12.30.2008

Resolving and setting goals and all that jazz

I don't want to say it too loud, because the 'c' word (c-o-m-m-i-t-m-e-n-t) scares me,
but I plan on keeping a ridiculously strict month by month list of what I want to accomplish this year.
Discipline ~ another scary word. Lack of..is my problem.

Why am I speaking like Yoda? Hmm..maybe I should consider some English classes as well.

Mind over Matter has some very interesting things to say about disciplining and bringing about changes in yourself. I especially liked tip #5...

“Change what you are doing with your body to change the reaction of your mind. When your mental state is inappropriate, then scan your body. Notice what you are doing with your body. If there is tension, relax that area. If your posture is bad, straighten up. Also notice your breathing. Take regular deep breaths and you can literally change your state. As an exercise, try imitating people’s walking. Notice what it feels like to walk in another person’s shoes. This will convince you how important it is to change what you do with your body to change your mental states.”

Isn't that interesting?




"Named your fear must be before banish it you can." ~Yoda

12.28.2008

still a little nippy out..


This is the chilly view out behind our place. Doesn't that look bitter?!
It's still very cold here in my part of the country...-28 or so..frostbite will get your ears if you don't have them covered out in that kind of cold.
I wish I could stay in front of my torch today but I have things I have to do ~ so I guess I'm wearing my sexy long johns..

Hope you're all staying warm!

12.27.2008

Special on 'odds' ~handmade glass beads


I've put some strands of some of my odd beads together, and by 'odd' I mean they've been left over from a project or set~ and am offering them up here on my web log for a special price.

These are first come first serve.
I think what I've matched up in a strand would make some wonderful projects with some of your own added ingredients..
Just one for now..more to follow:
Paypal only for now.


Strand A ~ Mix and Match beautiful warm colorings of rootbeer ambers, encased coral and mauve prints and plains. There are 3 lentil shapes measuring 18mm with smallest of these beads at 8 x5mm. This entire strand of beads is 9.5 cm.

Sold~ Thank you!


12.22.2008

An Etsy 'Drive By'

My car is frozen and refuses to move and my toes haven't truly warmed up in 3 days. The weather channel says it's -38 today~ when oh when is this icy weather going to end!?
I've got some treasures for you this morning so go get yourself a nice hot cup of tea to wrap your hands around and come take a look. This is a quick Etsy drive by...featuring some new artisans who've just opened their shops.
I love peeking in brand spanking new shops..

'Player Man' by


wool empire waist beatnik dress by
Magpie and Birdie




pocket mirror by
Fatal Sweets





'Guitar Player' by
Dmkirwin



'Celeste' by
GoodQuillHunting




Five very talented souls, maybe one or two made it to your favorites.
I'm off to coax my poor baby to life so I can go and finish up my Christmas shopping, then I swear I'm DONE!!..
Happy Holidays everyone!


12.13.2008

Cool blog award - who me?

Susan of Hot Rocks Glass Jewels ~ creator of this seriously sweet piece of bling,



sent me this award



I'm tickled pink.

I've got a few blogs in mind that I'd love to pass this on to. Go, take a look at their sites and see if you agree!

coloring outside the lines
the enchanted eye
the beaded lily's sketchbook
three squabbling asians
where the walls are soft
objects and elements
tongue in cheek
flying colors

Enjoy!




12.10.2008

Wordless Wednesday - Jasper, Alberta



Shot out the car window on last summers road trip ~ sorry, it's so hard to be wordless..

12.08.2008

Manic Monday

I've been away for a couple of relaxing and joyous days..Bliss. Now Monday is in my face and I have to pay the piper. I've got a boatload of laundry and sink full of dirty dishes. On the upside the beads that were in the kiln when I left are lovely and I plan on continuing the set later this afternoon. Unless of course, the glass has other plans. I'll let you know how it goes.
At any rate, enjoy your day! I'm off to do my wifey chores..


11.29.2008

One of the reasons I love Glass..


This set began with a rod of Moretti glass called EDP..a glorious dense pink-y purple that needs special working in the flame in order to achieve that color...along with a selection of powdered glasses and a wad of pure copper leaf. (Please excuse my love of run on sentences. I've tried to stop using them but they just creep back in every so often..feel free to stop and take a breath whenever you feel the need.) The result is riotous colors ..a tsunami of greens and aquas and pinks that weren't there before. These are simple beads, rounds ~nothing special and most beginners start here...but this set is precisely the reason I love glass. Set of 6 encased (to magnify and hi-light the colors beneath) rounds available now on EBay.
'Perfect Storm'

11.22.2008

Please send me your links..

In my quest for a 3 column blog I seem to have lost my links..maybe you can help me find them. If you were linked to me please re-send me your info or simply comment here and I'll add you once again to my 'Noteworthy Blogs' in the side bar.
Oh yes, this is just what I needed. *sigh*
There is a moral..never try to do things the easy way. There is no easy way.

11.21.2008

Artisans to Note- Audrey Layne Combs

I stumbled across Audrey Layne Combs's work by accident. She is a multi- faceted artist who paints and draws and creates, but I was most fascinated by her 'Beauty of Age' series.



These are people you would walk by daily, perhaps without a second glance. This artist has the unusual ability to show us the beauty we're missing in these time worn faces. I especially enjoy her use of pushed color that seem to draw attention to each joyous line and fold.



It's such a beautiful positive statement about life and I'm glad I found this new member to Etsy. Thank you Audrey for agreeing to be part of my 'Artisans to Note' series!


What medium do you work in primarily and why?


I primarily work in oil in my paintings and pen and ink in my drawings. Oil paint is much more fluid than other paints, and I find it more suitable for the subject. Pen and ink is incredibly fine and precise, which allows me to get in all the detail and design in my drawings.

I especially enjoy your portraiture of mature faces...can you explain the appeal of this subject for you.
My work seeks to portray the overlooked divinity of the physical and mental transformation involved in the development of the elderly person... Whether from observation or imagination, each piece I create aspires to honor and celebrate the lives of these individuals, and communicate their beauty, dignity, worth, and wisdom.



Every passion includes a nasty job. Is there a part of your work that you will delegate when you make it big?

When I get big, I'll delegate all the marketing and photographing of my work, as well as shopping for supplies. I just want to do my work- I hate fooling with all the other stuff, because it takes more time than making the work itself.

What is it that you enjoy most about the process of your artwork?


I enjoy the therapeutic aspect of making my work- it is an escape. My mind, usually busy and worried about any number of things, becomes clear and relaxed.


What are your biggest obstacles regarding your art and what have you done to overcome them (it).


The biggest obstacle of my work over the duration of my art career is finally being able to execute what has been inside my head all along. It took many tries and failures to get my work to where it is now. Another obstacle is being able to see my work as others see it, or try to look at it objectively. I still have not figured that one out.


It can be difficult to work at home. Do you have a separate studio that you can go to or do you designate part of your home to your work.


I have a bonus room above my garage that I use as my studio. My husband and I just bought our first house, and I refused to buy anything that didn't have extra space for me to finally have a studio. That way I can roll out of bed and go paint while I drink my coffee if I like, and there's no need to get in the car and go anywhere.

Is there anything else about yourself or your work that you feel you would like us to know?


I am a full time art teacher during the day. I look forward to the time when my artwork sells enough so I don't have to work, and can just make art all day.




Thanks,

Click on any image to visit the artists shop. If you would like to see more of Audrey's work visit her site, Audrey Layne Combs
If you're interested in reading past 'Artisan to Note' interviews with the whimsical illustrator 'MarmeeCraft' or viewing the wonderful hand thrown creations of 'Mudstuffing' as well as the magical metal creations from Kirsten Skiles , please click on the respective links.

11.17.2008

My Work Desk



A couple of years ago I heard of an older couple that were moving into a care home. The children were selling some of their belongings, one of which was a desk. I was in dire need of a work desk, so I went out to take a look.
The address turned out to be a little mobile home upturned with boxes of belongings and worn furniture stacked so high you could barely turn around. I was struck by how sad it must be to have to pack your life up like that. On the other hand maybe they were quite satisfied with the arrangement and looked forward to their new home with eager anticipation. I do tend to fantasize.
At any rate, I liked the desk..I especially
liked the roll top feature. I could leave a mess behind and just pull the top down on it and have the room itself look neat and tidy. Very cool. They need to put this feature on more items. Beds and kitchen counter tops come to mind.
I brought the desk home and as I was cleaning it out I noticed the tiniest slip of paper wedged into the seam of one of the drawers. I was very curious and slid it out with my nail. It was a hand drawn pattern for what looked to be either a quilt piece or maybe a little doll boot.
A hard working crafter had owned this desk! I put the little slip of hand drawn pattern for who knows what back into the drawer and there it will remain with all of my own accumulating creative designs. I'm sure it's what keeps the muse flowing around that work desk.
That and my lucky purple socks.

11.13.2008

The Man who Sold Hotdogs

There was a man who lived by the side of the road and sold hot dogs.
He was hard of hearing, so he had no radio.
He had trouble with his eyes, so he read no newspaper.
But he sold good hot dogs.
He put signs up on the highway telling how good they were.
He stood on the side of the road and cried “Buy a hot dog, mister?”
And people bought.
He increased his meat and bun orders.
He bought a bigger stove to take care of his trade.
He finally got his son home from college to help him out.
But then something happened.
His son said, “Father, haven’t you been listening to the radio?”
“Haven’t you been reading the newspaper?”
There’s a big depression.”
“The European situation is terrible.”
The domestic situation is worse.”
Whereupon the father thought, “Well, my son has been to college: he
reads the papers and listens to the radio, he ought to know.”
So his father cut down on his meat and bun orders, took down his
advertising signs, and no longer bothered to stand out on the highway
to sell his hot dogs.
And his hot dog sales fell almost overnight.
“You’re right, son.” the father said to the boy.
“We are certainly in the middle of a great depression.”

~ from FDHR

11.10.2008

Buttons and Beads


My mother is a treasure collector. She’s had to give up many of her treasures as she’s gotten older and had to scale down, but there are still a few things from our collective history that adorn her home.

Her old box purse from her dating days is one of them.

It’s a beautiful little purse to be sure. I'm sure she was quite proud of that tucked under her arm at the dances in the 50’s. I’m assuming it was tucked under her arm...I’ve no idea what you did with a purse of that shape.

Eventually of course, the box purse became dated. Ever resourceful, and not wanting something so beautiful to sit in the back of a closet, it became a button box for Mom in her Mother days.

It has a creamy, satin finish decorated with raised florals and a gold button that snaps shut. The material is a sort of vinyl that intrigued me to no end as a small child. It's oddly comforting that she still has the box and in surprisingly good shape, with only a few of the flowers slightly deflated looking. I’m ashamed to say that some of those squashed down flowers were by my own curious albeit destructive hand while my mother was unaware.

I’ve begun constructing my own buttons lately. Some created from scraps of copper and silver and some flameworked glass ones as well. All flame-worked buttons have been kiln annealed. There are a couple of buttons available in the Etsy shop with more to go up soon. If you’re interested, take a look here.


11.06.2008

Who do you think you are?


Every so often I run across something on the web that stops me in my tracks and settles in my gut for a while...this morning I followed a link, found this site and watched the trailer for a powerful documentary on women and art.
I've always seen feminists as a group that sees all men as evil, so while I hesitate to recognize the feminist in me~ this touches some untapped part of me that wants to cry when I see it. I almost don't quite have words to express what this trailer evoked, but I know that I want to support this endeavor in any small way that I'm able.
Go. Watch it for yourself...then you'll understand better what this inadequate string of words is failing to express.

Take 10% Off Your Order at TimeForMeCatalog.com

11.02.2008

Amazing Etsians

From the talented artisans of Etsy...have a look at these.


Kabiri Ltd

Slide presentation of some Flame worked glass beads..



Each bead has been created in the flame with a pencil thin rod of glass and further decorated with any one of several techniques. One of my favorite is shards...the shards are prepared in advance of the base bead, on a hollow mandrel. A small wind of glass is applied to the end of the mandrel and carefully sealed up in a sort of beehive of glass. Small breaths of air are blown into the opposite end until you've blown a wonderful bubble of glass on the end. This bubble is then broken..producing the shards, which are then applied in the flame to a base bead. Great fun.. I know, I've talked about this before haven't I? and still no pix. What sort of a blogger am I?! The next youtube should be the shards...I'll think about that.
Blogged with the Flock Browser

10.29.2008

Today I'm 'it' ..just as I always knew I should be.

It seems I've been 'tagged' by the very talented Cindy Daniel of 'Behind the Scenes'and I'm now 'It'.

Which means I need to think of 7 things about myself you may not know. This shouldn't be hard since there's really only one thing most of you know about me for sure and that's that I do like glass. So, hmmm
....oh I hate these games..
7 things..
  1. I'm actually quite good at baking bread.
  2. I loathe baking.
  3. My absolute favorite thing right now is a bowl of popcorn, my fuzzy blanket and 'Dancing with the Stars'
  4. In my next life I want to be a dancer.
  5. I love watercolor..I haven't painted in 5 years but I used to be not too bad...faces mostly.
7 really?! 7.. tapping fingers..wracking wee brain..something interesting..something my children can read..

6. I try very hard not to but sometimes when I'm not thinking about it and things are not going right...shamefully, I bite my nails. eyuck..I know.
and 7. My car at this very moment looks like a family of racoons have been nesting there for several days.

..whew.. that was just painful.
Now the for easy part~my grand list of 7 lovely bloggers who have been tagged:
  1. Roxi Designs
  2. Torch by Night
  3. My Tutor List
  4. Marmee Craft
  5. Letters from a Hill Farm
  6. Dreaming Spirals
  7. Craft Gossip - Craft Blog Network
The rules are simple as rules should be:
  1. Link to my blog (tagger) on your blog.
  2. Give seven facts about yourself.
  3. Tag another seven blogs by leaving a comment on their blog and letting them know they were tagged and listing them (and their blogs) on your blog.
Enjoy your day everyone!

10.26.2008

Are you a Magpie too??

About 4 years ago I walked into a small shop in Kimberly, British Columbia. There's a really great shopping area there called the 'Platzl' .. a pedestrian mall. Lots of cobbled streets and fun, fun little stores. In one of these shops, just as you walked in there was a twig display set up vibrating with drops of glass of all imaginable color hanging from the branches. Have I mentioned yet the magpie tendencies I have? They were hanging in the sunlight and I think I touched every single one of them. I chose a drip of clear glass with a thin thread of tangerine running through the center and took it to the till. I mentioned how beautiful something so simple could be and she agreed and told me that her husband made them. "How?!" I asked..."With a torch." she said and I filed that bit of information away and left with my treasure.It was a few months later that I stumbled across an ebay seller with some rods of glass and a torch for sale. I couldn't get my visa card out fast enough.

Glass still fascinates me and for someone who has a hard time staying interested in anything for any length of time, that is a feat in itself.
If you have an interest in the making of handmade glass beads start simply. Read up on safety requirements ~ very important. Proper use of propane, safety didyium eyewear, and ventilation are some issues that need to be worked out before hand. My favorite haunts for information on this and More! are 'Wetcanvas' and 'Lampwork etc.' One of the best starter books out there is by Cindy Jenkins, "You Can Make Glass Beads" another, though slightly more expensive is by Corinna Tettinger called "Passing the Flame"..a treasure that I've pored over a gajillion times.
When I look at that little drip of glass now with a bit of knowledge under my belt and knowing what can be done with a rod of glass, I'm amazed that it was something so pure and simple that drew me so completely.
and it still dances from the mirror in my car ..

10.23.2008

One for the guys..

A sexy pair of flame worked cuff links...easy way for guys to accessorize.
I have a few prototypes that never made the cut but these turned out sweet. ~one piece of glass and very easy to slip on.
I ship these gift boxed with a small signed artisan card telling a little of the care of lampwork.

Check my etsy shop for the aventurine pair or Pop me a request if you want a pair made up for you.

10.19.2008

and for today..

'Tumult'
As always click on the image to visit the auction..enjoy your day! Ü

10.18.2008

Etsy finds of the Day

Sometimes I slow down and rather than listing and promoting my own work I take a look at all the incredible talent on Etsy. For those of you unfamiliar with 'Etsy' (think Betsy) it's an online venue for those talented souls who make wonderous creations with their hands.
You'll have to register, a relatively painless procedure. My tip to those visiting; begin with the treasuries (in the menu bar on the left hand of the front page). To be sure, they are a treasure trove.
Here's a brief synopsis taken from my stroll through in my pj's with my morning toast and tea.
Click on the images to see the artist's shop.