Weekly Photo Recap

My online photo class is over and I thought I’d put up the weekly photo recap today to celebrate! It has been a challenge to keep up with Nablopomo and Photo101 this month, and I feel proud and a little fatigued.  And strangely, a little bored.

I’m curious about the relationship between fatigue, boredom, and the ending of a chapter in one’s work life. I feel it with this month’s ending, a sense of relaxation and relief, mixed with a “what now” feeling.  It’s a microcosm of the ending of my teaching career. For the last year or so, I’ve been working at not working, and strange as it sounds, it’s not easy. I have to learn to be free.

What if there is no “they” out there telling me what to do? Telling me the “shoulds” and “have tos” of life?  Sometimes, it’s easy as pie.  Relax, do some crafts, read, watch tv, go for a walk, visit with friends, do chores. But sometimes, it’s hard, like, “how do I do nothing?” “Am I allowed to do nothing?” “What do I want to do?” How to we get so accustomed to just following directions, coloring within the lines, buying our lives off the shelf?

Handmade Christmas Gifts: Hemp and Aventurine Wrap Bracelet or Necklace

Hemp Aventurine Wrap Bracelet or Necklace Projecteasier.com

Hemp Aventurine Wrap Bracelet or Necklace Projecteasier.com

I always try to make some of my Christmas or holiday presents. I myself really love getting handmade gifts and I know that some of my friends and relatives appreciate it too. As our world gets more and more commercialized, a handmade gift given to the right person can mean so much  more than a purchased one.

I’ve had these small, faceted, aventurine beads for a long time. I love semi precious stones–jewelry, beads, and the stones themselves.

Aventurine is known to be a healing stone which brings energy and opportunity.

Thanks to Jewelry Making Journal, I followed this tutorial, with several changes. I only had 42 beads and I put 5 chain stitches between beads. I used 10lb hemp which I got at my local craftstore, Beverly’s. I used a 2.75 mm hook, because that’s what I had. After the piece was finished, I blocked it by wetting in warm water, and stretching it with pins across my ironing board. This made the bracelet longer and less bumpy–more “finished” looking.

I like the natural, low-bling, boho style of this piece! Next time I think I will vary the number of stitches between beads to make the beads fall less uniformly.  I’m not crazy about the way the beads fall in a crooked line on my wrist. It may fall differently on another size wrist.  Not sure about that.

The bracelet wraps around my wrist 9 times and can be worn as a long or short necklace. It was pretty easy and fun to make and I think I’ll make some more today.  Want to join me?

Ooh, it’s Microblog Monday!  Check out Stirrup Queen’s great blog and list of microblog monday peeps!


Cloudy Day at Oyster Bay

Dog walks in nature are good.  Crazy puppy can be off leash and risk sticking his nose in gopher holes.  Pupper runs and leaps, skips and jumps.The moment I try to photograph the Peregrine Falcon, he flies from his perch.  The thorned pod reminds me that Autumn is here, and the red berries, that Christmas is on the way.

A friend recently lost her pet.  I said, “when Krishna died I was so brokenhearted.  Like he, and only he knew me the best. Deeper than humanity.”

She said, “Right.  You nailed it.”

Got me to thinking about a favorite poem.


You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

-Mary Oliver

I love the line, “you only have to let the soft animal of your body/ love what it loves.”