Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I am going to my first bead and gem show this coming weekend. I'm so excited. (No - the picture isn't real. It's my son-in-law teasing me about my new obcess - oops - hobby....)

Moara ( the lady I met when we visited Frances and Alice) gave me a beading magazine and fliers to upcoming beads shows nationally. She said the selection and bargains were amazing. There are three in Oregon this year. I missed the first one and the next one is in Hillsboro this weekend. Just what I need - MORE beads! (I can't wait!!)

Guess we're going to see the grand kiddos! Have an early Easter with them (this is their spring break week). suggested, since it is conference weekend that we make it a Grandma's Easter and the REAL one will come later!

Tom found a Spider man Easter pail for Cayden. (Isn't that just the most obscene thing ever? Celebrating the Savior's resurrection with Spidie???) Of course we bought it. Now he will get to see Cayden's reaction! We went more traditional with the girls' baskets.

Chrissy's Beads

Here's what I've come up with so far with the beads Chrissy sent me. Here's your preview, Redhot!

I re-strung this one and added the barrel aqua bead to the necklace.

This is some of the greens I got in Moreno Valley.

This is the re-strung version of the necklace that started all this madness. I saw these badge lanyards at the local hospital gift shop before Christmas. I got a couple and my girls liked them. They were a little spendy to buy individually and I thought "I could make those...." Now I have 30 pounds of beads......(jk!!)

I like this better - it's not so heavy and gave me enough flower beads left over to make a pink/coral version! (not strung yet)

This is what I came up with for the frosted beads. Hope you like it, Chrissy .

Funny how the color changes depending on the background!

This is my favorite. I wouldn't have picked the beads on my own, but I ended up loving them. That's the fun of sharing and getting others advice and taste. I won't have been that daring and I love the look!

These beads are just beautiful with all the marbling in them. They are about the size of watermelon seeds and just gorgeous.

Beading is a Disease....

And I am afraid I have caught it!

A month ago, I broke down and bought some more beads. This is what my supply looked like then.

This is what it looks like now:

When I started home from our trip (after finding the Super Joanne's Craft store in Moreno Valley), I could hardly fit my collection in the duffel bag I had brought for the trip. (Don't leave home with them....) Tom swears he hurt his back just lifting it into the van.

I tried something I had seen a friend wearing - combining wire work with beads. If you look, you can see the wire wrapped around the base of the threading hook. I liked the look and wanted to try it. I'm not totally happy with the colors in the necklace yet, but I really like the pendant effects.

I re-strung one of my first projects, the jade and jasper beads. I wanted it a little longer and wanted to give it the appearance of having knots between the beads. I really like how it turned out. I don't know how to do the knots yet, but the small black beads did what I hoped they would.

I made this as an experiment. I wanted a "classy" basic necklace and ended up liking the result more than I thought I would. I have gotten compliments when I wore it.

I'll post some more pictures tomorrow. Chrissy sent me some beads that she picked out and asked me to string them for her. I'm excited with her choices and what I've come up with so far.

Monday, March 30, 2009


Given the chance for a road trip and visiting California, the only thing I was concerned about was - are you ready for this? My bulbs! I was half afraid I would miss their full blooming, after all the time I have waited. Did it keep me from going - obviously not!

BUT - I couldn't wait to see what they looked like when we drove into the driveway. And this is what I found!

I was SO happy! There are advantages to the cool weather and cloudy skies on the coast. It makes spring last longer. I will definitely do this again this fall! What a payoff! And the tulips are up, but haven't bloomed yet! Their buds are huge, though! Chrissy - spring WILL come there. Wish I could send this to you.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

War Memorial

When I was trying to decide between moving to Utah or Oregon, back in 1997, I made a trip during Spring break. We stopped and explored many places and took copious pictures. One place we were advised to visit by my friend, Anne, was this war memorial just north of Weed and east of Granada, CA. When we visited it, it was just a few statues in the middle of the sage and pines. I'm not even sure it was marked.

I was deeply touched by the display. I have told many people about it. When this trip became possible, it was one of THE things I wanted to visit again. I have been haunted by this sculpture. It just touched me in a profound way. It is titled "POW/MIA"

At the time, people had just left various tributes wrapped around the one post. There were metal bracelets left - the type I wore in high school. We made a commitment to wear the soldier's name until they were found or returned. It made the offerings personal to me. Now there is a large collection.

I wanted Tom to see this and it had the same impact on him that it had the first time for me. Very powerful image.

Another one I remembered was the one titled "Nurses." The women vets of Vietnam were often overlooked for their contribution. And the impact what they saw and those they served had on the rest of their lives.

This is "Coming Home." It speaks for itself.

The girls wouldn't recognize the memorial now. I didn't. It has grown and is very manicured. The new displays are just as touching. This one is titled, "Live LZ."

This one is "The Greatest Generation."

This one is a tribute to the Korean War. I have forgotten the name.

This one is "All Wounded Warriors."

This one was hard to capture. It has a different perspective from every angle. It is "The Why Group."
Another new addition to the park is that it has become a veteran's cemetery.

From the past and the present.

Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge

This was always a stop-over on our trips between Victorville and Waldport. In the fall it is a link in the migratory bird flight path. Many winter here until spring. As the days get longer, they return to their summer grounds.

Spring is quite different in what is visible. All we found were the year-round residents and wild flowers. Still a great drive!

There were so many jack rabbits, we thought we were back in the desert. They are almost fearless and VERY curious!

The pheasants were almost as numerous, but much more wary.

The reserve is the combination of several reserves. It covers 35,000 acres and supplies food and rest to a full half of the migratory bird in the Pacific flight path. In the fall these lakes are covered with snow geese and other water fowl.

It is an idyllic setting with the mountains in the distance.

There were numerous hawks. This one captured our interest because of his unwillingness to leave this tree. He sat let us take pictures. He would get uncomfortable enough to take flight, only to return to the same tree. It was a great thing to watch. THEN we found the reason for his reluctance to leave. As we kept the hawk distracted, a large jack rabbit made a break for the open field! We had come between the hawk and his intended lunch! After the rabbit escaped, the hawk deserted us with a disdainful glare.

There were egrets everywhere. They are a common resident in the Sacramento area due to the numerous rice paddies, and Sacramento River wetlands.

It is an "stay in the automobile" tour and you only get to see a small section, but SO fun to drive through if you take your time. We were the only visitors there that day and could stop and watch wherever we wanted. We saw turtles sunning themselves, but couldn't get any pics. Most of the encounters were "ah ha" moments and I wasn't quick enough with the camera. We saw way more pheasants than we could get photos of and more jack rabbits than we WANTED pictures of!

The smiles on our faces weren't only from the wildlife...

We knew where we were eating lunch! Last chance In & Out Burgers in Redding, CA.