Recently, I had an opportunity to talk with Ruthie about how she deals with her health issues, how she creates her amazing jewelry designs - some of which you can enjoy right here - and the magical outlet she found in bead weaving. I am so moved by her ability to turn an obstacle into a gift, a beautiful gift, that gives spectacular beauty to others.
I invite you to join me in welcoming, Ruthie, the magic behind RoseWorksJewelry. I guarantee that after reading this story and enjoying this magnificent jewelry feast for the eyes - you could be the lucky winner of a gorgeous new piece of jewelry AND a pair of earrings when you enter the RoseWorksJewelry Giveaway - you will become a fan.
Swiftly Changing Waters:http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=22060444
First I’d just like to thank Natasha. I love the work she does over here at the Thursday Sweet Treat blog, and I’ve really been blessed by getting to know her! She’s asked me to share my story, so here it is.
I’ve always had a love for beauty and for creating things. I grew up learning to do cross-stitch, hand sewing, and whatever else Mom could get me involved in! I also loved to sing, act, dance, and write. I never really thought of myself as an artist because I couldn’t draw…and I laugh at myself now for that narrow view of who artists are!
I began learning to work with beads when I was 16. I loved the colors and the possibilities, but lacked the funds to really explore this world. Still, I’d pull out my beads from time to time, make something, and dream of selling it at a fair or farmers market.
Over the years I picked up different beading techniques, and while I loved it, it stayed a hobby. Then, about two years ago, I began working to slowly build up my skills and start an inventory. I knew I wanted to sell but had no idea how to go about it. I even got to make my wedding jewelry!
Then life threw me a curve ball. At the beginning of 2008, I got really sick. I’ve always had severe asthma problems, but this was worse than I’d ever faced before. I was in and out of the doctor’s office, ER, and, for the first time in my life, I was carrying an Epi pen. This lasted for months. I had many days where I could barely walk to the bathroom, let alone do anything else. So what was I going to do? I love to read, but when you are stuck in the house day after day even reading can get monotonous.
My jewelry is what saved me. I realized that I could still do bead weaving unless I was having one of my really severe asthma attacks, and it didn’t take me moving around! Bead weaving is my favorite form of creating jewelry...although you'll see that I do quite a few other styles! Basically it involves hundreds upon hundreds of tiny seed beads, thread, and a needle. Oh yes, and hours and hours of work! There are many different styles of bead weaving; it would take a long time to describe them all. I tend to use what's called "peyote stitch" for the majority of my bracelets. So, I slowly began perfecting my bead weaving techniques and teaching myself new ones.
Thinking Spring Earrings:http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=21958030
What I found was that art can be therapeutic. The process of creating can be very soothing and relaxing. Sometimes it's as simple as finding a safe outlet for your emotions through creating a piece of art or writing that expresses what your feeling. It gave me a place to channel my negative energy and turn it in to something good. When I'm upset I can choose to cry and rant or I can take that energy and put it into creating something beautiful that I'll feel much better about in the long run!
I’ve come a long way in the last year. I now sell on etsy, I’ve done some craft fairs and farmers markets, and my health is finally improving! I seriously think I would have gone a little crazy without my jewelry though. It gave me something productive to do. Joining the etsy community helped me feel like I was still connected to the world.
If you're an artist with health issues, I challenge you to look at art as a form of release. I don't know anyone with health issues who doesn't deal with the emotional back lash from time to time (or all the time) and devoting your negative energy to producing beautiful things can be really helpful to riding out those waves.
One lucky Thursday Sweet Treater will have the opportunity to win an incredible piece created by Ruthie along with a pair of earrings!! To enter, please:
1. Visit Ruthie's gorgeous shop at http://roseworksjewelry.etsy.com
2. Come back and leave a comment about your favorite piece and tell me why you like it
3. This giveaway will end at midnight on Sunday, March 15th. The winner will be chosen at random and announced on March 16th. At that time, Ruthie will pick one of her fabulous items to give away along with a free pair of dazzling earrings!
Ruthie, you are an incredible, inspiring light in the world. Thank you for reminding us that we all have the ability to turn negativity into something positive in an effort to make this world a better place!