Inspiration: Paintor James Kessinger – No Vision? No Problem!

Artist Jamesby Kat Lozano

Once in a while you meet or read-up on someone extraordinary that makes an impact in your life and artist James Kessinger is one to be noted. An inspiration to other creative minds that might face struggles and overcome obstacles for the love of their art and passion.

Famed artist, James Kessinger has been making headlines in recent years, not only because of his development of a new artistic painting style called, strata reduction, but because James Kessinger has the use of only 3% of his vision. Kessinger was born and raised in Kentucky having always demonstrated a flare for innovation. In his childhood days, he invented toys and painted pictures using whatever meager supplies he could find around his family’s farm. James grew up and joined the Army, eventually fighting in Viet Nam. After returning home, he owned and operated successful businesses in the areas of science and electronics. But at the age of 32, James Kessinger began to lose his sight due to macular degeneration. Now, in his sixties and only able to see what can be viewed within one inch or less of a special glass monocle, Kessinger has begun his life as a professional artist.

Humble and oh so gifted, James Kessinger has made an indelible mark on the art world. Making the biggest impact are his abstract pieces that have been described as “pure and non-derivative.” In the world of modern art, that is a rare compliment indeed. James describes his abstract pieces as being envisioned through his mind’s eye. Not confined by the limitations on his physical sight, he has stunned art critics around the world with his unique style called, strata reduction. Strata reduction, as Kessinger describes, is the practice of painting layered pictures on top of one another, then sanding away portions of the top layer. The results are truly breathtaking.

James’ process, like any artist’s, is unique to suit his needs. His studio, as he describes, is structured in such a way that all of his colors are placed in a unique order. His memory of color makes it easy for him to be in tune with what he is painting. For James Kessinger, blindness is not a setback, but an opportunity to express what so few sighted people can. His intuitiveness and ability to express color and life should inspire every artist to find and bring to life that which is intangible until it reaches the artist’s hands.

Next time you may feel discouraged, think of James and how love, passions and perseverance such as his can, and will take you to where you need to be.

 Who is James Kessinger
Who is James Kessinger

MAY: 31 Day Bilingual Book Reading Challenge

 

BLM_logo_horizontal_finalMay is #‎BilingualLiteracyMonth‬ and you’re on time to join the “31 Day Bilingual Book Reading Challenge” to raise awareness among parents on how to raise a bilingual child for a more successful future through the use of our FREE resources at www.ReadConmigo.com ‪#‎31libros‬

The “31 Day Bilingual Book Reading Challenge” directs parents and children to the Read Conmigo library, www.ReadConmigo.com where free books can be downloaded. A RC book will be recommended for nightly bedtime reading through social media, daily, throughout the month of May. According to research,, bedtime reading provides a strong parent-child bond, prepares children for a good night’s rest and boost a child’s brain development.

To sign up and participate in the Bilingual Reading Challenge for free, parents and teachers should:

Visit ReadConmigo.org and register for the Read Conmigo program.
Click on the banner for the “31-Day Bilingual Book Reading Challenge” and pledge to read daily to their kids during the month of May.
Follow Read Conmigo and hashtag #bilingualliteracymonth on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, or Instagram (@ReadConmigo) for daily reading suggestions, weekly trivia questions, and chances to win prizes.

The Magical World of Playing with Dolls #ViVaDolls Giveaway!

 

IMG_20150426_170824Dolls are toys #obvi but they can also serve as tools packed with potential for teaching children about themselves and the world around them. As little girls grow up, they can use dolls for self- expression and to play out the dreams they have for themselves, creating a magical world where they rule.

We work with so many girls in our orphanages and the common activity for girls is playing with dolls who take the roles of moms. Our girls use the dolls to imagine a world where their mom is with them, loving and showering them with kisses. They also pretend to have their sisters, cousins and abuelitas (grandmas) with them creating the family they so long for. You may think this is a sad thing to see but in reality it’s a way they can express their feelings and desires and ultimately get healing from their reality. So it’s clear the dolls play a big role in their life.

Children’s imagination seems like magic! It’s great to see when they can see themselves not only through dolls, cars or on a board game; but there’s something even more powerful when they can physically see themselves in the doll they are playing with.

Vi and Va is a recently launched fashion doll line inspired by Latino cultures. Vi and Va (pronounced like Viva!) are two teenage sisters: Viviana (Vi) and Valentina (Va). For these girls, every day is an adventure and a reason to celebrate the bonds of family and friendship. Vi and Va, along with their best friends, cousins Felicia and Roxxi, were created to help girls honor and embrace their heritage. The themes and storytelling within the line focuses on both family and culture. And as it is common in Latino families, the four main characters are not just friends, they are also family!

Some magical benefits to play with dolls include:

  • Self-help skills – role play to express their feelings
  • Speech language – encouraged by conversation with dolls and other toys
  • Social emotional skills – children can explore how to grow up and take on the role of the future adult and we help develop the ability to give selflessly and to care for others, as children and when they grow into adulthood.

You too can win the #ViandVa dolls for a special child in your life, available exclusively at Target.

This is sponsored post in collaboration with Vi and Va Dolls and Latina Bloggers Connect. However, all opinions expressed are my own.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Maryvale Picnic: Love, Fun & Self Esteem Event

SheaMoistureWe’ve focused on children in Latin America not because that’s the only place we want to help but those have been the centers that God has put on our path. But God once again has led us to children that live so close to us in the city Rosemead, CA at Maryvale Residential.

Maryvale’s Residential Treatment Program caters specifically to girls, ages 8-17, who have been removed from their homes and profoundly traumatized by prior abuse, abandonment or neglect and suffer from the effects of numerous failed placements in foster care facilities.

The Orphaned Earring​ will be hosting an event at Mayvale because we want each girl to know they are loved and inspire each to visualize a better future for themselves as successful women. We plan to do that by sharing personal stories from a few The OE friends, to see examples of real-life success!

This event is only possible because of the kind donation of Shea Moisture who donated hair products #ABetterWayToBeautiful, Mitsubishi for lending us a car to transport donations #DriveMitsubishi and Alegria Magazine for helping us with lunch cost! #AlegriaLife

EVENT DETAILS

Maryvale
Outdoor event of about 45 girls and we’ll have five themed picnic areas plus lunch:
1. Beauty and make-up led by Curves and Chaos
2. Food and goodies led by Presley’s Pantry
3. Tech and Education led by #LatinaGeeks​
4. Art & face painting
5. Bracelet making led by Katherine Lozano
Entertainment provided by MayaInTheMoment.com
Special guest Nataly Valenzuela​

If you’d like to contribute, PLEASE DONATE ANYTHING from the girls’ wish list:
* Art Canvas
* Black Hair Care Products
* Sports Balls
* Bikes (adult size)
* Helmets
* Easels
* Beach towels
* Flip Flops
* Journals
* Backpacks
* Cameras
* Yoga pants/socks
* Alarm

You can also give a monetary donation to help with food expenses.

Additional info on the girls as FYI:
Age 9- 1 girl
Age 11- 2 girls
Age 12- 1 girl
Age 13-7 girls
Age 14 -10 girls
Age 15-11 girls
Age 16-7 girls
Age 17-8 girls
Age 18-1 girl

Small/3
Medium/15
Large/10
XLarge/12
XXlarge /5

Any questions please email Denisse Montalvan:
denisse@theorphanedearring.com

#RedNoseDay Sweepstakes! A Good Laugh for a Good Cause

RedNoseDayIt’s time to be silly, put on a red nose and join a national event to help lift children out of poverty! A good laugh for a good cause!

It was 5 am when I was awaken by a pain in my throat and immediately went to my local Walgreens to buy medication, I was convinced my day would be a bad one. As I payed at the register for my medication, I saw a little box of red noses and immediately knew my day was about to change to a happy day!

As the exclusive Red Nose retailer, Walgreens  is selling red noses at only $1 so everyone can help money raised for Red Nose Day USA supporting poverty-focused charities working both in the United States and around the world. Go get one!

 

RedNoseDayWHAT IS RED NOSE DAY?

Red Nose Day is the U.K.’s #1 television fundraising event that is now coming to America in a spectacular star-studded special live on Thursday, May 21 (8-11 p.m. ET) on NBC who will close out the 2014-15 regular season with a three-hour live Red Nose Day charity telethon. Inspired and supported by Comic Relief U.K. – the British charity behind Red Nose Day – NBC will televise the benefit featuring hilarious stand-up comedy, clever parodies, sketch comedy, incredible music performances from A-list artists and short, compelling films about the cause.

Red Nose Day is all about having fun, raising money and saving lives.

#REDNOSE SWEEPSTAKES

Everyone wins! Once you buy your nose at Walgreens, you can also enter a Red Nose Sweepstakes for a chance to win a trip for two to New York City to attend the Red Nose Daytelevised star-studded event on May 21!

Entry is easy:

1. Snap a photo of yourself wearing your Red Nose

2. Share it with #RedNose, #Walgreens and #Promo on Twitter or Instagram

Post away your Red Nose pictures and GOOD LUCK!

L.A. Volunteers Needed: Special Olympics World Games 2015

Special Olympics

Special Olympics World Games 2015 is coming to Los Angeles and they are recruiting enthusiastic and committed volunteers to serve in many capacities. There are volunteer opportunities for you as an individual or with a group!

#ReachUpLA

This summer, the World Games will be hosted in Los Angeles  from July 25 to Aug 2 and in order to maximize this experience for special Olympic athletes and their families Mission Ebenezer Family Church is hoping to help spread the love of Christ through participating and attending the Games – because that is least we can do for all the daily blessings that come our waySpecial Boy!

Mission Ebenezer Family Church is hosting an Info Summit on Saturday April 11th from 9:00 am -11:00 am. The meeting will take place at The Rock Youth Facility on the church’s campus. Church leaders are working with World Games, Kim Villa, Director of Community Engagement and specifically works with Faith Based Organizations in L.A. and enlisted the help of church leaders to spread the word with Churches down in the Southbay Area BUT all other areas are welcome. 

If you or someone you know is interested in attending you can email Coba Canales at cobacanales@gmail.com or through the Facebook event.

Let’s get together for one common purpose of showing the love for these amazing young men and women as they come from all over the world to LA this Summer. Blessings!

 

Alegria Magazine Celebrates its 3rd Year Anniversary with fun and social change!

Alegria Magazine Kicks-Off the Season with the 2015 Spring Issue Celebrating Latin American Culture and a donation to The Orphaned Earring!!

Alegria's donation will help bring over 350 smiles!

Alegria’s donation will help bring over 350 smiles!

Alegria Magazine,  the leading luxury and bilingual Latin Arts and Lifestyle magazine in Southern California, celebrates the richness and beauty of Latin America culture in the U.S. during the magazine’s 3rd year anniversary event and launch of the 2015 Spring Issue: Somos Alegria, Somos Latin America!

On Wednesday, April 8th, Latin leaders, artists and media influencers  will enjoy an evening of music, fun and celebration while enjoying the stunning views from the Skybar Lounge, courtesy of title sponsor Inca Kola USA. The star studded event will kick-off with a red carpet, complimentary cocktails from 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm and entertainment by recognized DJ Canyon Cody from Subsuelo.

“I am most proud of our Spring Issue because it brings together so many internationally known artists and leaders who share their inspirational stories and passion with our readers,” said Davina Ferreira, Founder and Publisher of ALEGRIA. “From an exclusive interview with superstar J Balvin, to the talents of celebrity hair-make up stylist Jomari Goyzo and the beautiful Jackie Guerrido, this issue reflects the colors and passions of our culture.”

“We are proud sponsors of the 3rd anniversary of Alegria Magazine and this celebration of Latin culture as we too celebrate the  growth of our product  in the U.S. We are so happy to give back to our community and support other Latina entrepreneurs” said  Liz Berman CEO of Inca Kola USA.

Among special guest will be  Gil Saldivar, top dancer for some of the world’s biggest pop stars such as Jennifer Lopez and Christina Aguilera and from the recent box office hit Mc Farland USA, actor Omar Leyva.

Alegria Magazine also lends its platform for philanthropic efforts to encourage social change. By partnering with the non-profit organization The Orphaned Earring, Ferreira will support over 350 orphaned or abandoned children living in Latin America. Twenty percent of event tickets sales will benefit a total of five impoverished orphanages in Mexico, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Colombia and Dominican Republic. “Many talk about wanting social change but its only with women like Davina, that take action and inspires others to help, that we will be able to truly change our communities,” said Denisse Montalvan, Founder and Director of The Orphaned Earring.”

You are invited!

To purchase tickets, please visit Eventbrite: Alegria Magazine 3rd Year Anniversary Celebration

 

Event details:

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Skybar Lounge

8440 Sunset Boulevard

West Hollywood, CA 90069

8:00 pm

The One #WAG Thing You Didn’t Know!

For the past few months I’ve been consumed with joy over the one detail about the We All Grow Summit you might not now…

A portion of the We All Grow Summit proceeds will benefit The Orphaned Earring as the Official Charity Partner!!

Ana FloresIf you have met Ana Flores of Latina Bloggers Connect in person, you know that even with all her accomplishments, success, prestige and almost celebrity status, she is one of the most helpful, loving and genuine person. Her genuine desire for all Latinas to grow was palpable during the 1st conference she launched this year where even the name reflects her heart – because when when one grows, we all grow!

And true to the conference slogan, Ana Flores adopted The Orphaned Earring so that we can grow to new levels of hope, strength and vision to continue helping over 350 children living in impoverished conditions in Latin America.  There are times where we feel like the underdog with so many other conferences partnering with money-making organizations, but in true Ana fashion, she picked the underdog and the cause dearest to her heart.

At this first 2015 Summit you didn’t hear much of me or the partnership but stay tuned to coming years where we will showcase all we’ve been able to accomplish with #WeAllGrow’s support!

IMG_20150311_021714I attend conferences for work and I’m always prepared to turn up my game to network, meet new people and share The Orphaned Earring with everyone I come across. I recently attended the We All Grow Summit #WeAllGrow and the experience was like no other conference experience, it was a pleasant surprise. It was the first-ever bilingual conference designed by women in the forefront of digital marketing and content creation, #WeAllGrow Summit, was specifically created to empower Latina bloggers and digital content creators and share with us the tools we all need to foster meaningful relationships with followers and amplify our voice to truly become digital entrepreneurs. The conference was led by Latinas and boy you could feel that female influence throughout with the loving, understanding, cheerful and uplifting tone that was palpable.

More than a summit, #WeAllGrow felt more like a women’s retreat.  Neutrogena pampered guests with facials, hair and make-up and used Neutrogena products which I loved! Crest gave us a very important tool, they took professional headshots which is a must for conducting business and ViveMejor filled up our goodie bags with the essentials!

Neutrogena

IMG_20150228_095550

The highlight of the conference for me was story telling by successful Latina women. During this time we got to learn and be inspired by the personal stories from our peers, reminding us that with hard work, perseverance and community love we can achieve our dreams.

I can’t wait for next year – yes, it was that good that I’m already thinking about the next one. Congrats to a great team!IMG_20150301_000208

 

The Distinctive Boysenberry at #KnottsSpring

Boysenberry Vignette_1Boysenberry is such a funny berry to pronounce, where does it come from? The boysenberry was developed in the early 1920s by horticulturist Rudolph Boysen of Anaheim, California, who later turned it over to farmer Walter Knott for commercial development, yep! as in Knott’s Berry Farm. It is a great berry for canning and preserving and for the use in pies and cobblers. Today, although not too popular for commercial use, the unique and delicious boysenberry is only available at farmers’ markets when in season and of course at Knott’s Berry Farm.

Boysenberry Vignette_2

We are lucky to have access to the divine berry thanks to Knott’s who is celebrating delicious roots during the Knott’s Berry Farm Boysenberry Festival, March 28 – April 12 with a 16-day and entertainment festival! Each year they returns with an unforgettable lineup of exquisite Boysenberry Bites, dazzling entertainment, the Wine and Craft Brew Tasting Garden, and more farm fresh fun the whole family will love! From sun up to sun down the festival includes dueling fiddlers, Jammin’ in the Dark, Peanuts Party in the Park, vine dancing, swing dancing, live music, and other live entertainment. It’s a limited-time Festival and included with admission to Knott’s Berry Farm so don’t wait too long or you will miss this rare California experience during #KnottsSpring.

I figured that the only way to practice how to say Boysenberry is by tasting all the delicious creations that Knott’s Berry Farm has to offer. I’m sure the sweetness, aroma and unique tang of the boysenberry will help get my lips puckered-up before I say B-O-Y-S-E-N-B-E-R-R-Y!

Join me! Get your tickets at https://www.knotts.com/spring

 

Main Street

This post is in collaboration with Gigasavvy on behalf of Knott’s Berry Farm, in exchange we received park entrance to experience the Boysenberry Festival but all our opinions are our own.

100 Good Deeds in 2015 With The #DeedADay Movement

1GD_SocialAssets2015_3eIt’s 2015! We had a great 2014 with unexpected growth and blessings that at times we felt we couldn’t keep up. But God is good and gave us just enough to help our over 300 kids.

We are excited to what the New Year has for us. We’ve learned that with every small act, great reward comes. We may not see the reward right away but the good deed seed is planted and will produce greatness at some point. We want to continue our mission of helping others and invite you to join the do good movement.

There are several ways to make a difference, what will you do in 2015?

Similar to what we do for The Orphaned Earring, the #DeedADay movement is an intentional movement to spread kindness and service to others by doing GOOD DEEDS. To help with that intention, The 100 Good Deeds Project created a beaded bracelet that encourages everyone to do a good deed a day. A good deed means you’ve gone out of our way to help someone and it only counts if the deed remains Deed A Day Avatar 3anonymous. Each time you do a good deed, move the ring on the bracelet closer to the button. It’s very simple and the bracelet itself is beautiful.

The artist behind the GOOD DEED bracelets is artists Mary Fisher, author and HIV/AIDs activist, who designed this simple but stunning bracelet strung with 100 beads by HIV positive and economically fragile women in Uganda, Zambia, Rwanda, South Africa, India, Indonesia, and Haiti. These bracelets remind you to do a good deed. Every time you go out of your way to perform a gooddeed, you move the bracelet’s rubber ring closer to the 100th bead. How cool is this? It’s both a fashion statement and a cause to encourage everyone to do a GOOD DEED a day.

Let’s work together to do one small act for someone else that makes an impact. Imagine if we all did a GOOD DEED a day, what a better place the world would be. And after a year that has brought so many unfortunate events seen on the news we could use some good and start practicing as a nation. We can do this!

“To join the #DeedADay movement, share one of these images on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest using hashtag #DeedADay and tagging the 100 Good Deeds Bracelet.”

Note: I am to receive a Good Deed bracelet as compensation for this post but I’m more than happy to support such an amazing cause. All opinions are my own.