Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Wishing all of you a healthy, happy, and prosperous 2010!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Wishing Everyone a Happy Holiday Season!

To those of you who celebrate, Merry Christmas!
To those of you who don't, may the spirit of the season brighten your day!

And to all of you, Have a Happy and Creative Day!

Monday, December 14, 2009

A New Commitment

Well, I did it. I just sent in my registration for the 2010 Bead Journal Project. If you don't know what that is, click on the link and check it out!

I'll be creating 12 beaded "journal pages". They don't have to be actual "pages", but they all have to be the same shape and size and must include beads. I'm thinking of creating small vessels, since I love the vessel form so much. And if I make it through the year, perhaps I can display all 12 as some kind of collection - maybe in a wall cabinet with 12 "windows". But it's too early to figure that out now, I just need to focus on one month at a time. After the holidays are over, I'll be creating January in visual form. We'll see what the new year has to bring...

And now I'm off to continue embellishing a vessel I've been working on for a few days now. Pictures coming soon. Now go have yourselves a happy creative day!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Wooly Weekend Weather

We've been having quite some weather all week - this weekend it was rainy. Yesterday was kind of a kick, it reminded me of the weather I was familiar with back in New England. It would pour down rain, then stop, then the sun would come out for a bit - next thing you know it was pouring again. Toward the end of the afternoon I finally went out my back door to see what was going on outside. I wish I had gone out earlier, there were probably a bunch of these off and on during the day. Unfortunately, by the time I got my camera and came back out again, it had mostly faded.

I decided it was time to take mom out to Starbucks for a jolt of caffeine, and stopped on the way to try and catch this piece of rainbow.

But the prettiest sky I got to see was while we were sipping our cappuccinos - the sky was continuing to clear in places, just enough for the setting sun to splash a tiny bit of color around.

Today, it was raining and overcast all day - no sunshine for me - but that was OK, since I was down in San Jose at the glass institute. It was "Super Sunday", which is a 4-hour practice session for my torchworking students where I'm available to answer questions and to help with any issues. I brought a bunch of my own glass with me and managed to make a couple of beads myself. By the time we were finished, I really wanted to get home and hop on the torch. But alas, it was time to rid mom of her cabin fever and get her out of the house for a bit. This evening, I'll have a chance to satisfy my "make stuff" urge - I have another vessel that I have to embellish. I made it last night, which was lots of fun. It was pouring again last night, and the rain on the roof of my "wet lab" makes a ton of noise. It was rather mesmerizing...

Here are some of my students during today's session. There's usually a bit of chatter going on during these sessions, but today I think everyone was really concentrating on the glass.

Here's Melissa, cooking some sauerkraut - ah, I mean melting down a bead. :-)

And it looks like Lisa is about to make a 2-color twisty.

Here's Bonnie, about to pull out some cane.

And here's Yoshiko at the torch. Check that out - how on earth did I manage to snap this picture right when her bead was between the 2 arms of the lamp?!

The kiln was nice and packed when we finished - I think it was a pretty good day.

And now it's time for me to get mom motivated so we can all go out for a good Chinese dinner - yum! Have yourselves a happy and creative week ahead!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

When the frost is on the punkin...

Well, last night was calm. No rain or wind. But holy smokes, we woke up in a frost-laden deep freeze! OK, OK, so you folks who live like Nanook of the North are laughing at me for being such a wuss. I can't help it, my blood has thinned out since I left Connecticut ages ago. And after just having looked at the weather that they're having in my former home town of Newington, CT, there's absolutely no difference between here and there. Sheesh!

My poor Niki was totally freaked out about the frost - she's afraid of just about everything and I'm sure that in her little doggie brain, something really bad happened to her stomping grounds overnight. I, on the other hand, was thrilled. After I donned my jeans and fleece pullover I headed out to the back yard with camera in hand. Here are a few scenes that are very rare in this neighborhood...

Perhaps these will inspire some new beads, or perhaps a "frost-covered" vessel. I'll just let the images float around in my brain for awhile. Funny thing is, we have oak leaves all over the place but I'll be darned if I can find the oak tree in the neighborhood that's shedding onto our yard.

Now it's time for me to get back to work. And it's time for you to go have yourselves a happy and creative day!

Monday, December 07, 2009


It was cold last night. I mean, I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and we're not used to temperatures going down below freezing. And since I've become an "old fart", I've been sleeping with socks on when it gets cold. I forgot 'em last night - not good, since it was a very cold rainy night. Some time in the wee hours I was dreaming that it was freezing rain and when I looked outside the entire neighborhood had become crystal city, all encased in ice. I'm glad THAT was just a dream - that stuff is very dangerous. I experienced more than one ice storm in my life, having lived in Connecticut. But the hills that run along the eastern edge of my home town of Fremont were covered in snow, and that was NOT a dream.

I was working this morning, but at around 12:30 p.m. I went to the post office to mail out some beads. I took my camera along and drove down to the southern part of Fremont where I could get some pictures of the snowy hills. By that time, the occasional sun and a bit warmer temps had started to melt what was left of the white stuff. But it still looked pretty, so I wanted to share. Do you feel a yodel coming on? ;-)

It was still very gloomy when I was out with my camera, so no blue sky for contrast. I got a bit carried away with the camera, and snapped a few more pix around town when I was heading home.

In the picture below, I was zooming by our local park.

It was kind of funny - while I was stopped at a light, I took the following picture because I liked the trees on the right. The guy in front of me saw my camera in his rear view, and seemed to get rather upset. As we made our way down the road, he pulled into the right lane to let me pass him, then immediately got behind me. I kept on driving, and then pulled into a left turn lane. Sure enough, he pulled into that lane behind me. I lifted my camera again to take another picture of some other piece of scenery ahead of me, and I guess that was good enough for him. He must have decided that I wasn't stalking him, because he pulled back into the "go straight" lane and left the scene.

Here's the scenery I caught after I turned the corner. Being from New England, I haven't seen anything that can hold a candle to the foliage display that I was used to seeing back there. But my heart still does a bit of pitter-patter when I see trees with leaves that are other than green.

Shooting while driving isn't a good thing, though. Not only are my pictures fuzzy, it's probably worse than texting while driving. Sshhhhh! Don't tell anyone...

If we get more rain tonight as predicted, we may have more snow up there tomorrow. Since I have to drive down there to pick up my unsold goods from the gallery and get paid for what I did sell, I'll bring my camera along again just in case. And maybe I'll spend a bit more time out of the car taking some decent "around town" pictures. Fremont has some very quaint neighborhoods considering the fact that it's just another suburban California town.

Now I'm going back to work. Stay warm, and have a happy and creative day!

Friday, December 04, 2009

Assets and Tax Law and Whiskers On Kittens...

Now THERE'S a title for you, eh? I've been back in the world of high-tech, revisiting a subject area that I was intimately familiar with many years ago. In order to be most productive I've been doing research into what has been added to the tax laws since I left that product. But that's not why you're here...

Whiskers on kittens being among my favorite things - well actually, whiskers on puppies - I'll now get on with the "favorite things" part of my post. I haven't created the raindrops on roses, but since leaves are definitely up there on my list of favorite things, that's where I put the raindrops.

Here are pix of my latest leaf beads, which I just listed in my Etsy shop.

I'm also offering FREE SHIPPING on all of my beads and jewelry in my Jumping Jack Glass Etsy shop. How's that for a holiday treat?!

Tonight is the opening gala for the Holiday Show/Sale at the Olive Hyde Art Gallery in my home town. I have several items in the show, and I'm hoping that some of them will find new homes. I worked very hard putting everything together, so tonight I'm just going to enjoy munching, sipping, schmoozing, and admiring the work of all the participating artists. What fun!

But now, for me it's back to tax stuff and accounting. For you... go have yourselves a happy and creative day!
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