Sunday, May 31, 2009

Horse Slaughter Bill

Tennessee: Say NO to Horse Slaughter

The three horse slaughter plants in the United States were shut down in Illinois and Texas in 2007, and the federal government is likely to pass legislation that would halt the transport of horses for slaughter. Funding for federal inspectors has been halted, so horsemeat cannot legally be shipped across state lines. Congress has voted time and time again to ban horse slaughter and it is only a matter of time before a federal ban is enacted.

Despite all of these steps towards banning horse slaughter, the Tennessee legislature is considering a dangerous bill, H.B. 1428/S.B. 1898, to authorize the creation of horse slaughter plants—and would put in place provisions to protect such a slaughter plant from judicial challenge. This bill has just passed a committee—it is critical that we stop it!

Please call your state legislators to urge them to oppose H.B. 1428/S.B. 1898. Click here to look up your state legislators and the phone numbers. After making your call, please fill in and submit the form on the right to automatically send an email to your state legislators opposing horse slaughter in Tennessee. Your legislators receive a lot of email, so it is important to personalize the subject line and the text below so that your message will stand out and have a greater impact.

Please go to this link:
if you live in the state of Tennessee, and contact your representative and senator to protest this bill.

Friday, May 29, 2009

I Like Rocks. And Rings.

I gotta confess. I have a major addiction to rocks. I suspect some of you know of what I speak... pretty beads draw us like magpies. I have a respectable bead collection, but the really crazy addiction....

.... is cabochons. There are a few drilled things here and some miscellany but for the most part this is my cab stash. The sad thing is, I can't stop. I have 11 won auctions and bids on another 8 or so from my favorite eBay cab supplier (WalyBeads) right now. The above includes several varieties of jasper and agate, chrysocolla, cat's eye class, carved quartz, goldstone, kyanite, snowflake obsidian, seraphinite, sodalite, bloodstone, turquoise, hematite, geodes, unakite, mookaite, opalite, some acrylic cameos, and a few other things. I store these in individual cello bags labeled with the stone, size, mohs hardness, country of origin if I know it, and what I paid for it. God forbid my hubby should pull them out some time and add up all those numbers =D

I "only" have about 5 Craft Mates boxes of beads, which include Swarovski, Czech glass, pearls, semiprecious stones, small metal ones, and some random stuff. Oh, and a few dozen tubes of seed beads and Miyukis.

The other MAJOR addiction is rings, which I have in sizes from micro to 14 gauge 3/8" in every metal you can imagine, and most colors you can imagine. I'll have to take a picture of those some time. Those I store in a soft-sided tackle box that goes with me nearly everywhere. I make maille in the car, at friends' and family's houses, watching TV on the couch... pretty much everywhere.

Last night my son came to sit on the couch beside me while I was working on a maille keychain. I had my little tackle box organizer open. He sat on the very corner of it and flipped the whole thing, scattering and mixing the entire box of rings. I'll be finding them for weeks, I imagine. I really should've taken pictures of the chaos, or of him sitting with his head in his hand sorting them with a bamboo skewer (I helped, though when it happened I could've beaten him). Several hours later, they were all neatly re-sorted. It was bound to happen sooner or later. I'm thinking Craft Mates individually locking compartments for rings, now.

I know beaders and maillers aren't the only packrats. I've seen seamstresses' fabric stash and kitters' yarn stash. I have a polymer clay stash, myself, even though I've never done anything serious with it but have always wanted to. I have a stash of acrylic paints for the miniatures I used to paint (maybe I should pull those out...). My three drawers of kitchen gadgets might count as a stash.

Sometimes the cool thing about a stash of goodies is that it can be inspiration in itself. Sometimes I just pull everything out and browse, and something jumps out at me and says "make this!"

What's your stash?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Obligatory "I'm Still Here" Post

I suppose from time to time everybody neglects their blog and then writes that "I haven't dropped off the face of the earth!" post. Well, this is mine.

May's always crazy. There's Mother's Day (hope all you moms had a great one), my husband's birthday, about three other birthdays, end of school...

I had our Middle School Renaissance faire a few weeks ago. I'm waiting for pictures from that, which I'll share when I can. It was a busy day, since in the morning I taught Renaissance dancing, in the afternoon I called the moves for our Human Chess Match and through the whole thing I (actually my wonderful hubby and friend Rachelle, mostly) ran a craft booth...

my friends Nate and Rachelle got married last week (happiness always! ... oh and check out Rachelle's Etsy Store HERE) (the picture above, they are about to get PELTED with bird seed)....

not to mention just gorgeous weather and wanting to get out more, except that the Blooming of Everything is making my allergies act up, which makes me REALLY tired, so there must be a daily nap.

So, weighed against all that, the blog got neglected. I'm sure you understand.

If you really miss hearing from me you should drop by my slightly less neglected Adventures of the Lack/Scott Family blog.

I will now return to finishing this custom bracelet that is annoying the heck out of me with its unevenness, and let you get back to your more interesting web surfing.

Happy spring!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Still Working?

The economy is the news topic of choice these days. News sources seem to be having a party with their DOOOOOOOOOM DOOM doom! stories (swine flu... really now, was it all that bad? Sorry pig farmers, I mean H1N1).

I don't know how you're doing in your neck of the woods, but in spite of the fact that people keep saying to me, "At least you have a job," it seems like everything is more expensive and the faster we run the behinder we get, and the ends stretch but don't quite meet. The savings we had, we've eaten through. I think it's rough on just about everybody.

But for those who have lost jobs... well, I can't even imagine what would happen if I or my husband did at this point. I ran across this very sobering animation of job loss/gain in the US since 2004. My son described it: "it's like watching a bunch of nuclear bombs go off at once." Do click the link and hit play... it's quite sobering. And I don't think it's much better anywhere else in world.

The Geography of Jobs

So I'm taking a moment to acknowledge the jobless and those who, like us, are stretching it paycheck to paycheck WITH jobs. Hang in there. We will live to see better times, though it may get worse first.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Artists' Co-Op

This storefront (the brick one) has been purchased by The Fragrant Mushroom here in Sparta and I'm very excited to be a part of the Artists' Co-op Gallery that will be going in here, right on main street in "downtown" Sparta, across from the courthouse.

An artist's co-op is a visual arts association jointly owned and democratically controlled by its members. A monthly membership fee buys space in the gallery, and there will also be available classroom space and studio space. Thor and Cheri, who own The Fragrant Mushroom (Thor makes wheel thrown pottery), have a vision for Sparta: to make it an artist-friendly town that draws tourism. They plan to hold classes to show other people how to do what they have done, so that all these other little buildings (many of which are vacant and getting somewhat run-down, but are quite old and charming) will eventually be galleries, making this a haven for Appalachian artists.

I hope it happens. My and Russ's daydream is to run a little bed and breakfast in this area ; I'd love to have it be one that focuses on creativity in some way, be it a gallery or workshops or both. That's a long way down the road, but one has to start somewhere.

So! At some point in June (date to be determined) my work will be exhibited here and I will do my part to bring art to my little town.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Dragon Days Renaissance Festival

Well, Russ borrowed a nice camera and was going to take pictures of my booth. This is the only one he took :) At least it shows my nifty earring display, which I made myself out of a picture frame with strips of balsa wood to hold the earring cards (and I got really beauitful new parchment cards). There's Brandon in the background working on hacky sacks.

The festival wasn't bad. Considering the lack of advertising and attendees, I made back double my booth fee, and Brandon made only slightly less than I did, besides that.

Story there. I've been bugging him to make hacky sacks for a month and he's just been too busy. He got 2 made. EVERY person that walked by the booth picked those things up and played with them (they're great fun!). He got orders for 3 custom ones the first day and another 3 the second day, plus sold one of the ones he made, so he was busy cranking them out while we were there, and made almost as much as I did with a booth full of jewelry.

Wisely, he spent most of the money he made that weekend on supplies to make more hackys for the faires coming up. This Friday: White County Middle School Renaissance Festival. Hopefully we'll get some better pics of the booth!