Since I joined Etsy back in February. I have had the great honor of meeting some wonderful artists. This group of people gathered on one website, is probably the most eclectic and talented bunch of folks I have ever had the pleasure to be a part of. I feel honored to be a part of Etsy and these wonderful people. I have joined three Etsy groups and have made some lovely friends.
The purpose of this blog is to give credit where credit is due. I want to promote some of these awesome artists! So, I will be doing a multi- part blog on some of these very talented people. This will be an ongoing project of mine.
This blog is dedicated to an Etsy artist that is partially disabled. Like me, she has found a place….a home on Etsy. It has given us a creative outlet as well as a sense of self.
So, without further ado…meet Debra Mills…owner of Healer’s Moon and Sacred Dreams Beadwork.
I asked Debra some questions about herself and her Etsy shop. Here is what she told me.
When and why did you first become interested in making jewelry?
“I first started beading in 1995 after moving to Oregon. After crafting, knitting and crocheting, sewing, etc. all my life, I was primarily drawn to the Native American style of beadwork for the vivid colors and the texture of the beads. Something about it really filled my soul and sparked my creative muse. I started making earrings with bugle and seed beads and as I learned, my thirst to try new beading techniques grew. As my talent grew, I was able to try beading on leather, making dream catchers and fur purses, and learned the peyote stitch. A few years later I began making barrettes and discovered a passion for it. And I have been learning, growing, and trying new techniques ever since.
I started Sacred Dreams Beadwork in 1999 with my late god-daughter, Katie Marie, after I was laid up with a bad car accident and surgery. We started it as a custom beadwork business where we made jewelry and other items according to the customer’s request. After she passed in 2006 from a tragic car accident, I began just beading what I felt in my heart and offering up items in my store for sale. I still do custom work and of course, I am always happy to get requests.”
What types of things do you like to make the most and why?
“I love creating beaded barrettes the most as it feels the most ‘comfortable’ to me. There is such a variety of styles – materials, types, colors. It is really rewarding when a piece speaks to me of its creation, and then speaks to its owner to add to their treasures.
I also love to make earrings. The colors are so pretty and there are so many materials. Each one feels differently in my hands. I have more ideas in my head than I could possibly make!”
Has your interest in jewelry making changed your life at all and why?
“I have always been a ‘crafty’ person and have been creating since I was a teenager. I’ve always felt like I’ve ‘come home’ when working with beads. It has profoundly changed my life and the way I see the outside world – opened my eyes to the color and beauty in all things around me and allow that to spark the creativity and vision inside, then translate that into beading. Beadwork is a challenge, a blessing, and my passion. Being disabled has tempered my ability to be physically active – but making beautiful jewelry and treasures gives me that outlet to connect with others, with the world around me, and with myself.”
Visit Debra’s shops at