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.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Meet Blue Moon

In the late 70’s or early 80’s I chanced to see a piece of work done by a contemporary western sculptor named Les Welliver.  I was so enthralled with it that I wanted to see more of his work.  I learned that he was an artist who lived in Montana and used wild life and Indians as his subjects.  I began trying to locate a source for his work.  I finally succeeded. 

I was lucky enough to find a perfect piece to give to my husband, Warren, for his up-coming birthday.  Since Warren is an anatomist, I knew he would appreciate the detail in the piece I had selected and purchased.  And sure enough, he was both surprised and delighted. 

Blue Moon by Les Welliver

As he inspected the piece, we both agreed that the figure’s face was wise, somewhat wizened and humble.  However, her chest told a completely different story.   Her well-formed and taunt breasts were both bold and quite boastful. 

Warren wanted to thank the artist for having done the piece and gave him a phone call.  During their long conversation, Warren asked if he had used a live model to create the piece as its anatomy was so detailed and correct.  Les informed him that he had not used a model but he had seen a few women and had a good memory. 

We all laughed.

Now I can’t recall the original name of piece.  I am sure I have it written down somewhere.  But it isn’t what she is called anymore and her original name will have no significance here. 

As Warren and Les visited on, they both agreed that it would only be “once in a blue moon” that one would could expect to find such an extraordinary body on one so wise and humble as this lady appeared.     Thus the piece was re-named Blue Moon.

Blue Moon has graced our family room mantle since that day and once in a blue moon I reflect on that phone conversation we had with this great artist and chuckle about her re-naming ceremony.  

Blue Moon…today is your day.  What a privilege it is to have had you with us all of these years! 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My Thunderbird Earrings

 My Thunderbird Earrings were featured today in this wonderful Collection on ArtFire curated by Artede Found Partes owned by Sharona

Sharona says, “I am old school.  All my life I have looked at things from a perspective viewed as unique. During my lifetime I've saved, reused, restored, redone, reworked and redecorated many material possessions. I enjoy encouraging and inspiring all young at heart's creative talents.

Sharona’s Art Fire store features many interesting items made from her recycling stash.  You can view her work at:

View the Collection and visit Sharona’s store as well.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

What Are The Odds?

There we were, minding our own business, when Patrick spied a man and a woman with birds just off the Santa Fe Plaza. Patrick loves birds so of course he had to go over for a closer look. After looking the birds over and talking to the people who were from the Wild Life Federation, he asked if he could take some pictures.

I was standing back next to a lady who was also intent in watching and asking questions. You can see her (to the right of the bird’s talons and up) in this photo.

Patrick took his shots and left a donation in the pail. At that point, the lady lamented that she did not have a camera with her and asked if Patrick would e-mail his shots to her if she gave him her e-mail address. He agreed and she started across the street to get him her business card.

Since we were going the same direction, we followed her. It turned out that she was an artist who had a booth just outside a large hotel. As we approached, she said to Patrick, “I’m going to give you a gift.” We both assumed that it would be a small print of one of her works or note cards. But she put out two full size prints and told him to take his pick. He made his selection and she signed the print “To Patrick, Amy Stein.
 Patrick's Selection:  Angel of The Roses

Amy Stein’s bio from her web site is as follows:
AMY STEIN, an award-winning Santa Fe artist, well-known for her beautiful prints of the southwest, has been profiled in the nationally published American Artist magazine. She has conducted self-imagery workshops "Healing the Self Through Self- Portraits" for the California-based American Institute of Medical Education, the Institute for Integral Development in Colorado Springs and the Santa Fe public schools. She holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from the City University of New York and is a licensed New Mexico art teacher. Ms. Stein has been an Artist-in-Residence in New Mexico and accepts artistic portraits commissions.

After a nice visit, we left with her card, Patrick’s new piece of art and a promise to send her the photos as soon as we returned home.

We continued our exploring of the Plaza, had a delightful chicken, green chili, pinon nut and asiago cheese pizza at one of our annual stops, Roof Top Pizza, and returned to our hotel.

We were each sitting on our bed chatting about the day and planning for the next one. Patrick got a strange look on his face and said, “What was that artist’s name?” I responded Amy Stein. He said, “That’s what I thought but I’m not believing this”. I couldn’t imagine what he was talking about other than her generosity in having gifted him with a wonderful print. I asked what he meant and he told me to look behind me. I did.

Can you imagine our amazement to find the work of an artist we chanced to meet on the street, promised photos, and was gifted by on our hotel room wall? There it was. As plain as day. What are the odds?
Little Yellow Flower 

We took this picture of her work on our wall and determined we had to share the story with her.

The next day, we went back to Amy’s booth to share this “against all odds story” with her.

She was as amazed as we had been. I asked if she had prints like the one in our hotel available as I wanted a copy to complete the story of this amazing encounter. She did and I purchased one.

We plan to frame and hang the two works side by side not only because she is a gifted artists doing wonderful work but as a reminder of that special day and how people are brought together in the most mysterious ways.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Artistic License, Copyright Infringement and the Nerve of Some People!

There I was.  Minding my own business when I received an e-mail from a friend who is not a member of Etsy.  He explained that an Etsy seller had pirated some copyright protected photos from his website, converted them into beadwork patterns and was selling them on Etsy.  

Since he isn’t a member of Etsy, he could not contact her through the Etsy convo system and had no other way of doing so.  He asked that I contact her on his behalf.  After assuring myself that he was absolutely correct.  There could be no mistake that the bead patterns were taken from his site.  I did. 

Here is what I wrote to her ….I have omitted the links and names so that the parties are not identified.  XXXX is my friend.  OOOO is the copyright infringer.

I am writing to you at the request of the Webmaster for the site XXXX

It is obvious that this pattern was taken from the clip art section of the XXXX site and you are requested to remove it as the site identifies that the features are not to be modified or shared in any way and certainly not to be offered for sale in a modified form.

Here is the link to the source of your pattern and the XXXX instructions for how their clip art may and may not be used.
(Link provided)

It is also evident that your pattern, (Etsy link) was taken from the XXXX site.

Here is the link to the source of your pattern and again, it clearly identifies that it can not be modified for use in this manner.  (Link to the original piece provided)

The Webmaster respectfully requests that you remove these items from your listings to avoid further action on behalf of the XXXX site.

Joni Stinson

This is her response:

How DARE you accuse me of this! I have NEVER seen that website before. I
created those patterns YEARS ago. Just because the animals maybe
traditionally claimed by American Indians DOES NOT mean someone stole them from any website. Get over it! I'm reporting you to ETSY. OBVIOUSLY you cannot be a rational or professional person. Try and take action against me and I'll

My Response:

I told you that I was writing on behalf of the Webmaster for XXXX.
He is not a member of Etsy and chose not to join just to contact you.

You are welcome to contact him yourself at
(E-mail for XXXX provided here)

I will share your convo with him.

Joni Stinson

Then she wrote this to me:
I don't care who you say you are representing. YOU sent the obnoxious email. And I'm reporting YOU to ETSY.

I forwarded her convo’s to my friend.  As a result, he joined Etsy and wrote this to her: 

I am writing to you because you are using some of our images for commercial purposes. I did ask Joni to write to you and ask for you to remove them as I did not want to join a site just to contact someone, but from seeing your reply to her, it has left me no option than to write to you myself.

You say that you've not taken them from the site. Lets say that I believe that for now.  There is no question that you took them from *a* site that was displaying our work. There is NO WAY that these came from your own creational mind. Compare the bison images... they even have the same markings.  Ours were taken from a PHOTOGRAPH of the actual piece. Same for the bear.

I could have just contacted Etsy and raised a DMCA against you, but there is a strong chance that you could lose your etsy account, and I do not wish for that. But if you refuse to remove them, I will raise a DMCA against you.

Where ever you got these from, they originated from our site and we do not allow them to be altered, or for them to be used for commercial purposes.

I hope to hear from you every soon.
Kind Regards
copyright holder to these images.

She responded to him:

Thank you for the lecture. . I assume you think that's not rude, either. You ask another Etsy seller to send me an email calling me a fraud and unethical without asking for an explanation....

I consider THAT RUDE. I had no idea who Joni was or if she really spoke for anyone or if you even had copyrights to those images in the first place. I still am taking your word on that.

And in your email you imply I'm a liar....THAT's definitely rude. I DID NOT take those images from your web site. I got them from somewhere, maybe they were posted somewhere else and I believed they were copyright free.

You took NONE of that into account before you threatened me via Joni.

And for your information, since my husband is a lawyer, I CAN copyright my patterns which is what my listings say.

Since you probably won't take my word for it, have a look at my Etsy store just to make sure the patterns are gone and I'm not lying, ok?

So, there is no misunderstanding, I deleted all patterns and work on those images. Sorry, I can't furnish you with proof of that.

NOW the matter is CLOSED.


XXXX’s subsequent reply...


If your husband is a lawyer, he will know that you cannot copyright someone else’s work. Nor can you copyright something that is in the Public Domain, freeware, shareware etc etc.

FYI I have not gone back to the site, so I have taken your word for it.

hmmm, this is the thanks I get for NOT getting someone into trouble. I know next time, not to bother contacting the seller, but to go to the site owner.

I have read the email Joni sent, and it was polite and to the point. Ask your husband on how threatening legal letters can be, and then you may see how polite both Joni's and I were. Neither does it state in her email that you were a fraud or unethical. She said..."It is obvious that this pattern was taken from the clip art section of the XXXX site and you are requested to remove it as the site
identifies that the features are not to be modified or shared in any way and
certainly not to be offered for sale in a modified form."

She didn't say you took it, she said it was taken. And it is obvious. She also gave you the URLs for you to double check.

She also said "The Webmaster respectfully requests that you remove these items from your listings to avoid further action on behalf of the XXXX site."

Did you notice that ? ... respectfully requests ... and that is us being rude it it ?

I wonder how polite you would be if someone took your possessions and started selling them.


She wrote to him again:
I am sorry you feel this way and I'm sorry you've felt you've needed to express yourself so rudely, both directly and through a third party. I have NEVER knowingly based my work on anyone's copyrighted images. I do use copyright free images and I am meticulous about ascertaining the copyright on all images. Most of my work is from my own digital artwork or photographs.

I have researched where I got those images, but it was so long ago, I don't have records. I know I made the patterns in 2008. Because of their similarity to what you say are YOUR copyrighted designs, which for now, I'll assume is true, I am removing the patterns from my site.

By doing this, I am not admitting to copyright infringement in ANYWAY. However, I know you can make trouble for me and I believe you would.

I hope you're happy now.


XXXX’s reply:

Greetings OOOO,
Thank you for getting back to me, I do appreciate it. I am however surprised that you thought that I, or Joni, was rude.

I spend approximately 30 unpaid hours a week tracking down people who are violating our copyrights or copyrights to our clients. I was already busy dealing with DMCAs with other sites when I asked Joni if she could contact you (as she was an etsy user) and ask you to remove them.

You have to remember I deal with a lot of sites, and to sign up for each one, just to contact the violator becomes more time consuming, and a PITA to remember all the passwords etc. That is why I asked her.

I cannot see anywhere where I was rude in my email to you. I cannot change color on my email settings, nor can I make italic text, so anything that needed to be emphasized, was done in capitals. I had to do that because you denied that they were copied from our work, even though Joni had sent you the links to the originals.

Nowadays, we do not normally contact the violators due to the reasons I gave above. Normally, we will contact the hosting provider instead. If I had done this option with you, there could have been a good chance that they would close your account.

You say that you made the patterns in 2008. I have dug out the psd files I have for these, and the bear was last worked on at Jan 01 2003 The bison was last worked on at 4th Jan 2004

On a side note, you say..."I do use copyright free images"
You do realize that you cannot copyright something that is already copyright free. Same goes for public domain images. If they are PD, then they cannot be copyrighted by someone.

I can understand you not having records, but whoever you asked to use them, it wasn't from us, and whoever gave you permission, did not have the rights to do so.

Yes, I was annoyed seeing our work being sold. And yes, I was annoyed to see someone else claiming copyright on it. (Wouldn't you be?) But I was more annoyed when I saw your reply to Joni. Even after been shown the evidence, you were denying it. I was expecting a "oops, sorry, I didn't realize"
kind of email like we normally do.

I am sorry that you thought I was rude. I was polite, but firm. I even signed off with "Kind Regards"

Maybe I should have just contacted Etsy with a DMCA and saved myself a lot of time.

We do not want to sue you, nor do we want you to lose your account with Etsy. We just wanted our images removed from the site because they were being used for commercial purposes.

If they have been removed, then the matter is closed.
Kind Regards

Did she use copyrighted work to develop her patterns?  Yes

Were we rude or accuse her of fraud?  No

Have I been reported to Etsy?  I don’t know.  But I don’t believe she has a case.  But if I have been reported, this blog will be my defense. 

Do you know what DMCA is?  I didn’t, but I do now.   You can read all about it here:

Will I provide you with her store name?  Yes, please don’t buy patterns from her.  Contact me.

Would I do this again if requested by a friend?  In a heart beat!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Pow Wowing in Lincoln, April 21, 2012

While Joba Chamberlain, Winnebago from Lincoln, NE, recuperates from an injured ankle in New York, his father, Harlan Chamberlain attended the University of Nebraska Pow Wow last Saturday.   We were pleased to have Mr. Chamberlain make purchases in our booth. 

Joba is a pitcher for the New York Yankees.  He is the pride of the Winnebago tribe and his late cousin, Lu Armel…my dear friend. 

Joba injured his right ankle while bouncing on a trampoline with his son in March.  Joba resumed working out at the Yankees' minor league complex this week, where he played catch in the outfield with his right knee on a stool.

Joba is quoted as saying that “ the ankle continues to improve and that his throwing arm is 100 percent.
It's a little stiff, but good,"

Harlan Chamberlain is one proud father…and well he should be! 

Patrick and I vended at this Pow Wow.  This was our second year to participate in this event but we look forward to many more.  The Pow Wow is held to honor students graduating from UNL.  They also honored any student present who had graduated from something…..down to pre-school. 

Mr. Chamberlain, it was so good to see you out and about on Saturday.  We look forward to Joba’s full recovery and return to the Yankees.  We also look forward to attending this event again next year!  

Friday, April 20, 2012

Gary Farmer and the Trouble Makers

 Gary Farmer

Gary Farmer and the Trouble Makers

Last night, my son, Patrick, many of my friends and I had the pleasure of spending the evening in the company of Gary Farmer and the Trouble Makers.  We all gathered on the campus of the University of Nebraska at Omaha for this wonderful event. 

You may not immediately recognize this blues group but I am sure you have seen Gary Farmer.  Gary was born in Canada into the Cayuga and Wolf Clan Iroquois. 

He has performed in both television and motion pictures.  His first major role was on the CBC's Spirit Bay. He subsequently played police captain Joe Stonetree on the syndicated TV series Forever Knight, and Chief Tom in the CBC first nations tv series The Rez. He is known for his role as spiritual Native American guide Nobody in Dead Man. Farmer reprised the role for a cameo in Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai.

Gary was the publisher of Aboriginal Voices magazine, one of the Founders of the Aboriginal Voices radio network, and is an avid supporter of native media projects in film, radio, television and the internet.

He has won numerous awards and nominations from many native film festivals, and Canadian film awards.
Farmer has performed in both the film and television adaptations of Tony Hillerman's novels. He played Cowboy Dashee in the 1991 film The Dark Wind, Captain Largo in Coyote Waits (2003) and A Thief of Time (2004).

He was nominated for Independent Spirit Awards for his roles in the movies Powwow Highway, Dead Man, and Smoke Signals. Farmer also played the role of Fagin in Twist, the 2003 independent adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic and was Henry Colville, with Kris Kristofferson, in Disappearances.

He also played Deputy Bob in Demon Knight.*

They Get Around!

Who knew that this talented actor was also a mean harmonica player and vocalist?
Gary and his Trouble Makers have been on tour since March performing at Native events.  This performance was almost canceled due to the hospitalization of his lead guitarist.  Thankfully, he was able to locate a talented artist to fill in.  The show must go on!

Several members of our local Native American Grandmother's Group were in attendance.  In retrospect, I wish I had gotten pictures of all of them.  But here is our sister, Myrna Red Owl with Gary.  Myrna is currently undergoing chemo therapy but she doesn't let that slow her down one bit!  You go Myrna!

And here I am with Gary.

Gary informed me that following the event, he and the Trouble Makers were driving all night to Pawnee, Oklahoma for their next appearance.  That's dedication!  It makes me wonder why they are called the Trouble Makers.....I don't think they have too much spare time to make trouble!  

Thank you Gary and your Trouble Makers for making your music ours for an evening.  Thank you to my dear friends and capable organizers, Cindy Krafka and Beth Ritter along with the other faculty members of the UNO Native Studies Program for your making this evening possible.

* Source: Wikipedia

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Jim Thorpe...My Father's Friend

Today I received a notice of the paper back release of the book, Native American Son: The Life and Sporting Legend of Jim Thorpe by Kate Buford. Our good friend David Frost e-mailed me about this. David, now retired, was an editor for Doubleday and ghost wrote the book, RN, Richard Nixon’s biography.

The name Jim Thorpe brought back many wonderful memories to me.

My father was a friend of Jim Thorpe’s and spoke at an enormous Gathering for the purposes of unveiling this portrait. This portrait hangs in the Oklahoma State Capital and is viewed by thousands annually.

That unveiling of this portrait was back in 1968. I was there….very pregnant with my son Patrick. Warren, husband, baby sat our 4 year old son Scott, while my Father and I attended this huge celebration. Native dancers from all over the United States performed. Notables and friends, including my father, spoke at the event. Members of the Thorpe family were present.  I was so honored to be present.

It was an extremely hot Oklahoma day. At mid point, a communal water bucket with a dipper was passed from person to person. As badly as I wanted a drink of water…I couldn’t do it. I feared I might kill my unborn child!

The Capital has revolving doors.  I remember the Master of Ceremonies announceing that an Indian child was caught up in the White Man’s door and didn’t know how to get out.  A hunting party was sent out.  They rescued the very dizzy child and we applauded.

A Native Medicine Man was present. While he was his tribal Medicine Man, he also had a medical degree from Harvard. The best of both worlds!

A Snake Dance was performed by a Southwestern tribe.  Live snakes were released on the grounds….that was a bit scary!  I have yet to see this dance performed again.

I was also on the set when the movie about Jim Thorpe was filmed at Bacone Indian College in Muskogee, Oklahoma.  Though Jim Thorpe went to Carlisle, not Bacone, the movie was filmed there.  Burt Lancaster played Jim Thorpe…but that is another story.   I will save that one for another day.

Back to Jim Thorpe…..Did You Know?

 Jim Thorpe was not a citizen of the United States of America when he won the pentathlon and decathlon in the 1912 Olympics.

 Jim hit three home runs in one day,one in Arkansas, one in Texas and one in Oklahoma.

 Jim's best season was his last one. He batted .327 in 60 games for Boston.

 Jim earned 11 letters in sports at the University of Carlisle, he even won the inter-collegate ballroom dancing championship in 1912.

 Jim played football with a president of the United States of America. (Dwight Eisenhower)

 Jim was the first President of the NFL.

 Jim's favorite breakfast was squirrel and cream gravy.

 Jim not only played Pro football and baseball, he also played Pro basketball.

It was a memorable day. Jim Thorpe was a memorable man.

Note: The paper back book is available on Amazon. I will be purchasing one..if you have interest, here is the link:

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Basic Elements In Art And Grandmothers

I have just returned from a meeting for a newly formed organization, An Inter-tribal Circle of Grandmothers.  What better time to boast about the creativity of grandchildren? 

Two of my grandchildren, Mason, 14, and Olivia, 13, were given an assignment at their Montessori school to interpret a basic chemical element into an original work of art.  They were free to develop their concept as they saw fit.

Mason selected Titanium.  Titanium is described as a strong, lustrous, corrosion-resistant transition metal with a silver color.

His piece starts with his artistic interpretation of how Titanium is found and produced. 

Titanium by Mason Scott Stinson 2012

Olivia chose to do a Gold themed piece.  Her selection of gold came as no shock to any of us and if you knew her, you would understand why.
She decided to use "The Midas Touch" for her piece.  The hand representing the Midas Touch is actually her hand.  She cast her own hand in plaster and used her very own technique for the Midas Touch's turning the pear gold.

Gold...The Midas Touch by Olivia Shayle Stinson, 2012

I think their artistic interpretations of these basic elements are wonderful....

Of course, one of the elements of being a successful Grandmother is to feel one's grandchildren have talents that are filled with the beauty of gold and have the lasting quality of Titanium!  It's Basic!