Things I’ve bought on Etsy #1

Art, No Comments is a fantastic site/community where artists and craftspeople can set up stores and sell their handcrafted goods. It can be difficult to find really good stuff on there at times, but if you dig around there are some gems to be found for really reasonable prices. Supporting independent artists is always a good thing to do, and Etsy makes it really easy, and we need more art for our walls, and…well here we are.

Indigo Blossoms giclee fine art print by Karen Faulkner

Octopus Linocut by Michael Arras

I is for Iguana by She Rides the Lion

Why I may make a summer pilgrimage to Calgary

Art, Canada, News, People No Comments


Glass is cool

Art, Hobbies, Stained glass 6 Comments

This evening I attended the first of six beginner’s stained glass classes at Northern Art Glass, a local studio that (in addition to offering a whole bunch of courses) does custom and restoration/conservation work. They do some seriously gorgeous work (one, two, three) so I was pretty excited when I stumbled across their website poking around for a place to take a class.

What surprised me most (and is clearly an indication that I need to get out of the house more often) was that the store (in spite of the “Closed” sign on the door) was full of people. There was at least one or two other classes being taught, and it seemed like a bunch of other people were there using the studio/workshop space for personal work. My class only has three other people in it, and Lynne (the instructor) was fun and friendly and obviously excessively knowledgeable about her craft. I’m pretty sure she could have gone on for the full two and a half hours just talking about the various types of glass available.

After a quick rundown on the whole process of doing copper foil glasswork, we finally got down to the serious business of turning larger pieces of glass into smaller pieces of glass using a variety of glass cutters (and, to the man, drawing blood in the process). Lynne, after watching me struggle valiantly with a pen-like glass cutter, made fun of me a little, asked me how sore my arm was, then suggested a more ergo-friendly cutter. Valuable advice, in that it made my cuts easier, more accurate, and significantly less stressful on my wrist/fingers/arm. Yay! Ergo stuff rules. (Aside to shaver: Yes, I ordered my Kinesis gear.)

So after chopping up some plain old glass into random bits, we spent some time chopping plain old glass up into non-random bits, following a very simple three piece apple pattern. Once we got a hang of that, we moved on to actual coloured glass and chopped it up into the apple bits. Then, surprisingly, it turned out that 2.5 hours was over, and I jumped on a bus to come home.

I had a lot of fun, and am already looking forward to next week. I’ve always loved stained glass (windows, doors, lamps, candle holders, panels, room dividers, what have you), so I could see this actually becoming a relatively viable hobby. The equipment and materials aren’t exceedingly expensive, and it might be a nice way to get away from the machines for a while. Hm!

Jed’s Other Poem (Beautiful Ground)

Art, General, Music, Writing No Comments

Jed wrote poems. Here’s one that was turned into a music video, described as “[a]n unsolicited music video for the band Grandaddy and their song of the same name off of the album The Sophtware Slump“. The punchline? Programmed in Applesoft II on a 1979 Apple ][+ with 48K of RAM. Seriously. It’s brilliant. Seriously.

Quick Notes before Sleep

Art, Games, General, Internet, Movies, Ramblings, Television No Comments

1) Sin City is great. Go see it. I’m already looking forward to getting the DVD and watching it again, then watching the commentary track. Usually I don’t care about commentary tracks, but this one will be interesting. It’s really a piece of art.

2) There are a lot of people on the internet who seem to care way too much about really stupid things. The examples of this are endless, so I won’t bother going into specifics. Mostly I just want to say that a lot of folks just need to get a grip.

3) There are a lot of people on the internet who care a great deal about things that aren’t so stupid. Sifting these few delicious grains out of the deluge of chaff is hard. I’m becoming increasingly impatient with the internet and the content it provides. We need some sort of system that can help with this. Google is good at what it does, but it does not help sort by quality. Technorati and Blogdex and other similar services also suffer from the quantity-over-quality disease. There has to be a better way.

4) House M.D. is a good TV show. You should watch it. Hopefully it won’t get cancelled.

5) The new Battlestar Galactica, I’ve decided after long consideration, is the best sci-fi television series in history. I’m not kidding. It blows all the Star Treks clear out of the water, and I actually liked some of those. Firefly is the only other sci-fi series I can think of that even comes close.

6) I am sad that Enterprise has been cancelled, but not nearly so sad as I was about Firefly.

7) I wish the Max Headroom Show would just come out on DVD already. Come on, people.

8) Over the past couple of years I’ve realized that geek culture is now mainstream. Games, Comic Books, Bad TV Shows, Computers, and all that. I guess there were a lot more of us holed up in our parents’ basements playing Space Invaders, reading X-Men, programming NPC-generators on our Commodore 64s, and watching Kung-Fu than I thought. I wonder what constitutes “geek culture” now that will become mainstream when today’s young geek hits her 30s? I bet I wouldn’t recognize it if it hit me in the face.

9) I like ecto.

10) RSS feeds change how I use the internet. I am not entirely sure I like these changes. With RSS feeds, I do not browse, I scan. I also find myself relying on them, when there are a large number of sites out there that do not have them or to which I haven’t subscribed. Push technology just ain’t all that, no more now than it was in 1997. There’s a lesson in here somewhere about quantity over quality again, and how the sheer quantity of poorly-filtered (it’s not really unfiltered any more) information forces us to skim reams and reams of garbage simply because we don’t have time to dig through it all to find the stuff that’s actually worth reading.

11) We need much, much better filters. Also, librarians.

Ralph Steadman on Hunter S Thompson

Art, Books No Comments

This is the one I was waiting for.

Goodbye, Hunter.

David Byrne has a weblog

Art, People No Comments

It’s over here. I find celebrities interesting. Not usually because they’re famous, but because of what I imagine it is like to live with fame. It’s fun when they have weblogs, because you can actually sort of see some of that.

Cool Stock Photo Site

Art, Photography, Pictures No Comments

The stock.xchng is pretty slick. There are lots of really excellent stock photos on the site available for use with various licenses. It’s a really interesting site.

This photo, for example, is available for use with no restrictions. Nice stuff. Yay for sharing and stuff :)


Modern Retro

Art, General No Comments

These are cool.

The Map Thief

Art, Books, News No Comments

I’m probably a bad person for this, but I have a certain amount of respect for thieves who are very good at what they do, and who do no physical violence to people in the process. This is very likely the result of my youthful Remington Steele fixation, but that’s somewhat beside the point. The criminal mind interests me, but only a certain type of criminal is clever enough to really garner my admiration.

The Map Thief is one of those few. I know nothing about the man beyond what’s in this article and a few others I’ve read about him in the past, but he managed to steal a lot of valuable items over years without getting caught and without hurting anyone. He became an expert in a very niche area of theft and executed his art in a very peculiar and efficient manner simply by taking advantage of extreme security weaknesses in libraries that should have been dealt with years ago.

Of course, all things must come to an end, and he did get caught, but he managed to embarrass the hell out of a lot of people (who probably deserved to be embarrassed) in the process.

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