Friday, February 14, 2014

Happiness comes in a box: Artisan beads

We all know them: the little trinkets that cost next to nothing but they make us incredibly happy. Whether it's because they fulfill a certain purpose in our household or are there simply for their intrinsic beauty.

The newest addition to my bead stash: two gorgeous pendants from Claire Maunsell from stillpointworks. I discovered Claire's work a couple of years ago while participating in my first Bead soup event and was drawn into the unique and incredibly complex and detailed beads she makes.

I saw the house pendant in her Etsy shop and had to have it. I rarely become so enamoured, so drawn to something that I've almost forgotten the accompanying compulsion of hitting that Buy! Buy! Buy! button and the frenzy of filling out the on - line shopping form.

I confess that at one point I had this paranoid thought that somewhere across the globe there was another person buying the pendant at that exact moment and trying to beat me at completing the purchase.

Claire was way too generous and sent along the extra tubular bead humbly suggesting I pass it forward if I didn't like it. Well... I don't see that happening any time soon ;-) Since I fell in love with the extra bead on the spot and I'm already plotting on how I'm going to use it.

 As for the pendant featuring the house, I already have a pretty clear idea: I'm going to make a long wire wrapped necklace incorporating faceted clear quartz. I'm also thinking of incorporating lampwork beads and maybe even some dyed fresh water pearls.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Lesson learned!

It's one of those ironies in life that this post follows the previous one I wrote mere two weeks ago lamenting about spring like whether in the middle of the winter. Yes, I've definitely learned my lesson! During this past weekend we've experienced a nation wide power outage due to sleet that caused a number of trees to fall disrupting power supply. The trees have also wreaked havoc on many of the roads and railways. As ice rain and snow continued to fall many people were completely cut off.

I spent part of Saturday without running water and electricity and let me tell you it's no fun to have less than half a litre of drinking water and a single (scented) candle which reads Happy Christmas. Yet another one of those ironies that when I will look back on this weekend someday it will no doubt make me laugh very hard. But on Saturday? Not so funny :-(

Water returned the next day and so did electricity, before it was cut again. The power shortage lasted for 18 hours, the longest power shortage in Slovenia in decades and something I've never experienced before.
The whole town went dark after five, there were no traffic lights, no street lamps, nothing. Just little flickering of candle lights from the windows across the street. Yet remarkably people stayed calm.

I consider myself extremely lucky: after the water returned I had access to both hot and cold water, due to the fact that our apartment building is well insulated the temperature in my flat never went below 21 C and I had access to the Internet via my smart phone. And thanks to Mr. C being extra prudent I had ample supplies of batteries, emergency lights and a car phone charger.
Sure it was annoying sitting in my car for an hour doing nothing, but at least I was able to chat with people, stay connected and informed about the situation around the country.

Things are slowly returning to normal. The fire brigade, police, winter service personnel and civil protection services are working around the clock to clear up the debris and restore power. Despite the fact that whining and complaining about all the things that are wrong in our country is our nation's favourite past time people are really taking notice of  the women and men providing these services (some of them are volunteering) and are gratefull and humbled by it.
I for one am grateful for my wonderful neighbours who've been kind and generous as well as the support I've received from my friends and family who've phoned to check up on me.
Rufus and I are looking forward to a relaxing evening at home. We've been arned to stay indoors seince the ice covered trees will continue to break and fall so going for a long walk in the forest or park isn't really an option.