As promised, this post is going to be positive! And there’s no way it could be anything but after you read on! Last year, I vended at MinnCon and had a very unsettling experience. It was a clash of the … Continue reading
Ok, you wanna know why it took me a million years to get this post out? It’s because when I first wrote it and read it over, I realized how incredibly defensive and negative I sounded. Which is really not … Continue reading
I know it’s traditional for me to write my “Shit People Say to Me in the Vendors Room” posts immediately after a con – and it IS coming in a couple of days – but I did need to write … Continue reading
15% off Thru Sunday! I decided to extend my 15% off discount through this Sunday, Mother’s Day! Use code SPNMAMA and you’ll get 15% off! Did you also know that whenever you make a purchase from my shop you’ll receive … Continue reading
Here come the latest gems, y’all! DCCon was full of experiences, most of them quite fantastic, and other moments, well…read on! As always, let me preface this by saying I’m sure none of these things were said with maliciousness, at … Continue reading
Yes, it’s that time of the month again – no, not THAT! Although it might seem that way after you read this one… This is a short but sweet post – just needed to get it out there! So it’s … Continue reading
One of the things I love most of all about my #SPNFamily is how giving and compassionate y’all are. I am very honored to be able to contribute my part and have been approved to do work for several organizations … Continue reading
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?)
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!
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:
I’ll be in San Francisco next month and I hope to see you! Sigh…so good to be back!
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!
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.
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!!)
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.
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!
I’m writing this post to you from the home of my family out in Santa Monica, California. My daughter Raven and I came in to spend some time with my cousin. It’s been an amazing time. Great weather, lovely company, Disney, the Santa Monica Pier, visits with dear friends and a trip to Universal Studios coming up next week.
I’ll be back just in time to catch a flight down to Nashville to see more family and attend the Teach for America hiring fair – very exciting!
Then it’s back home for a few days and then OFF TO DCCon! More about that later in this post…
I have to say that my Supernatural Inspired Necklace series exploded into much more than I thought it ever could be.
It all started out with me wanting to design pieces that captured the essence of Sam and Dean Winchester. Oh, then there’s Cas, right? And then wait, I want to do another Cas piece too. And then what about the extended family like Bobby, Benny, Charlie…and bad guys need love too! So of course you gotta represent Crowley, Abaddon, Meg…sigh…
So without further ado, here is a Supernatural Inspired Necklace Series 101 for ya’ll!
The Tenacity of Dean Winchester: A necklace to commemorate our hero, Dean Winchester and his never-ending need to do what’s best for everyone, risking his own life, and being ‘The Righteous Man”
The Purification of Sam Winchester: The end of Season 8 – Sam Winchester ready to sacrifice himself by curing Crowley; the third and final trial. Each trial purified Sam’s soul. The beautiful clear glass cabochon with magnification qualities represents his soul, the silver wire woven around it being the trials purifying him.
Castiel’s Grace: I wanted to create a piece that celebrated the essence of one of the most amazing characters in the Supernatural universe – Castiel.
The Heart of Castiel II: I wish you could see this in person. It’s a stunning glass oval of sky blue with white and black inclusions swirling inside it.
The Loyalty of Benny LaFitte: Benny Lafitte was the one creature that managed to convince Dean Winchester that hunting was more than just about killing. Benny became almost like a brother, who ultimately gave his own life to save Sam Winchester.
The Genius of Charlie Bradbury: Charlie Bradbury has come to the rescue on several occasions for the boys – each time using her intelligence and wit.
The Deception of Crowley: A piece that hopefully Mark Sheppard would agree captures the personality of our favorite King of Hell!
The Fire of Abaddon: A necklace inspired by the hottest Knight of Hell! A red glass cabochon is wrapped in coils of woven silver, with a pentagram at its top.
The Complexity of Meg Masters: Meg Masters is quite a complicated character, isn’t she? A demon who is in love with an angel? Wow. A demon who went from making it her mission to destroy the Winchesters to sacrificing herself more than once to help them.
The Wisdom of Bobby Singer: Bobby Singer was always the go to guy for everything. Not just lore on whatever creature was being hunted at the moment, but for life in general.
The Soul of Sam Winchester: I wanted to capture the intricacies of Sam Winchester in this piece – an opalescent glass cabochon is framed in silver, which has been wrapped with silver beads
The Sacrifice of Mary Winchester: Mary Winchester is a woman of sacrifice. While she was alive she made a deal to save her soon to be husband, John Winchester. In death, she sacrificed her spirit to protect her sons, Sam and Dean. This piece was designed to capture the protectiveness, the maternal instinct, and the fierce love for John Winchester.
The Impetuousness of Balthazar: An angel who has authority issues but would drop everything to help Castiel, who in fact described Balthazar as ‘impetuous.’ Sebastian Roche brings such personality to our favorite bad boy angel.
Other pieces that are in development are: Kevin Tran, Henry Winchester, John Winchester, Jody Mills, Garth, Ellen, and Jo.
These are all currently for sale at Eldwenne’s Fantasy Supernatural Jewelry Section
And wait until you see the surprise piece I’m working on. It’ll be ready in time for DCCon and I’ll unveil it there!
Sooo excited to be going to DCCon! I’ll be bringing my eleven year old son, Jaden with me –it’s gonna be a total blast! Originally it was going to be the whole clan, but life gets in the way sometimes, so it’s just gonna be Jaden and me this time around.
And what kind of fun can you expect at my table at DCCon? Well, for one thing – wormstaches, of course!
And I’ll be having another great contest! This time you’ll have the chance to participate in a raffle for a chance to win the companion bracelet to my Castiel’s Grace necklace!
In this raffle, vote for your favorite Cas – angel Cas or human Cas! It’ll be great and I’m trying to get Misha Collins in on the fun too! I’ll be donating half the proceeds to Random Acts – it’s for a great cause!
Can’t wait to see ya’ll in DC!! Come stop by and say hi!