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With so much recent strife over immigration, welfare, warfare, and various other things, this deserves a mention.  It’s the poem inscribed on a plaque in the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty, and I think some have forgotten its message.  Is it time to change the poem?  Do we, as a nation, still feel this way?  Did we ever?  If you could replace the poem, what poem would you choose?

 

New Colossus, by Emma Lazarus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles.  From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips.  “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the  homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

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I was looking at my recent sales on Zazzle and noticing how many “3rd party referrals” there have been!  Wow!  Thanks so much for helping spread the word!

As rewarding as it is to earn an income with my artistic talents and skills, it is even more rewarding knowing that others are also benefitting financially by promoting my work.  (For any non-Zazzlers reading this, Zazzle will pay a 15% sales commission on sales generated by members’ referrals, in addition to paying royalties to the artist.)

An interesting side effect is the sudden feeling of being less alone.  Often in freelance art, artists work alone, and there are times when one might think, “It’s. Just. Me.”   But, how could I possibly feel that way when I have an entire team of fantastic promoters, most of whom are complete strangers somewhere in cyberspace but help to promote my work anyway?

I’ve often joked that “by this time next year, I’ll be bigger than Warhol.”  At this rate, perhaps someday I will be stating with astonishment, “Omg! I was kidding when I said that! I never expected this to actually happen!”

Thank you, again, Zazzlers.  And thanks to my clients and customers, too.  Your efforts allow me to do what I do.  Please know that you are always appreciated.

 


It still says “SALE” on the web page because I haven’t updated it yet, but I recently obtained a low enough price on the newest frame style to keep the sales price permanently.  Isn’t that fabulous??

The framed four leaf clovers offered are found growing wild, and are not cultivated or genetically modified or dyed or otherwise artificially tampered with.   I find them, I pick them, I press them, I frame them, I ship them.  No weird chemicals, dyes, preservatives, fertilizers, pesticides, etc.  They are as close to the natural state as a dried plant can be, and artfully framed.

Excellent gift items for housewarming, wedding, job, school, graduation, and pretty much anything for which someone might want a little more luck!

 

 


I almost never do markdowns directly on the main website— promotional prices usually are listed on ebay or as clearance, and even those are rare– but this weekend is special.

Not only is it Friday the 13th, but there is also a full moon!  It’s so rare that it will not happen again until 2049!  I don’t know if it’s good luck or bad luck, but one can’t be too careful!

So, to mark the occasion, the newest style of framed 4 leaf clovers is marked down by about 20%.  Get them individually, or in groups of 3 to save more.

And, good luck this weekend!!

framed clovers

framed clovers for Friday 13

 


Saucer magnolias, aka “tulip trees”, are among my absolute favorite flowers.  While the scent may not be as strong as that of the southern magnolia, the color more than makes up for it.  Every spring, the bare trees seem to suddenly burst with pink and white petals, which last for a few magical days before raining down, to be replaced by fresh spring leaves.  As a child, the tulip tree in my grandfather’s yard was my favorite to climb.  The view in the midst of all those flowers is amazing.

To share some of that feeling, I’ve added some new goodies to the soulbearing zazzle store— fabulous merchandise printed with fabulous floral photos created by yours truly.  The selection shown here is just a small example of a wide range of images, products, and gifts available.  You can even personalize them.

 

 

Saucer Magnolia Tree Pink White Flowers Floral
Saucer Magnolia Tree Pink White Flowers Floral by soulbearing
Find more Saucer magnolia Toothbrush Holder and Soap Dispenser Set at Zazzle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Privately, forgiveness is often something with which I struggle, and I’ve noticed others struggling with it, too.  Most of us have little trouble letting go of the small things, but some things… well, some things just seem unforgivable.  These tend to be the things with long-term– even lifelong– consequences, and the natural tendency is to loathe those responsible.   Those people are the enemy, after all.  They must be.  They did this terrible thing, whatever this terrible thing is.

Now… I am not trying to convert anyone.  But I grew up in the Mennonite tradition, and forgiveness is a huge theme in Christianity.  I am sure many remember the shooting at the Amish school a few years ago, immediately after which the Amish community made an unprecedented televised statement to offer forgiveness for the perpetrator and compassion for his family.  I cried not just for the tragedy itself, but also from the amazing example of forgiveness being offered for the rest of us.  I wondered how many of us could do the same thing in that position.  I almost certainly could not.

“Love your neighbor” is an easier order to fill, depending on who you have for neighbors.  If your neighbors happen to also be enemies, then I suppose it gets a little trickier.

First, it might help to define “enemy”.  The most common definitions imply hostility, but other definitions suggest damage without any such hostility.  The enemy can be a deranged gunman, or a liberal/conservative, or a pro-life/choice advocate, or… anyone with whom we have conflicts and disagreements.  It might even just be the neighbor who planted shrubs you hate.  Either way, “love” is the prescribed antidote.  But, how to muster love for obviously horrid people, like the individual who abused me when I was a child, and set into motion a whole series of ugly things which still negatively impact me decades later?  It’s a tall order.  And, there are not a lot of great examples of that kind of forgiveness.

In fact, if you peruse the internet and television programs, there’s an awful lot of hate and contempt out there, for all sorts of things– much smaller infractions than those I am struggling to simply forgive. nevermind love.

In Christianity, we are taught to love our neighbors as ourselves, and to love our enemies too.  Maybe that is part of the issue.  Maybe we are all loving our neighbors and enemies as we love ourselves, but some of us actually hate ourselves, so that self-loathing is expressed through the way some of us treat others.  Or, maybe being civil is just too much to ask from some.  Maybe it is simply the path of least resistance.

C. S. Lewis said, “Do not waste time bothering whether you ‘love’ your neighbor; act as if you did. As soon as we do this we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him.”  I would add that this also applies to enemies, and that if, in the end you still do not love them, at least there’s no harm done– unless, of course, they try to stab you in mid-hug because they still hate you for that thing you did way back when….  And then we’re right back where we started.  Is the risk worth it, to bring an end to the status quo?


Yep, there is a Friday 13 this June!  But fear not!  You can get some of these!  And if you order during the first week of June, you’ll have your lucky 4 leaf clover in plenty of time!

four leaf clovers

framed 4 leaf clovers

 

 


In response to the many requests I receive for information regarding large orders of the framed lucky clovers, I will be adding that as an option on the website soon.  Until then, please use the contact form or email for inquiries about pricing and availability.

Typically, I have enough 4 leaf clovers available to fill orders of 100+ pieces.  However, I do not always have enough frames for bulk orders, and usually have to purchase or reorder them for orders of more than a couple of dozen.  This means it can take up to 2 weeks for me to receive the frames needed to assemble a large order.  So, if ordering a large quantity, please keep this in mind, and allow approximately 30 days to receive your order.

Currently, individual framed clovers are available for 19.00, while lots of 3 are available for a discount.  By ordering 3 pieces, you save over 10%.

The current plan is to add 12-lots for a larger discount, and perhaps 50-lots for an even larger discount.

 

framed lucky clovers

framed lucky clovers

 

 


Since I get a few questions about these, I thought I would help solve the mystery of their sporadic appearances, disappearances, and reappearances.

When I originally started making the clover necklace pendants several years ago, I used resin.  That worked great for a short while, but then there was a batch that seemed fine at first, and then somehow “melted” in transit, becoming a total mess by the time the customers received the packages, or within a short time after receipt.  Naturally, I issued refunds for all who reported the problem.  And, that was the end of the resin pendants.  I would not risk having a repeat, and having unhappy buyers.  Plus, the resin is messy, time consuming, and requires chemicals I don’t like using.

So, then I switched to the glass pendants– and those are brilliant.  They’re easy to clean, they’re affordable, they’re unique.  As importantly, they don’t melt or require me to use weird chemical concoctions.

They are actually very durable.  I (unintentionally) bounced my own pendant on a brick walkway one day, and not a chip or scratch on either the pendant or the walkway.  Pretty lucky, eh?

The trick is getting the adhesive just right, and eliminating air bubbles.  Also, the clovers have to be coated with a protective sealant prior to setting in the pendant under the glass, to reduce the amount of adhesive they soak up, because that can alter the color.  And, even with all the care in the world, they don’t always turn out quite right, so I have to scrap a few from every batch.  In short, it’s not as easy as it might look, and it isn’t something I can make in large quantities, especially at the low price at which I generally offer them.

Also, (and this applies also to the key chains) a certain size is required.  For the key chains, a clover measuring less than 3/4-inch must be used.  If you think it’s difficult finding a four leaf clover at all, just imagine trying to find one about the size of your thumbnail in a pasture full of clovers!  So, I just don’t find enough of them to make large quantities.

I am looking at possibilities to overcome some of these challenges, but for now, the frames are the most attractive, efficient way to preserve and present these lovelies.

And if it’s lucky clovers you’re after, I have lots of those!  Photos of them too, printed on all sorts of fabulous products, printed to order, just for you.

Even on necklaces and playing cards.

 

 


I finally managed to get the photos and shopping cart buttons added for the latest framed 4 leaf clover style– they’re gorgeous, of course!  And, I managed to keep the price reasonable!

Now, my focus will be on finishing the overhaul I started on the art studio *2 years* ago, and on creating more art, more photos, and yes, more 4 leaf clover goodies, too!

I still have the 4 leaf clover key chains to post, and I have also been looking through some of my earlier artwork, considering listing some of it for sale.  I am not sure about that though– I’m a bit sentimental about a lot of that.  But, while I am deciding, have a look at the newest framed clovers, and the latest additions to the zazzle store.

Framed Clovers - Newest Style

Framed Clovers – Newest Style

 

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