Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The King

Wow! How does one describe Las Vegas? An amazing place with pretty much nothing of interest to either Cheryl or myself! A place with a carbon footprint larger than all outdoors! A place where smoking is allowed pretty much everywhere ---- not in restaurants, but the restaurants are attached to smoke filled casinos! A place where the sign in front of the Hilton that we stayed at was bigger than many complete hotels! Tonight's theme is The King, so I'll leave the picture of the sign to another day.

We really weren't there to gamble, but it sure was a gamble to do the wholesale show we were there for!

The King of course refers to Elvis.... our hotel/casino was the home of Elvis for many years evidently --- thus the statue above, with the queen of my heart next to it. Every event in Vegas pretty much has to have an Elvis impersonator, and the show promoters followed the rules. Actually a pretty good looking guy who undoubtedly made more money wandering the show for a couple of hours posing for pictures, than we did for the whole show! I was of course disappointed that the show girls I had heard about from last year's show were not there. Probably a cost cutting measure?
The King of Beasts (actually two of them) grace a huge glassed in lion "habitat" at the MGM Grand. A glass corridor through their cage allows easy access to the lion accessory gift shop! If you look closely in the picture you can see them asleep on the roof of the people tunnel! The nearest outdoor air or light is at least 500 feet away! There are signs directing the public to anything and everything inside the walls, but not a clue as to how to leave the place! After a long, long walk, a friendly staff person directed us to the outside. I will not identify her as I'm sure her pay would be docked for such a transgression! Perhaps the two men inside the habitat were there as punishment for similar behavior????
And among the many landmarks is The Excalibur (below), named for King Arthur's famed sword! The fire breathing dragon under the moat seems to have incinerated himself since my last visit for the Juggler's Convention (1995 or so?), so I was disappointed to not be able to show Cheryl. We were far to tired to make it to Treasure Island where I trust the pirates are still beaten and their ship sunk every half hour!
All in all, we are very glad to be home, a bit poorer - because of our addiction to making stuff ........ not from gambling, and ready to settle in for 3 weeks or so before the next show!

Thursday, April 24, 2008


A local robin has her nest over the light on our garage! Taking advantage of a nest that has been there for some time seems like a smart plan? Not sure she will be too happy with the light going on when somebody moves nearby, or the cars coming and going, but we will think a happy thought for the young ones!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

New Figures!

New figures created for a fund raiser in Detroit! A simple combination of our more complex Maya figure, with a new hairdo! They just looked so cool rolling down the hall to our shipping room!

We'll be out of computer contact for a few days, so this might be the last post till around May 1st?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Nature's First Green is Gold

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

Robert Frost Every spring the first two lines of this Robert Frost classic pop into my head when I see the willows, and lots of other trees suddenly turn gold, only to very quickly turn green

Monday, April 21, 2008

Another reflection

I had to hunt quickly for a place to pull over to get this shot. Fortunately a passenger drop off area was open, and this was the result. Early morning sunlight sneaking by the Xerox building in downtown Rochester - reflecting off the glass atrium of the Baucsh and Lomb building - and making a great pattern on the upper right side of the tall part of the B&L building! Another in my "patterns of light and shadow" series. Click picture for larger view.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Three very important people

Three of the most important people in my life. Maya, Maeve, and Wyatt! Got to spend most of the weekend with the neice and the nephew, and the granddaughter! Does it get any better than that! And Maya is crawling! The easy days of finding her where you left her are over! ;-)


A small pile of sawdust in the hall outside my office, originally designed to absorb errant rainwater, has recently become the site of an ongoing saga. An epic struggle between classic plastic cowboy and indian pieces, has evolved into a study in cooperation, with the arrival of a giant rat. Tiny army guys joined the fray, and the cowboys and indians quickly signed a treaty, and began to work together against the common enemy. I'm not sure which of our neighbors is rearranging the figures every few days in sort of a very slow "claymation" movie, but I look forward to future developments.

Passed 4000 hits on this blog yesterday!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Moon

Anne thought maybe others would miss the moon last nite, but it was wonderful here too. Bert, Beth, and Kathy - along with Cheryl - probably thought I was crazy running around the back yard trying to get the right angle between the trees, (while they were relaxing with a glass of wine and some cheese) but here is the result. I guess the thing that amazes me most is the rapid change in shape within four days! Tomorrow night is the full moon.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Graffiti Sucks

Not sure I agree. Depending on the location of course. This is another case of somebody making creative use of the fresh grey paint used by the "authorities" to paint over the previous graffiti. Definitely not as artistically creative as some I've seen, but I love the message especially when presented in this medium! This is about 50 feet across by the way!

I'm looking forward to another spring, summer, and fall of riding my bike under bridges finding little gems along the way!

A nice reflection

I was trying to get a good shot of this spider on the van next to me in a parking lot ... not very successfully. But I love this shot even if the spider is a bit out of focus. I need to learn more about getting a better depth of field on close-ups. It didn't help that this spider seemed to have no interest in having his picture taken, but did have lots of interest in hopping a ride on the camera.

Monday, April 14, 2008

First bike ride of the season

Well, my first 2008 bike ride went pretty well! A bit chilly, and I was not sure what my seat would feel like afterwards (regular readers will know about my extra concerns beyond the usual first bike ride of the season). Everything seems to have gone well, and I can't believe the pictures I got! I just love my new Sony DSC-H9! Detail below! I guess I'll use the NITBY tag - Natue in the back yard...... with back yard defined very broadly!
Happy Spring everyone!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Seeing the light.

The above picture is from my Dad...... sunlight reflected on the ceiling from a bright red shiny valentine heart we got Mom and Dad.
And in another sense of seing the light, a customer in Pliladelphia reveals his voting choice. If you would like, go to our Etsy site to get your own handcrafted Obama pins, and help us send him more $ for the campaign.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

We give our friends a little help

It isn't often that the image isn't from my eye and camera, but a friend sent the above image of her work, incorporating one of our tiny ladies. While our tiny ladies (and angels) are one of the least signifcant things we make, they are the source of many great stories. Pat, and a few other people, use them in their own artwork. Many have been given to friends with cancer, or other personal stories the warrented a helping touch. We left several scattered around our old house when we sold it. The new owner would call periodically to say she had found another! One woman, while wandering around our booth at a show, exclaimed - "Now I know where my angel came from!" She opened her purse and showed us one our our angels, securly wedged in a pocket of her wallet. Many are handed out to kids visiting the booth. A nun used to buy hundreds of them that she gave to street folks that she worked with, and one of our good customers hands them out to his customers by the hundreds. I guess maybe the tiny ladies and angels are not so insignificant after all!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The theme was teapots

Yep --- I'm still working all the great stories and pictures from last weekend's show in Philly! The folks who run the Paradise City shows love to challenge us to create pieces on a theme. We really wanted to get a wooden teapot made for the Teapot theme, but just didn't get around to it. The above was my favorite - not sure where the green light reflections were coming from, but I love the effect! (As usual, click on the image for a bigger view)

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Sunshine in a cup of coffee????

Borrowed some time on Carolyn Bennett's computer this past weekend to check e-mail. Not sure how long the "cup o joe" had been there on the side of the desk, but the "image" on the surface was just perfect! It took some juggling to block out the reflection of the ceiling light, and still save that smiley face, but I hope this brings a smile to you! It sure made my day!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Where to start?

So many stories to tell. Staying with good friends instead of an impersonal hotel. Sales that didn't meet expectations, or even cover the expenses. Lots of great images to share, but I think I'll start with a show end surprise for our good neighbor across the aisle - Christy Knox I don't know how sales were going for her, but if the rest of us were any measure, she wasn't going to break any records! About 45 min before the end of the show, a customer asked her to lay out a 4 place setting set of plates, mugs, platters, bowls, pitcher, etc! I'm not sure how Christy felt, but Cheryl and I sort of held our breath, hoping the sale would truly go through, while she laid out her wonderful pottery on the floor for the picking and choosing.
When the wrapping paper came out, we let ourselves breath again, and quietly celebrated. A fellow artist going home with some money, and a good customer going home with some great plates, etc. to serve her friends on a warm spring evening!
More to share from the weekend later, but for now, we celebrate these two people coming together to enhance each other's lives.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Spirits and Sparrows

A new series of one of a kind figures - each featuring a sparrow detail. Cheryl has a lot of fun creating these..... she is happiest when she only has to make one of something! Her mom's favorite hymn was "His Eye Is On The Sparrow", and the tiny sparrow on each of these is a reminder of this great old tune...... refrain below

I sing because I'm happy
I sing because I'm free
His eye is on the sparrow
And I know He watches me
His eye is on the sparrow
And I know He watches me.

Complete lyrics - click here - music seems to have stopped working.