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!

Friday, November 28, 2014



Thursday, November 27, 2014

Dear Reader,

I hope everyone enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving Day! Bob and I spent a quiet day as we will be getting together with family on Saturday. 

Our neighbor gave us a large section of beautiful pink salmon that he had recently caught. Bob baked this with lemon slices, serving it with yummy sliced carrots and a chipotle salad. Simple and delicious.

Since we did not have to be up this morning and drive to a family get-together, I opted to read through the night and sleep in. Love being able to do this with a good book! 

If you enjoyed the movies based on several novels by Dan Brown, you will no doubt enjoy the 600-page novel, Inferno, published in 2013. You might remember that Dan Brown became a popular author with his best-selling story and the subsequent movie, The DaVinci Code. 

Inferno takes the reader back to Europe with another tale of history, art, religion and science, featuring the returning character of Harvard educator and symbologist, Robert Langdon (played so well by Tom Hanks).

I was happy to read on-line that producer/director Ron Howard was to have begun filming the book in August, 2014, with Tom Hanks reprising his role of Langdon.

I have an affection for Italy. Inferno takes place in the city of Florence. The story-line of mystery and intrigue is based on the written work by Dante Alighieri,* circa 1300. It is wonderful to read a book that transports the reader to real cities, history, art and culture, as Dan Brown's books so easily do. 

As I read during the night, I found myself reaching more than once for my tablet, studying images of the paintings and sculpture by Botticelli and Michelangelo that Dan Brown wove through his narrative.

As this day draws to a close, I expect to be reading into the night once again. Half-way through this novel, it will be fun to pick the book up again tonight and continue reading.

Alighieri Dante 
Statesman and Poet, Divine Comedy
Portrait by Sandro Botticelli

*"Inferno (Italian, for hell) is the first of three parts of Dante Alighiere's 14th century epic poem, Divine Comedy

It is followed by Puragatorio (purgatory) and Paradiso (paradise). It is an allegory telling the journey of Dante through Hell, guided by the Roman poet Virgil.

In the poem, Hell is depicted in nine circles of suffering located within the Earth. The Divine Comedy represents the journey of the soul towards God, with the Inferno describing the recognition and rejection of sin."        

Source: Wikipedia

The Divine Comedy
Chart of Hell
by Sandro Botticelli

As you can no doubt guess, I definitely got caught up in the history of Dan Brown's latest book and am looking forward to continuing to read the story and anticipate the movie's opening. I had purchased the paperback a year ago and am only now reading it. I am grateful for the time to give to another well written book by Dan Brown.


I leave you with a new ad, good for the next three days, at LAREN DEE DESIGNS.  Please enjoy the 50% off coupon through Sunday, November 30th, 2014.

"Thank you for reading and have a great day!"

Wednesday, November 26, 2014




November 27, 2014

Dear Reader,

It has long been part of my daily devotion to meditate upon the three Gs: Grace, Goodness and Gratitude.

The world appears to be in an uproar and frightening, yet I am always reminded to step out of that fear and return to what is my singular truth, that God is present in our lives and has dominion over everything.

The Course In Miracles teaches that we may choose to live any moment in either light (love) or darkness (fear) and that one cannot exist in the presence of the other. 

Our lesson is to remember that choosing love is an act of removing darkness so that only light radiates fully. To live in this truth, in our highest good, means there is no room for that which does not serve us.

My prayer is that each of you may look within your own heart this holiday. Be mindful of your truths and shine your light upon them in every moment.

My own truths are centered first in faith and then in family. I feel enormous gratitude for my husband Bob. His mental health issues create, at times, overwhelming stress in our daily lives. In those moments I am reminded to stretch for greater compassion, understanding and patience. He is a kind man, a gentle soul, who gives time each day to think of me and my needs. We are committed to each other and our family. 

I am grateful for our two beautiful daughters who radiate laughter and joy. Their caring spirits touch those around them. The two are as close today as when they were children, loving and strong in their support for one another and spirited playfulness.

I am grateful for a wonderful son-in-law who cares deeply for his wife, who is proud of the life they have built together. A future son-in-law came into our family this year and loves our second daughter deeply. To see her new-found happiness is an answer to prayer.

The family would not be complete without our grandsons who are 18 and 22. They are loving, helpful and supportive to those around them. It has been a joy to watch them grow into young men.

I hope your own "table" is filled with all those whom you love. If any be far from you in distance, may they be present in your heart and watched over with loving care.

May your table be abundant, not only with fresh flowers and delicious foods, may the cornucopia of your life spill over with blessings of prosperity, abundance and good fortune. And so it is. Amen.

May you enjoy a blessed Thanksgiving!

Thank you for reading and have a great day!

Friday, November 7, 2014




November, 2014

Dear Reader,

Within the pages of my book, Journey's End, I wrote the following: "Life is the process of change and change is good."

Anything that we have been carrying around with us for a long time, that we realize is no longer working for us, needs to change.

It's good to recognize this and know that when something is no longer working for our benefit, that we have in fact out-grown the belief or behavior, it is time to create new good in our lives. 

Mother Nature's four seasons are metaphors for our lives. Similarily, Native American spirituality uses the points on the compass within the Medicine Wheel in the same way:

We are born in spring (South), move into youthfulness and early adulthood in summer (West). We find wisdom, responsibility and greater security in the autumn or mid-years (North) of our lives and grow older and age into seniors in winter (East).
My family and I made plans to travel to Mesa, Arizona in October to visit my step-mom. She and her brother moved to Apache Junction one year ago and I was truly looking forward to seeing her again. 

My parents and grandparents have all passed except for Mom, who is 85 years old. She suffers with diabetes and Parkinson's disease yet is a woman of deep faith who tries to live as strongly as she can each day.

I talked with her on the phone yesterday. She had a bad day, emotionally melting down as strength eluded her in an effort to perform simple chores. Yet, yesterday was also the anniversary date of my Dad's passing and this was hitting her hard, as well. 

I know our visit and depth of sharing last week brought up a lot of good memories for her, as it did for me. With it came the heartfelt reminder to her that Dad has been gone for fifteen years and she misses him terribly every day. With deep faith she has moved through enormous change.

It felt good to get away for that week. I always say that a vacation clears the cobwebs out of my mind and blows fresh air in. I can always count on lots of laughter and joy with my kids, too.

The change in temperature was extreme, too. We flew out of Portland, OR, leaving cool temps and rain behind. Stepping off the plane in Phoenix felt like landing in Hawaii - hot and humid. My grandson could not move fast enough to pull his jacket off. I loved the change in scenery to red rock, wide open space, desert and cactus of all shapes and sizes. Beautiful! It was good to be back in the Southwest.

It was also good to be with my family and spend time with Mom. I know it meant the world to her. 

Returning home, I thought about fresh ideas and inspiration, of new good. I was led to create a new section in my Etsy shop, LAREN DEE DESIGNS

I named the new section TAKE IT FOR 5 DOLLARS. With 300 items in on-line inventory between three shops (Etsy and Zibbet), I wanted to bring some of that fresh air in, reduce inventory quickly with below-cost pricing.

A wide variety of earrings, bracelets and necklaces are in this section. Regardless of design, each item is only $5! 

It is my hope that you will take advantage of the pricing and purchase new items for yourself, birthdays, holiday gifts and stocking stuffers. A new customer ordered ten items yesterday and I am truly grateful!

Creating greater circulation of my designs will (hopefully) bring new customers to my shop. Those of us who create artisan crafted items depend on word-of-mouth to build our businesses. I'm looking forward to creating new designs as we move forward into 2015. Yes, change can be a very good thing!

"Thank you for reading and have a great day!"