Friday, July 23, 2010

What am I working on?

Custom projects are consuming my studio time this week. Some are small private orders, some are larger installations. For instance, I am just finishing up and shipping soon some big mobiles that are going to be installed in the new library at the Hong Kong International School. Fun bright pieces that will hopefully look amazing in their library

What: 8feet wide mobiles, 4 of them
Where: Hong Kong
How are they shipping? DHL
How did they find me?: the designer contacted me thru Etsy
How am I making these?: I design the mobiles and make all the glass, my friends at Ekko mobiles engineer the frames and make them for me

these are some of the common questions my friends and loved ones seem to ask about this project, so I thought I would share.

The kilns are hot and there is a lot of colorful glass coming and going... restocking on inventory, completing orders for custom mobiles... and its beautiful outside! Tonight I am going to a concert on the lawn at the Zoo.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Taking a Mini Vacation into the Woods of Oregon

After a long few weeks of making-marathon and working my tail off - I took yesterday to unwind and take a day vacation. Tim and I went to Bagby Hotsprings and soaked away any muscle soreness. It was bliss.

I've been going to the Bagby Hotsprings ever since I moved to Oregon - honestly I think its one of the most enchanting places I've ever been to around the world. You drive out on logging roads up Mt Hood, then park and walk a little over a mile thru old growth forests on a well maintained trail that follows along a beautiful river (there are two amazing bridges you cross).
Once you are seriously out in the middle of now-where you come upon the Bagby Station which basically is an 100+year old log cabin and shed, a bathhouse. There are private bath tub rooms (each with a bench and posts to hold your bags and clothes and a hollowed out old tree to fill and soak in) as well as a more public space with long tubs and round tubs (the round tubs hold up to 5 or 6 people). There is another round tub down the trail past the log cabins and a few out houses for potty use. The buildings have so much character and there is steam coming up from the natural hotspring water... the trees are all dripping with moss and the steam makes the air sort of misty and mystical.
Mt Hood hotspings water contains natural lithium and other wonderful stuff to soak in. The water is very soothing and good for the body/mind/soul.
Its just incredible to experience Bagby. I swear it feels like some sort of hidden secret world, walking thru old growth forests and then finding this old well loved hot springs location. I love hot springs and I have enjoyed different natural springs around the world. This particular spring is above and beyond. Although it is getting more and more popular - so I wouldn't recommend going on the weekend.

Now adays its really safe (the forest service patrols the parking lot and volunteers maintain the station) - when I first starting going there I used to see a lot of broken glass in the parking lot (from vandalized cars) and this sorta freaked me out, but now 10 years later its really different. In fact, I found this great video about how its been cleaned up:

Tea Time in Laurelhurst Park

Its finally warm outside (although not in the morning lately) and time for tea parties in the park! Well, this is not so much a party - but a get-together. I call it Tea Time - it all started as a way for local makers and sellers on Etsy to get together and chit chat about their businesses and
network with each other. Anyone is welcome to come, its a lovely group of local creative people that get together when we can, bring our crafts and some snacks.
If you can make it - this Thursday (July 22nd) out in Laurelhurst Park - anytime between 10am and 2pm - NE corner of the park (near Ankeny Street) - find a group of chatting crafting ladies sitting at a picnic table. Its lovely. Even if you can only make it for a little bit of time... I will be there around noon - see you there!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Rave Review of the Salem Art Festival

I had heard this was a great show, the Salem Arts Festival (one of the top 10 art festivals in the country) - it was certainly a pleasure to experience for myself and my business.
  • good neighbors (aka amazing artwork and interesting new artists I got to know)
  • amazing site (Bush Park is full of old beautiful oak trees, sunshine and shade in a beautiful big green park) and great weather (it was a mild/warm 80degrees all weekend)
  • good munchies (Kettle Chips sponsored the show and provided artists with endless little bags of chips - wha?! - there was also fresh fruit, iced tea (hot tea, lemonade and coffee as well), trail mix, pastries... oh my)
  • they made us breakfast! picture this: in the morning at the artist hospitality booth there was a string quartet playing exclusively for our breakfast... there was a line of husbands making omlettes to order and a group of ladies making pancakes with fresh local berries. It was insanely nice. Both Saturday and Sunday. On Sunday the fresh berries had been made into a fruit compote for our pancakes. And picnic tables to have our breakfast on while greeting friends.
  • good business (aka financially lucrative)
  • lots of water (they gave us water bottles and had volunteers come by and refill them every day)
Every art show should treat the artists this well! It made things much less stressful and way more fun. I had a lot to smile about all weekend.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Vending at the Art Fair

I'll be vending all weekend. Today was the first of 3 days at the Salem Arts Festival. Its pretty incredible. Really beautiful annual show that seems to be entirely loved and treasured by the entire surrounding community. Its huge. And they are really nice to the vendors, I mean the artists get treated well. They have an endless supply of little bags of Kettle Chips at the artist hospitality booth, as well as iced tea and lemonade, water and coffee... fresh fruit and yogurt and cookies. Seriously. Tomorrow I hear there are made-to-order omelets in the morning for the artists *complimentary* Why don't all shows treat their artists this well and make their artists big money like this one? Hm... they are doing something right!

Picture above is an old shot of me at a summer fair. I am guessing it is the Ohio State Fair, circa 1982 maybe? The Pellegrini family went every year when I was a little girl. I loved it. And this is pretty much what I look like now when I'm vending my artwork - right :) Just older and less cute.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


I was right in the middle of assembling a bunch of mobiles, reached out to grab my handy pliers and I felt a *pop*. Damn. They broke.... well technically they are still functional, but the little spring inside snapped (from friction, I simply use them a lot) and now they no longer have a handy spring that pushes them back open after I squeeze. In fact, these particular pliers seem sorta limp and floppy without the spring tension inside. Hmph. I have quite the collection of pliers (most of my mobile frames are made with my two hands and simple wire bending pliers) and these are my favorites - so I had to go out immediately and find another pair. I tend to buy pliers whenever I see a handy looking number staring at me in a store, so who knows where I found these! I had thought maybe Sears. No luck. So I called Tim, he reminded me I bought them at Home Depot. Sure enough there they were.

Let me tell ya - these are sweet pliers. Compound joints that makes them have a stronger squeeze. And the nose to handle ratio is exactly what I like... too long and they distort easily... too short and they require too much muscle. And they are only $15. Its a great tool. I tend to like the little tiny pliers the best, but if I have to use big ones, this is my tool of choice.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Salem Art Fair

I will be at the Salem Art Fair this weekend July 16th-18th 2010 - come check it out and find some amazing artwork!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Raspberry Picking

Originally uploaded by LeahPellegrini
Tulameen raspberries at Sauvie Island Farm.

Thanks to my friend Jonathan, I headed out with some friends in the wee hours of the morning in the heat of last Friday. We picked berries in the sunshine and drove home before it was too hot. What did I do with all my berries? I made yogurt raspberry parfaits and ice-cream-brownie-raspberry goodness, and a rhubarb custard raspberry pie. Good lord. There are more pictures on my flickr:

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Outdoor Chandelier

I've been wanting to make an outdoor chandelier.

Supplies Used:
-one old funky light frame
-wire cutters and pliers
-prisms and crystals
-tea light candles/solar lights
-galvanized wire

Yesterday while I was running all over town doing errands (wow its hot out finally!) I managed to stop at this funky old place Hippo Hardware to check out their lighting supplies... I purchased an old piece-o-crap beat up simple chandelier frame, I ripped out the guts (the electrical lights and wires) and hung it outside. I mean to paint it, for now it just looks like weathered brass, I sorta like its ghetto-fabulousness at the moment :) Hippo also sells prisms and sparkly bits to fix chandeliers, so I bought a bunch of that stuff too and hung some bling off the old frame. I bought some cheap solar lights from the hardware store (the things you put along your path to light it up at night) and ripped the sticks off them so they can stick into the part of the chandelier that supposed to hold lights. I also played around with putting citronella candles in the chandelier - which looks great and produces a lot of light - however I like how the solar lights stay on regardless and lets the chandelier sparkle in the darkness of my backyard at night. Its romantic and beautiful. And its a great re-use of a really ugly old light fixture. Its now resurrected as a beautiful outdoor chandelier to go above my picnic table. I LOVE it.

for more pictures of the chandelier: check out my flickr

Monday, July 5, 2010

Peas in a Pod

I feel as though getting ready for a big show is like growing peas in a pod. I make pieces of art, many little friends, package them all up pretty, lined up like ducks in a row. Its a bit insane and fast paced growth schedule. I do what I can. Last week I cut glass, now the queue gets loaded and fired. This week I am assembling and running errands. Endless to-do lists.

Its supposed to be summer and sunny here in Portland. And yet it is still cloudy. A few days of sun here and there. Its interesting dismal weather.

The peas in the picture above are from my neighbor Eran's garden - they are so super tastey - my goodness! I had to take a picture and share.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

self published

I had this little book printed up for my glass business - its about 5"x7" hardcover brilliant little book, I used to make it (I had seen a Groupon coupon and took advantage of it, in the end I spent $35)

Now when I have work set up in some sort of art show type setting I can put this little book out to improve the perceived value of my mobiles! Its great, allowing me to tell more about my artwork without people having to ask. Its all pictures, just a quick artist statement on page 3 and I put my bio on the back flap. I wanted to show context and bright colors. It turned out better than I expected!

If you wanna see it live in person, come visit while I am selling my artwork and check it out!