Friday, September 29, 2006
I'm not participating as an Artist/Beadist because I'm not represented by any of the local galleries. I just love going out there to see all that art and all my friends. Maybe next year I'll be more involved. My friend Nancy Racine is a killer jewelry designer, who also happens to love my beads. She's going to start using them in some of her pieces for Art Divas Gallery. This is fun for me because I was one of the original Divas when the gallery opened, shortly after we moved here. I left when my website started keeping me too busy to keep up, so now it will be nice to have some of my work out there again. I live in a town full of artists, but nobody here ever heard of me... actually, that kind of invisibility can be a good thing!
Over and out for now. Beads on Monday, but maybe not very many... you understand! I need to refuel!
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
I've really been enjoying listening to Pandora Internet Radio while I'm here in the office. Try it out! It's free, and it's very smart. You tell it the name of an artist or song you like, and it creates a personal radio station just for you. You listen to it right through your computer. You can create as many stations as you want, with different types of music for all your musical moods. You can even tell it if you love or hate any particular song it plays, and it will pay attention! I love this because it plays music I'd never even know about otherwise. It's expanding my musical world!
Monday, September 25, 2006
I thought you might like to know what's going on behind the scenes. So much secrecy! Well, here's part of what I've been working on. At first I thought it was going to be my personal logo, but as it went along, it became more and more something to share. As the word Beadist clarified itself to me, it became apparent that this was indeed the Beadist Emblem! It started with a photo of a lotus bead, which I traced and simplified and placed in the center of the heart. Notice how your eyes can make it look like either a bead on the heart, or a little fire within the heart? Totally accidental. I wanted wings that weren't too "biker". These seem strong enough to carry the heart, while still being gentle and sweet and playful. And then there's the flame/hand at the top. It's borrowed from the Sacred Heart we see so much of here in New Mexico, (I have a collection of them on my kitchen wall!) but is, of course, more creative and artistic than religious. To be clear... Beadism is NOT a religion. Oh no. For me it's a way of life, but for most folks, it's really just about beads, beads, beautiful beads! I have plans for some wonderful Beadist Gear in the near future... buttons, stickers, t-shirts, mugs..... the possibilities are endless!
I'm posting beads on my streamlined website today. The new site will be up in a few days!
Sunday, September 24, 2006
Friday, September 22, 2006
Of course, living at an elevation of 7,000 feet, I guess we have to expect extremes. Still.... what happened to summer this year? I'm pretty sure I missed it. OK, OK... no more whining. I'll just go make some beads.
I'm also making a lot of progress on my website changes. It's going to be fun. You'll see!
Stay warm. I'll be back.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Little bits of bravery
"Beads of Courage" recognize the painful battles fought by the youngest cancer patients
Seven-year-old Alyssa Miller already has endured more than most people do in a lifetime. Diagnosed with a Wilms' tumor in 2004, she has survived 12 surgeries -- including the removal of both kidneys, a liver resection and open heart surgery -- three rounds of chemotherapy and dialysis three times a week. Medications have caused a hearing impairment, and there's an incision that still hasn't healed five months after surgery. Following her latest health crisis, which included 11 weeks in intensive care, she lacks the strength and energy to walk, and allows her parents to transport her to and from the hospital in an oversize stroller.
Editor's noteAlyssa Miller died on Thursday, just after this article was completed. Her parents asked that it run in its original form, to recognize the courage she showed in her short life and to acknowledge the hope that Beads of Courage can offer to other children with cancer.
What always seems to bring a smile to Alyssa's face, however, is her bead collection. When the nurse presents a variety of beads for her to choose from, Alyssa's shoulders straighten, a grin emerges, her eyes sparkle and she breaks her silence with questions about how many she has earned this time.
Alyssa's mother, Maude Miller, said that Alyssa normally lays out all of the beads and narrows her selection to eight or 10. The process can take up to an hour, with mother and daughter conferring along the way.
It's all part of a program at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children called Beads of Courage, started in May for pediatric oncology patients, "to acknowledge and honor what they're going through," said nurse Pam Carey-Goo, the pediatric clinical coordinator. The 50 to 60 participants range from babies to age 22. Initiated by Jean Baruch, a nurse in Arizona, Beads of Courage is used in 10 hospitals nationwide, but Kapiolani is the first in Hawaii.
The first thing young patients do is spell out their names with lettered beads. Then they choose a small, round glass bead for each procedure, special accomplishment or event. If they receive chemotherapy, they earn a certain color bead. For radiation they get a glow-in-the-dark bead. There's a different one for staying in the hospital, and especially difficult events, such as losing one's hair, call for a custom-crafted bead in the shape of a head -- with hair.
On the last day of therapy, they select a handmade purple heart of courage bead. To accommodate youngsters who had begun their regimen before the program started, nurses sat down with parents and added up the procedures, so each patient could create a strand that accurately depicted his or her course of treatment.
"This is something that has helped Alyssa," said Carey-Goo. "It's important to her."
Kids string their beads on a black silk cord, to use as a necklace if they wish. But for most the collections are far too long to wear. Some teenage boys have glued theirs to a basketball or a train set, or placed them on wire to create a sculpture. No matter how they are exhibited, the beads become tangible displays of their owners' harrowing journeys.
"Nurses and other staff members are going through a lot, also," said Carey-Goo. "They fall in love with these kids. And I feel they need to be acknowledged for what they do and what they're feeling."
Beads of Courage was a success from the start. "Usually we present staff with new things, like computerized charting," said Carey-Goo. "But this program they embraced right away, and they're very busy." Physical therapists -- whose sessions can be especially difficult for kids suffering from serious illness -- have found the beads to be an extremely helpful source of motivation.
"I was thinking, 'This is kind of nice for the kids, and they'll have fun with it,'" recalled Larry Taff, who donated funds to start Beads of Courage with his wife, physician Kheng See Ang. "But it was so touching. We were all choked up. It's much more significant than we thought it would be in terms of how the kids and the nurses feel about it."
Carey-Goo agreed. "It's like, 'Look what I've been through.' It's very visual."
One glance at Alyssa's strand, which stretches nearly 30 feet, makes that clear. Actually, it should be longer because she has more than 2,600 beads for dialysis (depicted with 26 beads representing 100 each). "Her strand is beautiful, and it really symbolizes her fight against cancer," her mother wrote in an e-mail. "The great thing about this program is that every child who takes on this fight is able to see a physical representation of all that they have been through."
"I used to be in a lot of pain, but chemo has been helping," he said from the lounge in Kapiolani's Pediatric Ambulatory Unit. "I couldn't sit down. I had to stand up all day at school, and I couldn't go in the car."
Most of his beads remained at home on the Big Island with his family, but he was happy to share details. Mokuhalii said he'd earned one for losing his hair and eyebrows. And tube insertions? "I got a lot of those," he said. "(The strand) helps me remember the hard times. It helps me be proud of myself because I did something I never wanted to do."
On a particularly difficult occasion -- when doctors told him the chemotherapy wasn't working after his first round -- he earned a bead with bumps on it, representing an unusually bumpy time.
"We try not to use it as a reward system, but rather as a recognition system," said Brenda Maglasang, a nurse who has worked with pediatric oncology patients for 12 years. "But the beads are more than a diversion. It's also a way for kids to really communicate what they've been through," especially to those who don't understand why patients can't come to school, play outside or be around anyone with a cold.
Did he plan to keep the strand of beads forever? "Yeah," said Mokuhalii. "In the future, I can look back and say, 'Wow, look what I've done.' It means a lot."
"You can actually see that you were brave," his grandmother added.
Maude Miller concurred. One day, she said, this strand "is going to mean a lot to Alyssa." To her parents, it already does.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Now for my news...
October will mark my 10 year anniversary as a beadmaker. Amazing. And I think it's time for some changes in my website to commemorate the landmark, and to reflect more who I am and what I'm doing NOW. I'm changing the look, paring down the clutter, and even designing a new logo with the help of a couple Design Goddess friends. It's going to be cool!
And... the Secret Bead Club is going to close up the clubhouse. It's been wonderful fun, but I think we've outgrown it as a group. We need something that's still fun, but a little more grown up. Just a little! SBC will soon stand for "Southwest Beadist Colony"! Basically, a Beadist is anyone who loves beads. No guilt, no rules, no public nudity, no dogma, no ritual, no weird food. Just beads and whatever else makes your heart sing. For me it's even more than that, because beads are my life. I make my living with them. They're part of almost everything I do. While it's not a religion, it sure is a lifestyle! You can start to ponder what beadism means to you, and feel free to add your thoughts here.
I'll be sending out an email soon, explaining what we're up to, and asking you to simply reply to the email if you want to stay on my mailing list. With almost 1,000 names on my current list, it's a good idea to find out who really wants to be there. Everyone is welcome, but no one is held hostage!
There you go. I'll keep you posted as I get things sorted out. The new website will be ready in October. Stay tuned!
Sunday, September 17, 2006
I'm quite sure we deserve some delicious vodka cream pasta for dinner tonight. It's a Rachel Ray recipe. I saw her make it on Oprah the other day, and have been dreaming of it ever since.
Maybe you need some too. If you can't come over, here's the recipe:
"You Won't Be Single for Long" Vodka Cream Pasta
It's Rachael Ray's most romantic dish!
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, once around the pan in a slow stream
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 shallots, minced
- 1 cup vodka
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 can crushed tomatoes (32 ounces)
- Coarse salt and pepper
- 16 ounces pasta, such as penne rigate
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 20 leaves fresh basil, shredded or torn
- Crusty bread, for passing
Heat a large skillet over moderate heat. Add oil, butter, garlic and shallots. Gently sauté shallots for 3 to 5 minutes to develop their sweetness. Add vodka to the pan (3 turns around the pan in a steady stream will equal about 1 cup). Reduce vodka by half, this will take 2 or 3 minutes. Add chicken stock, tomatoes. Bring sauce to a bubble and reduce heat to simmer. Season with salt and pepper.
While sauce simmers, cook pasta in salted boiling water until cooked to al dente (with a bite to it). While pasta cooks, prepare your salad or other side dishes.
Stir cream into sauce. When sauce returns to a bubble, remove it from heat. Drain pasta. Toss hot pasta with sauce and basil leaves. Pass pasta with crusty bread.
* For more information about Rachael Ray, visit www.rachaelrayshow.com.
Friday, September 15, 2006
Besos (kisses) on your furry little heads! Again, here's the link to Laura's site. There's a PayPal donation button there, easy as pie! Laura Brito's Cuauchichinola Community Workshop Project
Thursday, September 14, 2006
Now here's my plan. I'll be sending Laura a donation in the morning. Then I'm going to get to the studio and make lots more beads to post on Monday. I'll have florals, hearts, lotus beads, donuts... maybe more! I want all of my SBC members to make a donation to Laura's Community Workshop - at least $5, but more would be fine, thank you! Then send me a copy of your PayPal receipt so I can add your name to my list. When I post the beads on Monday, all SBC members who've made a donation will get a two hour jump on everyone else, plus I'll take 10% off your bead total! Easy and efficient. That's what I like.
If you're not an SBC member, you can still make a donation and do a very Good Deed.
If you're in the SBC, but make your donation later than Sunday evening, your 10% discount will be good through the end of September. Same goes for those who don't get the beads you want on Monday. You have until the end of the month to use your discount.
Clear? Here's the rundown one more time...
1. SBC members need to make a donation to Laura's studio by this Sunday evening.
2. Send me an email copy of your PayPal receipt.
3. You'll get a one time 10% discount on my beads, to use any time this month.
4. You'll also get a 2 hour head start on this Monday's beads.
5. I'll send an email to you on Sunday, letting you know what time I plan to post the beads.
That's it! Thank you in advance for your time and generousity. You've all shown me what splendid humans you are, so I know this will be a piece o' cake!
On my best days, all I'm really looking for is grace in a small life.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
The food was every bit a delightful as we'd heard. And the courses meandered to our table with perfect timing, never leaving us waiting too long, and never rushing us to gobble up what was already in front of us. We had stuffed tempura squash blossoms, beautiful salads with light terragon vinaigrette, and a nice pinot noir to start. Rick had elk tenderloin with truffle reduction sauce, which he ooohed and aaahed over until the last bite. I'm a part-time-fish-eating vegetarian (a pescatarian?), so I ordered the goat cheese tartlet with artichoke and roasted fennel root. OhMyGoddess..... I can't even begin to describe the blend of flavors. Guess that's why I'm not a food critic. But, man was it good!
Dessert was warm chocolate cake, which we were required to eat because it was a birthday party. How nice of Rick to have a birthday just when I need a little pampering. We can't afford to do that very often, but we could go to the Butterfly Bar now and then for a tasty beverage and an appetizer. Life is good! See you at Joseph's!
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Monday, September 11, 2006
Also, the October/November issue of Beadwork magazine had a terrific tutorial by my pal Jean Yates on page 80. The "Flower Of Bollywood" necklace uses one of my Lotus Beads. Jean really makes me look good!
And my friend Rae is in the Taos News this week. She even mentions me as part of an upcoming fundraiser. Cool!
Know Your Neighbor: Rae Domenico
Investing in the community
Rae Domenico’s cards are created from world-wide cultural inspirations.
‘I think it’s important for people to grow their own food, especially with all the chaos in the world.’
— RAE DOMENICO
Sunday, September 10, 2006
Thank you very much for donating your wonderful work to the Kobe Lampwork
I placed your work as you suggested in your attachment photo.
Please come by the museum and the bead shop when you visit Japan.
I look forward to seeing you again.
Kobe Lampwork Glass Museum
Saturday, September 09, 2006
I'm not working this weekend... how odd. We decided to go to Michael Hearne's Big Barn Dance Weekend last night, and it was so much fun, we're going back today. Last night was Songwriter Night - with a barn full of songwriters you never heard of, singing the songs they'd written that you've heard plenty of. These are the guys (mostly guys) behind the hits. I'm not a big country music fan, but I am a huge fan of real people doing what they do and making us all happy in the process. If you live anywhere near Taos, come on up today and meet us there! If you live far, far away, plan to come next year. Bring your boots. Your feet will want to scoot, even if you're a rocker! This picture is at the end of the evening, when all the songwriters got on stage to sing Drift Away, with Mentor Williams (he wrote it), Lynne Anderson, and a bunch of others. Very cool. That particular song has been recorded over 200 times. Now that's impressive.
Friday, September 08, 2006
Keep watching - the first treasure will be here soon. And please take a moment to post a comment here, especially if you're one of the Hesitant Ones. xoxo!
Thursday, September 07, 2006
It just hit me this morning, that I really should be doing a real blog. If I work it right, you'll be able to easily get to it from my website, and there will be archives and all the bells and whistles that go with this official sort of bloggy software. Who knows!? Maybe some of my very own relatives will start to keep up on what I'm doing... probably not...
Anyway - this is the new and improved Greetings From Taos page. I'll post my daily, weekly adventures here, along with pictures of this fun and weird little life of mine. Bead things will be mostly on my website kimmiles.com, with cool news here too. I hope you'll wander in often, and do feel free to leave comments. This seems like a good idea!