Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Kindred Spirits

Jess's beautiful photo of Mt. Hood
with a poem I absolutely adore.
Click on the image to enlarge it and
read the beautiful poem.

So I had a thought tonight. It is the wee hours of morning with light thunder rumbling softly, kind of romantic. I've just gone to bring my kitty in from the porch so he's now happily sprawled out across a little bit of catnip I sprinkled on the floor.

The thought that came to my mind was a response to some feelings I have as so many new babies come into the world to people I know and love. It also relates to the parental relationship and my life as a child, an adolescent, and an adult.

The thought:

"And what is it to bring a child into this world who can love? Does it matter who they love, or why they love, or how they love? Or simply that they love? Especially when they love someone who really needs it. Someone imperfect. Someone who may not be able to properly receive or return their love.

We are all here to experience and express love and sometimes we learn what love isn't before we are able to define and express the love within us. Sometimes we earn our wisdom by exploring what love isn't. Sometimes we learn that at home, and sometimes out in the world. Sometimes both. We may think we don't welcome this learning, but as we progress through it, which can be quite painful, we find, as we grow, that it can lead us to a most beautiful place in our hearts, and ultimately, in the world.

Because what we do with our learning and how we respond is what builds our character. It is what makes us who we are. That is our freedom and our choice, as individuals."

I am learning to recognize the twinkly eyes that are a sure tipoff of someone who understands love, someone loving, someone who loves not only the world itself, but its peoples and creatures too.

If I become very wise, I hope that I may be able to let the twinkle shine out of my eyes and my heart so that others can recognize it. So that they will know they're kindred spirits, safe with me.

Namaste

Saturday, April 22, 2017

The Sacred Stone

Sacred Stone made a gazillion years ago by sweet Mother Earth
With permission from my special friend I want to share a story of creation with you. I'm feeling very blessed, surprised, pleased, and joyful that over the past couple of years, this year especially, my activities have strongly taken a turn into directions that are more fulfilling than I ever imagined they could be.

I love a new project. I love beginnings. I love working with people, being creative with them, and helping to bring their personal visions into a form they can hold in their hands, wear close to their hearts, and gain confirmation and strength from.

Imagine for a moment the start of a new project. The dream.

"Hi Jen, I'm going to send you inspiration photos for a necklace I'm going to commission." That's how this began, a conversation with 3,000 miles separating us, but the magic was already starting to happen.

My friend - I cannot call her a client, and I cannot call her a customer, for in hearing the stories behind the reasons most people invest in my work, gorgeous relationships are born, and they are so precious - sent  several images of mystical, magical worlds through my Facebook feed. I thought, as I drank my tea after waking up to start my day, how wonderful to explore each one and soak up the essence of this woman - part gypsy, part warrior, part movie star, part gentle lover of all things vulnerable - her dreams, her challenges, her hopes, wins, losses, her inexorable climb. What a fascinating and somehow strengthening way to spend my time, orienting myself to her vision.

I am learning my audience, and like the roots of the trees in the forest, we connect, we communicate, we find the kindred nourishment that feeds our souls. It is in some ways humbling, and at times resoundingly glorious. 

Here, I must apologize because I'm about to break a rule. I want very much to share a few of these images with you, but I don't have the names of the artists who created the works. If anyone does know, please send along any info, I'm more than happy to include credit where it is due. I've decided to break this rule because the importance of sharing the process with you is greater than the rule, and in any case, in time, I may be able to remedy that with some research. But for now, take a step into a tiny bit of the collection of works that help a woman to define herself, to feed her soul, to stay strong despite her challenges.


Fox Woman/Medicine Woman
My beautiful friend has gorgeous red hair, when she isn't wearing it blue or purple, and she has strong Nordic ancestry lines.


Portal to other worlds
She has an awareness of other worlds, having experienced a near death event when she was young. The details of that event are a gift to her from Spirit, to keep her strong on her journeys. She said to me "I remember hovering over my body, and was startled at the acknowledgment that it was mine! Long story short, I went through some kind of tunnel and came to a blue/grey place of knowledge. All information was accessed instantly, and communication was telepathic. All questions answered. Everything was there...."

She said, "...I made a decision to come back for my [family member], and it was one of the toughest choices that I can recall, as once you see/feel pure love and frequency like that, it's hard to separate with. I was told it would hurt, and it did."


Worlds within worlds
She sent me this picture, which to me speaks of the depths inside seemingly innocuous portals of ourselves. As we go about life, we experience all kinds of things that help us plumb them to collect wisdom.


We run.
She sent me worlds that capture the urgency of our internal missions, sometimes we know not where or why we run, but we run. Sometimes we run towards something, and sometimes away from something. We run, even standing still.


Allies.
And we are not alone. We have allies and one of our greatest powers is to know who and what and where our allies are. They can take many forms. They may be people, animals, plants, birds, fish, places, activities or practices. Our allies keep us strong.

So these are some of the glimpses into the worlds this beautiful woman inhabits while she is working, doing ordinary chores, loving, living. Being her Self. I tucked them into my heart and mind. I recognize many of these worlds, having my own versions of them, as I might hazard a guess, you do too.

She said, "I had a vision once of a deep, abundant waterfall that poured from my heart, and pooled into my diaphragm. This gave me strength and clarity to my words and clear insight that cuts like a sword and illuminated the dark and taps into the sacred. I hope that helps. Like an insightful, healing, protective necklace."

What wonderful information to receive as we're beginning her one-of-a-kind creation! Wow, what artist wouldn't be thrilled running with that?!

So over the years, I've collected beautiful cabochons from places all over the globe, and I have vendors that I like who are located also all over the globe. We knew this would be a gemstone necklace. 

I looked through my cabs, feeling the tugs of all of them as they appealed to me to work on them - everything in good time, and I may need a lot of it, and I sent her photos of some of the ones that had strong energies, the right colors, and captured various parts of her vision.

I am careful when I send things for my peeps to consider and dream on, because I know that too many choices create confusion. I try to get it pretty close. 


Jasper/agate with a bit of quartz
This jasper/agate cab has very strong energies and is very beautiful, also it was close to her colors, but in my mind I didn't think it had the composition that would be just right for her. But I sent the photo for her to consider.


Gorgeous labradorite
This labradorite cabochon is beautiful, and captures the waterfall she spoke of, but I didn't feel it was the strongest for her because it was a bit limited in composition. I think it would appeal more to someone who is very attached to the sea. Also, for her, it was a bit small. But I sent her the photo to dream on.


Seraphinite - Angel Wings
This stunning cab is called seraphinite and we both fell in love with it. I told her I'd need to order it and it had to travel all the way from India. We loved the colors and the spiritual properties of this gemstone, and secretly, before she made her decision I went ahead and ordered it because I want to wear it xo. I was ready to let her have it if she decided that way, but if not, oh so special for me.

And there were a few others. But then I knew I had to do something I wasn't sure I wanted to do. I had the blue/grey world cab in my stash and I had thought when I first bought it that it would be mine. But I knew I had to show it to her, so I did. 


Agate cabochon next to labradorite with quarter showing size
I sent her the photo and yep! That was the one! The blue/grey world of knowledge, the memory sparker for her allies who are always with her. A cab that, when she looks at it, she can climb right into and walk around. It has mountains on the right, deep waters in the middle, moss and grasses and clouds and fog. And the darkness of the void, from which all creativity springs. It is her cab. 

My husband and I watched a science series on BBC the other night (probably no accident coming across that info and material) and it took us through the processes of our beautiful Earth as she creates all different kinds of gemstones. Some of them are literally millions of years old, and have been through the pressures of heat and life, and some are created deep in the bowels of the Earth but come to the surface for our discovery through various Earth movements, storms, and upheaval. A gemstone cab is a very special gift of Earth when we get to be caretakers for awhile.

There was a bit more for us to talk about as she made her decision. "In your opinion," she said, "which cab do you think would be the best balance, energy, and design?"

And because I want my peeps to be very much a part of the decision making process, I told her the beautiful agate was the perfect size, and carved such that it would take this particular beading process very well, but I sent her the links to information available about gemstones themselves. They have properties, energetic, scientific, healing, history, etc. And one of my favorite sites for this info is Shimmerlings - doesn't that website name just tickle your fancy? So I sent her the info about agate, which is a wonderful grounding stone with energetic properties that support her vision. Shimmerlings rocks! They have a section for scientific, metaphysical, healing, magical, and zodiac information for each type of gemstone.

So she had some homework to do, since I sent her a bit of info on a couple of the other cabs she was interested in, but after she checked into it, the beautiful agate cab won.

And that is where some more fun begins!!

I have enough beads to open a sizeable store, but with each project, usually some special things are needed, so I get to go research my vendors (of which there are about 20 all over the globe, no, Michael's doesn't cut it), and find just the right colors and shapes and sizes and sparkleness. Oh it is so fun.

Some of my peeps like "process photos," and so I sent her photos of the beads as they arrived. I did as much work on the cab as I could with what I had on hand, but I wanted very subtle color, just the right color, pulled right out of the cab itself, so I had to wait for these beauties to arrive. Argh, the waiting. At least other projects get done in the meantime.

At last they started arriving in my mailbox. Joy!


My drafting table starts to get covered with little dishes of just the right colors.
Fringe tips! (Czech Republic)
Border beads!
Swarovski crystals!
The fringe tips were the last to arrive, having come a very long way - I have to find vendors who don't have a ridiculously high minimum, but carry the selection of colors I want, and have it in stock - the dark blue was quite the quest to find, and very important for the piece. My envelope came stamped with a million beautiful floral stamps all the way from Russia for some of the beads. I should've saved it, but I'm trying to be over that at this point. So pretty.

At last I could say to her, "Okay baby. I'm going to start this right after I finish my current commission. Should be done in a couple of weeks. Do you want me to send you photos along the way?" And she said, "YES!"

So I did. And that is always a risk. Like looking at a painting before it's finished - it doesn't all come together til it is in context with its whole self, kind of like human beings. 


A little vulnerable....
I sent her a photo when I was about half done - and the white backing is showing, and the fringe is only half done and the piece had quite a bit of vulnerability about it. My hubby said to me he couldn't see the vision then, and had some doubt about it, but in my heart I knew.

Fringe tips - Earth and blue/grey world colors!
I sent her a photo of the fringe tips as they started to encompass the weight and flow of the design.


Almost there....
I sent her a photo when the piece was nearly done, backing still showing, but her fluffiness is definitely expressing itself!


Protection.
I sent her a photo of how the design wanted to express itself in the form of a shield, with bronze beads echoing the beauty of the cab.


Incubation
And I sent her the photo of when the last step begins, where I've trimmed off all the extraneous material and the soft, black Ultrasuede is being glued onto the back, in preparation for sewing the border around to finish it. Waiting for the glue to set takes patience, and I was chomping at the bit to work on the rest of it!


Magical Blue/Grey World Sacred Necklace
At last I could finish the backing border and the whole piece came together. Blue/grey world that she can climb into whenever she feels the need for a little piece of her heaven, her allies, peace, and beauty. 

Because of her vision, the fringe begins with blue for the communication chakra, goes to green for the heart chakra, and flows into black, the source of all creation. The colors are subtle, because I wanted to preserve the cabochon itself as the focal point. So outside in the sunshine you can distinguish the colors, but in various indoor localities, it is very quiet.

She's gonna rock it and if I'm very, very lucky, she'll send me a photo of her wearing it. And if you're very, very lucky, she'll let me share it with you!

So that is one story of creation that I'm pleased to be able to share with you. Thanks for your interest in the story. 

I dearly love my work. Thank you for my blessings angels, spirits, my muses, and my Creative Source. Thank you Lovie peeps for the sweet journeys we take together. 

Namaste,
Jen

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Arms Wide Open - Overcoming Devastating Grief

There is something that happened to me in the second year after my daughter made her transition to her Celestial home. I call it "Arms Wide Open."

Click on CREED singing Arms Wide Open to enjoy the good energies while you're reading xo

Jess in the Pergola writing, enjoying some evening wine,
and on her phone, of course : )
While Jess was with us, healing for 4 months, she used to love to sit outside in the pergola by the pool. She would take her journal there and write in the evenings. She'd call friends and be on the phone. I could be in the kitchen cooking dinner or working in my studio (if I wasn't with her) and see her. And love her. She was right there, I was cooking, I knew how to love her.

After she died I'd look out the back door at the pergola and remember having her so near. Near enough to touch. To talk with. To cook for.

I'd put my forehead on the cold glass of the window in the back door and rest it there and sometimes tears would come and my heart would feel squeezed. Owie.

Then one day I realized, like a lightbulb going on in my head and heart - she is here, she is everywhere, she IS love, she is surrounded by love. 


Arms Wide Open
And I turned away from the door and put my hand on my heart, feeling her love, and I walked across my kitchen with my arms wide open in the air, feeling her love beams coming down.

She has all of the things I apply to myself as I navigate life. She has Spirit Guides. She has a Higher Self. She has past lives. She has future lives. She has her "now." She is held in the dearest arms of love at all times. She's had a thousand children, and she'll have a thousand more, as she chooses. She's been married. She's been a conqueror. She's been a slave. She's been a savior. She's been winner and loser. She may be in her Celestial home with her love of all loves right now. She is a BIG spirit, ancient and rejuvenating, regenerating and coming back for more adventures here when she chooses to. She is wise. She is more, so much more than "just" my beautiful sweet Jess. She comes, she goes, she is eternal like all of us. And like all of us she IS, WAS, and ALWAYS WILL BE.

I count my relationship with her as sacred and wonderful. She owns her journey, and I am so honored to be a part of it.

I walked through the living room, through my house, with my arms wide open, so very appreciative of the home where she now lives, the home where we ALL go. The home we come from. Where else would anyone want to be after a job well done?

Wow. It was quite a revelation.

So sometimes when my little ego self looks out to the pergola and I think about putting my forehead against the door again, my spirit self reminds me to touch my heart and I spread my arms, and I feel filled up with love.

Arms Wide Open.

XO

Namaste,
Jen

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Kick out Negativity and Germs with Cleansing, Saging, Smudging

Yeah, this feather's gonna be beeeeautiful!
I made my first really special smudging/saging feather about 8 years ago. Have been doing the ceremony for years. It feels good and brings excellent results. My feather is still as beautiful as the day I made it, but I've learned a lot and the beading skills have grown.

We can sage our environment from pollutants and bacteria. We can sage our Selves from negativity and stress. 


The ceremony has beautiful origins in many cultures. My favorite is the Native American culture. Here's a great video on how they perform it and what it does for the body.


And there are many links to scholarly articles on the scientific reasons behind why and how burning sage and other materials clean bacteria out of the environment.


So I've always felt it is a very special ceremony. Great that we have backup and knowledge of why it works. Try it. There's nothing more lovely than the sweet fragrance of burning sage - it answers some primal attraction in our systems. It fills us up. It heals. It calms and soothes.


One of the things I love to make, with spirit pouring through me is Saging/Smudging Feathers. 


The photo above shows the one I'm currently working on, which will have a bunch of colors and gorgeous fringe tips. It'll be for sale first through Spirit Junction, and then through Dreamkeeper Creations on Etsy if it doesn't find its forever home at the Spirit Junction get together, but I have a hunch it might find its home pretty quickly. 


It's a bit of a contemporary statement based in ancient tradition. This feather includes badger fur, and badger represents the right use of aggression. Sometimes we need to be able to express this quality, and sometimes we don't. Knowing when it's useful is all about the feather in its relationship with the Talking Stick - which I'll save for another post.


This feather is an "all color" feather, one that is asking me to make it fun. So the patterns will be as crazy as the beads tell me they want it to be. And the colors will encompass the rainbow and more subtle shades in-between.



The handle is becoming.
I've learned something new with my Saging Feathers and that is to make the handle much fatter so that I can attach more fringe tails. You know I'm a fringe fan from the get-go. So this feather has a nice double wrap of soft leather, snugging up to the strip of badger fur. Once I'm done, you won't see the leather anymore, it'll be a gorgeous stretch of spiral peyote stitch - yum!

Update - I'm attaching a few photos of the finished Zig-Zag Rainbow Spiral Saging Feather. Wowzers!


The whole feather
Detail of the handle and the little collar of golden beads
Detail of the fringe tips
Other fringe tips showing
I'll show you my newest finished feather. It's a little beauty for sure. 


Immature hawk feather with cream, gold, and brown.
This is one of the feathers I bought from Robert Wills at Sunrise Trading Post. Robert Wills painted the feathers used in Dances with Wolves, since they couldn't use real ones because endangered species are protected and most of our larger beautiful birds are endangered at this point, though some are making quite a comeback. I love the movie Dances with Wolves, and what a coup for Robert Wills! Very talented guy.

I also get my fur scraps from him. He provides many materials for true Native Americans who attend PowWows and dress traditionally. This requires fur and other natural materials and Robert saves the scraps that are leftover and makes them available to other artists. This is how I get my fluff on my sacred feathers! Thanks Robert, and thanks animals for letting us give new life to what you no longer need.


The feather above has fox fur on it, along with beautiful glass seed beads in brown, cream, and coppery/gold. 



Fringe tips on this beautiful Saging Feather
This feather is very earthy, so it asked for tips that would reflect that. It sports a little gnome, wearing tan clothing and carrying a green sack of goodies, a tiger's eye bear, a pearl Zuni bear, a hand-painted African carved wooden bead, a jasper bead, a tiger's eye bear and round bead, a porcelain bead, and some excellent quality Czech glass beads.

It's sewn with 10 lb FireLine and the fringe is done with 4 lb Fireline, giving it long-lasting strength and resilience. I know you're going to want to touch and fondle the fringe and your fingers will move over the handle a million times, so I make sure to use materials that are top of the line and will last for a long, long time so you can feel comfortable using your feather.



There she is.
Here's a photo of this feather in all her glory. Lovely, earthy, gorgeous.

I'm doing a fair number of commission orders for these. I sell a set which includes the feather, 3 bundles of fragrant sage and cedar, and an abalone shell for $70 - $80. Some people prefer just to get the feather alone if they have the other materials, and the feathers run between $50 and $65 depending on size and materials. Others like to get a Talking Stick to go with their feather, but that's another sweet story, I'll post about it.




Commission Order
Fringe tips on this Saging Feather
When you want a custom feather done, you get to choose the colors and the feather gets to choose the tips. The feather tells me what it wants. This customer got a beautiful coyote for humor, a bear for introspection, some hand carved African beads, agate, amethyst, bamboo coral, a Czech floral bead, and a Czech dagger bead. The gemstone beads carry their energies and contribute a lot to the overall feeling and effects of using the decorated feather, it's very personal to the one who owns it and performs ceremony with it. Sometimes I can feel the energy of the owner as I'm making a feather even if I've never met them!

I feel like if you're going to spend time in sacred, private, sometimes shared with friends and Lovies ceremony, you should have the best quality, most beeeautiful feather to do it with! 


Thanks to all my Lovies who've purchased their sacred feathers. And thanks for all the interest from those who might like to have one!


It takes me about two days to make these feathers. What distinguishes them from others that are less expensive is that they're "finished" properly, as I try to do with all my beadwork. The area at the neck of the handle is decorated and softly transitions between the 11/0 beads to 15/0 beads, to the fur. And there's no fur caught in the beads (ouch)! My feathers are in good shape, not all tattered. And the fringe is an added bonus. You can hold it in your hand as you're saging and it feels good! These little touches of quality add time, but I think it's well worth it. 

Cleansing in all its forms is GOOD. 


Thanks for visiting and reading about Saging/Smudging. Hope you take it on as a little time spent with yourself to clear away the cares of the day and perhaps share your ceremony with your Lovies too. Happy saging!


Namaste,

Jen

Friday, February 3, 2017

LGBT Shining On! Story behind my bracelet design.

Spirits Rising LGBT Design by Yours Truly xo
Like champagne bubbles rising, my little seed bead rainbow spirits float against a backdrop of inky blackness - the "void" or "nothingness" from which every single thing arises - it is the playground of our Creative Source, where dreams reside, and thoughts waft along, looking for reality in matter.

I've been wearing this bracelet for a little while since I finished it, and it's always a good sign if I want to wear something I've made. I wish I could capture the way it sparkles in the dim light of evening. I can't help but admire it, and I feel honored that spirit worked through me to create it. As an artist, I consider myself a "tool," or "vehicle."

I might keep this one, which means I need to make another one - and I will also sell the pattern so other beaders can make it for whomever might want one. 


How it started....
The design of this bracelet is based on my very favorite people of our beautiful Earth, the Pomo Indians. I researched their culture when I did a bunch of illustrations for their ancient stories, which include their "prehistorical" migration from Lemuria to California and Hawaii. Note the Hawaiian image on the quarter I chose to show the size of the bracelet in the first photo xo.

I've worked with their designs before in my watercolor borders and found myself completely stumped because they can't be fit into 1/4 inch graph paper. It can't be done. I found myself wondering while I was doing this bracelet - How did they create designs without a chart? How did they figure out which colors went where without a pattern to work from? They must have had genius brains - really. 

Did they work in sunlight? Outside with those tiny beads? Did they work by firelight? Did they work by feel? Sometimes I do. How did they handle interruptions? What did they spread their beads out upon? I have special Chinese porcelain dishes in which I put each color and I've labeled them with a sharpie marker for pattern work, A, B, C, D, E, F, G. How did they do it? I'd love to know. Is there an Elder anywhere who can tell me?


Beads on the loom....
This is how it looks to me while I'm sewing. I'm getting good at it and I think of all the beaders and quilters and anyone who's worked with six feet of thread. The challenges and the teaching of your fingers on where to hold, where to pull, where to tighten, what to watch, what to pick, they are all so much appreciated and respected by me now. Working with long, long thread means you have to pull your right arm out about ten thousand times and ibuprophen is much appreciated. I keep telling myself my muscles will get used to this and I find that the only thing to alleviate the pain is to do it again and loosen it up with use - kind of like exercise.


Comfort.
This is my pattern. I created it with help from above, and follow it diligently. It is like a song to say the letters out loud, which is what I have to do to get it right. It's satisfying and there's much joy in watching the design appear in color before your eyes, under your hands.


One border done, yay!
This bracelet asked me to balance it with beautiful rainbow colors on one side and black on the other. I love the point where it comes off the loom and I get to work up the borders. Aren't they sweet? I call it "polish." It's one of the things that distinguishes my work from other cuff bracelet artists - finesse - a good finish.
Details, details!
I love how the sweet clasp turned out. Six rings to hold it and six rainbow colors to fill them. Adorables!


The COST.
This bracelet has special meaning for me and I would hazard a guess, for many others. I made it because I am ANGRY at the politics of today and the rampant judgment of others. I have so many people in my life whom I love with all my heart who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender/transvestite - I LOVE them!! 

So with this bracelet I am declaring this and it is my announcement that we do not have the right to judge other people. Earth is a planet of free will and if we are living without harm to others what judgment is there for the love we express? 

AND I will just say that all those who do judge will find themselves in their next lives, yes reincarnation is real, becoming that which they judge so they can learn. HA! Enjoy it folks, hope things are a lot more peaceful when you get to experience it.

Not preaching, just sayin'. It's a fact folks, and not "alternative." Two-thirds of the world knows what we've been hoodwinked to disbelieve. 


Spirits Rising, oh yes.
So here it is. My statement. Elegant. Sparkly. Quality materials. Meaningful design. Some of the very best work I do.

I'm thinking I'll keep it. And make another for you, and make the pattern available at Dreamkeeper Creations, I'm getting good at patterns, yay.

Namaste all,
Jen



  

Friday, January 27, 2017

Fairy Dust Seed Bead Bracelet is done! Woot!!

Fairy Dust Bracelet
Wow, this sweet bracelet is all finished, and when I put it on, it feels so elegant and soft. It's got great energy. I'm very excited about learning how to do this on my loom!

I need to tell you the difference between my bracelets and others you might find. If you do a search on Etsy for "seed bead cuff bracelets," you'll come up with items ranging from $16 to $600.  I've been working to create beautiful bracelets that are different from the others you might come across. What makes mine different is that I'm a quality girl. I strive very hard to make bracelets that will last and last through generations. That you can trust.

Borders protect the outside thread.
For example, in the photo above you see the "raw edge" of the loom piece on the left bottom, and many, if not most, bead artists consider their bracelets finished at this point. One of the reasons I don't stop at this point is that wherever there's thread exposed to friction, a weak point is created. The thread becomes vulnerable to breakage over time. When I add a border, which you see happening on the right-hand side, the beads provide a strong buffer.

Also, I'm fussy about my edges looking as beautiful as the piece itself, so I don't like to see unfinished borders that are a little bit uneven. The border adds sweetness and strength to the bracelet, and it takes more time, and more beads, but I think it's well worth it. When you purchase one of my pieces, you're investing in quality, and I appreciate that, and know you will too.

The other thing that makes my bracelets different from many you'll find is that I have quite a lot of experience with different kinds of clasps. Many artists finish these kinds of cuff bracelets with a toggle clasp or a clasp that goes down to one point and allows the attachment of an "extender." When you have an extender, you have something that's going to tap your desk and tangle in things when you're doing stuff, and it's another thing that creates either irritation or a "weak point," though it allows makers to sell bracelets that will fit different wrist sizes. I'd rather make it to fit and get to know my customers. Don't hesitate to contact me, I'm a real person behind these little beauties and all are handmade by me, no other manufacturers involved.

And one other thing that makes my bracelets unique is that I don't copy. I don't grab a Klimt or some other artist's work and make my design based on theirs. I have plenty of inspiration that comes straight from the Source. If you have some artist's work that you like and you want something representational, I can do that, but I'm careful to be inspired and not copy. No copying E V E R.

I invest in sterling silver strong magnet slider clasps and they're somewhat expensive, but they're trustworthy. They hold the bracelet close to your wrist and they're really easy to get on and off. I know peeps don't wear their bracelets as often as they might like if they're a hassle to get on and off. So easy on/off is important to me.

Sterling silver slider clasp.
 I've also learned to add pretty details to the clasp such as beads that sit on top of each ring for decoration. So not only is it functional, it's also beautiful. So this bracelet does have a "front" and a "back," and it's easy to put it on so the pretty side of the clasp shows.

It's so soft.
What I like about this style of cuff bracelet is that it's really soft and flows right around your wrist without a lot of weight or heat. In the winter it's great to wear thicker cuff bracelets, but in the hotter months you'll appreciate the airiness of this style.

Right now I'm making several that are about an inch wide, like this one.

Bracelet is folded but shows the width. 
I also make them up to about 2 and 1/2 inches wide, which feels light, elegant, and allows more room for patterning.

Yep, this could be yours.
These are fairly affordable at between $45 and $60 for a one inch wide design, materials (some beads are more expensive than others and I love the silver lined ones!), and pattern. I'll be making some very pink ones and donating a portion of my income to breast cancer research, and I'll be making some gorgeous LGBT rainbow bracelets. These are for adult women who want something that makes a statement but softly.

I looked on Etsy at other seed bead cuff bracelets, especially the LGBT things that are available and I feel proud of my work in comparison (benchmarking is good, quality is GOOD) - if you check out what else is available, notice the materials, what's going to give out or break? Leather, unprotected borders, will the clasp be hard to do up or irritating to wear, was my bracelet made in a sweatshop overseas? Is glue used? Glue fails where sewing with FireLine doesn't.

Fairy Dust is exactly 7 inches long. If you measure your wrist with a piece of string you'd want about a 1/4 of an inch of space, so for this bracelet to fit properly you would want a measurement of 6 - 6 and 3/4 inches.

It's made with 4lb FireLine, which does not biodegrade like "thread" or "string." Each ring of the clasp had six entries and exits so that's a lot of poundage for endurance in the clasp.

I'm taking this one to my workshop in March unless someone really wants it before then, in which case I'll be making several more anyway. They take about two days between other tasks. It's all I ever want to do - be at my drafting/beading table in a beautiful sunbeam or watching the rain or snow, with a movie or some great music in the background, b e a d i n g.

So pretty, so satisfying, so soft, so elegant.

Check out the competition and then come back to me. I love to work on commissions - making a design especially for you or one of your Lovies. Am happy to order the colors you want, make the size and width you want. Give you something you'll be proud to wear. Truly, when you put this on, it just feels sooooooo good!

Thanks for visiting! As I get more done they'll find their way to Dreamkeeper Creations, and if you'd like to contact me you can reach me at dreamkeepercreations@gmail.com.

Namaste,
Jen




Monday, January 23, 2017

Communion with my Dear Departed

Godbeams, one of Jess's beautiful photos xo

So I took a very simple four-lesson course in meditation because I like to practice it in different ways, and I got to the last lesson, in which the facilitator, Sara Wiseman, gives us a chance to have contact with our dear departed loved ones. I was looking forward to this lesson because I love writing with Jess, but I still miss her presence and wanted to see if we could connect on a higher level. This is a little deeper than "air talk," which, I think we all do with our Lovies who've moved on.

In her short course, available through DailyOM, Sara provides an overview of each of four meditation sessions, conducted for different purposes, and after each overview she provides guidance during the meditation period, which lasts between 10 and 20 minutes.

For this last lesson her overview was full of cautions. Various practitioners and facilitators handle the unwanted intrusion of uninvited "lower-level" spirits in different ways, by creating a blessed "safe zone," opening the session and closing it carefully, and through other techniques, generally using light and love.

Lisa's technique for keeping the highest vibrations possible during contact in order to avoid "lookie-loos," or spirits that we don't know and have no personal connection with, is to advise us to always take one of our known guides with us during this type of communication (whom we get to meet in her initial lessons) and to ask them to intervene if uninvited spirits should try to communicate with us.

I do not like fear. And I always find this part of meditational guidance somewhat intimidating. Especially because Sara was extra cautionary and provided a bit more detail than I was interested in on what can happen if you don't take a guide along. She's very matter of fact about it and assures us that we can send away any unwanted spirits. We are always more powerful than they are because we are both spirit and matter, and they have to abide by our requests to not bother us - it's Cosmic law that they cannot interfere without provocation on the Earth plane.

But there's always the possibility of opening up avenues that we do not want open if our own vibration levels are not as high and pure as we would like them to be. Basically the way to keep them as high as possible is very simple: harm none. We can have negative emotions such as anger, sadness, guilt, regret, and all kinds of things, but we stay most pure when we do not act on them. When we act on them by harming others in any way, we lower our own vibration. "Like" attracts "like," so when our vibrations are high we draw only the highest kinds of communication.

Okay. I was missing my daughter, so I thought to myself, hey, this is worth it. We've been writing letters and they've been so very beautiful and full of love with no problems whatsoever, I'm just going to go ahead and try this.

Deep breath.

I sat quietly with a small candle lit, and slowly climbed the steps inside my mind to the highest vibration possible, and there I became aware that my Grandfather guide was with me. Oh he is so beautiful that every time I see him I feel all filled up with love just to know that an entity that pure exists. He is strong, reverent, quiet, and his love is absolute and abiding. I love him so much and I trust him implicitly. It is soooo comforting to KNOW that he has been with me for ages and will continue to be.

So, following Sara's guidance, I asked him to oversee the communication between my daughter and myself as I wanted to contact her. I asked him to please handle any intrusions. He telepathically let me know he absolutely would and I was safe to continue.

So I invited my daughter to come and visit with me, and you know if you've read any of our letters that she's full of spunk and humor and praise and encouragement and wise advice and all kinds of things that make her, her. We have a good time writing.

And this meditation was so absolutely perfect - beyond anything I could have imagined. A completely unexpected and very touching GIFT.

I became aware of Jessica's presence right in front of me, and we looked into each others' eyes. She took her hand and put it gently on the back of my neck without saying anything, and softly touched her forehead to mine. We held like that for a few minutes and I felt all kinds of things during that time.

I felt absolute love and connection with her. The feeling of "missing" her disappeared. I felt filled up with peace. I felt all kinds of serenity wafting from her right into me. I felt there were no unanswered questions between us. It was pure communion of the very best kind. It was the most beautiful gift.

Sara guided us gently out of the meditation and I was left with the sensation still on my forehead of that touching. I also felt surrounded by that love and peace for hours and hours afterward.

Wow.

So I looked it up. What does forehead to forehead touching mean? Are there traditions around it?

I found only a couple of resources, and they're very beautiful. One is described by a Tibetan Buddhist student who wrote:

I too am part of the Kagyu lineage, and was told by my partner at the time (who teaches under the Kagyu lineage) that it is also known as a 'spiritual kiss'. A blessing as it were. Your 'Sky Eye' or sixth chakra is known for being the holding of enlightenment and is regarded as a wonderful light source. By 'light', I sort of mean knowledge -- an ability to 'see' in a way that takes a lot of meditative practice and devotion. When we touch things to our Sky Eye, it enables another connection and closeness to emerge. A mutual understanding, relationship and insight. My Lama often greets people in this way; gently holding their heads and meeting foreheads with an exchange of great joy. It is an amazing thing to see and be a part of! Connecting with others in this way as a greeting or a blessing can create a very instant, quick mutual bond. Especially when you are both part of the Sangha and therefore hold similar beliefs, or have been undergoing meditative practice for a while which will enable your Sky Eye to be quite 'open'/'aware'. It is also seen as a way of showing that no one is seen as more important, or 'higher' than the other, and that we are all equal (even when this is done by a Rinpoche).
~Xiao Long Posted 9/2014
http://buddhism.stackexchange.com/questions/1364/significance-of-touching-forheads-in-tibetan-buddhism-karma-kagyu (Retrieved 01/22/2017)

Māori Greeting

It is done by pressing one's nose and forehead (at the same time) to another person at an encounter. It is used at traditional meetings among Māori people and on major ceremonies and serves a similar purpose to a formal handshake in modern western culture, and indeed a hongi is often used in conjunction with one. In the hongi, the ha (or breath of life), is exchanged and intermingled. The breath of life can also be interpreted as the sharing of both parties' souls. Through the exchange of this physical greeting, one is no longer considered manuhiri (visitor) but rather one of the people of the land. For the remainder of one's stay one is obliged to share in all the duties and responsibilities of the home people. In earlier times, this may have meant bearing arms in times of war, or tending crops, such as kumara. When Māori greet one another by pressing noses, the tradition of sharing the breath of life is considered to have come directly from the gods.

In Māori folklore woman was created by the gods moulding her shape out of the earth. The god Tāne (meaning male) embraced the figure and breathed into her nostrils. She then sneezed and came to life. Her name was Hineahuone (earth formed woman).

~From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hongi (Retrieved 01/22/2017)

Now as I traverse through the activities of my days I carry in my heart a glowing light and warmth, remembering this beautiful gift from my sweet Jess. It was probably not more than 15 minutes of sweet meditation, but the effects of it last and last. I am glad I choose love and not fear. It allows me to seek and receive so much unexpected beauty.

Thank you Grandfather for your steadfast love and protection. Thank you my own good sweet heart for seeking and choosing love over fear. Thank you sweet Jess for this gorgeous gift that warms my heart. We are connected.

Namaste,
Jen