Friday, October 30, 2009

samhain evolution


Isn’t she lovely?


The following is courtesey of my sister who knows this stuff.


(Today’s post is presented in the font Herculanum.)



Halloween's origins date back to the ancient harvest festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in). In ancient times, people celebrated their new year on November 1. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter. Food supplies often ran low and the short days of winter were full of constant worry. It was believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the world of the living and the dead became blurred and ghosts could came back.  People thought that they would encounter ghosts if they left their homes.  To avoid being recognized by these ghosts, they would wear masks when they left their homes after dark so that the ghosts would mistake them for fellow spirits.  To keep ghosts away from their houses, people would place bowls of food outside their homes to appease the ghosts and prevent them from attempting to enter.

 

As the beliefs and customs of different ethnic groups, as well as the American Indians, meshed, a distinctly American version of Halloween began to emerge. The first celebrations included "play parties," public events held to celebrate the harvest, where neighbors would share stories of the dead, tell each other's fortunes, dance, and sing. Colonial Halloween festivities also featured the telling of ghost stories and mischief-making of all kinds. In the second half of the 19th century Americans began to dress up in costumes and go house to house asking for food or money, a practice that eventually became today's "trick-or-treat" tradition.




  Finger Snacks

 

  Ingredients

  vegetable dip

  4 long carrots

  1 medium carrot

  softened cream cheese

  sliced-almond

  baby carrots

 

Instructions:

To prepare them, just fill a serving bowl with your favorite vegetable dip. Wash and peel 4 long carrots for fingers and 1 medium carrot for a thumb. With a paring knife cut a flat, shallow notch in the tip of each carrot. Then use a dab of dip or softened cream cheese to “glue” a sliced-almond fingernail atop each notch. Stick the fingers in the dip, as shown, and serve with plenty of peeled baby carrots for dipping.



Mummy Toes


Ingredients:

Cocktail wieners or Vienna sausages

6-inch tortillas

Ketchup or mustard

Toothpicks

 

Directions:

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut a wedge into the end of each cocktail wiener to make a toenail. Cut the tortillas into strips about 4 inches long and 3/4 inch wide. Discard the ends. Soften the strips in the microwave between damp paper towels for 10 seconds. Roll each wiener in a tortilla strip and secure with a toothpick. Bake for 7 to 8 minutes. Remove them from the oven, then fill the toenail with ketchup or mustard. Remove the toothpicks before serving.



Forked Eyeballs


2 (11-ounce) bags white chocolate chips

12 doughnut holes

Semisweet chocolate chips

Tube of red decorator frosting

plastic forks

 

Instructions:

To coat a dozen doughnut holes, melt the white chocolate chips over low heat (and keep the chocolate warm while you work). With a fork, spear each doughnut hole and submerge it in the melted chocolate to coat it, then gently tap off any excess. Stick a semisweet chocolate chip with its point cut off onto each doughnut hole, cut end first. Place the forks (handle side down) in a mug and allow the chocolate coating to harden. Use a tube of red decorator frosting to add squiggly veins radiating out from the pupils.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

9. boom



Time for another installment of ‘how I became a glass artist’.  You can read them all in sequential order here but you have to read from the bottom up.  Today’s post is presented in the font Book Antiqua.


Back in the early 80s there was a lot of oil money around and the oil companies were good clients as were the country clubs and racquet clubs.  We were doing well enough by that time to put the kids in a preschool program for half a day and take on a part time employee.  By 1983, we needed to expand our work space so we rented a building three blocks away.  It was an old grocery store that had been vacant for some time.  It was really a great space though, glass across the front with very high ceilings and high windows along the sides with an apartment upstairs that we used for office space and a conference room.  It’s also where we parked the kids in the afternoon while we were working downstairs.  We rented part of the space to a stained glass worker (not our friend Gene who had his own studio) and in ‘84, a glass blower joined us.  He built a small furnace in the back space behind a wall so for a while, we had quite a little glass art center going.


Our part-timer had quit soon after we moved into the building but one day a guy walked in looking for a job.  He was currently working for his uncle who was one of our competitors.  We weren’t actually looking for an employee at that time but his etching skills were pretty good so we agreed to a couple of weeks and he ended up working for us for about 8 or 9 years.  He eventually did all the sandblasting. 


It was also during this time that we learned to cast glass.  We had been seeing pictures of Lalique’s cast architectural work and I was enamored of it, plus we were getting interested in doing carved glass art pieces and we thought a good shortcut would be to cast the base forms and then carve them.  To this end, Marc went to Lubbock for a casting workshop put on by Kent Ipsen.  They never cast a single piece of glass, in fact, spent the whole week building a kiln which didn’t even get finished, but Marc came back with enough knowledge to start us on our way.  He built a kiln out of an old refrigerator and I sold a job for Marathon Oil incorporating cast glass forms.

Monday, October 26, 2009

in your (font) face




I’m thinking about changing my preferred font.  I use Comic Sans but I keep reading things where people diss Comic Sans.  What’s wrong with Comic Sans?  I like Comic Sans.  It’s clean and neat (something that I’m not, well, I’m clean just not neat), easy to read and just appeals to me.


Andale Mono is nice but the font sizes are sort of in-between.  At 12 points it’s a little small and at 14, a little too big plus it is really spread out.


Ariel Rounded MT Bold is a bit heavy and crowded.


Baskerville Old Face is OK, maybe a little pinched.


I’ve also used Bernhard Modern Roman.  I like it a lot too but it just seems a bit fussy for everyday communication, plus it takes up a lot more room.


Book Antiqua is nice.  I like it OK except this is a little small and the next size is a little big.


I like Bradley Hand and I use it on my website for titles, but not really suited to common communication.  


Chalkboard appeals to my informal nature but it's very similar to Comic Sans.


Footlight MT Light is not too bad.


Geneva is too common. 


I really don’t like Helvetica...too boxy and crowded.


I like Herculanum, but once again, not really suited to every day communication.


I like Lucida Handwriting too but it seems more suited to formal invitations.


How about Monaco?  I don’t know.  Something a little stiff about it.


Papyrus is attractive.  Good for titles.  Maybe I’ll switch to it on my website.


Skia is nice.  A little 'fine'.  Maybe I’ll use this one for awhile.


What about Tecton?  A little bold but it also has size issues.  And spacing issues.


I don’t know.  Maybe I’ll just stick with Comic Sans.  I wear socks with my sandals too so I’m used to ridicule.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

the livin' is easy


I love the bark on these old pecan trees.


I opted not to do the pecan walk today since I had so many things to do in the yard.    Instead I picked them up and put them in my pockets as I happened on them.  Pretty soon though, my pockets started to resemble the stuffed cheeks of a hamster.


My friend who lives in Oregon divided her day-lilies this fall and she sent me some.  She has some really beautiful varieties and I was so surprised and delighted when the box came.  So many!  She sent me little clumps of 12 different kinds.  I got them all planted today, scattered around the yard.




The confederate rose is blooming.  It’s a large shrub in the althea and hibiscus family so the flowers only last one day.  It blooms once a year in the fall for about six weeks.




When I went out later, this caterpillar was climbing up a piece of plywood we had leaning against the garage.  I have never seen one like this before.  It was about 2 1/4” long and about 1/2” - 5/8" thick.   I would love to know what it turns into if anybody knows.



Remember the rain tree that I posted pictures of a couple of weeks ago?



Well, the seed pods, 1 3/4" long, are big and pink now.





It’s been a quiet and serene week.  I got a fair amount of work done on my jobs but probably not as much as I would have had I been in the city all week.  We head back tomorrow for a few days of business and high speed!




Friday, October 23, 2009

this and that


mist-flower in the untended garden in the city


Three jobs, a new proposal, and a sketch for an accepted proposal are keeping me busy.  My mind is mostly on my work.  Still in the drawing stage on two of the jobs and am ready to order the glass for the Oklahoma Heart Hospital.  I’m waiting to see if they add the extra piece of trim to the frames I have suggested.  It will make fitting the glass much easier.  


Another sign of fall around here is the yo-yo nature of the weather.  It’ll be in the 80s for a couple of days and then the 50s and 60s for a couple of days and then back to the 80s.  A front came in yesterday so now it’s very cool out there.  Perhaps our coolest day so far.  The wind and rain that preceded it knocked lots of pecans out of the trees.  I could hear them falling as I collected them yesterday.



mist-flower is a native perennial, a wild ageratum


The police did not catch the arsonist in our city neighborhood after all.  He’s up to 17 fires now.  The last few have been across Shepherd so technically not in our neighborhood but still within about 8 blocks of us.  All abandoned houses so far.  It’s a bit worrisome for us since we are in the country more than half the time lately.  Our daughter has been making sure the trash is set out and turns on the porch light at night for us.


Our homeowner’s insurance on the city house expires today.  The country house has been uninsured so far.  We have decided to switch the policy to the country house, using a local agent.  Maybe add a nominal amount for the city house in case the arsonist gets it.  Enough to have the remains torn down and a small apartment built so we have a place to stay when we are in the city.  Our work ties us there, our vendors are there, so we will be going in on a regular basis. 


Besides being busy with work (the idle summer seems so far distant now), I am on dial-up out here in the country so if you’ve been missing me commenting on your blogs (of course you have), that’s why.  It just takes so damn long to download, read and then go through the process of commenting.  Not enough hours in the day.  I am reading everyone though.  I try to make it up to the library every day and use their high speed.  I have been promised cable out here, the box is on the pole right beside the driveway, but so far the money manager in our house has not ordered it.  So I limp along, moaning about how slow dial-up is hoping he takes the hint.



nightfall earlier this week


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

tick tock



My friends D&K arranged for D’s elderly mom, R, to go live in a very nice assisted living facility at their expense.  They took her today.  The whole thing was cloaked in subterfuge, carefully not telling R the truth.  The reason for this is because R has become unreasonable about her capabilities, is suffering from some form of dementia mostly related to her memory and is unwilling to cooperate with anything she doesn’t want to do and she can get very ugly about it.  What she wants to do is go back home to NY where she lived alone in a high rise condo downtown up until last year when she fell and dislocated her shoulder.  This isn’t possible due to her failing health and memory.  To tell R that she cannot and may not go home is to make things unbearably unpleasant.  So the story is that this is only a temporary arrangement so she will be looked after while they go to Wisconsin for a family emergency on K’s side (true).  The lie is that it is not a temporary arrangement.


When she first fell and the shoulder would not stay set, R went out to live with one son.  After she burned her bridges there, she came to live with her other son, my friend.  D’s no spring chicken himself and he is worrying himself into another stroke.  All their bedrooms are upstairs and R gets up in the night and goes downstairs into the kitchen.  No one is getting any sleep and K is worried for D and their once active world and activities have basically come to a halt and now revolves around R.  That’s just not healthy.


They feel terribly guilty and they are exhausted, physically and mentally.  I sympathize with them and tell them they are doing the right thing.  It is reminiscent of my mother, when she got to the point of no longer being able to live alone and she, too, was unreasonable, unwilling to cooperate and ugly about it.  


I’m going to be 60 next year and although I expect to have another 20 good years, realistically, what’s the chance?  I never wanted to be like my mother and I have tried hard to NOT be like her.  Still, I see her slipping out now and then.  I hope, when I get to that point, that I will be VERY much not like her and R, that I will have the presence of mind, the wit and wherewithal to recognize when I become a danger to myself and accept it gracefully even if I am not ready for it.

Monday, October 19, 2009

labyrinth



Our habit has been to come home on Thursday late afternoons and stay til Monday about noon when we head back to the city.  Last week, when we arrived at the city house, looking around it dawned on me that we had moved all but a few minor pieces of furniture.  Well, I wouldn’t call my grandmother’s tea cart minor, but it’s not a big piece.  Really, the only major piece of furniture left to move is my drawing table, something that I need both places.


It was really kind of strange, to walk into the house I have lived in for 34 years and realize I had, essentially, moved out.  There is still a lot of our art collection there.  I haven’t packed those things yet because we still spend a lot of time in the city.  None of the things thus far packed have been unpacked.  I’m hesitant to put things out, hang paintings until we have the furniture arranged so at least we are enjoying some of our things.


We didn’t leave the city last week until Saturday.  We decided to spend the week days in the country this week for a variety of reasons so we spent the whole of last week in the city tending to business.    We finally got the deposit on the third of the three proposals I was expecting to arrive by mid August so I am really busy getting the full size art work prepared for three jobs.  I am fortunate that the design work on all three jobs is fairly simple, a blessing after doing the entry to John Wesley.


Now that it is fall, the pecans are matured and have started to fall ripe.  Since I have been picking them up as the trees started to shed in late summer due to the drought, pecan collecting is more productive.  I walked the yard last weekend and Saturday, when I arrived, I collected about two gallons.  I have been walking the yard every morning after my coffee and before starting on whatever goal I have for the day.


Picking up the pecans has become a sort of meditation, like walking the labryrinth.  In a loose pattern, I pace the yard barefoot (because I often see them with my feet), sometimes in one direction sometimes in another.  We have three mature pecan trees spaced basically like a triangle.  I walk slowly back and forth, eyes on the ground, bending over to retrieve and moving on.  I think about how bountiful nature is.  Here, falling on the ground, is food.


I think about other things too.  Today, I was thinking about friendship.  I have decided to no longer pursue the friendship of someone who I had called my friend.  I admit that I can be hard to take.  And I have always had a hard time of it, having friends.  I tend to act in unexpected ways and say things people don’t want to hear and although I have tried to cultivate tact, caught unawares, I will blurt.  


This particular person, I feel like in the last two years, I have spent more time apologising or feeling ignored than I have being friendly.  So enough.  I will no longer reach out and I don’t expect to hear from this person again.  I’m OK with that.  I would rather spend that energy on the people who have stayed with me over the years.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

fallen art

I stumbled across this animated video on YouTube last year.  It’s disturbing, perhaps even horrifying, but I find it strangely compelling as well.

 

It was written and directed in Poland by Tomek Baginski and has actually won a number of awards.  You can find out more about this short film on this website.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

just in case you are still under the impression that art is easy...


I have been so busy the past two days.  Tuesday I filled a mold for an Oleander small bowl.  It took me all day, finally finished about 7pm.  Back when I was doing these a lot, I had it down to about 5 hours.  Actually, it didn’t take too much longer than that but the preparation takes time and I was dithering about the colors even though I was doing a color combination I had already done.  My notes were not complete on the previous one, I had failed to list one of the colors and though from looking at the picture I was pretty sure what it was, I had not brought those colors back with me to the city (one of the problems of having the studio split between the city and the country...when we hauled all that frit down to the country we thought we would be entirely set up there by the time we were ready to do more pate de verre).  On top of that, I misunderstood my own notes about the green and didn’t bring one of the colors for that that I needed.  This is a special order for a collector who selected this color combination from pictures.  The green and the brown will be a little different but the flowers and bowl color will be the same.  I think he’ll like it OK.  It should come out of the kiln tomorrow. 






Yesterday I worked on the full size drawings for the altar window of the JWUMC chapel...in the shop with the kiln rising to casting temperature (about 1550º) on a 90º day.  I was sweating buckets.  Then, I had an appointment for a design consultation for a new job when the shop was at peak temperature and the couple showed up wearing all black and she had on long sleeves.  I hustled them through the process and out the door.


about the drawing:  10’ wide x 12’ 10” high.  the small circles represent faceted and smooth jewels of varying sizes, some with dicroic glass.  Dicroic glass is a thin glass that has been coated to reflect and transmit different colors with a third color apparent when viewed from an angle.








Today I’m working on the full size drawings for the Oklahoma Heart Hospital chapel (but at least I’ll be able to turn on the AC if necessary).  I finally got the last bit of information yesterday that I need to get started after I threw a little tantrum on Tuesday.  Both the art consultant and interior designer were dragging their feet (I’d been waiting almost a week for the information) and as far as I knew the installation was still set for November.  Fortunately, the installation has been moved back to the end of December.  Ordering the glass is going to be a little dicey since the way the frames were built I have zero wiggle room.  


When I’m busy like this, mostly the stuff in my head is about work.

Monday, October 12, 2009

making


a model in progress for a pate de verre vase

unfortunately, this one did not cast well and also broke while being removed from the casting mold


This is the third (last) post in my series on making.  I didn’t know it was going to be a series when I started with my first post .  


I am a maker.  I’m also a fixer, but primarily I am a maker.  I was always making things growing up.  I loved all those craft kits.  I taught myself how to sew making doll clothes at a young age.  My grandmother taught me how to crochet.  I channeled this energy into sewing, making many of my own clothes in high school and college.  I was derailed, I think, by my parents, and it took stumbling on glass to get me back on track.  To my parents, artists were painters and so I was enrolled in and pointed to art classes when I should have been taking craft classes, although the drawing classes have served me well.  I’ve always been happiest though when I was making things.  I do call myself an artist but sculptor would actually be more accurate.  Even the etched glass is really sculpture although the third dimension is very small.  


Making didn’t used to be the sole domain of artists.  Before the Industrial Revolution, every day people made the things they needed...soap, candles, yarn, rugs, clothing, shoes, baskets, books, dishes, containers, quilts, furniture, pillows, bedding, tools, toys, musical instruments, even your own house.  And all these people making the every day things they needed to live also went that extra step to make it pretty as well as functional.  If you were doing well, you were able to buy a finished product from someone who specialized in an item or technique like blacksmithing and metal working, ceramics, woodworking, sewing, weaving, clock making, book binding to name a few, but still those products were made by a person or a group of people.  


With each generation removed from the Industrial Revolution, we have had fewer and fewer makers until now we have whole generations of people who have never made anything in their life, never needed to make anything.  Now, our products are made by factories and machines.  We go to the mall and there is everything under the sun we could ever want, all manufactured, not made.  I think that we are losing a very important part of what it means to be human; to take things, to be able to take things, materials, and turn them into other, useful and beautiful things.  Skills that had been handed down from mother to daughter, from father to son, from generation to generation all the way back to the dawn of modern humans are no longer being handed down and we are poorer as a species for it.   


I encourage everyone to learn to make something, take a class, do not let your inner skeptic dissuade you, do not get discouraged or give up if your first attempt does not please you.  If you cannot take a class, go to the library and check out a book.  The only thing stopping you is fear.  Everyone has a talent or skill.  Discover yours.  


Here is a link to the Craft in America episodes on PBS.  You can watch them for free on your computer.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

eating machines


these are the ones we picked up Saturday


In case anyone’s been wondering where I’ve been the last two days and why I'm not leaving my usual witty, to-the-point and poignant comments, it’s because we have had all four of the grandkids here at the country house all weekend and I have been in the kitchen.  My whole life the past two days has revolved around food; shopping for, cooking, and cleaning up after.  Four children equal about 8 adults when it comes to dirty dish production and food consumed.  


We did manage a trip to my sister’s to see the baby ducks, some outdoor work picking up all the fallen sticks and small limbs, chain-sawed a huge limb that had fallen and lugged it to the back and picked up the first haul of what I think are mature pecans while the kids alternately helped and played.  The husks are starting to open on the ones still in the tree.  I’ve actually been picking up fallen pecans for about six weeks or so so as to eliminate the obvious bad ones from the get go.  I hope we have a better ratio of good nuts to bad nuts this year (I know there’s three or four jokes hiding in there somewhere but my brain is still numb).



 chinese tallow tree leaf, what we called chinaberry tree as kids

Some trivia...


We had the highest low ever on record for the month of October, 82º last Wednesday night/Thursday morning.  Thursday it was so hot and humid it felt like high summer.  A cold front was headed our way and we had a strong south wind coming off the gulf.  The front arrived Friday, a short heavy downfall for awhile followed by steady light to moderate rain.  We had an initial immediate temperature drop of 20º and eventually down to 57º.  Though we have already had twice as much rain as is normal for this month, we’re 8” behind in our cumulative annual rainfall for this month.  


Friday, October 9, 2009

making a living


JC asked in her comment to yesterday’s post:


... do you have another income other than art ? 


The reason I ask ... there is a huge art show each year that I try to go to. Lots of artists and this last year .. no one buying ... 


I do wonder how many pieces sell. And, why are the prices still so high when no one is buying ? 


Just ?'s from someone who thought everything was too highly priced and did not buy anything ...




Yes, art is my only income, our only income since my husband does this with me.  And yes this has been a really hard year for all the artists I know.  Some of them do have a spouse with a job.  Some artists are commission artists (like we are with the etched glass) and some are gallery or art show artists who make their work and then try to sell it (like we do with the pate de verre).  


Pricing the finished piece is one of the hardest things an artist does.  You have to consider your materials and equipment (and for us and other glass artists, glass is an expensive material to work with as is the equipment), your time involvement, your overhead (utilities and perhaps rent for your studio space), your skill level, the overall appeal of the piece, then there is the elusive ‘perceived value’, and if you do shows, there are all the fees connected to that (photography for juries, price of the show, travel expenses) and the equipment (tents, tables, lights, etc).  Artists who sell in galleries only get 50% of the retail price, a trade for not having to do the selling.


Art is not easy.  Depending on your medium, there can be quite a bit of physical labor involved not to mention working with hazardous materials.  I encountered many people when we did shows who thought we just whipped this stuff up in our basement and should be giving it away because we were having fun, that somehow the pencil pushing they did was worth more than what we did, that artists were basically lazy people who didn’t really want to get a real job.  One guy offered us a ridiculous price for a very nice piece at the end of a show.  When I asked him if his boss came by one day, told him what a great job he did, but that he (the boss) only wanted to pay him 50% of his salary for that same great work, how he would feel about that, the guy got insulted and walked off.


Once you have set a price for your work and the work sells at that price you can't really just start lowering your prices because people aren't buying.  If you do that then you devalue the work that other people have already bought and then they feel cheated.  In hard times, most the artists I know will create a different body of work that sells for less, but it also takes time to create the inventory.  


It's unfair to think an artist's work is unduly high priced, too expensive for what it is (not that perhaps some isn’t overpriced).  If you see something you like and wonder at the price, engage the artist in conversation.  Find out about the work, how it is done, how much time it takes, etc.  I know our cast work, most people don’t have a clue as to how it is done but when we explain to them how much time it takes, how difficult the process is, how many steps are involved they begin to have a greater appreciation for the work and the price tag.  


This country, for the most part does not really value the arts.  The National Endowment for the Arts has been gutted over and over, art and music classes in public schools are a rarity, public art programs like Percent for the Arts are constantly under fire by people who think it is a waste of money to beautify their cities.


There are of course the headline makers who get tens of thousands for what I will be the first to say is crap (that’s the whole ‘perceived value’) but for most artists, it’s not an easy lifestyle.


PBS is doing a wonderful series called Craft In America.  The second installment was on TV just this past week.  You can find out more about it here.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

the joy of making


I have an installation tomorrow morning...the door to and the cabinets of, a residential wine room.  I posted the drawing here a few weeks ago.  Two of the three big projects I have been expecting have finally sent me my deposits.  So, we have one installation coming up and two jobs I am doing the art work for, the chapel in the Oklahoma heart hospital which I posted about here and the window behind the altar of the chapel we did earlier this year.  The third project I am expecting is the largest of all the three proposals and it is for another church.  This really surprises me, all this liturgical work we have been doing this past year.  We’ve done an occasional church or synagogue but have never sought after that market like some artists.  I am, however, most thankful for it.


This is the busiest we have been since last January.  It hasn’t been a good year but it hasn’t been as bad as one of our worst years either.  I’m actually glad to be a little busy after this year.  Besides the etched glass work, I have also, finally, been working on some waxes for the pate de verre.  It’s been about a year since I did any of that work.  Right now I am completing the last few pieces that didn’t get finished last year for our show...the top for the moon box, the bottom for the moon-flower box, the teapot that goes with the tea box, some of the small bowls that I had quit making.


I have not heard from the gallery that has been showing our work at the big ‘gallery only’ fine craft and glass shows.  SOFA Chicago is the first weekend of November so I’m pretty sure he is not taking our work this year.  Disappointing but we wouldn’t have gone anyway.


Kathleen over at Easy for me to say did a post today about letting things go.  Part of my comment was this:  what I need to let go of...I think I have been letting go this past year while not working in the studio on the cast glass part of what I do.  Once we started getting some notice for the pate de verre about 5 years ago, I decided I didn't want to do etching anymore and to make the switch in income to the cast glass.  It didn't happen, it hasn't happened.  The work doesn't sell that well and as I began to meet and make friends with gallery artists who were selling, it became very stressful for me.  I lost some of my self confidence, maybe even a lot.  Even Husband commented on it.  Every major show we did and then didn't sell anything while red dots were sprouting all around our work only depressed me more.  I was not having fun.  And fun and self fulfillment was the reason we started doing the pate de verre in the first place.  So I'm letting go of the desire/expectation of being a gallery artist.  I am thankful for any work we get...etched glass or the occasional sale of a cast piece.  And the cast work does sell, slowly, eventually.


I haven’t really given up on it so much as let go of trying to make it happen, having that be the focus.  I think I was happier before I got so invested in ‘making it’ as a gallery artist.  I’m ready now to just let go, give it up to the universe, to turn my thoughts back to the joy of making.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

surprise!


Ping


My sister called me Sunday afternoon.  There had been another tragedy recently.  Something killed Fred.  You may recall that Fred was one of the ducks that my sister got to keep Ping company after his companion was also killed.  The only problem was that Fred took exception to Ping’s attentions to Ethel and became so aggressive that my sister had to separate Ping from the very companions acquired to keep him company.  He did have his chicken though.  She still lives in the duck yard.


Now that Fred has gone to the great beyond, Ping has the run of the whole duck yard and Ethel.  What Ping wants more than anything else though is to be let out with the two little terriers.  What Ping wants to do is to beat up on those two little dogs.  Since he is not allowed out of the duck yard, he spends his time running back and forth along the fence when the dogs are in the back yard and if they get too close to the fence he’ll peck at them.


Ethel started laying eggs last May.  You may also remember my first (and last) eating of a duck egg.  After Ethel’s first attempt at sitting on a couple of duck and chicken eggs (that sneaky chicken was laying her eggs with Ethel’s), which was totally unsuccessful, and coupled with the fact that no one wanted duck eggs to eat, when Ethel started laying eggs again in late summer, my sister would go get them and throw them away.  This upset Ethel so much that she started hiding her eggs.  My sister thought she had stopped laying but in reality, she had made a nest under the ramp to the pool.  She found Ethel sitting on a pile of eggs under the ramp a week or so ago when she was in there mucking around.


Well, Sunday, after it stopped raining, Ethel proudly marched herself out from under the ramp closely followed by 5 little ducklings.   



Go Ethel!



They weren’t really very cooperative about getting their picture taken.


My sister is trying her hardest to convince me that I need some ducks out at our house.  Oh yeah, Jimmy’s dogs would love that.

Monday, October 5, 2009

more signs of fall


I’m working on several things...several posts, several jobs, several wax models.  Nothing is done.  So I leave you with more signs of fall in a land where it never snows.  Well, almost never.



rain



a fresh round of blooms



pecans maturing



chinese tallow trees (if we get a real cold front before all the leaves fall, they are brilliant)



yew tree berries



my neighbor’s winter garden