Another story from a collector - "I am 12 weeks pregnant with my first and I am loving the journey of the miracle of creation. I'm in constant awe of the growth and development of my unborn baby. It is all I think about. My story is simple. My aunt pulled me aside one day and placed in my hand an elegant gold ring with a single round emerald stone. It once belonged to my great aunt Ruth. It was her August birth stone. My baby is due in August and this was my aunt's way of congratulating me, sharing my family heritage with me, and passing on the legacy of a life well lived. I now wear that ring with the same devotion I wear my wedding ring. It represents family, past and present and the link we have to so many generations. I realize my baby is the next link in this family chain and that brings me great joy."Life is an ongoing series of miracles. Everyone has something to be thankful for or someone they should they should be saying "thank you" to. Prayers, large and small, are answered daily, sometimes without us even knowing. Ex Votos are fine art offerings commissioned as the result of an answered prayer and displayed to acknowledge an appreciation for it having happened. Today, they are most widely known as the folk art works created on tin and found in shrines across Mexico."These little artworks are painted out of gratitude for the miracles, protection and prayers answered not only in my life, but for many of us," says artist Cassandra Barney. "In conceiving these, it didn't seem that I was illustrating ideas, but sharing and exchanging them. Some are events that have happened in my life. Others are ideas that have been shared with me. Every mother has experienced the elation of holding their child for the first time and savoring that new-born baby smell. Each time I see Never Felt Joy Like That Before it is a chance to savor that feeling again and say "thank you" for letting me experience this miracle."Each Ex Votos celebrates the exceptional nature of the common and the uncommon - friendship, love, life, family and self. They recognize the divine nature of those things. This collection is styled with the look of the Mexican tin-paneled works and they are designed to be hung in groupings. As gifts, they are the perfect message at the perfect time. Life is full of blessings and Cassandra Barney's Ex Votos give us the opportunity to share our recognition of this with beauty and grace.