Interview with Brittany of Legacy X!

Many of you may be wondering what I am doing with my posts recently.  Most of them have absolutely nothing to do with my jewelry. 

But in a way they do.  Because of my career traveling the Supernatural convention circuit selling my handmade jewelry, I’ve had the honor of meeting so many incredibly fascinating people whom I otherwise would have never known.

I feel compelled to share these people’s messages, to promote their businesses, to celebrate their amazing accomplishments.  I feel better as a person when I write about them.

I originally started doing customer features once a month to acknowledge my amazing customers and friends, however, I seem to be collecting many more customers and friends in my journeys.  Writing about them once a month doesn’t cut it and I wanted to create a connection between my work and providing a platform for these individuals to be heard. Which brings me to Brittany.

 

Brittany and me doing a selfie in VegasCon

Brittany and me doing a selfie in VegasCon

 

When I did VegasCon last month, I had a table next to me called Legacy X.  I met a group of amazing, determined, passionate women whose mission was to collect anti-bullying messages from the crowd. These messages were to be written on red paper and then used to recreate Legacy X’s logo in the desert.

It cost nothing to write, but each message’s value was priceless.

 Being the mother of an eleven year old boy who was traumatically bullied to the point where we had to press criminal charges, Legacy X’s message really hit home and I was drawn to its members to learn more about their organization and how we can each make a difference.

I met this absolutely beautiful young woman, Brittany, who has generously allowed me to interview her about her bullying experiences and how Legacy X has transformed her.

 

The beautiful Brittany Ritz!

The beautiful Brittany Ritz!

I’m Brittany Ritz. I am 17 years old and from Las Vegas, Nevada. My favorite colors are blue and red :).  I am part of an anti-Bullying group called Legacy X.

Why Brittany likes Blue

Why Brittany likes Blue

 

Why Brittany likes red!

Why Brittany likes red!

I am attending a private school because I was bullied a lot from 6th grade to 10th grade.  I went through so much; I’ve been spit on by girls and boys, they’d put gum in my hair, and boys would write ‘go kill yourself’ or ‘make a video of you hanging yourself!’

The bullying didn’t stop there. One time a couple of girls had jumped me and hurt me badly.

 

Brittany after the attack

Brittany after the attack – she used her images to help others.  One of a million reasons why I admire this woman.

They broke my teeth.  They cut my hair.  It affected me in many ways. I was feeling suicidal and depressed. I lost weight and then gained it back 2x more. It got to the point where if I died I didn’t care! But now I care about my life. I love my life so much and am grateful for my whole family and friends ❤

Because of all of this, I am now part of an organization called Legacy X. It’s a rebuild yourself program that was founded by Justin Spencer.  You may know Justin as the founder of Recycled Percussion from America’s Got Talent 🙂 Everyone is like family to me ❤

Brittany on the Teen X Team! She's up front and center with the organization's founder, Justin Spencer!

Brittany on the Teen X Team! She’s up front and center with the organization’s founder, Justin Spencer!

Brittany got the Vegas-based vocal group Mo5aic to create anti-bullying messages!

Brittany got the Vegas-based vocal group Mo5aic to create anti-bullying messages!

While I was with you in VegasCon, it really astounded me how many people actually said, “NO” when asked to write an anti-bullying message.  One person actually got extremely confrontational about it and the mother bear in me had to grab one of the Creation staff over the incident.

In this day and age where bullying is so much more in the public eye thanks to social media and the internet in general, one would think that most of us would have empathy.

But for every person that refused to leave a message, there were many others that did, including some familiar faces.

Kim Rhodes' message says it all: "Don't let

Kim Rhodes’ message says it all: “Your worth is infinite.  Let your heart define you.”

Kim Rhodes, actress and activist, left a very poignant message which reads, “Your worth is infinite. Let your heart define you.”

I shared this message with my son and as a result, he started to crack that hardened shell he built around himself.

Brittany refuses to let her bullies define who she is.  She has many facets to her sweet personality, including being an aspiring designer!

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

I make lots of things from dresses and hair bows I do not have any photos but will soon 🙂

I’m making Brittany promise that to us so we can see her amazing work.  She described a lot of her designs to me while we were in Vegas and I have to say we are going to be in for quite a treat when she sends me those pics!!

 

Brittany, what kind of advice would you like to share with us?

If you see something, say something. Don’t allow your fellow peers to hurt someone! How would you like if it was your sister or brother? If you don’t like being picked on why pick on someone else ?! Because you never know what they are going through.  They might be suicidal.  So please if anyone is ever feeling down or upset you can email me or message me on Facebook  Brittanyritz@gmail.com

Brittany, I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to allow me to interview you.  Your message is a powerful one that resonates loud and clear with us all. Be good to yourself.  Help others to be good to themselves.  Help others to be good to others.  

And because of your hard work, Legacy X was able to fulfill its goal to create their logo in the desert!

They did it!

They did it!


You are a beautiful young woman and I look forward to seeing you again!

Please follow Legacy X on twitter @LegacyXonline and on FaceBook https://www.facebook.com/legacyx

And to everyone out there I hope to see you in DCCon next month! I’m working away on tons of new designs and you’ll have first pick of ’em there!  Until then, just keep checking my shop http://www.eldwenne.etsy.com for daily updates!

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Wormstaches, Ruler of Hell Results, Free Necklace Op, & Why SPN Fans are the BEST Bunch of People to Get Your Geek on With!

Before I delve into my Sin City experience, I want to announce that from this post forward, I will be having a contest for my readers to win a free piece of jewelry each week! Wait until you hear which piece is up for grabs this week – whoo hoo!

VIVA LAS VEGAS – Whew!  I arrived in Vegas early Wednesday evening.  Wow was it hot.  As my friend Ana Marie said to me via text, “You’re in the desert, baby.”  Um, yeah.  That would be a good reason why I was a tad uncomfortable.  I took her advice to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate and then set up shop in the vendors room.

I was selling both my wares as well as the best t-shirts and beanies you will ever own – incredibly awesome Clifhager gear!

The Clifhanger table - GET THE GEAR

The Clifhanger table – GET THE GEAR – check out their FB Page!

https://www.facebook.com/Clifhangers

Thursday morning was amazing.  Before we opened the vendor’s room, Kat Sloan had a meet and greet with some fans.  Kat Sloan is an author whose book ‘Half Blood’ is a MUST READ. It’s been very well-received and I will be designing jewelry based on this epic saga!

The first in the Lycanthropire Saga

The first in the Lycanthropire Saga

You can reach Kat and grab her novel here at http://www.katsloan.com/ – check it out and you won’t be able to put this book down!

After the meet and greet, Kat and I went to our respective tables.  Now Kat’s table was so amazing and beautiful and I wish I had a pic of it!  Please check her out and see if she posts one – it was like being in a gorgeous Victorian living room!

I thought it would be great fun to have a couple of things going on at my table besides the constant hammering of me making new pieces.  So I decided to give everyone that visited my table a memorable moment.  I bought gummi worms and offered everyone “FREE WORMSTACHES”

Free Wormstaches!  As you can see, I was refilling the bowl QUITE a bit!

Free Wormstaches! As you can see, I was refilling the bowl QUITE a bit!

It was a huge hit and I got tons of people coming over to do the ‘stache – including a couple of recognizable faces…the Brigade of the Wormstaches will be at the end of this post – if you did a ‘stache for me, come see!

I also thought it would be fun to get the visitors at my table involved in a mock election for their choice for the ruler of Hell.  Should Crowley remain as King?  Or do we need a woman’s touch via a knight to remember – Abaddon?

Who would YOU have voted for?

Who would YOU have voted for?

The way the contest worked was that at the end of the election, I would take a random name from the Crowley voters and a random name from the Abaddon voters.  The Crowley name would receive a King of Hell necklace.  The Abaddon name would receive a Queen of Hell necklace.

Alaina Huffman and Mark Sheppard were fantastically supportive of the fun and I updated them with the statistics via Twitter every evening over the course of the convention.

The results?   In the beginning of the eletion it was looking like quite a slam dunk for Crowley, however, girl power began to resonate and Abaddon started to gain in popularity.

The tally went from 78%/22%, then 80%/20%, then finally, 77%/23%.  Unfortunately it wasn’t enough to overthrow the King, but it did demonstrate that the fans are definitely interested in seeing where Abaddon could take things! Congrats to both Mark and Alaina for being their awesome selves!

And a HUGE congrats to the winners of the King of Hell and Queen of Hell Necklaces!

The proud winners of my King/Queen of Hell contest!

The proud winners of my King/Queen of Hell contest!

There were a couple of really REALLY great Abaddon cosplayers:

The lovely proprietor of The Bone Closet dressed as the Knight of Hell!

The lovely proprietor of The Bone Closet dressed as the Knight of Hell!

I sent this one to Alaina Huffman with the question: "I thought you said you weren't here?!?"

I sent this one to Alaina Huffman with the question: “I thought you said you weren’t here?!?”

Free Necklace Op!

I made Mark a King of Hell leather cuff bracelet that I gave him on Sunday.  He seemed, well, very Crowley about it – Mark – if you’re reading this, I’d absolutely love a pic of you wearing the bracelet! If anyone can make that happen I will give you a very special gift:

The Deception of Crowley - blood red glass framed in silver, complemented by a pentagram and skull! Available at www.eldwenne.etsy.com

The Deception of Crowley – blood red glass framed in silver, complemented by a pentagram and skull! Available at http://www.eldwenne.etsy.com

That’s right.  If anyone has the divine influence to get Mark to snap a pic of himself wearing the King of Hell bracelet I made him – I will GIVE you my smash hit necklace, “The Deception of Crowley” for free.  This necklace was hot as hell at the con (puns always intended).

My entire series of Supernatural-inspired pieces did very well – especially my Castiel’s Grace piece:

Castiel's Grace neckace.  This was a HUGE hit - I couldn't make them fast enough! Also available at www.eldwenne.etsy.com

Castiel’s Grace neckace. This was a HUGE hit – I couldn’t make them fast enough! Also available at http://www.eldwenne.etsy.com

The entire series is available at http://www.eldwenne.etsy.com.  For a limited time, I will be selling them at the special Convention price of $35 each along with FREE US SHIPPING!  This will be ending on April 15th or while supplies last, so come get ’em!

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

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

From top left across:

Castiel’s Grace (which Osric Chau laughed his rear end over for some reason…)

The Deception of Crowley

The Purification of Sam WinchesterThe Tenacity of Dean Winchester

The Heart of Castiel

Here are some of the lovelies wearing theirs!

These gorgeous ladies told me I could call them both Kiki to avoid confusion - the ROCK it!

These gorgeous ladies told me I could call them both Kiki to avoid confusion – the ROCK it!

Angels and Demons - a couple of beauties representing Crowley and Cas!

Angels and Demons – a couple of beauties representing Crowley and Cas!

Cosplaying Crowley - right down to the Deception of Crowley necklace and a glass of...not iced tea

Cosplaying Crowley – right down to the Deception of Crowley necklace and a glass of…not iced tea

Rocking my "Hello Boys" leather stamped cuff!

Rocking my “Hello Boys” leather stamped cuff!

One of my fave people from Creation wearing one of my pieces!  THANK YOU!

One of my fave people from Creation wearing one of my pieces! THANK YOU!

I’ve said this before but I have to say it again – there is no bigger compliment than seeing people adorn themselves with my jewelry.

Like this lady you may recognize – the stunning  Kim Rhodes!

The beautiful Kim Rhodes!

The beautiful Kim Rhodes!

I had designed a necklace specifically for Kim.  Kim had sent out a tweet asking if anyone had bubble bath. So I tweeted back, “Kim – I’ll give you a GALLON of bubble bath if you come to the vendors room and pick up the jewelry I made you.”  SHE SHOWED UP!

Kim immediately put the necklace on and kept it on the entire time she was on stage and in her photo ops.  So for those who had a photo op with Kim – the necklace she was wearing was my gift to her – unreal!

Not only did she just run over, grab the necklace and go.  She took the time to talk to me.  Kim was extremely gracious and we talked about education and kids.  She’s extremely dynamic and her energy is infectious, like her beautiful smile!

Thank you for being utterly amazing, Kim! And I think I still owe you a gallon of bubble bath, so for now, please accept this virtual one until the next convention!

My IOU to Kim Rhodes

My IOU to Kim Rhodes

Talking about how people wearing my jewelry blows my mind, let’s talk about the lovely Jenna.  Jenna was one of my first customers EVER at a convention back at NJCon, almost a year ago.  She had bought a woven pentagram necklace that she actually had with her in Vegas!  She brought it down and wore it to show me she still appreciates my work – how amazing is that??

Jenna wearing one of my first convention sales ever - my woven pentagram neck;ace!

Jenna wearing one of my first convention sales ever – my woven pentagram neck;ace!

And there’s Adina – Adina is one of those souls that you just connect with and it seems like you’ve been friends with forever, you know?  I’m doing a feature on her next week – just watch this space for an amazing post!  She’s a woman of talent, drive, and also has some pretty good taste in jewelry, I must say…

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!

Adina introduced me to her friend Ally – another wonderful human being!  Ally – I’m coming after you for a guest post too, so if you’re reading this – send me your email address!

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!

There are sooooo many people that I’ve met starting with my very first con back in NJ last year to my most current con in Vegas last week.  I have to honestly say that I’ve never met a better bunch of people.  Ever.

They are all a bunch of generous souls.  Here’s an example of random goodness.  I was chowing down on some mints the hotel had left by the water cooler in the vendors room.

A woman, Lynn, was also a vendor there and had stopped by my table.  She asked how I was and I had a mouthful of mint, so I apologized for eating my ‘lunch’ while talking to her.  She couldn’t believe that the mints were my ‘lunch’.

Do you know what Lynn did?  This woman went back to her hotel room and MADE me a sandwich with her own two hands.  AND gave me a cheese stick as well.

The lovely Lynn!  She fed a starving jewelry designer who is ever grateful to her kindness!

The lovely Lynn! She fed a starving jewelry designer who is ever grateful to her kindness!

Talk about your random acts of kindness – this really epitomized the spirit of the Supernatural fandom.  Lynn – if you’re reading this, I need your contact info so that I can do a feature on you!

There was a very important table right next to me – Legacy X.  Legacy X is about anti-bullying and building yourself up.  I met a bunch of fantastic women, including Brittany.

This girl warmed my heart.  It was honor to meet you!

Brittany warmed my heart. It was honor to meet you!

I met a lot of great women such as Brittany, Luvina (Brittany’s awesome mom), Kim, and other amazing women who worked diligently to collect as many anti-bullying messages as possible.  Hardcore, dedicated women who each have heart-wrenching stories to share.

Kim’s enthusiasm was catchy to say the least and I was really pleased that she asked me to make pieces related to their cause, such as a Legacy X bracelet and a Recycled Percussion bracelet as gifts for others in their amazing organization like Justin Spencer!

I will be doing a feature on the beautiful Brittany very soon!  In the meantime, please check out Legacy X’s site: http://www.legacyx.com/

What Makes Supernatural Fans so Amazing?

I had the honor of being interviewed by Mitch Kosterman for a documentary he is making about the fans of Supernatural.  I was asked what it was about the fans of Supernatural that I thought was different than other fandoms.

Supernatural fans are people who go out of their way to support each other. Even total strangers.  Everyone looks out for each other.  There is such a sense of community, support, and the willingness to do kind things for others without expecting (or wanting) anything in return.  There is no other place I’ve experienced people like this, especially all under one roof.

This beautiful young lady came by my table and gave me a lovely marble, wishing me "happy thoughts" - where else do people do that??  Thank you so much, sweetie!!

This beautiful young lady came by my table and gave me a lovely marble, wishing me “happy thoughts” – where else do people do that?? Thank you so much, sweetie!!

Some of the strong underlying themes of Supernatural that I get are: doing the best with what you have, putting your loved ones before yourself, helping others, and my personal favorite, ‘family don’t end with blood.’

Every fan I’ve ever spoken to seems to uphold these values to the fullest.

The show has helped me in so many ways it’s unfathomable for me to list them all here – but one thing I will say is that I’ve learned who to surround myself with and who to cut loose. It’s Team Free Will to the fullest, baby!  Make the best of what we have, carve your own destiny, and well, CARRY ON!

I had so many amazing experiences and there will be a LOT of features coming out of this convention.  So watch this space for much more!

And, as promised, the Wormstache Brigade is here!  Look for your ‘stache moment below!!

You know what makes Osric Chau so effing cool?  He did the ‘stache for me!

Osric (dressed as CAS!) doing the 'stache! Thank you for being an amazing sport, Osric!

Osric (dressed as CAS!) doing the ‘stache! Thank you for being an amazing sport, Osric!

I bet I’m the only person on the planet who got Executive Producer Jim Michaels to do the ‘stache!

Everyone's favorite Executive Producer - Jim Michaels doing the 'stache! Thanks, Jim!

Everyone’s favorite Executive Producer – Jim Michaels doing the ‘stache! Thanks, Jim!

The Ladies of Legacy X Worstaches!

The Ladies of Legacy X Worstaches!

Wornstache 3

Wormstache 1

Wormstache 2Wormstache 4Wormstache 5Wormstache 6

Wormstache 7

Wormstache 8

Wormstache 9

Wormstache 10 Wormstache 11 Wormstache 12 Wormstache 13 Wormstache 14 Wormstache 15 Wormstache 16 Wormstache 18_edited Wormstache 19 Wormstache 20 Wormstache 21 Wormstache 22 Wormstache 23 Wormstache 24 Wormstache 25 Wormstache 26Wornstache 3

If anyone has pictures of yourselves wearing my jewelry, please feel free to send them along, I’d love to feature them in an upcoming post!!

So don’t forget – if anyone sends me a pic of Mark Sheppard wearing my King of Hell bracelet – you get The Deception of Crowley necklace FREE!

And for a limited time you can get each of my necklace series at the special convention price of $35 each and FREE US SHIPPING!

Watch for next week’s post – a feature on the lovely Adina!!

I leave you with the ONE pic of Elvis I managed to take while in Vegas:

Viva Las Vegas, baby!

Viva Las Vegas, baby!

My Featured Victim, Er, Customer – Judy G!

Jodi: Judy is quite an amazing woman.

The Lovely Judy G!

The Lovely Judy G!

I did an interview with her in May 2013 – you should check it out

https://jewelrybyjodizulueta.com/2013/05/31/featured-customer-of-the-month-judy-g/

I wanted to do a follow up interview with some fun questions this time around, so, without further ado, take it away, Judy!

What new and exciting ventures have you gotten involved with since your last feature? How did you get involved and what new things are on the horizon for you for 2014?
For 30+ years (since I was a teenager) I have been overweight and in the last 15+ years I have been the unwilling recipient of various health problems (many of which are made worse because of being overweight). So last summer I made the decision to seek the help of a Bariatric Doctor.  I met with the Doc last August and hopefully if all goes well, I will be having Gastric Bypass Surgery this March to be able to finally lose weight and keep it off.  I am so excited about this new “adventure” in my life. 
2014 is going to be the year I take care of “ME”!!!!
Judy after beginning her journey and losing 18 pounds!  WHOO HOO!

Judy after beginning her journey and losing 18 pounds! WHOO HOO!

 Judy Baby Shirt
If you could have a superpower for 24 hours, what would it be and why?
To be able to pick the correct lottery numbers so to win lots of money to share with and help lots and lots of people. But really any superpower that allows me to help others would be awesome. (Jodi here – Judy – you already have that superpower!)
The Winchesters knock on your door and tell you that you need to evacuate your home immediately because apparently that gorgeous vase you bought from the antique dealer is a cursed object – the last three owners of that vase wound up having an overwhelming urge to sing Barry Manilow songs off key until their eardrums exploded. 
Everything you own is completely accessible but you are only allowed to grab three things and they have to be completely shallow. What would they be and why? And Dean Winchester doesn’t count as one of them! 
My cell phone, my laptop and an extra pair of flip flops.
Because:
cell phone – I can’t seem to live without it (and need to have it ready for Dean and/or Sam when they call me)
laptop – can’t live without it either (I need to stay in touch with the cyberworld and may need it to help   look up info for Dean & Sam)
flip flops – Cause my tootsies always look awesome in flip flops and I gotta look good when I go out on the town with Dean.
Back to semi-serious – I’ve always found that humor has been a great way of getting me through some bumps in the road. What do you do to get through tough times? 
Laughter is def the best medicine.  I do look for humor and sunshine when it’s dark and cloudy.
I rely on my family & friends for the needed support –
My hubs is good at holding me and wiping away the tears.
My sister is my bestest friend – we’ve been through thick n thin together and boy the stories we could tell yah.  Most would keep you rolling on the floor.
My best friend Courtney is the much needed humor for any issue or problem.  She can keep you laughing till your sides burst. (Like when she thought “Keyless Entry” meant her car didn’t come equipped with a key hole.
What keeps,you coming back to Eldwenne’s Fantasy? (And will you come back even after that Barry Manilow question?)
I have returned to Eldwenne’s Fantasy several times because your jewelry is WOWSOME!!! The pieces you make each have their own “spirit”.  They can be statement pieces or pieces to compliment something else.
And the compliments I receive on each item I wear lets me know that your jewelry speaks to everyone.
YES!!! I will definitely come back again and again for more jewelry (Barry Manilow can’t keep me away from my fave jewelry lady.
Wow – THANK YOU, JUDY!!  We’re all so proud of you and look forward to more updates on your journey of doing something that’s incredibly difficult for all of us, but often neglected – taking care of OURSELVES!  Kudos to you, m’lady!!
VegasCon Update
I am now officially in stress mode – I had a dream that I had a dream about VegasCon.  Yes, you read that correctly.  I dreamt that the vendors room was in some god-awful, dark, dank,  basement the size of a closet and that my table consisted of a 3’x3′ desk.  Then I woke up and realized, “Whew!  It was only a dream.”  Only to still be in a dream.  And the vendor’s room was still in a god-awful, dark, dank basement the size of a closet with a 3’x3′ desk.
Then I woke up.  An hour late!!  My boys had to stay home from school.  I can tell you they were SO broken up about it.  It took hours to console them.
Ive been working my tail off with tons of cool new designs PLUS I’ve got some really cool new items that I’ll be selling, like my ode to Bobby Singer – an Idjit flask!
All of my designs are available at http://www.eldwenne.etsy.com
Bobby?  Is that you?

Bobby? Is that you?

As well as some brand new coffin jewelry boxes and more bookmarks and keychains, oh my! And I’m going to be having a MEGA cool contest there!  More details to come!
Tastes Like Molecules...

Tastes Like Molecules…

Pentagrams and Red Crystals Bracelet

Pentagrams and Red Crystals Bracelet

Ultimate Castiel Bracelet

Ultimate Castiel Bracelet

There's Nothing, Past or Present, That I Would Put in Front of You

There’s Nothing, Past or Present, That I Would Put in Front of You

Are YOU going to VegasCon??  Come say hi to me and my friend, author Kat Sloan!  She and I will be hosting some fun giveaways that weekend!!  Come check out Kat’s site at http://www.katsloan.com – her brand new book, Half Blood, can be bought directly from her site and you can read all about her plans at VegasCon, including a meet and greet with her!

Half Blood - The Lycanthropire Saga written by Kat Sloan

Half Blood – The Lycanthropire Saga written by Kat Sloan

Come follow her on twitter @katsloan7 and see her FB page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheLycanthropireSaga/
Thanks again to the lovely Judy G and check back with me next week for yet another fabulous customer feature – Ana Marie S!!  YES – two customer features in one month!  Look out!
Until next week, by ya’ll!

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!

First Customer Feature of 2014: Melstiel!!

Welcome to the first post of Down to the Wire for 2014 – whoo hoo!  

I wanted to kick it off with a great interview I did with a lovely lady who goes by the fabulous name Melstiel.  She and I met at TorCon this past October.

Melstiel is probably one of Castiel’s biggest fans and it looks like the feeling is mutual: Image

I’m happy to give her the floor for her to strut her stuff for us today!  Take it away Melstiel!

I am Melissa but I prefer to be called Mel. I am a bionic woman, with a cochlear implant to help me hear better. I identify as pansexual and polyamorous. I am in a family of five which includes my significant other Christopher, my hearing ear dog Rocky, and my two cats, Artemis and Satine.

I work in maintenance of recycled soft goods at a thrift store and take on research and program evaluation contracts from time to time. I have a graduate degree in forensic psychological research and I am taking courses in Case Management so I can get a certificate in that much more practical field. I love cats, ancient civilizations, video games, psychology, sexuality, and art. I am a devoted Superwholockian. 

As you can tell, I am completely enamored with Castiel and Misha Collins. Like Castiel, I am a socially awkward rebel who is fiercely loyal to their friends and feels guilty for mistakes made in life. Misha makes me happy and is just a beautiful human being with a dose of crazy. I did GISHWHES ’13 and look forward though fear doing GISHWHES ’14. Here’s an example of a GISHWHES ’13 item – the objective was to raise funds for the food bank by ‘panhandling’ as a dragon attack victim on a busy sidewalk Image

That was a challenging item for me because of my social anxiety but I persisted. I wish I knew of Misha when I was younger because I was not accepted due to being ‘eccentric’ and he would have been a wonderful role model.

I do mixed media and recycled art under the persona of Felivalkyria, concocted from “feline” and “valkyrie”. My art often has fantastical themes and includes portraiture of animals and people important in my life. I am part of Moods Expressed, a local working group for artists with mental health issues, and we have a website at http://www.moodsexpressed.com . Under Artists/Artisans, you can find me as Felivalkyria (Melissa Pagliaro) and view my art there. I do a few shows a year thanks to the help of Moods Expressed.

I used to write but I don’t so much anymore as visual art is more my discipline these days. I have been dabbling in making jewelry and recently made a Castiel necklace with pearls and cubic zirconia. I was lucky to find a tear drop bead dangle that is similar to the cubic zirconia I used and makes it looks like Castiel’s tie is dangling between his wings! Image.

I am very much someone who experiments with it all – recently, I got a new camera (Panasonic Lumix G6) and my favourite picture that I have taken so far is of my cat, Artemis Image.

I like cosplaying, especially as Cas, and I am always striving to improve my work Image.

 I appreciate handmade creations because they have much more love poured into them than storebought, factory manufactured items. Precious time is spent to create unique and one-of-a-kind items when they are handmade. I like supporting independent artists’ creations as opposed to big corporations which I feel are often detrimental to society. In fact, commissioning one artist’s work has become my yearly Christmas tradition.

 There is something truly attractive about the shiny! That is why I like to work with cubic zirconia. I also love materials with interesting textures like feathers, leather, fur, and velour. I work well with tactile sensations because my sense of smell is nil, having anosmia. I have a penchant for long dangling jewelry because I consider myself feminine.

 Eldwenne’s Fantasy actually stands out to me because Jodi is one of few independent vendors to display their work at Creation cons. 

Jodi here again – thank you so so much, Melstiel!  As some of you may know, my daughter, Raven also has cochlear implants, so both she and Melstiel have something in common – bionic women!

I have to say I love where you’re going with your jewelry – please keep going with it! And all of you really should check out Melstiel’s artwork at  http://www.moodsexpressed.com – use the dropdown menu to select  Felivalkyria (Melissa Pagliaro) and you will be giving yourself a major treat.  

Check out all of her artwork, but especially the Fantasy section – this woman knows how to mix her media and create atmospheres and new worlds.  There’s a piece I was particularly drawn to with two women lounging alongside an eagle.  Also looks like Artemis is making a cameo!  Bravo, Melstiel!!

Is anyone going to VegasCon?  I’ll be there with my Eldwenne’s Fantasy table selling my quality handmade jewelry, jewelry boxes, keychains, and whatever else I can think of between now and March!

Don’t forget to check out my shop at http://www.eldwenne.etsy.com for TONS of new designs added daily including Supernatural, Vampire Diaries, and Walking Dead!!

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                                                   Castiel’s Grace Necklace

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                  Watch Your Mouth Sunshine Daryl Dixon Quote Cuff Bracelet

February is going to be chock full of great posts including a great feature on my lovely customer Judy!

See ya’ll next week! (Yes, I’m practicing my Southern for my big move this spring!)

Jodi