Friday, June 29, 2012

Friday Foto 6/29

Whoo, Lawdy, it's hot! It never gets this hot here... well... it probably has, but not in the 21 years I've lived here. I think it's time to get a cold beverage, a lawn chair and go sit in the river.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

PMC Conference Re-Cap

This was among the nice things I found in my conference goody bag.

Oh, Wow! What and experience this conference was! It met all of my expectations (except for the hotel itself, which was old and not in the best shape. Let's just say it was like camping with air conditioning.... too much air conditioning.) and at first I was quite star-struck seeing the people who write books and teach classes.

It all started at 2:00 on Thursday and I arrived from the airport at 1:50. I felt like I had skidded in on two wheels! I only missed a few minutes of the key note address by Ellen Wieske, Assistant Director at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts. She spoke about the connection between materials and objects.

The next session was a demonstration by Chris Darway and Terry Kovalcik, better known as "The Jersey Boys".Chris showed us how he attaches titanium wire with silver metal clay and Terry demonstrated how he makes armatures out of polymer clay to make three-dimensional metal clay pieces.

Chris Darway and Terry Kovalcik

After the demo I headed to the lobby to meet up with the other seven members of our Etsy Metal Clay Team who attended. Unfortunately I didn't get a picture, but it was sooooo good to meet some of the people in person that I've only known online. I had a feeling that we would "click" in person and I was right. The team members are Lora Hart, Lorena Angulo, Lori Magno, Evelyn Dombkowski, Lis-el Crowley, Wanaree Tanner, Catherine Witherell and me.

On Friday morning our fearless leader, Tim McCreight gave a presentation about the history of Metal Clay in the US. He had some funny stories about the group of artists and scientists who got together in the early days to figure out what the great grey goop was capable of.

The next session was with Helga van Leipsig and her topic was Process As A Design Tool. That was really helpful to me, as I tend to be scattered and her tips on organization will be valuable.

Helga van Leipsig, me, and Catherine Witherell
Next, I went to another demonstration, this one by Barbara Becker Simon and Vickie Hallmark. They talked about combining glass and metal clay. 

Barbara Becker Simon and Vickie Hallmark
After lunch I went to hear Hadar Jacobson talk about how to combine base metal clays. I was disappointed in this one. Not that the presentation was bad, just that there's so much uncertainty when you do this. She often mentioned that pieces either did not sinter (the process of turning from a powder to metal) or that they melted or alloyed. I like good old reliable silver!

Dinner that night was in the company of the Australians. Those women are a hoot! I enjoyed my time with them and would love to go Down Under one day.

On Saturday morning the entire group gathered again to present the Fusion Award to Dr. Morikawa, one of the inventors of PMC, and to acknowledge the work of Tim McCreight for the PMC Guild. Tim was presented with a solid gold business card:

Tim's solid gold business card. He did NOT give this out to anyone. I was lucky to get a picture.
 Next I went to hear Lisa Cain talk about Innovative Textures. She showed us examples of textures that you can find anywhere and how to capture them to be used in metal clay.

Then I went to Susan Dilger's presentation on social networking. She shared tips on how to market yourself and your business online. Again, something that I need help with!

Me, Susan Dilger
The last night of the conference featured a big party sponsored by Rio Grande, the major American distributor of PMC. We had a Dolly Parton look-alike, balloon hat making stilt walker who turned out to be our own mild mannered Donna Penoyer! 

GRRRR!!! Blogger will not let me post the rotated picture! Turn your computer sideways.
They had a DJ playing disco music and I danced so much that my knee is not happy right now. I also had more alcohol than I've had in a long, long time because I didn't have to drive anywhere! It was great fun.

Evelyn Dombkowski with Lis-el Crowley in the background.

Cindy Silas
My trip home was difficult. My plane was supposed to take off at 1:55, but I went to the airport right after breakfast so I could get a good internet connection and have a nice lunch (says a lot about the hotel, doesn't it?). At first the plane was delayed until 4:15, and then until 6:25. Delta gave us each a $6 food voucher and another voucher for $25, good for any shop in the airport, so I found a comfortable seat in a restaurant, ordered a snack and a drink and told the waitress she could have the balance of the vouchers if she'd just let me sit there. She took real good care of me! 

Airport pigeon. It looked as bored as I was.

We finally got in the air and, thank God, the flight was quick and smooth. Unfortunately, when we got to the gate we had to wait 20 minutes for someone to bring us STAIRS!

I had to stay with my Sister on Sunday night because I was so tired I was close to tears and there was no way I could drive the three and a half hours home. I got home yesterday morning and took the day to recover and rest and nap and go to bed early.

I'm glad to be home and this conference will be something I remember for a long time. Deep friendships were formed and I hope that there will be opportunities in the future for us to all get together again.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Last day of the conference

The Internet connection is unreliable here, so this will be short.

Today's #1 highlight is the purchase of Gordon Uyehara's book and getting it autographed!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Trying to take it all in

Oh my! I'm a little overwhelmed and exhausted and there's still another day! I splurged today and bought one of Barbara Becker Simon's bronze bracelets. I'm going to jot some notes so that I can do a proper re-cap when I get home.

#1 highlight for today was getting a hug from Tim McCreight.

P.S. this is for you, Wendy!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

On My Way

Almost ready to head for Cincinnati (actually Fort Mitchell, KY, but close enough.)

This is a test to see if I can upload a photo to Blogger with this iPad.

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Week In Review

I started the week by working my turn at Hands Gallery in downtown Boone. The Chamber of Commerce decided to have a "Membership Event" parade that day. Only in a small town... we had one truck pulling a flat bed trailer with some people waving, one fire truck with sirens blaring, a couple of fancy cars with dignitaries, and a lady driving a golf cart. Then a five minute break before five people on horses followed by people leading goats and alpacas wearing tutus. In the rain. On a Monday. And the only people watching were merchants along King Street. I love this town!

Tuesday morning I had to take my car in for some maintenance and State Inspection. A friend picked me up from the garage and we went out to breakfast and toodled around some stores before she dropped me off. That was wonderful! We always say "we need to do this more often", but its never often enough for me. I have the best friends in the world. Unfortunately, the maintenance cost me $214.00 and it failed inspection because there was a problem with the muffler. 

Wednesday I went to town three times, which is highly unusual. Sometimes I only go to town once a week. Three in one day? Well, it couldn't be helped. First, I had a Chiropractor appointment at 9:00 and that never gets postponed or cancelled, ever. I  need to keep my spine lined up so I don't have major problems like I've had in the past. It was a bittersweet visit, as he told me he's officially retiring at the end of July and that my next appointment will be my last with him. Now, this guy is not only my Chiropractor but he and his wife are good friends. I've known them for, probably, 25 years. So, I'm happy that he's finally going to retire, but sad that I won't be getting adjustments from him any more. 

Then, at 2:00 I had to go get the muffler fixed. It was the only time they had, so I had to take the appointment. The photo above is the waiting room at the muffler shop. 

And, the one below is the only thing on the walls. No TV, no windows, just a poster of exhaust pipe styles. 

Obviously, there are no women who work there to guide these poor fellas in what a comfortable room should be like. The chair pitched me forward so I felt like I was going to slide out of it, and I was afraid to sit on the sofa. 

My final trip to town was at 6:00 for a gallery board meeting. None of these appointments were close enough in time that I could just find a place to chill in between. So I came back home each time and tried to get some things done before having to go back again. Did I tell you that I live ten miles from town?

Thursday I decided to go ahead and make some silver charms for the PMC Conference charm swap. I justified it by telling myself that this is the last conference and probably the only time I'll ever see some of these people and have the opportunity to get one of their charms, and to quit being such a cheapskate and make the silver ones. Today I've been working on them and here they are, ready to be fired.

The copper ones are all finished, attached to cards and packaged, ready to go.

So I've stayed home yesterday and today and don't see any reason to go back to town until, maybe Monday or Tuesday. On Wednesday I leave to go to Chapel Hill so I can see my sister and brother-in-law and leave my car at their house while I'm at  the conference. I'm starting to get really excited about this trip. I'm hoping to come back inspired and rejuvenated and full of stories and pictures. 

I haven't figured out a good way to blog from my iPad yet. Blogger doesn't have an app, only one for the iPhone. So, I may wait until I get back and do a long post with lots of pictures. If you know of a way to post a blog from an iPad, please let me know!

Bye for now, thanks for reading!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Friday Foto 6/8

New resident on the Lane. I've spotted a Fox Squirrel wandering through the yard several times lately. There are always Grey Squirrels around but this guy is new to the neighborhood.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Miscellaneous Musings

My major landscaping and gardening projects are done for now - all there is to do now is watch things grow, harvest veggies and pull some weeds. It's been cool and rainy and everything is jumping out of the ground. Unfortunately, my creeping phlox is dying for no apparent reason. It bloomed and looked beautiful just a few weeks ago and now it's turning brown and dying. I have no idea why.

I'm getting excited about attending my first and the last PMC Conference in Fort Mitchell, KY (outside of Cincinnati.) on June 21-23. I've always wanted to go to one and kept procrastinating, and/or didn't have the money to go. When it was announced that this would be the last one and that the PMC Guild was disbanding I knew I had to be there. I'm very excited to learn new things and most especially to meet many of the people that I only know through online means. Members of the Etsy Metal Clay Team have already lined up a meeting time. Are you going?

I recently learned about a charm swap that's being organized for the conference, and even though it starts in 17 days, I have decided to participate. I've spent a lot of time trying to figure out what my charms will look like. Copper is a given, as making a large number of silver charms is beyond my budget. After much deliberation, last week I got them all put together and I was going to do the first phase binder burn-out this morning, but my kiln went crazy. It was 100 degrees over temperature and climbing, so I shut it off. I posted to the Yahoo Metal Clay group with the hopes of getting suggestions for an easy fix. I'm pretty sure that the copper pieces are OK, but I'm waiting for the kiln to cool down before opening the door. Not knowing what the problem is means that I don't know when I'll get to finish them.

I've been caught up in the Queen's Jubilee celebrations in England. If you remember last year, at the time of  Will and Kate's wedding, I'm fascinated with everything British. This may be because my Mother was, (as a teenager she used to joke about me marrying Prince Charles... or, maybe it wasn't a joke. She was highly disappointed when he married Diana.) or perhaps I was Anne Boleyn in a previous life. Anyway, I find all the pomp and pageantry enthralling. Yesterday I was so glued to the TV watching the flotilla down the Thames that I started speaking to Lola in a British accent. I'm looking forward to the concert tomorrow night. Any woman who's done a job and done it well for 60 years deserves a gala celebration!