Saturday, October 30, 2010

Have yourself an arts and crafts weekend in Allentown

In July I started up a conversation with Paul Gretian whose amazing photos happened to be at the same show as our craft. Later in the weekend he invited us to apply to the show his chapter of the PA Guild of Craftsmen puts together and so we will once again be honored to have our craft in the same space as his.

What is art what is craft? No matter. I am inviting you to have an Arts and Crafts Weekend in Allentown, PA.

The Craft show is happening Novemeber 6 and 7 at the Swain School. details

What I suggest is that you make a day of it and head to the Allentown Art Museum while you are in town for the craft show. It is great to hear that the museum is expanding, but sad to report the big connection is falling flat. You see the museum purchased a room that was owned and designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. It was at this moment in the blog post where I was to connect arts and crafts, but the museum's expansion has closed the room from the public view.

And here I was to point out the specific painting by Arthur Dove which Mosaic Woman loves so much, but apparently not everything is easy to find on the internet. But here is a cool Arthur Dove painting of a sunrise:

Sunrise, 1924 by Arthur Doveby Micah MacAllen

The painting we saw at the museum reminded Mosaic Woman of mandalas, which she just happened to blog about.

and let me end with this: as I was writing this post, I was chatting with a member of the Swingle Singers on Twitter. I may just meet her and hear them when they tour the US. They take on many a genre and you can explore that, but this one caught my eye and ear. Have a glorious day and see you in Allentown

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Jazz on Tuesdays... needing a Mercer break

A few years back I was noticing that I was loving Johnny Mercer tunes.

Things have been busy here... teaching , retreats, teaching, strudel, Phillies, teaching, studio time, teaching. My flickr 365 has been fun but demanding and my growing tribe of supporters has led to lots of time looking at photos and less time reading and writing blogs. ebb and flow.

so I need a Mercer break. I hope you enjoy his lyrics to the music by...

... Jimmy Van Huessen

... Joseph Kosma

... Lionel Hampton and Sonny Burke

... Henry Mancini

Have a great night my friends.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Crafting on Thursdays--- friends invite us into new frontiers

After venturing into outside shows this summer and into September, we are taking October off from setting up booths because as soon as November hits we are off and running (show schedule).

With Mosaic Woman being laid off, I wondered how wise it was to take October off, but we have learned something. We need to venture into new frontiers.

Today we drove to Lancaster and back to find out that 6 weeks in a store which was only selling crafts led to no sales. Fortunately we had lunch with a new friend and did not mope about the lack of sales. We took a scenic route home and thought about what else had happened this month.

The night at the Ambler Theater was great. No booth fee. Free movie tickets. In half an hour before and a half an hour after the movie, Mosaic Woman sold many a mosaic. This all happened because of one of Mosaic Woman's best friends organized the event, inspired Mosaic Woman, and then invited her to bring mosaics.

Last weekend I went on a spiritual retreat. Last October when I was at the same retreat center I was coming off an 8 day retreat where I was fueled to create art. I spoke of this with a dear friend, who told the other retreatants that unless they asked to be opted out, she was giving me permission to put them on our mailing list. Since then several of these folk, who I have spent many an October weekends with, have come to shows and bought our craft. My dear friend invited me to bring stained glass and on the huge windows that form a wall at the Kline Center at Mensch Mill; my art never looked so good.

In 24 hours I sold ten pieces. But what really made my day was two very special pieces which I was beginning to give up on, headed into the homes of folk who I know. One my very dear friend.

I have never sold so much stained glass before in one weekend.

We need to explore new opportunities and celebrate the friends who invite us into them.

By the way, our ETSY shop is open and Mosaic Woman has been very busy.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Science Mondays-- change of plans

47 pieces of paper-- living water in dry places

Sunday afternoon I got home from being away from home since early Friday morning, hung out with Mosaic Woman then made a pizza for a friend who came over to do some plumbing. I was bit tired when I began to plan out the week plan for teaching but had a plan written out when I hit the school this morning. I changed it before my second class showed up. Realizing I was leaving a few students behind, I made a list of 21 vocab words and started a review. We will review some more before testing them this Friday

I also saw it as an opportunity to show some cool videos which my students have been finding and placing on the wikispace page we are creating as a class.

Here are a few. Enjoy.

as for the photo at the top of the page, I searched my flickr site for "plan" and that is what came up.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Crafting on Thursdays- Stratozpheric suncatcher from scraps

There are folk, who work with stained glass, who make mosaics from their scraps. Well in a way, I just made this:

from scraps of a mosaic project.

I decided to make a second Stratozpheric mosaic mandala (first one). So I cut out nearly 100 pieces of glass:

Then I designed a border and cut out some Youghiogheny glass and started the mosaic:

The mosaic is nearly finished. I grouted it over the weekend and it is flawed. Not ugly, but flawed to the point that I would feel uncomfortable selling it. So I will eventually hang it in our house and I will make another one to sell. But when the grouting was over, I still had a pile of "scraps" so I just took them and made a starflower much as I would doodle a design; knowing what I wanted to make, but a bit unsure of where exactly I was headed. I then soldered it into a whole and this afternoon I placed it into our ETSY shop.

What do you think? I hope to make more scrappy starflowers.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Science Mondays---- from here to there

Connections by Seth Anderson

In the next three days during my Social Science class...

we will go from Benedict to a surplus of sheep to the spinning wheel arriving from China to great wealth in Bruges to a turn in the weather to the Black Death to emergence to lots of linen rags to Linen paper to the printing press to Aldus Manutius to water organs to Jacquard Looms to Iron Ships to mass immigration to 1880 overwhelmed census workers to the Hollerith Machine to punch card computer data...

no wonder the BBC called the series Connections

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Seven On Saturday... Vibes


"Photo by Michael Zelner"


One of the first jazz LP's I bought was The Modern Jazz Quartet's Blues On Bach. One of the few LP's which I also own on CD. One of the first jazz concerts I saw was the same band, which featured Milt Jackson on vibes. Here they play Gershwin with a special guest:


The damper pedal is connected to a damper bar which prevents the instrument from sustaining a note. Press the pedal and let the sound linger. OK, too simple for you, read on.


... by a vibe player we have seen, Stefon Harris:


Tony Miceli playing with some other local folk we enjoy hearing:


Cecilia Smith put on quite a tribute to Mary Lou Williams last year at Montgomery County Community College.


Bobby Hutcherson plays vibes along side pianist Cedar Walton.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Fridays in PA--- Ambler Theater

1928 theater

Mosaic Woman and I love movies, but our enthusiasm for going to them seems to ebb and flow. Right now we just aren't flowing to many, however, when we do there is a good chance we will make the short drive over to the Ambler Theater.

Word on the historical streets says that back in the day, Lansdale had an amazing one that seated 900 people but it was torn down back in the 70's. So we were excited when some folk restored the theater in Ambler, PA and started showing movies which typically fail to make it into larger multiplexes.

They also show classic movies and an event on Tuesday will be featuring Sunset Boulevard and Mosaic Woman has been inspired by this night of film and poetry to develop her Film Noir mosaics and she will be in the lobby before and after the movie selling her new collection.

I will likely be there enjoying a night of culture myself.

What's your favorite theater?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Crafting on Thursdays- On night at the movies, film noir inspired mosaics

The Ambler Theater will be providing the movie.
Joanne Leva is behind the poetry.
And Margaret Almon (Mosaic Woman) has been inspired to explore black and white and silver and gray glass.

Tuesday night October 12th at 7:00 pm what a night! Details here.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Jazz on Tuesday... for Cate's Adventure

Mosaic Woman just called to say she is heading home with her sister and everything her sister is taking with her on an amazing adventure, for tomorrow she is moving to South Africa.

So tonight she is going to spend her last night in Pennsylvania at our place and I am quite happy that she will be the first person to sleep under the only quilt top I ever put together. A friend quilted it and got this for saving the top from a dresser drawer.

As I sit here there is jazz playing from our stereo, and by no mistake it is jazz from South Africa. So for Cate and all who venture out into adventures>>>

Monday, October 4, 2010

Science Mondays--- of light and excited electrons

no flash needed

I am hoping that my students will soon be able to explain how scientists have the nerve to tell us what elements are located in distant stars.

Without checking my sources... let me tell it this way.

Do you remember those energy levels that electrons like to hang out in while orbiting the nucleus, well if you hit their being with a boost of energy such as electricity or heat, an electron will grab hold of that energy and take a trip to a higher energy level. Think of a glowing rod of iron being removed from a furnace. But hey excited, while it is a hoot, doesn't tend to be a stable state for humans or electrons and the electron falls back down to a normal state of being. OK, think back to a time you felt really excited, are you now glad your heart has plummeted back to a normal state of being.

Well each element has their unique electron at the upper most level and I've been told that when electrons plummet light is emitted. Yes, excited electrons are quite busy in places like bulbs and suns and molten stuff.

So you take your handy spectroscope and check and point it at that light source and you can see the fingerprints each element has placed in the creation of light. OK, so imagine many things happen that get you excited all at once, since each is triggering you slightly differently we could see the unique aspects of each when we divide your excited self into its components.

OK, maybe this will help...

and that is how the scientists believe Green Pea Galaxies are metal-poor.

and that takes us just one Doppler effect from understanding why scientists claim we live in a not so static universe and we will be hanging out with a dude named Hubble in 1929 to get that point across.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Seven On Saturday... Rainbows

My 7 pointed starflower...

on sale here

why rainbows are rare...

The reason that rainbows are somewhat rare is that you will only see them when there is rain in front of you and somewhat in the distance, and the sun is behind you and fairly low on the horizon. from here
We saw more rainbows in three years in western Oregon than I may see in the rest of my life.

200 degree double rainbow found on flickr ...

200 Degree Double Rainbow

the way to the antisolar point ...

Sassy rainbow jazz...

The rainbow design I drew for Mosaic Woman back when we celebrated our 10th...

rainbows as hope...

The Bible tells us that the rainbow is a reminder from God that there will be no Godly attempts to destroy the planet. The other night at 2:30 am I was not very hopeful. I live in a flat town famous for our wet basements. And as I lied in bed listening to an amazing seemingly unending deluge I knew the water was flowing down below me. But I also knew there were those who lived close to flowing water who had much greater concerns.

Today we woke to not a rainbow but a crisp sunny October day. Maybe God sends those too.