Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New Blog

I started a new blog Where Metalsmiths Make that I hope will be a blast! If you're a metalsmith pass this on! I want tons of subscribers and contributors! sort of like an online mag! So please email me your photos and comments!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Story of My LIfe....

My online horoscope today says:
"It's difficult to shake that feeling that you should have done something more than you did and now there may not be enough time to finish. Unfortunately, your anxiety might be more problematic than whatever remains incomplete. Worrying will only slow you down even more because you won't be able to concentrate on the tasks at hand. Self-judgment doesn't help anything now; just find a comfortable pace and keep going the best you can." DUH!
I feel that way probably 8 times a week! ...sometimes two or three times a day! *sigh*
The truth of the matter is, no matter how many times I tell myself that worrying doesn't help, my Inner Worrier doesn't believe me. It's like a dog gnawing a bone. She's convinced there's another morsel, or more marrow or something if she can just get to it.... but then again doesn't gnawing on bones help a dog's teeth and jaws and such? Could there be some cosmic reason I worry? Could it serve some purpose as yet unseen to me? Well that's what my Inner Worrier likes to think! My mom thinks its hereditary and, of course, from my father's side of the family!
Right now my IW (Inner Worrier) has lots to gnaw on! I have a jam packed 2010 swiftly on its way! Workshops in five different states, three classes to teach at CFCC til May, and hopefully a reunion with my grad school gals... Well, for all you fellow worriers out there... it is true "this too shall pass" and yoga helps... just take deep breaths!
Thought I'd share a pic of me NOT worrying at a friend's party before Christmas. Not the most flattering of me, but I think Robert looks quite fetching!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Craftsmanship + Life

My thoughts have turned in the last couple of years to the spiritual nature of craftsmanship. I repeatedly have experiences with folks who take my workshops or classes and are transformed. Oh, of course not everyone is so changed! But a handful each semester leave me, changed by making. And don't misread my meaning, I don't by any means attribute it soley to my teaching! No! In fact folks have shared stories with me about their watershed moments in others workshops or classes, or maybe even a DVD lesson in making something.

At any rate, maybe those people leave an indelible mark on my memory because I seek those types of exchanges, sometimes subconsciously but often deliberately. Those are the reasons I continue teach, to relive the excitement of manipulating materials, often for the first time. And I especially like watching people get excited about working metal, which seems so rigid and unmoving to them. When students get that electric charge it can light up a room. Its addictive to me. So much so in fact I begin to detest my community college job when students don't get into it! I can't fathom their apathy and I become a major grouch. So what is it about the making of things that can be so intoxicating, fulfilling, spiritual? How does taking a class in making something rejuvenate so many? I find that energy is my drug. I can't get enough.

The concept of art as therapy is kind of a new one, relatively speaking. Is it because before the Industrial Revolution making things was the only way things came into being? Therefore the therapeutic aspects of the work of making things was never questioned, making stuff, working with ones hands in quiet busy-ness occurred all the time! No big deal. So now in our age we hardly ever make anything! Making things has become the stuff of hobbies.
Well the nature of craft has long been a subject for discussion. I've read snippets of Ruskin long ago. But on a recent internet book search I found a treasure trove of writing on the soul of crafting... and by craft I mean the careful construction of functional and non functional art. Not merely your gramma style "crafting", but certainly not excluding those quaint "mediums" since indie crafters have show us that anything can be elevated to an artform!

So, right now I am reading "A Way of Working" edited by DM Dooling and plan on reading "Centering in Pottery, Poetry, and the Person" by MC Richards and I WISH I had a copy of Paulus Berensohn's "Finding One's Way With Clay".
I love the idea of making sense of our lives through creating. Don't you?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Steamy Heart

Shhhhh... it's a surprise for someone!
If I can find two minutes to rub together it will make many more! It is of red glass enameled copper, a brass grandfather clock gear with a sterling banner.
Stay tuned....

Christmas Cheer!

The cheerful ledge by my kitchen sink!

I heard the most amazing music on NPR yesterday! I was out riding around and when Kitka sang a traditional Bulgarian Christmas Carol called "Av Jerusalime" my hair stood on end! Then two other fabulous female choral groups sang- Anonymous 4 and Trio Mediaeval. I immediately searched itunes when I got home! Please have a listen to a sampling of Trio Mediaeval's music and the see the playlist at NPR by clicking here. It just might make your day too!

Faux snow on my door wreath inhabited by my "wreath budgie".

Monday, December 21, 2009

Who Does She think She Is?

I had a "friend" once tell my ex that he needed to "clamp down on her and quit letting her play around, make her get a real job!" Well, that friend has since confessed to me and apologized. Now I am with Robert who said he couldn't stand it if I did get what he calls a square job. We have to live our dreams we choose to pay the price. This clip moved me greatly.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Happy Elf!

So I fear that alcohol triggers migraines for me... yes, heaven forbid! So I have not been imbibing for sometime now. BUT! we have friends coming by tonight and I have been wanting to try this cocktail... Midori calls it a Green Cosmo but I really like what Coastal Living magazine calls it a Happy Elf!

One ounce midori, two ounces citrus vodka, on ounce white cranberry shake with ice in a cocktail shaker and strain in to a lovely glass and add a maraschino!
I added the tiniest splash of ginger ale for a little sparkle...
Its luscious! I'm a very Happy Elf!

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Ingrid Michaelson - Maybe
I really am obsessed with her song "Everybody" but this one will do...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

What do you feed?

I was reminded today that sometimes it is said that there is a battle inside us all, between two wolves.

One is Evil. It is negativity, anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other is Good. It is joy, trust, positivity, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion.

Which wolf wins?

The one you feed.

Don't know about you, but I greatly needed that reminder.
photo by Steev-o on flickr

I've Been Busy!

Yep, I've been a whirlwind. Now my show is finished, but the semester ends Friday and I have tools that need maintenance at the school. Too much to do! and yet I really just want to focus on my own life... you know, get the decorations out of the attic, put up a tree, etc.
Here's some new stuff I've made!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Weekend Whirlwind

This weekend did a show at a nearby shopping center. An art association I am a member of rented a vacant space where there had been a Sharper Image store. Lots of preparation, paid off. My two metals buddies and I were there all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
But now I am tuckered out. Just wanna sleep, rest my back and putter in my now destroyed house that has not been decorated yet. But no rest for the artist, the community college lets out this week so there's grading to do and lots of computer work to do. *sigh* Thought I'd share these peaceful images of a leaf on my back deck last week.