Tag Archives: handmade jewelry

Creating with Bristlecone Pine Oolite: Petrified Rock in 2022

I had a really great 2022. Previously, I wrote a newsletter about saying YES to so many new opportunities this year, which led me to need to use the word NO a few times. If the pandemic has taught me (us) anything, it is the need for a little guilt-free self-care. Which means sometime I go really slow (who am I kidding, I ALWAYS go really slow) when making jewelry. Or dinner.


Bristlecone Pine Tree, image courtesy of Rad Drew Photography, copyright 2022

When I came upon a Bristlecone Pine Oolite a couple of years ago, I knew I had to have it. It was cut by a local lapidary guy who is no longer in business. Later, I received a photo of a Bristlecone pine tree image that my husband, Rad Drew, took a picture of in California. I put the two together, and knew I needed a special piece for the stone. See three progress photos, below, and below that, a video. See the necklace in my shop, HERE.



Bristlecone Pine Oolite Necklace, detail view. Nancy Lee Designs, 2022.





First Friday Firsts: Popcorn and a Movie in a Ring

First Friday is my one and only Open House per month. After eight years of being on deck most every first Friday of that month, I mixed things up a good bit late this summer. I had entered a piece in a juried exhibition at Gallery 924, the fine art gallery run by the tremendous people at the Arts Council of Indianapolis, and it was accepted. But how to be two places at once? I really wanted to go see my work in a fine art gallery setting, and knew that I also harbored the desire to meet the woman behind the idea for the exhibition: Sara Urist Green of the PBS online show The Art Assignment. So, I decided it wasn’t an either-or situation. It was going to be BOTH.
Friday’s excitement started with my escape plan – a few minutes before 6:00PM, I ran out the front door of my building, and smack into two dear friends who lived hours away – only to find out they had moved back to Indy! Into my studio we went, and chatted for a good twenty minutes. Sublime. Then, off to Gallery 924!
Upon arriving, I saw several people I knew and said hello, then went on the hunt for my work – a ring names “Popcorn and a Movie,” dreamed up just for this show. There it was, in the locking display case I had scoured the earth for (thank you, Aronstam Jewelers!).

Popcorn and a Movie Ring, Sterling, gold, pearls

Only someone else’s work was sitting next to mine. A shock, for sure, but what can you do? I survived my ego attack and moved on. Then I spotted Sarah Urist Green and moved in to introduce myself. I was saved from that by a friend I had worked with at the IMA – she gave me a brilliant introduction. Thrilling and a tad bit starstruck, I still managed to hold up my end of an interesting convo on the arts, most especially women in the arts and opportunities to make work, make fun work from The Art Assignment prompts, and actually showing that work in a curated gallery setting. Non-traditional work in non-traditional venues is the wave of the future, however, getting people together in the way we were together on Friday evening was a rare and wonderful treat for me.
Hoping to be involved in some way with a future Art Assignment! To learn more about the Art Assignment that led to the making of Popcorn and a Movie, read on…
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Getting Back to (Art) Work

I’m excerpting from my recent newsletter, and updating my blog as to my whereabouts these past several weeks. But, unlike overprotective fathers, my blog doesn’t really care. It’s rather an inanimate object, yes? All kinds of bad keyword search Google-ish damanable metric-adverse things may have happened to my blog during my hiatus. I’ll never know for sure. However, just in case someone stumbles across these words, I’m compelled to apologize for not posting for awhile.
My plate has been overflowing with more activities than I can name. I took an this unusual break from my monthly newsletter for the past two months due to a temp job working the primary election – which turned into a job with major overtime! I’m glad I did it…but I won’t be doing it again. It gave me an appreciation for artists who work full time and try to fit in their art on the side. It validated that I’m not meant to split my time! So my focus will be on my custom clients, the creation of jewelry, and jewelry instruction. Feels good to know – again.
I’m back in the studio in fits and starts, and have completed a few projects for my lovely, patient clients, and more are underway. I’m currently making a wedding band for the engagement ring pictured below, and a wedding band for the groom based upon the bride’s ring. Soon, I’l be sharing photos of more “dreams made by hand.” Until then, thanks for sticking around.