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Healing and Empowerment for Women

Category Archives: Nature

Fifty three years ago, I was a senior at Bladensburg Senior High School in Maryland. I was a rising star in the science world and in the science fair world. I was Photography Editor of the yearbook.

Susan w butterfly necklace

I had been a scientist, in my soul, since childhood. I came from a family of photographers and had worked in the darkroom since I was 7. My dad was the Medical Photographer at George Washington University Medical School in DC and I had gone to work with him often, on Saturdays, all through grade school. I had hung out with medical scientists when I was there.

susan joe poppy

My success and my gender were apparently too much for my high school Physics teacher and the Photography teacher. Sadly, their classrooms were across the hall from one another and  they were best buddies. This allowed them to gang up on me more.

I was the only girl in my “Double Physics” class. Back in the day (1964-65) we didn’t have AP classes. Serious science students could sign up for classes like Double Chemistry, a two hour class which I had taken the year before. Now I was in Double Physics, another two hour class, this one with a total of 12 students.

The Physics teacher would have been fired the same day if I’d had an iPhone and had recorded his daily, sexist, misogynist remarks to me. “There is only one thing a woman can do that a man cannot do, and she needs a man to help her do it,” he said one day.

By some miracle of grace, I paid him little attention in these attacks. I was there to continue my science education by learning Physics.

Only two of us in the class took the Science Talent Search exam. Only one of us was named to the Honors Group. That would be me.

Only one of us would earn a slot in the International Science and Engineering Fair. That would be me.

The Photography teacher was the yearbook advisor I had to work with. And of course, I had to use his darkroom, right across from the Physics classroom. I had worked in darkrooms since I was seven. I really had no questions for the Photography teacher, I knew what I was doing and did it quickly and efficiently.

The Photography teacher was actively hostile to me, every day, for no reason. The two teachers were “best buds.” Neither touched me. They just tried to shame and discourage me.

It didn’t work. I was respectful to both of the teachers, and held myself aloof from their cruelty.

I was able to exact revenge on the Physics teacher twice.

The Maryland Academy of Sciences chose to honor me at a special dinner in Baltimore, 38 miles away. Your science teacher was to accompany you. I told my Physics teacher of this requirement. He suggested that my old Chemistry teacher do it instead. I replied that they wanted him to be there. I could have asked my Chemistry teacher, who had moved to another school. He would have been glad to support me, but I wanted my Physics teacher to have to drive me there and back, and to sit beside me and watch me be honored.

The second “revenge” came twelve years later. I knew that the Physics teacher had always wanted to go to medical school and had not been able to get in.

When I graduated medical school, I had already earned a MS in Human Physiology, I learned that my Physics teacher had retired. I called the office at the Prince George’s County School Board and spoke to the woman who sent out the checks to retired teachers. “Oh,” I said, “he will be so thrilled for me. If I mail you a copy of my graduation announcement, would you mail it to him for me.” She readily agreed. I sent it.

Of course, I never heard from him.

I am writing this today because I read an article in the Washington Post about a math teacher who tried to tear down female students. I am here to say that teachers like that have tried to tear us down for a very long time.

It is my understanding that both of my former teachers are deceased. I leave their names off out of respect for their families. I am sure that both men did good in their lives, although not to me.

An organization, Stop Sexual Assault in Schools, created the hashtag that leads this post.

Here is the link to today’s WP article:

*The portrait of me was taken by my brother, Stephen C. Delaney, who was the photographer for the EPA for its first 25 years. The second photo was taken by my dad. I am standing with my uncle and grandfather.

Susan Delphine Delaney MD, MS

Doctor Delaney was honored by the Prince George’s County Regional Science Fair; The Westinghouse Science Talent Search; the International Science and Engineering Fair; The Washington Academy of Sciences: The Maryland Academy of Sciences. She is a 1969 Graduate of the University of Maryland in Chemistry, in an American Chemical Society accredited program. She worked as a Chemist, wrote operating systems for large scientific computers and did hospital data processing. She earned a MS in Human Physiology in 1974 from the University of Wisconsin. She earned her MD from the University of Wisconsin in 1977. She is a 1981 graduate of the Menninger School of Psychiatry. She was a Staff Psychiatrist at the Menninger Hospital and taught in the Menninger School of Psychiatry. She is the author of two books. The first won a Gold Medal for Health Communication from the American Association of Medical Writers. She is the author of two nationally distributed columns and many magazine articles. She has given presentations at the UTSW Medical School and at several Dallas area colleges.


Earrings Everyday’s October theme is Harvest Moon. Here are a few pairs of earrings I have made with a moon theme:

Shine On Harvest Moon. The moon disks are made from some of my Opal Polymer Clay then dry brushed with several colors of interference acrylics. I added Basha Beads to complete them.


Apollo 17. The next pair have great sentimental value to me. After Apollo 17, Spock and Kirk went around to all of the NASA locations to thank the workers for their help with the mission. Spock put the tiny Lunar Lander into Mother’s hand and she gave it to me, her nerd daughter.


The Sea of Tranquility. The next pair, with matching pendant, is polymer “Ivory” with pearls. They remind me of the moon’s surface.

ivory pendant

Moon Shadows. The next pair have ostrich shell rounds and beads by StoneDesignsbySheila.


Moonstones Melody. The next pair have tiny cubical moonstones and tiny pearls with baroque pearl drops.


Red Moon Rising. The next pair have a harvest moon from my molten lava polymer clay and tiny Basha Beads.


Once in a Blue Moon is made from marbled polymer clay.


Thanks for going on this moon journey with me!



The March challenge for Art Bead Scene reminded me of paintings I’d seen of birches at twilight.

I am crazy about birches and have 531 pins of birch trees on my “Birches” board on Pinerest.

Here is the challenge painting:

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 10.11.23 PM

Edith Carr painted this in 1912 after a six week adventure into rural British Columbia. She called it “Haida Totems”. Birches grow in British Columbia and as far north as Alaska.

My twilight birch beads are inspired by Heather Power’s birch beads, although mine are much, much bigger than hers. I strung them with denim colored button pearls and amethysts.

I also entered the Bead Challenge this month, based on the same photo. Here are Indigo Goddesses.


You can see this month’s challenge at

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Dry Gulch Beads and Jewelry issued a challenge to make something in this palette:


If you’ve been reading this blog long, you know I love a challenge.

I mixed up a translucent silver and three shades of translucent pink from the palette and made the lush, mature, gorgeous female figures for the earrings. I added silver-plated beads, wires and lever backs.

I HAD to photograph the earrings in my ice cream scoop!

Aren’t they beautiful!

They are available in my Etsy shop:

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Looking for the ABS Challenge? It is down three clicks! It was a month will a full heart!

This month’s challenge from Art Jewelry Elements was open to all!

The editors challenged us to use components created by the editors, rescued from our stashes of beads, and to make something from them.

I found SIX items in my stash from the Art Jewelry Elements editors.

I set to work.

The first earrings I created used two of Sue Kennedy’s Shimmer Beads and paired with with snowflake charms from MayaHoney. You can find Sue’s Shimmer Beads here:

I bought these beads during one of Sue’s wonderful sales.


Jen Cameron of AJE runs an amazing Art Charm Exchange and Charity Auction each fall. Jen’s shop is

I didn’t have any of Jen’s work but I had these charms from Diana Ptaszynski BECAUSE of Jen’s Art Charm Exchange.

I swapped one of my handmade charms for these leaf charms with one of our other Art Charm Exchange artists.

You can find Diana’s stoneware leaf charms here:

Creating the many colors of yellow and tan polymer opal clay that went into the disks in these earrings brought me to a breakthrough, using golden yellow opal clay, that led to my Giverny series of polymer clay opal disks, which you can see in my shop, so I am so glad that I swapped for these.


It is not often that I find myself almost weeping for joy when I open a parcel from an Etsy seller, but when I opened the package from Rebekah Payne with these Queen Ann’s Lace drops, I wanted to cry. They are absolutely gorgeous. I paired them with some white baroque freshwater pearls. You can find Rebekah’s drops/pendants at:

You will not be surprised to learn that I had three items in my stash from Kristi Bowman.


Kristi does wonderful things with copper clay. I paired her disks with my lush female figures made up in my Azurite with Native Copper polymer clay. Kristi’s shop, KristiBowmanDesign, does not have these exact disks as I write today but you can find many other wonderful copper disks there today:


I’d been walking around Kristi’s Lotus Root Pods for some time. This challenge enabled me to make this pair of earrings. I added goldstone beads and copper beads to copper headpins to make the dangles.

This item is not available on Kristi’s shop today but you can use the url above to find something wonderful.


Finally, I had a single heart from Kristi that I had “won” in Jen’s Art Charm Exchange in 2013. I created a pair of asymmetric earrings. I paired Kristi’s copper heart with one of the disks from my shop, Azurite in Native Copper. I topped it with a Swarovski AB topaz bead. I made the other earring with some chain maille I’d “won” in the Jen’s 2013 Art Charm Exchange. Toltec Jewels made the chain maille. I added topaz crystals to match the other earring.

You can find Kristi’s hearts in her shop today:

So, one challenge, six pairs of earrings and the inspiration for my Giverny Opal Clay!

Here is the Waterlily Garden Opal Clay that arose when I worked with Diana’s charm:


All of these earrings are available in my shop

Thanks to the AJE team for this wonderful challenge.

visit to see the other participants.


A bead artist in one of my Facebook groups was bemoaning her cracked fingertips. I will share what I wrote to her, in case you are suffering as well.

I am a doctor/artist and I wrote a comprehensive health care guide for women who do crafts. It won a Gold Medal for Health Communication and was a Main Selection of the Doubleday Cooking and Crafts club.

One whole chapter of my book is on the fingers.

Here is what I am doing this winter for my cracked fingertips. Every night I put a teaspoon of sugar in my palm and pour in about a teaspoon of olive oil. I scrub down my hands, the backs, palms and fingertips. I rub my fingertips in my palms in the sugar scrub to burnish off dead skin and to stimulate the blood vessels.

Then I wash off the sugar with water under the tap, then most of the oil with hand soap.

I keep my fingernails very short so that the skin on the tips is uniformly tough, so that it resists cracking.

At bedtime I put 1/2 teaspoon of sweet almond oil in my palm and I massage it into my hands, especially my nail beds and fingertips. The massage not only delivers the oil to my skin but opens up the capillary beds so that maximum sturdiness of the skin develops.

If you want my book, many Amazon Booksellers have it for 1 cent plus $3.99 shipping (this keeps me humble; if you buy from Amazon Booksellers I won’t make even that one cent, which is fine).

If you need it today you can get it from C&T Publishing as an e-book. There’s a hot link to the C&T listing on my author website

BTW, C&T was the best publisher a gal could dream of!

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Are you feeling at the end of your rope?

My dear, late friend Fr. Al Durrance used to say this: God can always be found at the end of your rope.

Al had been in the healing ministry for 56 years when he passed last July. He brought me into that ministry in 1994 and I have been privileged to see many miracles because he “got” me that day at the National meeting in Ft. Worth. He waived the “entrance” requirements for the Oder of St. Luke the Physician and inducted me on the spot. I think he knew that I would do all of the required things. I did. In fact, I have taught the course on the healing miracles of Jesus eight times already.

I made these earrings from translucent polymer clay that I kissed gently with silver/granite clay and bronze clay. Only the tiniest bit of each.

I made the silicone molds from a statue of St. Francis of Assisi. The mold for the back is just folds of his habit. See below.

I painted the recesses of the clay ovals with a silver paint and the high points with a gleaming micaceous paint.

They are gorgeous. Below you can see the “back” of one on the left.


They are available in my Etsy shop as a special order. I can do them with hints of silver, pale gold, gold, copper or bronze in the clay. I can put in gray mica or gleaming colorless mica. Or both. I can paint the recesses with silver, gold, copper or bronze. I can paint the high spots with a super thin layer of mica in red, orange, blue, green or violet. I can use wires and lever backs to match the metallic color you have chosen to tint the clay body.

I’d be glad to make a pair for you. I can have them ready to ship within three days.

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