I know I can do better when it comes to writing on my blog...ugh. There was a time when writing was the only thing I cared to do. And I vowed to be better at it this year again...really! But for now, follow me on Instagram for my somewhat daily visual diary and a lot of my one-of-a-kind and bespoke pieces of jewelry...but only if you'd like.  https://www.instagram.com/Applegracedesigns/
 
 
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Apple Grace's Butterfly Collection is blooming... Stay tuned! 

 
 
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As a jewelry designer/artiste (Ooh, not artist but artiste! Sounds more sophisticated! Lol)...umm, I lost my track of thought. Oh, as I was saying...as an ARTISTE, I tend to have an urgency to "bling out" everything. When I say bling, I don't (only) mean the type of rhinestone-studded , crystallized bling you'd see on a jacket or a pair of sweatpants (omg!) in a Baby Phat store. Sure, I do mean exactly that at times, hence the picture of my cellphone on the left...if you hadn't noticed it there already. But even more so,  I mean throwing some paint and pieces of crackled glass on a plain, wooden dresser, or gluing some gemstones  or seashells on an old wall mirror with the chip on the corner from all the heavy lifting and moving it's endured through the years. It's as if I want to add more life to something that has already "weathered a storm" but is screaming out for its second wind. I have to admit that it gets annoying at times though. Sometimes, I just don't know how to "turn it off" and refrain from dropping everything I do (like a design project or an order that's nearing it's due date in like a second. Geez, I'm stubborn!) to grab that can of old paint from under my kitchen sink to go paint a bare wall...or something else to that effect. I love being an "ARTISTE" (hee hee) but it sure gets inconveniently bothersome at times. But would I change it for the world? Ummmm...... Not in a million years. ;-)

 
 
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Every morning, after I've eaten my 2 eggs, avocado, and wholegrain toast (my favorite breakfast), I drag the rest of my coffee in my favorite old, chipped and needs-to-be-replaced-or-tossed mug over to my desk to read my emails and look over the agenda of the day. Sometimes, I'm still half asleep or still in search of inspiration when I'd rather be back in my comfy bed for another hour of Zzzzzz's. But then I look up and see this frame... I bought this ceramic, weathered angel mirror frame from a city flea market years ago. I've always loved it but like many of our possessions over time, it sort of just mixed in with all of the other things in my home. Things have a tendency to become "monochromatic" sometimes, don't you think? That is until I added the word "LOVE" to it... Now it reminds me of why I get up every morning...religiously murmuring the words "Good morning, world. Thank you, God, thank you, Universe", right when I'm just about to pull the covers off of my head and let the ray of sun beaming thru my window finally kiss my face. It's interesting how something becomes significantly precious when you add "love" to it. Hmmm. Breakfast food for thought...

 
 
Our hearts are broken over the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy in Newtown, Ct. There are no words to say that can even express the sadness, the grief, the deepest regrets over the tragedy that has occurred to the families of each and every single one of those 26 fallen angels, especially the 20 little, beautiful souls that have now become tiny new angels in heaven. There is so much to say but yet the silence seems best at this grieving time. No politics, no words of bereavement, no words of hope or healing...just silence. The only thing I can say is that I am fully intent on sending each and every single mother (or sister) of the 26 sons and daughters a name necklace of their fallen loved one. Perhaps it won't make a difference or perhaps it will...even in the smallest of ways.  I just know in my heart that I have to offer this gesture from my heart to theirs... 
 
 
Hurricane Sandy is on her way...
 
 
Life is too short!
 
 
So every Tuesdays, I'm blessed with 2 free movie passes. (Go Optimum!) And I try to treat myself by taking a break from my work day to take advantage of this awesomeness. (One can turn cross-eyed  from designing and creating jewelry all day, you know...) As much as possible, if I know I can't spare the 2-4 hours or am only able to see one movie without an available friend, I usually head over to the movie theater to give one, if not both passes away. What baffles me every time I attempt this gesture is how people react towards me. "Hi! Do you need to buy a ticket? 'Cause I can just give you a free one if you want", I say ever so friendly, right? Well, either they automatically (and coldly, I might add) turn me away, assuming I want money for the pass(es) or they excitedly accept the offer, then go on  an avid quest to somehow repay me. "Can I buy you some popcorn? A drink? Some Goobers? Twizzlers? Anything?" Sometimes, they practically drag me to the concession stand by my arm.  It's too adorable!  Now, don't get me wrong... I almost NEVER turn down free food. Ever. (You might as well remove "almost" from that previous sentence.) But the way I look at it, the prices they'd pay on those snacks would practically be equivalent to having have bought an actual movie ticket, right? And that would defeat the whole point of my offer. That's my theory... I know it's not a grand gesture but it does feel good inside every time I give away my passes, especially after seeing how grateful most people truly are. A little truly does go a long way... I think it's the itsy bitsy things that count. And I try my best to apply that in every aspect of my life. The smallest gesture of kindness or generosity can change the course of how someone's day begins or ends. It can act as an inspiration to "pay it forward", even when we're too troubled, exhausted, stressed, or busy in our own lives to even have the capacity or incentive to conjure up, let alone give away that kind of positive energy. I will admit though that the smell of that warm, buttered bucket of popcorn (that I could've said "yes" to) lingering around me while I sit there in that theater is almost painstakingly irresistible  But I just keep my focus on that big screen...and pull out my Ziploc bag of mixed nuts and get over it. Slowly but surely. ;-)
 
 
These are the public Patent Drawings of my creation, Chat Strap®, circa 2004. (Read my Meet Apple page) During that time of my  life, I probably slept for only a couple of hours a night. I had worked so hard to make my "vision" happen! I believed in it 100%! It had such potential... LG PHONES even wanted to license it but at that time my Patent wasn't even "Patent Pending" yet. Therefore, I was advised by my lawyer not to proceed. It still did its own little thing though...for the time that it did. It had its own little buzz. But then tragedy struck! (Queue the suspenseful music... Dun, dun, duuuun!) Cellphones got BIGGER! Nooooo! (You know Zoolander was PISSED! Lol) And the suggested forecast for cellphones getting smaller had suddenly become nothing but a cloud of dust on an emptying highway. And nobody was about to start wearing a Blackberry on their wrist, no matter how dope and stylish my Chat Strap® styles were! Lol Oh well... The hype was shortlived...like the TV premiere of an awesome Superbowl Ad commercial that was sadly interrupted by a massive power outage! Yikes! Okay, okay, maybe it'd be more befitting to compare it to "The Little Engine That Could". But all in all, I have to say that it was all well worth the work and sacrifice for me. The blood, the sweat, the tears...even the um, financial investment. (Cough, cough... Excuse me.) Hey, we have to invest in our dreams, right? Whether it be financially or physically or emotionally. There's just no cutting corners on it. What we feed will grow.  It really truly was all worth it because it's more about believing in your vision, your dreams, and the possibilities behind them than it is about the outcome.  Heck, I'm not worried. I got a lot more ideas in me, watch out now!  ... Sigh... Anyway, if anyone still uses a flip phone, email me. I should have a Chat Strap® or two (hundred!) still laying around in stock for you. Lol
Chat Strap Patent Drawings
Chat Strap Patent Drawings
Chat Strap Patent Drawings
Chat Strap Patent Drawings
 
 
"I'm so proud of you." There is something so touching when someone says these words to you... It's funny because I've been thinking a lot about this for awhile now, not just recently which is when I've been hearing it more often. The ironic part is that I can't even remember who said it to me a little while ago and why. Is that bad? I've also been sleep deprived lately, so that excuses me...right? I just know that when I heard it a few weeks ago, all I can remember was the feeling that ran through my entire being from the genuiness of it. I felt every ounce of its sincerity... Perhaps that's why I can't remember the details. Is it fair to say that it transcended me to the clouds and I'm still stuck there...high like the sky? You know how something happens but you can't seem to remember anything about it except how it made you feel? ..... Sometimes we forget to pat our own backs because we get runned down by the monotony of our everyday lives. We get hypnotized by the clouds of pressures and expectations that hang over us, mostly from ourselves...that we so easily forget how the little things we do can actually be seen as inspirational, admirable, or even life changing thru someone else's eyes. Someone actually pays attention and takes the time and energy out of their own limited supply and hands you a precious gift--"I'm so proud of you." It's priceless. I know it's almost Christmas time but this gift doesn't need a holiday or a special occasion. Let's try to give it more often, like right now...which is when it matters the most.