Thursday, July 29, 2010

Andrew Thornton Thursday, Awesomeness, Giveaway

Look at all that gloriness of beads!!!!  Doesn't that just make you want to drool all over them, but of course then you have to clean those goodies up before you use them.  Seriously, aren't they just plain gorgeous!  Ok I can gush and gush all about them, let me tell you how you can win them.  Head on over to Andrew's blog to see how you can enter to win all those goodies, yummmm beads.

Ann Arbor Art Fair - University of Michigan

U of MI Flag
I did promise images of our trip to the Ann Arbor Art Fair, the largest art fair in the nation.  It was great if you ignored all the thunderstorms, rain and the blasted heat that moved through the area on Thursday, Friday and Saturday!  I really feel for the vendors because at some points it was just plain miserable.

This year my friend and I went to the art fair on Thursday and Friday.  We left early on Thursday morning and arrived at our hotel around 1:30pm.  We found out the hotel had a shuttle, that was free, that could drive us to the fair and pick us up.  That beats the bus hands down!  We decided to do a scouting mission on Thursday and the major shopping on Friday.

Storm Moving in Thursday

People walking around

Back of the booths in front of Art Museum

While we were walking around Thursday afternoon, into the evening, a storm moved in a lots of the customers took off.  My friend and I broke out the poncho and umbrella and kept walking around.  It was really nice because there were hardly any people on the streets so we had the vendor tents to ourselves, SWEET!  We got done walking around about 7:00 and caught the shuttle back to the hotel to rest up for the major shopping on Friday.

On Friday morning we got onto campus about 9:00 and ate breakfast and started walking around.  We looked at more vendors until lunch time when we went to the most awesome Thai restaurant.  It was amazing and I am very picky on my Chicken Pad Thai.  It was a good thing we decided to go to lunch because as we were eating another downpour started.  We sat inside watching people running around in the rain before we decided to take the trolley to the other side of the fair.  When we got to our stop, of course it started pouring again.  So, my friend and decided to get a henna tattoo.
My Friend and her henna tattoo

My Henna tattoo

After we got our tattoos the sun came out again, and then the heat hit.  OMG was it hot!!!!  My friend and I looked pathetic, our hair was straggling all over the place and sweat was just pouring off your body.  I don't think I have been that hot since being in the field in the Mojave desert.

When the sun was out
 Around 5:00pm I think my friend and I were done and ready to call it a day.  We decided to walk over to the other side of the fair to go and eat at a Southwestern Restaurant.  The restaurant was small and cozy, but the food was to die for.  Again it was a good thing we decided to go and eat because another down pour came through the fair.  When we left to catch the trolley again of course it started to rain like cats and dogs.  We sat waiting for the trolley for about 15 minutes and my friend was soaked, even with the umbrella.  We heard, when we were on the trolley, that the fair was shut down for the evening.  I could understand that because the wind was brutal and tornado sirens were going off.
Rainbow as we waited for the shuttle

Sun coming through a church

Overall it was a great trip.  I bought two ceramic pieces for myself and a ceramic vase for mom.  My friend bought some plants, a ceramic nail file, and a copper piece.  There was sooo much more I wanted to buy but was just way outside my set budget (you do need a budget when you go to one of these things).  My friends and I have already blocked out our calendar for next years fair and we are counting down the days.  If you haven't gone to this fair I highly recommend going at least once.

Here are some pics of buildings from the University of Michigan campus.
First pic I took of the day of a church

Loved the patina of the dome

Loved the roses in the windows

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Rainbows, Skulls, Flowers, Bowls, Oh My!

Rainbow - MI Art Show
The above picture is of the rainbow after a huge thunderstorm came through the Michigan, Ann Arbor, Art Show on Friday night.  They actually shut down the fair around 7:00pm, it might have been because of the tornado sirens going off.  That is just my opinion, but who knows.  And yes, my friend and I were still at the art show when the sirens were going off.  I am still working on photos, so I will upload them tomorrow.  I just thought I would give you all a teaser to come back and see what we did.

Today mom and I were in the studio and I was able to get four bowls enameled and three pendants.  I need to work on fixing a pair of moon earrings because enamel filled up one of the holes and I need to drill the enamel out and I was just not up to that today.  I also have to work on two bowls that I messed up, but that should be an easy fix (at least I hope it is).  Sorry the pictures are so big, but I am having issues with blogger not letting me change the sizes of the images.  UGH!!!  Thank goodness I was able to at least up load the images. Enjoy!

The bowls are a mixture of transparent yellows in the middle of the bowls; transparent blues; transparent greens; transparent purples; and transparent oranges.

The first pendant I enameled was another Kokapelli pendant.  This time I used the colors of orange, red and yellow in the pendant.  The crown is a flame red, the body is transparent oranges and the flute and feet are transparent yellows.

Kokapelli Pendant

The next pendant mom and I worked on was a skull pendant with flowers, a heart and a dove cut out.  I used white as a base coat, with red for the dove, yellow for the eyes and transparent mauve purple on the flower in the forehead and the heart.  I am still out on whether or not I like this piece but mom said she likes it.  It is just not what I thought the pendant should look like, to me it looks like a clown.  Mom said is up to the person on what they see (like I said, a clown).

The next pendant we are calling "Flower Power" because it is based off a bowl mom and I worked on a few weeks ago. The colors are transparent yellows and transparent purples.
"Flower Power" pendant

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Ann Arbor, MI Art Fair

My friend and I headed up to Ann Arbor this morning for the Ann Arbor Art Fair.  This is our second year to come to the fair and this year we thought we would take two days off work so we could enjoy the fair and take it slow.
The hotel has shuttle service to the oldest fair and we walked around and then the downpour came.  We pulled out the umbrella and the poncho for me and just kept walking.  A lot of the vendors did close up shop, but the majority of them braved the weather and stayed open.  My friend and I have an idea of what we want, so tomorrow is shopping!
I have been taking photos and I plan on posting those when I get home.
Have a great Friday and weekend!
Shopping tomorrow - here we come!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Busy Week and Back to the Grind

Grandpa Ralph - WWII
I had to share the photograph of my gramps from WWII.  There were a lot of photos from his time in the South Pacific.  I also have his brother's diary from his time in the South Pacific and my aunt just gave me grandpa's diary this morning.  I have already scanned in Uncle Robert's diary and now I need to work on scanning in grandpa's and send out copies to my cousins.  I am also thinking of contacting my WWII professor and seeing if he is interested in a copy.  My uncle's diary is soooo cool.  I need to sit down and read the whole thing but it looks like it is a step by step journey of the battles in the South Pacific.  My heart was pounding as I was reading the pages.

We did have a good time, at my aunt's, looking at photographs and talking about our childhood with my grandpa.  We also made up boards with photographs of my grandpa so we could display them at the viewing.  We wanted to show what grandpa was all about.  My uncle's also brought puzzles that my grandpa worked on and we displayed those along with the photos.

Not all this past week was unhappy.  I received our package from Thompson Enamels.  I am so impressed with Thompson!  I order a bunch of enamels on Friday morning and the package arrived on Monday afternoon.  I didn't even put a rush on it!
Our enamels

Mom and I also received our package from the wonderful Juls!  I ordered a pair of key chains from her and I was so excited to receive them.  The key chains are soooo freaking yummy!!!!  LOVE THEM.  Check out her Etsy store for her beads and her key chains.  They are well worth it!!!!
Birch and Surfer on Acid

Saturday mom and I went to Sleepy Creek Vineyards to relax and when we came back we decided to stop at Best Buy.  I wanted to drool over the computers because I really need a new one for our business, which will have to wait.  As we were leaving mom said, "Why don't we go to Barnes and Noble" and I said sure.  We go inside and we both end up buying the eNook.  I highly recommend it.  I have already downloaded some classics and several books I have wanted to read!
On Sunday mom and I worked on the inventory for our next show on July 30th.  We are only going to have one table and we had to figure out what we could fit on the one table.  We then had to re-label everything with the show's inventory system.  Joy, what fun in 90 degree weather with 200% humidity.  Hot and sweating are not my idea of fun!!!!  Here is what we are thinking of display table.
Idea for table

This week will be a short work week.  A friend and I are heading to Ann Arbor for the art show they have there each year.  I plan on taking photos and posting them.  I can't wait till we leave on Thursday!!!!  I am so excited to go again this year.  Last year was our first year there and we were only there for a day and it was a rush to get through everything and I know we missed a lot.

Exciting plans!  I hope you all are going to have a great week like I am :)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Thank You Everyone

Mom and I wanted to just thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers this past week.  Those helped get us through the funeral on Friday.

Sorry about the lack of posting but we have just been so busy with getting ready for the viewing and funeral, seeing family and just talking about gramps.

I hope to have a blog posted tomorrow morning.

Thank you again to my blogging friends for your kind words!

Evie and Beth

Monday, July 12, 2010

Grandpa Ralph - 06/10/1922 to 07/12/2010

Grandpa Ralph
I received a phone call from my aunt this morning that my grandpa passed away.  I knew it was coming but I thought grandpa would snicker at the time left to him and beat the odds.  I guess he was ready to go and be with grandma.  I will miss you tons!
Love you always, Beth

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Late Start to the Day

Fixed this "Lillipop" bowl
Mom and I got a very late start to the day; we didn't get over to the studio until almost 11:00am (we are usually there by 7am) so we didn't get as much done as I had planned.  I know, I should never plan our weekends!  There are a few pieces I need to fix, so I didn't bother taking photographs (a small bowl and pieces for the July Monthly Challenge on Bead Scene).  The photographs I did take I will need to re-take because the sun decided to hide behind the clouds.

So, here are two bowls (dragonfly and moon) and four pendants (three moons and one lily).



Moon and Stars

Mauve Purple and Oil Gray

Transparent Blues

White, Transparent Yellow and Pink

Transparent Gray and Transparent Yellow

Friday, July 9, 2010

Relaxing Night - Comfy Couch Time

Yesterday was a rest day for mom and myself.  Plus it was yucky out and I just wanted to go home and sit on my comfy couch and do nada!  Thank goodness mom was up for that, so I didn't have to go over to her house and work on anything!

I got home, fed the cats and gave them some catnip to play with.  They love it when I sprinkle the catnip on the floor and they can roll in it.  They look so happy.  My oldest cat, Koshka, could care less about the catnip, just make sure she has some food and she is happy.
Reville, Tiesha, Mishka, Chai
Koshka, the matriarch

Last night was Glee night.  I am now a Glee addict and I wish Fox would post all the shows on their website!  I have only seen episodes 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and the last two episodes.  I want to see them all!!!  I am not paying Netflix to see them, so I guess I will have to wait until they come out on DVD.  Rats!

This morning I went on a shopping spree at Thompson Enamels.  We are really low on certain colors and I had to break down and buy more colors or there would be no new pendants or bowls in the next few weeks.  Though our bank account is starting to look pretty sparse, so I really hope we do good at this show we have on the 30th and 31st of July!

Depending on how I feel, I may go over to mom's tonight and make up some beads for a project I am working on.  Plus I need to finish off the last tank of oxygen so we can order some more.  I don't think that will take me long to finish off, so I guess I will help mom cut out some copper pendants so I can set up another assembly line of enameling tomorrow and Sunday.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Oh Boy, Mom is Hot to Trot (As in Pissed)

Ok, for those of you who don't know my mom, you don't piss her off!  Especially if you tell her one thing and it doesn't get fixed and then we get double whammied the next month on our new credit card machine, which I am sure we will not have much longer!  I sure as heck would not want to be the person who receives the message that mom just left on their voice mail - OUCH!  Though I have to say that they deserve it!

This year mom and I decided to go with a knuckle buster for our shows because we were going into more art shows this year.  We have only had the credit card machine for a few months, but last month they charged our account for something and then this month they charged us again for the same damn thing.  They were suppose to refund us last month, but it never happened.  I guess mom was checking our account this evening and noticed we got charged again; the paperwork came out, the fax was flying and the phone conversations were heated.  Like I said, "DON'T PISS OFF MY MOM!!!"

Of course it doesn't help that mom and I went to see my grandpa, who I have not seen in over a year, because he lived in Colorado, at the nursing home we hate...ok not hate, loathe.  We just found out that grandpa has cancer in his lungs and it spread to his bones and that he is also diagnosed with alzheimers.  The boys moved him back home to be closer to family.  It was sad seeing grandpa like that because I am used to seeing him more robust, with a cigarette and a beer in his hand.  I am not sure if he recognized me or mom, but I sat there and talked with him for awhile, before they brought him in to eat lunch.  Ok, tell me, if your relative was diagnosed to live only two more months would you have them do physical therapy?  HELLO!  Why is the nursing home having him do physical therapy?  This is nothing against my aunt or uncles, I just seriously freaking hate this nursing home and I just don't understand why they are doing this to my grandpa. 

Sorry, I had to rant and I apoloigze.

Ok, on to better news.  I posted the kokapelli pendants that my friend did not pick.  I know some people were interested in the pendants and I am just giving you a heads up that they are posted on Etsy now and there is no fighting or if there is fighting, no hitting below the belts over the pendants.  Mom and I can make more!  If there is a color you are interested in please let us know and we will see if we can make something up.

Kokapelli 1
Here are the three that we posted on Etsy.

Kokapelli 2

Kokapelli 3

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Facebook Fans and New Etsy Postings

There was a delay on posting things to Etsy this morning.  I woke up with a really really bad headache that I thought was going into a migraine.  I took some drugs and the headache is down to a manageable pain level, which means I went to work.  I was able to post three things on Etsy during lunch and I will see if I can post a few more things this afternoon, after work.

Yellow/Purple Earrings

Yellow/Green Earrings

Leaf Pendant

I  also wanted to let you all know that mom and I do have our Facebook page up and running now.  We just posted that we will be having a giveaway when we hit 100 fans so please spread the word.  We decided to give away a pair of earrings.

Monday, July 5, 2010

My Time in the Military, Love of Flowers Depicted in Ceramics

I hope you all had a great Fourth of July and loved the fireworks.  I also hope you are staying cool whenever possible because it is hot out there!

Well, I didn't get the junk room cleaned.  I woke up with a really bad headache and I was not in the mood to tackle that room.  Though I really need to get in there, sometime in the near future, and clean it.  I am also waiting for the camera to charge so I can take photos of things to post out on Etsy.  So, while I am waiting for the battery to charge, I thought I would post photos of my ceramic pieces from my spring semester class.

A disclaimer first.  During the spring semester I wanted to incorporate images of my time in the military and flowers.  These works are not a commentary against the military, our men and women serving our country or the wars we are engaged in.  The military images have personal meaning for me.  I love photographing flowers  My professor challenged me to combine these elements into my semester final project. 

These works are test pieces for me, because I have my senior show next spring semester.  I want to figure out what to have in the show.  The pieces allowed me make and to test underglaze colors and celedon colors to determine what will and won't work during firings.  I had a great time making these pieces and it brought back tons of memories.  I hope you enjoy my take of my time in the military with a bit of a "Mother Nature" spin.

My first pieces - it just hit me to go with pastel colors, because I am female, and when you think of a girl, you stereotypically think of pink.  So the M16 being pink is the first piece I did for my military theme ceramics.  I also liked the idea of the grenade and an explosion of colors.  I am also experimenting with slips and underglazes for the colors of the flowers and grenade.

Pink M-16 and Flowers

Pink Grenade

Flowers and Grenade

My next project was incorporating my dog tags.  I also want to some way incorporate my great grandfather's, grandfather's and my dad's dog tags in the next project.  I am still contemplating the design.

My dog tags and a For-Get-Me-Not

My Rank During My Time in the Army

The next two bowls are of the vehicle I worked with while I was at Fort Hood.
TLQ and Flowers

TLQ, Flowers, Peace and Love

A gas mask and flowers.  The first image is just in black and white and flowers were suppose to be blue and purple, but they didn't fire right, so I will have to use a different underglaze when I color the flowers.  The second gas mask I love!  I wanted to somehow incorporate camo in my images and I loved how this turned out and the colors.

Mask and Flowers
Camo Mask and Flowers

I wanted to do a series of plates with my combat boots (I know weird, but I miss how comfortable my combat boots were and how much a part of your life they were).  The first plate is a nice looking boot with a tree full of flowers depicting the enthusiasm and how "gung ho" I was when I joined.  The second plate is an old and tired looking boot with a dead tree and only one branch showing a sprig of life.  This depicts how I felt when I left the army - worn out and disillusioned.

New Boot and Flower Tree

Old Boot and Dead Tree

The next three plates are just ideas I was playing with.  One is an effigy to a scale because I freaking hate being weighed!  There are some stupid things I did to try and make my weigh ins and I refuse to do it now!  The next plate is of my 4th ID patch and a life cycle of a flower.  The last plate is of a pick, chains and a wall and on the other side of the wall is a key.  I thought if I just got to the other side of the wall it would be all better (becoming a civilian) but the other side of the wall has its own set of problems.

Effigy to a scale

4thID Patch and Life cycle of a flower

Pick, Chains, Wall, Key

The next two bowls are of what I did in the military and an issue I had with one of my troops.  My job in the army was a Russian linguist, though I mostly worked in the motorpool or was out in the field. The image of the barrel of a gun and bullets was the only image I could come up with to show what happened with one of my soldiers.  I was his squad leader; he was my responsibility.  It is accurate, but fear not, I wasn't injured and defused the situation successfully.
Headphones, Russian, Flowers

Bullets, Barrel of a gun, flowers

Outside of the bowl with bullets

The final project I did for class is very near and dear to my heart.  While I was stationed at Fort Riley I was on a funeral detail.  I was a member of the firing squad who performed the 21 Gun Salute.  I felt honored to provide this service for those men and women who were being buried and for their families.  I am also still really angry that my grandfather refused to have a military funeral when he died.  Believe me, I nagged and nagged him, but he said no.  So, this project is sort a way to show my time of being on the funeral detail and dedicated to my grandpa.  I threw about 60 small plates and chose the best of the plates (21), I then drew on the plates "Taps", the plates were dipped in Celedon and then fired.  This is still a project in the process of being made.  My professor and I critiqued it and I think it is going in a totally different direction.  Here is my first trail of 21 Gun Salute.

Layout of 21 Gun Salute

Close up of Taps

That is it for the spring semester.  This fall I will be a ceramics and metals studio tech.  I really don't know what to expect from doing that.  I know I will be working on my senior show projects.  Once I have the projects created I will post more pictures.  I hope you enjoyed my take of my time in the military depicted in ceramics.
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