Friday, June 29, 2007

Postcards From Second Life...

Amy Wilson, a talented artist, has just self-published her first catalogue, titled: Postcards from Second Life. I'm still leery about the whole Second Life thing. Though what she's done, by adding life and art to a virtual world is both thought-provoking and subtly subversive - like a grenade wrapped in a pretty pink bow. I definitely recommend it!

Thursday, June 28, 2007


Tonight was the last night that I will probably see either Josh or Jeannine in a long time. It's a little sad because they're both wonderful people. Though I know that these are great opportunities for them and that they need to spread their proverbial wings. So long, my friends! Best of luck in all your future endeavours.

Visiting Kar...

Earlier this evening, I swung by the old studios to check out what the Summer Residency participants were up to. It was surreal going back there, with all the studios filled up by different people and different artwork. I saw Kar and her amazing works-in-progress. There was also some really great stuff by Gabriel J. Shuldiner and George Towne.

Above Right: Unfinished oil-painting by Karina Contreras taken at the June Session Open Studios. E-mail her HERE to find out more.

Still An Artist...

The heat was blazing last night. My sleep was shallow. Even with the fan put on full force directed at me, it was still hard to get a good night's rest. Instead, I lay there... half awake, half asleep - half dreaming, half thinking.

All of a sudden a startling revelation came to me. I hadn't drawn or painted anything since I gave up my studio. Nothing at least that I could remember. And I was frightened. What was happening to me? Was I still an artist? Why did I go to art school for nothing? If I'm not an artist, why am I here in New York?

Semi-conscious, I proposed a challenge to myself: To get up and do a drawing. If I didn't get up, if I didn't make a drawing... then I wasn't an artist anymore.

So, I crawled out of bed, still groggy and exhausted and dug through my boxes. My supplies were all still packed up from the move. I pulled out paper and a pencil and began to sketch. Below is the quick self-portrait I did. It felt good to have the pencil in my hand again. Even though it was a challenge to begin again, it was a nice one. I guess according to my wager, I'm still an artist.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Heat...

It was a scorcher today in the City. Humid and muggy, everyone was irritable and spacey - myself included. While sweat trickled down my back and behind my knees, I felt a heaviness on my chest. It was almost as though someone was sitting on it.

Even in the air conditioning, the heat was oppressive. No escape. Even the temporary relief of cool water washed over my face seemed to only draw stark contrast to the fiery weather and enhance it all the more. Warnings on the news could be heard, heeding people stay indoors and as cool as possible. Apparently the pollution is killer this time of year. It only promises to be worse later in the summer.

Hello, heat-rash! Greetings, sweat-stains! Howdy, tension headaches! Welcome, shortness of breath! It's summer-time in the City.

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Quiet...

I haven't posted in a while. And for the most simple and basic reason: Some days are just your's alone.

Whether they're mundane or magical, there are days when only you are privy to their details.

I'll return to my normal posting self shortly. I'm just enjoying some time to myself and my thoughts alone.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Art Bead Scene: Let Them Eat Cake...

This is my submission for the Art Bead Scene June Challenge: Let Them Eat Cake! I really challenged myself to work outside of my comfort zone and utilize a color-palette that I rarely use. I also wanted to combine a lot of different textures and materials, like tumbled glass, candy-like borosilicate, sparkling Swarovski crystals, luminous shell and pearls, funky vintage lucite, and cool silver. I got all my crystals from Fusion Beads, my stones from Talisman Associates Inc., the silver chain from Saki Silver, the shell pendant from Lillypilly Designs, the borosilicate beads by Bobby Rhodes of Family Glass, the silver clasp from Green Girl Studios and the vintage lucite from Pudgy Beads. This piece was inspired by the Marie Antoinette movie by Sofia Coppola.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Stringing Summer Issue 2007...

Even though the latest 2007 Summer Issue of Stringing has been out on the stands for a while now, I just got mine. I know... it's been a while and this is probably old news, but I just loved looking through it and couldn't not share my excitement! It's the last issue that the amazing Jamie Hogsett was editor of. Danielle Fox has taken over for the very happy Jamie.

I firmly believe that this is truly one of the more cutting-edge and quality beading publications out there. The editors spend exhaustive hours selecting designs and presenting them beautifully.

Right: This is one of the necklaces I created for the magazine, titled, "Flight Patterns."

This magazine is definitely for designers and is not boring! If one is interested in beading, this is a great tool for inspiration and a must have! Show your support for quality beading magazines, by getting a subscription.

Left: Another necklace by me. This one is called, "The Lotus Eaters." I drew inspiration from ancient Greek myth and literature, particularly The Odyssey.

Right: Another design by me. This one first appeared on my blog earlier in the year. However, it underwent a sex-change, as the original title was, "The Raven King." The inspiration for this piece was a raven outside my window and a character from Susanna Clarke's book, "Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell."

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Renegade Craft Fair...

Today I headed out to the Renegade Craft Fair: Brooklyn held in the old McCarren Park Pool. It was pretty hot and I felt a little bit brain-damaged by the heat, but it was a good time. I picked up lots of goodies!

Left: Here's a quick snap-shot of Jamie Fales of Noosed Kitty. With her sense of dark-humor, she creates sensitive drawings and paintings that modernize seemingly mythological subject matter.

Check out her blog to get the latest information and musings of this Long Island-based artist.

Right: This is one of the goodies that I picked up at Jamie Fales' table. It's a greeting card, but I think I might frame it to go along with my Bunny Boy by Jen Tong. Make sure to visit Jamie's etsy shop by CLICKING HERE.

Left: I picked up the large version print of this piece titled, "The Watching" by Jamie Fales. I just love the little detail of the owl in the trees. You can get your's by

Right: This is a quick picture of Jaime Zollars at her booth. She also creates beautifully-rendered images heavily influenced by fairy-tales.

Make sure to check out her blog specifically about paper toys.

Luckily they took cards at Jaime's booth, because it was darned near impossible to find an ATM near the fair and I definitely wanted to get some things from her table.

Left: An open edition silkscreen titled, "Homeless." Get your's by CLICKING HERE. I got the button of this piece as well to add to my owl curio case.

Right: I got another print from her for my growing collection. Here's an image grabbed off her website of the large, limited-edition silkscreen titled, "The Stirrings." CLICK HERE to get one for yourself.

Left: Here is another picture taken
off Jaime's website of the greeting cards I purchased at her booth. The illustration for the cards is named, "Home." I'm really digging Jaime's work, especially her Flemish-painting inspired pieces. I will have to add them to my wishlist.

I had to fight a crowd of people hovering around Faryn Davis of Fernworks Fine Art to get a look at her resin jewelry and small-scale paintings.

Cynthia has an early Faryn Davis piece. We would go to the Fernwork website and look covetously at her pieces.

Left: I finally got one! Here is a picture of it next to a quarter to get a sense of scale.

Right: I got a limited-edition print titled, "Balanced" by artist Jane Anne Wynn of Wynn Studio at the Art Star Philly booth. Seeing all their goods at the fair made me want to go on a road-trip to their store.

Left: Here is a picture of all the (owl) artist mirrors that I got from My Favorite Mirror. I just have to figure out a way to display them now. The one on the upper left was designed by Eleanor Grosch. The one on the lower right was designed by Kathleen of The other two feature artwork by Susi Ghahremani of Boy Girl Party.

Jen Tong's Birthday...

The very talented and lovely Jen Tong celebrated her birthday earlier this evening. The festivities began at a Japanese restaurant in the East Village called Kenka. Jen's roommates Jon and Katherine, and fellow SVA alum Kar and I were in attendance.

After dinner, Kar, Jen Tong, and I went to the Beauty Bar for a little dancing. It was so much fun! For complete pictures of the evening, CLICK HERE.

Left: My 'Wichcraft cohorts, Gisselle, Josh, and Jasmin stopped by to join the fun.

Make sure to drop by the Act-I-Vate booth at the MoCCA Festival next weekend (June 23rd - 24th) to see Jen Tong and pick up one of her limited edition silkscreens from her on-line comic Orifice!

Saturday, June 16, 2007


This will be just a quick post since it's nearly 4 AM and I need to get some sleep before work.

I just got back from a party in Bushwick called, Rubulad. You can read more about it by CLICKING HERE. It was pretty fun. The theme was Gods and Goddesses. I didn't really get dressed up, but enjoyed very much those who did and went all out. I'll know better for next time.

Anyway, it was really fun. Pretty crazy with all the people and the different spaces and all the decorating. It was really neat.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A Wet Reception...

It seems the same storm winds churning in the midwest came up to greet me upon arrival in New York. I am glad to be back in the City, but a little sad to leave behind all my friends, my family and fellow bead-makers. I had such a good time in Milwaukee. We never got to go to summer camp as children, but this has been a nice surrogate. So, to all my Bead & Button friends... "See you next summer!"

Left Behind...

The flight was much delayed and longer than usual, but I finally made my way back to the City. Though I hardly noticed. I've taken to utilizing my coma-like sleep to pass the time during my air-borne travels with interesting results.

When we got on the plane (delayed from Dallas) I quickly wrapped up in my jacket and rested my head against the all-too-thin pillow propped against the window. I proceeded to drift off into a deep sleep, ignoring the businessman to my left flipping through the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.

I woke up an hour and a half later. In my semi-conscious state I thought about how I missed the cookie and beverage trolley. I would have to call the flight attendant over to see if she could bring me over one. I stretched a little and turned my head from right to left, hearing a loud CRICK as I did so.

As my head turned to the left, I noticed that the businessman was no longer there! My eyes widened. My heart began to thud. I opened the window-shade and saw that we had landed. But where? Had I slept through my stop in New York? Where were all the people? Where was I?!?!

I unfastened my safety belt and saw that the entire plane was empty. Little tidbit flashes of a dumb Stephen King made-for-t.v. movie ran through my head. Episodes of the Twilight Zone zoomed through my memories. Biblical prophesies of the Rapture then sparked my imagination. I walked quickly to the front of the plane. Perhaps all my mother's warnings of the end of the world were true.

When I got to the front of the plane, the flight attendant came out from behind a curtain, slightly startled. I frantically asked, "What happened?!?!?"

For a moment she looked a little frightened. Then... she started laughing.

Apparently the weather in Milwaukee kept the plane from leaving the ground and they were still docked at the gate. We hadn't taken off. We were still in Milwaukee. All the people were inside the terminal, waiting comfortably for the hold on the plane to be removed. It was not the end of the world and we were not being chased by Langoliers, so I went back to sleep in my seat waiting until we finally did take off.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Treasures from Bead & Button 2007...

Here are a couple more pictures of different goodies that I picked up at the show. These are just a highlight of some of the things I got. I'm very excited about sitting down and getting to work!

Left: Okay, so not a bead or a button, but macadamia nuts from Hawaii. Alethia Donathan of DACS Beads brought them over. She makes lampwork beads that have clean-lined images sandblasted and fumed on them. I'll be saving my pennies for one of those. Until then, I'll enjoy the nuts!

Right: Val from Gray Parrot Glass Studio made these delightful "faux boro" lampwork beads. I like them because they look like they have octopus suckers.

Left: PMC bead by Kelly Russell of Beadfuddled. It's titled, "Memories of Bohemia." There's a little amethyst on the back.

Right: Engraved shell pendants from Lillypilly Designs. I love me some Lillypilly!

Left: A colorful little ceramic owl bead from Tika.

Right: Ceramic beads and pendants from Melanie of Earthenwood Studio. I just love the little heads! They're so cute.

Left: I got this large borosilicate pendant crafted by the talented Bobby Rhodes of Family Glass. This piece feels almost magical, like some kind of lotus flower of sublime enlightenment or something. Very cool!

Right: Here are the first couple of pieces done by Bob Burkett in fine pewter. They will be produced by and sold through Green Girl Studios. He was my roommate for the trip. I always marvel at his stories and his talent!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Late Night in Milwaukee...

After we hung out with Kevin O'Grady, Aveesh and Carter of Beads Forever, and Tony and Lisa of Zoa Art at the Rock Bottom Brewery, the GGS crew and the Fusion Girls went back to Lisa Niven Kelly's room for a bottle of champagne.

Above Left: Lisa Niven Kelly of Beaducation all tuckered out from celebrating yet another successful Bead & Button show in Milwaukee. She went to bed and fell asleep before we could leave the room!

Although it was a lot of work and the days were long, we all had a ton of fun. Summer camp was not a disappointment. I'm going to miss all of our friends and fellow bead-makers!

Right: Colin, Liz, Jennie, and Katie Wall.

Flock of Seagulls...

As we made our way to the Rock Bottom Brewery to meet a few other bead people, we saw an amazing sight. One of the buildings was surrounded by thousands of seagulls. In the dark, with the warm light reflecting off their wings they seemed sparks of fire, embers swirling around the tower top.

Dinner on the Water...

After finishing up some stuff back at the hotel, we met up with the Fusion girls and Lisa Niven Kelly and Colin of Beaducation at a restaurant in Milwaukee's historic Third Ward called, Water Buffalo. It was right on the Riverfront.

I once read an article about having a successful blog that began with, "Nobody cares what you had for lunch..." I disagree with that. Food for me is just as viable as a form of communication as writing or painting.

Virginia Woolf had a similar sentiment in A Room of One's Own, where she claimed that not enough emphasis was ever given to the details of a fine meal.

Well, here to the left are images of a mighty fine dinner: Ahi Tuna, Braised Short Ribs, and Oven Roasted Chicken. Everything was so tasty! We washed it down with sangria and bottles of Blue Moon (yes, I asked to keep the bottle-caps!)

Bead & Button 2007 Yield...

Just a quick post before we go out to dinner. Here are the treasures Cynthia and I have acquired from this Bead & Button! We'll have to split them up after we get back from dinner with the Fusion girls. It's sad that summer camp is over.

From the Show Floor...

Here are a couple of images snapped from the floor of the show on the last day.

Left: Our friend, Paula Best, poses for the camera. It's been quite a while since we last saw her. Last we saw her was in Tucson for the Best Bead Show. It was really nice to see her again. We added a couple of things to her little birdie collection. She makes really cool rubber stamps and silver charms.

Right: Me and Kelly Russell of Beadfuddled. Kelly (a.k.a. the Milk Maid) is one of my bead show buddies. When I'm around her, I get SUPER SASSY!

Left: Cynthia holding Akira. Our family friend Jeremiah Ketner and his wife, Hitome, came by the show with their two cute children. Arata (not pictured) was sitting in his stroller holding a bag of fine pewter pendants produced by Green Girl Studios that Cynthia and Jeremiah collaborated on. The message on the back of the charms reads, "You are special."

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Party in Milwaukee...

When we had finished dinner, the Fusion girls and the GGS crew decided to make our way out to a barbaque hosted by Devin of Somerville Glassworks at his house. It was quite an adventure trying to find his place. The directions given to us were pretty much backwards and forced Greg to make many circles and U-turns (17 in count). When we eventually got there, we saw that Devin's pad was really cool and that he had a beautiful collection of artwork and glass.

Left: Bob Burkett chilling outside with Simon the dog. After years of working exclusively with silver and shibuichi, Bob is finally launching a brand-new line of fine pewter through Green Girl Studios. Not only is it absolutely stunning, but it's affordable as well! My favorite combination.

Right: My sister Cynthia caught off guard. It has been a lot of fun hanging out with my sister. We've already come up with loads of new ideas for various projects and products.

Left: Me and Katie Wall of Fusion Beads. I don't get to see very much of Katie Wall, so it is particularly nice to hang out with her. I'm hoping to finally make a trip out to Seattle and visit her there soon. It promises to a really specatcular time!

Right: A random shot of folks at the party hanging out and socializing around the fire. It was a really lovely night out.

Left: Another picture of Cynthia outside. She was looking at the koi fish that Devin keeps in a little pond with a little waterfall.

The game of the evening was "Re-name Greg." I think the top winner was, "Bucky" after "Bucky's Family Video Rental and Tanning."