Dearest Christy,

I hope this letter finds you and your family in good spirits and hopeful of your future.  I have to admit, my family is not feeling so chipper right now, thank you for asking.  Oh, you didn’t ask?  Don’t you think you should be asking though?  As the Premier of this province, isn’t it your duty to be concerned about our well-being and our future?  You really don’t think we matter, do you?

I come from the family of a highly ranked politician in a European country.  I know what it is like to have to be nurturing to so many souls at once and take into account what’s best for the entire province.  I know how much hard work it takes to do your job.  I also know how anguishing it can be not to be able to meet everyone’s needs.  Your job is not an easy one.  I have watched my father agonise over his decisions, I have seen his sleepless nights when times were tough.  What I have never witnessed in my father’s work was the ignorance and selfishness that you seem to have mastered above all other personal attributes needed to make one into a politician.  Your job is not an easy one, but you shouldn’t be doing it if you don’t have the compassion for the average British Columbian that is required of a Premier.  Maybe you should stay at home, move your son into a school in the public system and volunteer a few hours here and there.  It would give you a perspective that you seem to have lost, or possibly never had.

My two sons are in a public system school, it is a great school.  We are very lucky - we have two librarians. They are two mothers from our school, volunteering hours of their time as we’ve been told there is no money for paid librarians to help us out.  We also have a couple of people helping children with their reading on a regular basis.  You probably guessed it by now – volunteers again, we were told that there was no money to extend the hours of people working in the Language Arts Centre or hire any new staff.  I go to my kids’ school twice per week to help children improve their reading and comprehension skills.  I spend at least 3 hours of my week in my kids’ school helping out.  Not with my children, they are doing great thanks to their wonderful teachers, but with other children who do need help.  I also do lunch time monitoring in our school.  For a couple of months we needed to be very frugal with how many band aids we use as we didn’t have enough.  We brought some of our own in, you know those cute ones with pictures that make kids stop crying really quickly?  A Premier with families in mind would not allow schools to go without band aids.  A Premier concerned about children would not be deaf to their needs.  No, Christy Clark, your mandate is not about families first.  Well, I guess it is about some families.  Your family.  Your aids’ families.  It seems there is money to help those families, to raise their already inflated incomes, while everyone else has to tighten their belts in order to feed your foreign guests to a feast that most of us, the taxpayers who pay the bill could never afford.

I whole heartedly support teachers.  I see them come in early to prepare for the day ahead of them.  I see them leave late with papers to be still marked.  I see them run community garden projects, talent shows and teach children far more than a teaching curriculum requires.  I see them helping our children grow into good people.  I see them making sure that our children receive the best possible education they can with the meagre resources you provide. That should be your mandate Christy Clark.  But you have failed us, again and again.  I do not see you concerned about any of this.  Teachers are the ones building the future of this province, not you.  You should be an equal partner with our families in building a better future for everyone, but not through the pipelines and extensive travels.  There are far better things to invest in.  Our schools and libraries need you to be a better Premier.  So do our hospitals and community resources.  And, if you can’t, there might be someone who can, so maybe you need to make way.

I am disgusted with the manner in which you are treating our teachers.  They are deserving of much more than they are asking for.  They are deserving of your respect and an honest involvement in the negotiation process.  There needs to be an offer made that is not insulting and diminishing of their importance.  You need to remember that each and every teacher has a greater importance in a single family’s life than you ever will have. 

As the Premier, you were given a mandate to do only one thing – to do what is best for all British Columbians.  If this is your best Christy Clark, it is not good enough.  Please, try harder.


Dragana Skoro, a concerned mother in Abbotsford, BC

Please write to your MLAs, our Premier, newspapers.  We have to voice our opinions or they stop to matter.


For a very long time now, teachers in BC have longed for some respect and support from the government.  Every time when the  government changes, we hope for better.  As we realized that nothing is different this time around, my husband has voiced our concerns in an e-mail sent to Christy Clark.  Here is what happened so far.

The first e-mail sent to the premier.

"Dear Madam Premier,

I write today as a British Columbia taxpayer and a parent with 2 elementary school children. I am disgusted with the methods being used by the British Columbia Government in its negotiations with the teachers. I am at a loss as to how the government can refuse to improve the education system for our children who are after all the true future of this beautiful province. I see the teachers of both my sons attempting to teach under very trying circumstances, with learning disabled students and insufficient assistance, they come in early, stay late, work at home, use their own supplies but are treated like leaches by the Minister of Education. I don't know of a teacher that I have ever had or who is now teaching my children that has worked less than a 60 hour week. I know a music teacher who just spent $450 of her own money purchasing music for her students. The teachers of British Columbia are hardworking, dedicated, caring professionals who deserve much better treatment than your government has seen fit to provide. Please give the teachers a decent wage increase not the paltry pittance they have been offered, reduce the class sizes, put more Teaching Assistants and Aids in the classroom. Invest in our future, invest in our children they are far more important than any oil or gas project could ever be and they most certainly cause no harm to the environment.

As a taxpayer and parent I also ask myself the question "Why does the Premier not send her own son to a public school?" The only answer I can reasonably conclude is that you as Premier and ultimately responsible for the school system realize that it is lacking, that it simply isn't as good as it should be. I of course then ask the next logical question "Why doesn't she fix it?"

Please Madam Premier, invest in our children, raise taxes if you must but let's make the British Columbia education system better, let's make it the best in Canada and if at all possible let's make it the finest education system in the world. It is after all my money you're spending and I am hereby giving you permission to spend more of it on education."

Here is a response from her office.

"Thank you for your email. We appreciate the time you have taken to share your concerns with us about issues surrounding teachers’ bargaining.

We all want this dispute resolved by the end of the school year, which is why we’re taking significant measures to get to an agreement. Parents and students don't deserve this disruption, and our government believes we should be resolving this dispute at the negotiating table, not the classroom. Our goal has always been long term stability and a negotiated settlement. That’s why we’ve tabled a fair package, with incentives to reach an agreement.

We recognize how difficult the bargaining process can be for parents and students, and we need to stop recurring labour disputes from distracting us from important public discussions about the future of our education system. We owe it to our children to not repeatedly compromise their learning due to our inability to come to an agreement.

We believe teachers should have the opportunity to sign a wage package that is similar to all other public sector unions - it must be fair for all, and it must be affordable for taxpayers. We have a duty to make sure that there is stability in the classroom, and will continue to work diligently at the bargaining table to get to an agreement. 

Again, thank you for writing. We have noted your concerns and will be sure to include your comments in any related discussions moving forward."

And, finally - second e-mail sent to Premier's office.  

"Dear Madam Premier,

Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to respond to my email of this morning. I am rather astounded that you mention that you wish the negotiations to come to a conclusion by the end of the school year. Might I remind you that we are only 3 weeks away from that point. The children right now are missing out on their sports days, on their end of the year activities and the way your government is negotiating I doubt that I will see a report card for them until sometime next school year. I also disagree that you have tabled a fair package. The class sizes are too large, the number of children who require additional attention and assistance but are left wanting is far too many, the teachers work long and hard and put in extra unpaid hours for everything from class planning to sports activities, music events, drama events and other significant areas of our children's education, they spend their own funds on supplies because the government does not provide a reasonable budget for them to get the job done. They deserve a fair wage increase over a reasonable time frame and let's be realistic here, no one in their right mind would agree to a 6 year contract given the unstable economic situation.

I definitely agree with your paragraph with respect to the need to put an end to the disruption of the children due to these labour disputes. I don't believe however, that you fully understand that it is the intransigence of the government negotiators that escalates these disputes to a point where the teachers feel they have no choice but to withdraw their services. The Government of British Columbia needs to understand that the very future of British Columbia lives and breathes in the schools of this province and that without a top-quality education system our province will never rise to the top.

I believe that you missed most of the points in my original email most especially the part that as a taxpayer I am more than prepared to pay for the education that my children deserve. I do not however, have pockets to waste money on the lunches at expensive restaurants and other frivolous expenditures. It is high time that your government stopped wasting my hard earned money on showing off to other governments and business leaders. I might suggest here that you show them what a responsible government does with the hard earned money of its taxpayers by treating visitors to budget conscious choices in place of the grandeur of the best. The taxpayers of this province ask only that you use our money in responsible ways such as improving the education system, the health system and the social safety net."

Please, please, please - voice your opinion and concerns.  Our family did.

Two days ago, I donned my goggles, gloves and my trusty hand blender, and whipped up a batch of homemade tea tree peppermint medley soap.  I used a cols process soap making technique, so it will be awhile before we can use this soap, but the smell of it sure is tantalizing.  It also looks awesome, almost like a slice of an awesome cake!

If you have never made your own soap, you might want to try, it is a fun craft.  As the soaps are made with lye, and lye is caustic and could be very dangerous, you need to make sure you are protected.  Goggles, gloves and an apron, including long sleeves and closed toe shoes are all needed. You will also need a hand blender unless you are ready to hand stir for possibly over an hour.  Not likely to happen here, hours are to rare to spare.

After taking precautions, choose the oils and butters you would like your soap to have.

After you mix for some time, you can add your essential oils, colorants or whatever else you fancy.  I did not use anything other than herbs and to colour my soap as I wanted it to be completely natural.

And, like magic, two days later, I took the soap out of my mould, which I purchased from a maker on Etsy, hang on, I'll show you how beautiful it is....

Now to find patience to wait for 4-6 weeks to have it fully ready to use....  Can't wait!!!!!

Until next time,

I am back after a long while away from blogging. It seems like Murphy's Law would kick in every time I've tried to type something up, so eventually I just gave up... Well, here we go, trying again.

 During my absence, I have been crafting a storm and have done what seems like gazillion of craft shows. I will be posting random bits and pieces of what you've missed as well as new stuff I am working on.

 Today, I had few minutes and wanted to try something new. You should know by now that I love taking something old, destined for a dump, and give it some new life. So, again, I did just that. Lately I have been cooking up a storm. Have you heard of Big Cook cooking concept? Well, I will be telling you more about it in one of my next posts. Anyway, I was left with quite a few empty tin cans, so I thought I would make them into something new. It all started with a quick coat of acrylic paint.

This is what they look like now, after decoupaging - not fully finished yet, but almost there. Just another layer of protection and that should be it!

And, a close-up of the individual ones.

I am not absolutely positive yet, but this is what they might be used for, if the weather ever warms up enough for the deck and garden entertaining.

That's it for today - I will try to be back soon if anyone is still out there and reading.

Blog y'all later,

Dragana Skoro
Yesterday was Abbotsford Farmer's Market Day.  I love being there, there are lot of wonderful people there with their great products.  My favourite this time was DMP - Dream Monkey Productions. Look what she makes. So awesome.

Here is my table - it's finally starting to look nice.  It is hard to choose what to display on 6' table, so much to squeeze onto such a little surface!

Some new cufflinks.

The whole table again.  It is almost working, few little things to adjust and it will be great.

These are the upcycled altoid tins.

See how crowded it gets?  I think I like it though.

OK, that's it for now.  I will be back at market on March 16th, 9-1.  Come and see me, would you?

Blog ya' all later,
Dragana Skoro
As I didn't make anything new over the last two days, I've decided to show you a couple of the necklaces that I made around Christmas.  It was a very busy Christmas season.  I only did one craft show, but a couple of stores my stuff is sold in were fairly busy, and a lot of friends were buying from me and I've given a lot as presents.  The first one is the one I kept for myself.  I just love it.  It goes with everything, and depending what kind and what length of chain you put it on - it could be an everyday piece or little more special.  Lookie:

These other ones are made on rummikub tiles.  They are about 1-1/2" x 1", and it is a lovely size to work with, and it seems perfect to show off the pictures.  I have used a huge variety of images throughout the Christmas, there were whimsical ones, funny ones, modern ones, name it - it was there.  A lot of them were turned into key chains, and the ones with manly images were very popular.  Women loved the key chains with images of nests with words "nest", or "Home Sweet Home" next to them.  Like this first tile, only made into a key chain:

These next two were popular as well.  Isn't this little girl just adorable?

And here is the last one:

That's it for today.  Blog ya' later,

Dragana Skoro
I save a lot of stuff.  I save toilet paper rolls and paper towel rolls to make castles with kids, I save jars and cans to make pencil holders, ornaments and who knows what else.  I would never throw out a pretty box or an outdated calendar with beautiful pictures.  You should see all the bottle caps, clock gears, aluminum pull tabs and old kitchen utensils piling up in my craft room.  I see purpose for all of those things.  It is not junk.  It is my treasure.  One of these days I will use it all and then you'll see.

I go to thrift stores, flea markets and garage sales religiously and collect little bits of what I think could be used at some point when I have time.  The biggest score, however, would be a bag of scrabble tiles, mahjong or rummikub tiles.  They make so many pretty things. I have my friends on lookout for me too.  When they go thrifty shopping, they know what to look for.  :-)  Wanna see what I made with these lately?  Don't forget - you can click on a picture, enlarge it, then you can click again and make it even bigger.  Lookie:
These are scrabble tile pendants (or earrings, I might change my mind), all made on real upcycled scrabble tiles salvaged from less than a rewarding life in the depths of thrift stores, repeatedly overlooked and ignored by shoppers.  Here is a close up of these beauties:
All these little pieces awake with new beauty and appreciation after their make over.   
These are Wizard of Oz dominoes.  Eventually, they will be key chains.  Or pendants.  Or magnets.  Or little bits in my shadow boxes to adore the walls of my studio.  Here is another set:
These game pieces will be drilled tomorrow night by my wonderful hubby using my trusted Dremel. Hopefully right side up.  Shhhh, I might tell you that story some other time.

Anyway, blog y'a later, 

Dragana Skoro
About a month ago, we went to the Vail Valley, Colorado, for a wedding.  We were high up in Rockies, thin air and all.  The nature was gorgeous, but, surprisingly, there was no snow at all.  We stayed in Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch and it was a wonderful little get-away.  My boys were very excited about it, it was their half sister's wedding and they really, really wanted to look their best.  I was so very proud of them, they were on their best behaviour, and they looked like a million bucks!  Lookie:

Allison, their sister, looked beautiful and her wedding was an amazing event.  She is a wonderful young lady, and we all are very happy for her.

I played with my Dylusion's toys again.  I love, love, love her products, they are so inspiring and whimsical.  Something made me remember way back when we used to watch a really silly British TV show, "Allo, Allo!" (yes, I am THAT old!) and I knew I had to use that famous phrase we all repeated countless time.  So, here are my birdies, gossiping....
I love how reactive these spray inks are with water, it is so easy to get amazing effects.

Here is a close-up of the leaves, bleached with water (how cool, eh?) and highlighted with a white gel pen.

Blog y'a all later,
Dragana Skoro
2012 was not a good year for me. It was not even an ok year. Come to think of it, 2012 was one of the worst years I've ever had. And those of you who know me, they can tell you - I've had my share of tough times before. But never this much death and grief has piled up in ONE SINGLE YEAR. Never.  Between April and December, we have dealt with 4 (yes, four!) deaths of people that were very dear to us.  A favourite cousin of mine, my mother, my husband's step dad, and a very dear friend of mine, well, a sister really.  A bit too much, don't ya' think?  I was so glad when it ended. I hope it ended.  2013 has to be better, I can not see it being any worse.

Through all of this, I have crafted, but never posted anything.  Blogging was not on my mind.  I would like to get back into it.  I really, really would, but life has a way of getting in my way.  So no promises this time, ok? 

Here is a quick project I did yesterday.  It was made with some pre-order stuff (these cute umbrellas, as well as clouds embossing folder) from Stampin' Up Spring catalogue.  So much stuff I like in there!  Check the sidebar of my blog for the catalogue if you haven't seen it yet.  I also used some of the retired stuff, some other SU stuff, as well as some non-SU stuff ("Puffy Clouds" die from Memory Box).  

I almost never do the inside of my cards.  Ask my husband.  Every time I make a card and go to him to show it off, he opens a card, hoping to find something, and almost never, ever, there is anything there.  Well, just for you honey, here ya' go....

I am looking forward to 2013 and moving on. I would like to craft and blog more.  The only resolution is to cherish every day that comes my way and is filled with happiness. 

Dragana Skoro
It's been very long since my last post. I kept my self very busy with my clubs, classes, family, house. I've been doing a lot, but wasn't really in a mood for "Show and Tell". I will try to make up for it in this post. Let me see, what do I want to start with?

We had some lovely weather here. I was gardening a lot and spending a lot of time with my boys exploring our new town. Here is a picture from the last weekend, we went kite flying and it was a great day.

The boys always enjoy helping with gardening. This year I decided to make our own garden labels. They are made of aluminum flashing and hanging wire (local hardware store), chalkboard vinyl (SU), ball chain (Etsy). All you need is Big Shot, some dies and embossing folders, and a crop-a-dile. Lookie:

I liked this so much, I combined it with something totally different. If you are anything like me, you have your fridge so cluttered with everything under the sun, that you can not see a tree from the woods. Our kitchen is where we do our homework, play board games, build Lego... And somehow, all of this finds its way to the top of my fridge. All the pencils and erasers and sharpeners... I got tired of it and this is what I made:

These are made from a tin my favourite tea is packed up in.

I covered it with SU paper, Tim Holtz tissue tape and attached a few rare Earth magnets on the back. I now have all our pencils and small stuff tidy in these on the side of my fridge.

Mentioning Tim Holtz, while I was away from my blog, I also did something very neat. I took Tim Holtz Creative Chemistry class. That was so much fun!!!

Guess what one of my next classes will be. Guess correct and you get $5 off the registration fee for my class.

One more thing for today... Were you wondering what that OUCH was in my title? Well, let me tell you... SU published the retiring list of stamps yesterday. I don't want to tell you how many of my stamps are retired now. Way too many!!! Shhhhh! Don't tell my hubby - he comes to my blog here and there, he doesn't even know I have that many stamps to begin with. LOL. I think I will keep some of those for personal use, and sell most of them... SO, come June 1st, there will be lots of stamps for sale. If you are somewhere near me, you might want to come to my June Open House and check it out. But here - take a look at the list for yourself, these stamps are available only until June 1st:

OK, that is it for now. Hopefully I won't be as long until the next post as I were last time. Fingers and toes crossed. I hope I somewhat made up for it.

Blog ya' later,

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