Friday, 18 December 2009

Holiday Plans

I just realised I never did come back and add those photos, so I'll have to post some fishy pics with this entry. Today was my last day at my current school, and now I have a blissful 5 weeks to regroup, refresh and get organised for my new role next year. I am really looking forward to teaching Art full time again and working with a new staff to support elearning. I'm hoping to spend some time this holidays really working on some new glass related skills, so I hope to make some posts about my progress as I go along. I normally tend to be a bit hit and miss with new skills - I give them a whirl, and if they don't work, I leave it for a few months and try again. But, like my fish, I am going to have to actually practice my off mandrel work, and making more advanced murrine. I have several SCA projects I would like to work towards and I need to master these skills to get there, so that will be my focus. I have been addicted to making fish since I got home from the US, but I also learnt how to make off mandrel pendants, marbles and face cane and all those skills will take a concerted effort to really get a handle on. Sometimes I wish someone would hurry up and invent an instant transport device, so we could really have that theoretical global village we talk about. I am really missing far away friends at the moment, and it is quite painful to know it will be a couple of years at the soonest before I will likely see any of them again. Thank heavens for the intranet is all I can say!

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

The Daily Grind

Week 7 of the new term, 8 weeks since I came home, and my US trip is beginning to be a very distant memory. It doesn't take long at all for the daily grind to take over and fill your thoughts. Since I got home I've been back at work, flat out busy as another colleague was having their turn on leave and I was working on our major project for the term. The group this term have proved to be quite a handful, which has also kept us busy. I have been spending my brief torch time mainly making fish and birds, enjoying playing with sculptural forms - thanks Deb! I really want to start working on some face murrine, but I need more than a couple of hours concurrently on the torch to get stuck into that. Once I have the Christmas markets out of the way, Ill devote some days to it on the holidays. The market has been pretty quiet lately, but I sold a bunch of jewellery at work yesterday, which was a pleasant surprise. Speaking of work, there are some changes on the horizon for me again. I'm turning full circle, and heading to my old Alma Mater to start a new position next year. I was a little torn about the decision, but I think it is the right thing for me at this time, and it's going to be fun heading back to my old stomping ground.
Hmmmm, Blogger seems to be having some issues, so I'll have to add some photos later.

Monday, 28 September 2009

San Francisco

A wonderful few days to finish my time in the USA. Thursday I explored the Fisherman's Wharf area - had an amazing brunch, went on a Bay cruise to see the pylons of the GG Bridge only, damn fog, and Alcatraz and watched the sea lions on Pier 39. Friday I went to the Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park - great museum, but the Planetarium show was amazing. The show was due to end the next day, after running fora year, so I was glad to have caught it. On Saturday I went on a 14 hour long bus tour out to Yosemite Park. Perfect weather and amazing scenery, it was a very suitable last activity before leaving the US of A.
I have had such an amazing trip. It has been an adventure, travelling for a month and it has been made special by all the amazing people I have stayed with and met along the way. It is an wonderful feeling, to be able to spend quality time with long time Internet friends and have confirmation that there is a real deep friendship there, that we aren't all deluding ourselves about the quality of our virtual relationships. I am going to miss everyone terribly - thank heavens for the Internet, email, forums and Facebook.
The Famous houses on Alamo Square
The Living Roof at the Academy of Sciences

Friday, 25 September 2009

Sunny Florida

I had a wonderful time in Florida last week. I was staying in Bradenton, and went out on the water Jet Ski-ing twice, in the Bradenton/Sarasota area. I don't have much in the way of photos because most of my sightseeing ended up being from the water, but we did catch a lovely sunset my last night there that I will share. I also played tourist at the Kennedy Space Centre, attending the ATX - Astronaut Training Experience. While it had a couple of hokie moments, it was a lot of fun to let my inner geek out to play for awhile. I was assigned as Commander of our mission and had to land the shuttle...
I also watched Fay make an eye murrine, and talked and sketched the process for building up whole face cane, so that will be on the agenda to try when I get home.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Beads update

I haven't had a lot in the way of glass to show lately, so I thought I'd post some pics of jewellery I made for the friends I have been staying with during my travels. I took a few quick pics just before I left...

Monday, 21 September 2009

Down on the Bayou

I had a lovely time in Louisiana last week. It was fantastic to finally get to meet Deanna and Greg in person. I watched Greg make one of his amazingly complicated murrine marbles, and Deanna and I torched a couple of afternoons. I made my first 2 marbles... unfortunately they both broke though. One cracked in half as we put it in the kiln - its a clean break and I'm going to glue it together - it turned out pretty darn round! The other one exploded - I have the blisters to remember it by. :)
Deanna and I spent a day playing tourist - took a swamp tour on an airboat, and then walked through the French Quarter of New Orleans. We saw so many alligators we lost count, and the airboat was able to take us to areas that a normal boat wouldn't be able to get into. It was a great tour, I'd definitely recommend it. The marsh area, with Alligator.
An Alligator in the Bayou.
A 'crackhead'! That's a Marshmallow on his head - the guides feed them marshmallows because they aren't filling, so they keep coming back. They call them 'Swamp Crack'.
Jumping for Marshmallows.
'Mule' drawn carriages in New Orleans.
The Cathedral, New Orleans.
Buildings in the French Quarter.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Leaving, On a Jet Plane....

Yesterday was my last full day in Phoenix with Lisa - I fly out to New Orleans at 11. Lisa has been a wonderful host and we have had a great time. We explored the Cave Creek area and played tourist in the shops up there, went to Tucson for a wholesale bead show, and went to a Bead Museum and a Candy Factory yesterday. We have eaten some wonderful food - both at home and out for lunch and generally spoilt ourselves.
I have just realised that with my last few posts being Glasstock related, I didn't post my last photos from Oregon. So, here is a few Oregon beach scenes and some pics from Arizona...

And for contrast, the Arizona desert....