Sunday, December 30, 2012

Bidding Adieu...

As 2012 comes to a close, I'd like to thank each of you who have enriched my life in countless ways.  I'm grateful for your encouragement, support and most of all, the gift of your friendships.  I feel exceptionally positive about this upcoming year...there are major changes on the horizon, and I welcome you along to share in my experiences.  I do not have any "resolutions", rather I am "resolute" to begin doing more things that are really best for me in all areas of my life.  I'm ready to expand beyond my comfort zone, and indulge in new and exciting life experiences.  It is time for growth and change, and I move forward, embracing these changes fully.  

I felt compelled to share this amazing quote.  Sometimes, we feel powerless over our situations; however, when we embrace the knowledge that we do possess the power to change the endings to our stories, we become so much more.  So much more passionate, more fulfilled and more alive.  

I bid farewell to 2012, and graciously welcome in 2013.  I wish for each of you happiness, abundance, peace and many positive changes as we move into a new year.  Remember that you are the author of your story.  So go forward, and write a new chapter; even begin a whole new book.  For it is your turn...and mine as well!  

Happy New Year!

It Is Your Turn Now
By Rumi
It is your turn now, you waited, you were patient.
The time has come, for us to polish you.
We will transform your inner pearl into a house of fire.
You're a gold mine.
Did you know that, hidden in the dirt of the earth?
It is your turn now, to be placed in fire.
Let us cremate your impurities.



Monday, November 19, 2012

Raffle Winners Announced!

“For it is in giving that we receive.” 

~St. Francis of Assisi~ 

First of all, I'd sincerely like to thank everyone, again, for taking part in the November 15, 2012 Pre-Holiday Art Show!  To the wonderful artists, Leanne Emery from Triskele Moon Studios, Alexis Davis Swanson from LexieLouCreations and Diane Schreiner and Debbie Cushing, your participation and support mean more than words can express.  To Kelly Brown Madsen and Ivan Ewert, we couldn't have successfully conducted the "Home of the Sparrow" raffle without your kind assistance. all the wonderful customers who came out to support local artists and a fantastic cause, WOW is the word that comes to mind.  We had an amazing turn out; your generosity was overwhelming!

And now...the raffle winners!

  • Amazing earrings donated by Triskele Moon Studios:  Winner, Tina Hauri
  • Beautiful scarf, donated by Diane Schreiner and Deb Cushing:  Winner, Kim Holmes
  • Exquisite artisan journal, donated by LexieLouCreations:  Winner, Jesse Caple
  • Sparrow pendant, donated by Liby Lula:  Winner, Alison Walwark
CONGRATULATIONS!  And again, a most sincere thank you for your participation.  All raffle ticket contributions will be donated to "Home of the Sparrow",  a non-profit organization that was established in 1986. Home of the Sparrow serves the community as a transitional shelter program providing housing and supportive services for homeless women and their children in McHenry County and Northern Illinois. Many times, these women and children are victims of domestic abuse.  I urge you all to raise awareness about this very real problem.  There are countless organizations that assist women and children in such circumstance.  Also, November 25th has been designated as "International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women".  You all have made a difference by attending the Pre-Holiday Art Show.  And truly, it IS in giving that we receive...

Warmest regards for a Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving

Saturday, October 20, 2012

A Shift...

“No, this is not the beginning of a new chapter in my life; this is the beginning of a new book! That first book is already closed, ended, and tossed into the seas; this new book is newly opened, has just begun! Look, it is the first page! And it is a beautiful one!” 

C. JoyBell C.~

WOW!  Has it REALLY this long since I've posted to my blog???  Wherever did the time go?  The Summer simply disappeared, and I find myself in awe that we are now in the middle of glorious Autumn (my favorite season).  Although I've been absent from my blog, I've been tremendously busy and am looking forward to some hibernation time (yes, even a little snow) so that I can buckle down, and focus on some really exciting things that are coming soon.  Before I let you in on some fun things in store for Fall and Winter, I'd like to share a magical story with you about perspective and new beginnings.  

A few days ago, I was driving into work and found myself lost in a song.  The song, although beautiful and melodic, took me to a place of dark memories from the past; a place I really shouldn't be. A few moments from work, I made a turn onto Portwine road, which runs through a beautifully wooded and lush forest preserve, just bursting with amazing Fall colors.  Still lost in my song, something caught my eye...a small deer, simply standing close to the edge of the road.  I slowed to a stop, and rolled down my window.  Amazingly, the deer did not run or even flinch...she just continued to stand there, staring, and for those of you who are animal lovers, like me, we "shared a few moments".  After a while, she simply turned and walked slowly away.  "Wow" I thought, "how beautiful and sweet and magical".  But wait...what happened to all those bad memories?  What?  I was completely so lost in this experience, that my perspective shifted, immediately, from something negative and draining, to something so beautiful and positive, uplifting and inspiring. A continued call and an overwhelming reminder for me to turn my challenging and negative experiences into something empowering and motivating, especially for women.  

"The Deer teaches us to be gentle, to touch the hearts and minds of wounded beings who are in our lives. When a Deer totem enters your world, a new innocence and freshness in about to be awakened. New adventures are just around the corner and there will be an opportunity to express the gentle love that will open new doors for you". 

New adventures, new journeys, new friends, and new experiences....the opportunity to volunteer, to contribute, to share and inspire.  It's's already here!  It was just quietly waiting, like the deer, for me to embrace the moment, and move forward with an unwavering vision.  Please stay tuned, as I'll be sharing more information throughout the coming months.  AND...I will be posting some new jewelry creations very soon!  More to come on an exciting "pre-holiday" art show in the works!  

Have a beautiful and magical day!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Allegory of Abundance

Sometimes, the Universe extends the most extraordinary gifts.  Magical moments.  Something happens that is so amazingly mystical, we must stop and pay attention.  I've experienced two such instances over the past few weeks.  

Extraordinary gift #1:  I love antique shows and flea markets.  I've found some of my most prized possessions at local antique fairs.  Last summer, I purchased a beautiful print in a vintage frame for $8.  A little bruised and battered, but still in excellent condition, I proudly displayed my new picture in a strategic location I could easily view often.  I knew this beautiful drawing had a significant meaning, but didn't know the artist or how to even begin researching it.  One evening, I stood for a few moments in front of the painting, quietly asking to know the meaning.  Afterwards (the SAME evening), I retired for a few moments of Pinterest fun.  Among the many random pictures, a painting caught my eye.  Something about this painting, something vague, reminded me of my drawing.  I followed the pin...and to my amazement, it led me to the works of Sandro Botticelli, famous artist from the 1400s and to my drawing...

"The Allegory of Abundance"

"The drawing was first published as Botticelli by Robinson in his 1876 catalogue of John Malcolm's collection, and this attribution has generally been accepted. The drawing is usually dated to the early or mid 1480s as the stilted, yet graceful posture of Abundance and the exaggerated elongation of her form recall figures in Botticelli's mythological paintings of the period, the 'Primavera' and the 'Birth of Venus' (Florence, Uffizi). The learned classical allusions of these paintings also accord with the subject matter of the drawing which is derived from Book 9 of Ovid's Metamorphoses, where it is related that Hercules broke off one of the horns of the river god Achelous, who had transformed himself into a bull, and this was then sanctified and employed by the Goddess of Plenty to carry the fruits of Autumn's harvest. The drawing cannot be related directly to any painting by Botticelli, although it does bear some resemblance to a studio work representing an 'Allegory of Drunkenness' of circa 1485-90 in Chantilly". (  

I find it amazing, that out of the hundreds of drawings, paintings, etc. that I could have chosen at an antique fair, I gravitated to this one...a beautiful reminder to focus on ABUNDANCE instead of loss; to focus on BLESSINGS instead of heartaches; to focus on LOVE in the place of hate.  Our Universe is full of mystical, whimsical, synchronistic surprises.  You just have to be open to receiving them!

Come back again soon for extraordinary gift #2...blessings.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

"Artisan and Assemblage"

as·sem·blage:  A sculptural composition consisting of an arrangement of miscellaneous objects or found materials.
ar·ti·san:  a skilled worker who practices some trade or handicraft.

I love making jewelry.  I work as an artisan jewelry designer, which means I practice the "handicraft" of jewelry making.  There are several types of jewelry design and different techniques wherein artists approach their  work.  Some artists make practically every component of their designs, from their closures, to their jump rings to their chain.  Other artists utilize the assemblage technique, composing their designs from a series of pre-made findings, pendants and chain.  Neither approach is better than the other; simply different.  

The handmade artisan designer invests a tremendous amount of time in his or her work, spending countless hours hammering, annealing, shaping, bending and wrapping until the masterpiece reaches completion.  The assemblage artists possesses an ability to "see" how things work together, consolidating colors and varying textures to arrange beautiful "sculptural compositions" for adornment.  I utilize both techniques in my jewelry-making practice, and adore both approaches.  I do, however, feel a tremendous amount of pride when I make something completely from my imagination.  Whatever approach one takes, it's just important to CREATE, CREATE, CREATE!  and have fun...







Monday, March 12, 2012

"Love Gives Us a Fairytale"

The Oriole weds his mottled mate
The Lily weds the bee;
Heaven's marriage ring is round the earth,

Let me bind thee?
~Author Unknown~

This Sunday was the wedding day of my beautiful friend, Haleema.  She graciously asked me to create the jewelry for her bridal party.  I love making jewelry, but I especially enjoy making jewelry for friends, and for such special occasions.  Haleema's floral choices were amazing, and provided me with a myriad of choices for the final jewelry presentation packaging.  

Those of you who have purchased custom projects from me in the past know that the "art of presentation" is just as important to me as the gift inside of the "box".... I say box, however, there are many ways to package a special gift.  I challenge you to find specials ways to make a special present even more magnificent and unique.  Wrap it in handmade paper, seal it with old fashioned wax; use vintage fabric and tie it with fancy ribbon.  PLAY with presentation.  You'll be surprised at how many ideas you can manifest.  

Once in awhile, 

Right in the middle of an ordinary life, 

Love gives us a fairy tale.

~ Anonymous ~

Congratulations to Haleema and Brendan Sullivan!  
May you enjoy the fairy tale, now and forever!









Sunday, February 12, 2012

I Think I'll Stick to Jewelry!

Nope, I am NOT a baker by nature.  I have such respect and admiration for those who are naturally inclined to create amazing pastries, deserts, breads, etc., but blessed with that skill and creative vision, I am not.  But that doesn't mean that I cannot purchase a Betty Crocker cake mix with the best of them!  A little bit of mixing, baking, icing and what do you know?  I just made some cupcakes!  And guess what? There are so many fun and unique items to embellish your moist little cakes like....GLITTER! Yes, we now have bling for cupcakes.  

Wishing you all an amazing and fun-filled Valentine's celebration week filled with lots of love and happiness.  

Monday, January 23, 2012

Remembering Your Roots

“Never destroy any aspect of personality, for what you think is the 

wild branch may be the heart of the tree.” 

~Mrs. Henry George~

I took this picture during my last visit home to Georgia. It was a beautiful afternoon, and I snapped this photo while visiting my grandmother's gravesite. As difficult as it is to explain, this picture encompasses how I felt during the trip. Nostalgic, emotional, many things about my family I'd love to know. I often think about my roots and all the little things to which I can attribute my personality and spirit. I had such a great time, conversing with my cousins, aunts, uncles about the good ole' days and learned some valuable information about my family heritage. My grandmother is of Native American decent, and embraced so much of their spirituality and reverence for nature. Her mother's name (my great Grandmother) was "Nancy Sophronia" - an amazingly beautiful name of Greek origin, which means "wise". I could tell you some funny stories; I could share some sad ones, but I'd rather just share my feelings with you through this picture. I encourage you to dig a little into your roots. Take a small climb up your family tree; you might be pleasantly surprised at what you find, wild branches and all!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Last Project of 2011

“Each new day is a blank page in the diary of your life. The secret of success is in turning that diary into the best story you possibly can. I wish you Happy New Year and diary full of best stories ever written in your life".

~Douglas Pagels~

2011 has been a great year.  2012 is already off to an incredible start!  I wish you all an amazing year filled with much love, creativity, abundance and peace.  Challenge yourself to learn more, do more and be more this year.  Don't accept mediocrity; aim for excellence in all areas of your life.  Spend time with friends and family who want the best for you and support you in all your endeavors.  DO NOT invest time and energy into relationships which drain you rather than fill you with hope and strength.  Most of all, remember to be KIND to yourself.  Take care of your body and it will take care of you.   Take a few moments along your journey to relish in your accomplishments and enjoy your successes.  


Below is my last creation of 2011.  A friend commissioned me to create this piece for her boyfriend's mother...she adores horses.  Nakota and Nevada (baby and mother) were the subjects.  I wanted to capture the essence of horses - worn leather, a little rugged with warm colors.  Etched brass mounted on stained glass soldered pendant with antique bronze wire-wrapped beads.  I loved working on this project.  More to come in 2012!