Friday, February 04, 2011

In Neutral

For several weeks I've been re-thinking my goals in life. I went back to selling on eBay back in October to make extra money for Christmas and I'm happy to report that everyone got nice gifts from me because of it. I've been selling there since January 15, 2001 and had a 100% positive feedback record. Today a customer (male) left me a neutral because he felt I overcharged for shipping. An extra $1.38 apparently broke his budget but since I charge a flat rate for all my customers (he lives in Jersey) there are times when it costs less to ship, as in his case. I clearly state in my listings that I will happily refund monies if a customer is unhappy FOR ANY REASON. My husband feels I'm over reacting and in essence I am. What is one neutral out of almost 1500 feedback. It doesn't really change my overall profile but because of my obsessive personality it changes everything!

For almost 12 years I have been putting off a project that will not only benefit my pocketbook but will benefit a lot of people as well. Since I was in kindergarten I always thought I'd become a teacher. I have taught various mediums over the last 40 years that I've been an artist so that seemed to fulfill my need to share my knowledge. But that domain name I've paid for year after year has been sitting there and now I think it's time to put it to good use. has been waiting for 12 years to host my online teaching methods.

When the idea first occurred to me there was not the availability of hosting services that there are now. So I am mulling over how important it really is to continue to produce art for others to buy. Perhaps it really is time to share my knowledge with others so that they can produce art for others to buy. I know that making art is what saved my life when I was going through my fight with breast cancer. It took me outside of my everyday concerns of survival and allowed me to find peace. And oddly, or maybe not so oddly, things have been popping up in unexpected places that have reinforced this notion.

So I write this with an eye toward sharing what I know in a classroom setting that you can pop into even if you're in your pj's and it's 3am in the dark of night. If you'd like to put in your 2 cents worth, go over to my new blog Art Demos Dot Calm (just click on the title of this posting) and vote for what classes you'd like to see demonstrated. I'll be making a decision in the next 5 weeks about whether or not this plan is conceivable.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Just one of those days

I find that whenever I'm at a crossroads in life my thinking naturally tends to become dark and depressive. The more I obsess over negativity the more I attract it into my life. I'm addicted to depressive thinking...just think what I MIGHT accomplish if I thought happy thoughts...boggles the mind just to consider it.

I think the majority of us are mired in negativity. How can we not be? All we have to do is turn on the TV or radio. It's rarely the happy news hour. We hear of death, destruction, earthquakes, fires, missing women and abused children. So how do we take that bad news, push it aside and break through to a happier place? I know of only one way that works for me. I immerse myself in a new project. Usually one that centers around creating something new. Doesn't even have to be of an artistic nature. It can be as simple as changing things around on the fireplace mantle to reflect a change of seasons.

When my Dad passed away in May of 1998 I was devastated. He was such a creative thinker and so full of knowledge. Then I read "When an old man dies, a library burns to the ground." To memorialize him I started a newsgroup in October of '98. It was dedicated to bringing together polymer clay artisans of all levels of talent. Today, that group is still alive and the oldest polymer clay group on yahoo. While I no longer lead it, the woman I passed the reins to has done an exceptional job of keeping it a positive and sharing place.

I also bought a domain where I intended to teach others to work with polymer clay. It never took off. Mainly a money issue followed quickly by my discovery of a lump in my breast. Breast cancer changed my life in ways I could not even envision at the time. Most of them positive but once again the negativity still abounds at times. It's then that I go into my 'turtle' mode. Friends know when I'm 'turtling' because they won't hear from me for days or weeks on end. Most of the time it because I'm re-evaluating my life or the direction of that life.

Over the holidays I once again turtled for awhile and then something happened that changed my mindset and may in time change my life. I saw an ad on Facebook that was promoting an online classes in mixed media called "Mixed Media Melange". I was fascinated but knew I couldn't budget it. Two Facebook friends took it upon themselves to pay for that class and as I blog this I'm awaiting video class #3 to be uploaded. I'm having a great time creating for creation's sake and not as a way to earn money.

This class has stirred up a lot of unresolved issues. The main one being what I started out thinking I'd be when I grew up. An art teacher or a dress designer were top contenders. I was conflicted about which one to pursue but a collage junior decided for me by asking for my hand in marriage. He gave me two beautiful children and almost 40 years to pursue my love of art. I've done just about everything that a creative person could do. Moving from one creative effort to another; lingering on some for years and others for a week or as long as a month. And during those times I've also spent many years teaching others my "art/craft du jour".

So where is this blog post going? Somewhere positive and creative I think. But I'm going to need your help to get to where I think I'm supposed to be but that post is for another day and time. Thanks for spending a few moments while I emptied my mind out on the page...Writing has always been cathartic for me and today is no different.
I'm feeling much more positive about my tentative decision. Stay tuned for details.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Who says Miracles don't still happen?

Over the last 24 hours I have had the most amazing thing happen to me. I was commenting on facebook about my desire to take an online class but unfortunately it wasn't something I could budget. In response to that post two women who I know only out here in cyberspace secretly sent me paypal payments to use for the tuition. They both sent the total amount of tuition plus a little extra to cover the PP charges. I am so touched by their actions that I've been weepy and sniffly all night and day.

These RAOKs (Random Acts of Kindness) are sadly lacking in most of our lives. We're always in such a rush to get somewhere we sometimes forget to do even little things. Hold the door for someone juggling packages; forget to smile at an older person walking by; say thank you to a harried check-out person; stop and admire someone's garden. Each day we're given opportunities to do something special for someone else but often the question we silently ask ourselves is "what's in it for me?"

These women, one in MA and one in the UK did not have to go to these lengths for a stranger. But they chose to reach out to someone to brighten their day. And in my case, renew my hope. When I was fighting breast cancer 6 years ago I was so wrapped up in the fight I didn't think about why I was fighting to live; I just fought! In the last few months and years I've questioned why God let me stay around if His only plan for me was poverty level existence. I still am wondering just how He will finally show me why I'm still here. But two women have so touched my life that I think He's beginning to revel His plans just a bit.

The online class I'm taking is called "Mixed Media Melange". When I saw it advertised on the FB ad sidebar I clicked on it out of curiosity more than anything. Looking at the list of supplies I saw that I had EVERYTHING they said was needed for the class and I wistfully posted about it to my 3000+ friends. Never dreaming that I'd ever have the chance to take it, let alone have two women reach out to me financially, I'm putting God on the spot and asking him to show me a way I can use the knowledge that I'll gain from it for a higher purpose.

I'll keep you posted. I've made a promise to myself and my readers to blog more and offer more of myself. I'm keeping faith by doing these postings as miracles start to happen all around me. God Bless Rose and Dawn...two angels in disguise!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Why Can't I Own a Canadian?

I suppose I will be damned to hell by some folks who read this because I admit to being tolerant of all others despite their sexual orientation or religious beliefs. But I found this too amusing and informative not to share:

In her radio show, Dr Laura Schlesinger said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22, and cannot be condoned under any circumstance. The following response is an open letter to Dr. Laura, written by a US resident, and posted on the Internet. It's funny, as well as informative:

Dear Dr. Laura:
Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate.

I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God's Laws and how to follow them:

1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination, Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there 'degrees' of abomination?

7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?

8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? Lev.24:10

16. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I'm confident you can help.

Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

Your adoring fan.

James M. Kauffman, Ed.D, Professor Emeritus,
Dept Of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education
University of Virginia

PS (It would be a damn shame if we couldn't own a Canadian)

Friday, January 14, 2011

All Good Things Must End Someday

Last night at about 9 pm EST my little chihuahua, Tyler, died in my husband's arms. It was a sudden illness that took him in less than 24 hours. We are devastated at his loss since it was unexpected and so very, very quick. But we all got to hold him, cuddle him, kiss him and tell him we loved him and then my husband sat with him in his arms for two and a half hours while I took my daughter to her first bridal show. I didn't want to leave Ty but my husband insisted I go and I'm glad I did. Ty passed shortly after my daughter and I returned and I will miss his sweet disposition and gentle eyes forever.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

WILD GYPSY JEWELS is now on facebook

And this should show up as my "like" button. If not...just click on the Title line above and join my page

WILD GYPSY JEWELS is now on facebook

Click on the title of this post and please LIKE my page...your help in 'liking' my fan page is much appreciated!

WildGypsyJewels is off and running.....

January 2011 and I'm making resolutions to...

  • be more proactive with my art by:
  • blogging, tweeting and FaceBooking regularly
  • offering something FREE to the public at regular intervals
  • GIVING something away monthly
  • writing about what I want to read about
  • NOT getting personal; no one cares if I've broken a nail
  • networking with other bloggers
  • successfully working my NEW eBay store (click title above)
  • TAKING MY ART SERIOUSLY after a decade of indifference

Now that having been said I do want to catch my readers up on a few personal things. One is that my beautiful daughter, Lauren, became engaged to her e-Harmony match on Christmas Eve. Somewhere in the archives are pictures of them on her 30th birthday...I hope. Tonight is the bridal show for her chosen venue so off we go to do the Mommy, Daughter, Auntie, Future s-i-l and m-i-l thing. So far the only stumbling block is money. See my notes above on my proposed remedy:)

And the other, very sad and very scary thing I want to blog is that my little five lb. Chihuahua, Tyler, almost died this morning. I resuscitated him and we now believe his airway was being obstructed by a loose tooth. We preformed some minor surgery and have given him some fluids, antibiotics and baby asprin. All in all, a family living at the poverty level at the moment has done what they used to do before there was a Vet on every major highway...we have taken care of our own livestock and are cautiously optimistic that he will recover. I was up a few times during the night after he failed to eat at bedtime. I'm saying little prayers for the 'big guy' since at almost 13 he's still a major player in our family's circle of pets.

So there you have it...the second blog post after four months of 'turtling' by the Jersey Girl. Stay tuned for giveaways, freebies and good stuff without any b*tching and complaining about LIFE. Because once you have kicked the a@@ of cancer you MUST be willing to enjoy every single minute of LIFE no matter what it hands you. As my son is fond of is great and a necessary evil...but the only thing money really affords you is experiences. Interesting thought about the green stuff that fuels and sometimes stalls the economy of this family and this country.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


I didn't realize how long it had been since I posted....holy crap! I apologize to anyone who was really interested in seeing what I was up to but this past fall has had me all over the map...emotionally AND creatively. When I last posted, my sister and I had planned to start crafting together again. That didn't work out but the fault is all my own...I wandered off into a different venue and never returned.

In the last four months I've returned to selling on eBay. This time with adorable pendants that seem to have become quite popular. So popular in fact I can now go grocery shopping every week :) One of my NY resolutions was to start blogging on a regular basis. So I'll be back...and sooner than four months...with some interesting ideas for giveaways and other goodies. I've also started selling on a number of different sites so to say that I've got a bit of catching up to do is an understatement. If you want to see what I'm doing in the on the title of this post and it will take you to my eBay.