Guest Blog Post by Marion McMuldren, with Art With Elegance

Hello Yamhill County wine, art and jewelry lovers. I am proof that you are never too old to learn. I used to think that “notes of pepper and spice” meant that the wine maker actually put pepper and spices into the wine while it was in the tank! Who would put pepper in wine I asked one day. That was followed by stunned silence.

I have come a long way from standing behind a fence at the edge of Lake Erie, age 8, watching garbage trucks back up and dump their loads into the lake. That kind of an experience leaves a lasting impression on a kid. You guys can have ALL the seafood. I will stick with beef or anything that grew up outside of water.

But that experience eventually led me to discover one of my passions. Saving items that are being discontinued, like keys and coins, items that are no longer fashionable, like our grandmother’s 6 strand gigantic necklaces or just broken and discarded colorful and shiny items. Why should they end up in Lake Erie? Or an ocean? Should they not go on after retirement like people do and and become something else?

Yes is the answer. Call it assemblage, Frankenstein or conscience jewelry or one of the many names attached to it recently, reuse, repurpose and reimagined is an important step back from the edge of destroying the Earth. I search the world, and with the help of the internet across time, for items with lost beauty, history and provenance. Eventually the items come together as a piece of jewelry that fits our wine country’s sensibilities and sense of fashion. No too bling, not too flashy, but jeans and white shirt worthy. Because we are worth it.

Because the Earth is worth it. I named my business Art With Elegance because I can make an 80 year old leather tractor washer elegant. Not bragging, just fact. I love what I do.


Art has always been my passion. A big box of crayons and blank paper was all it took to keep me happy. Afternoons were spent in The Cleveland Museum of Art and Saturdays in their art programs. I was privileged for that early exposure to art at that level.

I grew up in the immigrant welcoming neighborhoods in Cleveland within walking distance to a very polluted Lake Erie. Europeans neighbors were starting new lives after World War II. Our neighbors inspired me to live a purpose filled life. Working at CIA, my co-workers were also purpose driven. Our daily unromantic, glaring and stark view of the real world cemented that purpose driven work goal. I observed that small victories can make a big difference in peoples’ lives and futures.

After escorting aging parents through our medical system as gracefully possible, after hosting thousands of hours of successful art programs for children with significant life long issues to battle, such as extreme anger management and Type I Diabetes it is my creative time.

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