Tuesday, March 26, 2013

I have a Story to Tell…

About a week ago, a very dear friend came to me. She is on the committee for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life event in our area this year. She asked me to make a piece of jewelry for their event in June. It will either be auctioned off or they will sell tickets on chances for it…the only problem…she wanted a Tree of Life. My heart sank.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I have no animosity toward Tree of Life jewelry… I just have no desire to make Tree of Life jewelry. Many people make them, they are all over the Internet. Some of them are really, really beautiful…and some…well let’s just say, not so much. It is just something that I personally have no desire to make. I never have had the desire. The problem that I have is that when I create jewelry, it has to be something meaningful to me for me to do it justice. I honestly usually struggle with commission work.

So, I went home from school and I thought, and I thought about it. I did some research and I thought some more. In order to create a piece that would be worthy of the Relay for Life auction, I had to really make this piece a part of me.

I have had some experience with cancer in my family. I lost a close friend and family member to leukemia when we were 16 years old. Outside of that most of my experience has been with colon cancer. My ex-husband (and father of my 2 oldest children) lost his battle with colon cancer at age 43). My grandmother had it. And, the one that impacted my life the most…my dad had it.

My youngest son was born on my birthday. The day that he was born, my dad got out of the hospital from having his cancer surgery. Every year on that day when I wake up, I don’t think, “Yay! Today’s my birthday!”, or, “Yay! Today is Taylor’s birthday!” My first thought every year on that day is…”MY DAD IS CANCER FREE!” This year, in June, on that day it will be 13 years.

So, I knew that in order for this necklace to be the best Tree of Life that I could do, I had to put my experiences into the process. I planned, and sketched and planned some more, drawing on my experiences and feelings.

This is a one of a kind piece. I will not be duplicating this piece ever. Every piece of this pendant has meaning…at least to me…

  • The tree is growing in a heart. The heart signifies the family and loved ones that surround and support the survivor.
  • The side of the heart, opposite the tree is hammered. This is to signify the emotional beating and heartbreak those loved ones go through.
  • The piece is done in copper that has a dark patina. That signifies the dark days that follow a diagnosis.
  • The amethyst leaves on the tree are for the lavender color that represents all cancers.
  • The knotted and twisted tree itself represents the scars, both physical and emotional, that survivors suffer.
  • The tree is in full bloom on the top right, but the blooms are sparse on the top left and bottom. That is because the healing process is long and drawn out. It takes time for a bud of healing to sprout here and there until eventually, that survivor feels beautiful and in full bloom again.

This may not be the most beautiful tree of life that was ever made…but it has a lot of meaning for me. And, it tells my story.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

500 Likes Giveaway

To celebrate 500 Likes on my Facebook page, I made this necklace for a giveaway:
I received 28 emails for the giveaway drawing, and I numbered them in the order that they came in. I used Random.org, as always, to draw a random number between 1 and 26 and the number that came out was:

The winner is Debbie Glaze! Congratulations Debbie! Debbie, we would all love to see you wearing your necklace, so take a picture and post it to the Facebook page when you get it. And, thank you to everyone else! I really appreciate you all. Your feedback and support means a great deal to me. As soon as we hit 600 fans I will do another drawing.

Some of the things that can get us there faster are you guys. You all are the best marketing anyone can have. Your word of mouth and sharing my Facebook posts of pieces of jewelry you like go along way to bring others to the page. Thank you.

Friday, November 30, 2012


Ok, I am giving away this necklace and earrings tonight if I have to deliver them myself! lol. There were 35 emails and I numbered them in the order they came in. Random.org drew number 7. Lucky number 7 is Gianetta Palmer! I have sent G and email. We are over halfway to 500 Likes on Facebook now. When we hit #500 I will giveaway something else.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Giveaway...Third Times the Charm

One more time for the necklace and earrings. Here is the giveaway prize...
Random.org drew the following number...
Number 143 in the Facebook Likes list is  Katrina Winant. If that is you, you have until 6:00 pm ET on Tuesday, November 27th to email me at kristi@bgfdesigns.com with your address for shipping it to you.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Giveaway, Try Number 2!

Ok, so the winner of this necklace and earrings did not contact me, so I am trying again. Back to random.org to draw a number and this time the winner is...

Number 20. Number 20 on the Facebook like list is . If you are the winner, you have until 5:00 p.m. tomorrow, Monday, November 26th to email me at kristi@bgfdesigns.com with your address to mail out the necklace and earrings.

Saturday, November 24, 2012


It is time to celebrating going over the 400 Likes mark on my Facebook page. First, I want each and everyone of you to know how much I appreciate you. In the year's time I have been doing this, I have met so many wonderful and nice people. I love interacting with all of you on Facebook and I really appreciate that you like my jewelry and designs. Now on to the giveaway...
To celebrate going over 400 Likes, I am giving away this necklace and earring set. The pendant is fused glass wrapped in dark annealed wire. The necklace is a variety of different jaspers and silver plated accent beads. The earrings match the necklace. For the drawing, I just numbered everyone in my Likes list in sequential order and used random.org to draw a number between 1 and 432 (which is the number of likes at the time I drew). And the lucky winner is...

Number 67 and that is                 , you are the winner and you have until tomorrow, Sunday November 25th at 4:00 pm ET to email me at kristi@bgfdesigns.com and give me your address so I can ship it out.

Thanks again to everyone! And, don't forget, I will do another giveaway at 500 Likes.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend with their friends and family.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Bead Soup Party!

I participated in a Bead Soup Party from Kalmbach Bookstore. A couple of weeks ago I received this wonderful package in the mail with beautiful beads and findings from Eva Sherman at Grand River Beads. Now, how to put this all together into beautiful jewelry.

I had to think about it for awhile, but eventually it came to me. Since I had a beautiful butterfly and flower to work with, I wanted something very nature inspired and flowing. I combined all of this with some antique bronze and titanium enameled wire and some brown suede cord and here are the pictures of what I came up with:

I hope you like them.