For as far back as I can remember my family has celebrated Arbor Day. When I was little the festivities were orchestrated by my Great Aunt, a clothing designer and seamstress who grew up on a farm in a family of seventeen kids, and my Godfather, a writer and avid gardener. Every year we’d join the community tree plantings - I always chose white birch, dogwoods and fruit trees - and also work on our own gardens.
We usually started our seeds in February, and by April we’d be thinning them out, trading varieties, sharing with our neighbors… It is thrilling to me that I make a living as a jewelry designer, astounding even, but I am most proud of the fact that I can grow things. I recently planted a new fig tree, and the photo at right is a sampling of my heirloom tomato seedlings.
Some of my favorite jewelry designs combine my love of shiny things and gardening. In honor of Arbor Day I made the necklace shown above - it features an artisan lampwork glass bead with raised glass trees that have swirled brown and olive trunks and vivid orange foliage. A deep blue sky is visible through the leaves.
The bead is a hung from a necklace of lapis and orange carnelian rounds that perfectly match the tree bead, and I added Bali sterling silver accents to make the colors “pop”. I like for my jewelry to look good coming and going, so the back of the necklace is embellished too. You can see the whole piece here.
Arbor Day is this Friday, April 24, 2009 - go plant a tree!