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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Creative Flavor Combination in a Chocolate Bar

Anyone else looking for a unique way to usher in the New Year? I know most think of champagne, but what about the age old chocolate bar? Except, this one isn't too old in its ingredients.

This Christopher Michael chocolate bar contains 41% Venezuelan milk chocolate, bacon, sea salt and popping candy (pop rocks), so it's bound to contain unique flavors.

I just think it sounds like it has potential in an off kilter type of way. Bacon, sea salt and chocolate sound great. I'm wondering what the pop rocks add to it?

And I know it has won awards at the San Francisco Chocolate Salon.

What I like about this combination is that is creative and has flavors I really enjoy. My hat is always off to folks who seek new twists to a traditional subject. I'd say this exemplifies it.

Anyone brave enough to try it? Here is where you can find it. It retails for $7.

See you tomorrow...

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ancient Roman Glass Shards for sale on Etsy

I noticed this listing yesterday and thought I'd bring it to your attention.

According to the Etsy seller, RockLogic, these shards are 2000 years old and there are over 2 lbs for sale at the cost of $387.00.

They were excavated in Israel, but are called Roman because they date to the Roman era. These are approximately 50BC to about 100 AD.
Apparently many have an iridescent patina and some pieces are over 2" long.

Are any of you like me? I'd love to hold these in my hands and really look at them carefully. But there is something in me that truly would love to melt some of it too and form some beads out of this old glass.

You can find the listing HERE. If you buy it, please email me or post and let me know more about it. Or feel free to post here if you are looking for someone to share the cost with you. This could be a treasure waiting to happen.

See you tomorrow for more fun and inspiration..., or friend me on Facebook under "Marcy Lamberson".

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Back From the Frozen Tundra

Okay, perhaps it wasn't frozen tundra, but I am back from visiting my delightful relatives in Wyoming. (40 mph winds and -10 degrees!) In typical Lamberson fashion, we were snowed in, and couldn't leave town. This is a photo of the road as we braved the just opened highway.

Taking a few days off gave me time to think about creativity and working in glass. Do you ever just sit and think? Where you want to go, what you want to do?

The cold and wind chill did not inspire my creativity, nor did the extra splash of kahlua in my coffee either. But there was one funny thing that did.

Have you ever played Apples to Apples? It's one of those fun family games that just about anyone can play. You are given a topic and you have to match as best as possible, one of your cards to it. I kept thinking that there is a connection there to creativity. It was fascinating to see how different people thought. It made me wonder how that could relate to my glass art.

And then I realized that it reflected the way I think sometimes. I enjoy putting two things together that don't exactly fit. Whether it's monkeys wearing hats, or birds wearing jewelry, having two pieces that are a little atypical, tends to make me smile.

So tell me about your holiday. Were you inspired somehow? Or have a brainstorm in between the sugar overloads? I'd love to hear.

See you tomorrow, right here.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Fish Bringing Peace

Please note: if you are easily weirded out, please stop reading now.

Recently, I was contacted by a step mom who had lost her young adult step son. She had his ashes and wanted to incorporate them into glass somehow. Her husband, his dad, was heartbroken and together they had decided that this might be good for the family who was grieving.

We chatted a bit and she decided that because he loved to fish, that would be a suitable way to commemorate him and that none of the cremains would be visible.

Here are the fish that I made for her. I have to say, that this custom work was one of the saddest, but most rewarding jobs that I have done. She came in, saw them and cried because they were even better than she had dreamed. She said that she hoped that this would bring some peace to the family.

Of course, I was so sad too for this family. But the idea of helping them sure made it a lot easier. I had worked with pets before, but never humans. The idea of it had me taken aback a bit, but I knew the results were what was important.

So would I do it again? Yes, of course. The Step Mom's reaction showed me how I could make a difference in a family's grieving. I'm all for that.

Have you done something similar to this? Tell us about it and how you handled it.
See you tomorrow.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Hey Cupcake

I thought you'd want to see what a real $750.00 dessert cupcake looks like. Yes, that was not a typo.

This is the Decadeance D'Or cupcake from the Sweet Surrender candy and cupcake shop in the Palazzo Resort on the Las Vegas strip.

Edible gold flakes top the
100-year-old Louis XIII de Remy Martin Cognac, Palmira Single Estate Chocolate and Tahita Gold Vanilla Caviar baked into this luscious cupcake.

Personally, I think it's cool, but if you have $750 to spend in spare change, please stop by my Etsy shop, You can get a lot more for your money and I'll even sprinkle my beads with gold leaf. ;)

Hope your holiday weekend was merry and that you are not on sugar overload like I am.

I'm heading home today. Looking forward to warmer weather and catching up with what I missed. And being a little sad saying good bye to my friends and family out West.

Friday, December 25, 2009

It's Here!

Merry Christmas to one and all. Wishing you a happy day with friends and family.

And to my daughter Sparky - I miss you-bunches! Hope you kick some serious you-know-what in your holiday Cribbage tournament. We're all rooting for you a couple of continents away. (and almost as cold here too!)

ps if you want to see a funny website, click here. Sketchy Santas.

See you Sunday!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Free Fun Stuff!

"No one has ever become poor by giving."
-- Anne Frank

I just discovered Marilyn Scott-Waters' website, It is chock filled with FREE paper toys to print out, color, glue, sparkle and play with. From paper dolls and spinners to gift boxes with cute illustrations and otters, it's all a gift from her talented hands and heart.

Perhaps you have some little people who need another activity to keep them actively busy and happy...this could be for you. And if you're like me, you'll want to download some of these pdf.s just to try them out.

Enjoy. Wishing you a visit from "you-know-who" tonight down your chimney, or however he arrives. Don't forget the carrots for the reindeer.

Sending love and hugs,

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Canoodling with Frosty

As you read this, I'm heading to Colorado and then Wyoming to be with family for Christmas.

Even though I live in the warm South, I am ready for the snow and ice and plan to make snow angels with my niece and nephew's little children and hopefully nail a big fat snowball on the back of my son's head. Just once. I know I'm dead meat after I succeed. But the thrill will be seeing his face with the surprise attack.

But besides the fun of being with family, will be the joy of little children who believe in Santa Claus. I miss it.

So those of you lucky ones with kids at home or grand children nearby, enjoy it to the max. And if you're like me where you get to share others', I hope you're as thankful as I am.

See you tomorrow with a two hour time change, more pre-holiday Glass, Creativity and I promise, not too much personal news.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Taking a Deep Breath This Time of Year

This time of year, it's good just to take a deep breath and remember what's important. All the gifts, family and other details need to take a backseat for a little bit.

I call it re-centering. It reminds me of when potters put the clay on their wheel and get it all aligned. I need to do that sometimes too.

These photos are from my neighborhood. The top one is the view at dawn out my window. The bottom left wild turkey was strolling through my front yard the other day and the deer is from a neighbor- (thanks Anita). She snapped it in her yard a few houses away.
For you, I wish a few deep breaths, if needed. And of course energy and happiness to enjoy the rest.

See you tomorrow. Have a great day.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Cruise Ship Hot Shop- What Fun!

I saw the following job description in my GAS weekly newsletter and thought I'd pass it along. I hadn't heard that a cruise ship was outfitted with it's own hot shop.

Casting Calls for Blow Glass at Sea Program - Corning Museum of Glass

Casting Calls for Glassmakers on Celebrity Cruises

January 25, 26 & 27, 2010 – Seattle, Washington, Pratt Fine Arts Center

January 28 & 29, 2010 – Tacoma, Washington, M-Space

February 1 & 2, 2010 – Portland, Oregon, Elements Glass

Glassmakers, contact us and sign up to try out for our Blow Glass at Sea program aboard Celebrity Cruises. We’ll be at the West Coast locations, listed above, in January and February.

During the tryout, you will be expected to make a two-gather piece, such as an optic bowl or a handkerchief vase or bowl, using simple or no color. The most successful pieces are blown pieces which show change quickly and be completed in no more than 30 minutes.

Candidates will also be expected to narrate a demonstration (while assisting the gaffer). Candidates will be sent a script prior to the tryout.

Successful tryout candidates will be invited to Corning, NY, to train for three to four weeks before being scheduled for an assignment at sea. If you are chosen for the Blow Glass at Sea program, you will need to pass a drug test and physical examination which are required by Celebrity Cruise Lines. Participants must be able to live onboard a Celebrity Cruises vessel for a minimum of three months.

Send your resume and photos of your work to Debra Sharretts ( at The Corning Museum of Glass. She will contact you with additional details. You may also reach her at 607-974-8241 for more information. You can also visit for more details about the Blow Glass at Sea program.
Celebrity Solstice includes a fully equipped hot shop for Hot Glass Show demonstrations

Sunday, December 20, 2009

SNL- Christmas on Hulu

Some folks can't miss Frosty and others prefer Charlie Brown. But I like a variety and this show always has it.

Yes, it's a little naughty and quirky, but always gives me a good laugh in these stress filled days.

You can find it on Here is your link.

Hope you enjoy and remember, if you are easily offended, please don't click and watch.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Complete Lampwork Set up Available

Unfortunately, another lampworking friend is closing up her shop to follow other avenues. I'm sad to see her go. Here are her complete photos of what's available.

You can contact her for all her details at

Complete Lampworking Set-up

Complete lampworking set-up for both soft glass and Borosilicate. Includes the following and more, all in excellent, gently used condition:


  • Nortel Red Max torch with top-mounted pre-mix minor burner and marvering pad
  • 12-foot hoses and all connections, gauges, flash-back arrestors, etc. for both oxygen and propane tanks
  • 27” x 55” steel desk work space with two handy drawers
  • Creation Station with universal arm and hand rest
  • Olympic kiln digital programmable Model HB 86 E, 13 x 13 x 20 (outside dimensions) with stand
  • Custom-made exhaust system featuring a galvanized hood with mounted fluorescent light and a duplex electrical outlet to handle attaching additional lighting if desired, Suncourt DB 210 in-line duct fan and ducting to fit standard 36” double-hung window. Separate carbon monoxide detector can be included.
  • Propane tank


  • Good supply of mandrels including 1/16” x 9” & 12”, 1/8” x 9”, 5/32” x 9”, button mandrel, custom made mandrel holder stands.
  • Suede welder’s apron
  • 2 pair high-quality lampworking eyeglasses
  • Good selection of various tools including different size tweezers, mashers, graphite marvering tools, button and lentil graphite molds, Zoozii Kalera Trio and Lentil Trio brass molds, glass rod holders, etc.
  • Several glass-making books and DVDs
  • Linoleum used as floor protection (if desired), and a naugahyde protective screen (to stop flying glass) on custom-made supports (see photo)


  • ¼ - ½ lb. lots of most colors of Moretti glass and much larger quantities of white, ivory, black and clear
  • Selection of frits, powders, and other goodies
  • Large selection of beads -- semi-precious, glass, crystal (Swarovski), bone, etc.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

What's Your Sign?

I love these little Zodiac recycled .5" sterling silver charms.

They're from Mickey Lynn, a local jewelry maker in Atlanta. The designs are simple and fresh and wouldn't it be fun to have one for yourself?

By the way, I'm a Gemini. What sign are you?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Story Debunked

I'm not sure who originally said, "not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse."

According to Snopes, that is not true.
This mouse was stirring. He was making a batch of brownie batter...and stirring up a storm.

So there you have it. Another Christmas Myth and the real story behind it.

You can find this mouse in my Etsy Shop.

And by the way, his name is Blake.

Now I'm off to find out what else about holiday has been misrepresented....

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Please Help Us Make This the Best Christmas Ever for Glass Blower Justin Trott

Hey friends-
Aren't these cute kids? They're glass blower Justin Trott's kids and I'd love your help to make this a good Christmas for them.

Yesterday, I had this weird feeling that I needed to check in with sweetie pie extraordinaire, Jessica Boggs, (whose flamework mermaids are so gorgeous). I read the following note on her facebook page and then contacted her about it. She said, help her get some Christmas present to the kids. The daughter is 12 and the boys are like 5 & 6. The daughter likes craft things and the sons are typical little boys with superhero and truck type wishes. So read below what she wrote and please help a fellow glass artist if you can.

A little background information from Justin.

My name is justin trott i am 35 years old.. I am from Salem, Massachusetts.. I lived in upstate ny from 1995-2003 and I now live in upstate NY again, 2003 till 2009 I was in the colorado mnts I had a Glass Gift store in Gunnison, Colorado till i got sick.. In february I was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer called , CHONDROSARCOMA. there is no known treatment for the tumors that this type of cancer causes, only removal. In june I had a tumor removed on my right pelvis and they had to remove much of the muscle and tendons on my right side , along with a large piece of my pelvis bone. It has left me with a hard time walking/ or standing for any length of time.. I am a single father. I have 3 children ., they are my life, other than art, of course.I have more surgeries to go, but I will push on thru and live life to it's fullest..I have been lampworking for 13 years. I work borosilicate the most> I am mostly self taught. although I spent many hrs in the library at Corning Museum , so I must thank them and all the artists that have videos there,,Had it not been for that I would not have even known how to accomplish 1/2 of the things I have.. I have never taken a class with any glass artists..but I have taught quit a few people what i have learned on my best friend Richard Balanda was the first person that I taught, 12 yrs ago ,and we are working together again, now that I am back in NY..I have been working alone for 6 yrs and it is nice to back around another glass artists again... :-)

...The Jessica wrote:

Please help us raise money for for Justin for a lathe by sending donations through Paypal ( This will enable him to work longer in glass.

Brent Graber is donating all sales of his DVD on

Andy Ray has a few "Handy Andy Tweezer" on

if you would like to send a glass piece instead for the raffle, please send it to
Gemstone and Bead
Jessica Boggs
1937 N. Military Trail.
Suite I
West Palm Beach, Fl. 33463

We are also trying to collect Presents for his three Children. Please send them to his direct address
Justin Trott
933 rt 11 apt N5
Kirkwood, NY. 13795

For any further questions
Please contact me
Jessica Boggs
Thank you so much for all of your support.
And from me, Marcy.... I know how busy and strapped we all are around the holidays. Even if you can't help in a financial or gift way, perhaps could you help spread the word through your blog, facebook page or online boards? Thanks so much. Kind of puts life into perspective, doesn't it? I see stories like this and feel so darn lucky and thankful.

See you tomorrow. I'm heading out to find a little something for the kids.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Pandora Puppies

Pandora bracelets with the big center holes have been around for quite awhile. I love their chunky yet delicate look and how the glass lampworking community has been able to tap this market.

Pandora, Biagi, Trollbeads and other large holed bracelets are perfect avenues for our industry's beadmakers. Whether your personal niche is encased flowers, boro, organic or silvered glass, there's a place for you.

So needless to say, I love making custom beads for pet owners. I'm showing you a little Bichon Frise that I recently made.

For me, the hardest part is is getting enough detail in the tiny bead. Even though they have a big hole, they still need to be quite small and sit properly on the wrist. Because of the head being relatively large, I try to balance it out with widespread feet and a bit of a tail, if appropriate.

I've found that some breeds don't translate as well for me. Skinny dogs with long slim legs- like greyhounds, just don't have enough room on the bead to fold up the legs and make them look like what they are. Too small a palette. Dogs with easy to spot features seem to always work well and I love the ones with lots of fur- perhaps because I really enough adding the texture in glass.

I've also made lots of beads that are theme beads for customers, whether it's college logos, pets, grandkids, babies, beads that represent favorite sports, hobbies and other pastimes, it's all been fun. Custom work is a favorite large part of my business, because each order is a new puzzle to figure out.

See you tomorrow, here on

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Naked Snowmen

I saw a naked snowman and couldn't resist putting it up on the internet.

Just for the record, this is not snowwoman porn, but a cute 32 page story that has great discussion points for kids and parents.

And of course I can't help but make a joke of Flakey trying to cover his snow balls.

Bada bing!

See you tomorrow.

Friday, December 11, 2009

International Society of Glass Beadmakers Needs Donations and Bidders!

If you're a member of the International Society of Glass Beadmakers, (ISGB), you should have received an email asking for help.
Jeesh, we all know what the economy is doing and I'm really proud of my organization trying to find a way to continue on with their mission to educate about our industry. So now they're taking it to the street- or should I say, eBay, to fund the outreach programs. Very cool!

For me, the ISGB has done a lot. I've mad great friends through the Gathering- their annual international conference as well as had the wonderful opportunity to present and teach there for the membership. Each year, I sell at the bazaar as well. So in my mind, it's time to reciprocate.

They are asking for bead/ lampwork functional item or jewelry piece donations to be auctioned on eBay through the non profit missionfish arm of it. (we're a 501(c) 3 non profit and that keeps everything straight).

If you'd like to donate (or bid) and want more details, you can email the auction committee ...

I'll update you with what I choose to donate and hopefully I'll be able to tell you when it will be posted. If you have a suggestion for what you'd like me to make for it, (go crazy, it's okay), please post in the comment section. And any other comments are always appreciated as well.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Galliano's Tribal Chic Heels

Fertility goddess heels on John Galliano's Tribal Chic designer shoes were noticed when French actress, Marion Cotillard wore them to a NY event.

I had been looking for goddess sculptures when I ran across these.

So what do you think, do you like them?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Winter Glass Fest 09

Join me and lots of other glass artists for Winter Glass Fest 09 at Matt Janke's Hot Glass Studio.

I'll demo flameworking from noon until 6 pm this Saturday. I'll also have lampwork beads and whimsical glass ornaments for sale. Click here for more information. (There will be a group of us doing all kinds of glass demos too.) Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

From Vintage Evil Genius to Pink Squiggles

Last Saturday night at our Southern Flames meeting, two of my friends Julia and Andrea were wearing very cool t-shirts, as pictured. I hope they don't mind, but I am sharing their source for them as well- right HERE. I know a few folks who would get a chuckle out of this one. Even if it is an evil one.

But while I was chatting with Andrea about it, she also showed me a new style of metal coloration work she is doing and selling in her Four Tails Lampwork store on 1000 Markets.

Having seen it in person, the vivid and blended colors really attracted me. I love the metals and colors combined. Andrea does beautiful lampwork and metal work, so this new iteration makes sense that it would be just as cool. (besides, I love squiggles and own some of her work that I wear often.)

So if you're looking for something a little different, check out her shop. I didn't see everything listed that she had with her on Saturday, so keep an eye out. I'm also not sure if she lists in multiple websites, so there might be other great sources of her work as well. Email her and ask. Tell her I sent you and btw, she gives great shoulder rubs too. The stress headache from my long day at the Holiday Market was reduced considerably within 2 minutes. Thanks Andrea- you're one of the sweetest evil geniuses I know!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Free Falling

I did it! I went skydiving yesterday. Maximum speed according to the altimeter was 152 mph.

My family went to to celebrate my husband's birthday.

My new bff Chuck was my tandem partner. This flight with him was his 2050th. Talk about experience!

If you haven't had this adventure before, it's a little hard to explain. I was strapped extremely tightly to a stranger, and plummeted out of an airplane at 14,000 feet. We did our free fall to 5,000 feet before Chuck pulled the chute. The view was amazing and I think we laughed, chatted and smiled the entire way down.

So here's the dirt. I'm scared of heights. And to be honest, I did close my eyes for a few seconds as we exited the plane. It's a little hard being brave while kneeling in front of the open door the first time attached to a stranger, (we weren't new bffs until after we landed). We did a somersault on the count of three out of it and I quickly opened my eyes because I didn't want to miss any more. After that, it was a lot of fun and an amazing adventure. One of the best parts was looking out around the countryside from above the top of the clouds. Talk about feeling close to nature.

Would I do it again? You bet. And if you are ever considering trying it at "The Farm" I highly recommend Chuck. His explanation of what's going to happen, plus what's going on while it's happening made me feel safe with the equipment and let me thoroughly enjoy the adventure because of my confidence with his expertise. Can't ask for more than that.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Colorful Exotic 'Shrooms

According to my online "sources", these two mushrooms are real. I am bummed that they didn't tell me what kind they are. But I still think they would make cool beads whether real or not.

If you know anything about mushrooms, or fleshy, spore bearing bodies of fungus, please feel free to post and tell me about it. I sure think they're pretty.

And while you're reading this, I am debating whether to go sky diving today. It's my husband's birthday and he and my son have it planned. I'm either watching or participating. Cross your fingers for me just in case I have enough courage.

See you tomorrow...I hope.

Friday, December 4, 2009


A little eye candy never hurt anyone, so here is a link to Faberge's website.

This site is an artistic mix of animated drawings, moving photos and of course, their drop dead jewelry. Oh my! I could drool over this stuff for a long time. Wait until you see the Red Hibiscus Cuff. Mmmm.

So when you have 5-10 minutes to explore, stop by and and enjoy it. It's not your typical url, and I hope that it inspires you in some way too. If not, just kick back and smile. It's a pretty one.

See you tomorrow, here at

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Calling All Jewelry Designers!

Calling All Designers - Introductory Jewelry Challenge!

The Fire Divas are hosting an Introductory Jewelry Challenge! This challenge will be for jewelry designers who use artisan lampwork in their pieces. The winner of the Challenge will receive a beautiful group of Fire Divas' work. This is a wonderful chance for jewelry designers to show off their talents and get exposure!

Now for the details:
This first challenge will allow lampwork from any artisan. We require information about the artisan who made the beads used in the submitted piece, so if you submit something, please be ready to provide that information.

The challenges to follow will only allow Fire Divas' lampwork.

We will allow one submission per person per contest, and a maximum of two photos per submission. Entries may be submitted here ( for approval, no later than January 1, 2010. Please include, in the comments section, the following:
Information about the beads:
Description of the piece:
Inspiration for the piece:

Fire Divas reserve the right to approve or reject any submissions.

Fire Divas reserve the right to modify or cancel the challenge at any time.

Ok, the boring stuff is over - go have fun creating!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Creation Is Messy's Stone Ground Glass

Recently, I was lucky enough to join the ranks of testers for Creation Is Messy glass.

I have been a big fan of the colors that they provide to increase my palette, especially with my sculptural glass.

My angel shown here was made from entirely CIM glass. I love the colors.

One of the colors that I really love is Stone Ground, which is similar, but not exactly the same as Moretti's Opal Yellow. I used it in my angel's hair and was so happy to have found it. It makes a perfect pale blonde and will go well as part of my "fur palette" as well. Can't you picture a Golden Retriever or Blonde Lab with their coats this color?

One of the cool things about CIM's website is that there are comparisons listed on the website, so you can see the colors being used in real beads and comments by the users. If you click on the angel link above, you'll arrive at a page that showcases what I mean.

If you haven't had a chance to poke around on that website, take a few minutes to enjoy it and scout out new colors.

I noticed an opaque light blue (called "Zachary") that will be fantastic when it joins the ranks sometime in December.

So go hit up their website and enjoy how artist friendly it is. And while you're there, look at all the artist examples using the glass. It sure helps for visualization for your own work as well.

See you tomorrow, right here-

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Come See Me This Saturday!

I'll be at the Chattahoochie Nature Center's first Back to Nature Holiday Market and Festival this Saturday.

If you'll be in the metro Atlanta area, I'd love for you to stop by. It's a cute nature center right on the river and benefiting creatures and programs that relate to it. I'll have cute little animal and Christmas related beads, pendants and holiday ornaments as well as other fun offerings.

Saturday, December 5, 2009 - 10 am to 4 pm General Admission/Members FREE

Buy local this Holiday Season! Find unique gifts while staying away from the crowds of the mall. Come browse local vendors selling a variety of items for the perfect holiday present!

Activities include:

  • Holiday Marketplace with over 40 vendors selling local, handmade products!
  • Snowflake Scavenger Hunt on our Woodland Trails
  • Crafts and face painting for the kids
  • Musical entertainment that will get you in the spirit with this nature holiday shop around
  • Hot cocoa and coffee to warm the toes
  • Explore their brand new Discovery Center and take home a fun nature souvenir from our Gift Shop
  • Visit with some of CNC’s non-releasable wildlife up-close throughout the day

Monday, November 30, 2009

Give Your Torch A Little Lift

I just received my ProJack Adjustable Torch Stand on Friday and am so excited about it.

I found them when I was in Austin and knew that this is the answer to my uncomfortable back when I bend over to torch, when standing up.

I had always sat down and when I was in Robert Mickelsen's wonderful sculptural boro class, I tried standing. I have so much more freedom of movement that way. I really enjoyed everything, but my sore back at the end of the day. This solves my problem of stooping over the table to work.

My understanding is that there are just 4 left and no more will be made. I wanted to let all of you know, before they are gone. Here is the link (click here) to go to them.

I can see using this small scissor jack for other things too. We can all use a little lift some times.

What a great present for yourself, don't you think? They are currently on sale right now too.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Non Traditional Wedding Cake Toppers

I've been thinking about adding a wedding cake topper line to my glass art offerings and as I've been researching some non traditional ideas, I've come across plenty that I'm not sure I particularly like.

I am sure that some couples would find this topper humorous, with both on their cell phones. And probably this really is how they act. But as an onlooker, I wonder does this bode well for a happy marriage?

And here is a link to a second one that really made me question anyone who chooses it. It's title is "Ball and Chain". Unless it were a private joke that they both find funny, I'm not so sure how long this marriage would last either.

Now I'm asking you...what kind of non traditional wedding cake toppers do you envision? I was thinking about couples and their dogs. What would you suggest? I bet you've got some great ideas too.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday & All The Temptations

Oh deliver me from temptation. I keep seeing all these wonderful items waved in front of my nose. And am I thinking about others...that's the worst part...I want them for myself.

So I'm starting a list of things that I'll add to my list...and these DSLR bags from Janine King on Etsy are on it. I already have the Twirl bag for my computer and that entire top row of bags all appeal to me. So tell me, what Black Friday offerings are tempting you? Post your wishes, links and other urls that we need to see.

Catch you on Sunday at . Remember, Saturday is my blogging day off. See you then!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

Wishing you family and friends and lots of laughs and conversation today.

And to those of you who have dear family members who can't be with you, I'm sending out hugs.

Today, I'm missing my daughter who is happily working in Antarctica. I sure
miss her, but know she loves what she's doing and that's important. But holidays just aren't the same without her.

So cheers to you all and wishing you happy holiday.

And thank you for indulging a Mom with getting personal for a moment. Sparky, if you're reading this, I'll pour one out for you!


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Rodney Andrew Glass

Rodney Andrew recently contacted me to let me know that he's opening up a teaching studio and gallery in Buford, GA. Which is north of metro Atlanta.

He will have 5 Cricket torches and 4 Carlisle CC Bench Burner stations set up for classes which he will announce at the Opening Artist Reception on Dec. 5 from 6-9pm.

Rodney will have more info on his website which is

I've known Rodney for quite a few years
now and what a delight it has been to see his wonderful way with glass evolve. He is a truly nice guy, who I know will do a great job.

So stop by and visit him, if you're in the Atlanta/Athens area. If not, check out his website. I know his IT guy is working on it to get it ready for the grand opening with all the necessary details.

Personally, I love his bracelets. I have seen quite a few recently, that I would love to own.

See you back here tomorrow for another post on my blog. Take care until then.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My Turn for Watch Me Create

My latest commentary for Watch Me Create will be posted sometime today. I've written about testing the waters by learning a bit of another style of glass- this time fusing/slumping and combining it with some of my lampworking skills.

Last week I was at Blue Moon Glassworks learning some new techniques to combine with the ones I already have and my Watch Me Create post shows what I made. So instead of spoiling the photo opportunity, I'm handing you a quick peek inside of Blue Moon where I taught my class and in turn was taught a lot about glass from other perspectives by my friend, Jim Berry.

The interior of the store is an artist's dream. Lots of tools, glass, machines, completed work by a variety of artists, and books too. The lighting is good, but the atmosphere is even better. Jim & Rose Berry and the rest of the employees make you feel at home the minute you step inside. I like that in a shop. You feel like they want you to be happy & successful and so generously share their time and knowledge in their art and products that they carry.

You know what kind of people they are, when you meet sweet little baby Emmie who comes to work with her Mom Lisa, one of the Blue Moon long time employees. Bob, Mike and Jody also work there and are part of the Blue Moon "family". I guess besides all the wonderful new skills that I learned, I also made some pretty nice new friends in Austin. You know, you can go to a lot of places to learn new skills, but it isn't everywhere where you feel so welcome. And for me, remembering people's kindness will last in my heart and mind a lot longer.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Teaching Flamework To An Artist Of A Different Medium

Yesterday's blog post introduced you to a little of Austin artist Aly Winningham's wonderful mosaics.

Today, I'd like to chat a bit about teaching an artist of a different medium about flameworking.

I met Aly at Blue Moon when she was in to pick up more glass for her mosaics and mobiles. I enjoyed her immediately. She has a lot of passion and energy for what she does and it appeared for everything else she tackles as well.

She was telling me how a group fusing class didn't fit her personality. She knew too much to sit patiently through relearning it and what other students wanted to learn, wasn't necessarily what she did.

This is exactly the kind of student who intrigues me. I immediately suggested private lessons and that I'd be available, if she'd like, during my stay in Austin. A creative challenge is just what I enjoy.

So I thought I'd go through a few of my steps to prepare for our first class and please feel free to fill in more ideas for other teachers who come upon this situation.

1. Listen to the artist when you're booking the class and ask some good solid questions that will help you teach them better. I asked about pertinent skills. Aly understands glass in general, COE, knows how to weld, (which means she'll grasp tool and tech. info as well as flame discussion and safety info as well). I also asked her how she felt flameworked glass would suit her art work.

2. Go to their website and look at their work, read their bio, so you can speak intelligently to them about their work.

So when Aly arrived, instead of the first safety talk that goes through every instructor's lips, we went to the large whiteboard and wrote down some goals for the days lessons. I figured I'd fit the other stuff in as we go, in priority order.

We mapped out three goals for a 3 hour class. She wanted to be able to add flat backed pieces for her mosaics, she wanted to make large organic pieces for her mobiles (with holes for hanging) and she wanted to understand melting glass more and the theories behind it.

So after understanding that she knew COE, we visited section to section in the store, (Blue Moon Glassworks) and discussed some of the supplies, tools and glass options that would pertain to her three goals. I wanted her to understand for the future, some of the options.

Next it was safety time and then light the torch. Usually I make a small donut with the student, but with Aly, we took a rod of white and melted it into her water bowl. I wanted enough time to talk about watching the colors of the hot glass for future control. She is a tactile artist, and I thought she'd relate to this well. She did. We melted then a little of a dark transparent, and practiced adjusting the torch, we discussed frit that she was making and how it could be used, torches, set ups, kilns, gas sources, and other topics that were pertinent and that she was capable of understanding- like when we pulled stringers, and we took time to stretch, bend and fold the glass before making that first bead.

But of course we made those too. And we did the dots- raised, flat and raked, and then we got into flattening the glass and adding extra glass that we twisted, pulled and practiced heat control on. In the end, we mirrored some of her vision for her mobiles, had a few examples for her mosaics and mapped out her next private lesson with the wonderful in store teacher, Lisa.

Aly left her private lesson excited and ready to try it some more. I lve to see that kind of enthusiasm, which warms my heart and is one of the many reasons why I love to teach.

If you've got ideas, pointers, tips and tricks for teaching the non traditional student, how about posting them? We'd all love to hear. See you tomorrow.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Terra Firma Studios

I was delighted to meet mosaic artist Aly Winningham while visiting Blue Moon Glassworks.

I had heard that she created wonderful mosaics, but it wasn't until I checked out her website, that I realized what scale and level she was.

This is just one small example of her work- the candy counter at Austin's flagship Whole Foods Market. Aly works in metals and mosaics (mainly glass) and if you poke around under the "Public Work" category, you'll see columns 25 feet tall. Oh, she makes me want to learn to do this.

Now here's the kicker...I was lucky to be Aly's first lampwork teacher. I'll tell you about it in a future blog- teaching another artist who has a voice in their work, makes it interesting and a lot of fun. See you tomorrow to tell you more.

Friday, November 20, 2009

See You Back In Atlanta Tonight!

I've had a great time at Austin Blue Moon's Glass Camp thanks to Jim and Rose Berry, (despite the Scrabble trouncing from Rose). It's been a blast and they've treated me like royalty.

I'm heading out in a few minutes and will be writing again from Atlanta, GA starting on Sunday.

While I was here, I took great delight in the fun outdoor murals, the roof art and all the quirkiness this city has to offer.

And that doesn't include learning how to cut glass, solder, copper foil, a bit of fusing, murrini making, learning technical info, sandblasting, and I know I've forgotten to list all that was included. Jim and I have already started a list for more things we want to try.

One of the most fun parts was brainstorming about future classes. We've been dreaming up collaborative classes that will mix different glass elements- fusing with lampworking, lampworking with mosaics and so forth. Still working on it, but as soon as something is set, I'll be writing more.

See you later, alligator...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Bread Shoes

Couldn't help myself. Who on Earth, buys shoes made out of bread?

They are sold here. For $70 Euro!

I'm thinking about changing my career to baking.....