Saturday, May 28, 2011

Remembering where I have been.

 My trusty travel bag. It looks much older and worn now. I still capture signatures or re-read old messages.
"The Magic Board"
Or maybe I should say..."The Everchanging Magic Board".
 I am blessed that myself and my colleagues traveled safely to all locations and back home again. Airports are crazier than they have ever been. Add weather in the mix and you have got some real adventures on your hands.  We are all "Road Warriors".   (OohRah!) 
But this is where I belong now..... painting my bus/studio.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I visited lots of places this spring and even attended a wedding in Springfield, Missouri. I am home now and getting ready to begin a big glass project. But before I chronicle the process on my blog, I wanted to pay homage to all the diverse places I have been this past spring.  I met so many interesting people along the way. Please re-visit my blog to see how I will create two large windows to be hung in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

White Plains, New York

Busy city, with lots of people and not a lot of parking space.

White Plains is supposedly the 43rd richest city in the country. It was apparent by the large number of private Golf and Country Clubs per square mile. Just like New York, lots of people and not a lot of space. Unfortunately in this wealthy community live the poorest of poor.  In order to live cheap and have work many large families rent small apartments and share kitchen, bathroom and living room spaces.
This is an example of a parking ticket. I am sure you have seen one before. I saw one similar ticket attached to my front windshield at the end of a long work day. I got this by parking in the street. It was only $20 and reminded me how glad I was to be going home.

Sitting in the airport, I met Sandra a nice lady who lived in the area. She and I talked of Oprah's last show and what meaning it had to both of us.  

Yreka, California and Happy Camp, California

One of my favorite places to have visited this year. The mountain towns of Yreka and Happy Camp  and their surrounding areas.
The beautiful Klamath River ran along side the highway which took me from Yreka into Happy Camp and back each day.  It was a winding two and a half hour drive just one way.   
Taking this highway back in those mountains is the small town of Happy Camp.  Happy Camp got it's name because it was the first place to come and celebrate after suffering hardships from trips up the treacherous Klamath River. It was also prosperous back in the day.  
 Unfortunately this same beautiful area is known for historic seizures of thousands and thousands of marijuana plants in 2008 and 2010.  

That still didn't stop me from enjoying the beautiful landscape.
There were places along the curvy highway to stop and take photos. Yreka and Happy Camp are located up north close to the border of Oregon. A drive from Redding, through Yreka and on into Oregon was one of the most beautiful drives I can remember.  I was in awe as I drove so close to Mt. Shasta all covered with snow.   From Redding to Medford, Oregon - gorgeous country all the way.

Miami, Florida

Miami is something else. Flashy, crowded, rich and poor. On the way back and forth from work we saw pictures of beautiful homes with yachts outside as we drove around the city.  We also saw big cruise ships lined up to take hundreds of people out to the sea and beyond.  Many of those people would store their bags and hop on a bus from our hotel to take them to their boats.
Miami is a happening place. "Flashy-everything" mixed with a wide range of diversity from people,  places and things. 
There were also women of all ages wearing platform shoes, in all colors. They are popular I know...but in this tinsel-town it seemed everyone had a pair on. The higher the better - seeing some worn that were at least ten inches high with shorts, skirts, jeans and dresses. The shoes are so TALL. Having broken my ankle just over a year ago - they make me cringe.
Other than the hotel and program where I worked each day I happened to get out long enough to find a Whole Foods. I love shopping there.  

Belmont, New York

Belmont, New York just above the border of Pennsylvania.  We flew into Buffalo, New York, then drove an hour and a half to get to Belmont.  

Belmont is a quaint little town within the Village of Amity. Established in 1871.
Coop's,  a locally owned diner where we ate each day.  I will never forget the peanut butter, lettuce, tomato and salad dressing sandwich I ate there. With chips and a pickle...
it was pretty good.
The Genesse Valley River.
I won't ever forget this river because it ran swiftly alongside the highway where I was riding/bouncing along in the front seat of a tow truck. Yep, it was a tow truck like the one below. Instead of a beat up SUV on the flatbed, it was a shiny 2011 Toyota Camry. My rental car keys mysteriously disappeared one day after I came in from gathering my team's lunch orders at Coop's. I set the keys on the table and they disappeared. The keys were no where to be found. So under guidance from the Rental Car Company, since they had no extra key, I had to have the car towed to the nearest Toyota dealership, which was located across the border in Bradford, PA.    
The Tow Truck guy was friendly. He was a Reservist getting ready to go for his annual two week training mission. We drove along for an hour and a half as he shared with me the history of the Genesse Valley River and Belmont. He also kept repeating, 'I've never had to tow a car just to get car keys before".  I just said..."man/I know...this is crazy". "One minute you think you have life under control and the next - you're heading down along the Genesse Valley River into Pennsylvania.  

Nashville, Tennessee

 So picturesque....
Its rare to stay at a hotel such as this...but in Nashville, Tennessee we could. Due to the type of federal work I do, there are specific criteria that each hotel must possess, including reasonable prices. In this case, the Hutton Hotel met all criteria so I enjoyed the treat.  I got lost in their parking garage a few times, but they had a fresh coffee bar with muffins in the mornings and clean stylishly decorated rooms. I liked looking at the artwork displayed in the lobby before I started each work day. What a cool and classy way to promote local artists.    

Shalimar, Florida

 Footprints in the sand.
 The sunset.
 Diversity of the landscape.
Bridge to forever......
This was a short trip. I was flown in and out within two days. To take advantage of where I was I walked across the street, through some hotel parking lots and saw this.  I remember at the time I was experiencing some inner turmoil. Worry and angst about something I could not control.  When I saw the Gulf of Mexico in all its beauty, I realized it was not a mistake for me to be here.  I knew on this day I was supposed to see this. It reminded me that - 'with God, All things are possible'......

Portland, Oregon

 Lovely Mt. Hood. It rained a lot while here. Lots of unique pockets of art galleries, coffee shops and bike shops.
Got a chance to visit the Mt. Hood Community College. It was a very pretty campus.  

Las Cruces, New Mexico

Las Cruces, New Mexico. A city within a valley surrounded by mountains. I am enchanted anywhere I am if I am in New Mexico.   

Los Angeles, California

 Hanging with my colleagues/girlfriends....
 Cool buildings. This was an old but renovated hotel right near the Santa Monica Beach.
 Fast cars....
 Cool homes. This home caught my eye because it was designed by Salvador Dali and it was one of the homes that had original glass art in it's windows.
Hanging with Marylin at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in downtown L.A.

Winona, Mississippi

I don't remember too much about this place. It was the first destination I worked four months ago. Rural, farming community, with lots of history. Sometimes I am assigned to locations I doubt I would visit again, so I make effort to link into what is unique to each community, no matter how small. 

In a little while....

I will be beginning the process of creating two windows in a private commission project. Before I do though - I must pay homage to the numerous, diverse places I saw during work travel this spring.  I rested the month of January while completing two beautiful designs, then February came and I was on the rode. 
From Artist to Road Warrior.
In four months I traveled to Winona, Mississippi, Los Angeles, California, Las Cruces, New Mexico, Portland, Oregon, Nashville, Tennessee, Shalimar, Florida, Belmont, New York, Happy Camp California, Miami, Florida, Springfield, Missouri, and finally White Plains, New York. 
Tired but grateful.
Thank you for taking the time to enjoy the photos and memories of where I was.    

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Beautiful Geodes and Nodules

These photos show some recently purchased nodules and geodes purchased from a Rock and Mineral Show in Anderson, California.

Geodes are sphere-shaped stones, usually at least partially hollow. Geodes are often lined inside with sparkling crystals or concentric layers of minerals.
A geode is a sphere shaped rock which contains a hollow cavity lined with crystals. A geode
which is completely filled with compact crystal formations, such as agate, jasper or chalcedony is called a nodule. The only different between a geode and a nodule is that a geode has a hollow cavity, and a nodule is solid.

I'll be soldering these into my next project. I like to pull together all kinds of glass and found objects in my designs to create an edgy, original, and intricate piece of glass work.

Glass cups for my next commission.

Pretty colors.....I liked the design on the glass.

As pretty as they are, I will be breaking these into smaller pieces and adding them to my window design.

When I break them...I will be aiming at spots around the dotted designs, so I can capture this small detail in my work.