Donna O'Donnell Figurski's Blog

It's All About Me!

TidBits About Donna #35 Crafting Beads and Words

I’ve been a pharmacy girl. During my pre-teen and teenage years, I worked with my dad every weekend in one of his two pharmacies. Lakewood Pharmacy in Erie and Fairview Pharmacy in Fairview – of course. Both were in or near my childhood hometown of Erie, Pennsylvania. I’ve been receptionist and a transcript clerk at the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Rochester.

I’ve been a hairdresser at the Pink Puff Salon in Rochester, New York. I’ve been a teacher assistant in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, California. And now I am a 1st and/or 3rd grade teacher in New Jersey.

I am a writer of children’s stories (gently published in the education market) and an author-in-progress of a sixty-two chapter memoir about David’s traumatic brain injury. So what will I be next? That thought has been rolling around my mind for some time.

It’s easy! Peek into my office and you’ll readily see where my next paths lead. Glance around. You will see my bookshelves housing more than two-thousand children’s books, writing craft books, and my educational tomes. Then you’ll probably see me at my keyboard in my little, black, swivel chair. It’s where I spend most of my home time – writing, of course. It’s what I do when I want to escape, when I want to relax, when I want my mind to drift away from the ordinary and the mundane. My writing envelops me in higher levels of existence. I write and then I wonder – where did the words COME from? Truly when I sit at my keyboard with my mind, sometimes blank, I wonder how the words fill my screen. They were not there moments ago. They weren’t even a glimmer in my mind. So how did they appear? I don’t know. I marvel each time my fingers skip across the keys and the words magically present themselves and … somehow they make sense. The mind is a wonderful, confusing, and marvelous invention. So writing is definitely in my future. It is a craft I will continue to practice. I say practice because only by writing often will I improve my skill.

Spin my swivel chair 180˚ and you will be in my jewelry studio. There’s not much to see, but it is here that I craft one-of-a-kind jewelry … necklaces with earrings to match. I surround myself with beads in every color and design, semi-precious stones, and glittery, shiny crystals. My tools, a flat nose pliers, bent nose pliers, and my round nose pliers are a must. A variety of findings, wire, and chains make it fun to create many different styles. Hours easily slip by as I thread beads in funky designs. My mind is engrossed as I wrap and dangle stones while I perfect my craft. As with writing, crafting jewelry allows my mind to slow down, to empty of all unneccesary thoughts. I don’t know how the future will end, but I know it will begin with words and beads and stones.

I designed all of the necklaces below, except for one. Can you find the one I did not make?

(Pictures compliments of ME.)

(Clipart compliments of


January 20, 2011 - Posted by | TidBits About Donna | , , , , , , , ,


  1. Hey Sis! Very nice jewelry. You have so much talent!

    Comment by Sanner | January 20, 2011 | Reply

  2. They look great! They’re so filigreed and elegant.
    I think you didn’t make the one with the bigger stones… it looks different than the others. I like the blue and the right one best, on which the beads look like leaves.

    Comment by betty | January 21, 2011 | Reply

  3. Thanks San. And thanks, Betty for making a vote.

    Comment by donnaodonnellfigurski | January 21, 2011 | Reply

  4. I voted for the same one, but I did it on FaceBook.

    Comment by Sanner | January 22, 2011 | Reply

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