December 31, 2010

Happy New Year

I wish all my friends and family a very Happy New Year. May 2011 be a year of happiness, health, love, prosperity and accomplishment for all of us.

In other words, Shana Tova !!

December 24, 2010

Piece of Cake!

There are lots of drawbacks to being Jewish. But one of the advantages (at least in theory) is that you don't have to deal with Christmas. Most years, we can totally avoid the craziness of the shopping malls for the few weeks before Christmas, and feel fairly smug.

Except me. I have 3 December birthdays to deal with: my twin sons on Dec. 20, and my husband on Dec. 24. Now, I could probably avoid the crunch of Christmas shoppers by planning way ahead, but it never seems to work out that way. And even if I do all my gift shopping online, it is inevitable that at least one cake must be picked up at Costco on one of those two days.

Today was the day. Yesterday I did my food shopping for Gershon's birthday/Shabbat party tonight, along with all the pre-christmas -grocery-shoppers. And today was pick-up-the-cake-at Costco-day. And some other stuff, as long as I was there.

Needless to say, parking was a bear. But once I conquered that realm, I approached the visit like an anthropology project. It was fascinating, and sometimes amusing. As I approached the entrance, people were coming out with carts full of cakes, pies, meat, and wine. And one guy carried nothing but a HUGE box of Ritz crackers. An older couple came out with only two items: a giant box of dishwasher soap and a giant box of bird food. (I guess one of those had reached an urgency level that justified battling Christmas-eve parking lots.) Then I went inside, and it was too funny. The jewelry roadshow was mobbed with lookers. Many shoppers were on their cell phones, conferring with someone about the exact variety of their shopping assignments. Others wandered the non-food aisles with glazed eyes, desperately looking for last-minute gifts. Then there were the generals: organized shoppers with a battle plan on paper. One young couple had 8 packages of Dove chocolates in their cart, plus a bottle of wine. Myself, I was going around in circles, trying to find where they re-located the salmon. (And then I almost went into cardiac arrest when I saw the price on the salmon!)

I got my 4 items, paid and got out alive. All-in-all it wasn't too painful, as long as I looked at the amusing side of the whole thing. We had a wonderful party, the salmon was divine, and MAN that cake was good! Even though I can't entirely avoid the holiday shopping throngs, I did manage to completely avoid the Mall all month, while still supporting the economy. I feel smug. At least a little.

December 12, 2010

I'm Not Making This Up

What's your area of NON-expertise? Computers? Cooking? Home repairs?

Mine is make-up. I'm serious. I am usually a self-confident person, sure of what I'm doing in the kitchen, at the computer, at the sewing machine, at the wheel. But put a make-up brush in my hand, and I turn to mush. I look at this assortment of powders and gels that I've accumulated, and I'm sure that at one time I knew what to do with them, at least in theory. After all, the Mary Kay lady explained it. And then the Shaklee lady explained it. And then the SheerCover lady explained it. But now I'm unsure. I'm not used to this feeling, and I don't like it.

Solution? Don't wear make-up. 99% of the time I don't. But once in awhile, I really want to dress up and look like the other grown-up girls. Like tonight, for example. I was getting dressed up for the annual Holiday Party for Gary's company, and felt that I should at least TRY to look festive. So I put on my best beadwork (which I later took off and forgot to put back on), and some nice clothes. And then I decided it would really be nice to wear some make-up. I'm a little embarrassed that this is such a big decision for me, but it is.

So once I made the decision, I gathered up the various stuff, and tried to remember what to do with them, and in what order. After putting mascara on one eye, I realized that (a) I have a new, unopened one that would probably work better than this dessicated corpse, and (b) I should probably apply it after the eye shadow.

Eye shadow? Eeek? Um, let's see... my dress is aqua green, but I don't have any green eye shadow. Let's try this blue stuff.... yikes! It looks like someone beat me up! Okay, back to the old standard... light brown, very subtle looking. Yeah, stick with that. It's all coming back to me now; I go through this same sequence every time, and always end up with the light brown. I should just throw the others away.

Okay, back to the mascara. The lashes I started before look all clumpy with the new layer. I really should wipe it all off and start over. But I am NOT going back to the eye shadow, so this will have to do.

Concealer? Yes, I need to conceal everything on my whole face. But first I have to use that white stuff to cover up my red blotches before concealing. Sort of a pre-concealer. Except this white stuff is going on kind of shiny. Aren't we supposed to avoid shiny-ness? Maybe that's what the concealer is for. Sigh...

I briefly consider calling my Mommy on the phone. But she has no memory left, and she never wore anything but lipstick anyway.

Lipstick! Oh dear, how did I end up with 8 sticks of pinkish-brown? Even when that one female dentist advised me to avoid pink lipstick because of my pitiful yellow teeth. Gee, this is really a great exercise for building my self-esteem. No wonder I avoid it like the plague.

Okay, pinkish-brown it is. Apply generously, and then blot with a tissue. Blot a lot. Until it's basically all gone. Perfect. I feel like an idiot.

And then Gary comes home, looks at me and says "You look beautiful." And I melt. Maybe I should do this more than once a year! Or maybe not.

November 29, 2010

In-Home Private Sale!

Did you miss our big Art Show last month? Or just need a few more gifts? Come visit our private, in-house Art & Gift show this weekend. It's just three artists, for two days.

Three artists:
- Esther's beadwork
- Eddy's fused glass
- Julie's fine metal & precious stone jewelry

Two days:
- Saturday, December 4 at Esther's house... 10 Del Prado St, Lake Oswego
- Sunday, December 5 at Eddy's house... 02 Canby St, Portland

Hours: 11 am - 5 pm both days

Come browse, enjoy, have a nosh and a hot drink.

You don't have to buy anything, but if you do, we will be accepting cash, checks, and credit cards.

Hope to see you!

November 5, 2010

Dear Abba...

Dear Abba,

You might already know this, but a few years after you passed away, I met a woman who re-ignited my love for beads, and I started learning how to create art with them.  Over the last 16 years, it has become a major focus of my life.  I started by making earrings, then necklaces and bracelets, and inevitably entered the world of beaded objects.  Before I knew it, I was creating picture frames, mezuzot, and even glass kippot!  I often wished you were still here, because I knew you would love them.

Eventually, I found myself making beaded covers for Yizkor candles. I was enchanted with the idea, and loved the way the candle slowly burned down, illuminating more and more of the beadwork. And I always thought of you when I designed a new one, remembering that primitive plaster-of-paris Yizkor candle holder you made at Camp Swig. It was cast in a milk carton, and carving the letters brought you such delight.

And then one day, I was looking at someone's website, and she had these very simple blue-and-white stripes representing a tallis. Suddenly I got very still, and was overwhelmed with the memory of your passionate love for stripes, and for that exact symbolism.  I knew I had to make a striped Yizkor candle cover, in your memory, and I knew I had to figure out how to include the first four words of the Kaddish.  The mathematical planning took awhile, and designing the letters took even longer, but it was a highly charged mission, and it had to be perfect.

So here is a picture of the finished product, reflected in a mirror.  I'm very proud of it, and it always reminds me of you and your passion.  It has been in my sales display for a couple of years.

But the reason I'm writing this now, Abba, is that someone bought the "Yitgadal" candle cover from me at our recent art show. It's a bittersweet feeling for me, parting with it. At the same time, I'm so happy to have found a really wonderful home for this creation, where I know it will be loved and honored and used.  The family who owns it never met you, but a little piece of your magnificent spirit now resides in their home.

Thank you for your continuing inspiration, Abba.  I love you.

November 1, 2010

A Necklace For All Seasons

My latest project started out as a simple idea... a Spiral Rope necklace with some crystals here and there.  But then, of course, it got more complex.  I was fascinated with Margie Deeb's take on the colors for Fall 2010... that necklace of hers with the graduated colors, blending gradually from Goldenrod to a deep red... I just had to do it.  This, of course, necessitated a bead order from Bello Modo, and many false starts before i got the colors right. And forget the goldenrod, we ended up with peach.

Then I decided it should be a lariat, so what should I do at the ends?  Eventually I decided that's where the crystals should go, since they didn't look good anywhere else that I tried. Okay, so far so good. But it seemed like the beautiful peach colors at the opposite end would hardly even be seen... what a waste!  But wait!  What if I make it reversible???  How in the world would I do that?  To be honest, it was simply too late to make a similar lariat-style ending at the other end, since the beading was already done.  Necessity mothered invention, and the peach-colored little "thingy" at that end was born.

So, my simple Spiral Rope became a reversible, graduating-color, crystal-laden lariat necklace.

In the fall and winter,                                                               In the spring and summer,
you can wear it like this:                                                           wear it like this:       


In other words, what we have is a Necklace For All Seasons.

October 31, 2010

Evolution of an Art Exhibit

Set-up begins Saturday night. I've done this dozens of times, but each time it's a little  different.  I'm trying a new display for my Yahrzeit candle covers... building a little shelf display for them.  And where shall I put that lamp? No, it is NOT gonna stand on the Tupperware!

Other people's booths are just getting assembled. There is a palpable sense of excitement and hope in the air.

Sunday morning... getting closer.  General layout of table is done, and now comes placement of individual items. This year I made a conscious decision to put out a little less, in the hope that shoppers wouldn't be overwhelmed.  I was nervous about it, but it worked out quite well.

This table holds mostly necklaces on very visible upright displays. The plan is for this to catch people's eye as they come from the doorway.  Then they can work their way around to the other table, with more affordable bracelets and earrings.

Gotta remember to take those clips out of my hair....

Other booths behind me look awesome! This is gonna be fab!

Almost done.  Necklace table is ready; I think it looks  pretty good. Um, except for my self-printed, sadly amateur sign.  If I have good sales today, maybe I'll splurge on a professional sign.

Ready to roll! The beaded lamp worked out beautifully with the Yahrzeit candles.. symbiotic... a stroke of genius on Gershon's part. Got my good clothes on, and a necklace I made with a piece of Eddy's glasswork.

One of our members bought something from me before the doors opened... what a nice good-luck charm that was for me!

Leslie's booth looks a little funky behind me, but she changed it so that it worked very well.

10 am... another show begins!

October 22, 2010

Getting Ready

After 11 years of selling my beadwork in art shows and craft fairs, you'd think I'd have the preparation down to a science.  And I sort of do.  But I'm still frantic in that week before the show, always feeling like I'm not ready, and won't possibly be ready. I never have all the pieces that I hoped to have done.  And yet, the show goes on. So, why can't I just relax and go through the process without the stress?  I don't know - maybe it's my own form of stage fright.  Wish me luck on Sunday!

October 4, 2010

A Moving Experience

When we were young, Gary and I moved a lot. For various reasons, we moved into a new apartment every year or two, and our parents & siblings were always there to help us. Together we all moved endless numbers of boxes, picture frames and pieces of hand-me-down furniture. With time, we all got pretty good at the whole process. And our mothers were always there with practical advice and several rolls of contact shelving paper.

At some point, we discovered the joys of hiring a professional mover, so it's been a long time since we practiced the ritual.  But now, once again, the practice of family-assisted moving is revived, with our son and his girlfriend moving from Eugene up to Portland.  But this time, we are the parents!!  What a strange feeling.  The same endless cartons, the same smell of an empty new apartment with hardwood floors, the same feeling of hope and excitement, even the same baseball play-offs on TV in the background, but now we're the old guys with the practical advice. (The funny thing is that I have no contact paper to offer, because I never learned how to do it, since Sonia always did it for me.)

My body aches from all the lifting and carrying. My mind is happy for the new life they will be living in this most exciting part of Portland. And my heart has suddenly realized how wonderful it was to have our parents and siblings helping us with all those moves, what hard work it was, and how much of an emotional investment they were all making in us.

I think I'll go call my Mom now, just as soon as I wipe away this little tear from my eye.

September 13, 2010

Being Celebrated

Wednesday was our 36th wedding anniversary. It was also Erev Rosh Hashana. So when my SIL asked "did you celebrate?" the answer wasn't that simple. 

Wednesday morning we gave each other anniversary cards, which turned out to be almost the same card. Each had dogs dressed as people, with very similar captions about how after awhile you start looking the same.

Wednesday night we were part of a big holiday dinner at a friend's home, so we weren't really celebrating our anniversary.  But then they surprised us with a special dessert with a candle in it, and everyone sang to us.  It was very sweet. 

On Thursday we sang in the choir, then came home to phone calls from people who forgot to call on Wednesday.  Thursday night we ate another holiday meal at someone else's home, and everyone marveled at our feat of remaining married for so long.

Friday evening we spent feverishly preparing for Saturday morning... Gershon was reading a Torah portion, and I was doing a D'var Torah.  Needless to say, neither one of us was prepared. But it was an evening well-spent.

Saturday morning we each did our part in the Torah service.  Then, just when we had both sat down in relief, the Rabbi called us both back up to the Bimah, and did a special Mi Shebeirach in honor of our anniversary.  The entire gathering sang "Siman tov und mazel tov" for us.

Saturday night we went to our friends' house for Mah Jongg, so we didn't have a chance to go out and celebrate together until Sunday night, when we finally went out to a restaurant, ate too much and toasted each other L'chayim. Twice (for 36 years).

No cake or chocolates, no gifts or jewelry or tropical vacations, but actually our anniversary was celebrated by a lot of people. It seemed like it would be lost in the shuffle, but actually it was pretty cool.

September 9, 2010

Happy New Year

Shana Tova to all of my readers (all one of you).  Wishing everyone a happy, healthy, fulfilling year!

September 1, 2010

Time Traveling on the Couch

I just LOVE books about time travel!  From H.G. Wells' "Time Machine" to that cool story by Heinlein (sorry, I can't remember the title) to Diana Gabaldon's "Outlander," I love them all.  The idea is fascinating, in either direction.  So I was happy to finally read The Time-Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.  I finished it a few days ago, and man, is my head messed up !!

Each time-travel story has its own set of  "rules."  This one allows the time traveler to visit with his own self at another age!  Yikes!  And because he can go forward AND backward, he can appear to his loved ones even after the date of his death.  Cool, huh? 

It turns your head around a few times, but there's nothing wrong with that! It was a fun read, and it also managed to be touching and thought-provoking. I'm not sure if I want to see the movie, though.  I might like to keep it in my head, just the way it is.

August 21, 2010

Is it Inevitable?

I'm finding it hard not to become a cynical, grumpy old lady.  Everywhere I turn, people seem impossibly stupid, selfish, and/or mean.  It seems so hopeless.  Once again I feel understanding for the hermit living alone with her dogs.

I don't mean to belittle my friends, who are wonderful.  It's just that sometimes the rest of the world (R.O.W. as Cramer calls it) seems to outweigh them.

August 7, 2010

Time Marches Forward.... and Backward

July is gone, and as it fades away, so do the raspberries.  August signals the start of the end of summer, which is always bittersweet, but it brings the great consolation of blackberries!  One bite of these divine miracles, and I am instantly transported back 40 years in time, to August of every summer on the Bimah Lawn of Camp Swig. And just like back in those days, it's hard to wait.  You have to wait till the berries get really soft and plump before you pick them. Otherwise they taste sour. I think this is symbolic of something, but I'm not sure what.

(Yes, I hear Mel Brooks in my head, saying "dis is symbolism... it's symbolic of.... junk!")
(See Mel Brooks' great animated short: )

July 13, 2010

Crafty Women

This Saturday Eddy and I will be selling our pretty sparkly things at a giant, juried craft show in Newberg.  The "Craft-In"  arts/crafts show will be held at the historic 99-W Drive-In Theatre, from 10 am to 4 pm.  Admission is free, and there is a snack bar too.  Come on down!

Click here for more information.

Easy As Pie

My mother-in-law came to visit, and she fell in love with our raspberries! She was like a child in a candy store. We picked and picked, and picked.

Trying to decide what to do with all the berries, Sonia kept saying "let's make a pie."  I've never made a berry pie before, so I was reluctant.  But the idea was firmly stuck in her head, so it was GONNA happen.  Fortunately, the Joy of Cooking was up to the task, and I had a package of frozen pie shells in the freezer.  It turned out to be pretty easy, we had a good time together in the kitchen, and the pie came out fabu!


June 28, 2010

First Fruits!

With the crazy weather we've had, I kind of forgot that it's actually summer.  So I was really surprised when i discovered that our raspberry bushes are FULL of ripe raspberries!  And it isn't even July yet!  This bowl is over 12" wide, and this wasn't nearly all of them.

Time to decide what to do with this year's crop.  Last year I made raspberry ice cream, liqueur, vinegar, raspberry-chipotle sauce, and yogurt. This year?  Not sure, but of course I'll probably start with ice cream. How could I not?

June 18, 2010


I never had a dog growing up, and was actually a little frightened of them, since a big dog knocked me down in my toddler years.  My brother actually had a dog, and I got over the fear, but had no real relationship with Happy.

Then when I met Gershon and his family, Doobie was part of the package, and he was a very cool dog.  I guess I bonded with him to some degree, because I really cried when he died.  But then another 17 years passed before a dog came into my life.

7 years ago my kids wore down my resistance, I gave in, and we got a dog. He was my first dog, a Pug, and the boys named him Nacho.  And I fell hopelessly in love.  I finally understand the whole dog thing. In fact, the whole animal thing that I never comprehended as a child, when most of the girls I knew were crazy for dogs, cats, and horses. There is such an incredible spirit in animals, and such a passion between us. It became a whole new obsession for me.  When my kids were little, I used to admire other people's children. But now I'm a sucker for every dog I see.

I recently read "The Art of Racing In The Rain" by Garth Stein.  It's quite a tear-jerker, but in a good way. And he has created a wonderful character in the dog Enzo.  He captures the beautiful love between dog and human so well.  If you love dogs, read it.  If you don't love dogs, read it anyway and you might feel differently.

I feel like I missed out on a lot, when all the other kids were enjoying animals while I stood aside . But I'm glad we found Nacho before my kids were entirely grown up.  I think he really made a difference. As with having children, or making friends, once again you find that giving your love to someone new brings more love into your life.

I saw a greeting card that said something like  "We walk side-by-side, two completely different universes, connected only by love and a leash."  That's Nacho and me.

June 10, 2010

New Camera!

My new camera arrived... a Nikon CoolPix S8000.  I haven't learned all the ins and outs yet (well, okay, I've barely learned anything about it yet), but I did manage to take a pretty good picture of my "Seaside Garden" bracelet.  See?  I KNEW it was possible to get a decent shot of beadwork with a digital camera!  Soon I'll post a few pix of other recent projects too.  That should relieve my frustration over posting poor pictures.

June 7, 2010

Phone Home

This weekend I thought "gee, I haven't talked to Sam in weeks.  I should give him a call and see how he's doing."  Then I realized he's not with us anymore.  I can't really give him a call anymore.  I can only wait for him to send me an occasional message. This is such an empty feeling.

May 26, 2010

Small and Quiet

Feeling empty, I turned to my beads.  And I managed to create my first free-form pendant. It's pretty nice, in greens that match the "Seaside" bracelet. It's kind of small and quiet, the way I feel right now.

I tried to take a picture of it to post, but the camera is truly a goner at this point. There should be some good electronics sales this holiday weekend... we will definitely buy a new camera.  Stay tuned.

May 25, 2010

Friends are Good

The funeral is over, the Shiva is over, the 7-day candle has burned all the way down, and everyone is finally back at home. But of course it feels so strange, kind of empty. Hard to grasp that someone so central to our life is gone.

Some rituals are helpful, though. And the company of people is really important.  Yesterday we had a memorial service for Sam here at our house.  It was gratifying to have so many people come and support us in our time of sorrow.  Most of our Portland friends never met Sam, but they were able to know him a little bit, through the picture that Gershon painted with his stories, and I think everyone felt enriched by the experience.

We also made a collage of photos, which turned out to be a really therapeutic project.  The memories are so sweet, as you dig through albums full of surprises.  And it's amazing how much other people enjoyed the pictures too, trying to guess which little boy is Gershon, and laughing gently at the bygone fashions.  Again, being surrounded by people we love was so comforting.  We have built ourselves a lovely community here.  Friends are good.

May 14, 2010

The Jig is Up

The jig is up. It's all a sham.  "Happily ever after," "growing old together," "the golden years"... all those romantic phrases... all trying to hide the ugly truth: that you get old in pain and frustration, you die, usually in a most humiliating or painful way, and the ones who are least able to manage alone are left alone for the next 20 years.

The denial as we move from our "prime" to our "golden years" is preposterous, as those approaching the chasm try desperately to cling to the mirage... trying to will it to be true, even as they try to hit the brakes, knowing deep down where they're heading. What a slap in the face the actual truth is. The jig is up. It's all a sham.

May 9, 2010

Baruch Dayan Ha'Emet

My father-in-law, Sam Liberman, passed away tonight, after several months of pain and frustration. The last few days have been particularly difficult, for him and for my mother-in-law. I can't quite grasp it yet. But I hope he will be at peace.

When I left their house yesterday, and kissed him goodbye, I didn't know I was really kissing him goodbye.

Baruch Dayan Ha'emet.

May 8, 2010

Almost No Words for This

Why must the end be so hard? And so long? It's agonizing for everyone, especially when we don't know if it's just the start of the end, or really near the end. Watching what my inlaws are going through right now, I am absolutely terrified of my own future, when we will be their age, and wrestling with mortality in such a difficult, painful way.  And watching my own mother disintegrate is a whole other kind of terror, as I look at my own image, age-adjusted.  Like I said before, aging isn't for the weak-hearted.

May 2, 2010

Decisions, Decisions!

Last night I finished my latest free-form bracelet, and I'm very happy with it.  For some reason, i always feel the need to give these more involved projects a name.  I was hoping this one would fit the name "Herb Garden," but it doesn't feel right to me, with all the turquoise in it. So what shall I call it?

Of course it's also a fairly mediocre photo, because my digital camera is dying a slow and painful death.  I'm ready to buy a new one, but torn about which one to choose. Too many choices out there!

So I'm asking for suggestions (I know I may come to regret this) on two things: what camera to buy (needs to have macro capability) and what to name this bracelet.  Ready? Go!

April 17, 2010

Then Come the Tulips

Tulips are blooming everywhere.  Last week I saw the most amazing group of tulips... they were breathtaking! Deep purple, hot pink, goldenrod and orange.  They made such an impression on me that I drove right home and pulled out my beads.  I found the four closest colors on hand, decided to use Swarovski crystals for the accents in the middle row, and made this bracelet.  I really LOVE this color combo!

This week i had occasion to be back at the same spot, so I tried to take a picture of the tulips with my cell phone camera. But it's so pathetic, the pix were worthless.  Oh well, I am just enjoying the bracelet.
(Click on the picture to see it in more detail.)

April 5, 2010

The Passover Tree

My next-door neighbors have a huge tree in their yard, bordering ours. I don't know what kind of tree it is, but it's a thing of majesty. It's gigantic, and every year in the early spring it blooms with millions of little white blossoms. (They look like apple blossoms, but they are pure white, and there are never any apples, so I'm not sure.)

Anyway, every year when this tree blossoms, it brings a smile to my face... first of all, it is GORGEOUS, and also it means that spring is coming!  And despite the crazy fluctuations of the Jewish holiday calendar, The Tree always seems to bloom right before Pesach. Then the blossoms are only there for a couple of weeks, before they suddenly fall away and make you wonder if you really saw them at all.  Sure enough, today the wind is blowing and as Pesach draws to a close, the blooms are being blown away. I welcome the completion of another Pesach, but I also feel a little sad as it passes away with the white petals.

Why does this feel so profound to me? The symbolism is so great... how brief and fleeting are the beautiful  moments of life! We need to take a minute to smell the proverbial roses when the opportunities arise.  How wonderful is the order (Seder) of the Universe, giving us comfort in the continuity of seasons and celebrations, and stability with which to face the unexpected.  How incomprehensible is the number of blooms on that one tree, and by extension... the people of the world, and the expanse of the Universe!  Puts your own life in perspective, doesn't it?

Who knew that a tree in someone else's yard  could make me wax so philosophical?  Well, you know, it's Pesach... for a little longer.

March 24, 2010

A Little More of a Good Thing

I started to put away all the beads from The Lamp, but they looked so pretty sitting there together, I decided to do one more project with them first. And remember I had that one piece that didn't fit on the lamp?  That was an excellent starting point.

So here it is, a free-form sculptural peyote bracelet. It doesn't have a name yet, but I'll come up with something. Meanwhile, it's good to know that if I ever need to have a matching lamp-and-bracelet ensemble, I'm good to go!

While I'm at it, I have to give a shout-out to Jeannette Cook, who taught me to go Free-form.  It has brought a whole new dimension to my work. Thanks, Teach!

March 12, 2010

Grab a Chair

Here's a partial view of the chair I decorated for this year's Chair Affair. It's called "Love Seat."  It's about 6 or 7 inches high, and very pink. Not my usual color playground, but everyone needs to get out sometimes, right?

There are about 100 pieces for sale at this year's auction, which raises a LOT of money for Portland's Community Warehouse.  Most are full-size chairs, but some are other furniture pieces, and some are paintings of chairs.  I'm not sure if mine is the only mini.

Five members of ORA have contributed pieces this year: Robin Esterkin, Laurie Fendel, myself, Gary Pearlman, and Eddy Shuldman. Cool, huh?

The auction takes place on April 8th... it's a gala auction dinner. Tickets are $50 per person, or $400 for a table of 10.  There will be a live auction for things like beach trips and cooking class, with the Chairs etc being sold by silent auction.  If you want to see the Chairs ahead of time, there is a preview reception on Thursday evening March 25th at the Galleria downtown.  Admission is free.  I'll be at both events, and hope to see you there!

The Chair Affair +   
Dinner & Auction
Date:   Thursday, April 8, 2010
Time:   5:30 - 9 pm
Location:  The Showroom at1625 NE Sandy, Portland 97232

Click here for information and to buy tickets.

March 5, 2010

Stone and Glass

At last, my beaded lamp can be revealed.  It seemed like i should wait till our "Light" exhibit opened at Elements Glass Gallery before I post the photo.  So now, it's time.  Everyone was really kind to come out and support us last night, and I got a lot of good feedback on the lamp, which was a great feeling!

I hope to have more photos soon, from different angles. But for now, here's a picture taken last night by Sharon Segal.  Thanks so much, Sharon!

The base is made of alabaster, which my darling husband drilled through to insert a light fixture holding a light bulb. The globe is a cool-looking crackly white-on-clear glass, glued to the stone base.  And the beadwork is free-form sculptural peyote, using many sizes of glass seed beads and crystals.  The beadwork is sewn to a cloth strip which is glued to the glass globe at the top. That is the only place where it's actually attached to the globe, but the rest of the work is stitched to fit pretty snugly. I call it "Dawn's Early Light."

Please let me know what you think.  If you feel you simply MUST own this lamp, it is for sale at Elements Gallery in NW Portland!

Baruch atah adonai, eloheinu melech ha'olam, shehechiyanu v'kihimanu, v'higiyanu lazman hazeh.

March 4, 2010

Humanity Redeemed

Yesterday and today were fairly lousy days.  Everywhere I turned, people were being mean, or stupid, or both. By this afternoon, I was starting to understand those old ladies who just want to live with 27 dogs.

But then came our big opening-night reception at the art gallery this evening.  It was beautiful.  And i couldn't believe how many people showed up!  It was wonderful to see people come out to support us. I got a little teary-eyed, and decided I don't really need 27 dogs.  Humanity redeemed itself, at least for one more day.

February 28, 2010

Crossing the Finish Line... Going Toward the Light!

Okay, boys and girls, the lamp is FINISHED!  And it's out of my hands, on its way to the gallery for our exhibit. Wow, I feel so strange with neither the lamp nor the chair hanging over my head!

This Thursday, ORA's  art exhibit opens at Elements Glass Gallery with a first-Thursday reception from 5:30 to 9 pm.  The theme of the exhibit is "LIGHT."  Please come and see the beautiful art works on display (including my lamp which you're sick of hearing about, but just dying to see) by our members and special guests.  There will be food, drink, music, and ART!!  Come celebrate with us.

Elements Glass Gallery
1979 NW Vaughn St.
Portland, OR 97209

February 24, 2010

New Members are In!

I am so bleary-eyed!  It's been a long day in front of the screen, but I did it.... I made new web pages for our four new ORA members, and revised the "Artists" page that leads to each of us.  Exhausting!  But go take a look....

That grindstone i was talking about?  The Light project?  It will be a pleasure to get back to it, with no screen and no keyboard!  See you tonight at the Pre-JAM Slam!!!!  7 pm at MJCC.... fun and free!

February 22, 2010

Back to the Grindstone

The CHAIR is finished!  It's not as extensively beaded as I had originally planned, but it's definitely cute.  And cute is important, right?  Very pink-and-purple, with hearts and everything.  We were supposed to give it a clever name, so I called it "Love Seat."  Which is almost clever.

The Love Seat will be featured for sale in the Chair Affair auction on April 8th, which is a benefit for the Portland Community Warehouse.   For more info, and some amazing photos of last year's chairs, see their website:

So now, it's back to the grindstone for me. The Light project.  Okay, you've guessed by now... it's a lamp. With beading all around the glass globe.  It's been frustrating, but after a few days away from it, I think I can see it more objectively now.  It's pretty nice, and everyone else seems to think it's done.  Of course, I know better.  It's NOT done, but it will be.  Now I have a few days to add to it, and then I'll glue it to the glass at the end.  Hmmm, but first I actually have to make some new web pages before Wednesday night.  Oh well, it was fun visiting the Grindstone.  Back in a few...