Friday, July 27, 2007

Is it a Neil Young sort of day?

Apparently, it is!

I admit it, I am an NPR junkie. Much to the chagrin of my children, I keep the car radio tuned to NPR. According to them NPR radio personalities all talk in "headache inducing monotones". I think there needs to be a a new measure of time, a "radio second" perhaps, that measures the nearly instanteous amount of time between my car radio coming on the kids demanding in an impatient, irritated tone; "can we PLEASE change the radio station?" So much for the driver's preferences. Oh, well, at least they say please. So except for the left hand button that is always on KUER, the universities public radio station, the kids are given free reign to car radio buttons.

I played chauffeur last night, so when I left for work the car stereo was tuned to one of their choices. An oldies rock station. Neil Young's song "Old Man" was playing. I really like Neil, so I certainly couldn't complain about that. So I waited until the end of the song to switch to Morning Edition. I stop at my favorite coffee shop, (my morning ritual!) and what do I hear as I step in the door? More Neil Young! The barista is playing his "Harvest" CD. I guess it's a Neil Young kind of morning! What a nice way to start the day! I haven't listened to Neil in a while. Now I'm really in the mood for Neil, I really wish I had some of his music at work, but I guess I'll have to wait and get a Neil fix when I get home. Me thinks it will be an oldies music weekend at my house.

Oh yeah, I should mention, in addition to being a Neil day it's one of my days over at Watch Me Create!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Happy Pioneer Day!

What, it's not Pioneer Day where you live? Today is a state holiday here in Utah, celebrating the Mormon Pioneers arrival in Utah. As a non-Mormon living in Utah I feel pretty left out of the pioneer day festivities, but I'll never complain about a day off of work! I'm not sure god is favoring the pioneers today, because, to quote Pooh "Tut tut, it looks like rain". Or maybe he is shining on the pioneers as the bad weather has cooled things off a bit. It's nice to have temperatures of less than 100 degrees! It actually poured rain for a short while last night; I even had use my windshield wipers - I'd almost forgotten how to turn them on. I would welcome more rain! My gardens, which I worked so hard on this spring, are down right crispy!

So on my day off from work I'm trying to get caught up on a few things, including my blogging! I've been a bit distracted lately; I started an outdoor project a week ago or so. I decided to replace my kids decaying sand box with a goldfish pond. It'a not all quite done yet, but done enough that I can show off a little picture. I've been a little obsessed with the project, because I knew if I didn't actually bust my butt to get it done it would become a big dirt hole blighting my back yard and yet another badge of my advanced procrastination syndrome. It still needs some work, but here's the sneak preview:

Thursday, July 19, 2007


Yup, another numbers day. 10, today is the 10th day this summer the temperature is supposed to go above 100 degrees. Have I ever said I'm NOT a fan of hot weather? It makes me feel like a total unmotivated sloth. I just remind myself it could be worse, the air could still be full of smoke from wildfires like it was last week, I could still be living in Ohio where where it could be 90 degrees and 90% humidity, live in a place like Arizona where 110 is not uncommon (I couldn't live there!) or live somplace without air conditioning. So I'm not really complaining, right?

Here's my silly amusement for the day. As per usual my inbox is rife with junk mail, most of which I ignore and later delete. Yesterday an email from a store where my daughter buys clothes had a subject which caught my eye:

FREE Boy Tee with Your Favorite Jeans Purchase!

I first read it as:

FREE Boy TOY with Your Favorite Jeans Purchase!

That's what we all really want, right? LOL. So I've left it in my inbox, just because it amuses me.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Fish Pond

Apparently it was 105 degrees here in Salt Lake City yesterday... so what did I do? I ripped out my kids decaying sandbox and dug a huge hole to make a small backyard pond. It certainly semed like a huge hole while digging, but as far as ponds go it's just a small one. After some landscaping I'll post pictures. Meanwhile, check out todays blog at Watch Me Create for a fish story!!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Cyber world quandries

I did something a little silly this week. I made a MySpace page. I realize that MySpace is is passe' and so, well, yesterday (I've heard Facebook is now where it's at) so I guess I'm just good at being the last to the party.
My kids of course have had MySpace pages forever. In my daughters eyes they are the "mom forbidden zone". The last thing she wants is her mom poking around her page or those of her friends. She has in fact stated many times that she thinks it's "creepy" when "old people" have MySpace pages. It might seem like I'm trying to irritate my daughter by creating a page, but that isn't why I did it. My friend got tired of having her daughters geeky teenage boyfriends treat her like she is a cyber-illiterate, so she decided to make a page for herself to prove them wrong. Having sat around her table talking geek with these boys, and seeing their utter shock and amazement when they realized that I (old stupid woman I guess!) knew some html and understood what "binary" was, I could understand her desire to rise to the challenge. My friend needed an MySpace friend, so I made my page.

This MySpace "friends" business is sort of weird. Perfect strangers write you and ask to be added as friends. Why would I want to be "friends" with someone I don't know or have anything in common with?

So my cyber-quandry:
How to decide who to "add as friends"?

1. People you know in real life?
2. Internet buddies that you don't know in real life?
3. Internet acquaintances?
4. Friends of friends?
5. Strangers with common interests?
6. Famous people (musicians etc) that you like?
7. Random strangers who want to be your friend?

For me, numbers 1 and 2 make the cut. # 7 doesn't. I'm too lazy to look up "fan" pages, I doubt I'll do number 6. But I'm less sure of #3-5. I've been thinking about this because of an add request I got two days ago. A girlfriend of mine who's in cyber-dating mode has made lots of friends through MySpace. Some she just cyber-chats with, some she's actually met in real life, a few she's actually dated. One of the guys she's been chatting with, and has actually met once in real life sent me a friend request. So do I add him or not? I can't decide. He actually seems like an interesting guy. Mountain biker, guitar player, wood turner who lives 40 miles north of me. He seems like someone who I'd enjoy being friends with IF I knew him. But I don't. But my friend does. Hmmm... I can't decide.

I realize that in a week I'll probably forget I even made the silly MySpace page (gotta limit my cyber addictions and lampworking forums are plenty!) But what do you think? Do I add guys like this or not? Comments?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Tag, your it!!

A couple of weeks ago I was "tagged" by Lori Greenberg. It took me a while to answer all the questions, and deciding who to tag was tough. Now I need to get over the feeling that I'm forwarding a chain letter (something I never do). Anyway, here goes:

First I must nominate 5 other bloggers about whom I want to learn more:
1. Ellen Altamore - Ok, Ellen doesn’t have a blog, but if Lori can tag a non blogger so can I. I’ve been reading Ellen’s forum posts since my beginning bead making days in 2003. I always thought she seemed like such an interesting person. Beadmaker, sign language interpreter, dinner theater singer, fan of the blues, person with a wonderful attitude. Everything about Ellen screams “cool woman” to me!!! I can’t tell you how thrilled I was when I began blogging and Ellen started commenting on my blurbs. She makes me feel special on a regular basis! I hope we get to meet someday, but for now I’ll just play tag with her.

2. Val Cox - Another forum person from my beginnings as a beadmaker. One day on the forum I mentioned that even though I was making them I had no exposure to “real” lampwork beads. Val offered to send me one. I was so thrilled and surprised that some one would volunteer to send something to a stranger! She posts great pictures on her blog. I especially like it when she posts her pinhole camera photos.

3. JC Herrell – I met JC at the Michigan cabin retreat a year ago. She’s a wonderful beadmaker, and an insightful, introspective and open blogger. I enjoy reading her ramblings! Oops, I see she got tagged by someone else and answered the questions this week. Here are her answers

4.Kerry Bogert – I don’t know Kerry, but I think she makes really cool beads and jewelry. She’s very innovative. Since she started blogging on Watch Me Create I’ve been following her personal blog, and she’s someone I’d love to learn more about.

5.Heather Armstrong - Now I’m stepping away from the bead world! A while back Lori posted a link to “Dooce”, Heather’s blog. She’s a professional blogger, who just so happens to live here in Salt Lake. Among other things she often posts about the quirkiness of living Utah. As a transplant to Utah, (as I tell my kids, I’m not a Utard, like they are) I enjoy the jokes and silly anecdotes about life in our fair err, I mean fairly different, state. I hope she doesn’t mind being tagged by a perfect (I wish!) stranger.

What were you doing 10 years ago?
I was living like a refugee in my own home. The kid’s toys had multiplied to the point where they were taking over our house so we had decided to add a floor to our little 1160 square foot home. I can assure you, that no amount of careful planning can make up for hiring a crappy, scam artist contractor (he seemed so perfect when we signed the contract ha, ha!) So in July of ’97 I was in my third month of living in a house with no solid roof, where 1/3 of my existing ceilings had fallen down, and my wood floors were so warped in places that you couldn’t walk on them. Fun huh?

What were you doing 1 year ago?
Pretty much the same thing I’m doing now!

Five snacks you enjoy:
1. Rice – Yup rice! My Korean babysitter gave us a rice cooker when the kids were little, and warm rice from the rice cooker is a great snack… add a little butter and salt and pepper, or lemon pepper, or sesame oil and soy sauce and sesame seeds, or sumac ( a middle eastern spice), or cheddar cheese and dill, or butter, milk, sugar and cinnamon…mmmm …can you tell I like rice?!
2. Ice cream – especially Breyers all natural - try the vanilla bean with a squeeze of fresh lime and shredded coconut!
3. Anything with butter. (My worst vice!)
4. Cheese – especially exotic cheeses I’ve never tried!
5. Pretzels

Five songs to which you know all the lyrics:1. “Rag Time Cowboy Joe” I have to say this one because Nancy did! It was one of my Girl Scout camp songs…. OK I’m lying a little, now that I looked up the real lyrics I see I don’t know them all
2. Eddie Brown - you might know him as Eddie Koochie-kachie-kamma-toesinarra-toesinocah-samma-kamma-waukee Brown
3. Flea - Lets just say my version was similar to this one!
4. The Fly Song once again my version is a little different then the link I found. My fly: “Wiped his feet on the ham and stuck his tongue out at the grocery man”
5. The Flea Fly Song Is it obvious I picked my songs from my scout camp days at Camp Ross Trails?!

Five things you would do if you were a millionaire:
1. Selfish things first. I’d own a pool (and have someone else care for it!….and maybe a cabana boy! hee,hee )
2. I’d travel the world
3. I’d pay for all niece’s and nephew’s college educations.
4. I’d pay for under-funded scientific research, like ecology. Perhaps I’d fund graduate student research projects.
5. Donate more to favorite organizations, like The Nature Conservancy

Five bad habits:
1. Procrastination (Notice many of mine are the same as Lori’s)
2. Not finishing projects- there’s always a loose end that needs to be tied up!
3. Getting grumpy with my family
4. Not answering my phone or checking messages.
5. Too much time on the computer.

Five things you like doing:
1. Beadmaking!
2. Skiing
3. Gardening
4. Hiking
5. Eating

Five things you would never wear again:
1. Polyester
2. High heels
3. Tube tops
4. Toe socks
5. Ballet costumes

Five favorite toys:
1. Tops (I really have a small top collection!)
2. Blocks (I’m never getting rid of the kids blocks!)
3. My skis.
4. My torch.
5. George, my bear. He’s almost as big as me, no longer has eyes, and leaks at few seams. He was a gift from my Aunt Linda when I was a baby. I still have him.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Buying time...

I need (meaning I have a deep seated emotional need!) to make some beads. Getting ready for my show cut into my glass melting time, so now I'm craving some serious torch time.

Unfortunately, between refusing to do any domestic chores for two weeks prior to my little show, creating the huge jewelry making mess I wrote about recently in one of my Watch Me Create posts, and the fact that entropy has acted on my studio again I feel I can't allow my self to light the torch until I corral in some of the chaos.

I did cheat and made a few on Friday night, spent Saturday on my eagle adventure, and swore I'd catch up on the cleaning Sunday.

On Sunday I manged to get most of my beading supplies reorganized and put away, and started my studio cleanup. I took a break for a short mountain bike ride on the Pipeline Trail and cooked an actual "real" meal for my kids. Last night I managed to clean the master bathroom and to dust and vacuum up all the felted fur scatter rugs that have been decorating my bedroom. Maybe tonight I can finish cleaning up my dining room table mess and get the studio cleaned up enough that I can allow myself to torch. I really want to torch!!!

Does any one know the secret for creating more hours in the day???

Can I buy some time somewhere?

Monday, July 09, 2007

Fly like an eagle!

A good friend of mine and her daughter spend a huge amount of their free time volunteering as bird rehabilitaters at the Ogden Nature Center. On Saturday they invited me on a little adventure. They were going to be releasing a Golden Eagle, something that is a pretty big deal in the bird rehabilitation world.

Birds are well-protected animals with the exception of some birds that can be hunted and a few “nuisance” birds (starlings, pigeons and house sparrows) it is illegal to harm or own any migratory bird. In fact it’s actually illegal to own bird feathers, and eggs and nests. Knowing this I shouldn’t have been too surprised that eagle rehabilitation is pretty regulated. The Ogden Nature Center where my friend works is a licensed rehabilitation center, and while their rehab program is growing, they are lacking in some facilities for doing eagle rehab, namely a flight cage. Any raptor that needs to spend time in a flight cage prior to being released must be taken to another facility. In the case of eagles, they must be shipped back and released in the same area where they where found.

The eagle that was to be released yesterday was being flown back from a rehab in Denver. One of the Colorado rehab-ers neighbor is a doctor, who recently got her pilots license and her own plane. A trip to Utah would be a good chance to practice her mountain flying so she volunteered to fly the eagle to Utah, and bring some Utah birds to Denver to the flight cage. Early on Saturday morning we headed out to the tiny airport in Morgan, Utah, to meet the plane and exchange birds. We were at the airport for a while as they tried to figure out the logistics of loading all the birdcages into the plane for the trip back to Denver. They decided to switch an eagle into a smaller crate, and got permission to go into a hanger to make the exchange. It is pretty amazing to watch them handle the huge eagle, those beaks and claws look very scary to me, yet they handle the birds with ease.

After they the plane was loaded we headed about 10 miles away to the release site. This is where the day took an unfortunate turn... Delynn pulled the eagle out of the carrier and spread it wings to examine the bird before releasing it. As you may be able to see in my poor picture, it wing feathers were damaged; some primaries were missing, others looked broken off. She had to make the hard decision not to release the bird, so it wasn’t eagle release day after all. The big question became whether the bird had damaged it wings in the carrier, or if the wrong bird was sent. I had assumed that they banded rehab-ed birds, but it turns out that’s not allowed, so it is possible they caught the wrong bird in the flight cage. It would certainly be interesting to see how they actually capture the eagles that are free to roam in 100 yard long, 18 ft tall flight cage! Nothing about rehabilitating eagles seems easy! It will be interesting to find out what the story was with the eagle. It was slightly disappointing not to see it set free, the at least the day was interesting and educational. I’m looking forward to going on the future release.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

July 4th

Happy Fourth of July!

So "why the snowman?" you ask. Mr Snowman has been sitting out in the hallway at work. I'm not sure, but I think he's someone's idea of wishful thinking, as it has been extremely hot here this week.

I have no big July 4th plans. I slept in, surfed the web, "discussed" religion with some Jehovahs witnesses while in my PJ's (low cut, spagetti strapped polkadot, cotton shortie - I bet that suprised the evangelical door knockers - Hee,Hee!), went out to breakfast with my family and made some beads. If the local country club shoots off fireworks I'll watch from by deck. It's too hot to be motivated!

I hope everyone else is having an exciting holiday!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

A little help from my friends!

The hardest thing about doing a show was the need to actually put prices on my creations. It is hard to put a value on my own work. Am I arrogant and conceited if I ask a high price? Am I being foolish and insecure and not valuing my work by pricing too low? If I'm willing to accept a low price for my work am I actually devaluing not only myself but my artist colleages as well? The last question is an interesting one that I never would have thought of had I not spent a lot of time on internet forums with professional artists. As a hobbyist crafts person, it is easy to think "I'd be making it anyway, so selling for peanuts is better than not selling at all" with out thinking how undercutting other artists prices can contribute to undervaluing the entire field and negatively influencing the earning potential of the professionals artists who are trying to sell their wares to put food on their table. I guess asking a decent price not only says you think that your work is worth it, but that you respect other artists in you field. Heavy huh?

Since this whole subject stresses me I decided to take the easy way out. On Friday night I invited a few good friends over for a pizza (and wine) and pricing party. I was hoping they would give my some guidance, and like good friends do they went beyond the call of duty. Instead of giving me the ball park prices I'd hoped for, they sat down and priced every single piece for me. Tori would suggest a price, and April, who is my partner in crime at the Gem Faire would say "but those earrings have expensive silver bead caps" so it should be more, or Traci would say "I really like that bead so I think it should be more" etc. etc.. Before you knew all my cards had prices written on them, and I didn't do any of it. I Just ordered the pizza and poured the wine! I actually went to my show not knowing what my prices were. You have to really love getting a little help from your friends!!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Show time!

I survived my first show. It was a hot day, the gardens were lovely, the food and music was good. I wish I could say it was a big money maker, but I think business was pretty slow for most vendors. I did make back my booth fee, plus a bit more, so for a first show I was pretty happy. People did seem to like my pieces, but I think it was one of those shows where nobody was buying. Everyone was eating the free food though (LOL!).... and it was yummy!

I was happy how my little display came out; I didn't really want to spend a ton of money on display things, since for all I know this would be my first and last show. I bought a $10 fireplace screen at a thrift store and used paperclips as hooks to hang my carded items. I put some bent sticks from my yard into styofoam in pretty metal tins from the dollar store, added some wire hooks and covered the styrofoam with dollar store pebbles and voile', I had displays for necklaces and bracelets. I also found this really cool 3 sectioned wooded bowl at the thrift for a whopping 49 cents. Necklaces look really nice laying in it. I also made a little sign explaining lampwork and brought some rods, twisties, frit and beads still on mandrels so I could educate anyone interested in the art of beadmaking.

I did get put by my friend Elizabeth, heres a picture of her and her mosaic stepping stones. It was nice to have someone to chat with!