SPN Family Feature: Erin and an Epic Oscar-Worthy Thank You Speech from Me to You

Erin is best known as @SPNCrossroad across social media like Twitter, where I first met this woman who inspires me to greatness. Her story demonstrates yet another soul who embodies the SPN Family culture; caring, selflessness, charitableness, and a genuine compassionate need to do for others.

Without further do, I give you Erin!

Erin's Avatar of Awesomeness

Erin’s Avatar of Awesomeness

Thank you, Jodi, for this opportunity to share my story.

Hi, I’m Erin (Hi, Erin) And I am an addict. #Supernatural (for Robbie)

Four years ago, my 3 children & I settled into our very own home. I had gotten a great private-contracting job for more $$ than I’ve ever earned, so we were able to live comfortably and peacefully, just the 4 of us, for the first time ever.  Then 4 1/2 months later, I fell ill… deathly ill.  Dozens of tests and tons o’doctors later, I resigned myself to the fact that I wasn’t going to be around much longer.

December 2012: I found the first 6 seasons of Supernatural cheap. BOOM!! Something new to watch!!  I binge watched, fell in love, then started a tumblr & twitter to fangirl with others at the beginning of March 2013. (Jodi here: just needed to say that must’ve been a magical time because it was around early  2013 that I became a Supernatural fan as well!)

A week later, Doc found a tumor. Another month later I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Metastatic Papillary Thyroid Cancer. With 2 surgeries & radioactive iodine, I was “cured” by August, but still wasn’t improving. My #SPNFamily was there to support & encourage me through all of it.

Fast forward to just a month ago.  The doctors finally figured out what was wrong.  My gallbladder was deteriorating, so it was finally removed after 3 1/2 yrs of sufferingl!!  It’s taking me a while to bounce back, but I’m a survivor.

I want to give back to all the wonderful people who have been there every step of the way.  On my 40th Birthday, May 31, 2014, I will be launching the #SPNFamily Roadhouse Project.

I am selling my house and procuring a bus to use in bringing the #SPNFamily to Conventions and other Supernatural Fan Events!!  This project will be completely run on donations.  I hope to raise enough money to be able to buy tickets for and transport our family members who can not go to cons because of health complications or financial need.

I run many fansites across all social media, so you can probably find me everywhere, especially if you Google me.

Jodi here again: I wanted to point out Erin’s FABULOUS creative cursor usage.  For example, supernaturalcrossroad.tumblr.com uses a regal pair of wings.  Supernatural-crossroad.tumblr.com uses a badass impala.  Jared-padalecki-makes-me-happy.tumblr.com uses a moose.

This is not a comprehensive list of Erin’s awesomeness.  Please contact her on twitter @SPNCrossroads and she will be able to give you links to her other works!

PLEASE follow her amazing effort, The SPNFamily Roadhouse Project on Twitter with hashtag #SPNFamilyRoadhouse 

https://twitter.com/SPNcrossroad

http://supernatural-crossroad.tumblr.com/

http://jared-padalecki-makes-me-happy.tumblr.com/

http://i-love-misha-collins.tumblr.com/

https://www.facebook.com/supernaturalcrossroad

http://weheartit.com/SupernaturalCrossroad

Supernaturalcrossroad.com is still under construction

SPN Crossroads Tumblr

Jodi: What are other creative outlets you have?

I’m a graphic and interior designer and I’ve remodeled many homes. Most of my creative outlet since falling ill has been building websites and stocking them with the best of Supernatural.

Jodi: What draws you to handmade jewelry as opposed to store-bought, factory manufactured pieces?

Working with my hands I can completely appreciate the hard work and love and pride that goes into building something yourself.
Jodi: What types of pieces stand out to you, for example, wire work, crystals, etc. and why?

I like silver.  Medieval pieces. Intricate patterns.  Unique styles. Anything fit for a Queen!! 😉
Jodi: Is there something specific about Eldwenne’s Fantasy – Quality Handmade Jewelry by Jodi Zulueta that stands out to you? (Don’t be afraid to say no, Lol!)

YES!!  Each piece is gorgeous and so lovingly fashioned and creatively named!! But the stand out aspect is you, Jodi!!  We hit it off right from the start and you’ve been so sweet and generous to my daughter and me.  The fact that you messaged me while on a plane still makes me smile.  Love ya, Girlie, and can’t wait to see ya at a Con!! ❤ ~Erin Jodi here: We are two peas in a pod, m’lady!! Looking forward to seeing YOU!!

Jodi: I’m back. THANK YOU to Erin for an amazing, inspiring post.  Please follow @tuestwopodcast as Erin will be on the 7th episode airing next week where she will talk more about her Roadhouse Project!!!

Erin truly embodies what SPN Family is.  Here is a woman who has gone through so much and is channeling her energies into making dreams realities for others.

I’m beyond proud and honored to be considered a friend of Erin’s.  Please find it in your heart to help get the Roadhouse Project its due.  If you can’t donate, share, spread the word.  You’ll be helping her help others, in true SPN Family fashion.

Shifting gears a little, I’m writing this post from the home of my aunt Elysse in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.  I’m on a weekend break from my first week of being with my TFA Greater Nashville Corps members over at Lipscomb University, where I will be living through mid-July.

I will then be staying with my aunt through July 18, then back home to New Jersey. I’ll be helping finalize moving my family back here, to our new home state of Tennessee.

This has been a journey filled with challenges I’ve never faced before; a husband falling ill and being unable to help him, losing my job and being unemployed for the first time in my life, finding out who my real friends and family are, dealing with severe bullying of my son, building my jewelry business up online and in the Supernatural convention circuit, taking Praxis exams that made me want to give up on ever becoming a teacher, desperately trying to get hired by the Metro Nashville Public School system, and coordinating a multi-state move consisting of a husband, three kids, and two cats.

The past week of being with Teach for America has really been life-changing for me.

Remember the hiring fair I went to in April that ended up with zilch? I had strike two this past Thursday at another hiring fair.

On Thursday night, one of the TFA staff members, Katie, asked me if I would consider going on an interview with Dr. Dunaway at a middle school for a 7th grade special education position.  Sure, why not.

I did the interview and went back to Lipscomb University so I could finish the rest of my day of training.  About an hour after I arrived at Lipscomb, Katie came over to me and asked me how everything went.

“It went great.  Like the 13 other interviews I did but never heard back on.”

“Ok, that’s great because Dr. Dunaway recommended you for hire.”

I am now going to be a special education teacher for 7th grade at Two Rivers Middle School in Nashville, Tennessee.  This is one of my proudest achievements and I can’t even articulate how I feel at this moment – too excited for words!

Next on the agenda – finding a place for us all to live!!!  We’re looking to live in Murfreesboro so if ya’ll got a place to rent, LET ME KNOW!!

And the Oscar goes to....ALL OF YOU!!!!

And the Oscar goes to….ALL OF YOU!!!!

So I warned you in the title of this post that there was going to be an Oscar-worthy epic thank you speech.  I know I’m going to forget some people. Please know it’s not intentional or a reflection of how I feel – I’m overwhelmed with a million things and I’m doing my best to ensure everyone understands how they are appreciated – I can’t thank everyone enough!!! This list is in no specific order and also in no way encompasses/articulates my full gratitude.

Merrill: my husband, my staunch supporter.  I wouldn’t have been able to do ANY of these things without your support

David: my oldest son, my voice of reason and the one who talked me off of many ledges

Vi: David’s girlfriend and the most beautiful woman on the planet, inside and out

Jaden: your spirit, your trust in me always keeps me going

Phoenix: your laughter is light and you ALWAYS make me smile

Raven: your pure inner and outer beauty and inquisitive soul ground me

Dad: for letting go when I know how hard this is for you

Elysse and Bearl: you showed me love and put the spark in me to chase my dream to Tennessee, opened your home to me, and are always helping me in my journey

My cousins Alexis, Zane, Jaclyn, Leo, Berry, Kyle, Jenny, Lindsay, Dara, Leslie, Matt, Andrew, Daniel – all of you are the best friends I could ever ask for and I’m so lucky to have you in my life

Doree and Jeff: you always talk me through the moments of panic, the self-doubt, and always have heaps of love to help me through everything

Fran:  always giving me insight, great times, and being there for me.  Your realism is grounding.

My in-laws: Mom, Carlo, Diana, Maryanne, Joel, Christopher, Belle, Kenny, Robin, Billy, Noel, Cynthia, Tita Ida, Tita Lydia – you all are going to be why leaving Jersey City is going to be hard for us.  Please know we all love you and will do everything we can to see each other as often as humanly possible.

Lisa B – you are not only Raven’s audiologist, not only my friend, but family.  Thank you for being your amazing self.

Shannon – I’m convinced you and I were sisters or best friends in another life.  You’re always there for me, you always give amazing advice, and I love you for it.  And Callum is the most delicious baby.

Julie Anne R.: You never stopped pushing me, reminding me that I need to stop living in fear and go after what makes me happy.  You’re a role model of the quintessential kick-ass business woman that I strive to be.

Kim R.: You hardly know me yet you championed for me like you were my partner in crime from my high school days (minus the underage drinking episodes).  I owe you a drink at the next con.

Robin Lyon – a customer that has become a lifelong friend

Mitch Kosterman – you kick ass with the amazing things you do for the fans and I’m honored that you spent the time to interview me.  Honored to be your friend.

Maki – being continents apart never made our friendship weak – I love you for that

Chris Schmelke – you’re a and one of the kindest people I know

Rachel, Kendra, Kim C, Suzanne V: Holy fuckshit, ladies!! Ya’ll put up with me for YEARS.  Never stopped believing in me. We soooo need a PCA get together!!

Ruthee – my big sister.  Insightful, encouraging, and writes the most incredible emails that make me feel like we’re having coffee together.  Love you.

Ana Marie – the soul who is always there for me with encouragement, a pic of Winston to make me laugh, and advice to get me through the stress at all hours of the night – I always can count on you, baby

Kat – my partner, the writer extraordinaire – you’re so patiently waiting for me to get my life in order so that we can work on greatness together – thank you and I promise I’m almost there now J Love you.

Chad Lindberg – you made the time to support my jewelry and that means the world to me

Leticia Serafin – if it weren’t for you I wouldn’t be where I am with my jewelry on the convention circuit – I’ll see ya in VanCon!!

Kae Winters- for being a role model for what we need to strive to be as human beings and always do random acts of kindness

Abby Levine – always posts encouraging words on my work and is a creative powerhouse

Judy, Adina, Melstiel, Ally, Jenna, Bonnie, Carrie Anderson, Carrie Oakes, Jenn Geraghty, Kelly, Lorraine – do I NEED to spell out all of the kick-ass support you give me on a daily basis??  Of course I do!  You ladies inspire me to do my best every single day. You constantly encourage me and it’s why I’m continuing with my jewelry business and selling at the cons – LOVE YOU!!!

Trina, Kim M, and all of my amazing people that I talk to on FB – You are all freaking incredible and you need to recognize your awesomeness! THANK YOU!!

Merillat for being a shoulder to cry on when the Hiring Fair bummed me out

Dominque for driving me to the interview that changed my life as well as listening to my neuroses the whole ride there and back

Mary Ann Sayson – I always look forward to your uplifting posts and sweetness on FB.  You’re angelic.

Anie – You rock more than you can ever imagine.  You encourage me to keep going and that’s exactly what I’m-a-gonna-do.  I’ll see you in VanCon, baby!

Katie and Bella – best VanCon roomies and now friends!  You showed me that I can have a great time once the vendor’s room is closed for the day and you never made me feel old enough to be your mother.  And I am old enough to be your mother.

My new TFA friends Erica, Nichole, Lisa, Jen, Misty, Awa…We’re all in this together and we can rock this!

I know there are so many other people that I forgot to mention and I apologize profusely.  Please know that I appreciate everyone and that there is no way I could be doing what I’m doing now without you. I am overwhelmed in the most amazing way.

Ok, the fat lady is singing, so we move on…next week I will be featuring a beautiful artist who specializes in making leather bracelets!  I can’t wait to share that with ya’ll!!
And don’t forget that I’m having a major-ass sale on Castiel’s Grace set and The Tenacity of Dean Winchester set!!  You can get each set for $120 each!  The sets are normally $131 each, so grab ‘em up before midnight, June 15 when the prices go back up!

Castiel's Grace set is currently on sale for $120!

Castiel’s Grace set is currently on sale for $120!

 

The Tenacity of Dean Winchester set is currently on sale for $120!!

The Tenacity of Dean Winchester set is currently on sale for $120!!

https://www.etsy.com/listing/191818669/sale-the-tenacity-of-dean-winchester-set?ref=shop_home_active_5

 

https://www.etsy.com/listing/191689016/sale-castiels-grace-set-necklace?ref=shop_home_active_6

Until next week!!

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Customer Feature: Kelly W and Two Weeks to Nashville!

Jodi: This week’s post is a feature on the lovely Kelly W of Milton Keynes, UK!  Kelly had contacted me recently asking for specific custom pieces and I was so thrilled to work with her on her items!  

Kelly – the floor is yours, baby!

The beautiful Kelly rocking her Eldwenne's Fantasy gear!

The beautiful Kelly rocking her Eldwenne’s Fantasy gear!

First off, my name is Kelly Winafred Work, I am a mum of 1 little boy named Marc who will be 5 in July. I have been with my other half Darren for 8 years now we have a cat called Scarlet.

 

Kelly's son, Marc and her other half, Darren

Kelly’s son, Marc and her other half, Darren

Kelly's kitty Scarlet - who looks like my kitty Molly's doppleganger!

Kelly’s kitty Scarlet – who looks like my kitty Molly’s doppleganger!

Molly aka the US Scarlet

Molly aka the US Scarlet

I don’t work as I’m a full time mum home schooling my son (Jodi here – um, THAT’S WORK, Kelly!  Hats off to ya!)

We live in Milton Keynes, UK. My favorite sayings in life have always been, “live life to the fullest” and “a smile will always brighten someone’s day.”

As you can probably tell by those sayings, I’m a very bubbly and friendly kind of person and always enjoy meeting new people, let it be online or in everyday life 🙂

I’m a MASSIVE supernatural fan and some day dream to meet the cast. I would also love to one day travel the world bit by bit. I’ve already traveled to some places: Africa, Florida, USA, Turkey, Spain and Ibiza.

I don’t class myself as having a creative outlet, but I do love doing arts and crafts with my son.  We do things like animals from pom poms or flowers out of tissue paper and baking cakes to decorate 🙂 (Jodi here again – CREATIVE ALERT, WOMAN! GREAT STUFF!!)

Awesome tissue paper flowers made by Kelly and her son Marc!

Awesome tissue paper flowers made by Kelly and her son Marc!

 

I blew my diet just looking at this pic - it all looks AMAZING, Kelly!!!

I blew my diet just looking at this pic – it all looks AMAZING, Kelly!!! Very creative  – and I love the Moose!!

I prefer handmade jewelry most because it’s more personal, made with care and unique. Plus I’ve always preferred to help out small business than to spend money in a shop that doesn’t need it or care if they get it or not.

The kind of pieces I enjoy when it comes to jewelry is gems and stones and anything shiny (swear I was a magpie in my past life).  I prefer silver to gold as I feel gold always looks dull and fake but silver always looks new and shiny.

I like wire work as long as it’s done right there are some jewelry I have seen in the past with wire work on and it just looks out of place or like it was rushed or just added for no reason

I have to say when I found Eldwenne’s Fantasy Quality Handmade Jewelry by Jodi Zulueta I fell in love straight away.

I was looking at Supernatural jewelry online and came across etsy. When I looked on there a few people’s shops come up, but I saw a piece in Eldwenne’s and went to that one and I couldn’t stop looking!

As soon as my birthday came around and my other half asked what I wanted, I knew straight away.  The hard part was to pick what I wanted most, lol! I’ve always wanted a salt ‘n burn necklace but could never find one design I liked. So when I sent Jodi all the pictures of the ones I liked,  I left her to design it and somehow she knew exactly what I was after.  It was PERFECT –my dream necklace and I love showing it off everywhere I go!!!!  Jewelry from Eldwenne’s Fantasy is made with love and care and every bit in its own way personal to each person.

A salt 'n burn necklace with a pentagram, an angel wing, a pistol, and a handstamped Salt n Burn charm! Kelly's ready to face everything from vengeful spirits to demons!

A salt ‘n burn necklace with a pentagram, an angel wing, a vial of salt, a pistol, and a handstamped Salt & Burn charm! Kelly’s ready to face everything from vengeful spirits to demons!

And most of all, it’s all done in a friendly way. Jodi spoke to me and kept me updated every step of the way.  It was not a case of ‘yeah, thanks for your money, you’ll get it when you get it…’  I felt nothing but safe buying from Eldwenne’s.

Jodi again – WOW, thank you so much, Kelly!!  You rock!!  And I must say your little one and other half make a lovely family!  So proud to have my pieces in such good company!

Kelly brought up some things that I take to heart – one of the most important elements of my work is that it’s personal.  Each piece I make is not only made exactly for you, but the buying experience itself is always personalized as well.

Every time someone purchases something from www.eldwenne.etsy.com, I contact the buyer to thank them, ensure I know proper sizing if they’ve not already indicated, and to let them know there’s a human being behind every piece.

When you receive your order, you get a handwritten thank you from me as well.

It’s that personal touch that I’m also going to be applying to my new upcoming career – teaching.  I’m putting it out there right now – I am NEVER stopping my jewelry business.  I will continue Eldwenne’s Fantasy both online and at Salute to Supernatural conventions!

In two weeks I’ll be in Nashville to begin my training with Teach for America.  It’s going to be hard for many reasons; it’s a rigorous program, and I’ll be away from my family from June 1 through July 18.  Forty-eight days.  Then I come back to New Jersey, round up the troops and we move down to Tennessee permanently.

On May 23, we are rounding up a group of our friends and family for a “Farewell New Jersey” party – we are going to venture into New York City (which counts as a farewell to New Jersey-trust me on this), watch the brand spanking new X-Men movie, then venture back into New Jersey and grab a bite.  Going out in true geek fashion.

If you can be in the metro area on May 23 to catch a 7pm showing, please contact me so you can join us!  It’ll be a blast!

And now I leave you with the newest additions to the Supernatural Inspired Necklace Series: The Strength of Jody Mills and The Duplicity of Gabriel!

The Strength of Jody Mills

The Strength of Jody Mills – Sam and Dean Winchester are lucky to have her!

 

The Duplicity of Gabriel

The Duplicity of Gabriel – you never know who you’re dealing with!

 

Viva Las Vegas, Partnering with Kat Sloan, and Saying Goodbye to the Hoboken Shelter

Better Late Than Never?

Well it certainly has been a long time.  I’ve spent the better part of January and February preparing for the second Praxis exam I needed in order to satisfy requirements for Teach for America. I was almost sure that I wasn’t smarter than a fifth grader.

I’m happy to report that I passed the exam (with only a handful of meltdowns!) and am now putting my nose to the grindstone to prepare for the next big event I’ve got coming up – the Salute to Supernatural VegasCon!!

I’ll be arriving on March 12 and the convention will be on from March 13-March 16.  This is the first time the Con will be 4 days long, so I’m really looking forward to seeing how it turns out for me!

And as per usual, you’ll find me there selling my handmade jewelry, my custom Supernatural pieces, as well as a pretty damn good supply of custom Walking Dead pieces too!  I’ll be taking requests that I hammer out as you wait, as always!
You’ll find some goodies like:

Large Woven Green Glass Necklace

Large Woven Green Glass Necklace

Lavender Crystal Ring

Lavender Crystal Ring

Pentagrams and Red Crystals Bracelet

Pentagrams and Red Crystals Bracelet

And of course, brand-spankin’ new Supernatural and The Walking Dead designs!

Tastes Like Molecules...

Tastes Like Molecules…

People in Hell Want Slurpees...only Daryl Dixon can say things so eloquently...

People in Hell Want Slurpees…only Daryl Dixon can say things so eloquently…

If You're Gonna Do a Thing...

If You’re Gonna Do a Thing…

Additionally, I’ll be manning the Clifhangers table.  Clif is the bodyguard for Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles.  Clif has an amazing fanbase, affectionately known as ‘Clifhangers.’  I’ll be selling the best t-shirts ever made, designed by the t-shirt goddess herself, Shannon Price.  Come check out the Clifhangers FB page and show some love!  https://www.facebook.com/Clifhangers

What is extremely exciting about this upcoming convention is that I will be partnering up with a very talented woman, Kat Sloan.  Kat is an author who’s written an amazing book: Half Blood – The Lycanthropire Saga

Half Blood - The Lycanthropire Saga written by Kat Sloan

Half Blood – The Lycanthropire Saga written by Kat Sloan

I am going to be designing jewelry based on her book as well as partnering with her at VegasCon to hand out some amazing promotions she and I have put together!

Kat and I will be hosting a meet and greet on the morning of the Con’s opening on Thursday, March 13 at 8:30am.  For more information, please check her page: http://www.katsloan.com/upcoming-events.html – GREAT giveaways exclusively for our guests!

If you’re going to VegasCon and want to join in the fun at the VIP Party, just click on this link: http://www.katsloan.com/vegas-con-exclusive-vip-giveaway.html

Want a wild ride?  Go buy Half Blood! It’s available for purchase on her beautifully-done website: http://www.katsloan.com/shop.html

Kat Sloan's website where you can buy her book; Half Blood, as well as see all of her upcoming events!

Kat Sloan’s website where you can buy her book; Half Blood, as well as see all of her upcoming events!

Please follow Kat on FB  https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheLycanthropireSaga/

Her  Twitter is @KatSloan7

Please drop by and tell her I sent ya!

What’s After VegasCon?

After VegasCon, life will become quite a blur of activity.  For about 11 or 12 days my daughter and I will be in Santa Monica visiting family, then after being home for about say, 2 days or so, I’m back on a plane going to Nashville for a job fair with various principals from the Nashville board of Education.  Teach for America will have circulated my resume and this will be my chance to meet and hopefully get hired by one of the great school districts.

After several days of being home from the job fair, it’s back to the convention circuit and this time it will be Washington D.C. – very cool!

For five weeks starting on June 1 I’ll be in Nashville again beginning the “Institute” portion of my life with Teach for America.  This time will not only be spent immersing myself in TFA philosophies and techniques, but it will also be my chance to search for a place for my family to settle in.

At the end of July, we’ll be officially moved into Nashville.

Saying Goodbye to The Hoboken Shelter

All of these upcoming events mean that I have to end something that has been a part of my life for a long time – teaching art at the Hoboken Shelter.

I handed in my resignation this past Monday with a very heavy heart.  My last class will be taught on Monday, March 24.  The people that I’ve met throughout my time at the Shelter have become an extended family to me.  I have people who are no longer guests of the shelter and still hop on a bus from out of town and come into class every Monday night – that means more than you can possibly imagine.

Everyone I’ve met has wound up teaching me so much about life, about spirit, and how creativity really has no bounds.  I’m taking these experiences with me to Nashville and will ensure that my students benefit from all of this.

If you’d like to volunteer at the Hoboken Shelter, please contact the shelter at http://www.hobokenshelter.org

Next week’s post is going to be another AWESOME feature with my customer Judy!!  We’ve met her before, and you’re gonna love her even more after this next post!

See ya’ll then!

Two Days to Goal, The Walking Dead is Ruining My Life, and to All Those Who Have Screwed Me Over in 2013- I THANK YOU!

Today marks two days left before my Click Start Me campaign comes to an end.  I’ve made $200 of my $5,000 goal…I want to thank all of you who have donated and supported my campaign.

The campaign is needed in order to grow my handmade jewelry business, Eldwenne’s Fantasy. Eldwenne’s Fantasy has two specific components; an online presence via my etsy shop: http://www.eldwenne.etsy.com and I travel all over the country (and to Canada) selling my jewelry at Salute to Supernatural conventions, where I specialize in making custom Supernatural-themed pieces for you.

Misha Collins shopping around at my table at a Salute to Supernatural convention

Misha Collins shopping around at my table at a Salute to Supernatural convention – if it’s good enough for Misha…

I'm in good company here...

I’m in good company here…

With just two days to go, I’m trying to rally the troops – if you could please share my link for my campaign – http://funding.clickstartme.com/project/help-fund-my-handmade-jewelry-traveling-business/

You’ll be helping me jumpstart my dream by providing the resources to grow Eldwenne’s Fantasy into a healthy, flourishing business where I can provide you with quality, handmade jewelry.  My jewelry is original, one of a kind, and also inspired by the hit show Supernatural.

Let's pay some respect to Kevin Tran - aka Kevin Fricking Solo!

 

Inspired by the episode of the same name - Cas' first episode as a human

Inspired by the episode of the same name – Cas’ first episode as a human

Family Don't End with Blood - Bobby Singer, you've never been more right.

Family Don’t End with Blood – Bobby Singer, you’ve never been more right.

 

I love working with wire and glass to create ethereal, one of a kind pieces

I love working with wire and glass to create ethereal, one of a kind pieces

Making ordinary materials extraordinary

Making ordinary materials extraordinary

And now a new fandom has wormed its way into my life – The Walking Dead.  SERIOUSLY??  Screw you Netflix, The Walking Dead, Norman Reedus, crossbows, the whole shebang! My husband and I have made it our mission to catch up on the entire series.  We’re 4 episodes shy as of this writing.  We only started watching it about a week and a half ago.  Yup.  This is serious, personal, and now the jewelry ideas are brimming.  Watch this space for my The Walking Dead inspired pieces!! AMC – bunch of jerks.  THANK YOU AMC AND FRANK DARABONT – WE LOVE YOU!

The Walking Dead - aka my new life-ruiner.

The Walking Dead – aka my new life-ruiner.

And now, as we all prepare to kiss (or kick) 2013 goodbye, I took some time to reflect on the year in general.  As most of you know, my husband got sick in September 2012 (and still is.)   I lost my job on January 23, 2013.  I’ll never forget that day for as long as I live.   It was quite literally the end of an era.

I spent the past 20+ years of my life on the corporate treadmill, terrified of jumping off.  We couldn’t afford for me to not continue to work in the financial industry.  But my former job took that choice away from me.  As I left the human resources office, I called my husband, got into my car, and by the time I met up with him 20 minutes later, already had my plan formulated to start a new life for all of us.

So while losing my job was definitely not something I planned on, not something I was happy about, it was definitely something that needed to happen in order for me to take my life by the reins and move forward.

Within a short period of time I was able to start doing flea markets and eventually my first Salute to Supernatural convention.  That was a life-changing event for me if there ever was one.  The convention showed me that my jewelry is desired, wanted, even demanded! The wonderful people I met encouraged me to plow ahead and make a name for myself in the convention circuit.

This year I was able to sell my handmade jewelry at NJCon, VanCon, TorCon, and most recently, BurCon.  Each of these events were a success for me and allowed me to learn how to do things better. If I can continue to do this, it would mean the world to me.  Thank you all for being so incredibly supportive!

We had setbacks.  My husband got sicker.  Our 11 year old was so severely bullied we had to take it to court.  Things spiraled out of control.  The saying is to “roll with the punches.”  Nope.  I’m putting my arms up and swinging back. Rolling with the punches got me 20+ years of my life being thrown down a corporate toilet.

The universe has thrown some balance into my life and allowed me to pursue my other dream – to become a teacher.  Through an extremely arduous application and interviewing process, I was proudly accepted into the Teach for America program!

Providing education equality and my passion for teaching!

Providing education equality and my passion for teaching!

The organization has made it possible for my family and me to have a brand new life.  We will all be moving to Nashville, Tennessee by the end of July 2014! A brand new environment will help us all thrive.

Another eye-opener this year has been that I definitely needed to pare down the baggage in my life.  You’ve heard the rant before – when things are going well, cheerleaders are in your face.  When things start to fall apart, ‘friends’ and ‘family’ kind of take several (many?) steps back in the opposite direction.  Run to the hills. Start judging and blaming.  The few times you do wind up hearing from them is for them to have the balls to actually try to one up me on the crap things that happen scale.

Seriously, there are so many people, just in my life alone, that thrive on “wow, your husband’s sick? I had a nightmare and think I may have the same problem your husband does.” “You lost your job? Wow. Sucks. Sorry it took me so long to write, but I was busy working a full time job.”  Yes, I’ve gotten emails like that.  That last gem was written about a month after I lost my job.

As a result of these things (and many others that I really don’t think I’ll post here – yet!), I’ve decided to remove those people from my life equation.  Wow, that felt GOOD!

This pretty much describes exactly how I feel!

This pretty much describes exactly how I feel!

2014 is a clean slate, a fresh start and any other cliche you can think of. It’s been liberating, honestly.

So to those of you who have screwed me over, went out of your way to kick me when I was down, to judge me, my family, I want to thank you.  Without you all showing your true colors, I’d be jumping right back onto that corporate treadmill going nowhere exceptionally fast and setting myself up for continued failures. Thank you for revealing who you really are and I thank the universe my eyes were open enough to finally see things for what they really were.

In 2014, I will be doing the things that make me happy for the first time ever.  I think I’ve earned that.

Goodbye 2013 and Happy New Year to you and your loved ones!

Goodbye 2013 - Hello NEW LIFE!

Goodbye 2013 – Hello NEW LIFE!