Sunday, October 20, 2013

San Diego and Encinitas

It has been a while since my last post, but today is a free day and I am wanting to get caught up, chronologically, with events that have touched my life over the last few months. 

Communicating has been a challenge lately with a slower than slow computer that is bogged down and moves at the pace of a turtle in the middle of winter.  I finally got a new computer and now everything seems to be moving along at Mach speed making me want to click my heels together. 

 Lotus Petal Fringe Earring Tutorial in Progress
True to form, I have spent months working on two new tutorials.  One is for a friend to whom I promised many moons ago.  That one I will unveil closer to the finish date.  The other is a fringe lotus petal earring.  The latter uses a fun technique playing with circles and fringe.  Fringe!!  It is all about the swing of a fringe.  Perhaps my passion for swing and sway came at an early age when I was in awe of Cher's famous hair finger flip.  She would be singing her famous duet, "I Got You Babe" and then would look at Sonny, smile and would flip her raven silk head mop from the front to the back.  Then there was leather fringe jackets and purses, as well as beaded fringe on clothing and jewelry.  The fringe and the lotus combined in my mind to create this design.

Encinitas and San Diego
After over a decade, my husband encouraged me to get on a plane to visit Encinitas and San Diego at the end of September.  I had felt disturbed about the thought of flying since the fall of the Twin Towers.  Flying wasn't anything that I wanted to do.  We got on our plane in Chicago bound for San Diego and I suddenly thought, what is all the fuss about.  A wise friend told me, "Susan, the pilot is in charge of the plane and you are in charge of you."  That became my mantra.  Between that mantra and a sprinkling of self induced confidence in the pilot, things went pretty smoothly.  In fact, I was in awe as we flew over the Rocky Mountains.  What I thought would be lush green mountain ranges were dry delightfully colorful ridges and valleys with rivers swirling with silt deposits.

Once in San Diego we stayed at Paradise Point where I spent hours with my camera capturing the frolic of the birds gathering on a small bay sandbar just outside of our hotel room.  This pelican seemed to me to be a conductor leading his flock in a symphony.   

The next day we went to Encinitas, California where we witnessed the most awesome Pacific ocean cliffs that merged with sandy beaches and ocean waves. Encinitas is a town filled with spirit, beach vibe, vegetarianism and lots of pretty and fit people.  It is my new utopia. Visiting this with my loving husband was intensely romantic. 

While in Encinitas we visited Self Realization Fellowship where Paramahansa Yogananda wrote his well known book Autobiography of a Yogi.  The meditation gardens were stunning.  While in the gardens we saw this lotus symbol that overlooks the vast Pacific ocean.  While the lotus flower is a beautiful flower, there is something deep and endearing about the symbolism of the lotus.

While on the way out of town we saw the sun setting over the golden lotus finials of the SRF temple and witnessed three ladies practicing beautiful yoga poses on top of a tall Winebago parked at the top of the beach cliff.  I wanted to grasp Encinitas in my heart and hug and take it all with me. 

We spent the next day visiting downtown San Diego with our main focus on the Maritime Museum.  Of note was the Bob Hope statue with piped in monolog and the HMS Surprise ship where Johnny Depp filmed The Pirates of the Caribbean.  We went on a self guided tour of all the ships.  Yeah, I got a little hammy at the wheel where most likely Mr. Depp twirled a time or two.

During our time in San Diego my husband attended a national conference for college advancement and I spent a little time photographing a classroom lesson in our hotel room, that is, in addition to photographing the herbaceous foliage and water birds. 

Harper College Wire Weaving Class
Yesterday I held my first official wire weaving class at Harper at Studio V. The class was 3 hours long and held adjacent to Studio V in a large room.  I was able to use an overhead projector to skim through the step by step photos of the process of creating the entire pendant.  The two students in the class were beginners and had no jewelry experience.  The three of us stood side by side and created beautiful works of woven wire art. They blew me away with their immediate command of the jewelry tools, concepts and verbiage of the wire creating trade.  The photo is of Laura who discovered that wire weaves have a rhythm to them and that while there may be explicit instructions, following intuition and heart is what creates the best work of art. 

On Turning 50
This week I enter the realm of the mid-century mark. When you turn 50 years the doctors talk about tests that involve terrible probes and needles.  The 50 and older local clubs send you postcards asking you to join their bus outings (I call this "instant friends").  And as if on cue, the body gets a little slower and chubbier in the caboose area.  While I don't subscribe to all of that, I rather look at my maturation as a gift of experience.  With the support of my loving parents and my dear husband, I have been able to make more self and artistic discoveries the last decade than any other.  And with the guidance of my wise HSP guru I have journeyed though layers of deep self understanding and self actualization. It is still a work in progress.  The bottom line is, I may have 50 candles on the cake, but I feel like life is just getting started!!

I end this posting with a photo of a cement plaque located at the Martin Luther King Park in San Diego.


  1. Beautifully written, Susan! Thank you for sharing some of your trip. It sounded like an incredible experience.

    Happy Birthday! Celebrate the beautiful woman you seem to be both inside and out.

    1. Hello Christine!! Thank you for taking time to read this long blog post. Some things just need to be written from the heart no matter how different it may seem. I think it is more authentic.

      My birthday was yesterday and it was grand. Thanks for the birthday wishes. I say the same about your beauty and shared kindness. You have such a kind nature that is greatly appreciated.

  2. Susan, you have really shared a lot. :)

    My husband is from California. He LOVES San Diego. I haven't been since I was too young to remember. I have an Aunt who still lives there, though. Sadly, we have been divided by a continent for decades.

    Your class sounded fun! How wonderful your students got you all to their selves. :)

    50.... I remember 50 fondly. I had the most wonderful day. :) Getting older is awesome... except for the aches and pains.

    The new earrings are gorgeous! I love some swing in my earrings. For me the swing is like chimes in a beautiful garden.


  3. It is always great to hear from you, Tela. Words can't express enough how much I appreciate all the work that you are doing with your cabochon art that accompanies your skills with wire wrapping. This is what you were meant to do. That and teach!! Thanks for welcoming me to the 50 and over club. It is a strange feeling as if I reached the top of a mountain and am now going down the mountain. Perhaps it is actually the other way, but for today this is what it feels like. Wink.


Please comment or contact Susan at