Saturday, June 25, 2011

How to make yourself feel good...

IMHO (In My Humble Opinion), one of the best ways to make yourself feel good, is by helping someone else and there are so many ways to do it. Open your eyes and look around… hold the door for someone, smile, say "hello", pick up a some litter, drop a quarter in an expired parking meter, save a hurt bird, help out a small local group with a donation of time, money, expertise or by telling others about their group! Here's some things I've done that make me feel good.

Let someone else go 1st. When I do a major grocery shop, I'm rarely in a hurry, and my cart is fully loaded. If another shopper gets behind me in line with only a handful of items, I often let them go ahead of me… I've done it many times. It makes me feel good, I don't have to rush and they're usually so pleasantly surprised… I know there's times I wish someone would do that for me, when I've only got a couple of items. Maybe it'll catch on?

This Thursday (June 30th), a small local group "Circle of Habondia Lending Society" is having an art auction fundraiser in Nelson, B.C., so I'm adding my support by donating a painting, and hope to attend the auction- our MLA Michelle Mungall will be the auctioneer!

(Update: July 1/11- the auction was a success, beautiful artwork at great prices!

I was thrilled that my little painting sold for $80.00, a nice contribution to a good cause.

A gentle, elderly lady bought it,- she looked so pleased... I know I was :)

My "Tulips" painting- up for auction June 30/11

I hope my little write-up here will help bring a few more people to the auction, or at least give some more exposure to them, and all the other small groups that help make our Communities... wherever they may be.

I've made signs for a small local event in Proctor for the past couple of years.

Every time I sell something in my Etsy shop, I donate a bit to our local SPCA - via the little cans at many local shops. No one even knows that I do that, but I know, and even though I won't get a Tax credit for it, it makes me feel good, and helps our no-kill shelter.

Twittering in the trees

I made my 1st donation of a painting, to B.E.A.K.S. our local bird saviours, when they had a silent art auction. That one cost me quite a bit, because there was a painting there I wanted so badly. But I was thrilled to win that painting, just like the lady who won mine!

Everyone wins in this kind of fundraiser. The buyer gets a work of art (usually at a great price), the seller gets more exposure (maybe even a Tax credit for the donation) and the group gets some hard to come-by funding. Everyone wins by participating.

So be a little selfish, make yourself feel good, and help someone else, every chance you get.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A relaxing Kootenay day...

Dave & I ventured up to a local beach, to enjoy a bit of the sunshine before the clouds cover it up.

The lake level is very high right now, with the spring run-off, so there isn't much of a beach and some of the trees are standing in water. There's lots of snow, up top, that's still melting and the creeks are running full-tilt. Lots of logs and stuff are floating around on the lake and shores, but the fishing seems to be pretty good in some (secret) places, and the golf courses are looking great too.

I like watching the ferry, and thought I'd point out that we have the longest free ferry ride in the world, here on Kootenay Lake. Right now they're on the winter schedule (just one ferry- the Osprey, it's the big one, with a coffee shop, observation area and even wireless internet!)

June 14/11, they'll add a 2nd smaller ferry- the MV Balfour, until Sept 5 2011... here's the schedule.

MY SHAMELESS PLUG: "Buy my buttons"! If you're fortunate enough to take a ride on the Osprey ferry, be sure to stop in at the Coffee shop and buy a coffee and one of my "Catch that ferry" buttons, that have the schedule on them, or at least say you saw their shop on my blog.

When we got home, I took some pictures of the garden in Spike's pen.

My perennials are well established and could use some thinning, while the lemon mint should be perfect to start harvesting…there's always something to do outside.

Right now my little azalea, columbine, lilacs, irises and windflowers are in full bloom, while the bumblebees and friends are enjoying them. I saw my 1st tiger swallowtail butterfly last week,! To me it's the true harbinger of summer, like the 1st robin, 1st swallow, the 1st tiger swallowtail butterfly is a sign of the season's progress.

I hope you enjoy my photos and the links I've chosen.

Please leave a comment, don't be shy... I'd love to hear from you :)

Friday, June 10, 2011

BC HST Referendum vote...

RE: Referendum vote- the HST in BC.

"Disclaimer: I'm not a political fanatic, or even highly knowledgeable/educated

in the ways our Government works or operates, but I am a voter and have a humble opinion,"

If you're interested, keep reading… if not, at least read the question

that will be on the mail-in ballot.

Here's the question:

Are you in favour of extinguishing the HST (Harmonized Sales Tax)

and reinstating the PST (Provincial Sales Tax) in conjunction with the GST (Goods and Services Tax)?

You better read the ballot carefully, before you vote.

Seems like the question is clear enough, eh?

"Yes" means you don't want the HST, and prefer the PST/GST system.

and "No" means you do want to keep the HST.

Kind of backwards IMHO, so there must be a deliberate intention. What that intention is, I don't want to guess, I just hope it's honourable.

I think we all know, that no matter which way the vote goes, we… the BC voters will pay.

But I can't help but wonder: If the final result is No… we keep the HST, and they MAY keep their promises of lowering it by a whopping 2% by 2014! Oh, and we'll save all that money that they already spent to set it up, and the cost of changing everything back. If we get a Yes vote, and the HST is to be repealed, will our leaders be vindictive & punish us,? ( ie: for standing up, challenging their decision, speaking up, wanting to heard and even asked, sometimes…) Will they spite us for our resistance?

You can read many articles for and against the HST so you'll have to make up your own mind...

Note: the "Voter's Guide" you should have received by now, was not prepared by Elections Canada (unbiased), but by our BC Government.

Here's some of the reasons why I'm voting YES…

- the way it was forced on us, after promised otherwise. (I hate being lied to!)

-Our Union (United Steelworkers) supports the Yes vote.

- some things I have to pay more for because of the HST: USED adult clothing purchased for less than $100.00!! Funeral services (haven't had to use them… yet *knock on wood*), restaurant meals and Veterinarian services which are just some things taxed more under the HST!

- Some things I should start buying 'cause with HST there's less tax on them... like BOOZE! Diapers (does that includes adult sizes?) Or a car over $55,000.00 (wonder what the trade-in value is on my '93 Cavalier...oh wait... it'll be cheaper to keep fixing it).

- I don't have children under 18 anymore, and I'm not a senior (no extra crumbs for me).

- the Pro-HST will have a lot more $$ to promote the HST (from Corporate donations), while the Anti-HST side seems to have limited funds and will need to rely on people power… (which is how we even got the Referendum in the 1st place.) Hmmm…. feels like the upper class vs the working class peasants.

- I haven't noticed any savings this past year (since the HST -July/10) when I buy my groceries, pay my bills, and we won't talk about the price of gas (with our Carbon tax- I suppose I could hitch-hike to work).

-I've asked a few small businesses if it's working for them, and get mixed answers (they're not convinced it's better).

- I didn't trust Campbell and feel the same about his replacement- Christie Clark

I don't know that going back to the PST/GST system is the best solution either, but those are the only choices we get. What I do see is how our leaders and their methods, are setting examples for other business and corporations to follow, (or is it the other way?). "We have no intention of " doing xxxxxx. Then after a short period of time they do it anyway. Take it or leave it… ultimatums, instead of debate, negotiations and information. Stalling tactics, ignoring the voices of the ones that speak out and challenge them, or worse casting them out.

Instead of embracing challenging questions and working on solutions, it seems our Government is determined to make us accept their decisions- at any cost (that comes later…)?

We are the people that have to pay for those decisions and the attached costs, whichever way the vote goes…

I hope that there is a substantial response to this Referendum vote, that in itself should tell our leaders something.

Perhaps the powers that be, do know what's best (for them), but I doubt I'll run into them shopping at our local Thrift shop - buying used clothing (under $100.00- of course). *muttering & shaking my head*

P.S. If you'd like to buy the button above, contact me.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

A new clock for the kitchen.

Here's my finished clock.

Update June 7/11- The recycled clock parts, quit working, after less than 24 hours. I don't know if it was the weight from my little "bug" ornament, or if it should've been trashed instead of recycled. Anyhow, I have an unused clock mechanism, with much smaller but fancy hands, so I just replaced it.

3 days later and it works fine, but I think I'll skip the bug … not everyone has the same appreciation of insects, even handmade ones. Go figure :)

June 4/11

I've been thinking about a new clock for our kitchen.
Of course I want it to be unique, so I looked around on-line, and decided to make one myself.

The finished clock isn't perfect, which is fine, it's about instant gratification and using stuff I have collected. It was easy to assemble, but I think next time I'm working on clay, I'll make some funky clock faces. I've got some great ideas brewing...
What a fun way to start the weekend :)

It took all of 20 minutes (including looking for a clock mechanism that I had stashed years ago.)
I dug around my studio and found everything I needed:

- A decorative round box lid - for the clock face. (The lip is 1 inch deep, perfect to allow for the clock
movement part.)
- Black paint in a squeeze bottle (Dimensional fabric paint). To quickly "write" the #'s on.
- Clock mechanism with hands -salvaged from a cheap clock, years ago . I didn't glue it in place but could've used a bit of hot glue, but may do that later, if it needs it.)
- Exacto knife (to "drill" a hole in the middle of the box lid- just big enough for the clock thing to poke through).
- Hand made bug (optional- I bought this little guy years ago, and have used him as a cool thumbtack, but this is the perfect way to show him off.) I used a dab of hot glue to attach him to the hand, so that he's easy to remove if I find a better place for him...years from now.

P.S. On a recent bargain-hunting expedition (in Cranbrook, with Katie). We stopped at Liquidation World, and I found some boxed sets of 4 ceramic plates. Too bad most of the plates had noticeable flaws, but I loved the fish design on them AND on the round box, so I kept looking until I found a good set.
I should've bought more anyway. I love the design, and besides, small plates are so handy!
Anyhow, that's where I got the perfect FACE for my clock.