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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Interesting Blog From Venice

I recently discovered a Venetian blog which takes me on a mini trip without leaving my home.

From wonderful posts on eyeglasses made from wood, beeswax and cotton, to the wedding of the century on May 14th, pictured above, to commenting on Maestro Lino Tagliapietra's Retrospective Work exhibit, blogger Cat Bauer has a lot to say.  (And if you are one of my very old friends who might wonder, no, she is not a relative.) 

Hope you enjoy the witty posts as much as I do.  Ciao!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Art and Poppies on Memorial Day

Before I get to the art part of this post, I wanted to say thank you to all of the people who have served or currently serve my country.  Words can not describe how much you are appreciated.

I remember the little poppies that were given out at Memorial Day Parades, when I was a kid.  I always loved them and saved the sweet little flowers. I knew what they stood for, but being a typical little girl, I liked that they were flowers too.

Well, many years later, I still think of the poppies for remembrance at Memorial Day.  And I found this gorgeous light weight felted coat on Etsy, with beautiful poppies.  It's called "Dreaming of Summer".  

You can click here to see the rest of the photos of this art piece.  It's lined in silk and made with wool, silk and mohair yarns.  

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Inspiration Versus Copying In Every Industry

I was reading Refinery29's daily fashion page, when I saw their post about Justin Bieber's new perfume, "Someday", which is pictured above.  It's a sweet little container, and I can just picture the many tween fans thinking that its little red heart is so perfect.

But the email was asking, is this a rip-off from Marc Jacob's Lola perfume's packaging?  Here it is.

I'm not exactly sure.  I do see similarities, but the question reminds me of beadmaking or any other artistic endeavor's age old question...what is inspiration versus copying or a knockoff?  If the rule of thumb is three things need to be obviously different, I see that right away.  But I also see the obvious similarities too. 

So, I'm asking you.  How would you call this one?  

Friday, May 27, 2011

Beads of Courage Purple Hearts

I promised to show you my other purple heart design for Beads of Courage.  You know the kids receive a purple heart when their medical treatment ends for their cancer or other life threatening illness.  

When I was submitting ideas to Beads of Courage, I was thinking, what would seem like a celebration to me?  I knew that it would be hard to portray fireworks- but cupcakes always seem like a little party to me.  I'm making them on Creation is Messy's Crocus glass.  I love that translucent look, and yet, it really reads "purple" to me.  Click on the link to see a more accurate shade.  

Hope you have a wonderful long weekend.  I'll keep my same blog schedule that takes Saturday off, but I'll be back on Sunday for a quick post.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tennessee, Ready of Not, Here I Come!

I'm lucky to be headed to Tennessee for a little while to be with some of my friends.  We're going to melt glass, pound metal, discuss jewelry making and probably act just a tiny bit unrepresentative of our ages for a little bit and laugh the whole time while doing it.  But most of all, I'm going to have a chance to catch up in person and find out what's going on in each person's life.

I enjoy our online community, but I love even more, getting to know lampworkers in person.  We're a pretty special group of folks who each has a lot of interesting things going on.  And this year, I'll meet some new people too. We'll get to see each other's art up close and take time to watch and learn what others are doing. And as beadmakers tend to do, we'll all be doing a little trading too.  I'm pretty excited, if you can't tell.

So my blog will continue as usual and at the end of my camp, I'll fill you in on some of the highlights.  But right now, I'm off to the library to find a few books on tape for the long drive ahead.

See you tomorrow!
ps, my friends pictured above- Angie, Pam and (flat- but not in real life) Rebekah will be some of my buddies there.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Color Choice. Which Would You Choose?

I am the proud new owner of of some map and chart type drawers.  My husband found them for me, and I always wanted to put my glass in them to keep it cleaner and more organized.

The downside is that they're a little rusty and crusty, which will require some good scouring and new paint. (and crossed fingers that the drawers move a little more easily.)

So now I get to choose my paint color  I'm thinking something like a Rustoleum product, might be the best for them.   And I'm not sure which one to choose.  There are of right now.  Aqua is my favorite color.  Oh surely I love many, but this shade always makes me smile.  It reminds me of the beach and happiness,

 Then there's my other side - the practical me, (my inner Gemini is showing).  I wonder if a nice, basic neutral might be easier on the eyes, and just blend a bit more, as the years go on.  I like this khaki shade of neutral.  It would go with everything.
The glass will be hidden away inside of the drawers once it's painted. I'm going for a little more organization in the's currently a little too crazy in there right now.  So many items and too little space- a typical artisan's lament.

So what do you think?  Which would you choose? 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Eye for Color - Great Color Wheels

For my birthday, my friends  Kristy & Margie gave me this wonderful set of Eye for Color color wheels by Beverly Ash Gilbert. And it's really cool!  There are interchangeable color wheel disks that fit into place, with  the black templates that snap over the top of them.  It sure makes color selection easy, when you're debating which combination might work best.  

Monday, May 23, 2011

Last Day in Town...What Would You Do?

An Atlanta blog had a hypothetical question... if it were your last day in your home town, what would you do?

There were a lot of responses about fantastic dining, and perhaps swimming with the fish at the Atlanta Aquarium, (it's all imaginary, anyhow).  So I started wondering, what would I want to do?

Decisions are tough.  But I do know one thing.  I would want to see an outdoor concert at one of our smaller venues, like the one pictured, Chastain Amphitheater.  I know it's not the most up to date, but I love the small, intimate feel.

In fact, just Saturday night, I was lucky to see Paul Simon with my family.  It was my ultra perfect Mothers Day gift- as he had been one of my top three that I wanted to see in concert.

It kind made a full circle.  You see, I saw him with Garfunkel when I was a kid before they were really famous.  They were playing in a University of Connecticut field out of a small trailer.  It's quite a memory that I hold dear.  My first concert ever.  And of course, I was hooked.

Another place I'd go one more time, is FlameTree Glass near my house.  Lance and Maureen McRorie always treat us so nicely and maybe one more class from Lance to help me make better marbles.

So tell me- where do you live- and what would be on your list of last day in town list?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

It's Flour, I Swear!

Just in case you thought I was posting photos of illegal drugs, (Ha  Those days are long over), honestly officer, it's really just self rising flour.

Have you received the email that is going around about burns and using flour to heal them?  I received it the other day.  It told me that if I get a burn, to submerge it in a bag of flour. (refrigerated would feel the best.)   Obviously the person writing it isn't a lampworker, because I still haven't figured out how to stick my neck into a bag of flour.  That is funny just imagining it!

Of course, it got me wondering.  It just didn't make sense to me, so a quick visit to my BFF  "Google" which told me differently.  I checked Snopes, which tends to give me great answers and they said...don't do it.

So instead, I'm giving you a fun recipe for Play Doh to use with that flour that you've had your hand in.  And even if your hand hasn't contaminated a bag of it, try this anyhow.  You can test new sculptural bead shapes, play a little and of course, that baby oil scent always smells nice.  Have fun!

Although this recipe takes a little longer than some to make, the final product is well worth the added minutes.
2 cups flour
1 cups salt
2 cups water
2 tablespoons baby oil ( works better than regular oil)
2 tablespoons cream of tarter
liquid food coloring
Combine dry ingredients. Add water and oil. Stir well. Microwave on high 4 to 5 minutes. Stir again. Microwave another minute. Stir. Continue to microwave one minute, then stir, until dough is the consistency of mashed potatoes. Cool it enough to touch. Knead in food coloring until dough is desired color. Store in an air-tight container or ziploc bag.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Apocalypse? Doomsday Today at 6 PM? I Think Not.

Bonus Blog Today!  

The news has included a lot about some folks thinking today is the end of the world, so I couldn't resist including a link to REM's "It's the End of the World".  A great song.  Wishing you a fabulous 6 pm and the rest of the evening.  See you tomorrow.


Friday, May 20, 2011

Happy Birthday Jim Berry of Blue Moon Glassworks

Jim, of Blue Moon Glassworks in Austin, TX is having a birthday today.  Join me in wishing him a very happy one.  And if you haven't shopped or taken a class there, I suggest you remedy that quickly.  I love teaching at his (and his delightful wife, Rose's) studio.  They treat everyone so extra specially and it is easy to feel so at home there.

Check out the Blue Moon Glassworks website ... and if you're available, I think there is one space left in my class in June or take one of the many other ones that are always so much fun.  (just one quick plug, I promise.)

Happy Birthday Jim.  Wishing you the very best!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Little Secret Boxes

I found these cute little secret boxes from Greek Art on Etsy.  They keep the shipping cost low by coming unassembled, but apparently they go together quite easily.  

I don't know..I'm thinking that some of my little treasures or special gifts might be fun to present in a wrapping as cool as this.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Charm Exchange Bracelet

Do you love the diversity of charm bracelets?  Often, they say a lot about what you like.  Some people have topic, color or style specific ones.

This one was a lot fun, because it came from a charm exchange on Lampwork Etc.  Hosted by Mallory Hoffman and Deb Batten, it had a lot of beadmakers participating.  The maximum number we could submit was 15 charms with receiving the same number in return.  I loved it.  Any material was fair game.

I'll take a better photo next time, but I was so excited, that I wanted to show you.  Having a wire base, it was necessary to have spacer material between the charms, to help prevent them from bumping against each other next time.  I really like being able to use up some of my little lampwork donuts that were hanging around and I added in some of my fun rubber O rings from Yvonne at MyElements on Etsy.

So now I want to know what do you like in charm bracelets?  Do you have one (or more)?  What materials is it made from?  Does it have a theme?  And of course, I'll take any jewelry making suggestions you could toss out.  I have so much to learn!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Napolean Joins The Ranks

Ah, bonjour.  I wanted to present to you Napoleon, one of my latest glass bobblehead creations.  I thought he would be fun to make in glass with his big hat and his hand in his uniform. 

Currently he resides in Pismo Fine Art Glass gallery.  And yes, his head truly bobbles and mais oui, he is "available".  He has not yet met his Josephine.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Not Slacking...Busy Making Hearts for Beads of Courage

I'm not slacking, I swear!  i know, I should have posted my blog for today a few hours ago.   I'm sorry, but I've been working on purple hearts for Beads of Courage kids.  You know how when they receive their purple heart bead, it means they are done with their cancer treatment.  I thought it sounded like a time for celebrating with balloons.

I'll show you my other design later this week, but meanwhile, back to the torch to make a few more.  And later, I will be carefully cleaning these.  Don't look too closely- I haven't used my Dremel or soapy water yet.

Have a great Monday.  See you tomorrow- on time, I promise.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

All Things Periwinkle

A friend and I were chatting the other day about periwinkles.  These are the type I have in my yard, and are what I consider to be the color called periwinkle.

But being a closet librarian, I decided to look at google images and found a variety of other things "periwinkle".

Like these love Periwinkle snail shells.  I'm a huge fan of shells, but how did it get its name?  I don't see periwinkle colors.  Some of these things confound me.

But I also saw this photo, which really speaks to me.

I love the earthy colors and textures that you see in it.  The shells have a more "periwinkle" hue to them.  And the word "gastropods" just sounds kind of artsy to me.  (far better than snails.)

Okay, one final periwinkle.  This one.  Now somebody got fancy on us and changed the color of the flower that I like so much.  As much as I like pink, this one should go by its real name, Vinca Rosea which says what it is.  The name Periwinkle throws me off even more than the snails- I mean... gastropods.

 I have some great soft glass that is called periwinkle.  And I think someone's pet should have that name.  It sounds happy, doesn't it?  Let me know what I forgot.  And of course if you have a link (rated G) please post that too.  The word of the day is...periwinkle.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday the 13th? It's Your Lucky Day. Be My Blog Buddy!

I've decided that I want to have an occasional guest blogger here.  And you might be just perfect for one of the openings.

You know, there are multiple reasons why we blog.  Sometimes it's to sell items from our Etsy shops.  Sometimes it's because we have something to say or show, or perhaps it's to increase our web presence.  Sometimes it's even to perform a service of some kind.  I'm sure there are lots of other reasons too.

I guess I'm kind of all of those in varying degrees plus some other stuff.  But I know there are a lot of other talented bloggers out there, who would love to increase their blog audience.  And I think doing a trade of a "guest shot" could do that.  

I seem to somehow have found that folks email me a lot asking me artist type business questions.  Many relate to marketing, etsy shops, facebook, twitter, social networking, etc.  And one of the topics is blogging.  How it helps get your name out to more folks.  

I'd like to do an experiment with a few of you.  Let's trade a post on a blog and see what our viewer ship does.  We'll both promote it and see if our numbers change at all.  

So what topics am I looking for?  Something relating to your art, or someone else's that is fun and entertaining.  Your art or craft doesn't need to be glass, but it could be about tools and materials, a cool studio, actual art or craft, or something along that line.  It could be showcasing what you do, if you'd like.  Just tell me in a paragraph or two what you'd like to write about.  and don't forget, that blogs need good pictures too.

And how will I choose?  I'll keep all submissions and look them over.  Then I'll see what I have scheduled for upcoming weeks and pick some that will complement the content that I'm already doing. And I'll contact you and let you know.  I'll just pick one or two at first and if it seems to work, I'll ask more of you for your submissions.

And then we'll both write about it - before and afterward.  How did the experiment work?  We'll look at from a personal as well as a business aspect.  Perhaps we'll start more people trading and increasing their presence as well.

So post any questions you have here about it.  That way everyone will know.  And please submit your ideas by this coming Wednesday to me via email.  Here's my address.  And we'll see how it goes.  You do not need to have equal readership to mine- less or more, doesn't matter.  But we'll see what we can do and everyone can learn in the process.  Now send me some submissions please!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Beads of Courage T-Shirts

Reasonably priced and oh, so cute,  Beads of Courage T-Shirts are now available on their website.  And if you're in the mood for Artist Made Beads, please pop over here.

ps  I'm still hoping the NASA Space Shuttle gets launched today.  I feel like I've been writing about it so many times, that we needed to focus on something else.  Cross your fingers with me.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Glass Stock East- Get Your Reservation In Now!

I am really looking forward to teaching at the first Glass Stock East this year held at the Carlisle School of Glass.  It opens Thursday evening of October 27th and runs through October 28, 29 and 30th, 2011.

Lots of fun teachers and classes will be featured.  For all the choices and more info, click here.  It's Deb Crowley's baby, and although I've never been to one, I keep hearing how fantastic they are.

As you've probably guessed from the photo, one of the classes I'm teaching is "It's A Dog's Life" class.  Yep, it's all about our furry friends.  As the class is only 4 hours long, we can't do each person's pet, but I'll be sure to teach you the basics and spend a little time with each student to help figure out a plan for interpreting your fur baby on your own.  

I was so excited to see all the classes offered.  They are ones that really interest me and I'm sure you'll see plenty that you'd like too. Please check this Glass Stock East link for lots more information.  And I sure hope to see you there!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Birds Do It

I love seeing birds in their nests and I know humans like to be cozy, too.  This Nestrest seems to fit the "bill".   There is something about the serenity of the photo of one over the river, that really looks wonderful.  (but you've got me, how he got in there and stayed dry!)

 It kind of reminds me of being a kid and making a fort to hang out in and read a book.  That was one of my favorite pastimes.  And as you can see below, you can go solo, or bring the rest of the flock.

So tell me, do you have your own private refuge?  What does it look like?  Do you have a special pastime/craft/activity for it?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mothers Day - Lulu's Luscious Body Butter- Yum!

When I saw my daughter last weekend, she gave me the most delicious Mothers Day Present without calories.  I swear, this stuff is fantastic.  If you aren't aware of Lulu's Chocolates, you are missing something.  They have delicious artisan chocolates and then there is this too.  Talk about just wanting to carry it around and sniff it...but it works great too.  and if you put it on your lips, it softens them, but you want to lick them too.  

I'm wishing you a Happy Mothers Day, whether you're a Mom, a Dad, someone who has a Mother or just knows one.  We're headed up to the mountains for the afternoon for a wine tasting.  This should be an adventure.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Snappy Twitter Attire

Pretty snappy, eh?  I saw this and knew you'd want to as well.  I couldn't find who made it or its origin.  So sorry.

But while (or is it "whale") you're here, how about if you friend me on Twitter?  We can be tweet buddies.

You can find me there under " StudioMarcy ".    And if you want others to find you too, feel free to comment below and let us know how to find you. It's like a mini marketing opportunity!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Arrrgh...Pirates Everywhere

I'm just home from Denver.  But had to tell you about at all the Pirates around town.  Who knew, landlocked Denver would have so many?  I grabbed this one from google search, as I haven't had time to download my camera photos.

They've been placed on city benches to help promote a Pirate show at the Natural History Museum.  It's been a kick watching people walk by and how they interact with them.  Needless to say, my friend Jill and I took a few minutes to take photos too.  I'll share them with you another day.

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Poppy Fixation

I've recently become enamored with poppies.  Not in a bad way, but I've been mulling over how I want to interpret them in glass.  I know other glass artists must make them, but I don't want to peek to see how they do it.  It's got to come from me.

My biggest concern is creating their delicate petals, so they are sturdy enough to wear, and yet look like they might move in a breeze.  They're still in the "germination" stage, but soon I'll sit down and try them out.

Tell me, do you have something you've been mulling over that is different than what you typically do?  Can you share?  We'd all love to know.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Mothers Day - What Would You Like To Receive?

 Mothers Day is coming up soon and my inbox seems to be deluged with promotions.  I started looking at some of them to see what is typically being offered.

Lots of great stuff, but most of it, I can't seem to relate to a lot.  Young moms (ladies, I know how hard you work!)  Or the grandmothers (ladies, you deserve something wonderful too!)  But I guess I'm at a stage in my life, where I"m not relating to those as much.

I posted this fabulous emerald ring from Wexford Jewelers on Etsy.  And although of course I love it, it's not in anyone's budget who would be giving me a gift.  Besides, I guess I'm weird, but after all these years, I still prefer something that was handmade by my kids.  My daughter has started painting delightful pen and ink with watercolor wash pictures.  That would be a joy to receive.  And my son is a whiz at anything phone, computer and technical, which I am so deficient in.  They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks, but I'm still trying to keep up.  (and if they didn't want to go handmade, I always love more glass!!)

So this leads me to ask, what's on your list?  If you were receiving a gift- what would you want?  I know that anything is appreciated, but tell me what in your life would be fun to receive.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Advice for Living

I've never purported to be an expert, but I do get asked for a lot of advice.  I saw Katie promoting her new book and started to think about advice that I've received over the years.  Some of it works well and other.. let's just say that  everyone's style doesn't work for everyone.

One of my mentors told me about the saying, "the best thing you can give your children is roots and wings".  It is one that I tried to remember when my kids were growing up.

And I have a very smart brother in law who says, "Keep the big things big, and the little things, little."  It sounds almost trite, but if you think about it, it's pretty good advice.

This sign says something worthwhile.  Although it's probable that if you need this advice, it might be too late.

So today, I'm asking you, what is some of the best advice you've ever received or given?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Don't Forget - See Me at Pismo's Reception Today

Pismo Contemporary Art Glass's reception for their Bead 12 - 5 pm.  Come visit and see all the glass goodies.