Monday, August 30, 2010

Marvelous Monday

As school is soon approaching, I'm dreading the fact that I'll no longer be able to awaken in the morning at my leisure.  Soon, I'll be hearing that horrible alarm clock clanging in my dreams.  Group groan. But - that will also bring a more structured work schedule.  Yes! 

So, once again, it's Monday and I'm here to share some beautiful work.  This time it's from a polymer/basketry artist.  You probably know her work, but for those who don't, you might bask (sorry, couldn't resist) in the beauty of Victoria James' baskets. The polymer is just as beautiful as the basketry, and together, they're sheer delight. 

And if you like texture, you will want to see her texture sheets.  She makes and sells her texture sheets which are made from an RTV silicon mold compund.  Here's one of my favorites.  So go . . . browse, maybe even shop - but make it marvelous!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Marvelous Monday

When at Sunapee a couple weeks ago, I came across a ceramic artist who worked with crystalline glazing.  I couldn't find any info on her, so I thought I would search the 'net and show some pictures of this beautiful glazing technique.  It's created when you begin firing your piece in the kiln at say 2400 degrees and crash cool it down to about 2000 degrees. You continue to drop and hold the temperature.  In the center of the nuclei, crystals begin to grow similar to like frost on a window  The shape and style of the crystal  that is formed is dependant on how you adjust the temperature in the kiln.  The effects that you'll see is like when you throw a rock into the water, and it forms little ripples around the center.  If you're like me and get a thrill from looking at sunsets and cloud formationsyou'll surely love this technique - it's purely magical!   Hope you enjoy - have a marvelous Monday!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Accepting Credit Cards Update, Cape Cod Show

Back in June I blogged about my credit card machine woes.  It brought a lot of comments through my facebook and this blog.  I figure I would give an update on accepting credit cards at shows.  There are other companies than Square who can also process credit cards via a smartphone.  One particular company I've looked at is CB Mobile.  CB Mobile is a free downloadable application for use  by anyone who opens a Capital Bankcard merchant services account.  It works with smartphones of all types (iphone, Blackberry, Android and Windows Mobile).  Two different types of accounts can be setup:  one which the card is present and used in conjunction with a bluetooth card reader, or a keyed transaction account (with the rates varying depending on the type of account that's set up).  For further information about the company and rates, you can inquire here.

This particular application works on more smartphones than Square.  They can all be set up with the Card present rates and bluetooth card reader except the iphone which works with a keyed account. 

There are other fees involved with CB Mobile as well.  They have a $7.95 monthly statement fee, a minimum monthly processing charge of $15 (only if processing fees amount to less than $15), and an annual PCI compliance fee of $79/year.

There is also a charge of $149 for the bluetooth card reader, but it is free until August 31st if you can meet certain requirements. 

I am not affiliated with this company, just researching other options and reporting!

This weekend, I will be at one of my favorite shows.  It's the "14th Annual Cape Cod Bead Show" which is taking place in Falmouth, MA.  I always look forward to doing this show as it's well run and have a nice variety of vendors.  If you're on the Cape, please stop by and say hi. For further details, please see my website.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Out of the Studio Wednesday

Back here I blogged about my daughter Lily's room being painted.  The room is painted and all we need to do now is to spruce it up by bringing in some accent pieces.  I'd like to begin by removing some of those dust collectors, I mean, trophies.  One day I surprised Lily with some switchplates (done in her colors) when she was at a friend's house.  These are the first two.  And what do you know . . . she actually liked them!  I believe this is the first thing she ever wanted from my creative endeavors.  Excuse me while I get over the shock.


This week I've been busy week trying to fill orders.  I did manage to get a little distracted one day after seeing the Monet painting "Banks of the Seine".  I was compelled to do some experimenting with blues and greens. Here's what developed. 

Monday, August 16, 2010

Marvelous Monday

"These pieces are excerpts… pieces of experience, magnified like text. Or insets in a map, showing features which would otherwise appear only as pinpoints in the sea. I am looking at intersections in thought, between logic and emotion, between observation and experience, between the impulse to organize and the impulse to release."

I came across a piece of jewelry by Julia Turner and felt a very strong reaction to her work.  Her work seems so simple, yet, complex at the same time.  I can't help but wonder about her process as to how each piece emerges sometimes from merely a piece of wood into something powerful and extraordinary.  Hope you enjoy - and have a marvelous Monday!

Friday, August 13, 2010

League of New Hampshire Craftsmen Fair 2010

I've returned from my very mini vacation up in New Hampshire.  After the craziness of the previous week, I managed to slip into vacation mode immediately. Plenty of sunshine, great food, and wonderful crafts and company made for a really nice visit.  The League of New Hampshire Craftsmens Fair is held for nine days at the base of Mount Sunapee.  The fair started out strong with there being approximately 1200 additional people the first weekend compared to last year.  We avoided the fair that weekend and opted to go on Monday when it would be less crowded.  Our first stop was at the Craftwear Exhibition. Here you can see and purchase one-of-a-kind wearables. These included art-to-wear clothing, jewelry, accessories and high-quality children's apparel. It was here that I saw the work of Sandra McCaw, Kathleen Dustin, Ann Dillon and Marcia Herson. Upstairs from this exhibition is the Living with Craft Exhibition. It's like entering a home furnished with entirely handcrafted works of art.  After that, we began our approach to the booths.  There were so many beautiful things to take in.  Most vendors have booths for the full 9 days, however, the league does offer vendors booth space for 1/2 of the week.  So on Wednesday, we went back to see the new vendors, and to shop.  There were 8 rather large tents set up where all the vendors were.  But also, they have many other large tent spaces where there's all kinds of demonstrations that take place during the day - everyday. 

I stopped by Barbara Sperling's booth to take a look at her work.  Here's a couple photos of some of her work.

I found Sandra McCaw's booth and photographed one of the new colorways she's working with (as well as a picture of her in her booth). 

On Wednesday, I had the pleasure of watching Natalie Blake demonstrate her clay carving techniques.  She was in the process of carving numerous tiles which when finished would look something like the photo below.

It was just the perfect few days of R & R I needed.  I'm already looking forward to next year!  Now it's back to the studio so I can begin preparing for my show at the Cape!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Marvelous Monday

Yes, it really is a marvelous Monday for me.  In case you've been wondering where I disappeared to, I've been out of the loop due to a computer virus of the worst kind.  We had to restore my computer back to its original state - everything that was there - gone!   BUT, thank God for Carbonite.  This was the first time I ever had to try to recover my files that I've been using their service for.  With a click of the button, they were back in the mother ship.  So easy!  Sunday I spent most of the day doing all the necessary housework on the computer.  Just in time for me to take a few days to head to Lake Sunapee for the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen Fair.  I'll be strolling through over 200 craft booths.  And then I'll be spending time on the lake with friends for some rest and relaxation.

Meanwhile, I found this wonderful artist on Etsy I thought I would share to begin you week.  Mysticafelicity uses beautiful stones and dichroic glass in combination with sterling silver, copper, brass, and bronze to create these wonderful pieces of jewelry that appear as if they're from another time.  She uses textures and patinas that do such a splendid job of showcasing her stones and glasswork.  Hope you enjoy - have a Marvelous Monday!  I'll be back by Friday to post about the show.