Saturday, November 27, 2010

Fancy - The Gala Necklace

Recently, Pathways, my favorite organization, threw a big party—a gala! I love any excuse to get dressed up, wear heels (now that I can actually walk in them), and have a good time, and the cause was also great: raising money for families of soldiers and special needs children, and for Teen/Family Camp.

While I did some small things to help with the gala (helping set up for the silent auction and processing silent auction winning transactions at the end of the night), the biggest thing I did to help was make a necklace just for the silent auction.
This is a special necklace. Not only is it the only thing I've made in months... I purposely made it using high-end materials, in hopes it would bring a hefty winning auction price (and therefore lots of money donated to Pathways). That... didn't quite work out, but one happy bidder did get to go home with this lovely necklace. 

Did I mention it's valued at over $650?

I made matching earrings, too, but I only remembered to get a crappy cell phone picture of them on that night.

This necklace has all kinds of yummy details. It’s got high-end stones, first of all: ruby, sapphire, and emerald… and the rest of the stones are very high quality: seraphinite, tourmaline, peridot, citrine, smoky quartz, kyanite, turquoise, larimar, amazonite, amethyst, lapis, hematite, pearls, jade, chalcedony, rhodochrosite, moonstone, sunstone, carnelian, malachite, and garnet.

I also used some large Swarovski crystals to draw extra attention.

I used 14k gold wire, and all of the findings were 100% handmade. This necklace can be worn long, or it can be doubled. It looks pretty darn fabulous either way.

I just love the cluster of sapphire, peridot, ruby, and moonstone hanging in the middle of the gold wire circle.

I seriously had a hard time giving this one up… may need to make one of these for myself, too.

Be sure to click the pictures to see the full-sized images. It's worth seeing, if I do say so myself!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Poem: Stricken

I dream of floating up and away,
to a land far from here,
far from all my troubles,
outstanding petulant to-do-list residents--
permanent residents
it seems these days
follow me around, waving their arms violently 
in the air and screaming at me
to mark them complete,
and all I want to do is
drive on the coast of Maine
and stop at a cemetery,
walk around the lovely grounds
and ask the bees to show me mercy,
and leave me be--

and then,
I come upon a bench labeled with a name,
a noun
a verb
a permission slip:


(I abide. 
I'm not together
but I'm getting there.)

*Note: I did visit Maine in September. It was a trip full of serendipity, grace, and healing. See all the photos I took here.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Another Sale? Why Not!

I had a big sale in August, and I’ve decided to do another one. This time, though, it’s an even BIGGER discount!

If you’ve had your eye on a piece (or 3!) but you haven’t been sure about buying it… now is the time!

Enter the coupon code NOV2010SPECIAL during your check-out through Etsy*, and you’ll get a whopping 25% off your entire purchase! 

Yes, you read that right...

25% off your entire purchase!

That’s a big deal!

Please pass this on to your friends… family… strangers… etc!

Sale runs through November 30th only!

*You must enter the coupon code… if you don’t, then Etsy won’t adjust the sale amount and you won’t get your discount!

Monday, November 22, 2010

My Weight Loss Journey, Continued

I haven’t posted in forever! I know. I’m long, long overdue.

The truth is, I’ve gone through some really difficult stuff over the past several months. It really started to hit me in June, and it’s still going on now. The good thing is… I’m through the worst of it.

But, still… sometimes life throws curve balls for which you are unbelievably unprepared.

I’ll also be honest, and say that I have gone back and forth about a thousand times, trying to decide how much to say here on my blog. You’ll notice that so far, I’ve chosen to stay quiet… but I would like to share a couple of things. At some point, I’ll share more, but I need to wait until a couple of larger issues have resolution first.
So, as for what I will share…

I have lost 50 pounds.

Yes. Fifty.

(That's me... the "just barely overweight" me, on the right!)

I’ve done it the right way, with adjustments in diet and portion control. Now I wish I had taken progress photos from the beginning! I started this journey back at the very beginning of May, and I’m still going. I have 32 pounds left to lose, to reach my original goal.

Up until last week, I was absolutely determined to make it, but I’ve run into an unexpected snag.

I just ordered some jeans from Old Navy, and when they came in I immediately put them on and pranced around in front of the mirror for a good 15 minutes, posing and looking at myself in utter disbelief at how small the number was on the inside of those jeans, and the jeans fit me so well, and I let the belief sink in as I looked at all the shrinking parts of me, smiling wide all the while.

In other words… I’ve never been as happy with my body as I am in this moment.

In fact, I’m so happy with the way I look and feel right now that I’m having a hard time staying motivated to continue losing more weight!

Holy cow… I really wasn’t expecting that.

Last week was a wash. Intense work stress provided just the needed excuse to eat poorly. I shoveled candy and chocolate, fattening food, and higher portions than I have been eating.

Friday night, I found myself thinking, “What the hell am I doing?”

I’ve been on such a roll with losing the weight I want to lose… and I’ve done an excellent job. But, this past week… I just gave up.

I listened as my internal voice told me the same thing it’s told me time and time again, for years. 
“Just this one piece won’t hurt. 
Just one more bite won’t hurt. 
It’s no big deal.”

I realized that while I am happy with the way I look right now, it’s going to be hard to maintain (let alone continue to lose) if I go right back to the bad old eating habits I used to have.

I think one thing adding difficulty is that I don’t have a point of reference. I’ve never been the size I’m going for. Never. Not even in high school. Not even in junior high... or elementary school, for that matter. I’ve been overweight for almost my entire life, so I don’t actually know what it feels like to feel slender, or a normal size… I have no clue what it feels like (or looks like!) to fit well within the “healthy weight range” for my height. Not a clue!

So, I can see how it’s easy to stop trying. I don’t know what my goal looks like or feels like, so I’m not entirely sure how to keep it tangible.

These are the things I thought about and wrote about in my private journal on Friday.

I had a pretty significant “light bulb” or epiphany after all that thinking… and Saturday morning, I woke up with a renewed sense of motivation.

I realized that if I quit now, I would be following suit with so many decisions I’ve made in my life.

I’d be settling.

Settling for a size and weight that isn’t where I want to be. Settling for not looking as good as I know I can look… settling for not feeling as good as I can feel.

Settling… is such an ugly pattern in my life! But now that I realize what I was doing, I am absolutely resolute in my decision to plow forward and continue on with losing more weight… At least 32 more pounds to reach my original goal.

I will get there. I’m absolutely determined.

And tonight, I made a very yummy chicken and veggie soup to help support that cause…

I’m back on the wagon, y’all.

Watch out!