Monday, January 21, 2008

Cold Weather Brings Unexpected Benefits!

My sister pointed out these frosty designs on our side window this morning. I have always wanted to capture the fleeting designs of frost and snowflakes.

This one reminds me of a feathery Las Vegas showgirl's head dress.

Feels like my creative funk is a thing of the past. Good.

Today's quote: Frost is the greatest artist in our clime - He paints in nature and describes in rime. - Thomas Hood

Sunday, January 20, 2008

I'm Stuck Ruminating

I'm stuck in a creative funk. Don't have the drive or the desire to work on anything right now. Have plenty of UFOs (UnFinished Objects) to work on, but no. It is not to be. I just don't seem to have the energy.

I have plenty of ideas, though. And they keep me up at night. I read somewhere that the most creative time of day is the time just before sleep. If I get an idea before bed, I will not fall asleep as quickly as normally. Nope. I'll just lie there and think about the possibilities.

Should I use this bead as a focal point on my October page? What about the other beads you had thought about using? A resin piece that I made languishes in a drawer somewhere. Should I dig that up and use it? Another piece would be good to use, but I'd have to cut some metal away and how do I do that without ruining the resin?

And what about that piece that you wanted to work on before the holidays? Like Aerosmith says "seems like my get up and go got up and went."

I want to become more disciplined in my creative efforts. And that requires, hmmm... discipline.

Quote for today comes from Arthur Koestler: Creativity is a type of learning process where the teacher and the pupil are located in the same individual.

Friday, January 18, 2008


A friend recently gave me a book called Signspotting with photos of actual signs in it from all over the world. I love stuff like this. The book was hilarious.

At the bottom of my blog (until I feel like changing the layout again because these signs are too big for the smaller side columns) you will find a sign of the day like this one: (from the Signspotting email)

If there’s one place you’re ever going to find an underground feeding, it’s overhead.

Today's quote comes from a tire shop in Milwaukee: Invite us to your next blowout.

Monday, January 14, 2008

November's Journal Page is Done!

November's Page - Ancient Echoes.

I haven't worked my pages in order, which is in stark contrast to my job where things must be done in order. And sometimes it's good to shake things up, creative-wise.

The fossils are nautiloids - sort of a flat nautilus. My sister the geologist called this particular specimen a graveyard and I suppose it is, but I don't like to think about it like that.

Pardon the flash - I'm still learning to use my new camera.

Another quote for today comes from Ralph Waldo Emerson: We learn geology the morning after the earthquake.

The complete Bach Cello Suites Performed on Harp

I love the story about how these lost suites were found by Pablo Casals in his youth.

I hope you take a minute to listen to Victoria play and explain her music. She's an awesome musician and I'm happy to say that I was her roadie from time to time in high school.

Today's quote comes from Johann Sebastian Bach himself: There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is to hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.

P. S. Her music is available on iTunes, and at Amazon. I believe in supporting artists!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Men's Restroom at the Kohler

All these images of water make me, well, have to gooooo!
Pardon the flash, but aren't all these squirty thingees fun?
Scientifically incorrect, these snowflakes are, having 8 points, but I like them anyway.

To admire this bowl, you must have the seat up!
And, last, but not least, an image of a sewage treatment plant just for my friend who used to work in waste water management!

Today's quote comes from Buddah: Let yourself be open and your life will be easier. A spoon of salt in a glass of water makes the water undrinkable. A spoon of salt in a lake is almost unnoticed.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Is It Moving or Not?

Click on the image to enlarge - the illusion works better big.

I have been reading a marvelous book about Michael May, a guy who was blinded when he was 3 in an explosion. The book is called Crashing Through by Robert Kurson (a UW grad) and it's hard to put down.

May decides to have a very new and interesting surgery done to his eye in order to perhaps restore vision. What I found to be compelling was his courage, his tenacity and his humanity.

In addition, the science and theories behind the surgery and the brain/vision connection are fascinating. Some of the tests they use on May (curiously enough, the author often refers to the characters by their last name, which I find to be a mostly male trait) are optical illusions to those of us whose brains work with their vision.

May had no concept of depth perception. He would reach out to touch a painting in order to feel what it was and still could not perceive that it was a painting. He would also try to touch the landscape even though he knew that those mountains were far from his touch. This book has skewed my perception.

It's a great read.

Today's quote comes from Helen Keller - a woman who never ceases to amaze me: Be of good cheer. Do not think of today's failures, but of the success that may come tomorrow. You have set yourself a difficult task, but you will succeed if you persevere; and you will find a joy in overcoming obstacles.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

John Michael Kohler Art Museum Restrooms

As I promised in an earlier blog, here are photos of the amazing restrooms at the John Michael Kohler Art Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.

There are 5 artist designed restrooms in the center and everyone is encouraged to visit all 5 of them. All of the restrooms were stunning.

Today I want to focus on the women's room in the lobby. It was designed by Massachusetts artist Cynthia Consentino. She began work on it in June of 2004 and it opened to the public a year later. But of course she had help. She created over 30 original tiles that were repeated in various colors and combinations.

The tiles are based on a game called the Exquisite Corpse (which I used to play as a kid, but we didn't call it that, I'm sure) where players would (in my childhood case) fold a sheet of paper in 3, draw a head, then extend the neck onto the second portion, hide the first and pass it on and so on. The Surrealists (Dali, Miro and Magritte) used this concept in the early part of the twentieth century.

Enough Art lessons. Let's see the restroom!

Today's quote comes from Mr. Surrealism himself, Salvador Dali: Don't bother about being modern. Unfortunately, it is the one thing that, whatever you do, you cannot avoid.

What's Old is New Again!

Been seeing a lot of old things and old ways of doing things come back. Somewhere I have my great aunt's tatting hooks, but there's no way I'm getting hooked on a new old craft.

For anyone that's interested instructions are on WikiHow.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Done with December's Page

Finally finished December's page on January 1st. Now I just need to complete October and November and January's page. One of my goals (I don't set resolutions) for 2008 and January in particular, is to get caught up with my pages.

Was inspired by all of the snow we got in December - second snowiest December on record.

I want to try some new techniques on the new pages to expand my repertoire of bead embroidery. I'll rummage in my bead stash to see what inspires me.

Today's quote comes from Scott Allen: Done is better than perfect.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Use What You Have Month

I am declaring January to be Use What You Have Month for myself. After the excesses of the holiday season, it'll feel good to use what I have on hand. No quick stops at art supply stores, no sneaking into bead stores (always seem to see someone I know) and no yarn shop visits.

This will be a challenge for me, but I've done it before, so I can do it again.

Today's quote comes from Calvin Coolidge: Economy is the method by which we prepare today to afford the improvements of tomorrow.