Day 50: DANIEL

‘One who uses words to bring forth life’
— DANIEL, Birth Angels by Terah Cox

It's been 36 days since I have written an update here.

I have been in a listening mode for the last month. All eyes, ears, hands and heart...less mouth. 

My computer has been struggling also this past month...and a few days ago, Shayne went to the computer store and purchased me a new Mac Mini, and a new keyboard, as the one that I had before had an unfortunate encounter with my morning cup of coffee.

I limped along with an ancient keyboard for a few weeks, but it was stiff and hard to type on, so I just avoided the computer for the most part as I steeled myself to transfer my life in the last five years over to the new computer. 

I have been peering into my past over the last week via my computer hard drive, and there are some things that I want to throw out, and not bring forward into this new year. 

On Tuesday, I decided to NOT transfer everything over to the new computer, and instead, just saved it to an external hard drive to be available if needed. 

I am starting with a clean slate again...and you may be wondering what does this have to do with today's Birth Angel Daniel?

Well...last night I told Shayne that I am going to consciously try and clean up my language. As in...try not to use curse words and words that are coarse and ugly during  my day. 

I need a clean slate there too.

A switch has been flipped as far as using words are concerned.

I have been an avid user of curse words for over 30 years. To those of you that have spent time with me, this comes as no surprise...and I am grateful to the friends that I've had that have never really called me on this habit I've had over the years. 

Like a smoker, I've used curse words as a crutch to avoid dealing with the immediate underlying issues of my heat and anger, or hurt, throughout my life. 

But like a smoker, I am ready to quit when I am ready to quit...and not a minute before.

When I woke up this morning and found today's Angel in my mailbox, it was further confirmation that my intuition about using words in a conscious way is coming from a sacred place within...

If you hear me curse, feel free to remind me about this new intention...and I will thank you for it.

The real test will be when I accidentally hit my finger with my chasing hammer...

I wonder if I can react with eloquence and just say OW??

Make and Take Class Re-cap!


Last Friday's Make and Take Pendant class was super fun!

Jessica and I spent the better part of the day preparing the studio for the class, as well as using it as an excuse to put the finishing touches on some organizing we started the week before. 

We are just now starting to deeply understand how to best utilize our workspace and organize it so that the flow is easy.

Our retail space had a complete overhaul too...we now have a checkout space that is out of the way of the retail space so that people are able to shop comfortably without the flow being interrupted by a checkout procedure.

I should have my portion of the retail space up and running by March...I have been super busy getting orders out to my retail spots and am just now getting caught up so that I can begin selling in earnest in our studio. 

Anyway, our class of six people is a perfect size. We were able to get 6 pieces of jewelry made in the three hours allotted, and everyone was happy with their pendants. They learned a lot in three hours, and we had a great time teaching.

We also observed a few things that need to be improved upon for night classes with the most important being a couple of task lights on the main table in the middle of the studio. 

With that, we should be able to make the learning process more enjoyable.

Jessica and I will start these up on an every-other-week basis starting in April. If you are interested, sign up for my newsletter for announcements!

 

 

Ring Making and Circles

I started making circles on Saturday, and as I was busy making rings, these two lovelies came through our door.

"We are looking for rings," they both chimed...

"I am making rings right now," I replied, "so why don't you stick around and let's make your rings, and you can help me texture them?"

And we were off. 

Friends since college, their weekend was adults only with their spouses in another part of the city enjoying a different attraction. 

But these jewels were adventuring in the River Arts District, and they happened upon our door. 

I would like to think that they were attracted like moths to light to the ring-making activity going on, but they didn't know what I was doing, at least not on one level of awareness...but the other levels..well, something was afoot.

We made rings...we shared stories and pictures of their babes at home, and we connected over bits of metal that were soldered shut into circles signifying the commitment of marriage for one, and the memories of a beloved grandmother for the other.  

Metal transmits emotions and feelings...and takes on meaning with one's intentions. These rings  were a way for me to connect to two adorable women that are journeying over some landscapes that I've journeyed through myself. 

Questions and longings for something more...these are things I know something about. I was about their age when my inner voice started yelling at me to be heard and acknowledged, listened to and to start taking action.

While their rings were polishing, they went away for more exploration, and they returned to the studio excited and anxious to see how their rings turned out. 

I was gifted again with a peek inside their dreams and aspirations, and we talked and commingled our stories trying to learn the universal lessons that our combined experiences have left us with...and we shared them.

With each other. 

I hope I see them again...I hope their experience to my little creative oasis quenched their thirst for living more deeply, with more connection and they felt heard and seen.

They made my day so much richer. This is why I love what I am able to do...connecting with breathing jewels in all their splendor. 

My life is so rich.

 

Day 14: MEBAHEL

For truth may reveal the fact of someone’s actions, but love tells the whole story of their intent and motivation, the purpose or pain that drives them. Think of this the next time you judge someone – or yourself – based on actions alone.
— MEBAHEL: Book of Days, Vol. 5, by Terah Cox

When I read the passage above, I was reminded of my trip to Washington, D.C. a couple of years ago.

And how we the people are mostly in the dark about the 'behind the scenes' life of politicians and those set with the task of governing and trying to be of service to others. 

Someone came into the studio last week and we briefly started talking about politicians. 

I popped off a statement that if one wants to be a politician that they must be a sociopath.

Yikes. Yes, I said that. And at the time, I really meant it. 

But.....

Upon reflection, I think that there is a lot to be said about the power of the group, of the status quo, and that most groups will act in accordance to their survival as that group regardless if it means the ship goes down as a result of the combined actions of the individuals in the group.

From what I briefly saw of my Washington visit, it was glaringly obvious that there are so many groups there all trying to survive based on their version of 'truths'.

But one thing I am beginning to understand is that access to the big Truth is impossible until we understand we are all parts of a whole and that there are as many angles of the big Truth relative to the amount of people involved...which is the whole of humanity. 

That's a lot of actions to sift through, yes? But actions are often just the tip of the Truth iceberg...and without the lens of Love, which takes into account intention, motivation, purpose and pain, the tip is all that will ever be visible.

I don't know the whole story of any politician's intent, motivation, purpose or pain that drive them. 

I don't even know that for myself a lot of the time. 

Sometimes my actions alone bother me greatly and I do judge myself pretty harshly. But I am getting better at forgiving myself and moving on, as long as I feel like I've learned from the experience. 

Awareness of one's motivations is a big step towards not acting in a way that is hurtful.

It's a big subject..one filled with many paths taken painfully. 

And I am still trying to figure this out. 

I do think conformity is a big problem for the release of Truth...one that I need to address first in myself.

I believe this may be an underlying reason for my exploration of individuation via art jewelry and writing. It helps release our own truths, which can help us to discover the Big Truth about everything.  

These prompts are coming from my interaction with The Daily Wisdoms series of books that my friend, Terah Cox, is currently writing. For more information about the 72 Birth Angels, please go to www.terahcox.com

 

 

 

 

 

Day 13: YEZALEL

Fidelity, Loyalty and Allegiance

She teaches me to find the light and be still with it. 

It's ok to to do nothing but listen to what my body needs in each moment. 

I understand the importance of being loyal to my own needs, my own desires and pledging allegiance to that.

Saying no...

Saying yes...

Being true to who I am and what I want to experience in each moment.

She shows me that every day. 

Eyes half open...

Focusing on my inner and outer...

One always informing the other.

Fully facing the sun...

To receive the gift of the present moment. 

Eternity. 

 

These prompts are coming from my interaction with The Daily Wisdoms series of books that my friend, Terah Cox, is currently writing. For more information about the 72 Birth Angels, please go to www.terahcox.com

Private Instruction ~ Karen Plum of Plum Designs

It has been almost two weeks since I had the pleasure of meeting Karen in my studio, and I wanted to give her some time to absorb all that she learned and experienced while we spent time together before I wrote this recap about our experience. 

Here is her online shop!

Karen currently lives in East Tennessee and already had lots of experience making her gorgeous jewelry; however, she thought it was time to start using a mixed gas torch set-up to increase her creative range in metalworking.

It took me about 6 months to gather up the courage to fire up my Gentec mixed-gas torch after I bought it, so I completely understood her desire to have a buddy with her as she contemplated adding this fantastic tool to her collection. 

Specifically, she wanted to learn how to fabricate pinned jewelry, along with some other common metal-smithing techniques that will become second nature with more practice and exposure to torch work. 

First of all, I could not have asked for a better jewelry designer to spend time with. She is super nice, adventurous, patient and very open to learning new stuff. She was really smart to split her day of instruction into two days with a night spent here. 

She arrived around noon on our first day, and we worked hard on the list of techniques she wanted to learn until the afternoon. Intense concentration can wear you out! 

We closed up the studio and went to a fantastic locally-owned restaurant after class where we enjoyed getting to know each other better, along with some tasty food and ambiance in West Asheville.  I got hopelessly lost a few times, (damn that Siri!) but she was able to help me out with her phone and natural sense of direction, which was nice.

Wait...wasn't I supposed to know that stuff already? lol...uh..no. The Asheville vortex of mixed-up directions hit; but we rolled with it, and had a great time! ( I even got lost taking her to her place to spend the night, which was only about a mile from the studio!)

Karen wanted to get started the next morning around 9:30, and then we hit it hard on torch work. As I referenced earlier, that was really a smart way to go in that she had a good night's sleep and was well rested for some more intense concentration. 

We had gotten to know each other better the previous day and evening, and by then, I had a pretty good idea about how to go about teaching her the torch based on how she learns best. 

And the really cool thing is that since she is left handed, I learned a more efficient way of using my own torch as I had to teach her how to use the torch as a leftie! So I got to learn some new things as well! 

I had a list of things she wanted more instruction with, and I printed that out to have with me in the studio. Everything we went over in class, I wrote it down so that I could type it up and email it to her after class. 

This worked out great, as I am very cognizant of the expense of hourly/daily private instruction. I really believe that total immersion is necessary to learn something new, and I don't want my students writing down stuff while making or learning. I think it is important to maximize our time together with hands-on learning. 

I typed up everything, including tool names, techniques we went over,  other artists and their websites or books I thought would be helpful and compiled it all into a document. She had it in her inbox the day or day after she arrived home. 

I am happy to report that she has written back to let me know of her new tool purchases, and I eagerly await to see what she will be creating next!!

She found an incredible deal on a Little Smith Torch set-up similar to the one that I use in the studio...so here is that link!

This torch is only $179.00 from this company!

The really great thing about private instruction is that you can try the tools you think you might want to get, but need a 'hands on' feeling about whether or not it will be a good investment for you. I think that was of great benefit for Karen.

We also touched upon the importance of really knowing what you love and like, and how to translate that into making your jewelry. Karen loves color and her direction is heading more towards color by way of enameling, and combining that with using more sophisticated metal structures in her work to support her use of color. 

I think that is a great direction for her to go in, since I observed her face light up with passion when she showed me examples of color and form that I recognized in myself when I started using more texture and pins in my own work. 

That is what this is really all about...getting comfortable with the tools necessary to support your ability to create what you are emotionally attached to with confidence and skill.

So, in conclusion, it was awesome to meet her, learn with her, from her and about her. I can't believe how fortunate I am to have this big space to share with others on their own passionate journey into creativity. 

And a few words from Karen that she graciously shared with me about our time so that I could share it with you....

Lucky me! I took a private class from Stacie in her well equipped new studio in Asheville, NC.
I wasn't sure if a private class was the right venue for me but am so glad I did. I learned much more from Stacie in a short amount of time than I   thought possible. Stacie is centered, professional, personable, relaxed, articulate and dedicated to teaching.  Stacie really made sure I understood every little detail of techniques before we continued onto the next project. She has a wealth of knowledge about jewelry and jewelry techniques that she shared enthusiastically with me.  If you feel you need a push, a new direction or fine tuning in your jewelry journey, consider taking a class with Stacie. 
Thanks Stacie! You have much Soul and Substance.....

 

If you are interested in Private Instruction, here is some more info....