Treasures, Treasuries, and Thoughts

I swore I would never do a blog! So much for swearing. I didn't think that I would have much to say or share. I was wrong! I have been so blessed with a wonderful family, loyal friends, sharing colleagues, and the support from so many that I will never run out of topics to write about.

I have opened an on-line store at a place called Etsy (rhymes with Betsy). The items on the left are available for purchase there. These will change from week to week to show you my latest creations. The link to the store is in the upper left corner of this page.

I also have items for sale listed on Art Fire. The link to my Art Fire Studio is

I hope you will visit this blog, my Flickr page ( and my Etsy and/or Art Fire stores often. (

So come along on my Trail of Treasures! It will be a Spirit Journey for me and I invite you to join me on the trip.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Max, Save Me A Good Place!

I had one remaining sibling, Max, until 1/11/11.  On that date, he left us to join my sister, Marilyn. 

Max had been in poor health for a long time.  He had to retire early from two very different careers due to his health status.  In November, 2010, his health began to deteriorate further.  And then, the dreaded phone call came that he had left this earth at 4:00 p.m.

Max was an unusual child!  We had a handsome Creek Indian father and an Irish mother with beautiful red hair and flashing green eyes.  I had dark hair, dark eyes and dark skin.  Marilyn had dark hair, dark eyes, and was fair.  Max on the other had ended up with the most gorgeous copper colored hair, big brown eyes and medium skin.  We were quite a mixed trio!  Max always stood out in a crowd!  He was such a sweet child who grew into an endearing man and was loved by all who met him.

After retirement, Max moved to Muskogee and was a loyal son.  He brought our mother lunch everyday, ran her errands and took her where she needed to go.  His generosity with his time and energy has enabled our mother to remain in her home.  

It is unfair that Mother has had to endure the death of two of her three children.  But I guess it is not for us to say when our time on earth has ended.  We are comforted by the words of Chief Seattle.  He said, "There is no death, only a change of place."

I know that Marilyn was there to meet him when he arrived at his new place and I am comforted by that.  I hope that they will save a good place for Mother and me when our time comes to join them.

Walker, Max Edward

February 1, 1947-January 11, 2011

Max Edward Walker of Muskogee, OK has passed away after an extended illness. Max was born in Holdenville, OK. He grew up in Checotah, OK and Colorado Springs, CO. He began his career as a draftsman at OG &E in Oklahoma City and later at Valdor in Fort Smith, AK. He changed careers to become a Law Enforcement Officer. He retired from law enforcement several years ago in Booneville, Arkansas. He is preceded in death by his father, Johnie H. Walker of Tahlequah, OK, his grandmother, Myrtle White of Checotah, OK, and his sister, Marilyn Ceraulo of Copaigue, NY and step daughter, Ashley Walker.

He is survived by his mother, Kathryn J. Lancaster of Muskogee, OK, his sister, Joni Kay Stinson and husband, Warren of Omaha, NE, brother in law, Paul Ceraulo of Copaigue,NY. sons Mark Walker and wife Grace of Oklahoma City, OK, Max Keith Walker of Yukon, OK, Michael David Walker of Yukon, OK, daughter, Jennifer J. Gibson of Luther, OK, step daughter Gaybrella Walker of Muskogee, OK. He is also survived by a neice, Amanda Zecchin of Stamford, CT., nephews Scott and Patrick Stinson of Omaha, NE and nine grandchildren.

A celebration of Max’s life will take place at a memorial ceremony on a bright sunny Oklahoma day this summer. Messages of condolences can be emailed to or mailed to Kathryn Lancaster, 124 S. 38th St, Muskogee, Ok 74401. The family requests that memorials be made to the Muscogee Creek Nation’s Education Fund.

Rest well little brother and save a good place for me!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Lu, You Go Girl!

I had the distinct honor of attending the All Native Systems' Retirement Party honoring my beloved friend, Luetta Armel yesterday.  At 11:30 a.m. on January 7, 2011, family, co-workers (present and past), and friends gathered to pay tribute to Lu as she completed her career at All Native Services.  The gala was held at the colorful La Mesa Restaurant in Bellevue, Nebraska.  This one of Lu's favorites!

Family members were there to pay tribute to this dear relative.   There were many that I did not get
photographs of  but here is her sister, Denise, and nephew.  I know Denise from our trips together with Lu to the Casino.  How Lu loves a trip to the Casino! 

And, this is a photo of another sister who declared herself to be the "wisest" sister.  I could relate to that as we share the family position of being the oldest sibling.  She is shown with her husband.

Lu is an enrolled member of the Winnebago tribe.  The Vice Chairman of the tribe, Brian Chamberlain, was on hand to pay tribute to Lu and deliver best wishes from the Winnebago.

Brian Chamberlain

All Native Systems presented this wonderful Star Quilt and a Dell lap top computer to Lu.  Please note the heart in the lower left corner.  This was designed especially for Lu.  On your right  is Lee Anne Pretends Eagle holding one side of the quilt.  Lee Anne played a major role in the planning and presenting this wonderful event.

Donna Polk-Primm, Executive Director of the Nebraska Urban Indian Health Commission was on hand to present Lu with a certificate for her services and another wonderful Star Quilt.

Lu is an avid New York Yankee's fan and why not?  After all, her cousin, Joba Chamberlain pitches for the Yankees! Joba could not be in attendance as he was on vacation in Cabo San Lucas.  However, Joba's father, Harlan Chamberlain, was on hand to present Lu with an autographed base ball and Joba's latest base ball card. 

If you would like to read more about Harlan Chamberlain and Joba, please go to the blog I did about them previously.  Here is the link:

When we arrived at the party, we were asked to sign a poster.  By the end of the event, the poster had been framed, ready for Lu to treasure in the coming days.

Here is our beautiful Lu, thanking all of the guests for coming. 

Thank you to All Native Services for this wonderful party honoring a very special lady
and inviting me to attend.

Lu, we love you and wish you the best during your retirement. 

You Go Girl!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Treasure For A New Year!

Yesterday I received an e-mail from one of my Beading Heros, Margie Deeb. I thought it was a perfect article to start the New Year.

I enjoyed her message so much that I wrote to her and asked if she objected to my sharing it on my blog and beading club web site.

As always, she responded promptly and consented! So here it is:

Discovering the Treasure in Failure

"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep." -Scott Adams

As a creator, I've learned a lot about destroying. In order to create, we must destroy. It is a part of the creation process. Destroying makes the space for new creation.

We destroy a hank of beads so that we may order its pieces into a necklace. We destroy old ideas to make way for new. We destroy empty space to fill it with a new painting. We destroy a design that doesn't work in order to create a new one that, hopefully, works.

I was faced with this last dilemma recently. Off and on, for the past 8 months I've been working on an intricate piece. I'd made prototypes out of rope that indicated that my idea would work and I was so excited. However, to see if it actually worked, I had to weave it together. After 60+ hours I realized that what I had created would not work like the vision I had in my mind's eye. So I had to rip it apart. Did I mention it was 60+ hours of work over 8 months time?

I've come to realize that destroying is as much a part of creating as the act of creation. I used to resent having to destroy my failed beadwork, regarding those precious hours spent making it as squandered and meaningless because they lead to failure. I saw it as a waste of time. As I've matured, I realize that time is only wasted if I refuse to learn from the errors I filled it with.

When possible I save my beaded failures to refer back to what made them fail. In this case, I'd woven together a costly amount of beads that I needed to un-weave so I could use them. I spent hours pulling apart lovingly crafted rows of weaving.

For the first time in my 20+ years of beading, the destruction process fascinated rather than frustrated me. I felt I was watching portions of my life in rewind. As I unravelled, I relived the hours spent weaving while watching a Frank Zappa concert DVD with my husband. Then came memories of my trip to San Diego as I tore out loops made during the summer. Backwards I wove through the section of rows completed in July when we lost our Greyhound. Then the part I'd made during the last weeks of our Dalmatian's life in March. I deconstructed the parts that I'd shared over lunch with two bead artist friends at a French restaurant. And finally, the very first rows I'd made (while my head spun with excitement) became shreds of thread and loose homeless beads.

As I ripped, cut, and pulled, I experienced-in the most tactile way-my methods of ensuring my work for posterity. I also cursed them. Overkill here and there, as I sawed apart six and seven passes of thread through one bead.

From this destruction emerged not only the space for my revised design, but also (and this came as a surprise) a more compassionate view of myself. Unwinding months of my life captured in thread and glass offered me a broader perspective of myself. As if watching a film, I saw a woman - in between the mundane and sublime moments of her life, the peaks and valleys, the joys and losses - quietly, methodically building something of beauty. Small and striking. Maybe not a masterpiece, but a creation that would mean something to her, and hopefully to others. I saw someone wanting, from the depth of her heart, to create beauty: beauty that will last and adorn and inspire others to create more beauty. Each fragment of thread and released bead illuminated that part of me that thrives on inspiring beauty, creativity, and excellence in the world.

It was an enlightening time of destruction. And at the end of it I felt wiser, more confident, and more excited about rebuilding my vision in a new way. Not a moment has been wasted!

I do hope that you enjoyed this as much as I did. Should you like to see Margie’s work, sign up for her newsletter, buy her kits or books, take an on-like course, read her blog, please visit her website. Here is the link:

Margie, thanks for your continuing support, generosity, and inspiration!  You are one of Beading's True Treasures!