Category Archives: Uncategorized

Please Urge the Mayor to Increase Funding for the Arts in DC

There’s a petition up at Change.org that should be of concern to anyone who cares at all about the arts and/or the financial health of DC. The petition urges Mayor Gray to increase funding for the DC Commission on Arts and Humanities. Funding for the Commission has been cut 69.88% from FY 09 to FY 12.  That means that in three years the Commission has gone from getting $13,018,000 in local funds to on $3,920,000 in 2012.

In addition to depriving DC children and adults of opportunities to learn, participate in, and experience the arts, these cuts are bad for the DC government’s bottom line. Investing in the arts is good business for any city, and Washington is no exception.

Funding for the arts is 0.034% of the total DC budget for Fiscal Year 2012. Yet every year the arts pump more than $700 million into our city’s economy on top of almost $100 million in direct tax revenue. The amount of funding that goes to the budget of the DC Commission on Arts and Humanities generates the highest return on investment of any portion of the District’s Development budget.

Please take a look at this petition, sign it, and urge others to do so too. (Change.org makes it easy for you to share the petition on your Facebook page and with your contacts.) Thanks very much.

You’ll find the petition here:     http://tinyurl.com/7e7g7s3

Snow Falling On Bloggers

I just found out that WordPress has an option to let bloggers have snow falling on their blogs. Though only until January 4, which seems to me a bit early for winter to end. At any rate, I thought I’d try it, which is why you see those little white dots floating down the screen. Judging from their direction, I’d say the wind is Easterly.

Actually, I’m a bit disappointed with WordPress’ snow. When I was a child growing up in Vermont, I loved to go out in gentle snowstorms, look up, and imagine climbing from one snowflake to the next up to the clouds. Having stared at so many snowflakes, it was no surprise when I learned that every snowflake is different.

The discovery about snowflakes was made by Wilson”Snowflake” Bentley — another Vermonter, I’m proud to say. Check out the excellent web page on him put up by the Historical Society of Jericho, Vermont, Bentley’s home town. http://snowflakebentley.com/ Under Resources you’ll find a link to a site about the wonderful children’s book on Bentley, which won the 1999 Caldecott Award for yet another Vermonter, illustrator Mary Azarian.  http://www.jacquelinebriggsmartin.com/books/snowflak.html. (That page has much nicer snowflakes than the ones here.

The snow in the picture below is definitely the real thing. I know, because I’m the younger blond sister in the shot.

Hoping My Cranes Will Fly

This week, though, I’ve been focusing on the “brick and mortar” business world. Lately, I’ve been making tsuru, otherwise known as folded origami cranes designed to be garden ornaments. Here’s a picture of one in our garden, which has been sitting atop a bamboo pole, which a clematis vine has climbed up.

I took the picture on a rainy day, and those white spots are actually rain drops; the crane is solid red. Since she has been there long enough for the clematis vine to grow around her neck, I’m thinking it’s time to give this crane a name.

I folded the cranes from 36″ squares of aluminum screening and then painted them with outdoor paint. Folding large sheets of screening is a change from paper, and has its own special challenges, but also special possibilities.  Today I started showing my cranes to local garden stores to see if the stores will carry them.

I’ll have to see how it goes, though one crane is already on sale, along with other pieces of my work at Artspring, the wonderful craft shop and gallery in downtown Silver Spring associated with the Pyramid Atlantic Center.

I’m Back!

When I first set up this blog, I had great plans to post items frequently. But you know what they say about the best laid plans of mice & men – and all the rest of us. Like those of mice & men, my plans did go astray — very far astray. Indeed, I think my plans went around the world & maybe into the galaxy for a while.

At any rate, they’ve come home now and I have a whole bunch of things to add to this blog. The things I’ll be adding are a pretty eclectic bunch. If you know me or have looked at the About Me page here, you know that I have a wide collection of interests & experiences.  So I suppose that my ending up with an eclectic blog was inevitable.

I’m planning to keep topics on separate pages so you can find what interests you easily via the tabs at the top of the main page. But I’m still getting the hang of using WordPress, so I may not get things exactly as I want them right away.

I’ll also do my best to show which posts will be more interesting to my younger readers, and which posts are more for adults. And kids, by “more for adults” I do not mean R rated; I just mean you may well get bored reading them.