April 25, 2014

Shades of Green

This month's beading challenge was easy, once I realized I had already done it!

Karie Popp Hieb taught this very cool project at the Bead Retreat, but I wasn't in that class. Eventually I got around to reading the directions that had been generously included in everyone's packet. I knew it was great-looking, having seen the ones people from the class were working on. And I had two different shades of green tila beads on hand, so let's do this thing!

I finished the bracelet pretty quickly, before my trip to OC, and set it aside. Already planning my next one, maybe in black and white.  Today I pondered this month's challenge, which is multiple shades of one color. What could I possibly do in just the few days I have left?  Wait a minute… I've already done it!

Multiple shades of one color? Check. Done within this month? Check. All made from existing "stash"? Check!!

Sometimes life takes care of me.

"Reversa-tila Bracelet" (design by Karie Popp Hieb)

April 22, 2014


Just got back from OC. Spent a few days visiting with Mom, Gabe, and David.  It's really hard to  watch Mom existing in this limbo. Most days she really can't have a conversation anymore. But yesterday she was more lucid than usual, and was able to tell me how unhappy she is! It was hard to know what to say. But I was touched that when I told her about Nacho's death, she said "I'm sorry. You really loved him, didn't you?" Truly I didn't know if she would even remember him, let alone care.

I told Mom about my upcoming surgery. I would have liked to have a deeper conversation about it, but that's not possible anymore. So I put it really simply, and she wished me good luck.

I go home feeling frustrated and powerless. I have no idea how much longer Mom will survive. It's been a year since she basically stopped eating. And with my surgery coming up, I'm not sure how long it will be until I can travel again. I don't know if that was our final goodbye or not. My feeling of limbo and uncertainty sort of mirrors her condition. Neither of us is happy.

April 1, 2014

Beading on Auto Pilot

March was a tough month for me. Grieving for Nacho, and fighting yet another bad cold, it was hard to think constructively or inventively. Fortunately I already had a significant beading project in progress, so I didn't need to think up anything. And it's always good to have work for my hands when my head and heart are wounded.

At last month's Bead Retreat, I took a wonderful class with the legendary Virginia Blakelock. She was preparing a new class for the Bead & Button show, and we got to be her guinea pigs… for free!!  It was an awesome project, entitled Etruscan Bracelet.

My online beading group issues a challenge each month, and this month's challenge was…. ready for this?…. Ancient Civilizations!! And since the class was held on March 1st, it qualified. This was really great because, as I mentioned I couldn't possibly think up something original myself.

So I spent a few weeks completing the bracelet we began in class, and submitted it on time for the online challenge. Mission accomplished, and some degree of comfort taken.