I would like to "Welcome" all of you to Yukon Rustic Jewelry, the birth of my new online store that has been incubating for years. In this first blog I would like to tell you a bit more about myself. I started crafting at a young age and was inspired by example, watching my mother. Although she had her hands full raising four children and working a full time job, she still always found time to fulfil her creative side. A vivid memory that I have from when I was about 5 years old was watching her from my bedroom window ( I was suppose to be asleep) cross the street in front of our house to go to an evening painting class. Many years have passed since that time and she is still creating...I always look forward to receiving handmade Birthday and Christmas Cards from her with a special message enclosed.
As my parents will tell you, I am not one for a "routine" and following a straight and narrow path. I like to take the side roads as they are a heck of a lot more interesting and fun. I have taken many side roads over the years with my handmade crafts as I always enjoy learning and trying something new.
My younger days were spent learning to knit and crochet by my grandmother - graduating to making afghans for friends. As a young adult I sent many years living in remote communities in the Arctic and was taught by the local women beading and sewing with moose hide and furs. I still have my favourite pair of Muskox mukluks I made up there over 30 years ago. I also spent time working on a large ranch in B.C. which inspired me to create bracelets and earrings from horsehair.
Living in the bush, one learns to be as self-sufficient as possible. So one of my next foray into crafting was making all my furnishings for my first "yurt" home with driftwood and old lumber found along the beach from the "Gold Rush Days".This lead me to handcrafting driftwood into decorative art pieces also.
In my travels I spent time in Iceland and was fortunate to work for a company that made products from local stone and semi precious stones. I loved my time there as every day was a day spent creating. Whether it was cutting and drilling stone to make clocks, crafting "elves, trolls, and fairies,” or making necklaces from the semi precious stones that I had picked, tumbled and polished. My boss would just shake his head and smile as he would find me there hours before and after everyone else had left for the day - I was in heaven!!!
That experience in Iceland was the dropping of the pebble in the pond - the expanding waves - the starting point of a lifetime dream and creation of “Yukon Rustic Jewelry.”
When I was handcrafting semi precious stone necklaces in Iceland I was taught to top drill the stones. Living in the bush here, I did not have access to this type of equipment which lead me to wire wrapping, which I find much more fulfilling creatively. I really enjoy working with wire, experimenting with various styes and techniques. The possibilities are endless, and each piece is unique.
I started selling my jewelry and driftwood art pieces part time 6 years ago; before and after my camp work season. You could say it was test marketing to see the response and get feedback from my customers, which happily for me, was always really positive.
Three years ago the economy up here in the Yukon took a nose dive and the camp work that was my “financial staple” was getting harder and harder to find. The stress every spring of that “uncertainty” was the push to finally take the chance and see if I could support myself by doing what I truly love. Hence, 2 years ago I set up selling my handmade jewelry and driftwood artwork full time for the summer tourist season and again this last summer.
The compliments and support from my customers that first full time season, and the ongoing question; “Do you also have an online store?” A larger pebble in the pond - expanding the waves - which lead to the creation of “Yukon Rustic Jewelry” now also available online!!!
I would like to thank all my summer tourist customers over the last 6 years for their support. Without it, I would not be now doing what I have always wanted to do and from my home in the wilderness. And Tashi is really happy too and looks forward to making lots of new friends every summer now with lots of play sessions with the tour guides…you know who you are, T, B, and S!!!
I am very grateful also to Paul; “1615 Media Design” and his team for the beautiful website they designed for my online store. Months and months of work that is still ongoing, fine tuning everything.
Thank you for visiting my store and sharing it with your freinds.
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