Sunday, April 23, 2017

"The beautiful spring came; and when Nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also." --Harriet Ann Jacobs

Last weekend Tim and I went to visit the International Peace Gardens in Salt Lake City.  It's a lovely group of small gardens representing various countries from around the world - Finland, Greece, England, Japan, Vietnam, China, France, Sweden, etc.  There are picnic areas and playgrounds adjacent to the Peace Garden where kids were hunting for Easter Eggs and families were having barbecues.  Lots of children were dressed in their colorful Easter best while their parents posed them next to flowers and trees and statuary.  It was a perfect way to spend a sunny spring Saturday morning. 

We then moved on to Liberty Park, also in Salt Lake City.  This park seems quite popular for runners, cyclists, dog walkers, volleyball and football players, Frisbee enthusiasts, kids who like to roll down hills, and picnickers.  It's also enjoyed by those who simply like to stroll while spotting birds, looking at mountain views, perusing whatever might be blooming, and possibly buying prayer flags or a pair of earrings from a local artist.  We visit this park quite often.  It's also home to an aviary and a Museum of Utah Folk Arts.  Indeed there is something for everyone.  

While photographing the tulip in the above photo, I found this painted rock inside the petals.  I chuckled to think that someone took the time to paint a face on a pebble, carry it their pocket, and then hide it for another to find.  A way to spread joy?  A random acts of happiness?  I'm not sure of their intent, but it made me smile.

Sunday, April 9, 2017


This is the snowy scene we woke up to this morning.  

not even the colorful, spring-themed birdies could keep the snow at bay

Saturday, April 8, 2017


There are several people in my life who abhor stillness.  They're always busy, constantly moving, always having something to do, never one without plans or places to be.  I am very much the opposite.  I relish stillness.  Quiet.  A peaceful afternoon with no agenda and nowhere to be.  

So I'm sitting at my desk, sipping hot tea and listening to the breeze as it makes the newly budding tree outside my window sway.  Keeping an eye out for the killdeer I can hear but not see.  Wondering if the white-faced ibis that made a stopover yesterday in a large muddy puddle is still nearby.  Thinking I may soon take a nap.

A day like today reminds of Sundays when I was growing up.  It was the one day of the week where we often didn't have much on the calendar or to do list.  We would eat a mid-afternoon supper that sometimes had been cooking for hours.  We had plenty of time to be outside, to read, to watch an old movie on TV, to nap, or perhaps go for a leisurely drive in the country.  I loved those calm days that seemed to last longer than any other day of the week.  Today feels like one of those childhood Sundays.   

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Working on it

While I'm still working through the list of participants from the Bead Hoarders Blog Hop (note the post just prior to this one), I wanted to share a few photos from this past Sunday.  After a few days focused almost solely on jewelry, cabin fever pulled me outdoors to see how spring is coming along.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Bead Soup Reveal Day!

The wonderful Lori Anderson is again hosting a Bead Soup Blog Hop on her blog, Pretty Things.  Today's theme is Bead Hoarders, and participants were required to send their partner only one bead that had lived in their stash for quite some time.  We could, of course, also send accompanying beads, findings, a clasp, stringing materials, what have you, but it wasn't obligatory.  The point was to find a special bead that perhaps we hadn't been able to part with or couldn't find the perfect use for or associated a particular memory with or just liked knowing was in a bead box, waiting to become part of a piece of jewelry.  No matter the reason why we had held onto said bead, we were to send it on to our partner with love while anticipating how they might use it.

My partner, Danielle Kelley, sent me some true lovelies.  Below is a quick reminder: 

Danielle posted pics of the soup I mailed on her blog, Imbue The Muse.  I confess I forgot to take photos before I sent it on its way!  Quick side note: the main hoarded bead I sent her is an enameled focal by C-Koop Beads purchased way back in 2007 at the Minneapolis, MN Bead Monkey store (which has since, sadly, closed its doors).

Well, without further ado, here is what I made from the items Danielle sent along with some bits from my own reserve of beads:

The polymer clay bead was made by my blog hop partner.  The dragonflies are from Beadaholique.  The lampwork beads are from Goody Beads.  The faceted green glass ovals and many of the findings are from The Crystal Limit.  The small dark blue Czech glass faceted rounds are from A Bead Just So.

The carved elephant bead is from my bead soup partner, Danielle.  Most of the ingredients for this bracelet came from bead shows in NY and MA.  I've had some of the stone chips for at least 20 years, no kidding!  The tulip bead caps are from Jo-Ann Fabrics as are the findings.  The Golden Rod 3mm Czech glass rounds are from Fusion Beads.
The goldstone barrels were sent by Danielle.  I wish I could have photographed them in better light because they are rather sparkly.  That gorgeous Gardanne Beads focal was found at a bead show in Albany, NY.  The small agate briolettes were purchased at Farrin O'Connor Design Studio in Pasadena, CA which has since closed shop.  The oatmeal colored lampwork above the focal was made by Wes Fleming.

More goldstone barrels from Danielle.  You can see how they glitter in this photo.  The Czech glass leaves were purchased in Prague at Manufaktura.  The reddish faceted agate rounds are from A Zillion Beads.  The chandelier components are from The Crystal Limit.  
That very fetching, colorful, detailed stone focal is again from Danielle.  It is a large piece of agatized coral, and I was immediately inspired when I saw it.  The dangling stones are some of the detritus I have picked up at beaches over the years.  The dagger beads are from Let's Bead.  The lampwork bead was made by Alison Byrd.  I bought several groupings of her borosilicate glass beads while in Florence, OR years ago, but I can't seem to find a website for her.  The copper diamonds are from Michael's.  I can't seem to recollect where I found those amber chips. 

I started out with a spring theme but then went mostly brown.  Hmm...perhaps that's because I live on the edge of the West Desert in Utah.

The list of all participants is belowEnjoy hopping to blogs and Pinterest pages.  I, for one, am really looking forward to perusing all of the gorgeous, creative, imaginative pieces people have put together.  These hops are always inspiring.


Friday, March 24, 2017

"With the coming of spring, I am calm again." -- Gustav Mahler

I am very much looking forward to the arrival of spring flowers.  Our lawn is greening up quite nicely, and the trees are pushing forth buds and blossoms.  It smells like wet earth outside.  Plenty of birds are singing, chirping, searching for mates, and building nests.  So I thought I'd revisit my photos from last spring's Tulip Festival in Albany, NY.  We will miss it this year, but I've learned there are places nearer our current home that also put on a spectacular display.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Spring has begun

view from a hike near Livingston Peak in southwestern Montana

Spring has arrived in Utah.  Astronomical spring has begun, and the temperatures have been on the rise.  We've been sleeping with our bedroom window open.  We were one number shy of 80 degrees Fahrenheit this past weekend.  Three record highs have been broken since last Tuesday.  I've heard that mosquitoes are already buzzing around the wildlife refuges north of Salt Lake City.  And I have the fever to get outside and hike.  Friends have already been on trails along the Wasatch Front, and I find myself eagerly looking forward to following suit. 

view of the Lower Falls of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone from Artist Point