Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Spike and I took our annual Halloween Walk today. He was dressed in his Halloween costume, and as we walked neighbors, friends, and people in the community waved and smiled as we walked past them Spike loves his clothes, and he brought a lot of joy along the way as we walked. If you have any candy you want to send him, please send chocolate. I love it, I mean, he loves chocolate! Until later then, Happy Halloween from Spike and me!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Today Was Like a Spring Day!

I didn't see any butterflies, but the temperatures were much warmer today. After several nights of hard frosts, our temperatures climbed into the 60's, and they will be there for the next couple of days. This is the start of a wonderful Indian Summer. I made this butterfly when the nights were freezing! It's really pretty, too! The only problem is that one of the wings cracked. Oh, well, I guess it's mine now. Darn! (Smiles.) Anyway, I have a lot of other things in my etsy store right now. Check out my etsy mini, or go to my store directly. Tomorrow is Halloween. It's also the start of Freaky Friday weekend. We'll have to see which totem is the most interesting. It was a great challenge, Deb!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Q. Why do you have a rose in your refrigerator?
A. Because I can

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Class with a Master--Michael Barley

This last weekend, I had the privilege of taking a two day class with master bead artist, Michael Barley. I can't explain the thrill of watching him make a bead! I learned so much from this experience!

Michael is a quiet and humble man who sat down at the torch with authority. As he worked, Michael explained each step in the process of making a bead. He willingly shared his wealth of knowledge and experience. He answered all of the questions that we asked. He demoed each bead and explained the process and techniques he used on each bead! After each demo, Michael would watch and encourage us at our attempts to imitate the beads we were shown how to make. In this photo, Michael is showing us how to pull a think stringer.

Michael brought some tools along with him. He uses very few tools to make his beads. If you look to the bottom right in this photo, you will see a small marver. That is Michael's first and only marver. It's very small. I was surprised to see that! I just assumed that he a large marver and many other tools. He doesn't. That was another surprise, but as I watched the master make beads, his skill and creativity overshadowed the need for special tools. Amazing! I feel truly blessed to have been instructed by this master bead maker!

During the course of our two day class, Michael demoed 8 beads. He shared his skill and knowledge in making canes, using silver, and working with simple reactive colors of glass. I was amazed and so impressed. My beads, of course, do not show the skill of Michael Barley. Maybe someday? I don't know. I do know that the experience of being a student in the class with Michael Barley as a teacher, enriched my knowledge of bead making and improved my skills. I also met some wonderful artists in the class. It was a wonderful gathering of talent. I feel priveleged to have been a part of this experience.

Oh, I almost to forgot to tell you about the demo beads that Michael made. There were nine students in class, and Michael made 8 beads. We were each told to write our names on a piece of paper. One of the students took notes. As he finished his last demo bead, Michael had someone draw a name. The person whose name was drawn received a certain bead. Since there were 9 of us and eight beads, the extra person received a free pair of earrings. What an awesome treat for each of us! I was extremely lucky! I won his window bead. Take a look at this! Am I blessed or what?

Take a look at the other side of the bead! Is this awesome or what?

Thank you, Michael, for sharing your skill and knowledge with us! I love my bead, too!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Where's Spike?

Here's a little game we can play. It's called, "Where's Spike?" Now that it's gotten colder, Spike often hides, and I can't find him. Please look at this photo and see if you can find Spike. If you want to know where he is, scroll down for the answer, and then you'll know where Spike is hiding.

I knew you wouldn't be able to find him. So, here he is!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Freaky Friday Challenge - on a New Zealand Saturday!

At last, the time has come to show what we've done with this week's challenge: Sculptural Flowers. We didn't work with tutorials this time. Although we didn't grow them, we are now going to show them! I'm a poet, and I don't know it! Here are the results of my efforts. Although these aren't perfect, I don't think they're too bad. I made the first flower with clear and melted frit. The second flower is made with a color I had forgotten I had, and I had forgotten how much I liked it--transparent striking red! I fell in love with that color again! The last flower is made with yellow covered with transparent clear. I like these colors, too, but that red is my favorite!

I made these flowers first. I used a base of white with transparent purple on top. They weren't bad for some of my first ones.

This sculpted flower was my least successful one. Yikes! I think I need more practice using individual petals. That's all I will sat, "Yikes!"

This was my last sculpted flower. I think it's my best. I like it. Not only that, it's pink! I like pink, too!

Okay, Deb, what's the next challenge? Let me know.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A song I've written

I wrote this song for inspiration. I didn't even know I could write a song until now.

Just sing this song to any tune you like. Let the inspiration come to you, then get to work and make a bead!

Do you think this will end up on U-Tube?

I bought a Lava Lamp

I bought a lava lamp,
I bought a lava lamp,
I bought a lava, lava lamp.

I bought a lava lamp,
I bought a lava lamp,
I bought a lava, lava lamp.

Verse 1:

I bought a lava lamp,
I bought a lava lamp,
I bought a lava, lava lamp.


Verse 2:
I bought a lava lamp,
I bought a lava lamp,
I bought a lava, lava lamp.


Repeat from Verse 1

Now, all you beadmakers, get out there and make a bead, and let's see them!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I like to think we're headed towards spring.

Having lived in Minnesota now for about 20 years, I have come to think of this place as home. My blood has thickened, so when it comes to the heat of summer, I'd rather not have that much heat. When it comes to the cold of winters, I'd rather not have that much cold. Cold is inevitable in Minnesota. Last winter was a bad winter. It was more like the winters we had when we first moved here. Since then, with global warming picking up, the winters have been milder and milder, but still a bit too cold for me. Now, with not even the first snow flake having fallen, I'm thinking spring. These honker are headed south, but the next time I see them, they'll be headed north. The migration is already in progress. It's ingrained in their beings. I honestly think, we're headed towards spring.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Next Featrued Artist--Jenny Hoffman

She is my all time favorite artist! And I'm not just saying that because she's my daughter. Well, maybe I'm just a bit prejudiced! Jenny is a wonderful photographer! I only wish she lived closer so that she could take my picture everyday! No, I'm just kidding. Jenny does a great job with the camera. She has an eye for the art shot that I wish I had. You'll see after you read this "interview." You can visit Jenny anytime at her ETSY store or her website, and you can see more of her fabulous cards. Isn't she adorable? The stories I could tell you! As she reads this, she's saying, "Muuuu-ther!" at this point.

1) Tell us a little bit about your wonderful mother, I mean yourself.

I'm 31. I've live with two orange tabby cats. I'm working as a photographer now, although I used to do public relations. I've gone to college twice, the first time for a journalism degree and the second for a photography certification.

2) What do you feel is the most interesting thing about you?

I love traveling and have loved it all my life, although I don't have much time or money for it anymore. But I went to Japan when I was 14 after saving for two years to pay half the cost of the trip. I love to see and experience new places and different cultures. I've been to 1/3 of all of the States and Canada for two hours (Niagara Falls).

3) Who is your hero? Why?

I believe in looking for the good in everyday people. Most heroes would rarely consider themselves heroic, more so everyday people who found themselves in extraordinary situations, and we all face times like that.

4) More than anything else in the world, what would you like to accomplish?
I would like to love and be loved. And leave the world better off than I found it.

5) How did you become interested in photography?

I've always been interested in photography. My parents gave me a kids camera when I was little and I've always been taking photos. My photos from the trip to Japan filled two albums. Photos document life and tell a story. Don't ever believe the saying that the camera never lies. It may photograph what it sees, but the camera always has a point of view and a story to tell. Finding ways to show that story is the fun part.

6) What was your most interesting photo shoot?

I find history and archeology fascinating. I got to meet the scientist who recreated and confirmed the Egyptian mummification process, which had previously been lost to the ages. Very nice man.

7) Art supposedly reflects life. How does your art of photography reflect your life?
Does it reflect life? I am a storyteller, so I do find it helps me to tell stories. My subjects are nature and beauty and fun and funky and kids and animals, all things I love in life.

8) If you were a character in fiction, who would you be and why?

A wizard, probably in Diane Duane's Young Wizards series. (Excellent books, not just for teens.) Why? Well, who wouldn't want to be a wizard and talk to everything that doesn't normally talk and fight the bad guys and save the world at the end of every book? Awesome! Did I mention they get to hang out on the moon? Yes!

9) In your life journeys, you will take different roads. Where would you like them to lead you in the end?
Happiness, Creativity, Joy, Love

Monday, October 20, 2008

Great Day for a Treasury

Have a peek! This is my latest treasury on ETSY. If you see yourself there, please go comment and click. If you aren't in this treasury, please comment and click anyway. (To see if you are included in my treasury, click on the photo of the treasury for a bigger image.) The clicks help to get the treasury to the front page! Thanks.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Meet Tracy and Lacey

Tracy and Lacey are a pair of earrings that I listed in my Etsy Store. Even though they are totally different birds, I thought that they'd make a cute couple. As you can see one bird is a blue bird and one is a cardinal. Who says that birds of the feather have to flock together? Sometimes, even birds of a feather like other birds. For Tracy and Lacey it was love at first sight.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Freaky Friday Challenge on a New Zeland Sunday

All right, Deb posted before I did, but here are the results of the Jennifer Geldard Tutorial of the Ornate Bead. Deb, as always, found a photo and worked from that. I used the tutorial. Deb's results were great, I thought. I am showing 3 beads. I actually made 4 beads, but I forgot to photograph it. Maybe another day.

Here's a group shot of my beads. I used the same color scheme throughout. The bottom bead looks like it has a huge round chip, but that's really a white dot blending in with the background.

This is the first long bead. It's about 2.5 inches in length.

I really do like this bead. I think I"m giong to keep it for myself. I have clothes with which I can wear it!

This bead is actually half a bead. My bead release broke before I could finish the bead. At least I have half of the bead.

Here's the last bead. It's a smaller bead than the first one. It's okay. I'm not totally happy with it, but it might look great wire wrapped.

Well, that's about all for now. Next week, I think that we can both work without tutorials. We are going to make sculptural flowers. That should be a challenge for both of us! See you on Freaky Friday, whether it's on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.

Friday, October 17, 2008

I've been tagged, I'm it!

Tag is a blogger's game, which is similar to the kids' game we played so many zillion years ago.

Here's how the cyber-version of tag works;
1. Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by including links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs.

7 Things about me that you may or may not know.

1. I used to be a bank teller when I was in college.
2. I used to be a special ed teacher.
3. I've traveled to Bosnia, (Medjugorje,} twice in the last two years.
4. I'm younger than my children.
5. I have a dog named Spike.
6. I used to be a Spanish Dancer when I was younger.
7. I hate computer problems.

People I've Tagged:
1. Deb Batten: Sew Much To Do--Sew Little Time
2. AngelinaBeadalina: AngelinaBeadalina
3. Jennifer Jangles: Jennifer Jangles Blog
4. Sharon Driscoll: Right Turn Art Werks
5. Dorset Hill Beads: Dorset Hill Beads
6. Linda Lawrence: Bella Bead Jewelry
7. Maggie Towne: Maggie's Bead Towne

Now, I'm off to let people know that I tagged them! Be careful! You might be IT next!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Not Another Church Supper?

No, it's not another church supper, it was a salad luncheon! This is an annual event at Holy Rosary Catholic Church, and something that many of us look forward to attending every year. A craft sale used to be held with this luncheon, but as everyone became busier and busier, the craft sale was discontinued, but the tradition of the salad luncheon continues every year.

Once inside, you see two tables covered with food. There is so much food, you wonder how it will be consumed, yet, every year it is. Very little food is taken home.

Lisa waited for everyone to put their tickets into the basket before we began to help ourselves to the food. Paula and I served ourselves and we sat down.

As we sat, we noticed the traditional mints made by a long time member of the parish.

What a yummy desert!
Paula and I ate our fill today, and it was good. The cooks of our parish make great food! There's nothing like a church supper or a church lunch!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Would you like to win 12 of my polymer discs? I'll send them to you for free. All you have to do is help me complete my necklace. Here is another picture of the discs. I actually went through them to find some very nice ones for the winner.

In order to win these discs, you will need to answer some questions that will help me to complete a necklace I started that uses these discs.

Please look at this necklace. It's a wire crochet necklace. As you can see, it's not finished yet. The necklace has 3 strands, and it's a choker sized necklace. You can see that I used the discs in each strand.

Now, Angelina Beadalina suggested that I use a lampwork focal in the necklace, and I found the perfect one! (Ang, thank you for the suggestion, too, and you can still play this game.) Take a look at this bead.
The colors are absolutely perfect for this necklace! This bead is the result of a challenge I participated in.

Now, here's the necklace with the bead placed on it . It's not wire wrapped yet, it's just placed at the bottom of the necklace.

Here are the questions I need for you to answer:
1) What do you think, does the necklace look better with or without the bead?
2) What do you think would be a good name for the necklace?

On Saturday, sometime during the day, I will put any and all names in a hat and draw the name of the winner of the discs. I'm just stuck at this point. I'm not concerned about finishing up the necklace ends, I just don't know if adding the bead will be too much for this necklace. What do you think?

If you win, I will need some way to contact you. A good way to contact me would be to leave me a message with your contact information on ETSY. Just send me a convo from there. I check ETSY several times a day. If you aren't a member of ETSY, it's free to become a member, and it only takes a few minutes to sign up. So, start thinking, and let me know what you think.

Exchange Beads? Who Me?

I belong to two lampworking forums. One is called Lampworketc. and the other is called Wet Canvas. Although there are subgroups on both forums, the ones I participate in are the ones that involve making glass beads aka lampworking. Each forum posts challenges and exchanges in which you can choose to participate in or not. I try to participate in as many challenges as I can because I feel that these help to improve my lampworking skills. I also like to participate in exchanges for the same reason + you receive many wonderful beads in exchange for the ones you sent in. When you participate in an exchange, there are certain rules or guidlines. A theme is chosen for the exchange. Then the participants get to work on their beads, send them in to the host/ess who sorts them, and returns different beads to each participant. Although not required, most of the participants include a small hostess gift in their package.

Today, when I went to my mailbox, I found 2 envelopes waiting for me. I rushed in and opened them. Wooo Hoooo! Returns on my exchanges. I opened them with great anticipation, and, I was not disappointed. I received the beads from the Lampworketc Halloween Exchange and from the Wet Canvas Big Hole Bead Exchange. Wow! Talk about fabulous items from talented artists! I was truly blessed.

I received a vessel with hands, a frog bead, a candy corn bead, an eyeball, and a scarecrow! Awesome. Now how fun is that? When you see the skill involved in making each bead, you come to realize what treasures these beads really are. I feel that they are absolutely awesome!

I also participated in an exchange on Wet Canvas in which we exchanged big hole beads. Look at the awesome beads I received in exchange for the ones I sent!

Each bead is unique. Each bead was made by an extremely talented artist. Take a look and drool! Talk about being blessed! Wow! I am lucky! Not only did I receive some wonderful beads from these exchanges, I became a better bead maker. Now, how can you beat that? I make better beads, and, now I own beautiful beads from other fabulous glass artists. Awesome!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I've been experimenting!

Ancient discs unearthed at an archeological site? Wood that's been carved and distressed ? None of the above. These discs were made with polymer clay. I was amazed at how easy it was to make these discs. In less than an hour, I made 53 discs, including curing them in the oven. I was impressed at how quickly I was able to make the discs. Where is my heart? Is it in polymer clay? No, it's not. Melting glass is my passion. Polymer clay is fun for a rainy day! I hope there are more rainy days very soon.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Day of my Life--You know a play on words, instead of Days of Our Lives, Whatever

It was one of those blissfully, rainy days today. It rained almost the entire day until, right before sunset, the sun came out. Go figure. I really enjoyed today though. I love to torch on rainy days. I did that. It was so nice and relaxing. It was so cool today. We are getting very close to our first frost of the season. It's supposed to go down to 36 tonight. brrrrrrrrrr. It was a t-shirt day for Spike. I pulled out his Harley shirt, and he's worn it all day. Take a look at this. It's a real Harley shirt!

Now here's Spike in his kerchief and shirt! I had fun with him posing for pictures!

I don't think you can see the rain, but it was falling gently when I took this photo. You can see how the landscape is changing. I only wish I could count the number of leaves in my front yard. I think I'll have to start raking very soon.

You can tell is it was a slow day today. Oh, more tomorrow or should I do it now? I get to announce the next challenge for Deb and me! Oh, what the heck! I'll go ahead and tell you. Like Deb said, I am a tutorial (uhummmm), well, let's just say I like to use tutorials. Anyway, Deb, using her figure out how to do it ways and me with a tut in hand are going to try to make and Ornate Bead. I will be using Jennifer Geldard's tutorial and Deb will be using pictures or whatever it is she uses to figure things out. Personally, I think it's magic. She's so good at this stuff. Hopefully, we will post results this Friday. Now, don't tell anyone. It's our secret! I guess that's all for now.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Spike the Wonder Dog

I've got more beads to clean, bu I had to show you this one. It's Spike the Wonderdog! Of course, it's not a replica of my Spike, but it's a a cartoon image of him. He doesn't look naughty, does he? He really is a naughty dog, though. I think he's a cutie. Check him out, he's in my etsy store. And, Spike does think he's a wonderdog.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

This That and the Other

Sadly, Deb's computer had a major crash, so, hopefully, she will be online again very soon. We'll have Freaky Friday show and tell, once she is back online. In the meantime, check out Deb's website, her etsy store, and her blog.

Hopefully, Deb will be back online soon. Bugger!

I've been blogged by Cinnamon and Honey! Is that cool or what? Thank you, Robin!

That's all for now. I'll try to be back later. It's going to be a busy day!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Freaky Friday Challenge - on a New Zealand Saturday!

The time has come, and the gauntlet was thrown down last week. Deb Batten of Sew Much to Do, Sew Little Time and I made the decision to try to improve our lampworking skills by challenging each other in one way or another. It will take discipline. (Us?) We are both ready for the challenge. After last week's attempts at window beads, I chose the word: BUGGER! I love that word! It's a New Zealand phrase that has captured my imagination and has been integrated into my vocabulary. Bugger! Our task was to make Bugger Beads. This is all a matter of interpretation. I have no idea what Deb will produce with her challenge. She has not idea what I have produced for this challenge. It is now time to show the results of BUGGER! Deb explains the meaning of the term BUGGER best in her blog. Take a peek.

Now, I decided that it was important to visualize a Bugger. I thought, buggers must have eyes and mouths. Hmmmmm. Bugger!

Then I thought, hmmmmm, buggers are more than just a lot of eyes and mouths. I think a bugger is watching me.

Then I thought, when would I say bugger? I think if my heart hurt. I would clearly say, "Bugger."

Ouch! That would hurt! Then I thought, when would there be another chance to say Bugger! ? I think when a bully is beating up someone. Bugger! I think the kitty got the worst of the fight, and the bird found a new home. Buggger says kitty. I think I've been beat up by that bully on my head! Bugger!
Well, I'm getting awfully sleepy now. I might have to go to bed early today. I hear the honkers starting to fly south. Bugger! That means winter is coming. Bugger! Bugger! Bugger!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I made it! I'm in the Youth of Old Age!

I never thought I'd ever live this long. I really didn't. The majority of the women in my family haven't lived past their early 50's. Most of them succumbed to cancer--either breast or colon. I guess I just assumed I'd be lucky to make it to my mid-50's. Now, I'm older than my husband was when he died. He looked forward to being old. I never did. I still don't, but you can't change the clock of time. I guess I am old now. I expect I'll still live for a while. My goal is to live long enough to be a problem to my children! Like my daughter says, "Mom, it's too late for that." I don't think I've accomplished that yet, though, at least, not to my satisfaction! Anyway, as much as I'd like not to say this,

"I am, I am, I am still younger than my children, damnit!"

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Art of Relaxation!

When it comes to relaxing, my dog, Spike sets a wonderful example. Right now, on this beautiful fall day, he laying by his tree, in the sun, sleeping a peaceful sleep. I feel like joining him, but the lawn chair in which I am sitting doesn't recline, and I don't want to go and lay in the leaves under the tree, so I'll just close my eyes for a bit, and see if I can relax enough to sleep. When I relax, I like to turn on a good movie for a snooze, melt glass, lay down for a minute, do you see a pattern here? I'm following the example of Spike who never lets anything or anyone get in the way of his naps. I usually torch in the morning when I am widest awake. When I finish, I go upstairs to check email and check on Spike. This morning this is what I found. He was in a total state of relaxation! He didn't even hear me come in the room. I had covered him up before I went downstairs to torch. While I was relaxing by doing, he was relaxing by not doing. Don't you just love it? There are plenty of days that I wish I were a dog.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I joined ETSY BloggersStreet Team!

This is my first time blogging as a member of the ETSY Bloggers Street Team. Each month, as a requirement of being a member of the team, we each need to blog about the Etsy Featured Blogger of the month! Congratulations, Jen! I learned several things about bfbeads. She has two etsy stores dedicated to babies and the needs of babies and their mamas. The store that I found most interesting was Jen's store called "Baby Friendly Beads. In this store, Jen features beads that nursing mamas can use safely as they nurse their babies. The babies love them, too, and they are childproof. Safety is the key for Baby Friendly Beads as is the attractive nature of her bracelets and necklaces that she calls Jewelry for Breast Feeding and Beyond.

Now, Mama's Magic Studio is the place "Where Hand Made Magic Happens." This is a beautiful store, too. This store features unique works of jewelry art. Love it!

Jen seems like an incredibly busy woman! She is mother to two children and a loving, caring wife. She has two etsy stores, and she blogs. Her blog is called: Mama's Magic Studio. Take a look at her blog. I don't think you'll be disappointed.