Hi, I'm Dani,
My creative journey started over 15 years ago when I was going through a pretty hard time in my life and I needed to find something to de-stress a little. Long story short.....I found beads....and then polymer clay, and I haven't looked back since.
Back in 2006 I started The Whimsical Bead, first a supply store of beads, clay and unique jewellery making components, but now a creative space for workshops, supplies and inspiration, where we welcome all kinds of people to our little community.
Back then, here in Australia, very few people understood what polymer clay was. I spent many years traveling around the state, teaching workshops and educating people that Polymer was in fact an art medium. I had tutorials published in magazines, wrote blogs and did my best to promote the medium. It was a busy (but wonderful) time.
What a lot of people didn't know, what that during that time I was suffering from mental and chronic illness - anxiety disorder, depression, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, a bowel disorder, pre-diabetes, severe food intolerances just to name a few - the list was, and is, extensive and the conditions have now led to quite a number of other issues/health concerns.
As the years went on, my health continued to suffer, I was ashamed of who I was becoming - seemingly a shadow of my former self - and I started to share with those close to me the everyday struggles I was facing (something I had not been brave enough to do for a very long time, if ever). I lost many that were close to me. My health failed even more so - grief and frustration set in. Mentally I'm still not sure how I pulled myself out of that dark place but I do know that creativity was a huge part of it.
Now I'm older (and dare I say wiser!), and whilst I have less people in my life, the quality has certainly been bumped up a notch!
I am no longer ashamed. Whilst I still do grieve for the loss of the 'old me', I try to focus on what I can do. I have realised that there are many people in the 'Whimsical' community we have built, who face similar struggles and who find comfort in talking to other who are in similar situations. I am so happy I can be a part of and help facilitate that creative therapy.
I also decided in late 2018 that I needed to focus some of my dwindling energy on what started my 'Whimsical' journey in the first place - creativity!
So, Dani Art & Jewellery was born - very long overdue but I think it has come at the right time.
Because of my health challenges and my inability to spend as much time in the studio as I'd like at times, my pieces are fewer but are filled with more love, joy and passion than ever before, plus I am excited to be fulfilling my dream of combining my two creative loves - polymer and metal (plus a few new mediums too!).
If you've got this far, thank you!
Thank you for sharing in my journey, my excitement and my creativity.
I am so pleased to have you here and I hope that you find something that speaks to you, that you absolutely must have (or perhaps the perfect gift!).
Just know that each and every purchase makes me do a happy dance and fills me with much joy and appreciation, so thank you.
Love Dani xx
PS. Just in case you're wondering, The Whimsical Bead isn't going anwhere......see you at the Studio!