Sunday, November 23, 2008

soft glow of silver & pearls in the midst of cha cha changes...

Believe it or not (I wouldn't blame you if you didn't), I've made some jewelry lately...

These are very beautiful lustrous freshwater pearls in natural white, with tiny brown freshwater pearl dangle, all wrapped up in sterling wire with soft patina. The ear wires are handmade and compliment the main components nicely. I didn't intend them to, but I have to agree with my husband that they look rather like crosses. After a long absence of making jewelry, I relished making these pretty earrings and they will be for sale in my little etsy shop tomorrow, after I take some nicer daylight pics.

I also made some etchings in nickel with french script, three different sizes suitable for charms or pendants, lightweight and comfortable, available in my etsy shop.

Last Tuesday, my husband had a piano servicing appointment in Smithfield, Virginia, which is quite a drive for us but we keep the client because we rebuilt the Steinway grand that is now housed in the customer's living room. The drive is down route 64 and then because it is so pretty, we opt out of completely travelling the conventional route, and instead take the Jamestown/Scotland Ferry from Jamestown landing. This small ferry operates year round and takes cars and passengers from Jamestown to Surry County, Virginia. It is also free. Anyone who is in the Williamsburg area and wants a lovely free outing, this is it. We almost always see eagles, osprey and cormorants in abundance. It takes about twenty minutes to travel one way and it is very relaxing to walk around the vessel looking at the sites. My husband took these photos, as I had to wait in the car with our dog Lucy, who is afraid of the rolling motion of the ferry, and requires Mom to stay with her for comfort.

This photo was taken as we were leaving the Jamestown side. Note the numerous cormorants on the piling.

Hours later, heading back to Jametown Landing... Isn't this beautiful?

I have news to tell besides earrings. I finally got a job. And it's one I wanted. I got an offer last week from a state agency and accepted immediately. Because they have to do a background check from the interim period when I was separated from state service the last 1. 5 years, I won't know a start date until about two and a half more weeks. I am enormously relieved. HUGE **Sigh**.....

Also, I am continuing my university education starting in January, so my life will be very full and busy beginning in mid January.

Things in the world may be gloomy right now, and certainly I still feel it. But I am so very fortunate for these events, and am very, very grateful for the security coming our way.

Looking at this sunset last week, we both felt it... Isn't life wonderful?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

For sale on Etsy

small double sided Italian script etching...

Medium double sided Italian script etching...

Large double sided Italian script etching... Leaves courtesy of the tree in our parking lot.

It's almost 1:35 p.m and I have yet to head for my husband's workshop. It's too cold to strip a piano. The weather said it was to be 58 today but it's still pretty chilly. At least I am using time wisely- doing some laundry, finally getting these pendants listed on Etsy and packaging some books I sold on Ebay.

Mostly today I am thinking about Veteran's Day. Selfishly I am glad I don't have jury duty today as I otherwise may have been sitting in circuit court today.

On a grander and more important scale, I am remembering all the Vets out there, living and dead, who have done so much to protect our country. My grandfather on my mother's side was a WWII vet, stationed in the extreme remote wilderness of Attu, Alaska for several years. Some of the worst bloodshed of WWII was fought on Attu. My mom was a tiny baby when he left, a three year old when he returned. I can't imagine not seeing my family for such a long time. I can't imagine his loneliness, or my grandmother struggling to support a household that included my mother, my great grandparents, and my great aunt, who was a high school student at the time, all on a bank teller's salary. This is how people looked out for one another back then. But she never complained, either at the time or years later, an admirable quality I wish I possessed.

While the war raged on, my grandparents kept up a correspondence, writing each other every day the personal and plain events of their lives, documenting my mom's development from an infant into a toddler and all the events that my grandfather was missing back home in Ohio. The letters are voluminous and detailed and they were saved by my grandmother for more than forty years after my grandfather's untimely departure from this life at the age of 51. After my grandmother's death in 2000, my mom discovered these letters kept in a large wooden box, preserved in order, along with tiny Eskimo dolls, postcards and the long awaited cable from my grandfather, telling his wife that he was finally coming home...

Happy Veteran's Day, everyone. Thank you for your service.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Let the Eagle fly...

Boy oh boy, please don't tell me I'm the only one who is already tired of reading blog entries dedicated to praying for President-elect Obama. Nothing wrong with prayer, nothing at all. But the way it is used is really too much. Such as one I saw today-- prayers that Obama will come to know Christ, which I really don't understand. Has Obama denounced or renounced Christianity? Not to my knowledge. That aside, no one can presume to know what someone else may know of Christ in their personal life and to project it as such upon them is self righteous and self serving.

Then, I saw a blog discussing prayers that Obama may somehow "surprise" us with his ability to successfully lead this country. Honestly, somehow, I think Obama has it covered.

Sincere prayers are one wonderful thing, otherwise it's clear to me the "prayers" alot of these people really would like to have answered would be for Obama to have lost the election. In each case, these good people make sure we the readers know they did not vote for President-elect Obama. That's all fine. Everyone has their opinion.  

In the prayers of some of these bloggers, I read alot of fear.  In between the lines it oozes and splatters all over the place.  Because my goodness, we may very soon have life saving stem cell research in the works, finally. Heavenly days, we will very likely have in the next four years supreme court justices appointed that support pro-choice. We may have to end the war in Iraq. We may see an increase in gun control laws. We may see steps taken to ease our reliance on foreign oil and steps taken to protect our planet from environmental disaster. At long last. These are my opinions.

So continue to pray for Obama, by all means. Thanks be to God. Right now I pray I can continue to pay our bills in this lousy economy. I pray I can find a job that pays more than seven bucks an hour. I pray for good health for myself and my husband and that we, along with 50 some million other uninsured American citizens, can have affordable health insurance. I pray I can finish college without having to sell everything I own to pay for it. I pray I can continue to help out the homeless guy that lives on a plastic chair near my building with two shopping carts. My husband and I feed him several days a week and give him money when we can, a veteran of the Vietnam war, like John McCain. This homeless vet's words? "I never thought I would be the one to end up on the street... I never thought it would be me."

So there are many things to pray for, aren't there, out there, other than for Obama's projected deficiencies and inabilities based on the loss of a candidate. It's everso disheartening.

This is just me.  Now I can get back to making things.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Italian etched pendants

Since I was working on filling some Etsy orders for etched pendants anyway, I got a hankering to try out a huge new rubber stamp, all in Italian. Even though I am going to Italy in less than two months *gulp*, I do not know what the etchings say. This time, instead of leaving the back blank, I took a gamble on burning through the thin copper and etched the reverse side with additional Italian text. They turned out spendidly, although an etched brass barrel didn't fare so well, burned to a thin rusty looking hunk of junk. Lorelei, I'm going to get you!! No, it was my own dumb fault. Trying to do too many things at once and putting different pieces into the etchant at different times and then getting mixed up what was done and what not and you can predict the results.. oh yes. So I spent this evening working on another barrel, which turned out well, and it's on it's way to California.

Reverse side of each, in order as above, shown below... Tomorrow, into the beleagured Etsy shop they go.

Two weeks ago, I went to visit my parents. This past weekend, they and my little pal Maggie came to visit us for a few days. We dashed here, there and everywhere, sightseeing, looking at leaves, eating ice cream and enjoying each other's company. Here I am in front of an ice cream shop with my sweet little girl. Don't laugh, but Maggie knows me as her "Sissy" and goes crazy whenever anyone mentions that word. We have a special bond, that little dog and I, and she is even crazier about my husband, who is known to her as "Uncle Michael." Do we love dogs or what? =)

Of course, even though he is ornerier than the devil and in trouble much of the time as a result, I loves me some fat orange kitty as well... I'm not sure Mango appreciated this hug and kiss, but he should be used to it by now.