Monday, December 26, 2011

Blog Your Way Into The New Year: Top 20 Reasons from The Help

If some of you ladies out there are resolving to try something or learn something new this year, why not blog your way into 2012. If you have been considering starting a blog,  I would like to get you motivated. Don’t worry we’ll get back to features soon. Today I’m going to give you a few reasons why we think you should blog. 

Why Blog?
















The Help- Change begins with a whisper.

When I started Rural Women Rock a few months ago, something switched  on inside of me- a new perspective about blogging I had not had before.  I began to see that blogging could be a tool to help others.  So many of you were already onto this idea and making a difference in big and very unique ways. Seeing this allowed me to free myself from my old perspective and move forward- I know I’m late. Better late than never right? I want to encourage you ladies who are standing on the sidelines, "It’s never to late” and it really is “better late than never“. We’re waiting.



The Help, If you have not seen this movie or read the book, consider it a must do. We are about women inspiring women here on RWR and this bit of movie magic meets all criteria- do take the time. Earlier this week, my mom, my sister, my sister-In-law, and a hoop-la of kiddos settled in and watched the Help one evening. I had been hearing ladies buzz about it for weeks, but just couldn’t make the time. I had to incorporate gift wrapping into the mix, so in my own commotion, I missed a bit of depth the first time around watching. I still thought it was an excellent movie. I watched The Help again this evening, and I was able to think about it a bit more deeply.

Here are some of the things I gleaned from the movie tonight in the perspective of blogging as a means to Help:








1. Even if they don’t seem important, our stories are important to tell.

2. It’s important to listen to the stories of others.

3. We become human to each other through sharing our stories.

4. Criticism usually comes from fear or ignorance.

5. Extraordinary is ordinary without the fear.

6. Sometimes silence gives power to the wrong people.                   

7. Sometimes doing what is right goes against the grain.                     

8. Some stories are harder than others to tell.

9. Telling the truth takes an enormous amount of courage.



10. Being yourself takes an enormous about of courage.

11. Courage can sometimes have aftermath.

12. Being criticized, scorned, or ostracized does not always mean you are doing something wrong.

13. Telling the truth sets us free.

14. Telling your story will set others free.

15. We learn and grow from one another

16. We move forward collectively by sharing our experiences.

17. We don’t have to have all the answers to tell our story- sometimes our story is the answer.

18. We rarely know the impact or enormity of what we contribute to society, good or bad, until much later in the story.

19. Life is messy anyway.

20. God fills in all the blanks when we ask………………..always!

In the movie, as she's developing her vision for her writing, Skeeter’s editor asked her, “What bothers you that doesn’t seem to bother others?”
I just heard a speaker talk about this less than a week ago, and it has been on my mind for some time. We all need burdens and visions. Your burden is what bothers you. Your vision is what you see yourself doing about it. This could be a start. If not through blogging, I challenge you to find your vision this year. I believe in prayer and the power of God. I have the desire to do God things not good things. I’ve been a long time coming on this one or possibly have matured at a slower pace than most, but I’m ready and more than willing to find my vision. Are you?

We all have our own little slice of life-our own story to tell. Something to teach. Something to give back. Some ordinary that once shared becomes extraordinary. It is built into us as a gift from God- Good or bad. We can find purpose in our own lives by helping others.  We have a chance to make a difference, and we don’t have to go around the world to find someone that can benefit from our existence. The world is at your finger tips if you will- Now that’s a reason to blog.

What are your reasons?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Some thoughts and recipes before I sign off for Christmas.

It just started snowing at my house.  I'm so excited! 
Today I’m going to leave you with a couple of thoughts and recipes, and sign off for Christmas. I’m very excited about some things we are working on, so I do hope you will click back in after Christmas. Thank you all for following RWR over the past few months. It has been amazing to experience our "rural women diversity"!  I can't wait to see where this journey will take us over the next year. Thanks ladies for making it happen!

I have made this cinnamon Christmas candy hundreds of times over the past 30 years.  My recipe came from my late Grandma Barbara, who was the ultimate rockin' rural woman.  The noodle recipe was a new one for me. These yummy noodles are making great gifts for various families we love and appreciate. Thanks Mom, Len, and Janie for a fun baking day last week.


Here are some things I’ve been thinking about:

This first one has really been bothering me. The Kardashians, Big Brother, Desperate Housewives, The Real Housewives: What is going on here?  Is this an acceptable direction for women? Can we change directions? I don't know about you, but I’m not in favor of shallow bimbos. We are better than this!

Women are encouragers- are we doing a very good job with our daughters and younger generations of women? Are we doing a good job with each other? Are we happy with Good?

How can we reconnect my generation and younger generations of women with the wisdom of older generations of women? We have a disconnect going on. How do we fix it?

I recently read that online communities for women are growing at a rate of 35% faster than any other online community. Why is this? Are we connecting well offline? Why online?

Burdens and Visions: I’ve recently heard that we all need burdens and visions in our life- it brings out our purpose. Your burden is what you feel strongly about. Your vision is what you see yourself doing about it.

Just some thoughts to ponder if you get a quiet moment. 


Grandma Barb’s Cinnamon Candy

1 Cup corn syrup

2 ½ cups sugar

½ water

Red food coloring

Cinnamon flavoring (at drug stores) to taste.

We like it really hot and use 5 tsp.

 Boil first three ingredients to Hard Crack stage. 310 on candy thermometer. Remove from heat, add flavoring and coloring. Be careful with cinnamon oil it will burn your eyes and skin- a good way to test amount of oil is to add a few drops and then drop mixture into a cup of water. Taste the piece that hardens. Add more if needed. Pour out onto buttered sheet pan dusted with powered sugar. Let cool. Score with knife while warm- Let it harden then break into pieces.

Noodles
12 ½ cups flour

1 tsp salt

6 eggs

2 ½ cups milk

5 TBSP butter

We tripled a standard recipe to get these amounts. Mix and form into small balls. Run through noodle maker. We let our noodles dry for three days before we sacked them.
Have a wonderful holiday season. Be mindful or respectful of why we celebrate Christmas. Enjoy your families to the fullest and embrace the blessings of the season.

 Have a very Merry Christmas!









Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Link To Hope Orphan Ministry

I always wonder when I send my hard earned money off to help children somewhere where it actually goes and how much of it actually gets there. Are they driving BMW’s with a salary 10x my own in the name of helping children or does it actually help?  Link to Hope Ministries is something I put my entire trust in. No middle man- just straight from your contribution directly to the orphanage. I have known Delena and her husband Dwight my entire life. We didn’t attend the same church, but Dwight and his sister babysat us when we were little. There were four of us and I’ve heard it wasn’t easy. Four kids with young parents- can you say wild animals! Anyhow, they are salt of the earth people with a mission to serve and save. I don’t know many people like the entire Link family- To live their entire lives in a town less than 1000 people and go generations with a Good Name. That’s not something many of us can do- gain trust over years of honesty and goodness. They are people of God and I think you could knock on every door of our small town and get the same answer. I am honored to introduce them to you. I hope if you have plans on giving this holiday season, you choose to do it here. Small town resources are small, but I believe sharing this will allow them to reach the resources they need to continue their work. Can’t wait to see what God does with this.
                   HOW A GIRL FIGHTING CANCER MOVED A FAMILY'S MINISTRY TO INDIA
                                                        by Delena Link

When our daughter Ashley was diagnosed with cancer, not once, but twice our world was turned upside down. Everything that I had ever believed about God was questioned. After all I was a Christian lady who attended a church regularly, prayed often and read my bible. One thing I prayed on a regular basis was that God would protect my kids from this kind of illness, so when Ashley was diagnosed with cancer it was hard to understand why God wasn’t hearing my prayers.
But now, I am more convinced of the awesome power of God than ever before. I look back and can honestly say that I am thankful for what I went through with my family. I’m convinced that God could have healed Ashley instantly, or never allowed this to happen at all. But how else would we have learned about perseverance and spiritual restoration if not for the past few years.
It all started back in 2004 at the age of 10 Ashley was diagnosed with her first round of Osteosarcoma (bone cancer) then after being 5 years clear, the cancer returned, this time in her lungs. So you can understand why I didn’t understand what Gods plans was for us all.
Too many times when people are healed instantly they forget about it a week later or even that day ( like the men in Luke 17) and their life goes on as usual without giving the praise to God that he so deserves. Instant healing sometimes means that you are missing out on more important things.
An instant healing for us would have caused us to miss out on all the love and affection that was poured out on my family from this and surrounding communities and that would have been a tragedy in itself. One day I asked God why he would allow this to happen to us and he replied, “ It rains on the just and the unjust.” Ashley is a very strong girl and God has put a special bond between Mother and Daughter we have spent much time together praying , crying and being as strong as we can be.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort in trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
Through volunteering at hospitals and visiting patience and their families, we hope to share the experience and comfort that has been obtained from God through our trials and tribulations our family has endured in the fight against cancer. God grants us comfort and compassion so we can give it to someone else.
God began to open another door to our ministry.
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27
It’s heartbreaking to see so many children around the world who are not able to enjoy the greatness that comes from being a part of a real family. As Christians we have a desire to do all that God will enable us to do in order to meet these needs. Choosing where to help is a very difficult decisions because there are too many to choose from. Prayer is the key to finding the answer.
Our prayers went up to God where they met with the prayers Of Pastor Syam Sundar in Bapatla India, and Link to Hope Ministries of India was born. Link to Hope Ministries Orphanage was founded and is now an officially recognized non-profit organization in India.
When we met these wonderful children, they never knew from day to day if they would have a meal to eat. They were suffering from hunger and diseases. Since establishing the orphanage, we have been able to provide food, water, & electricity as well as putting the children through school. Sadly their living conditions are still unacceptable. This is what we are currently working on to change. Thanks to the incredible generosity of others, we have purchased a large piece of farm land and have begun the construction on a new orphanage that would provide better living conditions and house even more children. But the construction is only half complete and we are working to raise the rest of the funds needed to complete the building as well as purchase appropriate transportation for the children. If you would like to learn more, please visit our website. God bless you for prayers and support.
How a little girl fighting cancer moved our ministry all the way to India

Sponsor and Child or a Widow

http://www.linktohopeministries.org

The Rural Spirit


I have been doing a great deal of thinking about what defines the rural spirit. What sets us apart from other women?  What will help you decide if you have found friends among us?

A few trends have formed as we have gathered together. One of the first things that has surfaced is our rural spirit, and this rural spirit has nothing to do with location. We have had quite a few features from women who were not rural by location, but by essence. I am sure this is true with our followers as well. 

You may be as rural as they get location wise and not be the essence of how we will define ourselves here, but you also may be deep in the heart of the city and find us singing your song. When I wrote this I considered past RWR "features", women I know, and family members both past and present.



The Rural Spirit

She is soft in spirit but tough as nails.

We are not of a frail nature. 

We have a hardiness about us.

Her mind is deep and strong with a foundation that is unshakable- no desperate housewives here, we are not Kardashian followers, Big Brother fans, or band wagon gals.

We can get dirty and pretty all in a days work and most of the time don’t prefer one to the other.

We are keepers of family.

We are practical and resourceful.

We are honest. Good hearted. Seekers of peace.

We are marked by our good sense and authentic nature.

We do not need material things to define us.

We know where we stand and are not easily tossed with the wind- steadfast.

We are brave.

We have a mind of our own and are fearlessly directed by it.

We are not easily caught up or drug off.

We do not run with large crowds- rather we are independent and strong.

We are not in gossip circles- we are far to busy with the people and things we love.

We are friends of the weak, poor, and to the outcasts.

We are thoughtful and considerate.

We are forward thinking.

We are not afraid to rock the boat, and are unapologetic in our resolve.

We do not do things as they have always been done. We do things the best way we see fit.

We are keepers of the land, lovers of the country, and desire slow living and wide margins.

We are growers, tenders, overseers, protectors, teachers, and caregivers.

We possess a sixth sense, and it’s not a novelty but a God given compass.

We are God fearing and faith bearing.

 

 

I would love you ladies to add to this if you feel comfortable, so come on. 

Friday, December 9, 2011

I Make Mistakes by Janie Dunn

I love what Janie has to say. She is one of the kindest most authentic people I have ever met. Has she messed up or does she have flaws? You bet! Do I? Well sure! Do you? Be honest. Sometimes telling our story is hard. Some stories are harder to tell than others. But we all have a story to tell and someone needs to hear it. The truth can set us free! Have a great weekend!


I feel led to post something that is very real and very scary for me. I'm typing as I a think, so that at the end I'll take a deep breath and click the post button and it will be out there in the real world. Then you will be reading these words! That's the scary part because you might actually be someone that I see in real life. Then you will know and you might....think less of me. You might not like me. You might not agree. You might say who is she to say such things. You might not tolerate my opinions. You might take what I say the wrong way, you might spread it around town.
Oh my....panic!....I just shared my FEARS! And now that leaves me vulnerable. (How many people will you share this with? When I go out today will I get weird stares? Friendly nods? Oh dear...breathe...) See, I'd rather deal with everything by keeping to myself, in my tiny corner.
Apparently, there are things in life that you feel like doing. And then there are these things that you really don't feel like doing but you need to anyway. (Is it your conscious speaking? The Voice of God?) Rural Women Rock is something that I really feel like doing. Writing this confessional-- not on my 'feel like doing list.' But it won't leave my head, so here's the rest of what needs to be said.
I make mistakes. Some of them big. I have a lot of capability....which also translates to...I have a lot of capability to hurt someone. I have hurt people. Sometimes the hurt I can cause is just a little mistake or a double booking or most likely, a dry joke that doesn't translate in writing...misunderstood! Sometimes it's my life. I think I can cram so much in but I run out of time, or an emergency pops up and my whole schedule gets shuffled around. Sometimes its bigger than that. Sometimes the hurt I can cause is immense. Do I intentionally hurt anyone? No! However, I have been so caught up in my dilemmas, my concerns, my pain, my fears... the next thing you know I have done something selfish and stupid. I have hurt people in ways that they may never forgive. My fears and my pain seem to cause most all of my dilemmas.



I wanted to put these thoughts out there because I especially don't want you to think I am perfect. My life is far from perfect. It has been an adventure at best, a drama at worst. If I say something like, "I know what I'm talking about", I mean for myself. I know just about enough to know that I don't know much. Many times that has been called wisdom, but that's not what I see. What I see is that I have learned many lessons. Sometimes life is hard for a reason. No pressure, no diamonds.
Not only that, but if it weren't for my failures, I would not know how incredible mercy and grace feel! I know I have been forgiven by a loving Creator, who can take my worst and turn it into something useful, who can take the consequences of my actions and turn them to lessons I needed for a bigger purpose. Like a loving Father, there's a hand that has been there to guide me, help me dust off when I fall, and to pat my back and encourage me.
Because of that goodness that is in my life, I can open up and share these things with you despite my fears. I want you to know why I could not judge you. I will not be able to recommend what you should or should not do. I am not the friend with all the advice, but I will share my perspective. I will not be able to summarize whether and why you are wrong or right. I'd rather we be like sisters, who know each others weaknesses very well. I kind of want to "keep it real" around here.
Maybe this is all confusing and you are wondering what any of it has to do with being a rural woman. Perhaps it's that in a smaller world our dirty laundry seems to get a lot more attention than it otherwise would. I think it's too easy for us to disconnect from each other once we've been hurt. It's a scary world, and to let everyone have a front row seat to our potential trip ups! Yikes! To share something personal and deep, that could have a long-lasting affect.



 I'd like to try a little expirement. I hypothesize that the long-lasting affect that will occur will actually be more positive than negative. That the more women who choose to live it, the more we will grow love for each other rather than hurting each other. The more we see our sister struggles the same, the easier it will be to forgive. If we each take to time to let each other know that we are all only human, I believe we will get some kind of feel-good warm-fuzzies and I am almost certain we will like it. If you think expirements are for nerds, just remember nerdy sisters are sisters too! :)

Janie is my partner here on RWR and the webmaster of ruralwomenrock.com.  The site is currently under construction, but we are eagerly anticipating showing it off soon!  If you'd like to know more about Janie you can read about her here.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Tyranny of the Urgent

From the very beginning, this site has been about you ladies -not me.  Almost immediately, the months filled with women stepping forward to tell their stories.   RWR has taken off like a slow moving train gaining momentum each and every day. I’m excited to see where we are headed, so  I hope it’s not off a cliff . If I had thought for a moment I was going to have to talk about myself on this blog, I assure you none of us would be here. But here we are in December, and all of a sudden, I’m being forced to write. To be honest, for three days now, I have had some version of stage fright.  

When you start telling the truth, it’s amazing the amount of writing content you have. It’s not all meant to be shared, but sometimes the truth can set you free. I’ve been thinking about this for a few days now, so I’m going to just go with it. A while back I began saying a prayer.  It went something like this “Dear Lord help me to see the things I do that break your heart”.   He was listening and let me know pretty quick.  Here is the hard part- this is a little of what I got, but not all of it.

I have a tendency to think what ever I am doing at any given moment is extremely urgent, so urgent I put the people I love second to any and every project at hand. I ignore, put off, leave out, forget, neglect, and on and on and on. Sadly, I’m just realizing this, and when I say sadly I do mean almost heart sick. The revelation has almost arrested me- it humbles me, and embarrasses me. It is not fun. I do not like it. It is painful and trying, and don’t let me fool you for a moment, I am not suddenly changed- It’s really to bad too, because everyone would be better off. It’s taken me closing my store to figure out that perhaps not all my madness was caused by the long unpredictable and never ending hours at the flower shop- I’d have to admit I’m pretty much my own worse enemy. More of my madness has to do with my long unpredictable and never ending obsession with my own importance than anything else.   I easily find one urgent thing after another- not one important thing after another and there is a difference.  Don‘t worry, the Lord has found me and is dealing with me. Thank goodness- I was really wearing myself out! He’s just getting started, but I’m excited about what he’s doing in my life. I’m only telling this because I know I’m not alone. I think it is a woman thing. I might be on the extreme end of it, but I think we are all on the spectrum somewhere. Years ago, for some reason or another, I read “The Tyranny of the Urgent” published in the 60's by Charles Hummel.

Here is the jest of it:

"Your greatest danger is letting the urgent things crowd out the important. We live in constant tension between the urgent and the important.  The problem is that the important task rarely has to be done today or even this week".

   This little pamphlet sums it all up and gives a nice little recipe for a remedy. It has been useful to me here lately. I think with the holidays upon us, we could all stand to read something that addresses our madness. I hope you take the time.

The Tyranny of the Urgent

Monday, December 5, 2011

"Life is short and death is certain"

For those of you who missed the Sunday post, we are doing something a bit different over the next couple of weeks. We had a tough time booking December and rightly so. As the holiday madness kicks in, we decided to just go with the flow, and not try to resist what was naturally happening. Instead, we decided to give you a break from the madness and hopefully put a little more meaning in your holiday. Instead of a steady stream of personal features, we are going to showcase a few charities we trust, introduce a few women who have made a difference, and some other worthwhile holiday inspirations. We have a few things lined up, but would love to hear from you ladies. If you have something to share, please feel free to email us. We are now booking January. If you are interested in being featured, just give us a holler and we’ll get you set-up. 

 


I would like to introduce the late Rachel Barkey.  I first read about Rachel as she was in her final months dying with cancer.  I had the opportunity to watch her courageous testimony: "Death Is Not Dying" and follow her blog as she posted her final posts.

Heart wrenching, as a mother with childern.

Death is not a fun subject, but when you are not yet dying, pondering its certainty, seems to bring perspective when little else will. So in saying that, I’m not attempting to be morbid in an otherwise joyous time of the year.  I’m attempting to share some things that I’m hoping will inspire us all to live with perspective through the holiday, coming year, and hopefully for a lifetime.

I hope you take the time to watch Rachel's video.  You will have to find a good hour, but I promise you it will be worth every minute you will gain in perspective. Get up early or perhaps when the
kids are tucked in bed, but do take the time.  If you think you just don’t have the time, read her last two blog posts:


Last Blog Posts:

Dying Is Hard
http://deathisnotdying.com/dying-is-hard/

My To Do List
http://deathisnotdying.com/my-to-do-list/

The Video:

http://deathisnotdying.com/fullvideo/


"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal … to tear down … to build … to weep … to laugh … to mourn … to dance … to scatter …. to gather … to embrace … to refrain … to search … to give up … to keep … to throw away … to tear … to mend … to be silent … to speak … to love … to hate [and] a time for war and a time for peace" (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, NIV). 

"Life is short and death is certain."  These are the words my grandpa uses to close our familes prayers.  I've heard them my entire life, but I hear them a bit clearer as life comes into focus.  They quietly whisper, "have perspective".






Sunday, December 4, 2011

Meaningful Holidays Anyone?

This next week marks the beginning of the first full week in December and a full month of something compeletly different here on RWR. We will be shifting gears and slowing down a bit to focus on making the holidays as meaningful as possible. We will be featuring a few women-run charities, taking time for others, giving back, and making a difference- sprinkled with fun holiday goodies and inspiration. What are you doing? We would love to know your ideas on how to make the holidays more meaningful.

RWR Member Sarah Stevens of Cellar Designs, who will be featured in Janurary, wrote me and further confirmed the direction for this month by sharing how her family and church has learned to "give" differently during Christmas. She shared the following:

"Have you ever heard of Advent Conspiracy? Our church has participated in this the past 3 years and it has transformed the community....and how I look at Christmas."- Sarah Stevens



The concept behind Advent Conspiracy is simple...







It starts with Jesus. It ends with Jesus. This is the holistic approach God had in mind for Christmas. It’s a season where we are called to put down our burdens and lift a song up to our God. It’s a season where love wins, peace reigns, and a king is celebrated with each breath. It’s the party of the year. Entering the story of advent means entering this season with an overwhelming passion to worship Jesus to the fullest.



Before you think we’re getting all Scrooge on you, let us explain what we mean. We like gifts. Our kids really like gifts. But consider this: America spends an average of $450 billion a year every Christmas. How often have you spent money on Christmas presents for no other reason than obligation? How many times have you received a gift out of that same obligation? Thanks, but no thanks, right? We’re asking people to consider buying ONE LESS GIFT this Christmas. Just one. Sounds insignificant, yet many who have taken this small sacrifice have experienced something nothing less than a miracle: They have been more available to celebrate Christ during the advent season.



God’s gift to us was a relationship built on love. So it’s no wonder why we’re drawn to the idea that Christmas should be a time to love our friends and family in the most memorable ways possible. Time is the real gift Christmas offers us, and no matter how hard we look, it can’t be found at the mall. Time to make a gift that turns into the next family heirloom. Time to write mom a letter. Time to take the kids sledding. Time to bake really good cookies and sing really bad Christmas carols. Time to make love visible through relational giving. Sounds a lot better than getting a sweater two sizes too big, right?



When Jesus loved, He loved in ways never imagined. Though rich, he became poor to love the poor, the forgotten, the overlooked and the sick. He played to the margins. By spending less at Christmas we have the opportunity to join Him in giving resources to those who need help the most. When Advent Conspiracy first began four churches challenged this simple concept to its congregations. The result raised more than a half million dollars to aid those in need. One less gift. One unbelievable present in the name of Christ.

VISIT:
Thanks Sarah!!

Ladies, do email me with anything you would like to share this month.

ruralwomenrock@gmail.com


We won't be able to use everything, so keep that in mind. If we use your idea, we will give credit where credit is due. I'm looking forward to something a little different this holiday season- I hope we all are. I'm looking forward to hearing from you and learning from you- don't be shy!

Embrace the blessings of the season!

Kind Regards,

Kasse D.




Thursday, December 1, 2011

Lee Skalkos: Totally Out of Hand

I love this story and the concept behind Lee‘s business. What a wonderful Christmas gift - something special for someone special. Thank you Lee for sharing your story! I am exhausted with mass production and waste. This is something I think we can all feel good about. I encourage each of you to try and support something meaningful this holiday season- It will make a difference. You could even start hereJ    You can also find Lee in our Rural Gift Guide. Thanks Lee for your interest in our site-  Apologies for bumping you around!



Lee Skalkos captures your child’s art in sterling silver so thatyou can wear that memory for a lifetime.

Lee Skalkos is a self taught silversmith and single mom, who majored inIllustration in college. After making jewelry full time for a number of years,Lee took a break from silver to have her two children. When Lee's husband'sstep father passed away, her five year old daughter drew a picture of him and her grandmother holding a balloon, to cheer her grandmother up. This was a very special drawing that needed to be preserved. It was then that the whole idea of Child Artwork Jewelry™ was born. The original pin is below:


 Lee personally makes each pin, by hand, from start to finish, one at a time, and takes a great deal of pride in her work. She works with each customer individually, on a personal level, which ensures that each customer not only receives the very best in customer service, but also a family heirloom that will be passed from one generation to the next - A family treasure preserved forever in solid sterling silver, or gold. She also turns children’s artwork into earrings, cufflinks, tie tacks, necklaces and really “anything my customer wants, I will make”


Although Child Artwork Pins TM are just some of the jewelry that Lee creates, she feels this to be the most satisfying. "I receive a lot of satisfactionfrom making these pieces for other Moms, I know how important each artwork isto each Mom. It's hard work being a Mom! It is nice to be able to wearsomething that your child created especially for you."
"The best part of this job definitely is when the customer contacts me to tell me how much they love their pin, that just makes my day!"                                                            

                                                      
The's work has been shown on 5 television shows, including national HGTV and was also featured in USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Rosie Magazine, BetterHomes and Gardens, Yankee, and Victoria Magazine where she won the National Entrepreneur of the Year Award.. She is on The White House Gift List, and hasmade a pin for former First Lady, Laura Bush. Lee also makes pins for many terminally ill children in hospitals around the country. Lee is also a certified high school art teacher.



Her work may be seen at www.totallyoutofhand.com
And www.etsy.com/shop/totallyoutofhand

Thank you Lee!