Friday, August 28, 2009

Adventures with Hubert

Hubert (the car) and I went on a errand run today. Fantastically productive. Fun places too!
I packed the car with boxes and bubbles at Carton Services and then wound around town picking up silver wire from West Coast Findings (for making earring wires, I seem to now require an endless supply of earwires) and I bought a new wire cutter... its a sweet little number... gotta love good tools.

Then I went to Hippo Hardware and checked out the chandelier parts they had on hand. WOW that was fun. I've never been to this place before and it was terrific, totally packed with nick-nacks. The top floor was all lamps and parts of lamps. There was an entire wall of drawers that are filled with chandelier parts, organized drawers of crystals prisms and metal widgets. Oh yeah baby. I've been wanting to find old crystal prisms to make more rainbow making mobiles (like this one) and this place was perfect. They have new ones and used ones. I picked out a handful of different size used ones and one ball prism for myself because I love them! it was new, they didn't have any used ballz :) oh my.
Okay, so Hippo Hardware was a very fun place. I also hit up SunLan Lighting for some more photoflood bulbs, mine seem to have all blown within the last few weeks. That place is also very fun (big store full of nothing but lightbulbs?! whats not fun about that)
Oh here are more pictures of Hippo Hardware, although I also ran around to Harbor Freight, and the Marine Fishing Store (swivel source) and then up to the glass studio to pick up some of my work...

The picture above is a staircase that was lined with doorplates and keyholes of all types and sizes... and then the picture below is a manikin dressed as a nun (in flippers) G pimpin' in a bath tub. Yep. I'll say it again, I enjoyed visiting Hippo Hardware, and I walked away with a bunch of neat old prisms for about a buck a piece.

Handwriting Experiment Day 2

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Okay, so I think the format still needs some work... its pretty illegible... but I still like the idea... what do you think?


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Scrap Bucket

Its hard to see in the pictures (which I made a little animation out of), however I was cutting circles for 3+hours, so I made quite a bit of scrap...

Ode to Garden Mobile

I feel like summer is rounding out... kids are going back to school... my tomatoes are all ripening getting eaten, my beans are almost done for the season. Its been so hot that a lot of my flowers are sorta tortured by now... soon I'll have to start planting more bulbs for next spring (I forgot to do that last year- so I've got a big box of bulbs I've got to plant this year - when is the right time?)

Jan and I have created a flower mobile that I had to share here on my blog.
The colors are reflective and shiny, the mobile is a garden of many different flowers that Jan has carved over the years. We've done a garden mobile before (which is exquisite!) but this is the first time we've printed the flowers in colors (the other garden mobile is monochromatic)
I like how the red pops, and I colored the stems of the flowers green. I was inspired by the Orchid plate that we made recently.
In these last two pictures I tried to capture how the color is vibrant and metallic.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Silliness Brings Smiles

A wonderful email came to me today, I love getting pictures from customers and these two really made me smile! This is what the email said:
Dear Leah,
Thought you might get a kick out of these. The girls that clean for me always leave her like this:
and my granson always puts her - -- second pic to follow
There is it, the iPhone pictures bringing us all closer :) Thank You Susan!!!

I love both pictures, the first one cracks me up - I have seen people set down my little downward facing dogs like this, so that they are seated (and sort of looking like they are on a strange roller coaster) rather than doing yoga... seems to me its some sort of funny reaction to seeing the lady with her ass up in the air, some people feel the need to let her just sit down. I find this really funny.

And the second picture is just divine, the little person sitting on the little swan. What fun!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

I'm so close I can taste it!!

I just want to send a big Thank you all around the world to all my Etsy customers. Its been wonderful to share my work with you all. I hope you have enjoyed your colorful packages, your speedy shipping, and most importantly I hope your mobiles exceeded your expectations!

Here's to triple digits. I had a goal of reaching 1000 sales last Christmas. Seemed like such a small number and such a do-able achievement. Life is full of disappointments. Right!? :) Some disappointments are more delicious than others - and I dare say the patience required to see my Etsy shop reach triple digits has been quite tasty. I have loved each and every one of my 999 Etsy sales (okay so there was one that was a PITA but that is rude of me to mention and honestly, 1/999 ain't bad!) and I really don't mind it took me 2+years!

So heres the deal: (I am only announcing it here, and most likely my next Etsy customer might not see this...) regardless, whoever is my 1000th sale on Etsy gets a sweet reward in their package :)

Gratitude sometimes comes in the form of colored glass goodies :)

PS. notice in the picture above that my shop looks so spiffy?! if you go into my shop on your computer it doesn't look like this (yet) because also notice in the upper left corner of the picture is the words "rearrange your shop"... Well I have been taste-testing this new feature and its bitter-sweet! Its a brilliant feature but only the other beta testers can see my changes. arg! so until the Etsy releases this feature my customers can't see my rearranging. *sigh* doesn't it look good?! hm... I guess its hard to tell from just one screen shot... so for now you'll just have to trust me! ha!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

My Friend Sandra Miller

This morning I found my beautiful friend Sandy in my booth at the Portland Saturday Market! What a great treat! She took pictures of my work while she was there (THANK YOU SANDY!!!) and wrote a most wonderful blog entry about it.

The Naito Legacy Fountain

The fountain at the Portland Saturday Market is finished! The site was completely open, no construction fences, just open spaces. We are celebrating the completion of this whole new site for the next two weekends!! This weekend: great bands and artist demos... Next weekend: vendor party!

Today was such a pleasure watching the little kids play. It got pretty hot out in the sun, so the babies were down to their soggy diapers, and they were the cutest site ever!!!

The Naito Legacy fountain is really beautiful and creative, it seems to circulate between a few different styles of spray/pool and the kids simply love it. Sometimes they can run thru a tunnel of water arcs, then these arcs get shorter and are the perfect height to get little 3-4yr olds right in the head so they squeal and dance with delight... then the fountain will fill and the kids can run around in 3 or 4 inches of water (the rest of the time its just a flat fountain with the squirting water)... this ever changing fountain is really fun. Its a total hit, completely crowded with squealing happy kids all day long. Here's a little video from earlier this week when the fountain was officially opened. I wish I could have been there for this ceremony!

Bill Naito Legacy Fountain

As a vendor at the Portland Saturday Market, I must say that I really do love our new home. I can't say THANK YOU loud enough! Its truly beautiful and I believe that it honors the artists that sell their work at the market, as well as the history behind the site, the people and the creative legacy of Portland Saturday Market. There is so much detail in the site and the work being done to the buildings in the area. Its really incredible to me to see the city honor its history. Old Town Portland is being graced with some serious positive changes, its great to have a front row seat!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Fly Fishing in Oregon

Pictured is a mobile created in collaboration with Jan Christine - one of our LeJa creations.
Fish are swimming in the mobile, its gorgeous (if I say so myself).

My father is a fly-fisherman. He lives in NC and each Christmas when I am trying to think of a gift to send him other than some more glass art of mine (which is probably what he would prefer) I stumble upon a book on Amazon called "Fly Fishing in Oregon" and I think
"Oooh what a great gift for Dad, he could read and get tempted to visit and go fly fishing in Oregon". You see, NC and OR happen to be some of the best states for fly fishing, so I sent him the book. Evidently I did this 3 times.

3 times. The exact same book every time. Yep. Each time I have no recollection that I had already sent this "great gift" and finally I was informed and some of the books were returned. Sheesh. Each time I honestly thought it was the best idea ever!
Heres a picture of my Dad scopin' a good spot while on a hike in NC.

How I digress though, these fish in the mobile look like trout to me. Trout are the type of fish that my Dad catches (and releases - he simply likes the process). Jan outdid herself as usual with her carving skills. The reeds and bubbles make the mobile very 3 dimensional to me. I love it. Hope you do to.

Amazing Camera Give-Away

Want to win this camera? Say Yes Please!

Check it out - twit about it and enter to win. It is for real - a Canon 5DMKII (and its not me who is giving this away, check out the link for more info)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Heat Wave #2

Sometimes I feel like I am playing catch-up (and not necessarily winning!).

It just seems insane sometimes... making... selling... shipping... making some more... realizing I'm out of certain things that I can't make more in time for the weekend... shipping some more... realizing I am shipping the last of my inventory of certain things... realizing I won't be able to make more till next week... making some more... selling some more...

I am going thru one of those weeks where I would like to complete AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. And then it got hot again. wtf

The Portland Saturday Market is having a big to-do this weekend. All the construction is finally finished and we will once again have a stage with music and a functioning water fountain and so forth... our advertising co-ordinator Reid has out-done himself with full page color ads in all the local papers, spots on TV and the radio, I feel like everywhere I turn there is an ad to tell people to come down to the PSM for our "grand opening" to celebrate the new site.
I am doing artist demonstrations on Saturday and I've recruited my assistant friend Aimee to come work the booth with me. I am hoping for huge crowds and (crossing my fingers) good sales! So this week has been all about production. Trying to make and package as much work as possible... the thought being if I am swamped with a zillion customers at least I will have work to sell them and hopefully I can make the best of this opportunity!

Unfortunately it got hot again this week. Fortunately it seems short lived and the temps are already headed back down. But the thermometer registered over 100 at my house yesturday and damn that is hot for Portland (didn't we already have a sufficient heat wave for one summer!!). This heat makes me a little loopy and less productive. I went to see Julie and Julia yesturday afternoon to break up the heat. It was great. Then I got back to working :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Orchid Plate

This orchid plate that Jan and I made is simply gorgeous, if I say so myself :)

It was difficult for me to capture on film... the plate is clear glass, the orchid within it has a deep red flower that sparkles in the sun, and the stem is a lovely chalky green. Jan really outdid herself with this carving (all our printed plates are made with Jan's hand illustrated carved linoleum blocks).
The story behind this carving (because everything has a story!)...

the story goes that a gal came down to the Portland Saturday Market and got to talking to Jan about doing an illustration of an orchid. She came back later that day with a small orchid in a glass Pom cup (you know the ones with the lids that the Pom company no longer bottles their tea in - I love those cups, I would buy the tea just to accumulate the cups, but I digress!) and she wrote down care instructions for Jan in her journal.

The market is full of fun little encounters like this, great stories behind every little piece of art...
Anyhow, this is the carving that she ended up creating from her illustrations. I love it. And it looks quite luscious trapped in glass, especially in this glossy metallic red.
I really struggled to get a good photograph though... so instead you get this whole smorgishboard! There are many aspects the camera simply refused to capture (especially with my lack of camera skillz)... the color of the flower, the delicious saturation of the stem and leaves... ah well, I tried. Come by the market to check it out in person if you'd like! :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Pictures of Glass Mobiles

I want to share pictures of some of the projects I've finished for this week...
This first mobile (its three pictures of the same mobile in the picture above) is a fun unique creation I made using a few pieces that I made a while back. The "circles within circles" look was something that I thought about doing so I experimented a little, it was a PITA so I simply put the experiments in a drawer and figured they'd come in handy. Sure enough, a friend from the Aquila Glass studio asked if I could make a unique wedding present for friends of hers and these discs came to mind. I paired them with some other bright colored circles and voila - I really like how it turned out. I knew they would be part of sweet mobile one day.

The next 3 pictures are of a different mobile. I thought it would be fun to show some of the photography I do for custom mobiles. This first picture simply shows what the wall looked like before I took the prints off the wall for the "white wall" photo-shoot. I took the picture because I liked how it looked :) The top print is a wonderful hand-illustrated panoramic, very quirky and extremely detailed, the middle print is a Portland bridge photo by Verone Flood and the bottom print is a piece done by my brother featuring our friend Alex DJing at a party from back when I was in college.
then the "white wall" photo (prints taken down)

and then this last shot is the discs used in the mobile

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Perseids Meteor Shower

I forgot to mention, we got to enjoy the meteor shower from out on the Beach Thursday night. There were some clouds, but they were moving fast and it was actually clear for the most part... so around midnight we went and laid on the beach and watched the meteors shower down. It was beautiful.

I didn't take this shot - it was taken back in 2007 and I found it on Flickr... nice shot eh :)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Beach Retreat

Nothing charges the ol' batteries like a few days at the beach! Wow it was wonderful.

The warm sand between my toes... the smell of the salt water in the breeze... the sound of the waves lapping at the shore... the red-orange glow of the setting sun on the ocean... the taste of fresh seafood...

We had a great couple of days at the beach! We stayed at the Ester Lee in Lincoln City... and it was really quite nice! #4 was our unit, complete with incredible views from every window (and there were 7!) and a jacuzzi tub.
There was a great rock formation right outside our windows in the shoreline, we even had a private backyard area with chairs to sit and watch the sunset over the water. This was our view. We had fun checking out the tide-pools in the rocks in the morning. Lots of mussels and other barnacles. I took a zillion pictures
We went to the Pelican Brewery in Pacific City for a great dinner, I ate steamer clams that were prepared in beer instead of wine. They were great. Haystack Rock is so beautiful. There were a lot of people out trying to surf, a lot of people running up and down the big sand dune. We got to watch the Dory ships coming in from fishing for the day and getting dragged off the beach at Haystack Rock. Its neat to know that ships have been coming in and out of the ocean to fish at Haystack Rock for a very long time, the bay there provides safe access. I had fun with Tim making up myths to tell the story of this fantastic spot. I bet if I did a little research I could find the real Native American stories that go along with this land, I have no doubt there are some.
I brought along my orange Ukulele for some relaxing practice time. Here I am sitting in front of the windows in our pad at the Ester Lee. I recommend that place highly, it was really nice, affordable, private and spacious.
Oh and today for lunch we stopped in Rockaway (thanx Erin for the recommendation!) and had lunch at the Smokehouse - it was great! Completely local fresh seafood, with character - I like that!