January Road Trip

January 22, 2010

 We’re hitting the road tomorrow.

My daughter has to be a couple of hours away for an Honors Band for two days.  After we bring her there, my son and I are heading south a couple of hours to visit my brother and his family.  So, there will be a lot of driving involved.

Driving on trips is kind of a new thing to me.  During my marriage, my X always drove.  Always.  It was his thing, and I didn’t care.  We barely ever travelled anyway (he also wouldn’t fly) but after a number of years I realized I was timid about driving places (not that I went anywhere!)  After the divorce I have taken pride in several road trips we’ve made.  I’ve gone to Minneapolis a couple of times to visit another brother.  This isn’t my first trip to Madison.  We even went to South Dakota with my brother, and I was amazed that it wasn’t that complicated to get there.  I could have done it.

I can drive.  I’ve actually had my license longer than my X.  So why is driving places such a big deal?

It’s not.  I can drive to big cities.  If I get lost, I have a cell phone.  I have maps.  My son has an internet phone with GPS.  This is not rocket science. 

It’s just a road trip.

The Mother Bead

June 11, 2008

The Mother Bead

One of my favorite bead stores of all time is The Mother Bead in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  When I first began beading and I had no idea what I was doing, I would spend hours prowling around the small yet overwhelming shop, looking for beads to strike my fancy.  I would buy a couple here, a couple there, and then I never seemed to have enough to finish a project I started.  Thus ushered in the times of excess – buying tons of everything “just in case.”  Now I am a much more disciplined shopper. 

If you believe that I have some swampland to sell you!

I can never go into The Mother Bead without seeing it all – no quick stops in this store for me!  They have also recently expanded the shop to hold even more beads and supplies (yea!) and they also have more room to offer classes.  The staff are all passionate about beads and jewelry, and the atmosphere is contagious.  And don’t you just love the photo?  To me it captures all the excitement and passion of beading.

The Mother Bead has a sister store in Ephraim, Wisconsin called The Bead Bucket.  This shop is set in gorgeous Door County, and I have visited that store as well when I am over in Door County for classes or events at The Peninsula Art School (www.peninsulaartschool.com).  Even though it’s small, it really has a terrific selection of beads…I fell in love with some antiqued czech beads there last summer, and they are still one of my favorite beads to work with.  I have had to stop in the Green Bay store several times to pick up more.

Check out their website sometime at  www.themotherbead.com.  I think you will be as impressed as I am.  Maybe I’ll even bump into you in one of the stores!

Amethyst

 

This week I was involved in an event called a Celebration of the Arts at Wausaukee High School in Wisconsin.  I was invited along with a group of other artists to give presentations throughout the day at their school, which includes all grade levels K-12.  The dance academy from my town was there, as was a professional musical piano team, paid for with multiple fund-raisers.  Class by class the kids came through and were shown by us what we do, how we started, and they were given an opportunity to ask questions and see us demonstrate what we do.

I was so pleased by the interest of the kids.  Girls, boys, younger, older…it didn’t matter, they were all great to spend time with.  I made tons of earrings and gave away a lot of beads!

At the end of the day, when I was hauling my stuff back to my van, a girl who had hung around with me during the afternoon offered to help carry things for me.  While we were walking out, she told me that the schools art and band program were both being cut for next year.  I shared that it is being considered at our school, also.

What is happening to our world when the arts don’t matter anymore?  I feel so badly for the students that will never know the fun of marching with the band during halftime, or having their artwork hanging on the walls of the art room at school.  What about the joy of smearing paint around?  I still love it – give me some acrylics and a pallette knife and I’m a happy woman!

I am sad for the kids who are currently in schools like these all over the country and for the ones who will never know these programs in our towns.  Being an artist is who I am, and learning to make music was one of the greatest gifts of my life.  I’ve been delighted to be able to allow my children to experience making music, also.  At least I have been up to now.  While my kids will still be in an artistic and musical home, what about the ones that don’t have exposure to things like this outside of the schools? 

 

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