My Family and Background:
The first nine years of my life were spent on the Oregon coast, and I consider myself an Oregonian even though I've never had the opportunity to move back. When my dad got the opportunity to work as a full time botanist, my family moved down to the Southern California desert for a couple of years. However, for most of my life I have lived in the Alaskan Interior.
My mom and my girls, in 2008
My mom's great passion was books, and from her I inherited my book-ishness. She is a skilled home artist with talents for cooking, canning, cleaning, sewing and detailed embroidery work. I do not share those talents with her, but I am learning.
My Dad, my little sister Beth, and me
My dad was a forester, botanist and rock hound, and he shared a love of nature and the outdoors with my sister and me. I have wonderful memories of hiking through green forests, climbing over golden sand-dunes, and tromping through cold tundra. My family camped and explored a good portion of the wilderness wherever we lived. His passions became my love for flowers, leaves and stones. It delights me to share his loves and mine through my jewelry. He passed away in 2004, but I still see him when I look at his paintings and the outdoors he loved so much.
My sister, Beth, and I were best friends pretty much always. We moved enough and we were shy enough that we learned to turn to each other for a constant friend and playmate.
I developed a love of writing, music and drama, while my sister focused her creative passions on painting, ceramics and beadwork. She discovered beads in the 6th grade and has been improving her skills since then.
College And Training:
Somewhere in here I graduated from the University of Alaska Fairbanks with a degree in theater and music, and then moved down to Texas to pursue higher education. I traveled and performed with a fabulous group of people who loved drama, music and Jesus as much as I did. We taught acting and shared Jesus in a fun and non-conformist way, and my time there was a joy and a blessing. While I do not want to go back to the person I was then, (I love my husband, children and the me I've grown into far too much to go back!) I wish I could live some of this precious time over again. I felt like I was doing exactly what God created me to do during that time.
Jake and me in 2000
My Husband, Jake:
I graduated with a Masters and moved to Seattle Washington where I met a gifted musician named Jake... He loved Jesus, he wrote really great songs, and he liked me as much as I liked him. We got married less than a year later, and we stayed in the Seattle area leading both worship and the youth group in a small church there. I taught drama in a small school, and Jake had a number of odd jobs as he searched out a way to live his passion and provide for a family.
Jake and me in 2013
Then I got pregnant... Which we thought was another wonderful adventure, except my body didn't agree. I really struggled, almost lost the baby, and was put on bed-rest for about three months.
And here's where beads entered my life... I had tried playing with beads sometime early on when Beth first got excited, but I got fumble-fingered and impatient. I focused on the more ephemeral arts of drama and music, but not moving and a new baby limited performing. And, after a month or so of sitting on my rear watching movies and reading books, I needed something else. Beth came down and stayed with us while I couldn't do anything and she brought her beads. And I was stuck, sitting. So I learned how to string basic necklaces and bracelets. How to create earrings. And it was fun! I was surprised at how much fun. So I kept doing it.
Deborah and Abigail in 2013
Since then, we moved up to Alaska to be closer to my family, allow Jake to return to school, and grow our little family. Now Jake and I have two precious, wonderful, delightful and alarming daughters, Deborah and Abigail. Jake works at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and I work in the Fairbanks school system.
My sister and I sell our jewelry through our tiny business Two Sisters, and we make a little money. Not much, enough to support our beading habit and to provide a few extras for my girls- things like dance and music lessons.
I am incredibly blessed and lucky to be living in a beautiful place, making pretty things, and loving the gift God gave me in my sweet husband and precious girls.
"For I know the plans I have for you,"says the Lord. "Plans to prosper you, and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11