Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I Feel Like Dancing - New Work Wednesday

I love the concept of it all, dancing your heart out. Just throwing yourself around to the music with wild abandon. LOL – I can’t imagine what I’d look like if I did that anymore but it sure is an appealing thought. Cleaning the house and torching go so much easier with music. I’ve been doing these “dance” tags to add here and there when I make up component sets. When I decided to make them I googled the origins of the quote.

That was an exercise in futility. Apparently it is actually – if (and that is a big if) I have it correct it can be attributed to Anonymous. The funny part is some people attribute it to Mark Twain but “experts” say there is no evidence of that. Then, others say it belongs to William Purkey. Okey Dokey…never mind.

Here are the two versions – and it looks like there are more. Hahahaha. No matter, I’m just going to go with “dance”.

“You've gotta dance like there's nobody watching,
Love like you'll never be hurt,
Sing like there's nobody listening,
And live like it's heaven on earth.”

William W. Purkey

“Dance like no one is watching.
Sing like no one is listening
Love like you've never been hurt
and live like it's heaven on Earth.”

Mark Twain

Who Are You - Sharon Driscoll?

Lately I’ve been spreading out my little artistic wings again. For the longest time they’ve been moth balled. It’s not like I was completely flightless – more like I’ve been a little penguin like and swimming more than flying. Maybe even sometimes feeling like I needed a set of water wings to keep afloat

You’ll note that January was full of posts to this blog. It’s been quite noisy and I’ve been very talkative. It’s part of that “unfurling of wings”. Not every month will be this full of posts. I’ve been working on sewing up the tatters in my wings and getting my mojo in order. It’s been a long time coming and hasn’t arrived yet – but I’m thinking maybe I can voodoo some up sooner or later. You know, one foot in front of the other.

It kind of begs the question – “Uh…Sharon, who are you? Why the big wander around in so many media? What is all of that about? We’ve always known you as a lampworker and jeweler. I mean WTF – you’re talking about a lot of different stuff lately and working in clay too. Where did all this come from?”

I thought it might be good to answer that and give you a bit of my background.

This is a tiny glimpse into some of the things I have done over the years. Actually, I didn’t feel like digging out the watercolors or the oil paints and more - but what I had handy leaning against the basement wall might help to answer why I feel I talk so can so freely about different media and color theory (I was going to show you my tone charts but the photo didn't turn out).

What are interspersed in this post are examples of my work over the years. Painted, inked, printed, and drawn, and so on. As I’ve stated in my bio – I LOVE art. I have painted in three media: Acrylic, Oil, and Watercolor. Of those oil and watercolor are my favorite. Printmaking can trip my trigger in a major way; and of that, lithography has always brought me particular joy. There is something about grinding down that stone and then drawing on it that is fascinating. Pulling the first print is magic. Serigraph is fun too and for 27 years I designed simple silk screening for my husband’s toys. I have about 30 readily scrubbed screens to attest to experience on that front.

I’ve competed, I’ve juried, I’ve done art fairs, and I’ve immersed myself up to my pretty little eyeballs. I’ve played & tested – sought out great instructors – driven to many a state and many a college. If someone had a great reputation as an instructor of something I wanted to learn I took a class – or semester – or year. And then I practiced, practiced, practiced! I have stacks of work and portfolios full of artwork.

No, I don’t qualify as the perpetual student – although I’ll admit to unbridled happiness at stuffing any new artistic information in my brain. And I hope to be cramming in more at this year at the Bead &Button Show.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Crazy Soup Anticipation

Two posts in one day – who am I?

My partner in Bead Soup passion –
Rebecca Sirevaag - has let me know that the beads are “in the mail”. Whoo HOO! Her package and mine ought to be like passing ships in the night. Mine went out on Saturday so I figure they will say hello to one another around Nebraska.

So now that the "soup is on" here is the tease. This is what they look like:
Yeah sure, huh? But isn’t this a neat trick? It is the beads I sent, really

Lori Anderson has been sending us emails all along (what an organized mind this woman has) and mentioned Picnik where you can apply all kinds of effects to your photos. It is just the easiest site to use and what fun. I couldn’t show you what I sent to Rebecca – because she doesn’t live in Nebraska (I just figure that’s the half way point) and the beads have to travel a lot further than that. What kind of a surprise is it if your partner posts what you’re receiving before you get it?

The other thing I wanted to post about is that Lori has received notification of what the cover is going to look like on her book. This is going to be another great one since Lori has such an articulate way of explaining why she has chosen the components for her designs. Could she have done anything less than create a great book about Bead Soup? I doubt it.

What day is it?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Second Book Giveaway

First, Carol Kauhaapo if you are reading about this book giveaway please send me your home address so I can send you a copy from the first giveaway. I had two copies of that book and both you and Anne Ricketts of AMR GlassWorks won a copy of 500 Beaded Objects.

On to the festivities… I thought this book might be appropriate for the second giveaway. I love my copy of this one. Candie Cooper must be the bomb with metal and what lampwork artist couldn’t use some great jewelry ideas.

How lucky was I to have won an extra copy? This was part of the winnings from Lark Books and if you aren’t signed up for their great blog and get in on some of their giveaways – well – what the heck are you waiting for?

Again, to enter – just leave a message on this post and I will use a random number picker on February 4, 2012.

Best of Luck!


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Random Thoughts

I wanted to say I see no comments on yesterday's post. Hmmmmmm, I'm not sure why that is - but okay. Just for the record I want to say that I don't believe you should copy any one's work BUT you can not look at the following beads and not see the resemblance to other peoples work. What I am saying is that most all art is derivative of something. And that - is OK. I've mentioned before that I had many an art teacher who espoused "Art in - Art out" philosophies.

At museums when I'd want to take off to peruse my speciality they would stop me and remind me to breathe it ALL in. They pointed out that no matter what you thought might effect you there were answers to your questions in unusual spots but you had to stop, study, analyze, and remember what you had seen. Absolutely.

Today I also sent out my Bead Soup package to my partner. I'm excited to hear what she will think. It was an unusual combo for me to send but I think she's up to the task.

It's snowing like mad here - great reason to turn on the kiln and hunker down.

Tomorrow - the second book giveaway. Yeah!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Thoughts on Originality

"Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everyone I've ever known.”
― Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters

"Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren't very new after all.”
― Abraham Lincoln

"All my best thoughts were stolen by the ancients.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Only those with no memory insist on their originality.”
― Coco Chanel

“We are all feeding from each other, all the time, every day.”
― Dave Eggers, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

“The small are always dependent on the great; they are "small" precisely because they think they are independent. The great thinker is one who can hear what is greatest in the work of other "greats" and who can transform it in an original manner.”
― Martin Heidegger

What do you think about the statements above? I am not for plagiarism but for a very long time have contemplated the idea of originality. If I put three lines on a bead ,that someone has also done, is it the same or different because I might have used ivory as a base and they have used red? It's an interesting proposition. I still haven't pre-ordered Kleon's book I want, but I'm going to. In the meantime I am adamant about coveting your ideas...ask me questions and I will answer. How do you feel about this topic?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

It Always Comes Down To the Glass

I’ve been considering my addition of clay to this multimedia mix I work with. On lampwork glass I work with frits – crushed glass. I love the look you can get doing this. If you fire enamel on metals you are still working with glass – just in its finest ground form.

Clay – it’s the frame work to display my creative expression and once again – it’s covered in ground colored glass that’s fired onto its surface. Clay without surface decoration is, well – dinner plates. You know, the ones you in a package from Walmart. They’re probably slip cast in some large factory and sprayed whatever color is the most popular. I have a set of those…in the least popular (they were on sale) color of burnt orange. But orange is my favorite so I win…LOL.

The only time I don’t work with some form of glass is when I fabricate with sheet metal or carve wax to cast. And then, I’m often thinking in terms of what can be created and combined with the lampwork for a balanced fusion of the two. I’d actually prefer neither take the spotlight but work in a harmonious balance. Aren’t I the dreamer?

When I do Kumihimo, or felt it’s never fiber for fiber’s sake. They are merely a tree in the forest, a creation where the thought pattern was primarily about the glass. Like what can I hang on this beautiful cord or wouldn’t this felt make a wonderful purse for a handmade bead.

I guess since percentage wise it always comes down to the glass I consider myself a glass artist no matter which of the mediums is in my hand.

I have to laugh at myself…. it’s like thinking about a great meal. If you slap a steak on a platter and just serve it it’s never going to taste as good as when it’s served with a nice wine, garlic potatoes, and a medley of roasted vegetables. THAT is when the flavor of that steak can be savored. See what I mean – the glass can be appreciated when it’s surrounded by a great accompaniment of other mediums.

The good people over at fusedglass.org have this cool site called
glassfacts.info that give you massive amounts of information about glass. Like they didn’t do that already. Fusedglass.org is one of the most informative sites about glass around. And who is a better reference hoarder than me! LOL

Have a great day!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Subtractive Art and More

Are you an adder or a subtractor? When I first started to work in wax for lost wax casting I hadn’t even considered the fact that it might entail adding layers where I might need them. I thought of it as a sculptural endeavor where I’d be removing little wax bits until I had the shape I wanted. I guess up until that point I hadn’t really thought of wax or my art in terms of being additive or subtractive. Now, I think of it that way all of the time.

No matter what you are working on jewelry, clay, quilting, painting, and so on you can look at your creation and say to yourself if I add a little something here – or remove it there can I enhance this piece of work. Lampworking is more additive but if you cold-work or sandblast the bead you are adding another dimension by using a subtractive process on it.

And that doesn’t even begin to cover what you can do with subtractive appliqué in art quilts, or wood sculptures ala’ Henry Moore. Then there is always subtractive color theory (trust me – I can’t even go into that here without putting myself to sleep) but you can click on those words and there is a fantastic site with incredible works of art that explains that and other color theories far better than me.

Okay – so all of this might be a little boring – you just want to make art. Me too! But this subtractive thing had rung a note when I saw an article in O – The Oprah Magazine. There is an artist who does subtractive poetry. His name is Austin Kleon. He has a site called Newspaper Blackout. It sounds like a fun thing to do when you are experiencing writers block or if you’re just done reading that old newspaper or book. Amazon carries his book – and I’m sure all the regular bookstores. I think I’ll have to add a sharpie to my purse for when I’m riding in the car or somewhere and have a peaceful moment.

He also has another book coming out in March of this year called How To Steal Like An Artist – 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative. You really need to go to the site; by clicking on the book title, he has these great visuals and explanations that run you through the quick version of what his book is about. It reads so true and it’s such a shocker. Sounds to me like this artist is on to something and I have a new form of writing poetry.

Like any of us need something else to do!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Ultimate Craft Showdown - Craft Wars!

Sorry Everyone - I had posted the info for this new show on my blog and somehow the photo was so very out of focus that I decided it just had to go. Then, upon a little more research to find a better one it became clear that the talent search had closed on January 13th. Ooops!

If you're still interested you can google it (Ultimate Craft Showdown)- If it's like most of the Challenge shows on the network I am sure they are still looking for talent. And, if you can win $10,000. for being the most creative - well, all the better.

Tarot is Interesting

You are The Empress

Beauty, happiness, pleasure, success, luxury, dissipation.

The Empress is associated with Venus, the feminine planet, so it represents, beauty, charm, pleasure, luxury, and delight. You may be good at home decorating, art or anything to do with making things beautiful.

The Empress is a creator, be it creation of life, of romance, of art or business. While the Magician is the primal spark, the idea made real, and the High Priestess is the one who gives the idea a form, the Empress is the womb where it gestates and grows till it is ready to be born. This is why her symbol is Venus, goddess of beautiful things as well as love. Even so, the Empress is more Demeter, goddess of abundance, then sensual Venus. She is the giver of Earthly gifts, yet at the same time, she can, in anger withhold, as Demeter did when her daughter, Persephone, was kidnapped. In fury and grief, she kept the Earth barren till her child was returned to her.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Under Promise - Over Deliver

Paraphrased from Martin Lindstrom: Fast Company.

I read this article via my Kindle. Mr. Lindstrom (great name, huh – makes me think of my favorite pliers) says that companies that under promise and over deliver are those whose brands are remembered, but those companies are far and few between. One reason, and I’m sure the largest, is that over delivering isn’t cost affective to the bottom line – the profit. Hmmmmm, I get it. Mr. Lindstrom (gosh I like saying that) states that, “If it’s better than expected---or hoped for---we remember it above all else.” And that, “Small acts of generosity imbue us with that rare feeling of being cared for or considered by a company.”

Obviously Mr. Lindstrom deals with companies that are much larger than the average Etsy store front. It’s okay – The principals are the same and I can still remember how I squealed with delight at my first purchase from Etsy. It came wrapped beautifully and enclosed with a small additional token of appreciation for my order. I’ve never gotten an order that wasn’t wrapped or that didn’t include a Thank You. That first order became the basis of my decision to do the same with my orders. Mr. Lindstrom should place more orders via Etsy – There are a lot of entrepreneurs and artists out there following this suggestion. I think it’s an excellent way to do business.

What do you do for your customers?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Gaffer Trio

I really do not know why I don’t work with this glass more. I don’t have a very large stash of it but little by little I collect it as I can afford it. To say it works like butter is an understatement. It’s not soupy, has this thick molasses tendency but isn’t hard or stiff.

I pulled from my stash a little of this and that to play with. I love the results and under the light they reflect like a champ. Sorry, the photo does the little luster I have no justice. What I haven’t’ figured out yet is the proper placement and flame for the “luster glasses” There must be one I am using that gives off this incredible gold (I think it’s Gold Luster) – looks like gold leaf on the finished bead.

Yes, I know I need more than a stick of this or that to figure things out but spending money is not going to happen soon. It’s a reduction glass and if I’m reading the notes on LE correctly Kendra said a very quick reduction hit, saved for last, and in the kiln.

These beads are organic and full of a variety of colors so it’s a little hard to pick out what’s what beyond the Blue Chalcedony/ Purple Rose and the base use of white or black to work on.

Deb Batten has done some wonderful work in Gaffer – She’s our great Gaffer resource from New Zealand and writes a lot of great tutorials. You can check Deb’s blog and the Gaffer Girls Lampwork blog – or call the girls directly for more of all things gaffer. I’ve never met a more helpful group of people. I know I am so not done working with Gaffer.

more to come - - - - - -

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Periodically Reborn

And whenever we switch to a new medium the process is renewed and we begin again!

Hip Hip Hurrah for constant growth.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Indelible? - Maybe

The ISGB is having a juried show this year with the theme “Indelible”. I’ve been brain bantering that about and conceiving a piece I might create and submit by the deadline. Deadlines are not an easy task for me. For me – more often than I would like to admit – once the piece has been created in my head or conceptualized on paper it’s done for me. I’ve even gone as far as assembling the various pieces together and laying them out…then phffffftttttt – it’s over. It goes into a plastic bag with the drawing and becomes a UFO (unfinished object). The thought and solution for that thought was the end. I need minions….lots of minions.

Am I going to get one….let’s see, DH is asleep in a recliner, one dog on the couch, in a dog bed, on the kitchen floor. My possible minions are not of this waking world at the moment. Minion count – ZERO. Pisses me off…….really…….how can they sleep when I am thinking so loudly is beyond me. Really! Maybe I need an intern – but where would I find one that is as anal as I am and who could follow directions written only in my subconscious. So not likely in this millennia!

By ‘Indelible” the ISGB means those things which have transpired in your life and etched a moment that is so totally recallable that it is, indelible.

I tried to think of a moment that collided with my brain with an impact I couldn’t shake it. The normal things came up children – marriage – divorce – family – life. What happened is I couldn’t’ separate a piece from the whole. Maybe if I were in my twenties again I could; but alas, I am not. What did pop out was the fact I am the sum of my pieces. If any one thing were subtracted from the equation that is me then it would alter the outcome of this moment. Profound? (LOL) No one is going to accuse me of that.

I’ve started to think of the theme as the pieces of my life. That concept led me to my jewelry boxes. It’s kind of a microcosm of all things Sharon. The crow in me has keepsakes that are shiny only to me. I pulled them out from all manner of places I’ve hidden them. Laid out they form an interesting beginning of a mixed media necklace. Some pieces are extremely self explanatory – others may not be – and there is much more to add. I have “hippie beads” which could tie the many pieces into a solid unit.

There also a requirement for handmade lampwork beads – it is the International Society of Glass Beadmakers after all. There in; for the moment, lies my rub. Uh, aside from the fact I have no minions. I’ve never had a particular “style” of bead. I have a style of art – the beads I make tend to fit into that “concept”. I have to figure out now what beads I could make that might represent those indelible moments of my life.

I have thoughts on the beads and completion of this piece – but whether they will end up in a UFO bag or brought to fruition is a whole ‘nother discussion. Wish me luck.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Ok, Enough Now Already

This is a photo essay of today and my feelings - Yea it's pretty! Whatever....

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Mixed Media?

What is mixed media art?

Technically speaking, "mixed media" is any combination of two or more primary artistic mediums combined in a single piece of artwork. Try looking up what are considered the “primary artistic mediums” – that, in itself – was a bit of Internet folly. Maybe you can find it.

Hence, I guess, if you are using resin to make a pendant – or clay, or anything - and you add glass beads or any other of the “primary artistic mediums” (which amounts to just about anything) your jewelry would or could be considered to be of mixed media. It’s why I changed the description on this blog. It is the way I create, always has been, so I thought I ought to define my work that way.

Maybe we could break the “mixed media” label down further by quantifying it into larger titles (for example): “mixed media paper sculpture” but all those extra labels just strike me as redundant. Or, maybe as Etsy tags they ought to read - "mixed media paper sculptures with bit and dabs of acrylic, crayon, and ink." LOL It's one of those "things" we could do – but maybe shouldn't. I am a jeweler and I work with more than one primary medium so I’m paring the excess labeling as far down as possible

Why mixed media Sharon? (So, I said to myself….Self - - - -)

Nail Man

Louise Nevelson

My earliest recognition of visits to the Detroit Institute of Arts and Cranbrook where of pieces of art that contained what we now so commonly refer to as “found objects”. Oh, I loved it all – who wouldn’t be excited to stick their nose to nearly touching a Van Gogh (they didn’t cover them then). The Rivera Mural in the Grand Hall – he was such a character. But, it was Louise Nevelson that I remember most. All those neutrally painted pieces making shadows and coming together as a whole. Second to those were the rooms of African Art. I thought them primitive but such perfectly polished pieces of art. My very favorite of those African pieces at the DIA is “Nail Man” Sculpture. It brought about a massive love for all things talisman. Nail Man is also mixed media.

Nail Man is roughly 3 ½ feet tall. In the African Congo there are fetish statues known as Nkisi that are broken down into two categories. Those that are malevolent and those that are talismans’ against it. It’s an old story, right? All cultures and centuries and all kinds of images. I guess that’s why I love them so –the story – the battle of good vs. evil. Mostly maybe the protection of having the talisman – like having the Immunity necklace on Survivor.

And, as odd as it seems, I also relish the wooden alters of Madonna and child. Paint, gold leaf, wood. Another incredible mixed-media marvel.

Mixed media mavens – aren’t we all? What’s your primary media and why did you choose it?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Snow Day!

It's beautiful out there but the roads are slippery and I have kiln is heating up (YES!). Enjoy the cartoon...and warm hugs to anyone who has to venture out in the white stuff today. Plus, for all of you in the sun and warm weather I will admit to being so jealous that I look like Shrek!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Invitation to Party

Fifth Bead Soup Blog Party

WOW - Awesome

I get to participate in this wonderful round robin blog hop and creativity stretcher created by Lori Anderson. I’ve been wanting to do this for years but so many “life” experiences have prevented me from considering it. I didn’t want to ask to participate until I knew it would get the attention it deserved from me as a participant. This session was done by lottery because over 300 artists’ had asked to participate with manageable space for 200 (which is an incredibly insane amount to manage). I feel privileged to have my name drawn.

My partner for this adventure is Rebecca Sirevaag. When I get to know more about Rebecca I'll pass it on but here is her blog because I know you're just going to want to visit her soon.

I could explain all about this but Lori does it so much better you might as well hear the details from her. In the right column is the Blog Party symbol and all you have to do is click on it to get to Lori's site. Wish me luck!!!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Sunday Sillies...

I had asked Sylvie if she would do a “Hey Girl” Hunk for me. She is a doll and for a small bribe of coffee, which she will definitely need to keep up in Tucson I was presented with my hunky choice of Daniel Craig. Here he is:

And the Winners are...


What I did was assign everyone a number based on the order in which you posted a reply to the original post. As luck would have it after putting some of my books away I realized I actually have TWO extra "500 Beaded Objects" books from Lark Publishing. Instead of running two contests we might as well have two winners. The books are packaged and ready to send out so please email me your address if I don't already have it: sdriscoll@charter.net

And the winners are: Number 7: Anne Ricketts and Number 12: Cheryl Kauhaapo

I had the number generators on here but when I returned to the post to find out who numbers 7 and 12 were it dumped the data. When it did that - I removed them - next time I will know to have the names printed out so I don't have to leave the page until it's posted. And there will be a new giveaway. In a week I will prepare the next book and get it posted and we will commence the second giveaway of my extra books. Best of luck on giveaway #2 and please post again.

Thank You! Sharon

Friday, January 13, 2012

World's Greatest Hand Cream for Dry Artist Skin

I was telling you about that hand cream I made. Mine looks pink compared to this picture because of the lotion I chose to use. The original recipe came from several sources I culled from Pinterest. It’s excellent for your feet and a little dab will do you on dry hands created from long fun days crafting, or walking around the house all winter with flip flops on.

With your hand mixer mix the following in a bowl:

8oz. Vaseline (the 7.5 jar will work just fine)
8 oz. of Vitamin E Cream
16 oz. of Baby Lotion (you can replace this with your favorite but keep it simple).

Repackage in any containers you’d like. There are plenty available on-line or at your local craft store (I got mine at Hobby Lobby). My DIL loves the bottle I gave her and others are on their way in the mail. Since I’ve been using clay lately it’s really helped to keep my hands moist – especially considering how much I wash dried clay off my fingers.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

New Work

I don't tend to post many pieces of the new work here that are going on Etsy. With the Etsy Mini on the blog I figure you can see it so I don't do much announcing. Maybe I should and I'll try and be a little better about it. The three sets I just added to my shopped are Mixed Media components edging toward the season of love - "Valentine's Day." I hope you will like them. There will be more coming and I hope to have lots of posts before the end of the month. This piece is strung temp orarily on waxed linen and comtains all handmade beads. Several beads are ceramic and the majority are lampwork. I really enjoy this blend. What is your favorite blend of handmde beads and why?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

“Decked Out” English

I love a good Peace sign, can’t help myself. I’d claim it was caused by the water if I could get away with it but I’m a “Boomer” and that’s just the way it is. When I was looking up “Bazinga”(see an earlier post) I ran across “Gotcha” as a definition of the word and a whole Sheldon Cooper fan club. “Cool Baby!” And; at that point, things got a tad crazy.

One find was the UofM study and class to teach foreign students how to cope with English. They’re right! Think about a foreign student who might have been taught English and then they run into a “Valley Girl”. “Uh, like the situation was totally tubular, really – I mean like, it was just like gnarly to the max.” Talk about a linguistic curve ball.

That little Internet jaunt took me to words which I would like to stamp on some clay or metal pieces but then – would anyone understand? Can I say “Keep on truckin’ you “jive turkey” because you’re too “trippy” to be “making out” with no “funky flower child”. If I could it might be a “bitchin blast”, but then some “far out” “Daddy-O’ conservative “fink” might not be so “copasetic” about it. I’d have to “mellow out” before he “laid it on me” and it got all “heavy”. “Like wow” that’s so “far out”.

Well, I better “bug-out” now. It’s been “a gas”.

New lampwork is out of the kiln and I'll post some pic's tomorrow.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Orange - It's Your Time

If you like to stay a few steps ahead, take note: the Pantone Color Institute has just revealed the top ten colors you should—read: will—be wearing come spring. They are: Tangerine Tango, a juicy orange hue; Solar Power, a warm yellow hue; Sodalite Blue, a maritime blue hue; Cabaret, an intense rosy-red hue; Starfish, a warm neutral hue; Margarita, a piquant yellow-green hue; Sweet Lilac, a pinkish lilac hue; Driftwood, a beige-grey blend; Bellflower, an ornamental purple; and Cockatoo, a spirited blue-green. So, now you know which colors to look for, tell me: which color is your favorite?

Pantone's color of the year….and it’s Tangarine Orange. Oh Yes, it’s about time my favorite color made it to the top of the list. So for this Spring you can throw on that touch of sweet orange and go for it. This is the entire palette and there are some charming color combinations to be had here. If you don’t think so check out Pantone’s great designers and see what they’ve whipped up with them.

Designer's have already got that Spring Line into full production...

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Silly Sunday

You’re going to have to read this to realize these topics go together in a strange Sharon sort of way. Why at this rate I could be a guest writer for a newspaper (where is questionable)..

Tonight’s big news on our local TV report concerned the anger over trees that were blocking a road. Is this a four lane highway? – NAH. More like snow-covered back road – otherwise how could you get those trees cut down without anyone seeing you? Anyway, this post might help you understand my occasional mind melting issues. Below is the news report – I have highlighted the names of the roads and the apparent fact that we don’t seem to know how to count stumps that are missing their tops. I have a question – and we have time up here in the winter for pondering them. Well…, investigators – was it 16, 17, maybe someone stood a few logs up and it was only nine? You can estimate a crowd of people, or the number of gun shots at a robbery but when the evidence is just sitting still there in the daylight the word “ABOUT” in your report just isn’t going to cut it. The policeman was probably educated up here too and we are damn proud to have him. Probably fifth generation or something and all around nice fellah.

You just can’t make this stuff up! And when they sandwich this “Important Breaking News” in between the political race in New Hampshire and the fact Charles Barkley is hosting Saturday Night Live – show blow up maps with arrows and then close up shots of the trees and say out loud the location of the said macabre attack and don’t start laughing…. Well, you have to learn to play along ‘cause in’ they’re serious. Even my DH who grew up here and has friends named “Toad – Jimmy John, and Bucky” burst out laughing. Here is the Internet version – use your imagination for the reporter:

Trees Intentionally Cut Down in Otsego Co., block road
By John McGowan, Anchor

The Otsego County Sheriff's Office is looking for whoever cut down about 17 trees on Tin Shanty Road, near Sawdust Pile in Charlton Township.

The trees were all 12 to 15 inches in diameter, and they made the road impassable.

The Otsego County Road Commission had to remove the trees.

Keep in mind if you have any information of perpetrators of this crime call the Otsego County Sheriff – (but don’t tell him how I was cracking on his patrols or the news anchor…..)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Super Creative Studio Area

The ceramic studio at Right Turn ArtWerks is an austere department. It’s a humble area and nearly as portable as a plein air easel and paints.

Since I’ve shown you other areas I work in….torch, cast, fabricate, and so on I thought I’d show you where I create the clay “magic”. I have both a wet area and a dry area. Pretty nifty, huh?

I could take an obligatory hundred photos of my set-up –some great close-ups. Do a little Photoshop work and make it look magnificent – grand – maybe even downright arty and ostentatious. At least I’d like to think I could. LOL

Instead, I think I’ll just give you the skinny. Here you go:

Two folding TV tables full of goodies. Storage when I’m not a student in the “Ceramic’s Department “in ArtWerks is a super huge clear Tupperware type container that fits into the closet – 25# of clay and all.

I love working with the clay (actually almost anything creative) – I wash my hands a whole lot but I’ve taken care of THAT problem with a new recipe for hand cream (more later). I guess what I wanted show is you don’t need a ton of room to be creative with something. This is pretty bare bones but it works for me.

Friday, January 6, 2012


Bazinga! I love that saying….as popularized by Dr. Sheldon Cooper in The Big Bang Theory. I wasn’t a fan of it before this – it must have coincided with something else I was watching on TV. Then, the reruns began on TBS and I’ve been watching it while I work on some clay pieces. There is also this insane desire to knock on doors three times while saying someone’s name…………I’ve lived in an apartment complex like that. Have you? I’ve been accused of being geeky, but not intellectual, just odd-duckish, so this sitcom just cracks me up. Trust me I’m not a sitcom person but bazinga is my kind of word!

I like the word so much I decided to make a few stamped ceramic pieces. These aren't painted yet and fresh from the kiln. I'm wondering how much fun a necklace covered in generational sayings might be. Remember "POW" from the Batman series...........LOL

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

First Great Inspiration Giveaway

Look at the beaded piece on the cover of this book - it's the great work of Robin Atkin's. It was her book One Bead at a Time (now out of print) that first piqued my interest in bead embroidery.

500 Beaded Objects is one of the books I received in the Lark Book giveaway. It's a great book but I already have a copy. I use it all the time for inspiration - it's just supercharged!

I'm going to giveaway this book out to some lucky person so they'll have all that extra inspiration too. To enter all you have to do is leave a comment on this post - make sure I have your email address and I'll choose a random winner on January 14, 2012 via a random number generator.

Best of Luck!

Monday, January 2, 2012

I'm peeing my pants.....

Not only has Sylvie Lansdowne long been one of my very favorite teachers she has also got a sense of wit and imagination beyond compare. You have got to go and check these photos out and no doubt you will be wanting to download one for yourself...