Why Rock hound?

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Other than to hunt for rocks?

Because it’s peaceful.  Especially in early spring and late fall.

As I was walking along the wash I could hear the watchman for the flock of Pine Jays.  Watching for a fee wines full of nuts, a campsite left unattended or to figure out where everyone else went.  They roam hundreds of miles in this Juniper/Pine forest of the desert.

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The last snow still clings to the hillsides 9000 feet and higher.  Its slow melt will assure humanity of summer drinking water.  It always amazes me that the state with the least amount of water still promotes lawns.


The trees look fresh and green after heavy spring rains.  And the agate chips have been washed free for tumbling or cabbing.  The afternoon winds are starting to stir and the rustle of the trees is a song of nature.  The feather-like clouds tell the whole story.Utah Gemstone Jewelers

Some of the Juniper are covered in Blue Berries.  The packrats will devour them and spit out the seeds.  Left to dry and drilled they make lovely “cedar berry beads” for jewelry and other adornments, if you can get them from the packrats.

Why rock hound?  Because we can.


Prom Dresses – DIY Help!!!

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I was at the store the other day and the magazine rack caught my eye.  I ended up buying a copy of Seventeen’s Prom Dress Issue.  My first reaction was one of surprise at the type of dresses being promoted for High School Proms – more like wedding dresses than Prom.  I was disappointed as well, what happened to Sweet 16 and never been kissed?

I’m sure there are a lot of young women who fit that description, and for those I’ve written this article.  Prom dresses can be expensive and over the top, or fun and modified to use again.  I’m for the later and this year’s Two-Piece Halter Top Dresses fit that bill.  You can be cute, sexy, elegant, and comfortable all in one outfit.  These three images I photographed from the magazine are good examples of that.

The first dress is all one color, designed for a slim body style and would be elegant in satin.

The second dress is a modification of that plainer design, stiff taffeta skirt with petticoat and for the bustier young woman.

Dress number three is a combination of the other two –  the scalloped laced edge top dresses the outfit up and can always be worn under a suit jacket for day wear.  The skirt if an in-between material as far as stiffness with a large petticoat/hoop skirt beneath.  The print is abstract so your eye wanders around and the entire outfit would make you feel “dressed for the prom”.

All three of these outfits are $165.00 and up.  That seems like a lot of money to spend on a one-time dress.  Dress number three is $275.00 plus the petticoat.  So how can you get a dress with the spirit of number three but a more reasonable price tag?  DIY

This pattern from simplicity gives you the opportunity to do whatever you want to fit your size and style.

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Doing the halter you can make it this simple or you can fuss it up.

How?     First decide whether you’re going to have the halter be the focus or the skirt.  Then:

  • Use a wider band on the halter upper ties
  • Add a wide band on the bottom of the halter. Be sure to tie both bands securely and then into a bow thus avoiding a “dress malfunction”
  • Make the halter out of fringe material if you are super conscious of a small bust
  • Keep it a neutral color to avoid being the focus of the dress. If you use a light color wear a dark pendant 30-32” long.  Dark top – the opposite
  • For the skirt, if it’s to be the focus, choose an abstract NOT a pattern. An abstract can also be swirls, streaks, etc.  just not an even repeat pattern.
  • Hem the skirt without a petticoat for the proper length.
  • If you can’t or won’t buy a petticoat – rent or borrow one. It will make all the difference in the look of the dress.


P.S.  If you thought this post was helpful – please share.  Thank you.

Valentine’s Day 2017

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Spontaneous – open – honest – receptive – kind – compassionate – those are today’s words.

With your loved ones all around you, it’s a day to look at our insecurities and move beyond them.  That’s not always easy, but I’m proud of my 93-yr. old mother who is fearful of moving to a boarding care facility next month in her last stages of cancer.

We talk every day and give and get verbal hugs.  It’s hard to do this from 9 hrs. away, but I’m luckier than many – we have agreed to most every change that has occurred since this adventure began 18 months ago when she fell and broke her shoulder.

When I make my bead-woven treasures I think of her.  I taught her to create counted cross stitch pieces and have two of her best.  I’ll bring the third home next month when we empty her apartment and move her to an assisted nursing facility they call boarding care –  A private home with full time nursing services.  She’s on enough morphine now that she forgets to take her meds and pay her bills.  It’s time.Utah Gemstone Jewelers

So, I post this bead woven bracelet I did for a custom order in her honor.  Because flowers are for the living and having bling on her arm was always welcome.  Celebrate with your loved ones today – in whatever way you can.  Life is too short to promise to do it tomorrow.  Be Spontaneous.

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