Monday, August 12, 2013

Latest Obsessions

Things I am currently obsessed with... Italian Micro Mosaics, Egyptian Scarabs, Vintage Cameos, Mustard Seeds, and Zodiac Signs...

Micro Mosaics...

Upcycled Rings Using Micro Mosaic Single Earrings

Upcycled Earrings from Broken Bracelets

Future Rings and Things...


Sterling Silver Blue Sodalite Scarab Ring


Vintage Cameo Sterling Silver Ring

Mustard Seeds...

Oxidized Sterling Silver Mustard Seed Necklace

Zodiac Signs...

Vintage Zodiac Charms

Sterling Silver Zodiac Signs for Rings

What's your latest obsession?

p.s. ~ Only 157 more sales to go for 2013 to reach my goal of 1,000 SALES on etsy!!!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Finding My Balance

I look around at my accomplishments in the past 5 years and I feel SO BLESSED! I look at my baby-fussing, 3-year-old-screaming, hot-dog-breathing LIFE and I miss it when I'm not here. Now, I am not saying that I don't feel overwhelmed and get frustrated at times with this life, but I have these two little accomplishments running around that keep me on my toes (and a faithful dog enduring constant tugging, climbing, and poking). Now, I need to find a balance between making jewelry and being a loving, nurturing mommy! 

While planning our family, my husband and I thought it would be best if I stayed home... to raise our children. It is something that I have always wanted to do... since fifth grade. I wrote a journal entry... "What do you want to be when you grow up?" My answer: a nurse, an artist, and a stay-at-home-mom (and a dentist, but I think that had something to do with knocking my two front teeth out in the fifth grade). 

Looking at the cost of childcare and raising a family on one income was scary for me. After the birth of our first son, I wasn't ready to quit my job altogether. I transitioned from a full-time nurse to part-time after returning from my maternity leave. I felt financially secure... but, I also felt like I was missing out on so much with my son. I wanted to be there for all of his "firsts." So, after working part-time for 6 months (and moving back to our hometown of Edmond to be closer to family), I decided to go "PRN" which is basically as needed and when I was available. 

I have always worked (since I turned 16 years old anyway)... and since I left my job as a nurse LAST October... it doesn't feel like it has been almost a YEAR! When people would ask me what I do for a living... I always answered, "I am a nurse." I feel like my nursing career is not over, but I am taking a break from it for the time being... to raise my family.

In the past, when I was working full-time, I was ALWAYS exhausted. On my days off (and after I got home from work), I would stay up late working on jewelry. It was my stress relief from a hard day. Every Fall, I participated in the hospital's "Home-Based Business Craft Fair." And, I participated in two local craft fairs in the Spring (May Fair) and Summer (Mid-Summer Night's Fair) in Norman, OK. 

I opened up my etsy shop: in January of 2009. My shop has steadily grown over the past few years. Etsy allows me to stay at home AND do what I love... make jewelry! It has been such a positive experience for me. While I still feel like I am contributing financially, I am finding my balance between motherhood and my passion. So... What do I DO? "I am a stay-at-home-momma-jewelry-designer!" 

This past year, I have had a lot of soul searching going on... and in my soul, I have found this peaceful little place of content. I put my heart and my soul into my jewelry. Each piece I create is a special part of me. And, it has grown with me throughout my life. My jewelry has endured high school, college, nursing school, a full-time job, heart aches, marriage, and now children! It is something that has always been constant in my life and it is ever-changing, a bit like me. 

p.s. ~ I'm a Libra and the scales are my sign... always trying to find balance!!!

Monday, August 5, 2013

EDMOND OUTLOOK MAGAZINE ~ August 2013 edition

Very Exciting NEWS!!! I was featured in the Edmond Outlook Magazine ~ August 2013 edition!!! How AWESOME is that?

More than a String of Pearls

Written by Mari Farthing in the August 2013 Issue
Amy Foster

When Amy Foster talks about jewelry, her eyes get as sparkly as the rhinestones that she adores. She’ll show you the pieces she’s made, pointing out the details: a silver heart from a broken clasp, a single earring, a bit of ancient Roman glass. Primarily self-taught, she recently fulfilled a life ambition and learned the art of silver-smithing.
Foster works with many antique items, reclaiming vintage pieces and giving them new life. Where does her inspiration come from? “It kind of talks to me,” Foster admits with a smile, referring to the jewelry she creates. And when she listens, the results are beautiful. Foster doesn’t sweat the perfection. “If the flower wants to be tilted, it can be tilted,” she says with a shrug.

Following a Sparkling Path

NecklaceFoster’s love for jewelry is a long and cultivated affair. “I’ve always been fascinated by rocks. My dad gave me a book of gemstones, a little leather bound volume, given to him by his dad,” explains Foster. Her parents also bought her a Craftsman tool kit. “I still use some of the original tools!” Around the same time, she received a jewelry kit from her grandmother. “I started going to Red Earth, thrift stores and bead stores, developing my style at a young age,” remembers Foster. “I started bead looming jewelry, taking apart vintage necklaces and creating new pieces of jewelry for myself, family and friends.”
Summers spent with her grandmothers gave her an opportunity to cultivate her love for vintage jewelry. “My grandmothers would let me go through their jewelry boxes. I’ve always been fascinated by things that sparkle—I love rhinestones!” Her grandmother also gave her a mustard seed pendant, popular in the 1940s and 50s, based on the Bible verse Matthew 17:20. “Since then, I have been obsessed with the mustard seeds,” Foster sheepishly admits, and indeed, the seeds are featured in many of her finished pieces.
Eventually, curiosity and creativity led Foster to explore many materials, including polymer clay, leather, wire, crystal, bone, feathers and seed beads. “I’ve always made things with my hands, and I started selling jewelry in high school, in the mid-90s,” recalls Foster. It began with handmade clay beads, strung on leather. “I’d make jewelry for my friends.” Then in college, Foster began selling pieces at craft shows.
While in nursing school, Foster’s materials expanded to include precious metals and stones and her local sales expanded through word of mouth among co-workers and friends. She started to place items at boutiques, the home-based craft sales at the hospital where she worked, and took part in festivals. Recently she also began selling items at the Downtown Edmond Arts Festival.

Repurposed Treasures

Foster has that unique ability to see what an item can become, where others miss it. “With a creative mind, you see something and you can see its potential,” she explains. “So where someone might see a ‘onesie’ earring and discard it, I look at the piece and repurpose it into whatever I feel it should be.”
Foster tries not to cut up vintage items that aren’t already broken; rather, she’ll integrate the pieces into other projects—such as collage pieces (necklaces that feature a variety of repurposed chains, beads, findings and charms) or hair jewelry (combs and clips featuring rhinestones and single earrings). The results are stunning, one-of-a-kind pieces.

A Tilted Sort of Balance

BraceletFoster began working on her jewelry full-time after having children. A nurse since 2001, she knew that she would be a stay-at-home mom when she and her husband had children. While pregnant with her first son in 2009, she took her first class in jewelry making. “I have truly found my passion in jewelry making and have now taken six classes,” says Foster. “I am incorporating my own style into the pieces I make.”

A Play-at-Home Mom

Being at home made it easy for her to spend more time working on her jewelry. “If I hadn’t had kids I would probably still be working full-time and wouldn’t have been pushed to work on jewelry full-time,” she muses. “I asked my three-year-old son, ‘What does mommy do?’ and he says ‘You play with jewelry!’” Foster laughs. “I don’t feel like making jewelry is work; it’s just fun and I’ve always done it. So, I’m a play-at-home mom.”
Foster is passionate about what she does, and it shows in her jewelry, which is currently for sale at the Firehouse Arts Center in Norman and through her Etsy shops ( and, where she currently has about 500 items up for sale, including reworked vintage pieces, original silver pieces and original vintage items. “My style is not so perfect,” says Foster, referring to a collage piece with a flower that’s set not quite on center.
But as with most things in life, it’s that little imperfection that makes it so beautiful.

Thank you, Edmond Outlook for featuring me! It has been such a blessing and an honor to be included in your Magazine! A special thank you to Mari Farthing for writing the article and to Marshall Hawkins for photographing. And, of course ALL of the staff at Edmond Outlook... THANK YOU!!!

AND... If you have made it THIS far and actually READ my blog... Please use Coupon Code "EDMONDOUTLOOK" at checkout in the Coupon Code Section to receive 25% off of your purchase! Shop Here: