Thursday, December 10, 2009

Honoring our Native American's

In early November, Joni : http://www.jstinson.etsy.com, wrote that President Obama had declared November as National Native American Month. See Joni's blog: I just received a proclamation from President Obama declaring November, 2009 National Native American Month and November 27, 2009 National Native American Day. You can read the proclamation on my blog:
http://jstinson-trailoftreasures.blogspot.com/2009/11/obama-declares-national-native-american.html

I have long written about the plight of the Native Americans and the true history of our country. We have all been indoctrinated throughout the years in our history texts and literature about how the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, MA, in 1620, and were surprised to find that this land called Amerika was already inhabited by hundreds of different American Indian tribes. We all know quite well that peaceful setting of the first Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims and Indians sharing whatever crops they managed to grow, and learning the various cultures of each group. Unfortunately, that scenario as we know it was very far from the truth. The Pilgrims landed in an unknown territory ready to take over, only to find no food or shelter; while continuing to be observed by the curious inhabitants that had already settled in Plymouth and the many surrounding areas around what we know refer to as "Cape Cod". The Pilgrims through much treachery, not only stole the hidden crops the Indians had stored away for the Springtime planting, but began a plot to cast each tribe against the other with the hope that each Native American tribe with total untrust of the other would follow through on their plan causing the first of many massacres that occured. It was during these terrible massacres that the Pilgrims would step in and acquire the lands of each tribe as they would retreat from the own settlements. This so-called peaceful "First Thanksgiving" would lead to 50 years of treacherous villainy and war, and the loss of 1,000's of lives, to begin what we come to define today as American. This is only a brief scenario of the many years of war that the Native Americans had to endure losing not only their land and families, but dignity as well. It is wonderful to see that American's are now taking responsibility for their actions, and are beginning to recognize who are true founders of America are. I for one am proud to be one of the Americans of today who feels that this honor although well deserved, is well overdo.

I am very grateful then to have one of my pieces from my shop: http://www.MagdaleneKnits.etsy.com, recognized as a tribute to this very worthy honor thanks to "CloudBurst" http://www.CloudBurst.etsy.com - my black scarf which was recognized in this promotion : http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=35311039. I invited all of you to view Joni's Promotional thread about this great tribute to her own Cherokee heritage: http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=6335843&page=1In early November, Joni : http://www.jstinson.etsy.com, wrote that President Obama had declared November as National Native American Month. See Joni's blog: I just received a proclamation from President Obama declaring November, 2009 National Native American Month and November 27, 2009 National Native American Day. You can read the proclamation on my blog:
http://jstinson-trailoftreasures.blogspot.com/2009/11/obama-declares-national-native-american.html


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Christmas Fair



Last weekend was our annual Parish Christmas Fair. I started doing the Fair when my children were very small and attended our Parish school. As they got older, and I went back to work, I took a long hiatus from crafting. I again started doing craft shows and the Sacred Heart Christmas Fair a few years ago. This particular Fair is always a three day affair. Friday, being my favorite, is when the children come in and do their own shopping. They come in dressed in their holiday finest, with their little envelopes filled with their shopping money. What I enjoy the most is seeing the little one's with their $2 (which to them could be a million dollars) and say "I want to buy something for my mommy". The invariably head for my most expensive jewelry, but I then lead them to my Christmas jewelry which I make and price just for the children to be able to buy. I ask them how much money they have to spend - usually it is between $2 - $4, so I will pick out a pair of earrings or bracelet and say "oh, this is just $2" ; their eyes just light up as I wrap the little gift which they can't wait to get home to give to their mother or sister. One little girl, Madalene, wanted to buy a pair of baby booties for her little sister. Knowing that her sister is already 2, I told her I didn't think they would fit. She replied, "they are for Monica's little baby doll", so I wrapped up a little pair of my preemie booties for her. Friday evening, dinner is served (which is so delicious) and donated from different parents, and the parents get to do their shopping. It is more fun just running into people I haven't seen in a while and catching up on what our older children are doing now. My daughter, Kelly and her newborn son, Zachary also came to help; and in the evening Zachary had his first picture with Santa! (see if you can figure out which is the real Santa!)
I must admit though as much as I love doing this one particular Fair. This year a few vendors that have been there the past few years and myself were a little disappointed in the amount of people who were selling stuff I wouldn't even be throwing away. Besides myself and my friend, who also is on Etsy, we were the only two who actually sold hand-crafted items. I miss the days when a craft fair meant just that, handmade crafts. When I first started doing this Fair many years ago, only hand-crafted items would be sold. Now these vendor come in and are literally selling right out of the boxes that they bought their items in. So in that respect, it was a little disappointing to see people being taken in by what some are calling crafts. I have noticed this being the trend in other craft shows I have done in the past few years. Well, hopefully, they will all go back to the concept of a craft fair selling hand-made crafts. Even with all that, I did manage to sell quite a few things as well as a custom order for a necklace, bracelet and earring set. I certainly didn't let the non-crafters deter from my Holiday spirit while I enjoyed selling to the little children, and catching up with old friends, and seeing my grandson having his first visit with Santa.




Sunday, November 29, 2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

November Favorites



All of these would make great gifts for the Holidays!!!
1. Sleepy Clouds Blue Yarn: http://www.theknottysheep.etsy.com
2. Hand painted Notecards: http://www.pfdoriginalartwork's.etsy.com
3. Pink and Black Onyx Bracelet: http://www.TulipsTreasureBox.etsy.com
4. Hand-knitted pink jumper: http://www.stitchesbyjulie.etsy.com
5. Native American Mandala Bracelet: http://www.jstinson.etsy.com
6. Green Garland Necklace: http://www.AKeepersJackpot.etsy.com
7. Salt and Pepper Dishes: http://www.artsielady.etsy.com8
8. Hand painted Christmas Ornament: http://www.ChristieCottage.etsy.com
9. Silk Necklace: http://www.ColoursandTextures.etsy.com
10. Soft Gray Chennile Neckwarmer: http://www.CBBasement.etsy.com

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Zachary - 1 Month Old



As most of you all know, I have reached Grandmother status. Little Zachary arrived Oct 2, 2009 at 8:25pm, weighing 6lb 3 oz. When I first saw him right after he was born, he was so tiny and fragile. Well he has reached his 1 month old birthday, healthy, sleeping, at least in these pictures (although my daughter says he never sleeps) and gaining weight. Although my daughter lives in New Jersey, about 1 hr away, yesterday was such a beautiful day that I took a ride to go visit little Zachary and my daughter. Although you have seen his newborn picture, here are his latest pictures a few of which I took yesterday. Another in his Yankee outfit watching the World Series! and as "Charlie McCarthy" for Halloween.



Monday, November 2, 2009

Caveat Emptor "Let the Buy (or Seller) Beware"!

With the holidays quickly approaching, I thought it important to make you all aware of the many ways that fraudulent practices can affect all of us. Since most of us here at Etsy use Paypal’s services, not only for sales, but when we purchase something ourselves; I learned a very valuable lesson which I wish to share with the many Etsy buyers and shoppers.

Yesterday, I received an email from secure@onlinepaypalsecure.com which started as “Dear Paypal Inc. Account Holder, Our Online Department has recently reviewed your account, and suspect that your paypal account may have been accessed from an unauthorized computer or by a third party”. Then the email goes on to say that “because protecting the security of your account is our primary concern, we have limited access to sensitive Paypal account features.” Then it continues, “How can I restore my account access?” which was attached to a small box saying “Please click here to visit the “Resolution Center” and complete the Steps to Remove Limitations.” “Completeing all of the checklist items will automatically restore your account access.” Sincerely, Paypal Inc, Account Department.

As this happened to me a year ago when I was notified by my Bank that some foreign company had attempt to purchase items through my debit account. Their Security Department picked it up immediately as a fraudulent purchase. They immediately blocked my account, and sent me an email notifying me that my account had been locked. I had to go to my local Bank, and thankfully they refunded the erroneous purchases made to my account. I had to opened a whole new account; and then notify all my accounts that I pay online with my new information.

So as not to have this happen again, I immediately clicked on Paypal’s link to the “Resolution Center”. There I was asked to resubmit all my personal and banking information: credit card #, Social Security #, Name on the Account, Birthdate, etc.” which I did and then submitted the information back to them.

Within a few hours I received another email, this time from my Bank’s Security Office, saying that they caught Fraudulent activity within my account, and had put a lock on my debit account, and to either contact them by email, or report this to my local Bank. This morning I brought in all the emails I had received. The Bank Manager called their Security Office with the code # they sent in my email. Apparently this very official “PayPal, Inc” was a way to access all my personal information. According to the Bank’s Security Office, once this information was obtained, someone from overseas attempted to debit my account for $1700.00 Euro$. Thank goodness for the quick response from my Bank, and their immediately action to lock my account. Again, I had to reopen a whole new account with different access codes, etc.; but was completely grateful for their immediate attention to this matter, which could have possibly been a lot worse.

Please, especially at this time of year, be very careful of any sort of email that you may receive that is unsolicited. I was told that these fraudulent companies are more active and ingenious than ever in attempting to access your personal information for their benefit. If you are suspect of any sort of email like this, call your Bank immediately and then will check your account and lock it if necessary for your safety. So happy shopping and hope for lots of sales this season, and be careful of anything that doesn’t seem right.






Thursday, October 22, 2009

An Inspector Calls































As most of your know by now, I have belonged to a local theatre group for about 8 years. The group, The Fort Hill Players (FHP), just celebrated its 71st year. I guess it was inevitable that I would be a part of such a successful and talented group of actors, directors, and cast members. My mother started out as a make-up artist for FHP in the early 50's; then went on to acting in a few of their productions. My daughter, Kelly, who was the director of the HS drama group for two years, and then was a part of a theatre group in college, joined the FHP about 10 years ago as an actor, stage manager, and director for many of their productions. I joined soon after as their costumer and make-up artist for all of their productions.

This season our production is "An Inspector Calls"; a very famous English murder mystery centering around the Birling family celebrating the engagement of their daughter Sheila. The Birling's are a very prominent English family in which everyone is, and could be, a suspect in the death of a young woman from one of the factories. Since the time period for this play is 1912, it was very enjoyable finding costumes for each actor representing this time period. Of course, some of it couldn't have been done without "a little help from my friends". If you notice, Inspector Goole, in his Mac and Bowler Hat; the hat was a terrific find from Judi's shop, VintageLegacyStudio: http://www.VintageLegacyStudio.etsy.com. Mrs. Birling, in her English finest, along with her string of pearls is also wearing a Vintage necklace of 3 large pearls and crystals on each side of it's chain, centered by a large pendant with a large crystal center and a large drop pearl. I was lucky to find this Necklace in Nonnie's shopo which now features many vintage items, along with her beautiful gemstone jewelry: http://www.Nonnie60.etsy.com. The daughter, Sheila, dressed in a beautiful vintage dress from the early 1900's with moss green and taupe ribboning, is wearing a double-strand Necklace of Swarovski Pearls and Emerald Swarovski Crystals, which I just made, and will also be featured in my shop shortly: http://www.MagdaleneJewels.etsy.com.
A little side note! The young couple whose engagement is being celebrated just before the Inspector Calls, just became engaged in real life, having met through our theatre group while actor together in "Run for Your Wife".

Friday, October 16, 2009

Meet Tinkerbelle





As most of you know by now, yesterday and last night was touch and go with little Belle. The little kitty was sick when we got her, but the Breeder said it was just because she had just been wormed. We were also told that the kitty was 7-8 weeks old; old enough to be weaned.
By yesterday her situation got worse, and we rushed her to out Vet, who upon weighing her found that she was just 1 lb - and also was only 5 weeks old. He did some cultures, immediately started her on antibiotics and Albon which is used for kittens with intestinal problems. When I called the Breeder, she said the Vet should have never given her the shots and that she definitely would not make it through it night. I called the Vet, and he assured me that what he did was correct. Thanks all for your comments and suggestions. Today she is eating, back to her little animated self, and I think she might have even gained 1/2/lb. So just wanted to share the pictures I took of her today, looking like little "Tinkerbelle" about to fly off to Neverland.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Newest Baker




Little kitty arrived today unexpectedly. My boys had told me about the Cat Show at the County Center (which is right near us). As soon as I saw these little eyes staring at me - Well, how could I resist!
They told me the kitty's name was Wendy - since that is my sister's name, I don't think she would actually want a kitten named after her. So as of yet, she does not have a name. All suggestions welcome!
Of course, my other kitty is a little jealous right now, but I am sure they will soon be best friends - hopefully!

Design Style Giveaway featuring: Diane Clancy


How exciting to get a chance to perhaps win one of Diane’s inspiring works of art, through your “Design Style Giveaway”. I always find Diane’s work so very inspiring. I think one of my most favorite pieces that she has done recently is called, "Peace in the Storm" – it has such a peaceful feeling that seems to immerse one into it’s frame. Anyone interested in Giveaway #5, which features Diane Clancy – here is the link to perhaps get the chance to win one of her many ACEO’s. http://designstyleguide.blogspot.com/2009/10/giveaway-5-featuring-diane-clancy.html

Diane views her artwork as something to uplift and inspire other people For those familiar with her work know that her vision is to portray her artwork through her use of many vibrant colors.Glancing through the Treasuries, I am sure many of you have come across her collection of what she terms her "bubbleart" a few of which are shown above. Her work is also a creation of digital and traditional mediums, as is viewed in the pictures I have chosen "Concondrum 1; and "Light and Dark." (see below) I have also posted one of my favorites "Emma" the little kitten hidden among the flowers. According to Diane. "she feels very blessed to have the opportunity to express herself through painting. 'I love that people say my artwork enhances their lives.'"

This is an excerpt from a blog I did on Diane in 2008, called “An Artist with a Vision”. If you would like to learn a little more about the many aspects of Diane Clancy this is a link to the blog I did back then. http://magdalenejewelspjk.blogspot.com/2008/06/diane-clancy-artist-with-vision.html