Thursday, April 26, 2012

Beginnings

Stormy Weather necklace
I was an only child growing up around very strong women whose median age was somewhere around 60, which gave me a unique perspective of the world in general and of personal adornment and jewelry in particular.

One of my closest friends growing up was my 92-year-old German great grandmother, whom I called "Granny". She never seemed to mind my intrusions on her reading or speaking aloud to God in her old-lady voice in heavily-accented English. Granny seemed to know that I needed a friend, and she was always there. I played with the enormous button collection she had by her bed in an old pretzel tin, constructing necklace after necklace from the buttons' cracked and colorful beauty. Family folklore held that she had been a seamstress for the Vanderbilt children, so the buttons were some of her most prized possessions.

As I grew older, I would examine my mother's jewelry collection, always hoping for a broken chain or missing clasp so I could use my high-tech jewelers' tools (a nail file and a broken pair of tweezers) to repair her treasures. She never minded, even when my breaking them on purpose brought about the need for repairs.

When I reached my preteen years, my grandmother Mama (she refused to be associated with the word "grandmother" or any of it's derivatives) would let me try on her heavy gold, diamonds and colored gemstone baubles. She had the most atrociously loud taste, and most of her jewelry looked like it came from a gumball machine even though the pieces were "the good stuff" as she referred to it. She had solitaire rings with colored stones the size of a Kennedy half-dollar, and I'd imagine that they were miniature skating rinks made for tiny ice skaters to twirl and spin on. Her diamonds, to a girl my age, were those of myth and legend, and only recently have I been able to see them up close as she always kept them in the bank and rarely wore them, which I believe is a true pity.

Now, it is my turn. After a lifetime of pouring through jewelry books and the family collection, I studied the art of metalsmithing  and began Crazy Daisy Designs in 2005. My collection is a good reflection of myself as a person and as a designer. I try to stick to natural stones and metals, and I use recycled and vintage elements where I can. 

My flagship Crazy Daisy Designs line has the inspiration of nature as its cornerstone. The pieces are simple, timeless, easy to wear, and reflective of our beautiful natural world.

Conversely, Crazy Daisy ROCKS! is my alter ego. It's an edgier line that brings together elements of rock-n-roll, punk rock, religious symbolism and a sense of humor. 

I am humbled to my toes that I am able to make my living creating. It's all I've ever wanted to do and all I really felt I was meant to do. Thank you for coming with me on this journey. My hope is that you are inspired, find something you love, and laugh a bit along the way. 

Melissa xo