Saturday, May 24, 2008

2008 Cabin Retreat

Bead Retreat - Big Rapids, MI 2008

Wonderful cabin and people. Beading, eating, chatting, learning, all weekend long.
View of the lake: Townline Lake otherwise known as Loon Lake!

Class Photo 2008

One of the visitors was really interested in torching!
She was looking for the kitty here -- whenever I would "meow" she would look like this. Soooo cute.
This is where the torches were set up.

Such fun the next morning seeing all the beads that came out of the kilns.
Wonder who's face bead this is??

Deb showing us how to silver core our beads.
Gotta love it - men working the kitchen!

Some of the folks went searching for those elusive Michigan Morels and found a couple!!

Found one!! No, just kidding.....

felting class - some examples of what folks did

Views from the loft of the living room/dining room/kitchen area. The cabin was a wonderful space!

Deb torching

Felting class taught by me

GO BACK TO: Beaver Island Jewelry web site.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Cabin Retreat

I spent a great weekend at a log cabin on a lake near Big Rapids this weekend with beaders! Beaders as far away as Louisiana and Arizona! Later I will post photos of this fun bead retreat...I am on Beaver Island so do not have internet access at my house.

There were about 22 people at the retreat so lots of new folks to meet - some of which I "talk" to on line but had not met.

After the weekend I went north to catch the ferry for Beaver Island. That is where I am now -- in the cold!

Stay tuned for photos later in the week.


Sunday, May 11, 2008

Walk and Wag

The Huron Valley Humane Society here in Washtenaw County is having their annual Walk & Wag (click for link) on May 17, 2008. This is how they raise operation funds for the shelter and is a fun event. Saturday I went to the Farmer's Market in Ann Arbor to sell raffle tickets for the Walk & Wag. Slinky, a 7 month pit bull terrior (from the shelter) came along to help us sell tickets!! And did she ever help - people loved her. She is a loveable pup and loves to give kisses to everyone. See photos above. She came in as a stray and is very skinny but with some love and food will do fine. At the maket she wore a bright red banner that reads "'I'm adoptable".

The Raffle is $5 a ticket or 5 for $20 and you don't have to be present to win. Top prize is $1,000, 2d prize is a flat screen TV and 3rd prize are UM/MSU 50 yd line tickets.

Walk & Wag is Saturday 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Washtenaw County Farm Park at Platt Rd and Washtenaw.


Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Don't complain about the high cost of gas because on Beaver Island it is over $5!

I have been saying that people should not complain about the high cost of gas here in Michigan or around the country because it has been high on Beaver Island for a long time! Last summer it was high and it is over $5 a gallon right now on the island. Neil Rubin of the Detroit News has published an article about the same subject. See here at LINK.

So, as the Chamber of Commerce on the island says: Come to Beaver Island for a week and rent a house with 3 bedrooms for around $1300 a week. That is a good deal! Lots of things to do on Beaver Island and you don't have to go far to do it. The Beaver Island Boat Company ferry ride (about 2 hours) is lots of fun and kids love it. You can camp on the island, rent a cabin or stay in the hotels. See the Chamber of Commerce web site for LINK to places to stay.

As you can see from the above photos I am going to try to use LESS gas on the island by bringing my new Schwinn moped! It gets around 125 mpg; doesn't go fast but I can enjoy the beautiful scenery along the way!

And see the blog post earlier about the Electric Car Show on Beaver Island June 27 and 28, 2008.


Monday, May 5, 2008

Electric Car Show on Beaver Island

This was a car I saw in Florence which is probably a Zapcar - three wheels. It was tiny and this is electric.
This I call the Barbie car - it is a Smartcar--made by Swatch and Mercedes Benz. It was in Florence.
I love this matching set!! A pink Smartcar and a moped! I saw these in Florence.
Smart car (not electric)


Zenn car
There will be an electric car show on Beaver Island on June 27th and 28th. They will have about 13 different electric cars there to drive and look at: Zenn, GEM, Vantage, Zapcar. Should be fun to see--especially the offloading of the ferry on the 27th of June at 10:45 a.m. Beaver Island is fast becoming the electric car showplace! There are already about three electric cars on the island.
On Beaver Island there are presently three (free) charging stations with two more coming soon. With gasoline at over $5 a gallon on Beaver Island, electric is the way to go! Plus you don't need the high speeds. King's Highway speed limit is 50 mph and that is about the fastest on the whole island!

Here's a video on YouTube about the Zenn Car (click on Zenn Car). It costs 1 cent a mile to recharge it with a regular plug, regular electricity. Its like recharging your cell phone. Zenn stands for zero emsion no noise. That is ZERO emissions!

Zapcar video on YouTube: Zapcar (click on Zapcar). Zapcars have 3 wheels, electric, relatively inexpensive, no maintainance.

There is also the Smartcar which is coming to America. These are gas powered but get around 40 mpg. I saw lots of Smartcars in Florence, Italy. Smartcars are made by Swatch and Mercedes Benz.

I will have more information after I go to the Electric Car Show on the island in June. Or come visit the island the weekend of June 27th and 28th to see the new and used electric cars. They will be selling cars there and taking orders. We are definitely thinking about it!


Thursday, May 1, 2008

Home again - Caio Italy!

Vases of cane from Massimiliano Schiavon's gallery (see more about his cane below). I could have bought one of these, plus a pitcher and six goblets (with shipping) for $4,000 American dollars! They are beautiful vases but they will have to wait. They send the vases with a light which shines into the vase or behind it to show the beautiful canes.

Well, I am back home in Ann Arbor, missing Murano! I am back to walking in the morning with my friends. It took a few days for me to get back into Michigan time. I was waking up at 3 a.m. ready to go!! This is Jane and Cleo and me and my dog.
Victor and Porsche walking.
The daffodils are blooming.
Frosty tulip on April 30, 2008. We had frost and my basil died! I got too excited by the nice warm weather and planted basil which should have waited.

This was the night before I left Murano when we took a "last walk" on the streets. The orange street art on Murano lit up at night.
Waiting for the airport boat on the day I left Murano. Kind of dreary out and very sad.
A barge busily working near to the Museo vaporretto stop on my way out of Murano.
Cary got mixed in Murano photos but when I got home I gave him his new tie from Florence! It has little fleur di lis on it -- and it was maize and blue. Fleur di lis is litterally flower of the lily and is the Florentine symbol.

The treasured fleur-de-luce he claims
To wreathe his shield, since royal James
–Sir Walter Scott, The Lay of the Last Minstrel

Fleur-de-lis in the coat of arms of Pope Paul VI. In Florentine, fleurs-de-lis, the stamens are always posed between the petals. This heraldic charge is often known as the Florentine lily to distinguish it from the conventional design. As an emblem of the city, it is therefore found in icons of the bishop Zenobius. The currency of Florence, the fiorino, was decorated with it, and it influenced the appearance and name of the Hungarian fornit and other florins. Elsewhere in Italy, fleurs-de-lis have been used for some papal crowns and coats of arms, andby some doges of Venice.

More Ann Arbor photos, mixed in with Murano photos but this is Sandy and Jane.

This is cane from Massimiliano Schiavon's glassmaking endeavors. See the photos at the beginning of the blog to see the finished vases. You can see the complexity of the canes here. He puts these canes, variously arranged, on transparent glass and then blows the piece. These vases are reminiscent of peacocks' tails and are often very intensively ground out to reveal the layers beneath. See his bead below.

Massimiliano Sciavon's bead which is then cold worked or dug out to reveal the layers of cane. Beautiful! See web site at:

Kind of hard to see but this was Murano the night before I left when we walked around the deserted streets.
The street art is lit up at night and is beautiful!