Jul 2, 2014

My Country Blog Hop

Nanmade Handmade My Country Blog Hop 

Well, I just realized as I started to hop that my updates to my scheduled post did not save! And my post sadly went out without any jewelry or fun. My apologies.

This is the second annual My Country blog hop hosted by my dear friend, Nan Smith of Nanmade Handmade. On Canada Day, we are celebrating places as Nan challenged us to create jewelry celebrating, exploring, reflecting an area, not just a country. Today, I choose ORLANDO.

I LOVE Orlando! Full of beauty & diversity & happiness, the city hosts Disney World & Universal Studios, Sea World, and many other goodies. Best of all, the sunshine & blue skies are exquisite. The ocean air from the Atlantic & Gulf of Mexico breezes across the peninsula and it smells so fresh and lovely here. The vibrant beauty lifts spirits and people are joyful here. It is truly a gift to live in Orlando, called "The City Beautiful."

But I'd like to take you in even more, to my home, my heart. I'd like to share with you the gift of living in The City Beautiful from my eyes, my soul, my days and nights here:

Fairy lights dance in color changing patterns at my home in the quiet evening as I blog.
And in the morning, our pool and fountain & gardens are tranquil meditation places.

Our life here is a gift from my daughter who is no longer with us here. She wanted to live here so much, and made the dream come true. The beautiful days and nights, and four seasons of comfort and sunshine are her gifts. The fun and love we celebrate are her gifts.

Life is supposed to be fun! 

My grandson swims happily each day! :) 

Her spirit is here, everywhere, in joy!

When we learned of her death, dragonflies flew all around us! And, now I think of her spirit every time a dragonfly dances in the Orlando sunshine, playing near our pool. 

I created a beadwork pattern using the free pattern program I found through Beading Daily (see EasyBeadPatterns.com) based on a beautiful photo taken by Amber's Art Alley. for Lori Anderson's FB group, the Bead Soup Cafe, 13th design challenge. 

As I began my peyote painting, the delicas & treasure beads I needed appeared as if meant always to be: the rustic, sweet dragonfly ceramic by beadfreaky balances the glimmering fabric of beads, an amazonite gemstone connector became a handcrafted clasp with my silver wire, delicate chain became a wonderful safety for the bracelet, crystal bars & a silver dragonfly charm were sparkling touches.

And I created this peyote bracelet in her honor, with my love for her, my appreciation for her gift of Orlando, my love of the sun & greenery & paradise & our blessings living here: 

"Fly Well Little One" In Memoriam to my daughter, Christina, Nov. 1983 - July 2013.

AGE OF THE DRAGONFLY: Photo by AMBER's ART ALLEY created/painted in PEYOTE weave, with beadfreaky handcrafted art focal, amazonite gemstone & handcrafted silver clasp, silver crystal connectors and silver dragonfly charm

I love the gentle clouds & leaves, the soft blues & greens, the beauty that unfolded -- surely a gift of love, a gift of connection to my daughter still. As I wear this bracelet painting, I think of the magic of life, the gift of living in Orlando that she continues to give us, I think of dancing with dragonflies who are saying hello from the nonphysical -- and how always & forever, with love, a family is a group of like minded, infinite beings who travel life-times together.

The Artists of the Blog Hop: 

Hostess: Nan Smith (Canada)

1. Ana (Portugal)

2.Rita (Orlando)

3. Dini (The Netherlands) 

4. Robin Reed (Indiana)

5. Lilik Kristiana (Indonesia ) 

6. Karla Morgan (Texas) 

7. Karen Mitchell (South Australia) 

8. Jayne Capps (Oklahoma) 

9. Melissa Trudinger (Australia) 

10. Johana Nunez (Puerto Rico) 

11. Kepi (Alberta) 

12. Deb Fortin (Ontario)

13. Divya (India) 

14. Tammy Adams (Arizona) 

15. Kay Thomerson (Texas)
16. Bairozan (Bulgaria) 

17. Carolyn's Creations ( ) 

18. Lecia Woessner (New Orleans) 

19. Linda A. (Wash. D.C. )

20.Inge Van Roos (California)

21. Natalie (New Zealand) 

22. Lori Schneider ( ) 

23.Mary Harding (New York)

24. Bouchra Rebai (Algeria) 
25.Michelle McCarthy (Florida ) 


  1. Its so poetic and a great tribute to your daughter. I have not heard of peyote painting before - its beautiful

  2. Rita, your bracelet is fabulous, and an absolutely fitting tribute to your beautiful daughter. I think she might have been looking over your shoulder as you made it!

  3. You have shown us the outer and the inner beauty of Orlando. I am sorry for the loss of your daughter. This post is a wonderful tribute to her as is this delicate bracelet with the image of the fragile but eternal dragonfly!

  4. Rita, this is a simply gorgeous tribute and memory piece! You have echoed the colors of dragonflies beautifully! I can feel the love and caring that was crafted into this piece. There is a design on the left of the photo, which, when I first looked at it, I thought might have been a stylized wave, symbolic of the ocean waves from the place you love so much, but as I looked closer, I saw a silhouette of a wolf, howling at the moon, which is my own family's symbolic totem and I felt a kinship to another mother whose child as gone too soon. I'd like to share with you a poem that meant a lot to me when I lost my son, Ben (1979-97).

    He has taken his light and is gone now
    Into a room I cannot find
    But I know he has been here
    By all of the lights
    He has left behind.

    And I see that your daughter has left behind many lights for you, loving memories of happier times, beauty, tranquility and a connectedness to nature. All of these beautiful lights to guide you and comfort you on your own journey toward the Stillness. Your work speaks volumes.

    May the Four Winds bring you blessings.....

  5. Such a beautiful tribute to an obviously much-loved daughter! I was not blessed with children (only furbabies), so I cannot even imagine your pain from your loss. Keeping you, as always, in my prayers.

    Your bracelet is nothing short of fantastic and I hope, when you wear it, you have the most wonderful memories!

  6. oh wow that is such a beautiful bracelet! and wonderful tribute to Orlando

  7. Dear Rita, Your tribute to your daughter and her love of Orlando is beautiful! I love dragonflies and your bracelet is an amazing work of art! I can't begin to imagine how much work went into creating it. Truly a product of love!!!

  8. Oh Rita what a beautiful story, thank you for letting us glimpse into your life, daughters are so special and your daughter sounds extraordinary. Your dragonfly is such a beautiful tribute!

  9. I'm so glad I stopped back to see if your post was up. Beautiful images of your home and garden. And of course, how you translated the dragonfly photo into beadwork is a stunning tribute to your daughter.

  10. Beautiful, all of it, I am kind of speechless! Love and Hugs and Prayers! Have a Blessed Night!

  11. I came back to see if your post was there, and yes, there it was! When reading your blog, I can feel the ♥love♥ for your daughter... It's in the pictures, in your text and in your jewellery. On FB we had the Challenge and I saw your design and creation for the first time (-: and how you came to it...
    I'm still touched.


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Namaste --