Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Happy Holidays

The tree is up and lighted and there are a few ornaments on it. The rest are waiting the arrival of my son on Saturday. He has special requested that we finish decorating the tree together. It's the first time we've been able to do this together in 5 years and I must admit that I am over the moon happy that this grown up child of mine is sentimental enough to want to get out all of the family ornaments and place them on the tree with me.

In fact it is a season of firsts for us. Our son has been either in Korea or Iraq for the last 5 Christmases, our daughter has been either on duty or on call as a nurse, and so is the first time we will all be together to celebrate Christmas together in our 'new' home, albeit over the weekend so the nurse daughter can get back to the ICU for Christmas. But the other first is, that for the first time ever in the long history of my sister and I being adults, we will celebrate Christmas in my home. My sister and one of my nephews are making the long, long drive down from Iowa just to be here with us. We've spent so many Christmases in her home when we visited from Australia and I've always been so grateful for her opening up her home as if was our own. It is truly a great pleasure to have her here.

And with all of that family business coming right up, I'm taking a little blog break. "What" you say, "haven't you been on a blog break?" Well yes, in fact it does appear that I have been missing in blog action. There have been so many things happening over the last month that I am feeling the need for a little break and some time to reconnect with my family. In fact, I need a little time to reconnect with my studio and me. So I'll be back in the beginning of January, bright eyed, bushy tailed, and full of new designs.

Happy Holidays All!

And blessings and brightness for the coming year.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Blessings, Sorrows, & Coincidence

Shortly after I wrote last night about the 'spinner' pendants, we learned that my husband's uncle had passed suddenly and very unexpectedly early yesterday morning. A wonderful man with a colourful and fascinating life, 20 years in the Air Force, a WWII POW, a Viet Nam vet, a pilot, a long haul truck driver, a champion bowler, a volunteer, a driver of red mustang convertibles, a father of 6, and partner of Kathryn. A life lived all over the world.
This morning I read Erin's comment about the spinner pendants and likening them to blessing beads that you could hold in your hand and use to be mindful of those things that give you joy. Is her comment a coincidence?
This pendant is larger than I might normally make and the chain is longer so that the beads are comfortable to hold and turn in your hand. Six beads for six children, blues and purples for tranquility and harmony, green for balance, and a splash of red for strength. And a little piece of turquoise for the cycle of life. I reckon after you have lost your life partner of more than 60 years you might could use a few blessing beads. This is for Kathryn.
We'll be leaving in a day to drive to just out of Tuscon where Kathryn and most of their children live. We will do more than pay our respects to Uncle Bob, we will celebrate his life. And we will think of the joy that having Bob in our lives has brought us.
A blessing.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Stacked Spinner Pendants

Some time ago I made a lot of little flat beads in circles, squares, and oval shapes with the vague intention of using them in bracelets. And maybe someday there will be bracelets. Instead, for some odd reason known not even to me, I started making these little stacked bead pendants. It all happened when I was using a piece of wire to have a look at different combinations of beads. Then out came the torch to make head pins, the bench block to make paddles, and well the bracelet idea had pretty much flown away by then.

These are actually quite fun. If you squint just right some of them look a little like pagodas. I think of them as interactive pendants because all of the little parts spin. Because of the different shapes of beads you can change the profile by twisting the beads into a new position. I think about those old days when I had to sit in meeting for countless hours, bored to tears, and I would have loved to have one these to play with while I tried to keep from yawning.

These ones are off to First Friday and market this week. All except one that I'm claiming for myself. I'm thinking it could come in handy waiting at the doctor's office or better yet when I'm having my 'oh dear I'm at the dentist anxiety. '

Thanks everyone for stopping by the cranapple post. I had no idea there were so many cranberry lovers out there.