Some of you might already have an idea of who I am, since you have been learning and growing with me on this blog, for years. Others may be new to my blog and are curious. So, I am going to tell you a little about myself. My name is Melissa. I am 42 years old, grew up in a small town in NY, now live in a small town in FL. My mom became disabled about 15 years ago, and moved to FL for health reasons. In 2005 my children, husband, and myself moved to FL to be close to her, and help her as needed. If you have never lived in another state, from where you grew up, than you should. It is like living in a whole other world. Funny, but true. I have been a nurse for 25 years. Yes, that means I was 17 when I graduated from LPN school. I also completed most of my RN, but then dropped out for many reasons, and never really wanted to go back. I have held many different certifications through the years, as an LPN, so don't ever let anyone lead you to believe that an LPN is not as good as an RN. It simply is not true. I have loved being a nurse, and my career has always meant a lot to me. Now that I have children my career has changed some. I only work one night a week, so I can be a mom, wife and I also homeschool my children. I can not even begin to tell you the glory I get from teaching my children everyday. No other profession or job can ever compare. I have a wonderful husband and am happily married. I guess I have always loved jewelry. I used to think the prices are so high, even for ugly low quality jewelry. Why is that, I would ask myself? So, I started to learn about gemstones and the jewelry making process. I loved learning about the gemstones so much, that I started to collect them. Someday, I will take classes to be a certified Gemologist. That is way in my future, but a goal I intend to meet someday. I am learning to identify gemstones, using a refractometer. This is a very slow process and still does not guarantee that I can identify the stone, but it does narrow it down a lot. Eventually I collected so many stones, that I figured I better do something with them. So, I started to make jewelry. Another goal for me will be to someday make my own castings and settings. For now I buy my settings through various sources including, Fire Mountain Gems, JTV, Rio Grande, and sellers on Ebay. I taught myself to set the stones, which sounds easy, but it really is not. It took a long time to learn to do this. Through the years I have made a hobby into a small business. A very small business, but one that grows and evolves each year. I have am now learning to paint, do beading and wire wrapping to add to my skill set. I am still not 100 percent comfortable with any of these techniques, but continue to learn and grow. If you would like to visit my Etsy store please feel free to do so. I love to learn new things, and believe learning is a lifetime process, never to end.