Friday, July 31, 2009

Six Week Flashback

Just what has Diana been doing for the last six weeks, is she still breathing, has she fallen off the face of the earth!!! I am still here and breathing. Sometimes I just get caught up in "life" itself and that's just what has been happening during these last weeks. To fill you in on the "haps", let me begin with proudly announcing my grandson, Taylor's, graduation from highschool. Here you see Taylor and his very proud parents (my daughter, Melissa, and son-in-law, Simon).
Shortly after Taylor's graduation, his little sisters, Nicole (L), and Elizabeth (R), came to visit us for a few days. They helped grandpa in the garden, strung beaded necklaces, made their favorite sandwiches (peanut butter, banana, honey and jelly), did some Monarch Butterfly research with grandpa in the field, went to the park and toy store. What a joy it is to have these little spirits play with us for a few days.

My dear friend, Susan, and I then took a short road trip to Creative Castle in Newbury Park and spent a day with one of my favorite wire wrapping artists, Tracy Stanley and designed whimsical copper leaves. What fun!

Above are a few of Tracy's examples...aren't they great!

My big adventure was to travel to Portland with two of my friends from my local art group - Susan and Shelley. We had the pleasure of spending 4 days with Sally Jean Alexander in her Chandelier-Ella class. To start off the adventure, we all met at the Portland Expo Center for their largest antique faire and flea market. With over 1500 vendors, our day was packed full. Sally Jean had spent the previous day shopping herself at the faire and had maps for each of us with her favorite vendors highlighted.....thank you Sally Jean! Most of us ran over to Sandy Schor & Co. booth first. Some of you may know Sandy as he sells at several of the large antique faires. I first heard of him through reading Diane Cook and Deryn Mentock's blogs and seeing their finds at his booth at Round Top. I was so excited to learn that he was there in Portland. Well, a group of us spent almost 4 hours in his booth!! can you believe it? You just would not believe the treasures he had stored in box after box after box. So exciting!
My friend, Susan, and I spent the rest of the day searching for "must haves." One of our other favorite booths was that of well known artist, Kimberly Poloson (lower right corner photo above) with my friend, Susan (L) and I. I came to Portland with what I thought was a firm idea of what I would like my chandelier to look like, however, after visiting Kimberly's booth, my chandelier took on an entirely different look. She had the perfect black and ivory striped silk fabric I had been looking for at local fabric stores in my area before leaving. And that little change led to the "quest" to find other elements to include in my chandy...perfume bottles, pearls, flowers, etc......I wanted it to look very Frenchy. My quest was a success.
Walking into Sally Jean's studio was so magical, as you can imagine. I'll let the pictures tell the story.
On the third day of class, it was Sally Jean's "29th" birthday and we all chipped in and surprised her with a humungous bouquet of lime green hydrangea....one of my favorite flowers. Her friend Bonnie brought cupcakes and cake later...yummy! Sally Jean's husband, Brad, and daughter presented her with one of her birthday gifts in class.....a beautiful stuffed Canadian goose. Sally Jean had spotted him and thought he would be the perfect companion for her resident studio goose, Lucy...who had grown very lonely. If you look closely in the photo in the lower left hand corner of the collage below, you will see Lucy (the lit up goose on top of the shelf) and her new boyfriend (Jean Luc Trudeau) opposite her.....true love at first sight!

After three days of playing with resin, soldering, sewing, gluing, attaching, our chandeliers started to take on the personalities of their creators.

I didn't totally finish my chandelier but you can see it partially finished in the collage below. UPS just delivered it to me yesterday (thank you Brad) and I look forward to completing it and hanging it in my studio. One of the most special parts of this trip was spending time with friends. Shelley (lower left corner in collage below) poses by her wonderful steampunk themed chandelier. Love it, Shelley!! My dear friend, Susan, the lovely blonde in the photo below, and I stayed on an additoinal day after the workshop to tour (or should I say "shop") in Portland.

The hotel where we stayed, Hotel Deluxe, was amazing! I would recommend it to anyone traveling to Portland and wanting to stay within walking distance of downtown and the Pearl District.

So, there you have it....my last six weeks....or a good part of it anyway. Forgive me for being gone for so long. Now I am working on custom jewelry orders and brainstorming about new pieces for my friend, Robin Kaplan's, spring clothing collection.
Hope you are all enjoying your summer and finding time to create.
"Making art is about finding the true self-not who everyone has told you that you are, but the person you are truly." ~ Birgit O'Connor
Ta Ta
Diana