Thursday, February 28, 2008

I wasn't going to blog today but.....

When I got home I had two presents!! The first...hubby waiting for me on the couch and Susan Lenart Kazmer's new book, Making Connections . OHHHH ... what to do .... what to do. Hubby ... book Hubby won. We went out to dinner and finally had a chance to talk, catch up, make fun of each other. We went to the bookstore then came home and curled up in front of the TV for a while. He was exhausted from traveling for the past 2 weeks. And I was the supportive wife..... "Honey, you are so should go to bed early (the book...the book) really... take a hot bath and go to bed (the book...the book). He conked out at 9PM and I dove into THE BOOK.

I haven't read any of it but I whipped through it from front to back. OMG... such eye candy. I can't wait until I get the chance to go back and soak up every page. I have a class with her this summer at B&B...a ring class. She is the type of teacher whose art gives you a whack upside the head and makes you think outside the box, outside the lines, outside your own reality. Her work makes you look at what most people would clean out of their junk drawer and see these pieces parts as beads, findings, and centerpieces for jewelry .... and it works ..... these pieces parts work as funky edgy jewelry. I have a hinged frame bracelet that I made in one of her classes....everytime I wear it people love it. Alright .... enough gushing. I have to get back to THE BOOK.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Beads...did you say you had beads???

I picked up these beads from Jacqueline in Switzerland. Unfortunately I didn't get the chance to go there....she sells on eBay under the name "creartelier" if you want to look at some of her other beads. I know I said I wasn't going to be buy anymore beads or silver....but you can't go cold have to wean yourself off these types of obsessions :)

Hubby comes home tomorrow after about 2 weeks of traveling. We saw each other briefly last Friday as he stopped home in between trips and I came home for the evening from my show. He calls every night when he's away. The other day we talked for 20 minutes....laughing and was like we were dating again.

Needless to say I won't be blogging tomorrow night :))

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Winter Wonderland

If any of you saw the Democratic debate tonight. It took place at my alma mater...Cleveland State University. They made reference to the snow storm that was brewing in Cleveland. This was what my backyard looked like when I came home from work. I had 6" of snow and I don't live in the snowbelt. limiting

In the recent issue of Metalsmith there is an article by Kiff Slemmons on imperfection. In it, the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi is discussed. Wabi-sabi is described as the beauty of things imperfect, impermanent and incomplete, the beauty of things modest and humble, the beauty of things unconventional. The article goes on to say that "Imperfection can offer openness, a way in, whereas perfection can sometimes be closed and frozen in place. Imperfection can contain energy - can make for flow. Perhaps imperfection is most obvious and easily understood in outsider or folk art, in which the expressive qualities are spontaneous and immediate".

This struck a chord with me because I struggle with perfection in my art. If you've ever worked in PMC you know that the clay can have a mind of its least my clay does. It's not that perfection can't be achieved. I've had instructors that seem to do everything with an amazing level of precision and perfection....Celie Fago comes to mind. But I've come to accept that fact that perfection isn't me ..... imperfection is. And it's liberating. I don't have to be the perfect homemaker (thank God), the perfect employee, say the right things (outta my big mouth...yeah right), the perfect artist. Bumpy, irregular, off-center, cracked and split (this describes both my art and personality) are so much more interesting than perfect.

Speaking of perfection. Every woman wants her face to look perfect. I used a new product over the weekend. I primer of sorts that you put on your face before make-up....suppose to smooth out the lines and let your make-up just glide on. Well...I woke up Sunday with a rash/hives all over my face. So much for the perfect face. It's settling down now but it's probably going to take a week to clear up. Hubby is down in Florida for a conference and I was telling him all about this. You know what he said??? "Throw that stuff have always had a nice face". So once again...I don't have to be perfect....cause my hubby likes my face just the way it is. Love that man!!!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Hello...this is Dave...

Every night I get this phone call. It's a recording..."Hello, this is Dave. To speak with a representative press 1. Otherwise you can call me.... at some 1-800 number. I didn't pick up the first few times...just figured it was a solicitor that would go away. I finally picked up after 4 nights and pressed 1 so I could tell these people to stop calling me. But pressing 1 doesn't do anything. I don't want to call the 800 number but this is getting annoying.....every night.

The show went really well. I didn't know what to expect as it was my first time. I got a corner booth at the entrance. Talk about traffic!!! It snowed the first day so I thought attendance would be down. I saw more traffic than any holiday show I've ever done. It was great. There was only one down side to it. I had a bracelet and necklace ripped off. I got really busy on Friday with a group of women. When I finished with them I noticed one of the bracelets was not where I had placed it. I thought maybe someone picked it up and put down someplace else. So I went over the whole booth and realized that a matching necklace was gone. It's such an personal offense to have someone steal from you. If you want to rip someone off....go to Wal-Mart.

A note to Patricia...Thanks for reading. I use Teamac. They charge $7.50/month...better than $30.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Show Tomorrow

Took today off so I could set up for this weekends show in Akron. I've never done this show before. The vendors look good. About 6 jewelers, a bunch of children's clothes, some felted purses, a glass maker, painters, potters and more. I have a corner booth right at the door...great location!! Across from me is another jeweler. I usually hate that but she seems really nice. Her name is Tracy and she knows Kim who is another jewelry person.....small world. Across the other aisle is Michelle who works for the same hospital I work for and is the promoter of Gifts from the Heart Boutique that I will be exhibiting at this year. Two booths down is Donna who I have exhibited next to a Mrs. Claus' Closet for the last three years. If the show get boring I'll have plenty of people to talk to.

Because I have a corner booth I have to set up a little differently. I need some pipe and drapinig to block the view of the booth that I am next to. Since I don't have any of that I went to World Market this afternoon and bought a dark wicker three panel room screen and a three shelf bookcase that folds up. The bookcase I will use inside the booth to put my packaging materials, cash box and credit card machine on. The screen which will become a side wall of my booth is pretty large. It fits in the car just fine because my back seats fold down and the front passenger seat folds down. My worry is when I pack up on Saturday night...I'm not sure I will be able to fit everything in the car. I'm going to have to be really creative. Of course I also stopped in a Pier that store. They had wire dress forms...about 12 " high. So I bought two for my table display. They were an ugly yellow wire and meant to be rustic with some rust on the wires. I bought a can of black Rustoleum spray paint and painted them. They look so cool now. I always find things at Pier 1 for my dispaly.

I used Lou's Tom-Tom to get to Akron today...I call it his Dum-Dum. I'm really good at finding places. I am known as Sacajawea in our house. When I was about 9 years old I was in the car with my Mom and sister. It was dark out and Nancy was driving. She missed an exit on the freeway and I started crying. I remember thinking that I would never see my Dad again. Of course, my sister thought I was being a pain in the ass...something she thought I was quite often. My mom assured me it would be OK...but since that day I always study a map before I drive anywhere I haven't been. I don't like to get lost. Of course now that I am older...I just keep driving until I figure it out. The cool thing about the Dum-Dum is that if you take a wrong turn it gives you directions to get you back on track.

Got a catalog last night....Micro-Mark. You know you're a geek of one sort or another when you spend two hours pouring over a catalog that specializes in small tools. It is primarily focused on model builders and train enthusiasts. But there were a number of things that would be great for working with PMC and other metals. They had a small double sided strainer that would be really good for when you need to patina small items. It is a tea strainer ball with handles. It was one of those hit yourself in the head moments when you see something that gets used everyday and you realize you can use it in your art. They also had some great corner punches to make windows in sheet metal. They send out free catalogs girls so give them a look.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

A Clean Workspace....Never Happen

I've never found a way to keep my workspace clean. When I'm eyeballs deep designing, I create such a mess. Beads and tools everywhere ... on the desk, my chair, the floor. Maybe that's a good thing. I've always wondered how others work. Can good designs be created in a sterile environment or does it depend on the person?? I also create a mess when I cook...which isn't very often...but I've been that way since I can remember .... I create a mess. I'm very diligent about cleaning up afterwards ... but when I in the middle of something .... total slob. I've always wanted to be one of those people who have everything in its place....but I guess that just isn't my nature. Maybe I should stop fighting it.

Here's a container full of Swarovski crystal earring waiting to be completed for the show next weekend. They're not what I want to spend my time doing .... but these are so easy to make and they sell!!! The shows are starting to line up for 2008. I have 4 so far and about 8 more applications to submit. The year is just beginning and I can see the end already as the calendar starts to fill up.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Hearts and Bones

A perfect day to launch a website and blog called Hearts and Bones. A collaboration between two young, talented mademoiselles....Michele Goldstein and Stephanie Sersich..... who make amazing lampworked beads and jewerly. I am envious that they found their passion so early in their life. I wish them years of success!!! Below is one of their pieces.

Monday, February 11, 2008

3's 3 degrees out. The furnace is running constantly and my windows upstairs are frozen to replace them next year. Driving home from work today...I couldn't get my hands warm. I was actually sticking my fingers in the heater vents to warm them up. I'm glad I have seat heaters in my least my butt stayed warm. We are suppose to get 8-10 inches of snow tonight. That is more snow than we have had all year long.

Still working on things for my show in two weeks. When I get some time I'll try to post some pics.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

John Glenn, anvils, and a great bead book!!

The hospital where I work brings in different speakers during the year. This week was John Glenn. What an amazing man!! He is sharp, articulate, sincere, and funny. I could have 10 lives and not have his experiences. He was a fighter pilot in the Korean War, WWII, an astronaut, and a Senator. He talked about his experiences in the space...both the first and second times. It was amazing the things they faced going up the first time. They had no idea if the shape of his eyes would change or if he would loose his equilibrium due to the effects of zero gravity. He had to read an eye chart every 20 minutes to verify that he could still see correctly. The concern was that he wouldn't be able to bring the capsule back successfully if either of these happened. He was concerned with an emergency re-entry. His flight path went over Austrailia's outback and New Guinea. Many of the areas had aboriginal tribes that didn't speak he kept a piece of paper that basically said..."Hello...I am friendly...take me to your leader" in a bunch of tribal dialects. He said he wanted to take a space walk on his second time up...when he was 77....but NASA was afraid he would wander off :)) He pounded home improving education and continuing basic research in the US as a way to maintain being a world leader and to keep people employeed.

I'm gearing up for a show in a couple of weeks. Pumping out the earrings, bracelets, and necklaces....which is good because I'm using up my stock of beads and silver. Once the show is over I want to work with sheet metals. I went to Home Depot today to get an anvil. I couldn't find them so I asked 2 guys working there. No....they don't sell them. So....being guys... I asked if they knew where I could get one....they said to try a hardware store. Is it me??? I thought I was in a hardware store. Nuts, bolts, nails, power tools....doesn't that say hardware store to you??? So I'm now in search of a "hardware store" that sells anvils. Got any suggestions?

I got Stephanie Sersich's book today..."Designing Jewelry with Glass Beads". The book and her beads are awesome. I always buy beads from her at the B&B Show. Her hearts, starfish, flowers.....awesome. I took her Spiny Knotted Bracelet class a couple years ago. It's fun to make...not as hard as it looks....but it will take me some practice to make one them as gorgeous as Steph's. She has been collaborating with Michele Goldstein on some pieces...they are really amazing. So different than anything I've seen.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Every Vote Matters....a Poem by Tara Bradford

Tara from Paris Parfait graciously let me post her poem. She says it quite's time for change and time to repair.....

Yes, we can
exercise our rights
and raise our voices,
like magic at the ballot box
as we vote for change
and begin to repair this world.

Together, we can
rediscover justice and equality;
opportunity and prosperity;
the promise America represented
when she stood strong and proud:
a shining beacon of light.

Yes, we can
begin to heal this nation.
No matter what obstacles stand in our way,
nothing can stem the power of millions of voices calling for change.
We are one people; one nation
and together we will write the next chapter of the American story.

Yes, we can.
Together, we can bind old wounds,
tear down walls and find common ground
and unite, merging our hopes and dreams
for a better, more tolerant country
with liberty and justice for all.

Yes, we can! Si, se puede!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Yes, We Can

It was a creed written into the founding documents that declared the destiny of a nation. Yes, we can.

It was whispered by slaves and abolitionists as they blazed a trail toward freedom. Yes, we can.

It was sung by immigrants as they struck out from distant shores and pioneers who pushed westward against an unforgiving wilderness. Yes, we can.

It was the call of workers who organized; women who reached for the ballots; a President who chose the moon as our new frontier; and a King who took us to the mountaintop and pointed the way to the Promised Land.

Yes, we can to justice and equality.

Yes, we can to opportunity and prosperity.

Yes, we can heal this nation.

Yes, we can repair this world.

Yes, we can.

We know the battle ahead will be long, but always remember that no matter what obstacles stand in our way, nothing can stand in the way of the power of millions of voices calling for change.

We have been told we cannot do this by a chorus of cynics…they will only grow louder and more dissonant ……….. We’ve been asked to pause for a reality check. We’ve been warned against offering the people of this nation false hope. But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope.

Now the hopes of the little girl who goes to a crumbling school in Dillon are the same as the dreams of the boy who learns on the streets of LA; we will remember that there is something happening in America; that we are not as divided as our politics suggests; that we are one people; we are one nation; and together, we will begin the next great chapter in the American story with three words that will ring from coast to coast; from sea to shining sea –

Yes, We Can!

---excerpts from a Barack Obama speech after the New Hampshire primary

It's been a long time since I've felt anything but disgust for our government. I was moved by this speech and it gave me hope that we might be able to get this country back on track ..... not necessarily by the acts of one man....but by one man capturing the hearts of a nation and inspiring its people to greatness.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Are you collecting boxes??

Lou came home from golfing in Florida today. He walked out into the garage and asked ..."Are you collecting boxes?" I had 4 boxes out there from all the stuff that got delivered this week. I swore off buying beads and silver, but that hasn't stopped me from buying tools. I bought a rolling art cart to haul my tools around when I go to workshops. It will come in handy going to B&B. I also bought a light box so it is easier to do tracings of ancient coin pictures. That's the first step to making lentil beads with these designs. The light box reminds me of something that kids would play with ..... if they play with these types of things today . It seems like they are more tuned into video games and anything that is electronic and high-tech. When my step-kids were little they colored...but that was 15 years ago and none of them have showed any interest in pursuing an art now that they are in their 20's.

When I was a kid I used to draw and paint. Not on canvas but on poster board with poster paints.... the poor girl's way to paint. Unfortunately they didn't survive the years. I wish they had. It would be interesting to see if they were as good as I remember or maybe I'm not the Van Gogh I remember myself being. I was always browsing through what little art supplies our local stores had. When I had money I bought drawing books and paint brushes. I still love art stores. Dick Blick is one of my favorite many supplies. They have one down in Columbus which is a two-hour drive from here. One of these days I am going to make the trip down there. Art stores, bookstores, and the tool section at Home Depot .... I love 'em. Of course, growing up in the 60's I also made seed bead necklaces ...."love beads" ..... one of the fads of the 60's. That's when the bead thing all started.

I can't claim the 60's as my era. I was only 4 years old in 1960....but those years did create many of my early memories. For those baby-boomers out you remember the fads of the 60's.........troll dolls, superballs, ouija boards, granny glasses, go-go boots, lava lamps, the smiley face, tye-dyed anything, mood rings, platform shoes and bellbottoms?? OMG...I'm old.