Friday, May 13, 2016

Mustard Seed Jewelry

The Parable of the Mustard Seed

Mustard Seed FAITH Charm
People often ask me what is MY favorite jewelry? And, I really love ALL jewelry, but as far as my favorite... my mustard seed jewelry. I love that it is a symbol of faith and I love talking about the message behind the mustard seed. 

What is that message, you ask? I'm going to tell you!!! 

The mustard seed represents Faith and Growth. 

Matthew 17:20 "So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you."

Matthew 13:31 "Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, 32 which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.”"

I started making mustard seed jewelry in the Fall of 2008 when I was pregnant with my first son. I was taking a metalsmithing jewelry class because it was NOW or NEVER. You know those feelings of impending doom... like somehow you must accomplish all of your dreams before your child is born? Well, I wasn't having it! I was going to learn how to work with metal (soldering, sawing, ring making, setting stones) and I was going to move mountains!

Mustard Seed Orb and Hand Stamped Oxidized Scripture Necklace

Mustard Seed Orb Bracelet

FAITH Brass Mustard Seed Orb Necklace

During a visit with my grandmother, my sister and I were looking through her jewelry box. I came across a vintage lucite heart charm with a small mustard seed inside and a broken amber glass necklace. I collected the pieces and asked if I could take them home to repair them. It is then that I learned the meaning behind the mustard seed.
Grandma's Mustard Seed Charm with the amber glass beads

Examples of Vintage Lucite Mustard Seed Charms
Mustard seed charms became popular in the 1950's and 1960's as a symbol of faith and I was determined to bring them back! I purchased several vintage charms on ebay and started bringing the charms to my jewelry shows. I incorporated some of the mustard seed charms in my jewelry designs and hand stamped the scripture verse along with the charm. 

I tried looking for sterling silver mustard seed charms, but was unable to find affordable options, so I started making my own! The sterling silver resin charms are my best seller on etsy and at shows. I've added a gold-filled version (and SOLD OUT at my last show) as well as oxidized sterling silver mustard seed rings. 

My most popular mustard seed charm necklace

Mustard seed jewelry is the perfect gift for Baptisms, Confirmations, and Dedications OR for those amazing souls that teach your children (everybody needs a little faith). I'm thinking my oldest son's teacher might be needing this necklace (and a gift certificate to the local liquor store)! 

Mustard Seed Earrings
Mustard Seed Rings

Monday, September 28, 2015


Let's face it... Rejection is HARD. No matter what form of rejection... a friendship, a job, and for me lately... show applications. Rejection is like someone is physically punching you in the stomach and knocking the breath right out of you. It hurts. It is hard enough to even muster up the strength and courage to apply for a new show, or a new job... only to be rejected.

They seem like they are friendly enough... talking up their show (or their shop)... and all of the applications they received... and how many people are involved in the show... and how hard it was to select artists for the show... then, BAM... they hit you with the word... "UNFORTUNATELY" and you read on... sometimes fighting back the tears. See examples below...

"There was a high volume of applications (the most we've ever had!), and limited space to fill. Unfortunately your application was not selected."

"Unfortunately, we will not be able to place you in this year’s show. Please know that with our limited number of spaces, the selection process is an extremely difficult one – and we have to say no to many talented females like yourself." 

"Unfortuntately, it does not blend in with the style of what we have going on at the shop. I am sorry to not have a better answer for you."

What I have found therapeutic... is to research the other artists they let in to the show... and when I say "research," I mean cyber-stalk. Then, I go to the show and look at my competitors as a way of letting go of the self doubt. It is my way of picking myself back up and facing my fears. I try not to compare myself... I just realize each show is looking for a variety of different artists.

"Comparison is the thief of joy." Theodore Roosevelt

ACCEPTANCE is much easier. You scan your letter (or e-mail) and there is that happy word... "CONGRATULATIONS!" You did it! You exhale. You may even do a little happy dance... Wasn't that worth it? 

I am getting better about accepting rejection and criticism. I am still learning. I am growing as an artist. And, I am realizing that every show is not meant for me. I am more selective. My time is more important. And, I refuse to give up on me! Making jewelry brings me JOY and I love sharing my passion with others. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

2015 ~ New Rings

Amy Foster Jewelry ~ Rings ~ 2015

Rings... Rings... Rings...

I have been working on restocking items after my last show (some of these rings have already SOLD)! I will be posting more items soon (and maybe some progress shots of what I have in the works)!
Blue Lapis Buffalo ~ SOLD

Titanium Druzy ~ SOLD
Scalloped Turquoise ~ SOLD

Moss Agate

Gold Druzy

Turquoise Statement Ring

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Enough is ENOUGH!

First, let me start off by telling you a little secret... (you are awesome)... WAIT... What?  SHHHhhhhhhh...
Did you hear that?


You are doing your very BEST. You are trying your very HARDEST. You are an INSPIRATION. And, YOU ARE ENOUGH!

You know them well. Perhaps, they are even in your family. Always telling you their unwarranted opinions and advice - even if it is hurtful.

The Nay-Sayers.

The Thunder-Stealers.

The Negative-Nellies.

The Joy-Killers.

The Cyber-Bullies.

The Haters.

They love to make you feel like you are not good enough. Because... it looks like you are HAPPY and misery loves company. MISERY LOVES COMPANY. Maybe, you are proud of a certain project or a successful show or (gasp) that you actually love what you do!

Yes, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But, that does not give you the green light to bash others. I have actually had people stand in front of my booth at shows and shout (YES... SHOUT!!!) How "Tacky" they think my jewelry is. I am so glad my jewelry provoked you in such a way that it caused you to have a lack of manners. You know what else... those are the comments we HEAR.

I hear so many positive compliments at shows. I blush. I change the subject away from myself. I point out the flaws. I show them the mistakes. Mistakes I have learned along the way... I am human. I am imperfect. But, this is my life's work. This is what brings me JOY!

And, then "THEY" show up... to give you a reality check... to knock you back down... to give you a reason to work harder... to give you THICK skin. If it is not your "thing" it is better to walk away and not say anything than to make someone else feel WORTHLESS.

So... Hold your head up high! Because, Guess What? YOU are Enough.

Monday, February 9, 2015

GOALS for 2015

Well, I skipped a year and I am a little late...

Business Goals for 2015:
* Set faceted stones
* Design new GOLD line
* Lost Wax Technique
* Find Balance
* 100 Sales
* Save up for the 2016 Tucson Gem Show!!!

* Downtown Edmond Arts Festival
* Heard on Hurd
* MidSummer Night's Fair

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Reflection on My Career

I have taken a bit of a break from writing in my blog the past few months... but, I feel like I have a free moment (gasp), so here it goes! I have made jewelry for over 20 years...


The summer before I graduated (my junior year of nursing school), I worked as a nurse extern in the PACU. The truth is I had no idea what a "PACU" was, but it had to be better than the Geriatric Med-Surg Floor, right? I thought I requested Labor and Delivery or the Nursery... So, not having any idea what I was getting myself into... I started working as a nurse extern in this thing they call the "PACU."

On the first day of my 3 pm to 11 pm shift, I mistakenly asked Stan, the nurse I was placed with for orientation, "Do you ever have CODES?" I quickly learned what NOT to ask... EVER... AGAIN... as I fumbled that evening to figure out the intercom system and shout in a panic "CODE BLUE... PACU..."  For those of you that do not know what "PACU" stands for, it is the Post Anesthesia Care Unit or Recovery Room for patients waking up from surgery. Airways, Pain Control, Nausea... basically every bodily fluid known to man...

During the day, I worked as a lifeguard and manager of a neighborhood pool. I taught swim lessons in the mornings, swim team before the pool opened and then worked until 2 pm as a lifeguard. I came home, took a shower and worked 3 pm to 11 pm at the hospital, Monday through Friday. On the weekends, I worked all day Saturday and Sunday from open to close at the pool. And somewhere in between, I made jewelry. Sometimes, I wish I had traveled to Europe for the summer, but instead I was growing a strong work ethic.

I worked SO hard for my nursing degree and passing the nursing boards was a difficult feat (I am a horrible test taker). I took the minimum number of questions... Wait... What? That's it? No!!! I only answered 75 questions... I want the 200+ questions!!! Please don't shut off at 75?!?

I asked my manager if I could continue as a nurse extern because I was sure I failed my boards, so several days later when I called to hear the news and to ask when I could retake my test... They started rattling off a license number. I was in shock. WHAT? I passed? Whoa... Whew! It was a good thing, too... because I was poor. I just graduated and was running out of income from my savings account that I had worked so diligently the summer before to live on my own. After passing my boards, I moved in to an apartment in the city. I was young and beautiful and RESPONSIBLE FOR SAVING LIVES?

I have been a nurse for 13 years. I worked full-time from 2001 to 2009 and after the birth of our FIRST son, I went back to work part-time. I worked part-time for 6 months (pumping on my lunch breaks and in between patient care), but I was determined to do what was best for my baby! I carried our insurance (for myself and the baby), so I basically worked to pay for health insurance. After feeling like I was missing the first year of my child's life, I decided to go prn (occasionally or as needed basis). In the early Spring of 2012, we welcomed our SECOND son and I continued to work prn until the end of October. After feeling like I was needed more at home than at work, I decided to QUIT my job as a nurse and stay at home with my two boys.

Now, after the birth of our THIRD son, my license is up for renewal. Since I have not worked as a nurse for two years, I am choosing to inactivate my license. I think the past two years (besides having an identity crisis when anyone asks my occupation) I have struggled with... What if I have to go back to work? What if my husband loses his job? I can always get a job as a nurse! But, thankfully my jewelry business has helped our family supplement our income and I have been "self-employed" for two years now! And, while I am having trouble juggling three babies and all of the other things in life, I am thankful for all of the wonderful people I have met along the way.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Procrastination... Getting Ready for the Show

So, I have always been a procrastinator. I always wait until the last minute to do things... the very last minute! Especially when it comes to getting ready for shows! I have all of these grand ideas that somehow get pushed to the back until the very last minute (I've started writing them down on paper now because my brain can only handle so much)! I always freak out right before shows and usually stay up late the night before instead of getting my beauty rest. And, the mornings of the show I am a frantic mess... rarely spending time on my appearance aside from my long, hot shower where I lose track of time and spend the rest of the time loading up everything in the truck (or piling it up by the back door so my helpful husband can load it). And, I ALWAYS forget something important!

This year, I am debuting my silver jewelry at the Downtown Edmond Arts Festival. I brought some of my rings last year and had a great response, so I am venturing out and evolving into jewelry artisan world. I have been doing shows for over 10 years now, so this is kind of a big deal (for me)! I've been taking silver-smith classes at a local art center for about five years now and I finally feel like I am ready (almost)!

I have been focusing on rings and pendants in my last few semesters and have quite a few that I am working on at the moment (I'm sure until the very last minute)! I am very thankful to have been accepted into this show and can hardly wait! Well, I can wait a few more weeks... until my designs are complete anyway! And, on that note... I will stop procrastinating and get back to work (after I upload a few pictures)! Wish me Luck!
Chrysocolla Labradorite Turquoise Necklace

RainCloud Iolite Necklace

Cobalto Calcite Ring

Ancient Roman Glass Necklace

Black Tiger's Eye Tourmaline Necklace