Archive | November 2014

Trade Beads and Google Hangouts

Happy Friday, everyone… or just me as I’m probably the only person who’s reading this right now… that is not a whine, it’s just a probable fact as I am still very new at all this and taking it very slowly. I’ll eventually have a mailing list and followers and lots of product, but for right now it is what it is. I’m learning new stuff about websites each day from all kinds of friends, and I like it.

A couple of days ago I was doing some work for a friend at her house, and knowing that I make jewelry, she offered me some beads from her antique collection … now these aren’t just any beads… they are magical beads… and they aren’t just magical beads, they have a real, serious history to them. When she showed them to me I thought, and I’m embarrassed to admit this: “Oh, large glass beads, nothing really unique.” Then she told me about them, and it was all I could do to keep my jaw from dropping. I only took three of the cobalt ones, but then she said “Don’t you want a pink one, too?” So I took a pink one, too. She said take I should take more, but I couldn’t – they were too valuable, and need to be shared with the world in a very special way.

What exactly were these unassuming-looking beads? Trade beads. Trade beads handled by Lewis and Clark, traded to one of the Indian Nations in exchange for food and assistance on their journey west. Can you imagine? These beads meant that Lewis and Clark ate and received all the aid they needed to make their vision a reality.  It doesn’t get much better than that when it comes to stories. I guess that’s one of the reasons I love jewelry so much – there are usually fascinating stories to be heard, and I love a good story.

What was the world like when people offered exchanges like that? What does it look like when I say: I am in need of X, you have X, would you be willing to take Y for it? I imagine that the conversations may be much deeper than what happens in our local grocery store. Hmm… fun imaginings…

Anyway, as I was finishing up my work  my friend said she had to go to the ATM to get some cash to pay me. I said “How about a trade instead? What I’d really like is a signed copy of your book and another book as well.” She said, “That’s it?” And I said yes. She gave me the two I desired, and a third as well. I felt like I had received a king’s ransom! Then she called me into her office and taught me how to do a Google Hangout, and encouraged me to practice. I think she has some big plans for my future if I’ll just take the leap. So in the spirit of trade and learning and growing, off I go to make my first hangout. Now I don’t know if I’ll ever make it publicly available, but who knows?

I just may be teaching jewelry classes via hangouts in the future. Hmm…

Oh – and before I go, if you are interested in the trade beads mentioned above, let me know and I’ll make the connection for you!

Brightest Blessings,

Maria

REAL Cobalt Blue & Pink Trade Beads - used by Lewis & Clark

REAL Cobalt Blue & Pink Trade Beads – used by Lewis & Clark

So what happened to October and what do you mean it’s almost Christmas???

Yeah. Life happens. Especially when I build too many things into my schedule.

Getting used to the idea that I’m trying to build a web presence had taken a back seat to all the endless needs that presented themselves since September… and my habit of blogging had not been firmly established yet, so it took a real back seat.

Then there was the trip back to New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, my childhood home and stomping grounds. And losing my login and password to the admin section for this site (well, it wasn’t really lost, I just left it at home, and didn’t want to mess everything up by attempting to re-set it – I’m sure someone feels me), and to top it off I got the flu. A bad, bad flu.

I learned a lot from all the experiences though.

The number one thing I learned was that of all the activities and comings and goings, my FAVORITE thing to do is spend time connecting with students and peers in the jewelry world! I’ve been getting such a kick out of teaching and sharing tips and tricks with everyone I’ve been meeting! I want more and am excited for the next round of classes. I’ve met some amazing, courageous and loving women, and I can’t help but smile every time I think of them. I’ve also been offered some amazing opportunities, and I’m excited to explore them.

As for the never-ending flu… well, I learned a lot about natural remedies and alternatives to antibiotics. I rarely get sick, but when I do, I get REALLY sick. I stopped taking antibiotics back in 2011 when my health took a real tumble, and have been relying on alternatives ever since. Some work great and really fast, some take a bit longer, and some simply don’t resonate with me so I don’t use them. I’m learning how to listen to my body better. This time when I got the flu, it was paired with a throat infection and I could sense that bronchitis was on the way. I used Oil of Oregano, which worked wonders on the throat infection for the first day, then added Grapefruit Seed Extract, and followed that up with a mixture of Fresh Garlic & Raw Honey. Oh, and I took an enzyme formula to deal with the congestion.

All of that may sound crazy, but it did wonders to stop the infection in its track and keep the bronchitis from taking hold (I used to suffer from chronic bronchial asthma, so I know the signs of it coming on all too well). What was never-ending was the sheer exhaustion and feeling like I was on the edge of it all coming back. That took a while to clear.  I’ve noticed that since I was diagnosed with MS back in 2004, my body takes longer to heal, and I need to be patient and gentle with myself – this has been a huge challenge for me, and I am happy to report that I am getting a bit better at it.

Last but not least, the trip back east was really a soul’s journey on which I learned why “you can never go back.” It is possible to revisit a place if it still exists, but you can’t go back, simply because you’re not the same person anymore. In some instances that insight was a relief, in some it was bittersweet, and in others there was a deep sadness of the past being gone forever (like finding that Elvee Rosenberg, Inc. is no longer doing business at their store on 37th street) . I had to give myself time and space to lovingly let go. This trip was about collecting the joy in the memories, wherever I could, savoring them, and choosing to move forward in my life only with the good stuff. I’m not ever going to deny the bad stuff happened. I just simply have decided to build from the good stuff, and let the bad just fade into the background. My new motto is: “Take what you like, and leave the rest.”

SO forward we go into the New Year… what New Year you may ask? Well for me, my spiritual tradition celebrates the New Year on the first dark moon after the Pleiades set, and that fell on October 23rd this year, so Happy New Year! (I celebrate the calendar New Year, too, have no fear!) And yes, if you’re doing the math, it fell on my trip back east… the celebration was actually the primary reason for my trip back east. I try to go back as often as I can to celebrate with the members of my spiritual family, to do inner journey work, and to honor all those who have come before me. It’s a wonderful time for reflection, and I think that having the flu slowed me down just enough for me to actually pay greater attention to the messages that I was being given. If I had to sum up the trip with a tarot card, it would be the 8 of Cups –  moving on.

Back to the New Year… what am I expecting? Lots of time to heal and grow, lots of jewelry classes & learning, lots of love and lots of fun. But as I start dreaming up the new, I’ll try to keep my head in today and work at building a blogging habit and a fully functional website.

Brightest Blessings!

Maria

Elvee Rosenberg, Inc., pillar of the jewelry community since 1914 has left 37th Street forever :(

Elvee Rosenberg, Inc., pillar of the jewelry community since 1914 has left 37th Street forever 🙁

New Gems

New and beautiful gems on display in a new store on 37th street.