Monday, December 31, 2007
Sunday, December 30, 2007
Not only did we fly in the section with free "adult beverages" and real plates, we also got free round trip tickets to use to go anywhere in the 48 contiguous United States.
Since I love those types of travel situations, I thought it was high time for another edition of PinkBird's Travel Tips.
1. I will start with how to score free tickets. Just ask. Yup. Ask at the check-in desk if they will be needing volunteers to give up their seats. I have noticed that American Airlines usually announces over the PA if they need volunteers, but United may only put up a "message" on the flight info board behind the desk. Either way, it doesn't hurt to ask, you may be put on a list and they will call you if they need to give up your seat. And, if they do, you will get a voucher for a free flight (and sometimes for meals and hotels too, depending on how much time there is between the flight you should have been on and the one you will be bumped onto). If you have a few hours to kill, or don't need to be to your destination in a hurry, why not wait a few hours and get free travel in return? Also, asking if they need people to volunteer before they make the PA call, can put you at the top of the list. Just remember to be polite and friendly...the flight attendants will take note of that.
2. I hate to iron, (and, rarely do), especially if I’m on vacation. I also hate travel-creased clothing. You can buy a travel-size bottle of spray-on wrinkle removers. But, what I have found works even better is to pack a small spray bottle that creates a nice fine mist. Fill it with water when you reach your destination and mist your clothes then just smooth out the wrinkles with your hand. Plus, if you're traveling in hot areas you can the use that spray bottle to mist yourself for an instant cool down (I had a friend in college that would do this, I always thought it was such a great idea).
3. Small travel-sizes packages of tissues are great and have so many uses (seriously!). I carry them in my purse when traveling (or going to music festivals) because they can be very helpful if the bathroom is out of toilet paper. I like to use a non-disposable cloth handkerchief also, but sometimes they can just get messy and take up needed room in my carry-on or purse.
4. As a woman, I like to pack a few skirts because they look dressier (and pack lighter) than jeans or shorts and they are much cooler in warm climates. Long or short, skirts can work with anything and are easily dressed up or down. (Plus, they make using a squat toilet so simple!)
Friday, December 28, 2007
Sunday, December 23, 2007
The good news is, that we told National, the rental car company how we felt (basically, that they'd dropped the ball) so the guy at the Springfield location was like, "I'll put you in something nicer." We got a red HHR, which, to me, is not nicer. We were still disappointed, so we spoke to a manager at the location where we'd originally picked up the car, and he took over $100 off our total. That was nicer.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
I already have stories to tell, which is good as we have only been traveling for about a day and a half. I will post some dispatches from the road soon!
Hope all is well where you are!
Friday, December 14, 2007
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
The whole scene is forever etched in my mind: the magical musical celebration we were invited to attend in Tagmout, Morocco, a lush Berber village in the mountains. Berber village men wore beautiful royal blue ensembles, the smell of mint tea and cigarettes floated in the desert air, while the veiled women sitting upstairs watching the whole gala from above, occasionally calling out and often giggling. Skinny cats lounged in the shade beneath the table where I sat tapping my feet, just waiting to be invited to dance. Finally, the Ahouach musicians invited me to fully participate in the traditional Berber celebration--one took my hand and lead me into the circle. We all held hands while dancing in this circle. It was a circle full of energy. We clapped rhythmically. The music was hypnotizing. Being a guest for this private Ahouach musical festival was probably both the most incredible and most humbling celebration I have ever been lucky enough to attend.
The above is basically what I submitted to a travel photo contest sponsored by Conde Nast Traveler magazine...and, while they still haven't announced a winner, they did decide to use my picture as their default gallery picture...which may not be much but it's exciting to me!
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
So, when you click through this link and place your first VistaPrint order, you'll receive a special promotion and I'll earn store credit.
Just a thought...and an easy way to help a bird out!
Have a marvelous day,
(P.S. Happy Birthday, Christine!!)
Sunday, December 09, 2007
I am surprised for some reason at all the good things that seem to be coming out of my choice to finally take an art class. I feel like I am succeeding. I did not fall or sink. I jumped in and am living it. I'm floating purposefully and intentionally. It's a really good feeling.
Also, my art teacher chose 3 of my works for a display case in the art department. Here is just a sample of that:
Friday, December 07, 2007
of my college December 3, 2007, Columbia, MD.
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Near the end of a typical rainy London day I decided to forgo an umbrella and take a walk over to the Tower Bridge. After viewing and photographing the bridge from the side, I figured rather than just photograph the bridge that is often confused with London Bridge and say “I saw it,” I might as well live it by walking across. Sometimes while traveling it is easy to forget to actually live in the moment; especially if you are viewing your entire adventure from behind your camera trying to document your journey for those at home or for those in the future. This was one of those moments for me. I had to embrace life not just for a photo to put in an album...of course, before crossing the Tower Bridge I had to snap a picture!
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Sunday, December 02, 2007
Saturday, December 01, 2007
Getting there is Half the Fun or the journey is the destination:
The final shows of the band Phish were a bittersweet weekend music and camping festival: while I got to see my favorite band, it was for the last time. Two days before the show we were 20 miles from the venue when traffic stopped. I photographed the traffic behind us, that backed up for miles, while we waited over 24 hours in concert traffic only to move about 8 miles. We became friends with the people in cars around us; played Frisbee in the rain while waiting for traffic to move. Finally, a radio announcement said that due to rain, cars were forbidden in the festival area. We had come too far to turn back. So, we found a parking place on the roadside, packed our necessary camping gear, and walked the remaining 10 miles into the concert venue. Despite it all, we had an incredible weekend in Coventry, Vermont.
Happy December--news about the art gallery show coming soon!
P.S. You can rate this photo here.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
OR...read it below:
by Jim Calder
Its a phrase thats sweeping the nation and now the world. If you arent a member of the popular networking site www.myspace.com, you might want to think about jumping onboard quickly because you may be missing out on a great opportunity to promote yourself and your craft business.
The media is constantly portraying MySpace in a negative light, creating a climate of fear around the site. However, the reality is that MySpace is no more dangerous than the Internet itself.
The Web site was started in California and is free to join. Basically the site allows you to post your own Web page in a matter of minutes without needing any knowledge of HTML. Once you join, you can upload photos, information, links to other Web sites, post bulletins of upcoming events, join groups, host a blog and start collecting contacts. As of press time there were more than 86 million people with accounts on myspace.com.
Craft artisans and galleries along with all businesses are quickly discovering that finding an audience of 86 million people (and growing) for absolutely free is no laughing matter and something to explore.
Amber Gutry (www.myspace.com/neverenderreno) of Reno, Nev., owns a gallery, which sells art in all mediums by local artists. MySpace has helped us get the word out about upcoming events and artist opportunities. Using the event invites area of MySpace has helped us get more people to our art shows, Gutry says. She uses the site to promote her own Web site www.neverenderreno.com, invite people to events and post information.
Julianna Qualls (www.myspace.com/paisleypieces) of Anaheim, Calif., is a craft artist working in mediums such as sculpture, sewing, beading and fabric art. Its amazing. Theres so much traffic. People view your profile all the time and there are so many groups to find information, Qualls says. She uses the site for free advertisement and selling her work and often puts a slide show of her work in comment boxes when she is added as a friend.
Bekki Harris (www.myspace.com/pinkbird) of Honolulu, Hawaii, specializes in making jewelry using wire, metal, glass, gemstone and plastic beads as well as unique found objects like recycled bottle caps, records, CDs, toys, etc., for her business PinkBird Creations (www.pinkbird.net).
At first I thought making a PinkBird MySpace was kind of silly, but then the more I thought about it, well I just jumped right in, Harris says. Its been really great for networking; finding not only other crafters, artists and DIY-ers in my area, but to meet people all over the world. She also started to blog on her MySpace page to announce sales, display new creations, promote friends Web sites and let others know about general PinkBird happenings.
Some people are MySpace people and some arent. It has its pros and cons, says Harris. The site has really helped me meet people and network but also I do get the occasional annoying friend request or bulletin, but those people are easy to delete and block.
Harris suggests if you want to keep in contact with your friends and old classmates; make a separate account for yourself, and one that is solely for your craft business or gallery. I think because my MySpace page is solely devoted to my jewelry shop, weirdos and perverts dont tend to hassle me, Harris says.
So why do you need a MySpace site if you already have a Web site? My MySpace site allows me to be more in-depth or show more of my creations on one page, and show more of my PinkBird philosophy than my actual site, Harris explains. She finds that people who otherwise would not have found her store are learning about it, checking it out and buying her work.
Modern Business Card
MySpace has been great for our group, it is a quick and easy way to network with other people like us, says Mandy Jouan one of the founding members of the San Diego Craft Mafia (www.myspace.com/sandiegocraftmafia). The San Diego Craft Mafia is an extension of the Craft Mafia formed in Austin, Texas, in 2003 by a group of nine businesswomen with a love of craft. The group developed into a forum for networking, promotion and sharing ideas and others have popped up across the globe.
Its almost like we all have our own trading card and are collecting everyone elses, Jouan says of Myspace. Id say its the modern business card.
The main focus of our organization is to help each other with our established businesses. You could say it is like a support team that keeps you motivated and aware of crafty things going on in the world of today, Jouan says.
Reach Lots of People with Little Effort
MySpace is clearly a youth-driven format of networking and its power is growing daily. Katrina Zerilli (www.myspace.com/kzerilli), a student at the California College of the Arts in Oakland, is a textile major working in weaving, crocheting, knitting, wearable art and fiber sculptures. Since I am still in school and dont have my own business, I use MySpace to let my close friends see what I have been up to, and to meet other crafters who share the same interests, she says.
Zerilli is among the many who love the site and feel that any negative press is due to a fear of new technology and its capabilities. MySpace is harmless. The only bad press I ever hear about it is about young kids and MySpace predators, which was the same story that was all over the place when Instant Messenger first came onto the Internet scene, she says. If you can check your e-mail, you can handle MySpace.
Zerilli believes the biggest advantage of MySpace is that you can keep in touch with a large number of people, putting in very little effort. People in the craft world are so busy, especially those with their own businesses, but on the Internet one can let a large group of people find out about what you make with the click of a button, she says.
In an industry where keeping in touch and updating customers, gallery owners and artists is crucial to survival, the question isnt Why should I join MySpace? its How can I justify not joining MySpace?
Jim Calder is the associate editor of "The Crafts Report."
Monday, November 26, 2007
Click here for PinkBird Sale
Sunday, November 25, 2007
You will need:
Then, add the next color. I usually drip the colors along the inside of the ornament.
When you have a good amount of paint inside, cover the hole (I just used my thumb) and slowly begin to swirl, roll, and shake the ornament. (It is very important to cover the opening, or you will have paint all over!) If you want to add glitter, now is a god time to do so.
You may need to add more paint (and if you have too much, just pour it out). When your ornament looks the way you like it, leave it to dry. This may take a while (a day, maybe) depending on how much paint you've used. If you find that the paint has all settled in one spot, that's ok, just add more and let this dry.
Then, in a day or 2 when all the paint has dried, you'll have some lovely swirly ornaments!
And, as you can see from this picture, these are not completely done...when you finish, you can glue the ornament cap on, and there you go! Perhaps when I have all of mine (yes, I made about 8 different ones) on my tree I will photograph them and post them.
This is a bit of an abbreveated tutorial, since this is a fairly simple project...all you need is a bit of paint and a nod in the right direction.
Until then, happy crafting! And, as usual, please share with me any finished projects!
Thursday, November 22, 2007
This Thanksgiving I am extremely thankful for all the wonderful things in my life. I am grateful to all of PinkBird's customers, supporters, and friends.
Thank you to all of my fabulous friends for supporting me in every aspect of my life, art, and otherwise. I have had a very "lucky" year...and I know it is because of all the positive energy I try to put forth into the universe, and also the positive energy I receive from those in my life.
I chose the life that I am living, as it has chosen me. And I am thankful for this. It is with my greatest and humblest appreciation that I say "Mahalo" to those special friends (and family) who will always remain close to me, despite physical distances. I say "thanks and nice to meet you" to all the wonderful souls I have yet to meet but who will change my life once again. I have learned more in this year than I can put into words...or if I did it might span pages and pages. So, instead, a simple, "Thank you" and the hope that I can somehow, some day repay the honors, love, and kindness that I have received from the world. As each day passes and I slowly realize the ways in which I am living my dreams and following my Path, I am thankful beyond words for this life that I have.
Thank you for traveling light and allowing me to do the same,
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Want to know more? Just Google the words Urban Outfitters Infringement, or better yet, check out this here blog.
This blog, Urban Counterfeiters, mission is to "[Bring] American consumers reports from small companies and artists who have been taken advantage of by large corporations. We wish for these corporations to be held accountable for their actions and to change their business practices."
See for yourself, I'll get off my soapbox now...
Saturday, November 17, 2007
The Arc de Triomphe in
Thursday, November 15, 2007
We always send out free PinkBird Creations stickers with our orders.
(And some special buyers, who buy lotsa goodies and place lots of orders, even get PinkBird logo pins, magnets, calendars, and pencils!)
That's all for now, take it light and have a magical day...
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Blu, (one of our cats) jumped on the painting just as I had started. It was irreversible...so I had to begin again: cut the paper, sketch the umbrellas, etc. I'm not thrilled with the colors, but C'est La Vie. Please, forget all the cliches about rain and raindrops and umbrellas...perhaps like Rene Magritte I should say, "ce ne sont pas des parapluies.*" Which is another discussion (and another "art issue" I've been having). Anyway, as for the painting, it now looks something like this (and, it only looks wonky because the paint made my Bristol paper curl):
Listening to: Sound Tribe Sector 9, Unquestionable Supremacy of Nature from May 27, 2007, Penn's Landing, Philadelphia, which you can hear here.
*They are not umbrellas.
Monday, November 12, 2007
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Friday, November 09, 2007
I just signed the pledge to buy handmade this holiday season, and perhaps you will too. (I was number 4611...and that's a lot of people who have signed so far!) I think the idea of "buying handmade" is absolutely terrific. What's better than getting and giving something made my hand out of love, time, and soul? It's not only fun to know the name of the real, live person who made something you love to wear or use, but I think it is very important. If you need more inspiration, please head over to buyhandmade.org
"Buying handmade is better for people, better for the environment, and better for giving truly special and well-crafted gifts. The ascendancy of chain store culture and global manufacturing has left us all dressing, furnishing, and decorating alike. The connection between producer and consumer has been lost. Buying handmade helps them reconnect. We encourage all consumers to be aware of the social and environmental implications of their purchases."
Thursday, November 08, 2007
While living in Germany we took a trip to Rothenburg (Germany) to spend the weekend with my In-laws who were staying at a bed and breakfast in the town while they were touring Europe. We were excited to experience a well preserved medieval town complete with clock tower, town square and wall to surround it all. The city itself was fascinating with its red roofs, characters, and winding alleyways. This photo was taken in the Town Hall Square facing away from the whimsical central clock tower. I love those colorful buildings!
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
But, my last assignment, which of course had me running to the art supply store a 1/2 hour before they closed on a Saturday night (and it was surprisingly crowded, what's up with that?!) really got my gears moving...First, I should say that this was a collage project. We got to make all kinds of fun different paper, using wallpaper paste, paint, and liquid starch. I was super excited to get to do something that I felt was more on my "page" so to speak.
What's more, is that we had to choose a text (song/poem/story) to "illustrate" with our collage. I decided on Bob Marley's "Three Little Birds." (You can read the lyrics here).
When I sat down to actually do the project though I was still feeling trapped by the guidelines (and, perhaps the pressure of a grade. uh!). What I really wanted to do was to create something messy, something organic with no straight lines. I wanted to use brown-paper-bags, and glue and sequins and mix black sand into muted gold paint. I think I was too afraid to do this type of thing for my class though. Why? (ah..another blog for another time...). In an attempt to get these creative urges out of my system, I found a small canvas that I bought in a grab-bag of art supplies at a thrift store years ago and made this:
This picture actually makes it look "nicer" and "cleaner" than it is, which is weird. I used chopsticks for the branch, and they are roughly painted brown. There is also a beaded trim around it, which I used vintage metallic red seed beads for. The blue background paper is covered with inked black spirograph drawings, layered on top of a crinkled up brown paper bag that I painted goldish. The yellow and orange birds are done with bulletin board paper and the pink bird is liquid watercolor paint. It's not done yet though. Who knows if it ever will be.
Anyway, creating that didn't really help too much...but in the end I came up with this for my Art class (please excuse the photo):I used paste-paper, watercolor paint and liquid starch paper, sponge painted paper, scrap paper, and just a hint of silver paint. And, after 2 attempts at this collage, I think I like it...or, at least I like it enough to share.
"this is my message to you...don't worry about a thing, 'cause every little thing, is gonna be all right...."
Create a lovely day,
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
So, the other day I got an email from a very excited customer who had purchased the one of a kind piece. I was never so happy to see a favorite creation go to someone who seems to appreciate not just the necklace, but the fact that I, just a girl currently living in Maryland, created it with a few beads, some tools, and my own two hands.
Before I even had the necklace in the mail, she had posted this fabulous blog about the necklace, you can read it here. Thanks. I'm blushing.
Monday, November 05, 2007
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Thursday, November 01, 2007
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
The last year that I lived in Hawaii I finally registered for Art 101 at Honolulu Community College. I got the mandatory TB test and everything. But, still didn't manage to work it all out so I didn't go.
Here I am, two years later living in Maryland. There are many days I miss Hawaii and am unhappy here. But, then I must remind myself of the bigger and better things the Universe has in store for me. I realized this a few weeks ago when I had an art assignment mishap.
See, we had this assignment involving color values and space and links and knots. I had my paper ready to go. I used the sunshine through my window as a light table to trace my design. It was wonderful, beautiful. Then, the paper ripped.
So, I had to make a 9 am run to the art supply store to buy more Bristol paper so that I could start over. I was not happy at all. I pulled into the vacant parking lot and practically ran to the store. I noticed a women walking in circles around her car. I overheard her say that she'd locked her keys in her car. Just at that moment a police officer drove by. She waved frantically to get his attention but he just kept driving. So, since I was about to cross in front of him, I waved both arms and jumped up and down. He slowed to a stop and I just pointed to the women and kept walking. In the store I found what I needed, paid, and left. As I walked out, I saw the locked-out-of-her-car woman and the cop opening her car door.
Hmmm. A million thoughts ran through my head. Had I not been in this art class, had my paper not ripped, had I not had to go to the art supply store so early I would not have been there to flag the police officer who helped this woman get into her car. Hmmm. The Universe works in such interesting ways. It may not have been a matter of life or death. But it was still a matter.
Then, as I drove home listening to the radio (the awesome NPR affiliate out of Towson, Baltimore, 89.7) a show called World Cafe was on with Feist as a guest. She closed out the interview with an amazing live version of "I Feel it All," a song I've been known to blast and belt out in my car. In it she sings, "I know more than I knew before..." And, yes, I do.
Perhaps this is why it has taken me this long to get where I am. It is at this point on my path that most of the stones have been set. This was always supposed to be the time and place that I made it to. I know more now. Which only brought me back to why I was there in the first place. Because my paper ripped. Because I am taking an art class. Because I have never found a better time to take an art class. Because this is life and this is how it works.
Monday, October 29, 2007
I photographed this Buddha statue at the Byodo-In Temple nestled in the Ko'olau Mountain range in the Valley of the Temples on Oahu, Hawaii. The beautiful red temple is a scale replica of a temple built in Uji, Japan. Surrounding the amazing temple are serene gardens and colorful fishponds. This picture of a happy Buddha serves to remind me of the content, calm, and peaceful feeling that would envelop me each time I visited. When I lived in Hawaii I would sneak away to this quiet place when I just needed to get away. To think, to center myself, to reconnect. The sacred temple, in both the man-made beauty of the statues and structures as well as the natural beauty of the mountains surrounding it, always leaves me with a spirit of inner peace and happiness.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Well, friends...I got some big news the other night in my art class. My art teacher selected me and my self-portrait (a value-scale painting) to be in my college's student art exhibition. Woohoo!!! She only gets to select a few people, so I feel...well, not just special, but I feel acknowledged (and validated?). My hard work has paid off. The show begins November 29th (and if you're in the DC/Baltimore area and would like to come, please contact me and let me know...I'd love the company!). There will be a reception and awards and everything.
I have been to a few art gallery openings and receptions...but I've never actually been in one (as someone else's signed picture of you dressed up as your alter ego doesn't really count). I'm very excited....now, for this excited part...there's a little piece of my "grown-up, rational, responsible" mind that thinks, "this is just Art 101," or "you're only in a student art show," or "It's not some big art museum." This part of me makes me sad. I know it's only trying to keep me grounded, to keep my head from getting big. But, what gives!? Things have changed though. This voice is tiny...and it's shrinking....
The other part of me is ecstatic! Here I am, 28 years old, with a degree, and finally going to school for something I am sincerely interested in and doing well at it. Dare I say, I'm succeeding?! It actually took me awhile to feel comfortable enough with myself to admit that I am doing well. When I started I was a wreck. I was nervous and eager to prove myself to myself and anyone who doubted I could really be an "artist." (And, were there even doubters, aside from perhaps myself?)
This painting took me forever...well, not really. It was assigned on a Wednesday, and I finished it the following Tuesday, the day before it was due. Basically, all I did for a week straight was work on this painting. I started it in class. I brought it to work to do on my lunch break. I sat at my "studio" (kitchen) table for 72 hours straight. Almost. I am very thankful that my hard work has paid off.
This class was a huge step for me in following my dream, my Personal Legend. Doing well is as surprising as it isn't surprising. Being invited (or selected) to be in this show is simply the sprinkles on the cupcake.. My Path has finally caught up with me, and I with it. Some days I think I can actually feel the Universe unfolding. Thank you.