Every woman should have a Cindy's creation

I never thought in a million years that I would make jewelry for a living.

I had a 9-5 job like most and I was content with that, until 2010 came and I was let go from my 10 years of service.

My father just passed and my mother was alone and she had a stroke  6 months after my dad passed.  My husband and I decided to sell our home and go live with my mother in her basement and take care of her.  Taking care of my mother was a 24/7 job she had a lot wrong, but I needed to bring in some money.

I went into JoAnn’s one day to just see what there was in the store and I found myself in the bead section.  I thought I died and went to heaven.  I fell in love, but I did not know how to make jewelry and had no clue how to go about it.

I went home that day and went on youtube and looked at some videos of how to.  There was a local bead store that was doing a boot camp for beading.  I signed up and learned the very basics. The crimping part had me stumped and it took me awhile to get the hang of it.

I started out with a few craft shows, it was hard, not a lot of people were buying my jewelry, I got frustrated, but I kept making and going.

Unfortunately, my mother passed in 2013.  Making jewelry was very therapeutic for me and as I was making my pieces I got more ideas and I was getting better.

It has taken me 4 years to finally get good and really make some wonderful pieces that I am very proud of.  Now people are asking me to join their craft shows.

So if you are just starting out, don’t give up and keep your dreams and you too will succeed, so happy beading.

Well it is becoming that time a year again that craft shows are starting to pop up.  I do about 30-40 craft shows, it can get pretty crazy at some of these.

I think the hardest part is picking and choosing which ones to do.  It has taken me about 4 years from experience on what to look for in a show.

Jewelry is in my opinion the hardest thing to sell at craft shows, because there are so many of us.  Yes, we may all do different styles but seeing 6 or 7 booths full of jewelry whether it is direct sales or handmade, it can get frustrating.

I try to keep up with all of the trends and what is fashionable in today’s society.

Keep up with my calendar and you will get to see where I will be and I hope to see you there.

Cindy

The Swarovski Story



Daniel Swarovski was an Austrian glass cutter and jeweler born October 24, 1862 in Bohemia. His father was a Slovak glass cutter who owned a small glass factory, and Swarovski first learned the art of glass-cutting in his father’s factory. In 1892 Daniel Swarovski patented an electric cutting machine that facilitated the production of lead crystal glass jewelry.

To this day the Swarovski Company, now in the 5th generation, is still family owned. The company’s traditional production plant is in Wattens, Austria, where each crystal is subject to the most stringent quality controls. The exact recipe and the proportion of quartzes, sand, and minerals remain a company secret that is part of the legacy of pioneer Daniel Swarovski to his three sons.

Swarovski (Swar-off-ski) produces the world’s finest quality crystals. The company’s name has become synonymous with genuine crystal. Swarovski’s specialized manufacturing processes, together with the highest quality raw materials, guarantee the highest possible degree of precision, component quality, consistency, and unmatched brilliance. Imitators abound in every field and, with the ease of creating websites, they now sell knock-off products internationally. If caught, they merely change the name and create a new venue. You will also find these companies at craft, art and bead shows. These people / companies have very low overhead so can afford to sell the knock off products for much less than real Swarovski while still making substantial profits.

Swarovski solution –
Since the color of Swarovski’s hot fix glue was easily copied, they recently copyrighted and patented their newest hot fix glue. A rich rose gold color glue is now used on the back of Swarovski hot fix crystals. There are still a few products available with the older color glue but these will soon be replaced with rose gold backed crystals.

Swarovski quality –
When looking at Swarovski crystals you will find they are perfectly uniform. Since they are ma chine cut, each crystal is the same. This means that the height, width and slope are consistent. A hand polished imitator bead will not have as uniform a cut. You may also notice different dimensions from bead to bead. Because of its special glass compounds, Swarovski crystal will out-sparkle a bead of lesser quality when placed in a side-by-side comparison.

Why is Swarovski crystal so expensive?

Quality, quality, quality and protecting that quality. Creating the best quality products in the world and protecting them is an extremely expensive endeavor. It requires using the highest quality materials, superb workmanship, sophisticated machinery, marketing, patents, trademarks, etc. on an international scale.

Swarovski originally relocated to the remote Wattens
area specifically to protect their products.

Swarovski’s unique machinery precisely cuts each crystal.  According to Swarovski, “cutting hard materials such as crystal and gems, in such a way that they have a hundred identical facets in several directions, is a very complicated task; each direction of the reflected light must first be calculated by computer, then this has to be simulated in 3D, optimized and finally converted into control programs for complex machinery.” This is just part of the technology that gives Swarovski crystals their unbelievable flash.
How can I know I am purchasing Swarovski crystals?
When it seems too good to be true, it’s probably not true! Ebay and similar shopping sites offer “Swarovski” at prices so low you can’tresist. These sellers also tend to have shipping rates so low it’s unbelievable. You will find many, many websites selling what they say is Swarovski. Some of these “pepper” their cheap products with a few Swarovski of the same size / color. That way they can say they ARE selling Swarovski! They have no fear of punishment since it’s “white collar crime” or they claim their shipping department made a mistake.

Ways of determining quality:
1) Sometimes glass fragments are inside the packaging. Cheaper rhinestones chip easily.
2) Faceting may be uneven and often appear smooth instead of sharply cut, stones lack true sparkle – often they appear dull.
3) Packaging is shabby and may appear unclean.
4) Factory 10 gross packs are not clearly labeled Swarovski or are not sealed tightly.
5) You can’t pick them up with the BeJeweler – they are not uniform in shape or size.
6) They fall off after a short period of time or just don’t adhere.
7) Shades vary within the same color family.

Diamonds

Before you start looking for a diamond, you want to have all of the necessary information that is available to you, because the more you know, the better prepared you are to make decisions regarding your purchase.

LEARN ABOUT THE FOUR C’S

Cut

DIAMOND CUT

Most diamonds are cut round with a full 58 facets, and a good cut, or make, has more scintillation, more sparkle. It is the work of a master cutter that allows the diamond to be cut in such a way as to permit the maximum amount of light to be reflected through the diamond, and that’s a great reflection on you. It is the cut that enables a diamond to make the best use of light.

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COLOR GRADING

The most common diamond color is yellow. Most diamonds have a slight hint of yellow and the diamond color scale is based on the amount of yellow present in a diamond. Diamond color is graded according to the GIA Grading Scale. Grades are based on the amount of yellow that is visible when viewed facedown through the pavilion on a white diamond color card using daylight equivalent fluorescent light. Each color grade is based on a very small range. When a diamond is color graded it is compared using a set of master stones. Master stones are a set of real diamonds that display a range of known colors. It is extremely difficult to see the color differences within diamonds, but master stones help graders distinguish between one color and the next.

GIA color-grading scale

As you can see the color-grading scale ranges from D to Z. The highest color grade and whitest stone available is a D color diamond. This is also the rarest color grade, which translates to a higher value. Colors E and F have no detectable color to the naked eye and they fall into the Colorless category. Diamonds in the G to J color range have a hint of body color and are considered Near Colorless. The eye begins to detect faint traces of yellow in diamonds that are in the J to M range. Diamond Ideals typically sells diamonds in the color range of D to J and occasionally K.

The AGSL uses a slightly different color grading scale. The AGSL ranks the stones from 0-10, in 0.5 increments with 0 representing the equivalent of colorless D stones, and 10 representing the equivalent of X, Y and Z colored diamonds.

Ideal Cut Diamonds Can Mask Subtle Color Differences:
Ideal Cut diamonds offer a little flexibility in color selection. Because Ideal Cut diamonds are designed to maximize brilliance and scintillation they also tend to mask subtle color differences making H and I color diamonds appear beautifully white. Ideal Cut H and I color diamonds tend to appear whiter than poorly cut diamonds of the same color.

COLOR CAN SAVE YOU MONEY

A diamond’s color grade does not pertain to the “face-up” look of a particular diamond, but rather to the “body” color of the material. The best way to assess diamond color is to view it from the side, un-mounted, against a white background, using a daylight fluorescent bulb.

A Triple Ideal or Triple Ex Cut Hearts & Arrows diamond reflects more than 99% of the light back through the crown. There is virtually no light leakage in these stones. What this means to you is that rather than seeing the diamond’s color, when you look at a Hearts & Arrows diamond, all you see is white light and scintillation. These diamonds appear whiter than non-Ideal diamonds. Keep this in mind if budget is an issue. By dropping one color grade in a Triple Ideal or Triple Ex Cut Hearts & Arrows diamond, you will not be giving up anything in the look of your diamond and you will be saving money.

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CLARITY

The diamond’s clarity is a description of its internal purity. With fewer imperfections within the stone, the diamond is more rare and has a higher value. The clarity scale was developed by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) to quantify these imperfections. The American Gem Society (AGS) uses the same standards as the GIA; however, the AGS uses a numerical system where “0” is the cleanest (GIA “IF”) and “10” is the most imperfect (GIA “I3”).

All diamonds are systematically graded and plotted under 10X magnification. If a trained grader cannot see a clarity characteristic at 10X, it does not affect the clarity grade.

Five Factors That Determine Clarity

  • Size
  • Number
  • Position
  • Nature
  • Color

All of the above factors are taken into consideration when a diamond is assigned a clarity grade.

CLARITY GRADES DEFINED BY THE GIA

Flawless — Flawless diamonds have no inclusions or blemishes when viewed under 10X magnification by a skilled grader. A diamond can have naturals confined to the width of the girdle, extra facets on the pavilion that are not visible face-up, laser inscriptions confined to the girdle and internal graining that is not white, colored or reflective.

Internally Flawless (IF) — An IF diamond has no inclusions, only blemishes when viewed under 10X magnification.

Very Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2) — VVS diamonds contain minute inclusions that are difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10X magnification. The inclusion in a VVS1 diamond are extremely difficult to see face-up, or may be visible only through the pavilion. Inclusions in a VVS2 diamond are very difficult to see. Typically VVS diamonds have a pinpoint or two; however, characteristics like a bearded girdle or tiny chips might also be present in VVS diamonds depending on their visibility.

Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2) — Diamonds of VS clarity contain minor inclusions that range from difficult (VS1) to somewhat easy (VS2) to see under 10X magnification. Typical inclusions in VS diamonds include small crystals, feathers and distinct groups of pinpoints.

Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2) — Diamonds of SI clarity contain noticeable inclusions that are easy (SI1) or very easy (SI2) to see under 10X magnification. Typical inclusions, such as crystals, clusters of pinpoints and feathers, are centrally located.

Included (I1, I2, and I3) — Diamonds in the ‘I’ clarity range contain inclusions that are obvious under 10X magnification. These inclusions can often times be seen face-up without magnification, sometimes affect the stone’s durability and can be so numerous or large that they affect transparency and brilliance.

The clarity is typically assigned by a first impression or at first glance. The grader notes whether the inclusions are easy, difficult or very difficult to see when they first look at the stone. The clarity grade of most diamonds is determined in less than 2 minutes. The exception to this is in Internally Flawless and Flawless diamonds, which take considerable examination to assign such a high and valuable grade. It of course takes longer to plot included diamonds as well.

Clarity Grading Scale

WHAT IS EYE-CLEAN

“Eye-clean” is a term used to describe a diamond or an inclusion that is not visible to the unaided eye when the diamond is held face-up (viewed through the table) at a normal viewing distance of 10 to 12 inches. Nearly all VS clarity diamonds are eye-clean, most SI1 clarity diamonds are eye-clean and some SI2 and even I1 clarity diamonds are eye-clean.

An inclusion is called “eye-visible” when it is visible to the unaided eye, without magnification.

TYPES OF CLARITY CHARACTERISTICS

There are two basic categories of clarity characteristics, inclusions and blemishes.

Inclusions are clarity characteristics that are completely enclosed in a polished gem or those extending into it from the surface. Examples of inclusions are as follows:

Crystal — Another mineral crystal contained in the diamond. These crystals can include other diamonds, garnet or a host of other minerals.

Needle — A long, thin crystal.

Pinpoint — A very tiny crystal that looks like a dot or speck of dust. Pinpoints often congregate in clusters or clouds.

Twinning wisp — A series of pinpoints, clusters or crystals that formed in a twinned diamond’s growth plane.

Internal graining — The appearance of faint lines, angles or curves caused by crystal growth.

Feather or gletz — A general term for any break or fracture in a diamond.

Bearded girdle — Minute feathers that extend from the girdle surface into the stone.

Indented Natural — The original crystal surface, or skin, that dips below the polished diamond’s surface.

Knot — An included diamond crystal that extends to the surface after polishing.

Cavity — Space left when a surface-reaching crystal comes out during polishing.

Blemishes are external clarity characteristics caused by wear, the cutting process or the diamonds crystal structure. Examples of blemishes are as follows:

Nick — A small chip-like characteristic.

Abrasion — A series of minute nicks along a facet junction.

Scratch — A thin, dull, white line across the diamond’s surface.

Natural — A portion of the original skin that remains on the diamond.

Pit — Small surface characteristic that looks like a tiny dot.

A NOTE ON CLARITY ENHANCEMENT

Diamond Ideals does not sell any clarity-enhanced diamonds.

Clarity enhancement is a treatment to improve a diamond’s apparent clarity. A diamond with eye-visible inclusions can be seen as less desirable. To make the diamond more desirable and marketable, some sales people have the diamond clarity enhanced to make the eye-visible inclusions less visible or invisible to the naked eye.

There are two common types of clarity enhancement. The first type of clarity enhancement is called laser drilling. Laser drilling is the use of a laser to drill a small hole in the diamond, extending to reach a visible inclusion such as a black crystal. Sometimes an acid is used to bleach or dissolve the included color, improving its appearance. Laser drill holes can typically be seen as tube like inclusions in the diamond when viewed perpendicular to the point of entry under 10X magnification. The hole can also be seen as a tiny pit-like blemish on the surface, under reflective light of a microscope.

The second type of clarity enhancement is fracture filling. Fracture filling involves the use of a molten glass substance to fill or mask the reflective qualities of an internal fracture. Fracture filling can be detected by the telltale ‘flash effect’ that the filling produced. The flash effect can be seen as two distinctly different colors that appear when you rock and tilt the diamond in different directions. Some untreated feathers can show an iridescent rainbow of colors from all directions, so it is important to know the differences.

Fracture filling is not a permanent treatment and therefore GIA does not grade fracture filled diamonds. GIA does, however, grade the permanent laser drilled diamonds.

Again, Diamond Ideals does not sell any clarity-enhanced diamonds.

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CARAT WEIGHT

A carat is a weight measuring unit equal to 0.2 grams. It is the internationally used unit to measure the weight of diamonds. Within the diamond trade, fractions of a carat are referred to as “points” or simply as fractions. A 50-point diamond weighs 0.5 carats or 1/2 a carat. A 1-carat diamond weighs 100 points. A 1/3 is also 0.3 carats or 30 points.

As nature would have it, rough diamonds come in all shapes and sizes, as well as colors and purities. The larger, whiter and cleaner the diamond, the more rare it is. Accordingly, the cost per carat of a larger diamond of the same color, clarity and cut will be higher than a smaller diamond. The price per carat of diamonds rises proportionately with size. Keep in mind that the per carat price gets multiplied by the carat weight.

More weight equals more money so, many diamond cutters sacrifice brilliance to maximize carat weight and profit. It is important to realize that weight does not always equal size or beauty. Poorly cut diamonds intended to maximize size can be dull and lifeless. Some experienced cutters sacrifice weight and focus on cut to obtain the most beautiful and brilliant Hearts and Arrows diamonds on the market today. On the average, cutting a Hearts and Arrows Ideal Cut Diamond requires a 15% greater waste of the original material. The added beauty one obtains from a Hearts and Arrows diamond is well worth the sacrifice. Diamond Ideals specializes in sourcing these cutters and bringing the most beautiful diamonds to you.

The following is a chart indicating the average mm size per carat:

Carat Approximate MM Diameter

What is Palladium Jewelry?

What is a Palladium Jewelry

What is a Palladium Jewelry

Palladium Jewelry has been gaining popularity among jewelry designers for quite some time now. It is also a popular choice for people who are looking for a jewelry that is similar to a platinum, but more affordable. Before you go out and buy a palladium piece for yourself, read this first to learn more about palladium jewelry.

What Is Palladium

What is Palladium?

Palladium is a rare and lustrous metal that is part of the platinum metal group. Together with iridium, osmium, platinum, rhodium, and ruthenium, they are also known as the “Noble Metals”. Discovered by William Hyde Wollaston in 1803, it was said to be named after the asteroid Pallas. Palladium has the same silvery-white tone, purity, and luster as a platinum, but it is less dense which makes this metal more affordable. It can be found in Africa, Australia, Canada, South and North America.

 

Reasons to get Palladium Jewelry

Reasons to get Palladium Jewelry

Palladium JewelryIt is an affordable alternative to a platinum. Palladium metal has the same characteristics as platinum (it is also 95% pure metal just like a platinum), but since it is less dense and is lighter, it is less expensive. You will be able to get more for your money and buy more elaborate palladium jewelry pieces than you would with platinum.

It is a tough and durable metal.Since palladium has a low density (meaning it is lighter than other metals), you will have the option to wear bigger and more elaborate palladium jewelry designs with ease. It won’t be uncomfortable to wear unlike other jewelry pieces made out of other metals that weigh a ton. It is also more malleable than the other metals. This unique characteristic of palladium metal makes it a jewelry designer favorite because it enables them to make beautiful, intricate designs. This also gives them the option to add gemstones like diamonds and the like.

Kazuri Beads

Kazuri Founder – Lady Susan Wood was born (1918) in a mud hut in an African village. Her parents were missionaries from England in the Ituri Forest. Lady Wood was sent back to England to be educated and married Michael Wood, a surgeon. They came to Kenya in 1947. They were dedicated to making a difference and Lady Wood started a coffee plantation on the Karen Blixen estate, famous from the award winning movie “Out of Africa” , at the foot of the Ngon’g Hills, about 30 minutes from the bustling Nairobi city center in Kenya. Lady Wood was a visionary, an unsung hero of her time. She assisted her husband in founding the East African Flying Doctor Service, which expanded into the African Medical Research Foundation (AMREF) of which Michael Wood was Director General for 29 years. Michael Wood was knighted in 1985.

The beginnings of Kazuri Beads

In 1975, Lady Susan Wood set up a fledging business making beads in a small shed in her back garden. She started by hiring two disadvantaged women, and quickly realized that there were many more women who were in need of jobs and so Kazuri Beads was created and began its long and successful journey as a help center for the needy women especially single mothers who had no other source of income. In 1988 Kazuri became a factory and expanded hugely with over 120 women and men. Here women are trained and apply their skills to produce these unique and beautiful beads and jewelry. The beads are made with clay from the Mt Kenya area thus giving them authenticity to their craft. The factory acts as a social gathering with the hum of voices continuing throughout the day. With unemployment so high, one jobholder often ends up providing for an “extended family” of 20 or more. Kazuri is a member of the Fair Trade Act

Kazuri Beads Today

Today Kazuri, the Swahili word for ‘small and beautiful’ produces a wide range of hand made, hand painted ceramic jewelry that shines with a kaleidoscope of African colors and Kenyan art that reflects a culture and appeal to a worldwide fashion market. Kazuri’s beautifully finished products are made to an international standard and are sold worldwide. These standards are maintained through high training standards and a highly motivated management team.

In 2001 Mark and Regina Newman bought the company and their goal is to further increase the size of the company and to maintain the guiding philosophy … to provide employment opportunities for disadvantaged members of Kenyan Society.

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I can customize your next bracelet for that special occasion.  Are you getting married or know someone that is getting married?  I can make the bride or the entire bridal party bracelets with their wedding color.  You can have this moment in-time  last forever.

Do you have someone that is graduating?  I can do a bracelet for the special person in their school colors with the year and a graduation cap.  Something they will remember forever and hand it down to their children.

Are you having your first baby or know someone that is having a baby, I can make a bracelet for the baby, put the year, name of the baby and the color of the month that the baby is born.  Or I can do a family bracelet with all the kids colors.  I can customize anything you would like to have on it.

I can also do memory bracelets, a bracelet that has a person’s name and the year they passed or something that would make you have a memory of that special someone.

Email me at cindy@jewelrycreationsbycindy.com and let me know what I can make for you.

How often can you find someone that can make a piece of jewelry for that special occasion?  Well I can for you, all you have to do is email me at cindy@jewelrycreationsbycindy.com and we can discuss what I can do for you to make that special occasion just a little more special for you.

Guys women like to be surprised for no reason at all, what if you came home with jewelry what do you think your wife would do?  I can make that special piece for you if you can’t find something on the website, just let me know what you are looking for and I will do my best to make it for you.

Like I have said before “Every Woman Should Have A Creation”.  Let me make it for you and watch your wife smile.

SummitCountyAvant-Garde Art & Craft Shows

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Introducing our Summit County Vendors!

 

Meet Cindy Crockett from Cindy’s Creations…

Hi my name is Cindy Crockett and I’ve created Cindy’s Creations.

I’m 48 years old I’ve lived in the Akron, Ohio area all my life. I have two rescue dogs, Samantha and Rusty. I call Samantha my double wide because she is unusually wide and Rusty my dust mop because of all of his hair.

I lost my job in 2010 with many other people. I’ve searched and could not find a job and I was getting worried, then my mother became ill, so my husband and I decided to sell our home and move in the basement and become her caregiver.

I’ve been making jewelry for 6 months now and I love it. It started out to be something to do to stay home with my mother, and make some money.

How I got started.. I went to Jo-Ann Fabrics and I wandered into the section of beads and saw all types of beads imaginable. My mind went crazy and I was thinking I could make jewelry if I read up on it. Every where I went I was asking questions on how to and what do you use that for? Instead of this being a hobby it is now my obsession. My mother sits and watches me and comments on the beautiful colors and she gets to try everything on to make sure the size is correct and that it lays nicely it is very therapeutic for her.

 

I have a knack for putting beads together and making something beautiful without really getting ideas they all come from my mind. I see something and I start to play with it and Wham! I just created another new creation!

This isn’t something I thought I would be doing but I really enjoy doing it and I enjoy watching the people look at my jewelry and seeing their face get excited about how nice it looks on them, I like being able to create unique jewelry for all types of people and I will continue to do this for years to come.

I’ve just started out so I have not been to any Avant-Garde Art & Craft Shows yet. I’m very excited about doing the 2012 Summit County Winter Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show. It is going to be a great time and a worthy cause and I’m hoping to learn from other crafters and see all the new ideas and their creations. In the mean time I will be doing 16 craft shows before December and I’m hoping I will do well.

Now I know how people feel about starting a new business, it is hard and exhausting.  Trying to get my name out and trying to get people to go to the site and then trying to get people to actually buy.

I started this business so I could stay home with my mom and it has really grown, because I love doing it and I think I’m good at it.

Now why would I start a business up that every other person seems to be doing?  I have no idea, all I can say is I love doing it and I like watching people wearing my creations.

There are days where I have so many ideas of what to make that I don’t even know where to start and that frustrates me, and then there are other days that I can’t do a thing I have to get away from it.

I guess it is like any job, there are days you don’t mind getting up and going to work and then there are days where you just want to stay in bed.

I go to these trade shows and craft shows and I talk to so many people and they say my jewelry is beautiful and then they don’t buy.  I know a lot of it has to do with the economy and a lot of women say they have so much jewelry at home they don’t wear it all, but it still is frustrating when this is my job and trying to make money.

In this kind of field well I guess any kind of field you have to have thick skin, if you don’t you won’t last.  Many people have taken my card and say they will look at my site or have a party and you never hear from them and that is frustrating as well.

I always try to look on the bright side and never take it personally, but sometimes it is hard and you feel like a failure, but I know I’m not it is just a hard business to be in when everyone and their mother is doing the same thing.

I try to do unique things and try to learn new techniques but that can be very hard as well.  I am a self taught jeweler and I really try to be very detailed on every single piece.  They are like my babies and I really try to take good care of them and send them off to a good home. I swell up like a peacock when people make compliments about my jewelry, it gives me courage to keep going on.

It is amazing no one could ever say I was shy, but doing this type of business you can’t be shy I think I’ve even come more out of my shell and some people may say that can’t be, but it is, I feel more comfortable around people, I go up to strangers and start talking which I never did before, I mean if they came to me of course I would talk but I’m the one going up to them now and I feel confident.

I really hope people like my jewelry and tell everyone about it because I truly am thankful for my talent and that I actually enjoy doing what I do, it isn’t like a job it is something I can say is my own and I’m proud of it.

Every person should have something to be proud of and I encourage you to find it and stick with it even if it is hard and people say you won’t last, prove them wrong because once you are determined nothing can stop you, there are so many possibilities out there it is endless.  So never stop dreaming and keep moving on because in the end that is what we all want.