Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thursday January 29

So, today I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off getting ready for tomorrows 3-day workshop. I am really close to being able to get back to my bench today, which I would very much love to do.

I had a box full of lampwork beads delivered yesterday and I am about jumping out of my skin to attempt some new settings and tube rivets and some different chain techniques. I have been so drained with production mode that all I want to do is try something new and work out of my own box for a while. I have needed a new stimulus for quite some time now and I am just over the moon that I have found a willing participant in my scheme.

I have had my music on the shuffle setting for a few days now and I love the experience of remembering music that I had forgotten that I even had on the damn thing. I am now listening to Sophie B. Hawkins “Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover” What a great song and what a blast from the 90’s. I find it amazing how lyrics can take on entirely new connotations depending on where you are in your life or what you mood is. The power of words set to a melody can evoke so much. I find that to be a truly amazing thing.

Are you surprised by life’s little mysteries? I really am and I have one that has bothered me for quite some time now! What I do want to know is if the shuffle is actually a true shuffle. I mean, is it really random, because, I do not think that is actually is? I mean the play list that come out seems to play songs that are very reflective of my mood and what I am feeling and it’s like it KNOWS. That little container of digital packets of data seems to be able to read my mind and insert all of the right music at the right time. I know….whacked….but it does seem to be true.

The next few weeks are the crazed Gem Show here in Tucson and I will do my best to keep up with posts and on all of the current happenings as they crop up. It is going to so excellent to see everyone and they are starting to trickle in even as we speak.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tuesday January 27

Today was a day of preparing to prepare. I had a plumber here at 8am hooking up the new stove & sink in the studio and getting the shower knobs tightened up. Then I had to move 2 beds and frames, 2 couches and this huge Ikea sofa/bed thing that weighs a ton and I had to get the rest of the odds and ends that I have been storing in that space put away. I have two friends that are renting the studio and are arriving a bit earlier than I was expecting.

I did all of this in phases today; I had no desire to get worn out all at once. So I would do one small section at a time, get all of the stuff out and piled up in the middle of my living room. (a really impressive pile I might add.) Then the Oreck vacuum cleaner was there to do it’s ever impressive job and then the slow and steady process of getting things all set took place over the day.

And all the while, I was working on my web site….there is one thing to add that is going to be a rather nice change for me. I am going to be teaching on an Alaskan Bead Cruise in late June. It is being organized by the IL version of The Place To Bead…not to be confused by the CA one or the NJ one. I will be teaching a few chain classes as well as my favorite Viking Double Knit. Check out the schedule, I think it is going to be a really nice trip…I would love to have a full boat of some folks…I can see the possibilities.

I really did not get much bench work done today but I think that I will get a fairly full day in tomorrow. I am waiting for some glass beads to arrive with baited breath. I have conned a lamp-worker to let me monkey around with some settings that I have had rumbling around in my head for while. I hope that I get a real chance to play with them over the next days. I can get like a bit of a magpie and I am now in need of something new and shiny to get my creative juices flowing. Being in production mode for this long has sapped my energy to the very marrow.

I am going re-post my favorite You-Tube video. If you have not watched this please do it is priceless.

Karaoke For The Deaf

I am sitting here typing this post and listening to the live tennis matches from down under. It has been a very good day with many accomplishments and several truly lovely distractions have been enjoyed. I really do like to be surprised by what life can offer you at the least expected times. I guess that is one of the reasons that we are here. I just keep reminding myself to make sure to take it all in and to really see the full amazement of it all.

e.e. cummings
your little voice
your little voice
Over the wires came leaping
and i felt suddenly
With the jostling and shouting of merry flowers
wee skipping high-heeled flames
courtesied before my eyes
or twinkling over to my side
Looked up
with impertinently exquisite faces
floating hands were laid upon me
I was whirled and tossed into delicious dancing
with the pale important
stars and the Humorous
dear girl
How i was crazy how i cried when i heard
over time
and tide and death
your voice

Monday, January 26, 2009

Jason Mraz - I'm Yours...really good version

Song Lyrics

Monday January 26

For the love of all that we hold dear!
It is the end of January.
What is happening here?
Will someone please fill me in on this problem that we are all having with time right now?

The craziness continues on and on. It is insane right now and I had a very fun and work filled crazed weekend. Now I have to remember all of the stuff that I need to do to get ready for the Gem Show next week and classes that start here on Friday and one-day workshops and people coming to stay and all of the rest.

On so many levels right now is an insanely beautiful and wonderful moment in my life and one that I know I will be a most excellent series of moments to recall.

Have you every really wondered about the human capacity to seek out true joy and happiness? That there is this primal urge to strive for those things that you feel could make you happier or more alive than you ever dreamed possible? There is such beauty and wonder out there and if you just stop to take a moment to really look at everything around you it can just be a rather overwhelming experience.

You can find this beauty in some of the most amazing places and at some of the most bizarre times. Don’t you think? There are things in this world that have come out of nowhere and taken my breath away and absolutely knocked me on my butt for their overwhelming brilliance. I love it when I have those experiences and I strive to make sure that I will never forget them, for those moments make me who I am. The “out of site out of mind” thing that people have is our downfall. I really have no desire to forget the beauty that I see around me or that smashes into me out of nowhere so I desperately try to make sure that I have a ways to assure myself of proper remembrance.

We have to remember that when we are actually confronted with any kind of wonder we can never let it pass us by. Don’t let it pass you even if it is seems to be a scary and daunting kind of beauty or the kind of beauty that is like something like a reminder of how to recall breathing again. Just be of good mind and grab hold of it, cherish it and imprint it into your mind so that it will remain a part of you.

In confronting beauty, I think that the most dangerous thing we as humans have developed is this “I must have it now” attitude. That is the moment when we come face to face with a very dangerous double edge sword. If and when we are graced enough to see such beauty and joy in front of us we have to make sure that we recognize it and yet we have to keep reminding ourselves that the discovery of true beauty must be a patient and reverent thing. Rather like taking the time to watch a blossom open, it cannot be rushed or it may not be there when truly desired.

Billie Myers - You Send Me Flying

- Billie Myers Lyrics

Friday, January 23, 2009

Friday January 23

So I got 3 count them 3 things to have everyone to take note of today.

First…Gail Crosman Moore & I have this great one day Patina & Metals Workshop that we have coming up oh so very soon and we still have seats available in both sessions. We are so excited about how this class is developing and can’t stop thinking of other possibilities that we want to add into the soup mix. So I think that you should get here a day early or stay a day later and join us for a really incredible day of exploration….

Click HERE for the sign-up link on my web-site...

Second - Bead Fest Santa Fe is fast approaching.
As I understand it, Santa Fe is a great place and we are all looking forward to exploring the city and are very glad that the Bead Fest Show is back in New Mexico

There are 2 seats available in the Saturday's - Fine Silver Findings Class

There are 6 seats available in the Saturday Fine Silver Chain Making

There are 8 seats available in the Sunday's Fine Silver Pendant Making

Now remember, if you take all three you will walk away from Santa Fe with a completed project.

Third - Bead & Button Classes are live and sign-ups are going well. I have 11 classes that I am teaching during the show and 2 workshops that take place before the main show begins.

The Bead & Button Show is the largest gathering of artists, teachers and vendors in the country and it truly not an experience to be missed. Come and join us in June for a very fun time.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Thursday January 22

I finally found the name of the music from the Inaugural; John Williams “Air and Simple Gifts,” which was composed for the ceremony.

So today was back at the bench and work like a crazy person day. I did my job well. I spent the better part of the day in wonderful silence. I was intent on the act of listening to the sound of the rain. It was warm enough that I could have the front door and hear the rain in the walk up to my house and every of often the breeze would bring me the fresh scent of the desert rains.

I have simple tasks in front of me. Simple tasks and very simple goals that I am placing in front of me to accomplish in the next days, weeks and months. My Tarot today seemed to bring attention to my desire to focus on certain aspects of life and work.

The Root - Three of Wands: Opportunity

The Root card deals with past events or influences that have played an important part in bringing about the current situation, and these influences are still likely to have an effect now.

The encouraging aspects of your situation at the moment have been brought about by building on your established strengths to make the most of opportunities: "Doing the right thing" has served you well. More difficult aspects are likely to be the result of conceit, arrogance or stubbornness.

The Covering - Four of Wands: Completion

The card in the Covering position highlights the important events, issues, attitudes or influences around the question or current situation.

The Four of Wands is a card of completion, suggesting that now is the time to enjoy the rewards of security and prosperity resulting from previous efforts. Some venture may well be reaching successful maturity, and if this is the case you can look with satisfaction on the current state of affairs. Now is a good time to bring some important matter or ongoing situation to a close, and you should remember that the end of one phase can be used to give a positive start to the next. The Four of Wands also applies to property, and can indicate the purchase, renovation or decoration of a house or other premises.

The Future - Six of Cups: Pleasure

The card in the Future position suggests fresh influences or events that are about to come into play and are likely to operate in the near future.

The coming time is one of harmony, well-being and satisfaction. Relationships and friendships in particular have every chance of entering a rosy period. This card has a connotation of looking back to the past to build for the future. It can suggest that some person or place from the past will be able to help you find happiness in the future, or that you will need to look to how you dealt with matters previously to find the best way forward. Above all, make sure that you appreciate and make the most of the good things you have.

When I was a kid I had a love affair wit my Lego’s for many years. I would build towns and ships and rockets and cars and what ever I could dream up. Several years ago I discovered a photograph by Alfred Stieglitz called “Steerage” and in researching for a lecture I found a Lego reproduction of this photograph and yesterday to me delight I found a Lego representation of President Obama’s Inauguration. I love what can be accomplished with a Lego…I admire the dedication that it takes and the absolute GEEK in the person to make it happen. It pleased me to find both things.

Here s the LINK to the Steerage, enjoy. I could not drag the image to my Blog.

I am off to contemplate all that is on my plate right now and I am looking at the list of things that have to get accomplished ASAP. There is an abundance of beauty in front of me right now and I have to say that it is taking my breath away as I view it, take it all in and digest it into my Memory and my Lexicon.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

e.e. cummings - Just because I can...

i carry your heart with me

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)

i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

Tuesday January 20th

I find myself rather distracted in recent days and weeks and my mind is wondering along a beautiful and wonderful path. It is truly a most excellent thing; I am very much enjoying these distractions for they give me the greatest of pleasures. These are distractions that remind my that life has wonderful things to experience, to see, to feel, to learn and that if you close you eyes to them then what is the use.

I hiked the Phoneline trail in Sabino Canyon yesterday to clear my head and to refresh my creative energy that has been sapped to the bottom of the well from working hard for the Gem Show that opens on the 4th of February. I get closer everyday to meeting my goals but if I had not taken the day yesterday I know that I could not even get close to my bench, to pick up a tool, to make a thing…I can get back to the tasks at hand and have the wonderful ache in my muscles that meant I really pushed myself and opened up a vein of inner energy to draw from.

I slept very little last night and yet I woke so early today, how could I not. I am so proud of what we as a nation has done today, beauty and the pageantry as the peaceful transfer of power was handed over to our counties 44th president.

“We cannot help but believe that the old hatreds
shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve.”

President Barack Obama’s speech was clear and concise, letting all the world know that the times they are a- changing. Click for the text for his speech.

The end of Rev. Joseph Lowery closing prayer brought a beautiful moment of laughter and humor to the solemn ceremony.

"Lord, in the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest, and in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get back, when brown can stick around -- when yellow will be mellow -- when the red man can get ahead, man -- and when white will embrace what is right."
Click here for the complete text of his eloquent prayer.

Inaugural poem
by Elizabeth Alexander

Praise song for the day.

Each day we go about our business, walking past each other, catching each others' eyes or not, about to speak or speaking. All about us is noise. All about us is noise and bramble, thorn and din, each one of our ancestors on our tongues. Someone is stitching up a hem, darning a hole in a uniform, patching a tire, repairing the things in need of repair.

Someone is trying to make music somewhere with a pair of wooden spoons on an oil drum with cello, boom box, harmonica, voice.

A woman and her son wait for the bus.

A farmer considers the changing sky; A teacher says, "Take out your pencils. Begin."

We encounter each other in words, words spiny or smooth, whispered or declaimed; words to consider, reconsider.

We cross dirt roads and highways that mark the will of someone and then others who said, "I need to see what's on the other side; I know there's something better down the road."

We need to find a place where we are safe; We walk into that which we cannot yet see.

Say it plain, that many have died for this day. Sing the names of the dead who brought us here, who laid the train tracks, raised the bridges, picked the cotton and the lettuce, built brick by brick the glittering edifices they would then keep clean and work inside of.

Praise song for struggle; praise song for the day. Praise song for every hand-lettered sign; The figuring it out at kitchen tables.

Some live by "Love thy neighbor as thy self."

Others by first do no harm, or take no more than you need.

What if the mightiest word is love, love beyond marital, filial, national. Love that casts a widening pool of light. Love with no need to preempt grievance.

In today's sharp sparkle, this winter air, anything can be made, any sentence begun.

On the brink, on the brim, on the cusp -- praise song for walking forward in that light.

What really brought me to tears was the music preformed by Yo-Yo Ma , Itzhak Perlman , Anthony McGill & Gabriela Montero. An original work by composer by John Williams.

Listen to true beauty and true majesty.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Just an addition for the evening...

somewhere i have never travelled...
e.e. cummings

somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond
any experience, your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully, mysteriously) her first rose

or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;

nothing we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility: whose texture
compels me with the colour of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens; only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody, not even the rain, has such hands

Sunday January 18

So, I am going to warn you all right away… this post is going to be fairly tangential. So many things attacked my world and my senses yesterday I actually had to make a list so I would remember all that I wanted to mention. The problem I am having right now is that I cannot find the list. I straightened up & I put it someplace very safe, so I would know where to find it. Well, here is what I remember!

Late last evening after I had come in from a dinner engagement and before I went out to listen to a friends band play I found out that one of my favorite American artists had passed away. Andrew Wyeth was a wonderful artist. When I found out the truth behind his paining “Christina’s World” and the entire “Helga” series I loved him all the more.

In Christina’s world one could see a very romantic scene of a woman sitting in this beautiful field and your imagination could go to infinite places. But the truth of that matter was that woman was paraplegic who lived life almost as a recluse and refused assistance.

The Helga Series was a personal and very intimate study of one woman for a span of 14 years. The series took the art world by storm and the rumors as to the nature of the relationship spread like wildfire even before the Internet.

There is much debate as to the validity of Mr. Wyeth’s standing in the art world. I have always loved his work and found it as sensual as it could be introspective

I want to know why we keep getting all of these sales calls 20 hours a day and 7 days a week. I am SO tired of this CRAP. I thought that we had some sort of LAW saying that this was no longer allowed. Who in their right mind would answer the phone when your CALLER I.D. says “DISH-NETWORK” or even worse the blocked….Yea, I am gonna answer that call…right. I hate that these calls come as late as 10pm. I am not joking and if it goes my voice mail I get a PRE-RECORDED message not even a real person. This is all done with technology and I am not a fan.

I was listening to an interview with Maya Angelou and she was commenting on her pleasure that Mr. Obama had chosen the poet Elizabeth Alexander for the Inaugural. She spoke so eloquently about the need for us to remember that the arts as well as the sciences are important. Her quote was wonderful. I hope I wrote it down correctly I had to scramble for the paper and pen that I keep on my nightstand.

“We have to remember that the Arts & Sciences go together.
They go together like Peaches & Cream
They go together like Bacon & Eggs
They go together like Lox & Bagels”

This one is going to stay with me for a while I believe.

P.S. She wrote an article in today"s Washington Post titled At Long Last Ready for the Real Deal. The quote I give you here took my breath away. She has beautiful and languid way with words that leads you onward.

~Over the past five decades, our national spirit has ebbed, our self-confidence has waned. The presence of Barack Obama seems to return us to our national motto: "Yes, I can. I am an American." ~

FOUR: Rolling Stone’s cover is excellent.
Bush Apologizes: The Farewell Interview We Wish He'd Give

Please read it….Really Really Good!

FIVE: I am still really impressed with Sully, what a dignified man.

SIX: I keep looking at the clock and counting the hours till noon, 1/20/09. I have a small but mighty pile of projects all ready to go that do not require me to be at my bench. I do not want to miss a moment of that day.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Saturday January 17th

Okay, I have to say that in just over 72 hours I am going to be a much happier person. Well, I am happier now, that is certain, but all I want now is for the nightmare of the last 8 years to be over. It is my fervent hope that we as a Nation will NEVER become that acquiescent ever again. To this day, I cannot fathom how we, as a people, let our path be guided by fear.

I love words; I struggle with them every day. I will never claim to use proper punctuation and I am very aware that my spelling is atrocious. If it was not for spell check, my computers dictionary and the grammar check just think how bad it would be. But I have an almost Victorian love for the written and spoken word and I love to pull little used words from out of obscurity and let them out for a walk every once in a while.

So…Words, I really love to hear this man speak. I love the intonation and timber of his voice. I love to see how he looks directly at those with whom he is speaking. There is an eloquence, a confidence and a self assurance in his demeanor that has brought a country it’s first glimmer of hope after 8 years of hate, arrogance and fear-mongering.

So, as close to noon as possible, on January 20th 2009, Barack Hussein Obama will place his hand on the same Bible that Lincoln took his oath of office with and we as a Nation can try to rebuild the our reputation and once again be a country that offers hope. I am sure that the tears of pride and joy that ran down my face on the night that our nation elected this man our next president will flow again.

Tao Te Ching
Chapter 61

When a country obtains great power,
it becomes like the sea:
all streams run downwards into it.
The more powerful it grows,
the greater the need for humility.
Humility means trusting in the Tao,
thus never needing to be defensive.

A great nation is like a great man:
When he makes a mistake, he realizes it.
Having realized it, he admits it.
Having admitted it, he corrects it.
He considers those who point out his faults
as his most benevolent teachers.
He thinks of his enemy
as the shadow that he himself casts.

If a nation is centered in the Tao,
if it nourishes it’s own people
and doesn’t meddle in the affairs of others
it will be a light to all nations of the world.

I think the most amazing thing about all of the preparations and news coverage and commentary is that we are talking about the things that actually matter and the discussion of race is of little consequence. I am so proud of what we have done and that our country stood up and did not let fear keep us in the status quo.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Friday January 16

Very interesting vibes out in the world today…

Last nights amazing landing in the Hudson River of US Airways flight 1549 that was piloted by Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger III. was as close to a miracle as one can witness. All survived because this man is the best that he could ever hope to be at his job. All I could consider is that great Spiderman quote from Peter Parker: "Whatever life holds in store for me, I will never forget these words: "With great power comes great responsibility." 154 people are alive because this man was just that good, for it was not human error that was the cause, it was a random act of geese.

I heard a commentator say that what she loves about NY is that when something like this happens NY'ers don’t run away, they run to help. All of the local commuter ferries were on the scene in just minutes and if not for these selfless people many of the passengers would have suffered from hypothermia or worse while awaiting rescue in the freezing waters of the Hudson.

Thank you Sully, it is not enough to say but at times the simplest words are the best.
Well Done Sir!

As for the start of this morning: It is the same as always, coffee is brewed and is as wonderful as it always is and even after witnessing what I saw last night my day moves forward with it usual routine. But, in the back of my head is the knowledge that so many people witnessed last nights event and it will only remain with them for just a day or two (or as long as the news cycle lasts) but it is the people that survived who will be forever altered by the experience. Just knowing that is rather mind bending all on it’s own. It should make us all consider what experiences that we have seen or lived through and how they have altered us as human beings.

So I go on with my routine: I read my email in the morning, drink my coffee, check out my horoscope and get my daily Tarot Reading and then I will turn on a bad movie or listen to music as I work at my bench, and in the back of my mind I will be thinking about all that I have just written.

I will share my tarot and horoscope with you today…I think I am pleased that these are what got picked out of the hat for me today.

Today's Horoscope:
You’ll establish complicity ties with your near ones, and everything will go for the better. Try to control your aggressiveness and your critical mind. Passion and great love might knock at your door this time; you’ll feel exalted sentiments, and you’ll be under a spell of a person recently met. However, remain lucid and realistic after all! This astral ambiance will allow you to blossom and to develop your capacities to the fullest.

The Covering - XIII Death (click to the left and have your own reading done.)

The card in the Covering position highlights the important events, issues, attitudes or influences around the question or current situation.

This card suggests that an important change is happening around you at the moment. It may be that something is coming to an end, and there is little you can do to stop it. This is not necessarily bad, however, as even if the ending is distressing at the time, and this need not be the case, it is likely to prove to be a blessing in disguise. Death often indicates that some outworn element of your life needs to be left behind in order to allow growth, regeneration and a brighter future. In time, you will be able to look back upon the events suggested by this card as necessary to move forward or to begin a new, positive phase of life.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Chapter 14

Look, and it can't be seen.
Listen, and it can't be heard.
Reach, and it's can't be grasped.

Above, it isn't bright.
Below, it isn't dark.
Seamless, unnameable,
it returns to the realm of nothing.
Form that included all forms,
image without an image,
subtle, beyond all conception.

Approach it and there is no beginning;
follow it and there is no end.
You can't know it, but you can be it,
at ease in your own life.
Just realize where you come from:
this is the essence of wisdom.

Thursday January 15

The amazing Annie Lennox - Into the West

Don’t say,
We have come now to the end.
White shores are calling.
You and I will meet again.
And you’ll be here in my arms,
Just sleeping.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I Love This Song - Patty Griffin - Heavenly Day

Chance is always powerful.
Let your hook always be cast; in the pool where you least expect it, there will be fish.

Song Lyrics

Wednesday January 14th

There are 2 things that are happening right now.

First, I got the Rio Grande Tool & Equipment Catalog in the mail today and I am relishing each page.

Secondly, I am watching the HOT STOVE REPORT on the new MLB channel on cable & getting myself all warmed up for the upcoming ’09 season. Spring Training is just over a month away! I am getting tickets the day they become available.

Life has amazing complexities that surprise you at every turn and when you are faced with them in no uncertain terms they are even more amazing. I have had a fascinating start to 2009. It has been an excellent start, not only have I been faced with some interesting questions I have also been faced to take a better look at myself and my own answers to these questions.

I was speaking to a friend a few evenings ago and was asked what I would consider to be one of my faults. As I pondered the question to come up with a respectable response, I remembered an earlier conversation that brought the answer to this question forward.

Several days before this question was asked, I hurt one of my best friends. She and I were having a discussion about teaching and I reiterated a previous statement and I had, in fact, offended my friend. I heard a shift in the tone of her voice and inquired as to what was wrong. When as I was told of the way that I actually sounded and how my words were interpreted I was devastated. I never would have wanted my words to be heard in that way. I have an ease with this friend and that ease has always given me a freedom to speak off the top of my head and to loosen the “Life Filter” that all humans should have in place.

Now I have a right to my opinion, that is certain, but what I do not have the right to do is express that opinion without actually hearing my words before I say them. Because I had not thought it through and considered how my words were heard I hurt someone that I hold as one of my dearest friends and that is just something you do not do. What I wanted to express, was in no way, what I had ended up saying.

So how does this relate to a fault? In forcing me to look at the way that I had expressed myself I was required to look at the reasoning for the original statement. I have always believed of myself that I am not one to judge another person. But now, I have to preface that statement. I do make judgments; we all do in some manner. It is just how was act out on those judgments that makes us what we want to be. I have to admit that I can be a harsh judge on some things; I am a harsh judge on a professional level. I know that it is not fair at all but I do hold instructors to higher standards. As an instructor, I feel a very distinct obligation to make sure that I am always prepared and am the best that I can be at what I do and I have a huge problem with teachers that do not hold themselves to that high a standard.

So, in this, I am my own worst enemy, I am a dichotomy. What I do not judge people for is decisions that they make regarding life choices, who am I to judge that. Who am I to judge how a person chooses to live their life. I have made many choices that would be considered by many to be very poor ones. But much to my personal shame, I do not suffer fools or slackers and that is a fault. I have to constantly remind myself “Who am I to judge a person as a fool or a slacker” & “what do I know of their life”. I can judge to quickly in this area and I fight it everyday. I got handed a huge lesson in humility the other day and it is a lesson that I am grateful was handed to me by a friend.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tuesday January 13


I have been working at my bench for the last few weeks trying to make sure that I am ready for the scariest show I think that I have ever participated in. Starting on February 4th I will be exhibiting at the Whole Bead Show during the Tucson Gem & Mineral Event. The artists in this room are some of the best in our business and I just want to not embarrass myself. I just look at all of the stuff that I have here and I keep hoping that it will be well received. I know that I am doing fairly well here because my bench looks like a storm blew through and left everything in a huge heap. I keep putting things back in their place but they just keep landing back in piles of tools.

My storm wracked bench...I must be getting work done I am just sure it it!

It is only days away from my friends all showing up and seeing people that I have not seen in months. It is such a great time to be here. There is not the usual hustle of getting in and out of town for a show, we are all here for over a week and there is a luxury to knowing that there is time for real visits.

A bunch of us have a dinner/cookout planned here at the house near the end of the show and it will be so wonderful to have my house full to busting with my friends, knowing what fun will be in store for us all. There are few things in this world that give me greater pleasure than having my house filled with people that I love to hang around with. I do have 2 of my favorite people staying with me during the show and I am just to ready to see them both.

I am sitting here looking at the pile of contracts that I have to sign for the shows that I am teaching at this year. I am usually not such a procrastinator but I have been looking at this pile for well over a week. I tell myself every morning that I will DO THIS TODAY. And as you can see, I am sitting here and posting this instead of getting my office work done. And, furthermore, if I do not get my website updated TODAY, I will know that I will be very disappointed in myself.

What an interesting start to 2009. We are only days away from our biggest new beginning. I remember standing in my booth in Oakland just days after the elections and watching the lightened sense of optimism throughout the showroom floor. I sat with friends at dinners and we talked about how good it felt to know the end of this nightmare was so close to being over. The feeling was so contagious; it felt so wonderful to be around people that were so proud of what they had done.

I watched GWB’s last press conference yesterday and I was absolutely blown away by the overwhelming obtuse world that this man lives in. I cannot believe that he actually believes the words that are spewing forth. He actually defended his administrations response to Hurricane Katrina. If I had been in the room it would have been more than a shoe.

I have an entirely different thread of thought that I will post later today. I need to get to the tasks at hand…Contracts and Web Site Updates.. It will be done today…it has to be!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Saturday January 10th - Sunday January 11th

April 8 1928 – January 11th 2006
He is deeply loved and he is missed.

When I was about 4 or 5 my father would be cutting the grass I on Saturdays and I would follow him with my plastic lawnmower thinking that I was helping and later on in the afternoon I would hand him tools as he changed the oil in his POS Maverick. He was and is one of my hero’s.

Throughout my life, no matter where I lived in the country, he would manage to plan his business trips so he could spend a night taking me out to dinner. Making sure that I was not starving.
One of my favorite nights was when I was living in LA. He made sure that he stayed out by LAX so we could have dinner and afterwards it was way to early for me to brave the traffic through town to go back home so we went to the hotel bar, played pool for hours and we both got just drunk enough to have one of the best nights we had ever had together.

Taking me fishing & the day my training wheels came off

A post from last April 23rd

Memories are a very powerful thing! Our memories give us these “moments”! What makes us remember? For me, there are smells, there are colors and there are images that I store up in what I call my visual Rolodex. I consider myself blessed because I have a very visual memory. I can close my eyes and actually see many of the events from my life just as if I was watching a movie. Today was the full circle completion of one of those “moments” for me!

My father worked at a paper company, he was one of their salesmen. On the occasional Saturday my father would take me into work with him. As a 5 year old I thought it was so cool to see where my dad worked and to sit in the chair in his office while he finished up the few things that he needed to get done. We would walk past these huge machines that would be clattering and whirring away. One of the biggest things that I remembered was this aroma that was everywhere, it was this intense sweet smell, and a child loves the smell of sweet. This five year old, at that very moment, recognized that smell as the aroma in her father’s clothes. That was the way that he smelled when he came home from the office at the end of the day.

Every night when he came home he would empty his pockets, put his change on his dresser next to his keys (to this day I know the sound that his key ring made) and he had this “thing” that he used at work that I loved to play with. I now know that it was a tri-fold brass magnifying loupe. I would play with it for hours, looking at bugs and rocks and any other thing that I could think of. I loved that thing because it was small, fit into the nifty little leather snap case and it folded up really cool, the sound of it clicking closed was also very excellent.

I had forgotten about that smell and that brass gadget as I grew older. It was not till I went back to Dayton after a 10-year absence, as I drove past my fathers old paper plant and that aroma burst through my car window and everyone of those Saturday’s and the memory of that brass loupe came flooding back. I wanted to find that loupe more than anything else at that moment. I tore through my father’s belongings and could not find it. He had given it to my niece when she was about the same age as I was when I played with it and she had lost it.

Well, two years later, on a searching whim, I found one on E-Bay and I bid on it. The Quality Engraving & Electrotype Co. loupe arrived today. It is now all shined up and sitting among many other little treasures that I have around my house and I could not be happier knowing that I will get to see it every day. It is exactly like my fathers. Now I can close my eyes and see those Saturday’s sitting at his desk and I can see that loupe sitting on his dresser as this five year old grabs for it. I think it was a well spent twenty dollars.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


Crystal Corduroy with Japanese Overlay

This is a design that I premiered 5 or 6 years ago at Bead & Button and the pattern has been published at least 4 times by Kalmbach as MY design

All right, I am in the middle of a moral dilemma. I am teaching at a show this year and I had to proof my submissions for the web site release. While I was going over my classes I saw that one of the instructors is teaching a class that I made up about 5 or 6 years ago and have taught ever since and have sold as a kit on my website for the last 4 ½ years.

Now here is the moral dilemma for me. THERE IS NOTHING NEW IN CHAIN MAKING. It is all just small adjustments to patterns that have been around for hundreds or even thousands of years. But when you BARELY change the name of the class and use the SAME BEADS in the SAME pattern I kind of get a bit MIFFED.

When we sign our contracts to teach, we promise that the design or technique are “ours” and that “we” made it up. Now this is really screwed up because there are SO MANY of us teaching Fusing and PMC and Chain and Felting or even Glass Bead Making and all of the other classes. But in each of those classes the instructors brings a unique approach to the medium and is NOT taking someone else’s idea and pimping it as their own.

And I guess that is where the difference lies. This is an old pattern true, but NO ONE but me has placed the Crystals in the pattern the way that I have AND it has been PUBLISHED by Kalmbach on at least on 4 different occasions with MY instructions and listing ME as the designer.

I cannot see HOW else she learned this pattern or this technique.

This is the other instructors offering
Staggered Corduroy with Japanese Overlay

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Wednesday January 7

I had a long day at my bench and all in all a fairly productive one. My rolling mill was only slightly temperamental and I overpowered it with my sweet personality and actually I used brute force.

I am a bit tired so today will going to be a short post. Everyone is getting ready for the GemShow.

The crackling communications full of
"I got how long till the show opens?"
"I gotta get on the ball here!"
"I am so far behind in my work I can see my own butt in front of me!"
"There are not enough days...what happened to all of the time that I thought I had"

Well, I am here to tell everyone, I ma in the same boat you all are.
We will get it all done, we are going to have a great time and we can take it all in stride.

Now, when the waters are pressing mightily
on the walls of the damns,
now, when the white storks, returning,
are transformed in the middle of the firmament
into fleets of jet planes,
we will feel again how strong are the ribs
and how vigorous is the warm air in the lungs
and how much daring is needed to love on the exposed plain,
when the great dangers are arched above,
and how much love is required
to fill all the empty vessels
and the watches that stopped telling time,
and how much breath,
a whirlwind of breath,
to sing the small song of spring.

Yehuda Amichai

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Tuesday January 6th

I never really grasped how much a geek I actually am and to be totally honest I think I may also have to accept the mantel of nerdy geek as well.

I am and I have now decided to truly embrace my inner and outer GEEK. Is there a program that I join where I can stand proudly with my fellow geeks and proclaim with pride… “Hello, my name is Anne and I am a GEEK.” Now I do not want to be “cured” I love my geeky nature and I consider it an asset. I need to be clear about that.

I have had conversations with friends about how coot it is that we love the tools of our trade and that we are “tool whores” and we like to talk about tools and resin and the newest hammer from Rio Grande. And I like the fact that I can discuss the nuances of my new rolling mill for a very long time. We take great pride in our tool-geeky ways…

But it has been brought to my attention that my geek-ness goes well beyond those few quirks. In order to truly embrace this life have to admit to the full extent of my GEEK. You are all aware of that quarter collection that I have??? It is still in the same box with the same cardboard protectors that it came in 10 years ago and the box it in excellent condition. My jewelers’ scales (both my travel scale and my bench scale) live in their boxes as well and the plastic sleeves that protect them are in there…too.

But in my defense…I am NO WHERE near the geek that my father was…. I think that he has his own storage space in heaven for all of the boxes that he saved for decades! I can at least say that I do not save packing material to that extent.

As I look around my house the truth becomes clear, my movies are in alphabetical order, if I do not put my keys on the hook by the door I will never find them again, my books are organized by subject and I am always bummed by the fact that they do not look good when THEY are in alphabetical order so they are sorted by size. The cabinets where I store all of the tools that I have for sale are also in the same alphabetical order. I could go on around the rest of my house but I think you get the nature of my GEEK.

Now I know that this sounds really bad…but there is method to my madness. There really is. I can be so cluttered that if I do not take these extreme measures then chaos and confusion would reign. In my strange mind…I like finding a movie quickly so the orderly nature of the shelf lets me get straight to the point of the matter. The key thing is really self-explanatory, the books being sorted by subject just seems very librarian of me and as for the scales still being in their boxes, they were expensive and I can’t afford to replace them. I have over 45 different tools that I keep in stock for sale and I like to be able to inventory them quickly so I do not waste hours of my life searching for them.

There is method in here somewhere, I am just sure of it.

As for the Quarter Collection? I have no excuse…it just made me laugh every 3 months to pull the box down add another quarter to the map…that is just weird I know. But I actually do like that fact that I did not give up on the quest to collect them all and put each in its proper place.

Embrace your inner and outer GEEK. It makes life REALLY interesting, don’t you think?

Monday, January 5, 2009

Monday January 5th

I really hate that fact that I have a memory for detail.
I really do.
I remember almost everything and can recall conversations almost to the word.
I mean, if we had dinner ages ago I could probably tell you what you ate and had for desert as well as what you were wearing.

The shorthand version: I guess that this is a rant about being up front…if something ain’t gonna work out just be upfront and tell it like it is. Why is it that people think there is a need to be spared…when with the truth and a bit of discomfort in the beginning would make the end game all that much easier to bear. And I hate it when I know that I am being fed a line because I remember what was said verbatim.

I am known to be a very blunt and a very straightforward kind of person. My friends are very aware of the fact that you do not ask me a question if you do not want an honest answer. My friend Jilly has it right…”Anne, I need a cheerleader right now…I do not want your opinion…I need you to listen and just be here.” God I love it when a person gets it, can be up front and honest about what they want, what they need and not dance around the truth of the matter.

I got those priorities messed up in one arena of my life and I am bound and determined to NEVER let that happen again. I know that taking that first jump into a life of forthrightness is a leap of faith. I have found that almost everything can be understood with time and that for the most part (about 80-85%) people are very forgiving by nature.

To go to my favorite baseball analogy: The world forgave Darryl Strawberry his faults because he owned up to them….Pete Rose refused to admit that he was wrong and will never have his rightful place in the hall-of-fame.

Just get to it and do not waste your time or anyone else’s either. Life is way to short to ever hear the voice in your head telling you…What if…Why didn’t I…Only if…I should have…and so on…

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Sunday January 4th Cont..

I had a very Brandi Carlile Day
I read for a great deal of the evening.
I think that I am really trying NOT to get the cold that my friend brought with her from LA

- Brandi Carlile Lyrics


When I have departed.
Say but this behind me,
"Love was all her wisdom,
and all her care."

"Well she kept love's secret,-
Dared and never faltered,-
Laughed and never doubted
Love would win.

"Let the world's rough triumph
Trampled by above her,
She is safe forever
From all harm

"In a land that knows not
Bitterness not sorrow,
She has found out all
Of truth at last"

Sunday January 4th

My holiday company has departed and I am listening to the peaceful silence of my house again. It was wonderful to have my friend Carol here for these last few days. Her presence has given me permission to be a bit of a slacker. I am feeling kind of guilty for not working on stuff for my upcoming show but it was a welcome hiatus.

A winter storm moved in late yesterday and all day today we have had a beautiful soft rain. The gray day has actually been a blessing. I desperately wanted to go for a hike along the Phoneline Trail in Sabino Canyon today but the gray and the rain that has made me attack my bench with unbridled abandon.

I have taken the sage advise of a lampworker and have been pondering using my techniques to set glass beads and make chains for them…Here is the first effort, I think that there are some real possibilities for some fun to be had and some collaboration to happen. I would love to expand that part of the creative aspect of what I do…I have enjoyed it in the past but have not had the opportunity for some real collaboration for several years.

It feels really good to be back at my bench and working today. I am taking a bit of a break right now for some diner and then I am going to be right back at it. All of us are getting into real work mode for the Gem Show…We are down to 3 weeks and counting!

God, it is going to be SO much fun to see everyone. The several months of end of the year isolation has several side effects. First, it is a welcome relief to have some down time. Secondly it is a welcome time to revive the creative flow and get some NEW idea fermenting. But thirdly, the hardest thing is to be parted form all of the people that you see on a regular basis. So our cell phone bills go up, the email volume rises exponentially and we count the days till the next season of shows begin.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Friday January 2nd.

Can you believe how this year is flying? Okay, that was a bit of humor to get us in the spirit for an absolutely fantastic year. Got it? That is the rule for ’09…we are ALL gonna have a fantastic year. May all of our dreams and desires come true. I kind of have this feeling that it is going to be a very good year.

So, I need to get back to work. I mean I really need to get back to work NOW. I have been sort of a bum for the last 48 hours. I did small stuff today, worked in the yard a bit got parts that I need to get some stuff done in the guesthouse. I have been hanging with my friend Chris who actually came in for a NYE’s visit. We have not had the chance to spend any real time together in years. She lives in LA and I try to spend that night whenever I drive through for my travels. It has been wonderful to just hang out and be quiet together of talk of the important things that we have going on in our lives. We went to breakfast at The Cup a great place in the Hotel Congress Lobby, worked on a few small projects around my house and tucked in for a dinner of Carnitas. Very yummy indeed!

There is a quiet to Tucson right now. (Well except for the siren that just passed by my house and the search light helicopter that followed soon after.) But the town seems to be taking in a deep breath before the Gem & Mineral show gets going at the end of the month. But the stars are absolutely fantastic right now, the sliver of the moon is letting the stars shine even brighter and the northern Catalina mountain range at sunset today was this rich, deep, dark, lavender/purple, luminescent painting. It was beautiful

I had a dream about my father last night. Well, to start with I had a really crappy nights sleep. But around 5am I dozed back off and I had this amazing dream that I was at some sort of party and after a great deal of silliness and random confrontations with people that I have no desire to ever see or speak to again I saw my father. Then the whole thing shifted; I am not sure what it means but whenever my dad shows up we are taking a walk and just talking about everyday stuff like he was watching everything. I love these dreams, because they always end the same way, we just look at each other and say how much we miss each other. And he smiles. I really do love these dreams.

So tomorrow, I am taking Chris to see the beautiful San Xavier Mission and then I am at my bench for the ENTIRE afternoon…Gotta get my lazy butt back to work…

Thursday, January 1, 2009

January 1 2009 Cont.

Listen well and know that you are hearing true beauty.

K D Lang, Hallelujah -

Today was a beautifully warm and sunny day. What a glorious way to greet 2009. I took a long and luxurious walk along the river bed to make sure that I could start the year off properly and appreciate the beauty that surrounds me every day.

We had an extremely fun filled New Years Eve. We partook of a movie fest, lovely food, large quantities of wine and laughter to welcome in 2009. At the stroke of midnight we watched the Fireworks as they illuminated all of Downtown's First Night activities.

There has been nothing but the most wondrous sunrises & sunsets for these last few weeks. I have found myself getting totally lost in the transitions of the colors as the moments pass. The mountains and desert floor reflects the rays and the colors shift and the images that I see defy any words that I can use. I find peace and a glimpse of the grand as I watch the sky grow or diminish as the sun makes its track across the sky.

I love to witness that passage of time, I love how it can open your mind, I find it astounding how time can heal even the deepest of wounds and let you view your surroundings with a renewed clarity.

I have picked up a book of poems by Sappho

Love is so strong a thing,

The very gods must yield,

When it is welded fast

With the unflinching truth.

Love is so frail a thing,
A word, a look, will kill.

Oh lovers, have a care

How ye do deal with love.

A ten-year totally GEEK-ified journey has come to a conclusion.
I have found Hawaii.

What the hell am I gonna do for the next 10 years.

January 1 2009

Welcome to the New Year.

Happy New Year to all, I hope that 2009 brings you all of the happiness that that you desire.

May the dreams that you have be granted, may the deepest desires of your heart come to fruition.

2008 is over and let us greet 2009 with a great sense of optimism.

For the fist time in a long time…there is a sense of hope in the future.

In the best Scottish tradition…

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind ?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And days o' lang syne ?
For auld lang syne, my jo,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp !
And surely I’ll be mine !
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

We twa hae run about the braes,
And pu’d the gowans fine ;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary foot,
Sin auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidl’d i' the burn,
Frae morning sun till dine ;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
Sin auld lang syne.

And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere !
And gie's a hand o’ thine !
And we’ll tak a right gude-willy waught,
For auld lang syne.

To all of my nearest and dearest...thank you for all of the love and support that has guided me through this year. I love you all.