Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What Makes Your Heart Flutter?

     My little article in Jewelry Affaire magazine is published and the magazine will be available on newsstands or to order online through Stampington on April 1st! I got my issue already and I am completely humbled to be included in this amazing and gorgeous magazine with so many talented artists...I don't quite feel like I should be there, you know? I have to remind myself though, that just because my work is fairly simple, it doesn't mean it isn't worthy of being seen.
I need to remind myself, and you today, that comparing ourselves to others that seem to be more than we are; more talented, more beautiful, more significant, more worthy, is a "sure fire" way to become quite unhappy.
There are days I look at my work and shake my head...and the voices rattle around in there saying things like, "who do you think YOU are?" "Anyone can do what you do." "You're wasting your time. This will never amount to anything." "You'll never be as successful as Nina or Stephanie or Kelly Rae or, or, or..." I literally have to tell them out loud to JUST SHUT UP! And I keep on creating.  I think we all probably have those nagging negative voices, don't we?
So don't let those voices take over! Sometimes, it is really hard isn't it? Have faith in yourself. I have faith in you!

So when I saw this come in the mail today:
and the voices in my head said, "well, you have no business in a great magazine like this." I took a deep breath and firmly told that voice. "I am worthy. I do have something to offer this world. My work is beautiful in its own way...a way that is my own beautiful way."
 I don't feel like my work is really "mine" though. I feel very much like it is a gift... and I truly believe that each of us has a special gift, unique to us, if we take the time to explore ourselves and find it.
What makes you loose track of time? What leaves you breathless? What makes your heart flutter? What brings you true delight when you do it? The answers to those questions will be your first clue. Unfortunately, the first answer that comes to mind for me, is eating chocolate you might have to move down your list just a little and that's ok....
I urge you to take a few moments today just to explore YOU.

My sister, Kelly Rae Roberts, has new prints that ask questions like these and more. This one is one of my favorites and it can be found here, with so many other new prints that she has added to her online shop!

Next Friday, I am giving away a free copy of the new Jewelry Affaire magazine (which is packed full of tutorials, beautiful jewelry and stories) trust me, it is a beautiful publication! I'm also giving away two pair of my best selling vintage jewel earrings,
lots of pretty vintage colors to choose from!

and also two pair of feather hairpins.....I am so amazed at how many ladies love these!

All you have to do is leave a comment to be entered. No hoops to jump through or anything....You can even leave an anonymous comment with your name (first name and first letter of last name please!) if you'd like. I'll announce the all of the winners next Friday, April 1st, so I'm really hoping for lots of entries! But please enter only once. There will be 5 chances to win something!
I just love doing giveaways and I appreciate you all so much. Thanks for being here today!
I'd also really love to thank Beth Livesay of Stampington & Co. for believing in me and my work....such gratitude I have for you Beth!

Friday, March 18, 2011

It's All Secretly Perfect

I've been many ways I've been away, trying to recover from yet another illness...and trying to recover from some things in my life that have left me speechless. I simply can't form the words...and it just isn't something I can share here.
Life has become, for me, a stark contrast of light and of dark.... there is such amazing light, because I choose to live there in that space. But the dark lurks behind the corners of my eyes and brings tears of frustration and grief that I fight to tame....and more questions come as I cling to my core belief that it is, in fact, all secretly perfect.
So, here today, I just want to share some light....and a little peek into my home...a place that has become more and more a haven of rest and joy. Where the scent of Hyacinths, brought to me by my sweet K.W.,  just today, wafts through the air and light comes through the antique dresses and lace hanging in the windows.

I wanted to share a little bit of a before and after with you today.
K.W. surprised me recently with this antique (and very wonderfully shabby) cabinet we spied during one of our favorite pastimes: JUNKING. The price was so right that it was irresistible!
Here is the before:

Our youngest explores the new arrival...

Pooka and Alice explore the new arrival...
...and then I filled it with my personal treasures...I left all of the old, torn antique layers of wallpaper in tact....almost all of my treasures were found on our excursions to local antique shops. Sometimes I can even get my older kids in on the junking is always fun to hear their exclamations of surprise when they find something they think is "so cool!"

 a chamber pot from the late 1800's, bird s&p shakers
and parts of my "old bird stuff" collection

my most favorite treasures are the really stained
and chipped and uber neglected ones.
my prize is the old pitcher on the top shelf without its handle. 

blue willow vintage child's plate and crystal is one of many
very shabby Christmas ornaments I made this year
that I couldn't bear to put away!
 I've begun writing in favorite journal again today. I never seem to find time to write unless I am writing here. My journal is by one of my favorite artists Sabrina Ward Harrison.
This is the journal I chose because it spoke so loudly to me recently. (and I love the happy colors) On the cover is says "It's All Secretly Perfect"...and I need that reminder sometimes. You can see it or purchase it (or one like it) by clicking on the journal. It is on sale now for 11.00 at Papaya, one of my favorite sites. Quite a bargain! It is reversible, opens up flat, and has nice thick pages for painting and gluing and such.
So now, at almost 9 p.m., I close the curtains against the night as I type in front of this huge picture window on the world. I have some work to do...earrings to make and orders to wrap in pretty blue boxes....
Here is a sneak peek of what's coming to the shop tomorrow...

more wedding jewelry from vintage elements, I love
the super shabby elements of the hair comb...
See you all again soon...thank you for being here and reading these words...sharing your life and your time with me means so much. Love and Light to you all.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

A Letter

Dear God,

The brief darkness inside of me has given way to light. It doesn't take long for the light to come....I spend a lot of time within myself, working things through....and praying.
You know that, right? I try not to bother you too much, because I know there are people with much bigger needs, but lately I've been talking to you quite a bit and you help me work things out in ways I know I should. The sadness and the anger gives way and I feel your presence as always. Sometimes it just takes a day or two. Thank you for listening to me.
By the way, I like for you to be a "him". I'm ok with that. I like the idea of a heavenly father, and I don't get hung up on whether you should be a man or a woman. I just find comfort in you....and joy in your creations....I revel in them, really..... How do the tulips know when to rise?  I do enjoy the questions....

Oh, and I was just talking to my husband today about a quote by Einstein

“There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.”

I think I'll still keep choosing the "everything" option.

Though there were still  patches of snow on the ground today, Jeremy and I went out to soak up the sunshine and do some sidewalk drawing...he chose to draw a rainbow...a sign of hope and promise.
Such sweetness and joy in his inside-out shirt and clunky snow boots...thank you for him. Thank you for all of my children. They have brought me such joy and they have truly been my greatest teachers.

I know that you know sometimes I loose my focus on what is good and what is deserving of thought and thanksgiving and what is deserving of just letting go. There are things I have simply just given up to you. So, I'll just let you handle the big stuff and the hard stuff and the tough questions that I can't answer, and the things that I just don't know what to do with anymore. Because you make life so much lighter. So much simpler. So much easier. So much softer. More joyful. More manageable.
More miracle.
I always come back to you.

Friday, March 04, 2011

I Am Brave

I received my locket weeks ago. It was perfect. The colors of the beautiful blue Czech glass beads... the perfect font of tiny letters lovingly hammered into into it that claimed, "I am brave." After much deciding about which locket spoke to me, I felt so strongly that I needed it, and I so adore Liz Elaine's work.

But I gave my locket away two days after I received it to someone I felt needed it much more. I gave it to my youngest daughter when she decided at 17, to go out on her own...and now, now I feel the desperate need for another locket. I need that reminder again that I too, am brave. I need the locket with the words lovingly pounded into it with Liz's loving hands....with her intentions of peace for the wearer.

There is such a duality to my life. The joy I feel about my hearts work and my marriage and the myriad of blessings so present in my life...and the joys that being a parent of five children (four of which still live at home) brings to me. The laughter, the silliness, the noise, the love, the dancing....
but lately I feel like I'm crumbling. Crumbling under the pressure of physical pain once again limiting my life and the way I want to live it; but mostly, I'm crumbling under the pressures of being a mother to three older teenagers and a little guy who just turned six.
I feel like life keeps throwing such tough things at me...I get cynical and think maybe to see how much I can take before I break. I have been reduced to my knees in prayer...prayer in thanksgiving, but also so often in tears. I feel I am at war with myself in many ways.
I ask the questions of myself that some parents might ask..."Have I done enough?" "Was I supportive enough?" "Did I make too many mistakes?" "Is it my fault my child has gone astray?" "What should I have done differently?" "Should I have been more strict?....less strict?....more expectations?....should I have made more money?...less of this...more of that..."
 I have truly learned to love a lot of the questions about life...about God....about spirituality....but I am not loving the questions I've been asking of myself.
I know in my heart that I've done my very best for E. It is the hardest thing I've ever had to do...witnessing the destruction and chaos and tears. And I am not unaware of how hard it must be for her to tell me things that disappoint and sadden me. I have had to tell my own mother things that I knew would brake her heart, and make her question her own parenting.

I encourage you to write about your struggles here. Or even send me an anonymous letter...or leave an anonymous comment if you'd like. Talk to me about your heartache, your joy, your moments of clarity.
Because this blog is so public, I cannot reveal the specifics of the experiences I am having as a parent in this moment that are causing me such heartache....I am not anonymous! but I am ever hopeful....ever hopeful still.

I think instead of the "Brave" locket, I'll choose this one:

Yes, I need this reminder...I need this one now.

Dearest Liz, I thank you ...for your healing works of love from the Little Room... for your words....for your gentleness through the many years I have followed you....for your amazing new BOOK,which I adore......thank you for you.
My daughter, E. is back home now. She is wearing her "I am brave" necklace. and She needs it now more than ever.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Birds and Blossoms on my Brain, vintage assemblage jewelry

ice drops on the big tree out front
taken just this past week
It has been such a looooooonnnnnnnggggggg winter. There is still snow on the ground here in Michigan and I hear birds singing (FINALLY) outside, which means that spring is coming. It is a welcome relief from the subzero windchill that has been happening lately. I haven't been outside much this winter...I'm happy to watch it from the warmth of our home, which I am so grateful for.
I've been thinking about spring and weddings and flowers and little girls and buttons lately among other things. It helps to keep my mind off of my defective body parts and yesterdays visit to the ER (instead of going to church as planned) at the insistence of my dear husband, who was concerned for me. I'm having back trouble again...the kind that makes me afraid to move. It has been awhile since this ol' spine of mine has misbehaved so badly....and I had forgotten all about it really, until yesterday. I'm thinking it must be the change in weather...but I am recovering.
Anyway, I've been working on some new things here and there. I so adore these antiqued brass birds I've acquired and I want to put them on everything! (though so far I have resisted.)
I am so excited to be working on another order for Declaration Boutique this week. It is an amazing shop in St. Augustine, Florida that carries my vintage assemblage hair combs and earrings. I am so grateful to Heidi for her trust and confidence in my work.

Flight of Fancy Necklace

gold plated feather hairpins

antiqued brass bird hairpin
 with antique mirrored glass cabochon

Stay tuned for another giveaway, OK? (I love doing those!) I'll be back again sooner this time, than later.
THANK YOU for being here, and for taking the time to read my words and such. It means so much to me. it really does.