Sunday, November 30

Turkey For You, and Turkey For Me

I hope you all had a wonderful, tolerable or at least uneventful Thanksgiving. Mine was filled with family which was fun, but also tiring. B and I are back in our quiet abode which we spent the whole day in except for working out this morning and a quick drive to the store for milk this afternoon. In between we watched movies under blankets and ate leftovers. Oh, and I almost drove by our house on the way back because B put up some Christmas lights, and I'm used to looking for the dark spot. I like the dark spot. I like that B put up the lights more.

I got to try the Wii this weekend and that was fun. The response of the controllers is amazing. I rate bowling as the most fun, but I didn't get to try tennis. Golf is just as boring as it is in real life and boxing, while highly entertaining, is incredibly difficult to tell what you are doing.

The food which I had been looking forward to for weeks did not disappoint. The stuffing and the pumpkin pie (to me, the only things you really need at Thanksgiving) were perfect. Of course, I love squash, too - boiled and mashed and no funny business. My Dad's was perfect. It was a hybrid of whatever he's thrown on the compost pile; this squash started growing and it was a beautiful orange and sweet without adding a thing.

Thursday, November 27

Who Knew Town Meetings Are Fun?

I went to my first town meeting on Tuesday to help make the mountain biking community's voice heard. The group showed up in mass. It was a cold night, and I know I would have rather been snug in my house. No one could dispute the local interest in the sport. Currently no bicycles are allowed on the trails in any county park, and we have big parks with amazing trails. Horses and hikers constitute the multi-use along with snowshoers and cross country skiers in the winter. These users' only experience with bikers are those that ride illegally, and you can imagine they haven't been good. We hope they will give us responsible and courteous riders a chance to change their views.

Currently the town is agreeing to giving us access to one section of the park that is too advanced for beginner riders and already run into the ground by illegal riding. Hopefully other areas will be opened as they get used to our presence.

I'd be curious to know what the situation is in your area.

Sunday, November 23

Before and After

Here a couple of shots of all the pendants below before firing and after. I love how the edges go all soft and round.

Fresh From the Kiln

Saturday, November 22

The Kiln is On

Yes, the kiln is on! It has been months since I've made some pendants. I spent yesterday afternoon pulling strings of glass, leaves and cutting. I'm really happy with how they looked going in. Fingers crossed they come out well. I'll post before-and-after pictures when they are done.

Friday, November 21

Playing With Fire

I turned on the torch today to pull some delicate strings and leaves
of glass to decorate pendants I'll be fusing. It's always a surprise
to see just how they'll come out. One is a custom order in greens and
browns that someone wants to give to a nature-lover for Christmas. I
hope they love it. Nature-lover that I am, I hope I can part with it,
or I'll be making another. I'll post pictures when they're done!

Thursday, November 20

You Can Buy Happiness - Buy Handmade

I've received my new lunch tote and scarf from Etsy, and I can't rave enough. Click the link to see pictures and links to the shops.

The lunch tote came in a matter of days and it's washable, durable and gorgeous in every way. Everyone who looked in the office refrigerator commented on its stylishness. How someone can sew like this is beyond me.

My second item took a little longer as it said in the listing to give her just three days to make it and then it had to get on a plane. I've been awaiting the package from Australia all week and was so excited to see it in my mailbox! A 100% Australian hand-dyed wool scarflette was hand knitted for me by Stacey. It's a wonderful thing to purchase something directly from the creator.

You will be hard pressed to find more pride of craftsmanship and amazing customer service than that of Etsy sellers. When you buy handmade you make three people incredibly happy: the artist you bought it from, the person you bought it for and yourself for finding something so amazing and being part of that wonderful triangle. Of course, I was both the buyer and receiver this time - bonus!

Thursday, November 13


Last Friday I picked out some glass rods with autumn on my mind - indigo night skies, the last yellow-orange rays of the day, spongy green moss that clings to rocks, warm ivory whipped cream atop a mug of chai - and sat at the torch to make some beads. Tonight I made them into wearable creations.

I Will Finish That Book!

First catch up by reading the previous post. You back? Here's the next installment.

I went to the library - a different one than where I got it 'cause I happened to be closer to it - and told them my sad page 906 - page 978 story. People in line behind me made throaty noises of empathy, and one told me his own tales of woe of books on CD where sometimes whole chapters are missing do to maltreatment.

As the librarian looked at the gap, an idea struck. "Do you have a copy of this book?" I asked. Indeed he did! Incredibly pages are missing out of this one as well, but not the pages I needed he nicely pointed out, and I left happy that I'm going to be able to end this.

Tuesday, November 11

This Has Never Happened Before

I have renewed Diana Gabaldon's The Fiery Cross - the fifth of six books in the Outlander series -twice. It's big, I have other things going on, and man, it just seems to be taking me an eternity to finish it. This morning the end was in sight, and I looked forward to finishing it on my lunch. Still, after an hour I had roughly 20 pages left. Undeterred, I looked forward to finishing it tonight. My husband can't wait for me to finish it. You know it's bad when other people want you to be done with a book.

As I downloaded the Dreamweaver CS4 trial, I started down the homestretch. I turned page 906 to find page 978. Shock overruled pissed-offness - I know, that's shocking in itself. I guess it's going back to the library regardless now, which was the goal. I will point it out to them so it doesn't happen to the next poor reader. Hopefully they won't think it happened on my watch. I'm not too proud to find a seat at the book store and work on finishing it up there whenever I'm in the area. I love this story, but am ready to be done with it.

Monday, November 10

Do Gooder

I had candles - a whole boxful that were doing nothing for me but taking up space. I picked out the few I wanted, and if waxen shapes have aspirations, I found a place for the rest to reach their full potential. My community publishes a small magazine that lists the wishes of local charities. How great it that? The one in need of candles is called Friends and Family of Murdered Children and Victims of Violent Crimes. No way to shorten or soften that. It's as final and heavy as granite.

This afternoon I walked up to the headquarters - an old mansion with a ten foot tall door and pushed the bell. A lady walked down the grand staircase and greeted me with a smile as she saw my box. She was really thrilled and explained how she saves her pennies to go pick up votives at the dollar store when she can. I apologized that some had been lit, but that was of no consequence as she says they will use them at vigils. A few were brand new like the heart-shaped one I pointed out, and she told me she already had a mother in mind to give that to who had lost her son on Thanksgiving. That my little candle might bring this woman the smallest comfort and a way to remember him makes my day. That cleaning out my cupboard is going to bring tiny points of light to those who need something bright to cling to makes my day. I want my work to be like this. I was so happy to give. She was so happy to receive and in turn will give these little lights a purpose to shine.

Sunday, November 9

Sunday Afternoon

My bird feeder seems to be abandoned even though it's half full. That got me wondering if Gold Finches leave for the winter. I know they toss their yellow feathers for the drab gray/brown ones. Perhaps they are busy doing just that. Chickadees and Cardinals stay here right through the biting winds, freezing temperatures and swirling snowstorms. If I were a Chickadee I'd find Robins and their ilk less hardcore. Maybe they are simply fair-weather feathered.

Saturday, November 8

I Heart Etsy

The lining in my lunch bag started falling apart...again. I could have duct taped it because once I really loved it, but it was made of cheap materials so I'm done with it. What do I need and want out of my lunch bag, I thought to myself, and can I find it on Etsy? The answers turned out to be handmade, durable, insulated, machine washable and yes! The material it's made out of is an eco-friendly bamboo/cotton blend to boot! This one should be a keeper. Check out the Naturally Felt shop.

Another thing I've been wanting is a new scarf. Not a long swinging scarf for looks, but one that will sit nicely inside my coat. I also want it to be handmade of beautiful colors to brighten the dark winter days ahead. Etsy to the rescue. Enter the scarflette that even has an opening to thread one side of the scarf through the other. This one is coming all the way from down under! Check out the Sheep's Clothing shop. Crikey, isn't it gorgeous?

Tuesday, November 4

There is...

Hope. Joy. Enthusiasm. Happiness. Relief. Obama.

This link will probably be down in the morning, but hopefully you'll get to check it in time.

Please, Please, Please

Eyes squeezed tight. Fingers and toes crossed. Hopes through the roof. 

Election Day. It felt like Christmas morning when the alarm rang. It's Obama Day!, I thought to myself. From the first time I heard him speak at the 2004 Democratic Convention, I thought, "I want to vote for that man." Did I get caught up in the eloquent words, his poignant story? Yes. Words are power. They are how we communicate, find common ground, avoid wars, inspire people to change, convey our love, desires and hopes; they are how we learn as well as how we teach. 

I am so grateful to have the right to vote. I am so proud to cast my vote for the first African-American President in my lifetime. I am filled with more hope than I have ever had after opening the voting booth curtains.

Sunday, November 2

Closing Up Shop

There were some things that were cluttering up the blog so I just chucked them. 

Ahh. That's better. You may notice - or likely not since none of us are buying things we don't need these days - that I have closed up my online glass bead shop, and it is no longer featured at the right. Actually it's on permanent vacation mode until I decide to give it the attention it deserves. You can still see plenty of my work at the right in my Flickr photos. 

One day something new will show up.