Sunday, October 31, 2010

Trick or Treat?

 It always seems that Halloween brings with it some of the coldest temps we have had thus far and this year was no exception. Everyone was bundled in layers to do a little trick or treating last night. Around here you are only allowed to go between 6-8PM, just after the sun sets and the temps drop and the wind blows! The kids didn't seem to mind too much once the candy started to flow!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A New Kid In Town

There's a new kid in town, Love My Art Jewlery, and they're hosting monthly challenges A Call to Create, beginning Nov 1st. head on over there and check out the post by Barbara Lewis!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Over The Moon

I am over the moon happy about a workshop that I had the privilege of taking yesterday with Barbara Lewis
The day started out early, I left about 6:45 to drive to Annapolis to the Maryland Hall  for the Creative Arts where the workshop was being held. The moon was still up for a good long while as I drove, this was shot from my car.
I met up with several good friends, Anne, Bette and Carol who were also taking the workshop and also got to meet Lori Anderson whose blog I have been following as of late.

The class had been sold out for awhile and with only 10 students it made for a very intimate learning experience. Everything was set up and ready for us when we arrived which was SSoooo nice.  Barbara, shared all her knowledge of torch fired beads and we all got to freely play and experiment with the colors of the enamel rainbow!  Beads, enamels, and any portion of the torch setups were available for purchase so most of us left with an arsenal ready to play once home in our own studios! It was a very relaxing atmosphere and a most enjoyable workshop. Thank You Barbara (and Jim!)


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Wanted: For Obstruction of Creativity

Ok, here's the disclaimer up front. This post will have a lot of pix- most of them are not pretty- please have all small children and pets leave the room as they may get lost in the clutter and i can't be held responsible! You can click on a picture and then click a second time to make it really large if you dare!

That being said, yesterday was my husband's birthday. He spent part of it fishing with a few buds of his and then he had work he wanted to get done on his boat before the weather turned bad this week.  SSoooo... I had most of the day to myself. I decided to tackle ,start reorganizing what used to be known as my studio.  Now I'm not going so far as to even go into the pottery rooms, just the front room. I will start at the front door and try to give a surround view play by play. Here goes-
Standing inside my front door looking straight ahead.  When we first renovated this old store, the back rooms were for my studio, pottery and kilns, this front part was going to be a shop, but that was right before the fire at the restaurant when all those plans changed. So the antique display cases that we had for the shop are now being used for storage units.  Notice the storage containers on the floor, think they'll hold it all, nah, me either! The bookcases are filled to the brim , hence the books and magazines on the floor, will need to figure that out. The commercial t shirt machine was for when i made the shirts for my son's FIRST robotics competitions andmousepads for our restaurant.  There is a gas fireplace set beneath the mantle.

This is looking now to the back right corner. There is an old shoemakers rack with fabric on it, the red barnwood cabinets in the corner have beeswax figures that i cast from vintage chocolate molds, the green cupboard has ephemera, sealing wax, some plates for mosaics, cigar boxes and mache doll parts that i also cast. There are 2 ships figureheads on top of the green cabinet which i started and have yet to finish, they were for the restaurant as decor. The pie safe with the doors open houses sewing supplies and there are vintage sewing implements on top along with a redware doll i made who has yet to be dressed. Behind this glass display case sits a library table and vintage oak desk which I used to make all my jewelry on but since bringing those items into my home, it now is my sewing space. Notice the little purple sewing machine behind the spinner rack? It is a real sewing machine sized for little girls, for my grandaughter.
The 8' display case hold lots of vintage trims that I had used when i was making outfits for the redware dolls. The illustration on the left is from a book from the 1800's of a sailor and his mermaid. i'm a hopeless romantic what can I say? The cardboard drink holder on top of the display case holds dead butterflies, I had the holder in my car and when i would find a butterfly lying on the ground in the street or parking lot, i put them in there to keep from getting crushed in my car.  My nephew saves dragonflies for me from the Navy ship he is on, he says they come there to land and die so he collects them for me (all for jewelry) He gets the weird gene directly from me!
This is standing at the front door looking a little to the left. The black canister looking thingie on he floor in the front is a frit crusher, for crushing glass to cast. The open door at the end of the corridor is a closet that spans the length of the wall and is beneath the stairs leading to the Up-Art-Ment. The frame is from a rug I hooked (rug punch) The rack on the wall holds rubber stamps.  An enamel kiln, PMC kiln and small glass kiln sit atop an old science table with black stone top.  Behind the rug frame sits a light table that my husband built for me 20 years ago when i was back in school and needed a light table to do the series of silkscreens accurately.

From the front door looking left, you can see the original door from inside the building which leads to the upstairs apartment. Behind the white sideboard is an old formica table which is for the torch and hot glass setup. I plan on removing this sideboard and replacing it with a workbench for my enameling ( yea Barbara!) It currently has my glass saw and grinder and tumbler and a dremel set on top but is an inefficient use of space. (that's funny isn't it?)
The mantle has a wonderful old confessional sort of doors that had been backed with a mirror and also my dada doll from Linda and Opie O'Briens class. The shoe organizer holds glass rods.
A better view of that corner
A view down the corridor. The bookcase on the left has paints, glues etc on it, the black bookcase on the far wall has all varieties of shells for making Sailor's Valentines, and the white bookcase on the right has catalogued  magazines. The slant front display case, one of my favorites, used to hold all the clear plastic storage containers of beads and gemstones and findings for jewelry making. It was great to be able to see them all from both sides with the light passing through.

Standing in the door to the pottery room looking out into the corridor. The fridge holds inportant things like water, yogurt, apples and chocolate !
Standing at the bookcase with the shells looking back towards the front door.

Closer view of the hot glass table. Note the Carlisle mini cc torch on the hardi backer board which is protecting the floor. The Barnes and Noble bag (on the table) is full of cleaned cat food cans for use with the torch fired enamels.
Standing near the hot glass table looking back across the room.

Now some of you out there are probably thinking " I would never show this" but you see that's exactly why I am doing it. Life gets busy, things get dropped and stacked and shuffled and disorganized from time to time. It's been over a year since i worked in here. Other more important life happenings took precedent over this. I am on a mission now though and showing these pix will keep me to it, keep me honest so to speak. I will be back with the final results in pix as soon as i finish.

In the meantime....

Happy Birthday Ray!
Now let's eat cake!




Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sweet Surprise

Lookie Lookie what the little brown truck just left at my doorstep!
My sweet Mom had these sent to me! We have been looking for them for a long time! I know I'm dating myself here but does anyone out there remember Bonomo Turkish Taffy? You put these in the freezer then take them out and slam them on the counter to break into pieces and then you eat every last piece! MMMmmmmm!
Thanks Mom- I love you too!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Trygg Reise

Which translates to bon voyage in Norwegian
My son recently returned from Alaska to find out that he was leaving again today for Norway! Can you tell he's loving this? He will be travelling to a little island north of the arctic circle called Andenes.  More Aurora Borealis yeah!  Ha Det Bra my son! (take care) XO

Sunday, October 10, 2010

I'm A Fan

OK, so that was too easy, but really, I am a fan of Michael DeMeng's. I have been trying to squeeze in a class of his for the past 2 years at Art and Soul Hampton and next year will be the year! I will be taking his Strange Angels class.  This is a sampler of his color combinations and how to achieve them.  A great reference to have.  They are new and available on his website here.

This also just arrived in the mail yesterday
Talk about a wish book for jewelry artists!
I have several pages dog-earred already!
And those Schauer enamels!!! OH MY!
Visions of sugar plums for sure!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Just a Perfect Day

We can't remember when this tradition began, my husband seems to think it's been at least 10 years ago if not more that we started this.  On my birthday, I like to go pick out my pumpkins and mums and take in a few antique shops before celebrating with family.
It was a beautiful fall day yesterday, about 65*, partly sunny with heavy fall clouds dotting the sky.  We headed up this time to a farm stand I recently saw out on Rte 50 in Maryland and then stopped at a curious little antique mall near Cambridge.

On our way home, we ran into a stray shower and at one point I looked out my window and saw the most glorious double rainbow I have ever seen! I practically stopped the car in the middle of the road!  My husband urged me to find a safer spot to pull over as i was frantically trying to pull my camera out of the back seat.  I pulled into a side lane and jumped out of the car not quite putting into park yet, and you will see here why.  Have you ever seen where the rainbow ENDS? Well, we did, it came straight down to the ground in FRONT of the tree line!
I was so excited i could hardly breathe! I was so hoping it would show up in the photos- take a look-

These pictures are as shot from the camera, no photoshop, just cropped. Can you see the entire spectrum? Is that not perfect??? And truth be told, the pictures really don't do it justice.
Then as we started to drive away, the song "Forever Young" by Bob Dylan came on the radio and as i listened to the words I felt i had been given a divine gift.  I had goosebumps.

"Forever Young"

May God bless and keep you always

May your wishes all come true

May you always do for others

And let others do for you

May you build a ladder to the stars

And climb on every rung

May you stay forever young

Forever young, forever young

May you stay forever young.

May you grow up to be righteous

May you grow up to be true

May you always know the truth

And see the lights surrounding you

May you always be courageous

Stand upright and be strong

May you stay forever young

Forever young, forever young

May you stay forever young.

May your hands always be busy

May your feet always be swift

May you have a strong foundation

When the winds of changes shift

May your heart always be joyful

And may your song always be sung

May you stay forever young

Forever young, forever young

May you stay forever young.

Like I said, Just a perfect Day!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

New Pretties

I need to share with you my treasures from the meet and greet at Artbliss.
There was so much to choose from,  but these are the pretties that came home with me. Aren't they beautiful? The fold formed and enameled earrings on the left are from Melissa Manley. The copper and turquoise earrings on the right are from Deryn Mentock.  The gorgeous lampworked bead set is a limited edition for the bang gals bracelet from Kerry Bogert.  I haven't had the pleasure of taking a class with Kerry yet, but I met her at Beadfest Philly and watched her do a demo and purchased her book Totally Twisted. These colors are all my favorites! Yummy!

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