Sunday, February 26, 2006


I'm back from my weekend with my dad, and an unexpected thing happened -- I am now hooked on making things with molten glass! I started out just going along because my dad wanted to take the class and didn't want to do it by himself, and ended up hopelessly hooked.

Blowing glass is an amazing thing. We got to the studio (this huge old barn out behind the shop) and they had these huge furnaces all fired up, two monster kilns going -- it was a bit intimidating! I had absolutely no desire to work with glass.... I know the basic process for glass blowing, know how glass beads are made, and have always said I wouldn't bother doing it because I have no coordination. I knew I had to constantly turn the mandrel with one hand while manipulating the glass with the other, and that was too much like patting my head and rubbing my stomach for me to think I could ever do it.


Our instructor, Eric Kvarnes, couldn't have been nicer. I noticed that he had a copy of Josh Simpson's book and I commented that I'd seen his work in Baltimore that week. Turns out they started out in the same studio, and are good friends! I not only read the book but learned a lot of funny things about him from Eric.

Eric started us out by having us make shot glasses. Dad went first, and when it came to be my turn, I was so nervous -- I just knew I'd make an idiot of myself. But it went so well!!! My confidence just soared through the roof. And it was FUN -- I hadn't expected to actually enjoy it!

We got to choose what we wanted to do for our second project, and I opted for a paperweight with lots of swirls of color in it. The blow pipes are as tall as I am and it's a bit awkward to lift that thing up in the air to get the frit on the gather of glass, but I managed, and the end product was too cool for words. They're in the kiln right now -- Dad will ship it to me later this week.

But THEN Eric's wife showed up, and she does the lampwork bead classes, and we got to go to HER studio and have her fire up the torches. Dad and I were already excited from the glass blowing, but the bead making -- we're hopelessly hooked. I never, ever thought I'd want to make my own beads, but it was so enjoyable to work with the glass that I immediately started plans for a lampwork studio.

To make things even better, I got two books from Dad and Gloria --1000 Beautiful Beads and Cindy Jenkin's Beads of Glass. If I wasn't already excited, those books just sealed the deal.

All in all, an utterly amazing experience.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Glass Blowing Class Tomorrow

Dad and I are taking a glass blowing class at Oldway Art Center tomorrow -- should be interesting! I've never done anything with molten glass before but it's high time I did! Next will come fusing and lampwork (I at least want to try it, see if it clicks for me) and PMC. Like I have any free time! Any free time I have has spent designing -- I mistakenly thought January and February would be calm and slow. Boy was I wrong.

Heading out tonight to meet up with the girls for our monthly scrapbooking session. So far I'm still in the take-the-pictures-out-of-their-albums phase, but what a blast from the past I get every time!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

American Craft Council Show yesterday

Yesterday I had the enormous pleasure of meeting up with fellow designers Ann, Sooz, and Lesley to go to the American Craft Council show in Baltimore. What an experience! My favorite artist by far was Josh Simpson and you MUST go see his site, . His glasswork is utterly amazing. I am going to have to put a planet on my wish list for Christmas! His web images are stunning, but to see them in person (particularly his $28,000 Planet) was phenomenal.

Been working, working, working on inventory! I just comitted to another show in November (three, possibly four in November, am I NUTS?) and I really need to get things done. That means smaller updates on the web, but probably more frequent. I finally finished getting taxes done and I was utterly amazed at the huge jump business did this year -- on the flip side, equally amazed that I spent so much on beads! But to keep things interesting, I'm constantly searching for new beads, trying out new techniques -- I truly love my job.

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Saturday, February 18, 2006

Back from the bead show

Holy cow but what a great time! I really tried to get some things that were outside my normal venue, and I'm sooooo excited. I got huge ruby nuggets, hessonite garnet, blue coral, rustic Peruvian opal and rustic chalcedony, iolite, London blue topaz, these AMAZING huge labradorite brios that light the room up -- and tons and tons of pearls in all shapes, colors, and sizes. LOTS to play with, I can't WAIT to get started.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Bead Show tomorrow!

WOO HOO! Big bead show tomorrow -- time to buy more beads! :-) Want to see what I do with them? Visit to view lots of handcrafted beaded jewelry.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

busy, tired, and books

I had no idea my January and February would be so busy! Normally I use those months for business planning, marketing plans, etc, but I've been having to do that AND react to some of the best sales months I've seen. Insane. But a GOOD insane, not psycho-crank-caller insane.

Because I've been working so hard and putting in longer hours than normal, I've been making sure to get my hour of reading in each night, to help me decompress and get the brain to stop thinking about designing. I just finished The Lincoln Lawyer and even though I am a huge Michael Connelly fan, love Harry Bosch in particular, this was not a winner for me.

Now I'm reading Götz and Meyer , another book about the Holocaust, and it's kind of odd in the actual manner in which it's written -- no paragraph breaks. It's also translated from Serbian. Interesting book. I've always been fascinated with this time period in history, took a class on it in college, and have read a ton of books, both fiction and non-fiction, about it. But after this run of books that have been more serious, I'm going to have to take a break and read something light!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

a book I won't forget anytime soon

I finished Elie Wiesel's "Night" and it is a book whose impact won't leave me anytime soon. It made my heart just ache. If you haven't read it, it's about Elie Wiesel's time in the concentration camps. The entire book was full of things that made me stop and take pause, but a few things really made me think. One was when he told of their journey in an open-top train car for days on end with no food or water. He said they started with about 100 people. Only 12 got off alive. I reread that bit over and over -- that one sentence just struck me for some reason, and really made me take inventory of the things I am blessed with. I don't know how anyone got out of an ordeal like that without going mad.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Exciting News!

I'm so excited -- I just got juried into a new craft show! It will expand my client base into a new area, which is terrific! It's the Westport Craft Show and it's in Westport, CT. From their site:

"The annual Westport Craft Show is one of the oldest and most respected fine craft shows in the Northeast. Held in the affluent resort community of Westport, CT -- historically a haven for artists and performers, with a rich appreciation for the arts -- the show attracts top artisans from across North America."

TOO excited. And Colin is getting his PhD at Yale, which isn't that far from Westport, so we'll get to visit with him over the weekend.

I finished my Stephen King book (and am awaiting his next, due in October). I took a COMPLETE departure and just started a book I've wanted to read for ages, Elie Wiesel's "Night" . It's been on my list for a while, and has been out for years and years, but when Oprah made it her pick, all of a sudden, I could finally FIND it in the bookstores! It's a very important book -- and not a long read, although a very, very sobering and serious one.

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Monday, February 06, 2006

thought for the day

From, a site I just love.

If I ran the world, he told me, I'd pretty much leave it alone & spend my time reading & I'd advise other people to do the same. Which is why I'll probably never run the world, he said.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Jewelry Party this weekend

I had a jewelry party this weekend that went really well! Part of my marketing plan for this year is offering more of these. I got to try out the new mirror I bought for my shows, and I really like it! It's heavy, since it's wrought iron, but really pretty, and it folds flat, which is a big bonus.

Zack also had a lot of fun with Nana and PopPop -- PopPop has a large collection of toy race cars and Zack was quite excited to get his hands on those again!

I am ALMOST through reading Stephen King's Cell and it's captivating! Actually heading to bed now to finish reading it!

Friday, February 03, 2006

First time he said it!

Today Zack said "love you!" for the first time! I about melted into a puddle of happy.


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