Friday, March 4, 2016

City of Buffalo Change Columbus Day to Indigenous People's/Heritage Day Petition & Support

This only started Feb. 16, 2016! How amazing!


As far as "America" is concerned, this land was founded by the Indigenous that first inhabited it. 

We cannot alter the past nor wish to, however, we can change the present and the future.  

This petition is for abolition of Christopher Columbus Day, the 2nd Monday in October, an outdated and historically incorrect celebration, in favor of Indigenous [Heritage] Day.

"Past the elementary and high schools, there are only occasional hints of something else. Samuel Eliot Morison, the Harvard historian, was the most distinguished writer on Columbus, the author of a multi-volume biography, and was himself a sailor who retraced Columbus's route across the Atlantic. In his popular book Christopher Columbus, Mariner, written in 1954, he tells about the enslavement and the killing:  The cruel policy initiated by Columbus and pursued by his successors resulted in complete genocide."- from Howard Zinn

Support in 2 weeks: 

Buffalo News, Buffalo Rising, Mogul, Remember Native Americans. Org, Native American and First Nations Cultures, Medium, Indigenous Environmental Network. Org, Time Warner, Haudenosaunee Environmental Task Force, Native American Cultural Center of Rochester & Syracuse, National Native American Indian Heritage Month, Native American Community Services of Erie and Niagara Counties Inc., Sacred Ecology Films, Seneca Nation Media & Communications Center, Sacred Ecology, Seneca Nation of Indians Tourism, WGRZ NBC CH 2, John Kane. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Art : Arabic "Peace" Dove & Chinese "Peace" & Bodhi Branch

I cannot really say this is a tutorial because all I did was research the words "Peace" in Arabic and Chinese and drew them on wood that I had around the house. The wood can be anything. I happened to have two decorative pieces that were supposed to be cutting boards.  

I decided to stain and sand them because I am into woodworking and then I used a satin gloss to finish. I only used black acrylic paint to outline my sketches. I used a flat end hard bristle brush in order to be able to outline these precisely. 

You can get already cut pieces of wood at art stores, you can use any flat pieces of wood you find and you can have certain pieces cut for you at hardware stores or cut them yourself if you are into woodcutting. You can also put these on canvases.

I decided to use these symbols and artwork because they spoke to me. 

When you look close at the Arabic dove calligraphy you will see the word "Peace" in the dove and that is also the dove of peace. Peace in Arabic is "Salam." 

The Chinese symbols for "Peace" were easy to sketch and the Bodhi branch seemed appropriate as that signifies a sacred fig tree that Siddhartha Guatama [Buddha] sat beneath. "Bodhi" means awakening or enlightenment. 

These are now hanging in my kitchen. 

They are far from perfect and at times I had to rework some spots due to tight space and going out of the sketch lines, but they turned out beautifully. 

The only limitation to creativity is your mind.


Check out my other tutorials below:  

Up-cycling Glass: Stamp Candle Holder
Up-cycling Glass: Glass Beads Candle Holder

Preserving & Framing Autumn Leaves   

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Art Tutorial [Upcycling Glass Containers]

I love to try new things. With all arts, it is about trying and finding what works and what does not work for you. I save tutorials I find and try them later. I try to be diverse in what I create and have fun while doing so. I mean that is the purpose.


I found a cool art tutorial on using old mason jars to make beautiful shimmering candle holders so figured I will try it because I am a candle addict over here. The instructions I followed were not realistic and after reading them, I knew that pulling out my own hair would be more fun than trying to glue anything to an upright glass container. 

This is called upcyling, reusing what you have to create something new. I used two containers. One is a small mason jar, another a candle holder left over from an already burned candle. I use old candle glass to hold rocks, shells, dried herbs, flowers, leaves or just recycle them. You can do this here as well, you just end up with a multi-purpose container. That is clear drying caulk above, when it dries it does not look white. 

These cost about $3-5 USD to make. The only thing I had to buy was caulk. My choice. Others used chemically overpowering glues or a glue gun and I did not wish to use anything like that. One, due to potential heat from a candle, two, unhealthy to be breathing fumes from certain glues, three, have fun with a glue gun, glue and beads on glass.

You can use anything to decorate the jars. The first photo, I used a purple ponytail holder and this random peace sign I had and put material around the top. After these two jars were done, I thought of using cracked glass from old colored bottles like mosaics. If you do that, just be careful. Protect your eyes.

1. Find glass containers you wish to use. Make sure they are clear of residue and labels. I used rubbing alcohol on them before I started and let that dry. Place glass upside down like the second photo above. Make sure the glass you choose has some sort of lip or edge on the top for the first layer to rest upon to begin. If it does not, everything will just slide right off. 

2. I used glass beads. You can use anything you want. The beads come in all colors and sizes. I chose blue. It looks like carnival glass.

3. Use clear drying all purpose caulk to attach. Not white caulk. One tube is more than enough. Make sure you buy a tube that does not require a caulk gun. You only need a small amount of caulk for each piece. Just enough to secure it to glass. Let each layer sit for about 1/2 hour and do another layer.

4. Make sure to do ONE LAYER at a time. If you do not, the beads act like they are in place but will just slide right off and you have to start over.  I beaded the bottom and tops, they sit and look better.

I use the small one with the peace sign at the top for candles, you can use a votive or a tealight inside. I found the wider and shorter the glass, the more the light reflects outward and shines on the wall and ceiling with patterns when lit compared to the small mason jar.

I use the larger container to store things and right now, that glass jar below is being used as a book depository. I listed all the books I own that I have not yet read and pull out one slip of paper and read that book. 

This one below has a glass bead top to keep what is inside free from dust. The peace sign mason jar is without a top because that one I use for candles. I can also use it as a cool pen/pencil holder. You can literally use these for anything and caulk anything onto them. Be creative! 

I had to light them up before the caulk was 100% dry because I have no patience. When using clear drying caulk, you will not see the white dots. 

They look beautiful! Have fun! Experiment! 
The possibilities are endless.

Eulogy [Poetry]

The wind
magnificent and shrieking,
like some wild woman,
unabashed, naked.

Her brow wet
with brine,
upturned to the most holy sky,
arms raised
in supplication
to a dying world,
all that is.

And she
beneath Gods and Goddesses,
hair whipped in the wind,
eyes brazen,
brown and soft.

A touch of
madness and desire,
no human soul

Her howling
becomes one with the wind,
distress signals to the raiment,
the ancient raiment
that poets and sages
sat under and above
for millenniums.

Legs stretched
in front of her,
toes uncurled,
she lies back
flat —
allowing to be cleansed
by the pelting rain,
the dying Winter,
the oncoming of Spring,
a rebirth of births,
a eulogy to the past,
a welcome to the present,
an embrace to the future.

What it holds
is of no concern,
for she knows
where home is,
away from this society,
away from the busy-ness,
away from monotony
and dramatics,
away from this life
with triviality.

She is here
waiting for you,
to set you free
from chains
you have bound yourself with.

Whip your shoulders back,
allow them to fall.
Feel the weight,

Grab her hand, willing
pure and desirous.

Show her
how your soul
show her
how your eyes light up,
show her how you have released
from your very soul,
all the toxicity
of existence.

She is Earth, dirt,
rocks and stones,
limbs of trees,
mighty oaks and maples,
the birch and elm.

She is the silt of faultlines
holding this globe

She is the mighty maelstrom,
every season,
without apology.

She is you,

Come, come and relish this moment.

Even if only once.

Dine as a human, starved.

Sing of the grace bestowed upon you
for you are born to be supreme,
you are born with the ability to fly,
you are born with the gift to see
with six senses,

You are powerful in your wildness,
in your pure soul self.

She is here to tell you
to scream and cry,
until there is no speech,
to the skies,
to the clouds,
to the falling rain.

Let it wash upon you
like a sweet, cool dream,
and come, come my dear soul.

Do not wait.
No hesitation.
Moments are fleeting.

She is here,
with you,
yet not eternal.

She will share secrets,
teach you how to see
with eyes,
that have no place
in the land of humankind.

She is cirrus, salt.

Each blade of grass,
leaves of the trees of her mane,
like a thoroughbred racing, wondrous,
eyes staring, mad,

There is no finish line
only now, here.

This moment.

Disrobe beneath this day.

Give thanks to the Great Creator,
to Mother Nature.
To the spirits that speak to you
in your dreams.

To the souls that have guided you
to this place,
this patch of Earth,
this precious time.

Bow your head in prayer,
dear soul.

For you are in the presence
of divinity.