Friday, April 29, 2016

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) The nerve ablation on my back seems to be working!  The pain is reduced by a 1000%!
It might be working.

2) The weather chilled, I mean really got cold again.  This is more March weather than April, but it's typical of the fickleness of spring in Minnesota.

 
3) The cherry tomato plant has a tomato on it!  Yahooo!!!!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

How to Become a More Loving Person: 10 ways to begin...

I know you've heard this.
"You can't give what you don't have."
This is a truth.
Unless you have love,
you can't give it away.
In order to give love,
you must become a more loving person.

When you're empty and drained,
this is hard to do.
When you're empty and drained,
loving, as well as, opening yourself up to be loved,
is hard to do.

We all want love.
We all want to be more loving and lovable.  So, what do you do?


1) You need to take care of yourself.  We could all improve our health.  We could all improve our gifts and talents.  We could all improve our souls.  In order to do these and other self improvements, we need to take the time to be a little selfish and self centered so that when we emerge from our times of self, we can give away that which has developed in us.  Love.
This means:  eating less to loose weight, establishing self discipline, going to the doctor when we are ill, resting when we need to do so, playing when we need a break, etc. etc. etc.  The list will grow, but we need to give ourselves permission to take care of ourselves, too.

2) We need to play.  Yes, I said PLAY.  We need to have fun through play because we relax when we have fun.  I feel very strongly that play should be active.  I know that reading is very soothing for many of us, but, I also feel that this is relaxation, not play.  To me, play is doing something we consider fun, and, in that play, there is movement.  For example, going for a walk, using a hoola hoop to get our bodies moving, playing tennis, bowling.  Add to the list.  You will find something you like to do and it will be a great source of joy for you when you play.

3) We need to relax.  All right, this is where reading becomes an asset.  Write in your journal.  If you don't have one, start one.  You don't need to write much, maybe a line or two a day, but in that writing, you will be recording and expressing yourself.  Sitting by a pool relaxes us.  I prefer the ocean, but Minnesota does not have an ocean.  Watching TV, not mindlessly, but a good movie or old TV show.  These are good ways to relax.  Add to this list.  It's hard to go wrong.

4) We need to socialize.  I know it's easy to say if you want to have friends, be a friend.  Well, some of us are shy and reclusive and enjoy our time alone, but the fact is that we were made to be social, so, it's important to come out of our shells and get into the community.  Volunteer at a worthy organization.  Go to the food shelter and give some time to them.  If you love animals, go to your local vet and see if they know of volunteer opportunities where you might apply.  If you like quiet and books, go to the library.  Perhaps there you will find volunteer opportunities, even if it means shelving your beloved books.  Add to this list.  Just get out of your house and interact with others

5) Practice the art of gratitude.  It's been proven now that the people who are the most happy people are those who are most grateful.  Practice this art.  Say thank you when someone does something nice for you.  Tell a vet thank you for his service to our country.  Keep a gratitude journal.  Realize how blessed you are, even if you are poor, you are probably richer than many people in this world.  Be aware that there are those for whom a good day is finding enough food to eat or drinking clean water, even in our country.  Be grateful.  

6) Practice the art of good deeds.   Set a goal of doing 3 nice things for people a day.  Anyone can benefit from your kindness.  Sometimes, smiling at someone and saying hello is one of the kindest things you can do for them.  Open and hold a door for a mom with small children.  Let someone go ahead of you in the checkout line that has one thing versus your ten things to check out.  Pay for an order of food at a take out place, if you can afford it,  for the people behind you.  Add to this list.  You might want to keep track of what you do.  Maybe just using paperclips to mark the number or keep a journal.  That's up to you, but this is a good practice for your everyday life.

7) Practice the art of kindness.  Instead of passing on the latest gossip you've heard, don't.  So much of what we hear is not true.  If someone begins to gossip about another person, stop them.  Tell them kindly that you just don't want to hear about it.  Help someone at work who might be stuck on a project.  Do this without thought of reward.  Bring treats for the workers in a nursing home.  If you need to be at the doctor frequently, bring treats for them.  Instead of answering a question with a quick response that might be mistaken for impatience, thank the person for asking, and answer them in a kind way.

8) Practice the art of patience.  When you're driving down the street and you get stuck behind that person who is going well under the speed limit, and you can't pass them, bless them.  Be patient.  Eventually, we hope, they will turn.  Instead of sighing while waiting at the checkout because the  person in front of you has so many things and you have so few, take the extra time to breathe in and out.  Smile.  That always helps.  When you see small children at church who are driving their parents insane because they are trying to teach these children how to behave properly, but they are children, forgive the parents.  They are doing the best they can.  Be patient.  

9) Practice the art of not complaining.   When things are not going right, move yourself out of the way.  Don't complain.  If you need help, seek it.  Someone might be able to bless you with the gift of their experience and help you in your need  Remember, asking for help and not complaining are two different deeds.  

10) Practice the art of giving others the benefit of the doubt.  Do you remember when others gave you the benefit of the doubt and you were able to prove them right or wrong as the case may be?  It felt good to have someone else say, "Well, I'm not sure.  Go ahead and try it."  If no one has ever done that for you, do it for someone else.  Add to this list.  There are many other ways to practice this art, so be creative in your quest.

None of these goals can be mastered over night.  We have become a society in which there is little to no love.  The quest has become one of power and the self.  I'm not speaking about romantic love.  I'm speaking of mutual love and respect for our fellow human beings.  Wouldn't it be nice if we lived in a world where people were nice to each other all the time?  Where there were no games played?  No one had to be a winner?  No one had to be a looser?  Where power was not the name of the game?
Love is the way around this emptiness.  Become a more loving person.  Work at this and add to the list.  I know there are more creative ways to love.  Never go a day when you don't show someone that you love and appreciate them.  It takes time, but this list is doable.  Go for it!

 

 



 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Worth Repeating: What Do These Boots and Me Have In Common?

They are featured on Pinterest.
Here's the link to see them.

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is an online pinboard where you can share and organize things that you like!

I like these boots!

If you look on the right side of my blog, you will see two new buttons.

The first one is titled Pin It.
That means that if you see something you like on my blog or in my Etsy store, you can add your pin to Pinterest.  Just click on the button.  It's easy.

The other new button says,  "Follow me on Pinterest."  If you follow me, I'll follow you, and we can see the pins.  I  might repin some of your pins, and you might repin some of my pins, but either way, we will develop beautiful boards where we can show our favorite items from blogs, websites, or from Pinterest.

Now, how fun is that?  I have to sort of admit, I've gotten a bit, shall we say, addicted to Pinterest?  I suggest you check it out.  You might become, shall we say, addicted to Pinterest, too.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Using up Old Beds

So I sorted a couple of bags of beads into piles.
They were mostly discs and a few other types of beads.
I had my spool of leather there, too.
Fast forward to the results.
















Remember this necklace?

I took this necklace apart and added the discs.
I think I like this version much better than the first one.















This necklace used a lot of discs with a few other types of components.  

I think I like this one, too, 
and
there are still a lot of 
leftovers!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

What Happens When Your Great Idea is Worse Than A Pinterest Fail?

Oh the vision I had for this HUGE bead.  It's about 7 inches long!  It was to be an antler type of bead,  primitive in nature, but an amazing focal bead for a necklace!  I can't even blame Pinterest for this.  Sigh!

The bead looks like a sweet potato in person.  It is hollow, but I don't know if it can be saved.  I'm not sure it can, so I'm going to try something else.  I might add some carving.  I might add some antiquing.  I might just put it in a drawer so that some day my children will find it when they clean out my home and say, "This is so like Mom!  She kept everything!  She even kept this old, sweet potato.  I wonder why it didn't mold?"  Then it will be thrown out.


There might be salvation for the bead,   It all depends.
If you can think of a way to save it, and remember, it's the size of a sweet potato, too,
Let me know.
I'm stumped for now.
Well, it's off to the next project! 
Happy Saturday!

Friday, April 22, 2016

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) Yesterday was a day of memories.  I laughed.  I cried,  and it was good.

2) Pixie has had a good week.  Her pain is controlled by her medication, and she's acting more like herself!

3) The singular tulip that grows in my garden bloomed yesterday!  The deer didn't eat it!  That was good news!  

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Things I really love and don't love

Things I love

1) the name "Bacari."
2) A Moscow Mule made with diet ginger beer
3) Gadgets for the kitchen
4) Gadgets for my camera
5) Polymer Clay
6) Great photos
7) Greyhounds
8) Pixie Marie
9) Fresh tomatoes
10) CNN
11) Being thin
12) People who understand my quirky brain
13) Walking outside
14) People who are nice to my children
15) People who are nice to  me
16) Short articles to read
17) Writing
18) Meatloaf
19) My friends
20) My children


Things I don't love

1) Since I read for distraction and escape, books that make me think when I read.
2) Politics
3) Politicians who shout
4) A purse that's too small
5)  A purse that's too big
6) Liver
7) Beets
8) Olives
9) Abortion
10) A "Uge" snowstorm (To borrow a word)
11) The Apprentice
12) Adulting

What are some of the things YOU love and don't LOVE?

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Monday, April 18, 2016

This That and The Other on Aging

I took quite a few other photos because I wanted to show off my new necklace.  
The necklace is made from hollow beads that I made using polymer clay.
That's just the background story.
As I went through the photos, I realized,
gasp!
It's happened!
I. HAVE. GROWN. A.

WADDLE!!!!

This was the best photo that I took that did not show off my newly acquired,
uh-hum,
waddle.  
At first I was appalled, then I realized
that not every one lives long enough to develop a
waddle
or hair on their chiny chin chin.
These, ummm, developments are some of the gifts of old age.
In the medical community, everyone over 50 is classified as geriatric, did you know that?
So, if you are over the age of 50, 
you. are. old.
So, maybe, it's time to start enjoying the privileges of old age!
What?  There are privileges?

I know.  It's hard to believe that besides the aches and pains, there are things to enjoy in your "old age."

1) There are discounts for seniors at different stores.  You have to watch the adds, but they are there.

2) If you play your cards right, you can get babysitting privileges for the "grands," if you want to do that.  

3) Because you do have aches and pains, you no longer have to be the first one to volunteer at church for the different ministries.  You can sit back and talk about how much you knees are hurting you.

4) Many restaurants have days, mornings, etc where seniors eat for reduced rates.  They also have menus for seniors.  Usually you get a little less food, but that's okay, most of the time, I don't eat nearly as much as I used to eat.

5) If you find something funky that you want to wear, even if it's different, you can wear it.  People think it's just her age!  But you know better. (I'm referring to my new necklace.)


6) At this age, it's easier to downsize.  People expect it, and when you don't have to mow the lawn or trim the hedge, you have more time to do the things you want to do.

7) There are days and times when the movie theaters have rates for seniors!  Go to a show!

8) If you're retired, you can sleep in!  That's always a plus!

9) You can tell stories about the "good old days."

10) Now you can check the obituaries, and you should, because people you know might be in them. 
(I had an 90 year old aunt once who loved to go to funerals.  That was her social life.  She outlived most of her friends, so there weren't many of her friends at her funeral.  She was 96 when she died.)
See, I just told a story!

Once you realize that you have already lived more years than you are going to live, and it does take some acceptance, you can find a wealth of peace in knowing that there is still a lot of fun to be had
in your "old age."

Proudly proclaim your aches and pains.
Lift your chin so the world can see your waddle.
Don't be afraid to pluck your chin.
 Not everyone gets old, and if you are, you are blessed.
Proclaim your blessings to the world.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Pinterest Success!

Success!!!!
It worked!

Here's the link to the original post!


It worked!

Give it a try.
It's in the woman cave!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

10 Reasons i love Making Hollow Beads

1) There are so many different ways to make hollow beads in every medium in which I have worked.

2) When using polymer clay, hollow beads can be decorated with beautiful canes.

3) When using glass, hollow beads can be decorated in an infinite number of ways using dots, stripes. other colors, etc.

4) Hollow beads can be made small or large.  I love the large hollow beads.

5) No matter the size, hollow beads are much lighter than solid beads the same size.


6) I love to play!  When I make hollow beads, I play.

7) I love a challenge.  It's, literally, taken me years to learn to make hollow beads in both glass and polymer clay.  

8) I'm not a perfectionist.  My hollows are getting better, but they are not perfect yet.  This just makes me want to make more to catch on.

9) Hollow beads are unique in the bead world.  Not every type of bead can be made into a hollow, and that's okay.  I switch from bead to bead.

10) Hollow beads look great in designs. 

What is your favorite type of bead to make?  What is your favorite type of bead to buy?

Friday, April 15, 2016

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) The flowers are almost ready for the canvas.  I think I need to add some butterflies and fossils.  We'll see about that.

2) We are having 3 real "spring" days in a row.  It's going to be in the 70's for the next few days!

3) The dishwasher has been repaired!  Yes!  


Thursday, April 14, 2016

Working on Flowers....and a Waterfall....

I thought that these flowers would be enough,
until,
I bought the canvas.
I found a burlap canvas
prepainted with
white paint.  I might add to that, but I'm not sure yet!
Anyway, 
the canvas is
12 inches wide by 30 inches long.
Even though I'll be making leaves today,
I think I'll need more flowers, too.
This should be fun!





And then, there's the

Waterfall!

 This is the biggest piece I've made to date.
I haven't measured it, 
but I baked it on a 16 inch tile.
It took up a good chunk of room on the tile. 
I will be painting a background on a canvas.
I'm not sure what color(s) I will use.
This project should be fun.
I'll show you the progress I make.

More to follow later.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Worth Revisiting:Thoughts on Joy


Joy is spontaneous.
Joy is contagious.
Joy is courageous.
Joy is laughter.
Joy is sharing.
Joy is now.




A brisk walk, dodging ice, brings me joy. 
Making glass beads fills me with joy. 
Taking pictures gives me joy. 
Learning a new skill gives me joy, especially if it's creative.   
Dancing and singing gives me joy, even if it’s off key or I don’t follow the beat. 
Being with friends is joy. 
Video chatting with family and friends gives me great joy. 
Sleeping in on a cold, snowy day, well, such a joy!




I want to share my joy with others. I want to make sure that others have a reason to smile when we are together, whether it's a chance encounter at the grocery store or chatting with an online friend.

Like a virus, joy spreads quickly from one to another. 
Smiles are contagious.
Joy brings peace.

“Peace begins with a smile.”  Mother Theresa

Joy is ...

 What does joy mean to you?

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Thoughts on Making Summer Jewelry

That's what I did this weekend.
I made summer jewelry this weekend.
I opted for simple designs 
using thin leather as cord 
and
polymer clay beads.
I used a sliding knot for a closure.

Easy, peasy.

My favorite necklace is the first one with the large beads.
They are hollow, except for the pendant.
The pendant was made with my first kaleidoscope cane.
I've never made a kaleidoscope cane before.
It was an interesting proceess.
I followed the examples I found on Pinterest,
and added my own bits and pieces.

The hollow beads are truly hollow and huge!  I thought they'd be lighter than they are, but for that size of bead, they are light.

The other two necklaces have other components including some funky flowers. 
There was no pattern for these, only imagination and simple cane work.
I also made some large spacer beads with dots.  

I wish the weather were warmer now.
We are having early March weather now in April with a lot of cold wind.
I'm also anxious to wear my new jewelry
in the warm air of spring.

Oh, and see the little things that look like carrots at the bottom of picture 3?
They aren't carrots.
They are chile peppers.

What are you making for summer jewelry?
If you're buying instead of making jewelry, what are you buying?
 

Monday, April 11, 2016

An Interview with my Other Sef

Me: Q: What is your favorite time of day?

OS: A: I love the early morning hours!  The light is soft.  The energy is low.  Everything is quieter than later in the day.

Q: Do you have any regrets?

A: Very few.  I regret being an adult, sometimes.  I regret that I didn't jump in more puddles or dance in the rain.  I regret not jumping out of planes, well, not really on that one.

Q: What are your favorite foods?


A: Prime rib, T-bone steak, and enchiladas.

Q:  Are there any foods you don't like?

A: Yes: beets and liver.  I think beets and liver were a mistake.

Q: What is your favorite artistic medium?

A: I'll always love glass, but I can't get downstairs to make glass beads often anymore.  Right now, I'm working with polymer clay.  I have come to love that medium.

Q: What is your biggest challenge with polymer clay?

A: Making round hollow beads.  Those are rough.

Q: Tell me your deepest, darkest secret.

A:  If I told you, then it wouldn't be a secret anymore, would it?

Q: Why did you dye your hair pink?

A: It was a very cold, snowy March day in Lent, and I was bored.

Q: If you could change one thing in your life, what would it be and why?

A:  There are a lot of things I'd like to change, but if I did, something else would change, including who I am.  The things that have happened, and most have been our of my control, have made me into the person I am today.  I wouldn't want to change who I am for anything or anyonel.

Q: Last question:  Silence.  What attracts you to silence?

A: The silence itself brings peace.  

Q: More later?

A: Not today, but in a while, maybe.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

5 Reasons to Embrace Silence and 5 ways to turn off the noise

Our world today is noisy at best.
You go to the mall.
You turn on TV.
You attend a soccer game.
You turn on your device.
What do you hear?
Noise.
Some of the noise is more pleasant than other noise, 
but, it is noise.
Quiet time is almost non-existent.
With noise intruding into our world,
it would be nice to hear less of it.
At least, I think so.
No more white noise.
No more loud noise.
Well, that's impossible, but
we can reduce the noise we have and embrace
the 
silence.

1) Silence provides us time for regeneration and restoration.  Studies have shown that 2 hours of silence a day, (I know) improves cognitive and motor functions.  During times of silence, we grow new synapses and brain cells.

2) Silence provides us with a sense of peace that we cannot feel when the noise is blaring around us, even, white noise.

3) Silence allows us shut off the world around us.  When the world doesn't intrude, we can rest our minds and hearts.

4)  Silence allows the flow of new ideas into our brains.  When we are not distracted, we can think more easily. The distractions are few.  

5) Silence allows us to hear what is going on around us.  I just heard a train on the other side of town as it travels through our city.

These are all well and good, but how to we turn off the noise?
1)
It's not easy.  If you are the parent of young children, you know that when things get quiet, it's time to find the kids and see what's going on.  That's a given.
However, as the parent of young children, you can have quiet time where everyone rests for 10-15 minutes without talking or crying.  It's good to get them used to quiet times when they are young.
Sometimes, even when it's noisy, you just have to secure the house, then go into the bathroom and shut the door.  Hopefully, you'll find some quiet time that way.

2) Turn off the TV, the electronic devices, anything that makes noise, and leave them off!
It's hard to do, but you won't regret it.  I'm a TV junkie.  I use it for white noise.  It takes discipline for me to turn off the tube, and, at times, the silence is deafening, but I feel better, now, when I have silence.

3) Go for a walk without a device on which to listen to music.  Savor the sounds you hear outdoors.  
Don't talk to anyone except to say Hello and smile.  Savor the silence of the outdoors.

4) Go to a church that is open.  Be reverent while you are there.  Sit in a quiet spot and savor the silence inside.

5) Read a book.   Read a magazine.  Just read.  Go into the world of the story, and the noise will be less distracting.  

I'm sure you have many more ideas.  What would you suggest to tone down the noise and embrace the silence?

4)
 

Saturday, April 9, 2016

On the Workbench: Going from

This...


















to



This.


I'm working with clay and experimenting with techniques
as I cover these plates.
I'll show you more next week.
Not only is this fun, but it becomes unique wall art.




Talk to you soon!

Friday, April 8, 2016

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.There are definitely signs of spring in the air! The daisies are beginning to push their way up through the mulch.  The rhubarb is outside the the mulch and ready to grow.  Even though the days are cool, I'm ready for spring, too.

2) When I went to buy a new Iphone case at Sam's Club, I found out that, at least according to their records, I was dead.  The good thing is that now, we're back in business, and I am alive again!

3) As I write this, there  is quiet and the soft light of morning streaming in my window.  If I could freeze my day at any moment, it would be now.  

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Streets

The street I grew up on was very similar to this street, except that there wasn't much grass in the yards.  Usually grass was replaced with gravel or rocks.
Trust me, there were plenty of rocks!
The trees were the kinds that could survive in a hot, desert climate.
There weren't many trees on our block.
The street I grew up on was straight, not curvy.
This street has so many curves!
We knew our neighbors back then.
Luckily, on this street, there is a nice community of friends.
The streets were all paved where I grew up, and they were hot in the summer time when we walked without shoes where ever we went.
The streets were lined with lizards back home.
I don't think I've ever seen a lizard on this street.
The pavement is hot in the summer time, but now I wear my sandals to walk.
I stepped on a bee once, and I am allergic, so better safe than sorry.
I used to think all streets were the same, but they're not.
They might be the beginning of a road or a path, but streets are streets.
There are different faces on each street.  There are different cars that traverse the street.
A street where no one lives or walks or drives cannot be called a street.
Luckily, I have lived on many streets that team with life!
What about your street?
What's it like?

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Worth Repeating: Random Questions: The election

This post is not that old, but it's nice to be old, because you don't have to care.

Normally, I refrain from commenting, but this year, 
I'm older and I don't care.
Why does Hilary yell so much?
Why does Bernie think he'll be President?
Why don't people like Ted?
Why is the the Donald, the Donald?
Why don't people realize that if something is illegal, they really should care?
Why do people think that, because someone says they didn't do it, but the evidence is there, that
maybe, they did commit the illegal act?
When someone says, "I really like the evangelicals.  I have my mother's bible," do people ignore the obvious.  That's just not true?
 
Why is it popular to be a "progressive" when that term  means nothing?
Why do people call abortion "Health care," when it's not?
Why is our society embracing lies, deceit, and corruption in our politicians?
How can we make it better?

Monday, April 4, 2016

This, That, and the Other Monday

video
This

That:
I really need to list a few things in my Etsy Shop.  People seem to like these little ring dishes.  I made them from polymer clay.
They are small and will, most likely, hold a ring or two, a small necklace, etc.  You get the picture.

The Other
I have to finish gathering my tax information together. 
A lot to do today.
Check out my store later.
A few of these dishes will be there.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

6 Words to Describe Your Moment Right Now

Early
Morning
Silence
Before
Day
Begins.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Yes! I finally learned how to make a sliding knot!!!!!!

It's taken me years.
I have tried and tried to make a sliding knot.
I've watched videos.
I've read directions.
I've bought tutorials.
Through it all, 
what I absorbed was
blah. blah. blah.
Then it happened.
I don't know why,
but a video I found on 
Pinterest
made
sense.
I don't know if you're sliding knot impaired,
but I was,
and now,
I'm not.
Here's the link,
just in case
you're impaired, too.
See you later!