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.