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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