Sunday, November 30, 2008

I'm Shopping Etsy Again!

All right, I'll admit it. I'm stuck on glass! So, as I shop, I look for glass, glass, and more glass. I found it, again, today.

Paula, of Paulanc, on Etsy is another wonerful bead artist. I "met" Paula in cyberspace in the Glass Art section of Wet Canvas, in the thread that used to be called The Newbie Thread. The name has been changed, but that's another issue. Anyhow, I quickly came to realize that the people who posted in this thread were anything but newbies. I was amazed and impressed by their skills and talents. Paula was one of those artists that jumped right out at me. She loves animals, and her current work reflects that. (BTW, you can find these pieces in her shop on etsy.) Take a look at this.

This little guy is named "Bennet." He's adorable!
Wouldn't you love to have him on a pendant? What a cutie pie Bennet is!

Did you know it's good luck to find a cardinal in your Christmas tree on Christmas morning? (Well, at least that's what I've heard. I have yet to find one.)

Meet Carrie! What a cute little cardinal she is. Wouldn't she make a great pendant or an ornament for your tree?

Now, Duke, here, reminds me of someone else I know who loves to wear bling! Isn't he the cutest little dog you've ever seen?

And last, but not least, is Howie. What a sweet, little puppy he is! Wouldn't you love to own him?

Well, you've seen some of the items in Paula's store. Go make a visit, and see the rest. She's a very talented bead artist. She also makes Etsy her home.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

I don't know how you feel, but

I feel it's just too early for Christmas. Spike is ready, or, at least, he thinks he is. He's already been looking for Santa, and, more importantly to him, reindeer tracks! I guess it's time to start the shopping. I like Oprah's idea, though, rather than shop, make Christmas more meaningful. I like that idea. We'll see what I can come up with to capture the real meaning of Christmas. Any ideas? I love suggestions! What do you do to make Christmas more meaningful to you and your family?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Shopping Etsy? Shop Me!

Today begins the Etsy Bloggers Street Team Sale. If you shop my store, you will find that I have discounted my jewelry items by 10%. They would all make wonderful gifts for that special someone in your life or for YOU! Here are some samples of what is available for your shopping pleasure.

I call this necklace "The Tempest." It's hand crocheted by me. I used my lampwork shell focal and lots of other beautiful beaeds to make this stunning necklace. Try wearing it to work or play, you and will be noticed!

I call this pendant, "Bird's Nest Fusion." It is a melding together of wire work and a lampwork bead focal. All you need to do is add a chain or silk string and you have a stunning piece of wearable art to accent any piece of clothing.

Can you tell I love wire crochet? In this necklace, I used my lampwork beads and vintage lucite beads. They all blend together to make this stunning necklace. Love it!

Anyway, we are hurling our way through the universe of time towards Christmas. If you need a gift, now is the time to grab one at a discount from my store and from other etsy bloggers stores. The sale will end on Monday, December 1st. December? That just doesn't seem possible. So, shop till your drop from home on Etsy. Now say that ten times very quickly!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

In Thanks for all the Blessings

Today is Thanksgiving Day in the United States. Customs vary from family to family, but, on this day, during our get together, there is generally a turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole. pies with real whipped cream. To that I add some traditional food that I grew up with. This year it will be Carne Adovada (Chile Pork) and Red Chile and Cheese Enchiladas.

Our gathering is one of friends that have become "family" through the years. Our children have grown up. Now some of them are married. There are grandchildren. (Here's where I need to remind MY ADULT CHILDREN that my biological clock is ticking, and I don't want to be drooling and in diapers when my grandchildren are doing the same.) Enough said about that.

We do have a separate table for all the children, including the adult children, because they don't like the topics we, parents, discuss. Not only that, we can't all fit at one table any more. I'm really not sure, but I don't think we ever could.

So, we gather. We toast the one who left us way too early. We celebrate those who are still with us. We enjoy the company, then we hear Bob say, "Boy, Terri, that couch is calling my name."

That is the beginning of the end of our gathering.
We put the leftovers in plastic containers to send home. (Mark always gets an extra helping of the Chile Pork.) We sort through the food. We throw away the disposable plates. We lend a helping hand to the young parents as they gather their children to go home.

The football game is turned off for a bit. We hug. We say good bye. We think about next year when we gather again.

If anyone ever asked me what I was most thankful for this year, I know I'd have to say, our gathering. We are both friends and familiy. We are growing up and older together.
God brought us together for this celebration. What a wonderful blessing this is!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Way Things Turn Out

I made this bead, and I was surprised at the results. What do you see?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Good Morning!

I have a very hard time sleeping late. For me, sleeping late is around 7 AM. I have to be very tired or sick to sleep in. Anyway, look at what I see so many mornings! Isn't it gorgeous? I love sunrise!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Spike's Pod

The other day when the UPS man came to deliver a package, Spike didn't greet him at the door. Spike didn't even bark. It's cold here in Minnesota. Spike took the path of least resistance. He remained in his pod. The delivery man said that he didn't hear "the dog" barking. That was because Spike was in his pod. It took me a little while to find my "watch dog." I finally did. Spike stayed in his nice, warm pod.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I'm Shopping Till I'm Dropping on Etsy!

I hate to say this, but I am stuck on glass artists! I will try to find other types of artists to feature as I shop Etsy, but, dang it all, I love glass!

We're off to visit Bead Towne owned and operated by Maggie Towne. Maggie is the queen of discs! Take a look at these yummy Crocus Discs. OMG! Aren't they beautiful! Maggie used a glass called crocus. These just look so warm and spring like. I think it's something we need to remind us that we are headed towards spring even as winter decends on us. Love that color, and Maggie's discs are great. What fun to use in jewelry!

Didn't I say that this would be a wonderful trip?

Here's something that all of us can use--Zero Calorie Chocolates!

That's my kind of chocolate! Nummy! These pieces of candy look good enough to eat!

Now, don't think that this is all that is in Maggie's store. Take a look at this shell. Maggie makes wonderful sea shells. This one is no exception!
It's made with precious River Rock Glass, and it's stunning! Didn't I tell you she could make great shells?

On a more whimsical note, check out this set of discs and "ladies." Who would not want one of these? Think of the possibilities. Wow!

Before I forget, Maggie also has a blog. Check it out! All right, I am now officially tired. I might take a break from shopping for a couple of days, but I'm not sure. It's so easy and convenient to shop from home. We'll see. We shall see.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I'm Shopping Etsy Again!

All right, I have to admit, I am playing favorites again. Today, we are going to shop the store of a dear Kiwi friend of mine, Deb Batten. Her store's name on etsy is: Firebird Flamework. Deb also has a website where you can visit and find her wares, but I want to concentrate on her Etsy store today. Oh, and before I forget, Deb also has a wonderful blog that I'm sure you'll enjoy. She's one busy lady!

Isn't this bead awesome! She has named it Aneirin. Isn't is stunning? Can you imagine wearing it on a chain around your neck? It is amazing!

This bead is called Aquium. It does remind me of the flow of water on a river bed. Amazing, isn't it? Oh, there's more to come. Stay tuned.

This bead is called Malta! What an amazing bead full of twists and turns and reactions in the glass. Wow! That's all I can say!

If glass isn't enough for you, how about chain maille? Deb has some gorgeous bracelets featured in her store! This one is called Byzantine. It is also amazing!

Now, don't you agree, shopping from home and shopping etsy is really the way to go? If you like Deb's work as much as I do, be sure to order soon. Deb is a Kiwi. She lives in New Zealand. You want to give the shipping process time to work for you. Order early so that you will have one of these stunning pieces of art under your tree in time for Christmas.

Friday, November 21, 2008

I'm Shopping Etsy Again!

Today, I'd like to take you to visit Susan Jones Designs on Etsy. Susan is one of those artist that when you look at their work you sigh and say, "If only I could do that!" I was fortunate to meet Susan at the Bead and Button show last year and at Civic Fest in Minneapolis this past summer. Susan is a talented artist, and an amazing person. I don't think I've ever met anyone as calm and collected as she is!

Take a look at this bead which is located in Susan's Etsy store. Isn't this bead amazing? I love Susan's use of color and design. Think of the possibilities when using this bead. It would look stunning on a chain. You'd truly be the center of attention.

This bead, called Solar Winds, is also in Susan's store. What an outstanding example of stunning wearable art! Make sure you check this out.

This bead is great, too! I love the name that Susan chose for it: Sonny and Shard. Susan uses shards, murrini, and dots to make this bead another masterpiece of wearable art.

The title of this bead is Zoo Plankton. Amazing, isn't it? Each piece of Susan's art demonstrates skill and control over the glass media. Her colors are bright and colorful, yet, they are controlled to maximize the beauty of the bead. Take a good, long look at her store. You won't be disappointed.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I'm Shopping Etsy! And Today It's

Desert Treasure Beads, a shop whose store name comes from where Bruna Cordova lives. Check out her profile, and you'll learn some interesting things about Bruna! She's a love!
Here are some of the items from Bruna's store.

I love this angel! Isn't she a beauty? Wouldn't she look nice being worn as a pendant or hung on your tree? She would also look great as part of a nativity scene for Christmas. Let's look at some of Bruna's other items.

Here's a beautiful set of scrolled beads Aren't they stunning? Wow! Bruna makes beautiful beads. You really need to check out her store on etsy. You won't be disappointed.

Now this is great! Take a look at the picture.
Now, you're right if you say that these aren't beads. They are Chinese necklaces. Bruna will give you one free when you buy an item in her store! Wow! Buy a bead, and you will have a necklace to wear it with. Wow! Now that's a deal!

Now, here's my favorite item in her shop. She calls her Lupita. She's beautiful!

I hope you enjoyed this little tour of Bruna's shop. Take your own tour of her store. You will enjoy.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My December (Christmas) Exchange

Those of you who know me on Lampworketc and Wet Canvas, know that I truly enjoy participating in exchanges on these two forums. I am presently participating 4 exchanges, one of which is due in less than two weeks. Of course, that's the Christmas exchange!

The way most exchanges work is a hostess posts an idea and people sign up. Usually the requirements are 3-5 beads be sent in to exchange along with an envelope and postage. There is a due date. The beads must be in the hostess' hands by that date. I will mail these beads out tomorrow, since the mailman surprised me and delivered our mail quite early today.

I am sending in 3 beads for the exchange, but if you count them, there are 5. Well, the mittens will be a set. There is an extra bead for the hostess. She gets to choose which bead she would like for a hostess gift. The person sending in the beads needs to label the beads with her/his name and forum name, too. For example, my forum ID is rosebud101. I also include my real name too. Some of us include business cards. It all depends on how you choose to identify your beads. I put labels that I have made on the plastic bag I send each bead in.

Once you have sent the beads in, you wait for your return mail. I have had many bleak days brightened up by my returning beads! They are usually absolutely awesome! What we do with them our exchange beads is totally up to us. I often put them in jewelry for me. I also take them down to the studio to work with to see if I can learn a new technique or two.

I have learned so many glass related things and have improved my skills from participating in exchanges. I have met many wonderful new "friends." Of course, they are all online. I hope to meet these people in person one day. Anyway, now that this exchange is finished, I'm on to the others. I am in a heart exchange, a cat exchange, a reactive bead exchange, and a scrolled bead exchange. I warned the hostess on that last exchange that my scrolling is terrible. Anyway, I hope to improve my scroll work by participating in that exchange. There is the possibility of one other exchange, but I haven't made up my mind about it yet. We shall see. So, there are the beads for December. Tomorrow, I mail them out. I hope their new owners like them. I've learned new things, again. I'm glad I was in this exchange.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I Used to be a Quilter, but now I melt glass!

I ran into the owner of a quilt shop here in town. I used to be there frequently, happily sewing, until I began to melt glass. Sally looked at me and said, "Where have you been? You haven't even been in the new store." I did tell her that, for the most part, I have quit sewing. I have many UFO's sitting in the spare bedroom now with no desire on my part to go back to them. I keep them thinking, "I'll finish these someday." It's been over 2 years now, and they aren't finished. The packages haven't even been opened. Now, that doesn't mean that I don't love quilted work. It doesn't mean that my appreciation for the quilter has decreased. Nor does it mean that I don't appreciate the time and talent that goes into making each quilt. No, I really do admire the quilter. Pieces of a quilt must be cut precisely to fit together. They must be sewn, for the most part, with a 1/4" seam. After all the quilt pieces are sewn together, they must be quilted, either by hand or machine, to a batting and backing. Then, my least favorite task, the ends must be bound. Quilts take a lot of time and energy to complete. I never thought I'd loose interest, but since I started to melt glass, that has become my passion. There are never ending challenges with glass. There is always something new to try and learn. So, now, I've found a way to incorporate my passion for glass with my appreciation for the quilted works. I make glass thimbles! Now, I find even more satisfaction in my work.

Monday, November 17, 2008

My Lava Lamp is Naughty

I have nothing else to say.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Kim Westad: Ceramist

Whenever I shop on Etsy, I come to appreciate the value of handmade versus machine made. Oh, yes, there are some handmade items on which the artist must use tools and machinery, but the items are still handcrafted by the artist or artisan.

Today, I found a shop called: Kim Westad: Ceramist. This find is an astounding find! As I shopped her store, I found items that, literally, took my breath away because of the fine craftsmanship and unique quality of the item.
One of the many items in her store is this breath taking ceramic wedding cake. You can see this item and more in her store. Amazing!

I also found this fantastic Swirl Dish in Kim's Etsy store, too. Oh, my, her creativity is fantastic! I love the looks of this dish. Fabulous!

This is another sample of Kim's work. It's an ornament. It has the look of soft silk, and, yet, it is geometric and an item that can be used all year. I love it!

Be sure to shop Kim's store for your holidaze shopping! You will check off all the people on your shopping list very quickly if you shop in Kim's store.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Crystaline Tree

I just listed this tree in my etsy store. It's supposed to be my entry for the Creative Glass Guild of Etsy's December challenge. Oooops. It's only November. I can't post this until December! Oh, well, if it's not in the store by then, I'll make something else. Enjoy until then. It's absolutely gorgeous in person! I wish I could take decent photos.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Day of the Fuglies

Remember the bad I talked about yesterday? Well, when it comes to fuglies, you can see why I quit torching much earlier than I normally do. Nightmare upon nightmare! Dastardly beads!

Fuglie #1------------------------------------------->

I was working towards a reaction using silver blue
stringer made from frit. I don't think I got the reaction I was hoping for with this bead. Yuck. The photo actually makes it look good! Oh, btw, the dark line at the bottom of the picture is one of Spike's pieces of fur.

Fuglie #2-------------------------------------->

I decided to try making a mask. The theme would be when I am old, I shall wear purple and red. Do you see the attempt at glasses? Her nose looks broken. Her cheeks look like zits. Here hair looks like a volcano ready to explode. Oh, my! No mask there. She almost reminds me of the Grinch that stole Christmas!

Fuglie #3---------------------------------->

Again, I was trying to make a reactive bead. This one is just super ugly. Yuck!

Fuglie #4------------------------------------->

Again, with this bhb, I was trying for a reaction. oooops. Looks like that one didn't work either.

Fuglie #5----------------------------------->

Of all my fuglies, I like this one the best. I wanted to make a woman dancing for joy. Have you seen that TV commercial, and I'm not sure which organization it's advertising, but it's a non profit that feeds and clothes children. There is a young girl dancing. I wanted to convey a sense of joy and motion. Instead, I didn't quit when I was ahead. You really do have to know when you should give up. I have a lumpy figure who might be dancing. I don't know.

All I can say is, tomorrow is another day!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

It's Amazing what a Simple Act of Kindness Can do for the Soul

It's sort of like a warm fuzzy------------------->
Spike knows the feeling. I do, too, now.

Today was a gloomy day to start. Clouds and more clouds. There were dots of snow and a bits of ice. No sun. Just gloom. That did nothing for my mood which wasn't the greatest anyway.

Spike was smart. He just stayed in bed covered up and away from me. He sensed my mood.

I had to go shopping after torching. My torching session yielded nothing, and I do mean and emphasize, nothing but FUGLIES. I quit early because the muse stayed away, too.

Luckily, I didn't have to go grocery shopping or the world might not be spinning on its axis if I had. That's the kind of mood I was in this morning.

It was nearly lunch time when I left. Knowing I had to purchase a gift card at a certain restaurant, I opted to have lunch there. The waitress was absolutely wonderful. I remember thinking, "This is so nice having someone to take care of me for a change." She fussed and helped me tremendously. Of course, her tip was appropriate for that. I left feeling a bit better, but it was still cold and damp and cloudy. Grrrrrrrrrrr.

Next stop was at a department store. I had to pick a few items. I found them all on sale. The foul mood seemed to be lifting a bit. Then it happened. I got in line behind a lady who had a 30% off coupon. She was talking to the cashier, and she commented that it was the last day to use it. (Yes, you could use it on any sale items, too.) The coupon was scanned, and the cashier told this wonderful woman to save the coupon in case she came back later that day because it was good for the rest of the day. As the lady turned to leave, she walked back to me and quietly slipped the coupon into my hand. I never got her name! What a sweetheart! I know she won't read this because she said that she didn't have internet access, so she has no idea how this simple and humorous gesture lifted the negative cloud that was hanging over my head! Thank you, dear lady, where ever you are! Wow! So as I left, I saw a woman standing in line. I asked her if she had a coupon. "No," she said, "I don't." I handed her the coupon and left.

I don't know if it was as much of a day brightener for her as it was for me. I hope it was. All I know is that the simple kindness of a stranger improved my day for me. Thank you.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

May I Introduce, Hirum, the Hawk with Pink Eyes

I decided a long time ago that I would like to make a hawk out of glass. It's taken me a long time to get to the point of deciding that I could make a hawk. So, I did. I used twisties and a color of glass I cannot identify because it was unmarked and I couldn't find another rod that looked the same. I think this is a throw back to my newbie days when I didn't mark my colors. (Oh dear, I just realized that I still don't.) No wonder I can't find my raku. I guess I better get to work and label that. Anyway, back to Hirum. Hirum is mine. Why? If you haven't noticed, he has pink eyes. Why? I didn't mark my glass. Some transparent glasses are hard to see when I wear my dydium glasses. I thought I had grabbed a rod of transparent clear. Nope! It was transparent pink. That's why Hirum has pink eyes. He's not ill. He's just weird. He's the hawk with pink eyes. How many hawks have you seen with pink eyes? Not many I would imagine. I love Hirum, but I wish he had clear eyes. Can he see the world in a better way? I hope so! Here's his back side. I think he's just cute!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

What Am I Wokring on Now?

That is such an easy question to answer: Beads, Beads, and more Beads! I am melting lots of glass and making beads! Almost everyday, I light up my mini cc torch, and I make glass beads. I made t beads to sell. (Check out my etsy store.) I make beads for Beads of Courage, an outstanding organization dedicated to giving beads to children who are ill as they progress to through their treatment and to the families of children who have died. I make beads for me. I make beads for friends. I also make a little bit of jewelry. Here are a few photos.

This is Tuscadero, and he's in my etsy store right now.

These are a sample of some of the butterflies I make for Beads of Courage. Butterflies are given to grieving families about a month after a child has passed.

This is a bead I made for me. He's my creature! I really like him!

This is a teddy bear I made for a friend who loves candy corn. She liked this bear!

Here's one of my favorite pieces of jewelry. It's absolutely stunning!

Monday, November 10, 2008

I belong to a street team on Etsy called Etsy Bloggers. Every month, a team member is featured in our blogs. This month, the featured blogger is Storybeader. Storybeader has a wonderful Etsy store featuring wonderful jewelry! With each piece of jewelry that is purchased, the recipient recieves a haiku written specifically with that piece of jewelry. Of course, all of her jewelry is handmade, and it's absolutely wonderful! I love the Native American look that she features in so many of her pieces. Isn't this a gorgeous piece of wearable art! Awesome!

Deb loves to write, and she states in her profile that she welcomes written notes. Feel free to convo her and say hi!

Be sure to visit Deb's blog, too. The blog that caught my eye was the blog titled "Blog for Peace."
Deb used the words, "Donna Nobis Pacem," which literally means, "Give us Peace." Check out the rest of her blogs, too. This was a visit that I truly enjoyed. You won't be disapointed when you visit.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

And Is He Ashamed? I think not!

Imagine my surprise when I went downstairs this morning! This chair was in my mother's house before she died. It was vintage late 50's or early 60's. It has been something we've used for over years. Look what a certain dog who lives in this house did for only reasons he knows.

Have a closer look. I assume that this chair will go into the spring cleanup in 2009.

And is ashamed? I don't think so.

What do you think?