Saturday, February 27, 2010

Mean Green Mother Earth Gets Her Purty On

David Orr, you are amazing.

Mean Green Mother Earth, as you've never seen her before. In a more professional light, as it were.

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Word for Today: WEATHER

Another fantastical winter storm today - rain and wind so gusty that it popped the mirror on the outside of my car to a new position as I was driving down the freeway. Yeah. I'd forgotten how much the wind and rain makes me feel...alive. We had another couple of inches just this afternoon.

Returned a couple of borrowed regulators to a very kind person at DeAnza College today, had lunch with a friend, and knocked out a few little springtime beads trying to burn the rest of my O2 before a cylinder exchange. My concentrator is back at the home office for repair. She just wasn't spitting out any oxygen, which really made it hard to torch. The good folks at Unlimited Oxygen are on it.

I've really been enjoying the Olympics this year - you? I don't recall ever being so attentive to the games before. The women's downhill events and the drama that is Lindsey Vonn and Julia Mancuso, the bobsled crashes, snowboarding, ski jumping, women's figure skating - it's all just riveting. I'm totally loving the Nordic Combined event, and think those dudes are the hardest working athletes in the games, for sure.

In the works this weekend is some photo work for an upcoming gallery submission, and some new work at the torch. And if this weather clears up, ideally some hiking in the green and fuzzy foothills - they are calling my name these days after all of this rain.

This video from Stevie Ray Vaughan seemed to fit the day.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

New. Today. On Etsy.

New. Today. On Etsy.

OK, so it's more like 8 words. Enjoy.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Guided by Nature

There is change afoot in my garden, and it's telling me things.

When I'm outside playing ball with our dog I like to look around me to see what's new in the garden, and often it speaks to me. Whether gardening or making art, I've long strived for that perfect rhythm, where I'm one with nature as she changes her face through the year, where I'm attuned to the cues surrounding me and everything is done when the time is perfectly ripe. Balance and timing - it's my eternal, elusive goal. For me, it's about listening, and feeling, and sensing.

Here is what I heard today in my garden. Perhaps yours is speaking to you as well. Are you listening?

We all feel better and look our best after a cleansing rain.

Are you growing in new directions?

Are you putting energy into the right things?

Do you have a reasonable number of things on your plate?

Or too many?

Are you looking down at your feet when you should be looking forward, or up at the big picture?

Is it time to cut back or remove those things that have served their purpose?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Sweet Memories of Tucson

Cyndie and I in our booth at the Best Bead Show in Tucson last week.

I'm just coming back down to Earth after a whirlwind week at the Best Bead Show in Tucson. When I last wrote my internet friend Cyndie was about to arrive and we were to meet for the first time. After final preparations at my house, we headed off into the Arizona desert with our most recent glass bead and jewelry creations. It was a whole lotta new wrapped up into one exciting but exhausting package, and I'm sure that all of it is going to be swimming around in my head for a long time.

The day after Cyndie arrived I thought it would be fun for us to head up the coast to have lunch in Davenport and meet up with Nancy Wilder (another local Etsy artist) who had contacted me about a trade. Her fleece and felted wraps and scarves are TDF, and she had her eye on some of our jewelry. So, after lunch we had a literal trunk show in the restaurant parking lot, trying on wraps and jewelry and generally drooling over each others' work. It's safe to say that four women went home feeling pretty good about what they wound up with.

What was it like to finally meet each other in person? Well, it was fun. There were things we knew about each other already from our writing, and things we did not, and the long drive to Tucson let us cover a lot of territory. I'm even more impressed with Cyndie's No Fear approach to metalsmithing and jewelry in general, and really, really excited about our next project.

Highlights of our trip included a stop at a flea market just outside Quartzite, meeting and joking around with our booth neighbor Kevin O'Grady, seeing the hordes of shoppers descend on the Kino Community Center on opening morning, the party at Kate McKinnon's house where we met some very interesting beady peeps, the Beads of Courage party, the BBS Karaoke party (John even wrote a song for the occasion), and "discovering" David Orr, a wonderful jewelry photographer who was onsite to take photos of the exhibitors' work. Unfortunately we were too wiped out to make it to the Flameoff, but we will next time. We were thrilled to learn the next day that the bead maker team (girls rule!) won.

It was a challenging schedule with the show opening at 10 each day (we arrived usually by 9 to put out our wares), and going until 8pm (first day) or 6pm, and social events nearly every evening. It's on your feet, in the elements (we chose an outdoor booth), in "on" mode for 5 days and I tell you, it's exhausting but incredibly stimulating. Despite the exposure factor, I think I prefer the fresh air and adventure aspect of the outdoor booths. If we could just convince John to have a live band out there we'd have a party! Each of us made some great contacts for future work, and we had time to brainstorm our design for the Convergence II exhibit. It was a week of "firsts" for us - Cyndie's first show, my first time doing the Best Bead Show, first time meeting each other in person, first road trip together. Wow. My brain is full.

Here's some photo highlights from the trip. If you'd like to see a funny video clip from karaoke night, click here. I regret that I didn't get my picture taken with Mona of the Gaffer Girls, who was incredibly sweet and fun to meet.

Several of the show days were cold and rainy. Thank goodness for long underwear and propane.

Miriam (another booth neighbor) and Cyndie.

New focals.

I can't believe that I was recruited AGAIN to sing Love Shack on karaoke night.
By a woman I don't even know! I'm the blurry one in the background.
Thank you Cyndie for capturing this special moment for me!

Our booth neighbors, Kevin and Linda O'Grady. I don't know who the chick is with the heavy eye makeup.
He-LLO! Is that your best daytime look, girl?
Kevin's borosilicate bracelets will amaze you, and as a show veteran, his advice on how to
keep a canopy from flying away in the wind is to be trusted. Linda is just plain sweet and fun.

Joyce Rooks in her booth. I had the best time talking to Joyce at Kate McKinnon's party.
She is a lovely woman of many talents.

Patty and Jean Baruch,the national Beads of Courage Coordinator. She hosted a lovely "Reception of
Gratitude" for beadmakers who have helped out with BOC.
She's a sweetheart and a force, all wrapped up into the cutest package!

Can you believe this was taken with an iPhone as we were passing them
(it's a photo booth vendor from a fair, I'm guessing) on I-10 on our way home?


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