Saturday, January 18, 2014


Here it is ~ 9-ish on New Year's Eve and I am sitting in front of my computer.
Perfect time for a little reflection -

It's truly been an amazing year.

It's no longer New Year's Eve.
But I am still (again) in front of my computer. And any time is a good time for reflection and goal setting.

At this time I am forced to admit that I am a terrible blogger. All my posts relate to challenges and blog hops. Maybe it's good I participate in these events or I might never blog at all.

As I said on New Year's Eve ~ It really has been an amazing year.

After a stressful and emotional spring, I retired from teaching in June. It definitely was time. I definitely do not miss rushing out every morning. I do miss the kids and the special activities we did. And most of all, I miss the people I spent so much time with for 20 years. 

Retirement gave me the opportunity to become a full time jewelry artist.
I learned new skills, bought new tools and entered more markets. And met many new friends!

The first gamble was committing to the Southampton Village Farmer's Market. This was a big commitment as it involved every Sunday from Memorial Day till Columbus Day. That is every Sunday I wasn't at one of the weekend shows I've participated in for several years. The Farmer's Market turned out to be a good gamble and I plan to do it again this year.

I learned how to knot pearls! And I love it!
I even had a commission to knot 10 pearl bracelets for a bridal party.   

Another gamble was to participate in the East End Arts Council's Holiday boutique. My jewelry was on display from the middle of November till just before Christmas. It was a great experience to meet other artisans. I learned what might sell best and was pleased with my sales. Definitely an event to plan on for next year.

I participated in a few Blog Hops and have a few more planned - 
Stay tuned for the Radiant Orchid Challenge at the end of February and the Ocean Blog Hop late May.  And don't forget the "Inspired by Reading Book Club" the first week of each month! 
btw - It's been great getting to know Andrew Thornton and the other book club participants. 

As I move into 2014, I'm looking forward to heading to the Tucson Gem Shows for the first time and amping up my wire and metal skills.

I want to resolve to blog more during 2014. The best I can do is try!
Stay tuned to see what's next!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Inspired By Reading ~ January Edition

It's hard to believe 2 months have sped by. And along with them, the holidays. Thankfully, it was decided to postpone the December meet-up and Blog Hop. I'm happy to say the local holiday markets kept me very busy creating and selling!

For December, we were to read Bridge of Birds, by Barry Hughart. January's pick is The Journey To The East, by Herman Hesse. Because of the aforementioned holiday markets, I did not find time to read Bridge of Birds before Christmas and chose not to bring the rather large library book with me on vacation. Instead, I slogged through the much shorter book by Hesse.

The narrator of The Journey To The East tells the secret story of belonging to and travelling with a secret society. It appears that this society is on a journey to the east in search of spiritual enlightenment (or something). says Hesse used "mesmerizing prose". Personally, I had a difficult time getting through the short 118 pages. While the narrator was trying to find meaning in his life, I was trying to find meaning in the book. As I look back on my bookmarked pages, a few kernels of life lessons are starting to pop out. Maybe, The Journey To The East is one of those books that you have to read over and over again. Each time, you find something the missed.  I'm not sure about that and doubt I will read it again.

At one point in the narrative, the narrator, HH, recalls holding "a bundle of a thousand knotted threads" As I reread that passage, I'm still not sure if he actually held the knotted threads or there is some deeper meaning to it. At any rate, the image stayed with me and I knew I wanted to do something with knotted threads. I wasn't sure what materials or how and still had a week or so before returning home. I also got an idea of color towards the end of the book when HH describes the entrance of the President of the League as he awaited judgement. He wore a "festive robe", "sparkled with gold".

I dug the last of my gold silk cord out of my stash, found some lapis, blue glass beads (I think african trade beads) and lovely gold and blue enameled beads from the now extinct local bead shop and went at it.  It seems I was headed more for regal than festive.

The result was this long two-strand knotted necklace!

Once again, Andrew's choice of books inspired me to try a new technique.
Although, I can see the flaws, I am pretty exited about how this turned out. I'm looking forward to trying it again!

Don't forget to check in with the other participants!

Andrew Thornton (our fearless leader)
Laurel Ross

Mary K McGraw

Mary Harding

Sarajo Wentling

I'll add more as they post. Andrew usually will have the full list!
Also, I hope you will think about joining us next month!