Saturday, June 24, 2017

Art in the afternoon

My daughter and I spent the afternoon just relaxing in the quiet of the house and creating some art.

I finally decided to open the box of pastels I got as a Christmas gift, and just play around. I ended up with three 9"x12" paintings. Pastels are pretty fun to work with since I use my fingers as a tool!




  
Although I was done a few hours ago, she is still working on her pen on canvas drawing, so  here's picture of the artwork she did during the week.  She painted some very cute characters on 4"x4" canvas's that I really adore! As you can see she has an outer space theme going on!








Wednesday, June 21, 2017

I'm Plugged in!!!!!!!!!

How excited can a person be to get an electrician to install a 220 plug?

VERY EXCITED!!! 

After a year and a half of not having a plug to turn on my Skutt-GM1414 I am officially plugged in today!!!!!   When I bought my kiln in the spring of 2015, I had no idea that I would be leaving my studio behind and storing the kiln that I only fired 3 times. Over this last year and a half I have debated with myself about selling my equipment. I'm really glad I didn't. I hired the same electrician that installed the plug in my old studio to install at my new house.  All this time I thought it would be in the thousands, when in reality it was only a few hundred. Now my plan is to rearrange the garage and have my own corner to create. Also this weekend after the garage is put together I am hoping to get my "Happy Day's" painting cut & framed.

Now since I got the exciting new out of the way, I went to the library on my lunch hour yesterday to return some books that I had borrowed, and as I  browsed the 740 section I came up on a book with no title on the cover, just a surreal painting of a man. and a single Greek letter on the binding. I was intrigued so I checked it out. I have taken art history in college and I never heard of the artist Marc Chagall before.  I was astonished at his fame as a Jewish artist.  I truly felt naive that I didn't know about him, because I would have thought his name should be as common to me as Matisse, Monet, Picasso, Manet and more.  I have been scouring the internet looking at the paintings he created and the stained glass work that he has done. The shear fact that he died in 1985 at 97 years old, I feel that should have known about him and his work long ago... I am glad that I found him now and can't wait to read his story.




Just an fyi... I never noticed that while I write my posts, in the top left hand corner there are two buttons next to each other: compose/html.  For the last few months I couldn't figure why my paragraphs would run into each other even tho I had spaced them when typing, and when I uploaded pictures they were in HTML. My default setting had switched from compose to html, so I switched back now, and feel much better....

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Glass, glass and more glass

This week was packed with so many things to do, think about and move forward with. First off I was contacted by the commercial real estate agent for a space that I inquired about in a shopping center about a mile away from my house. The space is intended for a possible art co-op. I stopped by and peaked inside the 605 sq ft space. It was narrow and long with the only natural light was coming from the from of the front of the shop. The good thing was that the owner agreed to a month to month lease. I decided that for the 1056 a month rent + utilities + cost of installing 220 plugs, I needed to make sure that I would like the place well enough to commit, but the bottom line is I just don't like the space.... I'll keep looking. On the flip side my husband called the electrician that installed the 220 in my old studio to come and install one in our garage for my Kiln, YAY!!! I think he is trying to detour my co-op plans however I do appreciate the fact that he wants to make me happy. If I get the plug in the garage, maybe I can just invite some artists over to my house and we can create some art! I hit the glass jackpot the other day! I inquired to my friend, which is a jewelry artist if she had any frit glass (crushed) that she wanted to sell she she is no longer working in glass. Well, she told d me for a "buddy" price of $150.00 i could have ALL her glass! I jumped on it without even asking about the colors because I know that she has good taste, and I know she is a very generous friend with both her supplies and her knowledge. I went to pick up the glass from her house and was pleasantly surprised by the amount and of course I loved all the colors! I estimate the retail value at about $800 worth of glass, so I scored! Before I knew I was buying glass I had committed myself to buying a couple of crates to store glass in from another friend who is downsizing. When I bought them I actually thought to myself why did I buy both since I don't have that much glass, well now I know why!!! I'll pick up the crates end of July and hopefully the garage will be a fully functioning studio for me by then.
10 half sheet & 2 full sheets
a bunch of frit and a few jars of confetti glass!!!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Artistic talent

Last night if I had $500 in my checking account to spend I would have bought a beautiful peice of art, but I dont have the money so all I was able to do is look at it and tell the artist how beautiful I thought it was. Last fall when my duaghter participated in Luminaria, that is when I first saw the amazing portraits that Kaldric Deshon Dow was exhibiting at the park that evening. With lights coming down on the large protraits they seemed as if the shadows and lights were naturally reflected, but it was his skills coming through. Unfortunately, something is going wrong between my ipad and the blog, so I can't link his site, you're just going to have to google to see his amazing artwork. And the artwork below is the reason I went to show last night. A portrait of a child painted on a patterned fabric.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Art Co-op?

I'm not sure if my attention span will last long enough to see this thru, but I have been inquiring about renting some commercial space near my home to turn into an art co-op, specifically for glass artists. There are two great glass shops, one is almost an hour away and the other is almost an hour and a half away, a bit to far to travel after work. I would just love it if I could leave my day job and go straight to the glass studio and be surrounded by other artists. I think my creativity level might amp up. I am still trying to figure things out financially and realistically. I'm hoping that I can find the right spot at the right price and not scare myself into doing nothing...... My cat Tiger looks concerned and a bit depressed. He has been lonely since he lost his best friend Jake back in November after 11 years of hanging out together. Tiger is 13 now and all he want to do is cuddle.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

It is what it is...... NOT

The mentality of "it is what it is" and we can't change anything is wrong. People need to stand up for what they believe in and stand up for what is right. It took way too long to take the confederate statues and monument's down but it has finally been done! The speech by the Mayor of New Orleans, Mitch Landrieu that he gave on May 19, 2017 was spot on about our history. I think everyone should read it and you can do so, here.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Another chapter

It's been a BUSY two weeks! Preparing for my daughters graduation, making sure my out of town guests were comfortable, and trying to make sure I crossed everything off the multiple lists I made, so I wouldn't forget anything. As I was trying to keep myself together, my keys kept hiding from me, I kept misplacing my phone, and of course with all of my kids home there wasn't a charger to be found ANYWHERE.... The the graduating class from the School of Architecture at UT Austin was small, around 40 undergraduate students and about the same amount of masters & a few PHD's in Architecture. After the graduation ceremony the school invited the students with their family and friends to a reception, which was lovely!!!! All I can do is show you in pictures!!!
Sis with both brothers!!!
Best friends!!
Best friends in Architecture!!!!!
Proud parents!!!
Cute couple!!!!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Preparing for Piyo

It's a dangerous thing to be up late night watching infomercials. It was about midnight and Piyo came on, which I had never heard of before, so I decided to watch it it for a while. Wow, low impact, no extra weights used, use your own body weight to build strength and tone up. Combination of Pilates and yoga, and it was a seven day a week DVD set, Wow! yeah, I'm in!!. Okay, so I buy it, within that 20 minute "buy it now" window so you get a special deal. Not even sure what the "special" deal was..... So now I am currently waiting for it to be delivered, only one problem, I needed to buy a dvd player.... I ended up at Walmart during my lunch break yesterday and picked up a cheap $30 Sony dvd player, took it home and my husband was like "there's no HDMI cable". I'm like "so what, just hook it up!" Yeah, it's not going to work with the 12 inch multi color wires that came in the box unless I want it mounted on the wall next to the TV so the wire can reach....... I guess since my understanding of cable wires and the technology behind them is pretty much none, he is taking it back to get the "right" DVD player, which is probably going to cost twice as much as I wanted to pay for it. I am looking forward to this exercise program to arrive, but I have read from other people that have used this program that the first two days of workout are good and pretty easy, then 3rd day kicks your butt... Let's see how that works for me, going from completely sedentary to this workout. I know that I need to move my body, I don't want to get sick. My mother, father, brother and sister developed diabetes by the time they were in their early fifties and since I am edging up there I would like to do some preventative care.
That will be me, with the chair, doing the alternative moves....

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

feels like summer but it's only spring

I wonder sometimes why I can dedicate myself to my 8-5, repeatedly doing the same thing everyday, year after year, pushing papers, typing, answering the phone and being content with all of this (the majority of time). I understand it is called making a living, however I can't seem to commit myself to myself. I feel like I have had thousands of "great" ideas over my lifetime that come to me in a moment and leave just as fast. I also wonder if it's just me, or if other people think this way. I talk myself out of following thru each and every time creating obstacles in my mind of why I can't go through with this idea, or that idea, or how difficult it would be if I did try, and would just fail at it.... The mind is a wonderful thing isn't it? or is it that I am just being lazy? Okay, so enough about that. The weather has been absolutely gorgeous lately. I love May, it feels like what summer should be. Mid 80's, low humidity, cool refreshing water in the pool, and flowers blooming. Sunday morning I jumped in the pool for the first time this season and it was wonderful! I enjoyed relaxing and just drying off in the sun while drinking my coffee.
Saturday I worked all day preparing my house for the intense summer heat and humidity that should be arriving in a few weeks by purchasing curtains for the bedrooms. I was pretty happy with just the blinds because I love the sunlight shining through, but the electricity bill shoots up so high to keep the upstairs cool that I had to do something. Now, just a run down of my Saturday to get what I wanted/needed: I went to two different Targets (4 times), two different Tuesday Mornings and two different Walmarts (3 times). So basically I spent the day driving back and forth trying to decide what to buy and where to buy it. I needed the longest curtain rod that I could find at all the stores they stopped at 120" which was too short. I found the best deal and the right size at Tuesday Mornings, the curtain rod stretched out to 144" and only cost me $25. For that measurement I couldn't find them anywhere else and even the shorter ones (120") where twice the price everywhere else. Bought the sheers at Walmart, and the actual curtains from Target. Of course I had to go to the multiple stores because there was never enough of what I needed at one location. It all worked out in the end and it already feels a bit cooler in the house.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Terribly sad day

I received a text from my daughter this afternoon as she worked on her final project. The text read: "5 people just got stabbed on campus- he ran into Jester" Jester is a dorm building, my daughter lived in her Sophomore year. One person died and three taken to the hospital. They are saying that the person doing the stabbing is a student. This is all 2 weeks before end of the semester. My heart sank for the student that got killed and the family that has lost their child....

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Announcements

This has been a busy weekend and it's only Saturday afternoon. Yesterday evening the graduation announcements arrived and I wanted to make sure that I mailed them out today since my daughters graduation is on May 20th. I went out last night and printed a collage of pictures to include with the announcements, staying up until midnight stuffing envelopes and addressing them. I can't believe graduation time is near. My daughter is graduating with a 5 year professional Bachelor degree in architecture, and these years have flown by. I still look at her first little piglet ballet costume I saved and have hanging up in my closet from when she was three years old, now she is 23 and has grown into an amazing young woman.
So here is an update of our new pathway. We added lights and I just LOVE the pattern they make when they turn on!
Okay, so now some exciting news about my artwork. I was accepted to display my glass art at Whitworth glass art gallery in New Braunfels, Texas. I spent the morning up there, and Cindy, one of the owners, had set up a beautiful table for me that could be seen as soon as customers come through the doors. The table itself is pretty special since it was her husband Jacks grandmothers table, Jack is currently 70 years old, so I can only imagine how old the table is! My penandts were place a beautiful curio case and they showed very nicely.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Spring in the works

I've been working a large doodle painting again for my "music" series. It felt pretty good working on it, and I'm almost finished! All thats left is the outline and some details left to go! After I'm done painting it I still need to figure out the design of the frames I want to create. It's one of my more brightly colorful paintings and this is the one that makes me hum the "Happy Day's" theme song as I paint.
The past two weekends my husband and I have been working in the front yard and created a walkway. We added Mexican Heather on either side to make it more pleasant looking. I have never seen this type of plant before and it's very interesting to me because the little purple flowers bloom all along the edges of the leaves. I'm pretty pleased with the outcome, even though I didn't line it up with the front door, I just lined it up with the path we had created walking on the grass!
My potted flowers that I received last month for my birthday doubled in size and exploded with colorfull flowers!!

Monday, April 17, 2017

feeling blah

I'm not sick, I just have this blah feeling..... Easter weekend was nice and easy. Cooked a small dinner on Easter Sunday for my husband and oldest son. My younger two couldn't make it home because of their homework/projects, which I can understand. Other than cooking, I just kind of just sat around Sunday thinking about all the things I could do, but just felt like I was holding myself back for no good reason, other than laziness and lack of motivation. I feel a huge sense of boredom in my life. Not sure what to do about it. I ended up painting a bit Sunday night, then watched a movie, which I thought was appropriate for Easter.... Heaven is for real. Anyway, today is a typical Monday at my day job, sitting in front of a computer for 8 hours..... I just feel like I need some happy excitement right about now....
My cactus finally bloomed and smells BEAUTIFUL. the bloom will only last a couple of days...

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

This and that

I started working on my painting tonight. It's been a long while since I worked on it. I started the painting at the end of February and didn't touch it at all through the month of March as I was preparing for the art show creating smaller glass art. Tha painting is very colorful and the song that pops in my head while I work on it is the theme song from "Happy Days" which makes me smile as I hum the song and paint. I can't wait to finish it and see it on the wall! This past weekend was the 5th annual festival of books with over a hundred authors speaking about the books they recently published. The schedule was jam packed throughout the day. I looked forward to this event every year, and this is my the third year attending. I prepared my list the day the calendar came out and I had my schedule of authors ready that I wanted to go see. I didnt have anyone listed from 10-11am so I walked around the festival and had such a great time just looking at all the wonderful books all these authors had published! I ended up buying a few books and left just a bit early and skipped the last two authors I wanted to see. I ended up going to an antique/classic book store not too far frokm the library and picked up a couple of Charles Dickens books, "The Pickwick papers" and "The old curiosty shop". Lets see if I can Get myself to read them now. overall it was a fun weekend!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Art show and artists

The 55th annual starving artist show, that is what I participated in this weekend. Over two hundred artist participated. Saturday was a slooowwww, cloudy with some rain showers throughout the day and I only made one sale for $5.......it felt like a very long day, Sunday morning we got some major thunder storms that passed through and then the sun came out about 11am and it was a beautiful day! People actually came out to the event and shopped! I shared a space with a friend of mine since I really didn't have enough to fill a 10'x10'. I am so glad that she was there and agreed to share the space since we both had to pay the full entry fee even on shared spaces. Her work is amazing, both her pottery and her glass. We both had a successful weekend and I enjoyed her company. This is my table:
This is Linda's table:
In addition to our entry fee 10% of all our sales go to the La Vallita church to feed the hungry. Its a great fund raiser since they serve mostly the elderly and disabled on fixed incomes. With my 10% put aside from my sales, I did a little shopping for myself. Two booths over from us, a young, very talented oil painter was painting an ocean scene, I glanced over to a completed lake scene and asked for a price fully expecting it to be well over my price range. He stunned me when he said $30! I bought it, and had to force him to sign his piece... he said he didn't like his name or the way his signature came out so he doesn't sign his pieces. I think he actually lost a couple of customers because of this.... I hope he decides to start signing his artwork. His name is Brandon Treacy. Here it is 18"x 14":
I also bought four pottery bowl from a man across from us. I asked him how his sales were going and they weren't great. He had family and friends buy, along with a couple of repeat customers. all of his pottery was the same color, different designs, lead free, very well made, and he didn't have prices on them. I asked for prices and again I was floored how reasonable they were. I bought four bowls (6"diameter) at $4.00 each...
So the topper on my day was friend who was selling at the show came by and gave me a gift! A matted print of one of her BEAUTIFUL pieces!!!!!!!!! I was over the moon! Thank you Katrina!!! Katrina is a fabric/rope artists with her own style. I have never seen anything like it before, and I love her work! Here is a picture of my print and Katrina Gorman's website is here

Friday, March 31, 2017

so much stuff going on....

I am getting ready for my art show this weekend at La Villita Starving Artists show. It's the 55th year and there are supposed to be around 200 artists participating. It's been stressful trying to get ready for it, and I was highly disappointed that my crosses weren't cut at the waterjet company by the deadline I needed to prepare them for the show. So instead of having 25+ crosses I have 5. Five crosses that I cut by hand on my saw..... I ended up picking my glass up from them and as I was leaving I felt tempted to look into buying my own water jet machine... Of course reality hits when the smallest water jet machine costs around $6,000. On a positive note, I went and ordered a specialty cake for my daughters graduation in May. I was excited that the baker could create an actual architecture cake with line drawings and a cityscape! Their cakes are amazing! I was introduced to them at Say Si, where they provided mini cupcakes to all the guests. I don't know how many I ate, but I kept going back for the Mexican Chocolate cupcakes. So of course I had to order the first tier in Mexican chocolate with chocolate ganache, and the second tier lemon cake with strawberry filling. The topper will have some tools of the trade made out of chocolate. I also left with a dozen cupcakes!!! The name of the bakery is Oh Yeah Cakes! and they actually have their bakery in a retired train cab. Here's my favorite!!!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Say Si final auction

Last night was the final night and silent auction for Say Si small scale for big change. Overall the artwork was amazing. I got out bid on evry single peice of art. The disappointing part for me was the majority of student art that I wanted to bid on was already sold on the "buy it now" online auction. That's ok thoughI was really happy that the auction was such a success! My art piece that I donated bid upto $70.00, and I was tickled pink watching the signatures adding up on the sheet. It's a great feeling knowing that they liked my piece. It motivated me so much that I was in the garage working on some pieces for next weeks show early this morning. My kiln is already on with three small pieces, and a larger piece waiting to be fired on the table. So last night I was supposed to go with a friend from work, and she backed out. Then my two artist friends that I meet up with there every year, decided that they werent going to go to the auction since they are preparing to leave town to teach a class next week. So I did a little pleading with my hubby to go with me so I wouldnt be alone and he obliged... and again...kept me with my budget. Here's a picture of us, the silent auction theme last night was 1967. Oh yeah I couldn't eat enough Mexican chocolate mini cupckaes by "Oh Yeah Cakes" check them out at www.ohyeahcakes.com

Thursday, March 23, 2017

ready for Spring!

Yesterday after work my husband and I decided it was time to pot the herbs, re-pot some of the plants and go out and get some flowers for our mailbox.
By the time we got home form the store getting a bag of dirt and flowers it was already dusk, so we ended up planting and re-potting everything in the dark, but it all looked pretty this morning!
During the freeze this year I lost two rose bushes, but the rest of the rose garden is looking lively and we have a couple of blooms already. I can't wait to go pick out some more pretty rose bushes to replace the one I lost. I love roses!!!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Just some thoughts with a lot of unanswered questions

Let me be upfront: I am NOT a medical professional nor any kind of scientist, and I have no background in biology. I sometimes think about Cancer and Autism, and wonder why these occur. Let start with Cancer: I have read stories and articles in the past where couples will become sick with cancer and diagnosed within months or even weeks apart. It makes me wonder, did they pass through some radioactive area together that they weren't aware. Did they eat some chemically tainted food in the past that created the cancer cells? Did they breathe in polluted air while traveling somewhere, maybe even walking in their neighborhood? It make me wonder why and what is triggering the cancer? Those same thoughts occur to me when an individual get cancer as well, but it seems more strange when couples get sick within a small time frame of each other. What outside elements are triggering this. I also wonder if it could be airborne. I have read several articles about research doctors, who actually get diagnosed with the same cancer that they are researching... what is that about???? How about young surgeons that remove malignant tumors and get diagnosed with cancer. Cancer seems to be classified; breast, lung, brain and so on. what if it is just one thing that just happens to land in that space of our body through air or food and nothing more than that? How about Autism? Is it the tests that pregnant women take as part of the prenatal care? Is it because of GMO food, chemically preserved and processed food, is it the pesticides? Maybe the preservatives in vaccines, is it in the air that we breathe???????? WTF is it? That's what is running through my head today.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Kataifi

We are just wrapping up Spring Break. My kids are planning on leaving today to go back to their perspective schools, and I need to get back to my regular routine now. I'm already missing them as they get ready. We had fun this week just being together. On Friday, I took the day off from work and we spent my birthday watching Beauty and the Beast, followed by a Mediterranean dinner. it was nice change from the usual restaurants we go to and we got to try something different. Even though my boys were like "this tastes just like the stew you make", it was great I wasnt the one having to cook on my birthday! Saturday I had a house full of family. My mother in law, two brother in laws and my sister and law came to visit for the first time since we moved to this house. My husband bbq'd lunch and I cooked my corned beef and cabbage for dinner. We all had nice day together. Last noght I decided to make Kataifi, which is a desert exactly like baklava except the filo dough is shredded. I just ran across the shredded dough for the first time since I left New York 25 years ago. My aunt would always make this treat, and I love ied it! It turned out pretty good last night!!!

Monday, March 13, 2017

copyright laws and all that.......

Last week I created the little fused glass piece with Elizabeth Stone's quote “Making the decision to have a baby is momentous, etc... Well I gave that as a gift to a woman I know who just had a baby at 27 weeks. The piece came out so cute that I really wanted to make more of these fused glass quotes to sell, but then I did some research about copyright laws. If the quote is prior to 1923, you can pretty much use it. If the author is alive and well and is a professor at Fordham University, you need to get her permission. I decided not to bother her, and NOT to create any art to sell with her quotes. There are a bunch of other copyright laws in between 1923 and today, and I think they are all important. I wouldn't want someone stealing and making a profit off of art I originally created, so this is no different. So over the weekend I switched gears and drew out some flowers on a piece of 4"x5" glass, and a park with lamp posts on a 6"x9" piece of glass. I took them out of the kiln this morning and when I looked at the flowers I thought I had blurred vision, but it was the flowers that were blurred.... almost like they were the reflection of flowers from the water... I think it may make people dizzy looking at them. As far as the lamp posts in the park, I think I need to add some more details to it. I will post pictures of these pieces when they are "fixed". Here is an informative link by Emily McDowell about using quotes in artwork/products. I love the easy to read chart! Wishing for a beach day right about now!!!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Fresh out of the kiln

I came home last night and put a very small project in the kiln around 7pm, wishing I had more time to create just one or two small items since there would be room in the kiln. i Iidn't have that luxury of time. I don't like to sleep with the kiln on so I want make sure it finishes by 11:30 so I can go to bed without fear. I opend the kiln this morning and am pleased with the results. . I really love Elizabeth Stone's quote and wanted to put it in glass. This about 4" x 5". I will be making more with different colors and designs.