Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Good stuff and allure of polymer

We've mostly tried to follow the lead at SHAPE, preferring to find ways to support them rather than reinventing the wheel or turning things upside down.

But on the last full day at the Sandy Bay location, after a phenomenal send off luncheon, the opportunity presented itself to make some beads with polymer clay. The super thing is that you can actually give a very basic intro. class in about 15 mins., can't you?!

--- Soften the clay, follow the baking instructions, wash your hands thoroughly...have fun! ---

Our instructions were a little more detailed than that but not much and there was an immediate interest, comfort and affinity with the mush-ability of clay. (Thats a word, right?)

Woody, who is in charge of the paper recycling, is a true artist and immediately seemed to understand the potential. He asked "what can it do?" and I could see his creative wheels turning. Good stuff. Amazingly he had already ordered some FIMO so he'll have more to play with than the couple of packs that I brought along. Providence.

Then Lolly, the grant writer/teacher, who said she had never done anything creative, really got into it. Within 15 mins. of me teaching her, she was working with Wendy, who is blind , making seed beads!  Good stuff! Others joined in. Within a day they had used all the clay I'd brought.

Wendy went blind 8 years ago from glaucoma  - that could have easily been treated had she had proper eye care. (Saint Helena only has a eye doctor for 6 weeks a year.)  Her situation does not seem to have dampened her spirits or her enthusiasm to try new things. 

 And now we are off - we board the ship at 1400 hrs. But we are so hoping we'll be back soon! 

Saturday, August 3, 2013


We were invited to join a group of 35 for dolphin/whale watching. There were hundreds of dolphins and they put on quite a show and although we've see the humpback whales from land (they are migrating south now) we didn't see any from the boat. 

Our ride is the Gannett III. This is also how everyone gets on and off the island right now. There is no deep water harbor so larger ships drop anchor further out, passengers board a small boat, are ferried to this spot, wait for a break between swells and jump shore. 

Jamestown as seen from the water. The larger white building close to the center is the customs house. The grey on the hill to the left is metal netting, put in place to protect buildings and people from rockfalls. 

It is said that when the island was first found it was covered with vegetation - how I'd love to see it like that again! There are efforts underway to support re-growth of endemic vegetation and overcome the serious erosion but it is slow going.  Still, the rocky barren cliffs are certainly interesting. 

It sometimes seems that on Saint Helena there is positive and a negative side to everything. Who doesn't like dolphins, right? But right now the fisherman say the dolphins are over populating and eating too much of the mackerel, which is the bait fish they use for tuna. 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Do it yourself by Sarah Kate Burgess

My search for jewelry made from humble materials led me to the work of Sarah Kate Burgess. 

These are definitely some of my favorite do-it-yourself jewelry pieces ever. I'm looking forward to exploring her work further (when I get back to unlimited, dependable, free internet 
in about 14 days ;-)