Jackson County Times

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Friday, June 26, 2009

Jewelry Making, Another Art Medium

Local Jewelry Maker Creates Artistic Works for Sale and Charity
Regina McDonald, also known to friends and family as "Gina", is the artist behind Chrysalis Designs. She currently resides across the river in Chattahoochee, Florida but is from Jackson County. Her family moved here in the 70’s from Panama City, she attended Marianna High School and Graduated from Jackson County Adult Education in 1978. She also attended the Cosmetology Program at Chipola Jr. College. She left the area for a time, got married and had her children, but as she puts it "something just kept bringing me back to Jackson County. "
She lives with her husband, Larry in a small house outside of Chattahoochee surrounded by woods and wildlife. She has 2 daughters; Summer and Meredith, one Granddaughter, Rabon and another grandchild on the way. Her Mother Billie Forester lives in Marianna and her Sister Cheri Powell lives in the Inwood community. In her everyday 9 to 5 working life she works as a purchasing specialist for the State of Florida, Dept. of Environmental Protection and she also works with State Emergency Response in ESF-7 (logistics) on a volunteer basis.
Regina started making jewelry some time ago when she was a Large Sized woman and had real problems buying anything off the shelf. Over time she found that she had a real knack for designing, a good eye for color and a real talent for the technicality of the process and that she loved it! All of those things now shine through in her work.
She loves working with semi-precious gemstones, Swarvoski ™ crystal, Czech beads, sterling silver, copper, polymer clay, glass and many other mediums. She has been recognized by her peers in 2 online features at Madeitmyself.ning.com and her work has been featured on the front page of her selling venue several times and just recently one of her wire-wrapped pieces was featured in the online magazine Destination Weddings.com.
Gina finds that Inspiration comes in all kinds of things; nature, colors and shapes, but she says that when she is buying beads, gemstones, metals and tools, there is a picture that just pops into her head and once it is there, it is stuck there until she makes it a reality. Sometimes that can be a daunting task! Custom work is something that she really enjoys, and she loves the challenge of designing that special one of a kind piece for her customers, and of course she also enjoys gifting her pieces to friends and family.
Ms. McDonald is an avid supporter of REFUGE HOUSE, an organization who serves battered women and their children and victims of sexual violence. She herself is a survivor of domestic violence. She designs and makes a special line of jewelry that specifically benefits this worthwhile organization. Forty percent of the proceeds from the sale of these pieces is donated to the REFUGE HOUSE so that they can continue to serve the entire Big Bend area. She also is happy to donate her work to other charitable organizations, and just recently made a donation to Covenant Hospice for their Gala in June. She is also more than happy to give her time and skills to any charitable organization to teach a class and donate the proceeds from the tuition generated. As she puts it, "I am truly and richly blessed and believe in giving back to the community."
If you are interested in seeing her work in person, it is available in Marianna exclusively at Merle Norman. Please drop by and see Ginger and the wonderful ladies there, they will be happy to help you find your own special piece of jewelry or help you design your own piece. She also maintains two online stores and a website: www.chrysalisdesigns.net her website has links to get you to both of them.

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