Saturday Morning Tea

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On this bright, cold late winter morning, I am slowly savoring a cup of Chinese green tea, Tian Mu Qing Ding, and daydreaming about a hauntingly beautiful, misty mountain far far away.

This tea is named after the mountain upon which it was grown and harvested, Mt. Tian Mu. Its tightly rolled leaf opens up and reveals a fresh spring green color after steeping. Tian Mu is also the name of the Chinese Goddess of Lightning. I wonder if the mountain was named after her because it was believed to be her home. I couldn’t find any more information on her aside from a couple of sentences and a print.

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The liquor is a very pale straw color with a light, fresh vegetal aroma and taste. The vegetal quality of this tea is so mild that it would be another great choice for those trying green tea for the first time.

Bracelets on a light background

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I’ve moved onto the light part of the gradient background and think the bracelets stand out much better than on the darker part. I’m also having fun with experimenting on how close I can get before my camera can’t focus anymore. Pretty close. I love looking at things up close. It really pulls you into the moment and makes you hyper aware of a very small piece of space. Hello little world.

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I love the banding on these oval agate beads and the rosy copper crystal beads seem to glow from within.

What do you think of the lighter background?

Back to my Photos

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While the rain cascaded in buckets outside, I spent most of the day in my studio taking photographs of my jewelry. One of my goals is to update my website with new jewelry so the photos need to be taken first. I have experimented with various props in the past but this time I decided to just take the photographs on a simple gradient background with no props. I concentrated on the bracelet category and took one full shot and one or two closeups of each bracelet.

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Since the bracelets are smaller than a necklace, the photo doesn’t have the full gradient effect for the background. I think it works though. The background is so simple that you just focus on the bracelet. I like to have closeups so you can almost feel the texture and can see the beadwork up close.

Would it help to also see a photo of the bracelet on a person or a hand display?

A Package of Treasure

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Most of the time I receive bills and junk credit card offers in the mail. Not the other day though. I received treasure in my mailbox! A beautiful pendant and a pair of earrings from the wonderful Nina Bagley. As I connect more with my love of writing, this pendant is a perfect companion to grace my neck. Nina’s poetic writing, soulful photos and creative artwork have been such an inspiration to me and I am honored to wear her jewelry.

Progress on my January Beaded Journal Page

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As I was beginning to think about my January page, I imagined a spiral path. Spirals keep popping up in my pages. I had so much fun creating the glazed face cabochons at my guild meeting a couple of weeks ago that I knew that I’d like to continue working with glazed polymer clay. So, I’ve created polymer clay “pebbles” for my path. I used some letter stamps to spell out “The Journey to Myself”, commemorating the journey of a lifetime and celebrating my 50th birthday. I love the way that the glaze concentrated in the recessed letters.

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What do you think?

Saturday Morning Tea

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A thin light threads through the clouds this morning, illuminating the light frosting of snow covering the ground and the trees. We’ve had snow showers on and off for the past week that will continue through this weekend. I love this kind of snow because it doesn’t muck up the driving and constantly gives everything a fresh coating, covering over the dinginess on the side of the road.

This morning I have brewed up a cup of a Chinese Oolong called Da Hong Pao. It is grown in the gorgeous Wu Yi mountain region, located in the Fujian province of China. Traditionally, it is an old and venerable high quality tea reserved especially for honored guests. So, this morning, I honor and raise my tea cup to you, dear tea readers.

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The leaf is huge and very dark, even after steeping. I steeped for 4 minutes with 190 degree F water, revealing a dark amber liquor with a sweet chestnut aroma. The taste fills my mouth with buttery smooth honey and nutty notes.

This tea was reputed by some to help with weight loss. I’m not sure what was so different in the components of this particular kind of tea that it would act in this way. You can read extensively on the internet about the “miracles” of this tea, including a lot of articles explaining its weight loss secrets. If you’d like to read about debunking this myth, go here.

Free Form Peyote Bracelet

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About 6 years ago, I started a free form peyote stitch amulet bag in luscious sea colors. Over the course of 4 years and a challenging time in my life, I worked on it on and off until it was finally finished. I loved the meditative feel of adding beads a little at a time and it mirrored for me the small positive steps I was taking in my life. Perhaps the healing memories of creating that amulet bag is one aspect of what drew me to the idea of the Beaded Journal Project years later. Recently, when I saw this bracelet created by Libby at Libzoid, it further awakened those memories. So, inspired by Libby’s creation and the sunrise colors in my December page, I created this free form bracelet. I call it “Awakenings”.

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