Monday, January 23, 2023

Rockport Center for the Arts, Rockport, Texas

We had anxiously awaited the opening of the Rockport Center of the Arts and were finally able to view some of the buildings. There are three separate buildings, one enclosing several Galleries, a classroom, giftshop and front desk, the second a conference center, and the third a place for performances.
Around the outside, sculptures are tastefully placed, and as one would expect highlights the warmth of Rockport and its laidback coastal attitude.
A pair of seahorses dominate the front and a touching sculpture of a young man and his dogs are located in the outer center plaza.
Entering the Center a receptionist desk was staffed by exuberant staff who justifiable and proudly talked of the new center,
A gift shop included local jewelry, fabric arts, and several hung pieces, (I was glad to see that the pieces were not described as craft as the term craft is used as a means to denigrate traditional women’s artwork).
To the left is the Mendez Family Gallery, where a variety of artwork were hung.
These included paintings, pastels, and photographic works. I am not a painter and know better than to describe my photography as professional, although quite a few people have suggested we should sell it, (we are too busy with our lapidary and jewelry making). On the way upstairs, and yes there is an elevator, we passed the classroom and figuring out how to work the elevator, (we have no elevators in our small town)., reached the McKelvey Charitable Gallery.
There a pottery show was displayed, and the pottery pieces were both composed of contemporary clay and mixed media. Returning downstairs, we passed through the classroom and stepped outside to the plaza.
Two more buildings were still being finished and we were unable to enter the first as the painters were busy. The Conference Center was also closed and gated as was a staircase to the top of the Art center. Hopefully we will be able to view these before our five month stay here ends, (we have spent part or most of the past fifteen winters here along the Texas Coastal Bend). We had a very positive impression of the new Rockport Center of the Arts and its staff! We look forward to viewing the new areas and new hung shows. Well done, Rockport! Clear skies

Monday, January 16, 2023

Roy’s Boat, Fishing at Goose Island, and making pendants and bracelets for up coming shows

Last year we all went to an estate sale where Roy spotted an older six horse outboard motor. He made an offer and they finally agreed to the price as long as he also took the old pram. While most saw a worthless old fiberglass pram, Roy saw an opportunity and started on a complete rebuild. Never bet against Roy.
After acquiring the boat and motor he worked on it, finished it this year, loaded it on a redesigned trailer and launched it at a nearby hurricane destroyed harbor. I helped him launch it and was surprised at its light weight! It floated nicely, the reworked motor started right away, and he easily motored around the small harbor. Now it’s time to take it out fishing! We know quite a few protected places where we have caught fish. Many are places where we have fished with our kayaks but this time we will have a motor, (Renita and I will still use our kayaks)
Roy and I did go fishing on the Goose Island State Park Pier, but the water level was extremely low and the fish were not there. The tides cause changes in the water level, but the biggest factor is the wind. We had a strong north wind gusting to forty miles per hour. It pushed the water out of the bay, leaving the oyster beds high and dry! In the photo you can see oyster beds that are normally covered with water.
After the shows last summer, we made cabochons to replace all that we had sold. To make each one we had to saw, grind, and polish the rough stone before attaching bails or wire wrapping them in sterling silver or fourteen karat gold filled wire, (gold filled wire is made by using heat and pressure to bond sheets of gold to a base metal wire and does not peel away the gold like gold plate). It has been known to stay beautiful for over one hundred years.
Each pendant and cabochon takes me about three hours to finish while the bracelets and their stones take five to six hours. Both require a steady hand, keen eyesight, (mine is not so keen anymore), and a magnifying glass mounted on a Opti visor!
If you have been reading our blog you can see the blue and white larimar, from the Dominican Republic, four rhodochrosite pendants, Morenci turquoise, and other beautiful agates and stones. All of the stone’s colors are natural as we do not use dyed stones. Our first show is February 4th and our first juried Gem and Mineral show is the first weekend in March.
The above picture is of all wire bracelets made of sterling, gold filled wire, and ar every popular! Its always a rush to get finished as fishing, bird watching, dolphin antics, and making jewelry compete for our time. Time is the most precious asset we have and so we try not to waste it. Clear

Thursday, January 5, 2023

Christmas, New Year's Eve 2023, and Kayaking St Charles Bay

It’s been a while since I have written an entry in the blog, (our personal journal), because we have been so busy with parties, dinner celebrations, and games. Oh, and I also forgot to mention fishing, and kayaking.
The fun started on Christmas eve where we gathered for a dirty Santa gift exchange. Drawing a number, we then took a present from underneath the tree and opened it for all to see. Knowing what the others had received you had the option of picking another unopened gift or taking someone’s already opened gift. Renita opened hers before me and it was Christmas ornaments that contained small bottles of cinnamon flavored whiskey. Nice gift but we don’t do shots anymore, well rarely, so she hoped that someone would take her gift. Of course no one did. When my turn came, I opted to take away a nice blanket from a person who had been trying to hide it beneath her table. She then took a gift away from someone else and the gift exchange continued. Later I had the blanket taken away from me, and then opened another gift which was a blanket. It was also taken away and my final gift was a new battery powered Chinese lamp, (later we discovered that the lamps power supply was so corroded that it was beyond repair).
The next day our Entertainment directors Alan and Zita prepared a Christmas feast of ham, (we are so lucky to have such great chefs who are also friends with everyone in our rv park)! Another friend Dave, cooked a turkey and the rest of us made deserts or salads. After eating too much we all went back to our rigs and took a nap before returning for leftovers. On New Year’s eve we gathered for another get together where we ate a huge meal prepared by Alan and Zita, along with Wade and several others serving us a shrimp and crab boil, (along with deserts).
After this meal we then played a viscous card name called Jokers and Pegs. It’s a multiple deck game where the men and women formed two teams. We had one too many men so Bob agreed to be a woman and acted out the part quite nicely. Both won one game so it ended was a draw. We stayed up till eleven pm and went back to our rigs. New Year’s day was another dinner followed by football and naps, Did I mention that before leaving Wyoming, my doctor had me meet with a nutritionist who instructed me on ways to lose weight! A few days later Renita and I recovered enough from all the food and decided to go kayaking. Our first choice was Port Bay but arriving there the wind was too strong and so we drove to St Charles Bay.
Launching our yaks we paddled into a sheltered canal, fished and ate lunch. As we fished three whooping cranes flew overhead and squawked so loud that even I could hear them! The fishing was slow, but I did manage to catch an undersized flounder, (which was released unharmed as we use circle hooks).
Returning to the main bay we went to another of our spots and tied up. I lost a nice fish just as other kayakers paddled by. They were member of the Texas Women Fly casters! Later they helped us as we landed and even carried one of our kayaks to our trailer. They gave us pointers on fly fishing for red fish and even showed us the flies they used. Thanks for the help and advice! Now we are preparing for our first two shows of the year. One is a small one in our rv park and the other a juried show hosted by the Gulf Coast Gem and Mineral Society. We have been members of the society for twelve years. It’s a show where we usually buy as much as we sell and one show we always look forward to. Clear skies.