Eilisain aka Lisette in Gaelic

Welcome to my blog, where I document my process in making jewelry, muse on the influence of art and the joy of making beautiful objects.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Here's to a prosperous 2015

This year was full of so many wonderful and amazing memories.  It was also a year of incredible growth for me, professionally and artistically.

It's ironic though that I've somewhat put off writing this post, mainly because I've wanted to enjoy a bit of downtime and give myself time to just relax and process everything.   But I can't put it off any longer, as in the back of my mind I know that it's time to move forward and plan for 2016.

So with that said I'll go over my top 5 highlights of the 2015.

1.  The Brigid Collection rang in the new year with a wonderful burst of fertile energy.  And honestly, Brigid (my patron deity - the smith, healer and mother goddess) could not have been a more appropriate name. 

We shot the collection in a cemetery with a beautiful couple, Ashleigh Bowden and Christopher Johnson.  And I teamed up with some amazingly talented people, Aileen Devlin (ya'll know her by now!), Amanda Adkins of the Lucky Owl Shop, Meagan Wilson of Meagan Wilson Makeup and Ryan Shackleford (videographer). 

I'm incredibly proud of this collection and the beautiful lookbook.  It's probably one of my favorites.
Brigid lookbook, Photo by Aileen Devlin.
2.  The Bast Collection
Another collection and lookbook that I just loved.  It was so perfect and appropriate.  I'm a bit nervous that I won't be able to top it but I'll definitely try! 

Bast OOAK necklace, photo by Tara Locklear.
 3.  I participated in more shows than I ever thought I would and I received some great press for it.  Like the feature below in the Washington City Paper article.  Crafty Bastards is one of my best shows and I was incredibly happy to be accepted in my old 'home' city. 

Indie Craft Experience show in Atlanta.
 4.  I received some amazing custom jewelry requests that challenged me.
I'm just so blessed, I thank my angels and lucky stars for the wonderful people that believe in me and my creativity.  Caroline Hedgepeth commissioned me to make a very sentimental momento mori piece for her father.  Which is probably one of the most special pieces I've ever made.  Pictured below.

Another commissioned piece with a faux sapphire held in place with silver crow claws. 
 5.  I have my first official assistant/intern, Ashton Neibel. 
Ashton contacted me in mid August regarding an internship, which I can't say how time appropriate this was, I needed her help and assistance more than ever before.  Ashton is super talented and dedicated to the craft of jewelry and I'm just so grateful for her.

There is probably so much more I could review and write about but honestly these are the best parts of what happened this year. 

As always, thank you for reading!
Stay lovely and have a happy new year!!
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Thursday, December 17, 2015

Visit Greenville

I just discovered this video and I LOVE IT!

Greenville, NC is small but we're a big lil' city.  Watch and see why so many people love Greenville!

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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Song of the day: Winter White Hymnal by Fleet Foxes

This is one of my favorite songs and holiday songs and also by one of my favorite bands.  It's just so pretty and melodic.  This live version is even better. 

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Friday, December 11, 2015

Song by Allen Ginsberg

Photo by Aileen Devlin
The weight of the world
             is love.
Under the burden
             of solitude,
under the burden
             of dissatisfaction
             the weight,
the weight we carry
             is love.
Who can deny?
             In dreams
it touches
             the body,
in thought
a miracle,
             in imagination
             till born
in human—
looks out of the heart
             burning with purity—
for the burden of life
             is love,
but we carry the weight
and so must rest
in the arms of love
             at last,
must rest in the arms
             of love.
No rest
             without love,
no sleep
             without dreams
of love—
             be mad or chill
obsessed with angels
             or machines,
the final wish
             is love
—cannot be bitter,
             cannot deny,
cannot withhold
             if denied:
the weight is too heavy
             —must give
for no return
             as thought
is given
             in solitude
in all the excellence
             of its excess.
The warm bodies
             shine together
in the darkness,
             the hand moves
to the center
             of the flesh,
the skin trembles
             in happiness
and the soul comes
             joyful to the eye—
yes, yes,
             that’s what
I wanted,
             I always wanted,
I always wanted,
             to return
to the body
             where I was born.
"Song” by Allen Ginsberg from Collected Poems 1947-1980. © Harper Collins, 1981.
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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

My alter ego, Eilisain

I learn so much when I do shows and one thing that I've noticed more is the way I talk about my jewelry and what it means to me and my customer.

I've learned that Eilisain is pretty much my alter ego, the person that can be fierce, strong and confident.  Not that I don't feel that way about myself but she is way cooler than me (my nerdy self).  She's almost like my super self and I do feel it's good for anyone's self esteem to have this persona, and to have an object that helps them call on the persona, whether it be jewelry or a letter (aka S for super woman). 

For example I've read that Beyonce has her alter ego, Sasha Fierce, it's her on stage persona.  It's playing a role and we don't feel as responsible and it makes it easier to become that persona. 

The Valkeryie Collection shot by Aileen Devlin.
So it may be that you might want to call upon your alter ego in times of need, when you need that boost.  And perhaps jewelry can help you access that part of you that is confident and fierce. 

As always, thank you for reading!
Stay lovely,
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Thursday, December 3, 2015

When one of your close friends hosts a trunk show

Last month one of my good friends hosted a trunk show of my jewelry at her beautiful home.  And I can't thank her enough, she went all out with food and drinks and it was a blast! I definitely would like to do more trunk shows if they are as fun as the one Kristie Esposito King holds.  It was my first trunk show at a friends house and I feel so blessed to my friends that came in support and most importantly, shopped!

Kristie is one of my most stylish and generous friends, she's just all out amaza-ballz! We met several years ago when she modeled for the Auerlian Nights Fashion show and since then we make it a point to see each other and talk fashion and jewelry. 

So here are the great photos, that of course Ms. Aileen Devlin took at the event.  

Kristie looking fabulous as usual! Photo by Aileen Devlin.
Callie, aka "Kate Moss kitty" cause she so damn beautiful!
Photo by Aileen Devlin.

My oldest and dearest friend Cate drove all the way from Charlotte! Photo by Aileen Devlin.

All the pretty jewels on wooden cones. Photo by Aileen Devlin.

Some new pieces, like that giant druzy bracelet. Photo by Aileen Devlin.

My amazing assistant, Ashton NeibelPhoto by Aileen Devlin.
Well displayed and photographed by Aileen Devlin.

We had way too much food but it was all delicious.  Cate made lavender infused cupcakes!
Photo by Aileen Devlin.
I don't know why Caroline Hedgepeth has a serious face but I know she had fun!
Photo by Aileen Devlin.
I'm sure you recognize this gorgeous face, model and beautiful person Ashleigh Bowden.
Photo by Aileen Devlin.
It was such a wonderful day filled with amazing people!
Photo by Aileen Devlin.
Kristie and I laughing about something silly (and check out her husbands ridiculous skateboard collection!)
Photo by Aileen Devlin.
As always, thank you for reading and stay lovely!
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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

First Friday in Uptown Greenville

I'm quite excited that I'll finally be in town for a First Friday here in Greenville.  It seemed that every show I did for the past several months were during First Friday, and I missed them!  Of course I'll be repping at Art Avenue, we have a great holiday booth show with makers featuring pottery, textiles, jewelry and holiday gift sets.

And the best part is attendees get a FREE shop small business bag, I love these bags as they're great for grocery shopping or when I hit up CVS (I love that store)!

If you'll be in Greenville Friday please stop by, you can RSVP for the event here.

So I'll see you Friday!
stay lovely,
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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Two more shows to go

Whew....are you feeling as busy as I am? I do love the holidays but as a jeweler and business owner it is seriously the busiest and craziest times of the year. 

I'm trying to balance time with family and also getting all these orders out the door.  The post Thanksgiving shopping was in full effect and I'm so grateful for all our dedicated customers and followers that purchased Eilisain Jewelry. 

With that said, there are still two more holiday shows we're doing and about 4 days to increase our inventory.  I'm lucky though because having an assistant makes it a whole lot easier!

Anywho, I wanted to remind you that we will be in Columbia, SC for Craftyfeast in 2 weeks and we can't wait!  Here is the link to the FB event invitation if you'd like to RSVP. 

We hope to see you there and stay lovely!
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Thursday, November 26, 2015


I typically don't post on Holidays themselves but I'm celebrating Thanksgiving this Saturday with my husband's family, so I have the day off to relax and blog!

No seriously, I wanted to share with you how thankful I am for my life as a creative person and for you - reading my blog posts and celebrating with me everyday the joy of art and creativity.   It is deep within every person to manifest their feelings and thoughts, whether it be through cooking or even how to problem solve.  Creativity isn't just relegated to art.  I could go on and on but I'll keep it short.


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Thursday, November 19, 2015

Precious Mettle

Just so, so proud of my good friend Tara Locklear for her recent interview with the American Craft Council. 

As you know I've posted several times about Tara and for good reason.  You can watch this short interview with Tara and read the article here.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Divine Image

Photo by Aileen Devlin

The Divine Image

To Mercy Pity Peace and Love,
All pray in their distress:
And to these virtues of delight
Return their thankfulness.

For Mercy Pity Peace and Love,
Is God our father dear:
And Mercy Pity Peace and Love,
Is Man his child and care.

For Mercy has a human heart
Pity, a human face:
And Love, the human form divine,
And Peace, the human dress.

Then every man of every clime,
That prays in his distress,
Prays to the human form divine
Love Mercy Pity Peace.

And all must love the human form,
In heathen, turk or jew.
Where Mercy, Love & Pity dwell
There God is dwelling too.

"The Divine Image” by William Blake. Public Domain
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Friday, November 13, 2015

Life in the East feature

Several months ago I was contacted by my friend Abbie Bennett at the Daily Reflector (Greenville's newspaper) to answer questions for a feature on local jewelers.  I was happy to oblige and I'm quite pleased with this full color feature. The insert with this interview is part of the Greenville Life in the East magazine.

There definitely are quite a few local jewelers that have made it on the national scene and it's encouraging to read their stories as well. Below are the interviews.  I hope you enjoy!
As always, thank you for reading.
Stay lovely,
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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The time is now

...to get your holiday shopping done! I'm already freaking out a bit about what to get everyone on my list!

Speaking of, I finally decided to create a fun Eilisain Jewelry gift guide, some ideas and suggestions to help you get super cool and awesome jewelry for everyone on your list!

As you know all of Eilisain Jewelry is unisex, I don't like to pigeonhole types of jewelry for a certain gender, but this guide is one to help you discern what you could get for each person in your life.

I hope it helps and thank you for reading1

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Thursday, November 5, 2015

Durham Patchwork Holiday Market added to our show schedule

I'm just keeping every weekend quite busy up until the day of Christmas! I don't mind though as the holiday season is pretty MAJOR for every independent artists and retailer I know.

And I really can't stress it enough, buying locally made goods/food is SO beneficial to you and your community.  Your hard earned money goes to other people in your area that work hard to make long lasting sustainable goods.  It's just that simple.

With purchasing local, I'm also selling right down the road (sorta) from Greenville.  I love the Durham area and I especially love Morgan Grimm and the work she puts into making the Durham Patchwork market fun!

This year the market will be at the Durham Armory, and we will be there with all our favorite and popular pieces. 

The crow claw earrings, owl talon charm and chain and cat claw earrings - ALL UNDER $100!!
The pieces above are all going to be available at the Durham Patchwork Holiday Market and they are all under $100!!
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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Deceiving the Gods

Bast Collection photo by Aileen Devlin

Deceiving the Gods

The old Jews rarely admitted good fortune.
And if they did, they’d quickly add kinahora
let the evil eye not hear. What dummkopf
would think the spirits were on our side?
But even in a tropical paradise
laden with sugarcane and coconut,
something like the shtetl’s wariness exists.
In Hawaii, I’m told, a fisherman
never spoke directly, lest the gods
arrive at the sea before him.
Instead he’d look to the sky,
the fast-moving clouds, and say,
I wonder if leaves are falling in the uplands!
Let us go and gather leaves.
So, my love, today let’s not talk at all.
Let’s be like those couples
eating silently in restaurants,
barely a word the entire meal.
We pitied them, but now I see
they were always so much smarter than we were.

"Deceiving the Gods” by Ellen Bass from Like a Beggar. © Copper Canyon Press, 2014. Pin It

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Holiday ICE Spectacular in Atlanta

As I've already posted on here, holiday shows are in full swing!

Seriously, I LOVE doing these shows - I get outta town, meet new people and sometimes I buy myself and my family and friends handmade gifts for the holidays - it's a win/win situation here folks.

The same can be for you too, if you shop at the ICE Holiday show or really any local craft show. 

I hope to see you there or at another handmade craft market.
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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Momento Mori

Earlier this year I was given a very deep and personal custom request by an equally deep and close friend.  I'd always wanted to create a momento mori piece but I didn't think or know how creating a piece would make me feel. 

Caroline Hedgepeth (my tattoo artist and friend) had lost her father a year ago and she was incredibly close to her father and since his passing wore his dog tag every day.  Caroline wanted me to create a piece that would hold the tag but also be able to remove it should she pass it to another family member.

I loved this idea and also the challenge.  Being out of art school a jeweler doesn't receive the same type of intense and complex projects unless it's a custom order or submission to an exhibition (unless you're an art jeweler).  Thus began my procrastination of creating Caroline's piece.  It's funny because when we sat down together to discuss her piece I was very thrilled and honored but also completely nervous and scared! What if I messed it up? What if she doesn't like it....all the what if's and it's what kept me from starting the piece.

Until finally I really had no choice as I promised to get it to Caroline before the anniversary of her father's passing.  And deep down, I knew that once I began working on it, I'd love the process. 

Front of the necklace/object.

Back side of the piece/object.
Caroline and I discussed how she wanted to have both her father's birthstone and hers on the piece and something that symbolized her father's changing from death to a new life (aka the crow claws).

I also decided that I needed to rivet the two pieces so that it'd be less stressful for me, as it'd be about 6 solders on one piece if I didn't and that can get messy.  Her father's dog tag fit perfectly, however during the process I had to use a supplement so I used my father's dog tag.  Once the piece was complete and I kept checking for the size of my father's tag it hit me how sentimental and precious this piece would be to Caroline.  I thought, what if it had been my father that had passed? As you can imagine I was hit with a wave of emotion and gratitude.  

When I was finally finished with Caroline's piece I was relieve and just so happy to have been given the opportunity to work on such a sentimental piece of jewelry.  It really changed how I view adornment and the honor I have as a jeweler.

As always, thank you for reading!
Stay lovely,
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Monday, October 26, 2015

Song of the Day: Stevie Nicks "Sisters of the Moon"

I don't think there is a more perfect song for this time of the year or month.  I've always loved this song and found it so mysterious, what is Stevie really singing about? Personally I feel it is a song about casting a spell or a ritual performed amongst a coven. 

Stevie is so freaking magical.  Soak it in friends.
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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Holiday Show schedule

This month I'm gearing up for all the shows next month, it's going to be nonstop!

Here's a sweet preview of them in a fancy postcard design I just put together.

These will be going out in the mail soon - once I get them ordered!

As always, thank you for reading.
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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Morbid curiosity

This is really the true season of spookiness and macabre attire.  And I LOVE IT! Ha, seriously I've got pumpkins all over my apartment and pumpkin scented candles.

Of course Eilisain Jewelry pieces go so well with this time of year, I created a collection of some of my favorite pieces for the season. 

I hope you enjoy the season as much as I am!

Thanks for reading lovlies,
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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Transition and making changes

It's interesting how when the weather changes or it becomes, Autumn/Spring, especially I find that some pretty major life changes happen - especially for me.

Over the past several months I've weighed heavily on my work schedule and how to best manage my time.  Some of you, my dear readers, may or may not know that I juggle about 3 different jobs.  While of course my main focus is running Eilisain Jewelry, I also teach classes at Emerge one night a week, I work part time at a law firm and I also worked at a jewelry repair shop - whew! Just typing that out sorta stresses me out.

I love staying busy and I managed this for awhile however I never really felt like this was productive for me.  In comes a special email I received about a month ago from Ashton Neibel, a recent SCAD BFA graduate, inquiring if she could work for me.  Well, as you can imagine with juggling three jobs I was in no position to hire, however I was definitely looking for an apprentice and team member.

And thus I made the decision to cut down my work load and increase my hours in the studio and have Ashton work with me at Art Avenue.  I just started this schedule this week however I'm already feeling incredibly light and fulfilled.  Even though this could be a pay cut, I'm much happier with my work load and future - so stay tuned, the future is bright and exciting!
Life can be a basket full of flowers! Photo by Aileen Devlin.

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Monday, October 19, 2015

The Afterlife exhibition at Art Avenue call for entries

The call for entries is finally here for the Afterlife Exhibition at Art Avenue which will be opening the weekend of the ECU Metals symposium.  As you know from my previous post about the symposium, I'm super excited to host and jury my second exhibition.  It's been much too long and I feel that professionally it is very edifying to run an exhibition.  You learn so much about how to handle work, correspond with artists and view incredible work.

With that said I present the poster for the CAF, it's a bit hard to read as I had to snapshot the pdf of the poster - but for now, all the details are there. 

If you're interested in submitting, send images of your work to eilisain@gmail.com with Afterlife entry in the subject line.  Submissions are $20 and can be made via paypal to ecusymposium@gmail.com.

And of course let me know if you have any questions.
Thank you for reading and as always - stay crafty!

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Thursday, October 15, 2015

On the Shortest Days by Joyce Sutphen

Photo by Aileen Devlin.

On the Shortest Days

At almost four in the afternoon, the
wind picks up and sifts through the golden woods.

The tree trunks bronze and redden, branches
on fire in the heavy sky that flickers

with the disappearing sun. I wonder
what I owe the fading day, why I keep

my place at this dark desk by the window
measuring the force of the wind, gauging

how long a certain cloud will hold that pink
edge that even now has slipped into gray?

Quickly the lights are appearing, a lamp
in every window and nests of stars

on the rooftops. Ladders lean against the hills
and people climb, rung by rung, into the night.

“On the Shortest Days” by Joyce Sutphen from Modern Love & Other Myths. © Red Dragonfly Press, 2015.
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Monday, October 12, 2015

Revamping my website

It took me long enough, I finally migrated my website to a newer version.  I kept putting it off as I usually do for tasks that I can't stand doing.  I'm quite happy though that I made the migration, as the new tools for my website are fantastic!  You can view model shots as well as shots of the jewelry on the same page.

Check it out for yourself! 

And the product views are much better.  So with that said, take a look at my updated site and do some shopping while you're at it!

Thanks so much for reading and stay lovely!
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