Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Old Transit Maps

If you like old maps...old transit maps...old New York City transit maps.....take a look at this site. It has all kinds of old maps of the transit system.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Countdown to Paris...

64 days to go. The apartment is booked. I can't wait to see this place. It has beams going through the living room and a ton of windows. It's up on the 5th floor so it overlooks the rooftops. At night you can see Notre Dame off in the distance.

We booked the flights tonight. Lou travels so much that he had enough frequent flyer miles for both of us to get free tickets. Woo-Hoo!!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


I played hooky from work this afternoon and went to the Rings and Things show. It was only in town for one day and ran from 12-4 so I had no choice but to take the afternoon off. I was looking for some small rondelles to use with the bronze. I picked up a few strands....garnet, labradorite, sodalite, and carnelian.

But my most favortie buy was a strand of jade Happy Buddha beads. There are about 20 of them in the strand and each one is a little bit different. There were only 2 strands and now I'm thinking I should have bought the other strand too....Oh Well.

There is another gem show in town this weekend at the county fairgrounds and since Lou is golfing Saturday morning I think I'll be heading to the show. This will be a bigger show with different vendors. I'm still looking for some amethyst and anything else that catches my the Happy Buddha's.

Monday, September 21, 2009


That's the sound of a tree falling. And this is the second time it's happened this summer. Not the whole tree...but a very very very large branch. Extend your arms out in front of you in a circle.....that's about the size of it.

At 2AM this morning I awoke to that sound. Luckily the last sound was a whoosh...which means the tree didn't hit anything. The whoosh is the sound that the leaves make as they sort of whiplash on the ground after it hits. If the tree had hit something it would have been Crack....Thud....metal crunching, glass breaking, cats screaming.

It spanned across the entire front yard and down into the driveway in between our two cars. It missed the cars, missed the lampost, missed the fence, missed the house. It did take out a little 3' tall Japanese Maple. But we were extremely lucky there was no significant damage.

The tree dudes came out right away, cut it up, and chipped it. They also went up into the tree and took out some other questionable branches. We left work early to clean things up but they did a great job of taking everything. We hosed down the driveway and front porch to get rid of the saw dust but other than that...the dudes did it all.

I don't have any pictures because they were gone before we got home. As we cleaned up we did find a few mushrooms.....very, very, very large mushrooms. Those I made Lou hold up so I could take pics.

Can you believe the size of this? It's bigger than a wedding bouquet...with this mushroom I thee wed.

This one is smaller but it looks like it could talk....."Feed me Morris"

Maybe tonight I'll get some sleep. After the tree fell I didn't sleep at all.

Monday, September 14, 2009

From my bead stringing days.....

Back in 2005 I got the cover of Bead Style magazine. It was particularly significant because this was the necklace I made the night my Dad passed away. I couldn't sleep and my mind was numb so I put my hands to work and this is what I created.

Kalmbach has released a new book...Big & Bold. The necklace in one of the projects in the 58.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

New Pendants

Cleopatra has nothing on this chick. I would show the original picture that it came from but...I accidentally saved the tear-away image over the original picture.

This came from a stained glass window in the Cluny Museum...

This came from a picture of the Conciergerie. One of my favorite buildings. I like the turrets. This looks better in person. I was having a hard time photographing it.

The Eiffel tower glimpsed between trees.

I haven't decided if this will be part of a mixed media piece or a bracelet or...

I overlaid a picture of the Eiffel Tower over the French version of La Vie en Rose.

I struck a nerve.....

with the post on Monday. Sounds like I'm not the only person that gets suckered into repairing jewelry. But I will not do it again and I will not apologize for it.

So everyone ...say it with me....NO, I DO NOT REPAIR JEWELRY. NO, NO, NO, NO NO.

There now don't you feel better. I do.

Monday, September 7, 2009

I will never ever agree to do this again....

that is what I said to myself with each amethyst chip I strung tonight. Get ready because I'm going to rant even though I did this to myself.

I've had a number of people at work approach me to fix their jewlery. And a few years ago I used to do this and even design things with strands of beads they would bring me. But I haven't strung anything in a long time since my interests have moved on to metals. But they still continue to ask. And now that I think of it, the ones that have come to me have never purchased a piece of my jewelry....but they still ask if I can fix theirs. Most of it is cheap and they would be better off if they just threw it out. But for some reason they want it repaired. A while back I decided that I wasn't going to do this ever again. NO, NO, NO.

But I had a weak moment when a co-worker asked about a bracelet. I said OK but it had to be after my shows were finished this summer. On the day after my last summer show she followed me to my office to give me the amethyst bracelet strung on elastic that her daughter had broken. Much to my surprise she pulled out a bag of amythyst chips and proceded to tell me about the necklace she wanted me to string for her and the single strand bracelet now became 4 strands with silver pieces in it. I don't know why I didn't say NOOOOOOO at that point but I took everything home and it's been sitting here for 2 months.

I couldn't give it back to her at this point because it's been so long. So tonight I strung the necklace and with each chip I said..."I will never do this again". And it wasn't like they were spectacular chips and maybe I could have enjoyed the beauty of the gemstone. The chips are really low grade. So it was torture. I also strung the 4 strands for the bracelet but I don't have a clasp that will work from a design perspective. So I am taking everything back to her tomorrow. The necklace is finished and I am going to recommend someone else at work to finish the bracelet. I will not take on the task of looking for the right clasp.

At one point tonight Lou asked me if I was OK. He said I looked angry. I started laughing. I was angry. But I did it to myself.


Sunday, September 6, 2009


Pretty colors. I'm off to prep another load for the kiln. I could have made one big load but like a little kid...I couldn't wait. I wanted to get some of it fired. It's like opening a present when I pull the bronze out.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


If you like old book illustrations, you need to check out BibliOdyssey. I could spend days and days on this site. Pick an picture...any picture and use it for inspiration. There is also a list of recommended books in the BibliOdyssey Emporium that are worth taking a look at.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Thunderbirds are here....

This weekend is the Cleveland annual Labor Day event. The Thunderbirds arrived today. I could see them practicing from my office window. It was hard to concentrate because I could hear the planes coming before I could see them so natuarally I kept looking up from my desk.

Then later when I got home I heard whinning engines overhead. I stepped outside to see the C-130 Hercules descending so it could land at Burke Lakefront Airport. It's a cargo transport plane and is massive.

Last year we got to see Fat Albert...that's the Blue Angels C-130 transport plane. It can perform jet-assisted take-0ffs. Imagine this big ass plane lumbering down the runway for a take-off. It's so big you can't believe that it will even get off the ground....but it does. At some point very soon after take-off they kick in the jets and this massive plane rockets into the sky. It's impressive.

Of course there will be protesters outside the airshow. They protest these "weapons of war".... "weapons of mass destruction". Lou tells me I'm a bleeding heart...I don't ever want to see people go to war. I grew up watching the Vietnam War on TV. That definetely had an impact on a 10 year old girl. These are weapons that can inflict massive destruction but I also think the sheer force of their existence can keep war at bay. Sane people will think twice before starting a conflict because of the consequences. It's the insane ones that don't care and start wars anyway....kinda like our past President (that's means you GW-yah).

OH but this is much too serious for my blog. I am taking tomorrow off so I have a 4-day weekend.....and we have no plans....and if I'm lucky we won't have any last minute invitations. I might actually get 4 days in the studio. WOO HOO!!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Like a Stuck Record....

I'm stuck on making tear aways. I played around with pictures I took in Paris and I've been making tear aways for about a week. Sometimes I get stuck...I make something and then get lost in making different sizes and variations. Put down the pasta machine and walk away!!!!

I'm anxious to work with them. Here are two that I really want to see put to metal. The first was from a picture of a stained glass window in the Musee National du Moyen Age....Middle Ages museum. It's a little grainy but I'm hoping that adds to the piece.

The next is from a stone tablet in the Louvre. Same issue with it being grainy.

We'll have to see if they translate to metal. Sometimes something that looks good on paper doesn't easily make a good tear away or translate to metal well.

I'm going to do some work with these this weekend. I'm hoping to take Friday off as well as Monday. If that happens I should be able to get some concentrated time in the studio. Keep your fingers crossed that I don't have to be at work on Friday.