Monday, March 29, 2010

Memorial ring for Chet BZ

march 26 2010 chet1
Originally uploaded by cosmosmoonjewelry
My sweet kitty "Chet" was with me from 1991- 2002......

he first came to me in Bisbee Arizona- then moved with me to Tucson- later became a world traveler when we moved to Florence Italy- and then in 2000 moved back to Tucson.

He was an incredible traveler- just hunkered down and stayed quiet until he got to the destination. (even rode in coach all the way to Italy and back...he and I recovered from jet lag together...bonding over our sleepless nights and groggy afternoons

He was a great friend- sadly lost his life to feline leukemia** around this time in 2002, when I was pregnant with Cosmo.
(** it was then that I found out that the feline leukemia vaccine is only %85 effective -perhaps if I had known that he still could have been infected I wouldn't have let him outside- but then again, I feel bad for kitties that haven't frolicked in the garden...thankfully the cat that we have now isn't at all interested in going out )
I often wonder if he sensed the impending shift in attention and decided to leave while he was still ahead. ( I know, kind of "woo woo" thinking, but it does come into my head...)
I miss you Chet, "the great Boo boose"
thank you for being a part of my life.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

March 24 2010 Studio Wildflowers

I just thought I'd share this pic of the gorgeous flowers that are blooming outside in my studio garden- I look forward to this every year- and each year's wildflower crop is more spectacular than the last. 2010 has been very rainy here so far- record rain in fact for Tucson- so the desert is awash with color. (and we all are reaching for benedryl)
The only bummer about this is that we know what is coming....6 months of scorching heat! It usually starts around late April- When the temps reach 100+ degrees...the first time it happens we call it "ice break", and there are contests for predicting the exact date and time. Usually the prize is a car-with air conditioning- which the winner traditionally uses to "get the hell out of Dodge!" and find cooler places to hang their hat.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

kiwi lunch mosaic1

kiwi lunch mosaic1
Originally uploaded by cosmosmoonjewelry
I'm on a Kiwi kick lately...just biding time before plum season I think...but I'm starting to wonder why I haven't eaten more kiwi fruits (and stayed with the classic fruits apple orange banana)
My theory is that I remember discovering them in the 70's as a kid, and remember them being "expensive"- a real thing to covet and save(might have been perceptions of comments- I was a little kid then) you can get kiwis for about the price of lemons, so I vow to indulge my inner child more often and feed her the opulent country club food of the 70's

Ring a day ring #53 "Kiwi Lunch"....Carved Kiwi fruit

Friday, March 12, 2010

finding my balance

So...I'm on ring #50 in my ring a day practice, and I've learned a few things....
I enjoy having this continuous practice- though I find I need a break during the weekends.
At first I was strict about making something every day- but I find that the weekends, for me at least
I never have enough energy to do much more than some throw away piece- (so hastily made that it bothers me)...
I've been a typical mom on the weekends- running here and there, catching up with housework, bringing my sweet kiddo to his activities and parties....when I'm home, I need to be with my family, so I've made the "executive decision" to give myself a break and only do Ring a Day on weekdays.
Just having those couple of days to take a broader look at the world seems to really help me-
I guess it's just what happens, when incorporating new things in our lives...sometimes it is a struggle before you settle on a pace that suits you.
ok- and saying that- it just happens that it is a busy studio weekend for me- lol...
(I'm on the Tucson Open Studio tour both Saturday and Sunday...)
Perhaps I'll see you there!
ciao- Maureen

Monday, March 8, 2010

YUMA 3- relay

Day 3 has two artists presenting in the morning, and the big closing presentation after lunch. Then comes one of the funnest events in the History of events- The National Saw, File and Solder relay.

Seriously...this is the way to have fun!!
In Teams of 3, it goes like this.... one runs to the end of the course (LOL, the bench is  only about 25 feet away from the finish line)  saws out a long oval, the next files it and shapes it into a ring, then the third runs down and solders the seam and shapes it into a circle....then runs back and jams it on their teammate's finger.
It's a relay often with full costumes, and the requisite free Tequila and limes from the back of Greg Patranos' car. Wildly fun- this year we even had a new challenge- soldering in the RAIN! (now I know all about wet strikers...never had that experience before)Trophies are handmade and fantastically designed by various artists each year. I have yet to win one.....(Note to self..must train harder!)

The Final night festivities hearken back to the roots of the Symposium. A big Barbecue is held for all participants- there is music, dancing, laughter and even a few tears, because the next day we know we'll have to wait a whole year before we can do it again.

I really want to acknowledge the Genius of this event- It's not only one person, but a group of dedicated makers who really know how to throw one hell of a party. Thank you particularly to Pete Jagoda and Neely Tomkins  for your vision and dedication.

that's it for this year- but in approx. 350 days you know where you can find me......
heading out to the deserts west.

ciao- cub reporter Maureen Brusa Zappellini signing off now!:-)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Yuma part deux....

OK, so, you've just arrived at Lute's Casino, pins for swapping in hand, and a thirst for Margaritas you make your way into the bar.......

The annual pin swap is a great way to break the ice. It's a way to open new friendships- those who have made swapping pins (Usually some fantastic and funky stuff) go around and find others to trade pins with- I love the collections that are emerging with these pieces- these are pins that are the artist with their hair down! I made some really funky pins this year- and their freedom has opened up new doors for my creative thinking. good stuff.

After pin swap we meet at the Yuma Theater for opening the Symposium with short intros and remarks. Many people go back to the bar afterwards, but I usually just head to the hotel- I know it's going to be an early wake up..........

chirp chirp! (cue: early morning birds, tweeting)

Day 2 begins the presentations! a variety of visiting artists presenting their work and ideas-
want a list of the artists who presented this year and their website links? Ok! here it is!:)

2010 Presenters
clay • fiber • wood • metals • painting • photography • printmaking
Jennifer D Anderson  • printmakingSam Chung  •  clayArthur Ganson  • sculpture
Zig Jackson  • photography
Becky McDonah  • metals
Bruce Metcalf  • metalsStephanie Metz  • fiber
Pete Pinnell  • clay
Betsy Schneider  • photographyLisa Slovis  • metals
Patrick Stafford  • wood/multi-media
Dale Wedig  • metals

You have your choice- there are 12 presentations by 12 artists in 2 days and 3 locations- (sometimes you have to choose between one cool topic and the other) Friday's lineup has 7 artists presenting throughout the day- It's hard to choose sometimes, but no matter what, you will be treated to a really great presentation.

After a full day of checking out the amazing presentations Friday night there is an opening reception and silent auction. (Where the bidding is fierce)

Many people go out to eat after the opening, but I choose to go to the "show your stuff!" at the Yuma Theater to watch students and other artists present their work in an informal forum. (It's great to see the work that is coming through the schools...some big talents heading our way!)

  The Coranado- "home" for the Symposium crowd - (often booked a year in advance)

On the way back to the hotel I find my way to the bonfire at the back of Neeley Tomkin's studio- I stop and chat with a few other artists for a few moments- then head to the Coranado- "home" to catch some ZZZZZ's

and so, you's a long story...and I'm verbose. I have to split this blog post in three!!
stay tuned for the stunning and entertaining conclusion of this epic saga!
.................................Yuma III - the relay

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Yuma Symposium 2010 pt 1

I just got back a few days ago from the Yuma Symposium.
For a few hundred craftspeople, it is a weekend that we look forward to every year.

It's a funny thing for many Arizonans to fathom-
Yuma, while it does have it's charm doesn't usually evoke thoughts of a great destination-

Yuma is most often kindly thought of as perhaps a curious outpost on the edge of border towns in the U.S. ..a great place to stop on your travels to Southern California, but not usually a cultural mecca. Except on one long weekend every year (for the past 31st years) at the end of February. Then the floodgates open (*it's the desert) and hundreds of highly creative "Makers and Thinkers" fly in to lite upon the town like a cacophony of rowdy parrots.

Day one starts with a big party and meet up at Lute's Casino "Where the Elite meet". Driving in from all over- (Arizona, Oregon , North Carolina, Washington, California, Pennsylvania, Wyoming, Montana, Colorado...NM....etc etc.. )we meet up with the rest of the Symposium attendees for the annual Pin Swap and registration.

Yes, it's in a huge bar- and refreshments are flowing-And.. perhaps I should say right here that really, the Symposium has a party every night, (just to get that out of the way.)

Yuma Symposium started as a backyard barbeque after a Visiting Artist event 31 years ago...It was then as it as now: a jovial gathering of artists. The description of the events is too long to put into one blog post so I'm going to post that later this week....

Yuma Symposium part 2 in a few days...(along with tales of soldering woe)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Connect with your Muse

This month's Etsy Metal team blog Carnival topic is ......

"20 things to do to kick start Creativity"

I thought that it would be fun to try to list some tricks of the creative's my list- the cuff...
#1- Do an assignment in a random, off the cuff way....LOL
#2- make ridiculous limitations to your process, like drawing with your feet or writing when you're really tired (like I am now)
#3- make something intentionally ugly.
#4- try using a new material
#5- take a "walk" or go skipping around the block (it's impossible for me to skip without laughing)
#6- read a random part of a reference book
#7- stretch and drink a glass of water (we are often dehydrated here in Arizona)
#8- set a time limit on your current work (get it done and out of your way...there are so many creative ideas just dying to come forward!)
#9- write a poem
#10- do a bit of gardening- be tactile- smell the soil
#11- watch a favorite movie- notice why you love it
#12- Road trip! Go see something you've never seen before in your area- even if it just means driving/ walking/ biking etc down a new street.
#13- go to the library
#14- make random stuff with your scrap materials-
#15- realize that you might not be making a masterpiece, and get over it
#16- take a nap
#17- go to the hardware store and pick a few materials that you think might be fun to play with.
#18- Try to make a list, and put it on your blog
#19- don't erase/ delete your "mistakes" -sometimes the irregular is more interesting!
#20- when all else fails....Chocolate. (maybe that should be the first one!)

well, that's my list for tonight- I'm sure I'll think of more- (including the exact perfect one that I'll be kicking myself for forgetting) Here are the other Etsy Metals team members who have created a list...
  (There are 15 other Etsymetal metalsmiths blogging on the same topic today. Please go and check out their articles, they will all be sure to get your creative ideas flowing!!) - Victoria Takahashi/Experimetal [Berenice Schaltegger] (Brooke Arin Medlin) (Thomasin Durgin/Metalriot)

Enjoy!- Maureen BZ


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