Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A Milkweed Pod From Last Year

Stuck in the sand on the beach. Nature makes such amazing stuff.

Global warming?

Apparently not here. It's cold. Windy, bleak, grey, rain-spattered, toe numbing, eye-wateringly, freakishly cold! It feels much more like an Ontario October than a dreamy Ontario May. However, since complaining about the weather is actually Canada's national sport (not hockey, that's just a diversion!), no doubt next week I'll be complaining that it's too hot.

I did manage to drag myself outside to mail some letters and walk to the end of the lawn, just to be sure that the lake hadn't actually iced over again. So far so good, but I'm keeping an eye on it just the same!

I'm getting ready to go the Bead and Button Show in Milwaukee for the first time. Produced by Bead and Button Magazine, the show's website proclaims it to be the "largest jewelry and bead show in the nation". There are 370 vendors. And over 500 classes. How can I explain this to a non-beader? Well, with tongue just a bit in cheek, I'm anticipating it as a semi-magical experience, with more beads than my mind can possibly comprehend, more jewelry designers, bead lovers and artisans in one place than I've ever seen, and much esoteric knowledge being exchanged. Because I've never been, I feel rather like Hermione on her way to Hogwarts.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

More Little Things

A Little Visitor In The Yard:

Little Things From The Beach:

I love the blue jay's feather, I hardly ever find them, however I can always offer you an extraordinary variety of seagull feathers! The opaque light green glass is fantastic, I don't think I've ever found any that particular color. The vaguely heart shaped stone has a cave of tiny sparkling crystals that goes through to the other side. I thought it curious that the other two stones have holes in the same enlongated shape. And a piece of blue glass always makes my day.

A Little Excitement: no picture though...there was a tremendous scrabbling and thumping of paws a while ago...punctuated by squeaks. Yes, Valentine had a large, pissed off mouse hanging from her mouth by the tail. She knew I would take it away from her and promptly took off for the basement. You would think it would be easy for a fast young cat and a reasonably agile human to catch a mouse in a very large, mostly unfurnished space...but that mouse was fast! And feisty! It was standing up on it's hind legs, boxing at the cat...who was quite disconcerted by this un-mouse-like behaviour. I almost had it a few times, but finally gave up. Valentine is still downstairs on high alert. That had better be a cautious mouse tonight, or it will be, as Mma Ramotswe says a "late" mouse!

Wild Strawberry Blossoms...

...which means that in approximately 6 weeks the homemade wild strawberry ice-cream will be ready! Won't you stop by? It's really good!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Finding the balance

This post was prompted by concern over a friend, but as I wrote it I realized it applies to me, my own self also. And probably to everyone else too. We are all far more alike than we realize.
Thanks to M.S. for planting the concept in my head in the first place!

If your kindness is rejected, it does not mean you are unkind.
If your creativity is belittled, it does not mean you are not creative.
If your loyalty is dismissed, it does not mean you are not loyal.
If your fears and worries are not comforted, they are no less real.
If your encouragement is rejected, it does not mean you are not supportive
If your generosity is never enough, it does not mean you are ungenerous
If your gentleness is met with abruptness, it makes you no less gentle.
If your sympathy is taken for granted, it is no less precious a gift
If your knowledge is dismissed, you are no less wise
If your honesty is challenged, you are no less truthful
If your tenderness is mocked, it does not mean you are weak
If your strength is dismissed, it does not make you weak
If your sensitivity is criticized, it does not make you insensitive
If your patience is deemed inadequate it does not mean you are impatient
If your love is rejected, it does not mean you are not lovable, or loving.

"An it harm none", you have a right to be in the world just as you are. No one else has the right to define who, or what you are.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

Mama Robin...and family. With touching optimism and faith in the kindness of the universe, she built her nest in a low bush just outside the door of the tiny apartment building I live in. There are only 35 apartments here, but a fair number of people pass in and out of the front door each day, along with assorted kids, dogs, bicycles and delivery people. Yet she patiently brooded over her four exquisite pale blue eggs, confident that all of us were looking out for her. She's quite absorbed in caring for her infants...when I took this picture I could have reached out and touched her, I hope she knew she had no need to fear.

I'm not a mother. I simply never got "the call", and consider myself lucky to live in a time and place where I had a choice to remain childless. But I'm blessed with a mother, and a sister who is a mother, and friends with children, all of whom show me in their various ways the joys and challenges of the hardest job in the world. I salute you, and all mothers. Every day should be Mother's Day. I love you all.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Treadmill Kitty

This is how I feel about treadmills too!!

Friday, May 9, 2008

The Path

The path may never be smooth, but that doesn't mean it can't be beautiful.

Cobblestones in Clovelly, North Devon, UK

Thursday, May 8, 2008


Yes, I know that everyone who has ever held a pen or sat at a keyboard has tried to describe the feelings evoked by spring. I'm sure there's nothing new to say about spring. But every year, we are moved to try again!
It's ephemeral, and heartbreakingly beautiful. After a long drab endless season, I am surrounded with a lavishness of color, sound and scent so bountiful it's almost overwhelming. In spring I understand why the earth deities are female. The eternal feminine is all around me, even the air I'm breathing is infused with rebirth and abundance. And I'm filled with gratitude for each new day and the chance it gives me to grow.
Reading: The Kalahari Typing Club For Men, and Women's Work, The First 10,000 Years
Listening: Rusted Root "When I Woke"

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Treats for Fingers!

This past weekend was a special gift worthy occasion, and So requested a new ring. I got out all the goodies, the silver, the PMC, the tools and anvils and hammers and the little wee torch and all those delightful things and went to work. I ended up with...three rings for me...and a failed prototype for So! I'll try a different version next weekend, but here are the rings I gleefully made for myself:

This one features a large beautiful mellow chunk of amber. It originally was a vintage pin, I would say about 50-60 years old, with a thin wire pin and clasp embedded in the back. I never wear pins! I ruthlessly snipped off the pinback, and made a setting for it with PMC. I wanted the back of the amber to be viewable because it's so rough and richly textured in it's unpolished state. And I wanted the prongs to not cover up much of the front of the amber, so they are quite thick and sturdy. It's a large ring, the amber is 2" across, but because amber is so light, it's not as cumbersome as a stone this size would be. I'm happy with it!

This one includes a slice of banded agate. It had a neat hole in the exact center and was probably a Victorian pendant or watch fob. The colors are beautiful, a rich translucent carnelian with streaks of buff, amber and creamy white. It's on a fine silver rivet (which hasn't actually been riveted yet), with a PMC beadcap and black rubber O rings to pull it into the 21 century!

And the last one is just for fun...I've been making corsets for about 10 years now, authentic, curve-creating, steel boned, silk beauties, and decided it would be fun to have a corset ring. Fine silver, laced with Japanese hemp tipped with antique cut-steel beads. The girls at belly dance really liked this one!
Here I am with three new rings, and poor So has no new ring! I'll remedy that on the weekend!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Little? or Big?

It's all a matter of perspective, isn't it?

What is trivial to someone else may be so important to me. It might be a feeling or an incident, a discovery or a memory or just something that made me smile.
It's so important to realize and acknowledge what's important to ourselves, and to recognize that because we feel it is important, it is important. It's so easy to dismiss such things when others minimize them or trivialize them, and to humbly accept their opinion as correct. When that happens, it's like pinching the tiny tender leaves off a plant.
What appears to be very little, actually, might be really big. Celebrate the tiny things. They enrich your soul.