Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Today is the deadline . . .

. . . for me to get my bead soup package out to my partner, Amy, so this will be a short post. Amy and I were paired for Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Blog Party. Click on the pic below to see where it started:

Here's a pic of the "teaser" of the package Amy sent to me. Click on the photo to go to her blog!

The package arrived yesterday, all tied up with a pretty green ribbon and included a sweet personal note from  Amy. Here's what I received:

  Here's a closeup of the GREAT items I get to work with. I can't wait!

Thanks, Amy, for the pretty pendants, beads and clasp? Many thanks to Lori for all her work in putting this party together! And, incidentally, Lori has a book currently being published by Kalmbach. Here's a pic of the cover, I hope the copyright police don't show up to arrest me for stealing it!

Look for it at your favorite bookstore!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Post Office Detour

We stopped at the Leesburg, Florida post office today and I wanted a photo of this beautiful palm:

Jim noticed an antique car parked in front of a garage across the street and asked me to get a photo.

When I asked the gentleman inside the garage what year this car was, he said "1929." Then he invited me to see a few more of his treasures. Here they are:

I want this T-Bird! All original with California plates. I found only one nickel-sized spot of rust. I want this car!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Do you ever think about . . .

. . . how small our world has become? Advances in technology have allowed us a virtual presence on the other side of the world within seconds. Exotic, faraway places once found only in National Geographic magazine or in movies now appear on our screens in real time. Progress has magnified the relative prosperity Americans enjoy and, by contrast, the extreme poverty, disease and hunger that exist elsewhere.

More affluent nations send troops to aid in struggles moving away from government oppression and toward democracy. Doctors Without Borders sporadically provide health care. Celebrities clean up water supplies and other organizations drop occasional bags of grain where needed. Global reach-out is growing and that’s a good thing, but I believe teaching others to be self-sufficient is more important than these short-term solutions.

Have you considered that there is hunger for more than food? What I’m thinking about is best reflected in a quote we’ve all heard: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”  What this suggests to me is that there is a hunger for knowledge, a condition that even the hungriest may not recognize in their lives. Teach a man to build his own shelter, to purify his water, to grow more and better crops, to keep his family healthy. Growing knowledge is the long-term solution.

You and I may not have much in common with some of our neighbors on this planet; what we all share, however, is the human spirit. What happens to the human spirit sitting in the dessert waiting for a bag of food to drop; the spirit of the mother watching her children waste away from starvation or typhoid; the spirits of children whose parents die in their arms from aids? They have no hope, no dreams. Or do they?

What if you, one human, could inspire another? You can. Did you know that? You, one small human being, can assist one small human on the other side of the world in changing his or her future for the better. You can help satisfy the hunger for knowledge by offering LITERACY. Read a child a story and he is entertained; teach him to read (and provide books) and you just might be creating a future world leader. A doctor, a teacher, a builder. An engineer, a farmer, a statesman.

What if you could put a book in the hands of the child who would become the next Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa or Ghandi? You can do this. One person to another. One spirit to another.

Our daughter, Kristen, has a passion for literacy. She visits Zambia every summer, bringing with her teaching skills to share with both educators and parents, as well as reading skills for their children. She also brings books. Hundreds of books. Books that are devoured by hungry eyes. She feeds their knowledge. She feeds their spirits and gives them dreams to dream for the future.

I would SO like for you to watch the following video and look over A to Z Literacy’s website. This is the non-profit organization born of Kristen’s efforts along with the help of many, many other human spirits. You can help. Easily.

Go to A to Z Literacy website!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Taking the journey . . .

. . . into civilization to procure a pedi for Miss P and some provisions for her as well, we passed by a huge citrus processing plant. Huge trucks full of oranges were lined up, one after the other, waiting to unload their golden treasures. The scent of orange juice was wonderful and inspired this:

Freshwater pearls, crystals and ceramic lemons, oranges and pink grapefruits. Think I'll go get myself a glass of OJ right now!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Bead Soup Blog Party!

After my recent very enjoyable experience with with Michelle Mach's Secret Snowflake Challenge Blog Hop, I found my way to Lori Anderson's blog and her fifth Bead Soup Party and I was jazzed! So I filled out my application and waited, all the fingers on both hands crossed. The 200 participants were to be chosen from a total of 384 and today when the announcement was posted, YIPPIE, I was included! My partner's name is Amy Freeland. Stay tuned to see what we create when they are revealed on March 3rd!

And while you're waiting, stop by Lori's blog. In addition to her creativity I really love the positive nature of her posts!

Secret Snowflake Challenge . . .

. . . here's my entry for the Secret Snowflake Challenge. I knew the finished item(s) were to be posted January 15th. I just didn't realize Sunday was the 15th and thought I had till Monday.

Jewelry designer Michelle Mach offered up this challenge on her blog, Beads and Books, last December 23rd.
It's been a while since I entered a challenge -- last time was when Deryn Mentock worked her way through Mary Hettmansperger's book Wrap, Stitch, Fold and Rivet.


 Little did I realize how long it had been; here's a link to one of Deryn's November 2008 blog posts featuring one of my entries:
What a great challenge that was! If you really want to challenge yourself, I highly recommend that you get a book like Mary's and work your way through, project by project. But I digress. Back to the current challenge, Michelle Mach's Secret Snowflake Challenge. Here's a photo of the challenge kit contents:

And here are a couple additional photos of my finished entries.

This is part of a Susan Lenart Kazmer clasp. I layered snowflake confetti pieces that came with the kit along with German silver glitter and tiny freshwater pearls in resin. 

The real challenge for me was in combining the shades of aqua and blue, something I wouldn't normally do. What do you think?

Secret Snowflake Participants
Please visit the blogs of all the jewelry designers who participated!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Where messy me creates . . .

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Saying goodbye to 2011 . . .

. . . was a group activity this year. First, Chef Roland cooked us a most delicious gourmet dinner featuring bacon wrapped filets on the grille and twice baked potatoes. Cassi and Taylor made brownies, from scratch, for dessert.

After dinner we loaded into the car to tour the East Peoria Festival of Lights, always a spectacular experience!
Festival of Lights Steam Engine float
Back at home, some of us snuggled into our jammies. Here are Jim and I with our BFFs Blake and Taylor.

Here's Tay enjoying a pre-toast beverage (non-alcoholic, of course!).

Meanwhile, we passed the time taking these fun photos with my iPad app, Photo Booth. Here's Cassi;

and Heather (with Peanut);



And even Tiki got into the act!

We rang in the New Year at midnight with a toast and this lovely photo of yours truly.

HAPPY 2012!!!