While living in New Mexico in 1990, in the high desert and pinon covered hills near the Pecos River, I embraced my native spirit and discovered a love for beadwork. I was working as a R.N. at the Santa Fe Indian Hospital. My neighbors were Jerry Ingram and Veronica Orr, well known Native American artists, and I admired the beauty of the intricate beadwork and quillwork pieces they created. I was fortunate to have them mentor me. They taught me how to embroider small glass beads onto leather and so it began, a lifelong love of beads and creating things of beauty from them.
I came to live in Northwest Montana in 1992. My husband and I, and our three children built a log cabin on land north of Eureka. I continued my nursing career and we also established a Trading Post and sold beads, leather and supplies. We taught classes on beadwork, jewelry making and leatherwork. Our friend and business partner Dee Matousek worked with us. Dee was from the Northern California Yurok tribe, and over the years, she taught me much about jewelry making and bead weaving. My skills grew as I learned new techniques, and bead weaving has remained one of my favorites.
In recent years much has changed, the Trading Post has long been closed and now serves as a guest cabin for friends and family. I care for my mother who now lives with me. I am writing my memoir. I spend the cool days of fall and the long Montana winters creating my beaded jewelry. I admire the ever-changing views of the Rocky Mountains. I photograph the mountains, flowers and birds, finding inspiration in the color and design of nature. In the spring and summer time, you can find me in my garden, taking walks, hiking in the mountains, going on picnics near the water, spending time with family or going camping. The Tobacco Valley is my home, the place that I love, and the setting that inspires me to create.
It is my sincere hope that one of my pieces speaks to you and brings you joy. I use quality glass beads and buttons, thread and findings. My jewelry is comfortable to wear. Please feel free to contact me. I am always happy to create custom pieces!