Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday is My FUN Day!- Wired Flower Earrings

I created these last week.
I was leery about working with the flowers and wire; however,
I am delighted with the end result.

The Waiting

I get these devotionals in my e-mail regularly from Proverbs 31 Ministries. Some of them are really good, and I wanted to share this one.
The Waiting
26 Jul 2010
by Wendy Pope

"Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD." Psalm 27:14 (NLT)

Waiting: a virtue I aspire to obtain but often fail to achieve. How about you?In our hurry up, need it, gotta-have-it-now culture, we have been brain-washed into thinking there is something wrong with waiting and we shouldn't have to do it. Within seconds we can know the weather in southern Mongolia, order a cute blouse from a trendy store, or Skype a conversation with a friend on the opposite side of the country. We can instant message a friend or send a tweet to thousands in the blink of an eye; no wonder we believe waiting is hard to do.

The author of today's key verse was no stranger to waiting and knew full well of its difficulties. O ut of nowhere, the prophet Samuel showed up at his home to anoint the next king of Israel who was to be chosen from his family. Only one of Jesse's sons would be anointed as God's chosen king for His beloved Israel. The son chosen was David. Scripture tell us the Spirit of God rushed over David and was with him the remainder of his days (1 Samuel 16:13, ESV). With such an anointing one would expect David to run to take his seat on the throne, but the only running David did was back to the pasture to do his job. Thus his wait began.

In the wait, God prepared David for his seat on the throne. The only vocation David knew was shepherding. He did not know the ends and outs of kingly protocol or the rules of royal deity. David did not have the support of the people or armies to defend him as king. He was only a lowly shepherd boy. Instead of taking the position he was promised David waited for God to move him from the pasture to the palace. In the wait, God made David ready for t he move.David learned many lessons about waiting. By examining and applying these truths we can find hope in the difficulty of waiting and determine that waiting in the present is beneficial to our future.

1. Even though we are anointed and appointed we may still have to wait. David waited fifteen years to be king of Judah and even longer to be king of all Israel.
2. God's ways are not our ways; His thoughts are not our thoughts. After being anointed and appointed David was called to serve Saul, the king who was sitting on "his" throne.
3. God doesn't waste time; He holds it in His hands. He redeems it by using our experiences to prosper us in each season of life.
4. If we allow it, our waiting will bring us to an intimate knowledge of the Savior that we would not other wise have. Most of David's beautiful and poetic psalms were written while in caves, caverns, and the wilderness, waiting on God.
5. God does not ignore the cries of His children. David crie d out, and at times begged God for help, invention, and defense. God never let David down. He did eventually take the throne, didn't he?
6. Our waiting has a purpose for someone other that ourselves. It is not all about us. Just think of how rich our lives are today because of the wait David endured. We have the comfort, compassion, hope, and healing of his amazing poetry.

What awesome instructions David gives for waiting! Waiting is less difficult and the future is brighter when we let God to do His work in our waiting season. When we let our guard and defenses down He proves Himself faithful to bring His plans for our lives to fullness.

Dear Lord, help me wait. Help me wait well. I want to be still and allow You to bring Your plan in my life to its fullness. I can't do this without You. In Jesus' Name, Amen

Application Steps:
Read more about David's life starting in 1 Samuel 16.
What is my first response to waiting?Do I grow closer to or further from God when I am waiting? Why?What has God taught me in today's devotion about waiting?
Power Verses:
Psalm 27:4, "One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple" (NIV)
Isaiah 40:31, "But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, t hey will walk and not be faint." (NIV)
Lamentations 3:24, "I say to myself, 'The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him."" (NIV)

Monday, July 26, 2010

My Husband's Photos

Jake's got this fancy new camera- a Hasselblad- and he's taking some pretty amazing shots.
Of course, my current favorites are the ones with our girls.

I already said he wants to be a professional photographer when he grows up.

I think he's just about grown up, now... =)

You can find many more of his photos here-
He has some more of us, but he also photographs airplanes, and old buildings, and grass...
He's a talented guy.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Friday is My FUN Day! - Spiral in Bluestone

One of my favorite metal-smithing projects. I created the pendant and the spiral links, and then I beaded the whole thing up. I LOVE being able to create the whole thing, from start to finish.
I love the sparkle of bluestone- it's a man-made stone with flecks of copper melted into glass. Very pretty, and very strong.

The first step was to create the pendant-

I twisted the spiral with silver wire, then hammered away at it til I got the look I wanted.

Then I created the bezel cup for the cab and soldered it to the center of the spiral.

After I finished the pendant, I wanted the necklace itself to match the spiral look of the pendant.
I twisted the silver wire, and then I hammered them. (I LOVE hammering, It's fun to just wail away at metal...)
After they looked the way I wanted them to, I soldered their ends so that I could use them as links.

Then I created the bluestone and glass links.

I love Metal-smithing projects!
I am missing the shop a LOT...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Big news!!!!

I have been hired to do piece-work for Judie Gumm!
She creates beautiful nature-inspired silver jewelry.

She is at a place in her career where she gets to mostly focus on design. (A wonderful place to be.) Her primary work is done with silver castings. She creates her molds and then sends them out to have the casting created. They come home, and have to be put together into the lovely pieces you see on her site.

That's where I will come in. I'll be taking her cast pieces, and putting them together into jewelry.

And that's the other thing that has been making me BUSY.
Here are two examples of the trial work I have done for them:
The dolphin earrings come home with the little dolphin circle separate- I added the earring hook, and the pearls.
The acorn necklace comes home as just the little gold acorn cap. I slip the pearl into the cap, attach it to the chain, and then attach the clasp to the end of the chain.


I am sorry! I haven't posted in a LONG time, and I need to try and keep up.

But I have been busy. Very busy.

I'm working three days a week, at Farmer's Market & Pioneer Park. And then I've been taking the girls to swimming lessons on two other days.... Which sounds like it shouldn't take long, but is generally a four hour adventure.
The only days left are Sunday and Friday. Abigail has therapy on Fridays, and Sunday is often very busy with church and spending time with my family.
And the rest of the time I'm trying to keep up with laundry, dishes, meals and making jewelry.

So... I'm busy.
But I will do better. Because I like blogging. Because this is my writing outlet. Because I want to!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Wednesday is Library Day- Dangerous Days & Black Hills

The Dangerous Days of Daniel X by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge
From the cover: he was born with great power and a deadly secret. The greatest superpower of all isn't to be part spider, part man, or to cast magic spells- the greatest power is the power to create. Daniel X has that power.
Daniel's secret abilities - like being able to manipulate objects and animals with his midn or to re-create himself in any shape he chooses - have helped him survive. But Daniel doesn't have a normal life. He is the protector of Earth, the Alien Hunter, with a mission beyond anyone's imagining.
From the day that his parents were brutally murdered before his very eyes, Daniel has used his unique gifts to hunt down their assassin. Finally, with the help of The List, bequeathed to him in his parents' dying breath, he is closing in on the killer.
Now, on his own, he vows to carry out his father's mission - and to take vengeance in the process.

I admit it. This book was disappointing. I wasn't expecting it to be fantastic, but I was hoping for a comic book/cartoon sort of experience... And it just didn't fulfill my hopes.
Black Hills by Nora Roberts
From the cover: Cooper Sullivan spent the summers of his youth on his grandparents' South Dakota ranch, sharing innocent games and stolen kisses with the neighbor girl, Lil Chance. Now, twelve years after they last walked together hand in hand, fate has brought them back to the Black Hills.
Coop has left his fast-paced life as an investigator in New York to take care of his aging gradparents and the ranch he has come to call home. Though the memory of his touch still haunts her, lil has let nothing stop her dream of opening the Chance Wildlife Refuge. But something... or someone... has been keeping a close watch. When small pranks and acts of destruction escalate into the heartless killing of Lil's beloved cougar, memories of an unsolved murder in these very hills have Coop springing to action to keep Lil safe.
Lil and Coop know the natural dangers that lurk in the wild landscape of the Black Hills. But a killer of twisted and unnatural instincts has singled them out as prey.

Another winner from an excellent author. I love how Roberts creates characters I care about, puts them through horrible situations and pulls of an exciting conclusion. I particularly enjoyed the wildlife refuge part of this story, and the glimpses of all the big cats- lions, tigers, cougars, panthers, etc.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Yuckiest Farmer's Market EVER

Last Saturday was our yuckiest, most horrible Farmer's Market ever.

It started out pretty okay, and ended with us watching someone almost die.
Yes, you read that right.

Saturday's forcast was for rain, so we were delighted to see sun in the morning. While the day was slow, we each made enough to go home with money.

About half-way through the day a bad storm hit- lightning, thunder, wind, rain... Which was nasty, but the worst part was our neighbors...

They had come without any weights. (totally against the rules because of some SERIOUS accidents that have occurred- merchandise destroyed, people hurt. The worst accidents have happened when one person doesn't bring weights and their tent flips into their neighbor's tent and destroys their neighbor's tent and products...) I went and checked to see if there were any extras in the store room, and their were, but the chica next to us was all pissy and full of attitude about us NOT giving her any help. "My cousin is coming with them, and I'm not leaving to go get the ones in storage." So, I'm trying to be nice & polite, but still worried about OUR tent, and she's having a little hissy fit, in Spanish...

Anyway, after the storm leaves, J.R. the manager, walks by and says something about her having the weights next week. As soon as he's gone, she's off having another little hissy fit to her cousin (who did finally show up, with little tiny 10 lb. weights, when we're supposed to have 40 lb. ones). Since I don't speak Spanish, I don't know if she was complaining about us, the storm, the weights, or J.R.

Doesn't really matter. If she's not willing to obey the weight rules, she's not gonna get to sell at Farmer's Market. I hope I upset her enough that they choose to set up somewhere else, if they come back...

So, I'm upset about that whole thing. And the storm getting all our stuff wet. But we're stuck there for two more hours...

By the time closing time comes I've figured out we made enough money to make the day worth our time.

We pack up, and everybody else packs up. Most everyone is gone (we're always one of the last people there), when Tammy husband arrives. Tammy was two tent spaces down from us, next to 'Far Above Rubies' (Jennifer & Greg's goat milk lotion and soaps). Tammy finished packing up and was just leaving with her tent. Her husband, Dennis, picked up her tent, and hit the ground. I have never seen anyone hit the ground like that, or heard someone's head hit the concrete like that. A truly horrible noise...

Tammy started screaming, and Beth got to Dennis about the same time Greg did. I started screaming for someone to call 911.

A nurse customer miraculously was still there inside talking to a vender, and she came out when the screaming started. When Dennis stopped breathing she got CPR started, and Greg ended up helping her.

It took the ambulance at least 20 minutes to get there. I'm going to repeat that.
It took the ambulance 20 minutes to get there.

If you live in Fairbanks, you realize how absolutely ridiculous that time is. The Farmer's Market is located on College Rd. just a little ways away from campus and the UAF fire house. It SHOULD have taken them less than 10 minutes.

I don't know what was up, but it was horrible to be there, and have them checking for his pulse, and saying, "Okay, he's not breathing again..." And listening to the sounds of him moaning & gasping for air...

The ambulance finally got there, and they got him to the ER. He is currently in ICU, and they do not know the extent of the damage. His heart went into major failure, and he did not receive enough oxygen to his brain for about 20 minutes..


I have come away from this experience with a couple lessons:

First off, don't keep critical medical information from your spouse.
Dennis had a major heart attack a while back, and was supposed to be taking medication. He hated the way it made him feel, and chose not to take it. He chose not to tell his wife, and this is the way she found out.
Critical medical secrets will come out, and in the worst possible way.

Second, I never want to be that helpless again.
I am taking CPR lessons as soon as possible, so that I can help if I am ever in that kind of situation again. I took First Aid and CPR when I worked for the YMCA after-school program, but that was more than a decade ago.

Third, I want to know where some of my friends at Farmer's Market are with Jesus.
No, I'm not going to turn into a screaming evangelist. Ha. As if. But I intend to be more purposeful about sharing my faith.
A friend recently told me this- the time to share Jesus with someone is when everything in you is saying, 'Really, God?' Not when you are so confident that you want to share it with everyone.
I think there's some value to what she meant- Not that we shouldn't be purposeful, and confident. Not that we shouldn't be direct. But that when you are more concerned about your own ability and experience, you & the person you are talking to miss out on the loving-kindness of Christ...