Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Holidays from Snowy and Really Cold Milwaukee!

This is NOT my house, but it is nearby. I think that's a Santa decoration from a defunct shopping center in town.We've had too much snow already and it's been below zero most of the day, but the fresh snowfall last night helped officers nab a would be thief!

The police followed the suspect's tracks and apprehended him. He had changed his clothes but they found the mask he used to hold up pizza delivery person. Headline read
"Footprints in Snow Lead Police to Suspect." Talk about dumb criminals...

No time to do any beading lately - hope to get back to it after the holidays.

Today's quote is Zen (and I'll try hard to remember this the next time I'm digging out from under): No snowflake ever falls in the wrong place.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Been a While

Steam rising over Lake Michigan 12-5-08.

I finally have the website that has been consuming a lot of my time up and running. It's for the Loose Bead Society of Greater Milwaukee. Hope you'll stop by and take a look. I coded the whole thing by hand.

Haven't really had much time to bead lately - my sister and I stumbled into an opportunity we couldn't pass up - an artist's cooperative that is in existence for at least the holiday season, right around the corner from my house. If things work out, it'll be there to stay. I've been spending a lot of time over there.

Today's quote comes from Henry David Thoreau: Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Autumn Oak Leaf

I beaded this piece and donated it to the Park People of Milwaukee for them to auction off at their silent auction last Saturday. In attendance was Jane Kaczmarek, star of Raising the Bar and Malcolm in the Middle.

Imagine my immense pleasure when I was told today that Jane Kaczmarek had purchased the piece, and said that it was stunning. I am still excited and pleased as punch.

Today's quote comes from chemist Marie Curie - Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Hope everyone got a chance to get out and vote today. No line when I went and I was voter 603 at my polling place. I don't want to sound preachy, but it is something that I strongly believe in.

This election was so different for me and people who live in my state. Last time the race was so much closer and my state was a battleground state, so we had both Kerry and Bush less than a mile apart on the same day! It was crazy.

I got robo calls from all sorts of politicians and stars - more than 26 different people asking me to support their candidate. This time only Rudy Guliani called. And John McCain and his running mate also called.

Can you pass the test that immigrants take when they are studying to become American citizens? Here it is.

Today's quote comes from William E. Simon: Bad politicians are sent to Washington by good people who don't vote.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Fascinating Fractals

I have a friend who is unbelievably intelligent, especially in mathematics, and have always found it more than a little humorous that one of his favorite magazines was called the Journal of Recreational Mathematics. That, to me, is an oxymoron.

Math has been described as the language of science. Makes sense to me. I do find some math fascinating, such as Fibonacci numbers and Fractals. Watched the Nova episode about Fractals and Benoit Mandelbrot and loved the images I saw.

The pictures shown here are created by a series of equations that feed on one another. I like math as long as I don't have to do it - the complicated stuff, anyway.

Fractals shows up in nature and I really like the patterns that the equations create. Reminds me of the frost pictures I took last winter.

To see an animation of a fractal, click on this link
to Nova.

Here is a cool animation from YouTube. Makes me think of posters promoting rock concerts from the 60s on acid in the twenty-first century.

I find myself inspired by all things natural.

Today's quote comes from Albert Einstein: Pure mathematics is, in its way, the poetry of logical ideas.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Another Cell Phone Photo

Nice fall day today in Wisconsin. The colors are beginning to change in earnest. Today was one of those nice warm fall days - leaves under your feet and the football game on the tube.

And I just paid $2.95 per gallon for unleaded gas! I never thought I'd be so excited about $3.00 a gallon gas.

Today's quote comes from Eric Sloane: A few days ago I walked along the edge of the lake and was treated to the crunch and rustle of leaves with each step I made. The acoustics of this season are different and all sounds, no matter how hushed, are as crisp as autumn air.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Some Really Cool Images!

This is a photo of Mercury taken by the Messenger as it flew by. I love photos of planets.

What do you think this is? This is an image of mouse neurons. Who would have guessed? How cool is that?

Today's quote comes from Edwin Hubble, The Nature of Science, 1954 - Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Tough Cookies?


I am not advocating a particular candidate, but I think everyone should vote. If you don't vote, you shouldn't complain. You can always write in Spongebob Squarepants if you think he's the best candidate. No matter who wins, this election is historic.

One thing I love about this country is that we can disagree about issues and vote for different candidates and not feel the need to kill each other. We can get along, no matter our differences (well, at least most of us can.)

A bakery here in Milwaukee is selling cookies (all four candidates) and basing a very unscientific poll on the numbers of cookies bought. Here's the article from the paper.

I just had to bite her head off. Sorry if that offends anyone, but frankly, she offends me.

Today's quote comes from Sarah Palin herself (I couldn't resist): Well, let's see. There's -- of course -- in the great history of America rulings there have been rulings." --Sarah Palin, unable to name a Supreme Court decision other than Roe vs. Wade, interview with Katie Couric, CBS News, Oct. 1, 2008 (Watch video clip)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Been a Little Busy

Decided to help out my local bead society by offering to revamp the website. Well, I'm the kind of person that really doesn't like templates or using patterns too much, so I decided to take a class in XHTML and CSS. I want to build the type of site that our society deserves and I've always wanted to relearn HTML.

I think XHTML and CSS are the perfect blend of right brained and left brained activities for me.

Class is going well - taking it from a local tech college online.

I'm on vacation this week, so I intend to do a lot of reading, cooking, beading, knitting, watching movies, stretching and exercising, writing some XHTML code, lots of -ing words. In short, my mind will be taking a break. May even get a trip in to a new cemetery.

Today's quote comes from anonymous: Vacation is what you take when you can't take what you've been taking any longer.

Monday, September 8, 2008

PostSecret - Frank Warren

This project is very intriguing to me. I guess we all do have secrets of one sort or another. I hope you take a look at this video.

Today's quote is actually a proverb and a good one I'd never heard before: Tell your friend a lie. If he keeps it secret, then tell him the truth.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Labor Day

Today many of us no longer belong to Unions, but we all owe a great deal to those who fought for work conditions that we now take for granted such as the 8 hour work day, and better pay and working conditions. Children no longer work for pennies a day in conditions that we would find deplorable.

You go, girl!

Way cool float in Detroit, 1942.

In 1894, President Grover Cleveland signed a bill proclaiming the first Monday in September as the Labor Day holiday. So Labor Day has been around for a long time and it's meaning has changed, but let's not forget those who fought and died for better working conditions for us.

Today's quote comes from E. B. White: Computing machines perhaps can do the work of a dozen ordinary people, but there is no machine that can do the work of one extraordinary person.

And let us not forget that it takes smart people to program computers - so there are people on the creation end as well as the user's end. What computer programmers create amazes me. Daily.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Beautiful Evening on the Lakefront

Stopped on the way home to snap these photos of the colors of Lake Michigan. So interesting when the lake appears lighter in color than the sky. Hope you can tell where the lake ends and the sky begins.

This photo was taken just a few minutes later and already the light has changed.

Don't you wish you were on one of these sailboats enjoying the last Sunday of the summer?

Today's quote comes from James Dent: A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Milwaukee's Rumbling...

potato potato potato potato potato potato potato potato potato potato potato

WISDOT webcam of Miller Park parking lots filled with Harleys earlier today. I was peaking at the webcams watching the streams of motorcycles on the freeways today. I can't describe what it feels like to be in a car with so many bikes around. They're kinda like gnats (but more fun.)

potato potato potato potato potato potato potato potato potato potato potato

Photo of Brady Street on the Lower East Side of Milwaukee during the 100th Anniversary celebration.

potato potato potato potato potato potato potato potato potato potato potato

Photo of the Washington County Fairgrounds last night. Bikes as far as the eye can see.

The 105th Harley Anniversary is proving to be just as popular and loud as the 1ooth. The new Harley-Davidson Museum opened last month and I had dinner there a week ago (it was good).

Photo of rain beading on the outdoor dining tables at the Harley-Davidson Museum. (Another cell phone photo - amazing clarity!)

My house is about 1 mile north of Miller Park and I can hear the bass and drums of the music at the party at Miller. I figure at about 2 am the city will hum again with the sounds of thousands - scratch that - tens of thousands of Harleys and other motorcycles heading to bed.

It is a little unnerving to drive when there are so many bikes on the road. I'll take my camera with me tomorrow. Maybe I'll get a good shot or two.

Today's quote comes from Barbara Hoffman: Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey!

And in case you haven't figured out the potato potato potato, it's the sound a Harley makes while idling. :)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Beloit College's Mindset List 2008

If you want to feel how much the world has changed in the past 18 years, take a look at the Beloit College Mindset List.

When I was a freshman in college:
  • personal tvs (the analog kind without cable) were black and white and didn't have remotes
  • M*A*S*H was a weekly show
  • LaVerne and Shirley was a hit as was Three's Company (it was the 70s.)
  • there were no 24 hour a day television stations
  • the networks ran our tv watching schedule
  • VCRs were not common
  • microwaves and answering machines were new and too expensive
  • hand-held calculators were new and cost $100
  • computers were huge and you had to learn logic or some other program in order to run them
  • personal stereos were humongous and usually included a turntable
  • disco wasn't dead
  • drinking age was 18
  • internet was but a dream
  • Macs and Windows were apples and windows
  • term papers were typed, did White Out even exist? I can't remember.
  • researching papers meant taking out books and looking up articles on micro film at the library
  • Ma Bell ran the phone company
  • long distance was expensive
  • my city had two daily newspapers
  • Iran held hostages
  • Sting was what you got when a bee got you
  • The Police were law enforcement
  • Madonna was a religious figure
  • pin ball was the game to play if you didn't have pong
  • a gallon of leaded gas cost 63 cents
  • Animal House and Halloween were in the theaters
  • Terry Bradshaw was Pittsburgh's quarterback in the Superbowl

    Whoooooo Boyyyyyy! I don't remember wearing anything like this, but the guys did love their pastel colored leisure suits...

    We Are The Champions - Queen

I think I've done enough time travel for now.

Today's quote comes from Leslie Poles Hartley: The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.

Monday, August 11, 2008

It Runs in the Family...

Photo of a little cemetery somewhere on the Mason Dixon Line in Maryland or Pennsylvania. Photo taken by me.

Wanted to share some great photography with you. My cousin lives in Duluth, MN and takes these awesome photos of the outdoors and nature. Hope you enjoy them.

Quote about photography from Minor White: Often while traveling with a camera we arrive just as the sun slips over the horizon of a moment, too late to expose film, only time enough to expose our hearts.

How true, how true. Some of my best photographs are the ones I missed and have in my memory.

Here's Another Challenge!

For those of you who may not have seen this, it is a contest from Interweave.

Angela posted it over at the BJP Blog today. Sounds like something I might be able to sink my teeth into.

Have a happy!

This quote comes from Francie Larrieu Smith: The most important thing about motivation is goal setting. You should always have a goal.

I'm Done! I'm Really Done!

This is my last piece for the 2007 BJP. I can't believe I'm finally done! The piece is called "Fireflies." I realize now that it looks very much like Van Gogh's Starry Starry Night, but that's okay!

Me, the last to finish projects, the lifelong procrastinator, the one with many Unfinished Objects, (UFOs) - I have completed a large commitment and a large piece spanning a year.

This project was at times, especially at the end, a struggle. I just wanted it to be over. I asked my sister if I could just do 11 pages and that would be enough. She said that I was so close that I had to finish it. So I came up with an idea, and finished the piece in under a week! My mojo's back!

Can you hear my happy dance?

This morning glory plant comes back in pots on my deck year after year! That's determination!

Today's quote comes from Anna Pavlova: To follow without halt, one aim; there is the secret of success. And success? What is it? I do not find it in the applause of the theater; it lies rather in the satisfaction of accomplishment.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

08-08-08 An Auspicious Date!

Okay, so I missed posting on 8-8-8 (I love dates like this!)

Watched the Opening Ceremonies for the Beijing Olympics. Stunning! The clip below is from my favorite part - reminded me of a drumline (but better) and a Busby Berkeley movie all in one!

8-11-08 the video is no longer available :(

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

March's Page Done!

Pseuda Buddha

Only one more page left to go and then I can begin 2008's BJP!

I already started the last page, but of course I didn't have the just right beads, so I stopped by my LBS to pick some up. Wouldn't you know they were having a sale. So I walked out of there with a package full of half price seed beads and the nearly right beads I needed for my last page.

Today's quotation comes from Buddha: All that we are is the result of what we have thought. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

August is Here!

Animated short by Laura Neuvonen. Wonderfully done!

Time to get out those knitting needles if you want to make something in time to wear it this fall!

Today's quote comes from Dorothy Day: Knitting is very conducive to thought. It is nice to knit a while, put down the needles, write a while, then take up the sock again.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

2007 Beaded Journal Page Project Website

Finally got it together and got my pages up on the BJP website, thanks to the webdesign angel.

Take a look if you'd like:

Today's quote comes from Honore de Balzac: An unfulfilled vocation drains the color from a man's entire existence.

p. s. I beaded for 20 minutes last night and right after I post this, I will do another 20 minutes, minimum.

Anatole France said, "To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe."

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Doldrums of Summer

Having real problems being stuck artistically. Can't bring myself to work on any beaded work right now and I'm so close to finishing the Beaded Journal Page project.

Maybe I just need to step away from it for a while, but I feel that I need to learn to work on it each day. I feel guilty and lazy, but sometimes it's hard to work on anything after crunching numbers all day. I want to learn how to discipline myself to work on my craft daily, even if it's only for 20 minutes. (I think I'll do that right after I finish this post.)

Any suggestions? Stickers on a calendar?

Today's quote comes from Roy L. Smith: Discipline is the refining fire by which talent becomes ability.

One more comes from Thomas Edison: Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Glow Little Glow Worm, Glimmer!

Isn't this picture gorgeous? I got it from Wikipedia. I might try a couple of long exposure shots myself later this week.

Ah, 'tis the season for fireflies! I just came in from watching the firefly show in my backyard. I remember visiting my father's family farm in Ohio when I was young and being amazed by the number of fireflies - thousands, it seemed, lit the fields.

This kind of beetle I like.

By the way, I'll have to take a picture (that means finding them first) of the awesome beads I got at Bead in Hand in Chicago about a month ago - beetle wings! They are hard and so gorgeous and not gross at all, just extraordinary!

Today's quote comes from Crowfoot: What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Travel by Rail

I have taken the train all over the USA, but for me, travel by rail is not so romantic anymore. I've decided that other than short jaunts, I won't take the train anymore.

Took Amtrak from Milwaukee to Fargo for a family reunion. Left Milwaukee at 4 pm and arrived in Fargo at 3 am. About the opposite schedule on the way back. I thought to myself, "this would be wasted time anyway, so why not let someone else do the driving?"

I didn't sleep well at all on the train - it's a lesson I should have learned long ago. I was so exhausted that I wasted a day upon arrival and one upon returning home sleeping.

I would have been better off driving the 600 miles by myself, stopping when I wanted to and seeing what I wanted to. Could have made a stop at Diane Fitzgerald's in Minneapolis. Next time I will drive.

Today's quote comes from Lao Tzu: A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.

Friday, July 11, 2008

A Little Frippery Is Good For You

Definition of frippery from the Miriam Webster Dictionary
Middle French friperie, alteration of Old French freperie, from frepe old garment
a: finery; also : an elegant or showy garment b: something showy, frivolous, or nonessential c: ostentation; especially : something foolish or affectedly elegant

The Museum of Wisconsin Art in West Bend had a very nice exhibition of frippery. I went to see the exhibition yesterday with some friends. I wish I had a picture of some of the pieces. There was one really cool necklace made out of false eyelashes and silver called "Butterfly Kisses."

Julia Barello, a UW Milwaukee Grad, made some awesome necklaces made from MRI and x ray film. Here's a picture of one of her pieces on a model. The shadows are just as much a piece of the jewelry as is the meticulously hand cut and dyed film.

Museum of Wisconsin Art logo

Frippery: Peculiar Bijoutery or Curiously Adorned?

Some synonyms for the word “Frippery” are gewgaw, knickknack, tinsel, gaudy, frivolous, ostentatious, trivial and unnecessary. Commonly used in a negative sense, it suggests excess over function, wants over needs. Each of the artists in this exhibition have reclaimed the word, embracing its implied showiness and extravagance. Julia Barello, Marna Brauner, Carolynn Desch, Catherine Gilbertson, Hai-Chi Jihn, Yevgeniya Kaganovich, Rachelle Thiewes, Kate Wagle and Jan-Ru Wan all seek to explore form and function as it relates to jewelry and body adornment – and specifically with regard to women.

Despite the association with the word “frippery,” this is serious work which uses a variety of orthodox and unorthodox materials to explore thought-provoking issues regarding bodily decoration and the message it sends. As Stephanie Taylor, Assistant Professor of Art at New Mexico State University writes, “Embracing frippery, or even making it the working principle of your art, demands that one privilege overt decoration over subtle structure; it asks one to pursue the hysterical over the rational, to desire the messy over the neat, and to eschew the simple in favor of the complicated. It forces us to consider the insignificant (an aging, bound thesaurus in the age of online dictionaries, for example, or an object as increasingly obscure and as redundant as x-ray film in the digital era) instead of the significant. Working with frippery forces one to find (or make) something valueless valuable.”

Today's quote comes from Betty Grable: It's loud, it's cheap, it's gaudy. It's like everything I've ever done.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Independence Day!!!!!

This day, to me, is a day to reflect on the founding of this country. My Dad used to read us the Declaration of Independence each July 4th.

So, if you have the time and desire, take a minute to read this wonderful document that freed the United States of America from English rule. I love their language and wish I could write or think like that.

Oh, we loved the fireworks, too, and all of the pomp and circumstance that goes along with the day, but I sometimes wonder if the meaning of the celebration has been lost.

Happy Fourth of July, everyone!

Today's quotation comes from Pearl S. Buck: None who have always been free can understand the terrible fascinating power of the hope of freedom to those who are not free.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Storm Clouds Approach

Another cell phone camera photo - this one's looking north from my office. Nice view!

I really ike the colors in the photo above.

Seems we have a couple of nice days, then the storms roll in again. My part of Wisconsin received over 10 inches of rain in June alone! That's what we should get over an entire summer. I'm hearing rumbles of thunder right now.

When I was a kid, my dad would send us out to play in the rain. Maybe I should do that more often now.

Don't know who today's quote comes from, but I like it! Anyone who says sunshine brings happiness has never danced in the rain.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Cool Bird Video

Came across this video of some Birds of Paradise from New Guinea today.

Saw this on tv last summer and found that my cats were VERY interested in these particular birds for some reason. They couldn't take their eyes off them and tried to swat the screen. It was so amusing that I kept that recording for a long time.

Quote of the day is a Chinese Proverb: A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Dead Comedian

Boy, George Carlin would have loved my title! Watch his piece on soft language.

From "July 21, 1972 - Arrested at Summerfest in Milwaukee for using indecent language in front of wheelchair-bound children. Narrowly escape big cocaine bust by giving shit to the Siegal-Schwall Band while exiting stage. Band thrilled."

George Carlin made me think and made me laugh, sometimes until I cried or almost peed my pants. Thanks for the laughs!

So here's to you, George! Today's quote comes from George himself: Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty thing.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Remembering Tim Russert

I don't really know why Tim Russert's death touched me as it did, but it did, and deeply. Does it matter why? I guess not. Rest in peace, Tim.

So a week ago Saturday, I pulled out this piece I had bought at Bead and Button from Gary Wilson (that's an entirely different entry) for some unknown reason. And I knew that it was a way for me to work through these feelings. It did help. A great deal.

So, even though the event happened outside the technical dates of the 2007 BJP, this is my May page. Here's to Tim who cut through the crap for me and helped me understand politics.

Today's quote comes from Tim Russert: What a country!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Summer Solstice - a Day Early?

Photo of the sun by NASA.

This is the first time since the year 1896 that the June solstice has occurred before June 21. It will occur at 11:59 pm Friday, June 20, 2008. The leap year puts the solstice just before the dawn of the 21st of June.

Celebrate the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere!

Tonight's quote comes from Shakespeare from a Mid-Summer's Night Dream (referring to the summer solstice): Whatever is dreamed on this night, will come to pass.

June's full moon taken by David.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

This One Bears Repeating

How can I not enjoy this? It combines a Bach Suite for cello (a piece that I played in high school on the cello) and animation (my college love.)

Enjoy this piece by eggman913.

Today's Quote comes from Lin Yutang: Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Tag, You're It!

Vivage has tagged me to do a meme.

Here are the questions:

1. What was I doing 10 years ago?
  • Working in a government job pushing paper and going to Grad School in Business at night. I was exhausted. That was a pretty artless period of my life. I'm still paying off the student loan for one year's worth of half-time grad school...
2. 5 things on today's to-do list:
  • Work a little overtime to catch up.
  • Laundry (Bead and Button and work have eaten my brain and my get up and go!)
  • Bead a second Saturn beaded bead from the Saturn bead class I took on Sunday at Bead and Button from Doris Coghill (a good teacher!)
  • Have coffee with a friend before work.
  • Relax with family.
3. Snacks I enjoy:
  • Nuts, especially cashews, but almonds and peanuts will do. And ice cream. Oh yes, and chocolate.
4. Things I'd do if I were a billionaire!
  • Continue to work (I need structure) until I can retire and figure out what to do.
  • Figure out a way to give back.
  • Buy a home in a beautiful location and have someone else clean it for me!
  • Travel, travel, travel.
  • Buy an iPhone.
5. . Places I have lived:
  • Chicago (that toddlin' town)
  • Minneapolis
  • Paris, France
  • Milwaukee
6. People I'd like to know more about:

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Creating on Demand

A bead I made out of plexiglass (!) in Robert Dancik's class. I love the other side, which is plain black, but sanded so that light refracts off of it in different ways. No reference at all to the original material. I'll post a picture of that when I can take a good one!

While I love learning new things, I don't like what I call "Creating on Demand." That's what I find happens at a lot of classes and workshops that I attend - people go nuts and make multiple things while I sit and wait for the muse to come to me. I wish I could learn a technique and make multiples of things during class time, but I usually move at a slower pace during a class.

I'm more concerned about learning a technique properly so that I can have fun with it on my own time and in my own way. That's when I find that I can get really creative. When I've learned the technique and let it and the possibilities sink in and ferment in my subconscious, then the muse comes to me.

I do like seeing the results from everyone at the end of the class. Gives me new ideas and new ways to approach problem solving.

Anyway. That was the case again in Robert Dancik's class "A Bead Like No Other." I am very happy with the results which are posted above.

May I also take a minute to laud Robert in his teaching? He is the most amazing teacher and was awesome at letting people feel successful no matter what their learning skills/level was. I think everyone came out of that class with at least one bead that was a piece of art on it's own. He's a former teacher and he must have been a good one. If you get a chance to take a class from him, do. You will not regret it!

Today's quote comes from Vincent Van Gogh: If you hear a voice within you say "you cannot paint," then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Bead and Button is Here Again!

Tonight is the Meet the Teacher's Reception. All of the teachers sit at tables and some, like Laura McCabe and Sherry Serafini, are mobbed, while others are not. Nearly all take advantage of the opportunity to sell kits or patterns. And some of us who were unable to get into a specific class go in the hope that that teacher will be selling a kit that we like.

Tomorrow I have a class with Robert Dancik called "A Bead Like No Other" which I'm really looking forward to. Then let the shopping begin! Thursday night is preview night which is open only to attendees (but that doesn't seem to lessen the mad rush!) A lot of good deals can be had that night and I find myself wondering what will catch my eye this year.

I really shouldn't be buying much of anything this year. There is a lot from years past that hasn't yet been used. But I always seem to find something new. And I always buy seed beads.

I find myself not quite as excited about this year's show. Maybe it's because I just got home from vacation - I don't know.

One thing I do know: it sure would be a lot easier if I'd traveled to go to a show - then I'd have already gotten prepared for class and wouldn't have to worry about transportation and parking. But I do get to come home and sleep in my own bed each night.

Tonight's quote is a Chinese Proverb: Tell me and I'll forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I'll understand.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

For Me, Today is Mardi Gras!

Finally found the doubloon that I knew I had - somewhere. No glue used, so if I ever want to remove it, it won't be damaged. Took me a while (life does have a way of getting in the way for me recently) but it's finally done.

I wanted to capture some of the flavor of New Orleans. Mo' is betta.

New Orleans is one of my favorite places in the world. It is truly the city that care forgot.

While I have never experienced the craziness of Mardi Gras day itself, I have seen a couple of early in the season Mardi Gras parades and a funeral procession. New Orleans has a completely different mindset.

My heart broke for her and for the citizens of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast when the U. S. Government failed them after Katrina.

So, on the last day of May, I have finished February's piece and I promise myself that I will finish the last three. This will not be another incomplete project.

Today's quote comes from Allen Toussaint: To get to New Orleans you don't pass through anywhere else. That geographical location, being aloof, lets it hold onto the ritual of its own pace more than other places that have to keep up with the progress.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Nearly Unbelievable Reason to Be Late to Work

Was late for work today - not my fault, really.

There was a car parked across my driveway this morning that turned out to be stolen.

I took a picture just in case (I'm not one to use excuses for tardiness or missing work) my boss didn't believe me.

The parking enforcement office (Number 32, no name) called to tell me that she'd give me a copy of the citation for an excuse if I needed it. While I thought that was nice of her to offer, I also thought it was kind of funny... Should have taken her up on her offer.

My boss thought it was really funny and said that I was awfully creative! (It's not easy to make him laugh - not getting his sense of humor yet...)

Today's quote comes from Oscar Wilde: Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.

Thoughts on the Beaded Journal Project

Working hard to get February's page done before the official end of the Beaded Journal Project.

While I enjoyed the project and the challenges it provided for me, I think I'll opt out of the next one. I learned a lot and I've grown as an artist, but it's time to try something else for a while.

Have consistently felt like I was 3 or 4 months behind. I've always had a problem with procrastination. Never really liked deadlines although that seems to be all I do at work is to push paper off my desk and move on to the next pile.

I've missed doing bead weaving and I don't think I've really done any since last fall which is far too long for me.

I also owe blogging to the BJP. I had always wanted to blog before the project, but didn't know where to start. Thanks, BJPers and friends for your support. I have found my voice.

I am (once I get some of the piles of paperwork off my desk) looking forward to the Bead and Button Show next week, but I don't have the same anticipation that I have had in years past. Maybe if I had to travel to go to the show it'd feel different.

I am signed up for two classes - one with Robert Dancik that I'm really looking forward to and a bead weaving class with Doris Coghill.

Today's quote comes from Helen Keller: Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Pittsburgh, PA

Took a short trip out to Pittsburgh last week. Really, really cool town and I enjoyed it once I figured out how to navigate it's angled streets.

The people there are nice and they don't honk at out of towners. It's a city of neighborhoods, each one with it's own flavor.

It is NOT a smoggy, smelly steely town. Far from it. Lots of interesting architecture and they are celebrating 250 years as a settlement. I've got to go back soon - I didn't even get to the Warhol Museum!

The house on the right is the home of a Chinese dissident who has written poetry all over his house and the one on the left is The Tom Museum which I just found out is closing - should have gone in when I had a chance, darn it all!

Around the block was the Mattress Factory, an installation art gallery that I enjoyed quite a bit.

There were some dinosaurs scattered around town - I liked this mirrored one in PPG Square.

A couple of hours southeast of the city is Frank Lloyd Wright's Falling Water. It is an amazing home and the terraces must be beautiful when it's not raining.

You're always surrounded by Friends here...
A graveyard in the middle of nowhere, with no road to get to it. It was in the middle of a very large field near the Maryland border.

Today's quote comes from Pittsburgh native Andy Warhol: An artist is someone who produces things that people don't need but that he - for some reason - thinks it would be a good idea to give them.