Happy Mother’s Day!

Today is a day to celebrate and honor all women – daughters, sisters, aunts, mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers – who have given birth. Given birth to a baby or a piece of art or a book or an idea or whatever their deepest passions have manifested. We are all connected in our fertile bodies and imaginations.

About 3 years ago I presented this plant to my S.O. because I know how much he loves lilies. Called Clivia Miniata or its common name Bush Lily, it is native to South Africa where rooibos and honeybush tea come from. In the wild, it grows in the shade of trees because it doesn’t like full sun. We have it in a northwestern exposure to the side of a sliding glass door. This is the first time it has flowered. I’d like to think that it is welcoming me to my new home.

Today I am spending the first part of the day by going to a bead show with my daughter. I haven’t been to a bead show since last year so I’m very excited to go and share my “beadie” passion with her. In the afternoon, my sons will come over for a visit and we’ll play Blokus, a new board game I discovered while visiting my brother and his family in Michigan last March. Each player gets a bunch of brightly colored semi-transparent tiles in different shapes. Starting from a corner, each player takes turns placing their tiles down so that only the corners are touching with the object being to lay down as many tiles as you can. So, of course, there is opportunity to strategize and block your opponents while also trying to fit your pieces onto the board. I like it because it really taps into your right brain’s spacial ability. Currently, my son Brendan is the champ but we will see what today brings.

Hello Spring

Spring is blooming in the garden of my new home.  This witch hazel tree is full of these flopsy strands. Traditionally, the extract of its bark and leaves are used medicinally.

These rock iris are brilliant against the drab colors of the leaf mulch. I love their yellow tongues sticking out. It’s like they’re blowing a raspberry at the departing winter or even at us for believing that they’d never return.

The lone daffodil. With all of the buds around, it will soon have company.

Here comes the hyacinth. I am looking forward to their sweet fragrance.

Welcome back, plant beings!

Saturday Morning Tea

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Officially, today is the third day of Spring. However, when I opened my window, a frigid blast of cold air flew in. The last remnants of winter are holding on tight. It feels like the weather will never turn warmer but I know that it always does. To coax it along, I’m sending a big invitation for Spring to settle in by sipping a cup of jasmine tea. The sweet fragrance warms my heart and brings feelings and images of an overflowing armful of flowers fresh from the garden.

All beings are flowers

Blooming

In a blooming universe.

-Soen Nakagawa

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The tea leaves are plucked and processed as green tea in the springtime. Then they are stored to patiently wait for the jasmine to bloom. We are like the green tea leaves waiting for the air to warm and the flowers to bloom. Just as the jasmine flowers are about to bloom in the summertime, the flowers are picked during the day. That night the flowers will open and then be laid out with the green tea leaves which have been humidified to soften them. The leaves then absorb the scent of the flowers.

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When I opened the bag, the aroma of jasmine softly greeted me. I steeped the leaves for 3 minutes in 180 degree F water. The liquor is sweet with a subtle jasmine fragrance and flavor. It feels smooth and silky on my tongue.
Oh, welcome Springtime!

Goals for the New Year

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I have been reading many blog posts lately about goals for the New Year. So, inspired by my online friends, I have set forth a few goals for myself for 2008.

-take a painting class/workshop to bring painting back into my life

-create a visual journal by sketching more

-recreate my website

-nurture my writing, including writing poetry

-plant a garden at my new home

-open an Etsy account with updated photos of all of my jewelry

-learn transfer techniques so I may incorporate my photos into my art and my jewelry

-spend more time in nature

As I scan through my list, I see my resolution word, “Beauty”, already guiding me. In the last week, my meditations on my resolution word have led me from thinking about creating beautiful things to experiencing “beauty in the moment” and finally to finding the beauty in myself. As I approach my 50th birthday, I celebrate my blessings, my growth and, yes, my beauty.

A Window Vine

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When I glued the polymer clay tiles to the fabric for my August page, I really didn’t have any plans for the beading beyond choosing a color palette. I knew that I wanted to bead around the tiles but not surround each tile as if they were cabochons.

I placed the tiles in a grid pattern because a square shape looked most pleasing to me. After I glued the tiles down, it then reminded me of a window. Aahhh… A window into a special, secret garden place. All of the greens in my color palette spoke to me of leaves so now I create a window vine.

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What do you think?