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Friday Photo Feature: Tanya Sue

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mermaid’s treasure, originally uploaded by pilgrimgirl.

Like most talents in my life I learned to make jewelry when I was broke. About 8 years ago my sister had a new bracelet that my mom bought her. It was $40 and I wanted one. My budget did not allow for anything like that. My friendʼs mom made jewelry and asked her how much it would cost to make and how hard it would be to make. She assured me less than $5 and it would be very easy. The $5 was a stretch to come up with but I found it and the obsession began. I am self taught with everything I do.

Jewelry making has been a form our therapy for me for multiple reasons. When I started making jewelry I was extremely depressed and for some reason while I was making jewelry the depression lifted, if only for an hour or two. Maybe it was the creative outlet, or maybe it was because I had something beautiful to focus on. Either way, I appreciated the break. I also had people I work with start asking if they could pay me to make jewelry for them. Selling jewelry now at least pays for what I make for myself and as gifts.

Making jewelry has now taken on a new meaning to me. About 4 years ago I was diagnosed with an illness that causes severe pain and deterioration of my joints-specifically the small joints of the hands and feet. For the first two years the pain kept me from making jewelry for pleasure (only for gifts or financial gain). Now I have times where the pain is tolerable and my fingers work so I have started making it for fun again, but not nearly to the extent that I did before. I have also taught several classes on beading. I fear that I will lose the ability to make it altogether as time progresses and feel that if I take the time to teach others then I wonʼt have lost everything when I lose the ability to create jewelry. Even if I canʼt make it anymore others will continue to because I taught them. I appreciate when my body allows me create things and do my best to enjoy those times.
like a day at the ocean


simply silver

starfish necklace

Tanya Sue can be reached at TanyaSue@TanyaSue.com
If you would like to participate in a future Friday Photo Feature, please contact Jana at phddillyATyahooDAWTcom.


Jana is a university administrator and teaches History. Her soloblog is http://janaremy.com

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  1. Deborah says:

    So beautiful, Tanya Sue! Do you sell on etsy or a similar on-line store?

  2. JohnR says:

    You didn’t mention this, but I love that you’re able to spread so much joy and beauty to others between the gifts that you give and the teaching and opportunities to be creative that you extend to others. I hope you’re able to continue this for a long, long time. 🙂

  3. jana says:

    Like you, I know the joy that comes from creating something beautiful and how it can ease the pain of depression. For me, playing with yarn or with my camera or with creative writing is an act of grace.

    I’m so glad that you’ve shared your talents with me so that I can craft some basic jewelry pieces myself now, too! 🙂

  4. Caroline says:

    These are gorgeous, Tanya Sue!

  5. G says:

    those are beautiful pieces.
    ditto to what deborah said- do you have an online store? and do you work by commission only?

    ps… I totally get what you said about working creatively to ease depression. it can be very powerful. I hope you are able to continue to do this for your personal pleasure as well as financial gain.

  6. Tanya Sue says:

    Thanks all! I do have an etsy page, but am barely starting to use it. It is tanyasue.etsy.com

    I also do pieces (like for wedddings or if someone has a dress or shirt they need something to match). I do a little of everything. If someone presents me an interesting proposition I will usually say yes.

    John-I hope I am able to do this for a long, long time as well.

    Jana-thanks for taking these great pictures. It made me confident that I would be able to take some as well!

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