BethKaya Garlands


The last 2 years have been incredibly transformative for me as a person. In the healing and spirit realms I have learned an incredible amount of lessons through both exposure to darkness and to great white luscious light. What I’ve brought away from some of these experiences are some cornerstones to begin more searching with. Once you start to uncover certain sets of information you cannot go back. You can try to swim in the opposite direction of where life is pushing you but really – its much easier to swim with the current.

In Hawaii we climbed an active lava field for 6 hours up and back (12 hours). It was the hardest thing next to giving birth I’ve ever put my body through physically. My shoes were not appropriate for the hike either. After getting to the active lava flow I forgot completely about my feet and was knocked over with elation feeling the heat from live flowing lava on my body. I pulled out a mini banana from the Hilo market and could NOT resist throwing it into the lava. I wanted to hold the liquid magma in my hands! It was afterall right in front of me – although we all know how that would end up.  I hunted for the closest stick and poked my banana peel into the lava and watched both liquify into it.


It was dark for the hike home and every single step hurt. I walked fast and carefully second in line behind  the guides on the way down when on the way up I was dead last. If you fall – you’re injured. The gal behind me fell several times and every time she bled. The whole team had to stop and help patch her up before continuing on. Recently cooled lava is like little shards of carefully constructed glass that breaks and sloughs away under you into tiny pieces of glass. I should have gotten the Merrills my husband wanted to buy me as a wedding gift. Always trying to save a penny, I went with trusty New Balances, big mistake. As soon as we got off that volcano and I took my shoes off – the entire inside of the shoe was completely worn out. When I took my socks off much of my skin on both feet came with and I had blisters the size of the cockroaches I saw at the outdoor airport in Hilo. Thank god a week of flip flops were in my future (not really – we did a LOT of painful hiking that I did mostly barefoot because no shoe would save me from the pain of exposed skin sloughs). The best part of this nasty story is that I would NEVER trade that experience for the pain. I hiked to ancient burial grounds, to the top of Waimea canyon, to secret beaches spanning miles with no one around, to quiet sleepy towns with children selling jewelry and other local trinkets.

At the end of our trip I had amassed quite a new collection of materials to make jewelry with and also a new idea of jewelry to start. Lots of men in Hawaii wear jewelry and I loved that. Jewelry worn proudly on a man is well, hot. I also love that some pieces of jewelry can be worn both equally on a woman and a man. So with materials like died hemp cords, waxed linens, leather, suede, coral, shells, wood, bone, glass etc I can too create jewelry that celebrates nature, life, holiday, gifts, senses…all of the above.

Over the fall I worked on a lot of these unisex pieces that you’ll start to see trickling into my etsy shop but I also fell hard into working on these garlands. The garlands fuze the mala jewelry I was making before the Hawaii trip and also the art of Hawaiian Leis.
The garlands are made 100% of natural materials – minus the monofilament cord but I also do them on hemp too.

Incorporating African fair trade and Tibetan Fair trade Beads with the materials I collected and obtained in Hawaii – I’ve made this beautiful dramatic length necklace. To be worn at any time – they are comprised of shells, bone, glass, wood, lava, gemstones, found items and silk flowers. The best part about the silk flowers (some are also without) is that you can add your favorite oil blend to them and they will carry the scent for you like a real lei would! They are cocktails of powerful natural energies and  when worn proudly will bring you certain benefits, aside from making a powerful statement of life. That is it a celebration, and through adornment we can transform too.

There were a lot of things I did in Hawaii that pushed my normal boundaries. I promised since to always live in that vain. I don’t ever want to regret not doing something that I should have. So when that doubt creeps in – bat it away and hold your nose and jump in.





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