Monday, December 16, 2013


We had our first open studio Saturday this past weekend... it was great. Not super busy, but we were just super happy to be there & open!! Wendy & I were there for the day... Christmas music, spiced apple cider, cookies & brownies & plenty of people stopping by. 

We'll be there again this coming Saturday, December 21st, from noon - 4pm. There will be lots of other artists in the building who will be open as well. Stop on by! 

Here are some pictures....
First of all, I made these temporary 2-sided sandwich boards to put @ the top of the stairs on our floor & also just outside our door in the hallway...
The space as you walk in the door... Krista's work is right up front on the table & on the wall, mine is on the far right wall & on the counter of the cabinet. 
This is Wendy's space just as you come in the door... she found this great cabinet & changed out the knobs to HER awesome glass knobs, that she specializes in.
Wendy's space...
Wendy's cabinet knobs & lamp finials
Wendy's cabinet knobs.... semi-customizable... a bunch of different colors & 5 different designs on top. Beautiful!
Wendy's lamp finials (& fan pull!)
Wendy's beautiful corsage necklace
Wendy's fabulous bead necklaces
Wendy's display...
Wendy's beautiful glass corsage necklace
Krista's awesome glass earrings
Krista's beautiful glass disc flower necklaces
Krista's disc necklace
Krista's awesome bracelets
Krista's fabulous disc necklace. Love this!!
Krista's stacked disc necklaces
My space.... jam packed!
My space...
Beads, acorns, pendants, necklaces, earrings, kaleidoscopes, etc...
Serving pieces, wine bottle stoppers, cheese knives, dishes, etc...
New cabinet from Ikea. Great storage! Serving pieces, etc...
Till next time...

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


I posted in early November about the new (ad)venture that me & Wendy Mosman are joining Krista Stensrud in. Well... here we go!!

I hope you local (twin cities) folks will join me, Wendy & Krista to kick off our first open studio event in the Northrup King Building this Saturday, December 14th from noon - 4pm. Studio #264. 

You can come check out the fabulous studio & gallery space (which we'll be tweaking a bit at the beginning of the year), watch us do some glass beadmaking demos & see the wonderful items we have available. Krista makes beautiful jewelry, Wendy makes some wonderful jewelry as well, but is also focusing on beautiful glass cabinet knobs & lamp finials. I will have plenty of jewelry, as well as glass handled utensils & serving pieces, wine bottle stoppers, plus my cute little kaleidoscopes. Perfect time for some last minute Christmas shopping!! Many of the other artist studios will be open as well. Noon - 4pm. The address is the Northrup King Building, 1500 Jackson Street, NE., Minneapolis 55413 & our studio is #264. The sign above the door will still say KRISTA MINA. 

We will also be open Saturday the 21st for open studio as well.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013


What an phenomenal experience!
This past weekend I taught my first professional glass beadmaking class @ Potek Glass in Minneapolis. Here's a short (LOL) play-by-play.
I wrote up a 34 page handout w/ detailed steps for each bead we planned to do in class.... this was not only awesome & much appreciated by my students & the studio, but it was a great idea for ME, too, because it made me break each bead down step-by-step & it made me better prepared to teach each bead. I was feeling a little intimidated a few days before because several of my students are old-time beadmakers... some of them have been making beads since the late 80s & 90s! But I know these ladies & they're awesome women, so I knew they'd be nice.... & they were. They made me really comfortable.
As I was driving to the studio my first day, I turned the corner & saw the building & started getting choked up. You know me, tenderhearted. It was really emotional, FINALLY getting the chance to do what I've dreamed of doing for several years now. Finally having the confidence & comfort in myself to put myself in front of these people & offer them a big part of me. I was pretty cool by the time I unpacked the truck & got up to the studio. :o)

I got there fairly early & took my time getting things set up... pretty much like how I get ready for shows. I felt good... calm... prepared & ready to get going!

Everyone arrived, a last minute opening allowed a lady that I know from Chicago to come... it was so awesome to see her. I ended up knowing 7 of my 10 students. The other 3 were fairly new to lampworking, which made me a bit nervous. I knew that my techniques are more intermediate/advanced & worried that they would hold the class back or just get frustrated.

I introduced myself, gave a little bit of background info & then had the class do the same. I showed them the beads we'd be making in class & then talked about the awesome tool that we'd be using the entire class... the Electric Mandrel Spinner. It's like a mini lathe that spins the mandrel (metal rod that we make the bead on) & it's AWESOME!! :o) I've gotten to the point that it's the only thing I use when I make beads (at least the base bead), it's super efficient & helps me make incredible pieces! When I started thinking about teaching, I knew I wanted to use it & base the class on it. I've been told by the inventor that I'm the first person to ever teach a full class w/ them... he is so excited about this.

Anyway... I introduced the spinner & gave them some info on it & then SHOWED them why I use it. Went through all sorts of simple beadmaking steps w/ it & sold them on it right then & there. Then we took about an hour & just had them play w/ it. It took me about a week to get over the learning curve on my own w/ it, but I've sat down one-on-one w/ others & have shown them the ins & outs of it & they pick it right up, so I knew these guys would "get it" & they did.

The different beads that we made were progressive... starting w/ the simplest but important lesson that would carry them through the to the next step & so on. I showed them how to work on precision as far as making specific size beads w/ specific shapes to fit specific utensils & things like that. We worked through the chemistry of using certain glasses w/ other glasses & metals.... & I showed them how to make specific "Julie beads" using my techniques. I gave up lots of secrets over the weekend. :o) A few of my newbies, a married couple, were lacking in some basic techniques, but really surprised me & took everything on, even if they struggled w/ it a bit. When we were leaving the first night, the husband came up to me w/ a big smile on his face & said he was having a blast! LOL. That made me really happy. I was worried they'd be nothing but frustrated. They (the couple) showed up the next morning & said that one of the things that really impressed them was that I didn't make them feel like they didn't belong & that I didn't point out their faults & was happy to give them tips to help them out.

Anyway...I had the group work their way up sizewise, too. By day two, they were able to make my little vases (secret keepers), which are good size beads AND kaleidoscope beads, which are huge for most beadmakers. Even my newbies tackled both of those... blew me away & made me really proud of them! Talking to them @ lunch, they told me that they had learned so much, even basic terminology that they hadn't learned in their basic classes. We had just finished our kaleidoscope beads & they came over, took a deep breath & just got these huge smiles on their faces... so proud of their accomplishment!

W/ about 2 hours left in class, we cleaned our spaces up & set up a few different stations to do some finishing techniques. I demoed how to finish their earring pairs... from making headpins, to handmade earwires. Demoed how to epoxy up their utensils & kaleidoscopes & then showed them the process of capping & coring their big hole beads w/ copper & silver... cutting their own copper discs to make bead caps... dapping (doming) them to fit the bead & then taking silver tubing (usually sterling, but we used aluminum in class for cost reasons... as well as these were practice beads, no need to waste pricey materials) & riveting the caps to the beads. (like the pictures I'm including).......then let them go do their thing while I was there to answer questions & give advice if they asked.

I was a little over ambitious, though, had way too much planned, so we had to skip over some stuff, which really bums me out. Wish it was a 3-day class, but so far none of the studios I've talked to want to do a 3-day. We could save the last day for putting everything together & could even use day 2 beads.... I could even add acorns & electroforming!

Everyone was just exhausted by the end of day 2!

So... I offered up the class spinners for 10% off retail & expected maybe half of them to purchase them. I ended up selling TEN of them, LOL. The couple only took one & the studio bought one. :o) What a kick. They really loved them. Scott, the inventor of the spinner, was so excited when I told him. Told me he wasn't surprised that I had done so well & that he was really proud of me. :o) I also sold some of my beads & things.

One student, my other newbie, stayed after & helped me pack up. What a sweetie. Malcom, the studio owner, talked to me a bit... first off, he looks @ me & says...."that handout! I could just kiss you on the lips!" LOL. He said he heard nothing but praise & definitely wanted to set up another class in about 6 months... but the students were asking if I could maybe do a single technique 3 hour class every month & he loved the idea! LOL. We decided on bi-monthly... think it'll be fun.

ANYWAY... I'm already talking to three studios about teaching... have set dates @ two of them... one in Kansas City & one in Austin, Texas, need to work out details first, though, after I tweak my class a bit. The third is in Torrance, California! I'm already set to teach in February in Madison, Wisconsin (they just put the word out on it & there's already a waiting list!) & in April in Winston-Salem, North Carolina! I'm so excited about that, since I have siblings who live right there! The school said that they've never had a guest lampwork instructor before, so it'll be interesting. I have a FB glass friend who lives there & asked me to think about teaching there & got me in touch w/ them. I have another glass friend in Michigan who wants to put me in touch w/ their glass guild. It's just crazy. Amazing, but crazy!!!

Here are a couple of pictures of class beads... mostly day-2 beads...
Day 1 Class Beads
Anna's day 2 bead!

Ann's day 2 beads. Look @ that kaleidoscope bead!

Judy's day 2 beads. 

Lynn's day 2 beads.
Add the Studio/Gallery to that w/ its First Thursdays & big open studio tours & I'm going to be a busy girl!! I'm excited about it, though... I could use the consistency of it all... keep me busy year-round instead of having months of lulls.
Till next time...

Monday, November 4, 2013


New exciting news to share....
So excited! Was approached by a lampworking friend, Wendy Mosman, about sharing a studio/gallery space w/ one of her lampworking friends, Krista Stensrud. Krista has had this space in the Northrup King Building for 7 years, has been in the building for 12... but works full time & is rarely there except for the big events the building puts on. She thought about giving it up, but decided to call Wendy to see if she was interested in sharing it. Wendy asked her if she was open to one other person & then gave me a call. It's in the NorthEast Minneapolis area, which is know for it's artists' spaces.
So, in the Spring, the northeast Minneapolis area puts on a huge open studio event, Art-a-Whirl which is hugely attended, ESPECIALLY @ this building. (I've heard something like 20,000 people attend every year) 200+ artists in this building. In the fall (1st weekend in November), the building puts on a 3-day open studio event, Art Attack... we went to check it out.... so busy, no parking, tons of people! They also do 1st Thursdays throughout the year & Holiday Saturdays for the 3 weekends in December leading up to Christmas.
Wendy & I checked out the studio a couple weeks ago & it's awesome. She has a ventilated 2-person torching space, a few storage cabinets/display surfaces as well as a wonderful gallery space w/ plenty of wall display surface & a fun table for displaying on.
Neither Wendy nor myself can see us actually working there much since we both have our own home studios (it's about 27 miles for me), but to have the space available for these well publicized events as well as our own private events, customer appointments, etc is so appealing. I can even do some one-on-one teaching there! I can even host our local lampworking chapter meetings there every so often... do demos, etc.
Only negative... Art-a-Whirl happens the same weekend as the Missouri Bead Retreat :o(, I'll be missing out on the retreat from now on. Heartbreaking.
I'm doing a show the first weekend in December... but I'm planning on doing the Holiday Saturdays the next 2 weekends w/ whatever stock I have left from the show. I have a local customer who was thinking about having a home party around the holidays, but w/ my class & shows, timing was bad. I'll talk to her about coming up & inviting her friends along. Have another friend/customer who has done home shows for me in the past, will have to talk to her, too. Snacks, wine, etc...
Anyway... I'm excited! It was just too appealing to pass up.
Here's a picture of Krista, Wendy & myself (R-L) in the gallery space....

Till next time...

Thursday, September 26, 2013


I was asked, a little over a year ago, to make a Tree of Life bead for a sweet friend... one w/ deep roots, which had a special meaning to her. I ended up making up a complete necklace for her & gave it to her for her 21st birthday. She was touched & she loves it. 

I've been making Tree of Life beads on & off ever since. I've taken a few to each of the shows I've done in the past year & they sell right away. I went to Bead & Button this year w/ 7 of them, kind of a debut, you know? You'd think I'd learn. They were all gone before the 1st day was over. Nobody else got to see them. LOL. 

Anyway... I'm making several of them for my upcoming shows. Showed this one on Facebook & sold several of them already. :o) I love how this one turned out, although I'm still trying to decide what to do about the "leaves"... I want them to be organic looking, but feel like I need a bit more contrast w/ the tree & background. Trying to work through that one.  Don't you love the background? Kind of Van Gogh Starry Night-ish, don't you think? 
Next up, I want to do birds to go along w/ my natural theme... just have to figure out how to make them MINE, you know?

Till next time...

Thursday, September 19, 2013


I sent a total of 3 pieces to Nicole Hanna a few weeks ago... the first finished piece I showed you yesterday in the middle of my post COLLABORATIONS... here is the 2nd piece. I'm just stunned. So beautiful. (click on the picture to take you to Nicole's website... it's available, for the moment)
What do you think? I also sent her an acorn... can't wait to see what she does w/ it!! I'm working on sending her several pieces to do for me that will be available for sale @ my holiday show in December. Can't wait!

Till next time...

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