Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Looking Forward to 2014!

2014 Here I Come!
Since there are rarely any chances for “do-overs” I will try to use every skill I have to overcome the challenges of 2014.

I plan to treat myself kindly and gently.

I’ll never give up.

I’m going to take more naps and read more books

I’m going to reach out to more people, with Pixie, through our hospice work. 

I’m going to do my best not to fall and break bones.

I’m going to write more.

Once my ankle heals, I’m going to walk 10,000 steps every day.

As I merge my muse back into glass, I’m going to work more with sculpture than in the past.

When I work with polymer clay, I’m going to make pieces that are bigger and might require some assemblage.

I’m going to be really careful so that I don’t fall in 2014.  I hope!

I’m going to be more open in 2014.

If colors were words, I will be more red and orange with my ideas, but blue and green with people.

I will balance my heart with my head.  I will balance my work with my rest.  I will find harmony.

I will try to be a source joy to everyone I meet.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Looking Back at 2013!

Happenings

I fell on the ice, but I came up without a concussion or a cut in my head.  I had a huge bruise on my head, and my head still hurts in that spot, but the doctor told me to expect that.

I missed a stair in my house, and I broke the talus bone in my foot.   I'm still dealing with that.

I lost 20 pounds on Weight Watchers!

I learned to appreciate the fact that my friends will help me when I need them.

I learned to embrace and really like me!

I got my first black eye.  When I was sick, and, apparently dehydrated,  I fainted.  I hit my head on a box I had placed next to the closet I was going to clean out that morning. 

I learned to  make my own greek yogurt, and is it delicious.

I learned to make my own electrolyte drinks at home, in case I can't get to the store to buy some when I'm sick.

I learned to make my own "sippy" cups out of mason jars to keep myself hydrated during the day.  I plan to use them when I'm sick, too!  No more fainting, if I can help it!

I learned to appreciate a friend more than I thought I could.

I learned that although life is difficult, when we look for the good, you can always find some, somewhere, but you have to look.

I threw up on myself in a public place.  No warning.  No reason, and the only thing I had to contain my vomit was my coat.  I learned humility there.

I learned that no matter how many times I clean out the hall closet, it just makes room for more. 

I worked hard on my clay.  I learned a lot of things about polymer clay and how to use it.

I've made some beautiful pieces with polymer clay.

I got stuck with glass, but I'm starting to go back to it.

I began to write again.

I've learned how much I love being alone.

I'm learning to embrace silence more than quiet.

I'm enjoying cooking again.
I still don't like grocery shopping.

I learned that when working with those who are dying, they want their dignity and their life.  Most hope that someone will remember them.  I know there are some I will never forget!

I realized, this year, how much happiness Pixie brings to almost everyone she meets.  She's such a happy dog, and a blessing to me.

I love our monthly retired teacher breakfasts!  It's so much fun to get together and talk.

Time really does fly when you're having fun!







Sunday, December 29, 2013

Friday, December 27, 2013

Three Beautiful Things This Week was inspired by a wonderful blog that 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) Christmas was beautiful.  We had a great time together. 


2) We broke the family tradition and ate at a Chinese restaurant on Christmas Eve.  It was fun!


3) It snowed on Christmas Eve.  I think the snow total was 4 inches.  It was beautiful.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Ten Things to Do the Day After Christmas

1) If you still have family with you, enjoy them!

2) If the family has gone home, enjoy yourself!

3) Stay away from the mall.  There's still time to exchange the gift you don't like.  There's still plenty of time to shop the sales.  Stay away from the mall.

4) Sit back with a glass of wine.  Relax.

5) Take time to read that good book you've been waiting to read.

6) Check the meeting locations and rates for Weight Watchers.  Look for the free sign up, but don't sign up until the Christmas goodies are gone.

7) Eat some leftovers.

8) Look at all the photos you took for Christmas or pull out the albums and enjoy the memories.

9) Call a friend and make a date to meet for lunch next week.

10) Hand write a letter to someone you love. Put a stamp on it, and mail that letter today.

Most importantly:  Take care of yourself.  You deserve it!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

For Unto Us A Child is Born!
Glory in Ex Celsis Deo!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Shhhhhhhhhhh! It's Almost Time!

The real reason for the season!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Friday, December 20, 2013

Three Beautiful Things This Week

Three Beautiful Things This Week was inspired by a wonderful blog that 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) Only one more present to buy!  That's good!

2) Only 2 more presents to wrap, no, make it three because I still have one more present to buy.

3) Lunch with a friend.  You can't trade that kind of joy for anything!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Random Thoughts now that I'm Almost Ready for Christmas!

Christmas is less than a week away. 

Most of the Christmas decorations, trees, and wrapping papers are 50 -75% off.  Time to stock up.

 My shopping is finished for this year.

All the gifts that need to be mailed are mailed. 

All that handmade gifts are either purchased or completed. 

We are almost at the winter solstice. 

I think it's ironic that when winter begins our days become longer.  It might be ironic, but I'm glad about that.

I don't bake anymore, but I do enjoy receiving home made baked goods.  Hint.  Hint.  In case anyone I know who bakes is reading this.  I doubt that they are, though.

Many of my neighbors are getting ready to go south for the winter.

I'm ten years older than I was a decade ago.

Time never slows down any more.  That makes me wonder why.

Christmas lights are lit all over town.  I will be disappointed when they are left unlit.

Candles are beautiful.

I'm happy.




Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Thank you and I goofed!

My Mama always taught me to say please and thank you, so I want to say thank you to all of you who visited my store.  None of my items are at zero views right now.

Thank You!!!

Now, I goofed!

You see my polymer clay seahorse?
Well, I goofed.  I think I should have added a base when I baked the sea horse.  I thought I could do it later, but the tail won't allow me to do so, or at least, I'm not sure it will.

Any suggestions on how to get a polymer clay base all the way up the mandrel?  I have visions of a sand and seascape going up the sea horse's little butt.

Help?  Please?

Thank you!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Viva Pope Francis!

Happy 77th Birthday, Pope Francis,
our dearest Father!


Monday, December 16, 2013

Would You Give My Etsy Store Some Love?

As of last night,
these items had zero, 0, nada 
views.
Would you give them some love, please?

I love these beads!
Click
to give them some love, please!

I think this pin would be fun to wear!
Click
to give this pin some love, please!

Here's Shep.
Please click 
to give him some love!

These headpins are lovely!
Click
to see these headpins.
 
 Click
to see this murrini!

Thank you!
They do need a little bit of love!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Friday, December 13, 2013

Three Beautiful Things this Week

Three Beautiful Things This Week was inspired by a wonderful blog that 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) We are getting a respite from the bitter cold weather we have been experiencing this past week.  I forgot how warm 20 degree weather feels. Yes!


2) Christmas is closer than we think.  Yikes!  I better get some shopping done!  :)


3) Had a pre Christmas lunch with two delightful friends.  What a great time.  We laughed and laughed and laughed.  Great time!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Easy Peasy Last Minute Gift or Treat for Yourself, Spiral Christmas Tree Earrings tutorial

Step 1


 Cut 4 inches of wire.
Make a loop at one end of the wire using your round nose pliers. 

Step 2

Using your nylon pliers,
begin to make a flat spiral with the remaining wire.

Step 3

Your wire should look like this.
Optional step at this point, 
add another loop at the end.
If you would like to add seed beads or crystals at the end, do not make a loop here.

Repeat steps 1, 2, and 3 so that you have two identical spirals.

Step 4

Using a pointed tool like a knitting needle or pencil,
push the center of the spiral so that the spirals separate and become tree like .
Repeat with the other spiral.

At this point, if you did not add a loop at the end, add seed beads or crystals.
If you forgot like I did, unbend the loop, and then add your beads!
You can also add dangles from the little loop at the end.
Add ear wires.
Ta-da!
You have some Xmas tree earrings.

Isn't that fun?
Merry Christmas!
Ho! Ho! Ho!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Why I like Artists Who Really Make Their Own Designs, in other words, BUY TRULY HANDMADE THIS SEASON! Part 4!

Laura DaGoddess makes her designs by being the ultimate designer of recycled goods!  I love this ring!

If you click HERE,
you can learn more about the ring. 

Laura also has an Etsy Store of recycled goods!
Click HERE to visit that great store!

I love this Facebook page of Laura's!  It's all about
Duct Tape!!!  Click
HERE to see it!

How about a YouTube Video!  Click HERE!  This woman is brilliant.

Check out this feature in an online magazine.  Click HERE.

I love handmade artists!


Lynn Bowland is Island Girl on Etsy.  Look at this beautiful bead!  If you click
HERE
you will be able to see this bead and see this bead and others in Island Girl's Store.

You can find Lynn's blog
HERE.
Check it out.

Then there's Lynn's Website.
Click
HERE
to visit her website!

Lynn is another amazing Handmade Artist!


How about that Cindy from Cyndy Lynne Glass on Etsy.

Click
HERE
to see this awesome balloon animal in her store.

Here's the direct link to Cyndy's Etsy Store.
Click
HERE.
You'll get a chance to look at all the items in her store including her amazing metal work!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

New Tutorial - Making Organic, Rustic Discs out of Polymer Clay

See these discs?

And these discs?

You can learn to make them using my new tutorial on Etsy.
Click 
to see the tutorial.

I'll teach you how to make these discs.
Even a beginner can make them.
The tutorial is only $10.
This would make a great gift for you or a fabulous Secret Santa gift.
It's instant download, too.
How fun is that!
Soon, you'll be making fabulous discs.

Monday, December 9, 2013

I'm Finally Home!!!!

Here are some of my favorite photos from my Chicago trip!
I'm back!


 It's the "El."



I love the old brownstones!


 I love the skyscrapers!


 One of the many HUGE Christmas trees downtown.

Picasso's sculpture in the middle of the Christmas Market!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

As December Marches on, I'm looking forward to...

The Winter Solstice when the light of day will begin to increase again
My children coming home for Christmas
Getting my house cleaned
Cooking for the family again
Remembering times that have gone by
Holding my children so tight they will never forget how much I love them
Being together as a family again
Listening to what the kids say in their stories of life
Taking silly pictures  
Going to church
Unwrapping presents together
Eating our Christmas Eve meal together

Trying to decide what each of us wants to eat
Eating left overs
Having a glass of wine with my adult children
Listening to Christmas carols over and over again
Not sending out Christmas cards
Oddly, receiving Christmas cards
Sleeping in on Christmas Morning
Midnight Mass

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Enhancing Your Creative Gifts


         Working on that Creative Side of Your Brain

Creativity is a gift, and everyone has this gift.  How we manifest that gift is unique.  For some, creativity is expressed in writing, drawing, or hands on work such as with glass or clay.  For others, creativity is expressed by making unique pieces of jewelry or sculpture.  For others, creativity is expressed in cooking, cleaning or organizing.  Yes, creativity is expressed in these ways too.  Decoration is my downfall, yet, when you walk into my neighbor's home, you see her creativity expressed by the framed photos on the walls, the flowers in the vases, and the colors in her kitchen.  My neighborhood is full of creative people.  My next door neighbor has a unique gift for gardening, and I do love her garden!  She has made our neighborhood much more beautiful with her creativity!

It doesn't matter how our gifts of creativity are expressed, the part of our brains which blesses us with the creative flow still needs to be nurtured and worked.  Creativity is a process.  Like a flowing stream, with all the swirls and pools, creativity needs to developed, because if the flow of water (creativity) dries up, a stagnant pool develops.

So, how do we do this, knowing, that at times our Muse is on vacation in Hawaii, and we are not.  The first thing we need to do is to accept that, at times, the creative flow will be slow or non existent.  This just happens.  Acceptance works wonders.  The next thing we need to do is to begin to lovingly  nurture the bits and pieces of creativity we know is still there.  You can't force the Muse's return, but you can gently urge her back.

How do we peel away the layers to our creative brains and open the door for creativity to flow again.  Luckily, there are a lot of things we can do.

Stop struggling and take a break.  I have been off my torch for almost 2 months now.  I am finally  beginning to feel the urge to light that baby up and make beads again.  It's been a long time since I have felt this way

Try something new!  I have been working with polymer clay, fibers, and wire during this self imposed hiatus.  I have also been working at organizing my home.  That has been drawing out my creative muse.  I think she wants to get back to glass!  She doesn't like organizing

I have been writing, too, much more than I have in a long time.  Writing exercises my brain, and helps to draw out my thoughts, sometimes, thoughts I had hidden away

Look at life through a different lens.  Now instead of resistance to many things, I say, "Why not?"  Acceptance of things we can't change is amazing.

Exercises that stimulate the brain also help.  One of my favorite exercises during this hiatus has become listing.  I am not one to make an art journal of lists, although, I have seen some beautiful art journals of lists.  I simply hand write or use my phone or Ipad to make lists.  They are simple, minimalist, and, yet, they are effective

One of my favorite writers of the past, Erma Bombeck once wrote, "I list, therefore, I am."  I think she's right.  In many ways, we are our lists: our lives, our likes, our dislikes, our hopes, our thoughts, our to do's, our yesterdays, our tomorrows.  And, listing can stimulate the brain to open up, to allow the creative juices to warm up and flow.  
So, I have an assignment for you.  I want you to begin to list, and to list often.  You can make a list journal or, like me, use the plain and simple for listing.  The goal is to list and list often.  You don't have to spend a lot time listing, or you can.  It's up to you.  All I ask is that you take the time to enjoy what you list.  An easy way to get started is to try this assignment.  Set the timer for  five to ten minutes.  In that time, free yourself up for this gentle exercise of listing.  If the phone rings, don't answer it.  Let your writing flow during that time.  If it doesn't, don't sweat it.  Enjoy the time you have to list.

Are you ready?  Here's your first assignment.  In these next few minutes, make a list of all the words you can think of beginning with the letter A.  That's it.  Then, for the next 24 days go through the alphabet making lists, and you are on your way!  You will find that the creative juices are flowing, maybe in ways you didn't expect.  The journey begins with one step.  This is your first step.  

The letter A.

Let me know how this works for you.  I'd love to hear.



                                         

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The City

The City

The Sounds
The "El" racing by
The beeping from a street cleaner
Sirens blaring
Dogs barking
Cat howling
Horns honking
Tires Screeching
The beating of a jack hammer on the pavement
Car engines
People ignoring each other

The Sights
The "El" racing by
Graffiti
Pubs nestled amidst the homes
Dead rats in the streets
Sky scrapers
Brownstones
Street Art
Air planes flying low
People hailing cabs
Homeless   
                                                 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Dear December,



You're the last month of the year, and I am stunned by how quickly 2013 flew by.  I've heard that as we age, time tends to move faster each year that we live.  I'm beginning to unerstand what people mean.  

December, you are a unique month.  We find ourselves enveloped in the hustle and bustle of the Christmas of spending and buying.  We might look forward to Christmas until we realize that we have been hearing our beloved Christmas Carols in the stores since June.  We also find that with the crowds in stores comes the increased risks of colds and flu.  Oh, my, you are such a bitter sweet month, December.

December, our weather is naturally cold here.  If the temperatures are not cold enough, the moisture on our streets is ice.  If the air is laden with moisture and the air is cold enough, then we get snow.  Both carry their risks when we venture out.  I'm now at the age where I don't have to go out in bad weather, so when I choose to stay home, I feel free to light a fire, crawl under a blanket and read a good book.

Christmas is celebrated this month, December.  I know not everyone feels this way, but I do enjoy Christmas.  I look forward to the kids coming home, eating good food, playing games, and singing.  I love to see the eye rolls as the kids hear me sing.  I love to see the kids enjoy each other as adults.  It makes me happy.   I love Christmas, too, December because it is a sacred holiday.  You are blessed to honor the new born King in your month.  

December, did you know that you are sign of hope?  The winter solstice happens before Christmas.  The winter solstice means the light of day will start growing longer and the dark of night will start growing shorter.  I love this about you, December.  

Well, December, it's time to go out in your cold, crisp air.  I heard it's going to snow tonight.  The air smells of moisture.  I love it and I dread it.  You are bittersweet.  So, until next year, December, I will enjoy whatever you bring.  Look, it is snowing!  Did I just hear, "Ho! Ho! Ho!"  I heard a bell ring.  Did an angel earn it's wings?  December, I'm smiling.  Until next year...




Monday, December 2, 2013

Remember the Polymer Clay Discs I Made Out of Scrap Clay?

Here's something I made with them.
Click 
to see the post. 
I haven't made anything else, yet, from the rest of the discs, but I do like the way this turned out!

It's fun to wear, too!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Just Chillin'!


                                                              
                                                               
                                 
I'm not a good traveler, but I do enjoy visiting my children.  Right now, I am doing just that, and we are just chillin'.  I am a person who thrives on routine, but I have found that I get bburnt out with my routine.  As much as I don't like to travel, it is good to get away when I can.  It is good to change that routine.  I am already feeling much more creative,, and I am chomping at the bit to get going on a new project, but I can't.  This is not bad.  The fire of creativity is lit in me again, and the lists are being written.  I like listing.  Do you?  We might try some listing just to keep the creative flames buring.  What do you think?

I Heart Macro! Breakfast!


Saturday, November 30, 2013

In November I was able to

Write in my gratitude journal almost everyday
Appreciate my blessings
Miss a step
Break a bone in my foot
Sprain my ankle
Learn to appreciate the kindnesses of the friends who helped me
Celebrate the joys of my life
Shampoo my carpet
Clean my house
Write more
Blog daily
Drive in an air cast
Reconnect with a dear friend
Learn that I could do it
Crochet the components for a free stye shawl
Decide to become a cantor at church
Remind myself that things could be worse
Read a couple of books
Make a new friend in the blogging world
Participate in a fun charm blog hop

Friday, November 29, 2013

Three Beautiful Things This Week

Three Beautiful Things This Week was inspired by a wonderful blog that 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) The kids are home!!!  How nice is that!

2) Thanksgiving was fun!
It's always good to gather with our extended family.

3) My foot is feeling better!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thank you all for this past year!!! Here's a free, easy peasy fiber bead tutorial to say: THANK YOU!

Fiber beads are quick and easy to make.
They make great beads for earrings because they are very lightweight.
Not, only that, you can make them look plain and simple or very elegant.
Here's how.
Here's what you need.

Supplies

4" craft wire cut into two 2 inch pieces
round nose or rosary pliers
nylon jaw pliers
wire cutters
ruler
scissors
2 yards yarn cut into one yard segments
clear tacky glue

Directions


1) Using your nylon jaw pliers, straighten your wire before cutting it.

2)  Cut your wire into 2 pieces of wire 2" long.

3) Make two eye pins with your wire.










4) Cut the fiber into two lengths of 1 yard each.  If you use fabric, you would probably use less in terms of yardage.

5) Add a small drop of glue to your wire.

6) Make a small tail on your wire and wrap the fiber over and around the tail covering the glue.






7)  Going up and down the wire, wrap your fiber on the wire.

8)  Add a small drop of glue to the tail of the fiber to hold it in place.

9) Let the glue dry.










10)  Add ear wires for earrings or make more beads for a necklace or bracelet.

Easy Peasy!!!