Sunday, September 30, 2007
To the above right is a preview of the "Endings" card. In summary, this card symbolizes inertia, standstill, freezing, obstacles, a halt of progress and the ending of a situation.
You can see a preview of the "Enchantment" card with a mandrake root on Cynthia's blog by CLICKING HERE.
Saturday, September 29, 2007
It was a misty morning. Everything behind the tree-line was consumed by a glowing whiteness. It's very dream-like when it becomes like this. The first time I experienced this, I panicked a bit.
The oracle deck is coming along. Slow, but steady and with much progress. I'm almost finished up on my end and will be working on some prints that I want to have done for Faerie Con. I'm looking forward to it. The other day, Cynthia, Azalea, and I went to Mr. K's for some more collage material.
Earlier this evening, Sheila and I met up with some of our friends. I met up with my friend, Gus (who was working on a very interesting series of conceptual paintings a few years ago), and Sheila's friend Adam came with his roommate Jason. We went to the Flying Frog. It was such a treat to get out of the house and spend time talking with friends.
In any event, I'm pretty beat and am looking forward to getting some rest.
Friday, September 28, 2007
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Karen Kraven, an awesome artist, will be participating. Her work is a psychological analysis of spaces, whether the mechanical blue prints that compose structures, to intimate spaces between people and bodies. Look closely! Her work is often filled with hidden surprises, such as delicate drawings of pipes and ducts rendered entirely from her own hair.
It was a quiet, sleepy day. Later in the day, Sheila and I worked on some ceramics and had a couple movies playing in the background. I'm afraid that my project didn't turn out that great. I wanted something super organic and very arty. I wanted to make something that looked like it was growing and melting, like some alien fungi. We'll see how it holds up when it's fired and glazed. It has been over five years since my last experimentation with ceramics. Perhaps I'll take a class like Sheila to rekindle my interest in it. I have a fantasy that I'll create an entire world of different flora from an alien world, or somehow graft it into the existing one. Like a extraterrestrial strawberry that's been placed with regular ones.
I've been in my head and dreams a lot today, drifting in and out of them. Since I've been down here, I've been looking for my copy of The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho to send to a friend of mine. It was one of those books that you kept as long as you needed it and passed it along when you thought it was time and when someone else was ready for it. Within it were inscriptions from the previous owners. I was number seven. I can't seem to find this particular copy. I picked up another at the used bookstore and have been flipping through it over mint tea. Perhaps I'll put another book in circulation.
Later in the evening, Cynthia and Greg took us out for sushi for my birthday dinner! Tony and Lisa of Zoa Art joined us. It was quite tasty and there was an over-flowing abundance of goodness.
This is the gratuitous food shot (everyone knows how I like them) of one of the sushi platters. A Yumi roll, a Dynamite roll, an eel and avocado roll and a shrimp tempura roll. Very tasty indeed.
Tomorrow we're going to pick up a cake from Filo Pastries and Coffee. It's like what my friend Monica Cook says, "It's not really a birthday unless there's cake, candles, and a wish."
Usually I use my birthday as a day of reflection and write out all the things that have happened and how I've changed and what I'm thankful for. Kind of like a warm-up for Thanksgiving. Perhpas tomorrow I'll tackle this.
Monday, September 24, 2007
Most of the rest of the day was devoted to working on the backgrounds for the oracles cards. They are coming along. Slower than I would like, but still making progress. Cynthia is finished with one of the cards and it looks great!
Tomorrow is my birthday and I don't know what I want to do with the day. I am thinking that I would like some down time. Maybe go to the movies or take a bus out to the beach for a day or two. The only problem with the latter idea is that I've got loads to do before Faerie Con. Maybe I'll try and drum up some of the friends from when I lived here in Asheville. Or have a quiet cup of tea at one of the cafes since I can't have my Wonderland Tea Party.
I was really touched and moved quite a bit by one of my friend's recent postings to their blog. Jean's blog is great! I check it out daily.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
It has also been an interesting few days, because it's the autumn equinox and my birthday is just around the corner. Only a day or two away now. Usually this puts me in an extremely social mood. I usually have a big party with all my favorite people. This year I had planned to have a Alice in Wonderland themed tea party. All the beverages would be served in tea cups and be "tea" themed. And I had visions of building Wonderland in my apartment. However, since I'm down here... all of those plans have been dashed and I've been in a hyper-meditative space lately. Although I don't really even acknowledge my real age (many would be surprised what it really is...) I use my birthday as an opportunity to celebrate my friends and the bonds we've made. So being away from everyone has forced me to look inward and deeply, at what is important to me, and where I want to direct my future.
The days are passing quick now. The falling of the leaves, marks the diminishing light and the turning of the wheel... yet again.
Friday, September 21, 2007
Being here in Asheville has provided me with the chance to catch up on the world of television. Up until now, I've been pretty conscientious about not watching too much television. However, my head started hurting today and I got sucked into watching these really bad teen dramas on The N. Apparently after Azalea's programing on Noggin is over, it magically transforms into Dawson Creek-esque dramas about young people and their troubles.
I was raised watching soap operas. My mom would have them on while she was watching us or they would be on when I came home from school. I was also one of the ones that was caught up in the boom of prime-time soaps. Insert Dallas, Knots Landing, Dynasty, Melrose Place, and the countless others that sprung up but couldn't survive. Does anyone else remember Central Park West? Or Pacific Palisades? Or Savannah? Or Model's Inc.? Probably not. But I am now gifted in aptly predicting the slow song in accompaniment to the montage, can foresee plot-line twists, sniff out hidden drug habits, detect secret homosexuality, sense on-coming kissing in the shower or rain scene, and uncover relationships that will transform from sweet innocent romance into domestic abuse and the eventual redemption and inevitable failure of said redemption.
Come to think of it, perhaps I should go into soap scripts. The best are the ones that don't get too complicated and are easy to relate to. The worst are when they get too convoluted and grasp for straws or ratings.
Yes, I've been sucked into the vortex of bad television. But it'll only be for today, because I've got to get cracking on the oracle card backgrounds.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Today we had a very busy day. Sheila, Azalea, and I went to the French Broad River Park. They're having an outdoor sculpture show that's up right now. It was nice to walk around and enjoy the fresh air. Especially after spending several hours with my nose to the grindstone yesterday, it was nice to take a little breather.
Left: Azalea in front of one of the installation sculptures in the park. She said that they looked like My Neighbor Totoro, which is a Japanese anime about these magical cats that live next door.
Left: Sheila and Azalea posing in front of another of the sculptures in the front of the park. It was a type of shadowbox filled with various dark-colored glass fragments and ceramics.
After the park, Sheila took us to her studio. I haven't been there before and it was nice to see the space that she was working in. It made me miss my studio space greatly and yearn for the community that springs up around a space like that.
Right: Sheila and Azalea in Sheila's studio. Azalea loves visiting the studio.
When we finished up at the studio, we dropped in Highwater Clays to look at their colored slip selection and to see if they have these fancy pencils that write on ceramics. I'm not sure how they work, but they seem pretty cool. We decided to drop by downtown to have a quick look around while we were in the car. So, we stopped in at Malaprop's, Ariel Gallery (to check out the Daniel Essig books), Mobilia, and Chevron Trading Post. While we were at Chevron, we said hello to our friends Deb, Georgie, and Melissa.
We were so tired after our adventures out that both Azalea and I were falling asleep at the table.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Above: Baked Asian pear.
Above: My finds from the antique store.
Monday, September 17, 2007
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Above Left: One of the creeks that run through the botanical garden. Above Right: Azalea running along one of the many bridges.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
For dinner that night, Cynthia and I made packet meals with black-eyed peas, asparagus, onions, mushrooms with the choice or fish or chicken. All garnished with lots of butter, a little lemon, garlic, and some choice seasonings. Greg whipped up a very fresh tomato salad to accompany the parchment dinners. For dessert we had a key-lime pie from Picnics.
I got lots of work done on the painting that I'm working on and started a polymer clay project. I have a vision that I'm going to embed bits and pieces and do photo-transfers and colored-resin painting. We'll see how that turns out.
Today was so beautiful. No humidity and slightly chilly. It was a perfect early autumn day. Hopefully tomorrow I can instigate a trip to the botanical gardens to run around and enjoy the weather more fully.Left: This is another cheese spread that we whipped up for our honored guests, Anne Choi and Lynn. Lots of different kinds of pears, grapes, membrillo, salami (without peppercorns), smoked gouda, goat gouda, white cheddar, manchego, jarlsberg, and some gruyere.
Right: Azalea getting into the grapes. I got that shirt for her a really long time ago from a cute children's' boutique in New York called Lucky Wang. It was so hard to imagine that one day it would fit her. Nowadays it fits a little snugly. She's growing up so fast. (I just noticed that Azalea's shirt is the same color as the salami.)
Left: For dinner we had hamburgers. I caramelized a bunch of onions, sauteed some baby portobello mushrooms, and mixed up my secret burger recipe. Greg fired up the grill and we topped them off with a nice provolone cheese and sun-ripened heirloom tomatoes. We served them with some Terra Chips and bread and butter pickles.
For dessert (not shown) I whipped up a quick Mexican chocolate mouse, layered with graham crackers, and topped with fresh whipped cream and a bottom layer of chocolate ganache.
It has been a boisterous time here with our friends Anne Choi and Lynn. We love having guests over and entertaining. Especially when it's other creative types who's work you admire. Having Anne Choi and Lynn over with Tony and Lisa from Zoa Art has absolutely made this trip! So much creative energy and merriment.
Anne Choi originally said that I couldn't take any pictures of her unless I didn't want anymore of her beads. Of course, I struggled with pulling out my camera at every opportunity. A couple of times, I had wild fantasies of how I'd take pictures and create a fictitious persona that would buy her beads once I had been cut off. Luckily, she allowed me two pictures - One group shot and one with just the two of us. Here is the group shot:
Above: (Top Row) Greg, Anne Choi, Tony Blackwell. (Bottom Row) Cynthia, "George", Lisa, and me.
As I looked at the group photo of us, I thought about what would happen to this image in a hundred years. Will we be forgotten and marked "unknown", our names erased from history like those captured on the old tintype? Or will Azalea's grandchildren and their generation say, "These were artists dedicated to their craft..."
Thursday, September 13, 2007
The talented Amy Walsh has released three new Specimen silkscreen prints! I ordered this one before I left New York from her Etsy shop and it just got here. The other two are in the post and on their way. I love the fantastical creatures that she's created and how she's printed them on vintage book pages. I just love them. Amy Walsh has also started her own blog. CLICK HERE to check it out.
My instincts told me to run to Azalea. I held her clutched against me, not knowing what was happening. Was it the end of the world? Had we somehow been caught up between the worlds, transplanted to some foreign astral plane? Had we died in our sleep and was this the afterlife?
Eventually the panic subsided and we went about routine, playing and laughing as we did. Somehow while we were busy about our day, the fog had dissipated and the sun came out.
Last night was kind of like that. I felt my ribs wrapped up with panic, tiredness, and the residue from the trip down... but we went about our business and eventually I found that those feelings had subsided. They melted back into the shadows. The vampires retreated.
I made a lot of progress on a painting that I'm working on and we made a ton of headway on our oracle deck. We also got a lot of work done in preparation for a visit from one of my favorite bead artists, Anne Choi. I can't wait for them to get here! It'll be so much fun.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Let's first start with the car situation. Since I was going to be traveling with the Green Girl Studios tub from the Long Island show, I wanted to make sure that I got to the airport plenty early. So, I called ahead for a car with extra time to get to the airport and check the baggage and be set to go. They send a car and it was of course late (even though the car service is literally 1.5 blocks away). When it finally came, I loaded up the tubs and my suitcase and got in. The driver discovered he was out of gas. So, I unloaded the car and waited for the next car. The quoted five minutes turned into 20 minutes. I was dripping wet with sweat. It was a hot and humid day and running up and down five flights of stairs with huge bins full of pewter didn't help.
One of the things that I love about my neighborhood is that everyone is so close-knit. However, when the goal is speed, this isn't exactly the optimal condition. My driver kept stopping in the middle of the road to chat with other drivers and neighborhood regulars. I could feel the blood beginning to boil in my veins. Since I deal in a customer service oriented profession, I try to be patient and keep my cool. I dislike greatly the uppity customers who get all bent out of shape. Eventually though, I had to say straight-up, "I'm going to miss my flight."
He responded by saying, "Oh, the traffic on the highway should be quick." I didn't know what to say. I felt that this perhaps was not the right response to my comment. If the traffic on the highway was slow, does that mean he would have stopped less? Or did he mean that we would make up time by driving on the highway? I did not know. I just sat quietly in the back, feeling my jaw clench a bit and my eyes searching for a point outside the car to fix on.
It just so happened that the traffic on the highway was not quick. It was, in fact, quite slow. In the back of my mind, I was planning out all the things I would have to do to try and change flights or make arrangements to expedite the situation.
When I finally got to the airport, much later, I had a scant few minutes to run and catch my flight. The curb-side check-in guy refused to check me in. I asked why. He said, "Your flight has been delayed. I can't help you." I wanted to ask for my tip back. Instead, I waited in line where very naughty people were cutting in line. I could feel the fire-starter power rise up in me, but I kept saying to myself, "Be calm. Be cool. Be collected."
So, the airport was crowded. With the stranded passengers marooned from weather conditions and the people with big guns. Tomorrow, or rather, today, is the anniversary of 9/11. When I finally made arrangements to get into Charlotte, I was "randomly selected" to participate in special screenings. Which basically meant that I was put through a ring of fire of searches. They emptied the entire contents of my travel bag, felt me up, and made me pass through metal detectors and felt me up again. At one point, one of the searches said, "There's something hard under your sweater." And I said, "My ribcage?" I had to lift up my sweater to prove that the hard protrusions were actually my bones and not explosives taped to my body. It's a good thing I put on plenty of deodorant.
For the next five hours, insert: weather delays, refueling delays, mechanical difficulty delays, repair delays (apparently a bird struck the plane), runway traffic, air traffic, and very angry people. Seeing just how upset people were getting and how loud they were getting made me calm down and try to set an example of grace. Though it required much will power.
When I finally got to Charlotte, I got in actually 3 hours earlier than I was supposed to be. I was put on a direct flight instead of taking all the connecting flights my original ticket was scheduled for. Though, there was no way to let Greg and Cynthia know with enough time to drive up. Anyway, Tony Blackwell was supposed to be coming into Charlotte around the same time as my original flight was supposed to and we were all just going to ride together back instead of making multiple trips.
I went to pick up my bags from baggage claim. I had to put the heavy tub full of pewter and I only checked my regular small rolling cart since the ticketing agent suggested that it would be quicker to get through the lines at the security station if I didn't have too many additional pieces of luggage. This was true. However, my suitcase full of my clothes went missing. Only the tub came around on the carousel.
Hopefully my bag turns up and they ship it to me as they said they would. I packed all of my clothes in there for the month that I'll be down here for and really can't afford to replace pretty much my entire wardrobe.
While waiting outside of the claims department, I sat with my back against the wall. I didn't think anything of it. I was tired and wasn't in the mood to stand in line more. Then I started feeling something crawling on me. At first I thought it was my imagination, but realized that it wasn't when those little crawly things began to bite me! Apparently I put my back to the wall where there were ants. So I have bites all over my back and arms.
I am tired and more than a little disgruntled with how everything went down today. I try to make a concentrated effort not to complain too much on my blog and stay positive since I am so fortunate in so many different ways, but today was just miserable. It seemed like the day would never end.
Fortunately the day did end and no one was hurt and everyone was safe and I got a big hug from a little girl when I walked through the door. That was one good thing today. Now it's time for bed!
Monday, September 10, 2007
Sunday, September 09, 2007
I also worked hurriedly to finish up some necklaces that incorporated the PMC that I freshly pressed out and fired for the show. I wanted make some pieces that really spotlighted the various virtues of PMC.
Even though I had a massive load of packing to do, I took a break for an hour or so and met up with my friend Tommy for a beer. I haven't seen him in ages and we desperately needed to catch up. I haven't nearly made my rounds seeing friends before I leave tomorrow.
I told my friend Jenny who was going to drive out with me to the show that I would make lunch. I stopped by the farmer's market and got everything I needed for gazpacho. I didn't look closely enough at the portion sizes and ended up making a HUGE vat of cold soup which needed to be thinned out a bit. (Which reminds me! I need to get some freezer bags.) At the last minute, I decided against trying to bring the soup, in fear that it might slosh around and spill everywhere.
Our morning started off EARLY. I didn't get much sleep because of a wedding that was happening in my neighbor's backyard. During the reception they turned up the volume on their congratulation speeches en español and their salsa music so loud the glass rattled in my windows and kept setting off the car alarms on the street. No bueno.
After getting lost a couple of times, Jenny and I finally made it to the show with enough time to set everything up. The Marriott of Islandia is such a great venue for a bead show! Perfect layout with tons of parking. I had almost forgotten how much I enjoy doing the bead shows. It's an amazing opportunity to meet new friends who are passionate about beading. I always look forward to seeing what will be popular at the show, what people have been making, and what the other vendors have been up to!
The show was a lot of fun! It was a relaxed pace and everyone was so friendly. Joan Miller and her beautiful raised slip ceramic pieces was right across from us, Maureen Henriques of Pumpkin Hill Beads was down the aisle with some lovely new lampwork beads and some goodies from Lea Anne Hartman, and Naomi Belkin and her company Talisman Associates was across the ballroom, as well as many other friends and vendors! I wish I brought my camera to capture a couple pictures from the show. I also hope that we do this show again in the spring. I can't wait to see what people will make with their Green Girl Studio pieces.
It has been a long day and I've got lots of packing to do before my flight tomorrow. I wanted to drop by The Whitney to see the Summer of Love: Art of the Psychedelic Era, but I'm fairly sure that they'll be closed tomorrow in the morning and the show will be down by the time I get back. Oh well. It has been a long day and I've got to catch a couple winks of sleep before tomorrow's adventures.
Thanks to everyone who came out to the show today!
Friday, September 07, 2007
But I'll be back. It may not seem like a lot, but I feel very strongly connected to my regulars. I see them for a couple of minutes here or there and our interactions are usually limited to how busy it is, but I feel somehow bound to them. It's odd trying to quantify and qualify this feeling towards these people.
Met up with a friend from Chicago for a couple of drinks earlier. It was a lot of fun and hopefully we'll be able to do it again when I get back. Right now I'm so sleepy and all I can think about is the bead show in a few days. I keep having the strangest dreamy thoughts of various vendors riding pogo sticks and big mechanical fish made of silver.
Hopefully if you're in the area, you'll make it out to the show and say hello!
Sunday, September 9th 2007
10 AM to 5 PM
Marriott Islandia, 3635 Express Drive North
Islandia, Long Island, NY 11749
(Exit 58 off Long Island Expressway/ I-495)
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Left: Irene, Ben, Jenny, and Jeremy (who all work for 'wichcraft) pose in front of a few of Steve Ellis' paintings. It's always nice to see people outside of work and not in a uniform.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
I am still getting some goodies ready for the Long Island Bead Festival this Sunday. I can't wait for it! I always get so excited about meeting our customers and seeing what they're doing and catching up with my fellow beadmakers. It is so inspirational to be around so much creativity!
Thomas Jay stopped in from Boston a short bit ago with some of my table set-up. Even though it was a challenge for me to try and stay awake, it was good to see him and chat a bit. We haven't had the opportunity in a long while.
Don't forget that 'wichcraft and La Colombe will be hosting an "art, food, fundraising event" called The Tools of the Craft, featuring the art of Steve Ellis. 25% of all art sales go to The Pat Hearn and Colin de Land Cancer Foundation. It's tomorrow (Thursday) night at 6PM at 629 West 27th Street (between 11th and 12th Avenue) in New York City.
Anyway, I'm off to bed finally!