Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I have this book, and I re-read it frequently. Sometimes for fun, just to enjoy the pretty photographs and the fun writing style of Linda and Opie O'Brien.

They are teaching a class called "Set In Stone" at Artfest, it looked like so much fun I just had to sign up for it, and I was happy when I got into it as my first choice. Registration is sometimes an iffy thing, you don't know if you'll get your classes so you list your second and third choices, just in case.

I've never taken a class with them, and I'm excited to meet them and learn a lot of new things. Out of the odd facts department, I happened to learn by accident that Opie and I have the same birthday date in June. Probably not the same year, though.

The class description says it involves working with concrete (!!) sheet metal, papers and ink - Doesn't that just sound irresistable?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Charmed and Delighted

I've been reading about the charms and trades folks are bringing, and I didn't think I had enough mermaids made up. So in between making beads and trying to get orders out today before I leave, I made up these charms.

Yes, they really are that colorful! I took some drawings from one of my journals and converted them into these little card charms.

They're quite small, really, and have a hole at the top for a jump ring or cord.

I made about 60 of them today. It's been busy! And they were fun. Fortunately, they didn't need a lot of attendance or fussing on my part, as I was very busy with other beads.

There are five or six different designs of them. I hope people like them.

They are very, very colorful. The theme is sea monsters, I guess this might be stretching it a little. But they are interesting colors and shapes I put together a long time ago, when I was in quite a mood!

Some of them are more sedate. They were made from some of my collages. I like these a lot, I may make miniature versions of some of my other collages when I get back.

And they have 'Handmade by Lynn' on the reverse!

I've been gathering up the things I need for my classes and putting them into a suitcase, so I have everthing organized. I'm using some things still, like my jewelry pliers, so I have to be sure I don't forget to put them in tomorrow when I do the final checklist and packing step.

Hectic last minute preparations!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A Week From Today - The Class

Hard to believe that a week from today, I'll be in a class learning how to make something like these! Doesn't this look super fun - I can already think of a million things I want to try.

The class is "Heavy Metal" with Ty and Marcia Schultz. All I know is that it's low temperature metal casting for small parts, and the promise is that it's lead-free and few fumes.

I have a kiln for the silver precious metal clay, but I was curious about their methods, so I signed up for the class. I can't wait to give it a try!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Have Power - Not Have Internet

Have Power - Not Have Internet

Everyone is having storms, some with and some without snow. Here in Saint Louis it has been a rainstorm. Now the house has power (which is good!) and cable but no telephone. And no internet. So I get to test my plan for blogging at Artfest from my cellphone. I won't be putting photos on, that will have to wait until the camera gets back.

The cable company is coming today to check on the phone and internet. As they always say, it could have been worse!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Catherine Witherell - Wonderful Visionary

Another person I hope to meet in person at Artfest this year is Catherine Witherell - she works in metal clays (copper, bronze and silver) and makes the most gorgeous things. We've communicated online, but I've never actually met her, and I can't wait.

I had the good fortune to interview her also for the Art Bead Scene
, and participated (in a small way, a couple of pages) in her Jewelry ZINE project this year. She's put a lot of work into it and it's a beauty, I got my copy and still haven't read it from cover to cover.

She's teaching two classes at Artfest, I didn't take one with her this year but I am anxious to see what comes through the students from her class. On Thursday she's teaching PMC Frameworks, the examples on the Artfest site are beautiful!

The other class she's teaching on Friday is PMC Collage, with lovely units assembled into a storytelling whole. She's got the most incredible way with patinas, getting all sorts of gorgeous color in her metalwork. Just breathtaking!

On her blog she talks about preparing for the class, I know it's a tremendous amount of work. Look at all the stuff in that box! Just gathering the materials to attend my classes has been a bit of a project for me and it's ongoing still, I can imagine preparing all the things needed to teach a roomful of people would be multipliers of that many times over!

I started packing a suitcase this morning with clothes, lots of layers. I think I'll tuck my rain poncho in there just in case, instead of an umbrella, and rain-proof comfortable shoes. My suitcase is a roller bag so I can drag it around behind me once I get on the ground, I've heard that's a good plan.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Master Prepared

One of the teachers at Artfest, all three days, is Nina (pronounced with a long 'i' like 'nine-AH') Bagley. I've admired her work and her vision, followed her blog and even did a three-part interview with her for the Art Bead Scene Blog. She's so lovely to talk to on-line and so sharing with her ideas and insights into her life, I'm hoping to meet her and introduce myself.

She blogged recently about preparing for Artfest and the things she's making are wondrous and colorfully vintage-feeling.

She's teaching many techniques and has a real eye for the storytelling ability of jewelry and decorative objects. The first day is Destination: Journey - Reach, teaching making a book using treasured travel ephemera and three-dimensional objects.

The second day's class is Destination: Journey - Touch, a jewelry-making class with a necklace to be created, how I wish I was in that class, but all of Nina's classes fill up quickly. Maybe I can find someone who's taking all three classes and get a chance to see what they create.

The last day's class is Destination: Journey - Embrace, to create a box full of meaning and beauty. The depth of her creativity never fails to inspire me, again this class was full and I will only be able to admire the work that comes from others' hands out of this class.

If you get a chance to attend Artfest, don't delay in sending in your choices next year - the classes fill up quickly.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Charming But Fishy

Here's a sneak peek at some of the charms I'm working on for trades. Lots of colors, all mixed up.

The theme is sea monsters or sea creatures. I want to make some more different ones, not sure how many I'll end up with.

I also thought about including some hand dyed fibers and strips of hand dyed fabric in a bag, that might be fun.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Friends I Haven't Met Yet

This is a picture of my Artfest Roomate.

My roommate's name is Stacie, she's been to Artfest before, several times in fact.
She lives in Washington State so she's driving up to the Fort, while I'm flying in from across the country, backward across the time zones, like living in reverse.

She's a mixed media artist. And so is her sister. They live in an Art Uptopia. That's very neat, I think. She's like me, she works in lots of media. Collage, painting, jewelry. Books, fused glass. We have a lot in common.

She's taking Misty Mawn's class, All Bundled Up.

And Michael deMeng's class What a Relief. I know lots of people would be envious!

Also Karen Michel's Wood Collage Vignettes class.

We don't have any classes together, so we'll be able to share and compare! Lots of caffeine, chatting and laughter headed my direction, I think.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Moo or No Moo

I ordered some MOO mini-cards, I hope they arrive in time for the trip. They're printed in England, but last time I placed an order they seemed to come pretty quickly.

If they don't come before I leave, or possibly in addition to them, I think I'll create some giveaway cards with the image of the HeartStrings bead on it, and some of the etched brass sheet, so I have lots of giveaways, I want to trade like there's no going back! I want to bring an empty bag and fill it to the brim with trade goods.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Dorm Questions - Dorm Answers


DORMS - These buildings have very small single rooms with communal bathrooms down the hall. Two of the dorms have communal showers but we procure extra bathrooms/showers upstairs and post sign-up sheets so everyone can have privacy while showering. Linens, pillow, blanket, towels, etc. are included with each room, but some folks like to bring their own pillow and an extra blanket. Make no doubt about it, these are bare bones rooms but we have people request them every year.

If you are sharing a room with someone you do not know, you will be placed in a room with bunk beds. Each person gets a whole bunkbed to themselves (bottom for sleeping, top for suitcase).

Staying in the dorms or one of the houses provides a unique experience that helps make Artfest what it is. Folks usually have show and tell each night in their house or dorm and make friends which last long after the retreat is over.

The Fort got in a new local chef team in 2008 and they were so well liked that they will be here to stay. They specialize in local, mostly organic fare and the raves from our attendees last year were loud and clear. The food is gourmet quality but also healthy and nutritious. The head chef came from a local restaurant that would always receive much praise (Wild Coho). They always provide a good selection of entrees & sides, a salad bar and a selection of desserts along with a soda fountain.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Roomies and Rooms

This is the layout of the interior of the Dorm 225 where I'll be staying at ArtFest with my roommate. We haven't met before except online, but I can tell she's going to be a lot of fun!

I need to re-read my instructions to see if I'm supposed to bring towels, sheets and other linens, the same way I did when I stayed at the dorms for the Surface Design Conference in Kansas City.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Ahoy and Aweigh - Planning to Begin Planning

This photo of the outside of the dorm where I'll be staying came from the photo library of the Yahoo group for Artfest. It was taken in 2008, but I'm sure not much has changed.

I found out who my roommate is, she sounds like a real sweetie. We've exchanged emails and made some beginnings of plans.

I'm starting on my charms for the swaps. Apparently everyone swaps with everyone, especially the first night. I know how slow I can be sometimes, so I've got to get going.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Countdown Begins

This year's Artfest in Port Townsend, Washington starts with Check In at the Commons on Wednesday, April 1.

I thought it would be fun and motivational to blog about it here, as I prepare, travel and attend.

The whole thing lasts only a few days, the first class begins on Thursday, April 2 and the last one ends Saturday, April 4, I'll be traveling again on Sunday April 5.

In between I hope to pack in a lot of fun, art, creativity and meeting new people.