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Local gems

“Let the beauty of 
what you love 
be what you do.” 

Necklace by Brenda Barnes / Cindy La Ferle

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Shopping local is important to me, whether I’m purchasing household items or wearable art. 

My photo doesn’t do it justice, but the necklace shown above is one of my new favorite things. Strung with freshwater pearls, luminous shells, glass beads and semi-precious stones, it was crafted by Troy artist Brenda Barnes. You won’t find another one exactly like it — but you’ll find more jewelry by Brenda Barnes and other talented artists at the Detroit Institute of Arts museum shop where I purchased it. (If you need more incentive, DIA Museum members get a museum shop discount.) 

Just as Barnes suggested in this Detroit News article featuring her work, I often wear basic black tops or dresses to show off my collection of handcrafted necklaces. I love how each piece of artisan jewelry has a story to tell, reminding me of a special place I’ve visited or a memorable afternoon spent at a summer art fair. ~Cindy La Ferle

Throughout my career, I've worked as a book production editor, travel magazine editor, features writer, and weekly newspaper columnist. My award-winning lifestyles features and essays have appeared in many national magazines and anthologies, including Newsweek, Reader's Digest, The Christian Science Monitor, Writer's Digest, Victoria, Better Homes & Gardens, Bella Grace, and more. My weekly Sunday "Life Lines" column ran for 14 years in The Daily Tribune (Royal Oak, MI) and won a First Place (Local Columns) award from the Michigan Press Association. My essay collection, Writing Home, includes 93 previously published columns and essays focusing on parenthood and family life.

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