Sunday, August 12, 2012

Renaissance of Amelia

Many things have happened since I last posted.  I am in the middle of contemplating of what will happen after 10 January 2014.  This day of the year has much significance in my life.  It was on this date in the year of 1947 that my parents first met someone who became their only child and loving daughter, Amelia.  Over the years many meaningful events occurred some of extreme happiness and others marked mile stones in our lives.

Have you ever had those days where nothing seemed to jell and was totally disjointed.  Well, one of these days happened on this day.  The family was taking me out for dinner.  We went to one of our favorite locations and the line was so long we decided to try another favorite.  You guessed it, it also had a waiting list out the door and around the corner.  It seemed that there was a conspiracy to keep us from going out for dinner. We had contemplated to eating potluck at home but, finally we found a place that served everything from hamburgers to salmon and in we went.  The meal was okay, but still the atmosphere was still unsettling.  As we were unlocking the door at home, the phone was ringing.  Finally we discovered why the uncertainty prevailed.  It was the nursing home where my mother-in-law lived.  She was looking for the family to let us know that this dear lady had passed away in her sleep.  This life changing event will alway mark this day "bittersweet".  

I recall one time when we were at our daughter's and her husbands home celebrating a family Christmas.  Our son and his wife, my husband's sister and husband, niece and grand nephew all were there.  It was a fun filled day exchanging gifts, and reminiscing of past events and making new memories.  The most significant event that day was the impromptu birthday party.  Our daughter had practiced her baking skills and made me a special cake.  What made it even more special was that she had remembered that sugar was not my best friend anymore.  You see, several months earlier I had gastric bypass surgery and could no longer eat large amounts of sugar.  She had found a special recipe just for this occasion.  What a loving and thoughtful gesture it was and what a life long memory it created.

Art has always been a very big part of my life. Over the years I had kept actively engaged by teaching in-home children art lessons, and occasionally participating in crafts shows.  As a military wife moving was part of our overall plan.  It was when we moved to Maryland that I discovered how important art truly was for me.  Being new to a base, it is priority to tour the base and locate many wonderful programs that are offered for our military families.  The one I found was the Arts and Crafts Center.  To find a wide variety of art and crafts under one roof was an awesome experience.  I had found a home away from home.  It was truly a "WOW" moment.

Being a mother with young children it was difficult to take on a full time job.  So I started out as a contract teacher.  If I did not know how to do something I would teach myself and them pass on my skills to others. I labelled my self as a "multi-craftsman".   Eventually I did join the staff and became more involved in teaching classes to children through adults.

One of the most rewarding experiences was working with medical professionals and those military members who had a difficult time separating their personal life from their professional life.  The classes consisted of an experimental approach to a wide variety of art and craft experiences that included ceramics, drawing, and watercolors to name a few.  One evening a former student came into the center to purchase supplies.  I had not seen her in many weeks.  After she purchased her products, we started talking.  Then out of the blue, she took my hands and said.  "Thank saved my life."  I looked at her puzzled and she continued.  "When I first met you I had tried to kill myself.  I could not separate my home life from my work life.  Your classes taught me how to relax.  I come home from work, get out my watercolors and paint and all my stress stays a the job site."  This confession totally overwhelmed me.  The tears started and hugs followed.  It was then that I knew I had found my perfect job.

You are probably wondering what this has to do with 10 January.  Well a few years later on that date I was hired as the assistant director of this quality of life program.  Eventually this turned into a career as the director.  Unfortunately the program close in the early 90's due to budget cuts.  As many of you know budget cuts and the "Arts" are not close friends.

Fortunately for me, my degree in Art Education qualified me to join the Military Child and Youth Programs.  Working with children ages 6 weeks to 18 years of age has been totally remarkable.  While at the Youth Programs many creative endeavors transpired.  One is a legacy for me.  I was privileged to design the art room that is still used today.  Working in support of our military families is totally rewarding.  Ensuring that their children are safe and well taken care of is quite a daunting experience.  I am extremely fortunate to have been part of this for so many years. 

About 31/2 to 4 years ago I felt a need to do more in my personal creative endeavors.  I am known to do a some of many things but a master of none.  I tried teaching my self to knit.  Never finished the scarf.  Then I got out the drawing materials.  A few sketches but nothing serious.  Finally I remembered that my dad had dabbled in jewelry making.  Somewhere in my garage was all his polished stones.  Digging out the garage was such a daunting task I decided to visit the local craft store and there were the jewelry making kits.  I knew that buying a kit would let me know if I really like this medium.  I fell in love with making jewelry.  Searching on line I found wire wrapping and sculpture.  I was totally hooked.  I had always wanted to sell my art, but never had really tried.  I found Art Fire.  I was at home again.  Several month later I posted my first pieces which I had made on Amelia Originals...Handmade Jewelry and Things.  Again I was hooked and planned to make a go of this opportunity.  To the amazement of my kids I was soon on Face Book and Twitter.  I have also created a website, Amelia Originals.  This has truly become a passion and a dream for the future.  

My career has taken twists and turns as most careers do.  The journey beginning with "my perfect" job, "Renaissance of Amelia" had begun in May 1984.  What a winding path it has been.  This path is quickly approaching the final turn headed to the "retirement years".  Which brings me back to 10 January 2014.  Since my dream career started on 10 January 1989, I felt it appropriate to start my dream retirement career on the same date 25 years later. 

Keep Creating...and never stop DREAMING!!!

Here are few of my latest creations...

Wire Sculpture Flower Avatar Signature Piece (Not Listed)

Wire Sculpture Flower Avatar Signature Piece (Not Listed)

Plum Daisy Handmade Link necklace (Not Listed)

Pink Sculptured Flower Pendant/Brooch w/Pearl & Briolette Beads