Tennessee 6 Months Later, Not Being Afraid to Say No More, and What’s in a Name?

Has it really been SIX MONTHS??? Wow oh wow…so what happened in the past 6 months can be properly summarized as: I came, I saw, my ass has been thoroughly kicked.
Education is THE toughest field I’ve ever worked in. So tough that I needed to end that last sentence with a preposition and to not give a shit.  At least I balanced the previous sentence.  And I’m not even teaching English, I’m teaching math.

So all of you who know me can stop laughing RIGHT NOW.  Yup, I’m teaching math, so what? It gets better.  I’m teaching 5th grade math.  And 6th grade math.  And I co-teach 7th grade math.  Now for those of you who are not dead on the floor of side-splitting laughter, I’ll continue my bitching.

Now most of you know I used to teach at a homeless shelter.  That was a CAKEWALK compared to what I’m dealing with.  My students come from very harsh realities that no one should ever have to face. It’s heart-wrenching to see how children at the age of 10 are already so disillusioned with the world that they have built up callousness and ambivalence I’ve never encountered before in many of the adults I’ve taught.

Now take the teaching factor into consideration and what have you got?  A whole lot of heartache, self-doubt, and an emotional roller coaster from hell.

Add in the masters degree I was pursuing, a family, a husband who is disabled, and what have you got NOW?  Way too much on your plate.

I’ve learned so much about myself in the past six months and I’ve grown.  I learned that I don’t have to be the hero all the time, that I do need to recognize my limitations, and that it’s OK to walk away from something that isn’t right for me.

The results?  I’ve decided to not pursue my masters degree, which means that at the end of my two year commitment with Teach for America I most likely won’t be able to teach anymore since the licensure rules are changing for special education.

I don’t feel guilty, which was unexpected.  I feel liberated.  I spent over 20 years in corporate America living with a heavy heart, feeling like I had no choice, no options.  I will not do that to myself again.

I don’t regret moving down to Tennessee, I’m extremely happy down here.  I don’t regret teaching either, I just wish it was something that I felt better about.  They say the first year is always the hardest and I sure as shit believe it.  But it’s more than first year jitters.  I know myself well enough to know when something isn’t sitting well with me.  I can’t live my life striving to please those that will never be pleased.  I have to do what’s best for me.

So what does that mean for me after Teach for America?  No idea.  But I’ve been branching out a bit more with my jewelry, including partnering up with my best friend, Shannon Price to introduce a brand new line of t-shirts that we’re extremely proud of.  Yup, ended that one with a preposition too. (How sad is it that my personal affront to education is only as severe as bad grammar?)

https://www.etsy.com/shop/Eldwenne?section_id=16377137&ref=shopsection_leftnav_2

Come check out our Supernatural Inspired t-shirts!  These babies can be purchased online now or I will be taking orders for them in person at SFCon in January!

Are you a Deanmon Girl??

Are you a Deanmon Girl??

I know I sure as shit would too!

I know I sure as shit would too!

Try not to cry while wearing this one

Try not to cry while wearing this one

I know it definitely had an impact on mine - tell us about how it saved yours!

I know it definitely had an impact on mine – tell us about how it saved yours!

This line is the epitome of the bond between the boys

This line is the epitome of the bond between the boys

Well, do you?

Well, do you?

How many times in our lives would it have been awesome to hear this? Well, the "for the right reasons" part.  Heard plenty of the "you were stupid"....

How many times in our lives would it have been awesome to hear this? Well, the “for the right reasons” part. Heard plenty of the “you were stupid”….

Now back to my crankiness – I’ve been getting some flack about the names I choose for my Supernatural inspired jewelry.

I get messages on etsy, even people approaching me at conventions, telling me my names are wrong, they don’t agree with them, I mustn’t watch the show, blah blah blah.

I thought maybe it’d be helpful to articulate exactly what I do when I work on a Supernatural Inspired piece of jewelry.

Please note that I call these pieces ‘Supernatural Inspired.’

Each of the characters on the show affect me in some way, as I assume they do most fans.  Each piece takes an extraordinary amount of time to develop, design, and fine tune before it’s something I considered to be finished.

So exactly what am I doing when I’m developing, designing and fine-tuning?  I’m taking a character that I’m connecting with and thinking about an aspect of that character that’s resonating with me.  For example, let’s talk about The Tenacity of Dean Winchester – the first Dean piece I ever created.

Dean Winchester radiates with courage, perseverance, and true grit.  The one word that pulls these words together for me is tenacity.

I chose the color green for Dean not because of his eyes, like so many people assume, it’s much deeper than that.  For me, the color green represents bravery, steadfastness, and truth.  Qualities that I associate with the character.

Dean’s weapon of choice is his gun, thus to pay homage to the character I chose to include a pistol. Dean would never go anywhere without it and neither would this piece.

The one common thread that most of my pieces have is the wrapped strands that appear to be chaotic but are actually controlled.

The reason for that?  While each of the characters have their set ways and personalities, as we’ve all learned over the years about these characters is that nothing is ever static, everything can change.  The variety in the lines; their appearance of being random, is actually quite deliberate on my part.

Back to my point – for someone to come up to me and say that I shouldn’t name a piece what I’ve named it – well, that’s the same as walking up to someone and telling them you don’t agree with what they’ve named their kid.  They have their reasons, personal or not so personal as to why they chose the name they did.  As do I.

Each piece is made with my heart and so much intention to represent MY interpretation of the characters.  Hey, don’t get me wrong – I’m always up for healthy debates.  There have been fans who approach me at cons and ASK me why I named a piece what I did and we talk about it.  But then there are people who just outright TELL me I’m “wrong”, “don’t you watch the show” or have a snarky “if you watched episode 6.2 and freeze framed it at precisely 32.5 minutes in, you’ll clearly see that you’re wrong.”  The shoot first and maybe if I feel like it I’ll ask questions later attitude.  It’s hurtful, uncalled for, and definitely not what the SPN Family is all about.

Everyone is entitled to their own interpretation, so let’s please show each other respect.  I’m not saying don’t ever ask me about my work – I am HONORED to be asked about it – nothing warms me more than having people care enough to ask me about my process, why did I make the piece, etc.  What I am saying is that if you don’t like strangers approaching you and telling you something that’s dear to you is wrong, please don’t do it to someone else.

I’m happy to say that 99% of my encounters with fans are wonderful, amazing, and I’ve made lifelong friends of many of them.  The 1% that were hurtful were pretty damn hurtful, and one was as recent as yesterday, hence my post.

Lastly, my best friend, Shannon, (designer of the amazing t-shirts!) said this to me, “bc you are an artist, the negativity is a catalyst to create more beautiful work.  Name your next piece ‘go fuck yourself’” – ok, I MIGHT not use that title, but she’s absolutely right and I’ve been taking this to heart and have been creating MANY new pieces!

Come say hi to the newest in my Supernatural Inspired series:

The Initiation of Sheriff Donna

The Initiation of Sheriff Donna

The Guile of Rowena

The Guile of Rowena

The Fortitude of Jo Harvelle

The Fortitude of Jo Harvelle

The Devotion of Ellen Harvelle

The Devotion of Ellen Harvelle

The Propriety of Death

The Propriety of Death

The Soul of Sam Winchester Earrings!

The Soul of Sam Winchester Earrings!

The Soul of Sam Winchester Ring

The Soul of Sam Winchester Ring

Sam and Dean Winchester Brotherly Bond

Sam and Dean Winchester Brotherly Bond

I’ll be in San Francisco next month and I hope to see you! Sigh…so good to be back!

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Customer Feature – Adina!!

Jodi here – Adina is one of the most passionate souls I’ve met through this glorious fandom we call the SPN Family.

 A little selfie action with me and the amazing Adina!

A little selfie action with me and the amazing Adina!

 

Adina is the epitome of what the fandom really means to me – warm, compassionate, driven, supportive, and has an impeccable taste for quality, handmade jewelry (ok, so sue me, lol!)

 Seriously though – this woman rocks and as you read through her interview you’re gonna see exactly how and why.

 Take it away, Adina!

Tell us a little bit about yourself, anything you’re comfortable sharing, work, family, philosophy, etc. Also, if you have a website or a brick & mortar business, please feel free to include that here!

I like to describe myself as dedicated and passionate; also, a deep fangirl. I love analyzing characters and plots.

In my “regular” life, I work for a healthcare consulting firm, fighting insurance denials for hospitals. I’ve been working at the same place for about 10 years, starting at entry level, and recently was promoted to supervisor.

On the side, I’m a certified graphic & web designer (www.squarepins.org) and that spills over into my fandom life. I’ll come back to this for the creative question! I also have a Fandom Page on FB: http://www.facebook.com/AdinaRJ I include celebrity birthdays, fun pics, and encourage interactions.

Just LOOK at the creative ohoto op this woman did with Jensen and Jared! Please come  check out her FB page and Like it!  It's addictive!

Just LOOK at the creative ohoto op this woman did with Jensen and Jared! Please come check out her FB page and Like it! It’s addictive!

Do you have any creative outlets? Tell us about them and if you have photos of your work, please feel free to share!

I do have creative outlets! I’m a computer graphic designer by hobby and side business. I mentioned my website earlier (www.squarepins.org). I have designed book covers as well as custom websites. I also make fandom graphics such as The Year of Winchesters, which was my desktop wallpaper for several years. I don’t currently write fanfic, but I did dabble in it for several fandoms over the years. I’m always analyzing shows and thinking “what if” – it just hardly ever turns into an actual story!

 

Adina's Graphic Design Biz - Square Pins! LOVE the designs, Adina!!

Adina’s Graphic Design Biz – Square Pins! LOVE the designs, Adina!!

 

A fang-tastic (stop groaning, you know you giggled) book cover Adina designed - which is available on Amazon!

A fang-tastic (stop groaning, you know you giggled) book cover Adina designed – which is available on Amazon!

 

A Year of Winchesters - Adina knows how to pick 'em!!

A Year of Winchesters – Adina knows how to pick ’em!!

Who would've thunk that Chuck + Lucifer = adorable graphics! I LOVE Adina's work!

Who would’ve thunk that Chuck + Lucifer = adorable graphics! I LOVE Adina’s work!

 

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

I think it’s the personal touch that goes into it. Also, the ability to customize – I went up to Jodi and said “Hey, can you do something like this, but a little different like this?” and she was able to do it right then and there! It’s the knowledge that no one else has something exactly like yours.

Adina and Ally! Wonder Twin Powers ACTIVATE!  Form of...TWO AWESOME SPN bracelets!

Adina and Ally! Wonder Twin Powers ACTIVATE! Form of…TWO AWESOME SPN bracelets!

 

What types of pieces stand out to you, for example, wire work, crystals, etc., and why?

I would say I notice the crystals first, but I’m more likely to buy the hammered sayings because I’m all about the quotes!

Adina wearing the "Today is Tuesday, but Yesterday was Tuesday Too!" necklace which goes smashingly with her Mystery Spot shirt!

Adina wearing the “Today is Tuesday, but Yesterday was Tuesday Too!” necklace which goes smashingly with her Mystery Spot shirt!

 

Is there something about Eldwenne’s Fantasy – Quality Handmade Jewelry by Jodi Zulueta that stands out to you?

Jodi herself is so personable and friendly! Her work is lovely and it’s a pleasure to buy from her. Plus, her stuff is different than the typical charms bracelets and necklaces.

 

Adina wearing a one of a kind piece designed by my son, Phoenix!

Adina wearing a one of a kind piece designed by my son, Phoenix!

 

Wow – THANK YOU ADINA!  I really look forward to seeing you again! Maybe DCCon???

DCCon
That’s right – I’ll be at DCCon this coming May!  And not only will I be there – my whole clan will be there too!  You’ll get to meet my amazing kids and husband.  I might be able to take a bathroom break at this convention – look out!  After all that hard work training myself to not pee for 12 straight hours…

I’m in the midst of creating a brand new contest for this upcoming convention since the Crowley vs. Abaddon election was such a great hit! And thanks again to Mark Sheppard and Alaina Huffman for being amazing sports and joining in my madness!

I’m also still holding a promotion that will be ongoing until I get what I want, lol!  If ANYONE has the divine influence to get Mark Sheppard to take a selfie wearing my “King of Hell” leather cuff bracelet I made him – I will give you The Deception of Crowley necklace for free!

You can win this necklace!

You can win this necklace!

So in the meantime, I’ll be working on developing the new contest for DCCon.

Are YOU going to DCCon?  If so and there’s something you’d like me to have ready and waiting for you there, drop me a line!  Either convo me in etsy through my shop at www.eldwenne.etsy.com, or you can reach me on FB at my Eldwenne’s Fantasy page at www.facebook.com/EldwennesFantasy – oh and by the way – I tend to get very VERY generous to peeps who share my links, retweets, etc – so, I’m just sayin’ ; )

And don’t forget I still have a special promotion running for my SPN Necklace series:

My Supernatural-Inspired Necklace series!  Available at my marked down convention price and FREE US SHIPPING!

Castiel’s Grace, The Deception of Crowley, The Purification of Sam Winchester, The Tenacity of Dean Winchester. Unfortunately The Heart of Castiel is no longer available, but version 2 of this design will be out soon!

These pieces are all marked down to the special convention price of $35 each (regular price is between $40-45) and free US shipping.

This special offer ends on April 15!  Please note, The Heart of Castiel is no longer available, however, I am creating a second version of this piece that will be presented on this upcoming Two for Supernatural Tuesday posts on FB, Tumblr, Twitter, and Instagram! Come follow me!  I’m @eldwenne of course!

Next week’s post is going to be something very special – I had the honor of meeting a beautiful young woman named Brittany – she will be doing a guest post for me and it’s going to be extremely powerful.  Stay tuned and see ya’ll next week!

The Hoboken Shelter, Nashville in Motion , and ClickStarting Me is Down to the Wire

I know I promised you a feature on my customer of the month, Melstiel, but we’re running just a bit behind schedule with that, so I will do my best to get that posted next Friday. Today I wanted to … Continue reading

Stamping Out Vampire Diaries – Jewelry, That Is!

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Yes, I am SOOOOOOO excited about this coming weekend!  On Saturday, July 13 through Sunday, July 14, I will be at The Vampire Diaries convention in Parsippany, NJ.  I’ll actually be there the evening of Friday, July 12 for any VIPs coming in!

A great friend of mine suggested I branch out into stamping to see how what I could come up with.

I don’t get out of my comfort zone often enough, so I welcomed the challenge.

I invested in a stamping kit, some beautiful silver discs, and some tools so that I could shape the discs, and I was raring to go!

You see Damon up above, here is Stefan and Elena:

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I had so much fun making these.  I also learned a couple of new skills.  Stamping is not as straightforward as you may think and it takes some concentration to get the desired effects you’re looking for.

And to make the pieces more interesting, I hammered the discs into domes for some dimension.

The finishing touches are a gorgeous bead and black satin cord.

Now you all know me, I need to tie in some Supernatural action, right?  Check out my license plate necklace:

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I also created so many new pieces, such as my pentagram cuff bracelet, Medusa ring, and my Blue Aurora Borealis and Copper necklace:

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Pentagram Cuff Bracelet

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Medusa Ring View 1

 

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Medusa Ring View 2

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Blue Aurora Borealis and Copper Necklace

I’m really looking forward to meeting you at the Vampire Diaries convention this weekend, please do come by and say hi!

I will also be selling gift certificates at the convention, but if you want more bang for your buck, if you make a donation via my Go Fund Me page: http://www.gofundme.com/2kwx90 you’ll receive a gift certificate worth MORE than your donation amount which is good towards all jewelry in my etsy shop at http://www.eldwenne.etsy.com!  The gift certificates never expire – they’re good until you spend ’em!

For example, if you donate $25, you receive a gift certificate for $50!  For a $50 donation you recieve $75! for $100 you receive $125! and it keeps getting better – It’s a great opportunity and you’ll be helping a woman jumpstart her small business dream.

Supernatural and Vampire Diaries fans – I’ve been invited by Creation Entertainment to sell my jewelry at Supernatural and Vampire Diaries conventions!

I have a lot of gorgeous Wiccan and Pagan pieces! New ones uploaded every day into my shop: http://www.eldwenne.etsy.com

COUPON CODE for 10% towards all pendants in my shop!

To celebrate the new year, I’d like to give all of my readers the chance to own one of my custom-designed pendants with a 10% discount! 

My shop is http://www.eldwenne.etsy.com.

 

Here are some examples of the pieces that are available:

Wiccan scroll 1 Blue Scroll 1 Clear scroll 1 Green scroll 1

Simply type in WELCOME10 in the coupon code field when placing your order and 10% will automatically be deducted from the price (before shipping).

Tomorrow I will be posting about one of my techniques – stay tuned!