Monday, May 17, 2010

Moody Monday

I'm not moody but the weather sure is this morning.I have been such a putz about keeping up to date on this blog.  The new gallery has been the priority of late and now I'm beading like crazy to get ready for the Crosby Park Show in Toledo late in June.  AND I have been taking an Art Doll workshop with Kevin Buntin. Not coming up with any pretty little baby doll or fairy....mine is more of a female ogre out of Dark Crystal...this ol' broad has definitely been hit with the Ugly Stick. But I'm having a great time working on her.
Let's see....I have Wilde Jewels for the jewelry and Wilde Hare for the paintings...need a name now for the 'dolls'.
This is something I have wanted to do for years but avoided because I knew it would lead to another obsession.  I just 'happened' to have been collecting clay, various scrap materials, doo-dads, mohair hair, etc.  Now I'm ordering books, tools..slobbering late night over dollmaker we go.........

The above necklace features a pendant by Lisa Kan that I got at B&B last year. I've been calling it Haiku Spring.

  And this one is by Gail Crosman Moore.  Wave Dancing seems to fit.

I hope to see both artists again this year at the Bead&Button show next month.
Along with Wayne Robbins and Judy Mountain and Shirley Cook.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Don't Pay The Ransom!

No, I haven't been kidnapped or fallen off the edge of the earth.......just overwhelmed with opening The Wombat Art Works.  By the way, it appears that our mascot has chosen his name....Wally.  Everyone just seemed to fall into the habit of calling him that so it must have been his idea.  We had a great opening and are now into our second week of business and things are going well.  I've actually found time to do some beading for the gallery and the Toledo show next month.  The time I found is usually until 2: or 3: in the morning but, hey, who needs sleep?  I remember when I used to stay out partying until then or

Along with the paintings, photography and wood pieces, the Wombat has some very extraordinary jewelry (am I just a bit prejudiced?) and I think people are surprised when they see what we have.  Trish Jeffers-Zeh, Lauren Buchan, Zoe Hutton, Rachel Goetz, Bridget Beck, Doni Hatz and me.

Moonlight and Magic, or should I name it Midnight, Moonlight and Magic to go with the late hours

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Soggy Sunday

Ahh, it's been awhile.......a very busy while. The new gallery is coming along. I have two partners now - Trish Jeffers-Zeh and Debbie Lentz, both artists I greatly admire. We've been working on the place, putting in displays, etc. and we had an Open House for Artists last Thursday. Of course that had to be the night that rain, sleet and SNOW had to show up. Still, we had a nice turnout and lots of favorable comments.

I've only been able to do sporadic beading in the meantime and with a late June show looming on the horizon I had best get to it seriously. Of course I want to go to the Bead & Button show, too, to visit with friends from across the country who just happen to be among the best lampwork glass artists around.

Just had to pause and cover up Sugar and get my "good night kiss" from her. I feel guilty leaving her alone to go work on the gallery but once it opens she'll be coming with me to 'hold court' some days.

So I'm off to bead tonight and maybe watch/listen to a movie...haven't seen Blind Side yet.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Now the Fun Begins!

At least I expect it to be fun! I signed the lease for the gallery yesterday and the name is now officially The Wombat Art Works. Trust me, the reason for the name will reveal itself as time goes on. And besides, wombats are cute little buggers.

Fortunately the gallery is already in good shape and more or less ready to move in. Now it's collecting artists and display equipment that is paramount.

And when I'm not doing that, I need to be beading in prep for this year's art shows. Where's the bead fairies when you need 'em! There's a gem & mineral show in Cincinnati this weekend that I want to visit, too...nevermind that I have trays and trays of cabochons already...they might have the perfect one that I don't know I need and can't live without.

This morning will be working on the computer, cleaning the kitchen (ugh) and then having my beady friends over for the evening. My dentist had to postpone my appt. tomorrow so don't worry, no more big snows tonight.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Long Week

It's been a long but exciting week here. I've been looking at a building I would love to open as an artists co-op gallery if I can afford it. I had a gallery/studio for 12 years but closed it down 10 years ago. Six days a week got old and I wanted to travel more so I closed the doors and went to Africa.
If it works out, I have all kinds of great ideas for events, workshops, exhibits, working with the area schools......There would be painters, jewelers, potters, glass, textiles/fibers...the absolute best in the area.

On Saturday Lew and I drove to Michigan to see a similar gallery that a friend of mine participates in. It was very impressive and well put together. So tonight I am tired and going to bed early for once. Hopefully I won't wake up at 3: a.m. again with the "Are you CRAZY?"

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Magpie Tendencies

I was just reading someone else's blog where they likened "us" to magpies with a penchant to collect all things shiny. Wow! Spot on! Since I was a mere toddler, going through my grandma's jewelry cupboard, I have been fascinated by the sparkly, the textural, the pretty, the odd.....

My cache of all things even remotely "beady" is like a treasure trove and I often get lost in just looking through it....mostly when I'm supposed to be organizing, not looking. I marvel at the wonderful lampworked focal beads I've gotten from artists who continually amaze me. It's not just their work, it's the friendship they've offered to go with it that makes me smile. Wayne Robbins, Nanette Young-Greiner (Scorpio Beads), Shirley Cook (Jumping Jack Glass), ponies from Patti Leota Genack of Glass Horse Ranch, Joanne Morash (Blue Iris Designs)...just to name a few. One big reason I look forward to Tucson or the Bead & Button Show in Milwaukee is to see them in person again...lots of laughs are always involved. And my favorite cabochon person, Jerry from S & S Lapidary. He always has a smile and his enthusiasm is probably why I have 4 stacked trays of cabochons waiting to be used. I'm always happy to see Jerry's wife, Beth and their helper, Paula. So, my "stuff" is not just pretty to look at, it's a collection of really nice people, too.

Like most beaders, I think I have enough seed beads and findings to open my own bead store. Some I must really like since I will find at least 5 tubes of the same color. Not that I needed five tubes, I just forgot what I had. If I croak, my friend Jann inherits it all.....she can worry about sorting it all out!

Today has been one of those days when I can't seem to accomplish anything. I go from one project to another and finish nothing. So, here I sit, with a glass of wine and a roast beef sandwich. I've been reading other blogs, playing gin rummy with the computer and shocking the cats everytime they come by to be petted. Zaaappp! If I were ambitious I'd go see Avatar but seem more inclined toward a book and warm bed covers for the evening. Yeh, I like that plan.

One Word Answers

I'm supposed to answer the following questions with one word, so here goes:

The list:

Your cell phone? useless

Your hair? silver

Your mother? nearby

Your father? passed

Your favorite food? potatoes

Your dream last night? strange

Your favorite drink? wine

Your dream/goal? survive

What room are you in? den

Your hobby? reading

Your fear? poverty

Where do you want to be in 6 years? alive

Where were you last night? bed

Something that you aren’t? bored

Muffins? Blueberry

Wish list item? vacation

Where did you grow up? Ohio

Last thing you did? bead

What are you wearing? jammies

Your TV? Samsung

Your Pets? catsncockatoo

Friends? Lots!

Your life? Comfortable

Your mood? relaxed

Missing someone? grandchildren

Vehicle? Mini-van

Something you’re not wearing? shoes

Your favorite store? beadstore

Your favorite color? black

When was the last time you laughed? today

Last time you cried? January

Your best friend? Jann

One place that you go to over and over? kitchen!

Facebook? yes

Favorite place to eat? out

Hope that was fun for you!

Sunday, February 14, 2010


I know that I previously wished for a blizzard to cancel my dental appointment.....and it worked. I have another one scheduled for Tuesday and I PROMISE not to wish for any more snow!

Friday, February 12, 2010

It's Friday Already?

I think the dreaded first of the year annual heebie jeebies about being a self-supporting artist have ended. Whew! I only mean self-supporting in a monetary sense because I am so fortunate to have great people supporting me in many other ways.

So, instead of whining and whimpering in a corner, just shy of sucking my thumb, I am determined to get back into the pro-active world. A certain "muse" who bumped into me recently (Christine) has me interested in doing tutorials. I have a head full of ideas for new jewelry pieces I want to create. And I need to get back to marketing and getting my name recognized again. Have to admit the health issues the last couple of years put a dent in my momentum but it's time to get back on track. I'm an old broad and don't have time to waste otherwise I may have to change my business name from Wilde Jewels to Geriatric Gewels.

Along that line, I'm going to add a Discussion tab on my Wilde Jewels facebook page to start a "Brain Trust", not only to help me but anyone else in 'the biz'. Any and all suggestions welcome. Think I'll call it "Who in the World is Cassandra Graham aka Wilde Jewels?"

I am so sorry I couldn't make it to Tucson this year for the shows. The first year that I went was mind-boggling. I landed at about 12: noon, rented a car and headed for the first show. Talk about getting weak in the knees! And then, when I came out to head for the next show, I couldn't find my car. Most of the rental cars in Tucson are white and I couldn't remember the row I was in. I had to walk several, clicking the remote to see which car responded. I had intended to spend 3 days at the shows but by the morning of the 3rd day, I was driving there and had to pull over.
My senses had become so overloaded with what I was seeing that I just had to stop and leave town. That first show was where I met Wayne Robbins,Judy Mountain, Nanette Young-Greiner (Scorpio) artists that I love working with and look forward to seeing any chance I get.

Fortunately, for me, I have old friends who live in Tucson who let me stay with them for the shows. An added bonus is that my oldest son and his family live an hour south of Tucson and I get to visit with them after the shows. After that first year I learned that my checkbook and I can only stand about 2 1/2 days of being exposed to all the wonderful sites. I can't wait to go back next year!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Slightly Snowy Monday

Sitting here hoping for a blizzard since the first of my dreaded dental appointments is tomorrow morning. I have an extremely bad history with dentists since childhood and I tend to get totally unnerved, especially when I know just what they intend to do.

So far I'm trying to keep focused on beading and egads! housework. Yesterday I finished working on organizing the least organization that I can live with until it warms up more. Today I started on the inside of the house. With the new sweeper that really "sucks", I had to empty the container twice. More than enough to make a cat in there. And where does all the flotsam come from???

A nice young woman stopped by this afternoon to look at jewelry. She's into "re-enacting" and working on a gown to wear to a couple of balls. I plan on loaning her something to wear in exchange for her passing out cards to others involved. Hard to put a period on my pieces...part Victorian, part fantasy, part Sci-Fi, part Art Deco, part cat hair.........

Friday, January 22, 2010

As They Say...TGIF

Feel much better today....especially since "sick" episode means I also lost 6 lbs.!
Let's see...So far the cats have managed to filch 3 of the new felted balls. Had an argument this morning with my mother (par for the course). Heard from a long missing friend who found me online. Made a pot of vegetable soup and then managed to spill some in my lap when I tried eating lunch and reading Facebook at the same time. I think I'll go shower and meet some friends for drinks at Bar Louie's. Yeh, that's what I'll do............

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Icy Thursday

I can hear the little ice pellets hitting Sugar's window behind me. What a gloomy day. Spent the whole night with my head in a bucket about every 1/2 hour until about noon today. One of those nasty 'surprises' that post-gastric by-pass people get occassionally. All set off by 2 pieces of toast at 10: p.m. Who knew? Should have just had a couple glasses of wine instead.

Prior to that event, I was making bright colored wet-felted balls to make more earrings. Now that they are dry I can start working. At least those counter the dull gray outside the windows. As usual, the kitties are watching them closely, hoping I'll turn my back so that they can grab them for "kitty toys". Speaking of which, a realistic squeaky mouse mysteriously showed up again after being missing for about a year. Where do they stash this stuff?

Still wrestling with my annual January Heebie-Jeebies about surviving as an artist one more year. Don't have another show until late June (if I am juried in) so I'm trying to think of alternatives for now. Home parties? Open house? Gallery exhibit? On Tuesday I went to see "Up in the Air"...George Clooney's movie about a man who goes around the country firing people for corporations. I left it thinking "at least nobody can ever sit me down like that and tell me I'm finished". After 45 years of being my own boss, I may be tired, but I'm certainly not finished.

I suppose I should get in the car and back down the driveway to the mailbox..too icy to walk it. I know that the property tax bill is waiting there.....but so is a new lampwork bead from Shari Slonski and I really want to see it.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

So Much for a Happy New Year.........

Sigh.......I had such hopes for a new year. Thursday I had an appt. for Blue at the vet (putting the boy on Prozac), Sugar had to get her beak & claws trimmed and then I had to go to the dentist. None of us were happy. I knew after cleaning and x-rays it was not going to be good news but Geeez.....seems the side effects from cancer treatment/meds has caused an eruption of cavities...far more than I thought. Estimate is $3000. So much for the calmness of having some money in savings. The vet suggested that Blue and Teddy have their teeth cleaned....since it cost me $400 the last time that was done, they had better get used to those "Greenies" for teeth cleaning or else.

Today I'm off to bead awhile with some friends and hopefully get in a better mood.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Have spent/wasted most of the morning working on computer glitch...sigh. At least the sun is out for the first time in days. The photo is one I took yesterday morning of some misguided robin, sitting unhappily in "Sugar's Tree". He seems to be looking wistfully at last summer's nest above him.

I sort of feel like he does....I'm normally an upbeat person but January seems to bring out the worst in me. I suppose it's from looking ahead to sweating out art show juries, arrival of house taxes, impending dental repairs, tackling organization of beads (again), dealing with the cat who insists on pissing on my carpet..and so forth. Fortunately this mood never lasts long. After all, to be self-employed for about 45 years, you have to be an optimist and a gambler at heart....or crazy.

Perhaps the cure will be to start on a couple projects. Have a raven's head glass piece by Wayne Robbins and a client who wants a "manly" necklace incorporating a peregrine falcon. I intend to try sculpting that head out of polymer and fastening it to a large round moonstone I have. Yeah....that's what I'll the kitchen can wait....

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Back to work.......

Vacation time is over...time to go back to beading, beading, beading. Also time to apply for this year's upcoming shows. Of course I could be distracted by taking down the Christmas decorations........This morning there were deer once again on the front porch and in the backyard. Stirs the ol' wildlife artist in me to see them.

On tap this week is a dentist visit for me and a cat vet visit for Blue. He's still pissing on the carpet and I'm giving up and putting him on Prozac. They are predicting a lot of snow on the day of our appts. so we may both get a reprieve.

Santa Lew was good to me this year by giving me everything on my wish list which I didn't expect at all. A new camera, a food processor, German cooking knives (which bring to mind the line in a Crocodile Dundee movie - "Now THAT'S a knife!").

New Year's resolutions...End my love affair with chocolates. Make use of all the beautiful focal beads/cabochons I have squirreled away in the closet instead of going to Tucson and buying MORE. Lose 2 lbs. a week (see note on chocolate).