Date Joined: November 18, 2012
Last Online: October 21, 2017
Birthday: September 17
Country: United States
Thank you for visiting my profile, and for sharing yourself with me through Swap-bot!
I want you to know that I always send my swaps and I always rate. If a reasonable time has passed and you have either not received a swap or a rating, please contact me. I will resend and/or make certain I rate you. Life in general continues to throw out some major challenges for me. As a result I have not always taken the time to thank each person individually for taking their time to rate the swaps I send. But I do want each of you to know that I am always very grateful for your ratings and comments, so
Thank you so very much!
A LITTLE ABOUT ME: I have spent most of my working life in service professions of one kind or another, 15+ of those years in mental healthcare. I have led and co-led a number of Vision Quests into both desert and forest areas. They can be quite magical. I have a couple of great stories about close encounters with bears and one frisky badger while on vision quests! More recently I became a Sound Therapist using Himalayan Singing Bowls, which I dearly love. And I do Reiki as well.
The bowls that I use in sound therapy have the most beautiful tones, each one unique, and can be used to relax, meditate and heal. They are made of 7-12 different metals hand hammered into shape by artisans in Nepal, Tibet, India and Bhutan. Many are more than 100 years old.
I've studied a number of spiritual traditions from different cultures over the years, such as Tibetan and Zen Buddhism, Kabbalah, Christianity, Hawaiian Huna and Native American traditions. I find a deep spiritual base in each one, and have grown as a result of these studies.
I thoroughly enjoy being up close and personal with nature: mountains, forests, rivers and waterfalls, the beach and desert. Each place is beautiful in its own particular way . My spirits are always lifted when I commune with nature. It is also exciting to see wildlife in their natural habitat.
Being kind to the Earth is important to me. I do a lot of reusing, revamping, re-purposing, recycling, etc. I am a bit of a pack rat. (Just a bit, Renee' - really?! Grin . . .) I look at anything and immediately I start thinking what else it could be and what can I make out of it.
I truly enjoy traveling and am always ready for a good adventure! I have been fortunate to travel to a fair number of places, including Hawaii, Canada, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy, Thailand, Nepal and Tibet. I spent one year living in Italy, three months in the northern alps and nine months in Rome. I fell in love with Florence, Italy. I've also driven through at least half the states in the U.S.A. I'd still like to travel to Machu Picchu, Iquazu Falls and Angel Falls, all in South America, take a train trip across Canada, and visit the states in the U.S.A. that I haven't seen yet, especially Alaska where my mother was born..
As you may have gathered, I have a variety of activities I like to participate in. Arts and crafts (listed below) hold a special place in my life.
I also collect rocks. Yep. Have always loved them. My mom said that when I was a child I would bring home some really ugly rocks - they didn't have to be pretty to be of value to me. Quirky, I know! I have rocks from a number of places around the world. And I have expanded my collection to include some really awesome quartz crystals and other kinds of crystals and minerals like obsidian, lapis, and amethyst.
My favorite colors are jewel tones, especially sapphire blue, emerald green, ruby red and deep purple. I love bright colors and things that are sparkly, too! I also collect cut lead crystal because of the wonderful sounds it makes when tapped and the way it refracts light.
I find a variety of arts and crafts interesting and love trying new things. I have been exchanging ATCs for several years in both groups and now at Swap-bot. I like using a variety of inks, dyes, papers and ephemera, and have quite a LARGE collection of rubber stamps. I use them for ATCs, cards I make, mail art, altered books, masks, and a host of other craft projects, including creating collages and handmade postcards. I often use collages to express my inner self when words cannot always convey what I wish to express. I have recently begun making art journal pages and am loving it!
I started collecting beads years ago just because they were pretty. I now make jewelry and art pieces with them. I especially like working with Swarovski crystals. They transmit so much light and sparkle so wonderfully!
I taught myself how to crochet, but for the life of me I can't sew worth a darn. I would like to make crazy quilts sometime in the future, and have already begun collecting fabrics and threads. I like the fact that crazy quilts are a free form fabric art originated by women. I am starting to write a few stories again and a Poem or two here and there.
In the past I've also made native American style drums, rattles, dream catchers, masks and shields, and still have a great collection of feathers.
I like something about nearly every kind of music. I like exploring music that uses different cultural instruments like Taiko drums, didgeridoo, rain sticks, rattles, chimes, Himalayan singing bowls, gongs, etc. I seem to favor percussive instruments and horns the most. And I enjoy silence - or at least the absence of man-made machine noise. Nature is rarely totally silent.
I used to read voraciously, everything from non-fiction to science and speculative fiction. The Lord of the Rings was one of my favorites. And all of HP Lovecraft's works, which were primarily inspired by his dreams. I also enjoyed historical fiction, and books by Doris Lessing, Tanith Lee, CJ Cherry and Patricia McKillip.
Then in 2002 I ruptured an aneurysm in my brain. I was sent to the neuro-trauma center for surgery and spent 10 days in intensive care. I had a second brain surgery six months later. I am quite fortunate to be alive! While I am VERY grateful for that and that it did little damage to my body, I did lose my complete sense of smell, my sense of time is skewed, and it became very challenging for me to read. While I have now regained most of my ability to read, much of my reading is to gain knowledge in whatever I want to learn. I also read serial novels and graphic novels which do not require prolonged concentration. And I still feel the loss of my sense of smell very deeply. I used to grow old fashioned roses and lilacs for their scent, and used aromatherapy in my everyday life to lift my mood.
I do have a wonderful illustrated collection of children's books, fairy tales, and creation 'myths'. My favorite fairy tale is the Snow Queen. And I very much enjoy shopping for books for my 8 year old great niece. She loves books, has always gone page by page looking at them, and now reads several years above her grade level. I now also have a 3 year old great nephew to give books to. He also likes to start looking at each book before going on to the next. And I have a 7 month old great niece who I imagine will follow in her siblings' footsteps.
I enjoy watching talent shows like The Voice, So You Think You Can Dance, Face Off, Project Runway, etc. There is so much talent; it is really enjoyable to see the human spirit reach for the stars! I also like science fiction, anime, crime dramas such as NCIS and Castle, and a good mystery. I watch a fair amount of public television and particularly enjoy Bill Moyers and Charlie Rose. Both are highly intelligent, well informed and reasonably objective.
My favorite movie of all time was Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Coming in second would be The Ruling Class.
Besides areas of interest mentioned above, there are a few things I should mention on the 'Not Liked So Much' list. Anything that is created or designed specifically for its scent has no meaning for me anymore since I lost my sense of smell. I also don't use candles (can't smell if they were to drip on something, causing a fire). And I don't drink tea, don't care for clowns, monkeys, pigs or zombies, and do not like violence just for the sake of the violence.
I do like:
the wild-lands in nature, especially mountains, old growth forests, the ocean, rivers and waterfalls,
wild weather patterns, especially lightening,
outer space, stars, galaxies, nebula - inner space, dreams, visions,
wild animals, including lions, tigers and bears (oh my!), ravens, eagles, elk, moose, dolphins, whales, sharks, snakes, hawks, owls,
architectural shapes (both made by nature and by man),
fractals, mandalas, prayer flags,
faeries and elves and all things mystical and magical (and stories about vampires),
cultural celebrations such as Native American pow-wows/dancers, ethnic fests and processions/parades of most types,
images of male angels, Tibetan deities, Kachinas, pow wow dancers, Norse gods, etc.
pretty papers, ribbons, fabric swatches, charms, lace, buttons, etc.,
quartz crystals, crystals and minerals in general,
"We cannot all do great things but we can do small things with great Love." ---Mother Teresa
"Blessed are those that can laugh at themselves, for they shall never cease to be amused." ---Anon. (Grin . . . I'm amused a lot.)
"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, a garden patch or redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded." ---Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Too much of a good thing is wonderful!" ---Mae West
"Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life." ---Picasso
"Adversity doesn't build character, it reveals it." ---Anon.
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