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Friday, December 21, 2012

"Work of Our Hands" Give-Away

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 Beautiful hibiscus brooch


This is a quickie post asking everyone to take a couple of minutes to check out this give-away... which I am permitting myself to enter as it is being drawn at the end of January 2013 (Yay!). Enough with my self-imposed 2012 moratorium on contests! Val Garber is an American who moved to Namibia in 2002 and took up the challenge of teaching the crafts she loved to the underemployed community she met there. Her blog, Work of Our Hands, documents the development, with her students, of her ceramic/pottery business, which now sells internationally. I think Val is an inspiration. You are livin' my dream, girl!

Since I am crazy about colour, I love this quote by Val from my favorite post African Color Wild and Free:


"Sometimes I have to caution our artisans, that Westerners are not as liberated in color use as Africans, and selling wild color combinations is often hard to do. Myself ? I have to say, that how I think about color, and what colors "go together" has greatly expanded since living in Namibia, but I still have a very long ways to go before being truly FREE."




Enough colour for ya?

**By the way, if you become a new subscriber to Val's blog, your name goes in the "hat" twice for the give-away. SCROLL ALL THE WAY TO THE BOTTOM FOR THE "FOLLOW THIS BLOG" OPTION.**

---WHEN YOU COMMENT, YOU MAY GET THAT "Delivery Status Notification (Failure)" EMAIL, BUT YOUR COMMENTS WILL GET THROUGH, USUALLY IN A FEW DAYS, I THINK.

I also love this quote that Val shared recently on her Facebook page:




Let's all keep those small things coming, everyone! ♥♥♥

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Less Consumption, More Compassion

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$20 - One Person's Clean Water, $100 - Give a Family Clean Water,
$500 - Water for a Classroom, $1,500 - Cost of a Hand Pump


I'm giving a gift to The Water Project this year. It is one week before Christmas. I'm ALWAYS a little depressed in December. I understand that is commonplace: Christmas is an exceptionally lonely time for many. Whether it is the anniversary of Mum's death (yesterday, December 17th), the lack of daylight hours, even the sad and trite scenes of wasteful consumerism as panicked shoppers do that "last-minute" thing. And of course our many tears shed over last week's tragedy.

I was strangely cheered as I watched this little video (can't remember where I linked from... too many blogs). I can't offer anything but my thoughts and prayers for the lost children of Sandy Hook School. I have chosen to help other children, in an under-developed part of the world, by sending a donation of water via this non-profit organization. I cling to the hope that it will make a difference.




Wednesday, December 05, 2012

I Spoiled Myself Rotten!

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Charms from: CassiJeanRhondaIngeCherylEmmaMarshaNatalie,
JenniferAlenkaShaihaLeslie, and Cheri




































Soooo, this is my Christmas shopping from me to me, done! Today I received my wonderful package of Art Charms from Jennifer Cameron of Glass Addictions. Not sure what I'll make with them yet. I have one matched set for earrings (I had one from the exchange and managed to snag a second at the eBay auction fundraiser). The rest will be drooled over for an extended period before being put to work.

This is my last chance to thank all the artists who took part, and especially our hard-working Jen. You guys rock... and Jen... hope you get amnesia soon and start planning next year's Charm Swap!

Monday, December 03, 2012

A Child Is Born: 2012 Ornament Blog Hop

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This is my reveal for this year's Ornament Blog Hop. I've always wanted to create something that honoured the traditional Madonna motif but with a more modern twist. I baked a layer of multicoloured mica polymer clay, using Cindy Lietz's Blend and Switch technique. I had made a little sketch of the mother and child, but as usual, the end result took on a life of its own! Love when that happens... usually LOL. 

Steps in the ornament design

My finished ornament. I'm not much of an artist, so it is a little rough, but it really represents for me the bond that forms so effortlessly when a mother holds her new infant for the first time. I've had that amazing experience four times, and each occasion was a revelation, unique and never to be forgotten. After I became a mother, the Gift of the Child of Bethlehem became more concrete and yet a source of greater mystery to me!






Sunday, December 02, 2012

Mea culpa and a peace offering...

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Just a quick little post. I am putting off my Challenge of Color Part 2 post til later in the week (don't even ask LOL). To make it up to you I am linking this sweet video, especially for anyone who is silly enough to THROW OUT their old Christmas cards. Heck, after watching this, I may grab all the boxes on clearance after the Big Day!






I first saw this yesterday on Eva Maria Keiser Designs, an amazing site posting, as far as I can figure, several times each day! She shares beading, colour, crochet, paper, recycling and much more (oh, you beaders will love her designs) including lots of videos. So check Eva out!

Gotta run, my favorite Christmas movie is starting... always makes me cry... several times. "It's a Wonderful Life"... dating myself!

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Becoming a Story...

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Back at the end of October, Heather Powers of Humblebeads blog put out a call for the 3rd Annual Ornament Blog Hop. As freshly minted new blogger, I hadn't yet had the pleasure of participating in this Holiday tradition, so I was eager to hop aboard!




I bet this looks like polymer clay newly conditioned in a pasta machine, right? Well, if you guessed that, you are correct! This is the stage I call "becoming a story": the sketches have been drawn, and I am ready to start "playing" with my clay to see if the reality will bear any resemblance to my inner (cartoonish) vision! The moment of truth...

Drop in on Tuesday, December 4th to see if I manage to create a miniature work of art. And stick around for a visit to all the imaginative artisans who will be playing along!

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