Adopt-A-Native-Elder Program | Move Forward. Give Back.​®

As many of you know I am a big supporter of Growing Bolder as I see the organization as one that encourages and inspires. Move Forward. Give Back.® is a celebration of individuals who see what is needed around them and contribute in their own way to making the world a better place. I wanted to take this opportunity to share the story below about a woman I know who has shown that one person can make a huge difference in the lives of others. 

As a member of the Team GB Elite blogging group, I've been given the opportunity to share an exciting discount with my readers, to celebrate Growing Bolder Magazine's 2016 expansion! This post is sponsored by Growing Bolder, but all opinions are my own. 

To receive 25% off your 2016 subscription to Growing Bolder Magazine, head to this link and use the code eliteblog at checkout. You'll also get free shipping for all six issues! Learn more at GrowingBolderMagazine.com.


Linda Myers & the Adopt-A-Native-Elder Program

Last year I was invited to design fundraising and promotional materials for the Adopt-A-Native-Elder Program and the Annual Navajo Rug Show in Deer Valley, Utah. It was my honor and privilege to contribute in a small way to such a meaningful and important organization. I knew from local fundraising efforts that truck loads of food and wood were collected and delivered to the Traditional Elders on the Navajo Reservation a couple of times each year. What I didn’t know at that time, and would soon find out, is that this internationally known organization, with volunteers coming from all over the world, was initially conceived by one woman who wanted to make a difference. Her name is Linda Myers of the Adopt-A-Native-Elder Program and she is one of the most inspirational people I know.

We have all heard the story of the “Butterfly Effect." A butterfly flaps its wings and the conditions change to lead to a larger effect somewhere else. Linda is that butterfly. Decades ago she began gathering items from friends and family to donate to the Native Elders at the Navajo Reservation and grew her one woman campaign to help others into a broad reaching non-profit that serves over 500 elders each year.

Most of the elders do not speak english and have chosen to live in the "cultural and spiritual traditions of the Dine' People." They live in remote locations on the reservation choosing to live traditionally while raising sheep, with no plumbing, no electricity and often far away from medical help and water supply. The elders range in age from 75 to 105 years of age. They have spent their lives on the land and for that reason they prefer to "age in place." So Linda developed a much needed program that brings supplies to them so they may live their lives in the way they choose.

An organized team fills boxes that will be later transported to the Native Elders.

An organized team fills boxes that will be later transported to the Native Elders.

Linda Myers Founder of Adopt-A-Native-Elder Program

Linda Myers Founder of Adopt-A-Native-Elder Program

Annual Navajo Rug Show and Sale
One of the primary fundraising efforts on behalf of the Elders is the Annual Navajo Rug Show and Sale in Deer Valley, Utah. This year is the 26th annual show and it runs from November 6-8, 2015. The rugs range in sizes and you will also see jewelry and crafts. Each year there is a theme to the event and this year the theme is Weaving Ceremonial Blankets inspired by Pendleton designs. To read more click here.

Above: examples of just a few of the designs that will be shown at the rug show.

Above: examples of just a few of the designs that will be shown at the rug show.

I cannot tell you how excited I am about the work ANE is doing. I recently had a conversation with my kids about the importance of giving to others and they conveyed to me that one person cannot do all that much to bring about change. In that moment I was able to call upon what I know about Linda and her drive and determination to honor and help others. How she has been able to meet people where they are at and give. I find it completely inspiring and feel there is a lesson in there for all of us. Click on this link to watch this short video on ANE as Linda describes how meaningful this volunteer work is to everyone involved.

"While I was probably not a likely candidate to make a difference....I was a single mom.."
"I don't know if we ever know what we are doing in life but I think the real gift
in life is when spirit calls you to something and you answer the call."
~Linda Myers

Thank you to Linda and everyone at ANE for sharing their story with us. There are a number of ways to get involved with ANE from sponsoring an elder to donating time in the warehouse or donating food, wood and other necessities. To donate food, yarn, medical supplies, firewood and more to a Native Elder Please Click Here. For more information on ANE please click here.

Thank you for reading

P & H Pick | Introducing Jewelry Designer Melissa Skarsten

At Patina & Hue we love to have conversations with amazing women who have great style and inspire us all. For this reason I am excited to feature our latest artist–designer— Melissa Skarsten—a longtime friend and talented jewelry designer who mixes metals and infuses expressions of natural elements into her work. A couple of months ago I stopped by Melissa's studio to see her latest jewelry and discovered she was making 100 new one-of-a-kind pieces for the upcoming Park City Arts Festival. Melissa is both prolific in her work and dedicated to uninterrupted time in her studio so I was delighted to see what she was planning for the arts festival to share with all of you. Scroll down to see some of her fabulous pieces and to read more:

Tree of Life Series  |  Tree & Tahitian Pearl  |   Sterling silver with 18K gold leaves and a black Tahitian pearl drop.

Tree of Life Series  |  Tree & Tahitian Pearl  |  Sterling silver with 18K gold leaves and a black Tahitian pearl drop.

Images above clockwise from top right: His-Hers River Rings (River Series) Sterling silver, Her ring is set with a yellow Citrine gemstone  | Fall Acorn Earrings & Leaves (Acorn series) Earrings are torched enameled copper with green jasper bead. Leaf Pendant is torched enameled copper on a oxidized sterling silver chain.  |  Ring Box (Twig series) Hand turned wooden box with a sterling silver twig pull.  |  Twigs Rooted Necklace (Tree of life series) Sterling silver with a Chrysoprase gemstone.

Twig Hair Comb  (Twig series) Sterling silver

Twig Hair Comb (Twig series) Sterling silver

Top left: River Cuff links & Box(River series) Oxidized sterling silver with 14K gold cufflinks in a wooden box with a sterling silver twig pull.
Top right: River Bracelet (River series) Oxidized sterling silver with 14K gold bracelet slide on leather.

Melissa's Signature Style  |   Golden Citrine Flower |  Black and Gold series | Oxidized sterling silver and 14K gold pendant set with a yellow Citrine gemstone

Melissa's Signature Style  |  Golden Citrine Flower | Black and Gold series | Oxidized sterling silver and 14K gold pendant set with a yellow Citrine gemstone

Peruvian Opal Ring  (Twig series) Sterling silver with a Peruvian opal set in 22K Gold.

Peruvian Opal Ring (Twig series) Sterling silver with a Peruvian opal set in 22K Gold.

Men's River cufflinks in a handmade wooden box with silver twig  |  Available at the Gala Auction Event Thursday, July 30th.  Click here  to learn more about the Opening night gala Fundraiser / Fashion Show at the Montage, Deer Valley.  

Men's River cufflinks in a handmade wooden box with silver twig  |  Available at the Gala Auction Event Thursday, July 30th. Click here to learn more about the Opening night gala Fundraiser / Fashion Show at the Montage, Deer Valley.  

Q: Melissa, I know from our conversations that you derive a great deal of creative inspiration from being outdoors. How does that directly inform your work?
A; "The natural world is always pulling at me…. to slow down, to step outside and experience the “mystery within nature”—my work celebrates what I experience in those moments. To be more specific, old-growth forests fascinate me. As I was developing my distinct visual voice, memories from an extraordinary visit to a coastal redwood forest kept appearing, inspiring the textures and color palettes I began using. More important, it was the emotions I felt when standing in that primeval forest I started to capture in different pieces, and an organic elegance and sense of antiquity showed up in my work."


"...it was the emotions I felt when standing in that primeval forest I started to capture in different pieces, and an organic elegance and sense of antiquity showed up in my work."

Q: It must take a great deal of time to create one-of-a-kind pieces. What can you tell us about that process:
A: "Pieces can take days or even weeks. My work is done in a spontaneous manner, an idea may be scribbled out as a starting point, but materials and techniques guide the work into a finished piece. This evolutionary process keeps my creative thoughts flowing."

"To propagate this evolution of a design, I make one-of-kind pieces, each piece inspiring the next. Serial imagery or what I like to call the “kaleidoscope effect” is where I take a piece and redesign it…. and like the turn of the kaleidoscope, the variations are endless. By making one-of-a-kind pieces, I emulate nature and promote our individuality as humans, which I find a breath of fresh air in a world of mass produced, identical products."

"The ancient technique of granulation is perfect for creating organic texture.  For my river series, I use a torch to fuse tiny grains of gold and raised lines of silver onto the metal surface of the piece. I then expand the technique by flowing melted gold in and around the applied textures. To achieve the rich color palette, I oxidize the piece a deep black to illuminate the gold. For my botanical pieces, the gemstones and the metal finishes I choose, allow me to express the dance of movement that light, mist and breeze create in the forest."

Q: When did you start making jewelry?
A: "I was drawn to artistic mediums that were very hands-on and fell in love, almost immediately, with metal-smithing while in high school. I later went to on study at The Revere Academy in San Francisco where I became a traditionally trained goldsmith and for a brief time I worked as a bench jeweler. The lure of creating a life in which I was a working artist led me out of the commercial marketplace to open my own studio in 2007. The arts and crafts marketplace is a perfect fit for the type of creative work I do and fits with my lifestyle."

Q: I've noticed that some women feel if they are wearing one color of gold, or other metal such as silver that they are hesitant to mix it up with their jewelry or metallic accents on their shoes and handbags. Your work has a lovely intermingling of different types and colors of metals. What would you say to someone who might be concerned about wearing their rose gold along side of their silver or white gold? 
A: "Yes, I love combining different colors of metals into my work and I do know that years ago it was considered chic to keep your metals all the same color. But time has changed that concept—now women, and men alike can layer on different metals into one look and feel confident about doing so....I would say have fun with your jewelry, toss the old rules out as anything goes these days!"

 

Melissa was raised in Pasadena California, moved to Santa Barbara, then San Francisco, before landing in the mountain town of Park City, Utah with her husband and daughter. You can see more of her work on her website by clicking here or at the upcoming Park City Arts Festival, July 31-August 2, 2015. 

Thank you Melissa for taking the time to share your beautiful work with us. Click here to learn more about the Park City Arts Festival. email: mskarsten@comcast.net website: Jewelrybym.com



Charming + Ethereal Paper Sculptures by Artist Duo: Papier à êtres®

photos:   ©Fabrice Besse

photos: ©Fabrice Besse

photos:   ©Fabrice Besse

photos: ©Fabrice Besse

photos:   ©Fabrice Besse

photos: ©Fabrice Besse

photos: ©Fabrice Besse

Several years ago I had the pleasure of attending a production in the Paris Opera House. Sadly, I cannot remember the name of the opera I saw that evening but I was struck by the luminescent, and ethereal paper sculptures that were perched on either end of the large scale counters in the lobby. It just so happened that over the next few days I would see the unique sculptures again in shop windows and in a gallery in downtown Paris. They were so lovely that I had to know more. 

About Papier à êtres
The award-winning artist team Sophie Mouton-Perrat and Frédéric Guibrunet have worked with paper for over a decade—each in their own way. They met in 2007 and by 2008 they were collaborating on "common creations, lighting sculptures, diaphanous and light."

Sophie attended art school and began working with paper by folding iand creating in paper mâché. Frédéric graduated with a degree in chemistry and is self-taught in paper-making. He has traveled extensively in Europe, Asia and the United States to find the best techniques. He works only in white.

To create the Mademoiselle series (see photos above) Frédéric develops the lower part while Sophie shapes the top, figurative part. It is a true collaboration of talent and skill. 


"He structured the paper, she poetized it.
She exhibited in Paris, he in Toronto,
they met to Brouage.
And there was born the union of two beings of paper.

Since their works were outdone (Toronto, Paris ...) and seduced :
the gallery of the Opera of Paris, Charmey, TAAJ, Fleux
the Museum of the decorative arts of Paris,
the gallery Talents, Van Cleef & Arpels ...

Their works are long-lasting, realized with attention
and respect for the pleasure of their buyers."

A GLIMPSE OF THEIR STUDIO WHERE THEY MAKE UNIQUE,   ALWAYS ONE OF A KIND  PIECES, IN WHITE LINEN PAPER.     PHOTO CREDIT:   ©FABRICE BESSE

A GLIMPSE OF THEIR STUDIO WHERE THEY MAKE UNIQUE, ALWAYS ONE OF A KIND  PIECES, IN WHITE LINEN PAPER. PHOTO CREDIT: ©FABRICE BESSE

PAPIER À ÊTRES® is featured along with other artists in this beautiful book. Click on the Title below to see a preview and where to get it!

PAPIER À ÊTRES® is featured along with other artists in this beautiful book. Click on the Title below to see a preview and where to get it!

Thank you Sophie & Frédéric for sharing your beautiful and inspiring work with us. We are huge fans and are daydreaming about a life size piece in our homes one day! What began as my simple inquiry for a table top sculpture has developed into a complete fascination—bordering on obsession!  
There is much more to see from this creative team—if you have a moment jump onto their website. Visit the PAPIER À ÊTRES® site HERE / Facebook Page HERE     
All photos ©Fabrice Besse.