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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Friday, July 29, 2011

Fashion Follows

Have you ever noticed how sometimes fashion follows art?

Have a good weekend and don't forget to laugh.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Class at the Gathering

Today is my last day of Robert Dancik's class here at the Gathering.  I'm sad it's almost over.  We're doing a variety of things in a "cold connections" concept.  From riveting, to using Robert's "Faux Bone" material, as pictured above in one of the cuffs he uses as an example.  (Mine is nowhere as cool, but I did understand the technique and really enjoyed it.

So today we'll be looking at paper mache and concrete for holding or connecting other materials.  I'm looking forward to that too.  

I highly recommend class with Robert.  He's a delightful teacher who really works hard to give you everything he can.  And oh so patient...I know that from experience as I put my saw blade in backwards first's all new to me, and what a great place to learn so many new techniques and skills.

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Join the Bead Bag Project for Beads of Courage

Quilters are helping Beads of Courage now, by sewing fabric bags for the kids to hold their special Beads of Courage.  You can help too!

Pattern Guidelines
  1. Fat Quarters are great for this project. There will be a small scrap left over.
  2. Focus Fabric - Cut two 9" x 12" - With RS together sew a ½" seam on both long sides making a tube. Press seams open.
  3. Lining Fabric - Cut two 9" x 12" - With RS together sew a ½" seam on both long sides making a tube. Press seams open.
  4. Turn lining right side out and place inside of focus fabric (RS together).
  5. Line up seams and sew a 1/4" seam around the top of the tube.
  6. Turn right side out. Press seam towards lining.
  7. Tuck the lining back inside and press the top seam flat.
  8. Place tube on the open arm of the sewing machine and sew a seam at 2" from top. When you get to the two seams back tack about 1/4" across the seam.
  9. Sew another seam 2-3/4" from the top back tacking again at the seams. (This makes the seams stronger for the cording to be pulled through.
  10. Using a seam ripper, pop the seam between the two back tacks on focus fabric for cording to be pulled through.
  11. Turn project wrong side out and serge all layers together.
  12. Turn right side out and press bottom seam. Cut two 26-" pieces of cording .Using a large safety pin fold back about ½" of cording and pin through the folded edge.
  13. Starting at one seam, thread all the way around the bag. Tie ends of cording together in a knot. Do the same with the other seam.
For a small bag Cut fabric 7" x 10" and proceed the same as above except when stitching the two rows at the top for cording sew first row 1 ½" and the second row at 2 1/4". Be sure to back tack at seams. Cut cording 17" Compliments of Bettie Hammock, Sulphur Springs, Texas.
To receive the labels to sew onto the bags, click here:  Label request

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Different Kind of Lamp Work

If you've followed me for awhile, you know that I have a "thing" for lighting.  I'm not sure why, but perhaps growing up and wearing big glasses, (thank you science for Lasik!) and needing plenty of light t see.

Well, I saw these two lamps on an antique newsletter that I receive and wanted to chat design for a minute.  I want to know whether you agree that they need a different lampshade, and if so, what would you do differently?

I think I'm kind of partial to the dark gray one in the lower right corner of this photo.  And I think I like the one below a bit better too.  

What do you think?  What would you do to make it look more modern?  I know there are a lot of artists out there who could do wonderful things to complement this style.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Spectacular Spectacles

Somehow, I keep thinking that one of my blog readers might need this set of early 1950's cat eye frames that I found on  I would get them, but I prefer something from a different decade.  Would you wear them?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Jewelry Makers...One-Step Crimper Plier?

Has anyone else seen the advertisement and mini video for the One-Step Crimper Plier?  Are you tempted?

As a part time jewelry maker, I am always looking for ideas that will foolproof my not-quite-as experienced ways.  I see this advertised and wonder, "is this the tool for me?"

Have you tried it?  Do you want to?  What technique do you prefer to use for crimping?
(and as primarily a lampwork beadmaker, of course I looked at this and wondered what it would do if I put hot glass in it and squeezed the handles.  I'm always testing tools for that kind of thing.)

I'm trying to figure out whether this will get some of my hard earned money or not.  Would you consider buying it?  Why or why not?

Friday, July 22, 2011

National Geographic's Spirit Bear

White bear climbing crab apple tree

This photo looks like an illustration to one of my childhood fairy tales to me.  There were always white bears who were magical.  It's amazing to know this is real life.

Photographer Paul Nicklen captured British Columbia's white Spirit Bears in amazing photographs for National Geographic.  They are black bears who are white.

Protected now by law, they have a population of about 400 in the area.  The First Nations are credited to have been careful not to discuss them publicly over the years, which has created the large number.

Have you seen any amazing photos recently?  Ones that have touched you?  Tell us about it and feel free to post a link too.  (appropriate for children's eyes too please)

See you Sunday!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Step Outside of My Usual Life

The other evening we went to a small Tibetan restaurant not far from our home, which you need to actually drive through a gas station to reach.  Off the beaten path.  Not only is the food delicious, but I enjoy the Tibetan decor.  At night, the bright fabric lamps are lit up, which of course I think would make totally awesome beads...a graduated bicone with intricate surface decorations.

We had just watched a wonderful documentary the night before, "Unmistaken Child" about a young monk's search for the reincarnation of a venerable monk in the form of a young toddler. It is one of my favorite movies.  (warning:  no sex, violence or pratfall comedy) But there is gorgeous scenery, a sweet story of people's lives in the Himalayas and a peek into their world.

So with my traveling daughter's visit home, it put two family activities into a pretty cool package.  Perhaps they weren't on the same night, but close enough to count in my book.  And I guess I can dream of someday heading to that area and seeing it and experiencing it for myself.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Etsy Owl Inspiration

I look all over the internet for inspiration when making different sculptural beads.  Often, I go directly to Google, but sometimes, I'll pop by Etsy for fun ideas.

For example, I love to make owls in different poses and with a variety of faces.  Here are some Etsy shop examples.  This first one came from SarahTrotterVintage.  And it's a pendant from the '70's.
I like the design in the center and the use of colors.
And here is a totally different look from Etsy.  This one is apparently rare and porcelain from NotTheBeatles' shop.

They both would make really cool beads and yet are so very different.

So I would encourage you to check out vintage for another source of inspiration.  And you'll see what fun ideas different decades have to offer.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Bead Soup Party

I"m excited that another Bead Soup Party is getting ready to start.  Hostess extraordinaire, Lori Anderson  has announced sign ups will be Aug. 1st.  Even though I'm traveling that day, it's already on my calendar.

Here's the link:

If you aren't familiar with one of her parties, it's a blast.  After asking you a few quick questions, Lori teams you up with someone very different from your style.  You will need to send that person a group of beads and a clasp and vice versa and then you'll make up some jewelry using your new goodies.  (although you can supplement with other stuff).

I did this last year, and found my buddy Laura Zeiner from it.  We even got to meet when I was last in Austin teaching at Blue Moon.  We're just the same height, (neither of us are very tall) and we got along famously.  Did I mention that Laura made a gorgeous necklace from the lampwork beads I sent her?  I blogged here about it before.

So mark your calendar and sign up quickly.  The spots go fast.  If you have any questions at all, please contact Lori at, 410-819-8161 (before 8pm EST), or via her blog,

And tell Lori I sent you.  Hope your experience is as fantastic as mine was.  Hope to see you there.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Grape Expectations

I see my entire family together for about a week each year.  That's part of having kids grow up and live in other places.  So yesterday,  my week of having everyone together began.  

We try to do different things each year.  Last year, we went sky diving together.  This year, we chose to go the Georgia mountains and experience some wine tastings and lunch on a patio..

We visited two wineries.  Wolf and Frogtown.  As I am not a big wine drinker, I had  tastes of my daughter's  and my son's.  (I know sampling small bites of food from other's plates  used to be called "grazing".  Wonder what sips are called? )  It must have been a good weekend for it, because both places were packed. 

I enjoyed looking at the grapes growing on their vines as evidenced above.  That photo was taken from my phone.  They said probably an early harvest this year, due to all the rain and warm weather.  

And some of the decor was rather interesting too.  This little guy was a tiny detail on wooden cupboard that looks like an antique German piece.  It had carved hunters, animals and of course cherubs with horns.
And this was one of the vat rooms Wolf Wineries.  It would have been fun to learn more about this on a tour, but they seemed pretty busy with their restaurant serving Sunday brunch and the tastings.  Maybe another time.  

But we all had a great time being together.  And that was the object of the family trip to the mountains.  An opportunity for lots of conversation, teasing and of course memories.  What a great day.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Karen LaMonte

If you haven't been introduced to Karen LaMonte's exquisite glass work, hurry on over to her website and spend some time.  You can cruise through her museum collections, her works, exhibitions and then don't forget to read about her.  I love the feeling of movement, texture and vulnerability that she achieves through glass.  And the size of most of these is amazing as well.  Here's the link. 

And then take a minute and let me know what you like about her glass art.  I'd love to hear.  See you tomorrow.

Friday, July 15, 2011

3-D Chocolate Machine?

Cheers to the United Kingdom scientists who have figured out how to convert a machine so that it can upload 3D CAD designs and turns them into....chocolate.

Future plans include a website, where you can contribute designs to have made.  I'm thinking this can take Valentine's Day to a whole new level.  Here's to delicious technology.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Micro-Photography - This Time...Sand

Growing up on Long Island Sound, I've always loved the sandy beaches.  And now, being a glass artisan, I've continued on with sand being a major component of glass.

So it didn't surprise me when I saw some of the micro-imagery of sand, by Dr. Gary Greenberg, that I enjoyed it so much.  This photo is of sand 250 times larger than life.  It's pretty,  isn't it?

Dr. Greenberg has a website,, in which you can see more.  He is an artist, inventor, scientist and pretty well rounded guy.  He has several books out, including one I'd like to see.  "A Bug's Eye View of Flowers".  Sounds great.  He has another that you will have to see for yourself.  Lips are sealed on it.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Bling Rings on Sale HERE!

I love making rings with my lampwork glass.  These use adjustable bases.  Some have a sterling silver base and others are base metal in silver or gold tones.  But each has one of my lampwork glass pieces on it. The sterling ones are the shells, pie, dog face, palm tree and bird.  The flowers are all on the other base metal style of ring.

They are on sale right now, so I have room in my tray for some new models.  (more sculptural ones, of course!)  If you are interested, you can shoot me an email HERE and first email will get it.  I have great little ring boxes for presentation as well as protection to send them in too.

The pricing is as follows...Sterling rings are on sale for $20 and the flowers are $15.  Shipping in the US is $3.00 and insurance is extra.  Outside of the US, it will be actual cost to ship plus $1.25 for packaging materials. (you can tell, I'm trying to keep the costs down)

You can identify them by Rows top to bottom (A,B,C & D) and then across (1-5)  Easy peasy.  For example, the coral bird will be C-3.

Let me know what you'd like.  The sale goes through this Saturday.  Hope you find a great little gift at an even better price.  I will post on the blog, in the comment section as to what is still available.
ps...the top left ring just sold. A-1.  Thanks!

See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Jennifer Geldard Class At Southern Flames Atlanta

As the class organizer for our Southern Flames ISGB (International Society of Glass Beadmakers) Chapter, I am pleased to announce Jennifer Geldard's two  2-day classes in Atlanta Georgia on October 6-7 and 8-9, 2011.  The title is, "The Art of Play - Surface Design - Form and Structure".

Jennifer has been chosen by Bead & Button to make this next year's commemorative bead as well as teach a master class, which I think is similar to this one being offered.

We will hold our class lottery for Southern Flames members tomorrow night and then any extra spaces can be filled in another week for non-members.  You can circumvent waiting simply by joining Southern Flames, which is $25,  the difference in the cost for members versus non members. (And wait til you see the class price!)

Click here to our Southern Flames website for more information.  Tell them, Marcy sent you!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Headshot? Help Me Choose Please

I need to provide a headshot for one of my art show submissions and would love your vote as to which one to use.  It's a toss up for me.  I used my trusty MacBook computer camera a few days ago, and came up with these. (and why don't those cameras automatically erase age lines and the rest of the extraneous stuff? )

Which would you choose?  A or B?  Thanks for your help!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Kate Beck Textiles

One of my favorite discoveries when I was in NY, was Kate Beck Textiles at the Craft Show in the Lincoln Center courtyard.

I was drawn to the sumptuous colors and textures within her booth.  Kate's website lists her upcoming shows and if you're in the vicinity of one, I highly recommend seeking her out.  She said she is also in the process of working on a bricks and mortar location in New Orleans which is her home.

Her work was one of the two that really stood out to my taste and I'll be showing you the other person's work in a future blog post. I figure if I like them, I bet some of you readers will too.

If you have newly discovered artist you'd like to share with the rest of us, please post a comment with the information.  It could be a blast.

Friday, July 8, 2011

What Is It?

Okay, I guess it's time to admit my latest addiction:  open rooftop restaurants and lounges.  I love a good view and in this summer weather, a little more to enjoy than four walls surrounding me.  This new love started when we visited Charleston for a wedding earlier this year and now the quest continues.  (this is one way to overcome my fear of heights.)

This is a night time view of Savannah GA's river from the rooftop of the Bohemian Hotel.  What a find!  We watched the sunset over the water and later on, a few fireworks sparkled over the water.  With the hot weather, it was enjoyable to feel the breezes as the evening cooled down. We even made new friends while hanging out there.  In the distance, you can barely make out the bridge to Hilton Head, (we checked that out too).

And if you visit Savannah, check out this hotel.  It's pretty funky.  Kind of dark/edgy with cool art and furniture in the lobby. The rooftop lounge view rates the highest stars.

Now tell me, do you have a great place in your town?  Know of one that I should add to my list of "must visits"?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Display at The Mansion

These kind of look either like some weird kinds of jelly fish floating to me.  But of course, they're just some beautifully made, ladies' hats.

Upon my friend, Sylvie Lansdowne's suggestion, I stopped by The Mansion in Savannah to check out their art displays, during our recent visit.  They had quite a few antique cabinets filled with gorgeous hand crafted hats of the same vintage.

Looking at them, I wonder about the almost lost art of making them and  whether the recent Royal wedding revived the interest a bit?  I can't help but admire the artistic artisan aspect to them.  I would love to learn more about how the flowers are made, and what could be done with hand dyed ribbons as much as how to shape a hat.  I guess making cool objects will always be an interest of mine.

There is a local Atlanta shop, Nicholas Kniel, who has hat making classes.  The last time I visited, (he has a wonderful selection of feathers too), there were 3 women making hats at his back table, because they were attending the Kentucky Derby.

So what do you think?  Should there be a movement to revive this craft?  Would you want to learn how to make them?  Would you want to own one?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I'm A Little Tea Pot

I'm not a huge hot tea drinker, but I think I could convert if it means getting this Personal Teapot from Etsy artist Hodaka Hasebe.  I love the shape, the colors and sweet details.  What a great find!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Glass Flower Garden - Sale in My StudioMarcy Etsy Shop

I've been busy making flowers.  I guess with no real gardening skills this is about as close as I'm going to get.  I've always loved flowers and when I first started melting glass, I was sure that I would be specializing in encased florals.  I guessed wrong.

But recently, I've started playing around with whimsical sculptural flowers.  And am now listing them in my Etsy shop StudioMarcy.  AND...I'm having a flower sale for a few more days.

They are constructed so the hole runs below the petals and it's a 3/32 in most cases.  They look great as pendants or on jewelry.  In fact, I make a lot of necklaces with three blossoms on each.

If you see something here that isn't listed, please send me an email.  I've been away and haven't been able to upload all of them, so they are hanging out on my bead rack...some with bees and ladybugs and some bug free, (but no chemicals were used to keep the bugs away).

And now I'm deciding whether to make realistic flowers as well, or whether to stay with my whimsical fantasy ones.  What do you think?

Monday, July 4, 2011

Ooooh, Aaaaaah.....Fireworks!

Happy 4th of July!
Don't you just love listening to the crowd when they are watching fireworks?  I do.  But I love watching them even more.  The sound, smell and all the lovely colors against the night sky.

Each year, right around this time, I start looking at photos of fireworks and wonder, just how could I interpret that in glass?

And each year, I just scratch my head and keep wondering.  So if any of you have ideas, please share them with me.  Because I think firework beads would rock!

Hope you have a great holiday, if you are from the States and if you aren't, wishing you wonderful day just as well.  I'm on my way home from the beach.  Will post some photos of our adventure later this week.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Modern Wood Sunglasses from Waiting For The Sun

These wood frame sunglasses from French company, Waiting for the Sun,  seem a fun combination of nostalgic and modern/hip.  I like them!

What do you think?  Would you wear them?

Hope your 4th of July is great.  I'm hoping for some great fireworks!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Wave At The Bus

If you haven't been introduced to the Wave At The Bus blog, (and if you want a laugh) pop by here.
A Salt Lake City stay at home Dad dresses up in a different costume daily to wave good bye to his teenager when he gets on the school bus.

Apparently, his son, Rain, got over his mortification pretty quickly and has enjoyed his Dad's craziness.

At first, I thought "oh, poor son" and then I changed my mind pretty quickly.  I can't think of a lot of kids who have/had Dad's who were around to say good-bye each morning, and would probably be secretly delighted to have one do something as corny as this.

And to add to my amusement- there's a paypal button on the blog.  It's there if anyone wants to contribute to Rain's college / therapy fund.  ;)