Sunday, February 20, 2011

Memory Lane & a Certificate!

The other night, I had to go to the tech college and make up my missed welding class.  If you remember, I was out of town for my Word Processing Exhibit, and so I missed my class.  Since it's only a 7 week course, it was important to make up the class.  When I pulled up to the welding building that night, in my bright yellow Mini Cooper, I saw a very different group of guys outside killing time until class.  Oh boy, I thought, this should be interesting.  Even as I walked by, I could hear snippets of conversation, and what came to my head was "Really?? You can't come up with anything more original than that??"  It was a group of dudes (and I do mean dudes) and they were joking and talking trash and doing all those things that you think only 15 year olds do.  Not to mention standing around smoking and looking rather unsavory.  So, whatever, I walked past them and went into the weld shop and got on with my business, not giving them another thought.  But half way through the make up class, we took a break, and I started noticing those guys again.  And you know what? They were working hard, not joking around, and trying to do a good job with what they were working on.  I mentioned it to our instructor, and he explained that these guys work all day at day jobs, and then come to class at night, which puts them home at 9:30 or 10:00 each day.  So what I realized then, is that these guys were simply blowing off steam in the short break they had between class and their work day.  They needed that.  I can respect that and I respected them because they were such hard workers.  Who knows what they thought of me!!  :)

The other thing I noticed was the atmosphere of the weld shop that night.  It was friendly and comfortable and I even got cornered in my booth talking to one guy.  It reminded me of my college days and of spending late evenings in the design studio with the rest of my class, and there was such a feeling of camaraderie.  Everybody was there, trying to accomplish the same thing, and everyone sort of helped each other get through it.  We laughed and joked and told stories, and as it got later and later, you often shared your personal thoughts or stories with each other, and made long lasting friendships.  That is what the weld shop reminded me of that night.  I actually really enjoyed it, maybe even more than my Saturday morning group (though I came to really like those guys too!).

So, all in all, I really enjoyed my class, and now I just know enough about welding to be dangerous.  :)  I'd like to sign up for another class, for a different type of welding, and now my hubby and another friend want to sign up with me!  That'd be fun too, to have my own group of friends there in class with me.  But we will see.  I probably won't be able to take another class until after the baby has arrived, and life has settled into a little routine.  The hardest thing about being pregnant during a welding class was that I had to stop and eat all the time!  Each class was a four hour class and so I usually had to take 2 breaks to eat something. My instructor thought it was a riot.  So here it is! My certificate!!


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Quote by Stephen King

I love this quote from Stephen King.  I really do.  This quote is in a book he wrote on writing, but it can relate to so many things in life.  I believe I will adopt this as my new personal mantra.  It takes a bit of courage sometimes to try out something or put yourself out there, but it is SO worth it.  I hope to live my life by this new mantra of mine, and I hope I can teach my daughter to do the same thing.  I even carved this into a new sculpture I'm working on, because it fit my mood and it fit the moment.   So this is a detail shot of the piece after I finished carving it.  I'm still working on the main bird form, and then she has to dry before firing...

And speaking of kids, I'm doing fine in the pregnancy, and I even had some energy yesterday! So maybe I'm coming out of the pregnancy fog, at least for a little while, and this is a good thing with my show coming up! Still have some things to finish and glaze, and not to mention all the packing....  Oh jeez...

And thanks to all the folks on Facebook who have been commenting on the photos I've been uploading! You guys make me smile and my heart sing!!


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Update on Various and Sundry Things

Works in Progress
There's a few things I want to share with you today.  One, is that I am testing out a new comments section on this blog.  The Intense Debate format should let me respond to comments much more effectively than the Blogger style of comments.  If it works, then great! And if it doesn't work, then I'll scratch it and go back to the default Blogger comments.  So bear with me, while this is being tested out.

Another thing I want to share is that tomorrow I'm heading to NC to see the group invitational I'm in (Word Processing), and I'm so, so excited to see everyone's works on display.  Oh - that reminds me - I must make dinner reservations... So not only are we going to see the exhibit, but we are leaving our munchkin with the babysitter overnight! Yeah! We don't do this often, the last time was 8 months ago, so this is pretty exciting for us.  Now, we can both enjoy the exhibit, instead of one of us chasing the kiddo around and making sure she doesn't single-handedly destroy the exhibit.

The other thing I wanted to share is that yes, the little birdies I make are definitely for sale.  I have 15 or so completed ones in my studio, so if you are interested, just let me know.  I will be taking them to my show in Atlanta next month and I expect them to sell quite well there.  They were popular last year, so we will see what happens this year.

I'm frantically working in the studio every chance I get, trying to complete a few more pieces for the show.   There's always a push at the end to get everything glazed and completed.  It's not going to be easy, as my hubby is out of town a lot lately with a sick mother, so I'm on kid duty most of the time.  Oh well, I'll just do the best I can and not worry about it too much!!  Maybe the kiddo will get to watch a few extra Dora episodes so I can work..  :)

Have a great day~

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Stylish Blogger Award!

I was totally excited to receive this Stylish Blogger Award last week from my sweet friend and fellow clay artist, Elizabeth Gonzalez!  I was honored to have her nominate me - I've been seeing this award go around to several of my friends, and I was thrilled to be in this "club".  So, I would like to thank Elizabeth GLZ and if you aren't familiar with her work, you should take a moment to head over to her blog.  She does wonderfully happy ceramics, as well as beautiful and colorful paintings.  I have one of her prints hanging in my studio.  She is a hard worker and is making her art career move!  I can definitely admire that!!

So one of the requirements of this award is that I share 7 things about myself that you may or may not know.  This part has been hard for me, and this is why I've been putting off this post for a week now.  I wanted to come up with some super cool, witty things about myself, but I'm afraid I've found the task to be a bit daunting.  So, here goes, here's my list of random things that I try not to share here:   :)

1 - I am so very particular about how the dishwasher is loaded!  I'm going for efficiency and organization, and you better not load the knives with the sharp tips up - I don't like cutting my hand when I go to unload!
2 -  I am compelled to check my email every time I hear that ding!  I always think something good is going to come in email and I just have to check it.
3 - If we meet in person, I am so colored-oriented that I will probably notice the color of your shirt before we even get the introductions over with, and that will help me remember you later.  As in, "oh, that nice lady with the red shirt??"
4 - I'm not a huge fan of cake, but my weaknesses include coffee, soft and gooey chocolate chip cookies, and glazed donuts (Krispy Kreme is my fav, for you Americans in the southeast).
5 - I am not a bubbly morning person.  I do my best creative work in the morning, but I'm not ready to giggle and talk and be silly until I've had coffee and some breakfast.  My mother even wrote about this in my babybook.  Well, not the part about coffee.  :)
6 - I used to torture my big brother by grabbing his two chest hairs and threatening to pull them out if he didn't leave me alone.  It worked!  I was never sure if it was the pain he was afraid of, or the idea of losing his two, precious chest hairs...
7 - And I used to torture my mother by putting the brown M&Ms on our dog with the "M" side down, and then when I knew she was watching me, I'd pluck one off and pop it in my mouth.  We lived on a farm in the country and had a terrible time with ticks on the dogs, and so these M&Ms looked exactly like engorged ticks! What a terrible thing to think about your child eating!

So, there you have it!  7 big secrets that I've now shared with you all.  Now on to the rest of the requirements!  I must pass on this award to 7 other bloggers that I admire.  You may have heard of some of them already, but I am not sure who all has gotten this award already, since it has been going for a while.  I'll try to get you some new ones. :)  So, in no particular order, here we go:

I know that most of you already know about Laura and her Strategic Online Marketing blog.  But I can't pass out this award without mentioning her.  Laura and I met through Kelly Rae Robert's ecourse Flying Lessons, and she has become a really good friend in my every day life.  This girl is multi-talented in social media, marketing, PR, webdesign, sales and other stuff, and now she is starting to come into her own as an artist.  She already makes beautiful jewelry, and is learning to sketch/draw, all while upping her game as a watercolorist.

Jenny Lee Wentworth is another artist from Flying Lessons, and I love watching her grow.  The opening paragraph on her blog talks about how she feels like anybody can make art.  Her blog is called Creativity is Happiness and I agree with that!  She just sold an original painting and is completely excited by it.

Bird from a Wire is another one of my favorite blogs.  Jen is a wire and fabric artist, who also blogs about other aspects of life, and her blog is always so happy and uplifting.  I even printed out one of her posts and hung it in my studio right by my sink, where I can read little snippets of it everyday when I wash my hands.  She also just had a book published "Creative Bloom" and one day, I am going to make every single project in this book!

Kylie is a painter and mom whom I admire.  She recently had her first solo show in Australia, where she lives and she was awesome to blog about it and make the rest of us feel like we were there with her on that special day.  I've written about Kylie here before, so check her out if you haven't done so yet.  She also participated in The Sketchbook Project with me.   She is currently building a house that looks super cool and has now started working in encaustic paints and is making some awesome new pieces.  Her blog is Chasing Purple Dreams and check her out on Facebook too.

Someone new you may not have heard about is Dodeline Design.  She is another local artist I met not too long ago through a tweetup.  Sarah is young (barely out of college!) and vibrant and has her act together.  We went to lunch one day and I have to say, I am happy to know this girl.  She is going to go far with her work, and I love watching people living their dreams.

Kristina, over at Figures... in My Art and My Life is a new blog I recently started following, and I love her work.  Most of you know I love to draw/sketch, but this chic is GOOD.  Her work is amazing and I would love to own one of her pieces one day.  She doesn't even know I exist, but I wanted to share her work with you.

I love this next blog for it's down-to-earth reality of being an artist.  Whitney at This Artist's Life, write about her life as a potter and artist, point-blank and discusses the nitty gritty of it all.  Again, she doesn't know me or my work, but I wanted to share her blogging with you.  If you ever find yourself awake at 4:00 am worrying about a commission or order, then you will understand this blog.

Whew! This is a long post and I'm sorry if I got too wordy!  Perhaps this was another reason I have been putting off this post - I knew it was going to be a doozy!!  There are so many other blogs that I enjoy every week, but I wanted to try to introduce a few new ones here.  Perhaps one day in the future, I'll do a big link love list of everybody...

Have a great day!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Pink or Blue??

Remember a few weeks ago, when I said I was low on energy???  Well, as a few of you have guessed (Kylie - I'm talking about you!!), there is a reason for my fatigue in these past few weeks...  I am almost 13 weeks pregnant!  So now you know why I've been such a zombie over the past three months.  It started around Christmas, and then just got worse as the weeks progressed.  I am hoping for a reprieve here soon, since I'll be starting my 2nd trimester next week.  I am excited about the little babe, and so is hubby, and the kiddo too.  It's going to be madness - chasing around a 3 yr old while trying to care for a newborn (and when do I get my studio time????), but one thing I have learned over the past couple of years is that time won't stop for anybody.  Kids grow up so fast, and even though I'll probably be even more exhausted when the baby comes, it will be worth it, most of the time.   :)

After losing my mom (2 years ago today), life kind of tilted for me.  I got to see things differently, and I knew I wanted another baby, even though I was in the depths of grieving.  I wanted to surround myself with family, and hold everything as tightly as possible.  I still feel that way.  The other thing I learned is that you can't wait to do things that you really want to do.  Sure, wait a few months or a year until your heart or head is ready, but don't wait too long.  Life is short, and we really should take advantage of the time we have here.  As Nike said a few years ago, Just Do It.  This is part of the reason we went to San Francisco for 6 weeks last summer.  It was just something we wanted to do.  Sure, lots of people thought we were crazy for doing it with a 2 yr old, but you know what?  Why wait??   Do it now.  It will be fine, and as it turned out, it was just fine.  We had a ball and I'm so glad we did it, because we won't be traveling this summer.  Not with a due date of August 14th!!  Whew!  It's going to be a long, hot summer for me, but I'm excited.  One of my closest friends is pregnant too, just 10 days ahead of me, and we will be going through this together.  It's going to be awesome.  They are coming to visit for July 4th, and we've already agreed to just sit and watch our feet swell up in the July heat.

So, do any of you have any guesses about the gender??  We will know in 3-4 weeks, and I cannot wait to find out!!  And you can bet I'll be announcing that news here, in this space.  Oh - and no, we don't have any names picked out yet.  :)

I haven't made anything yet, but my head is swirling with ideas about sculptures with tiny birds in the belly...

Yay, baby love!

By the way, if you like the little starbursts I used for the Girl? Boy? pics, I got them here, for free!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

"Word Processing" Exhibit

I'm still excited about this exhibit happening in Concord, NC.  They really do a nice job over there.  Did you see the Youtube link I posted to Facebook?  These guys obviously do these little videos to talk about what is happening in their area on a regular basis.  They filmed this video at the exhibit and even though it is a ten minute video, you only need to watch the first three minutes to see the exhibit.  They show a few of the pieces in the show, one of which is a little birdie of mine.  This piece has two little birds standing on metal legs, facing each other.  The piece is entitled "Life".  Check out the video, if you have time!

The other cool thing is that some good friends of mine went to see the exhibit, and she shot these photos of my work on her phone and sent them to me.  I, personally, still haven't seen the show, but I am trying to get up there on the 11th for their official Art Walk reception of the show.  I think the show looks fabulous and I'm super excited.

In other news, I've got my show fast approaching in March, and I'm starting to get stressed about having enough work for the show.  Each piece takes me so long to make, that it's hard for me to over-produce.  That's never, ever happened to me.  Ever.  But I always look forward to these shows and enjoy sharing the pieces that I do have, and somehow it always works out, no matter what.  It's funny how it works that way!

I've got some other big news in the works, but that will have to wait until a later post....   :)