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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Day At The Beach

I'm a beach person from way back...I grew up on the beach and then moved away as a young teen.

So if there is an opportunity to get near the water, I jump at the chance.  Last weekend we went to St. Augustine, FL.  Having never been there before, I was delighted with all the ocean, boats, history and yes, even the tourist kitsch.  ( Easily amused, I must say.)

We visited the Fountain of Youth- and were told that this really wasn't the exact one, because it had dried up a long time ago.  I am not sure what made Ponce de Leon think he'd stay young from it, because it really didn't look that great to begin with.

But we stayed up the road on Vilano Beach.  Being off season, there was plenty of beach to share.  Here are a few of the morning squatters.

And using the camera on my phone, I took this photo to see whether I could capture a bit of the sparkle in this shell...

I believe the answer is "yes".

I'll have some other photos of the area in the near future.  For those of you longing for a warm beach, this wasn't it.  Chilly and windy, but still lovely to my eyes.  It will be quite a while before that water is warm enough to dip your toes in.

See you tomorrow-

Monday, January 30, 2012

Orchid Olympics- Great Photos!

A few weeks ago, over a 1000 orchid lovers gathered in Singapore for the World Orchid Conference and over 55 countries were represented.  For more information and stunning photos, just click here.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Discovering the Fountain of Youth

We're in St Augustine, Florida today trying to discover the Fountain of Youth.  If you've seen me recently, you'll know that I haven't found it yet!

Joking aside, this is the real one.  And later this week, I'll report on our weekend getaway to the beach and the oldest city in the US, as well as some of our highlights.  See you tomorrow!

Soda Lime Times

I am blown away by Diane Woodall's Soda Lime Times.  If you are a beadmaker, you will love this publication.

Diane includes interviews, techniques, fabulous photos, tool reviews, tutorials and just about everything you can think of done with flair.  I am impressed with the content, layout and everything else in it and highly recommend it.

You can find information about the Soda Lime Times by clicking here.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Chocolate Covered Bacon

I just read about Adams Apple, a local candy shop's offering of chocolate covered bacon strips on a stick.  Now for me, it's hard to top bacon, but to add chocolate and keep your fingers clean so people don't know what you've been up to.  (Nice!)

Adams Apple is located at 114 North Avondale Road, Atlanta GA or you can call them at 404-299-3434.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Electroforming for Jewelry

This Easy Electroforming for Jewelry book by Denise Peck recently caught my eye and I've been contemplating it ever since.

It's $19.95 and available through the Interweave Store online.  If you have it already, could you please comment and let me know your opinion?  It's kind of stuck and I am thinking I'd really like to get it.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Tuk-tuk Cab ...Thoughts?

I saw this wonderful three wheeled Southeastern Asian taxi called a Tuk-tuk.  I keep thinking what fun it would be as a mobile glass bead booth for shows.  Drive it in and set it up.  What do you think?  How would you use it, if you owned one?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Poland's Crooked Forest

Around 1930, this tiny forest of about 400 pine trees was planted in a small area of Poland.  Apparently it's not remembered why, after about 7-10 years of growth, someone pushed them down and held them so that they would bend and grow that way.

I'm sure there is plenty of speculation.  What do you think?  Why would you do something like that in that time frame.  I know I've got ideas.  Would love to hear your thoughts.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Demopalooza- First Demo- Rick Frank Enamelist

You know, usually I think the word "amazing" is sometimes overused, but in this case, I don't.

Saturday night's kickoff for Southern Flame's Demopalooza was enamelist, Ricky Frank.  Perhaps you've seen him at a really big show, like American Craft Council or similar.

Ricky agreed to make a fully enameled piece in front of our very eyes and he also demoed a second piece to show us some variations.  It was great energy.  Seems like people who use glass enamels speak some of our same glass language, COE's, color reactions, firing temps and other shared terms were a big part of the evening.  But we also sat there "amazed", while watching him put together his pieces while telling stories, his philosophy and chatting with his darling daughter who came along to keep him company.

Ricky used to do more cloisonee work, but has changed his style.  He uses the silver or gold wire for emphasis and showed us how he can work without it, while using the enamels.  His dexterity and artistry was a delight to behold.

Later this week, I'll go through more of our Sunday line up.  For more information and great photos, visit Ricky's website. or

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Come Back Tomorrow

So I can tell you about Demopalooza!  I'm at the Southern Flames demo day and soaking up the tips, tricks and awesome glass.

Stop by tomorrow and I'll tell you about it.  Promise.

Friday, January 20, 2012

It's Demopalooza Weekend in Atlanta!

It's that time of year!  A day and an evening of wonderful glass and related demos by friends and members of Southern Flames.

This coming Saturday evening we start off with fantastic enamelist, Ricky Frank at 7:15 pm.  Sunday at 10 am, professional photographer and beadmaker Kelley Wenzel will be helping us with photo tips and tricks.  The day continues with Ali VandeGrift (have you seen her amazing stringer control beads?) Then Val Cox who has recently moved nearby, will be demoing some of her frit and beads, After that, Jack Roberts will work his magic with boro and at 3 pm, Maureen Buckley McRorie will demo soft glass faces. (she makes them look so easy too!)   Admission is free, although we're hoping you'll feed our donation box to help cover costs.  But we really want you to come and enjoy most of all.

For more information about the demos, bios, directions to Beads by Design in Marietta, Ga, visit our website: Click Here!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Feeling a Little Sheepish

There is something about this photo that I love.  Or perhaps it is many things.  I love the muted colors in it, and probably most of all, the texture.  I want to reach over and touch this photo.  (Good touch- lol!)

Do you have favorite photos that make you want to do more than just look at them?  Do you try to figure out why?  I'd love to see them- post a link and tell us why it means more to you.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Juried Glass Show Call For Entries - Minnestrista


i saw this call for artists and thought I'd spread the word.  I know some of you have the chops for a show like this.  Here are all the details.  And let me know if you get in.  It looks amazing!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Beads of Courage Pittsburgh Bead

I have recently committed to making 100 of this  bead designed by a 15 year old Pittsburgh Beads of Courage patient.  I love the whimsy and fun that it contains.  It looks optimistic and hopeful to me.

I exchanged emails with the young designer and she has given me her thoughts, so we can add a small design to the back as well.

First, I need to make the prototype.  I've tried a few already and am still working to find the right scale, colors, design and darn it- yellow that doesn't react with the sky blue] base color.

Cute, isn't it?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Can You Tell What He's Doing?

Have you figured this out already?  I love this photo.  It's one of many from the very enjoyable site,  This is primarily a pictorial tale of fly tier, Shawn Davis.  It tells his inspiration for a special fly he created and shows his work, materials and tools up close. Here is a direct link.

Poke around and visit the other stories too.  I love the combination of great photos and words- all telling individual's stories of their personal accomplishments- big scope and small, but all are interesting.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday the 13th! Just My Luck...

I guess I am unlucky.  I missed Del Monte's David Hasselhoff ice cream, called "The Hoffsicle".

I mean seriously, who wouldn't have bought this just for its great source for jokes?    And now I find out Russian company, Stoyn is making iconic character ice cream bars without full distribution in the U.S.  Darth is pictured below.  Looks refreshing, doesn't it?

So while I consider myself generally lucky, I guess I've missed out on all the ice cream giggles.  

If you know of some other ice cream treat that I've missed, please add it to my list.  I have a feeling, come hot weather, I'll be on the search again.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Live Broadcasts from Corning

Yesterday, I was delighted to watch some of Loren Stump's live stream from Corning.  He was working on a set up for a paperweight and it was *almost* as good as being there.  Nothing equals being in the same room with a teacher.

So next Wednesday from 11-12 Eastern, I'm planning on heading back again to Corning's UStream Channel.  Lucio Bubacco and Paul Stankard will be live then.  (And teaching that class that I really wanted to be in!)  So click here for the days and times, as well as the archived streaming.  It would be fun if more teaching studios did this.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Pig Charm Necklace

I was perusing Barney's jewelry section last night and noticed this cute Pig Charm Necklace by Finn.  It sells for $3,300.00.  

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

You Pick Bead Exchange

I have blogged about doing exchanges that stretch what you typically do.  And this is one of my favorite ones found on Lampwork Etc.  It's called You Pick 7.  Each participant posts an inspiration photo and everyone interprets it in the best way that they can.

So...I'm pretty sure you can pick out the bead that I made for this photo above.
This one, was one of the hardest for me. I know, it should have been easy, but finding the right colors and the gentle gradations of it, felt tough.  What would you have done?

This is the photo that I chose for others to make.  I love the organic forms and I thought that these colors were represented in both CiM and Moretti- and that it might be something that a beginner through advanced glass beadmaker might be able to interpret.  After I chose it, I saw one of this series by Matisse at our Atlanta Hight Art Museum up close.  It was pretty amazing.

If you would like to see more photos and the conversation about the exchange, pop by here.

If you were choosing art for others to interpret, do you know which piece you'd choose?  Tell us.  and if you have a link, we'd love to see that too.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Tumbleweed Chandelier

Having lived in windy Wyoming, I am very aware of the natural element...tumbling tumbleweeds.  Often we'd see them rolling across roads, until they would get caught up in a fence.

I even saw Christmas trees made out of masses of them.

But the other day, I ran into this easy to assemble tumbleweed chandelier.  From the instructions posted, you just find a nice specimen of tumbleweed and attach a light strand and wire the light into place.   I like that.  Finding a function out of a renewable resource.

Now, if we could only find some great uses for the kudzu that is always spreading in Georgia. ...ideas?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Ode to Organic Shapes and Bok Choy

I love the shape and look of this small bok choy.  See how the colors change in it?  They just flow in a gradient manner.  And the rounded lower end which slims down and then gracefully flares out in deeper shades of leafy green, is really pretty to me.

Do you quietly admire a shape or coloration of an often admired item?  What is it?

Friday, January 6, 2012

Little Tiny Mermaids Swimming Away...

I'm in a "Beach" themed charm exchange and these little ladies are headed to the organizer to be doled out.  Each one is under an inch tall.  I enjoyed working so tiny and have kept some other ones that have even more details on them.  (Love my magnifiers!)

Now, we just need a nice warm beach to complete the picture.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Adventures in Atlanta's Chinatown

Last night I went on an adventure tour of Atlanta's Chinatown. It's a small area that I had never seen before, but lots of fun.  We started off with a seven course Szechuan dinner.  And in my quest to try new things- yes, that is squid and tofu below. 

And after our dinner, we went on a tour of Chinese grocery store, where I found all kinds of things I hadn't tasted before.  Like this grass jelly.

(I didn't buy this)  But I did pick up some Chinese New Year candies and other items.
And our final stop was a Chinese bookstore, where I was glad to see Steve Jobs translated into Chinese.

And we ended the evening in the tea room of the bookshop, we listened to a musician playing Mandarin Pop guitar music.  Lots of fun.  And looking forward to going back some time and bringing my friends.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Just Met Muno

So I recently found out about Yo Gabba Gabba's Muno.  One eyed and quite orange, he was a request for a Dream Bead from Beads of Courage.

When making these beads, I think about the age of the recipient and try to make them so they will be "durable".  The one I made is a little shorter and wider in proportion, but according to some little children, they knew who it was immediately.  Whew!  

Here is quick photo of my bead.

And he's on his way to his new owner as I write.

Beads of Courage is a wonderful program for sick kids. By collecting beads, it gives them and others a visual sense of the journey that they are traveling to get better.   If you aren't familiar with it, you can find it here.   It's so nice as a glass artist to have place that can use my skills to give back to others.  I'm hoping all my glass friends out there  remember this wonderful program and donate beads when they can.  

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Prickly Diamonds

While on my hunt for interesting vintage or antique jewelry, I came across this Thistle Brooch from 1950.  I love the design of it.  But for the life of me, I have no earthly idea where I could ever wear it.
(Guess it's a good thing that I can just lust after it instead.)

See you tomorrow!

Monday, January 2, 2012

If You Bead, You Have To See This...Beaded Laughter

I haven't laughed this hard in a long time.  Pop over to my friend, Sylvie Lansdowne's funny new blog...and be ready to smile.  (I'm thinking I might need to print this photo!
Just click here to go...hurry!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year Resolutions?

Happy New Year.  Wishing you great health, lots of happiness, and being surrounded by people you love.  I've decided to leave out the wealth concept.  Of course I wish financial success to everyone, but I'm more of the opinion that it comes with hard work, not wishes so much.

Have you made New Year's Resolutions?  This is what I'm thinking...

In 2012, I'm on the corner of Same Old Way and Something New.  I've found over the years that making resolutions sometimes works and of course, sometimes not.

So I've decided to do it differently this time around.  (I guess heading down Something New lane...)
I think I want to do something kind of like a mission statement and have my business and art decisions center around it.  If they don't reinforce or support it somehow, then I'd better have a really good reason.  I'm still contemplating this idea.  Do you operate this way?  It seems to me that financial goals are just a part of it.  I want to include artistic vision as well as artistic goals.  More like a big picture and then supporting action plans...I think.  Looking forward to hearing what you do and how you do it.  We can all learn.  See you tomorrow!