My Areas of Expertise, Biography & Lensography
You'll have to allow me a bit of shameless self-promotion here! Declaring oneself an "expert" in something is pretty hard to do. There's always someone you can point at who is better, more knowledgeable, has more experience in your area, and so forth. But for this purpose we'll settle for acknowledging those people do exist, and move right on.
All of my crochet pattern have been published under the name, "SheilaSchnauzies." Recently, I have been trying to evolve the name in the direction of "SheilaSparkles Crochet." Hence the sparkle thing. Not only do a lot of my designs incorporate sparkly things, it also means something to me personally. I try to "sparkle" around Omaha and on the Internet, sprinkling a bit of sparkly virtual fairy dust wherever I go. I've always written previously under the name, SheilaSchnauzies. Hopefully that clears up any name confusion!
My areas of expertise and experience, in no particular order, are: Crochet Design (20 years), Miniature Schnauzer Rescue (since 1998), Crafts, Gardening, Jewelrymaking, and Writing. Oh, and we can't forget cooking! I have also written lots of gift guides and product review lenses along with lenses on computing, personal image, lifestyle and entertainment topics.
We'll talk a little bit about each topic and give you links to explore further. Welcome to my lens, and thanks for visiting!
If you've been reading some of my lenses, you might want to know a little more about me. Your first question may be, "Why Sheila Sparkles?" Well, it's pretty simple. I love shiny objects! I have lived with pain for many years, I've had a stroke, I've had other life threatening things happen to me... and therefore I appreciate every single day I wake up! I decided a few years back that even though I was getting a little older, it was time to start having FUN. So... I began to sparkle! I make sparkly jewelry. I love to crochet things that sparkle. I try to make my rescue dogs' eyes sparkle! You get the idea... I kind of carry around a little imaginary bottle of sparkly fairy dust and sprinkle a bit here and there on people and animals who need it.
My career was very enjoyable and was spent in graphic design, newsletter editing, and computer systems management (running a national help desk). I was a Mac addict. Eventually I became disabled several years ago and suddenly had a lot of time on my hands. I needed to find a way to continue to "give back to the universe" so I started trying to figure out what my real passions in life were. Then I put a lot of energy into developing those. Since I deal with chronic pain all the time, these activities are a welcome distraction.
I'm originally from a small town in Kansas. I still have a lot of people back there and don't get down to visit nearly often enough.
We were transplanted to Omaha, NE back in 1990 because of my husband's job with the railroad, and raised our two kids, John and Cari, here. So although Mom and Dad consider ourselves from KC, our kids consider Papillion, NE as their hometown. (It's a suburb of Omaha). We were transferred to southeast Missouri in 2007 and spent four very interesting years on a 4 acre farm near the Mississippi River. Last year we were transferred back to Omaha and found our dream home in Omaha near the edge of the countryside. My husband Ron is going to retire in about 5 years. He dreams of winter vacations in warm places where he can golf. I dream of someday owning my own little shop where I can sell all my creations. That may never happen, so for now I have shops online, like Etsy and Ebay and CafePress. We'll figure out some kind of compromise on the winter snowbird thing... we always do.
My hobbies include crochet design, making jewelry of semi-precious gemstones, occasionally drawing/painting, sometimes doing embroidery, but my main love is crochet - I am never more than a few feet away from a crochet hook!
In 2009 I had a stroke which took away half the sight in my right eye. I also have degenerative arthritis that is slowly trying to take my right hand over. I've been writing lately about how I've found ways to continue doing the things I love despite disabilities. I find that very rewarding, to try to help others do the same.
I love to cook up a "messa-something" and have people over for dinner. I make spectacular peanut brittle which was my late adopted Mom Izzy's recipe and claim to fame. I sell that online during the holiday season to benefit the dog rescue during years when I am feeling well enough.
My passion in life is Miniature Schnauzer rescue. My rescue is called Sheila's Schnauzies, and since 2000 we have taken in over 50 schnauzers and a few other breeds here and there. Once we rescued a starving Bassett Hound who soon delivered seven puppies! We found every single one of them a forever home. That is something I am very proud of. It comes at a high cost, though. In the past I have had carpets ruined (oh well!), vet bills that would knock you over, and a lot of heartbreaks. I had one of those recently when one of the senior boys I adopted out, Harry, was killed. His adopter dumped him at a kill shelter so she could go on vacation. I heard about his predicament, called to arrange to pick him up, and heard he had been killed just two hours before.
Most of the time, however, the stories have much happier endings and rescue is extremely rewarding. The dogs are simply worth... whatever the cost. I adore them and I wish I could do more.
Right now, I'm in a really hopeful phase health-wise! I had both hips replaced during 2011 because they were destroyed by arhritis. I am hoping this will give me less pain and more ability to get around, which would be amazing!!
Squidoo has given me a tremendous opportunity to easily share what I know with the world! It's so easy to work here, and so rewarding and fun! I have learned a lot of things in my 50 years here, and this is my chance to share them. If I can help someone along the way, so much the better!
So... enjoy my lenses, and have an amazing day!