Aardvark Art Glass

Scrap tiles and silver prices
June 30, 2008, 5:40 pm
Filed under: Bloggidy Blog | Tags: , , , , , , ,

scrap tile

For the past week I’ve been cranking out these tile-like entities to cover the trim in our downstairs bathroom. Some of them I keep whole, some of them I drop on the floor to make smaller pieces for the sill. I’m a little over halfway done with the fusing part. When all of the trim is covered I’m going to grout it in white. The goal is to get rid of a huge tub of stringer, rod ends, murrine butts and broken beads and create an interesting mosaic. I am really enjoying myself and I think this is going to be the most interesting piece of work I’ve made in a really long time. Maybe it will photograph well and you will get to see it. In any event, it’s keeping me plenty busy.

Despite the fact that I re-injured my toe the other day when I tried to put on my hiking boots for a trip down into the centipede-ridden basement, I think it is healing up well and the little tip of it is going to stay on. In case you were concerned, that is the status of my hurt toe. It’s doing well. 

On a completely unrelated topic, I had occasion to buy some PMC clay for the first time in about six years and I was really surprised to find that it did not go up in price proportionally to silver. In fact it was almost the same price ($25.00 for 20g as opposed to $20.00 for 20g six years ago). Is that actually surprising or is there some logical explanation for the discrepancy? Since silver was about for or five dollars a troy oz back then I thought it was much too expensive to work with but  today, silver is $17 per troy oz. so PMC seems kind of affordable. I think that’s really weird, though I’m glad because now I can afford to make some silver hedgehogs. Without casting equipment you gots to have the PMC to make your silver hedgehogs.

Anyway, while thinking about silver prices and farting around on the internets I found a site, The Silver Institute, that talks about the ups and downs in silver prices since 1960. I have had a bug up my ass about silver prices for a long time now. Everyone has, I suppose. It’s interesting to see silver prices go up and down over the years and learn why it is they do that. It doesn’t make $17/troy oz. any more acceptable but it does give you hope that it will go down again. As will we all.


I Gave

A trip to Walgreens means another installment of the “Give Gifts” house. If you haven’t been following along you’re just going to have to deal because I’m not going to explain the whole thing each time. Anyway, today I finally, finally remembered to bring something along to leave in the yard. My scrap tile project has left me highly motivated to get rid of whatever junk I can in my work area. This is what I selected:


Like a number of things in my work area, Erika found this objet d’arte in the garbage and decided we needed it. Erika, that girl, she cannot allow things to be thrown away. She cannot pass a garbage pile without looking at, and consequently, without keeping some or all of it or presenting her finds to others. If there’s clothing in the garbage she’ll either keep it or fold it up and take it to St. Vinny’s.  It’s a very endearing quality that is cute and also green.

So the other week the ceramic three-legged dinosaur thing ended up at our house. I didn’t really want to keep it though it did evoke a rousing conversation about whether the creator was a child or an adult. I kinda think it was an adult, or hoped so, because it would be sad for someone to throw away something their kid created. Someone had the bright idea to replace the missing leg with a very stale  marshmallow peep and a bond was made. Fortunately or not, Erika had gifted us a giant metal dollhouse (circa 1950) that she found in the garbage the week before. She figured we could use it to showcase for all the crap “people” bring to our house. The dinosaur fit into one of the rooms so hey, there’s a spot for it. Yah.

It occured to me to take the dinosaur with pretty much as I was walking out the door. It really is the perfect gift to give because, since it’s ceramic, it would stand up to the weather and also I had grown tired of it and it was taking up space.

Meanwhile, back at the Give Gifts house, the sign had further deteriorated. It’s stick was missing so it was just propped up on the porch:

sad sign

The sentiment was still there though so I placed the three-legged ceramic dinosaur on the ground next to the one-eyed snail and the plastic flowers.

here\'s your present

I feel really good about finally leaving something…especially that thing. Hopefully someone will get a kick out of it.

Also, Erika’s work was accepted into the Portal Wisconsin.org gallery. Here’s the linky-doo. Go take a peek!

Also, also…tomorrow is my 41st birthday. That’s about 90 in Madison years. I’ll probably be around for shipping and what-not since I don’t have anything better to do. Happy birthday to me!

Hurt toe

I’ve been working on a little fusing project back at the house this week. I’m trying to turn about 15 pounds (8 year’s worth) of shorts, stringers and broken beads into tiles I can use in a mosaic. Haven’t you always wanted to make something out of all of your scrap? I sure have. Anyway, last night I was working away zoning out on the colors when I dropped a rod lopper straight down onto my littlest toe, blade side down. My littlest toes are so tiny I don’t really consider them to be full-fledged appendages. Legitimate appendages are the ones they make band-aids for. My toes more like bumps that are about the same size as large cocktail peanuts. Surprisingly, the rod lopper did not sever my toe- it cut pretty deep into the tip of it but, seeing as how my toe is so tiny, I didn’t need stitches or anything.

But I’ve got this hurt toe now and since I can’t wear a proper shoe the toe remains vulnerable. My brain continually reminds me that everything is a threat to my hurt toe. When I open a door I think “Careful! Don’t let the door hit your hurt toe.” Or when I’m working I think “Don’t let any glass roll off the table-it could land on your hurt toe.” Or if I see a skateboarder or someone biking I think “Lookout! That person is going to run right over your hurt toe!” It’s funny  how protective my brain is over that toe while it carelessly allows me to re-injure almost any other part of my body with it’s inattentiveness.

This exact same thing happened about twelve years ago when I dropped a metal space heater on my toe. I remember it because at the time Don was living in Japan installing brewing systems and I was trying to lure him into my Madison-based web of deciet and lies by writing him funny letters. I wrote him about my toe injury and my meddling brain which was doing the same thing that it is now with the constant warnings. Probably wouldn’t have remembered this as a trend otherwise.


A few more camping pictures and a shout out to Phil
June 18, 2008, 11:45 pm
Filed under: Bloggidy Blog | Tags: , , , ,

We did a lot of hiking in Newport State Park in the woods and also on the shores of the big lake. It is truly amazing how much beer and rich food you can consume when you’re hiking and scurrying over boulders all day. That’s living. Among the really outstanding greens that I saw during the hikes  were these little green bugs that Don espied on a rock on the shore of Lake Michigan. The bugs were “doing it”, by the way, so if kids are around you may want them to leave the room.

waka-chicka waka-chica

Aren’t they amazing? Look at their blue green legs and antennae. Don’t you just want that color? So pretty. Their shells look a lot like these rain forest (scarab type) bug shells that they sell in bead stores. Bugs that are that appealing are pretty much doomed if any people are around, poor things. In comparison to the bead store beetles these guys are pretty small–not big enough to be in danger of being made into a pin or anything. And they seem to be reproducing without a care so that’s a good sign. Go, you bugs! Make more! I’m hoping that my pal Phil will comment and tell us what type of being we’re looking at here. I hope it’s not an invasive species.

Actually, while I’ve got Phil on the horn, I have another bug question. In my former retail area, now studio, I have kind of a minor infestation of these little black beetles (at least I think they’re beetles). They’re about 3/16″ of an inch long. I’m pretty sure folks refer to them commonly as “bedbugs”. Why do I have those in my store? If they eat cat food that would explain a few things, as I do have a quantity of kibble on hand for Cracker the hedgehog. Or do they reside in bedding? I do have a futon in the office area. If they eat rotting wood I’m sure I have that somewhere. What I’m getting at is I don’t really want these bugs around and I was hoping to get rid of them by removing a food source rather than actively cleaning anything. So, help me out here, Phil. And thanks, man!

Meanwhile, back to the camping trip. Nature, that nature, was throwing me bones all weekend. Our luck was hardly believable. We had the perfect-est everything on this trip from weather to sunsets to wildlife photo-ops. I heard coyotes, even. On a more whimsical note, during the second sunset at the site, in the sky there was a cloud that looked just like a dancing Meatwad (from Aqua Teen Hunger Force on Adult Swim–never mind if you don’t know who that is. I took the opportunity of Photo shopping him in so you can see the comparison. In case you can’t tell, Meatwad is an anthropomorphic meatball with arms that come out when he dances. Now it’s obvious, isn’t it?):

freaking meatwad!

Huh? HUH? Is that not the funniest thing ever? Can you even imagine how excited I was when I saw that? Oh, my Christ, you have no idea. We got back from an 8 or 9 mile hike, eaten this excellent dinner, and were drinking from this vast, high quality selection of IPA’s we packed in and then…there’s a cloud that looks like Meatwad in the sky. I mean, what the hell? I am so sending that into Adult Swim to use on a bump.

So anyway, I guess I’ve gotten the best of the pics out to you. I have other ones but I don’t want to show them because it would give away the site location and then people would go there and fuck it up. It’s a really quiet area, that park in Door County we went to. I hope it stays that way.



Meanwhile, back in civilization…
June 18, 2008, 11:41 am
Filed under: Bloggidy Blog | Tags: , , , ,

A persistant little scratching sound woke me up this morning. I figured it was a mouse or something so I sat up real quiet to peer behind the night stand next to the bed. Before I was able to turn and get into full upright position I realized that the sound maker was not a mouse at all but rather a squirrel digging around in my window sill with it’s tail on my pillow. I guess I should have prefaced this story by saying that, when we bought our house the windows on  did not come with screens. Full window replacement has been on the list of things to do since day one, so, I guess that’s why we never got new screens. Also, no one has woken up to a squirrel on their pillow before. I suspect that that will hasten the window project. Our life is a You Tube video waiting to happen.

Hey, I’m back.
June 17, 2008, 12:21 pm
Filed under: Bloggidy Blog

I’m home but not yet back at work. I have to clean. The house looks like a shit bomb hit it and I have a bunch of camping clothes to launder. I’ll be back with pictures probably tommorrow and back with beads in a few days.

Cathy’s going camping
June 11, 2008, 1:17 pm
Filed under: Bloggidy Blog | Tags: , , , ,

Me and Don are going camping this weekend. Real camping, too, like where you leave your vehicle several miles away from the site and hike in. Our supply pile, which I forgot to take a picture of this morning, consists of 2 sleeping bags, 2 boxes of granola bars and 5 cases of beer. Supplies were purchased as per the instructions given by the three people we are accompanying. They make this trip every year and have the logistics of transporting food and drink all worked out. Hell, they have everything worked out. It’s a good thing too because me and Don don’t know camping from shinola. Comedy may ensue this weekend because of this.

We’re camping by Lake Europe (Newport State Park) which is as far as you can go up that little peninsula and still be in Wisconsin proper. Never been to Door County. I hear it’s nice. Just so you know, we’ll be gone from Friday, June 13 to Monday, June 16. No internets, no nothing where we’re going so I won’t be able to tell you every little thing until I’m back at work on Tuesday.

I’ll share with you something annoying going on with my ears right now. They’re not hearing very well at all. I think they’re full of wax or maybe something crawled in there. My main gripe is, I’m talking real quiet since I can’t hear the volume of my voice and no one can hear what I’m saying. That’s one problem. I’m also a little concerned that, while vulnerable on the pit toilet in the middle of the woods, I will not be able to hear a chupacabra or a bigfoot sneaking up behind me. So I’m motivated to get this wax out of my ears by Friday morning.

Even though it’s not very effective I’m doing the peroxide and water thing because I really don’t want to stick any syringes or objects in there. I’ve also tried blowing my ear canal with a hair dryer and a space heater to kind of melt it out. Now my hair is fluffy and my skin is dry but my ears are still plugged up. Any miracle cures out there?