Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Next Chapter; Chickens and Elections

Well, in the past week and a half, I have left Tulsa, OK and driven across country with all my belongings (well, all my belongings that aren't in storage already, but I digress) to Scio, OR to start a new life on my Sister's fiber farm. It was not an easy decision to leave Tulsa because I loved it there, had made some very good friends and some really great contacts, but I had become to realize the trades offs were not worth the barter to continue living there. I won't go into that, my heart is full of gratitude for the time there and besides, that's not what this post is about.

When I got to the farm, I was informed that I would be sharing my bathroom with two baby chickens who had needed to be moved inside. Internally I groaned. There are all sorts of, let's say, substances around this place I'm not entirely on board with yet, but I am the one entering this environment. I am the outsider, and I must adapt to be here.

The first morning I woke up to find the chicks had been moved outside. End of that story. Or so I thought, the next morning, they were back. Let me take a moment to explain, they are living in a giant tote full of clean straw, not roaming free. The female chicken had been injured by something over the night and could no longer stand on her own. All through the day my sister and I took turns going in and standing her back up to encourage her, but by mid-day, it did not look good. I admit, there was a moment there where I really felt she needed someone to step in and just end it for her, but did not act on it. It wasn't my decision.

Then something amazing happened. I was in there holding the water out for her so she could drink and thought, let's try this; I gradually pulled the water back from her bit by bit and she suddenly stood on her own to reach it! I was so excited for her, and kind of proud of myself for having been there to help that first step forward. Throughout the rest of the day, she got up more and more.

This morning, she is on her own two feet, a little worse for wear, but up and moving. She had just needed that time to heal and some gentle encouragement to get there.

Here is where I am going with this; Today America goes to the polls. We are divided politically, but so what? Just remember no matter who is in charge when we wake up tomorrow, just turn to those you love and give them whatever they need to get through the day. No president will ever do for us what we can do for each other so don't give one human being you don't even really know that much power over your life. Just focus on the ones who will cheer when you find your own feet and (as my roommate in Tulsa always said) it will be all right.

Love, Megan AKA Anna Grace

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Oh..No.. -or- How I Became a Blogging Cliche

Here I am, hanging my head over the keyboard in shame, about to apologize for "creating a blog and promising myself I would write posts all the time and then dropping out of the blogoshpere because life just got so crazy...."

Nope, not going to do it. Life is crazy for everybody and if I haven't accepted it by this point, well then, that's my problem not yours. I'll admit it, time management has never been my strong point, though working on it is on my list...

Moving across the country seemed like a great idea, a grand adventure, a new start, challenging myself to think out of my box; why, I'll start a blog and chronicle it! Cliches, all of them. Life threw curve balls at me, and never having been the athletic type, I dropped to the ground in the fetal position and waited for the wobbly, leather orb to pass me by so someone else could catch it. Then I threw a pity party for about six months. Plain and simple.

Let me illustrate how I have felt for most of the year;

Like this

or this...

but more like this if I'm going to be truthful

However, there have been some positive steps also;

I have had my first gallery show, "Common Threads" highlighting my fiber jewelry at Your Design in Broken Arrow. Alisa, the owner, is amazing and doing wonderful things for local artists by giving them a platform to get their work seen. I met some very welcoming fabric/fiber artists at the reception which lead to me becoming a member of Fiber Artists of Oklahoma.

 Making fantasy pieces like this for the show really helped wake up my mopey muse;

"The Monarchs At Natural Bridges"
Mixed Media

I was accepted into a great collective of talented people called The Artisan Group. Valerie, the founder, has created a wonderful group that gives artists a chance to market themselves through celebrity gift lounges and charity events, in addition to providing very valuable lessons and support for growing one's business.

I was able to make a special piece for the MS Society Connecticut Chapter's silent auction and help be instrumental is raising over $1800 for their cause. I have made special pieces of jewelry for Jordan Sparks of American Idol, Tyra Banks, and am now working on a huge project for the official gift lounge at the 46th Annual CMA Awards (more on this later). Plus I have met some really great like minded people who act as a sort of family. The camaraderie and encouragement these fellow artists display for each other is truly touching and inspiring.

I also became a RAW Artist and had my first showcase with them in July. It was a great evening and wonderful to be able to get my work seen by a new group of local people and artists. RAW also gives artists great support, opportunities, and advice on the business of art. Kristen, the coordinator here in Tulsa is a powerhouse and does a wonderful job organizing these events.

Tulsa RAW - Mixology

So, all in all, it has been a year of healing, but also a year of discovery and firsts for me. I look forward to taking myself in new directions with my work and business. I continue to learn and grow my knowledge of my materials. Baby steps, you know, to go along with the times I still curl up in the fetal position and swear I can't do it. I can and will.

One thing I won't do though is end this post promising I will become better about posting to my blog, that would be another blogging cliche now wouldn't it?  Aw, what the heck, I really will try... but no pinkie swears!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Did Its

It seems like forever since I was a Brownie leader. We had so many good times in that troop including the time we were able to attend a sleep over at the Sacramento Zoo. The other day, I remembered something one of those Brownies asked me.

 Molly was one of my more precocious troop members and smart as a whip. 
During our regular meetings we worked on earning badges, as most troops do. Brownie badges are called "try-its". After completing several activities in one area, they earn their try-it for that subject. One meeting, after going over where we were in getting to our next little embroidered triangle to add to their vest, Molly came up to me and sort of leaned in;
She looked up at me and said, "Megan, I think it is neat that we get get try-its and all, but.. when do we get our did-its?" 

Trying new things is a healthy part of life, but, our accomplishments, the did-its, are what we hang our hats on. I'm not saying this is the most perfect of attitudes, because the trials are where the strength comes from to get to where you may be headed.
But, who doesn't want to shout from the rooftops; "I did it!!!!"?
And wouldn't it be lovely to have someone step in and hand you a badge for it?

In February, I tried something new. I loaded up my van and drove 1700 miles to a friend's house in Oklahoma. A friend I had not seen in about sixteen years. She was being deployed and I agreed to house sit for her while she was overseas. I wanted to try living by myself for a bit. I never had.

I did it!

 Since my last post, I have put most of what I own into storage, put my house on the market, and moved from California to Oklahoma to start the next phase of my life. A phase that includes two grown daughters, who are both out on their own now, and a recent separation (amicable, but still a bit heartbreaking). A phase that leaves me responsible for me, and only me, for the first time since I was nineteen. I'll admit I am a bit lost right now. Excited, yes, but still so, so anxious about the future and where I am heading.  

And I see something happening in my designs.

I find I am drawn to making pieces that have bold, colorful exteriors. Lots of texture and color like these cuffs,

A brave front, so to speak.

Yet on the inside, I have been placing personal messages of strength and hope.

That's how I do it. One try-it at a time. Don't we all?

I think I am going to make myself a Brownie badge.

Saturday, October 8, 2011


Guess what I am up to?

The thing about packing to move is you are forced to actually touch, at least once, everything you own. Some items may not have been touched or thought of for years. You may have forgotten you even had such things as a pillowcase full of mismatched socks, from when your kids were little, pushed into the back of the closet. You find it and remember setting it in there "in case you found a use for them".

Mine was last pulled out the year my youngest was thirteen and the two of us brilliantly thought the tops of child sized tube socks would be the perfect size to make sweaters for the new Chihuahua puppy. Now, years later, you know I ran my fingers through those socks once more before, finally, discarding them this week. Because touch stirs memory doesn't it?

How many times have you picked something up that you brought into your home years ago and immediately begun a film strip rolling in your mind? It doesn't have to be something from a vacation you just had to have as a memento, or a priceless heirloom, it just has to have been accepted into your environment to become part of the story of your life. Those socks were past their use, yet just touching them brought back memories of my girls (now grown) as young children. I could hear their laughter as it was then, open and free like nothing else in the world.

I started thinking about my work; my jewelry, and what draws me to it as a way of expressing myself. It is touch. The making part, using my hands to create something, satisfies and calms me, but it goes beyond that. We interact with our jewelry. The way it fits, the way it feels, how it makes us feel when wearing that favorite, favorite piece. It's tactile.

Are there pieces of jewelry sitting in the back of your jewelry box that you have not thought of or touched for a while? Pull them out, put them all on! Remind yourself what drew you to the pieces to begin with. Touch them!

Have fun with it, I'm off to continue packing those boxes. If my experience with those socks is any indication, I'm in for it as I fill them.

I'll be with you all soon so until then....

Forget Me Not!