wearable art {37/40}

Oh my goodness!! It’s almost my birthday!!

(historically, my birthday sucks–I’m a melancholy, roller-coaster sort of person, and my birthday brings out the worst in me. a leeetle bit afraid of turning 40. in a foreign country. right after the emotional-ness of the 4-year anniversary of Gabe’s heart attack, and yeah.)


ryancherylToday, my friend, Cheryl, is back with some wearable art created by her husband, Ryan. Ryan makes this jewelry as a way to support their ministry, Shalam.

(If you remember back to day 19, Cheryl shared her dream of opening a woodland sanctuary where people can rest & heal.)

I asked Cheryl to share a little bit about herself, so we could know why Shalam is so close to her heart.

I’m a newly turned 30 year old with a desire to help people and a love for the arts. I have faced very difficult trauma in my own past and want to meet the needs of others who may find themselves needing support while dealing with trauma, triggers, mental illness, PTSD, etc.

wood1I always struggle with knowing how much to tell of my story as I prefer to tell it while speaking with a person face to face. Suffice it to say, I endured a great deal of abuse. Coming out of it all, learning to call it what it is, and to face the pain with Jesus in order to heal has been an incredibly difficult journey.

I am so very thankful for those who have helped me through this process including my medical doctors, counselors, friends, college professors (as things fell apart during my college studies), coworkers and last but certainly not least, my husband.

wood 3One of my now favorite sayings from my husband that actually grated on me at the time was “don’t give up”. At the time I would whine “I’m not”… but looking back I see that he correctly saw the initial signs of despair and spoke truth to me – I’m valuable, I’m loved, My life is worth living, Jesus has restoration for me…etc. 

Ryan and I are passionate about restoration, community, art, beauty, sustainability, wounded souls and their relationship to God. We are passionate about bringing wholistic care to the world of trauma support. That survivors are given hope for restoration and the support to seek healing from God. That young ministers be given the tools to address their own issues and the mentorship to grow in maturity toward becoming pillars of strength in their communities. That rest would be valued and prioritized. 

wood 2Thanks, Cheryl. I’ve seen firsthand how the beauty of creation can help bring healing to someone who has experienced trauma. Almost every day here in Cambodia, Gabe goes out for a couple hours (and sometimes the whole day) to meet people, yes, but also to spend time in God’s beautiful creation. It has been so, so healing for him.

(He wrote a really cool blog post about it this week. Made me cry.)

Today, Cheryl and Ryan are giving away ONE NECKLACE of your choice from Woodland Dream Design. I asked her to tell us a little bit about Ryan’s wearable art.

wood 5All jewelry made at Woodland Dream Design is lovingly made by hand from sustainably gathered wood. Each piece is a unique one-of-a-kind design. All stones are raw or semi raw from around the world. Our dressings are at one, both organic and elegant, bringing a harmony of style and beauty.

Ryan has merged his training in ceramics from Art School to his sculptural life with wood. Ryan’s passion for his art stems from loving how God grows wood over decades and leads Ryan in his interaction with it. Wood, with its grain lines, is an organic forgiving medium that is rigid and malleable at the same time and a blessed contradiction with the stones he introduces in some pieces.

All proceeds enable Ryan to volunteer as president of Shalam ministries working to support survivors of extreme trauma.

wood 4To be entered to win the necklace of your choice, head over to Woodland Dream Design’s etsy page, pick your favorite, and leave a comment telling me which one you like best & why.

For a bonus entry, like the Woodland Dream Design Facebook page or share this post on social media.

That’s it! See you back here tomorrow for a celebration of Gabe’s life! Four years ago on this day, he survived a massive heart attack.

We’ll be officially launching my new e-book and giving away some fun stuff! (including a $50 Amazon gift card–I WANT TO WIN!!) See you then!

21 thoughts on “wearable art {37/40}

  1. Laura H

    I love the necklace with the tree slice – I find age rings (correct name is pending my brain working properly after this cup of coffee, ha!) so symbolic. This jewelry is gorgeous!!!

  2. Elizabeth

    I really love the Blue Lace Agate in Oak pendant necklace. The color and textures really jump out at me and make me feel calm. ^_^ I like finding new things that help me feel calm and peaceful. (liked FB and shared)

  3. Squid

    I love the River Rock in Oak (https://www.etsy.com/listing/241509221/river-rock-in-oak-pendant?ref=shop_home_active_14), followed very closely by the ribboned oak pendant.

    I love the entire mission of Woodland Dream Design and I think my interest in these two specifically is the fact that not many would look at a piece of wood and thing it has a purpose such as this. Gems and stones, perhaps, but nothing so simple or perhaps beaten up and old as a piece of oak. Yet Ryan takes these and turns them into something new and beautiful–in the same way that God can take us from our seemingly broken state and turn us into something new and beautiful.

    Love your guys work! Can’t wait to see what God does with Shalam!

  4. Sara

    The ribboned oak pendant is so lovely! I love seeing a piece of something natural in an unexpected form. However, all of the river rock pieces really speak to me. Rivers hold a power to me and the rocks tell their story. You have a lovely blog. Thanks for letting me visit!

  5. Mallory Madden

    I love simple beauty. My favorite is the 1″ reversible oak pendant. Of course, the blue lace agate in oak is a close second. My parents are rock hounds and agate is one of our favorite things to hunt!

  6. Tina

    So, yeah, there’s NO way I could pick a favorite. I love the wood and stone together. Absolutely beautiful! But…The one I’d pick today is the Amethyst in Oak. I love how the oak is hugging the Amethyst. And the transparent purple of the stone!? Seriously, in love. <3

  7. Rebecca

    I love the Oak pendant. The lines in the wood make me think of the layers we hide ourselves under. Especially those of us who have dealt with repeated traumatic experiences in our lives. But here it is on the wood all flat and you can see to the center. Just like our Father God can always see to our center.

  8. Aidan

    I am really liking the Rubelite in oak pendant, although the ribboned oak pendant has its charms, too. I, like Cheryl, have had trauma in my past, and I fought a 9-year-battle with PTSD, and I find something about the natural elegance of wood to be very inspiring. It just connects me back to the intricacies of nature, which are so well reflected in my own tangled web of a story, too.

  9. Addie

    kind of in love with the peridot in oak pendant – the green in the middle speaks of the calm in the middle of a storm…. lovely

  10. Joy Kramer

    I love the grossularite in oak necklace. The bright green is stunning and the black line in the middle of the stone almost looks like an eye. Beautiful.

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