The primal joy of housework..

My husband and I have been living out of hotels and suitcases for 7 months now..and while its been very very enjoyable ~ full of new sights and food and people, of course there are some things I'm missing. Yes, my children and my family top this list...but the surprise to me is this:

I MISS cleaning and cooking. [ ...I swear I can hear my sister laughing~]

Granted. It is the sweetest thing to leave an untidy room and come back to clean towels and a freshly made bed, all the garbage mysteriously whisked away and the counters clean and neat. It is joyous. :=)


There is something therapeutic to squirting sweet smelling dish detergent under a flowing tap and scrubbing your dishes in a sink full of warm sudsy water. It is satisfying to polish the taps in the bathroom until they gleam..it's even somewhat pleasant to cook supper. Ugh. okay scratch that one..but, there have been moments in my life as a mommy and wife when baking something..usually bread...just hits the spot. Fills that little empty void with an excuse to beat the dough around and shape it into neat little loaves or smaller rolls. Then fills the house with that unbeatable smell of crusty warm bread right out of the oven. The smells of home.

Maybe that's what I'm missing today. Home.

ah well.
This is an adventure of a lifetime and I Love every single minute of it..I truly do. It will come to an end soon enough one day and we will unpack our clothes for the last time..or at least for a looonngg while.
And, I will run out and stock my kitchen cupboards with everything I need to make this recipe~

Never Fail Rolls
I know what you're thinking. beware the recipe that claims to be 'never fail'..but this one will not let you down. ..try it~

Put 2 tsp of sugar and 2 Tbsp of yeast into 1 cup of warm water and let it stand for 10 minutes.

In a large bowl put:
1 cup of warm milk
2 cups warm water
2 tsp salt
1/4 C sugar
1/2 C oil
2 beaten eggs

Mix together. Add in the yeast mixture. Add enough flour to make a runny dough and beat with a mixer until it's quite glutenous. Add additional flour to make it knead-able and knead [enjoy this, it's the therapeutic part~] until it's shiny. Let rise until double..about 1 hour. Plop the dough out onto a large floured counter top and begin to shape your rolls..or loaves..or even cinnamon rolls or pizza dough.

It is hands down the best bread dough recipe I've found. .

Anyway..enjoy your day all and scrub something for me will you? ~ :-)


Don't hate me...

because I'm enjoying the sun and sand in January. :-)

Believe me, I know how blessed I am~


Creating an organic glass Bead

I have a love for organic works of art..movement, line and color that mimic nature

or are earth inspired...

A push or subtle exaggeration of textures, color and movement
..all of those elements play a role in organics.

Sometimes it's simply a matter of getting out of the way...

Provide the right atomosphere..

The correct ratio of oxygen to fuel, that perfect combination of glasses and metals,
the right temperature in your kiln for that particular glass..

don't forget to check the alignment of the stars ~

and then get out of the way..stop pushing and pulling with the form.

Listen and see.

..allow the glass to be the star.

Gravity, the glass itself, temperature and serendipity

...all combine to create an 'organic' piece of art~


Looking back..

I've been discovering the benefits of practicing meditation...most especially visual meditation.
Along with this my daughter is taking some massage therapy courses which involve some fairly graphic textbooks detailing the bodys anatomy.
Her precocious 4 year old...[and aren't they all?]..has been fascinated and listens with great interest when my daughter talks about the things she's learned in class. I'm certain she's doctor material.

I knew she'd been sitting in while my daughter practiced her own meditation techniques so I asked my grand-daughter to do some yoga with me.
With great seriousness,she positioned herself in the classic Indian seated yoga pose, carefully placed her little fingers in an 0 position and looking at me with complete composure began to intone...with a slight lisp, since 'r's are a little difficult at that age;

"Bweathe in....bweathe out....bweathe in...bweathe out..."

I'm trying very hard to keep my face straight as she hesitated to think for a minute, then obviously recalling some of her moms insights, she solemnly continued,

"your bones are gwowing....your body is healthy...
bweathe in...bweathe out..."

You couldn't ask for a more perfect meditation mantra.

*I like the idea of 'looking back' every so often. This post was first published in November of 2007 when my grandbaby was 4..she is 7 now and continues to shine like the brilliant little star that she is~*


attention deficit...

I need to stay somewhat focused today since I want to work on an order.. these x 5..but I like to net surf a bit during my breakfast. So while I was enjoying my morning meal of left over bread sticks from Domino's and [ahhh yes.] diet coke [Susan would be very disappointed in me..] I stumbled onto a tutorial site which led to another one and then one more and... and well, we all know how that goes ~ so forget about it.

I am in a billion different directions now.

I know Kanzashi flowers are probably old hat by now but I never did know how to do these..

taken from 'Thoughts from the Bus Stop'

and they have so many possibilities, don't they? We've all seen these in a little girls hair, on head bands and barrets, but smaller versions in jewelry applications would be fabulous...the use of fabrics and different materials would result in a different outcome every time.
Addictive no doubt.

of course they all need a lampworked glass center bead~

Instructables shows how to make these folded fabric flowers in step by step fashion with great photos..[I ♥ tutorials with great photos]

Then I came across this woman...what a kick. Mich L in L.A. She is my mother.

Not really...my mother lives in in Canada and her name is Barbara..but believe me the two would hit it off. I have always teased my mother that she would make something out of a tampon applicator if she could get away with it...she is of scottish descent and it pains her..literally pains her..to throw anything away.

Mich L in LA has that gene I think..

This bracelet is adorable....and probably self-explanatory [heavy wire ran through an old pair of jeans seam] My nieces would love one I'm sure.

but this little bracelet

was created with a rubber bath mat..

and this bangle

was made using this material

yes. the rubber tubing you can get for next to nothing at any hardware store... I love the idea.

Her blog led to this next site..or maybe it was the reverse..hmm I really need a cyber breadcrumb trail. Actually this may have been the place that started it all.

take a look

Crafty Pod

Make sure you look at the 'previous entries' link below those that are listed.

My mother has a few of these. She must have been on a roll that day..

Find the tutorial for this Yo-yo pincushion here

You see how I have got myself a little side-tracked today~ also I seem to be digging fabric. interesting..since I've not sewn anything since I was a young mommy and then it was simple..nighties and easy summer shifts.
I did make my 3 year old son a pair of hammer pants once..he was such a little hippie doll in them.

Remember MC hammer pants?

too funny.

okay.enough of this..I'm off to create magic. or at the very least off to get my materials out and decide on color and design.

Enjoy your day everyone
color something outside the lines!


Busy Beader blogs ..

Yep..there are lots of us out there hand crafting each tiny work of art by hand and we all like to share our passions. The possibilities are endless...there are glass beads, porcelain beads, ceramic beads, seeded beads, clay beads, metal beads, felted beads... and each componant adds a unique flavor to your final creation.

Brew yourself up a cup of tea and cuddle up to your laptop because I've gathered up a selection of interesting artisan blogs that focus on the art of beads...enjoy!

Denise Yezbak Moore ~Bling it On! ceramic beads

Painting with Fire ceramic beads by Barbara Lewis

Mamacita Beadworks by D'Arsie Manzella works with stoneware clay, polymer clay and lead

free pewter.

Most bead artists have heard of this lady...Joan Miller..she makes the sweetest little porcelain doll and shoe beads. See her work here, Joan Miller Porcelain Beads

One of my all time favorite glass bead artists..Ellen Dooley. See her work on her site, Ellen Dooley Lampwork~ Art from the Flame

Another well known artisan among beady peers is Anne Choi..Each of her silver beads is handcrafted..yes. Most have words of wisdom for your soul.

The Spirited Bead and Klews Gallery polymer beads

Morgan Wills felted beads

Barbara Becker Simon glass and metal clay

Mary Maiolica Arts Hand painted clay beads

I have to add these...I can remember my crafty mother making these a long long time ago in a far away land when I was a girl...paper beads. They can add a beautiful little splash of color. I bought some Ugandan paper beads long ago and still use them when a pop of fun color is called for. Check out this lady at Runs with Scissors on Etsy

Enjoy these few links fellow bead lovers... add something new to your creations. Or just become inspired. If you have the time! you can also learn to create jewelry componants for yourself.

Have yourself a great week!


Celebrations and new beginnings..

It's a very very long drive to my home in northern British Columbia from Lompoc, California. There was close t0 5000 miles put on our very gutsy 4WD suberban! [superb winter vehicle btw] and we enjoyed every moment of it. We took our time and saw some beautiful country..lots of beautiful country.

This video clip was taken on Christmas day ~thus the reason for the old skool Christmas music playing ..we were trying to inject a wee bit of traditional Christmas spirit on a day we had celebrated much much differently every other year.

We are somewhere in Montana very close to the Canadian border.

It was definitely a treasured experience for us and we won't forget how we spent our first Christmas together, that's for sure.
The weather was cold and the road was long, but the trip was sweet ~and most importantly I have my torch and my glass back in my hot little hands! and we are now back enjoying the warmth of sunny California.

..whew. we won't be driving that road again for a very long time~