March 14, 2010


"Justice." A painting in egg tempera by Oregon artist Julie Green. http://www.greenjulie.com

I purchase art to mark special occasions in my life. When Isis Initiative, Inc. received non-profit status from the Internal Revenue Service last October, I decided to celebrate with a painting.

I had seen Julie’s painting in two separate exhibits. I asked her if she still had it and told her I’d like to buy it. And I told her why. We both thought “Justice” was the perfect choice. She gave me the friend’s plan and allowed me to purchase it in installments. It’s a beautiful approach. It gave Julie time to spend with the painting, time to say goodbye. And it gave me a way to work the purchase into my budget.

Last Thursday, on a rainy Oregon night, we shared a pot of tea and conversation in front of a fire before I took the painting home.

It was the perfect transition. It’s the perfect painting to celebrate Isis Initiative, Inc. and the work we do. Justice. Educating and uplifting women goes a long way to creating justice in our world.

And I love supporting and celebrating an artist and a friend like Julie Green. And I love having her painting to celebrate our work. And I just love the painting.


Picture Perfect

December 18, 2009

Alice Anderson found this painting during a Web search and we decided it would be a perfect fit for our thank-you card for our donors. The painting is by Filipina artist C.P. Adorio and she gave us permission to use it. We're thrilled.

Alice Anderson is in town for the holidays. Alice is a board member and a college student at College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine. I’m refreshed by and grateful for Alice’s energy and perspective.

We had lunch at our local favorite McMennamins and trolled the Web looking for images of textiles from Africa and the Philippines, trying to find colors and patterns that would represent the countries and women we hope to serve with our scholarship program.

Alice discovered this blog: http://cesandherdishes.blogspot.com/. It features the work of a Filipina artist, C.P. Adorio. When we found the painting of the three women in traditional attire in a rural setting, we thought it was perfect for our purposes.

Oh, the power of technology. We sent the artist an e-mail and explained the mission and work of Isis Initiative, Inc. and asked if she’d be willing to let us use her photo on thank-you note for our donors.

The next day we received an enthusiastic response from Ces, the artist. Today I received a large jpeg file. And I learned she lives in Houston. We had imagined she was in the Philippines. I’d like to meet her and see her work in person.

Thank you, Ces. Thank you, Alice.

This design features labradorite, known as the shaman's stone, in a hand-made silver necklace. It's an original design by Karen Hatch of Stones to Stars in Houston, Texas. This necklace is one of the original pieces for sale at Hatch's show on Dec. 13, 2009 in Houston, TX. More details below.

About labradorite: “It is truly a one-of-a-kind mineralogical experience. It is said to provide quick relief from anxiety, hopelessness and depression, replacing them with enthusiasm, self confidence and inspiration. The stone’s energies support striking out alone, whether in business or to follow a private dream.” Karen Hatch, artist

My sister, Karen Hatch, is an artist who creates original pieces of jewelry using sacred and precious stones from her travels in Central and South America. She has an opening this Saturday of her holiday collection and she will donate a portion of her sales to Isis Initiative, Inc.

If you are in Houston or you have friends or relatives in the area, I’d encourage you to visit

John Ross Palmer Gallery & Studio

1218 Heights Boulevard • Houston, TX 77008 • Dec. 13, 2009 • 15h00 to 17h00

You may find a beautiful gift for yourself or someone you love…and help offer the gift of a college education to a young women overseas.

Karen Hatch Artist Statement

My work is intentionally hand-to-hand. Everything is handmade and sold exclusively hand-to-hand. I work with materials from craftsman who cut stones and pull silver wire by hand and I hand picked each stone in the country from which it was quarried.

My commitment is to provide through my jewelry a connection: to the land, to other people, to our true nature and the Whole diverse, complex and rich pulsating Universal energy of love. Thanks be to God the Almighty Artist, Creator of Heaven and earth.

It is also my heart’s desire that people will see what total works of art they are and embrace their natural beauty and not rely on media messages to define their beauty.

You can learn more about her work at stonetostars.com

Calendar for a Cause

November 9, 2009

At Isis Initiative, Inc., we support education for women and offer scholarships to help those who have the desire but not the resources to attend college.

My friend and fellow photographer, Betty Press, has made a commitment to helping school children in Sierra Leone, a country healing after years of brutal civil war and destruction–of infrastructure and of children’s lives and futures.

She has created a calendar as a fundraiser for Schools for Salone.

As you contemplate gifts this holiday season, I’d ask you to consider purchasing one of these beautiful, unique calendars and supporting the recovery and revitalization of Sierra Leone and her schoolchildren.

Thank you.

For more information: http://www.schoolsforsalone.org/Index.html

Grass Roots Fundraising

April 15, 2009


Isis Initiative, Inc. note cards are now on sale at Grass Roots, an independent bookstore in downtown Corvallis. Buy a set of six for $10 and support a local nonprofit and a local business. Thank you.

Isis Initiative, Inc. note cards are now on sale at Grass Roots, an independent bookstore in downtown Corvallis. Buy a set of six for $10 and support a local nonprofit and a local business. Thank you.

Our note cards are front and center when you walk into Grass Roots bookstore.  Thank you, Jack and Sandy, for supporting local artists and local causes.

A few days ago, I had spoken to Margaret at Allann Bros Coffee about carrying our cards. At her request, I sent a sample set with info about our nonprofit and our pricing. I followed up promptly. She left me a message yesterday, apologizing, saying she wasn’t aware they were going to discontinue cards sales at their local Beanery coffee shops. 

My sweet friend, Alison, who lives in Singapore, has ordered four sets of cards to give as gifts and to support our scholarship fund. Alison and her husband, Marcel, were with me that fateful afternoon six years ago when I wrecked my ATV in the jungle and shattered my wrist. Marcel put my arm in a sling at the scene.

That shattered wrist led to an epiphany and a college education for Leah. Now we’re hoping to send many other young women to college.

If anyone reading this post–is anyone reading these posts?–has any leads/ideas/suggestions on how or where to sell these note cards, we would really appreciate your feedback. 

All the monies from sales go to Isis Initiative, Inc. Thank you.

As a journalist and a visual artist, I believe in the power of narrative, in the power of the stories we tell each other and ourselves. Stories have the power to connect us, heal us and uplift us.

So I’m not listening to the stories–in the news or on the streets–that harbinger doom and disaster, that foment fear. I am listening to and telling stories of hope and gratitude for all that 2009 brings.

I believe it’s possible to make a big difference in a person’s life with the simplest gestures. By making small changes in our daily routines, we can save a bit of money and donate it to a worthy cause. Donate to Isis Initiative, Inc.

For example, for $5, instead of buying a latte, you could help quench a young woman’s thirst for knowledge. Instead of spending $10 for a movie, you could help a woman write a new script for her life. Instead of spending $25 dining out, you could nourish a woman’s dreams.

Make that change. Once. Or once a month. Your small change will make a big difference.

And, naturally, if you want to give $100; $1,000; $10,000 or more, we will happily accept.


“Be the change you want to see in the world.”     — Mahatma GHANDI