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Kim Dormandy's Profile

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Juicy Jewels began after buying a glass beaded necklace while on vacation in Boston. The happy colors and the art of the glass spoke to me. Having an artistic nature, I've played around and worked in a multitude of mediums including silk screening, wood working and decorating. I've always loved jewelry and so the marriage of art and jewelry has been perfect for me.

I've spent 2 years acquainting myself with technique, lampwork bead making and playing with color. I put many bracelets together, many times, until the piece sings to me: the stories I've written for each bracelet are my inspiration.

The name Juicy Jewels came to me while taking the lampwork class. While working over a white-hot flame, the glass literally becomes liquid and the colors, well, they are delicious to look at and what is more delicious than cold, fresh juice…

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  • Joined August 4, 2010

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About

Juicy Jewels began after buying a glass beaded necklace while on vacation in Boston. The happy colors and the art of the glass spoke to me. Having an artistic nature, I've played around and worked in a multitude of mediums including silk screening, wood working and decorating. I've always loved jewelry and so the marriage of art and jewelry has been perfect for me.

I've spent 2 years acquainting myself with technique, lampwork bead making and playing with color. I put many bracelets together, many times, until the piece sings to me: the stories I've written for each bracelet are my inspiration.

The name Juicy Jewels came to me while taking the lampwork class. While working over a white-hot flame, the glass literally becomes liquid and the colors, well, they are delicious to look at and what is more delicious than cold, fresh juice after working over a hot flame? I've had alot of blessings in my life along with too many traumas, but I've learned that it's not what happens to you that defines who you are, but how you react, what you learn and how you grow from each experience that really defines you. Life is juicy. Sometimes it's sweet other times sour. It's yin and yang, it's the swing of the pendulum. Enjoy it while it's good and know when it's bad, this too shall pass. Life is juicy...go with the flow.

At the age of 3, my mother nicknamed me "Miss Make-it." I was always creating something. She said I could put a few rocks in a room and make them look good. My first entrepreneurial enterprise was "The Abecedarian." My product was classic alphabet blocks cut from 16/4" maple then silk-screened with letters of the alphabet and a corresponding image. The word Abecedarian comes from the 1st four letters of the alphabet ABCD and the definition being a learner of the letters, also one who teaches the alphabet. I participated in many craft shows and sold over 20,000 blocks through various artisan galleries and museum gift shops. It all began because I wanted my son to have a nice set of blocks. I didn't stop with one set. I now have several sets in storage for my grandchildren.

When I moved to Maine from outside of Philadelphia in 1996, I built a house I had designed on the Island of Vinalhaven. I learned a great lesson...don't divorce the carpenter before the house is finished. Ah well, I finished it myself, tiling, installing wainscoting and built-in shelving, but hired out what was beyond my abilities. Out of my drive to survive, I took a job working as a sternman on a lobster boat. As I tell the story in "Luscious Lobstah," I could never decide if it was the best job I ever hated or the worst job I ever loved. I was seasick every day, sometimes even before we untied from the dock. I think I was more bait sick than seasick, but never the less, I spent time retching over the side of the boat each day. I met the author of "A Hungary Ocean," Linda Greenlaw at a book signing in Rockland. She lives on a neighboring island. I told her I had to laugh while reading her book where she describes the most vain thing she did while out for weeks at a time as a swordfishing boat captain was brush her teeth and occasionally run a comb through her hair. I, on the other hand, faithfully applied makeup each day before going to haul. I quickly learned I had to switch to waterproof mascara because when I threw up over the side of the boat, my eyes watered and my mascara ran. So with the switch, even though I was retching over the side of the boat, at least I looked my very best!!!

It was truly a great experience and taught me just how strong you can be when you have 2 teenaged boys that need food in their bellies and a roof over their heads. When my current husband and I first met, he lived on the mainland, so we spent alot of time on the phone. Each day when I got in from hauling traps he'd ask how I did. I'd groan and tell him how sick I'd been and he'd tease me about being "weak!" I told him I was probably the strongest person he'd ever met because every day I felt like I was going to die, but I faithfully boarded the boat the next morning. There are lots of men working on shore because they are too seasick to go out. The summer we married, Steve came out to the island to go to haul with a buddy of his. After the first day, I asked him how he did. He said he thought he'd get the hang of it. The next day he confessed that he'd been sick a number of times the day before. I threw my hand up in the air and shouted an expression of joy. I felt slightly vindictive, it just isn't right to glory in another's suffering. Shame on me!
I eventually took over a summer rental business on the island, Vinalhaven Island Rentals and managed the scheduling, collection of rent and cleaning for over 20 properties. There were several houses that really needed some major attention, so I approached the owners and asked if they would like to hire me to do some renovations and then furnish and decorate their summer homes. Thus began Island Interiors. I seem to be drawn to dirty jobs. I skim coated walls, refinished floors, painted, bought all the furnishings, linens, kitchen accoutrements, painted murals, made valances, pillows and artwork for the walls and basically had a blast creating summer cottages for the owners and their renters. In all, I renovated and decorated about 8 houses.

After Steve and I married, I spent our first year on the island until my youngest son graduated from high school, then moved to the mainland with Steve. We started buying rental properties on the mainland and renovated them from totally gross-out condition to really beautiful apartments. After mortgage money dried up, I got a job a Lowe's. It's been a great testing ground for my jewelry. It may be a lumber yard and a hardware store, but it's mostly a home improvement store. Lots of women shop at Lowe's. I wear my jewelry everyday and get so many positive comments and inquiries about my jewelry, that I decided to start selling it. Lowe's is about adorning your home, Juicy Jewels is about adorning yourself. Live Juicy!!!

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