Tuesday, November 28, 2023

December already?

Winter coming to the Southwest

Living in the Southwest has advantages with fairly stable weather in spring and early fall. It is piping hot in the summer! Yet winter can be a whole other story. Cooler winds are now migrating through the Tucson desert and snow is already hitting Northern Arizona and heading into Utah. If you have ever experienced Utah's famed Zion National Park, then you already know the beauty and the wonder of its sandstone panorama. But if you have never

Monday, November 13, 2023

The Five 'R's


I turned seventy a few weeks ago. Yikes! This is the first time the "age thing" has struck a sore spot with me. It got me caught up in a life review of so many lives lived, so many entrepreneurial pursuits made, and especially how much my artistry has evolved over the past 25 years. My history with artistic beadwork is well documented in the Gallery on my website. What is doesn't show is the very beginning when I transformed my mom's Dollar Store jewelry into recycled pieces that she treasured. Those simple steps of experimenting were a gift supplied from my "Mama". Maybe I never would have pursued this life in beads!
trio of earrings


In the process of reflecting on age, I was so pleased just over a week ago - after well over 50 years - to receive a message from a girlfriend of my preteen years in Maine. She was just one year older than I and lived right next door! As you would expect at that age, she and I were very curious about life and what she learned she taught me, just like a big sister would. SO... we got to have lunch and hike the Tucson Desert Museum last week. Friends with whom we share childhood memories are precious Gifts, even more so as we age. And guess what?! We both live in Arizona and she is just three hours away! Not to get spiritual here, but I have to believe that the Universe sent me this special birthday Gift to make amends. I needed it! LOL


Aging is one thing and resting is a whole other battle. Are you obsessed? Are you passionate? Good for you! I haven't changed with age. I just get tired faster. I decided to back out of two selling events this month and focus more on exercise. Motion is the Lotion. My artistry commands a lot of sedentary time and will test anyone who isn't good at balancing their time between work and play. My accomplishments since early October involve walking and then migrating to biking our neighborhood, and --after FIVE years-- I'm back on the pickleball court and getting those endorphins at last. (I'm leaving rust all over the court!) My artistry has backed off - albeit temporarily - to what I'm calling "light dabbling". And yet, my hands demand some intricacy to focus on. These are recent kumihimo braids that I just had to make pendants for...


There is something about handwork that calms me. It feels like a meditation of some sort if I find something fairly repetitive and not have to follow any rules. That is why I will probably never stop beading or braiding. In particular, kumihimo braiding is a most meditative practice for me. An arrangement of color cords are preloaded on a disk so as long as one repeats the braid steps over and over again, it is hard to lose. While braiding, focus is mostly concentrated on the tension of the cords so the braid will be smooth and shaped correctly. That focus "takes me away" like a Calgon bath commercial. I have saved many of you from having to Google that... LOL

If you are just not interested in beads or braiding, here are 4 -1/2 minutes of great crafting suggestions from which you can be calmed. I'm holding origami in my future and my husband has leapt into colored pencils. He is very good! I think the photo will enlarge if you click on it.


I don't normally get this personal in my blog posts but I'm feeling compelled to dedicate this one to my oldest sister, Diane, who passed away less than a week ago. She is the first sibling "to go". An odd lethargy has overtaken my body. It doesn't want to walk, bike, or play pickleball. I'm numb. Even when expected, the timing of events can send us into a state. As I reflect on our relationship, I'm honoring her determination to live a useful life despite a debilitating disease, her crafting of thousands of greeting cards for distribution by nonprofit organizations, and the keen marketing sense she shared with me as she supported my artistic endeavors. I will miss calling her and "comparing notes". She is probably back on an ice rink by now... skating her heart out! She really loved that. I know that she missed it.

My wish for you is that you are bursting with Gratitude for everything you can muster to place on your list...

PS... In case I may have dampened your spirits, here is another YouTube of our Northern AZ trip early this year, this one at Cathedral Wash ... to get you breathing again. If you don't have 8 or 9 minutes to spare, skip to the 8:30 marker into the entrance to extreme gorgeousness. Beware that it may take your breath away but in a good way. We are about to plan another early Spring trip, likely up there again.

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Monday, October 2, 2023

A Fall Respite

New Subscribers

Let's get this part out of the way. I confess to having added new subscribers without asking permission. Without a subscribe box on my website I have no way to recruit subscribers. My subscribers are important because they encourage me and help spread the word about my artistry. I know that I can count on you to unsubscribe if you do not want to receive these blog posts. Just follow instructions at the bottom of the email you've received. PS. Do you know that you can tap on any of these pictures and zoom in for a closer look?

Spring Memories

This year, in the April-May timeframe we headed for Northern Arizona where I had my first GoPro camera experience. I decided not to get fancy and put in time editing it all. You will hear the sounds of wind blowing and the tapping of my walking sticks. You can always mute the sound. It is the

Monday, September 11, 2023

Staying Sharp

Inquiring Minds

I've been asked how I found French beading or why I even considered the challenge of it. Of course, the saying "to each her own" comes to mind. With very few responsibilities other than laundry and occasional house cleaning (and I do mean occasional) I have completely retired from all things I do not favor. Hey, it's time.

I didn't know anything about French beading until

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Summer Has Flown

Beat The Heat

Rumor has it, here in Tucson, that there are just under 40 days left to the monsoon season. Summers are an interesting adventure here, especially this past week when a weather alert brought us out of our chairs and to instantly snapping pictures of what looked like oncoming disaster. I am familiar with the crazy "lightning capital of the world" experiences of our past life in Florida but these clouds were looking atomic. Is it weird that I found myself thinking about our homeowners policy?

We live in the Sonoran desert which gets as hot as hell and is destined to get hotter next summer (oh gawd). But aren't so many of us living in excessive heat these days? and for longer periods? Here's a thought...

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Summer Musings of a Distracted Artist

It is official. I am considered an Artist. Though several wonderful mentors have told me so repeatedly I have barely had time to get used to the whole idea and now it seems like it's official since I participated in my first Gallery showing last week. Even more solid proof is
that my artwork will be on public display in one place, an actual Gallery, until August 7th, 2023.

Are you artistic? If you have no interest in this subject, just skip down to "Time to Lighten Up" and read about my summer sale.

If so, is your mind full of ideas that engulf it, spin it into distracting visions on a daily basis, and make it nearly impossible for you to narrow down the best idea with which to engage?

Are artists supposed to prioritize projects to...

Saturday, May 13, 2023

Celebrating My First Gallery Exhibit

Four years ago on May 11th, Nathan and I hit the road for the Southwest. We really only look back when Facebook sends us the Memories of life in Florida. Our new life here is very different and very satisfying. At least once a week we celebrate the barely explainable freedom we feel from making a major move in our senior years. The most recent benefit is the new friendships we have found by joining clubs in our area. Before leaving Florida, we just did not consider how a cross country move (and a pandemic) would strip us from in-person contact with nourishing community interaction.

For me, joining the Tucson Handweavers and Spinners Guild has been a life saver. The extremely talented resources there are well established in their artistry, and they are encouraging and motivational. They accept me as an artist which helps me see myself as an Artist.

As a result of my growing confidence in that role, this week I'm celebrating having been...

Friday, April 21, 2023

Prelude to Summer in Tucson

Hello to Friends far and wide,

Vacay - next week Nathan and I will leave Tucson for the first time since we moved here two years ago to visit an old haunt of ours -- The Vermillion Cliffs in Northern Arizona. Marble Canyon is a place there that we have been yearning to explore instead of just driving through it. My heart can feel that energy already. It still lives "up there". It's hard to explain what it feels like for a vortex to plant itself within your psyche. I'm bringing my GoPro (and maybe a few beads...) Stay tuned!

Blooms - Right now the roadside and the desert scrub is flowering in all shades of yellow on all kinds of plants which will take the rest of my life to learn the names of. Very soon, cactus flowers are going to follow suit and burst into flame with yellow, white, and red flowers. I am particularly drawn to the...

Thursday, February 9, 2023

The Post With No Name

WOW. Almost two years have passed. I cannot cover the whole timeframe in this post but suffice it to say we love living in Tucson, Arizona.  In 2019, we started out in St. George, Utah, moved next door to La Verkin for the pandemic, and as soon as we got that second covid vaccine in March 2021 we hightailed it to Tucson to find an apartment. Before the lease was up, we knew Tucson would be our permanent home. If you don't follow me on Facebook then you have no way of knowing that we bought a manufactured home in a senior community last March 2022. It's quiet but very active! 

I have found my tribe of beaders and artists here. I was lucky to get some guidance on where...