Sing on Saturday – O Happy Day, sung by Soweto Gospel Choir

Starting today, there will be a song from around the world every Saturday. Some will be in English, some might be in Gaelic, or Zulu. But even if you don’t understand the words, you can always understand the feeling. Today’s song is an American Gospel Song, all the way from South Africa. Enjoy, and have a very Happy Day!

I made this necklace recently, recalling my time in Africa. I call it Serengeti queen. You can find it on my Etsy shop.

I made this necklace recently, recalling my time in Africa. I call it Serengeti queen. You can find it on my Etsy shop.

ArtsyGenius travels the world in search of beauty, and brings back a tiny piece of it for making jewelry. Here is one of our items inspired by travels…

sowetogospelchoir

For more information on the Soweto Gospel Choir, please go to http://www.sowetogospelchoir.com/

Abusing the French, My Fun Cinco De Mayo Tradition

mole and arroz rojo

Chicken Mole, an authentic Mexican dish from Puebla, Mexico. It’s made with chocolate!

Do the French annoy you? Have you ever seen public buildings in Mexico and thought they looked curiously French? Well here’s a little ammo so you can poke your French friends (I have many, by the way) in the ribs.

What? Isn’t Cinco de Mayo about Mexican independence day and drinking margaritas? Nooo…it’s the day of a battle, when a small army of Mexicans kicked French butt!

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Teatro Degollado in Guadalajara, Mexico

Napoleon III invaded Mexico and setup his relative Maximilian as the emperor. The Mexicans weren’t too keen on having their country taken over, so this resulted in the Franco-Mexican war. On the 5th of May in 1862, the Mexican soldiers who were greatly outnumbered and ill-equipped (4,500 Mexicans against 8,000 French), crushed the French army and sent packing!

Although ousted, France left an impression on Mexico. The Degollado theatre in Guadalajara looks a whole lot like the Palais Bourbon in Paris, where the National Assembly meets. And there is a multitude of statues in Mexico that look like they came out of the French revolution. But we need to be extremely grateful to that small Mexican army for 2 things. If the Mexicans had lost, the USA would have snobby French neighbors on its southern border. Second, we’d have lost all the tasty food like chicken mole, flautas, and maybe even Margaritas. And that would be true tragedy!

So go ahead, have a Margarita, and make fun of your French friends like I do! 😀

–Click on the button below to get $5 off any order of $35 or more in my Etsy Store before Mother’s Day.Etsy Coupon Codes for ArtsyGeniusJewelry

Avoid Getting Eaten by Lions

ImageI was driving around by myself in South Africa’s Kruger park, taking photographs of the wildlife when I came across two lions. I rolled down my window and started taking photos with my SLR. Since an SLR requires you to hold the camera to your eye and look through the viewfinder, I couldn’t see the lions directly, only through the lens. The lions were about 300 feet away from me when I first saw them, so I zoomed in to the max to get a good closeup. I began tracking one of them as he moved, and I’d zoom out as he got a bit closer. After a few minutes, I realized I was zooming out a lot and the lion must be quite close to me. I pulled the camera away from my face and found myself about 10 feet away from the lion, including the space taken up by my passenger seat. My passenger window was rolled down, so there was nothing between me and the lion except air. “Did I look like lion food?”, I wondered. I knew that if the lion was planning to attack me, he could jump ten feet much quicker than the speed at which I’d be able to reach across to my passenger seat and roll up my window. There was nothing to keep me from being lion food, other than the lion’s lack of hunger or disinterest. I decided that panic would do nothing for me, so I might as well keep taking great closeups even if I was about to die.

The lion got closer and closer, and then the most marvelous thing happened. He came inches away from my passenger door, and then suddenly plopped himself on the grass and proceeded to take a nap! He lay there purring like a kitten and he looked so sweet that I was tempted to reach my arm out and pet him. I’ve touched lions before, in wildlife sanctuaries. Those lions are still wild, but they’re well fed and not likely to attack you if you don’t upset them, but this lion was the king of his jungle and I was just potential lion food. But there he was, so calm, and I really wanted to touch him. He wasn’t even hungry!

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAI was prevented from following my desire by a little factoid in the back of my head. “Lions are cats.” Maybe he wouldn’t eat me, but if I dangled my skinny arm like a piece of string in front of the giant sleeping kitty, and he happened to wake up, he’d probably swat at the string the way kittens swat at yarn. So though it would be awesome, having the big cat swat at me out of curiosity might mean the loss of my arm, which I need for driving, holding a spoon, and stuff like that. So I watched him a good while, and decided to keep my arm for another day. Not to mention the rest of me, which I’m quite fond of. But next time I get a chance, I’m going to pet another lion. They feel just like stiff carpets! And if I’m lucky, I won’t get eaten then either.

The Answer to “Too Much Jewelry”

family heirlooms1The other day a woman said the oddest thing to me… she said she had “too much jewelry”, so she couldn’t possibly buy another piece. Many a woman would argue that there’s no such a thing, but if you truly believe you are in this predicament, I have the answer for you, so please read on.

In my travels around the world, I’ve acquired many pieces of jewelry that are beautiful and interesting, but end up not getting much use because I simply forget to rotate my pieces. I wear my favorites the same way we all end up in our favorite old jeans or shoes, when we have a closet full of other things to wear. As I look through my exotic collection, I feel so fortunate to have visited so many places that others in my family might never see and I wish I could share my experiences. And then I realize, I can share them. All I have to do is… GIVE IT AWAY! Open up that box of treasures, pull out a few favorites (or a dozen favorites, since I have tons of family), and lovingly choose which piece goes to who. After all, I know my sisters and nieces enough to know their favorite colors. And I even know who saw these pieces on an occasion when I wore them and heard her sigh “Oh that’s so pretty”.

In a sermon I heard long ago, the preacher remarked that the three kings from the east had opened up their personal treasure boxes and given things that cost them dearly to the Christ child. They hadn’t gone to Walmart or even Bloomingdales. They didn’t go to the mall to shop. They had given something personal, something that they had originally intended for themselves. That story stuck with me, and one Christmas when I was low on funds, I decided to open up my treasures and gave them away. My mom, sisters and nieces were delighted and I even had some non-jewelry treasures for brothers and nephews (I don’t have children). Since then, I have kept up the tradition of giving away what I love instead of shopping for generic items at the mall (OK, I do buy my maglites at the mall, but they’re fantastic tools that my relatives of both genders love). And now, I can keep buying wonderful new things in exotic lands without ever having the problem of having “too much jewelry”.