Monday, May 26, 2008

Asheville Bead Retreat

And here is why living in North Carolina is so fabulous. Isn't that beautiful? It was from the back of the hotel and I took the picture with my cell phone.
I met wonderful people at the bead retreat, which was held at 'A touch of glass' in Asheville.
The owner, Gary, made it great, being the perfect host. And Marjorie Langston set up a smooth, fun weekend filled with all kinds of information and sharing.
I'm still basking in the afterglow. :-)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Beads in Asheville

Lots of fun coming up this weekend. Tomorrow I will be in Asheville for a spring 'bead retreat'
Doesn't that sound strange? A bead retreat? But what it is, is a weekend with a bunch of glass artists all using a torch and sharing some tips and tricks. It's so fun to be in Asheville with all the great things to do there, and to be with people who think like I do. (somewhat) Thinking like I do, just means we see the world a bit differently. Is it because an artist has so much time working alone? Or is it because we use the right side of our brain more than the average person? Or sometimes I think that we become artists because it's our way to soothe the world's pressures away. I have no desire to play a sport like basketball or softball, but personal sports are ok with me. However, I don't get up in the morning and think "oh I really want to run, or bike, or play softball, or even watch sports on TV." I do wake up in the middle of the night and early in the morning thinking of new designs and colors and something to 'make'. Now why is that? Something I've wondered about as an art teacher when I see which students excel in art. What drives them?

Monday, May 12, 2008

Lampwork masked beads

This is fun. I took brown glass and turquoise and worked with dot upon dot to create patterns. I love this type of work. The best artist that does this, in my opinion, is Brad Pearson.
I am in total awe of his work and always have been. I met him the first time I went to the International Society of Glassbeadmakers' big get together, which is called 'The Gathering'.
He was wearing these beads that were giant, and selling some masked beads. I was so lucky to nab a blue and white one which still sits in a little stand in my collection of 'awesome beads'. He is an inspiration to one who would love to do masking even better. ;-)

In the meantime. Working with the glass has been a real pleasure this weekend since my life schedule is heating right up with all kinds of 'fun' things at the day job. Teaching middle school art is a tad more challenging in May.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Beads and Spaghetti Sauce

wow I had a three day show in Virginia, about a 6 hour drive away, and no matter how much I paced myself, it still takes days to catch up around the house. This is on the tail of going to Michigan for my daughter's graduation the week before. My goal is to get my suitcase unpacked tonight! and get to the torch again. I missed working with the torch while putting things together for the show. Torch work is my first love in making jewelry. Doing silversmithing is very nice but it takes more tools and set up. Once I get a certain type of project set up, I try to make several more. The studio (my half of the garage) is set up for metal work but there is still the consideration of what gauge metal (get that out) dapping tools (get those out) which type of hammer (get that out) and so on. There is thinking involved with the set up. A step by step run through the project thinking because things need to be done in order when doing metal work. I had fun making all kinds of silver and glass pieces last week and will be back at it this weekend, but the weekday evenings are blending with relaxation and staring at the flame and molten glass.
We ate stuffed shells for dinner last night and here I'll share my spaghetti sauce recipe. It's so much better than commercial sauces and not hard to make at all.

Brown a pound of ground beef
with 1/2 large onion diced

Wash and slice mushrooms and add them. I use about 8 mushrooms

pour in a large can of crushed tomatoes (you can buy the Italian blend if you look around)
lots of times I add a small can of chopped tomatoes

add oregano or Italian seasoning to taste

cook until it's the thickness you like.

See how easy that is??? and there is no added sugar like in the commercial sauces. No reason for all those additives. Just good crushed tomatoes is the trick.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

lampwork accessories

My friend Sharon and I have a little Etsy shop called Glass and Such.
We're putting some 'extras' in the shop that are castings we have done, or cords for necklaces, or little parts to put in necklaces.
Want to see it?