Whether you know all not, i have several different shops on different sites. One that is very close to my heart if folksy (http://www.folksy.com/) as i joined folksy whilst still in thebeta stage, and i from day one been made to feel most welcome! Folksy is a uk run site, and in these hard times, we should all do our utmost to support our own!
So as well as featuring the talented people from the Ajdjss guild (artfire jewelry artist and supply shops) I am going to start a weekly spot featuring the talented people at folksy!
My first talented folksy member is DonnaMarie from 'D'z jewells (http://www.folksy.com/shops/d'zjewells)
DonnaMarie Patterson (also known by many as D or mum!) started her jewellery career after being diagnosed in 2007 with an illness called fibromyalgia ( and i will admit another issue close to my heart as i suffer from fibromyalgia also) three months after being diagnosed, donna was told she would have to give up work, for the foreseeable future. Donna explains 'being a trained hair astylist and beauty therapist for 25 years, i thought nails maybe for me', fortunately for all admirers of donna's jewellery, the nails idea wasn't to be!
Donna goes onto say 'I came across a website called about.com (http://www.about.com/) and browsed all the ideas on there, came across the jewellery making .... and went straight out and bought all the essentials needed!' Even at that early stage Donna sounded like a true jewellery maker!
Thankfully the jewellery making took off! 'i would never have thought then i would beable to what i can do now.....and love it!'
Looking at DonnaMarie's jewellery, you can see that even with the difficulties of fibromyalgia, she certainly has a flair for jewellery design! My firm favourite of DonnaMarie's i the 'bubbles the watch' (pictured left) it was only after i looked at the pictures i realised that this was no ordinary watch but a lariat necklace, simply gorgeous! Donna admits that '....although i am still very new to this..' which you can not see in her jewellery, her items have a sophistication and quality of finish that some artists strive for years to acheive. Donna's flat is 'littered' with new ideas that just 'pop into my head at all hours of the day and night' she also fully admits she has ideas stored on her draft part of her messages on her mobile! I can only wish ideas at times came as easily to me!!
On bringing the subject up of creative blocks, you wouldn't think that DonnaMarie has this problem,, but she does!! (sorry to sound so relieved everyone!) Donna finds that going online, chatting on folksy forums, and other jewellery sites helps take her mind of the problem and 'never fails to come away inspired, with some idea or another'.
'Being disabled is my biggest problem because because i can spend days at a time in bed, this can happen a few times a week, so nothing gets done, but i always check my shops!' DonnaMarie's obviously has dedication to her craft and her customers and you can't fail to be impressed! Donna has help though from her amazing son. 'I am single, but i have my son living here with me, so he is a great help with the house work so all i really have to do is some housework and the shops' donna then jokes 'in between being ill very ill!'
I admit that i am awed by the dedication and passion that DonnaMarie possesses. All of which shines through her work,for instance Donna's 'P'S i love you' necklace and bracelet set, (pictured right) especially when you realise that because of the fibromyalgia there are days when Donna '..can't hold my tools, or sit very long, which is not good but how it is now'. It is amazing that donna produces jewellery of the quality that she does. As most of us know making jewellery takes time and effort..and you have to havealot of love for the craft. Donna's determination to make high quality items inspires me, and as we continue to talk, she tells me of who inspires here and why.
'I don't really admire any artisans, other than some people on folksy that i think are very good at what they do. Kim, (very surprised..thats me!!) from Lilles whi also has fibromyalgia, a young family, and has more than one shop to run, i think you are inspiration..ClaireLouise from 'Blue stripes' (www.folksy.com/shops/bluestripes) she has a really greta shop, she adores her children andher little sister, she has been through alot and inspires me...Neil (woody) from 'wood jewellery' (www.folksy.com/shops/woodjewelley) hasa great shop, he is a stay at home dad looking after his son of four and his wife, he has been through a lot and has come out the other side, he inspires me. These are everyday people who have brilliant talents and are putting them to use. These are the type of people who inspire me to do more, not your huge names, with even bigger ego's, the little people with huge talents..these are the people i respect and admire.'
I have been honoured to beable to talk to DonnaMarie in such an open manner. Her integrity shines through, and is someone we should all admire.
From my own personal experiance, Fibromyalgia is a life changing condition, the person with the condition AND their failies and friends have to adapt their lives so much, and yet in the uk its a conditoin that is rarely heard of. If you would like more information and insight on fibromyalgia here are a few great sights to visit.
If you would like to make a donation to help research for fibromyalgia in the uk go to
Please support all of our wonderful artisits, visit their shops promote each other when you can!!
P.S the photos are blurring because I implemented them into the blog incorrectly and cant seem to fix it!! The original pictures are weel taken, visit donna's shop to see for yourself.