Saturday, February 27, 2010


My youngest daughter moved to a warmer state because of a job opportunity. It turned out to be a great city with a pleasant climate and occasionally when we talked on the phone we would compare temperatures. There was no reason to compare snowfalls as she only rarely got an inch or so.

My husband retired recently and, being an outdoor type, bought a snowmobile last fall in preparation. He fishes, plays golf, and gardens the rest of the year. But he would need something to do during the winter months.

Who would have thought that my daughter wouldn't be able to come home for Christmas because there was 2 feet of snow on the ground in a city that doesn't know how to cope with it. Businesses were shut down and the roads didn't get cleared for days. On the other hand, my husband's snowmobile sat in a barn for weeks because Western Mass. was snowless.

Rather than have it sit around collecting dust, my husband decided to sell his snowmobile to someone who lived in a higher elevation where they had been getting "some" snow. The following day it snowed and snowed some more.
Fortunately, he hasn't gotten the check yet for the machine, so he did manage to take a snowmobile ride today for the first and probably the last time.

And the snow we had this week was heavy and wet. We lost a branch on our locust tree which fortunately missed the picture window on its way down.

This is our neighbor's house with a large branch down.

And my husband's Japanese garden buried under the fluffy stuff.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

And the construction continues...

So we've moved into our new permanent space with a view of the courtyard, but the hammering and noise still seem to follow us. They're working on what I hope is the last phase of reconstructing the main floor of the library. Our old workspace now looks like this:

And what was formerly Cataloging & Processing is now looks like this:

So as the construction work continues, we in the new merged department call Information Resources Management work on weeding the collection of unnecessary duplicates and sending older unused books off to the bunker for storage.

Silver Clay Classes

I've been busy taking classes in silver metal clay. I made a few pieces last year and loved working with it and seeing my ideas become pendants and earrings that people really liked. So I wanted to learn more, develop some new techniques, see how the experts make things.

Lis-el, also an etsy seller, has a lovely gift shop & gallery in Windsor, CT. She is also licensed in metal clay and offers classes. A nice lady who is patient with students, she helped me create lentils and and use clay snakes in my designs.

I went home after the first Saturday class and just created all kinds of components to use in designs that have been in my head for awhile.

Fortunately I had loaded up on clay before the class so I had just enough for my Wednesday class on making rings.

Rings are hard and take practice. It took me so long that we didn't get to fire it before I went home. So when I get the finished product in the mail I'll post it.

Craft Show Application Angst

Ahhh, it's been awhile since I posted. But I've been pretty busy. I spent a lot of time on craft show applications. Some of them are pretty involved--artist's statements, essays on what motivates you, explanations of your artistic process, descriptions of the items in your submitted pictures. And, of course, there's the all important pictures that are clear, crisp, eye-popping, and show your work at its best. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.

So I didn't get into the Crozet show despite agonizing over the Zapplication application. Maybe I'll try again next year but without knowing why I wasn't chosen, I'm not certain what else I can do. But the good news is that so far I'm accepted to Mattoon St. (one of my favorite shows), I got into Olde Wethersfield Craft Show at Cove Park, and I just got my acceptance letter for Celebrate West Hartford.

So far it's been a good start to the year. Hope to see you at one of these shows.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Steampunk from a Man's Perspective

So we had a little steampunk making party with the hope that the combination of stash from 2 houses would inspire new designs. We hadn't counted on JB coming along with my daughter. And he brought his own stash. It was interesting to watch a man try to create women's jewelry. You would think that hands that work on engines might have a hard time with dainty little seed beads.
But...well you decide.

Granted his stash had some pretty unusual stuff. He brought a box of different kinds of fuses with a packing slip dated 1952. So they're old! And unlike any fuses I've ever seen.
The thin, flat discs of mica were just the right size for earrings.

And here's a new use for drywall screws. They look positively feminine!

Something to Think About

A man came upon a construction site where three people were working.

He asked the first, "What are you doing?" and the man answered, "I am laying bricks."

He asked the second, "What are you doing?" and the man answered, "I am building a wall."

He walked up to the third man, who was humming a tune as he worked and asked, "What are you doing?" and the man stood up and smiled and said, "I am building a cathedral."

- Retold in "The Six Stories You Need to Know How to Tell"

by Annette Simmons

I'm not wire wrapping beads.
I'm not designing jewelry.
I'm creating a brand.