Saturday, January 29, 2011

Tutorial: Chrysalis to Carapace

Which came first? The Chrysalis or the Carapace? This started off as one thing and, in this particular case, didn't turn out so great. But, through the magic of a happy accident, it turned into something else interesting. See my tutorial on flickr.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Cool Video: Birds Flocking ("Starlings on Otmoor")

I am always fascinated when I happen upon a flock of birds flowing and swooping in one giant swirling wave. Last night it occurred to me that there are probably videos on YouTube that I could watch. And boy, were there! Apparently, Starlings frequently exhibit this behavior (called murmuration) in massive groups. Check out this amazing video. (The big action on this video starts at the 2:00 minute mark if you're in a hurry). I would love to witness this in person some day!

Another video shows that the birds may do this as a protective measure from predators, like a "fish ball" in the ocean. But I like to think that birds are just having fun using the wind as the tracks on their own avian roller coaster.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Artist: Nathan Fowkes charcoal portraits

I've highlighted Nathan Fowkes' gorgeous charcoal portraits before but I have to share some more. You must go look!
I have no words for how incredible they are. Look at the light and shadow and how there's not much detail yet you see perfectly rendered hair, the edge of a nose, or draped fabric...sigh. If I ever created anything this good, I could hang up my art tools and die happy!
And start here to check out more of his recent work.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Beads and B'days: Happy Birthday to me!

Today is my birthday! It was pretty low-key. A little happy hour got postponed because of bad weather, but we did have a giant cake this afternoon for the five January birthdays. It was a half-and-half cake to make everyone happy. But seriously, what is the point of white/vanilla cake? It's a known fact that all cake should be chocolate! Or maybe that's just MY known fact!

New beads I stayed up far too late last night to make. Once I start making beads, any tiredness totally evaporates and I have a hard time stopping.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

PPCG Workshop: Ronna Sarvas Weltman

Ronna Sarvas Weltman
April 30 & May 1, 2011

With much excitement and anticipation, the Pittsburgh Polymer Clay Guild (PPCG) is hosting artist, author and teacher of polymer clay, Ronna Sarvas Weltman, for two days of  instruction. Wire beginners will learn how to work with wire, and those with experience will learn new tricks, including how to enhance their organic aesthetic in their wire skills. 
We will also play in depth with polymer clay, paying particular attention to incorporating wire into polymer clay (and polymer into wire). This is not a project class; students will learn a whole bunch of tricks. Ronna's classes are focused on helping every student feel empowered in articulating her or his own "artistic voice."

The workshop will be held at:
 Georgetown Clubhouse  Valley View Drive  |   Lawrence, PA 15055  
Please contact Laura Tabakman to reserve your place.  
lauratabakman (at) yahoo (dot) com

Member fee $170.  Non-member $185.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

And the Winner is: Marina!

The winner of the faceted beads from the flickr demo is...Marina of Tomsk, Russia! Congratulations! I have never mailed anything to Russia before so now I can put another pin in a new spot on the "bead travel map!"
You may know Marina as Marya_Moreva on flickr. Go check out her exotic wire and polymer clay work!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

400: Giveway Results tomorrow!

I hit 400 sales in the etsy shop this evening so it's time to draw the names for the "Frosted Facets" giveaway. I swiped the names of everyone who commented in the blog or on flickr. I'll take the names to work with me tomorrow and enlist one of my co-workers to be the picker.

In the meantime, look at my new favorite bead that I plan to keep all to myself!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year: Lot of new stuff going on here!

I took advantage of my long holiday weekend to stay up all night making beads and watching netflix.* These, and their assorted family members, will be on etsy later tonight.

In other news, my upstairs remodeling project is in full swing. I will be in this house until I die or go to a nursing home so I'm spending the cats' inheritance on making it the way I want. My tiny 8'x8' "third bedroom" is becoming a walk-in closet and the bathroom is getting larger through elimination of the old closet from the tiny bedroom and the hallway linen closet.
The bathroom will be a classic black-and-white retro cottage style in keeping with the size and age of the house. Since the photos below were taken, the tile has been put down, the new lights are installed, and the cabinets are at Home Depot awaiting pickup. Yay!
Below: View from inside bath toward new closet. The floor is not really slanted ...I created a composite image so it's a bit warped.
Below: view from inside new closet toward bath

Other assorted improvements are going on as the doorways and installing new doors in my age-slanted house, installing ceiling fan/lights in my bedroom and art "studio," replacing the broken-down microwave/range hood with a standard range hood and a counter microwave, and fixing the water problem in the backyard with an extension to the patio and new drain, followed by repair of the garage ceiling damaged by all the massive rainwater last year (the new drainage system will redirect the water and resolve the issue.)

*Best netflix choice watched: Exit through the Gift Shop. Very interesting. Also saw "True Grit" at the theater with friends and went to a new Indian restaurant after. We really liked both.. Hailee Steinfeld, 13 years old (!) at time of filming True Grit, is fantastic as the main character, Mattie Ross.


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