Friday, December 14, 2012

Sandyhook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut and how to deal with that

26 innocent children and 8 adults are  killed in an Elementary School  in Connecticut - how do I deal with a news like that,  faraway in California, yet so close?

There is so much to do today, but as I open the television this morning I am horrified with this national tragic news.  I am stunned and stocked.

There  should be Christmas in the air and I am scheduled to deck the halls and decorate my house for the holidays according to my" to do list".  But I find myself  all alone sitting here with tears rolling down my cheeks,  listening to the  horrible unfolding  stories of the shooting that took place this morning.

I hear the President brushing off tears speaking more as a father today than as  an official commander in chief.

Sandyhook school is a small Elementary school with only 600 children ( 5 - 10 years of age) in a quiet, peaceful neighborhood in Connecticut.  People know each other here in this quaint little rural town.

The killer( 24 year old Ryan )  is a person whose mother worked   as a kindergarten class teacher and he entered his mom's class with two hand guns and started shooting.  His mom is dead with 26 innocent children.  Not only that, the shooter died too

Where is the fallacy in this equation?  What's wrong?  What do we learn from this?  How can we prevent this in future?  And most importantly WHY????

 Psychiatrist Dr. Joshua Weiner is bombarded  with these questions too. How do we answer  to the child when he asks " WHY"?    How do we respond to his fears?

His answers in a nutshell:

* Children will take cues from the adults and parents.  So first deal with your own  emotions  and be comfortable and strong.  Seek support groups to talk and do something constructively.
Realize that it does not happen everyday. Most days everyone comes back home safely.  It is tragic and unfair, yet, try to see the whole picture and be positive.

At the end of the day reassure your child that s/he is safe and you'll do everything to keep her/him safe with an extra tight hug.

*Children may not be able to  articulate their emotions.  Help them with words, writing and art opportunities to express that emotion.

* Some children may not show it all now, but it will come out in bits and  pieces over a period of time in the near future.  Be prepared for that.  This may come as extra clinging, moodiness, eating fusses, even bed wetting.  Be supportive and understanding.  It is possible that this may  manifest over the next two weeks.  After that if the problem remains,  he suggested to seek professional help.

* Most children will be resilient and take it as a bad dream  or bad scene from a movie and recover.

Statistically  speaking, 85% of the population will be able to cope with it, 15% will have hard time he concluded.

Where am I in this curve?  Am I in the 15% or in the 85% lot?  How do I respond to this tragedy?  How can I accept the fact that those 26 children will have no Christmas this year or birthdays, or graduation ceremonies, no weddings, no children of their own...  and I go on with my life?

I stare at my TO DO list  again.  It says:

* make the jewelry gift for....
* shopping for the goody...
* take out Christmas box and decorate the ...

But I feel numb.  This hour is not for any of those.

So,  I pick up my pen and let it weep.Weep  for those innocent victims and  their families and pray.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Stunning agate gemstone - how did I create the wire wrapped pendant necklace

Recently I was asked how did I create the wire wrapped agate pendant necklace.  So I decided to share it with you.

I am indebted to the tutorial I got from the Gailavira tutorial in her etsy store.

Well, the basic is there but just like all wire and stone have individual wishes what they want to be ultimately,this wire wrapped agate had it too. I did give in to that wish.

So, instead of elaborating on the details especially on the bail, I kept it simple  with just a  wire wrapped loop.  It was hard because the basket weave in her tutorial  is darn pretty. And I had practised that.

But I wanted to bring out the rust, crimson, orange, scarlet red in that piece.  So many pretty shades of red!   The shades in the agate gemstone resembled the setting sun's hue.

  I did not want the wire wrap to  over power that, just wanted to enhance that organic shades of red.


Did I accomplish that?  Only you can say. It is in the eye of the beholder.

I made another wire wrapped agate pendant recently.  It had the magic of the mid night milky way or the  galaxy in the night sky.  I named it SILENT NIGHT.


Recently SILENT NIGHT got sold. from my Etsy store.

But SUNSET is just listed.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Bead Soup Party Kalmbach

Come back Bead Soup Party!

I had join this Bead Soup Party hosted by our beloved Lori Anderson with 400 beaders across the globe.  That was in August.   Then as a cherry on the top,  a couple of months later I received a  packet with  some wonderful beads from the Kalmbach store.

If you  have ever browsed the craft section in a book store or the  library you know who they are, you are already  well acquainted with the Kalmbach Books.

Now I got this packet from  a bead store in  Lodi, CA named Bunches of Beads.  I was so  glad to know that they are in California and not that far from where I live.  Some day I wish to pay them a surprise visit and buy their awesome beads.  For now, my heart felt thanks to them.   I bow down to their generosity for sending me this awesome selection.

Here is what they sent me;

Look more closely-

Aren't they awesome?  Now there are so many things I can do with them.

Finally I made  a knitted wire necklace with the autumn beads;
Autumn Knitted


It was tricky in the sense that  the beads I chose to wire knit  were of different dimension and shapes.  I faced some challenges with three beads, the heavier ones.  I wanted them to be secured on top of the delicate lacy knitted wire.  So I incorporated some wire work with extra wire .  I had never done it before in a knitted wire piece.  But I think it was a good solution.

What other things could I have done?  Do you have some suggestions?

But there were still many beads not used.  Especially, I was itching to do something with those  three beautiful oval  agate beads  with orange, red, yellow stripes that reminded me of the setting sun.

So I made another necklace

Sun set
 If you are a beader you may want to check out Lori Anderson's new Bead Soup book in your book store or in  They have a discount going on now too until 11/9/12.  So I am going to go there now.

I was very sad yesterday watching the news from the hurricane devastation  in the East Coast.  Today I am feeling much happy.  It's true what Picasso had said - " Art washes away the dirt of every day life"

Some how today   I feel hopeful that the sunny days are coming soon and as a nation we will overcome.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Art Fair and how did it go

Art and craft fairs are exhausting and exciting.  How come?  Well...

A week from the event I just wind me up so much that I almost tear my own  hair and cry why do I sign up again?  Then I brush off and get busy pricing, organizing, sending e mails to zillian people and finally  pack up my van with the tent, stone bags for weights, tables, chairs, suitcases of inventory and go.  Phew!.

My hubby helps out holding up the tent and together we put it up, by then  the sun has gone  down quickly on this Friday fall afternoon.

In the wee hour next morning I start out and zip open my tent,. Yeh! it is still standing erect, nothing has fallen down.  I work quickly like a Charlie Chaplin  fast forward movie and  before  I am done hanging the last earring,  early bird shoppers emerge.

So this is how Saturday started.

Then there are  long pauses of quiet lazy hours.   Some browsers come, some play shuffling into the Bargain Basket- where everything is $10.  and I do make some sales. 

 Some feel interested to seeing me  knitting with wire.

Some take pictures of my booth and graciously sends me the copy too.

Lesson learned number one is yes, people love going through bargain bin and I made quite a few sales with last years' things that I meant to get rid of any way.  Rena is right. Those are the staples that may pay for your booth price.

 So I should make more of the low end stuff.

This is when a lady comes and buys one of my most expensive piece.

To be honest, this is my first try of this technique, and I really did not mean to sell it yet, but I priced it and hung it to fill an empty bust.  I was awed that it went so fast!  On the other hand the ones I thought would be sold  by now  are still hanging.

A Russian guy likes a knitted jade and pearl bracelet and wants to know if his daughter would like it.  He shows me her picture.  Cute, young teen ager...  but this is a tough question for me to answer.  I hate  pushy sales people.  So I just smile.  He buys it any way.

I feel thrilled that my jewelry is going all the way to Russia!

Sunday was slow.  But now they have live jazz.  A volunteer asks me if I'd like a bathroom break.  When I come back I find my two extra neighbors, one an illustrator of children's book and the other an artist are dancing to the music. And I found a sculptor  working on his project  with a big smile on his face.

 What else can you expect?

Fall has fallen.  The air is crisp and sweet.

How did I  do financially?  Not fantastic but not very bad either  and  did I have a good time.?  Oh yes. Indeed.

Did I learn any thing?

 Expect miracles.  There is no formula really.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Holiday Bling Blog hop

It's amazing how the holidays are coming  so close now.  Even though there are always some holidays some where on this earth  ( and we must celebrate all of them) , this is the time when we get into the spirit of celebrating holidays!.  That is the main theme of this blog hop coordinated by Shelly and Marlene

It was posted in August sometimes and we dived in getting  busy  making holiday ornaments.

 It could be any dress up the tree or your home  or your self.

My partner is  Cynthia  O'Toole who makes cute earrings. Here is her face book link

I sent her my ornament on Sept 15th.  Want to see how it looks?

Here it is:

I am into making  the Tree of Life ornaments these days.  So that is what I sent her.  Cynthia likes blue, pink and purple.  So I chose turquoise, one purple pink teardrop bead and some crystals,  and it is made with copper with a pink hue.  Turquoise brings good luck and healing and it is also the stone for the month of December.  May she be blessed and this little token goes to symbolize that wish of mine.

 I hope she likes it.

This Christmas is special for her and I hope she can wear this ornament as a pendant or she can hang it on her Christmas tree.

Just a little ago I found a packet from Cynthia waiting in my mail box and when I open it see what  I got

 and another one:

Aren't they darling?  The cutest angels and Christmas tree!.

Thank you, thank you Cynthia.  I love them both and will be wearing them for sure during the Christmas time

Our  special holiday is Divali- the festival of lights, which is just about a month away. I wish you HAPPY DIVALI - may your life be filled with love and light .

 What is yours?

Here are the rest of the participants.  Please do pay them a visit too to see what they have done.

Michelle Fanucchi
 Monique Urquhart
Therese Frank
Heather Otto
Jo-Ann Woolverton
Linda Florian
Debbie Rasmussen
Alicia Marinache
Ginger Bishop
Lo/  Lynn Jobber
Leanne Loftus
Rita/Toltec Jewels
Shelly Joyce
Shai Williams
Lori Bowring Michaud
Lennis Carrier
Marla Gibson
Mary Howell Govaars
Linda Younkmann
Shirley Jones Moore http://​www.beadsandbread.blo​
Melinda Orr
Marlene Cupo
Shelley Graham Turner
Sonya Stille
Dyanne Cantrell
Anindita Basu
Dee Elgie
Gina Hockett
Lori Jean Poppe
Charlie Jacka
Stephanie Stamper (Woods)
Mary Hicks, Shannon Hicks

Thursday, August 30, 2012

How to make the The Tree Of Life Pendant


Recently, with the new born baby on my lap,   the image of the Tree of Life comes to my mind's eye..   Trees have such  a rich symbolic history in so  many cultures.

 The cherry tree blossoms in Japanese culture, from the Celtic to the African culture,  trees are symbols of our lives in a strange way.  The branches spread their limbs for the blessings reaching up  to the heavens, and  the  roots  go  down deeper and curl in  Mother Earth's bosom .

For me, whenever I think of stability and strength I envision the Tree of Life.

This made me go deeper into the meaning of it, as if the tree of life  shows how to dwell in all the worlds, how to unite the worlds above and below.  All these emotions made me research more into how to make  a Tree of Life pendant.  As a jewelry artist that is what I wanted to do now!  

I found that there are several nice You Tube demonstrations.

Tree of Life Pendant by Camille Sharon

Tree of Life by Magpie

I followed mostly  Sharon's instruction  but also  changed a little bit in the process .

 My mom  had told  me long ago that I have trouble following directions and it is so true.  So,  some day soon I may probably write a tutorial to show how I did it.

Try it.  It is not very hard.  In the beginning it took me like an hour to do the first one, then I could make them in forty minutes or so.

In case you don't have the time but  need a Tree of Life pendant right now,  perhaps  to give an August born a birthday  present,  the Peridot in copper Tree of Life Pendant  is available in my Etsy store, freshly made. If you like it and want it with other stones or metal  I'd gladly do it.

Here are the other  Tree of Life Pendants I made. .
Peridot and copper Tree of Life Pendant

Pearls in Silver Tree of Life Pendant
Peridot and coral beads in si;lver Tree of Life Pendant
Peridat and pearls in Silver Tree of Life Pendant

 Which one do you like best?

Also you may like;

                                         Tutorial- How to make a wire wrapped earring

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A child is born

In the middle of being busy with my bead soup and blog hopping some thing very interseting happened to my life.  My youngest daughter had a baby daughter.  It's a wonderful strange feeling indeed.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Bead Soup Blog Hop Reveal

What did I do with all those beautiful beads my bead partner Debbie Davis  sent to me?

Well, today is the day to bring my soup finished and show it to the three hundred and ninty nine  plus members who took part in this bead soup party,  like me.  Before everything,  I bow to our organizer Lori Anderson who had conducted this whole thing and gave us this wonderful opportunity.

Here are my goodies.

Few weeks ago my partner Debbie sent me these wonderful beads.

With the focal:

I was excited to see the donut shell .  I had bought a fantastic tutorial from an amazing wire artist named Donna Spadafore.  .  You can find this in her Gailavira etsy store.  I did not have any donut bead.  So I decided to try it here first.  I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge, even though you'll see my novice work there.  But this is my first try with this complicated design.

I knew that I'd use the heishi beads with this shell pendant.  But after finishing I am having doubt - probably the shell pendant did not need this extra adornment.  It was pretty enough to start with.  What do you think?

With the clasp:

The clasp is so pretty I wanted it to be shown in the front.and  I wanted  to use the green agate beads she sent with the cute filigree connectors.  So, in the beginning this is what I made.  It was a long necklace about 30" long.

But it kind of missed the oomph!  It was too plain.  So I broke it and spent a whole afternoon staring as that torn  piece.  I knew I did not have much time .  I grabbed my design journal and started to doodle.

How about having  chains in one side and something...something on the other?  Now something what?

 Then I found that  I had these mini malachite chips that raised their hands to be part of it.  I told them I'll think it over,  they have some chance as they are green too but can't promise yet.

 You can see from my diary that I was a bit scared to take this leap.  I like asymmetry more than symmetry but then there has to be a  rhythm, a  balance .  I just don't want to be too radical and make it tacky!

However, I tried it.

 Still not quite sure until wore it.

Not too bad.  I can carry this.

Oh, I forgot about the earrings.  Here they are.  I know I'll be using them a lot.

So what do you think?

This blog hop was my second one.  I enjoyed it intensely and it gave me a chance to take risk and jump out of my usual style, and comfort zone.  That is an important part in this journey of being a jewelry artist ( wanna be artist )  I think,  with all its agony and ecstasy.

Be sure to check out all the other artists who were part of this party world wide and you may find some amazing jewelry that you never saw before.

Thank you for dropping by.  Your comments will be my treasures.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Whole wheat zucchini bread with honey and friendship

It's so nice to cook with a friend.

Whole wheat zucchini bread with honey and only 190 cal ( 5 PPV)

My friend Ann has the most amazing vegetable garden.  Her veggie patch is such sun kissed that my shade shy one  is kind of jealous.  More so,  because I am thinking that  next year I might do volunteer gardening in her soil with my favorites  veggies like the Persian cucumber and Thai chillies.

Ann had a back surgery recently so I help her with the harvesting part where you have to bend down; and what enormous jewels do I find.  There are so many zucchinies that we could feed the whole neighborhood, except that  theses neighbors are also blessed or overwhelmed with their own crops now.

So,  we decided to make some zucchini bread.  We made three loaves that have 36 servings!

The best part was the time spent together while the bread was cooking in the oven.  We shared stories from our past and plotted ideas for future projects while totally being in the present...the sweet aroma of the goody cooking there, did not let us forget that.

I learned how you can dry things without using a drainer board that eats up space on your counter top and this little shelf has  dual purpose to hold things when not on duty to dry things. Isn't that cool and green?

And you may use zip loc bags instead of buying containers to hold your packet of flour or crackers.  The zip loc bag can help if the paper flour bag gets a hole, it  protects  from bugs and  it lets you see clearly what's inside and it is always there in your kitchen.

Now our yummy treat...MMM. and just 5 PPV - totally worth it.  This is what I ate this morning for breakfast  with a glass of milk and half a banana and felt no guilt  at all.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Happiness is..? And the answer is...

When you open your mail box

 and inside you find a nice thick packet

 you open it and inside that you find a fine a little card with lots of scribbles from your three year old grand daughter and
You munch on them looking at the picture your grand daughter sent you

 and come to know from another little note ( that her mommy wrote)  that these yummy goodies are only 1 1/2 PPV( Weight Watcher Point )

And then what do you do?

You  tell the whole world how happy you feel!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Teaching ESL I mean English to Students from Italy

I had a fun day today teaching English ( American) to a bunch of teenager students from Italy who came to USA in Saint Mary's College   to study American culture and language .  They will be here in the San Francisco Bay area for only two weeks this summer.  Every morning they will come to the class and then  go to visit celebrated places in  the San Francisco  area.

As a non native English speaker I was going back to those early days down the memory lane  when I could not explain all that was swimming in my head.  My tongue was not ready.

 The same thing is happening with these kids and sometimes  interesting even hilarious things are cropping up.  For example, I asked some one- " Is she taking a break?"- showing the picture of a lady who was sitting on a bench , kind of in a relaxed mood with a Starbuck coffee in her hand

 One of my student replied  with her brows crossed -" Break?  No she is no break... fine , she is not taking any break.  She is all whole".

They are a cute bunch of kids and I am looking forward for what happens tomorrow.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Bead Soup Packet

My Bead soup packet arrived today.  What a surprise in the mail box !  These days the mail box is not that exciting for me, most of the exciting news come in e mail form or at the face book page.  But today it was different.

My bead soup partner Debbie Davis sent me such cool things that I can hardly wait to play with them.

Oh, the clasp is so pretty and here is the focal

Deb also sent me the most beautiful green agate beads, and a string of heishi beads that will be very useful too.

There are some pretty brass findings too.  Now the colors of the green beads are so pretty,( my photos have not done the right justice to them)  I am feeling like going shopping and getting  a blouse to go with that green , or may be many colors will go with it.  But I just love that lime green for these summer days.

Thank you thank you thank you Deb, I am very happy for what you have sent. 

I am going to talk about what I had sent to her in my next post.  Now let's relish this soup.

 You may wonder what this bead soup thing is?  Well it was started and is  organized by an amazing jewelry artist named Lori Anderson.  Visit her blog because you'll be refreshed.  Any way, this is the 6th Bead soup party where more than three hundred jewelry artists all over the world are taking part.  Each one is matched with a partner.  I did not know my partner Deb Davis before and what a pleasant surprise knowing her and her amazing work.

Deb sent me some beads and I did to her  and now our challenge is to make something with them and then reveal them in our future blogs.  Our revealing day is August 11th 2012.

It is a lot of fun indeed and I give my heart felt thanks to Lori for coming up with this unique Bead Soup  idea and taking the trouble of organizing this massive project.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Wire work Pendant 
Today I created a new wire work pendant.

  I was so excited to get this tutorial from a very talented wire artist Donna Spadafore, or Gailavira.- Check out her awesome tutorials if you are interested to be wired up.  I mean literally, you may get all wired up, ...this is quite  some addiction.

 After I bought them and  printed out the tutorials, it was past midnight and I could hardly sleep,   I was just waiting for the morning.

 I know it is frustrating when things do not  happen the way it should happen, the wires to behave , or my wrist to turn the way it must,  yet there is fun...huge fun... like we had had  when we were little making sculptures.

I fiddled with it for a long time and finally  here is one of my  finished products.

Some of them may go to my Etsy store soon.  And that's  another" tomorrow's project".

I wrapped some coins too.

 Which ones can you identify?  They are from different parts of the world.  I am going to reveal the answers soon.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

My Bead Soup Partner

I came to know my Bead Soup partner, Debbie Davis  from her blog and her wonderful work from her etsy shop.

I am so excited to be part of this Bead Soup Party.  This is my third time and each time I came to know such wonderful artists through this blog hopping.

I wrote to Deb that I'll find some thing that'll go with her style.  She reminded me - are n't we supposed to think out of the box?  .venture out of our known territory!  That's right.

Here is one of her awesome  art.

So this evening ( well it's past 10:10pm now) I am into finding what can I give her...  I am supposed to send her a cool clasp and a nice focal bead.  Then there are other beads and findings to go  as side dishes

Nope, I am not going to show you.  Deb should get it first... But do come back after July 2nd , we should both get our packets  by then.

And we are both going to show off our finished product by August 11, 2012.

Lori, our leader, who  takes all the trouble to co ordinate this humongous project with three hundred- plus blog- hopping- jewelry artists all over the world,  gave a great idea today.  It  is how to get rid of the CAPTCHA monster from your blog.  And I did it finally.  Thank you Lori.

 Now you don't have to prove that you are not a dumb robot any more to leave a comment in my blog:).

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Weight Watcher Wisdom

 Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What Weight Watching wisdom did I gain today?

Yeh! I dropped 3.3lbs in a week!

For my birthday, my gift to myself was a membership in Weight Watcher.  I also presented myself a book named FRUITS and VEGETABLES A- Z. 

  And yes, I did try two recipes from this book. The mushroom muffin pizza  turned out really nice.

Muffin Pizza with Mozzarella and Mushrooms

It was a challenging week for me because number one, it was my birthday and the food in Benehana with all the juggling of the Japanese chef was so fabulous … but hey, how many Points Plus?

The next day I had  a craft show,  All day I was kind of starved with only a couple of granola bars and string cheese sticks, so at the end when I reached home, I was feeling like I could eat the whole house,  I was so famished.

But then there were four days left to straighten up and be sober.

What I learned this week is the value of awareness.  I was aware seeing what is going in my body and documenting it, even though I was 12 points over…I still lost 3 lbs in a week!

I was aware that late afternoons are my week points.  I found one solution –  a latte with fat free milk.  The shot of caffeine and the goodness of milk just can pick me up.

Today in our meeting the topic was – accepting and being nice to myself.  There are times when I’ll fall off the wagon.  I do feel “What the heck”…and grab another chocolate chip cookie, another Hershie bar.

That is when it is important to be loving to yourself, not criticizing.  How would you nourish yourself?  plan ahead, and if you fall, dust off and move on, not quit .

We talked about stressful situations.  My stressful situations regarding food are-

Entertaining guests.  You want to give them good, tasty food, show off your culinary expertise and they are not necessarily low fat ones

Answer – have a bowl of fresh veggies and a great dip with yogurt.
Have a bowl of colorful fruit salad.

Being a guest – when you don’t have much control what is being served.

* Plan ahead and budget 15 or 20 points for that.  Spread the whole day with that plan. 

*Incorporate exercise points to buy some extra calories!

*Use the 3 fork bite rule.  Remember the 1st bite is for tasting, 2nd one for savoring, third one,  judging. Is it worth continuing with  more bites if you have to sit down and count the point value?  Possibly not.  Brain wash yourself if in doubt :)

The quote of the day:

Food can make our taste buds happy
It can not make us happy

Food can distract us from our pain
It can not take away our pain.

-        Author unknown.

I was asked – what is my strategy for next week?

It is not to miss a single meeting and I’ll share what I learn  in my weekly Wednesday blog.  I commit.  Next week I’ll not be able to attend on Wednesday, but I’ll go to the meeting  on Saturday. But do come on  Wednesday for this blog …there will be something regarding this topic.  And I’ll be so happy if you comment and put your input too.

Do drop by if you are in the same boat making the same journey.  We can’t do it alone, my friend.

By the way – You may like to read a related blog : TheHealing Apatite- the story about Anjuli.

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