By Amber Marra - firstname.lastname@example.org
FRONT ROYAL-- To Diane Rasmussen, every woman has a goddess within her.
Rasmussen is the designer behind D-Vine Creations, which features jewelry made of semi-precious stones and metals.
Whether it's a necklace featuring cool green fluorite accented by light purple and blue stones or an elegant rose quartz necklace offset with white stones, Rasmussen's work is meant to empower the women who wear it.
This is much like Rasmussen, who is a self-proclaimed "hobby-preneur," or someone who takes a hobby and turns it into a full-time job.
After she was laid off from her job in finance in November, Rasmussen had few other choices.
"This is just God's way of saying 'follow your heart,' because this is what I've always really wanted to do," she said.
Since then, Rasmussen has taken her jewelry on the road to shows in Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, and eventually California.
Her work is also featured in King Street Art Works in Strasburg.
Though the colorful, unique jewelry sells well, it took the shy Rasmussen a few years to embrace her talents and start selling it, and not without a little help from her friends in the group Women Celebrating Women, which meets once a month so members can share their own ways of being creative, showcasing one individual at a time.
"One day I just said 'we're going to make this happen for you,'" said Marcy McCann, owner of the building that houses King Street Art Works, where Women Celebrating Women meets. "This is about all women who are afraid to step out and show what they can create."
It was at a Women Celebrating Women meeting that Rasmussen finally started selling her jewelry, which turned out to be immensely popular.
"[Diane] was the first woman we showcased, and from there she took off, it was awesome," McCann said.
Rasmussen now works on her pendants, necklaces, bookmarks and earrings more than 50 hours per week in her basement studio.
"This makes my heart sing when I'm down here, time just flies, it's like I don't know what's around me anymore," she said.
Rasmussen's work is more than just necklaces and earrings, however. She also creates Zen catchers, which are intricately beaded twists of metal intended to hang in a window and "keep the chi flowing" throughout a home.
A home's chi can be described as an external, unseen force that keeps positive energy flowing, according to Rasmussen.
Like the rest of the jewelry, each Zen catcher is unique and can be custom-made by placing birthstones or the stone that coincides with the month of a couple's wedding within its spiral.
They can also be designed around the personality and quirks of a mother.
"I would find out more about her personality, her hobbies, what she likes to do to be creative and maybe make something with all the birthstones of her children, that would be kind of cool," Rasmussen said.
Several of Rasmussen's Zen catchers currently hang in the front window of King Street Art Works in all shapes and sizes, from the large catchers featuring light-reflecting prisms, to a simple, yet beautiful amethyst and fluorite catcher on copper wire with small metallic leaves.
Within her journey from a shy jewelry-maker to successful artist, Rasmussen has met the goal all of her art has in common: Releasing the goddess within each woman.
"Sometimes it just takes a while to find it," she said.
Rasmussen's jewelry can be purchased at the gallery or d-vinecreations.com.
Women Celebrating Women meets the first Sunday of every month at 6 p.m. above King Street Art Works.