Friday, June 26, 2009

Friday June 26th

The last few days of this week have been rather insane. I have been scrambling and working at my bench to get my submissions for all of the Interweave classes for 2010 in for review. I think that I have some nice new projects and creations ready for public consumption. I have to say that I am pleased that my friends all seem to think that they are ready as well. It is an exceptionally cool thing to be able to get feedback on projects before sending them out into the big bad world. The feedback is always helpful as soon as I can let go of the thing and listen objectively to an honest criticism.

I had this honest criticism happen to me a few weeks ago. I was told that I needed to change my website index page. I was very kindly informed that it was too busy and that it was not clear what the objectives were for my website. Well, after I got my hackles all tucked back in where they belonged and I actually listened to the observations I did discover that she was right. So, I am in the process of re-doing the opening page of my website. I put so much time, energy and process into the change that I instituted in 2008 that I was not really ready to hear that it could be better. Lesson learned: Most things can always be better with a second pair of eyes.

So, here are my 2 new submissions for Interweave.

Sterling and Fine Silver Cuff

This is a heavy gauge rectangular wire riveted top piece with 8 gauge sides and some fused chain and an S-Hook clasp

Heavy Gauge Fine Silver Chain

This chain is fused 12 gauge Fine Silver folded and formed to this really cool bracelet.

The third class that I am teaching is going to be with Gail Crosman Moore. We are taking that one-day workshop that we debuted at the Tucson Gem Show on the road. We are going to be offering it at all 3 Interweave Shows next season as well as the BABE show in Oakland this fall. It is a one-day extravaganza that promises to be a BLAST. I could not be more excited about this opportunity. Gail has such an amazing way of viewing the world that it is a joy to travel and room with her any time.

I am off to San Francisco for a weekend of fun and festivities. It is going to be a blast to be back home for almost 5 days. I still have work to do while I am away but it will not be such a hardship to look out my window and see SF out there, waiting for me, when I finish up my tasks.

Sorry I have been away for the last few days, it really has been a bit of an insane time getting these submissions in before the deadline of TODAY! Whew!

Yesterday was kind of a weird day. Both Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett both passed away. These were 2 iconic figures of my formative teenage and early 20's. I am saddened by the passing of both of these individuals. Each in there own way had struggles that formed and molded them. My heart and thoughts are with their families and loved ones these next days.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Monday June 22nd

I am exhibiting at the Puget Sound Bead Festival on July 10th – 12th with a preview evening on Thursday July 9th.

I am teaching and exhibiting at Interweaves Bead Fest Philadelphia August 20th – 23rd

I am teaching for The Place to Bead in Naperville at their Second Annual Suburban Bead Encounter. August 27th – 30th

So if you are in any of these areas please come by and see me at my booth and or sign up for a class.

The passage of another icon of our time is fading away, Kodak is no longer going to produce Kodachrome Film. It has been in production since 1934.

I have spent some time lately going over a statement that I quoted in my life for quite some time. I would state with pride…"Come on Give me Somethin' Hard". I have always liked a challenge, I feel that given time I can pretty much figure most things out and the Internet is a true Godsend for this trait. I like to test my own limits but I believe that I have come to the basic understanding that there are just some things in life that are actually not meant to be that hard. I believe that I have come to the understanding that there are just some things and can be easier than I have been working towards. I have come to question why there are individuals need to have things wound up so tightly, in a nice neat and controlled bundle that there is NO room for spontaneous frivolity and joy in life? You know what I mean? Guess What? Things happen, and to be able to just take it all in stride and not get all whipped up about it is really what it is all about. To discover and enjoy the ease that your life can take on is true freedom and you can look the world around you with a new clarity. More than anything else I love to laugh. I love to laugh at the simplest things and the most outrageous things. And it has taken time but I love to laugh at my own idiosyncrasies. Because guess what? Some of those things are totally worth a good laugh.

I enjoy an uncomplicated approach to life that comes from a living with general sense of ease. I have no fear of hard tasks I have just come to terms with the fact that there are way to many things in life that are to be enjoyed and there is no reason to make it hard.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wednesday June 17th

When inspiration flashes strike while the iron is HOT. But I’ll be damned if what I came up with today was an interesting creation. I am liking it more as the day wears on but it is just not something that I feel would actually sell as a viable class submission.

With the input of many friends I feel that some great ideas were thrown out and about and I think that with a few adjustments this will turn out to be a very fun all day class that will explore a variety of techniques. We will explore texturing, riveting simple fusing & clasp making. I think that in the end that this will be a totally excellent class that I will be able to get excited about. I had fun today making my napkin sketches come to life.

I will be back at it tomorrow with a batch of new ideas and I will share it all then. Have a great night and a most excellent tomorrow. A friend posted Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah on her FaceBook wall tonight. I posted it over a year ago on my blog because it is SO beautiful… here you are again. It is SO mesmerizing and so moving. Enjoy!

Jeff Buckley - Hallelujah

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tuesday June 16th

Okay, major choices were made today and major decisions were decided. I have a plan for what next years' classes are going to consist of. I try to make to a point of having my classes for Interweave be different from my Bead & Button offerings. This year there were some significant similarities, mostly due to some last minute additions required by B&B. Basically, I needed to add a workshop in about a 24-hour time frame, so, I had to go with a class that I had in the works.

I have made some very interesting choices and I think that next years teaching schedule will be exciting for those taking the classes and for me as well. So keep a close eye out for newly posted work.

I am going to be at the bench for the next several days fine-tuning the choices that I have made in this last 24-hour period and I have to say that even though this is the way that I normally work it seems a bit out of my normal spectrum. I can’t say why, maybe it will become clear as I work over the next few days.

All I know is that I am looking at things from a new-ish viewpoint and so far I like it. The work on the new aspects of my web site is going much more slowly than I would like. I am NOT at all pleased with my learning curve and I hope to do better in the next few days.

I saw this picture on a friends FaceBook wall. It made me laugh.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Monday June 15th

How is it that we seem to misplace some of the things that we cherish; a habit or tradition that was so ingrained and yet we let go of it and do not miss it for quite some time? I was sitting around on Sunday morning, drinking my coffee (a ritual that will never be lost BTW) and perusing one of my favorite Sunday sites. I have come to love Post Secret, if you do not know it please click and follow along. Then I go to the Sunday New York Times and read my favorite sections and then I look through about 6 or 7 news sites and that, in a nutshell, is my Sunday morning routine.

I used to get the Sunday NY Times delivered but then, along with the Internet revolution, I became an Internet JUNKIE. So that ritual, the unfolding of the paper and the dividing of the sections has morphed into surfing the web. I miss the news print at times. I miss the folding and unfolding of each page, I miss the smell of the fresh paper and I miss being able to cut out and save articles or pictures that I would stack on my desk and I miss being buried under piles of papers that my cats would love to burrow under. But mostly I miss hunkering down and attempting the Sunday NY Times Crossword puzzle. (=FAIL every weekend!) Now I have folders on my desktop and files of images that are forever stored on my hard drive and a warm computer on my lap as I carefully sip my coffee and I can cheat on the puzzle with the entirety of all knowledge at my fingertips.

As I sat and preformed this latest version of my Sunday routine I started to think about some of the rituals and routines that I have lat go. One of my favorites was Christmas morning. For years I would arrange a platter of smoked salmon, mini toasted bagels, capers & cream cheese right along side the Osetra caviar with crème fresh, chopped eggs, little toasts and finely chopped chives. Fresh squeezed OJ, Coffee & champagne would be slowly ingested while an entire day of movies in front of my fireplace and laziness ensued. I have lost that tradition in these last few years and it is one that I would love to reinstate if ever given the chance.

There are just some things that are not meant to be lost and then there are some things that are just meant to shift with and change with the ebb and flow of life. I may miss my bed strewn with papers that I would then have to discard but I really love that I now have EVERY paper available to me at my fingertips. But I really miss do some of the special rituals that I have lost and I think that I need to really try to bring them back into my life because they meant so much to me for so long there is an emptiness where they used to preside.

I had a wonderful day today and I am getting all of my class submissions ready for 2010. Keep an eye out and check out my website over the next weeks as there are gonna be some nice changes happening.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Saturday June 13th

Friday was a very interesting day for me. Rio Grande has started carrying my Chain Making Techniques book and I actually got a full tour of the facility a few months back. Well I have been thinking and I inquired about teaching for them. I had ordered some wire, sheet and tube for some projects that I am pondering and chatted with the one of the members of the teaching team. We are going to have a really real meeting on next Friday to talk all about it. I think it would be an excellent collaboration and it may, just may, make it possible for me to not have to travel so far and so often. Routines are wonderful and a reoccurring gig like that I think would be a real blessing.

I had an excellent rest of Friday and ended up getting my hair all cut off and having a wonderfully weird sushi dinner. The sushi chef had some very interesting ideas about what would actually go with raw fish… I think that the olives were a not so good choice… but the rest of the meal was very nice and how can you go wrong with an very large Asahi and hot sake.

Today was another lazy day. After I got the irritation of an annoying task taken care of the rest of my day was SO very beautiful. I got a few good errands accomplished but I really had no desire to do anything other than what I was doing, I just wanted to continue the simple task of just rejuvenating for the ENTIRE day. So, that is what I did. The errands that I did accomplish were good ones that needed to be done but I had no desire to wrap my head around ANYTHING large.

I think that I am still in a tired daze form Bead & Button. I know that I will get back to it ASAP. I think I just needed a bit of crash and burn time.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Thursday June 11th

I sort of took the day off. I realized that I have not stopped or even slowed my pace for the last month or so. I have not had a day off. I have worked like crazy, taught 12 classes, drove 4000 miles to and from the show and I am a bit worn out. So I took the day off. I got up early as usual, got my coffee and promptly went back to bed with the clear intention of making this day Anne’s Self-Indulgent day. I read for hours, I played on the computer; I messed around on FaceBook and chatted with friends that I have not had the time to catch up with. It was a wonderfully indulgent day. I took a long 90-minute hike in the hills that gave me an excellent workout to the point of sweating and then I had a beautiful steak dinner.

All the while my head was churning with a few new ideas that I am brewing for classes and jewelry and what I am going to be working on the next week as I prepare to get all of my class submissions ready for 2010. Can you believer that we are already talking about 2010? What the bejeebers is actually going on here. I look up from my work and it is ½ way through January and I look up again and ½ the year has disappeared from right in front of me. Well they do say that time marches on and I guess that they were not kidding.

I keep reflecting on this phenomenon we call the passage of time. What is it about time that seems to cause such trepidation in us? I look back at the occurrences of life and even though some of it really sucked it got me to where I am now, right now at this very moment in time… I like where I am, I like who I am and more than anything else it is the sum of all that time I have spent getting to right here that has helped me to understand life a little better, try to make some smarter choices and to just know that I can do almost anything that I put my heart and mind to.

It is the selfish and the false ones that make it difficult. It is those that cannot face the hard, talk it out, realize their own issues and confront themselves dead on that create the drama in life. I have many friends that no matter what, I will get the truth from and I will know exactly where I stand. Just because we disagree does not mean that our friendship is in shambles. It is the ability of taking those really hard moments, facing them and coming out as stronger friends that makes those hard moments bearable. I am so grateful for those friends and I cherish them more as time passes, because I have begun to truly realize how rare a thing these qualities are.

I am looking forward to the ideas that are whirling around in my head I think that the work will excite and entertain me for quite some time. I have a really big order in my head that I have to place tomorrow for silver wire & silver tube and silver sheet and all manner of exciting things. CAN’T WAIT.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Wednesday June 10th

Well you know you are a slacker when you actually receive emails telling you to get back to work and start blogging. I know that I have been a slacker this year and I have no excuse other than to say that I have been very distracted these past months and that I am going to do my best to get back to my focused self. I do find that the I am missing the act of writing every day and composing my thoughts and actually taking the time to reflect.

My last day at Cris’s was excellent and she has 2, count them 2, owls that like to perch in the eaves of her house. If you are quiet and make no sudden moves they will just sit for a few moments and let you just take in all of the grandeur that these animals entail. They are SO beautiful and they are so very quiet when they fly. But the cutest thing is that they talk, or HOOT” to each other.

The drive was hard this year. I had really big storms again all the way from the Colorado, New Mexico border all the way into Nebraska so I got to Milwaukee tired and I do not think that I ever recovered. Saturday was a 4 hour drive into Milwaukee, set up the classroom, check into the hotel, airport pick up run and then hooking up with Andrea & Whit for dinner and that turned out to include Donna Mehnert and Illana from Israel. You know you are back in Milwaukee when there are loads of people at dinner with you and the laughter is raucous.

Well, workshops started bright and early on Sunday morning and finished up on Tuesday night. Everyone made such amazing things and I could not have been happier to see all of the strides that people made in their own skills and how far they thought outside of the box as they worked over those few days.

My remaining 10 classes started on Wednesday, as always, that day is my hardest day. I teach from 8am to 7pm. There are 3 classes a 30-minute "break" as you run across the convention center and get set up for the 3 hour meet the teachers. The day ends up being somewhere from 18 to 20 hours long because there is NO WAY on this green earth that you can just dive into bed after. It does take a few to unwind and try to breath again.

The rest of the weeks classes went so amazingly well. There was much levity and good humor as each of these people got to learn something new and to gain new skills.

Saturday night was the event of the week. Not only is it the Bead Social it is the silent & live auction for Breast Cancer and I received my Excellence in Bead Artistry Award from the bead & Button Staff. I was also given a $1000 gift certificate from Shipwreck Beads.

Mmmmmm Just Thinkin' 'bout what I MUST have…

Andrea, Terri, Cris, Gail, Stacey, Karen and a few others had been plotting to see how best to make me laugh the hardest… I think that they figured it out.... um the tiara and the flowers were NOT part of what the B&B staff had in mind but they played along with the joke beautifully.

The best part of the evening was the live auction. Andrea Guarino-Slemmons, Terri Caspary-Schmidt & I had pieces in the live auction and my friend Cris Leonard had one of her Dragon Fly Lentil Beads on a chain in the silent auction. I know that I am missing a HUGE number of people that participated in the event but we were the loud ones that made people spend more money on the pieces for a great cause.

The show was wonderful, classes went very smoothly and as always it is great to see all of those people that you only get to see a few days out of the year and there is never enough time to see everyone nor is there enough time in those days to get enough sleep and there is barely enough time for cocktails and good food. I would not trade these days for anything. This show is one of the highlights of my year and this year was made truly special for me by all of my friends and adored one that made a special effort to be there to support me and share in a very special evening with me.