2012 Epiphany Christmas Market

Saturday November 17 10am – 3pm
Sunday November 18 8am – 1pm
Participants include Nancy Denmark, Margaret Bailey, Paula Dittrick, Jean West, Marilyn Cameron, Joann Thompson, Patricia Hinojosa, Sara Knowles, Judy Berry, Betty Daniel, Susan & Morgan Bradford, Uchenna Onyelwelu, Kathy Mathison, ECHOS, and Epiphany Youth.

Items at the market will include Baskets, Pottery, Jewelry, Wall Crosses, Knitted Wearables, Quilts, Glass, Wood, Nativities, Holiday Decor, Photography, Note Cards, Soaps, Lotions, Paintings, Mixed Media Collage, and MORE!

The Episcopal Church of the Epiphany is located in Southwest Houston at the intersection of Bissonnet and Gessner.

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Hand Crosses As Prayer Tools

I make these hand held crosses with polymer clay and shape to fit the hand. They may be used as a tactile focusing tool for personal prayer and meditation.

Nancy Denmark's polymer clay hand crosses

Polymer Clay Hand Crosses For Prayer & Comfort

A local ministry recently ordered 50 hand crosses to be included in comfort kits for cancer patients. Working as a prayer is inevitable as I work on an order like this. Even though I was pushing an overdue deadline, while preparing for large shows at the same time, the power of the end use of these hand crosses, slowed me down to form each cross with an intention of prayer.

“There are some people who, in order to pray, use as an excuse the fact that life is so hectic that it prevents them from praying. This cannot be. Prayer does not demand that we interrupt our work, but that we continue working as if it were a prayer.”  – Mother Teresa

Dear Lord, help me to always fill my work with you, with focused intention, in continual dialog with you.

Handcrafted “Loco For Cocoa” Skin Treats

My New Handcrafted Skin Treats

My favorite new word is “multipotentialite” and my favorite motto of the day is “Don’t think ‘out of the box’, think like there is no box”. I’m giving myself permission to go all over the place with my creative endeavors these days as long as it makes my heart glad and puts good stuff out into the realm. Making a new line of handcrafted skin treats is my latest undertaking as I “just say no” to living in a box. And the art & faith reflection here?  It’s quite simple…my faith has taught me to follow my heart and trust in the journey, listening and discerning as I go.

I’m already getting great feedback and testimonies from family testers and satisfied customers on these new products so wanted to share my excitement here! I’m making my own, all natural skin treats for thirsty skin. Most are built on a wondrous base of raw cocoa butter that smells yummy as you soften your skin with ingredients good enough to eat! All natural, “good for us” ingredients to nourish the skin while calming the spirit with pleasing aromatherapy. No added chemical fragrances needed with the natural smell-good properties of cocoa butter and coconut oils. I’m currently offering a solid Lotion Bar Stick $14, Lotion Bar in Tin $7, 3 sizes of Body Butter $9, $15, $19, Lip Balm $2, and Roll On Bottled Moisturizing Oils $5 ea. All available to order from my website with a click through PayPal purchase or contact me with a message about what you want, I’ll run a total with shipping and tax, and arrange a convenient payment option of your choice. I’ll also have these with me at future shows or they can be purchased and sampled locally at our store in Katy, TX. You’ll find lots of information about the ingredients and products with each listing as you explore the lotions and potions on my website at nancydenmark.com. Remember Valentine’s Day is one week away and this could just be the new twist on your Valentine chocolate gifting.

Loco For Cocoa Body Butter

Loco For Cocoa Body Butter whipped to the consistency of a mousse or souffle.

More about all this good stuff later as I’m blogging on the run this morning (that just turned to noon during final edits). I’m preparing for a run of shows starting this week… so back to the studio to finish some more jewelry-making. And as always click any blog photo to link to the product on my website.

Credits: While in the midst of creating this new product line and thinking I was off in left field but doing it anyway…I discovered my new favorite word “multipotentialite” through a blog post by Emilie on Puttylike. It was total validation to stay the course. I stumbled upon Emilie’s blog post through a link from Dan Johnson of Right Brain Rockstar. Fun bloggers out there in the blogosphere….go check them out (after you’ve explored all my new stuff of course!)

Hearts & Amethysts For February

Descending Dove With Amethyst

Descending Dove With Amethyst

The birthstone for February is the beautiful purple amethyst gemstone and Valentine’s Day brings heart jewelry into favor this month. I started my line of Christian symbol jewelry in 1988 with a heart theme. Many of these early designs incorporating symbols within hearts are shown in the grouping below. (Click the photos to link to my website where you’ll find more details and prices on each piece.) Some of the names of my heart themed pieces are “Hearts Entwined In Christ”, “Shine In My Heart”, “Peace of the Lord”, “Heart Ablaze”, “One In The Spirit”, and “Holy Spirit Alight In My Heart”. Each comes with a printed gift enclosure weaving the combination of symbols into a story, giving the wearer a message of faith to share with the world.

Symbolic Heart Jewelry Designs

From The Heart Symbolic Jewelry

The American Gem Society reports that amethyst, is a purple quartz, a beautiful blend of violet and red that can found in every corner of the earth.  English regalia were decorated with amethysts during the Middle Ages to symbolize royalty. This symbolism also ties to it’s use in the Church today as purple is the biblical color associated with royalty. The things of the King are often referred to as being royal such as the royal city and royal priesthood. Purple is the liturgical color often used to represent the passion of Christ and used in seasons of penitence and mourning.

Canterbury Cross With Amethyst

Canterbury Cross With Amethyst

The word amethyst comes from the Greek word “amethystos,” meaning sober.  In ancient Greece, the gemstone was associated with the god of wine, and it was common practice to serve this beverage from amethyst goblets in the belief that this would prevent overindulgence. February’s purple birthstone has been found among the possessions of royalty throughout the ages.  The intense violet hue of amethyst appealed to early monarchs, perhaps because they often wore this color. Purple dye was scarce and expensive at one time, and so it was reserved for the garments of kings and queens. Amethyst has been found in ruins dating as far back as the ninth century, adorning crowns, scepters, jewelry, and breastplates worn into battle.  A large amethyst is among the closely guarded gemstones in the British Crown Jewels.

Gift of God Sterling Silver Amethyst Cross

Gift of God Amethyst Cross

I designed my “Gift of God” cross to resemble the ribbon of a bow, symbolizing the gift. “For it is by God’s grace that you have been saved through faith… It is not the result of your own efforts, but God’s gift.” Eph. 2:8-9 This amethyst cross is shown on my website on a purple cord which is a popular option for wearing many of the gemstone designs.

As always, I encourage my customers to not feel limited by the gem assigned to their  month of birth but to enjoy any special connection to their birthstone, while embracing all gem colors that appeal to them. Color is a spice of life!

All designs shown are available for immediate delivery on date of this post (February 2, 2012). Ordering/purchasing information may be found on the contact page of my website and prices for each piece shown are posted  on each design’s page (click each image).

Symbol Designs With Garnet Gemstones

Sterling Cross With Garnet

Bishop Alard Cross W/ Garnet

The birthstone for January is a garnet, one of my favorite colored gemstones. As we begin a new year, I thought it might be fun to share a blog post each month to spotlight some of my designs available with the month’s birthstone(s). Click each photo to link to more information about the design on my website. As a longtime lover of  the large spectrum of colored gemstones, I have always encouraged my customers to not feel limited by the gem assigned to their  month of birth but to enjoy any special connection to their birthstone, while embracing all gem colors that make their heart sing. I have often included color symbolism in my stories that accompany my symbol designs with gemstones. The garnet for me symbolizes the blood of Christ when used in a cross. I found it interesting to read that Garnet, derived from the word granatum, means seed, and is called so because of the gemstone’s resemblance to a pomegranate seed. The pomegranate is a very symbolic image used throughout history.

sterling canterbury cross with garnet

Sterling Canterbury Cross With Garnet

A little online research leads to some history and lore about birthstones. The American Gem Society states “The origin of birthstones is believed to date back to the breastplate of Aaron which contained twelve gemstones representing the twelve tribes of Israel. The current list dates back to 1912 with only one addition since then – the tanzanite was added to December.” They include a color photo list arranged by month where you may click on the month you were born to learn the history of your birthstone. Many Museums of Natural Science & History include information too. The Burke Museum of Natural History & Culture has some interesting science and legend behind birthstones stating “how powerful it is to have our month of birth represented by a beautiful natural gemstone. We can own and display our special stone and feel embraced by its beauty”.

Descending Dove pendant with Rhodolite Garnet

"The Spirit In Motion" Descending Dove W/ Rhodolite Garnet

The American Gem Society states, “Garnet, the birthstone for January,  signifies eternal friendship and trust and is the perfect gift for a friend.  Garnet, derived from the word granatum, means seed, and is called so because of the gemstone’s resemblance to a pomegranate seed.  References to the gemstone dates back to 3100 B.C., when the Egyptians used garnets as inlays jewelry.  Garnet is the name of a group of minerals that comes in a rainbow of colors, from the deep red of the pyrope garnet to the vibrant green of tsavorites.  Today, the most important sources for garnet are Africa, Sri Lanka, and India.” Personally, I am quite fond of tsavorite garnets that rival the color of emeralds. The Burke Museum website shows a garnet in it’s naturally occurring state, and suggests “The next time you eat a pomegranate, you will notice the seeds’ resemblance to garnet.”

All designs shown are available for immediate delivery on date of this post (January 18, 2012). Ordering/purchasing information may be found on the contact page of my website and prices for each piece shown are posted  on each design’s page (click each image).

Sterling Silver Gift Of God Cross W/ Garnet on Leather Cord

Sterling Silver "Gift Of God" Cross W/ Garnet On Red Leather Cord

Collaborations Of The Spirit

a gallery show featuring the artwork of Nancy Denmark in collaboration with Margaret Bailey and Celia Clowe

“Collaborations of the Spirit” will take place at Duckie and the Grackle Gallery in Lake Jackson, Texas on July 22, 23, and 24. The gallery is located downtown at 145 Oyster Creek Drive in Suite 9. While featuring the collaborative projects, the three-day show will also include the individual work of each artist. Come to meet the artists and preview their work at an opening reception on Friday, July 22, from 5pm until 8pm. The show will continue on Saturday from 11am to 5pm and Sunday from 1pm to 5pm.

a gallery show of collaborative artwork

Collaborations of the Spirit Opens Friday July 22

Much of Nancy Denmark’s newest work has been collaborative as she finds refreshment of her creative spirit in working with other artists. Nancy Denmark and Margaret Bailey’s first collaborative piece was made years ago at the request of a mutual customer to mount one of Nancy’s sterling symbol jewelry designs on one of Margaret’s cedar wall crosses. This opened the door for a new artistic journey and Nancy now finds herself seeking out and inviting other artists to collaborate with her on new projects. This show will be the first exhibition of work created in collaboration with Celia Clowe. Celia has incorporated some of Nancy’s soulful symbolic designs onto her one-of-a-kind Spirit Blocks using etched and embossed metals, and polymer clay. Both artists concur the presence of the Spirit was evident in the creative sparks when Celia and Nancy met to infuse their unique voices into the new collaborative Spirit Block project.

Nancy Denmark is a jewelry artist by profession & obsession, yet plays in many art forms. This playful approach has led Nancy in many new directions outside the “jewelry box”. Her materials run the gamut from precious metals to polymer clay. Nancy says, “As an artist, I try to remain open, willing, always listening and discerning how I am being called to use the gifts I have been given.” Known by many for her original jewelry designs that incorporate Christian symbology, Nancy has been creating these wearable statements of faith for 25 years.

Margaret Bailey, a wood artist, finds inspiration in the quote “God rides the lame horse, God carves the rotten wood”. She handcrafts wood crosses, nativities and symbols by carefully choosing and studying the unique grains, knots, and features of each piece of wood. Many of her crosses are made from local Quintana Beach driftwood. Margaret allows the journey of the wood, to lead her to what she will make from it. Her pieces are all sanded to a silky smooth finish adding a soothing tactile experience to the visual beauty of her work.

Celia Clowe is a mixed-media collage artist, self-described as an overeducated geologist with a Renaissance collection of skills and talents. Celia’s artistic journey has led her to create original Spirit Blocks, smallish 3D mixed media wooden blocks. Celia invites you to connect with the Spirit Block that speaks to your soul and place it where it can be glimpsed often as a reminder of the fullness and celebration of the Spirit within you.

All three guest artists, along with gallery owners Cherie and Glenn McBride, share a bond of faith as members of a national community of artists who work at the intersections of art and faith. All value the significance of visual imagery in spiritual formation and create in response to their own faith experience. The influence of nature is another significant kindred connection that is obvious in the work of these five artists making for a very cohesive gallery exhibition.

Artful Mother’s Day Gifts Will Abound

This Saturday!!! April 30 10am-5pm Please Come to A SHOW OF FRIENDS

at J. West Studio 2103 Commonwealth @ Indiana in Houston

Nancy Denmark jewelry, wall crosses & more
Jean West art glass & jewelry
Margaret Bailey handcrafted wood
Marilyn Cameron pottery

What a timely shopping opportunity for an artful Mother’s Day gift.

Art Show of Jean West, Nancy Denmark, Margaret Bailey, Marilyn Cameron

A Show Of Friends

I am intentionally transitioning from a heavy show schedule to a stronger web presence and online sales. But I do expect to continue getting out there from time to time to sell my stuff, just less often is the plan. So don’t miss this opportunity to come see some beautiful handmade wares in person. That person to person contact between artist and customer is invaluable and I do still enjoy the face to face opportunities as I know the art lover enjoys the hands on buying experience. I also enjoy the camaraderie of being with other artists at shows, so it seemed apropos that if I was going to do only one spring show it should be A Show Of Friends! We have been showing together for some years now but this is the first time we are trying this Show Of Friends at J. West Studio in the spring. Please help us make it a success and come on out to see the show this Saturday. We’ll also have some refreshments to welcome our guests. The show is in a lovely historic Victorian courtyard at J. West Glass Studio, where the setting complements the art of four talented women friends.

Click any photo below to view a preview album of our art offerings. Directions and map to the show below.

Looking Down To Shady Courtyard

Come By For A Shady Visit In The Courtyard

Stunning Spiral Staircase

Visit Nancy & Jean's Displays Upstairs

Margaret Bailey's beautiful wood display

Margaret Bailey's Beautiful Wood Display

directions to find J. West Studio

Directions and a Map To A Show Of Friends