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Friday, July 30, 2010

The Gathering in Rochester

The Gathering is well under way in Rochester NY and I've been enjoying the pre-conference activities and catching up with old friends and meeting new ones.

Wednesday, I was lucky and got to go on a tour to the Corning Glass Museum guided by Marshall Hyde.

I'll try to post more photos, but there is so much going on, they might show up after I'm home next week. I have the big Bead Bazaar tomorrow. I'll be debuting my new Balance Series and Mother Nature Series. Cross your fingers for me.

I'll still be blogging my 6 days a week- so keep reading. I'll have new glass goodie photos for you asap.

Byeee! See you later...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Fish Bone Tool

My friend, Pam Hamrick shared her medium sized Leonardo Fish Bone tool with me the other day. What an interesting piece it is. I was making leaves and wondered about the imprint pattern. These tools seemed to work well, and does need the beeswax that is provided with them. I see it as an alternative to pressing with tweezers by hand, like I usually do.

Wish I could show you the leaf, but I gave it to Pam in thanks for her generosity. The tool and others can be found right here. I do own some of Karen's imprinters as well and really enjoy them.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Brief History of Art

I was amused by this offering found on one of my favorite websites, The Unemployed Philosopher's Guild.

Collaging all the images together is just my cup of tea. All those famous mugs on one mug.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Recycled Wine Bottles

You know, I usually think of melting glass when I think of recycled wine bottles, but I sure like this idea too. This simple set up to make them into candles can be found on etsy and is sold by Peanutbearys. I also saw some to retrofit beer bottles. Nothing says romantic evening like a flaming PBR bottle. ;) See you tomorrow!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Cicadas Ninja Fighting

I'm sure you've been wondering what cicadas look like when they're ninja fighting on a cucumber........ now you know.

I'm guessing that's why they're so noisy around here at night. I bet that's more of them cheering the combatants on.

...and thanks to Alex the glass artist who made this vignette for our amusement.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Pinecone Pot Dude

I wish I knew who the potter in this postcard is, but I saw it taped on a bulletin board and snapped a quick photo. Doesn't it look like he's standing in a giant pinecone? Obviously, he's a potter as they are stacked up bowls, and he must have a good sense of humor. If you know who he is, please post or if you think I am mistaken and this is actually a giant pinecone, I'd love to hear your theory as well.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Wyoming or Bust

Some of you may not know that I spent some of my youth growing up in Wyoming. It was a lot of fun and moving there from Connecticut in eighth grade quite a huge change.

Wyoming is still near and dear to my heart, even though I'm in Atlanta now. I have some great memories and plenty of family still there. And as of right now, I'm here too for a very quick family visit.

This wonderful old wagon filled with antlers is available for sale. You can find it and other cool Wyoming items here. I'm not sure where I'd put a wagon, but the antlers are tempting. After all, antlers are some of nature's renewable resources and I just think of their organic nature combined with glass art, has great possibilities. I'm just not sure exactly in what manner, at the moment .

So a quick hello from Wonderful Wyoming- I'll regale you with some of this trip's stories another time. You can imagine, there's always something going on here.

See you tomorrow!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Vote to Help Kids with Cancer

Beads of Courage is so close to winning a $25,000 grant to help kids with cancer and other life threatening illnesses. But they need everyone's help.

The top 10 vote receivers, will get the 25K and if BOC wins, five more hospitals can be opened. That's a lot of kids who will get their help. Who knew that spending 3 minutes a day just until the end of the month would make such a difference?

So I'm asking...could you please vote daily for the rest of the month- just a few more days, right HERE. Help Beads of Courage get into one of the top 10 positions, to help the sick kids?

In case you haven't heard about this wonderful non profit organization, it opens programs in hospitals to support children with life threatening illnesses. They receive a certain bead for different procedures and have their very long strings that document what they've endured and gives them a visual and conversation talking points with their friends, family, other kids and staff. www.beadsofcourage.org

Thank you. Please forward the web address to others with big hearts and help us help the kids.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Art Dolls at ACC



I am not a doll collector, but art dolls have always intrigued me. Well, this time, perhaps a little more than that. I bought the one of the left by Charlie P., the doll making teacher next door to me at the last session of Appalachian Center for Craft.

Charlie told us that having made art dolls for a lot of years, she has noticed that buyers will not choose a broad range of dolls, but certain ones will "speak" to them. Upon hearing that, it made me smile, because she had an array of at least 30, and this one was the only one that I really wanted.

As folks were looking at them, I asked what was it about each of the dolls that drew them to that specific one...answers ranged from the doll reminding them of someone, or their handmade clothing, the hair was cool, or whatever. Most of the time, they had to think what the actual reason was- because it would be more of a feeling that "this is the one".

So of course I tried to analyze my choice. I love her clothes. There is an organic element to them, yet they are in my favorite colors. I like her thick yarn hair, although if it had been another color, I would have been fine. But I also love her sweet countenance...she looks serene and at peace. I'm still deciding on her name. If you have ideas, please feel free to post them. And meanwhile, this overgrown kid, will enjoy her new doll.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Blacksmith Classes

I shot this quick photo when I was touring the facilities at the Appalachian Center for Craft. It's just a small station in the blacksmith area, but I thought it told a story.

I think about how often, in art and craft, we are always looking for the latest and greatest new tools and modern ideas. I know I am always being tempted, even if I don't buy them. But looking at this small area, made me stop and ponder- you need muscles and strength and a strong tolerance for really high heat in blacksmithing. And I'm guessing a bit of a respect for "old school" ways too. I think that's cool. (or should I say "hot"?) So I wanted to give a nod to this craft form. They turned out some really nice knives and other items the week I was there.

So hats off to those who want to keep it real and simple. (and a big hooray for the air conditioning in the glass studio where I was!)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Crafty Biology Lesson

You know, this might be the only type of fetal pig dissection that I can stand. I never thought I'd be smiling at the process. CraftyHedgehog on Etsy has got the corner on the market for biology lab knitting . It makes me laugh and want to take up knitting, just so I can make this quirky project.

And the one that really gets me going is this one. I almost posted this picture, but didn't want any little children upset from seeing it. You'll smile, don't worry.

See you tomorrow!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sunday Pancake Jedis Unite


Missing a little excitement in your Sunday morning pancakes? Here's an idea...Star War pancakes for the truly adventurous. You can find them here and read about them while dreaming of planets far far away.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Appalachian Center for Craft


Today is my last day teaching the six day whimsical sculpture class at Appalachian Center for Craft in Tennessee. It's been a blast. I'll show and tell you more about it next week. We've been making a series of beads with themes, that incorporate techniques. We have a fantastic glass artist in residence, Andrew, who has made our stay so enjoyable- if we ask, it is done. Wow!

But here is a quick shot of the ACC garden that is used for some of our meals. From sunflowers to fresh tomatoes, it has me mesmerized that it's feeding students and we're so lucky to be the beneficiaries of it.

See you!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Chubby Furniture = Chubby Beads?

I recently saw this French style bombe chest on Graham and Green's website. It is a similar style to the type of furniture I grew up with. My house was filled with cabriole legged furniture and chubby rounded shapes. Although my personal taste now is pretty simple, I still love this style.

And that gave me reason to wonder, is that why all my beads are short and rounded too? Is this a nature vs. nurture type situation or is just my personal aesthetic (and body shape!).

Do you reflect as to why you have a certain personal style? What are your influences? I'd love to hear them.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Alternative Jewelry Projects

I saw this book, 10 Alternative Metals Jewelry Projects on Interweave's website, and have been debating about purchasing it. It tempts me and I don't work in metals.

I keep telling myself, "oh no, don't need to get into more projects and more tools, but this book is singing a siren song. I think it's the bird bangle in the center of the photo that is pushing me. I have a "thing" about birds and the simplicity of the form is just my style. The caption tells me that it is an easy-to-follow, instant download which to me means instant gratification. Darn- making it a little too easy on me, I'm afraid.

I don't know... Anyone downloaded this book? Care to give us a book review and let us know what you think?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Look Who Showed Up

I had been working in my studio when the doorbell rang. I though my previous student had forgotten something. When I answered my door, three adorable little girls from my neighborhood were standing there and asking if I had any spare beads that they could have?

How can anyone turn down these cute faces? They came in and checked out my bead stash and each chose a handful to take home and use for making jewelry. I supplied some cord too, after assuring them that it was enough for at least 2 necklaces for each of them.

Maybe it's time to start hiding beads around the neighborhood again? It's this kind of interaction that helps keep the magic in art. The delight in their faces and listening to their conversation sure made my day extra fun.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Problems Casing

Glass Hotline just closed. A friend called who is having a problem with clear casing her pink BE - After making the base bead and cooling it, the clear still lifts a little of the pink and makes it a bit cloudy underneath. She's tried just about everything. If someone has had this happen and has a different type of solution, post please. She's tried all the basic remedies, cool the base more, heat/and or/ cool the clear encasing, marver differently, case with thin layer first and then add on, case with stringer, turn down the flame, geesh, running out of ideas. grasping at straws, I told her to do a compatibility test just to see what happens, try casing with the pale pink tint, and also to try lollipop encasing.

Help me out here folks...any ideas?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Baby Feet


There are some days I just can't help it. My eye catches cute little baby clothes and in this case- shoes. My kids are grown and being a grandmother is light years away...(if my kids are reading this..no pressure- I swear!)

But *sigh*...aren't these baby feet adorable? I found them on Etsy.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Steampunk'd Computer


Okay, so it isn't really punk'd- but it's a pretty cool version of Steampunk Style...
I saw this computer retrofit by Old Time Computer on Etsy. And actually he's adding more eras and styles to his repertoire. You can also find out more info here.

It reminds me of a line of song in All That Jazz..."everything old is new again".

Let me know what you think. Do you like it? I find it delightful.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Glass Webb

My friend, Chris has opened her Etsy shop Glass Webb and I have to say, I'm charmed.

She works in boro and makes a lot of ocean related pendants, which I love. But one of the reasons I wanted to show you, is because Chris's proceeds for the next couple of months are all going towards her daughter's medical condition. Her daughter can't grow hair, and needs some hair pieces. Needless to say, they're expensive.

So pop on by and see if you find something you can't live without. I know I did. (I chose a darling seahorse BEFORE I showed you the shop... I couldn't resist. I apologize.)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Guess What I've Been Making?

Yep, pinecones!

I've recently been going through a back to nature stage. Here are some of the pinecones I've been making and will have with me at The Gathering. I've also been making special beads for hanging them, wait til you see them. Lots of fun.

This year, my Bead Bazaar table will have a theme. I think you might enjoy it. Will you be at the Gathering?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Beaded Object for the Gathering

Our Southern Flames beadmaking group has decided to do a group entry place setting in this year's Gathering Beaded Object contest. Our theme is "The South" and I have a large tablespoon to decorate.

After much contemplation, I chose a mama possum with a baby riding on her back. You see, coke and ice tea was taken. Grits and boiled peanuts just don't translate well into beads either.

And possums, well, they live right around here and are cute in a very ugly way.

One time, there were squirrels that were eating our brand new roof. It was making our family crazy, so I put out live traps to try to catch them. (don't worry, animals just get relocated, not hurt when this is done.)

So the first morning, I was excited to go see if I caught one and lo and behold, there was a possum in my trap. Yikes! That little chubby one got relocated down by the river where it would have lots of food.

So I set out the trap again the next day- stocked with delicious food I must say, and checked it the next morning...wow- here's another possum in it. (definitely not the first one again), so this one too was relocated to where its buddy had gone.

After that, I decided not to put out any more traps. I was a little concerned about what else I might find and honestly, the squirrels must not have been into the peanut butter and crackers that I was serving.

So to me, possums definitely remind me of the South. That's my story, and I'm sticking with it. If you are attending the Gathering, please consider voting for my Mama (her name is Magnolia) and her baby- Blossom. Thank you, thank you very much.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Beads of Courage Needs Your Daily Vote

Beads of Courage a non profit supporting very sick kids in hospitals, needs your July daily vote. They are in the running for a $25,000 grant- and can win, if you help. It boils down to- who can get the votes out. So please help. Just think how many kids this can impact. Share the link with everyone you know and spread the word. It takes just a minute or two of your time and can help make a kid going through chemo so much happier. Here is the link. If you are friends with me on facebook, the link is also under my profile photo. Please join me daily through July in helping Beads of Courage reach their goal. Thank you.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Fourth of July

Happy July 4th !
Wishing you hot grills, good friends.... and colorful fireworks of the very best kind!

See you tomorrow!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Modern Murrine

Have you ever checked out Frantz Art Glass's Rare Murrine section of their website? I did the other day. It's worth a few minutes to see what is listed.

For example, this is a slice of "Dalmation Pup" by Mario dei Rossi. It is 15 mm wide and 3 mm thick. It was made by what is described as the "fused rod" method, which makes me wonder how large it was, when it was pulled?

Oh, and this is one of the less expensive ones- this little chip is just $600.

And I thought I'd clarify something. In the US, we tend to call all of these chips "murrini". When I was in Italy, glass artists and vendors continuously corrected us. The singular word for one chip is "murrina" and the plural is "murrine".
Ah, good trivia. I just wish I were better at making them....

See you Sunday...tomorrow is my day off

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Need Your Opinion Please

Glass folks, I need your opinion. I don't own any CattWalk presses, and I need to choose one. I am getting the base to work with something else I own and when I buy a base, I also get a press with it as a package deal.

So which ones do you love? Why?

I know they are great presses, and when I met Catt, I thought she was wonderful too. So it's time now for me to join in and choose. I just am having a hard time making decisions on this and hope that you will help me. I'll be waiting to hear what you think. Thanks!