Monday, December 19, 2011

Twice in one day? Unheard of. It took Olive's knowhow to take this sweet image of the 'townswomen' out of a video format and put it into a still version, the whole window at Delectable Mountain in Brattleboro. This second stab at news in my world is to say that I finally have my web shop back up and running! To those of you that received the newsletter and have ordered things...such big thanks, it has really helped with the spirit of the season.
And the last shout out is to make you aware of a fun class that Anne Mitchell and I will be teaching january 28 at the To Bead True Blue Show in Tucson in metal joining techniques, coloring metal and resin using vintage and new brass forms as the vehicle.

The Antithesis of the Feeling of the Day...

On this last weekend before Christmas I headed to Brattleboro, VT., home of the quaint and homespun. Streets were bustling, sites like these included carolers, windows seductively foreshadowing the seasons offerings, artists having front and center billing in the twinkling lights. I walked over to one of my favorite stores, "Twice Upon a Time", went to open the door and saw that a young boy and his dad (or someone acting in that role)were on their way out, I stepped aside and held the door. All smiles in my heart, rejoicing in the spirit of the season and all, I looked down at the child as he looked right into my eyes. He raised his right hand to his waist as if it was a gun and mouthed the word 'kill'. Wow, what a buzzkill.This left me conflicted after the hairs laid down on the back of my neck. Should I have called him on this? The parent saw nothing as the child was uber discreet, adding to the creep factor. I know we assign our adult interpretations to things that we observe and deem appropriate (or not so) but this child knew he was wrong, I believe, or he wouldn't have acted so secretively. I guess the part that disturbs me is that the killing is everywhere, is it any wonder that it is just another expression...maybe this kids way of saying, 'lady, get out of my way'?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Northern lend such perspective.


This 36 year long love affair lives on. It was 1975 that I moved to San Francisco I think, I only stayed 6 months or so but I bonded with this most beautiful of cities and continue to have a fantasy of some day living in this region again. This trip took me to Alcatraz for the first time after so many attempts, mostly foiled by not thinking ahead and finding that tours were full.

Anne Mitchell and I took the tour last Wednesday, a weepingly beautiful trip to this most haunting of places. While on the subject of sharing has always been a source of entertainment and escape to consider incarceration as a relief from the stresses and strains of keeping this train on the tracks and all that goes with that to consider three squares and time to read and create without having to pay mortgages, and keep up with an extremely busy life. Of course Alcatraz has always been the setting for that fantasy. How about a room with a view?

The day was perfect, warm, sunny, scenic. Impressions to remember were the chinking sounds of the doors to the cells being closed, interesting to me to put myself into that sobering conclusion to my idea of surrender. The sound, haunting in all that it represents.

The picture I've included of the garden represents a whole other reality on the 'Rock', that of the families that lived on the island whose spouses and parents worked there, the children's joyous interpretation of life and their lack of knowledge surrounding how the inmates reality differed from their own. Circumstance and perception, one a reality, the other a choice.

I was in the Bay Area to attend the Bay Area Bead Extravaganza, otherwise known as B.A.B.E. This show continues to be my favorite show to do in the course of my year, I usually teach a class associated with the show and then participate on the show floor. The students are consistently smart, capable, curious, fun and supportive! The show has a great variety of beads, collections and is limited in ultra mass produced items. Trarie does a nice job with promotion and curation. I want to say thank you to all who came, over the years I have developed wonderful relationships with so many, I come home full and grateful.

I had a day yesterday to bask in the afterglow, today it is back to work. My goal for the next few days is to get my 'shop' page back up and running. It seems to be the last thing I make time for, Olive, my eldest daughter, has offered to help. With that promise I'll proceed.

I hope that all of you in 'Blogland' have wide open channels to your muses, can take a moment to smell the roses and can clear the clutter towards the road to 'be here now'.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Time away...

The further and longer I am incommunicado the harder it is to drop back in. It has been a couple of months. In that course of time so much 'goes down'.

Since Sunapee I have been working on new work, some turning out, other areas falling short of desired results, I'm leaving those on the back burner as I prepare for fall shows.

October is here, how did that happen? I am working on a new computer, this is good but everything takes a bit longer and I need to make decisions regarding what I bring from my old computer and what I can leave behind.

My thoughts were to take a break and sign up for a retreat to Haystack with MassArt Alumni, hoping to find beauty, community and a jump start...these thoughts changed as circumstances did. I signed up for a class In New Hampshire that meets every other week where I take my metal smithing problems to the incomparable Kerstin Nichols. The class is the best, full of interesting people all doing some thing different. Kerstin guides us through our own particular problems , we learn by seeing each others challenges. Anne, great grandmother, is making cups and spoons for her people. In both my yoga class and this metals class I am struck by the vigor and interest found in women in their 80's and 90's~

Olive is back home and being a great help with show prep, Lily is ensconced back at Putney, starting her senior year and all that goes with that. I see her at soccer games, and she and her friend Greer were so helpful in photo generation for the latest round of neckpieces shown here. Michael's progress is continuing with help from his yoga practice and acupuncture.

I am thinking as fall progresses about last year at this time. I was traveling to Denmark, Sweden and Holland. My dad was sick. My eyes were so open to 'being here now', a state that I find myself in while traveling. Why is it so markedly different to be so open to everything while in unfamiliar surroundings? It is wonderful to be thoughtful and present and not bogged down by the tedium of everyday. The poignancy of that time away and the reality of parents leaving this world has made for a bittersweet anniversary. I think so fondly of the people that I met, the places that I saw...and the dutch cookies that I ate.

Back to now...time's-a-wasting, the studio needs me to warm it up. Next in line is the Bead Affaire in Watertown next Saturday, then on to Washington, DC and the Smithsonian Craft 2 Wear show at the Building Museum, a beautiful space. This first trip to D.C. is one of three trips this fall to the area. I will return in November to teach for the Northern Virginia Bead Society. The first weekend of December calls me back to the Washington Crafts Show, to be followed by my left thumb surgery...and then I will rest.

In mid November I will attend BABE to teach a fun class with Anne Mitchell and to show my wares at this favorite show and location. Will you come join us?

I can't help but revisit the cheese portion of a Dutch grocery store, amazing.

Monday, July 11, 2011

A trip to the MFA in Boston yesterday yielded a beautiful connection with my dear friends and a great trip through the Chihuly exhibit. I was so impressed with the curatorial interpretation. All of that reflection put to such good use.

ah, so, life continues at a pace where I am just jumping from one faction of my life to the next, barely uncovering the surface before I need to skip to the next fire.

Largest and most demanding 'fire' at this moment is the idea generation and then the practical considerations surrounding class proposals for next year. how do I create a class that will inspire, teach many techniques and not call for a tractor trailer load of props, tools and materials?

Next in line 'fire' is preparing for Sunapee, that 9 day show that always comes along the beginning of August and takes me into the middle of the month. Once it is set up I enjoy myself, just manning the shop on a daily basis but it is such a chunk of time and takes so much energy!

The graphite paint for electroforming is SUCH a leap in generating a flawless surface. My results are pleasing me. Add some enamel and ooh lal la!

I still am considering insect forms as voids to be filled with ?. Containers, lockets, reliquaries.

Michael needed to capture another swarm, the bees proliferation calls for finding a new home, so off they go. We were lucky that they settled so low in the tree, made capture relatively easy. Still more activity than Michael had wanted at that point but it was a successful capture, a new hive has begun.

My web shop is still not up and running. I apologize. As it stands I won't get to it till mid August.

The fires are burning hot, off I go.

Friday, June 3, 2011

so much fun!

Since I have been home from Canada my time has been focused (mostly, other times I've run off on tangents) in the studio. I feel so blessed to be able to string together so many days where all that matters is creation. it is a whirlwind, a tsunami. Today I need to clean up after all of these 'storms' and refocus on order and presentation as I leave early tomorrow for Milwaukee.

Spring moves into summer. Lily is due home next week, tomorrow she will be a part of the Strolling of the Heifers parade in Brattleboro, VT. I wish I could see the parade. She has been working with Hula H. Hoop, a 3 month heifer, in order to get her ready to face a crowd and be 'street presentable'. I spent some time last weekend up in Putney where she was working with Hula, so green, so lush, so sweet.

Pictures include wares ready for packing. Glass beads, mesh bangles adorned with deer skin and metal parts and a charm necklace, 'JuJu' going on!

Michaels progress continues. It is never quick enough but I am amazed at the bodies abilities. In two months he has come such a long way. I know that to him it feels interminable but from the outside he has come so far. A full nights sleep is a challenge as is his energy level, when he hits the wall he HITS it, he doesn't want to be too far 'into the woods'.

Ah, the phases of time, the mind and forward thought. It is as if my mind has hyperactive filters acting as blinders as each filter is engaged, losing sight of the big picture. I need to bring this 'Big Picture' into focus and get this show rolling. My hope is that you can engage so completely that you can temporarily lose sight of that big least temporarily.

P.S., Kate, I enabled comments...finally.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Chasing Spring.

The yellow green of early spring has been my companion from Washington D.C. to Toronto, how lovely to live it over and over again, to rest at home with some daffodils still in bloom.

It is time for the Brimfield Antique Show, thrice yearly for a full 5 day period. I am hoping to be able to make it there, for the visual stimulation. Clearly, as I try to weed out the excess of stuff accrued I don't need to bring anything home.

My life is a whirlwind, with no hope of rest as I prepare to set my sites on Bead and Button. I am slated to teach 2 separate days of Foldforming and a day of an introduction to Borosilicate glass. Nothing is full, sadly, and I would love to entice some more takers. I promise fun filled days and will be sharing knowledge learned from the 'school of hard knocks' so that you don't have to learn it this way!

As I reflect upon my last ten days spent in Canada I want to 'shout out' just how awesome my neighbors to the North are. Smart, civilized, unpretentious, supportive. The first part of the trip was spent in Toronto teaching for the Bead Society in a facility where the twice yearly Bead Show is held. Spacious, sunny and welcoming, the students open, willing and generous. Maureen Warland was my hostess with the most. Organized, upbeat and prepared she filled the classes to the brim and foresaw what was needed long before it was. We then moved onto Bead FX, where Marg was ultra generous with her store and tools and unfortunately I only saw her briefly. We'll have to ammend that.

After my time in Toronto I moved on down to Beads of Colour in Dundas and was in the kind and thoughtful care of David and Debi Nicholson. They took me to Niagra Falls, I had never experienced the awe and power of the falls, fortunately the sun came out to show us a rainbow, so beautiful. Between a day of teaching on Lake Erie in their cottage where David kept us extremely well fed and watered and the second day moving up to Dundas we created BronzeClay slides, colored metals and even snuck in a felting demo. We were all rewarded at the end of day two with an incredible surprise dessert, home made apple dumplings~ they were incredible, as are the Nicholsons'.

A huge, heartflet thank you to all involved!

Things here at home are coming along, Michael is slowly healing. Today we will go to watch Lily in a Lacrosse game. It is hard to measure from day to day the progress. It is only when you look back over the last month that one can see where we have come from. The incredible stories that people have shared with me over this past month are inspirational and offer hope for an eventual full recovery. Time, time, time.

Friday, April 22, 2011


Some things are easier to accept than others, i.e. cancer, bears destroying the hives and many job today is to trust the order of the universe and to choose a positive approach to the chaos in my wake.

I am gladly home after a challenging time away. Lots to digest and process; finding my husband 25 pounds lighter, trying to establish a healthful and well nutrified plan for his eating many SMALL meals in the course of a day. As the doctor says, "you will need to be a grazer, just like we were all meant to be". Lovely friends have been bringing by heartfelt, well cooked meals that I am divyying up and freezing in 'Michael size' portions.

He is rid of all but one external apparatus and is coming along so nicely, albeit TIRED, TIRED, TIRED. The doctor says he is rid of cancer and doesn't recommend any further chemo or radiation, truly a miracle! Huge thanks go out to you all for your healing thoughts, prayers and well wishes. I believe in the power of 'many' now more than ever.

The first picture is of the remains of the bees in our yard after a bear came through and had 'his way' with the hives, the next two pics are of the incredible Building Museum which housed my booth at the Smithsonian Craft Show this last weekend and the last is a picture from outside my studio looking in at the incredible glass window that my friend Ruth made.

I count myself so fortunate for having so many generous friends, for the ability to observe another spring come around and for the emerging daffodils.

Friday, March 25, 2011

A few changes....

As I sit and wonder and work and create my thoughts are overshadowed by life's complications. My husband, Michael, has been diagnosed with esophageal cancer, if you think about it, the esophagus is the column, channel, tube that gives us all sustenance.

Wednesday, March 30 he will undergo an esophagectomy. This is a big deal, he will be in the hospital for 10-14 days. Up until Monday of this week we were operating on the plan to include 6 weeks of radiation and chemo followed by surgery. The doctor called to give us the best news possible, the cancer is thought to be well localized and he thought he could eradicate the cancer through surgery. If any of you are scheduled for a test, scan or other health evaluation, please go do it, it is only through his periodic screening that this was detected.

These are scary, uncertain times. As we prepare for this surgery, I am also preparing for Beadfest Wire where I will teach 5 classes and then I will move onto D.C to participate in the Smithsonian. Conclusion being we don't need to suffer bankruptcy along with the other stresses. I will be here for the first 5 days after surgery and then our eldest daughter, Olive, will take over.

As of Wednesday of next week I am going to shut down my Big Cartel shopping cart on my website. This will be until Mid May where I hope to reopen a new and improved version. If you need any sequins, etc. now would be the time to order.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

winter to spring.

A collection of images.

Seasons shifting now,
new promises unfolding,
don't always have choice.

Haiku for the day.

Friday, March 18, 2011

So I had to go and tweak the inner workings of this 'Blogger' thing, change to 'new editor' from 'old editor'. I have wasted ENTIRELY too much time here today, I'll add the promised photos later.


By life's curve balls.
Blogger isn't helping. I am proceeding as if the images will finally find the text.
Pictures include.... a picture of the wonderful and often photographed Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto, an incredible sight and experience and reminder of all that has been lost in Japan.

Spring is starting here in central Massachusetts, each day the melting snow reveals more and it is not just mud, yesterdays traversing between the studio and house sparkled with dropped sequins, long covered in snow as 65 degrees comforted my body and soul.

Beadfest Wire is coming right up! I will be teaching several classes, the always fun 'Color & Patina on Metals with Metal Joining Techniques' with Anne Mitchell and two Foldforming classes, as well as a slide class in the new Fastfire Bronzeclay! Sign ups are strong but a few spaces remain. I would love to see you there. Pictures above represent the classes I will teach. You have choices~ earrings out of sterling, a copper brooch, a bronze clay slide as well as a fun time playing with vintage findings and color.

From Philadelphia I travel on to Washington D.C. to set up for The Smithsonian Craft Show, I am furiously adding to my body of work.

My wishes are for love to abound, the people of the earth to live in peace and for everyone, everywhere to foster and share a spirit of generosity in the face of the many challenges that confront us.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Next up, NORCAL and Santa Fe....

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So many factions of a life scream for attention, I try to choose wisely. Sometimes I just go with what is more fun, ahh, the choices we make.

I am gathering materials to take into Boston for a weekend workshop I am taking in making molds for casting. Included are natural forms, altered natural forms, some already made pieces and some fun shapes. We'll see where it leads.

Pictures included today are of the 3 classes that I am teaching in Santa Fe. Class signups are going well, there is still some space, though. I'd love to have you aboard. For those that have already signed up, Thank you....we are in for a fun time! I am really looking forward to this trip, for March 5th I will be in Oakland, CA at the NORCAL Bead Society Show, and then I'll make my way towards Santa Fe, stopping to visit my friends Susan and Richard in Sebastopol, CA.

I won't have a booth in Santa Fe, my teaching location will be in The Lodge. I will have supplies and a mini trunk show going on in my classroom, if you are in the area at lunchtime or before and after class, I'd love to see you!

It is snowing AGAIN this morning, a heavy, wet snow. I rest in the knowledge that as each day passes we are closer to the shift towards spring. What a welcome promise....