Monday, September 24, 2007

I've Been Tagged!

I've been tagged in a game of blogger tag by Bosphorus Glass (a.k.a. Ilknur Akbay), in Turkey! I've never heard of this before, and I spend way too much time on the computer.

Here are the rules:

1. Link to your tagger and post these rules.
2. List eight (8) random facts about yourself.
3. Tag eight people at the end of your post and list their names (linking to them).
4. Let them know they’ve been tagged by leaving them a comment on their blogs.

8 Random Facts About Myself:

1. I have never had novacaine. Yes, my teeth are that good. :-)

2. I am a master composter, and used to teach composting at community workshops. I have a Recycled Outdoor Vermicomposting Reactor (ROVR) that I designed and made from (drum roll...) an old wooden dog house. Patent pending. (jk)

3. I was sad to find out that I was not the only one with a crush on Mike Rowe, the host of Discovery's great show, Dirty Jobs. Somehow it seemed more cute and geeky if I was the only one. Apparently he has quite a large fan club. Yes, #2 and #3 are related.

4. I used to have a mullet (a looooong time ago). Not just any mullet, a High Tech Mullet which featured a buzz cut on the top and sides (the hairdresser buzzed it guided by a hair pick that featured a level) and long frosted locks in back. I'm really glad the 80s are over.

5. In grade school art class I painted a psychedelic rendition of a cut onion which got rave reviews and went on the grade school art tour (or so they told me). I am now on a Qwest to find this piece of art, if it can be found in the family archives.

6. I drove an all electric car, a RAV-4 EV (electric vehicle) for 3 years and met lots of cool people who aDORE these cars and are trying to promote their use. They really do work, and (contrary to what the Oil-Fueled Press will tell you), they're easy to drive and to charge. It was a fabulous way to get around without going to the gas station...ever...except to fill the tires, and it cost about 1/4 of the cost of driving a gasoline car.

7. I have been infatuated with beads since I was a pre-teen. Honest to God, my friend Lori and I used to keep watch for the "telephone guy" in our neighborhood, and when he showed up in his van to fix some wiring someplace, we would hunt him down and beg him to give us some of that great, multicolored wire. We would make way cool rings and other fancy stuff with it. Now I am fulfilling my bead-desires by making lampwork beads and jewelry.

8. I once played a practical joke on my husband involving a banana slug and a toilet. My family has a practical joking tradition and we love to surprise people. Come to think of it, we played another one on my poor nephew, who was only about 5 at the time, with the rubber "Toilet Monster" from the Lilian Vernon catalog. Yikes! I think there's a trend! (how's THAT for Random??)

Now for the hard part - I have to tag 8 people. Here goes. I'm going to tag:

Patricia
Donna at Blackberry Beads
Kim Miles
Sarah Hornik
Lavender
StephanieK
Karolen at Beadabundant
Teresa Laliberte at Lavender Creek Glass

Wow, I guess I've got a lot of comments to leave now. Off I go...

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Junk Call Conundrum


Well, the message on our answering machine today topped them all.

"Hello, this is Diane calling on behalf of Direct TV. From time to time, we extend exciting offers to our loyal customers like you. But because you're on the Direct TV Do Not Call List, we are not able to contact you for these exciting offers. The reason I'm calling you today is to give you an opportunity to change your selection. If you allow us to remove you from the Direct TV Do Not Call List, please be assured that we will not share your information with anyone else. Please call 1 877 xxx xxxx to remove your account from the DTV Do Not Call List. You will then be eligible to receive exciting offers in the future. If you prefer to remain on Direct TV's Do Not Call List, we completely respect your decision, and your privacy, and no action is required. Thank you for being a loyal Direct TV customer."

Well Diane, I have one question for you. Which part of Do Not Call was unclear to you? Truly, I respect the fact that you respect my privacy. I really do. I never realized that my decision to be put on the Do Not Call list would cause me to miss out on your fabulous offers. How could I have been so dumb?

Interestingly, in 2005 Direct TV was forced to pay out $5.3 million to people who received telemarketing calls in spite of being on the Do Not Call Registry. Apparently Direct TV is slipping through a legal loophole in my case, since companies who have an "established business relationship" with someone are allowed to make these kinds of calls until/unless the recipient explicitly asks them not to (this is an additional step required after being on the national Do Not Call list). Diane, I have some exciting news for you! I'll be calling you back very soon.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Another fabulous fall day in Northern California and I missed much of it. Today was spent tidying up in the studio, cleaning beads from yesterday's work, cleaning and storing new glass rods from three different shopping trips, and putting up my new Etsy shop.

For the uninitiated, Etsy is a relatively new forum in which artists can sell their work, as they describe it, "Your place to buy and sell all things handmade". It's a better alternative to eBay for many lampwork bead artists, and some are doing well there. Take a look and let me know what you think!

On other fronts, the garden is going well, er, as well as can be expected with only halfhearted and irregular attention. I am slowly making progress attending to some long needed maintenance chores, such as removing the half whiskey barrel planters we went crazy on almost 10 years ago (hint: they rot). I am also waging full scale war against one (God forbid it's a whole clan) gopher who has tunneled in and around every single plant in the back garden, killing where possible and rendering helpless every plant I had the foresight to plant in a "gopher basket". I water, it seems to soak in, and next thing you know it's gushing out of a hole some yards away. Crap. But recalling some trapping instruction I received from my gardening friend Patricia, I have two traps set for this/these demons, and I will get them eventually. Their days are numbered.

Check the bottom of this page for a new feature - the current list of music I'm listening to in the studio. I figure if you're going to appreciate the beads, you may (or may not) want to learn about what I was listening to when they were "born". I have to warn you, I have some very eclectic musical preferences, and it's not unusual to find a bizarre mix of classical, alternative, and folk on my iPod. Mike Rowe, eat your heart out. More on my secret crush on this TV celebrity later. Rock on.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

I Got Tink!

Tink Blinding Us With Science

I had the incredible pleasure of taking a couple of classes from Tink Martin and John Cramer of Black Swamp Glassworks last weekend at Arrow Springs. I was not lucky enough to get one of the seats in her vessel class, but took the Tips & Tricks and Electroforming classes. In Tips and Tricks we learned how to make glass pens in the Italian way - the kind that you dip into ink. We also reviewed how to pull goldstone stringer, how to make faux boro glass, and various surface treatments on glass such as the Titanium pen, coloration & image transfer onto glass, PMC on glass, and making hollow beads using the drilled out mandrels. My mind is bursting with the possibilities that all of these ideas offered.

Here are a few photos from the class. We had a bit of Drama when Zoey, a dog that one of the students brought, decided to slip away for some excitement of her own. We formed search teams and fanned out over several blocks, and after an hour or so she was found hiding near a dumpster right next to the shop. I'm glad she was ok.

This was my first class with Tink, and I had a blast. She is an energetic, creative, bubbly, positive person and I just loved meeting her. We had a lot of laughs, and I learned a lot.

I can't wait for my kit to arrive! Here is a picture of the bead that I took to the class to electroform. I wish there had been time to allow more copper to build up on the piece, to provide more texture, but there were about 10 of us and only two rectifiers. The copper is on the ends and in the swirl in the middle.

The green areas are where we developed a patina over the copper - Tink and John showed us how to get that look using common household stuff (e.g. salt and ammonia). I've got lots of ideas how to use electroforming in my work, and can't wait to get started. Art and science all in one!

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