Sunday, May 31, 2009

Bead and Button....the fun begins

Long drive to Milwaukee...7 hours. Getting around Chicago is always painful. If someone could only come up with a way to get to Milwaukee without going around Chicago this trip would be so much easier.

I trashed by Blackberry. I messed up the prongs in the port where you plug in the charger. I don't think it is fixable. Anyone who has my phone won't be able to get me. I'm going to see if I can get a prepaid phone.

I met up with Cris, Paul, and Karen for drinks and dinner. It was great to catch up. I haven't seen Karen in a year. Here's a pic of Karen and Cris....the look so wistful...they must be dreaming about all the fun they are going to have this week.

Oh...wait....they're awake.....Let the Fun Begin!!!!!!!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Pretty Colors

I am still fascinated by the colors of the bronze when it comes out of the kiln. All this stuff came from the same load. I had 3 layers. The yellow orange were on the bottom. The reds were towards the middle and the darker pieces were towards the top. Go figure....

Two more loads to fire.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Count down to Bead and Button....Holy Crap!!

I can't believe I will be heading to Milwaukee on Saturday. How did this come up so fast. I have a ton of things to do between now and then......

Do the laundry...of course
Pack the tools...can I take my whole room?
Pack my clothes....just picking them out can take 2 days
Pack the laptop, blackberry, camera and all the cords/ I really need all this crap?
Get some I have any left??
Stock the house with cat food and litter.... so Lou can try to take care of Ben and Sophie
Shave my legs....get out the weed wacker
Dye my hair....hmmm...bright purple and pink might be nice
Lose 50 lbs...oh lord
Fire some bronze ...actually fire a couple loads of bronze

Yikes....I have to get going

Guild Meeting

At our guild meeting a couple of weeks ago we played with tear aways. Here are some pictures...

Here I am playing with the polymer clay while Cathy steals something off the desk :))

OHHH...I have no idea what I am doing here. Don't you just hate pictures of yourself. I do.

The end product....a good tear away. I'm so happy!!!

Heidi hard at work....

Jen and I posing for the camera.

What a great group of people to be associated with!!!

Monday, May 25, 2009

I'm on a roll...

with assembly. Have you ever do or find something you like and you work it until you're either sick of it or it evolves into something else. And then you start all over. I've been sticking together different size chains in my necklaces and throwing in a stone or two in the transition from one chain to the next. It's nothing new, I saw it alot last summer...but it's new for me and I'm having fun with it. Here are some pics


I've been referring to these as Sweetheart necklaces...cause they look so sweet :) This is something different that I have been doing with the bronze....little flowers and leaves. These are perfect for little girls....and big ones too.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

It's My Birthday

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

I am having a very happy day today. Lou asked me if I wanted to do something....NOPE. I don't want to do anything...I don't want to make lunch, I don't want to make dinner, I want someone to do it all for me today. So he's taking care of those things. I'm going to putter around.


Saturday, May 23, 2009

So glad the week is over grant went out today. 5 copies...300 pages each. The other one will go out tomorrow and will be of a similar size. It's been a tough couple of weeks getting those together....but I am done with them.

Just one more week before I leave for Bead and Button. It will go fast. Lou is out of town all next week...comes back on Friday night and I leave on Saturday we won't be seeing each other for 2 weeks.

I hope to get some down time this weekend. I have to get my driver's license renewed tomorrow and then get to the post office to submit some pictures for possible publication. My mom is coming up tomorrow for lunch. After that the rest of the weekend is mine....mine....mine I say :))

Copper clay is out there for sale today!!! People will be having fun with it. I really liked putting it to the torch to get those great patinas.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A quick pic...

I'm so behind on just about everything.

Work is killing me. We are putting together $20 million in grants that are due at the NIH on Tuesday. I have pushed and prodded the scientists as much as I can to finish their grants so we can send them out. My piece is done...250 pages of administrative information. By the time I get the science that will be another 200 pages. So now I'm just waiting. I would like to leave early tomorrow...but that is not likely to happen since most of these guys work right up to the very last minute writing and revising.

I have a bunch of pieces parts to put together into jewelry for my up-coming shows but I always seem to get distracted doing something else. I did get a few pairs of earrings put together.

I'll end up spending almost the entire 3-day weekend working on the jewelry. Plus I need to pack up my tools and get things ready for Bead and Button. I drive out a week from Saturday. It will be here and gone in a flash.

Does anyone have a way to slow time down??? I'm stressing a little...OK alot. It just seems like there is so much on my plate right now that I am not staying in the moment but thinking forward to mid-July when I will have finished my last summer show and can relax a little. I think I need to identify things to cut out so I'm not so stressed. I don't really need to sleep...that might help. I have already cut out doing most housework....heaven forbid somebody just drops by. There is clean laundry on the living room floor waiting to be folded and dirty laundry on the bedroom floor waiting to be put in the washing machine. Actually what I really should cut out is blogging....but I hate to do that.

Oh well...gotta fold the towels laying on the floor. Bye for now.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

"Scribbler" pieces

A while back I posted some pictures that I created on Scribbler. I finally have some finshed pieces that were made with those images. These were all done with tear aways. Take a look.

This is a lentil. An abstract scribble one one side and one of my funky faces on the other.

Another funky face. This one I drew while looking at Sophie's face. The first one is a raised image and the next one is embedded. It was just a matter of using one image as is and inverting the colors for the other.

I call this one the Rasta Heart because it looks like it has dreadlocks.

I threw a few other things in the kiln. When I was at the Louvre last October I bought a souvenir cuniform tablet. Like the one below but in terra cotta. I made a mold of it and used it with the bronze.

Why are my tear aways brown....

Could be because my toaster oven runs hot.....about 25 degrees hot. Since I'm doing a tear away demo for the Guild tomorrow I thought I should check it out. I bought an oven thermometer and tested out the little oven. When it was suppose to 265 degrees it was actually around 290 degrees. No wonder some of the tear aways were smoking and turning brown.

Problem Solved.

But...that's a show for artists

Lou ran into someone we hadn't seen in a long time....from when we worked at a different hospital. In their discussion, she asked if I was still making jewelry. He mentioned that I will be exhibiting at Cain Park. Her reaction...."But...that's a show for artists". If you knew Lou and his mannerisms....his shoulders raised up and he shook his head up and down really fast and said..."Yeah".... his version of "DUH". I wasn't insulted by her reaction since she only thinks of one facet of me.....a laboratory professional.

How many of us deal or at least have thought about the issue of what to call ourselves. Are we artists, artisans, craftsmen/women, hobbyists, designers? Do we consider our creations art? Most people, when they think of an "artist", think of someone who paints or sculpts.

And does it really matter how other people catagorize what we do or what we are? I think it's human nature to want other people view us as we view ourselves and to feel accepted in that role. I have to admit that when I get accept to certain shows I do feel validated but for the most part I think we would all be alot healthier (mentally) if we didn't have that need.

About once a week I take a look at Christine Kane's blog. She is a singer and motivational coach. She had a posting on Social Media a while Facebook....and how we turn our sense of self-worth over to these forums. We let ourselves be affected by who wants to be our friends, what groups include us...or worse....what people or groups exclude us. I have to admit that at the beginning of the year I fell victim to this and had my feelings badly hurt (I'm over it now :)). And then I read Cristine's blog. In it she says...

"Decide for yourself right now that you are doing great. Decide that no one is above you or below you. Decide that numbers are not worth. And decide that no matter how many followers, friends, subscribers, links, tweetbeeps, notifications, stumbles, feeds, comments, RT’s, or diggs you have – you are simply FABULOUS."

Easier said than done...but something to remember everyday.

So here's to all my friends...You are FABULOUS.....

and so am I :))

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


funny pictures
moar funny pictures

See that face....that's me at work. We are working on two very large grants and everyone is tense. But this face was me...after putting together 6 budgets over 5 years and filling out all the forms....I was told that we need to change the budget. That was the look on my face. It has taken almost 2 days to get all the forms filled out....checked and cross checked for accuracy.

Where are those lottery tickets???....gotta win the big one so I can open that jewelry school in Paris. I'll be sure to let ya'll know when that happens.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Fluffy Cows and more.....

Close to my Mom's house is a farm that has a couple of Highland cattle on it...or what I refer to as Fluffy Cows. They are so cute....I just want to jump the fence and play with them. But them I would probably end up on the that woman who jumped into the polar bear enclosure in Berlin. Did you see pictures of that? At one point she is swimming towards the polar bears with a smile on her face.....which quickly turned into terror when the 4 bears tried to have a little Fraulein snack.

Here are a few pieces I finished this week.

This is a medallion I made to go with the beads that Ellen Dooley sent me. Her beads and the color of the medallion go together very well. It looks even better in person.

This is a piece I have been thinking about for a long time. Not because the shape is anything unique...but the design is from a ancient Parisii coin. The coin dates make to 2nd century BC when a Celt tribe lived on Ile de la Cite in the middle of the Seine. Here is a picture of the ancient coin.

Here is my pendant....

This piece came out of the kiln with amazing colors. When you fire a load in the kiln, the colors you obtain and their placement is purely chance.....on this piece it was serendipitious.

Last but not least....Sophie wanted to get in on the act. Not happy that I wasn't paying attention to her.....she climbed in my light tent.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Focus on what you can control

I was in such a foul mood today when I left work....and it's only this job that can put me in that type of mood. It's a really stressful time right now because we have a major deadline coming up with an overwhelming amount of work that has to be accomplished. I'm starting to wonder if we will be able to accomplish what needs to be done.

And it never fails that in the middle of all this certain people insist that stop what I am doing to handle some low priority a grad student who wants me to bring his friend over from Turkey to volunteer in the lab for the summer. REALLY. I'm suppose to stop processing over $3 million in grants so I can provide you with a summer playmate. He didn't like my answer so he went around me to his boss. I got an e-mail from our education office telling me to prepare the paperwork. I sent them an e-mail telling them if they want this to happen maybe they should prepare the paperwork. That one is going to get me in trouble.

And there are other things. But I'll spare you. So I left in a foul, foul mood. I stopped at the grocery store and headed straight to the ATM. As I approached it was flashing...."Focus on what you can control". I'm sure it was an ad for something but it seemed like a message just for me. FOCUS ON WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL. As I got money from the ATM I started laughing and my mood changed for the better.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Mini Moo's

Check these out........

These are mini cards from MOO. I have been wanting to try these. Something just a little different than your normal business card. They are a little over 1" wide by 2.75" long and have my name, blog url, and etsy url on the back. I think they're fun.

The company is based on London, England but just this week opened up a US site in Providence. These cards were printed in England...and arrived very quickly....but will be even quicker now with the US site. You can upload your own image...up to 100 for the mini cards.

I like the look and feel of these, so I think I'm going to order regular business cards from them. You can also get postcards, greeting cards, and sticker books (on the European website).

Monday, May 4, 2009

After a quick polish....

Here is the pendant polished up a bit so the horse design is visible. It comes from an ancient Celtic coin.

Teal is the color of the day

I'm still working on my first batch of carbon from Rio and it's still giving me great colors. Although alot of it comes off when I polish up the pieces. I also tried a few cutesy pieces with the flower pendents for a change of pace.

I have to finish the laundry tonight. I only got one load done this weekend. I just didn't feel like doing housework...or much of anything for that fact.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Cycladic Inspiration

OK. Here it is. Like I really looks nothing like the original...but this is what it inspired...not a rudimentary human figure at all...but more like a spade or some type of tool. But I'm pleased with it.

Some of the other pieces that I have been working on this past week. I've made some medallions to go with the beads Ellen sent me. I used the tear-aways that I made a couple months ago. I'm getting ready to make more using some of the Scribbler designs.

I made a pendant and used strips of clay to section it off. I like the look it gives.

Another piece from the molds I made a few weeks ago. This is the last in the set of drawer pulls I picked up in Tucson.

A square box. It has a font on one side and a replica of an ancient coin on the other.

A few miscellaneous pieces for earrings.

I need to move into assembly mode so I can see what I have and what I still need to make for the shows coming up.

A full work weekend ahead

I'm off to the post office to send a necklace to Canada, then home to do laundry and while that is going I'm into the workshop. I have a few ideas to play with. I worked during the week and I have a couple pieces that came out really nice. I will post them later. Once piece that I am particularly pleased with was based on this for inspiration.....

It's from the Museum of Cylcadic Art The piece is from the Early Bronze II period 2700-2300 BC. Below is a description

Schematic figurine from western Anatolia, representing the human figure in a highly abstract way. It belongs to the so-called "Kusura" type and is strongly reminiscent of Cycladic schematic figurines (especially the spade- and violin-shaped ones) not only because of its material but also because of the flat profile and the overall shape. During the Early Bronze Age, marble was used extensively for the manufacture of figurines of flat profile not only in the Aegean but all over the eastern Mediterranean.

My piece looks nothing like this......but that's the cool part about using something as inspiration. You start out with this shape in mind and end up someplace totally different.

Gotta run...I've have pics later.

Au Revior Bye-Bye