Monday, May 24, 2010

Pretty in Pittsburgh

I'm writing this blog from Pittsburgh, where I am teaching two one-week classes...I came one day early to adjust to the 3 hour time difference, and ended up walking most of that day, looking at houses, and trying not to get run over. I was THAT close about three times, before it dawned on me: people here don't stop for pedestrians!

Look at this picture:

The traffic light is obviously meant for cars only, and you would assume that if it's green for the cars going straight, it's green for you you too. Well, in theory, but that doesn't mean anything for the cars turning right, and they don't stop for anything. In Washington State, even if you jaywalk, cars stop for you. So, if you don't hear from me anymore, I might be part of the Pittsburgh Pavement....

Especially since I didn't pay all that much attention to the streets, because my eyes were glued on the houses. In the Northwest, most houses are modern, or, if they are old, they are close to falling down (okay, well, it's not THAT bad, but in my everyday life, there aren't that many buildings worth oogling over.). The houses here all look ancient ("historic"), haunted, and a bitch to move into. Take a look with me:

What I found remarkable about this (rather modest) apartment building was the BIG name (Thames Manor) - and the fact that you can clearly see that powerlines going across (there is barely a picture here WITHOUT powerlines) - I counted them, and the average number of lines was TEN.....I don't know why that is so remarkable to me, I guess I'm just imagining the mess this could make during one of our famous Northwest Storms....

Toward the end of my many mile (seeming) walk I came across an Art Fare...with many strange animals around every corner:

Those that don't move, and those that can't reach high enough:

I hope that my beadmaking students will reach a little higher - we will see.

A little while ago someone asked me why I hardly ever show pictures of classes or students. The simple answer is: when I teach, I don't think about much else, and taking pictures is usually not high on my agenda. Also, I never think it's all that interested for the people who are not in the class to see pictures of people they don't know.... So, that's why I don't show pictures, the only one I have for now is the outside of the Pittsburgh Glass Center:

Not a hugely attractive building, but great atmosphere. I will show pictures from the inside later this week: in case you ever consider coming here and take one of there very reasonable priced week-long classes, you can get an idea what it looks like.....

see you soon!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Another one of those tests

Just checking whether I can post from my iPad

Sunday, April 25, 2010

I haven't updated in while, and in MY life, that's actually a good thing. Unless I don't update for over two month, THEN there's reason to worry....thanks for checking!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Underwater Inspiration

The pictures below were taken at the "Maui Ocean Center". Probably not the best "almost underwater photography", but for the Canon Mini-Dude, not a bad job. If THESE pictures don't inspire anyone to make aquarium beads, I don't know what else will. Hmmm, maybe BETTER pictures, taken from a Scuba-diver. I sure wish I could do that. Tried it once many years ago in the Red Sea, but my ears were hurting like crazy after only 5 meters, so, that's unfortunately not a view of the world I will ever get to enjoy. Thank God there are Aquariums for poor people like me...and it's still a dream of mine to take a group of beadmaking students to an Aquarium - and then return to the studio and make what we saw....maybe some day out of Graceful Customs studio, the Monterey Aquarium is close enough....and in many ways more interesting than the Maui Ocean Center....

This picture was taken outside, where the fish were swimming in a shallow basin. Wish I could create the light reflections in glass...

The next fish (Angelfish??? the Aquariums identification plates were few and far between...) is perfect for the "raking technique" of fish in a bead - stacking dots to achieve the various colors and then raking through it into the slender fins - versus making a murrini, like for a clownfish...

The next one would definitely be a murrini....
(I just had to laugh at myself - when a beadmaker visits an aquarium, he/she thinks of how to MAKE the fish. When a Japanese visits and aquarium, he/she thinks of how to PREPARE the fish ("Hmmm, this one would make perfect Sushi...). I had two Japanese boyfriends when I was in College, so I know what I'm talking about.

The picture is poor, but I just love these Unicorn fish. The one on the left looks like something from Cirque De Soleil, don't you think?

One of the problems with taking pictures of fish is that they swim so darn fast....I never get more than either the head or the tail of this fish, the colors where incredible....just too fast.

Okay, enough of fish, I LOVE all the plant life (oh, I guess half of those "plants" are fish after all, what do I know?!)

This next picture is my favorite of the bunch, the plant looks "out of this world", as if it's stretching into a starry sky. Amazing!

Hope that some of these might inspire you to take a "dive" into the world of Aquarium beads...Now I just hope that someone from Orlando will invite me for a class, because that's where America's most interesting Aquarium is located....

A quick trip to the Easter Island

This Easter Sunday I thought I would take a quick drive to the mall to get something I needed from Sephora, and maybe take a peek at the new Apple iPad at the Apple store. I was totally prepared to be stomped down by the shopping hordes - but to my great surprise (and intellectual pleasure): 95 percent of the stores were closed: Religious Observance overruling Commerce.

But there was some stomping going on anyways, and luckily I had my Canon Mini-dude on me to capture the dangerous moment:

Dark faces were lurking in the lush green

and all kinds of bizarre flying objects:

and hopping things:

and utterly strange things:

Did I hit my head at the mall and went into some kind of psychedelic Coma? No, I entered the Mall at the Rainforest Cafe entrance:

But with all the majestic elephants, colorful birds and oversized mushrooms, my favorite creatures by far were these two:

Sunday, April 4, 2010

absolutely amazing

Here are the pictures I promised in my newsletter, you can find more at the artists website.

Never Wash Your Hands?

It'll take him four hours to do one hand. He then photographs it for posterity. I cannot imagine how he does it, the eyes are so remarkably lifelike. It took him 10 hours to do the two-handed Eagle picture.

I hope you enjoyed these as much as I did!