Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Stability vs. Flexibility - Simple but Profound Wisdom from a Short Meditation

Little wonders
So tonight I did my second Sara Wiseman lesson which involved a short meditation exercise. I LOVE meditation because it "downloads" simple wisdom that's immediately applicable to life. Nothing particularly mysterious about it - just clarity.

Tonight all my four guides came to me, my two Earth guides, my spiritual guide, and my mystic guide. The first thing they did was step from their positions behind me, to my left, to my right, and they came around front and faced me and joined hands. The thought that wafted into me along with lots of love and peace was: "We are always with you."

Then my Earth guide, whom I haven't formally met yet, I feel this guide but I can't yet see details of its appearance (Jess is the other Earth guide but she was quiet and peaceful tonight, just watching and being there), stepped forward and knelt on one knee. He put pictures into my mind of two rocks that I have. Along with the pictures, with each image of each rock, he "downloaded" a word. The first was flexibility. The second was stability.

Stability and Flexibility
I found the first beautiful, round, smooth rock years ago when I was hiking in California by a gorgeous singing, bubbling, sparkling stream. We walked across logs and sat in the sunshine along its banks, and I saw this perfectly round rock at the edge of the stream and picked it up. I always ask if they want to come home with me, and got the feeling of yes, so I brought it home. It usually resides in a handwoven Peruvian basket along with other rocks I've picked up from special hikes. It feels good to hold it, perfectly round and smooth, a friendly little rock.

The other square rock, I picked up on top of a windy field in Wyoming when we took a 40-mile canoe trip down a gorgeous river. We stopped to walkabout on the land for a while, and there was no development, it was just smooth flatland with scrubby grass and a few rocks and pebbles, and a view of sparkling sun on green and brown Earth as far as the eye could see. The wind was softly blowing across this land as I walked. It was hot away from the water, and the wind felt sooo good. I walked quite a bit by myself and came upon this curious rock that is perfectly square and has four lines almost incised across the top, as if it were an ancient game piece. I asked if it wanted to come home with me and felt yes, so I brought it home. 

Side note - I would love to have this rock looked at by a person who knows about these kinds of things because I feel it was "crafted," that it did not become perfectly square by the forces of Nature. It's a verrry cool rock.

I've had these rocks for years and love to pick them up once in a while. I did not know they're teaching rocks.

Tonight I found out in my meditation that they were given to me to remind me that flexibility creates stability. In other words, in this world today, when we can roll with the flow, we create stability for ourselves and our Lovies. It seems a bit of a contradiction at first, but when you ponder it, it makes perfect sense. 

So now these two rocks reside upon my desk, to remind me as I do my work, as I communicate with others, that flexibility and stability go hand-in-hand. I have the awareness of (and application where appropriate) these two characteristics flowing through me as I work.

Thanks for the lightbulb moment, my sweet spiritual guides. That was fun!

Cool beans. If you haven't explored meditation you might find that it can be very enjoyable and rather profoundly enlightening. Nothing fearful about it. Go within to find the true wonders xo


Friday, December 16, 2016

Rebirth - Presents from the Universe

Out of the darkness and into the light - the view from my friend 
Lorena's gorgeous barn - I LOVE barns!
Wow. Coming out the other side of a long, dark tunnel is amazing. It sure takes a lot of work. I've been doing the work, and I see at last, a vast, open pathway before me, with guideposts along the way that are clear and very beautiful and also very rewarding. It's like the first deep, rejuvenating breath of fresh air after being underwater for a very long time.

I think my message in this post is to encourage peeps to keep doing your internal work even when the going feels rough; it can open avenues that are greater than you've hoped for or imagined in your wildest dreams. Do not be afraid. Keep doing the work, because though we may not know the timeline for coming out the other side of the tunnel, I find that we DO come out if we do not give up. Do not give up. 

Our world works in mysterious, marvelous ways. Wherever there is discontent or weariness inside of us, there is potential for growth and the opening of new pathways if we do the work to get there. The work simply means giving ourselves permission to seek information and to express ourselves according to the positive urgings of our own hearts and minds.

I definitely believe in Santa Claus, St. Nicholas, the Giving Spirit of this beautiful season. And this year, Santa, St. Nick has been especially generous, for which I am surprised, and very, very grateful. 

I was experiencing several hard things about the holiday season in response to my daughter's passing almost two years ago (two years of eternity, two years of just yesterday). One was that though we decorate for Christmas at home (and also did last year, though modestly), I could not put out the stockings because there is one for each member of the family, and my perception was that my family was lopsided - too much pain to put out Jessie's stocking. I can't fill it, I can't "love" her the way I always did with all the kids. Same thing happened last year with the stockings in particular.

We put up our two stockings but read on to see how we fixed the lopsidedness....
Another thing (like last year) was that I couldn't put our beautiful nutcrackers on the mantel like we always did, because there are six of them, one for each human member of our family. And seeing them and knowing that some of our Lovies are here and one of our Lovies is there is just too, too painful.

Our Nutcrackers - just two this year, not six
But I realized this year that the "not putting things out" felt almost as painful as "putting things out" and I resolved to find an in-between place where we, my husband and I, would feel nourished and we could create space to celebrate and feel happy, yet also protect myself from getting demolished by pain and grief. 

Example of pain and grief - I watched the movie Fools Rush In, which is a reeeally sweet story, but when the couple is in the hospital doing a sonogram and they see the image of the baby and hear its heartbeat what popped into MY mind was: Oh! MY baby doesn't HAVE a heartbeat anymore! - UBER OUCH. I have another biological baby (my son, Torey, grown now but always my baby) who does have a heartbeat that is strong, sweet, sensitive, and oh so loving, but of course, one cannot replace another, and they are each their own shining individual selves.

My beautiful son who lives in Argentina xo
I cried and kept watching the movie, holding the pain, b r e a t h i n g...and then sweet Jess downloaded her peace and joy into my heart and I somehow found in my heart the thought that she IS the heartbeat of the whole Universe, the Earth, the winds, the tides, the rhythm of the sun and the moon, the stillness and quiet, the passion and power - "I am everywhere and always with you Momma." And because of feeling, really feeling her peace downloading throughout my whole self, I was okay. We will all be that someday. That Spirit Self. There's something quite right about it. I wiped my tears on a handy napkin and kept watching.

Jess with her last Christmas tree xo
Most peeps doing the holidays don't have to go through this shit of roller coaster riding but it happens many times per day and night, every day and night for those grieving a loved one, and that's why we like to be alone - we can't predict when we might feel demolished, what that trigger might be, and we don't want to spoil others' happiness and fall apart in the middle of a parteeeee. It's not that we're antisocial, we're "in recovery." And that recovery DOES happen, but it's a long and solitary road for awhile. Rather bumpy to say the least.

SO the second present I received this year, after the wondrous feeling of peace from Jess, was received in a conversation I had with my sister on the phone as I explained my feelings about the stockings: I learned not to be "all or nothing." My sis said "What if you just put out Rob's stocking, and your stocking?" 

"Oh," I said, "that never occurred to me." And it hadn't until then. But I thought it was a GREAT idea. So I related it to my husband, and before he went to bed he brought up the beautiful mantel hanger he made with its bows and our two stockings and hung them by the fireplace.

That worked and felt good. We've done Christmas for all the kids for ever so many years and yet, Christmas also belongs to us on a private, special level. We've picked out and brought home really special ornaments for our tree every year, so that at this point in our lives it is full of personal celebrations and memories, both of/for the kids and of/for ourselves. The tree glows and emanates peace throughout the whole house. I love it and sometimes sleep in the living room near it at night.

Beautiful reflections, magic tree vibes
Well, of course he put our stockings together on one side of the mantel, because just as we don't sit at opposite ends of the dining room table, we like to be next to each other on the mantel as well. So it was feeling a little lopsided. And I felt another inspiration download into my heart: We have LOVIES here in our environment right now! We have Joey Max, our kitty, who comes into my studio with me every single night and purrs and plays and cuddles and sleeps, and we have Benjamin, our Yorkie pup, who guards fiercely day and night, who lapsits, snuggles, and snorts, and we have Lil Bear, our Yorkie/Maltese, who owns my heart and second sleeps with me after a whole night of working when I go to bed with the dawn, and licks all my hand lotion and perfume off and likes to lean against me any way he can when I'm sitting still and he's near me.

Joey Max xo
Benji xo
Lil Bear xo
SO I said to Rob !!Let's go to PetCo and buy THREE TINY STOCKINGS for our fur-peep LOVIES!! And he said "Yes, that's a Very Good Idea." So we're going this weekend, regardless of the weather. And we will come home with THREE TINY STOCKINGS and TREATS and TOYS to put into each of them. And our mantel Will No Longer Be Lopsided. I have learned to love the blessings that are right under my nose and make them feel appreciated xoxoxoxo.

One of my greatest blessings xoxoxo!!
Another beautiful gift I received this Christmas was the gift of relief in a couple of ways. One I will try to keep simple, but it's so wonderful and huge - I had given myself permission when I retired from the University to devote my energies to my artwork and to take courses and learn however and whatever I wanted to. So when I came across the meditation course that Sara Wiseman offers, I decided to go ahead and sign up. Wow - she's terrific, not so much as a meditation facilitator, I've experienced much better, because she never stops talking during her guidance, so you have to know how to do your imagery while she's talking, but she's terrific because she WAS able to introduce me to four of the most magnificent spiritual guides I've had all along but hadn't actually met yet. WOW.

"Heaven to Jen, heaven to Jen...bleep bleep...."
After the meditation, I became more consciously aware that I am happy when I feel balanced, and to feel balanced I understand that there are three areas of my life that I can define and work on/with/through: the mystical, which has always been very strong; the earthwork (service), which allows me to contribute to others and receive in kind; and the spiritual, which is reflected in my painting and beadwork. Being able to define these helps me to put to rest any "battles" between them and to make room for each of them regularly, even daily as much as possible.

Spiritual - My beadwork xo
During my meditation with Sara's guidance I had the most glorious time. And it brought me a LONG way through the dark tunnel and into feelings of true relief. 

I met my mystical guide, who appeared to my right, my Earth guides (there were two) who appeared to my left, and my spiritual guide, who appeared behind me. And WOW were THEY beeeautiful!

The relief came in a way that totally surprised me. And my heart grew three sizes indeed! 

I found, in meeting my two Earth guides, that Jess was among them. It was interesting, since, at the beginning of the meditation, Sara outlined that this "first lesson meditation" was "limited to our personal spiritual guides, not the departed, that's saved for Lesson 4." 

Jess was dressed in a soft, pleated, flowing black skirt and a sleeveless maroon top, with her beautiful glossy long hair bouncing around her and her feet bare. She held her hand up to her mouth as she giggled, and I could feel her feelings - "OH MOMMA!! I'M SO HAPPY YOU'RE MEDITATING! I'M SO HAPPY TO CONNECT WITH YOU AND SEE YOU HERE IN MY VIBRATIONAL LEVEL! WE'RE GOING TO HAVE SUCH FUN!" I could literally feel her elation. I understood that she is a big part of my "spiritual" life in the paintings we do together and also very much a part of my Earth guidance since we are able to share our work here and help others to feel and see the vastness and beauty of love. 

Happy Jess
Detail of our painting together, Dancing for a Dream
And because I understood to a very deep level that our relationship was ongoing and more engaging than I had imagined possible, my heart just felt so light. And this feeling continues. Maybe I've lost my mind, maybe I'm imagining things, maybe whatever, whatever - it feels good so I'm going with it all the way.

Another gift I received, in a most natural order after the meditation and meeting my Earth guides, who help with career, relationships, and all kinds of things related to the logistics of navigating life on Earth, was A NEW JOB!!! I thought to myself, hm, maybe should have connected more consciously a long time ago....

And WOW, this job is also greater than I had imagined possible. It's HUGE. Millennial! I can't say too much about it because I'm restrained by confidentiality, but I've been hired by an international educational organization composed of pathcutters. I'm in home territory since it uses all the skills I used at my University for 16 years as an editor and instructional designer, plus I'm learning hands-on about "the jobs we didn't know would exist" as we designed courses for Traditionalists, Boomers, Gen X, Y, and millennials. 

Training/education in the old days was to teach people to fit into existing positions but training/education today is to teach people to create, to seek, and to empower themselves to morph into positions that never existed before. This organization is truly impressive because they're totally plugged into several other organizations that never existed before and that help to streamline processes and create efficiencies for huge, international organizations that employ a sizeable workforce. Ya ya!

I think the job is, in a way, a result of connecting meditationally with my Earth guides (which we all have). It's just so serendipitous!

The other two guides were magnificently beautiful, but I'll save that for another post.

I'm feeling Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy Birthday, and happy everything, Jen. I'd been looking for work for about a year and a half, wanting structure and meaningful engagement to my days, but also wanting time for my artwork and not to be "in a fishbowl," being constantly taken off-task. I did not think it possible to have my desires fulfilled, but I find now, thank you Santa, that I can work when I want to, sleep when I want to, go outside when I want to, wear what I want to, take time to do whatever I want whenever I want to, and work in my own environment where I have access to sunrise, sunset, afternoon sunbeams, swimming, walking, rain, fresh air, my pups and kitty, whatever I wish to fix to eat, and it is just soooo wonderful. 

I find myself living what I heard them predict in a distance education conference several years ago - the majority of employees of the future will be contract workers in a "buyer's" market - they'll work when they want to, doing what they choose, according to the skills they've personally built within themselves. Hallelujah!

It is a mistake to believe that in contrast to full-time work, people would choose leisure as a whole life activity. Total leisure tends to lead to stagnation and slow death. Rather, research shows that most people have an innate desire to engage with others in meaningful and influential ways according to their interests. They love to be active in areas they care about. And cares are as varied as imaginable. I love that education is heading that way too.

So here we are. It's a good place to be.

Opening our internal petals
Thank you Universe, spirit guides, and Self for doing the work and continuing to do the work. Thank you sweet Santa, St. Nick, for sharing your Giving Spirit - I now allow myself to give and embrace, to receive and be embraced, in love.

Life is very sweet. And the light is good after the darkness. I'm sure I'll continue to bump along a bit (will keep the napkins and hankies handy through the holiday season), but not like anything I've experienced in the past couple of years. 

I am reborn, as I believe we all can be, sometimes several times in a lifetime, and sometimes right outside of it.

The Chrysalis
The Rebirth
Here's to growing, here's to LIFE and LOVING. Here's to the beautiful gifts of the Universe when we do the work to open ourselves to receive them. I'm sure they're each very personal and just the right thing for each person. I think meditation, prayer, and being open to allowing ourselves to explore whatever our hearts and minds seek, lead to really interesting, rewarding, and influential experiences. 

As Glennon Doyle Melton says, "Carry on warriors." xo 

May your holidays be oh so sweet.

Yes, best holiday cookies we've EVER made! WOOT!!


Thursday, December 1, 2016

3 Empowering Tips from Heaven

New Journal - Letters from Jess in Heaven
When we connect, Jess is wise in her very own snappy, energetic, sometimes quiet, gentle way. Spirit stuff is simple - not convoluted, not complex, not manipulative, just beautifully clear, and she's able to articulate it so that little lightbulbs go on in my mind and heart, and a bit of time spent with her turns my feelings from sadness to joy.

This particular letter I received post-Thanksgiving, which was a somewhat painful holiday, as is expected so soon after her transition, and perhaps you can relate if you've recently or even not so recently "lost" a loved one. To get to the joy, read on....

On the night I received this letter from Jess I walked through my kitchen several times, where my sweet husband had made dinner much earlier, on my way to let the pups out for a few minutes, to go to the bathroom, to replenish my wine or water, and each time I waved my hands at the dishes feeling overwhelmed. Needless to say, they did not magically sparkle up and put themselves away. I felt guilty for not being the me that I used to be, the always productive me with the relatively constant happiness bubble. I felt guilty for not being that me that my husband deserves all the time, not just in spurts.

And I went into the studio where I'd spent a lot of time with Jess and sat, trying to make myself sleepy, nothing on the telly, thoughts not too positive after the election, and took a deep breath and opened our journal and began to write. Here, she shares her heaven and some really beautiful tips on our lives here and how to empower ourselves. Thank you sweet Jess, in your wisdom and humor and wholeness, for beaming down clarity and beauty and joy and so much love.  xo

The images will enlarge when you click on them if you want to read the whole letter. I don't correct her spelling, and sometimes she adds little doodles and hearts and things, it's adorable. The letter in its wholeness is much more beautiful than just reading my comments, and it's really really cute, very Jess xo

Me being brave, initiating contact....
Whenever I had phone calls with my kids, I tried never to let them know how very much I missed them cause I wanted them to spread their wings and not feel "held back" by a "needy" mother. So I didn't actually say the words "I miss you." Also I never said the word "Goodbye." It was always, "I'll talk to you soon." Just how my heart works....

So in this letter to Jess I definitely did say "If this were a phone call and I were honest, I would tell you I miss you." Journaling is a safe place to tell the truth without feeling guilty.

Her beautiful response....
I didn't think she'd be able to reach me because though I was fairly even-keel, I was feeling distressed at not being able to "give" to her, to "love" her in this holiday season like I had for so many years in our past.

So first of all, I'm so happy to hear from her, and second, she had a LOT to say. Yes, as the letter mentions, sometimes I feel tingles across my head, and a part of me expands and I know it's her, in the evening or at night just being near and loving me. xoxo

My lecture from Jess xo

So the first thing I received in this letter I "tongue-in-cheek" call her "lecture." She is firmly setting me back into myself. We used to tease each other, when she was here alive with me, that we'd had past lives where she was the mom and I was the kid, and now she's stepped into the role of guidance. Her guidance is wise.

Tip number 1 from Jess: For all grieving Lovies, it's important not to blame every negative or painful emotion on the "one lost" or those events. I think she's saying that sometimes when we get hit sideways by a seemingly catastrophic event we can feel somewhat entangled in it. She's reminding me to simplify. As we go through our Earthly journeys, we experience emotion, and it teaches us if we listen to it. She's reminding me that my own teachings have not stopped. She's reminding me to listen to myself. And she's reminding me to lighten up. It's amazing how much my mood can be elevated by just remembering that she wants me to lighten up. It's like a little permission slip - you can be happy, you can have pleasure, you can feel joy.

Side note - She's referring to the book I recently read by James Van Praagh called Reaching To Heaven, where I felt in my heart I disagreed with some of the things he was saying. One was that we take addictions with us when we die. Bullshit. That just doesn't make sense to me at all and I've not encountered it in any of my other reading ventures. The physical body is very different from our light bodies, and I just can't buy into the idea that the "physical need for any substance" carries over. So we disagree somewhat. I have found that each individual's experience of the afterlife differs from others in many ways, so I'll give Van Praagh that much margin for writing what he wrote, though I'm pretty sure that once we know we're out of the physical body we begin to learn the properties of the "new" light body (spirit, soul, whatever you prefer to call it), and that it isn't affected by physical addiction. Freedom is definitely a huge factor in the celestial worlds.

Back to wisdom from heaven...

We are compelled to be ourselves, are we doing that, are we listening to our hearts?
I love that Jess is talking about the compulsion to "be herself." What good does it do us to live our lives according to the dictates of others?

When she says "who are you gonna listen to," it amuses me because she has a very firm, sure attitude about her sometimes and it's just so "Jess." It was the part of her that was very very organized and good at details and business and money management while she was here. Also the part that enjoyed (and still enjoys) a bit of showmanship. I LOVE that sweet voice. Well, then she goes into some more shared wisdom, which lightens my heart.

Tip number 2 from Jess: "Life is not something you save, or "bottle up." It's something that you move through." Wow I love that. It seems a no-brainer, but I've never actually been able to articulate it. I think our society shows that many of us aren't too comfortable with it, or maybe we're unaware of it. We like to pin things down, collect them, preserve them, leave our markers. The closest I've come to hearing about the flow she describes is in the saying "The only constant in life is change," and that often has a negative connotation. Tip number 2 isn't talking about errands, taxi-parenting, cleaning house, and those kinds of physical movement - it's talking about the flow of life. Life is something you move through.

Then, the inspiration for a new painting is born when Jess talks about the reminders from God or the Universe or Our Creative Source or Nature, (whatever you prefer to call it) when she describes the flow that happens when we learn to move through life.

She says: "All the earth has that example of flow to remind our hearts to let go - it has the wind, the tides, and the breath of all living things. That is one of Nature's great lessons but nobody listens to the wind anymore, and we don't hear the message of the tides, and we breathe shallowly or even sometimes hold our breath."

"That's why meditation is good for you Momma. It helps you connect with the eternal flow, and let go a little bit."

The painting will be a depiction of the wind over the sea and a person meditating on the beach. This will remind me of the flow, and to move through life, not holding on too tight.

Number 3 Wise Tip from Heaven
Tip number 3 from Jess: "Call everything your own, Mama, what you eat, what you drink, what you breathe, what you say, what you do, what you think. You are a child of the Universe, and unique like a snowflake. There is little value in denying that or tamping it down. Your passions are your passions. Let them guide you. As if you were a child - knowing no fear or control of others."


My response within our letter: "I hear you telling me to live with all of myself."

Her response: "Yep. You got it!"

Closure of this letter
Yep. She can pour life back into me. So after our letter I went into the kitchen and quietly cleaned it up. Dishes done with loving heart, counters wiped. Recyclables out. Kitty in and back door locked. I padded to bed in my soft slippers, kicked them off, climbed in, and slept the sleep of babes.

And my sweet husband woke to a clean kitchen and a wife who can cope, not only that, but "be in the moment" with joy in her heart. Warm water, soft bubbles cleaning dishes that held the food that nourishes our bodies, appreciation for all that he enjoys creating, peaceful night.

Thank you Jess, my loving daughter and very wise big spirit.

In the closure of our letter I love where she talks about babyfood. Really? Can't wait to see where we go from here...I'll share!

AND just after I finished posting the first draft of this blog post my music turned on on my other computer all by itself and this is what played (my favorite song of all time, whenever I hear it I have to stop and be enraptured) - which I used to watch with my kids during the holidays: The Snow Man. And after that, something completely so Jess - Ella Fitzgerald - I love when Jess sends me songs!

Happy journaling and happy holidays xo


P.S. Interesting note - the first draft was posted at 5:05, and numbers and their spiritual properties interest me, so I looked it up - it aligns so nicely with the content of the post : ) http://sacredscribesangelnumbers.blogspot.com/2011/09/angel-number-505.html

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Wearable Art Inspired By Great Artists

A Grinch and His Dog, 
Image Source for Derivative Work: Turner Entertainment Company
Original Artist: Theodor Geisel/Dr. Seuss
For years and years, on the day after Thanksgiving, which is my first favorite holiday, my husband and I have trooped off to Kuhns Christmas Tree Farm to pick out a beautiful tree to bring home to the delight of our two pups, Lil Bear and Benjamin, and especially our kitty, Joey Max. 

Christmas is my second first favorite holiday! We spend the day decorating and in the evening enjoy a glass of champagne and the glow of the lights and ornaments on the tree, along with a fire in the hearth and our favorite Christmas movies, which, of course include The GRINCH! We LOVE it!!

I love it so much that I decided to celebrate Dr. Seuss/Theodor Geisel's artistic talents with a very special Christmas cabochon necklace, wearable with lots of different colors throughout the holiday season, and even if you want to feel a little Christmas in July.

Click on the image to enlarge it.
Just plain fun!
As I designed this piece, which will be available at the Bellefonte Art Museum throughout December, I listened to the whispers of the Grinch, who said, "I'm an elegant fellow with a wild sense of humor, so choose your colors carefully, and add some fun for goodness sakes!" Hence the fringe includes fun little round blue and red balls reminiscent of the ones we love to hang on our Christmas trees, and loads of fluffy strands dressed up in their holiday best with beautiful sparkly Swarovski crystals.

Slips right over your head and likes to be worn with turtlenecks, dresses, sweaters, and smooth frocks in a rainbow of colors. 

This year's theme for artists creating gifts for the museum's Holiday Show and Sale was "Creating the New: Inspired by Great Artists."

So in keeping with this theme, Peter Rabbit showed up, saying "Pick me! Pick me!" And I did, in honor of the admirable Beatrix Potter. If you haven't seen the movie Miss Potter, it's an excellent choice for a cozy holiday evening, family friendly too.

Scoootching under the fence.
Source: American copyright for Peter Rabbit is in the Public Domain.
Original Artist: Beatrix Potter
Yep, there he is, Peter Rabbit. And I think he might be in the process of making Santa's naughty list, sneaking into Mr. McGregor's vegetable garden and all.... Uh oh. But then, rabbits will be rabbits, and Santa knows this, so perhaps he will understand.

Peter Rabbit
Peter loves all things of the beautiful earth, so he helped me choose some delicate little white flowers, leaves of various colors, and a couple of teardrop shapes for the fringe, because he doesn't feel too great about losing his beautiful blue jacket in Mr. McGregor's garden. Not to worry, mother puts Peter to bed with some camomile tea, so a little bit of love and some sweet dreams restore his energy for new adventures to come.

Sweet fringe

I can picture this necklace on someone who has children or grandchildren, and loves to sit down with them and tell the tales of Peter Rabbit and all the sweet animals Beatrix Potter brought to life with her magical stories. Don't worry if the children want to touch - this necklace can take a lot of handling, as it's strung on 10 lb FireLine, which is good and strong and will last for several generations.

Raphael's Tempi Madonna
Source: Public Domain
Okay, yes, these designs I made during the holiday season, and sometimes you just need something especially Christmasy. That's when Raphael's Tempi Madonna called to me, and said "It's about love." And there are a great many kinds of love, but the love a mother has for her child might just be one of the very greatest.

Our children can do no wrong. We love them with all of our hearts and souls, we are Madonnas, we the mothers. I love this necklace because it shows the closeness between mother and child. The protection. The bond. Somehow the Madonna brings me back to Jesus, the son who was wrenched from us all, publicly killed by the fearful powermongers, the son who never lost faith, and rose, living...living, to give us hope, and a glimpse past the veil of forgetfulness. She is most sacred to me. Of all he went through, she went through as much, and she never lost her faith. I love the Madonna in all of the depictions throughout history by the great artists.

Cleansing, healing teardrops.

The image in this cabochon necklace was painted by the master, Raphael. For the fringe, the Madonna let me know that even though she cried and cried (as all mothers do when they're not laughing and laughing), the crying was cleansing, and healing, so together we chose the color of tears in the soft gemstone drops, the healing of green, which is the color of love in the chakra energy system, and copper, which represents the transmission of thought, and healing.

She is peaceful. He is trusting. And trust is a beautiful thing. We can trust in the process of life, and know that it goes on, in realms more loving than we can even imagine here.

This Madonna is for someone who prays, and she brings great comfort. The greatest.

Other worlds depicted by Warwick Goble in The Fairy Book, 1920.
Source: Public Domain
So as our little earthly physical selves deal with things doled out such as the killing of the Christ Child, where does that take us? Why to the ethereal worlds of the magical fairy kingdoms of course. So to complement the rest of this collection for my holiday offering, the fairies came in all their beautiful astral glory, saying "Hey, what about us?!"

And we danced and worked together under the full moon, choosing the soft colors of ethereal Nature.

Flora and Fauna
We picked pale pink and green and iridescenty Czech floral beads, along with leaf-shaped leaf beads in a rainbow of colors, plus crystals, representing the light of the worlds we have yet to remember, worlds in which we belong and are welcomed. Worlds in which we can play with harm to none.

Fairy worlds.

The fairies love to party and they believe in fun. Necessary for our well-being, no matter what. It's good to make time for imagination, fun, play, laughter, and innocence. It's good to celebrate life in all its forms. This necklace is for someone who knows how to do that. And still does.

Each of these necklaces comes with a velveteen pouch for softkeeping. 

Length of the image when you have the necklace on is about mid-chest, with fringe about 4-5 inches long. Each one slips right over your head with no fussy clasps. They take between 20 and 30 hours to make, pure joy. 

What do you earn for that amount of your time? 

I try to make my prices reasonable, wish I could make them "cheap," but they're not. I strive for the highest quality possible in materials and craftsmanship, can't help it. I'm a quality girl. These won't fall apart. They're irresistible conversation starters and just plain pure treasures. Come to the museum to touch and try them on. They won't break, and you'll feel the good energies behind them, both from me and their original creators.  

Gifts for and from the heart. Happy holidays! May we celebrate them with such love, and such appreciation for our Lovies, those who are close to us now, those who've gone before us and created such beauty to keep our hearts warm and our souls inspired while we're here. Theodor Geisel, Beatrix Potter, Raphael, Warwick Goble, and all the artists who are contributing to the Holiday Show and Sale, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the beauty you spent time creating to share with us, and for inspiring us to carry on.

Carry on, with celebration and joy.


Monday, October 17, 2016

Black Cat Cabochon Long Necklace #2 is Done!

Ah, another black cat cabochon has called to me. He senses his forever home just beyond the horizon, so he's jumped up very high so he can see far and away. He likes to be out and about in the night, and stretches his back into an arch, readying himself to leap from his way up high place and gambol under the moonlight with you. According to ancient Scottish and Celtic tradition, he brings good luck and prosperity.

In the studio - becoming....
Late at night he helps me choose sparkly soft purple, inky black, and shiny bronze seed beads for the peyote stitch border around him. Inky black and transparent purple Swarovski crystals twinkle among the seed beads creating the fringe, tipped with dark purple and shiny black Czech dagger beads.

Yes, he likes it!
He's ready to set off on adventures with you, and likes to be taken to museums and gallery shows, parties, and places where he will be noticed and talked about. He also has a cuddly, domestic side, and is happy going shopping with you, or just hanging around the house. He really loves a nice, long walk in the woods, too.

He's not fussy about what you wear. He likes blue jeans and a t-shirt just as much as a long, slinky dress with heels. He's not too particular about color either, and will purr nicely against blues, purples, shades of black, gray, white, cream, and even a hot, bright orange. 

He's got moxy.
He loves to play.
And he loves being the center of attention, right in the middle of your chest, like a little protective shield.

* * *

Diameter of cabochon with bordering beads - 2 inches

Length of pendant with fringe - 5 and 5/8 inches

Necklace strap is 24 inches - slips right over your head and pendant hangs at mid-chest 

Comes in a black velveteen pouch for softkeeping.

Sewn with 10 lb FireLine, he's a great conversation piece and a joy that'll last for generations.

He'll be available at the Green Drake Gallery throughout October, 2016 and through the holiday season. After that, he may be found at Dreamkeeper Creations online.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Black Cat Cabochon Necklace is done! Meooooowzers!

Mysterious black kitty sits under the full moon
Many superstitions surround the black cat in all areas of the world. Having Celtic and Scottish roots, my family loves them greatly, and as long as I can remember one of us has always had one or more. We believe they bring good luck and prosperity, along with lots of cuddly love.

So to celebrate my love of the black cat, I made this glass cabochon necklace using a gorgeous image of a fluffy black cat silhouetted against the beautiful full moon. He is especially fitting to acknowledge the holiday time of Halloween, or All Hallows' Eve, in late October.

What could be more fun than dressing up in witchy costumes, carving pumpkins, bobbing for apples, eating and drinking everything pumpkin-spiced, watching favorite holiday movies (Witches of Eastwick, Sleepy Hollow, Hocus Pocus, Fairy Tale: A True Story) and gathering with friends and family to toast the harvest and welcome the sweet storytime of winter's long, dark evenings and freezing winds?

Fluffy fringe!
The fringe on this piece blends the soft, moody blue and purple colors of the cosmos with shiny black and a touch of champagne gold, to bring out kitty's beautiful eyes. The gold of the Swarovski crystals sparkles along with the twinkle of small, inky black faceted crystals. The fringe tips include beautiful Czech black glass, iridescent purply-blue glass, and bright gold.

Fringe tails all spread out
Here he is.
I will try to get better photos - today the sun was really golden and washing out my pics. Need a bit of a cloudy day to do the colors justice. But here he is! Meowzers for all those who loooove black cats!

Diameter of Cabochon with bordering beads - 2 inches

Length of pendant with fringe - 5 and 3/8 inches

Necklace strap is 22 1/2 inches - hangs mid-chest (slips over your head with no pesky clasps)

Wear with blue jeans, solid color shirts and dresses, and definitely a really wonderful costume! He's a conversation piece that will last through several generations.

He will be available at Dreamkeeper Creations til he finds his forever home, unless he finds himself irrevocably attached to me! (In which case I will make another one for you : )

Happy Halloween!


Saturday, October 8, 2016

Knife Stabs and Lemonade at Halloween

My favorite witch
It was late. I'd worked on my beautiful cat cabochon necklace for hours, and then decided sort of spontaneously to get into the holiday spirit by getting out my Halloween decorations. I don't subscribe to the "let's make every holiday Christmas and decorate the hell out of everything attitude," but I do like a couple of things around to acknowledge "All Saint's Day," which has many different types of celebration and commemoration. It is the day we acknowledge the world of Spirit.

I love witches, their history, their mystery, and the good work that they do. My husband and I have favorite Halloween movies and shows that we watch, including The Good Witch, Hocus Pocus, Witches of Eastwick, Fairy Tale: A True Story, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and others. It's just what we do.

So I went down into our basement to bring my witches upstairs and my little purple furry bat and my paper pumpkin dangle pull-string doll that I like to hang on the front door, but I forgot that we had a basement flood and everything was moved in a frenzy to get things out of the water several weeks ago.

I stood in the basement next to the Christmas ornament tubs on the shelves, and put my finger to my lips, wondering where my pink tupperware tub of witches was. It used to be right on the floor next to the Christmas ornaments.

I thought maybe I'd forgotten, and they weren't in a pink tub. And I opened the lid of a big plastic tub which held my daughter's cheerleading pompoms and outfits and I spun around, reeling - oh! Oh! That was not my witches.

So I realized they might be in the next basement room and walked through the semi-darkness into the area where we had put all the tubs full of my daughter's sacred things. They had been stacked against the wall in the driest spot, safe from floods, and I discovered they were piled atop with all kinds of other things, one of which flipped my heart right over.

It was something her birth father "created" in 2001 when he'd taken her for a major haircut. It was a stupid box picture frame with her photo in it and a long, long ponytail of her beautiful hair. Jess had said when he gave it to her that she thought it was kind of creepy. And when she sorted out her stuff in the basement one year while visiting, she had put it in a bag for the trash pile. He'd installed a brass plaque with the date, along with her ponytail and I picked it up and flipped it upside down and it made a very satisfying thump. But my heart thumped along with it. What the hell do you do with something like this when your beautiful daughter has passed? It is not right to put it into the trash. And it would kill me to hang it up somewhere, "Oh I have my daughter's hair but I don't have her!" I couldn't do that.

So in the wee hours of the night I brought it upstairs and took it apart. I didn't care about the stupid brass plaques, I kept the beautiful photo, and I took the ponytail out. Oh so beautiful and oh such sparkly suncatching hair so soft. I took off the damn velcro around the ponytail and I made a new ponytail with my soft little tiny rubber bands and I wove two love braids, a big one, and a little one.

Beautiful sparkles, which I'm sure she's still sparkling
I tried hard not to curse my ex-husband for making me do this. I tried to make it a beautiful experience, yet more caretaking of what my daughter no longer needs. Owie. Love braids.

I had some volunteer snapdragons that had grown by the doorway of my studio and I picked some.

Volunteer sunshine happiness
Sonofabitch. So I wrapped her beautiful ponytail in soft paper towels and with my collection of beautiful snapdragons I went, as dawn was rising, into the backyard and walked to our peach tree where we had sat as the sun set in the evenings, on the grass, drinking wine and talking during her last visit home.

The walk was supported by my little yard fauna and fellows.

My beautiful fern and hosta friends encouraged me to keep going.
My buddy
My little gnome gave me encouragement to keep going.

I kneeled on the ground and felt my knees get wet with dew. I inhaled the beautiful fragrance of the earth, oh so sweet, and dug a hole. And put flowers in. And put her beautiful hair in. And covered it up. And put flowers on top.

Flowers guarding
And I said a prayer.

And I got up with the dawn rising and the mists all around me and I was comforted by beautiful flowers on the way back.
Sweet flowers on the way back
Sweet garden friends on the way back
And I said to myself, "It's okay. It's okay."

Life in all its stages
And it is. Life blossoms, and it makes seeds, and seeds grow to blossom again.

Young witch
Old witch
Flying witch
Peace in the night
So we have put yet some more painful things to rest and tried to create ceremony and beauty around that. Yes I kept a tiny lock of her beautiful sparkly hair and put it in my treasure box. 

And I slept a lot.

And now we turn our attention to other stories of the season - Leprechauns, Fairies, and Dreams.


Sweet relief
Thank goodness for all who work in the realms of happiness. Even amidst our sorrows. When we have lemons, we make lemonade.

We can do hard things.