Sunday, January 31, 2010

"Swell Joolery"

Webster Definition: tom·fool·ery : playful or foolish behavior
Pronunciation: \ˌtäm-ˈfül-rē, -ˈfü-lə-\
Function: noun
Date: 1812
When I was at the Seattle Museum of Art checking out the Alexander Calder exhibit, I couldn't help but notice the display of his jewelry. In the written description of his wearable artwork there was a mention of how he called these pieces "Swell Joolery". Calder had such a fun sense of humor, this made me smile. His "Swell Joolery" is not recognized or seen as often as his large installations.
I make a lot of little earrings out of the little pieces of glass left over from the larger mobiles. Glass is precious and recyclable like this. If I have little pieces left over I can melt them down onto these tiny wires and bend little kinetic works of art. Very little, very happy, very wear-able. Indeed they are examples of playful or foolish behavior.
If you are interested in owning a pair of my tom foolery - Swell Jewelry - I just listed a small collection of them in my Etsy shop!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Snow Adventure

I went snow-shoeing with Tim today up on Mt Hood. We tried something a bit different, took the shoes up to Timberline and hiked around up there. In the past we've focused on trails down by Ski Bowl and Government Camp. Up at Timberline most of the snowshoe/cross-country ski trails headed straight down, but a nice lady at the lodge gave us the advice to head straight across the slopes to "Stormin' Norman" (one of Timberline's large ski lifts) and just keep going. It wasn't a terribly busy day on the slopes, so crossing the ski trails wasn't so bad. A little strange though. I am more accustom to following a trail and keeping out of the way of the speedy down-hill folks... this time we had to watch for them coming and run for cover! Even in the trees the occasional snow-boarder would fly thru looking for smooth un-touched powder. We managed just fine though, no close encounters! And the adventure was fun. I love Timberline and I have never been up there in the snow without a lift pass. It was interesting to just walk around. We brought a little picnic with us and found a spot outside the ski area where it was peaceful and quiet to sit and enjoy the snow. It felt like Christmas with the snowflakes slowly falling.

As usual I took tons of pictures, I posted some more of them on Flickr. Here is a funny little video I took of snowboarders hitting this little jump (and a few skiers) - we had to wait till the slope cleared to cross in our shoes - this was definitely the busiest spot to cross. I took this video while we waited. Lucky for us the lift seemed to shut down for a while and suddenly it was all empty for us to walk across.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Craft

I have some work in a small exhibit at the MoCC. Check it out! I took pictures in case you can't make it to the Museum in person.
Its a great exhibit of DIY things you can find and buy on Etsy that are all made by artists here in Portland Oregon. Its part of a new relationship between the Museum, Etsy and PNCA. My little mobile making kit is included amongst good company...
A cheese making kit! This one really caught my eye... Tim and I have been talking about making cheese for Valentines Day... wouldn't that be fun!? Maybe?
A bag from Bossa Nova Baby - I love how they displayed it stuffed with yarn :)
And this awesome table (I didn't know that it came in pieces and you assemble it like a puzzle and paint the individual pieces how-ever you would like!)

There are many more goodies in the exhibit... it'll be at the MoCC for the next few months up in the Labs.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Yoga Ladies Hot Off the Press

Before my friend Jan left to go out of town I visited her studio and printed a few more yoga ladies... I sorta tweaked the first set just a bit (trimmed up odd ankles and wrists and whatnot) and also I had carved a Warrior Pose... all these test prints turned out great! Now I need to start printing these ladies into some glass :)

Monday, January 25, 2010

More Online Selling Venues

ArtFire - Buy Handmade - Sell Handmade

Okay - I've finally started setting up shop on and I am impressed in many ways. I cannot even count the number of times my eyebrows have lifted as features jump out at me. Hello - its FREE to artists! FREE. seriously.

And they are not joking around - this is a seriously powerful and playful platform. There are so many features that Etsy lacks, soooo many that I have to use EtsyHacks to get the job done (oh how I love you GreaseMonkey and EtsyHacks). So as I am setting up this Artfire Studio I am amazed at all the little things - like the ability to have a sale! OMG. Seriously, one click, in fact I could have different types of sales and coupons - yes coupons! Why does Etsy deprave us of such staples of retail. Sheesh. Oooh - get this - customers can mark my work so it appears on their Amazon Wishlist - wha?! Thats awesome. They give you statistics and they let you know when your products have been submitted to Google data bases. Okay, have I mentioned it FREE. Yeah, thats the best part. You can pay $12/month flat fee if you like, and get even more options and features... but you can list and sell unlimited products for an unlimited amount of time for free. damn.

Oh and I just found a button that I could simply push and wham - all my Etsy items are imported into Artfire at the click of this button. This blows my mind and is so simple and beautiful. I hesitate to push it. I had thought I'd use this opportunity to clean up my listings and freshin' things up a bit. But I do have a lot to list, and then I saw this button,"Item Importer" and it is incredibly tempting.

So far I can't say enough good things about Artfire. Although I really have just barely gotten started and I rarely meet people who know of this platform. I just had to share - all my fellow crafty peeps out there - if you aren't already listing on Artfire - why not?! Its free!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

As the Sun Sets on My Beach Trip

I took hundreds of pictures in the last few days. Literally. At least 120 of this particular sun set in all its glory. Lots of dogs running on the beach, kiddos playing with sand, adults crafting and relaxing... we did a lot of beach golfing and my constant picture taking (with the continuous shot function) made for fun times analyzing the nuances of our golf swing. I really enjoyed beach golf. We had a completely empty beach, so it was fun to hit the heck out the balls and then run around trying to find them.
Lots of crafts and tasty cocktails were enjoyed as well. Oh and the food has been delicious! We tried to go easy on our wallets and shopped in advance at Cosco and Trader Joes... we have enough food to last us 3 more days. And it only cost us $17 per person from Cosco. That fits in my budget! This morning I openned my bedroom door to delicious smells of home-made frittata (Thanks Naomi!!!) and this evening Brandon and I sweated it out over the pasta roller and made spaghetti from scratch. It turned out great! And we even made one batch with avocado instead of egg (which turned out green and delicious!)

Here's a recipe from the trip - a specialty cocktail worth trying!

"the Spicy Ho"
- infuse vodka with jalapeno peppers (let peppers soak in vodka for at least a few days)
- squeeze a lime into a tall glass, put squeezed lime peels in glass as well
- add vodka and seltzer water
- mix and enjoy

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Beautiful Beach

Its been great weather and absolutely wonderful company out here at the beach. My email box is overflowing... but this vacation is outstanding!!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Headed Out to the Beach

I am headed out to the beach. We will be back eventually (Saturday)

this picture has been my desktop for a while now... love.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Stand out Stampin'

I love when new shipments of boxes arrive at my doorstep. Mostly because it means I get to stamp them!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

I Took My First Prints...

My yoga block carvings got their first print pulled today - big Thanks to Jan for allowing me to use her press and helping me out! What fun! Now I know what needs what on these blocks... I think I may work on them later tonight. They look great and they are already good enough that I could print into glass mobiles with them... but I'd like to fine them for printing cards and whatnot...

Friday, January 15, 2010

Dust Bunnies Running and Jumping

Ever since Christmas I've had it on my mind to clean up around here... Life gets busy over the years and the dust bunnies run amok.

I attacked my "office/shipping area". Much needs to still be done, but I cleared out 3 bags of trash/recycling. There are some old computers around here that need to be donated to that local computer place that teaches kids how to work with computers... what is that place called? I know you have to pay to donate, but at this point I am glad to see them gone. Seriously. I am drawing the line at CPUs and monitors. Something needs to be done. You know what I'm saying.

At the glass school there is an ongoing project to consolidate my shelves of stuff. Tools, glass, scrap, frit, components, wire bits and stencils and general whatnot all exist on some shelves that I share. Its that time of year to neaten it up a bit and consolidate. My friend Denis has been using the top shelf and wrangling a ladder to access his stuff on a daily basis. That has got to change! So I am moving down so he doesn't have to use a ladder. And I am short, so I don't mind using the bottom shelves. Well, to be honest I already use the bottom shelves :) I am just wiggling out of one of them to another one of them. ha!

I have so much glass in varying pieces and shapes. Lovely stuff that I adore, but its also a pain in my ass really. There is this one 25lbs box of scrap COE90 fusible glass that I think I might just need to get rid of. As opposed to all the other hundreds of pounds of scrap glass that I have, this particular box has followed me around for at least 5 years. Its very dusty. Its good glass, I just don't care about it anymore. Its one cardboard box that I'd rather not have in my life. I'm either going to donate it to a school or sell it via Craigslist. One man's trash is another man's treasure.

I feel I should do the same here at my studio at home. There is a lot of glass that I've had since 2000. That is ridiculous to me and it seems like there is someone out there who might like to use it.

I know I am going to make up a box of glass to take to my tax lady. She is good at trying to save money and she also is a glass artist - I know she will appreciate a whole bunch of free borosilicate clear and color (even if it is in small pieces). Elaine do you read this blog? I'll bring you some glass when I come to get my taxes done :)

I have plans to make large mobiles out of some of my scrap glass... sorta like these ones that I made with my friend Aimee. See how the color is in all these little pieces melted into the clear glass... I am thinking of doing something like this and cutting the mobile shapes out of this patterned glass. Aimee's mobiles turned out fantastic. I need to make more! It uses up all these funny shaped little pieces of scrap.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I've Been Carving

I've been working on new images to print into my glass mobiles. A sun salutation in kinetic glass mobile... that is what I'd like to make... so I've been drawing out some yoga poses and in the end I think I'd like to print paper cards and individual glass discs with these poses as well.

So the first thing I did was sketch... then last night I started carving. Below you can see my sketch book, above you can see the first blocks that I carved.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Free Admission at the Chinese Garden in Portland

Tim and I went the Lan Su Chinese Garden earlier this week. We were going to head up Mt Hood to do some snow shoeing, but it looked really wet and rather warm up there, so instead we had a mellow day in the city. We went to the Garden and took the cameras and tagged along on one of the tours for the first time. Its always fun to learn something new about a favorite place. And it was free admission! What a deal! This made me happy!!!

If you live in Portland Oregon - check it out: the Chinese Garden is offering FREE complimentary admission until Jan 11th. They are celebrating the 10th Anniversary with 10 days of free admission and there's a schedule of fun free events as well.
So why not go down and take your camera and check it out. This would be your one and only opportunity to sit in the tea house and have wonderful little snacks while watching the rain drip off the fancy roof tiles and sip Tao of Tea teas from special cups - all without paying for admission to the garden! (you still have to pay for the tea, but usually you'd have to pay to get in the garden as well) And its such a perfect time of year to go. Seriously.

Rain + Chinese Garden = Wonderful.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Bike Nutz pt II

My bike has nutz now. They are glittered walnuts! Oh yeah. Here's a little pictorial of the fun!

my super cool copper bike

Tim's bike

Micah's bike

the turquoise ballz got a full on photo-shoot with lights all all

5 year old Micah got his glitter nut groove on!

here are some nuts waiting to be glued (Tim is the master nut cracker that can get the nuts apart perfectly in half like this - thanx Tim!) - I like the reflection of the nutz in the glass in this picture

me getting my glitter on with the bandage and all... my thumb is doing much better - see I can use it!

Naomi admiring her work!

We spray-coated them in clear acrylic and looped them under the back of the bike seats. Bike Nutz. I love em!!!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Thumbs Are Handy Digits

Okay, I think I tried to cut off my left thumb this weekend. Seriously bad cut, moderately painful, minimal bleeding (speedy fist clamping reaction and holding my hand over my head). ***shout out to my Mom if you are reading this - I am fine and healthy, all is good, I am just a klutz and I don't mean to make you worry! With that said ... I thought I'd share some pictures of said thumb, because I love reading blog posts like this (really I do, does that make me weird?)

If you are one of those people that get squeamish easily, don't read this post :) I take the bandage off in the next picture - so don't look if you don't want to!!!
If you are like me and like reading about other people's drama - and want to see pictures of the gory details. Here ya go. I am an idiot. And I spend most of my life around sharp glass edges and cutting tools.
But I didn't do this while working - all I did was take out the trash(which somehow makes this even scarier to me, the germs and sheer potential is just gross)! It was such a small normal moment in life and somehow (I am not sure what bit me) I suddenly realized my thumb was cut, my hand was in a fist, and when I pried the fingers apart my thumb came open! Seriously! I wasn't expecting this. I got to see way more of my internal thumb flesh than I would have preferred. I am not a big fan of the whole "lets go to the emergency room!" Stitches - pishaw - I'm a woosy when it comes to hospitals. So yeah, I put a thick plastic comb in my mouth and bit hard while I generously poured rubbing alcohol thru the open cut. I don't think rubbing alcohol was the best thing to use, but I was freaking out at the infection potential and this was the first stuff to come to mind. Then held it over my head till it got dry enough to glue shut. This skin-glue stuff is currently my best friend! Although it is useless if you can't get the bleeding to stop. In this particular case - skin glue saved the day!

Fortunately, I am healing quite well, no swelling or puss. Its painful though. Painful as hell when I forget and try to do things. Anything I previously would grip with my left hand is now a challenge to figure out how to do without using my thumb. I am right-handed, and its my left thumb that I cut... so that leaves me advantaged in this situation. However, most things require both opposable thumbs.

can I use your bloggy ear to whine for a minute... let me tell you what is a pain in the ass to do without the use of your left thumb: clipping and un-clipping a bra clasp... unbuttoning my pants... tieing my shoes... that's just the normal every day stuff. I reach for something and grab it and suddenly I am in excruciating pain as the glue tries to hold my thumb together for me. Or if I spread my hand at all... you get the idea. Opening jars, not so easy, driving stick shift is also pretty awkward, packaging up orders was a b*tch as I am so used to having two hands to fold the boxes and tape things up, the tape gun almost brought me to my knees... oh and showering, I haven't tackled this hurdle yet (bag around hand? I dunno about this, but I am not about to make this wound any worse) so instead I am tackling trying to put my hair in a pony tail, which requires some kind of Jedi skillz to do without two thumbs. Sheesh. I use my left hand a lot in life, fortunately its a slow after-holiday time for me so I am laying low and letting it heal. Which it is doing spectacularly in spite of me being a stubborn klutzy lady.

It could have been worse, I thank my lucky stars that I still have two thumbs, and in a matter of days (or weeks?) I will be able to use both again!