Thursday, December 31, 2009

If you'd really like to see the action of a New Year's celebration you can go to Earth Cam. They have live feeds from Times Square, Paris, and all over the world. Enjoy, and have a happy one. Sharon

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Warmest tootsies in Town

This is my pair of Tootsie toasters. You heat the microwave for under a minute and tuck into your socks or slippers. The heat will last about 30 minutes.

After I wrote yesterdays post I thought you might want to know where I got those incredible toaster slipper warmers. The Ferris Wheels seemed to have by far the most practical and wonderful things to keep you warm. I'm attaching a few photos, along with their descriptions, so you can see the quality on these items. I don't know about you but I can not think or be creative when I feel like my feet are going to attach to the floor with ice crystals. So, if you suffer from chronically cold or overworked tootsies give them a try. This you are going to love!!!!!

New Addition to the Toy Pile

This will be a quicky. The photo is of a new tool I purchased about three months ago. It's a flat lap machine for grinding down stones for lapidary and glass. Of course, for glass. I'm kind of having a great time making these disc beads and then grinding and polishing up the flat sides.

It's a tad on the time consuming side because you want to make enough of them to make it worth while to do it. Think production line! The reason behind that (for me) is that you have to work your way through the diamond grit wheels. 170 grit all they way to 1200. There are actually four wheels to grind and then one more to create that nicely polished front window. Since you have to change that machine's wheel 4-5 times to properly finish one bead you might as well be finishing a half a dozen all at once.

The one you see me holding the bead on is an Inland grinder with an 8" wheel surface to work on.
Jeri Warhaftig (JeriBeads) recommended it to me. She had originally used a six inch one but switched because it is easier to hold things to the larger work surface. After having done this I can't imagine using a smaller surface area. Her book, Glass Bead Workshop, is a must have for the serious beadmaker.

I'm thinking maybe I'd like to try some "Geode" beads. " A Geode bead encases a decorative element within a layer glass. The bead is then cold-worked." That is the definition I pulled from somewhere - maybe Jeri's book. Geode beads look alot like the stones but you can reveal just about anything cased under that glass. B -U-TI- FULL.

Volume 5 is ready! 104 coe Geode Beads This Ebook shows how to layer silver colors and bevel windows into beads to create amazing geode effects! A simple Bevel Machine, wet tile saw or glass grinder is needed to create glass geodes. Rocio Bearer is the author and she already has some great books on the market.

Some quick post, huh? Procrastination is a whole different topic!

Monday, December 28, 2009

A Simply Wonderful Week

I certainly hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday! It would be good too if you're trying out a few of those steps in previous posts. I should really start keeping a countdown of things that were decluttered. I wish my lampworking desk had been among them, unfortunately it was not. The sorry part might be that I think I could declutter for about a year and never get it totally complete. Maybe the thirteenth step ought to be acceptance of certain personality traits that aren't hurting anyone. About the only thing I hoard are beading supplies....and I'm in great company on that one.

I received some pretty nifty presents this year. My DIL and son sandblasted a glass bulb they purchased at Michael's Arts and Crafts. It was beautiful and will be cherished forever. And, my daughter found something that will remind of her every day.

My feet are always must be poor circulation. I have had these awful cramps in my legs for years and finally - one very astute family doctor suggested I get a good pair of wool slippers from LL Bean. He noted that his nursing home patients leg cramps were reduced ten fold when he insisted they be given heavy slippers. Trust me, it works. Well, back to the story. My daughter, Kate, found these totally awesome microwavable footshaped pads that go inside your slippers. Whoo Hoo, they are incredible. Instant foot warmth.

And the eldest child?...he made a special trip North to bring me my granddaughter. We all went to see the movie - Avatar. I'm thinking flying dragons look like a whole lot of fun. And her precious smiles and hugs warmed my heart to the core.

Tomorrow, back to the torching and posting about some new beady goodies.

I hope your Holiday was like a warm slipper, a granddaughter's hug, and a reflection of love in a Christmas bulb.


Friday, December 18, 2009

Last but not Least of the Steps

Let's, slow down, enjoy. After I returned from seeing friends yesterday I started up again. It gave me some great energy to sit, talk, and see my friends new work. Her faeries are just to die for and she's now making a necklace of faeries crawling up and down tree branches. I know the photos on her sight my not do them justice but you will love owning one. I own three of them myself. Check her out at Mystic Swan. Today I finished cleaning my end table. Sound like it just needed a dusting, right? Oh how wrong one can be. To justify the fact that I plop everything I am working on right there and let it accumulate until i can not find my tools I refer to as one of those balancing stone towers you see people make. Mine just happened to be unfinished artwork and paperwork.

So now...........the rest of the story. Steps 10 through 12.

10. Do everything you can to eschew debt. Remember that you’re attempting to simplify your life here, so you don’t need to purchase more of what will complicate and clutter your life. If you can’t afford it, let it go until you can. By going into debt, you’ll just add layers of anxiety onto your life. That anxiety will then take you away from your peace, which is where you are when you’re in-Spirit. When you have to work extra hard to pay off debts, the present moments of your life are less enjoyable; consequently, you’re further away from the joy and peace that are the trademarks of inspiration. You’re far better off to have less and enjoy the days of your life than to take on debt and invite stress and anxiety where peace and tranquility could have reigned. And remember that the money you have in your possession is nothing but energy—so refuse to plug in to an energy system that’s not even there.

11. Forget about the cash value. I try not to think about money too frequently because it’s been my observation that people who do so tend to think about almost nothing else. So do what your heart tells you will bring you joy, rather than determining whether it will be cost-effective. If you’d really enjoy that whale-watching trip, for instance, make the decision to do so—don’t deny yourself the pleasures of life because of some monetary detail. Don’t base your purchases on getting a discount, and don’t rob yourself of a simple joy because you didn’t get a break on the price. You can afford a happy, fulfilling life, and if you’re busy right now thinking that I have some nerve telling you this because of your bleak financial picture, then you have your own barrier of resistance.

12. Make an attempt to free yourself from placing a price tag on everything you have and do—after all, in the world of Spirit, there are no price tags. Don’t make money the guiding principle for what you have or do; rather, simplify your life and return to Spirit by finding the inherent value in everything. A dollar does not determine worth, even though you live in a world that attempts to convince you otherwise. Remember your spirit. When life tends to get overly complex, too fast, too cluttered, too deadline oriented, or too type A for you, stop and remember your own spirit. You’re headed for inspiration, a simple, peaceful place where you’re in harmony with the perfect timing of all creation. Go there in your mind, and stop frequently to remember what you really want.

A man who personified success at the highest intellectual and social levels would hardly seem one to quote on simplifying our life, yet here’s what Albert Einstein offers us on this subject: “Possessions, outward success, publicity, luxury—to me these have always been contemptible. I believe that a simple and unassuming manner of life is best for everyone, best both for the body and the mind.” Wow! I’d say this is pretty good advice, wouldn’t you?

Peace Out! Catch you tomorrow with some beads..............Sharon

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

More Steps....

In an effort to practice what I preach - and being old enough to do that - I cleaned three cupboards. I had over twenty plastic tops with no matching bottoms, hahahaha. I just knew it!

5. Return to the simplicity of nature. There’s nothing more awe inspiring than nature itself. The fantasy to return to a less tumultuous life almost always involves living in the splendor of the mountains, the forests, or the tundra; on an island; near the ocean; or beside a lake. These are universal urges, since nature is created by the same Source as we are, and we’re made up of the same chemicals as all of nature (we’re stardust, remember?). Your urge to simplify and feel inspired is fueled by the desire to be your natural self—that is, your nature self. So give yourself permission to get away to trek or camp in the woods; swim in a river, lake, or ocean; sit by an open fire; ride horseback through trails; or ski down a mountain slope. This doesn’t have to mean long, planned vacations that are months away—no matter where you live, you’re only a few hours or even moments away from a park, campground, or trail that will allow you to enjoy a feeling of being connected to the entire Universe.

6. Put distance between you and your critics. Choose to align yourself with people who are like-minded in their search for simplified inspiration. Give those who find fault or who are confrontational a silent blessing and remove yourself from their energy as quickly as possible. Your life is simplified enormously when you don’t have to defend yourself to anyone, and when you receive support rather than criticism. You don’t have to endure the criticism with anything other than a polite thank-you and a promise to consider what’s been said—anything else is a state of conflict that erases the possibility of your feeling inspired. You never need to defend yourself or your desires to anyone, as those inner feelings are Spirit speaking to you. Those thoughts are sacred, so don’t ever let anyone trample on them.

7. Take some time for your health. Consider that the number one health problem in America seems to be obesity. How can you feel inspired and live in simplicity if you’re gorging on excessive amounts of food and eliminating the exercise that the body craves? Recall that your body is a sacred temple where you reside for this lifetime, so make some time every single day for exercising it. Even if you can only manage a walk around the block, just do it. Similarly, keep the words portion control uppermost in your consciousness—your stomach is the size of your fist, not a wheelbarrow! Respect your sacred temple and simplify your life by being an exerciser and a sensible eater. I promise that you’ll feel inspired if you act on this today!

8. Play, play, play! You’ll simplify your life and feel inspired if you learn to play rather than work your way through life. I love to be around kids because they inspire me with their laughter and frivolity. In fact, if I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times: “Wayne, you’ve never grown up—you’re always playing.” I take great pride in this! I play onstage when I speak, and I’m playing now as I write. Many years ago I was given a tremendous opportunity to appear on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. The man who took a chance on me, booking me even though I was an unknown at the time, was a talent coordinator named Howard Papush. It was my first big break, and I went on to appear on The Tonight Show 36 additional times. Now it’s my turn to say thank you to Howard. He’s written a wonderful book titled When’s Recess? Playing Your Way Through the Stresses of Life, which I encourage you to read. (Howard also conducts workshops that teach people how to play and have fun in life.) In the book, Howard shares this great quote from Richard Bach: “You are led through your lifetime by the inner learning creature, the playful spiritual being that is your real self.” I couldn’t agree more—by all means, get back in touch with your real, playful self, and take every opportunity to play! Notice how it makes everything so sweet, and so simple.

9. Slow down. One of Gandhi’s most illuminating observations reminds us that “there is more to life than increasing its speed.” This is great advice for simplifying your life—in fact, slow everything way down for a few moments right here and now. Slowly read these words. Slow your breathing down so that you’re aware of each inhalation and exhalation... When you’re in your car, downshift and relax. Slow down your speech, your inner thoughts, and the frantic pace of everything you do. Take more time to hear others. Notice your inclination to interrupt and get the conversation over with, and then choose to listen instead. Stop to enjoy the stars on a clear night and the cloud formations on a crisp day. Sit down in a mall and just observe how everyone seems in a hurry to get nowhere. By slowing down, you’ll simplify and rejoin the perfect pace at which creation works. Imagine trying to hurry nature up by tugging at an emerging tomato plant—you’re as natural as that plant, so let yourself be at peace with the perfection of nature’s plan.

Tomorrow I am going to shop for gifts and visit with one of my favorite artists. I have finally finished a few of my wax models to be cast in silver and we're going to do the investment (plaster) casts for them. Maybe this soul searching and simplifying is working. To get to the new you have to finish with the old or throw it away. Whew, maybe this is an early New Year's resolution...........nah, lifestyle change. Sounds more trendy! Later...........

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Holiday, Clutter, and Creativity

I was making some beads today and couldn't find the right stick of glass on my bench. No surprise there. I had it cleaned up about six months ago and haven't cleaned again through several palette changes. Face it - it's cluttered (a huge understatement because it's a disaster) and you don't work efficiently when you are moving hot pieces of glass on top of the pile with a tungsten pick looking for the right one. Worse yet, when I can't find it I grab a new stick and it ends up in the pile. The last time I cleaned this up it took me two days to heat pieces together into usable sizes and a crap load of them ended up in a scrap box of shorts. If you know someone who would like them send me their address and I will dispatch them a box pronto.

I do this with my cupboards too. I have one (it's all I will admit to at the moment), I throw the plastics into with the cookies sheets and such. When it "blows" I look like the lady on the commercial that needs the special stacking plastic tops. My husband even brought me a box of Chex cereal from one today; he's purging too, that was outdated. They make that stuff to last longer than most vehicles. We don't eat cereal so I'm thinking it was left from some long ago Christmas party mix. Good Grief!

Nothing brings this to the light of day for me like being on the verge of the holidays. Don't you just feel like you ought to have things all neat and tidy this time of year? It's like the closure of the year brings about the need to purge. Closets, kitchen,'s overwhelming. While in the middle of this panic zone of figuring out where to begin I remembered an article I had set aside for just this moment. I think I'll share it in installments over the next couple of days because it's fairly long - but worth it!

It also made some sense for me because for nearly twenty-two years I have been immersed in a twelve-step program for youthful offenders. I can not profess to be particularly religious but it could be said that I am spiritual. The introduction and first four steps follow....

Inspiration Sweep It Clean, Inside & Out 12 ways to simplify your life and set your spirit free!

Published: April 28, 2009 By Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

Clean out the clutter; in your mind, your appointment book, your garage... and let your true spirit come out and play!

FOR A MOMENT, let’s imagine what it would be like to be fully alive without a physical shell or any of the stuff we need and desire for maintaining life on Earth. We’d have a mental energy that allowed us to move forward or backward, up or down, instantly creating whatever we desired. We’d be free to wallow in an exquisite existence without time or space as we know it. We’d be in a state of pure bliss, in love with everything and everyone. We’d have no duties or bills to tend to, no fear of losing anything, no one judging us, no possessions to insure, no demands on our time, and no goals to achieve.

What we’re envisioning is actually the world of Spirit, which we experienced before we came here and will return to when we shed our body (or as William Butler Yeats poetically called it, our “tattered coat upon a stick”).

Inspiration is a state of being here now in this material world, while at the same time reconnecting to our spiritual origins. In order to be receptive to inspiration, we need to eliminate the ego clutter that accumulates all too easily for most of us—after all, if we’re preoccupied with events and activities that have nothing to do with inspiration, we’re unlikely to notice its summons. So in order to achieve a reunion with our ultimate calling, we need to emulate the clear, uncomplicated world of Spirit.

This doesn’t mean that we should sit around doing nothing, awaiting Spirit’s arrival; instead, it means having faith that our spiritual connection flourishes in a life dedicated to joy, love, and peace. If our daily activities are so overwhelming that we don’t make these things our priority, then we’re disregarding the value of living a simple life.


Here are 12 very specific tools for simplifying your life. Begin using them today if you’re serious about hearing that ultimate call to inspiration.

1. Unclutter your life. You’ll feel a real rush of inspiration when you clear out stuff that’s no longer useful in your life: If you haven’t worn it in the past year or two, recycle it for others to use. Get rid of old files that take up space and are seldom, if ever, needed. Donate unused toys, tools, books, bicycles, and dishes to a charitable organization. Get rid of anything that keeps you mired in acquisitions that contribute to a cluttered life. In the words of Socrates, “He is nearest to God who needs the fewest things.” So the less you need to insure, protect, dust, reorganize, and move, the closer you’ll be to hearing inspiration’s call.

2. Clear your calendar of unwanted and unnecessary activities and obligations. If you’re unavailable for Spirit, you’re unlikely to know the glow of inspiration. God will indeed work with you and send you the guidance—and the people—you need, but if you’re grossly overscheduled, you’re going to miss these life-altering gifts. So practice saying no to excessive demands and don’t feel guilty about injecting a dose of leisure time into your daily routine.

3. Be sure to keep your free time free. Be on the lookout for invitations to functions that may keep you on top of society’s pyramid, but which inhibit your access to joyful inspiration. If cocktail parties, social get-togethers, fund-raising events, or even drinking-and-gossiping gatherings with friends aren’t really how you want to spend your free time, then don’t. Begin declining invitations that don’t activate feelings of inspiration. I find that an evening spent reading or writing letters, watching a movie with a loved one, having dinner with my children, or even exercising alone is far more inspiring than getting dressed to attend a function often filled with small talk. I’ve learned to be unavailable for such events without apologizing, and consequently have more inspired moments freed up.

4. Take time for meditation and yoga. Give yourself at least 20 minutes a day to sit quietly and make conscious contact with God. I’ve written an entire book on this subject called Getting in the Gap, so I won’t belabor it here. I will say that I’ve received thousands of messages from people all over the world, who have expressed their appreciation for learning how to simplify their life by taking the time to meditate. I also encourage you to find a yoga center near you and begin a regular practice. The rewards are so powerful: You’ll feel healthier, less stressed, and inspired by what you’ll be able to do with and for your body in a very short time.

Monday, December 14, 2009

High Expectations

So how much overtime do you think one might have to work to purchase a camera like this? Santa, put this one on my wish list! So what kind of camera are you using? I have a nice Sony but I'd like to go back to using a Nikon - I so loved my work horse Nikon.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Oh Lordy To Be Forty

Well, I bet you are all thinking it's about time she showed up. Sorry, I've been incredibly busy and I know it's no excuse but surgery will do that to you. Let's see, so what have I been up to other than that. This year I managed to get a small tree up. It's tiny but - pretty. And, I've been working on some new waxes to cast when I'm able. I'm looking forward, like a gazillion others to the posting of the on-line Bead and Button catalog for 2010. Things more forward.

I've made a few beads - not many, but my studio had been on a list of places I couldn't get to no matter how I wanted to. Coming up soon though will be an interview with my friend, Mallory Hoffman. But, before she answers all those questions I sent her and requests for photos I'll try and get some art and goodies up here for everyone to enjoy.

Oh, and about that title. Forty was a good time.........high energy...........

It's good to be back.