Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Monday Misery

After any big show, I donate the next few days to serious R&R.

Much to my chagrin, Andrew had PT scheduled for 9am the following day -that just happened to be Monday. I begged him to change it days in advance (he tried, but to no avail) and I had to drive him to the health center on campus.

No matter how comfortable the chair was in the waiting room, it wasn't as comfortable as laying horizontal in my own bed. For the next 2 hours, I contorted my body with our jackets wrapped up beneath my head -among coughing children and chatty colleagues- hiding from the burning sun behind a large plant and my body growing more weak and painful as the common cold set up camp in my limbs.

With one ear open, I heard Andrew finally reappear into the waiting room only to discover a few of his colleagues wanting to chat up a storm. I felt badly that I wasn't cordial to his plight or to his need to reacquaint himself with his professional network. I needed to get home because I was failing fast -and I had to drive.

I feel like crap. I have holiday orders to fill. I need an intern.

Mother Nature Isn't Loyal

After weeks of preparing for Boylan's show, I didn't have much confidence in this year's event. The day began sunny and bright that quickly turned to cloudy, dull, and eventually rain. I had promised my enthusiasts no rain alas, being a weatherman is the only job where one can be 100% wrong all of the time and still keep his job.

Weeks ago, I had lined up 2 high school students to help me set-up, provide sales support and tear down since my comrade Andrew, would not be able to help me in any fashion. He had a spinal-fusion mid-November and its his job to heal properly; it's my job to lament that I wouldn't have my partner in crime, to stand with me and be my cashier and evenutally twist a grim day into a ribald event. Boy, did I miss that.

Sarah and William both arrived in a timely fashion and I still wasn't ready for them to assist. Going to bed at 1am and rising at 7am, I was eager to get my pieces and parts together for them to help assemble. Regardless of how much they were able to help out, they got paid, but they were reluctant in receiving monetary reward for watching me work up to the 11th hour. I reminded William, who is currently working on a huge project for school, that while he works up to the end for his projects, real-life is very similar, so don't get comfortable in believing that the real world will be much different.

Sarah, my interim intern, did a great job of keeping my irrevence in check. While she's only still in high school, she's got her father's demeanor. She'll tuck her chin in response to any potential offensive remark and cock her head and secure her stance when someone attempts to rip personal craftsmanship in public.

Overall, the enthusiasts, new and familiar, were fun to talk with and learn about, but there will always be someone who judges with a fine tooth comb, a person we don't want as our customer. On the flip side, I've had customers stand at my booth defending my work! That definitely brightens up a sour day.

Unfortunately, my ROI for the day was just as exciting as the day itself. I love the show, but Mother Nature isn't loyal to any farmer or any artist. Better luck next year.

Monday, November 27, 2006

To Guild or Not to Guild

The second reason for heading over to the Carolina Craftsmen Guild show today was also to talk with the artists (always on the last day for those who want to follow my lead) to get a better understanding of how they felt about the weekend's show; one of many determining factors to join the guild.

It seemed that many were disappointed and all were desperate to find out why. Some thought it was because the show was situated in the middle of the flea ground (good point) and surrounded by hobbiests who produce much crap (another good point). It could also be a culmination of slow economy and those who feel they can buy similiar stuff at Target and be just as happy -minus any interesting story they might like to share. Who doesn't like to tell a good story?

Perhaps what I'm reading about micro-boutiques taking over this land is the mark of a new trend. Jeanne had sent me an article a month ago about the Alaskans renovating a train car with art and driving from one small town to the next for exposure and sales. What if a consortium of boutiques approached AmTrak with a similar partnership? Think of the unique business plan to help Indie Designers and a failing business like Amtrak to foster more jobs? Perhaps designers accompany the train from station to station or hire folks to man and cashier their rented space as their full-time jobs?

I know that folks walking past department store doors during their lunches and heading to micro-boutiques give the indie designers an opportunity to share their vision and keep the large dept stores continously striving to keep a unique position.

For now, I'm still waffling at joining a Guild or two, but will continue to support those indie designers and artisans as much as I can afford.

Uncorked! A New Exhibit!

I have finally installed a new series at EVOO Restaurant titled: Uncorked! It's a wine series coupled with spirited quotes that just might suit you. It will soon be installed online at Bijouxlled, my annex for ECStewart Collections.

Tell me what you think!

Carolina Craftsman Guild + Boylan Heights Art Walk

Today, I broke free from the holiday festivities -actually, the inlaws went home. Decided it would be refreshing to hit a quality show of exhibiting professional artisans -Carolina Designer Craftsmen- here in Raleigh. I wanted to see more textile artists but it seemed as though they've disappeared, leaving traces of silk designers and few others.

Among the artists I did visit and find noteworthy were my friends Marina Bosetti of Bosetti Art Tile and Carol Owen, the published artist of personal shrines and altered books. You know I just had to pick up her book and have her sign it! Additionally, I remember Dory of FuturisticallyArchaic, the exceptional silver artist who has designed a neat pulley system pendant and picked up some terrific earrings.

Now, I've got to return to my own studio and continue in R&D for new products. Perhaps you'll see a few at the Boylan Heights Art Walk at which I'm exhibiting next weekend!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Fear of Hospital Dramas

Dalton Ross on EW.com talks about his intense fear of hospital dramas, regardless of top ratings and I agree. Like Ross, I'll go into convulsions if I hear "Code Blue" or "50 cc's" of anything and I'll just paralyze in place.

This morning, at O'Freaking early, I had to accompany my husband into the hospital for a spinal-fusion. He does a really good job of remaining calm thru any situation - my emotions swing just a bit -from yelling at the old man who just hit our neighbor's dog to cracking jokes at the nurse who is inserting an IV into Andrew's hand.

I don't much like sitting here in the public waiting room. It's loud and I just want to sleep thru his surgery, however, the staff have other plans. I spied a waiting room for those in ICU and I almost sneaked in to grab a cat nap but I was afraid I'd miss Andrew's wake up call.

Alas, I'll blog and keep myself amused thru this slow news day -I must report any global news to the man as soon as he wakes -like he'll remember. :) Yeah, I get to tell him about the air guitar at least 5 times and make it sound interesting each time -complete with spasmatic convulsions.

http://www.ew.com/ew/article/commentary/
0,6115,1556246_7_0_,00.html

Canstruction

I've seen this artistic endeavor close to home at Exploris -but it's still neat.

To raise hunger awareness, giant sculptures made from full cans of food are built at an annual event held in New York and other cities.

http://www.breitbart.com/news/2006/11/11/D8LB2C7G0.html

T-Shirt Turns Air Guitar Into Music

How cool is this?

A high-tech T-shirt has motion sensors built into its elbows that pick up the wearer's arm motions and relay them wirelessly to a computer which interprets them as guitar rifts, said Richard Helmer, an engineer who leads the research team from the government's Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization.

Can you imagine having a slew of folks standing around performing air guitar -they'd need a conductor -neat options there. Personally, I'm waiting for air finger painting.

http://www.breitbart.com/news/2006/11/13/D8LC6K080.html

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Options for Gurty's Law

I'm on the road to creating Gurty's Law. I need to familiarize myself with gathering names for petition to get a light, a stop sign, or a maybe a meager little speed bump.

My options are take the license I photocopied from the old man and:

Coupled with Gurty's photo, write a note on flyers indicating this is what he had done and to make sure that everyone is aware how angry we are as a neighborhood and distribute them to every house in both neighborhoods

or

Enlarge a photo of Gurty and print it on a banner. Stake it in the place where she got killed (at the intersection) and have keys words printed such as:

"This Pet Was Killed Last Night Due to Reckless Driving... Slow Down"

or

A Simple Banner that reads:

"Slow Your Ass Down You Rotten, Careless Bastards"

or

"You Must Have Been a Republican to be so Heartless to Kill a Pet"

or

"Heartless Republican Bastards Turn Back, My Gun is Pointed at Your Head"

or

"Stupid Old Man: Relinquish Your Driver's License and please don't have a Heart attach and die because of these circumstances you brought about yourself and heads will turn to me since I'm not afraid of confrontation."

or

"Slow Your Punk Ass Down... We Value People, Pets, and Children, Too."

City Council, Here I Come.

Farewell Gurty

Tonight, for the first time in 20 years, I exhumed my trumpet from it's comfortable chocolate crushed velvet case... to play taps.

I'm devestated by tonights events. Gurty, a neighbor's dog, was carelessly hit by a speeding old man whose license needs to be revoked. Regardless of his self-proclaimed fact that he grew up as the only kid with 25 hunting dogs will never bring Gurty back to her family. A horrible event I witnessed (in my mind's eye) several hundred times just waiting for the real event (actually witnessed) to happen while attempting to unload Andrew's Element of office toys. And now I'm drinking.

My head hurts. It's better than my stomach that's been in knots for several hours after watching her 80lb golden retriever body hit the pavement infront of the children and parents. That 86 year old SOB never stopped nor did he hit his brakes -I ran after him as fast as my damn heeless shoes would let me.

I'm sickened by the thought of that family next door with swollen eyes from crying so hard who must live with the regret of never putting her on a leash -but hey! Why should we when we don't live on a highway? Seriously! It's only 25 thru here and the bastards from the adjacent neighborhood feel it's well within their right to race to the other end of Childers.

I told that old coot that I was waiting from someone from Blenheim to hit a pet -or a child. And it had to be him. He swore he was only driving 25 mph but from a distance I heard Andrew yell, "BULLSHIT! What if that were a kid!!"

For me, kids and pets are on the same equivalency chart. Headhunters in New Guinea rate pigs higher than kids -but that's their social mentality, not mine.

I'd like to have that old man's license revoked for good.

Cops were called and children were babysat while the parents lamented their horrific decision over the life of their family member. I cradled my gut until the parents came home and the cops finally showed. I know the family doesn't want me to make an example out of Gurty but I do want to make an example out of the old man who killed their dog.

Right now, I'll be content with disentombing the brass on a very poignant occasion.

Gurty, this is for you.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Thought for the Day

"Never let your sense of morals get in the way of doing what's right."

- Isaac Asimov

I've done my part today to help bring equality back into the White House. Have you?

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!!



Unfortunately, I don't think I'll be decorating the yard this year as I have in the past. Last year, we got only 10 kids -perhaps they were a little freaked out from the doll heads hanging from the trees.

Nevertheless, I'm still wearing my cape.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Ambition

"Ambition is not a dirty word."

If you lack this, get a publisher. It's that simple. Either you pssess it like you possess artistic talent, or you don't. Ambition is not a technique you can study to improve upon. It's either or it's not - simple as that. It's an innate trait built into your DNA. Yes, we all have it to some extent, but you know what I'm talking about - the burning desire to enjoy success and be somebody come hell or high water.

-Barney Davey

I swear this guy took the words straight from my mouth. "Come Hell or high water" is my trademark. :)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Thinking Aloud

How cool would it be if/when telephony advances to the point where we're able to pick up the phone from the cradle and speak words similiar to URLs on the net?

So, instead of dialing a number that one has to look up, place on speed dial, or actually physically dial, we could call out the name of the person/company we want to reach? Perhaps, initially, our Ma Bells allow us to do a voice-dial similiar to that on our mobiles, but eventually, all numbers would be converted over to words. For instance, we would speak:

US>Raleigh>Restaurants>EVOO>Reservations

How cool would that be?

Friday, October 20, 2006

Scary Quote Read on a Forum

"You need to get rid of this art business for the mortgage to go through," as said by banker to fully employed programmer and freelancer.

Need I say more?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

A Swede Shot

A magic moment was on a digital camera and won the Shell Wildlife Photographer of the Year award.

A near deleted shot from his digital camera, a Swede, Goran Ehlme, snagged a shot of a walrus feeding on clams on the sea floor. I must be tired, but can only see an alien amisdt a whirl of grey, disturbed sediment.

Let me know if you can see the walrus (coo coo cachoo) because if nothing else, it's just a great composition regardless of the subject matter.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6063862.stm

You Can Bury It With You

So, I guess I should be applauding any company wanting to take it's brand to the grave, but c'mon!

I read today that baseball teams are now allowing fans to don their caskets with their favorite teams logos. Seriously. MLB has signed an agreement with Eternal Image which is gearing up for making urns and caskets for all 30 teams. It's true that one of the prime target audiences is the boomers and geezers, but a spokesman for the National Funeral Directors Association indicates that baseball products are part of a trend they're trying to capture. "It's the life and the passions of the person that has passed away," states Kurt Soffe.

But why bury the fans? Why not just cremate them, stuff 'em in a baseball and whack them out into the big outfield in the sky?

Now that I've got an opportunity to design my own casket (ick), I'm thinking the images of the CalligraphyPets should adorn the outside and kitty litter filled within.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061018/ap_on_fe_st/baseball_funerals

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Listen... Closely

I'm sitting here watching a little 'Smallville' and the opening scene quickly reminded me of the new evolution of advertising.

If you've TIVO'd or DVR'd Smallville, go back to the opening scene where Chloe & Jimmy Olson sit in Makeout Point and chat about old times, you'll hear a Camry commercial clearly talking specs about the new hybrid just under $26k.

Funny. Very funny.

So, the next time you cozy in to watch your favorite show, listen... listen closely for the interruption that isn't so usual, you might see or hear something familiar.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Archaeo-Acoustics

One of our favorite shows, MythBusters, having a scream exploring the myth of "archaeo-acoustics" — i.e., ancient pottery can contain sounds from the past that can be played back and listened to today, just like a record.

Evidently, during the Pompeiian period, while potters worked at their wheel, any extraordinary sound bytes that came within their environment while they were at the wheel, would be recorded on their pot! (They hypothosized this on the X-Files some years ago)

They apply a glass stylus to a grove on the pot as the pot rotates on the wheel, and one hears a ghostly voice. Then they took their recording to a professional to erradicate the eroneous noise and reveal the truth.

What do you think the result was?

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Men Unnecessary?

Okay, so Andrew and I were walking thru the mall the other day and proudly displayed in Brookstone's entrance is a funky standalone seat on 4 legs. Stopping dead in my tracks, I discovered that this thing undulates in the most precarious way -you know I had to try it! Quickly dodging any sales help, I looked it up on Brookstone's page.











Am I the only one here who thinks that this 'exercise' instrument really should come w/attachments?

The video is a must-see.

Hilarious!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Honda Element

Have we told you how much we actually love our Honda Element? BBC's Top Gear has their own review but as we realized, Honda was surprised when they learned their original demographic was the college grad, but it's the DINKs that can actually afford the small cost in this 'oh so strong economy' of ours.



See TopGear's review: http://youtube.com/watch?v=gnZBoqWK7kw

Hilarious!

You Tube

Have you have a chance to surf You Tube? Do you even know what it is? Don't fret, I've been so freaking busy with the CalligraphyPets and Collections, that I've been under the radar and away from techy stuff, too. Andrew found it and is absolutely addicted -I simply don't have the time. If I brought out the whip and chair, he wouldn't either.

However! This time last year, I applauded the episode of BBC's Top Gear and the episode of teaching Grannies to drive donuts. It's hiliarous.

BBC's Grannies Doing Donuts

Top Gear Sept 2005 Post: 'A Nun's Vocation'

Experiment #137

I've been meaning to post this for a while.

If you want to waste 5 minutes -and oh, you won't regret it- surround your family around the PC and watch this video. It's just way too cool. Yes, it's G rated, but you'll want to keep your Mentos away from the Diet Coke -or at the very least, away from the kids.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=0qw7ByxX0X8

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Iridescent Snowflakes

Recently, I referred to an artist friend, Jeanne, who is a polymer clay maven. I wanted to showcase a piece she gave to me last year as a Christmas present.

This maven knows her medium! She creates individual snowflakes with iridescent colors painted on polymer clay. Punctuated with Swarovski crystals, this delicate design is unique to each piece she handcrafts. Individually designed, signed, and numbered by the artist.

Update: Get yours from Jeanne herself now before the flurries fly out of her studio.


Fine Art ReDiscoveries

Initially, my premise for going to Lazy Days was essentially to check out the booth the Carolina Mix Media Guild had installed. After chatting with my good friend Jeanne at the booth, I also ran into a few of the folks I hadn't seen since one of the two meetings I actually attended this past year.







Moreover, I happened upon a former instructor of mine whose work I absolutely prize: Woody Chaimongkol. His charcoal dust technique is impeccable and I was lucky enough to have taken one of his first courses at Jerry's Art-a-Rama here in Raleigh.

His Web site (woodycharcoal.com) is currently defunct, but I think I'll encourage him to get a few of his pieces up and showcased -his work is too good not to be seen.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Just Say No to Spec Work

An article by writer Mark Evanier is about out working on spec. In his
article, Evanier refers to "Unfinanced Entrepreneurs"

He is quoted,

Unfinanced Entrepreneurs exist because of a fiction about creative people, so widely believed that even some of us writers and artists accept it. The fiction is that writing and drawing are not assets...they are things we whip up out of thin air and which cost nothing to create. If someone steals your work from you, you can always bat out another for nothing.

If you believe this, it's your right, but you do our profession a grave disservice. Every time someone tramples on our work — ruins it, changes it, mauls it, damages it — it's because they have no respect for it. And, generally speaking, they have no respect for that which cost them nothing.

They think writers and artists "just knock it out" but we don't...not really. And even when it seems like we do, it's because of a lifetime of developing whatever skills we bring to each project. My best pal, Sergio Aragon├ęs, once was selling some sketches he'd done. A browser was interested in one but blanched at the hundred-buck price tag.

"How long did it take you to draw that?" he asked.

"About a half-hour," Sergio answered.

The man was horrified: "You expect me to pay you a hundred dollars for a half-hour's work?"

Sergio showed uncommon restraint — at least for Sergio. He calmly said, "You're not paying for the half-hour it took me to do the drawing. You're paying for the forty-one years it took me to learn how to do that."

*****
The most important admonition I can offer is to steer clear of those who want to exploit you. Even when you think you have no better prospect, avoid the Unfinanced Entrepreneur. They not only steal your work...they embezzle a little bit of your soul.

Mark's Link: http://povonline.com/cols/COL210.htm

Monday, August 21, 2006

How to Stretch a Canvas

Ever wonder how to stretch a canvas… correctly? Utrecht's has posted a full-page of the "How To" on page 9 of their Art Supply Fall Catalog. I'm a big fan of diagrams and they've immediately won me over.

Utrecht.com to get on their mailing list.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Who Do You Stalk?

Last weekend Andrew and I attended (walked) a slew of tradeshows in NYC that included the Int'l Gift Fair, Directions, and the Textile Show. We've been walking various shows now for about 3 years. Other shows might include Atlanta Giftware Show (Jan), National Stationery Show (May) and the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) that runs concurrently with NSS & Surtex -a show at which we exhibit.

The ICFF, in our minds, is just way too cool. If you want inspiration on several levels, be prepared for a surreal onslaught of some of the most talented artisans in the world. This creative collective bunch are an awesome array of industrial designers creating functional casegoods called furniture. One might also see softgoods for the home and accents.

Walking these various shows says much about the consumer. Designer egos are on the chopping block for shoppers and showroom buyers have to seek out the edgy -but not too edgy- for their clients and hope that the trickle down effect actually works. I've been in all 3 positions and I understand the sweat and fear that goes into each. In the end I ask myself -is anyone going to die because of my decision making? Probably not, so don't sweat it, just enjoy and buy what you like.

Meanwhile, I seek out the newbies of the floor. You know them because they've got the smallest booth but have packed a punch in their introductory designs they offer. I ask them how the show is going for them and they all usually reply in the same manner, "Oh, pretty well. Tired but excited to be here."

Wait a few days and return to them and ask the same question and you'll get a variety of responses. Some great, mediocre, and those who don't want to show their grave disappointment but it's clearly written all over their face - we know, we've been there (Atlanta 2005).


We are genuine when we wish them luck (because we like to see good and talented people succeed) and they can feel it -giving them a little boost in their step because we've just revealed our affinity toward their product and appreciate the lonely step in cold waters.

The following year we reintroduce ourselves and congratulate them on returning the second time. It's evident that they either had a decent turnout the last 12 months or have enough passion in their product to realize that they've got a solid winner but just need a few more years to get it out the gate and down the lane. Either way, we wish them luck again and watch their editorial submissions get print time in the popular industry mags and mention, "Hey, I remember your introduction -it was in Dwell!" Just before I leave their space, I'll confess that they're on my radar and they're one of the artists I stalk, "...but not in a bad way," I conclude. I just like to root for the little guy.

It's been my experience that artisans love to be told that they've got a following who is actually watching their career, it's gratifying. I know, I'm there.

Cross-posted from SAVANTBlog

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Summer Sailing

Shew! Finally have my Summer Sailing Show Installed at EVOO as well as on Bijouxlled.



Thoughts are always welcomed.

More Venues We Enjoy

Two places we love to frequent while in the city, since it's all about the food:

Focacceria
87 Macdougal Street, Greenwich Village

See! We told you it was tiny! They always have my favorites: Chicken Ravioli in a creamy tomato sauce and a warm chocolate flourless cake with ice cream. Man, we hurt when we leave that place. Oh so good, though.

Boom
152 Spring Street

Don't know what it is about this place that we save for last. More Northern Italian Fare; just can't get enough.

Oh! And at the very end, we stuff ourselves with chocolate gelato from Rocco's Pastry Shop.

What I Enjoy

We just returned from a long weekend in NYC. Yea! We love recharging our batteries in the Big Apple -so much to see & do. Actually, we were walking the NY Gift Show & other trade shows for the biz and it's terrific to write it off.

Here's my list:
1) NYC
2) Sephora
Due to the 'no liquids' policy on airlines, I completely forgot to pack my special facial soap (DDF-Glycolic) I've found perfect for my combo skin. A Sephora location in NYC was gracious enough to give me a sample of a similiar soap (Salicylic Wash - my choice) to complete my trip. It was easy, free, and a great way to maintain a great customer relationship. Yes, I will be going back to purchase that Salicylic Wash I fell in love with.
3) A pair of shoes I purchased at Hudson-Belk that I didn't have to break in; they kept my footsies comfortable thru-out the weekend sans blisters!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Happy Anniversary to Us!

I don't know what's sweeter: Life with Andrew or our Anniversary Cake we request Jennifer to make for us each year.




See our Wedding Cake & Previous Anniversary Cakes

Monday, July 31, 2006

Summer Lesson: Knitting!

While standing at a local craft store with my MIL and needling her with a myriad of questions about knitting, I decided to just bite the bullet and learn to knit. With her guidance, I've learned to both knit and purl. I'm currently working on my first project where I've not had the sense to count my stitches; rest assured, the next project I will and also understand how to keep my tension consistent.

Meanwhile, I am gaining a better respect for knitters.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Photo Friday: Summer

Photo Friday : Summer

Summer
Canon Rebel XT

Sunday, July 02, 2006

A Fire Under My Revolution

Last week, I was experiencing Jerry Springer's radio show on the progressive channel (XM Radio) for the first time. While Jerry's got a bit of Bill O'Reilly's "I'd like to shirk my own point" mentality, he was reminiscing over protest songs.

I learned that they're not protest songs, but song of justice -dunno if that's PC or a gov't spin for artists back in the 60s. Well, I was utterly moved by a song I had never heard before, "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" by Gil Scott-Heron from his album 'Pieces of a Man.' Fortunately, I found it on iTunes.

A few excerpts from his lyrics:
You will not be able to plug in, turn on or cop out.
The Revolution will not be Televised
The Revolution will not give your mouth sex appeal
The Revolution will not be Televised
The Revolution will not make you look 5 lbs thinner
Because The Revolution will not be televised, brother
The Revolution will not be brought to you by Xerox.
The Revolution will not be televised.
The Revolution will not go better with Coke.
The Revolution will not be televised.
The Revolution will not give you fresh breath.
The Revolution will not be televised.
The Revolution will put you in the driver's seat
The Revolution will not be televised.
The Revolution will not be a rerun brothers,
The Revolution will be live.

That's just a portion, but immensely riveting for those of us who need a little fire under our own Revolution.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Copyright Fee Increase: July 1st!

Aspiring Artists... the gov't is increasing the fee structure for copyrighting your work. Normally, the work has been $30 per group/per piece, but now the fee structure is all over the table. You'll want to take a look to see how it pertains to you.

Direct link to structure: http://www.copyright.gov/reports/fees2006.html

Monday, June 19, 2006

Happy Birthday to Me

Andrew took a vacation day to spend the day with me. Yea!

After spending the entire weekend working on client stuff, I finally came to bed at 4am and slept for only a few hours. Can't stand sleeping my b-day away!

For dinner, he grilled tuna as a special treat. Yum.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Screaming for Ice Cream

Andrew made us a treat last night... low fat homemade ice cream in our Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker. Man, was it delish!

Recipe:
1 can Low-fat Condensed Milk
2 cups Fat-free half and half
2 oz unsweetened chocolate
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract

I love that man. It was so smooooooth and rich.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Churchill

Churchill said that when you're at the top, all you have to think about are policies.

When you're second in line, you have to think about what your boss is thinking, and about what your opposite number is thinking, before you can begin to think about policies.

Start your own company, then you can have control of your own destiny. It makes you number one from the start.

Have you started your company yet?

I Heart Gehry

Gehry's architecture has always fascinated me. From facets bursting out of the NY Guggenheim, the recent project of Marque de Riscal winery in Spain and now his partnership w/Tiffany. Naturally, I'm enamored with his sumptuous linework of Equus within his collection. Guess I'll have to wait many years to see that piece in my stocking.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Raleigh Networking for Women

I've been involved in a local networking group for a little over a year now. However, they've decided to formalize but unfortunately, this is isn't aligned w/my business priorities.

Are there any women in the RTP area that would like to continue a free-forum group that permits networking at it's best? I'm not saying that I want to start a grassroots organization -God knows I am absolutely swamped. Although, being able to ask for a housekeeping referral (I need one or two!) or publish reasonable self-promotions & announcements (granted, the holidays you are going to get bombarded) and refrain from flaming those whose beliefs (religious & political) differ from yours would be a great asset to my personal/professional growth.

Anyone game? Please contact me so that we can decide on a YahooGroup nomenclature (free + easy = ROI) and move forward. I'm thinking Triangle Women.

Thoughts? Please let me know.

My Virtual Life: Business Week Cover Story

Speaking of virtual real estate, has anyone read the article in Business Week: May 1:
Virtual World, Real Money? Reader Reports:
http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/06_21/c3985025.htm

Oh, now this is fascinating and can't wait to get personally involved.

Anyone else involved in Second Life? I'm thinking of making Felidae Isle a virtual isle for my frolicking pussy cats. Please let inquiring minds know what to expect because this is truly awesome -and I refrain from using that word "awesome" but it's a bitchin concept that could probably screw with my head in ways I haven't conceived.

Opinions?

Creative Goddess: My squatting rights

After 2 glasses of wine, I realize that CreativeGoddess (creativegoddess.blogspot.com) has not been squatted upon! Is no one else in this universe aligned with creativity and narcissism? Well! If this is the case, let it be me who cast the first stone into the blog squatting atmosphere and usurp this real estate.

Give me time to align my thoughts -which will probably be in June after my mind has time to gel.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Geopolitical Art

I receive Robert Genn's Twice Weekly Letter for artists and found this letter on Geopolitical Art to be particularly interesting.

Many artist's struggle with determining if their pursuits are a personal hobby or if their work is 'good enough' to sell. Rarely, have I heard an artist talk about their work being 'marketable.' Geopolitical art definitely falls into a niche barely touched by individuals seeking work for their dining rooms. Robert Genn's Geopolitical Art helps to at least define one's market if one should pursue this artistic statement.

I've got a few ideas beyond showing work to public gallery curators.

  1. After creating large-scale productions, one could reduce their work and create a coffee table book for political aficionados and donate a portion of proceeds to your favorite charity.
  2. Create faux stamps homage to your large scale works or allow them to become statements within themselves and affix them to your outgoing mail. I have even framed some of mine.
  3. Think of other ways one could make a powerful statement in a clever way.
While I'm not much of a political pundit, the moons and planets were aligned just right for my last political statement. Last year, friends of ours were holding a housewarming party and we decided to bring a bottle of wine. Because it was near Halloween and he's a consultant for the Democratic party, we decided to have a bit of scary fun. The wine was purchased from the grocery store, however, the label was just a bit different than one would ordinarily find. Naturally, he and his wife loved it!

Geopolitical Quote for Artists

"If everyone would paint, political re-education would be unnecessary."
Pablo Picasso

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Priceless Ad

Just saw a commerical for MasterCard to write my own lines for the 'Priceless' commercial. Unfortunately, it was for their commercial, not mine.

Thus, I've decided to write my own virtual pricessless ad and the timing couldn't be better; Andrew and I have just celebrated our 5th year anniversary of the day we met.

Subscription to match.com: $30
Coffee Date at Borders Bookstore: $2.96
Finally Meeting My Soulmate: Priceless

What's yours?

Googling & Kaboodling

I recently discovered this online tool quite by accident last week. I don't even remember how I found it, now. It's pretty sweet as it takes 'bookmarks' to a new level.

http://www.kaboodle.com/

The tutorials are quite simple and easy to follow. It allows you to snag a URL (+select a specific image as a designated avatar) into a self-made Web page and organize it with tag words. Kaboodle creates 2 *public* default lists:

-ecstewart's shoppinglist
-ecstewart's wishlist

One can also create private categories should you want to gather info for a special project. One can also *invite* friends to private pages for online collaboration.

Hope this works for you.

Monday, April 03, 2006

First Metalsmith Class

This weekend, I finally took a much desired metals class at Flame Kissed Beads that involved creating a sterling silver pendant.

The components include:
Sterling Silver
Copper
Iolite

We applied a texture (+ pickeled it), an applique (+ pickeled it), cut metal (+ pickeled it), choose a gem to fit into a pre-made bezel (+ pickeled it), sweat soldered, and finally, pickeled it. At the very end, we tumbled the piece and fitted the gem. Okay, I might have exaggerated on the pickeling.

Anyhow, I've got my piece and I can't wait to string it!

Monday, March 27, 2006

Vosges Parisenne Hot Chocolate

We found Vosges chocolate cafe in NYC last October and promised ourselves to return before departing the city. We completely forgot!

Alas, my husband brought a treat home for Valentine's Day he found at Wholefoods: Vosges Parisenne Hot Chocolate.



Wow! This is the best hot chocolate I have had during my quest for hot cocoas. While it's a bit expensive ($20 for 16oz), it's worth the sweet, quiet indulgence for just the two of you.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Character Credit

Run a red light recently? Raleigh is considering to apply a blemish to one's credit report should one employ the 'no cop, no stop' mantra.

Actually, I like that.

While I'm against the institution of big brother, I'm pondering the benefit of the character credit system. This might just deter the hypocrites who believe they're above the law and I bet you can name one or two who are either in your own family, community, or those in the public spotlight.

How would this help those who feel the morals are going to dogs these days? I think this could be an interesting start to forcing folks to account for their lack of character.

Think of the parents who tell children not to smoke or not to swear (or worse), but continue to repress any self-control. The parent gets a citation for smoking in a public place gets a mark on his credit report. Hopefully, Jr will learn from Dad's poor judgment before he makes the same mistake.

If an athlete can be forced to pay a fine for bad behavior during a game, and take a seat on the bench, why shouldn't Jr who has just run a red light? Bad behavior has consequences, but for the wealthy, it's not a big deal. Even if their credit score is questionable, they have enough cash to make large purchases that circumvent the issue.

The FCC has fined networks for unexpected illicit behavior during programming all because parents were expecting something appropriate for children. So, when Congress is in session and Cheney tells a fellow Senator to F*Off, is he above the law? I know this certainly isn't the kind of behavior I was expecting out of an elected official, so shouldn't he be fined by the FCC as well and supply a nick on his character credit? At this point, Cheney's record would be black, but that's another story.

Likewise, any good deed also gets included on the character credit report.

What are your thoughts?

Thursday, March 09, 2006

English Fare - A Fair Quote

I'll bet what motivated the British to colonize so much of the world is that they were just looking for a decent meal. - Martha Harrison
I'd agree since I've been to London and have been greatly disappointed in their dishes -even the Italian was poor.

I remember eating at the house of an acquaintence who announced she and her husband were heading to England in a few days for holiday. Because the husband had never been, I insisted he eat well before he go. His wife became immediately indignant as though I had insulted her mother. Additionally, I reminded her that I, too, was English and had visited England, so insult was not intended.

She didn't have a sense of humor and neither did the shepherd's pie she was serving.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Disaster Awaits for Visual Artists - A Must Read

No thanks to our beloved Congress, we as visual artists just may kiss our careers goodbye.

Lisa Shaftel, Graphic Artists Guild National Advocacy Committee Chairperson has just alerted us to a grave possibility that Congress will add a proposed statute that is heavily slanted in favor of users.

Full report from the Copyright Office

Lisa's White Paper: http://198.173.235.195/gag_orphan_comment.pdf

Victor Perlman of the ASMP is traveling to Washington DC tomorrow to meet with the Copyright Office and members of Congress to alert them of the devastating effect this addition to our copyright law will have on the livelihoods of visual creators. Nancy Wolff of the Picture Archive Council of America has asked him to speak on the PACA's behalf, and I asked him to represent the Guild as well.

If you're a visual artist or art enthusiast, please get the letters in the mail ASAP, like this week. We will make a greater impact if the senators receive letters right away to reinforce Victor Perlman's visit. We believe Congress will push this legislation through fast, so don't wait.

Sample Letter Here
Senate Judiciary Committee Members

If you don't have the time to write to them all, write to:

The Chair, Senator Arlen Specter
Senators Hatch and Leahy

Because they ordered the Copyright Office to conduct this study, and to the senator from your home state- if one of them serves on this committee. That's 4 letters minimum.

Hard copy letters are most effective: they are tangible and impossible to ignore.
If you don't want to send snail mail, you may send a fax to each senator. Click on their names and it will take you to their homepage with their contact information.

Emails are least effective because
a) they have no tangible presence
b) a low-level staffer reads them and simply tallies a "yes" or "no" comment for a report to a higher staffer, and then deletes them, and
c) they are easy to ignore altogether.

Please, get writing!

Signs of Katrina

Graffiti and temporary signs as a result of Katrina. Paul Wood provides a photographer's collection of signage warning looters, signs begging for help, signs calmly reporting a death, and signs showing that although we lost everything else, we haven't lost our sense of humor.

Check out Katrina Graffiti

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Columbia Gets Schooled

Bonnie Fuller, editorial director of such journalistic pantheons as Star, Celebrity Living and Globe (aka: Queen of Crap) was invited to Columbia'’s Graduate School of Journalism, yes folks, journalism.

Amanda Millner-Fairbanks, the person responsible for lining up speakers for the Columbia SPJ chapter was under the assumption that the Columbia SPJ chapter needed some much needed professional advice about... sensationalism.

Millner-Fairbanks has been quoted as saying, "Fuller, is sort of the mother hen of this new form that'’s taken hold and is very profitable," thus justifying the speaking engagement.

Evidently, we don't have enough snakes in the pit to stalk, mislead, or spin bold-face lies about decent citizens. After all, don't we get enough of that from the current administration?

http://www.adage.com/news.cms?newsId=47748

Perhaps There Is Hope

Alberto Gonzales spoke before law students at Georgetown today, justifying illegal, unauthorized surveilance of US citizens, but during the course of his speech the students in class did something pretty ballsy and brave. They got up from their seats and turned their backs to him.


http://insomnia.livejournal.com/652389.html

Monday, February 06, 2006

Self-Esteem: The Rite of Passage

Watching the Superbowl with my husband last night, I was reminded of a recent conversation I had with a local artist, Annelies, about young girls and self-esteem.

To my delight, Unilever, with the brand Dove, has begun just that. Watch their commercial on AdAge.

Hmm... how about Dove partnering with the National Boys & Girls Club? That would be a great start -if they haven't already.

Wake County Women's Center Art Show

Currently, I am involved in a multi-artist show benefitting Wake County's Women's Center. It's being held at the charming Percolator Lounge thru the end of February. Since my work seems to be catching some attention, my framed cats, dogs, birds, and flowers are frequently rotating.

We had our artist reception this last Thursday that included some notables like Marina Bossetti, Jeanne Rhea, Elizabeth Galecke, and Annelies that produced some decent money for the center.

While talking with Annelies about her body casts, I found it interesting that her take wasn't just about pregnant women, but women of all shapes and sizes and to highlight their individuality -not what Hollywood imposes. Falling right into my intensity, we agreed that there may be another women's movement ready to burst as in the 60's, but believing most of it will help by the support of the Indy Film makers.

Young girls and women have such pressure from advertising from even more venues than I had growing up, swirling in the eddy of hopeless dread.

What I'd like to see
I'd like to see a grassroots movement happen- specifically to benefit young girls.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Happy Birthday, Mozart!!

My favorite composer; he's very muse worthy!

http://www.mozartproject.org/

NPR did a brief, albeit enjoyable segment on him last weekend. He was so wickedly naughty and brilliant. Love that!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Favorite Local Art Supply: Askew-Taylor

Kirk of Askew-Taylor has finally placed his brick & morter online! I've been serving patronage to his charming location since I moved down to Raleigh -in 1992.

You must go and say hello for me!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

What's Your Narcotic?

An interesting article by WBPark, a New York Cartoonist, who describes his acceptance in a great publication like a narcotic to cartoonists. Park's story typifies each one of us who strive to maintain that committed working relationship we have with our creative-selves.

My personal narcotic, at this point in time, is validation -and I'm getting loads of it. Moreover, my survival tactic thru the low-points is stalking other artists to examine their marketing techniques and determine if it is relavent to my own. All this as I sharpen my own selling blade -while drinking wine, of course.

What's your narcotic? More importantly, how do you survive thru the low points?

Spelling Bee & Matchmaking?

There is a new strategy in the dating scene: An Adult Spelling Bee Contest complete with a martini bar.

The Review
This offbeat mixer revives post-childhood anxiety, but to our good fortunate of being over-age, it allows us to dilute our nerves with a little sweet vermouth at the open bar. Bonding over spelling victories, the singles have spelling categories that range from the raunchy to the ridiculous, such as: Snoop Doggy Dogg, chupacabra, and chlamydia.

While I'm not a martini drinker -but think the glasses are 'oh so cool' and collect them for my outlaws, I hope they've at least created a drink called, 'The Spelling Bee.'

Note to Husband: Don't worry, this site happens to include classes in the arts and it's all done at the 92 Street Y.

Just another reason why I wished I lived in NYC.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Thought for the Day: Publicity

I've been surrounded with issues of publicity this weekend: A multi-artist show (of which I was a part); NPR issues on garnering publicity for illegal acts in the White House; and inane submissions to local newspapers for self-promotion.

Upon commenting on news submissions, my friend Jeanne had this to say:

The way I look at it---we all had better become lobbyists for ourselves---no one is going to do it for us. ;) Wouldn't it be so great if there wasn't enough bad news and they had to fill up the paper with something and they just interviewed artists?
Yeah, wouldn't it be nice to fill our days with good news? More importantly, we must become lobbyists for ourselves -no one is going to do that for us.

My recommendation is to survey a number of artists that you admire and stalk them. Read their news (from PR to blogs) to see what they're up to. You might learn something that you adapt to fit your personal agenda. That's right, you can admit that outloud. Repeat after me:
I-have-a-personal-agenda.

Excellent! Doesn't that feel good to get that out in the open? The first step to becoming a working artist is to acknowledge that you are one.

When did you experience your first acknowledgement? Let me know!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Snowflakes are Blinking

So we've got this digital thermometer in the kitchen that exhibits both indoor & outdoor temperatures as well as humidity. Upon arriving into the kitchen tonight, I see that the mostly full moon is casting a fascinating glow on our deck. Momentarily, the wind seems to have died down and I wonder what the temp is currently, so I pull the down the thermometer off the shelf to examine it.

"Oh, look Pip, the snowflakes are blinking," mindlessly I say to the cat as the temperature & humidity are prime for the white stuff. My mind wanders back to the glowing deck reminiscent of an exotic, sultry evening in the North Carolina summer. After all, the past few days have been a sweet reminder of late August.

However, noting the cruel deception by the stillness of the night, I scurry into the bathroom to empty my bladder for the last time in the evening. God how cold and frigid the nights were in the North and as a kid, refusing to do anything more than necessary before jumping into bed. Moreover, nothing is more sublime than having a toilet seat warmed by a nearby heater.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Would Kansas Deny Prince Charles Entry?

I guess my husband is right, this county is dissolving it's acceptance of other culture's rights... in this case it's to bear historic costume.

This poor kid, Nathan Warmack, was denied entrance into a school dance for donning a full-dress kilt in Jackson School District, Kansas City, MO. Young Mr. Warmack did receive an apology, but never got into the school dance.

Idiots.

A Bloody Honest Politician

This is hilarious! A vampire seeks the ballot for Minnesota governor.

Check out his disciplinary platform.

Hemingway's Landmark Razed by Fire

I dread reading about bad things happening to fabulous spots. Having never been to the Bahamas (yet!), his place was on my life's list.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060113/en_nm/life_hemingway_dc

Sunday, January 08, 2006

What Would Jesus Hang?

As Andrew and I were pondering some items to submit for publication, I asked aloud, "What would someone's grandmother want to hang in her house? Just then Andrew ask, "Well, the real question is, 'What Would Jesus Hang?'"

"That is a good question." as I snort while trying to enjoy my evening wine. "I do know he wouldn't want that damn crucifix hanging on his wall! I can imagine getting the heebie jeebies seeing myself being tortured everytime I turned the corner."

"Is this the thanks I deserve for hanging on the cross for you for 3 days?" Andrew replied as Christ.

"He's got nothing on his mother!" I said. "I carried you in my womb for 9 months!"

Then we recalled the joke recently heard that went like this:
Where would God go for vacation?
Well, he wouldn't go back to Earth, that's for sure. "I went to Earth 2000 years ago, knocked up some Jewish broad and they haven't stopped talking about it since!"