Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I had one of my key necklaces featured on the cover of Stringing magazine in the 2008 Fall issue! A dear customer of mine Heather of Humble Beads used one of my boro beaded skeleton keys in a necklace that she submitted to a design contest for one of Stringing Magazine’s sister publications Bead Star. This caught the attention of Stringing Magazine’s editor Danielle Fox who contacted Heather to find out where she got the key. Danielle then contacted me and asked if I would submit one of my beaded keys for the next issue. In the Beads to Buy section of the magazine they were doing a feature on key beads, pendants and charms. I happily agreed. Then Danielle noticed that in my Etsy shop, my necklaces featuring the beaded keys used alot of vintage components and lockets. On one week’s notice she asked me if I would consider submitting a project featuring a key necklace that used a vintage locket. She said they would pay me $85 and I would get my necklace back after they photographed it. I needed to write up very specific directions for making the necklace complete with sources. I’ll admit at first I panicked. I had to weigh the incredible exposure I would receive against the risk of revealing my sources and basically inviting other designers to copy my design. Then I thought of a way everyone could win. I quickly ordered some vintage components from some favorite suppliers on ETSY, Tulle and Gems Jems and even a few lampwork boro beads from my friend Kim of Kim V Glass . I put together a beautiful necklace using as many Etsy sources as possible and I listed my shop as the source for the key and the chain figuring that even designers need to come to me for the beaded key. I already sell to a lot of designers why not more? In the end, the realization that being published in a magazine as fine as Stringing far outweighed any worry about the copiers and I submitted “I Love You More” as a locket project as well as a single beaded key for the beads to buy section. I remember sitting at one of my daughter’s softball practices writing out the project directions trying to figure out: “ Now is that a 6 mm bead cap I used? A 1 ½ or 2 inch head pin?” It had to be so detailed! That was in late June. Stringing sent me a contract and the editorial copy for me to approve and then I had to wait until the Fall to see the magazine. I received my copy when the subscriber’s copies went out at the end of September. I knew I would be featured in two spots in the magazine but I nearly died when I spotted my necklace on the cover. I started squealing and jumping up and down in front of Chris my mailman. Even he was happy for me. Danielle was cute and included a little note telling me I was a “covergirl”. What a wonderful surprise! It was probably the biggest highlight of my bead-making career short of setting up my own home studio of course. The magazine came out on newsstands on October 8th and it has been a big kick to see the magazine in Border’s Books and Walmart with my husband and kids. My husband was skeptical that it was a publication sold in those mainstream locations. I think he thinks there are like 5 other people out there making glass beads. LOL. He’s impressed as are my family and friends. It has been very rewarding getting convos from customers and potential customers who have seen the magazine and are excited for me or complimentary of my work. My sales have definitely improved because of the exposure and like anything else that produces an adrenaline rush, I think I might be addicted. I have already contacted Danielle about working with them again and she is thrilled. So, you might not have seen the last of me on newsstands near you….

Friday, October 24, 2008

My Etsy Street Team Arts in RI is sponsoring a Halloween contest and offering a treat with no tricks. All you need to do to enter is search for the Halloween pumpkin Artsinri logo in a featured item in one of our shops. You will need an etsy account and can register for one here. Along the right column of the blog you will find a link to all of our shops. When you find the Halloween logo with the carved pumpkin, convo me with the name of the shop and the item name and number where you found it and you will be entered into a random drawing to win this beautiful glass pumpkin hand blown by our very own Suzanne Tanner of Tanner Glass. The pumpkin is made of transparent orange glass with a transparent green stem. It measures 4" tall by 3.5" wide. It is signed and dated on the bottom by Suzanne, and a gift box is included! The suggested retail price is $35. Suzanne was kind enough to make this pumpkin especially for this contest and it is one of a kind! For this reason, Suzanne doesn't have these in her shop but if you convo her she is happy to take special orders. Now enjoy your not so spooky trip through Artsinri. We would love for you to ring our doorbells along the way if you like what you see! The contest will run from October 21st and end at midnight on Monday October 27th. The winner will be notified by convo and posted here and on the Etsy forums on Tuesday October 28th. Thanks for playing.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Earth and Sea: An Artist Collaboration

Tracy Prince of Seafind Designs and Stepping Stones and I collaborated on a series of necklaces called Earth and Sea. I have one set of necklaces in my shop here and here and Tracy has another set in her shops here and here.
Tracy and I had so much fun creating these pieces for our Arts In RI Etsy Street Team Collaboration Challenge. We hope you enjoy them. Since Tracy is a seaglass artist and she drills and carves beautiful sea stones it made perfect sense that we would use both of these materials and incorporate one of my boro glass beaded keys. The mix of found objects, stones and glass tumbled by the sea with the shiny new glass and the various metals is an earthy organic fluid wave of pleasure.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Lost and Found

The kids and I went geocaching today. It's been a long time since we had been and it felt good to get back out there. We went down to Narragansett and searched the shoreline for 3 caches and some beach treasures. I found some nice flat rocks and drift wood for my photos. We found someone's wallet while we were out. It felt like such a violation going through it but I needed to find some ID and a telephone number so I could let the man know. It was amazing how much I learned about the owner from the contents of his wallet. I learned his age, what he looked like, his kids names his marital status (divorced), his political party (republican), the fact he owns a gun, sees a therapist and is a painter. I also learned some really personal stuff like the fact that he still loves his ex-wife and that he cheated on her, he thinks he drinks too much and he wants to quit smoking. Isn't that amazing? I did find his number on a receipt for a new gun. (yikes) and I called him to let him know I could mail the wallet to him. He was really happy. I felt really weird not telling him I had learned those things from a few pieces of paper inside. He would probably feel more violated than if I charged thousands on his credit card. I told him not to worry that "good people" had found it and yet I felt so guilty for knowing things that maybe his mother and therapist didn't even know. It made me wonder what someone could learn about me from the contents of my purse. I think I'll clean it out tomorrow.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Arts In RI Mother's Day Contest

Just in time for Mother's Day Arts In Rhode Island is sponsoring a contest honoring mothers everywhere! Check out our blog for all the details. This month Tracy Prince of Stepping Stones and Seafinddesigns has donated a gorgeous Tres Hermanas necklace: Two gray toned speckled genuine Rhode Island beach stones, found by Tracy on Watch Hill! One flawless genuine sea foam sea glass. All together on a rigid silver plated choker. All can be removed and worn individually. Retail value 50 dollars.
This necklace would make a wonderful gift for Mom. Three sisters for one special Mama! All you need to do to enter is search for our Mother's Day Logo hidden in a featured item in ONE shop and convo me the item number and the name of the shop you found it in and I will enter you in a random drawing for the prize. You can find our shops by clicking on the links in the righthand column of our blog. The contest will run from May 1st through May 8th at midnight EST. The winner will be announced on Friday May 9th here on the blog.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Collaboration Challenge

Kristy Kempinger of Chickadeebeads and I have challenged our fellow EGA members to collaborate with one another to create a joint glass project. I have been using Kristy's gorgeous vessels in my skeleton key necklaces. It's hard to believe soft glass and borosilicate glass can look so great together! This is the second Titanic themed necklace I have created that encorporates her vessles and my keys. This one is just in time for Mother's Day. You can find it here

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I'm Back

Well I'm back from Disney with a head full of ideas. A week off the torch and the total sensory overload that only four theme parks in 7 days can provide and you have one artistically refreshed beadmaker on your hands! I have 5 new frit blends coming out soon for my lampworker friends and lots of new jewelry ideas involving keys. OH and the electroforming kit I ordered before my vacation arrived while I was away so I need to have my friend KimV teach me how to use it. OMG so much to do and so little time. Meanwhile my house looks like a laundromat explosion and there is not one scrap of edible food in my pantry or fridge if we don't count the canned brussel sprouts I bought six months ago in a feverish attempt to find something green (other than peppermint gumdrops) that my 6 year old will eat. So I will try to keep you all up to date as these projects come rolling out over the next few months. Stay tuned and enjoy the rare family portrait... this one is in Epcot with Donald in Mexico (who by the way is a lefty...I knew I always liked Donald)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

I Used to Be Cute...Before I was Dead

I have had a fascination with skulls for a long time. Even before they were trendy and "glam goth", I have enjoyed them. I like to search for skulls and Calaveras on Etsy to see the various artistic interpretations. Last night I ran across VanFleetStreetDesign and I knew I had to have this original ACEO . It's so colorful and fun, yet the figure looks so downcast. I love it. This inspires me to go make an Etsy treasury of all my skully findings.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Found Fabulous on Scoutiegirl

I was featured on Scoutiegirl today! Scoutiegirl is a blog featuring Indie artists written by Jan of Daisy Janie. Jan makes the most beautiful handbags. She uses custom designed fabrics to create rich looking bags that are minimal in the amount of hardware on them. I particularly like the Fancy Pants size in this Colorwash Spring fabric. SO PRETTY.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

I'm No April Fool

ARTS IN RI is hosting an April contest! The contest will run from April 1st through April 8th. Fellow team member Lisa of Pinklemonadeboutique has generously donated a beautiful handmade bag called Sakura: Featuring imported Japanese cherry blossom fabric, trimmed in natural linen, and embellished with a detatchable handmade felt flower. It measures 11.5 x 9. Check out each of the Artsinri shops (you will find a link to each in the right hand column of our blog) and find our April Arts In RI logo hidden in a featured item in ONE of the shops. When you find the gray and purple logo convo me the item number and the name of the shop you found it in and you will be entered into a drawing for Sakura. You must have an etsy account, or sign up for one here (it’s easy and free) The hunt will end at midnight EST on April 8th. The Winner will be posted on our blog and be contacted via convo on April 9th. Good luck and happy hunting!!!!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Something is Lost

Part 2 begins on March 11th my father’s 72nd birthday. I ran to the post office with kids after I picked them up from school. Thomas helped me label all the packages fragile as I had forgotten. There were 7 in total, 1 going to the UK and 6 going domestic. As always I sent them first class with delivery confirmation. I started getting panicked e-mails from my customers a little less than a week later. The packages had not arrived. I checked the tracking on the first one. It had been scanned in Warwick and then nothing. I checked all the others and it was the same thing. I assured my customers I would go to the post office and try to find out what could have happened. Now call me crazy but going to the post office is one of the errands I actually enjoy. Now I know I can use Paypal shipping and probably should because it would provide free delivery confirmation but I just haven’t gotten around to it. I like writing out my own addresses and I like visiting the clerks in my local post office. When I inquired with Bob about my packages he assured me everything went to Providence that day and he gave me a phone number for consumer affairs. I called consumer affairs and got a voice mail for Beth. I left her a panicked message and drove down to Providence to see if I could talk to her. When I arrived at the big post office in Providence I found another Bob at the counter. He said I looked stressed and asked me to explain the situation. He was very nice and told me he was going to check the computer and he would be able to calm me right down. I knew what he would find and that he couldn’t but I waited patiently while he went to check my confirmation numbers. While I was waiting Beth called me on my cell. She asked me if I had purchased insurance and I sadly told her no. She said I couldn’t file a claim then. I told her I was at the post office and could she come and talk to me. She said where? I said downstairs at one of the windows. She said she wasn’t allowed to do that. I said Please? I wanted her to have a face with my dilemma. She said ok and came down to meet me. Bob returned and said he turned up nothing on the confirmation numbers. I already knew that. Beth and Bob exchange knowing glances and Beth said she could take down my information and run it by her boss. She said my packages were likely tied up in Springfield MA. She said when Providence’s sorting machine is down (they only have one) the packages go directly to Springfield. She said it was a good sign that they were all together and that none of them had moved. She said Springfield was likely behind in their sorting and that they would eventually turn up. I wanted to believe her. I told her the packages all contained handmade glass pendants and were not easily replaced. She urged me to buy insurance from now on and made a copy of all my confirmation numbers. I left feeling that at least a few people cared about my 7 lost packages. My customers were amazing. They were patient and understanding. We waited. The packages I mailed on March 14th all arrived at their destinations. I started praying to St. Anthony to find that mailbag. We waited some more. Every day I checked the status and every day was the same: Received at Pilgrim station March 11th. No further details. I started thinking about remaking the items. On Friday morning March 21st Beth called me on my cell. She had good news. On Thursday March 20th after 10pm the packages were finally checked into Springfield. They were in the system!!! Beth sounded almost as excited as I was. I thanked her for the news and she apologized for the delay on behalf of the US Postal Service. I told her I didn’t care as long as they weren’t lost! It took almost 3 weeks but all of my packages have finally arrived at their destinations. My customers are thrilled. I am thrilled. St. Anthony came through and Beth is getting a surprise in the mail…providing it doesn’t get lost.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Mail This

This is a two part series on my relationship with the US Postal Service
Part I begins and ends on a rainy Wednesday

“I never use bubble mailers” my friend Kim of KimV Glass said to me at a recent visit to my home. “Nope, priority mail in boxes” she said was the “only way to go when mailing something as precious and fragile as glass beads.” “Really?” I asked. “How do you justify the cost of shipping priority to your customers when the beads weigh only a few ounces?” I admit I was intrigued because I would love to use boxes for my beads but I’m not sure my customers want to pay $4.60 to have one key or pendant mailed to them. “Easy, I just tell them my husband worked for the postal service and he said that at any given time a 60 pound box could land on a bubble mailer holding their pendant” “Yikes that’s scary” I said, “I guess I have been lucky, oh and I have been using tins. Have I shown you my tins?” Kim was impressed with the tins and we both agreed the little tins I bought to put my keys and pendants in might protect the beads better than cardboard but it left me wondering about the priority shipping. It’s something I have been thinking about. Or at the very least using boxes and buying insurance. Anyone who does any business online knows how you come to depend on your shipping carrier. In my case it has been the US postal system. They haven’t done me wrong yet. Or so I thought….
Flash forward 3 months and Kim shoots me an email wondering if the electroformed key with the beautiful boro cab she made has arrived for me to add charms and a chain. She wanted to wear our collaborative creation to the BEAD Fiesta which was fast approaching. She had sent it almost a week before. She lives in the southern most part of the state. I live smack in the middle. It’s a small state. I shoot an e-mail back saying no but I’d keep an eye out for it. Not more than 10 minutes goes by and the doorbell rings. It’s pouring buckets out and my postman is standing in the doorway in his finest USPS rain gear looking gloomy. He hands me Kim’s package and apologizes on behalf of the US postal service. OMG I almost burst into tears when I see the crushed envelope in that WE CARE bag. I tear it open with him standing there in the door. We both hold our breath....the key was hiding on the side of the box that wasn't crushed and it was OK!!!!! I mean I kept looking at it and I didn't see any cracks! I can't believe it made it. Kim you are so right about those mailers. I think I need to look at using boxes!!!! KIM WHY DID YOU USE A BUBBLE MAILER WHEN YOU HATE THOSE THINGS???!!!!! I am so telling your husband on you! I was traumatized here!!!!!! Was this a lesson? Maybe it was an omen.... (to be continued)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

My Happy Place

As I mentioned last week, Diana Brennan of DSBrennan helped me with my bead photography. She also took pictures of me working while I was giving her a glass demonstration. I was so excited when she shared these pictures with me. They are the first pictures of me in my happy place. This shot is particularly cool. She was using my dididium protective glasses over the camera lens to filter out the solar flare on the bead I was making so there is a purple cast to the picture which makes it more cozy. Do you have a happy place? I'd love to hear about it.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Shipwreck An Artist Collaboration

On April 10, 1912, the largest, most elegant luxury liner in the world set sail from Southampton, England. At 46,000 tons, the Titanic was, at the time, the largest moving object ever built.There has been a romantic fascination with this story for over 96 years. Because women and children were loaded into the 20 lifeboats, the majority of the victims were men. Many of the women who died did so because they refused to leave their loved ones behind. In many ways the Titanic is a love story and represents a microcosm of all classes in society. Two lampwork artists Paula McDonough and Kristy Kempinger have come together to create a series of skeleton key jewelry that will feature a fictionalized account of various women who lost their life in this disaster because of selfless choices they made that night. Anne boarded the Titanic as a third class passenger in Queenstown, Ireland with her new husband Karl. She was 25. She was filled with the hope and excitement of a new bride beginning her married life. Their destination was Harrisburg Pennsylvania. They were traveling to meet his parents. Originally from America, Karl had convinced Anne that his father could teach him his trade as a Miller and they could start a family in his hometown. On the night of the sinking she and Karl knelt in prayer on the deck and using the chain from Karl's pocketwatch she directed them to say the Rosary together. Eventually she made her way into lifeboat number 20. However when she realized her husband was to stay behind she left the lifeboat and rejoined him on the deck. He begged her to stay on the boat but she reassured him they would wait for the next boat together. She subsequently lost her life in the disaster.This necklace called Shipwreck is Anne’s story. It is comprised of an old steel skeleton key with a borosilicate glass bead made in the flame of my torch directly on the shaft of the key. The bead is made in blues and green to represent seaweed . It measures 3/4 of an inch in diameter and 7 mm in width. It was made so that it DOES SPIN and move freely on the key. The key measures 2 3/4 inches in length. There is also another skeleton key that measures 2 3/4 inches and from that key I have hung charms made from vintage pocketwatch gears, a borosilicate glass bead, semi-precious gems, a Swarovski crystal and copper and brass findings. There is also a little vintage copper seashell charm. I have also strung a solid brass vintage luggage tag with the keys that is stamped 21. Also hanging from the keys is a gorgeous green glass vessel created by Kristy Kempinger of etsy shop Chickadeebeads. This little vessel features a unique handpulled glass that when worked in the flame, creates tiny bubbles that rise to the surface giving it an antiqued appearance. It includes a tiny piece of paper on which to write your message in a bottle~your dreams yet to come true, a love note, or a word of inspiration. Remove the tiny cork and add a few drops of your favorite aromatherapy essential oil. It may also be used to keep tender treasures close. The pendant is strung on a 30 inch gunmetal chain with a lock and key toggle clasp and will add steampunk charm to any outfit. The mix of different metals and glass is as pleasing as can be and the sound this necklace makes when worn is fabulous. You can find this necklace here

Friday, March 14, 2008

New Tricks

The Flaming Hot topic this week is bead photography. That's coincidental because I had a photography lesson Wednesday with the very talented Diana Brennan. Check out her etsy shop dsbrennan. Her work is fabulous. She is a fellow team member on my ARTSINRI street team. This is one of the first pictures taken using all manual settings on my Nikon D-50. Yay me! I'm so excited. I have felt so guilty owning such an awesome camera and using all automatic settings. Why? Because I'm a special kind of stupid and cannot follow the manual that came with the camera. One of my biggest struggles is getting the whole key in focus but Diana taught me how to do that. In return she got lunch and a glass demonstration which was actually another treat for me because she took pictures of me working and she sat through a whole pendant and a key bead!!! I can't get anyone I know to sit with me in my studio for that long lol! This picture was taken indoors using daylight bulbs and a light tent. Pretty cool huh? The best part is this key already sold.

Monday, March 10, 2008


Listen, I'm no lingerer. I have never really seen that word as a good one. I am not the lingering type. I am quick and to the point; a decisive sort. I don't linger in stores. I make my purchases quickly. I rarely slow down. Perhaps that is why I found it particularly challenging to try and figure out where I like to linger after reading a blog entry about it in Artful Blogging. Well I can tell you that I do like to linger behind the torch. There I can slow down enough to more more key...what if I tried this color over that... Yes lingering in my studio is easy. But where else do I like to linger? I like to linger under the covers in my bed early in the morning when my daughter crawls in between my husband and I and shares her first thoughts of the day. I like to linger in the yard on a warm summer's day when the kids are playing nearby. I am usually beading. I like to linger in front of my fireplace. Sometimes if I have to choose between the fire in my living room and the fire in my basement studio, I pick the living room like a moth to the bigger flame. Yes lingering is decidedly good. I have been making a concerted effort to try and slow down and linger in the moment. I think happiness is made up of a million pleasurable moments strung together on a noose of responsibility. I say wear that noose proudly . Life in suburbia for us this past weekend held four basketball games, an acting class and a birthday party. My husband and I split up the duties and moved in tandem criss crossing the state to our assignments. Did I mention it was pouring? Living in the moment-lingering- at each activity was surprisingly enjoyable. Taking an hour outside my daughter's acting class with my bead magazines fueled an entire night of inspiration at the torch. At the birthday party I forced myself to make small talk with another mother and enjoyed getting to know her. The games were bittersweet. They lost the playoffs but won the tournament. I followed every play, watched every basket. As my son would say the win was "sweet". Yup, Lingering. You should try it. Where do you like to linger?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Mrs. Mac's Lavender Bling

"When are you going to name a necklace after me?" my best friend asked casually the other night while watching TV together. "What?" I asked suddenly realizing what she was asking me. "Huh??!" "Yeah" she said coyly "I keep checking that Etsy shop of yours and no Sha". "Ok" I said "I'll do it" with as much resolve as I could muster at 10:30 at night. "Don't forget the bling" she said. "It's not a Sha necklace without the sparkle!" I know, I know and purple too right? I said. "Oh yes, well that goes without saying...she chuckled "and it's not purple it's lavender."This is a great vintage necklace that mixes old with new. It is named after my best friend Sha (never Sharon) and it is very similar to her birthday necklace (except she didn't want any of those "broken watch parts" on hers lol). It's available in "that Etsy shop" of mine right now.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Arts In RI St. Patrick's Day Contest

ARTS IN RI my Rhode Island Etsy Street Team is hosting a St. Patrick’s Day contest! The contest will run from March 2nd through March 16th. Fellow team member Sarah Jane of Spiderbite has generously donated Swampmop the Nightmare Snatcher Journal which will be awarded to the winner of our contest: Furry and fearless, friendly but ferocious, these Nightmare Snatchers? are the perfect journals for writing down and drawing out all that scares, frightens, and worries.Check out each of the Artsinri shops (you will find a link to each in the right hand column of our blog) and find our St. Patrick’s Day Arts In RI logo hidden in a featured item in ONE of the shops. When you find the green logo convo me the item number and the name of the shop you found it in and you will be entered into a drawing for Swampmop. You must have an etsy account, or sign up for one here (it’s easy and free) The hunt will end at midnight EST on March 16th. The Winner will be posted here on our blog and be contacted via convo on March 17th. Good luck and happy hunting!!!!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

House of Horrors

I just bought this photograph from Erin, a young and new to etsy photographer.(It's the second photo) Her shop has some really cool shots of New England architecture. You must check her out. It's a photo of the remains of the Haunted House ride at Rocky Point. Rocky Point was an amusement park , and shore dinner hall situated along the coast of the Narragansett Bay. The park operated for over 150 years. Then, in 1996, the park closed. With its rides sold off, the park sat as a ghost town until it's remains were torn down in June 2007 to make way for the construction of condominiums. I have alot of wonderful childhood memories of Rocky Point and when I saw this photo I knew I had to tease my brother. The haunted house was the scariest ride in Rocky Point. There's one point where this monster would pop out of the wall and startle the crap out of you. Poor David would have nightmares after every trip to Rocky Point but that wouldn't keep us from going right back into the House of Horrors every time! The first picture is the way the ride looked when I was a kid. It's a promotional photo for a documentary about Rocky Point park called You Must Be This Tall OMG I just found an old radio commercial here:

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Funky Finds

Would you like to win on of my vintage skeleton keys on a chain? If so enter to win on the blog Funky Finds

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Happy Detour

As soon as we landed in San Diego on vacation we were off to replace the four 10 oz bottles of lotion that were confiscated by airport security. "You don't fly much I guess" the guard said dryly as they pulled out bottle after bottle from my husband's carry on. The guard didn't seem amused. It was all I could do to keep a straight face until we were clear to the gate. I had distinctly told him to put his HBA products in his suitcase. He said he didn't know HBA included suntan lotion. I couldn't stop laughing. My husband wasn't amused either. So as soon as we landed we found a Target. He hadn't packed a sweatshirt either. Now it was I who was not amused. We were missing valuable sun time. As my husband browsed for what seemed like forever I huffed along the aisles nervously looking at my watch. By the time we got to the register I was so done. "Come on I said let's get out of here and go to the beach." The clerk was a tiny older Mexican woman. She looked up when she heard my pleading tone and reached over and ever so lightly touched the pendant I was wearing. "This is most beautiful" she said in broken English. "Very different" My husband smiled because he knew the magic in those words would melt away any annoyance I was feeling at that moment. And he was right. I thanked my admirer, tried to explain that I made it which came out a little awkward complete with hand signals so I just handed her my business card. I was grinning from ear to ear when we left the store. "Saved by the cashier" my husband said smugly as we walked across the parking lot looking for our rental car. "Did you give her your website?" he asked. "Yes, smartypants now take me to the beach."
I made a point of writing down the colors I used in that vacation pendant. This is the first time I tried recreating it and it came out gorgeous!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

George Beads

Today I met George. He was a 50-ish gentleman who came to the jewelry warehouse where I was buying some chains for my keys. George is a special needs adult who lives in a group home. He was with his worker. George beads. He loves plastic beads... No glass...those are "work beads"...plastic are for him. Listening to him pick out beads put a smile on my face from ear to ear. He got so excited at all the pretty colors and shapes. He got a little carried away a few times and poured a whole bin into his bag. George loves pearls. His worker was trying to talk him into some other beads but George was set on the pearls. He asked me my name, twice, and showed me his beads. Irene, one of the owners was wearing one of Georges creations. It was a beautiful pastel large pearl necklace. They don't charge George for his beads. He sells his work once a year at a special sale to benefit his center. I showed George my keys and this one was his favorite. He thought the bead looked like candy. George told me he'd remember my name next time he saw me. He said he was going to have large sub sandwich for lunch, not a small one, and then he was going home to bead. I told him I was too.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Unique Me

Things I like: my kids, my marriage, family, my house, my neighbors, good friends, my studio, scrapbooking, taking pictures of my kids, taking pictures of my beads outside in the sun, my Honda pilot, My etsy shop, geocaching, checking my email to see if I have had a sale, little dogs, baby feet, baby bottoms, old keys, borosilicate glass, my torch, chicken Ceasar no croutons, cheese, peanuts and cashews, sterling silver and gems, gunmetal chain, bizarre stories, irony, sarcasm, humor, making jewelry in my yard on a warm summer day while the kids play all around me, my aerobics classes, my camera, my studio, bead magazines, glass magazines, the beach, American idol, Project Runway, the mall, handmade jewelry, clothes, haircuts, pedicures, quirky gift shops, well done beef, diet coke, adult nights out with friends, going out to eat with the kids and my parents, vacations, my 2 days off , going to the post office, the makeup isle in any department store, new lipstick or eye shadow, my Etsy customers,, my RI street team, my Etsy glass artist street team, my online friends, old friends, my kids friends, my locarb lifestyle, staying in a size 2-4, my computer, opening the kiln, cuddling on the bed with my kids, alone time with my husband, having clients tell me I helped them, implosion pendants, smart people, funny people, talented people, steampunk, weird science facts, myths, ghost stories, mysteries, love stories, hip, edgy, being trendy, being entrepreneurial, new ideas, creative directions, analyzing people, diagnosing clients , following rules, frogs, lizards, turtles, the sound of my daughter’s voice, my son’s vocabulary, the scent of pine, the fireplace, a great sale, home decorating shows, animal planet, keeping late hours, torching, a good night’s sleep, girl talk, trivia, singing to the radio, my uncensored comedy station, Family vacations, Christmas, The 4th of July, getting packages in the mail, new glass, hearing I love you from my family, a new outfit, date nights, sugar free jello, DIY, making lists.

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Teacher's Pet

My 10 year old son asked me to make something for his 4th grade teacher for Valentine's Day Wednesday night. I made her and my daughter's first grade teacher matching hearts. My daughter loved her teacher's gift but my son looked forlorn as I handed him the box. "What's the matter? You don't like the heart?" I asked him. "Mom it's not that I don't like it but it's a heart! Mom I can't give her a heart she's going to think I like her." He said in a pleading tone. I replied "But you do like her, she's your teacher right?" "Yeah Mom but she's going to think I like her, like her, you know love and stuff. Can't we give her one of those implosion pendants that's all dark she likes black, she wears it every day?" he asked excitedly as he launched into my box of stock. He pulled out a navy blue implosion pendant. "Here, this is good. no heart just steampunk". He seemed proud and relieved with his find. I chuckled "Steampunk? that's my keys not my implosion pendants." "Oh yeah, well whatever as long as it's not a heart" he said as he put the now carefully wrapped box in his backpack. I asked "What about a card? I made you and your sister a card". You're kidding right? He asked looking horrified. "No card, no way!" "Ok" I said "But without a card you are going to have to say Happy Valentine's Day when you give her the present." He paused for several seconds weighing his options. "Ok give me the card"...This is the heart he passed up.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Face of Grace

When my sister inlaw Liz was training for her triathalon last year she wanted to run for a cause. The woman that babysits her son (our nephew Patrick) told Liz about her neighbors The Reddington family and their daughter Grace who has rhett syndrome. Liz and my brotherinlaw Chris met the Reddingtons and Grace and there was in instant bond between the two families. They have since become close friends.
Liz completed the grueling 12 hour race this past summer and said Grace's spirit kept her going. She raised more than $3000 for Rhett Syndrome research. Here is a video about Grace and Rhett syndrome. Turn your volume up so you can hear U2's song which could have been written for Grace.
Grace the Movie

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Retail Therapy

I have been kind to myself the last week or so, buying new PJ's picking out my own anniversary gift, shopping on Etsy. I really can't seem to shake the winter blahs. Then of course my ring came but I had to put it away for our trip so that didn't quite do it for me. SO, apppealing to the other side of my dual natured Gemini self, I bought this. It's the antithesis of the other ring. Where the other ring is bling and shine this one is earth and grit. I love them both! How is that? McFarland Designs is a beautiful shop too. Filled with silver and cabochon gemstone jewelry. I have such a weakness for sterling and stones. She is also commited to using recycled materials and all her products are vegan, meaning no animal products were used in their creation. So does that mean my retail therapy is good for the earth? Wow I feel better already.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Little Prince

When my brother and I were kids our mother got us started collecting animal figurines. We each chose an animal. My brother picked frogs and I picked turtles. I grew to love my turtle collection but I secretly coveted my brother's frogs. Over the years between the two of us we managed to collect over 200 figurines made out of everything from shells to glass. To this day I can't look at a frog without thinking about my little bro. I knew eventually I would make a frog on a key. This guy is really cute too. Maybe I'll try a turtle next but probably I'll just continue to covet the frogs. My brother is all grown up now with a little baby son. I think I'll bring my nephew a frog the next time I visit...

Monday, February 11, 2008

T and A

Age 6 falls off the kitchen stool she's laughing so hard. Age 10 shakes his head in disapproval: "That's disturbing Mommy, and very inappropriate". What can I say, I had a 6 year old moment last night during my torching session and put boobs and a butt on a key. Why? because I can...LOL

Sunday, February 10, 2008

A Day at the Beach

The Flaming Hot blog topic for Jan 25 (I’m a little behind on all this blogging stuff) is “what are the little ways you enjoy glass and the business you run?” I love to photograph my glass in the late afternoon sun. There's nothing like it. Even though it was 48 degrees and windy on this day, the late day New England sun makes it look like a warm sultry afternoon. In fact when my neighbor sees me taking pictures in the driveway with my little rock pile on a wooden stool she always yells over. "Going to the beach again?" lol. Yup. Just another day at the beach...

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Making a Mark

Our 15th wedding anniversary is coming up on April 17th . We are going to be on our first Disney trip with the kids and my parents on that date. I started searching Etsy for the perfect gift for myself because after 15 years I have learned these types of things should not be left up to my husband. Maybe it was the car mats he got me for our first Christmas together. Or maybe it was the endless parade of other utilitarian devices he’s brought home. At any rate 15 is big and Disney is the happiest place on earth right? So a little bling is what I was going for when I happened upon this seller. Artwearbycaron works with sterling silver and beautiful gemstones. I am such a sucker for sparkle that I had a tough time deciding on just one. This is the ring though. It’s really, really beautiful! I peeked when it arrived today. Come on…. I had to try it on…. Right? But now it’s been put away until our trip.
A trip through Caron’s shop is well worth your time too. She was recently featured in a Storque series Love Stories because she had designed an Etsy customer’s wedding ring. It was a sweet story and she really nailed the perfect design for her customer and made a wonderful forever impact in someone’s life with her art. Wow! Isn’t that what we all strive for? And now she’s done it again…

It's Revolutionary

I was interviewed recently by a college student doing a paper on the Crafting movement and one of the things she asked me was why I thought DIY has had a such a large surge of interest? I think people are tired of the generic nature and poor quality of mass produced goods. We live in a disposable society and that can be very soul damaging to think that there will be nothing left for our children to remember us by. I think the pendulum has to swing the other way and this generation is embracing a way to leave a legacy.

She also asked me why I create things and it really made me think. At first I thought about the reason in terms of how creating pretty wearable objects from fire and glass helps improve my mental health and that's very true. But that's not the answer in terms of why I am a part of the craft revolution. Then I realized that I create in part to leave a little of myself behind for the next generation. I think the members of this movement are very smart to take back some of the control from a technology that has truly gotten away from us. It runs our lives. I think creating says to the world, "I matter." For me it's a way of connecting with the world. Remember how good it felt to bring that construction paper june bug you made in kindergarten home and have your Mom put it on the fridge for all the world to see? That's the feeling I want to capture every day when I create. So this is my June Bug world. It will still be here long after I'm gone and for that I'm very happy.

Friday, February 8, 2008

I Have a Heart On for Handmade

Would you like to win one of my hearts? Sure you would. The Esty Glass Artist's Street Team is having a contest. Go here and enter to win this beauty. Hurry voting ends February 10th at midnight.

The Blog Bandwagon

I have been told by many beadmakers and artisans that the best way to get the word out about your art in 2008 is to start blogging. I have always resisted this idea thinking that bloggers had to be the most narcissitic folks on earth. Does anyone care what I had for breakfast or how much snow fell in New England last night? I dunno I guess humans are curious about each other after all because after spending some time reading the blogs of other people I realize that life is interesting. Even the sublime can be captivating I guess. Once I opened up my etsy shop I found I was using my listings to sort of blog anyway so I guess it's time to jump on the blogging bandwagon. I hope I can keep up with this and I hope I can keep a few folks "captivated". And away we go....