Hope burns with righteous passion.
Springing from rot like a fiddlehead
ever-expanding, full of strength.
Curious, Creative, persistent
she nurtures our dreams
with contagious laughter
and bountiful grace.
Traveling the world to gather souls,
she wraps her arms around us and
gathers us in her garden
Where we can root,
and spring forth again with righteous passion.
--nan braun 1/27/2020
The new spring collection, “Hope Springs” will release on March 28.
Stay tuned here as I explore the facets of hope and share sneak peeks as the collection continues to take shape.
The start of any year is a time for introspection and planning, and when the year rounds an entire decade, it feels like an appropriate time to dig deep and reach for big dreams. I have been spending the last week looking at the results we got in 2019 here at Twisted Dreams- what worked and what didn’t. And I am excited about decisions on how to move this business forward and take it to the next level.
We are shifting to creating and releasing 3 Major Collections in 2020. What does this mean? The first collection will be released in late March/Early April ( date TBA). The Second is targeted for July, and the third will be in October. Each time a collection is released, the store here online will be reset- items from the old collection will be removed and the new collection will be featured. You will have a limited time to choose and purchase collection items. New items will not be added to the store other than these three times.
It is time to clear Backlog. Backlogged items currently listed, in or inventory and not listed will be put on sale. Either they will find their forever home, or they will be broken down and recycled into inventory to go toward building the new collections. Now is your time to grab that piece you have been eyeing. Once the first collection is released, they are gone forever.
Not everything will be sold here online. I am in the process of setting up some gallery shows to go with each collection- some of the higher price-point, wearable sculpture pieces will have a subtheme and will only be available at that location for at least the first month of the collection life. Watch here for dates and locations of where those exclusive sales will be. What we do here is a combination of art and product, and I am excited to take the Art side of this more seriously.
Not everything for sale will be unique. Well, the designs will all be uniquely mine– but in focusing on the product side of the business, some items will have to have small production runs to generate the profit needed to justify their creation. I am planning on incorporating beads of my own design and creation, as well as 3D printed elements into some of these products in the collections. These will be limited runs- once sold out, it is unlikely that I will do another production run.
Earrings will happen. Truth is, designing and making random, unique earrings is a great activity for both warm-ups to the serious design work, and as an evening unwind after work. ( and it is much healthier than a tequila and TV). This means that there will almost always be earrings I need to sell. I want to keep this store collection focused, so I am exploring other outlets for these. I am interested in your thoughts- would you rather have them in physical stores, in a separate Etsy store, or just posted randomly on Facebook and Instagram when they happen?
Custom orders will be more limited. At least, I will limit them for a while, as I prep for the first collection and move stock items. If you have a Birthday, Anniversary, Valentine Day request ( or maybe you just have a piece you have been dreaming of to make you smile) please get it in early, or my queue might be filled when you want it.
I am excited about this new direction for 2020, and can’t wait to reveal the first collection this spring! Watch this blog for work in progress, and hints and peeks before the release.
Now go hit the shop, and find that favorite piece on sale and grab it before it is gone forever!
I cannot wait for spring to come, and with it great outfits that show off the story telling jewelry you love the most.
To help you get in the mood and thinking about warmer days, I am letting all of you readers help us pick items to be included in an upcoming spring sale.
Comments here on the blog with a link to an item sold by Twisted Dreams or Braun Cabochons that you want to be included. +1 to vote on items and the 2 items getting the most votes here will be included in the spring sale launching soon.
Congratulations to O.Himes, whose wishlist number was randomly selected to receive the certificate prize . They received the $25 coupon code in her email. Check out the things they love in their list of wants, but not needs.
In appreciation for those who shopped, dreamed and shared their lists, we also sent out a one-time 10% discount code to everyone who created a wishlist.
Keep on Shopping, Curating and Sharing those lists– and watch for new ways to win coming soon !
One of our goals for 2019 is to make this web store a destination for Jewelry and Wearable Art lovers.
This means including a variety of styles and voices in the store, so that you have more choices and can discover more things you love with serendipity. While some people see every other jewelry maker as competition, we see them all as potential partners- brothers and sisters in a creative endeavour. Together, we all grow and inspire each other to reach new heights of creativity.
I am carefully reviewing potential vendors. All of them will be high quality. All of them will be handmade and not manufactured. Under those considerations, I am most pleased to announce that Precious Pebbles has agreed to be a vendor with us. If you are a lover of stones and semi-precious gems, you will love their wearable art.
She closed her NeuroPsych textbook and pushed it toward the back of the desk. The quiet pinging of her DigiAssist (patent pending, but when you had a market monopoly, patents were less of a concern) reminding her that it was time to get up, stretch, and prepare for bed. She reached her right arm straight up. Her left arm slid behind her head, grasping her upper right arm. She arched her back and bent slightly, stretching all the cramped muscles. She had been sitting and reading for almost 2 hours- far beyond the recommended 50 minutes. She knew it was a health risk, but the current reading topic was Dreams, and she was both horrified and fascinated.
“Dreams… ” she muttered to herself as she changed for bed. “It is hard to imagine giving yourself over to the vagaries of the unknown every time you slept- they even had bad dreams. Who would put themselves through that on purpose?
Thank goodness modern medical tech had advanced beyond that. She had read that the first NeuroBot pioneers were concerned when their dreams disappeared after plugging NeuroBots in to clean their brains while they rested. But they did not get ill, did not die and the current dementia rates were under 10 percent- the lowest ever measured. Seems like dreams were not as important as first believed. The text had a lot of accounts of early dream records- there was even an ancient branch of psych that had been based on dream analysis!
She shook her head slightly, trying to clear her thoughts before climbing into her bunk and plugging into her own NeuroBot port. She smoothed out the straight edges of the covers and looked up at the clean, empty grey walls. How can anyone ever really understand the importance that dreams had played in ancient civilization? Some had talked about rejecting their ports and skipping their cleansing, but no one had taken such a drastic step – and she doubted they ever would. Even the thought of such anomalous behavior made her feel a little ill. She reached up, pulled down the NeuroBot cord and plugged it into her permanent port. She felt the warmth of the fluid and small robots flowing into her system and smiled a little to herself as she visualized all the daily toxic byproducts being cleared from her system.
She closed her eyes and felt sleep creeping into the edges of her awareness. She knew she would soon be lost to slumber, the empty peaceful recharge critical for rational life. No fear, no worries. Who, she wondered could bear the weight of dreams?
“Yes, And…” – it is the classic learning tool for improvisation. You acknowledge what the other person has done (“Yes”), and then build on that to create something new (“And…”). Sometimes it is a variation on a theme, sometimes it is a branch in a brand new direction.
I love collaborative improv, I blame my mom and the silly improvs we would do while washing the dishes in the evening to amuse ourselves through the chore. About half of my custom commissions are collaborative improvizations that start with a message that goes something like ” I really love- insert name of piece here-, but...”.
Some folks might take this as an affront or insult, but I see it as an opportunity for a new inspiration. The pendant to the left happened because someone loved a pair of earrings ( Djinn: https://twisted-dreams.com/product/djinn/), but wanted a pendant that would go with it to make a set for a special Christmas present. I did not have anything in stock, but we collaborated via cell phone pictures and text to settle on this design to complete the set.
This bracelet was designed because there was a teen daughter who loved Focus ( https://twisted-dreams.com/product/focus/), but it was too big for her. Her momma commissioned a custom version that used her favorite colors and would help her center her teen energies. I loved the challenge of designing something that she would love now, but would be something she can carry forward into her adult life.
These are just two examples of how “Yes, And….” led to new wearable art.
Is there something you almost love in the store, but would want slightly different? ( Different earring hook, different size, different colors, etc…).
Is there something you desperately love in the store and want an additional piece to complement it? ( earrings for a pendant or bracelet, a pendant to match some earrings?)
Don’t hesitate to reach out to me on our Facebook or Instagram pages, or just email firstname.lastname@example.org with your improv cue.
This holiday season, I kept returning to the concept of family legacies. When you create art, especially something like jewelry, there is a possibility it will be something that the family treasures and is handed down through generations. When creating wearable art pieces, I always consider that this might still be loved by someone 50 or more years from now, and create durable pieces.
I had two opportunities to personalize this and bring family legacies home.
The first revolves around these beads. They are part of a collection of beads that were on a necklace that was originally my great-grandmother Moon’s. Her husband, Iverson Moon, was a merchant marine and brought small things back from her as he traveled the world. I do not know which port of call had the market where he found the necklace with these gorgeous glass beads, but they were originally linked with steel filigrees. The necklace would have been over 100 years old. When my grandmother passed away a couple of decades ago, this necklace came to me via my mother.
Unfortunately, over time and exposure to the elements, the steel bits had started to rust and degrade, making the necklace unwearable. I did not want to lose the complete connection to family history and had no idea where or when I would ever find treasures like these antique beads again, so I disassembled the necklace and ponder what to do with the little pile of shinies. I finally settled on making a series of sterling silver earrings and gave them to my mom and my sister for Christmas, so they could also carry a piece of Granny Moon with them. Sometime over A winter, I will make my matching pair and we will all have a piece of this family legacy.
The other opportunity that presented itself this year started when I first unpacked my stones and jewelry making tools this past summer. As I was dusting and sorting, I found that I had a small pile of stones that had been collected and polished by my ex-father-in-law, who is deceased and no longer creating treasures. Whenever I visited them in Arizona, he would teach me a bit about what he was doing and making. I had been a geology fan in school but never tried my hand at jewelry making until he inspired me back in the late 1980s. Working rocks was a part of the memories many of his grandkids have of him, so I thought it would be cool to surprise them with pieces that centered around his stones. Some of the stones where just tumbled, others had starts where I had glued on clasps 1980s style and then never finished it. I took some of those pieces and created more modern jewelry that still held to his memory. I hope that all of these help them to feel a little closer to him.
There is nothing more powerful than a treasured Memory.
I cannot look at this picture of me at the beach with my Momma, without having the warmth of the sun, the sound of the ocean, the feeling of sand under feet and our shared adrenaline rush and laughter flooding back over me.
It has been my highest privilege this holiday season to partner with so many of you in creating memories and sharing what may become family heirlooms. The fun of wearable art is sending them out into the universe and knowing that their stories will be treasured and shared.
Thanks to all of you who either purchased gifts directly from the store, or who commissioned custom jewelry that we designed to fit your loved one(s).
We have a few more days of travel, and then normal studio hours will be back. In between making our own memories, Nan has already started sketching out designs for new pieces, so watch for many new store entries to be uploaded shortly after the New Year. Blessed Holidays and Happy New Year to you all.
“Your grandmother was an activist, you know…” Mrs. Bailey cocked her head to one side and waited for me to respond. I just sat silently.
“I have to admit that she might not understand what it is you are protesting….” I sighed. Apparently,not under my breath like I had Intended. “But truth is, her parents and grandparents did not understand or agree when she took off to the south to march for equality, either. The important thing is not if she would agree with your stance, but that she would be proud of the fact that you are taking one….”
We carry generational values out into the world- and in every generation, the ripples are larger , travel farther and are more inclusive.
What are the values that you internalized from generations of your family, but you have re-interpreted to make the world a better place?
If you know someone who is making big ripples in the stream of humanity, this piece might speak to them.