Friday, December 25, 2009

family pictures

A few days ago, we hired our friend Meg Reilley to take some family pictures for our album and one to put in the 'about us' section of our website. Meg shot our wedding and also the author portrait in Enchanted Adornments. Above is the 'Totem Pole' pic, as we like to call it. We couldn't resist using the beautiful sugar-soft snow, especially since it was surprisingly warm outside. It rarely snows like this in Asheville, so we were pleased to have such a lovely backdrop.

Azalea and Max.

Snow baby!

Woodland girl.

My woodland girl, pretending to discover a snow baby. She's quite the actor, she loves dress up and games of pretend.

Greg posing as the dreamy forest king.

Let's get a closer look of that business.

Here's Andrew, looking pleased about something, maybe thinking about painting our next collaboration project, or his presents.

I am so happy with how the pictures came out! I think I'll have Meg shoot us again this summer. It would be fun to make props and costumes, like painted paper wings for Azalea and a bird boat for Max. I better start sketching now!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

snow bird

I finished this wax master yesterday, its about an inch long and maybe an inch and a quarter between the wings. It looks big, but its nestled in Azalea's plump little hand. Remember it will shrink another 10 percent in casting, so imagine it even smaller! We're planning on casting it in silver and shibuichi and maybe one in gold for me, if its not too expensive (I love gold!). Hopefully, it will be done for Tucson, but looking at how slow we're moving, it might be closer to Bead and Button!
Anyway, I'm calling it 'snow bird' because of all the birds that are at the window feeders (Eastern Bluebirds, Sparrows, Finches, Titmice and Pileated Wood Peckers). They look so bright against the wintry backdrop of snow covered trees. The term 'snow bird' is usually given to those who travel south for the winter months. My grandparents left Missouri in October and came down to Orlando until spring. Now that I'm huddled up inside the house, layered in sweaters and shearling, I can appreaciate the idea. In fact, Hawaii sounds pretty dang good right about now. Ok, back to carving!

Monday, December 14, 2009

happy days

Whenever the camera comes out, my girl makes sure she's in the picture!

Greg and Max posing on the porch before heading out for lunch to the Corner Kitchen Cafe.

Daddy snuggling his baby.
Its quiet around here, days spent cuddling near the fireplace, watching old movies and munching Greg's delectable banana bread. I suppose this is the calm before the storm of work that's headed our way. The annual trek to Tucson is just a couple of months away and we try to bring new beads, fancy samples and a few limited editions. I've worked on the same piece for a few days now, a bird in flight with a hole in the tail and through the side of beak (so it looks like the bird is holding something, in this case a jumpring). I'm imagining it in necklaces as a link between sky colored opals or as a drop pendant with a teardrop of clear pink tourmaline. Its in the last stages of detail, as its too difficult for me to leave anything gestural, with lots of tool marks - I tend to want to carve every feather. Tonight is the last night I will let myself noodle away on it, since I can spend weeks on one piece if no one stopped me! This slow pace suits us right now, sketching Max while he sleeps, building wooden block castles or sipping hot chocolate while making big plans. These are times I will remember as the best of my life, simple and relaxed, our cares seeming far away.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009


Maximus Prime! (that's what Sheila calls him).

My babies napping on the couch.

Me, looking haggard and Max like a sweet sugar puff, also resting on the couch, which is easily the most comfortable in the world.

Andrew posing in front of my favorite place...The Chocolate Lounge! There are so many things I am grateful for in this world, Greg, my babies, Andrew, chocolate, books and my friends (both internet and local). That statement, which sounds remarkably corny even to myself, is true on so many levels. I find myself dependant on those things to keep me from 'gettin' crazy' as we like to say. Take today for example: I get maybe 30 minutes to respond to emails (its a pain to type with baby in one now) and I find the rude message I talked about in the previous post. I quickly wrote the reply, then sat there wondering what to do, the first thing I thought of was to blog about it. Initially I thought some glassworkers might be interested in making them, but as I finished, I realized it was almost like phoning a friend to set me straight. I am deeply grateful there are folks out there willing to spend their time visiting my little world and offering kind words. Reading the comments lifted the heaviness that threatened to bog me down.
Life is starting to follow a rhythm around here. I'm getting used to Max's ways and am working around them. I've spent every moment he's asleep on designing and carving waxes, which feels a little like guerilla art making. Most of my time is spent watching old shows on hulu while I'm nursing baby, which makes it easier 4 in the morning!

my apologies

I just finished writing an email to a very angry person that purchased my book. Apparently, they felt it necessary to tell me how 'ripped off' they felt since they couldn't find the hollow beads in the Time and Memory project. Our good friend Shannon Hill used to make them, but recently passed away from lung cancer. The book was already in production when he died. I think of him everytime I wear the necklace and it makes me sad, but the memories of cutting up and trading stories always brings a smile. I recall how pleased he was with how I used his beads.

I'm surprised by the comment that I'm 'dangling candy in front of a child and not allowing them to eat'. So, I wonder if others feel this way. Now, I'm not asking anyone to get critical and really let me have it, as I might show my aggressive side (yes, shocking, I do possess a tiny bit of ferocity). I feel compelled to be incredibly angry that someone would speak to me that way, especially since I haven't been criticized like that in years. That makes me sound lofty, but folks generally treat me like an adult. The really annoying part is that I feel like a kid that has been scolded after attempting to make a gift. I do not enjoy this feeling, as it sits awkwardly in my soul. I responded politely, nicely informing them that I was looking for artists to make them. To cheer myself up, I think I'll enjoy Gregs amazing fudge. It has astonishing powers to alleaviate most agravations.