I've been quite busy these last few days, planning a very big step for not only the business, but for my life as well! My fiance, Kevin, and I are ready to move on and out of here! We've decided to give Rapid City, South Dakota a try. We love the area, and it is in the heart of rock country! Our goal is to move this November, before the ugly Midwest winter strikes!
As the months and years ago on, the more unhappy I've become. Culture tells you to get a high paying job that you work until it kills you (either emotionally or physically), buy a huge house that you probably won't enjoy, drive an expensive car you really shouldn't afford, and taking credit out just to afford the things you really don't need and honestly cannot afford. Years ago I did get caught up in some of that, and the second I pulled away, everything fell apart. At first, I fought hard to get it back. That was when I started the gem tree business, and started seeing things in a new light.
It is really crazy to chase the dream of being an artist. It can be rough to make a living, for many reasons. I want to break those barriers and prove them all wrong! I always get told by people to get a real job! I ask, "why?". I feel very fulfilled spiritually, from my work. I want spiritual fulfillment, not a fat bank account! I get to be a part of the most amazing things in life- trees and rocks. My life is uncomplicated. Of course, i do have old debts to get out of, but I'm not creating any new ones. I'm living by my means. If I have a car I enjoy driving and it doesn't break down, great! I have a roof over my head I can afford without worry, great! I used to be all about the expensive clothes and status. Now, I'm actually very interested in making my own clothes. I bought a knitting machine earlier this year, in hopes I can learn how to knit sweaters. I will, once life settles down a little bit!
Our move to Rapid City will mean selling off the majority of the crap we own. It really is crap. We bought stuff without thought to purpose, if we really needed it, and if it was something that would help our future. Of course, I have boxes full of old foreign language books that I've been holding onto since I was a teenager. That was an old part of me that is very hard to let go of. But, every time I look at them, I am sad because I never took the opportunity to embrace the skill I had working with them.
There's a lot of work and planning ahead for us! I am really counting on each sale especially right now, to afford the move of our dreams! I cannot tell you how excited I am to head out to the Black Hills and go rock hunting! I will be finding my own bases, each with its own story. I am going to have to study HARD these next few months, so that I know exactly what I'm picking up! I have an idea of picking up state rocks from South Dakota and Colorado, and making special edition State Gem Trees from them. I'd love to see my work expand into gift shops and tourist boutiques across the West!
I don't know why I never pursued this life in the first place! I have fond memories of rock hunting in Colorado, and dragging my very heavy suitcases back full of my finds! While everyone was admiring the beautiful scenery around us, I was scanning the ground! The coolest thing I ever found was a small seashell, at my uncle's ranch in Elizabeth, CO. It was in the small rocks that lined the driveway. I wanted to know the story behind it! Why was it there? Did it come from long ago, during the ice age, or did a bird transport it from somewhere? I should have followed my interests into college! But now, I can study, with the help of nature and some really good books!
I will be writing more about the journey of us leaving everything behind, and starting a new minimalist life, out in the heart of Nature!
Here it is, a new gem tree design! It is a Palm Gem Tree! I couldn't find a pattern for it, so I made it by sight. I am still perfecting the design, but will have some Palm Trees up for sale in my Etsy store shortly! The one pictured is about 5.5 inches tall. I plan on making a small version of about 6 inches, and then a large one at about 8 inches. This palm tree has 88 gems on it, from 8 different fronds. At this time I'm unsure if the 8 inch palm tree will work with 8 fronds, or if I'll add another 2, for a total of 10 fronds. And, I'm not sure if I'll keep the count at 11 gems per frond, or if the 8 inch would look better with more gems.
The Palm Gem Trees are very HAPPY! gem trees! The one above was made with a very happy-go-lucky Green Serpentine gemstone. I doubt I'll do all green palms, why not have different colors?!
I did a photo refresh on Etsy this week, and the photos look pretty good! They are crisper and clearer. Every tree poses with a ruler in the last photo, so you can see the actual size in a universal scale (each is in inches). I am working slowly but surely on fixing titles and descriptions too, to make them more exciting for the customer. I love creating my art, but when the piece is done, I just want to move on and do more! I don't enjoy doing the photography and writing, that's the hardest part!
I'm finding so many design inspirations on Pinterest, searching for "trees". I'm thinking of making a daily post or something, of the photos that I love best. I think instead of my rambling business ideas, it would be much more fun to see and talk nature. :-) I'm hoping to make these changes starting Monday!
I am also in the process of trying to make my dream a reality over the next few months, and live in another part of the country. It would still be so great to live in a more active rockhound state, and hopefully even be able to do some hunting on my own. I'd love to be able to find my own rock bases, it would add another story onto the tree. It would be very cool to find work in a rock shop too, or maybe a rockhound's apprentice. I am pretty good at the online sales thing! (hint, hint!) If you know of any opportunities in the US, or even Canada, for a rock artist and budding Rockhound, please send me a message! (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Enjoy your weekend! I look forward to a fresh start next week, and some brand new finished gem trees!
Yay, the day is finally here! I officially re-opened my Spirit Gem Designs Etsy store this morning! You can now browse my work, and shop your favorite items easily once more!
It was interesting, the same time I had to close my Etsy shop, my grandmother passed away. She really loved my work, and she always visited me at my rock shows at Har Mar Mall. The last time I saw her, she was very concerned about my business, and if I was going to any more rock shows! I was very surprised, since she just moved to hospice care and her health was very poor. But she loved my work so much! I told her there were no more rock shows to attend, and that I had to close my store for a couple of months. She was so sad, and just couldn't understand it!
My grandmother had bought (and she insisted on buying!) a beautiful Carnelian Gem Tree during my first show. I know it helped support her during the last couple years of her life, when she struggled with various health issues. She also bought a gemstone necklace from Kevin, and we gave her a sun catcher and a bracelet. It really meant to so much to me, to have that family support when I needed it. Now after her passing, I was given a small amount of money, and I knew I had to use a portion of that to get my store up and running again, to make her proud. So this is for you, gramma! May my forest of gem trees help support and heal once more!
In the coming days, I will have some new gem trees available. I will be moving my mala bracelets over to another store, where they will join some cool friendship bracelets, knitted bracelets and paracord/bungee cord bracelets.
Please don't forget to show your feline friend some love, and visit my Oddball Cat Toys shop on Etsy! I also have for sale a bunch of pet gemstone healing charms, that work great on both dogs and cats, as well as zipper pulls.
Click on the banner below, to be taken to my Spirit Gem Designs Etsy Shop!