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Sunday, November 28, 2010

One holiday down....

One obligatory Thanksgiving picture:   Garret was sound asleep...the beer bottle was added by someone who shall remain nameless, but he was so zonked--and this was before we ate dinner--that even several camera flashes didn't disturb him. 

Okay, I lied--one more picture.  Everyone knows I don't cook anymore...well, like for the last 25 years, but I do make the twice-baked potatoes on Thanksgiving.    Oh, maybe I should find the picture of the turkey to give Matthew equal billing for all his hard work...

 So now I'm up to 3 pictures from Thanksgiving.  He glazed the turkey with reduced apple cider which was pretty, but too much work and unnecessary.
 I took the weekend off from creating more for the art shows, which also means quieting my head from designing the next project.  I shopped instead!  I went to the gem and jewelry show on Friday when everyone else seemed to be heading to the malls, though bought less than usual.  I only want unique beads I don't already have or things I need to finish projects, like spacers.  I did buy myself two presents--a rose-gold chain and a pair of Helenite dangling earrings that are a vibrant, gorgeous green.   I rarely do that since I make jewelry--duh--but both were irrestible. 
 Yesterday I did my annual shop-till-you-drop in SF at the Concourse, one of my favorite things to do.  Lennie came with me, and she was a good shopping buddy.  If there had been a test, she would have gotten an A.  But I no longer do any grading....  and that's what I am most grateful for this year--being retired from a 35-year career and allowing my brain to play and create art in the form of textiles and jewelry as the mood strikes me. 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Crab Season!

 We love fresh crab right off the boats--it's one of the many perks of living on the coast.  We've waited all week to get them since the fishermen postponed the actual opening day to let the critters get larger.  Times have really changed when you think about it--we prefer farmer's markets for buying fresh produce right from the grower, some of us even have food growing in our own backyards, and we also prefer going to the harbor and picking out our own fish or seafood. 
 And then there are those who still eat canned and frozen and worst of all, fast food.  Admittedly, many people don't like to look their dinner in the eyes before the meal....
So better not look to see what's coming next....

Cooked and ready!  I'll never be a vegetarian, right?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Musings on Open Studios

 I've been writing this blog in my head since last week.  Why is it that many people can be involved in something, but only a small few do all the work?  And what is it about those few that keeps them going when others just show up for the fun part? 
 I guess this has always been my nature, until I get tired of being the idea person and workhorse, then walk away.  I did that at work when any new program was introduced--I was always the one to offer to try it (mentoring 2 times, advisor to new teachers, grade level advisor, creator and sole planner of Enrichment Day at the elementary school), when I moved to the coast I started a chemo cap knitting group in my home, which lasted a few years until I got tired of never knowing how many were going to show up, and now I've started this artists' group, which is up to 55 members, 23 of whom participated in the Open Studios and 3 1/2 of whom did the work.  Actually, we had two halves, so that could be considered 4.
 I realize we didn't know what we didn't know so it was hard to delegate some of the responsibility, but I did try.  I had 3 people in charge of advertising, for example, and one started working on the flyer, but had to stop when she left town, and only one other volunteering to get the poster done, though we needed help with how to proceed.  Thank goodness Doug picked up the ball and ran with it; otherwise, nothing would have gotten done.  Only a few people took posters and passed them out to businesses and who knows how many ran the flyers to give out or even emailed them out.  Communication seems to have broken down in this group--I feel like I always have to ask and not getting much back.
  Someone suggested we do the Open Studios in May when we debrief this one, I want to be prepared to list everything that's needed to get done for it and have it understood we all share the work.  I'm not so sure I'll use my home for it again since I had hardly any traffic from the signs and posters.  Almost everyone who attended here came because they knew the artists.
 I did sell some weavings--one red shawl that I had a hard time parting with and two short cocoon jackets--which are like shawls with sleeves.  I priced them pretty inexpensively, considering most handwoven garments sell for much more.  But I'd rather see someone wearing and enjoying what I make than have it hanging in my closet.
I should have taken more pictures, but I forgot and when I did, it was a little too crowded to get the whole thing. 

The textiles were on the far left side of the table and also hanging.  I have no idea how to show the jackets at the shows where I can't hang them.    No one bought any rayon chenille, which is my favorite since it's so soft and luscious.
I think the most fun part of the day was having long-lost friends show up!  I had a few surprises, like Gloria from high school days whom I hadn't seen in 14 or 15 years. 
I have plans to attend a bead show in Oakland today, but I'm my body is not feeling like it wants to move very fast or leave the house.  It almost feels like I "worked" yesterday!  Heaven forbid....

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Two more days and I'm still working...

Since I took the time to get pictures of new work that will preview this Saturday, I wanted to see how they look posted.  The first one is a Kumihimo beaded necklace.  I did this one with a blend of beads, rather than one or two colors only...and I like the look.  I'll make more, but not right this moment...Then made a few bracelets and some earrings.  I didn't crochet the wire for these, so they're so of "ordinary."   Well, not a problem since many people like this look rather than the artsy one.

This picture doesn't show the shapes of the lampwork glass...some are square, some triangles, and some round. 

The red here is a bracelet, and the white/pink is a necklace.. I realize it's hard to tell in pictures.
And this last one is made with the Italian wire mesh, but it's hard to see....the large beads,which are some gemstone I don't remember--story of my life--are enclosed in the mesh.   I did do a couple of simple necklaces with the mesh using mostly single glass pendants, which don't take much imagination, but are stunning nevertheless.   Sometimes that old KISS method is the best...

Monday, November 8, 2010

Open Studios in 5 days

 I'm still making things like a crazy woman, but I just added another show to the mix--actually TWO more in Dec, so I have to keep working.  I enjoy what I do, so it's not like a job; it's just that it's crunch time.  Last night I made some earrings, finished a Kumihimo necklace, wove another cocoon jacket to be finished later today, and then laid out beads for 5 bracelets and about 7 pairs of earrings.  Those await me later today or tonight.
 Today I'm meeting my friend Judith at Happy Feet for a massage.   We're on our second card with them--for $100, we get 5 "foot" massages, though they really do the whole body.  If you're slow on math, that's a mere $20 per massage, not including tip.  This one is more for my mind than my body--calm down, slow down, breathe, enjoy the trip.
 Last night we had Marianna over for pizza to celebrate her birthday.  My stepson Julian was also here--he eats here 3-4 nights a week since he returned to the coast last month.  Marianna had us in stitches describing the kids she babysits, especially the 5-year old.  I want to encourage her to write a blog about him--she could get a sitcom based on it--&$@(*# the kid says.....  Oh yeah, that's been done.
 Pizza was particularly good--all vegetarian in honor the the birthday girl.  Caramelized onion and gorgonzola (my fave), olive tapenade and artichoke hearts, goat cheese and pesto.  Oh, I don't think I got them right--maybe goat cheese with the tapenade and pesto with something else.  Whatever, they were delicious..
 Off to Happy Feet to get happy....

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Still working

And now it's on to earrings...made  5 pairs last night and will continue to make more this week.  I have beautiful beads to use, so now's the time to get moving.  I've also been working on the Italian wire mesh and made one relatively simple necklace in red wih a glass heart pendant that's dynamic.  I need to get photos done so I can send them to Lily in Florence.   I kept trying to make something complicated with that mesh, but it speaks for itself, so to say, and don't really need fancy.  It's already interesting looking without my help.
 Oh, as I was writing this, I thought, the whole point of writing a blog is to show what I'm doing or working on, so had to get up and take a picture of the necklace.  Then, of course, I had to take pictures of the other necklaces I've done recently..  I used to use our wood picnic table on the deck for photos since it really showed off the beadwork, but we had it stained and now it's too dark to work well.  So I got lazy and took them inside.

Maybe it's the blue background that detracts.  Guess I'll need to take another picture, but for now, I need to get back to work!

Brownish copper mesh with inner beads...and yes, will take better pictures very soon.