Sunday, May 17, 2009

Mattapalooza 2009

Well, Mattapalooza was a complete success.

I clapped. I teared up. I met Matt's girlfriend. I snapped pictures like my life depended on it. I won a $20 bet. I went to a wine tasting. I had world-famous creamery ice cream. There was pie at midnight and waffles for breakfast. There was shopping. There was excellent conversation.

But quote of the weekend (and that's saying something):
Uncle Bob: Matt, we need to go out lookin' for cold beer and hot women.
Matt: Well, uh... I'm taken but I'll be your wing-man. How about that?

Oh yes, score.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Current Theme Song

Say (all I need) by OneRepublic

All I need
is the air I breathe
and a place to rest my head

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Current Theme Song

Love Will Keep Us Alive by The Eagles

I was standing
All alone against the world outside
You were searching
For a place to hide

Lost and lonely
Now you've given me the will to survive
When we're will keep us alive

Don't you worry
Sometimes you've just gotta let it ride
The world is changing
Right before your eyes

Now I've found you
There's no more emptiness inside
When we're will keep us alive

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Current Theme Song

New Soul by Yaem Naim

I'm a new soul
I came to this strange world
Hoping I could learn a bit 'bout how to give and take
But since I came here, felt the joy and the fear
Finding myself making every possible mistake

See I'm a young soul in this very strange world
Hoping I could learn a bit 'bout what is true and fake
But why all this hate? try to communicate
Finding trust and love is not always easy to make

Enameling Debacle De-mystified

Okay, so here's what I think happened: I chose the wrong color as a counter-enamel.

I've been creating cloisonnes, and in this instance, you need a base enamel (on the front) in which to sink the cloisonne wires and you also need a counter enamel (on the back) to prevent cracking.

Cracking occurs because the glass enamel and the metal cool at different rates, making the metal warp as it cools. Now, if you have too much enamel on one side and not enough counter weight on the other side, the metal will warp too much in one direction, cracking the glass and, in some cases, popping the glass right off the metal.

Now, second point of interest, warm colored enamels are unstable and red enamels are down right temperamental. "Unstable," in enamel-speak, means that a color could fade over several kiln-firings or that it will oxidize when applied to certain metals; for instance transparent red and purple enamels turn brown on silver and transparent oranges and browns will go cloudy on copper.

So, of course I chose an opaque red as my counter enamel. I mean, ouch. You live and you learn... and I had to learn this one the hard way. Over several firings, it must have oxidized under the surface and just de-fused. Not pretty. Not fun. Don't ever use Thompson Enamel 1860, "Orient Red" as a counter enamel... you're just asking for a world of hurt.

Friday, March 13, 2009

WTF Enamel?

I just spend 6 hours in the studio... and I only have one half-finished cloisonne!

I would have two almost finished except my counter enamel keeps falling off! What the hell? I glass brushed, I decreased.

I have no idea why the enamel is throwing up the hate, but I really wish it would stop. I don't have the time for this.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Current Theme Song

Level by The Raconteurs

I swear, when I heard this I thought that Raconteurs had written it about me. Self-centered, yes, but still my first thought:

My Baby's on the level
I try to read her mind
She's on the straight and narrow
I'm guessin' all the time

But I can't see the road
If I'm lookin' at the signs
I'm carryin' a load
and steppin' out of line

A New Word for Your Vocabulary

Paramnesia: noun [par-am-nee-zhuh]

1. Psychiatry: a disorder of memory where fact and fantasy are confused

2. the inability to remember the meanings of common words

Where I found this word: Joseph Heller's Catch-22, page 204. According to Heller there are three types of paramnesia: deja vu (seen before), jamais vu (never seen), and presque vu (almost seen).

Usage: "The subtle, recurring confusion between illusion and reality that was characteristic of paramnesia fascinated the chaplain, and he knew a number of things about it."

I really enjoy this word, but I have to admit that my favorite word I've found in my reading still has to be "poleaxed:" see post from October 3, 2006. Or not, I'm just sayin', poleaxed is still my fav.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Current Theme Song

Stop and Stare by OneRepublic

I know I've heard this song before, but I actually noticed it for the first time last night... and now it's playing in my head like it's always been there.

Stop and stare
Feel like I'm movin' but I go nowhere
Yeah, I know that everyone gets scared
But I've become what I can't be

Stop and stare
You start to wonder why you're here not there
And you'd give anything to get what's fair
But fair ain't what you really need
Oh, can you see what I see?

Sunday, March 08, 2009

A Retrospective: you need to catch up

These pictures are in chronological order from top to bottom... and they cover from the end of July 2008-December 2008. The first part of the summer, I was working the craft fair circuit, and no fun pictures there, just work, work, work. All the same, grab some popcorn, this is a long post.

Alligator on the golf course: Sanibel 2008
Photo op in the Sanibel Marina
From Florida to California
Emily gets hitched
The Fun Bunch plus one
All Aboard!
Take my word for it, the Pacific Ocean is on the other side of the window
Somewhere in New Mexico
Sunrise in Pittsburgh after a four day train ride
DJ Box: copper, sterling silver, enamel, flocking. "Heart, let us this once reason together" -from Heart by Donald Justice
Allison gets married. I've been friends with these ladies since the second grade... that has to be some kind of record!
Amulet Container with Mantra Cards: sterling silver, 14 kt gold solder, sterling and gold-fill jump rings
Chimera Soiree 2008
The Chimera Lit Crew (from left to right: Kelly, Nicky, Stacey, Erling, Hass, me)
Xmas card photo taken at Thanksgiving
Shadow Box Necklaces: sterling and fine silver, Noreena Jasper, Parrot Chrysicolla, and Tube Agate from the Cady Mountains
Christmas carnage :)

Okay, you're decently caught up now :)

Saturday, March 07, 2009

My Mom's "Fun Bunch"

My Edinboro People, I'm sorry to have to be the one to tell you this... but on the Silliness Scale, these ladies kick your ass.

On a scale of 1-10, I would rate most of my Edinboro friends a very tepid 4-5, at most an 8. Now, believe me when I tell you this, most of the ladies in this picture are pushing a very convincing 11.

Last summer, they talked my mom into riding a mechanical bull. True story. I have the pictures to prove it... but I'm pretty sure that my mom would just about kill me if I posted those pictures :)

Current Theme Song

We Are Broken by Paramore

I've had the chorus stuck in my head for almost three days... of course, not helped by the fact that I've been listening to Riot! non-stop for almost two:

Keep me safe inside
Your arms like towers
Tower over me

'Cause we are broken
What must we do to restore
Our innocence
And oh, the promise we adored?
Give us life again
'Cause we just wanna be whole

Friday, March 06, 2009

Playing with Molten Glass: champleve and cloisonne

Alrighty, these are two pieces that I made in a workshop a couple of weeks ago. I'm sorry that the picture is so crummy, but I'm just feeling a little bit lazy at the moment so I'm calling it "good enough." On the left is an example of saw-and-solder champleve, and on the right is a sample of cloisonne. Both are enameling techniques using powdered glass that is then fused onto silver or copper at approximately 1450*-1500*F (depending on the enamel's flow point).

These techniques differ on one main point: in champleve the cells you fill with enamel are incised into the metal and in cloisonne you build cells onto the metal with cloisonne wire. Also, there are two ways to create cells in champleve: the traditional way is to etch half way through a piece of thick-gauge (14-16) metal, and the other is to pierce your design out of thin-gauge metal (22) then solder it down to a backing. Which ever technique is chosen (traditional champleve, saw-and-solder champleve, or cloisonne), the goal remains the same: create open cells in which to layer enamels.

Learning from Linda Darty (it was her weekend workshop) was certainly an experience, but I really did have a good time learning about the many, many enameling techniques (of which only two are described here)... and I'm pretty sure I'll be turning to enamels again in the future.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Epona Reborn? (not exactly)

Well, I got 8 brilliant minutes today... 8 brilliant, shinning, dressage-like minutes out of 55. Believe me when I tell you this: it is a decided improvement over my rides from earlier in the week.

Monday was just a nightmare (pun intended). Promise was acting like a complete dunce and actually fell while she was on the lunge-line. She was in full tack, she broke my quarter-sheet... she lost her balance, her legs went out from under her, and she was on her side. All I really had to say about that was "holy shit," and I have witnesses, that's what I actually said.

Anyway, she was fine, it didn't even slow her down... she jumped right up and kept on bucking. I mean, she's 20 for cripes-sake! Some days I just wish she would act her age. Really.