Monday, April 28, 2008

AS POPEYE SAYS - "I AM WHAT I AM!!!" It is beautiful, but not by Nelson Mandela...

It is often said, that you should not talk about yourself.
But this is my journal, a place to write about myself.
Pass this post by if you do not like to read about determined girls.
Even more importantly, pass this by if you cannot handle me being successful and happy.
It is 5:27 am here, and while wondering about my day ahead, I discovered that I needed to absorb the fact that I must stop shrinking and playing small around others because it is doing me harm.
It has become a self destructive habit of mine to point out my flaws (and to invent flaws) to anyone and *everyone* in order to prevent intimidation.
People are often overwhelmed by me, my ideas, thoughts, personality, and talents... It's not easy to freely be who I am, so much so that I am not even myself anymore when I am just alone- by myself!
In H.S. I started to wish for BAD things to happen to me in order to make people think that I was "normal", to feel comfortable around me with their flaws... Everyone thought that I was just too "Pollyanna."
And then my life and the life of my family started to change. For the worse.
What a dumb thing I did.
I cannot keep doing this to myself.
I am who I am and I have worked very hard to be who I am.
I am tired of downplaying my knowlege, wisdom, my gifts, my talents, I am tired of hiding how blessed I feel and insightful I am.
I am really tired of how much I hold myself back from the spotlight in order to let others shine without them feeling that I get "too much" attention.
I made some bad choices in order to "shrink" along the way.
Ones that I do not want to sit around and regret.
There is no good reason for me to downplay how *HAPPY* I am.
I don't want people to be envious of me.
I have had a lot of trials and tests along the way that were tough to go through.
I fought for what I have. Literally I have fought long and hard!
I am not going to shrink myself anymore in order that others feel special.
No more spiritual suicide for me!
The following quote is not Nelson Mandela's. It is believed that Mandela used these words in his 1994 inauguration speech. It actually comes from the book A Return To Love, 1992, by Marianne Williamson."
'Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.' We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we subconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we're liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." (Marianne Williamson, author, from A Return To Love, 1992. Ack C Wilson and J Cooke. ]
My sincerest thanks to those who have been talking to me just a little bit more sternly and directly about how important it is that I do not hold myself back. How I need to just *be ME*... Around EVERYONE... And not hide my light- under a bushel, and not to let it be blown out.
I do believe that I have been gravely mistaken- a fool- and have delayed the growth of and encouragement of others in my life due to my self deprication...
I admit to-
Slowing down the production of my zine because others expressed jealously and pain after seeing what mine looked like. A few even wrote emails saying "Why bother making my own, it is not as good as yours."
I confess to deliberately pointing out my flaws in order to make others feel "special" and important... (DOES THIS EVEN MAKE SENSE?)
I admit to changing my schedule in order to cater to other people when it was totally inconvenient for me!
I admit to hiding blessings in order to remain "friends" with people who would be too envious if they knew what was really going on in my life.
I admit to being a person who should be allowing myself to feel free rather than bound up.
I am blogging this... I know this will help someone.
I cannot possibly be the only artist or person who has been doing this.
I will not even allow myself to delete this post. I will be bold and post it!
I am what I am!
That is all there is to say... And it is said with a heavy heart... With hope... That I will start doing my job and be OK with who I really am.

big feet little foot....

I took this picture over the summer- It might be a tiny squirrel footprint.
I thought that it was cute!

I love these shoes!
I snapped the picture last night before taking them off...

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The back of my first fine silver clay and 24kt gold nest with wings...

The front is pictured below a few posts down...

~*Chris Keys*~& ~*Heather Bluhm*~

I made a set of charms for some really special people last year for the holidays.

The words on each one varied, some say, "nest". "nestling" and "nesting".

Each finished piece was made with a domed crystal laid over an image of a bird (much clearer than the picture shows.)

The base is a pink mother of pearl bead, side drilled at the top. The surface was painted with 3 layers of paint, 2 greens and one copper. The word "nest" was cut from a turn of the century dictionary.

This particular piece, was made for Chris Keys.
I also made one just like it for sweet Heather Bluhm.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Here he goes again! This time with CLAY inlay! OLAY!

My intelligent husband has decided to try clay inlay rather than carve the wood.

He routed out the wood and filled it with clay which he then scribed the design into...

This too is only a test.

My first Art Clay piece .999 Pure silver

What you see here is a set of wings and a nest made of .999 pure silver. The nest is coated with a layer of 24kt gold. The word nil is made of the silver too and darkened with a black pigment. It is sitting on the drusy that I bought at the jewelry show last week.

The glittering of the leaf is AMAZING in person! Multi colored and brilliant! The leaf is going to be a pin and pendant as soon as I figure out how to do it perfectly. I also bought the agate with crystals which looks like a flower below.

"Vote" This piece is all together 1/2 inch big. VERY small!
This is actually part of a pair of earrings.


Despite deformities, mutations and scars, we are all loveable!

I am very grateful for the multitude of people who surround me with positive energy.

Those who share and understand what it means to give of yourself without the hope for reward or recognition.

Thankful for the TIME that I do have to accomplish all that I can.

Thankful to have leaders and elders around me that DO UNDERSTAND that they are ROLE models for those who are younger and in need of guidance and wisdom in order to survive this mental circus we all live in.

More than anything. I am grateful for the fact that when I pray, I know that I am being heard, and a power much greater than anything I can fathom is interested in what I have to say, how I feel and is looking to make my life adventurous and more fun for me!!!

Cheers to Debbie who I may not know very well, but is a sweet and kind person. In honor of her birthday (May 4th) I write this post!

~*Kelly Snelling Loves Me!*~ :o)

I have this happy warm heart feeling as I write this!

It must be love!

Kelly made me a really sweet birthday bracelet constructed of turquoise (Kelly met the man who mined it and he told her all about the mine in Arizona. She says that he was quite the character. That must mean he was fun!), faceted florite, biwa pearls, a Peruvian opal and an old key (which was given to her by a friend for Kelly's birthday) and the purple bead which may have come from Mija.

She has a few goodies on display over on her blog- The following was written along with the picture of the bracelet on her blog.

The Key is LoveY<--- click here to see her post on April 23rd

A snippet from her blog-

"I find You, Lord, in all Things and in all my fellow creatures, pulsing with Your life; as a tiny seed You sleep in what is small and in the vast You vastly yield yourself.

The wondrous game that power plays with Things is to move in such submission through the world: groping in roots and growing thick in trunks and in treetops like a rising from the dead." -Rilke
Kelly and Ruth are the co authors of a MUCH ANTICIPATED charm book!
~*A CHARMING EXCHANGE*~ (click the link to see it on Amazon)
Several of my cool art friends are featured in that book so be sure to take a look at it in the summer when it hits the shelves!
Amazon has a discount deal if you place your order now!
It is a piece which I will happily wear!

~*DownTown*~ NYC a block away from ABC carpet and Home...

I LOVE the beautiful architecture!

ABC is one of my escape from the pavement locations.
We love to stroll the floors and chat with the VERY cool and VERY friendly staff.
Earlier in the day, Regina had given me a small paper gift bag and bookmark for my birthday that she had originally gotten at a Kate's Paperie event that Liz Albrecht had told me about in 2006. It features work by my all time favorite muse Michal Negrin.
After gazing at the bag, I was inspired and since I was downtown later on that day I strolled on in to Michal's corner in ABC to see what was new.

A peek at what Christi Miller sent to me as a birthday gift!

This is the birthday fairy!
She has the prettiest wing charms on her back.
Christi also constructed a cool black and white felted bead bracelet for me!
Thank you Christi!!!

A WONDERFUL birthday and a wonderful day!

Wearing my black and white charm swap necklace.

End of the night- After a LONG day out! Me in my new hat- Graff lettering by "EQ" He was "inspired" by my street sig to do the lettering. I love the buildings he drew. I will glitz this up with a lot of crystals.

Thank you to everyone who sent me sweet emails, birthday wishes, cards & gifts.

I especially appreciate the gift cards and certificates to pick out my own goodies! THANK YOU!!!!
:o) YAY!!!

The best part was the LOVELY weather!

I just got home from Manhattan (Wrote this post FRIDAY night... but published the post 12:20 am Saturday, thus the date being the 26th...) where I had some fun experiences with independent designers and artists... I also passed by a junket for the Tribeca Film Festival... I am looking forward to attending...

OH! I "discovered" artist Terri Ventura today.
She makes what we call vintage assemblage couture.
Without knowing that Terri is already hooked up to blog land, I offered my info to the manager who saw my charm jewelry ala' the International Charms Swap group who was interested in hooking her up with me and vice versa. I was just interested in exposing her to a wider audience and ask if she would like to join our swap group.
Terri's work is right up my ally!
Check her out!
Many of you probably already know of her... she is linked to some of my long time and good artist friends - my swap pals and book pals Linda, Jenny, Ro, Sandra, and a bevy of less than 6 degrees of separation "friends" We really do have a woven tapestry art community!
(Insert the lyrics to "It's a Small World.")

I met "EQ" who graffed up a baseball cap for me with my name at Starbucks on 14th street.

I saw the work of Monica Magness in Art Doll and Haute Handbags. Her work is vibrant! She is also a VERY nice person! BE SURE TO VISIT HER BLOG to see what she is working on in honor of raising money for breast cancer...

Regina took me out to a local Starbucks before I went downtown... She brought over a bunch of B-day gifts which I will post pics of next week.
She passed on a copy of Belle Armoire Jewelry which I am enjoying.
She also shared how she too discovered the rusty bezel location!
AND how she too is now a friend of the Rottweiler

While downtown, I shopped a bit at Papyrus, and ABC carpet and home.
WHAT did I buy?
PAPER!!! For my mini art books!
A BEAUTIFUL sheet of handmade and machine embroidered butterfly paper at Papyrus, and a lovely green and gold sheet at ABC.
SO happy.

Although I wish that I could share more, I cannot.
TOO much happening and I am also very busy!

Please note that if you leave a comment during the week, it will be posted on the weekends.

Have a FUNTASTIC weekend everyone!


Monday, April 21, 2008

If you email me-

Please note that if you send me an email during the week, I can only text message you back.
Many people have been wondering why my reply emails are so short and sometimes abbreviated.
For the past 3 months I have been texting my emails during the week and using a computer on most weekends.
Since texting is not as easy and as quick as typing on a computer keyboard, you can understand that my replies will be short and directly to the point.
I posted a few little things to Etsy! have a look... ETSY

Have a fun week!


Sunday, April 20, 2008

Charms Charms Charms!

Here is an array of goodies laid out on a TV table waiting to be made into wearable art charms.

17 charm swaps currently open for sign ups...

Speaking of charms swaps--- I am currently hosting *17* themes/swaps in the charms group.

There are no sign up deadlines, but the rules of the group are a little strict when it comes to handing in work that is sturdy, well made, and does not include organic materials (we are an international group and the mailing of organics from one country to another can cause customs to get cranky...)

The charms must not smell like fumes either.

If you would like to join in, let me know.

The quality of work expected is above average and artistic design quality is required.
These are the current themes-
ALL of the following are due by or before July 21st 2008

1. Art Nouveau 6 for 6 pieces 1 inch or less

2. Art Deco 6 for 6 pieces 1 inch or less

3. Glitzy-Bling Bling-Rhinestones Galore 6 for 6 pieces 1 inch or

4. Tea for 2 or Two for tea! Tea themed charms. 6 for 6 pieces 1 inch
or less

5. Jingle Jangle Bells & Chimes. Charms that tinkle, jingle, and ring
when moved. 6 for 6 pieces 1 inch or less

6. Chic Junque Shop Boutique. Turn something that was once nothing,
into something FABULOUS! Must be willing to deck it out! This is
upcycling x10. Pimping out the plain! 6 for 6 pieces 1 1/2 inch or

7. A BEVY OF BEADED BEAUTIES! Stitched beaded sculpture, or encased
for 6 pieces 1 inch or less

8. A grand voyage charm swap. Create 10 for 10 charms due before July
21st. The theme is travel and a grand voyage. Be neat and creative!
Remember to check the files section to review materials that should
not be used. Charms need to be no larger than 1 and 1 fourth of an
inch. Make them sturdy and artistic.

9. MINIATURE book charms 6 for 6 with 10 or more pages No larger than
1 inch. BE CREATIVE and neat!
Create 6 beautiful and neat sturdy (enough to wear) book charms with
no less than 10 pages. Please make sure that the findings add no more
than 1/2 inch to the piece.

10. Fabulous florals. Charms made with florals as the focal point.
Nothing gaudy, just lovely and flowery.
10 for 10 please keep them smaller than 1 and 1/4 inch large. DUE
before July 21st. NO ORGANICS, be creative, artistic and neat.

11. Wire Nests. A charm set of nests and bird homes made of wire. Can
include what might lay within a nest, such as an egg, a little bird,
or a family.
Remember no organics (feathers or straw) Due before July 21st. Make 6
for 6. BE NEAT please, making sure that the wire is tight and will
not snag or scratch the skin when worn. Size should be less than one
inch WITH the findings.

12. Victorian. Simply put, lovely Victorian inspired pieces. Soft
colors, lovely images and a whole lot of fun.
Due before July 21st -Make 10 for 10 pieces no larger than 1 and 1/4
inches with the findings. Be artistic, creative and neat please.

13. Fabric and fibers free for all! 5 for 5 pieces Using images
transferred to fabric, or fabric that has been artistically decorated
you create a tiny work of BEAUTY. There must be a pretty or beautiful
image used on this piece in some way.
Sizes should be LESS than 1 and 1/4th inches in all directions.

14. Meet me at the Met-Masters of ART (Incorporate work by the OLD
master's of days long gone by!)
pieces must not be larger than 1 and 1/4 inches big. 6 for 6 pieces

15. Alice in Wonderland 10 for 10 pieces
Can be made from ANY media that is permitted in this group. This
means that you MAY use fabric, AND you can create a mini book charm
for this swap! No larger than 1 and 1/2 inches with findings please.

16. Charming Times --- Charms made with watch parts and gears as a
focal point. Think Steampunk, Victorian, or Retro Deco. 10 for 10 pieces
Charms must be safe to wear. Please be sure to keep the charms less
than 1 inch each piece. Be ARTISTIC

17. Black and white divas. 10 for 10 Charms made using only black and
white tones depicting famous divas. (Famous men divas are OK too!)
Be sure to keep them black and white! NO COLOR and the findings MUST
be black, white or silver ONLY. Size should be no larger than 1 1/4
inches large

Have fun!
Amber Dawn

In Stitches

Today has been all about chores...

I've not yet had any time to sit down and use my new machine yet, but wanted to post the stitches that it has.

What I REALLY like about this particular model, is that you do not need a presser foot to use it.

That is really handy for me because I would like to use it while sitting on the floor at some point when I stitch some very large panels of fabric together.

I am currently taking pictures of some goodies I found to post on Etsy and my charms swap lists...

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The excitement is mounting!

I am even more excited about the display/furniture that my husband is building for me!
It's been coming along slowly, but OH SO BEAUTIFULLY!
The following are a few pictures to illustrate for you what he is working on...
This is the arch of the left side door. Just a pencil sketch, waiting to be cut...

This is the centerpoint where the two doors will join...

This is a view of the mold that he constructed along with the doors after being molded and penciled...

This is just another view of the uncut doors with the mold/frame he made to bend the wood...

He is CARVING into the the doors... It is AMAZING!

This is a carve test to see how the wood cuts with various bits, blades and tools... He is still not yet satisfied with the way the wood is carving. He is looking for a different technique...

MJSA Manufacturing Jewlers & Suppliers of America

What a fun experience!

One of my students who is a member of the Bead Society of Greater New York gave me a VIP invite and some cash to have fun at the show.

And fun I did have!

I saw a few new things and some familiar faces, including a woman who I met on the subway one day in 2007 who is a jewelry artisan. Regina was also at the art clay booth right after I got there.

My wallet got a bit of exercise. I bought a bunch of goodies at the ART CLAY WORLD USA booth. My first time purchasing PMC.
It was only a matter of time before I finally bought some.
Someone named Jackie Truty was demoing and explaining the process of working with the products.
I was in a bit of a rush and she was pretty patient with me and my many questions. I am a bit nutty when it comes to buying new things and when I don't know about what I am buying, I LOVE to ask questions!
I bought 50 grams of the silver clay and it was EXPENSIVE... I bought 24Kt gold for use with the clay... it is like a TEENY bit and I could have ground up my own dust and saved $$$.
The clay paste was 10 grams in a large bottle.
and the clay part was a slight coating on the bottle!

OK that was a rant... I also bought a few photopolymer plates to play with. And overlay paste to use on fused glass.
((I made a few pieces from the PMC that I will be firing this weekend at some point.
I have NO idea what I am doing- But I love to experiment!))

I ran off to see a few sellers that I buy from who were showing.

Then I made a few rounds to some sellers who I heard would be there.

My FAVORITE booths were those that had the natural stones and FUN layouts. I met Lenny Quintana from Mexico at one of the mineral booths.
Seeing her tray full of stones and specimens inspired me to purchase a slice of something sweet.
I also bought a DELICIOUS drusy leaf with opal coating. WOW!!!
The price was NOT wholesale but I HAD to have it.
Eye candy beyond belief!!! My DH will be paying for the items when I get the bill. (a very nice birthday gift!)

There was an offer from a company rep for me to design something for their website... I am thinking on it...

I wore a few pieces of jewelry constructed from charms from the International Charms Exchange group. The pieces got a LOT of attention.

Speaking of which- I am hosting *17* new charm swaps!
Pretty cool themes! I decided to host them all at once to save members on shipping,

I digress- Rio Grande also had a booth there and so I had fun with one of the reps who with the patience of a saint answered my rapid fire questions.
I ordered two specialty tools and sampled a flex shaft with optional HAMMER mode! That was pretty interesting.

DH picked me up after the show was over, and we met another jewelry artist (who had been at the show) in Herald Square. I learned a LOT and am pretty excited about the connections she shared with me.

All in all, the people were VERY VERY NICE!
I learned a LOT and met a few new friends.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

A plea for more swappers to join my Black and White charm swap!

Now I am begging!

I really want to have 25 charms to exchange, but we only have 14 artists signed up so far.

*please consider* joining in!

The only reason why it is juried is to make sure that the work is not sloppy and harmful.

Here are the charms from my last private black and white swap.

Please think about it!


Are you attending the MJSA here in NYC?

I have an invite to attend, and was wondering if you or someone you know will be showing or browsing?
It is the BIGGEST show for beads and supplies...
I'm pretty excited about it!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

International Charms Exchange group Charm Swaps!

Art charms made by (listed from left to right) Amber Dawn, Heather K., DDSZOO, Sherry S., Ellen Gray, Chris Hanson, Jan H., Amber Dawn, and Peggy K.

My wonderful international charms exchange group has been such a delight to work with.
We are artists from all sorts of backgrounds, walks of life, ages and occupations.
What we have in common is the ability to share works of art from our hearts with one another.

Here are a few examples of two theme swaps that were held over the last two years. The first is a swap based on Asian culture, with good fortune and the color red.

The other sampling is made from a beautiful fabric wristlette that Sharie M. gave to me as a hostess gift. The charms were made by, (in order from left to right) Kate Webster (Top left) Felted "A" by, Amber Dawn, "Sneek a Peek" by, Jan Hamill, Sharie M. ---

CENTER cascade-
Top right side between the pink and blue bead- Colleen from NM.

"What's Your Vision?" by, Sherry S.

Orange felt with green sequins by, Orla Swift.

Comic fabric charm made by Catherine in the Netherlands

Embellished purple pillow charm at the bottom by, Colleen McGinty.

Right Side of necklace-

"Be You" by, Sharie M.

"Believe" birds nest by, Heather Kayser

Tiny pillow by, Ruth O'Connor from Australia

top right- POM POM fiber charm made by, Orla Swift.

This necklace was assembled from a selection of fabric charms submitted over the course of two swaps.


I am currently hosting a private black and white swap! Details are posted a few blog entries down. You are invited to submit!

I've been good and kept a promise!


I posted something for sale on my ETSY shop. Not anything that I have made yet, but I WILL! I posted 6 pocket watch caliber movement plates. Sans gears etc.

I have a LOT to post for sale, so bookmark me!!!


Beautiful Words

I've been scribing scriptures on mat board for some practice.
I have been practicing other languages and characters, but I need a LOT more time to perfect each jot and tittle.


This is my cake! It arrived early! My special day is the 23rd!

Lori gave it to me.
It's mine, you can't have it!

Lori Anderson, a ~*FABULOUS*~ designer and composer of all things beads and findings sent me an early birthday gift.


Bottle Cap Couture! Recycled art on sterling silver by Pati Woodard in NM USA

This is another cool trade that I received in the mail in exchange for rusty bezels. This piece was made by request, a mix of Elvis and Marilyn images.
Click here to see PATI'S RECYCLED GOODS!

A bracelet like this one would cost ya around $45.00
She can make them using all sorts of pictures!
((Maybe even pictures that you provide too? I will ask her!))

~*Cascading Jewels*~

While working at Calico Juno for less than a week... (you should check out her cool designs!!!) The designer who owns the company trained me how to work with gold and silver wire. I learned techniques on how to work the wire without marring and denting it too much. Thank you so much Bonnie!

Well, I am not quite there yet as far as tight and perfect technique, However I do like to practice! This freeform cascading piece is composed of CZ drops, dyed fresh water pearls, Austrian crystal bicones and gold filled wire.