Monday, August 31, 2009


Most of the people who know me wouldn't describe anything about me or the way I act as whimsical. So when I was given a project with the goal of finding a children's book to use as inspiration and make something whimsical....I was at a loss. But I went with in Three Blind Mice. But why is this a children's nursery's grusome.

Three blind mice. Three blind mice.
See how they run. See how they run.
They all ran after the farmer's wife,
Who cut off their tails with a carving knife,
Did you ever see such a sight in your life,
As three blind mice?

But mine are a bit "one off" in that they have eyes but no ears so they are more like Three Deaf Mice.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

More Bronze Pieces

Been doing some experimenting altering pics with Photoshop's stamp feature ... stamperizing. Then making tear-aways. Below is a piece from the Louvre...he reminds me of Ollie from Kukla, Fran, and Ollie. This one may be too busy to make a good bronze piece or maybe I need to play with the image a bit to clean it up and emphasis specific lines.

This is a stained glass window in Saint Pierre de Montmarte in Paris.

I have a couple other pieces I haven't fired yet. I'll get to those later this week. I think I need to work with the original images, clean up the lines a bit and retry these.

Below is a piece for the workshop I'm doing. I took the lyrics to La Vie en Rose and printed them out using a really fun font and hung parts of the song from the bottom of the pendant

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Weekend Goodies....

I'm involved in an exercise in expanding creativity. One of the projects was to take pictures of things around you and use it as inspiration. The catch is that you get one shot to make redos. I don't always do my best on the first attempt but the exercise is opening my eyes and sending me down paths I might have never taken.

I posted this picture of a building last week. I love the old fashioned pointing hand. Below is the piece I made from it. I didn't know what to have it pointing towards....."offices" just wasn't doing it for me. And then it came to me....Paris....but of course :) I had fun with it and it gave me a chance to rivet. I need lots of practice at riveting. I'm pretty bad at it.

I spent my free time over the weekend making tear-aways. I tried out some of my "stamperized" pictures. I'll get a chance to work with them tomorrow.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Stamperize your pictures....

You like that word...stamperize. I made that up :)

I've been considering buying some rubber stamps of the Eiffel Tower and other sites in Paris. But I hesitated because I have pictures of those sites. So I hopped onto Photoshop Elements and found the stamp function. Check it out......

Now it's really time to play with some tear-aways.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Glad it's Friday...

What a week. You all heard about my fall on Wednesday. Well that was mid-week. The beginning of the week started with my being called back to the Breast Center for some additional images and an ultrasound because the radiologist had seen something on my mammogram. At this point the diagnosis is "probably benign"....hmmmm. I have a follow up in 6 months. Then on Tuesday my brother was in the hospital for a knee replacement...good news is that he went home today. Wednesday was the fall. Yesterday and today were rather calm and the weather has finally become bearable.

The weekend will come and go quickly. I have a project due that I haven't even started on. I will work on that tomorrow. We have dinner with friends Saturday night. Sunday I've got nothing planned but housework usually sucks up a good portion of the day. I thought once my shows were over I would get tons of work done. Not the case. I don't know where my time goes. I had planned to have all my things up on Etsy by now...I haven't even taken pictures yet and it doesn't look good that it will happen anytime soon.

I bought a lottery ticket tonight. What would you do with $207 million?? I was day dreaming about this on the way home. First it is way too much money to even know how to spend charity would definetely come in to play. But first a few things for me :) My current house would be history. I would build a new one...not much bigger but with a custom designed studio. But the question would be where would I choose to live. I know you're all thinking Paris....but probably not permanently. I'd get a little pied-de-terre in Paris (and you could all stay there for free). I'd hire a housekeeper, cook, and gardener (stimulate the economy) so I could have free time. There's not much that I expensive car, no boat, no mansion. What I really want is time. I would be happy to have my days free so I could work in the studio. It was Marcus Aurelius who said.."very little is needed to make a happy life, it is all within yourself, all in your way of thinking".

I think I would buy a new car...a mini....I love those things.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

My Mood Today

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This was on Anne's blog and it says it all for me today. I'm in a sour mood but I'm trying not to show it.

We are have a massive tree taken down. It is in the back yard right next to the house and power lines. Our back yard is landlocked so they have to put the crane in the neighbors front yard and reach between the houses (which are very close) to get to the tree. They were suppose to give us a few days notice so we could warn the neighbors. But they didn't and showed up this morning before I had even gotten into the shower. Luckily the neighbor was out in his front yard this morning because he locked himself out of the house.

Anyway...I moved my car out to the street and went back in to get ready for fast. I didn't want to be around when they took this thing down. I got ready in about 15 minutes, threw some cat food in the dishes and headed out the door. I was walking in the street to my car and fell. Let's just say the tree wasnt' the only thing falling down today...."Big Girl falling down!!!!". There was a guy in his car on the wrong side of the street. I don't know what he was doing there...may have been with the tree company. As I lay in the middle of the street I looked up and him and he waved to me. WTF??? Didn't get out of the car, didn't even yell to me to see if I was OK....just waved. Now my leg hurts and my knee is all scuffed up and I'm in a pissy mood.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Cleveland Photos

I left work early on Friday and had a chance to snap some photos that I've been wanting to take. The first is the side of an abandoned building with a really cool pointing hand sign on the wall.

As I pulled down the street I saw another abandoned building. I wanted to get closer to this one....but that wasn't an option. Not just because there was a fence. The pictures were taken on one of the streets I occassionaly drive down to get to work. Employee's take shortcuts through the surrounding neighborhoods to get to work faster. This neighborhood happens to be ranked the 20th most dangerous in the US. I drive through it every day so it doesn't really seem that bad. But I'm not dumb enough to get out of the car and walk around.

Then I drove over to Tremont to see Saint Theodosious. Cleveland is a steel town...or maybe "was" is a better term. Tremont is located close to the steel mills. The neighborhood is old and has an industrial edge to it. It's become the site of a number of great restaurants and some trendy boutiques.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A classic "Gail"

For those of you that don't personally know me...I'm a very quiet, refined person (for those of you who do know me....stop laughing).

So I was at work late and had to run to the grocery store to pick up dinner and a cake mix for a bake sale tomorrow (our research institute helps support an elementary school 2 blocks away). I'm dragging my butt through the store minding my own business doing my shopping and all I can hear is these 2 little girls (about 4 yrs old) talking and yelling as loud as can be. Obviously Mommy is one of those that doesn't believe in teaching her children how to behave in public. And she also must believe that we all think her little darlings are as precious as she does.

So the one girl is pulling all kinds of items off the shelves and the other one is yelling for her to "put it back". I turned around to see that Mommy is all they way down in the next aisle...typical. I'm desperately trying to block them out but one just went into a tirade and really did scream at the top of her lungs "PUT IT BACK". On the 4th "PUT IT BACK" something in me snapped and it just happened. I turned around and yelled "SHUT UP".

Mommy came and got her children really fast. And then I was able to shop in peace.

Like I said....I am quiet and refined. Now I have to go bake a cake.


Monday, August 10, 2009


I finally had a chance to go through a large package of stamps I picked up in a flea market in Paris....two years ago. I do things like something with grand ideas of what I'll make and then it sits....sometimes for years without touching it. These have been nagging at me.....hanging around in the back of my mind. So I got them out and sorted through them. Mostly there are stamps from Europe and Asia. There were some old American stamps and quite a few Queen Elizabeth stamps.

Here are a few of my favorties.

I especially like the four chicks from Republik Offerreich (Republic of Austria). I think it's time to do something with these.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Healthcare Reform and Men without Shirts

Excuse me while I rant.......

Healthcare Reform.....WTF?? As a country...why can't we have a conversation about this without looking like a bunch of morons. The fact that a subset of people won't allow town halls to occur in an open and respectful manner says way too much about this country. Somewhere along the line a large part of the population have lost their brain cells. They are buying into the fear and hate mongering that is being spewed from the mouths of political pundits.

And what's with Rush Limbaugh (excuse me while I spit) comparing the logo for the health plan with the Nazi swastika.

If the man even had half a brain he would know that the portion of the logo he is referring to is called a caduceus and comes from Greek mythology. That symbol has been associated with healing and medicine since around 1200 BC. "First do no harm" is a rule of conduct that is taught in medical schools. Maybe Rush ought to consider this rule before he opens his big mouth...but then...if he did....he'd be mute.

And what is it that makes men think it is acceptable to take their shirts off in public. I mean really....unless you are in your 20s and have 6-pack abs....keep the shirt on. Nobody wants to see your grey haired, flabby, sagging, wrinkly chest. I saw some guy jogging today without a shirt....come're old, you're wrinkled..... and you're carrying a golf putter??? What is that all about? To beat the women off??? Or just to beat the women.....when they fall down laughing.

AHHH....I feel better.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Updated Blog List

I've been updating the blog here and there. I added blogs that I read on a regular basis. Check them out. Some great sites and artists listed.

A little more bronze

So I worked on a project over the weekend. The inspiration was an abstract painting by Paul Brent of a suspension bridge.

The idea was not to duplicate it but to use it as inspiration. I was surprised and happy with the direction it took and I can see this becoming a series. Of course the first thing I thought about after I did this piece was to use a map of Paris as the frame and embed a picture of the Eiffel Tower in resin. I have a one-track mind.....Paris, Paris, Paris.

Lou rolls his eyes when I talk about Paris. So he blew me away yesterday when he suggested we go to Paris the first week of December. It's our 10 year wedding anniversay and we were talking about going back to Santa Fe where we were married. Out of the blue he suggested Paris and he's excited about it. It's not the location so much as the time of year. He wants to see Europe at Christmas time. Now it's up to me if we go there or go to SantaFe .... hmmm .... decisions, decisions. What do you think....Paris or Santa Fe??

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


I got 7 catalogs in the mail today. Clothing, furnishings, gardening.....I threw them all aside to look at just one....the Harbor Freight catalog. I know....I'm such a girl. I lusted over the belt sanders, engravers and dapping blocks. It's like getting the toy catalog at Christmas time. Maybe this weekend I'll actually stop in the store in Cleveland.

I did get a little girly and looked for a bed frame. I've been wanting one for a while. I found this .... a sleigh bed. It wrought iron and whitewashed. I love it. I can see this in the bedroom.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Bar Symon

We tried a new restaurant tonight....Bar Symon. It's owned by Michael Symon...Cleveland's own Iron Chef. WOW!! I had grilled meatloaf with a side of fried brussel sprouts. For dessert I had an ice cream sandwich which had banana bread as the sandwich. It was served with a carmel peanut sauce. It was really good. They have ove 40 beers on tap so it's a fun place to go. And it is on my side of town....which is unusual. If you get a chance...go there. You won't regret it.

Oh yeah...and their logo is a flying pig.....just like Sebastian

Spaz Sisters

For Cris, Vicki, Lora, Cathy....and the rest of you who spaz out and fling something hot, flaming, goopy, ect.... while you are working on your jewlery......

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I think that was the look on Anne's face as she saw my hot piece of silver coming her way.

Inspiration, Part Deux

Man, was I rambling last night. It was late and I was tired. It reminded me of The Birdcage when Gene Hackman is describing the drive down to Palm Beach and he just goes on and on. If you've never watched that movie...go rent it. It's hysterical...especially Hank Azaria as Agador. Plus there's a really nice shot of him in a thong :))

Anyway. I hopped over to Richard Salley's blog last night to see that my love of ancient languanges and scripts has inspired him to do a new series of pieces that include etched metal and faux bone. They are wonderful, of course. He does such great work. Hop over and take a look at them. I love the addition of the Faux Bone and I just took a class with Robert Danick in June with Faux it's time I broke it out and started working with it. Richard has inspired my right back.

HMMM....I think this requires a trip to Harbor Freight for that belt sander I've been lusting over. I'm afraid to go there.....I might never come out.....sooo many little time.

Monday, August 3, 2009


Inspiration comes from many things, places, and people. I don't know why but as I drive to and from my day job, designs pop into my head. Probably because I like to drive and while I'm on the highway I get into a zone. The creative wheels start spinning. It might also be the scenery :) ...well not on the way to work. I see steel mills as I drive across the 490 bridge. But on the way home I get a view of St. Theodosious sitting up on the hill in Tremont. It is a Russian Orthodox church that is probably most famous for being in the Deer Hunter. The domes are amazing and they have the greatest patina.

Some inspiration comes from instructors. Take a class with Celie Fago and you are inspired to perfection while a class with Susan Lenart Kazmer will inspire you to push the boundaries of conventional design.

Some inspiration comes from other artists. Who hasn't been inspired to do enamaling after seeing the work of Angela Gerhard.....or try putting color on metal with colored pencils when you see Deb Karash's work.

Some inspiration comes from friends and acquaintances in their passion for their art, their drive to create something greater than the everyday experience, the love and support they give to fellow artists.

Keep your eyes, ears, and hearts open and let the inspiration in.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

What natural disaster are you?

A silly quiz from Facebook....this was my result .... TORNADO.

"Wild and violet to a point that nothing will stand in your path! Riled up by hot and cold wind currents you touch down at the end of a funnel. Anything caught at your focal point is likely to be tossed aside effortlessly."

Actually I'm not a violent as I used to be :)). I've mellowed. But there have been times that I feel like a disaster. And I have been told I have the workbench of chaos.....but I just don't know what Cris is talking about....

Doesn't everybody's bench look like this?????

AHH...But the crown and sceptor for Miss Hot Metal Fling will be passed from myself to Cris this year. She wins this title for tossing a hot metal bracelet on the carpet. Check out her cracked me up.

I'm off to work in bronze today. Later