Sunday, January 31, 2010


I know...I'm posting two PostSecrets posts in a row... can't help it! I promise to post some glass in the next post, okay?? :o) PostSecret Sunday Secrets is posted every Sunday on their blog, I'm still quite intrigued. I think I'm going to post a few of my favorites from today & then will post a few that I found while scouring the internet this past week...

...hover over this first PostSecret to see the front of the postcard

I think I'd feel guilt about this one as well....

I do too...

Great words of wisdom...I need to live this way...

Till next time...

~ Julie

Thursday, January 28, 2010


I'm completely fascinated.

First of all... I don't know why I've never heard of PostSecrets... looks like it's been around for several years. I came across it in a blog the other day... I'm totally & completely intrigued.

They're posted every Sunday on their blog...PostSecret Sunday Secrets

I'm amazed at how these postcards can say so much w/ just a few words...
...they make you think.
...make you FEEL.
....make you want to let go of those little thoughts & feelings we keep to ourselves out of fear of SOMETHING.
"Free your secrets and become who you are"...
"We all have secrets: fears, regrets, hopes, beliefs, fantasies, betrayals, humiliations. We may not always recognize them but they are part of us--like dreams we can't always recall in the morning light. I believe each one of us has the ability to discover, share, and grow our own dark secrets into something meaningful and beautiful." Frank Warren...founder of PostSecrets.

PostSecrets does alot for Suicide prevention, too...

Do you have a secret to share?? ( on the postcard)

I think I'll share a few of these from time to time...

Till then...

~ Julie

ONE WORLD ONE HEART...UPDATE!! (not drawing post!)

Thanks to the dancing hamsters for getting your attention...

**please post your OWOH entry comment on the original OWOH post... commenting on this post won't enter you into my drawings! This is just an update about the giveaways.)

Because of the wonderful response to my OWOH giveaways...(& this only being the 4th day!) from so many fellow bloggers (THANK YOU!)... I've decided to add additional items to my giveaway!

As originally planned, one of the two heart pendants below will be drawn w/ an entry from the non-bloggers (I'm keeping track!) & the other heart pendant will go to an active blogger...
....but I've topped 200 active bloggers' entries already, so I've decided to add an additional item to the giveaway now & will add an additional giveaway for 300+ bloggers that enter & so on.

These additional giveaways will be revealed on the 15th when all winners are announced! Just know that they'll be handmade, glass & fabulous!!

Thank you for all of the wonderful entries & for playing along! I'm having a blast, aren't you??

See you on the 15th!!

~ Julie

Monday, January 25, 2010



Today is the beginning of the 4th Annual ONE WORLD ONE HEART global blog event hosted by Lisa Swifka of A Whimsical Bohemian.

Grab your ticket & climb aboard...
....go to the ONE WORLD ONE HEART site to step onto the magic carpet & visit blogs from artists & bloggers from around the world. (but before you do that, read on & leave your entry!!)

This is my first time to participate & I'm really excited! Here's how it works...

I am offering up TWO magical items for TWO separate drawings... one for active bloggers & one for "anyone else".

**(1/28 UPDATE...I'm adding a THIRD item to the giveaway... a 2nd drawing for the active bloggers...see details @ the end of this post)

All that YOU need to do to enter my giveaway is to leave a comment on this blog post with either an active link back to your blog or an eMail address so I can reach you when I pick your name. ** Make sure that if you don't have a blog that I can link back to when you comment, that you leave your eMail address in your comment so I have a way to reach you. If there is no obvious way to contact you...I will need to delete your comment & you can try again.

The event ends on February 15th. I will accept entries (comments) up until 11:30am (USA central standard time) on the 15th. I will then draw a name from the active bloggers & "anyone else" & will announce the winners by 6pm (central) that evening. Again, please make sure that I am able to reach you via your comment.

One entry per person, please.

(click images for detailed view)
The first of my giveaways is a beautiful handmade art glass lampwork heart pendant.

My 2nd giveaway item is a beautiful organic-ish glass heart. It will be turned into a pendant like the first heart, I will update the pictures when I finish it.
You will not have a choice in which item you win if your name is drawn... these will be "drawn" along w/ the winners as well on the 15th.

Good luck & enjoy the event!!

& remember...
** Make sure that if you don't have a blog that I can link back to when you comment, that you leave your eMail address in your comment so I have a way to reach you. If there is no obvious way to contact you...I will need to delete your comment & you can try again.

~ Julie

ps...while you're here, feel free to roam about me...check out what I do. More to see on my website

Thanks to the dancing hamsters for getting your attention...**(1/28 UPDATE...I've topped 200 bloggers' entries (THANK YOU!) so I've decided to add a THIRD item to the giveaway... a 2nd drawing for the active bloggers...AND if we top 300 blogger entries, I'll add a FOURTH item for the bloggers & so on. These items will be revealed on the 15th when all winners are announced! Just know that they'll be handmade, glass & fabulous!! One of the two hearts above will still to go non-bloggers, as originally planned.)

Saturday, January 23, 2010


(I broke this post up into 3 parts... it's a freakin' book, sorry... if you'd like to follow along, I've posted them in reverse order so you read them from the top down, like a book, because I'm posting them all @ once)

As me & my work continue to evolve & get more exposure, I have people asking me if I teach. Teach?? I'd LOVE to teach! I've been told that I have "this way" about me... nurturing, encouraging. I like to share & I love to see others "get it"!

BUT...I don't really know if I CAN teach. You know what I mean?
Some people are amazing @ what they do..... okay, let's just say that I'M amazing @ what I do, LOL, it doesn't mean that I have what it takes to teach people how to do it, does it? I'm a little ADD (yeah, just a little!!!) & words, descriptions or directions don't necessarily flow freely & easily from my mouth at times.... so I just don't know. You know?

So..the more people who ask, the more I want to know if I can & realize that the only way to know is just to do it, right??

I wrote a post a while ago about Robin Koza & Carol Watson, who I met @ The Bead & Button Show... we made a great trade & started a fun friendship. Well, Robin posted a beautiful etched copper cuff on Facebook as well as some etched copper sheets... they were FABULOUS & I couldn't stop myself from contacting her about wanting to buy some of the sheets or make some sort of trade again. I totally could see me incorporating these etched copper pieces into my work. Somewhere along the way I said something about some "Julie torch time", (Robin had told me after B&B that she wanted to take my first class, no matter where or when it happened!) ...turns out that's what we were going to trade!! :o) Carol contacted me a short time later to say "I want to come, too!"

Panic!!! I'm not set up to teach one person, let alone two, in my it's a disaster... what to do? I'm thinking..."is there anywhere in between me (Minnesota) & them (Indiana) where we can meet & torch?" Seems while I was worrying about this, Robin & Carol were talking & came up w/ a fabulous plan!! Robin asked me if I was interested in having them flying me out to them? They had a local teaching studio where they could rent torch time & we could all torch together. FABULOUS! FABULOUS! FABULOUS!!! Definitely cheaper for them to fly me out, I could stay in Robin's guest suite (made for a Queen!) & we could spend the weekend learning from eachother. Needless to say, I didn't hesitate saying YES!!

So we made a list of what they want to learn from me. I'm checking out their websites & see that they've taken classes from MULTIPLE fabulous glass artists, way beyond anything I've ever done AND they both teach a variety of classes!! I'm thinking "what in the world could I possibly teach them that they don't already know? Am I really going to bring anything to the table?" They reassured me that I would be. :o)

On their list:
  • Big Disc Beads
  • Shaping tips & techniques
  • Hints on working w/ silver glass
  • My thoughts on Color Theory
  • Making glass acorns & electroforming them
  • Showing them how to put together an expanded electroforming setup
  • Kaleidoscopes
  • Copper display tree
My message back to them:
"I'm so glad that you're both excited about this... I am, too!! I'm just hoping that you aren't expecting more than I can bring to the table! :o) I'm not this brilliant lampworker, you know I've never taught before... I don't even know if I can or SHOULD teach, LOL... I probably have really bad habits that I shouldn't be passing on to others, :o) ...I don't know if I do or not, but you never know! I probably could teach you alot about covering up mistakes, LOL... I'm really good at that! :o)

I also use an electric mandrel's my crutch... I don't know if I can turn a mandrel by hand anymore. :o) Actually, I know that I can, just work much hotter w/ a spinner, so I'd have to adjust [when working manually]. Do either of you have an electric mandrel spinner... or are either of you interested in learning how to use one? I know Carol likes to make utensil handles... this is why I bought my spinner in the first place... it cuts down my base bead making time, probably by more than half... and it makes pretty much perfectly balanced (centered) beads w/out much effort. I've turned more than a few long distance friends onto them... but then I'm not there to help them figure it out, so I know it's been frustrating for at least one or two of them. That is one of the ideas I have for a class I'd like to teach...the ins & outs of a mandrel spinner... & then making large beads for functional pieces (using the spinner). I talked to Scott Bouwens (Bearfoot Art Glass) at B&B about setting me up w/ a classroom set of spinners & rolling marvers... we still need to work it out, I certainly won't be ready to buy them by December, though. So... if either of you have ever wanted one of these, now's the time so I can give you all of my tips & tricks. (Scott has a 6-8 week lead time on these right now. No, they're not cheap... but boy, mine paid for itself almost instantly. Make sure you pick up the small sized brass rolling marver, too... really essential to have w/ the spinner.

Gosh... your list of what you want to learn... I'm laughing, because I've been able to get really good at these things BECAUSE of the mandrel spinner. LOL. Shaping: mandrel spinner... large discs: mandrel spinner. :o) I only started making those large discs recently & they're pretty much a breeze w/ the spinner.... I'm sure I can do them w/out... but why? LOL.

Color theory, eh? That would mean I actually have to have deep thoughts on the subject, doesn't it? You forget, I'm ADD. :o) I know somewhat what I like... I play, if it works it works & I use it... over & over & over again, LOL, if it doesn't I move on. We can talk it through, though... discussion & feedback is a good thing.

Silver glass.... I have a bunch of silver glass that I can't get to do squat... I find ones that like me & I work w/ them. :o) This is a work in progress for me, hit & miss at times... I might be able to teach you guys some things, but I can't guarantee that you don't already know everything I do!

Did I change your mind? :o) I think as long as we all go into this as a great learning experience for all, we'll be good.

This is good for me, too... I like the idea of just a few "students" at do you guys feel about being my guinea pigs? :o)"

So....that's what we did!! I'll tell you all about THAT in my next post... this is already a book. :o)


So...continuing on w/ this book, ;o)

We kind of kept this to ourselves... I definitely wanted to keep the "class" to a bare minimum... they're so cute... they seem to think that if word got out that it could get out of hand or something.... like I'm a superstar or something. LOL. Yeah, uh-huh.

The first evening I was there, Robin pulled out her beads & we had a little consultation. This was really a cool thing... really good for both of us. She started out by saying that she just wasn't feeling like she had found her voice in beadmaking yet & that when she looks @ her beads she sees the styles of those that she's learned from. She wasn't loving her color combinations & just wasn't sure where to go next. We were able to talk about the positives & negatives in certain beads & it was really cool because I really felt like I was able to read her really well & was able to give her some valuable input. It was good & honest & constructive. I gave her some steps that she should take next & I hope it will put her on the right path to finding her beadmaking voice.

We were off to a good start. This was really good... eye opening for myself, really. Gave me a little bit more confidence in what I have to offer.

Problem-solving. It's really what I've done for as long as I can remember. As an interior designer, I problem solved, it was my job. I have an eye for shape & proportion... I definitely know what colors work or don't work when I see them. I can look @ something & see what might or might not be working right & what can be tweaked. Maybe that's something I can offer to others??

The next morning before we started torching, I did the same thing w/ Carol & her beads and then we got to work!

We met @ Boca Loca Beads, a beautiful retail bead shop & lampworking studio owned by Jari Sheese. What a neat lady. We walked in the door & I think it was Robin who says "Jari, this is Julie Nordine, she's famous." LOL. OMG, how funny is that?? I, of course, laughed & balked! They're so funny...THEY know me & think I'm famous because they know me. I don't think very many people know me... & even if they did, they wouldn't think I was famous. :o)

A friend of theirs, Barb Collins, came along for the ride because she had an electric mandrel spinner (EMS) & needed some one-on-one time w/ someone who knew the ins & outs of it. Both Robin & Carol were able to borrow EMS's from friends (Barb has two! I heard she has a thing for tools & glass!!) so I could show them the ins & outs, too. They all picked it up like THAT, which was really cool because there is DEFINITELY a learning curve w/ the EMS. When I started thinking about teaching classes w/ the EMS, someone asked me how long it took me to figure it out & I said about a week & they asked what makes me think I could teach a class how to use one in just a day or two? (& end up w/ something that they produced from it!) Good point!! It made me think... gave me a little doubt, too, ...

But the ladies proved to me that by having me explain throughout my demoing... being able to watch me & ask questions, then having me watch them in action & giving them instant feedback on what to tweak, etc, it really shortens that learning curve immensely. I DO believe, however, that you should have some beadmaking experience under your belt before learning how to use an EMS. You REALLY need to know how to manage molten glass, get the feel of it, know how it moves & how to control that movement before you take this tool on, otherwise you'll really feel like things are just out of control.

I showed them a variety of my bead styles, various techniques & color combos & they just played. They did great. It was really informal... more about showing them techniques & having them play w/ the techniques rather than specific bead styles... completely opposite of what you get w/ a REAL lampwork teacher, LOL.

Obviously it will take more thought & planning for me to put together an actual class, but this was a really great learning experience for all of us.

I CAN TEACH. I can teach... I'm pretty darn sure I can teach.

& I loved it.

Next post...the rest of the weekend. (it was a LONG weekend!)

GUINEA PIGS, PART 3 (yes, part 3)...

(start reading GUINEA PIGS from 2 posts up... I posted these in reverse so they read from the top down, like the book that they are!)

I mentioned in the first Guinea Pigs post (of 3, LOL) that the weekend w/ the girls (Robin & Carol) was a weekend of learning from eachother.

Day 2, Saturday, brought more creating! On the agenda... electroforming prep & metal etching!

We prepped our work (glass acorns!) for electroforming... masking, etching, epoxying in a copper loop & painting w/ conductive paint, which needs to dry for a day.

Robin teaches copper etching classes at a few local stores & at her home. Her basement is jam packed full of work stations & awesome equipment. Her rubber stamp stash is enormous... her husband, Rob, built her a wall full of shallow ledges to display her stamps so you can easily view & select what you want to work with. We spent the rest of the day stamping away, preparing copper sheets, bracelet blanks & washers to be etched. Oh man, I loved this! At first I figured I was there to learn how it's done... absolutely no need to be the perfectionist that I am... but as I got more into it, the more I wanted to continue. Also, I didn't have all of the supplies needed to continue on at home (yet!) & Robin said that we had nothing else planned for the day, so I continued on. Carol stamped for a little while (she's quick!) & then headed home to take care of her dog. (Carol, hiding from camera or concentrating on stamping... can't decide which.)
Robin sat there & just watched me work. She'd wander off & then come back to watch some more, LOL. I would stamp & stamp & scrub it off & stamp again. I tried this & tried that... I'd stamp a section & then scrub away a portion of it & stamp something different in that space. Layering & layering... it was just amazing to me. I asked Robin why she wasn't stamping & she said that she just wanted to watch me watch my creative brain in action & that she was learning some stuff from me that she would be able to take back to her classes. She watched what stamps I went for & said that it would help her pinpoint what she should take to her classes (she certainly couldn't take her entire stash!!). I thought that was really cool. I was learning so much from her & she was learning from me in the process. (my finished etchings, pre patina)
I brought these copper oak leaves w/ me... I'm trying to come up w/ some sort of element to hang my acorns from... whether for a pendant (or clasp!) or even for ornaments... I just loved how these turned out. Shared a few w/ the girls so they could do some, too... who doesn't love oak leaves??

That's what's really cool about working w/ other artists....even if you're teaching someone something that you know inside & out, their artist's brain will come at it @ a completely different angle that works for them... that makes sense to them, once they've gotten the gist of the process. When they were watching me work w/ the EMS @ the studio the day before, they would notice things & ask questions that I hadn't even thought about & the whole process of it all was so helpful to me as I form the base foundation of teaching.

Robin showed me the ins & outs of metal etching... the safety & disposal issues of working w/ acid, etc. I learned so much... she's a fantastic teacher. We stayed up until 1am while our pieces etched... hanging out, eating a fantastic meal that Robin made while I was still down stamping away, LOL, watched the final Monk episode & just spent time getting to know eachother better. We missed having Carol there in the evenings, I said she should've come for the slumber party, but she has a dog @ home that needs care, so she couldn't. :o( She says I have to come stay w/ her next time!

Day 3, Sunday, I showed them how to put together an extended electroforming setup like what I use at home so you can electroform more than a few pieces at a time.
Robin sells electroforming kits & supplies, so we had everything on hand. How handy is that??? :o) We talked about how it works & more importantly WHY! Robin said it was completely different than anything she had ever learned. I'm not an electroforming pro, not even close, but I know what works for me & why & was able to share that info w/ them.

We put our pieces in to begin electroforming & then we spent the afternoon dunking etched copper in liver of sulfur & also doing some torch patinaing, bringing our copper pieces to life!
We also put together copper display branches/trees like I blogged about last summer. Barb gave us a variety of copper wire in various gauges (thank you!) & we struggled our way through putting some together. I've only ever made two of them & they were different from eachother, so I didn't have defined steps in how I did it, so it was kind of a fly by the seat of our pants type of thing. LOL. Carol took her tree into a completely different direction than my original & it was great!!

Robin makes her copper branch...

Before our evening was over, the girls helped me rivet a few of my disc beads to a copper cuff and a leather cuff. This was one of the big reasons I wanted to learn how to do the metal etching... I need to add some bracelets to my jewelry & envisioned combining my disc beads w/ copper or sterling and leather. They're fantastic. Too bad I don't wear cuffs. :o)
On my final day there the girls took me to my go-to glass supplier, ABR Imagery, who is located about an hour south of them. Great to see the facility & meet more of the guys who take care such good care of me.

What a fantastic long weekend!! I had so much fun. It was awesome spending time w/ Robin & Carol, getting to know them & learning from eachother. I can't wait to do it again! :o) Robin is the ultimate hostess, I really enjoyed my time in her home. She spoiled me rotten, that's for sure. Thank you for taking such good care of me, Robin....

& thank you both for being willing to be my guinea pigs. :o)

Till next time....

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Just heard from Jen that she got my Bead Soup package & she LOOOOOVES it! Five O's... I counted. :o) I love her enthusiasm, I just can't wait to see what she puts together!

I figured since she received it, I'd reveal what I sent....

Remember the teaser image...
(click images for details)
This is the original image that I teased up...this is how it was all packaged.
& here's the complete stash.... a FABULOUS (if I may say so myself) glass focal bead... some smaller coordinating glass beads... all capped in etched copper & lined in sterling. Textured (acid etched) copper rings that were originally plain copper washers. Aren't they awesome?? :o) Hand fused fine silver rings. I included a couple of sterling viking knit caps & the copper toggle clasp is one of the etched washers & a piece of etched copper that I cut from an etched sheet. Of course I had to include a beautiful hand dyed silk ribbon from Heidi of JamnGlass.
& here's side two. I love the mix of copper & silver... I hope Jen does, too.
Handmade copper toggle clasp.
This was such fun to put together for Jen. Much more subtle & organic than what she's used to working with..........we said that we were going to challenge eachother. I know that I'm feeling quite challenged, but really psyched! I know she's going to do a fabulous job w/ it.


I'm changing up the look of my blog. No more plain white (which I thought was really clean looking...but way too stark). One of the things I did was to make the post width a bit wider, which I really like.....EXCEPT that it throws all of my smaller blog pictures out of alignment. So...that's something I need to straighten out...BIG pain. but I'm liking the look. What do you think???

Monday, January 18, 2010


Here are the fabulous goodies (a bead soup!) that I received from my Bead Soup Party partner Jen Judd-Velasquez, of Jen Judd Rocks!
(click on the images for detailed view)
Isn't it all so fabulous?? Her polymer focal pieces are so gorgeous...I certainly wasn't expecting THREE of them! My head is about to explode from all of the ideas popping in & out. :o) I told her to challenge me... I got my wish. :o) I know it's not necessary that we use everything that we received, but I'm going to try... at least where the focals are concerned.

Wish me luck!!

~ Julie

ONE WORLD ONE HEART blog event is coming...

I've decided, for the first time, to participate in the 4th Annual ONE WORLD ONE HEART global blog event hosted by Lisa Swifka of A Whimsical Bohemian.
I'm really excited about this. Here's how it works...
On January 25th, I'm going to write a blog post that includes the items that I'm going to be giving away. I've decided to make it difficult for myself & open this to bloggers and "everyone else" there will be TWO items & TWO for each group. I'll explain in the January 25th post more of how to participate in MY drawings.... just be ready & don't miss out. The event comes to a climax on February 15th w/ the drawings & announcement.

Last year, there were 911 blogging OWOH come January 25th, make sure to go to Lisa's A Whimsical Bohemian blog to see the complete list of participants in the right sidebar & do some blog hopping...

If you're a blogger & want to participate, click on the image above (or any of the links) to get all of the info on how OWOH works.

Till then!!

~ Julie

Sunday, January 17, 2010


I've finally begun making travel & lodging plans for the Madison Art Glass & Bead Show that I'll be doing March 17th & 18th in Madison, Wisconsin. This will be my 2nd year as a vendor & I'm really looking forward to it. Last year was such a great show & a great time w/ friends.

I'll be driving out there w/ my friend Susan Jones of Susan Jones Designs, who is an amazing glass bead artist & a fun roommate. It will also be my 2nd year to teach at the Friday night Make-n-Take. Susan was my assistant last year & has offered to help me out again this time around & I'm so happy!! :o) She was so much help....6 groups, 10 students per group in 4 hours (that would be 60 people, if you didn't do the math)... it's CRAZY & I can't imagine doing it w/out her.

If you've never seen Susan's work, you've been missing out. Her wonderful, colorful style reminds me a little of the German glass bead artists...w/ the super fine lines, dots & details, wonderful murrini & great use of color.

All of the beads you see in this post are Susan's. The first beads I saw of hers were her little Flowbots... Invasion from Minneglasspolis. She's a big sci-fi fan.

You can buy her pieces in her Etsy shop or at the many art shows & festivals that she does around the Twin Cities throughout the year. She's selling in Tuscon for the first time January 31st - February 5th @ the To Bead True Blue show, good luck, Susan!! She'll be selling @ both the Twin Cities Bead Bazaar & also @ the Madison Art Glass & Bead Show where I'll be as well. Susan is providing the challenge bead for the Madison show's Bead Challenge!

So...what does glass & Susan have to do w/ food, you ask?? Well, I was turned on to Thai food not too many years ago & when Susan & I were in Madison last March, we went out for Thai twice. The first night we went to this little hole in the wall, I don't remember the name of the place, but needless to say, it wasn't where we went the 2nd time. We ordered the same dish, it was pretty yummy, but Susan didn't eat all of hers & told me later that she found several short black hairs in her dish. Um...ew. I asked why she didn't say anything & she said that she didn't want to ruin my dinner. LOL. I guess I enjoyed my black hairs. :o) The evening after the end of the show, we searched all over town using my handy GPS for a NICE Thai place & came across the loveliest Thai restaurant... Sa-Bai Thong. It was so good. We already have plans to go there the night we get in to start our weekend out right. :o)

Susan turned me on to Sticky Rice with Mango for dessert. Oh my goodness. So yummy. I've sought it out whenever Brad & I are up for Thai & even found the perfect recipe for it on my favorite recipe website, Click on the image below, it'll take you directly to the recipe.
The only thing I do differently w/ the recipe is that I've cut out the sugar by using agave (& only half as much as the recipe calls for). It's so good... the perfect dessert. I have some cooking as I write this... I think it's ready, time to go cut up the mango...

Till next time...

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