My Story…..

Standard

DSCN8728

There is a story behind every individual..some long, some short, some wild, some tame. I don’t happen to think mine is very impressive but then I lived it and am still going strong so I guess that is something. I am a survivor of emotional and mental abuse from not one but three men in my life. I firmly believe that words can hurt you worse than a hand ever could! A bruise will fade, Words will be with you for the rest of your life! I had let myself be reduced to what they believed I was. I have come to learn after being surrounded by some amazing people that truly love me that my value is not in what others think of me, but in what I believe of myself.

I have always been creative. Drawing, Painting, Quilting, Sewing, Photography. Was nothing special to it, just something that came easier than most other things. I’ve always loved working with my hands, carpentry work, mechanic work, gardening, etc.

A few years ago I walked away from all the negative in my life. Divorced, Started College for the first time at age 36! Single mom with 3 beautiful children. They are 14, 17, and 20 now. I found out real quick that I could accomplish a lot of things on my own, but also learned that sometimes you have to ask for help. That doesn’t mean your not strong enough, it just means your smart enough to lean on the shoulder that is being offered. Two can be stronger than one!

I met Wayne Aug of 2011 and my world changed into this amazingly positive and inspiring eye opening world! He created this beautiful nickel ring for me as a surprise and it opened up a world of possibilities! I wanted to know how you could turn an ordinary nickel into something beautiful like that! So he showed me, and it started me on this strange and crazy dream that became Centsations. Created in Sept of 2011.

Silver Coin Wedding Set

I started with a simple carpenters hammer, a nickel, and a concrete floor. Created my first ring, and then soon a matching set for Wayne and myself to wear.

Officially tied the knot. :) He’s stuck with me now.

I was familiar with power tools of all kinds, but not a lot of hands on experience. With a lot of trial and error I now use a variety of tools, but still resort to those simple hammer and anvil, concrete floors rarely now. To size rings I used his socket set for the longest time, now I have a ring mandrel. Lots of elbow grease goes into so many of the coin projects. It takes a lot of strength to create the coin designs. The engraving wears out your hands and back. The hammering out rings wears your shoulders out. I work a bit on one thing and then switch to the next. So that by the end of a really busy day I hurt from head to toe, but the beautiful things that lay out before me are so worth it. I love what I do very much! I get inspiration from everything! The tv, the hardware store, other shops creations, magazines, nature! You name it!

Creating this jewelry allows me to express my creative side, but more than that, I hope to one day be able to profit from it to the point that it will be a blessing to my family, allowing me to continue my schooling, help my children with their sports and art interests.

Sharing this craft with my children has been such a delight. I hope this inspires them to try to create more!

DSCN2633DSCN1733

I am proud of who I am. I am very proud of how far I have come. I have a ton of people to thank for helping me get to where I am today. But I have to say, my biggest source of encouragement comes from Wayne. My husband! My best friend! He is my biggest delight in all of this. Sharing what he inspired me to create delights me to no end!

Officially tied the knot. :) He's stuck with me now.
Today I create more than just jewelry. I am working on sculptures in metal and paper too. Wall Art and water features to come.

I hope I encourage others to try new things and to see the beauty in everything, even ordinary things.

May Love Lead You To Your Haven!

Lora Lee

RSCN6781

 

Your Life’s Passion….Are you following it?

Standard

DSCN9110a

Your Life’s Passion….

 

Are you happy? Are you waking up each morning excited to start your day? Do you hate going to bed at night because you still want to do so many things? Not chores, that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about things that make you smile, things that make you loose track of time, things that you will not stop doing to answer a ringing phone or check your fb. Those are passions.

It doesn’t matter if it’s music, or cooking, reading, sewing, painting, anything you love to do is a passion or as some call it, your life’s purpose.

As for myself, Some days I can’t wait to get out to the shop first thing in the morning because I have so many ideas and I want to try them all. Some days I’m content sketching ideas in my journal, or just taking the photos for all the products to list them online. These things make me happy. I love creating, I love designing, I love sharing it all! And I think I would love to teach it at some point.

The point I’m trying to make is that through out our lives we get caught up in chores and bills and all those things that drag us down, and we come to a point where we stop, and look around and realize that we are not happy. We don’t know when it happened or how it happened or how to fix it.

Well I’m going to share with you, what I shared with my beautiful friend, I hope it helps you as it will her.

I take absolutely no credit for these steps!

These Steps are straight from http://www.wikihow.com/Find-Your-Life’s-Purpose – so to whoever wrote these, great job!

1

Make a list of the things you do for fun, or that you really enjoy. Include in the list the parts of your job that you really like, the things you volunteer for, sports, the arts, reading, etc. Imagine you’re a billionaire with no worries about money, how would you choose to spend your time? Add those things to the list, even if you don’t do them now. This list is of your passions; the things that you love to do, or would do simply for the pleasure they bring you. Being happy in life makes you feel like you belong on this planet!

2

Write down the names of people that you admire, and why you admire them.For example, you might admire Patch Adams for choosing to step out of the traditional role of medicine and creating new ways of healing and connecting with his patients while also having fun. You might admire the band Green Day for living out loud and on purpose, creating the music that they love and speaking their minds. You might admire Oprah Winfrey for choosing to reveal her truth, at a time when concealing is the norm. Name as many as you can think of. When you’re done, look at the list and know that what you appreciate about others, is also in you. You are attracted to these qualities, because they speak to you, and they speak to you, because they are a part of your path. If this was your list, Stepping out of the box, telling the truth, and living out loud would be action steps that would take you toward your purpose. Adopt these admiration’s of others as a way for you to show up in the world. These are your actions.

3

Make a list of the things you do naturally without even thinking about it. (You may want to ask others for feedback, as it’s common for them to see talents in us that we don’t see ourselves) Such natural talents may be: an eye for detail, a great sense of humor, a nurturing side, the ability to focus intently, or being playful. (Consider also, the things you’ve done that have gotten you into trouble–oftentimes if you turn them around and look at the positive aspects of it, you’ll find a gem of a natural talent that you previously hadn’t appreciated) These are your genius. Genius comes easily and profoundly, without needing to expend a lot of energy. Some people are geniuses at math or music; but there are lots of other types of genius as well. There are genius mothers, genius teachers, genius listeners, and genius independent thinkers. We are meant to use our genius in service of our Life Purpose.

4

Look at your Passions, Actions, and Genius lists, and spend 10 minutes each morning doing something from one of the lists. Draw, sing, dance, tell the truth about something you’ve been concealing, organize a drawer, thank someone you’ve been appreciating silently, take a risk and call that girl or guy.

5

Notice how you feel. By definition, if you’re living your life purpose, you’ll feel exhilarated, excited, happy, and alive. If you’re not feeling these things, go back to your lists, and see if there’s anything you forgot to write down, or do the one you’ve been avoiding because it’s so scary.

6

Feel your fear and do it anyway! It’s normal and natural to feel scared when stepping into your life purpose. Fritz Perls said, “Fear is really just excitement without the breath.” So, keep breathing, and take the next step. If it’s worth doing, you’re probably going to feel a little scared doing it. Just think of the fear as the energy you need to take the next step.

 

 

Find your passion – don’t put it off for another day!

Share Your Beauty!

Standard

I know as mom’s we often skip the makeup and hair because of the time it takes. I personally hardly ever wear makeup anymore. About once a month it seems I’ll throw on some mascara and eye liner, and when I get home from where ever I went, the first thing I do is take it all off and breathe a sigh of relief. We are beautiful. Women, all of us. Perfect just the way nature intended. Wish we could all be so happy in our own skins. I know it’s not always easy, I see my gray hair, I see the wrinkles from laughing all the time. But I also see the beautiful woman I am inside. I see the hours I’ve spent laughing with my family, the scars from climbing trees and riding bikes in my childhood, the gray hair from reaching 40 without any major issues lol, I see the stretch marks from carrying the 3 beautiful children I have, that now make me laugh even more at their antics and smartypant remarks. I am beautiful, not because society thinks so, but because at the end of the day, I feel it, I see it, and I hope it reflects back to the world around me, in my smile, in the sparkle in my eyes, in my laughter. I hope you share your beauty too.

Learning Learning Learning

Standard

“There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning.”
Jiddu Krishnamurti

 

Learning has been such a big part of my life these past three years. Completely self taught in everything I have created in metal, always something new to learn. 

I want to encourage anyone that is interested in this type of craft to research it, ask questions, join groups, watch videos on YouTube, read blogs about it, go to book stores and libraries – sit down with books and read read read. Then go home and do it! Just try. No one is there but you, go for it and if you don’t like what you see, try again. But don’t stop! Keep trying and keep learning. Techniques that I didn’t know two years ago, Today I can do them with no problems. But I can promise you…I have a jar in my shop full of rejects. Things I look at and shake my head at. They will all get melted down eventually and reused in some way. But they are reminders that I wasn’t always so good at what I do today. It takes time, It take determination, it takes a lot of practice. If you want it bad enough it’s worth all the time and work you put into it. :) I wanted it BAD and it shows in the creations that I do today. 

 

Keep Learning, Keep Doing!

 

Lora Lee

owner/artist at Centsations

Sculpture Showcase August Art Crawl at MAD Gallery by Lora Lee

Image

Sculpture Showcase August Art Crawl at MAD Gallery by Lora Lee

Lora Lee is a local metalsmith/artist living in Calhoun, La., with her husband Wayne, daughter Makayla, and Steve, their dog. Lora Lee was always artistic but she became inspired when Wayne gave her a promise ring he made her from a coin. Fascinated, she had him show her how to make one and she took off from there. Lora Lee makes most of her jewelry from recycled/salvaged metals and coins. Her designs have been published in Bead Trends Magazine and can be seen in the April and July 2013 issues. Lora Lee was an Artist In Action for the 2012 Art With A View.

Constantly growing and evolving, Lora Lee has started making paper and metal sculptures. These very large intricate metal works involves many hours of cutting, bending and hammering to shape her pieces into unique original pieces of art. Her works tend to be inspired by nature, Mother Earth and many have a spiritual background. One of her metal sculptures – Liwet, The Angel of Invention. Features 4 foot wide wings with intricately cut, hammered and curled recycled copper feathers and a paper bust covered in pennies.

Being a metal artist is very labor intensive job. It takes a lot of dedication and devotion as each piece usually requires lots of pounding to shape and form her jewelry and sculptures. Her rings typically take her 10-12 hours of labor to make. Her metal sculpture, Liwet, took her a month to create. Creating with paper has allowed her to create more flowing and feminine sculptures. While these are not as physically demanding they do require more patience.

Lora Lee will be exhibiting sculptures depicting The Maiden, The Dreamer, The Mother, and The Warrior and original hand forged and crafted jewelry on August 7, 2014, at MAD Gallery at 130 Art Alley in Monroe for the Downtown Gallery Crawl from 5pm until 9pm. To see more of her work you can also find her jewelry and sculptures at Centsations on Etsy and Facebook.

DSCN8433