Tuesday, October 30, 2007

CREATIVITY...how I got here...

If you want to know a little bit about where the creative side of me came from, read on...

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


I just wanted to talk about a few of the people I met @ the Gathering...

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


This is my favorite bead...

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 mentioned in a previous post that Lampworking just "fits" me... I'm an "instant gratification" type of girl & I find lampworking completely & instantly gratifying! :o)

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!)

Well...the Gathering was fabulous... overwhelming, exhausting, but fabulous. It was incredible seeing & meeting all of these lampworking "icons" & seeing their work in person! There was no time to see absolutely everything @ the Bead Bazaar... especially because I was selling w/ my chapter, too, but I would break away for a bit & wander... it was hard for me to just look & not chat w/ absolutely everyone, but there was no time.

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


I took my first basic lampworking class in late January 2007... yes, I said 2007. I was INSTANTLY hooked! I practice, A LOT!! :o) I took to lampworking so quickly that my instructor (now friend) says that she’s going to have to take classes from ME!! Someday. :o) I remember her walking by me as I’m making my first little black bead, saying “you did your homework, didn’t you?” Why, YES I DID! :o) When I finally decided to take a class, I spent a good 2 obsessed months researching everything I could find online about lampworking, mainly reading tutorials on Lampwork Etc. & watching lampworking videos on YouTube! I came into that class w/ TOO MUCH knowledge, LOL, my poor instructor wasn't ready for me!! :o) I already had so many ideas of what I wanted to learn, I was asking her about this & asking her about that.... some things she had tried, others she hadn't heard of, etc...

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


Well...if you're reading this, you found me! :o)

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)
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