Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all of you out there! Happy Haunakkah too.

I really rolled straight into Christmas without being even a bit prepared. Luckily shopping at the last minute and cooking a turnip-and-carrot dish minutes before Christmas dinner DO in fact work out, and pretty well too. I had a lovely dinner with my family. We played trivia games and looked at old slides from the 70's before I was born, hideous couch patterns, fun backyard swings and all.

Tomorrow Marco and I are going to France. A bientot les francais! It should be good to be back. Time to exercise my rusty grammar.

As for the images, top is a sand sculpture in Puri, India, the bottom is the Christmas shipping warehouse of Something interesting to think about.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Finally snow

When I woke up this morning I was eager to have a good walk to the studio. The indoor air was stale. I wanted some exercise and fresh air. So I was disappointed to look out the window and find pouring rain.

I took the bus to the studio, had lunch nearby with my Dad, and walked in the rain back to the studio where I started to assemble a file rack for my office.

Imagine my surprise when, not fifteen minutes later, I turned around to see a swirling white sky of snow! Flakes the size of rollerskate pompoms were falling and blowing. They were really huge, the largest snowflakes I think I've seen in my life! Each time one hit the windowsill it created a white spot the size of a medallion. Since my studio is on the fourth floor I felt a neat dizzying sensation of all the snow zooming towards my big windows and down to the ground.

The rest of the day I cleaned and organized my studio (much needed - it was a mess). Marco came and helped me then we walked home in the snow and it was so lovely. We live on a hill by a cathedral and near the cathedral we saw a rabbit running across the snow. On the slippery roads the drivers looked stressed and hassled, but on foot the sounds were hushed from snow and peaceful and the ice sparkled on the trees and warm lights came out of homes and we were content. I love not depending on a car.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Mid-December lull

Britt and Andrew kept Marco and I very well entertained this weekend. It was short and sweet and fun. Now they're back in Hawaii. I'll miss you guys!

I've had a post-gallery-opening lull. I guess this is a new stage to learn about as a novice artist. You are busy as hell then suddenly you're not sure what to do. Now this is a really passive phase and I don't enjoy it as much. I can't see the public reaction. Do people like my designs? Do they not? What in specific do they like or not like? I would like to know more about how people buy so I can make good decisions on future projects. I feel a little in the dark.

The only response I have from the gallery so far is rather vague. Each week the owner tells me that things are selling and that I should make more, but when I ask "more of what?" she's very unspecific. So I've made more nightlights and ornaments and dropped them off.

In the meantime I'm working on my next step. My designs for this gallery exposition were ok, but they were really steered by time and practicality more than great design. I have much better design ideas brewing in my mind. To do them I will need a kiln so this week I bought one - a small one. I want to start screen printing on to glass to incorporate images into my work. Very few people in the US are doing this and the results will be cool.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Bumbum's back!!!!

Yay, The best girl ever is back in Minnesota! Britt and Andrew are here in town until monday and we went out last night and had a great time. It's surely a shock for them, coming to Minnesota from Hawaii but at least it's so warm out right now that Minnesota winter feels like a balmy spring day.

Anyway they are so much fun. Whoohoo!

(PS....what was that about Michael Stipe?)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


This may sound strange, but I think I'm going to try to learn to hunt.

I don't want to go for big things like deer really. I thought something more like rabbits & pheasant, small things we can cook up with white wine & herbs. It's partly my interest in trying to eat more locally and less industrially. It's partly my interest in becoming more connected with the land and nature of Minnesota.

I want to try to hunt without a gun - something like bow and arrow. It should be possible I figure. Maybe I can find someone who still knows how to do this and ask them to teach me.

Weekend in Madison

It was Marco's 30th birthday this weekend! Happy Birthday!

To celebrate we took a trip south to Madison. In Madison there is the University of Wisconsin where we met and had a lot of good times.

The campus is still super pretty and full of life. Some people claim it's one of the best university campuses in the US and I must say that I haven't seen better yet. I've seen University of California at San Diego, University of Hawaii, Columbia University in New York, Univ of Minnesota and while good, none have the same mix of beauty, uniqueness and energy. It's got two lakes on either side of Campus, old buildings with mysterious hallways and towers and stained glass, great beer.

We spent a lot of time in our favorite part of campus - the Rathskellar in Memorial Union. Memorial Union is a gargantuan Italianate stone building.

In the summer there is a huge terrace on the lake with bright colored chairs and zillions of people who come to drink beer and watch bands and movies.

In the winter everyone goes indoors to the Rathskellar, a huge beer german beer hall with fireplaces, charming 100-year-old paintings on the walls of alligators, monkeys and men toasting to good times. The tables in there are thick wood and have been carved by students for century. You can sit and read, eat, talk with friends, drink beer, sleep, start political movements, play music on the jukebox or whatever you want to do there.

We also went out on the town and saw some people that we still know there (not many these days). Good trip!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Pictures of my gallery opening

I just updated my version of Blogger and now I can put up photos again (grace a Pyves, qui m'a fait pense a ces choses).

So here are some pictures from opening night of my exposition at Gallery 360. A little background: the owner of this gallery asked me about two months ago to make a series of Christmas ornaments and small holiday gifts (candle-holders, mirrors, nightlights), so I did. Since I had previously only made stained glass windows it took a lot of technical innovation (and technical bungling) on my part as well as some some clever new design to make Christmas stuff look fresh and not cheesy. I even made the big wire Christmas tree. I'm very happy with how everything looked once it was on display in the gallery. Amazing since previously everything had been laying around on cardboard boxes in my studio and it didn't look so glamorous there. It's quite an interesting sensation to see your work suddenly look "professional". So here it is...

Here's me finishing a mirror in the studio. I was covered in flux and glass grit and lead and all I wanted was a shower and a comfy bed.

Sign of the Day

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Grindin' Meat!

Whooo-hoo! I'm going to use our meat grinder. Lauren asked Marco if we wanted a meat grinder a few weeks back then came back from a restaurant-supply store in town with one. It is really simple - solid iron with a wooden crank handle. We haven't used it yet. I've been so excited to do something with it and now I have a recipe. Tonight I'm going to make chou farci (stuffed cabbage). It calls for sausage meat and I'm going to grind my own. I just found a super cool website on cuts of meat called Ask the Meatman. The Meatman has interactive charts of hog cuts, as well as advice on sausage casings, how to cut up a deer and other useful knowledge.

So now I know what part of the hog to grind.

In addition to that Marco made a batch of fudge two nights ago and tonight we're going to roll them into truffles. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

Finally the Opening!

Yay! Last night was the gallery opening and it went great. The gallery owners did such a nice job of displaying my stuff. It looked so much better than it had looked sitting around on shelves and cardboard boxes in my studio. They had tasty food too. And lots of people showed up. I'm content...