Well, I haven’t really been lazy:
- I’ve started “non-profit blogging” here
- I’m working on revamping brochure for the campaign
- And I’ve been making some presents for special people who already have everything that I could possibly buy them:
These are the things I’m currently working on:
Well, I’m practically done. The only thing missing is a snap button the black-and white (café latte?) bracelet. The black and white beads have clean cuts on two sides, which gives them a smooth feel, and they reflect light nicely, without being overly shiny.
The purple earrings I will send on their way to a fellow-blogger in New York. Weeks ago I had a little back-and-forth comment chat with her, in the course of which I asked for her mailing address as a joke. Well, she liked me well enough to give it to me, so I will send her these as an appreciation of her trust in somebody she’s never met…
I’m thinking about giving some stuff away to a couple of bloggers (strangers!) when I launch my Etsy shop (yes, I’m a total procrastinator). In return I’d like to encourage a small donation (maybe the stamp money?) to ELTC (my volunteering gig). Does that sound like a good idea? Is that…coercive?
Input and comments are always appreciated!
I’ve been “hooked” on peyote stitch for a couple of weeks now, and below you’ll see my latest little creations. A friend of mine said they look like little flapper dancers:
The ring is brass-colored wire that I’ve had for a while. I had bought it for a different project, but it turned out to be too stiff to actually use then. If you’d like to get started with peyote, too, or if you’d even like to remake these earrings I included references and a little picture gallery for you.
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How to make a flapper dancer
You’ll need the following tools:
Plus the material:
If you’re in the Fort Collins area, I can recommend the Bead Cache on College Ave. for (lots of things but among others) their nice selection of 15º seed beads, and they also have the tools and material you might not find as easily in the big stores (thread, conditioner, needles).
If you’re getting started with peyote, this is an easy enough beginner’s tutorial.
I use odd-count peyote stitch (see end of tutorial). For this one I used 11 rows of 13 bead each before I started to reduce to seven beads for the following five rows (minus three on each side). You could use even-count peyote for this one, but if you wanted to end with a triangle and not a square-ish shape (I might do that next), you’ll have to use odd-count to be able to end in one bead and still keep the symmetry.
Wrap the smaller end of the flapper around your wire ring and stitch is to the second 13-bead row from the top. Make sure the first bead of the small end is aligned with the fourth bead of the row you’re attaching it to!
This is a reflection on the poverty simulation carried out by the Education and Life Training Center (ELTC) and the Larimer County Circles Campaign late in 2012 as it was published in last week’s ELTC newsletter (yay me :). It was a very informative and educating, if not humbling, experience, and I’d like to share it with you.
First of all I’d like to thank all of the non-profits involved in the Circles Poverty Simulation. They did a tremendous job informing and educating us participants.
Approximately 40,000 people in Larimer County currently live in poverty.
I have to admit that I didn’t quite know what to expect from the poverty simulation. How to simulate being poor was, to be honest, beyond me.
To explain it to people who haven’t participated, I’d like to describe it as an reversed and acted out version of the game “Monopoly”. Just like “Monopoly” the simulation gives its participants an identity, tokens for money and some other belongings, a home, a car etc. The difference is that the goal is not to buy as many streets and build as many houses as possible, but to maintain a certain standard of living while circumstances (unemployment, mortgage payments etc.) make it nearly inevitable to transition into poverty.
In my case my identity was “Albert Abel”, head of a family of five who had just lost his job. We had mortgage payments to make, one car in need of repair and another that wasn’t yet paid off, and at least one of our children could have been considered “at risk”. My wife had a close-to-minimum-wage job and my unemployment benefits were about to run out.
Reversed Monopoly: four 15-minute “days” (rounds) simulating the events of four weeks.
One round of “Reversed Monopoly” consists of a 15-minute simulation representing the course of one day: my wife was absent for 8 minutes (at work), our three children for a couple of minutes less (at school), as I spend my “day” at social services trying to ensure that my family will be sheltered and fed for the worst case scenario: me not finding a job. There are no dice rolls in “Reversed Monopoly”, and every trip out of the house cost us a “transportation ticket”, which had to be bought beforehand. To get our hands on those tickets we had to pawn belongings, because we hadn’t yet received my wife’s paycheck, or because we weren’t able to cash the check.
I have to say that my “family” failed completely. At the end of the simulation, we had lost our house, none of us had eaten enough, and we were sleeping in our decrepit car.
Being poor in the US is very time-consuming and expensive.
That is my personal bottom line. Of course a simulation can’t do reality justice; reality may sometimes be less harsh, or even harsher, but I understand now that being poor, and transitioning into poverty can be a full-time job, when you’d actually like to invest time into finding a new job or give much needed care to your children.