Sunday, April 26, 2009

Love, Love, Love!!!

YEAH!!!! One of the sculpture students in the other room has this fantastic cd playing on friday. We had the garage door open, the breeze waved in and I fell in love with As Tall As Lions....

Attitude Adjustments

Just when you need them the Universe sends them... if you ask.
First of all I find lovely new music on Friday, I discover As Tall As Lions!!! One of the CFCC students turns me on to them. Then I take my daughter to the beach with her friend. Her friend's brother and mom, my galpal Donna, meet us there and we descend on the Ocean Grill and Tiki Bar. One of my favorite spots. Low and behold who's already there but my brother Joe and some of his pals!!! What a gorgeous evening. The Golden hour softens the heat of the day. The kids eat calimari, I eat oysters and drink a tropical beverage complete with pineapple and orange slices. Children run around below the pier in the yellow fading light, digging holes in the sand. Seagulls do acrobatics and we listen to this great band...well an abbreviated version. Donna bought me one of their cds, Gabriel Kelley! Maybe being stuck here in NC ain't so bad after all.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Jay Manley

Thought I'd plug my bro Jay.
Check it out, he had this rad guitar made by Wes Lambe.

Water Street Brewing

So I keep running across photos from Port Townsend and wanted to share. these are from our favorite little watering hole in PT, Water Street Brewing. How could you not love this place??? There's even a woodstove. I love Washington State.....

We went there as soon as the dropped off the bags at the Palace Hotel. The Palace was once a house of ill repute. Lovely little gem, another of our favorite things about PT!
We've stayed two years in a row in Miss Genvieve's room.
The painted ceiling at the Palace is gorgeous.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


So I realize I am a little burned out.
I don't want to do anything. I don't want to teach. I only want to garden, and walk in the woods, and sleep, and cook and bake and play with my cat. I want to read and make things and hang out with Meredith. So in this moment of disillusionment and discouragement. I am sitting in a parking lot drinking a big fat coke and thinking in my car, under the shade of a greening pear tree. Traffic's whizzing by... a car pulls into the space beside me. I realize it's a cop. I glance over and for the first time in my life I notice the City of Wilmington's official seal on the cop car door. Why is this extraordinary?
Let me explain, we moved here in 1975. I was just starting 6th grade and I thought I'd been dropped in some sort of dusty, steamy hell. In a way I found it darkly romantic, in a kind of gothic way that only a teenager can, searing heat, 100% humidity, spanish moss dripping over the streets from the huge dark limbs of sprawling ancient oaks.... Sleepy southern town. I'd lived in slightly more progressive places, so I thought being in an un-airconditioned brick 1910 building all day, who's outside paths were made of loose cinders (I actually took a chuck home to mom and dad to ask them what it was!), was like being in a time machine. It found it kind of like an adventure. That is until winter when Ivan, the kid who was probably 16 in the 6th grade, started heating up pennies on the radiators (which I had also never seen) and dropping them down my shirt. So since then I have felt horribly trapped here. So much so in fact, that I have had numerous full blown conversations with like minded people, many of who even have theories as to how Wilmington may very well be cursed! Here I'd like to point out that only in New Hanover county do Venus Fly trap plants grow. Yes, the only place in the world! And it's no accident. Wilmington seems rather pretty, perched on a bluff overlooking a nice river, picturesque old buildings and such, then just to the east the twinkling Atlantic ocean. Nice all in all. But for some reason it's a trick. You come here and then things mysteriously begin to fall apart. And you somehow become imprisoned in its sticky sweet, spiney jaws and are slowly digested without even realizing it. I once new a woman who'd come here and gone through her own sort of hell, emotionally and then physically, only to recover and decide to get the heck out of dodge! She was said to exclaim over her shoulder as she exited the county,"Wilmington is where strong women come to burn off what they don't need". I think she may have meant it's where women who don't know their own strength are sent by the Fates. Then they are burned in a refining fire and spit out hopefully stronger, forged into something new. Wilmington is not an easy town. Difficult to explain to those who come here with full pockets. In the late 70's no major highways came here from anywhere important. The port had been eclipsed many years ago by others along the east coast, the Railroad had closed shop and left town, the downtown had dried up and was full of topless bars and bums. Back then it was a destination for no one. Most people were headed out of town. Things are WAY better now of course! Its almost a different town. With the building of major highways, and other cultural developments in the last 30 years, we have a lot to be proud of in this town. Still, I feel confined. Hometowns can be that way. I have slowly, tried to see my confinement in a much more spiritual, maybe even Buddhist light. I chose it... and it will be my making. It is my path to be here... now. I made a baby here and will stay here 'til she is ready to fly the nest. So what is left to do but... persevere? Try to make it work here. Scratch a living, out of the dusty, sandy dirt here....
Thus as I sit in my car, gazing at the white car door beside me, I am amazed to see the City of Wilmington's seal staring me in the face. And on it is a bee skep, one of my favorite images, as I love bees and my name means "honeybee". And above the skep is the word "Persevere". I had to read it twice I was so astounded.
So I will strive to be like my namesake, and be industrious making nectar from yellow pollen, persevering all the while.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Theme Word

So I have been reading.
Feels like it's been years since I read a real, whole book....
It all started on the plane recently goin' to AF. I realized it is good for me. It stops the constant grinding of the gears in my head that will never let me rest, those mean, self deprecating, worry wheels. They grind on and on, never stopping, like some sort of water torture. Alcohol certainly helps slow them down, but reading's far healthier and they stop all together! Like magic, I am lost in someone else's life! I recently finished The People of the Book. OMG! LOVED it!!! Right up my alley. So when I finished it and the awful voice started up its wheels, well, I had to get right back into another good book!
My SIL (Sister in Law) sent over Eat, Pray, Love.
I know, I know, every one else's probably read it, loved it and is now bored with the whole subject. Indulge me.
I was nervous, the People of the Book would be a hard act to follow. Well, I am happily ensconced in the second section and in bliss. What a perfect book for me. I face a lot of upheaval this summer so I needed this book. In the last few pages of the first section, she talks with a friend about how places might have theme words, special words that sum up a place. The author goes on to speculate about her own word, that might summarize her at that moment in time. I thought about my own... what would it be? Hopefully not WORRY!!! I decided it must be MAKE.
I make lots of things and I really can't stop making! Certainly I make art objects, but I also make messes, words, images, friends, fun, love, food, gardens. I make people feel better, and make people understand and make up stories, and even sometimes have to make amends. I make new metalsmiths! And I sometimes make money, but most of all I hope I make magic.

Hi ho, Hi ho...

work.... why is the last few weeks of school difficult for all involved? the luster wears off.

the work table outside the art building at CFCC

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Art & Soul '09 Portland!

Want to remind folks that I will be at Art & Soul for the first time this fall. I will teach my love, metalsmithing! I will also do a night class where we'll explore finishing techniques. You bring one of your unfinished pieces of jewelry and I can help you refine, smooth and tweak it. I will show folks how to use nice swiss jewelry files and a flexible shaft machine with attachments. I have a few tricks up my sleeve! I also have a class making the Goddess of the Tines, which some people admired on my vest at Artfest, and another class where we'll make little "porthole" charms out of copper pipe.
Someone recently mentioned that my classes were full at Portland, but I think in fact there is still room. So don't hesitate! click here to check it out!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Akamai Art Heaven!

I want to take a second of your time to exclaim about Akamai Art and Glass Supply in Port Townsend.
When I was there browsing, nay-DROOLING, Robert was patiently following along and he said "I just realized, this is like a crack house for artists!" So true!
Check out their selection.
They are delightful, helpful, friendly, EXCELLENT customer service, I mean what a delight? Am I right, those of you who've been there? I sport my free tote bag with pride. I wish them lavish success!

Artfest Rockettes

The Rockettes of 335:
Misty Mawn, Judy Wise, Alex (my brain lost Alex' last name), Bee Shay, Katie Kendrick, LK Ludwig -n- me (missing are Stephanie Lee and Robert -who is snapping the pic.)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sunrise at Fort Worden

I adore Fort Worden. I really can't get enough.

Sunrise from the back of house #335.

Jungle Fever!

People from my Botanica Exotica class at Artfest 2009 have asked me to let them know what music I played during our class. Here goes:
The Best of Martin Denny
Johanna Kunin -Clouds Electric
Tito Puente
Kristy McColl
1 Giant Leap
Percy Faith
various traditional Hawaiian tunes: Isa Lei, Aloha Oe, Haere Mai
The Mermen

(I played that line up for the Insect class also)

Then in the afternoon I played all of Johanna Kunin's Clouds Electric
(I think those gals really dug it!)Johanna Kunin lives in Seattle. My musician brother turned me onto her fantastic music.

and then the following shuffled of course:

an un-named track from Zero 7
Paris -Yael Naïm
She's So Strange -Travis
Liar & The Thief -Tin Cup Prophette
Morning Bell -Radiohead
Hunting Bears -Radiohead
Better? -Propellerheads
Walking On The Moon -The Police
The Mess We're In -PJ Harvey Feat. Thom Yorke
The Garden -PJ Harvey
Soaked -Pinback
3 tracks I don'thave names for from a Neko Case mix
Do Not Go Quietly Unto Your Grave -Morphine
Blindfold -Morcheeba
Friction -Morcheeba
Sand -The Mermen
Satie Blues -Toby Twining -Margaret Leng Tan
Eleanor Rigby -Margaret Leng Tan
Smoke Signals -The Magnetic Fields
A Change Is Gonna Come -Leela James
My Joy -Leela James
Other Side Of The World -KT Tunstall
Walnut Tree -Keane
Somewhere In Between -Kate Bush
Flight Over Africa -Out Of Africa Soundtrack
You Are What You Love -Jenny Lewis & The Watson Twins
? -Iron and Wine
Extraordinary Machine -Fiona Apple
The Dicty Glide -Don Byron
Heard Somebody Say -Devendra Banhart
Sweet Jane -Cowboy Junkies
Chan Chan -Buena Vista Social
Frosti -Björk
Easy Living -Billie Holiday
Swollen -Bent
Sing Me -Bent
Circus Of Regrets -Béla Fleck
Paper Tiger -Beck
The Shining -Badly Drawn Boy
Just Friends -Amy Winehouse

Botanica Exotica -Artfest 2009

Somehow I ended up with more photos from my botanicals class. We did dark annealed iron binding wire florals covered with SAUSAGE CASING! Woo hoo, FUN! These ladies rocked OUT! Such great work from this class! The colors are Adirondak alcohol inks on the wet casings. Linda here working on a flower.

Leslie working on her gorgeous "lily".

And here it is drying with others on the dorm railing in the sun.

Artfest Insects

Thought is was about time I posted some photos from my classes. I taught Class Insecta on Thursday and Botannica Exotica on Saturday. Both great classes full of really cool folks. I must commend my student Brian whose right hand was recovering from surgery!!! He ended up with a really cool bug. What a trouper! There were so many total beginners and that is always heartwarming to me. I so enjoy watching people get hooked on making with new materials. This is Doreen putting color on her bee.

And Sylvia working on her insect.

I've included images of Jim Sorenson's LOVELY cicada. He made one in my class last year and then went home and did another! It is larger than life and freaked some people out with its realism. I found it GORGEOUS!! (Jim's cicada last year inspired this years class). He was kind enough to bring it all the way back to Artfest this year to show and share. Thanks Jim!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Young Hill

Our first day on San Juan Island Robert and I climbed up Young Hill. Breathtaking!

I've been hanging out with LK Ludwig.... and am warming to self portraits

And I adore moss and lichens!

More Juniper Lane

It was so glorious waking to the bleating of sheep on the hill behind Juniper Lane Guest House. I have always wanted a small farm with sheep. The yard around Juniper Lane is so pretty I can't imagine how wonderful it must be when in bloom!

We stayed in the Mandala Room. It had a little deck and one evening I thought I'd sit out there with my latte. When I went to the door I startled a family of deer.

I had to take photos all over the house. Juniper's color choices, furniture and details are all so up my alley

Ode to Juniper Lane

This may be overkill, but I am compelled to rave about Juniper Lane Guest House. Robert found this fantastic place online and then Discovery Sea Kayaks recommended Juniper so that is where we stayed on San Juan. this is a magical little haven of a guest house. With our very small budget we'd joked about sleeping in the car! That didn't have to happen because Juniper's rates are so amazingly reasonable. It was the least I've paid for lodging in years, much less such COOL lodging! And Juniper herself is so wonderful. I felt so blessed! I honestly did not want to leave.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Brave Gutsy Artfest Students

Hey there! I know, I know I gotta get onto loading pics. They are so large out of my camera and there are so many! I am photoshopping I promise!
My students who were brave enough to try working with sausage casings over wire were real troupers! They made some AWESOME work! This year I truly had some great goosebump moments. There were lots of people totally new to wirework, who dove right in and did well. It's heartwarming to watch people light up with enthusiasm and excitement over a material. I will share this stolen photo. My student/new friend Sue took it in our Class Insecta workshop. I don't want to spoil all her fun so go check out her blog to see her fab creations in my class! Hey Sue, I LOVE my Bison domino necklace, thanks!
I believe most of the pieces in this photo are Angherod's.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Kayaking in San Juan

There are times you pinch yourself, you know those times? The ones where you think what am I doing here? How did I get here?! When I booked our flights for Artfest I knew things were tight for us. I also knew you only do things when you just DO them! I tacked on extra days for us to go up to the San Juan islands since Robert has wanted to go there for 10+ years. Its only a little farther and I thought heck, we'll sleep in the car if we have to! What a good decision! We went kayaking with Discovery Sea Kayaks. Perfect! Our guide Jesse was just great (we talked his ear off!).

I am a novice to say the least and have never been out in the big wa-wa. So the strait was cool. The return trip the wind kicked up and it was choppy! Fun! I think being in a tandem with Robert was good for me, took the nervous factor out. It was our first time in a boat together and it worked out great.
What a glorious experience.

It was a fabulous sunny day. We are back from the PNW with sunburns! We didn't see Orca but we knew it wasn't the time of year for that. We did however get extensively checked out by more than one harbor seal.

Lime Kiln Lighthouse is all concrete. It took five years to build it I think.
Juniper of Juniper Lane Guest House said her grandmother grew up there and talks about the whales coming and going and no one giving a hoot, except for fishermen who saw them as competition. Imagine growing up there!