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.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


I've mentioned that I'm working on a wedding cake right now & thought that I'd show you a FEW of the cakes that I've done in the past.

I've never taken a cake decorating class & no, I don't make cakes for a living... all of the ones you see below have been for my kids, family or friends. The wedding cake I'm working on now will be my 2nd one. I'll be making my 3rd one a week later in North Carolina for my niece. Yes...I'm a glutton for punishment!! :o)

Click on the image to see a larger view & forgive the image quality of most. Some of them were scanned & most of them were edited before I knew how to edit & NOT to delete the original copy! LOL! (sad but true)

This is my oldest's first birthday cake...I hesitated buying the 3D bear cake mold, it was expensive for me at the time. I said that I would use it multiple times... which, as you can see below, I have. I actually made a cute cat cake for my DH the same year as this one... no pictures to be found.

This is his 2nd birthday cake...I didn't know that Pooh's honey pot was spelled HUNNY. :o)

He picked up each Pooh character & said each one's name... and licked the frosting off of their butts. :o)

My youngest's 2nd birthday cake...isn't it fantastic??? :o) The large base is actually a big aluminum roasting pan turned upside down. LOL.

Completely an original idea...Bear & ball are cake, sandcastle is rice krispie treat...

Mask & flippers were made out of foam...the mask had a clear plastic front on it, which squished the bear's nose! LOL.

My nephew's graduation cake... he was a lacrosse player... those are little Lego soccer guys w/ handmade lacrosse sticks. :o) (& he's on top of the world!) This was before I knew that stacked cake layers were usually internally supported... these were just stacked one on top of the other...thus, the tilt. LOL. (Brandon is now a new daddy!!)

Another nephew's graduation cake. My oldest sister did the picture...I tried, but I don't paint people...frosting or not. :o) (Seth is getting married this fall... no, I'm not making his cake!)

Isn't this fun? Inspired by Collette Peter's rice crispie castle cake. It was probably 30" tall... taller than my 5 year old sitting on the table.

Another fun one...the kids love the candy & rice crispy treats & they're so easy to do!

I was on a roll... this one was for the designer I work with.

My girlfriend's baby shower cake...inspired by some cookies (like the ones below) my mom bought for my kids...

I made cookies for all of the shower guests to take home.

He wanted cupcakes that year...cupcakes aren't tall enough to be fun!! :o)

My girlfriend's little boy's 1st birthday...

Isn't he adorable? Kid's pretty cute, too! :o)

Let the dismembering begin...

My first wedding cake ever... winter themed wedding. My aunt had seen some of these awesome cakes that I had done in the past & asked me if I would be willing to do my cousin's wedding cake... I wasn't so sure, it scared the heck out of me, but I agreed to make a sample to see what I was covered in rolled fondant & so easy to do... so I said yes.

It turned out fabulous!!

But my Mom said that I said that I'd never do another wedding cake again. LOL. I don't remember saying that, although I'm saying it again, as I delve into this next wedding cake... my cousin's brother (which would make him my cousin, too, LOL. I knew this would be a busy time for me & I really did consider saying no... but the part of me that likes to show off really wanted me to do it. LOL. LUCKILY, 5 of the 6 tiers (yes, I said 6 tiers...& it's stacked! YIKES!!) are fake... styrofoam inside, it's just for show & to give them a cake to cut & feed to eachother. But being fake & covered in fondant, I can work on them over time & just do the final tier a day or two before. It's been fun & it's going to be fantastic!!

Luckily there is only one more cousin in that family. :o) Beyond her, I'm saying no. LOL.

Friday, June 20, 2008


My "I LIKE IT HOT" T-shirt arrived today... pretty cool. I think that the letters are a little small, though...just about an inch high, since they could only print it so I stretched the whole thing in Photoshop till they were probably 2 1/2" tall, I think, & uploaded it to CafePress...& reordered another one!! LOL! Geez. Gotta check to make sure it looks good before I put it up in my shop. How many "I LIKE IT HOT" shirts can I have?? Will be a good night shirt, if anything. I don't know that I'd wear it anywhere that wasn't lampworking related. LOL.

Or maybe I would. :o)

...Julie DH got home late tonight after an evening out w/ his brother... I met him in the bedroom for a little "chat"... he saw my shirt & grinned...wide. :o)

pss...I was supposed to get my postcards today, but they were delayed in transit by a day...bummer. Oh well, tomorrow is soon enough. UPS delivers on Saturday, right?? Maybe not.

psss...LOL...dang it...I just checked the tracking on my postcard... they won't be here till Monday. :o( I'm so anxious to see them!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Wii NOT FIT...


We got the Wii Fit game last month when it came out & my youngest has been using it almost daily, playing & exercising...strength training, balance, yoga, aerobics...tracking his time working out, unlocking new levels... just plain old having fun.

We actually got it for MY birthday... I asked for it... I need to get a grip on my weight... I've been losing this battle since I started lampworking & have got to start doing something about it... so I thought the the Wii Fit game sounded like it might be kinda fun.

Anyway... we've had it just about a month & I had yet to use it. I finally set up my profile tonight... made my "Mii" (my little Wii person)...did the body test... which checks your balance, gets your height, age, weight ( actually weighs you on the Wii Board) tells you what your BMI is & even your Fit Age.... & then it tracks these figures as you go along. It even had me set a weight loss goal... I said 10 lbs in 2 months... so it's going to track that. (I'd like to do MORE...Glass Stock is in 2 months) but I'm realistic...10 lbs is even a stretch, usually.

So...after getting all of the intial stuff setup it shows me my Mii... which I had already set as a little bit chunky... LOL... not... it made me really chunky. It'll be fun to watch her shrink. :o)

I've been watching Brayden playing these games, standing on the Wii Board... balance games, step aerobics, boxing, etc... it looks EASY... it's easy enough, but you can REALLY feel it!! The Wii Board is only about 1 1/2 inches off of the ground & the pace of the step "class" is pretty easy, so I figured that it would be not a whole lot of anything....... well, it's easy on the knees, which is good, but I can really feel it in my butt & thighs. That's cool.

I played for 20 minutes... it was fun... I need to do it every day. :o)

..... busy making a wedding cake this week... wish I was torching.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

INTERCHANGABLE PENDANT HOLDERS... the silver one in my postcard photo a few posts below...

...people are asking about it... wondering if or when I'm going to have them available for sale!! Yes!!

Now I just have to find some spare time to work on them. :o)


I received my poster from CafePress's fantastic, if I may say so myself. :o) I already have it hanging in my studio, w/ pretty silver upholstery tacks, LOL, it should be framed, though. :o)

I might offer it in a CafePress shop...someday...when I'm famous & someone wants a picture of my bead on their wall. :o) I actually ordered a mini poster (11"x17") for my DH's cubicle @ work. (he asked for one!)

Speaking of CafePress...I made myself a t-shirt... can't wait to get it. If it's as awesome as I think it will be, I'll offer it up in my CafePress shop, too. No, I don't have a CafePress shop yet... well, I do... ...but I just got it, nothing to put in it yet... think I'll upgrade to a Premium shop so I can do more designs.... a basic shop can only be one design on all of the different items. This could be fun. :o)

Anyway... this is what's on my T-shirt...

I added the flames to the outlined font in Photoshop... I liked the white outline on the black tee (w/out the white fill), but didn't think they looked like complete letters from afar... so I sloppily (on purpose) filled them in w/ the white. Now I need to redo it for a white shirt...don't know if it'll have black fill or what. Any suggestions?? This is fun. LOL.

I'm supposed to be working on a wedding cake. :o)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


about the postcard photo below... I think it's sharp enough to be printed as a poster. LOL. Yeah, I'm going to put it up on CafePress & order one for my studio. I suppose I could make it available to others, too, LOL. Everyone wants a Julie Nordine poster, don't they??? :o)

later that day (LOL):
okay...I ordered a 20" x 16" poster, LOL... we'll see how it works out.


This piece right here has become my absolute favorite piece these days:

I just love it!! I made the bail from scratch, too!

I traded Jennifer Ionta of Spotted Moon Designs one of my beads for one of her gorgeous beadable pendant holders at the Twin Cities Bead Bazaar early in the spring & it had this mechanical clutch at the bottom of the wire that firmly held the bead in place. I thought it was a brilliant idea. I had been thinking for quite a while about wanting to design my own interchangable pendant holders, but I don't know how to do threaded ends to use with threaded bead ends... and also felt like having the threads would be really limiting as far as lengths go, since you're committing to a specific length. With the wire, you can cut it to any length! The next day I asked Jennifer if the clutch was her original idea & she said no... I told her about wanting to do my own interchangable pendants & that the clutch would be perfect... also told her that in no way shape or form was I going to copy her bail idea. It's beautiful & it's HER's. I would come up w/ my own bail designs.

I actually saw several people @ the Bead & Button Show this past weekend who were selling beadable pendant holders w/ that clutch (or a clutch)... so I have no idea how long the idea has been out there... so THANK YOU, whoever came up w/ this brilliant idea. :o)

I found some surgical steel for the wire since it's much harder than sterling & won't kink on me, but you can't solder surgical steel to sterling, bummer... so I'm still working on it.

I've been buying some neat sterling bails... mainly tube beads w/ a ring to hang something from, so I'm forming a loop on the end of the surgical steel & attaching it to the bails... they're cute, but I still want to do something that's all ME, you know??

So... I've been playing w/ PMC (precious metal clay). That's what the piece above is made from. I love it. The steel wire is imbedded right into it. I'm going to try to come up w/ several different pieces & will probably start looking into having them cast.

BTW... the complete image is going to be the front of my postcard. I'm submitting 400 of them to this year's ISGB Gathering in Oakland to be put into boxed sets along w/ a whole bunch of other artist's bead postcards... BIG NAME artists!! I'm so excited!! :o) They'll sell them to other bead artists and the public @ the Gathering this summer. Then I'll have some left over (about 600!) to have for myself at shows & to send to customers, etc...

This is the back side:

isn't it fantastic??? I just love it.

I posted the bead photo on Lampwork Etc the other day... the reaction has been wonderful & I've already had several people contact me about the bail. Yeah!! :o) One of the artists who makes incredible beads said, "Julie: It's a beautiful postcard (thanks for the reminder by the way, I need to do mine too) and it's STunning bead! and beautiful photography! You can't help but be proud of the whole thing. Everything you do is amazing though." WOW!! Talk about flooring me! I don't post my pieces there very often...didn't know if the big kids noticed me or not. Makes me REALLY happy!! :o)

Anyway... w/ the bail, I think I might have something here. :o)

Now to get some things listed for sale online!!! :o)

Monday, June 9, 2008


My friend Mallory (rosebud101) & I took a little road trip this past weekend to the Bead & Button Show in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It was my first time there & it was FANTASTIC!! We spent just about 2 full days there... early Friday afternoon through early Sunday afternoon & I'm so glad that we didn't just make a day of it. You CANNOT do B&B in just a day.

Well, first of all, I should say that I was mainly there to scope things out, see if it was a show I might want to eventually sell at, so I didn't really plan to "shop" for things... (I obviously had no idea what I was in for. LOL!) I asked Mallory along for company...certainly didn't want to go by myself, right? We learned rather quickly that we're different kinds of shoppers, LOL! I'm there to scope, I like to visit w/ others, network, I guess you would call it. Mallory, OTOH, was a woman on a mission... with a list. :o) She also disappears quicker than a 4 year old, LOL... we learned that cell phones come in really handy & also learned that we don't need to be attached at the hip, either.

Anyway...Bead & Button Show is HUGE... almost 400 vendors... I truly didn't know what to expect. I knew that there would be people selling all sorts of beads & jewelry findings & such... but I had no idea that there would be lampworking suppliers ABR, Frantz Art Glass & Arrow Springs... as well as Cattwalk, my favorite presses, Mary Poineal of McDuck Creations... and Scott Bouwens of Bearfoot Art, a lampwork tool engineering wizard who must never sleep! (I learned that if you ask Scott the right question(s), you can keep him talking for hours. LOL. We visited a few times...he's so generous w/ his knowledge...nice guy!)

I knew that my new friend :o) Bernadette Fuentes would be selling there, Tony & Lisa Blackwell from Zoa Art, too... as well as Jeff Barber, Stephanie Sersich & Dustin Tabor, since they were all teaching, & my local friend James Henke from Outa Torch Glasswerks was there, too... but I had no clue that so many other fabulous lampwork artists would be there as well... Andrea Guarino-Slemmons, Kate Fowle Meleney, James Daschbach, Dora Schubert, Milon Townsend, Larry Scott, Leah Fairbanks, Ellen Black, Gail Crosman Moore, Bronwen Heilman, Kristen Frantzen Orr, Heather Trimlett, Wayne Robbins, Sharon Peters, Lisa Kan, Nancy Tobey... just to name a few. LOL. Literally. There were many many more...I can't possibly name them all. Oh yeah, LOL... Michelle from Caliente Glass (aka. Boobie Beads) was a kick, had fantastic boobie beads, LOL & even better skulls & was sharing a space w/ Kerri Fuhr & Stephanie Ann... all of whom have incredibly fabulous beads. Mallory got a fabulous skull bead from Michelle & I bought a beautiful ocean bead from Stephanie Ann. I was completely in love w/ Kerri's beads, but had to pick one over the other.

I was so happy to see Bernadette, she's such a sweetie. I FINALLY bought one of her fantastic hand beads (yay!)... some of her other pieces, an incredible necklace in particular, just floored me. She & Mallory have befriended eachother online & they met eachother for the first time @ the show. We ran to Bernadette's booth first thing when we got there & I looked at her neighboring vendor & realized that it was this guy I had been trying to track down since the Gathering last year!!! I had seen James Daschbach & his fantastic beads about 5 minutes before the end of the Gathering's Bead Bazaar & knew I could find him again & then promptly forgot his name, LOL. I had seen his pieces in ads before & thought for sure I would see one again, but nope. :o) I was THRILLED to see him... I think the first thing I said to him was "hey, you're hair is much longer than it was @ the Gathering!" LOL. Geez... really smooth. :o) Anyways... YES, I did purchase one of his fabulous beads & chatted w/ him a bit a few different times throughout the show. He's going to start teaching & I HAVE to be his pupil. :o) I'm going to be in Seattle in August... I might have to go take a ferry ride for a private class.

It was nice to meet Andrea Guarino-Slemmons & see her fantastic beads in person. Just makes me want to take a class from her even more. Her hubby Whit is adorable. He's also a flirt. LOL.

Everyone that I knew (or found out) lived in the Seattle area I had to ask if they were going to be going to Mike Frantz's Glass Bash in August... Mallory thought I was bragging about going to Glass Stock (the week afterwards), I just wanted to know if I was going to have a chance to see them again & hopefully watch them demo!! So many fantastic glass artists live in that area... I think I'm moving there. :o) & yes, many of them will be @ the bash. Yeah!!

Libby from Third Degree Glass Factory in St. Louis was there...she has such beautiful beads & I had a really nice time meeting her & visiting w/ her. I'm definitely going to go take a class w/ her @ Third Degree & I think we're going to try to get her up here to teach.

It was really nice seeing & visiting w/ Kristi Everson of Coliebug Beads...I've seen her at the past few Twin Cities Bead Bazaars that we were both selling at & never really got a chance to visit w/ her. She does such awesome metalwork.

It was also nice to visit w/ Jennifer Ionta of Spotted Moon Designs... she's part of my local lampworking group but doesn't live really close, so it was nice to see her. She's a super sweet lady & not only makes beautiful lampwork beads, but also makes incredible jewelry! Annemarie Herrlich & I are going to take a field trip down to her studio & play a bit sometime in the near future.

I ended up w/ some incredible beads... I couldn't help myself.... from:
Bernadette Fuentes
James Daschbach
Stephanie Ann
Lisa Kan
Scott Bouwens
Julie Suchy

Dora Schubert's beads are just as fabulous in person as you'd expect... & she's pretty darned nice, too. It was nice to chat w/ her. Her daughter was there w/ her ...beautiful girl, looks just like her mom.

I also had a really nice visit with Lori Engle of Heiden & Engle on our last day there... a really nice lady. It was funny because as I was talking to her I noticed a bead on her table that was just a little bit similar to the one I had been wearing all weekend (until that day, of course!) in that it had Rubino dots on the bottom 3/4 of the long tube & something different on the top 1/4. I thought that maybe I had packed that bead (w/ pendant holder & silk ribbon ...I'll post it in the next post) in the bag I had w/ me & sure enough I did... so I pulled it out & showed it to her. As she was chcking it out, the subject of how long I have been lampworking came up & she looked at me & said "do many people tell you that they hate you?" LOL. I took that as a compliment. :o) Very funny. I hope to meet up w/ her again someday... maybe next year.

Mallory & I really enjoyed shopping at & visiting w/ Catt & Fred from Cattwalk. The have such fantastic presses & so many awesome bead samples at their booth... it's really fun to just look at everything you can do w/ these presses. Catt had a simple & petite cross on display that had been made with her thinner versacube press & I mentioned that I have the thicker version of that press & make much larger crosses on it & she wanted to know if I had any of them w/ me, so I brought my beads along w/ me on Saturday to show her. We ended up trading one of my crosses, 2 crunched beads & a kaleidoscope (for her mom!) for 2 presses!! Yes!! :o) She had all of the beads out on display so others could see the larger cross & the fact that I manipulate & decorate them after pressing them..... and she wanted the 2 crunched beads because I don't completely fill the press, so the sides aren't thin & sharp and again, I decorate & manipulate the glass after I press it. She wants me to play w/ the versacube press more to see what else I can do w/ it & send her the beads so she can include them & the cross as examples on her website. I still ended up buying 4 more presses from her, too. LOL. God, I'm in trouble. :o)

Some non-lampwork favorites were Anne Choi, BEAUTIFUL & intricately detailed silver beads, Diane Hawkey had some of the cutest ceramic inspiration word beads...I think I ended up w/ a half dozen of them. LOL. Another ceramic artist was Jennifer Heynen of Jangles... she had really fun & whimsical beads & toggles. I got the most beautiful hand dyed fibers & ribbons from the Fiber Goddess & special ordered her The Diva Custom Cord Maker, which is quicker & simpler to use than the kumihimo disc I use now. (I can put the kids to work for me this summer so I can offer some fabulous braided cords w/ my beads, LOL...they've gotten pretty good @ kumihimo!!) And I bought an incredible polymer clay heart pendant from Christi Friesen of CForiginals... and spent a bit visiting w/ her, too.

Some of my other favorite suppliers were Vintaj, I just love their stuff & it was so nice to meet them & see their pieces in person. I get so many great comments on my pieces made w/the Vintaj findings... I had packed up a few of them & brought them w/ me to show them on Sunday after talking to them on Saturday about them. I'm going to send them photos for them to post in the gallery. Yeah!! :o)

Such crazy weather while we were there...we almost didn't go because the forecast looked horrible, but I'm so glad we went. Lots of thunderstorms the whole weekend & some tornadoes in the area, too. Sunday, maybe a half hour from closing time, while I was on the show floor they announced that there was a tornado warning for the area & to be safe they were asking everyone to stay away from the lobby windows & stay on the show floor.......& feel free to contintue to shop. LOL!! The whole room roared w/ laughter. It was pretty funny. There were some touchdowns in the area, but nothing that close & the warning was lifted just in time to close up for the evening. Bummer. :o)

Anyway...if you've followed along w/ me this far, THANK YOU, LOL... there's so much more I could talk about... but that's enough for now.

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