Christie Karow, who I first met as volleyballgirl, and is now also known as natureofart, is one cool, talented, and fun AKGirl! While I was in Wrangell checking out the petroglyphs, I was reminded of her awesome earrings (made from rocks found on the Alaskan coastline), and decided I had to share some of her talent with you! Well, small town as Ketchikan is, I ran into her shortly after, at Bugges Beach, and she agreed!
***Before I knew Christie, I purchased one of her pouches, (this one) and love it! I used to use it to stash my jewelry tools while on the go, and now it holds money/checks in my purse. She uses awesome corduroy fabrics in great colors. She has a great selection in her volleyballgirl shop.
So here are a few words from Christie... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Hello there! My name is Christie Karow and I am from Ketchikan, Alaska, by way of North Carolina and Wisconsin. I come from a large family of six, which taught me from an early age to find something to set myself apart from everyone.
I am drawn to rocks and the fact that there is so much history in them. My love for rocks began as a child. I remember my sisters and I would search for the perfect piece for skipping rocks. We grew up with a creek in our backyard and collected various rocks. We would paint them and try to sell them for 10 cents a piece. Business wasn't that good but we had a lot of fun!
Our family was big on taking camping trips. I was awed by the majestic mountains and amazed by the abundant stones at the ocean. I went to college at Appalachian State University, so I am a mountain girl at heart, but of course I will take a day at the beach anytime. I think that is why I fell in love with Ketchikan. I have the best of both worlds here. The ocean is always less than a mile away and the mountains are too. Ketchikan rocks are easy to give notice too. We are surrounded by several different fault lines here, which means the rocks change from beach to beach and island to island. We have greenstone, shale, granite, quartz, and so we have it all here and I love it!
Apart from creating things, I love to play volleyball. I have been playing since the sixth grade and I hope to never stop. Another great love I have is traveling! I have traveled all over the U.S. Some of my favorite travel adventures have been Borrow, Alaska, China, London, England and hiking part of the Appalachian Trail, and yes I do collect rocks from everywhere I go!
The process involved in the creation of my earrings makes for such a rough life. I get to go fishing for wild Alaska Salmon and then do all the filleting myself. Processing the salmon vertebrae takes time. I have to bleach them for several days. I enjoy doing everything from start to finish (and by finish I mean cooking and eating the salmon!!) As for my rock earrings and incense burners, I spend hours at the beach sifting through rocks. I try to go at low tide because those are the hidden treasures and the rocks tend to be much smoother. I like to call myself a rock hound, because once I get to the beach and start searching for rocks, I just don't want to leave. Luckily our tide changes every six hours here, so often the tide coming in and forces me to leave and take a break from searching for that one humble stone that is lying there waiting to inspire me.
I drill each rock myself. Last year while I was drilling one of my rocks, the drill bit broke and punctured my thumb. I was lucky that it didn't do any major damage, but I certainly had to cut out drinking a glass of red wine while drilling holes for my earrings!
As far as the future goes, I have always hoped to win the lottery, so I can afford to have my own studio and be able to travel the world!~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Make sure you check out Christie's two shops online, volleyballgirl and natureofart. You can also find her on Facebook. Also, I wanted to add that Etsy is a family affair for Christie's family. You can check out the shops run by her two sisters and mom! What a talented and creative family!