Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Arttoweardiva has been on Etsy since September, but she had been selling her unique, original, handmade bags and jewelry in Southern California before joining. The beautiful piece that you see featured here is hand-beaded in black, white, and deep pigeon blood red glass beads. Stop by and visit her shop.
Diva is the sole designer and creator of the items in her shop. Her background is in graphic arts and art history, and she has been designing clothing, hats and jewelry for several years now. " I love what i do," she says. "Most of my ideas come from my dreamscapes. I'll wake up in the middle of the night and stumble around fumbling for a sketch pad to catch a vision before it slips back down the ol' rabbit hole ...you wait for it -- like a slow train comin' and then Halleluah Beullah! The adrenalin starts surging and sparking and you're on fire. For me that creative adrenalin rush is like nothing else on the menu. ...It still amazes me how one can take an image from one nonphysical reality and breathe life into it, giving it form and matter in another reality. I call that magic."
The story of how Diva became a beader is in itself magical:
I was a Political Science student at Cal Poly State University in San Luis Obispo in my senior year when my department head started giving out government internships for the summer break. I was excited because people I knew were getting internships to the governor's office, state congressmen, the mayor's office, etc. When he handed me a letter of introduction to a small band of intertribal Native Americans and a map showing how to find their camp deep in the Los Padres National forest, I was stunned!
The tribes needed someone to articulate and set up a hue and cry about their wells being poisoned by uranium by a corporation who had not even bothered to cap their drilling sites and had broken through the aquifers and contaminated the tribe's drinking water, causing the death of their animals and high rates of miscarriages.
It took me three tries to find them, travelling down unmarked dirt roads and crossing a running stream with my old VW van.
My husband and young son were taken in as family from the first moment by the most amazing, kind, and giving people I have ever met. They were living totally off the grid. no electricity, no phones, wood fires only for heat and cooking. And yet every day was spent in joy and bliss. We would all start the day by meeting at the fire circle to sing and dance to greet the sunrise and then fix the morning meal together.
This was over twenty-five years ago but it was a pivotal experience for my family. I am a child of the Sixties and was used to alternative realities but nothing like this. It was there that I learned to bead, dance, pray, really open my heart, build sweat-lodges, adobe bread ovens and become grounded and centered in the spiritual life I was meant to live.