I’m Changing My Jewelry Business Model!

I have closed my shop on Etsy and am excited to bring an entirely new collection to my shop in the next few weeks. 

I’ve had the same designs in my shop for a number of years, and reached a breaking point a few weeks ago as far as my creativity is concerned. Making the same designs over and over again was getting to me, and so I’ve decided to go full stop and start over. 

I think I want to continue having a made-to-order line ( a small, basic staples sort of line) but I’m mainly going to be making one-of-a-kind designs. I’m thinking small collections that I make up and then just sell outright in one big swoop!

I am so, so thankful for all the support my collectors have given me over the last few years. My shop allowed me to keep my hand in making jewelry based on those made-to-order designs where I just had to copy a design I had already thought up. It was much easier than doing brand new collections, all of which requires a lot of mental effort to do. 

But my brain is done with the resting and recovering and releasing the grief I’ve felt after losing both of my parents, as well as dealing with pretty severe psoriasis. The psoriasis is getting better after this last flare, and I need something to be excited about rather than just treading water.

I will be updating my Instagram feed with the progress I’m making in those new designs, and will be giving some sneak peaks as I go about the design process. I decided to close my shop while I do this so I can just concentrate on the new stuff, and not lose my momentum. 

I don’t know if there will be any of the older designs offered once I get this new collection started. That train may be out of the station now. My mixed metal designs have done great, and there will be some new mixed metal designs with my shop update. Right now, the most important thing I am concentrating on is having fun with this little business again, and growing as an artist.

So I think I want to make a core collection that will be made-to-order, but then update with one-of-a-kinds monthly. Once they are made, they are never to be repeated. I’ve discovered the hard way that I just don’t want to be a production jewelry designer. I love doing this because of the freshness and growth it provides me mentally and spiritually. Making the same designs over and over gets very stale and NOT-FUN! 

Ok, I’m off to the studio…have a great week!!

Welcome to Soul to Substance

Hello, I’m Stacie and I am so excited to start this new journey of mine online!

I’m 56, and happily married to my husband Shayne. We’ve been together for about 28 years, and we don’t have any children.

I’m a professional creative. I’ve been making metal jewelry for about 20 years, and recently ventured into watercolors. I live in Roanoke, Virginia and work from home. My professional website where I offer my jewelry and information about that aspect of my life can be found at www.stacieflorer.com.

The inspiration behind Soul to Substance

About 15 years ago, I was temporarily living in Hot Springs, Arkansas with my husband as we were traveling around the US. I was on my daily walk in a forested area when I had an otherworldly experience. During this time, I was contemplating the meaning of life. What was the purpose of our life? I sat down on a log and stared off into space as I breathed in the humid air and humus of the forest floor.

All of a sudden, the thought of “Soul to Substance” popped into my head and I received a quickening of knowingness that I would one day develop my life around this idea. I’ve been dipping a toe into the deep water that these three words convey for years. I struggled with how to integrate it into my professional life as a jewelry designer. I had a newsletter for a while that I called Soul to Substance. I’ve had social media accounts over the years using this name. Nothing really ever took off though. I’ve kept it on the back burner for YEARS and a few weeks ago, I finally decided to give this platform my heart and energy.

What my hopes are for this site

I’m looking to build a community of others that are passionate about exploring the depths of self-discovery, mindfulness and personal growth. I believe Soul to Substance is the journey we are all on as we move from soulful inspiration to tangible change in our lives. I want to concentrate on writing words that resonate and living my life with moments that really matter, and share with you what I am discovering by navigating life’s twists with intention and passion.

I’ve stopped watching the news and spending time on the doom and gloom that pervades our culture. I want to build a platform that is interested in nourishing minds, inspiring creativity and embracing the most important journey there is–the one within. I plan on writing what I am thinking as I try and transform my thoughts into the substance of life. I have no idea where this may lead me, but I’m using this website as tool to keep me focused.

What you can expect to find here

Tentatively, I have come up with the following topics that I intend to explore:

  • Mindful Living
  • Overcoming Challenges
  • Dealing with Change
  • Personal Growth
  • Wellness and Self-Care
  • Aging Purposefully
  • Care-Giving
  • Creative Expression
  • Practical Spirituality
  • Balanced Living
  • Culinary Topics
  • Travel/Exploration Near and Far
  • Relationships/Connecting with Others
  • Practical Financial Wisdom
  • Fashion for Self-Expression
  • Navigating the New Tech
  • Book Club for Wisdom Seekers

My personal journey

Over the last few years, I’ve undergone an immense transformation on all levels.

Physically, I have been dealing with an autoimmune condition that has forced me to consider and implement stringent self-care routines that are now non-negotiable. I lost 40 or so pounds and lost half of my hair-twice!

Emotionally, I lost both of my parents to cancer within months of each other as I struggled to care-give while they were 800 miles apart. I spent four months away from home caring for my mother, and after she passed, my father became terminal the week I returned home to Roanoke.

Spiritually, feeling like a female Job, I turned to the Bible for solace and realized I needed some help navigating the millennia of information written there and joined a local Bible study. That lead me to joining a congregation where I enjoy worship and fellowship with a great group of people. I have never belonged to an organized religion before and so this has been a huge change for me.

I didn’t know what to do with Soul to Substance for so many years, and then life intervened and drop-kicked me into finding out what the intersection of spiritual wisdom and practical living looks like on a daily basis. And I want to document and share with you as my own personal journey continues to unfold.

So, if you’re still with me, I’m excited about where we can go together. If you’re interested in personal development, self-discovery and pursuing a holistic approach to life, you’re in the right place!

My invitation to you

I am anxious to begin writing and collecting information and I want to invite you to share your thoughts, experiences and insights in the comments when you feel inclined to do so.

I’m going to be writing a lot of content over the next few months so that I can start to flesh out the site. My list of topics is broad, but hey, life is immense! But if something I write resonates, or you feel like your experiences can round out the discussion, please contribute. I am hoping for a community here of life-minded people and those of us of a certain age have earned all the wisdom that is inevitable if we survive into our 50’s, 60’s and beyond.

I want to close this post by saying thank you for checking out Soul to Substance. Gratitude is one of the main ingredients needed for a spiritually fulfilled life, but sometimes it can be hard to find something to be grateful for when you feel like you’re in a challenging situation.

But one thing I’ve learned is that when everything seems to be going wrong, God is actually setting things up to be wonderful. You just have to ride out the chaos and give Him time to work His magic. Hindsight is where wisdom likes to hang out to be discovered.

May joy, peace and good fortune come your way.

My 3 Weeks on the Road!

My 3 Weeks on the Road!

I’m getting on a plane tomorrow and heading to Arkansas for a week and then on to the 4 Corners area! I’m so excited to return to the desert and disappear for a while into this vast wilderness of space and form. 

I’m going to be exploring the Bear’s Ears National Monument in Southeastern Utah and then head back over to Hovenweep and Chaco Canyon. Yes, it will most likely be hot, but it’s monsoon season now and so I’m banking on lots of rain showers and beautiful dark clouds to block a lot of the sun’s rays. 

I’ve been working out in the heat here in Virginia to help acclimatize my body to the added activity in the heat, and feel like I’m going in prepared. Once I get to Arkansas tomorrow, I’ll be working out there for another week, in the August heat and humidity, so the desert may very well be a bit of a relief.

My shop is closed while I’m gone and I should have it re-opened on the 24th of August if all goes according to plan. 

But in the meantime, please think about following me on my Instagram stream @stacieflorer for all the updates of my trip and see the beauty that I experience every time I go!

The Drips of Summer: New Earrings

The Drips of Summer: New Earrings

Our summer here in Virginia got off to a late start. While I was out on my daily walk yesterday, I noticed all of these bugs skimming the ground in a clover field I pass, and I figured out they were June bugs, only its the middle of July! 

My garden is a little late too…green tomatoes, but no reds. Kale and Chard are still going strong with no signs of bolting. Even the normal pests that I get every season seem to be someplace else (except for the squash vine borer!). The summer spigot of warmth and humidity is just now turning on. 

I love gardening. The food is incredible, of course. Being able to walk out my door and down into my garden to pick fresh produce for my immediate meal is a thrill I will never get tired of. But I love how it forces me to stop and notice the season of life I’m currently experiencing. 

There is an intimacy with the earth that every gardener understands. Those quiet moments in the morning with the smell of earth’s humus penetrating your nose and being are sublime. I often garden barefoot, and pick produce without sleeves or gloves, so there is the stinging nettle effect of cucumber vines and tomato plants that viscerally remind me that plants are alive and protecting the fruit of their vines from predators like me. 

I like seeing the balance of life in action, and gardening is another way for me to get to know God and his creation in such a way that informs my day as I trot from one thing to another. I got caught in a fast moving rain shower a few days ago, and just watched life around me on my covered swing as the rain dripped down.

While I swayed on my swing, I looked around and 3 fawns were about 20 feet from me, hunkered down and watching me watch them. What a wonderful moment it was. 

Summer is life accelerated. To watch a plant live out its life in a short three months in its effort to fruit and spread its seed is one of the most fascinating processes to watch. And once the fruit is ripe, the decline begins and it all goes back into the ground as food for the next summer cycle after a period of rest. 

I could go on and on, trying to capture these summer moments, but I decided to channel what I have been feeling into a new pair of earrings. I am trying out something new for me this summer. I’ve decided to make some one-off designs to offer in my shop as the muse of the moment captures my attention.

This week I made some Drippy earrings. The slow rain that I experienced on my swing with the fawns inspired this design. There’s a lot of acton in them, but they are very lightweight and comfortable to wear even though the measure 2 1/2 inches from tip to tip. 

Swings, rain and the power of three are incorporated in this design to remind the wearer that summer is fleeting, and to slow down and enjoy the drip-drop of life as it happens. See a swing? Sit down and rock back and forth and experience the rhythm of life that you find yourself in. Look around and watch what is always watching you…and wink back!

Full Circle: My Cards at Black Dog Salvage in Roanoke, VA

Full Circle: My Cards at Black Dog Salvage in Roanoke, VA

When my mother came to visit me in Roanoke a few years ago, she was so excited to visit Black Dog Salvage. She was an avid fan of the television show, Salvage Dogs, when it was on, and it was just a thrill for her to meet and see everyone, including the pup at her feet.

About a month ago, my friend Terah Cox was filling up her greeting card display at Black Dog Salvage and she gave the Market Manager a sample of my cards, and then informed me that Black Dog Salvage was interested in consigning them. 

Oh my mother would have been so tickled to know this!

Yesterday, I took my new display and small collection over to Black Dog Salvage and they put it on the floor! They are now officially available to purchase!

I have 5×7 greeting cards, smaller notecards and some boxed sets of both with 6 assorted designs. I’m super thrilled that the first place they are available retail are at Black Dog Salvage in Roanoke. 

I’m also going to be putting in a small display case of my jewelry there too. The Market Manager has talked me into placing them there, and I will be purchasing a used jewelry case this weekend that I found locally. 

I’m excited to paint the jewelry case using some of the Black Dog Salvage Furniture Paint. Here’s a quick little video about this month’s color palette. You can use this paint for so many cool projects!

The Importance of Earthing

The Importance of Earthing

I’ve been on quite the journey to calm down my nervous system as I continue to understand what role my lifestyle has played in dealing with Guttate Psoriasis. 

I don’t even like using that diagnosis…since in the Western medicine world, that diagnosis usually infers that the prognosis is poor. 

But I don’t give up easily, since to my way of thinking, I’ve lived without Guttate psoriasis for the vast majority of my life, and something changed significantly in my lifestyle that invited this condition to manifest.

I broke out in a psoriatic rash all over my body about 2.5 years ago as I was in the middle of dealing with both of my parents’ cancer struggle. I KNOW stress and emotional duress was the spark that led to this fire within my body. 

Now, as I am trying to once again, put out the fire– I am looking at how God designed our bodies to deal with the stress of living on earth. We are here to live ON the earth. And as I started investigating this seemingly easy requirement, I discovered that I haven’t been living ON the earth for most of my adult life!

As I kid, I ran around all the time barefoot and was often on the ground playing in dirt, stringing together garlands of Clover flowers for ornate headbands and necklaces or just laying on the ground staring at cloud formations. My little kid body didn’t know what stress was! I was grounded most of the time for at least 1/2 the year, along with getting copious amounts of sunshine. 

I felt more connected to my body back then, and was musing that I haven’t felt of a whole piece in years. So…my feet are on the ground more this summer and I’m really feeling a difference!

On my lower leg, I have an especially bad plaque, and it is always ‘hot’ to the touch. I mean, it feels like its on fire! After about 30 minutes of grounding barefoot in my garden, the heat is gone, and stays gone for a couple of hours. I’ve also noticed that my plaques seem to be healing more rapidly since I’ve started earthing. 

I’m also doing many other things, but I’ve been doing my dietary changes and supplements for about 3 months and the level of healing after a couple of weeks of earthing had been exponentially faster. 

And I feel so much calmer inside!

I’ve really noticed that I feel inwardly calmer all day since I’ve been earthing. I feel like my nervous system got hyper-sensitive and stayed in the flight-or-fight response all of them time, with no time off over the last few years. 

It’s akin to having a slow-rolling ache that gradually gets worse over time so that you forget what it feels like to not have any pain; only its not pain, just a sense of impending doom and feeling highly strung and tense. 

I usually got out into my garden while the ground is still a bit damp, and I either stand on a clover patch or the natural round rock pile that I made near my swing.

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