Friday, April 24, 2009

Friday April 24th

The past 3 days have been spent collaborating with Terri Caspary Schmidt for a show that she has opening in the Denver area starting the beginning of May. I made 4 full chains with VERY VERY SMALL LINKS.. each chain was 18 to 21 inches long and then between the two of us came up with some interesting ways of attaching the beads to the chains. I was very pleased with the final look of all of her beads and how my silver work accented Terri’s amazing attention to detail, proportion and how much she LOVES a dot…

Bird Bead w/ Dots
21" fine silver chain with a fine silver wire wrapped bail and clasp.

Caterpillar Bead on a 18" fine silver chain. The bail is riveted at the top intersection and a fine silver tube supports the rivet for the connecting bail.

Tomato Worm Bead on a 18" fine silver chain. The bail is riveted at the top intersection and a fine silver tube supports the rivet for the connecting bail.

I am now sitting in my hotel room in Denver after a 6 hour drive up from Albuquerque. I will set up for my 2 day show at the Merchandise Mart here in Denver. If you are in town please stop on and say hi. As I was driving into town I had the sudden realization that my hotel was very close to the Rockies Ball Park. After a quick check… yes they are in town and they are playing the Dodgers….the game starts the same time the show is over and I would miss the first few innings.. It is a HARD choice.. What to do… What to do…

Alex meets and overwhelms the fire breathing demon...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tuesday April 21st

It has been a wonderful few days.

Saturday was the one-day NORCAL show. I want to thank everyone that came out to make the show such a success for all of us vendors and hawkers. There was a line outside the door and it was a busy show floor all day long. I got to see quite a few of my peeps from the Bay Area and the best part was that I got a phone call from my friend Anne D. She saw my FaceBook post about being in SF and called to hook up for brunch on Sunday.

Anne D. & Anne M

The view of San Francisco from Treasure Island as displayed by Gail Moore

Sunday, as you can guess Gail Crosman Moore and I went into the “city” for brunch on Sunday morning but not before I took her to Treasure Island. When Gail lived in SF I do not think that the island was open to visitors. I believe that at that time it was still a military base. Today it is being converted to condos and apartments and the US Coast Guard still has a base there. Brunch at Zuni’s was as excellent as always. Oysters and a baked egg dish all accented with a glass of champagne.

After brunch Gail & I went out to the Legion of Honor to see the Artistic Luxury: Fabergé, Tiffany, Lalique exhibit. To say that it was opulent and exquisite is an understatement.

we had to say good-bye for a few weeks. I dropped Gail off at the airport and I took off for New Mexico and then on to Denver for a show next weekend. I have brought all of my bench tools with me so I can work on several projects that I need to finish up over then next few days.

I know that I have been talking a lot about looking at the path of our lives and taking stock of the fabric or our time that we have in this life. I find it amazing and strange at the many twists and turns that happen over the course of our lives that get us to this very day, and this very moment. Just think about all of the intricacies, turns, choices, decisions and options that were made to get each of us at exactly here. It still baffles me why so many of us choose not to take stock of the past to see how it has shaped where we are now. If the same thing keeps happening over and over again, if the same action keeps having the same crappy result why do people NOT take note and change the pattern? I do not get it and I never will.

I find that fate can also be a very interesting aspect to our existence. I drove yesterday for 14 ½ hours and I had the best time. I had never driven through that portion of the Central Valley of CA. I shot across to 99 South and then hooked up to 40 West to get me into New Mexico. As I was driving I was just thinking about the conversations that Gail and I had about looking back at our lives and I just started thinking about the long path that got me out to the west coast from NYC. Then I started thinking about all of the fun stuff I have gotten to do just because of my chosen profession and all of the amazing people that I have gotten to work with.

I thought about several of the lighting designers that I worked with during my years in NY and I recalled a wonderful designer by the name of Marilyn Rennagel. When I originally interviewed to work with Marilyn, I had no idea that she was the long time partner of one of my idols Tharon Musser. As I stood in Marilyn’s living room during my interview I noticed the Tony Awards that were on the coffee table and that the name on the award was Tharon Musser (I about died right then and there) and then 10 minutes later Tharon walked in to the room and I was scared SHITLESS as she looked over and commented my designs. I was honored to have spent many evenings drinking with Marilyn and Tharon at McHale’s Bar in NYC and just sitting back listening and laughing to the many stories and escapades of these 2 remarkable women. When I moved out west I lost contact with these 2 and they both crept into my thoughts as I drove east yesterday afternoon.

This morning I opened up a theatrical newsletter that I still love to read and was so saddened to see that Tharon passed away on the evening of the 19th. The article stated very simple that she passed quietly in her home with her long time partner Marilyn Rennegal. When I met them they had been together forever and now I needed to add another 20 years onto that total. It is strange how fate brings us around and how the thought of these 2 came back to me as I drove on the 20th.

The Lights on Broadway will be dimmed for one minute this evening at 8pm in honor of 5 decades of brilliance.

Tharon, if I drank Cutty Sark I would open up a bottle and drink to you this evening at 8pm EST. I guess you will just have to settle for my usual glass of wine.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday April 17th

I had a wonderful drive yesterday from Tucson to Oakland and it turned out to be an exceptionally excellent day. My friends came through as they always do and kept me company by checking in on my progress over the course of the day.

I checked into our hotel and then ran to the airport to pick up Gail and then we went directly out to dinner for sushi. Yoshi’s has been a favorite of ours and we have ALWAYS had a fantastic meal. This particular meal was not up to our historical standards. To say that we were disappointed was an understatement, the food was good but they have changed the menu and one of our favorite items had been removed. Now this in NO WAY deterred my celebratory mood for the evening.

We went to bed early and both got up at crack of ass. (This is one of the reasons that we are good roomies…we are both really early risers and it has only been a recent development that I have discovered my desire and ability to sleep a bit later into the morning.)

Gail & I had a wonderful series of adventures in San Francisco today. We started out at General Bead and then went to the Xanadu Gallery. (A Frank Lloyd Wright Building)
We had the full four-floor experience at Britex Fabrics and I got a new length of fabric for my display table. We then went to several museum shops. The Folk Museum, The Jewish Museum & SF MOMA and we spent about an hour in the HUGE SF Anthropology store. After all of that we headed out to North Beach and meandered around for several hours and ended up at the Stinking Rose for Garlic Roasted Muscles, 40 Clove Garlic Chicken, Garlic Mashed Potatoes and I had a very nice glass of Chianti.

We have to get up very early tomorrow morning to get all set up for the ONE-DAY NORCAL show. If you are in town… come in and see us. It promises to be an excellent day.

A very cool plant bottle wall at Anthropology

An illuminated Odie in Anthropology...

An River Rock Fountain outside the Jewish Heritage Museum

An Amazing Deli in North Beach

Ahhhhh. North Beach

This is not North Beach...but it is one of the coolest things that I have seen in ages.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wednesday April 15th

This was just SO TRUE and oh so very funny!

Well today is April 15th and today taxes are due. Did I get mine done? Ummm no, did I file for an extension? Ummm, yes I did. Well one more year passes and one more year I file for a reprieve on my due date. Each year the days pass by quickly and each year I promise myself to do better and each year I fail myself in that promise. Oh well, here I go again.

I had a wonderful time at Margaret’s birthday last Sunday. JC did a great job of streamering the house and all decorations were very festive. Those gals are really a blast and I am so very glad that I have gotten to know them these past few months. I did have a very very lovely Sunday night and Monday before I got back to the grind of it all early Tuesday morning. I had loads to get accomplished in the short time I had left and I am very pleased to say that it all got done and I truly have the worlds BEST FRIENDS!

I leave at 3am for my drive to Oakland to spend a few days with Gail Crosman Moore and do a one day show for the Northern California Bead Society. I am looking forward to the few extra days that Gail & I are gonna spend slummin’ around together having good food and just kickin’ back.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Saturday April 11th

I really like to find the music that is used in commercials and hear the entire song. There was a new iPhone commercial and the song kind of resonated with me, so I dug around for a bit and here you are. It is amazing how just snip-it’s of these songs and find there way into your mind and the tunes just keep playing over and over till you are forced to find the entire song. These advertising people do a very good job of getting under your skin and using music to get you to pay attention and they seem to be getting to me a great deal lately.

I am a bit of a sap when it comes to words in music & I really can get sucked into the lyrics of really excellent songwriters… I do have my favorites and there are some that find more relevance during certain times in my life. I have been on a massive Tom Waits jag for several months now. It started in very early December of '08 when I saw that someone on FaceBook had tagged his page. I had many of his albums on my iPod but had not remembered to listen for a very long time. Well that prompted me to start listening to his amazing words again and I got totally immersed back into his world of rhyme and visions. He has brought much into my life over these months and for that I am ever so grateful.

One of the "funner" parts of the FB routine is Tom Waits Magical Trunk. You can send "gifts" to your friends and all of these gifts are clues to his music. The fun is endless and some of the images are really amusing and take a bit of digging around to get to the relevance that is linked in his music by the chosen images.

Are any of you ever Drunk on the Moon? I have been that way for several months now and I am totally relishing the experience.

(I actually to realize that "funner" is NOT a real word… bit it just seemed to fit there. Thanks for just accepting my "Anne Speak")

Friday was a day spent at my bench. I have finally started feeling well enough to really concentrate of doing some good work. It felt good to hammer and pound and fuse again and not screw it up. I have been trying to work for the last few days and JEEZY CREAZY, the crap that has been coming off of my bench has only been good enough for the scrap bin.

I am getting ready to leave town again. I take off on Wednesday for California. I am heading to a one-day show in Oakland on April 18th and then I am headed to Denver for a 2 day show the following weekend, April 25th & 26th. If you are in the neighborhood please stop by and say hello.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Thursday April 9th

I am finally feeling better. This was the first day since last Saturday that I have not been taking some sort of decongestant and sleeping aid. I think that I am starting to see the real end of feeling like death warmed over and I am very pleased about it. It has really taken a toll on my ability to stay awake long enough to get any serous work accomplished. I would just crash for a few hours every afternoon and then actually go to sleep rather early for me.

I was supposed to go to breakfast with a wonderful group of gals this morning; I was actually up early and dressed but had several very urgent personal issues that I had to deal with in an immediate fashion much to my irritation. I was a very unfortunate series of event that took place but we have our next event scheduled and I am really looking forward to seeing everyone again.

I did have a very pleasant afternoon. 2 of my favorite new people in my life Margaret Zinser and JC Harrell stopped by the house for lunch. Well they were actually kind enough to walk in the front door with lunch and a very excellent berry and banana smoothie for me. Neither had seen the house and it was really sweet of them to drive across town for a visit.

Sunday is Margaret’s birthday and she is having a little picnic at her house. I am really looking forward to the gathering the list of folks that are going to be there is really a nice group of local artists and friends.

Have you ever noticed that there can be an eerie kind of coincidences that can happen in life? The other day I was talking about claw foot tubs and about how nice my outdoor one is because it is almost 6 feet long. We were also chatting about how a really large tub was specially made for one of the Presidents and that it had to be a double-wide one because he was so large. Neither of us could think of which President it was and both of us just let the question drop. Well it was not 24 hours later when a conversation was overheard about our largest President, William Howard Taft. I wonder what the odds are of getting that information in that manner actually is?

Taft's tub

The largest tub ever manufactured before 1909. Made for President Taft's journey on a naval vessel, it was 7 feet one inch long, 41 inches wide and weighed one ton.

I also learned a really excellent new word this evening. This word is "Steampunk". I have never heard of it but once a quick look-up on the web I was inundated with some of the coolest stuff. The following s a direct cut and paste from…


Steampunk is a sub-genre of fantasy and speculative fiction that came into prominence in the 1980s and early 1990s. The term denotes works set in an era or world where steam power is still widely used—usually the 19th century, and often Victorian era England—but with prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy, such as fictional technological inventions like those found in the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, or real technological developments like the computer occurring at an earlier date. Other examples of steampunk contain alternate history-style presentations of "the path not taken" of such technology as dirigibles, analog computers, or digital mechanical computers (such as Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine); these frequently are presented in an idealized light, or with a presumption of functionality.

Steampunk is often associated with cyberpunk and shares a similar fanbase and theme of rebellion, but developed as a separate movement (though both have considerable influence on each other). Apart from time period and level of technological development, the main difference between cyberpunk and steampunk is that steampunk settings usually tend to be less obviously dystopian than cyberpunk, or lack dystopian elements entirely.

Various modern utilitarian objects have been modded by individual craftpersons into a pseudo-Victorian mechanical "steampunk" style, and a number of visual and musical artists have been described as steampunk.

(A desktop computer styled in a steampunk fashion)

Honest, just Google the word Steampunk and look at all of these amazing images

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Wednesday April 8th

I love finding out these pieces of trivia. There are so many special things that happen everyday all over out world.

At dawn today, Jews around the world celebrated the Blessing of the Sun, an event that happens once every 28 years.
According to Jewish tradition, the sun was at the same spot in the sky when it rose Wednesday, as it was when the world was created.
The event occurs during the spring equinox, which occurs every 365¼ days. Once every 28 years, it occurs at dawn on a Wednesday (the fourth day of creation, based on Jewish beliefs), when Jews recite the blessing. According to Jewish beliefs, God created the sun, the moon and the stars as the fourth day began.

And today in Japan a flower festival call Hana Matsuri celebrates the birth of Buddah. The first event was held at Asuka-dera in 606. Japanese people pour ama-cha (a beverage prepared from a variety of hydrangea) on small Buddha statues decorated with flowers, as if they bathe a newborn baby.

Finally, there is something fascinating going on in our country right now and I could not be more pleased about this change of tone. In the last week not only did the Iowa courts state clearly that banning Same Sex Marriages was NOT okay it seems that the lawmakers in Vermont wanted to say to the GOP Governor that it was also NOT okay to ban Same Sex Marriages. Now it seems that the District of Columbia has also chosen to acknowledge the Same Sex Unions of the four states in our nation that allow them. The states that have chosen to support gay and lesbian couples in their choice to embrace a committed relationship: Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa & now Vermont.

Many people were surprised by the Iowa vote: but as it was explained to me by a very dear friend who actually lives in Iowa, she was not at all taken aback. She pretty much said that she believes that most Iowans want everyone to live and let live.

New Hampshire and Maine are also considering bills that would also allow Same Sex Marriages. This would put New England in the center of a very hot topic.

But on another note, can you believe that I actually had to use the word allow? Why is it that people are so afraid of people simply loving enough to commit. I just do not understand why it is so frightening for people to accept that some people need to live an alternative life yet these people still hold some of the very same core values that they do. Have they ever considered that?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Tuesday April 7th

Add yourself on as a follower of this blog. It looks like a fun feature.

When there are things that are out of your hands and beyond your control it gives you a unique perspective on your place in the lives of others and in the universe that you live in. No matter how you desire to intercede for the better and to help there are just some times that you realize that all you can do is wait and let it be known that you will be there, no matter what.

I had to spend a few hours at the Arizona DMV today. I made a major goof with my registration and it took a bit of time to get it fixed. I love the bureaucracy that is all part of the system. Well, I fixed my screw up and all is better with the world. I just feel that they get some sense of satisfaction out of it all.

I guess that it goes back to when I lived in San Francisco and getting parking tickets and having your car towed seemed to be a regular event. The DMV in SF was an amazing place. If I remember correctly it was in or near the courts building and you had to stand in this line that moved slower than molasses in winter and the man in charge of the entire division was named.. Mr. Sunshine.. I swear to all that I hold dear that is the truth and there was NOTHING Sunshine-ish about the entire experience. So, I may have a bit of a negative view of it walking in. I try to be as pleasant and nice as I can be but I just get the feeling that no one is enjoying their days.

This is my horoscope from Free Will Astrology this week. I liked it.

Scorpio Horoscope for week of April 2, 2009

Verticle Oracle card Scorpio (October 23-November 21)

The three tasks I think you should work on in the coming week are among the hardest any human being can attempt. Luckily, you now have an unusually strong aptitude for them, and are likely to receive unexpected assistance if you're brave enough to plunge ahead. Here they are. 1. Interrupt and overthrow negative trains of thought right in the middle of their flow through your brain. 2. Negotiate partial solutions to complex problems. In other words, do the half-right thing when it's impossible to do the totally right thing. 3. Understand that in order to graduate from a certain batch of weird karma that has persisted, you must completely accept the situation as it is, acknowledge your role in precipitating and prolonging it, and feel gratitude for all that it has taught you.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Monday April 6th

I have not really been sick sine January 20th 2006. That was the last time I have been flat on my back, under covers, feeling like death warmed over. The only reason I remember the date so clearly is because I was on my way to the airport and felt kind of crappy and by the time I got back to the Monterey airport at the end of the day I felt like I had been run over by a diesel truck several times. I am so not prepared to feel poorly, I have none of the appropriate drugs on hand and what I did have was from the last time I was sick… rather out of date I fear. So, I am now taking Afrin and Sudafed and loads of vitamin C. I do have the best friends in the world, each has offered me their own sure fire cure and I have to say, many of them sound like they might work. I am one of those people that believes that Chicken Broth, Ginger Ale & Saltine Crackers do wonders. So I am taking the advise of my health care professional and staying under the covers and trying to make sure that I do not get sicker.

Today is the first full day of Baseball for the season. I am watching the New York Mets play my beloved-ly horrible Cincinnati Reds. They are playing good ol’ fashion “cubby ball.” I realize that my team is really bad, but I do love them so. Well, I hold no illusions about the talent here but still, I just hope that they do not have a losing season.

I learned something very interesting yesterday. Did you realize that glass is a liquid? I am serous. I thought I was being taken advantage of while I was in a weakened and sick condition but here it is. Glass is actually a “Super Cooled Liquid.” I was blown away; I love learning stuff like this. I have the “word of the day” on my widgets just for that reason, at least with that I am assured of learning one new thing a day. The word of the day a few days agos made me laugh out loud.. here you go.. it is a good one.

moue |moō|
a pouting expression used to convey annoyance or distaste.

While I was driving back home form New Mexico last Thursday, I got to witness a most remarkable site. As I was driving I saw a hawk gliding on the thermals and circling above. Then suddenly I saw him tuck in his wings pull in his tail feathers and dive just like one of those old Warner Brother Cartoons (except that there was no flames coming off of the tail feathers) This hawk just kept getting closer and closer to the ground and then he opened up his wings and extended his talons and grabbed at something on the ground. As he gained altitude I saw that he had a HUGE snake in his grasp and he gently landed on a fence post to take care of the rest of his business. I had never seen anything like it and it was an amazing and beautiful thing to be graced to witness.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Saturday April 4th.

Why is it that there are times in our lives that we just do the craziest things and they feel so right and oh so very good. I have always said that I am a Magpie and that I can change my direction at the drop of a hat as long as the thing that I am altering my plans for seems to be the thing that is going to make me the happiest. Well I have to say that this is exactly what I have been doing and for the first time in a very, very, very long time and I seem to be smiling a great deal as a result of these choices. There are just some things in life that defy reason and explanation and when those things happen I have chosen to just let it flow over you and to let the experience happen as it may and to enjoy life as it comes washing over you.

As you can all see I took a few days off and played hooky for part of the last week. I sort of ran away from home on a total whim last Saturday morning and got back home here in Tucson on Thursday. I ended up going back to New Mexico and spending a few days just hanging out and not really doing anything that I did not want to do. I was actually heading back to Tucson on Monday morning but actually decided to stay a few more days, again, on the spur of the moment. I had a blast. I actually needed those few days last week and I am glad that I had the opportunity to just let it happen.

So, I did not do much on Friday other then get the orders packaged and out the door that had come in over the few days that I was away. I had laundry and some tidying up to do and I had NO desire to go out of doors. The wind was some of the worst that I have seen in a very long time around here. I was actually a bit worried about how strong the winds actually were. The large sheet of heavy duty bubble wrap that I have on my pool was actually blown off of my pool and lifted like a sail and draped itself over my neighbor’s fence. I was just grateful that the thing did not rip as I pulled if back in to my yard.

But the greatest thing that I saw yesterday was the fact that the Iowa courts decided that it was cool to let Same Sex Marriages take place in this MOST EXCELLENT STATE. I was watching the Rachel Maddow show and she made a very interesting observation. She found it AMAZING that Same Sex Couples could be married in IOWA before they could be married in New York City. When I read the news I called my friend Cris Leonard (who is from Iowa City) to tell her thanks. I give her and her husband (my long lost twin brother Paul) all of the credit. I know very few Iowans. Let’s hear it for the Mid West. First, Ohio voted for Obama and now Iowa rocks the foundation of what the rest of the country believes Midwesterners are capable of.

I am starting to really get ready for Bead & Button. I can hardly believer that the show is just 2 months away. I say this all the time. But seriously, where the hell has this year gone? It was New Years Eve just a few minutes ago when I had my friend Carol over for the weekend and we were just kickin’ back and enjoying the Tucson winter and now my pool is so very close to being warm enough for me to take my morning swims again. (I crave to get back to that routine again.)