Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sticker Fun

This morning was so beautiful at the Portland Saturday Market. It was already warm and super sunny. In my booth on the waterfront I could hear boaters on the river. As I was setting up I passed this quartet playing in front of the Ankeny Fountain (sorry the volume of the people talking is louder thru the camera than the quartet)

video

Later in the hot afternoon I noticed this cute girl noticing my business cards and I asked her is she likes stickers. Who doesn't like stickers :) ?! So she and her friend each got a sticker, they stuck em' to their shirts. I love that! Excellent advertising :) I asked the girl if she would like to have her picture taken (because she was just Awesome!) and she gleefully said yes. I'd just like to say Thanks for all the nice people that stopped by my booth to collect my work and help my little business. I am truly appreciative. It means so much to me to share my work with good people. It was a fun weekend, hot and hot, which is sorta nap inducing but I couldn't nap in my booth, I had to stay awake. Sheesh. But honestly, it was a nice weekend. Thanks!

Friday, May 29, 2009

New Glasses Arrived

My new glasses finally arrived in the mail (via ZenniOptical.com)! I like em! They are cute (and orange on the inside, which makes me happy) and they fit and I can see perfectly fine thru them. The best part - they cost all of $24 including shipping. The bad news (isn't there always bad news) they took 3 weeks to arrive rather than the 2weeks that the website claimed. But they arrived safe and sound in a neat little plastic glasses holder wrapped in a pale green gentle lens cloth. I am pleased. Just thought you'd want to know :)

Little Borosilicate Vessels

Little vessels - I love them.

My friend Poe made this last one (I made the two purple ones).

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Sauvie Island Strawberry Picking

I went to Sauvie Island today to pick strawberries.
warm from the sun, delicious sweet strawberries... yummmmmm.most of them were green still, seems this year everything is 2 weeks late
but there were plenty to nibble and praiseKruger's Farm now has animals :)
there was a fat pregnant pig sleeping in a barnand chickens running aroundwhat a cute funny looking chick eh?!There were peonies blooming in a fieldI took lots of pictures of the round buds just ready to burstI find the round shape of the peony bud to be so amazingly gorgeous. I love the way it unfurls to become this sweet sultry perfumed huge flower. They are amazing. The bugs seemed to agree, in many of my pictures there were flies or ants or bees hanging out on the buds.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Images on Glass

I've set up an Etsy shop for the glass pieces that Jan and I have been creating, we call our collaboration "LeJa".

http://LeJa.etsy.com

More plates and mobiles will be listed constantly... I've barely begun to sift thru all the pictures I've taken.

We are working on a small booklet that can be purchased as a .pdf from this Etsy shop that will be a great little how-to on our simple traditional block printing methods transfered to glass. It will be a great resource for what materials work in different ways (ink options and powder options/cautions for colors) and where to purchase many of these materials. We will be sharing the results of our experimentation and collaboration... the booklet will be available for sale soon.

Enjoy!!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Mystery Egg

Found this little egg pierced by a stick in my backyard as I was hanging my hammock this weekend.

This little egg is so beautiful, and so sad, and so interesting all at the same time... the mystery remains: how do you think this happened? Your guess is as good as mine
so far here are the going theories:
1. the egg was pierced by a crow (they use things as tools)
2. the egg shell was soft and it must have fallen and bisected on a small branch and the baby bird inside stopped the fall and thus the shell now remains half cut in half on the stick

Personally I just don't know. Theory #1 seems odd to me, interesting though, but why wouldn't the crow just use his beak. Theory #2 is also interesting, but improbable as the egg would have had to hit the stick in a very particular way to bisect so perfectly. Personally I think I must have mini monkeys in my trees outside. Or the loud blue jays that mock me in the early morning with their songs, they must be getting crafty and breaking the other birds eggs.

I think Myth Busters might have to perform some experiments to see if a soft robbin's egg falling could actually bisect on a branch :)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Birthday Sunshine

Okay, so it was my birthday yesterday. I didn't turn on the computer all day!!!
Some friends came by and Tim and Tony helped me throw a little BBQ bash for the holiday. I put out some wire and glass beads so everyone could create birthday tiaras (Alexander Calder made some tiaras back in the day and this cracks me up - I thought it would be fun to see what everyone made!) Aren't they great!!!

And I set up the frisbee bowling - oh yes - you read correctly, Frisbee Bowling. :) Its sorta like frisbee golf but with bowling pins. Yup. And its pretty difficult, no matter how close you get! I couldn't get a single pin down. In fact, I even tried hitting some golf balls at the pins and launched one ball into the neighbors yard two doors down where they were having a party as well. Oh my goodness! I had to holler "sorry!" over the fences!!! No one was hurt. But the frisbee bowling was not entirely a flop - Byron and Judi both rocked out and got 4 of the 6 pins down. A tie for gold. To see action shots of their games click on their names :)

Tim helped me set up the hammock earlier in the day. It was such a sunny gorgeous day. I took the entire weekend off and relaxed casual style. Today I lounged in the hammock all afternoon reading a little Bill Bryson. Okay, so I fell asleep, and it was a glorious nap. I love my hammock.
Oh and of course I must add the gratuitous cat picture from this weekend - look at my cute cats sunning themselves in front of the beautiful flowers:
I've had a good weekend, ups and downs including. Good news: I'm one year older and had a fun birthday. Bad news: some drunk *&%#$@ drag racing in the middle of the day nearly killed Tim when he was out at the grocery store getting supplies for the BBQ. F*ckers raced right thru a red light and bashed right into Tim who was crossing the street. The new Hyundai took the impact amazingly well, the bumper is a mess but Tim is fine and I got to spend a few quality hours on the phone with police and insurance. Gotta love drunk f*ckers who drive on holidays. It was a hit and run, so we will have to pay our insurance deductible to fix the car and I doubt the f*ckers in question will ever get caught... at least their car got smashed in all along the side. But I found that stressful, I cannot lose Mr Tim, and I cannot handle any more people running into me or my cars! I swear its a life-long struggle. I wish this hadn't happened. The car is so new!! And the thought of Tim having gotten hurt is just too much to consider.

I dunno why I couldn't just have a happy-go-lucky easy birthday. I tried my best to make a stress-free birthday for myself, but some things are not control-able. There is always the up with the down. I do believe in balance, and life certainly seems to agree, but I find it sad and painful most of the time. Luckily seeing all my smiling friends (and cute baby Orson in his golden track suit outfit!!) makes me happy, and honestly Tim is fine and cars can be fixed.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Tea

This is a divine cup of tea that I enjoyed at the Chinese Garden last week.

I have a certain fascination with tea.

my favorite tea: Yunan Jin Cha (Emperors Gold)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I love getting pictures from customers!

I received these pictures from Nebraska in my email box - I love getting pictures from customers!
Here I am in my booth a few weeks ago, picture was taken by the happy customer the day she found my booth at the Portland Saturday Market and picked out her new mobile. Thanks Karen for sending me pictures!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Fire Starter

These firestarters are for sale at the Portland Saturday Market. One time when I asked my Dad what his favorite booth at the market was, he said it was the The Strike Master Survival Tool.

Basically the metal stick is a piece of magnesium with a flint on one side. Magnesium burns at 5400degrees F, making it possible to ignite in just about any circumstance.

The way it works is you scrape some magnesium shavings into a pile using the blue scraper, place some tinder on the magnesium shavings (you can even scrape the "tinder" from the wooden handle! this tool is all-in-one!) and then set the flint directly into the tinder and scrape the flint. The sparks will ignite the magnesium which will get the tinder burning, you can even use green or damp tinder. Really.
video
Here's a video of Charlie demonstrating his firestarters at the Portland Saturday Market. This booth is a staple of the market, the business was first started by Charlie's father, and continued thru the generations. Charlie is currently the head of the Portland Saturday Market board. Next time you are at the Portland Saturday Market you'll have to stop by and check them out, he sells a key-chain version which makes for impromptu fun :)

I love these fire-starters. Perhaps I am just a sucker for anything that lets me play with fire!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Portland Saturday Market in the News

This is a picture of the media frenzy that was out on the waterfront park yesterday in Portland Oregon. They were all set up with their cameras pointed at my booth! Sam Adams, Mayor here in the city of Portland, came and welcomed us to the new site and said a few words.
The city commissioner and also the head of the Portland Developement Committee also said a few words and expressed their welcome to the artists and neighbors. It was fun to hear about the history of the site and wonderful to be reminded of the bonds that make this city so wonderful. Good neighbors, unique art, delicious food and amazing scenery all come together to make Portland the best city in the country to live in. The new Portland Saturday Market site honors the history waterfront park (as they dug up the site they found old stone balasts that the ships used to use for weights back in the days of the original Portland harbor) and the site showcases our art in a way that truly honors the artists. I couldn't be happier.

I was interviewed by KATU channel 2 news, my enthusiam for the new site was shared with the whole city this morning via the local news. :) I still haven't seen it, but friends told me it aired this morning and I did well. In the picture below you can see Paul (the head of our market) being interviewed as well.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Family Times

I've been a busy bee this week- my Dad is in town with my step-mom. They are so wonderful to hang out with.

We've been to the gardens, the arboretum, the Gorge, Mt. Hood, the Contemporary Craft Museum, the farmers market, Powells books, Bobs Red Mill, etc. I've eatten so much good Pacific NW food (did I mention a trip to Pix for some good chocolate... nummy) really how much more can you cram in one visit.

Plus my dad has been helping out with learning how to use my new camera. Here he is, taking pictures in the Chinese Gardens:
And here's another picture I took of him, the D80 takes great portraits! Love you Dad!


By the way - on a separate note - the Portland Saturday Market is all over the news right now too?! Our grand special opening (plus a parade!) is tomorrow and the Mayor will be there to cut a ribbon. How fun!

See you there!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Ladies with Idle Hands

I had a lovely day today... mimosas and crafty times with some friends. Wow was that nice!

Monday, May 11, 2009

New Portland Saturday Market Site

I took a few videos yesterday at the Portland Saturday Market to show off the new site, it was early morning and the crowds were not thick yet, so I thought it would be a great opportunity to walk around video-taping... I think next weekend I'll try again with the camera strapped to something rolling (like a baby stroller?) so that the video quality is a little bit better... but this give you a small glimpse into the beautiful new waterfront site
video

This past weekend was beautiful and exhausting. It was wonderful to see so many happy families spoiling their mothers and the sun glittering in the nearly cloudless sky. I am always thankful to meet other people that love mobiles and add to their collections. I hope they know how thankful I am that they help support my little business... THANK YOU!

My set-up has gotten more complicated... I have a bigger booth now, so I can fit more displays... and I am doing torchworking demonstrations again, so that entails setting up a mini glass studio... With all these additions to my booth its now taking me at least 2 hours to set-up and another 2 hours to take down each day. Whew! And my storage is an extra block away now, which seems trivial, but man oh man does it make it even more exhausting taking all those trips back and forth. Not that I am complaining - I am more just stating the obvious that my little feet hurt from endless trips back and forth. I am so so very appreciative that Tim helps me in the morning on Saturday and Tony helps me at night on Sunday. As it was my feet felt so humble and sore last night. I soaked them in salt in one of those vibrating foot baths last night, that helped too :)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mom and Me

Happy Mothers Day!

I love you

.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Spring Flowers Mobile

I want to share pictures of the various mobiles I have around my house - this particular one hangs right above my head as I sleep.

With all the trees blooming as spring warms up, I have been taking lots of pictures of flowering branches... so I thought it was too perfect to share a picture of this mobile I made years ago.

I was inspired to make some sort of cherry blossom type of mobile, so I made lots of different five petaled flower beads, all about the size of a nickle. Then I took some thin wire and fixed the beads to the ends and went about trying to make a mobile... it ended up different than I had intended (at first I was thinking some sort of chaotic chandelier of blossoms...) but that proved to make my head hurt trying to manifest. I wanted to use thin wire that was not too stiff to add some character, so the wire was pretty soft. In order to make the "branches" stiffer I wound the wires together making mini-clusters and then free-form branches out of a few clusters. Wound together like this the wire was stronger, but quickly the mobile grew and before long it was quite large and very simple. Not chaotic like I had intended, but very calm and beautiful none the less.

I was then left with a lot of extra flower beads, so one thing I made out them was this fun tree.

In the end I was happy with my creations, but sorta disappointed as well. Its not really something that I could ship or package, the wire is too pliable... but if I used a stiffer steel I wouldn't get the organic branch look that is possible with the thin stuff... I could do a really amazing installation in a gallery, but its not something I could really sell online and just put in a box and ship. Once hung it takes a bit of tweaking and standing back and staring at it, then playing with the branches a bit more, and then its just simple and perfect. And the tree was fun to make, I have always like the wire trees that are made from twisted up fine wires...

So long story short, its a one-of-a-kind sorta creation. And so it hangs in my bedroom, treasured by me. :)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I smashed my eyeglasses today :(

What a huge bummer. Here's how it happened: I was wearing a particle mask in the studio today and at one point as I took the mask off I didn't realize my glasses came off too! I didn't even hear them fall, I simply felt myself step down on something and crush it. Some swearing and profanities followed as I picked up the pieces.

I cannot tell you how much I loved these glass, they were troupers. And expensive...

But I must move on, find new glasses, and I don't want to spend much money. I have contacts and I dug up an old pair of glasses to wear tonight... but new frames are in order!

Here's a picture of the new glasses I just picked out and purchased online:
A friend told me about this online company ZenniOptial, that has the best deals on glasses anywhere - and I've always wanted to try them out, so now I have a reason to. Here's the deal, ZenniOptical.com uses no middlemen, no retail overhead, and no advertising. The glasses range from $8.00 to $25.95 - including lenses! Seems too good to be true - $8 for glasses!!! Wha?! Shipping only cost $4.95.

I've seen my friend's glasses that she has ordered from ZenniOptical over the years and they are great!

These frames I picked out (I bought the black/orange frame) cost $23.95!!! That's my grand total for the frames, lenses and shipping, total, INSANE!! I was able to enter my prescription from the last time I visited the eye doctor and place my order in a matter of minutes online.

I am wowed. And sad all at the same time, I liked my old glasses. Hope I like the new ones, if I do I'm going back to order 3 more pairs. :) You can even get sunglasses tint for a mere $5 more, so I could get prescription sunglasses for $20! That's just crazy-talk :)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Learning to use my Nikon D80

I've been studying the manual, and reading literature about the D80 and watching UTube video tutorials... little by little I am learning how to use it.

One big hurdle is learning to use it with my indoor photo light setup... I used a paperweight from my grandma Bergstrum's old collection... the glare is pretty bad but it was a good process of not using the AUTO funtion and setting the apperature and shutter speeds manually... then I tried to set the white balance... this I will have to spend some more time studying, becuase I am not sure what I did :)
Then I went outside, it was lightly raining, so I took the tripod and an umbrella and the lens hood...
The glass discs hanging from my tree looked so pretty dripping and spinning in the rain.



Saturday, May 2, 2009

New Portland Saturday Market Site

Okay, I got my butt kicked by mother nature today. For realz.
This picture shows how the weather man was so wrong - it was supposed to rain all day, but the clouds burned away and it was beautiful. For a few hours.

Then it got cloudy and cold and in a matter of moments all hell broke loose and suddenly I found myself clinging to my booth (that seemed more like a ship sail than a protective booth) as the rain and thunder and lightning and HAIL came horizontally down and straight into me. My glass mobiles were fine, they could care less that it was raining and crazy... but all my packages and labels and paper signs got ruined. And I became a cold soggy mess. I am going back tomorrow (glutton for punishment?) so tonight I have to repackage things and print new signs. ug.

Big shout-out THANK YOU goes out to Aimee and Mike who helped hold down my booth during the storm. I think I might have blown away and suffered miserably without you guys.
Other than the terrible afternoon storm, the real news of the day was that the new site is absolutely beautiful. And my booth choice proved its point, there were photographers from all walks of life taking pictures of the new site and my red LeahGlass sign will be in many of those pictures. That was my plan, and it worked.

But the weather really kicked my ass and now I am tired and grumpy. If you were wondering why I was so nervous about my new spot, today prooved to me why I was feeling so anxious. I am very vulnerable and exposed up there in front of the market. If mother nature feels spiteful, I am poised for a beating with nothing to protect me. Ug.

On a last final note, as I was taking down my wet self this evening, the rain stopped and there was a beautiful rainbow. My neighbor's 8 year old son proclaimed "Theres a pot of gold at the end of that rainbow!!"