Monday, January 30, 2012

Bead Soup!

I'm taking part in the 5th Bead Soup Blog Hop Party.   There are 200 participants who are partnered up.  Each participant sends a selection of beads, a focal, and an intriguing clasp to his or her partner, and then the partner makes something out of it.

My partner is Cindy Cima Edwards and you can see her beautiful designs here:

This is what she sent me.

Quite a beady bag of goodies.  The teardrop shape is a cat's eye glass pendant.  It's always hard to photograph cat's eye and get all its wonderfulness.  This close-up shot helps a little.

There's a strand of mahogany obsidian and a strand of crazy horse stone.  Obsidian is a stone that's associated with Pluto ~ the Greek god of the underworld and keeper of hidden treasure.
It's said to be a grounding stone that can impart the strength needed to stand on your own convictions against any enemy (hidden or otherwise).  Mahogany obsidian is said to have a gentle energy that grounds and protects its owner. It can be used for strength in times of need, for removing energy blocks, and giving new life to purposes and goals. (You knew I'd go straight for the woo-woo, didn't you??)

There's a legend about the crazy horse stone, which, of course, I must share.  Crazy Horse received a black stone from a medicine man named Horn Chips to protect his horse, a black-and-white "paint horse" which he named Inyan (rock or stone). He placed the stone behind the horse's ear, so that the medicine from his vision quest and Horn Chips would combine; he and his horse would be one in battle.

This is not the stone that Inyan wore into battle.  It's actually a form of limestone that's been coated with resin.  I'm guessing it's called crazy horse stone after Crazy's Horse "paint" horse. 

Cindy added some Vintaj brass chain, which I'm showing here with the crazy horse stone.  Cool, huh?

She also enclosed a Vintaj brass filigree flower... or perhaps something that grew where the Lakota went to battle?  Those are Czech faceted bronze beads below it, next to the cat's eye.

There's the cat's eye teardrop again, and me struggling to catch its luster.

Here's a cool toggle clasp.  It's Vintaj brass, and it's resting comfortably beside some Swarovski crystals and fresh water potato pearls.

Here are the pearls and crystals together.  Quite a luxurious color.

And there are my faceted beads and the medallion.

And finally, the mahogany obsidian, the crazy horse stone, and the chain.

I have some wonderful colors and textures to play with here.  Now the question is... what to make?  I'm open to suggestions.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Calvin and Hobbes and Frosty and Freezy







Frosty and Freezy and Friends can be found here.

The Buddha Story Continues ~ the Second Journey

The King heard about his son's unhappy mood and wondered what could have gone wrong. "Perhaps he needs more variety, " and so the King began to plan another trip for his son, this time to an even more beautiful section of the city."

Again, Channa prepared Kantaka.  Again, they rode out into Kapilavastu.

The streets were decorated as before, and the people were happy to, once again, see the Prince.  But deep in the crowd, Siddhartha saw a man who was, apparently, quite ill. 

The Prince spoke to Channa asking about the man who was coughing loudly, his body shaking, crying piteously. 

Channa explained that this man was sick. 

"But why?" asked the Prince.

Channa explained that people could become sick for many reasons.  He might have eaten food that had gone bad.  He might have caught a chill.  These things could cause his body to go out of balance and make him feverish. 

The Prince was stunned.  "Can even happy people become sick?" he asked. 

Channa assured him they could.  Anyone could be healthy one day and sick the next.  No one was immune from all illness. 

The Prince wanted to know how people could be happy and carefree, knowing that sickness could attack them the very next day.  Then he asked Channa to turn the chariot around,  He had seen enough for one day. 

When he returned to the palace the Prince was even more unhappy than before.  Nothing anyone did could make him smile.  He spoke to no one. 

When the King learned of his son's unhappiness, he was frantic.  He had tried everything to make his son happy, but he had failed.  He turned to his ministers for guidance. 

The ministers suggested sending the prince out surrounded by singers and dancers and nobles of the court.  They could go to a specially prepared garden with all sorts of entertainment and merriment. 

The next time Siddhartha asked to visit the city, preparations were made to insure that his journey was filled only with beauty and happiness. 

The King was certain that this time nothing would appear that could trouble the Prince in any way.

Next time, Fading Pleasures.

If you missed the earlier chapters, they can be found here:

Birthday of the Buddha
The Buddha Story Continued
The Young Prince
The Marriage Contest
The Pleasure Palaces
A Song Of Beauty
An Unexpected Sight 

Buddha charms here and here.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Murmuration of Starlings on a Wordless Wednesday

Murmuration from Sophie Windsor Clive on Vimeo.

Two adventurers set out in a canoe and happened upon a starlings (collectively known as a murmuration) doing their amazing collective dance in the sky. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

2012: Year of the Dragon

2012 is the Year of the Dragon.  What does that mean? 

The Dragon is the mightiest of the signs, and occupies the 5th position in the Chinese Zodiac. Dragons symbolize character traits such as dominance and ambition. Dragons prefer to live by their own rules and, if left on their own, are usually successful. They’re driven, unafraid of challenges, and willing to take risks. They’re passionate in all they do and they do things in a big way, though often this passion and enthusiasm can leave Dragons feeling exhausted and unfulfilled.

While Dragons frequently help others, they are unlikely to ask for help.  Others are attracted to Dragons with their colorful personalities, but deep down, Dragons prefer solitude and tend to be most successful when working alone. This desire for solitude can come across as arrogance, but this is not really the case. 

Dragons are known for their tempers. 

Dragons, risk-takers that they are,  can suffer from stress and tension headaches.

In the job world, Dragons prefer leading to being led.  They are best suited to jobs in which they can express their creativity.

Dragons will give into love, but they won’t give up their independence. Because they have quick tempers, their partners need to be tough-skinned. Dragons enjoy others who are intriguing, and when they find the right partners, they’ll usually commit to that person for life.

Dragons and the 5 elements

Metal Dragons – Years 1940 and 2000

Metal strengthens this already strong sign. Metal Dragons are more determined and will fight for what they believe in.

Water Dragons – Years 1952 and 2012

Water calms the Dragon’s fire. Water Dragons are able to see things from other points of view.

Wood Dragons – 1904 and 1964

Wood Dragons also are willing to entertain the opinions of others. Their artistic side is strong.

Fire Dragons – 1916 and 1976

A Fire Dragon’s emotions can flare instantly. Fire Dragons put themselves on pedestals and, as such, sometimes make wrong decisions.

Earth Dragons – Years 1928 and 1988

More rooted in the ground, Earth Dragons make better decisions because they act more rationally.  While they are more supportive of others, they prefer being admired by others.


Monday, January 16, 2012

Three Little Kittens and a Cautionary Tale About Mittens

Three little kittens they lost their mittens, and they began to cry,
"Oh mother dear, we sadly fear that we have lost our mittens."

"What! Lost your mittens, you naughty kittens!
Then you shall have no pie."
"Meeow, meeow, meeow, now we shall have no pie."

The three little kittens they found their mittens,
And they began to cry,
"Oh mother dear, see here, see here
For we have found our mittens."

"Put on your mittens, you silly kittens
And you shall have some pie"

"Meeow, meeow, meeow,
Now let us have some pie."

The three little kittens put on their mittens
And soon ate up the pie,
"Oh mother dear, we greatly fear
That we have soiled our mittens."

"What! soiled you mittens, you naughty kittens!"
Then they began to cry, "Meeow, meeow, meeow"
Then they began to sigh.

The three little kittens they washed their mittens
And hung them out to dry,
"Oh mother dear, do you not hear
That we have washed our mittens."

"What! washed your mittens, you are good kittens."
But I smell a rat close by,
"Meeow, meeow, meeow" we smell a rat close by...

Kittens and mittens here.