Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happy, Healthy, Holidays To You

Holiday Season 2010 is in full swing and soon will be over and done. We will move on to other, less brotherly love-ish activities like New Year's Resolutions, and organizing for tax season. Before those activities begin, I'd like to take a moment to wish you peace, love and health along with lots of laughter--which, I am convinced, is the best medicine of all. To help with that last wish, I offer this picture of my best buddy, Diego! Someone, who shall remain nameless lest the Humane Society decides to investigate, gave him this elf hat this afternoon and spent hours taking his picture. I was not home but was assured that a great time was had by all! Diego wasn't talking!


May you find lots of reasons to laugh during this holiday week. Deep down, out loud, ear splitting laughter. You'll be glad you did!


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Handmade Spark #2: Photograph What Inspires Me

It's time to revisit Handmadespark's Creative Bogging Challenge, Part 2 , Photograph Your Inspiration.
I have searched my innerself for an answer to this and it is a complex answer, not a simple one.

People who like my work inspire me to do more, give me confidence, make me brave. I have no way to photograph this so I have copied a selection of feedback comments from my Etsy shop and have listed them here. Please pretend it's a photograph!

aporter says:
This felt like this was a gift-it was so nicely packaged and the extra little circles you sent ....the writing on the box, the homemade tag-all of it was so special-it really was a gift. And I love the earrings!!!!

drawandquartered says:
I LOVE MY RINGS!! Really delicate and feminine and so well made. I love the stones too especially the pale blue and topaz. Thanks so much for the extra freebie and the polishing cloth. Super nice and professional seller. I will be back!

curiocorner says:
Fantastic design; so comfortable to wear. Excellent customer serivice; I know I will be back! Thank you.

Second: Material inspires me. Sometimes it seems like metal and stones decide what they want to be and then something special happens. Here is a pictue of some of my stones that I find inspirational.


Third, and last for now: California coast is my favorite place in the world. If I could afford a house right here, I would really be inspired, but for now a day trip to breathe the air and see the wildlife is inspiration enough!

Point Reyes Deer

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Handmade Spark Challenge #1: How My Creativity Has Changed

My friends over at Handmade Spark are trying to get me to be more consistent with my blog entries, and I welcome the nudge. Each challenge provides a topic for a blog entry so here is my post for the first one (I am behind already): How My Creativity Has Changed in the Past Year or What I did on my summer vacation. No, wait. That was another assignment.

This past year, I moved from my townhouse to my daughter's home since my granddaughters are both in college and it made sense to combine houses. Besides, my daughter and son-in-law are fun to be with and supportive of my addiction to fire, metal and hammering. I moved from working on my dining room table to working at a work bench in the garage with cabinets and drawers and everything, even a cat! It is great to have my mess out of the house and in its own place although it took time to organize for most effective use of both house space and work space. There are climate challenges in the garage space but I am working around those quite well until we can build another space.

Looking at my work now, I realize that I could not have made the creative progress that I have made in the space in which I was working previously. I've added several bench tools, more micro torches, (The big one is yet to come. Probably this year.) The mess is still there and I have decided my creative approach centers around "chaos theory". When many unfinished components are lying where I can see them, something clicks visually and larger pieces almost create themselves. This happens often when I am repeating production processes that might seem boring to someone else. As I do the repetitive work, it frees the creative part of me and I can visualize something completely different and unique.

Next week is my birthday week and I am now officially ancient, a crone if you will. Yet, I am excited about every day and I love the creative possibilities that lie ahead.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

San Francisco Santarchy, Ho, Ho, Ho!

If you read the previous post about the SF SWEA Christmas pageant, then just know that these pictures were taken on our way back to the car. As we were walking down the SF hills, we noticed an unusual number of people dressed like some version of Santa, joining in the walk. Big Santa meeting, was our first guess. As we got within sight of Civic Center, we could see clumps of red--with legs and arms. As we got closer we could see that multiple Santas, some stranger than others, were congregating in the square at Civic Center. Not knowing what we had chanced upon, I began taking pictures, hoping my camera battery would last just a little longer.


We later learned that this was the Santarchy event where over 1000 Santas met at Civic Center at 12:30pm and went pub crawling through the city "pubs". It seems by the pictures that a good time was had by all! We sure had some laughs and it was the other end of the scale that balanced out the sweetness and traditional Christmas pageant from the homeland with a rowdy spoof of tradition in San Francisco.

And a good time was had by all!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

San Francisco SWEA Lucia Pageant

Attending the San Francisco Swedish Women's Education Association's Christmas Fair was a terrific way to begin the "Holidays". There is something about a large group of girls, dressed in white, carrying lighted candles, led by an older girl with a crown of candles on her head, singing beautiful songs in a foreign (to me) language, that is magical. . So I lied about the candles. Originally, in Sweden, they did carry and wear lighted candles but today the candles were cardboard with battery powered lights. Good thing, since some of them were carried at an angle and a couple of them were used as face scratchers on the way out. Of course, the playfulness of the younger children dressed like Tomkins in their red outfits, provided comic relief

Star Boys

Over 60 children ages 5 to 16 participated in the pageant and they were on the stage a long time. The pageant was presented three times in one day, so the younger children did get a little tired. A smaller number of boys were dressed in white with pointed hats that had big gold stars and quarter moons on them. It is my understanding that these are the Star Boys. I have no idea what all of that means.

Gingerbread "Men"

 At the end of procession were the Gingerbread Men who were dressed in costumes that I covet. If you couldn't smile after experiencing the Lucia Pageant, there is something seriously wrong.

The songs were lovely and especially so since they were sung in Swedish. Now I'm ready for Christmas!