Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Some Thoughts on Fear

This morning during my grounding meditation the thoughts of fear came to mind, not a fearful feeling, just thoughts about fear. Considering the current climate thinking of fear wouldn’t be considered unusual. Everywhere we turn today we are being told to be fearful.

Fear causes us to live in doubt, on edge and without thought filled action. From a reactionary stand point we are likely to make decisions that are short sighted, narrow or just plain wrong. Without thoughtful decisions made from a balanced perspective we are likely to react thus creating unintended consequences.

There is virtually nowhere you can turn these days without being ‘sold’ fear. Fear of terrorists, economic fear, fear of H1N1, fear of insurance companies, fear of government run health care, etc. I am not sure how you are feeling about it, but I am tired of being told to be afraid.

In light of the most recent and prevalent ‘fear’ H1N1 I am taking the same stance I have for years regarding the flu. I have made the statement to myself that I am not getting the flu. The bug is simply not welcome in my body. I have taken on this thinking as a kind of a mantra for many flu seasons now. I can’t remember the last time I was sick with the flu, I can say it is more than 10 years. Any time I hear someone say they hope they don’t get the flu, I suggest they change the statement to ‘I am not going to get the flu’.

This is not my endorsement for not getting a flu shot, I’m simply asking that we step beyond our fears and take a moment to center ourselves; from here we can hear our higher selves and knowingly make decisions for ourselves and our lives.

Keeping a positive attitude during these challenging times can be tough however necessary. Remaining open to the possibilities and opportunities these changes offer us are going to be key to surviving. Finding a way of being comfortable with and open to the changes that are coming our way can go along way in relieving us from our sense of fear and the limitations fear puts on us.

I realize it is difficult to maintain a positive attitude all the time. When I feel myself moving into a less positive space, I know it is time for grounding meditation. You may be thinking I don’t have time to meditate, I am not talking about a long sit of hours or days. Simply focused thought and intention on bring in earths energies up through your legs and bring the light of the divine down through the top of your head. Know these energies meet at the heart and feel them if you can. This exercise will bring you back to the body. When we are in our bodies we can see with calm clarity.

I like to begin each day with a grounding meditation; the meditation as I have learned it and practice it is like this.

1. Sit comfortably with your spine as straight as possible. Cross legged, lotus position, or upright chair. Just as long s your spine is as straight as you can make it. Take several deep breaths and clear your mind. Breath deeply into your abdomen. Remember thoughts will come and go from your mind no matter what; this is the nature of our minds. When clearing your mind simply allow, the thoughts will flow do not giving then any attention or additional analysis. When you find yourself doing so, simply come back to the breath.

2 . Imagine Earth’s energies flowing into your legs from the bottoms of your feet. It may be helpful to imagine a lens opening up like a camera on the bottom of your feet and allow the energy to flow in. Imagine or feel, if you can, this energy rising up your legs and filing your first chakra. Your first charka is located between your hips low in the mass of the body.

3 . Imagine a small portion of this energy as a cord, attach that cord to the base of your spine at your tail bone. Take this cord and imagine sending it to the core of the earth and anchoring it there.

4. Now imagine this Earth energy continuing up your body through your 2nd chakra (sacral), 3rd chakra (solar plexus) and 4th chakras (heart).

5. Now imagine a golden ball of divine light above your head. From this ball of light imagine the light flowing down and into the crown of your head down to your 6th chakra (third eye) your 5th chakra (throat) to your 4th chakra (heart).

6. Imagine the energies now mixing in your heart chakra and rising up to your shoulders. Split the energies into two streams and now imagine these streams of energy flowing down your arms and out your palms.

7. Finally imagine the combined energies rising up from your heart center up through your 5th and 6th chakras to your crown chakra then out of the top of your head and showering down all around your body as golden light.

This meditation can be done in a few minutes or you can focus a concentrated block of time for it. Doing this meditation once in the morning and then again in the middle of the day can keep you grounded all day.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Origami Ornaments

Fun and colorful these ornaments add an element of whimsy wherever they are hung. Use as Holiday decorations, hang on your tree or all year round to brighten up a space in your home or office.

I have created all of the origami ornaments from hand screened Japanese rice papers printed with traditional kimono patterns with modern twists. The paper for each ornament is hand cut and folded before hanging from copper wire. Glass and stone beads are strung on the wire for accents. (See my blog post, Origami Spinning Star Ornament to see how the star ornament models are made.)

I make the star ornaments with paperboard inserted into the points for strength and reinforcement. The points are glued together to insure stability. Although made from paper these ornaments are very durable.

I will be showing these ornaments at the Sunnyslop Art Walk the evening of Oct 10th, 2009. Central and Dunlap, Phoenix, AZ.

Three Doves folded from Plum Blossom paper on copper wire. Doves measure 3" in length the ornament measures 7.5" in length.

Spinning Star ornament folded from paper printed with rend and white cranes on black ground. This ornament hangs gracefully from bent copper wire and has a retro-modern feel by hanging at a slight angle. The origami star on this ornament measures 6" across, the over all length is 7"

Origami Spinning Star ornament folded from paper printed with the plumb blossom pattern and hangs from copper wire. The origami star measures 6" across, the ornament hangs 7" in length.
Three Doves folded from Maple Leaf patterned paper on copper wire. Doves measure 3" in length the ornament measures 7.5" in length.

Origami Spinning Star ornament folded from paper printed with leaf pattern. This origami star is three pointed and hangs on copper wire with glass beads. The star measures 6" in width, the ornament measures 6" in over all length.
This Origami Spinning Star ornament is made from paper printed with a peony design. The star hangs bent and hammered copper wire accented with glass beads. The star is five pointed and measures 6" across and hangs 7" in length.

Origami Four Pointed Spinning Star ornament folded from paper printed with a peony design. This ornament hangs from gracefully bent copper wire accented with glass beads. The star measures 7" across, the ornament hangs 8" over all.

Origami Spinning Star ornament folded from paper printed with multiple kimono patterns. This star is three pointed, hangs from copper wire accented with glass beads. The star measures 5" across and the ornament measures 6" in length.

Origami Spinning Three Pointed Star ornament folded from paper printed with a maple leaf pattern. This star measures 5' in width, the ornament measures 5.5" in length.

Origami Three Pointed Spinning Star ornament folded from paper printed with a leaf pattern. This star measures 5" across and measures 8" in length.

Origami Three Pointed Spinning Star ornament folded from plumb blossom paper. The star measures 5.5" across and 4" in length.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Shibori dying class

I haven’t done any fabric dying in 15 years! One Sunday in September I got together with friends and shared what I remembered about shibori fabric dying techniques. It was a lot of fun, some beautiful fabrics were produced and a lot of inspiration for future projects.

Clamps, PVC pipes, rubber bands and glass marbles were used to tie up our fabrics.

Arashi shibori - silk scarf wrapped around PVC pipe, one tied with twine the other rubber bands.

Silk scarf being tied up with marbles

Roz ties ‘spider web’ design onto silk fabric

Silk scarf rubber banded, clamped and ready for dying

Preparing dye bath for arashi tied silk scarves

Preparing smaller dye baths for clamped and tied scarves

In the bath it goes

Checking on the color, good deep purple, exactly what we wanted

Pulling off the rubber bands
The results from wrapping and rubber banding to a pole
Washing out a clamped and rubber banded piece
Subtle color variation on silk chiffon, while bound the scarf was dipped one side in purple the other side in turquoise dye
Marbles were tied up in this scarf and then wax was dripped in the places where the marbles were leaving the white spots.

Silk and rayon velvet scarf arashi dyed. This piece was allowed to be in the dye for 24 hours for this deep color.

Cotton and poly blend fabric pleated and clamped. The light area was dipped into wax before dying. The color is pale due to the polyester the dye we used does not color polyester.

Folded clamped and tied poly cotton blend fabric.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Hand hammered 14k gold filled wire and tourmaline Earrings

People have adorned themselves with earrings for thousands of years. Ear piercing is one of the oldest forms of body modification we know of. Men and women from many cultures wore earrings and ear piercing was popular through out the world. On the walls at Persepolis in ancient Persia are carved images of soldiers from various parts of the Persian Empire wearing an earring.

In the 1920’s the introduction of clip on earring caused a decline in the popularity of ear piercing in the United State and the United Kingdom. However the reemergence of ear piercing in the 1970’s, along with promotions arranged by earring manufactures at department stores brought the popularity of ear piercing back into the main stream and has lead to today’s popularity of multiple piercing in the ears and other parts of the body.

White Topaz and hand hammered 14k gold filled wire

When I sat down in my studio to make this series of earrings I was wanting to make simple and elegant earrings with fine gemstones. I planned the design to retain the utmost respect for the individual beauty of each stone used. Graceful curves of the metal mimic the shape of the stones. Weather using a single stone or multiple stones close attention is paid to the selection of each element used. The results are individually unique and coherent piece.

These earrings are not necessarily showy, but they will be noticed for their sparkle and simple elegance.

If you are interest in any of the earrings pictured here or any other pair of earrings in my shop mention this blog posting on check out and I will refund 15% of the earring price.

Emeralds and hand hammered 14k gold filled wire

Olive green tourmaline and hand hammered gold filled wire

Pink tourmaline and hand hammered gold filled wire

Prehnite and hand hammered 14k gold wire

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Bead Photos

US and Chinese Turquoise
Labradorite, Carnelian, Aqua, Peridot, Hessonite and Tourmaline