Friday, August 29, 2008


So made us the most delicious oven stew! The weather turned so cold that we were craving something "autumny" instead of the fairly unvaried diet of grilled or cold food we've been eating. So the steaks intended for the barbecue were made into this delectable dinner. Well browned cubes of steak, mushrooms, carrots, onions, garlic, celery stalks and leaves, fresh herbs and some brown stock, a few hours in the oven (during which it smelled heavenly) , plus some mashed potatos, and we enjoyed it so much!! I only wished I had made an autumny dessert apple crisp or a hot brownie pudding (you know, the type that goes into the oven as batter with boiling water on top, and comes out of the oven as cake with sauce hiding underneath). But So doesn't eat dessert which means I would have had to eat the whole thing, which is inadvisable! Maybe next time.

I hope your dinner today is as yummy!

Tiny Rose

The size of a dime, from the Fairy rosebush

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Just a teeny tiny rant....

Sometimes I would like to poke Ebay with a pointy stick. That's all.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Handy Gadget!

Thou roguish pottle-deep pigeon-egg!

Need a quick and effective barb for the surly varlet at the grocery store? A snappy put-down for a troublemaker at yon tavern?? Try the "Shakespearean Insulter"! Elegantly anachronistic insults in iambic pentameter were never easier!!

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Goal...

As an addendum to my previous is what I strive for: a soft and gentle existence with a clearly visible heart, slightly squishy, and encompassing plenty of sweetness!

Coconut scented halal marshmallows from Rangoon

Just a thought:

What value is an unyielding exterior with a heart-shaped hole at it's center? Cultivation of softness and a little flexibility are essential to compassion and happiness.

Beads and Beach Walks

Pods and Seeds from Another Planet:

I'm quite pleased with this series of pods...made over a two day period, all of the colors harmonize together and there is a lot of subtle detail revealed on close examination. Some of them have a sparkling goldstone core under a surface dusted with enamel, so the glitter can only be seen at certain angles. I really like them in the flowerpot on mandrels too...I'm considering displaying them just like this at the Oasis show...what do you think? The tiny O-rings keep them in place nicely and the moss and terra cotta work well with the color of the beads. I'll need to be sure that my tiniest tags will stick on securely.

Satake Earring Pairs:

Satake Sets:

Satake Roses:

It's a beautiful Monday today, breezy and sunny and cool and Augusty. There is a subtle change in the quality of the light as August draws to a becomes more golden and autumnal. The clouds are racing across a sky that is achingly blue, and the lake is sparked with silver, brown and blue flashes that look exactly like Labradorite.
Beachwalks have yielded some treasures lately. What a blessing it is to enjoy finding rocks and bits and pieces like a child...please let me never become so jaded that I don't enjoy finding a cool fossil or a pretty piece of glass!

A fantastic beach stone with the most perfect hole!:

A lovely calm egg-shaped rock and a modern craft did that get onto the beach?

The egg-shaped rock:

A beautiful piece of banded smooth as though it had been polished:

An opalized fossil shell with a hint of the softest blue:

A pile of pretty glass. Note the pale lilac...and the "Holy Grail" of glass afficionados...the red piece! VERY hard to find!
It always amazes me how the beach can change so much in a single day. Layers of rocks and shells are revealed and then hidden beneath asmooth bland surface of sand. Sandbars and valleys are appear beneath the water and then disappear, swept away by waves. The water can be motionless and tranquil, and a few hours later be roaring with huge crashing waves. Water that appears deep can actually be shallow, shallow-looking channels can be surprisingly deep. A lot to learn here, about not clinging to what changes, and that things are seldom what they appear to be be.

Check out Cristina Leonard's new blog. It's a lovely blog, and a treat to see Cris's silver work and her experiments with the brand new bronze clay. One thing that is good to know about Cris, which she may not reveal on her blog, is that she really enjoys being hit in the back of the head with broken saw blades ...(just kidding!)

An interesting, though anonymous quote:

"It's unfortunate that our society equates criticism with intelligence. It has created paralysis of the negative. It implies that contentment and happiness and easy-going spirit are naive."

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A Musical Cat

This is delightful. This cat has a musical soul and look how she loves her piano. The sequel video is great too!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Bead beads beads...

I am making a lot of beads!! I'm doing a juggling act between getting lots of beads made for the Oasis show and doing ebay listings as well. There is interest in the Victorian white clothing I have listed...however it is currently taking the form of begging emails pleading with me to end the auctions early. Hmmmm. We'll see where it all ends, sometimes these emails mean things will do very nicely. One never knows these days!

Anyhow, I have made a lot of earring pairs and sets:

Satake glass sets in yummy juicy colors:

A Satake glass focal...I love how the Japanese glass has it's own unique qualities. The opaques are very dense and intense, and the opals and transparents are so delicate and wispy:

Some Satake glass focals, using the lily murrine I made in Aki Okhama's class. Lot's of 24K gold in these beads. It takes about an hour to make a meter or so of gold cane, fortunately it's beauty makes the trouble worthwhile!

A slender focal with Raku fireworks:

A fun large Voodoo Fossil, with skulls, cats eyes, lizards eyes and dichroic, lots of layers and details:

More tree frogs. We have NEVER had such a year of tree frogs! Because I've never seen so many I feel compelled to take pictures of each one...I apologize...I realize they all look pretty much alike. One sat beside me this morning on the rail of the deck, while I drank my coffee. He was a tranquil little Buddha, with his front legs tucked beneath him just like a cat, enjoying the morning sunshine. He couldn't have been more than an inch long. None have been as green as the one the kitty found, that one looked as though it had been coated with luminous green enamel!

Today I'll be in the studio for another day with the Japanese glass, tomorrow I'll be switching back to the Italian, as I check off the items on my list. I'm so blessed to have such a heavenly place to do my work. Late summer is truly glorious here!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Belly Review

We were blessed with the most beautiful day imaginable! There was a lot of laughter and enthusiasm. It was great to see some new faces and to reconnect with friends. And if I do say so...the chocolate cupcakes were pretty tasty! It was a pleasure to dance in such good company.

Silk rainbow veil

Artemis dancing

Enjoying the beach

Tamara with Isis wings

Artemis and attentive students

A bit of shopping...

Watching Yasmina Ramsey's video

Susan with beautiful blue silk

Coy Aphrodite

Smiling Eshta




Evaluate : i-val-yoo-eyt, verb
1. Estimate the nature, quality, ability, extent, or significance of
2. Form a critical opinion of
3. To form an idea of the worth of

I am learning to evaluate my interactions based on what is done, rather than by what is said, or by what I am told. The difference between the two is sometimes quite remarkably different. I don't consider myself naive, or gullible, but I am trusting, and tend to believe what I am told. To learn a more objective evaluation of reality is a valuable exercise in growth.

Kali, also known as Kalika is a Hindu goddess associated with death and destruction. The name Kali means 'force of Kala or time' which makes all things transient. Despite her negative connotations, she is not actually the goddess of death, but rather of Time and Change. Although sometimes presented as black and violent, her earliest incarnation as a figure of annihilation still has some influence.

More complex Tantric beliefs sometimes extend her role so far as to be the "Ultimate Reality". Comparatively recent devotional movements largely conceive Kali as a benevolent mother goddess. One of the underlying distinctions of Tantra, in comparison to other religions, is that it allows the devotee the liberty to choose from a vast array of complementary symbols and rhetoric that which suits one’s evolving needs and tastes. From an aesthetic standpoint, nothing is interdict and nothing is orthodox. In this sense, the projection of some of Devi’s more gentle qualities onto Kali is not sacrilege and the development of Kali really lies in the practitioner.

The Tantric approach to Kali is to display courage by confronting her on cremation grounds in the dead of night, despite her terrible appearance. In contrast, the Bengali devotee appropriates Kali's teachings, adopting the attitude of a child. In both cases, the goal of the devotee is to become reconciled with death and to learn acceptance of the way things are.

Simon's Cat

YAY! A new Simon's Cat! Some very careful cat observations went into the making of this!! Particularly the "see my butt??????" movement, with which all cat owners are familiar!

Friday, August 15, 2008

One quick wish for the world...

I truly wish that everyone in the world could be so blessed as to have a friend like Veronica and a partner like So.

The Dancing Chef...

Tomorrow is "Belly at the Beach". This is an annual event I host here at the lakehouse. We have several instructors coming and a group of wonderful women coming to learn a choreography, eat, laugh, walk on the beach and DANCE!
Lunches are brought by the participants, but dinner is included so I will be spending today doing all the cooking. Everything will be served cold so all I'll have to do tomorrow is pull out the goodies, round up 17 plates, and ring the dinner bell!
I'm making:
Grilled chicken with lemon and garlic
Spiced basmati rice with homemade garum masala
Cilantro, cucumber and tomato salad
Thai brown rice vermicelli noodle salad with sauteed veggies and a peanut dressing
Greek salad
Chocolate cupcakes (because we'll need chocolate after dancing all day, and I like making cupcakes!)
I also have some sweets that I purchased from our wonderful local ethnic food store...three kinds of Soan Papdi (Indian cardamom sweets, heavenly), pistachio halvah, chocolate halvah and candied fennel seeds from India.
Grapes and fresh pineapple to round things out.
So it will be a busy day!
I must say a word about our local ethnic food store. It's called Rangoon, and is owned by a family from Burma. They are wonderful, friendly people and are so helpful with our questions. We love to go in and look around, it's a tiny store just crammed with the most interesting things...chunks of black sugar from Sri Lanka, snacks from Japan (I would just love to offer my nephews a bag of the rice crackers which include tiny dried fish as a flavor accent!), the freshest long beans and cilantro and lemongrass and winter melons, and of course every sort of obscure spice, making the shop smell amazing. I'm so glad that this shop exists in this fairly small city!
I'm off to put George Abdo on the CD player and shimmy while I cook!

Life will always throw me curves....let me learn to just go with it!!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A Day Off? Really?


I took a day off today! This is uncommon and really fun. Maybe I should do it more often. I had a blissful pedicure, a visit, lunch out, a bit of library time, a browse through a thrift store (found a lovely linen jacket for ME, $5.99), and then went with a friend to see Mama Mia! How I love Meryl Streep. I enjoyed it so much...just a fluffy light chick flick without pretentions. I believe there was approximately 1 man in the fairly full theater, I loved the energy created by 100 or so women laughing their heads off and (every now and then) singing! Now I am relaxing and admiring my pearly pale pink toes. There are rainbows and fluffy bunnies coming out of the tips of my toes whenever I sneeze!

Anyone who has ever worked in a retail environment will understand....
Oh my goodness, I've been going back and reading these since last night and laughing my butt off. Thanks universe...I needed that! Even funnier than Cheezburger!

Life’s Great Mysteries, Volume 1
Grocery Store Oklahoma, USAOklahoma, USA
(I’m working in the meat department as a middle-aged woman in a business suit approaches me.)
Customer: “Excuse me, miss?”
Me: “Yes, ma’am, how can I help you?”
Customer: *dead serious* “What’s the difference between beef and pork?”
Me: “Um… one comes from a pig, and one comes from a cow. ”
Customer: “Oh, okay! I’ve always wondered that!”
(She walks off happily and I never worked with the public again.)

Warning: Movie May Require Brain Cells
Bookstore Arkansas, USA
Customer: “This is a readin’ movie. Do I have to pay fer this? It’s a readin’ movie. Ya’ know, where ya’ have to read it?”
Me: “You mean it had subtitles?”
Customer: “Yeah! Those! I don’t have to pay for that, do I?”
Me: “Well, we really don’t do preferential refunds because it isn’t our obligation to make sure the customer likes the movie. We just make it available.”
Customer: “That’s bullcrap!”
(He skulks away from my register and hangs around the candy display as the next customer walks up laughing.)
Me, to the next customer: “Hello, ma’am. How’re you doing today? Good? That’s great. Before we start here, I’d like to warn you that this magazine you’re about to purchase is a readin’ magazine, and that we don’t give refunds. Sorry.”
(The previous disgruntled customer, who obviously heard everything I said, is completely oblivious to the fact that I’m mocking him.)

Accidental Lemonade From Lemons
Public Library Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Me: “Hi, can I help with anything?”
Customer: “Yes, I’m looking for a good book.”
Me: “Do you have any specific genre or subject in mind?”
Customer: “Yes, a good one… one that I’ll like.”
Me: “Um, you’ll have to be a bit more specific. I don’t really know what you like. Science fiction, thriller, fantasy, horror, that sort of thing?”
Customer: “Well, don’t you know any good books?”
Me: “I haven’t actually read them all, but–”
Customer: “You haven’t? What kind of librarian are you? Isn’t there anyone here who can help me?”
Me: “This one–” *holding up a book* “–is pretty popular at the mo–”
Customer: “How do you know I’ll like it?! You can’t know that. I want a book that I’ll like.”
(I get frustrated and just grab a random book that was recently turned in.)
Me: “Here, you’ll love this one!”
(Unfortunately, she did like it, and told my boss to thank me for my great suggestion. Darn.)

I am enjoying reading these FAR too much!

So and I are sending a huge bucket of LOVE to Sam and Darren , who are celebrating their 10th anniversary in New Orleans.
"You'll never know just how much I love you
You'll never know just how much I care
If there was some other way
To prove that I love you
I swear I don't know how
You'll never know if you don't know now"
And yes, for you purists out there, I know those aren't the proper lyrics but that's how I sang it at the wedding, so there.

Coming up on eBay, as soon as I can get them ready: a lacy extravaganza ofVictorian white clothing, with a few Edwardian and other interesting pretties! There are some beautiful pieces and I'm delighted to be offering them.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008


(kom-pash-en)----The humane quality of understanding the suffering of others and wanting to do something about it .

Middle English compassioun, from Late Latin compassi, compassin-, from compassus, past participle of compat, to sympathize : Latin com-, com- + Latin pat, to suffer; see p(i)- in Indo-European roots.

"We frail humans are at one time capable of the greatest good and, at the same time, capable of the greatest evil. Change will only come about when each of us takes up the daily struggle ourselves to be more forgiving, compassionate, loving, and above all joyful in the knowledge that, by some miracle of grace, we can change as those around us can change too."
---------Mairead Maguire

Sunday, August 10, 2008

August Already?

I haven't posted for a while...not because I had nothing to say but because I have too MUCH to say and couldn't seem to prioritize! Narrative? Philosophical? Artistic visions? Photos? What???? I realized that I can actually just write whatever I want and that's the whole point and purpose of this excercise! So there!

The past few weeks have been pleasantly busy with a variety of tasks and activities. The studio is coming along really Dad's old work bench is now a screamin' pink. Beads are gradually accumulating for next months show, ebay items are being prepared, and an appropriate amount of rest is being taken. Lots of long beach walks sooth my soul. So has had her stitches removed and though still feeling pain from the surgery, is on the way to recovering from her dental ordeal. The cat has been performing her destiny as a mighty hunter, politely bringing us assorted treats, and has been rescued from trees twice...both climbs precipitated by unleashed dogs with friendly intentions. Friendly intentions are all well and good, but Valli doesn't believe in dogs. I'm not fond of climbing up ladders in a skirt (I don't mind heights, but ladders I am wary of!), but twice she has graciously allowed me to rescue her with minimal puncture damage to my skin, maintaining a regal dignity as I retreat back down the ladder, with the usual cat projection of "I totally meant to do that, you know".

We had family visit last weekend, including a couple of visitors from the Canadian Military...General Mayhem and Major Destruction!

The most popular toys were: 1-a red nylon cat tunnel which the cat actually never plays in, 2-an assortment of colored pipe cleaners, 3-sticks and 4- a very large, waterlogged log (even my six foot four inch brother in law was playing with the log! They were riding it in the water, rather like a slow Fred Flintstone jet-ski!) My sister and I are wondering why we bother buying toys for presents.
One evening we noticed the kitty was playing with something in a corner so Er went to see what it was, and it was the tiniest tree frog I've ever seen! How it got inside we don't know. Luckily Valli had played with it gently and it was fine. We all enjoyed looking at it before General Mayhem let it go outside. It was so small and so GREEN it looked like a little toy.

We went for lots of beach walks and found lots of fossils, beach glass and pretty rocks. We ate lots of junk food and some of us had non-adult beverages in glasses with sparkly colored lights in the bases! Holes were dug, sand castles were constructed, stones were skipped. We had beach bonfires with toasted chocolate marshmallows. Did you know there were chocolate marshmallows? They tasted like hot chocolate when they were toasted. Yummy! We made necklaces and bracelets and drew colored chalk pictures on the porch. Some of us played with Lego, while others napped or looked through piles of magazines courtesy of my sister. It was a lovely visit.

In the studio, I've been doing some silver and copper work along with the glass, incorporating my own beads with found objects. Remember the piece of glass I found with a V on it, during one of my park digs? I squared it off on the flat lap and made it into a pendant for Veronica, using one of the techniques Anne taught in her workshop. I used a delicately textured brass for the back piece, which glows through the pale yellow-green glass, and found a harmonizing pearl in my stash.

I made a pendant for my sister, with a piece of Blue Willow china which Brigitte found on the beach and kindly gave to me! Er collectsBlue Willow china so I really wanted to make her a littlesomething with it. I added blue beach glass, an antique button, a heart shaped freshwater pearl and one of my egg beads. It's really fun working with these mixtures of stuff!

I've been working with my Japanese Satake glass for the last few days. I love the soft dreamy colors. It's a melty glass, it's so soft and creamy, it's like making beads with frosting. Finicky, but when it works well it's soooo worth it!

I finally finished my Viking knit chain, this was also a project from a class with Anne. As an excercise in conquering perfectionism, I am ignoring it's faults and focusing on it's lovely slinky texture, delectable weight and how amazed I am that I made it out of a coil of wire! It's really is amazing. It's such an ancient chain technique. While I worked on it I enjoyed contemplating how such a chain might have been made in the past, when acquiring the metal was more complicated than placing an order online! It's a portable technique, perfect to work on when sitting by a fire listening to the skald...or while waiting for a bus. I really enjoyed making it and I'll be making more of these I'm sure.

To close this post I'm sharing an image of one of Veronica's new pieces. I love this! The show opened on Friday and this piece sold at the opening! Yay Veronica!!!