Indiana Censorship...is your state next?

I'm so embarrassed. Had I known this bill was even being looked at, I personally would have gone to Indianapolis and sat on the steps of the capitol, awaiting my representative and senator. I have written to both, pleading for their support in the removal of this bill. Please read the following article excerpt and follow the link for the full article:


ABFFE to Fight Indiana Store Registration LawBy Rachel Deahl
The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) has blasted a new Indiana law that requires bookstores to register with the government if they sell what is considered "sexually explicit materials." The new law, H.B. 1042, was signed by Governor Mitch Daniels on March 13, and calls for any bookseller that sells sexually explicit materials to register with the Secretary of State and provide a statement detailing the types of books to be sold. The Secretary of State must then identify those stores to local government officials and zoning boards. "Sexually explicit material" is defined as any product that is "harmful to minors" under existing law. There is a $250 registration fee. Failure to register is a misdemeanor.

ABFFE spokesman Chris Finan said the law is the only one of its kind currently on the books in the country. Calling it "clearly unconstitutional," Finan said ABFFE will urge the Media Coalition to challenge the law at the organization's next meeting on April 9. H.B. 1042 does not go into effect until July, by which time Finan is hopeful the lawsuit will be filed and an injunction issued by the court.


BFAC Progress..encouragement needed

Ok, so this is where I am with the BFAC project. I know, I told everyone I was going to do a RAW project, with part of the challenge being to do everything in RAW. Well, that didn't work out. I was compelled to do netting...go figure. Anyway, so here I am. I have a collar of sorts and I thought I would continue the chevron pattern up to the lip of the vase. Then, I made a flower using 3 bead netting, and in the center I have a square swarovski. Right now my plan it to do two more flowers, net the bottom of the vase in 3 bead netting, then attach the flowers in a small bunch at the base of the neck. Then, at various points around the netting on the bottom of the base, use the drops from the kit. That is my thinking right now. Thoughts from the outside world are now needed! Encouragement to continue with my plan or ideas to enhance or even the occasional "Bleh, bad idea" would be appreciated.
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Belly Dancing, Shimmy the Shoulder, Pop the Hip...

Oh my. I survived my first belly dancing workshop today. I attended a one day workshop with a local instructor that covered the absolute basics on up to stage presence and performance. It was a 4 hour workshop, and I lasted into hour 2.5! :) Yes, I am as surprised as you are about my lasting so long.

Now, this does not mean that I mastered all the moves, a few of the moves, or any of the moves for that matter. Nor does it mean that I am now ready to perform for anyone other than an instructor!

What it does mean is that after taking the plunge into exploring dance as a method of fine tuning my flexibility and fluidity (of which I have none...klutz of the year here...known to have random bruises with no knowledge of where they came from) it is a good thing.

AJ, a beading friend in Tucson, says that after a few months of lessons she stopped obtaining the random bruises, and has become quite adept with being graceful. I look forward to saying this for myself.

Anyway, I'll know tomorrow whether any soreness will be felt, but as of right now...three hours after the workshop, I'm feeling okay.

The instructor is offering beginner lessons, 1 per week for 4 weeks starting this Wednesday. I'll be talking to a friend about joining me in this adventure, but whether she joins me or not I'm intending to take the classes. I truly do not want to perform, or find my inner diva (according to the instructor we all have one) or dance for anyone other than myself and my husband. No, really, I just want to walk a bit more gracefully, have a presence about me and stop the random occurrence of bruising on my body :)


Flexible Cement, Arsenic Soil, Math and a Pond...

It's the annual middle school/high school regional Science Fair! And, this year I was asked to judge the engineering category, as well as the Final Judge session for "Best of Show".

What fun I had. The Fair is held at the student activities center on the University of Louisville's campus, near downtown Louisville. Judges representing various disciplines come from a wide background of professorial types to the hobbyist to the person whose job is in the field of study. My engineering studies, combined with my previous field work using engineering principles, is what landed me in that category. Though most of the projects were mechanical or structural engineering, I at least understood the principles used in physics and materials. And, the importance of documentation :)

Mathin, the Flexible Cement young man, was a 7th grader who had poured a cement patio with his father, then experienced the dreaded cracking and hollowness of a badly done cement job within 30 days of the pour. Wanting to know what happened, he investigated cement and mixing and such. Happening upon a construction worker a few weeks before the Fair, he learned that mixing a fibrous material with cement keeps it pliable/flexible when dried. He experimented with various plant fibers and man-made fibers, then hit upon a mix of Home Depot cement with Sisal (plant fiber). He is now ready to re-do the patio with Dad this summer. He received 1st place in engineering and a special award during Final Judging. And, a quick remark from me about how adding rebar would make difference :)

Karey, the 6th grader who analyzed soil samples for arsenic was quite impressive. Her concern? Her neighbors in a predominantly Asian neighborhood had gardens close to the house. Which meant that the food was close to old decks and walkouts - made with pretreated lumber. So, does the arsenic in the pretreated lumber leach into the soil, contaminating the food items? Yepper, it does! Her methods were spot on, her documentation flawless, and her conclusions were well represented. And, her beautiful black hair pulled into adorable pony tails to the side of her wide eyed face didn't hurt either! LOL

Casey, the 6th grader who wanted to show that mathematical modeling was the way to go when to determine future effects of global warming and acid deposition in fresh water ecosystems. Holy Macaroni! Did this kid know her stuff? Yepper. She blew the socks of the Math Judges, then absolutely blew the socks off we Final Judges. Yes - she received the Best In Show. Turns out that she out-performed, out-calculated, out-did the seniors! Wow. And, her presentation skills were pretty good, considering she's a really short young woman with enough brown hair to cover half her upper body :) On a side note, loved her fashion sense of wearing long shoulder brushing diamond shaped earrings (picture 3" long), silver, with a black shift dress that had fun silver sparkles near the hem, and finished off with black tights and mary jane shoes. What a cutie! LOL

I'm signed up for next year, have almost convinced Rick to join me (engineering or environmental science) and will be recommending a few of my friends to the Director for future recruiting!


Martian Child - A Terrific Movie

Starring John Cusack, Amanda Peet and Joan Cusack, and introducing Bobby Coleman.

Now available on DVD - I recommend getting it today.

Based on the true short story written by sci-fi author David Gerrold, this is an inspiring and uplifting movie. Rick and I watched it over the weekend, while we were snowed in. We both thoroughly enjoyed it and will be recommending it to everyone we meet.

Ever felt like a misfit? Ever met a child that you thought was a misfit? Ever sat back in awe of a child's ability to use the imagination in order to survive?

David the writer is a widower and getting more and more lonely as time passes. Thinking that a child would add an interesting dimension to his life, David visits a group home and happens upon Dennis - a child hiding in an Amana appliance box. Eventually the two meet face to face, then share the same house, then David completes the adoption. It's the in-between stuff that makes all the difference on this journey.

I loved the fact that it is based on a true story, as evidenced by the 'special feature' showing an interview with the original David and son. The compassion and respect this man shows is very inspiring, especially in the face of a child whose background is that of abuse and abandonment.

This is a perfect family movie, one that can touch the hearts of children everywhere. It teaches compassion, respect, communication and understanding. Understanding that everyone comes to a situation with varied backgrounds, yet common ground can be found.


Pay It Forward

My husband and I have always believed that when we receive something from someone, instead of paying that person or persons back, we become ready to give to someone else in need. Over the years, we have received random acts of kindness, money because we had none at one time, dinner because when we were homeless we were hungry, time on the phone because we were lonely, a random card of appreciation for something we had done.

The above has never been a 'formal' project, just a way of living a life of gratitude. Anyway, I have joined a project Pay It Forward. Here are the 'rules' and what I pledge to do:

The first three people who comment on my blog will receive something handmade from me, if they in turn will do the same thing...See the rules below:

Pay It Forward rules: I will send a handmade gift (something beaded) to the first 3 people who leave a Comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange (and email me their mailing address), and who make the same pledge on their own blogs. I don't know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week, but you will receive it within 365 days, that is my promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward meaning you will do the same for three people who comment on your blog. Chances are very good you will receive the gift within a few weeks :)

Ok, so here you go. Now it's up to you to formally participate in a Pay It Forward project. I look forward to hearing from you.


I got a surprise in the mail today!

A cyber friend from the All About Beads forum sent me a necklace! I hope the photo I took did justice to it. It's quite nice. The lampwork focal is a combination of blue, green and rust-orange. The photo shows the spring green side, whereas the blue is a lovely sky blue :) She used pearlized orange 8s for the core beads and lime gree, black and white for the spirals. In the middle of some of the black spirals are light blue Swarovski bicones, the same shade as the blue in the focal. Finishing off this lovely piece is a Bali silver hook clasp. I think it's quite lovely and will be happy to wear it this spring and summer - because I found a wonderful blouse to wear it with! Thanks Marilee!


And Now - the unveiling of the kit

Beading for a Cure at http://www.beadingforacure.org/ and current auctions at http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQsassZbeadingforacure

BFAC sells the kit for a nominal fee. All kits are the same. Each bead artist is to create something utilizing at least one bead from each size and color in the kit. An additional bead can be added, though all added beads must be the same size and color. For instance, I could decide to add a creamy yellow to the mix in size 11s. That is all I can add. The kit(s) were produced and supplied by Betcey, owner of Beyond Beadery at http://www.beyondbeadery.com/ .

Here is the kit I received:

Many thanks to Dulcey Heller for allowing me to use her photo. You can see her beautiful work at http://www.dulceyheller.com/

So, these are not my colors...really. Though they are earth tones, I do not use color-lined beads. I'm encouraged by my ideas, though. My first thought upon opening the package was - well, no herringbone necklace here! I'm concerned about the slime, er, lime green swarovskis. And the color lined drops. Hmmmm.

I will be embellishing an amber vase using RAW (right angle weave). I will be using 'medallions' along the bottom curved portion of the vase and basic beading around the neck. I may add some pearls to this mix, only because it needs something to lighten it up!

I have some basic work done, but not quite enough yet to post a photo. Though I intend to share progress photos in the upcoming weeks.