Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Surfs Up!

My boy has always been a water soul. From way back when he was a teeny little thing.  He is happiest, most at home with himself and to use his words 'the most free' when he is swimming, snorkeling, body surfing, or getting tumbled by waves.  I have zillions (well, probably hundreds) of pictures of him in water, whether it be beach, pool, water park, sprinklers, or puddles.

I signed him up for surf camp this year, and I believe he may have found his core, the thing that may ground him and help sustain him in his life. A place like we all need, to go and recharge our minds, spirituality, and bodies.

He proved to be a natural at surfing, up and walking the board both ways, and DANCING on it, within 20 minutes or so.  He caught waves all morning.  When I picked him up, tousled blond and a bit sunburned, he was different than he was when I dropped him off, something fundamentally had changed, for the good. He had completely connected with the experience of riding the waves, the freedom, the autonomy, the abandon and the Zen spirituality of it.   I am grateful to my core that he had such connection with this experience.

And the bonus, as if he needs one?  The counselor assigned to him is a Parkour competitor, which makes him close to a superhero for my boy.

When I watch my boy on his incredible journey, I am struck by his innate sense of who he is, his ease at living, his confidence with new things, his courage in the face of things he may be unsure about and his joy at overcoming those things.  I am fortunate that he still speaks to me of his heart and of things that many kids keep silent about. Our conversations give me a window into his heart and mind, and it is at these times I know he is going to be a good man, a strong, honest and happy man, a courageous in so many ways man.  And I am so grateful for that.

Monday, March 11, 2013

From Start to Finish for AbigaleR86

AbigaleR86 contacted me via convo on etsy and asked for an Autism necklace, I thought she might like to see how it was done.

It was made with Art Clay which is a malleable form of fine silver, you make what you want, let it throughly dry, then fire it to burn off the binder and get the silver particles to sinter.  Its a pretty cool process and the result is 99.9% pure silver, otherwise known as fine silver.

This is the puzzle peice in damp clay. It is very rough around the edges at this stage.  Sorry about the glare ;(

After it dried for 48 hours it was filed, sanded and shaped.  The it was put to the torch (the fun part).  The picture on the left is the refined piece just starting to burn off the binder particles.  The image on the right is showing the piece coming up to 'glow'  It has to stay at that color for approx 10-15 minutes in order for the silver to completely sinter.  It's a tricky business, just a skooch too much and you have a melted mess on your hands, too little and the silver won't sinter, leaving you with a piece that will not stand up to any wear.

Once its fired and cooled, the piece is actually white, silver is a white metal in its pure state, the silver color comes from the molecules being aligned by prolonged rubbing/polishing.  The best way to do this is in a tumbler with absolutely sparking clean steel shot, some soap and a bit of water.  Being tumbled also 'work hardens' the metal, making it a bit tougher.

You can see in the tumbler, that the work appears white, then below on the steel block after the tumbler, how beautifully polished it is!  I love taking the gasket off the tumbler and seeing how sparkly the work is!  Then a little texturing with a small hammer.....

add some sterling chain and a clasp, and TA DA!

I hope she likes it!
And I am so grateful that she trusted me with her request. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Stepping into Greatness

I spent the weekend at a pretty intense seminar revolving around the premise of  'Stepping Into Your Greatness'  It was a lot of hard work, letting go of past resentments, deep dark ugly hurts, and turning those things into positives.  All in all pretty freaking awesome weekend.  E and husband stayed home, hubby rose to the occasion mightily, really and truly.  E had a birthday party to go to, and hubby took him.  It was a laser tag party, and E was sooooo excited to be there with his friends.  I came home last night E was fast asleep (GO HUBBY!!!) and hubby tells me that E was bullied in the laser tag arena, ended up sitting at the cake table with tears in his eyes struggling not to cry.  I went and laid down with him a bit, just being with him, letting him sleep and covering him with love from my heart.

When we woke this moring, he showed me the cool house he had built out of the cardboard from the new bathroom cabinet (it was AWESOME), and after a while I asked....

Me- I hear you had a rough time at the party....
E- yeah
Me- wanna talk about it?
E- I was on a team with... & ... & ....  and we went in we were having so much fun and this big mean kid from the other team grabbed my face and pushed me up against the wall and starting shooting my target to get a bunch of points, and then my team abandoned me.
Me- Did he hurt you?
E- not really
Me- So what did you do?
E- I told him he wasnt supposed to do that, and he said something mean
Me- so what were you thinking?
E- that I should do the same thing, since nobody was playing teams anymore
Me- Did you?
E- NO, I really wanted to, but I didn't because it would have been cheating.
Me- yeah that revenge stuff feels good for about how long?
E- only a minute, then you feel pretty bad
Me- are you and your friends from the team OK or are you angry with them?
E- We're OK, they just got excited about points and forgot to be a team, but when they gave the big mean kid his prize for the most points, I stood up and told him he didnt win, that he cheated.
Me- so how do you feel about how you played?
E- Good, really good
Me- Because you kept your integrity?
E- Yeah, pretty cool
Me- yes you are

I spent the entire weekend learning to 'Step into Greatness' and the reward was waiting for me at home, he already knew how.

And I am so grateful for that

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Really, I have been working, really...

Since we moved and started renovating the house, I haven't had time to blink, much less keep up with posting. Its finally under control (well, sort of, almost....sigh...). But I had a few minutes to post new work, so I thought I'd share here too. I like it, what do you think?
Gypsy Silver Earrings

Dual Disc Copper

Dual Disc Copper

Dual Disc Copper


Fancy Hoops!

Sea Glass and Copper Coils

Turquoise and Sterling
That felt good!  And I am so grateful for that ;)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

My Hero.

This one had to sit with me awhile.  For a lot of reasons.

E was really excited about his halloween costume, it was to be gruesome, bloody, scary, and borderline inappropriate.  Perfect for Halloween.  He dubbed it his maniac costume, among other titles.  He and Dad worked for hours on the make up, it was awesome, like hollywood good.

But he and I both caught a lot of flak for it.  I'm still trying to figure out if people really think he'll grow up to be a serial killer because we let him have fairly free rein over his costumes. He was really hurt and confused by some of the things that were said, it was a very creative expression for him, and some other parents just didnt get it.  I had to explain to him that some folks take things way too seriously.

Do they not see how empathetic he is? How wise? How loving and kind?  I guess not.  And thats their loss. 

A few days before Halloween, A friend confided to him that she was really sad, feeling all alone in the world, and that she was thinking of committing suicide. A fourth grader. Ready to end it before it began.  E went directly to the adults in charge and got her the help she needed.  He didnt ignore her, he didnt waffle about what to do.  He quite possibly saved her life.  She was terribly angry with him, and he felt like he had betrayed her.  He wrote her a note that said in part" I am so sorry I told your secret, But I really like you and didnt want you to be gone"  We talked about it afterwards, and at the end of our conversation he said "I guess it's better to have her mad at me and lose her as a friend for awhile, than to have done nothing and lost her for always" And the best part?  He was truly surprised that people were so proud of him and telling him how brave he was.  To him it was the only right thing to do.

Take that you judging bunch of mofo's.  Next time SEE the child -not the costume. Or maybe the next time you dress up like a hooker for halloween we can all assume its your true alter ego.

Now his maniac/serial killer get-up looks like a hero costume to me, and I am grateful for that, he is my hero.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Two for Mom!

I picked E up from school the other day, and on the way to gymnastics, we had this conversation:

E- 'You know why I love you so much?'
Me- 'Why pumpkin?'
E- 'Because you listen to me, you really listen, you let me ask questions and questions, you listen to my opinion, and you give me honest answers.  I dont see many parents doing that.  I really love you because when you listen to me that way, then I know you love me and that I am important.'
Me- *sniffle* 'I love you too sweetness, with all my heart'

Then over the weekend, in the driveway, sweating, in the rain, helping E to pull the staples out of garden fencing we needed for the halloween graveyard (it came out great by the way)

E- 'Mom, turn and look at me'
Me- 'OK'
E- 'Now smile'
Me- 'OK'
E- 'You look beautiful like that Mom'
Me- 'I love you too'

it makes it soooo worth it. 

I love being his Mom, and I am grateful for that

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Phew! Studio!!!!

Our summer started with the hard realization that we had to move into a better school district.  E needed to be in a neighborhood where he could go to school with the local kids. So we sold the house....bought a new one... and did this to it.

Then we painted, and tiled and carpeted and did dishes in a laundry sink, using my show tables for counters.  My studio was the storeroom. sigh.  Now I have cabinets, everything is 99% unpacked, just need some counter tops and we'll be done.  ummm except for the bath remodel, thats next.....

BUT my Art Room looks like this now:
And I will be getting back to BIDNESS real soon!   yaay!
And I am so grateful for that.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Hahahaha! can you say BOILERPLATE?

Love this, this is the "completely noncommital - do not address any concerns specifically- CYA letter" I got back from Ms K--- Superintendent of the School District

Dear Ms. Knapp:

Thank you for sharing your concerns.  I want to assure you that at all times the safety of our students was paramount.  The decision to have school in session on Monday was based on the information available to us at the time.  We relied on the National Hurricane Center and the National Weather Service in Melbourne, as well as local information provided through the county’s Emergency Management. 
This storm proved to be unpredictable.  While I understand your concerns, I want you to know decisions regarding schools were taken seriously.  As weather conditions deteriorated, our focus remained entirely on our students and ensuring they all made it home safely from school, which they did. 

Best Regards,

Nancy K-----

One of the guys I work with says that the email is a paraphrase for "You guys voted me out of office so screw you"

And I am grateful we did.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A post storm letter

This is what it looked like trying to get to the school.
I wrote this to the superintendent of schools today.  I take full responsibility for not listening to my my 'mama voice' and sending E to school on the advice of the school boards anouncement.  This is all I have to say about it. I think its enough. I feel better now.

Dear Ms K-------,
As I am certain you have received numerous communications in regard to yesterdays unconscionable decision to keep the Martin County School District open, I will make this short and to the point.
As a new family to the Martin County Public School system, I am appalled at your offices lack of regard for the saftey of not only your students and their familes, but your staff as well.  As parents, we look to your office for guidance in these matters, assuming that you have much better information than we have access to. As that is apparently not the case, next time my gut instict trumps your offices information.
Trying to get to my sons school to pick him up yesterday was a nightmare, and our story is mild in comparision to others I have heard.  I can only hope that this level of shortsighted incompetence is an aberration and not the normal way you run your district.  The only saving grace is your extreme good fortune that no one was hurt. Adding credence to my complaint is the fact that the schools were closed today to inspect for damage, damage that would have been incurred WHILE the children were in school, again your good fortune that no one was hurt.
The only ray of light I can see in this debacle is that Ms M----- and her staff were absolutely on point yesterday and are to be highly commended.  You are extremely fortunate to have people of such dedication and heart working for you.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Thank you Kelly!

Its been awhile since I wrote anything here.  I have missed it, dearly.  I stopped because I was getting flak from the mothers of the kids who bully my son.  One actually wrote a comment on the Broken Hearts post that has me wondering if she is certifiable.  She has turned it around so that she views my son as the bully.  Yeah, thats why her family was asked to leave the school, and asked to leave the Dojo, among other places- Because my son is the bully, makes perfect sense to me.  NOT.

Screw that.  

Kelly Warren of http://happyshackdesigns.blogspot.com/  I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your comment yesterday.  I came back and reread a lot of the old posts, It made me realize that if I stop writing about what I want to write about -be it a rant, a celebration, art I am working on or a share-because I am too thin skinned to deal with the craziness-then the bullies win, and I refuse to model that for my son.

Kelly- you made me realize that what I write does make a difference, even if only to me.  If it makes a difference to anyone else, thats icing on the cake.
I'm back. And I am grateful for that.