Suicides at public landmarks

A friend just sent me the link to this article:


Since I'm not on AOL anymore, I would have missed it and it's a good one, mentions the Seiden study and the Friend article and a few things I wasn't aware of.

And I think with this post, I've just set a new record for the most posts by me in one day :-) Won't happen again anytime soon.

Notes from a small studio

Apologies to Bill Bryson for paraphrasing his "Notes from a Small Island" - it seemed too good not to do it.
Most of what I show here is sewing, isn't it? It's easy to photograph and it's colorful.
But, especially these days, I spend quite a bit of time in what used to be Henry's bedroom which has been converted into my studio, okay, the other studio, the one where I work with metal, PMC and now enamel.
I took a class last month and fell in love with it again. Again, because I enameled when I was a young teenager. Back then I used a kiln, now I use a torch. Back then I enameled as part of a group at the local YMCA every Wednesday afternoon. I was taught the basics, could ask for help if I needed it and made nice little pieces - none of which I have anymore. Now I'm on my own - no classes within easy driving distance. So, I experiment quite a bit. I don't apply my enamel powder wet anymore, I sift it on. I play with transparent powders and, for some strange reason, most transparent blues come out looking very much the same. I play with different undercoats - clear, quill white (which is a more translucent white) and undercoat white, an opaque white. I find it interesting to see how different the transparent colors look on the different undercoats.
The last two days, I've played with texture and doming. Tremendous fun, but a little frustrating trying to get the powder to stick on the convex surfaces (or the concave ones for that matter).
I know I should take daily notes so I'll know what I did where but, so far, all I do is to write which colors I've used, put my pieces in tiny baggies and staple those notes to it.
I'm not planning on doing anything fantastic or artistic. I like the organic look of most of my pieces. There are thin spots where the color differs from the rest of it and all my pieces are small - suitable for earrings or small pendants that lend a splash of color, about as much color as I wear most days :-)
Nothing to show just yet, not because I don't have anything, but because photographing anything this small requires that I set up one of the "better" cameras (on my tripod) and play with lighting (gooseneck lamps) and, for right now, I'd rather play upstairs than mess with a camera.
Soon, though.

Proposed California alcohol excise tax

One of the dumber ideas I've seen lately - raising the tax on alcohol to astronomical levels. It won't raise revenue, it'll lower it because who can afford to pay over $5 extra on a bottle of wine, $6 on a six pack of beer and over $17 on a bottle of liquor? It'll harm to wine industry and will discourage people from enjoying the occasional glass of wine and/or beer. Might bring down the rate of alcoholism (and I'm all in favor of that), but is this the way to do it? And it gives a whole new meaning to the term "money for nothing" which is what the state would be getting. I'd rather see them come up with sensible ideas for the budget deficit and I'm still waiting for those.
Clicking on the title should take you to the article, but just in case ..................



No pink

And no soft turquoise, either. Same size, but shorter straps. Why? Because that's all the fabric I had.

I just might move on to something else next. Who knows?


There's been sewing going on ............

.................. and de-stashing and what I ended up with were more bags, of course.

The first one is huge, I followed a pattern for that one and used the given dimensions. Then I started scaling back. The next one (pictures 2 and 3, front and back) is small, maybe too small for my taste?

The last 3, yes that's 3 different ones, are good sizes (they are marginally different. They are all soft and drapey bags, not reinforced with interfacing or anything else that would stiffen them considerably so they are not suitable for heavy-duty use. But they are perfect to hold lunch and a book or a knitting project or anything else that's not too heavy.
Unfortunately, I haven't made much of a dent in the fabric stash so there will be more sewing going on.

Here we go again ...........

It was bound to happen, wasn't it? I can't just keep this as a nice and harmless little blog. So, here, without further ado is a link to yet another suicide related article:


It's a bit graphic, so don't read it if it bothers you.
It talks about survivor guilt and shame and, no, that's not why I'm doing this. I've forgiven myself quite a while ago (after beating myself up relentlessly).
I think (and that may just be me) that some of the shame comes from the feeling of being judged and while I'm not entirely certain that that's what happened to us, there were quite a few people (like Henry's favorite teachers) who stayed far away from us. Was that because they judged either us or Henry? Or was that because they simply did not know what to say? The latter I can forgive, the first - not so much.
And I cannot forgive stupidity, either. I have an ex-friend (now) who made the usual dumb-ass remark by the totally uninformed, "If they are prevented from taking their lives here, they'll just go somewhere else." No, that sort of "I know exactly what I'm talking about, even though I haven't ever read a single book or article about suicide" attitude I cannot forgive.



From this, this & this ...........

And this and this ............

To this & this:

I'm cheating, of course. That's not all the fabric I have. I'm not showing the laundry baskets full, or the stack that's still on the floor. But I'm working on reducing my stash and I'm on a fabric diet (no buying for quite a while).
Please note the dog toys in the bottom right corner of the fourth picture. They are everywhere - literally.


Is it spring yet?

I think the answer is a resounding "yes."
Better do some weeding before my Buddha ends up totally overgrown.


The flea market that almost didn't happen

The first Sunday of the month is flea market in Alameda. I wasn't so sure the first two times, but after that I began to enjoy myself and to look forward to it.
So, when there was an obviously distressed dog barking up a storm and throwing itself against a fence late on Saturday night, I wasn't too happy. After all, we were planning in getting up early and that required getting to bed early. It took a while to figure out that the dog noises were actually coming out of our yard and quite a while more that it was a neighbor's dog that had managed to crawl under the fence but couldn't find his way back out. The neighbor wasn't home, animal control didn't want to come but suggested we wait until morning because, surely, the dog would come out by itself. Not a good idea. Not only did this dog make a tremendous fuss (and was in danger of hurting itself by throwing itself hard against the fence), but his buddy on the other side of the fence wasn't happy either. And we wanted to get some sleep.
Eventually, the neighbors came back home and realized their dog was missing. Animal control came at the same time they came and quite a bit past my usual bedtime everything was resolved.
We did get an early start but had to backtrack to get a missing wallet which wasted almost an hour. By the time we got to Alameda, the line crawling into the parking lot was 1/2 mile long.
My favorite fabric vendor was there, but I didn't find the china I was looking for. Something to look for next month and the month after and the one after that.
Here, in no particular order are some images:

And this is why we pass on the very tempting donuts - see? I got them as they are being flipped out of the fryer.


Recognizing the signs of suicide

Really wish I had seen this one 3 years ago, it's all in there. This is the first article I've ever seen that mentions agitated depression as a danger sign, not so much melancholic depression. And it mentions substance abuse. I've read about that before and that was the critical piece of information we were missing.

Warning signs of suicide - Health.com

I don't mean to turn this whole blog into an information site about suicide and suicide prevention, it just so happens that I keep finding these useful articles at this time.

I am hoping there'll be something else coming here soon.


An interesting article about suicide

Here we go again :-) and I'm not apologizing this time. The AFPS posted this on FB this morning: a link to an op-ed piece in the Washington Post about suicide. The writer manages to condense a lot of useful and helpful info into a very readable article: