Monday, July 30, 2007

Mandala Monday: Week 8

This week's mandala has been posted and is ready for you to download and enjoy.

Don't forget ... the deadline for the July raffle for Jakk's Magic Beans Workshop earrings is tomorrow, July 31, at 11:59 p.m. Submit your colored Monday Mandala (from any week) via e-mail for posting to my Gallery and you are automatically entered to win!

As always, happy coloring!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

07-0725: Micalated Quartz

I have wrapped many Rutilated Quartz crystals over the years, but this was my first Micalated Quartz. Where the Rutilated Quartz contains only Rutile, which looks like straw, Micalated Quartz contains Rutile and Mica. Very cool ... at least to a rock lover like me.

I tried my hand (literally) at extensive coiling with thin round sterling silver. Like anything new, it felt a bit awkward at first, until I got the hang (or hand) of it. Like anything else, it took some patience and a bit of finesse. Patience is truly a virtue when it comes to wire-wrapping. I never know what I'll end up with until it's finished.

Here are more details, in case you are interested.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Reiki Tails for Visit on July 24th

We had an abbreviated visit to the shelter yesterday because my daughter wasn't feeling very well. We started with Room 7, as usual, which is almost empty in comparison to the other rooms. Since Sebring went to her forever home, that left Toby, Tulip and Sharley. They moved Ozark in there for additional company. Toby was affectionate but a bit wound up, too, as displayed in the photo of him eating his bed. There were no Reiki-takers in Room 6, but our buddies Georgy and Sid were happy to see us. In Room 5, Spring jumped right into my lap for Reiki, but only stayed five minutes or so. Carmen, a long-time resident, has never paid any attention to me before this visit, but she hopped right into my lap like a pro. She seemed really happy to receive the energy. In Room 4, there were no takers for hands-on, but Kitty Frances loved being petted in her bed. I love this picture of her ... such a sweet, sweet face. In Room 3, Velveteen was happy to have some Reiki. It had been a couple of weeks. My daughter and I found Caroline hiding outside in a plastic house. I've got a big soft spot for Caroline ... she went through so much before arriving at the shelter a few years ago. Witnesses saw her and her kittens being thrown from a car! When the vet checked her, he discovered that she had been shot with BBs. After all that she has endured, I doubt that she will ever trust me enough to jump in my lap for hands-on Reiki. But after we coaxed her out of hiding, she let me pet her instead of running away from us. That's a very good sign. In Room 2, Bela Legosi wanted to be held. I was squatted down checking on Juliette and he jumped up in my arms. I got the hint. We didn't get to spend time in Room 1 this visit because it was being cleaned. The kitten room is still overflowing. The A-Kittens were purported to have some, um, gastrointestinal issues. I didn't handle them, but sent some Reiki from outside of the cage. For not feeling well, they sure were frolicky.

As far as recent adoptions go, Wren found a forever home since our last visit. I'm not surprised at all. Callie, Pixie and Itsu were still there, though. We thought they went to their new home when we last visited, but they're still on hold. It was nice to get to see them one more time.

Stay tuned until next week!

07-0724: Sunstone in Argentium

What's not to love about Sunstone ... especially at the peak of summer? What the heck is Argentium, you ask? It is an extremely tarnish-resistant Sterling Silver alloy containing more germanium than standard Sterling. I've purchased a little bit of it in several different wire gauges in order to see if it is "feels" any different than regular Sterling Silver. After using it for two pendants, I can say that, so far, I detect no difference in "wrap-ability" or appearance. I guess it is one of those things where time will tell.

I have always provided my customers with a small zip-top bag to store their pendants and earrings when they aren't being worn. This keeps their pieces bright and shiny, looking like new. But, goodness knows, I'm guilty of leaving my own jewelry pieces unprotected most of the time, because I can't be bothered with tracking down those wayward zip-top bags. Trust me, they don't tarnish overnight. But, when they do, they take on an antique patina that often compliments the design. In other words, I don't mind. But Argentium-wrapped creations will be a treat for those who, unlike me, DO mind the tarnish, but, like me, aren't always diligent about storing their pieces after they wear them.

Please visit here for more info on this particular pendant.

Monday, July 23, 2007

07-0723: Green Chert with Rhyolite Pebbles

I have challenged myself to wrap one pendant per day this week. Ambitious, indeed, with only 24 hours to each day and so many other priorities to fill them. But I have surely, sorely (and souly) missed spending time at my workbench. When I don't make even just a little bit of time for my creativity, I end up creating big trouble instead. *wink* So I have had to resort to doing the only thing that has ever really worked for me ... make a standing appointment ... be there or be square. It thrilled me to sit, once again, before the collection of stones and crystals awaiting adornment. The beads, the silver, the beautiful mess of it all, have left me feeling quite swoony. I can't wait to do it again tomorrow.

Here is more information regarding this beauty, in case you are smitten.

Mandala Monday: Week 7

This week's mandala is ready to download. I took a look at the mandala designs from previous weeks, now that the Mandala Mondays list has grown from just a few to a true collection. Some weeks I've been compelled to create a more intricate design while other weeks I obviously opted to keep things simple. A lot like life, eh? It's all good! I look forward to seeing how the mandala designs evolve in the future. And I look forward to seeing how YOU color them!

Remember, the deadline to submit your colored mandala for inclusion in the July raffle for Jakk's Magic Beans Workshop earrings is 11:59 p.m., Tuesday, July 31.

Happy coloring!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Reiki Tails

We had a very busy visit at the shelter this week! Three kitties (Callie, Pixie and Itsu) were adopted and going to their new home while we were there. And the beautiful Sebring, who shared a room with our Garrett and Tansy, was adopted as well but had yet to be picked up by her new owner ... which gave us an opportunity to say goodbye.

I've said it before. I'll say it again. Bittersweet. I'm just amazed at how many of the long-timers have been adopted recently. Some of these cats have been there for two, three, four years or more! Every cat that leaves for its forever home makes room for another cat awaiting one, so it's all good news. But I will also miss seeing the sweet faces of my old friends ... they will be missed.

Miss Pickle was feeling extremely friendly this visit, when usually she is shy or just plain disinterested. She was up for hands-on Reiki this time.

Poor Juliette appears to be taking a beating lately. I guess there is a bit of competition/intimidation going on. I'm not sure who is scratching her up, but I've notified the "authorities" and I'm sure they'll keep their eye on things. I hope she gets moved to a different room. She didn't want to hop down from her bed, but she was happy to be petted.

Wren was eager for hands-on Reiki. I thought that she was just a kitten, but she is a petite two year old. Lots of energy!

ZeeZee (who may be Benny, because I think we have the names in this room mixed up, but we'll just call him Mr. Moustachio)encroached on Wren's treatment, wanting Reiki too.

Scrunchie was open to being petted this visit, but on her terms.

Room 6 was busy, busy. Callie came up to say hello ... or goodbye. Such a beautiful, sweet calico girl with the biggest eyes. Pixie was eager for hands-on. Tiki wanted hands-on as well. And my big buddy, Sid, was eagerly waiting for us at the door.

Tulip (the sister of our cat, Tansy) was surprisingly outgoing when we stopped by, which is unusual for a hider like her. She is very shy and apprehensive about contact. This time she wanted to be petted. I hope this means that she will be adopted soon.

The kitten room was PACKED and there were other volunteers there, so I wasn't able to offer Reiki like I would have wanted, but all of the litters are doing great.

Until next week's report, enjoy the pictures.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Mandala Monday: Week 6

This week's mandala has been posted here for you to download. As always, happy coloring!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Reiki Tails: Sid Settles In and the A-Kittens, Too

There weren't many takers for Reiki today ... at least not hands-on. The only one was my big buddy, Sid, in Room 2. He was enthusiastically waiting for me at the door. When it was time for me to leave (I have to cover 7 cat rooms and a kitten room in less than 2 hours), Sid did not want to budge. I felt terrible having to put him down, but I think he would have stayed in my lap, soaking up the Reiki, for the rest of the day.

Sid is a sweet and gentle 9 year old boy who has been at the shelter a month or two, after being rescued from underneath someone's deck. Sid is declawed so he must have been an indoor pet at some point. I hope he finds another home soon.

Gretel is a very shy girl who has been at the shelter for a long time. She is very wary of hands-on contact ... even the most gentle and cautious petting. I would be extremely surprised (but delighted) if she ever jumps in my lap for Reiki. While I was giving Reiki to Sid, I think that she felt it from across the room. She sat up in her bed facing us and sat that way for 10 minutes, seemingly sound asleep. Gretel, even at only 2 years old, will have a more difficult time finding a home than Sid just because of her tentative nature. But maybe regular Reiki, even sent distantly, will help to heal her fears.

The A-kittens ... Arlo, Aquarius, Aloha, and Amour ... what can I say other than oh my goodness, the sheer cuteness! They had arrived at the shelter that morning and appeared to be physically attached to one another. Rather than cause distress by trying to handle them individually, I decided to sit outside of their cage and direct Reiki to them. They immediately feel fast asleep. Just too sweet for words.

Well, surprise of all surprises, Freckles, who I posted about on June 28, was adopted. I have started keeping track of which cat receives hands-on Reiki and when they get adopted, because it sure seems to me like a lot of them, even the long-timers who have been there for years, find homes shortly after a treatment. Maybe it is just a coincidence, but I really don't think so. All the more inspiration to make sure I schedule at least one visit each week!

In case you live in the Greater Cincinnati area and are interested in checking out all of the animals available for adoption, please see the link to the League for Animal Welfare in my sidebar. I can't recommend this fine organization enough.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Mandala Monday: Week 5

Here is your mandala to color this week. Please don't forget about the monthly drawing for your chance to win a pair of Jakk's Magic Beans Workshop earrings. Downloadable mandalas and details regarding the drawing are available here.

As always, happy coloring!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Reiki Tails

Unfortunately, the holiday has kept us from visiting the shelter this week, but I did receive some great (although bittersweet) news via the volunteer newsletter. Our old friend, Tangelo, was adopted. You can see his photo in the slide show from last week's Reiki Tails post. Tangelo was a Hurricane Katrina rescue, along our big and beloved orange fella, Garrett. They arrived at the shelter in October 2005, about a year before we started volunteering there. My family and I adopted Garrett (and his kitty girlfriend, Tansy) in January of this year. Tangelo and Garrett could be twins. For months, I've felt sad that Tangelo still waited for a forever home while Garrett had settled in with us. So I am happy to know that Tangelo has finally been adopted, but a bit misty knowing that we won't ever see him again.

That is really the only hard part of volunteering at the shelter. I get attached. Try as I may, I just can't help it. As much as we want them to be adopted as soon as possible, we really do look forward to our time with them each week. This is a WONDERFUL shelter and, believe me, these cats could not ask for a nicer place to await adoption. But it's not a home ... it's not the same as having a family to love and live with.

So when my daughter and I arrive to discover that one of our best feline friends has been adopted, we may feel sad at first, but promptly remind each other that it is really good news and a big part of our "job" there. We try to take comfort in the new friends to be made. And there will always be enough room, in our hearts and our laps, for old friends AND the newest arrivals.

Congratulations also go out to Bright, from the photos last week, as he was adopted since our last visit as well. Such a sweet boy ... I'm not the least bit surprised. He preferred receiving Reiki from his perch in the window above my head, where the sun could warm him as well. I'm so grateful to have had the opportunity to offer Reiki to him and I certainly wish him well in his new home.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Mandala Monday: Week 4

First, I would like to congratulate Alison J. from PA on being the June 2007 (and first EVER) winner of the Jakk's Magic Beans Workshop Mandala Mondays Monthly Drawing. Please check out the mandalas colored by Alison and her daughter in the JMBW Gallery.

Submissions for the July 2007 drawing are due via e-mail by midnight Tuesday, July 31, 2007. Feel free to color and submit the current mandala or any mandala posted from previous weeks.

If you have any questions, please let me know. And, as always, happy coloring!