Sunday, 29 June 2008

Another New Look and a New Website

I decided it was time to get a new look for the blog and managed to find this beautiful free template - hope you like it . It was a bit of problem as I lost all my links and other add ons so had to redo them. Hopefully I have all of you back on my Beady Links but if I have missed you off I apologise and let me know and I will re-add you. I used a new widget so that rather than appearing in alphabetical order it now lists in order of recency - easier to keep track of ones that have new content on them don't you think?
I've also added a Daily Quote which appears in the footer and an Affirmation for Now which changes each time you visit.
I was at BrevonArt in Doncaster on Friday. It's a relatively new Gallery, the dream and inspiration of Andrea Bretherton and one of the Galleries which stock my jewellery. The current exhibition is

Landscape Of The Heart’

10th June – 26th July 2008

An exhibition of work by artists and partners Dave Watson and Morag Eaton (of Foldyard Arts), The exhibition is in celebration of Dave surviving a major heart attack and Morag finally picking up a paintbrush to accompany and support her partner with his art work after his illness. Dave was previously a professional photographer, after a dream whilst recovering from his heart attack he discovered his talent for painting.

They both paint the same subject matter concentrating on the woodlands and landscape of South Yorkshire but bring their own unique individual style to their paintings. A worthy and interesting exhibition.

(Andrea I lifted that bit direct from the site hope you don't mind lol)

I know Morag and David from my activities at Swinton Lock and it was wonderful to see their work on display. It was quite something to see their work up there in its glory, especially after seeing some of it actually being created. Also on display is the Ceramic work of Sharon Cooke, another lovely member of the Swinton Gang. If you live in the area you really ought to go along and see the exhibition - the Gallery has a wonderful relaxed atmosphere and the current exhibition is breathtaking. If it's too far then go and look at the brand new site for BrevonArt. It is still having the final touches added to it so maybe bookmark it and pop back in a week or so.

PS Kerrie and Alison, watch this space for my seed bead project. I should warn you though this will be my one and only, at least at this size of bead. I bought a pack off Ebay with about 12 different colours but although no expert with seed beads I reckon they must be about size 15!!!

PPS I also made a tree to hang earrings on and a copper and turquoise crocheted bracelet and necklace- they are undergoing Quality Control right now as I need to check they retain their form and don't send you green - so far so good - I have worn them non stop for 3 days and they have withstood the shower and sleeping in them.

PPS Now added the picture

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Well I'll go to Hummer!

Don't ask me where Hummer is though. "I'll go to hummer" is one of the many sayings which are now dieing out. My Grandad had a massive repertoire of such sayings but it seems I can only bring them to mind when the time is apt. And this morning was very apt! I had a postcard through the letter box today inviting me to an Open Day at our local Sewerage Depot haha. I don't half know how to live lol.
I have always been fascinated by language and when I did my first degree I majored in Socio Linguistics, which is a gobful I agree. It is the study of language as it is used, so covers accents, dialects etc. I can hear my friend Caz taking a sharp intake of breath saying "There she goes with her throw away comments" This is a link to Caz's website. We have been friends a number of years now and accuses me of throwing in significant parts of my earlier life as one liners. So I intend to ramble on about linguistics lol.
The words people use in their everyday life speak volumes to me. Let me give you a small example and check this out for yourself. First of all let me remind you all what pronouns are. They are the words like I, you, he, she they etc. Now when you are in a group setting like at work for example, just listen to the pronouns used. The I type are the ones who don't want to play ball and tend to be full of their own needs and wants whereas the ones that use We are the team players.
So how about a linguistic joke? Now you have to understand the Yorkshire dialect to get this joke but let me just say we hardly ever say the (so we go to shop not to the shop) and often say thee and tha. So one day Pete, who's a southerner says to me "Where's the bin" (say it quickly) so I turned to him and said "I haven't been anywhere" and promptly fell about laughing. Ok I agree, not as good as the Marx brothers I guess you had to be there.
Moving on to the home front I still haven't got everything tidied up . I so want it all to be in order but actually achieving it is so difficult. I spent an hour upstairs in my new workroom today and whilst it's getting there I am tempted to just get stuck into some work - it seems ages since I created anything. I made some earrings the other day but these don't count as creativity.

I still haven't got around to adding them to the site though.
I got a bead loom yesterday and fancy having a go with it but need to wait for a supply of seed beads - hopefully they will be here tomorrow. I have some but not enough colours to do what's in my mind. I've also had an idea for a seed bead necklace and think I will tackle that first - it will be so me haha.
Now that I have my new specs threading is easier - I got varifocals and am used to them now but also got a pair of readers for when I'm working. Old habits die hard though don't they? I still want to peep over the rims and every time I stand up I am tempted to take my specs off.
Right my coffee break is over so off to do other stuff. I'm just glad I took the dogs out this morning 'cos its seiling down here ;)

Saturday, 21 June 2008

Stew and Dumplings in June

Flaming June and we had stew and dumplings for dinner! As I was waiting for the dumplings to cook I thought to myself "We should be sitting outside enjoying strawberries and cream". Stew and Dumplings is very much comfort food though isn't it? and I got to thinking how we associate memories with food and my mind went through a historical rush of memories.
My first one must have been when I was 3 as it involves my Mam and she passed 2 weeks before my 4th birthday. We had gone for a walk to Staincross Park and we had called in the shop on Wakefield Road and she bought me a Golden Cup and she had some Munchies. I ate mine on the way to the park and when we were walking back home she handed me one of her Munchies. I recall thinking how sweet and kind she was.
My next step on Memory Lane puts me at 4 years old going to the Post Office with my Grandad to collect his pension. He would buy me a pack of Cherry Lips. I can't say they were my favourite because they were hard and not half as tasty as Sports Mixtures but I treasured them because they were a gift of love.
Moving on has to be Aunty Sally's Sliced Taties and Onions, cooked in the coal oven until the sliced potatoes on top were golden brown and the onions caramelised. Yum lol.
I think we all have my Gramma's recipe for Coconut Cake as well and I had to smile a few weeks ago. Laura, my daughter, works at Barnsley Building Society and they had colluded to produce a recipe book to raise funds for charity. Laura's contribution was the Coconut Cake and I said how pleased I was that Gramma's recipe was the one she had thought to include. It turns out she wasn't aware that's how far back it went in the family so I am glad we had the chat about it as such roots are important aren't they?
I started doing my family tree back in 1999 and it is in serious need of an update - quite a few to add the closing brackets to and some beautiful new twigs to add too.
My memories of food are not all so positive and I have hesitated here whether to include this next bit. But if this blog is to help and uplift others, then it's important you know where I came from and the adversity which I overcame. Between the age of 10 and 16 my life was one of abuse, neglect and deprivation. There were times in this part of my life when I was so weak with hunger I could barely stand and food was rationed or withheld as punishment. Exactly what our crime was was never that clear or rational. For example I recall there being dust underneath a cupboard after we had supposed to have cleaned up and we had to explain why it was there. The big BUT was the answer could not be "We forgot to do under the cupboard". Me, our Mick and Julie were standing in the cold kitchen, in the dark trying to invent some answer which would be acceptable. I had just been doing all about Brownian Movement in Physics at school and asked our Mick could we say it had something to do with that. (You can see Brownian Movement in action when you see the dust dance in beams of sunlight). Of course, the task was an impossible one, so the punishment was a beating and hunger, followed by rations. In my mind's eye I can still see the 3 cups on the worktop, each containing our allocation of tea, with 2 slices of bread per cup. The Echo margarine would be in the fridge next to the Anchor butter which they had. Once we threw a wrapper of Echo in the dustbin which still had smears of marg left on it - it was duly recovered from the bin and we had to scrape the last bits off and use it.
I spent many years trying to understand why and how such things occur and why did they happen to me and never found an answer. But one day a friend said "Chris, if you can't get an answer try another question". I thought about this long and hard and wondered how can you rephrase it? I then thought "Well why not me? and as I sought to answer that one I began to realise that all those experiences are what made and shaped me. For sure I would never want to repeat them but I take great pride in being me and would never want to be anyone else :-)
My Gramma Esther Brown was born in Barnsley on 13 September in the 1890s and married my Grandad, Harry Hutchinson on 9 June 1919 in St Johns Church, Duke Street, Barnsley. This is her recipe for Coconut Cake
5oz Margarine
3 eggs
4oz Coconut
8oz Self Raisin Flour
3 tablespoons of Milk
Cream together the margarine and sugar
Add the eggs
Add the coconut and flour
Add milk
Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin and bake in the middle of the oven 160-180C Gas Mark 3 for 45-50 minutes
Serve with love and enjoy

Saturday, 14 June 2008

Awards and Foxgloves

I was made so happy today when I was reading Kerrie's Blog to read that she had been offered an Award for "sharing beauty, love and joy" . Imagine my delight to read on and find out that she in turn had Awarded one to me. I was deeply touched , especially after receiving sad news today. Kathleen, my cousin Ken's wife passed away after a long battle with cancer. She was a lovely person, so gentle and kind and my heart goes out to Ken and his family. Times like this make us realise how privileged we are to know so many beautiful people.
I am quite new myself to Blogging and to be honest all the other blogs I read are also beaders. Here are my nominations for the Award in no specific order:
  • Beads by Angie- I love Angie's work and she was soooooo helpful when I was struggling to add a slideshow here
  • Beadangles Jewellery - I have met Alison a couple of times at UK Beaders' get togethers. Her blog is always interesting and her snippets on wildlife are lovely .
  • Coburg Crafts - Lesley's blog is always a good read and I aspire to take pictures as good as she does
  • Gemwaith Nia - I am enjoying following the development of Nia's dairy conversion. Nia is another ace photographer too
  • and finally I have to reciprocate with Kerrie Slade whose obsession with Foxgloves has also got me seed beading !
It seems that this year foxgloves are the flowers that are all the rage and this one is truly amazing
I took this picture this afternoon when Raegan, my 9 year old Granddaughter was here. It has to be over 5 foot tall and still growing. When it started growing in the spring I was wondering what it could be as the leaves were enormous and didn't look anything like the rest of the foxgloves dotted around the back garden - the more usual sized ones are peeking in the shade behind the monster.
Last summer I gave Raegan a cutting off my Money plant and she was telling me today how it was thriving. She was a little disappointed that it wasn't yet as big as my own so I sat and had a little chat with her. I suggested that when she has children that she gives them a cutting off hers, who in turn can give a cutting to their children etc. She looked up at me and smiled at the idea .
Whether you tend a garden or not, you are the gardener of your own being, the seed of your destiny.
The Findhorn Community

Monday, 9 June 2008

Still Busy Times

It seems it is all change for me these days. Not content with re-designing the Kiamyka Site I decided to give my Reiki website a whole new look too. I've spent a week doing this and am really pleased with the results. I have added 2 new features- Affirmations and Quotes. Affirmations are positive statements to focus upon and are designed to help us be more positive about ourselves and our lives. Here is an example:
I am grateful for all the wonderful things I already have in my life and those that are yet to come
There's nothing new about the concept, we all know we should count our blessings, but so many of us spend a lot of our time thinking about what's wrong in our lives, rather than what's right in it. So, give it a go and see if the one displayed is appropriate for you. each time you visit the page or refresh the browser you will be shown a different one. Click here to try it out.

The Quotations work on a similar principal in that you get a new one each time you visit the site.
Currently there are about 100 quotes and I will add to them, but for now I need to get back to stocking the Kiamyka site.

I met up with people from the UK Beaders Forum again yesterday and had another lovely day. Celia is a lovely host and we meet at her shop, Jencel on Ecclesfield Road. Amy brought an amazing cheesecake and we were all positively drooling- it was divine! Alison of Beadangles was also there with her friend Ash and we talked beads and stuff. It is weird being on Eccleshall Rd as it brings back so many memories of when I was studying for my Masters in Sheffield. It has changed so little and I stand there half expecting to bump into people I was at Uni with. Maybe next time I will. Of course I ended up spending and plan to give seed beading a go. I love the effect of the spirals and think I can incorporate gem stones into this type of work.

Doing what you love is the cornerstone of having abundance in your life.
Wayne Dyer

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Busy times

Last month was really hectic by my standards, I can hardly believe it's June already. May was a month of taking stock of where things are right now and how I can move forward more effectively. One thing that was clear to me was this house needed a drastic tidy up. It seemed to me that each room had lost its unique function and every room was trying to be too many things. Coupled with this I realised that having our bedroom on the top floor was not ideal as going to bed, getting up in the night for the bathroom was becoming quite a chore.
So, the plan was hatched to move back to the lower floor main bedroom. This meant that I had to move the healing couch into the small bedroom and oh dear all my workshop to the massive attic room.
As you can imagine this was quite some task but to add to the enormity of it our bed had to be lowered through the window 30 or more feet down to the garden , and then carried back upstairs to the first floor - I paid a neighbour and his friend to do that part! As I write, our bedroom is all cosy, the Healing Room is a haven and the workshop in the attic is still unfinished with boxes and bags of stuff needing to be organised and put away.
We had accidents along the way and one of my favourite pictures fell off the wall, the glass smashed and damaged the picture itself too - the frame is Ok though lol.

On the jewellery front I have also bitten the bullet and signed a 6 month contract to rent a cabinet at Cawthorne Antiques. I had planned to bring back stock which is in Brevon Art Gallery in Doncaster but it seems pieces are now starting to sell , so I just replaced the stock which was there.
I have also decided to change the host where my websites are held. I am currently paying £20 a month for it and sales don't justify the outlay. I am therefore having to rebuild the site and have decided to go for a new look too. It won't be live for another week but I can show you a quick preview of how it will look - hope you like it .

Of course it will look much better when it is stocked but I have lots of background work to do editing all the files and stuff. I am getting itchy hands (rather than feet) to get creating but I have to get the workshop finished before I start again. Hopefully by tomorrow it will be all put away and tidy....ready for me to create a new mess haha.

Last week I had a visit from my friend Annette and four of her students - they all live in Liverpool . Annette wanted them to get an introduction to healing and I felt quite honoured that she chose me to do that. It was a brilliant afternoon and I feel 2 of them will seriously consider healing.
I have been reading the Diary of Anne Frank and have found it a fascinating read and rather than being a book of despair it is a book full of hope, aspirations and an amazing understanding of self. It is chock full of beautiful poignant quotes but I choose to share this one with you.
This morning, when I was sitting in front of the window and taking a long, deep look outside at God and nature, I was happy, just plain happy. .... as long as people feel that kind of happiness within themselves, the joy of nature, health and much more besides, they'll all be able to recapture that happiness.
Riches, prestige, everything can be lost. But the happiness in your heart can only be dimmed; it will always be there , as long as you live, to make you happy again.
Whenever you're feeling lonely or sad, try going to the loft on a beautiful day and looking outside. Not at the houses and the rooftops, but at the sky. As long as you can look fearlessly at the sky, you'll know that you're pure within and will find happiness once more.