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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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!

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!