Saturday, November 14, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!

Yesterday was my birthday, and what a lovely day I had. Paul took the day off and it's a treat when I get to spend the whole day with him.

The day started with a delicious breakfast prepared by Paul.
Next we were off to Clay Art Center to investigate whether to repair and update my kiln or buy a new one, and I got to pick up a couple new tools to play with.

Afterwards Paul and I stopped at the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber for a brown-bag lunch and discussion on "Transportation in Tacoma for the 21st Century". Then it was back to the house to pick up Kevin. The two of us went to to see "The Men Who Stare at Goats".
We returned home just long enough to unwrap some presents, and then we were off for dinner at one of my favorite places, Europa Bistro.
It was quite a while before we were seated (oops, should have made reservations) but the owner kindly offered us a glass of Sangiovese while we waited. Dinner was fantastic and we finished it off with a slice of heaven in the form of cake (courtesy of our wonderful waiter).

There was another cake waiting for us at home so off we went. We did a little song, I blew out the candle, we somehow managed to eat a teenie-weenie slice of cake, and then I was ready for bed. Thanks to Kevin and Paul for putting it together, and to all my friends for their good wishes. What a wonderful day!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Tin Shed Love

Monday Kevin and I gave Lisa a ride home to Portland, and that gave me a good excuse to introduce Kevin to my favorite place to eat, Tin Shed. Kevin didn't look too excited to be eating outside in rainy November, but I assured him the patio was enclosed and there would be overhead heaters to keep us warm. We had a good visit waiting for our food to arrive, and then kept our attention to more important matters until our plates were clean.

Studio Tours, 2009

November is Art at Work month in Tacoma, and the Studio Tours are easily my favorite event. Unfortunately this year presented the same problem I have every year -- how to get to all the studios I want to visit. This year we were on a very limited schedule so we were able to stay longer at each studio.

First we went to see Claudia Riedener at Ixia Tile Tacoma. She had a wonderful display of her tiles, and an activity area where people could carve their own tiles. Kevin decided to carve house numbers. It'll be fun to see how they tur
n out. I spent quite a bit of time in the yard visiting all my old heads. See there was this project about five years ago, and I lent my face to be cast, and I made the mistake of giving the cast to Claudia so my image has made it's way on top of mermaids, concrete heads laying around her garden, clay images on the side of pots, etc. It's creepy and funny all at the same time. I also discovered that one of Claudia's tiles are in the book 500 Tiles. Pretty impressive!

Next stop was to see Jennevieve Schlemmer a painter/mosaic artist/sculptor/ public artist. Her studio was filled with many examples of her work, but I was drawn to the make a pet rock station where I admit I probably had more fun than the kids. Jennevieve just started a new business on Etsy, Raven meets Crow, animal art with an urban touch, and her inventory is expanding every day.

After my fingers dried we were off to see Brenda Groboski. Brenda is a fiber artist who spins and dies her own yarn using materials from wool to dog hair, and she has TWO shops on Etsy, Afghan Artistry, and Naturally Spun, and a blog. Her husband Brian had some paintings on display also.
Our last stop was to see Bill Colby, a master print maker and a really funny guy. By the time we reached his studio there was only about 20 minutes left till closing so it was a bit of a rush. I was so interested in what Bill was saying I forgot to take pictures. He was a Professor of Art at UPS for over 30 years, has been included in Who's Who in America, and has work spanning almost 50 years. Really impressive man.