Atlanta MADE

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Getting into galleries that feel right, good for my artwork is the cherry on top of life for me. So, I was–and continue to be–OVER THE MOON happy to be selected as a partner with Atlanta MADE. Michelle Larrabee-Martin and Greg Martin have put together an amazing collection of art and products made in the Atlanta metro area and I’m a part of it all! Thank you, Michelle and Greg! I’m so grateful for this opportunity!

Abundance and Uncertainty, Gratitude and Surrender

Abundant joy on my wedding day

Abundant joy on my wedding day

Thank you for this life. Thank you for this man. Please come, be with me. I need you to guide me.

My life is full. After years of turning down the volume on life, it’s, now, stuck on 11. There is abundance.

There is Love everywhere: waking up each day, enjoying everyone around me, and working harder than I’ve ever worked before. Love flows through me as I am full. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

The South is more lush, now. The honeysuckle and magnolia fill my lungs as I run along the Chattahoochee on warm, sticky mornings. I see the fog reaching out of the water, toward the sky. I pray, again. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

My art, my jewelry, is better than it has ever been as I can more fully focus. No sound, just the quiet and those things that need to come up. I sit with each tiny bead. I focus on one at a time. I work. I am present, open. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

As I say thank you, I still feel the uncertainty, acutely. I tried to deny, ignore, fight, control, and just shut this all down. In the beginning, it was simply too much for me. God wanted to get my attention. I needed to hear. And I do. Still, some days, I have to pray a little harder for help letting go. Sometimes I get on my knees and beg. I visualize being in a horse drawn carriage and handing over the reins. God, here, you take this for me, please.

I don’t know where we are going. It sure is amazing–just beautiful! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Please, you keep leading the way.

A New Home For My Art

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Exciting things are happening and I want to share with you.

In 2010, when I first arrived in Boulder, Colorado I was excited to check out the different galleries on Pearl Street. I walked into Boulder Arts & Crafts Gallery and I was impressed. I dreamed that someday my jewelry would be included there. Fast forward a few years, I was finally ready to apply to my first gallery and I picked Boulder Arts & Crafts. Now, as I’ve left Colorado in search for a new place to call home, I’m overjoyed to share that my jewelry has a new home at the Boulder Arts & Crafts Gallery. Thank you to Marguerite and all the good folks there at the gallery for choosing to include my art. And a special thank you to Elizabeth Hake for her encouragement and support. It’s an exciting time in my life, for me personally and as an artist. I’m grateful.

I can’t wait to see what happens next!

On Connecting, Creating

Dana Shropshire

I make jewelry as a way of connecting with the little girl in me, my grandmothers, my soul. It’s about taking care and being present with the sacred spaces — the spheres of healing, grace, and renewal.

My purpose in my work is to connect with the details, the nuances. To make that which might be overlooked into the sole focus. It’s about shifting the view, transforming perspective, seeing things in a new way. I take sparkly costume jewelry elements and add in sterling silver or gold to create diminutive, unexpected pieces. At first glance it’s a delicate necklace then, seen closer, it’s a chain of tiny, individually wrapped beads requiring hours of meticulous work.

Although I create for my own fulfillment, I enjoy sharing my pieces with others, to give them a chance to connect with my work. It’s personal and quiet.

That's my index finger holding one of my beads.  Tiny. Really, really tiny.

That’s my index finger holding one of my beads.
Tiny. Really, really tiny.

In Pursuit of Truth

In Pursuit of Truth

The truth is: I’m not his and I never was. Love is something different, it never need be false.

The truth will set me free, but I find little peace in the time between telling the truth and actually getting free. In that space of working free, the air is thin and it’s hard to breathe. It’s uphill with the him hot on my trail. He, relentless, presses on as his lungs easily fill with air. I have to stay far ahead if I want to survive, to get free. The truth is: survival and freedom, somewhere along the way, became the same.

To my love, please hold me in your heart, as I leave here, alone, and head out. In your love I learned the meaning of freedom. Your love set me free — this I know to be true.

 ~emotional truth and literal fiction~

Taking the Long Way

taking the long way

Today, out on the trail, I noticed sunflowers filling the old shortcut leading to the top of the hill. Since the fence was built to prevent erosion, trail goers have been taking the long way. It got me thinking about my life, this journey that I’m on. Is there an eroding trail in my life? What needs preserving or renewing? Do I need to set new boundaries? I’m not sure. What I do know is that my life becomes all the more beautiful when I stop taking shortcuts, slow down, and take time to really live. It’s not about how quickly I reach the top. Life is about the journey — one step, one moment at a time. And the sunflowers? They remind me to be open and shine.

Where Do Bumblebees Go When It’s Windy?

Bee

Where do bumblebees go when it’s windy? I wonder as I head out in the wind for a run, trying to clear my head and lighten my heart. Being open is being vulnerable and vulnerability hurts. It’s hard for me to catch my breath.

I run past the flowering bush where I recently saw a bumblebee. So rare, now, to see big fuzzy bees. Today, as my hurt buzzes in my head and stings my heart, I think of bumblebees and the beauty they bring.

As I turn toward the creek, I stop running. The headwind stops me. It pushes back as hard as I push forward. I give in. It becomes a contemplative walk. I continue in the wind, turning uphill. Can the wind blow all of this hurt away?

I reach the path to my favorite bench by the creek in the woods. I walk across the rocks to my shady resting spot. Bees like the shade. I try to hold back my tears until I think I’m out of sight. Choking up, I look for an answer to my question about bumblebees and the wind. After a quick search, I learn that bumblebees go out in strong wind even when other bees won’t. My tears flow like this creek. As do the bumblebees, I know to keep facing the strong, powerful force, my wind, my hurt. No retreat to a hive, a home. Just keeping on despite this wind.

But, as I sit here with this hurt, in the distance I see a man. Feeling a little startled, I wonder if he sees me crying. Does he know? My eyes well up again as his wide-brimmed hat reminds me of a beekeeper. Is he coming to lead me home?

Finding the Horizon

Sunset Inverted

Sunset Inverted

Standing there feeling broken, she held her head down. As her eyes gently closed, she let out a deep sigh. After a short while, she could no longer tell if she was still praying, breathing, or both. She knew she had lost sight of where she’d wanted to go. She was in need of help, looking for light, something from deep within.

Sensing the earth’s shadow, she slowly raised her head and opened her eyes. There she saw the earth meeting the sky. Witnessing this perpetually moving sphere touching the heavens, creating this ephemeral blue band that reaches against the brilliant red sky, something happened. She took it in before her: the sunrise.