Thursday, May 27, 2010


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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Websites, Beads and Belly Dancers

Many of you may know that for years I have been a horticulturist, designing large scale gardens for resorts and wedding venues. But after a skirmish with breast cancer, my sails seemed to shift of their own accord and I started losing interest in the garden - something I thought I would NEVER do. I was very passionate about plants. I still love looking at them, I just don't have the energy to grow them anymore.

So I've been moving on to other things such as:

Beadwork - I love beading. It was my thereapy while I was going through chemo. I started my "Beading for Buddies" program believing that it would take my mind off my cancer, give me something to do while I was sitting for hours hooked up to a poison drip, and give me something to give to all the friends, neighbors and strangers who reached out to help me and my family while I was feeling so rotten. I ended up giving away over 125 beaded brooches and finding a new passion. I bead every day now and sell some of my wares and still give a good many away.

Photography -I love taking pictures and remember my first crappy little instamatic camera I had as a child. It took fuzzy pictures (probaly because I was a figgity child and never stood still). it also cost a fortune (comparitively to a child's allowance) to get the pictures developed. 
 Now I have a fab Canon DSLR that Sweety bought me.

I recently took pictures of Shalyhn, a belly dancer extraordinaire and then played with the pictures on Photo Shop. Here's what I ended up with. Fun.

Shalyhn is my son's girlfriend and I love taking pictures of her in her costumes.
Another new interest is Website Designing. I don't know a lot about this just yet, but I'm taking lessons and I hope this will be my new "Day Job" when I go back out into the work force. Until then, I'll continue to play with my beads and take pictures and putter on the computer.
What are YOU interested in?

Monday, May 10, 2010

A Pleasant Week-End On The Farm

I took my Sweety to Southern Oregon this week-end to see a play in Ashland (Pride and Prejudice at the Oregon Shakespearean Festival) and to prowl around Ashland and Jacksonville. I love Ashland for it's magical feel. Lithia Park is something right out of a fairy tale. We found a FABULOUS bead store called Bead Studio. Went to a cute little artisan's market, ate some really good food. Then we wandered around historic Jacksonville for a while.

However, I think the best part of the week-end was the Bed and Breakfast we stayed in. The Apothecary Inn is located in a tiny town called Ruch, right outside of Jacksonville. This inn is owned by a young couple who raise miniature donkeys, Dwarf Nigerian Goats, llamas, chickens, angora goats and a couple of cats. They also grow much of the food that they prepare for their guests in the form of gourmet breakfast. Such yummy items as Maple Ginger waffles, eggs with sage and chives, and watermelon and raspberries. Granted, not everything comes from the farm, since there isn't much growing in May, but the fresh eggs were delectable and the cream that we put in our coffee had none of the "goaty" taste that you equate with goat's milk (Thanks to the breed of goats they raise).  Homemade blackberry jam on freshly made sourdough rolls was pure heaven. We left with 4 jars of homemade peach preserves and peach-rosemary jam tucked in our luggage.
Our room was nothing to sniff at either. One of the most comfortable beds I've ever slept on, hot tub on a private desk, and hand made soap in the bathroom. The house is decorated with lovely antiques and original art. A spinning wheel in the livingroom is where Ryan spins the wool that Jillian weaves on her loom.
The grande dame of the farm is "Gloria", the sweetest llama you have ever met. She is the "guard dog" for 4 angora goats and greets visitors from her pasture when they arrive. My husband was so smitten he asked me if I thought the neighbors would mind if we got a llama.

All in all, Ryan and Jillian made our little week-end get-away a success. treating us like we were family. I highly recommend their Inn, especially if you want a place to get away from the hub-bub of the city. You will leave feeling like you found long lost members of your family.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

When Do We Sleep?

I was up until 5:00 am finishing this necklace and playing with a few bracelets. I get busy beading and don't notice the time until all of a sudden I realize I'm really cold (our furnace is on a thermostat that shuts off at 11:00 pm). Even then, I usually slump into a sweater and keep beading. My husband gets up at 5:00 am for work, so I was going to bed as he was getting up. Two ships passing in the wee hours.
But I feel good that I finished this piece. It's on my Etsy site and it is called "Amethyst Garden".
Here's one of the bracelets I was working on. I love orange and green together. I was a little perplexed at first about bracelets since so many people have different sized wrists. But with these chain type bracelets, I make them big (8") and then add extra links back along the bracelet with beads attached so they can hook into whatever link fits best and the extra hangs down with little flowers like a pendant.
I've been expanding my horizons with beads quite a bit. I started out making bead embroidered brooches, but now I'm also doing necklaces, bracelets and earrings. Hope to be selling at our local street market soon.
I recently joined Etsy's Bead Weavers Street Team. They have monthly challenges that seem a little daunting to me, but it will be a good way to stretch myself creatively.
I'm heading to Ashland this week-end with my sweety of 33 plus years. Checking online to see what bead stores might be along the way....