Friday, April 30, 2010

I've Got a Secret

Have you ever noticed how fashion designers can create these awesome pieces of colorful vibrant, fashion forward inspirations and yet they only ever wear black?

or the hair stylist who can cut color and blowdry hair within an inch of it's life but wears their own hair in a simple pushed back ponytail?

or the artist who paints all the colors of the earth and lives a life of vibrant expression, yet when you go to their homes they have a bed, a desk, clothes on the floor and an empty fridge. (which actually sounds like my house right now, sshhhh)

my secret....I rarely EVER wear jewelry..I can go for weeks without even thinking about putting on a ring, I never wear necklaces, and the last time I wore a bracelet I was about 28 years old. For real, believe it. However, when it is time to go out dancing ya better believe I have on my chandelier earrings and cocktail ring. That's about it. Yeah, earrings are probably the most frequent piece of jewelry I will wear. Don't get me wrong, I love jewelry, I admire it , always want to know how it is made, collect it...I just don't wear it often. You should see my jewelry drawer, it's filled with stuff ;-)

At the advice of my co-worker Karen who is the sweetest thing, I decided to start wearing some of my jewelry; a walking advertisement I suppose. Two days ago I wore this bracelet (the above pictures) to work for the heck of it...and within one hour into my workday I already had a client asking where I got it , and how much. I told her that I had made it and within seconds I had an order for a bracelet....How exciting!..

cindygotwired is about to become cindygotbillboard.

Monday, April 26, 2010


I was about six months pregnant when I decided I wanted to go back to the teaching profession. Rewind 8 years earlier when out of sheer luck I was hired to work in a public school in the South Bronx teaching first graders who spoke no English. At that time NYC was DESPERATE for teachers and they would hire anyone who had a BA and a pulse ;) My first few weeks were awesome and nerve wracking at the same time. I remember preparing my classroom everyday, hanging up the children's paintings, preparing lesson plans as I rode the train home, a 1 1/2 hour ride. The principal would observe my class and encourage me on how well I was doing. He even wanted to have me in the leadership program because he believed I had that much potential. It was a dream come true for me. Though I was so happy to be teaching I remember feeling intensely overwhelmed at the fact that I had no experience, no idea what I was doing AND my primary language was English not Spanish. A gradual wave of self doubt and fear began to overtake me and I let it get the best of me to the point that I worried on the train, as I taught my class, as I prepared lesson plans; all I kept thinking was "I'm a fraud and I am robbing these children, I don't know what I am doing"...within a few months after these fearful episodes.. I quit my job. The assistant principal tried to convince me that I would learn the job as I continued and that all teachers have self doubt the first few years on the job. I failed to accept this and on the last day of teaching my class I remember bringing in seashells for each of my kids and teaching a lesson about the ocean. As I packed my car with supplies and drove home I was stunned at what I had done and my horrible decision...I was a quitter and I failed.
There are memories that come within our minds that sometimes still sting when we think about them. Everytime I think about that time period in my life a sense of shame and sadness covers me because I find it hard to believe that I let such a golden opportunity pass me by and I failed those kids.
After that experience I took on a job working in a doctor's office and hid behind a desk and a computer for the next several years making about $20,000 less than what I was worth. I would answer phones and type and file and say yes sir and smile. As the years progressed the spirit within me kept saying "you are so much more than this". It was not until I was pregnant with my daughter that I finally decided to go back to a profession which I had so quickly abandoned years ago. By this time NYC had changed it's requirements and when I went to the Department to see if I could find a job as a teacher, the advisor told me "no chance". Since my college degree was not in education I would need to go back to school and either accumulate 30 credits in education or go back and get a Master's degree. I had no money for that, no time, and I was about to have a child. Was I doomed to answering phones for the rest of my life? I thought about it and made a decision. If it took whatever I had to do, every dollar, ounce of time; if I have to breast feed while studying a text book, I was going back to school!
I applied for the education program at Molloy College where tuition was approximately $20,000 a year. I had NO idea where I was going to get the money, none. I knew it was highly unrealistic to consider going to school because I knew there was no way I could afford it. As luck and life would have it I met ANOTHER secretary at a chiropractor's office who told me she was enrolled at Touro College where under a special grant they were accepting students who had a BA in any discipline and the tuition was $525.00 a class, YUP! I was enrolled in Touro within weeks.
I have labored for the past 5 years slowly working towards this degree, working full time, being a mother, and going through life's ups and downs. But I did'nt quit.
Yesterday was the last class of my graduate coursework. I only have student teaching and two licensing exams and I am done. I will have a Master's degree in early childhood general and special education.
I am so grateful to God and to the people who have helped me because there is no way I could have done this without them. I am also thankful for this lesson in life; we may fail, many times but what matters is that you get back up again, and again, and again, and again...just keep it moving.
People, anything is possible. Anything.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Spiral in Nature, The Cosmic, and The Soul

When I first started making jewelry, I knew immediately that I wanted to work with natural metals and semi precious stones. I do believe in the healing properties and symbolism of various beauties such as amethyst, turquoise, ametrine, citrine, amber get the point. As you can also see alot of my work lately has been done with spirals. I remember doodling spirals during class in High School, painting spiral images in art class, and I will never forget the lovely spiral images created by Georgia O'Keefe in one of her paintings of a shell. There is something so soothing about creating spirals, it is a never ending pattern starting from deep within and extending itself outward in a continuum. Here are some descriptions I have found regarding this wonderful symbol:

The spiral symbol can represent the consciousness of nature beginning from the core or center and thus expanding outwardly.

Some consider the spiral a symbol of the spiritual journey. It is also considered to represent the evolutionary process of learning and growing. It seems that life doesn't proceed in a straight line. The path of life more closely resembles a spiral. We seem to pass the same point over and over again but from a different perspective each time. To walk and then stand in the center of a spiral or labyrinth has been a psycho-spiritual exercise for centering the consciousness.

The spiral stands for coming into being.

The spiral shows up often in nature - in hurricanes and tornados, in the pattern of seeds in a sunflower, in the growing tips of ferns, in the pattern that leaves grow on a stem, in the shape of a nautilus shell, and, as a helix, the shape of the DNA.

This is what has drawn me to this pattern over and over again in my designs and I find that when I wear my spiral jewelry I do feel centered and balanced ;-) I hope it does the same for you ;-)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I did it.... Etsy Shop up and running

Yay, I finally have my etsy shop up and running. OK maybe I am too excited but I have had about three cups of coffee already and hay dios mio! I have my little etsy shop!

So far as you can see I posted the spiral rings and earrings on etsy. I will have the Tree of Life pendants to follow.

Monday, April 19, 2010

What to do when someone thinks you are an idiot..

"Have you ever written a graduate paper before?", "Have you ever gone to a writing workshop?, maybe you need to"...." This paper is just scattered and a mess....." "Is this your first time writing a paper?"

Hi everybody, This is what my professor told me yesterday as I sat on a chair feeling about two inches tall. We were just going over a term paper I had written on Latino children in early childhood education. When he called my name to go up to his desk and discuss my paper I was thinking in my mind "easy A" what I received was at his mercy a C that was changed to a B because of the rest of my performance in the class. I humbly took his advice, left the building, went onto the F train...and then cried. I have been in graduate school part time for five years, I also work full time and this semester I took two classes and my present GPA 3.7...soooo I wrestled with his insult, took it for what it was, but I know what I am worth. Just for you guys to understand, he did inform our class at the beginning of the year that he failed all of his students in the previous class and demanded that they rewrite their term papers before they would get a grade. So my fellow classmates and I knew we were in for a doozy!
I said it before and I will say it again, I know what I am worth. I had to remind myself amidst this insult that I am a smart woman, capable, and that I can write a term paper! My previous record proves that. So, my confidence may have been shaken,,,but only for a minute.
As usual, I will ask on this blog, "what the hell does this have to do with jewelry making?" CONFIDENCE. In the past I would have been devastated for days and question my self worth from one man's silly comment. But, I am older and wiser. When you know who you are and what you are capable of, no one can tell you different. Don't get me wrong, it is wise to listen to advice and take whatever can be improved and run with it. BUT don't let one person's comment whether they are your dean, teacher, boss, husband or mother and dive into a sea of melancholy over it.

By the way did you know that only 3% of hispanic women in the United States hold an advanced degree???
Soon I will be included in that number sistas! Soooooo, maybe sir, I don't need a writing workshop, what I need is to write a paper on " How to live your dream and persevere to the end even when your professor thinks you are an idiot" ;-)

Happy jewlery making everybody

This picture by the way is of my mom in the early 70's, she has this young, militant, fuerza (strength) in this picture that I just had to post it.

My mom in her free days.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Work in Progress... Calling all crafty chicas!

I feel honored that many of the followers on my blog are crafty chicas themselves. I love knowing there are other people out there who love to make things whether it be jewelry, pictures or arts n crafts. You are my creative sistas! I posted some pictures of works in progress and I thought it would be a fun idea to see some pictures of your work in progress.

Comment on this post if you have some photos on your blog that captures you in a creative moment, an unfinished piece of artwork or craft, or what your studio (space, table, floor) looks like when you are in the process of creating. Then we can all visit your blog, take a look at your photos and comment ;-) the picture here of copper spirals I formed by hand to make earrings for a friend, the finished piece is in the image with the purple beads.

I think I want to give up on my graduate degree and make jewelry on the beach for the rest of my life. Hmmmmmmm, what to do , what to do ;-)

Monday, April 12, 2010

dragonflies, lariats and butterflies....Oh the Whimsy!

A great friend of mine came over my house yesterday with a huge load of beads and used jewelry pieces that she thought I could use. I was looking at all of my bins filled with beads and findings and really, I have been using wire for a while now and I kinda lost that desire to make necklaces out of beads, earrings etc...But...these are nice! alot of the beads are tiny seed beads in deep oranges and light blues, butterfly pendants, crystals. I've been thinking that during these low budget days, perhaps it's time to go to town with all these beads and make lariats, more hippie style earrings as well as bracelet and earring sets with whimsical pieces like dragonflies, butterflies and charms with inspirational quotes...Working with silver wire is expensive and maybe it's time to invest in ear wires, head pins, earring findings, lobster clasps and get to work....summer is coming and with that, summer fairs...

these pieces in the above photos can be found at, and

What do you think time to put the wire away for a while? and as usual,,,,you know I will throw out some giveaways with all this bead stuff... I will post pictures of some of my work.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Latina Flavor...serious jewelry artists here!

There is something so amazing to me about art jewelry. It's creator perhaps is more concerned with form, craft and expression rather than the ability for the piece of jewelry to go well with a T shirt and pair of jeans. Lately I have been scouting the web specifically for Latina jewelry designers who bring that special touch that is so us..whether it is vibrant colors, jewelry with deep cultural and spiritual ties, that extra sazon! follow me and take a look at some of these sisters pieces....hips, curves, cultura, in every piece I see here.

Loella Medina @ Loella Medina was introduced to the world of jewelry making by her father who was a civil engineer in their homeland of the Dominican Republic. She now lives in New York City. Her work is inspired by both her tropical cultural background and the urban edge which this city brings to so many artists here. This designer is not afraid to use color in her pieces which remind me of mangos, guayabas, pineapples and bananas...yummmm, She also lays down some serious wire work and uses beautiful semi precious stones in her pieces. All her work is handmade personally. in California by Marisol Apostol, very Mexican inspired and colorful. Many of her creations have a hint of the saints or santos in the designs. Her handmade metal jewelry pendants in celebration of the Day of the Dead are both feminine and in your face....very cool.

and finally, my personal "shero" of the moment Lorena Angulo of
This Mexican folk artist is based in Texas and she received her certification with Rio Grande as an Artisan in precious metal clay in 2006 and is also a member of the PMC Guild and the PMC guild chapter from San Antonio "MCASA." Fierce sister,,,I hope when I grow up I can design just like her ;-) everybody has to have an inspiration, mentor, someone to look up to right????

Anyhow, take a look at these sites if you have a chance and you want a small taste of Latina flavor in your jewelry.