the Sun Ring

Guess what….I love jewelrymost of you are not surprised…But, really I do.

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Not because I make it, and not because I grew up and realized how pretty it was, but for my whole entirety of my life I have loved jewelry. Over the last couple of months I have been really analyzing why I love jewelry, why I enjoy making it and collecting it, and wearing it.

I don’t care really how expensive it is, or how fancy…at least not most of the time…because what I love about jewelry is it’s ability to evoke emotions, remind us of people, and stir up forgotten memories…it’s the stories jewelry tells.

In my life my most cherished pieces of jewelry are Ebenezer stones…if you have no idea what I’m talking about check out this post Faith>Fear

For the next couple of weeks I wanted to share with all of you some of the stories behind my favorite pieces. Some remind me of people, some evoke a memory of a place or a moment, then some I bought with the specific intent or purpose of reminding me of a season of my life, a truth of God that I was struggling with, or a pain that I was walking through.


Up first is the very first of my Ebenezer stones…the Sun Ring.

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At 23 I made the decision to not simply trust God with my soul, but with my whole life…. specifically I told Him that if He opened doors I would spend the rest of my life trusting Him and walking through them…the thing was, I was a drunk who found my worth in the way others valued me.
This meant I was daily fighting a war between living out what I knew to be true and good…God loved me, had purpose for my lie, had good plans for me, and I was so incredibly valuable, precious even…and what I felt…alone, insignificant, incredibly insecure, purposeless.
I would decide each day to live trusting the truth, I would tell myself these truths…and then, each day I would fail to trust, slide back into believing lies, and then wake up disappointed, discouraged, and condemned.
So, I decided on a trip to Mexico that what I needed was something physical to remind me of the spiritual decision I had made. It needed to be something I would see and something I would feel.
I remember the moment I saw it, the moment I slipped it on my finger and then held my hand out to examine it.
It was massive on my finger…it spans my entire first knuckle…It was big, and heavy, and it had a sun on it…a reminder that I had chosen to live a life that honors the Son…I would feel it, I would notice if it wasn’t there, I would smack it on things during the day and be reminded of my decision, of my desire…it was PERFECT!
For years I wore that ring, and it serve it’s purpose. At work I would be frustrated and angry and I’d walk quickly past a wall, smack my hand on the brick…I’m a little clumbsy…and remember to choose love, to choose patience.
Sometimes It would pinch my fingers at just the right moment, and when I wasn’t wearing it I felt like I was missing something. It’s presence constantly drew me back to remembering, it kept my mind on choosing love, choosing joy, choosing to trust…choosing to live like Jesus.

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I no longer wear it every day, but those days when I do pick it up and slip it on, I find myself reminded, not just of that moment, or of what it means…but of how I’ve grown, how I’ve changed. I am not the person I was when I bought it…drunk, depressed, alone, scared…love has changed me.
The sun ring no longer reminds me to choose love in the same way it did…before it was kind of a warning, like a silent siren that would go off and remind me I was getting off course…Now it’s a much more gentle reminder…like a soft touch on my shoulder…encouraging me to remember the beautiful change that comes from choosing love.

 

 

Legacy

For those of you who follow my Facebook & Instagram feeds, you may have noticed that I’ve been thinking about my Pa a lot lately…actually I’m getting ready to post a piece inspired by him in just a few minutes…I think there are a lot of reasons for this recent nostalgia. For one thing we’ve been cleaning out my Gramy’s apartment and sorting through all of all the things she didn’t take to her new place. In the process we’ve been rediscovering so many of his things; carvings he did, records he loved to listen to.

And we’ve also been discovering for the first time some precious secrets about my Pa, and a secret legacy he left that I never knew about.

My mom discovered that he had printed off and kept every email we’d ever sent him in our journeys around the world. All those years spent separated by oceans and so many miles, he had carefully documented it all.

There was even a file just for me! Every card, graduation announcements, newspaper clippings of articles I wrote in high school and college, and newsletters from the mission field. It was all there, a record of my life.

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My Pa’s response to having only girls…become a boy scout!

I think this sparked nostalgia, and a lot of time spent thinking about my Pa, because more than anyone else I’ve lost, I have regrets about my relationship with him…don’t get me wrong, we had a good relationship…but I feel like I missed out on really knowing him. At his funeral, as I heard all these things being shared about his life and the man he was it hit me…I had missed out.

I should have sat with him more often. I should have asked him more questions. I should have spent less time avoiding his lectures…he was known for his lectures…and spent more time listening to the things he had to say, the wisdom and opinions he had to share.

When he passed I had thought I’d known the legacy he had left behind. There was this incredible legacy of family, a clan of tightly knit people who spent time together outside of major holidays, and who truly love each other. There was his legacy as a maker, and a story teller, and a leader, and an incredible provider, and as a man who loved God…I see pieces of this legacy lived out in the lives and characteristics of his children and grandchildren…but there was a piece of his legacy that I had not known, and it caused me to realize that I could have known him more.

At his funeral stories were shared of this secret. It seems that he was in the habit of walking up to the pastor on a Sunday after church…after hearing someone express a need…and handing him an envelope full of cash with the instruction to keep his identity secret. This habit was news to me…and most of the people there I imagine…and that’s exactly the way he wanted. Even the people he gave to didn’t know who he was.

This man, was not a wealthy man. He was not giving out of abundance, looking for ways to get rid of all the money he had. He was not looking for applaud, or a pat on the back. He was giving because there was a need, and he could, and he made sure his right hand never knew what his left hand was doing.

This is the legacy that he left us…a legacy of humility, integrity, and giving.

It’s fortuitous that I’ve been processing all this as I’ve been refreshing Frippery House. Because it’s helped me to realize something…personally that I want this same legacy…but also that I want Frippery House to be a business that gives…I’m not as incredible as my Pa, because I’m telling you all about it and not keeping it a secret my whole life…but I want you to be a part of this giving, to know the heart and purpose behind why.

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My last photo with Pa, trying to show Gramy how to keep her eyes open in photos.

Because, being a business that gives is not a new concept…being a socially conscious business is maybe even a bit trendy…but the vision of Frippery House is to inspire and to connect people and giving is a natural outflow of that…And, I want to give a bit differently.

So many businesses give to support…or to end…social issues, and while Frippery House will do this as well, we’re going to do it in a very different way. You see, to those who live among refugees, who run orphanages or take orphans into their homes, who live and work daily among women working in the sex trade, or who provide love and care for those who have been returned home after being trafficked…to those people these things are not merely “social issues”.

They are people, with stories, with hurts, with joys…with lives. 

So, here’s how giving is going to look at Frippery House…a portion of EVERY jewelry purchase will be given to someone…or somefamily…actively living their lives to love and serve others. We will be supporting “social issues” by supporting, loving, and encouraging those who spend their days living them.

This may mean the money they are given is spent on a trip outside of the war zone they live in, so that they can be reminded that life is not all pain and trauma, so that they can refresh and continue on. It may be spent on a massage, dinner with a friend, or even a new homeschool curriculum.

This money will be given to them for their personal needs and care, because we believe that life is not about connecting with “social issues” but with people. It’s because we believe a life surrendered to God’s call, living and loving people on every corner of this earth is what we are called to…and we want to be a part of supporting those who are doing just this…and we want you to join us.

 

Look for a blog post coming soon that details who Frippery House will be giving to!

 

Turn and Face the Change

In the last couple of months I have been working through some changes with in Frippery House.

I started to realize at the end of 2016 that I didn’t really like the direction things were headed. For one thing, I really wasn’t enjoying making the same design the exact same way over and over, it was taking the joy out of it for me.

I also noticed that when people ordered these designs off of Etsy or FripperyHouse.com the transaction was fairly impersonal and lacked the connection I was hoping for when I began FH.

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You see…jewelry is really just something pretty…frippery…not essential to life, frivolous. But, it holds amazing potential to connect us to each other.

Most of my personal jewelry has a story. It reminds me of someone, some place, some moment, or some emotion. It has the power to connect with me in a moment and touch my emotions; to send my heart moving in a different direction than it was just moments earlier.

This is the true beauty of jewelry, the potential it holds to draw us out of our current situation or circumstances and point our hearts in a different direction.

Connect

This is why I make jewelry, because I want to enter into your stories, to create for you pieces that evoke emotion; things that remind you of something, some one, or some place. And that you walk away knowing you own something special. And, when someone asks you about your unique piece you then get to encourage them through telling your story.

Encourage

I also want you to walk away knowing that your purchase benefitted someone other than yourself, and to connect you to the amazing works of love God is doing around the world through His people. The goal is to leave you feeling confident both in your purchase and through your purchase.

Inspire

Frippery House desires to create handmade jewelry that connects, encourages, and inspires.

Phase 1 of the transition has already begun, as some of you may have noticed. I have begun posting one of a kind and small run designs for sale on Instagram and Facebook. This is a great way for me to connect with many of you, and simply share with you the things I create as inspiration hits me! I absolutely LOVE working this way, and I hope you enjoy seeing my work this way.

 

Phase 2 is a transition away from Etsy and a complete overhaul of FripperyHouse.com…which is in progress.

This is the part I that benefits you most immediately. I need your help transitioning my discontinued inventory into your hands.

Starting Wednesday 2/22/17 you will receive 25% off your ETSY purchase with coupon code INSPIRE. You will have to be quick, because I only have 1 or 2 of each design available on Etsy.

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But, if you miss out on Etsy, don’t worry; I’m clearing out FripperyHouse.com as well.

All discontinued designs will be marked 20% off and designs I will continue to carry will be 10% off, no coupon code necessary.

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There are more phases to come, updates on what “lines” of semi custom and small run jewelry I will be making and which works of love we will be supporting, so make sure you are following FH on Facebook and Instagram and checking back for updates.

Faith > Fear

Ok, so last weekend I was at a woman’s retreat and the amazing teacher, Lenya Heitzig…seriously she was such a blessing and you should check her out…was sharing about fear. I always love/hate the fear topic…because I KNOW it’s going to apply to me…but I also know I’m going to be busted! I have fought fear my whole life…the Lord has grown me soooo much…but it’s still a battle whenever I step out, and years ago I told the Lord that if He opened doors I’d walk through them…so lets just say there’s lots of opportunity for fear.

*I need to give some credit for the title of the blog post to one Julia because she told me about seeing “Faith > Fear” on a necklace and I just love it, and I think I’m gonna make me one

So, Lenya was teaching from the first part of Joshua from Moses’ death to the Israelites entering the promise land, including the fall of Jericho and the crossing of the Jordan River…it’s a pretty epic couple of chapters…after Joshua leads the people through the Jordan…the priests are standing in the middle of the river which has dried up so they can cross through…God tells him to take 12 stones from the river and place them on the bank, so that when the generations after them see it they will ask ‘why are there stones piled up there’ and then they will be told the amazing things God did for the people of Israel.

I have always loved this concept…maybe it’s my love of rocks, or my love of story telling, but this has always resonated with me.

In Samuel this idea of leaving a stone of remembrance is called an Ebenezer stone. In my life, my tattoos are my Ebenezer stones. Each one is a stone of remembrance, each one marks a point in my life where things changed…behind my ear is the stone that marks when I surrendered not just my eternity but my today to the Lord, on my foot is the remembrance of God’s provision for me on the mission field and His faithfulness in bringing Ian and I together…each one marks a season of my life the Lord brought me through, each represents an amazing thing He did, each one is a miracle…even the ones I got before I was walking with Him.

And, what’s really amazing to see is that it’s working, I now have a son who wants to hear the stories of my tattoos, he asks me to share with him the history of God’s faithfulness in my life…so incredible!!!

img_0064This weekend, as Lenya was teaching, what really stood out to me was not the 12 stones God had them place on the shore for all to see, but the 12 stones they were to place in the middle of the Jordan…stones that would be covered by the rushing waters as soon as the last priest stepped onto the river bank…it was the 12 stones that no one would see. There is something about this symbol that I don’t think I fully understand yet…but I can’t shake that it’s important, that it means something specific for me in my life.

I think it’s maybe it’s the faith of it…because seeing rocks and hearing the story is one thing…believing that those rocks you can’t see are there is another. It’s easy to look at the physical and believe, it’s harder to trust a story, to believe what’s unseen.

Recently I got another tattoo…sorry mom and dad, I know you hate them…it is another Ebenezer stone…another reminder of God’s provision and faithfulness through a season of my life.

The most current season of my life has been difficult…there has been so much grief and so much pain and so much sickness…This season of my life has been beautiful…I’m a wife and a mom, I’ve seen God answer my prayers and show up in absolutely incredible ways…This season of my life has been lonely…I’m a wife and a mom and they must be my priority and I’ve had a very broken child that needed a lot of me…This season of life has been joyful…we went from three people to a family, we’ve traveled and experienced so much together, and I’ve grown SO much in the depth of my love for God…

My Ebenezer stone is a reminder of these things, of what God has done in my life the last couple of years, of His faithfulness, of His provision, of His goodness…in the midst of and in spite of each and every circumstance.

The tattoo is a ship on a choppy sea, cloudy skies, and a bit of sun poking through. All this is contained inside of a rope…but outside that rope is this simple anchor connected by a straight line to the ship.

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Life is great, and hard, and joyful, and painful. It is love and grief…laughter and tears…If I look at life as it comes at me, the circumstances that surround me…and I let that determine the course of my life…the waves will overtake me.

Instead, I stare at those rocks I can’t see, at the anchor that is secured outside of this world and outside of my circumstances…and I remember WHO it is my hope is in. When things are great, they are great…but when things are hard, I know the rocks are still there, the anchor still secure, and that eventually the sea will calm and the sun will burst through…because I have seen and will see again the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

 

As always, thanks for reading…make sure to follow, like, share and comment!

the Lindsy

I am not in the habit of walking up to people asking them “hi, will you be my friend”…at least not since I was in 2nd grade…but with Lindsy that’s exactly what I did…well, not exactly, I really made a case for why we needed to be friends…we had been hanging out with the same group of friends for a while and I really enjoyed her, but she travelled a lot which made really becoming more than just acquaintances difficult.

So, one Saturday afternoon at a women’s retreat me and two other of my incredible friends practically stalked her until we were able to talk with her. When we finally got some time with her we made our case for why she needed girl friends…and why we were exactly those girls…instead of backing away slowly and issuing a restraining order, she delightfully agreed with us…and we’ve been friends ever since!

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*While editing this post I noticed that I never once mentioned how amazingly talented she is…MAJOR oversight…she has an absolutely incredible voice and heart for worship and writes incredibly vulnerable and beautiful songs*

10 years later, I never see her often enough or for long enough but it is such a treat when I get to spend time with her…we are still very much bosom buddies. There are so many things I enjoy about her, so many things that make her a great friend. She is so kind and genuine, her faith and her heart are so pure, and she is wonderfully silly…we’ve definitely stayed up all night giggling like teenagers well into our 20s, and we once toilet papered a friend’s house when we were WAY too old to do something like that.

In my early years of walking with the Lord Lindsy showed me how to love others, how to engage everyone with graciousness and love. I don’t know if Lindsy has any idea how much I admire her, how much I look up to her, how much she inspires me. I have observed how she treats people over the years and I have watched how they are drawn to her…like flies to honey.

Once she gave our waiter in the restaurant her personal bible with all her notes, because he had shared with us some struggles and expressed a desire to read the Bible and to know God…so she just handed it to him. I don’t know if she knows how much of an impact that had on me.

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But the thing that has kept our friendship strong and grown her into one of my closest and most trusted friends over the years is how likeminded we are. There are a lot of people on this earth, a lot of people I love and enjoy, a lot of people I call friends, some who just come into my life for a season, but very VERY few who I have found myself so likeminded with.

I have always been able to be open with her…to share my heart…she has always listened, encouraged, comforted, and exhorted me. She has been present during some of the most amazing, and the most difficult times in my life, we started our friendships as single ladies…I got engaged days before her wedding, she was a bridesmaid in mine…and now we are moms…we have grown and changed so much, along side each other.

The icing on top is that we married men who were friends…yay!!!

Basically…I love this lady! She is kindness, beauty, joy, strength, comfort, a bit of sparkle, and a whole lot of grace all bundled up into one lovely package. I don’t know if I could ever truly capture who she is in a piece of jewelry, but I gave it a shot.

I used amazonite, because it is one of my favorite stones. It has this very natural and calming feel to it, and the color is neutral but not boring. The quartz gives it sparkle…gotta love some sparkle. There is something comfortable yet so special about this necklace. It makes me happy to wear it, it brings me comfort, and it makes me feel beautiful.

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Being around Lindsy does the same thing…it makes me feel so comfortable, and loved, and beautiful…I admire her so much, and just being in her presence reminds me how loved I am by God…what an incredible…and inspiring…friend she is to have. I’m glad I was brave/silly/foolish enough to ask her to be my friend all those years ago.

The Lindsy is available here…Frippery House…and here…Etsy

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Step away from the pit…

Good news everybody…I have decided to step away from the deep dark pit of loneliness and self pity that I was sitting on the edge of this past week…mind you I was not in the pit wallowing in the sludge at the bottom, I was just sitting on the edge…what was so horrible about last week you might ask…great questionmy hubby was on the other side of the world, just about as far away from me as it is possible to be on this earth. And, yes I am one of those girls that no longer sleeps when he’s away because I just miss him too much…not really sure when I became this personbut now he has returned, hooray, and I have decided to step away from the pit.

Upon my departure I realized that I have lost my focus a bit the last couple of weeks…I feel like I JUST wrote about this, am I seriously back here again so soon!?! I’ve kind of forgotten my purpose, forgotten why I started this adventure in the first place, and lost a bit of my brand identity in the process. I’ve gotten really caught up in the hustle of opening a shop, the anxiety of watching statistics and waiting for sales, the excitement of seeing them rise and sales come in, and the confusion of seeing them drop.

So, I’ve spent most of this week focusing not on designing or making jewelry, but on the businessy stuff of owning a creative business. Oh the businessy stuff…businessy is not a real word but please humor meit is the stuff of my nightmares and my #2 enemy in this venture…the post office was #1 but having conquered that enemy the sewing machine has moved into the #1 spotI’m just not really very inclined to business type things.

Historically I have done best at jobs with flexible schedules, lots of human interaction, lots of moving around and changing tasks constantly. I’ve worked as a secretary twice in my life both times for a couple of months, and both times the end of the job felt like the release from some sort of punishment that consisted of sitting in a chair, staring at a wall, and listening to the same stupid music all day…one of these jobs was working for my aunt and I feel I need to share that I loved the people, loved working with my aunt and cousin, but hated the desk, the chair, and the phone! I drank SO MUCH COFFEE when I worked there; it was like I was trying to drown my boredom with caffeine.

So this past Monday morning I made a giant pot of coffee and got right down to it. I started at the beginning…asking myself why I started doing this in the first place…who am I making this jewelry for…why jewelryand then I worked my way through my websites and blog and FB page and Instagram accounts, I evaluated my products, my packaging, my photos, about sections, shipping information, checked all my links…and now I have a list of things that I need to fix, adjust, change, and redo.

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Detail from my chalkboard…ADOPTION…every day it seems I want this more…I’m ready for the rest of our kids!

Basically, at the end of a very thorough audit of all things businessy I have a long…seemingly endlesslist of more businessy things I need to do. …but instead of being overwhelmed and stressed and discouraged by it I find I have drive…and even a bit of excitementto plow on and do it…and I think it’s because I started at the beginning.

Frippery House began…because I love making jewelry…actually I love making anything I can, but pretty rocks are so fun! 

Frippery House began…because I wanted to have a source of income that can go directly towards growing my home…adoptions.

Frippery House began…because there are things that God has put on my heart for the future with working in missions again and I believe this is step one.

Frippery House began…because being a SAHM is what is right for my family right now but there’s a lot of alone time involved…and me bored is just BAD news.

Frippery House began…because I believe God uses our stories to inspire, encourage, and transform lives, because I love people, I love the people in my life and their stories, I am inspired and changed by their stories…business allows me the platform and opportunity to share these stories with others.

Before I pounced on my to do list I sat down with my newly acquired chalkboard…It’s a precious gift from the Treus, made by Brandon and used by Ernie, and fortunately for me unable to travel to Irelandand I wrote down all the reasons for Frippery House, all the things I need to personally remember. And, you know what’s not on there…numbers! There’s not one reason for Frippery House related to sales, stats, likes, follows, or shares. Sure, I have business goals for sales and such…but numbers have nothing to do with why I stepped out into entrepreneur life.

At the heart of my business is people and stories…Love is at the heart of Frippery House….I don’t ever want to forget that.

For today I have learned this lesson, hopefully it sticks this time, I pray it takes root in my heart and I just live it out and don’t have to learn it again…but I’m human and I’ll probably need reminding, but the beautiful thing is that now I have all of you to remind me!

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I did find a bit of time for the creative this week and I finished up a design I’ve been working on for a few weeks. I’ve had several requests for the very popular the Ernie but smaller. This 18″ necklace with a delicate mini spoon is precious…meet the Mini Ernie. 

Available now on FripperyHouse.com

the Julia

Oh my! I just did a count and I really have only written about half of my designs and the women that inspired them…that includes the final pieces I will be introducing the next couple of weeks…I better get busy!

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Photo credit not me and not Julia…I think maybe Ernest

Julia is lovely!

She’s a very unexpected friend…we became friends during a season of my life that I was not really sure I wanted any new friends and I’m not even really sure how it happened…but one day all the sudden there it was, we were friends…I knew we were friends the afternoon that we were hanging out watching TV and I totally fell asleep and when I woke up she was still there and didn’t make me feel weird about it at all.

She’s gentle and kind. She reminds me of a deer frolicking around in a meadow of flowers…carefree and joyful…she makes living life look fun. She’s always quick to laugh and her eyes kind of sparkle with joy…and maybe a bit of mischief.

She’s also so incredibly cool! Her and her husband Ernest are kind of like rock stars in my mind…seriously though you should see these two pose for pictures, they would own any red carpet.

Oh yeah, and brave!

I have had the pleasure of watching her and Ernest walk the journey of starting their own coffee shop right here in Aurora. I’ve heard them talk and dream, I’ve seen it transition from dreams to saving and planning, and now I get to watch it as it unfolds before our eyes as Sonder Coffee becomes a reality and will be open very soon…check out what is happening at Dream A Latte and make sure to sign up for emails so you’ll know when they open…I am incredibly excited and can’t wait until it’s finally open!

This necklace took me longer than any other piece in this line to design. It went from two strands and pinks and purples, to one strand, to one strand with a bar and blue greens. It’s changed length, shapes, and materials so many times…I think Ian really started to get irritated with me showing him a different necklace every day and telling him it was the Julia each time...one design would be too rock star, another too delicate, but I think I finally got it…with a bit of help from Julia herself…

There are several different stones and colors and textures in this necklace, there is something delicate and soft, but also very structured about it. Oh yeah, and I love wearing it!

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Julia is complex but yet simple, so cool but so genuine and real, so much of a dreamer and yet also a planner…However it happened, I’m glad we are friends!

If you want a Julia of your very own click here!

Oh yeah, and this is happening 9/16…TOMORROW

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