Saturday, May 21, 2011

Farmers Market Trip


This year for my birthday I want to encourage myself to cook at home more.

A trip to the farmers market = challenge to use everything we bought!

I've already washed and marinated the asparagus, put away all the greens, parsley in water, basil turned into pesto, radishes left to soak in cold water, steaks de-frosting for bbq action and cookies and baguette will be consumed before the end of the day.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Speed Dating for Artists Round II: Visual Artists and Galleries

Last night was the second IHeartArt:Portland Mixer event. I would say I was there as a volunteer, but I didn't really do much work. :) I was there as an IHeartArt representative, to enjoy the atmosphere and network with everyone.
This event is really incredible: a free opportunity for established gallery curators to interview artists - a free opportunity for these artists to introduce themselves to the curators.
Its a "speed dating" event - replace single people looking for a hot date with artists looking for exposure.
I felt this nurturing energy around the crowd; everyone wanting to encourage each other and network with one-another. The picture above is a couple of the artists waiting to get interviewed and talking with each other about their portfolios.
There was a seminar recently (also organized by IHeartArt) on how artists should approach galleries and shops. Attending artists learned about what a curator might be looking for in a presentation, and then for this event there was a set of requirements for what the artists should bring with them. It was a well organized and smooth running event. Over 40 artists interviewed with 16 curators.
The artists seemed exhausted but exhilarated by the end of the event, and had many possible avenues to follow up with. And all the curators I spoke with afterwards were very enthusiastic about wanting to work with the artists they had met.
All the curators seemed to have a common sentiment that it was outstanding to meet so many artists they had never heard of. And they each had a handful of names that stuck out of artists that really made a great first impression.
Speed dating for artists - Portland Oregon style!
I really adore this concept and I appreciate all the hard work and care that goes into these events. IHeartArt is all about advocating for artists, educating the local community and providing the networking opportunities that make our passions grow into lucrative adventures.
Thanks IHeartArt for another great event!

If you want to read about my experience at last years IHeartArt Mixer:

Watch a video about the IHeartArt Mixer:

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Snaily Snail

The mini glass globe fun continues! I went to the pet store and stocked up on some knowledge, and some aquatic life to put in my tiny glass globes. Snails and plants that can live together, a nice relationship really: the plant causes algae to grow and the snail eats the algae and keeps the glass clean. The snail also eats this particular plant, so it won't starve, rest assured! So hopefully I've created a micro-ecosystem.

Actually I've created 2 micro-ecosystems so far, the one pictured above sits on table like a tiny fish bowl, the other one (in the video below) hangs and is more tear drop shaped. My little experiments. We'll see if the snails survive and make babies! Who knows, someone asked me if they will crawl out of the globes. I have no idea? So I keep checking to make sure they are still in there :)

video

For sure they are super cute! I find watching them move to be really fun. Go figure. Here is a video for your viewing pleasure - proof these snails are alive (as opposed to glass snails, which I could make, that would be cute as well...)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Sheer Potential

I have been making mobiles of glass jars. The jars are things I have made, blowing the forms using a torch. Each one is just a little bit different. They are simple round shapes with round openings, no flat bottoms. They do not sit on a table - they float! I wrap a bit of steel wire around the lip of the jar and attach a swivel. When you touch one (which how can you help but touch that enticing glass globe and wonder what you can put inside!) it dances in response to your fingers!
You can put anything inside the jars in this mobile - that is why I called this piece "Sheer Potential" - the content is all yours. You could put little words written on paper, love notes and inspiration. Or small feathers or flowers you picked up on a walk. The glass washes out easily, its made of Pyrex glass, so it is not a problem to wash it out (although it is attached to a mobile). Here are some more ideas: plants, snails, moss, feathers, small toys, fake flowers, shells, plastic animals, sparkly things, jewelry, small candles (you could pour wax in there and put little wicks and make them candles!), LED lights, used computer chips, sewing notions, bobbins, buttons... oh my. I'm getting carried away. I had a lot of fun taking pictures of different objects in the jars, today I am going to the pet store in search of a snail to put in a jar :)
I love these shapes and how they hang in the air waiting for interaction. This is a very impressionable mobile! Not only does it move if you blow at the pieces or touch them, it holds whatever you think of putting in the three little jars. Reflection and interaction - a lovely little bit of art to share with the world. Thanks for checking it out :)

New: Hanging Lolipop Vase

Check out these new hanging creations I have been making - now you can buy them in my Etsy shop! (they come with a 3M sticky bit that will hold up this vase just about anywhere indoors)

I make the little glass jars, using a torch I blow the glass. Each one is unique, small subtle eccentricities... but really they are all the same, small simple vases. I think they are just scrumptious! I wrap a bit of steel wire around the lip and attach a swivel so it will dance.
Round little spheres, with round openings... you can put plants in them (they are just the right size for a little starter plant or a small cactus or a lump of moss) or other living things (like a tiny snail in water!), or little trinkets, keepsakes and mementos... a button, a key, a coin, a feather...
Your imagination is the limit! I have them in my Etsy shop now, and I'll bring em' with me to the Portland Saturday Market as well...


Making Mobiles

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Love...

I love this picture. Love. Something about the round bump of moss in the round hanging jar. While doing a photo shoot this afternoon I took this shot... I have been making more vessels, for terrariums and such things... simple forms, some don't even have a flat bottom, so they can only hang.
I've been thinking about making mobiles using these hanging vessels... I ordered some nano Marino balls to put in the vessels - I will tell you more about that when they come. Until then, check this mobile out! I put some preserved moss that is bright red in a little jar and made some glass panels and voila - a sweet little mobile! The most enchanting part about this mobile is that it is very interactive... if you touch the jar it spins so easily, and if you blow at the glass discs the whole mobile moves.
This last picture is just a bit more eye candy from taking photos today. I love these jars. Sitting or hanging, they are just the sweetest little things. So simple, so happy, so much potential.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Moss Ball Planters

Spring has sprung. I saw these plants in moss pots in a store recently (at Artemisia in SE Portland) and I was inspired!

Anything round and ball shaped seems to excite me, combined with moss and cute plants - I swooned upon sight.
These two moss ball planters I made myself. It was a fun DIY project. Tim's birthday is coming up soon - so far I have managed to hide these from him. Hope he likes em'!

Ingredients:
  • a plant (or a clipping as seen in the first picture)
  • some sheet moss (live moss, you can buy it this way, if you get it out of your yard it will have bugs. So just buy it and it'll be bug free. I happened to notice some animal pried up moss in my yard and ate all the bugs out of it, so I grabbed it the next day for this crafty project! How convenient eh?! If you'd like to buy some, they sell the moss at Artemisia and if you want to buy it online Im pretty sure you can on Ebay)
  • potting soil
  • twine
  • nursery wire (smallest gauge possible), the green flexible wire for guiding plants
How to:
  1. wet soil and compress into a ball
  2. wrap the ball of dirt in twine to hold it together
  3. wrap the ball of dirt in the sheet moss
  4. use the wire to hold the moss onto the dirt, keep wrapping until the moss is secure
  5. make a hole where you want to insert the plant (I used my fingers to do this)
  6. put plant in the hole
  7. sit the ball on some sort of plate as the moisture can seep thru the moss

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Lets Make Buttons

My mother had a basket of buttons with her sewing supplies. I used to love looking at them all, savoring all the little details and differences between them. Did your Mother or Grandmother have a button collection? I have one of my own now, and my collection is made even more amazing by all the handmade glass buttons I have made. A couple summers ago I created a dress that used one of these buttons as a simple clasp on the back of the neckline. It made the dress even more impressive. I've also made some purses that used glass buttons... and a little sock monkey with handmade button eyes... I'm always looking for fun ways to use these buttons.

Want to make some glass buttons of your own? I'll teach you!

Do you make clothing or know a designer who would like to use handcrafted buttons? Do you want to take your craft to the next level with some handmade buttons? They could embellish a purse or a book cover or a handmade doll... They could be the perfect finishing touch on some clothing! Why use store bought mass manufactured buttons when you could make your own! The potential is endless.

There is no pre-requisite for the class.
No experience necessary.
Yes you will play with fire.
No you will not hurt yourself.
I promise you'll have a great time!

Call 503 240-9449 (the Aquila Glass School) to sign up for class
registration is required

May 9th 2011 . Glass Button Making Class . 6-8pm . $124
(all materials and tools provided)