Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Day 2- Stranded at Home

Well yesterday I occupied my morning by selling off some glass, tools, books and videos. Today I considered what else I could sell but got side tracked by a cigar box. Oh, I just couldn't help myself. This is just the start of something great I hope. Who knows how it will end up.....I have some ideas but I really like to start something, leave it for a few hours and then look at it again anew....adding things each time I visit it. Thats my plan. I'll post the finished results sometime soon. Got an idea for me?? What should I add next?

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Ahead of Schedule & Things for Sale

The new year isn't even here yet and I've already begun my annual studio cleaning and reorganizing. You know what that means?? Things to sell! So, if your a jewelry nut or glass beadmaker or both, stay tuned. I will soon have some items for sale at great prices. I should have a few books, some glass, tools and even some non jewelry stuff like Stampin Up stamping things. Sometimes I'm surprized at what I find in my studios (yes, I have 2...one glass studio and one painting studio that usually ends up with all sorts of things squirred away)

Let me know if your interested in seeing what I will have up for sale....it could inspire me to pass on more things!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Looking ahead...

Look for my One World One Heart give away item in January! It will be something fun...something whimsical....something special! All you will need to do is place a comment under my One World post (coming soon) and you will be entered into my drawing.

Also, I will be hosting a very special promotion in February too so stay tuned for more information.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Fun Stuff

We had our book club meeting yesterday at my friend Sue's house. It was our Holiday meeting where we exchange gifts and eat well. One of my favorite things to do at Sue's house is to look at all her cleaver ways of displaying things. Here are just a few of my favorites...hope you like them too.

I just love her style and her sense of humor. Thats one reason she is a friend....there are lots of other reasons too but I won't go on and on :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Being Thankful

Do you realize how lucky you are? Do you appreciate all that you have? Are you thankful for the people who surround you? Thanksgiving is about all that. Taking the day to celebrate the shelter you have, the food you have and all those who love you.

Gratitude is something that is easily dismissed or overlooked but we have lots to be thankful for. There are just so many who just don't have the basics due to poverty or natural disaster. I'm feeling the need to stop and appreciate all that I have and I hope you do too. Please know, I'm very thankful for all of you who appreciate my work, check into see what's up on my blog and all who support me by purchasing my work. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving, enjoy the time spent with family and sit back with a smile knowing you have a great life!

Monday, November 9, 2009

City Nights & Display Windows

Great display windows are a favorite of mine. I remember growing up my mother would take my sister and I to New York City a few times a year and it was always the best of times. It would be a big family thing at Thanksgiving too since we would be taken out of school to make our annual trip. NYCity is so much fun that its hard to settle on just one memorable thing but the store windows really intreged me. Here in Rochester the display window is really a thing of the past....but I think stores are making a BIG mistake when they don't spend the extra time to create a beautiful atmosphere for passers by to peek at. Especially at night.

This is just one of 4 window displays at Arena's, a local city florist. They really are much more that a florist since they carry interesting things for the home too. On dismal days in the winter I love going into Arena's to smell the dirt and flowers and to imagine spring. They make some of the best store windows too but I'll be showing you more later this month.....love the night do you?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Juggling with a bad cough

This is the time of year I seem to always get sick. I think its because of a couple of things...the change of season, the fast pace of both my jobs, being with children & their germs all day long and all the classes I teach....I admit, this illness came maybe a wee bit later but its here!.

Today I'm feeling much better but remain to have a bit of a cough. Certainly not as tired nor am I coughing as much as last week. All of this is a good thing. I looked at my November calendar yesterday while resting and panic began to take over. I just have no time to be sick any longer! Events are creeping closer and I'm barely prepared. I tend to be a work under pressure person but its going to be a wild ride to get to where I need to be.

So. I have a work schedule and plan to keep to it.....the best that I can of course. Today I want to start simple so I will be making buttons. I hope to have a few dozen. Maybe....a few starts to some other things too if my energy holds up.

How do you juggle the pressure of deadlines when your sick?? I feel like I must be missing something.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Felt & Glass Brooches

OMG! These are awesome! I have a new batch of Felt and Glass button brooches heading to Parkleigh later today. So much fun to make but loads of work to these babies. Worth every penny of a bargin price. I'm making more today and will have something up on my website and etsy shop too. Stay tuned :)

I love this fun Halloween one....I need to make one for myself!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A Whole New Look

It took some time but we finally decided to reside our 85 year old house and get a whole new look. As the old siding was removed this dark charcoal color & white trim was revealed. Not the greatest but not horrible either. It could have been much worse.

Each day I come home from work I see progress. I just can't wait for everything to be done. After this outer make over we are replacing our old furnace and getting central air! WOW! I never thought I'd see the day we would have central air! I am so happy with our home improvement projects!

I do love older homes and all their character. I have certainly grown to love this house. Hmmmm....I'm wondering if I'll get any studio improvements too?? I have been eyeing the second floor area in our garage :) Also referred to as the "man space".

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Starting the School Year

Its October already but beginning a school year isn't just about the first day or first week of school. The start of the year means meetings, open houses, planning and more meetings! What does this have to do with beads??! Well, these are the things that have kept me away from blogging and some beading too. I will have some new things in my Etsy shop later today if I find the time to photograph things. I'm putting a few of my Halloween items in my shop and taking some to a local store that sells my work.

With the start of the school year there is also sickness. YUCK! No matter how much you hand wash, purell and cross your fingers, the germs can still reach you! Thats the life of a teacher. Thankfully, my immune system is pretty good but the fall and the change of season always seems to get the better of me.

Today I'm teaching a Felted Glass Button Pin class and then heading to my Dad's for dinner. Have a great Sunday and stay tuned. I promise, updates will get better!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Fiber Festival

Yesterday was a perfect day to enjoy the Fiber Festival in Hemlock. My sister Jacqui, my niece Summer, Peter and I left around 9:00 and shopped the fairly large show till 2:00. Lucky Peter came along with us since my sister entered the wrong address into her GPS and we would have been god knows where missing out on the goodies! I came home with tons of roving and will probably kick myself later for not purchasing a few things too. I really wanted this rug hooking kit but I tend to over do it in the "I have to make this" department if you can believe that. So, I was demonstrating restraint. Not a fan of restraint.

The day wrapped up with a birthday celebration for my brother in law. We watched the Bill's actually win, played other fun games and had pizza all outdoors. Pete and I rode the motorcycle so we had a chilly but nice ride home.

What a great day it was. Now, its time I head to the shower and prepare for work!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

It Felt Good

My felt and glass button pins where a hit! Anytime I make something new I like to make just a small quantity to see how it is recieved by you, the public. I was delighted to know that these fun to make pins where a great success. I'm currently making more to place in galleries and shops that carry my work and I will be placing some on my website too.

This week I'm laying low to recover from the weekend festival and to keep up with my back to work schedule. I plan to gradually build up tempo again later in the week and keep pace with my blogging and bead making.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Clothesline Festival

Aaahhhh, the first week of school is at an end but the festival weekend is just getting underway. No time to be tired now. I hope all my local friends will stop by the Clothesline Arts Festival at the Memorial Art Gallery and stop by my booth to say hello! I'm booth number 729...located in the front left corner of the gallery. I'm looking forward to all the fun and excitement! See you there :)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Going to Cirque...

OMG! Finally. cirque de soleil is coming to Rochester! I've seen plenty of their shows.......on video that is. I'm a HUGH fan. Believe it or not when I was younger I was a contourtionist and was very flexible. I'm sure if cirque was around then I would have wanted to become part of their troop somehow. I've seen this particular show on video but I know real life will be so much better. I've purchased the best seats....we are right up front.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Cute as Cupcakes

Here are a dozen of my cute cupcake beads. I'm making them into pendants and earrings for the upcoming show. They sold out for me at my last one. I'll show you what they look like once finished later this weekend.

Monday, August 31, 2009

New Skulls & Bones

Trying to revamp some of my old favorites. Anyone who knows me, knows I have an obsession with anything Mexican. Particulary the Mexican Holiday, Dia De Los Muertos...Days of the Dead. So currently I am doing Sugar Skulls and Funny Bones...the sugar skulls I've done for some time now but this year I've made them larger and the elements raised rather then melted in. The bones are now colorful and with either dots or stripes. I'll be making these into necklaces for the upcoming festivals so I'll show you the final results later.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Bead of the Week Prompt...Cooking!

This prompt may be a bit strange. I had really intended to share a favorite recipe (which I will in a minute) from one of my favorite cookbooks (pictured above) but then I remembered how I've totally neglected my bead prompts. So lets just combine both! I told you this might be strange. Here is the prompt: cooking. How to incorporate cooking into a bead or jewelry design. Its so broad that you could really go off in many different directions with it. I'm going to keep this prompt for a few weeks since I have school starting and a show to work towards. Being that this prompt is so....odd.....I want to keep it for a while to let things brew. I'd LOVE to have someone or a few of you join me in this. I'll gladly link your blog or image so I can share what you've done too. Lets say have something by Oct. 3rd. That way you have time to create if you decide to join in!

Okay. Now for one of my favorite recipes:
1. 10 oz package of frozen chopped spinach. Thawed and sqeezed of excess water.
2. 2 cps feta crumbled.
3. 1 stick butter
4. 1 1/2 cps chopped onion
5. 2 cloves minced garlic
6. 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
7. 4 eggs. I use one full egg with yolk and 3 with just the egg white. of course, I've completely omitted the eggs too and nobody seemed to notice.
8. 1 thawed package of filo dough. Thawing completely is the trick of using this dough

Saute onions in about 1 tab butter along with the garlic. Add dill to the mix. Add the sauted mixture to the thawed and drained spinach, add feta and eggs. Mix well and set a side.

Melt remaining butter. Butter bottom of a 9X13 pan. Mine is glass. Add filo dough one layer at a time. Butter each layer with your melted butter and a brush. Stack 4 or 5 layers and then add 1/2 of your spinach mixture. Add 4-5 more buttered layers of filo and then add your second spinach mixture layer. Add final 4-5 filo layers and bake for 30 minutes at 375.

Its soooo goooood.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

New Beads

These are beads I've currently been making. They are substantial is size too. Again, not my typical color scheme but its nice to take a walk on a different side isn't it??

I'm thinking of putting them up in my Etsy shop...what do you think?? I'll hold onto some to make into something special however.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Etsy Blogger of the Month

Well. I'm new to the etsy blogger team and therefore a bit late in this post. I wanted to get in the groove of posting so better late then never right?? This etsy blogger is so fun! Memories for Life Scrapbooks is a great blog that showcases the art of scrapbooking all that is important to you. Check out her etsy shop for cool albums of all kinds!

Etsy Twitter Team Shop of the Week

Each week our team selects one of its members to spotlight. We tweet, we fb and we blog to give these shops some love and in hopes you will visit. Here is our latest Shop of the Week, Nikky Lee Designs....Great jewelry and amazing photography!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Arts at the Gardens

I can now exhale. We just returned from my weekend arts show at Sonnenberg Gardens and dinner at our favorite Thai resturante, Churi's located just down the street from us. I'm full, tired and ready for vegging out in front of the TV.

Of course I've been away from blogging and most everything else since I've had my nose to the grind stone in preparation for this show and for another one coming up in 2 weeks. School begins in a week and I have to shift my life from my summer mode to day job work mode really soon. Gosh, I'm just not ready but its always that way come late August.

I hope you will check in later this week and I should, and I mean should, have some items up in my etsy shop. Tonight is R&R and then bright and early planning for what I need to make for the next show.
Nighty night.....

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Buttons & Bows....

These are a few of the funky felted pins I'm making! I just love them. Texture, line, color...glass, felt and beads!! These will be up in my etsy shop either later today or tomorrow. I need to get a few more photos before I put them up. Let me know what you think of them.

Oh, I teach this class a few times a year....Maybe you'll want to learn how to do this the next time I offer the class later in September! its always fun to see what everyones turns out looking like :)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

365 Days of Inspiration

I just purchased this book and it arrived yesterday. Its for any creative spirit and it helps to keep the creative juices flowing. Of course, I'll have a hard time using the book as suggested (it goes by day...monday, tuesday, etc..) I find that I want to just do what looks like fun. But, I will try my best to follow as suggested (for a while). Today, being Wednesday, I will start on day 3. Crayon Therapy. So...I will buy myself a brand new box and play.

What do you do to keep your mojo flowing?

Monday, August 3, 2009

Linda Makes A Swirly Winged Heart

Linda Makes a Swirly Winged Heart

This is my first "How To" video. I think it came out pretty good but there is always room for improvement. I'd love to hear your feedback about this short clip so please leave a comment. By watching my approach to heart making, I hope it inspires you to make your own unique heart.

Due to time constraints, the video begins with a cone bead rather than watching me gather on the glass. I'll have this up on YouTube shortly....currently I'm having a little problem getting it uploaded there

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Jewelry displays & glass cases for sale

This locking display hold beads and has mirror on two sides.

A great wooden locking earring display. As you can see it was from a jewery company but I use to put my business card right over it..I have these up on Craig's List so check them out if at all interested.

I'm in the process of cleaning my studio (an annual thing) and preparing for a garage sale. These display items were once retail store displays & I used them for sometime. I now need the space so I must part with some things that are taking up room.

I love these glass cases BUT.......I have to get rid of them. My husband has suggested this for sometime now and I'm a little more agreeable with his idea. These are up on Craigs List too. Absolutely nothing wrong with them. They just need a new home.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Happy Heart

I think that says it all. A happy heart loves life, its kind and giving. In my world, a happy heart is a colorful place....I have a few Happy Heart Pendants in my etsy shop along with a Mended Heart too. Key to My Heart Pendants will be up soon. I'm in a heart mood so watch out!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Kids R Kute

Last Saturday during my Open House I had Kristen's daughter of Gocksfrocks do a bit of modeling for me. She was a natural model.

I love her hairstyle and smile....

I kept thinking of her as a woodland fairy....too bad I didn't have a fake toadstool for her to sit on! My cast iron chair worked fine however.

And here is the big close up. I only wish I had a different necklace on her....something a bit more lively.

Monday, July 20, 2009

How I Felt

I like to teach felting in the summer. It's so much easier managing the wetness when your outdoors teaching and you can just squeeze the water out onto the patio..... without getting up! Last week I taught a small class and shared how to make beads, felt flat pieces, how to needle felt, etc.... I shared all the little tips I know about keeping things simple and relatively controlled. Felting is definitly addicting since its fairly easy and inexpensive to do.

Those who take my class leave with plenty of beads and a somewhat finished pin. I encourage that much of the embellishing to be done at home when you can spend more time and really contemplate what you want to do. I have a selection of glass buttons and people pick one to be the focal of their pin. So much fun to see what everyone does.

Carol was my lovely student the other night and for a few hours we felted like crazy. During my Open House Carol came by and brought her finished pin to show off. It looks fantastic don't you think?!!!

I FELT so proud :)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Lights, Color, Action...praying to the photographic gods

Photographing your work to get an accurate representation is challenging. Its as if the planets must be aligned and the lighting must be just right to capture the true essence of your work. Yikes. Thats alot to ask for. Needless to say, I've been challenged today with my photographic work. So, please keep in mind when I share my latest pieces, the photography isn't world class...

My newest style could be called primitive, distressed, earthy......with a splash of color. I don't know really how to best describe it but it has an edge to it. I'd also say that my newest work is about our own duality and religious rituals. . I guess I'd call it a "Line of work" and I've named it Saint and Sinner. We all have both of these qualities within our personalities but its which trait that is strongest that gives us our personalities. I like to think of most of us as "Saints"........we are good people but we have our moments of doing naughty things ....the "Sinner" side of us all. I am really into human behavior and certain religious rituals particularly buddhist. So, here is a glimpse into what is going on inside my head

Look for more of my Saint & Sinner work on my website....soon. I have to be remotely happy with the images before I'll put them up :)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Featured Artist~Nikki of Bastille Bleu

From time to time, I like to showcase fabulous artists that I come across here on my blog. There are just so many talented people out there. I came across Nikki's work and was stunned to find out that she is a True Blue self taught lampwork artist. She hasn't taken not one class! I think her work is pretty terrific. Here is a little bit about Nikki, her work and where you can find her stuff....

1. How long have you been making beads and/or jewelry? I've been making glass beads for close to three years now, complete self-taught but saving up to take some classes from some of the well-respected and talented instructors out there.

2. What has been the most challenging aspect of your work/ business? I think the most challenging part is trying to decipher how someone else make a particular bead or design and trying to try it out for myself with my own spin on it, and learning this craft from reading about it, watching videos, buying tutorials, lots of practice, learning from my successful moments and "what was I thinking" moments.

3. What do you like best about your work? I love the creative aspect that lampworking provides me and the fact that I can do what I love, at home in my own studio! I feel very blessed.

4. Where can people find your work? My lampwork beads and jewelry are primarily being sold on Etsy.com. My lampwork bead shop at http://www.bastillebleu.etsy.com, and my Lampwork Jewelry shop at http://www.bastillebleubijoux.etsy.com. I also occasionally sell my beads and jewelry at local venues in my area when the opportunity presents itself.

5. Who or what inspires you? There are so many artists who's glasswork truly inspires me such as Kimberly Affleck, Corina Tettinger, Lina Khan, Beatice Killeen (Fried Peas Lampwork), Vickie Miller (HipKittyBeads), Kandice Seeber, Kristine Dery (Krissy Beads)... just to name a few, and of BellaBeadJewelry! Im also inspired by things I love ..... simplicity, holidays, Mary Engelbreit Designs, animals, colors, nature, and sometimes even by a clothing catalog or a dream.

6. What is a fun fact about you? Im a huge fan of history (especially Medieval History) and actually belong to a world-wide organization called the Society of Creative Anachronism (www.sca.org) where we have fun re-creating the European Middle Ages by dressing in appropriate clothing of a specific time period (between 600 - 1600th century), learning and living the daily activities, skills, arts, combat, and entertainment of the Middle Ages, but without all the unpleasantness of the plague, famine, pillaging, etc... and all during a weekend camping event, and on occasion, sometimes longer which are typically known as "wars".

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Sunday Stuff

Wow. The sun is shining today and there is NO rain!! We have been hit with a very wet end of June and start of July. Not fun. So today the sun shines and there is little to report. Today has been filled with relaxing things. No rushing around. No where special to be. Nice. I took a nice walk to begin my day, coffee, and then a little of this & that. But I do have something to show you........I'm really enjoying my "new" look these days. Of course with anything new, I tend to hold my breath to see if it really comes out okay....

I like it! I'm going to eventually work it into a necklace design but that idea is still brewing.

My biggest news is about all the windows Peter has been busy installing!! Our house was built in 1924 and we had the original windows........very drafty in the winter to say the least. We now have all new windows thanks to my wonderful husband....new siding happens mid August. Can't wait for that too.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Fixing your own mistakes

Beadmaking is my first love but I do enjoy knitting too. Its like I always need something to keep my hands busy...always need something to create. I just love the colors, textures and all the possibilities that knitting provides. Its also hard for me to do just one project at a time. Currently, I'm working on a tank top, a dog sweater and a bustier....The tank top is my BIG focus. I must finish this and be able to wear it THIS summer! So, I've been busy knitting away when I have the time and am near to reaching the arm area...last night after beadmaking and other household stuff, I sat down to knit. I was cruising along when I noticed that I dropped a stitch!! I first panicked because my girl Pam has just moved her shop and she doesn't open til next week. She ususally bails me out of situations. Then I went to my computer and googled "Fixing Knitting Mistakes" and tah, daaaaaa. There was, a video on fixing dropped stitches! I'm happy to report that I too can fix things!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Etsy Stuff Video

Stray Beads For Sale

In an attempt to get more organized once again in my studio, I have discovered some stray beads that need to find a home. I hope you'll take a peek and see what might find a home with you. I'll be adding things throughout the morning to my Etsy Shop. This is one of my strays. A beautiful cone bead that I just know someone else will love too.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Sentimental Art

As many of you know, I'm an Art Teacher by day. I work with K-2nd graders and just love what I do. To me, its just the best job to have.

For sometime now, I've wanted to incorporate childrens art work into a special piece of jewelry but didn''t know how I wanted to do this. I toyed with the idea of sandwiching the art between glass but really wasn't settled with this. But now with my growing expertise with pmc I've discovered a way to do this in a way I visually like! I can take your child's art, and make it into a beautiful pendant or bracelet made of fine silver!

The one I'm showing was drawn by a kindergartner. I had originally wanted to do this as a retirement gift for a teacher at our school but timing was an issue. So I kept the artwork and made this example with it......I didn't know if it would really work or not.

Here is what the drawing looked like. Once I transfer it to pmc I cropped what I wanted...otherwise it would be fairly large. I made this one into a pendant but I want to do a bracelet next. To bad the school year is done :( I need some kids to do drawings for me so I can make another example!!

I have my Children's Art Pendants listed in my etsy shop and they are done by special order. I'm hoping that these will do well during the holiday season. I'll be asking my niece's, nephew and afternoon art students to do some sample drawings for me to build up a nice display of possibilities. So, keep this in mind...........they are sure to make a great sentimental gift!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hearts & Hands

I want to Thank Everyone who contributed to honoring the memory of Hannah Congdon & the 5 "angels" who tragically lost their lives in a terrible car accident 2 years ago by purchasing a specially priced Hannah Heart from me this month! I've roughly sold 40 hearts making my donation to Joining Hearts and Hands a whopping $800.00!! Well, at this moment, I'm just 4 hearts shy of that figure but I know that I'll make it.

This sounds mushy but we only have one life to live and part of having a good life, I believe, is giving and helping others. Simple words but hard to life up to. Its not always easy to be helpful, kind and giving. Sometimes challenging people are put in front of you. But underneath all our issues, I really do believe in the goodness of people.

Next year has a big benchmark to meet! Hope you will be part of my annual month of giving next June :)