Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Unexpected Topics Meme - Three Items

There's been an "Unexpected Topics Meme" going around my various posting boards, and I asked someone who is NOT very familiar with me to assign three topics to me. Bleodswean complied, so here I go. 

BEARS



I really love my Spinoza Therapy Bear. It was originally developed
to help kids with asthma or who were undergoing medical
treatments handle pain and the trauma of not being able to breathe
with ease. The cassette player could play any cassette recording,
though, so Dad listened to opera on it. 



I'm actually fairly fond of bears, although I tend to like Polar bears a bit more than the more standard black or brown bears that live in my area. I fully admit to being an elder who still has stuffed bears that mean a great deal to me too - a stuffed Koala that I've had since the mid 1970's, and a larger Spinoza bear I purchased for my Dad when he was dying of cancer. The Spinoza bear had a cassette player inside. I bought it so that Dad could listen to Mozart operas while hugging the bear to help with his pain. I love that bear. 

YURTS



Apparently yurts have been upgraded and modified to become the
newest "thing". Who knew? I enjoy round houses, but they're
hell on mounting pictures or photos. Still, there's something
very relaxing about a circular living space. 



Aren't yurts rather like the tipis of the Asian steppes? Felted, portable (although felt is going to weigh a lot, especially under wet conditions), and able to hold a family plus firepit, I also think yurts are popular as a "new/old" camping option in some parts of the world. I think they're rather interesting, but I'll stick with a tipi. At least I know how to erect a tipi and have been in one many times over the years. I can't recall ever having actually been inside of a yurt. 

MEDITERRANEAN FOOD 



There are a LOT of nations that border parts of the
Mediterranean Sea, and their cooking styles are as
varied as their cultures. It seems that just grouping
them together under a single topic doesn't really
do justice to the variety of foods, spices and
cultures. 



Wow - the Mediterranean is a rather large body of water, and there are a lot of countries that open into it. The basic definition of "Mediterranean Food" is "rich in lean proteins, like chicken, fish and legumes; fresh fruits and vegetables; whole, unprocessed grains, seeds and nuts; healthy fats like olive oil; and a limited intake of dairy and red meats." I guess that's not really all that different than my standard diet, but it doesn't give much of a clue about taste, does it? It's the diet, not the food. So moving onward, I love Spanish, French and Italian food, have enjoyed Greek food when I've had it, don't know much about Turkish food, have enjoyed Lebanese and Israeli dishes, and don't have much experience with the various African foods from Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco. Got something to recommend I try eating? Bring it on! 



It's going to be fun to see "Secret Life of Pets 2" with Chickie
tonight. It doesn't have a great rating on Rotten Tomatoes,
but the audience response has been very high. It'll be a nice
way to end a long day. 



I realize this meme has been going around for a week or two, but if you've been wanting to play and haven't had topics assigned to you, feel free to ask me to throw three topics into the wind for you. I have a very busy day today, starting with my Doctor appointment this morning and ending with "The Secret Life of Pets 2" with Chickie tonight. I'll be back tomorrow, sleepy and hopefully with a plan of action for my arm pain. Have a wonderful Tuesday! 


Monday, June 17, 2019

Thinking About Golf - My Ridiculous History With the Sport

Sunday was a combination of working in the yard and watching the final round of the US Open on the television. I was never a massive golf fan, but my mother-in-law loved watching the game and I started watching with her when I visited. I don't play the game - my "skills" at golf would leave the greens in terrible condition and the other golfers on the course rolling on the ground laughing hysterically. 



When I was working for a living as an Administrative Assistant, I
was also involved with a professional group called "Professional
Secretaries of America". We held a four-day conference at Maddens
Resort on Gull Lake, and I attended along with several friends.
It was a great place to stay and we had a blast between meetings. 



I recall one time when a friend of mine and I decided to play while we were away at a conference. The location was at one of the northern Minnesota resorts, quite beautiful with blue skies and a friendly breeze. We didn't have clubs, but it was a resort and we could rent some. So off we went onto the rolling hills and greens of Maddens Resort. They have four different golf courses, and honestly, I'm rather amazed we were allowed onto any of them. We were pathetic! 



Of course, we were slow as turtles, not the famous turtles at Augusta
National. Don't know about those turtles? They pretty much have the
run of that famous golf course and have been known to interrupt the
flow of some very famous competitions and some renowned golfers. 



We were slow, my friend and I. The goal for most par 3 holes is to get to the green in 1 stroke, 2 maximum. I'm pretty sure it took us 5 strokes to get there. I won't even think about the longer par holes. We had a great time, but we quit after nine holes. Our scores for the nine? We actually tied, and the score we had - a 72 - was the total par for the full 18 holes. We had achieved what possibly might have been the worst game ever played on that course. We laughed so hard, and decided that golf probably wasn't our game. 



Of course, snow golf does actually exist. Here we have two die-hard
golfers at Majestic Oaks. The ball needs to switch from white to
either yellow or red, but yes, some courses actually are open in the
depths of winter. At Majestic Oaks in Ham Lake, MN, you get a
club, a tennis ball, holes that are 6" diameter, and warm-up
stations with hot chocolate, all for $5. It actually looks like fun. 



As I grow older, though, I see the appeal of the game. Just getting outdoors for a few hours and actually exercising both through hitting the ball from point-to-point and from walking from hole to hole, it's actually a good thing. I suspect if I lived in a place that was warm enough for golf to be played year-round, I might look into it. Fortunately for everyone concerned, I live in the Frozen Northlands and golf is a sport that usually gets played for six to eight months a year. It would be hard to learn something and then have to put it back down again just to cross-country ski across those greens in the winter months. 



Augusta National Golf Course is iconic and fabulous and beautiful. Just
getting that green during our last bits of winter makes me smile. I
like living here in the Frozen Northlands, but by this time of the year,
we're always chomping for Spring to finally come to stay. 



So I suspect I'll continue to enjoy my golf via the televised version. For me, Spring always arrives with Augusta and the Master's Tournament. While we're fighting with the early spring or late winter weather, their flowers are blooming and their trees are fully leafy and swaying in the breezes at Augusta. Seeing that golfing event always gives me hope for the upcoming season. 

On that note, I'm wrapping this up. Have an excellent Monday and I'll be back tomorrow. Now it's time to hit the gym and work off some of that excellent dinner DH put together for us last night - very yummy and WAY too many calories.  




Saturday, June 15, 2019

Life Goes On

It's finally Saturday and DH is hoping for a good rain while we have daylight so that he can check the changes he's made to our side yard drainage. Normally I'm not a big fan of a hard rain, but if it makes him happy, I guess I'll wish for that alongside him. But the best thing about Saturday is that Sunday will follow and I'll get one day of more sleep and have a bit of time to work on home projects - extremely necessary. 




I normally am not a fan of a hard rain, but we need to see how the
new drainage we've constructed will work in those conditions.
Guess I'm hoping for Saturday rain. 



Did I tell you that our snapping turtle returned again? This time instead of digging her nest in the middle of the side yard, she moved closer to the fencing and dug it between the shed and the concrete platforms where DH will be building the woodshed later this summer. Fortunately she picked the side he won't work on until next year, but it's still pretty close. No choices here, we're under a construction schedule and need to move the chopped wood to the new shed before winter resumes. We didn't have any baby turtles from last year's nest, but hopefully we'll get some from this year's. 




We're hoping for some baby snapping turtles this year. Last year's
next never hatched, or she never actually laid eggs in it. 



So as we nurture potential baby turtles, we're busy fencing and blocking what we can from the rabbits. The bunnies have been going a bit crazy on some of our flowers - crazy equating to the bunnies planting a neon sign saying "DINER" and 'GREAT EATS HERE". We're losing ornamental flowers and lilys and it's really frustrating to watch something grow, then lose it to the rabbits before they bloom. The fencing does seem to be helping, though. A green-colored fine mesh that's three feet tall seems to be discouraging them on one side, a simple barrier at the steps where they would enter seems to be blocking them across from the fence. So far! 




I don't think DH buried the bottom of the fencing, but so far it seems
to be keeping the bunnies away. On the other side we just moved
some top soil bags and our mole trap to the top of the castle wall.
Apparently the bunny barrier needs to be two feet high so blocking
them from the lower steps might do the trick and save my lilys. 



We've been cleaning like crazy people at the shop and I tackled the top of the print drawer unit. It's almost been an interesting archaeological dig as I approach the bottom of some of the stacks. It tends to be the collection point for everything I start and get interrupted while doing, so things stack up in increments - spurts and stalls for everything. By the time I reached the wooden top, I was seeing documents here and there from 2012! That's rather ridiculous and somewhat embarrassing. But it's starting to look pretty darned good now. LOL




I've dug many an archaeological test pit while still
working in the field. It's odd to be doing "urban
archaeology" on my secondary desk top - LOL. 



On that note, I'm calling this done - finding photos to plug in and starting my day. I got up early so that I could catch up with some of my LJ and DW posts and comments, so I'm going to switch over to interactive in a few minutes. Have a great weekend and I'll be back on Monday. 



Friday, June 14, 2019

Project Runway Season 17 - The Final Runway

As usual, I wrote the blog while the show was airing, so it's present tense all the way. So ... here we are - the final three contestants facing off in the final Runway with an amazing guest judge - Diane von Furstenberg. Marni Senofonte, stylist to the stars, is returning to help the designers make decisions about accessories, styling and which outfits will be chosen to walk. Although the designers were only required to have 10 outfits, Garo overachieved and created 18. Actually, having more than ten is the case for all of the designers, even if Garo went overboard. 



Garo Sparo used a lot of sparkly fabrics and flowing
fashions for his choices. They were beautiful, but
most of it wouldn't be everyday fashion. 



The designers first meet and choose their models from a field of 50, each one walking by them, some being interviewed. The designers need ten models and the clothing must fit each one impeccably. Asia and Thijin were fought over a bit in a good-natured way, but when the dust settled, everyone seemed content with their choices. 



I loved this short dress by Garo. It had a dark
teal bow at the lower back and was perky and
fun. 



The designers are meeting with the hair and makeup stylists, and Christian tells them that they have one optional return trip to Mood the next morning if desired. Hester decides to keep her eleventh look, Garo is dropping his "tailored suit" from the rotation, (but since he has 18, it won't be a loss), and Sebastian is debating dropping his eleventh outfit from his collection. He's also on the fence about whether or not to go to Mood. He's getting nervous about his collection now that he has seen what the other two designers are presenting. Stress is the name of the game and the final Runway is approaching at breakneck speed. 



I wasn't that thrilled with this look, but the others
seemed too much like the first two. I did like the
little shrug and the pants were really well done. 



"My Cosmic Mind or Punk Meets Elegance" will be Garo's theme, according to him. He's busy tossing outfits out right and left, getting ready to revamp and alter styles that don't work. Sebastian is mixing and matching bits and pieces from his collection, making a new assortment that's edgier. Hester thinks her clothing is almost perfect, but she's on the fence about makeup and styling. Marni convinces her to go with a natural look. After Marni leaves, Christian tells the designers that the guest judge for the final show has requested to meet the designers that evening. The designers will work until 7:00 pm, after which time the designers will pile into a car that will take them into the City to meet the mystery judge. 



Hester went all out for the finale, and her skills
are excellent. Just look at how the plaid aligns 
on this skirt and the contrast of the bias of the
skirt vs the horizontal stripes of the top. Great work. 



"Your total moments of failure become your best souvenir," advises guest judge Diane von Furstenberg. She advocates that their strength is inside themselves and that it is something they can tap when needed. One more day to the Runway. Tomorrow in the workshop will be intense, but that's the fun of it, isn't it? 



Hester wants to push the boundaries of fashion into
new directions and in unexpected ways. I think she
showed a wide range of possibilities in her full
collection. I may not like her vision, but she stays
true to it and wears her looks daily. 



Christian goes around the workroom one last time. He's in this great rainbow t-shirt - something that I could never imagine Tim Gunn ever wearing, even on a day off. On Christian, it looks great. The toss-aways of each collection and the choices of which fashions will actually walk was both frightening and amazing. Then they are packing everything up and walking through the empty venue to get a feel for the space and the lighting. It's becoming very real.  



I actually really liked this look from Hester. It
looks like something I'd feel comfortable in
and it isn't so "over the top" that I'd feel
odd on the streets of my city. It's actually
cute. 



The venue is awesome - natural light, expansive stretches of vaulted ceiling, and lots of stonework. It could practically be a cathedral. It's one of those buildings that are small treasures in a City of great architectural icons. In spite of everything, with ten minutes left, the final snaps are being snapped and the final stitches are being tacked. The audience filters in, the dressers are finalizing everything, and the models are ready to strut their stuff. I'm going to step away from my keyboard and watch this Runway. 



Sebastian liked shiny too, but his clothing seemed
easy to wear, not costume. I think a lot of his
collection could go right to the sales floor and
people would be buying it left and right. This
jumpsuit was a stunner and that belt - I want
that belt. 



"Reminiscence" - Twelve years in the making, Sebastian's collection builds and builds and flatters the models. I loved it, just as I've loved his construction techniques throughout the season. 



OMG, this color, this style, this wrap-around
trench look. It's to die for! I really loved how
this moved on the Runway. I'm totally in love
with it from top to bottom. 



"Detour Through My Cosmic Mind" - Garo's collection seems cohesive in colors and textures, but it's got a few sloppy items and one really bad zipper that Karlie comments on. Although he's extremely happy with the full look and thinks it's a winning group, I'm a bit less sure. That last-minute alteration and zipper might have doomed him. 



The design looks effortless, but it was anything
but. The leather was laser cut and he hand-wove
it into the dress. He used that technique on several
of his outfits and it was a winner all the way. I'd
take this one home in a second if I could afford it. 



"Cyber Rococo - Y2Z Coco" - You never know what Hester will do, but I was amazed at what she had managed to come out with. She's got a vision - she wants to shake things up and introduce different ideas. I think she totally succeeded in that goal, and demonstrated some hard-ass technique while she was at it. I'd probably never wear a Hester Sunshine outfit, but I'd sure wear bits and pieces of some of her things and I'd envy those brave enough to embrace the entire aesthetic. Brilliant showing. She's a powerhouse and serious competition on the Runway. 


SPOILERS? OF COURSE! IT'S THE LAST EPISODE. BUT IF YOU DIDN'T GET A CHANCE TO WATCH IT - I RECOMMEND THAT YOU DO SO BEFORE READING BELOW HERE. 


So ... I've peppered this post with photos from the Runway. Who won? At this point, if you've read this far, you've been more than patient. If you want to see ALL of the fashions from each designer, the photos are here and I recommend you visit and flip through the photos. There are some great outfits there and I only chose three from each contestant to present in the text. 

After listening to the judges, it really comes down to Hester or Sebastian, although Garo had some good pieces too. Argh!!! It's too hard. One thing is sure - Hester got a job offer from Diane von Furstenberg if she doesn't win. I'd take that in a New York minute! 

The winner? Sebastian. I've been a supporter of his vision since the first episode. The other winner? Those of us who are PR fans because the show will continue with a new season this coming Fall. I can hardly wait! 



Thursday, June 13, 2019

Why I Think the New Project Runway Works

Tonight is the final episode of Season 17 of Project Runway. You know where I'll be - perched at my computer, watching the episode and writing tomorrow's post about the show. I fully admit I'm a Project Runway aficionado (aka addict), and it's always fun to share fashion with my readers. The show has come a long way over the years, but this year was truly groundbreaking. It featured a new host, a new set of judges and a new mentor. It also featured a new, more edgy workroom and runway. All in all, I think it's been a fun move and most of it has been for the better. 



I admit, I'm a total Christian Siriano fan girl. I've been following
his fashion for years and actually get phone notifications when
his latest Runway showing is on-line. He doesn't hit with
every outfit, but he's got some good stuff in his collections. 



I admit that I was worried when the season began. There was no more Heidi or Tim or Zac. It seemed as if the foundation had been ripped from the show and the fires of scandal had burnt the franchise to the ground. But out of those ashes rose a phoenix, and I think the show weathered the flames and came out stronger than ever. 



Karlie Kloss came to Project Runway from a highly
successful modeling career. She's got friends and
relatives in high places, so you never know who
she might be able to get into or onto the Runway. 



The host of the show sets the tone of the show and Heidi ran things with a gloved, iron fist. Karlie Kloss has a bit softer tone but she's highly respected as a model and very in-touch with today's social media and audience. I think she's settled into the host position very well and works smoothly with the judges. 



Brandon Maxwell is a character and he isn't
afraid to voice his opinion, even when an
outfit is walking the runway. He's a lot of fun. 



There are three standard judges this year, and occasional guest judges. That format hasn't changed, but the composition of the judges has. Instead of Zac Posen, we have Brandon Maxwell, a designer who has been at the forefront of recent fashion, especially with his four different outfits for Lady Gaga at the latest Met Gala. The other new face in a judges chair is Elaine Welteroth. She's young, edgy, and I always look forward to seeing how she's wearing her hair - different every week. They are joined by long time judge Nina Garcia who is now the editor-in-chief of "Elle" magazine. A definite step up from "Marie Claire".  



Elaine Welteroth was a complete unknown for me, but I'm
liking what she brings to the show. She's edgy, unafraid
to express an opinion, and pushes the designers to be
open for more possibilities and interpretations. 



The mentor may have been the most controversial move but it's the one that I think worked extremely well. Instead of Tim Gunn - a wonderful mentor and guide, we have Christian Siriano - former contestant and winner of Project Runway, and successful fashion designer. He has a more rounded look at the show and the fashion industry, having been a previous contestant who went on to success. He can advise the designers not only on their look, but also on the little touches that will make a garment marketable or walk the runway successfully. He's also not shy about pointing out previous criticisms that should be taken into account by each designer. 



I've been a Nina Garcia fan for a long time. She's to-the-point,
articulate, checks every detail, and is the judge you most
want to impress because she doesn't impress easily. I'm
delighted she moved over to Bravo along with the show. 



I declare the re-vamp of Project Runway a success. It took a little bit to jell, but the judges are working well with each other, and Siriano is "making it work". The mandate of differently sized models and even a trans model (who ended up being the most popular model), was also great. It's about time fashion catches up with its end-audience. I'm looking forward to tonight's finale, but I'm also looking forward to Season 18 whenever it airs. Project Runway isn't dead, it's survived and grown stronger and more relevant. I'm not the only one feeling positive about the changes. If you're interested, here's a link to an analysis by "E! Online". 

I'll be back tomorrow with the final episode of Season 17 and the announcement of the winner. In the meantime, have a wonderful Thursday and be fashion forward today - just for the fun of it. 




Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Project Runway Season 17 Semi-Final Episode

Project Runway's semi-final episode was held while I was on vacation. Although I missed the beginning, I caught the last half and reviewed it on-line. Since Thursday is the final episode of Season 17, I wanted to get everyone up-to-date with where we're at before that airs. So here we go. 

The final four designers were sent home for two months of creative design work with a $10,000 budget, and a requirement to make ten outfits within that two-month time frame to present to the judges on the runway. As a reminder, the final four are Bishme Cromartie (Baltimore, MD), Sebastian Grey (Ft Lauderdale, FL), Hester Sunshine (Santa Fe, NM), and Garo Sparo (Phoenecia, NY). When Christian did a home visit to each designer, Bishme only had two outfits completed, Garo was making a lot of seeming costumes but not fashion, Hester was going overboard with patterned fabrics and Sebastian was working in a lot of muted shades of color. 



Bishme Cromartie's style was edgy and very
youthful. I really enjoyed what I was seeing in
his designed pieces. 


This little two-piece design was wonderful. That mix of
the leather and the flowing fabric really worked well. 



Bishme seemed to have some serious problems
getting the final assigned style nailed. It was a
total mish-mash of fabric and style and just
didn't work either on the model or within the
collection. 




After arriving in New York, Nina Garcia reviewed their collections via video in advance and assigned an eleventh outfit for each of them to design. Three of the four designers did finish ten outfits, but Bishme only had eight completed and he had been hoping to have extra time in the workshop to pull his final two outfits together. That didn't happen. Instead he had to spend that time creating a new outfit assigned by Nina.  



Garo Sparo seemed to focus on a lot of shimmery
fabrics and loose designs in his collection. I liked
this gown, and the top sheer layer was easily
removed to reveal the plunge-neckline more
fitted design below. 



More shimmer from Garo. Although I didn't get a
look at his full collection on the garment rack, if
they were all metallic and sparkly, it's no wonder
that Nina wanted to see a tailored suit. 



Unfortunately, the suit Garo made (in record time, I
must remind you), just didn't fit well or flatter his
model. He said the measurements for the top
were off, but I don't think it was well made at all. 



Nina's challenge outfits were as follows:  Sebastian was  to design a "soft evening look" to offset the severity of his designs. Garo was challenged to design a tailored suit, bringing down the more costume looks and pulling away from his shiny fabrics. Hester's fabric preference is pattern, pattern and pattern, so Nina challenged her to design a one-colored outfit. Bishme was challenged to design a streetwear outfit based on the streetwear jacket he had designed earlier in the season. 



Hester loves her plaids, and pulled together neutrals
and brilliant red for a very upbeat collection. I really
liked her look in this one - it was cohesive and
unique. 



I wasn't as fond of this look of Hester's, but it still
was uniquely her style and had a vibrancy to it
that she's brought to the Runway time and time
again. 



Hester in a single color? That was the assignment, and
she almost managed it. The addition of the plaid
hatbox actually worked well, and the outfit was
cute, if rushed. 



Although everyone was stressed, Bishme seemed only one step away from a breakdown. Backstory was added to help the audience understand his emotional stress. Apparently his sister, his biggest supporter, had been diagnosed with colon cancer and had just started treatment. He was hanging on by a thread, wanting to be by her side, not at the workshop. 



Sebastian chose an autumn palette and I really loved
this crazy peek-a-boo outfit with the mesh skirting.
Of course, I love the color, so that might have pushed
me to cheer him on. 



This semi-sheer dress with that structured bow on
the orange belting just sailed down the Runway. I
loved the dress with the semi-sheet striped
yoke at the top and the tiny cap sleeve treatment. 



Although his challenge dress wasn't quite as polished
as the other looks he had been working on, it still
easily fit within the collection and used his styled
belt as well as the semi-sheet striping and that
wonderful orange clutch. 



Hester growled after Nina's assignment, stating that her design aesthetics were being destroyed. She settled down to make an all white outfit, but after she sewed through her fingernail, bleeding all over her white fabric, she switched her fabric choice from white to blood red - a brilliant decision. (I had a sewing machine needle push through my finger a few years ago. It was seriously unpleasant, but it actually healed pretty quickly and cleanly.) The judges are joined by Steven Kolb, President and CEO of the Council of Fashion Designers of America and the Runway show began. 



SPOILER BELOW  -  YOU'VE BEEN WARNED



So who went home? You've looked at the capsule show above, three outfits from each designer. What do you think? Who should move on to the finals? The absolute shoe-ins were Sebastian and Hester. Their work was excellent and cohesive. It came to Bishme and Garo - Garo's work bordering on costume and Bishme's not having a full collection of ten finished outfits. Garo got the nod and Bishme was sent home, but I have a feeling that if Bishme had completed all ten outfits, it might have gone the other way. 

The stage is set for the final show of this season. Tomorrow night is the final runway for this new, revanped version of Project Runway. I've really enjoyed the new faces and the old. I plan to post the Runway show on Friday's post but it might take two posts. 

So, be fashion forward and brave in your own creative world. Have a wonderful Wednesday and I'll be back tomorrow. 


Tuesday, June 11, 2019

My Trip to Bead & Button Show - Part 2

To continue from yesterday's post, after our introductory dinner on Tuesday and a day of bouncing ideas back and forth on Wednesday, we got to work with torches and metal and projects. Our assigned project for the morning was to make a pin with a simple closure. That got us used to the torches they used at MATC as well as introduced us to the pin catch Andy prefers. It was a good exercise, but it was time to move on. We shared our projects at the roundtable I discussed yesterday and started work on them. The evening was spent at the "Meet the Teachers" event, getting lots of hugs from friends, old and new. It's my "feel good" event of the show every year, a chance to catch up a bit with the many creative minds I have enjoyed for decades. 



The convention center at dawn from my hotel room. It was holding
its breath for the shoppers and incredible people who would be
wandering the hallways and event rooms. 



Day 2 was spent with my lens and I drilled into it trying to discover the best way to make it happen. I wanted to set an eye at the bottom of the lens, but of course since the lens was plastic, I couldn't solder. I needed wire, and some sheet metal (both of which were sitting at my workbench at home because I forgot to add them to my luggage *sigh*. In the afternoon I switched over to the owl in yesterday's picture and fussed with that a bit. The Marketplace was scheduled to open at 4:00 pm, and even though Andy was going to hold class until the shut-down time of 5:00 p,m, I was stuck without supplies. I quit early and went shopping, ending up with two different thicknesses of copper wire and two different thicknesses of copper sheet. I looked at other booths, of course, but I only bought what I really needed. I met Karen and Paulette for Thai food that night, and was happy that I could continue work on my lens the next day. 



My finished lens. The eye at the bottom is wired in, then
there is a spiral of square copper wire moving up the side and
across the top which is held in place by a second layer
of wire wrapping. I started making a sheath for the outside,
but I think I'll change the design I had started and make it
more interesting. 



Day 3 dawned and I realized I needed to have a bit more help with angles to make this work. The bus would be there in 30 minutes and I needed a protractor. A quick power walk up a few blocks brought me to the downtown Walgreens drug store where a protractor and a pair of small scissors were purchased. Power walking back, I was in plenty of time for the bus. By the end of Day 3 I had soldered a stand and bezel for my eye, wired the eye into place, added a spiral up the lens with a wired top to hold that into shape, and I was happy. We all shared our projects at the end of the day. What a great class and so many innovative projects from everyone. Paulette was leaving right after class to drive back to Minnesota, but I joined Karen and an old friend, Lisel, for a wonderful Italian dinner and had a wonderful time. Things were moving to an end, and I'd miss the undercurrent of creativity, but I still had one more day to soak it all in. 



My bracelet and two bracelet blanks from Eva Sherman's quick
evening class. I'm pretty happy with this. I want to play more
with this technique. 



My final day, Day 4, was spent on the sales floor during the morning. I purchased a few excellent stones (and an amazing stalactite slice) from Gary - my "stone whisperer", then took a quick nap before my evening class. Eva Sherman was teaching a quick 3-hour class in "Painting on Copper". I ended up with a really nice bracelet and two other bracelet blanks ready to be set if I want. I'll be playing with this technique again. It was such fun! 



My final walk on the skyway from the Convention Center to my hotel had
this blazing sky over the western Milwaukee skyline. It was simply
exquisite. The show has changed in the 20+ years I've been attending
it - changes that are both good and bad. But more than anything else,
it is the opportunity to see old friends and be with creative people
that pulls me here year after year. 



I packed and finally got to sleep around 11:00 or so at night, and was on the road early the next morning, pulling into my driveway at home about 1:30 pm or so. What a great trip! Tomorrow, I'll try to give all of you last week's Project Runway summary. I didn't catch it all, but caught the final 2/3, and the final episode of Season 17 is Thursday, so I want to bring all of you up to speed.