. . . more of my authentic self. Why I’ve Been “Missing” For Two Weeks

There’s been a convergence of *things* that have created my overall silence on social media platforms.

I don’t talk about it a lot. I once thought it would be so “anti-business” to say out loud. The older I get, the braver I get, and the more I recognize that I am not alone.

I get anxious and depressed – for many years now. I’m pretty clear, that I am not a “unique snowflake”.

The two conditions, simultaneously, in one day or one week, used to really debilitate me. Current events have exacerbated my challenges. I am sensitive to many drugs and have an addictive personality, and as such, I have chosen not to take meds. I’m by no means, anti-meds or a masochist – if it would work, I would do it. Not taking meds requires my needing to be quiet when I cycle through depression and anxiety on a Defcon 5 level – which is what the last two weeks have been. I’m doing the things I need to do to take care of myself and the clouds are clearing.

My anxiety and depression manifest in many ways. Lately I’ve been overwhelmed with that weird stuff: “I can’t imagine trying to sell anything to anyone RIGHT NOW!!!! Trumplestilskin in the White House seems hell bent on our destruction. It’s all very scary. Who wants to buy a lovely NOW?!?!?” I’ve been afraid y’all would dislike me if I tried to sell you a lovely.

Yet, when I step out of my door, I am reminded that despite events, people still go to work, people still have to pay the bills… and so do I. THIS is what I do for a living. It’s not a part-time hobby and I am not independently wealthy. It’s how I pay the bills, it’s how I eat, feed my child and feed my pets. So, I’m going to keep trying to sell you my work and I will keep teaching and offering online learning opportunities. It’s really a win-win. You get adornment that resonates for you and perhaps helps you feel spectacular, or you get time to learn and create and heal and center through that process, – and I get, along with great honor and gratification, a “paycheck” that allows me to live. See! Win-Win. Also, I could get more ant-repellent, because honestly, this is getting ridiculous. So please buy things… I need ant repellent and food 🙂

I’ve been feeling low energy, a little unmotivated, a lot fearful (see above) and a huge amount of “empty”. It’s not just depression and anxiety.

For 23 years, this time of the year, represents endless hours of preparation for my children to return to school . . . earthquake kits; 15 pages of forms; a few new clothes; finishing up summer reading, and that annual trip to Staples. I had a break in 2015 and last year was a whirlwind to Canada.

I’m empty this year – except for the body and energetic memory 🙂

My eldest, long since graduated in 2007 hasn’t required, needed or desired my input since then. My youngest, is living at home, and will not be returning to college in September.

I think I really understand “empty nest” now, more than I ever did before.

I also realized that the end of August and through Labor Day, has really been my New Year. I have for 23 years slowed to a bit of a crawl on some things and been focused on my children’s new beginnings and just naturally made that time part of my new beginnings.

I have NEVER done “spring cleaning”. I’ve always done a refresh during Labor Day weekend.

I have, since at least 2007, started writing my vision for the new year around my work.

Since 2012, it’s been a time of year where I am refreshing and reorganizing tools and supplies for upcoming teaching gigs.

It’s about now, that I am thinking about holiday offerings of my jewelry work – sketching, planning – plotting how to inspire you to buy from me for your gift giving.

August is traditionally a quiet time all around, as many folk fit in their last get-aways, and if you have children, you too are preparing for a new year.

Happy New Year. I’ve never been one to adhere to a lot of traditions of the mainstream 🙂

Clouds are clearing and there is work to do, on the horizon, both socially and personally.

Much Love and Light,

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Hi, my name is Delia and I am a Racist . . . and working on it.

Image courtesy of: http://www.unurth.com/Jerm-IX-Anti-Hate-Vancouver

You know me as a a mother, an artist, a teacher . . . a solo-preneur. Perhaps you’ve heard me speak of progressive ideals and maybe even perceived me as a fierce champion of the disenfranchised. It’s all mostly true, however on my path of self discovery and spiritual growth, I understand myself to be a racist.

I don’t have a “personal” Blog space. I am the sole owner and creator behind Phoenix Magyk. There is no “Royal we”.

While I am keen to make adornment of resonance, sell those adornments and teach the art form, I believe that the life I experience, informs my art, influences the custom work I do, and how I relate to others. So this is me . . . my authentic self.

I believe that being positive is way better than being negative, that fear is the opposite of love and that hate is fear manifest. However, I’m not so high in the clouds of spiritual enlightenment that I miss what needs addressing in a firm way.

This might be clumsy, I’m doing my best. Before I get started on my story, I just want to be clear about a couple of things.
I SUPPORT Black Lives Matter
I SUPPORT Anti-Racist Groups
I SUPPORT Anti-bigotry Groups

I STAND against White Supremacy
I STAND against Nazis
I STAND against White Nationalists

I’m sending love and light to Charlottesville, the injured and to the families and friends of Heather Heyer and the Troopers killed in the helicopter crash – Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen, and Trooper Berke M. M. Bates. I’ve also been following the story of Deandre Harris, the black man, pummeled in a parking garage. Much love to you Deandre.

What happened in Charlottesville was horrible. I felt helpless, hopeless, horrified and scared. I’ve spent the last couple of days figuring out what I can do more of, to be a part of the fight. I believe that all of us with like ideals have a responsibility to speak out and condemn such hate. My personal feelings or my story aren’t necessarily part of any solution, however I’m reaching out and coming out of my closet. I am confident there are white people out there like me.

I was born in Glenridge, New Jersey, to immigrant parents. My father was from Greece and my mother, from Spain. Both of them had come to the states as children with their respective families. During the 30’s and 40’s, immigration in to the states was a “cool” thing. People came from all over and were welcomed by the Statue of Liberty and promises of living the “American Dream”.

What I have known is what I grew up with. There was very little connection to my parent’s origins, shared in our house. It is my greatest sorrow, that I know so little of where they came from and what their lives were like. I know, there is always Ancestry, right? And what I know from my growing up, is that my immigrant parents became “white”, with all the associated privilege that comes with it. Why? Because, I think, it was practically mandatory.

When immigrants came to America’s “melting pot”, it was understood, that one would become an American. People, who came to the states, would learn English and American customs and become “American”. Cultures were maintained in small enclaves and in homes. One reason was the systemic racism that existed at the time. It just seemed smarter and safer to become “American” than to do anything that drew attention to yourself or your culture of origin. I believe this concept has been seen over and over again, starting with WWII, when the Japanese were robbed of their possessions and placed in camps. Clearly, we “Americans” learned nothing from what we did to the Indigenous peoples.

There is a lot of historical information about this, and I’m not going to share it at present. I want to get to my point 🙂

We moved to Texas when I was 3 y.o. It was a very small town. I do not remember EVER seeing a black person there. When I was about 6 y.o. we moved to tiny suburb outside of Houston, and I don’t have any memory of meeting ANY person of color. I do remember that my mother made a HUGE deal of us not speaking Spanish, IN or out of the house any more. Until then, it was the only connection I had to her culture and history. My father never spoke Greek and never encouraged us to learn.

When I was about 13 y.o. we moved to a different suburb in Texas. It was during my years there, that I experienced racism. I had no idea what I was experiencing then. I was told that my fellow young humans were just “mean, just ignore them and they’ll go away”.

My skin was pretty brown, and my hair was super curly and “white people” really could not determine if I was a light skinned African American or Hispanic. I was called names and bullied a lot . . . until I found ways to defend myself by trying to look tough, in jeans and t-shirts and boots. I also learned to yell loudly – the best defense was a good offense. I was called the “N” word and “spic” and other racist slurs. I still shudder a bit when I recall.

I remember, after a confrontation with some girls, I asked my mother “What ARE we?” Firmly and clearly, she said, “WE are AMERICANS and that’s all you need to know”

I used to think that statement was a badge of courage. I have come to understand over the years, that it was a badge of fear . . . and protection.

My mother felt that in order to protect us from getting beat up/killed, we had to ignore any identification or demonstration of our heritage and so we were raised “white” and throughout my life, I have experienced the privilege that comes with it.

I was never overtly taught to hate any one or any group of people. I was raised by and around people who believed that people of color were “those people” that lived on “the other side of the tracks”, and other racist stereotypes. I did not know that those were racist ideas. I also don’t remember being taught to “love everyone”. There was never a conversation about race in our home. What I learned was a covert white supremacy. Racism that is insidious and rampant unconsiously.

We moved to California when I was about 16. I was still in the white world I’d grown accustomed to. I knew nothing of other people’s lives.

My parents were “old school” Republicans . . . fiscally conservative and socially, centrist/moderate. I had a clear sense that “white” was good and anything else was not really important.

It was in my early 20s that I started to meet people that weren’t white and I began to understand, that my thinking was all wrong and I became a “new-age Democrat”. I moaned and groaned about Republicans and felt horror and outrage over news reports of the KKK violence . . . and those “crazy Black Panthers”. I was a bleeding-heart, liberal, racist. I still didn’t get it and I did nothing.

If you had said that to me at the time, I would have most certainly begun to cry and defend myself. I.just.did.not.know. I was ignorant.

From my 20’s until about three years ago, I lived an ignorant life in which I was pretty certain that I was not a racist and what is this “white privilege stuff people keep talking about?” I felt certain that because my life was not comparable to “rich white people”, I was in the clear and in the trenches with the disenfranchised. I was very wrong.

Despite having very few conversations in my home with my children about race and bigotry, they have made their own way and have solid, anti-racist positions. I’ve learned a lot from my children, and I learn more everyday.

A real turn-a-round in my growth and awareness came when both my children slammed dunked me for saying “But gee, don’t all lives matter.” To which I was promptly informed that I did not “have a clue” and I was “trivializing the oppression that the disenfranchised have been experiencing their whole lives!” and most striking at the time “If a white guy got pulled over, this would not happen!” They were right.

I’ve been pulled over for broken tail-lights, expired registration, and once because a car that looked a lot like mine had been reported stolen. NOT once was I ever yelled at or was it demanded that I get out of my car. I once piled my little Honda under the tail end of a semi truck on PCH, while drunk, and they never even asked for a sobriety test . . . I was 17 and crying uncontrollably . . . but c’mon.

Once, while pregnant with my eldest, on the way to a camping trip, we got pulled over. I don’t remember why. We had an ax on the floor of the passenger side. We had just picked it up from a friend on the way out of town. As soon as the officer saw the ax, we were commanded out of the car at gun point and I was forced to “spread eagle” across the hood of the car, while my husband was at the back of the car. I was 6 months pregnant and fairly huge. I recall my fear and subsequent outrage. There had been several incidents of pulled over drivers, having attacked officers.

What became startlingly clear for me in remembering that story, is the understanding that while I got away with yelling at the officer, the African American community cannot risk it. I think of Sandra Bland and Eric Gardner and so many more lives ended, for an effort to stand up for themselves, to comply . . . at the hands of racist officers.

I’m not a victim here. I understand that through my ignorance and silence, I have been complicit in perpetuating racism and bigotry.

I am reaching out, doing more learning, asking questions and boosting signals to help people of color and other disenfranchised groups, be heard, which as a cis-white woman is something I’ve learned I can do.

There aren’t two sides. “Reverse racism” is not a thing. Activists, if feeling threatened, have a right to defend themselves.

For over 200 years, people of color, especially black Americans, have been treated differently . . . discriminatoily . . . cruelly . . . unfairly, and in so many instances, with deadly force. Black people have been lynched, burned, and scorned, in ways that no white person has had to endure, with perhaps the exception of Holocaust survivors. Black people have had to fight an upstream battle, at every turn.

I thought I understood what that meant, but I didn’t. For my lifetime, I have not had to fight for the right to go to school or the right to a particular job or the right to vote. While my life hasn’t always been sunshine and roses, in comparison to people of color and the many more humans that are rejected on a daily basis, I’ve lived a fairy tale life of privilege.

Nazis are not dead and they are not done. They are coming after anyone that does not look like them or believe like them. They are attempting to speak on our campuses and recruit angry, young men, with the lure of power through supremacy. Their stand on woman is equally as evil as their stand on race and certain religions. They are organized and headed across the country. Allowing their views to be propagated is dangerous. Banging the drum of free speech is a dangerous, slippery slope. They are terrorists and their intimidation and power grab must be stopped. Even in Germany, they destroyed symbols of Nazism to begin their healing. We can never erase history, however, it has been said “Those that cannot remember the past, are doomed to repeat It.” – George Santayana

Silence will allow them to move forward. I implore you to speak out and speak up.

I cannot speak FOR the disenfranchised. I can participate in actions that assist. I can boost signals. I can be aware of my own words and my own privilege and call it out in others when I see it. I can go to rallies of resistance and persistence. I regularly try to educate people on Facebook ;P

If we’re going to stop this force of evil and yes, I did say that . . . Nazis are evil – if we can’t help them change their thinking, I’m all for shoving them back into the holes they came out of, until such time as they are ready to listen to the truth.

I see unity coming in the collective group of those of us who condemn such ideologies of hatred. These are not “opinions”. They are trying to take American away from it’s efforts in tolerance, acceptance, love, community and a fundamental shift in system.

My point? I have a couple. Racism and bigotry begins at home – don’t teach it. Do a little soul searching and understand your own racism and where it came from. Acting from “white guilt” is less useful than acting from courage and compassion. Don’t be silent. Speak up. See something, say something. If your grandpa is still making circulating jokes about Asians and they way they drive…and maps and cameras, ask him to stop, tell him why and give him a new joke to share.

Here are some resources that I found super useful, maybe they will be of value to you.

Showing Up For Social Justice – places to meet up with liked minded

http://www.showingupforracialjustice.org/affiliated_groups_local_contacts

Ten Ways to Fight Hate: A Community Response Guide | Southern Poverty Law Center

https://www.splcenter.org/20170814/ten-ways-fight-hate-community-response-guide?inf_contact_key=3643f940942276e889e1b2eb40edf93ef8653c12b4f79190eb04fa3e3422f136

Erynn Brook, “White Feelings: 0-60” A great speed view on what people like me do/can do after events like Charlottesville and honestly want to help/assist/fight against racism. Silence is being complicit:

http://www.erynnbrook.com/white-feelings-for-charlottesville/

Paula Rothenberg, “White Privilege”. https://www.amazon.com/White-Privilege-Paula-S-Rothenberg/dp/1429242205 This is absolutely a mandatory read, and a great resource for anti-racist learning and education on white supremacy in liberal spaces.

And here are some great resources for talking to children.

http://www.parenting.com/article/5-tips-for-talking-about-racism-with-kids

http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/the_kids/2014/03/teaching_tolerance_how_white_parents_should_talk_to_their_kids_about_race.html

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-charlottesville-talking-to-kids-20170812-htmlstory.html

Much Love and Light,

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July & August Birthstones

big ruby 04Ruby is the birthstone for July. It is also a corundum, like Sapphire, so it is a hard stone and durable – a 9 on the hardness scale.

Highly prized for it’s color and rarity it is also a pricey stone. For good color material and very clear stones, it will cost you about $800+ per carat.

It is also rich in history and lore – for example, did you know that Rubies are mentioned 4 times in the bible?

indiamart.com

image courtesy of indiamart.com

Here are additional articles to learn more. It’s really fascinating.

http://www.gia.edu/ruby-history-lore

http://www.gia.edu/ruby

The wearing of Ruby can also be beneficial energetically. I use it as an empowering stone, representing passion and grace. It’s a “power” stone.

Read more here:

https://crystal-cure.com/ruby-gem.html

2015-08-08 16.38.57

As many of you know I am a big fan of lab created Ruby. I really appreciate the price break.

Ruby can also be embed or set, in your metal clay work.

 

palagems

image courtesy of palagems.com

Peridot is the birthstone for August. What a rich color of Olivine it is. It was for centuries confused with Emerald – people believed the 200-ct. gems at the shrine of the Three Holy Kings were emeralds – when in fact they are Peridot.

Learn more here:

http://www.gia.edu/peridot-history-lore

http://www.gia.edu/peridot

It is about a 7 on the hardness scale and a bit more durable than quartz – less abrasion over time.

There is no lab created version of Peridot. There are plenty of simulants like CZ colors that look similar to Peridot. It can be fired in place in metal clay – at lower temperatures.

Considered by early Christians to be a sacred stone, Peridot is a “spiritual” stone known to bring a sense of lightness and centering. You can learn more here:

http://crystal-cure.com/peridot-gem.html

If you have any questions about these stones . . .comment below or send me an email.

Be well . . . make something everyday, even if it’s trouble . . .

Much love and light,

IMG_4386

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Just a Bit on Alexandrite

http://www.ajsgem.com/gemstone-information/alexandrite-17.html

http://www.ajsgem.com/gemstone-information/alexandrite-17.html

Alexandrite is the birthstone for June.

I have a couple of links for you to check out on this marvelous stone. To summarize: Alexandrite is the color change variety of Chrysoberyl. Legend has it that the man who discovered Alexandrite, in the Ural Mountains of Russia, named it after Tsar Alexander II – which I suspect was a you-better-have, kinda thing.

Aside from Russia, Alexandrite has been found in Brazil, Tanzania, Sri Lanka and Madagascar – not Mexico. From the start of lab grown corundum (sapphire) – the color change variety was passed off as both natural Alexandrite and lab grown Alexandrite – so be thoughtful when you purchase.

There really is a lab grown synthetic Alexandrite – having the same mineral and chemical components as the natural material. Although I have no natural Alexandrite, I have lab grown material available at $60/carat and simulated (color change corundum) at $20/carat.

In this picture it's raspberry color :)
Lab grown Alexandrite. In this picture it’s raspberry color 🙂
custom jewelry, magyk custom work, ring, fine silver adornment

A ring I made for a client last year. There is a lab created Alexandrite and a lab created Emerald

“Alex” is said to aid in healing some physical illnesses.  Contemporary practitioners of crystal healing have agreed that it may be helpful in treating challenges of the spleen and pancreas and possibly regeneration of neurological tissues. Don’t eat them though. Please go to a practitioner for guidance and usage. 🙂

Alexandrites are also great for energetically promoting self-esteem and appreciation of the world around us. The stone can assist a person in developing “inner energy changes” which correspond with intention. Alexandrites will aid in centering yourself. Again, don’t eat them, WEAR them 🙂

Here are the links, I promised:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chrysoberyl

http://www.alexandrite.net/chapters/chapter8/index.html

Lab grown Alexandrite is also fire-safe in fine silver metal clay, at 1470. BONUS!

Much Love and Light,

IMG_4386

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Fun Facts About Emerald

Emeraldlogo519

Image courtesy of Sparkle N Dazzle Gems
http://www.sndgems.com/emeraldeducation.htm

The Luxurious May Birthstone

Did you know that Emerald is a Beryl and is included in the top 4 list of precious stones? Aquamarine, the March birthstone is also a beryl.

Emeralds are the green variety of beryl, a mineral which comes in several other colors that are sometimes also used as gems, such as aquamarine which is blue, heliodor which is yellow, morganite which is pink and colorless goshenite.”

Emerald is the birthstone for May babies 🙂 wink wink – that would be me.

And this from Crystal Cure: “Emerald is a stone of great harmony, wisdom and love. Giving your lover an Emerald will bring the lover closer if the giver’s motives are pure love. The Emerald can be a bridge between 2 people. The Emerald vibrates with love.”  https://crystal-cure.com/emerald.html

Love, wisdom, harmony . . . all associated with abundance which the energy of Emerald is all about really.

I personally love Emerald, and would still love it even if it weren’t my birthstone, however, I am more appreciative of synthetic (lab grown) emerald versus natural emerald. LabEm Ears grown material is exactly the same as the natural material – except it has no carbon spots, gas bubbles or other inclusions.

Synthetic emerald can be fired in place, in metal clay, whereas natural material cannot because of it’s inclusions. BONUS!

Folk ask me all the time, too, about the energies in a natural emerald versus a synthetic (lab grown emerald).  When playing with natural stones of any kind, remember this: natural stones carry historical energies from where they were found and much of the energy of all who have touched them since – CLEANSE YOUR GEMS/and crystals.  If you happen upon a stone that was born/dug up near an ancient burial site, for example, be extra diligent.

Since the mineral structure of a synthetic emerald is the same as a natural emerald, it will carry energy….but not from where it was born – that environment is pretty clean. It may have some energy from those who have touched it, before you did, however that is pretty transitory. When I sell synthetic emerald, it’s been cleansed and discharged, so that it may be charged by it’s new owner 🙂  Hope that clarifies things.

BTW – an “inclusion” is material within a stone that ‘marks’ it. In the case of emerald, it naturally has carbon spots, gas bubbles and other markings in it from it’s growth process.

Emerald is an 7 – 8 hardness, which is close to Sapphire, however, I do not recommend it for rings or bracelets, because it can get abrasions and possibly fracture, from wear.  It looks lovely in pendants or earrings, and as Cleopatra would have it, in a crown 🙂

Did you know that it is also difficult to cut to avoid shattering? And that the most prized Emerald, comes from Columbia?

Much Love and Light,

IMG_4386

Other resources for information on Emerald:
http://www.gia.edu/emerald-quality-factor
http://gem5.com/stone/43/emerald/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beryl
http://www.healing-crystals-for-you.com/emerald-stones.html

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New Adventures Await . . .

Hello Lovers of Lovelies and those that love making them 🙂

I have decided to move out of my store space at Crafted. Right off the bat, I want you all to know that this does not mean that I am “quitting” or shutting down my business. Quite the contrary in fact!

I am still available for custom work, and in the coming days there will be a gallery and shopping cart on the site, here, for you to see work and buy work. I will also be going back on the road at assorted shows, so stay tuned.

I will also continue teaching – however, classes for the balance of March are cancelled and the dates for April are on hold until I find that perfect space to teach them in. By the way, if you have suggestions, I’m all ears. It’s still in my “master plan” to move to the area.

There is a part of me that sad. I will miss my every weekend interactions with those of you that come often to Crafted, as well as my fellow artisans. It’s quite a diverse group and it’s always fun to talk about life, the ‘verse and everything.

I will treasure a great deal, all my experiences for these last 4…almost 5 years. If you are new to my site, I’ve had a ‘heart-space’ at Crafted since the doors opened in 2012. I saw the building before it was refurbished . . . I have been witness to the ebbs and flows and growing pains and incredible celebrations. I met incredible clients and phenomenal artists. I have seen artists and staff come and go, and now it’s my turn.

From the perspectives of my art and my understanding of making art my business, I have grown up at Crafted. I have learned so much. I’ve experienced a wealth of support and encouragement, I have laughed, cried, danced and slept at my desk – made things and taught things. It has been a tremendous joy (most days 😉 ) to be a part of this community

What a ride!

It’s time now for me to experience new wild rides and experience other places and other people. I’m not leaving anything behind . . . just moving forward . . . towards, new growth and expansion.

If you know me, you know I have ideas already, however nothing I’m ready to share just yet 🙂 AND please know that I am still here, still making and still teaching.

Reach out if you have questions. concerns, or a need for a lovely.

I hope you will join me in celebrating the unfolding of new adventures. Thank you for all your love, through purchase, kind words and playing in classes. I look forward to seeing you on my new road(s), I will definitely keep you posted.

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Is It Them? Or is It You?

It seems to be THAT time of year, where I stand on a soap box and share the following ideals. *cough, cough* I’ve spent the last three weekends not selling much in my store and, not having sign-ups for classes. I’m not into any kind of “poor me” about this.

It does, however occur to me – things are manufactured, packaged and marketed, and displayed in a place for purchase . . . people buy those things . . . as a result, wheels get greased, salaries are paid, workers eat and pay *their* bills, cogs still move . . . biz keeps flowing – right . . . check . . . ok.

How come, we seem to *see* that as it relates to every other biz on the planet, EXCEPT an art-biz? Or is there some other thinking afoot.

Artists work to create a lovely. The lovely has heart and soul and brings value to the “end user” . . . it has meaning and purpose . . . just as a shirt made in a factory has, or a car . . . or a box of cereal. The artist then packages, markets, and displays the art for sale. We have “overhead” too . . . and we  (I am including myself) – oooo and ahhhh and say it’s “pretty”, or “lovely work” or “cute stuff” or in some cases “STUPENDOUS”.  We might have the money on hand to buy it, or we might have to give up 3 lattes to have it, (we will always ‘find’ money for what we want) and yet, we don’t buy it, or we don’t sign-up for it. How come?

Is it the social/political climate right now? Is it the money? Here’s the real question . . . who are we undervaluing when we don’t make the purchase . . . the artist or ourselves?

I can tell you from personal experience that the artist is *feeling* undervalued, and thinks that perhaps the work is “ugly”. And that’s my problem. After 10 years, I rarely take it personally ….any more 🙂

I believe, in truth, it is us . . . it is me . . . it is YOU that YOU are undervaluing. You tell yourself things like “I don’t deserve nice things”, “I can’t afford it”, “I will wreck it”. As an artist that sells her work, I am familiar with these “objections”, and really, I can tell you all day long, that you DO deserve nice things and please avoid being so self-deprecating . . . which I have said often, if these things are said out loud to me . . . and I’m pretty convinced it makes little impact. You really have to make those decisions for yourself. I know I do.

I JUST did this recently. While having coffee with a friend, I saw a sign for a Tai Chi class series. It’s $144 for 12 sessions – HELLO – that’s $12 a session, and yet, I immediately dismissed it as being too much money. I’ve wanted to do Tai Chi for a very long time . . . so I reminded myself that I have a DVD at home. That’s sad right? I’m giving up a chance to play with others cuz I think it’s too much money, when the really truth is, I’m scared of looking weird and I don’t believe I should treat myself, cuz I have so. many. bills . . . because obviously the last $40 I manifested, will be the last money I ever manifest. Does your brain do this?  . . . gosh there is just no prosperity thinking there. 🙂

So, I’m gonna say, next time you pass up something you really love, ask yourself, “Is it them? Is it the price? or is it some unkind thing I am saying to myself, about myself?”

If it’s a class, (y’all all know I offer classes) . . . is it the price? Is it the time it will take, really? Or is it the unkind thing you are saying in your head about how you “think [you] are not creative”, or you “don’t deserve to do something nice for [yourself] like take 3 hours out of a day and just make something….cuz after all, who is gonna do the dishes, or the laundry?”.

Just sayin’. Treat yourself better, treat yourself well. The people around you will appreciate your happy, centered self. It’s a win-win too. The artisan you buy from is happy too.

Much Love and Light,

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Creativity Saves Lives

12237272_1663842657194985_706759763_nThe belief that I have, that creativity saves lives, is so firm in my core. It is a HUGE part of why I teach and why I create Lovelies for Lovers of.

Grab a cuppa something . . .

How this present journey began.

I am an introvert. I often feel challenged by being around more than one person at a time. I do, however, crave, like many humans, connection with others.  But not just any connection. I prefer deep meaningful connections, which scares some people, and puts casual dating way out of the realm of possibility.

I am a person that enjoys wearing, handmade, well made, pieces of jewelry. One day I found a rune piece in silver. The rune, Uruz, loosely translates as a “strength” rune. At the time, I had some appointments coming up and decided, this is just the intention I needed to focus on for these meetings. I wore my new rune all the day, into the next.  Whenever I felt I was loosing breath, I grabbed the rune tightly and I felt calm. Lo and behold a beautiful pendant had become a talisman for strength.

That next day, while at a coffee shop, I saw a person who was wearing a rune necklace. Without much thought (which surprised me), I blurted out “WHAT RUNE IS THAT?!?”. Startled, the person looked at me, offered a slight smile, and then we began to chat about runes and rune study. Connection around creativity had begun.

We walked out of the shop together and headed to our respective cars and talked of meeting up again. This new person in my life, shared that there were others I might like to meet – “Others….” I murmured . . . 🙂

Just as I reached my car . . .

asteroid-strike

. . . an asteroid fell from the sky and landed on the once pretty coffee shop.

SEE!  Creativity saved my life.

 

 

Okay, I jest a bit, and let’s add some components to the mix.

I am also challenged by depressive episodes and anxiety challenges. My depressions are cyclical and in the old days could last for a month. Nowadays cycles only last for a day or two, at most a week.

I am also “energy sensitive”, which can cause, during tumultuous times, for me to feel much like a cat on a hot tin roof. In the old days, I would need to not communicate/leave the house for days at a time. Nowadays, I am able to quickly identify the sources and “manage” my anxieties. I still have that rune.

Putting the components together I am a mixed assortment of human condition that kinda needed saving . . . from the perspective of a community I could reach out to, when I needed to. In those moments in the coffee shop, I created insta-connection . . .

SEE! Creativity SAVED me 🙂

[Note: the above rune meets rune story is VERY true in it’s spirit, however the actual event had to be modified]

Here’s the ‘other’ side. This is a timeline of sorts.

There I was, a self identified Introvert, prone to cycles of depression and spontaneous actions, similar to a squirrel on crack.

Years of working at it, transformed how I responded to things . . . and I was always seeking.

I began to grasp ownership of my skill as an Empath and Intuitive and began to journey more into how I can be of service. I had once been a counselor, but felt that was not the journey for me.

I also felt a strong pull to adornment making. I felt my trajectory had to be pieces of meaning . . . talismans . . . adornment that is resonant.

I had spent a few years working in a somewhat traditional jewelry making environment, and then discovered a newish medium . . . metal clay. Metal Clay Art & Classes I teach

“OH MAN” I shouted to the ‘verse, “THIS IS THE BEST THING SINCE SLICED BREAD”.

I spent days scouring the internet, buying books, looking at videos and trying to understand the magic of the material.

Of course I decided I needed to teach this to others and of course, I was going to save the world with RUNES  . . .  and Chop characters, and tiny Tarot cards in resin and Warrior’s Creeds and pentacles and any other piece of meaning someone wanted me to make! Remember, I had been saved by a RUNE.

indexRUNE

So I dove in and instantaneously decided to build a business with this new sliced bread.

I kinda followed in the footsteps of those before me who had businesses making jewelry. I did big exhibits and little exhibits and took a class or two and built a website, created an Etsy site and signed up for expensive business coaching and spent a lot of time, flying by the seat of my pants.

I often look upon those days with both a wince and a slight chuckle . . . some memories bring about an uproarious laugh.

I started this journey in late 2007.

Although I had overcome a lot of challenges in action and thinking about having a jewelry and teaching business, there were still pieces I couldn’t quite figure out.

By 2011, I was exhausted, burnt to a crisp and hated everyone. I had no money, my marriage was in flames; my sister, whom I’d been distant from for 15 years, was dying; my other relationships were nearly nonexistent and my children weren’t speaking to me much (divorce villain). I quit!

I announced the “close” of my business. I was going to move on and get a “real job” and get a divorce and somehow, live happily every after.

June 2011, I closed the business.

July 14, 2011 – my husband moved out, my children were angry

July 27, 2011 – my sister died

2a5d13c9e900ec21930ffa32cf9223c2I felt smashed into a 1000 pieces. It was all too much in such a short period of time. The dark days were returning . . . it was as if the clocks of the ‘verse had been turned backwards. I wanted all the hurt to end.

For a long while, I wandered about aimlessly. I had no thought of putting any pieces together. Day to day, I just did what was in front of me. I took care of my daughter, took care of the pets, ate, slept, took deep breaths, cried often – rinsed, repeated. I spoke to very few people and the idea of “healing” from all the hurt, was far from my plan.

One day, I went into my studio for something. I had not been in there since June. I stepped in, panned the room . . . and could not remember why I was in there. My eyes landed on my work space. Still laid out with tools and material and a few unfinished pieces.

I sat without really thinking about it, I picked up tools, I started working.

Sometime passed and I looked up and it was dark outside.  There were 7 new pieces in front of me ready for the kiln. She popped them in the kiln and stepped out in to the hot air . . . and quickly dashed to the house where there was additional air conditioning 🙂

Although it was dark, things felt brighter. I sat down and wrote at my computer for over an hour. There was clarity…there was hope….there was creativity in that writing.

A few crashed hard drives later, that writing has been lost, and I remember most of what I learned that day. Above all, what I remember is my decision.

I decided to pick myself up, abandon the notion of a “real job” and get back to work. “There are so many people that need to be creating to get through, whatever it is that has smashed them.”

SEE! Creativity saved my life.

My creativity saved me . . . literally . . . from despair.

In 2013, when my father passed away, being able to sit and make things with playdoh, saved me from an intense despair and helped me get centered and stay centered.

OH MY GOODNESS! Interesting read Delia, but what’s the point.

I’ll summarize.

I cannot possibly list all the ways that being creative is beneficial. I mean, I think, it centers us, calms us, creates community, brings us back to love, allows self-expression and enriches the lives of others…..and SO MUCH MORE. What I can say with out a doubt, it that being creative has transformed others and in my own experience, it has literally saved my life.

There are many more ‘parts’ to my story, and you’ll have to wait for the book.

cracked-heart,-dry-land,-water-146173The art I create, is partly informed by my life experiences and meant to be of value to others. Clients pay me a lot of money to create cool lovelies for them that, that have meaning and won’t be found in another store. They are pieces that are informed by their experiences that they share, represent them and often broaden their community, or as in the case of my rune, help them in their daily life.

The teaching I do, is informed by the skills I have amassed and my life experiences.

Others’ life experiences may not be as intense as the ones I’ve had  . . . or those experiences might be more intense than mine. In the end, life events are life events and they affect us.

If you are looking for a way to thrive through life and reach past events in a really creative way . . . take a class.

Are you an introvert? Do you walk through depression and anxiety?  I know what that is like . . . read the story again if you need to. I hear you . . . I see you.

I created an online class with the express purpose of providing an experience that doesn’t put pressure on you to talk to anyone/show your work or even ask a question. I can tell you that asking questions and showing your work, will benefit you, and you don’t have to. It really can be an experience of “art therapy” that is personal to you. You will find it peaceful, meditative and fun. Mistakes are celebrated and encouraged . . . self deprecation is discouraged and met with love.

Think about it, but not for long.

The next series of the Magyk 6 week Online class in metal clay, starts next Tuesday. Learn more here: Magyk Online

It just might save your life.

Much Love and Light,

IMG_4386

 

 

 

 

 

PS. There is not a ton of scientifical data (I know I made up that word), demonstrating the value of creating and our mental health, however I found some sources that might interest you:

“Why Art Saves Lives”

“Can Art Save A Life”

Assorted articles of a psychological nature http://www.apa.org/monitor/2014/06/arts-creativity.aspx

Classes

Classes

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Fun Facts About Emeralds

Emeraldlogo519

Image courtesy of Sparkle N Dazzle Gems
http://www.sndgems.com/emeraldeducation.htm

The Luxurious May Birthstone

In March I talked about Aquamarine, which is a beryl.  Did you know that Emerald is also a Beryl and included in the top 4 list of precious stones?

Emeralds are the green variety of beryl, a mineral which comes in several other colors that are sometimes also used as gems, such as aquamarine which is blue, heliodor which is yellow, morganite which is pink and colorless goshenite.”

Emerald is the birthstone for May babies 🙂 wink wink – that would be me.

And this from Crystal Cure: “Emerald is a stone of great harmony, wisdom and love. Giving your lover an Emerald will bring the lover closer if the giver’s motives are pure love. The Emerald can be a bridge between 2 people. The Emerald vibrates with love.”  https://crystal-cure.com/emerald.html

Love, wisdom, harmony . . . all associated with abundance which the energy of Emerald is all about really.  And it looks so awesome in silver 🙂

I personally love Emerald, and would still love it even if it weren’t my birthstone, however, I am more appreciative of synthetic (lab grown) emerald versus natural emerald. LabEm Ears grown material is exactly the same as the natural material – except it has no carbon spots, gas bubbles or other inclusions.

Synthetic emerald can be fired in place, in metal clay, whereas natural material cannot because of it’s inclusions. BONUS!

Folk ask me all the time, too, about the energies in a natural emerald versus a synthetic (lab grown emerald).  When playing with natural stones of any kind, remember this: natural stones carry historical energies from where they were found and much of the energy of all who have touched them since – CLEANSE YOUR GEMS/and crystals.  If you happen upon a stone that was born/dug up near an ancient burial site, for example, look out.

Since the mineral structure of a synthetic emerald is the same as a natural emerald, it will carry energy….but not from where it was born – that environment is pretty clean. It may have some energy from those who have touched it, before you did, however that is pretty transitory. When I sell synthetic emerald, it’s been cleansed and discharged, so that it may be charged by it’s new owner 🙂  Hope that clarifies things.

BTW – an “inclusion” is material within a stone that ‘marks’ it. In the case of emerald, it naturally has carbon spots, gas bubbles and other markings in it from it’s growth process.

Emerald is an 7 – 8 hardness, which is close to Sapphire, however, I do not recommend it for rings or bracelets, because it can get abrasions and possibly fracture, from wear.  It looks lovely in pendants or earrings, and as Cleopatra would have it, in a crown 🙂

Did you know that it is also difficult to cut to avoid shattering? And that the most prized Emerald, comes from Columbia?

Here’s another link for more information gemologically: GIA

Much Love and Light,

IMG_4386

 

 

Other resources for information on Emerald:
http://www.gia.edu/emerald-quality-factor
http://gem5.com/stone/43/emerald/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beryl
http://www.healing-crystals-for-you.com/emerald-stones.html

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RECAP

. . . of the last few weeks

Made ’em ….delivered ’em

Taught ’em

Made it  . . . delivered it

enjoyed the hail…as did my gnomes

made it – in store

made it – in store

taught it

working on it, the stego

made it . . . delivered it

working on it, the drawing of the stego

cleaned ’em

made it – in store

made it – in store

made it – in store

taught it

 

Coming up . . . a blog on how art saves lives 🙂 Magyk Mini-Intro 4/17; Whimsical Rings 4/23 & 4/30, and open studio on 4/24 . . . May 7 – Fold It, Hang It, Color It

Much love and light,

IMG_4386

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