Friday, May 30, 2008

More Tiny Flowers

Jasmine on my windowsill...
One of my Bonsai, the Vietnamese Water Jasmine (Wrightia Religiosa) has bloomed, and it is absolutely lovely! The little blossoms hang from their branches like tiny paper lanterns. And they have a sweet soft jasmine scent too. I thought you might enjoy seeing them at their best...

A closer look

Beautiful delicate flowers...i wish i could share their scent with you....

Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Memory Day

When i was a girl, i used to think of Memorial Day as "Memory Day". To me, it not only meant remembering the people who gave of themselves to keep us and our country safe and free, but it also meant Family sacrifice, and honoring those we love and who love us. Memorial Day is, for our family, the kick off for the Summer picnic season! This year, Mom and Dad had the picnic at their house. It was a beautiful weekend and the weather cooperated with us.
Dad and Don-The Master Grillers

Dad said to me recently..."How many children can say they knew their Great Grandmother and Great Grandfather? " referring to all of the little ones born into the family in the last few years. And it made me realize how very Blessed we are to have my Parents here with us, healthy and active and strong in their 70's. And so i will make sure that my grandchildren, Seth and Lola, will know and love their Great Grandparents, GG (which stands for Great Gram) and Bepa (which is what my daughter Kate, the first born grandchild called her grandfather, and it stuck!) And so i sat in the yard in the sunshine with my Husband, surrounded by my brother and sisters, their children, my children, my grandchildren and my Family, feeling so Grateful for all of my Blessings and Memories...I share them with you dear friends...
GG and Lola

Bepa and Lola reading her favorite book

My Sister Kathy holds her grandson Ryan while i steal a kiss. You gotta catch them while you can!

And Seth, doing his best to gross out a few picnic-ers. And i think he succeeded with a few of them too! Happy Memory Day to you all!

(Note*no live spiders were hurt in the shooting of this photo*)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Letter from Sri Lanka

There was a new letter in my mailbox today! A letter from Nisansala from Sri Lanka, written by her older brother Dammika. Nisansala and her family live on the outskirt of the jungles of Sri Lanka and have written many times telling me that they stay up all night, fearful of the gun blasts in the jungle behind them, between the government soldiers and the militant groups there. It is a tough way to go to sleep for a little girl in a country far away. Still, the letters they send are always full of love and gratitude and happiness. If you click on the letter you should be able to read the actual letter. Reading these letters always gives me a different perspective on my life and my world. No matter how hard things seem here, it is always more difficult in other places in this world. And by the time i fold the letter and place it back in the envelope, i can't help but feel more gratitude for my Blessings, and the Blessing of this love sent to me by this little child and her family from so far away... Nisansala Madushani

Friday, May 23, 2008

Tiny Flowers

I thought i would share with you some of the tiny flowers that are blooming in my home this morning. I keep many different kinds of "houseplants" here and every windowsill is full to overflow with potted plants. The sun room is dedicated to Bonsai for the most part. We have a very small piece of land here where we live and every inch is precious to us, so there is no room for a greenhouse. So i have to be selective about what comes home with me, and very creative about how to share the limited space. So when my plants and trees gift me with flowers, i know that is a sign they are happy here...
This is a new mini bougainvillea named "Carpet Purple" I hope to repot this little tree in a nice clay training pot this weekend.

This is my Fukien Tea tree that has been with me for three years now. Last year in late Summer it gave me fruit! This picture was taken this morning after i gave it a shower.

These buds are getting ready to open on my Wrightia Religiosa or Vietnamese Water Jasmine tree. I have several varieties of jasmine here and when they bloom, even these tiny flowers, can scent a whole room with heavenly fragrance...

And last, but not least, one of my African violets is blooming. African violets were my Grandmother Mary's favorite plant and she taught me all about keeping them happy,tho i don't go to the lengths she went to, like playing classical music for them and bathing them weekly. And she had hundreds of them! (Again, every windowsill was full of pots with growing things) It may not show here in the photo but these little flowers absolutely glitter in the sunlight. I am so grateful for all of these little gifts from Mother Nature...

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Tibetan Collection

I was looking thru my beads the other night and pulled out my "ethnic" drawer to play with my Tibetan, Nepalese and Indian pendants and beads. This is what i've come up with so far....

Big chunky beads of coral with a sterling silver clasp, and a very old coral and turquoise pendant, capped with hand tooled silver...

Here is a close up of the pendant...

All of the earrings are made with sterling silver earwires. These are modern day honey amber and copal beads from Nepal. Two pair have a bit of turquoise added too.

This necklace is put together with my own handmade chain. The modern design, using coral chips, showcases another very old Tibetan lapis pendant that i have held onto for years. I think it might be happier out of the drawer and worn around some one's neck...

Here is a close up of the lapis piece and chain work

I love these little silver capped beads from Tibet. I made the turquoise ones rather plain, while the lapis beads have some old red trade beads i got from a dealer who trades in mostly African and Native American beads, old and new. These he told me are old Native American trade beads. I thought they looked really nice together. The little metal turtle(brass?) is Tibetan, but the dealer didn't know much about him. He has many different designs and letters on his shell and on the underside. I'm not sure what i will do with him, but he will be part of a necklace i think. Now i need to put together some bracelets! I'll include more pictures when i get some more work done.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Took a little ride...

to Little Falls, New York to visit some friends who were having a Bonsai show this weekend. Unfortunately, i was so busy looking at the beautiful trees and talking to friends, i FORGOT to take pictures of the trees at the show...(anyone who knows me will tell you this is not out of the ordinary...;) Anyway, Little Falls is a lovely little out of the way place. Across the street from the gallery where the show was held i did remember the camera that was hanging from my neck.

This is a picture of the old power station that had been abandoned for years. My friend Tom (President of the Mohawk Valley Bonsai Club) told me an artist and his family bought the old beautiful building and are renovating and living there. It looks like there is a little greenhouse in the back if you look close....

The river was really shallow....

but deep enough in the middle for recreational purposes!

Right next to the river was a beautiful little park

My husband Bill sat for a moment taking in all the Spring sunshine and fresh air

All the little ornamental trees were in bloom...

We were surrounded in a sea of pink petals...

May Beauty Surround You

Monday, May 19, 2008

Tag! You're It!

I have been tagged by Stacy Freeman of My Artful Life -

The rules of the game are as follows:
1. Link back to the person that tagged you.
2. Post these rules on your blog.
3. Share six unimportant things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your entry.

Ok, here goes....

1. I have a worm farm (vermicompost) in my basement.
2. I used to breed and show guinea pigs and doves.
3. After many years of wanting to do this, in January (at the ripe old age of 53) i got my nose pierced. (And i'm glad i did it too!)
4. I have never been able to learn how to ride a bike or skate. My balance is terrible!
5. When i was a little girl i always wanted to be a nun!
6. When i walk into a room, i can always tell when there is a dry plant needing water around because i get a dry feeling in my mouth.

Ok, so now you know i am crazy too!

I tag:

Kate from The Peony and the Bee
Paula at The Fraker Farm
Felicia at Fluffy Flowers
Sara at Woolies
Murray at Studio Domestique

Ok, i know that is only 5 people, but i am so new to this blog thing, i haven't met that many blogging folks out there yet! I sure hope i did this right!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Black Feathers...

When i was a young girl, i used to go and visit my Aunt Mary and Uncle Jack in the "country" (which sadly is no longer the country, but suburbia). She shared with me her love of crows and since then i have a huge respect for these very intelligent and illusive birds.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Beautiful beads...

I went thru my bead stash and pulled out a few strands that really called to me. I have so many lovely strands of beads i've collected that are waiting to become a new wearable piece of art. So i finally put some time aside to put a few new pieces together and took some photos this morning...Let me know what you think!
These are vintage beads i picked up last Fall. The oblong stone is a milky agate that is translucent and has bits of grey and soft fawn color here and there. The smaller beads at the ends are more earthy colored agates, and the round beads in between the larger pieces are moonstones. The piece is held together with strong handmade chain. The fastener and ear wires are sterling silver. I really like this piece and am thinking of keeping it! It feels very feminine and has a lot of moon energy....

This piece is made of fresh water pearls and brass. The pearls are a silvery bronze color spaced by purple glass seed beads and finished with a sterling silver toggle. The butterfly center piece is a vintage reproduction made of brass. The earrings are made of the same materials, with brass ear wires and the little dangles are little brass fireflies.

Here's a closer look...

More vintage brass reproduction pieces, this time with dangles of fire polished glass beads....

And here is something that feels very "Summery" to me. This is a new jade bracelet and matching earrings that look very much like fresh green grapes to me! I think this will be a fun piece to wear. Clasp and ear wires are sterling silver... Also a pair of olivine jade earrings with silver wires. Olive jade is my favorite in the jade family...I tend to make a LOT of earrings as they are very popular! I keep my prices fair and reasonable and so they keep me busy! Some of these pieces will go into the inventory for The Paper Sparrow, or...maybe....i am thinking of opening up an Etsy shop! I think that would be fun! OH! The beautiful plant that is shown in the photos is part of a huge fuchsia basket, gifted to me by my son in law Ben, for Mother's Day. It is beyond beautiful! Thanks again Ben....

Monday, May 12, 2008

Letters from my Other Children

For more than 25 years i have been sponsoring children thru the organization called Christian Children's Fund. It started out with one little girl named Prameela in India, and has come all the way to the present day, where i currently sponsor four children. Km Neeta and Nirupam live in India, Nisansala is from Sri Lanka, and my newest child, and the youngest of them all, Imelda lives in Mexico. With one exception, i have always sponsored little girls mostly from third world countries. (My little boy, Louis Buck Elk, is a Native American from South Dakota, and i imagine he has grown into a wonderful young man by now. ) I have always been drawn to India, and have always felt sad about the mindset of some people in very poor countries and how they view girl children. I have read and have been told-"A son is a blessing to the family and a girl is a burden." So this is my attempt to try to lend a helping hand and make a bit of a difference in those little girl's lives. Anyway, after spending the day with my daughters and granddaughter, I came home to 2 new letters from India. I thought you might like to see what these sponsorship letters are like. First you get a letter, hand written by the child or a spokesperson for that child in their own language. Sometimes it is a parent(if they can write) and sometimes it is a field worker or a sibling writing in behalf of the child. Then you get the translated letter to read. Sometimes the child will include a drawing as a little gift. I love it when i get a drawing!

Here is my favorite drawing of all from Nisansala in Sri Lanka

The first letter i read today was Km Neeta's letter. Here is the original letter handwritten in her language:
and here is the translation: (I had to retype this as i could not get it to scan big enough to read..It is typed exactly as it is written.)

Dear Ms. Robinson,


I am quite fine here with my family members and pray to God for your happy and peaceful life. I am very glad to receive your nice 1 card/note and stickers. My Family members and i hearty convey you thanks for your nice card/note and stickers. I liked your nice card and stickers very much. It is not talk about Valentine Day in my village.

The Summer has set in here. Some times it does fall rain, with fast wind here and temperature becomes very below. Farmers are reaping and thrashing their crops. It is not sown any seeds during the summer. Several people of my village go to do work of wage in stone mine and digging community pool.

I go to school every day. Now my school runs 7 AM to 12 PM during these days. My annual examination will convene in May.

My family members and i once again convey you thanks and wish for your happy, healthy and peaceful life. Your sponsored child, Km Neeta

This is Km Neeta and her Parents in front of their home. As i receive more photos and letters i will share them with you in hopes that maybe someday, someone else's heart will open up to a child who needs a little help, somewhere else in the world.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

I love these birds...Can you tell?

Great White Egret

Muddy Water
Blue Heron

I love to see these beautiful birds down by the river near my home. Every once in a while i see them flying low over the road while i am driving. They have a spectacular wingspan and trail those long thin legs behind them...Just beautiful birds...

Monday, May 5, 2008

Beautiful Blooms

My orchids are blooming! Both orchids were given to me as gifts for Mother's Day these last two years. This orchid was given to me by my son in law Ben, and tho it was in rough shape when it came here, a little love and a lot of patience paid off with these beautiful flowers.

This orchid was gifted to my by my daughter Kate, and has given me the pleasure of it's lovely blooms now for the last two years.
And this little flower was given to us by my daughter Carly and her partner Jeremy just seven months ago, and i cannot describe the pleasure she has brought to the family.... I just wanted to share all this beauty with you all this morning...