Month: February 2013

fearless experimentation

Today’s post is all about experimenting.  For a long time I was so afraid of “modern” technology, my biggest fear being that if I pressed the wrong button EVERYTHING (including me) would instantaneously disappear into distant lands, never to be found again. Okay, this is a little bit dramatic but bear with me.  I am starting to realize that it is very difficult to make things disappear. (Although I did it this past summer by deleting things off my camera that I thought I had already downloaded only to find that they were not on my computer at all.  Sigh, a heartbreaking loss. Okay, I digress again.)  In a moment of pure curiosity (and throwing the fear of obselescence to the wind) I decided to start pushing buttons on my camera (not the delete button) and see what happened when I took a picture.  Lo and behold, interesting things happened.  So here are a couple of pictures that I took in my winter garden.  They are experiments.  They may have been cropped a little bit but other than that, there is no computer manipulation.

 

 

I found it!!!

Okay, if you haven’t been following this blog very carefully (and shame on you, it’s time to start), I took a picture of some egg sacs/chrysalis/unknown thingies hanging from a very strong silk thread in my neighbor’s bushes because ice crystals on them reminded me of popcorn strung on thread and garlanded around the Christmas tree (I have officially made garland a verb…alert Webster).

I started wondering what was inside of them and tried to look up various chrysalises for local moths and butterflies to no avail.  Then a lovely lady from NZ asked if it was possibly spider eggs (my original thought, but I got distracted by the really strong thread that they were hanging off of).

So after going back on the world wide WEB (get it?), I found out the answer.

They are indeed spider eggs of the Basilica Orb Weaver.  Evidently, the mother spins this amazing web, lays her eggs in a row and then weaves around them and attaches them to the top string.  As the web disintegrates during the winter, the eggs hang loose in a row…fascinating!!!  Here’s a link to a picture of the spider with the eggs.

http://www.worldwidefieldguide.com/picture.php?/2035/tags/1-meadowlark_botanical_gardens_virginia

Now I don’t have to cut it apart to see what’s inside for which I am grateful.  Not that I’m squeamish or anything.

Yup, I’m 50 years old and I still get excited when I find a really cool spider’s web full of eggs…life can’t be all bad.

What is it?

I have to say mea culpa.  It seems that the cobweb shown in the last post is not really a cobweb.  My sister was pretty amazed at how strong the “web” was so I went back to look at it.  Turns out it’s some kind of chrysalis.  I’m not sure what it is, and I’m not the type of person to dissect a potentially viable moth or butterfly so if anyone has an idea of what this is, I’d love to know.  The silk thread that it’s hanging off of is incredibly strong (it would have to be to withstand the winds we’ve been getting this winter).  And all the chrysalises (chrysali?) are dead center on the thread. Oh, and I live in Maryland, so it’s a Mid Atlantic creature.

Anybody got any ideas???

Popcorn

Okay, now that I have finished my website I can get back to enjoying this blog in the way that I want it to be enjoyed…namely finding art in my daily life.  I actually took this picture a few days ago.  It’s not a great picture but I had both dogs on their leashes and the mail in one hand. In the other hand, I was dragging the trash can back to the house.  I had to let go of the trash can and pull out my iPhone to take this picture but it was worth it.  Did you ever string popcorn and rope it around your Christmas tree?  This is what the ice crystals on the cobwebs looked like to me.  It was pretty magical!

Ice crystals on the bushes
Ice crystals on the bushes

Phew!

The artist and her giraffe
The artist and her giraffe

For all of you that have been waiting with bated breath (okay maybe I’m the only one who has been bating my breath), the new website is up and running.  If you’re the least bit curious as to what it looks like, click HERE.  I am quite relieved to have it done, it took an awful lot of my time and I’ll be really honest and say I lost my momentum about three days ago.  But I persevered and now I think it looks pretty awesome.

I also have added a new blog to go with it called Studio Chatter.  I will be adding things to it every couple of weeks.  If you want to see things that are happening in the studio, this is a good place to go.

So I am going to ask a favor of all of you.  If you know of anyone who works in the following venues, would you send them the link to my website?  One of my goals this year is to market myself in a much more focused way.

1% for Public Art

Corporations

Boards of zoos, schools, hospitals etc.

Art galleries

Museums (including curators)

…and anybody else that you think might be interested.

Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ch-ch-changes

As you may know I’ve been working like a crazy person on my new website.  So, in the spirit of changes, I decided to change the appearance of my blog so that it matches the layout of my website.  Stay tuned…the new site and a studio blog should be up and running by the end of this week!

Finished! (finally)

Remember those frogs that I talked about way back when?  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, click here for the post that I wrote.  Otherwise, just keep reading.

Yup, I’m finally finished with the wall plaques.  They came out fabulously and my customer loves them.  They will be going up on the wall of the preschool for all the kids to enjoy and touch.  It’s a weight that has lifted from my shoulders.  During the course of making them things went wrong. I fixed them and then (of course) other things went wrong.  It’s amazing that after working with a material for 20 years I am still learning (or even re-learning) about its limitations.  I forgot how careful I need to be during the firing process; all of a sudden I added two hours of repair time to the project.  I forgot that wood warps when heated and added another two hours to my project.  I tried to get it perfect, but alas, it was not to be.  Of course my definition of perfect is different than anyone else’s.  It’s a damn good thing that nobody else can see the perfect finished plaque that is in my brain.  However, the proof is in the reaction and it’s obvious that the plaques will be loved.  The best reaction was from the little girl who is legally blind and immediately felt the lizard plaque, ending up on the braille word.  Very cool.

Enjoy the pictures…