Gwen Myer's ideas about hanging her jewellery gives whole new meaning to reforestation. How can we help you get involved in reforestation? There seems to be an abundance of information on the Internet regarding reforestation, but it is often limited to only what someone needs to know in order to buy land or trees or shares of a reforestation project. While Finca Leola - Costa Rica can help you with all those things, what they hope to achieve is to create a community of people and organizations who are either engaged in reforestation or interested in sharing ideas, research, and opportunities. Maybe this is the right time of the year to contact them and make a difference.

Saving the Trees

"Right now Im wrapping presents in dish towels. After Christmas last year I bought a huge amount of Christmas dish towels for 25 cents a piece. We are wrapping as many of our presents as we can in them. They are beautiful and bright and seal up beautifully with masking tape and instead of killing a whole bunch of trees, on Christmas we will pick them up and fold them and put them away and use them again next year. Weve been going to buy fabric and make bags and wraps for years, but we never did it. When I saw these for 25 cents a piece I said, why not? writes Winnie Cross

For our Muse Giving at my December Salon, Rose, whose embroidery is magnificent gave me cards wrapped in fabric and tied with embroidery thread. She suggested that I use the embroidery thread in my visual journals. Wow! How fantastic is that?

Make your own gift paper using brown or white paper or even brown paper bags. The Creativity Portal has lots of other ideas for you as you begin wrapping your parcels.


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Miniature Forests

When I asked Sark to talk to broccoli about succulence and wildness she said that she marvels at how much it looks like a miniature forest.

Gwen Myer talks about how she created a Jewellery Forest.

A Jewellery Forest

My infamous 'jewellery forest' started when I was 16, and got my ears pierced for the first time. From the day I got my ears pierced, I have been gifted with earrings both new and used as well as obvious costume jewellery and "How much will it cost to insure these?" type of jewellery.

The 'forest' grew slowly at first. When I taught myself to make bead jewellery the collection began to grow exponentially. I have gone from 1 pair of self-piercing hoops to over 500 pairs of earrings, almost 200 necklaces, over 100 bracelets, around 50 rings and about two dozen each of toe rings and ankle bracelets.

I have also gone from that first set of holes to nine pairs of holes each set representing a landmark in my life: 16, 18, 21, getting married, having my stepson move in, leaving the marriage, moving back to Arizona, rebuilding my life, and getting my writing published.

Granted, I now could not buy any container large enough to house all the jewellery. The present design will eventually be for earrings exclusively. This is my third design for a jewellery holder, it is also when I broke into the third dimension with my designs.

This time I wasn't simply making something to hang my jewellery on; I am creating 'Living Art', living in the sense that is not static. It is in a state of change, and it continues to grow, and undergoes periods of reorganization.

I started with a framework design like the one in a box kite, except instead of lightweight wood I used 1x1's of ash to build the frame. I spent more than one soothing hour sanding until the bare wood had a slight shine, I layered and sanded clear lacquer until the finish was almost reflective.

I had to change the design in mid-project when I found my first choice wasn't strong enough to support the earring's weight. I use the plastic mesh used to make needlepoint tissue box covers, cut into inch wide strips strapped to the framework with embroidery floss.

I have increased the number of rows twice and I am contemplating a total renovation of the strips and strapping, This will create even more room for expansion... hehehehehehehe!

When I told my Mum about what I had made, and the quantity of jewellery I had she told me, "Gwen Marie, you don't have an earring tree any more, you have the whole wretched forest!!" Which is how the 'Jewellery Forest' earned its name.

I've designed separate holders for the necklaces and bracelets, all different, and if I can do it I will make each one out of different woods. I hope to make the necklace rack out of weathered barn wood and the bracelet catcher out of cholla root bases. I also plan to suspend all three from the ceiling to turn each of the three into a mobile.

Gwen Myer