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Monday, March 27, 2023

DKG Arts Gallery Blog: Audio Interview

Listen to the audio interview here (or read the transcript below)!

My mother is the reason I view myself as an artist. I once commented that I wasn't an artist and she pointed out that, although I don't paint or draw, I create in other areas such as crocheting or beading.

Audio Interview: Arizona State Organization

Donna Betz (Alpha Beta) and Janet Fish (Tau)

Tell us about yourself as an educator.

Donna: I was already a teacher at two years old. As a professional educator, I taught fifth grade, but illness cut my career short. I am still a teacher-at-heart, so I volunteer with groups like DKG. 

Janet: I love being an educator. I taught both music and math in the K-12 system for my active career, as well as being a student adviser and assistant principal. Since retirement, I have worked as an adjunct at my local community college and have taught a variety of workshops and non-credit classes.

How did you get into jewelry making?

Donna: Mom and I went to some bead shows and took classes from a local bead shop.  This information is now available online, much of it for free. 

How did you start working with drawing and painting?

Janet: I actually came to drawing and painting quite late. I love to experiment and did various needlework and crafts all my life. I also have a degree in Music Ed.
I just never found the time to develop my drawing and painting skills to a level where I could find them enjoyable and not just plain work. My retirement gift to myself was a colored pencil drawing course at community college. I then progressed through the levels to Studio Art, which allows me to work with the medium and subject matter I want. I really enjoy experimenting with different ways to use various media.

What inspires you in your work?

Donna: I am often inspired by a new technique, my beads, or an upcoming occasion.  Once you have learned the basics, it is easy to create your own designs.

Tell us about you’re the materials and process you use to create your jewelry pieces.

Donna: When I am developing a three-dimensional design, I use pieces of paper, to represent the seed bead pieces, and my other supplies to work out a design before I stitch the pieces made from tiny seed beads. Then I just stitch my seed bead pieces to match the paper pieces and assemble. I use colored pencils to create the design. I simply color in the design.  In both cases, I keep reworking until I am happy.

Janet: Although the pieces I have in the gallery at the moment are acrylics, I always seem to return to watercolor. I am very picky about my paper in all media and especially watercolor. I prefer Arches although I do use Bristol Board for watercolor mixed media. I really like Daniel Smith paints. I tell beginners to get a small amount of the best paper and paints they can and then build up. It pains me to see a student paint a really beautiful picture on a piece of copy paper with dime store paints. The colors won’t be vibrant enough and the paper texture will do nothing to make the painting look artistic. Strangely enough, I don't get particularly attached to brushes. Any decent brush does fine for me.

What equipment is needed to work in this kind of medium?

Donna: For a beaded piece like this one, you need your seed beads, beading thread (or fish line, which is often used) and a beading needle. You also need good lighting and a hands-free magnifying device if your eyes are not really good. You also have to decide on your findings. This is the finishing part like the clasp or the chain.

Janet: Lots of people use an easel. I'm more comfortable working flat. My one luxury in equipment is my ceramic palette. It makes color mixing so much easier than with plastic.

What advice would you offer someone interested in learning about jewelry making in general?

Donna: First off, be careful because jewelry making is highly addictive. There are so many kinds of jewelry techniques, I would get on YouTube and start watching videos.  For beaded jewelry, I would get some cheap seed beads, probably size 8/0 or size 6/0 because they are easier to see, a beading needle, and 4 lb. or 6 lb. fish line. You can find all these at Wal-Mart, your local craft store, or online at Fire Mountain Gems or Amazon. Start watching beading videos and learn how to manipulate the beads.

Janet: Go take a live class and embrace criticism. After you learn technique and design, then you can learn to be creative and "do your own thing".
You can't get that necessary criticism working alone or online. Also, be careful not to get into a rut. It's easy to learn to do a certain subject or style and soon everything starts to look alike

How does the value of the arts impact education?

Donna: The arts are what give the other classes meaning.  The arts encourage creative thinking. Creative thinking is required for creative problem solving. Creative problem solving is needed in education to prepare us for the creative problem solving of life.

Janet: The arts impact education in so many ways. They encourage experimentation, problem solving, creative thinking, discipline, perseverance, and cooperation. I think one of the most important things about the arts is that they are subjective. I am always surprised to see what other people see and hear in my art that I didn't see or hear myself. We need to teach our students that all (may be most) questions don't have a right or wrong answer. Besides all these, for many students, they are the reason to come to school.

Do you create your pieces to sale or do custom work?

Donna: No, I don't. Although I occasionally do custom work for a friend, I really enjoy this as a hobby, and I don't want this to become a job. My real passions are making gifts and teaching workshops. 

Janet: Neither. I create my art for my own enjoyment. I have sold some pieces donated others to charity and made others as gifts, but ultimately I create them to please me.

Do you have anything else you’d like to share about yourself or your DKG journey?


We introduce each other to new ideas. We go to classes together. We critique each other's work and being best friends, it is a safe zone.  Starting during the pandemic, we also get on Zoom each week and create together. 

Being mother/daughter members is really special. We are known as a team.  Although there are other mother/daughter members, I can't think of any others that are known as a team like we are.  It is so much fun being with my best friend.   I am truly honored that a woman as amazing as my mother considers me as her best friend. 

Janet: I love being a member of DKG, When I was in High School, I belonged to Future Teachers of America. Every year the local DKG chapter (of which I am incidentally now the president) invited us to a lunch with them. I was so awed by these women that I aspired to be one of them.

We have certainly influenced each other’s art from the very beginning. Donna spent a lot of her young life following me around craft shows and stores. We were both active in Girl Scouts and went to lots of events and camps. As she got older, she became my helpmate in teaching workshops and doing events. She had probably done as much presenting for DKG before she became a member as she has since. We have always made it a habit to run our ideas past each other and critique the other’s work. Donna taught me to do beading and card making. I really enjoy doing them with her.

Since my daughter is also my best friend, it is very special to be able to share experiences in something as rewarding as DKG. Long before she was a member, I took her as my guest to most state functions. First of all, they were held much closer to her home than mine, so it was a great excuse to get together. Second, I am quite an introvert and have trouble with small talk. She is an extrovert and causes me to meet all sorts of people. I hope we can do DKG together for a long time.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Eunah Temple Holden

 What an amazing woman who made such a positive difference in our DKG Organization!

As a leader:

            Florida DKG State President 

            Member of six International Committees

            Chair of the Office Building Committee

            International DKG President

            International Executive Secretary

As a Speaker:

            As the Florida Education Association representative, she appeared before the  House and Senate Committees on education.

            Represented the Society at UNESCO, ASCD, AASA, and NEA Conventions.

As a Dedicated Member looking to the future:

            Eunah Temple Holden wrote “Our History of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society Volumes I and II. She does a wonderful job describing the vision our Founders and International Presidents had for our Society.

            In her will, created the Eunah Temple Holden Fund to promote International Leadership training through grants to DKG Conventions, Conferences and other leadership building programs such as DKG IGNITE and DKG NEXT.

These are just a few of the many accomplishments of Eunah Temple Holden. Many more can be found in the Our Heritage Volume I and II. Also check out the article in the May/June 2023 DKG News. If you would like to continue to support International leadership training, then please feel free to DONATE to the Temple Holden Fund.

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Insurance Benefits for Members

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Your DKG membership provides insurance for all your troubles whether it be yourself, your chapter, your credit cards, or your pet. 

   Life and health from Boon-Chapman

   Professional liability, general liability, accident medical insurance, directors and officers liability, bonding and property insurance from AIM

   Pet insurance from VPI/Nationwise

   Identity recovery from ID Theft Assist

   Longterm care and care for the senior market from LTCR

   Discounted hearing assessments and prescription hearing aids from TruHearing

   Dental care from

You can take advantage of the group rates available through your DKG membership.

To find the listings, sign in to as a member and then go to About on the homepage, then benefits, and then scroll down to insurance.  You can follow that up with a web search for the companies. Be sure to identify yourself as a DKG member when you contact the companies.  Best wishes as you explore these insurance benefits.

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