A little bit of life, love, and artisan jewelry but mostly the
Home of the Confused Muse..
Where you will find the meadering thoughts of an actively artistic brain - as well as my latest creations, events, soapboxes, dramas, crisis, blessings, and life in general.
This is also the home of "ChrissyMarie Jewelry and Accessories", named for my daughter! Twenty-Five Percent of all sales from this line are donated to B.I.T.S. aka "Better in the Saddle", a local non-profit Equine Assisted Therapy Program ....because we KNOW horses help make miracles!
December 31, 2008
I decided to work on basic stuff around the house while my DH, sweet man that he is, went off to do a bit of home maintanance work for some friends from church.
Have I ever mentioned that my DH is accident prone? Did I mention that today's activity required the use of a circular saw? Oh. Well, I probably should have mentioned that first.
He called me this afternoon sounding a bit stressed and asked me to call the Dr's office....he was on his way and wanted them to know he was coming...he cut his hand. "How bad is it?" I ask. Says he, "Not bad but it's bleeding pretty good so just meet me there."
Okay, after 25 years living with this man I know the signs of shock and denial...he was exhibiting all of them. I met him at the Dr's office (she wouldn't even let hime check in!) and rushed him to the Emergency Room.
His hand actually looked pretty good and didn't appear to be bleeding too bad so I wasn't panicked but there had definitely been some major bleeding involved. Of course, the E.R. is packed to the roof with all kinds of patients suffering all kinds of maladies.
Short story? Four hours later we walked out of the E.R. Barry had all 10 of his fingers but two of them were wearing stitches. His left ring finger only took three stitches to close. The left index finger.....8 stitches to close and that was after a major trim job by the Doc. That finger was pretty mangled. He's very lucky to have it at all!
So, thank heaven for E.R.'s and E.R. Doctors and nurses, all night pharmacies, and pain pills.
Think I'll go to bed and say my prayers and thank God I can still hold my husband's hand in mine.
BTW - didn't get a darned thing accomplished today but I was definitely where I needed to be!
December 18, 2008
Of course thinking of one infant led to thinking of another....I was missing my little Kingsley and decided to put together an Etsy Treasury of things I'd use to keep him warm this winter. Click on the title of this entry and it will link you to a wonderland of warm babies! Enjoy!
Note: While there are some really beautiful babies out there...there just aren't any as beautiful as my grandson :)
September 30, 2008
August 19, 2008
August 18, 2008
July 06, 2008
On July 5Th, I celebrated my 50Th birthday! My husband and I share the birth date although he's a smidgen older. He doesn't like to acknowledge birthdays but I am just the opposite. This has made it a little difficult over the years but he usually wins out and we celebrate quietly.
This year was different. I declared early on that there would be a party celebrating my 50Th year. It was really important to me to celebrate and declare my survival on this momentous day!
I've had a rather interesting and sometime crisis filled life starting with my birth father's death. There was nothing accidental or natural about it. It was pure malice on my birth mother's part and as life would have it...she got away with it. It was an incredibly traumatic experience. Our home life was always turbulent, and quite often violent, and it was for that reason I was not surprised when one did not survive the other. There were seven children in my family, 3 boys and 4 girls. I was the 4Th born and at the age of 5, left in charge of the "little ones". Finally we became wards of the state. We spent time in orphanages and foster homes. We were divided, reunited, then divided again. Eventually were were adopted into several different homes, allowed to visit once or twice a year and then slowly weaned from the pack.
I was adopted into a wonderful Christian home. The only real problem - I was both ADHD and had Reactive Attachment Disorder. Back then there was no diagnosis for these maladies. I was just a "difficult child" and I'm sure my new Mom and Dad were more than a little tempted to disrupt the adoption on several occasions. I was not frilly nor lady like. I had no real concept of "manners" and wanted nothing to do with indoor life or the mixed vegetables that consistently appeared on my dinner plate.
Life was always chaotic and just a shade off kelter. I was smart but not a good student. I was a tomboy but not at all athletic. I had little self confidence and struggled constantly with the belief that one day I would be told the storybook life would never be and would I please just go away and leave these good people alone. That is RAD in all it's glory.
Relationships were never allowed to develop, I pushed others away as soon as I suspected they might actually come to love me or I them. RAD "victims" would rather be alone than risk being hurt or abandoned. It was sadly evident by the time I reached college that I was not "normal" but I had by the ripe old age of 17 developed "coping skills". I was really good at "acting" normal but underneath I just simply wasn't.
By the time I graduated from high school, I had developed a new problem - this time it was a curious string of physical maladies. It was not that I was seriously ill or stricken with a terrible disease. I just seemed to be sick or injured most of the time. I think my parents were a little embarrassed. They just didn't understand how I could be sick so often or so clumsy that I was constantly getting hurt. No explanation was imminent so I went off to college.
College? Well let's just say that is an entirely different blog topic. It was not a great experience. It was not even a good experience. So....let's NOT go there at all. I wasn't successful there and once again disappointed my parents, flitted from one romance to the next avoiding flypaper relationships, and sadly, hurt a lot of people along the way.
There is a pattern here but no one could see it nor could they imagine there could be a connection between all of these events and attitudes. Finally I dropped out of college, attended a tech school, got my certification as a Medical Assistant and moved on into my second stage of life....marriage.
Ouch! "Disastrous" is a kind word for my first marriage. The only blessing was the birth of my son. It was a short lived union and more than a little damaging to my psyche. I have a friend who refers to her first marriage as her "practice or test marriage". That actually makes sense to me. Isn't that a scary thought?!
Eventually I did marry again and this time the marriage lasted. We're celebrating our 25Th Anniversary later this year. We adopted a child 18 years ago - a little girl who managed to develop all of the problems I had as a child of the foster care system and more. The point is we survived - each other and a myriad collection of mishaps and crisis.
Of course, most anyone who has met me in the last few years has knowledge of my "brain events" - the surgeries, infections, etc, etc, yada, yada, blah, blah, blah. Once again I survived.
Are you starting to see a pattern yet? Well it took me a long time but it finally occurred to me that God must have a plan for me that He is just determined to see through because I have been allowed to survive a lot of stuff in this lifetime. He does not now nor has He ever asked my opinion about how my life should unfold and I think it's obvious He isn't going to start now. It's a darned good thing too! I've managed to make a mess of things when I was in charge.
I'm starting to realize that although this is not the life I would have chosen it has been a life I can be proud of. I am not good at the things I expected to excel in and I seem to have found talent in areas I had never even considered optional. I still find myself in chaos and crisis. I think "weird" just follows me around, in fact, I know it does! But none of that matters because I have learned two incredibly important facts in the last fifty years.....it's not about me and I am not in charge! I'm learning daily to enjoy more, worry less, forgive myself and others and most important... step out on the limb of faith and sway in the breeze! So what if I do fall? I've survived worse!
May 15, 2008
I wirewrapped the birthstones of her children on the Snow Quartz heart, then added three lengths of chain with the birthstones of the foster children on the ends. It hangs very gracefully on the side. I used the chain to represent the room for love in Laurie's heart and home.
I can add a new birthstone with the addition of each new foster child.
April 26, 2008
April 18, 2008
I'm probably a little less patient than others because it's a job I've done in my past and anal little dickens that I am, I took pride in getting it done right the first time and in a timely manner. That's been several years ago now but I still expect the rest of the world to do things in a courteous and professional manner.
I was rather surprised today when the conversations I had with these people were actually very productive. I started this chore of paperwork with great dread only to be happily surprised. Everyone was polite, helpful, and even, in some cases, friendly. I was amazed and grateful.
Sometimes things go our way even when we don't expect them to. Sometimes people surprise us when we are least expecting it. Sometimes the best and only thing to say is "Thank You!"
I hope you have a great Friday and a great weekend. I think I'll spend mine pleasantly surprising others. Is there such a thing as being devilishly kind? :) I hope so!
April 17, 2008
I'm really enjoying this work. I haven't had much time or energy to spend on my jewelry art but I'm not feeling the urge at the moment. I truly think we are directed by God minute by minute each and every day. I think He is directing my energy in a different direction at the moment.
I haven't stopped working at my art I've just slowed down. I actually have had quite a few custom pieces in the works and sold a few in my Etsy store. It is still a busy little studio.
Yesterday I decided to take a couple of the girls to Sonic. My daughter was along and it was a really beautiful day so I'm thinking "Why not go to the drive-in and get a cold drink?" Okay, it really did seem like a simple thing to do but anyone who knows me also knows that "weird" just follows me around. I can't seem to get rid of it!
We're sitting at the drive in, we've placed our drink order and we're just hanging out. After about fifteen minutes went by I pushed the "call" button and inquired about our order. I mean, it was just a few drinks and a chicken wrap so it shouldn't take long to whip up. The guy assured me my order would be the next one delivered. Cool. So we're just sitting there hanging out and another fifteen minutes went by and still no drinks. I noticed that the line for the drive up window is buzzing along pretty fast so I pushed the "call" button again and asked if I should go through the drive up window to get my order. I mean, good grief!
Once again I was assured that our order would be right out! So, I'm not feeling real positive about the whole experience. It's getting warm sitting in the sun, we're thirsty, a little frustrated, and keep in mind I'm sitting in the car with two teenage girls and one pre-teen girl. Patience at this age is not in the vocabulary nor has it developed into a virtue. Imagine huge sighs, rolling eyes and loads of drama.
Finally after a couple more inquiries and having to repeat my order SIX times, I was assured our order was on it's way out and would be FREE! Yes, after 40 minutes of waiting for "Fast Food" the young man finally delivered.
He was very sweet and polite and apologetic. I'm thinking he must be having to handle this place all by himself, imagining that his co-workers didn't show up and just left him holding the bag. I have a really active imagination and am entirely too soft hearted for my own good, but that's a blog for another day......
I started my car (which is very quiet and I can hardly ever hear it running) and put it in reverse to back out of the little stall we were in. Something just seemed completely weird. I was rolling backward, I was in reverse, but there was something missing....oh, I know! My car was DEAD. No power at all left in this battery. I'd been sitting there so long that my battery had been leached of all it's juice. Now I'm not saying I'm the most patient person in the world but this just flabbergasted me and my last bit of patience was stubbed right out.
Did I mention that I was supposed to be meeting a man I don't know to give him an item I'd sold on Ebay for my husband...in a matter of minutes? Must have left that out. Just another little tidbit to add to an already weird experience. So, just keep in mind that a strange man is about to show up at my workplace and no one will know who he is or what he wants if in fact there is anyone home at all. I really needed to get back to work.
I called my DH on the cell phone to ask his advice. I'm in a town I don't know much about except how to get to the places I absolutely need to know about. My boss and only contact isn't home and probably couldn't help me anyway. What does my husband say? Well, let's just say that after we discussed his decision to cancel my "Onstar" coverage and his suggestion that I call a car dealership twenty five miles away for assistance I decided it would be best if I handled it myself.
I got out of my car with the intention of asking every customer at the Drive-In for assistance, specifically a set of jumper cables and a jump start. Mid afternoon crowds at this Drive-In seem to be pretty sparse so I nabbed the first people I saw...three professionally dressed middle aged men conversing just in front of the building. I politely interrupted the conversation and asked for help in the form of jumper cables or a jump start. They looked at me like I had three heads! It didn't appear that any of them knew what jumper cables are much less what to do with them. They suggested I call the local Police Station for help. I'm thinking the Police have better things to do with their time. I gave up on the three musketeers and moved on.
My next move was to go inside the building that I'm sure is being manned by one lone employee thus the long wait for service. I walked in and six...yes I did say six employees looked up at me in complete disbelief. How dare a civilian WALK into said Drive-In!
Once the shock had worn off they began asking if I needed help. I told them that due to my extended wait for service my car battery was dead and I needed help - whatever was offered. One young man sporting a glorious black eye held up his hand and volunteered that he had jumper cables in his car. A man I assumed was the Manager gave his permission and the boy and I walked out to my car. Comrades.
He pulled his car up next to mine and whipped out the jumper cables. Much to my chagrin his face mirrored my exact thoughts...."How do we use these things without blowing something up?"
I called my handy dandy spouse on the phone and he gave us step by step instructions on how to hook up the cables and charge my car battery. Low and behold it worked! I had a fully functioning car and a trio of absolutely mortified and embarrassed teenage girls. Gleefully I hugged the young man, handed him the cash I would have used to pay for our drinks and sped away. The peace sign he flashed at me as I drove out of the parking lot said it all. We were "Buds" and he had taken a huge step in his journey to manhood. He had learned how to use his jumper cables.
I made it back to work just in time to meet the stranger and give him his merchandise. (Doesn't that sound weird?) Everyone in my car appeared to be fine and unharmed if a little sweaty and breathless (the boy was cute!). The boss came in just as the man drove away and was met with three young women just dying to tell her about our adventure.
Funny how things like this happen. The girls learned a lesson I hadn't intended to teach. Not how to be patient and witty when waiting for overdo service, although that was included, but to take charge of their own situation whatever it is. You can't always wait for someone else to fix things for you . You can't depend on anyone or any service to be available just when you need them. Step up, take charge, and be nice to the guy who helps you out.
I am Woman! Hear me Roar!
March 28, 2008
This work is near and dear to my heart. I'm working as a Foster Parent Aide in a household with children who have Reactive Attachment Disorder. Having come up through the Missouri Division of Family Services as a foster child and then an adopted child I can certainly relate to what these children are experiencing.
The other side of that coin is experiencing life with a RAD child when you, as a parent, also have to learn to live and cope with being Attachment Disordered yourself. It's akin to placing magnets with like poles next to one another - they push away from each other even though they are both magnetic.
For anyone not familiar with Reactive Attachment Disorder, it is the inability to form emotional attachments to another person especially a primary care giver - usually the mother figure.
When I was growing up this wasn't a malady with a name. There was no diagnosis or treatment and very little understanding of the effects of abandonment and/or neglect on a child. Until my daughter was diagnosed with RAD I had heard very little about it. I certainly never dreamed I would be diagnosed with the same problem. I must say it's difficult to teach a child to trust you while you are pushing them away at the same time. I did say it was REALLY HARD WORK!
The wonderful thing is this...with enough work, persistence, and love you can learn to cope with, if not rid yourself, of RAD. My daughter and I now share an incredibly close bond and I'm so thankful to have her in my life. It's truly hard to believe that ten years ago I was seriously thinking of disrupting her adoption and returning her to the foster care system.
RAD is incredibly damaging to the entire family. The afflicted child plays the adults against each other and can inflict serious harm to a marriage. In the end everyone involved is bruised and bloody and an emotional disaster.
We were fortunate to finally discover an awesome Social Worker who specializes in RAD. She turned our lives upside down and completely around.
Years ago I wrote a poem about the feelings I experienced growing up. Basically a RAD person spends their entire life waiting for "the other shoe to drop." Not just waiting but fully expecting to be rejected or abandoned, and building a protective shell to ward off love from the people you most want to love you. I first named the poem "Emotion" and later revised and renamed it "The Bruised Heart". I designed a pendant in honor of the RAD child. I think there are a lot of us out there!
This is a photo of the "Bruised Heart" pendant I designed and the description I wrote for my Flickr page and my Etsy store...... "This heart has special meaning for me and if you've ever known someone with Attachment Disorder, who's been adopted, or abused and has trouble forming relationships...this heart is in honor of them.
The heart is a Dog tooth Amethyst named for the jagged edges that form between the Milky Quartz and the Purple Amethyst. Attachments begin forming while the mother feeds her child and eye contact is made. Trust begins. The Milky Quartz symbolizes feeding. In some of the hearts you'll see streaks of Citrine - which is the same as Amethyst until it is heated inside the earth's crust. Then the magic happens and Amethyst becomes Citrine. This process cannot be duplicated in Laboratories! Amazing huh?! Change happens when warmth and love are given. The bruised heart changes.
At the bottom of each heart is a Swarovski Crystal Teardrop, a reference to the tears of a child in the poem that will accompany the necklace.
I've used Black Satin Cord to symbolize the connection between a mother and her child. It is finished with Sterling Silver end wraps and handcrafted Sterling Silver hook and loop. Each pendant comes with a bookmark featuring the poem.
For those of you whom suffer from RAD....please do not lose hope! You can do this! For those of you expecting your first child...please take the time to bond with your child while they are still infants. Make eye contact and appreciate the wonder of the love you have for your baby.
If you'd like to know more please click on this link: http://www.radkid.org/
March 21, 2008
March 10, 2008
I've talked about the changes in my life of late. The good and better have been covered! Now let me tell you about the BEST change coming in my life....I'm going to be a Grandma! I've got to tell you I'm so excited I could just dance a jig :D
We're just in the very beginning stages of this little ones development and right now our concerns are with the Mommy and Daddy. My son, by the way, is "Daddy" and his beautiful wife is "Mommy". They are experiencing this first pregnancy with the shock and awe of most first-timers. She is begging for just one more little nap as she drags herself through the hardest days of this first trimester. We mom's all remember how overwhelming the exhaustion can be in the first few weeks! And I hear that Daddy has been up in the middle of the night to rummage for saltines and any clear, carbonated drink he can come up with. He's going to be a great expectant father.....
So, this is the biggest and best change coming. It's just one reason I've decided to take a step back and rethink my priorities and goals. I'll still have my store, my photos, my blog, and my custom orders. Heaven knows I already have enough pieces made up and ready to sell...I won't need to design anything new for quite some time. Looks like it's time to start clearing the calendar and collecting frequent flyer miles!
Tiny Stitches, I'll be there with an order soon I hope! Now, if I can just get them to tell me "what" we're expecting!
See you soon! Take care....
Not all of the officers/leaders are a problem and I can't name those who are so, what the heck, just shop with everyone! Just because we have different opinions on how a Team is supposed to work doesn't mean you shouldn't enjoy the wonderful shopping! I'll even tell you about my favorites!
Shelli of MondeDesigns has the most gorgeous custom embroidered wedding items! http://mondedesign.etsy.com/
Suzanne of Dumb Kid Designs has the cutest little wallets you've ever seen. Great little gifts for anyone! http://dumbkiddesigns.etsy.com/
Cindy of Cinderelish has a wonderful shop full of colorful pottery and tableware. I'd love to have several of her pieces too! http://cinderelish.etsy.com/
My competitor in jewelry design is Julie. A sweet lady with a great eye! Her store link is here: http://jewlli.etsy.com/
Another favorite is here at http://busymomcreations.etsy.com/. She truly is a very busy mom and still has time to make very cool stuff!
Click here for the most elegant greeting cards you've ever held in your hands!http://bbesigns.etsy.com/
And for the sweetest children's linens and infant needs click here: http://tinystitches.etsy.com/
This is one of the reasons I can't wait to be a Grandma!
That is just a sampling of the creative artists on the KC Etsy Street Team. So give THEM a chance and help them grow. You can't let a couple of bad apples spoil it for the whole bunch!
Now go shop! And don't forget to stop off at my store too :D
March 09, 2008
In my first post about change I told you about the hard lesson I learned about being in a group without leadership and I mentioned how much I love being a part of my church. It was because of a sermon my pastor presented a few weeks ago that I decided to make a change in the groups I had become involved with. I realized that it's hard to expect Christian and Faith based behavior from people who don't live it everyday.
I joined CAST, the Christian Artists Street Team on Etsy.com. The welcome was quiet but sweet. The change in attitude amazing and the craftsmanship? Well, let's just say there are some pieces of art that are of Divine Inspiration! I'm meeting new people who are led by the the very best - God. Who better to lead?
I know that sounds a little naive. The point is, with God in the hearts of the membership we have a better chance of succeeding as a group and surviving as friends. Sharing the same values make a huge difference!
I'm finding that I don't always make the best choices for myself the first time around. (I don't know why that always surprises me!) Sometimes we just have to listen to the messages coming in around us and concentrate on God's voice, push out the harsh tones of those who bully and hurt us, lean on those who support and lift us up...and make a change for the better!
Check out the art of the Etsy CAST team by clicking on the title of this post. There is real talent here....
I'll start with the worst of the changes - which as it turns out, is a really good thing....
Several weeks ago I posted here that I don't do well with groups. I admit it! I don't do well in groups because I'm not the kind of girl who likes cliques. It's just so "junior high school". I like so many people and I enjoy meeting new people so boxing myself in to a group just goes against my personality type. Now, having said that, I also love being a part of something really special!
For instance, I love my church! TVBC is such a special place and filled with such a wonderful array of people....well let's just say I love them all.
Dream Catcher's Equine Assisted Therapy Group is an AWESOME group of people who serve a very special group of children and adults with disabilities through hippo therapy - therapy on horseback. My daughter has participated in this group for several years now as a client. The result has been amazing! She has grown and developed so because of the horses and people in this group. Not only has she benefited from this group but my husband and I have benefited from being a part of the volunteer group who make up the Dream Catchers. (I'll blog more about this subject later and in the meantime be sure to check my Favorite Link List for a web link to this group's site.)
However, there are groups we get involved with that do more damage than good. When the leadership doesn't know how to lead, develop fair and balanced rules and guidelines, or how to avoid conflict of interest issues then it's time to ask questions. Unfortunately I asked questions and chose to do so in a private manner. I was not willing to embarrass the self-appointed leaders of the KC Etsy Street Team or cause a huge upset by posting my questions in the public forums so I emailed them privately and in the process learned a very hard lesson. Privacy not only protects but it also allows for an atmosphere of secrecy. Bullies lurk in the most unexpected places and never having been a victim of bullying, I didn't see the attack coming. In short I am no longer a part of the KC Etsy Street Team - this is my choice. I have been banned from the KC Etsy Flickr group because they are terrified I will post the truth of what took place. I opted not to do that before the ban was ever placed. It was a moot point.
I'm choosing the "high road". I have been threatened, lied to, bullied, and banned. Pretty vicious stuff for a small time group or "team" as they like to call themselves. What the leaders of that group didn't realize was that I had archived all of the emails shared between us and I am perfectly willing to share those records with any member of the KC Etsy Street Team who would like to know why I've been banned. I will not waste more of my time on this subject.
The bright spot in all of this was meeting the rest of the membership on the KC Etsy Street Team. There are wonderful and talented artists in Kansas City and many of them are a part of this group. Please check them out and by all means....BUY!
I'll be covering the "Better" part of this post in Changes...good, better and best! Part II.
February 12, 2008
These are the earrings she got to choose from...
February 09, 2008
I certainly didn't expect them to use a close up of my double chin but I'm sure glad they used a close up of my jewelry! Go check it out then come back and tell me what you think :D
I'll post more later.....
February 03, 2008
You've probably noticed all of my links and news about the Kansas City Etsy Street Team and our Valentine Trunk Show. Well, it was Friday night. I was all set to go, loaded up my car, my assistant (my daughter) and headed for the restaurant. Somewhere between home and our destination I took a wrong turn and my brain decided to take a vacation. Blank. I couldn't figure out where I was, what direction I was going, or how to get back to where I started.
We ended up in a part of town called Westport which is a big party area and it was super busy and crowded. Then we wound up on The Plaza which is driving hell on any day but when you're lost on a heavy traffic Friday night it's even worse!
As if that wasn't enough there was a huge crowd of protesters on the sidewalk and patrol cars everywhere. I'm not sure what they were protesting but they were angry and on the move! I just knew I was going to get stuck in the middle of that.
In the meantime, I have no idea what direction I'm going or if I should turn around. The minutes until the show starts are ticking away and I'm in LaLa Land with no sense of how to get back to where I started from. Eventually the time did pass and I knew it was to late to particpate in the show. Now, that was a huge disappointment! I've worked really hard to get ready for this and I've got to admit....I cried...out of frustration and disappointment, and embarassment. ARGH!
Finally I found a street I was really familiar with. I stayed on it even though it took me thirty blocks in the wrong direction because I knew how to get home from there. It took two hours and a quarter tank of gas! What a waste!
I had a good cry and then decided to look at the bright side which is really hard to do sometimes. But, I believe God puts me where I need to be at any given moment...even if I don't know where I am... He does. He got me home safe and who knows what other mishaps and danger I avoided by being lost. There is always a next show (if I can find it!) and no one was hurt or injured with the exception of my pride.
Did I mention that we had a very belated Christmas with my husband parents today? I got Money as usual....YEA! I' d been thinking how I was going to spend this and decided to save my pennies and use the combined funds to pay for Silver Smithing classes. Then I realized I'd probably get lost trying to get to and home from the studio! So, I ordered a Garmin GPS today with the money. It should be in later this week. Probably not in time for my next show on Thursday but it's coming. Until then, I just have to rely on MapQuest Driving Directions, and the kindness of friends who've offered everything from a ride to and from the show to caravaning.
My insulted brain really insulted me this time but I'm slowly but surely figuring ways to get around it. Who needs a brain when you have a GPS? :D
See you later.................