Psalm 91 Studio – Meaningful jewelry

I never get tired of discovering new jewelry makers. It’s hard to plant your stake in the bling market, but there’s something a little different and unique about each shop, and Psalm 91 Studio is set apart in more ways than one.

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Plenty of stackable bracelets! PC- Psalm 91 Studio

Psalm 91 Studio owner Cheryl first began making jewelry to fund a Christian mentorship program she organized for young women in her life. 100% of the money Cheryl made through her jewelry pieces went back into the lives of the girls she was mentoring. But when Cheryl and her husband had to move in 2016, she found that she didn’t want to stop making jewelry. This season of change sparked new creativity in Cheryl and she opened Psalm 91 Studio on Etsy that fall.

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Elegant stony beads with leather and a dainty charm detail. Classic, versatile style. PC: Psalm 91 Studio

Cheryl’s gifts of encouragement and exhortation are magnified in her jewelry; she prays over every piece of jewelry, and often incorporates Christian symbols and Scriptural references in her designs. The mantra behind Psalm 91 Studio is “Inspired to live creative, with a passion to do good and share the love of Christ, Psalm 91 products are hand-crafted with love to encourage, inspire, and give back.”

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Cheryl recently began introducing earrings, and how gorgeous are these leather tassels? PC: Psalm 91 Studio

Psalm 91 Studio is perhaps most well-known for its variety of beautiful, stackable bracelets. Colors of seafoam green, sky blue, soft gray, and marbled black and white are a recognizable palette of Psalm 91 Studio jewelry, so many of the pieces coordinate beautifully together. Cheryl’s line of antler necklaces and essential oil diffuser jewelry are also very popular.

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Cheryl often incorporates charms like this one, referencing Scriptures or worship music. PC: Psalm 91 Studio

While Cheryl’s jewelry speaks for itself, what I really think sets Psalm 91 Studio apart is Cheryl’s commitment to community. She shows compassion toward each customer, but she also takes a percentage of each sale and donates directly to various ministries, such as anti-human trafficking organizations and local charities. Definitely browse through Psalm 91 Studio’s Etsy shop, and also follow on Instagram and Facebook to keep up with Cheryl’s creative process and business mission.

Sunny Mullarkey – Monumental Details in Stunning Prints

It takes real talent to fuse together opposite elements in a piece of artwork, but Sunny Mullarkey manages to do just that in her linocut prints.  In Sunny’s art you’ll find mountain ranges and raging rivers, all traced into the delicate pattern of a moth’s wing.  Combining the monumental with the intricate is Sunny Mullarkey’s specialty, and I’m so excited to share her work with you!

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Through her creative outlook Sunny manages to capture both the universal and the minuscule in her prints.

Art has followed Sunny all her life, from attending the Governor’s School for Arts to studying Fine Arts in college.  Through both her education and her own experience, Sunny has explored different mediums and multiple art styles, but nowadays you’ll find her chiseling out prints on linoleum to create her breathtaking pieces.

“I love how [printmaking] is such a physical art form.  The tools make their own kind of mark that makes the print different from a painting or drawing. Being able to see the chisels and texture of the work is something that you can’t recreate in anything else. ” -Sunny Mullarkey

When Sunny moved her artwork out of the privacy of her home and into a studio space in 2013, she knew it was a big step forward that would signify turning a hobby into a career.  As it turns out, the studio space became a huge motivator for Sunny, and she enjoys sharing the space with other creatives who support and inspire her.

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The Station, a studio space used by Sunny and a few fellow creatives, was featured in National Geographic…how cool is that??

The signature look behind Sunny’s prints is the theme of nature: combining the grandeur of a landscape with the fine details of an insect’s wing or a feather.  Sunny’s love for nature and hiking infuses her work and urges the viewer to become a more keen observer, too.

Sunny balances her career as an artist alongside her life as a mother and wife, and speaks passionately about the significance of support from your spouse and community.  Like many of the makers I interview, Sunny emphasizes the importance of finding fellow makers to receive feedback, encouragement, and inspiration.

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It’s so hard to sufficiently describe Sunny’s work–it’s both earthy and modern, elegant and playful, imaginative and controlled.

There is so much charisma in Sunny’s work, both in the details and even in the beautiful textures of the paper she prints on.  Sunny gave me no shortage of striking phrases to quote while discussing the artist’s perspective:

“I want to fill the world with beautiful things.  As artists, that’s our duty.  There’s nothing in this world that wasn’t touched by design. Writers, photographers…we’re all here to use our creative gift to make our world more beautiful.  That’s a wonderful gift to have to give to the world.” -Sunny Mullarkey

feathers

Another example of Sunny’s method of combining landscapes with the creatures that inhabit them–mesmerizing.

Sunny’s passion for both nature and art is captivating and speaks to the mission of all artists, both new and experienced.  I hope you’ll take time to explore her Etsy shop and website, and be sure to follow her on Instagram to keep in touch with her amazing work.

Blog Search Challenge

I was writing a letter earlier this week to a friend who recently started up a blog.  She felt daunted by the task of creating an original blog with regularly posted, gripping content that would actually garner a faithful readership.  I responded to her letter with what I hope were encouraging words, but I also just had to acknowledge that, yeah, creating a successful blog is no walk in the park!

If you’ve followed Ivy&Branch for a while, you’ll already recognize that this is a drift from my  normal content, but I felt like giving some attention to entrepreneurs who, in a way, create their own “small business” product through blogging.  As a blogger myself, I can testify that creating a website or blog with any dreams of a larger readership can be exhausting–and, many times, discouraging.

I officially began Ivy&Branch in February, posting weekly (with a few exceptions) with a new artist interview or topic post, and hoping that my featured artists and their followers might share the blog to create larger exposure.  And yet, even with that participation, blog growth is a very slow process.  Most successful bloggers admit that it takes upwards of a year just to get your blog off the ground, much less earn any profit from it.

With that in mind, I wanted to add a new element to Ivy&Branch.  So far, my project with this blog has been to lend support and exposure to as many excellent artists and small businesses as I can so that these entrepreneurs can receive the business and recognition that they deserve.

I’d like to expand that goal to highlighting blogs that exhibit intentional, engaging, and creative content.  By drawing attention to these blogs, I hope that readers will not only stimulate a habit of reading intelligent content on a daily basis, but also reward the writers behind blogs who work hard to plan, produce, and promote their content.

So, if you follow a blog (of virtually any variety, as long as the site is attended to regularly and produces appropriate content) that you would like to see receive more recognition, let me know!  You can message me on my social media platforms, or directly through this site.  I’ll post on social media regularly with calls for recommendations, and I’ll promote referrals through Ivy&Branch!

Bottom line is this: whether you run a store, an online business, or create content to edify and enrich others, then you put in a lot of work just to (perhaps) get small recognition.  Through Ivy&Branch, I would love to change that and do what I can to direct traffic your way, so that your efforts can be discovered and enjoyed.  Please join me in this mission!