Thursday, February 28, 2013

Blog Appreciation Day :)

I am sharing some wonderful blogs that I have read today. I hope that you find something here you will enjoy as much as I do!

The storybeader's journal: AlphabeThursday - O is for Michelle Obama

What we Eat - by

Put a Ring on it -by Memories for Life

Roy Orbison - The man behind the Glasses ~ Magnolia Surprise

Enjoy and Namaste,


Of Happiness and Hope


Happiness is a myth we seek,

If Manifested surely irks;

Like river speeding to the plain,

On its arrival slows and murks.

For man is happy only in

His aspirations to the heights

When he attains his goal, he cools

And longs for other distant flights.

If you should meet a happy one

Who is contented with his lot,

Unlike the rest of all mankind,

Pray his Nirvana disturb not.

~The Procession of Gibran~


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Monkey mind...A cart wheeling dervish of insanity

It's so cold outside and all I can hear is the wind whipping at my car doors but my mind is a million miles away. I've already tried searching for some inspiration to stimulate my writing, but nothing seems to want to stick. Andof course, like usual, I have already forgotten most of the ideas I was so excited to use, because my mind doesn't really want to settle right now...well not really ever these days.

It can't be bothered by my trivial daily pursuits. Most days I feel as though I am really putting it out just asking it to sit still and quiet down.  I need to clear myself of all the insanity and unnecessary clutter that means nothing in the scheme of things ! Jeez come to think of it...hmmmm...where was I gong with that thought? (Squint eyes, furrow brow, scratch the back of my neck). Follow the little butterfly...lalala

Oh yeah! I have to barter with my mind quite often, begging it to give me simple words, common thoughts...things I have taught others and known for years, but mostly it refuses and goes about its business making my life chaos!

I think, and there are many labels for this,  we can call it "Monkey mind"!

So yeah...I have a monkey mind, always did!

What is monkey mind, some of you may ask? Well that's a mind that goes about, on its own. Creating futures, fixating on the past.  A mind that travels everywhere except here... now! A mind that jumps from thought to thought and is always elusive... never sitting still or remaining calm.

I most definitely have that problem, along with just plain, old, simple not going to work mind! Out to lunch, no one home mind and I am just plain not giving you what you need mind! And I am really exhausted. Exhausted from trying to remember that my keys are actually in my left hand or my purse is under the seat...where I put it 30 seconds ago. Tired of getting in and out of the car because I forgot what I just ran in the house  3 times already for! WHAT???

So here I am, asking my brain to help me out! I beg for simple words or profound mindfulness, but to no avail I have failed to create any cohesive relationship. I make all kinds of excuses these days for it, "I 'm tired , not enough sleep, it's just hormones, I have too many projects in the works"...etc. and they are all true, except I know that little monkey mind is swing around somewhere in that head of mine laughing and waiting. Waiting to confuse me, or to run away and hide more of my thoughts, words and ideas, leaving me scratching my head and  awkwardly trying to remember the very names of my own family!

So I wonder when it's going to officially move out. When the day will come that I will be left in the dark and totally unaware that I ever had a working mind at all?  I am sure when that day arrives, I will be left with little concern for the loss of words and names that routinely reek havoc on me.  I am determined to find solace in the the present. A present that will always be new and current and I will smile and greet everything as though it is for the very first time.  Till then, I will keep chasing my tail and appreciate whatever small vocabulary it chooses to beseech upon me, even if the words are a garbled conundrum of gobbley gook and my thoughts are a cartwheeling dervish of insanity!

I will prevail with or without a brain...because the jokes on my monkey mind, I would rather have no thoughts at all!!!!


Andrea trains riders and horses alike and knows the importance of remaining focused on each movement.  Learning how to stay focused and in the present moment is no easy task but can practiced on a daily basis with just the simple technique of mindful breathing throughout the day. Taking a moment to consciously inhale. and exhale will bring about a calmer, quieter mind, body and create a expansive spirit. Read more about yoga and meditation weekly here or on any one of these wonderful blogs that I support:

Friday, February 22, 2013

Fire and Blood Treasury...

Thank you so much Kayleigh for The beautiful treasury Fire and Blood, it is awesome!

Kayleigh has an amazing shop at and I am sure that you would enjoy feasting your eyes on these gorgeous Bohemian/boho silk wraps at Air Sign Studios. Here are just a sampling of what she offers in her studio.


Monday, February 18, 2013

Aromatherapy Eye Pillow, Lavender Eye Pillow, relaxation pillow, Organic Flaxseed Pillow

12.50 USD, by AndreaDurhamDesigns via Etsy

Clear your Energy Centers with Crystal Chakra Bowls

Calling All Equestrians Ride Every Stride Online Radio by Andrea Durham| Blog Talk Radio

Hey there, Hi there equestrian fans...Join me and learn to Ride Every Stride on my blogtalkRadio.

For those of you that are here because of my dressage training and horse related blogging,  I am finally going to do that blog talk that I have been prepping for FOREVER AGO! You can follow me at the below link and get a notification of my scheduled blog talks.

Ride Every Stride blog and blog talk Radio will be filled with educational, informative and practical information that you will be able to apply directly and confidently to your horsemanship tool belt. I have been training and instructing for most of my life and look forward to helping others outside of my local area learn the language of the horse and help resolve everyday issues that sneek up and quickly throw our training off track.

Tune in and be one of the callers who will have the opportunity to "Ask the Trainer" . This will be an excellent opportunity to get professional help and/or an evaluation of your progress.

Ride Every Stride Online Radio by Ride Every Stride | Blog Talk Radio


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

NO,NO, NO I don't want to go!

I just returned from a 4 night 5 day cruise to Cozumel, it was my very first cruise. My girlfriend set the whole thing up and let me tell you, I really did not want to go. I drug my feet all the way... She bought the cruise with her flyer miles, got me the plan ticket and made sure we had enough credit to enjoy a cocktail every hour on the hour. :) and I still drug my feet!

Just ask my mother, she can tell you stories of how much I hated to go anywhere there were people. I am a rebel and an introvert. Most people may never guess that about me. They may think that I am outgoing and very much a talker. They may tell you that I never shut up and I seem very comfortable in crowds, and they would be very much mistaken.

I have never much liked group gatherings.  I always make sure that if I go to visit anyone that they know I don't want to go anywhere and most definitely do not want to meet new people.  When I travel, I want to be alone, I want to sit silently somewhere and listen to sounds, feel the wind and turn off my mind because it is normally so busy, busy, busy with all the grind that we call adulthood.

So when Tammy asked me to go, I dreaded the close proximity with all those people and all that clammer and interaction that seems to be the main idea behind cruises. As you can see from my pictures I was MISERABLE!

As I said before, I drug my feet all the way... well to the ship dock and then I decided it was time to give it a go. I will admit there are a lot of people, more than I prefer, but they are all perfectly happy to be there without giving you much notice. And Tammy was quite content going on her way to do her own things, such as working out, using the whirlpool and swimming without guilting me into anything at all. And so I slept....On the deck, in the sun, in the solarium, in the room. I ate and drank but almost always staying clear minded and never feeling hung over (other than a food hangover, here and there). I meditated, listened to the ocean and allowed my mind to let go of all worries for those wonderful 5 days. Feeling deeply relaxed and clearly healthier from all the sun, silence and solitude and then coming home with a better understanding of myself and my discomfort in crowds and with people.

I have always been in tuned and highly sensitive to extreme activity. I can easily be drawn into conversation and with little encouragement, but at the same time I find I am open and fragile to the effects that are occurring all around us. Effects such as the seen and unseen judgements that are continually being made. The effects that the energy vampires leave behind by draining and stealing others life force. And the ability to take on others feelings even though you have little or no involvement in the outcome. I realize that I need to let go more, trust the process and open up to more adventure in my life. But at the same time I find the process and adventure to be overwhelming and crippling.

It is this crippling effect that brings me to my need for alone time to empty my mind and expand my suppressed and stifled energy. This alone time allows me to decide how much I want to open myself up to the energy of any given situation and once again enjoy the journey.

This sensitivity has been most of the reason that I say "NO, NO, NO I don't want to go!" Most of the reason behind my lack of confidence and my strong, fiery personality. It is my protection, my suit of armor that keeps the negativity somewhat at bay. Those of us who are introverts or autistic are simply intuitive, sensitives who are overpowered by the collective energies that are everywhere. Those of us who sway from happy to sad in a fleeting moment, those of us who can go off the handle with no warning at all are exposed and open to the feelings and emotions of others in our presence.

As I grow older I can not say that I am in any way getting better at handling my sensitivity. If anything I find that I need more alone time. I find that I am more susceptible to becoming emotional on a whim. But I can say that knowing what I am and understanding myself, finding room for acceptance and making time to empty and make space inside myself has become a life saver for me as well as for those who deal with me on a daily basis. Being true to who your are, and understanding that you are a constant and ever changing being can bring you peace and help you feel less depressed and more de-compressed.

I encourage people to find the time to step inside and empty themselves from all the negativity that they collect throughout the day.  People are energetic beings by nature and do not understand how this energy works either in their favor or against them. Being open minded to the energy that surrounds you and is you will give you a new sight and grow not only your mind but your heart and soul. Explore the possibility, surround yourself with knowledge and empower yourself with light.

For this moment I feel a peacefulness. I feel an emptiness that allows me to expand from the tiny me to something so much bigger. Where ever you find yourself today I wish you health and happiness. I wish upon you a moment of expansion where you let everything go. I find even a minute of focused silence with emphasis in breathing gives me that perfect opportunity to release, expand and feel lighter.

Namaste' and happy travels

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Sunday, February 3, 2013

Following me through the ring making process

Step 1.

Step 1. I have cut a piece of 22 gauge copper sheeting, hammered and textured it in preparation for anealing and shaping. this piece is ready to be hand sanded.

Step 2.

Step 2. I have annealed the ring to soften the copper. Here I have begun to shape and size the ring 

Step 3.

Step 3. The ring is sized and ready to be wrapped with 2 different wires. I love to use  a 20 gauge square wire first, followed by a 24 gauge round to set and hold the stone.

Step 4.

Step 4. Before I wrap the copper I like to make  sure that the stone will set well onto the rolled arms.  I really just like to look at how pretty the metal and Rivoli go together. :)

Step 5.

I have temporarily set the stone here tomake sure that I have set the sides at the correct distance to hold the Swavorski properly. All the colors in this picture turned out rather brilliant. 

Step 6.  I have wrapped the swavorski rivoli to the copper band. I would say that I am finished but I am actually not happy with the 24 gauge wrap. I will be re-wrapping it with a 26 gauge instead tomorrow.

I have used a silver~black patina for a smooth soft vintage finish. I do not use any sealants on my jewelry. I like them to age and darken naturally. This process is a beautiful occurence that gives your ring a organic character.





Question: Is Copper HyperAllergenic?

I have found a wonderful blog that talks about copper fact and fiction click here and hopefully that will answer your question:) I have used a hard sheet metal and soft wire both are pure copper alloy. They are considered hypo allergenic.

My designs are very simple, organic and raw. I love to keep my pieces artsy and asymetrical. You will find that they appear whimsical and are obviously handcrafted. It is important to me that you are happy with your ring if you do not like the design please let me know and I we can talk about something that is more to your liking :)