Author Archives: Wild Prairie Silver

About Wild Prairie Silver

Silver and Goldsmith for Wild Prairie Silver Jewelry

Thank You!

Hi all. It’s been awhile since I have made a blog post & a lot is going on. It’s much easier on the day-to-day to post on Instagram, which if you’re not familiar with it, is like a running log of pretty magazine photos with less wordage. I am making this post just to share more information than usual because a lot is happening on The Prairie and that change is because of you. Thank you! 

Obicular Ryolite & Garnet Necklace Removable Kinetic Chain

Wild Prairie Silver has grown every year since the start… which was when my son was an infant, 2001. He will be 18 years old this coming winter…crazy! I have always worked out of my basement and it’s not a studio – it’s a basement. I was talking with another local jeweler and he said, “Why do they always put us in the basement?” We laughed cuz it’s true.

Learning and working, learning and working, learning and working, learning and working….there has been steady small-scale growth (my business is still microscopic) that is wonderful. Wild Prairie Silver will finally have a studio, and be above ground, joining the living by 2019… The view will be of The Prairie that I live on, out of many large windows (A WINDOW! WHATS A WINDOW! SAYS THE GIRL WHO WORKS IN A BASEMENT.) I am excited. (I am also terrified.)

Here is the first pic of the studio… colored concrete slab with some plumbing in it. The walls go up this Friday & Saturday. My husband is doing all the work himself with the help of some friends. I thank them greatly. This is a luxury I could have done without my entire life. I just about throw up looking at the cost, however, what is the cost of the sun shining on you as you work? I just keep saying that to myself. (The size of it is roughly a two car garage.)

Turquoise Aquamarine Cuff Bracelet 

The studio space is a work space, not a retail space. We will have an open studio event yearly for Christmas, but not sure it will be ready this year. We will be able to see you by appointment which really helps with ring restyles & custom designs. We will have wine, chocolate and jewelry on hand  in case you call and can stop in for a jewelry fix, plus a glass of wine and a piece of chocolate!

I have had the same 2 questions this year from multiple folks. So I will try to answer them as best I can.  1)  How to ‘have a business?’  2)  Do I or will I teach a class?

  1. I have one answer to creating a business from your art = work. I work a minimum  of full-time, usually it’s much more than that. Work time is not time on the computer. Work time is time you are actually creating something. There is no secret. I worked as an RN since I was 21 years old, until 3 years ago (I am now 43). I started making jewelry, loved it and the entire time I was an RN, I was becoming a jeweler…did both at the same time for 16 years. I ‘retired’ from my nursing career reluctantly 3 years ago and it was the best thing that could have happened. (Everything happens for a reason and nothing worth having happens easily or overnight.) Clock your time and work 40 hours at whatever it is you do. Your work day is 8-5 like everyone elses or 7-7 or 6-8… whatever it takes…. If you’re not doing this you are not working enough. If you have small children this is impossible if you are actually being a parent. I could not do this with children under 10 years old. Also take a vacation every year even if it’s an at home vacation and do not do your art for one week. Your mind needs a restart and maybe your hands need a rest as well.
  2.  About teaching classes: I simply do not have time. I have so much to do before I die. I will never get it all done. I need more classes myself. I have a family. I run a business. I am an artist. I am always thinking and creating, reinventing a wheel in my basement … and then making dinner. Leaving here to teach a class is almost impossible. I live in a very rural area that has zero hotels. I don’t/won’t ever have the space here to teach a class. When I do get to leave here I want to take a vacation with my kids/husband and not make jewelry. Once in a great while I teach at Peninsula School Of Art, Fish Creek Door County Wisconsin, which is one hour from my house. They have a beautiful metals studio with great classes and great teachers. PeninsulaSchoolOfArt.org  

Labradorite Necklace 

Cross Angel Wing Necklace 

I have to say a huge Thank you!!!!!  to all that have helped me in the past years and years ~ Either as a customer, as a mentor, as my family member, as a teacher, as a gallery owner, a friend … Wow, so many people have touched and influenced my life so I can do what I love to do.

Also I have an apprentice, she’s be a wonderful addition to the studio… Kali… She is becoming an amazing jeweler in her own right. Then there’s Skyla… the college intern… she is the organizational CEO of the studio. She has organizational skills that I was never born with. Both of these wonderful women help with all things Wild Prairie. They don’t go to shows cuz that would be cruel and unusual punishment ~ Roadies for the art shows… husband, Savannah and Wyatt (my kids who have spent countless hours at art shows)… take down and set up is a smash and grab but it gets done in record time.

***My customer…. none of this would be possible without you believing in what I make for you. I want your piece of jewelry to be everything you want it to be. I want your heirloom jewelry to be worn, be memorable and be amazing. I want the items you decide to decorate your body with to be a reflection of you, your past, present, future. That is why I love what I do. It connects us. My art connects you to memories and events and that makes it all worth any time, any failure, tons of effort… it’s the success in the finished piece that makes your face light up with joy or tear up with a memories. My very best pieces have been because of you pushing me, changing it, making me see it through your perspective. I could not exist without ya. 🙂 🙂 🙂

Diamond Ring 

And for the Jewelry… making leaps and strides with higher end pieces.. getting braver and braver. I hope to take another gem setting class in 2019 so I can be more confident in setting unusual gems in gold. Ring show is for sale but an example of how your diamonds sitting in a drawer can become something else… something you will wear.

Events coming up are Oct 6 & 7th Townline Art Fair which is held at the Fineline Gallery in Ephraim Wisconsin… Door Co. It’s a show that has been going on for decades so come and enjoy the fall colors and the beautiful harvest festivals all over Door County that weekend. November 24th, Small Business Saturday, East Depere High School 9-3.

I will keep ya updated on the Studio. Since my husband is doing it himself it will take a while. Again thank you all, and enjoy the weekend and hopefully see you at a show before Christmas.(Yes, I said Christmas… it’s coming…. please put in any custom orders as soon as ya can… already started on some.)

~ God Bless 🙂 joy

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Summer Is Finally Here

Just got back from my daughter, Savannah, High School class trip to Washington DC. It was a 16 hour bus ride one way and it was worth it. What a beautiful city full of amazing museums & monuments. I am a history, science geek so I could have stayed in one museum for a week but we covered miles of ground in just a few days. The HOPE Diamond is amazing… of course I went to see that and the Hall Of Gems in the Museum Of Natural History. This is my daughter and myself at the Lincoln Monument.

Sorry I have not blogged in a while. I have moved most of my commentary to http://www.instagram.com/wildprairiesilver   

If you do not use Instagram it’s very fun. I think it’s like a magazine you design yourself. I will try and continue to post on here once in a while and keep ya updated. My show schedule (click this link) is on my website for the summer. My next show is July 21st & 22nd in Sheboygan Wisconsin.. Kohler Art Fair, space #106

Tomorrow.. I teach this class at Peninsula School Of Art in Fish Creek Door County. I do not usually teach. I like it/enjoy it but I do not have time. Why this earring???? We use several tools… rolling mill & hydraulic press, beginning soldering, and beginning wire wrapping. I think there is one more open spot in the class. Again tomorrow Fish Creek Door Co WI Peninsula School Of Art 9-4pm

Other classes ~ We are excited to say that Richard Salley is making a pit stop in my teeny tiny town. July 17th, 18th (Tuesday & Wednesday) He will be teaching the above two classes. They are pretty much full, but might be able to take on one person in each class. Main issue is that it is in Casco Wisconsin. No hotel (or anything else) – nearest hotel 15 miles away or more… Algoma, Sturgeon Bay, Kewaunee have hotels. It is NOT at my studio. My studio fits one person in it. (It is in my basement and it is an underwhelming place to visit.) If you would like to take one of these classes, please text Wild Prairie’s Phone at 920-365-6341 and we will let ya know if they are available. $275… need to be able to solder a bezel and saw out a shape before you come to class. I will be there to help out if you’re a newbie. Again space is available for one person, already almost full.

We have done about one or two diamond ring restyles a month. The above two photos are of peoples diamonds they wanted redone into something else. It’s been super fun. The budget for this completely varies depending on what you want and the amount of gold you want to use. All of them turn out a little different than the next. email if you are interested 🙂 joy@joykruse.com

White Sapphire & Faceted Moonstone Necklace… This is currently at J Jeffery Jewelers in Fish Creek Door County Wisconsin. We made this for the Royal Wedding but ya know the Queen just never called? We are still perplexed as to why she does know us. 🙂 🙂 🙂 And the Bride! She wasn’t even wearing a necklace! Talk about missed opportunity on their part. (Hahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!)

Diamond Necklace & Pebble Ring 

We created another website for stone lovers. I have had a supply site for years on Etsy called MidnightinSavannah.Etsy.com. I wanted to have a site that was not controlled by another company. (I had an ecommerce site go out of business and take all my business with it- yikes!) So, we made a new site that is not owned by another vendor for our stones and supplies: SavannahJewelrySupply.com 

On June 21st at 9am Central time we will have a huge sale via Instagram for stones that I have hand picked. The instagram site is @savannahjewelrysupply  We post the stone parcels and they all have a name. You just text us the name of the parcel you want ~ Studio Phone # 920-365-6341. We let ya know if it’s available or already gone. You send us your PayPal email and we invoice you for your stones. If you want more than one parcel we make a pile for you & invoice you when the sale is over. If you are out of the country then DM us on Instagram. US shipping is $5 & overseas shipping is $12.

Amazonite Earrings 

Carnelian Turquoise Ring 

Awesome goodies from Bead and Button Show! Some of these will be for sale in our stone sale June 21st ~ It is held on Instagram @SavannahJewelrySupply  

We will have a large selection of faceted freeform gems as well on that day: Prehnite, Carnelian, Labradorite, Amethyst, Moonstone, Yellow Opal, Variscite, Amazonite, Chrysophrase, Pink Opal. Text to purchase right from the photo 920-365-6341

Moving up & moving out 🙂 🙂 🙂  If you have ever been to my studio, you know I work in my basement. It’s finally time for a new studio. Financially, it’s not worth it (my basement is ok) however, I plan to work until I am dead so I have to move above ground just for moral. It won’t be amazing like the pinterest photos of studios (it will be a garage with a lot of windows) but it will be amazing to me as it will be above ground with a spectacular view the sun setting on my wild prairie. I can’t wait to just pour some concrete and stand on it…soon… 🙂 🙂 🙂 I will have a Christmas Open House in the new studio and you’re invited.

Peace to all ~ Hope to see you at a show ~ Happy Summer ~ joy 🙂


Christmas Show Schedule

I have not posted on my blog in a zillion years so I figured I had better for the Christmas Show Schedule… I don’t post on here very much any more because I use Instagram as a daily log of what I am doing and making. If you want to catch up on some images go to ~http://www.Instagram.com/Wildprairiesilver   

NEXT SATURDAY 9-3PM 500 SWAN ROAD DEPERE ~ I am out in the hallway in the commons area. There is a line at the door so if it’s cold come at 9:30 cuz then you won’t have to wait in line outside. Parking is impossible.

Saturday Dec 2nd Art Show at Titletown Tap Room on Broadway in Green Bay ~ 10-5PM. There is a home Packer Game the following day so I expect we will be busy. Please stop in and see us. This is the first year for this even and we could be standing there alone, listening to the crickets, but we are hoping not.

Last but not least… a get together (I can’t really call it a show cuz it is not a show but a party) A Christmas Open House in Kewaunee at 210 Ellis Street~Kewaunee WI Kali’s School Of Dance Studio is hosting us… Stop in and say hello and have some Wine and Chocolates with us so we can wish you a Merry Christmas.

We are working hard right now to ship everything the day after you order it. So, if you need something made for Christmas please email joy@joykruse.com. This is not the ‘No Season’ but the ‘Snow Season’ and we say ‘YES’ to getting it done. Don’t be shy or think we are too busy. We expect busy right now, welcome it and we are at your service. email joy@joykruse.com Website Orders http://www.WildPrairieSilver.com 

Happy Thanksgiving! Hope to see you before Christmas! 🙂 🙂 🙂 joy


Travel and Fresh Metal…

Recently arrived home from a trip to sunny Cancun Mexico. A week in the sun and the water was wonderful. After about 6 days I am ready to return home from anywhere but it was good times had by all of us. We really wanted to take our two kids out of the country as well just so they could experience life lived in was other than what they know. It was good for them. The water in the Yucatan Peninsula is known for being crystal clear and aqua blue. We snorkeled and scuba dove, swam and ski jet skied, ate, walked, toured the Mayan ruins. The Mayan ruins are one of the wonders of the world and I now have more information on that then I’ll ever need. (Our tour guide has a Phd Mayan culture.)

Mayan temple is not really a temple… it’s a calendar. The Mayans kept such accurate track of time that their calendar has a leap year every 5,000+ years. Nasa uses the Mayan calendar and developed the Atomic calendar with it. Pretty smart for 4,000 years ago. Twice per year on the Spring Equinox and the Fall… the corners of the temple create a shadow down the stairs of a slithering snake- ending at a huge stone carved snakes head which. We were there the day after the Equinox…the day of the Equinox 50,000 people there to see it.

Traditional Spanish town about half way to the Mayan ruins. This church was built in 1545, destroyed of course in battles, rebuilt in 1705, some town Mayors murdered in it and the church was painted with their blood..eeekkkk!!!!!!!! This is one of the only churches in the world banished by the Catholic church because of it’s gruesome history. I did not get an accurate story about this church either…the language barrier kept a lot of details from me.

Guy in this town making Mayan charm pendants for tourists while they wait. He is working in a space the size of a closet with people lined up out the door.

Under ground Cenote…

Just loved this Flatbed bug 🙂

Savannah snorkeling…right after this photo we saw a fish as big as we are and he was standing his ground so we turned around like a couple of chickens.

The end of our travels to Mexico… it was very hot there and actually when we got home to 35 degrees it felt refreshing but I have always loved it here in Wisconsin.

Nail Through My Heart Necklace With Handmade Chain… This photo is not the best… the stone is awesome! I love making this necklace and this is the best one yet! Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/521810847/sterling-silver-heart-necklace-handmade?ref=shop_home_active_2

Labradorite ring with Aquamarine Gemstone. This was a custom order and my apprentice made it, Kali… she really held down the fort here while I was gone. Without her it would be very difficult to take a vacation for a week. I just cannot keep track of orders, emails, shipments, and production without help. She is a great help and is also becoming a very talented metalsmith.

Palm Root Fossil and Citrine… handwoven viking knit chain. Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/506828562/sterling-silver-necklace-handmade-one-of?ref=shop_home_active_52

Crazylace Agate and Vanadinite…handmade solid cable neck wire. I just made this Thursday but it is sold. These are really my favorite pieces to make…the unexpected stones turned jewelry, the rough with the polished, the ugly and the pretty…. I am glad that you all like my crazier pieces because if you didn’t I couldn’t keep doing what I love to do, so thank you. I am at a point in my life where this is what I am and there is no turning back, just going forward and learning/evolving.

To anyone I went to High School with I will be in the Oconomowoc Art Show this year August 18th and 19th… it’s as close to Fort Atkinson as I can get so please stop in and say hello. That is a new show for me and had several of my Door Co. customers ask me to apply there because they live in the more southern part of the state. I just got news that I was accepted in. I will not be in Madison this year. I just decided I do not like the Urban environment and the great expensive of the show. I would rather be in the grass at a park then on hot pavement in between high rise buildings. Other shows are listed on my events page. Summer will be here soon. Happy Spring to all and God bless you and yours.


ArtiGras Art Show This Weekend

Labradorite necklace

ArtiGras is this weekend in Green Bay at Shopko Hall across from Lambeau Field: Saturday 10-5 and Sunday 10-5      link: http://mosaicartsinc.org/artigras/about.php   I will be at Booth 37, so stop in and say hello. I will try and post some pics to Instagram of the weekends events. It usually is really nice to get out and see people this time of year. Above Labradorite necklace: https://www.etsy.com/listing/497592472/sterling-silver-labradorite-necklace?ref=shop_home_active_31

Sterling Silver and Moissanite Handmade Engagement Ring

I’m scrolling through pics to add them into this post and I feel like I could add pics forever just for the pure pleasure of seeing all of the work I have created for so many of you. It is such a ‘joy’… so thank you! The studio is busy, but please don’t ever think we are ‘too busy’ for your special project. I would not be here without you and without you asking me to do something for you. I’m here working away and would love to make something just for you. Ring Above link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/514379079/sterling-silver-ring-handmade-sterling?ref=listing-shop-header-3

Handmade Garnet Ring

Wild Prairie Silver this fall has had an apprentice come on board. It’s great to watch a new metalsmith work and learn. She doesn’t need to learn that much… she’s a natural. Her name is Kali and she made this ring along with several others. Welcome Kali to the wonderful love hate relationship you can now have with metal. It’s a very bipolar love affair… the Smith and the Metal…    Above Ring link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/501405074/sterling-silver-ring-sterling-silver?ref=listing-shop-header-0

Handmade Sterling Silver Necklace

This is a crazy specimen piece of jewelry…love it! It’s big and crazy and wonderful. Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/494870798/sterling-silver-spessartite-garnet?ref=shop_home_active_21

Labradorite Necklace

Labradorite Necklace & Huge Chain  Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/514346111/sterling-silver-necklace-sterling-silver?ref=shop_home_active_2

What else is new? We got a new puppy dog, named Taz. He is some kind of Boxer mix from a local shelter. He is really Savannah’s baby doll to be honest with you. He would like for you to wrap him in a blanket all day and hold him even though he’s more than 60 pounds now. We miss Dusty Dawg and his maverick ways but Taz is growing on us…literally cuz he never stops touching you.

sterling silver wisconsin charm necklace

Sterling Silver Wisconsin Charm Necklace now comes with a sterling silver heart or a solid 18k gold heart. I like this style the best out of all of them. They have been featured in Our Wisconsin Magazine so that has been a great boost!!!! Thank you Our Wisconsin!!!!!! Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/497121284/sterling-silver-wisconsin-necklace?ref=shop_home_active_2

sterling silver ring

My new show schedule is out on my website… and I will up date it on this blog as well but you can check it out at Http://www.WildPrairieSilver.com. If I don’t see you this weekend hopefully see you soon at a Summer Show!!! xo ~ joy

Ring Above link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/500470570/sterling-silver-ring-handmade-by-wild?ref=shop_home_active_6

DAILY PICS OF US WORKING AND MAKING~FRESH METAL ALMOST EVERY SINGLE DAY ~ INSTAGRAM #WILDPRAIRIESILVER


Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! If you will be out and about doing some Christmas shopping this weekend, Wild Prairie Silver will be at TWO LOCATIONS~ East Depere High School from 9-3 on Saturday. On Sunday I will be at the Green Bay Yacht Club from 11-5. The yacht club will be a much quieter setting with 12 artists, a cash bar, and holiday refreshments. There is still time to get in custom orders but don’t wait too much longer 🙂 🙂 🙂

green bay art show

Labradorite Necklace

This is a custom order. Cost depends upon the stone. This particular necklace was $650 but they have ranged from $350-$1900. Awesome Labradorite!

puppy

This is Taz. He is our new puppy. We are very sad to have lost Dusty Dog and I really miss his crazy antics and his maverick personality, but Taz is bringing a lot of laughs to our life. He has a lot to learn however… He is basically terrified of everything. He is a 5 month old boxer mix we got from Sandi Paws Rescue. Welcome Taz.

sun moon ring

This is also a custom order called the Sun Moon Stars Ring. Customer supplied her own one karat diamond and all the gold for this ring.

diamond engagement ring

Made a set of eight of these diamond rings for a group of young ladies using their Grandmothers anniversary band.

Wisconsin Charm Pendant

This is a Sterling silver Wisconsin charm made for Pandora/Troll style bracelets. These Wisconsin charms & earrings will be in the magazine “Our Wisconsin” December issue. I can’t wait to see it! Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/473452798/sterling-silver-wisconsin-bracelet-charm?ref=shop_home_active_18

sterling silver agate ring

Sterling Silver Crazy Lace Agate Ring and Garnet Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/490808563/sterling-silver-agate-ring-handmade?ref=shop_home_active_10

I have several other new pieces in my Etsy shop (joykruse.etsy.com) and could load about 20 more photos on here but this is good nite for now and hopefully you will have a wonderful, thankful day tomorrow with family, friends & loved ones. Maybe see you Saturday or Sunday in person.


Summer Going By Fast

Summer is going by way too fast! Making me want to scream, STOP!!!!!! In two weeks is ArtStreet in Downtown Green Bay Wisconsin. This is a very fun art show/ festival. It is August 26, 27, 28th. I am booth number 177 I believe. I do not have a map of the grounds yet, but they should post that soon. Go to Mosaicarts.org. http://mosaicartsinc.org

To follow are some things I have made this summer. Some are for sale and some are sold or custom orders. It’s been an exciting summer for custom orders. There are few pieces I have made that just amazing me. They had so much meaning to them. It is a wonderful thing to bring that persons memory to life in a piece they can wear every day.

handmade sterling silver jewelry

This gorgeous stone above is a Chrysocolla in pretty much it’s natural state. I could not pass up the color ~ WOW! Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/458327436/chrysocolla-sterling-silver-necklace?ref=shop_home_active_1

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Necklace and rings that are at J Jeffery Taylor in Fish Creek Wisconsin. If you would like one made for you I can have you pick out your own stone. Price estimate $200-$250

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Custom Order Twig Vine Aquamarine and Diamond Ring ~ Reverse side of this ring has 4 diamonds wrapping around the stone. This lady was floored. I thanked her up and down for the opportunity to make such a special piece for her. It was such a pleasure and meant to be. In memory of her mother and all of her mother’s favorite things incorporated into the design.

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This has never happened? How does the above happen? I don’t have any idea: 25,000 + views on one of my videos? I’m dumbfounded. The company was as well. They said thanks and I said you’re welcome. Love your tools: Pepe Tools….. especially your jump ringer.

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Massive Labradorite Necklace at J Jefferey Taylor in Fish Creek Wisconsin

Again if you would like one of these necklace just contact me. You can pick out your own stone. Cost estimate is $400-$900…just depends on the stone. Just this one stone was $175 but I have stones that are $50 as well.

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One of my favorite customers had this ring made from a pile of jewelry she was not wearing. How fun!!!!!! This is the ultimate in recycling. Thanks R and TGIF!

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I love this piece. Variscite and Tourmaline… This stone material is the 1940’s. I have never seen it look like this. Too good to be true! For Sale: Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/451029954/sterling-silver-variscite-tourmaline?ref=shop_home_active_5

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This pendant is about 5 inches long… a stunner and not for the shy. Would look great on a guy if you have the guts to pull it off. Prudent Man Plume Agate and Labradorite Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/386636096/one-of-a-kind-sterling-silver-necklace?ref=shop_home_active_14

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I have sold all of these bracelets and I am making more today. They all sold in Madison on Saturday. When people see them they fall in love with them ~ Sturdy and rugged and great movement. Custom made in your size. Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/287939961/leather-bracelet-sterling-silver?ref=shop_home_active_7

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This is myself, Katie and Savannah in Madison. I probably will not continue to do Madison. It’s a big show, expensive & a ton of extra work. I do several shows that cost me less than $100 total and I have them available to me right by my home. This show I am out $500-$800 before I ever arrive and it’s 50% more work than usual. I am so swamped with work that I just don’t need the extra work load. I will pick up a show that is in a rural tourist area that I enjoy instead of cooking on the pavement in a big urban environment. I so love the shows I do in parks, in pretty little places that this big city show is not for me. I have done it two years in a row to give myself a chance at really getting a taste for it and it’s just not my style. So, love ya Madison maybe I will try your inside Holiday Christmas show instead of being among the buildings. Not in anyway is the show not a good show… so try it if you want to… the downtown thing is not for me.

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‘Nail Through My Heart’ Sold ~ Rusty Nails, Jasper, Diamond, 18K Gold and Sterling

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Ocean Wave Jasper, Pink Sapphire, Diamonds, 22K Gold, 18K Gold, Sterling For Sale Listing:https://www.etsy.com/listing/280784976/pink-sapphire-diamond-necklace-one-of-a?ref=shop_home_active_11

wild prairie silver

Have Fun ~ Make Lots Of Jewelry

See you soon at ArtStreet or in class at Peninsula School Of Art. (I will no longer be teaching until I retire so come if you can.) My Grandmother is doing horribly so please pray for her. ~ joy

(ps: I typed this so fast I am sure there are a ton of typos so sorry about that…)


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