Thursday, October 29, 2009

And you thought I'd never be famous....

I have a piece of original artwork hanging in the Cleveland Museum of Art ....and it's not in the bathroom either.

A group from work went to the museum yesterday over lunch to see the Gauguin exhibit....Paul Gauguin: Paris 1889. The exhibit recreates an independant exhibit that Gauguin organized at the time of the 1889 Exposition Universelle. Gauguin approached Monsier Volpini, the owner of the Cafe des Arts, to hang 100 paintings created by Gauguin and his friends. A sort of thumbing of the nose to the art establishment, who excluded him from the Exposition.

In addition to the paintings, there are some original letters from Gauguin to his sister and from Van Goh to Gauguin. It was amazing to look at these fragile documents and see their hand writting and signatures. Especially Van Goh's (I am a fan). To see "Vincent" signed at the bottom of the letter gave me a thrill.

Part of this exhibit was Gauguin's lithographs which he produced himself. They were printed on yellow paper and were aimed at people who could not afford to purchase a painting. At the end of the exhibit, the CMA allows you to do some hands on art. Probably meant for children .... our group of administrators all huddled around the art table where they provided us with rubber stamps with some of Gauguin's images and crayons. So before we went back to work, we stamped and colored....and hung our creations on the wall. My 15 minues of fame is a signed original piece of work on the same walls that hold Gauguin's. LOL

By now you all know I have an obsession with Paris (really!). I am reading a book called Eiffel's Tower: And the World's Fair Where Buffalo Bill Beguiled Paris, the Artists Quarreled, and Thomas Edison Became a Count.

It's a historical look at the time leading up to the Exposition Universelle, the building of the Eiffel Tower and some of the famous personalites present....Buffalo Bill, Anne Oakley, Thomas Edision, Vincent Van Goh, Louis Pasteur, Paul Gauguin, James McNeill Whistler and more. Over 28 million travelled to Paris for the 1889. What an amazing time that must have been.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Industrial Furniture

Do you like industrial furniture. Check out Le Grenier. I am drooling. I wish I could pull larger pics from this site but I can't. The downside...they are in northern France. I've been looking for industrial salvage places around Cleveland...I don't know why...I don't have any room in the house. But it would be fun to see what's out there.

These two pieces are on my wish list. A large cabinet to hold all sorts of tools and pieces parts.
And a good hefty work bench

A girl can dream :))

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

"I had a farm in Africa....

at the foot of the Ngong hills." Out of Africa is a classic book and movie. Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen) wrote a wonderful story and Meryl Streep and Robert Redford brought it to life on the screen.

A couple of pieces inspired by African artifacts....

Saturday, October 17, 2009


The first two are based on drawer pulls I found in Tucson. In the first necklace I included Napalese bone beads inlaid with brass rings.

This one was created after studying a painting of NYC buildings and bridges.

Happy Sweetest Day

I didn't know that Sweetest Day originated in Cleveland and that not everyone celebrates it or even knows about it. Here is the Wikipedia story behind the day.

The origin of Sweetest Day is frequently attributed to candy company employee Herbert Birch Kingston as an act of philanthropy. However, Bill Lubinger, a reporter for The Plain Dealer, contends that "Dozens of Cleveland's top candy makers concocted the promotion 84 years ago and it stuck, although it never became as widely accepted as hoped." The Cleveland Plain Dealer's October 8, 1921 edition, which chronicles the first Sweetest Day in Cleveland, states that the first Sweetest Day was planned by a committee of 12 confectioners chaired by candymaker C. C. Hartzell. The Sweetest Day in the Year Committee distributed over 20,000 boxes of candy to "newsboys, orphans, old folks, and the poor" in Cleveland, Ohio. The Sweetest Day in the Year Committee was assisted in the distribution of candy by some of the biggest movie stars of the day including Theda Bara and Ann Pennington.

Sweetest Day now involves giving small gifts and cards to your loved ones.

So we woke up today and Lou said..."I have a card for you but I haven't signed it yet" and I said "I have a card for you too ,but I can't find it" And we both started laughing.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Pouting Buddah

I wore the two of these together today. The bottom piece is 24" and was made from a drawing I did on Scribbler. I added a garnet drop. It swings back and forth when I move and makes a soft jingling noise. The top one is 18" and I've renamed him to Pouting Buddah and he has that great deep red color to match the garnet. I think I'm gonna have to keep these two.

The Pouting Buddah is perfect right now. That's my mood at work. I'm having an issue. I can't be promoted because rankings at my level are based on the size of your department and budget. So no matter how good I am at my job or how many extra projects I take on for the Institute at large...and I take on a lot of extra projects... I can only advance if I take a position with another department. I can never understand why employeers put people in this position. I've been with the department for 13 years so I won't be leaving. But I also won't be taking on extra projects anytime soon....Why Bother? I will get over this and go back to being my over-acheiving self...but for right now I'm not happy...I'm pouting...LOL.

I will be wearing Pouting Buddah everyday for a while....because it will make me laugh.

Monday, October 12, 2009


Happy Buddha...although he doesn't look to happy. I think I'm going to dome the discs a bit. He looks a little too flat on the top and bottom. Maybe then he'll be happier.

A couple of resin pieces. I think I made these about 2 years ago but never put them into jewelry.

This was the disc I was drilling. I put the 4 side holes in when I made the piece but then decided to use it in a different way so I drilled one hole and decided I wanted a second hole. Two days later when I was done drilling :) I put the piece together.

Drilling Bronze....Again

I spent another few minutes drilling a hole in a bronze piece today. I have to stop making my pieces so thick. Anyway... my brother the welder and around the house magic man...he builds everything....say that when drilling bronze be sure to use high speed steel drill bits. And there's a tool out there called a Drill Doctor. It sharpens dull drill bits. COOL!!!


I am busy assembling jewelry. Pulling pieces parts together. Bronze pendants, chain, gemstones, glass beads. I zone out when I'm doing this...because I enjoy it. I'm such a messy person. My desk becomes one huge pile of stuff and I end up digging through piles to find what I'm looking for. It not unusual for me to spend a few minutes looking for something .... just to find it's right in front of me. What's up with that? Why can't my brain see it the first time I look? I guess it's like finding Waldo. All the bronze pieces parts are roughly the same color so as I scan the desk I look right over it. It's so frustrating.

I need to become more methodic. Keep all gemstones on the left side, all glass beads on the right, all findings in their bags in a box and all pendants in another box. Ah...but what fun would that be. It's my fate to work in organized chaos. I'm like that at work too. Paperwork in stacks all over my desk....somewhat organized but chaotic. About twice a week I gather up all the papers into a stack and resort and organize and start making a mess all over again. I guess a leopard doesn't change it's spots.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Bronze is hard!!

Funny...I've been working in bronze clay since it was released and never drill it before. I always made my holes prior to firing. Yesterday I had a piece that needed a hole. So I drilled...and drilled...and drilled. I knew bronze was hard....but I didn't realize it was that hard.

And I think that's about all I have to say today.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Gemstones and Mushrooms

I went to another gem show last Saturday and picked up a few more strands. I'm into facetted rondelles right now.

I picked up a few really rough strands of turquoise and some other stones. Funny...the ones I thought were the coolest were the cheapest.

I also got some silver. This is a small size chain..the discs are about 4mm. Nice and shiny...but not for long. I'll be dropping it into some LOS to give it a nice aged look.

Lou came home with another cigar box for me today. Perfect for storing all the gemstones.

Now for the mushrooms....seems like the lawn has become a mushroom farm. We found another large bunch of mushrooms today. Really cool shapes.

The undersides were really amazing.

Melancholy Baby

Boy...that's what I have been recently. Lovely word melancholy...and wistful. Polite names for sadness or depression. I'm not depressed. Just overworked and tired. Susan said it when she wrote " Having come from the corporate world, I found we were acting and deciding at 100 mph." Sometimes I find Mach 1 is a more apt description. I'm going through a phase at work right now that as I clear one item off my desk, 3-4 have come through the door to replace it. And though I am good at not bringing work home either physically or mentally....these times at work are draining. Once at home I have no energy to do anything except stare vacantly at the TV with a little bit of drool coming out of the corner of my mouth....I'm serious :)

So I've decided to fine-tune. My own personal 12 step program to focusing my life.

Step 1: Stay off the internet ....and here I sit blogging. But blogging isn't what I'm referring to. I have a bad habit of non-stop surfing...reading other blogs, searching for the next thing that will spike my interest, taking stupid quizes on FaceBook. It's like being a junky. I'm looking for that next fix.

Step 2: Get more sleep. I'm not doing myself any favor by only getting 6 hours of sleep a night. Especially since I'm staying up late surfing the internet or watching a movie that I've probably seen before. I'm better off getting a extra couple hours of sleep

That's all I got for now...If I can do those two things, it'll be an acheivment.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

I'm in a mood...

Usually when I say that...I'm angry. I'm in more of a contemplative funk. I've been thinking about where I am in life and what I want to do next. And I've come to a conclusion....I have no idea.

I was reading Helen Drigg's flashcard and she quoted Lew Wackler as saying to acheive master status at something you need to put in 10,000 hours. And this got me thinking about where my life is going.

Do I concentrate on my job? I'm rather good at what I do...which mostly involves crunching numbers. I'm good at math. In college we had the option of not going to calculus class if we could pass the standardized tests. So I skipped class, taught myself calculus and passed all the tests with A's. I sometimes wonder if I should have gone for a degree in Math rather than Biology. But at the time I was headed for a career in the medical laboratory. I've been at my current job for 12 years. Given an average 8 hour day....I've put in close to 25,000 hours. I've definetely acheived master status.

Then there's the jewelry. I whine alot about the fact that I work a full time job and have limited time to design. But it's a fact....that I whine and that I have limited time. I estimate that it would take me about 20 years at my current rate to acheive master status. Now that's depressing. Especially since I ping-pong back and forth about the techniques and styles I want to focus on.

So I am contemplating the future...the shows this summer drained me. It was hard to prepare for them, do them, and work.. And each day I take as PTO to do a show is a day of vacation that I won't be taking to spend time with Lou.

I'm in search of balance and direction.