June 18, 2016
For those of you who have read my previous posts, you know I have an autistic son. I share many, many posts on my Facebook account about autism awareness because it is something I feel very passionate about. My son is now 36 years old and lives quite happily with a foster family and has been accepted as one of them by the entire extended family. I am inutterably grateful for that. I have even apologized on Facebook for sharing so many posts by Autism Awareness, Autism on the Mighty, Autism Speaks, Autism on the Seas, and Jason's Connection which promotes compassion and understanding for all disabilities. I know some people are not interested and I invite them to scroll on by. But it is very dear subject for me. I hope through this website, I will be able to spread awareness that autistic people are not necessarily intellectually impaired and sometimes brilliant. They have special talents.They have much to offer the rest of us. And as more and more people are being diagnosed, even as adults, (now 1 in 68) it behooves us to see how we can include them in our everyday lives to the benefit of all of society.
My own son was seen as severely retarded (yes that word was used then) and basically hopeless. I knew he wasn't because I had taught him at home to read ( a whole page at a glance), taught him to do complex math in his head, taught him thousands of facts from which he could draw his own conclusions. I discovered when he was about 12 that he could type what he was thinking even when he could not speak. It was a tremendous struggle to get the school to accept this but they finally did after a double blind study proved he was doing his own classwork. Unfortunately, some not-so-kind, I could even call them intentionally cruel, personnel sabotaged him and took away his opportunity to learn. I fought this battle many times and in some settings he was successful but somehow, every time someone would sabotage it again until he had a permanent meltdown. It made them angry that I would not lay down and shut up. It makes me so sad for him but what I am seeing now online I find very encouraging; it seems so much progress has been made in accepting individuals like him and making opportunities for them to be productive and included in ordinary social life. I wish it could have happened soon enough for my son but I'm thrilled that the world is a brighter place for those dealing with the challenge now. I hope I can contribute in some small way to this expanded consciousness. I hope that maybe in some small way, the battles I fought then helped contribute to this new attitude.
I would love to hear from any of you who have experience with autism or discrimination on the basis of disability. Let's spread the word that because someone cannot talk or acts differently doesn't make them any less worthy.
May 27, 2016 Several years after getting my son Aaron settled with a wonderful foster family, I had time to do things I had never had time for. I used to love to do needlework and I collected antique dresses and linens. I even started playing the piano after I inherited one from my father. But about 4 years ago, I had an opportunity to go to the International Gem and Jewelry show in Tucson, AZ through the gracious auspices of a friend of mine. She, by the way, owns a fabulous store in Sante Fe called the Turquoise Butterfly which you should go out of your way to check out!! It has an incredible variety of unique things you won't find anywhere else.
Anyway, once I came back with some beads and pendants, I immediately signed up for courses on how to make jewelry. I started with the very basics and ended up with a bag full of "first tries". You won't see those on the website. It's not as easy as you might think so if you are thinking about doing it (it's fun!) know that it takes time and a considerable investment in supplies and tools. I am getting ready to put more items on the site. One that I will list took me two years to find exactly the right color turquoise to match the boulder turquoise in the pendant! Sometimes it takes a long time working with different stones and beads to make a piece come together. Luckily, I am a patient person! As I have time, I want to take more classes to learn how to cast my own silver and expand my skills. Anything is possible! I'd love to hear about your experiences with starting your own business or making something artsy.
May 24, 2016 I'll give you a brief background about myself and how I eventually got into making jewelry. My family is from Kentucky but I grew up in the Northeast which gave me a love of mountains and the seasons. When I was in high school I moved to Texas (a real culture shock!) and, except for a few years back in Kentucky while my husband was working on his graduate degree, I have been here ever since. I graduated with a degree in English literature but went to work in child development research. That later proved to be a good resource background for me.
I had two sons, and when the youngest was 18 months old he got meningitis. It allmost killed him in less than 24 hours. He was in a coma for most of a year and he had a horrific seizure problem. We finally found a program in Philadelphia which taught us how to stop the seizures and retrain his brain to take over the functions he had lost (he was blind among other deficits.) I did that for 5 1/2 years with the help of many loving volunteers and then I sent him to school. His older brother was as loving and supportive as anyone could have prayed for. He even helped with the program. However, one of my son's, Aaron's, diagnoses was severe autism. I have been a supporter of the cause of autism ever since. I hope that this website will help me to share some of my success to promote the cause of persons with autism. A lot has been done in the last 25 years (Aaron is now 36) and I hope to see much more research and accommodations made for autistic individuals in the future. I am excited about the new "Autism on the Seas" program that allows autistic individuals and their families to take cruises!!
Anyone who has contact with, or deals with individuals with autism, I would love to hear from you. Please share this post and help people struggling with the disorder.
More tomorrow on how I got into jewelry making after my sons were grown!
May 23, 2016
This is my first attempt at blogging; I'm new to the blog world but would like to connect with other jewelry lovers, nature lovers, animal lovers, lovers in general! I will share my thoughts and information about the materials I use to make my jewelry and I would love to hear from anyone out there who has thoughts on anything related.
If you have any specific questions about any of my work, you can email me, call me at the number and address on the sidebar or comment in this blog. I'll get back to you as soon as I can.