09 September 2011

Dream, Believe & Live It

"There's nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein." ~Walter Wellesley "Red" Smith

My friend Joann is a writer.

I am not quite sure how I stumbled upon her very funny blog.  I think that maybe I was surfing other blogs, as I am wont to do, and I was intrigued by the title - "Laundry Hurts My Feelings" - and I felt compelled to check it out.

No matter how I found Joann, I am so very glad I did.

Joann has the sort of life that I would like to share. She lives in sunny Florida (complete with 'gators!), gets the chance to travel (hello, Mexican drug lords!), loves wine (has her own wine cellar) and vodka and chocolate, has the most intriguing times at Disneyworld, wears impossible heels (the kind her dogs like to eat. So sad.), has three very lovely daughters and one very handsome gun-toting husband, a whole bunch of furry friends (and even some ducks), has fine taste in cute boys, is lucky to have survived her childhood, and she is a writer. A damn funny writer. Her exploits - whether it is an ill-fated trip to Mexico fraught with potential danger and the horrors of high humidity and no air conditioning as well as the open air cabana beach massage, to the (dare I say?) obsession with all things Bono, to her movie reviews that have saved me from wasting time, to the poignant and endearing way that she shares stories of her lovely daughters, I just love this girl. I knew from the moment that I started reading that this Joann would make one heck of a friend (and one day I hope I have a chance to steal tampons with her).

One thing led to another, and along the way Miss Joann jumped on the chance to snatch up a bracelet in my Etsy site for her cherished little sister. That made me so tickled. To know that someone that I read and admire likes what I do? Well, that is an added bonus. And then she bought some earrings for her mother in law. And this spring when she got back into blogging after a necessary hiatus to work on the manuscript for her first book, Joann gave away one of my 'simple truths' to a lucky reader.

But she really did me an honor when she asked me to create something special just for her.

Joann tells mighty fine and funny stories. They ramble and they meander but they always come to a great conclusion. (And I am sort of like that, no?)

But my stories are best told by wearable works of art, so I am thrilled that I have the chance to not only tell Joann's story, but give her a mantra to hold onto in the coming months of birthing her story into the world.

You see, Joann has always known that she was a writer. From the time she was just a little girl she would write stories and poems, all kept in notebooks. She wrote letters to the editor and to her husband and to her girls. But she never really saw herself doing anything with those words. Until now.

Joann told me that it was a long hard road for her to finally believe that her dream of being a writer one day could come true. But that is the funny thing about dreams. When you share them with others, the Universe has a funny way of putting the gears into motion to make those dreams a reality. It is a lot of hard work, but if you have a plan, a direction, you will get there. But first you have to believe.

Joann asked for a 'simple truth' of her own, and told me that her word was "believe". I went back to her blog and poked around. I read early posts and re-read posts that I loved (like the one about her daughters dancing freely in the park during a festival in Chicago). I wanted to see the pictures of Joann, and the places and things she loved so I could get a true sense of her. You see, we have never met. But I am certain that if we did we would be friends, fast and furious. And I think that we could get each other in sooooo much trouble. But it would be worth it, I suspect!

I have made plenty of custom pieces for people I have never met. Some I have only emailed and some I have only been told about from someone who loves them. When I work with a client I ask them a lot of questions. About color and length and style, yes, but also about what is most important to them, and where they want to go and what inspires them. And sometimes they don't even know that I am asking those questions or paying attention. That is when I get the best stuff.

I found a quote that I thought would be a great one for her...

"To believe in something, and not to live it, is dishonest." ~Mahatma Ghandi

So here is the custom 'simple truth' pendant I made for her in beachy tones, featuring Humblebeads in swirly sea-worthy colors. I think that Joann is on the cusp of having her dream come true, and I want her to live it by being true and honest with herself. I know that she is a star on the rise, and so the starfish was the motif that I chose, plus she lives by the cerulean sea, it is very much a part of her. Pearls are my favorite gemstone, and they are symbolic, a reminder to recognize the nuggets of truth within her. The interconnected rings show that we are all in this together, supporting one another. And the layers behind the pendant, besides making a beautiful frame for the focal, hint at the many layers of our stories.

{Dream, Believe & Live It - custom 'simple truths' creation just for my friend Joann}
 I told Miss Joann that her dream of writing a novel was a seed planted so long ago and is played out in every thing she does. She has to believe in it. It is happening. Now she needs to go and live it.

So here is to Joann who is working on shopping around her first manuscript of her book (or maybe just shopping for new shoes!). I think that Monday is her birthday, so hope on over to her blog to wish her all things bright and beautiful for this new year that is starting for her, and this new adventure that she is embarking on.

Your turn...

What is that thing that you have dreamed, believed in and are seeking to live every day? What would it take for this to become a reality?


Kristen said...

What a great friendship and heartwarming story (when I get the chance I am checking out "stealing tampons" she sounds like my kind of girl) As for your question I am not sure what I have to dream for right now. That can be good and not but right now I am content.

Joann Mannix said...

Erin, Erin, Erin,

I am sobbing. Not a little sniff. Not a few tears. The big, ugly cry is what I'm doing, right now.

I am so utterly humbled at not only your just such touching and lovely words, but the amount of work you've put into this post about little ole me.

I am sending this to out to all my loved ones because this? is the most thrilling, amazing thing anyone has ever written about me.

And as I told you earlier, if you got my iphone email, I have been wearing my beautiful necklace for 3 days straight now, because when I go to get dressed, every day, I match my outfit to that necklace, I love it so much.

I'm away for the weekend and I've had so many compliments in the first 20 minutes I've been at this hotel. I had a fan club of admirers standing over my necklace at one point, just ooohing and ahhing over it.

I thought your beautiful necklace was the best gift you could give me, until I read this post.

Thank you, Erin, from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for the gorgeous necklace. Thank you for your amazing words. But most of all, thank you for your friendship.


Every day is good, but somedays are better than others, especially with friends like you.

Love you.

EB Bead and Metal Works said...

Erin, the necklace is absolutely stunning! Joann is so lucky to receive the gorgeous necklace! Thank you so much for sharing her blog! I had to go over and check it out and I was laughing out loud within moments! Any time there is laughter that moment is perfect! Thank you for sharing!!!

Cindy said...

Erin, what a wonderful post - you are a talented writer yourself. You two must be two peas in a pod. :-) Your necklace is stunning - with such personal sentiment. I love the colors, the details, and all of the love you poured in to creating it.

lynsey said...

Erin I loved this post, i love that you know how lucky you are to have found Joann and to have nurtured this friendship and bond. This necklace is beautiful, made even more so as it was created with love, this is surely the only way to create.
I guess the thing i dream of is doing something that i love to do, (i'm talking in an employment sense), After spending 10 years working in mundane jobs for a pittance, i found jewellery, or rather it found me, it came into my life so unexpectedly and filled my heart with such joy, joy that i have not felt for, well those 10 years i guess. Now i'm studying it at College, hoping beyond hope to one day sell it, and teach it my self, and that is the dream i'm working towards every day, and i am glad for it.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful post! The piece you made is gorgeous, what a wonderful thing you have created for yourself! To do what you love and have other people love it too!

stacilouise said...

I just read her blog, and I read, and I read and I read..................I can see why you adore her! I do think you two are kindred spirits, you both write so honestly to who you are! I am now a fan, thanks again for sharing!!!!!!! The piece you created is amazing!

In the Light of the Moon said...

A beautiful post on friendship and a stunning necklace you created for her.She is one lucky duck!!
Every Year instead of a new years resolution I adopt a phrase or quote for the year.This year my quote is "Let the beauty of what you love, be what you do"-Rumi..I post it in the office,on the fridge,in the car,in my wallet..so as to get reminded to do so...I am living my dream as long as I can follow these words and I have been blessed to have the oppertunity to do so.
Now I'm off to visit Joann!!Hugs,Cat

Judy said...

Thanks so much for introducing Joann to us! The piece you created for her is just fantastic, she will be so very pleased.

Kim Stevens said...

What a beautiful post Erin! I love that we can all make such connections to each others souls through this modern day technology. The thought that you put into what you made for her is hearfelt and it's gorgeous.

You have given me an important question to ponder, once again!

JeannieK said...

Hey, haven't you heard? I'm already livin' the dream. Ha!
I just love the necklace and the layered pendant and Heather's bead. What a treasure this will be for Joann and such a beautiful symbolic message to her.
You can never go wrong with pearls. Erin, you're my favorite gemstone.

rosebud101 said...

Hope. Enough said.

Joann Mannix said...


I wrote about your beautiful post and your stunning necklace on my blog today. My pictures are awful, but hopefully my readers will click on my links and see how amazing this necklace really is.

Once again, thank you so much.

mairedodd said...

this is a really wonderful post and truly illustrates how lucky we are to have the internet to bring us together.. your work is poetry - so no surprise here you moved her...

Eva Gallant said...

A beautiful post about a crazy lady! The necklace you made for her is lovely!

Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal said...

Wow! That necklace is just gorgeous. Joann wears it well too. I just love the colors, the layers, the words and of course the starfish! I wear mostly earrings and bracelets and saw some wonderful pieces in your shop.

From Tracie said...

I saw the pictures on Joann's blog and thought it was lovely...but it is so much more beautiful now that I have come here and read all the special meaning behind each detail. That is fabulous.

You do beautiful creating.


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