Tuesday, February 9, 2016

My Inner Pyro Is Happy

There's a reason this blog is called "Crazy Creative." I am curious about, and willing to learn to some extent, any number of things. My latest creative course is Pyrography, a.k.a. wood burning. Yes, I am playing with another heat producing instrument (1st was my mini-torch from Lowe's, then the Heat Gun from Harbor Freight, now this... my Inner Pyro Personality is giggling madly), the Walnut Hollow Creative Versa Tool for burning wood. (see it on Amazon)  I finally got to test it last night, but only two of the four settings.  Here's my practice run on a thin piece of wood I bought at Michael's.
I was playing with both my colored pencils and ALL the heat nibs for the "pen" of my new tool, so it's a bit over-done. Plus, I didn't really have a pattern in mind, I was just winging it, so the "duck" looks more like a "dog"... sort of... ah, well.

Anyway, not too ugly for a 1st attempt.  I'll make further forays, with a pattern next time, and try to keep anyone still out there updated. I know I've been gone for a long while, it's just hard to blog when you have no time to either create OR type! :( 

Stay Creative!

Monday, December 7, 2015

December 7th... Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

Today's date is a date that was to live in Infamy for years, decades, etc., to come. Has it? Can you remember what today's date is? Without having to check your calendar?
The Arizona's Funnel ~ Pearl Harbor, HI

The Arizona's "tears," continually wept for
those who lost their lives in a cowardly attack
on a country not even involved, yet, in the war.
"I fear we have awakened a sleeping giant and
filled him with a terrible resolve."
attributed to Gen. Yamamoto (tho' in question)
 There was a terrible resolve made that day. A resolve to defend the defenseless, our people, and our country no matter the cost. Can we say the same, today? This country pulled together for years during WWI and WWII but, today, we seem to quickly forget our resolve to defend against an enemy that would see us dead, or worse. Who will weep for our dead in the future? Who still remembers this century's Day of Infamy as well as the previous Day of Infamy?


Tears are still wept, tho' the heart's made of steel,
For men nigh forgot tho' a Nation should feel.
They died in a war, tho' no battle fought they,
On what became known as an Infamous Day.

Tears from the Deep, tho' the heartbeat is cold,
For valorous men who will never grow old.
Entombed in the dark, by water enshrined,
Stood ready 'gainst all, by Freedom defined.

         Tho' many have come, so few shed a tear.
         They call to us, now, do the whisper you hear?
         They are the reason this Nation stood fast!
         The weeping, so soft, do you hear it at last?

Tears are still wept to help us recall,
Tho' few still remember they gave us their all;
From way down below, to the Oceans' safe keep,
Seeping up for reminders are Tears from the Deep.
© Copyright 2011 Pam Sears (condorsfan at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Essential Oil Craze

I'm a Certified Massage Therapist and, I'll be frank, this Essential Oil craze has me worried. Don't get me wrong, I love essential oils and I use them when I do massage or Reflexology. They really do help ease sore muscles, relieve swollen or inflamed tissue, and help with a myriad of health problems. However, in almost all cases, essential oils need to be used with the help of someone trained in their use.

As a Massage Therapist, I have a nominal amount of training so that I can use the oils that will assist the people I work on in relaxing and/or healing their muscles/tendons. But! If you want to use EOs for holistic health reasons you need to do one of two things; 1) go to a Nationally Certified Aromatherapist, or 2) research, research, research before using any oils in any amount in any way. Some oils can cause seizures if you happen to be prone to those. Children under a certain age should not have EOs used on them. You also need to let your physician know if you're using EOs (same as when you use over-the-counter supplements) because some oils might react badly with some medication. That's not to say don't take doctor prescribed medication, that's simply a caution. Doctors need this information the same as they need your medication information. Remember, medications can sometimes interact badly with each other, too.

I'm also leery of any site that promotes their oils as "Therapeutic Grade" because, if you have a good company selling as pure a product as there is, it's all "therapeutic grade", you can't get any better than "100% pure peppermint oil" (or whichever oil you're considering). And, please, be wary of those who make claims of being able to "cure" or "fix" whatever problems you have. Oils do NOT cure anything! They are a supplement or an aide to whatever is going on with you at that time. Sometimes, prescribed medication, alone, is not enough. Perhaps you need the assistance of an Acupuncturist. Please, tell me you wouldn't be insane enough to try this on yourself (unless you happen to be a trained Acupuncturist).  Holistic medicine, when it's done by certified, conscientious professionals, works hand-in-hand with your doctor(s).

Here are a few facts about Certified Aromatherapists:
1) Certified Aromatherapists are required to study chemistry, same as any doctor or nurse, so they know how certain oils will act and react together and to prescribed medications. If they're not sure, they will advise you to check with your doctor or get your permission to speak with him/her themselves. ANYone who tells you that you don't need to check with your doctor, or tell him/her about the oils you're using, is hiding something. Or, to put it another way, they're an Old Fashioned Snake Oil Salesman!

2) They want to work with your doctor (see above) because they want you healthy. They may even give you a simple recipe for spraying around the house during cold season to help combat those nasty cold germs! (you can find those recipes on-line, as well but, again, be aware of the oils and, if you have kids under a certain age - which will be noted - don't use them)

3) They never make claims that they can cure or fix something that your doctor cannot nor do they make claims that they can tell you have this or that health problem but, don't bother checking with your doctor on it because no medical tests will be able to detect it (it's in the pre-diagnostic stages!) and to attempt such a test might trigger the condition to explode into full blown (fill in your favorite disease here). Again, can you say Snake Oil Salesman?

4) Aromatherapists tailor their oil solutions to each individual. I'm not saying there aren't recipes for certain things (i.e., the oils I use for massage are usually 3 drops of this and 5 drops of that and 2 drops of the other thing in a carrier oil solution) but, holistically speaking, there's no one "off the rack" solution for every health dilemma. And, again, you don't want the oils you're using to react negatively with any prescribed medications. If you're working with an Aromatherapist for, say, depression, he/she is going to tailor their suggested blend to work with where you are, emotionally as well as medically, then monitor you to see if changes need to be made to the blend. What would work for me won't necessarily work for you.

5) NO reputable Aromatherapist is going to tell you to take oils internally for any reason. At least, not without closely monitoring you. I've used peppermint oil on my gums when I've had an ache in a tooth or my jaw, I've even used it - sparingly - under an Aromatherapist's advisement for stomach troubles, and I've used a few oils as a mouthwash (but I spit that out, not swallow it!), but I would NEVER even dream of swallowing EOs due to their natures. If you can't put it directly on your skin without diluting it in a carrier oil (and they will tell you they should ALL be diluted!) why would you put it in your stomach!?

Finally, folks, I can only say once more - research, research, research! Just because something is suddenly popular doesn't mean those promoting it know what they're talking about. My best suggestion is to find an Aromatherapist who would be willing to answer your questions (they all would, by the way) but, if you're not sure where to start, go to the web site for the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (here) or the Aromatherapy Registration Council (here). They'll be glad to either answer your questions or put you in touch with a Certified Aromatherapist. Please, the best defense to your health is YOUR continued education.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Busy, Busier, Busiest

I have actually gotten into the Craft Room to play with creating earrings. I love earrings, I believe that's a well established fact by now. So, preferences aside, here are some pics of what's been happening lately. (as you can see, I was having some serious fun ~snork!~) (I believe it's also been established I love Halloween!?)


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

In A Serious Vein

Most of you who follow me on Face Book know I broke my ankle right before Memorial Day and was laid up for a couple of months, what with the broken-in-three-places-bone and surgery it required. (there are pics, if anyone wants to see them... before CAT's, during surgery, and my last post op - almost healed so you can't hardly tell). I'm doing pretty darn good at the healing (thanks for those particular genes, Dad!) and the physical therapist I'm seeing ("Dr. Dale") says I'm actually ahead of the healing curve for Range of Motion in my ankle ligaments. The only thing holding me back right now is continued swelling which is normal, it's only been since May, if annoying. However, those ligaments rest for about 7 - 8 hours a night and can get "stove up" on me. Same from sitting at my desk all day. I've got some 1/2 bolsters to rock my feet and keep my ankle moving, but there's still a hitch in my git-along most of the time. Especially if I'm tired, like at the end of the day.  A few days ago I stopped at the local market for a few items and, when I came out, a teenager burst into laughter after seeing me limp toward her. The following is a letter, not so much to her since I doubt she'll ever see it, but to the rest of us to remind us that we don't always know the circumstances behind what we think we see. Compassion and kindness are always a good answer. Humor can come later, if the person chooses to share with us.

An Open Letter to the teenager in front of Fresh & Easy who was laughing at the way I walked;

You think I didn’t know you were laughing at me, but I did. I’m not as stupid as you’d like to believe and you’re not as smart – or subtle – as you’d like to think. Not that you thought, although your friend did. She tried to hush you and stop you. Her body language showed shame with your behavior. She even tried to give me an embarrassed little wave as if to disassociate herself from you. To my own embarrassment, I allowed my irritation with your behavior to keep me from acknowledging her. I hope I see her again so I can apologize.

But, for you, I feel sorry. Yes, I was irritated, but it was because you were laughing at a perceived disability. You had no idea why I was limping. No idea what made “but that girl” walk the way she did. It could have been a birth defect. It could have been an accident. It could even have been caused by severe abuse trauma. You didn’t stop to think or sympathize you just burst into laughter, made quiet comments to your friends, and laughed some more at your own so-called wit. If you’d have listened to your friend you’d have seen that none of the rest of your group was laughing. They mostly seemed embarrassed.

I feel sorry for you because I’ve learned in 47 years of living that those who make fun of another person – for anything – do so for one of two reason: they think it makes them look cool, or it’s to make themselves feel better about their own insecurities. I don’t know which it was for you but your friends didn’t appear to think you looked cool.

What if I’d told you my limp was because a strong, good looking guy caused me to break my ankle? Would you still be laughing? How about if I said I was in a vehicle accident because of that guy and I broke it in three places which caused me to have to undergo surgery and now I have a plate and six screws holding my bones in place. Would you still have made snide comments?

I’ll let you off the hook, somewhat,  because I believe you were trying to make yourself feel better (personal opinion) at the expense of someone you think you’ll never see again. The story is on the humorous side and my sister and I made jokes the whole evening that it happened and have done so since.  The vehicle was my bike and the “guy” was my dog. He went down one side of a fire hydrant and I went on the other. His leash got caught and I and my bike got flipped over. It bent my bike and broke my ankle. Yes, in three places and, yes, I have that plate and those pins. And, yes, I laughed at the Urgent Care and have since. But, you didn’t know that. You laughed at a perceived disability.

I feel sorry for you. If you don’t change, the good friends will stop hanging around you and the bad-influence “friends” will drag you down. Learn to be kind and sympathetic to others. You’ll feel better about yourself in ways laughing at them can’t make you feel and you’ll draw the good sort of friends to you. The Bible teaches that to have friends, you must be a friend. Not a self-centered twerp.
p.s., not so serious post coming a little later, I've been going a bit nuts with the earring making ;) 

Monday, August 3, 2015

ZNet Shows and On-Line 'Zine

I was able to be creative recently and it's something I haven't been able to do in a long time. First because I had no ideas, no desire, no Muse speaking to me. Second, when I finally felt I was going to hear from my long-absent Muse, I went and broke my ankle (in three places, no less) and had to have surgery on it. I wasn't confident/controlled enough on my crutches to get down into my craft room (even if it was only one step) because, the one time I tried, I lost my balance and fell again (without the same consequences as before, thank God!) so I wasn't about to try until recently.

That said, I was one of the group of designers for asked to participate in designing some jewelry for their upcoming on-line 'zine and received a bunch of lovely beads to work with. Me being me, I made earrings. I love earrings. I think I've mentioned before how much I love earrings because they are so feminine and swing-y. Here's what I managed to create using ZNet's recycled sea-glass beads (and some of my own). Enjoy! )Also, here's the link to the On-Line E'Zine and a link to the sea-glass page on ZNet's web site)
Clockwise from top: Dolphins, teal sea-glass
tubes and sea-foam pearls, light blue starfish
 and baby blue tulip-style beads all of
recycled sea-glass and a few of my own beads.

Top right; black recycled sea glass, multicolored
findings, orange sea glass.
Bottom left; teal sea glass tubes, orange sea glass,
garnet pearls on copper wire.

Top right;  pearls in black, gray, & white with
red sea glass and red crystal accents.
Bottom left; red and blue sea glass, white
pearls, & green crystals.

Top to bottom; two green sea glass squares,
teal sea glass tubes; green sea glass square,
yellow Czech glass squares; green sea glass,
white pearls on copper wire. 
Hope you enjoyed seeing them as much as I enjoyed making them.

(addendum) I wrote this right after I made these and I've since made several more earrings from ZNet's sea glass. I'll post them later.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Out of The Myths

I have been reading a sci-fantasy series that has recently inspired me in the jewelry making arena.  The author suggests that all our lore and legends are based in some reality and the gods, goddesses and demi-gods of old myth are actual living beings. Some from here and some from other "realms," or what we would call dimensions. It's an interesting thought. So I have a goal to create a line of pendants and/or earrings to represent the gods and goddesses of myth and legend; Out Of The Myths.

With all the ideas bouncing around in my head for this, I was actually able to get into my craft room last night and play. It was my first time making a pendant and I learned a few things. Such as, you need to make the tab a little longer if you're going to create your own bail. Also, it helps to have a good set of bail making pliers on hand (I have a pair of small-bail Wubbers on hold in Amazon...) but I really like my first attempt, even if it's not perfect. It's called The Heart Of Hades.

Have a look:

This is when I realized I needed to take pics! Duh! I'd added on
three layers of Iced Enamels faux enamel in Ruby & Pewter, then
cut a small bit of Sterling, lead-free solder, flattened it, and filed it
to form a heart. I was able to attach it using the same heat gun I'd
used to melt the faux enamel. It's on there quite firm.

This is after I'd attempted to fold/roll over the tab. As I said, it
wasn't quite long enough. Next time, though. I was still able
to string it on a chain and am wearing it today, regardless.

I decided I didn't want the back to be plain ol' metal so I painted
red & black acrylic paints in to mimic the front. I chose the black
as the flame-like portion - after all, we're dealing with Hades,
ruler of Tartarus and lord of the Dark... well, in our mythology.
In the series I'm reading, he's the world's top necromancer and
he and Persephone are perfectly in love and her mother, Demeter,
is a selfish, egomaniacal, narcissistic human who is jealous of
anyone who can command magic.
So, after everything was how I wanted I sealed both sides (one at a time) with Resin spray. It gives it a glossy look not fully captured by my smart phone, but,  hey, it's still got good color.

So, what's inspired you, lately?