Making a mark with her charms

Lydia Davis works on one of her unique bookmark designs, which can be viewed at the County Public Library in Beaufort this month. (Contributed photo)

As the daughter of a school librarian, Lydia Davis grew up with a love of reading. Her sister sparked her penchant for designing jewelry. Combining these two interests, she decided to create the one thing every well-read book needs ­– a bookmark.

Ms. Davis’ unique bookmarks and jewelry are currently on display at the Carteret County Public Library in Beaufort through the end of the month.

Each piece is individually priced for sale and range from a pumpkin coach, to 6-inch-long sculpted silver dragons and serpents, to book ribbons of brightly colored fabric swatches with little clay book covers dangling from beads.

There are earrings, charms, bracelets and ornate necklaces, too, each hand-crafted to reflect Ms. Davis’ love of fairy tales, fantasy and science fiction.

And when she’s not reading a book or working on a craft project, she helps to keep the library’s computers humming as the information technology specialist for the Craven-Pamlico-Carteret Regional Library System.

“I’ve been surrounded by books and reading from a very young age,” she said.  “My great aunt read a lot of fairy tales – especially Mother Goose rhymes – to me as a toddler. My mother, Ruby, is a retired Morehead Primary School librarian, and I attended summer reading programs at the public library. Having that background instilled a lifelong love of reading. I’ve been drawn to classic novels, but, also re-tellings of fairy tales, fantasy and science fiction.”

Ms. Davis knew she wanted to do something related to libraries.

“As an avid reader, I was no stranger to the library. So, when I graduated high school and went off to college, it didn’t take me long to determine that I wanted to do something in the library world,” she said. “The technical side of it was a natural fit, as I have a knack for solving computer issues. I got my Associate in Applied Science (degree) in Library and Information Technology and various certifications, and I take every opportunity to learn new technologies. I go to workshops and conferences, I created a tech team for CPC Libraries and I am responsible for keeping the technology going at our 10 library locations, which is a big job. Most recently, I’ve been able to explore robotics, coding and augmented reality technology for library uses.”

She caught the crafting bug at an early age, too.

“I am a proud Carteret County native with Down East and Diamond City roots. I enjoy our beaches and trails and support our local domestic and wild animal societies and shelters,” she said. “My whole family is very crafty, and jewelry making is something my sister, Rachel, got into years ago. She got her tools out to fix something and I asked her to show me how to use them. Once I learned the basics, I really got into it. I’ve never taken a class. I have a special set of jewelry-making tools: pliers and cutters and crimpers. I go to bead shows to get unique supplies, which is really fun.

“There’s always something new to learn. Mostly, I think of something that might be interesting to do and I figure out how to do it through trial and lots of error. I don’t have a workshop, but the hobby has taken over my living room,” she continued.

Ms. Davis can’t say exactly how long it takes to create each of her designs. It ranges from several hours to a few days, depending on the complexity of each piece.

“It can take a couple of days to complete one of the larger bookmarks, such as the Alice in Wonderland, dragons, or Sherlock Holmes-themed ones,” she said. “I’ve been creating tiny books out of clay and adding them to the designs. I’d love to take special orders or consignment; it would help me exercise my creativity.”


The Carteret County Public Library is located at 1702 Live Oak St., Beaufort. For more information, call 252-728-2050 or visit carteret.cpclib.org.

Ms. Davis maybe reached at 252-528-7527 or by email at lydiadavis@gmail.com.

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