describes her work as "Contemporary Tribal" style.

Pippit says "I approach each piece as a living being with a soul. If I can convey this essence to the viewer and have it speak to them on a deeper level then I have done what I've set out to do. I want my work to be more than merely an accessory, but something treasured with special meaning to the buyer, not necessarily in words, but in the same way you know it when it's true love."

Pippit is a perfectionist and nothing leaves her hands until it meets high standards of quality control. She has received formal art training at Callenwolde Center for the Arts, The Atlanta College of Art, and Atlanta Jeweler's School and Studios.

You must visit her Etsy store at You will be amazed by her beautiful work.

Mvto and Wado (Thank you in Creek and Cherokee) Pippit for selecting one of my pieces for your wonderful treasury!