Welcome To My World

Just living is not enough. One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower. ~Hans Christian Anderson

Life's Best Recipe for Success


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Merry Christmas and Peace To All

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Thursday, December 3, 2009

It Would Be An Honor

Red Shirt

If the red shirt thing is new to you, read below how it went for a man...

Last week, while traveling to Chicago on business, I noticed a Marine sergeant traveling with a folded flag, but did not put two and two together.. After we boarded our flight, I turned to the sergeant, who'd been invited to sit in First Class (across from me), and inquired if he was heading home.No, he responded.Heading out I asked? No. I'm escorting a soldier home.Going to pick him up?No. He is with me right now. He was killed in Iraq , I'm taking him home to his family. The realization of what he had been asked to do hit me like a punch to the gut.. It was an honor for him. He told me that, although he didn't know the soldier, he had delivered the news of his passing to the soldier's family and felt as if he knew them after many conversations in so few days. I turned back to him, extended my hand, and said, Thank you Thank you for doing what you do so my family and I can do what we do.

Upon landing in Chicago the pilot stopped short of the gate and made the following announcement over the intercom. "Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to note that we have had the honor of having Sergeant Steeley of the United States Marine Corps join us on this flight He is escorting a fallen comrade back home to his family. I ask that you please remain in your seats when we open the forward door to allow Sergeant Steeley to deplane and receive his fellow soldier. We will then turn off the seat belt sign."Without a sound, all went as requested. I noticed the sergeant saluting the casket as it was brought off the plane, and his action made me realize that I am proud to be an American

So here's a public Thank You to our military Men and Women for what you do so we can live the way we do.

Red Fridays.Very soon, you will see a great many people wearing Red every Friday. The reason? Americans who support our troops used to be called the "silent majority." We are no longer silent, and are voicing our love for God, country and home in record breaking numbers.. We are not organized, boisterous or overbearing. Many Americans, like you, me and all our friends, simply want to recognize that the vast majority of America supports our troops. Our idea of showing solidarity and support for our troops with dignity and respect starts this Friday -- and continues each and every Friday until the troops all come home, sending a deafening message that ... Every red-blooded American who supports our men and women a far, will wear something red. By word of mouth, press, TV -- let's make the United States on every Friday a sea of red much like a homecoming football game in the bleachers. If every one of us who loves this country will share this with acquaintances, coworkers, friends, and family, it will not be long before the USA is covered in RED and it will let our troops know the once "silent" majority is on their side more than ever, certainly more than the media lets on.

The first thing a soldier says when asked "What can we do to make things better for you?" is. "We need your support and your prayers." Let's get the word out and lead with class and dignity, by example, and wear something red every Friday.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Another Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

We awoke yesterday to a beautiful fluffy layer of snow and again this morning the fluff was plied higher than before. It is a very early storm up here in the White Mountains of Arizona but a beautiful sight nonetheless. I spent this week removing wallpaper from the bedroom walls. I have put this project off for three years and for some unknown reason, something moved me this week to take care of business. I am so happy with the results that I wonder why I didn't do it sooner. I know the answer to that question, however, and it is because of the nightmare I experienced while removing the wallpaper from the kitchen walls - inch by inch by inch!! I'll start painting the walls tomorrow and replace the vanity lights and it will look like new. We have been busy this week packing up and closing out the mountain home for the winter. I always hate to leave this home because I feel so comfortable here but once the switch is over, I become very comfortable in Green Valley again. I realize how lucky I am to have these choices and each home has it's own personality. I will be very happy to get back to Green Valley and mingle with my smithing friends again. I miss that friendship and exposure to all of the wonderful talents that reside there. Besides all of that, I will be able to visit with all of my friends returning to Green Valley for the winter season from the eastern states. Life is good. Everyone have a safe and fun Halloween and don't let the witches get you down:]

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My Lucky Day has arrived

This is the day I have been waiting for all week:0) My christmas gift to myself has arrived so without further adoo - on to my life in the snowy White Mountains of Arizona - I just returned from my mailbox (I could hear a little screaming voice outside and went to investigate). I opened the door and yippers, wowzie, OMGosh, guess what jumped into my waiting arms??? Well, I excitedly took this little brown square box into my studio to be opened in private because I didn't want dh to wonder what I was up to now. I carefully pulled out my box cutter, ever so precisely cutting the packing tape away from the top to reveal a beautiful card and a spot of luscious, mouth watering Ginseng Green Tea bag, just waiting to be sipped. I very quietly pulled away the packing papers and crikey----there was the most beautiful object I have ever seen, my very own inbetween ring from my dearest Jillian. The turquoise and copper are so stunning along side the very darling baubles and other stones. I purchased this last Friday, Jill mailed it on Monday and here it is on my finger Wednesday. Wow, the postal service must have known my anxiety and hand carried it all the way from Pokey to me......Jill, you are the best and I am so lucky to be able to call you my friend.....I am speaking of course, for those of you who don't know her, Jillian of thenoisyplume@etsy.com. She creates some of the most beautiful jewelry I have ever seen, check her out. Also, check out my friend Carolyn of autumnleavesjewelry@etsy.com. She also is a very talented silversmither. They are my mentors while I am busy learning the trade and I hope someday to be as proficient as they are....I will, it will just take time. Hugs to all and thank you for reading my blog. I am off to fix a cuppa tea compliments of Jillian. Sally

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

On The Road Again Days- 2 and 3

Days two and three of our fabulous trip took us through the Arches National Park. The forces of nature have created the landscape of Arches, which contains the greatest density of natural arches in the world. The beauty was overwhelming. These rocks have been formed over millions of years of deposition, erosion and other geological occurrances. Even today, these arches continue to develop through erosion as the water flows when it rains.

Did you know that Landscape Arch is the longest Arch in Arches National Park? I didn't either but here are the facts if you are interested: The Arch measures 306 feet from base to base. In 1991, a massive slab of rock fell from its underside, resulting in an even thinner ribbon of rock.

Once again, we witnessed some incredible, natural beauty right here in our own back yard.

We were so captivated by the beauty of the area that we realized later that we did not take any pictures of the arches themselves. We did, however, get a good picture of Balanced Rock, near The Window, teetering on its pedestal and that is a site not to be forgotten!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

God Bless America and all of Her Beauty

I can't believe it has been over a month since my last post. Believe it or not there is a reason and I will try to update you on our happenings of late.

We took off in the Airstream on September 8, destination of the day was Canyon de Chelly. What a magnificient canyon. We set up camp and proceeded to take the driving tour and enjoy the numerous spectacular viewpoints above the canyon floor. The sun was beginning to set and the reflections of the shadows off the geological wonders was very spiritual. The national monuent, which actually includes Canyon del Muerto, Monument Canyon, and Canyon de Chelly (pronounced - Canyon de shay), has housed people for more than 1,500 years. Numerous pictographs, petroglyphs, and ruins tell the tales of the people who once made their homes their. The style of living has changed from the circular pit houses of the Basket Makers to the cliff dwellings of the Anasazi and Pueblos to the hogans of the Navajo (who first came here in the 1700's), but the regard for the cliffs as a spiritual place has always remained true.

One of my favorite sights was the Spider Rock, an 800 foot spire said to be the home of "Spider Woman".

These beautiful words are on a pedestal overlooking Spider Rock:

"...with beauty all around me, I wait.....

Navajo Night Chant


Smell the pungent juniper.

Feel the gentle power of beauty.

Ancient Black Rock hunches on

the distant horizon.

A dark cloud above means rain

will soon be upon us.

The awesome monolith at your feet is Tse No ashjee ii - Spider

Rock. Holy Spider Woman is an

important deeity in Navajo

mythology. It was she who taught

the People how to weave.

There is purity and strength here.

And places sacred to the people.

Places strong in the oneness of

earth and sky and of all things.

"I am indeed its child

Absolutely I am earth's child."

Navajo Song of the Earth.

It makes me smile just to remember this beautiful day. If you haven't had the priviledge of a visit to this monument, you need to schedule one.....It is one of many of our wonderous treasures to behold.

Off to work in my studio today so I will sign off for now. Hugs to all and it's good to be back.

I almost forgot to tell you about my experience at the Visitor's Center at Chelly. There is a Navajo silversmith who has worked creating his beautiful wares at the center for over 35 years. He spent quite a bit of time with me and showed me his hand made stamps, the tree stump that he has used forever to form his metal and many tricks of the trade. He was such a delightful man and I really wanted to spend more time with him. I might just go back there some day to soak up some more of his expertise.....there is so much to learn and so little time to study....Enjoy the moment!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Ryan Martin Hoffman

It's official - Baby Boy Hoffman has been named Ryan Martin Hoffman. Born September 4, 2009, 9 lbs 2 oz, 22 inches long. A very exciting moment in the lives of Granddma and Grandpa Hoffman. We have three lovely granddaughters and now we have a very handsome grandson. We are anxious to meet him and welcome him into our arms. Wow - life is good.

The White Mountain Woman's Club Home and Garden Tour went off without a hitch today. Rain was lurking its ugly head but it never materialized - thank goodness. I was in charge of raffle tickets and the home where the bake sale was being held and it was a very big success. I also won one of the gift baskets so I felt very lucky. It was a darling basket filled with margarita mix, glasses, table cloth, napkins and other related items. We will be taking it on our trip next week.

I've missed my time in my studio the past 2 weeks due to other commitments with the WMWC. I'm happy that the pace will slow down and I can get back to my metal friends.

Everyone enjoy a safe Labor Day weekend and I'm posting some pictures of our activities over this past week.

Character is not made in a crisis, it is only exhibited - Robert Freeman

Friday, September 4, 2009

Baby Boy Hoffman

What a wonderful day this was. My son celebrated his birthday with the birth of a baby boy. He weighed in at 9 lbs 2 oz - everyone is doing fine. His older sister will be 1 year old on September 8th. Do you think the parents are going to be a little busy for a few years? We can't wait to meet him.

I spent my day helping set up for the White Mountain Woman's Club Home and Garden Tour. It will be held tomorrow and we are all praying for no rain until after 4pm:) There are so many beautiful hand crated items available for sale and I'm sure they will sell fast. This is a yearly event and very well attended. All of the proceeds benefit various charities here on the mountain.

I'll update later with pictures.

Make the most of yourself for that is all there is of you - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Busy, Busy, Busy Day

Hi everyone,

Today was a barn burner of a day. I am finishing up projects for the White Mountain Women's Group boutique to be held this Saturday. It is a Home and Garden Tour and is always very successful. This is a wonderful group to be associated with and they give thousands back to the community in the form of scholarships and support. This tour is one of their largest fund raisers for the year.

We've been meeting twice a week to work on craft projects and this is the last week. It will be nice to have a break. I miss not working on my silversmithing as much as I'd like to - oh well....

We leave on vacation Tuesday and I am ready.

I'm tired tonight so I will sign off with some words of wisdom from David Letterman: "USA Today has come out with a new survey - apparently, three out of every four people make up 75% of the population".

It's a scarry world out there so stay alert and smile - they'll wonder what you've been up to!! Hugs, Sally

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Oh, It has been so long my friends

It has been so long since my last blog. I don't know where life goes some times. We have been so busy with this house renovation that we haven't had time for ourselves. I will attach the pictures of the finished product tomorrow and you will know why we are so elated!!!

I joined the White Mountain Women's Group last month and have been very busy ever since. We are preparing for our annual Fall Home and Garden Tour along with a wonderful boutique and bake sale. As everyone knows - if you want to give to others, it takes time and effort. I love it.

We (John and I) are preparing to depart on Tuesday, 9/8, for a month long trip in our Airstream trailer. We are going to trip through Utah, Montana, Idaho and back home to Arizona. I will be doing a daily post of our activities. We are going to Idaho to visit friends and relatives that I have not seen in many year - too many. I can't wait.

It is getting late so my salutation to you is this - cheers my dears and enjoy life as it is the biggest thing we have going at the time!!.. Love

Monday, July 20, 2009

First Flights-www.jillrutanhoffman.com

Check out this website....Our daughter-in-law, Jill Rutan Hoffman, recently published her second book and it is wonderful. We are all so proud of her. If you love flying, and who doesn't, you will love these stories. Many of them keep you on the edge of your seat wondering how they will end. Jill and I are both wives of Air Force Test Pilots and we have lived through some pretty exciting times. I'm sure that we weren't always told the "whole story" by our husbands, but sometimes that was a good thing. I encourage you to purchase and read this fantastic book and if you have children who are interested in aviation, perhaps they could someday be reliving some of these stories.

I've been busy cleaning the Pinetop home this week and will soon be sitting down in my studio to solder away. I want to finish some earrings I'm making for a friend and then I will be starting a cuff bracelet. I am waiting for my silver order as I type so maybe it will arrive tomorrow and I can begin.

The weather up here is delightful. It is certainly better than the 112 degrees we suffered through in Green Valley last week - whew!! I don't know how people can stand that heat full time.

I guess I've rambled on long enough - not much to report. Have a great week and don't forget to check out Jill's blog at www.jillrutanhoffman.com. Cheers, Sally

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Hello Out There

Wow, I can't believe I haven't blogged since May 15th. It has been a busy summer and I am having a great time. I just returned from a wonderful trip to Idaho where I attended the wedding of my cousin. It was in a beautiful setting at a resort ranch, Wildhorse Creek Ranch in MacKay, Idaho. I was also able to spend some quality time with some of my cousins that I hadn't seen in almost 18 years, Where does time go? We all agreed that we would do better at keeping in touch with each other and even spoke about organizing a Wallace family reunion next year. It will be such fun getting this generation and our children/grandchildren together - some for the first time. Unfortunately, since the last Wallace reunion in 1990, we've lost many of our parents, aunts and uncles. We miss them terribly but will always remember them with big smiles. The Wallace family is always full of smiles and laughter so I look forward to getting this reunion on the road. I also spent time with my best friend from high school and the maid of honor at my wedding, Joanne. We never seem to change and I think that is about as good as it gets. She drove me all around Boise and I was able to take pictures of my previous homes - they looked as good as ever too. John and I are planning a road trip in our Airstream in August to go back to Idaho and enjoy the great outdoors it has to offer.

We've been very busy with the Pinetop house renovations this summer. John has been working right along with the contractors on the new decks, patios and stonework on the front of the garage areas. It is beautiful and we will be enjoying it for many years to come - soon. He has no trouble keeping right up with the 30 year olds so that makes him smile alot.

I had a terrific garage sale recently and made enough to purchase my last 2 big tools I've wanted for a long time - a Foredom Flexshaft Power Tool and a Smith Little Torch unit for soldering. Now I need to get busy and create some wonderful pieces of jewelry from all of this luxury. Can't wait.

I'd better sign off for now but it feels good to be back. Hugs and good soldering to all of my silversmithing friends and hugs to all. Sally

Monday, May 25, 2009

A Day of Remembering

Today is officially Memorial Day. A day when we gather to enjoy friends and family. It is also a day that we should remember those who have served our country and especially those who lost their lives protecting ours. We must remember their families who have also sacrificed so much. I was an Air Force spouse for 27 years and although most of it was remarkably rewarding, there were those moments when sadness entered all of our lives. Those times when we lost a friend. Those times when a wife or husband lost their spouse, best friend, and lover. Those times when a child lost their parent, role model and hero.

For those of you who watched the Memorial Day Concert in Washington, DC last night, it was all too clear the sacrifices that are being made on our behalf.

Take a moment each morning when your feet touch the ground to say thank you and offer a special prayer for those very special people - most of whom we don't even know but that shouldn't matter. Say a prayer for the spouse, child and parent in their lives. Say a prayer for their safe return to this wonderful country of ours that without their volunteering for duty we wouldn't be enjoying today.

Hugs to our heros and their families. God Bless them all and God Bless America.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Happy Memorial Day Weekend

Hi everyone. Wow, it's been a long dry spell since I last blogged. So much has happened. I had a wonderful visit with my 2 sons and their beautiful families in April. Sure wish I lived closer to them so I could enjoy my 3 grand daughters growing up - it all happens so fast. Anyway, I came back to Arizona and we had a trip scheduled to San Carlos, Mexico with friends the week before Mother's Day. WELL, the swine flu hit the fan and you probably know the rest of the story. After much discussion and calls from children worrying about us being exposed, we changed our plans and went to Sedona, AZ. We all had a wonderful time with perfect weather. Gads I love that place - so much art everywhere you look. Galleries galore to enjoy and if so inclined you can stimulate the economy at the same time. Following that trip, we came up to Pinetop, AZ which is located in the White Mountains. We have a summer home here and it is so nice to get out of the desert heat!! I just finished unpacking my studio and I think it is all organized and ready to roll. I haven't done any metalsmithing in 2 months and I am about to scream - I mean it. It seems like all I have done is pack, unpack and repack. I'm ready to settle down and get to work. I hope you are all having a wonderful summer and by the way, wasn't that a great Indy today!!! What a race and what an emotional finish. I love him and am so happy he won.

As Rich Willis said, "Whenever ideas are shared, the result is always greater than the sum of the parts". - Thanks to Carolyn Miller of Autumn Leaves Jewelry for sharing her ideas on signing your work with all of us - it was a great vlog. I think it is so wonderful when other artists share their ideas with us and help us to improve ourselves and our work. None of us are re-creating the wheel but it is great when we can find an easier or more efficient way to do things. Thanks to all of you for sharing and helping me to become a better artist and I hope someday I can do the same for someone else. Have a great week.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Easter Bunny's been here

Praise Jesus for this day. I had such a great morning with family, church and easter egg hunt:>} Here is a recipe for cookies my DIL made last night - they are wonderful and could not be any easier!!!
1 (18.25 oz) box cake mix
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Choose your favorite flavor - I like chocolate, and the lemon mix makes tasty lemon cookies

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix only the above ingredients (although you can add 1/4 cup chopped nuts, raisens or choc chips) in a large bowl until blended. Drop the batter by spoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake on the middle rack for 8 - 10 minutes, watching them carefully. They'll brown quickly, so stand by the oven for the first batch.
Enjoy - it couldn't be any easier than this.

When we arrived home from church, we discovered that the EB had visited - what fun. The adults enjoyed a lovely Mimosa as the girls hunted for the infamous eggs - discovering in the end that one of the local squirrels had taken one away for his/her very own.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

A Wonderful Day with Family

We all had a great time today. I wish I lived closer to my family members so that I could enjoy them more often. Our oldest grand daughter came home from crew camp last night and has spent today catching up on sleep. Here's our day in a nutshell

Happy Easter to everyone and takecare of yourselves.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Great Wine and Chocolate

I had such a wonderful day today. I got together with Carolyn (Autumn Leaves Jewelry) and had a blast. My daughter in law, grand daughter and I drove over to Reston and met C at her home for lunch and what a lunch it was. She really put out a wonderful spread of fruit, cheese, crackers, dips and vino. We visited and discovered so much about our backgrounds is similar - military history on both sides. It was really a great time. As we were leaving, she forced us to take some chocolate with us and I figured that it would have been rude to refuse:>} I wish we lived closer because I am sure we could stir up some trouble with little effort. I loved seeing your studio and all of your cats. They are adorable. You have an open invite to Tucson anytime but the gem show would be a great time to visit as it is unbelieveably huge - like all over town for 2 weeks. Lots of good golfing too so DH wouldn't get bored:>}

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Finally made it!!

What a trip. My leg from Phoenix to Philly went smoothly then everything fell apart. For whatever reason, after four hours of waiting my flight to Newburgh was cancelled and I was handed a hotel voucher for the night - mind you it is now 10:30 p.m. Anyway, I had a good nights sleep and was scheduled to go out on a flight at 2:05 p.m. the next day. I found out quite by accident that there was a flight going out at 9:00 a.m. but it was oversold already. I took my chances and was at the airport at 7:00 a.m. and signed up for a standby seat. At this point I was #7 on the list so I felt there was no chance. Being the positive thinker that I am however, I sat right there and waited. It was boarding time and I was getting anxious but figured what would be would be and that was all there was to it. Name after name was called and FINALLY - Sally Hoffman was called out. I jumped to my feet and the girl at the gate just said, "get in there and take whatever seat is left - hurry". I did just that and took the single seat next to the exit row. The flight attendant came down the aisle and asked those of us in the exit rows if we agreed to follow the directions on the door if need be......I looked him straight in the eye and said, "you've got the right girl here if you need me - I can remove that door and exit in a heartbeat!" He chuckled and went on his merry way. The flight was short, only 30 minutes, and my son David was waiting at the gate...what a wonderful sight indeed. I am having such a wonderful time with my 6 month old grand daughter. What a beautiful baby she is. She just smiles all of the time and is almost maintenance free. Grandma has fed, clothed, played patty cake and changed the ultimate heavy load since arrival and I am loving every minute of it. Wish I lived closer so I could enjoy her more often. Of course don't get me wrong, I am also enjoying her parents just as much and I am very proud of them and all of their accomplishments - especially their baby girl and the newest sibling in the tummy at this time. The newest addition is scheduled to arrive in September - one year apart. Wow, are Mom and Dad going to be busy.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Bags are packed and I'm ready to roll

It's April Fool's Day and also my good friends anniversary - Happy Anniversary Geri and Art, hope your day is filled with love. I am waiting for 10 AM to roll around so I can go get some blood work out of the way for my physical then we are heading down I-19 to Phoenix. We will be spending the night at my nieces home in our Airstream trailer then I'm off to the airport early tomorrow morning. I am so excited. Can't wait to hug my baby grand daughter - her mom and dad too but I'll grab her first:>} She's just shy of 6 months and from the videos we've seen, she's getting very mobile. My DH just came into my studio and handed me a check for $500 towards my trip - WOW. A wonderful surprise and so sweet of him - thank you sweetie:>} I wish you were going along but I will keep you posted in Vlogs and phone calls. Sounds like Lisa (Lisa'sLovlies)is having a blast in Florida with her family- she needed a break. I think I've taken care of business at home so it's time to get going. The house is clean, frozen meals ready for hubby, laundry all finished and I'm exhausted! I'll rest up on the plane for my visit with a 6 month old because I think I will need all of the energy I can muster in a few days. Hugs to all and we'll talk soon. p.s. Carolyn, (AutumnLeavesJewelry) don't knock yourself out, just have your beautiful rings lined up for me to try on:>} Sally

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Gads, it's been a while since I've blogged. I have been very busy packing for several trips. I'm leaving tomorrow for NYC/DC for 3 weeks to visit family and friends. Carolyn of Autumn Leaves and I are hoping to get together and do a Vlog for everyone. Should be fun. I return from that trip on 4/25 and pack for the next trip which will be to San Carlos, Mexico for a week. We have friends coming from Ohio, AZ and Ga to join us. This has become an annual ritual and we always have a great time - who wouldn't with margaritas flowing all day??? As soon as we return from Mexico, we head for the White Mountains of Arizona for the summer. Then I should be in place for the entire summer - no more trips. Oops, I forgot that we are taking our Airstream trailer on a trip in July to attend a cousins wedding in Idaho. It will be wonderful to reconnect with family that I haven't seen in several years. I yearn for the days when families lived near each other and could visit often. I'd better tend to the washer and dryer now or I won't have any clothes to pack. Until next time, have a great week and hopefully, soon the pollen will settle down and we can all breathe again. Cheers, Sally P.S. Some people are telling me that when they visit this blog and try to leave a comment, they getted knocked off. If this happens to you please email me and let me know so I can research the issue www.thebearaffair@cox.net

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Spring is on the way

It's that time of the year again. You know, the time when all of the flowers start blooming, the birds are building nests, and the wind is blowing constantly. This all leads to one thing - allergy season. I should be dehydrated as much as I've blown my nose and wiped my tears away this past week. The good news is that it will all soon be over - I hope.

I had a wonderful trip to Santa Fe and the Interweave Beadfest. I even caught a few snowflakes on my tongue one day. We were walking from one hotel to the other and all of a sudden there was a huge snow storm.
It was so much fun to meet the instructors, authors and artists that I've interacted with for many years via the web and books. I took a wonderful workshop from Tracy Stanley - Cold Connections. It was really exciting to learn different techniques of texturing metals and combining them with several different kinds of riveting to create a fabulous bracelet. She is a delight to spend time with and a wonderful instructor. Check out her website to learn more about her
The first picture is of Tracy, me and a new friend of mine. When we were getting settled at our tables before class started, we discovered that we were from the same town, Green Valley, Arizona. It is still small enough that we probably should have know each other before now. We are both active in the same metalsmithing and lapidary classes so go figure why we hadn't met before now. Anyway, we will be having some fun together now. The picture of the bracelet is of one of Tracy's examples because we didn't finish ours by the end of the class. It is a lot of work to put one of these together - guess that's why Tracy told us that they sell for $420.00!! If you're interested, I'll work you a killer deal though":>}

Another exciting moment for me was meeting and visiting with Susan Lenart Kazmer. For those of you who do not recognize her name, she is an explorer, inventor and maverick, according to her bio. She is the queen of cold connections and has developed techniques most would love to be able to master. Her recent book is titled Making Connections. A Handbook of Cold Joins for Jewelers and Mixed Media Artists. It is a great book to learn from and also makes a nice coffee table adornment. Susan has more energy than any ten people I know and she is a delight to watch in action. I plan to take a class from her next year but boy, the minute the classes are posted they fill up so if you are interested I have one word for you - hurry! You can check her out at the following address:

This is a picture of Susan signing my book. What a fun time.
I was able to visit my brother and sister-in-law while attending the conference too. They live about 20 miles from Santa Fe so it was great to be able to B & B with them. Thanks so much Jerry and Sandy. I hope I can return the favor this summer up in the White Mountains of Pinetop. Of course the visit wouldn't have been complete without several shopping trips - something my sister-in-law and I have down to a science:>} She had several vintage pieces of jewelry that we (she) re-worked and a good time was had by all. My brother was happy because he was in complete control of the remote and could watch anything he wanted for an entire week........

I guess I've rambled long enough so I will sign off for now. Happy spring to everyone and have a great week. I'd love to hear from you so if you read my blog please let me know what you think of it.

Monday, March 9, 2009

An Award is Worth a Thousand Words

Wow, today I checked my blog and found out that I am the grateful recipient of an award. Not just any award either. This is a very special award given to me by Tammy from Tammy's Treasure Chest and is called the Let's be Friends Award.

Thank you so much Tammy. Here is the description of this wonderful award:

These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award. Now I'd like to pass this award on to:






Check these blogs out and give them a big hug. We all work very hard to maintain our sanity and it is wonderful to be recognized by a friend:>}

Thursday, March 5, 2009

And Life Goes On

Today I lost a good friend. My friend Jan passed away of ovarian cancer. The good news is that she is in the palm of God's hands forever and will never suffer again. I'll miss you my friend.

I finished up my PMC class and really enjoyed it. I made 4 pendants and will be taking them with me when I go to visit my granddaughters next month. I hope they like them.

This is terrible picture but I'm not in the mood to fool with the camera right now so this will have to do. I'll try to sharpen it up tomorrow. REMEMBER: Ride the wind to places of your dreams! {{{hugs}}}

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

It's A Wonderful Day

Hi everyone. I had a wonderful day today. I took a PMC class that I've wanted to take for quite some time. I made three pendants and can't wait to go back tomorrow to clean them up and enjoy. I am no longer afraid to work with the clay and like everything else, once you try it, the fear is gone. Another fun avenue in the roadmap of jewelry. My husband thinks I have too many toys - I think I have too little time:>} I'm going to Santa Fe next week to attend the Santa Fe Beadfest. I AM SO EXCITED. My brother and sister-in-law live there so I will take a few classes and play the rest of the time. I'm taking a class on cold connections from Tracey Stanley. It will be a blast. I'll keep you posted and send pictures along the way.

On a sad note, for those of you who have been reading my blog, my friend Jan is in Hospice tonight and has slipped into a coma. She is the friend that I took the quilt to a few weeks ago. I am so happy that I had a chance to visit with her and give her the quilt. She was so happy with the quilt. God will take good care of her, I know, but it is so hard to let go. God Bless you Jan and thanks for the wonderful memories.

The weather here is Arizona is wonderful but I won't elaborate because I know what my friends and family on the east coast are going through right now.

REMEMBER: Running around with good friends is one of life's greatest pleasures - enjoy.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Dirty Story

It's a dirty story but someone has to tell it. I was tumbling some of my finished pieces last night and when I took them out, they were blackened, like they had been dipped in LOS. I paniced and wondered to myself, "Self, did you patina a piece and forget to rinse it off before you put it in the tumbler?" I didn't think so but in my normal state of SADD,(senior attention deficit disorder:>}) I wouldn't guarantee anything. I decided to tumble another piece and see if it happened again. Sure enough, the second piece looked just the same. I knew I was going to be attending a design class today at the Lapidary Shop so decided not to panic. After all, when I go to the shop to work on something I always have more than enough advisors available:>}. After the session, I asked the main instructor if I'd done the unpardonable and was it irreversible. I had visions in my head of needing to dispose of the shot due to contamination and it is expensive to purchase and more expensive to ship so I surely didn't want that to be the case. He kind of gave me that ole SEG and asked me what color my water was. I told him it was pretty dirty and the shot was black. Ah hah he said. You haven't cleaned your shot lately have you? Nope, no one told me I had to do that......never heard of cleaning the shot. He told me to go home and either order some Shot Cleaner Fluid (from Rio) or just mix up a solution of ammonia and let the shot soak for awhile and that should take care of the problemo......I came home and followed his instructions and sure enough, the water turned black from the gunk attached to the shot and the shot is now nice and shiny. I love those experts who always seem to bail us out of trouble. I guess those are the best kinds of lessons because I will always wash my shot once a week or so to make sure this doesn't happen to me again.

On another note the design class was wonderful and I can't wait until Wednesday and Thursday when I take my PMC class. I've had some packages of PMC in my studio for months because I was afraid to open the packages. It is so expensive I was afraid I'd screw it up and waste the clay. I'm told that the main thing you have to worry about is letting it dry out so I will be very careful. Will keep you posted. My husband is back home after the weekend in Phoenix and very happy to have a steak dinner and sleep in his own bed for a change.....Gotta love them.

On another note, I came home from my class to find this little visitor on my patio, having lunch no less - yuk. In case you can't tell, it is a beautiful hawk.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ash Wednesday

Boy, I don't know where time is going lately. I can't believe it is already Ash Wednesday - seems like just yesterday was Christmas. I attended church at noon today, and have my ashes to prove it:>} On my way home I stopped at the grocery store to pick up a few items for home. While shopping, I ran into (not literally of course) a friend I hadn't seen in months and 2 hours later I was checking out! She filled me in on her life for the past few months and proceeded to tell me about something that had happened to her last month........she was on her way to attend a morning function at the art gallery locally and about 1/2 mile from her house she heard sirens and noticed that the big red fire engine was requesting her to move over so he could get by. She promptly pulled over to the side of the road and he goes past. Immediately, she notices that she is now being courted by a police car - mind you she hasn't moved since she pulled over. He comes to her window and makes a reference to the fact that he "could" ticket her for not yielding to an emergency vehicle. She explains that of course she yields but hadn't noticed him right away and the police officer told her that it was her "responsiblity" to use her rear view mirror at all times. One thing led to another and she ends up getting ticketed. She thinks he was pissed because she stared at his name badge at which point he told her that she could go talk to his supervisor if she wanted to!! This is a long and convoluted story which I'm not relaying very well but to make a long story longer - he ticketed her. She was so agitated just telling me the whole thing that I can imagine how she was at the time. She was going to just go to traffic school and pay the $260.00 fine - YES, $260.00!!! She has decided to contest the ticket and will be going to court in May. She has every right to fight this one but as she says, she will never win because the judge will probably side with the officer. I don't know though because the judge is a woman and he made several slanted remarks to my friend during all of the conversations that I don't think will be taken well by the judge - another one of life's little sagas!! Glad it was her and not me is all I know. I never know when to keep my mouth shut either and probably would have ended up in jail!!! Anyway, I got nothing accomplished in the studio today so tomorrow will be busy. I need to photograph and upload so hope it's a nice day outside. DH is out of town again until next Monday so I should be able to get alot done. Everyone have a great day and remember: Confusion is the first sign intelligence!!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

My Studio Condensed

I think this is so cool. I was able to make a collage from my pictures of the studio and here they are. I'm now organized and ready to work.....Didn't I say that a few hours ago??? I've been pulling my pieces of paper together for taxes - DH is getting impatient. If I'd run my school district the way I run this business I'd be in jail:>} Guess I'm just tired of being a business manager - I'll make a concerted effort to improve in 2009.....Click on the collage to enlarge
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More Studio

African Trade Beads. I love these beads and need to figure out something to make with them. I seem to collect tons of beads and stuff but it's time I quit collecting and start producing I think.
MORE STRINGS of beads. I went crazy at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show a few years ago and that is why I try to stay away now - just go now to pick up a "few little things".

And MORE Strings of beads

Sander/Polisher (one of the "little things" I picked up this year at the Gem and Mineral Show here in Tucson, AZ) and wire

Look - Mr. Dapper and Senor Pepe Disk Cutter (the little elusive guy)
I'll save the rest for another day - I need to get busy and create some items for the shop. Cheers and remember to smile, everyone will wonder what you've been up to:>}