I have to admit that I never thought I would end up living on an Island. Growing up in Portland, Oregon I always saw myself as more of a city girl. Life rarely turns out how you imagine. I certainly did not think I would ever be a jewelry designer! As far back as I can remember, I wanted to be a marine biologist. And I was, for over 15 years. It was all the things I thought it would be and many things I could have never dreamed of....both good and not so good. But life changes, and so do we. If I look back I can see what was there all the time. The first Marine Mammal Conference I went to in San Diego held a clue that would come back to me years later. I remember this deep inner feeling, which I dutifully ignored, that these were not my people. I forged ahead, ignoring my little voice, and feeling out of place. Years later, when I did my very first farmer's market on San Juan Island, I recalled that moment in San Diego: I was experiencing the exact opposite feeling. The motley collection of creative, quirky, quasi-misfit island artists were just the people I didn't even know I was looking for. They welcomed me in, and in I stayed.
I created this island gift guide with Mother's Day in mind, but it is fantastic for any special gifts you want to give. Most especially the ones for your self, those are my favorite:) I am so very humbled and shaped by being a part of this island community of artists. I plan to tell you more about them all in future posts, but until then, here is just a short list. The best part is, these ladies are not only part of the island creative community, they are my friends.
Alisha Merrick is an artist in every way. Not only does she make these fun and playful.
Feel the Love Earrings, but she drawers and paints and creates amazing spaces. She specializes in glass enamel, creating everything in her home studio on San Juan. I have a personal collection of her enamel bowls, they are beautiful and adorable and I can't get enough of them! My current crush is the Bee Bowl.
Paula's pottery is also all over my house. I drink my coffee from her mugs every single day. She lives just down the road, and has been making all of her gorgeous creations out of her home studio for 25 years. It's open most days so you can stop in and see what she is up to. This black and white collection is on my wish list. A little black petite jewelry dish is the perfect catchall for your vanity or nightstand.
Claire is a local force of nature. All of us artists aspire to accomplish as much as she does in a day! Not only does she run a full time upholstery studio, she teaches sewing workshops, is on the San Juan County Arts Council and runs the San Juan Summer Arts Festival! SEW many things! At this very minute she is making me a new slip cover for my couch! I am so excited to see it, everything she does is top notch. Check her out at her new shop, Coschea Textiles, in Friday Harbor.
Heather has been teaching yoga and movement on the island for several years now, but recently she just opened her very own studio, Alter. Heather's intention for Altar is to create a center for ritual. The ritual of connecting and taking care of our bodies, our minds and our souls in a community of people who are all committed to thriving well into their later years. Check her website to see the variety of classes and opportunities to connect.