When I turned 17, my dad gave me a 50 pound box of wax. Puzzled by it, I asked him; “what am I supposed to do with 50 pounds of wax”? His response was; “make candles”! So that’s what I did. I bought candle molds, wicks, scents, and colorings and made candles, lots and lots of candles. I played around with pouring the wax at different temperatures and how it affected the color of the wax until I found an effect that I liked. I found that putting chunks of colored leftover wax into the mold and then letting the wax cool a bit before pouring it, gave the candle a marbled affect. That year, I gave away candles continually it seemed. Our ‘console’ TV was covered with white candles of different heights that Christmas, all lit up at night was more interesting than what was on the TV. The following birthday, my dad did the same, he bought me more wax.

Looking back on that now, I realized that my dad was encouraging me to be creative. He saw the creativity in me and wanted it to grow. My dad passed over 30 years ago and that memory of him still fills me with gratitude and love.

Why am I telling you this story? Because my dad saw in me a creative side and wanted to nurture it and that was his way of doing it. Being an ‘artist’ back then wasn’t something people wanted you to strive for. My guidance counselor in high school, who was supposed to steer me in my ‘natural’ aptitudes, said that even though I scored highest in creativity, he didn’t have a clue what I should do with that; he gave me no direction. This was in the late 1960’s when radical change was taking place; just not in my high school! I had wanted to take wood shop and wasn’t allowed because I was a girl.

This story doesn’t really have a direction to it, other than to say; encourage one another, help each other to reach their full potential. Sometimes all it takes is to tell them; ‘good job’!

Reflections on a Snowy Day

Reflections on a Snowy Day – stay tuned; a short slide show at the end!

It’s snowing outside and I don’t have to be anywhere today.

The holiday season was busy and fun. It started with Thanksgiving, a holiday here in the states where we think about all that we are thankful for. I like this holiday because it causes me to stop and think about all that I am thankful for and the end result is always joy.

The next event was my birthday, not a milestone year, but just as important because I can celebrate the fact that I was born and that I have lived another year. I do enjoy birthdays and though gifts on your birthday are nice, it’s not high on the list as why I enjoy birthdays so much and it’s not just my birthdays I enjoy. I am a firm believer that everyone should celebrate their birthday, because like I said, the fact that they were born is cause for celebration.

Twelve days after my birthday was Christmas, I know this holiday isn’t celebrated the same by everyone and some even abhor the holiday; but I love it! First of all, the greatest gift of all was given to the world; Jesus. It’s also a time with family and though ours was a little bit different than our usual, it was very enjoyable. Every year, my husband and I cook a Christmas breakfast, the menu kept going back and forth from something easy to our usual which is; an egg bake casserole, hash brown casserole, bacon and sausage, orange juice, three different pastries, toast and coffee; I don’t think I left anything out. My older son and his wife came, my sister, my younger son and his girlfriend and my granddaughter were all here and we feasted and exchanged gifts. Afterwards, everyone left and went to other celebrations and my husband and I for the first time ever spent Christmas day just the two of us. We were tired from all the prep work and after we cleaned the dishes up, we had a relaxing day. Cooked ourselves a wonderful simple steak dinner, our steak was tender and we had baked potato and roasted asparagus and shared a bottle of wine. It was a great day.

My twin niece’s birthdays came next and quickly followed by my daughter in-law’s birthday; but we didn’t celebrate my daughter in-law’s birthday until after the New Year.

New Year’s Eve was just my husband and I and we spent it quietly, we watched TV and about 11:45 after I saw Taylor Swift perform on the New Year’s Eve count down special we were watching on TV, we decided to call it a night and I fell asleep before the year ended and the new one begun. I think I do this every year; it’s the only time I can say goodnight to my husband and add, ‘see you next year!’

And now, it’s a snowy day and I have no where that I have to be. I think I will bead after I make a glutton free cake for my mom.

And speaking of beading, I participated in a bead swap this past fall. Thistle Beads hosted the bead swap, we all turned in beads we wanted made into something to Thistle Beads and we gathered a couple of months later to get back what we had turned in. It was kept a secret as to who had whose beads and so nobody knew what to expect what they turned in would look like when they got the beads back made into something. We gathered about six days before Christmas and had a party and we gave back the finished piece;. I had been given two tubes of superduos and gave a white opal crystal ravoli. I made a bracelet with the superduos and Lynn loved it, she works with metals, not beads, so it was something she wouldn’t have done herself. I got back this wonderful necklace done up in a black and white, something I would never have done for myself or even think I would know how; it was made by a bead designer, Anita.

It’s a new year and new creative possibilities, set do-able goals and make plans; it’s all good!

Happy New Year! J

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2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,100 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 35 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

A Beaded Snowflake Class

The other day I took a class on making beaded snowflakes, a pattern designed my Anita; a local beader.  After doing the first two rows I had to start over again, I guess I can’t bead and talk at the same time.  The snowflake turned out to be very easy to do, the directions seemed logical and very well written, which made them easy to follow.  I usually go to such classes with either my sister Fran and/or my friend Bonnie, but both are away and I went by myself and I still had lots of fun!

I mixed the crystals in this one, I think  it's my favorite so far.

I mixed the crystals in this one, I think it’s my favorite so far.

The blue and white one is the one I made in the class with crystals.

The blue and white one is the one I made in the class with crystals.

Made with pearls, instead of crystals.

Made with pearls, instead of crystals.

A Project of Thanksgiving:

At church this past Sunday, my pastor showed a video. A first of a short series called ‘One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are’ by Ann Voskamp http://www.aholyexperience.com/ann-voskamp/ . At the end of the short video, we were challenged to write a thousand things we are thankful for. Even before the video ended, I thought to myself, that’s what I want to do, write an on-going list of the things I am thankful for.

After church, driving in my car and seeing all the golden leaves in piles along the road way, a leaf falling and swirling around in the air before reaching the ground, the feel of the cold air and bleak sky reminding me that winter is around the corner; all these things I am thankful for and I found myself thinking how I do love the autumn in New England; it brings me joy. Thankfulness promotes joy.

I am passing on the challenge, get a cheap notebook and start hand writing (yes, I said hand writing, I think there is something therapeutic about writing it out by hand) all the things you are thankful for, all those little things you enjoy and see what happens.

I Didn’t Win!

A while back I participated in a bead challenge; the prize was a $100 gift certificate to Thistle Beads in Niantic, CT. The second place prize was $50 and third was a pair of wonderful socks (I have several pairs). I didn’t win, but then, I didn’t think I would and that’s okay with me.  :)

I was dissatisfied with what I had done; I was frustrated having had to use beads I didn’t like. So the day I handed my finished project in for the challenge, I started looking for something different to hang from the part I did like. I found the ideal piece and bought it; setting it aside for when I got my challenge piece back.

I just cut off the part I didn't like (right side of picture)

I just cut off the part I didn’t like (right side of picture)


The piece that will hang from the necklace.

The piece that will hang from the necklace.

The challenge ended on October 30th, and I got my piece back the same day. I cut off the part I didn’t like and set the necklace aside. I wasn’t quite finished with the bauble I had bought to hand from it, so I worked on it all weekend and finished it this morning. I am much happier with my end result the second time around.

IMG_3341 IMG_3340

Finished piece with the old piece next to it.

Finished piece with the old piece next to it.

Potpourri (a mixture of things)

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For the past three months I have been working on assorted pieces of jewelry, mostly necklaces in various colors. They became Christmas gifts for somebody else to give. We are both happy and now, I am beginning to work on bracelets, some in pinch beads and some in superduos. I am also in the process of making a couple of pinecones. I do have the makings for earrings, but those are on hold for now; because I am starting to think Christmas! Pause.

My brother Ed and his wife Val came for a visit from California; it had been a few years, so there was some catching up to do. My sister Fran and I had such a great time with them, they went home a few days ago and we miss them already. One of the up sides to their visit was that we also got to see our niece, her husband and son for a few short hours. They drove Ed and Val up from their home in Maryland where they visited first. Sigh.

Now that life has returned to normal again, my focus is back to making things for Christmas gifts and once again I have several pieces started. I really need to stop doing that; having several pieces going at once with no real focus on one thing. I think I would get more finished in a shorter period of time if I was only working on one or two things at a time. Maybe that will become a New Year’s resolution . . . . . maybe.

An update on the bead challenge that went on at Thistle Beads in Niantic, CT, http://www.thistlebeads.com/

I didn’t win, I am not surprised since I wasn’t real happy with my end result, the frustrating part was on my way home last night from Thistle Beads, I was thinking of how I could have done it differently, meet the criteria and have been happy about it. Sometimes I wish I had my after thoughts first. I am now in the process of changing the piece to make it to my liking; but that’s another blog post.

Happy creating!

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