Thursday, February 28, 2008

Tragedy and Triumph Continues




















The block I received yesterday from Jacki of "ChristieCottage.etsy.com" is not only beautifully done, but has a lot of meaning behind it.
The block "In Memoriam" depicts a flagged draped coffin, surround by in In Memory of the US Army. As we all come and go about our busy lives, how often do we think about these men who are in Iraq fighting for our freedom here. I find Jacki's contribution very moving. Also if you notice (in the close-up shot) there are 3 small pearls embroidered onto the square, each having it's own meaning. The first pearl is for her father who served in the US Army and has since passed away, the second pearl is in honor of her husband whom she lost also, the third pearl is dedicated to the rest of those men who through their dedication to this country have lost their lives due to war.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Newest Quilt Addition














Joan (momomadeit.etsy.com) has dedicated her block to the Triumph of "Global Awareness", and the need for us to be more aware of the ecological importance of saving energy to prevent further global warming, and the destruction of our earth.

She is already at work on her next block for the Tragedy Quilt honoring the 12 students killed, and numerous other students injured during the November 18,2004 Texas A&M Bonfire; a tradition in Texas for 100 years. They have since erected a memorial dedicated to these students who lost their lives while helping to constuct the large logs for that evening's bonfire.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Tragedy:The Aftermath of Sept 11







In between all my other projects, I have finally finished my block to be added to the "Tragedy and Triumph" Quilt Project.
When we, Andrea (JennyGardener.etsy.com) first discussed this project, my first thought was the devastation left after the tragic attack of the Twin Towers. My first recollection of that day after seeing the planes crashing into the buildings, was the aftermath of the destruction. Living so near the City, and knowing people lost, the memory is something that I nor anyone else living here can forget. The imagine that came to mind was what all that was left after the collapse of the Twin Towers: the standing pieces of twisted steel. This imagine is reflected in my block for the quilt.

Artisan of the World Catalogue

Every once in a while you come across just that person or persons' who you know will make a difference in your life. In early November I was fortunate enough to be hearted by one of my favorite Etsy site - "artisanimpact.etsy.com". I always like to check the shop of the person who hearted me, and send a little note thanking them for visiting my shop. Of course, just visiting the shop was not enough for me - when I saw the beautiful metal working they do in making their jewelry I was completely taken in. Always believing in Karma (Hindu for how life is determined by one's own destiny or fate), I saw a ring which I absolutely loved, "Karma". Since it was a few days from my birthday, well as destiny will have it, the ring was my present to myself (see my previous post). I immediately felt a personal connection with the artists at "artisanimpact" - Oded, Ilan and Ev, which is still evident in our convo's and emails.
Around Christmas, they ingeniously came up with the idea to do a catalogue, "Artisan of the World" which features the beautiful, artistic talent of many of our Etsy members. The Catalogue, which they expect to distribute 80,000 copies worldwide to top stores and designers. When they emailed me to see if I was interested, my first response to them was, did they think my jewelry to be good enough for such a Catalogue! Not only did they say yes, but also helped me with some of my photos, which led me to learn Photoshop, and revamp my whole shop; re- shooting most of my jewelry. I am proud to say that my ad in the Catalogue came out beautifully, as did all of the other artist's involved.
As Ev often reads my blogs and loves my style of writing, she asked me to write the Introduction to the Catalogue and their Bio as well. I wish them much success with the Catalogue, as they put a lot of time and work into it. Attached is my ad from the "Artisan of the World", and am patiently awaiting my copy's in the mail - of course, one will be off to India to my friends there. As for my friends here the ad is just a sampling of my jewelry, and I invite all to stop by my shop; MagdaleneJewels.etsy.com. Again, most of the thanks go to my friends at "artisanimpact!"

Friday, February 22, 2008

My Spiritual Journey to Fatima and Lourdes-Part I










Many of you have ask about, and been waiting for the details of my trip. The past two weeks have been spent just trying to absorb all that I saw and the peacefulness of my journey. If you notice the heading says Part I - if I were to sit and reflex all that I saw and felt while I am here typing, I will sitting here for days, and even more you will be reading even longer. So I decided I shall have to write in segments. The pictures don't even begin to tell enough of what we experienced.
A few weeks ago I took off on a two week journey through Portugal, Spain, and France. Our tour was going to visit Fatima (Portugal) and Lourdes (France). It was one of those decisions that you keep saying should I go, or should I not go. The very last day to sign up (which is typical of me), I decided I would join my friends and venture on this spiritual journey. So with my backpack over my shoulder, ipod pulled in, luggage in tow, I departed from JFK.
We first arrived in Portugal. What amazed me was how peaceful everything there was.
We visited the site where the miracle of Fatima appeared to three small Portuguese children, Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta in 1917. Our Lady appeared to the children three separate times, each time revealing the warning of war and destruction. She asked the children to ask the people to pray the Rosary for peace. The third revelation was finally revealed in the year 2000. Growing up Catholic, and I personally attended, Our Lady of Fatima School, in Scarsdale NY, I was well aware of the miracle and stories told to us over the years. It is not until your visit the site of the miracle, and visit the homes that these children lived in, and walk along the pathway they traveled everyday while attending their sheep, that you realize the truth behind all these "miracles." The tree the children would sit under each day waiting for the next visitation is still standing. We also visited their original grave sites (the two younger children died in 1927 and 1928 at the ages of 10 and 11). Their bodies have since been moved to the beautiful Basilica built in honor of Our Lady of Fatima and the miracle that appeared there. I actually met the youngest girl, Jacinta's cousin, and had a picture taken with him. It was really an amazing feeling standing in their original home and meeting their cousin. At times it seemed to surreal. The first set of pictures are from their home, the Basilica, Jacinta's cousin and our group.

Quilting Update


Looks like we are finally accomplishing our goal of making a beautiful quilt. Debi George of grayeyedscorpio.etsy.com (love that name, possibly because I am a Scorpio myself!) submitted an very intriguing block to add to our Triumph Quilt. She calls it "Poetry" - I guess we could view it as, Poetry in Motion, as we watch the world turning around us. So many of us are always rushing somewhere that we forget to take a moment to capture the beauty that nature provides us. Let's hope with the Global Warming effects, and our increased desire to keep expanding that we don't lose the "Poetry" that God has provided us with.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Tragedy and Triumph Quilts









Sorry for not keeping you all updated on the progress of our "Tragedy and Triumph" Quilting Project. I took two weeks off to visit Portugal (Fatima), Spain, and France (Lourdes Shrine). It
was such a beautiful experience - but that will all have to wait until my next blog!
Although I was away, I did receive quite a few emails that you are all working hard on your squares, and most of them almost done. When Andrea (JennyGardener.etsy) and I started this project, we had no idea of what was to become some very thoughtful and inspiring ideas for each person's block (square).
I just received a picture of Marion's finished block which I wanted to share with you all. As a breast cancer survivor, her quilt is truly a testament to her "triumph" and to all of those who are also survivors.
I don't know how many of you have suffered from, or are suffering with breast cancer. I hope Marion's square will give you all (and us) a sense of hope for a cure. Marion has been quilting for many years (about 25); we started together with a one-day course, when our children were babies (and we were not much older!), but the quilt's in her shop are an indication that she has continued working and learning new techniques. Her shop is mademarion.etsy.com.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

It's February Already

I can't believe we are already into our second month of 2008. The month of Love (roses, valentines and chocolates); celebrating Groundhog Day - let's hope he saw his shadow today, or 6 more weeks of this cold weather. Which can only mean that Spring must be around the corner! Oh yes, least I forget, my older son's birthday is February 17th, he will be 24. You must be thinking, oh how can a mother ever forget the day her child was born. Mea culpa, two years ago, I did completely forget; well, with celebrating Valentine's Day only a few days before, those 3 extra days came faster than expected. An occasion of which he will never let me forget. So, Keith, if I forget again, I did give you a "shout-out" on my blog! Happy Birthday to you!

Lest one think crafters hybernate during these cold winter days, my time has been spent learning Photoshop (I had to buy "Photoshop for Dummies"), now I need the follow-up for the ones who can't even figure out the book for "dummies." Surprise, this weekend I did manage to master the basics of Photoshop, so I have spent the past few days, revamping my whole shop. Who knew your photos had to be 430 pixels? Anyway, the hours of sitting here going blind at my computer, have paid off - my jewelry has a sharpness and clarity I couldn't manage before. Thank you to all who said it looked great this morning; and for the rest of you, please stop by and check my "revamped" shop! Unfortunately I won't be there to greet you. You will notice my avatar has been replaced by a little sign saying "Temporarily closed, on vacation." A much needed vacation I must say.

Tomorrow I am off to Fatima in Portugal, then onto France where we will visit Lourdes, where thousands of miracles have been documented. There has been continual running water in the spot where Mary appeared exactly 100 years ago this week. We will take part in the celebration commerating this occasion. It will be two weeks of a memorable and spiritual journey. I will be sure to take as many pictures as my camera will allow, and when I return shall share them with all of you - the many friends I have made, and not to forget my friends on the "Boomer" chat team!

I would be remiss not to update all of you on the progress of our "Tragedy and Triumph" Quilting Project. If you notice on my "update" post, our list is growing, and there is still room for more who wish to participate. I will give you a brief synopsis of our newest additions: Alisclair.etsy.com is doing two blocks commerating the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institute); which is a charitable team in the UK who donate their time to 24-hour's each day lifesaving at sea. Artmixer.etsy.com will celebrate the "triumph" of Scotland's 1st Parliament, their own Government separate from the United Kingdom. On the other end of the spectrum, Stitchntyme.etsy.com is doing a block on the "tragedies" of the Survivors of Abuse. Ev, from artisanimpact.etsy.com, did her block as a project with her daughter, Elle. They have finished their square and I will post it as soon as I get a picture. AltheaP.etsy.com has completed her block which is a dedicated to the lost of two of her brothers to drug abuse. I am posting the picture of her block which I hope was a healing experience for her to work on this square.










And now I will sign off to finish those last minute details of packing, and will be back with lots of photos and memories of my "spiritual" journey.
Oh yes, while you are waiting for my return and my next update's, please stop by my shop MagdaleneJewels.etsy.com, and view my "revamped" shop.