NOVICA Review & Giveaway

Be Bold, Achara at Novica

Novica in association with National Geographic is an online global marketplace featuring the work of artisans from all over the world. This month I was invited to review a product and offer a $50 gift certificate to one of my readers.

The item I purchased from Novica is this beautiful sterling silver ring handcrafted by Achara and her family in Thailand.

The ring was shipped all the way from Thailand so there was a delay in receiving it, but when I opened the package it was sheer delight. The ring came nestled in a lovely decorative paper box with a delicate leaf pressed into the top. Also, included was a thoughtful handwritten note in both English and Thai thanking me for my patronage.

The ring itself is very well made and has a nice fit. I also like that it's adjustable so that I can expand it to fit on one of my larger fingers


At the deepest essence of our philosophy, 
we want to create a bridge between you 
and the many talented artisans across the globe.
- Novica Team

Another interesting feature of Novica is that they have an artisan loan program where you can lend money. If you are a part of their microfinancing program you earn 15% bonus if you spend your repayment at Novica. In addition, Novica has launched their home party division where you can become a consultant and sell artisan products from around the globe in your home.

If you would like to be entered to win a $50 gift certificate to shop at Novica, please leave a comment below or send me an e-mail at hintjewelry@gmail.com.  I'll select the winner's name by random on Friday, February 3rd and make the announcement on my blog.

Here are some items to check out:

women's brazilian accessories

NOVICA Review & Giveaway

Be Bold, Achara at Novica

Novica in association with National Geographic is an online global marketplace featuring the work of artisans from all over the world. This month I was invited to review a product and offer a $50 gift certificate to one of my readers.

The item I purchased from Novica is this beautiful sterling silver ring handcrafted by Achara and her family in Thailand.

The ring was shipped all the way from Thailand so there was a delay in receiving it, but when I opened the package it was sheer delight. The ring came nestled in a lovely decorative paper box with a delicate leaf pressed into the top. Also, included was a thoughtful handwritten note in both English and Thai thanking me for my patronage.

The ring itself is very well made and has a nice fit. I also like that it's adjustable so that I can expand it to fit on one of my larger fingers


At the deepest essence of our philosophy, 
we want to create a bridge between you 
and the many talented artisans across the globe.
- Novica Team

Another interesting feature of Novica is that they have an artisan loan program where you can lend money. If you are a part of their microfinancing program you earn 15% bonus if you spend your repayment at Novica. In addition, Novica has launched their home party division where you can become a consultant and sell artisan products from around the globe in your home.

If you would like to be entered to win a $50 gift certificate to shop at Novica, please leave a comment below or send me an e-mail at hintjewelry@gmail.com.  I'll select the winner's name by random on Friday, February 3rd and make the announcement on my blog.

Here are some items to check out:

women's brazilian accessories

Arrow Earrings

Copper arrow earrings pointing to yours truly. $25

Bonnie Jacobsen

Bonnie sent me some pictures of some lovely work she's been doing with phosphor bronze wire. Thanks, Bonnie! You can see more of Bonnie's work on her Facebook page BDJ Designs.

The Enlightening Mat: Doing & Being

Hugo Doing

There is a thought-provoking movie that can be rented on Netflix called The Quantum Activist. It's a documentary about the scientist Dr. Amit Goswami, who comes across as the kindest, gentlest spirit on film.

During the movie, Dr. Goswami explains that when we desire change in our lives, creativity is our best way to explore beyond conditioned behavioral patterns. A key idea proposed by researchers on the subject of human creativity is the importance of balancing doing with being. More specifically, embracing periods of incubation when you just sit on ideas instead of taking action. This period of beingness allows for more possibilities to accumulate so that when you return to doing you have more ideas to choose from; and therefore, increase your chances of reaching the best solution.


Hugo Being

Dr. Goswami calls it Do, Be, Do, Be, Do where you value being as much as doing and weave it into your life in such a way that they work together. This concept reminded me art school when teachers asked me step away from my work and then come back to it after awhile to see something new.

Though I make art in this way, I had never consciously applied it to my life until one day at Bikram yoga, I noticed that the whole second half of the series is based on the concept of doing a posture and then being in dead body pose in between -- a place of complete relaxation. Often times I struggle to relinquish myself over to this pose of complete relaxation as I try to hurry the class along in my head or plan for the day. I'm still doing in my head instead of just allowing my body to be. Savasana or dead body pose may actually be the most difficult posture for most students in the class because from early childhood we are conditioned that doing is something of value while being is often discouraged.

On a very basic physical level Bikram yoga is teaching me how to do and be in the microcosm of the classroom so that I can start balancing doing and being outside in the world. When I noticed this was something to build upon, I began looking for ways to incorporate it into my life. What would it look like? Would I work for a couple hours and then go lay in the grass and look up at the sky? Would I turn off all electronic gadgets at the end of the day and just sit with my cat for awhile? Would I put all my projects away and just spend time listening and laughing with friends?

Doing and being are best buds, and as I learn how unify them in the yoga classroom, my deepest is wish is that this habit will eventually extend out into my daily life in a way that allows for creativity to be the root of everything.

The Enlightening Mat is a blog series exploring moments of awareness that come to Beth Hemmila while practicing Bikram Yoga

The Enlightening Mat: Doing & Being

Hugo Doing

There is a thought-provoking movie that can be rented on Netflix called The Quantum Activist. It's a documentary about the scientist Dr. Amit Goswami, who comes across as the kindest, gentlest spirit on film.

During the movie, Dr. Goswami explains that when we desire change in our lives, creativity is our best way to explore beyond conditioned behavioral patterns. A key idea proposed by researchers on the subject of human creativity is the importance of balancing doing with being. More specifically, embracing periods of incubation when you just sit on ideas instead of taking action. This period of beingness allows for more possibilities to accumulate so that when you return to doing you have more ideas to choose from; and therefore, increase your chances of reaching the best solution.


Hugo Being

Dr. Goswami calls it Do, Be, Do, Be, Do where you value being as much as doing and weave it into your life in such a way that they work together. This concept reminded me art school when teachers asked me step away from my work and then come back to it after awhile to see something new.

Though I make art in this way, I had never consciously applied it to my life until one day at Bikram yoga, I noticed that the whole second half of the series is based on the concept of doing a posture and then being in dead body pose in between -- a place of complete relaxation. Often times I struggle to relinquish myself over to this pose of complete relaxation as I try to hurry the class along in my head or plan for the day. I'm still doing in my head instead of just allowing my body to be. Savasana or dead body pose may actually be the most difficult posture for most students in the class because from early childhood we are conditioned that doing is something of value while being is often discouraged.

On a very basic physical level Bikram yoga is teaching me how to do and be in the microcosm of the classroom so that I can start balancing doing and being outside in the world. When I noticed this was something to build upon, I began looking for ways to incorporate it into my life. What would it look like? Would I work for a couple hours and then go lay in the grass and look up at the sky? Would I turn off all electronic gadgets at the end of the day and just sit with my cat for awhile? Would I put all my projects away and just spend time listening and laughing with friends?

Doing and being are best buds, and as I learn how unify them in the yoga classroom, my deepest is wish is that this habit will eventually extend out into my daily life in a way that allows for creativity to be the root of everything.

The Enlightening Mat is a blog series exploring moments of awareness that come to Beth Hemmila while practicing Bikram Yoga

Love Has Its Own Plan

Love Unfolds, Beth Hemmila (Hint Jewelry): sterling silver flaming heart milagro charm

Love has strange twists and turns.

It's unpredictable.

You are not privy to its plan. 


Love Unfolds, Beth Hemmila (Hint Jewelry)

 You're just meant to hang on tight

and enjoy the ride!

Love Has Its Own Plan

Love Unfolds, Beth Hemmila (Hint Jewelry): sterling silver flaming heart milagro charm

Love has strange twists and turns.

It's unpredictable.

You are not privy to its plan. 


Love Unfolds, Beth Hemmila (Hint Jewelry)

 You're just meant to hang on tight

and enjoy the ride!

Behind the Scenes: Using Negative Reactions to Refine Your Target Market

Slice of Life, Beth Hemmila

Trying to sell your product or message out to a wide range of people when you haven't got a handle on your target market might ultimately prove to be a useful tool.

One of the key ingredients of any business plan is to have a clear vision of your audience. Unfortunately, the target market thingie has always been hard for me to narrow down because I've got some personal hangups about likeability. Consequently, I tend to flounder for awhile trying to figure out who is drawn to my work and then create a picture from that point forward. According to business plan gurus, this appears to be the backwards approach.

Nevertheless, if you make this silly foible like me, clues are sprinkled along the way that help you get back on track. For example, in the early stages of launching Hint Jewelry I was puzzled by that fact that very few people in Portland purchased my work. However, by tracking my Etsy sales over the past three years, I figured out that the majority of my target market for Hint charms actually lives in California, the Southwest, and New England. So it's taken three years to figure this out. Hey, no big deal. I'm a person that learns by doing, making mistakes, and then correcting my course. I find this form of learning more of an adventure.

Another good example is when someone responds to your work with harsh criticism instead of constructive feedback. You can use key demographic information about this person and refine your target market by looking at the flip side.

Take for instance Subject Y...
Subject Y is a male in his late 60s, maybe retired, with a graduate degree in science who is spiritually content and quite happy with his life. He owns a Harley and is a hands-on person. Upon receiving my marketing message for Lemonade Mantras he may come back with a strong reaction because frankly he thinks it sounds like an arrogant waste of time. For him, it feels like eating cotton candy rather then a juicy steak on the grill -- fluffy stuff with no substance or value.

What might be the near opposite of Subject Y? 
A woman in their twenties, thirties, or forties who may be asking the question "Who am I?" Someone who enjoys self-help books over scientific theory and wants to learn more about their emotional reactions and the concept of love. Someone who is actively looking for ways to make their lives happier and starting a process of self-discovery. A person who enjoys keeping a journal, is drawn to written words as a form of self-expression, and wants to learn other ways to communicate.

~

So maybe you deliver your message at the wrong watering hole the first time around. The strong negative reactions of people in the form of criticism ultimately point the way to where you need to be hanging out. Try not to get emotionally sidetracked by biting statements made by others or no reactions at all. Instead embrace criticism and see what you may be able to learn from their reactions and non-reactions. See their negative reaction as the detour sign pointing you in the direction to where like-minded peeps are hanging out.

Lastly, if you want to go one step further, you can practice hearing and empathizing with the harsh criticism a person believed they were directing at you but is really a covert message meant for themselves. This technique for turning criticism around can be found in Chapter 14 of Lemonade Mantras, "Empathy for Others," Practice Hearing Another Person's Self-Judgment.

P.S. Another interesting thing that may happen when you first launch your business is that your message or product may not be something your close friends or family need as a solution to a problem. In fact, more than likely your friends and family ARE NOT your target market. If you notice close friends and family not being drawn to your work, begin to see that you are embracing a path that will expand your circle of connection even wider to human beings that relate most deeply to what is in your heart. Treasure their disconnection as an opportunity to expand outward into the world.

Behind the Scenes: Using Negative Reactions to Refine Your Target Market

Slice of Life, Beth Hemmila

Trying to sell your product or message out to a wide range of people when you haven't got a handle on your target market might ultimately prove to be a useful tool.

One of the key ingredients of any business plan is to have a clear vision of your audience. Unfortunately, the target market thingie has always been hard for me to narrow down because I've got some personal hangups about likeability. Consequently, I tend to flounder for awhile trying to figure out who is drawn to my work and then create a picture from that point forward. According to business plan gurus, this appears to be the backwards approach.

Nevertheless, if you make this silly foible like me, clues are sprinkled along the way that help you get back on track. For example, in the early stages of launching Hint Jewelry I was puzzled by that fact that very few people in Portland purchased my work. However, by tracking my Etsy sales over the past three years, I figured out that the majority of my target market for Hint charms actually lives in California, the Southwest, and New England. So it's taken three years to figure this out. Hey, no big deal. I'm a person that learns by doing, making mistakes, and then correcting my course. I find this form of learning more of an adventure.

Another good example is when someone responds to your work with harsh criticism instead of constructive feedback. You can use key demographic information about this person and refine your target market by looking at the flip side.

Take for instance Subject Y...
Subject Y is a male in his late 60s, maybe retired, with a graduate degree in science who is spiritually content and quite happy with his life. He owns a Harley and is a hands-on person. Upon receiving my marketing message for Lemonade Mantras he may come back with a strong reaction because frankly he thinks it sounds like an arrogant waste of time. For him, it feels like eating cotton candy rather then a juicy steak on the grill -- fluffy stuff with no substance or value.

What might be the near opposite of Subject Y? 
A woman in their twenties, thirties, or forties who may be asking the question "Who am I?" Someone who enjoys self-help books over scientific theory and wants to learn more about their emotional reactions and the concept of love. Someone who is actively looking for ways to make their lives happier and starting a process of self-discovery. A person who enjoys keeping a journal, is drawn to written words as a form of self-expression, and wants to learn other ways to communicate.

~

So maybe you deliver your message at the wrong watering hole the first time around. The strong negative reactions of people in the form of criticism ultimately point the way to where you need to be hanging out. Try not to get emotionally sidetracked by biting statements made by others or no reactions at all. Instead embrace criticism and see what you may be able to learn from their reactions and non-reactions. See their negative reaction as the detour sign pointing you in the direction to where like-minded peeps are hanging out.

Lastly, if you want to go one step further, you can practice hearing and empathizing with the harsh criticism a person believed they were directing at you but is really a covert message meant for themselves. This technique for turning criticism around can be found in Chapter 14 of Lemonade Mantras, "Empathy for Others," Practice Hearing Another Person's Self-Judgment.

P.S. Another interesting thing that may happen when you first launch your business is that your message or product may not be something your close friends or family need as a solution to a problem. In fact, more than likely your friends and family ARE NOT your target market. If you notice close friends and family not being drawn to your work, begin to see that you are embracing a path that will expand your circle of connection even wider to human beings that relate most deeply to what is in your heart. Treasure their disconnection as an opportunity to expand outward into the world.

Valiant Spirit

Valiant Spirit, Beth Hemmila (Hint Jewelry): sterling silver cross charm necklace

Strength of numbers is the
delight of the timid.
The Valiant in spirit glory in
fighting alone.


- Mahatma Ghandi

This quote from Mahatma Ghandi is the text I chose to tell the story of the Valiant cross charm from Hint Jewelry. It still gives me chills every time I read it.

To be a visionary, dreamer, seeker of wisdom, or teller of truths you must be willing to stand alone. Maybe this alone-ness exists for only a split second before someone reaches out to join you or maybe it lasts for countless years. Whatever time elapses, constant connection with the basic truth of what you are trying to manifest is essential. You be there for you. That's it. That's all you need.


Valiant Spirit, Beth Hemmila (Hint Jewelry): sterling silver cross charm necklace

Nevertheless, I can't say I have ever been completely alone for whenever I do feel like my dreams are crumbling, I take comfort in the life stories of visionaries like Mahatma Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa, and Nelson Mandela. I imagine hanging out with them and thinking about what inspiring or funny thing they might say regarding my predicament. These fearless leaders are on my team and are my best cheerleaders for they are examples of human beings who never stopped believing in their missions, and they never used feeling alone as an option for not continuing with what they knew was their purpose.

Valiant Spirit

Valiant Spirit, Beth Hemmila (Hint Jewelry): sterling silver cross charm necklace

Strength of numbers is the
delight of the timid.
The Valiant in spirit glory in
fighting alone.


- Mahatma Ghandi

This quote from Mahatma Ghandi is the text I chose to tell the story of the Valiant cross charm from Hint Jewelry. It still gives me chills every time I read it.

To be a visionary, dreamer, seeker of wisdom, or teller of truths you must be willing to stand alone. Maybe this alone-ness exists for only a split second before someone reaches out to join you or maybe it lasts for countless years. Whatever time elapses, constant connection with the basic truth of what you are trying to manifest is essential. You be there for you. That's it. That's all you need.


Valiant Spirit, Beth Hemmila (Hint Jewelry): sterling silver cross charm necklace

Nevertheless, I can't say I have ever been completely alone for whenever I do feel like my dreams are crumbling, I take comfort in the life stories of visionaries like Mahatma Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa, and Nelson Mandela. I imagine hanging out with them and thinking about what inspiring or funny thing they might say regarding my predicament. These fearless leaders are on my team and are my best cheerleaders for they are examples of human beings who never stopped believing in their missions, and they never used feeling alone as an option for not continuing with what they knew was their purpose.

Dragon: Empowerment, Wisdom & Healing

Dragon Guru, Beth Hemmila (Hint Jewelry): sterling silver year of the dragon charm

Dragon guru, supernova busting wide-open, incinerating future promises and past regrets in your unconscious fireball. Show me the pure power resting in every volatile breath and with searing heat sew up my thought wounds that skidded past center.

Dragon: Empowerment, Wisdom & Healing

Dragon Guru, Beth Hemmila (Hint Jewelry): sterling silver year of the dragon charm

Dragon guru, supernova busting wide-open, incinerating future promises and past regrets in your unconscious fireball. Show me the pure power resting in every volatile breath and with searing heat sew up my thought wounds that skidded past center.

DSK Steph's Giveaway! I'm back!

Hey everyone! I'm back in Seattle and back at work! I'll have all pending orders shipped out ASAP to you with an extra Swarovski heart, sterling silver pendant gift for everyone who is still waiting for their packages! Thank you for all of your love, and support in my jewelry art. :)
I accidentally posted a personal blog about my month long trip last night, and I apologize for those who came here to enter the giveaway I'm hosting over there. You can still enter to win a DSK Necklace at my beauty blog now! Head over and see what I've been up to for the past month. : )

www.stephanie-nguyen.blogspot.com

I'm also on Instagram now!
Find me DSKJewelry if I haven't already found you!

Also, stay tuned to my tweets on Twitter for the latest DSKJewelry news for 2012!

See you on my beauty blog!

Lemonade Mantras Book Launch


My book Lemonade Mantras is finally here! And as a special thank you to all my friends and readers for supporting my work over the years, I'm offering FREE e-book versions of Lemonade Mantras and its Companion Journal in PDF format. Also included in this package is a bonus feature called Mind Tricks.

If you haven't already received an e-mail from me with attachments for Lemonade Mantras, then it's possible I don't have your correct address on file. If you would like free copies of these e-books, please send me a message at beth@bethhemmila.com.

This special offer is for a limited time and will continue through the month of January.

What is Lemonade Mantras?
In a nutshell, Lemonade Mantras is a powerful 10-step process that teaches you how to love your whole self as a way to create more happiness in your life and more peace in your relationships.

Lemonade Mantras blends together 10-steps for transforming your negative thinking chosen from the best techniques found along my own twenty-year therapeutic journey of finding more happiness and peace.

On your own journey through the Lemonade Mantras process you will:
  • Develop your intuition by writing with your non-dominant hand.
  • Untangle and resolve the emotional conflicts in your life through journal writing.
  • Practice identifying feelings and needs.
  • Discover hidden beliefs that sabotage your life.
  • Take responsibility for personal outcomes so as to empower your thinking.
  • Find happiness by making personal requests to meet your needs.
  • Write your own personalized recipe of positive affirmations for change.
  • Rewrite your internal script and rewire your thinking patterns.
  • Turn self-empathy into empathy for others.

What's unique about Lemonade Mantras in comparison to other self-improvement books?
Most self-help books explain the "Why" but never effectively come up with a concrete action plan for how to change your life.  

Lemonade Mantras is HOW TO CHANGE and is written in a practical way that keeps learning simple and accessible.  Each chapter can be read in under 20 minutes and includes a follow-up exercise to put your learning into practice. More importantly, it gives you a plan for change. Something solid that you can rely on every day to transform emotionally charged moments in your life into wisdom.

Another key concept in Lemonade Mantras is the belief that learning a new habit requires repetition. So while other self-help books offer question and answer worksheets to be used and forgotten, Lemonade Mantras treats your brain like any other muscle in the body and becomes an exercise regimen for personal change.

Lastly, if done with consistency and to the best of your ability, Lemonade Mantras will produce your own personal recipe of positive affirmations that act as a unique alchemical formula in your head to transform your thinking and open your heart.

How do I purchase a copy of Lemonade Mantras?
If you have missed my free offer and would like to test drive these books, visit my page of FREE DOWNLOADS and receive a preview of Lemonade Mantras' first four chapters by clicking here.

If you are ready to purchase e-book versions of Lemonade Mantras and the Companion Journal in PDF format please click here.

If you enjoy reading by having a book in hand rather then from a computer screen, purchase hard copy versions of Lemonade Mantras by ordering print-on-demand books at Lulu.com by clicking here.

Finally, if you do choose to use Lemonade Mantras a tool for self-discovery, consider purchasing the Companion Journal which makes doing the exercises a snap. You can find the Companion journal by clicking here.

Lemonade Mantras Book Launch


My book Lemonade Mantras is finally here! And as a special thank you to all my friends and readers for supporting my work over the years, I'm offering FREE e-book versions of Lemonade Mantras and its Companion Journal in PDF format. Also included in this package is a bonus feature called Mind Tricks.

If you haven't already received an e-mail from me with attachments for Lemonade Mantras, then it's possible I don't have your correct address on file. If you would like free copies of these e-books, please send me a message at beth@bethhemmila.com.

This special offer is for a limited time and will continue through the month of January.

What is Lemonade Mantras?
In a nutshell, Lemonade Mantras is a powerful 10-step process that teaches you how to love your whole self as a way to create more happiness in your life and more peace in your relationships.

Lemonade Mantras blends together 10-steps for transforming your negative thinking chosen from the best techniques found along my own twenty-year therapeutic journey of finding more happiness and peace.

On your own journey through the Lemonade Mantras process you will:
  • Develop your intuition by writing with your non-dominant hand.
  • Untangle and resolve the emotional conflicts in your life through journal writing.
  • Practice identifying feelings and needs.
  • Discover hidden beliefs that sabotage your life.
  • Take responsibility for personal outcomes so as to empower your thinking.
  • Find happiness by making personal requests to meet your needs.
  • Write your own personalized recipe of positive affirmations for change.
  • Rewrite your internal script and rewire your thinking patterns.
  • Turn self-empathy into empathy for others.

What's unique about Lemonade Mantras in comparison to other self-improvement books?
Most self-help books explain the "Why" but never effectively come up with a concrete action plan for how to change your life.  

Lemonade Mantras is HOW TO CHANGE and is written in a practical way that keeps learning simple and accessible.  Each chapter can be read in under 20 minutes and includes a follow-up exercise to put your learning into practice. More importantly, it gives you a plan for change. Something solid that you can rely on every day to transform emotionally charged moments in your life into wisdom.

Another key concept in Lemonade Mantras is the belief that learning a new habit requires repetition. So while other self-help books offer question and answer worksheets to be used and forgotten, Lemonade Mantras treats your brain like any other muscle in the body and becomes an exercise regimen for personal change.

Lastly, if done with consistency and to the best of your ability, Lemonade Mantras will produce your own personal recipe of positive affirmations that act as a unique alchemical formula in your head to transform your thinking and open your heart.

How do I purchase a copy of Lemonade Mantras?
If you have missed my free offer and would like to test drive these books, visit my page of FREE DOWNLOADS and receive a preview of Lemonade Mantras' first four chapters by clicking here.

If you are ready to purchase e-book versions of Lemonade Mantras and the Companion Journal in PDF format please click here.

If you enjoy reading by having a book in hand rather then from a computer screen, purchase hard copy versions of Lemonade Mantras by ordering print-on-demand books at Lulu.com by clicking here.

Finally, if you do choose to use Lemonade Mantras a tool for self-discovery, consider purchasing the Companion Journal which makes doing the exercises a snap. You can find the Companion journal by clicking here.

2012 - FREE STUFF!

After only a few hick-ups, our new year has started well; I hope it has for everyone else.

First thing on my jewelry to do list is offer customers something more. So, the big news is - FREE SHIPPING for all orders  over $50.00 and shipped through USPS within the continental US! There have always been shipping cost differences and discrepancies and I'm often spending a lot of time figuring shipping charges before I'm able to add it in and give a total price. Now, no one has to worry about that; it's done!

The next thing on my list is to add more pewter pieces. Soon, I'll have a page simply titled PEWTER where you'll find my most recent pieces, hand made and finished by me, right here in Denton, TX!

Don't let Valentine's Day creep up unexpectedly - it'll be here before you know it! Start clicking through the site, looking for just the right thing for a sweet, special someone. Don't forget to treat yourself, too!

Last, remember there's the ongoing BRAILLE FASHION CHEAT-SHEET CHALLENGE 1000. For the 1000 person who signs on to the Facebook page, as well as the person who refers them, there'll be a free fashion finish alphabet bracelet and sterling silver, "follow your dreams" spin ring!

May your new year be filled with the challenges and happy moments with people and things you love.

Cheers to you all,
Leslie

Finished my Painting

Finally finished my first truly original oil painting. By that I mean I didn't do it from a picture, I set up the still life myself. Well, I did have to consult some pictures of forsythia on the internet. The only thing available to paint from life around here is snow and bare trees. I also don't want to paint en plein air in 18 degree weather. The next thing I want to do is a painting to go in my booth. My table covers are purple so maybe lilacs and silver jewelry?

Authentic Knitting Board for Kids

Tadpole Knitting Board, The Authentic Knitting Board
The other day at yoga class, a young girl was using this cool loom to knit a scarf. I asked her how it works and in about 5 minutes she showed me. Wow, this is a clever little device and perfect for young kids who might struggle to hang onto cumbersome knitting needles. Also, this knitting loom only has only 16 pins so it's perfect for small, on-the-go projects such scarfs or hats. Using the knitting board you create a double knit stitch which makes your work extra thick and cozy.

Authentic Knitting Board for Kids

Tadpole Knitting Board, The Authentic Knitting Board
The other day at yoga class, a young girl was using this cool loom to knit a scarf. I asked her how it works and in about 5 minutes she showed me. Wow, this is a clever little device and perfect for young kids who might struggle to hang onto cumbersome knitting needles. Also, this knitting loom only has only 16 pins so it's perfect for small, on-the-go projects such scarfs or hats. Using the knitting board you create a double knit stitch which makes your work extra thick and cozy.

Repurposed Bolo-Tie Necklace


Long copper waterfall chain, with glass drops on the very ended, the center has a vintage marble Agate Bolo-tie, with four agate faceted square stones, it hangs long, and has nice weight to it..$85

Homage to Vintage Buttons!


Long silver plated chains with striking red, blacks, and tortoise colored vintage buttons.
Red Centered Black Orbit: $30
Fresh Stack: $35

Simply Earrings




From Left to right
Silver coin fall, Green Goblin drop (SOLD), Copper & Brass coin fall: $25 ; Silver oval with small oval inside: $20; Golden Ovals: $20

Blue Cascading Spangle




Double layered necklace, back aluminum chain and multi-stone mixture, including blue, black agate, and glass, tiger's eye--- the center piece dangles with a brass peace pendant and long beaded tassel-- this piece is unlike any others. $70

The Enlightening Mat: Turning the Other Way

Reno Sky, Beth Hemmila

Lately, I've been using my Bikram Yoga practice as a laboratory to experiment with my habits. That may sound strange, but if you've been inside a Bikram Yoga studio, quickly you become aware that yogis develop a lot of strange personal habits that they would very much like to keep intact. Some of them are strategic like sitting near air flow and wanting to be in front of the mirror or hidden in the back of class. While other rituals are psychological mind tricks that help people check out of the experience like drinking water at a particular time, always grabbing a tissue, routinely quitting the same posture every class, etc.

When you are sweating your butt off in a hot and humid yoga room, these seemingly insignificant habits can feel like reaching shore after the perfect storm. I'm sure every Bikram yogi will confess to the mini temper tantrum that erupts in one's head when your favorite habit is unknowingly shattered by a teacher or the actions of a fellow student. Letting go is the hardest thing.

I think one of the most surprising things I've noted about myself is how many habits I actually have constructed. One of my ways of dealing with this understanding is developing a sense of humor, and when something outside myself asks me to adjust my habit seeing it as an opportunity to laugh at my silliness.

One habit I've been observing is my insistence on turning clockwise. During the second half of class, after our resting pose, you are asked to sit up and then turn around and face the mirror. My most instinctual movement is to turn clockwise; however, many times I am sitting next to someone who turns counterclockwise, and if we are sitting too close it becomes a sort of dance of who goes first.

So one day I decided to join my classmate sitting next to me and turn counterclockwise every time. Wow was this hard!! First of all my body's interpretation of this new movement was that it took twice as long to do because I was going twice as far. Even though logically I knew that it was the same distance, because it was a new movement this is how my brain registered the experience. My brain was saying, "This is so much harder. To be fast and efficient you should move clockwise." And if my brain's argument wasn't enough to convince me to change back, my body felt seasick turning counterclockwise.

The brain doesn't like new. It likes old, familiar, tried and true. Use the thing that has worked in the past is the brain's philosophy. So if changing a little habit like turning the other way will create an all out rebellion in your body and mind, think about how much determination it takes to change those long held habits we have with drinking, smoking, sugar, anger, negative thinking, or self-doubt. Overwhelming, no?

My way of dealing with the landslide of gigantic habits I'd like to transform is to not get caught up in the hugeness of it but just chip away one bit at a time. And maybe by starting out small and turning the other way in my yoga habits, I will have the platform to tackle those colossal habits that seem to get in the way of me being fully alive.

The Enlightening Mat is a blog series exploring moments of awareness that come to Beth Hemmila while practicing Bikram Yoga

The Enlightening Mat: Turning the Other Way

Reno Sky, Beth Hemmila

Lately, I've been using my Bikram Yoga practice as a laboratory to experiment with my habits. That may sound strange, but if you've been inside a Bikram Yoga studio, quickly you become aware that yogis develop a lot of strange personal habits that they would very much like to keep intact. Some of them are strategic like sitting near air flow and wanting to be in front of the mirror or hidden in the back of class. While other rituals are psychological mind tricks that help people check out of the experience like drinking water at a particular time, always grabbing a tissue, routinely quitting the same posture every class, etc.

When you are sweating your butt off in a hot and humid yoga room, these seemingly insignificant habits can feel like reaching shore after the perfect storm. I'm sure every Bikram yogi will confess to the mini temper tantrum that erupts in one's head when your favorite habit is unknowingly shattered by a teacher or the actions of a fellow student. Letting go is the hardest thing.

I think one of the most surprising things I've noted about myself is how many habits I actually have constructed. One of my ways of dealing with this understanding is developing a sense of humor, and when something outside myself asks me to adjust my habit seeing it as an opportunity to laugh at my silliness.

One habit I've been observing is my insistence on turning clockwise. During the second half of class, after our resting pose, you are asked to sit up and then turn around and face the mirror. My most instinctual movement is to turn clockwise; however, many times I am sitting next to someone who turns counterclockwise, and if we are sitting too close it becomes a sort of dance of who goes first.

So one day I decided to join my classmate sitting next to me and turn counterclockwise every time. Wow was this hard!! First of all my body's interpretation of this new movement was that it took twice as long to do because I was going twice as far. Even though logically I knew that it was the same distance, because it was a new movement this is how my brain registered the experience. My brain was saying, "This is so much harder. To be fast and efficient you should move clockwise." And if my brain's argument wasn't enough to convince me to change back, my body felt seasick turning counterclockwise.

The brain doesn't like new. It likes old, familiar, tried and true. Use the thing that has worked in the past is the brain's philosophy. So if changing a little habit like turning the other way will create an all out rebellion in your body and mind, think about how much determination it takes to change those long held habits we have with drinking, smoking, sugar, anger, negative thinking, or self-doubt. Overwhelming, no?

My way of dealing with the landslide of gigantic habits I'd like to transform is to not get caught up in the hugeness of it but just chip away one bit at a time. And maybe by starting out small and turning the other way in my yoga habits, I will have the platform to tackle those colossal habits that seem to get in the way of me being fully alive.

The Enlightening Mat is a blog series exploring moments of awareness that come to Beth Hemmila while practicing Bikram Yoga

How to Photograph a Cat

Set up your tent and lights in preparation for a jewelry shoot. Cat will immediately appear and offer to assist.

Anna Halprin: Breath Made Visible


The other day a friend studying Movement Therapy Somatic Counseling Psychology at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, sent me some information about Anna Halprin and her movie Breath Made Visible created by filmmaker Ruedi Gerber. The dancer's name hadn't rung a bell, but when I started watching the trailer to the film, I realized I had seen Anna Halprin dance in San Diego about ten years ago at Sushi Contemporary Performance and Visual Arts.

Even though I didn't file her name away in my head, for me Anna Halprin's performance was a life altering experience. The way she moves is indescribable but somehow deeply knowable all at the same time. When I was watching, I remember thinking, "This is the kind of movement I would do if I was a dancer. It's so alive, pure, and raw." Anna Halprin's movement was real and transitory all at the same time. The dance wasn't filled with elongated lines of the body, but rather the unique patterns of a soul inscribed in space. For several months after her performance, I moved around my apartment and made up stories with my body in response to her work. She made me feel like every movement was incredibly special and something to rejoice in.

Connecting to your body however you can in what is most authentic for you in each moment can be a healing and transforming experience. Playing sports, walking, yoga, dance, rocking in your chair, or just lying on the floor and moving your arm to express the story of your emotional landscape can be one way to return to the place that is most authentically you.

Anna Halprin is going to turn 92 this year, and she is still performing, teaching, and traveling and living her own saying, "Aging is like enlightenment at gunpoint." What a hoot!! Thank you Anna Halprin, for helping me see the beauty in every movement of my body.

Anna Halprin: Breath Made Visible


The other day a friend studying Movement Therapy Somatic Counseling Psychology at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, sent me some information about Anna Halprin and her movie Breath Made Visible created by filmmaker Ruedi Gerber. The dancer's name hadn't rung a bell, but when I started watching the trailer to the film, I realized I had seen Anna Halprin dance in San Diego about ten years ago at Sushi Contemporary Performance and Visual Arts.

Even though I didn't file her name away in my head, for me Anna Halprin's performance was a life altering experience. The way she moves is indescribable but somehow deeply knowable all at the same time. When I was watching, I remember thinking, "This is the kind of movement I would do if I was a dancer. It's so alive, pure, and raw." Anna Halprin's movement was real and transitory all at the same time. The dance wasn't filled with elongated lines of the body, but rather the unique patterns of a soul inscribed in space. For several months after her performance, I moved around my apartment and made up stories with my body in response to her work. She made me feel like every movement was incredibly special and something to rejoice in.

Connecting to your body however you can in what is most authentic for you in each moment can be a healing and transforming experience. Playing sports, walking, yoga, dance, rocking in your chair, or just lying on the floor and moving your arm to express the story of your emotional landscape can be one way to return to the place that is most authentically you.

Anna Halprin is going to turn 92 this year, and she is still performing, teaching, and traveling and living her own saying, "Aging is like enlightenment at gunpoint." What a hoot!! Thank you Anna Halprin, for helping me see the beauty in every movement of my body.

Taking a Break from Jewelry

After what seemed like a long (and very hot and humid) show season and the holidays over, I wanted to take a break from making jewelry and get back to something I used to enjoy doing years ago but never got good at, painting in oils. So I've gone crazy again purchasing books and DVDs and more brushes to add to my already large collection. To ease back into it, I started with a course from Kingslan, a series of little 5x7 pictures that were fun to do and didn't take a lot of time. Three of them were painted pretty much like the originals but I totally changed the background on the pansy picture, which necessitated somewhat changing the values and colors of the flowers. The little cabin was from a picture I found on a computer wallpaper site and was an exercise in taming Thalo Green. Not 100% happy with it but everything is a learning experience. Now I'm working on an original still life that I actually set up myself. That's where my jewelry photo lights came in handy. But I still don't have the confidence to draw with paint directly on the canvas so I did trace my design on it. Next I will really tackle alla prima by trying some of the DVDs I purchased from Daniel Edmondson, at least until I have to start restocking for shows.
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