Sunday, September 30, 2007

Weekend Update

What a gorgeous weekend!

Our plan was/is to hit the Parade of Homes as we love to see the builder's solutions to the ever evolving tech-in-home issues -alas, I'm still in the studio designing paisley. Fortunately, PoH runs thru next week as well.

Dropped off my application to the annual Boylan Heights Art Walk that's held first weekend in December. This will be my 4th year (*I think*) but unfortunately, they continue to jack up the entrance fee. Honestly, I may have to drop out next year if their plan is to increase by 23% annually.

I had to check the Farmer's Almanac long-range forecast for December but to no avail, the immediate outlook runs only thru the end of October. Although, the regional forecast is published and oh boy! it looks miserable for the SE -cold and wet.Yee -haw. In the past, I used to rely on the FA exclusively because they were so spot on, but due to warming, I just can't bet on it anymore. However, I did find entertaining the Best Days activities calendar. Looks like I missed the best day for retarding my hair growth; ostensibly it was cut on the day where I wanted to increase hair growth -guess I'll be visiting Robin for another trim soon.

Meanwhile, my MAndrew continues to wow me in the kitchen. He found swordfish on sale and cooked up a mean batch of Swordfish Kabobs. Oh! and were they delectable!!

Four Eyes Reprise

This week's been a pretty good week -busy, but good. I've had a mfg call and ask for imagery, so between Halloween (my favorite holiday!) and paisley -my studio looks like I've had paisley explosion.

Now I sleep, eat, dream and draw paisley. This week I was caught sketching paisley ideas from a customer's shirt at Trader Joe's. I do my best to look inconspicuous, but hey! When I'm jonesin' for paisley, can't stop this girl -unless we're wandering thru the wine aisle. "Ohh, Cabernet!!"

My annual eye visit was this week and I knew that I was due for new lenses -my eyes are changing so fast that I had issues back in March. I was so very disappointed that my current frames (they're so sexy!) would not hold the new lenses as I'm getting the progressive. Alas, I found ones very similar and I can have new lenses installed in the current ones for reading in bed. Yay!

My hair finally got a badly needed overhaul (humidity and fine hair make good partners not) and dinner with Amy & Phil -Amy cooked this time and we brought the wine. Again, she hounded me about joining the Y, so I acquiesced and became a member this week. Now Amy wants me to join her for yoga! I just need Andrew to kick me out of bed so that I can work toward becoming svelte before our honeymoon in December!!

Looks like I'll be spending all day at the gym -I'd better look good in December!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Business Is Human: Relationships Power Your Growth

You've read my entries (here and here) on Keith Ferrazzi's "Never Eat Alone."

Last week, I participated in a Webcast based on Keith's book: Business Is Human: Relationships Power Your Growth, hosted by the AMA (American Marketing Association).

In this Webcast, Keith shares powerful advice and tips to amplify your personal and professional relationships. The key secrets show you how to enable everyone in your personal and professional life to win. He illustrates the generosity pyramid, outlines personal destructive behaviors, and defines the 7 stages to relationship building. Essentially, he empowers one to get out of one's own way -I know I have found great benefit.

It didn't occur to me to alert you the Webcast -for that I apologize. However, good news afoot: the AMA has posted the Webcast is now available for you to enjoy at your leisure as are the slides. You'll have to register with the AMA, but it's free.

Go here: Business Is Human: Relationships Power Your Growth

Monday, September 24, 2007

Knitting Up Sweets

I just have to try my hand at making these for my MIL -they're cupcakes made of marzipan!! I can't stand how adorable and hilarious this concept is.

Sad Passing: Laurel Burch

I was sad to learn this weekend that one of my beloved inspirations Laurel Burch, has died. Laurel was one of the very reasons I became an artist due to her artistic achievements despite her adversities. I will miss her evolving works.

Back when I aspired to become an accomplished artist, feeling destitute and alone, I'd walk into Hudson's Department store to examine the latest fashion. I absolutely love scarves and remember finding Laurel's gorgeous scarves with fabulous cats and horses amidst the sea of color. Although reasonably priced, I could never afford a scarf and always saved a place in my collection to include one or two of her pieces. Later in life, I came across her Fantastic Feline mug on a department store shelf and coveted it for my very own.

Today, I drink out of her Fantastic Felines mug today to salute her and her artistic perseverance through her illness, heartache, and success.

You can read the NYTimes Article Here

Giclée Matters

Peter Paul Rubens The Hippopotamus HuntThere's been quite a debate and assumption about home inkjet printers being a reliable source for a Giclée product.

Giclée (pro: "zhee-clay") has two definitions translated from French that I can find:

  • To squirt or to spray
  • Gicleur: meaning "nozzle"
This process was created by Jack Duganne in the late 80s/90s, a printmaker working in the field, to represent any inkjet based digital print used as fine art.

Meanwhile, I'm learning that folks are calculating the assumption that that if the inkjet sprays, it's Giclée. I didn't necessarily think this was so and thus, Googled the word until my eyes swelled shut but to no avail. I tried calling Epson, but they sent me to India and India wanted me to spell the word -I hung up as I knew it was futile. So, in search of the industry standard definition for Giclée printing, I went to my trusted source: my printer Mike of Theo-Davis Sons where I have them print my notecards and fine art prints.

I asked Mike if Giclée is a process (from color calibration, to print methods, to varnish at the end) or is it merely pigment vs dye inks?

While Mike doesn't claim to be an expert in the Giclée world, this is what he conveyed to me:
The original Giclée prints were printed on an Iris inkjet device originally sold by Scitex for use as a high-res proofing device in the printing industry. Some enterprising folks found they could make one-off prints for the art community and earn a bit more money from their expensive printer.

I’m not sure the Iris machine is still in use as it was a royal pain in the a## to maintain. Also, the major inkjet vendors (Epson, Canon, etc.) have produced machines that are far better than an Iris.

There are several factors that determine if someone is getting a Giclée or an inkjet print:

1. Inks used. Should be pigment based with archival quality (usually 90 plus years).

2. Printer used. I’m not sure what the preferred print device is, but I read an article last week about a company in Key West that uses an Epson 9800 like we have. I don’t think there is an official list of Giclée printers.

3. Paper used. Should be archival quality. There are lots of textures and finishes available.

4. Original file prep. The piece of art, unless it’s a digital photograph, has to be digitized and color corrected. I believe this is the most important step. My personal opinion is that large art pieces should be photographed in a studio using a studio camera with a scanning back on the camera. In other words, don’t shoot a transparency. Like all things digital, there will be some color correction and file retouch required. The big name artists usually play an important part in this process.

5. Marketing. You can probably get away with calling any inkjet print a Giclée if you can convince the customer that’s what they are getting.

Bottom line: If you are going to sell it as a Giclee, ask around in the art community and get recommendations on reputable Giclée shops.

I hope this clarifies your printing endeavors.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Tuscan Sojourn

Ahh... how I wish it were me. Alas, one of the artists that I stalk (honest, I'm benign!) has taken a wonderful sabbatical to central Italy. Okay, it may not be a sabbatical, but hanging out in wine country to illustrate until December sounds like nirvana to me!!

Enjoy Vicarious Living thru Fine Art by Kelly Borsheim

Monday, September 17, 2007

Autumnal Teaser

We're working hard in the workshop. Stay tuned for details!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Mid-September Activities

Lately, I've been feeling as though life is having fun throwing me a few curve balls and last week I've been lamenting about how I didn't feel like I had much on which to comment. Fortunately, my Aspirations Show is going strong and I'm very happy that it's been well received, specially by my enthusiasts -thanks Christine and Jenny! I'd like to spin a few products off the series... Got any ideas? I'd love to hear them.

Currently, I'm having a quiet sale on my sterling silver jewelry. I'm not sure how long it's going to last, but would love to have you consider it as early holiday gifts.

Meanwhile, I had a mfg call on me late this week loving some of my wine series and also want a few other pieces not yet designed for licensing. Yea! I'm not going to say much because I always seem to jinx myself. Argh. Anyhow, Andrew and I are also busy in the workshop creating new product prototypes to determine their *worthiness.* Can't say much now, but the surprises will be revealed soon.

Now that the weather is cooling off (how 'bout those storms last night thru the SE?) I've been enjoying new recipes that my Culinary Alchemist has been developing, like the garlic toast with real garlic (found at Costco) and honey. Who knew?

Halloween: My Favorite Holiday!!

We found this on our newsstand and just had to pick it up! If you're dying to make some spooktacular scenes in your abode, you'll find great ideas to install LEDs in your pumpkins to floating imagery in the corner of your living room. They've even got a great diagram of how to haunt your own house. Love it!

If you're going to haunt the town, you'll want to know how to become a Headless Marie Antoinette or ghastly ghoul.

Andrew, Halloween 2002
I thought I did a pretty good job. This photo now sits on Madam's side of the bed in our guest bedroom *just for her.* After all, he is her number one son. ;)

Poll Results: Mystical Explanations

"Mystical explanations are thought to be deep; the truth is that they are not even shallow." Who said this?

Answer: Although it sounds as shallow as a Jack Handy, it was actually F. Nietzsche.