WOW, it has been a long time since I have updated my blog, how things have changed! Last year I was determined to make the jewelry I created more cohesive with my business name and aesthetic. I wanted Sunshine On Water to be a cohesive look with a sense of calmness brought about by a nature inspired vibe… as if you were walking along the beach on a warm day with the wind in your hair…
While this journey took a few months and combined work updating photos, redesigning my booth display and new jewelry… the later is what I will give attention to in this post. Don’t worry, I will include my booth revamp in an upcoming post!
As for new jewelry, my one goal was and is to create jewelry you can connect to, whether through a letter of the alphabet or a shape in nature! Connections… you can carry them with you through my jewelry and I hope you will! To see more of my new sterling silver and rose gold jewelry line for 2017, visit my etsy shop, Sunshine On Water!
Betsy Murray — Sunshine On Water [on FB, Instagram and etsy]
Anything is possible when you are five years old! Even tennis racket snow shoes! This was all my son’s idea, even the rubber bands holding the tennis rackets on his feet! It worked for a few steps until he tried to climb a 3 foot snow bank!! Unfortunately, rubber bands are not strong enough for 3′ of snow (an inch of snow on the snow-blown path yes but 3′ no)! I was intrigued with his imagination and determination!
Every day is an adventure with my kids. Some days they get along great others they argue. I think a lot of it is competition, who can do what “better,” who is “faster,” who can get their coat on first. All little things to us adults but the world to them. As a kid myself, I remember asking my sister for a piece of whatever snack she may have been eating, she’d look at me and give me a crumb! Not just any crumb either but a teeny, tiny crumb! I see that with my own kids now and I smile because I remember those days well! Kids are funny, creative and sometimes just a little bit pesty!
Betsy – Sunshine On Water
Sky and cornfield are mid-afternoon inspiration in Upstate NY. There is so much more to New York State than New York City! I live in NY state but am almost six hours away from New York City. In fact, the last time I was there was 15+ years ago!
There is so much to see in Upstate NY, especially along Lake Ontario. Get out and explore your state, nature is amazing!
Betsy – Sunshine On Water
Ever since I was little I loved to create things with my hands, I especially loved to draw and paint. Art was my favorite subject in High School and I had some drawings of mine in a few kids magazines over the years. To think about it as a career though never crossed my mind when I was young. I’m not sure why, it was always something I liked to do but I never thought of it as more than that. I pursued my other love- sports and went to college to be an athletic trainer. That was a lot of work spent with sports teams, traveling with them to games in Pennsylvania and New York…. it was time consuming but I also enjoyed what I was doing. Then one day, things began to change at the college I attended and I began feeling LOST. What was I going to do, what was I meant to do, where should I go…. I remember thinking all those things.
I transferred colleges Junior year amid this confusion, tried to carry out the same goal of being an athletic trainer. I suddenly became a little fish in a BIG pond and then the snowball began to form. I loved what I was doing but I felt like all the hard work I had put in at my previous school (about 1000 hours spent with sports teams at practice, games and in the athletic training room) were all meaningless at my new school. I tried my hard but getting a D in Exercise Physiology forced me out of the athletic training program and I had to get the rest of my required intern hours on my own. I did this by interning at St. John Fisher College with their football team and finished the remaining 500 hours there. Fortunately, among that time I meet an awesome man who I followed to Texas and later married… Unfortunately that school “stumble” was frustrating for me career wise.
I did not pass the National Athletic Training exam after taking it 2 times. Hope of becoming what I spent 4 years learning about was null and void. Honestly, that’s what it left in me… a void, a career void. What was I going to do? After years of working a few teaching jobs (which I loved), I knew I needed to fill that void. It was hard leaving my job but at 26 I decided to take the leap! I went back to the same college I had transferred to and got a BA degree in Studio Art.
I look back and am so thankful to have pursued this passion that had lain dormant. All these difficult times made me persistent. I am so thankful I took that leap because the same year I graduated with my art degree, my daughter was born. All my time was then dedicated to her and that was ok because I had my degree in Art, my passion! I had learned so much, I took the classes I wanted to take and that made me happy! Life has ups and downs but I am finally on the right path!
Betsy ~ Sunshine On Water ~ http://www.sunshineonwater.com
I recently participated in Fairport Canal Days, an outdoor 2-day show in Upstate New York. Fairport is a beautiful town nestled along the Erie Canal near Rochester, NY. It’s funny, I live 10 minutes away and rarely go there! I decided to give it a try…a 2-day show that is! What a great experience, Main Street closes for the day and people come out to enjoy all the village and vendors have to offer (that includes Kettlecorn and pink cotton candy)! The opportunity was wonderful & stressful all at the same time but one encounter for a custom order lead me to appreciate the village of Fairport a bit more!
During the show, I had someone request a special order necklace for his wife. The couple had stopped at my booth the day before, they saw my work and the wife had admired the birthstone necklaces I had. Among all the people, the torrential rain and gusts of wind, I vaguely remembered them! The second day of the show, the husband stopped by my booth. As I was speaking with him about the necklace, his phone rang and sure enough it was his wife! It was a surprise gift, he was careful not to spill the beans to her!
One of my hand-made sterling silver heart pendants with glass beads representing birthstones for his two children… their birthdays in April and September. April’s stone color is crystal for a diamond and September is blue for the Sapphire. “Yes… I can make it for you,” I said!
The Finished Product:
A hand-formed heart and jump ring made with shiny .925 Sterling Silver! I formed connection pieces for the glass birthstone beads to attach to the heart with and silver soldered them so they could move freely on the heart but not come off if pulled. I also silver soldered the jump ring closed so it wouldn’t come apart if pulled by little hands! I put this one-of-a-kind pendant on a chain and yes, it was done! Ready to wear with the little birthstones for April and September!
Since the man who ordered the necklace owned a business in Fairport, I decided to drop it off there. My son and I went bright & early one morning… and hand-delivered the necklace to him! He was pleased with the results, I was pleased with the opportunity!
After dropping off the necklace, I decided to walk around with my son. He thought that was a good idea, especially when he heard the mention of gelato or as I put it in 3 year old terms… “it’s sort of like ice cream!” As we ate our “sort of like ice cream” gelato, we talked about the 3 different flavors the lady gave us, we decided we both liked Pistachio best! The little green and blue spoons were a huge hit and of course, he took them with him! We walked along the bridge over the Erie Canal, then found “little stairs” that were alongside the bridge, too cool NOT to walk down! As we walked, my son was like a little commentator… he took everything in from the ducks, “are they moms or dads?”, to the boats, “look at that TINY boat” meanwhile the owner is sitting right next to the “tiny” boat, to the work going on across the canal, “what are they making?” While he talked, I realized how much we overlook as adults! I also realized how cool this village is and how much it has to offer. I guess you can say it all started from that custom order necklace!
Check out my other work on my Facebook page, Sunshine On Water, at https://www.facebook.com/SunOnWater?ref=hl
Betsy Murray- Sunshine On Water