31 July 2005

International News Shortage

As I write this, my husband and I are watching the final broadcast of News World International. The Gore Group has purchased the channel for its broadcast license and broadcast agreements. They are launching their new programming, Current TV, just after 12 midnight. We'll still be able to watch some of the CBC Programming on the web, particularly The National. That said, it's just not the same as turning on the tv and hitting the favorite button.

It's been a long day. I spent time working on the invitations for Sprout's birthday tea. I need to address the envelopes and they'll be ready to go to the post office tomorrow night. I'm pleased with how they came together.

I got some studio time in this evening but came in to watch the final NWI broadcast. I finished the barrel beads that I was working on and have moved on to polkadot beads.

And now the time comes to sit down and write a letter to DIRECTV to let them know how much we hope that they will work with CBC to bring International News back to their customers.

30 July 2005

Blackout blues

My studio time tonight was cancelled by a power outage. I'm not quite dedicated enough to make beads by candle light. Or, maybe I'm just not that dedicated tonight. I'll make beads tomorrow. Instead, Ken and I brought Sprout to visit my parents and we'll go home and go to bed and when we wake in the morning we'll have either power or daylight to work with.

I didn't get much of a response to my post on the BPAL forums offering to trade beads for imps. Heather suggested that I try contacting individuals with large swap lists posted and see if I can work up some interest that way, maybe negotiate a couple of trades for vessels, that sort of thing... I'll see if I can work up any enthusiasm for that. Right now, I'm just wondering if I am fishing in the wrong pond. Maybe it's not the right place for me. *shrug* I don't know. I tend to be a little insecure about things like this. Whatever the case, I asked the moderators to kill my swap post and I'll either work something out privately or I'll think of some other way to demonstrate the use of my vessels at my coming bead shows. BPAL is beginning to feel a little like the wrong path for me at the moment.

Or, perhaps I'm just feeling a little frustrated by the number of things which are out of my control at the moment.

25 July 2005

Wandering mind

It is amazing what I find myself thinking about as I work in the studio by myself at night. The world outside the studio is darkness and thick with sounds of crickets and night birds while, inside my little glass box, a cd plays softly and I go through the repetitive process of making the same bead 100 times before moving on to make 100 of the next bead.

My friend Heather lost her beloved cat last month after a prolonged battle to save him. I was thinking about what a great cat Loki was, and that (if I were a cat) I could only hope to be so loved. Heather and I have talked about the idea of a vessel of some sort to hold part of Loki's ashes. In that way, she can have a part of him with her always and still scatter the ashes at her parents' home.

I saw my friend Helena yesterday and talked to her about this idea of making funerary jewelry. She immediately found herself thinking that this might be something that she'd be interested when her beloved cat eventually passes. This is not as abstract a consideration as it might be as the cat in question is quite elderly and has mostly lost interest in her food.

I also contacted someone from the Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab forum in response to a post that they had made looking for information about crematory jewelry. They were specifically looking for a lampwork artist who incorporates ash into her work to create a beautiful and lasting memento of a deceased loved-one. I'm not sure the one that I just found was the one that they were looking for. At the time, I just posted to say that, if they couldn't find what they were looking for, I would be honored to work with them on something suitable.

The more that I think about it, the more that I like the idea of being involved with the process of preserving the connection to a loved one who has passed. When I talked to Helena about this whole thing, she was saying that one of her biggest regrets was that, when her father passed, she didn't keep some of his ashes with her. Once the ashes were scattered, she lost that connection to him. Perhaps I could help someone.

After a while, however, my wandering mind turned away from funerary art toward something a bit more directly related to the work at hand. That being, my desire to have a selection of fragrances at the bead shows for my buyers to become familiar with the concept of artisan fragrance. I think that I want to post a swap request on the BPAL forum saying that I will trade a pair of beads for each imp of fragrance which someone sends me. It seems like a reasonable trade to me... I wonder what sort of response I'll get.

23 July 2005

And the bead rolls on

I negotiated with my sweetie for two studio sessions today. I worked in the studio for a couple of hours this afternoon, and then again for a couple hours after dinner. Sprout played in the playpen we bought her for the studio while daddy took care of a couple things inside and then he took over baby watch and I had quality time to play in the mud.

I made over 100 beads today. I started out working on the same style of beads that I was making the last time I was in the studio. I've been thinking of them as "Squash Blossom Melon Beads." They're segmented like any other melon bead but they alternate a zig-zag division with a straight division so that the end result is rather interesting. When I took the break to come into the house for dinner, I had 117 of those made and drying. (Including the ones that I made last time.)

My plan is to break them up into 3 or 4 groups and glaze all the beads in each group the same color. I will probably fill the kiln with beads in a specific color and then sort them into strands of 10 and pairs after they're fired.

After dinner, I started working on polkadot beads. I got about 43 of them made before it was time to come in. This batch of polkadots have 4 large circles impressed around the bead and then 8 smaller ones. I have another 20 or so balls formed to make more beads when I get back into the studio on Monday night.

For now, it's time to take the baby up to bed. We're meeting Helena and her husband tomorrow at Cox Arboretum to enjoy their butterfly house. We probably won't get out to the butterfly prairie because the weather is supposed to be inhospitable.

This will be a full week. Lisa is coming into town for a personal appearance and we'll be seeing her briefly on Tuesday afternoon. Monday I'm getting together with JJ to talk web stuff and work out firing for some of his doll faces.

Speaking of dolls, I should get the one that I'm working on finished. I'm loving the way that her needle felted hair is turning out. She still won't tell me how she wants to wear her beads.

21 July 2005

Back to work

I spent about an hour in the studio this evening after dinner. Studio time is becoming more precious as Sprout becomes more mobile. She's officially crusing now, pulling herself up on the furniture and taking tentative steps while supporting herself. We spent several hours upstairs today, playing in the bed. I watched as she pulled herself up into a standing position using the windowsill and walked with her hands pressed against the wall to support her as she went from the head of the bed to the window and back.

She has gotten so good at going after what she wants. She can crawl quickly from one end of the bed to the other. The cats haven't quite learned that they're no longer safe from her. She wrestled Alpheus to the bed several times this afternoon and each time he looked at me as if to say, "Wait a minute, how did she get over here."

Sprout actually stood for a few minutes this afternoon without any support. She'd been standing at the window and brought first one hand and then the other up close to her face to look at them. I don't know when she realized that she wasn't holding on to anything, but it may not have been until she landed on her butt on the mattress. She just looked over at me and smiled in the most disarming way.

So, anyway, I got into the studio for a little while this evening. I worked on making a batch of about 36 beads which I'll be glazing the same color and then combining into strands of 10 or pairs for sale at the bead shows. I'm anticipating selling them for $25/strand or $6/pair.

I need to order glazes. I will probably order some from Georgie's because they have several that I'm particularly fond of.

Other than that, not much is going on in the studio. My sweetie moved all the vacation pictures off of the camera but I haven't seen most of them yet so I can't upload any more until he gives them to me on a disc or something.

We're meeting up with friends on Sunday at our local arboritum. They have a butterfly house. I'm not sure what to expect, but I'm really looking forward to it. I have spare batteries in my purse for the camera so I'll have to take lots of pictures.

I haven't figured out yet how to incorporate butterfly imagery into some of my work. I'm sure that inspiration will come in due time.

17 July 2005

Home at last

I've arrived at home, exhausted and ready for a vacation after my vacation. There is always so much that you want to do and so little time to do it all. I didn't get to take Sprout out to the pool anywhere near as often as I would have liked while we had easy access to it. There were quite a few things that I wanted to do but didn't have time for. The vacation was over before I knew it.

I arrived home and tried to catch up on some of the conversational threads that I'd missed during my absence. I have one friend getting divorced, another's daughter had minor surgery (although your child having any procedure is never minor to a parent)... On a more positive note, I've finally been motivated by an ongoing discussion of BookCrossing.com to register and start releasing books into the wild. I will post to my blog when I release books and will make a point of releasing them in conjunction with bead shows in other cities as well.

16 July 2005

Checking in before checking out

Don't be surprised to see butterfly motifs showing up in my work in the near future. This is a picture of Sprout (and others) at the butterfly farm on Grand Cayman.

Will post exhaustive recap of trip when I've settled in at home. 'til then, we're alive and well and due to arrive at the Port of New Orleans at 4am.

03 July 2005

Website notes

I finally made the time to add links to the blog from my website and to add the internal links to the for sale page to certain key pages. I need, at some point, to add some more external links to my website. These are a few of the links that I want to add.

Links to incorporate into website development:


Helen Bates column for PMI with Pottery Tips on the Web from Sept/Oct 2003 includes a review of my site as well as some other wonderful sites for people learning ceramics. [to be placed on Tips and Techniques page]


Basic bead shapes from "The Bead Site" by the late Peter Francis Jr. The page explains some of the basic vocabulary of bead shapes. A link at the end of the page leads to a second page of more complicated bead shapes. A second link, http://www.thebeadsite.com/BBSTPR01.html, talks about the importance of bead holes in the study of beads. [to be placed on Tips and Techniques page]


This page is actualy a catalog page from Universal Mercantile Exchange, Inc. The page shows the shapes of beads available from this company. It is a useful reference simply because it illustrates a variety of styles and shapes of beads. [to be added to bead shapes page]

02 July 2005

Still more baby pictures

I didn't say much, in my earlier post, about what I got done today while I was working at my "Clay Date." I added handles to 5 of the 6 mini-amphorae that I'd started. I ended up destroying the 6th by putting the handles on crooked and being unable to correct the problem.

Once I'd finished the amphorae, I turned my attention to some beads. After the Cincinnati bead show, JJ suggested that I might want to have some of my beads strung in sets. I spent some time today working on the "Yarn Ball" spacers that I sometimes make. The idea was that I could string 10 or 20 of them together to make a strand which can be sold as a unit.

I'm going to limit the strands to certain types of beads. I'll probably do them with my shell spirals. Maybe with some of the carved or polka dot beads. The strands will probably be $25 or $45 depending on how many beads are on them.

I need to finish my current doll project so that I can get it in the mail before we leave on vacation. Other than that, the next week will probably be largely focused on getting ready for my trip.

These are probably the last two of the pictures of Sprout from the most recent photo session that I'll be posting. I may try to post some snap shots, if time permits. Otherwise, I'll post a couple pictures from vacation after I get back.

I don't know if I'll have much time for updates between now and then, or if I will have access or opportunity for an update from the road.

More pictures of my baby

Sprout has grown so much that it is hard to believe. I had a "Clay Date" at the Art Garden (probably the last clay date) today and took Sprout with me. Carole, the owner, was so amazed by how big she has gotten. It's hard to believe that she was as tiny as she was the first time that I took her there. I think that she was only 7 weeks old. She's 10 1/2 months old now.

We leave on Friday for our vacation. I can't wait but there is still so much to do to get ready for the trip. The purple dress that Sprout was wearing in the photos that I posted yesterday was one that my mom got for her for the formal nights on the cruise. The pink and white one in the photo here is one of the others. It's just the slightest little bit too big for her but she looks so adorable in it.

01 July 2005

Sleeping it off

I spent the day in bed today with a headache. Someday, when I'm finished breeding and breastfeeding, I will be able to take medication again which will help. Until then, I just try to ride it out as best I can.

Yesterday, my mom and I took Sprout to Indiana for pictures. My aunt is a portrait photographer there. I thought that I'd post a couple of pictures here for anyone who might be interested in seeing how much my baby has grown.

The first is of Sprout and I together. The second is one of her on her own.