Monday, March 26, 2007


Tomorrow is the day. I will leaver for Port Townsend sometime in the morning (after coffee with Nonie first, of course). I will get to fritter away the day, visiting all my favorite shops and galleries, walking on the beach if I wish, taking pictures and THE BEAD STORE will be my first stop. As always. I am really excited to be going---ArtFest has finally rolled around again. I have all my class materials packed in separate containers, every item double checked and packaged neatly. I have all my trades either in little bags (the charms) or in envelops (the ATCs) and those are packed into ziplock bags, pre-sorted. I got my charm bracelet finished and put together with little charms of my own artwork. I am really happy with how it turned out and think it'll be fun to add other charms that I might get as trades to it. It looked so naked without anything on it....I had to do something! I bought a little hot water kettle today that I can have in my dorm room to make tea at will. I have a stack of art magazines and more books than I could read in a month all packed up to take along for the non-existent "free time" I seem unable not to anticipate having! What free time??? It's ArtFest---I'll be busy and running from dawn to late at night! I even have my copy of 1000 Journals so I can get it signed by Someguy, who is supposed to be at ArtFest. That would be cool.

Lise left this morning to go stay with her old workmate, Heather. I was sorry to see her go. It's going to be a long time before we meet up again and I'm sorry that I won't be able to see her for her entire visit. Can't be helped, of course, but it does make me sad. Too bad her visit and ArtFest had to overlap. Rune and Lise went south yesterday and met up with Loyal and LeRoy, Jan's cousins, and had a good family reunion. I gather that Rune was a huge hit with Kerry Anne's daughter. She stuck to him like glue after an initial period of shyness. Rune, the kid magnet! I saw a few photos of Loyal and LeRoy and was surprised to see that LeRoy has white hair and beard now. Of course, when I thought back, I haven't seen him in something like 15 years, or more, so I guess it's not that surprising! They both look much the same, hair color aside. Loyal just had her gall bladder removed and she remarked to Lise that "everything else I have inside I need." I guess so!

I wrote to Jim at Vaya Adventures, asking about adding a side trip to Machu Picchu and he responded that it is easily do-able. It seems that other than an airline glitch about getting home via Lima, Peru with our existing ticket issuing agency (Cheap Tickets), all the added segment would require is some as yet determined amount of money. I think that can be over come. Nola is really committed, I am less so as I have promised Susan and the Sandys that I will go to Alaska in the last summer or early fall. I have to balance the cost of that trip with the cost of Ecuador, the Galapagos and Peru. Oh for a winning lottery ticket. Too bad you have to buy one to win!

Time to go do the laundry and to pack up my clothes. I have to be ready to hop the ferry tomorrow so the 2007 ArtFest Adventure can begin.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Countdown to ArtFest

Only two more days and I leave for Port Townsend and ArtFest. I managed to finish my 8 x 8 canvas so I can have an entry in the 8 x 8 gallery. I had forgotten about that, as I am wont to do, and so had to work fast the other day to get the tropical fish mounted nicely on the canvas. The canvas itself posed quite a challenge as I had to go to about five stores to find the correct dimension. I could find every other sized canvas known to the western hemisphere, but no 8 x 8s. I finally found two at Aaron Brothers. Snapped them up in a hurry, I can tell you! I am quite pleased with how it turned out. I really don't like working in acrylics but it wasn't so bad and they did match quite nicely with my Caran d'Ache that I used on the original watercolor/crayon painting. It turned out to a mixed media piece, something I have done very few of, so that's fun. The dining room table is covered with things I absolutely need for class, probably need for class, might need for class, probably don't need for class but I might take them anyway and a lot of stuff that just needs to be properly put away so it's not in a huge pile (read: mess) when I return on April 1st. That would be a bad April Fool's joke on me. Having three separate classes this year requires a little more careful packing than last year when I had only one class. I am trying to get things sorted and arranged so that it'll be easy to grab what I need for each day easily and so I also won't forget to bring some important component. I also need to remember my trades (I have three kinds), my charm bracelet, dog tag, TTMoore Thank You journal necklace and my journal and journaling tools. It's building up to be quite a large pile and I am wondering if I'll be able to cram any clothes into the Miata after I load all my art supplies! Well, how many clothes do you need to work in, anyway? A toothbrush really doesn't take up that much room. I have been faithfully reading the Yahoo list for ArtFest and it's easily seen that I am not (nearly) the only one who is excited to the point of not sleeping well or long. Many, many others have posted that they are waking up really early or can't sleep at all, aren't getting any work done at their jobs and others seem to spend all their time online writing about where, when and what they are planning for their ArtFest trip. We are a chatty group, that's for sure!

I am really excited to be able to see the Teesha and Tracy Moore Thank You journal in person. The photos that Deb posted to the website were amazing and it really whetted my appetite to see the completed journal. I did my page so long ago and we all had to be sooooooo quiet about it so the surprise for Teesha and Tracey would not be spoiled, that until I went back through my photos I had forgotten what I'd done. I used the reposse techniques that I learned last year at ArtFest from my class with Beckha Krahula's class to do my letter, "Y". I was really happy with how it turned out, especially after I cut out some of the backing paper around the letter and inserted dark blue vellum. I used a lot of gold on the page, something I had not done before and I forced myself to use my own handwriting on the page rather than printing it out on the computer or stamping it with alphabet stamps. It seemed more personal to use my own handwriting, even though I think it looks sloppy and messy. It was hard to believe that the journal will be published in a magazine in the fall in Stampington Inspirations. I am really looking forward to seeing that issue!

Lise has been having a lot of fun during her visit here, I think. The other night she made her famous Chicken Rice and Curry for dinner because it was one of Rune's demands of his mother during this stay. (The other is that he wants her to bake him his favorite chocolate cake, which she will next week.) As Lise was deboning the chicken, Orcie decided that contrary to his first impression of her, she now seemed to be quite a fine, fine human. Lise kept dropping little chicken tidbits down to him and when she wasn't fast enough with the goodies, he "helped" her along. (The pig.) Besides cooking for her son, she's been shopping, has met up with old friends at a local watering hole and even managed to connect with several of the ladies she used to work with at the liquor store. One of them has kindly offered her a place to stay next week when she has to move because of my departure to ArtFest. I'm glad she won't have to stay in a motel after all. I'm sure she'll be much happier with Heather. Susan had all the Jocks for lunch at her home on Tuesday so Lise got a chance to catch up with the other Susan, Cathy and Ellie, too. The food was delicious and we didn't begin to make our exit until well after three o'clock. I'm glad that we all got a chance to be together again, like old times. Cathy invited Lise, Rune and me to dinner on Friday and boy, was that fun. Cathy made a spaghetti feast for us and we all ate way too much. Mac took me off to his office while the others played Spite and Malice and showed me his photos from both the Belize trip and the latest trip to Mexico. They had some close encounters with blue whales that were amazing---they could actually touch the whales as they went by the boat. I think Mac had a great trip and I know Cathy did. It was fun to catch up with Mac as it's been a long time since I've seen him. One morning Susan and I even managed to convince Lise to help us stuff the volunteer letters into their envelopes, so we now have all the letters ready to be mailed on April 2nd. What a relief to have that job done! I dread that one each year---for many reasons, but mostly because it's just so boring to stuff over 400 envelopes!

Nonie and I went to a program on Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands this morning that was held at The Savvy Traveler. The program was good but the photos were great. Just looking at all the fantastic shots that were projected on the screen made me realize I had to get my old, large Canon digital camera out of storage and get it trip ready. It takes such superior photos and what if something went wrong with my other camera and I was all that way from home without a working camera? It might just kill me! The program showed some photos of Machu Picchu and the woman who was narrating said something about if you were planning only one trip to South America in your life time you really shouldn't miss a chance to see Machu Picchu. After the presentation was over we headed off to a local coffee shop and talked it over. We decided to talk to Jim at our travel agency, the place that has arranged the rest of our trip, and see if we can add a Peru and Machu Picchu segment, and if so, how costly would it be. If it's possible and not outrageous, I think we'll do it. I mean, how can you get that close and not go?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

One Week to ArtFest!!!!

I might be getting a little excited about ArtFest.....I keep waking up at 5 in the morning with my head full of trades and classes and looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones. I can't wait to see Bee again, and it's not just that she is coming with the ArtFest ATC books. She reported on the group list that 70+ of us participated and it'll be amazing to see all the different little gems of art that were created. I can't wait to see the books that Bee designed (and &drew helped manufacture) to hold the ATCs. Bee says that they will have pockets to hold the cards rather than binding the ATC into the book. Clever! The Photojournal group is planning on having breakfast together on Friday morning in the coffee shop and we'll take a walk together if we can find a mutually agreeable time. I can't wait to meet Catherine and all the others---well the other six who'll be at ArtFest, anyway. The TTMoore Thank You Journal group will all be wearing their necklaces that Deb so kindly made each of the participants, so I am planning on looking for my fellow contributors. Bee Shay will also be doing something with the 2006 Dog tags. I have mine ready to go to ArtFest, to take part in the display she has planned. I have worn it on and off for most of the past year. It's looking a little 'used', but then, it was supposed to look as if it had spent eons in the sea, so I guess that's a good thing!
Lise arrived last Thursday night and it's been non stop ever since. Rune, understandably, has been here a lot. Friday night Lise, Rune, Nonie and I had a lovely, fun dinner at Anthony's Home Port. Lots of laughing and giggling, a little drinking, a lot of eating and good conversation. It was fun. We realized at one point during the evening that we were all sporting band aids on our fingers (Lise and I gave blood earlier in the day and the band aids were from where our fingers were stuck for the iron in the blood test). Rune got the idea to put silly faces on them so I had to take a photo to mark the occasion. We were having a grand old time, that's for sure! Rune squired Lise and me all over on Saturday and Sunday---a Costco run here, Michael's and Linens and Things, etc. I got most of the supplies I was lacking for ArtFest and Lise got a Bed in a Bag, that Rune will post back to Norway for her (as it would take up an entire airline seat to fly it home!). It was nice to spend time with both of them. They also went off and found where the Norwegians are hanging out these days now that the Wild Horse has closed, and Lise saw quite a few of her old pals and got caught up with their comings and goings. She went to a jazz evening last night with Rune, and while most of the old gang, those that still live here, were there, the jazz was not so much to her liking. She wanted to see what it was like over here so she could compare it with the jazz afternoons she and Berd attend in Haugesund on Saturdays. I think she likes it better in Norway, as far as a jazz outing is concerned. Today Susan P is hosting The Jocks lunch at her house so the whole gang will get to catch up with Lise. It's a great day for it as it's pouring and cold. There is even the chance of some wet snow in the area today. Doesn't seem fair for the first day of spring.

I feel like celebrating today. Late last night I finally figured out how to do a mail merge from Excel to Word and I was able to print out four copies of the volunteer labels for the mailings we'll have to do for the festival. What a huge, HUGE weight off my shoulders. I have been trying to make this work for days now, and it just keeps creeping ever closer to the mailing deadline of April 1st, with no labels ready for the envelopes. besides mailing out the volunteer letter and application, we still have the volunteer meeting postcards to send, the reminder postcards with peoples' work assignments during the festival and the thank you notes for after the festival. It was really important for me to get this done and now I have. Drum roll please! Start the confetti! Fireworks tonight! I will have to get them stuffed this week, but I think Lise will help out and I know I can count on my co-director to come over and give me a morning to stuff envelopes. What a relief.....


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

A friend of mine sent me a link to a fantastic online video. It's only about three minutes long and features some great opera (and that's quite a statment, coming from me!). It's a delight and I don't want to spoil the fun for anyone who has not yet seen it, so I won't describe it more clearly. Do yourself a favor and enjoy the romp!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Learning to Solder

My trip to California was wonderful. I spent the first weekend in San Francisco with Jen. We had fantastic weather---78 degrees on Saturday! Jen joined me at the Hotel Vitale for two nights. Saturday we went to the Farmer's Market at the Ferry Building, then headed up to Marin and did a little walk on the Headlands. It was such a perfect day I can't imagine doing anything that would have been nicer. We had brunch at Jen's favorite spot and did some shopping at a mall and then returned to the hotel in time to meet George for dinner. George had been in town for a series of meetings but stayed through the weekend as it was the start of the Tour of California cycling race on Sunday. George is a huge cycling fan, as is Jen, so they were both very excited about the prelim race to be held on Sunday. Time trials, actually.

Sunday morning we met George in the lobby of the hotel and he told us that Team Discovery was right out front. I discovered the my daughter is a HUGE Team Discovery fan. You might even go so far as to call her a groupie....We went out and found that they were indeed right in front of the hotel and Jen took up a position along the tape that separated the exalted cyclists from the riffraff. We stood there for four hours. FOUR hours. Jen took a gazillion photos, as did I. One of the bike techs gave Jen a Team Discovery hat that had fallen off one of the cyclists heads and she wore it proudly all through the rest of the day. We got some amazing photos of Ivan Basso and George Hincapie, Jen's favorites. I must admit that I do love taking pictures so the four hours went by rather quickly and we were certainly in the prime place for gawking and photographing the members of Team Discovery. It was interesting to find out that the bicycles they ride cost between $10K and $15K each and that the time trial was only 1.9 miles, but the last half was up Telegraph Hill to the Coit Tower! The three of us walked the course and it was a steep climb on foot. I can not imagine trying to do that hill on a bike, let alone racing up the thing! It would have killed me. It was very interesting to spend the day with the two race fanatics.

Monday morning I got up very, very early and flew down to San Diego. I took the shuttle to Annie's and was there before noon. Alex is huge, compared to how big she was in October, the last time I saw here. She walks and talks and laughs and giggles and is an all around goofy kid. She's funny and smart and adorable and no, I am NOT biased! We had some quality time together, especially in the early mornings when Gramma would go rescue her from her crib before Mommy and/or Daddy woke up and on the Thursday of my week's stay when Annie let me care for Alex while she went to work. It was heavenly to spend so much time with her. I miss her so much now that I'm back in Edmonds. I know she's forgetting me all over again.

Annie and Alex and I went to the Quail Botanical Gardens on the 20th and had a wonderful time. The gardens feature amazing desert plants and trees, a walled garden, an orchard, a bamboo garden with a pond, a waterfall and a children's area that even boasts a miniature train and an area to dig for "dinosaur" bones. We had a ball. Annie got a year's membership and on Saturday we returned, this time with Chris in tow. I really liked the bamboo garden. It had an amazing collection of different bamboos, from fine little specimen plants to large, timber-type bamboo. I was also very surprised to see the huge variety of aloes and agaves that the garden has on display. Not knowing anything about desert plants, it was great fun to see the variety. I will lobby for a return there when I go back down to visit. I could move in---and it's only about 10 minutes from the kids' house.

I have finally finished the "Hooked on ArtFest" ATCs to take to trade at ArtFest. I carved the fish stamp and then used embossing powder to print the stamp onto the base paper. The back of the ATC was done with the scanner on the new combo printer I got for Christmas (Canon MP830...I love it for everything but printing photos). Lots of separate steps but they turned out well. I hated the bending brass wire into fish hooks part, however, as it took forever and was truly boring to do. I think the hooks added a lot to the cards so it was worth the tedium. I'm happy with the finished product and won't hesitate to trade them at ArtFest so I would call it a successful project. I felt like I had to have a hand carved stamped ATC for ArtFest. I did this to myself with starting off with "Wingin' It" last year. I wouldn't want to disappoint my fan (and I do mean fan in the singular!).

I am now frantically working on making some charms for ArtFest. A large contingent of the attendees are making charms and I'd like to be able to participate in charm trading, so I am making my first charms for this event. Not getting the supplies from the place I'd ordered them set me back, but I reordered from another supplier and everything came on Monday. It's not the easiest thing I've ever done but I can see that as you learn and take your time, the charms will get better and better. I am having some difficulty in getting the bails to be well connected to the charms proper, but I think I've worked out what I was doing wrong. I did get little lobster claw clasps so that you can just clip the charm to a bracelet or necklace and off you go. The image is the photo of me I took for inclusion into the ArtFest "yearbook" that Teesha is working on. I am wearing my mother's Groucho Marx glasses and nose. Yes, my mother owned these first---and wore them on occasion, too! (Hard to imagine if you knew my mother, but true.) I rather like the silly photo of me and I must say, it was sort of fun to run over to Third Place Books and use their photo booth. It was an expensive day, though. I bought about $100 worth of books on my way out of the store! I still have a lot of charms to solder, but I hope to have around 50 to take to ArtFest.

Lise is coming to stay for two weeks from Norway. We just found out, Rune and I. She'll be here next week and will stay through the 1st of April. I'm not sure where she'll be from the 26th on as I'll be away at ArtFest, but I know that it will be nice to see her. Too bad she didn't make arrangements to come next month when I'll be home and when Cathy and Mac will be back from Mexico, but she's coming when she's coming and that's all there is to that.

The daffodils are blooming and spring is here, at least as far as the plants are concerned. We had two days of snow on the ground last week. Dom McK. reported there was close to 10 inches at Grant Creek on evening but it melted off quickly. I know there was quite a pile of snow up there last weekend where it slides off the garage roof, blocking my path from the back door to the ceramics room door. It was about two feet high and I had to clamber over it to get to the garage. I kept getting snow in my slippers. I HATE that! We had snow here a week ago. Enough snow that the EAF board meeting was cancelled as Sue J. couldn't get out of Everett. Yesterday it was a balmy 70 degrees. Go figure.