Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Another Glassy Friend-Anne Ricketts!

I first met Anne at the Gathering in Minneapolis in 2007. I was able to take a class from her. Not only was it a great class, but it was so much fun, and Anne was the reason for each of those things. I learned a lot in that class, and, I became a better bead maker. Now, enjoy Anne's answers to my questions.
1. Please give us a short biography of yourself.
Hi, I'm Anne Ricketts and I'm a beadaholic! I'm actually a lot of "aholics" all rolled into one because I love creating things whether it's making beads or knitting or quilting, etc. I've been creating some sort of art my whole life and I don't see me stopping anytime soon! I live just outside of Austin TX with my husband David and our two sons, Austin and Cameron. We have two older children and a grandson, Chris and Amanda and Kenison and they live in Louisiana. I have lived most of my life all over TX except for the 6 years I lived up in WA state where I went to high school. I hope to move back there one of these years!
2.What is or has been the greatest influence on your art?
Fabrics and my imagination. I was an avid quilter for 13 years and some of the patterns I use in my beadmaking come from fabric patterns. I love abstract art also and that's where the imagination comes in.
3. If you could go anywhere at anytime, where would you go and why?
WA state to see my family and Murano Italy to drool over all the glass or on a African safari for more inspiration!
4. Earth, Wind, Fire, or Water--Which are you and why?
I never have really thought about this but I think I'm a little of each! Earth because I love nature and flowers, Wind because my mind wanders like the wind, Fire, because I love to work with the flame and Water because I love the ocean and rivers!
5. If it's true that art reflects life, how does your art reflect your life?
I know a lot of beadmakers that only focus on certain styles but I do a lot of different styles of beads. My artwork comes from being ADD. Because of this, I can't focus that much on one thing, I'm always thinking ahead for the next step! That's kind of how my life is, always planning ahead for the next thing and trying to cope with it when it gets here!
6. What is your greatest treasure? Why?
My family! Everything I do in life is for them and in return they keep me on my toes, give back to me love, laughter and happiness!
7) What is your greatest accomplishment? Why?
Becoming a mother first then being published and becoming an instructor. I was like butterfly in life for the longest time, flying here and there, never really landing until I got married and had children. That was my dream come true but then glass came into my life and I felt I needed to accomplish more in life, that's why I became an instructor, because I love to teach what I have learned. Being published in two Bead Reviews was just the icing on the cake!
Many of us melt glass to relax, how do you relax?
I knit or crochet while I watch tv. I'll be taking Bronwen Heilmen's metal class in Oct. so hopefully I'll be doing that as well to relax, or get my frustrations out! LOL! Never was a big reader!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Not Buns of Steel but Arteries of Steel!

Now known as the Man of Steel by his cardiac surgeons, Harvey has 13 stents in his arteries to help keep the blood flowing to his heart. Sue and Harvey have been family friends for years. Our sons were great friends in high school and remain so today as grown men. In last two years, Harvey has been having some serious troubles with his heart. This trouble has his doctors baffled. They just don't know why his arteries keep clogging up. It's not the way Sue and Harv eat. Believe me, it's good food, but it's not the artery blocking kind. I've eaten there. If you try to go for a walk with Harvey, you better bring running shoes and not walking shoes, because it's very hard to keep up with him. He's no couch potato. Yet, those arteries keep clogging up for reasons unknown to the medical profession. One day, Sue, Harv and I sat down trying to figure out ways to help keep Harvey's arteries clean and clear. We were no better than the doctors who have been working with Harvey since his heart troubles began. Granted, we aren't doctors, but we all do watch the TV ads about heart disease. After a discussion, we decided to let the doctors figure this out, if they can. I went home. The next day I realized I needed a plunger. I stopped at my favorite hardware store, Mutch Hardware in North Mankato. I picked up a plunger and drove on my way to finish my errands. As I was driving, I looked at the label on the plunger! Eureka! I went back to Mutch Hardware and bought another one. The next day, I went over to see Sue and Harvey again. I handed Harvey the extra plunger and I said, "The next time you go see your cardiologist, have him use this." The name of the plunger was Harvey's Multi Angle Plunger. I think it found the right home. The next time the doctors see Harvey, they don't have to figure out why he's clogging up, all they have to do is to use that plunger. Remember, it's multi angle. They can go in with the plunger from any angle, and Harvey's arteries will be clear. I tried it. I really think it worked, too!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Church Suppers They Are the Best!

Tonight, I drove to Vernon Center, Minnesota, about 20 miles from my home, for a church supper at the Lutheran Church there. It was delicious! On the menu were hot beef sandwiches, potato salad, baked beans, and the greatest dessert of homemade pie and ice cream. Oh, my goodness! I honestly thought I had died and gone to heaven! What a way to go! I did make it home successfully, and, now, I'm stuffed. Those Church Ladies at the Lutheran Church know how to make that food! Next week, we are going to try the Catholic Church that the Lutherans share a parking lot with for services. They are serving turkey. We'll see who makes the best food then! I can hardly wait!

Now for a quick tour of the church, and you'll get to see the Church Ladies at work!

Of course, this was the sign that greeted you as you pulled up to St. Peter's Lutheran Church. This is the promise of a wonderful meal.

Isn't the altar beautiful? The church is a beautiful church in Vernon Center!

Here's Paula and another Church Lady serving their wonderful Hot Beef Sandwiches. People were even able to take them to go! What a great supper on a beautiful fall evening!

Look at that beautiful table! Homemade pies were on either side of the decorations. I had pecan pie with ice cream. Wow that was great!
Next week, we're off to the Catholic Church for turkey. This is really a win! win! Don't you wish you were with me for dinner? Delciious!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Bead Soup Unleashed! They Liked My Necklace.

I attended the Women's Expo in Mankato with my friend, Paula. We had a great time. There were over 100 booths that all catered to women. There was a great deal of health information for problems ranging from incontinence to sleep issues. There were freebies at every booth. I did comment to the doctor who was "manning" the incontinence booth that perhaps they should be giving out clothespins at that booth. He laughed and said, "That is something we will consider for next year." I love doctors who have a great sense of humor. I took my camera, but, I didn't take a single picture. I'm sorry for that. Hopefully, next time, I will. People commented on my necklace and bracelet, and everytime they did, Paula would say, "Here's a heart that Mallory made from a wine bottle." She likes the jewelry I make for her. Of course, I forgot my business cards. Paula was a walking business card for me. Thank you, Paula! The great news is that people liked my necklace and bracelet! That was the best part of the women's expo for me, that is, other than the hand massage. They would only massage one hand so that you could feel the difference between the two hands. That was really nice. I only wish that they had massaged the other hand. Oh, well. The Bead Soup necklace and bracelet were a hit! The Women's Expo was a success. Good day. See you tomorrow. Oh, you see the necklace, now here's the bracelet.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Bead Soup for Supper Today!

I have all of the ingredients! I have hollows. I have discs. I have spacers. I have corkscrews.
I have all the beads I need, and, I hope, a little more, to make a necklace that makes people say, "WHERE did you get that?" Tomorrow, I am going to the Women's Expo. I want to wear my new necklace, and, I hope, my new bracelet. I want to WOW people with them. I want to hand out my cards. I want people to want to visit my ETSY store. I want them to be excited about what they see. I have been making these beads with these goals in mind. Now the time has come.
Bead Soup for supper. I want it to boil not simmer. Tomorrow, I'll let you see the finished result. Until then, bead soup for supper, or should I go Mexican? It's just too hot to cook today. It's our last day of summer, literally. I don't think we'll see this warmth again until next year. Bead Soup! Bead Soup!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

More of My Favorite Things

Yesterday, I talked about some of my favorite things--tools that I use for lampworking! Today, along with "Rain drops on roses, and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens," I want to show you some more of my favorite things and how I use them. Lets get busy, shall we?

This is one of my favorite tools. It's a tube shaper from Cattwalk Tools. I use it every day. Whenever I begin a bead, whether it's tube shaped or not, I shape and reshape the bead using this tube shaper. It's got a good solid wood handle, and there are 5 different sizes of grooves to shape your beads. I even use it to shape cones! It works!

A lampworker always needs a marver. This is my "new" one. My original marver came loose, and the handle has slipped off. So, I ordered this one. It's bigger, and I use it every single day. The only thing I don't like about it is that the handle is made of a metal that gets very cold in the winter. The rest of the marver is made of graphite. Love it!

This is my most recent purchase of tools. I bought it from a member of Lampwork Etc. who makes these tools and brass shapers. Check out her Etsy Store. I like it because it mashes flat. There are no curves in it. It works well for many of the beads I make. It's also made of brass.

I have a second set of mashers. These mashers are longer than my mini mashers, but I like them because, with these, you can't squeeze as hard as you can with the mini mashers. I use them for making discs and the discs you need to make to make hollow beads. Love them! I don't remember where I bought them, but I'm so glad I did!

That's segment 2 of my favorite things. Tomorrow, the last installment of my favorite things.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

These are a Few of My Favorite Things

Do you remember Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music singing this song? She had such a beautiful voice! Now that you've read this, will you be able to quit singing that song? I don't know. It's pumping through my brain as I write. Anyway, Julie sang about "rain drops on roses, and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles, and warm woolen mittens." These are really fine things to have and appreciate. Here in Minnesota those warm woolen mittens come in handy in the cold winter months. Now, to the person who melts glass, whether you be a beadmaker or a sculptor, you know we need tools! In my view, the more the merrier, however, we do tend to run out of room after a bit. So, "When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I'm feeling sad, " I look at my tools, and I'm glad.
I looked up the definition of a tool at dictionary.com I use that site a lot! Here's how they defined tools.

(tōōl) Pronunciation Key
  1. A device, such as a saw, used to perform or facilitate manual or mechanical work.
    1. A machine, such as a lathe, used to cut and shape machine parts or other objects.
    2. The cutting part of such a machine.
    3. A bookbinder's hand stamp.
    4. A design impressed on a book cover by such a stamp.
  2. Something regarded as necessary to the carrying out of one's occupation or profession: Words are the tools of our trade.
  3. Something used in the performance of an operation; an instrument: "Modern democracies have the fiscal and monetary tools . . . to end chronic slumps and galloping inflations" (Paul A. Samuelson)
I decided that for the next few days, I will show you some of my favorite tools from my "studio." Now these are tools that I use every single day that I make beads. I don't exagerate
when I say that. Rather than turn this into a blog that will make you fall asleep, I am going to carry this blog on for a few days. Well, maybe you'll fall asleep anyway, but I'll have the pleasure of knowing you can't quit singing "These are a few of my favorite things."

The first thing I'm going to show you is my brass stump shaper. The edges are beginning to show signs of wear. Whenever I need to move glass, make a dent in hot glass, reshape some glass, I grab my stump shaper.

I have the small sized stump shaper. There are larger ones available, but, for now, this one suits my needs. The handle is a little bit loose, but I think some glue will keep it together.

I found the next tool at the local thrift store. I think I paid 25 cents for this wonderful tool. I use it whenever I need to crease hot glass, to move hot glass. I use it almost as many times a day as my stump shaper. You can see the burn marks from when this has been in the fire.

Many people use a razor tool for creases and indentations. I use my 25 cent spreader. I don't think I could do without it!

Now this unique tool has seen a lot of HOT glass. I use it everyday when I make my butterflies for Beads of Courage. I use it as a ruffling tool.
I don't know what it's actually called, but it's original purpose was for wire wrapping. By using it, you are supposed to be able to get consistent sized wraps. I've never used this tool in that way, but it has served me well when using it for hot glass.

Please let me introduce you to my mini mashers. I use these everyday for various things, including the butterflies I make for Beads of Courage. I used to own a regular size of mashers, but I guess I am just not strong enough to squeeze them to make them work. I finally gave up and gave them away. I could never mash anything with the big mashers, but these mini mashers are a dream come true for me. You can see the burn marks on the blades. They have had a lot of use, both in and out of the fire.

The last tool I'll show you today is my Obsidian Shaper.
All right, for those who know better, I know that's not the real name for this tool, but, even though I searched for the correct name, I couldn't find it. When used in the way it was intended, you can shape some of the most beautiful egg shaped barrel type beads you have ever seen. I use this wonderful graphite tool to help me round out beads. I have used it to make the egg shaped barrel type bead, but I think I need more PPP. The graphite helps to move the hot glass into a much rounder shape. I have found that this tool can work wonders with a lopsided hollow bead. I love it! Someday, I will use it for the purpose for which it was intended.

Now, for the novice bead maker who might be reading this blog. You can do without a lot of the tools I have. The tools, other than those you can make yourself or find in a thrift store, are very much worth the money you spend. I do not buy a tool until I am ABSOLUTELY convinced that I will use that tool on a regular basis. I have sold tools that I thought would work, but I found that I couldn't use them in the way they were supposed to be used, or I sold them because I didn't feel I used them frequently enough to warrant the expense of keeping them. With most tools you buy, you won't get your investment price back even if you sell them. There are a few exceptions, but for the most part, that is a true statement. Newbies, treat your tools kindly, but use them well. You won't regret the investment if your beads improve. Look for sales. Look at thrift stores. Look for old tools being sold. Those are the best ways to find what you really need to make great beads or sculptures.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

WoooHooo! I'm Marcy's Featured Student

And does this student have a lot to learn! Thank you so much, Marcy, for featuring me, as your online student, in your blog. Obviously, this student has a lot to learn! I appreciate all the tips you gave me. I appreciate being featured as your student. I honestly learned a lot through your instructions to me and by reading your blog today. Marcy, of Studio Marcy, is well known for her ability to make delightful people and creatures come to life through the glass medium. Her sculptural abilities are well known. If you look at her ETSY shop, and take a tour of what she has in it, you will be amazed and impressed by her skills! Read her profile in her shop to learn more about her and some of the things she has done with glass. Thank you, Marcy, for all of your help and instruction. It is most appreciated. Now, here's my last Santa. The mistake, or you can call it an involuntary action of creativity, I made is to grab the wrong glass rod for the nose on Santa. I thought I had pink in my hands, but I had Mango. So, I think I'll call this Santa, Peaches. Maybe that's what Mrs. Claus would calll her special Sweetie. I'm on my way to list Peaches in my ETSY store. Do you think he'll like his name? Take a quick trip around my store. I do have some "interesting" items in it for you to see. My Alien Cactus was inspired by one of Marcy's tutorials, too! Again, Thanks, Marcy!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Autumn Started Today

And it did! Just like yesterday, it was summer. (I actually had to turn on the air conditioner, it was so hot in the house!) Today, though not a day for a heater, was cooler, much, much cooler. The weather was unstable. The wind blew all day, but at, around, 10 AM, Autumn crept into Minnesota. The air has cooler off. It's thundering outside. It's raining. I'm not surprised. It was time. It is time, and now, it's autumn.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

I Told You Before, I Like Weeds!

We've talked about weeds before. I honestly didn't realize it, but it's been very dry. I went outside and noticed the plants and bushes in my garden. Most of them were wilted and limp. (Does this tell you about my love of gardening?) Of course, I started the hose and was watering the limp plants. They did appreciate that! As I was watering, I noticed that there were bees all around me. I am highly allergic to bee stings, so I took a quick breath in. I noticed, though, that the bees were not interested in me. They were hovering and sinking into the gorgeous purple flowers attached to a (gasp!) weed. Aren't the flowers pretty? Yet, this is a weed that is growing strong in spite of dry conditions.
All right, back to the bees. The bees love these little flowers. While I was out watering, I was surrounded by big, fat bumble bees, little tiny bees, and the in between size. None of them were interested in me. They were hovering and diving into the flowers moving the pollen and taking back nectar to the hives. For once, I felt so safe among the bees. I ran upstairs to get my camera. When I got back, I this is what I found.

The photo is a bit blurry, but it was awesome to be so close to the bees. Here's another photo.

The bees were still there. Anyone know the name of this weed? I don't, but I'm sure glad it's in my back yard.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

It's Just A Purdy Little Heart

I just wanted to show this "Purdy Little Heart." This is shameless self promotion day. I just listed this heart in my ETSY store. I thought it was so cute, I wanted you to see it. Well, have a nice evening. I'm tired. Good night.

Friday, September 19, 2008

What Shall We Blog About Today, Spike?

When I asked him this question, Spike just sat down and looked at me. I understood immediately. Not only did he want his picture taken, but he wanted me to blog about him! I took his picture, but I still thought, "I don't know what to write in this blog." Well, what better to write about than one of my very best friends. You guessed, it, Spike! Now, this isn't going to be one of those sentimental blogs that will bring tears to your eyes or mine. I just want to talk about this silly dog. I took Spike in for his rabies shot, probably his last since he is now 11 years old. The vet decided that, even though he is in excellent health, that she should have one of the "talks" with me about end of life issues. She pointed out to me that, even though he is very healthy today, Dobbies are prone to heart disease, and when that becomes apparent, especially at his age, they do go downhill very quickly. In all honesty, I found that comforting because I don't want him to suffer, but I also don't want to take him in for the final shot. Anyway, after our visit, I started to think about what this dog has meant to me over the years.
I've never owned a puppy before. He was such a cute puppy, but so naughty. I've never owned a dog who liked to wear clothes. Now that he's getting older, he gets cold very quickly, so I buy him some handmade sweaters from Hoverfly on ETSY. Celeste also has a dobbie, so she is able to fit Spike properly with her handmade sweaters. They do keep him warm, and he loves to wear them. The only time I gave into Spike's love for clothing was for Halloween a couple of years ago. I bought him a Superman costume that he loves to wear when we go out for our w-a-l-k-s. Other than that, the only "bling" he wears are scarves around his neck. When they come off, he brings them back to me to put on him again. A friend of mine pointed out how much Spike loves to pose for pictures. When I would show her his latest photo, she'd say, "He really does like to pose." She used to have a cat that did the same thing, so she could see the same behaviors. Some days Spike will whine when he sees me taking photos of beads. When I turn the camera on him and take a few shots, Spike goes away, very content. All right, I think I'm going to stop here. This is just a silly, sappy post about a silly, sappy dog. That's okay. He is 11, and I'm younger than him! Whew! There's really someone older than me in the neighborhood. That aside, I'm just being sentimental. Spikie, I love you!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Angelina Beadalina - Mother, Sculptor, Writer

Angelina Beadalina is one of the many wonderful friends I have met online. It is my dearest wish that she, along with so many others, and I will get to meet in person and not just in cyberspace. Ang, being the sweetheart that she is, agreed to an "interview" with me for this blog. Check out Ang's blog, if you haven't already. It's full of humor, life, common sense, emotions, marriage, children, and, of course, glass.

Here's is Ang's bio:

I'm a member of Club 1966, born in February of that year to Stanley and Clara Greer in Louisville, Kentucky. I'm the oldest of three kids, and that means I was the one who specialized in stirring up trouble and trying to jump back out of the way while my sister and brother faced the consequences. I grew up, graduated from college (Murray State University, 1988), and moved away from home. Now, here I am in the flatlands, married to Ricky the BeanCounter/GearHead, raising James Stanley and Katherine Clara, and having a blast being an artist.

How did you become Angelinabeadalina?

I had to think of an online user name when I signed up for LampworkEtc, and I wanted it to have something to do with beads, just in case I liked glass and wanted to stick with it. My daughter had an Angelina Ballerina video that she never watched, but I kept toying with that name. AngelinaBeadalina just popped out, and it turned out to be pretty catchy, even if it is a mouthful.

If you had taken the road less traveled, where would you be today?

Would you believe it? I did take the road less traveled. At least, I was on a very nicely paved road, riding with the prince in his carriage toward the fancy castle, when I decided it wasn't the right place for me. I jumped out and hitched a ride with one of Robin Hood's merry men, and here I am in just the right place for me! The forest turned out to be home, and we have our own merry band of munchkins, so I'd say I'm a pretty lucky girl.

If you could be a flower, which one would you be and why?

An old fashioned, ruffley, sweet scented rose. My mom has had a bunch of those since I was a kid, and I can't remember a summer when I haven't stuck one of those pinkish/purplish blooms up to my face and inhaled deeply. Those roses have been part of a birthday card to my mom, they've decorated wedding gifts to cousins, and they've been arranged in pretty vases every summer. I'm kind of like them, ya know? I'm not a conventional girly-girl, but I'm still feminine and sometimes sweet.

Choose a Star Wars character. Who is it? Why?

If you'd asked me this question long ago, in a decade far away, my answer would have been Han Solo, the swashbuckling pirate of the future, a little bit bad but mostly good at heart. Never wanted to be Leia, the funky hair always freaked me out! If you ask me nowadays, then I have to tell you about my very own Star Wars character. My son, the 7 year old Jedi-brain, was arguing with me about something one day this summer when I blurted out, "Of course, I'm right, son. After all, I'm older than Yoda, and I know everything. In fact, I am actually Yoda's Jedi Master." Well, he only hesitated a bit before he declared, "No way, Mom. Yoda is 800 years old, and you are only 42." Ah, but you could see the wheels visibly turning when I answered, "Yes, 42. But 42 what? Years, or centuries??" Uh-huh, the Force is with me :)

You are a phenomenal sculptor! Which work your art is your favorite? Why?

You know, I'm pretty much hooked on sculpting because that's the thing that seems most natural to me when I'm melting glass. Well, sculpting and stringer work, although I have to make the stringer bug be quiet when I'm in sculpting mode or I end up putting way too much "stuff" on a sculpture and completely losing the "less is more" impact it would've had. As for my favorite, it's almost always the last thing I made! I do fall in love with each one, whether it happens at the torch or whether it happens months later when I finally figure out just the right way to display a sculpture that's been patiently waiting for me to listen to its story.

When you compare your life with your art, where does one begin and the other end, or do they merge into one?

Art never felt like a genuine part of my life until I discovered glass at the age of 40. I was always a little bit artistic, always a lot creative, and always too scared of failure to ever really attempt anything that might be considered art instead of just dabbling. Glass, sculpture, and a book about religious art came together all at once and changed my whole outlook on life and art. Art isn't just a subject to study anymore. Art is life. They are bound together by the briefest observations of the colors of a sunrise, by the "aha" moments like when you realize there are spirals everywhere in the universe, by inspirations that fill your mind and won't let go until you create something. What's really satisfying to me is to look at my kids and see how art is naturally a part of their perspective on life, while when I was 6 or 7 years old, I only knew that I liked a new box of crayons and that I could color in someone else's drawings in a coloring book all day long.

Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall—which one are you? Why?

Fall, definitely fall! It's school time, ya know, and I have always loved school. I adored all of my teachers, from Mrs. Owsley in first grade to Ms. Howard in the sixth grade to Mrs. Alicna and "Mom" Springer in high school. Well, okay, I'll admit there were a few exceptions along the way. For instance, my seventh grade class can be credited with helping a new teacher turn her life around, quit teaching snot-nosed-almost-teenagers, go to law school,and become a judge. We ran her off, and I, the perennial teacher's pet, was right there with the pack. I do believe we were one of the best things to ever happen to her. Heck, the woman became a respected judge, after all!

Oh, but back to the good things about fall-- watching the leaves change colors has always been one of the best things about my favorite season. When I was getting ready to start first grade, my mom let me pick out a new pair of shoes. I chose a brown pair of zip up knee high boots. Brown, mind you! Me, the lover of all things blue.

If you could be a vegetable, which one would you be? Why?

Potato. I'm pretty plain, but you can dress me up and take me anywhere!

Didn't I tell you she was great! Thanks, Ang!
Be sure to check out Ang's website and her ETSY store to see more art made by this awesome sculptor!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Gasp! My daughter turned 31 today!

I honestly don't know how that's possible--how she could really be 31! I remember the day she was born. She was so cute, and, even at that age--fiesty. When she was 3 days old, she realized that when I patted her on the back, I wanted her to burp, so she started to fake burps on that day. When she was 2 months old, and I would nurse her, she realized that if she bit me, not only would her dad laugh, but I would yelp, and she would laugh. As a baby, I knew that she would be a handful. When she was 4 months old, she learned to scream at the top of her lungs. She thought that was fun, and she would simply scream and scream and scream. Of course, that was a day when everyone I knew called, and kept asking me what was the matter. A neighbor came over and asked if everything was all right. Jenny just kept laughing and screaming. Jenny's childhood was much the same. When she was five, we were at the mall. She heard a group of women speaking in Spanish. Jenny walked up to them, and spoke in "her Spanish," which, of course was jibberish. Four grown women stopped talking and just stared at her as I grabbed her and pulled her away. She told me later, "I was talking to those ladies, Mom." She was rather upset with me because I made her leave the conversation. Then, at another time during her 4th year of life, we were discussing an issue about her behavior. I looked at her and said, "I'll bet you think I am really stupid, don't you?" Her mouth dropped. Her eyes popped open, and she replied, "HOW did YOU know?" She was amazed that anyone so dumb could figure that out. Even now, when we discuss issues, I still see the eyes roll, and that look that she had on her face at 4 years old returns. I know, how could anyone who is as dumb as me, know anything? Well, I know something she doesn't. She's older than I am. I'm 21. For the rest of my life, my children will be older than I am. Isn't that wonderful? Happy Birthday, Jenny, and may you have many, many more! And when you do, I will always be 21.

Monday, September 15, 2008

My name is Mallory, and I'm a note writer

Do you remember writing notes in high school? At that time, the notes were usually written to or about that cute boy who was sitting in the front of the room. You know, he's the one who made you sigh and forget what class you were sitting in. Well, I was one of those note writers in high school. I don't know how many of my notes got read aloud by the teacher to my total and complete mortification. I hung my head in shame at being caught, but I still wrote notes. Today, many years later, well, not THAT many, I still write notes. (If you believe it wasn't that many, I love you!) Now, when I write notes, it's to help me remember things. I have always been a goal oriented person. I kept lists of things to do, places to go, and in what order to do them. I checked off my list, and, at the end of the day, looked with great satisfaction at all the tasks I completed. Now, I still make lists. I make lists of what I want to work on when I torch each day. I make lists of the housework I want to accomplish. I make lists of the ingredients I need when I go to the store. I even made a list when I went to the Bead and Button Show this year! My goal there was not to overspend. I'm still laughing at that one! Now, when I make a list, I need a note to remind me where I put my list. I need a note to remind me to add things to my list. Forgetful? I'm not sure you could call it that. I feel that I am just task oriented, that's right, that sounds good, doesn't it? Now, where did I put my note about this blog? I want to check the blog off of my list, but I can't find my list. I wonder where my note is that will tell me where my list is? Do you think it might be by my computer? I'm not sure.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Look What I Found at the Thrift Store!

Yesterday, I made a quick trip to our local thrift store to take some items to donate. I made the donation, then I looked around at the jewelry. Look what I found! Eight dollars later, I came out with all these beads!

I took apart the coral necklace that I only paid $.75 to own. Part of it is already a bracelet. I'll show
that in a later blog. Now, I need more ideas!

Now, here's a close up of a necklace made with metal beads that seem to be covered with green plastic? I'm not sure, but I really like this necklace.

Any suggestions on what I can do with these beads?
Of all the beads I found, I think these are my favorite. Normally, I don't like brown, but these beads have texture and the color of brown is so rich, that I love it! It holds a lot of potential.

When I saw these beads in the case, I have decided that I only like a few of them. Now, I'm stumped, I really want to turn this set into something truly fun and funky. I'm going to have to use wire with them. Hmmmmm. The wheels are beginning to turn.

Last but not least, all those who know me know I love pink. Even as much as I love pink, even this pink is a bit much for me, but there are components that are quite interesting. These beads won't be kept together. The color needs to be toned down a bit.

So, what do you think? Any and all ideas will be welcome. I'll be cutting up the strings later.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Tree Frogs and Bad Poetry

Little, tiny tree frog
Looking back at me,
Now the weather's cooler,
Where will you be?

Only a little whirrrrr
Do I hear from you today,
Where are all your other friends,
Did they hop away

To warmer grounds and trees
To soak up all the sun
Little, tiny tree frog,
Are you the only one

Left to sing my lullabye
In the light of evening's day?
Little, tiny tree frog,
I know you'll go away.

Nest summer will I see you
Soaking up the sun,
Little, tiny tree frog,
You are my favorite one.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Where art imitates the everyday

Cindy Gimbrone, in her blog, talked about seeing the mundane in a new light. After reading Cindy's blog, I looked around my house. What could I see in a new light? Then I saw it in the morning light. It was an object I had seen everyday for a very long time. It gave me inspiration. Here is the object.

What is it, you say? It's my dog's toy. Now, the result of my work on the torch with the toy at my side.

I actually like the bead. I think I'll call it Carousel.
Now, I'm off to find more things that I can see in a new light. I never would have thought of the dog toy for inspiration if it wern't for Cindy. Thank you, Cindy!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Marcy Lamberson, This Blog is for You!

Marcy Lamberson, of Studio Marcy, posted a free tutorial, yesterday, in her blog about making a cactus. Today, I took advantage of that tutorial, and I made, not only 1 cactus, but I made 4 different cacti, all influenced by Marcy, and one other artist that I will write about when I show you the photo. Marcy has a wonderful ETSY store! The beads that she makes are wonderful and whimsical! I love her store! It's full of sculptures that depict her view of life! Great! I studied Marcy's tutorial and went to work this morning. For my first cactus, I followed her wonderful directions, pretty much, the way she wrote them. Here's the result of that effort. I think it's rather pretty. It's not that bad. I think I'll wear it with a great deal of enjoyment. Thank you, Marcy.

I decided to make another one, wanting to make this design more "mine." I decided that a prickly pear cactus would be the way to go. It was fun. It was easy, and I still benefited from Marcy's instruction. I like it. It's just a little bigger than I planned on making. I think it would look better in a grouping with small succulents and cacti.

As my morning went on, my dog started whining because he was afraid of the carbon monoxide detector beeping. Yes, that beep does scare Spike, and his whining drives me crazy. So, my mood changed. These next two beads are the result of that mood change.

I began to make another cactus following Marcy's tutorial. This time I changed colors of glass from a pea green to a darker green. I added the flowers, then, I thought, this cactus needs something else. So, I added eyeballs to center of the flowers. I now had an alien cactus. Hmmmm.
I'm so glad I'm in a much better mood and Spike has calmed down.

My last cactus was made at the end of my torching session. By then, Spike was driving me totally crazy. Although I used the basic idea for this bead came from Marcy's tutorial, I was also greatly influenced by the artist, Loco, and her wonderful Phant tutorial which is available for sale in her ETSY store. I call it my Cactus Phant. This Phant would look good? in a planter, I think. With all its eyes and mouths, I find it very interesting.
Again, this bead reflects my mood at that time.

Thank heavens, I am in a much better mood now! Again, thanks, Marcy, it was a great tutorial.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Case of the Missing Treasury

When I got up yesterday, quite early, as is my normal doing, I turned on the computer. As always, I went ETSY to check out my store and the treasury list. For those not familiar with ETSY, a treasury list is a way of promoting other artists. This list also helps to promote your store since there is a link to your store at the top of the list. Now, the list is not just a list of products, the "list" is a photo journey through 12 different stores from which one item has been chosen to be featured in your list. The person who manages the list is the curator. When I logged into ESTY, I went straight to the treasury list. I didn't realize that the list would open up within seconds after I logged in. I opened the treasury list, and there was a box that said, "Create List." I titled my treasury, "Glass Again," because I couldn't think of anything else. I connected, and I began to fill my treasury with items from two of my street teams: LEST = Lampwork Etc. Street Team and CGGE = Creative Glass Guild of ETSY. I selected beads and glass items from 16 stores. (Four of these items were for the alternate list.) I added the I.D. numbers, and the photos of the items, with the links to the items, appeared. Satisfied with my treasury, I checked my store and logged out of ETSY until late in the afternoon. As curator, I check my treasury lists for sold items and I answer comments that have been made about the list. I saw that there were 6 comments listed for my "Glass Again" treasury. I blinked as the list opened. Suddenly I realized what was wrong or right. My multi colored glass items were gone and replaced by pink items with comments about this being first page material! I closed the list thinking I had clicked on the wrong list. I clicked again only to be greeted by this beautiful pink treasury, and my glass was no where to be found. It took a bit, but I finally found the "real" curator of my/our list. I had posted a thread in the "Bugs" section of the ETSY forums. Apparently, the treasury had developed a bug of some kind. The same thing had happened to a lot of other people. Their treasuries were gone to be replaced by some one else's treasury. Thank you comments had been made in the comment section for being included in the treasury, and they weren't. People were starting to laugh. It was kind of funny. Now, I never did find my treasury again. It's probably in cyberspace wondering why there are comments about the beautiful pink items. Don't get me wrong, I love pink, but there wasn't any in my treasury. The glass items I chose were very bright and colorful. Anyway, if you look at the photo, you can see almost all of the treasury that I now curate. It is beautiful. It does look like front page material. I only wish I had put it together.