Saturday, December 22, 2012

Merry Christmas!

May the light and joy of this season remain with you through out the year.

An angel of the Lord appeared to the shepherds in the field, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.

But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

"Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests."

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.

The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Saturday Thoughts

I normally blog about a couple of things that have made me smile over the last week, but I'm having a hard time thinking about smiley things today.  I am still thinking about the precious children shot this week, and the heroes who died to protect them.

I don't have answers, but I do know that God is loving, powerful and sovereign.  I wish that He would take our choice to do evil away.  But I cling to the idea that He knows better- that when He created us He created us to with free will and the choice to be evil rather than for us to be robots/automatons without the choice to love.  I don't know why, but He does...  And I can't see the whole picture and He can.

"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.' To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother's words and I am comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers - so many caring people in the world." 
Mr. Rogers

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Feeling Stuck?

This picture kills me... It makes me laugh and laugh.  
I laugh partly because there is no way that baby knows enough about life yet to hate it.
But... that child does know being stuck and feeling powerless.
I know powerless.  I know feeling stuck.  I want to make changes, but feel like I can't because it feels overwhelming.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Saturday Smiles

On Saturday I post about a couple of things that have made me smile over the last week.

1) Charlotte's Web
I enjoy acting in this play so much!  I am delighted with the entire process- the performances, the rehearsals, the warm-ups, the make-up, getting into costume, talking with the other actors...
I have some Instagram pictures I took on opening night.
I love the simple costumes our director has chosen- the t-shirt indicating whether you are human or an animal plus accents to indicate the costume.
I am having fun!  Yes, I'm tired.  Most of the time.  But I am so happy to be part of the show.
2) Farmer's Market Holiday Bazaar
This bazaar takes place tomorrow- Saturday, December 8th.  Which means that technically it hasn't happened yet, but I have been looking forward to it since October.  I smile whenever I think of it! The FM bazaar is the most fun because of our FM friends and customers, and we definitely sell more there than anywhere else.
3) Abigail is well and back in school!
Poor thing.  She's been so sick, and it means we both missed a lot of school recently.  But she went back Thursday and she had a good day. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Bracelet Hop

I get to be part of another Blog Hop!  

The amazing Sue of Sue Beads pulled together this blog hop for 7,000 bracelets, which is a campaign of the Global Genes Project. Global Genes donates blue awareness bracelets made by jewelry artists to people with chronic & life threatening diseases.  They also give bracelets to their care-givers. You can read more about the project HERE.

Here is my donation.  I wish I could have made more, but am glad I was able to complete one during this busy time!

Many more artists have participated in this blog hop- Please check out there donations HERE.

Thank you, Sue!  I am delighted to have been part of this hop and to have helped raised awareness for the 7000 Bracelets for Hope Campaign.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Saturday Smiles

On Saturdays I write about a few things that have made me smile over the last week.

This week I have spent time contemplating all the blessings that make my life sweet.

1) My girls- Deborah & Abigail-
How they've grown! I got to look at some old pictures today and I am enjoyed how cute they were, and how beautiful they've grown.

2 year old Abigail at Creamer's Field
4 year old Deborah at Tanana Flats
My girls this last August
2) My Jake-
I love him, and he's tender and sweet.  Sometimes he makes me want to punch him, but I am so grateful for him.  He is a blessing and my life would be such a dry and barren desert without him.  We've had a rough couple of weeks here- he really was not prepared for how much time the play would consume, and he is having a hard time dealing with my persistent absence at home.  I'm grateful we've made the commitment to do life together, no matter what life might include.
Jake from last August
3) My Sister Beth
My sister is a joy!  She has made some huge changes in her life lately, and she is a delight to be with now.  I love creating with her, spending time with her...  Yesterday she went to Value Village with me and we found my costume for Charlotte's Web.  Fun!
Beth with new beads
4) My mom
I don't have a picture of her, and she'd kill me if I tried to take one.  I am grateful that she has opened her home to her adult children and her grandchildren.  I am grateful for the work she does to keep this crazy house full of six people chugging along.
5) My kitty, Luna
Sweet girl.  She has mourned my time at rehearsals and work when I am gone from the house.  She trails me around like a little shadow and crawls onto my lap at every opportunity.
I am thankful for so many things- Our car, our beds, clothes that we can change every day, food in the cabinet, a grocery store nearby, jobs, health insurance, a home, beads and the opportunity to make things, the play I'm in, our church... 
I want gratitude and thankfulness to flood my life and flow over into everything I do- creating, playing, working, mothering, household churches, talking, worshipping...  living.


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Saturday Smiles

On Saturday, I share a couple of things that made me smile over the last week.

1) Watershed Holiday Market
Beth & I were invited to attend a Holiday Marketplace which supports a local charter school.  We had so much fun last night and today.  I took a couple of pictures on my phone and am glad to share them here.  (no, they are not the highest quality, but they are totally 'in the moment'.)  Our dear friend Janie Magelky organizes this bazaar for the school every year, and one of the best parts of this market was seeing so many friends from Farmer's Market and The Stash.


2) It warmed up!  To +20F!  From -20F.
That's 40 degrees difference...  I hate -20.  I know, I should NOT live in Fairbanks, AK.  But here I am...  Cold and in the dark.

3) I sold my Sun piece from Metal-Smithing.

I have had it for a long time, and I knew it would be for a specific person.  I wasn't even sure if that specific person would find the pendant.  But he did.  This weekend at Watershed.  It was a gift for a friend, and he looked and looked and looked at it.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Blog Hop!

I get to be part of another one of Lori Anderson's Blog Hops!  Happy Day!

The hop won't be until January, but I am excited to be part of this cool event.  Lori shares details for the inspiration of this event HERE.

Here's the date info, and I look forward to sharing more in the future.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Saturday Smiles

It warmed up enough to snow today.  In fact, it is still snowing- lovely downy clouds of snow.  We've had negative 20's for the last week, and it warmed up to +20.  Forty degrees is an amazing difference!
For my Saturday Smiles this week, I just want to share some snow pictures I took.

My kitty watching me trudge through the snow

Snow on our mail-box- the white streaks are falling snow
My feet covered by the snow
Beth's peony
Snow Needles
Snow needles
Clumps of snow
I accidentally caught this one with the flash on,
but I love the magical quality of the shadows on the snow.

Solar Flare Blog Hop Completion

Yikes.  It has taken me longer to complete this piece than I had hoped.  Since I am heavily involved with rehearsals for Charlotte's Web, I find my 'free time' taken up by such ridiculousness as clean clothes, home-work and dinner preparation.  Don't get me wrong.  I LOVE being in the play, but I'm busy in a totally different way now.  When I come home, I have to focus on the necessary chores to keep the household running first, then spend any free time on jewelry creation.

For specific details about this blog hop, go here.

I want to share the completed piece, but first here are the two photos that inspired the piece.

I had a hard time attaching my central focus element to the rest of the wire work; however, I am pleased with the final solar flare piece.

I have attached a thick, ropey chain to the wirework, and I love how it fades right into the rest of the piece. 

I have thoroughly enjoyed working with these photos for this blog hop.  I've never created a piece based on a photo.  Thank you, Sam!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Solar Flare Blog Hop

I'm delighted to participate in another Blog Hop! 

The Solar Flare blog hop was based on a different idea than any other hop I've participated in before now.  Our blog hop host, Sam Siegel of Ultimate Supplies, caught a cool image one night-

Then he found out his picture was taken while this was going on:

Solar Flares!

Pretty cool, huh?  So he had the great idea to offer a blog hop based on the solar flare images.   Each jewelry designer used these images as the inspiration for their unique jewelry creation.

I liked the idea, and I'm excited to participate.

I am sad that I haven't completed my piece...  Life kind of messed up my project time-line. Getting the part in Charlotte's Web, getting sick, & having both of my girls home sick last week...

However, I've got a pretty good start on it, and expect to have it complete by tomorrow night.  I have finished the wire-work on the focal segment and I wanted to share that today. 

(Don't worry, that's not all I have completed, it is just all that is shareable at this time.)

I am currently twisting the central section using pearls, crystals and stones.  I'll need to use chain in back and attach a clasp.  I'm looking forward to having the whole piece put together by late tomorrow night.

For some more fabulous solar flare inspiration, check out the rest of the blog hop participants.

Gloria Allen
Blog Link:

Shawn Marie Mills
Blog Link:

Karin King
Blog Link:

Alicia Marinache
Blog Link:

Pam "The Crazier Sister Blog:

Kelly Hosford Patterson
Blog Link:

Delia Marsellos-Traister
Blog Link:

Dana Lang
Blog Link:

Mischelle Fanucch

Jessica Murray
Blog Link:

Cynthia Abner
Blog Link:

Charlie Jacka

Shannon Hicks
Blog Link:

Zoe Marcin
Blog Link:

Rebecca Sirevaag
Blog Link:   YOU are HERE!

Miranda C. Ackerley
Blog Link:

Paula Winchester Hisel
Blog Link:

Lynn Jobber/Lo/The Creative Klutz
Blog Link:

Alenka Obid
Blog Link:
Thank you, Sam!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Saturday/Sunday Smiles

Oops!  Totally missed my Saturday Smiles yesterday. 

Beth & I did our first Holiday bazaar, and I was completely knee-deep in prep Friday night.  I got something like 3 hours of sleep, then we woke up at the crack of dawn to dash to Monroe High School (actually very little dashing was going on due to the icy roads).  We set up, I spent a couple of hours with Beth, then went to rehearsal (hee-hee!  I love saying 'rehearsal'!), then I went back to Beth and we cleaned up.

We sold three things the entire day...  Pretty stinky.  We didn't think about the fact that this year all the construction has been right in front of Monroe on Illinois St...  So nobody could just drive-by and see their big sign.  And very few people could figure out how to get there.  And very few people came to the bazaar.  One of my bazaar friends also told me that the News Miner article had the wrong date and times....  All in all a very depressing day. 

Anyway, we got home and crashed.  I fell asleep on the couch, ate dinner, and then fell back asleep on the couch.  My awesome husband made dinner.  Bless the man!

So, a little late, but still ready to go!  I offer up a couple of things that have made me smile this week:

1) Jake- My husband!
He has responded with enthusiasm and delight to the fact that I'm in a play, Charlotte's Web. =)  He knows how much I'm going to be gone the next several weeks, and he has been incredibly pleased for me.  Bless the man!

2) Rehearsals!
I've been at two rehearsals this week for Charlotte's Web!  I'm a wacky nut, but I love rehearsals. I've always liked the process of preparing for the big performance as much as the performance itself.  I'm delighted with the cast the director has put together.  And after the first two rehearsals, I can say with pleasure that I'm delighted with this director.  What an honor to be working with this cast and crew!  I'm smiling just thinking about all the work we're going to get to do together.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Do or do not, There is no try

“Do not let what you cannot do,
interfere with what you can do.”
from the late John Wooden who coached the UCLA Bruins
to numerous NCAA basketball championships
Photos by Jake Sirevaag

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Me! Mrs. Arable!

I got a part in FDA's production of Charlotte's Web!  I'm Fern's mom.

I'm very excited, and thrilled, and delighted.  We did our read-through tonight and got to meet all the members of the cast.  My first play in a long time.  Glad to have finally broken that very long, dry spell.  Yes, I got to direct when I was teaching drama, and children's musicals.  But directing and acting are very different.  YAY!

November is going to be very, very busy.  I have a lot of rehearsals most weeks.  I'm looking forward to the challenge.  I'm wondering how it is all going to balance out with Deborah in the Nutcracker and me in a play...

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Saturday Smiles

On Saturday I post about a few things that have made me smile over the last week.

1) I auditioned for a part in Charlotte's Web!

I know I already said something about this, but I'm still smiling.  I don't know if I have a part yet; however, I'm so excited about reading a script and hanging out with theatre folk that I'm still riding high.

2) My Reading kids are leveling up.
We did re-assessments on my reading students this week, and every single one of them is on the upward swing.  It's exciting to see that what I am doing is making a difference. 
Last year I had one student who just never improved and it was so disheartening to re-assess and try to figure out what I could change over & over.  This year what we are doing is helping, and I love seeing those gradual, and sometimes sudden, improvements.

3) Aurora Borealis

Last night Jake, my daughters & I went up to the Large Animal Research Station behind the University Campus and watched an amazing display of the Northern Lights.  My girls didn't remember ever seeing the Lights, and it was a wonderful introduction to them.  The aurora was moving, rippling and changing colors across most of the sky above us.  Fabulous!  So beautiful.

Thursday, October 11, 2012


I auditioned for a part in Fairbanks Drama Association's production of Charlotte's Web!  I may not get a part, and that's okay.  I actually enjoyed the auditioning process (which I used to hate), and I got to be around some of 'my' people (theatre folks). 
I haven't been in a piece since 2004, I think.  And I haven't directed anything since 2009, I think.  That is a long time!!!  Much too long.  I am ready!  Ready enough that I actually went and enjoyed an audition. =)
I want to be in a play so BAD!!!  However, if I'm not in, I'll be glad I got to audition anyway, because I read from a script and it went well.  I got to stand around and talk to other actors.  It sounds like a really fun production.

Learning to Listen

There’s never a time Jesus is not speaking.
Never a place in which Jesus is not present.
Never a room so dark, that the ever-present, ever-pursuing Jesus is not present.
Max Lucado

I am learning to listen, but you have to believe that He speaks to hear His voice.  A crazy balance to maintain!  How can I believe He speaks if I have never heard His voice?
I am thankful that Jesus Himself said, "His sheep know His voice."  So when I think, "Is that Jesus speaking to me?"  -Prompting me to do something... Or pushing me not to do something...- If I am questioning whether that's Him, it probably is.

For those who say God no longer performs miracles, look at the sun rising & setting, look at babies being born and middle-aged men finally forgiving their brother for some long ago heartache, at leaves changing color and falling, and the miracle of spring's rebirth.  Miracles happen every day.  We're just used to them, so they have become common place. 

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Saturday Smiles

On Saturdays I post about a couple of things that have made me smile over the last week.

1) Sharon Shinn's new book The Shape of Desire
From Shinn's website: Maria Devane has loved Dante Romano since she met him. But he’s a man with a secret: He’s a shape-shifter who spends an increasing amount of time in animal form. Or so he tells her—in the fifteen years they’ve been together, she’s never actually seen him take another shape. She tries not to wonder if that’s the truth. She tries not to think about the other reasons he might disappear for weeks at a time. But she has to start asking herself extremely hard questions when there’s a series of brutal murders in town and the most likely culprit is someone who is half animal, half human.

I love Sharon Shinn's books- she creates believable sympathetic characters and I fall in love with them consistently.  Her intricate plots and fully-realized worlds are fun to jump into and I never want her stories to end. My favorites are the Twelve Houses novels, but I enjoy everything she has written.  Her Samaria books combine faith with science in a way that always makes me think deeply about who I am & what I believe, but they are still enjoyable simply as high-quality stories.

I admit that I wasn't too sure about The Shape of Desire at first.  It took me a couple of chapters to become engrossed, but then I had to finish the book in one big gulp.  I stayed up last night to finish it and I'm glad I did. 

Yes, this book could be subtitled, "My Shape-Changing Boyfriend".  However, Shinn takes the cliches & old-record-grooves, and creates something new and interesting.  Shinn's counter-point story, a co-worker caught in a seriously abusive marriage, causes Maria to question her relationship with Dante in a manner no serious 'Twilight' fan would find acceptable.  I thoroughly enjoyed this thoughtful paranormal romance/mystery.
2) Quiet Time
No Farmer's Market craziness!  I love Farmer's Market, but I'm glad to be released for a season to do other things- like read, watch some TV, enjoy my girls, and bead for pleasure.
3)  I am out of my boot!!!!
I saw the foot doctor this week, and my fractured foot is well enough for me to leave the boot behind!  No exercising, or dancing for a while yet, but I'm free to wear just plain old shoes!

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Not Writing

So, I've been feeling a little dark and depressed lately, probably related to the chilly fall-into-winter weather.  I dread the long cold nights of the Alaskan winters, and generally get a little gloomy as the cold & dark descends on us.  We've had a little snow up here, but mostly just frosts.  In the mornings we've had 20's and low 30's, and I don't like being cold!
I tend to hibernate, hide and read a lot when the weather starts changing....  I want to not get so dark this winter!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

On Adulthood

I wrote this poem about 10 years ago when we were making the decision to  move up to Alaska....  And dealing with a difficult pregnancy.  Atwood's quote made me think of it.  I don't want to grow up, not really, but I like a lot of the perks of being an adult.  There has to be some where in between- where you can handle the responsibility, but still remember the joy of childhood.

Being an Adult

I whisper longingly of joining the circus,
transforming myself into a clown, or a high wire artist.
I dream of running away-
from our tidy condo where never, never echoes in the shadows.
I need to start over
like pulling clean warm laundry from the dryer.
Here is only sighs and promises.
Now is only collectors and debts,
dirty dishes and bills.
I miss running through the sprinkler and laughing as the water hit my skin.

I hate adulthood
dealing with it
and making something of your life

Wish there really was a net under this high wire act

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Thinks I'm Thinking...

Farmer's Market is almost over (just two more days- tomorrow & Saturday) and I'm thinking about this winter...

Some yucky home stuff means that Two Sisters will not be at many Christmas bazaars, probably only two or three.  So what shall I do this winter to keep from going insane?  I was planning on taking metal-smithing, but the same yucky home stuff means I didn't get to do that this semester.  Boo!

I'm expecting to get to play a little more with polymer, and I'm hopeful about how that will come together in the next couple months. 
Deborah is learning violin and will be a little mouse in the Nutcracker. 
Abigail will be doing her Occupational Therapy (Sensory Processing Disorder) and she will also be starting girl scouts this Saturday.

But what else?  I have to have something solid to get me through the cold and dark....  I'll let you all know more when I know more.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Saturday Smiles

On Saturdays I post about a couple of things that have made me smile over the last week.

1) I found a great place for beaders on Facebook! 

Creative Bead Chat is a group for beaders to share what they have made, to ask for help, and to find community.  I'm so lucky that I have my sister making jewelry with me and that we can share our work & difficulties and inspire each other.  However a lot of other beaders don't have that kind of immediate response from someone, and the CBC group is a place to get responses and community.  A place to have people flip over the amazing piece you just finished, or offer advice about how to get the perfect patina on a cuff bracelet...

1) I started back at work.

I like my job.  I'm a 1st-3rd grade "Early Reading Intervention Specialist".  It's not perfect (I have to be outside with the kids for one half hour recess every day, and that part can be very stressful), and I wish it were full time (if I were more than 15 hours they have to pay me benefits, so it's cheaper to have 3 of us at 14 hours a week). 
But I like working with kids and helping them learn to read.  I enjoy watching them grow and get better, understand more and learn to enjoy reading.  I enjoy figuring out with them what their individual reading quirks are and how to fix them.  I like feeling that I am actually making a difference for these kids- that because I am helping them now, maybe they will be able to finish high school and go on to a good paying job.
Although I'm not working with students til next week, I'm back at the school and prepping for my new students.  I am getting to know the kids through the recess time and introducing myself to them.  I really enjoy working with kids.  I admit I prefer kids to most adults.  They are more honest & more fun, as a general rule. 
I remember what it felt like to be a kid- how big everything was, and how overwhelming social conflicts were.  I think a lot of adults forget what it's like to be a kid- how out of control everything feels. I WANT to remember and not forget. 

2) I started a Beth Moore Bible study at church.

I'm so excited!  I haven't been in a good Bible study in probably 2 years, and I really miss the in-depth work and reading my Bible for change and growth.  Listening to God's voice and laying my heart out...  Hope I can buckle down and do the reading and study necessary.