Sunday, November 29, 2009

Portland Gem Faire Today

I had a free pass and $30, so how could I resist going to Gem Fair at the Oregon Convention Center? Parking is free on Sunday, too, if you can find it.

It was interesting over at the Gem Faire, and really quiet. People said that the whole weekend was too slow. Dealers I'd hoped would be there were not there. I got some kyanite beads (flat squares and blades, mostly translucent or transparent -- just beautiful!) and some old coins to work into future pieces. That was all well under budget. I went over budget by a small amount getting a big labradorite cab at the amazing price of $15! It should have been more like $50. LUCKY! This will be the center of a neckpiece in the future. I did find free parking, but it was at the opposite far end of the convention center from where the faire was, so I had to walk quite a long way to get there and then back to the car.

I have a lot of ideas about pieces I want to make, or attempt to make, in the near future. I'm wishing I could go to Bead & Button Show this year and take the master beading class. First I suppose I should wish for the money to go, and spend once I get there. Sure would be a long drive, but an interesting one, across the country again, but without all the family garbage. Well, maybe...

Friday, November 13, 2009

Still Here... More or Less

Larry Catt

It's been awhile since I posted -- over a year! And it's been a helluva year, too. I've changed my screen name from LoisB to Lois2037, which is what I use almost everywhere else. I've lost about 20 lbs or so. We said "Goodbye" to our beautiful friend, Larry. He died at home from lymphoma at age 16.

The infamous Slab -- all that ever came of my Dream Studio... :_ (

My studio? Never built, probably never will be built. A lot of tears were spilled over this, a lot of promises and assurances were broken. And now we have a giant cement slab out in the yard and nothing on it except cut grapevines. I'm spreading them out over the cement, along with other yard cuttings, because they stain the concrete and create intricate and interesting patterns. I'll put out a metal table that's just sitting around in the yard, and maybe metal chairs, etc., as I find them, so there will be a sort of furnished, open room out there to look at. I think the squirrels will like that. Maybe someday I can afford to get one of those backyard screened tent items, which I can put up on the slab and maybe work out there some days in the spring and summer, though doing that is not practical at all, in that I'll have to haul everything out there at the beginning of the day, and then drag it all back inside at the end of the day. I'm still extremely angry over this issue, since there it is every day for me to look at. I will never trust anyone's word or claims again. I have definitely, and finally, learned that lesson.

My brother never listened to anyone's advice, so his business failed in only 3 months, his partner and roommate ripped him off of his car, iPod, and whatever else wasn't nailed down. He walked away from a place he'd paid rent in advance on to be roommates with one of my husband's friends, only to have her turn around and throw him out for reasons that are not clear, having to do with her not being honest with her landlord or something. Now he lives in his decrepit and non-working VW van, parked at the end of our driveway. He doesn't want to live in the house, though comes in for laundry and showers.

For a while, I had a job doing color-flatting for a genius comics colorist who lives about 6 blocks away. Color-flatting is kind of the pre-coloring, which is then gone over and finished to a high gloss by the colorist/painter of the comic. It's all done on computer, so I learned a lot about Photoshop. Ultimately, though, I wasn't all that good at it, and could not meet the pace to make up the artist's lateness on deadlines and still get work to the colorist at the rate he wanted it. I had to quit, and he got pretty put out about the whole thing. I really loved the doing of the work, even though I was not really right for the job, so I kind of miss it. It paid horribly, though, at $15 a page. It often took me a day or more per page, and some pages took up to 3 days, netting me a big, big $5 a day! Still, it was money I wouldn't have had otherwise, and do not have now. And the colorist guy isn't speaking to me anymore.

Losing that job, though, opened up more time for artwork, and that has been nice for me. Also, my husband says I'm suddenly much easier to live with, now that I'm not feeling so much pressure, and have time to do more around the place, talk to him, spend time with our cats. I also now work with him, placing the comics lettering copy on the pages in the computer, which saves him much time.

I'm trying to decide whether to join the Bead Journal Project again. I'd like to, but the two times I tried this, I either didn't get everything done (not even enough to be on the website), or life jumped in the way of being able to do it any kind of justice and I had to resign. I have another month to see what's up and see if I can make and keep the commitment. I do miss it, and I like that it will start in January... but I want to actually end up keeping up, and doing all the pieces. Last year was such a shambles that I dropped out, and ended up recycling the pieces that I did, thinking I'd start over on my own. I didn't. It would really feel wonderful to be at the end of the year with 12 pieces done and a feeling of completion.