I grew up as an only child of “older” parents, compared to most of my friends’ parents at that time. My parents were part of the Silent Generation, and they grew up in the Great Depression/WWII. Their childhoods in the Depression and World War II really shaped their personalities, and how they raised me. They taught me a lot of life skills that perhaps my friends with younger parents may not have received. Because of this, I have always felt a little out of place in the world.

My parents were not my friends. I was expected to be polite and respectful at all times, to everyone. My mom made my clothes or we bought them second-hand. We always had a garden and mom would can vegetables at the end of the season. We took “no-nonsense” vacations like driving and camping at historical sites. I wasn’t allowed to watch more than an hour of TV a day, so I had to choose wisely what I wanted to watch. We didn’t own a dryer until I was 14 years old and I had to help hang out the laundry even when it was 30° outside. We didn’t go to the movies a lot, we went to plays, the ballet, or opera more than anything else. Most of all, I was never allowed to be bored. I had chores and responsibilities, and only when those were finished was I allowed to do what I wanted and that usually involved listening to my records, reading or drawing.

When I am really having a stressful time, I like to sit outside alone and listen to the birds or dig in the garden. Whenever overwhelmed, I retreat into myself and isolate. I am always looking at people and the world almost from the outside. As a girl, I felt like I was standing outside a window, looking in at my peers inside, trying to figure out what they were doing.

Of course my kids are probably my biggest inspirations. My daughters are my models, my testers and they always help out with events. My son has been my graphic designer, the muscle at events, and a ready source of wisdom for such a young heart. They have always supported me in everything, no matter how wild!

With my background, I am fascinated with vintage items that may be broken or neglected. It’s so interesting to me to think of the person who may have loved and owned that item and what their life was like. I have spent a lot of time educating myself on vintage jewelry and the different time periods they came from. My eventual goal is to create an extensive Decades jewelry line with pieces from lots of different time periods to honor my love of the classics.

I am also really inspired by books. My first loves are Fairy Tales, Fantasy and Science Fiction, but I will read anything. Because of this, last year, I really, in earnest, started making jewelry pieces from books and movies. This has been a challenge for me, but I have really enjoyed it and look forward to making more.

The last really big thing that inspires me is the United Kingdom and the Royal Family. For as long as I can remember, I have read books about the Royals and had a Union Jack of some sort wherever I have lived. My mom had a dear friend in England and she used to send me all sorts of things that I treasured. Tapping into this inspiration, I have an idea that has been percolating for awhile. Stay tuned in for the big reveal in December!

We all have interesting things that inspire us in life. I hope you find inspiration not only in the BIG things in life, but also in the little things on your life’s journey.

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