I love Etsy. I didn’t even know that it existed until last year when my friend Maegan mentioned it to me. I couldn’t believe all that I had been missing. The gorgeous handmade … well, everything! The fact that most Etsy shops are small family-owned, personal and artistic businesses from all over the world, makes me even more excited to support them.
I of course started selling on Etsy soon after finding it, when going through PPD, I decided to make nursing necklaces. I’m also a bit of a jewelry hound (just ask John) so I’ve spent a lot of time hunting the countless Etsy jewelry shops. I was immediately drawn to West Byron Studio created by Chicago Mom Jessie Casteel.
Her shop is named after the street West Byron, where she lives, raises her kids, and has her ideas. She says “It’s a moment in my life on a patch of earth in a city that claimed my heart eighteen years ago and just won’t give it back.”
Jessie works in precious metal clay. Tiny particles of pure silver, a binder material, and water become pliable clay, which she uses to hand sculpt her pieces. When they’re complete and dry, they’re fired in a kiln, which burns away the binder material (made from old camera film), leaving behind 99.9% silver (sterling is 92.5% silver).
I had been lurking at Jessie’s shop for several months, wanting to buy one of her amazing pieces. Just after the earthquake in Japan, I noticed that she started creating a line of origami paper pendants in silver. Proceeds from all of these special pendants go to the American Red Cross’s disaster relief efforts to help those affected by the earthquake in Japan and tsunami throughout the Pacific. So I felt it was the perfect time to buy, and for a very good cause. (It was absolutely beautiful. I gave it to a friend from Japan as a gift.)
Then in mid-April I started my antidepressant medication change and wrote about it here on the blog. I also at that time, noticed a necklace in West Byron Studio that really struck me. I call it my “Sad Bunny.” Jessie hand formed this adorable little creature, and he helps me remember its ok to be sad some days as long as I don’t let it go too far. Anyway …
The quality of her work is impeccable. And I believe each piece is clearly made with love. I’m very happy to support an artist who also cares for others through her fundraising for relief efforts in Japan.
To purchase one of her amazing works of wearable art, please visit West Byron Studio on Etsy.
Jessie has generously donated one of her necklaces as a giveaway on Motherhood Unadorned … a gorgeous origami paper pendant.
What you could win.
This little 18 x 13mm oval features a beautiful, cheerful Yuzen floral pattern in vivid red, charteuse, slate blue and violet. So much vivid color and energy on a small canvas. Artisan paper was screen printed in Japan. It’s preserved under epoxy resin in a sterling bezel mounting, and hangs from a sparkly 18″ sterling diamond-cut bead chain. Retail value $28.
How to enter.
You have several chances to enter by 11:59pm PT on Thursday, June 2nd.
I will randomly select a winner with the WordPress Plug-in “And The Winner Is” and will announce on the blog Friday, June 3.
Just leave a comment here on the blog and you’re entered. That’s it!
(Please leave separate comments for each optional entry you complete, in order to receive that entry.)
1–Like West Byron Studio on Facebook. (Feel free to leave a little love on her wall and tell her Motherhood Unadorned sent you. Posting on her wall is not required.)
2–Like Motherhood Unadorned on Facebook.
3–Follow the Motherhood Unadorned via Google Friend Connect in the left sidebar on this page.
4–Visit West Byron Studio on Etsy and make her shop one of your favorites.
5–Share this giveaway post with your friends or on your business page on Facebook. Please be sure to tag both “West Byron Studio – Personalized Fine Silver Jewelry” and “Motherhood Unadorned” by putting the @ symbol before each name.
Disclaimer: I have not been paid, nor have I received any free West Byron Studio jewelry to review. The above opinions are based on my own purchases in her Etsy shop. West Byron Studio is providing one free origami necklace to the winner. The opinions here are without a doubt my own.