Treasures, Treasuries, and Thoughts

I swore I would never do a blog! So much for swearing. I didn't think that I would have much to say or share. I was wrong! I have been so blessed with a wonderful family, loyal friends, sharing colleagues, and the support from so many that I will never run out of topics to write about.

I have opened an on-line store at a place called Etsy (rhymes with Betsy). The items on the left are available for purchase there. These will change from week to week to show you my latest creations. The link to the store is in the upper left corner of this page.

I also have items for sale listed on Art Fire. The link to my Art Fire Studio is

I hope you will visit this blog, my Flickr page ( and my Etsy and/or Art Fire stores often. (

So come along on my Trail of Treasures! It will be a Spirit Journey for me and I invite you to join me on the trip.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Christmas Tree At The White House

Yesterday while watching a news channel on T.V., I saw that the 2009 Christmas tree was making its way to the White House. It reminded me that I have a White House Christmas Tree story to tell that I have yet to blog about.

Last year, about this time, I had a booth at a local church that was sponsoring a Native American Craft Show. A woman purchased one of my barrettes and a feather hair clip. Little did I know at the time that it would be making a trip to Washington D.C.

This fall, Patrick (my son) and I were vending at the Metropolitan Community College's Annual Intertribal Pow Wow. The woman who had purchased that barrette and feather hair clip came to our booth and informed me that my work had visited the White House. I was so surprised!

Kymi Rutledge Johnson had been selected to deliver and present a Christmas ornament to decorate the Christmas tree in the Blue Room at the White House. In honor of the occassion, she wore the barrette and feather hair clip that I had made and that she had purchased.

I was thrilled to think that my work was selected by her to wear on that wonderful occassion. I, of course, asked her if she had a photo and she later e-mailed this one to me.

There it is! That is Kymi wearing my work in the Blue Room of the White House! What an honor for Kymi to be selected for this event and what an honor for me for her to wear my work!.

Mvto and Wado (Thank You in Creek and Cherokee) Kymi!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Eve's Fund: Join Me In A Little Thanksgiving

As many of you know, I had the distinct honor and priviledge of being selected to bead bracelets from the logo of Eve's Fund.

Eve’s Fund is a Native American Health Initiatives Inc. that promotes programs to help Native Americans. It was established in 2005 by Dr. Robert M. Crowell, a retired neurosurgeon and named in memory of his daughter, Eve Erin Crowell, who died tragically in February of that year. Eve’s Fund is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization incorporated in New Mexico.

This morning I received the Eve's Fund November Newsletter via e-mail. One item caught my undivided attention and reminded me of all that I have to be thankful for. It was facing the fact that there are many Native children who do not own books.

Can you imagine your growing up without owning a single book? Can you imagine your Grandchildren not owning a book? But it is true that there are many Native children who don't have the luxury of book ownership. I find this fact to be very sad and I am so thankful that a large part of Eve's Fund is promoting literacy.

For a mere $5.00 donation, they will ship a book to a Native child. Remembering the pleasure of reading books to my three grandchildren and in purchasing books for them, I determined to purchase books for three Native children in the name of my three grandchildren.

We take so much for granted! We forget how blessed we are!

If you would like to make a similar Thanksgiving gift, it is very simple. Go to this site.
Click on "Donate". You can pay with Paypal.

What a simple way to say "Thanks" for all the pleasure books have given you and to provide that experience for another child. Join me in a little Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

People Of The Sun Treasury

People of The Sun is a delightful treasury curated by Rejoice The Sun during National Native American Month. I am humbled to have my earrings (second row, middle item) among these beautiful items created by both Native American artists and artists inspired by Native American arts and crafts.

Rejoice The Hands is an Etsy store owned by Ana Saldana. Rejoice the Hands makes one of a kind jewelry thats inspired by not only nature but different cultures around the world including Native American. Using semi precious stones, metals and anything that inspires her. Rejoice tries to be as eco- friendly as possible, using recycled chains and also adding vintage elements, giving character to each piece. Each piece is designed and made by Ana herself, and just like there's only one of her, all the jewelry is one of a kind. You can visit Ana's store here:

Mvto and Wado (Thank you in Creek and Cherokee) Ana for this tribute!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Way To Go Yankees!

As many of you know, my very good friend, Louetta Armell, is Joba Chamberlain's cousin.
She shared this article with me and I wanted to share it with my friends. Joba is one of two Native Americans currently playing baseball in the major leagues. He is Winnebago and from Nebraska.

Whether you are a Yankees fan or not, I think you will be touched by this article. It is not only about winning, but also about surviving hardships, setting goals, family support, and that very special Father/Son relationship.

Joba, we are so proud of you! Congratulations to you and your team!

Thu Nov 05, 2009 10:29 am EST

World Series moment: Joba Chamberlain and his dad, Harlan
By 'Duk

NEW YORK — The throng of media members around the makeshift stage seemed impenetrable, but Harlan Chamberlain motored his way through all of the cameras and notepads anyways. Reaching a blue barrier, he stopped his scooter, strained to look over a crowd of world champion Yankee ballplayers and tried to get a glimpse of his son. When that proved useless, he simply resorted to his considerable vocal chords.

"Jaaaaaaahba!" he yelled. "Jaaaaaaaaaahba!"

Harlan said his son's name a few more times, then spied A.J. Burnett(notes) in the crowd.

"Burnett!" he said. "Can you get my son!"

Burnett could and a few moments later, Joba Chamberlain(notes) put down the giant blue Yankee flag he had been waving up on stage. The big Yankees pitcher hopped off the stage, disappeared from the view of the Fox cameras and quickly made a beeline for his father. When they came together, they wrapped each other in a huge rocking bearhug.

It wasn't long before both were crying.

They said the same thing over and over.

"We did it, dad," Joba said.

"We did it," Harlan said.

"We did it," Joba said.

"We did it," Harlan said.

And on and on. They held tight for almost a minute. Their eyes were red when they let go.

You see the Yankees' $200+ million payroll and it's easy to get cynical. Same goes for their $1.5 billion new stadium, the seats that cost more than the average mortgage payment, the steroid controversies involving some of their team members and all the endless hype and hooey about mystique, aura and all the Yankee legends and ghosts.

But then you see this very simple and very real scene of a 24-year-old pitcher sharing the hug of a lifetime with his dad and you remember that those father-son relationships — one of the only things that really matter — are at the very heart of this great game that we love.

The same dynamic was on display everywhere at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday night. Way up in the upper deck, a dad tossed his little son into the air whenever Hideki Matsui(notes) came through (which was often). A mid-20s hipster sitting next to them made sure to ask one of my co-workers to snap a photo of he and his pops with his grainy cell phone camera. CC Sabathia(notes) did his postgame interviews with his little son on his shoulders the whole time.

And while all of those tiny little snapshots meant the world to those pictured in them, none of them seemed quite as remarkable to outsiders as the one taken by the Chamberlains.

Their story has been told often since Joba became a pitcher with the Yankees. Harlan was stricken with polio as a child and his health problems have confined him to the trademark scooter that gets him recognized by Yankee fans everywhere. Despite his limitations, he raised both Joba and his sister in Nebraska and provided for them while working in a prison. The sad story of Joba's mother is sadly well-known — she's facing 20 years in jail for a drug charge — but he's always had the love and support from an extraordinary father. They call each other their best friends. It's impossible for them to be any closer.

I caught up with Harlan later on Wednesday night and asked him what it was like to see his son pitch a scoreless inning in a World Series clincher. Then I asked him what it was like to have the hug on the field with him afterward. His eyes were still teary as he talked.

"I told my son for years that he would do this, we would talk about getting to the World Series all the time" said Harlan while stopped near home plate of Yankee Stadium. "We just shared that moment while realizing that he did it. I pinched myself a few times. It's pretty awesome.

"We love each very much. This whole adventure in life is about family and in our case, it's about father and son."

In the days ahead, we're sure to see a lot of scenes from the Yankees 27th championship. Some we'll be bound to remember. Some we'll be bound to forget.

It's not hard to tell which category the Chamberlains' special moment will fall under, because it rarely gets much better than that

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Native Nation Treasury

To celebrate National Native American Month, Northenlodge, an Etsy seller, has curated this wonderful treasury. There are over 5,000 items for sale by Etsy artists that are tagged "Native American".

Not all of these are made by Registered Members of a United States recognized tribe. However, those who are and those who are not, are inspired by our culture and create many beautiful and diverse works of art.

My thanks to Northernlodge for including my Prairie Rose bracelet (middle item, first row) in her beautiful treasury. If you have a few minutes, check out Northernlodge's store at You will find many beautiful things.

While you are on Etsy, do a search of "Native American" to see the vast array of beautiful handmade items. Help us promote November as National Native American Month and November 27th as National Native American Day!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Obama Declares National Native American Month!

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The indigenous peoples of North America -- the First Americans -- have woven rich and diverse threads into the tapestry of our Nation's heritage. Throughout their long history on this great land, they have faced moments of profound triumph and tragedy alike. During National Native American Heritage Month, we recognize their many accomplishments, contributions, and sacrifices, and we pay tribute to their participation in all aspects of American society.

This month, we celebrate the ancestry and time-honored traditions of American Indians and Alaska Natives in North America. They have guided our land stewardship policies, added immeasurably to our cultural heritage, and demonstrated courage in the face of adversity. From the American Revolution to combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, they have fought valiantly in defense of our Nation as dedicated servicemen and women. Their native languages have also played a pivotal role on the battlefield. During World Wars I and II, Native American code talkers developed unbreakable codes to communicate military messages that saved countless lives. Native Americans have distinguished themselves as inventors, entrepreneurs, spiritual leaders, and scholars. Our debt to our First Americans is immense, as is our responsibility to ensure their fair, equal treatment and honor the commitments we made to their forebears.

The Native American community today faces huge challenges that have been ignored by our Government for too long. To help address this disparity, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act allocates more than $3 billion to help these communities deal with their most pressing needs. In the Fiscal Year 2010 budget, my Administration has proposed over $17 billion for programs carried out by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Indian Health Service, and other Federal agencies that have a critical role to play in improving the lives of Native Americans. These programs will increase educational opportunities, address the scourge of alcohol abuse and domestic violence, promote economic development, and provide access to comprehensive, accessible, and affordable health care. While funding increases do not make up for past deficiencies, they do reflect our determination to honor tribal sovereignty and ensure continued progress on reservations across America.

As we seek to build on and strengthen our nation-to-nation relationship, my Administration is committed to ensuring tribal communities have a meaningful voice in our national policy debates as we confront the challenges facing all Americans. We will continue this constructive dialogue at the White House Tribal Nations Conference held in Washington, D.C., this month. Native American voices have echoed through the mountains, valleys, and plains of our country for thousands of years, and it is now our time to listen.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim November 2009 as National Native American Heritage Month. I call upon all Americans to commemorate this month with appropriate programs and activities, and to celebrate November 27, 2009, as Native American Heritage Day.

Mvto and Wa-do (Thank you in Creek and Cherokee) Mr. President.