Monday, April 30, 2012


No one had ever said it to me before, at least, I don't remember hearing it before.
A friend told me, "You are a blessing to me."  I didn't know what to say. 

How kind.  How loving.  How empowering.

That powered me to a decision.  From now on, I am going to tell the people who are blessings to me, that they are a blessing to me.

Life is too short not to empower other people. 

You are a blessing to me.
Yes, you are.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

I heart macro!

Lights at Lottie's!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Day Brightener Alert!

Some days we need a smile.  Today, I needed to smile, and when I went to the mailbox today, I smiled!

Thank you, Sharon!!

Sharon Driscoll of Right Turn Artwerks
and I made a trade.  I sent her some glass bacon and eggs, and she sent me a bazinga pendant, but what I didn't know was that included in the package would be this beautiful heart with my children's names on them.  Of course, being the talented artist that she is, Sharon made these ceramic delights. 

You can also find Sharon on Etsy.  Here's the link!  Click HERE.

See?  Doesn't this bring a smile to your face!!!!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Three Beautiful Things This Week

Three Beautiful Things This Week was inspired by a wonderful blog that Clare writes called Three Beautiful Things. Everyday, Clare writes about 3 Beautiful Things that happen each day in her life. It's a wonderful blog! I can only hope to imitate her in a very small way.

1) Lunch with my dear friend, Sister Alene, is always a loving experience.  She loves God so much, and she shares her faith with me.  I feel so enriched just being in her company!  She also reminds me to say grace before each meal!

2) Pixie me so proud this week!  As we walked in the neighborhood, a pesky boy dog came racing over to Pixie demanding that she give him some, "ahem," attention.  (He's not neutered, but I have feeling he will be soon.)  Pixie growled at him!  I've never heard her growl except in her sleep.  My princess can take care of herself!!!

3) I bought new shoes!!!  Enough said.  I also cleaned out my old shoes, and I have plenty to take to the thrift store!! Yes!  Did I ever tell you I love shoes?  They are beautiful things!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

My Windows Were Open Last Night

I could feel the day fade into night.  Moments of early heat faded into the coolness of soft summer nights. 

I hear the sound of a radio playing in the distance.  I spiral back in time to my teen years when it was safe to leave windows open at night so the heat could  leave the house.  In the silence of the room, you could hear a radio accompany a young mechanic working  on his car.  The noises were the lullaby of the evening.

I feel the beads I left in the window to dry.  They are cool, almost cold, to my touch.  They roll about in my palms, and I think about the first glass bead I saw.  I remember how I marveled that anyone could put a real flower in that bead. I touch them again and feel their smooth texture. 

I smell the lilacs and hyacinths as the cool breeze circulates and swirls around me.  I stand by the window and remember the lilac bush outside my window at home.   It became the natural curtain for my window.  I smell the lilac fragrance and carry this memory with me even now, at my age. 

I see the neighborhood children playing outside in the encroaching darkness.  One boy is playing tennis by himself because the older boys are ignoring him.  I see him jump for joy.  He must have won his game!!

I taste the strawberries in my bowl.  Each berry is perfect in shape and size.  They are medium flares of red contrasting against the white of the bowl.  Tart and sweet.  No fruit can be both, but these are.  I taste their beauty.  Only a touch of sugar to heighten the sweet.  Perfection lives in these strawberries. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Hey, I Need Your Advice, Please!

See this?
This is a collage photo I made of a lampwork bead flower pendant that I made.
I love it, and it's mine!!
I wanted you to see the pendant from as many views as possible.
The pendant measures, approximately 3 inches x 5 inches.
I plan to wear this on my neck.

Here's a singular view of the pendant.  The jump ring is at the top.

I need your advice.
Would you wear this by itself on a chain or leather,
would you incorporate this pendant into a necklace?

I could really use your advice.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Arggghhhhh! Me Booty from the Beach Exchange on Lampwork Etc!!!

It was a fun exchange!
It was a beach themed exchange.
I had forgotten that packages were on the way.
You know how fun it is to open the mailbox and see an unexpected package there for you.
Well, that's exactly what happened.  
Wooo Hooo!
And here's me booty, Mate!

This is a group shot!

I love this bead!  The star fish is hand pulled murrini!  Wow!

I love this fish!!!
Look at those lips!!!

What would a beach exchange be without a bobber?
Isn't this fun?

She sells sea shells!  You should see this in person!
Love it!

Another fun fish!!!  All is all,
Arghhh, Matey!
This was fun!
I got some great booty, too!

Monday, April 23, 2012

A Love Story Worthy of the Mistake

Yes, I was grieving for Spike, my dobbie of 13 years, but I knew I needed another dog in my life. (I think he had something to do with this!)  The day Jenny and I took him in to the vet, I sobbed.  Even now, I sob for the loss of that dog.  He had been with me through some terrible times in my life, and he gave me his unconditional love.

After Spike had been resting for about a week, I was talking to a friend about a new dog.  I told her, "I think I want a greyhound."  I was stunned.  Where had that come from?  I hadn't thought of a greyhound since we had our beautiful Bailey, who had died from lymphoma a year and  a half after we brought him home.  That was a wound that had not healed.  I had sworn no more hounds!  So, where did that come from?

I went online to look at greyhound rescue groups.  There are 3 in Minnesota.  I called one group.  I was told to download the application and send it in.  They would evaluate my application, and let me know.  They also said that they would have to do a home inspection.  Okay.  I remembered that from Bailey.   I went online, and to my delight, I found that I could submit the form online!  I filled it out, and waited until the end of the week.  I received a call from the Minnesota Greyhound Rescue.  Yes, they were glad I had submitted my application.  Could they come and do a home visit?  Had I looked at Pixie?  She was a dog that needed a special home, and they felt that mine might be the one. 

Yes, I had seen her, but she looked a little strange.  Oh, don't worry about that, she just didn't want to have her picture taken that day.  Okay.   How about if we arrange a get together?  


Better yet, how about if I bring her to Mankato, and if you like her, you can keep her.


We are now into two weeks post Spike.  Kelley was coming to town the next week.  Would I be available?  Of course!

The van arrived and three dogs got out.  When they came in, two of the dogs jumped on the couch and love seat.  Kelley asked if that was all right.  Of course.  Are you sure?  Yes.  The third dog just looked at me and made herself comfortable on the floor.  In the meantime, Kelley and I talked a bit.  She said, "Do you want to keep her?" 

Wow!  Of course! 

So Kelley loaded up the other two hounds, and Pixie looked at me.  She was a big suspicious.  Kelley left, and I ran around getting out food and water dishes.  I had some left over food from Spike, so that was good.

I remembered what Ceasar Milan had said about welcoming a new dog into the home.  Take them for a walk.  Be calm and assertive.  I put a leash on Pixie, and she looked at me like, "What are we doing?"
I took her for our first walk together.  She had no idea of what to do, but she seemed to like it.  We came home.  I showed her the bed on which she would sleep.  She jumped on the bed and went to sleep.
The next morning, she woke me up.  I think she needed to go potty.  I woke up to a cold nose on my face and those beautiful eyes staring into mine, and she nipped my nose.  Whoa!!!  That wasn't supposed to happen.  Little did I know, she was a diva!  So, we began to learn about each other.  I never felt from her the affection I had felt from Spike.  Pixie was more aloof, but she loved a good ear rub.  She loved people!  She liked other dogs.  She loved to run. 

About three weeks into our relationship, I received a call from the greyhound rescue.  They called to let me know that they hadn't received my application yet and wanted to know if I was still interested in a greyound?
What?  That's right.  I had applied to the wrong organization!  But things were so right, because, I had Pixie.
More on our love story later.  It's been almost 3 years now, and I have to admit, she does own my heart!!!

Chapter 2 will be coming up next week.  Pixie and I did become friends.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

I Heart Macro - Signs of Spring

Spring is in the air!
Here's what I've been seeing lately!
My neighbor's tree!

Caught in my window!  It is BIG!

In the shade of two trees!

The lichen is growing!

The leaves are filling out the trees!

I Heart Macro!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

I Love to see What Someone Does with my Beads!

If you remember, I have mentioned my dear friend, Paula, in my blog before.  Paula called me up the other day to ask if I had any more key beads for sale.  I took a look around.   She said she needed 9 of them.  I found a few more than 9, so she was able to choose the ones she wanted.

Why?  Well, Paula belongs to a book club at her church, and they were reading this book --------------------->
Sarah's Key.  She wanted to make a book mark for each person in her group from the key beads.  And she did!
Aren't they cute?

Even more meaningful, her daughter, Sara, gave me the keys for the key beads.   I think we came full circle on this one! 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Three Beautiful Things This Week & Happy Earth Day!

Three Beautiful Things This Week was inspired by a wonderful blog that Clare writes called Three Beautiful Things. Everyday, Clare writes about 3 Beautiful Things that happen each day in her life. It's a wonderful blog! I can only hope to imitate her in a very small way.

1)  I started my "new" again organizing cleaning program in my house.  Everyday, I find 10 items to throw away, 10 things to give away, and even fewer to keep.  It feels good to see spaces now where there was clutter.  I plan to keep this up until my house is really clean!!  Wish me luck.  It feels really good!

2) I've had a couple of nice sales in my Etsy store this week!  I'm very appreciative of my customers.  They are wonderful!!

3) Pixie continues to surprise and delight me.  We took another trip to Pet Expo, since that's her favorite store in the whole wide world!!!  The greyhounds were there visiting.  She saw them, and she took off at a full run to greet her "friends."  Of course, once they had all done the appropriate sniffing, Pixie looked at me, indicating it was time to go shopping, and off we went.  She sought out her "human" friends who filled her with treats and much love!!  Of course, she went home happy and tired!!!  We both left with smiles on our faces.

Last, but not least, let's go green as much as we can.  Happy Earth Day!!!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

I'm Letting Go of it And Sending it to Beads of Courage

Once in a while, I do clean deeply.  I open boxes to see what's in them.  I made 3 piles:  give away, garbage, and keep.
The goal is to make the keep pile the smallest one.
Cleaning out beads is difficult because it takes time.  
Beads I sort into piles of:
Beads of Courage, sell, and keep. 
It's about the same, but the goal is to have the Beads of Courage pile be the largest one.
This does take me a while because you have to be careful with the beads you send to BOC and make sure there is no metal or metalic glass on the surface of the bead because it can react with the children's medicine.
As I clean, I find more boxes of beads that I had put away.
Some of them are beads that I made when I began to torch.
I used to participate in a lot of exchanges.
I have a lot of my trial beads.
These I keep finding, hidden, and I wonder,
Why did I keep them?
Some of them bring smiles because they were so poorly made.
Some were accidentally great!
Those I keep!
Today, as I cleaned, I found this bead.
 Now, this one made me smile. 
I made this bead on my Hot Head Torch.
A Hot Head Torch is a single fuel torch (propane) that many lampworkers use when they start to lampwork.
There are still some amazing artists who use only a Hot Head, but that's another story.
I made this bead for an exchange in which I participated called a Long Bead Exchange.
The bead had to be 2 inches or more in length.
I turned on my Hot Head torch, and I made this bead.  It took me over an hour to make.
The heat on this torch is less than the heat of my dual fuel torch.
I melted and marvered.  I melted and marvered.
Finally!  This bead came out of the fire and went into the kiln!
When I measured this amazing bead,
it was 4.25 inches in length!
Amazing for a Hot Head Torch, and I was very proud of it!

I still am proud of this bead, but it's time to let it go.
Beads of Courage is in need of Acts of Courage Beads.
They suggest a length of 1.5 inches or more, if possible.
This one qualifies,
even if it's not the most beautiful bead ever,
I hope it brings a smile to a child's face.
I hope they are able to forget what they had to endure for just a while and smile!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

New E Book Review - Follow the Path by Lori Anderson

Lori Anderson has a brand new E Book available now, and it is excellent!
This book, like Lori's blog, Pretty Things, is full of pretty photo prompts and ideas for improving your blog.
Even if you are not a writer,
Even if you are not a photographer,
Even if you don't have a blog,
You will still find inspiration in this E Book.
I'm the proud owner of this book.
I know I will get a lot of use from it.
If this ebook were actually a paper and ink book,
the ears would be dog eared by now.
I really have enjoyed reading it, and I have new ideas for my blog!


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

What if...

I know today is tax day.  Good luck!  Now, let's get on with life. 

What if...

What if today was not tax day?  Instead, each person in our country was given $1,000,000 on which to live for the rest of the year.  What would you do?

What if you woke up in the morning, in a different body, with a different face, in a different city, with a different family?  Would you stay?

What if, you could have anything or go anywhere you wanted to go for two hours, what would you choose?  Where would you go?

What if you woke up and found yourself unable to read or write?  What would you do?

What if you knew that when you finished what you were doing, and you loved what you were doing, that you would never do it again?  What would you do?

What if you accidentally walked into someone carrying a cup of coffee, and the coffee spilled on you and burned your skin?  What if the person you walked into was going to be the love of your life?  What would you do?

What if you met anyone in history, and you knew they would be assassinated?  Would you tell them if they didn't know?

What if you were able to see the events that would shape your life for good or for bad?  Would you want to know what they were?

What if you could change one thing in your history, but by changing that event, you changed the history of the world for the worst?  If it saved you pain or grief, would you change it?

What if you woke up one morning, and you knew it would be the last time you would see your loved ones, what would you do?

What are your what ifs?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Ten Things about Pixie Marie you might or might not know

1) Pixie was the name she had when she came into my life.  I added the Marie because I thought Pixie, by itself, sounded a bit, shall we say, "slutty."

2) When Pixie's old couch and love seat got too old and were falling apart, I bought HER a new set.  When the delivery men were here to take away her old couch and love seat, Pixie ran upstairs for two days.  She was traumatized because her couch and chair were taken away from her.

3) Pixie loves to pose for pictures, when she's in the mood!  This photo shows a time when she was not in the mood.  There will be other days.

4) The first morning after Pixie and I became friends, she got up off her bed and came to my side of the bed.  I woke up to see those beautiful eyes looking at me.  I said, "Do you need to go potty?"  She bit my nose!  I think she did!!!

5) When Pixie and her distant cousin Walter (Jenny's cat) get together, Pixie does whatever Walter will allow her to do.  If he lets her sleep on the bed, she's fine with that.  If he lets her get on the couch he's not using, then she's fine with that.  Who ever thought that this 70 pound dog would be bossed around by a 7 pound cat?

6) Pixie loves junk food!  The junkier the better!

7)  When she goes with me to Pet Expo, Pixie ignores me.  She puts on a sad face, and she convinces all of her "friends" there that she gets no love, no food, and, above all, NO TREATS at home!  When leave she's been loved, given any food they have, and lots and lots of treats!  She sleeps well when we come home.

8)  When the other hounds are at Pet Expo, Pixie runs to greet them.  After the appropriate sniffing, she forgets about the dog and seeks out all of her friends, the human kind, there.  She really wants treats, and she gets them!

9) I bought Pixie a Thunder shirt.  She loved to wear it.  When it began to smell, I knew I had to take it off of her and wash it.  Whenever I tried to get her thunder shirt off of her, she'd run away.  One day, I did it, I got the shirt off of her.  Pixie snapped at me!  She doesn't snap at anyone!  She just loved her shirt! 

10) When I play the greyhounds rooing on YouTube, Pixie joins in the roo.  It's fun to watch and listen to her!  She's doing it right now!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

I Heart Macro - Pixie Speaks

Pixie Has Been Speaking Her Mind.

Yes, that's Pixie!

That's very nice to say!

She's such a diva!

I Heart Macro!!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Have You Checked out Jenny's Picks Lately?

Have you checked out the section in my Etsy Store called Jenny's Picks?   When an item in this section is sold, the money goes to Jenny to help with her expenses  as she battles Multiple Myeloma.  I have a variety of items in that section.  Most are finished, including this vessel.  I really like it, but then I really like red, too!!!  If you would like to have a closer look, try clicking here, but I can tell you right now, blogger is acting up, and it won't let you click there, so try HERE.  That should work!

I have to figure out a better way to shoot this, but it's a mini mobile!  This brand new.  I wish you could see it in person!  It's so pretty!  I love it.  Click here for a somewhat better look.

I've also added a Rosary Bracelet to this section.  I love the one I made for me, and I'm sure that someone will love this one!  I plan to add more bracelets soon.  I just need the time to make them!  Click HERE for a better look.

Got a taste for bacon and eggs?  How about some earrings?  These would really be fun to wear, especially if you love bacon and eggs!  Click HERE for a closer look!

I've decided that if this vessel doesn't sell by the time it comes to renew, I'm going to keep it!!!  It is so pretty!!  So, if you want it, this is the time to buy it!!
Click HERE for a closer link.

Another thing to remember is that I am having a 20% off sale in my store until the 17th.  Just use the coupon code, PAYTAXES at checkout, and you will receive 20% off your entire order.  Now, that's a good deal!!! 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Three Beautiful Things This Week

Three Beautiful Things This Week was inspired by a wonderful blog that Clare writes called Three Beautiful Things. Everyday, Clare writes about 3 Beautiful Things that happen each day in her life. It's a wonderful blog! I can only hope to imitate her in a very small way.

1) It's been another good week!  I have been able to torch almost everyday.  I have actually been happy with what has come out of the kiln.  I joined another exchange on Lampworketc.  It's been fun so far!  How can any of this be bad?

2) Saw my eye doc yesterday.  Things are progressing well with my eyes.  Even with my concerns, he said that everything is in the "normal" range.  That's good to know.  He said that everything will settle down in the next 3 weeks.  That is good to know.

3) Pixie has been trying to be the dominant person in our home.  She continues to try to steal my place in bed and on the couch and chairs.  I don't have to wrestle her into a submissive position, because, most of the time she's laying down, but I do have to smile when I grab her snout and say, "No," and then she does as she pleases anyway.  I honestly think she's part cat!!!  Don't let the dreamy eyes fool you!!!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Lori Anderson is Having a Wonderful Drawing on her Blog

You know Lori Anderson from her Bead Soup Blog Hop!  Well, she's got a great give away going on her blog right now.  You need to get over there, because she will announce the winner next Monday, April 16.  Here's what you might win.
This is a set of Impress Ballroom lower case stamps,


this hammer made specifically for stamping!
Didn't I tell you this would be good?

All you have to do is leave a comment on her blog.
Lori has listed other ways to increase your odds of winning, and blogging is one of them
So, here's my other entry.
Thanks, Lori, for doing this!!!
Now, head on over to her blog.
Now, make sure you leave her a way to reach you.
That's really important.
Good luck, but I hope I win!!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Butterflies for BOC

It's been a while since I made butterflies  for Beads of Courage.  Beads of Courage butterflies are given to parents who have lost their beloved children.

I had heard that Beads of Courage had found a supplier for their butterfly beads, which is true.  However, I have found, through dialogues on Lampwork Etc., that when artisan butterfly beads are available, Beads of Courage does want to use and will use the artusan made beads, too.  After learning this, I began to make butterflies again.  Here's a sample of what I will be sending in with my next box of beads to Beads of Courage. 

I'm going to try and wire wrap each butterfly.  I am sad that someone will receive these, but if I can give a grieving parent a virtual hug with their butterfly, I will.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Learning to Core Beads by Hand - Yikes!

So far, this has been an interesting experience.  I'm learning to add a copper core to my large hole beads without using a bead coring machine.  Here's what I did.  I bought some good tubing on Etsy, then I rounded up some old big hole beads.  I've broken a lot of beads as I have worked on developing a technique to line the beads.  This picture does deserve a little bit of an explanation.  I didn't want to cut out bead caps, so I used washers.  The holes of the washers were too big.  The cores didn't fit properly.  Well, that's part of the experience though, isn't it?  I had heard there were videos on YouTube that would show you how to core a bead without a machine.  Couldn't find them, so off I went.

I used dapping tools and hammers.
I decided to wait and make bead caps later.  These were okay for a first try, but they need to improve.
I'm still working on technique, but I am getting better.

It's still a work in progress, but my cores are better.  I'm still breaking beads, so it's a good thing I have a lot of fuglies in my collection.  Practice! Practice!  Practice!

Soon, things will improve!  Just have to work on that flare a bit more. 

Progress photos will come later when there's more to show!!!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Jewelry

If you've been following this blog, you know that I like to memorialize special occasions with jewelry.  Having just celebrated the solemn event of Easter, I made some new jewelry. 

I really like this necklace!  The red beads and the morning glory beads at the bottom of the necklace are beads that I made.  I also used some of my cherished pearls.  This looks great on!  I love it!

I added my new Rosary bracelet to this jewelry ensemble.  Here I used crystals.  It's beautiful!

I added these earrings one day.

They almost touch my shoulders!  I love them!

I wore these for the Easter Vigil service and on Easter Sunday.  These are my favorites!!!

They aren't as long as my "butterfly" earrings, but they show when I wear them!

So, what do you think?  Do you wear long earrings like I do?  If you don't, would you just to be adventurous?

Sunday, April 8, 2012

I Heart Macro - Easter Candy, at Last!


What's Easter without more Peeps?

M & M's

Reese's Pieces!

And this candy is just for ME!

I Heart Macro!!!

May the Peace of the Risen Lord be with You Now and Always!

Happy Easter!