Sunday, January 29, 2012

Seaglass Sunday!

My passion for seaglass is finally something I can share. Not just here in thoughts and photos but as wearable art! Mother Nature has taken her time sculpting and smoothing beautiful old glass into these gems and now, after years of saying I would make jewelry of some sort, I have found my time.

First, the space needed to be cleared. My old basement playroom filled over the years with "stuff" took 4 dump runs, a trip to goodwill and a sore back to uncover a corner to set up my new professional drill! I was so excited but also a little nervous to try drilling the first piece.

Success!!!! I watched youtube demonstrations, read any and every web page about how to drill glass, specifically seaglass and took a big gulp. GULPPPPPP. After the first piece I assumed it was beginner's luck but the second piece went smoothly too. I hope I am not jinxing myself now.

I actually had a bag of bails since I had asked another local etsy jeweler to drill a piece for me about a year ago. I wore that piece whenever I needed to remind myself I could do this too! Now I have finally replaced that piece with one of my own and I will wear it with another gem or tiny starfish charm.

The next piece I will drill will be the lavender one I found today on a very cold walk! I hadn't found any purple for what seemed like ages. I really, really hope the drilling is successful since purple is my favorite seaglass color. I felt it was a sign that I was moving in the right direction.

Now I can also finally use the business card I designed for myself a few years back. Obviously, this was something that was in the cards for me..... I just needed to be dealt the right hand!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Liking Lichen

A little bit of rain can't keep some people down. Alex, my friend, took me on a river walk today. Who says the barren winter months have no beauty. Along our walk I found some interesting growths and she told me they were lichen. I knew I had similar growth in my own backyard...just so unique and so unbelievably interesting! I will now keep a look out for more.


As I have learned, these "flowers" are composite, symbiotic organisms....growing in the leftover spots of our world. On bare rocks, on desert sand, on dead wood and in my backyard. If I only knew how much science and art were also "symbiotic" I may have pursued another direction in my life!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Snowy Seaglass Sunday

Always be careful what you wish for! This time, I was lucky and my wish didn't come back to snowdrift me. What a beautiful white fluffy snow we had here. A few times venturing out into the windy snows and then waiting for a cold, crisp and sunny morning gave me a chance to experiment once again with my new camera. Most of my shots do not need just take in the serenity of the snow.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Seems Some Have Snow!

I know last winter really did some people in but I still love snow and how it can make a garden a completely new landscape of shapes and textures. Possibly tonight...

This Purple Sage Survivor would look awesome with a dusting of snow.

And Bittersweet, as much as it is a menace, its twists and turns would be even more graphic with snow. The gray landscape would be transformed!

These branches on a stormy morning are reaching out to the skies....please snow!
Ok, now if we get a blizzard I will take all the blame.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Seaglass Sunday Silver

It was too cold for a walk today although the sun was beckoning me. What to do on this Sunday instead? I saw that my special seaglass necklaces needed some TLC. Silver is always hard to keep bright and shiny, especially in the salty air near the shore! How in the world did my mother and those of her generation keep all their silver so perfectly polished?

Out comes the silver polish! What a chore, a mess but it was time. The seaglass necklaces here haven't been worn for some time just because of their tarnish!

 One necklace was purchased (the bezel set) and one was drilled by a friend. Both are inspiration to go out on a limb and do what I really want to do....seaglass jewelry and seaglass suncatchers!

Ooooops, back to reality.  Silver polishing done the old fashioned way is hard work! Here, with the photo help of Pappa D you can see me using the sponge and scrubbing the tarnish off one of my favorite old silver pieces. 

After polishing, a quick dunk in a bowl full of sudsy warm water, rinsing with clear water....and towel drying. Look how awesome it looks!

The polished pieces back in place in my front entrance to greet us everyday!
 The necklaces will now be worn to inspire me again and to be reminders to move forward and get this seaglass jewelry venture up and running.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Beautiful Buildings

Bridgeport CT has many faces. One that is over looked and sometimes forgotten is the rich and diverse architecture! Recently, I teamed up with a fellow enthusiast to scout out some of the downtown diamonds in the rough. I say this only because many are vacant or have been adapted for other use. In their glory days, they were brilliant, sparkling gems. I have more images than these that I have chosen and have added them to the right sidebar under MY IMPORTANT PAGES! Please check those out as well.

City Hall against a cerulean blue backdrop and its proud eagle with wings spread wide.

The Post Building, one I never even noticed before! I will need to study up on the city and get back with more facts! Right now, it is purely a love of these buildings and their details that I hope to touch upon.

Look at the details surrounding this window! The brick has so much character...

Brick, tile work, care & craftsmanship to design something so magnificent – not seen much in architecture today.

The same building, from another vantage point.

Juxtaposed styles, just wished there was a bit more light cast on the magnificent sculpture of the lion!

Another landmark building in the center of the city.

How is this for details? The Barnum Museum (see my previous blog post!) could fill an entire post in itself. 

From the street, the sculptural details are breath taking...if you take the time to just stop & look!!

Art deco in its glory. 

And last but not least here on this post, a view of the old and the new, making downtown a visual treasure to behold!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Loving Local Landmarks

About 3 years ago while working in my current position as a sign artist for Trader Joe's I was given a fantastic opportunity. My boss or "Captain" allowed me the freedom to pick and choose local landmark buildings to illustrate and use as decor in our store as the entire chain of Trader Joe's stores was moving from a tropical, Hawaiian based theme to a neighborhood theme. Fairfield and Bridgeport areas were the main focus for our new look. Was I ever excited! Since I grew up in Fairfield there were many iconic points of interest that I could not wait to paint. As usual for a Trader Joe's artist though, there was minimal time to draw, cut and paint each piece.

Here, the very first one painted is Fairfield Center's Gazebo. To give a sense of scale, I decided I needed to hold my buildings one by one. In my possession now as we expand into adjacent space, I am not exactly sure of their future. Donate? Make my basement a Fairfield Museum?

Fairfield's Metro North Train Station with a bench added after the fact...

 The Community could we forget all the years we hung out in and around this landmark!

Moving towards Bridgeport with sights set high, I took a deep breath and did my best (again, in a very short time frame) to depict the historical Barnum Museum! This was accompanied by a Ringmaster holding balloons, Tom Thumb & Lavina Warren and various other hand painted decor.

This is the Barnum Museum today. Trying to capture the exact view of the building this weekend without the mini version on hand was fun! A trip to downtown Bridgeport to photograph all the beautiful architecture was quite a treat. My next post will focus completely on that trip.

And here I sit on the front steps of my home with my home cut out in hand. Home Sweet Home!

To sum up this post, I want to thank my old boss John for giving me the opportunity to paint these buildings and much, much more to decorate my place of employment! As we now progress into the expanded space little if any of my artwork will adorn the walls. New thoughts, new management and new focus.... hmmm, sounds like a good idea. 

See sidebar for more of my Trader Joe's work!