Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Stolen Paintings

March 31, 2010

Stolen Paintings
Please Help!
Tucson, AZ - March 31, 2010

Conrad Wilde Gallery was robbed by unknown person(s) between the dates of 3/27-3/29. The major loss was 13 original works of art by 10 artists as well as all of the gallery's electronic equipment. This is a locally owned small business that is well regarded in service to the community. The loss of these artworks is devastating to the gallery and to the individual artists whose works were taken.

A reward is offered to anyone with information leading to the safe return of these artworks. Phone 520-820-6410. No questions will be asked.

Please circulate this message widely to anyone/everyone you know in the Tucson area. We apologize in advance for multiple posts.

Many thanks,
Conrad Wilde Gallery

Thursday, March 25, 2010

If I Were

A Roadside Yucca

If I were a month I’d be October

If I were a day I’d be Thursday

If I were a time of day I’d be 4:38

If I were a font I’d be Skia

If I were a sea animal I’d be an otter

If I were a direction I’d be northwest

If I were a piece of furniture I’d be a chiffarobe

If I were a liquid I’d be single malt scotch

If I were a gemstone I’d be chrysoberyl

If I were a tree I’d be a yucca plant

If I were a tool I’d be a burnisher

If I were a flower I’d be a poppy

If I were an element of weather I’d be a dust devil

If I were a musical instument I’d be a harmonium

If I were a color I’d be teal green

If I were an emotion I’d be quizzical

If I were a fruit I’d be a pomegranate

If I were a sound I’d be burbling

If I were an element I’d be water

If I were a car I’d be a Mini Cooper

If I were a food I’d be spicy beans

If I were a place I’d be coastal Maine

If I were material I’d be linen

If I were a taste I’d be Asian spice with lime

If I were a scent I’d be patchouli

If I were a body part I’d be an earlobe

If I were a song I’d be bluegrass

If I were a bird I’d be a roadrunner

If I were a gift I’d be a bead

If I were a city I’d be Chiang Mai

If I were a door I’d be an old screen door

If I were a pair of shoes I’d be Morrocan pointed slippers

If I were a poem I’d be prose

How about you? (with thanks from A Wild Patience)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Supply and Demand - My Resolve to Curtail Supply Shopping

Day 1~ Taking steps to finish two assemblage projects. Wondering how I'll attach something without brackets from the hardware store. Guess I need to get inventive on this one. Maybe some bent rusty metal with holes drilled will work.

Day 2~
Contacting Rio Grande about the floor model drill press that they said might be available since they were out of them when we visited (BEFORE the RESOLUTION!)
Still waiting for them to get back to me on that.

Thinking of adding some silver wire to the order if they have the drill press since I tried to get some the day we left Santa Fe at the Bead Show but the show didn't open until 11:00 instead of 10:00 like I thought and we had to hit the road with 500 miles ahead of us (BEFORE the RESOLUTION!)

I think I see some justification fermenting here, don't you?

On my way to the gym I stopped at the THRIFT STORE but only GAVE THEM a bag of plastic bags. Did not look in the store! After my workout I dilly- dallied at the hardware store and admired cut tacks and cut nails and brackets that could be used for my current project. Did not buy anything!

A list of items is already starting to form of things that I wish I'd sought out before my moratorium on supply buying.

Such as: preservation wax for putting on patina-ed pieces of metal and Briwax which has been recommended for distressing painted items according to Pat Chapman

This could be more difficult than I thought! I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Back From the 1000 Mile Road Trip

Scrap Box Bracelet Detail

The finished piece

One rivet needs to be redone. Practice, practice!

Our journey to Santa Fe bestowed all kinds of weather. We were lucky to have lodging with friends and family all along the way except for one night in Gallup, New Mexico. We made stops at thrift stores, antique shops, Hobby Lobby and Michael's, Rio Grande Jewelry Supply in Albuquerque and of course the Bead Fest in Santa Fe.

We were treated to drinks at the "Tallyho" in Scottsdale and Whiskey Row in Prescott with cousins. We covered some new ground along the way and enjoyed dinner in a Navajo run restaurant in Chinle. We were served fry bread as big as a plate with homemade stew at "The Junction".

We were surprised to drive into a major snowstorm in Santa Fe which didn't dampen our plans for Dave's skiing and my workshop.

I was happy to have finished my bracelet in the "Scrap Box Bracelet" class by Kim St. Jean.

I managed to find a need for more supplies along the way and now I feel as if I really need to curtail my supply buying.

I'm making a challenge for myself to not buy any more supplies for a good long time (see, I'm afraid to set a deadline for myself)

This last year or so I had decided that I would use some of the money from the sale of my house to set up my two studios in both Alaska and Arizona so that I could play and create to my heart's content. I think that I have a good base of supplies now and need to focus on using what I have at the moment and not expand into other mediums. I've been so inspired by other artists blogs and excited by the techniques I'm seeing that I want to try it all. There's a part of me though that feels that I'm focusing on accumulating stuff at the moment and that now that I've had a good season to play that now I need to get focused on marketing and specific goals. It's been so much fun to have the freedom with my retirement but now I need to get to work for my selling season in Alaska.

I'm even writing a LIST of tasks that I hope to accomplish before we head north at the end of April. With this moratorium of supply buying I've decided to even extend it to my other foodie supply addiction of buying of spices and condiments and sauces. If I can't make it with what I have I'm going to have to get inventive. This includes great deals at thrift store and garage sales too. However, I will still allow myself to pick up rusty bits and pieces on the roadside.

I promise to share my struggle with you if I feel like I'm faltering in my resolution!

*The LIST*
  1. Finish two assemblages that I've already started
  2. make whorls for wholesale orders
  3. make a bunch of hammered metal toggles both copper and silver
  4. headpins and other metal embellishments
  5. make more of my vintage button earrings.
  6. experiment with my new inks (play)
  7. finish prepping my art journal
  8. finish decoupageing my thrift store bread box
  9. Get orders ready to send off to my Alaskan galleries
  10. Naturalist Notebook project- showing my inspiration from nature in my creations

Do you ever find yourself making resolutions like this in regards to your creative life?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Canyon De Chelly

Canyon De Chelly in Arizona

Spirit Raven seemed to enjoy posing.

An amazing day on the road with short stops in Sedona and at Canyon De Chelly.
Since I can't sleep I thought I'd post a few pictures for you to enjoy from our amazing road trip.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Santa Fe Bead Fest, Here I Come!

Close up of kyanite necklace with a silvered *Numinosity* bead

Made with chrysocolla, freshwater pearls, kyanite and my focal bead.

These stones were sold to me as aragonite but I think it was one of those made up names for another stone, possibly amazonite. What do you think?

Focal bead by Kimberly Rogers *Numinosity*

I had an aversion to orange after years of working on the state road crew. I've learned to incorporate it now and there is a much better palette of orange glass than was available when I started beadmaking over ten years ago.

We're setting out for a road trip today on a journey that was mostly hatched just last week.
I found that I really needed some catch up time on my artistic pursuits and grounding after our Europe and Morocco trip in January.

I recently got an email about the Santa Fe Bead Fest and suddenly I had an urge to go. With my husbands prompting a plan was in the works as he realized that he could fit in a ski trip while I attended the workshop. I decided to attend the "Scrap Box Bracelet" class by Kim St. Jean to learn and brush up on cold connection techniques. ( Is it just me or does there seem to be a preponderance of Kims in the bead and craft world?)

On our way I have field trips planned to Hobby Lobby in Phoenix which I hear is HUGE and Rio Grande in Albuquerque to augment my studio supplies.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Day In Douglas- An Arizona Border Town

A day for a bicycle ride

And taking pictures

of textured walls

And looking skyward

And downward for patterns and wear

Distress and age

Signs of Spring and bursts of Color


Old wood

Spring Green Willows

Old shacks

A quonset

And Crumbling Adobe

We had an idea the other day to take our bikes to the town of Douglas to explore. Now that we have an old beater pickup truck it's no problem to load up and go. We bought this truck specifically to assist my husband in his penchant for bring Very Large Rocks (VLR's) home. Our Arizona yard is getting paved with a beautiful assortment with these VLRs.

We picked Douglas mainly because it's flat. I haven't been doing much bike riding this year prefer flatlander bike riding until my bike muscles adjust.

It's so nice to have a partner that enjoys stopping to collect things and take photo breaks just as I do. It felt like the first real spring day. We've had an average of ten degrees F colder than last winter. We woke up to an inch of snow the morning before.

We started out at the funkier side of town on dirt roads exploring old shacks and the like and made our way to the historic district after a bit. We stopped in to take a tour of our friend Patricia's place of employment- Headstart which I hope to write about later as I was so impressed with what they are doing at this facility.

Along the way I picked up my usual bits and pieces, rusty bottle caps, a roadsmithed tin tile, and found an abandoned church with a junk pile behind it that yielded some stained glass and a broken aged mirror with some shards that I'm sure I can put to use.

Feel free to use the wall and fence photos for background in your creations if you wish. I'm not sure what the ideal dpi is. Let me know if you need better resolution for your purposes and I can send them to you.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Collagen Treatments... I mean Collage-ing Treatments

70's hippie chick sans makeup. By the way, the pants you see on me here are these pants
that I decorated heavily with embroidery later on.


Splitting Time

My Shoes Are Killing Me

Baby's First Steps

Seems like some keywords get more hits judging from all of the fashion and beauty blogs out there. Being the 70's hippie chick that I was though, I never quite got into all that makeup and stuff. I suppose I thought I would save it until I got old and really needed it. Can't say if I qualify yet, I'm hoping not. I've saved it for occasions such as wedding # 1 and #2 and a handful of occasions in between. I had someone close to me say that I looked like Joan Rivers with my makeup on which scared me away from donning it again until approximately 18 years later for my second wedding. I think of all the extra sleep I got from never getting into the beauty regimen and the money that I saved that could be used for art supplies.

Anyway I'm here to show off my collage-ing that I've done in the last few days. Just a few little artist cards and such. I have a folder full of half composed ideas for collages just waiting for those final elements. I'll sit mindlessly in front of my newest Netflix marathon viewing ("Big Love" at the moment) cutting out elements for future projects and sometimes they will assemble themselves by proximity. Other times I'm at a loss for that final element that will add profound meaning to my absurdities. Maybe they're all halfway finishes. At least I know they won't be mistaken for other's work in there offbeatedness.

P.S. Can someone tell me how to center captions on blogspot? They keep shifting to the side when I publish. thanks, Kim

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Moroccan Inspiration

I really wanted to do some Moroccan inspired pieces after my trip in January. The place was so rich in colors and imagery. Camera candy everywhere you look.

I'm in the habit of picking up bits from the streets and sidewalks everywhere I go now. My biggest criteria being that it won't rot or it's not plastic. (now that I have this patina treatment I may have to revise that edict if it's an interesting plastic shape and I can make it look like metal)

On our last day in Marrakech I suddenly realized that I hadn't picked up a little gifty for someone that had put in a request for something from our travels. This involved a hurried walk back to the market area to do some last minute shopping. I had been eyeing leather slippers (round toed) but hadn't been in the mood to engage in the bargaining process with vendors. I found the bargaining to be much more hard core and less fun than the easy going bargaining that I've been accustomed to in Thailand. Luckily we found a fixed price shop of artisans' wares. We knew we'd have to pay a bit more but it would shave the time involved in bargaining off of our dwindling schedule. We had a shuttle to catch to the airport soon.

I am a swift shopper and had my little pumpkin colored leather slippers, some beautiful aubergine tassels and a few other goodies in hand in record time.

On the way back to the hotel I scanned the sidewalk for my last chance at some enchanted bits of Morocco.

I thought that rose petals, a feather and some braided trim would go nicely on the flattened can with an image from a school book and a Moroccan coin. I mounted this against a round oak wooden piece from an antique store, an image of an arabic calendar, a piece left from our bamboo kitchen flooring project and hammered some copper to finish it off.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Quest for More Incredible Finds

A crazy good deal

Lace and open toed baby shoes

After living in Alaska for so many years I have gotten pretty good at avoiding the crappy garage sales. You can pretty much tell just by doing a drive by whether it will yield treasures. We don't have that many good ones. People tend to hold on to the good stuff and there are mostly the type of garage sales that go into the category of moving sales.

"Kid's toys and baby clothes and new stuff... keep driving" I'll yell out as we pass by. Every once in awhile you may come across the "estate sale" type of garage sale that's advertised with a detailed list of collectibles and then all of the treasure seekers are out in full force to get first shot at it. These garage sales are few and far between. The thrift stores usually aren't much better for the good old stuff either. It's a young state. The good antiques are in museums already.

The best one lately was when our local historian, Candy Waugaman hosted an auction for a fundraiser with a huge garage full of Alaskan Statehood and Fairbanks historical ephemera. I couldn't make that one but gave my husband a hundred dollar bill and carte blanche to "find me some stuff!" He didn't disappoint.

But now that I'm in Arizona half the year I'm amazed at the amount of really good treasures to be found at antique shops, thrift stores and garage sales and even stuff that's just laying on the ground sometimes.

My friend Sue was telling me about an enormous thrift shop in Green Valley where I might be able to rummage. Green Valley is a retirement community where estate sales abound and there is a steady supply of vintage goods getting cycled through.

It seemed like a good enough reason for a day trip and combine it with lounging at the community center pool and jacuzzi where her parents live.

We first stopped at the kitschy cowboy town of Tombstone for number one garage sale on a side street. The score there was artfully arranged hat pins in a salt shaker, a brass nameplate for a dime and a carving of a fish in Burmese jade. I can never understand why anyone even bothers to sell something for a dime at a garage sale but hey, I'm not complaining! It 's that kind of old school sale where some old gal looks over the item and announces 25 cents. Now that's a deal!

We found ourselves at St. David on down the highway again cruising the garage sales there. There's a trailer park of snowbirds that are trying to downsize by having a neighborhood wide sale on the weekends. It seems like I always find great deals in St. David. Last time it was the thrift store with a $3 a shopping bag sale. I netted buffing rouge, sea green melamine cafeteria, trays, craft supplies and a couple of vintage books. I think we left with three bags full. Not to mention fresh pecans, pistachios and frozen roasted poblano peppers from Thomas Nut House.

Maybe I need to keep my mouth shut right about now rather than announcing this to the world here!

I immediately found and crazy quilt of corduroy and wool for an unbelievable price of $20.
Right next door was a table piled high with lace and tatting for 25 & 50 cents a piece, vintage leather open toed baby shoes, a vintage Grumbacher Oil Color painting set, a pair of unusual scissors which purpose is yet to be determined and a scrumptiously crumpled vintage dress.
Further on down the lot I found an antique bottle for California Fig Syrup and two crazy quilt pillows of velvet and satin that the woman's grandmother had made. A buck a piece!

As pulled up to Green Valley at 12:10 I notice the sign for the White Elephant Thrift Shop and its hours are posted. Closes at 12:00. What kind of store closes at 12:00? I had to realize that my haul for the day was actually sufficient and that I needed to abandon fantasies about what was hidden behind the doors of the mega-thrift shop of my dreams.

To allay my disappointment that night we found one of the few establishments that's open past 9:00 PM in this geriatric community and found a karaoke bar full of some of the younger folks in their sixties belting out Frank Sinatra and other croon-worthy songs.