I am not one to make New Year's resolutions. I don't wait that long. If I need a change, or am due to begin something new....I just do it!
Mind you, I have not always been that way.
At the beginning of the year, I began to once again think of all the significant people that have been a part of my life; ones I have met (or been born to) in my life. Those who have changed me...for the better. I don't think of, or remember any,
who might have changed me in any other direction other than for "good".
But, that is just me. I look for good.
I believe I search it out.
I will begin by giving due credit to my parents for that.
Both, actually, but I do think my mother a bit more so. My mother came from a very poor family,
and her father, though he loved all 13 of his children,
drank. A lot. It had to be hard to be a child of an alcoholic.
Not only was my mother in constant mental turmoil,
I know she felt deep humiliation for not having (her very own) shoes, clothes and sometimes enough food to eat. What she did have was a loving mother who did what she had to do to take care of her children, caring for them in a way that stuck with them thru thick & thin.... and made them feel rich, even though they were dirt poor.
Thankfully she also had older sisters & brothers who helped out the family~for most of my mother's younger life, and for those siblings even before and most after her, in the birth order.
My mother never talked much about her childhood, and if she did, it was never in an ungrateful way.
How can that be? Today, at the age of 56,
I stand amazed by that, and HER.
My father came from somewhat of a different background.
He only had 2 brothers and 1 sister, and his family was one of the (somewhat) "well-off" ones in the small town that they both grew up in...as far as I can tell. They had plenty of food, and owned a large parcel of land, which my grandmother had inherited. My grandfather was a farmer, and raised sweet potatoes on that land. My grandmother was a seamstress.
My dad isn't even in this picture of his brothers & sisters above.
He came about 13 years after this was taken...
thus making him the REAL baby of the family. Perhaps, that is also why he became the mischief one. A prankster of sorts.
He could really tell a good joke. I kinda believe I get my quick wit from him.
Can't tell a joke like he did, that's my oldest sister's talent,
but I sure have a funny streak show up quite often.... and have known to be a bit mischievous myself. (When I was much younger, of course...lol).
For some wonderful reason, way beyond my control,
I believe that this year will be a good one.
Don't ask me how or why...I just know it.
I say this with all humility,
as I truly have no idea what 2014 will bring.
I have several venues scheduled ahead, for teaching. Some new, and some I've been to before... with much delight!
Beginning in just a couple of weeks, I will be in Tucson, at Art Retreat in the Desert and then, I will travel along with my friend, Deryn Mentock, for a short teaching gig in the DC area, called Boots & Bliss! Yeeehawww, to that! In the meantime, I am diligently working on my two online classes that I'll be a part of, for the third year... Artful Gathering 2014. For the first time, I am traveling to Kentucky, to teach at Ephemera Paducah in May! AND... I will be in Phoenix, this summer, to teach, once again, at Art Unraveled.
So, for just one moment today, won't you consider who has made a difference in your life? Say, if you possibly can, a huge thank you for all that you have been given. For those, both good and bad. You (as I) have no earthly idea why you might have been given the life you are living, and the hand you've been dealt. I do believe it is by a design we will someday come to see. Maybe that will be... in 2014.
In the mean time, I hope to see you this year,
either in person, or on-line.
More specific details about my gigs can be found above,
under the Classes & On-line Classes tabs!
(I'll be sharing more persons who have influenced me along my way,
when I return from Tucson, so stay tuned!)
Gratitude, thankfulness, gratefulness, or appreciation is a feeling or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive.
It's HUGE and several trips are in order each & every time.
Yesterday was just my first for the Fall Show, and it was a bit early.
I like to slip in there way ahead of time...
which means some of the vendors haven't yet arrived.
I am fine with that.
I always go back, and then they are there. I don't fret about missing something. As, I have decided that if I was meant to have it,
it will be there.
Whatever IT might be!
I must admit,
I had no intention of buying the vintage baby doll and compact you see above.
But, they called my name, and they came home with me.
The top drilled baroque stick pearls....
well that's another story.
I have an idea bouncing around that involves these beauties, and I was looking for them.
It always amazes me when I enter a booth that is stuffed full of stuff. Yesterday, proved no different. I always make an effort each show to visit Cathy, the lace lady from Oklahoma. She has WAY more than lace in her booth, and I always make a point to visit her... mainly for vintage lace, tulle, netting, and such. This time I brought home one itty bitty bundle of lace, a good group of vintage rhinestone buttons, the crackled baby doll & and this dainty silver compact purse. Inside was half of a ticket... When I carried all my purchases up front to pay, she said...."I almost kept this one for my compact collection". Not only did this make me feel like I had picked up a winner of a piece, but she had thoughtfully remembered it, mentioning she regretted parting with it. I get that... Each time I design a piece of jewelry, then sell it... it feels like I am getting rid of part of my family.
This batch of necklaces will definitely make me feel that way when they leave home.
Kind of like letting your baby go... maybe that's why this one came home with me.
Melanie and I At the beginning of the trail, about to climb Old Baldy,
in Garner State Park.
It's been almost a month since we returned home from our annual week long RV trip to a great RV park situated on a bluff just above the clear crisp water of the Frio River. It's nestled among beautiful gnarly live oak trees and several pretty high hills (which areconsidered mountains by this Texan). The trip is definitely one of the highlights of my year.
I think we have been going to this park for well over 8 years.
I went with one BIG goal in mind... to once again climb, what is known as,
Mind you, it would not have been my first trip up to the top, as I have climbed it probably 3 or 4 other times.
But, not for awhile.
I was determined to do it this time....
a gift to me on my 56th birthday!
I, along with my daughter, Melanie, took out the very morning of my birthday to conquer "the mountain". It is quite inspiring when you reach the the top, as there is a huge additional pile of rocks there... with the United States flag flying high and mighty in the wind (when it blows)!
I have to tell you....it felt good.....going up, but especially good coming down!
I have been traveling quite a bit this past year to teach. Tucson, AZ., Houston, TX., Coronado, CA., Round Top, TX. and Phoenix, AZ. I have one more teaching gig for the year, and it's next month, once again in Round Top, Art Retreat at The Prairie. I am way excited, as I will be teaching three new classes.
From Rhinestones to Infinity This is a fun new class for me. I have incorporated a huge vintage rhinestone brooch into this design, along with some beautiful links called Double Infinity links. These links were designed, and came straight from my friend Cindy Wimmer's book, The Missing Link, which will be out next month. I, along with many other wonderful jewelry artists, was thrilled to be one of her guest designers. Cindy has a pre-order link for it here.
I'll also be teaching another new torch fired enamel class