I can't remember a time when I was not thrilled to be in nature. Covered in dirt and sweat, crawling and exploring creek banks as a child. Swinging from vines across the creeks as a teen. Gardening in herbs and veggies as an adult.
Growing up I spent time in both ends of Tennessee. My dad would take us for drives all over up in those mountains and the views were just thrilling.
When I finally got a chance to hike and explore north Arkansas I felt like I had found home. I wanted to stay. We were miles deep hiking down a trail in the Richland Creek Rec Area and I wanted to stay. Right there with the sun on my cheeks, the wind tickling thru my hair and the sounds of the creek gently flowing down the path. There is a sense of peace that is found when your surrounded by the forest with only the sounds of the insects and birds around you. There was so much to explore and see. My camera came back full of photos. Of moss, cool rocks, tree formations, beautiful green waters and rock outcroppings that looked like the gods had just tossed them out. And while those photos are beautiful, they simply can not convey the experience in detail.
On that hiking trip we were camping in tents. Friends and family had joined us on that trip and we had a great time together. We woke to the sun just peeking over the tip of the mountain, leaving the valley in a beautiful foggy scene straight out of a fantasy story. We gathered our water from the creeks as we hiked. Cooked our meal over a campfire in the evenings. We camped out under the stars and fell asleep listing to the trickle of the creek below the camp, sometimes making you feel the need to pee just when you got snuggled down good. hahah. During the fall/winter that is NOT a good thing. (giggle). Trying to get out of layers of long johns and clothes was a test of skill.
Every time I come back from one of those trips I am so pumped up to share that experience. I have sketch pads full of plants, flowers, trees, insects and mountain designs. A lot of those end up becoming jewelry and art. It's one of the reasons I love going, I always come back with a lighter spirit and a calmer mind. Being creative is easier in that state. This is one of the reasons I've been thrilled to plan a move to North Arkansas for the past year.
My husband and I have been researching towns, one at a time, to see where exactly we could live, he could work, what was there to explore, etc. We finally settled on Fayetteville, Arkansas area. Settling on a town was the first step. Next was for me to find where I could sell my work, art shows I can enter, festivals I can be a vendor at etc. I've signed up for one to get started and am looking forward to seeing how the people there like my work.
We were going to take our Ford Explorer and car camp for a bit to explore the area and check out jobs and apartments. Luckily we found a 1990 van to ride in instead. It needs a little work but has only 59k original miles and had one owner. It has a bed in the back and we will remove the seats in the middle to make room for our gear. I'm bringing my booth set up, which isn't big and hubby has to bring his guitar <3 cause you can't ever travel without that.
We are both so excited to adventure out and explore, meet new people, hike some trails and I am going to share all of that with you all! I am going to take tons of photos along the way and I'm sure you know by now, there will be a lot of jewelry created from these adventures. I want to pick up little special rocks from the creeks, beautiful leaves and branches from the trail and use those to sandcast and set into new pieces. It may take me a month or so before I have a good place to set up and put all my work together into finished pieces but I will be creating as much as I can along the way.
I'd love to find a small artist work space, where I can hammer and not make anyone mad, hahhaha, so I'll be keeping an eye out for that. And who knows, I might luck up and find a small store front to rent. That would be a dream right there. To set my jewelers bench in the window so people could watch the whole process. How amazing that would be. <3 I have goals set for this year and so far they are coming along beautifully. I am truly excited to share this adventure with my best friend and husband and am going to try and enjoy ever single moment. Creating memories to look back on when I can't hike, and to create amazing pieces of jewelry and art to share these adventures with all of you.
I have to say a huge thank you to all the amazing people that have purchased a piece of jewelry from me over the years. You are the reason I am able to follow my dreams. Every purchase you made helped my small handmade business grow. Every time you share a post or photo of my work it helps new eyes see what I do. Every time you tell me you love my work it fires up my passion even more. I take every bit of this encouragement, support and love and put it into every single piece I create. I hope you can see it. I hope you can feel it when you wear it. I hope you know how much I love you and appreciate you! I would not be where I am today with out you!
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I hope you will follow us on our adventures and see the way the natural world inspires my coming work. <3