"So what's it gonna take? Silver shadow believer..." -Shiny Toy Guns

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Words of Wisdom Discovered in LA?

What is this rare find, you ask? Simply Jo Designs, http://www.simplyjodesigns.com/ is a brand new line of jewelry fresh out of LA. It’s so new that it hasn’t really even been discovered yet. I wanted to write about it first and was able to take advantage – as the designer, Amanda Jo is a friend. The pieces are beautiful – each one an uplifting icon, with simple words and delicate, touching phrases. Knowing the designer personally, I have found her to be a very spiritual individual with a caring heart. An artist with such gifts tends to pour those traits into their work and that’s definitely the case in Simply Jo Designs.
Amanda Jo’s love for inspirational words is what led her to create the line in the first place, “While in college I carried (and still do) a small book around, and when I'd think of something simple and inspirational I’d write it down. Something about seeing a word or two of inspiration always made me hold my head high when I was feeling down.”
Jotting these words down on paper developed into getting them tattooed, “And then, I realized I can't tattoo myself every time I'm inspired,” Amanda told me. So she started painting the words on her walls and from there she had the notion to create Simply Jo. “I found that I could handcraft something meaningful that lies close to the heart and is with me all day.”
Each work is handmade and every piece, an expressive original. But styles can always be recreated, or customized to fit the desire of the recipient. Amanda engraves each letter one by one and all by hand. “No piece is ever the same nor is it perfect or intended to be, that is what I love about them.” These works can be viewed and purchased on their website, http://www.simplyjodesigns.com/ and are categorized by style genres that include, Inspire Me, Younger Me, and Just For Me. Inspire Me contains designs with words of encouragement, Younger Me contains youthful phrases and styles, and Just For Me are items that can be personalized.
By Mother’s Day, Simply Jo expects to have the Mommy & Me section up and running. “Children love getting into their mother’s jewelry and playing dress up. My idea behind creating this is, now she can be just like Mommy because they share the same piece.” Children play an important role in the philosophies portrayed within the jewelry. Many of her designs are there to remind us of what is pure and whimsical in nature.
“My favorite design is the very first piece I ever made. It's the "Be Free" pendant, but with a tiny gold heart dangling. The heart was actually my mother’s when she was in high school. I wear it every day because it reminds me to not get caught up in LA.” It’s hard for me to imagine that happening, as Amanda is one who remembers where she comes from and maintains her genuine personality, and now displays this throughout her craft to share with all of us. What can we expect to see in the future for Simply Jo Designs? In addition to handcrafting each piece, they will soon begin melting and creating their own silver as well, giving each a more vintage and whimsical appearance. Simply Jo Designs is also in the process of calibrating with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Amanda has created a necklace for the children and their families suffering from the disease. Be sure to check out their site for some the cleanest designs you have seen in a while, find a piece that expresses what you feel, and purchase! They have great prices, make fabulous gifts, and through April offer free shipping.
In times of such uncertainty, where the answers aren’t always clear we all need something to believe in – these simple words of wisdom will be hanging around your neck to remind you. For more information, please visit: http://www.simplyjodesigns.com/

Monday, March 23, 2009

Pay to Pray

There is a theory that says that the Internet will eventually wipe out our existence. That we have developed what will be the ultimate cause of our demise. As much as I believe there is some truth to this, I love the Internet. Absolutely, positively couldn’t live without it. Not in a million years or for a million dollars. There is only one thing that interests me more than this little devil and that is the beauty of human connection. Simply put: people, communication, human compassion and belief – there is nothing more concrete, nothing more pure and nothing more real.
So in my most humble opinion as amazing as the Internet may be, this tool we created to assist us, will never completely replace us. But, will continue to do what it was designed for: make life easier. Some argue it makes us lazy, I say productive. Some say it overtook jobs, I say it created some. The argument leads me neatly to my reason for this post. I came across an article on one of my favorite blogs, TechCrunch, about a new site that prays for you. That’s right, if you don’t have time to pray this site will take care of it for you. Now, I am all about the advancements of technology and preying on the ignorant. But, I just am not sure how this site would work? In 2007, I wrote a post on the Power of Prayer vs. Positive Thinking, explaining that there really is no difference between the two. But a website that prays for you? How? Maybe it works the same. You believe they are praying for you and so it will work.
Prayer is kind of a sacred thing though, is it not? I mean that connection you feel to a higher power or positive thoughts going on within are pretty heavy duty to in trust to a website. Not to mention the things you usually pray for are for the well being of your loved ones. In my mind, that’s part of what gives it power, your compassion for someone else or even for yourself would enable you to manifest it. But, maybe that’s just me. And much like an email has replaced a handwritten letter, this could be next. I can’t wait to send this little dilly off to my Aunt who is a nun to catch her thoughts.
No matter how you slice it; it’s pretty hilarious: http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/03/17/too-busy-to-pray-dont-worry-indulgences-are-back/

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Wait, I’m a Writer? My name is in Four G’s Magazine!

What did you want to be when you were a kid, a Cowboy or an Indian? I wanted to be a divorce attorney. “Little girl from broken home wants to help dissolve marriages peacefully,” the headline read…

I changed my mind quickly when I grew up. In college I took on journalism but never said I wanted to be a writer. All I said was, “I want to have a job where I can write” and I am very fortunate to have a career in marketing that allows me the luxury of doing so. I love my job, but sometimes I miss journalism – interviewing interesting subjects is an exciting experience. And as a writer, there is something to be said for seeing your work in printed form – holding something tangible, in your hands, with your name on it. Something about that byline makes it all worthwhile, and this is why writing for Four G’s Magazine was such an honor.

The magazine is truly a work of art – from cover to cover; each page is bright with color and rich with content. And while the mag contains subject matter that doesn’t necessarily reflect my views or opinions, I respect it, and am incredibly proud to have been part of it. Four G’s creativity and uniqueness gives it a standalone quality that makes it unlike any other magazine I’ve ever seen. It’s the type of book you could look at on numerous occasions and notice something different with each glance.

Four G’s Magazine is the innovative brainchild of its creator Andy Souza, whose imagination and perfectionism have led him to produce an exceptional product. His diligence and dedication to his craft are admirable and I value the opportunity of working with him. Andy’s critique of my work and meticulous attention to detail encouraged me to strive to write better, and the end result is an article I am quite proud of.

Four G’s Magazine’s basis is art and I will always take on anything for art’s sake. My contribution was an article written on San Francisco hip-hop artist, TOPR. The experience of meeting and interviewing him, and then writing a piece about his life and music was truly an honor. To read it you must first buy the mag at: www.fourgsmagazine.com . Do yourself a favor and buy it anyway, it truly is something special. Trust me; you’ll notice right away, its superiority sets it apart from the rest.

*The Four G’s Issue Release Party is Saturday, March 7th, Club 6, in San Francisco. For more details please visit: www.myspace.com/fourgsmagazine or www.fourgsmagazine.com