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, lampworketc.com, 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....