Friday, February 29, 2008

and the moral of the story is...

One day a farmer's donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do.

Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn't worth it to retrieve the donkey.

He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone's amazement he quieted down.

A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up.

As the farmer's neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up.

Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!

Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a stepping stone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up.

Remember the five simple rules to be happy:
Free your heart from hatred - Forgive.
Free your mind from worries - Most never happen.
Live simply and appreciate what you have.
Give more.
Expect less

NOW ............

Enough of that crap . . The donkey later came back, and bit the farmer who had tried to bury him.
The gash from the bite got infected and the farmer eventually died in agony from septic shock.

When you do something wrong, and try to cover your ass, it always comes back to bite you.

Friday Frb. 29th

Happy Leap Day.

Today is dedicated to finishing my tips first video. Wish me luck.

I got back to my weeding yesterday, one more section down. I was a very bad person, I took 3 days off from my desert duties and did not finish what I told myself that I would, but I am back on track and back to my tasks. I have broken down the yard into manageable sections so I do not get to discouraged and just stop.

The weather here is so amazing right now, it will not be to long till my pool is warm enough to swim again. I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to those morning swims to start my day.

Can you believe that I am actually going back to winter on purpose next week for the Great Lakes Beadworkers show? It will be great to see all of those fantastic folks so soon. I was talking to Joanne yesterday and I am “tentatively” on the schedule to teach there again in January 2010. Can you believe that this amazing guild is booked solid through 2008 & 2009?

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Thursday Feb. 28th.

Here is an article that sums up yesterdays Opening Day game. It is from a writer for check it out.
The lower picture is a shot of Todd Helton for the Rockies at bat against the Sox closer Bobby Jenks. Todds nickname is handsome silky-beaded first base guy!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Wednesday Feb. 27th.

What a beautiful day. It was a sunny 80º with a slight breeze, perfect weather for a game and by the way it was 22º in Chicago and they had 5 inches of snow yesterday! I got to the park about an hour before the game. I wanted to be at the park and see if they were going to have batting practice or drill before they took to the field. I got my ticket from the will call and as I walked up to the gate I was met with the aroma of fresh cut grass and hot dogs. Everyone else was as glad to be there as I was. There are people who winter here in Tucson just to volunteer at the park for Spring Training.

The quote I gave you a few days ago about the harbinger of spring being the sound of the bat on the ball is all well and good but I realized that there is a sound that means more to me than that one. It is the sound of a 90 mile an hour fastball striking the catchers glove. That “thwap” as the ball strikes the glove; there is nothing else like it in the world. There are few other sounds that are as sweet to my ears.

I had my beer and my Polish Dog with peppers and I watched the game. I am sorry to say that the Sox got stomped after the 5th inning. In Spring Training, the first innings are to get the regulars into the groove of playing. They are not going to have their star catcher A.J. Pierzynski catch an entire game just yet and John Danks is not ready to pitch more than just a couple of innings. After all of the regulars got a good workout, they are released from the game and then it is time for the non-roster invitees and the non-starters to get some playing time.

There are 2 big fielding issues for the team this year. Juan Uribe, the short stop from last year does not have a full time position to play with the addition of Orlando Cabrera to the roster and Josh Fields, who was so amazing last year as the 3rd base replacement for Joe Creede, who was sidelined for 90% of last season.

If this is boring to any of you, I am sorry, but I just love my ball and I am so excited for it to be spring again. I will try to keep it to a dull roar, as we will have baseball for the next 8 months.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Mighty Mighty Great Lakes Beadworkers Guild

Hey there! News Just In!!!

I will be exhibiting at the one day Great Lakes Beadworkers Guild Bead Bonanza in Detroit MI. This most excellent one day show is on Sunday March 9th. from 10am to 5pm. Come see me and check out the new patterns that I have been getting ready and some of the new finished pieces that I will have available.

Tuesday Feb. 26th.

Tomorrow at 1:05 pm Arizona time (as we here in AZ do not follow the time zone rules that the rest of the country observes, so I spend half of the year an hour off of my normal time zone.) I will be privileged to attend the opening day of Spring Training at Tucson Electric Park. I will be witness to a classic competition between the Colorado Rockies vs. the Chicago White Sox. Believe me when I tell you that this could not be an event that I am welcoming more. It means the death knell of winter, the beginning of summer and 8 months of glorious contests that will culminate in the fall classic. I will take pictures and give you all a complete report. I will most certainly have a dog and a beer to celebrate the momentous occasion. I long to hear the sound of the bat on the ball live once again, only 12 hours to go till batting practice.

The video for the tips section is coming along and is gonna be great. I am really happy with how it is going!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Monday Feb. 25th

I just keep working along and making more headway as each day passes. I have taken to listening to all of my favorite operas as I work. My collection of classical music will be the next selection to come out of its mothball stasis.

There is much to uncover and many truths to realize as we pass through each lifetime. As we open our hearts and minds to experience love, passion, loyalty, hate, betrayal, cruelty, desperation, fear, selfishness, cowardice and everything else in between we become aware of the smallness. I can walk in canyons and look up at the mountains. I can stand beside the river and watch the water of the mountain streams rush by and see my footprints in the sands along the riverbanks. I can watch the earth block out the moon from my front yard and as I do everyone of these things I am struck by how small everything seems to become. Is this why things become so important and so intense? Is it a response to this smallness that drives us make sure that these experiences maintain importance?

I think that this is one of the reasons that I love the opera so desperately. In one big beautiful bouquet, it gives us everything. The smallest gesture that may be missed by the eyes can be understood and acknowledged within the music. In the music we are granted access to the most private and primal depths for each moment. All we have to do is listen.

Here is that great quote from the movie Pretty Woman; "People's reactions to opera the first time they see it is very dramatic. They either love it or they hate it. If they love it, they will always love it. If they don't, they may learn to appreciate it, but it will never become part of their soul."

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Saturday Feb. 23rd

The dam at Sabino Canyon this evening!

I am gaining more understanding of the Dreamweaver Web Design program everyday. I just placed all new images in the main pages for all of the chain pattern kits. It is really nice to have more continuity from page to page.

I am getting ready to post the first of my tips. I am planning on having a rotating selection of short videos that will share the basic tips of chain making and a few of the simple tips from the Fine Silver Metalworking DVD.

Today I started really working with iMovie and I spent the better part of the day getting used to the Video camera that I bought last fall and getting the movies to transfer to the iMovie program. This is going to be a lot of fun. I have kept postponing starting to work with it for some random reason or another. Fear of attempting to open the unknown is probably the best answer I can come up with.

I have started to take my hikes in Sabino canyon in the late afternoons early evening times. Tonight was so peaceful, so green and so full of water. We had a late winter storm here a few days ago and the water has been really running. The water was running so hard over the damn that as I walked closer to the falls the water stopped sounding like running water but started sounding like white noise.

Keep a look out for the first tip! It will be nice.
And once again, thank you for all of the kind emails letting me know that you like my new site.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Friday Feb. 22nd

Here are two really cool things that Gail Crosman Moore sent me and asked me to do something with.

The Round Brush is suspended from one of my Woven Chain Kits with a Fine Silver Bail that is wrapped with Fine Silver Wire. The fine silver tube insert on the brush was made possible by a friend of Andrea Guarinos that make really great tools.

Jim Moore check out his stuff!

This second is made from these really fantastic brass findings that Gail placed a paper bead and googly eyes in an epoxy-resin. I punched a hole in the top and made a Tube Rivet Bail and attached it to a Fine Silver Chain.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Perfect Retort

Choose Wisely

Well that sums that up. Don't you think so?

Rock Paper Scissors Website

It was around 3am one morning about 4 or 5 years ago when I realized that I was not going to be able to go back to sleep and I turned on the TV to pass the time. I found my self tuned into, believe it or not, The Rock Paper Scissors Worlds Championships. Yes, there is a World Championship Competition for this and it is absolutely the funniest thing that I have ever seen. But do not misunderstand me, it is very serious business to the people who compete. ESPN actually televises the event. The contestants throw attitude if their opponent fakes a throw before the count of three or tries to fake a hesitation to take them off of their count. Keep a look out it is worth the effort. I think it should be around in summer.

P.S. Make sure you check out the Gambit Play section of this website.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Wednesday Feb. 20th

It was beautiful. I wasn't sure of I was going to be able to see the event this evening. The entire day was overcast and gloomy. I have never been a witness to anything like it before. There have been lunar and solar eclipses but this is the first time I have been in the correct hemisphere with the right weather for a celestial event of this kind. I remember seeing a solar eclipse when I was in high school. This was just as exciting!

I bought a zoom spotting scope last summer around the 4th of July to look at the stars here in Tucson. It was really beautiful to watch the eclipse this evening with that.

More weeding and I am not going to be able to stop for a few more days. I am working in the yard for about 2 hours a day and I probably have about 4 to 6 hours left till I am done enough. So far? 6 to 8 Hours! UGH!

I want to thank everyone who has emailed me to let me know that they like the new site and the journal. It is really nice get the feedback and support from everyone. I know there are a few empty pages but I am working on them for a few hours everyday. Keep checking in on my progress.


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Feb. Tuesday 19th (Click on the web address to check it out!)

The new look of my website is up and running. After a brief technical difficulty with uploading the new site and archiving the old one, I am happy to say that it is fully functional. There will be several new pages that will take place over the following weeks. Take a look and keep an eye out for all of the changes.

Today was spent with more weeding. Slowly the battle of the desert is being waged and it looks as if I may be winning. (It is an illusion I know, but let me believe that I can win this one just for a few weeks.)

On Wednesday, February 20, 2008, beginning at 7:01 p.m. PST, the moon will move completely under the shadow of the Earth in a total lunar eclipse. The eclipse can be seen in the Americas, Europe, and Africa. Hope for good weather because the next total lunar eclipse won't happen until December 2010.

The moon will be completely under Earth's shadow for about 50 minutes. During this time, the moon won't be completely obscured because of indirect light coming from the Earth's atmosphere. But the moon will appear to change colors from light gray to orange or deep red. The shade depends on the amount of dust and clouds in the Earth's atmosphere.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Moonlight In Tucson

This evening was fantastic. I was out on the back porch finishing up some laundry before I was going to go read for a bit and I realized that the moon was illuminating my back yard. I went out from the porch, looked up, and was greeted by on of the most glorious Moon Rings that I have seen in a really long time. Not only was there a perfect ring around the moon there was a slash right through it as well. What a great way to end my day. I have one more image to file away in my Rolodex.

The coolest part to ponder is that the moonlight is reflected sunlight. This reflected light is traveling an extra 238,855 x 2 miles to get here. Just think, while we are gazing up at the moon, the sun is lighting up the opposite side of the earth. The beams of sunlight have to travel past the earth and are bouncing back to us from the surface of the moon and yet it is still bright enough to light up my back yard. How cool it that!

(The 238,855 miles is the average distance from the earth to the moon over the course of its 27 plus day orbit around the earth.)

These rings are caused by the reflection of moonlight off of ice crystals in high, thin clouds. The ring has a radius of 22 degrees, which is set by the properties of water. Most often, the ring around the moon is caused by high, thin cirrus clouds -- sometimes too thin to be seen by any other means.
(I pulled this information off of some science/space orientated website. I copied and pasted it and now I can’t find the site again. I hope that I am correct in the information that I am passing on.)

Monday Feb. 18th

Happy Independence Day to the West African Republic of Gambia!

Well, I made a MAJOR dent in my patch of desert. Everything outside of the wall is now spiffy clean and the sidewalk is swept. It was 3 hours of mastering a weeding hoe, a rake and a broom to at least make the exposed public exterior look respectable. I have made myself the promise that I will spend at least 2 hours every morning till my yard is in respectable shape again. These winter rains have wreaked havoc on my yard.

I do feel just a little guilty about this weeding thing. There is this one really amazing weed, it kind of looks like a small open head of lettuce. At the base of these beauties there were droplets of water that the plant had gathered, just like the barrel cactus, an evolutionary marvel. All of the water is held for future use. Each droplet would glisten in the morning sun, right as I yanked it out of the dirt! Like I said, I felt a little guilty.

I cannot tell you how nice my new web site is gonna be. It is coming along beautifully. Keep an eye out. It will not be much longer.

Hope that everyone is having a good Presidents Day.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sunday Feb. 17th.

Watching the stars come out tonight was amazing this evening! I laid out on my diving board and watched the night sky win the battle of time. I spent 25 years as a lighting designer and the colors of sunsets have always been something that I have treasured. I have what I call a "mental Rolodex" of images of the most amazing sunsets that I have witnessed. Living in Tucson has added to my inventory beyond anything I could have ever hoped for. Tonight was no different.

As for the diving board in the backyard at dusk! I miss my bats! During this past summer I had these 2 really cute small bats that would come out at dusk and dive bomb the pool for a drink and looking for their insect dinners. I hope that they come back this summer. I loved to watch them and in some way I felt that we had an understanding. While I would be swimming and watching them they would not dive bomb my head and I would let them hunt. It is an on going symbiotic relationship that I am proud to be a part of.

What a glorious day today. The sun was shining and the air was warming. I just wish that I were feeling better. I have been a bit under the weather for the past several days. Just that nagging cruddy feeling that lets you know that you are not 100%.

I am getting quite a bit accomplished. I have made great strides on understanding the intricacies of Dreamweaver. It has been quite learning curve for me, slow but steady is winning the day! Dreamweaver is the web design program that I am using to update and redesign my website. To date I have updated the pages and added the dates for THE ULTIMATE Tucson sessions of Fine Silver Metalwork.

I am so excited about all of the things that I am going to be able to teach and share with everyone. I have spent the last three years fine tuning my techniques and making sure that all of the individuals that attend these classes walk away with every technique well in hand.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Saturday Feb. 16h.

We have had a great deal of rain in the past 36 hours. The bone warming 75 degree Tucson weather we have enjoyed for the past week has given way to the chill of one last winter storm. The desert is getting another much deserved drenching. A few weeks ago we went for an sunset hike in the canyon and were so pleasantly surprised to see running water at the falls.

One of the coolest things is to watch as the cactus’ fill with water. The pleats of the barrel cactus expand as the plant drinks its fill. It is an incredible feat of nature; the pleats actually funnel the water down the sides of the cactus to the base so nothing is wasted.

And once again there was snow in the foothills and in the Rincon Mountains. My yard has become a bit of a weed garden; I have weeded and weeded and weeded all to no avail. The never-ending battle that I cannot win till the heat of the summer wilts everything.

Friday, February 15, 2008

February 15th.

It is a wonderful and re-affirming moment when you re-discover something imperative to you that was lost. Remembering your own reasons and your own sense of self when it has been forgotten and then found the meaning becomes even more relevant.

Ayn Rand; The Romantic Manifesto
Chapter 2 Philosophy and Sense of Life
Pg 32-33 (February 1966)

There are two aspects of man’s existence which are the special province and expression of his sense of life: love and art.

I am referring here to romantic love, in the serious meaning of that term-as distinguished from the superficial infatuations of those whose sense of life is devoid of any consistent values, i.e., of any lasting emotions other than fear. Love is a response to values. It is with a person’s sense of life that one falls in love-with that essential sum, that fundamental stand or way of facing existence, which is the essence of a personality. One falls in love with the embodiment of the values that formed a person’s character, which are reflected in his widest goals or smallest gestures, which create the style of his soul-the individual style of a unique, unrepeatable, irreplaceable consciousness. It is one’s own sense of life that acts as the selector, and responds to what it recognizes as one’s own basic values in the person of another. It is not a matter of professed convictions (though these are not irrelevant); it is a matter of much more profound, conscious and subconscious harmony.

Many errors and tragic disillusionments are possible in this process of emotional recognition, since a sense of life, by itself, is not a reliable cognitive guide. And if there are degrees of evil, then one of the most evil consequences of mysticism-in terms of human suffering-is the belief that love is a matter of “the heart,” not of the mind, that love is blind and impervious to the power of philosophy. Love is the expression of philosophy- of a subconscious philosophical sum-and, perhaps, no other aspect of human existence needs the conscious power of philosophy quite so desperately. When that power is called upon to verify and support an emotional appraisal, when love is a conscious integration of reason and emotion, of mind and values, then-and only then-it is the greatest reward of man’s life.

Art is a selective re-creation of reality according to an artist’s metaphysical value-judgements. It is the integrator and concretizer of man’s metaphysical abstractions. It is the voice of his sense of life. As such, art is subject to the same aura of mystery, the same dangers, the same tragedies-and, occasionally, the same glory-as romantic love.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentines Day

Today, in 1912, Arizona became the 48th. state.

To all who know how to love.

Happy Valentines Day

The Ultimate $20.25 Splurge

For $20.25 I got a great seat for opening day of Spring Training at Tucson Electric Park.
My wonderful Chicago White Soxs vs The surprise upstarts from last years playoffs The outstanding Colorado Rockies

My Seat: Section 113; Row 15; Seat 11.
First Pitch: 1:05pm

The last 4 months without my National Pastime has been a huge drag.

14 days Till Baseball Begins Anew. As we get closer I am sure I will start to count the hours till the first pitch. If I follow my own rules of travel and events the actual countdown is as follows:

You can't count the day you are in and you can't count the the day of the event, so I really only have 12 day left. Praise be!

Bill Veek - One of baseball's great men of baseball had the following to say about the game......"That's the true harbinger of spring, not crocuses or swallows returning to Capistrano, but the sound of a bat on a ball."

Annie Savoy - Susan Sarandon's character from Bull Durham......"I believe in the Church of Baseball."

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Wednesday Feb. 13th

There are days that no matter how hard you try you just can't win. If you want to sit down and talk you can't because someone ate your cottontail and the other person won't listen because their ears have been chewed off.

Oh, well tomorrow is another day!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Tuesday Feb. 12th

Spent some time this morning putting my house back together and putting away all of the class tools and supplies. It is always a happy/sad kind of feeling when a class finishes. This is one of those times for sure.

The ladies had such a great time and we laughed till we made Kathy cry. At one point on Monday morning, Kyra held up her stainless steel tweezers and announced that she had actually fused them closed. It was at the exact moment of her announcement that she remembered that she was holding locking tweezers and all she had to do was squeeze them to release her beautifully fused ring. We all laughed till our stomachs hurt.
(And Yes! Kyra gave me full permission to pass along this story.)

Class was fantastic; we had so much fun working all of the bits and parts into finished pieces of jewelry. I am looking forward to continuing to teach this class and take it to some amazing new places. There are so many ideas floating around and this week is dedicated to realizing some of these and working out all of the nuances to teach it all.

Gail left me with some of the most beautiful wool to felt. We spent lunch today talking about integrating our two techniques into some really cool mixed media pieces. Keep a look out, these promise to be really cool.

I did get to spend most of the day with my dear friend Gail Crosman Moore. (Sadly, Gail flies home tomorrow!) We went to the Quality Inn and Pueblo Inn shows to take a look around for anything wonderful that was missed the first time around. I did find some excellent stones for my 3-day workshop at Bead & Button.

After that we went south on I-19 and went to the San Xavier Mission. It is so beautiful. You see these classic lines and proportions and then are brought into the mission to witness the local art. The large main wooden doors are adorned with amazing metalwork. The coolest thing is the inside handle. See the mouse and the snake latch/lock?

They also have these most excellent candles that you can purchase to light for your prayers. Once the candle is burned out you can take to empty glass. I brought two back for my home, I got a Our Lady of Guadalupe (The patron Saint of the Americas) and a Saint Jude (The Patron Saint of Lost Causes)

The Apostle Saint Jude Thaddeus is "The Miraculous Saint," the Catholic Patron Saint of "lost causes" and "cases of despaired." When all other avenues are closed, he is the one to call upon, and his help often comes at the last moment.

A wonderful day!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Monday Feb. 11th

Here is a great shot of Gail, Bria and I at The Whole Bead Show on the closing night of the show and another shot of 2 of my favorite people in the world Andrea and Whit.

What a wonderful day that we had in class yesterday. Kyra, Kathy, and Jen all have been creating the most wonderful things. The best part of teaching is seeing the leap that happens when someone catches onto the techniques. I love teaching fusing, I am constantly fine-tuning my own techniques and it is so awesome when each person takes those refinements and makes them their own.
Keep an eye out and I’ll post some of our projects.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Saturday Feb. 9th


It has been such a fun few days having Stacey stay with me and show her all of my favorite venues. We spent so much time haunting Gail Crosman Moore and Andrea Guarino-Slemmons at the Whole Bead Show that the folks checking the badges at the door just don’t bother with us anymore.

This was Stacey’s first visit to the Gem Show. So we went to the following shows;
The Whole Bead Show
The Best Bead Show
The Rodeway, (now the Quailty Inn)
The Pueblo Inn (now the Riverpark Inn)

Here is a very useful link to the Tucson Show Guide

I purchased a few little trinkets that I cannot wait to start playing with. This is the best part of having everyone in town for so long. We get together and kind of brainstorm with each other and come up with some interesting ideas.

I am so looking forward to teaching this Sunday and Monday. I am spending the day getting my house ready for all of the fun.
I am getting all of my dates set for the NEW & IMPROVED classes at my studio. Keep a look out and come visit and we will have an excellent time.

Here are some of the amazing pieces
that I got to play with this week!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Friday Feb. 8th

• the ability to do something that frightens one.
• strength in the face of pain or grief

Courage can come in so many forms. I am amazed by the quite courage that it takes to face our own life lessons, accept them and learn from them. Every important, painful or joyous experience from our own personal history makes us who we are today. It cannot be denied; the people that we have interacted with and loved have shaped the way that we view the world and the way that we live at this very moment. To say anything else diminishes the significance of that person or that experience. Who among us would dared to discount those moments that have shaped us and people that influenced us.

Have the courage to give credence to those moments and cherish what lessons they offer us and honor the ones that showed us their courage.

Chapter 8
The supreme good is like water
which nourishes all things without trying to.
It is content with the low places that people disdain.
Thus it is like the Tao.

In dwelling, live close to the ground.
In thinking, keep it simple.
In conflict, be fair and generous.
In governing, don’t try to control.
In work, do what you enjoy.
In family life, be completely present.

When you are content to be simply yourself
and don’t compare or compete,
everyone will respect you.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Happy Chinese New Year

Welcome to the year of the Rat

The Rat (Chinese: 鼠) was welcomed in ancient times as a protector and bringer of material prosperity. Rat is associated with aggression, wealth, charm, and order, yet also associated with death, war, the occult, pestilence, and atrocities.

(Well now, that is a mixed bag!)

To bring you good luck
• Opening windows and doors to bring in the good luck of the New Year.
(Fresh Air Good!)
• Switching on the lights for the night to 'scare away' ghosts and spirits of misfortune.
(What Would Al Gore Say to that!)
• Sweets are eaten to ensure the consumer a "sweet" year.
(Finally, a reason for Chocolate!)
• It is important to have the house clean for good luck in the coming year.
(Got lucky here, I had guests arriving!)
• Some believe that what happens on the first day of the New Year reflects the rest of the year to come. Gambling is thought of as a way to hopefully get luck and prosperity.
(So, what happens if you loose? Not a great reason for a visit to a casino!)
• Wearing a new pair of slippers that is purchased before the New Year, it is meant to step on the people who gossip about you.
(My roomy Bria is using her Uggs for this one, not so new, but seemingly effective.)
• The night before the New Year, bathe yourself in pomelo leaves, so that you will be healthy for the rest of the New Year.
(If I had only known, maybe a Grapefruit will suffice!)

This brings on the bad luck
• Buying a pair of shoes is considered bad luck.
• Buying a pair of pants is considered bad luck.
(Just stay away from the mall today.)
• Washing your hair is also considered to be washing away one's own luck
(I’ll risk this one)
• Sweeping the floor is usually forbidden on the first day, as it will sweep away the good fortune and luck for the New Year.
(Bummer, the popcorn from last night’s movie is on the floor. Can I vacuum?)
• Talking about death is inappropriate for the first few days of Chinese New Year.
(Ok, no problem here!)
• Buying books is bad luck because the word for "book" is a homonym to the word "lose".
(Not good for a Kate today at the Manning House, but if we have given up on the shoes and pants, does that even it out?)
• Avoid clothes in black and white, as black is a symbol of bad luck, and white is a traditional funeral color.
(Every New Yorker is screwed on this one!)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Feb. 6th.

How does a person respond to life when you are confronted with cowardice?
It is an extremely sad and eye opening experience when you are face to face with a persons inability to look life head on and cope with the most painful aspects of ones own past.

It has been an incredible 2 ½ weeks and period of time that will color the way that I look at the world and my future forever.

Be bold, be brave, look life straight on and have no fear. It may hurt like hell but letting that pain overwhelm and engulf you is the way to conquer that pain and not let that pain conquer or control you.

Tao te Ching – Chapter 2

When people see some things as beautiful,
other things become ugly.
When people see some things as good,
other things become bad.

Being and non-being create each other.
Difficult and easy support each other.
Long and short define each other.
High and low depend on each other.
Before and after follow each other.

Therefore the Master
acts without doing anything
and teaches without saying anything.
Things arise and she lets them come;
things disappear and she lets them go.
She has but doesn’t possess,
acts but does not expect.
When her work is done, she forgets it.
That is why it lasts forever.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

I Voted!

What a wonderful day. I live in a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood now and it was so excellent to see everyone was in line to vote. The place was busy and the line was out the door I had to wait to vote. Can you believe that? I had to wait to vote in a Primary! When I lived in California my polling place was 75 feet out my front door and even on election day I always just walked right up and voted. This year I had to walk a whole 8 blocks to vote. It was worth it.

Super Tuesday

We had a wonderful and rainy winter storm here yesterday. There was even a brief hail shower. A storm like that doesn’t come around all that often so when they to I always enjoy watching as the storm passes. There was snow in the foothills this morning.

Today is beautiful sunny and chilly day here on Primary Day. For all of you that have the opportunity to vote today please do. I have always thought of it as an honor to be able to have a voice and to be counted. It is becoming more important than ever for us to all stand up and be heard.

The shows here in Tucson are in full swing and more are opening. Rio Grande’s Catalog in Motion opens on the 8th. It is so cool, they pretty much bring the entire tools catalog and have staff there to talk to you and demonstrate them. I did not get to go last year and am looking forward to it this year for sure.

I spent a good portion of yesterday at the Whole Bead Show at the Windmill Inn. I got to see so many friends and se so many beautiful things. Both Andrea and Gail’s booth were swamped as the doors opened and the line of people swarmed in to the ballroom. It is amazing to watch as each person has their own agenda and things that they need to see or a favorite vendor that they need to get that special something from.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Feb. 3rd 2008

Off to the races today. Everyone is arriving and it is gonna be so excellent. I will have my books for sale at Andrea Gaurino's booth at The Whole Bead Show. I'll also have some things that Gail Moore handed me months ago and said "see what you can do with this."

It is time to meet old friends and hopefully make a few new ones along the way.

I found this website called Earth Calendar. It gives you all of the holidays from around the world.

So, Feb. 3rd - In case you are wondering about today?

Happy Setsubun

This is a Japanese festival held one day before the start of spring on the Japanese Lunar calendar.

The modern version of this celebration has you throwing roasted beans around your home shouting aloud....

"Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!" ("Devils out, happiness in")

Then you eat as the number of beans that correspond with your age.
The modern version is better than the old one where you had to burn sardine heads to ward off evil spirits.

Everyone together, on three - "Devils Out, Happiness In"

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Feb. 2nd 2008

Happy Ground Hogs Day

•This is not Phil•

Phil Says Six More Weeks of Winter!

Phil's official forecast as read 2/2/08 at sunrise at Gobbler's Knob:

Here Ye! Here Ye! Here Ye!

On Gobbler's Knob on this fabolous Groundhog Day, February 2nd, 2008
Punxsutawney Phil, the Seer of Seers, Prognosticator of all Prognosticators,
Rose to the call of President Bill Cooper and greeted his handlers, Ben Hughes and John Griffiths.

After casting a weathered eye toward thousands of his faithful followers,
Phil consulted with President Cooper and directed him to the appropriate scroll, which proclaimed:

"As I look around me, a bright sky I see, and a shadow beside me.
Six more weeks of winter it will be!"

Tucson has been getting ready for the arrival of everyone for the Gem Show for several weeks now. All over town there are tents and tent cities springing up. Everyone pretty much starts arriving tomorrow. It will be good to see so many friends, catch up and see all of the beautiful stuff everyone has been working on. Being in Tucson is great that way. When I was living in California I would only get to see colleagues for the 5 days of the Bead & Button show in June and the occasional show out east, but now I get the thrill of seeing them for the week or so that they are here.

Just so you know, I love this movie!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Feb. 1st. 2008

Welcome to 2008 and to the official first entry of my blog.
Can you believe that January is already over?
I have had more than a few requests to start an online blog
and while talking to my friend Chris the other day I decided
to throw caution to the wind and just dive in.
So welcome to February 1st. 2008

It is said that the start of a new year means new beginnings
and new adventures all the way around. Look for a great number
changes from me this year.

My website is going through a major
overhaul and it is looking beautiful.

I will be updating the posting all of the shows that I will be
teaching at and exhibiting at as well as adding at least 4 sessions
of my Fine Silver Fusing Class in Tucson this year.

Check out my classes at Bead & Button this June in