Saturday, December 29, 2007
Now to find the time to use them. :o)
THANK YOU girls!!! I love you all!
Friday, December 28, 2007
Is this allowed??? :o)
I'm completely in love w/ these colors & they're basically all I work w/ these days... except for some black bases & dots of copper green. I try to do as much black base as I can since OY & Rubino are premium colors. I use ALOT of them both.
I look at the beautiful beads that are being posted in the LE Gallery & they're so colorful...lots of transparents & silver glasses... pretty & shiny. Mine are the complete opposite. First of all they're big, but secondly, they're solid & I think fairly masculine. People love them, which is awesome for me, LOL, but why haven't I gotten into the transparents?? There's nothing cooler than being able to look "inside" a glass piece... see the depth & the details of what's going on in there.
I think I'm just better at "surface" decoration than what's underneath.
I guess I need to think about those glass artists that are known more for their surface designs...Larry Brickman, Christina Logan, Larry Scott, Brad Pearson, Dustin Tabor & other artists like them. They're making it big w/ solid surface decoration, I shouldn't worry what other people are doing so much, should I?? :o) People say I have a distinctive style...I think this is a good thing. Right??? :o)
As far as SIZE goes... since my pieces seem to be fairly large, for the most part...when I was looking @ Larry Brickman's pieces @ the Gathering, I was just blown away at their size... they're HUGE & he gets a pretty penny for them, too. He told me [something like] "think about all of the glass artists out there making it big... are they making tiny insignificant pieces??? Nope, they're making big, memorable pieces." This is true, so I'm natually on the right track. :o)
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
We were supposed to go to Colorado for Christmas, that's where my family is & we haven't been there for Christmas day since 1993 or so. My kids have never had a Colorado Christmas, sad. :o( We had been planning on this since probably the spring, we didn't go home for the summer, which we would normally do, since we knew we were going for Christmas instead. The first week of December we had to choose between a new computer, new tires for my car & a new dryer or Christmas in Colorado. What a sucky choice, huh?
It worked out okay, as sad as it was to not be home, I was so super crazy busy up til the day we were supposed to leave, no downtime whatsoever, so I can't imagine having to add the stress of packing & getting ready to go on top of all of that. Not fun. PLUS, major snow & ice storms between here & there, the drive would've sucked. :o) We'll head out there for Spring Break because the summer has already gotten busy w/ trips & such & Colorado isn't on that list.
Hope you had a nice & relaxing Christmas... or whatever you might celebrate... & a fabulous, but safe, New Year!
Saturday, December 15, 2007
I've sold out of just about everything I brought down to the boutique in Minneapolis... they asked if I can make up some more ornaments, pens, bottle openers, etc... yikes!! I counted & have already taken in 46 ornaments & they still want more!! LOL! Don't know how much I can do between now & next Wednesday when I'm down there volunteering again. It's almost Christmas & they think they're going to be getting a ton of last minute (male) shoppers toward the end of the week next week, so I'm going to try to get some items made up & delivered to them on Wednesday when I volunteer again. Fun, fun, fun!! :o) There's only one kaleidoscope left, too! Yippee!!! LOL! I'll try to do some more of those, too. Holy Crap!
I definitely need to learn how to balance everything, though. This is a great learning experience & is just showing me how much I need to prepare for earlier & in greater quantity next year!
Friday, December 14, 2007
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
When I was online shopping a few months ago for some nice display boxes for my bead pens, I came across some great items @ some woodworkers' stores... keychains, pen lights, things like that. Woodworkers will turn beautiful pieces of wood on their lathes & put them on these components so you have these really sharp accessories. I'm sure that this is where the idea of the "bead pen" came from... woodworkers have been making wooden pens for years. Well...I saw these great kaleidoscopes & realized that the body was just a big tube & thought, "hey, it's just a big hole bead! I can do that!!", so I did! I don't think I've ever seen them in lampworked glass before, so I'm excited about what I hope is an original idea!
These are pretty fantastic. Small, but they feel substantial. I love watching adults looking through the lens like a little kid. The first one I sold was to a sweet little lady in a wheelchair at this art sale in November. She just sat at my table & just looked through that thing for probably 5 minutes. It just made me smile... REALLY big!! :o) Sweet.
They've been fun to make. I had to purchase a bunch more big hole mandrels because I only had one that fit & it was driving me crazy, only being able to make one every few days!
I have one up on eBay & one up on Etsy... several more to list, but geez, who has the time??? Yikes!! :o)
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
I've worked literally 20/7 for the past 3 weeks or so to get my site up, had some "image issues" that kept me from being able to launch it on the originally planned launch date (December 5th), but it's ready!! I'm trying to get available items up on Etsy & eBay right now, it's pretty time consuming & I'm pretty exhausted, but I'm getting there!
Funny thing is that I listed 3 items on Etsy, the last one I listed at 3:30 am yesterday just before I finally went to bed. When I got up 3 hours later (ugh) to get my son off to school, I checked my listings & that last item wasn't listed anymore. I'm like "what the heck?? Didn't I post it correctly" Took me a few minutes to realize that it had already SOLD! LOL! My first Etsy sale in less than 3 hours!!! LOL! Yes!!! :o) VERY exciting!!
Will spend more time blogging from here on out...it's just been nonstop photoshopping for the past several weeks. My poor family! (my poor hand/arm/shoulder! I couldn't do this [webdesign] for a living!)
Hope you enjoy my website & my blog!! I now need to go through my blog & see if THESE images need a bit of tweaking, too! (will explain later)
Thursday, November 22, 2007
I got up early this morning & torched for a bit. It's been several days. I decided that I needed some pieces to take along (ie. show off) to the in-laws as some of the people who will be joining us haven't seen any of my beads since Easter. With a tiny bit of practicing between then & now, I think I've improved a touch. :o) Anyway... I needed to do a little torching because all of my serving pieces are @ that boutique. I don't even have any snow domes! Oh well... they can see pictures. :o)
So... what are you thankful for today?
I'm thankful, of course, for my family. My husband who puts up w/ my messes, especially. :o) My kids who ask "are you torching AGAIN?" (who don't understand that I'm not just playing, LOL!) I'm also thankful for all of the obvious... health, happiness & a roof over our head.
But this blog is [supposed to be] about GLASS, right? I'm VERY thankful for glass, LOL. For taking on this wonderful art & for whatever talent I've been given that allows me to make such beautiful pieces w/ it. I'm VERY thankful for that.
Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you have many things to be thankful for.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
My original take on this non-profit boutique was that it was a bunch of non-profit artist groups that rely on fundraisers like art sales to fund their businesses. NOPE. Some of them are... like the Bloomington Art Center that I'm involved with... it's a beautiful art center that has a gallery & many many great classes, as well as two different theatrical theaters. They rely on memberships & fundraisers to keep them going & their involvement in this boutique will help fund scholarships for low income children to come take classes & workshops. BUT, there are many many other non-profit groups that are involved in this boutique who do such incredible work with people in so many dire situations, it was a pure pleasure to be there to offer my time to help.
Another volunteer there tonight was a man from "Camp Heartland". He works with children who are HIV/AIDS infected or affected by someone in their homes/lives who have HIV/AIDS. Josh. Neat guy. They had items there that were from artists who work w/ the children or even who just donate their art to help raise funds.
MANY MANY other groups... people who work w/ homeless or even ex-cons just need someone to reach out & give them a little boost to get them moving in the right direction. Gosh, there were so many groups, I can't even pull up names at this point. It was very cool.
One of the really awesome things that this boutique had was a wall of "ShareGifts" that are available exclusively at Twice the Gift. A ShareGift honors the recipient by supporting specific services or items needed by Twin Cities nonprofits, such as:
- Purchase a set of classroom books for elementary school students participating in an academic enrichment program.
- Provide one week of emergency shelter for a family of four fleeing domestic violence.
- Provide one day of spoken language instruction for a child with hearing loss.
Scholarships, funds for an individual to get his GED, the list goes on.
If you're in the Minneapolis area, please come by & check it out. Gaviidae Common II, now through January 1st. There are so many beautiful items for sale, many great books, too, & it's all for a good cause.
I already asked, at our last meeting, what it would take to get some big names here to teach some classes...lots of interest there. There are several that are on the top of the list... Andrea Guarino is at the top of mine, Larry Brickman", too. Many others. Maybe if Anastasia was ever back in the US we could talk her into coming back to Minneapolis. :o)
Monday, November 19, 2007
A few weeks later @ the Bloomington Center for the Arts Holiday Art Sale, I was sitting @ the check-out table & a young lady walked by me & saw my necklace... I saw her reaction & she said "You're here!" She recognized my style from the bead bazaar.
How cool is that? I guess it DOES pay to get your stuff out into the public, doesn't it? :o)
This is really exciting!! This is the first time my stuff has REALLY been out in public in a RETAIL sort of way! LOL!
Doin' the happy dance. :o)
Sunday, November 18, 2007
I had just received these great hill tribe silver wire lentils that I thought "hmmmmmm... I bet I can turn that into a nest!" So, I took a couple & hammered the heck out of them w/ my dapping tools to cup them, soldered a jump ring or two & there you have it, nests.
I made simple little eggs off of the end of the mandrels so they only had one hole & I epoxied them really well into the nests.
Can you picture colorful little Easter Eggs in them??
It's a fantastic little non-profit boutique called "Twice the Gift" that is funded by the Pohlad Family Foundation. It's open from November 19th through the new year! 45 different non-profit groups are being represented... everything from Camp Courage, who work with children infected & affected by HIV/AIDS, to the Bloomington Art Center where I'm involved, to other non-profits that do good in the community. NONE of the proceeds go to the Pohlad Family Foundation... it all goes back to the non-profits & a percentage of my sales will go back to me. It's in a really upscale retail building w/ stores like Saks on 5th, Neiman Marcus, Ann Taylor, Talbots, etc... lots of boutique stores & salons, etc. (& a food court on the 4th floor!!) I'm excited. There are some really beautiful items there for sale. I think it'll all do really well. I really think all of my items will do really well.
I'll be volunteering in the store several times over the next month. If you want to meet ME, eMail me & I'll give you my schedule.
It's on the skyway system with lots of office buildings surrounding it, so it's a big shopping area for the holidays.
Fantastic opportunity (& last minute! The art center only heard about it around a week before they needed our stock!)
Saturday, November 17, 2007
I just put it up on my website (instead of the pitiful PappaShop one that I'd not done anything with) to announce that I'm opening soon!!!
Thursday, November 15, 2007
The next year I decided to do it again but make them something that could stand up on their own, but I couldn't find the plastic pins, so I made them out of polymer clay & glued them to clear glass pebbles. So cute.
I've made them many times since then. Last year I was party mom for my younger child's 3rd grade class & when I was hunting for a craft for them to do @ their "Winter (Christmas) Party", I found this little snowglobe ornament in Family Fun magazine that had a little plastic deer standing in a snow-covered forest. The "dome" was a clear Solo cup. It was the cutest thing I had ever seen.
Well... w/ lots of searching, I found that these cute little plastic deer were about $1/each. There was no way I could spend THAT much out of the party funds for a small part of a craft, so I decided that for only about $5, I could make a few dozen snowmen out of clay for these ornaments, they'd be perfect... & they WERE!! I prepared most of everything up front for these, the kids just glued them together.
Here's my youngest w/ his ornament & then the prototype that I made w/ my niece.
...SO... (yes, there's more, LOL!) once I started lampworking, I KNEW I was going to have to try to make some snowmen out of glass!
This is my first glass snowman (girl)... she cracked. :o(
Here is one grouping of some coordinating ones:
Then, of course, I had to "rethink" the snow dome. I couldn't very well put a plastic cup over the top of some cute glass snowmen, could I?? Noooooooo. :o) So, I hunted down some small glass domes (used by pocketwatch collectors) & made the footed wooden bases & there you go, my own original design, 8 years in the making...
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Sunday, November 11, 2007
They were a HIT! It was really exciting to watch people oooh & aaah over these fabulous pieces. Mostly, I was REALLY happy with the feedback I got from the other artists who were impressed by my "awesome" beads 6 months earlier!!
Yes, I've improved... just a bit. :o)
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
I'm second youngest of 5...4 girls & 1 boy (right smack in the middle! Poor guy!) My 2 older sisters were very creative & I always followed closely behind them, shadowing their every move. They taught me how to color in the lines... I was shading my crayola creations by the time I was 5 or 6!
My oldest sister, Jeri, used to take me to bead shops. My first car accident was on her 17th birthday on our way to the bead store!! A car ran a red light & broadsided us. Totaled our car. Jeri was fine. My brother ended up under the dash, bruised but okay. My first ambulance ride, too. I ended up w/ a gash in my forehead (we never figured out by what!) that needed stitches. We never made it to the bead store. :o(
We're all creative in our own way...
My dad is a retired Air Force pilot & aeronautical engineer... I remember him sketching things out for us. He's probably why I like technical drafting. We all get our problem solving skills from him, too.
My mom always encouraged us to create. She would say she's not very creative, but she is. She's creative w/ food & is probably why I care about food presentation. I remember she used to make us the funnest cakes for our birthdays! She also loves to paint ceramics... yeah, she's creative.
Jeri was the art major. She now makes jewelry...is just starting up her silversmithing studio. She's the one who got me interested in stained glass. I inherited her stained glass set-up. Her studio table is now covered in stainless steel & is my lampworking station table. PERFECT. Thank you, Jeri! :o)
Lisa loves to woodwork & makes really creative original items, like nativity sets. She likes to work w/ her hands... she's a heating/air conditioning mechanic & absolutely loves it! She loves to garden & does all of the heavy duty landscaping stuff... building fences, walls, etc. She has too much energy! :o)
Scott is a woodworker, too. He used to teach woodworking classes & now teaches a gazillion Haefele hardware employees worldwide how their products are installed & used, so he's still very hands-on w/ woodworking. He's a funny funny, sweet guy. We were once fooled to believe that he was "discovered" by someone from "Tool Time" when he was filmed doing his "Gallagher" bit, turning fruit (watermellon, etc) on a lathe. We completely fell for it because it's just like him. He should be a comedian. I'd say I get my quick whit from him... we look alike, too. :o)
Jill, my baby sister, would say that she's not creative, either... but she's a hair dresser, THAT takes creative skill. She also loves to garden. She creates children, too. LOL. She's a mother of four... & a good mommy @ that!
So...here I am. I like to CREATE, period. You'll learn more about ME & my creativity as time goes on.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
First of all... I was SO GRATEFUL for Mallory (LE/rosebud101). She & I have become friends over the past several months, she lives about an hour south of me & we both decided that it must've been a godsend for us to become friends as we were bound @ the hip for the entire Gathering. As we're both new kids on the block, it was nice to have someone to pal around w/. She's also my #1 fan, LOL, & wore some of my pieces each day & talked me up to everyone!! LOL! THANK YOU, Mallory!! :o)
I certainly can't mention everyone I met...but was really nice to meet people like Anne Ricketts, Sharon Peters & of course, Bernadette Fuentes! They were all friendly & their beads were amazing to see in person. Marcy Lamberson is adorable & as cheerful & youthful as her fun beads! I got the chance to chat w/ Christina Logan for a few minutes @ the Bead Bazaar & she was very helpful in trying to help me solve my "fried aqua" issue. LOL! My giggle moment was seeing Bronwen Heilman in her little tu-tu @ the Bead Bazaar. Her beads are as interesting & DARK in person as you would expect... very cool to see. I wanted to actually introduce myself to her, but she was in a deep discussion w/ a guy who was desperately trying to pick her up, so I just moved on. I'm sure she would've appreciated it if I hadn't. :o)
Scott Tanner & his sister Trudi Madison were very cool to hang out with & get to know. Very REAL people. We ooh'd & aahhh'd over eachother's beads... Scott was funny, so happy that he could actually wear a strand of his own beads on his wrist & not have to worry about getting beaten up! LOL! What a neat guy.
Anastasia (from Germany) is adorable. She was like "I don't understand how everyone knows who I am!" LOL! She's very unaware of the uniqueness of her work & seems to think it's so simple & boring. I think her work is fantastic!
A friend of Anastasia's from the states, Dana Graham, & I seemed to have made a really nice connection...she's such a neat chick...I'm really looking forward to keeping in touch w/ her... hopefully we'll meet up again sometime in the future.
I think that one of my most favorite people to have met there was Ruth Nicholas (LE/KetchikanSculptor) from Alaska... the one who came up w/ the Perfect Tool System. What a sweetie-pie. She sat down w/ me one night & looked at my beads & was just so encouraging & full of advice. I really enjoyed spending time w/ her. That Perfect Tool system is pretty slick, too, I must say. Someday.
The only bead I purchased was a beautiful Trey Cornette piece...BEFORE the Bead Bazaar. I was looking over his pieces while Sharon Peters was collecting her pile of his beads. LOL! He's a pretty kind (& cute!) guy, too.
There were so many other people that I met...so many beads to ogle & fondle.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
favorite one to wear around my neck...
something that gets NOTICED, as it's really good sized & beautiful. I'm wearing it in my main blog photo.
I'm bummed that summer is over... I need to find a new favorite bead that I can wear for the winter. Of course, I should be wearing various beads, shouldn't I? LOL!
Thursday, October 11, 2007
I'm an emotional person... not overly so, I don't mean that I whine about this & that or that I'm on an emotional rollercoaster ...but that I seem to be pretty tender hearted... I cry at commercials. :o) (& the Biggest Loser!)
In my "About Me" little blurb, I mention that I've been searching for something "more" to do w/ my life, something that not only keeps me busy, but also "feeds my soul" & I truly feel that lampworking is that something. It's hard to explain to someone who hasn't tried it. Those of you who lampwork know EXACTLY what I'm talking about!
Here's a perfect example of how "right" I feel w/ this...
This summer, the ISGB (International Society of Glass Beadmakers) "GATHERING" (annual conference) landed right in my lap. My first year at this & the Gathering is happening HERE, in Minneapolis. I, of course, had to go.
Pre-Gathering, I was at the hotel on helping stuff Gathering totes & this cute guy came up to me & said "I don't think we've met, I'm Larry Brickman". Holy Crap!! LOL! I think I got goosebumps! I was cool, though, LOL. It was a test...I couldn't imagine what I was going to do when I was in the same room w/ all of the other big kids!! I figured I was going to be a mess!! :o)
As the Gathering got closer, I started to feel REALLY insignificant. I wanted to meet these people, but I also wanted to be remembered. Really, who am I??? I'm a new kid who hides out in the new kid's threads on LE. I wanted to kick myself for not putting myself out there a bit more so people knew who I was.
I decided to enter the Bead Pen Contest... this was my entry:
(my first lizard & my first pen!)
Here's the "tender-hearted, right for me", part, LOL...
I competely made a fool of myself w/ Bernadette Fuentes. She asked me how I was enjoying my first "Gathering" (this was her 15th!) & I was just so overwhelmed to start w/.... I was telling her how much I just loved lampworking & how "right" this felt to me, etc... my eyes started welling up & was trying to blink back the tears & she's just looking at me & she puts her hand up to her chest & says how sweet it was & how honored she felt! I tried to keep it together but just couldn't. I had to excuse myself & went to the table I was selling at w/ my local chapter & I just lost it!!! LOL! Everyone freaked out, thinking something had happened & I was just laughing & crying & trying to tell them that nothing was wrong & tried to explain it...it was crazy!!! LOL! I was tired, too, so that didn't help! Anyway...I calmed down & went back to talk to her & said "I'm okay now!" LOL, & she said "I completely understand. I still feel that way...I just don't cry anymore." Sweet. She was a sweet lady & someone I hope will watch me grow over the coming years. I certainly caught her attention! LOL! I went on to talk to a few other "big kids" (all red in the face, I'm sure) trying to explain what had just happened w/ Bernadette & started tearing up again! Geez. LOL! It was fun & yes, this does feel very right.
I think the timing of the Gathering was just perfect for me. I got fantastic feedback from my work...I wore my big ocean heart on a McDuck pendant holder all weekend so people would recognize me by that & nobody could believe I had only been doing this for 6 months.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
There's something so instantly gratifying about making something so beautiful that you can hold in your hand w/in hours of making it. I've done stained glass & pottery & there is such a PROCESS to both of them... gratifying, yes, when you can stand back & see what you've spent hours laboring over, but I'm such an "instant gratification" kind of girl, lampworking just fits, you know?
Lampwork beads are also an easier art to show off, too! LOL! It's a little cumbersome to carry around a piece of pottery :o) & so easy to showcase a beautiful focal bead by slipping it onto a changeable pendant & putting it on a beautiful chain & wearing it around your neck. I get so many comments on the beads I wear.
Friday, October 5, 2007
After that first class, I literally itched so badly to get back to the torch, I had to bring it home w/ me the next week! I set up that basic little (& LOUD!) hothead torch with its 1 pound canister of MAPP gas each day on a card table in my kitchen & took it down each evening before dinner (& usually up again afterwards!). That didn’t last long, LOL....I upgraded to a 7 lb tank of propylene within a few weeks, dragging that thing, torch hoses & all, back & forth to my classes each week. (smuggling that tank in is more like it... hoping I wouldn't get stopped by someone who thought I was up to no good, seeing as the art center is in the civic center building on the opposite end of the building from the police & city offices!! LOL!) Even my instructor admits that I passed her up somewhere along the way. I DID learn a lot from her... everything I needed to know to make a basic bead & simple shapes.......but mostly everything beyond that is all me. I’m proud of that.
Needless to say, I upgraded to a 27 lb tank as soon as I didn’t have to drag it around anymore. The kitchen “studio” didn’t last long. By mid-March, I was desperate for my own torching space, so I dug out my old pottery & stained glass studio that I hadn’t seen the floor of in over 12 years... giving myself just enough room to get to my old stained glass table (that we then covered in stainless steel flashing) so I could torch. I was in heaven. I ordered a digital kiln at that point, too, as my beads were getting too large to be able to hold up to hanging out in a fiber blanket anymore...I was losing more to thermal cracking than not, pretty frustrating. My desire for larger beads was also getting too big for my hothead, so I upgraded to a Carlisle Mini CC torch w/ 2 oxygen concentrators & a professional ventilation system by June. My studio is now cleaned out, we’re working on organizing storage & more work surfaces. It’ll be fantastic when it’s finished!
The picture is of my first few weeks of beads. The plain black ones, of course, are my first ones. Doesn't everybody start out making black beads?? :o)
Monday, October 1, 2007
I'm going to try my hand at blogging about creativity & glass. It's going to be tough, I think. I'm really good about rambling on & on about heartfelt things where feelings are involved, etc. Creative things, on the other hand, I just DO, rather than THINK about. I'll really have to dig down deep to find interesting things to write about. Maybe it'll end up being more about heartfelt stuff. :o)