Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Well. Here we are. Time to make New Year’s Resolutions!

About half of us do that, did you know? A good many of the ones who make resolutions actually manage to stick with it through January, but fewer than half last more than six months.

I got to thinking about that, and wondering why. Maybe it’s because what we need is more habits, good habits. I’ve read it takes just twenty-one days to form a habit, and once you do, well, it’s a HABIT.

So if my goal is to become more organized, and it is, then I need a habit, or habits, that will foster organization, right? So now, I’m wondering what those habits would be, and I can think of several:

  • Put things away after using them
  • Check they calendar every day
  • Uh…have a calendar, or more specifically, a datebook
  • Make a schedule for creating art, running errands, keeping house, writing, etc.
  • Organize the spaces used for “life activities”—shop, sewing room, office, kitchen, etc.

I think making those things my new habits will be my New Year’s Resolution.

Okay, now you. You with the hot cuppa, sitting there, reading this. What will your new habits for 2010 be?

One last thing: I wanted to put an image in here of, you know, a hand writing a list on some cool old weathered paper, using a spiffy quill or something, but while I was looking for that I found the list above, and it's on a site where you can download all kinds of lists to help you get organized, for free! Here's a page full of calendar helpers, but poke around on the website--lots of great stuff!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


This is my all-time favorite Christmas poem, one I have cherished for over thirty years. I wanted to share it as the holiday approaches.

Mary's Song

Blue homespun and the bend of my breast
keep warm this small hot naked star
fallen to my arms. (Rest …
you who have had so far to come.)
Now nearness satisfies
the body of God sweetly. Quiet he lies
whose vigor hurled a universe. He sleeps
whose eyelids have not closed before.
His breath (so slight it seems
no breath at all) once ruffled the dark deeps
to sprout a world. Charmed by doves' voices,
the whisper of straw, he dreams,
hearing no music from his other spheres.
Breath, mouth, ears, eyes
he is curtailed who overflowed all skies,
all years. Older than eternity, now he
is new. Now native to earth as I am, nailed
to my poor planet, caught
that I might be free, blind in my womb
to know my darkness ended,
brought to this birth for me to be new-born,
and for him to see me mended
I must see him torn.

Luci Shaw

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Goodness. I have just Got to keep a closer eye on the calendar. I almost missed Wear a Plunger on Your Head Day! There are just two hours and fifteen minutes left to celebrate!

I am, however, prepared. Not to do it myself, of course. I've seen where that plunger has been, and I am not touching any part of it but the handle, and that reluctantly. No, I have People to do the actual wearing of the plunger for me:

My tree is up, though undressed. Tomorrow, my daughter is coming for a game of Scrabble. Maybe she'll help put some ornaments on, a pleasure I haven't shared with my kids since they left home, well over ten years ago.

Also tomorrow: Oatmeal Muffin Day. I am flat out of oatmeal. Must remedy that!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Today is CAT HERDING Day. The last time I wrote it was National Cocoa Day, and I found coco-related items on Etsy and did an Etsy mini of them. I thought today I'd go looking for cats that looked like maybe they could use a little herding, and do the same. Little did I know that putting a new Etsy mini in would erase the old one! Ah, well. I'll figure some other way to do it some other time.

In the meantime: Cats That Need Herding!

Etsy: Your place to buy & sell all things handmade

Do your bit: Find a cat and herd it!

Friday, December 11, 2009


It’s December. The kids are still in school, with the holiday break still weeks away. Inside the house is breathing in, outside the chilly winds and bleak skies can make staying in a very attractive option. The silence can practically ring in your ears, can’t it?

Ringing…ears? Oooh. Let’s turn it around and make earrings! And since the squiggly-squirmy folk are elsewhere, why don’t we remind ourselves of them with a style I call “Squiggly-Wiggly?

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 22 or 24 gauge wire
  • Two teal beads 7mm-8mm
  • Two matte Capri blue beads 10mm-12mm
  • Seed beads in matching or coordinating colors
  • One pair earring wires
  • Your tools

First cut a length of wire about 3” long. On one end, bend a very small spiral of about 1 ½ to 2 rounds. Use protected tips on your round nose pliers to prevent little gouges. I personally let the gouges happen, to add an interesting textured look.

Now is a good time to play with the color sequence a bit. You might like to put the blue seed beads next to the Capri blue bead, and the teal seed beads next to the teal bead, or the other way ‘round might appeal to you more. Just string the beads onto your 3” wire and take a look. When you’ve decided, take the beads off the wire, and you’re ready to start.

I opted to match the seed beads to the beads, so I’ll give the directions that way.

The next thing you’re going to do is string on a blue seed bead, the Capri blue bead, and another blue seed bead. Make a wire-wrapped loop at the top, ending with a sharp bend up and then a gentler bend down.

Now bend the wire straight out, away from your bead:

At about the ½” point, bend the wire back in, then back out again, and then back toward the bead another time, decreasing the length of your “squiggle” as you go.

Cut the wire off to the point at about ¼” beyond the last outer loop. You want to have enough left to make a round loop at the bottom. Play with this; yours do not have to look exactly like mine. Use your fingers to mash things this way and that to get the look you want.

Okay! Time for the next part!

With about 3 ½” of wire, begin a wire-wrapped loop, but before you complete it, thread it through the top loop on the Capri blue bead assembly:

Finish the wrap, then string on the teal seed bead, teal round bead, and teal seed bead. Make a wire-wrapped loop at the top, then “squiggle” the wire down the side of the bead. Your bends are going to be much gentler this time. I’ll let the photo speak for itself:

Now repeat what you just did, all those steps above, unless you want only one earring. (Just kidding—I know you know!)

Open the bottom loop of your earring wires, and hang your bead assemblies on them. Be sure to hang them “facing” opposite directions, to make a left and a right.

Finished set:

To show what a difference another choice of beads might make, here’s another set (I did make a whole pair, but couldn’t get the two of them to play nicely together for their portrait):

You’ll notice I finished off the top bead differently, too, by using a tad more wire and wrapping it completely around the bead, to end in a tiny loop against the glass. Use your imagination, and may the Force be with you!

Are the kids home yet?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Oh, there is just nothing like learning to do some new, crafty thing! Last week, I decided it was time I learned to make wire-wrapped rings. Once I got the knack of it, courtesy of the wonderful tutorials on BeadingGem's blog, they were like potato chips for me. All I wanted to do was try different beads and play with them, and by the time of the Feast on Art sale, this past weekend, I had several dozen made.

Yesterday, I photographed a bunch of the ones I had left from the sale (yes, they did sell well!), and put them in my Etsy shop:

I finished putting the rings online at about 10:15 pm, last night. By the time I got up this morning, that last one was in an Etsy Treasury! That was a smile-maker, let me tell you.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Another Coffee Pot Person who is currently shown on one of the "Celebrate Christmas" cards is a character named Lumin.

Here's his photo:

And his story:

Lumin may look vaguely familiar to you, especially if you’ve seen Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.” Lumin is the great-grandson of Lumiere, the candlestick character.

Unlike his famous predecessor, Lumin is not in theatre, though he certainly doesn’t lack flair. He is on Sabbatical here from his job as a concierge at a quiet hotel in Paris, and while here he has discovered a delightful new hobby—touring gardens at night. His own personal glow is enough to illumine the ordinary, and make it exotic, and at this point he is already planning a new tourist attraction, Jardin Noir (Black Garden). He is so excited about it he can’t decide whether to stay here and learn more, or just rush home and get started.

In other news, I have two shows this weekend, one that starts tomorrow, and one that starts Saturday. I'll try to post all the info in the morning, because I'd love to see any and all of my friends!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Edith, Tea Room Owner, Former...

I have been so busy, and so absent! Things should slow down a bit now, though, even with two shows and a party this weekend. In the meantime, my apologies for being so neglectful of the Coffee Pot People's corner of the world!

To make it up to them, I'm going to spotlight a few of them, starting with Edith, who stars on the Christmas card called "The Christmas Pudding". (First card here: Coffee Pot People Celebrate Christmas)

Edith is actually featured full-time on this page, just to the right of this entry, but just in case that changes, I'll put her photo in here, too, with her story after it:

At first glance, Edith’s an easy read, with her frumpy clothes and frowsy hair. Then a person starts to look at those full, red, lips, and the tiny smile, the wide-eyed stare that can suddenly look so opaque, and a whisper of doubt begins to creep in. It registers that those very same clothes, that same hairstyle, used to be the very pinnacle of fashion and her carriage is poised, elegant. Who is this woman? What secrets lie under that matron’s hat?

If the truth be known (and very few do know it), Edith was once the premier Madame for her entire city, possibly her entire state. Times change though, and she abandoned that beloved (gasp!) career many years ago. They say. They also say the tea house she owns and runs now is remarkably small for the size of the building it occupies….

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