Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Art for Life

April 23, 2013 - Brad Carter and Fred Hodgson are hosting the third annual Art for Life–a Spring Garden Party and Art Auction at their home in Grass Valley on Saturday, May 4 from 1 to 5 PM to raise funds to help provide essential services for people living with HIV/AIDS in Nevada County.

Carter and Hodgson have been developing their 1-acre native plant garden for ten years. The garden, which is not irrigated, comes into peak bloom in May, after the end of the rainy season and just as warm temperatures arrive. It is a lovely venue for a garden party fundraiser like Art for Life, which this year will feature the work of more than thirty local artists who are donating their work for the silent auction. There will also be self-guided tours of the garden, live music, an assortment of delicious appetizers and a tasting of local wines. The cost of admission to Art for Life is $50 per person.

For reservations to attend this event or more information on how to support this event, call Fred Hodgson at (530) 272-8900.

I just do my small part by donating something pretty for the silent auction. This is one of my forged fine silver necklaces, with a gorgeous big focal bead and earrings to match.

This is a pretty nice party too.  Fred and Brad are amazing hosts and the garden is spectacular.

Hope, courage, compassion.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Looking backward

Blog stats are an interesting thing.  While I don't know who is reading I know what is being read and I often go back and re-read that post again.

I've come a long way baby, from uncertainty and pain to contentment and joy.  It's not easy to leave a long settled life and move on to another.  I certainly made a lot of mistakes along the way.  I caused others pain which I regret. I'm still trying to make up for that.  I'm working to build a new relationship with my children, to continue to support and nurture them while making my own mental and physical health a priority.

It's that selfish thing, sometimes you have to be selfish to survive but at some point that isn't necessary anymore, deciding when is the hard part.

Reading those early posts, feeling that raw hurt is good for me now.  I still feel that tightness in my throat and I often cry, brushing tears away, sitting silently thinking of then and now.  I wish I could go back and tell me that it's worth it, that the journey is rocky and difficult but also filled with wonder, love, discovery, fulfillment, awareness, knowing and simple fine living.

I think I know more about what's good for me.  I've discovered that I love life.  I love waking each day in my dream house, wandering out to my sunny kitchen for a hot, strong cup of espresso with my furry companions racing around at my feet.  I've got great funny and creative friends who make my life more interesting than I would have thought possible.  I can pick and choose my spare hours, walks and musical events, feeling comfortable going to the pub alone, knowing I'll find someone to talk to.

I'm learning to choose quality over quantity, refining my life down to the essentials.

I've opened my heart to learning new ways of loving, with less restriction and fewer societal rules.  This journey astounds me with it's limitless possibilities.  Don't get me wrong, there is a learning curve involved and I imagine I'll stumble more often than not, but it's worth it.  Worth trying to be a better person, more loving, less afraid, ready to accept what is offered in it's purest form.

I often say Peace at the end of my blog entries.  It's sums up the general feeling of my day to day life.  However, I find others come to mind lately and I'll be using those.

Don't be afraid to Ask for what you want, throw it all out into the universe and see what comes.


Enameling - Part Four

Here's what's happening on my bench.

The squares on the top are going to be a bracelet, which is almost done.

The rest will be earring components except for the bigger flower things, they will eventually become a statement necklace or bracelet.

I promise better pictures, this is still in progress.


Monday, April 22, 2013

Enameling - Part Three

This time I'm doing less wet packing and more sifting, which yields a nicer coverage.  It's like almost anything, you have to learn all the different methods so you know which one to use when.

These little guys are just coming out of the kiln and are cooling.

Here they are again, many coats of enamel on both sides, then joined with the small rounds.

This is so much fun.

But, time for bed now,

Peaceful dreams

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Next round enameling, part two

Here are my assorted blanks, drilled, textured, shaped, smoothed and ready to go.  I have a few older pieces of PMC Fine Silver that I want to add enamel to, the big medallion has 24k gold applied.

You need to keep careful color records, so I've got the pieces on a sheet of paper and will make notations as I go.

Next is to start picking some colors.

This is where it gets really interesting and fun.  I'll fire up the kiln and start playing with color.  I scored a couple of boxes of old enamels from a friend, there are quite a few things in there I think I can use, we shall see.  I haven't had any of the opalized colors.

Did you know enamel is a catch all term for applying glass to metal?  The various techniques include cloisonne, basse taille, champleve, sgraffito, grisaille, plique-au-jour, limoges and guilloche.

Most people are familiary with cloisonne and often call all enamel work by that term.  Cloisonne is French for cell.  This technique makes cells, usually from wire and then the enamel is filled into the cell with many applications.

More later...

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Enamel - Next round starts

Here we go again, cutting, shaping and texturing metal, getting ready for the next big round of enamel work.  I'm hoping to show more of the process this time.

This is fine silver, which is gorgeous along with transparent enamel and needs only minimal prep before applying the enamel.

I've got to drill the holes, file and sand the edges, shape some of the pieces with my dapping tools, all before the fun stuff starts.

More later,


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Googly Eyes

A few pics of things going to Art Works today.

Fine silver with enamel.

They will be on the website too.



Bumpy flight, all the damn way home.  I don't like it much.  I prefer it to be smooth so I can half snooze and listen to music.  I'm surprised at little it really bothers me anymore.  I picture the plane a really big boat skipping over the waves of air and every now and then it hits the wake from another boat and WOO! here we go.  They even had the flight attendants strapped down for a good part of the flight.  It's interesting how one pilot cannot even be bothered and the next is hyper cautious, maybe it's from the reports of other planes.     I've been in chop that bad and they never even turn on the seatbelt signs, strange.

From Phoenix we flew over to Los Angeles and cut right up the central valley.  Having an ocean view for a bit was really very pretty, then it was Bakersfield, Visalia, and other places best seen by air. The big fields look like a crazy patchwork quilt of greens and browns.

Here's what greeted me as I drove up to the cottage.

My rhododendrons are blooming!  The azaleas are all budded, the flowering dogwoods are starting to unfurl and the peonies, which were just starting to pop out of the leaves, are now up to my knees, yikes!  I can't believe how exciting the yard is, lots of pine needles to rake up still, oh well.

The boys were very happy to see me.  My housemate has been taking them running.  I know, just picture the two corgis trotting along if you need a laugh.  She says they do fine, especially Bode with his limitless energy.  Dandy just does it because you want him to, he'd rather play frisbee.

Time for clean up, house, dogs, car and then hopefully back into the studio in a day or so.  I've got ideas galore for enamel pieces and a couple of custom things to get done.

My son will be here for Mother's Day and my daughter and Gdaughter later in May, this is going to be a wonderful couple of months.

Enough for now, got things to do.


Sunday, April 07, 2013

Baby time

I'd forgotten how incredibly awesome and how incredibly annoying babies can be.  One minute they're smiling and cooing at you and the next they're screaming in your ear with that supersonic scream that makes you want to stick pencils in your ears.

We do not give parents enough credit for surviving each day and for allowing their offspring to survive each day. 

Take a young couple, they've had years of school and work and learning to take care of themselves.  Often they are barely able to do even that, which is where parents come in, nagging a bit here and there.  Got car insurance?  Check  Got a job?  Check  Feeding yourself something reasonably healthy?  Check  Going to have a baby?  Check, wait, what?

OMG!  A baby?  Really?  Ok, we can do this, you can do this, can we do this, can you do this?  Yes, let's do this, full speed ahead, find a place to live, fix it up, furnish it with baby things, prepare and plan...

And then she's here and she's fabulous and my daughter and her guy step up and become these amazing parents.  They make some mistakes along the way, seriously, get the damn pacifiers.  They wade into strange territory and do this great job raising this little person, who is thriving in the most beautiful atmosphere of calm and reasonableness and love and laughter and chickens (love chickens).  I wish I was this baby.

I don't think I could do it at this late stage.  My patience isn't really there anymore, I've moved on to more selfish living.  And yet, there are grandparents who step up to raise a child, sometimes more than one.  Those people I stand humbled before, speechless and awed that they have taken on this exhausting job when they've already been there, done that.

I get to wallow around in babyland, nibble toes and make a suggestion here and there.  Actually I don't remember much.  Naps?  Sure, I think, not sure how long, not sure how well.  

And then I get to go home, where I will wake up the first morning, realize she and her mother won't be there to say good morning to and cry.  And then I will toodle along the rest of the day, doing what I want when I want, checking the calendar for how many days it is until I see them again.

And immerse myself in my passions, metal and glass and sticking the two together in interesting ways.

This time they will come to me.  I can hardly imagine sharing with my friends.  And seeing my Dad and Mom with their Great Granddaughter, what fun.

Peace to you and yours.