Monday, September 30, 2013

London...Oh London

London is amazing.  It's huge and historic and modern and cosmopolitan.  We heard so many different languages as we walked around.  And we walked until our feet hurt.  And we ate...lots of great it's a good thing that we walked a lot.

We went to the Victoria and Albert Museum the day we got there...after being up for 24 hours.  We walked around for a couple hours and then stumbled on the jewelry collection ...I guess I should say jewellery.  There were so many beautiful pieces but by then it was all a blur.  I'll have to go back to get another look at it all.

Here are some images from the museum.

By far the best thing that we saw was one of DaVinci's notebooks

There was a nice courtyard where we sat for a while and rested our tired feet.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

And so it begins...

Lou and I are on our way to London. A long awaited vacation. We have lots of places we want to go and things to see.

One thing we didn't expect to be doing is contemplating "early retirement".  Our employer hit the news big time on Friday by announcing that we are cutting $330 million from the 2014 budget. Even though I knew this was coming, it was $130 million more than expected. This isn't a one time thing. The plan is to cut for the next 5 years so that we reduce the annual budget by $1 billion...yes...$1 billion.

In the next few weeks they will be sending out early retirement packets to select people ... the old ones.  At what point did we become the old ones. We already know that Lou is on the list and I would bet that I am on the list.  We have no details...just that it's coming.  If they don't get the necessary retirements there is also a list of people to be laid off....although neither one of us believe we are on that list.  We' both believe in making ourselves assets to our employer and we have been pretty successful at that.

Even if you do get a retirement package it doesn't mean you have to take it.  But it just feels like a slap in the face. All the knowledge and experience seems to mean nothing if you fit some formula. The idea is that younger, less experienced, and less expensive person can take your place

We've just paid off the house and I've been thinking that now is the time to really sock away the money for retirement.  I just assumed we would both maintain our jobs for the next few years...for me...the next 10 at least.  But considering the amount of this reduction there is no saying that if I survive the cuts this year that I will survive them the next...or the next...or the next...or the next.  I don't like uncertainty so this has really has me angry.

We got a break here while we are on vacation to figure out what we are going to do with the rest of our lives

And so it begins........

Thursday, September 19, 2013


Since I decided not to do art shows I find this new found freedom to blog.  Not that I didn't have the time before, but mentally I am allowing myself the time to do other things...if that makes sense.  Before I was sitting here thinking I had to get into the studio and work (even though I didn't) and that kept me from doing other things because I felt guilty I wasn't in the studio.

I know...I'm weird.

But since I made my decision I find that I am blogging again and taking photos.  Here are a couple of etched brass bracelets with fine silver metal clay overlays.  I actually made these last year as samples for one of the classes that Cris and I taught at Bead and Button.  It such a fun class and was popular so we decided to offer it again this year.  The first pic are the samples I dug out of my jewelry collection.  The second pic is the class pic.

Speaking of jewelry collections.  Wouldn't it be fun to see what is in each other's jewelry drawers?...and what we wear on a regular basis!!  I have different pieces that I wear based on if I'm going to work or if I'm just bumming around.  Some pieces do double duty and some are strictly for work or special occasions.  That's not a bad idea for a future post.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Pulling Back....

Work seems to be sucking the life out of me lately.  By the time I get home I don't want to do anything.  And it seems like I have an endless list of things to the the house.

So, I've made a decision.  I'm not going to do any art shows for the rest of the year.  Maybe for next year too.  I dropped out of one show this November and decided not to apply to another in December.  It seemed like when I did get into the studio it was to prep for a show and I was making the same old thing over and over.  I didn't have the time or energy to play with new designs or new materials.  So the pressure is off.  I don't have to be in the studio for anything.  This could be a good thing...or bad. 

Part of my time I want to spend remodeling the house.  We ripped up the carpet in the bedroom last weekend.  That was a horrible, horrible job.  The carpet was ancient and the padding underneath was starting to disintegrate.  Besides the pain of pulling out nails and staples, we had to get on our hands and knees and scrape up this gummy brown stuff. 

We ended up spraying Goo Gone on the entire floor and scraping it up and then cleaning it.  The floor isn't too bad.  Most of it looks good but there are some problem spots.  The next step is to get the floors refinished.  The entire house is hardwood so this is going to be a long term project. Oh Boy!!!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Work and Play

Friday, we had a work retreat at the Cleveland Museum of Art.  I love this place and it was great to spend the day there.  We spent most the day in a meeting room but when we had breaks and lunch we could run around the museum and look at the art.

In the atrium there is an exhibit of bronze zodiac heads by Ai Weiwei.  The heads are huge.  The must be about 8-10 feet high. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Bead and Button Classes 2014

Cris Leonard and I heard today that all of our classes were accepted at Bead and Button!!!.  We are teaching 3 workshops and 3 classes.  Metal clay, metal clay and more metal clay....silver and bronze!! Metal etching, riveting, forging, and fabrication in the creation of necklaces, earrings and bracelets. 

Two classes are back by popular demand and we've added 4 brand new classes.  Take a look!!