Friday, December 28, 2007

2008 Plays With Fire Calendars!


I've got a calendar on Cafe Press - check it out! It features 12 of my best bead and jewelry images from the past year, and sells for $22.98.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Happy Holidays!

Whoah, it's been ages since I've posted, so in between holidays I'll say "hi".

Meet the new Love of My Life: Jessie. Unfortunately he already has a guardian, but I'm having fun pampering him while he's with us for Christmas. He's a 9 month old pointing labrador, and we had a blast yesterday at the beach. He lives in Wyoming, so it was a special treat for him to frolic in the waves on a beautiful, sunny Northern California day. I tried my best to tire him out, but turns out it was a very tall order. Today he's out crabbing in Half Moon Bay, lucky guy.

I've been living up to my New Year's Resolutions already - take a look at my Etsy store, and you'll see lots of new items, with more to come. It's just been too danged dark around here lately to get good photos outdoors, so I've been getting my indoor photo booth set up and running.

I'm trying to clear the old to make way for the new, so you'll see more things appearing in the "SALE" section.

Here's a couple of new items you might like - too many to list, just click the link to the right for my Etsy store to see them all.


Have a fantastic New Year!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

A Fabulous Time

I had a wonderful time at the Bargetto Winery Art in the Cellars event last weekend! Many friends came by to taste wine and shop, and my new "squeeze me in anywhere" booth proved itself worthy of the effort. Aside from being a bit chilly, the atmosphere was festive and I was grateful to meet a number of incredible artists.

On a completely different topic, some (male) friends drug me to Summit Racing (an auto parts store) the other night, and who'd have thought I could find the perfect accessory for my studio there? Check it out, this is sooooo cool (hot?).


I've got some new beads up on Etsy, and have added a Picassa slide show of my current work to my blog. Do you like my new "Winged Chrysalis" series beads? These are prototypes but look for my first release of these on Etsy after Jan 1.

Monday, November 26, 2007

New Work and Show This Weekend!



OK, so I don't put stuff on Etsy as often as I'd like (a good New Year's Resolution!), but I've got tons of new work in process as I'm getting ready for my show at Bargetto Winery this weekend. Come on down and check it out! Enjoy a glass of wine and a delightful holiday shopping experience (unlike the mall).

First I've got some more bracelets from my "Outback" series, in lavender and blue (and the warm apricot hued one above), but the blue one has already found a home (sniff!). The clasps on these (fine silver) turned out great, and are significant.


Then there's another piece in my "Silver Play" series that I was really pleased with. Simple and neat, but unfortunately, it's also GONE already. Stay tuned for more of this - it's just too much fun not to do again. Fused fine silver rings in several sizes, sterling silver chain, and variations on the ivory Moretty and silver leaf trick. It's kind of funky and unpredictable, and very glamorous (in an earthy way, of course!) in the early morning light, don't you think?


Look for these pieces and more (tons of earrings!) this weekend at Bargetto, plus some very new, very exciting, very different focals that were inspired by Michael Barley's Baleen beads, plus thoughts about transformation and new life. How's that for mysterious? Photos of those very soon.

If I don't see you at Bargetto, have a wonderful Christmas! I may sneak some stuff onto Etsy between my show and the holidays, you never know.

Peace

Sunday, November 11, 2007

More focal lentil beads on Etsy

"Silver Play" series focal lentil bead.

Is this going to become a habit? I don't know, but I just posted four more focal lentil beads (1.25") on my Etsy store - take a look and let me know what you think.

The first one is another in my "Silver Play" series, where I try to limit myself to just ivory glass (dark and light), and silver leaf, and see how far I can go with just those colors. As any bead maker knows, when you mix silver and ivory glass you get some amazing reactions.

Next is a focal in my "Canyon" series, inspired by images in the book "The Hidden Canyon: A River Journey", by John Blaustein.

"Canyon" series focal lentil bead.

Next are a couple of autumnally-inspired focals with warm, vibrant colors.

"Copper Waves" focal lentil bead (SOLD).

"Autumn Jewel" focal lentil bead (SOLD).

Finally, a wire wrapped pendant that's ready to slide on your favorite chain or cord.

"Green Goddess" pendant (SOLD).

I've been crazy busy getting special orders done, attending the Mountain Art Guild's "On and Off the Wall" gallery show in Ben Lomond, and getting ready for the Bargetto Show coming up really soon. Oh yeah, Joyce and I were thrilled to get an honorable mention for our collaborative piece entitled, "Transitions", bestowed by George Rivera, curator of the Triton Museum in Santa Clara. Photos of that piece soon, I promise. Joyce pulled it all together, and it features some of my electroformed leaves, her patinated fine silver leaves, and a very rustic fine silver clasp complete with miniature acorn.


Speaking of the Triton, go and see Ken Matsumoto's show there now. I haven't seen his work in a few years, but I really like what he's done. The Bob Nugent paintings show very well with Ken's sculpture - it's a really wonderful exhibit.

Enjoy the day!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

New Fall Focals on Etsy

Are you ready for winter?

Earthquake weather can be nice - it's a gorgeous, 77 degree day here, and fall is reveling in herself.
Even fall offers new life...

To celebrate the season, I made these new focals, which are now in my Etsy store.

Fall Fires - SOLD

Warm Waves - SOLD

Rustika (SOLD)

I spent too many hours today updating my mailing lists and getting news out about my fall shows. I need to get help. Now I'm off to enjoy the day!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

YES, I felt it!

Rock and roll! My third California quake experience was, um, HELLO - a bit frightening! A 5.6 - I think that's a personal best for me. I was home alone, standing at the kitchen counter, on the computer, just about ready to head out to my torch, when it started. Like a drunk's last memories of a night on the town, the bar moved under my arms, and my brain's Dizziness Generator kicked in. I found it hard to stand up without hanging onto something. Like the last one (a 5.something near Santa Cruz, when I was out having dinner with a friend), I just stood there with my jaw open, looking at the house surrounding me move like I was in some kind of RV on a Route 66 or something.

I looked at the nearest doorway, and wondered if I should go and stand under it. I guess I'm going to be one of those people who have to get hit on the head with plaster before they learn the drill. Before I could make a decision it came to an end, after only about 10 or 15 seconds. Whoah. As soon as it stopped I reached for my cell phone to make some calls, but the lines were all jammed already. I finally did get through to a friend in Milpitas, and left a voicemail saying that I hoped they were ok.

All for now.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Life, As Usual

Have you seen any of Theo Jansen's amazing kinetic sculptures? A friend sent me this link to a recent talk Theo gave at the TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conference in Monterey. Science and art meshing comfortably together once again. This YouTube video features his work in a BMW commercial.

Today was spent recovering from too much travel, and catching up (or trying to) on chores. As always, my favorite power tool of accomplishment is my leaf blower. It's electric, so not as obnoxious and polluting as the gas-powered ones, but I'm semi-ashamed to admit that nothing gives me the same rush of accomplishment as the sight of gutters clearing and the sea of tree debris parting before my very eyes. Let the rain come.

The machine of creative progress is slowly turning as well, with ideas coming to life for my upcoming shows. The On and Off the Wall gallery show is coming up November 7-17 at the Santa Cruz Mountains Art Center in Ben Lomond, CA. I'll also be at Bargetto Winery's Art in the Cellars on December 1 & 2 in Soquel, CA. If you're in the area, stop by the winery for a glass of their wonderful wine and a very festive shopping experience.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

A Fun Day in the Studio

Joyce demonstrating metal corrugation

I'm exhausted after a super fun day helping Joyce at her Open Studio event, and combining creative forces for a collaborative piece. We had an irregular stream of visitors throughout the day, with plenty of breaks to enjoy the peaceful country setting.

When Joyce wasn't demonstrating her metal corrugation process, her hydraulic press, her anodizing setup, or her metal clay process, we observed a garden spider wrapping up and devouring a cricket.

And I'm totally smitten with her two puppies - who wouldn't be? My canine mother hormones are telling me it might be time to take the plunge again...

Bandit

Santa Cruz Open Studios

Puffer fish pendant by my friend Joyce.

Things are starting to ramp up around here again - fall and winter shows lining up (more info very soon), my electroforming kit has arrived, an upcoming trip to Israel, and this weekend I'm hanging with my friend Joyce in her Santa Cruz studio during the Open Studios tours. When we're not busy with visitors we'll be brainstorming a collaborative effort. I'll take photos and post some tomorrow.

Oh yeah, this will be the first time I get to meet their newest family members, Charlie and Bandit - I can't wait!

Monday, September 24, 2007

I've Been Tagged!

I've been tagged in a game of blogger tag by Bosphorus Glass (a.k.a. Ilknur Akbay), in Turkey! I've never heard of this before, and I spend way too much time on the computer.

Here are the rules:

1. Link to your tagger and post these rules.
2. List eight (8) random facts about yourself.
3. Tag eight people at the end of your post and list their names (linking to them).
4. Let them know they’ve been tagged by leaving them a comment on their blogs.

8 Random Facts About Myself:

1. I have never had novacaine. Yes, my teeth are that good. :-)

2. I am a master composter, and used to teach composting at community workshops. I have a Recycled Outdoor Vermicomposting Reactor (ROVR) that I designed and made from (drum roll...) an old wooden dog house. Patent pending. (jk)

3. I was sad to find out that I was not the only one with a crush on Mike Rowe, the host of Discovery's great show, Dirty Jobs. Somehow it seemed more cute and geeky if I was the only one. Apparently he has quite a large fan club. Yes, #2 and #3 are related.

4. I used to have a mullet (a looooong time ago). Not just any mullet, a High Tech Mullet which featured a buzz cut on the top and sides (the hairdresser buzzed it guided by a hair pick that featured a level) and long frosted locks in back. I'm really glad the 80s are over.

5. In grade school art class I painted a psychedelic rendition of a cut onion which got rave reviews and went on the grade school art tour (or so they told me). I am now on a Qwest to find this piece of art, if it can be found in the family archives.

6. I drove an all electric car, a RAV-4 EV (electric vehicle) for 3 years and met lots of cool people who aDORE these cars and are trying to promote their use. They really do work, and (contrary to what the Oil-Fueled Press will tell you), they're easy to drive and to charge. It was a fabulous way to get around without going to the gas station...ever...except to fill the tires, and it cost about 1/4 of the cost of driving a gasoline car.

7. I have been infatuated with beads since I was a pre-teen. Honest to God, my friend Lori and I used to keep watch for the "telephone guy" in our neighborhood, and when he showed up in his van to fix some wiring someplace, we would hunt him down and beg him to give us some of that great, multicolored wire. We would make way cool rings and other fancy stuff with it. Now I am fulfilling my bead-desires by making lampwork beads and jewelry.

8. I once played a practical joke on my husband involving a banana slug and a toilet. My family has a practical joking tradition and we love to surprise people. Come to think of it, we played another one on my poor nephew, who was only about 5 at the time, with the rubber "Toilet Monster" from the Lilian Vernon catalog. Yikes! I think there's a trend! (how's THAT for Random??)

Now for the hard part - I have to tag 8 people. Here goes. I'm going to tag:

Patricia
Donna at Blackberry Beads
Kim Miles
Sarah Hornik
Lavender
StephanieK
Karolen at Beadabundant
Teresa Laliberte at Lavender Creek Glass

Wow, I guess I've got a lot of comments to leave now. Off I go...

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Junk Call Conundrum


Well, the message on our answering machine today topped them all.

"Hello, this is Diane calling on behalf of Direct TV. From time to time, we extend exciting offers to our loyal customers like you. But because you're on the Direct TV Do Not Call List, we are not able to contact you for these exciting offers. The reason I'm calling you today is to give you an opportunity to change your selection. If you allow us to remove you from the Direct TV Do Not Call List, please be assured that we will not share your information with anyone else. Please call 1 877 xxx xxxx to remove your account from the DTV Do Not Call List. You will then be eligible to receive exciting offers in the future. If you prefer to remain on Direct TV's Do Not Call List, we completely respect your decision, and your privacy, and no action is required. Thank you for being a loyal Direct TV customer."

Well Diane, I have one question for you. Which part of Do Not Call was unclear to you? Truly, I respect the fact that you respect my privacy. I really do. I never realized that my decision to be put on the Do Not Call list would cause me to miss out on your fabulous offers. How could I have been so dumb?

Interestingly, in 2005 Direct TV was forced to pay out $5.3 million to people who received telemarketing calls in spite of being on the Do Not Call Registry. Apparently Direct TV is slipping through a legal loophole in my case, since companies who have an "established business relationship" with someone are allowed to make these kinds of calls until/unless the recipient explicitly asks them not to (this is an additional step required after being on the national Do Not Call list). Diane, I have some exciting news for you! I'll be calling you back very soon.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Another fabulous fall day in Northern California and I missed much of it. Today was spent tidying up in the studio, cleaning beads from yesterday's work, cleaning and storing new glass rods from three different shopping trips, and putting up my new Etsy shop.

For the uninitiated, Etsy is a relatively new forum in which artists can sell their work, as they describe it, "Your place to buy and sell all things handmade". It's a better alternative to eBay for many lampwork bead artists, and some are doing well there. Take a look and let me know what you think!

On other fronts, the garden is going well, er, as well as can be expected with only halfhearted and irregular attention. I am slowly making progress attending to some long needed maintenance chores, such as removing the half whiskey barrel planters we went crazy on almost 10 years ago (hint: they rot). I am also waging full scale war against one (God forbid it's a whole clan) gopher who has tunneled in and around every single plant in the back garden, killing where possible and rendering helpless every plant I had the foresight to plant in a "gopher basket". I water, it seems to soak in, and next thing you know it's gushing out of a hole some yards away. Crap. But recalling some trapping instruction I received from my gardening friend Patricia, I have two traps set for this/these demons, and I will get them eventually. Their days are numbered.

Check the bottom of this page for a new feature - the current list of music I'm listening to in the studio. I figure if you're going to appreciate the beads, you may (or may not) want to learn about what I was listening to when they were "born". I have to warn you, I have some very eclectic musical preferences, and it's not unusual to find a bizarre mix of classical, alternative, and folk on my iPod. Mike Rowe, eat your heart out. More on my secret crush on this TV celebrity later. Rock on.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

I Got Tink!

Tink Blinding Us With Science

I had the incredible pleasure of taking a couple of classes from Tink Martin and John Cramer of Black Swamp Glassworks last weekend at Arrow Springs. I was not lucky enough to get one of the seats in her vessel class, but took the Tips & Tricks and Electroforming classes. In Tips and Tricks we learned how to make glass pens in the Italian way - the kind that you dip into ink. We also reviewed how to pull goldstone stringer, how to make faux boro glass, and various surface treatments on glass such as the Titanium pen, coloration & image transfer onto glass, PMC on glass, and making hollow beads using the drilled out mandrels. My mind is bursting with the possibilities that all of these ideas offered.

Here are a few photos from the class. We had a bit of Drama when Zoey, a dog that one of the students brought, decided to slip away for some excitement of her own. We formed search teams and fanned out over several blocks, and after an hour or so she was found hiding near a dumpster right next to the shop. I'm glad she was ok.

This was my first class with Tink, and I had a blast. She is an energetic, creative, bubbly, positive person and I just loved meeting her. We had a lot of laughs, and I learned a lot.

I can't wait for my kit to arrive! Here is a picture of the bead that I took to the class to electroform. I wish there had been time to allow more copper to build up on the piece, to provide more texture, but there were about 10 of us and only two rectifiers. The copper is on the ends and in the swirl in the middle.

The green areas are where we developed a patina over the copper - Tink and John showed us how to get that look using common household stuff (e.g. salt and ammonia). I've got lots of ideas how to use electroforming in my work, and can't wait to get started. Art and science all in one!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

New work and travel update


"Petra" 28" necklace, 18 lampwork beads in earthy, mystical tones and patterns, topaz Swarovski crystals, 13 fine silver hammered rings, custom fine silver clasp. $195. Coordinating 1 3/4 inch "Petra" earrings. $35.

Mellonious Spheres, hollow lampwork earrings. $35. 3/4" x 5/8" diameter.

Lilac Sputnik earrings, $35. 3/4" diameter.

Lots to update you on, so I'll just skim the highlights. A few beads, many travels, countless memories of precious moments with loved ones.

The newest version of Beach Blanket Babylon up in North Beach is fantastic! They now have a Nancy Pelosi character as "leader of the pack" of women lawmakers making a difference in California (to include Boxer and Feinstein). A must see if you're in SF. Mom loved the show and the brief time we spent exploring San Francisco, and a later tour of the wind tunnels at NASA Ames were definitely a high point. Freshly caught grilled salmon with homemade pesto and shared with friends and family capped off a wonderful time.

Had time to play at the beach with my son (ok, so he got more wave time than I did, but someone's got to document it all!), went backpacking in the Caribou Wilderness, and hiked into Lassen's Bumpass Hell area. Lassen is a breathtaking place to visit, and the active thermal areas are amazingly colorful and beautiful. Other high (or low) lights included seeing friends in Oregon, a trip to the ER for an unexplained case of allergic hives, exploring the performance envelope of the potato gun we built last Christmas, and some R/C helicopter flights. Yukon gold offer more than just good taste when it comes to ballistics, we found.

School starts very soon, and we'll be into our fall pattern of incredible weather, shortening days, and thoughts of holidays to come. Starting today some long awaited torch time will return to my schedule, and I'll keep you posted on new ideas.

I haven't settled on my fall/holiday show schedule yet, but likely I'll do one or two events in November and December.

Enjoy the waning days of summer while you can!

Close Encounters of the Wild Kind

This is not my photo, but it's what I saw!

A long overdue update is on its way, but in the meantime, I just had the most incredible up close encounter with wildlife in our garden! I was out watering, with the rain shower hose wand pointed upwards to allow a gentle spray of water to fall on the plants. A hummingbird came to hover near the shower about three feet from me, and clearly expressed an interest in the water. I held the hose still, while the hummer inched closer and closer to the water, until finally its tiny body was getting gently sprayed. He wasn't even two feet from my hand! He bobbed up and down in the stream, and at one point hovered just above it so that his tiny feet were getting washed. He was jogging in place, moving his feet around in the spray, undoubtedly trying to clean them. Once that chore was done, he rotated around to place his beak briefly into the stream to drink, dunked his body to rinse, and then flew off to a nearby fence to preen and dry.

Wow. I sure picked just the right time to go out and water. Every time this image reappears in my mind I can't help but smile.

You hear about those patient folks who stand outside by their hummingbird feeders for what must be forever, to gradually tame those creatures to come closer and closer, until eventually they will sit on the human's outstretched finger. I feel very lucky.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Right Coast Jaunt

Frog at Tower Hill Botanical Gardens

We had a wonderful time visiting friends in Massachusetts, and my friend is doing well with her cancer treatments. She loved her jewelry, which warms my heart. We've seen see each other far too infrequently over the last decade, and have vowed to turn over a new leaf. It was fun to see Back Pages play, and I'm tempted now more than ever to take up the drums. Right, in my "free" time. A girl can dream, I guess.

While we were there (just outside of Boston), we visited the Tower Hill Botanical Garden, which was a really cool place to get some air and exercise. We saw several frogs chilling at the edge of the pond (see above).

Mom comes to play soon, and I can't wait!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Beads of Courage

I had a satisfying day at the torch yesterday, focusing on beads for two women in my life who need some courage. One is facing some serious health challenges, and I'm looking forward to seeing her soon for the first time in several years. These blue themed beads are among some that will adorn several special pieces I'm making for her.


I also made some beads in my "Cosmos" theme to help my cousin remember the two men who raised her: her father and her stepfather, who have both passed away. My Cosmos beads seem to draw me in, and think of things otherworldly, so maybe they'll help her as well.

That's it for now.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Buck Stops Here

I'm not sure how I could have forgotten to mention one of the most memorable takeaways from last weekend's show at Bargetto. I hit a deer on the way home Saturday night. Or rather, he hit me, and we were a half a block from what could otherwise be called "downtown" Soquel. If you know that area, you recognize that I use the term "downtown" liberally. But there were houses, and parked cars, lots of both, and it was the last place I expected to see a large deer.

So, I'm poking along Main St. on my way home from a decent first show day, and all of a sudden I'm looking at a handsome buck through the windshield of my Prius, and his nose was probably 2 feet from mine. I was driving, of course, and he was doing an improvised break dancing move of some sort to allow him to glide over my hood on his way over to the other side of the road where my car was not. I'm pretty sure he wasn't expecting this encounter either.

Now, you have to understand how the mind works in order to understand why this was such a surprise. Much of what enters our perceptual stream is not in fact fueled solely by the photons that impinge on our retinal receptors, but rather what our brain tells us should be expected in that context. It's called top-down processing, and my brain told me that a deer was not on the list of likely things I would see in this situation. Would I have quickly recognized the nose of a 737 had it slid into my path? Or a knight in full armor? Probably not. A kid with a ball, or a dog? Probably. I hope so, if I paid any attention at all to all of those driver's ed training movies way back when.

Anyway, while my brain was trying to sort all of this out, Buck did an awkward tumble on the road after departing my hood, stumbled to his feet, bounded up into the front yard of a home, and, I swear to God, flipped me off.

It took me a minute to decide whether or not I should stop, and after mulling it over I decided that the chances that Buck was insured were low, so I accelerated back up to speed, and went home. But seriously, he seemed to be ok, and there wasn't much I could do. Interestingly, the rest of the drive is on mountain back roads, and heavily wooded, so my senses were primed to expect more, which of courese, I did not.

Fortunately the damage was minimal, but it was impressive as the buck managed to damage both left and right front fenders (the former as he pushed off after the hood dance). I get my car back on Tuesday.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

A Very Wine Weekend

I had a great time at the show last weekend, and once again want to thank my loyal friends and clients who show up, check out all of the art, and generally make my day. As always, it was bittersweet because I had to bid farewell to a number the jewelry pieces I'm attached to, but I think they're all going to good homes.

We had some great entertainment, between a Hawaiian band on Saturday, PLUS a real live wedding, and then a Middle Eastern group on Sunday. Way cool. And Bargetto's wine offerings were fabulous, as were their sale prices for the event. My friend Linda was there in force (as always), helping me with everything, and she brought some delicious munchies.

Now, about those cookies I put out - as one of the browser's children noticed, YES, they were token gestures, and NO, don't be expecting that every time. I need to periodically practice my domestic skills, and now I've proven to myself (not to mention a number of astonished friends and family members) that I do indeed remember how to cook.

Several of my hallmark pieces sold this year, the Ornament choker, the Autumn Leaves necklace, and some of my favorite bracelets, which means that the creative press is on! And for some reason I can't seem to keep a Cosmos necklace in stock - they get snatched up as fast as I can make them. But I'm taking the rest of the summer off from shows, and you won't be seeing many of my wild ideas (at least in that forum) for a while - I'll post stuff here but won't be out and about schlepping a canopy around.

Got to scoot - will be at the torch this weekend so look for updates on Sunday or Monday!

Monday, July 2, 2007

Thank You, Arrow Springs

>One of the bracelets coming to the Bargetto Show this weekend (SOLD)<

Sybil and I attended the Norcal Society of Glass Beadmakers' Bead Bazaar at Arrow Springs on Saturday and it was fantastic! Lots of bead artists and fans milling about, showing and selling their latest creations, giving demos, raising money for breast cancer, barbequeing, and last column pricing on glass to boot! A good time to visit with friends and stock up on supplies. The Arrow Springs Staff were there in force, working their butts off as usual. Thanks Craig & Co!


Corina Tettinger has a great quote on her once again active website, which I thought was very cool:

"Many of our fears are tissue paper thin, and a single courageous step
would carry us clear through them."
-- Brendan Francis [Behan] (1923-1964)


I see that Skyventure Silicon Valley, the new indoor skydiving facility has changed their name to iFly SF Bay, but they still haven't opened yet. Come on people! It was supposed to open more than six months ago, and now they're promising "mid summer". But there is a cool video on youtube, shameless advertising, but very cool anyway. I'm itching to go again!

And for the last of my non-local news, this ebay auction by Scott Tanner has me itching to try Terra, a relatively new glass from Double Helix. Wow.

I'm getting ready for my show this weekend, at the 19th Annual Bargetto Winery Fine Art Festival. It will take place from 10:00am to 5:00pm on Saturday and Sunday, July 7th and 8th. There will be paintings, photography, jewelry, pottery, wearable art, original prints, ceramics, sculpture and other types of fine art by twenty-seven local artists. There will be complimentary wine tasting with purchase of a souvenir wine glass, and live music by “Victor Ohana Hawaiian Band” and “Meze.” It's gonna be so lovely under the oaks.

The San Jose Mercury News has this to say about Bargetto: "BARGETTO WINERY is the oldest winery in the Santa Cruz Mountains, producing handcrafted, award-winning wines since1933. Specialties include the unique Italian blend, LA VITA, and cool-climate varietals such as Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio and Pinot Noir. The tasting room is open daily and tours are given by appointment. Our creek side courtyard and historic wine cellars are available for special events. Also, visit us at our Monterey Tasting Room on Cannery Row!"

If you're wondering how to get there, it's at 3535 North Main Street in Soquel. Please call (831) 475-2258 x11 for more details.

Oh yeah, I'll have some cool new jewelry there, with some exciting new color combinations (that silver cinnamon thing I was telling you about), plus more hollows, and then some. Come on down, have a sip or two, and say "hi".

Finally, I'm sorry about the terrible formatting - seems that Blogger has an incurable bug that plagues us all.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

About that balance thing...

Greetings! Since my last post I've been here and there, but mostly continuing my quest for that elusive elixir called balance. Here are some highlights.

About a week ago we took a long weekend to visit friends up in a tiny coastal town called Trinidad, near Arcata. The agenda was about fishing for salmon, clamming, crabbing, and generally exercising our (ok, the men's) hunter-gatherer instincts. I had the thrill of reeling in a beautiful Chinook (King) salmon, which at 28 lbs was no easy thing to do. He fought long and hard, and after about 15 minutes he was landed.

Heidi and I skipped the clamming (something about the waist high Humboldt mud made me think it might not make my day), and instead had some very nice beach walks with their dog Annie (yes, same black lab who accompanied us to Baja). The shot above is from Agate Beach, where everyone walks with their eyes glued to the ground looking for tiny nuggets of the beach's namesake rock. Mostly what we found were PWRs, or "Pretty White Rocks", as Heidi has named them. It was a relaxing weekend.

I've also been busy at the torch, in between attempts to resuscitate my garden-in-distress. I had my share of challenges just getting down to melting glass. First I find that someone forgot to clean and dip mandrels after their last torch session, then I'm out of this color or that, and then my @#$ flip-up magnifying glasses broke down the bridge, leaving me with no easy way to see what I was doing. One day I limped through a few hours of beadmaking with my glasses literally superglued and taped together. I ordered some of those press on lenses that adhere with water to the inside of any pair of glasses, and just as I fired up the kiln Saturday, the UPS guy arrived with the lenses. How cool was that? I applied them and started using them before they had dried. After six hours at the torch I had a raging headache due to the blurry vision - the instructions said to let the lenses dry for 12 hours before using. So much for instructions.

I've got one more show scheduled for the summer, a wine tasting and fine arts event on July 7 & 8 at Bargetto winery, and need to replenish my stock of lampwork bead pendants and earrings, which were generally hammered by the Mountain Art Guild show. I'm thrilled that my friend Linda plans to help me there at least one of the two days. Woo hoo!

I'll post pictures of my new beads soon - in the offering will be some organic squeezed earrings in more neutral tones to complement some of my new bracelets, and some groovy hollow sphere earrings as well. I'm rapidly plowing through my stash of silver leaf and foil, and will have to restock really soon - most of my new stuff seems to use tons of it. I'm also thrilled with a new color reaction I've found with ASK 104's silver cinnamon - way cool. Pictures soon...

Have a fabulous start to your week!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Awesome Show!

Just wanted to say a quick "thanks" to everyone who stopped by my booth at the Mountain Art Guild Art and Wine Show over the weekend. It was great to see you, and I really appreciate your business and supportive feedback on my jewelry!

My booth wasn't too far from my friend Joyce's, and we had fun talking throughout the day as things got slow. She wore some glamorous sunglasses on Saturday - isn't this a great shot of her?

More soon - got to get caught up.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Mountain Art Guild Show!

Tomorrow is the Mountain Art Guild's 11th Annual Art and Wine Show at Radonich Ranch in Los Gatos, and I'm ready. It is a delightful event with over 50 talented artists who do incredible pottery, fused glass, jewelry, sculpture, textiles, photography, baskets, gourds, and more. There is food, wine, music, and ambience for two whole days from 10-6 (Sat) and 10-5 (Sun). Last year they even had a belly dancing snake charmer - what further stimulation would one need to get interested in art?

Remember the neutral bead sets I put up here last week? Well, they're finally at home in a couple of fabulous bracelets I've named the "Outback" series. The tans and other beige tones reminded me of the Australian bush. The other beads have found good homes in fine jewelry pieces as well, and coordinating earrings are almost ready to come out of the kiln.

"Outback" series I (SOLD). Heavily silvered lampwork beads, sterling silver accent beads, and handmade fine silver clasp with a butterfly motif and a very light patina. $125.

"Outback" Series II. Heavily silvered lampwork beads, sterling silver accent beads, handmade fine silver clasp with a touch of patina. $130.

And finally, one more new member to the ever-growing Neutral family, a "Serendipity" series bracelet (SOLD) with sleek pillow shaped beads, sterling silver accents, and a handmade fine silver clasp. $125. There is also a coordinating pendant and earrings.

It promises to be another gorgeous weather weekend, but I'm still taking warm clothes to the show. Last year the fog rolled in on Sunday afternoon and lots of us were nearly nominated for the Blue Man Group due to our frozen skin. You just never know about the weather in the Santa Cruz Mountains!

Hope to see you there.

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