Monday, May 31, 2010

Hearts For Hannah

Each year at this time I donate in memory of Hannah Congdon to Joining Hearts and Hands, a non-profit educational organization. Hannah and four of her friends died together in a tragic car accident shortly after graduating high school in 2007. They were each young women with promising futures.

I want to help remember Hannah and her 4 friends by selling specially made glass hearts and donating all proceeds to Joining Hearts and Hands in her memory. Last year we raised $820.00. This year my goal is to reach $1000.00 by the end of June. Every few days I will post glass hearts that are currently available here on my blog. You will see a special link to the right that says Hearts for Hannah.  You can email me to let me know which one you would like. Each is specially priced at $20.00. If these are to be mailed, there is a small shipping cost.

My husband and I have been supporters of Joining Hearts and Hands since its beginning in 2004. Please take a moment to read about Dr. William Cala and his wife Joanne and how this organization benefits the orphans in Kenya and their communities.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Riveting News

Finally. After months....almost a year....of looking at my Jim Moore riveting tool, I have actually used it! Totally easy and the outcome is amazing. Check out the video on the link above to see just how easy it is. There will definitly be more capped beads in my future!

If you look at the reflection you can see my studio. A no, no in good photography I'm guessing but I think its kind of neat. I'm always looking for little things like this......I often look at the reflections in photos of others to see what I can see.

I admit I was a bit nervous capping these beauties. I figured I would have broken one of them but lucky for me I didn't! I WILL have these in my etsy shop after my show next weekend.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Whack Your Head Wednesday

Let Your Mind Wander

#15 Much of our thinking is associative: one idea makes you think of another -- no matter how logical the connection. Use this ability to generate new ideas. Look at something and make associations based on whatever you can think of: function, location, size, shape, sound, personal, opposite, weird, etc..Example-- work: play: actor: star: sun: light: bulb: tulips: kiss: love: tennis: net: profit: prophet: oracle: aruicle: heart: life. What things does your idea remind you of? What do each of these remind you of? How can you use this cluster of associations to develop your idea?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Bead Caps

I've made a few bead caps to use myself and to sell. These are my traditional caps.....but I've also made some asymmetrical ones too.........

Kinda fun that they have jagged edges and they reach farther over the side of the bead.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Mad Hatter Time Piece

That darn Alice in Wonderland has captivated me.....still. These are a few of my Mad Hatter time piece pendants. They aren't quite finished....I'll show you what I mean later this week. I made these glass bezel cups along with a bail so they each may become an outlandish necklace. The small one in the back is actually a toggle closure for a necklace. I have some Mad Hatter Garden beads I might use in this necklace too. Once I have some time, these pendants will be part of my big esty update!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Being Koi

Well, these are my May challenge beads. The inspiration began with Hokusai which connected to Japan then related to Children's Day, May 5th! This is how the inspirational path goes for me hip, hip, hop around! I've been experimenting a bit with Koi and I do love how they seem to swim around these beads. Hope you like them too.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Found Art Friday!

I thought I'd do this post once a month to feature art of all types. I'm not much of a web surfer.....don't have time or interest to do that.......but I do stumble across things in my daily travels which I then look for on the web. The art I want to feature is just whatever tickles my fancy......I will also post some of my work and I will be sending some of my work out into the world to be Found by others....who knows, maybe they will even post a comment here when they find something.

I found the art of Michelle Allen through another blog....can't remember which one since it was some time ago. But I love her work! Bright, simple, and to the point.....but Whimsical is how I would best describe it! Check thru her will really get a sense of her fun personality. Love the photos of her....pure fun!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Whack Your Head Wednesday

Don't Force It

#31 An architect built a cluster of office buildings around a central green. When construction was completed, the landscape crew asked him where he wanted the sidewalks. "Just plant the grass solidly between the buildings," was his reply. By late summer the new lawn was laced with paths of trodden grass between the buildings. These paths turned in easy curves and were sized according to traffic flow. In the fall, the architect simply paved the paths. Not only did the paths have a design beauty, they responded directly to user needs. What are you forcing? Where could you ease off?

Monday, May 17, 2010

A Monday idea for Friday

Being an art teacher and an artist, you must get the idea that I love art! Art of all types. I believe that the act of creating is a gift we are all given and it is up to us to either feed that gift by acting on creative impulses or have it wither away to where we feel unable to "make" anything or to question our abilities. I believe we are all artists of one type or is not a special talent bestowed on magical few.......we all have IT and I want to encourage you.  So, I will host a new re-occurring post once a month titled Found Art Friday.  My aim is to show all sorts of art I find interesting and also to have YOU find some of my art.....I want to show the wide span of what art is and then give some of my art away with encouraging notes.....I will actually be placing my art in public places for someone to find and keep.....maybe even post a comment here on my blog too.

So, have I gone crazy? Is this just totally wierd?? Maybe so. But we will see. I'm going to do this for a year and then judge it. Who knows what the possibilities are :) Check back this Friday to see my first official Found Art Friday post.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Food for thought-Another Favorite Vegetarian Recipe

Every now and then I like to share some of my Vegetaraian favorites. People always believe vegetarian eating to be boring, difficult and lacking in protein. Thats just plain wrong. Awhile back I shared my Tofu Burger recipe then my Spanikopita and today I'm going to share a great salad. All of these are loaded with necessary protein, fiber and are low in, they are simply made.  This recipe I got out of the Vegetarian Times magazine. A great subscrition that gives easy and tasty vegetarian delights!

Chickpea, Artichoke Heart and Tomato Salad with Arugula

1 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas or 1 15oz. can
1/2 6oz jar water packed artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained and sliced
1/2 cup small pear or grape tomatoes, halved and quartered
1/3 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives, optional
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup prepared balsamic vinaigrette or your favorite
2 cups baby arugula
1 oz. crumbled feta cheese

For a 1 1/2 cup serving you get: 345 calories, 13 grams protein, 15 grams total fat43 grams carbs, 13mg chol, and 12 grams fiber. Not bad for a meal that will satisfy and fill you til dinner.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Sunday's Featured Artist

JC Herrell
I'm a day late but am going ahead with my featured artist spotlight today since yesterday the world celebrated Mother's Day! I also didn't want to wait until next Sunday to share the work of JC Herrell....I've been a bit behind.  For the last few months I have been spotlighting some of my favorite glass artists by having them share a bit about themselves and some of their work. It is my hope to actually meet some of these amazing artists or possible take a class with them at some point in the future. The worldwide web is a great tool however I feel that you really must get to know someone to gain better understanding of their work and to really appreciate what they do. I know you will admire JC's work and her positive attitude. I think that is one reason why I enjoy her work so much. Her enthusiasm is evident in her work!

1. How long have you been making beads and how did you get your start?
I got my first torch in 2001 but it wasn't until 2004 that I spent any real energy trying to get better and more comfortable with lampworking. The torch was a gift from my ex-husband who was suggesting I find a hobby to relax with. In 2005 I turned that hobby into my business when I began making beads full time.

2. Do you sell your work? Where? What venue seems to work the best for you?
Selling is essential to making more beads! I am deeply invested in the beads I make and by purchasing my beads you invest deeply in me. Without that investment my work and life would not be possible.Beads have shown me personal freedom, allowed me to follow a dream and are teaching me a craft that continues to change and inspire my life. To sell beads is to live that dream! I make my beads available through my website and Etsy and Ebay, special order, and at several bead shows throughout the year. Teaching is also an important part of my plan that funds my craft. I teach several classes each year focusing on enamel and offer some tutorial available for sale on my website.

3. Where do you see yourself in 3, 5, 10 years?
In 3 years I see some important debts paid, my glass skills and curiosity expanding into new areas, and I see myself living somewhere with trees- nice big ones. In 5 years I'm looking ahead and picking my challenges carefully rather than negotiating a backlog of them. In 10 years I'm living this craft at the next level.

4. What has been the most challenging?
This business/craft is the hardest, most fun, most natural, most frustrating, most wonderful, most stressful thing I've thrown myself into yet! What's most challenging? Sometimes staying positive is most challenging.

5. What are you most proud of?
I'm proud that I do what I do and that I keep doing it all day, everyday. What I do is awesome. I think the way I do it is fun. I'm proud that I made the choice to do this!

6. What inspires your work and who do you admire?
My work is very inspired by the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright. I grew up in Wisconsin and my dad gave me a great introduction to FLLW work when i was young. The influence of architecture can be seen in my work. I love exploring color relationships.

7. Describe yourself in 3 words.
Stubborn. Enthusiastic. Overwhelmed.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Everyday should be Mother's Day. I think it is the hardest yet most important job in the world. They are life givers, cheerleaders, support systems, meal providers, problem solvers, confidants, protectors and just so much more. No matter what your age is, a Mother's love and attention is always needed. Be kind to your mom today. Tell her you love her and show her by treating her EXTRA special.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Whack Your Head Wednesday

See the Big Picture

#7 In 1866 an Iowa farmer watched the construction of the transcontinental railroad near his fields. After seeing the track laid and a locomotive steam through, he thought, "So that's what railroading is all about: tracks and trains." What didn't he see? That he could get his products to more markests more quickly, and that once there they would have to compete against products from many more places. That people could travel from coast to coast in less than a week. That more ideas would be shared and that different people would meet and get married. He saw the steel and the wheels but he didn't see the consequences. What are the larger implications of your idea? How does it fit into the big picture?

Saturday, May 1, 2010

May Challenge

This month I am selecting Japanese artist, Katsushika Hokusai as my inspiration. I am very interested in Japanese culture and also thought it fitting since May 5th is Childrens Day, a National holiday in Japan where families hang carp windsocks representing each child in their family.

Hokusai had a long career as an artist but he is best known for his woodblock print series titled 36 views of Mt. Fugi. Actually he did 46 views, 10 were later added after his death. Althought Mt. Fuji was a favored subject for him, Hokusai did plenty of other subjects. Google him to find out more about his amazing artist and his work.

Here are some koinobori or carp windsocks. Sometimes I teach a unit on Japanese art &  have my students make carp windsocks. They love it and I love putting them on display throughout our halls at school.

I hope you will be part of my May Challenge! Or, if your like me, you might be a challenge or two behind. Thats okay too!

Here is How to Enter:

1. Create a bead or piece of jewelry that is based on the image/theme of the month. If entering a peice of jewelry, please don't just string beads but push yourself to explore new materials, techniques and ideas. Beads can be made from any material such as paper, clay, lampwork or seedbeads. Or anything else I may have excluded.....Its all about the beads!

2. Post your creation on our flickr group.

The purpose of this challenge is to find inspiration and to then inspire others by what you have made.