Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Art, Life, and Music

Spring has sprung, the world outside is full of rainbow hues and lush greens, making it awfully hard to stay indoors long enough to accomplish much. But I have several projects on the go and they're coming along nicely. A bit of distraction came in today's mail, in the form of a surprise package from my pal Corrina, girl from the North Country. It's the Edward Gorey oracle, The Fantod Pack. Now, while I consider myself quite the Gorey aficionado, clearly I'm not obsessive, because I didn't know such a thing existed. Imagine the fun I'll soon be having, interpreting cards with symbolisms that include spasms, champerty, wispiness, loss of saliva, morbid sensibilities, an accident in an elevator, hangnails, loss of eyelashes, mumbling sickness, cafard, rust, a forged snapshot, barratry, misconstruction, and pique. How will I ever get any work done now?
Thanks Corrina, you're a dark, kohl-eyed peach.
Perhaps the cards' timely arrival today was a portend of my gardening discovery:
In more lively news, Sunday afternoon I made it to the art museum to take in Harlem Renaissance on its last day. The art, photographs, and film were all amazing. I lost track of time watching footage of Josephine Baker as she sang, danced, shimmied, & bubble-bathed her way through the 1920s.
The day was rounded out with a stellar performance by Jason Webley, master of funky, punky, melancholy originality. Accordion, guitar, audience orchestra, poetry, and a bit of story time too. You can find him on YouTube; here's a link to get you started:

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Jazz Books

I don't have too many books, just haven't arranged the ideal storage system yet. Nothing quite equals the feeling of getting fresh books in the mail.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Byron in the Attic

When your attic is in three parts: the attic, the way-up attic, and the way-back attic, it's not hard to lose track of certain items in your possession.
Looking for something this afternoon (I can't remember what now), I found myself in the way-back attic, my head between the dangling light bulb and the box I was digging in making it awkward to know exactly what I was finding.
It was a box mostly of books from my grandmother's house, including a Somerset Maugham reader that I'm happy to have found. This tattered, epic volume of BYRON'S POETICAL WORKS, though, hadn't been hers. At least I think not. Though I barely remember having seen it before, my suspicion is it came from one of the Friends of the Library book sales, and found itself tucked into the attic for safekeeping. Despite the rag-taggy condition, isn't it handsome? Despite the foxing, aren't these engraved portraits wonderful?

And the gold embossing and marbling - simply delicious! I don't like to handle it too much, for fear of causing bits to fall off, but I'm glad to let it see the light of day again. At least for a little while.

Saturday, before the rains came, we had a picnic just outside the kitchen door. This is the best time of year for such things - no bugs yet! Well, a few flies, but moving the cat food dishes (empty thought they were) a couple yards away distracted them from our repast.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Cupcake Violation, and Art

Nice to have Medieval Fair behind me once again. In classic OK spring festival tradition, it was too much to hope for three days of decent weather; Friday was pleasant (though the school kid crowd was noticeably smaller this year), Saturday was okay, despite the wind. Nothing was destroyed by it, and sun & mild temps encouraged lots of patrons to descend upon the park, keeping me nonstop busy for 8 hours or so. Sunday morning, I woke to a fierce north wind, clanking trees against the house, giving me a feeling of trepidation, along with a strong urge to stay in bed. I didn't, of course. Got up, packed my gear, including a couple of foil-wrapped samosas in case I had a chance to eat sometime during the day. Saturday night Tony had valiantly ventured to Cuppies & Joe, fetching me a three-pack of cupcakes, one of which I consumed on the spot. The other two were intended to create a moment of tastebud bliss at some point during the remainder of the weekend. If you snooze you lose, apparently, because as you can see from the crime scene photo, my cupcakes were quite violated in the night. The cellophane wrapper brutally ripped open and frosting devoured, tongue-lick by tongue-lick, by a phantom sweet tooth.

As if that wasn't a disappointing enough start to the day, at the end of my thirty-minute drive to Norman, I was greeted by the sight of my canopy frame in a twisted, tangled mass, fabric sides flapping pathetically in the strong gusts. Not much to do but pick up the scraps and go home. I console myself by thinking there wouldn't have been much business on such a raw day, but then I suspect I probably would have earned enough to buy a new canopy.....
And here's a caveat in the "be careful what you wish for" vein: that morning, as I was putting on my medieval clothes, Tony was smartening himself up with a tie and such, preparing to go to church. I said, "when you're there, why don't you pray for this stupid wind to stop." He replied to the effect if the wind's blowing, it's meant to blow, which wasn't the consolation I was seeking, so he acquiesced and agreed to pray. Turns out he didn't address the wind issue, but simply hoped I'd have an easier day. Reading Scott and Zelda's letters, napping for an hour, then having a Frito pie at Red Cup is certainly easier than spending 11 hours battling the elements, but still.....
I'd like to do more atcs.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Bon Voyage, Red Roses, and A Million Stars

Okay, I'm not going far, and only for a day at a time, but it's bound to be a long, three-day weekend, & I feel like I'm packing for a world tour. First, though, the day started with this lovely surprise of 20 red roses from Tony - one for each year married.
Next, it's been nearly impossible to find the teeny starry shapes I need for my top secret body painting glitter formula. I used to pick up a little bottle of Doodle Loots in the rubber stamp section of Michael's any time I needed some, but they stopped carrying it. For a while, I could buy it online, but now it seems to have ceased to exist. Long ago, Jones Tones made fantastic star glitter, in silver, and clear iridescent. That, too, has vanished. My only remaining option has been to track down eensy pots of stars sold as nail decorations, or from henna suppliers. I mean really tiny amounts, in eye shadow pots, and for a lot more money than I used to pay. Still, a grrl's gotta get her supply no matter what. Most recently, even those supplies were scarce, and I never knew, when I went searching, if I'd have any success. So, you might imagine my delight Tuesday, while aimlessly browsing the web as Sara practiced her competition routine at the ice rink, to come across a previously unknown crafty source offering silver glitter stars in convenient, and nicely priced half ounce jars. I promptly ordered 10, pleased to stock up for the next several years. Order placed Tuesday afternoon, and Thursday morning it arrived; talk about stellar service. The only strange thing was, I'd seen the product on the online catalog, and it was definitely shown in a typical, clear plastic glitter-holding type jar. Naturally, I expected to received 10 of these to stash away. Instead, squashed into the Priority Mail box was this plastic baggie - like a galactic junkie's dope supply!
I'm not going to complain though, but just be happy I have a million stars to play with.
Last reminder - come out to OU's Medieval Fair, Reeves Park, Norman, OK, Friday through Sunday, to have a festive time, enjoy the year's best people-watching opportunity, peek at all my new, exciting glassware, pendants, text necklaces, and other surprises, and go away with a fantastic bit of body painting. I can't promise you'll be wearing some of these stars, since I've already mixed a day and a half's worth of glitter, but if not now then soon, without a doubt. I'm Glassgrrl Studios in the program, address at the fair, 007.
.You can meet my trusty companions, the collaged stools, when you visit. The one on the left has been with me many, many years, and has got a couple fresh coats of polyurethane today, before the images completely wear off. Not wanting the other to feel left out, I recoated it too. Shiny, drying, and ready for hundreds of bums. Nice.