A few nice Gift Ideas images I found:
“Bad Ass” Aggie Ring Goes to the Art Deco Edison Memorial Tower and “Big Ass Lightbulb!”
Image by flickr4jazz
I could tell that Aggie Ring was impressed. After several moments of silence he spoke out and said, “If my Eyes of Texas aren’t deceiving me, that’s the biggest damn lightbulb I’ve ever seen! I guess it’s true… Everything IS bigger in Jersey!”
The Aggie Ring woke me up early this morning. In fact it was even before 11:30 a.m. so I knew he wanted to do something. I asked the Aggie Ring, “What do you want to do Aggie Ring?” The Aggie Ring replied, “I want to go see the lightbulb!” I wasn’t sure what he was talking about so I said, “What lightbulb?” The Aggie Ring said with emphasis, “Let there be LIGHT!” Then it hit me. Aggie Ring wanted to drive him up the Parkway to the site of Thomas A. Edison’s Menlo Park laboratory so he could see the Art Deco Edison Memorial Tower and “Big Ass Lightbulb!”
Other than the time he told me that he thought Elvis took our change in a tollbooth on the New Jersey State Turnpike, Aggie Ring has great ideas. It’s only about a 20 to 25 minute drive up the Parkway from our house so Aggie Ring and I set off to see the Edison Memorial Tower. The last time we’d been there it had been in horrible shape and they were beginning work on restoring it. That was a bit over a year ago so I assumed that Aggie Ring figured out that they would be finished with the conservation work on the historical site.
When we drove down the little side street where the tower is located the Aggie Ring was overwhelmed with awe at the restored site. Aggie Ring was truly “speechless!” It’s just as beautiful as the day it was built. They did an incredible job on the restoration. After a few moments sitting in the car just looking out the window Aggie Ring broke his silence and asked me, “Did you bring a cigar? Edison loved his cigars and I think he’d have wanted you to smoke a cigar while you’re looking the place over.” Unfortunately I had left my cigars at home so the Edison “smoke out” will have to happen on a future date.
The laboratory building is no longer at this site but it’s still impressive to think of not only the electric lightbulb, but all of the other great inventions that Mr. Edison invented here. Aggie Ring said, “Imagine. He did all this stuff without the help of an Aggie Ring!”
The Aggie Ring and I walked around the tower and took some photos of the “Big Ass Lightbulb” and the historical plaques at its base. The Aggie Ring and I are planning on going back some evening when the lightbulb is illuminated. Aggie Ring said, “It would be cool if you could get a photo during a thunderstorm when there’s lightning behind the tower.” I told Aggie Ring, “You’re crazy! I’m not standing out in a field during a lightning storm with an Aggie Ring on my finger! Maybe if we can get a VMI grad to come with us. Their rings are so damn big a lightning bolt would hit one of them before us!”
Aggie Ring said, “It’s a good thing Edison invented the lightbulb or there’d be a lot of Waggies drinking their tequila shots by candlelight!” I told the Aggie Ring, “True… Those Waggies love their tequila the invention of the lightbulb makes it a lot easier for them to pour the tequila and do body shots!”
Aggie Ring asked me to provide some info on the Edison “Big Ass Lightbulb” Memorial Tower for your educational enlightenment (“Get it?” Aggie Ring said):
Thomas Alva Edison Memorial Tower and Menlo Park Museum, New Jersey
"Let there be light." Thomas Alva Edison’s Menlo Park Laboratory and Memorial Tower. Those of us on the Jersey Shore call it the "Big Ass Lightbulb!”
The Edison Tower, located on the site of the original laboratory at Menlo Park, New Jersey, to which Thomas Alva Edison moved in 1876, was erected in 1937 as a monument to the great inventor. The Tower is the gift of William Slocum Barstow to the Thomas Alva Edison Foundation Incorporated in behalf of the Edison Pioneers. It was dedicated on February 11, 1838, the ninety-first anniversary of the inventor’s birth.
Rising 131 ft. 4 in. above the ground, the tower looms as the highest discernible object for many miles. Surmounting the 117 ft. 8 in. concrete-slab structure is a 13 ft. 8 in. replica of the original incandescent lamp which, when illuminated, can be seen for a distance of several miles. It once served as an airplane beacon. The Tower is designed for pressure of wind at a velocity of 120 miles per hour. In its construction, which consumed slightly less than eight months, approximately 1200 barrels of Edison Portland cement and 50 tons of reinforced steel were used.
The large bulb on top of the Tower was cast by the Corning Glass Works. The replica bulb contains 153 separate pieces of amber tinted Pyrex glass, 2 in. thick, set upon a steel frame. The bulb is 5 ft. in diameter at the neck and 9 ft. 2 in. in diameter at the greatest width and weighs, without the steel frame on which it is placed, in excess of three tons. Before the restoration, inside this Pyrex glass bulb were four 1000 watt bulbs, four 200 watt bulbs, and four 100 watt bulbs. A duplicate of each was arranged as automatically to cut in should its companion bulb fail.
The Edison Tower has been completely restored and when complete, the bulb is now illuminated with modern Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology. Mr. Edison would be pleased with this, I’m sure.
While we don’t have any records of exactly what was said when Mr. Edison perfected his invention, I suspect one of his workers shouted out something like this: “Holy Mother of Baby Jesus on a Donkey!” “Mr. Edison, You’ve done it!!! You’ve perfected the Electric Light!!! You truly are King of Kings!!!!”
The tower is located on a mysterious plot of land and exactly at midnight on the night of a full moon, it would be a perfect site for the ritual sacrifice of virgins. Too bad we don’t have any of those in New Jersey! 🙂
Aggie Ring says, “The Road Goes On Forever, and the Party Never Ends!”
Gift Tag from Recycled Card
Image by CraftyGoat
I used a rubber stamp to turn this background from a recycled card into a gift tag. (You could also just hand-write the To/From part.)
See my blog post for related ideas: 7 Ways to Recycle Greeting Cards
FRENCH ESCAPISM & LIQUID PAINTING, by scott richard
Image by torbakhopper
liquid painting is an underexplored painting medium that is based on TRANSFORMATION and the journey is documented with a camera.
that is, a painting becomes like a movie and the photos of the movie are like clips from the reel.
i first started LIQUID PAINTING about five years ago. i was painting dahlias and was impressed by their basic architecture.
and then i wondered what it would be like if they exploded. and in turn, how a dahlia exploding could become a nonviolent metaphor for the life of a human.
but the drawback to this metaphoric interpretation was that it looks like endless wallpaper samples in every imaginable color palette ever created.
so it was good for that — making every possible color combination in time and light with tones, shades and tints.
and almost no one works with the entire color spectrum inside every piece. this is because the whole color spectrum in every piece is a bit like a circus. it confuses the eye and makes it very difficult for the viewer to find a centralized focus.
after all, that is the PURPOSE of limited color palettes.
commercialism knows this better than anyone these days.
in an attempt to explain these sorts of things to my best friend (who really never listens much to me at all — which is wonderful, albeit frustrating in rare moments), i gave up with words and started to just make paintings.
we’d just been to a monet show at the legion of honors and i was trying to explain how so many ideas people had about IMPRESSIONISM was based on criticism and not experience.
for example, most people don’t understand how much PHOTOGRAPHY and the camera obscura had affected people’s ways of seeing.
i’ll post that essay down below so as not to have to repeat it all here.
suffice it to say that the dagguerreotype had left the painter with two realities that couldn’t be ignored:
the first — the deletion TECHNIQUE
the second — there is no black in reality.
the first technique liberated the painter’s eye from FAITHFULNESS to actuality.
it allowed the SUGGESTION of something to be something. APERTURES could only focus on select objects.
painters had never explored this before in their work.
suddenly the idea of a tree was more powerful than the most PERFECTLY REVEALED tree.
and this was mad crazy and powerful.
i have started a BANNER STYLE form of photography that explores this concept.
i call it BEYONVISIBILITY.
beyonvisibility uses the banner length of the horizontal image to create collages of related subject matter.
for example, GENTRIFICATION in san francisco is like a war. you can’t see this in single photos. but when you see the work sites from multiple vantage points, the reality of something and what’s in between in it time and space becomes correlated to MEANING.
and that is the power of the camera. it is a WEAPON of surveillance and perspective.
sidenote — this is EXACTLY why cops with bodycams is not a great idea.
the SINGLE POINT OF VIEW PERSPECTIVE is literally incredibly fking deceptive.
think BLAIR WITCH PROJECT.
it’s a total hoax.
anyway, those were the two gifts of the camera that transformed painting.
no one really jumped into the philosophy or gave much credit to the camera.
but it was the camera that MADE IMPRESSIONISM.
and as i was drawing my IMPRESSIONS of impressionism, i realized that there were deeper underlying tenets that also gave credence to impressionism.
the first one was a PRE-ELECTRIC world.
the advent and access of/to electricity changed the world.
but before this change, the impressionists, who were desperately trying to get their work into the homes of the rich and famous (aren’t we all!), figured out that the brighter the light on a painting was, the better it could look inside a non-lit interior home space.
so it was FUNDAMENTALLY a sales tactic to brighten and lighten indoor spaces.
and what sells with these conditions?
TOURISM AND LEISURE, obviously.
and this is the big secret.
it dawned on me quite naturally in the process of trying to STORYTELL the color issues.
and just so you know, the color issues are about TONES.
before the impressionist era no wide school of art had realized just how many millions of new pixels you could get if you mixed different shades of gray with prima chroma.
take a very white gray and mix it with a hint of yellow or brown and your sky will light up like it was on fire.
if you just use white and the prima chroma, you’ll get a tint, which will never feel ELECTRIC like a a prima chroma that is mixed with a TONE.
anyway, the cinematic quality of storytelling with people and an imaginary land where it never gets cold and women can walk around anywhere they want at any time of day without being raped or harmed or affected by male monsterness gave way to the birth of the Dopaquel Peninsula.
the Dopaquel Peninsula is the land of antipsychotic tranquility.
all the villages and landmarks and rivers and places are named after popular antipsychotics.