Like the woman who bought a painting of roses because her deceased husband had always bought her roses. The connection could be a memory like that, or it could be seeing something that brings a friend or loved one to mind. Someone recently bought a necklace with elephants because her daughter loves elephants. That reminds me of my sister who I call the cat lady because she loves cats.
A dear friend recently asked me to custom make a necklace for her with a heart and a butterfly. Those two things somehow signify her parents who had passed away in the same year. She wanted to wear a necklace in memory of them.
Whatever the connection is, it usually has meaning. That touches me. I think one of the worst enemies to life is a feeling that it’s meaningless. That leads to hopelessness and worse.
So, I value every connection however small. It’s an understated but significant sharing with a person you might not even know. Like the one with the lady at the Farmers Market who bought a small circle necklace with a cross. Before leaving, she simply smiled and said, “It spoke to me.”
Can Inspiration Be Taught?
My son recently raised the question - Can you teach inspiration? Great question. I've never really thought about it, but my gut reaction is 'no.'
Inspiration is the force behind the creative. It's germane to the original, the authentic. Don't get me wrong, talent and honing one's skills are important, but inspiration is something that no one owns.
It's like the wind. It comes and goes as it pleases. You can't corral or direct it. It's not just a great idea. It's a life energy that carries that idea like the wind carries a bird.
Although inspiration can't be forced, it can be welcomed. You can prepare a place for it like you would for a friend coming to visit. Solitude and stillness seem to entice it, as does beauty.
Even though there's no compelling inspiration, It can compel you. It compels you to write, sing, paint, create. But it is, by no means, confined to music and the fine arts. It moves in every realm from gardening to cooking, to building, teaching, nursing.. and so on.
Inspiration. Can't buy it. Can't sell it. Can't teach it and, sure as heck, can't control it. It's the real deal.
So, I wanted a logo for my business, My Art You Wear Jewelry, but I didn't want to be the one who created it. I was looking for something that was different from my style. That's when I stumbled across fiverr. Fiverr is a website offering free-lance services to the entrepreneur on a budget. Freelancers from all over the world offer their services in graphic design, digital marketing, writing and translation, and a host of other things like audio recordings, etc. It's the free market at its best and competition keeps prices low. You can get a professional logo starting at $5. Need a resume written or a website created? It's totally affordable at fiverr.
My logo designer was a woman from the Netherlands. She had a B.S. degree from Amsterdam University College and a certificate in multimedia. She also had 630 good reviews. I was ready to order. Some of the things included in her services were a logo, source file, logo transparency, vector file, and UNLIMITED REVISIONS.. That's right. Unlimited. It took 2 days to get my initial order. I wanted some revisions and that took another 2 days. After the revision, I was very pleased with the design.
For people trying to start a business on a budget, fiverr is a Godsend. Check it out.
Go For It!
Some years ago, my daughter gave me a rock with these words inscribed on it: "Go For It." I love that rock. It's a prized possession.
That has always been my mantra to my children, my husband, my students, and any other person I hope to make the slightest impact on.
What is your passion? What makes you tick? What drives you? Plug into that. Find an outlet to express it. Turn a Hobby into a career. Do what you love!
Is it easy to walk that path? No. There will always be the critics and the doubters. There will always be those who have settled for the norm, the acceptable, and what's deemed as safe. Those people are a dime a dozen.
But the adventurer? The explorer? The pilgrim? The one who strikes out on an unknown path, even if it means going it alone? Those are the risk takers who end up changing the world without even trying.
Faith is a powerful thing - much more powerful than we give it credit for. So, dream, believe, take a risk, and see what happens. Go for it.
How Social Media Spanked Me
Ok, social media marketing is a beast, but I figured it was a beast I could tame. Little did I know how delirious I was.
The beast has many heads - Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, You Tube, Snapchat, and the list goes on. I’m not even counting the social media that I’m not familiar with like Tumblr, Digg, and Vimeo.
The thing about the beast is this - you cut off one head and another pops up somewhere else. There’s a huge amount to learn about accessing social media for your business. I go comatose when I think about it too much, so I try not to. The first time I encountered the need for tracking pixel code and how to put it into the html of my website, I backed away slowly and quietly, palms sweating. That doesn’t mean I’m giving up. It’s just another battle for another day.
I keep reading social marketing articles and blogs and I keep plugging along. But it’s not easy. Just when I thought I had achieved a small victory by putting my business page on Facebook, Instagram reared its ugly head.
I wanted to connect my Instagram business account to my Facebook business page, but there was a problem. I had to give Instagram my password. I hadn’t used my password in about six months and I couldn’t remember it. I hadn’t written it down. Don’t ask me why I didn’t write it down. I had written down my passwords to Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, Pinterest, and everything else under the sun. But not Instagram.
So I emailed Instagram Support, asking for my password. I swear I heard a low growl in the distance when I hit ‘send.’
We won't be able to help you until we receive proof that you're the owner of this account. Without verification that you’re the owner, we can’t be sure that we’re helping the right person. Please reply to this email with an attached digital copy of any of the following documents that match the information on the account:
- Local business license (issued by your city, county, state, etc.)
- Tax filing (Seriously?)
- Certificate of Formation (Huh?)
- Articles of Incorporation (What’s that?)
- Utility bill
I scanned my business license, attached it to an email, and sent it back. Can I have my password now?
They responded again:
We need you to verify your identity so that we can start resolving your issue. (You mean you didn’t start resolving it with the business license?) Without verifying that you’re the owner of this account, we can’t be sure that we’re helping the right person. Please attach a photo of yourself holding a hand-written copy of the code below. The photo you send must:
- Include the above code written on a clean sheet of paper, followed by your full name and username
- Clearly show both the code and your face
- Be saved and attached to your reply as a JPEG file
At this point I’m looking for a camera because I’m sure I’m being punked. But I write the code number down, take a selfie, and attach it to an email. Can I pleeeeeease have my password now?!
The beast responded and mercifully extended its scepter - a link to a new password.
So what came out of that epic battle? I jumped through all the hoops I had to and finally got a new password. What did Instagram get? My MUG SHOT!
Moral to the story? Your password to Instagram is the Holy Grail! Write it down!
*Disclaimer: No, the code above is not the actual code sent me. Do you think I want the Instagram police on my tail?
Crazy Love Necklace
I named this necklace "Crazy Love." Maybe it's because it's Spring or maybe it's because the shape of the heart is different from the norm. I don't know. I guess I just think love should be daring and creative and a little crazy. 😊
I'm still trying to figure out how to live on purpose. I mean living intentionally, being awake to the meaning that exists around me, and recognizing it as heaven's gift.
I imagine you can love on purpose too. Maybe not a big, head-over-heels, lose your appetite and your mind, kind of love. But maybe more of an intentional, fun, and creative kind of love. Like listening between the words when somebody is pouring out their heart, or giving a makeover to someone who's been ill, or writing a valentine poem to that exasperating teenager.
It's the kind of love that punctuates somebody else's day. Might not be earth shaking, but It puts the silver thread in the day's fabric.
And it makes you happy because you pierced through the routine and stepped off the beaten path for just a moment... and took the opportunity to love with a crazy love..
The Mojo Of the Cat's Eye Necklace
The cat's eye shell has got to be one of my favorite shells. In the Victorian era, the round part of the shell (that looks like an eye, ) was made into jewelry and was worn to ward off evil spirits. In different parts of the world, it is seen as a sign of protection and worn or carried in bags.
There's also a creepy story about two kids who were afraid to sleep at their grandmothers house, for fear she would kill them while they slept. So they decided to put cat's eye shells on their eyelids, so their grandmother would think they were awake. I don't care for all that voodoo stuff, but I did laugh at the image.
I actually favor the other side of the shell which is described as the third eye of Shiva. The third eye of Shiva is supposed to represent a heightened realm of consciousness. I don't know about that. I just think the shell is a beautiful, white spiral - reminds me of something pure and right and eternal. It's another bit of God's creation. That alone gives the shell a good mojo.
I knew I wanted to incorporate the cat's eye into my necklaces. I decided to grind the rounded part of the shell with a dremel drill so that it would look like a flat disc. I used masking tape to tape the shell to the table and I started to grind away. It's very important to wear a mask while grinding. You don't want that shell dust in your lungs! It takes a while to grind the shell down, even with the dremel on high speed. That shell is hard! It took about 20 minutes to get it where I wanted it.
When finished with that, I lay it aside and painted a stainless steel blank with swirling, fantasy paints. After 48 hours, the blank was dry and I covered it with ice resin. Before the resin dried, I placed the shell on top of the metal blank.
Not only does it make a pretty necklace, but it's a necklace with a good mojo! That's about as good as it gets!