Saturday, October 25, 2008

more photos of "W"

I just wanted to add a few more photos of details from the "W." This shows the lake Donna's house is on, plus part of the long, one lane road to get to her house, as well as gardens. The "W" began in this corner, with a rivoli in the middle of the flower.
We had so much fun making the "W" that each of us wanted to bead more on it than we could. Now Wendy is making a letter for her granddaughter.

Bead Retreat photos

Note: The pictures and story of this entry are out of order - I'm learning to improve my photos and wanted to update this entry to show the better pictures.

Here are some Crystal Elements designed by Leslee Frumin that the group made.

Here are the projects I made at the retreat. The beaded beads is now a bracelet and a pair of earrings.

My weekly bead group had our annual retreat "up north" in Michigan last weekend. This is our 5th year, and a highlight of fall for every one of us. The W below is the house gift we gave our hostess, Donna. Her last name starts with a W. Six of us took turns designing and beading the W over the summer. We picked out "Donna" colors and we included symbolism related to her and the retreat. For instance, the lake her house is on is included, the long road to drive there, and her love of gardening.
We framed the W in a shadow box.

Here is some close up detail.

I woke up to this beautiful sunrise - or storm aftermath - one morning. It was gorgeous.

Here is Donna, who so generously invites us to her northern home each fall.

And here is Kathie, taking a picture of the beading table. She always looks elegant no matter what she is doing.

And finally, this is Wendy below. She looks like she's having a grand old time.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Walking in the Rain

I just got back from a walk in the rain. I was hoping to beat it, but no go. So, with my bright pink visor, purple shirt, I ventured out into a whirlwind of rain and leaves. Here's what I noticed - the gold leaves against my purple shirt was a beautiful and regal combination. I tend not to use golds, because there is too much brown in them, but I am going to try them more now, with purple of course. You just never know where you will get inspiration from!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

BJP blogs

People have been putting up their Sept. and Oct. pieces on the blogs and they are divine! The creativity that exists in this world in unbelievable. I want to take it all and solve the world's problems - with art! with beauty! with the generosity of spirit that people show each other!

Today is one of those days that couldn't be more perfect if you ordered it. Leaves changing colors, temperature in the low 70s, football game day (we lost, again).

After struggling (thinking too hard) on my bjp, I think I may have finally found a format that will work. I discovered some hand felted pieces that I bought several years ago. I've been working on one intermittently all this time, but really put effort into it to become my Sept. piece. The only problem is I only have 3 pieces of felt left...but I'm going to go ahead anyway. It's already a crazy year, so why not!

Monday, October 6, 2008

taxes and politics

I have friends and family who will vote for the Republican ticket in the presidential elections next month. This disheartens me to no end. The main reason I hear is because of taxes - they don't want to pay more taxes. For some, it's because they have a very high income and they want to protect their assets. For others, they feel they pay too much. They want their taxes cut. Well, what do they think happens when taxes are cut? How will they receive public services? How will their communities remain nice places to live? How do they think their standard of living will go up?I wish someone would say that it is patriotic to pay taxes, because taxes are what keep our communities and our country running (addendum - Joe Biden did say this during the VP debate).

I have my summer property tax bill right in front of me. It is for $3,179.72. It covers public schools, city services, and county education - special ed and community college. I believe these are all services that benefit my family and community. We have a terrific library. We have beautiful public parks, we have our garbage picked up and our roads plowed in winter. We have children with severe physical and mental disabilities who need special care. Why wouldn't I want to pay for these services?

The taxes I pay through my paycheck mainly come back to me in terms of Medicare and Social Security and are based on my income. Currently I am supporting people who are already on Medicare and Social Security, and the generation behind me will support me.

Of course, there are all kinds of additional taxes. On meals. On material goods. On clothing. On cars, on gas, on cigarettes, on airplane tickets. Taxes are so woven into our lives that it is impossible to even sort them out. So which taxes or what part of taxes are you against? What part of your lifestyle do you want to give up? How will your quality of life improve if you pay less taxes? How much money do you think it will add up to? What will you do with that money that will change the quality of your life so dramatically that you will vote Republican over Democrat?

The Republicans, under the leaderless George W. Bush have destroyed the integrity of our country. They have trashed trust, respect, and honor. They have hijacked honesty. Do those of you who don't want to pay more taxes want to continue this secretive, arrogant, narcissistic, bullying presidency? Is it really worth that much to you not to pay more taxes (vs. tax breaks) in order to bring our country back to one of dignity? I guess we'll find out when we know who our next president is.