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red agateJust perfect for your Halloween creations -- these Red Agate Evil Eye beads are of stone that was formed from layers of silica from volcanic cavities. Agate is named after the Achates River (now known as the Dirillo River) on the island of Sicily, Italy, whose upper waters were an ancient source of this gemstone. Each strand offered here has 16 round faceted beads, with colors ranging from red to amber, as shown. Each bead is approx. 10 mm. with an approx. 2 mm. hole. Each strand is $10, but for a limited time, take 10% off with the code HALLOWEEN at checkout.


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dragonflyOver the past weekend, Jim & I were in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, attending the annual Four Corners Folk Festival there. About 4,000 other people were in attendance, so it's a good place to set up a tent and sell cool clothing, interesting jewelry, musical instruments, and more. As I wandered through the vendors, I happened upon a great little shop called Second Time Around, and met the owner/jewelry designer, Michelle Lyon.

braceletsMichelle's philosophy is that jewelry should invoke feelings of inspiration, with each and every piece made by hand with thoughts of hope, peace and love. As she says, "it is a very special experience to receive a piece of handmade jewelry." Her artisan jewelry began when she wearied of seeing the same old commercial jewelry everywhere. She began to string beads, repair jewelry, and make custom-designed pieces. One of the most interesting parts of her story, though, is how she stumbled into making 'recycled/vintage/assemblage' jewelry. It goes like this --

Once upon a time a woman asked her if she would 'rework' an old watch of her grandmother's, a really interesting piece with ruby components that used to be used to control friction in the clockworks. (Read more about this interesting subject here...) Michelle wasn't interested in that approach at the time, and she declined. But the woman kept coming back, asking again and again, and became an annoyance, really. Though Michelle was always firm about declining the 'opportunity', one day she discovered the woman had left the watch on her table -- and she suspected it wasn't an accident, but a 'ploy'. So although she was quite aggravated, she brought the piece home and took a hammer to it, literally thinking 'Darn that woman!'. But then a magical thing happened. The tiny precious watchworks exploded into a hundred glittering pieces on her table, and something hit Michelle in the gut right then. She thought to herself, "Oh my god, this is what I was meant to do!" In that moment, she discovered a fascination with historic ornamentation, especially pocket watches, women's watches, clockworks, and other whimsical and fascinating pieces of a world gone by. She creatively reassembled that original piece into a necklace for the woman, with her brother's and sister's names and birthdates on tags, with birthstones dangling.

jane assemblagejane portraitNow her goal is for the buyer to feel the love that has gone into the process of making her one-of-a-kind pieces. Most of her work incorporates old and new findings, stones and broken unconventional bits that she's salvaged or fixed so they can be used as parts. A few of my favorites are shown here -- an old pocket watch with a dragonfly added; a vintage railroad spring with watchworks embedded, and a light bulb threaded base 'pendant'; a bicycle chain necklace with an old bullet casing as the focal piece, and more. She sells at many venues such as the Four Corners Folk Festival. Upcoming shows include this weekend (Sept. 10 - 11 at the Colorado Art Fest in Castle Rock, Colorado) and some venues in Texas (see her web site for dates/places). She lives in a camper and travels doing shows; her time between shows is spent making more treasures to delight her customers and followers. You can also check her out at her Etsy shop, Timearound2nd.

Anyone who loves Assemblage, Recycled Jewelry, Steampunk, or Vintage will be inspired by Michelle's story and work. I hope you enjoyed, and if you did, you might also enjoy:

Ellen Gonchar and Vintique Jools

Assemblage, Steampunk & Mocki Designs & Eco-Friendly Jewelry


Until Next Time,



0 # Kelly 2016-09-15 01:41
Great article! I love reading about how artists get their inspiration!
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0 # Somclaughlin 2016-09-15 03:56
Thank you, Kelly!!
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