Sunday, March 29, 2009

Back to Bronze


Sophie sat on my laptop and watched the V's scroll across the screen. I did get a chance to work in bronze today....barely. The cats wouldn't let me work at first but then they each chose a spot in my workroom and took a nap. I'll have pics later in the week.

Friday, March 27, 2009

What a week!!!

Princess Sophie

Ben Diesel

I've been absent from the web all week. I have to admit...I've been coming home and playing with the new cats. They are so cool. Princess Sophie is at the door to greet me when I come home...runs to the door when Lou comes home and just melts into any lap available. Ben Diesel has settled in and doesn't hide as much. He needs more private time than Sophie but usually comes bouncing down the stairs when I call him. He is also a lap cat. We he's really relaxed he rolls over and lets me rub his belly. They are getting along better too. I think they were really stressed when we first brought them home. As the week has passed, they've been bumping noses and chasing after each other. They've taken over the house and I'm in love.

Now that they've settled in I have to get back to playing with the clay. My work with copper was featured on Susan Lomuto's Daily Art Muse this week. Susan's site is one of my daily pleasures. She features some amazing artists and I am honored to have my work shown.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

More booty from Santa Fe

A few pieces I didn't get posted. These are beads that Cris brought me from her Tucson trip. Aren't they cool?

Really cool daggers from Susan Kazmer. Susan Dilger made these into a great pair of hanging earrings in her class.

The bronze below is mine but I want to show how cool Jennifer Ionta's bead is going to be combined with the bronze. She owns Spotted Moon Designs and will be exhibiting at Bead and Button.

And the best for last....a pendant from my BFF Cris Leonard. She's developing a new website. Check it out.

Oh What a Night!!

The new kitties couldn't figure out their sleeping arrangements. Sprite came up on the bed and Ben sacked out up in my workroom.....only to wake up about 2AM and not know where he was. He started crying so I had to get up and bring him into the bedroom. Then Sprite got all pissy because he was there.

Then they both left. About 30 minutes later there was a crash in the kitchen. I came downstairs and they both ran out of the kitchen and turned around to look at me like...."What?". Then they bumped a fist bump!!! and walked away.

Back to least I thought. I think Ben likes the night...he decided he was no longer shy and was up on everything. He ransacked Amsterdam!!!! I have a collection of 5 delftware houses that Lou brought back for me on his trips to Europe. One ended up on the floor, one was knocked over and another is leaning precariously to the side.

But it's amazing how fast they have settled down. Lou got up and worked in his office this morning. Spirte jumped up on his lap, crawled up his chest and laid her head on his shoulder this morning. I think Lou is smitten with her. He never had a pet growing up and my cat never paid him much attention. Sprite is all over him.

The adventure begins :))

Saturday, March 21, 2009

2 new additions to the family

We finally did it....adopted two cats. We went down to the APL today and decided on older cats. They had a pair of 7 month old kittens but I thought they would have a better chance of getting adopted over a couple of 7 year old cats. So we brought Sprite and Diesel home.

They were both from the same home. Apparently the family that had them for the past 7 years just had a baby and Sprite was acting up so they took them to the APL. They have been there for about a month. Even though they were in a connected cage I am getting the impression that they just tolerate the presence of each other.

This is Sprite. She is adventurous. Within the first hour she had been all through the house. And then proceeded to jump on every counter and desk. I forgot what it was like to have younger cats that can jump. She is really loveable.....which may subside. Right now neither one can get enough attention. Sprite has no problem jumping into our laps and taking over. Right now she is curled up in a ball next to me while I'm on the computer. I wonder what it must feel like for them to be in a place that is warm, cozy, and people pay attention. Lou thinks she's ugly but loveable. I think she looks cool.

This is Diesel who has become Ben Diesel....a take off Vin Diesel. Lou has always said his name wrong on purpose to make me laugh. So we now have Ben Diesel the cat. He is a bit skittish. He spent the first 30 minutes behind the refrigerator and the next 3 hours under the bed. I thought taking him up to the bedroom to see his "sister" might help him. That's when I realized that they don't necessarily like each other. They'll sit in the same room together but won't sit next to one another. Ben is upstairs in my workroom right now asleep under my chair.

It's great having these two in the house but I forgot what it was like to have cat hair all over everything and cat litter to clean up. It's a good with the bad type of thing.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Better Booty Pics

:)) Imagine the hits that title will get on a search engine :))

Fossilized Turtle Shell. This is so cool. I'll be making a mold of this.

Bali Coral. Another mold. The texture is really great.

These are dogon trade beads. They originated in Europe in the mid 1800's - early 1900's and were used for trade in Africa. Due to the popularity of these beads, traders are having to go deeper into Africa to find these.

These old brass rings were once used as currency by the Yoruba in Africa. They are braided onto a leather belt and were traded this way. These were individually made from the ancient lost wax method of casting. They are nicely detailed and a great patina.

Another set of African beads with an amazing patina. This strand has a couple of bells on it.

Various other pieces that I thought were inspiring.

I'll be back later.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Back to work...

I would say back into the swing of things...but I'm just not that into work this week. Cris tired me out in Santa Fe. What a great time that was. It was good to catch up with everyone and spend some concentrated time with Cris. Girl....I don't think I've spent that much time with Lou lately. There were some great moments on this trip.

First there was Seret and Sons...a spectacular place. Part salvage yard, part furnishings, part rugs. I could have spent hours...there was so much so see. And The Shed..a great New Mexican restaurant. Another one of my favorties is Los Mayas. My mouth is watering just thinking about these places. The food is excellent. I found a really cool pair of boots at Overland. They have them on-line. I just don't know if I want to spend the money. Probably not. I'm making progress in paying my bills off...well maybe not after this trip...but I suppose I don't need a pair of boots right now.

The bead show was interesting. It was a split venue...tables at the Hilton and booths at the Convention Center. A little strange. It would be much better to have all vendors in one spot but I don't think they have anything that large in Santa Fe. Other than Cris's both...this is the only picture of a booth that I took. There was some interesting people watching at the shows. There was one man who was a combination of Elton John and Mr. Clean...all in white with multiple strands of giant clear stones around his neck, silver metallic bag, and pointed white patent leather heeled ankle boots. Cris got a picture of him. Maybe she will post this soon.

Doing a show is exhausting and I was only doing it part-time. I felt bad that Cris didn't get a break from the show. But those of us who do shows without help know how that feels. I tried to get her the leave the booth and look around but she wanted us to go together. Since there was nobody to take over the never happened.

So here's a bit of a brush with celebrity. Ali McGraw stopped at Steph and Meesh's booth. Funny part was....they didn't know who she was. Every girl wanted to be her in the 70's....long dark hair, dark eyes, and olive skin that maked her look perpetually tanned. The "love means never having to say your sorry" girl. Steph and Meesh not knowing her makes me feel old. Ali McGraw will be 71 this year.

So Cris at one point had proclaimed that she had lost the will to live at the show. Her choice of clothes below clearly illustrates this. Now I wouldn't post these pics but she made me put on a big leather doofus hat and posted the pic on her blog so I think this pic is payback. And Cris....make sure your sister Jamie see this pic. I love the first picture below....not only for her wonderful fashion sense...but the laughter. This pictures typifies the two of us together. We never seem to stop laughing. I went back to work this week and everyone wanted to know if I had a cold. No...I'm just hoarse from laughing for 7 days straight.

And to complete the ensemble, Cris had doned a black pair of Ugs and a bathrobe. Que Bella!!

I came back to a nice surprise. I have been accepted into Art by the Falls sponsored by the Valley Art Center in early June. My first time doing this particular show. This show will start off the season for me. I'm still waiting to hear back from the others.


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Last Day in Santa Fe

I passed this church on the way to the Convention Center. I have passed it for a week and just today looked up to see what I was walking by. Made me think that I should pay more attention to details.

So this was the last day in Santa Fe. I spend most of the day with Cris at the booth but I did manage to get out to visit Meesh, Steph, and Gail. It has been a good trip. I got to catch up with old friends and meet new.

This is Alina and she was back to back with Cris and Anne. She was like a crazy fairy god-mother. She kept going through her stash of beads and giving us stuff. Her work was amazingly detailed.

Anne and Cris at the end of the last day.

This is Linda Larson and Lisa Blackwell. Linda is partners with Susan Lenert Kazmer and Lisa and her husband own Zoa Art.

Cris and Lisa

So Monday I head back home. It's been a blast but I am ready to be home again. See you all later.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

More from Santa Fe

The first few days it was in the 60s and sunny. Today is snowed. There is something magical about snow in Santa Fe. It was lovely.

Yesterday I helped Cris and Anne set up their booths. Here is Cris busy at work setting things up.

We walked over to the convention center and met up with Susan Dilger. Susan and I have been talking via the internet and blogs for a while now. We finally got to meet in person. She lives in Taos...lucky girl and came down here for a few days to take classes. So Cris, Susan and I have had the chance to get to know each other a little better. Susan is very cool, makes great jewelry and it's been fun to spend some time with her.

Cris and I took some time to look in two really fantastic shops. Splendors of the World and TAD. The first had artifacts from all over the world. These were museum quality pieces and you were able to get up close and personal with them. TAD is a tribal art shop. Same quality. We talked with the owner for a while. I wanted to invite him out to dinner. He was really interesting.

Next to Anne's booth is a guy selling African beads and artifacts. Susan and I found these Fulani belts and neither one of us could resist buying them. The rings on the belt are scribed and they have a great patina on them. The pic is awful because it was taken on the bed. I'll take some better pics when I get home.

Today I was back at this booth looking through a box of ancient bronze pieces. Here are a few that I picked up.

At another booth with African beads I picked up this strand of brass beads. These have a really great color.

I walked over to see Stephanie and Meesh today. Here they are mugging for the camera. Their beads are great.

It 's been fun. There is always a great comraderie among the people attending the show and also among those working at the show.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I love Sana Fe. This is my 9th trip….first time without Lou…this is an all girls trip. We had a great dinner at The Shed last night. Anyone who loves Santa Fe knows about The Shed….a wonderful little restaurant serving New Mexican style food….hot…very hot. It has been great to get back with the girls. We were looking over the bead stash that Gail Crosman Moore has brought in for her classes and the beads that Stephanie Sersich and Michele Goldstein brought in for their booths. I’ve also been scoping out the jewelry and findings that Cris is going to sell. Once the booth gets set up I post some pics of her pieces.

Today Cris, Anne and I walked about the town. Our first stop was a salvage yard…yep a salvage yard where I could have spent all day. They have salvage doors, wirework, furniture, frames, mirrors, archways….really cool stuff. We weren’t suppose to take pictures…they had signs…but I couldn’t help it. This stuff is so awesome….old wood, metal straps, and rivets….which I love. I would love to gut my house and put some of this stuff in it.

Cris at the salvage yard.

This door had some really cool wirework in the panels.

I loved this door pull.

This is a grill in a door. The pieces connecting the circles are great cold connections...they are actually large staples.

Another very cool door.

This is grillwork in front of a panel that opens see who your visitor is.
More doors.

And as Anne said....this is were bad doors go. Lock them up in chains.

These are carved pieces of wood.

My favorite pic...check out the metal strap and rivets.

More straps and rivets.

This was a fantastic piece of metal work. It had a great blue patina on it that didn't really come through on the picture.

We meandered through the rest of the town stopping in various stores looking at art work and jewelry. We stopped in Overland to try on leather jackets and model hats. You have to hop over the Cris’s blog to see a hat she made me model. They so abuse me :)…but I manage to abuse back. We stopped in to O’Farrell’s where they make hats. Anne modeled quite a few.

This was a couryard that had a rock formation. If you look close there is a little stuffed cat in the formation.

A trip to Santa Fe isn’t complete without scoping out the jewelry at Ortega’s and Packards. It’s beautiful…a bit expensive…but so unique.
More tommorrow.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Pennies for the New World

I am using a new set of tear aways based on ancient coins. I made them in a number of sizes so I could make earrings and pendants. The earrings are the size of pennies. Lou keeps on telling me if the economy were based on metal and glass beads we'd be all set.

I was having a hard time getting some decent color from the copper tonight so I didn't labor over it. I just let them age a little.

The one on the right didn't come out so great. When I made the smallest tear aways I put three images in a row so I could make multiple coins with one roll of the clay. But I think I need to make a better tear away for the image below.

This is a larger size. The image is a tracing from an ancient Parisii coin. The Parisii were a tribe of Celts who lived on the Ile de la Cite around 2000 BC. Ile de la Cite is one of the two islands in the middle of the Seine in Paris.

The pendants need to be worked a bit to make them look better....better color and polish them up a bit more. But overall I'm thrilled with the new images.

I'm off to Santa Fe tomorrow. I'm taking the computer so I can post. Talk to you soon.