from a manga book called "Delta of Venus" by Kashima
When Spring comes I want to get a new dress or pair of shoes. I want to spend more time outside.
I get new exciting ideas.
I take pictures of flowers as they pop into bloom.
I even like them if they are dried.
or on someone's dinner table, la de dah!
I get more energy to clean the house and I want to re-arrange some furniture.
Spring has been raging here for a few months now. Here's what I've done so far and now I'm also getting ready to move into a California summer in another month.
I've upped my exercise routine and now I take a couple of aqua aerobics classes each week and I've added doing interval training on the elliptical machine (at first I was doing 30 minutes but now I'm up to 45 minutes) and then swimming for a half hour too about 3x a week. My husband says I look gorgeous! Actually he said I look like candy but I was shy about writing that at first. Well there you have it. I'm sleeping better and I'm calmer overall. He also said I look like I've lost about 20 pounds. No, I'm not getting on a scale and no pictures of me yet. I don't want to jinx myself. It wouldn't make me feel better so I will just keep up my routine because it is really working for me and I feel great and full of energy.
In February, well technically that's still winter but for me spring had begun. I took Carla Sonheim's "Blobimal Artist Books Online Class" (photo pool on Flickr) and it was and continues to be a rollicking good time. The books we made are not big but they are a great exercise in drawing and thinking creatively. All we need are a big sheet of watercolor paper, some watercolors, a thin black marker, some pencil crayons and a magazine and the class consists of about 5 days of video and lots of ideas and instructions. I think it may be open all year and if you want to read the details here's a link. I love my books (I made 3) and here are a few pages as I was going along but they are a work in process and I have lots and lots of additions to make. I can see working on them and getting hours of fun for many days and weeks to come.
blobby animal party - needs a little confetti
this bear is one of my very favorite accidents
and I have horses! I have never drawn horses before in my life.
Carla gave us plenty of ideas for embellishment and I work on it when I'm travelling or waiting for something.
March 29th - I took Joe Silvera's class on tool making and we polished our dinged up hammers and made chasing tools. I learned all the pertinent facts and techniques about it and now my hammers are looking almost pristine! I bought some tool steel and have been making a few tools.
Very soon after that I took Carol Webb's (that's a link to some of her work online) 3D Etching Workshop from April 7-11 at the Revere Academy during their Master's Symposium. I had never taken a class there before and I was really happy with my first experience. I was impressed at the wealth of information Carol shared with us and also at how far I've come and the experience I've gained by following my nose to all the different kinds of classes and making experiences I've had over the last 10 years or so. I'm happy about it all.
The first thing we made was an etching sampler with lines and holes of varying dimensions so that after class we would have a gauge by which to measure our artwork in the future.
Here is my artwork:
Here it is as PNP paper fused to the copper sheet before etching:
And here it is after it was etched all the way through:
The class was 5 days long and I had to commute to the city. Revere is only about an hour from my house but early in the morning, during rush hour, it took me about 2 hours door to door. It was worth it! Every day I went across the street to Starbucks and I could look at the flowers in the flower stall . . . and take a picture.
You know, when you're taking an art class, pretty much any kind of art class, you get to seeing things differently and in more of an open and art-y kind of way and I walked across this same street down by Union Square every day going back and forth to the parking garage and one day this whole shape thing jumped out at me and I took about 6 photos of these diamonds that the construction guys had sprayed onto the road underfoot. I am thinking about making something that looks like this shape or the colors or maybe just put it into my journal.
Here's another shot and I think it's related somehow:
the diamond shape
I've had a long time desire to learn and get good at cutting and shaping my own cabochons so I joined the Santa Rosa Mineral & Gem Society on May 7th. Their workshop is located in the little town of Windsor on the outskirts of Santa Rosa - uh, that used to be 'the boondocks' to me but it's right in my backyard now and for me that's just perfect. No traveling and no lugging around suitcases and shipping tools and supplies is exactly what I'm looking for and I was so pleasantly surprised at how nice everyone is and how many knowledgeable members there are. On the first night I sat next to a guy who has been a member for about 15 years and he showed me his stash of wire wrapped cabochon pendants and they were so beautiful. So then when the meeting broke up and everyone went off to bid on a pop-up silent auction, I sat there picking his brain and showed him my big phosphosiderite rock that I got on ebay a couple of years ago. He had never heard of or seen such a rock and luckily at the next workshop night he was there and helped me set up one of the big saws to cut a few slabs off of it. Look, it's purple!
We looked up the stone on the internet and learned a thing or two about it, like that it's kind of rare and that it's a softer stone like turquoise. There was another man there who had gotten a bunch of rocks from a garage sale for $20 and one of his rocks turned out to be a very rare beauty that was almost priceless. I think I'm going to stick with these guys, they seem lucky to me.
While I was waiting for my slabs to be cut - each cut took almost a half an hour - I went around and talked to people and asked them what they were doing and how long the'd been a member and that was fun. I'm going to go again this evening and cut up some of my variscite stash. Then I'm going to start making the cabochons.
I got all excited about seed beading over the last 6 months too for some unknown reason. I saw a friend of mine on facebook had made a pretty loomed bracelet that she accomplished by using the Beadalon Jewel Loom designed by Julianna Hutchins. I found it on Amazon and got a few. You know I then went out and got a ton of colors and sizes of beads and now I'm hooked. It's a good thing I don't have a job because there isn't enough time in the day for that.
Here is a shot of my first bracelet which I made into a wraparound. It goes around my wrist 3 times and it looks great on!
I am changing the subject again and yet it still has to do with spring.
Have you seen all these new spray colors? They are so fun to use. I have a few colors now and I've been watching youtube videos and also specifically videos by the online store called "Joggles". I absolutely love this place. It's an online store and I have signed up for emails and I get two emails a week like clockwork. One comes on Wednesdays and the other comes on Sundays. EVERY WEEK, the owner Barbara (I don't know her last name at the moment) does a video, often about 20 or more minutes long showing all kinds of ideas she has about using the myriad of new paints, sprays, stencils, pens, notebooks, so much stuff you wouldn't believe and it's the greatest thing since they invented paper! Well to me it is. Yeah sure I want to buy the things she's using but that's the point. I have had this love for all the art supplies in the whole wide world since I was a kid and my dad was bringing home the little cool stuff a drafting engineer could bring home and it wasn't much but I was into it.
Check out some of my spraying and stenciling:
Oh it's fun to make a mess! Yes it is!
Spring is when I turn my energy into exploring and making and trying new things and buying some things too.
I got a 70 lb anvil!
I made the mug many years ago and the face is a little pillow that could be my alter ego. The tall object is a clever castle person puppet made of paper maché. I love things made of paper maché! SHE has a gold tooth and an earring and a neck ruffle and wheels!
I found out we have horses next door, only 20 feet from our back door next to the kitchen. That's not why I got the anvil.
And look, I got a photo of our doggies in a very rare position. Usually one is behind the other or they are facing in opposite directions. I've never seen this one. It's very cute.
"True life is lived when tiny changes occur." -Leo Tolstoy
I think he meant that things change gradually over time while we're living life and we change a little here and tweak a little there, while reacting to the daily events and details, and that things usually don't change dramatically overnight . . . I'm fine with that because I feel like I have more say about things and how they go in my life and that I'm the one who can change what I want to change. Nothing is urgent for me right now, change can come when I want it or I can get used to the changes gradually. I am relaxing into it and being more patient and taking better care of myself. I love being in my studio and I love exercising in the water.
Would you like to see what Spring means to my other blogging buddies? Be my guest.
Andes Cruz: http://www.andescruz.wordpress.com
Kathleen Krucoff: http://kathleenkrucoff.wordpress.com/
marie bell www.pencilfox.com
Kirsten Skiles http://kaskiles.com/studio-updates/
diana bell: http://www.bellsprings.blogspot.com
Are you wondering about what this “Blog-o-Sphere” thing is?
Andes Cruz, a metalsmith I met online and whose work I love, formed a group of friends who blog and she called it the "Blog-o-Sphere Think Tank". We all write a blog post once a month about the same topic, and we all post at the same time, on the 20th. I've been writing with them since October 2013 and it's one of the things that got me blogging again. I hope you’ll visit all the blogs on the list and see what they have to say and if YOU have anything to say, please leave me a comment.