mothers day

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Babysitting

Last week I got to go to Provo and tend Emma for a couple of days while her mama and daddy went to Idaho and ran the river. They had a ball and so did I. Emma is such a delight and even when she is doing something she shouldn't be she turns that grin on you and you melt. It is her daddy's grin and I don't know how Kecia ever wins an argument!!

But anyway, I had bought a couple of fun water toys on clearance at Wal Mart plus a bubble machine. The bubble machine was great...Emma was crying as her mama and daddy left and she wasn't happy being left with grandma...that lasted about eight seconds until grandma said "Emma, grandma has bubbles!!" That's all it took. Mom and dad were FORGOTTEN!! What a hoot!

So - they had dropped her off in Layton on their way to Idaho and Emma got to go on my walk with me at the Layton Park and feed the ducks - she knew what they were and kept pointing them out and saying DUCKS!! quack quack quack. That 2 1/2 miles was extra long pushing a stroller up and down the hills - thank heavens Cheryl was there to help me push on some of the hills. As we walked along Fort Lane all of a sudden a little hand reached out and pointed and she made some funny noises but they weren't words - she simply didn't know what those big black critters were...I said "Cow" and she turned and looked at me like I was crazy. I said those are cows Emma - what does a cow say and she made half an attempt at saying moo - but I could just hear her thoughts...that's what a cow REALLY looks like?

Then we got in the car and headed South to Provo. She was a jewel and fell asleep five minutes after we got in the car! That has got to be so uncomfortable, buckled into a car seat with your head bobbing forward but she slept the whole way. We got to Provo at noon which is her normal nap time so she was ready to play. I got her some lunch and we played inside for an hour or so and then I went out to the car and got the swim stuff out. I just hooked up the little play pad first of all.

It hooks to the hose and the outside edges fill with water and the big colorful fish on the bottom also fill with water so when you step on them they squirt water out. Two of the four edges squirt small streams of water out all of the time and two spots on the edges also squirt a pretty good stream. I sat Emma's little pool next to one of the streams so it would fill the pool!! The play pad was marked ages 18 months plus and was just perfect for my three kids in Utah County - the big kids would say BORING but this was little one sized. This is a picture of the play pad and the ball shooter both. I took the picture the next day and didn't get a good picture of the play pad at work when the hose was hooked up to IT.

After she had played for a half hour or so I called Melinda and invited her over with the boys to play in the water with us. She said that Simon would be sleeping for another hour and then they would head over. GREAT! After another 15 minutes all of a sudden Emma headed into the house and I followed and she went in and climbed in bed!! And finished the nap we had cut short earlier!

Da called back after a while and said Simon woke up a half hour early and they would be leaving in just a bit. Emma slept until they came and all of us trooped out to the back yard again for water fun. Dirk had the day off and he so he came with them which was an added bonus. So we adults sat in the shade while the kids played in the water.

Simon loved the play pad - it was just like his own personal drinking fountain - he sat and played in the water spout for almost the whole time! Ben kept shying away from the water at all until all of a sudden we realized that it wasn't HIM that he didn't want to get wet, it was his shirt! All three kids had a fun time playing with the water pad and then I decided to get out the ball shooter. That is the red thing in the picture. The hose hooks up to it and it also squirts water out in six directions but it also balances the little plastic balls in the spout of water out of the top - much like grandpa's cute clown but this is a much cheaper version of it. It had four balls and probably if you turned on the water high enough it would balance one for a few minutes and then another and another until it had gotten through all four balls. We did one at a time and it would stay up there for minutes on end!

The videos of the ball shoot are at the end of this blog -

Emma's FAVORITE THING to do was put the balls into her basket. In fact when I got to her house and got the balls out for her to play with she immediately emptied the rocks from her basket into the 'trunk' of her riding toy and put the balls in the basket. She entertained herself for a longggggg time with this activity. Sometimes Grandma would take the balls out and toss them and then she would go giggling and running after them to put BACK in the basket!

Ben and Simon and Dirk and Da finally decided it was time for them all to go home - we had a wonderful afternoon with them and I am so glad they could come to play. I took Emma in and fed her some dinner and then she trooped outside to play again - with her stroller and her basket and her riding toy... she kept busy. Finally about 7:45 I took her inside to brush her teeth and get some jammies on and get her bis and she climbed into bed by herself and went to sleep immediately. Kecia says I must have worn her out (ya think?) cause bedtime is usually stretched out with little knocks on her door from the inside hoping mom or dad will let her stay up later. Not that night - she zonked out and I didn't hear another sound from her till 8 am the next morning.

I got to sleep in Kecia and Glenn's beautiful new bedroom all decorated to make you think you were at the beach! Nice bed and NICE room. Good job Kec!

The next morning the sun was pouring in through the kitchen door and I thought - great light for pictures. So while Emma slept I took pictures of my necklaces on Kecia's gorgeous wooden table. The lighting was great and the richness of the wood added to the pictures.

After breakfast and a bath we headed out the door for grandma's daily walk. We walked down to the dollar store that is by Macy's because I had forgotten to bring a toothbrush and the batteries in my camera had given up the ghost. While we were there we also bought some cute things for Emma's hair.


The day before Kecia had pulled Emma's hair back as you can see, and it lasted through the night and so I left the elastics in and added a couple of little clips to match her outfit (she wouldn't allow more than the time it took to put in two though. So when we got back to her house we put in the cute blue elastic with the pink and green and yellow plastic loops. Just a cute picture of Emma in a makae hand me down. She looked so cute in it and it brought back memories of Mickey from long ago!





After lunch time I put Emma down for a nap at noon and she slept for THREE hours!! I had to keep checking on her to make sure she was okay!!! I worked on necklaces while she slept.


After she woke up she grabbed her pink basket again and carried the hair bows all over the house. So I got out the other package of ribbons and put this one in her hair - her mama says she won't leave them in her hair at all now unless she ties the hair in a knot around it but she looked so cute with the dangley's of ribbon !!













Emma did a pretty good job drinking out of a bottle of water!





















We went outside and spent another couple hours playing in the water and I kept her up until 8:30 that night hoping she would be awake when her mama and daddy came home. When I put her to bed she seemed to settle right down and after a half an hour I opened the door so her room wouldn't be too hot. Three minutes later out she comes, ready to play so I kept her up because I knew her mama and daddy were within 15 minutes of being at home. So was sooo excited to see them. They were soooo excited to see her! They brought grandma a nummy shake and if I hadn't had that she wouldn't have had anything to do with me!

Thanks for the fun visit and play time Emma - thanks Kecia and Glenn for entrusting me with your most precious Emma. Oh - two more pictures still - videos rather.


video
Sorry this is sideways - I forget when I am shooting the pictures that I have no idea how to turn the video the right ways when I download it. So those of you with laptops can just tilt the laptop but if you are watching this on a desktop you will have to tip sideways!

videoSome of our fun together

Friday, July 24, 2009

Simple but Beautiful Necklaces

I decided to showcase some of my simpler designs. Most of them are illusion style necklaces which you know I love.

This is the chocolate rock illusion set - these rocks are polished and richer in color than the set I show at the very end of this blog. (Those rocks are greyer and more natural in tone.)

This is where I started putting flowers in my pictures. As one of my darling children said "You are Petal Soft Jewelry, so put petals in your pictures!" The pictures with flowers in them seem to come alive. So slowly but surely I am redoing all of my pictures - check out my Etsy site and you will see how much better a lot of the pictures are!

This illusion necklace is one of the more expensive of this type - $20- for the set because it is made only with the Swarovski Crystals - the earrings have additional spacers and such on the triple drop but the necklace itself is wire, crimp beads and crystals - and so easy and beautiful to wear.
You know how much I love the illusion style necklace - my favorite thing to wear is something simple and sparkly around my neck and this one fits the bill exactly. I call it Joyful Iridescence. It was hard to get a good picture of it - I need to try again with this one. This is a combination of Swarovski crystals alternating with iridescent cubes both in the amethyst tones. They have two little crimp beads between each larger bead - but I didn't crimp the crimp beads - the necklace just slides on the wire loose. At the back of the necklace I repeated the iridescent cubes and put a charm that says JOY by the magnet closure so it would be easy to feel where the magnet is to open.

This is called Sparkles in Gold - it is a choker style necklace on a cute squiggly wire. The pendant has sparkling rhinestones in it. It only sells for $10- because there wasn't alot of time put into making it ;-)
This is another very simply made, $10 necklace but it is so soft and beautiful. The leaf is a soft mesh formed leaf showing veins and such. It drapes off a softly coiled silver toned necklace.

You've seen my calla lilly necklaces before but I like the picture on this one better and I added earrings to both of my calla lilly necklaces. These earrings are on antique gold POSTS!! I finally found some posts for my earrings that don't look CHEAP! These are elegant. And hypoallergenic!! Now if I could just find them in silver tones!!
You've seen this one before too - In fact it has been one of my most popular necklaces. Simple rose quarts on an illusion wire.
This is a fun choker style - almost too fancy to be called simple but I put it in here anyway. The main bead is a gold sparkley glass bead in rectangular shape with magnet beads, glass iridescent beads and simple plastic beads. It is made on memory wire. If I had more of the gold rectangular beads I would make a matching bracelet for it. The earrings are simple one drop dangles.
I reworked this necklace - it always had the cobalt blue cubes and cut metal spacers in the very middle of the necklace but the next set of beads were a dark blue twisted iridescent bead that was beautiful but it detracted from the cobalt blues. So I cut it all apart and restrung it with more cubes and I really like this combination. I added earrings to this necklace also.
This is my favorite picture - I spent Monday and Tuesday with Emma Lynn (blog to come) and while she was still sleeping Tuesday morning and the morning sun was shining in through Kecia's East kitchen French Doors I took this picture. I think I will go down and use Kecia's table for all of my pictures - the deep rich tones of the wood create a magnificent picture (I think even Shawn will be impressed)!! By the way, this is my red crystal illusion necklace and the earrings that I just added to create a set are hanging off the main rose on the right hand side. They almost disappear!

And last but not least is this set - Simply rock and shell beads strung on illusion wire - the earrings are loops with more of the same rocks. The thing about this set it is looks great with jeans and can be classy and casual at the same time. Only $12.00 for this set!!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

My Latest Creations

I thought I might let you see what I have been up to these last couple of weeks in between Jill and running back and forth to Boise for some rest and relaxation.

This necklace is called Waves of Copper due to the design in the pendant which looks like waves of copper and turquoise. It is a really pretty necklace. Most of these necklaces are much the same design with beadwork, chain and a glass pendant highlighted by the beads. I've been in somewhat of a rut but yet at the same time I think they are pretty. I finally broke down and bought a new magazine with new ideas - I don't really copy the necklaces but rather the ideas.

I call this one Turquoise Fronds - the pendant has the most gorgeous silver design across the front of it that reminds me of fronds waving in the breeze.

The pendant on this one is a mottled black and silver glass butterfly - really pretty. It has a really original name of "Black Butterfly" - if any of you out there come up with creative names for any of these necklaces let me know and I will change them!!!

You'll probably have to double click on this one to see the pink porcelain looking bead in the center. It is called Pink Porcelain and Butterflies - the silver toned butterflies on the necklace are repeated in the earrings
Coppers and topaz tones are some of my favorites and this one is too busy for me but there are a lot of ladies out there that will really like this one. I call this one Copper Layers

This set is a simple illusion necklace with soft turquoise flowered porcelain looking beads and silver dragonflies. I named it Porcelain Beauty

I got the beads for this one from an older necklace at Saver's and restrung it in a different design and it turned out beautiful. The beads are polished jasper in all different colors. The name of this necklace is Jasper in Gold. The earrings are not made with the rock but rather plastic chips. I said on my Etsy.com site that I would redo the earrings with the real rocks if the client wanted them.

That's it for now - hope you enjoyed them. And, yes, I know, I created petalsoftjewelry.blogspot.com for this purpose - to showcase my necklace and earring sets but somehow I clicked on the wrong bookmarked page and ended up with it showing up here. I think that for now I will leave that blogspot for my classes to tell people to go and look and see what they can make (Labor Day Weekend I am teaching an ankle bracelet class and September 24th is our Ward Super Saturday and I will be teaching an illusion necklace class there)

Now I have a Petal Soft Jewelry Blog Spot!

I have spent the whole morning creating a blogspot for my necklaces - instead of washing windows! So I better get going and wash those windows but I wanted to you know there would soon be alot more pretty necklaces to view....at another site!

just go to petalsoftjewelry.blogspot.com

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Loss of a Sister

On Wednesday July 1, a special spirit departed earth. Jill Marie Nielson, age 55, returned home to the arms of her Heavenly Father ... and welcomed very warmly by her mother and sister who had passed on several years ago.

Jill was born with Down Syndrome in a day and age when disabilities and handicaps were hidden away but mom and dad refused to put Jill in an institution as was recommended by their doctors. Instead they brought this teensy girl home to two sisters and a brother - and they loved her.

Jill was ever so easy to love - those children blessed with Down Syndrome are so full of love and so thrilled with life. Jll developed slowly with her handicaps. She crawled and then walked finally after the age of two. Jill grew she developed her own language and only those in her immediate family could understand her. My sister Merrilee were both called "bah jah"...popcorn was Oh Oh and Ice Cream was I I (eye eye). Peanut butter which she dearly loved was be bah kuh. Our brother Kelly was born when she was four and as Kelly learned to talk, Jill learned with him and ever after that she spoke normal English. Sometimes she was difficult to understand but with patience and love she let her needs be known.

At age nine Jill was finally able to attend school - up to that point they didn't have anything available for the mentally handicapped. Monte Vista in Farmington was built to accomodate the needs of all these special kids in the whole county. Nowadays they mainstream special needs children but it was unheard of back in the 50's and 60's. Jill learned to read and I remember seeing her sit down night after night reading the Encyclopedias!!

Jill was a joy to our family - she was a peacemaker, she was full of life and she had a fun sense of humor. As she got older she moved from school to a sheltered workshop and would be so thrilled when she got her biweekly paychecks of anywhere from $1.86 to $37.81!!

She would get herself up and dressed and fed and up to the bus stop every week day morning. After she got home she would work on her word search, put together puzzles, play with her Barbies (she used to love to line up all of her Barbie and Ken dolls and have a parade!! Do you , have any idea how many Barbies a 50 year old child could accumulate??) She loved Donnie and Marie and the Disney movies, Little House on the Prairie and anything on Nickolodean or the Hallmark channel.

Everyone who knew Jill realized that she was a special needs person with a fun sparkle and wit. She could tease with the best of them. She hated frogs (except Kermit of course), wolves and would even quietly move the plate with the wolf on it to someone other than herself when setting the table.

I am looking forward to hearing the different memories of family members as I prepare the talk I get to give at her funeral - a funeral that is going to be a celebration of life - we will miss Jill and we will shed our share of tears - but we KNOW that Jill is in a better place and no longer shackled by a body and brain that didn't work quite right. Her soul is soaring - she is free and I would imagine she is tall and willowy and beautiful - inside and out. As my dad said the day she died, we are just a little bit jealous of the fact that mom and Merrilee get to meet the real Jill first on the other side of the veil.


This is a picture of mom and Jill and dad at her 50th birthday party in 2004. The turnout to the party was totally overwhelming - Jill was loved by neighbors, friends, coworkers, and family. Jill was always so warm and loving to everyone around her and it totally surprised us all at he numbers of people that showed up to wish one little handicapped girl a happy birthday.

Lots of love shared by all that evening!


This is just about the last time we got to see the sparkle of excitement in Jill Pill's eyes. This was her 55th birthday party this year - we held it at the nursing home and the whole family turned out to say happy birthday. She only recognized half of us and was confined to a wheelchair, as she hadn't walked, even small steps, since last Fall. It has been hard to watch her downhill slide - in two years she went from walking, dressing herelf, taking care of all personal hygiene, being a part of all the different activities at the nursing home, watching her movies or favorite shows on tv, and calling her favorite friend Andrea on the phone every evening at 8pm - to the point that the only thing she could do for herself was suck on a straw - we even had to remind her to swallow as she was fed her meals.


This was Jill on Halloween, 2008. She very firmly stated that she wanted to be a princess - so I found an old dancing costume of my daughter and put her pretty crown on her head. She really didn't understand what the evening was all about though. This from a girl that always loved Halloween!