MagpieMadness offers beautiful hand-made jewelry that is fashionable and affordable. I specialize in turquoise, crystal, pearls and semi-precious gems. I really enjoy working with silver, vintage bronze, and antiqued copper. Each piece is carefully crafted in my studio with attention given to style, design, and quality. Magpie creates wedding party jewelry, offers home parties, and provides custom-design.

here on Etsy--you'll find many more pieces--earrings and delicate chains than what appear on this site.

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Friday, August 10, 2012

It Makes a Difference for This One

Back in the nineties after wrapping up a degree in English and finally landing a job waiting tables (for which I was pretty thankful) I began volunteering as an adult tutor with Opportunity for Adult Reading (O.A.R.) under the directorship of Debra Connor. Every week I climbed the creaking stairs in the historic former Cleveland Public Library building to meet with my students. First I met with a man in his late 50s. Time had not been friendly to "Sam"; he'd lost so many teeth and was weather beaten from long hours of outside labor, but he had a sweet smile and a strong desire to read. Later, I volunteered with a lovely lady, who no one would have ever supposed to have been illiterate. You have to be pretty smart to navigate through life without knowing how to read. Eventually I actually worked for OAR as a coordinator of literacy services. The time I invested with OAR and the the impact they made on my live is unforgettable.

During our initial literacy training Debra told the following story. In the almost 20 years since I first heard it, this story has often risen to the top of my memories when I doubt that my efforts are all that significant. You do make a difference.

While walking along a beach, an elderly gentleman saw someone in the distance leaning down, picking something up and throwing it into the ocean. As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, picking up starfish one by one and tossing each one gently back into the water.
He came closer still and called out, “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”

The young man paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean.”
The old man smiled, and said, “I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?”
To this, the young man replied, “The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.” Upon hearing this, the elderly observer commented, “But, young man, do you not realise that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can’t possibly make a difference!”

The young man listened politely. Then he bent down, picked up another starfish, threw it into the back into the ocean past the breaking waves and said, “It made a difference for that one.”

Starfish suspended on gunmetal chain with czech glass crystal beads embedded. 18 inches long. Custom-design for my friend Jolaine.

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