Do What You Love With Passion!

It's been said that if we do what we love, it stops being a job and becomes a passion. I love to write as much as I love to design jewelry. With this blog, I will share both with you!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Seed Beading in Traditional Medicine Wheel Colors

In October, 1993,  I had become an ordained minister, practicing Christianity through a denomination called New Thought.  I studied Native American spirituality, as well, and became fully immersed in its beauty and culture.  Drumming circles were very popular at this time, spreading across the United States to bring mainstream people into Native traditions and teachings.

My first husband was born in Wapato, WA.  The Wapato Indian bloodline was on his Father's side.  His Father looked Native American and my husband, Larry, showed it in his face and coloring, as well.  Larry had died in 1976 due to a senseless automobile accident.  As I was learning about Native American traditions, I felt in my heart that it was creating a spiritual link to him.

As a minister, I found that I loved hosting healing circles for women.  We gathered on my property weekly for one year, sitting on blankets around a ceremonial fire.  We honored Native traditions and each of us emotionally grew and healed in the process.

The photo above depicts my own blanket and the spiritual tools I made myself.  There is a rattle made with hide and wet sand.  The seams were sewn with hide and needle.  When the sand dried, it was removed, leaving a hardened shell.  Different sizes of small beads were inserted and a length of driftwood from the beach became the handle.  I painted my totem animal on the rattle to complete it.

There is a wooden mallot (hardened rubber ball) on the left in the photo.  I covered it in leather and then beaded around the neck and on the handle.  I used it to play my Native drum, another item I made and painted.  The Talking Stick (left) became an object that each person used when they shared what was in their heart at a circle.  As long as someone held the stick, they claimed silent attention and was not interruped or given advice.  It is said that we know our own truths within, that we must learn to become quiet in order to hear the inner voice, and allow ourselves to speak only those truths.  In summer months, I hosted monthly circles for men and women.  The Talking Stick was used on those nights, too.  It is made from a tree branch, covered in leather and beaded in traditional colors of the Medicine Wheel.  There are feathers attached to it, as well.

Native American tradition teaches us to walk in Beauty.  This means consciously looking for good, for lessons and Truth, for balance in our lives.  To this end, we are One, you and I.  We are part of all living things and everything that lives has spirit. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

On the Home Front

Last week was busy here on the home front and I did not get back to my design table to invest quality time in creating a new piece of jewelry.  I am hoping to mend that during this week.  I did succeed in getting my newsletter, JEWELETTER, finished and out on time.

I ordered subscriptions to magazines for trending fashions and accessories information for  the newsletter.  I have gemstone and agate books, and opted for more subscriptions to jewelry making and lapidary magazines, too.  I may regret not getting through all the new monthly reading materials!  I equate it to what a photographer said once; if you get one good photo out of a roll of film, you have done well.  I've used that advice many times through the years, on different themes.

Back to the newsletter:  There is always a learning curve with something new, especially computer related.  I was overwhelmed and frustrated the evening before it finally went out in e-mail form through Mail Chimp.  Sometimes you just have to step back and sleep on a problem, right?


The grandsons were here last week, along with visits from my daughters, a out-of-town friend and a nephew.  My husband and I loved every minute of our time with each of them.  Since moving to Rose Valley seven years ago, we are more detached from immediate family.  It is an hour's drive to the nearest daughter's home and another half hour drive East, out the Columbia Gorge, to the other daughter's home.  Now that our oldest grandson is driving, it is making a big impact on our not having to make those long drives to pick-up or drop-off one or both of them nearly as often.  Joy!!

This week the house is quiet and  the weather will be cooling down to the 70's.  I like!  It is awful having to keep the house closed up during hot temperatures.  It could stay below 80 degrees all the time and I would love it.  Nothing adds to my ability to be creative than being organized, feeling solitude, and cool breezes flowing in the window.  Outside the window, the view is green, the dogs are barking and playing.  It's like nesting and playing at the same time!


Husband Bob and I are avid bird watchers and have been for many years. The chickadees were making noises today so I knew they were in the trees above the deck and coming in for suet and seeds. I was getting my camera set-up, looking forward to getting some close-ups of them with my new Samsung digital camera. It is providing beautiful shots of my jewelry for on-line sales and I love to use it outdoors, as well.  Here is a "empty" photo, just focusing, getting ready for a bird to come in:

Our cat, Springer, was at my feet when I was getting set-up to take some photos of the chickadees. 

He jumped up on the railing to help me get the shot.  Uh, huh.  Oh, no.

Well, it was clear this attempt was now over.
On to other things in the day.