Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Gifts: Wired Lotus Free Rolling Mill Tutorial & Flowers From Mom

Fellow jewelry artist and friend, Susan Barzacchini, of Wired Lotus, has begun a wonderful new blog. She launched her new blog with a free gift for everyone interested in the rolling mill. She has created and generously offers a very concise and thorough tutorial on using the economy rolling mill. You can find the free "Flat to Fab: Patterning Metals with the Economy Compact Rolling Mill" here on her blog. What impresses me the most about this tute is the quality of information. I happen to know that she went so far as to have the tutorial reviewed by the experts on the mill before she even released it to you, the public. She walks you through every aspect of using the mill from how to set it up right out of the box to defining terms to using patterns. She provides clear relevant pictures with each step. The tute leaves no question unanswered- however, if you do find that you still have any, then she has generously offered to answer your queries on her blog. This is Susan's first tute and I think only the first of what will be many more outstanding tutorials. Great job, Susan! I know that you generously gave me some credit, but the credit is all yours- I just helped with some of the techno babble. :)  Not to say that I don't appreciate it because I certainly do. Thank you :) and thank you for offering us your expertise.

I have a story of early Christmas to tell. I have to share this because it made me so happy and maybe will touch a few of you also.

Those of us of a certain age have the same sad, shared experience of losing a parent. I have lost both of my parents. This is the tenth anniversary of my mom's passing. My mother was my best friend and if anyone had asked me I would have told them that I could never live without her, but here I am, carrying on. I think of her often, but have not felt her presence as strongly, in a very long time, as I did recently.

Shortly before she passed away, she gave me 2 Christmas cacti. We had a habit of giving plants versus flowers because plants live on. They bloomed magnificently that year. For many years they sat in 2 pots. I did all the things you are supposed to do to get them to bloom. They never did. I planted them together in the same pot and prayed that it wouldn't kill them and it didn't, but still no blooms. The planter has hung in my living room for years. I have never been able to bring myself to get rid of the stubborn plants and have long since given up on getting them to bloom. They are a green reminder, hanging unobtrusively on a hook, for those moments when I glance over and think of Mom.

A few evenings ago, while playing our regular game of darts, I happened to glance over and see something caught in the branches of my cactus. I thought one of the kids had thrown something up in it and made a mental note to chastise them. I went to relieve the branches of the offence when I discovered that it had, in fact, bloomed!! For no good reason that I could tell, it was actually blooming. Immediately, what sprung from my mouth was, "Thank you, Mom!" (Actually, I said "Mommy"- not Mom, but that sounds strange even to me.)  I had a very pronounced feeling that Mom was in the room. I was utterly delighted. What I found most amazing was that I didn't fall into a bundle of melancholy over the "sign", rather; I had a great sense of happiness and warmth. I have had some big changes in my life and have stepped into her matriarchal shoes. I measure myself against her and for the first time, I felt as if she personally approved of the job I've been doing. I can't think of a better Christmas gift. Thank you, Mom. :)

I hope all of you experience some sort of miracle for the Season, as well.


  1. What a lovely, amazing, heartwarming story and such beautiful sentiments, as precious as the flowers. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experience, Tela. It's a privilege to know you, even if at the distance of the internet. (((hugs)))

  2. Tela Dear, What a beautiful story. I do feel the blooms are a gift from your Mom. Nothing ever fills the whole in our hearts our parents passing creates yet how wonderful you can recognize the gifts. I too feel it is a pleasure to know you through the internet. Bless you, My Friend.

  3. Tela, this is a heart warming story. It is a gift that you give to others by sharing these words of a mother's love with your friends. Surely, it was not coincidence that these blooms graced you with their presence this year. Nothing this beautiful happens for no reason. In fact, this reminds me of the Byrds song, Turn Turn Turn:
    "To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
    There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
    And a time to every purpose, under Heaven"

    Thank you for sharing this with us, Tela.

  4. Tela, your touching story about the Christmas cactus made me smile. It touched me even more so since we buried my 91-year-old mother last Saturday. During a season when we should be happily preparing for Christmas, we will always have a poignant feeling of loss every year. I know losing parents is in the natural order of things, and we got to have her with us for longer than most do, but we are never ready to let them go.

    I had two Christmas cacti that I rescued from a nursery-almost-dead bin years ago. I brought them home, replanted them and they both bloomed faithfully every Thanksgiving. That is, they bloomed faithfully until we moved to a new house. I guess they liked the old house better because they never bloomed again.

  5. Renate, I am as touched by your comment as you were by the post, I think. You know how much I value your friendship :) Thank goodness for the internet or we would never have "met".((HUGS))

  6. Hi Christine :) you, too, have been a true friend. Funny, Renate is in Germany but you are right down the street, comparatively, and yet we all met online. The world can seem so small.

  7. Good morning, Susan, I count you as another dear friend and I look forward to hearing from you. You always have the right thing to say. It's a gift far greater than mine. You are so right about the song. It appears that I needed those flowers this year more than the others. Had they bloomed every year, I might have taken them for granted.

  8. Good morning Susan (Watercolors)

    Please accept my very deepest condolences. You must be going through such a difficult time and during the holidays, too. That your mother had such a long life must make it even harder to let go. True, it is the natural order, but knowing that doesn't really help, does it? There is nothing except for time to dull the pain.

    I hope you are able to share your happy memories around the Christmas tree this year and every year.

  9. Thank you so much for sharing the rolling mill tutorial, fantastic! All the best to you.

    Mary Hicks


Thank you for sharing your thoughts and comments.