Monday, May 30, 2011

Remember Us

The young dead soldiers do not speak.

Nevertheless, they are heard in the still houses:

who has not heard them?

They have a silence that speaks for them at night and when the clock counts.

They say: We were young. We have died.

Remember us.

They say: We have done what we could but until it is finished it is not done.

They say: We have given our lives but until it is finished no one can know what our lives gave.

They say: Our deaths are not ours: they are yours, they will mean what you make them.

They say: Whether our lives and our deaths were for

peace and a new hope or for nothing we cannot say,

it is you who must say this.

We leave you our deaths. Give them their meaning.

We were young, they say. We have died; remember us.

Archibald MacLeish

My son is only back from Afghanistan for less that a month. We feel blessed. Many he served with did not return. I feel torn because I am a lucky Mum. For just a moment, please, set aside a space in your heart to honour our sons and daughters who have fallen for us, in this war and the so many wars that have come before.

Remember them.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sifting through time

It's getting very close to the time when this home will no longer be our home. As I pack I find myself sifting through twenty five years of our lives together. Like this bowl. I remember so well the day we brought it home to our very first home together. It's an old Fiesta serving bowl with a tiny chip in the rim. The little chip in the rim is what made it affordable. We were students at the time and scarcely had enough to feed two young children, let alone splurge on something like vintage Fiesta. I love that bowl. It has been so many places with us.

Days seem to slide into each other as the house fills with boxes. Grandma's china took an entire afternoon. Not so much because there is a lot of it. Each piece needed to be packed with care. I feel extravagent using so much paper to wrap it. But I don't want to lose one precious piece. I try to visualize it in our new home. The picture isn't very clear. There is so much to do.

The studio sits untouched. I just can not bring myself to go in to pack it all away. But Friday week, it will all be loaded onto a truck.

There are moments of humour. I find Peter crawling into a very tall box to arrange the padding in the bottom just so. The tall box is a temporary home to 2 pieces of sculpture that came back with us from Australia. The living room feels empty now. For many years, those pieces of sculpture, a Cambodian spirit house and a Thai dragon have been there to greet me each moning.

I don't remember feeling so nostalgic with any other move we've made. And there have been so so many of them.

The dogs have retreated to a corner. They are not happy, things are not where they should be. They are stuck in a rut and do not like change.  Part of me is not ready for this change either. But I know that once we get going, once we are on the road, I'll be excited. There are so many things to look forward to especially being much closer to our grand daughter. But right now I am so very very tired.

So good bye for now my friends. I'll catch up with you when we reach North Carolina in a couple of weeks.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Good Bye Old Friends

We like books. We have a lot of books, 64 feet of book shelves full of books and that doesn't even count any of those that are stacked on bedside, coffee, and end tables. We don't just like books, we love books. I have anxiety attacks when I get close to the end of a book if I don't have a new one to take its place. Late night emergency runs have been made to the grocery store to find another book if it looks like I might finish one just before I go to bed.

We spent a good part of the day culling books. We just can not justify moving that many books to North Carolina. I am certain there are more books in High Point. The library is only a few blocks from our new home. It has over 40,000 books in it. There will be reading material. But is so so hard to part with my books.

Many books are saved. Old friends like the Pigs in Heaven, The Chimney Sweeps Son, the Dune Series, and the Doomsday Book make the cut. Margaret Attwood, Maya Angelou, daily readings with Rumi, Mary Oliver, and Tich Nhat Hahn, all stay. An eclectic mix of books. I need these friends to go with me because I need the continuity of these books always being there for me. I need their familiar faces. They are like old friends. I have visited their pages over and over again and will visit them again.

Others books are bagged and ready to go. They are off to Goodwill. Actually many of them are returning to Goodwill. I hope they make new friends.

My children all have Kindles or things like that. I even read several chapters of a book on my daughter's Kindle not long ago. I liked it and it would certainly save on those emergency book runs. But I still love the feel of turning a paper page. I love the look of the spines of  books all lined up on the shelf. I love poking through a book shelf to find a book, maybe something I've never read, maybe an old friend that I would like to visit again.

I wonder, am I the only one who has this strange and deep attachement to books?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Shhh, I'm going to say the S word

Nope, not the other S word. I've said plenty of those and some colourful variations over the last few weeks.

So it is time. We're moving 1500 miles in a few weeks and some of the bead goodies have just got to go. I spent yesterday taking stock, putting stuff up on Etsy, and I am ready to bid it all good bye until June.

So here's your chance. A SALE! I never do sales but I am now. Everything listed in my Etsy shop is 25% off. You just need to use the "Take25" promotion code at checkout and your order will be discounted by 25%.  I've put a flat rate shipping of $2.50 for all orders to the USA and Canada and $3 everywhere else on this lovely planet of ours.

My goodness, I feel so much like a game show host right now. But the bottom line is this little Etsy shop is closing next week until sometime in June. There won't be any relisting. This is it. I gotta start packing the studio up.

BTW, that little daisy pendant on the beige background up there is my favourite. I've hung onto it for months :-)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

BTW- bead cheater episode

I'm having a minor (umm, major) obsession with making bronze beads these days. And I really never get tired of dragonflies.

So what about that cheating thing? Well, I made these beads thinking about the bracelet that I made with a bronze flower bead.  Only when I got them done I thought oh my, wouldn't they look nice as pendants? That tube shaped one on the upper left especially. I just wanted it to be a very simple pendant with a heavy bail. I can make ball end head pins but I really didn't want to see a little knobby thing at the bottom. I could have made a flat end head pin sort of rivet style out of heavy gauge wire. But all of that tedious working it out with my hammer was not meeting the needs of my miss imapatient, gotta do it now self.

So here's my cheater solution to a heavy gauge flat end head pin.

With an 18 gauge piece of wire, I made a very gentle little bend in about a quarter of the way from the end. The wire is probably about 8 inches long. I started a little spiral of wire with the shorter end of the wire.

On the flip side, longer wire section, I went back in with a round nose pliers and centered up the piece of wire that will go up through the bead.  In the second photo you can see the top side of the head pin.

I put the whole thing into my cheapo vise from Harbor Freight and and hammered the spiral flat.

The bottom of the bead.

Notice how I actually cheated twice? You didn't really get to see much of my bead table at all. It's very messy. Lots of little snippets of wire lying about.

I'd love to see what's on your bead table. Even if it is piled high and even if you cheat too and just show me the pretties :-)

Monday, May 2, 2011

You can do it too!

This pile of pendants just went off today to Camp Summersault in Los Angeles. I first heard about this over at Gaea's blog. Camp Summersault is sponsored by the American Cancer Society and is free to kids with cancer and their siblings.  I have a little soft spot in my heart for projects like this. I spent a lot of years working in a cancer hospital and have seen how opportunities like this can make a world of difference in the life of child. I especially like that it gets the siblings involved as they often get lost in the whole scary cancer world of a the brother or sister with cancer.

Karen Braverman teaches a beading class each year and she'd love to have you donate beads for the class.I just think this is such a wonderful idea that I had to pass this opportunity along to you.  You can read more about it below. I think you can click that photo and it should enlarge to a more readable size.

You can do this too! You don't need to be a bead maker. You just need to dig into that bead stash of yours and send them on their merry way. You can email Karen at for more information.