Earlier this month Glenny, a wonderful woman who owns Art & Soul, hosted a beautiful Christmas party for our Portland Artist group. She and her hubby own an old hunting lodge that is too gorgeous for words. During the party we were to have a present exchange. Of course, the night before, I sat down to make something fun. The bracelet above is what I made.....and kept. :) It was the perfect Christmas party accessory, how could I possibly give it up? I also made a beautiful pair of earrings as my gift and attached it to a very old school ledger.
If you notice on the second photo, I've marked "toggle" and "ring". This bracelet was made using a Dollar Store toggle bracelet. I removed the plastic charms that came with it and began attaching some of my favorite things. I used vintage glass pearls of all shades and sizes, vintage and new crystals, fun little red millinery berries from antique napkin rings and the most awesome antique rhinestone buttons I'd been collecting. It turned out yummy and I jingled throughout the entire party (not literally, but with all those beads and stuff, it's a little noisy!) Well, the other day, I came up with a cool idea....I was wearing a read turtle neck sweater and knew the bracelet would be hidden by the long sleeves....so, I took a long ball chain necklace, threaded it through each end of the bracelet and slipped it over my head. Katy and I were out shopping most of the day and I must have gotten 20 compliments on this necklace. It was time consuming, as I had to use my torch to make all the headpins....but I had it finished in a few hours. Hubby thinks it looks like "white trash" but I calmly explained to him that as my origins are from Texas...EVERYTHING is BIG in Texas and GAUDY is the style! oxox
Merry Christmas Eve! I hope everyone's thriving during the holidays. Things around here have been crazy, interesting and well. We've finally all gotten over our colds except for a lingering cough or sniffle now and then. While I'm still at the very end of catching up, I've accomplished most of the things that have wreaked havoc in my life over the past many months....I know I have some lingering orders that I need to track down and several packages, business and personal that need to be put together and mailed. On an emotional level, I'm a work in progress, but there is progress, which I'm thankful for. Today I'm going to talk about something totally different. Something hubby, Katy and I participated in. The photo above is one that hubby took last night with katy and I and a man who lives at Dignity Village *for some reason their "official" website link isn't working this morning, but was up yesterday, so, hopefully it'll be back up shortly*.
It all started for us on Thanksgiving. Having no family here (everyone's on the east coast or in Texas), we have had a three year Thanksgiving tradition of going out to a nice restaurant for dinner then to a movie. While driving to our dinner destination, we talked about how it would be nice if we could actually do something to give for Christmas.....not money, but action....something we could personally DO to give to people less fortunate than we are. About a few weeks ago I received a call from Patrick Lumbroso. He was calling people from his mailing list in hopes of raising donations for a giving tree for kids. (I honestly don't know how I got on his list, but have been receiving his newsletters for a year or so).
As we talked, I asked him if they were having anything going on around Christmas time that my family and I could participate in....such as feeding the homeless, etc. He told me that for the past two years, on December 23, he, his wife and the teachers and kids where he teaches plan a trip to Dignity Village. They bring instruments, sing Christmas carols and provide hot chocolate and marshmallows. He immediately said that I was more than willing to combine my desire for feeding the homeless with their hot chocolate/singing date. YIKES!
My first thought, "Oh know, what have I gotten myself into." It's so like me to have these ideas that would be awesome. Unfortunately I'm a visionary as well as a horrible administrator. I can come up with awesome ideas, but often, I attempt them on my own and get trapped in the muck of details where I'm not gifted. It's nice that I'm finally realizing and accepting this at 41yrs old. Blah!
I explained to Patrick that I often got myself way in over my head with my ideas but wasn't very great with the follow through part....he laughed and said he was the same way. I started talking out my ideas, told him what I thought I'd be able to do and he promised enough workers to do the leg work. When I got off the phone, I was afraid to even bring this up to hubby who knows the emotional state I've been in and also is familiar with my over commitment issues and has seen me get in over my head more times than once.
I'd basically agreed to make phone calls to restaurants and get donations that would feed roughly 60 people. (Patrick wasn't sure of the number of homeless living in the village, it turned out to be about 35). After working it out in my head, I thought the best way to accomplish what I wanted was to call local sandwich shops to ask if they would be willing to donate 5-10 complete bagged lunches which would include a sandwich, chips and a cookie. Katy thought several of her friends would pull together and make a project out of it. On the day I started making the phone calls, after I had half the meals secured, hubby called from work. He said that he and his co workers were discussing what to get for their big boss for Xmas....(what do you get a man who has everything?!?!). Someone suggested they make a charitable donation in his name as his gift. Hubby told them about what I was attempting to do and all agreed that they would raise money for my project. I called the two sandwich shops Pogy's and the Beaverton Sub Shop and ordered the rest of the meals from them. It was nice because they had agreed to give and I was able to purchase the same amount that they donated which helped all of us! With the donated money (given on behalf of Mr. Cho at Ron Tonkin Acura), after sandwich purchases, I had $11 left which I gave to Patrick last night for his Giving Tree.
Fortunately it wasn't as cold as it has been and I was crossing my fingers that there would be no rain. I hadn't any idea what to expect. Christine, Patrick's wife told me that we would be using the community building that had a wood stove for warmth.
Katy and hubby both had gone back and forth regarding this entire thing so there was a little part of me that felt anxious, mainly because I was going it alone....with no real commitment from anyone in my family suddenly, on the day it was supposed to happen. Katy went back and forth most of the day, when hubby had mentioned he hadn't scheduled off work to come with me a couple days before, I freaked a little, reminding him that I'd told him two weeks before to mark his calendar, etc....arrgghh. He called me and said he had found someone to cover for him for a couple of hours.
Okay, this is getting way too long....
I'm going to make an album on the right column with the photos taken.
Katy decided as I was walking out the door to pick up the meals that she was coming and I'm so glad she did.
It was an incredible experience, the people were very nice, I felt honored to have been able to meet them and to see an entirely different culture. I realize how blessed I am. One interesting thing, something happened and Patrick's team weren't able to give their hot chocolate. The meals that katy and I gathered, that were given so generously by caring people fed an entire community last night. oxox
Hi, it's been ages since I've posted. I'm amazed that so many of you keep checking back every day...thank you. I've been stretching myself way beyond my comfort zone almost every day lately. It's a good thing, but it makes me feel so tired by the end of the day....emotionally and physically.
I'll try to give a quick version of the last week. The last time I posted, I'd just mailed out all but one of the artists art decks....So far, I've had only one mistake reported....one of the artists ordered 20 decks and received a box with the correct number written on the outside (hubby's code so I would know who to match the # of cards in the box with the specific artist's order....I put her card and charm inside, taped it up, addressed it and off it went...with only 4 decks inside. Other than that, I've had two reports from artists disappointed because one, where her name and assigned card is listed, her spot was exactly before the last assigned name on one side of the cards...so, flip the card to reveal the rest of the artists and their assigned cards and contact info...well, the manufacturer skipped right over her....went from card a....flip to the other side...and there's C. no B. :( I didn't notice it at all. I'd given the list of artists as a word document and they transferred that to fit on the two specific cards set aside for text only. So, all of you....Please visit Denise T. and let her know you see her card and appreciate her! Also, my beloved friend Cinda sent me a beautiful card today and expressed sadness that the gorgeous card she made honoring her granny, Garnet, wasn't printed to show Garnet's full name! I've yet to go into one of the decks to see it, as I just received the card from Cinda tonight....but it's just sad...in both cases. To know I sent the manufacturer the information and this exact card below, with Garnet clearly seen.... I remind myself that in some of my favorite magazines, there are often little "correction" paragraphs correcting mistakes from earlier issues....and they have a team of people working to make sure everything's perfect!....but what is ever perfect? It really hurts my heart that two wonderful artists (and who knows, maybe others in the deck who haven't contacted me) have discovered something that wasn't perfect for their specific card. I can assure both of you, Denise and Cinda, Your cards are absolutely wonderful and my main purpose inside this deck has been to encourage people to visit the website and actually read each of the stories represented for each card. Your cards are incredible and I am certain they have made a difference in others lives....they've made a difference in my life. I have more to say, but it's late and I've got to go to bed before I fall asleep at the computer....
I've got to remember to share my botched eyebrow waxing job I did on Kimber, the 12 year old, chronically pmssing, had to miss school the next day thing....also, my treasures found in Centralia, the Portland Art Collective Christmas party I attended today and one of the sweetest presents I could have ever hoped for when I got home...a present from the dearest friend...Janey Jennings...I love you sweetie. oxox
Well, it's done. Hubby and I have mailed out all but one box of cards to each of the artists participating in the A4aC deck....there were 53 boxes total with one artist having two boxes because she ordered so many decks. If anyone knows Liz Shaw, please have her email me with her mailing address. She is the only person I can't seem to get hold of. To celebrate, I'll be leaving this morning for an overnight trip to Centralia, Washington for antiquing, outlet malls and xmas shopping. At night, my friend, Lenall and I will get a hotel room and make jewelry. If only my friend Stacie didn't work during the week!:( It won't be the same without you, girl.
When I return home, I'll be sending out invoices to all the artists with the shipping costs and totals for those who have yet to pay for their orders. Thank you all for being so patient. ALSO, when I get home, I will continue filling the preorders of the decks and will be adding a free deck of the first addition of cards in each package as a thank you for your patience. Once THAT is done, I will begin selling the decks to those of you who have been requesting them.
I received the decks from the manufacturer in late September and am glad to finally see this job getting done. oxox