Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sunday November 28th ~ 2010

~ Now on to the serious stuff. ~

Because Words Cannot Describe How Dumb This Is.
I have been very frustrated by the turn of events that our Nation has taken in this past election cycle. We are an impatient lot and I guess that it does not matter that we were warned that recovery was going to take time and that there were no quick fixes and that it was going to be hard and going to hurt to achieve the recovery that is desired.

But what I find more disturbing than anything is the continued popularity of that quitter of a Governor from Alaska. I have a hard time even saying her name. What bothers me is that people are giving her credentials that she has in no way earned and are believing the hate filled rhetoric that she spews forth.

Here is a "political" figure that only operates on a one way street. She does not allow questions or confrontation, belittles anyone that challenges her and only communicates with the world through social media. Her handlers delete detracting comments on her posts on Face Book  and she does not even have the courage to have a BLOG and then have to stand by her statements.

This country has two years to get our crap toothier and not let the unthinkable happen. I am begging us all to not get complacent, do not lose hope. Remember to keep the courage of your convictions and speak out for the promises that this administration is fighting for. I am not saying that they have been perfect but they are a damn sight better than the ones that just got elected to congress.

Please, read the following two columns and start to do real research, then do not keep this information to yourself. Read from the all sources and come to real conclusions and to not get suck into hate speech and fear mongering.

First Article:
THE HUFFINGTON POST - Why Sarah Palin's North Korea Flub Matters

One of the Huffington Post Moderators commented on this article and the following text is one of the most insightful comments that I have read in awhile.

LMKay66: "This is the same woman who didn't know Africa is a continent.  So I'm not sure it was just a slip of the tongue.  Besides that, she is not qualified to speak on the matter, or any other matters as far as I'm concerned.  I think she's a fraud who has gotten this far on her looks and her so-called charisma (though I don't think junior high school-level snarkiness can be construed as charismatic).  She didn't make a good mayor or Governor.  She was a joke of a VP candidate, and she couldn't even finish one term as Governor.  Now Fox news calls her a "news analyst" as if she's supposed to be taken seriously?  I can't tell you  how dangerous it is that the media's obsession with her continues to enable her and her ego to the point where she is seriously considering running for president.  The media has the power to influence elections.  I believe the media influenced the midterms with their Republican takeover narrative.  If they decide to take up a Palin as President narrative, we're in trouble."

Second Article:
Des Moines Regester - Political advisers: Sarah Palin's 'star power' alone isn't enough

In closing, I am sure that we can all agree that we desire and desperately need leaders that are actually smarter than ourselves. I know that I would prefer a Rhodes Scholar (Clinton) or the President of the Harvard Law Review (Obama) over a C average Harvard Graduate (Bush Jr.) of someone that went to 6 colleges and came out with a Journalism Degree. (Palin)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Saturday November 27th ~ 2010

tied to the monthly planner
I have spent the last two days making sure that all of my dates for 2011 are in order and I am looking for those few rare slots in my schedule that I want so I will be able to open up my in home studio classes. I have really missed the intimacy of my smaller studio sessions where I actually get to know the names of my students and we get to have some quality one-on-one time.

My real goal for the next 48 hours is to truly get my website updated and have all of those dates plugged in and get some real work done in in my studio during the month of December. I have some sketches and some ideas that have been stewing for long enough that I think that I am actually ready to take the next leap of faith and start creating.

I love my Kindle...
I have been reading a great deal lately as well. I broke down and bought myself a Kindle DX and have been truly enjoying getting back into the groove of the taking in a good story. I started off quickly with the two latest Laurie King novels, "The Language of Bees" and "God of the Hive." Then I jumped full into Ken Follett's "Pillars of the Earth" and "World Without End." Now, after a huge recommendation from a friend, I have chosen to dive head long into the Stieg Larsson trilogy.

It has been way to long since I have been able to sit down and read a book without getting huge headaches. When I was in college, I put my head through a windshield and I suffered a loss of muscle coordination that made it hard for my eyes to work together to read for extended periods  of time. But to my delight, I find that the Kindle screen does not make my eyes tired nor does it make my head pound, so I have been devouring books again for the first time in ages.

I am finishing up my 5th Master Muse challenge that will be sent off on Monday for all to see. I am pleased with this one and think that it is one of my better ones for the year. After this, I have only one left and then the next group of Masters will take over.

I hope that everyone has had a wonderful start to the holiday season. Mine, so far, has been excellent indeed.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wednesday November 17th ~ 2010

Can someone please tell me what happened to this year? How has Thanksgiving snuck up on us already and where have the previous 320 days gone? I swear that it was only January a few weeks ago.

I am looking forward to Holidays this year; having a new and invigorated outlook on life is always a plus. I cannot even begin to express how a different  point of view and  ones personal feelings of inner peace can change your outlook on the entire picture.
Andrea, Christine & Anne doing Mr. Napkin-Head

I just finished up with the BABE show in Oakland last weekend and am now crashing for the rest of the week at my friends Andrea's and Whit's  house in Washington State for a few days before I am off again to exhibit this next weekend at the Bellevue Bead Festival.

I love this time of year. I always arrive in Oakland a few days before the show or stay a few days afterwards to hang with my friend Gail and it is always one of the highlights of my year. We both love the Bay Area so much and we always make sure that we get a room in Oakland that has that amazing view of SF.

I had a full days drive up into the Seattle/Tacoma area on Monday had to do some serious driving through an intense rained and wind storm as I passed over the Puget Sound on my way to Port Townsend. I arrived to my destination in a total power blackout, dodging pine branches being blown here and there. Who knew that the "flash light" APP on my Droid could ever come in so handy.

I got to spend today doing our best Mr. Napkin-Head impersonation at breakfast and just relaxing while catching up on good stories and playing a little bit in Andreas studio. I have a few students tomorrow for 2 impromptu fusing classes and then I have some serious work to get done for my next Master Muse project that is due in a few days.

I have a long drive back to Albuquerque the beginning of the next week but I am really looking forward to getting back home to all three of my sweet girls, one very large Odie and a Goodle.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wednesday October 13th ~ 2010


Are we able to rise to the task?

Is humanity able to remember what we have witnessed in Chile for longer than the next few news cycles? Are we, as the human race, capable of keeping this amazing act of humanity in our collective conscious and call to the forefront that many risked all to save 33 individuals?

How is it possible that the human race can be capable of such beauty, bravery, compassion, creativity and a single minded drive to rescue 33 people yet we are able to kill indiscriminately, hate without understanding and live in ignorance without the desire for true knowledge.

I watched in awe and wonder as 6 brave men willingly risked their own lives and descended down that drilled shaft to rescue those trapped miners. I watched till the last rescuer reached the surface and only then did I feel that I could breath again.

It is my hope that we can keep these images in our collective consciousness. It is my hope that we can maintain that drive for the sanctity of human life and hold it sacred. I will continue to hope that we can; but I have little faith left that we will. It does not seem to be in the nature of man to live beyond the immediate.

I was living in San Francisco on 9/11. I was actually up early that morning, cleaning my kitchen, because I was due to leave for London and Paris on the 14th for a 3-week vacation. This was to be my first vacation in almost 3 years. Needless to say, that flight did not happen for me till December.

Immediately following that horrific day there was a deep need for the familiar, a deep need for routine and a desire to be near others.  What I remember from that time and for a few weeks following was that we were a collective nation that actually saw others before we saw ourselves. People were conscientious, considerate and thought about how their actions reverberated in the pool of their surroundings.

I was ashamed of how quickly that sense of the world was lost and once again we became a country of the selfish and the self centered, resigned back to our ignorance and isolation. 

So, yet again, humanity has been given the chance to unite and to become connected to the rest of the world. Is humanity able to rise to the task? Are we able to cease hating that which we do not fully understand, able to be inclusive instead of exclusive, able to accept that all of humanity is deserving of the chance to strive and rise?

I live by just a few simple rules:

1. Always say thank you.
    (everyone deserves to be acknowledged)
2. Always hold the door open for the next person.
    (that is just plain nice)
3. Smile as you move through the world.
    (most will just wonder what you are thinking about)
4. Never give expecting for a reward.
    (give because it makes you happy to please another)
5. Let the person merge into your lane with a friendly wave.
    (I promise they will not get there any faster, but it makes them feel better about themselves)
6. Kiss your pets every morning.
    (there are few things better than my fuzzy girls purring me awake every morning.)
7. Kiss that special someone good night and good morning every morning.
    (I might suggest that kissing that special someone before you kiss your pets might be a really good idea)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tuesday September 28th ~ 2010

Can you believe this week? This has been a week of "what the heck is going on in the world."

A ~  I down loaded the GOP's "Pledge to America" and was mystified by the number of things that they "PLEDGE" to do that have already been done by the current administration. Just the section on health care alone made me want to throw something hard at John Boehner's head. What a load of whooie this piece of propaganda perpetrates. If you want a really good laugh and you really want to get irritated, download the document and pour yourself a strong drink to wash it down with. Be careful you have to wade through page after page of images in between the "pledges."

B ~ Think Progress had a very interesting article made possible through the Freedom of Information Act, that uncovered proof of what we all knew. The Bush administration was looking for any excuse possible to start armed conflict with Iraq. How many of our nations men and woman in uniform died because of one individuals obsession and why are we not making more noise about it? He is living a secluded life of comfort and isolation and we, as a nation, are left to deal with his disastrous legacy.

C ~ "Is the tea party one the most successful scams in American political history?
Before you dismiss the question, note that word "successful." Judge the tea party purely on the grounds of effectiveness and you have to admire how a very small group has shaken American political life and seized the microphone offered by the media, including the so-called liberal media."
• Add to this quote the conservative media of Fox News. Here is a broadcast station that states it is delivering the news and it is doing nothing but spoon feeding people who do not want to research for themselves the truth about anything. I have news for you all: 1. The President IS a citizen of the United States, he was born in Hawaii. 2. He is NOT a Muslim, but even if he was; why should we care? Who the heck give a flying fart. 3. The mess we are in right now is NOT his fault. The bailout of the Auto Industry and the TARP deal was all done under Bush's administration. This dude is having to clean up the jerks mess.

D ~ Do you really want to see what is happening in the world of Political Action Groups? Many of these so called Grass Roots groups are run and organized by big business that only have their own pockets and their own profits in their sights. These are dangerous people with an amazing amount of political clout. They are lying to the public and hiding their agenda behind the cloak of "Tax Exempt." They do not have yours or my interests at the forefront of their minds. They just want to put people in power that will continue to turn a blind eye to their unscrupulous business practices. Just go to the Americans for Job Security site and see what a good job these people do to hide behind the mantle of GOOD FOR AMERICA and be afraid, be very afraid.

E ~ This one was my favorite of the week. Our nation is under attack and is under the influence to religious groups who cannot even answer the simplest questions about the faith that they espouse to. The simplest of questions were asked and most could not answer them. The agnostics and the atheists did a much better job because they have actually questioned religion and not just gone on "faith" or just believed what they were told to believe. I for one actually want to understand what I believe in, not just regurgitate doctrine that I was spoon fed.  Can you actually believe that less than half of the people asked knew that the Dalai Lama is a Buddhist?

F ~ My BEST news of the week? My beloved Cincinnati Reds won the National League Central Division Title tonight with a walk off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning. Way to go Jay Bruce.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thursday Sept. 16th ~ 2010

Can't believe how time just gets away from me. Right after I got back from Tacoma I had to actually try to finish unpacking and get my house into some sense of order. Adding to that insanity, I had to get my submissions for Bead & Button 2011 made and photographed and submitted.

To accomplish this, the last week of August and into the beginning of September I actually got to run away and hide from the internet and from email and distractions so I could hunker down and get my submissions done.

We escaped the dry-ish heat of New Mexico south, to the 100º plus humidity & heatwave in Texas for a week. I  got back into the groove and back to my AZ routine of getting up amazingly early, working for several hours while downing an entire pot of coffee, grab a snack and dive into the pool for an hour swim and then get back to work till dinner time.

I found a good rhythm and I think I got some really nice new classes stepped out and it felt really excellent to get the creative juices going as well as the "fix it" & problem solving part of my work that I so truly love.

At Bead Fest Philly,  Gail Crosman Moore & I taught our last session of Color & Patina on Metals with Cold Joining Techniques. We had a blast  but we did not get nearly enough time together since she had to leave the next morning to teach up in Maine.

The remainder of my classes went great, but I had my most embarrassing teaching moment. I got to the classroom nice and early on Friday I could get all of my wire cut, handouts passed around, tools redistributed, my teaching bench cleaned and organized. It was 20 minutes before class was to begin, all of the students were sitting in their seats, I was TOTALLY prepped to teach a full day of Low Tech™ Metalsmithing. The problem with this was that I needed to be set up to teach Hand Forged Cuff. Glad I got in early and had that extra 20 minutes.

Almost the moment I got home from Bead Fest Philly, Terri & I left for a real vacation in Toronto for 10 days. I know… what a luxury… and it truly was.

A good part of these days was spent at Shadow Lake about 2.5 hours out of Toronto. Listening to the loons in the morning mist and kayaking on a clear and calm lake, cooking excellent dinners, reading for hours in the sun and just relaxing. It was just amazing.
View of Shadow Lake from our cabin
While in Toronto, we got to go to a Blue Jays game and visited the  Royal Ontario Museum to see a wonderful exhibit of the Terra Cotta Warriors from China, got to go up to the top of the CN tower and see all of the city laid before us. 
View of CN Tower form our seats at the ball park

View of Toronto from the top of CN Tower
View of Toronto from Center Island
But the best day in the city is when we took the ferry out to Center Island and road bikes around the connecting islands all day long. My best discovery of that day was this collection of toys arranged and hidden in some bushes. The only reason that I found this delightful display of dinosaur combat was that I wanted a picture of the house across the way and I happened to look down. I love the child's mind that created this little scene but what I love even more is that is was left for others to discover and enjoy.

A wonderful discovery of Dinosaur Combat

We need more of these things in the world, small discoveries of joy that make you smile and stop for just a moment.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tuesday July 20th ~ 2010

It has been a busy week since I got back from Tacoma. Classes at the Puget Sound Bead Festival were fantastic, the show was fun and I had the worlds best booth neighbor, Jeannette Cook. When we made Facebook plans for a good dinner out for oysters and salmon we had no idea that we would be spending the entire weekend side by side, laughing and people watching. I could not have asked for a better neighbor and I have to say that our entire aisle of vendors was fun and helpful and there was a great deal of frivolity and the sharing of potato chips.

My drive back was wonderful. I ran out of the convention center on Sunday evening as quickly as possible (exactly 22 minutes after the show closed) and drove south to Salem OR to have dinner and spend the night over at my friend Michele Goldstein's house. We hung out as the sun set drinking beers and grilling steak. What a lovely way to unwind after a whirlwind 4 days of teaching and shows.

I drove for 16 hours on Monday and missed the exit I was aiming for and did not realize it for over 20 plus miles, having no desire to turn around I ended up in this mom-n-pop hotel in the middle of nowhere Ludlow CA about 60 miles from the AZ border. To check in you had to go to the gas station across the street and I have to say it felt a little bit Norman Bates… but I woke safe and sound and was on the road by 6am the next morning. The temperature at 6am was already 85º.

I got home and I have to say that I crashed for the next 36 hours and I have now been cramming my brain and getting ready for my submissions for next year. I have have about a month to planning all of 2011 and seeing what I can add to buff out the schedule. I am also getting my house set up and unpacked. I am loving my new studio space.

The house is going to be totally excellent for classes. I can't wait to get some dates up and posted.

Life here in Albuquerque is settling down nicely and a rhythm to life is emerging. Life is good and I am happy.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Wednesday July 7th / Thursday July 8th ~ 2010

I have spent the last 2 days driving 1800 plus miles to get to Tacoma, Washington for some teaching and some selling. It was a long drive and I got in too late this evening to get to my classroom to set up so tomorrow morning is going to SUCK.

This was a new drive for me this year, now that I am living in New Mexico I no longer have to drive through the LA basin or go over the Grapevine ever again. Never having to make that portion of the drive was totally worth the move alone.

I do love the driving but I have not truly recovered from the move, Bead & Button, un-packing and then repacking. I am tired and I need a few days off after this whole thing.

This image was the best part of my drive today… gives a new definition to hitchhiking  don't you think?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Monday July 5th ~ 2010

I hope everyone had a wonderful and safe 4th of July. I am not used to being able to buy fire works in the local grocery store. It blew my mind to see an entire aisle of packaged explosives down the center of the frozen food section with a fire extinguisher shoved underneath said explosives, totally out of reach should the need to use it arise. New Mexico has been exciting for sure. 

I am getting ready to head out in the morning for the Puget Sound Bead Festival in Tacoma WA. I have a long 2 day drive ahead of me but am looking forward to a very full class of Low Tech Metalsmithing™ on Thursday.

Today has been a crazy day of
Getting any last minute work done,
~More packing.
~Even more parking,
A workout at the gym
~And even more packing
Clothes washing
~And have I mentioned … Packing?

The amazing part of this is that I had packed up the classroom tools and my display days ago..

As you can see it has been a day of repetitive progress but I am pretty much done and am off to get as good a night sleep as I can. I am hoping to get as close to Santa Nella, CA  tomorrow so my drive up to Tacoma on Wednesday won't be so nasty because I truly need to get my classroom set up for Thursdays class with enough time to get a good rest on Wednesday night!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Sunday July 4th ~ 2010 Happy 4th of July

On July 4th, 1776 the Declaration of Independence was signed by a bunch of guys who would have been guilty of treason if our desire for independence had not worked out on their favor.

The words are beautiful and speak to our desire to be a nation that believes in freedoms that we are all willing to defend to the end. I know that we all have differing opinions as to how these freedoms are to be insured but I truly believe that   we can all agree that these freedoms are essential to the core values and foundation of this nation.

Today; remember in your thoughts the men and women of our nation that have chosen to defend our freedoms and place themselves far away from their families and friends. Give them our thanks as we fire up the grills, crack open the beers and get ready end the day with fireworks.

The following is opening text of the Declaration of Independence with the original spelling and capitalization left in place.

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. --Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Saturday July 3rd ~ 2010 ~ A New Beginning!

I have needed to take a break for these last few weeks. I have been going through a great many adjustments over the last months. As well as having one of the busiest traveling years that I have had in a decade with way too much driving, I have been finding the desired time at my bench way lacking. Creatively, I have been craving some uninterrupted time with all of my tools and toys within reach and it has not been happening and that fact has been driving me just a little crazy.

Ultimately, all of the life changes that I have embraced over these past several years have culminated with my choice to leave Tucson. Since January, I had been working towards making the move to Albuquerque the end of August but the discovery that I could save thousands of dollars if I hunkered down, got all of my belonging in a POD and moved the very same moment I departed Tucson for Bead & Button was too much to ignore. It was a massive month of insanity, getting up at 5am, packing up stuff for a few hours and then shifting gears to getting things prepared for Bead & Button, then at the end of the day packing up a few more boxes.

That final morning, the movers arrived to pack up the remaining large and heavy stuff and I was finishing packing up the car. I tucked my girls in their carrier and placed them onto the front seat and I drove out of Tucson. There was this release and a weight that left my shoulders as I drove east on the I-10 that was amazing to me. In the end it was one of the easiest choices that I have ever made and one that I am sure was the right one.

To say that I arrived in Milwaukee a bit drained and totally bruised was an understatement. I did get 2 days of rest in Albuquerque before starting the long drive to Milwaukee and that was so very essential. Most importantly, I had to get my two grey girls settled with Terri taking care of them while I was teaching. I could not have asked for a better caretaker, making them feel loved, spoiled, well groomed and totally at ease within hours of their arrival.

As hard as it was to choose to leave Tucson it was just as easy. I miss my amazing creative group of friends and my Bri but I have just been anxious and unsettled and the desire to follow my heart had been growing more intense for over a year.

I am getting settled in a  great new house, setting up my studio and I am looking forward to scheduling classes and workshops in most excellent new classroom space.

I am happy and at ease. I am feeling that the choices I have made, the path that I have trodden, the way that my life is moving forward is a positive one that has given me new depth and new clarity.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tuesday May 18 ~ 2010

Whew, I am back home after a fast and furious trip to California. I departed Tucson Friday morning at 3am to get to Oakland by 4pm and that would get me there in time to get my booth mostly setup for the one day BS NorCal show. As always my friend Gail Crosman Moore and I have a blast when we do this show and the BABE show in November. We get together for these 2 shows and then spend a few days just enjoying San Francisco and the entire Bay Area.

The best part about a friend like I have here is that there are no expectations. We meet up for our fun and we can laugh till our sides hurt, enjoy a fine meal, walk for hours on end talk about creativity and we can just enjoy the quiet of each others company.

I sort of needed to get some down time on Sunday after a very good show on Saturday and then on Monday Gail and I messed around SF and Berkeley all day on Monday. We ended up at a restaurant that was an old favorite of mine, Skates by the Bay has the most amazing view of the entire bay and we enjoyed the sunset so we could avoid getting back to Oakland during rush hour through the MacArthur Maze.

As per my usual ways, I had a mind clearing drive to and from the  Bay as I listened to books on tape and delved into my own processes and tried to organize thoughts and desires and creative notions. It is always so important for me to have this time to myself, time that is not disrupted by tasks other than concentrating on the road and seeing the landscape unfold before me.

I have loads to do in the next 12 days and I will keep you all up to date on my progress.

oh and by the way … Shhhh … keep this on the down low … my Cincinnati Reds are doing very well so far this year … I do not want to jinx them so I am not saying much..

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Saturday May 8th ~ 2010

 I have always loved Kurt Vonnegut and his work. The following list was a piece that was presented as Kurt Vonnegut's commencement address at MIT in 1997. It's great stuff, but apparently it wasn't written or delivered by Vonnegut. But it's still a beautiful piece... and very much in the Vonnegut style.

~Ladies and gentlemen of the class of '97:
~Wear sunscreen.
~If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.
~Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.
~Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 pm on some idle Tuesday.
~Do one thing every day that scares you.
~Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.
~Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.
~Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.
~Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.
~Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.
~Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone.
~Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's.
~Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.
~Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.
~Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.
~Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.
~Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.
~Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.
~Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.
~Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders.
~Respect your elders.
~Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.
~Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85.
~Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.
~But trust me on the sunscreen.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Thursday May 6th ~ 2010

"Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving."
Albert Einstein.

Well not like this sign. This one is at Saguaro National Park here in Tucson. My hiking buddy Bria & I crack up each time we see this sign when we go out for a hike in the canyon.

 But Anyway ~ A few years ago I taught 2 young men how to ride bicycles without trainers. The elder of the two caught on pretty quickly but the younger one had a hard time finding his center of gravity. We went to an open parking lot to practice one afternoon and after a great deal of trial and error I could feel his personal frustration growing and I gave him the following advice.

" Just keep your eyes on the horizon and peddle faster than you are falling. No matter what, just keep peddling and do not look down."

He took off like a rocket and just kept going.

I read Einstein's quote this evening and it reminded me of that experience. I guess I can live on in confidence of my advice to this young man. There are a few wonderful moments in my life that I carry with me that will always make me smile and this one that is tops on my list.

I continue to get ready for my two upcoming shows and for all of my upcoming adventures. I am still looking for sign-ups to fill up my Texturing and Riveting Your Cold Join Pendant Creations class. Pass on the word if you know of someone looking for a really excellent class at B&B this June.

Also, I am very excited about  my next Master Muse Challenge. I got all of my supplies on Wednesday from Tonya and for a total change the inspiration for it was right there in my head, I had been milling over something similar in my head for quite some time and the design was pretty much thought out.

I have a rather strange process for a design, I tend to mull things over for ages and figure out all of the steps in my head before I dive in. So having a challenge handed to me that I have been pondering for a while is exciting for me. So, I am going to enjoy working out the final kinks with a few sketches. Keep your eyes tuned in to all of the up coming challenges as they are revealed.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sunday May 3rd ~ 2010

I had a very productive day. It was a day of organizations and list of what I needed to do and what I need to buy what I need to print what I need to pack and trying to thing 30 plus days in advance.

The most excellent part of today was the weather. It was cool and breezy and the scent of the rains was blowing in a good two to three hours before they reached my door. To the day I leave this earth there will never be a scent that so relaxes me. The combination of earth mixed with the rain is so unique to Tucson and so a part of my soul. I will always be a part of this desert and I do love it so.

I have lists of lists that are actually getting organized and a plan is forming and being implemented. These next 30 plus days are gonna be insane but I am looking forward to the end result.

I have the Bead Society of Northern California NorCal show on the 15th at the Oakland Mariott Convention Center.

Then Bead & Button the beginning of June. Then I can breath for a week or so before the heat of the summer shows kick in. Be prepared for the craziness of it all.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Check out this Bead & Button Class

Here is the latest class that I added to this years Bead & Button list. If anyone is looking to add to their 2010 Bead and Button Experience. Join me for a extremely fun class that will hone your cold join techniques.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday April 12th ~ 2010

Well, one month of travel done. I traveled through14 states, racking up almost 8000 miles and I listened to the unabridged Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows and the first 6 books of James Patterson's "Women's Murder Club" series.

It is actually a very Zen experience for me, taking in the passing countryside and listening to books on tape. I am not sure how Zen it is listening to Murder and Mayhem along my way but I love it. I have had to promise that I will no longer nap after dark at Rest Stops for fear of the unsubs lurking about in wait.

I now have to get all geared up for a solid month of preparations and ordering and making handouts prepping kits for classes and packing and and and… I am looking forward to the time at home, not having to go out further than getting my hair cut and to the grocery.

I have loads of orders that I started packing up today and I am sorting through all of the back orders from the 3 sets of classes that I taught. All of those things will be out the door A.S.A.P.

I had 3 wonderful and diverse experiences of teaching and many of them have touched me in a most amazing profound way. From a student that did not think that she could grasp it with her OCD and living up to the expectations of a student that had been holding her breath for weeks waiting for class. Each venue was truly excellent.

Lake Erie
Lastly, Upon my arrival in Cleveland Gail and I took a long walk on Lake Erie. Walking out into the lake along the stone jetties and listening to the swells of the lake pounding on the shore. It was so wonderful to breath the fresh air and feel the cool breeze on my face.

I could not have asked for a better end of my trip than being in Cleveland with my friend Gail and totally amazing Cleveland PMC Guild. Because I had several of my previous students in class the silliness kicked in early and ran the entire weekend.

 Gail & I taking pictures of each other at the same time! LOL

Ever since I met Gail a few years ago it has been an on going joke that there really is not husband named Lou. He is just a ruse. But now I can report, that there is a Lou but he is Sean Connery. I know that it is confusing, just accept it as the truth and go with the flow!

It was sort of strange to even walk in the door yesterday afternoon. I almost felt disconnected from my own life and my own belongings. That feeling soon melted away as soon as I saw my two grey fuzzy kittens forgo their usual aloofness and greet me immediately. There is not much better than snuggling up next to my  girls and relaxing for the evening.

Well after I unloaded the car and returned it to the rental agency.

I am recovering from my journey and I am full throttle for the next 6 weeks till the end of B&B when I actually get a few weeks off till Puget Sound in July.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Tuesday April 27th ~ 2010

My months journeys are coming to conclusion. I spend this evening in Oklahoma City and as of tonight I have driven over 7000 miles. Within the first 60 minutes of driving to morrow I will pass into Texas on my way home and it seems like a lifetime ago that I was driving east on my April adventure.

There were a great many wonderful experiences and a few that left me wondering.

The Auction for Meesh was an unqualified success. I watched as the auctions came to the closing minutes and I was so moved by the people driving up the bids. We came together as a community to render aid to a fellow artist and to a friend and I have never been more proud of the people that I call friends, colleagues and conspirators. Gail and I were both moved to the core of our souls for what we saw as a unifying spirit that binds out wonderful little community together.

What has left me wondering over these last few weeks is what is ego exactly. I learned my lesson about my own the day that Gail & I announced the auction. I re-posted Gails Blog on mine and the comments were all aimed at Gail and props for her for what she was trying to do for a friend. I have to say that those comments praising Gail got my "green eyes" flaring and after about 5 minutes of feeling undervalued I kicked myself in the ass and asked myself what I was doing this for? Was I trying to help a dear friend or was I looking for a pat on the back. I guess what was important is that it only took me a few minutes to realize that I was being an ASS.

What I am trying to get at is that I am so very worn out by the games and that are played  solely for maximum effect. These are individuals that just want to make sure that they are seen by as many as possible in the best light possible. The problem is that they are not any of the things that the profess to be. The fact of the matter is, the game that they play will never win them the final acclaim that they desire. The reality and the selfish egotism cannot be sustained over time and their true colors will be seen in the end.

I have gotten to spend a great deal of time this month contemplating many things as I watch the miles and the scenery pass by. I am grateful for the solitude and for the time to delve deeper into my own ego and give myself a reality check on what is truly important in my life.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Thursday April 8th ~ 2010

I am way late but hopefully not coming up too terribly short.

The Biggest of the BIG news, I am sure that most have heard about, is that the auction for my friend Michele Goldstein started last Saturday morning on Ebay. Click here ☞ Michele Goldstein Auction ☜ for the link.

Here is the short story for those who are not aware of the situation. Michele Goldstein is an amazing Lampwork artists and dear friend. She had to stop working for several months in order to care for the father of her two boys. He was diagnosed with terminal cancer and he passed away after a very brief but debilitating illness. During those months that Michele cared for Steve things got tight on the financial end as you can imagine. So, Gail Crosman Moore and I decided to get our artist friends to all donate work for an auction to help out Michele and her two boys.

There are 3 auctions that are ending in just under 3 days so take a look at them first. Auction number 56 is one of my favorites, that painting by Kathy Dorfer is truly so very special.The remaining 53 auctions will continue on for another 5 days so please check it out and bid often and bid high.

This has been a wonderful experience seeing our community come together and give of themselves and their art to support a colleague, fellow teacher, artist and friend. There are several of the artists that have donated work that do not know Michele and that act in itself speaks volumes to me of the nature of humanity

On the traveling  front:

I have been a driving crazy woman. I left Tucson on Friday and spent Saturday with my girl before heading out across the country. I am here to tell you that the pan handle of Texas is really very flat and that Oklahoma is as well. The highway system in Missouri is a disaster and thank god Illinois and Indiana are very skinny states. All in all, an amazing 1800+ miles from Tucson, AZ to Dayton, OH.

I only drive 500 + miles tomorrow... a walk in the park be comparison no?

I start teaching this Friday morning bright and early at Bead Fest Wire at the Valley Forge Convention Center in King of Prussia, PA. If you are in the area come and check out the show..

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sunday March 28th ~ 2010

Dare! Dare to Believe! Dare to Have Faith! Dare!

I signed up for one of those silly applications on Face Book called Daily Zen. Each day words of wisdom and guidance are posted on my wall. I have to say that the zen given for today had sounded so true in my ears.

"Where there is no vision, the people perish."

If we take this in the context of our country, in this time and in this moment in history I can find no truer nor more insightful comment.

"Where there is no vision, the people perish."

I am tired of the hatred, I am tired of the rhetoric and I am tired of the falsehoods and I am way too tired of the lies that are being touted as truths in order to scare those that are not informed.

I got into a war of words with a complete stranger the other day. A FB acquaintance of mine posted an image of Sarah Palin that was in no way flattering, she was voicing her opinion about how distressed she was with Palin attending rallies in both AZ and NV. My verbal advisory from Alaska stated that that we just needed to spend time in Alaska and get to know her. I found myself adding my 2 cents to the conversation.

What disturbed me the most about this woman was that she had no interest in the truth nor any desire to listen or to learn. She accused me of not seeking the "real" story. I responded that I actually read from the extreme left and the extreme right and from the middle. When I asked her if she read "The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, The Christian Science Monitor, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post or The New York Times, her retort was to belittle my comments as uninformed. I had to say, in a rather "hoity toity" phrase, "I took umbrage with her remarks". To be just a little "snotty" I am sure that she had no idea what the word umbrage meant either.

I was raised in a very conservative household, in the conservative state of Ohio and it was not until I moved to NYC and traveled outside the boarders of my country to see the rest of the world that I understood that we are just a small part of an entire community of the world and that to be isolationistic is to doom ourselves to perish. 

But here is my point for this spring evening: now, on this day and in this time we have a person with a vision in the seat of power and for that I could not feel more secure. For the first time, in a long time, I take pride in my leader and I believe in his mission and his vision. Change cannot happen in a week, in a month or even in a year. Patience is our ally and with it the vision for brighter future is truly within our grasp. We need to believe in what 53% of this nation voted for on that wonderful November day.

Do not let the hateful and the angry gain enough voice to win. Do not let what we have fought for wither and perish with impatience.

Dare! Dare to Believe! Dare to Have Faith! Dare!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Saturday March 27th ~ 2010

Wish me luck: My plate is full to over flowing and I leave my home for almost a month in less than a week. There is a great deal to update here. I have been negligent on several levels especially in the professional realm. So, here we go.

 Several months ago I was asked to submit and article and give an interview for Kalmbach Publishing. The publication is the Art Jewelry Special Wirework 2010. The magazine hit the newsstands just over a month ago and is still very much available. It is loaded with some very fun projects, I highly recommend that you all give it a thorough once-over.

While giving the phone interview, I was grateful to have the opportunity to attempt to give credit where credit was due. I would not be where I am today without the guidance and mostly gentle prodding of Kate Ferrante Richbourg. (Who is now associated with the totally awesome Beaducation.) I look back over these past 10 plus years of teaching and I will always be grateful for that fateful evening, when we were laughing while trying to puzzle out the mysteries of Chain Maille. A great deal of the silliness & humor of that night was lost in the final editing and that is just a sad fact of trying to fill as much information into a very limited space.

 Also out this month is the April 2010 issue of Bead & Button Magazine. In this issue the staff of Bead & Button ran a survey to ask the respondents to give up the names of their favorite instructors. When the top 10 were announced, I was blessed to be included with some pretty amazing company. These women: Marcia DeCoster, Celie Fago, Diane Fitzgerald, Mary Hettsmansburger, Lisa Niven Kelly, Laura McCabe, Cynthia Rutledge, Kim St. Jean & Sherry Serafini are some pretty heavy hitters in our world and to be in their company on any level is an honor.

If you take a look at the calendar on my website it will be noticed that I am a crazy traveler for the month of April. I am off to Interweaves Bead Fest Wire, April 9th - 11th, in King of Prussia, PA. I am teaching 3 classes and am really looking forward to participating in this show for the first time. The following weekend I drive south to Miami FL for Best Bead Miami, April 16th-18th. I am teaching there as well and will also have a table in the show. If you are in the Miami area please stop by and say hello. Then I am off to the Cleveland area to teach for the local guild the last weekend in April. Then I drive home and fall over for a few days before I get up and dive into the heart of the summer travels.

I have to finish up my tutorials for the Master Muse Series with Whole Lotta Whimsey. I am working away and trying to give Tonya all the images that she requires. It is a funny thing, I am a minimalist  when it comes to images for projects like these and it in direct contrast to what is required here.

I have classes to get up and moving for CraftEdu as well. Keep a lookout for them as well.

There is so much creativity out there right now, it is hard to keep up with it all. It is especially hard when the daily running of life just keeps interrupting.

What a day of fun is in store!

Anne Mitchell and Gail Crosman Moore will be teaching a "Coloring Metals, Assembling Outrageous Components" class the day after the NORCAL Bead Society Show in Oakland at the City Center Marriott on May 16, click on the link above which will direct you to my site to sign up.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tuesday March 23rd ~ 2010

Is it a right or is it a privilege?

Edward Kennedy: "Affordable health Insurance is a fundamental right and not a privilege."

For the first time in nearly century this country has taken on the great challenge and has started down the road of providing affordable health care for every person in this country. I watched as our President signed the House Bill this morning and I see us on a road that may actually have a light at the end of a very long dark tunnel.

I am one of those stories that has been talked about. I was laid off from my job after the dot-com crash and 9/11. I used the California COBRA system for as long as it was available to me and at the end of that insurance I had my regular checkup. I was in surgery for the removal of a lump in my breast within 14 days after my insurance ended even though I regularly had my checkups. I was one of the lucky ones, the lump was benign and all I had to do was empty out my retirement account to pay for the surgery. But for the next 5 years I was uninsurable and lived in constant fear that the next mammogram would show another problem. 

I watched Obama sign the bill and I listened to both Democratic and Republican responses to its passage. I listened and weighed out both the praise and the condemnation. I cannot fathom the reason as to why there is so much opposition to this and to a public option and to why there is so much opposition to a person being required to have mandatory health insurance.

The Republican Official response this morning stated that there are just a great many people that just do not want health insurance, are healthy and do not need it. I have a very simple and complete response to that imbecilic notion.

1. We are simply a nation of drivers, it is how a great many of us get around. A drivers license is "mandatory" in order to operate a motor vehicle. It mandatory for several reasons, but mostly it is to insure that everyone is as safe as possible, knows and observes the rules and to keep the roadways safe for us all.

2. We are required to carry drivers insurance. WHY? We are required to have this insurance in case there is an accident, if you as a driver hurt someone and that the bills can be paid for and that this person can have health and property restored. This insurance is required for the safety and security of all on the roads.

The Obvious Answer: So, the logic of this mornings argument follows… if I as a driver have never had an accident, never had a ticket I should not be required to have a drivers license and I should not be required to have insurance. If I do not want it I should not be required to get it.

All I can promise you that if this person who does not want insurance has an accident they would expect, hell, they would demand that an ambulance show up in a timely manner and get them to the hospital, they would demand that they receive the proper care at that hospital. If this happens to be a catastrophic accident and this person did not have a large stash of cash then we would rest of the country pick up the tab in the form of raised premiums.

We need to have a nation of people that are healthy and that understand that preventative health care will make the costs of a universal health care system so much more affordable than the horrific system that we are faced with now.

It is a RIGHT for every person in this country to have access to affordable health care. We are a diverse and complex nation and to believe that not having these fundamental basic services not what we stand for as a nation.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday May 22nd ~ 2010

Haters and Big Ol' Meanies Not Allowed

Sorry for being away for so long.

Whew! Santa Fe is over and I have absolutely no time to properly recuperate till I turn around and leave my home for 3 weeks. I am heading to the East Coast for Bead Fest Wire in Valley Forge PA, then off to Best Bead the following weekend in Miami FL, then finishing up in Cleveland the weekend after than one. Right now I think I am going to be leaving Tucson in 12 days for a visit with my mom in Dayton and then on my east coast tour and then finally back home somewhere around the 26th of 27th.

I had one experience in teaching this time that totally shook me to my core. In the safe haven of my classroom i was not prepared to be confronted with pure hatred and bigotry. I turned on some music for the students to listen to while they were working and I chose BB King and a student stated very loudly for all to hear "TWICE" that they could not listen to BB King because he was just a "screaming n_iger". To say that I was shocked, shaking and ashen faced was an understatement.

It took me a day or two to really figure out what it was that had shaken me so badly. While I was taking to the girls about it a word that I had not used before slipped out. I said that I felt violated in some way. I have witnessed hatred, bigotry and the downright stupidity that comes with this kind of ignorance. But, to have it face me in my own classroom in a world where we welcome all individuals shook me to my core.

This experience has changed me as a teacher and as a person. Nothing about this persons appearance or demeanor could have clued me into their extreme levels of ignorance and bigotry. I wish that there was an option for teachers to insert into the class description…


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wednesday March 10th ~ 2010

Time passes to quickly and there are never enough hours in the day to get done all that I desire to get done. It is the constant struggle to find that balance between what needs to be accomplished and that which I desire to do.

Just to be clear, I do cherish my solitude. I long for a long and romantic journey on a train, I have slept peacefully and alone under the stars on a beach in Greece and traveling to far and distant lands is a desire beyond desires. I do follow my instincts and always sort of kick myself when I do not listen to that little voice in my head. My only desire is to be true to myself and my friends and to have them to be true to me and the "fitting in" will figure itself out.

I totally believe in kissing for hours on end.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tuesday March 2nd ~ 2010

All I can say is that I am so ready for March to be here. The beginning of this year has been way too intense on so many levels. It has been a non-stop whirlwind of one thing after another and each of these things is an obstacle that had to be overcome. I am hoping that with the beginning of this month we can start from scratch and sort of have a do-over for the beginning of 2010. Is that okay with everyone?

To say that I have had a blast watching the Olympic for the last fortnight is a huge understatement. I have been a fan of the Olympics since I was old enough to understand what they were. I have been witness to some of the most amazing sporting events in history because my parents instilled in me the importance and passion of the games.

Franz Klammer
- The most famous downhill run in Innsbruck 1976.
Dan Jansen  - Speed Skating collapse in 1988 and his glorious victory in 1992.
Olga Korbit - the Russian gymnastic darling of the Munich games of 1972.
Nadia Comăneci - the Romanian gymnast that was the first to ever score a perfect 10 in scoring in 1976 Montreal Games.
Mark Spitz - the American swimmers 7 gold meals at the '72 Munich Games.
Brian Boitano & Brian Orser - Mens Figure Skating - The Battle of the Brians at the Calgary games of 1988.
Dorothy Hamill - American Figure Skating Gold Medalist from the 1976 Innsbruck Games.
Greg Louganis - The American diver that smacked his head on the spring board and went on to win gold at the 1984 & 1988 Games.
Michael Edwards - Eddy the Eagle - The horrible English Ski Jumper who was so bad that he had all of the coaches from every team giving him advise in 1988.
Edwin Moses - American Hurdler who won gold in 76 Montreal and 84 Los Angeles and bronze in 88
Seoul - He could not compete in 80 due to the US boycott of the Moscow Games.
American Hockey - The Miracle on Ice - the 1980 Lake Placid American win over the Russians in the semi-final match. These were college athletes because this was before the inclusion of the professional players inclusion into the games.)

One of the most horrific memories I have is from the 1972 Munich Games and hearing Jim McKay saying through a strained voice "They're all gone" upon hearing that 11 Israeli  athletes had been murdered by the group Black September, a militant Palestinian splinter group of the PLO terrorists. I was nine and it was trying to grasp what was happening.

What I have grown to care about over the years of these competitions is that it does not really matter to me who wins. I love that all of these athletes come together and are competing to try to claim a dream that they have striven for. Even through the Eastern/Communist Blocs usage of steroids and the boycotts of the Moscow and Los Angeles games the dreams have endured and the desire to be an Olympian remains such a height to attain. The history of the games is that the Greeks stopped wars to assemble to compete and I believe that this desire to come together in peace and good will still exists.

It is the smiles of the athletes as they attain personal goals that keeps me coming back for every gathering and my heart breaks for each athlete that suffers disappointments. It is the humanity of the games that has captured my own imagination and I love being allowed to take the journey with them.

So, in closing for the 2010 Winter Games, thank you Canada for hosting such an excellent gathering. I await the London Summer Games of 2012. Let the games begin!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." Anais Nin

I greeted this day in awe and wonder as I try to greet each day. It seems that some days the sun shines a bit brighter and what I saw as an obstacle pales in the light to what I witness my friends face and overcome. I hope to honor their courage by meeting my obstacles with a modicum of how they face theirs.

Whew, today was a day sitting at my desk with filling out paperwork. I figured out that by spending the billion dollars on the Adobe Creative Suite I coulds now fill out PDF forms without printing, filling out the form by hand, scanning them then attaching them to response emails.

What this means is that the 10 hours I spent filling out and signing contracts and submitting booth applications and really getting loads done today could have actually take twice as long as it did.

So, as much as I sometimes curse technology, there are times like today that I am pleased to have these tools at my disposal.

It has been a long day and tomorrow is going to be another day of lists and placing show orders. I took a brief break for 2 hours this evening to watch the Olympics and am looking forward to a good weekend of sporting events.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tuesday February 23rd ~ 2010

I have been hiding for the last week. I really did not mean to, but I just needed to spend time with my GF and to not be interested in anything other than the Olympics. I was spending some serous down time in Albuquerque after the week plus insanity that was the Gem Show. I have gotten some very much needed rest and also got several pieces done for orders as well as for the Mariposa Gallery in Albuquerque. My metal work can be seen with Terri Caspary Schmidt's lampwork. I think the 3 pieces are nice indeed.

Being back home is always nice. I have missed my grey fuzzy girls and I look forward to curling up with them this evening. I still have a load of things on my "to do" plate that must be attended to over the next 48 hours. It is a rather daunting list of things that actually means I need to make a list of my lists in order to make sure that I get it all done.

As I am flying towards Tucson the snow is covering the high desert and I have to say that it is truly beautiful to see. I love a contrail, you know what I mean, those long white cloud-like trails that planes leave in their wake. Whenever I see one several thoughts go through my head.

1st - All of those people in a metal tube hurtling through space, damn that is so cool.
2nd - How did we, as humans, ever figure out how to get that thing off go the ground.
3rd - Are having beverage service right at this moment & what might I order.
4th - Landing is not really landing, it is just really controlled falling

But in a more transcendent flying note: Seeing the curve of the earth at the horizon line from close to 40 thousand feet is a really amazing thing and I will never forget the very first time I saw the Grand Canyon from a plane. I was flying up to the Seattle area and just happened to look out the window and I about crawled over the person sitting in the window seat to get a better view. I have never in my life seen colors like that and to actuality grasp that is was the Snake River below me was way too cool. (I will always associate Evil Kneivel with the Snake River, can't help it.)

Well, I am off to get things accomplished and to make my list shorter and shorter as these next 48 hours tick away.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Friday February 12th ~ 2010

It is already half way through February? ... Excuse me?

Whew, what a blazing, insane and whirling past nine days. I had a house and a guest house full of people exhibiting and assisting exhibitors for the Gem show and I was doing just the same, so for over a week every time I sat down to write about and post to my Blog I was just too tired and promptly curled up under warm covers and fell fast asleep till my alarm went off the next morning.

Gail and her Life Saving Get Around Wheel-y Cart.
The week and a half was as challenging as it was fulfilling. My friend Gail Crosman Moore overcame way to many obstacles in order to get to Tucson from Massachusetts. In December she had hand surgery, so her poor right paw was in a hard splint to protect it and then to add to her difficulties she fell and broke her fibula just four days before she was due to get on a plane. She always has been a person that I have greatly admired for her humor, talent and soul but this display of grace under fire was totally inspiring. What a total trouper and every day was met with smiles, laughter and several cups of coffee.

Terri and Andrea at the Whole Bead Show's Late Night.
 The show itself is always so much fun. I love that, pretty much, everyone shows up to either exhibit or to shop. There are many greetings and much hugging and the show is the kick-off for a new year. Every year the Gem Show seems to signify a new beginning of shows and teaching engagements and we garner the temperature for the new season to come by the general level of optimism those attending. I think that all of us were pleased to see that there is a greater feeling of optimism and a sense that the worst it behind us and that we are moving forward. I know that I certainly hope that this is in fact the case.

My favorite part of the week is Saturday night. We are all at the end or our perspective shows and the tensions of the build-up to it all has ebbed away. Last year, I had a large group of friends over for a cook-out and a real sit down dinner. We did the same this year and just as much fun and silliness and laughter was had by all.

We can be a boisterous group and I love to watch as each niche started laughing at their own conversations the general volume of the room grew. I enjoy how we share our stories of the week, our plans for upcoming years shows and how we can just relax for an evening. The simple bastion of a house and home to sit down in for few hours can really revive the soul. I truly love this night and I so covet this time that I have with my friends loved ones.

Terri and I drove back to Albuquerque yesterday and that officially brought the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show to a close for me. As we drove away from last minute shopping from the Gem Mall I realized how truly tired I was. I can normally drive for upwards of 10 to 12 hours at a time before I start to feel the effects but I only made it 3 hours before I had to hand over the task.

I have loads to do over the next week and a half and I am overwhelmed by the number of emails that I have to answer. I think that I will actually have to make a list of the lists that I need and start from there.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wednesday February 3rd ~ 2010

There is an amazing clarity of thought and a sense of peace when you realize that time is fluid and that in order to feel totally a part of your world you just need to let it all go. I feel at times like I have suddenly been shifted to another reality; an alternate universe and that I have tripped through the time space continuum. I can walk into a room and certain things that I am totally sure of are just not so. I can look at a wall and comment n the new coat of paint and am told that it is several years old. Crap like that happens to me at times and I am just dumbfounded and I am no longer sure of which reality I am on or what reality I belong in. So, I just realize that time is not something that anyone can grasp and that our individual reality is only one reality out of billions of realities.

For the last few years, every few months I would do a Google search for an old high school buddy of mine. We where super tight and we did so much together for those 3 years of High School. Then came graduation and I went off to college, then I moved to NYC a few years after that and that was just it. I have no idea why that happened or why either of us let is continue. So, about 4 years ago I started looking. Face Book has re-connected me with several people that I have thought of often and I kept looking for my old friend. I was shocked and deeply saddened that he passed away just over a week ago.

The connection with these two paragraphs and the moral of this story is that do not let time pass into years and then let those years pass. Do not let this reality shift to where a friend no longer exists you cannot find someone that you once held dear.

Rich Masters was a comrade in our mutual theater antics, a fierce conversationalist, funny as all get-out, and a simply a really good dude. I counted him a good friend during my years in High School and I am kicking myself for not working just a bit harder to find him and re-connect. Had Rich not been taken too soon the series of events that has happened would never have occurred. This event has brought together a number of people from that time in my life that I have not seen since my graduation. 

I am refocusing  and I am going to try to do better in this aspect of my life and I hope that I can find the value in my handling of the time that I am given in this reality.

Gail Crosman Moore arrived on Monday afternoon and I am one of her official chauffeurs. What a trooper she is and having her stay here in just the best. I love the silliness and conversations and the silliness and the amazing company and I really love the silliness. It is going to be some kind of week and I know that we are all looking forward to it.

Terri & her dear friend/assistant Carolyn got in on Tuesday afternoon from Albuquerque for load-in. We stayed up ways to late getting our individual last minute preparations organized for our shows. Sleep was illusive on Tuesday night and we all pretty much depended on our many cups do very strong Peet's French Roast Coffee in order to properly wake up.

I will post tomorrow about "all" of the happenings at the first day of the show. I am just a bit too tired and I need a better nights sleep tonight.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Thursday/Friday January 28/29 ~ 2010

Today we lost an icon of American literature: J.D. Salinger, the author of the 1953 must read High School Literature Classic " The Catcher in the Rye" died . He last published in 1965 and retired to the seclusion of his home in New Hampshire. Where he spent his days scowling at the photographers who dared peer into his private world.

In 1997 in an NPR interview he was quoted as saying. "I refuse to publish. There's a marvelous peace in not publishing. There's a stillness. When you publish, the world thinks you owe something. If you don't publish, they don't know what you're doing. You can keep it for yourself."

Also from NPR "The Catcher in the Rye inspired censors, assassins and innumerable ordinary readers, who found in Salinger's hopeful yet disillusioned heroes an uncompromising kindred spirit."

He is believed to have stashed reams of unpublished fiction in a vault.
  "Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity."
~Henry Van Dyke~

 As I insanely get ready for the Gem Show next week I find that I am growing overly concerned with the passage of time and how swiftly it seems to slips from my grasp.

• Is there time enough to get all of my work done?
• How much time can I get out of each day to work?

Here is the truth about time: As soon as you surrender to time, surrender to it's inevitable rhythmic cadence, knowing that you will not get it all accomplished and that no matter how hard you try there will always be more that you could attain. Surrender to that simple truth and only then will their be a peace that fills you. The goals and tasks that you desire to achieve will gain even greater heights. Be warned, never fail to give time is due, it does not stop and it does not wait, it is ever flowing and much can pass you by if time is not given the proper payment of respect.


So, here is my big announcement, a few months ago I was invited to participate in a group design team in organized and by and in conjunction with Tonya Davidson and Whole Lotta Whimsy. The owner of this most excellent establishment just happens to be a friend and I am honored to be part of the group. 

There are 10 of us and we have been given the auspicious title: Master Muses and over the course of this next year each of us will present 6 projects that challenge us within certain imposed parameters. These projects are meant to expand our techniques and inspire each of us to new levels of creativity. I was "chosen" to be first so click on the above link and let us know what you think.

♥ ♥ "Time goes to swiftly when we are together and too slowly when we are parted…" ♥ ♥