Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Suggestions to prevent getting the H1N1 flu

I received this information in an email from a friend and thought it good enough to pass on.

There are a couple of new ideas (to me) in the information.

Here are a few new suggestions, plus the usual, on Swine Flu prevention.

As India responds to the spread of Swine flu simple prevention tips from Dr Mehta, a doctor based in Bangalore include hand washing, gargling with warm water and drinking fluids. He urges us not to underestimate these inexpensive and powerful preventative methods.

Dr Mehta has sent this unofficial note to friends:

H1N1, like other Influenza A viruses, only infects the upper respiratory tract and proliferates (only) there. The only portals of entry are the nostrils and mouth/ throat. In a global epidemic of this nature, it's almost impossible not coming into contact with H1N1 in spite of all precautions. Contact with H1N1 is not so much of a problem as proliferation is.

While you are still healthy and not showing any symptoms of H1N1 infection, in order to prevent proliferation, aggravation of symptoms and development of secondary infections, some very simple steps - not fully highlighted in most official communications - can be practiced:

1. Frequent hand-washing (well highlighted in all official communications).

2. "Hands-off-the-face" approach. Resist all temptations to touch any part of face (unless while eating, bathing, etc).

3. Gargle twice a day with warm salt water (use Listerine if you don't trust salt). H1N1 takes 2-3 days after initial infection in the throat/ nasal cavity to proliferate and show characteristic symptoms. Simple gargling prevents proliferation. In a way, gargling with salt water has the same effect on a healthy individual that Tamiflu has on an infected one. Don't underestimate this simple, inexpensive and powerful preventative method.

4. Clean your nostrils at least once every day with warm salt water, Similar to 3 above. Not everybody may be good at Jala Neti or Sutra Neti (very good Yoga asanas to clean nasal cavities), but blowing the nose hard once a day and swabbing both nostrils with cotton buds dipped in warm salt water is very effective in bringing down viral population.

5. Boost your natural immunity with foods that are rich in Vitamin C (Amla and other citrus fruits). If you have to supplement with Vitamin C tablets, make sure that it also has Zinc to boost absorption.

6. Drink as much of warm liquids as you can. Drinking warm liquids has the same effect as gargling, but in the reverse direction. They wash off proliferating viruses from the throat into the stomach where they cannot survive, proliferate or do any harm.

All these are simple ways to prevent, within means of most households, and certainly much less painful than to wait in long queues outside public hospitals.

--Dr Subhash Mehta, Bangalore, India


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

South Shore Beaders - Ann Spano

This is not a necklace I made but it is from one of our South Shore Beaders group, Ann Spano.

Ann makes some spectacular pieces, very bold and mostly all parts are made by Ann. She is an inspiration to all of us in the group and has been very willing to share her knowledge with the group.

We met her at the Fuller Craft Museum's Wednesday evening craft group. Some of us were attending a regular display at the Museum and wandered into a nice find. The Museum has a free group where anyone can bring your favorite craft and join, chat, show, learn. When they realized we were jewelry designers, we were told to stay a bit and meet Ann Spano, a member who regularly attended the group and was a jewelry designer. We ended up staying for several hours and chatted with Ann. One thing lead to another and Ann was now a member of our group. What a find!

When I asked her if she made all of the components she replied:"I did use a couple of premade bead caps along with the pieces I domed for the lanterns and of course the beads in both projects were bought. The lanterns used an inlayed bead and for the other, I just haven't tried drilling stone yet!! Aside from that, I made the components." Look at these pieces - she made all but a few of the components! That involves some bronze metal clay and lots of other metal work.

I have seen both of these pieces in person. While these are good pictures, they do not come close to showing how beautiful they are. Each lantern is all by itself a work of art and there are five of them!

I'll be featuring some of our other talented jewelry designers in the South Shore Beaders group in the near future. Stay tuned.

B and

Monday, September 28, 2009

Last Rose of Summer - reaching new heights

I took this picture from my workspace/table through the screen, thus the hazy look. Notice the dewy spider web. I've been enjoying roses all summer out the window. I keep thinking that soon it will be the "last rose of summer" Now it is almost October and there are still two lovely red roses. The spider web is gone. You can just see the half curtain on the window.

However, the funny thing is the view of the rose bush from outside. (The reaching new heights part)

The roses really look nicer from the inside through the window. But they sure are reaching up. My husband is trying to figure out how to trim the bush so it will be good for next year. If it is the usual height of a rose bush, I'll really miss my view however.

So, on to October and fall having enjoyed the last rose of summer.

B and

Monday, September 21, 2009

Kumihimo class

The Internet never ceases to amaze me. How people find things in particular. I had an email from a lady in MA asking about Kumihimo. Specifically, if I taught Kumihimo. As of then, I have only taught Chain Maille but would be willing to give it a try.

After many back and forth emails, we settled on a class for her here in my home. She was very pleased and I got started on some written instructions and materials for her to purchase. (Since I'm not a bead store, she would need to bring her own materials.) I gave her a list of possibilities and appropriate choices.

She came Friday morning and we got to work. It was fun getting to know her and the skills she already had. She is a knitter and crocheter plus she has many other craft skills. (Much like most craft people, she has more than one interest). I also found out she is a perfectionist. She didn't mind starting over when the first attempts were not quite right.

She had settled on making a bracelet like the one above. I had an extra focal bead and some center crimp end loops. The picture above has end caps and I have since learned that I prefer the crimps. (No gluing!) She finished half of the bracelet in our class and was very pleased with the result. It looked great. Nice work.

One thing I need to point out, however, is that she also taught me something in the process. One of those "Duh!" things. The kind of thing a new person is apt to notice; not just following the way shown, at least with out asking questions. The bobbins unwinding have always given me fits. Despite many different attempts, short of buying new bobbins, I still have a problem with them unwinding. The fear is that beads will fall off and go all over the floor. Plus the way the long strings hinder your movements are a bother, especially to someone just learning.

The thing I learned: tie a knot in the end of the thread so the beads can't come off if it unwinds. Well, "Duh!" She also suggested using a different kind of bobbin. Maybe like some of the knitting bobbins. That I'll have to look into but certainly worth the look.

Isn't it nice to learn something new, even if you are the teacher? What have you learned from someone else lately?


Friday, September 11, 2009

9/11/01 Remembered

Today is the 8th anniversary of 9/11. The news this morning had an article on the fact that many school children are too young to remember. None of my grandchildren, oldest 10, remember.

How do we keep this in perspective? Not too many of us remember Pearl Harbor any more. Is that good, given the changes in the world since? Should we always remember and if yes, how?

"On 9/11, day of mourning becomes day of service"

This was the headline on Comcast's article this morning How do we apply this statement?
I'd really like to hear from you on this.


Friday, September 4, 2009

Lexie's update

This post is just to share good news about Lexie's latest test results and the decisions of her doctors.

Like most of us, waiting for the full results of tests can be very unnerving to say the least. In this case it seems even more so.

I'll quote Alice Williams' Caring Bridge journal post because I want to get it right. The bottom line is good but the particulars are a bit confusing. You can read the whole post here.

"Glee !!! Ecstasy !!! Supreme Joy !!!
We are Elated tonight in our house!!!!!
After waiting over two hours past the time when Lexie's nurse oncologist was supposed to call regarding the Tumor Board results, which was an agonizing period of time in which I kept Breathing and Breathing, Lexie's Oncologist Himself called, and we spoke for over an hour !!!

The fabulous, stupendous, news is that the Tumor board does acknowledge that over the past two years, based on the scans they have, the tumor does Measure somewhat larger... BUT, they can NOT find solid tumor changes that can be measured, but think perhaps the cysts have shifted (she has numerous cystic components in her large tumor), so they are going to give the situation Time !!!! We Bought TIME , my friends , and that is a MIRACLE !!!! The suggestion is to re-scan in 6, Yes, 6 months !!!!

AND, they now agree that we can move forward with the corrective Eye surgery that we have been holding off on for the past year !!! To say Lexie is Happy is an understatement
-She is in Ecstasy, jumping Up and Down in our kitchen !!!!
She wants so badly to get her eye fixed, and she can't Even believe her good fortune in Evading chemo for another while !!!! She is in Total Celebration Mode- Fish Food ice cream and Brownies are on the horizon !!!"


Great news that I just had to share.

B and

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Lexie's Lanyards of Love.

The phrase "Ta Da" comes to mind with this new item. I've been working on it since June. The idea is simple but getting beads in the proper size and color and most importantly at reasonable price, is not easy.

My buddy Melanie (responsible for the other items in Lexie's Jewelry) suggested we add a name badge holder to the line of Lexie's Jewelry. She and her fellow teachers all wear them and wanted something fancier. I've been reminded that hospital workers and some college students also need a lanyard for their name badges. So we started working on her idea.

The decision for the main beads was made first. We chose 5 different colors with a gold swirl around it and a hole big enough to use a nice leather cord. I followed a method I learned from Deb Huber of Cleaver Treasures. Deb sells just large hole beads and leather cord. She has created some neat kits. Check out her site.

I found some neat clips to hold a badge and then decided it would be nice if the lanyard could be adjustable. I've made some adjustable necklaces before. It always amazes me how previous knowledge comes together to make something new.

This is a picture of the best I had made (until this morning) Melanie told me about a small problem she encountered when she wore one to work yesterday. The lanyard when shortened would not stay shortened. The hole in the pony beads is too big.

So, think Bev, what could you use instead? After several attempts I came up with "E" beads. They have a big enough hole to put two 1mm leather cords through but small enough to be taut and not allow the lanyard to slip when shortened. Success!

Yesterday, Melanie called around 10 AM to say she had already sold one. Later in the day she had sold 10. Gheez! I only have enough materials to make 4. So off to my local bead store and my favorite online places.

What a great problem! It sells for $20 with $10 donated to Cancer Research. They can be purchased here:

Alice and Lexie are still working with the doctors to see what Lexie's latest MRI means for her future. You can keep up with the latest information on her journal Leave messages on their site. Lexie read every one!

B and