My Photo
Blog powered by Typepad

« looking in the mirror | Main | quiet prelude »



oh, oh, oh - oh my, these are so beautiful!!! Loving the colours! Oh my, Nina, your work is freak'n beautiful.

Diana B

As always, you are so giving with your experience, your sources, your inspirations; and, as always, I do appreciate it (I'm sure I'm not alone).

Teresa aka Tess

Hi sweet Nina, Take a deep breath,m sip a cup of tea and know that your beautiful creations will be wonderful and ready when you are for artfest. It's all good.... Love the picture show here, sooo many beautiful things.

Janet McDonald

Ahh I say thank the Good Lord all of us that the Magic the creativity thats ONLY OURS comes! And Yey...thats a gift. Your works are so very Unique Nina!! Yes take time...and like Tasha Tudor once said..."Take Joy"!
Janet xo
PS I will come down the path just after dark tonite, the moon should shed its light. And Ill bring the sammies and a jug of some hot spiced tea in my sachel! And we shall take some Joy!


more luscious teasing....xox

Keli Hansen

I hope the brush and note at the bottom of the picture are waiting for me at your table... wink wink...
might you need anything from Montana? Just let me know. It will be my first artfest... can't wait to give you a hug!


I soooo understand your feelings about production work. Years ago when I worked in the rubber stamp industry I was the 'in house' artist for a local store. I designed a card, then had to make several more of the same for various clients. That was fine in the beginning, but eventually it stopped being fun and became tedious and boring.

Several years later I had the opportunity to place my painted work in a local shop. Sadly it meant selling my work to them for $1-3 (for pieces I'd sold myself for $25) and turning out at least 100 of one piece. The excitement of having the shop owner love my work quickly wore off. Even back then I didn't work that way. When I was told 'take it or leave it', I left the shop in tears at the lost opportunity. I was young, I was naive, and I didn't think I'd ever have another chance to sell my work and do what I loved to do.

Not the case, but it felt that way at the time.

And Nina, I just want to say, that though you might see what's being done around you as starting to look 'much the same' (believe me I understand that too as I do the same thing with my own type of art work), I can distinguish your work from the others very well. I can pick up a book or magazine and without even seeing a name attached to a project, I'll say 'that looks like Nina's work'. Nine times out of ten I'm right. ;)

Speaking of magazines, I recently came across an article about you in a long past issue of Somerset Studio. In it you had mentioned taking violin lessons. I wondered if you still play?

Lovely pieces as always, and what a fun way to use those brush pieces we all have.


Anyone can make jewelry, not everyone can weave stories into magic like you do.



I must say something Dear Nina, as I always do. This is the most interesting, thoughtful post i think you have every written.., and your new art reflects what, I think, is a new direction in your artistic life. Your response to the comment about "knock-offs" was wonderful. Giving Lisa,Susan and Robin face time and credits on your post was.., wonderful.
"Remain true to yourself. The rest,I assure you, will follow." is saying that sharing, teaching and helping someone to become an artist is OK. That imitation, will hopefully, evolve into a style of it's own is a statement of confidence in your abilities as an artist and shows such a philanthropic aspect in your artwork . That was so right to tell her that.
I loved this post. It's honest and giving.
and your new artwork..., oh my.., wonderful.

peggy mcdevitt

Oh Nina, your new work is fantastic, I just want to come to your house and "hold it in my hands". Hopefully when you return you will post some similiar pieces of work. As for knock off's I have seen them but its like going to Walmarts or a high end store. You can tell the difference, I can spot your work anywhere and there is nothing that unique and soulful out there. they can try but it isn't working for them but it must be very frustrating for you the artist who shares her soul and work so easily. We reap what we sew dear Nina. Love ya Peggy


Such a timely post Dear Nina! I am having a perplexing time in my mosaic work,trying to find balance and truth and.....

All your work sings out across the miles......Quality, quality and divine imagination.

robin dudley howes

Dear Nina,

Thanks again for coming to the west side, far away from your sweet doggy and home to share your skills and talent, laughter and humor, stories and love and those GREAT warm hugs you give! I think of the time we all spent together in the lush hills of Los Gatos and how truly "star" struck I was to be in the same room with you after all these years of following your career and blog and how happy I was to be there. I love my family and home and really don't like being away from them very often so it was a big thing for me to get it all together and be gone for 5 days...and worth it. You are truly a most thoughtful and reverent warm hearted spirit. Every twist and bend with wire and stone, metal and hammer creates many thoughtful links to a piece of soulful, warm adornment. No one can ever duplicate the soul, your soul, or the warmth and spirit you imbibe in your creations.

and....thanks for the shout means alot!
Many Blessings my friend.


i think it's interesting when those who have "knocked off," get copied themselves, and those who have pooh-poohed the notion of being copied ... get copied, and complain. i agree that *Art* comes from the individual's soul...your work is clearly from that place. now...get busy and give us some eye candy!


Okay, if you see me at your table on vendor night, DO NOT let me buy anything! I have no restraint when it comes to your jewelry!! Gorgeous pieces Nina!


Glorious creations! Blessings on your creative efforts - butterflies withstanding.


thank you nina for this a novice you've given me something to think about.

i'm one of these people who have been a fence sitter for fear of not finding my own style. i knew that it is to easy to copy others as i have experienced such in other related fields.

copying and knock offs seems to be the way in our society and it doesn't help when the industries such as the fashion and style industries try to come up with "formulas" concerning appearance and style.

when you have time(in the next couple of months) it would be great to distinguish between what is "inspiration" versus "copying" and what is meant by bringing your own style to a work of art. it may seem like an elementary question, but i think some of the newbies may be interested.

also i love how in this post you did what you ask of others: share the love and give credit where it is due. thank you for sharing the resources and links, which brings me to another issue, a true artist loves and respects the individuality and creativity of others. that's what i like about you and your blog. even though you know some don't mean well and will copy or steal, you give from the heart anyway. i'm so glad to have found you as my main source of inspiration and you continually renew my faith in art and creators.

thank you so've helped me in ways you can't imagine.

you've given me much to think about while you prepare for the big event....

Mary G.

Nina -- Another thought-provoking post. I've been to one art event only, and the first class I took there was from Carol Owen. She taught us her techniques for making shrines & she's also written a book with her techniques. But the thing that I remember most about her class what her heartfelt monologue about copying, including the shock of opening an artsy magazine (one familiar to all of us) to see a knockoff of her shrines (and then noting that the person who had made the one pictured had at least given her credit for the techniques in the description printed elsewhere in the magazine). All this is just to say that I do hope you -- and other teachers who are sharing personal techniques with their students -- also share with your students something about copying and what you would consider to be the proper use of the personal techniques for the student once she leaves class (e.g., to make something for herself or as a gift, not to sell). I guess I am so naive that I hope that a lot of the copying going on is just from ignorance rather than a willful disregard for the work of others.

PS -- I wore one of your necklaces to church yesterday & got compliments from a friend who has extremely good taste.


Nina, this is a wonderful post and i love what you have to say about knock-offs...

i thought about this issue a LOT as the date of the Artful Journey retreat loomed near since i am familiar with Kelly Rae's feelings about people who copy, not to mention coming across a blog post from an instructor who would urge teachers to NOT share all their trade secrets in a class since it may mean encouraging copy-cats =-(

i believe you have given a wonderful outlook to it all - the truly creative WILL take the techniques as a starting point and, over time, find their own unique 'signature' in how they create if they "stay true to themselves". it takes MUCH practice to find your voice but, no matter the medium one works in, find it we will! for those who will not take the time and effort to hone one's own voice, KARMA will indeed catch up to them...thank you for sharing your feelings on this sensitive topic =-)

i love what you are working on these days and i'm sure it will sell like hotcakes at Artfest!!..if Artful Journey is any indication of your 'fan-base' for your beautiful jewelry ;)


magical necklaces Nina! I especially LOVE the necklace with your acorns and leaves.

Hopefully you have received the little parcel of mine, i send it before i left from Finland.


Elizabeth Woodford

By the time that I got to your P.S I ahd to chuckle- you love to write so much and you are such a gifted scribe, but my minds voice was saying- "she needs to turn off the computer and commune with the silver and the pearls"!!!!! You are such a wonderful motivator for all of us and your work speaks so stronly of you, others will and do try to copy but they will ALWAYS FALL SHORT in my mind as only your pieces have the NINA Wisdom and Spirit!!!!
Butterflies serve their purpose- they energize and motivate!!!! Forge on ward in happy spirit and return only when you Can!!!!!
Big Productive and Happy Hugs!


thanks Nina,
for showing and sharing all those lovely photos of your jewelry. It is nice to see past and present pieces. Always evolving.

kathy vk

Very much like Corrine's comment - just right. Love the new components, looking forward to seeing them in person. And thanks for sharing the Cool Vintage link ... I'm trying not to hyperventilate. xxx

Becky Caldwell

Wonderful Wonderful Post and Gorgeous Work as always.

Take Care

Jo Hassan

Eek... I do hope you didn't get too distracted by this post and have managed to complete all your pieces ready for Artfest. Although, saying that, I echo the words of others here that this entry has been particularly insightful and most thought-provoking. As Sandra commented earlier, I too have 'sat on the fence' for fear of not being unique-enough and demonstrating my own particular style.

I loooove and am inspired by soooo many artisans out there (of which you are one!), whose work is so easily accessible on the web now. However, it seems so important to me that anyone who wishes to be called an 'artist' should embrace what makes them unique rather than endeavouring to be a cheap imitation! For this reason I too am fascinated by how established art teachers resolve these issues, particularly as you are all so very generous with your time, wisdom and creativity in passing on your skills to us. I suppose in many ways, although others can copy anything that has previously been created, they cannot in fact access the source of this creativity, as that can only be possessed by the actual creator her/himself. And, as every true artist knows, for every ONE creation there are always numerous more sloshing about our heads!!!

Have a fantastic time at Artfest, dearest Nina. We will be thinking of you.

Big hugs Jo xx


Your work is all you and no one can touch it! They try, but it just doesn't have that Nina loving edge and uniqueness you have created. Looking forward to your return, and have a wonderful Artfest Adventure! Sweet gentle hugs to you Nina.

Karen Burns

Beautiful work. Just Beautiful.


The gratitude comes back to you Nina......thanking you for sharing not only your beautiful creations but also your heartfelt thoughts in eloquent words. A break from blogging......sad for us, but you need it to then show us even mmore lovely jewelry..........we will wait with baited breath! Enjoy your days and hug Walter for me please.

Kathleen Botsford

I was doing a trunk show at Saks Fifth Avenue a few years back. After spending quite a long time with a woman, answering questions, giving directions and sharing information, the woman proceed to inform me that she was my "competition" and everything I had just shared with her would soon be used against me in the market place. She said this with a smug little smile on her face, taunting me to respond. I took a deep breath and told her as sweetly as I could that I don't believe in competition. That we are each and everyone of us unique individuals with our own unique creativity to express. Yes, she could use the knowledge I shared with her and even copy my pieces as best she could, but the energy of HER unique soul would be sorely absent and the beauty that was HERS to express would go undiscovered and as much as she tried to copy me, her pieces would remain lifeless and unanimated because they were not born of her energy, her spirit.
Your work is one of a kind Nina, not because of it's design but because of YOU and the love and the energy that comes from YOUR soul to animate each and every piece of your soul-filled art. You have touched and imbued each piece with it's story. NO ONE can do that but you, no one. Their work may find it's place in the market but it will never be YOUR work. You are one of a kind! I hope to own one of your pieces soon. You seem to sell them as fast as you create them! Have a fabulous time at Artfest!


A very full post, with both your thought provoking words and your stunning creations. Totally love your pieces with the paint brush tips. Vey cool! And I read with interest your thoughts on "copying." A challenging situation to deal with for sure. Maybe just putting the discussion out there, as you have, can make a difference!

Denise Petersen

As much as some people want to imitate you there is only one Nina and your work cannot be imitated because it is made by your hand. I am sure you have heard the statement that imitation is the best form of flattery. I think that people who copy your work because it is so beautiful and they lack the creativity and necessary skills of combining items to make true works of art. Keep your head up, there is only one true Nina and your fans know the difference.

Denise Petersen

I think I know I person that sells tutorials on Etsy, which I know is your work. I am sure she will lose respect from the community and your fans. Time tells all.

The comments to this entry are closed.