The Journey—Lisa Liddy

10 07 2008

Sometimes the creative journey seems a lot like air travel today. Not nearly as easy as it was years ago! Lots of missed connections and extra costs. Delays and a few unexpected surprises on the trip.

I’ve hit those snags and delays of late so I’m going to take this “journey” more in terms of how I ended up creating jewelry and developing a business out of it. I liked how Lori Anderson handled it in her post awhile back.

I’ve always done crafty things. Sewing was my primary love for years and years until my daughter was born. I’ve not sewn creatively since then. The floor was my preferred place to layout and pin patterns…not conducive with an infant/toddler. And somewhere along the lines “they” resized the patterns on me! (OK, it was baby weight that never left, but the thrill of making my own clothes left around that time). 

I dabbled in beading years and years ago when I was single with a beaded Christmas tree…made two of them! And then moved on to other things. Have crocheted a bit, fabric painted, and a few other activities through the years.

When Emma was 6 or 7 she was invited to a birthday party at a bead store…the girls made little strung necklaces from kits that they chose. She ended up at several and had her own party there one year too. Since the moms stayed closer for those parties, I spent some time poking around the store and occasionally found time to go and sit for a couple hours working on projects for me or as gifts. I learned how to crimp endings and add clasps and the general mechanics of finishing off necklaces and bracelets (as well as an understanding that buying retail was going to get really expensive!).

I wasn’t hooked  yet. But it was coming. I had discovered Ebay and developed an interest in vintage jewelry that never really went anyway…I’ve got a box of old earrings that have been turned into holiday wreaths and mini-trees for charity over the years. Somehow though in the course of searching, i stumbled on lampwork beads and the obsession was born. I was fascinated with these glass beauties and the detail in them. I bought and bought and developed relationships and friendships with beadmakers all over the world. It was the bonus in the purchase as I had become a bit of a homebody: husband traveled every week, main business was homebased and computer driven, daughter was fairly high maintenance. I didn’t get out much for several years. So my online beadie friends were a godsend. A couple would suggest that I should learn to make my own beads (a couple others thought that was a bad idea! 🙂 ) and as much as I love the beads, I realize that I have no time in my life to become as skilled as my taste in beads would require. But I digress.

After collecting beads for a bit, I was making them into jewelry (I actually started with natural stones and crystals and Bali silver but moved on from there to almost exclusively lampwork, freshwater pearls and Hill Tribe silver). In late fall 2001 while we were still reeling from the devastation of 9/11, my husband found out he was losing his job. He stayed on to close down the corporate office (which moved back east) and then tried to find work in the hospitality business for over a year. During that time, I ramped up the book design business and he took over as the “senior editor/delivery boy” enabling me to grow my business enough to keep us afloat on one income for awhile. He started working for one of my clients and eventually ended up working for the large publisher who purchased my client’s business.

But it was a long and stressful side trip…I worked endless hours at times and found comfort and sanity by having a bead tray nearby. I could lay out the beads and push them around into various designs even for just 15 minutes late at night. It calmed me. I usually started several projects that way and a week later might get to the point where I could string them. Finishing them off might be another week later in stolen moments. Friends and family wanted to buy what I was making. Somewhere along the way I was introduced to Nirvana (the gemshows in Tucson, not the band!) and Joolz by Lisa was born.


I still struggle with finding the time for ongoing creation, not to mention the venue for successful selling and I love to be surrounded by my treasured beads. It’s a topic for another day but my office is a co-mingling of my two lives. To the left of the computer are all things book design. To the right, all things bead and jewelry related. Those who have seen it are a little unsure how I get anything done!

Let the journey continue.




8 responses

10 07 2008
Cross-blogging Day… « Joolz by Lisa

[…] ChitChat | Tags: collective creatives, Joolz bylisa, journey |   You’ll have to go Here to read anything […]

10 07 2008
Susan Sheehan

Oh my gosh! That bottom piece is stunning Lisa. How you get there is pretty amazing too.

10 07 2008

What an interesting journey and I hope you feel incredibly proud of yourself for being able to support your family from your home based business that year. That is no easy feat. I think it’s interesting and wonder where you’ll be in a year from now…I’m also interested in learning more about your other business which is a creative endeavor too.

10 07 2008

Thanks Suzy…not too much was probably “news” to you 🙂

The bottom necklace is some beautiful sliced kyanite with some lovely lampwork (Angie’s I believe) and Hill Tribe silver.

Laura…thank you. My husband picked up the slack on housework and shuttling Emma around…he’s better at both! I miss that now that he is on the road again. I also learned about 18 years ago that I was not good corporate employee material… There have been many peaks and valleys in my book design business (The Printed Page) but thankfully the last couple of years have been all great with lots of new business.

10 07 2008

What an AWESOME pile of silver, and that necklace at the bottom — AMAZING!

10 07 2008
Sara Hardin

I agree, that bottom necklace is gorgeous!!! 🙂


11 07 2008

Yep, I have to add my praises to that bottom necklace – I was surprised to see one of your pieces that was not familiar to me. Its beautiful – is it a brand new piece, or an older one I havent seen before? Beautiful work (as always) !!

11 07 2008

Lori…I have worked my way through half that pile I think. 🙂

Thank you Sara!

Suz…I’ve not gotten around to getting really good photos for it, nor do I know where to list it yet…I made it a few months ago. Thanks!

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