Friday, March 23, 2012

Celebrating 3rd birthday with FLL, Forbidden Earth & WorldWeDream

Today is the 3rd birthday of Menka's Jewelry blog. It feels great to express myself through the blog and connect with people from all over the world. With each post, I feel I am improving a little as a writer and hope to write more provided I could take out more time to write. Believe me, writing every post takes lots of thought and time but at the end, its a wonderful experience and when people read and comment on the blog post, it gives me lot of satisfaction.

On this special day, I would like to wish my blog a very happy birthday by celebrating three wonderful kids I know and their recent achievements.

I will start with my 9 year old son Aditya. Since early childhood days, Aditya loves to play with all types of construction or building toys, be it his favorite Lego, Knex, Soft blocks, Tinker toy or just constructing something with simple paper, thread and scotch tape. In our house, everybody knows who to ask for a scotch tape. A 4th grade now, Aditya along with few other elementary kids formed a First Lego League (FLL) team. FLL is a world wide robotics program to promote science and technology among children 9-16 yrs of age. As a FLL challenge - Food Factor (to keep food safe), Aditya's team needed to create a robot using LEGO MINDSTORMS to perform certain missions, research a solution for a problem as part of the project, create presentation and play based on the research and much more. Being a rookie team, the kids and parents were mainly looking to learn about the program and have fun.

Everyone was really excited when the team participated in the district level competition and qualified for the Silicon Valley Championship. The kids worked hard and improvised on the robot missions, play and team activities. At the Championship, they competed with 45 other teams with majority teams having middle school kids; and won Judges Choice Award for Perseverance, a big achievement for a rookie team making their coach and parents proud. Aditya is already looking forward to the next FLL challenge.

Second I would like to tell you about daughter of one of my childhood friend. A middle school student, Sabina Anand is a very talented young girl. She loves art, music, dance and at the same time reading and writing. I remember her sharing her wonderful drawing and sketches when I visited her couple of months back. Last year she got interested in writing a science fiction and recently got her first book published.

Sabina's book Forbidden Earth is a thrilling ride which takes the reader many many years in future where human race has been driven away from Earth by biological computers. Its a journey of Macey (a chirpy teenager like Sabina) to the forbidden part of the planet where biological computers haven't ventured yet. You can find the book on Amazon. Like Sabina, I also hope her book provides inspiration to a Hollywood movie one day. Can't wait to get my own copy of the book and enjoy reading it.

Third is Shubhankar Jain, a Junior at Cupertino High School. As a family friend, I have known Shubhankar since he was a toddler. Always very patient and calm Shubhi as the near and dear ones call him, is a brilliant young man. He is very athletic, runs cross country and enjoys being part of the track and field team of his school. Recently he founded a non-profit organization called WorldWeDream to strengthen the abilities of special needs people and better integrate them into the community.

The organization's philosophy is to foster inspiration and compassion in the society on everyday basis to focus on abilities rather than disabilities. The organization through their website invites people all over the world to share their stories and experiences of inspiration and compassion with people having special needs. They believe that sharing these experiences will help people with disabilities excel in what they can do best and help them be an integral part of the community. Early this week, WorldWeDream was featured in the local news paper San Jose Mercury News. If you or anyone you know has a story to tell, WorldWeDream looks forward to hear from you.

Its my pleasure to know these talented kids and I wish them all the best for a bright future.

Note: Photographs courtesy, and

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Hop hop hop...its 5th Bead Soup Blog hop

Welcome to the 5th Bead Soup Blog hop...

For this blog hop, I got a rich bead soup from Lisa Chapman, my partner. The soup included a good mix of faceted Amethyst, Tibetan, dyed Magnetite and glass beads. The focal was a very beautiful purple and orange lamp bead with bronze clasp and charms.

I was very fascinated by the focal bead which had purple base with orange and black flower with yellow and black spots making it very pretty. When I started thinking of the designs, I knew I wanted to use the color combination such that I bring up the different colors from the focal but not overpower them. So I decided to make a two strand necklace with a little twist.

Using orange Magnetite on one strand with black Onyx and Carnelian on the second along with tear drop black glass beads and Amethyst enhanced the orange in the focal and black round Onyx for the single strand helped balance it. For the earrings, I dangled the bronze charms with orange Magnetite and Amethyst.

I loved the almond shaped ear wires that Lisa had sent to me. Tibetan beads with bead caps made a wonderful pair of earrings with those ear wires. I also made a simple pair of earrings with black tear drops.

Now its time for me to start hopping and I will do it with Lisa's blog!

Hostess, Lori Anderson

Special Book Sneak Peeks, Cindy Wimmer

1. Adlinah Kamsir (Singapore) and Hajer Waheed (Kingdom of Bahrain)
2. Adrienn Lukacs (Hungary) and Agata Grygiel (Poland)
3. Agi Kiss (Hungary) and Carolien Muller-Genger (the Netherlands)
4. Agnes Asztalos (Hungary) and B.R. Kuhlman
5. Alesha Conklin and Becki Mendivil
6. Alice Peterson and Carol Dillman
7. Alicia Marinache (Canada) and Dita Basu
8. Amanda Dittloff and Brandy Thomason McNair
9. Amanda Tibbetts and Andrea Trank
10. Amy Freeland and Kay Mallery

11. Andra Weber and Christine Murrow
12. Ann Sherwood and Diane Welte
13. Barbara Bechtel and Kerry Bogert
14. Barbara Lewis and Cat Pruitt
15. Bonnie Coursolle (Canada) and Fay Wolfenden (Canada)
16. Carmel McGinley (Australia) and Tracy Stillman (Australia)
17. Cassie Donlen and Deryn Mentock
18. Cathie Carroll and Janel Dudley
19. Cece Cormier and Morwyn Mullins
20. Charlene Jacka and Christina Hickman

21. Cheryl Brown (Canada) and Diana Ptaszynski
22. Christina Stofmeel (the Netherlands) and Eva Kovacs (Hungary)
23. Christine Damm and Deb Brooks
24. Cilla Watkins (Canada) and Elaine Robitaille (Canada)
25. Sabrina Straub (Switzerland) and Kathy Combs
26. Cindy Cima Edwards and Eleanor Burian-Mohr
27. Cory Celaya and Rhea Freitieg
28. Courtney Breul and Dana Hickey
29. Cynthia Abner and Jennifer Boreck
30. Cynthia Tucker and Jean Peter

31. Debbie Goering and Heidi Post
32. Dee Elgie (UK) and Joanne Lockwood (UK)
33. Dian Hierschel (Germany) and Eniko Fabian (Austria)
34. Diane Cook and Lyn Foley
35. Donna Bohler and Lisa Lodge
36. Donna Millard and Kiersten Giles
37. Doris Stumpf (Germany) and Eszter Czibulyas (Hungary)
38. Elisabeth Auld and Eva Sherman
39. Elke Leonhardt-Rath (Germany) and Marjolein Trewavas (UK)
40. Ema Kilroy and Laurie Keefe-Cecere

41. Erika Nooteboom (the Netherlands) and Giorgia Rossini (Italy)
42. Erin Grant and Jean Wells
43. Evelyn Duberry (Canada) and Gaea Cannaday
44. Genea Crivello-Knable and Heather Powers
45. Ginger Bishop (military, Okinawa) and Martina Nagele (Germany)
46. Heidi Kingman and Lori Greenberg
47. Helen Kemp and Lisa Wangeman
48. Helene Goldberg (Australia) and Karen Vincent
49. Jamie Hogsett and Jeannie Dukic
50. Jeanette Ryan and Jelveh Jaferian

51. Jennifer Cameron and Tania Spivey
52. Jennifer Justman and Kari Carrigan
53. Jennifer Tough and Lorelei Eurto
54. Joanna Matuszczyk (Poland) and Julianna Kis (Hungary)
55. Joanne Tinley (UK) and Michaela Pabeschitz (Austria)
56. Julie Anne Leggett and Kelley Fogle
57. Karen Hess and Linda Landig
58. Karyn Bonfiglio and Kathleen Lange Klik
59. Kashmira Patel and Kat White
60. Kat Barron Miller and Kelly Morgan

61. Kathy Lindemer and Rose Binoya
62. Krafty Max and Sandra Miller
63. Kristen Latimer and Pam Ferrari
64. Kristie Roeder and Lea Avroch
65. Kristina Johansson (Sweden) and Penny Neville (Canada)
66. Krisztina Erlaki-Toth (Hungary) and Nicole Keller (Germany)
67. Lara Lutrick and Lisa Suver
68. Laura DeMoya and Lisa Hanna
69. Libby Leuchtman and Melanie Brooks
70. Linda Koch and Rosemarie Cowit

71. Lisa Chapman and Menka Gupta
72. Lisa Liddy and Marion Simmons
73. Lori Anderson and Marcie Abney
74. Lori Bowring-Michaud and Mary Govaars
75. Lori Dorrington and Maria Rosa Sharrow
76. Lori Finney (Canada) and Marie-Noel Voyer-Cramp (Canada)
77. Lynn Bennett and Mandi Ainsworth
78. Marta Kaczerowska (Poland) and Milla Starchik (Canada)
79. Mary Harding and Shannon LeVart
80. Mary Jane Dodd and Stacey Curry

81. Melinda Orr and Molly Alexander
82. Melissa Meman and Michelle Escano-Caballaro
83. Michelle Jensen and Sandra Young (Canada)
84. Nan Emmett and Nicole Valentine-Rimmer (Canada)
85. Nancy Boylan and Suzette Bentley
86. Natasha Lutes and Patti Vanderbloemen
87. Pam Hurst and Rebekah Payne
88. Patty Miller and Sara Rhoades
89. Rebecca Anderson (UK) and Lori Anderson
90. Rebecca Sirevaag and Sharon Driscoll

91. Rochelle Brisson and Shannon Chomanczuk
92. Rosa Maria Cuevas (Mexico) and Tejae Floyde
93. Sabine Dittrich (Germany) and Sally Russick
94. Sandi Volpe and Sarah/Saturday Sequins
95. Shanti Johnson and Tracy Mok (Canada)
96. Skylar Brez and Theresa Buchle
97. Sonya Stille and Traci Zeller (Canada)
98. Stefanie Teufel (Germany) and Tania Hagen (New Zealand)
99. Stephanie LaRosa and Vonna Maslanka
100. Terri Wlaschin and Wendy Blum

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