2014 Fall-Winter Launch {...my first online catalog/LookBook...}

The Preacher and I just got back from a too-brief vacation, and it is time to launch my latest art and designs!  I am so excited about these offerings...I truly do believe they bring "tidings of comfort and joy"!

The back-story is this:  I wanted a way to group everything in the new collection together, so you could see it as the body of work it is...the labor of love it is.  So, to do this, I decided to create an online catalog, or "LookBook".

I've embedded this LookBook into the below link.  Enjoy!

Another Peek Into My Fall Launch {...my art, as a smartphone case...}

Just a few short years ago, I couldn't see myself with a smartphone.  I was an analog snob.  I was more than satisfied with my flip phone...the one with real buttons.  Buttons you could push.  I sent texts the old-school way...where you went with the number 1 and chose "a, b, or c", and so on.

Then The Preacher got a free upgrade on his smartphone.  He gave me his old one.

Then I started a creative business.  The kind of business that requires you to quickly master digital photography and open an Etsy shop and think outside the box.

Now I love my smartphone.  As in, "if-I-weren't-already-married-I-might-date-it" kind of love.

And I do think technology can be beautiful.  So long as it doesn't interfere with our making eye contact with our children, or making love with our spouse, or making time for a friend, I think technology is amazing.  In what other era could I run an entire business from the beach, with a few swipes of my finger, in less than a half-hour a day, while on vacation?

{Been there.  Did that.  Last year.  Made money while sitting on the beach for a week.}

So here's to the smartphone.  And yes....selfies and apps and all that smartphones entail.  Were I to coach you in your business, I would tell you in a heartbeat to get over yourself and dive into social media.  Do it yesterday.  Start instagraming and tweeting and Facebooking and blogging and heck yes, take a few tasteful selfies (don't try to be sexy - be professional, be fun), because people don't want automation, they don't want faceless,  they want to at least have an idea of who it is they are doing business with.

It isn't ego, when you run a creative business.  It's good business.

I took a few of my favorite mixed media pieces, and made them into smartphone cases/covers for Samsung Galaxy, and iPhones 4 and 5 (not 5C).

Find them here

Won't Someone Please Love Me For Who I'm Not? {...so I have a few personas...}

I don't need you to love me for who I am.  Well, I do, but I mostly need you to love me for who I am not.

Who I am is essentially understood, once you get to know me:  I am a believer in Christ Jesus.  I am a preacher's wife.  I am an artist and a communicator - a speaker and writer and blogger.  I am a mother to four grown children.  I am a grandmother to four - a three-year-old, a two-year-old, a six-month-old, and one on the way, whose name is Susanna Joy.

I am deeply loyal, deeply spiritual.  I am so intense that I need my closest friends to be not intense at all.  I have enough intensity...so much intensity, I nauseate and overwhelm myself.  I don't need more from anyone else.  I don't need a dose of hyper spirituality, complete with tears for all the world's prodigals (and my own) over lunch at Wild Wings.

I need you to love me for who I am not.  I need you to love me when I take a break from myself, which is a lot.  When, instead of primly saying that "I am a Christian", I flatly state:

"I am a jacked-up Jesus Freak!"

Or when I lovingly call my family, "The Freak Show".

When I am so broken I don't want deep conversation or even companionship.  (Know that "this too shall pass", and give me some room to be who I'm not!)

When I confess to being addicted to Red Band peppermint "crack sticks", or Dr. Pepper.  I'm really not addicted to anything but Jack Daniels - aaaand there I go again.  Just kiddin'.

See, I'm a living, breathing hyperbole.  I hyperbolate to blow off steam...all that intensity about the Gospel, it boils like a fire shut up in my bones, and occasionally I absolutely must act silly and say shocking things and adopt pretend personas to relieve the pressure of being inside my own head.

You should've been there when I played milk-pong at a church party, and pretended to get smashed on tiny Dixie cup after Dixie cup of milk.  I did make myself a little sick...but I had friends laughing until the tears ran down.

Laughter is carbonated holiness.  If that makes me holier-than-thou, I will let you figure out how to deal with it.

Yes, I hyperbolate occasionally.  It is my own signature coping mechanism, and I shan't give it up.

It's why I listen to the occasional country song.  ("Red solo cup!  I fill you up!  Let's have a party...let's have a partaaaaaay!")

It's why I sometimes use replacement vocabulary.  Dingdangdadgummit.  Shut.  The.  Front.  Door. 

It's why I can blog about boots and scarves and nail polish one day, and the Ecclesia the next. 

It's why I can think deep thoughts about pneumatology, but there was that time I almost lit my big toe on fire, and that other time when I couldn't properly signal a right turn while driving....instead, I honked my horn.  (??!  I have yet to figure that one out.  Don't you try to figure it out, either.  You'll never do it in a million years.)

The deep thinker is the real me.  The idiot-me is comic relief.  The hyperbolic mess is just for fun.

Love me...accept me...for who I am not.  Who I am won't scare you.  That other girl might.

Countdown to the Fall Launch Begins...{so much love will be in the shop for your holidays}

This design is the culmination of about a year's worth of tweaking.  I happen to love aged metal filigree - but on its own, it isn't very wearable, particularly with a heavy feature piece added to it.  I love to add something beautiful to the filigree - either my soldered designs, or any vintage or unusual new piece I happen to come across.  But they almost always end up too heavy, making the filigree cuff, on its own, difficult to keep arranged properly on the wrist.

I also love leather.  I can't get away from it, and I have tried to.  It finds its way back into almost all my designs.  But on its own, it can get ho-hum.

And so, voila.

So much of art is process.  You find out what doesn't work, far more often than you discover what does work.  I have pretty much discovered two hundred ways you cannot add a statement piece to filigree.

And one way that...oh yes, you can.

So...just as an aside...try not to balk at the price of an online course, or a piece of artisan jewelry.  I know what it is like to be on the tightest of budgets.  But trust me - you could not teach yourself or make it for that price, because you would have to buy the tools, and that is just the beginning.  You would then have to spend even more money and days and hours of your time in a trial-and-error process.

I am proud to be a maker...for you...

This beauty will be in the shop soon.  And she may be a "one-off" since I am loathe to repeat designs.

My artistic ADD gets the better of me.