I was born in the early 1960s, living with my mom and dad, twin brother Fred and older brother Herb. We’ve always lived in the Napa Valley and growing up in the 1960s and 1970s was a lot of fun. I remember late nights at the drive-in movie theatre all packed in a long green station wagon and daily trips to Conn Damn in the summer where we would swim in the icy cold water. Belonging to the Sierra Club, we took long hikes in the woods and camped at many lakes and rivers. All the experiences of these decades left me with the spirit of a hippie, a true gypsy soul. Walking into my home now, you will find incense, crystals, candles, djembe drums, tapestries and lots of macramé and plants. I love my home and studio!
I remember from a very young age wanting to create beautiful things. Sitting on my bedroom floor and looking through a McCall’s Christmas magazine, I was determined to make a Christmas town out of milk cartons. Being inspired by these magazines created something within me that has never gone away, and with more time, my desire to create has only increased.
Creativity played a very big part in the homeschooling of my girls. And now, they continue to thrive with creativity regularly in their daily lives. We are a beautiful collaboration of family artists and work together combining our talents.
When you love to create, it invades every area of your life. To me, it is a way of life. I like to add beauty to whatever I do. It’s in everything, including the way I decorate my house, cook, bake and have parties. This is all in the heart of creativity.
While I’ve always had a passion for creating, over the last few years it has shifted from being a hobby to now a full-time business. After retiring from my job of 30 years, creating macramé was something I wanted to start doing again. My daughter Ciara suggested I open my own Etsy store. I hadn’t even heard of Etsy before but soon had my own online store named Macramé Elegance.
Home is studio for me, actually, it’s two homes right next to each other and right next door is my mother-in-law’s home. In my home, we’ve definitely got the bohemian vibe going on. It is a huge beautiful Spanish mansion where I have worked and lived for 30 years and where I raised my girls when they were young. Here is where I work the magic on my large macramé backdrops, where there are plenty of large, beautiful windows and walls to hang and create. The great room, with its domed ceiling, archways and wrought iron railings, is the perfect spot to have photo shoots for my macramé pieces.
“I am a hole in a flute that Christ’s breath moves through, listen to this music.”
Sometimes I just feel inspired as I am creating; it’s a God thing. It is exciting to see what the ropes become. At other times, my inspiration comes from objects. My favorite macramé backdrop has a design, which was inspired by a wrought iron candleholder we have on our wall. Who knows what will inspire me next, but this I do know … my head is continually swirling with new plans and ideas.
My creative rituals are fairly simple, basic even. I wake up and open my eyes widely allowing the creativity and surrounding inspiration to flow right in.
Creating new designs is a thrill for me; it’s my favorite part of the work. Custom design requests help me think out-of-the-box, which leads me to more new creations. I imagine a world of weddings or events with my creations in it, as this is where my mind soars with lots of ideas. I want to bring the WOW factor to gatherings, and that’s exactly what happened last year. Katrina Scott from the fitness empire of Tone It Up requested a custom piece for her home, which led to a large bohemian backdrop. This piece went on the Tone It Up tour and traveled to fifteen cities throughout the United States. It was placed in her Rose Lounge for everyone to enjoy after workouts.
I love crystals, which fill my studio more and more! Hanging them in my macramé pieces is what I love to do. They add such a special touch of beauty.
Another opportunity came knocking at my door just last month. Actor and musician Weston Cage Coppola (son of Nicolas Cage) and his bride-to-be contacted me to make a large macramé for their wedding under a Jewish chuppah. I created a huge backdrop with three garlands for the sides and front with lots of crystals throughout. It was stunning and would be one of my proudest achievements yet.
For me, creating is the easy part. Keeping life in balance is my challenge. I can easily get lost in my work, but devotion to God, family, grandbabies, and friends must not be denied. Balance is a process I’m still learning. In the end, I want to know I did my best in whatever that may be.