While some of these inmate gifts do indeed have a special meaning to me, I also have the incredible advantage of making the acquaintance of some very unique and talented craftspeople.
Despite crime writer stereotypes, I am a very girly girl. Shoes and jewelry and things that sparkle make me smile. My spiritual beliefs bring me close to nature and things that are pure and real. During the course of my career, I have purchased or been gifted some really amazing items that fit my personality to a T. Let me show you.
here. She has since disappeared but she made all kinds of cool shit like this. Also, please disregard that shitty hair style I had last year.
These shoes! OMG, I adore them. They are 6 inch stilettos with blood dripping down the heel. They are covered in pictures of Richard Ramirez, a man I knew personally who was dubbed The Night Stalker, Jeffery Dahmer, Charles Manson and Ted Bundy. I love to wear these to public appearances. They are great conversation pieces. They were handmade by Samantha Josephine. You can find her shop, Frenchie Monroe Designs, on Etsy.
This little dandy is a necklace I picked up when I appeared at the Dark History Convention in Illinois one year. It is from Poking Dead Things. Morgana Grimm makes all sorts of neato jewelry out of animal bones. I don't know what type of bones they are but they are super tiny and there is a bit of greenery in there too.
I LOVE when people ask me about this necklace. I received it as a gift from Stacey Gaither, wife of famous artist Jeff Gaither, who I bought some cool ass art work from. She told me the words and phrases behind the doll were cut from a very old ruined Bible she found. (I think that's what she said. Its been a few years) But I enjoy the look on people's faces when I tell them that.
Being in this line of work allows me to come in contact with some pretty amazeballs artists and craftspeople. I love the way they make things with their whole heart and allow something fantastic to emerge from what some would see a dark or depressing. Give these guys a look and I'll bet you'll find something amazing too.