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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Book Review - Tear Soup

This week's book review is on a lovely and timely book, entitled Tear Soup by Pat Schwiebert & Chuck DeKlyen

This book was sent to me as a Secret Sister present at a time it was really needed. My mother-in-law had just passed away and I was lost... still am sometimes. Now just barely two months later her second daughter, my sister-in-law passed away. I have a feeling this book will be a mainstay for awhile. It sits on my coffee table and my granddaughter Andi and I read it frequently.

Andi is a smart little cookie - she seems to sense when grief is taking me and climbs into my lap with the book and says,"time for 'Tear Soup' Nana" or she'll ask me, "will you read 'Tear Soup' Nana?" I'm not sure why she likes the book so much or if she even understands the layers in the book - I do know it seems to help us both.

The book is written in layers, what I mean by this is that though it is written for a child, it speaks to the adult as well. The concept of grief and its steps are often big and difficult for adults to understand, yet in these pages it seems to be easily digested at any age. The story telling is easy to identify with and characters in the story are easily any one of us. I believe this book is a must have in any home library. We all live and part of that life is dealing with death and loss.

The book is written with the purpose of helping children to understand and cope with the grieving process that we all do so differently. The characters, main and supporting, demonstrate the viewpoints of the grieving, friends and family, and those who are removed. The main character Grandy, has just suffered a great loss and she is going through the grieving process - referred to as making 'Tear Soup'. It likens steps in grieving to the cooking steps and components of the emotional side of grief as ingredients. As the story unfolds you can see how others grieve differently, as soups are different. The book gives permission to grieve your way and helps you to understand that others do it differently and allows you to respect their needs as well. It truly is well written. I am glad that we own the book. There is even a "Cook's Tips" section after the story that is helpful in acknowledging the full spectrum of thoughts and emotions and direction. There is also a final section full of resources to help the grieving.  

It is never easy dealing with loss... and truly, it doesn't have to be dealt with alone, unless of course that's how you prefer it.


A wonderful Barbara Lewis Giveaway!

Barbara Lewis DVDs are always something to be excited about! But these are exclusively offered as a giveaway to
members of Jewelry Artists Network. Membership to a group you'd want to belong to anyway and a chance to win a free Barbara Lewis DVD workshop - your pick of which one from the two... no brainer. Check it out and enter to win - I did ;)

Here they are - they will be released to Amazon soon...

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Kalmbach Bead Soup Blog Hop - Winners Revealed!

We have finally come to an end of a journey, many of us moving on to others. Some taking a rest before the hustle of the holidays. To see all of the contestants and get a better appreciation of the talent involved you should head over and check out the Kalmbach Bead Soup Creations Album.
These are the first round of winners, the round authors picks! Lori Anderson, has to pick her favorites. These lucky people win a bead soup kit, provided by Lori Anderson, how exciting! I love the soups Lori puts together. I will definitely watch for their creations and blog about them at a later date.
The next round of winners were office picks. These winners will receive the new book, Crystal Jewelry Inspiration from the Create Your Style Ambassadors. This book will be available in January.


There were just so many beautiful pieces, there had to be more winners. Here are three more random winners. These winners will receive a autographed copy of Anna Elizabeth Draeger's new book, Great Designs for Shaped Beads.
After adding all the votes from facebook and those tallied from the office the final winners are selected.
I was stunned to find myself one of them!

I don't know that I can ever express the pleasure and joy I have experienced, just being able to participate. The joy of a bead soup is definitely one all beaders should experience at least once in a lifetime. I have been blessed to be in four soup/swap events and several other challenges since June. What a ride and all because I stumbled upon Lori Anderson's Bead Soup and participated in Bead Soup Blog Party - 6 - this was definitely a defining moment in my life.

Thanks for sharing a part of your day so that I can share a part of my life.

Be good to yourself and those around you and go make the world a better place by creating beauty wherever and however you can!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Entertaining Thoughts... For Sport or Refinement?

Don't run after ideas. Save and nourish them, and you will have all you should entertain. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

I love quotes - especially ones that truly make me think. I am a thinker,  a contemplative soul by nature - to a fault. My husband always says I think too much. I can't seem to shut it off. I don't obsess over things, I ponder them, let them go in several directions, and watch them unfold. It is good to have several scenarios, in my opinion.

There are brain exercises or puzzles that require you to stretch the brain and see things in multiple ways. I love things like that. I think of these things as sport. There is also learning and exposing yourself to different schools of thought - broadening horizons, if you will. These things would fall under the refinement category. I enjoy these activities as well.

What type of thinker are you? Do you tend to always want to learn, play, or a combination of both perhaps? I love the above quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, it makes me think, ponder really, about what I fill my head with - how I feed my thoughts. Am I wasting my time, my thoughts, or am I bettering myself and those around me with the influence of what bounces around in my head?

I personally think moderation is always key, so I will play and spend some of my thought power on sport. I do however hope that I spend more time entertaining thoughts for refinement. Nourishing positive and proactive thoughts that encourage growth and betterment, seems to be the path of mastery and abundance. Ultimately, I would love to say I use my brain in a perfect balance.... I don't, yet.

I have learned not to dwell on thoughts that get me nowhere, that don't move me forward, though I still get stuck sometimes. In entertainment, I choose things that will improve my abilities. I do hope I  can achieve this balance of thought one day. When I do, I believe I will have all that I need.

If you think it, you can dream it... If you dream it, it can come to pass... If it can come to pass, you can achieve it...

Go think, dream, achieve... be good to yourself!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Memories and Thanks Blog Hop

The Bead Soup community will feel the loss of a departed friend and artist Marianna - Moods by Mari for some time. Though I didn't know her well, only knew some of her work, we all knew of her kindness and generosity, and her loving spirit. I am saddened by her passing.

Lori Anderson, founder of the Bead Soup and perpetual host of events has decided to host a Blog Hop in honor of Marianna and those who have meaning to us living or deceased. This way we are honoring those people either in memory or in thanks and appreciation of who they are to us. Life is short not to appreciate those lives who connect with ours. 

As participants we will create a piece of jewelry from our own stashes - that tells a story of those loved ones. I think this is timely for so many, and am honored to be a participant. I have people I would love to honor in a wearable piece of art, keeping their memories close to me as I wear it. Below are a few I would like to honor and thank. My father's mother Juanita and my mother's father Edward - were both very dear to my heart. Also below are my mother-in-law Jessie - just recently deceased, a very big-hearted woman and my father-in-law - longer removed from us in a shot with six of their seven(my husband the youngest) children and some grandchildren.


Stay tuned - I will post about my progress as I can until the Blog Hop reveal date of January 12, 2013.

Where Have I Been???

I am okay, yes I am alright... I have been withdrawn and into myself, for sanity's sake, self-preservation if you will. In case that doesn't make sense, I will explain. I may seem like I am wide open and confident, I really am not. Not that it's a facade, I just keep certain layers more protected.

Lately I have had many outside circumstances all at once peeling away at my layers. I had moments of uncertainty - not wanting to crack, so to speak.
We all handle stress in different ways. Stress is stress by the way, whether the event is perceived as positive or negative - it is stress. The body doesn't know the difference. It all can wear a body down if not handled well.

If I perceive the stressful events as negative, I pull away. I don't pull completely away - just the parts of me that share emotion. I fear the meltdown of all meltdowns and a no return state, so I keep it hidden and safe - layered. If I don't let people in I feel safe. I know this is faulty thinking - but it is how I cope. I keep it layered and myself distant enough that unless you know me - you don't know I am suffering.

If stress is seen as positive I share and beam with happiness. I don't seem to have the layers stronger in some areas... I am more evenly covered. I don't know why I react this way - just that I do.

My mother-in-law passed away and was buried a month ago today. I also had a severe decline in my physical situation because of health conditions. These two things alone would set me into slight withdrawal alone - combined, I was pretty close to the meltdown I fear.  I was not ready to accept things and claim my emotions, let alone feel or share them.

I normally don't talk about some of these personal issues, except with extremely close friends and family. Even these select people have been shut out, as I descended into a depressive state for lack of knowing how to cope. My fear of losing myself and not being able to return is what is bringing me back. I need to get back to the business of living and celebrating life, which is my mantra.

The death of my mother-in-law is what pushed me harder... we have had deaths every holiday for the past five years and groupings of deaths around the fall/winter holidays. This has made dealing with any of them difficult at best. Just as I'd begin to accept one's passing someone else passed on. It also made holidays dreadful, for me at least. I plugged away and went through the motions, my heart just wasn't as engaged with each passing holiday. I put on the brave face and would celebrate those still in our lives, while missing the people who have passed. 

I know everyone goes through grief and everyone has trials - I do understand that. I just can't seem to allow others to see me sad for loss, worried about health or money. I am a basically happy person and have had a hard time sharing my struggles - I guess I am afraid to fall into a darkness and don't want to annoy or bother people. I would rather look for the brighter side... sometimes it is hard to do alone and we do need people. I don't often ask for help, yet I am one of the first to offer it without thought.

To those of you who regularly follow - I am sorry if I let you down... I have had more stress than I thought and was not handling much of it - good, bad or ugly. I also am sorry, for not trusting that you could handle it and possibly even feel good for helping me.

I am human too - good, bad, and ugly... guess I need to let myself be seen for me.Blessings to you all, my fellow humans! Thanks for letting me share and helping me grow.