Friday, October 22, 2010

Pattie Tierney Guest Blogger: Mystery, Jewelry & Halloween

As I've mentioned many times, so many of my worlds and interests cross. Today I welcome Pattie Tierney, mystery critic, jewelry maker, bon vivant :-).

Pattie Tierney of St. Louis, MO, has a passion for travel, dining, photography, and mysteries, and writes about them all. She has published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Personal Journaling Magazine, The Diarist's Journal, and Ink & Ruminations. Her art has appeared in The Rubber Stamper, Signatures: The Art Journal Collection, ATCs: An Anthology of Artist Trading Cards, Somerset Studio and Stamper's Sampler magazines.


I came to learn about mysteries the same way I came to learn about baseball, at my father's knee. Literally. My mother would shoo us out of the kitchen when she was fixing dinner, so dad and I would head for the living room and the new B&W Deforest TV where I parked by nine-year-old self front and center. We watched “Rawhide” and “M Squad” while the aromas of our eventual dinner wafted over our heads. It was on that TV that I first got a glimpse of Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes, and Ken Boyer hitting a grand slam in the 7th game of the 1964 World Series giving the Cardinals the win. I was instantly captivated by both of these things then, and remain equally as captivated, if not more so, today.

As the result of my two loves, by the time I reached high school I had a mystery collection that exceeded the holdings of the public library - Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, Judy Bolton, Dana Girls, (later Christie, Conan Doyle, Queen, Gardner, and Poe) -- and could quote batting averages more readily than any of the boys. Clearly I was hooked, on mysteries and on baseball. These two lifelong interests have been as much a part of my life as my family. I can define certain events by relating them to what book I happened to be reading, or game I was attending at the time. (I was in bed with the worst flu of my life while reading The Whispering Statue; I broke my new braces while eating a hot dog at a Cards-Dodgers game -- the Cards won.)

When I was younger and insecure, I pretty much kept my obsessions to myself. Now that I have reached the comfort of middle age, I wear them proudly like a badge, or bracelet, or earrings. It was while shopping (hopelessly searching) for unique jewelry that reflected who I am (no easy task considering my variety of interests), I came to realize that there was nothing on the market that reflected the real mystery-loving me. I wanted a bracelet that smacked of intrigue. Something where I could display my favorite books, murder weapons of choice, and tie it all together with colorful beads, and bits of whimsy. My background had been mixed media, but in the past I’d been fairly good at creating my own reality, so why not now, I thought. So, armed with nothing more than an idea and 40% off Michael’s coupon, I shopped, I bought, I came home dazed.

Considering I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, I’m pretty proud of the first bracelet I ever made. It was an Agatha Christie tribute (I was reading Dead Man’s Folly at the time), with book covers, poison bottles, mystery charms, and beads. Now what?

An artist friend, not quite so sure what to make of my idea or creations, put me on to a new, experimental site for handmade items called Etsy, and I signed up. It was my first foray into online selling, so, much like the bracelet, was a learning experience. The bracelet sold within days of its listing. I had learned something. I learned there was a market for things like this. My people were out there! Somewhere! Clamoring for the same thing I wanted; I was not alone! I could make my own line of jewelry, put it in an online shop devoted to people like me, and fulfill that place in their jewelry box that ached for a mystery.

Well over four years have passed since that auspicious day. I’ve learned a lot since then. My designs have become more numerous and sophisticated, the elements more varied, and the wheels in my brain never stop turning, cranking out new ideas. I have now expanded into paper goods, offering mystery cards, beaded bookmarks, a mini mystery cookbook, and journal books of varying sizes, with more items making their debut for Christmas, in addition to the wide variety of jewelry. I love doing custom work, and thrive on listening to new ideas and turning them into the next mystery lovers’ reality.

It’s been a wonderful joyride. I think Nancy Drew would be proud.

Visit my online jewelry shop:
Visit my online paper goods shop:
See my photos:
Follow me on Twitter @pattietierney
Read my blog:


Yvette said...

I'm for anything fun connected with mysteries. Love your jewelry! What great ideas, Pattie. And etsy is the way to go.

Yvette said...

I posted on my blog about your fabulous jewelry, Pattie, and linked it back to you as well, Janet.

Pattie @ Olla-Podrida said...

Thanks, Yvette!