December 26, 2008

Habri Gana? Whatta Gwaan? What's New?

If you celebrate Kwanzaa and are asked, "Habari Gana?" between December 26th and January 1st, the answer would be the Nguzo or principle for that day.

Nguzo Saba - The Seven Priciples
(En – GOO – Zoh Sah – BAH)

UMOJA (oo-MOE-jah) Unity (Dec 26)

KUJICHAGULIA (koo-jee-cha-goo-LEE-ah) Self-Determination (Dec 27)

UJIMA (oo-JEE-man) Collective Work & Responsibility (Dec 28)

UJAMAA (oo-JAH-mah) Cooperative Economics (Dec 29)

NIA (nee-AH) Purpose (Dec 30)

KUUMBA (koo-OOM-bah) Creativity (Dec 31)

IMANI (ee-MAH-nee) Faith (Jan1)

December 26, 1966, heralded the inaugural celebration of Kwanzaa, an African-American/Pan-African cultural celebration.

Kwanzaa, which means first fruits in Swahili, was established by Dr. Maulana Karenga, a professor of Africana studies at California State University in Long Beach. Dr. Karnega holds a Ph.D. from United States International University, San Diego and one from University of Southern California, Los Angeles.

I had the privilege to hear Dr. Karenga speak at a local high school in Florida in the early '90s. He was eloquent, enthusiastic, imformative and motivating. I was only able to take the two youngest kids as the oldest was here in Jamaica at the time. I am grateful for that opportunity.


December 23, 2008

Why We Celebrate Christmas

Please don't let the hustle and bustle of shopping, eating, gift-giving, traveling, drinking and partying make you forget the reason we celebrate Christmas. It is the celebration of the birth of our crucified and resurrected Saviour, Jesus Christ. Let us give thanks to Jah for the gift of Jesus' blameless life!

I am lifting each of you in prayer, asking Jah to open your eyes to the truth of our world. May 2009 find you inspired to uplift yourself, your family, your community and our world.

Blessed Love to anyone who has stopped by for a holiday visit. Please stop by again soon.

December 20, 2008

Bountiful Basket

While recovering, I find myself struggling to remain in a positive frame of mind.

If not careful, while confined to the wheelchair, I tend to create lists of "what I can't do" or "what I miss". (showers, swimming in the ocean, dancing, standing face-to-face with my husband, working out with him in our gym, driving, walking from room to room in the house, I could go on and on)

Instead of whining, I am going to say Thank You, Jah, for bountiful blessings. We had the JA$750,000 required for the surgery and post-op care. I was lead to a doctor who sucessfully reconstructed my ankle. I am healing without major complications. I have received cards, calls, prayers, white light healing love, visits, e-mails and this bountiful basket of tangerines to remind me how very loved I am.

My husband has been magnificent thru this entire challenge. Not only has he cared for me in every way, but has done it with an amazing spirit of love. No bad face, no rolling of the eyes, no teet' kissin', not a sign of reluctance or repulsion. Once again, he's proven himself to be a KEEPER.

As I trod this path of recovery, let me remember to give I-tinual thanks to Jah, who blesses me in such abundance and who walks by my side.

December 18, 2008

Tough Love VS Spanking Children


This thought provoking advice was sent to me from America.

While conditions in Jamaica may not lend themselves to an exact application of the recommendation, it does provide food for thought. Especially after an encounter with some pickney dem (children) who have never been introduced to any likkle bit of brought-upsy. (manners)

Consider this:

"Most of the American populace thinks that it is improper to spank children. I have tried other methods to control my kids when they have one of 'those moments.'

One method that I have found to be very effective is for me to just take the child for a car ride and talk. Some say it's the vibration from the car, others say it's the time away from any distractions such as TV, video games, computer, IPod, etc. Either way, my kids usually calm down and stop misbehaving after our car ride together. Eye to eye contact helps a lot, too.

I've included a photo of one of my sessions with my son, in case you would like to use the technique yourself."

I am interested in a poll of my readers. After considering the technique outlined, would you recommend the tough love approach or an old fashioned spanking?

December 15, 2008

Stumbling Around

Since coming home from surgery, I have not been able to sit upright for long periods of time. The blood pools in my foot and makes the ankle throb. I can use the laptop while reclining, but haven't figured out how to bead in a reclining posistion. YET.

So, I have just been stumbling around. For those of you just being introduced to StumbleUpon, it is a way outline your interests and then have websites, videos and graphics brought to you. You can give them a thumbs up if you like what you see, or a thumbs down if you don't want to see any more like it.


December 8, 2008

December 7, 2008

Friends of Jamaica

The hummingbird graphic in the left column was painted by my dear friend, Leslie.

She is a long-time friend of Jamaica and has touched the lives of many Jamaicans firsthand. On her blog, Flowers of Life, she has asked her readers to put this fund raising graphic on their blogs for the next few weeks.

For you, Sistren Leslie, and all you do to increase the goodness in our I-niverse, I give thanks.

December 2, 2008

One Week Post-Op

Jah is good to me. He has brought me thru another trial, standing by my side and holding my hand in His.

Surgery was last Tuesday and it was just a bit more extreme than expected.

I ended up with ten screws in my ankle instead of the 7 to 8 they had originally anticipated. If you look at the diagram you will see what I was told would be done.

In addition to the screws you see there, they added a second cancellous screw and then had to place a stabalizing screw that went from the front to the back of my ankle.

I have an appointment with the orthopedic surgeon tomorrow to check the multiple incision sites for inflammation before they put on a fiberglass cast that will be on for 5-6 weeks.

I still feel weak after only an hour or so, but I think it may be due to the painkillers I have been taking. Getting my strength and stamina back is a high priority for me now.

Thank you seems so inadequate for all the love, prayers, e-mails, and calls I have gotten from you. Each of you, in your own way, has helped me during this challenge. I will be forever grateful for each of you.

November 25, 2008

November 24, 2008

This Is What They Will Do


So, this is what I will be doing on Tuesday.

First, they will be making an incision on the outside of of my ankle. They will insert a plate with 7-8 stabalizing screws thru the incision. Second, they will make another incision on the inside of my ankle and insert two (or more) cancellous screws into the bone.

I want to thank all of you who have shared comments, lifted me in prayer, sent emails and called to wish me well. Your prayers and positive energies will send healing out into the I-niverse to heal me and untold others.

Thank you, Jah, for your abundant blessings and the prayer warriors You have gathered on my behalf.

November 19, 2008

Crutches or a Wheelchair, Miss?

Those were the options offered to me at Hargreaves Hospital.

I slipped and fell, breaking my right ankle in three places. The closest hospital is over an hour away via rough, pothole-riddled roads. I think I only screamed out loud two or three times.

Glad to say I am no longer in agony, thanks to multiple injections and pain pills. The unavoidable surgery to put two metal plates and 7-8 screws in my ankle is scheduled for next Tuesday.

This is going to put a real crimp in my plans. I had a private jewelry show scheduled for the employees of JMMB (Jamaica Money Market Brokers), an invitation to a Thanksgiving dinner in Mandeville at the home of a lovely woman who knows how to entertain and has the resources to do it well, a visit from Kingston by two of my Loyal Readers, and all the holiday sessions that our sound system has booked.

The outside world is going to have to I-tinue to spin without Lady Roots for a while. Doc said at least 6 months before I can expect normal mobility.

I am giving Thanks to Jah that it was my right ankle and not my right wrist. I don't want to imagine 6 months without beading!

November 14, 2008

November 12, 2008

Right Angle Weave Cross

When Sistren Shauna saw Idren Clay's bracelet, she ordered this cross for her Mother.

The beads are size 6 opaque seed beads. The stitch is layered right angle weave. The base layer is black.

Sistren Shauna will provide the chain from which to hang the cross. The box chain in the picture is for illustration purposes only.

November 10, 2008

Walk Good, Empress Miriam

Banned from her own country for over 30 years, Miriam Makeba now sings with the angels in Zion. Sistren Miriam died at age 76 after a concert in Italy.
After singing the world famous Pata Pata, she collapsed on stage. She was prophetic when she used to say, "I will sing until the last day of my life."
Heartfelt condolences to the family.

Same Stitch, Different Beads

These bracelets show the impact of using different types and sizes of beads with the same stitch.
Angled brick stitch was used for both pieces. The smaller one was beaded with delica beads in a matte finish. The clasp is two snaps that are hidden in the design when worn. The larger one was beaded with size 8 seed beads in an opaque finish. The toggle clasp is a beaded bead.

I got a commission for a choker to match the seed bead bracelet. But since it is for a man, I will need to design a more masculine clasp.

Thank you, Jah, for giving me the gift of beading. I pray for the wearers of my jewelry, even tho I don't always know in advance who they may be. If it is a custom order, I raise their name in prayers as I bead their piece. I want the love and soul joy I feel while beading to be felt when my creations are worn.

November 9, 2008

Variation On A Theme

The bracelet on the left is the original. The faux pearls are lined up diagonally.

I was wearing the original and someone wanted one "just like it". To keep my pledge of making only OOAK (one of a kind) pieces, I designed hers with the faux pearls in a zigzag. Even tho it doesn't show, the toggle clasps are different, too. Hers has a spiral of faux pearls across the top of the toggle clasp, while mine was plain. The stitch used in creating the bracelet is N'debele.

November 8, 2008

For Erica

The receptionist at my husband's doctor's office saw several of the bracelets I beaded. She wanted one done in earthtones. I used clear, gold and bronze seed beads in right angle weave (RAW). The clasp is a copper toggle clasp attached with copper split rings.

The photo below shows her bracelet next to the one that inspired it.

November 7, 2008

Netted Cuff

On my monitor the red beads in the top photo look pinkish. Nuttin nuh guh so!(That's not how it really is.) The colours used are white, red, yellow and green.

The stitch is netting and the toggles are beaded beads.

November 6, 2008

Walk Good, Byron

Byron Lee now plays his guitar for the angels in Zion. Condolences to his family and the band members.

I was blessed to see him perform live in both Jamaica and in America.

Yes, even Lady Roots love fi wine when di music sweet she!

November 5, 2008

Yes, We Can! Yes, He Did!

Thank you, Jah, for answered prayers. Guide and protect Idren Barack as he strives to uplift America and the world. Come together, Prayer Warriors, and let us lift him in prayer.

November 1, 2008

Spiraled Peyote

This bracelet was beaded for my adored brother-in-law, CDR. He is now living in New York, but has begun the process of returning home to Jamaica. I know being home will be good for him and for my husband.

As young brothers they weren't given a chance to be close, but as men they have both made the decision to overcome childhood issues and work on their relationship. It is hard for them to vocalize the depth of their love for each other.

I used delica beads in a spiraled peyote stitch. The clasp is a silver plated lobster claw.

October 30, 2008

Four Pendants

The triangle pendants are peyote stitched delicas.

The brick stitched one was shown with a bangle inspired by Mandela's tribal collar. The other is a netted stitch.

October 29, 2008

Inspired By Mandela's Collar

Nelson Mandela's tribal collar was the inspiration for the bracelet below.
The bracelet is stitched in N'debele using various size beads to create the curve. The red beads are size 6, the yellows are size 8 and the greens are size 10s. The black seed beads on the inside and outside of the bangle are size 11s.

This bracelet is so flexible that it seems to float on my arm.

The pendant is brick stitched around a base metal ring.

October 27, 2008

RAS Celini Spiral and Pendant

The bracelet is a Celini spiral bangle. The seed beads are 11's, 10's, 8's and 6's. The larger the number, the smaller the bead. A clear tube helps hold the bangle shape.

The pendant uses the same pattern with bead sizes 11-8.

October 25, 2008

Square Stitch With Copper Clasp

Can the creativity needed for beading sap my ability to write?

The beading frenzy has continued unabated, but I am struggling with descriptions for the pieces.

I know the names of the beads and the stitches used, but can't seem to come up with witty words to paint the pictures verbally.

This bracelet is done in square stitch using size 11 seed beads. The sides of the piece are reinforced with a row of overhand whip stitching. The lobster claw clasp and jump rings are antiqued copper.

This unisex design has attracted interest from both male and female customers.

October 24, 2008

Layered Right Angle Weave

The focal piece of the bracelet is three layers of right angle weave. The band is two layers.

The magnetic clasp is covered in a seed bead tube. This prevents the clasp from attaching itself to metal objects like filing cabinets and shopping carts.

October 22, 2008

Blue Spiral N'debele

This bracelet looks nice, but doesn't really wear well.

The beads are size 6 and size 11s in both silver lined clear and blue. The body of the bracelet is N'debele, with peyote stitched end caps. The loop is square stitching, with two brick stitch encased buttons creating the toggle clasp.

I will cut it apart and use the beads to make something else.

If jewelry isn't comfortable, it won't be worn.

October 21, 2008

If The World Could Vote...

.....Barack Obama would be the next president of The United States of America.

If you are not a registered American voter, here is your chance to let your voice be heard. No, it won't change the actual outcome of the election, but it will let you have your say.

September 4, 2008

I Will Be...

I am going up to Florida to spend some time with Mom before she flies out to Texas for several months.

I should begin posting again in late September when I return. Make yourself at home while I am away. Feel free to read any old posts, look at the previously posted beadwork and if you leave a comment, don't feel bad that it doesn't appear for a while. I will have little if any internet access while I am away.

Each of you, my Loyal Readers, will be lifted in prayer as I travel.

Nuh fret, mi soon come! (Don't worry, I will be back soon!)

As Good As

September 3, 2008

Why Is It That A Black Man...?

This was sent to me in an e-mail by a vibrant young sistren who has a special place in my heart. She is living and working in America for now, but I hope, over time, she and her husband will return home to Jamaica.

"Why is it that a Black Man can create a filament (electric light - Lewis Latimer) that allows people to see in the dark, but can't be seen fit to lead a country to the light?

Why is it that a Black Man can create an instrument (clock – Benjamin Banneker) that people use to tell time, but people don't think it is time for him to run a country?

Why is it that a Black Man can design a place for the high authorities to meet in & a place for the President to live in (The Capital & the White House - Phillip Reid, a slave & Pierre L'Enfant), but not good enough to lead these meetings or live in himself?

Why is it that a Black Man was brilliant enough to do the first open heart surgery (Dr. Daniel Hale Williams) and show the world how to get and preserve plasma (Dr. Charles Drew), but not good enough to put a program in place where everyone can afford this surgery?

Why is it that a Black Man was creative enough to design an instrument (traffic light - Garrett Morgan) to bring multiple people (traffic) to a halt, but not seen to be creative enough to design a plan to bring all this unnecessary and worthless fighting between countries to an end?

Why is it that a Black Man could create the soles (shoes - Jan Matzeliger) that people walk on everyday, but not be seen good enough to fill the shoes of a bad president?

Why is it that a Black Man was smart enough & brave enough to teach himself (Fredrick Douglas & Thomas Fuller - both slaves) and others how to read, write and/or calculate math, but not seen as smart enough and bold enough to calculate a platform to be President of a country that sure needs another first by us?

So you see, my Brothers (Idrens) and Sisters (Sistren), what I am saying is, let us not forget our past, which led us to our present and can definitely be the backbone to our future. We were good enough, smart enough, creative enough, and bold enough then, so let’s all give Obama the chance to show that we are still these things and more. We all are as strong as our weakest link. Don't be the weak link that denies our people the chance to show we still can OVERCOME & BE THE FIRST."

Lady Roots believes that every one of the questions above can be answered with one word. Anyone care to guess what that word is?

September 1, 2008

Crystal Rondels

Ites, green and gold (red, green and yellow) crystal rondels are the design focal point for this set. The necklace, constructed of seed beads between bugle beads, is long enough to go over my head without a clasp. The pendant is made of the same beads and rondels.
The bracelet has two magnetic clasps, enclosed in beaded tubes.
The bangle was created with embellished tubular N'debele and tubular peyote stitches. For dimension and texture I used different sizes of black seed beads and bugle beads. The bangle holds it's shape because it is beaded around a large metal ring.

August 30, 2008

Gustav, The Uninvited Party Guest

Blessed, Belated EarthStrong, My Beloved

Instead of being able to celebrate his 62nd EarthStrong on the 29th with family, friends and food, my husband spent it on GUSTAV GUARD DUTY. When bad weather threatens he goes into protection mode and doesn't relax until the "all clear" announcement. He secures our home first, the animals next and then the rest of the property. I give thanks for his vigilance.

Gustav was projected to run below the south coast of Cuba, which would have it north of Jamaica. Instead, we got an unexpected visit here on the south coast. Over 24 hours of non-stop, unrelenting, pounding rain and screaming wind.

Jah, we give thanks for the protection and blessings that have allowed us to survive another storm that threatened our home.

August 28, 2008

For Leslie

I recently met Leslie in Negril. She was vacationing from America with her fiancee. This was his first trip to Jamaica, while it was Leslie's tenth visit! She hopes he learns to love Jamaica as much as she does.

Leslie is an artistic soul. She loves flowers and she loves to laugh! Out loud! With enthusiasm! Her blog, Flowers of Life, can be seen by linking here.

She selected the semi-precious stones, oval peridots, and I chose the size 6 silver-lined clear and size 10 silver-lined green seed beads. The tab ends are brick stitched ending in a magnetic clasp. The band of the bracelet is embellished N'debele.

This shows the bracelet closed so you can see how the magnetic clasp is hidden inside the seed bead tube. It helps prevent the magnetic clasp from attaching itself to metal items like shopping carts, metal desks and stair railings.

One day when I hit the Lotto jackpot, I am going to commission Leslie to paint one of her beautiful murals on my back verandah!

August 25, 2008

Peyote Re-Do

Sometimes a piece begins life in one form and then later is transformed.

The original bracelet was my first attempt at chain maille. Very amaturish, but just enough to let me know that chain maille is not for me. I prefer the soothing movements of beading.

Two-drop peyote stitched segments were connected with base metal split rings. I wore it several times, got lots of compliments on it and then the split rings begin to show signs of rust. I removed the split rings and then the two side segments sat on my dresser top for months while I tried to design a way to reuse them in another bracelet.

This is how I did it. I two-drop peyote stitched six tubes of pearlescent white delicas for the focal piece.

I like the reincarnation! What do you think?

August 24, 2008

2008 Olympic Wrap-Up

Jamaica earned eleven medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics; six gold, three silver and two bronze. We broke world records and Olympic records.

During the games, I featured only our gold medal winners. (The one exception to that was the dual silver medal won at the same time we won a gold.) That was in no way a slight to our athletes who earned silver or bronze medals. Instead, I wanted to focus on the best of the best, which in the Olympics is GOLD.

Now it is time to catalog our entire Olympic success story. We have so much to celebrate! Our Jamaican athletes made the world sit up and take note. I only hope our victories don't cause the Olympic Committee to put yam, dasheen and dumpling on the banned substance list!

Usain Bolt - Men's 100m
Usain Bolt - Men's 200m
Shelly Ann Fraser - Women's 100m
Melaine Walker - Women's 400m Hurdle
Veronica Campbell Brown - Women's 200m
Nesta Carter, Michael Frater, Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell - Men's 400m Relay
Sherone Simpson - Women's 100m
Kerron Stewart - Women's 100m
Shericka Williams - Women's 400m
Kerron Stewart - Women's 200m
Shericka Williams, Shereefa Lloyd, Rosemarie Whyte, Novelene Williams - Women's 400m Relay

Congratulations to our athletes, to their parents, and their coaches!

August 22, 2008

Carter, Frater, Bolt and Powell Win Gold

(Powell, Carter, Bolt, Frater)

Our Jamaican men's 4X100m relay team has won a gold medal for the first time in our history while setting a new world record.

Nesta Carter, age 22; Michael Frater, age 26; Usain Bolt, age 22; and Asafa Powell, age 25 have earned Jamaica's 6th gold medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Usain Bolt encourages Asafa Powell to run! Him seh, "Nuh linger!"

August 21, 2008

Veronica Campbell Brown Wins 200m Gold

At 26, Veronica Campbell-Brown has defended her 200m title while setting a personal best record and winning the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

This completes a Jamaican gold medal sweep of the men's and women's 100m and 200m events.

Jah, please let our nation work for peace and national prosperity with as much dedication and focus as our athletes have worked for their Olympic successes.