Zendala Dare #91

Thanks to thebrightowl.blogspot.com, I played with this mandala shape for my moments of zentangle meditation today.

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Ready to Twist, Bend and Bang Some Metal?

I’ll be teaching wire-working basics at Rock Paper Scissors tonight. Oh, we have so much fun in this class! Learn the basics of wirework by creating your own earwires, simple loops, and wrapped loops out of 20-gauge copper and sterling silver wire. You will come away from the class with a strong understanding of how to safely (and playfully!) work with wire — and you’ll leave with a pair of earrings you made completely from scratch!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 / 6:30-8:30 pm
Rock Paper Scissors / 15 Bloomfield Ave., Montclair
Register by calling: 973-337-6759

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Rock the Basics! Tonight!

I’m teaching tonight at Rock Paper Scissors — YOU ROCK THE BASICS! It’s a fun intro class to making jewelry (you’ll come away with a necklace and pair of earrings that you’ve designed and made yourself, from start to finish). For more info: http://www.rockpaperscissorsnj.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.calendar.

Wed., April 20, 6:30 pm
Rock Paper Scissors, 15 Bloomfield Ave., Montclair

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It’s Time for Some New Growth

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My Art/Craft Fair Booth Shot

A few people have asked me to share my 2011 Booth Shot (the photo artists submit with art/craft fair applications, so the show organizers can see what the artists’ overall displays look like). So, here ’tis. My booth set-up has evolved quite a bit over the past couple of years. For one thing, I now set up my 10′ x 10′ space so that the tables are aligned on the outer edge of the tent/space (instead of creating an inner sanctum into which shoppers have to enter before browsing). In addition, I have added what I call “fluff” — things like the vase of flowers, the tall branches (IKEA), the suspended wire-frame balls (Crate & Barrel outlet store), and the vintage spools and pewter bowl off to the left (part of the larger family collection). I’ve started scouring the hidden-away cabinets and closets in my house for things that I’ve acquired over the years, never had a place to use, and yet never had the heart to give away, to find “fluff” to add to my booth/display. I also, for the first time, had a poster made of my logo and hung it behind my display tables. When a pastel-painter friend of mine sets up her booth display, her gorgeous framed work advertises itself from yards away. My jewelry, though, is small, so in order to get folks to look closer I’ve got to have something that shouts, “Come look at this unique work!” I think the logo poster does that (and, it reinforces my “brand,” which is always a good thing). My question is: What can I do better in my booth set-up and in my Booth Shot photo? I’d love suggestions, if there are any out there… And, thanks!

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Teaching Tonight!

I’ll be teaching my basic wire-working class tonight at Rock Paper Scissors. We’ll explore making simple and wrapped loops (on wire, above beads), making eyepins and headpins, making our very own earwires, and more. There’s still a little room in the class…if you’ve got the night free, come join us!

Twists & Turns, Wire Workshop
6:30pm – 8:30pm / Rock Paper Scissors
15 Bloomfield Ave., Montclair / 973-337-6759

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I took a break to sew an elephant

Sometimes creative people stop creating. They’re just done. I woke up done this past Monday. So, after teaching my Music Together class on Tuesday morning, I treated myself to a little Rock Paper Scissors. $13.50 later, I left with a pattern for a teeny stuffed elephant, a half-yard of fine-wale corduroy, and a sense of excitement that I haven’t felt in a while. I gave myself a creative-regeneration afternoon, and I traded my State of Done for this little green-polka-dot guy.

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Ice, Ice, Everywhere

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Dear Randy Jackson: Please don’t say that anymore

This is a re-post from my blog dedicated to my music teaching: spinandstop.wordpress.com.

Dear Randy Jackson,

My children have convinced me that our family should watch this season of “American Idol,” since it’s such a hot topic of conversation with their friends at school. So far, we’ve watched the first four episodes of the Season 10 auditions, and there have been some knock-me-out moments (that 15-year-old boy who sang “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay” — what a stunner!). And, sure, there have also been some wackadoo folks, as well (the blue man? come on). The one thing that really bugs me, Randy, is when you tell people to stop singing — as in: Don’t sing anymore, anywhere, ever. Really? Seriously?

We’ve got a HUGE problem in our culture — people are singing less and less with their children, and fewer and fewer children are growing up to be musical adults. Every child who’s born is musical — there’s research to prove it — but all adults aren’t, and that’s because parents are more likely to watch other people sing than sing themselves. It doesn’t matter how awful you think someone sounds — if she goes home to her baby and sings to that child, that almost guarantees that her child will grow up to be musical (and probably more musical than she is!).

When someone gets up to audition for Idol and sounds terrible, he definitely should not go further in the competition. And, telling him that his singing needs work, or that he isn’t “Idol material,” is the right thing to do (and Steven Tyler does it beautifully). But to advise that contestant never to sing again? The repercussions of that comment are potentially crippling — not just to him, but to the generations that follow him. And think of the people watching your show (like my children), who might just pull back from singing in fear that someone, somewhere will say something mean to them when they sing — if they stop singing, their kids won’t sing, and so on, and so on. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to have more people who can sing, more people who are Idol material, rather than fewer? What a country we would have if our land were populated coast to coast with amazing singers!

So, Randy, please don’t tell people to stop singing forever. Instead, tell them that Idol’s not their thing, dog, and that they’re better off saving their singing for their time at home with their families — that parents who sing with their kids raise kids who sing. Down the road, their kids could show up at the American Idol Season 25 auditions and knock your socks off with their singing chops. Hey, if nothing else, that’s some pretty good job security.

Sincerely, Miss Anne
Music Together Teacher

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Art Connections 7

Art Connections 7, an exhibit at the George Segal Gallery (Montclair State University), runs through February 19, 2011, and it’s fantastic! I went to the opening this past weekend, and the pieces in the show continue to pop into my consciousness (including those above by Jude Harzer, Stefanie Silverman, and Allan Gorman). The show includes work from across the U.S. by both established and emerging artists in a variety of media, and it’s definitely worth a look-see, if you’re anywhere near Montclair, NJ.

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