Saturday, June 30, 2007

New form of graffiti on the rise!

I was reading's blog today, catching up on some reading because I haven't visited in awhile. Anyway, I came upon this posting picturing a pipe in Brooklyn covered with a knitted tube cozy. Fabulous!! Check out the Gallery of Knitted "Graffiti" on the graffiti group's website, "Knitta, Please."
From the website:
"Knitta began in August 2005, when the soon-to-be-Knittas were discussing their frustration over unfinished knitting projects: half-knitted sweaters and balls of yarn gathering dust. That afternoon, they knit their first door handle. Then it dawned on them… a tag crew of knitters, bombing the inner city with vibrant, stitched works of art, wrapped around everything from beer bottles on easy nights to public monuments and utility poles on more ambitious outings. With a mix of clandestine moves and gangsta rap — Knitta was born! Today, Knitta is a group of ladies of all ages, nationalities, and… gender."

Also, I've been sitting on this link for awhile without any relevance to post about it. Perhaps we can all use the tool to grade the knitted graffiti instead?
Graffiti Report Card on

From the creator of the download-able and printable PDF report card,
"It’s a project I started a couple of months ago after seeing my neighborhood (The Mission District of San Francisco) receive an amazing amount of ugly, large, and talentless graffiti. I wanted a way to combat the ugly graffiti while at the same time give praise to the talented graffiti writers who I feel make the streets more beautiful. It occurred to me, that many of our local taggers don’t realize how ugly and talentless their graffiti is, so I wanted to give them some feedback."

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Let's Get This Putty Started!!

So we can get it over with already!
Wow! I thought that cutting all the tiny pieces of glass was tedious. Now, I think that puttying all the little, itty, bitty, teeny, tiny spaces around the wee pieces of glass is more so!

This is definitely a messy job, but a friend of mine has stated, "Art should be messy!" :) Well, then, this is a masterpiece!

I've finished putty-ing perhaps one half of one side. These first two pictures show the putty that has been applied and already cleaned up a bit with a toothpick to reuse some of the putty that was clumped on.

This third picture shows the edges that still need putty, just for reference. So, I had thought that I may go into the studio today to continue putty-ing. But, when I work my "real" job in the evenings, it's hard to commit the other half of my day to the studio. So, if I have a spare moment, after Todd and I run to the store to pick up pizza and salad fixin's, I may head out to the garage to cut some strips of glass for my next plate.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Animated French AIDES Ads

I found these ads while reading my AdRants newsletter (all about advertising and marketing). Someone found these totally, deliciously animated public service announcements. Note: These would never play in the States, except perhaps on MTV.
Remember how Team America (do you?) got an R rating (or worse) for puppet sex scenes? Well, these ads also get a little dirty. So, if you offend easily, these are not for you:)

The straight version...

And the gay version...

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

All done soldering...

The Beginning Fused Glass class is finished, so with tonight's Tuesday night Independent Study session, I both began and finished soldering the joints of my Frank Lloyd Wright Stained Glass Window. Now, all I do is putty and polish!
Unfortunately, my fiance and myself both are of the opinion that "our" (read "his") camera is dying. Not only has it stopped registering preview mode, it is only taking smaller pictures. What this means to you and me? No detail shots:(
But, on the plus side, look how fabulously perfect and clean my solder joints are! Of course, no one can prove me wrong, so I must be right:)
I may go in tomorrow to begin putty-ing. However, seeing as how I set my own schedule,

I may feel like playing with glass in the garage, beginning one of the myriad of projects I have lined up.
Also, tomorrow is gym day. I love going to the climbing gym here in Napa (Rockzilla) with Todd! My arms are really getting some definition; I can see triceps! I absolutely hate exercise for exercise's sake. Thus, I play soccer and climb walls:)

Ten Commandments of Creative Women

I happened upon this at, and wanted to pass it on:
  1. You will always remember: You are a creative woman.
  2. You will honor your creativity by nurturing it.
  3. You will honor your sister's creativity by nurturing it also.
  4. You will allow yourself to take creative risks.
  5. You will use your creativity to express and increase the beauty of the world.
  6. You will use your creativity to express truth.
  7. You will use your creativity to see more beauty.
  8. You will allow yourself and your art to be a work in progress.
  9. You will allow your creativity to be the "true voice" you hear when others may scoff.
  10. You will accept and love yourself during times of feeling fallow, trusting this quiet time is necessary to precede new birth or creation.

Jon Stewart on Dick Cheney

I always wondered about the fourth branch of government...

The Mythological Dick Cheney! Aha! See? We have nothing to worry about!

Ready to Solder!

Woo-hoo! This morning's three hour studio session witnessed me finishing the final pieces of lead being cut and placed...
I've almost finished cutting the zinc edge came with the handy dandy little powerhouse saw that Michele has at the studio, and everything fits perfectly.
Being so close to being done makes me begin to dream about my next project.
So far, I've got a couple of kilncasting ideas, four stained glass windows to choose from, a bag of bottles to etch, strips of glass to cut for my next plate idea...
Hmmm...where to begin? At the beginning?

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Tree of Life Kiln Casting

After coming up with the idea for the piece, I broke out the clay...

My lovely lump of clay became the tree of life that you see above.

After pouring a mold and allowing it to dry, I kilnwashed the mold and filled it with glass:

Then, pop it in the kiln for a day or two...

I love this method of kiln working glass. This is the second sculpture that I've made, and I've got one more that should be finished soon.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

!!! Katamari Damacy !!!

La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, Katamari Damacy. Tk-uh-tk-uh-tk-uh...

I've finally, finally incorporated the beaded Katamari Prince into a T-shirt! Yea!!

Zipping right along...

Well, it won't be long before I'm ready to solder the joints of the lead came together.
Tuesday, I worked for another three hours in the studio and finished almost all of the mitred cuts that are left to make in the came.
I imagine that I'll finish up on this coming Tuesday.
Then, it's time to pull out the solder.
After that, I'll putty, then polish...
Yea! I'm so close to being done.

I'm getting ready to start my next piece already!

Fused Glass Suncatcher

Turned this:
into this yesterday:

Eye Candy, enjoy:)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Gary Jules at Cafe du Nord!!

Yea!!! July 17th, I can't wait!
Cafe du Nord sounds like an awesome venue from what I've already read on, and I've snagged dinner reservations for Todd and myself at 7:45pm. So, when we get there, if there's a line, we walk to the front of it, and walk right in!!! Oh, I'm so excited!

Prairie Window Continued...

I'm getting quicker! Yesterday, in the three hour period that I was in the studio, I finished almost the entire (center left) row of diamonds and small mitred cuts of lead pictured here:

The previous row took me twice as long! To see previous stages check here and here and here and lastly, here.

Each time I go into the studio to work on the piece, I devote a three hour period to working on the window. If I stay longer, my patience thins, and I start to make imprecise cuts. Yesterday, however, I felt as if I could keep on going. But, I stopped nonetheless.

Just looking at the pictures makes me want to get into the studio and work on the piece some more... I think I may be coming addicted to leaded stained glass!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Raffle Necklace for GGE

I recently received an email from Mandy Van Deven, the Associate Director/Community Organizing Coordinator for Girls for Gender Equity in NYC, asking for items to be included in a raffle for a fundraising event that's coming up in July.

From the website: "Girls for Gender Equity is committed to improving the physical, psychological, social and economic development of girls and women. Through education, organizing, and physical fitness, Girls for Gender Equity encourages communities to remove barriers and create opportunities for girls and women to live self-determined lives."

I did a little research and checked out their website to see what the group is all about: afterschool leadership programs, basketball, soccer, boxing, self defense classes...The list goes on. This is a group dedicated to making a positive impact in the lives of young women.

So, I decided to send a piece to be included in the raffle. This is one of my newer necklace designs, incorporating stained glass into jewelry. I soldered the lotus/fuschia-inspired flower pendant with Silvergleem, a lead-free, super-shiny solder composed of tin and silver, added Czech fire-polished Aurora Borealis beads, and finished with a rubber "chain" and sterling silver components.
I made the necklace 17" long, but since it's for a raffle and whoever ends up with it may need a longer length, I added a chain extender to each clasp (there are two). So, the necklace extends to approximately 19".
This is the first necklace that I've incorporated chain extenders into, and I like the outcome. They add a little extra flair while serving to make the piece more versatile. I'll definitely be adding this technique into future necklaces.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Frank Lloyd Wright Prairie Window

Still working on the window.
I went into the studio today for another three hours.

So, I did get more done in this session than I did last week. Plus, I cleaned out the bottoms of the glass grinders. They needed it!

Yesterday, I worked at home in my garage studio.
I soldered some more pendants, plus I worked on these nifty window tassels:
This is an updated photo, so you'll also notice the beaded suncatcher I recently made hanging in the middle along with a glass ball made by Saint Helena glass artist Ed Breed.

The triangles are purple and cream and look great in the sunroom!

I go back to the studio later tonight. But, before I leave, I'm going to thumb through a book I checked out at the library about Tibetan symbols and meanings. I've got a great idea for some stained glass prayer flags...

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Magic Misting Fogger Bowl

Another one of those projects that I've been wanting to work on, I finished the bowl for the LED lit misting fogger that Dad sent my way awhile back.

I used the gorgeous Spectrum 96 COE "Blackberry Cream" OpalArt glass.

The mister sits in the bottom of the bowl, and eventually I'll have a stand for the bowl to sit on.
As well as humidifying the room, and de-ionizing the air, the mister has been purported to cure headaches & insomnia, reduce stress, increase endorphins, moisturize skin and prevent wrinkles, as well as increase your immunity.

I know it humidifies and de-ionizes the air. I can't attest to the other benefits. But, it's definitely pretty to look at:)

Friday, June 8, 2007

View of a Prairie Window

I've been wanting to take pictures of the Frank Lloyd Wright Prairie Window that I've been working on for the last month, but keep forgetting to bring the camera with me when I'm at the studio. Then last week, I remembered to take the camera to the studio to take pictures of my window all cut up, but alas! I forgot the camera battery.

So, I began leading the window, figuring it will be awhile before I finish. I'm bound to get a picture of it at some point. Of course, I was right! It will take awhile before I finish.
Here are the before pictures I took at the studio on Tuesday:

Tuesday afternoons, from 11:00am to 2:00pm, are Independent Study times. In three hours, this is what I accomplished:
See the little area in the middle? The approximately 3" by 7" area with all the mitred cuts, and tiny pieces?!? Yup, this will definitely take awhile to finish.
Fortunately, it's a somewhat meditative process, and I enjoy it - in 3 hour sessions.

Previous posts:

Veggie Tofu Scramble

Vegan or Vegetarian
(serves 4)

Prepare potatoes:

Potatoes may be cooked up to two days in advance. (They taste great in burritos, too. So you may want to make extra!)

4 small red potatoes
1 T canola oil
1-1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp turmeric
1-1/2 tsp garam masala (optional)
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp salt

Dice into 1/2" cubes (medium dice). Mix all ingredients in bowl. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes on a baking sheet. Let cool for 5-10 minutes.

Prepare tofu:

16 oz extra firm tofu

Rinse tofu. Crumble into colander to drain excess moisture. Set aside.

Get ready to scramble!

2 T canola oil
3 oz baby spinach (half of a 6 oz bag) or 1/2 bunch stemmed spinach
1 red bell pepper, diced
small red onion, diced
4-5 "sausage" links, cut into quarters
1 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp salt

In skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add sausage links to brown for about 3-5 minutes. Add onion, red pepper, saute for about 3 minutes, until onions are translucent. Add turmeric, chili powder, salt and tofu. Stir to blend spices into tofu, cook for about 8 minutes. Add potatoes. Stir to combine. Add spinach, turn off the heat. Toss until spinach is wilted. Salt to taste.

Todd made these for breakfast and we ate them as is. We still had leftovers, so I made them into sandwiches a couple of days later. I reheated the scramble in a saucepan with a dash of water. I toasted the bread, then melted cheddar cheese on one slice and spread mustard on the other slice. Assemble, and voila! An egg and cheese sandwich, just (not quite) like dad used to make:)

Monday, June 4, 2007

My pine cone inspired lips...

This piece is a couple of years old, but I was having a conversation with a friend of mine about painting and getting inspired...

This piece was started as an assignment for a beginning painting project. We were to find an object from nature. After we had our object, we were supposed to replicate the image over and over across the 3'x4' canvas.
I chose a pine cone. Can you see it?

Di Rosa Preserve Open to Public!

The Di Rosa Preserve "encompasses 53 acres, including a 35-acre lake, plus 162 acres of natural wildlife preserve, all under Napa County Land Trust open space protection. Holdings include Milliken Peak and a stunning variety of habitats such as oak woodland, native grasses, ferns, herbs and wildflowers."

More than that, though, the Preserve is the legacy of Rene di Rosa and a treasure of art and architecture. According to one of the volunteers, there are more than 900 artists with 2000 pieces on display.

Normally, to see the entire grounds, you need to schedule a tour and are guided through the large museum of pieces that Mr. di Rosa has collected throughout his lifetime. But, Sunday was a different story. There were throngs of people wandering about, taking in the more than 2000 pieces of art adorning the walls and ceilings of the former di Rosa residence, hanging on the walls of the two galleries, and spotting the prairie garden. There was even a cow that walked on water!

My favorite of the glass art pieces was the glass chapel. It was beautifully leaded with poppies and irises. Aside from the glass being beautiful, the architecture of the house itself was amazing. Here's a detailed view of one of the apexes:

Another glass piece in the sculpture pasture was this glass pyramid that combined sandblasted glass and dichroic glass pieces to surround a rock that rested within a circle of broken glass bits. There were several petroglyph-like symbols left in the negative space surrounded by the sandblasted glass. The dichroic glass was attached with glue (UV glue is my guess) in areas of the base glass that were not sandblasted, creating windows for the sun to shine through and cast pinks, blues, greens, and yellows onto the rock below.
To the left is a picture of part of the pasture with a view of the hilly vineyards surrounding it. (The winery at the top of the hill is Artesa.)

And, of course, if you're going to have a sculpture garden in the wine country, you must have a house made of bottles!

I ventured inside, warily, to check out the granite slabs that were etched with a verse,

something to the effect of, "I remember the place of my birth."
But, unfortunately I didn't write it down, and so cannot remember it...
Ah! My mind, the steel trap.

Not glass, but provoking and somewhat eerie - though I suppose it would be close to frightening if viewed under a full moon - were the ghostly hands coming up out of the ground in the middle of a patch of California poppies.

There was so much art to see that the mere two hours we were able afford was a pittance. I had to rush off to work, so my visit was cut short, although the Preserve was closing down at that time anyway. This is definitely a day trip we will return to with visitors to the valley. Another one of the wonderful things to do in Napa when you get tired of wine tasting.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Creative Glass Guild of Etsy Treasury

Thanks to GazedUponGlass for creating a treasury for the Creative Glass Guild of Etsy. She's featured one of my glass pendants that uses 22k gold decals. This one happens to be a turquoise butterfly pendant.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Creative Glass Guild of Etsy June Sale!

The CGGE Street Team has begun it's June1-June7 sale, and most members are offering discounts on items or shipping.
I am offering free shipping on everything in my shop.

To shop all of the CGGE, search for items tagged cggesale.

Organic Bytes Update

I subscribe to this great newsletter from the Organic Consumers Association. I was turned onto it by a friend in food and farm studies in Ithaca, NY. They do great work in helping to keep consumers aware of food issues, and this is one we should all be concerned about:
ALERT: Congress Passes Provision Removing Local Rights to Regulate Food and Farms

Since 1988 the biotech industry and industrial food corporations have unsuccessfully tried to take away local and states' rights to ban or regulate genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and other controversial foods and crops. For example, OCA and other public interest groups successfully generated a mass outcry in 2006 that blocked the passage of the National Uniformity for Food Act. This highly unpopular bill would have nullified 200 food safety and food labeling laws across the U.S.

Failing to suppress grassroots control over food safety laws and labels in the last session of Congress, industry has now called on their friends in the House Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry to slip a similar poison pill into an obscure section of the voluminous 2007-2012 Farm Bill. The provision would give the White House appointed Secretary of Agriculture the power to eliminate local or state food and farming laws, such as those in four California counties banning genetically engineered crops, and set an an ominous precedent undermining states' rights.
Tell Congress to repeal this provision before it becomes law:


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