In Memory

The ID bracelet my father wore during World War II

Some earlier posts on Memorial Day

May 2008

May 2010

Bob’s Garden, May 2011

Passers By look into the koi pond.

It’s early in the season, but Bob’s garden is already underway.  There are new fish in the koi pond, a big, happy turtle, and lots of new plants.  Barbra chewed off her perch in the tree, so Bob made her a new one.  Enjoy the slide show.

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Earlier Posts on Bob’s Garden

August 16, 2007

June 13, 2008

June 4, 2009

September 3, 2009



My Beading Yoda

Everyone needs a Yoda.    Jeri Schatz  is my beading Yoda.    But let me digress.   Jeri Schatz arrived in New York City in the 1950’s  fresh out of college to embark on a career as a dancer.  She found a day job at the Wall Street Journal in the press clipping department and after work would sometimes meet friends at a neighborhood typewriter repair shop in Greenwich Village to discuss art and the social issues of the day.  I jokingly tell Jeri she was a Beatnick.  “No,” she gently corrects me, “I was a Bohemian.” 

Along the way, an injury put Jeri’s dreams of dancing to rest, and she married and had a son.  She trained as a goldsmith with some of the best teachers New York City had to offer and created a line of fabulous jewelry.  When she came to Philadelphia, she decided to get away from the fire, fumes and chemicals  of metal work and took up off loom bead weaving.  Since her husband  Sig died a few years ago, Jeri has thrown herself into beading with the tenacity of a Jedi in training.

Which brings me back to Yoda.  Everyone who is trying to master an art or a craft can use a good Yoda.  That means someone who  inspires you to make your  mediocre work good,  and your good work better.   I think it is more difficult to give good criticism than it is to take it.  That is, if you’re open to it.  Jeri gives good criticism, is full of ideas for making designs better,  and notices every hanging thread, rough edge and uneven stitch.  And  she encouraged me to improve my work by  making my own findings  based on the intended piece instead of buying something as an afterthought.

Jeri is primarily a teacher and has regular classes at the  United Federation of Teachers in Manhattan and the Fashion Institute of Technology.  She also teaches at The Bead Cellar, in Pennsauken, NJ,  The Bead Garden in Havertown, PA,  Bucks County Beads  in Newtown, PA and any other place she can reach by plane, train or Megabus.  She is  a card carrying member of the Bead Society of Greater New York  and the Main Line Bead Society.    And she is totally radical about beads.

 Here are some of her recent designs.

Speaking of criticism,  Jane Dunnewold wrote an excellent essay of effective critique of artwork.   I suggest you take a few minutes to read it.

Philadelphia International Festival of The Arts Street Fair

The day before the final street festival on Broad Street.  The workers set up for the grand finale during which La Compagnie Transe Express  performed aerial acrobatics against the twilight sky from a huge chandelier suspended  from a giant crane  100 feet up in the air.

Pictures from the day of the festival

You could  try the trapeze yourself if you dared.  I thought it was more fun to be a spectator and watch this intrepid girl instead

And here’s the Philadelphia finale.