Old Projects and More

When I wrote the post below, I couldn’t get the pictures to line up right; so I scraped it and then forgot about it.

But an old friend of mine who happened to go on my blog, emailed me asking about different projects, if I had finished them and so on. She had noticed that I had not posted since April, so thanks Sandy for the reminder.

Here is the post:

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It has been a week of finishing up old projects; I had three projects that I wanted to get done so that I could wear them, but I wasn’t working on them. So last week (Thursday) I went to open bead night at Thistle Beads http://www.thistlebeads.com/ in Niantic, CT (my favorite bead shop), I brought along one of the Kumihimo necklaces that had about one inch of it done. This particular necklace had been done already, but I misestimated how many beads and since it was a progression of beads, I couldn’t add more to one end when I came up short. The necklace would have been lopsided, so I took it all out and started over. So, I was excited because by the time I went home, it was over half done and I realized that if I worked on it that I could wear it to a luncheon I was going to on Saturday. So, I completed it and yes, I did wear it! This gave me the incentive to work on another Kumihimo necklace that had been in the works even longer than the other one. I finished it and then made the earrings to go with it. The last unfinished project I had left was a superduo tube necklace; I just finished it minutes ago; I already made earrings for it.

With all of the pending projects completed, I am free to start something new. I have a lavender ravoli that needs bezeling and I think I will start with that. I have beads to make a necklace for it, but I haven’t decided what kind of necklace just yet.

Happy beading everyone!

Changes

I have been in a midst of changes since March, it started with the birth of our second grandchild; ten years after our first. I was happy with one grandchild but two makes me twice as happy! Both are loved dearly.

Just a few days after the birth of our lovely granddaughter, my husband and I celebrated our anniversary of 42 years. Two weeks later my mother died; she was 92 ½ and she was tired, she had a sharp mind up to the very last and made her own decisions; something both my sister and I were grateful for.

And now, we are at the end of April and my oldest granddaughter who has been a major part of our lives since her birth is moving, she is moving out of state about ten hours away by car.  We will miss her very much.

Place mat

Place mat

Like I said, I have been in the midst of changes since March. Some have been life changing and some not so much. We got new carpet; I also bought a very large painting that hangs over our couch which will be replaced with a new couch, to be delivered this Saturday. Our new couch is a sleeper, so when our granddaughter comes to visit, she will have a place to sleep; instead of the air mattress she now sleeps on when she comes over. I made new curtains for my kitchen and now in the process of making place mats to match with left over fabric. We also got a new kitchen table set and this summer we will get a new floor.

IMG_3465I have done very little beading in the past few months, I have beads waiting to make a new pattern I want to try, several unfinished Kumihimo necklaces projects waiting to be finished and I made a bracelet, with wire. A favorite piece is this bracelet. I get various emails often from different beading venues and one sent me a link to a video of how to make this bracelet; so I watched the video. Then I got another email that said “Oops!” I wasn’t supposed to get that link; but since I did they said that I could enjoy it for a short time. And so I did and I decided to give it a try and I found it so easy to make and it came together quickly.

Tomorrow, I will be learning how to make the ‘Tree of Life’ pendent. I like working with wire, it’s a nice change and gives me a bit of variety, I don’t have to just sew, or just bead, I have choices.

And back to the changes, change is good and I use to have a saying; “I don’t mind change, it’s the process of change that I am not crazy about”. But now, I see change as a doorway to something else, something new and possibly exciting, something in a new direction. And though the process isn’t easy, it isn’t hard either, it’s just change and I am embracing it.

Encouragement

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.

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