Monday, November 29, 2010


I wish I had enough to say daily to keep you guys entertained, but I'm so busy keeping all of my balls up in the air that I'm not even coming up w/ things to say on FACEBOOK! How crazy is that?? :o)
Things are going GREAT... I'm enjoying keeping my Etsy shop stocked... although it's ALOT of work & life tends to keep me from listing as often as I would like to, but it's really satisfying to have my work on the internet instead of just @ shows, where only a small amount of people have access to my pieces. I'm focusing on acorns these days, I just can't make enough... can't complain, but they're the most labor intensive of any of the work I do, so I have to do them in batches, which makes each step, including photo taking & listing, a process. I do enjoy it, though. I've just listed 30 new acorns in my Etsy shop, they're already being plucked up, which makes me very happy... but there you go, I have to get busy making more!! :o)

Anyway... here's a few more acorns that I listed.....
(clicking images will bring you to their listings)

& a FABULOUS skeleton key heart that I just love!

Off to make some more acorns!!

~ Julie

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


It was a year ago this month that I took a fantastic class w/ Andrea Guarino @ Blue Moon Glassworks in Austin, Texas. One of the big things that I took away from her class was how to properly clear (I mean CLEAR) encase. I had given up on making clear encased beads just a few months into beadmaking because #1, I couldn't find a really clear clear glass, it was always so mucked up... not pretty..... & #2, I didn't understand how not to completely smear what I was trying to encase... again, not pretty. So I just went on w/out it. I grew into a glass bead artist who worked pretty much exclusively in opaques. I figured out how to get depth through texture & a variety of opaque & metallic finishes, rather than beautiful transparent beads that have internal layers that give the bead depth. What I learned in Andrea's class is that I was working WAY too close to the torch-head...I was frying my clear. So I learned to back off a bit & just take my time... also learned how to keep what's going on inside firm while applying the molten clear. Yay.

I've spent the last year trying to figure out how to incorporate transparents & the beautiful silver glasses that are so beautiful under a layer of clear into my strong opaque / organic style! I've been having a good time seeing what I can come up with. Just thought I'd show you a few...
(click images to enlarge)
Of course there are these beautiful blue & ivory acorns...

These three beads I'm in love with... especially the big one in the center... it's a bit more organic than the other two. 

This piece was made on a vintage steel sewing cabinet key. Such a beautiful shape.

Can't wait to get back to my torch!!

Till then...

~ Julie

Saturday, November 6, 2010


I had such a blast on my trip to Texas last month.... stopped in Kansas City for dinner w/ a bunch of my favorite Missouri friends & stayed @ my friend Stacy & Jerry's place overnight. THANK YOU! It was a long drive to Dallas/Ft.Worth on my own, but no problem. Just one quick stop in Wichita to check out a warning light on the truck, didn't want to end up in the middle of nowhere, did I?

I picked up Mom @ DFW... I think I know that place like the back of my hand now... spent enough time driving around in circles looking for her!!! Not fun. Enjoyed spending time w/ her & meeting up w/ a few of her friends. THANK YOU, Bobby Jo (& Mom!) for all of your help!!

BeadFest Texas was FANTASTIC for its first year... I had so much fun, especially w/ my Mom being there w/ me... the first time she's ever been to a show w/ me. I think she was impressed. :o) I definitely plan on doing it again next year. So much fun to meet such wonderful customers, meet new vendors & see many friends, too... I really enjoy shows, although they kick my butt.

Here are some pictures that my Mom took of my display, etc...
(click images to enlarge)
I met up w/ a sweet group of ladies who took me out to breakfast & talked to me about coming to Waco to teach a class in the spring! They were awesome, Lisa, Jenna & Jill... I had such a great time getting to know them... & I can't wait till next April!! It was also great to be able to meet a few Facebook friends in person... Gwen & Debbie. I just love meeting online friends in person... being able to hear their voices & see their mannerisms, etc.... makes the online experience that much more personal.

Spent a few more days w/ my Mom... drove down to Temple, TX for a quick visit w/ my cousin, Eric, & his sweet wife, Kim... so wonderful to see them. Took Mom by Blue Moon Glassworks in Austin on our way to San Antonio & spent the evening w/ my Uncle (Mom's brother), Aunt & cousin. It was good to see everyone!

Dropped Mom off @ the San Antonio airport (SO MUCH EASIER than picking her up @ the DFW airport!!) & picked up my friend Sue! (more below about Sue)

We had such a blast in Austin for a class w/ JC Herrell @ Blue Moon Glassworks! JC is a phenomenal teacher... not just because her beads are fantastic & fun to do, but she's so knowledgeable about glass & enamels & what she does... the hows & whys enamels work specific ways, etc. AND, she couldn't stress enough about enamel safety... putting just enough fear in us so that we, as adults, can make an informed decision as to how much protection to use & what kinds of conditions we should work in. (proper ventilation, cleanliness, etc...) It was just plain wonderful to get to spend some time w/ her, too. She's one sweet lady.

& of course Jim & Rose Berry were, once again, the ultimate hosts! Love them. Blue Moon Glassworks is such a wonderful place to take classes... sure wish they were closer!!! :o) It was wonderful to have some time getting to know them a little bit better after class @ dinner a few nights. Good times. Can't wait to get down there again!

We had a great time running around Austin w/ Donna Mehnert looking for the fantastic mosaic murals by Aly Winningham of Terra Firma Studios. Here, we found the mosaic bench surrounding the fire pit @ The Domain (phase 2), called "Texas Hill Country Birds". It's fantastic.

& spending some time w/ Lisa Reid (who I met last November when I was in Austin for Andrea Guarino's class).... & was so happy to have a little time w/ Anne Ricketts our last night in town. It was also wonderful meeting Martha Brogdon in class... we're friends on Facebook... always nice to meet people in person.  Funny, too, a woman that I met @ BeadFest was in my JC class, too!! How fun is that?

It was awesome to have my new great friend Sue Peoples fly down there to take the class & then drive all the way back to Minnesota w/ me!! We have met just a few times & are friends on Facebook, but had never spent any time together. It was wonderful. She's such a sweetie... fun & a talker, just like ME... we were never short on words, LOL, it made the ride home a breeze. Can't wait to spend some more time w/ her.

Anyway... what an adventure!! Can't wait for the next one!!

Till then...

~ Julie

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