Saturday, September 30, 2017

What Am I Reading??

Have been asked numerous times what I'm currently reading. Interesting question, since I'm usually reading several books at one time....that is, more than one book going during any certain period of time.  Here is the list for the next couple of weeks:

-  For my Island Salon group:
             The Sunne in Splendour: A Novel of Richard III  by Sharon Kay Penman
        Comment:  well written, interesting topic of which I was almost ignorant, but not for the faint of  heart at almost 1,000 pages

-  For my island book group:
            A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
         Comment:  just starting it, but read his Rules of Civility which was great

-  For a women's study group:
          Codependent No More by Melody Beattie (25th anniversary edition)
        Comment:  always good to review those codependent behaviors!!

-  For another study group:
           Leaves of the Twin Divine Trees by Baharieh Rouhani Ma'ani
      Comment:  fascinating and in-depth study of the lives of the women closely related to the founders of the Baha'i Faith; interesting commentary on how women have been forgotten in history

-  For myself:
          The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron
       Comment:  this is probably my third time through the book, working the activities and chapters; it always helps to jump-start my creativity

Don't even bother to ask what might be next on the list - this will keep me busy for awhile!!

Sunday, September 24, 2017


This is my official posting, not to be confused with a previous unauthorized photo taken without my permission, of my latest piece:  Aurora.

First I wove the base basket with dyed reed and waxed linen, in lattice twined technique, trying to make it as symmetrical as possible.

Then 169 working hours later, using 28,500 delica beads, Aurora emerged.  I'll just let her speak for herself, as well as some pertinent details at the bottom of this post.

Height: 4.5
Width: 6.5
Depth: 6.5
Statement: The overall design of Aurora was inspired from nine pointed star mandalas and the desire to merge basketry with beading in a contemporary manner. This creation is the culmination of overcoming some interesting challenges, including weaving a basket in as close to a perfect sphere as possible, with a smooth finish, without the use of a mold and maintaining bead pattern and design while conforming closely to the basket, with the necessary increases and decreases requisite within the technique.
Techniques: Lattice twined basket covered in peyote stitched beading
Materials: Dyed rattan, waxed linen, Delica beads, fireline
Year Completed: 2017

Monday, September 11, 2017

A New Housemate - Tigger

Hadn't realized the empty space in my life until my newly adopted kitty - Tigger - joined the household.  Sitting once again with a kitty on my lap or at least nearby keeping me company while I have my first cup of tea and write my morning pages by the fireplace (albeit electric) has an amazing comfort to it. (Yes, I know, not all of you are cat-enthusiasts, so please bear with me.)

Tigger's previous owner passed away resulting in Tigger's homelessness.  Enter ole soft-touch here, and the rest is history.  Or history in the making:  we just got through a pretty rough first night adjusting to the new owner (moi) and surroundings, after a long drive back to the island.  Neither of us got much sleep last night, so I'm thinking a nap might be in order.

He's also finding some pretty unique hiding places, but luckily doesn't stay hidden very long.  Did learn, though, that getting stuck behind the washing machine and needing assistance getting out probably wasn't the best move.  Oh, and THIS household doesn't permit kitties on the tables.  There definitely is a learning curve here - for both of us.  My current challenge is finding something he will eat.

Tigger on his first trip traveling to the island. 

Island bird-watching is quite distracting and entertaining.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Fresh Starts and Tea Cup Candles

It's September, and at least here in the Salish Sea there is that subtle little nip in the air that tells us autumn is here, or at the very least, fast approaching.  Autumn is also the start of the new school year, which even after all this time brings a smile to my face.  I loved the new notebooks, new pens and pencils, gathering supplies and getting organized, looking forward to new classes. Which begs the questions of relating the season of dying back and readying for winter with new beginnings, but there you have it.

So one my own fresh starts will be renewing my weekly blogs.

In keeping with my Year of Exploration and Discovery (quickly moving into "years" so may need a new title), my plan is to share some of my adventures along this path. I'm having so much fun, I just may need to embrace it for the the remainder of my life.  Giving myself permission to experiment with a variety of crafts is one of the greatest gifts I've ever given myself.  Who knew?

 One of the first things I tried was making tea cup candles.  (You can learn how to do almost anything on the internet!)  I didn't go crazy over buying the "proper" supplies, but learned that soy wax was the way to go for these smaller container candles.  I definitely enjoyed the process, and loved the results (almost all are already given away as gifts), but for any of you reading this who make candles for a living, you have nothing to worry about from this quarter.  I enjoyed it.  But it didn't "grab" me.  However, I will be making a few more for hostess gifts, considering the number of teacups that I own.  It's a lovely way to share them with others.