Thursday, December 25, 2008


Merry Christmas, all!

Had a fabulous day chillin' out w/ my hubby & the kids. Opened gifts, watched movies, had a fabulous dinner of grilled beef tenderloin & other yummy fixins, etc. It was a nice day.

We "do" Christmas w/ my in-laws a week or two before Christmas each year because they head south to Texas for the winter via Christmas in Phoenix w/ my brother-in-law's family. They've been doing this for a good 10 years now & my sister-in-law told me a few years ago that she felt guilty for taking them away from us each year & I told her to NOT feel guilty... that I just loved having all of the "family obligation" stuff (okay, I know that sounds awful, but you know what I mean) out of the way before hand so I can relax & enjoy getting things ready for my own family the days coming up to Christmas.

We have a traditional Mexican dinner for Christmas eve... taquitoes, refried beans (no spanish rice, though) guacamole, etc... just as my family has done since forever & my siblings continue to do in their own little corners of the country... sorry Dad, we drink Coke products, not the Pepsi w/ Mexican food that he insists upon, LOL. We played some games & listed to some Christmas music all evening & the kids got to open one gift each.

Anyway... it was a nice day.

Hope you had a very merry Christmas today, too... or whatever you celebrate this time of the year... I hope you took the time to enjoy those around you.



ps... I forgot... here's my Dad's Christmas gift... he liked it (ALOT, I hope!)... called the magnifying glass an "ant killer". LOL.
(click on image for detailed view)

Awesome, huh?? :o) Ivory, silvered ivory & DH Psyche. The letter opener & magnifying glass blanks came from Shawnette at Glassgoodies.

Friday, December 19, 2008


It's been a little while since I've made up some new pens & I had someone ask me if I had any in natural "leafy" colors... I didn't, but what the heck, let's see if I can come up w/ something.

I told her that I generally don't do alot of custom pieces, but that I was game to see if something different would work w/ what I'm currently producing & the kind of glass I'm using... so I made up a few for her to pick from...

She loved them & went for the black pen w/ the green bead. I love that one. I lighly etched the green glass ones, just to knock the shine off of them. It's Vetrofond Odd Lemongrass & it looks really awesome etched.

It was fun to do these. The ones on the left are my older style. You can see why I felt the need to try something new, can't you? :o) I like the organic-ish feel (in a contemporary sort of way) to the new ones.

Anyway... things are settling down. I've had a few days of torching fun, making some last minute gifts. I made an awesome magnifying glass & letter opener set for my Dad... I took pictures, will post them tomorrow... or maybe I should wait until after Christmas... in case he reads my blog?!! (doubt it! LOL!)

I'll be back...

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Okay... I finished up my last show for the season, I'm pretty worn out, but am happy that I'll now have a little time to chill & post some pictures of what I've been working on (AFTER the holidays!), but while you're waiting (LOL), I have just one more video for you... features Pulie, Pill & "Mysterious E" (Julie...aka ME, my little sister Jill & my brother Scott E. Yes, he only has an "E" for his middle actual middle name... I still don't think we've ever gotten a believable explanation from my parents for that one!)

Anyway... we're up to no good the day before Thanksgiving in Littleton, Colorado. My brother saw a "NO OUTLET" sign in my parents' neighborhood a few days earlier & felt really bad that they didn't have one, so he decided to give them one. :o) Then he saw THIS one, which is on a busy main road as you're leaving my parents' neighborhood & thought "hey, they need one too!"... plus it would have more exposure to the public, LOL. So here we are... me: no makeup, contacts, etc... & in my pajamas... not pretty... good thing I had the video camera. :o) Never a good thing to turn a camera on yourself, but you get a quick glimpse...

in the credits, "Not seen, but here in spirit: Jeritol & Lysol"... is a mention to my older sisters, Jeri & Lisa...... yes, these are nicknames from the '70s. :o)

& of course, as my family gets home from Colorado & we're pulling into our neighborhood, we notice that the road construction that was just wrapping up as we left town was finished & they left us a new sign "NO OUTLET"... we never had one of those for the 16 years that we've lived here, how ironic is that??? Brad says "hmmmm.... looks like we need an outlet!" LOL.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Crazy busy girl the past few weeks... my final show is coming up this weekend, whew. :o) I have had no time to take any pictures to post lately... sorry... haven't even torched since being back from Colorado... I've been making jewelry & such w/ pieces I already have. Will be spending a few days this week, though, torching... need to come up w/ some more utinsil sets... maybe some kaleidoscopes, too.

How about another non-glass related video?? :o)
I LOVE Def Leppard... & caught them on CMT Crossroads last week w/ Taylor Swift, who I think is kinda cute ;o) & seeing as I'm pretty girly, I really like her new song "Love Story"... I loved seeing them perform this together, I think Joe Elliott's gravely voice sounds awesome in this song... so I had to go in search of the video & found it. Check it out...

You can find other videos from their Crossroads performance here...

Monday, December 1, 2008


Okay... not glass related... but I saw this video & couldn't help but share it...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Having a great time... just thought I'd post a few pictures of what I've been up to since I got here on Saturday...

I was put on "cake duty" w/in an hour or so after our arrival... it came out awesome. How do I keep getting wrangled into these things, though? :o) I keep saying "no more wedding cakes!" (click on the images for enlarged view)

Maybe that's it... it's an ANNIVERSARY cake! I'm glad I was able to do this for them. Here's Jeri & I w/ "our" cake... Jeri did the flowers... they were gorgeous!

Here's the happy bride & groom cutting the cake. The party was an open house... around 90 guests. It was crazy!

Here's my cute little sister, Jill & cool brother, Scott. My older sister, Lisa, was the only one not able to make it. We really missed her.

Today I had a lunch date w/ some of my LE buddies. This is Melissa, Leslie, Jill, Bernadette & me. Gretchen made it to lunch but wasn't able to come back to Leslie's studio afterwards where we took the picture. Leslie's hubby, Chuck, was w/ us, too. Leslie's studio is FANTASTIC. I'm envious. :o) It was fantastic seeing everyone. Really cool to meet Gretchen & Melissa. I love meeting people in person that you've "met" online... it makes that online relationship much more personal, since you now can picture them, hear their voice, remember their manerisms, etc.

Anyway.... it's been a great trip. Exhausting, but fun. We're chilling out for the next few days. Thanksgiving will be nice & then we're heading home on Friday. Long day's drive. (920 miles straight through)

Happy Thanksgiving, all.


Friday, November 21, 2008


We're heading to Colorado tomorrow for my parents' 50th wedding anniversary & Thanksgiving! I'm so excited to see everyone. All the kids but one will be there. Somehow I got wrangled into making the cake. LOL. It'll hopefully all be baked... just need to decorate it... 3 tiers. I'm kind of excited, actually... how often do you get to make your parents' 50th wedding anniversary cake??? It'll be fabulous, I think. Not sure what to do yet. Good thing I fly by the seat of my pants well. :o)

I've set up a lunch date w/ some of my Colorado lampworking buddies... Bernadette Fuentes, Jill Knapp, Leslie Bitgood, Johanna (Canyon Echoes), Melissa (melissabeads) & a new friend named Gretchen (buddhabeader). I've never met Melissa, so I'm excited about meeting her... Gretchen, too. It'll be nice to see Bernadette, Jill, Leslie & Johanna. We were hoping that Amber (*Naos*) would be able to make it, but she has family in town... bummer.

Might get a chance to go play @ the silversmithing studio my sister goes to. I hope so!

I'll be coming home & setting up a week long holiday boutique the day after we get back. I'm so not ready for it, but have plenty to sell & can add to it as the week goes on. Then one more show mid December & that's it for the year. Whew. :o) (I've already got people asking about doing home shows... after the new year.)

Happy Thanksgiving...

I'll be back.

~ Julie

Saturday, November 15, 2008


I'm exhausted... but so so happy & satisfied!

My first home show/party was last night & it was a huge success!

I was so unprepared & really had no clue how it was all going to happen... but my hostess, Shawn, had done plenty of home parties & lots of entertaining, so she had it together on her end... God bless her. :o) She also had lots of friends & neighbors who loved to socialize. Shawn gave them my website to check out w/ the invite & said that when they called to RSVP, they were telling her that they'd never seen anything like it. They were excited to see it in person. I can't tell you how many showed up... had to be 30 or so.

A little panicked before hand, I had plenty of utinsils.... but still had lots of beads & not a ton of "complete" jewelry... so I wasn't sure how it was going to work. While I was taking a shower about an hour before I had to leave, I realized that this wasn't a typical home party anyway... I was pretty sure that they didn't know what to expect any more than I did, LOL. How cool would it be for them to be able to pick a bead or two & have me wire up a pendant or make a complete necklace w/ them right there helping me design it for them? So, that's what I did.

My biggest issue (other than the fact that I wasn't completely ready when people started showing up ON TIME... I like late people!) was that I didn't get a chance to price all of my beads. Some were priced from a show a few weeks ago, but not the newer pieces... so I basically let them know the price range... a range of about $20... told them about designing a piece together, etc...

It was fun... people were awesome. They came so quickly & even though I wasn't completely ready, they were pretty cool about it. I hadn't even set up my checkout table before people were coming up to me w/ their hands full. It was great! After 45 minutes or so, I finally had a minute to breath, so we decided to get everyone in the same room so I could tell them a little bit about me.

I told them that I was completely overwhelmed. I didn't get a chance to clarify that it was that so many showed up & their response that was overwhelming, ... not that I was mentally & emotionally overwhelmed (not that I wasn't!!) They knew it was my first home party, so I told them that I didn't have it completely together & they let me know that it didn't really show... & they didn't care. I let them know a little bit about me, about the fact that I had been making beads for just less than 2 years... a bit about lampworking, etc... & they asked me questions. It was pretty cool. Several of them also spoke up & said that they'd love to do a party, too. I said "after the holidays!" I can't wait!

Anyway... it worked out great! I think I would've sold more jewelry if I had it worked out a little better... more completed pieces, probably displayed a little better (I only have 3 necklace displays), etc... but the utinsils were a HUGE hit... especially the bottle openers, stoppers & cheese knife/cutting board sets. I have orders for several more pieces. I think I made up 4 or 5 pendants.

But they loved it.... they "got it", too. They knew that what they were seeing was one of a kind little works of art... & they didn't seem to hesitate. Awesome.

Friday night seemed to be a great night to do it... not a work/school night... they could stay late, have some wine & awesome food & hang out w/ friends. It started @ 7pm...the last guest left around 11:30pm, then Shawn got a chance to shop! (she put a few pieces aside beforehand) I headed home around 1:30am.

I'll be doing many more home parties. Definitely. It was a great first experience... & I sold more in those 4 1/2 hours than I did in any of the other 2 & 3 days shows I did this fall!!

I'll figure it out a system... it'll just get better from here. What a great first experience!

I took today off... I slept till 1pm, LOL... (did I mention that I had a total of 4 hours of sleep the 2 nights previous?? I'll figure it out someday.) ...went & saw Madagascar 2 w/ my youngest... chilled out @ home for the evening. Now I have 5 1/2 days to prepare for my next show that starts a day after we get back from Thanksgiving in Colorado.... then my final holiday show is a few weeks after that... so I have work to do!

Geez, this is way too long! I do go on, don't I?? If you stuck w/ me & made it this far, thank you. :o)

It's late... time for bed... gotta get up & get torching again...

Till next time...

~ Julie

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


I'm thrilled w/ the reactions I'm getting on my new pieces... in public & online on Lampwork Etc... I've gotten so many Private Messages there from people I've long admired, so I'm just floored... it's just made my week.

Maybe I'm on the right track??


As I was out filling up propane tanks, I noticed that local "vehicle" gas prices were $1.89!!! Holy mackeral! Isn't that cool? Just in time for a Thanksgiving road trip to Colorado! :o)

& BTW... the Psyche on my final "not quite finished" bead didn't reduce... bummer. I'll keep it in my kiln for my next torching session later today & see if I can reduce it w/out ruining everything else going on around it.

I'll be back...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008



I ran out of propane a few nights ago, but luckily we have a total of 3 tanks between myself & my hubby's homebrewing setup, so we had a partial tank available, so I changed it out & continued on...

Tonight during dinner, I told Brad that it would be just my luck to run out of gas before the weekend, since I'm cramming for my first home show coming up this Friday. Happily, I'll be leaving the house tomorrow morning & would take the 2 empty tanks w/ me to trade out for full ones, so I'll be fine...

(I shouldn't have said anything @ dinner!)

I've been torching all day, so I guess I needed a break anyway, LOL, but I was in the final 5 minutes of finishing up a bottle opener handle & noticed that the candles on my torch were slowly getting shorter....... uh-oh. "Wait, please, just 5 more minutes!" Seriously, I kept turning up the gas as the candles got shorter & shorter... all I needed to do was top some plunged dots w/ clear & I was done...


Well... the dots were plunged, not topped, it'll still be cute. I was able to get the psyche reduced just in time. LOL. I guess it'll be a "stray" opener... I was making complete sets: Salad Serving set, Appetizer set, Cheese Knife w/ Bamboo cutting board, Bottle Opener & Bottle Stopper...... not that they sell as sets, but it's nice to have full sets, just in case... then I just fill back in what sold.

Anyway... I have tons of other things I need to do... make jewelry, get some sleep, etc... I guess I could use the break. :o)



I'm taking a quick break from torching to eat a little lunch, decided to let it get cold while I blog a little bit. :o)

I'm working on making some earring pairs... new style, fashioned after my absolutely favorite pair of earrings that I got 4 years ago @ the Tacoma Art Museum (similar shapewise... the ones I have on are actually gold, not glass). I'm just a tiny bit frustrated... earring pairs are a little tough as they need to match... especially these. They're not a hard shape, but it's a little tough to get a consistent shape &/or size... or if I get the shape & size of a pair perfect, the silver glasses don't strike or reduce to match!!! LOL! It's funny... but not really. :o) Oh well... figure that tomorrow I'll have a bunch of singles that I'll then try to make a match for, right? I've done that before w/ serving utinsils... it works... for the most part.

Anyway... it's lightly sleeting right now. I walked out of my studio & the dog (Diego) wanted outside... so I let him out back & he started to step out on the deck & decided that he really didn't like the weather back there, especially if he had to climb down the stairs... so he came back in & excitedly ran to the front door for me to let him out there... as if the weather was better in the front. Well... it was. LOL. Actually... I think the sleet falling on the pavement/driveway was melting as fast as it hit, whereas the sleet on the deck wasn't... kind of like ice on a bridge...

Time to get... lunch is cold & so is my torch!


Monday, November 10, 2008


I think I mentioned that I got some 1 1/4" lentil tongs last week after seeing Michael Barley use some in his class, right? Well... I really like the lentil shape & how my newer decorative styles are translating into this shape. I'm pretty head over heals w/ them all right now...

What do you think?? (click on image for a detailed view)
Aren't you just dying to see more??? :o)


Okay... I finally took a break from torching & finishing pieces for this coming weekend to take some pictures of some of my new pieces. I don't have a ton of time to Photoshop them, so I'll be "revealing" them little by little. (oh, the anticipation!!)

I love love LOVE these...

Saturday, November 8, 2008


My friend Jennifer Ionta says that she never burns herself when she's torching... I, on the other hand, walk away from the torch each session w/ new fingerprints, maybe a new mark on my arm (from glass flying), etc...

When I was @ Michael Barley's class, I was pulling a stringer @ the end of my mandrel as I was in the middle of making a bead & for some reason, the stringer slipped & swung down & touched my arm! I have a 3" long burn "line" on my arm. LOL. As I was showing someone what I did, I burned the back of my hand... I don't remember w/ what!! Michael says it's "user error", LOL. Well, duh. I think being in a class situation is a little distracting... easier for the glass to get away from me.

Tonight I didn't prewarm a thick rod of clear & when I put the tip of it in the flame, it was okay... started heating up & then decided to thermal shock on me, sending hot pieces flying & a piece went down the neckline of my shirt, landing just above my bra. I have a nice 1/4" round mark there now. While I was in the middle of making a bottle stopper, I decided that I needed to look @ the burn, so w/out thinking, I ended up somehow hitting my fingernail (the bed) w/ the hot bead........OUCH. Dang-it. Yes, it hurt... & it stunk, too! I now have a little brown burn mark on my nail. Crazy.

I thought I got over my clumsiness in my teens...

Battle scars... that's what they are. :o)

Friday, November 7, 2008


I'm getting ready for my first home show a week from today. I've been torching nonstop for days... mostly making utinsil sets... which is more "work" than "just making beads", since sets need to coordinate, so your head has to be right there, you know?

I'm loving what I'm doing as far as beads go these days... I'll take a picture for you soon. :o)

I've been thinking about lentil shapes lately... thinking that my new style would look really good in a lentil, so I bought some 1 1/4" lentil tongs on eBay last week after Michael Barley's class & I really like the shape & yes, my beads look FABULOUS as lentils, but I'm thinking that I want to have a lentil press instead of the tongs. I like that I can bring the tongs up to eye level to see what I'm doing, but I'm so used to the handful of Cattwalk presses that I have, I think a lentil press would be a breeze. I just wish that Cattwalk had a lentil trio that had larger sized lentils... like 3/4", 1" & 1 1/4"... I think that would be PERFECT! The lentil trio that they have is TINY, like the smallest lentil is around 1/2" & the largest is 3/4"! I know some people would use the 1/2"... I just don't work that tiny. Plus, a single trio unit would be cheaper than having to get one of each size that I want. MUCH cheaper. Hmmmmmmmmm... wonder if Catt does custom pieces? (yeah, custom = cheaper, huh??)

Time for bed... I'll post pictures soon... someday.

Till then...

~ Julie

Tuesday, November 4, 2008



I get choked up when I vote.

What an honor...
It's such a huge honor to live in a country where we have the freedom to pick our leaders.

The one who wins may not be who I voted for... or who you voted for... that is out of our hands... but I learned a while ago that I at least have to do my part & vote. You know that when I first moved to Minnesota I knew nothing about the "electorial college" ..I thought that my vote goes towards the COUNTRY's tally, not just the state's. I didn't realize that Minnesota pretty much votes opposite of what I did & felt that in the end my vote didn't matter. I didn't vote in the next election... why bother?? But then this really crazy thing happened in Minnesota... some wacky former WWF wrestler decided to run for governor as an independent. He said that he hated the game of politics & a ton of people got excited about that & went out in droves & voted for him. He beat out both the Democrat & the Republican. THAT crazy election made me realize ONE really important thing... my vote DOES count! It counts if EVERYONE believes this & just goes out & does it. It definitely won't count if you just stay home.

What I tell my kids, (because I've seen some kids who literally made themselves sick w/ worry in 2000 & 2004 when GW was elected, no doubt brought on by their parents' strong negative opinions /reactions) is that for the most part, people have good intentions, whether they're Democrat or Republican & are only trying to do what they think is best for the country...that there are all sorts of safeguards in place to make sure that really bad decisions aren't made, no matter who the president is. So we'll be okay, no matter what.

That's what I tell my kids.

I'd like to believe it myself, LOL.

I just wish that EVERYONE would stop playing games & do what is best for the country.

Monday, October 27, 2008


I took a 2 day class this weekend w/ Michael Barley @ Malcolm Potek's Glass Studio in Minneapolis.


Not a surprise... I have been told by MANY that if you were going to take just one class, it should be Michael's. They were right. He's a wealth of knowledge... years & years of trial & error & experimentation... & is so generous to share it all. I learned so much... I took LOTS of notes & sat down w/ them tonight to figure out what glass & tools I have on hand & what I need to pick up. I've already place a few orders. :o)

Michael's a sweet, sweet man. Some of us went out to dinner w/ him Saturday night... I was lucky enough to sit by him & got to visit a bit... we were both Air Force brats, so we talked about moving around as kids, etc...

I need to take pictures of my class beads.... but here's a picture of Malcolm, Michael & myself...

Other than a few of Michael's beads, one of my souvenirs from the weekend was a nice speeding ticket! LOL... wondering if I can write it off as a business expense? Darned Minneapolis speed traps. I was only going 15 over the limit... ugh. My only other ticket before was when I was 9 months pregnant w/ Sam... 14 years ago. Oh well... this one won't effect my record or insurance... "excessive acceleration"... nice fine, though...thank you.

Oh yeah... I forgot, I had just finished listening/singing along/crying to Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA" when I got stopped, LOL... I'm sure I appeared a little teary-eyed for the officer.

Did you know you can pay your speeding tickets online now? Cool, huh? ;o)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


I did my first solo bead show this past weekend in Des Moines, Iowa. From what I understand, it was a slow show, but I was actually really happy w/ how things went. I sold quite a bit & the response to my booth & my beads was fantastic... really encouraging. I was told by many that I had the best booth there... I don't know about that, LOL, but it was warm (if not a little lopsided, LOL.) & I think inviting. The lady who ran the show told me afterwards that many many people commented to her about me & my beads... that was great to hear.

I can't tell you how many people were just floored by my beads. I don't quite understand it. I mean, I really like them, LOL, but reactions make it seem like mine are quite unusual, which I can't really say they are or aren't. I didn't make it around the show at all to check out the other vendors...

I'm just really happy. I feel like I'm on the right track. It feels really good.

People loved my acorns. :o) I sold most of them.

Anyway... here are some pictures of my table. Working w/ Jennifer Ionta & her wonderfully warm table dressings & displays made me realize that my beads looked REALLY GOOD w/ the nice warm coppery, cream & gold tones....

rather than the stark black & white stuff I had used before.... so she showed me how to make the cute necklace display busts & such. The top tablecloth was a bit wonky, LOL, & is waiting for some nice trim to go around the edge (in from the edge about 1")... but I was really happy w/ the whole thing.

I didn't see that the top cover wasn't laying evenly until I saw the pictures... it is also hanging down too low in the front, tassles are hanging funny, too... LOL. Oh well. Brayden (10) came w/ me (for 3 days!) & helped me set up! He was good... really enjoyed wandering around was a gem & lapidary show, too.... so he got some cool stuff.

It's hard to tell in the picture where my stuff ends & the guys beside & behind me begin.

Notice the grid of little 2" square dishes from Pier1... I just love those... think I'm gonna get more. I made the busts..... the trays are collage frames from Kohls... just mounted some fabric over the glass!

Brad built that wood shelf for me... I had him drill holes around the top sides & back, about 3" apart so I could mount the busts & copper wire "things" (to hang chains & earrings & such from) anywhere... so it's pretty versitile...
& the back side of that shelf is open, so I was able to tuck all sorts of stuff behind it, like little zip bags, boxes, calculator, etc...

So... all in all it was a great experience. My beads will be at the Twin Cities Bead Bazaar this coming weekend while I'm @ a class w/ Michael Barley!!!

Sunday, October 12, 2008


The new site is up.... check it out & let me know what you think about it. I needed to simplify the whole thing a little bit so I could update it myself. It had been about 10 months since my original site had been updated because I couldn't update the Flash sections, which were mainly images, the most important to keep current... I've changed my style just a tad. ;o)

Till next time...

~ Julie

Friday, October 10, 2008


well it's time to go...

I just finished torching, had a grand old time, too! :o) I'm building up stock for a show I'm doing next weekend in Des Moines... Treasures 2008. It'll be my first real show that I've done on my own... scary. (not really) Making lots of hearts & other focals... I just love making "loose" beads, as opposed to making utinsil handles. I love them, too, they're just more intensive since I have to get them the exact right size for a specific utinsil and if it's a set, like the salad servers, the shapes have to match eachother, too... so it just takes more out of me. I get to PLAY when I'm making individual focals, I just love that freedom.

Anyway... it's 2:51 am as I write this. I'm pooped... but thought I'd continue on & post a picture before heading off. Hmmmmmmmmm... which one?

Here you go... a heart, my specialty...
Terranova2 w/ Opal Yellow stringerwork.

Whatcha think about this one?

Don't know why the background ended up being so blue... it's supposed to be black... but I wasn't going to tweak it anymore. Bottom right is just about right-on for the colors.

Till next time...

Goodnight sweetheart, goodnight...

Thursday, October 9, 2008


I'm in love...
I can't help it...
Isn't this fabulous??
(click on the image to see an enlarged view)

Of course the base is Opal Yellow (what else is there? LOL!)... & then has my favorite triple threat of Double Helix glasses on it, as well as SIS.

I put it on a hand-forged fine silver interchangable bead holder... & of course has one of Heidi's (JamnGlass) gorgeous hand-dyed silk ribbon.

I just love it. I did 3 of them the other night... will be doing more for the bead show I'm doing next week. Makes me wish I had a lentil press. I think it would be a fabulous design on a lentil. Hmmmmmm... what presses do I have?? :o)

What do you think?

I'll show it off on LE tomorrow... thought I'd bring it to you guys first. Lucky you. ;o)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Yes... this time last year I was talking about having my new website built & ready to launch in December.

Well... I had her build it in FLASH & for some reason, I can't update the images to save my life... so it's still got all of the old images from 2007 on there... UGH! I even had a friend who BUILDS websites take a look @ it & she couldn't figure it out. It has something to do w/ the templates that it was built off of. It certainly gave my original website chick a hard time as she customized it for me.

So... I found Homestead & easily built a new site myself that I'll have no problems updating. Yeah!! It's in the middle of having the domain transferred... will be another week or so.


Sucks to have wasted so much $$$ on the first site, but it's done its job (kinda) for the past year, right?

Check out my new site soon in the coming week or two... let me know what you think.


I didn't tell you that my brother, who's an online marketing pro, told me that I should limit my LOLs to just one or two a post.

That's really hard... I'm such a smart aleck & to me it helps my many readers (insert LOL here) get an idea of my sense of humor or even just the tone of my posts. I'm a happy girl... I like to keep it light.

He should know better (insert LOL here)... I got my sense of humor from him. :o)

Now I suppose he's gonna tell me to limit my smileys?

Or my dot-dot-dots...


Here... I'll show you another picture while I'm here...

(insert LOL here)...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Okay... I have so much to show & so much to say about my west coast trip, but those posts are in limbo as I get some pictures together, so those posts will magically appear as September posts sometime soon. LOL.

But in the meantime, someone on LE sent me a private message asking when I was going to update my blog... I didn't realize anyone was reading it, I figured I've been talking to myself, LOL... so if you ARE reading this (& you know you are!) a comment or two from time to time, if you will. It's nice to know that I'm not really just talking to myself. :o)

Anyway... I thought I'd start posting some images of current pieces! How'd you like that?? :o)

I've been having a blast torching since I got home... I did two (successful!) shows the two weekends after I got home & I'm now getting ready for a bead show in Des Moines, Iowa a few weekends away called Treasures 2008... I sure hope it's a good show & that people aren't too freaked out about the financial crap going on these days!

It's fun to do "just a bead show"... instead of an art show where you need to have finished pieces. I love making finished pieces... jewelry & objects like utinsils & such, but those kinds of pieces take so much more thought & planning... I love just being free to see what happens when I torch sometimes, you know?

I can't believe I didn't show this piece off to you yet. Isn't it gorgeous? I actually sold it today. Woo-Hoo! :o)

I'm lovin the silver glasses... Double Helix's Terranova2, Luna2 & Psyche especially. I have so much to show... but I'll tease you for a bit, revealing a few pieces at a time.

Till next time...

Friday, September 12, 2008


The show I did at the winery w/ Jennifer Ionta was quite successful! It was my first outdoor show... just a tiny bit of rain, but perfect temps, etc. It was so much fun to do... awesome to see people's reactions to my pieces...


I'm home, I'm happy & tired... I'm fantastic!! My west coast tour was incredible!!!

I spent my first day w/ my Aunt Cookie & cousin Dawn... it was so nice to see them. We spent the day in Edmonds...such a neat area. Cookie & her new hubby Bill live about an hour north of Seattle in Monroe on some beautiful property... the weather was nice enough to rain for me those first few days. Rain in Seattle, who knew?

Deb arrived the next day & we wandered a bit... she introduced me to steamer clams at McCormick & Schmicks... they were really yummy. Much better than the chewy fried clams that I'd had years ago. The next day we met up w/ Maria (Whimzicalities) & Leslie (tiggybubba) at Olympic Color Rod (OCR)... Mitchel & the guys there were awesome! I was able to keep myself in check there, kinda... it was awesome to see all of their glass in person.

We took a ferry from Seattle to Bremerton, which was a treat... we had some time to get to know eachother a bit...I had never met Leslie & only spent a little time w/ Maria @ the Gathering in 2007. We also had a little "show & tell" of our beads during the ride...talented ladies... then we headed down to Frantz, Meeting up w/ Arlene (A_Glass_Bash) as she lives in the area. The 4 of us stayed in a little motel in Shelton for a few nights. It was funny trying to figure out who snored the most. I swear I don't snore... well, if I sleep on my back I do, but I don't sleep on my back.... so I don't snore. ;o)

It was so much fun to go to Mike Frantz's Glass Bash... met a bunch of great people, had some good food & watched some great demos, by: Pat Frantz, Andrea Guarino, Kimberly Affleck, Michael Barley, Corina Tettinger & Sabina Boehm!

This is my travel buddy, Deb (HopefulJourneys) during Kimberly's demo. LOL. She was a little tired. :o)

We met Alysa (Brimmy), she's adorable & she had some really yummy Lay's Spicy Curry Potato Chips... dang-it... they're only available in Canada!!! :o( She travels throughout the year to sell her wares @ shows, mostly sleeping in her car... so we kidnapped her our last night there & took her out to dinner & made her sleep in our room. It was a slumber party! (or as my boys say... "they don't call them slumber parties... they're sleepovers!)

Who else did we meet?? Um...... LOCO!! Crazy lady!... she's a nut, LOL. She made me throw a reject mask bead of hers into the street... I was horrified, but she made me do it. :o) Pam Potts, cool chick, beautiful dog! Nicole (Nicker) & Kristi Brokaw came up from their pre-Glass Stock duties to hang out @ the Bash. It was fun to meet them before the craziness of Glass Stock. I saw Michelle-Marie (Caliente Art Glass/boobiebeads) again...(I met her @ Bead & Button in June)... fun lady, very cool. I finally got one of her skull beads...traded one of my beads for it.

I got to talk to Corrina a bit... first time I had ever met her. She was really nice. She saw the bead I was wearing & asked if it was mine. I told her that it was & she asked if we had ever met. I told her know, that I was just a new kid. She seemed impressed (I think. LOL).

Ruth Nichols was there... I was so happy to see her again. I met her last year at the Gathering, I think she was my favorite... I even blogged about her back then!

Geez... I just can't go on... the list is huge!! :o)

It was a great time.

I have a few more pictures...I'll add them @ some point. :o)

See part two for the next phase of our trip...

Thursday, September 4, 2008


I'm home, I'm happy & tired... I'm fantastic!! My west coast tour was incredible!!!

I have stories to ramble on about & pictures to show...

Someday. LOL.

Busy busy girl...

I'll be back...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


I'm exhausted... I've been cramming for the last couple of weeks or so getting ready for an art show that is happening the Saturday after I get home. It was a last minute decision... It's going to be fantastic! (click on images for detail view)

I'll be doing the show w/ Jennifer Ionta at Woodland Hill Winery in Delano, Minnesota. It'll be my first outdoor show... I'm so excited about that, too!! LOL! (how can I stand it all???) I need FINISHED pieces for this show. I've been working on some new jewelry styles...finding my JEWELRY VOICE. Trying to figure out what I want to do that'll represent & be uniquely ME!

I've mostly been working with Vintaj Natural Brass findings... they look FANTASTIC w/ my beads & they're a fraction of the price of sterling silver!

I've found Double Helix's Terranova 2...

& what's even better, I found that I can actually get some color out of it! :o)

It's changed my world. Sam (my 13 year old) says that he doesn't even recognize my beads anymore! I'm just growning.
I CANNOT imagine what I'm going to be able to do after I get home from this crazy trip!!

I've also been having fun electroforming. I've had the kit since after the Gathering last summer, but had yet to set it up to use.

I decided, when I started making stuff for this show, that I needed to pull it out & start making some acorns. They'd be perfect for this show. I made my first electroformed glass acorn in May last year (2007) when our local group got together @ Julia Lund's. That's mainly why I wanted my own electroforming kit. It took me a while... but they're so worth it. So cute. PERFECT for this show.

...I need to take some pictures of my acorns... but here's a bead that I electroformed
Anyway... I've also been making some serving pieces... bottle stoppers & openers, cheese knives that I'm pairing w/ beautiful bamboo cutting boards, etc... they'll be perfect for this show @ the winery, too.

I'll take some pictures of those when I get home from Glass Stock, before I sell them all ;o) & will show them off here.

Till then...


OMG...OMG...OMG... I'm so excited. I'm leaving for Seattle on Wednesday morning. I'll spend the day w/ my aunt & cousin... then my friend Deb will be flying in on Thursday & we're going to wander around for a few days. We'll be going to the Frantz Glass Bash on Saturday... camping in an RV w/ several other crazy glass people for the weekend. Can't wait to meet all of the people that I see online on Lampwork Etc.

From there, on Sunday, we'll be heading to Chinook, Washington for a 2 day (pre Glass Stock) class w/ Jennifer Geldard on Monday & Tuesday... staying in a 2 bedroom apartment above the studio where the classes will be. Jennifer will even be staying there w/ us... it'll be great to get to know her!!

Then on Wednesday morning, we'll be heading for Newport, Oregon for GLASS STOCK!! I'm going to pee my pants, I'm so excited. Maybe I'll hurl first, I'm a nervous wreck as well.

Did I already mention that I'll be taking a Michael Barley class at the end of October??... holy crap... I'm going to be FABULOUS!! LOL!

Makes me emotional, actually. It almost feels like it's going to be life changing. Seriously. Everything that I am today, as a lampworker, is all me. After my initial basic lampworking class got me started, everything that I do... all of my style & creativity comes from ME... all of my bad lampworking habits, too... all me. :o) I can't imagine what I'll be able to do after this experience. It's a whole new journey for me.

Anyway... it's been a crazy, busy time for me. Need to find more time to blog... I'll have all sorts of things to say when I get back.

Till then...


Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I made this heart last night... I just love it. I pulled it out of the kiln this morning, cleaned it immediately, put in on a cable choker & wore it all day. :o) I'm not so sure if I'll give this one up... good thing I can make more, right? If I do put it up in my Etsy shop, I need to retake the pictures... the background of these is too blue... I didn't use my photo tent today, instead just took it outside w/ the glossy/gradient background (that Loriola made & posted for our use, thank you Lori!) & took quick pictures of it so I could show it off tonight. It was such a beautiful day, bright blue sky, that's what you're seeing reflected in the background... I couldn't photoshop the blue out w/out killing the bead colors. I'm thilled w/ the raku colors in this one! THAT doesn't happen everyday for me!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


So... I already posted the picture of me & my siblings w/ the "Mom Likes Me Best" T-shirts... well, all of us except for Scott, LOL, in the post below, NORTH CAROLINA PICTURES.

Well, my mom's 70th birthday is next month & since we were all together for the wedding, we decided to surprise her w/ a birthday lunch @ a Chinese Buffet before everyone left town. The night before, we decided that we would have 8x10 prints made for her of the two sibling pictures I posted below... the nice one from the wedding & the "Mom Likes Me Best" one w/ Scott pouting, LOL. My little sister & I went to pick up the prints from Walgreens & pick out frames to put them in. While we were there, we decided to look for birthday cards. [Probably] the 3rd one I picked up made me laugh so hard, it was so perfect, Jill & I decided to get it.... or shall I say THEM. :o)

So... after we were finished w/ lunch, we cleared Mom's spot & gave her her cards... one from each of us. She noticed that the envelopes were identical & even said "what, did you all give me the same card?" ... we wouldn't tell!! LOL. So, happily, she opened mine first, LOL... the cover says "Sure, sure, all your kids are special, love 'em all equally, Blah, Blah, Blah..." & she opened it up... it said [something like] "but I know, and you know, and that's all that really matters." LOL. I was sweet enough to write something like this inside... "Mom, I know that the first 28 years of your life were pretty empty, so glad that I was able to add a little bit of sunshine to your life" (of course I was #4 of 5... born when Mom was 28, LOL!) Pretty funny, she laughed, of course. Then she opened the next card..............LOL, it was the same card... so were the other three!!!! LOL. It was such a riot... absolutely perfect. Of course we were all wearing our "Mom Loves Me Best" shirts. :o)

Couldn't help but take a few pictures... make sure you click on them to see them full size.

So... growing up, we had always teased my little sister about being a "pill baby"... calling her "Jill Pill"... she was born 9 months after my dad got back from Vietnam. :o) Well... come to find that I was a pill baby, too... my brother was a result of failed birth control as well. LOL. Can't tease Jill anymore, can we?? :o) Anyway... when I was older I had heard that my Dad's sister, who was in my parents' will as legal guardian if anything happened to them, had said "no way" when Jill came along... 5 kids was too much (they had 4 of their own, eventually). When I found that out, I had to ask...... so one day when my dad, Brad (my hubby, then fiance') & I were out hiking in the Colorado mountains, I asked him....

"Dad... how many kids did you REALLY want?"
& he said... "Two... Scott & Jill!" (#3 & #5 kids!) LOL!!

I had a great childhood... very loving parents & pretty fun siblings (for the most part!!)... it was so much fun all getting together for my Niece's wedding. My parents' 50th Wedding Anniversary is coming up at Thanksgiving! Hoping we'll all be together again to celebrate!!


Sunday, July 20, 2008


I'm still trying to figured out reactive glass... I have the Opal Yellow & Rubino down, obviously... those just do what they do w/out much help from me...:o) but I've got 2 lbs of R4 shorts sitting in my studio collecting dust, waiting for me to figure it out & I'm not going to waste it till I figure out the less expensive stuff, like Raku (Reichenbach's R-108-C Iris Orange)... which I'm finally figuring out... but not consistently so.

I think most of these glasses like to be encased, which I do very little of, mainly because I haven't figured out which clear to use, LOL, so I haven't really pursued it. I have Vetrofond Crystal Clear, which from what I understand is better then Moretti Clear, but it's still scummy for me, but some people swear by it... seriously, I ask just about every nationally known person I come across (like @ B&B) what clear they use. Jeff Barber, who is in my local ISGB chapter, says he used just plain old Vetro Clear... NOT Crystal Clear... it's hard to find online, though. He says our local shop carries it, so maybe I'll be heading there soon. I bought a 1/2 lb of Lauscha Clear, which alot of people swear by, & it's pretty darned clear, but from what I've read & from what little I've experienced w/ it, it doesn't like silver glass. I made a monster bead that I rolled in Double Helix's Terra Frit & then let gravity manipulate it for a bit, then I tried to do a light encasement w/ the Lauscha Clear & ended up w/ a crack from end to end...... so, that was my first & last experience encasing w/ that. LOL. Maybe I gave up too soon, but that was a good hour of my time & the bead was pretty fabulous, so I didn't want to waste a whole lot more time trying to get it right. Guess I could try smaller beads, huh? LOL.

I'm also wondering if I'd have better luck w/ silver glass if I used tanked oxygen rather than concentrators... someone told me it was probably an issue, but I don't know. I'm going to bring some w/ me to Glass Stock next month (next month?? Yikes!!) & see if I'm able to do something w/ it...I'm sure there will be someone around during open torch time that can give me some tips.

Anyway... I've really enjoyed working w/ the Raku... wish it was a little more consistent for me... but even when I don't get a ton of color, I still kinda like it. :o) A glass that I seem to be able to get Raku to work w/ consistently is Moretti Dark Purpe Red, like the heart you see above... Here's a straight on view of that one & another one that I made w/ the combination...

this one is in my Etsy shop at the moment...

This one is my GONE IN SIXTY SECONDS" heart... (same glass, just etched)

Just love these hearts. Gotta make some more!! :o)


Saturday, July 19, 2008


This has got to be one of my favorite pieces...
Aiyana's Silver Reaction

(click on the image for a better view)

Of course it has my beloved Opal Yellow & Rubino... but I've been trying to add a little spice to that affair by adding more layers... so this one was partially wrapped in silver foil before laying down the Rubino dots from top to bottom... crazy how the Rubino reacts to the silver, isn't it?

When I first did this combination I had no clue that it did this... I was just so excited about how the glass pushes the silver into the gaps between the dots I laid down & when the glass was still hot the Rubino didn't look all that different than normal & I loved it... so I made probably 8 silver wrapped OY/Rubino beads that day & was shocked as heck when I saw what the bead fairy had left me the next morning when I opened up my kiln. Disappointed, actually. I thought, "Ugh, moss green!" I didn't like it. It wasn't what I was expecting. I really considered just tossing them. But, I went out to Lampwork Etc to see if anybody was talking about this combo & couldn't believe all of the comments about how much they loved the reaction between Rubino & silver. What???? LOL. Okay... so I didn't particularly love it, BUT maybe someone, somewhere would like them.

This was just before a show... so I decided to go ahead & price them & put them out on the table..... guess what I sold all of??? LOL. I guess people liked them. :o)

& actually... the reaction has really grown on me, too. Especially when I use it as a base for other designs, like the Raku stringerwork I did on the beads above... I just LOVE that.

If you didn't notice the link above, LOL, it's actually for sale in my Etsy shop.

Expect to see more of this from me. :o)

Till next time...


Thursday, July 17, 2008


The cutest thing I've ever seen.....

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Just a few quick pictures from my NC trip...

My sweet nieces w/ the wedding cake I did.

Sweet picture.

Me & my siblings...(L-R)
Jeri(#1), Me(#4), Jill(#5),
Scott(#3), Lisa(#4)

L-R - Youngest to Oldest. Scott says he forgot his shirt...we don't think Mom ever gave him one. LOL.

My Mom meets her great-grandson, Jonas.

Lots more pictures to come...

Thursday, July 3, 2008


I made it... North Carolina...I just love it here. My sister & my brother live here, it's been 4 years since I've seen my sister... a few years since I've seen my brother, so it's awesome to be here a day before everyone else arrives for my niece's wedding. We shopped for cake stuff tonight... tomorrow we start baking. :o) It's going to be a fun niece said "I don't care if it's stacked or on individual risers...whatever...all I want is for you to frost it all wavy, sprinkle it w/ edible glitter & shove plastic snowflakes into it like they just fell that way!" LOL...I can do that, easily. a very casual "Winter in July" wedding... at a place where Christian punk rock groups play every weekend... so the whole atmosphere is going to be really casual... a big party...gonna be fun.

I'll post pictures of this fun cake after the wedding (obviously)

Anyway... I'm missing my torch [& my family, I suppose! ;o)]... anxious to get home & get to work... it's been a long break... too long.

My plan for the next month before I leave for Glass Stock is to torch, torch, torch... take photos, write descriptions & get some pieces online... FINALLY. It's been a crazy several months... I need to get stuff out there, especially since I'm advertising w/ nothing to sell. Ugh. Actually, I've sold plenty in person, but need to get pieces online. I can tell that the holiday season is already going to be crazy... at least 2 weekend shows & 2 retail holiday boutiques that run from Thanksgiving through New lots of stock will be needed.

Till next time...


Tuesday, July 1, 2008


I finally took some time to write a few posts for the LEST (LampworkEtc Etsy Street Team) blog.

I didn't really have anything new & glassy to write about, so I wrote about where our creativity comes from & also about stepping outside of your comfort zone. In other words, I showed off the wedding cake. LOL., it was a good lesson... stepping outside your comfort zone... sometimes we like to stay in our comfy place, but that doesn't help us expand our creativity, does it?? I, myself, am always a little bit blown away when I'm able to accomplish a huge task w/ such success... maybe I need to write about this in its own post, huh?

Next time. :o)

Sunday, June 29, 2008


This cake came out so fabulous... when the bride saw it she cried... which made all of the hard work (& time to time frustration) completely worth it.

Click on the image for a detailed view, of course.

Of course the side of me that loves to show off said it was so worth it, too. LOL. I love having my creativity ooh'd & aah'd practical side said, OTOH, every time someone asked if I did this for a living "Oh, God no!" LOL.
I couldn't do this... especially when I would rather be melting glass. :o) It was fun, though... after the fact. LOL.

My mother & a few other cousins reminded me that I had said "never again" after the first cake. LOL. One more cousin left to get married off in this family of 3 kids... maybe not for another year or two. I told her last night that her cake needed to be small & simple, LOL, & she said "I'm handing in completely over to you... whatever you want to do." LOL.

I guess she has faith that the perfectionist in me won't disappoint, no matter what. I figure that if she wants the majority of it to be fake, I could start working on it now, maybe a tier every few months, & it could be massive. LOL.

Here's how messy I get when I make cakes, LOL. It was so warm in my house that I was working in the family room in our basement! LOL! Fondant doesn't like heat or humidity... it was in the high 80s/low 90s this past week... not good.

My parents came to town for this wedding (my cousin's... the groom), so it was fun to see them for a bit, in between cake making & torching... I made a necklace & bracelet set for the groom's gift to the bride... it came out beautiful. Did I take a picture? Nope. Dang.

Next? I'm flying to North Carolina on Wednesday, to make a cake for my niece's wedding. LOL. It never ends. :o) This one will be super simple & fun, though, very fun. (winter in July wedding!) I'll get to see more of my parents there... maybe. :o) It's going to be fun... big slumber party @ my sister's house w/ us 4 sisters... my poor brother, father of the bride, gets to entertain my sister-in-law's family @ their place. Bet we can talk him into coming over for a slumber party w/ us, too. :o)

Hoping to torch between now & when I leave... don't know if that's going to happen, though. Gotta clean up after my cake making mess first. Ugh.

BTW... the wedding was fabulous. The bride & groom are the most gorgeous couple you've ever seen... both over 6 ft tall.

Oh... to throw a little bit of glassiness into the mix, since this blog IS supposed to be about glass, LOL... my mom wanted me to show my cousins my beads last night after the reception... I sold over $180 between them, an aunt & my mom over the weekend. LOL.
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