Wednesday, November 30, 2011

"The only normal people are the one's you don't know very well." ~ Alfred Adler

Well, all is normal here in Orrefors.  Last week we continued working on the two colors... I made a plate with a folded in lip.  It took me all week and I finally got one slightly crooked one... Not my best week.
I also spent a lot of the week working on these graal and ariel blanks which always takes forever.  I don't know why I never give it enough time to decorate them...
I also found the upstairs of my house! I went up there to see if it was large enough to host a small dinner for my friends and I found a FOOZEBALL TABLE (table soccer)!! It was a little bit broken but we got it working and had a nice quit evening of playing foozeball on Friday night with Jonatan, Bjorn, Rune, Philip, Frieda and Tanja.  It was nice to hangout and not be at a party, just very chill.
Saturday was the open house at school.  We sold some glass for the Venice trip to the visitors.  There were a lot of parents from the highschool students, they were doing parent/teacher meetings also.  Malin and I sat with the table in the front hall:
We also sold fika, or coffee/sandwiches to the visitors.
Natalie and Sofie sold saffron buns, cheese sandwhiches, ham, cookies, coffee, saft and glugg! It was great for us because most of us hadn't eaten before we came to school and we got it free.
Here is the school's Christmas tree... you would think it would be more decorated since we are a glass school but it just has little glass candy canes on it.  But! It is the first tree of my season :)
This weekend there was incredible winds here... lots of trees fell which is not so normal for around here.  It was amazing the length of the storm also. So, naturally I spent the day inside hiding from the cold and wind and rains.  I emailed glassblowers in Austin, worked on more graals and planned how I am going to cook a sort of Thanksgiving dinner for my friends this coming weekend!

This week has been more of the same... I will post some pictures tomorrow of how it is going :)

Friday, November 25, 2011

“Coexistence... what the farmer does with the turkey - until Thanksgiving.” ~ Mike Connolly quotes

Dear god, am I full!  We just had a little Swedish Thanksgiving celebration.  Once again, two Americans and bunch of people who have only see turkey in the movies... what is wrong with this part of the world? Why do they not eat turkey?!?! I mean, of course, they don't have Thanksgivings... they didn't have pilgrims and Indians... but they still have turkeys right? Or do they just grow (live?) in America?

So, here is our Thanksgiving Turkey Feast!
Chef Rune carving the bird:
 (there was a lot of debate if it was a turkey or chicken or some hybrid... or a very small turkey... it tasted good no matter what!)
And now the spread!
 We also had gravy and a curry sauce for the potato strips I think.
 Home made bread! And some potato salad, fruit salad, roasted veggies, and, I think thats it!

So, we have Phillip at the head of the table furthest away... Linnea to this right, me, Tanja, Rune, Jonatan, Bjorn, Signe and Frieda is taking the picture.  A very mixed group of Scandinavians!
 For dessert we had ToscatÃ¥rta (kind of like coffee cake) and chocolate balls (though here they are called something very racially incorrect), both of which were also home made!  
 So, you can see why I am super full.  I think I had two plates! Then we all went around the table and did a very traditional "I am thankful for...." thing.  It was sweet, we all had the similar thing of being thankful for supportive family back home and for the new friends we have made here and how close we all are.

Then! I had a nice, surprise, video chat with the whole Addison/Massie clan in VA! Meaning Sam's family, this aunts and uncles and grandfather and some other relations.  It was really sweet and nice to see everyone. They all came down in the basement to talk to me on the computer even though dinner was finally ready.  It was nice to see everyone and know they are all doing well.  Mr. Massie (Sam's grandfather) said, maybe 5 times, "Hurry home!" and it made me laugh.

This week at school (since this is Sweden, we have had normal school) we are doing two colors together in a piece.  Oh, this is a random picture of the sun setting over the factory on one random day when we actually had sun! 
 But, here is Marianne telling Kreste and Martin how to do the color technique... which diagrams on the floor.
 I have struggled all week with this... I can do the color part (I tried it last year) but I want to make a plate with a folded in lip around the edge so you can see both colors at once.  This is the closest I have come all week... a shard of a broken one.  
 Ok, that is a lie, it went better today... but still not going well.  It is so hard to fold in the lip on such a big piece... it is amazingly hot and I feel like I am folding the plate nearly in half! But I am looking forward to seeing what I made today.

This week I also dyed my hair! I decided to go a little blonder... when in Rome... I mean Sweden... might as well be blond! haha and my roots were really starting to show a lot:

 So, now I am much blonder! I really like it.  It worked well with the high lights from before it didn't get too one color.  There are some different shades of blond in there and it feels super nice and soft.
Today was my first day at school with it and NO ONE SAID ANYTHING! Sure, it was in a pony tail but still! But at the dinner tonight Signe noticed that it was different but she thought it was shorter at first.  Oh well... I guess then at least I know it doesn't look so bad that people notice... OR maybe it looks so bad that people don't want to say anything because it would be awkward!  eep! 

Ok, I have to go to bed... early day of school tomorrow! Hopefully I won't slip into a deadly turkey coma... I might die with bad hair... well... it is official.... I am going to have night mares of being at my own funeral... where they say I died of a turkey over dose... and people were like "she would have been so pretty if not for her weird hair.... bless her heart!"

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

"You can't have a light without a dark to stick it in." ~Arlo Guthrie

So, this past weekend I went to Kosta to help sell glass at the Julmarknad (Christmas Market) for the Venice trip.  The whole place was super decorated for Christmas... which you might expect since it is a Christmas Market... It is a bit weird to be in a country that doesn't celebrate Thanksgiving first... There is nothing getting in the way of Christmas starting as early as you want it to.  I keep forgetting that Thanksgiving is, well, tomorrow... I just keep thinking that soon December is going to start!

AND! I will be flying home December 20th to North Carolina for Christmas with my family and Sam!!!

So, the Kosta Boda Art Hotel was decorated in the lobby area where we picked up our keys to our little hut.
 A really nicely decorated table in the midst of some trees with ornaments...
 And one of the coolest wreaths ever! Those are schnapps glasses with Christmas-y decorations painted on them hanging from the wreath!
 There were maybe 15 huts outside the big glass shop selling all sorts of things.  Anything from Christmas decorations, candy, sausages, mustard... glass... all sorts of holiday thing.s
 This was our little hut.  We where we froze for about 10 hours on Saturday... Luckily I brought Toe Warmers for me, Natalie and Erika!
 There were some little kids singing Christmas songs... and being adorable!
 The lights in all the trees were so pretty! There were lights in nearly all the trees, on all the buildings and just EVERYWHERE!  We got to enjoy them for a long time because it gets completely dark here around 3:30 now... which is a bit sad.
 Erika got some candied almonds which I had never had and they are REALLY GOOD! We got them warm and the red ones are flavored with extra cinnamon or something Christmas-y they said.

 And they had the spiral candy! I remember this candy from when I was kid! We used to go watch them make it in big places not far from the glass factories.  

This week everyone is back from their praktik studies and school is back to normal.  We are doing this technique with two colors, one on the inside and one on the outside of the vessel.  I have done it some before but hopefully will be able to get better at it.  Also, I have dyed my hair!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

"Time for the weather report. It's cold out folks. Bonecrushing cold. The kind of cold which will wrench the spirit out of a young man, or forge it into steel." ~ Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider

Alright, I promised to do better BUT, but... I ran out of storage on google and had to pay for more... a whooping 5$ but still, I procrastinated and took forever to pay the five dollars... BUT now I have! 

So, this week I made my first official sale! I made, and sent two of each of these glasses to my very good friend in New York City! My stuff is so cool its even seen in the best cities! haha ;)

 I packed them with the complete care and as much foam as I could find.  I have high expectations of this package.  I believe it can make the trans-atlantic journey and will arrive without a hint of harm! 
 She should probably wash them before she uses them because thinking now, I have no idea what that foam was used for originally!  haha! But yay first sale!! :-D I am the real deal now... making money at my art!

This week I also made some graal blanks to decorate and blow up later!  I made two with red on the outside
 two with blue on the outside and one with light blue inside and pink outside.  I have plans for them all, but it might take a little while to get them there... engraving is such slow work :P
 I also made some funny flowers... I like them, but the started as an accident...
 They have this kind of bulb/stem thingy where I put some orange glass so look like the pollen pieces in the flower.
 And I also made some kind of ugly ones with colored centers and clear petals...
 On Wednesday I jumped little Sheridan...
 He was rocking this kind of Elvis hair-do... And I was really stuck like that, I had to brush and brush to get it down haha!
 I know the picture is a bit blurred but I was trying to show how small he is.  This is me on him with my stirrups up shorter then I would normally ride with... my legs still go past his big, fat belly!
But, he jumps like a little pro! We galloped up to the jumps and he pulled his knees tight up against his chest and flew over the jump with his crazy long mane flying every direction! I braided his fore-lock so he could see the jumps at least... I don't think he enjoyed the braid though.

I have had a good weekend, riding and movie Friday, selling glass at the Kosta Christmas Market all day Saturday and a relaxing Sunday... I will show you the pictures later :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

"No man needs a vacation so much as the person who has just had one." ~Elbert Hubbard

Sorry about the delay with Papa's pictures from our last few days... I did, literally, need a few days to recover! I was so tired I slept TONS and did very little else except go to another Halloween party (which is weird since they don't really celebrate that here).

So, on Tuesday and Wednesday we did some hot glass sculpting.  I wanted Papa to see how different it is.  The glass is super hot, stone hard, slippery and heavy... I know that sounds like normal but it is a very different feel.  I made some more horses and Papa made some heads.

 This guy had some crooked ears and I think we put a sort of Rambo head band on him.

 Then I tried to do a horse laying down... which was harder then I imagined because it looked a lot like a turkey during the process.

After school on Wednesday  we went back to Boda, The Glass Factory to see their museum since it was closed on Monday.
 And walked around their exhibition.
 I love these glasses!
 And saw some really interesting pieces.  This piece is different sort of chambers somehow put together to make a vase.  I have no idea how! 

 Thursday we spent in the cold shop working on our sculptures and finishing up pieces for Papa to take back to the states with him.
 His two faces:
 A cow skull which he engraved a snake crawling around on.
 This may have been the reason why one Danish girl asked me "Theresa, is your father a cowwwwboy?!"  Then I heard Papa giggling in the corner and when I asked if he heard that he sings out "I wanna be a cowboy baby!" and I just looked at the poor Danish girl and she goes "well, he looks like a cowwwboy!" 
 The laying down pony!
 Two standing ponies.
 I finally finished this facet bowl.  I made one similar last year but this one has even more facets (sides cut into it) I think...
 70 beautiful, shiny blue facets :)  They aren't perfect but I like it all the same... I will never be a perfectionist. 
 And for Papa's last Swedish dinner we went to Ikea for meatballs and potatoes.  We decided he needed some Swedish food while here besides chocolate, pastries, beer, liverpastje and pickled herring (because we ate those nearly every day).
Papa left on Friday morning and I assume he made it home OK because I haven't heard otherwise.  I figure I would have found out at least through Facebook if he didn't make it home on time! I had a great time with him and I think he had fun too.  I know he wants to come back, so maybe one day he and Mama can come! All my teachers enjoyed getting to know him and thought he was really nice.  One Norwegian girl told me should could really tell he he was enjoying himself here just from watching us work.  My apartment was super quite without him, and I am going through bread much more slowly. 

Well, I will show you some pictures of what I have been up to in the past couple of days tomorrow! I imagine you have enough pictures for one day :)  Hopefully I will get back to regular updates again!