Tuesday, April 28, 2009

International Charm Day

Today is International Charm Day! I thought this would be a good time to blog. I won't promise that I'll keep it up, since I already have all I can do looking at everybody else's blogs, but at least for today I'll post something. Head on over to Amber Dawn's www.InternationalCharmDay.blogspot.com for prizes, classes, and activities.

In the last few years I’ve been in roughly four dozen charm swaps. My collection is astounding! I know I should post photos, but do you have any idea how much time that takes? And making charms is so much fun that I’d much rather make new ones than take pictures of old ones.

Last week I heard from a publisher (Kalmbach, publisher of Art Jewelry and Bead & Button magazines) that the jewelry book I wrote with my friend Chris Hansen is going to be published. This is a dream-come-true for me. There’s still a lot of work to do. I still have to take something like 300 photos and do a bit more writing. But—Yippee—I’m going to have a for-real book with my name on it. And I’ll actually get paid!

My glass jewelry is sold through a lovely gallery called Artisan 133. I recently started selling my glass platters there, too. But the economic trouble of the past year was just too much for a new venture, especially one selling art, and they’ll be closing up shop. It makes me so sad. I loved the place.

I’ve been teaching Art and Craft classes at the Arlington Heights Senior Center for about two years now. If you live in the area, you ought to check it out. The classes are varied, the prices are reasonable, the facility is beautiful, and the people are welcoming and friendly. And you don’t have to be a Senior to take the classes. Upcoming classes include Basic Jewelry-Making (“Bead All About It”), a Trash-to-Treasure class called “Junque Jewelry” and a gourd-decorating class in the Fall. I also give classes in dichroic glass jewelry and polymer clay.

A few years ago I earned a Master’s Degree that focused on Life Coaching and Spiritual Direction. I specialized in creativity and art as tools for exploration. That’s why I call my blog (and my business) ARTandSOULtoo. My thesis is that many people find it difficult to articulate their goals or emotions but are able to express themselves through creative activities. For example, I can’t always figure out what life-task I want to work on next, but I can usually describe it in my journal. I use colored pens and diagrams and lists to map out my direction. I visualize where I want to be (or what I want to be doing) in three months or six months or even ten years. (Notice I don’t mention sketches or drawings. I can diagram fairly well, but I never took the time to learn how to draw, and I don’t plan to start now.) I’ll be teaching a class in this, too. I want to call it WishCrafting.

Since I started doing this kind of self-work I’ve accomplished pretty much every goal I set: teaching, writing, making jewelry, publishing a book, working with glass and having my work in a gallery. Now comes the really hard one: exercise and healthy eating. Since the first of the year I’ve exercised faithfully, with one long break for flu/pneumonia, and a couple of short breaks with no excuse but laziness. (I procrastinate until it’s too late.) But you know, I’ve been eating for a very long time (all my life in fact) and I have some seriously deep habits to change. Most of the worst ones involve carbohydrates and snacking before bedtime. I have to figure out a new way to reward myself, since it makes no sense to celebrate losing weight by eating something that makes me gain weight.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to comment.


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