Thursday, March 30, 2006
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
I've heard as a preacher's wife it's typical to not have your own identity, as you are living in the shadow of your husband in many cases. From my days when I attended FHU, I can tell you the preachers are the ones I remember - sadly, I don't remember too many of their wives. That must be tough. Some women can take that on easily. Some take that on easily at first, and later, after a traumatic event (say the miscarriage Mary had in this case), there comes a point where you want to be heard - you want to be acknowledged that you exist. And sometimes a person makes the right decisions to change their life in order to be listened to and heard - other times, people make tragic decisions. This case is truly tragic.
I can't tell you how often I have been referred to as "the girl in the office", "the secretary", "his assistant", "Michael's wife", "Allyson and Paul's mom", etc. Which is why I don't share much about my personal life with anyone....people don't know a lot about my husband, kids, etc, because I am trying to be acknowledged as an individual for who I am, the talents I have, the work I do. Is that egotistical? Is that wrong that I want to be acknowledged for being me? Is it wrong that I want the world to know I exist as my own person, that I have my own skills, and that I'm special in my own right?
I don't think it's wrong. I'm not being that way for selfish reasons. I am an individual (just as everyone else in our world is). I am my unique, own person - and I deserve to be seen as that, in addition to being seen as a unique person involved in the other roles I play. And that's what I give out to the rest of the world - I always try to make a point to acknowledge the individual as who they are. A little thing goes a long way in that, and one very easy way to acknowledge someone is to know their NAME. And spell it RIGHT. Whenever I answer an email and address someone by name, I always take the time to look, spell their name right, and use it. It's a little thing, but it goes a long way to making sure the person knows I am focused on them, I am hearing them as an individual, and I appreciate them for who they are. Just that one, simple little gesture does that. And the truth is, I wish more people would behave that way with me.
When the mother of your son's best friend - whom you've just spent 2 hours talking to on the phone a few days ago, calls again and doesn't even REMEMBER your NAME - it hurts. When you make dinner plans with your husband, and he totally forgets, it hurts. When your mother only calls you when she wants something from your father (her ex), and the rest of the time, she doesn't call, nor answer the phone when you call - it hurts. When you post your work to mailing lists of thousands of people, expecting to get some sort of response or feedback, and only 1-2 people comment, it hurts. (It's like being in a room full of people and everyone is talking all around you or just flat out not seeing you are there!) When a clerk at the checkout register in a store doesn't even LOOK at you, much less acknowledge you're there in front of them, it hurts. These are little things - they are not "big life issues" - but they can hurt just as if they were, especially if you get enough doses of it all at one time.
Not being heard is something I've struggled with all of my life. No, I'm not a minister's wife and frankly I don't think I could take the pressure of it. Nor would I be accepted as a "good" minister's wife - or any other "public" figure's wife - because I wouldn't be willing to play the role required. I want to live my life and just be accepted for who I am - good, bad, whatever. I don't want to have to put on an acting job. Granted, I know if I went along with the crowd and did the acting job required to "fit in" places, I'd have a lot more friends....but would they be real? More than likely, they'd just be "acquaintances". Someone to talk to at events, or ride together with to a meeting, etc. It wouldn't be a real friendship - which requires realness along with intimacy, a feeling of freedom to express things, and a feeling of acceptance for who I am, even on my worst of days.
If Mary Winkler had one of those type of real friends, we don't know about it yet. My guess is she might not have. Hence the possibility of her feeling like "no one listens to me, I'm not being heard, I want to be my own person." She was trying, it sounds like, to do things on her own...she had her own talents and skills and she was pursuing things in different areas - but it was, perhaps, too late. The feelings of not being heard, not being acknowledged, not having anyone there to truly listen to her, had already taken over so bad, it just took one event, or a combination of several little things, to set her off into the actions she took.
I've done things myself I wish I hadn't of....things which were done because I "snapped". No, I haven't done anything nearly as drastic or painful for myself and others, but still, some of my actions upset those around me. And the response was always "Why are you doing this TO ME?" by the other party - and what they never got - what they never understood - is that I was not, in my mind, doing something TO THEM - I was doing something FOR ME. Things I did were designed to ease my own pain, to prove to myself I do exist, to protect myself from something, or to be accepted, acknowledged and heard. Things I did in my past were done because I truly believed they were the right thing to do at the time....for ME...not because I wanted to do something "to" someone else. Unfortunately, sometimes things we do for ourselves end up hurting others around us.
Would I ever snap like Mary did? I can certainly tell you I have felt the feelings necessary to make the snap happen...but deep down, something has always stopped me from taking drastic measures. I do tend to think of consequences (if I do this, then this might, will, or could happen). However, if I were under a tremendous amount of stress or pressure, I'm not sure I would stop and think of those consequences. I've been lucky - most of my life, I've been able to realize if I were spiralling out of control or getting too stressed - and I would take measures to stop that, which then helps everything else. I can only imagine Mary allowed herself to be pushed beyond her acceptable limits of stress and pressure. And the outcome for all involved is very, very sad.
Luckily I have my creative work to save me from insanity. And like I said above, I take measures to control my stress level. Ironically, one of the measures I take is I don't read or listen to the news about all the tragedies happening in the world. I tend to get emotionally involved with these people I don't even know, because I am a very emotional being. And that can be a bad thing for me. Of course I've blown it this time - being this case is close to home for me, and I'm curious as to her thoughts and feelings, I've allowed myself to watch, read, listen, speculate, think and feel. I guess this post I'm making now is for me....to work out what I'm thinking and feeling as a result of paying attention to these events. And I guess that's why I'm producing a lot more work this past week - it's my personal form of therapy for my life.
I'm sure we'll know something soon about why Mary made the choices she did. I want to understand - because if I understand why in her case, it can help me figure out my own "whys". It can help me make different choices in my own life and maybe help others make different choices in theirs. And that may be the one good thing which comes out of this....because I guarantee you, we all have the ability to go over the edge. Maybe we can recognize in our own lives, or the lives of another close to us, when it's time to put a fence up before we fall over that "edge" - and maybe, just maybe, it can stop another tragedy like this one from happening.
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
The name Boston Blackie came from an old buddy of mine. Years ago on the net - actually on an Ebay list - I met a lady who offered to sell me her bear rug. I'd been looking for one and she had an antique one. Anyway, she had a cat named "Boston Blackie". I purchased the bear, and still have him on display in my home - he is a treasured member of my family. I always thought the name was interesting, and it just seemed fitting the new Pit Bull sculpture be named this way. So, G, if you are out there reading this....the name will carry on! :)
P.S. Visit the web page of the original Boston Blackie.
Saturday, March 25, 2006
Thursday, March 23, 2006
Yesterday, I finally pulled together my new Coloresque Jewelry line along with my jeweled sculptures in a design which is versatile, fun, colorful and easy.
I created the Coloresque Rocks Necklace in a manner where it would hold my jewel sculpture focals - or other focal beads - with ease and attractiveness. The neckpiece has two fish hook clasps - one on each end - to easily hold a sculpture. I've created this image (click to see it larger) to show how the necklace works. I'm also providing an extra rock with the necklace to put in place of the sculpture should the buyer wish for a simpler design. And because of the linking pattern I've used in the necklace, the fish hooks can be hooked in many locations, enabling the buyer to shorten the necklace to choker length, or even wrap it a couple of times around the wrist for a chunky, fun and bold bracelet.
Now the "rocks" are not really ROCKS. Like my Coloresque Medallions, the rocks involve the same layer work and pattern work, along with the gold leaf embedded in the design. However, rather than being smoothly shaped and having the pattern end up in a swirl, the rocks are free form, each one being different and unique in it's shape and style from the next - just like real ROCKS! :)
In addition to the Coloresque Rocks Necklace, I've also created a matching style Br-Anklet and Earrings. The plan is to make up many Coloresque Rocks necklaces, with matching accessories, in various color combinations, just as I do with the medallions. A buyer can pick one favorite Coloresque Rock necklace, and then purchase my jewel sculptures to be worn as focal beads in the necklace, trading them out to suit the mood of the day. :)
Oh, and see the previous post about the Coloresque Personalized beads...I completed one with the word MOM inscribed - this will make a lovely gift for your mother for Easter or Mother's Day! Or any other day you want to make your mom feel special! Although I only have this one up on the site, I can do custom orders for the Coloresque Personalized pendants...and I can put a name, the word mom, or even special phrases, sayings, business names, etc on them.
P.S. I found a website today, with a philosophy of life similar to mine, and a love for COLOR as well...check out Daily Celebrations when you have time!
Sunday, March 19, 2006
I've placed a sparkling aurora borealis rhinestone in the center of my domain name on this sample pendant. I'll probably do that on all of these, unless the customer doesn't want it or the name/saying/phrase choice(s) doesn't allow it. But I like how it adds a bit of sparkle to the overall design. The medallion in the pendant is approximately 1/4" in size.
Saturday, March 18, 2006
The newest release in the Coloresque jewelry line is the "Br-Anklet". What is it??? It's an ankle bracelet which can also be a bracelet, since the convenient lobster claw clasp can be hooked at any length under the total 9" anklet length.
The photo here depicts the Summer 2006 design, Bahama Mama, in a fabulous array of tropical colors - yellow, orange, red and sensual ocean blue! The Br-Anklet has arrived just in time for warmer weather! What a way to show off those sexy ankles! :) You can order the Bahama Mama design here, or go here to order a custom Br-Anklet in your own choices of colors.
In addition, I've created matching chandelier earrings...once again, here is where you go to get Bahama Mama style, and this is where you click to order your own custom chandeliers in this style.
Also, you might be interested in checking out a special preview of the press release which is going out on Monday, the 19th. These two pieces, along with the American Spirit designs, are up for a wonderful opportunity!
And while I've been buried in the studio working out these cool designs, it has turned cold here again. Sigh. It will be a while before I can wear my own Br-Anklet....darnit! :(
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Click here to view my newest miniature sculpture, "The Berry Picker", a sweet little cardinal, just like the hundreds I have around my home each day!
Monday, March 13, 2006
It's not my work I entered Sameville with - it's my life. I've been busting my ass working 18 hour days and it suddenly dawned on me...how does one have fun? Now, yes, I've had periodic periods of fun, *but* the majority of my time has been being spent trying to build up a business, make enough artistic creations, and to make others aware that I and those creations exist. Even my recent "fun" times involved - or centered - around my work. And with the exception of a good movie or TV show here and there, or a visitor coming into town once a year, any other kind of fun has unfortunately become non-existant.
So I decided today to chill out and read a book...and the author speaks of this place called Sameville. And I realized I'd located myself. I've moved into Sameville - totally unknowingly, but yes, I had relocated.
UGH! I don't LIKE Sameville. I also don't like to have a wild go-go-go kind of life....to me that is incredibly frustrating. I like my peace and quiet. BUT, I can have fun in peace and quiet - as long as it's not related to my work. I made that decision today. See, Sameville is boring. It's blah. There's no contrast.
And the funny thing is, this is specifically what I avoid within my work! The items I create are living in Diverse City! No Sameville for my work!
For example, I could make a mold of a Macaw sculpture and make hundreds of them. But WHY? What does that give those hundreds of customers? The same thing! Nothing wrong with that, if that's what you like...but how much more interesting would it be if each Macaw sculpture I create is from scratch, by hand, and colored the way HE (the bird) decides the color should flow? Suddenly those hundreds of customers might have a similar Macaw made by me, BUT, colors would be different, and eyes and expressions would be unique...individual...just like US! *That* sounds much more interesting to me!
One reason I love my Coloresque jewelry is because of the splendor and variety of COLOR. But another reason is because no matter if I use the SAME color combination on many pieces, each pendant turns out unique and different from the next. Individual...just like US. Definitely much more interesting.
So why did I let my own "life" slip into Sameville? Who knows. Too focused. Too determined. Too forgetful of the fact I need more. Too stupid to remember the meaning of the word "balance". So it's time to leave Sameville. It's time I stepped into Diverse City. The cardinal sculpture I'm working on can wait until tomorrow. Tonight I am thinking of melted cheese on tortilla chips, a good TV show, some iced tea, and a book which dares me to imagine more, experience more, and be all that I can be - the artist and beyond.
P.S. Did you know that imagination is the most divine and mighty gift of the human race? I didn't realize that until I read it today in my book. People are always mentioning my creativity and vivid imagination...and I had no idea what a blessing it truly is. I am so very grateful to have this gift!
Here's a sneak peek at my Blue & Gold Macaw I just completed...click here to see all of him and the details about the sculpture.
Saturday, March 11, 2006
The little Hummingbird featured in the current logo is ending on Ebay soon - he's so sweet! Today I've worked on a blue and gold Macaw, yet he's still a long way from being complete.
I spent most of the morning on this site, and then designed the cards to go with the Coloresque sample charms. Also been working on creating St. Patrick's Day charms and a few new full size medallions for necklaces. Hopefully all of these pieces will be totally done and up on their respective sites in the next day or two! I did place the IRISH CREME design on the site today, and another cool design titled "Piroska" in the Garden Party collection. Click on them to see! Piroska has stunning coloring...deep purple, lavender and blues....I just love the richness of it.
Well, back to work.....the studio isn't closed yet!
Friday, March 10, 2006
I arrived at 6:30 and within minutes was showing off my new toy Scott got me - everyone loved that, and the bank ladies liked what they saw so much, they offered me a nearby desk to unload my bag and share my jewels with visitors. There were lots of oohs and ahhs, sales, and some potential custom orders as a result. We all shared wine and cheese, too!
Weather was a holdback - Jackson had some nasty storms yesterday and tornado warnings abounded, so the crowd was less than expected. But those of us who did attend had a blast!
I met several interesting people, including Lana, a wonderful, vibrant lady reporter for VIP magazine, who took photos of me with the jewels and shot individual photos of a piece of jewelry as well. She had on quite the colorful blouse with a cool pattern and I believe I'll make a Coloresque Medallion in the same colors, since it was so eye-catching. Of course, that one will be named "Lana" (hope I'm spelling her name right!).
Rachel Dickson, owner of the Dickson Gallery of Fine Art, did a fabulous job of pulling this all together. All the wonderful artwork really dressed up the bank with color and style! Several selections will remain there at the bank for about a week for bank visitors to admire, and hopefully purchase.
All in all, it was great fun! I think First Tennessee is the first bank to ever host such an event here. Kudos to them for doing this! :)
Thursday, March 09, 2006
That was several hours ago. I've made *5* sales of pieces in the new Coloresque line of jewels since.
See, I'd been doing things a bit wrong...I always pray - always. But I felt "guilty", I guess you might say, asking for the sale. So I didn't pray specifically for that. Now I am, and viola! I'm earning money now toward my utility bill! (my most recent concern) So - I am now praying for MORE sales. I'll be going to the art event at the bank tonight with a bag full of Coloresque jewels and business cards. :)
I might mention, even my MOTHER (who rarely likes anything I do) loves these jewels and she specifically told me the day before yesterday - "you need to get these in front of people!" I told her I'm trying!
So, if you are reading this and you haven't looked at the new line of jewels, if you haven't considered a custom order, if you haven't placed a wholesale order, or if you haven't registered on my site yet to be eligible for a free Coloresque charm, then I'm asking you NOW.....go to http://www.coloresque.com and check things out! These are jewels you will LOVE and get compliments on, and enjoy wearing because they are so comfy. (I wore a pendant and earrings set at the gallery today and didn't even realize I had it on......but customers did!) So go check it out!
P.S. All of my current Bulldog Sculptures are now at the gallery on display - I'm praying someone comes along and buys the Fred & Ethel St. Patrick's Day designs - they would make such a good addition to any bulldog collection or to a St. Patrick's Day display!
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Anyway, this thing is really NEAT! Of course the software which comes with it doesn't work correctly, so you have to go to the Kodak site and download the newer software. And I've managed to get all of the current Coloresque selections I have photos of on this little machine as well as my jewel sculptures. I just love it...it's the size of a thick credit card and has a great screen for viewing photos. I'll be using it a lot in the next few days and I hope it works to get some more folks interested in my new jewelry line!
This afternoon after I have my delicious and refreshing seafood salad and iced tea, I'll be heading down to the studio for a jewelry making marathon.
Tomorrow I'll be working helping out Rachel at the gallery all day and I'd like to have several of the Coloresque pieces ready to go down there in place of some older designs.
Tomorrow night, we have a wine and cheese "art party" at a local bank, and I'll be attending. I plan to have several necklaces with me in my new bag I bought last week which easily houses my Coloresque creations for on the spur of the moment showings.
And Friday, I'm supposed to go to my husband's business with jewels to sell - but if I don't get enough made to cover the gallery needs, I'll be putting that off until next Friday.
PHEW! I guess this is part of it when you do it all yourself....it's exhausting! The good news is, the people who have purchased the new necklaces so far LOVE THEM and are telling me I need to get these in front of people MORE! So that's a positive thing.
I'm hoping to have some time after the next couple of days to work on some more jewel sculptures as well - although while I have some Coloresque pieces in progress today, I might sneak a bit of sculpture work in and get started on the little cardinal I plan to work on next. :)
Hope I'll have time to sit down and watch the guys sing on Idol tonight...yes, I am now an Idol convert....I've never watched the show before this season and I'm hooked now and am enjoying it. :)
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
Read more details about the hummingbird and bid on him this week only here.
I've also decided NOT to continue to list my Coloresque jewels on Ebay. As much as I would like to - fees are getting to be too much there. Instead, I'll be listing on Coloresque necklace a day to get them out into the marketplace here, at ArtbyUs.Com auctions. Since they are so artistic, each like a mini abstract painting the size of a fingerprint, I figure they fit in well at this art auction website.
And speaking of the Coloresque jewels, I've added many new selections recently to the website. Please stop in and take a look! Register with the site to become eligible to win a free Coloresque Art Charm - I'll be giving away one each month to one of the site registrants.
I had a great visit with my brother who was just here from Florida. Got a little behind on my work, but yesterday I managed to work over 12 hours, so I'm getting back to my "normal" work day. :)
Saturday, March 04, 2006
You can order a Coloresque Charm for your pet too! I've just completed setting up the custom charm color selections, or order one from our grab bag. Also, just by visiting this page and registering with the Coloresque website, you have a chance to WIN A FREE CHARM - we'll be giving away one each month!
Friday, March 03, 2006
Today's listing on Ebay is "Fanta", a piece designed with enriching and compelling earthtones, along with genuine gold leaf.
To see more Coloresque jewels just released, click here.
My brother is visiting from Florida this week and we were having a discussion yesterday about these jewels, both the shape and the spiral pattern in the center. I thought I'd explain a little about both of these, and tell you why I picked these shapes to be the major focus of my new line of jewelry this year.
The spiral is a compelling shape, and represents the perpetual motion of life, presenting a picture of life as an endless process bound within cycles of time. Although each loop of the spiral brings us back to the same place, it takes us to a higher and more evolved level and represents the evolutionary process of learning and growing. Life doesn't proceed in a straight line - instead, the path of life more closely resembles a spiral. We seem to pass the same point over and over again, but from a different perspective each time.
The spiral has been produced for thousands of years and is the simplest and most common geometric shape in nature - it appears in hurricanes and tornados, in the pattern of seeds in a sunflower, in the tips of ferns, in the pattern that leaves grow on a stem, in the shape of a sea shell, and, as a helix, the shape of the DNA molecule. The spiral has found its way into the art of almost all cultures, from ancient primitive rock carvings to today's corporate logos.
The spiral is a globally positive symbol, representing such things as cosmic force, the journey of life, the cycles of time, the seasons, the cycle of birth, growth, death, and then rebirth, and the spiritual journey.
The circle shape is a "happy shape" - often seeing a perfectly round circle generates a smile. Why do you think Wal-Mart uses a perfect circle, smile face, as their "mascot"? It promotes happiness! Joy! Fun! A polka dot pattern is always an uplifting and joyous pattern - filled with several circles together, it's not surprising it would be fun and light-hearted.
I like using the circle shape for my Coloresque jewels because I like the happy feeling...and I want my customers to feel that happy feeling as well! I like the slight spiral patterns in the center of the jewels because it does represent a positive symbol, one of a never-ending, perpetual motion, and indicates to me the joy of life can be endless.
I hope this helps to explain why I chose these shapes. In addition to my extreme love of color(s) and the study of same, I thought the shape choice for these jewels was important and meaningful as well.
Thursday, March 02, 2006
Georgia Night is the title of today's art necklace on Ebay. Rich ebony, gold and hues of copper make up the hypnotic pattern in the lentil bead focal pendant. Click here to bid!
Visit http://www.coloresque.com for more selections in the Coloresque line of jewelry and to register to win a free purse charm!
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Today's necklace on Ebay is titled "California Poppy" and has beautiful hues of rich red and vibrant orange throughout, along with genuine gold leaf embedded in the one of a kind design.
This one is absolutely one of my favorites - I CRAVE this rich, hot color combination. It certainly dresses up a plain outfit and looks fabulous with so many colors!