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#280: Sour Grapes Spider

Tonight was a night for ghosts and goblins, superheroes and princesses, even a tiny toddler dressed as Santa. A couple of times I have thought it would be cool to dress as Sour Grapes, the female nemesis of Strawberry Shortcake and friends, but probably no one would know who she is. Dark purple hair with lavender streaks, a lavender gown, and long, green gloves. I couldn't pull it off with as much flair as the woman herself, but it would still be fun. Tonight I walked my kids around as Velma. Josie was a witch because her mermaid costume was too cold, and Greta was Hermione with her warm Gryffendor robe. After a snow storm postponed our neighborhood trick-or-treating, not everyone got the message about a reschedule, so my kids got LOADS of candy from people who just needed to get rid of it. Score! They'll be eating the candy until Easter.

Materials: brass grapes finding, purple swirl bead, purple/white rondelle beads, light green plastic bead, purple and green bugle beads, lavender bugle bead shards, purple seed beads, green wire

#279: Abominable Spider

Just like that--our weekend was gone. Not the way some weekends go by unnoticed because you were so busy you hardly realized how close Monday was. But because we were so focused on keeping our house warm and food cold during and after an unexpected "winter" storm that we didn't realize how little else we had accomplished all weekend long. We had planned to be climbing into Halloween costumes and going trick-or-treating, then maybe going for a 1-mile pumpkin run the next day, none of which happened. We were fortunate enough to have charged all of our electronic devices before our power went out on Saturday so that once the last of the twilight was gone and we were left with nothing but dark, we could at least hit the hay early and watch a movie or read a book before we drifted off with the heat from our warm kerosene heater.

I used all of the daylight I had to clean up my craft room (and pick up and sort a huge tray of jump rings, head/eye pins, and ear wires that I had accidentally kicked over a few weeks ago), complete some unfinished projects, and get my spiders done. Even so, our first snow could not have been a much bigger pain. It was abominable, this snow. So abominable that a spider (ornament) had to be made.

Materials: white beaded earring piece, white plastic bead, glass snowman head bead, white bugle and seed beads, silver wire

#278: Mummy Spider

Today was supposed to be trick-or-treating in our neighborhood, thus this commemorative spider (somewhat). But our power was out, and the roads were unplowed, and the snow fell like crazy. So no one went out. Instead, the kids put on their costumes, and we had the neighbors over for s'mores in the dark with a s'mores maker we have but seldom use. We listened to Halloween party music on Pandora (as my phone battery died) and made the best of a Halloween that we would not have.

The mummy comes to us from the dark, from dusty torch-lit catacombs and spidery doorways, from a deep, dark, mysterious past. And sometimes, the dead are not what they seem, especially so near Halloween.

Materials: plastic mummy toy, clear plastic bugle and E beads, silver wire, muslin, Tacky Glue, ivory and tan paint

#277: Frost Fairy Spider

My Minnesota family, who are used to getting their first snow in October, might not realize what an anomaly it is for Pennsylvania to have a first snow that early. I scoffed at newscasters starting on Tuesday, when I first heard that it could snow on Saturday. And even on Friday morning, with clear blue skies overhead, I doubted their prediction. But sure enough, the sky quickly clouded over and in came snow--record-breaking inches of it. It fell like wet masses of pudding on our beautiful autumn-colored trees, pulling and snapping limbs left and right. It took down power lines and left us without power for almost 24 hours. It muddied the driveway. It pissed us off, I'll tell you that much. But even in all of the chaos, the snow was very pretty and almost unnatural, its frosty tendrils clinging to a season making its way out just a little too slowly. So the frost fairy paid us a visit, her evergreen legs not quite as icy like Jack Frost's. Not quite. Not quite winter.

Materials: pearl-white plastic leaf, evergreen and gold spacer bead, plastic pearl beads, green and white bugle beads, sage green seed beads, gold wire


AFRICA Barrick Gold (ABG) has no 'social' licence to operate North Mara Gold Mine, Energy and Minerals Parliamentary Committee Chairman, January Makamba declared here on Wednesday citing endless conflicts between the Canadian investor and surrounding communities.

"You are not liked here. You may have a legal licence to operate this mine but you don't have a social licence to operate it," Mr Makamba told the North Mara Gold Mine's top management shortly after meeting local leaders and artisanal miners from the villages located near the mine.

He challenged the mine to find lasting solutions on issues that have contributed to worsen its relationship with the surrounding villagers.

This was the first time for the Energy and Minerals Parliamentary Committee members to visit the troubled mine after the 2010 general elections.

North Mara Mine General Manager, Mr Basie Maree, said various initiatives were now put in place to improve relationship between the mine and surrounding villages.

"For example, we have spent 350,000 US dollars to upgrade a hospital here and we have donated an anaesthetic machine to the regional hospital.

"We are doing a lot of things not because we have to do but because we want to and the villagers have welcomed the new initiatives," the GM told the visiting parliamentary committee.

Local leaders and villagers have hailed Mr Maree, saying that he is the first general manager to show commitment to end conflicts between them and the mining company.

The parliamentary committee also expressed disappointment by absence of ABG senior staff from Dar es Salaam to respond to some of their questions during their visit at the mine which is located in the Northern Tarime District, Mara Region.

"We are very disappointed by the absence of senior management of ABG. We are not happy and we are going to take this matter to parliament," Mr Makamba said.

Bukene MP, Mr Selemani Zedi echoed the same sentiments, saying that they expected to meet high ranking officials from ABG to give them clarifications on issues like corporate tax.

The North Mara General Manager apologized and told the lawmakers that absence of ABG senior management team from Dar es salaam was not deliberate.

"We apologize for not having Deo Mwanyika and other key people here," the GM said. Deo Mwanyika serves as ABG Vice-President.

ABG is the leading Tanzanian gold producer at the moment and it operates three other gold mines in Buzwagi, Bulyhanhulu and Tulawaka.

EDITORS NOTE: We have heard stories like these several times, the investors discriminate and opress the local people, na hakuna mtu anafanya kitu, kati kati ya mwaka huu Huko Tanga kuna mtu ilisemekana amepigwa risasi na mwekezaji kwa kuwa alikutwa anapita njia...............................This is baaaad jamani, Somehow we need heir money lakini they should not forget "We aren't still monkeys, we evolved into humans, they should accept to treat us right"


A study by UNICEF has revealed that one-third of girls under 18 in Tanzania have been sexually abused while about one in six boys have suffered such violence. The United Nation’s children's agency warned that such abuse may range from inappropriate sexual touching all the way to rape.  The survey also revealed that almost 30 percent of females who had sex before the age of 18 did so unwillingly (the figure for boys was just under 18 percent). "Tanzania is the first country with the courage to expose the full extent of child abuse among boys and girls,"

The Tanzanian government said it is committed to wiping out sexual abuse and rape of children. United Nations Deputy Secretary General Dr. Asha-Rose Migiro stated: “I am so pleased that Tanzania is taking the initiative of confronting this painful problem. Children make up half of the population here. They are our greatest national treasure.” Of Tanzania’s 40 million people, half are under the age of 18.

According to a report on the BBC a few months ago, girls from rural villages who are seeking education and must live far from the protection of their families are especially at risk. The so-called “senior schools" allow girls to finish their schooling — but it also make them vulnerable to sexual predators. One such girl told BBC: "Even if we scream for help, people hardly come to our rescue. By the time the police get here, well ... they'll already be finished. So the men just do what they want."

TAMWA, TAWLA, MEWATA, CHAWATA, It is a high time you start doing something about this........... This cry especially on girls in Rural areas should be heard and worked upon 



This is what human rights watches should be raising their voices for, not when Madonna adopts a baby in Malawi............... where are these people how come all this is never aired on BBC, CNN or Reuters?


While much of the world’s attention was focusing on crude oil prices and the Libyan pipelines in the east of the country– human right groups say rebels are committing crimes against humanity.

In east Libya, African hunt began as towns and cities began fall under the control of Libyan rebels, mobs and gangs. They started to detain, insult, rape and even executing black immigrants, students and refugees.

In the past two weeks, more than 100 Africans from various Sub-Sahara states are believed to have been killed by Libyan rebels and their supporters.

According to Somali refugees in Libya, at least five Somalis from Somaliland and Somalia were executed in Tripoli and Benghazi by anti-Gaddafi mobs. Dozens of refugees and immigrants workers from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Ghana, Nigeria, Chad, Mali and Niger have been killed, some of them were led into the desert and stabbed to death. Black Libyan men receiving medical care in hospitals in Benghazi were reportedly abducted by armed rebels.

They are part of more than 200 African immigrants held in secret locations by the rebels.
In many disputes involving Libyan residents and black Africans, the Libyans are turning in the Africans as mercenaries.

Thousands more Africans caught up in this mercenary hysteria are terrified. Some barricaded themselves in their homes, while others hid in the desert. Insulted, threatened, beaten, chased and robbed. Their only crime was being black and therefore treated as “mercenaries” of Gaddafi.

Rebels hold a young man at gunpoint between the towns of Brega and Ras Lanuf (Reuters/Goran Tomasevic)
Rebels hold a young man at gunpoint between the towns of Brega and Ras 

While the airing of Gaddafi’s so called “black mercenaries” by Western media has ignited the issue, some say an xenophobic attitude towards these refugees and labourers has existed for years. They say the current attacks are racially motivated because the rebels have released many actual Libyan mercenaries and soldiers under a tribal agreement. 

They believe many Arabs felt their Libyan leader was abandoning them for black Africans ever since he became a “pan-Africanist”. Many immigrants were regularly victims of racism. In many situations, Gaddafi and his inner circle preferred black Africans and Libyans from the south over Libyans from the east. Now the angry mobs using the revolutionary movement across Arabia and North Africa are hunting down black people.

Mohamed Abdillahi, Somaliland, 25, was sleeping at his home in Zouara, when the mobs arrived. “They knocked on the door around 1 o’clock in the morning. They said get out, we’ll kill you, you are blacks, foreigners, clear.”

The testimonials and are very similar among the thousands of Africans that saw the ugly side of Libya in the past weeks. “They have attacked us, they took everything from us,” said Ali Farah, Somali laborer 29 years.
“They wanted to kill civilians, they beat many of us. To me, they are animals,” says Jamal Hussein, 25 years Sudanese worker.

Many of the fleeing Africans are terrified to tell their stories. At the checkpoint, they do not mingle with others. When asked about their ordeal, they just freeze, “they stopped us many times and said not tell what has happened here, say there are no problems,” Elias Nour from Ethiopia said.

“For the past seven days, my whole family has been holed up at home without any food, running water or electricity, we appeal for urgent intervention,” Mohamed Abdi from Somaliland told local reporters by cellphone.

In the latest reports reaching Somalilandpress from Tripoli, forces loyal to Col. Muammar Gaddafi have reportedly began kidnapping African and Libyan youths from their homes and universities. They are said to be preparing them for a showdown against the rebels. The kidnapped youths include five teenagers from Somaliland.
Many Africans have virtually nothing after years in Libya, many have been looted, robbed, while others saw their living quarters and apartments go in flames. Now they are praying to God to send them home.
While the international leaders are busy drafting resolutions to dismantle Muammar Gaddafi, the African Union has not yet commented on the situation in Libya.
Meanwhile, the International Criminal Court is said to have started a formal inquiry into possible crimes against humanity in Libya that will investigate the Libyan regime.

Media habitually tells us that Libyan rebels are noble freedom fighters, struggling against a bloodthirsty tyrant. But after all the buckets of half-truths and blatant lies, that news poured on our heads, treating us

viewers like brainless sheep and feeding us half-baked reports that often got disproved the next day, some of us started to look further and investigate.

What they found out, is extremely disturbing. Say, from the very beginning of war we've been hearing reports about "Gaddafi's black mercenaries". We even saw photos and videos of several people that,
supposedly, were these mercenaries. But the whole truth is much more complicated - and scary.

Yes, there indeed are several divisions of black Africans and citizens of Chad in the army of Libya, that is formed on the principle of territorial militia. But they can hardly be considered mercenaries - not
more than French Foreign Legion or non-American citizens in US Army. In general, the status of black men of Libyan army's various units is civil servants.

In a country with 6 million inhabitants, one third are black (the most oppressed group in the country). Would not it be easier for the rebels to call for their solidarity and ask them join the rebel ranks? But not
only black Libyans do not join the rebellion - they flee in terror.

The first wave of reports and evidence of beatings of black Africans began in February and March. The rebels, under the trademark of fighting with the mercenaries from Chad, were slaughtering all black people with no mercy. They even started to post various Youtube videos with their actions filmed

The victim was the Libyan citizen Hisham Mansour, born 22-02-1983. Back in early March, the Human Rights Watch even warned black migrant workers on the need to flee the revolutionary terrain.

"We left behind our friends from Chad. We left behind their bodies. We had 70 or 80 people from Chad working for our company. They cut them dead with pruning shears and axes, attacking them, saying you're providing troops for Gaddafi. The Sudanese, the Chadians were massacred. We saw it ourselves. I am a worker, not a fighter. They took me from my house and [raped] my wife", - a Turkish oilfield worker, who fled Libya, told BBC in February 25.

One of the editors of the Monthly Review, Yoshie Furuhashi, writes:

"The black African workers now live in fear in the territories held by the rebels in Libya. Some have been attacked by mobs, some have been imprisoned and some of their houses and shops have been torched. Many African workers say they felt safer under the regime of Gaddafi".

In March, a reporter from the Daily Mail was in Benghazi and reported:

"Africans I saw ranged from a 20 year old and a late forties, with a grizzled beard. Most wore casual clothes. When they realized that I spoke English erupted in protests. "We did nothing," one told me, before he was silenced. "We are all construction workers in Ghana. Do not harm anyone. "

Another accused, a man in green overalls, showed the paint on their sleeves and said: "This is my job. I do not know how to shoot a gun "

Abdul Nasser, 47, protested: "They lie about us. They took us out of our house at night when we were asleep. " While still complaining, they were taken.

International Business Times published an article on March 2 that says:

"According to reports, over 150 black Africans at least a dozen different countries escaped from Libya by plane and landed at the airport in Nairobi, Kenya, with horrific stories of violence."

"We were attacked by locals who said they were mercenaries who killed people. I mean blacks who refused to see "Julius told Reuters Kiluu, a construction supervisor for 60 years.

Michel Collon with a fact-finding delegation were in Libya in July and when he learned what had happened, he said:

"I met these people during my research in Tripoli. I could talk to some people. They were not "mercenaries," as the rebels and the media tell. Some were dark-skinned Libyans (much of the population is of African type, in fact), others were black civilians from African countries whostayed in Libya for a long time. All support Gaddafi precisely because he opposes to racism and treats them as Arabs and Africans on an equal footing. On the contrary, the rebels in Benghazi are known for their
racism, and blacks were victims of terrible systematic atrocities. The paradox is that NATO wants to bring democracy to a section of Al Qaeda and Libyan Ku Klux Klan-type racists".

Here's another footage, with English explanations given.

After the rebels entered Tripoli, numerous reports of black men being killed appeared again. Twitter explodes with rebels' messages about killing "African mercenaries". In the chaos of embattled Tripoli, black people are being simply seized from the streets and taken somewhere openly.

On the photo above we can see that the lying people's hands are tied with plastic handcuffs and their clothes are relatively clean. This means these people were captured not after a fight, but deliberately.

The Colonel was being building good relations with the south of Africa. NATO plan of destabilizing Libya might as well include having the black Africans turning away from this country forever, using contempt and xenophobia of the rebels as a driving force of the persecution. After all, lynching black people simply for being in Africa sounds ridiculous.

But results are pretty much of the same racist kind, and they are not funny at all.

Some more old reports during the struggle:

Black life is cheap in Libya

They are killing black people in Libya. They are killing them in the street, they are killing them in hospitals, they are killing them in transit camps, they are killing them in their houses.

They are not killing any old African. They are killing black Africans, the dark, sub-Saharan Africans. Skin tone, the darkness of one's skin, has become for many blacks in Libya the difference between prison and freedom, death and life.

The rebels who gunned for the toppling of the dictator Muammar Gaddafi have for the past six months been killing anyone who looks dark. Given that there are between a million and two million black Africans in Libya, a slow and under-reported massacre is unfolding in that country.

No one is saying anything. When African leaders such as President Jacob Zuma speak, they speak for Gaddafi but not for the people who are now being routinely murdered at the hands of the rebels - the people who are today in power across large swathes of Libya.

African newspapers and television channels report on the conflict as if they are European, Chinese or American. We never write about the fact that over the past few months anyone with a dark skin has been stopped in the streets of Libya and searched. It is almost like the days of apartheid. These people are then either arrested, tortured or murdered.

No one cares about their fate. They are black after all, and black life is cheapest among Africans. That is why we are not up in arms.

The killings in Libya have cover. Gaddafi, at the beginning of the conflict, used his considerable wealth to hire mercenaries from sub-Saharan Africa to terrorise locals and push back the rebel advance. The mercenaries were from everywhere. There were Nigerians, there were veterans from the wars in Ivory Coast and word is that there were even South Africans among them.
These were some of the hired guns of Gaddafi's regime.

These mercenaries would be the ones staging shows of force as Gaddafi shook his fist at the free world. They drove around in Jeeps, shot into the air and pretended that all was fine in the world.

It was not. Now Gaddafi has fallen. Many of the mercenaries have returned home, their hundreds of thousands of dollars stashed away. What is left in Libya are the ordinary black people, the ones who have been cleaning for the Libyans all along, building the roads and doing the menial jobs that the rich Libyans would not do.

They are the ones who are dying now. On August 31 an Amnesty International team reported that black Libyans and sub-Saharan Africans "are at high risk of abuse by anti-Gaddafi forces".

"An Amnesty delegation visiting the Central Tripoli Hospital last Monday witnessed three thuwwar revolutionaries (as opposition fighters are commonly known) dragging a black patient from the western town of Tawargha from his bed and detaining him. The men were in civilian clothing.

"The thuwwar said the man would be taken to Misratah for questioning, arguing that interrogators in Tripoli 'let killers free'. Two other black Libyans receiving treatment in the hospital for gunshot wounds were warned by the anti-Gaddafi forces that 'their turn was coming'."

Amnesty International is being extremely diplomatic with its language. Human rights activists are reporting that black people have been disappearing all over Libya over the past nine months as the rebels started taking out Gaddafi forces. As rebels arrived in towns, they merely sought out blacks and either killed them on the spot or arrested them. Many have died of starvation in those "prisons".

Wherever alleged Gaddafi forces are found to have been executed, most of those murdered have been black. Video footage of ordinary black men who have been working in Libya being executed is available on the internet. Their sin is that some black mercenaries worked for Gaddafi, and their sin now is that they are black.

The US and Nato, after helping the rebels bomb Libya, have been quiet on this issue. They have blood on their hands. Would they be so quiet if whites were being murdered in such large numbers in Libya?
And where are the Africans? The AU is petulant, refusing to speak or intervene, while their brothers and sisters are being murdered.
What a courageous bunch.


Has Jennifer Hudson Lost Too Much Weight?

Jennifer has lost so much weight that she looks like, in my opinion, to a shadow of her former self. Her face is sunken in and she doesn’t look as vibrant as she used to. It is rumored that she is down to a size 0. I am not a hater because I LOVE J-Hud, but I think she looked more beautiful with a little more meat on her bones.

I have been a fan of Jennifer Hudson since she first was on television during American Idol. When it was announced that she was going to play Effie White in Dreamgirls, I was elated. She was the perfect woman to play such a pivotal and bold role and the accolades and awards she received because of it was well earned. There is not much Jennifer could do wrong in my eyes, but I am starting to wonder if she’s lost too much weight.

Jennifer has always been beautiful to me, big or small. As aplus  size woman myself, I could stand to lose a few pounds. But I don’t want to lose my curves or vivaciousness—Jennifer had curves for days and was a beauty despite her bigger frame. When she first lost weight early last year on Weight Watchers, I applauded her. She looked fabulous! But as I look at her again during her latest round of Weight Watcher commercials, something seems amiss. Even after having a baby, Jennifer looked fabulous. She was no Twiggy, but I didn’t think she needed to be.

Here is a picture of Jennifer Hudson in Feb. 2010

I think this beautiful round face of hers is gone, and instead it has turned  to meatless bonny and almond shaped. I hope she doesnt loose any more weight.

We all know how hollywood is,  especially in the entertainment industry. Big girls get love with their talent and voices but aren’t really known as sex symbols. Not saying that Jennifer lost weight to be a sex symbol, but I am sure the people in her corner has urged her to slim down

What do you guys think? Has Jennifer Hudson lost to much weight? Or is she finally the Hollywood standard that she needs to be in order to compete for roles? What’s say you?

#276: Suncatcher Spider

My spider with backlight.

After discovering some really beautiful stained glass spiders on Etsy (from VictoriaPandora), I wondered about making a version that doesn't use actual leading or stained glass. VictoriaPandora uses the Tiffany technique to make her stained glass spiders, which I known nothing about, and thus her spiders are stunning (and huge!). I had about all the fun I feel like having with solder for my spider project when I made my Harvestman spider, and I just don't have access to pretty stained glass baubles. But I do have access to cheap glass decorating marbles (thank you, dollar stores!) and liquid leading (sold at Michaels), so I took my chances with the materials and guess what? It works! Anything heavier than glass decorating marbles and the beads I typically use for my spider legs might not hold up so well with liquid leading, but this is a perfect ornamental piece for a window. Because my glass marbles are so boring, I used ceramic paint pens to spruce them up.
Stained glass spider from

Materials: royal blue glass marbles; liquid leading; ceramic paint; purple and light pink bugle beads; gold, blue, purple, and orange seed beads; gold wire


MOUNT Kilimanjaro is among the 28 finalists taking part in the campaign for the global election of the New Seven Wonders of Nature scheduled to end in November this year.

Addressing reporters in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday, the Chairman of Save Mount Kilimanjaro Organization, Mr Ernest Olotu, said that the campaign was launched in July 2007 in Lisbon.

''The 28 finalists were selected from the top 77 based on worldwide voting in July 2009. Mount Kilimanjaro made it amongst the finalists,'' he said.

According to Mr Olotu, Mount Kilimanjaro and Table Mountain of South Africa were the only ones selected in Africa. He called upon Tanzanians and nature-lovers including activists to vote for Mount Kilimanjaro.

''The campaign has not yet taken up proper momentum in Tanzania and Africa at large since it requires active support and advice from high ranking officials and nature lovers,'' he said and added that the Mountain is mostly voted for by foreigners.

Mr Olotu also called upon the public authorities to support Kilimanjaro to win the competition. The campaign is aimed at promoting and encouraging tourism activities in the participating countries.

In another development, the Executive Director with Save Mount Kilimanjaro Organization, a Non Governmental Organization, Mr Omary Mtalika, said that the campaign will be launched nationally soon for Tanzanians to start voting.


Ahmed Gaddaf al-Dam looks so much like his older cousin Muammar Gaddafi that people can't tell them apart. Did he defect to Egypt? Or was it just a cover to run a secret mission to Syria?WHO IS THIS?    

 t’s interesting that Gaddafi has cousin who is reported to be a mega look-a-like and he sort of disappeared a while ago.
Below is a picture of Muammar Gaddafi which was taken reportedly after he was mortally wounded.

And here is a picture of his ”spitting image” look-a-like  cousin, Ahmed Gaddaf al-Dam, who at one time was considered his “secret weapon” and hasn’t been around too much, lately.

This is weird.  First we see the rebels parading Gaddafi’s body through the streets like animals and then read from Reuters that the body has been taken to a secret location for “security reasons.”  So, I am not getting this.   Why didn’t they just take the body in the first place?