Friday, August 29, 2014

Cloud Land

Recently my morning walk was interrupted by this beautiful and magical sight.  Looking down from the hill I'd climbed, I saw a vast sea of clouds below me in the valley.  The blue/purple mountains in the background made me feel like I was looking at a wonderland.

And indeed I was -- for how often did I see this sight.  Knowing it wouldn't last long, as the sun came up and cleared away the fog, I savored this one small moment given to me on this most amazing morning.

"If the world could remain within a frame like a painting on the wall, I think we'd see the beauty then and stand staring in awe." - Conor Oberst

Monday, August 25, 2014

Happy 5th Anniversary

"Journey" - July 20, 2010

I began my blog on September 1, 2009.  It was created because I wanted to participate in the 2010 Beaded Journal Project (BJP).  I needed a place to show my monthly entries and a place to talk about beading since it was such a new venue for me.
"Circular" August 20, 2010

After the year with BJP, being the 'wader' that I am, I moved on to another tide pool.  BUT my blog continued because by that time I had made many wonderful blog friends.  And today, I just can't even begin to tell you what our visits mean to me.  I've made some very dear friends (even though we are separated by many miles and in some cases entire oceans).  Thank you, all of you!

"Intertwine" - February 19, 2010

My idea for the BJP was to make encrusted beaded book marks.  Of course once I'd completed the first one I realized that it wouldn't begin to work as a bookmark, it was far too thick.  But I still liked the design so stuck with that.  I only have five of these 'memories' left - the rest having gone into the hands of people who liked them (and shhh I think at least one was pirated for supplies *smile*). I'd like to share these remnants of those days with you.

"Interlude" January 29, 2010

To celebrate this auspicious anniversary I'd like to give away these five bookmarks.  If you would like to enter this give away please  leave a comment below.  I'll reveal the winners on September 1st.  Best of luck to each of you and thank you again for sharing my journey. 

"Words" - December 27, 2010

"Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul." - Henry Ward Beecher

Friday, August 22, 2014

Tea, Chocolate and Happiness

I firmly believe that each of us should have that special time during the day in which to fall into the moment and treat ourselves to something we love.

My moments (there are two of them each day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon) involve tea and chocolate. My teas are Numi's Jasmine Green, White Rose and Dry Desert Lime.  My chocolate is Endangered Species Chocolate found at our local food co-op.  My two favorite flavors are: Lime Sea Salt and Coconut Creme Filled. Yum!!  

While the tea is steeping I take in the delicate aroma.  The first sip of tea - ahhhhh!  I break a square of chocolate into quarters and each of these very small pieces sits on my tongue while I savor the flavor.  For just these moments, my life is suspended in time, with thankfulness.

I am truly happy!

"The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things." - Henry Ward Beecher

Monday, August 18, 2014

"Flora Fernley"

When Miss Fernley moved from ‘the estate’ to the township of Lickety-Split she soon realized that to ‘be anybody’ in the town you had to participate in the ‘garden club’.  Her first visit to this group of dedicated gardeners enlightened her considerably.

She was told that to be a member of the Lickety-Split Garden Club you must ‘tend your own garden’.  Heaven forbid!!  In fact one of the ladies actually told her how much fun she would have ‘getting her hands dirty’.  Did she not know that Miss Fernley had never had dirty hands in her life and she certainly did not intend to start now?  

 Never one to give up easily, Miss Fernley came up with an idea. She visited a small town several miles away and secretly employed some professional gardeners .  To get around anyone seeing them – she bought miners hats – those kind with the little lights on top.  Now – once every two weeks or so, at midnight, they creep into her back yard (she certainly doesn’t want to draw attention) turn on their lanterns and get to work.  Like a busy swarm of fireflies they work from midnight to 4 am.  Miss Fernley will continue to bring her illicit posies to each meeting in the hope that perhaps one day she'll win an award.

"The earth laughs in flowers." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, August 15, 2014

This month I'm meditating on ...

...the word 'enthusiasm'.   Enthusiasm: absorbing or controlling possession of the mind by an interest or pursuit; lively interest.  syn: eagerness, warmth, fervor, zeal, ardor.

What a wonderful word when it comes to handwork/art/expression.  For me, I sometimes think my 'enthusiasms' are what bring me to life - give me expression - permission to dive in and see what happens.  Enthusiasm brings energy and the results pass along that energy.  Think of the artists you love and how their work impacts you.  Its like adding another dimension to the moment.  So often we are enmeshed in the daily tasks of life that we forget to add at least one moment (if not long hours) of enthusiasm - zest if you will - to the day. 

"Enthusiasm is the yeast that makes your hopes shine to the stars.  Enthusiasm is the sparkle in your eyes, the swing in your gait.  The grip of your hand, the irresistible surge of will and energy to execute your ideas." - Henry Ford

Monday, August 11, 2014

Tilda Timeless

Earlier this summer Miss Tilda Timeless tendered her resignation from her long-time teaching job at the local elementary school.  Thus ended thirty years of regimentation. Each morning the alarm clock rang, then the school bells and buzzers  rang off and on throughout the day.  When the bell rang at lunch time, she would herd her little scalawags into the cafeteria while she ran to the teacher’s lounge to grab a bite of a sandwich – seemingly before she’d taken even one bite, the bell rang again and she gathered up her charges to go  out onto the playground.  Every minute, every second, monitored carefully each and every day.

On the auspicious day of her retirement (at which they gave her a gold watch) she stepped inside her house with a mission.  She promptly removed the hands on all the clocks and watches that she owned.  She smiled and she sang as she rampaged through her drawers, jewelry hooks and walls – taking down clocks, pulling out watches (some of which didn’t even work anymore).  She carefully unscrewed or snipped off each and every hand and then proudly hung one 'handless' watch face around her neck to show off her freedom.

I guess you could say that day was the end of time for Miss Tilda Timeworthy.

"Clock watchers never seem to be having a good time." - James Cash Penney

Friday, August 8, 2014

The Village of Lickety-Split

Welcome to the small town of Lickety-Split (you probably won't find it on any maps).  This is a quaint village which seems to have a preponderance of woman ‘of a certain age’. It seems that every woman in Lickety-split has her own distinct personality -some easy to take, others not so much.  Most of these women are at the point in their  lives where they feel they have come into their own.  Moving at their own pace and time, many of them creating their own little worlds within this quiet village.  I'll soon be passing along  a few of their stories.

“A civilized society is one which tolerates eccentricity to the point of doubtful sanity.” – Robert Frost

Monday, August 4, 2014

Wading Through Life

No matter how 'old' I get, I still question myself.  It is almost as if there is an autobiography inside my brain and I keep reading and writing new chapters.  One of the questions I ask often is 'why don't you stick to one 'thing', one form, one format'?  Others do this and are quite comfortable within themselves.  I on the other hand, only seem able to flit back and forth from this to that.

But I think have finally figured out 'what I am'!!  I am a 'wader'.  I test the waters with my toes.  I wade in - up to my ankles -  loving everything that I'm doing.  Often after testing the waters I dive deep and swim awhile.

What I am not is a 'long distance swimmer'.  I must come on shore after a short of bit of getting wet.  I then must move to another beach which beckons me.  Realizing this about myself I can continue my journey on the edges of the water - perhaps gathering seashells as I go.

"I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself now and then finding a smoother pebble or prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me." - Sir Isaac Newton

Friday, August 1, 2014

Adventures in Stitching

I have to admit - when it comes to handwork - even if it is supposed to look 'a little rough around the edges' I have trouble letting myself completely go.  I'd like to pay tribute to three doll makers whose work speaks for itself. 

Nola Hart's dolls are wonderful and she very graciously gave a pattern to Cloth, Paper, Scissors so that others could make 'her' doll.  In the process of a description of her work she says that when she stitches the outline of her doll's head she doesn't have a pattern or design, she just stitches a shape.  To me that is such bravery -- and even more brave that once its stitched she uses it as it comes out - without worrying about whether there is a good curve here or too abrupt a turn there.

Robin Ridener of "Baggaraggs" creates the most wonderful figures.  Her technique of making the whole doll, staining it with coffee and then putting it into a 200 degree oven - not really knowing what effect she'll see when she takes it out is amazing to me.

Last, but certainly not least is Catherine Zacchino - "Junker Jane".  Her work speaks for itself -- but for me she is the epitome of 'letting go - letting be".  

As I wrote this tribute to these women I realized what was missing in my own psyche.  Growing up in a time where the seams must be neat, the sewing 'well done' and the end product be 'just so', I have a difficult time crossing those barriers into 'acceptance'. Each of these women do their art with their own controls (thus their style) but I don't believe they worry about 'what it will look like' - more the story that it will tell - the feeling that it will convey.  That's my goal as I work along today.  I know I'll never be as 'wild and beautiful' as these women but I think I'll gain a bit of fun along the way if I learn to accept with joy what comes from my hands and stop worrying about what's going on in my mind.

"Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring." - Marilyn Monroe


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