Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Here is the PART 2 to my first SOMEONE'S IN THE STUDIO W/ JULIE video that I posted back in August. Now it's my sister's turn to give it a try @ the torch. She did a great job & was even initiated, too, into my world w/ her first burn! Don't worry, it's not graphic & I give you a little countdown to when she does it.

That was just her 2nd bead. If she were a real student, we wouldn't be jumping in like that... she didn't learn anything about making a bead round, how gravity works or really how to hold things correctly, etc. She definitely jumped in w/ both feet & did great, though!!


~ Julie

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

Friday, October 22, 2010


The Twin Cities Bead Bazaar is coming up this weekend & I'll be there!! It's a great show w/ vendors from all over the US. Lots of great art glass bead artisans!!

Here's a coupon for 20% off any one item @ my table... print it out & come see me! 
See you there!!

~ Julie

Saturday, September 25, 2010


I got the best note on my Facebook wall today from someone who purchased a large amount of product over the past week & had received her package this morning. I must share, it made me smile...

Cake Serving Set... my first set of these.
"I never understood how one could fall in love with someone they've never met. And furthermore, how it could be a woman if I wasn't gay. But, I think you've managed. LOL! I got my package today, can you tell? Everything is STUNNING, and the red heart key is MIME MINE MINE!!!! Thank you, Julie ♥"

It was such a pleasure to work w/ someone who knows & appreciates art glass pieces. It makes her funny little note that much more meaningful.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


I just received a wonderful letter from an interior designer I used to work with. She just saw my website & just had to send me a note. I had to share, it really touched me. 


Sweet note... it was good to hear from her. The reason it touched me so was that I have so much respect for Sandy & for her to get a chance to see how I'm doing & how far I've come means alot to me. THANK YOU, WENDY!! 

The one thing that really hit me was that it had been a good 2 1/2 years since she had seen my work.... my very early work. And I remember how much she gushed over my little black beads in the very beginning. I remember back then, I would go out to LampworkEtc & see the work of the BIG KIDS & would feel really intimidated & frustrated that I would never be that good. Over time, I got up the nerve to start posting pictures of my work & had a few specific BIG KIDS message me w/ really encouraging words. That meant oh so much to me. I can see how far I've come in those 3 1/2 short years... I'm a BIG KID now & I just want you, the newer kids, to know that you just need to be patient, it'll happen. Focus on what you enjoy & just play. Don't push yourself to just make SOMETHING so you can start selling your work... take your time, search for your voice & strive to stand out. Be different. You can do it. Ask me how I know. :o)

These thoughts probably came on because I'm feeling a little intimidated today. I just found out that along w/ me teaching @ the Midwest Glass Experience @ Third Degree Glass Factory in St. Louis in February, Brent Graber (Mr. Smiley) & Jennifer Geldard have both been asked to teach. I.N.T.I.M.I.D.A.T.I.N.G... seriously. I'm suddenly that little kid again... questioning my abilities & experience. But I'll be okay. I can do it. Ask me how I know. ;o)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Just a quick reminder that I'm going to be @ Bead Fest Texas?? (I'm still not on their list online!) Booth 423, come find me! Should be a great show!! Here's a coupon for 20% off any 1 item @ my booth, I'll have an ad in the program worth 10% off any 1 item, too. You can use both coupons, but only 1 per item.

I'll tease you a bit w/ what I might be bringing..... ACORNS, of course... & etched copper leaves & washers

And handmade findings, like my twig & other changeable findings
changeable bead pendant

this was my Bead & Button tease, but these are representative of some of my pieces...

I'll have beautiful hand dyed ribbons & both sterling & Vintaj brass chains (that go perfectly w/ my acorns!)

& plenty more. 

Hope to see you there!! 


I couldn't wait for Barnes & Noble or even Target to open this morning, so I ran to our 24 hour WalMart as soon as I delivered The Teenager to school to see if the Oct/Nov issue of BEADWORK Magazine was on the shelves yet.... IT WAS!!! How exciting it was to see my name in the TITLE on a magazine page! (my very first!) Of course I had to check it out as soon as I picked it up. Ever fallen apart [just a little bit] in the magazine aisle @ WalMart? ;o)

A portion of my Bead Artist feature in BEADWORK...
If you found your way to my blog via BEADWORK, Welcome!! You'll find me not only creative & artistic... but sometimes quite a rambler & a bit of a goofball. I hope you take a bit of time & enjoy getting to know me. Then come find me on FACEBOOK. I tend to update & post pictures of current pieces more often there than anywhere else. You'll also find me quite busy @ the moment, getting ready for BeadFest Texas, which I'm leaving for a week from today! (w/ a 3-day Kristina Logan class thrown in this weekend!) I have some items on Etsy, but have had a really busy few weeks of sales, sales, sales & because I'm in show mode at the moment, I won't have a chance to add new items until mid October. If you'd like me to let you know when I've posted new items, head to my website's CONTACT page & sign up for my newsletter. I'll be sure to send out a message when I start adding more items to my shop. Feel free to contact me, as well, if you're looking for something specific or just want to get in touch!

Thanks all!

~ Julie

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Just thought I'd post a link to an interview I did w/ Erin Prais-Hintz of the Art Bead Scene blog. It was fun to do. I met Heather Powers & Erin @ Bead & Button this summer, Heather mentioned an interest in doing an artist interview w/ me for the Art Bead Scene blog. Erin sent me the questions & did some super fine editing (because you know how I tend to ramble on & on! LOL!) & they posted it earlier this week. Great job, Erin! THANK YOU!!


Friday, September 17, 2010


I'm busy getting pieces made for BeadFest Texas... it starts 2 weeks from today! I'm leaving Tuesday, the 28th AND I have a 3 day Kristina Logan class next weekend, so not alot of time to get ready!! I only decided to do BeadFest a few weeks ago, which I know is crazy, but I'll be ready. It'll be a great show! Hope you're coming!!
(click image for a larger detailed shot)
Just thought I'd do another "beads soaking in water" shot for you... I love these. This is what I've been doing for the last few days...
I've been having fun w/ skeleton key beads. Some of my favorite are actually not skeleton keys, but are sewing machine keys... even clock keys... they don't have the typical "key part", they look like this instead...

...kind of pointed (or square) on the end so I can just make an end-of-the-mandrel bead [like I typically do these days] on the end of the key & it looks great! It allows me to get a really good shape on the bottom. I love doing it... it ends up being just a really beautiful bail to hang from a ribbon or cord. The ivory heart and the piece @ the top of the picture by the big heart are made like this. So glad I found these keys!

Anyway... busy, busy, busy. So excited about Kristina's class, but need to focus on getting tons of things done this coming week!

Till then....

~ Julie

Monday, September 13, 2010

TOGGLE BEADS (aka Bead-on-a-Bead)...

I've been so interested in toggle beads (aka Bead-on-a-Bead) since I read about them in Cindy Jenkins' book Making Glass Beads when I first started making beads. I've seen other artists make these, Jill Symons for one,  they're so interesting... playful. I've wanted to try my hand @ it, so I made a bunch of big hole beads one day, cleaned them the next, put them back into my cold kiln & let them heat up as my kiln ramped up. After an hour or so, I made my base bead, got the disc wall up on one side & then tried to put the beads on, but my base was too thick. So I tried it again, thinner base... & went to put the beads on &  just wasn't coordinated enough to get them on quickly enough. I lost the base (crack) & one of the beads cracked in half, so I gave it up for the day @ that point. I needed to figure out how in the world I was going to do it. A friend gave me some instructions & it was really obvious, I was making my beads too small. I was barely giving them much room to slip on. They needed to be much much larger than the base. It made sense. I still haven't gotten back to try it again, but in the meantime, I've been playing w/ the idea of making FAKE toggle beads. I had already made several different batches of big hole beads in preparation for making real ones, so I made long tube beads & then some separate disc beads to match. Last night I started playing around, figuring out how I wanted to put them together... this is what I came up w/.

 I especially like this set because it's a bit more random than the next one, feels really good in my hand & has a really great sound
But I wasn't really sure about the wiring. I love the silver spacer beads, but the holes aren't big enough for me to put a piece of silver tubing through & line the beads together, so this one got wired up.

I think I'm going to completely finish this piece unless someone jumps me & says NO!!! :o)
 LOVE the colors in this piece... the beads are cool, but not quite as fun as the other, more random sized ones. They're thinner, too, so they don't sound as cool as the other. This one has a piece of sterling tubing that lines the entire length & holds it all together...
including a couple of etched copper bead caps. I love the look & it leaves a hole all the way through, still, so someone can easily integrate it into a piece of jewelry, using it just like any other bead.
They're pretty good size, as you can see... I like them!!

How about you? Am I onto something that I should pursue further?? Should I sell them completely made up into a piece of jewelry... or do I sell them as-is so you can do your own thing w/ it? Or do I leave everything loose in pieces & let you REALLY do your own thing w/ it? What would you pay for such a thing? My beads don't tend to be really inexpensive, but I want to hear from you...

Until then...

~ Julie

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Have I mentioned that I've decided to do Bead Fest Texas?? Booth 423, come find me! Should be a great show!! Here's a coupon for 20% off any 1 item @ my booth, I'll have an ad in the program worth 10% off any 1 item, too. You can use both coupons, but only 1 per item.
I'll tease you a bit w/ what I might be bringing..... ACORNS, of course... & etched copper leaves & washers

And handmade findings, like my twig & other changeable findings
changeable bead pendant

this was my Bead & Button tease, but these are representative of some of my pieces...

I'll have beautiful hand dyed ribbons & both sterling & Vintaj brass chains (that go perfectly w/ my acorns!)

& plenty more. 

Hope to see you there!! 

Friday, September 10, 2010


My Etsy Shop's Grand Re-Opening day yesterday was hugely successful... THANKS SO MUCH to all that stopped by, whether you purchased something or not, I really appreciate the support! I have been packaging items up today & will be making a trek to the post office tomorrow.

I'm continuing to work on getting more pieces listed... I have so much to share w/ you all!

Miniature Kaleidoscope... so cute. 
If you've found your way here from my spotlight as Bead Artist in BEADWORK magazine's October/November issue, I can't tell you how excited that you're here! I hope you enjoyed learning about me. (If you don't have a subscription, you should be able to find it on the newsstands around the 21st of the month. I know I've seen it @ Barnes & Noble, Target & Walmart) I was so honored when Tina Koyama eMailed me back in May to ask if I was interested in being interviewed for the column... um, YEAH!! It was wonderful talking to her on the phone for close to an hour & ever more exciting to get her proof article for me to check out & offer any changes or additions to. Mailing a gazillion glass pieces for them to photograph... I had such a hard time picking a few, I decided just to give them too many & make them pick whatever worked for them. Getting them back after a month & a 1/2 was like Christmas morning! I don't know if I should say this, but opening each little bubble wrapped piece just gave me such a thrill, they were all just so beautiful. :o)

Go ahead & check out my Etsy shop, I've been busy getting it ready just for you! I still have quite a few things left to list. Typically, I'm getting ready for shows & don't have a whole lot of extra time to photograph & list items online, but it's definitely a goal of mine to keep items in my Etsy shop and also in my online store from here on out because I'm getting quite a following all over the world & most can't make it to shows to select items in person! I definitely want my pieces to be available to you.

If you saw one of my pieces in the article that you don't see in my shop, feel free to contact me, like I said, I still have items that I'm trying to list. I'm happy to send you a quick & dirty picture of anything you're interested in.

Thanks again for checking me out! I hope you liked what you found!

Be sure to join me on Facebook, I have a page that I began a few weeks ago & I'm more than likely to post pictures & write updates there than anywhere else.

Until then... take care,


ps.... message me before paying for your Etsy order (DO check out) & mention that you read about this in my blog & I'll give you 20% off the most expensive item in your order!!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


I'm getting there!

I didn't do very well w/ a countdown, did I?? :o) 5,4,3,2,1....

Here's a quickie....
I've been making a bunch of pendant beads that only have one hole... it lets me make really nice tips to hearts & such, they come to a nice point or spiral, etc. Only problem is that I always glue them up the way I want them to be, where someone else might've done something completely different. SO... I've decided to offer these one-hole pieces as-is & then will offer BAIL PLUGS as an add-on. See what I mean below. I use 2-part epoxy to glue them up.
One-hole pendant bead & "bail plug"

complete piece ...plug isn't glued in yet, it's just modeling for you...
 Here's a heart that I'm offering the same way... 1 hole heart bead only, Bail Plug is an add-on.
Heart w/ Bail Plug in place
What do you think? I hope people "get it"...

See you in my Etsy shop tomorrow morning!!

Till then...

~ Julie

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Well... I've got to give myself another day to get my Etsy Shop open... hoping nobody gets their BEADWORK magazine a day early. :o) I know, you guys are out there waiting patiently, but I've been killing myself to get this stuff together, can't believe how much work it is!! Once I get this all up, I'm posting pieces at least weekly, if not daily. I was told the magazine starts hitting mailboxes on the 9th, so I'm pushing to get it up & running by midnight (or the middle of the night) before the mailman comes! :o) I still have so much to do. You'd think I'd just start adding one item, then another, etc. It's empty... I'm trying to hold it all off for a grand entrance, LOL... working up the anticipation, you know?? :o)

Here....I'll give you a little tease, though..... enjoy!
Such a beautiful acorn!
Comparison of standard & mini acorns... next to a penny, a Cheez-It & an 11 year old's hand. :o)
(these specific acorns are no longer available)
I'm getting items listed on my website store... for the first time since I started up my site! I've decided that it will mostly be items that are stocked, like findings (my Changeable Twig Bead Pendant! See below), bead alignment tubing, & such, as well as made-to-order pieces, such as my utensils, kaleidoscopes & such. 

I have a wonderful new batch of sterling silver Changeable Twig Bead Pendants... they're so beautiful & make such a statement. They'll regularly be for sale on my website & will be on Etsy, too. Click on the picture to take you to my website & all of the details. (bead & ribbon is not included, of course)

I'll also have some simpler changeable bead holders on my website & Etsy in the next few days... they're $15-$25 & I've done them in both sterling & gold filled/vermeil. 

This next piece is going to be a deal for someone... I'd prefer if it was someone who will remember it came from me, just in case. It's beautiful (& is pictured in my BEADWORK Bead Artist article!), 40mm diameter.
I made the mistake of thinking that it needed to be lined w/ some sterling tubing the other day. See the little raised dots there around the center,? I ended up knocking tiny little pieces of 2 neighboring dots off as I hammered, trying to get the lining down tight in front! SO, I'm including the ribbon... it hides the owies :o) ...but they're still there. I was dremeling the hole on the back, too, & put a little scratch on the back surface, arg! Luckily it's under the ribbon, too!! I'd keep it for myself, but I thought someone might want a deal. Normally, I'd sell the disc for $50 lined w/ the silver & the ribbon would be an extra $8... so $58. I'll give it up for $38, including shipping to wherever you are. So that's $20 plus whatever the shipping charges will be. It's still a solid piece... not about to fall apart on you, I just can't sell it as perfect. 
See the white spots on the 2 raised dots in the center, that's where the top of the glass was chipped off
I'm offering it right here for sale on my blog. First come first serve...eMail me your PayPal address & I'll send you an invoice, to be paid w/in 24 hours, otherwise I go on to the next in line. Thanks!!

Maybe I'll start offering a "Deal of the Week". We'll see!!

Enough teasing. I'll see you guys on Etsy in a few days!!! 

Till then....

~ Julie
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