BEADMAIL No. 6 (September 2021)

For the first time in history, in the year 2009, more people on Earth lived in urban spaces than in rural areas. Scientists hoped that as more people moved to the city, the stress on forested lands would decrease, but, sadly, the opposite proved true.

With fewer people farming the land, agriculture became more mechanized. Urban people began to consume and demand more products requiring the clearing of more forests and so on.

Today, forests cover 31% of Earth's land, but we cut down an average of 2,400 trees every minute, and we destroy 18 million hectares of forest lands -- an area the size of Belgium -- every year.

In turn, we see soil erosion, water loss, habitat loss, animal extinction, especially those necessary to pollinate our crops, and an increase in climate change, excessive heat, and human diseases.

But there is hope. Many parts of the world, especially East Asian countries, are vigorously increasing their forested lands. They call it "rewilding" or returning degraded ecosystems to a wilder, healthier state.

Based on these trends, studies project that global forestation will increase by 10% -- an area the size of India -- by 2050.

Our urban expansion is indeed gobbling up our forests at an alarming rate, yet Earth-loving warriors are fighting to reforest and free our planet through rewilding.

A pretty good metaphor for our personal lives, when the pressures of work, technology, and modern urban life threaten to overwhelm you, it's time to practice a little rewilding ourselves.

Freeing your wild side can have beautiful results!

BEADMAIL No. 5 (August 2021)

The monkey that can't stop moving.

Are you getting everything done? Are you distracted by another shiny project? Simply "doing" gets more challenging every day as we forever balance work and play, family and friends, ourselves, the physical world, and the technological one. The carousel of responsibilities spins faster and faster around with an onslaught of over-stimulation.

The term "multitasking" first appeared in 1965, describing an IBM computer's capabilities. Researchers have since found that human brains cannot entirely focus when trying to multitask. Though it's possible to divide one's attention among several tasks, the probability of errors goes way up, and the tasks take twice as long as if done sequentially. It is also difficult, if not impossible, to learn new information while multitasking.

OHM can't stop all the noise demanding your attention, but we can offer a reminder of the truth. Come back to your center.

Before you tackle everything that is hurled your way in a single day, find your peace of mind, tranquility of spirit, and focused attention.

Your brain is marvelously complex, and you have the capability to quiet that monkey mind. Give your brain a break, reboot your soul, choose your priorities, and let go of the junk cluttering your path.

Photo Credit: Olya Ro

BEADMAIL No. 4 (July 2021)

July 17 is “World Emoji Day” when we celebrate those fun little faces, animals, hand gestures, sports figures, bacon strips and vegetables that liven up our texts and express our emotions and personalities. This specific date was chosen due to the calendar emoji on Apple products that always showed July 17 (the date Apple created its calendar application). Apple customers began calling July 17 “World Emoji Day” and it caught on worldwide.

Emojis are worth celebrating too! So much of our communication today is electronic, especially as we work from home or from offices spread around the globe. With FaceTime, Zoom, or Skype, you can see people’s expressions onscreen, read their body language (sometimes embarrassingly), and hear their voices for the emotional context to their words; but with text only or emails there is little nuance to the blunt typed sentences. Emoticons emerged to provide some emotional clues. :) <3 But it still wasn’t enough.

Emojis to the rescue!

In the 1990’s, Nokia phones began to include pictograms they called “smileys and symbols”. By 2015, the Oxford Dictionary recognized the “emoji” for its impact on popular culture, saying, “traditional alphabet scripts struggle to meet the rapid-fire, visually focused demands of 21st century communication; it’s not surprising that a pictographic emoji script has stepped in to fill those gaps. It’s flexible, immediate, and infuses tone beautifully”.

Researchers analyzing billions of messages have found that “Face With Tears of Joy” is the most popular emoji in the world. The “Heart” and “Heart Eyes” are second and third most popular.

French people use the heart emoji the most; people in Australia and the Czech Republic use the most positive emojis, while people in Mexico and South America use the most negative ones. In China, emoji are used subversively with the smiley face conveying a mocking attitude. In North America, the eggplant and peach emojis are used to suggest body parts.

Top Ten emojis also include "smiley faces" that are winking, weeping, or wearing sunglasses, and the hand gestures “thumbs up” and the “the bird”.

To celebrate “World Emoji Day” -- and all the days you express your love, laughter, surprise, or cool - OHM offers this pictogram bead of popular emojis. You will delight in the little surprises tucked within the groups and you’ll smile with recognition at some personal favorites.

It’s been said in many languages that “a picture is worth a thousand words” and the endless possibilities of emoji expression are proof indeed.

Express yourself! And Happy World Emoji Day!

Photo Credit: Tran Linh


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BEADMAIL No. 3 (June 2021)

Photo Credit: Anne Luisa

BEADMAIL No. 2 (May 2021)

He was tempted to stay in the cozy warm bed, hugged sweetly by the human child who loved him with all her heart. But there was a world to save. There is a mission that only he could accomplish. Reluctantly, he slid carefully and quietly from beneath the tender arm of the sleeping child. He dropped to the floor without a sound as his shadow reached the hidden compartment in the bedroom toybox. He withdrew his black mask and uniform from the secret alcove. Quickly he dressed and vanished into the night.

Legend said he was an assassin, a spy, a saboteur, an invisible ghost of silent and lethal attack. Folklore claimed that he could shapeshift into birds or any number of animals; he could divide himself into multiple bodies, control the elements of earth, wind, or fire; he could walk across water. He fought alone, unseen, uncredited, unknown, slipping in and out of impossible places like a trick of the light with unrepentant consequences.

Tonight he is to complete another mission, pursuing another target who never knew he was there, changing another destiny, and averting another disaster. He knew the stories told of his skills; he merely chuckled silently to himself as he ran his rough palm across the stitches on his head, gently brushing his false eye. He was not as invisible or invincible as the campfire legends said. Too many times, he had barely escaped with his stuffing. Too often, he returned home carrying the pieces to be sewn back together. His humans thought his damage came from a child's rough play and loving; no one ever knew of his nightly forays into danger.

Maybe one night, he might not return, but not tonight. He can't bear the thought of breaking her heart. Silently he limped with a healing left paw. Back into the child's bedroom with gear stowed and weapons in their secret compartment, he climbed wearily and gratefully back into bed. He burrowed under the dreaming child's arm again and sighed with contentment.

It is nice to be loved so completely by sweet innocence. It is good to be home.

Photo Credit: Anna Lova


BEADMAIL No. 1 (April 2021)

For untold centuries, Bunny Reaper did his job, unseen in the shadows of a sunny day, moving silently in the night's mist, to swing his razor scythe and reap the mortal souls of all creatures – field and forest. Nature can be cruel. Predators need to eat. Bunny Reaper has stayed very busy collecting vaporous spirits from their deceased remains throughout the animal kingdom.
His timing is perfect. He can snatch the soul of a mouse or rabbit the very instant the talons of an owl or eagle claimed their lunch or collect the essence of a tiny insect from the outstretched tongue of a bullfrog. Bunny Reaper fancied himself better than his human counterpart.

How did it start? How did the order of the Bunny Reaper begin?

For as long as we can remember, he had always worn this hooded robe and carried his scythe of eternal harvest. The cycle of Life, Death, and Rebirth could not function without his faithful service. But someone wanted to cheat the inevitable reaping, and these mystical, magical sorcerers began to conspire to seek a way to eliminate Death.

OHMies know that Bunnies are the most powerful creatures on Earth, and the wise and ancient Bunnies of Light believed that their powers could revoke even Death itself.

The Bunny Wizards rightly reasoned that while the Bunny Reaper works in Life's Twilight, cloaked in the dying season of Autumn and the cold stillness of Winter, they in fact draw their magic from the Dawn, not the Sunset; from the Beginning instead of the End; from the symbols of Birth, not Death; the Life-renewing blossom of Spring.

And so it was, an egg chosen for the powerful spell against Death. For in all cultures across the globe, the egg symbolizes fertility, creation, Birth, evoking hope, purity, good fortune, resurrection, and eternal life.

A magical Bunny has chosen to deliver this egg as a sacred vessel to its intended purpose.

The eggs carefully nestled in a woven hand basket filled with soft grasses and totems of bunny shapes of sugar, chocolate, and sweetened dough. Each egg is then hidden to strengthen its potency.

The egg itself is marked and colored with powerful runes and incantations. And on a sacred day in early Spring, as the great wizards chanted in their warren, the Bunny of Light set forth with the colorful basket to fulfill his quest.

Can you hold the results of that historic effort to defeat Death? We can't explain how, but Bunny Reaper is now imprisoned within the magic confines of a colored egg. Sent back to his very origin to hatch again, to be reborn, and to be reincarnated.

As the pieces of shell are chipped and broken away, the glare of a single bloodshot eye, the growling snarl of sharp rabbit teeth, the protrusion of ears and scrambling feet, and the shudder and struggle within the egg ready to burst forth. All signs indicate that Bunny Reaper is ready to get to work.

Will you help free him?

What has he become now? What will he do if he gets free? Shall there be no Death in the world as long as you keep him prisoner?

You now have a personal responsibility. This is your gift. This is your burden. This is your destiny. You are a chosen guardian of OHM.

Good luck with that.

Photo Credit: Janice Doll Boyer


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