Saturday, June 30, 2007

Go, go, go, gocco...purr, purrr, purrrrrrr

Focus Conference Day 2:

Didn't have to start quite as early as Day 1, but still was out of the house by 7am, and again, didn't get home until almost 10pm. Everyone was busy making their multi-screen prints on this day:

And everyone was zonked by 4pm. Alicia arrived late afternoon, and we all went out for burgers at McMenamin's Grand Lodge. After that, it was the trade show and reception, which were a little quiet. There's the main reception that's going on tonight, but since I'm not teaching, I really don't want to drive another hour and half round trip for that. I am missing a talk that might be interesting though, by another special collections librarian from Topeka.

Found out that one of the conference organizers went to Douglass (the women's college at Rutgers). Class of '77, so she was out of there just before I got there. It's funny how many people I run into out here went to Rutgers (and I run into many more from NJ). Last year, I took a class at Sitka, and the instructor went to Mason Gross (also part of Rutgers) Leslie (the conference organizer) said it was because 1) NJ has so many people, and 2) so many of them want to leave. I guess she doesn't feel sentimental about NJ.

Focus Conference aftermath:

But I'm feeling pretty zombie at this point. Haven't done much all day, just updated the Portland Open Studios blog with the City Hall show entry, and stroked the cat:

who tries to get us to stroke her belly as we're going downstairs.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Focus Conference Day 1

And I'm exhausted. Left the house at 6:45am to pick up Andrew. Got to Forest Grove 8:30am or so (had a little unintended detour along the way), which was not as much time as I really needed to set up. Ran around like crazy, and we got started 5 minutes late. Too bad there isn't a copy machine in the hall we're at, so we have to take the 5 minute walk to Patricia's shop to use her copy machine, and of course it has to rain today.

As always, the class is go-go-go-go-go from start to finish (no time to take pictures), and I'm exhausted. I need to go to pack up more stuff for Day 2 now...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Focus Conference Day 0

As in the day before the Focus Conference. Spent most of the afternoon packing up materials for the class -- cleaning all the goccos, wrapping the paper, sorting inks, source materials, etc, etc. Right, I just remembered that I forgot the hair dryer...ok, now it's packed; that's actually very, very important.

Shipped off the latest issue of Pudding. Spent the morning weeding and pruning, now the south side of the house looks a little more presentable. The main path down the side of the house had become impassable, full of weeds and overgrown junipers.

Oops, I just realized that I didn't make copies of the actual flashing instructions. So I guess I better go write something up and print it out. [Just checked, that was already included in the basic instructions, so never mind.]

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Done with Pudding, for the quarter

Updated the Portland Open Studios blog with the Mary Wells exhibit. She does very neat work -- little tiny paper mosaics.

Here's a photo from a few days ago. I planted these Japanese irises several years ago, and this is the first time that they've really bloomed. I think last year I had 1 flower, and before that, I had none.

Finally packaged up this issue of Pudding. The oil paints are still not dry (it's been about, what, 5 days?). I guess that's expected. I could touch them without smearing them, so I went ahead and packed them up. They'll go in the mail tomorrow.

There are 3 pages in each booklet; 4 oil paints were tried.

And since bug squishing seems to be an entertaining topic, at least to my neighbors, this is how I've been dealing with my vegetable garden problem -- I go out in the middle of the night with my flashlight, and any bug seen on a vegetable enjoying a meal is squished. In addition, any earwig, even while not on a vegetable, is squished. I wear a glove.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Overpriced CD, slightly, maybe?

Thanks to Mr. Michael5000 for point out that that Simon Shaheen CD is now priced at over $100! How weird. I thought those Amazon prices were fixed prices (and not like an auction). I guess I better take good care of mine. I read the reviews, and yes, it's a wonderful recording, although it's probably not my favorite at the moment. But over $100?

Spent the day doing the last bit of shopping for class supplies -- graph paper, weatherstripping (yes, weatherstripping), packaging tape, etc; copied class handouts; copied Pudding Notes.

And speaking of Pudding, I decided last night that there will be just 2 more issues of Pudding, which will take the publication to the end of 2007, and I will be done with it. By then, I will have put out 24 issues; I'm starting to run out of ideas for what to test with each issue, and I think people are losing interest as well -- I've gone from about 80 subscribers to 45 (as of this issue). I will now only take new subscriptions starting with issue #20. And at the end of the year, anyone left with a subscription will start to receive a new publication -- small artist's books published every 4 months. The new publication will be finished artist's books, unlike Pudding, which was meant as tests, and each issue goes out warts and all. Whatever happens during the print run, it goes out to subscribers as is, with Pudding Notes detailing what happened, what went wrong, what went right. I'm thinking the new publication will be more in line with something like the french fries book (official title More Than Plenty, photo below), which surprisingly, has been a hugely popular book, and I'm about to sell out of my edition of 50 (just 2 more left). It's going to be in the Maryhill show next.

Gocco class preparations

Class starts on Thursday. Started to prepare the notes (reviewing and updating existing notes), supply list, all manners of handouts, etc. But everything kept on getting interrupted because I kept on having to get up and dance around the room periodically. Had the music going all day...I'm in one of my dance phases again -- put on CD's I haven't listened to for a while and dance around with a big grin on my face. Lets see, today I dug out this Simon Shaheen CD (according to this Amazon listing, there's none available from Amazon, but there's a used one for sale at $78.79! ??).

The movie tonight was Knocked Up. I didn't have high hopes, since I didn't like The 40 Year Old Virgin. But that was the movie that won the Random Selection tonight (choices were Mighty Heart, Knocked Up, and Paris, Je T'aime), and off we went. But it turned out to be a rather sweet movie. Very likable.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

It's one of those days...

Lock myself out of the car. In some residential area with hardly another soul visible.

Find the spare key, but it doesn't work. Realize I left my cell phone at home.

Accost some strangers happen to be walking by for their cell phone; call AAA roadside assistance.

Strangers leave; AAA on its way.

I keep trying the spare key. And I get in! Of course, AAA already on its way, maybe, and stranger's phone no longer available. Drive home like a maniac, in time to call AAA to cancel.

Phew. OK, I deserve some strawberries after this ordeal. Go out to pick some berries, only to find that SOMEONE STOLE MY STRAWBERRIES! In fact, there's not a shred of evidence that I ever had any strawberries at all!

It's not like the birds or squirrels, or even slugs, who take a bite out of each berry, leaving you with a patch of half eaten strawberries. There's not a thing out there, not even some red drippings or strawberry bits on the ground, not even some green berries. Somebody took them all.

Go grocery shopping. OK, I'll get myself a Swedish Cream with strawberries, something New Seasons always has. Only not today. Mike says, "of course not, it's one of those days."

It's one of those days that if we had a TV, I would've rented a movie to waste the night away. But we don't have a TV, so I go out for my 2 mile walk and do my weights instead. (Good girrrrl.) And afterward, put on my Songs and Music of Kurdistan and dance around the living room for half an hour, and I'm happy again. I hadn't listened to that CD regularly for many years. And now I'm listening to John Bilezikjian (this and this) on my computer as I complain.

(Oops, I forgot I wasn't even going to complain on this blog.)

And I shouldn't complain, really. Here's someone who's really having some trouble -- Alice, whose web site I did a few years back, discovered that her web site had been stolen. That's the nature of the html beast, yes, but these guys (the thieves) are so inept -- not only can you still see Alice's artwork poking out underneath their badly pasted in photographs -- they left in Alice's original meta data, and they left in Alice's statcounter code as well. So yes, people looking for Alice's artwork can accidentally end up on their web site, and all the hits on their web site are registering on Alice's statcounter as well, which is how she discovered this to start out with. So I spent a little time putting in new security code for her web site this afternoon, so at least she doesn't have those cluttering up her statcounter anymore. But in the mean time, she's been obsessed with following their trail, writing to people all over the world, from Mumbai to Dubai. Hey, I just went over to check on the thieves' site, and looks like they took it down!

Something went right today, finally!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Something about hell scrolls...

After my unsuccessful attempt to get paper for the Focus Conference gocco class at Art Media, I decided to go ahead and order them from Daniel Smith, even at such a late date, figuring that they would arrive just in time. That was on Wednesday, and my paper showed up today!

Stopped in at Shannon's design studio this morning to pick up some gocco clean up paper that she ordered for me LAST YEAR but I never picked up. It's a very nice space, lots of windows, close to the Chinese Garden...which of course meant I stopped in at the garden for a short visit as well. Shannon had a packet of some gocco printed postcards exchanged from another designer back East -- very nice work.

Tried to see the exhibit at the IIID building at PNCA, but they were just taking the show down. The door was locked, and they wouldn't let me in (there was someone in there). I guess it wasn't mean to be. Then it was back to Margaret's web site. Finished up retouching the last few photos, and checked all the links (a pretty tedious process). Need to change the contact information, and add the paypal stuff, then we're done. The nameserver change propagated through, so now is pointing at the right location, at least, even if there isn't anything there yet.

Small excitement -- I have an idea for a new book project, about the different layers of Chinese hells. A personal shopping guide to selecting the right hell, just for YOU! I'm thinking maybe a game like structure, with cards? Or maybe it's a scroll, like the traditional hell scrolls?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Somethings are just not meant to be

Finished printing Pudding issue 22 today. As always, it didn't go as I planned. Like I said yesterday, I was going to reprint what I did yesterday, and reprint I did. I made a new screen, checked the consistencies of the oil paints (no separated oils), inked up, and started printing. And WOW! It was so much better!

...for the first 10 copies or so. After that, the results were comparable to the first set, except oil didn't seep underneath the ink blocks and greased up everything.

Printed the cover with regular gocco ink. Tried to take a picture of everything drying on the racks, on the bed, but wouldn't you know, the camera decided to stop working, all together. It's been having problems for a while now, and it was certainly having some problems earlier today. Then tonight, it just decided it had had enough.

Ok, I said, I'd just use the handy dandy camera phone. And wouldn't you know, it had enough juice to take 1 picture, and then the battery went kaput. (I never remember to keep it charged up.). So it's charging now, and I have no picture of today's gocco progress. Somethings are just not meant to be.

This issue will take a few days to dry (oil paints and all), so they probably won't get in the mail until next Monday or Tuesday.

This (mis)adventure was followed by more photo-retouching. There were a couple of tough ones today. Both had bright spots on the lower left corners that took a little doing.

This one has wrinkles top and right, and the wrinkles on the right has a shadow going through it. Preserved the shadow, removed the wrinkles. Although I now see that the shadow is not as diffused as the original.

Similar problem with this one -- bright spot on the lower left. I left in that slight ripple on the bottom left; I thought it might look fake if I took that out too . Didn't do anything with that glare in the middle of the top box though.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Pudding issue 22, day 1

Started working on the next issue of Pudding today. I'm trying 4 different brands of oil paints -- Van Gogh, Williamsburg, Gamblin, and Winton, and I'm making a big mess! Here's a shot taken with the camera on the mac. Notice how splotchy it is.

And here they are, on the drying rack:

I will need to reprint tomorrow. I noticed when I opened the paints that there was quite a bit of oil sitting at the top. I squeezed that out as much as I could and inked up. Once I started printing, and had to refill a few times, I noticed that the paints became much creamer and less oily. Anyhow, once I finished printing (120 at one printing pressure, another 120 at a different pressure), I decided to ink up a fresh screen with one of the paints (now without all the oily stuff), and voila, it printed SO MUCH BETTER!

So I've decided to reprint tomorrow. I will send out both sets though -- the icky results along with whatever results I get tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

More photo retouching

Photo retouching is one of those mindless, relaxing activities that I really love. Like ironing. Or pulling weeds. And when you're finished, you feel so accomplished -- all those ironed shirts all lined up in a row, a neater garden, and better looking photos. So we're back to 'digitally ironing' out the wrinkles in the felt for Margaret's web site today. Here are a couple of before+after pictures. And now that I'm looking at them side by side, I see a couple of things I'll need to fix.

Wrinkles in the lower left corner:

A bright reflection, or something, down the left side. I also darkened the book cover a little, since I was pretty sure the paper on the spine edge was black or dark brown. In the original photo, you can see a bit of the dark color reflected on the felt directly below it, and I left that in. I'm not sure if I like that or not. I might take it out.

Finished updating all the pdf's, and went through all the emails and found I forgot about a couple of things. Those will happen later this week. Tomorrow, I have to start printing the next issue of Pudding, like I keep saying already. The pieces for the Maryhill show got picked up today.

The movie tonight was Surf's Up. Cute, but pretty formulaic.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Getting ready to teach

Well, compared with yesterday, today was pretty mundane. Picked up gocco supplies from Laurie, and went to Art Media to get paper. But of course, they didn't have 2 of the papers I wanted (Nepal Light and Hahnemuhle). I gotta start preparing for these earlier so I can order the paper from Daniel Smith, rather than thinking I can get them from Art Media. Got 4 different brands of oil paint to try with the gocco, that's going to be the next issue of Pudding, which I should be able to start working on tomorrow afternoon.

Picked up new cartridges for my respirator. Sounds like one of the people in the class is pregnant and is concerned about the ink fumes, and I said I'd bring in the respirator. Those old cartridges had been needing replacing forever, so I was glad I finally something to push me into doing it. Worked on Margaret's web site some more -- editing and adding the captions.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

More on other artists

I guess that's how you can tell that I'm not crazy busy right now, I'm actually getting out to see other artists. Suzy Bennett invited me out to Corbett to see a show (in a barn!) of her and 2 other artists' work. I didn't know what to expect, but what a treat! Unfortunately, I didn't bring a camera, and it was pretty dark inside the barn. These are from my phone. Here's the barn:

One of the artists, Joseph Schneider, makes collages and sculptures from found objects. And this is an altarpiece above the staircase as you are walking up, and you see it as the stairs make a 90 degree turn:

And here you're upstairs, and these columns reach up to the roof of the barn:

Here's a detail of the columns:

A dome above the staircase, right where it makes the turn:

Here's the really neat project, The Doll Cathedral -- a Gothic cathedral made of Barbies, Kens, GI Joes, etc. You MUST go there and read about how this project came about. It is estimated to be completed in 2012. You can donate old dolls too. And here's his homepage, with more images of the cathedral and also his other work.

Got back to Portland in time to go to Katy McFadden's open studio. Her garden is, as always, fabulous, and her sculptures are wonderful. I don't see how she can keep up with the amount of work she gets done AND keep her garden going too. Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures today. I did get there pretty late.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Off with their heads!

Spent six and half hours catching up on some yard work today -- pruned back that rhodie that I was talking about a couple of weeks back (took off the bottom 1/3 and the top 1/3), now the rugosa rose and the St. John's Wort have a lot more room. Although while I was out walking around tonight, I saw that the neighbor's porch light is now visible, so maybe that was a miscalculation. Here's the after picture.

Pruned back a bunch of other blooming bushes and moved one of the roses -- something I've been meaning to do for about 9 months now. Not the best time, but the weather has been pretty cool for the last few days, I decided to go ahead and do it. And I'm continuing with the grass removal, and here I'm also building a path. (A project that was started about 3 years ago...) My plan is to eventually replace this grassy path with a reflexology path. I'll probably be 80 and will REALLY need it then.

Wrapped up the changes I wanted to make for the Portland Open Studios blog. I think I'm deciding that I like blogspot better than wordpress (where the Portland Open Studios blog is). Wordpress tries to control everything, instead of allowing you to edit the html, everything is done for you through drag and drop widgets. Took a lot of screwing around, and the FAQ was pretty worthless. Linda came to the rescue, and in 3 short sentences, clearly described what needed to be done, something that all those FAQ's couldn't answer. I got pretty frustrated; I could've had it done in 2 minutes if they would just let me edit the html! Argh!

OK, I'm out to squish some bugs, now that I'm appropriately all worked up!

Friday, June 15, 2007

One earwig is just a bug...

But hundreds of them make a horror movie! But we'll come back to that later.

Visited Sara Swinks ceramic studio this morning. She's having a show at Guardino this month and I wanted to do a piece on her for the Portland Open Studios blog. Spent the afternoon writing. It's amazing how long it takes to write a short little 3-4 paragraph thing on someone else's exhibit or creative process. Her work is gorgeous. Looks like 3 more people with shows in July, so more writing coming up. I haven't put in my own little blurb for the Rake show yet, but since I'll be in 2 more shows in July, I thought I might wait.

And we tried yet another new restaurant tonight, 2 in a week, how can we stand it? Pho Nguyen's, a Vietnamese noodle place, obviously. It was decent, fairly similar to most pho places, but not as exciting as Pho Van's, still the best place around town.

Back to those earwigs -- I went out last night with a flashlight, and found that the veggie starts were covered, I mean COVERED, in earwigs. Earwigs everywhere, on the leaves, on top of each other. It was a truly disgusting scene. I went to the Oregon extension services web site, and they didn't even list earwigs as a common vegetable garden pest. But if you look up earwigs, you do find that they can be a pest in the veggie garden. Suggestions for control? Put out pipe segments to collect them, I guess they like to crawl into dark places, and then dunking them in hot water. I put out pipe segments, but now I think other bugs might go in there too, so I probably won't use this method. Same with the rolled up newspaper. Other suggestion -- catching them and drowning in water; although the person suggested this said it took days for them to drown.

So I'm opting for squishing them, probably the most humane way to kill them. So that was what I did tonight. I'll probably have to do this every night for a while. There were lots of other bugs crawling around, but I didn't see them eating the veggies, so they're probably ok.

So here's a photo of my bug eaten bok choy. This and the rest of the photos were actually taken last night, after 9pm, with my cell phone camera.

The poor little bok choy. This actually reminds me of a famous (fictional?) Chinese woman from around the turn of the last century. Her nickname was Xiao Bai Cai, which means Little Bok Choy (bok choy is the Cantonese pronunciation of bai cai, meaning cabbage). It sounds much more endearing in Chinese, really. I can't remember why she was famous now, but she was probably a beautiful orphan sold to some family, and she probably fell in love with the wrong guy, and had a tragic life. Chinese stories involving women tend to be that way. But seeing how a baby cabbage is rather vulnerable, maybe the name had some symbolic meaning that I hadn't realized before. Who knows, maybe I'll be painting bok choys and earwigs next...

Here's my little 10" tall mountain laurel, Red Bud.

My climber, Coronation, leaning into the weeping blue atlas cedar...I think that's what it is; when I'm not working in the garden very much, I tend to forget the names of the plants. But they all come back once I'm back in the garden again.

I got this garden bench in 2004, brand new, for $19. That's right, less than $20. I thought it was a great deal. But now that it's been sitting out in the elements for a few years, the wood looks quite worn, and I'm afraid to sit on it, I think it's going to break.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Work, walk

Spent the afternoon working on Margaret's web site. Fixed all the quotes, apostrophes, italics, etc. Still have more photos to retouch, and still need to fix the pdf files. I'll probably keep working on them tonight.

Decided to skip the Portland Open Studios meeting tonight. I've had 3 meetings since Tuesday afternoon, and I have another one tomorrow, and this one seemed the most expendable, since I already know what I'm supposed to do. I did call to talk to Bonnie about it. Had an early dinner and went for a long walk.

This is an one hour walk that Mike and I used to go on about once a week until he fell off his bike and hurt his back about a year and half ago. Since then, we've done it maybe once. Anyhow, he's working late tonight, and so I went out with my cell phone camera around 8pm, and took pictures along the way. I'm really pretty impressed with how well the camera did with the late evening light. It's a Sony Ericcson Walkman.

Here I am just getting started. We're part way up Mt. Sylvania. Mt. Hood is visible, but not in this picture. (The camera isn't that good, and of course, no filters.)

We're about 2 blocks from the Portland & Lake Oswego boundary. So here's about where the city boundary is. I'm probably standing in Portland while taking a picture of Lake Oswego.

From our house, it's uphill for about 20 minutes or so until you reach the summit. Here I'm getting close to the summit. This road T's into a loop that goes around the park at the summit. You can get a good view of the fireworks on July 4th at the park.

Here's the edge of the park, which they do a nice job maintaining. This is Lake Oswego. Some new houses went up a couple of years ago while we were still walking here weekly, and they were all million+ houses. We're on the other side of the tracks.

And here's a mountain laurel, one of my favorite bushes. I have one, too. A little tiny one, and it has some blooms on it too.

So what goes up must come down, and I've come quite a ways back down the hill. I'm standing in front of a house we looked at way back when we were looking. (It's off the picture to my left.) But the house was smaller, on a smaller lot, and more expensive. Plus taxes in LO are higher than Portland. But it is nicely situated though, with this park right in front.

And what goes down must go back up, and I'm looking up the road that I looked down on in the first picture, so I'm almost finished with my loop here. This was around 9pm and there really wasn't much light any more.

Please go away, little bugs

Wow, almost all the bok choys are gone now, just 2 and 1/2 days after planting. I guess I'll have to go out at night with a flashlight to see what's eating them; I sure don't see anything during the day.

Margaret came over and we went over what will probably be the last set of changes. And I actually have nothing scheduled tomorrow until the evening, so hopefully, lots will get done on her web site. I just remembered today that I haven't done the paypal thing for her yet either.

Spent the afternoon contacting potential artists for the exhibit at the G&V next year and working on my grant assignment, and of course the class was tonight. We met at the Central Library this evening. There's a whole section of nonprofit resources. Who knew?

The movie tonight was Ocean's 13. Very boring. Ultra boring. Actually wanted to see Away From Her, but timing didn't work out. That's a very unlucky movie -- it's been on the movie list for weeks now, but never gets chosen. Oh yeah, tried a new restaurant tonight. (You know how you settle down with the set of restaurants that you go to and you hardly ever check out anything new? Well, that's us!) This was probably the first new place we've tried in 6 months -- Pinocchio, and I have to say that almost everything was too salty, which is too bad. The soup was tasty, but too salty. The antipasti platter was tasty, but many of the vegetables were too salty. The dessert was good though, my panna cotta was not too big and not too sweet.

Someone sent this link to Chris Jordan's exhibit about consumption. It is very cool. And Alex sent me information about this artist, Hung Liu, a very wonderful painter. And here's a short video of her working.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Why, those little industrious bugs...

I put in my veggie starts yesterday afternoon, and when I went out to look at them this morning, they were already bug eaten! A few of the chard leaves and bok choy leaves were completely eaten off!

A long and busy day today -- Suzy came out for a visit in the afternoon; worked on the grant assignment (I'm not finished), as well as reviewing Alex's assignment; then it was out to meet at Alex's studio for the critique group. We're still struggling with what to do with the collaborations -- 4 of us are liking the direction of where we're headed and 2 of us are not sure. We tried to work (just to make some thing) and talk about it tonight, but I don't think we can really work and have a serious conversation at the same time. No pictures from today. We're meeting at my place next month.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Beans, chards, bok choys, oh my!

I finally finished this little project. If I were to plant leeks again, I'd do them from seeds -- it was very difficult handling and replanting the tiny seedlings. When I put these in this afternoon, they were all straight, but now the soil has settled a bit and they're all lying this way and that. I'll see if they straighten out by themselves in a couple of days.

There's about 4" of top soil there. Underneath is a layer of newsprint; underneath that is 4 alternating layers of green stuff (fresh weeds) and compost (old weeds). It's funny how putting in a structure like this changes the surrounding area. This is a spot where I've never really had any good ideas on what to do. There's the persimmon tree, an elderberry, and a mock orange, all in close proximity to each other. I had tried to cut the elderberry down (it's between the persimmon and mock orange), but it kept sprouting back up; so it wins, but it obstructs this pathway that I've been trying to create.

Now that the raised bed is here, I see that I don't really need the pathway -- maybe I should just enclose the area and make a cozy little spot to the left of the raised bed where I can sit in between tending to my vegetables!

Orange and magenta, one of my favorite color combinations! And the pale green in the background is not too bad either.

Caught up on a bunch of errands -- groceries, drug store, blah, blah, blah.

So here are the photos from before. The limo ride on Friday night -- I like this fuzzy picture -- these are glasses and tumblers along the side of the limo, across from where we were sitting.

Then from Saturday, a shot from the LIGO campus. The area was described by the person giving us the tour as 'the place where colors come to die.'

This is one of two 4 km long vacuum chambers (perpendicular to each other) where the split laser beams bounce off mirrors, return, and recombine again. Apparently, they have a pretty serious tumble weed problem, and they really do bale them.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

From limo ride to charter bus ride

Gone for the last couple of days with a bunch of engineers on a charter bus road trip to the Tri-Cities in WA (Richland, Hanford, and ??). Visited LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory), Pacific Northwest National Laboratories, and a science history museum about Hanford. It's about 5 hours each way, so pretty long ride on a bus. We had to get security clearance to visit PNNL, although I don't think they divulged any secrets. PNNL had guest houses for visiting scientists so that was where we stayed. They were nicer than I was expecting, except for the pillows, which I happen to be picky about. I just want to go to bed now, so pictures tomorrow.

A friend sent this link called Flower Garden. Just start clicking anywhere on the screen.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Penthouse party, limo ride

I had my first limo ride today, and my first penthouse party. It was part of the Rake show -- hosted by the family that put together the main show in the front room. People were ferried between the gallery and the penthouse in the limo. There were also more artwork in the penthouse (my 2 violin pieces were hung in there). There was a piece by James Minden which I recognized; I think that must be owned by the family. The limo ride was not quite so smooth -- if anyone was drinking, there would've been some spillage.

Then it was onto Andrew's surprise party. We couldn't be there for the surprise, but got there not too much later. I guess he was pretty surprised alright.

Generated more weedy stuff to put into the raised bed today. I'll probably do a little more on Monday before dumping the top soil in there and adding the plants.

No studio time, but I guess I can count schmoozing as 'work'. At least my attempt at schmoozing.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

First Thursday, and eek! eek! eek!

I bussed in for First Thursday this evening. A very chatty, social, young man sat behind me, next to an older woman. He struck up a conversation with her. Apparently, he was headed into town for FT as well. She didn't know what that was. So here was their conversation --

She: "Is it like Saturday Market?"
He: "Yeah, it's like Saturday Market, only more of a party atmosphere. Some of the galleries will have wine & cheese, but the art is too expensive."

"It's like Saturday Market, only more of a party..."

Wow. I bet the gallerists in town would not be happy to hear that summary judgement. I have to admit that FT has changed a lot in the last 20 years (has it been that long?) or so. Especially during the summer time, with all the street vendors and people in costumes. It used to be more of a quiet and elegant thing. Most galleries stopped with the wine and cheese a long time ago; now they just do the food stuff on private Preview Nights.

But " Saturday Market?" That really takes the wind out of one's sails, especially if one was having a FT opening tonight! (For non-Portlanders, Saturday Market is sort of like a farmer's market but with crafters.)

Anyhow, spent a little time at the gallery tonight for the opening, and I forgot to take pictures, of course. They changed the title of the show from Fragrance of Korea to Fragrance of Friendship, which is good, as I was already fielding questions from folks who knew about the show as 'something about Korea.'

Went out for my evening walk pretty late, after we got home. My normal twice a day walk is a 1/2 hr walk around the neighborhood, ending with a final loop around the block that our house is on. So as I walked past our house and was in front of our neighbor's house, this cat was coming up the hill towards me. I reached down to pet it, and something small fell out of its mouth.

It went "eek! eek! eek!", and started running around like a drunk. Then it started running back up the hill, like a drunk, going "eek! eek! eek!" The cat started running after it, and I started running after the cat. The whole time, "eek! eek! eek!". I was shouting at the cat (hey, I happen to like mice, what can I say, although in the dark, I really couldn't tell that it was a mouse). Then the little thing made a couple of attempts to jump up the curb, "eek! eek! eek!", before it finally made it and ran into the clump of ornamental grass growing right by the curb.

In our yard! (Smart little thing, that was probably its best bet.)

And the whole time, even after it found refuge in the clump of grass, it wouldn't shut up! It kept going "eek! eek! eek!" (I suppose it's probably hurting; poor thing.)

The cat moved on, and so I moved on.

(Oh yeah, went to Portland Nursery this morning and picked up some vegetable starts -- leeks, chili peppers, corn, basil, yellow and red chard, basil, bush beans...I think that was it. And stopped by at Fred Meyer's and got 10 cubic feet of top soil. Stopped by at Guardino's Gallery to see Sara Swink's show, which is terrific. Didn't have a chance to write it up yet though. Also had a bit of time in the studio, working on some drawings from the Tibetan symbles book. That was the day. The mouse being the most exciting!)

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Grant, and more grant

That was the whole day. Reviewed and critiqued Paul's draft. Worked on my project summary draft, and worked on my 'goal/statement'. Answered the questions Carrie prepared for us. And the workshop was this evening. And believe it or not, all together, the critique+writing+class was 7+ hours. My Thursday morning appt with Suzy got moved to next week, so I'll actually have some extra time tomorrow...what will I do?

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Slowly getting back in the mood for working

Yesterday was more or less spent in a stupor, but today was slightly improved. I put the compost back in the raised bed, put a layer of 'green stuff' (ie, weeds, iris trimmings) on top, another layer of compost on that, and a final layer of green stuff on top of everything. So here's the bed after the 2nd layer of compost.

And after the 2nd layer of green stuff. Now it's ready for some paper, top soil, and plants. (That will be Friday's project; tomorrow and Thursday are pretty much spoken for). This was how I made the strawberry bed a couple of years ago and it's been a big success

And here's the spot that contributed the green stuff. The garden is pretty much overrun by weeds and runaway ground covers right now.

I finally got to my grant assignment in the afternoon. Finished my 2nd draft of my project summary, but not the part where I talk about myself, what I have to offer, what's so special about me, blah, blah. That will be tomorrow. Oh yeah, the movie tonight was Once, a really, really terrific and romantic movie.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Back from Bend

Got back late afternoon. Although during my 3+ hour drive, I was quite excited about getting to my grant writing assignment once I get home, the reality was that once I got home, I just sat and caught up on the paper, email, phone calls, watering, exercise, etc. Didn't get any work done. I guess that's what 'tomorrow' is always for.

A couple of snaps from the garden. There's the apricot colored climber Coronation, the lavender Blueberry Hill, and the cluster rose Pleasant Hill on the left. I took a bouquet of all of them (plus some hydrangeas) and a mystery rose over to Bend, and they were a big hit. The patch of green in the dead center is my strawberry patch. There're quite a few berries on there, so maybe next week I'll harvest my first crop of the season. Yum! In the background, the rhododendron is looking rather finished. I did get around to pruning one of the rhodies a couple of days ago (took about 3 feet off all around, the 2 blueberries next to it are so much happier), and this one is next.

Lets see, this one is White Dawn, I think, Needs little care and smells slightly citricy.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

A little R & R

Yay! I dropped off my paintings at Rake this afternoon for the June show, wrapped up the business end of it (statement, title list, images, etc), so that's taken care of. And even though I'm unexpectedly heading over to Bend for Sunday and Monday, I decided to go ahead with my original plan of taking a little time off anyhow.

So after installing the chicken wire mesh at the bottom of the raised vegetable bed -- which is not as easy as one might think, the roll of chicken wire doesn't just unfurl, and in fact it was quite the struggle to unroll it -- I went shopping for a new bag. Didn't find anything that was just exactly right, but I got a pair of earrings instead.

But back to the vegetable bed -- this spot was originally full of irises and daylilies, which I dug up 2 years ago. Then I started a compost pile on the spot. When we were ready to install the bed, I moved the compost can see it just to the left there. Now it's ready for me to dump the compost back in there (and I have another pile that I'll add to it), top it off with some clean soil, and plant! Which was what I would've done tomorrow, if I weren't going to Bend. Of course, instead of going shopping, I really should've worked on my grant workshop assignment. But I really felt like taking the afternoon off, and I'm glad I did. So take that!

Friday, June 01, 2007

All ready to go

Took down the show at Hillsboro this morning, and I forgot to take a picture again! So now it's too late. Finished framing the pieces I have to deliver tomorrow for Rake's June show. Here are 4 of them framed up, with the kitty's help, obviously.

Got a call from Laura asking for permission to use an image of Calypso for the announcement postcard. Boy, does she ever have my permission! That'd be the first time I've been on a postcard for a group show. How exciting!