Thursday, June 18, 2009

June 18, 2009 - Off to the fair

I'm taking off for Milwaukee and the big art fair. I'm very excited but worried about the weather. We're supposed to get a lot of thunderstorms over the next two days and then it's perfect for Saturday and Sunday. Here's two more new lamps to tease you with. Hope to see you there! m

Sunday, June 14, 2009

June 14, 2009 - New Lamps for LFOA

On Friday June 19-21 I will exhibiting my lamps at the Lakefront Festival of the Arts in front of the Milwaukee Art Museum. I thought I'd give you a preview of the some of the new lamps that will be on display. Hope to see you there. m

Sunday, June 7, 2009

June 7, 2009 - Hummingbirds

Here's an email a friend sent recently that tells of a rather amazing encounter with a Hummingbird. I thought it was worth sharing as encounters with these creatures are few, at least for me, and I can't help but be fascinated by them.

Katie wrote "The strangest thing just happened. I left my studio door open while going out to check the garden. When I came back, I heard a loud buzzing - there were two hummingbirds flying around the studio, looking for a way out. I opened the windows and shooed both out. Before I could get all the windows closed, one flew back in and plopped on the floor. I thought it was stunned. So I picked it up and carried it outside. When I looked closer, I saw that it had spider webs (from the studio walls) wrapped around it's wings. I brushed off one wing - it opened immediately and started fluttering in fast motion - then the other - and it flew away. I held a hummingbird in my hand. Amazing. What an incredibly alert, beautiful, iridescent bird. OK - my day is complete."

Out of curiosity I did some quick searches to find out more about Hummingbirds in general. Here's a few facts I didn't know:
• The largest Hummingbird is called, appropriately, Giant. They can have a wing span of 8 1/2" and they're found in South America. The smallest is called the Bee Hummingbird with a wingspan of 2". They are rare and found only in Cuba and the Isle of Youth.
Hummingbirds are the second largest family of birds in the Western Hemisphere.
• When hummingbirds sleep, they go into a hibernation-like state called Torpor. This is a really deep sleep. Their metabolism will lower to one-fifteenth (1/15) of normal. Their body temperature will drop to the point of becoming hypothermic (about 30 degrees Fahrenheit or 20 degrees Celsius). Their heart rate will drop to about 50 beats per minute. Their breathing will slow to the point that it looks like they have stopped breathing. By sleeping like this, hummingbirds can save up to 60% of their available energy. It takes anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour for a hummingbird to fully recover from torpor. Once they are up and about, the first order of business is food. The hummingbirds will eat 25% of their daily intake as soon as they recover from torpor.
• A hummingbird's brain is 4.2% of its body weight, the largest proportion in the bird kingdom.
• Hummingbirds can see ultraviolet light.
• Hummingbirds have no sense of smell.
• A hummingbird's metabolism is roughly 100 times that of an elephant. (I was thinking that since a Hummingbird's perception is so sped up that the time the hummingbird was lying on the floor in Katie's studio must have seemed like ages to the bird)
Have a great week. m

Monday, June 1, 2009

June 1, 2009 - Monday Monday

I like Mondays. Usually things go quite well for me. Mondays usually go well for me because I'm oh so relaxed from the weekend. Monday comes, I'm ready to get something done. Monday is usually my most efficient day. Things click. I have a plan and it moves along smoothly. It's Tuesdays I have to watch out for. But not today. Today was bad Monday. Bad.

First of all I looked forward to going out with friends for a late coffee around 10:00. First email of the day "child sick, can't go." The day begins. I pay bills. Nothing great about that. I finish some lamp bases. This goes surprisingly well. I run errands, one of which is to buy some ink for my printer which has surprisingly run out after only a few color prints. It seems odd. I buy two sets of ink cartridges. It's good to be prepared. I get back and put the cartridges in. And so begins a 5 hour technological mine field. It says it's still out of ink. It won't budge.

I do everything. I do the diagnostics that tell you extremely little. At one point I "reset the printer." Why not? Not good. Now the computer sees the printer but it can't communicate with it. About 3:00 I decide the printer is dead. I must buy a new one because I have needs over the next few weeks. I search for a printer a friend just bought. She did the research and I trust her. It's that or spend hours looking for a printer that you won't know will work until you get it home. So I find the printer. I find the best deal. I find the quickest method and the cheapest shipping. It's on it's way.

But I can't stop futzing. Miracle of miracles I get the computer talking to the printer. It's out of ink. Surprise. Then I think, what if it's the cartridge? What if it's a bum cartridge? And what the heck, I just spent $54 on new cartridges that I won't be able to use with a broken printer. I change one of the cartridges.

It works. It works! I don't believe it.

OMG I just bought an very expensive new printer. I call. It's too late. It's already shipped. Best advice, I can deny delivery. Or should I keep it?

After that, I went for a long walk. Felt better. I start watching this show "I'm a celebrity. Get me off this Island!" or something like that. It's like putting a cage full of angry rats on your head. But it's such a train wreck you have to watch and worse, there are reruns on every one of the big 6 channels I get via my rabbit ears digital black box. So that was Monday. Tuesdays are usually the worst day of the week for me. Wish me luck.