Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Ever wonder what other people are blogging about?

Here are a few blogs you might want to visit.
1) The Soap Bar is a blog all about soap! Joanna Schmidt reveiws soaps and other body products that are sent to her. It's very interesting! I could almost smell the wonderful soaps she reviews.

2) How about celebrating Grandma! This is a short blog, but you might find it interesting.

3)Photojournalism is the subject of this blog. The title of the blog is MCJournalism.

4) Check out the Drew Family Blog. It's interesting. What a great way to keep in touch.

5) Looking Through Mauve Colored Glasses is an interesting blog. Just check it out!

6) Interested in knitting? Try this blog: SpinKnit Up.

7) How about a great shopping blog? Try eat.live.shop.

8) Peacetags will make you think.

9) How about a blog on blogging? By Jen is the name of this blog. You can feel the energy.

10) Point of View looks like a photo blog. It's new, but it's neat.

That's all for now, but I will follow with more later. These look very interesting.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Sylvie's class - Finding Your Voice as a Glass Beadmaker-People Who Just Won't Leave

Sylvie Elise Landsdowne began a class on Facebook to help the glass bead maker find their voice and develop their creativity. I was one of the lucky people to be accepted into the last round. I am also one of the lucky people who just won't leave. There are those of us--Round 1 and Round 2--who continue to stay by simply not leaving.

This week's assignment involved taking a photo of one of our beads and creating a negative image, then we had to make a bead using that image.

Thank you, Deb Batten of Firebirdflamework on Etsy and her website, for taking the photo I sent you and providing me with a negative of that photo. I do appreciate it.

Obviously, this is the negative of the photo that I sent to Deb. I was amazed by the colors of the petals. Here's the orignial photo.

That's quite a change isn't it? Well, now here's the new bead that came from the negative. I guess it's all right to show it since I posted it in the group photos already.

So, what do you think? The petal color isn't really a color I would work with normally. I usually go for the brighter, bolder, primary colors. So this was quite a switch for me. Now, I'm wondering just how I can use these colors in other beads. Hmmm!

Thanks, Sylvie! By the way, be sure to visit Sylvie's store on Etsy and Sylvie's new website. The link for Sylvie's blog is at the top of this page.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

I'm Shopping Artfire using the search word: Recycle

It's amazing what people can do when they recycle! I shopped Artfire using the word recycle. 212 pages came up with items using that word.

The first item I'd like to show you is a bracelet made from recycled plastic from artworksbyKD on Artfire. This absolutely great and very reasonably priced at $11.
The recycled plastic is strung on memory wire. The plastic comes from a detergent bottle. Isn't that amazing!

Can you guess what this is? This item is called: Upcycled, Recycled, Repurposed Popcorn Journal/Notebook. What fun! A recycled popcorn box was made into a 42 page journal that can be carried in your purse. Be sure to visit withourhands on Artfire to see more of their great recycled products!

This great denim purse comes to you from Bits and Peaces Quilts on Artfire. Wouldn't this be great for a Saturday afternoon or that teen or tween in your life? I continue to be amazed at the ingenuity of the creative souls we find in the handmade markets!

And last, but not least, in the search for items made from recycled materials are glasses. Does anyone remember the days of bottle cutters and making your own glasses from which to drink? I do. These are much more sophisticated than what we used in those days. They are also beautiful!

These glasses were made by YAVAGlass on Artfire. They were flame cut and polished by the torch. They are beautiful, too! They were made from Blu Italy bottles.

Now, that you've seen these great recycled items, I hope that you take a look at Artfire and search out your own fabulous finds of recycled materials. Remember, with 212 pages of items, and more being added daily, you are bound to find something you love!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Adobe Sol on 1000Markets

When I think of my home in the southwest, I think of AdobeSol Desgins of 1000Markets! Located in Corrales, New Mexico, which I think is now considered a suburb of my hometown, Albuquerque, Rebecca has shown herself to be a fantastic metal artist and designer, not only using the southwestern theme, but the soul of metal that she captures in her art. I don't think that many more words will be necessary to show her fabulous gift with metal and jewelry design.

This piece is stunning! She captures the beauty and romance of the southwest, and she lets the inner beauty of the metal she works with highlight the design of this necklace. Wow! This amazing work of art is called "Caged Turquoise."

This piece is aptly named "Desert Sunset Pin Brooch." Isn't this jaw dropping gorgeous! What a fabulous work of wearable art.

This work of art is called "Twigs n Reeds." I don't think I need to say more. You can just admire this work of art.

As always, my favorite is saved for last. This amazing work of art is aptly called Silver Swirls Egyptian Coil Bracelet. Amazing!

Remember to check out Adobe Sol Designs on 1000Markets. You won't be disappointed.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Tommy, We're Going to Miss You!

Tommy was a 14 year old adoption gift for my daughter.
He lived with her for two years, until he was 16.
Now, he rests in peace.
Today, kidney failure took his life.
We're going to miss you, Tommy!
You were a good kitty, and a gift for all of us!
Thank you for being a part of our lives.
Rest in Peace,
and thank you for all the love, hisses, and joy.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I snagged a new treasury on ETSY!

These are great artists!
Please click and comment, especially, if you are in the treasury.


Look what I found for inspiration today! I was making supper when I spilled the BBQ sauce. This photo has not been modified. I mean, even if I could modify the photo. Oh well. The bottle spilled on my floor. Look at my bit of inspiration for the day! Isn't that fun?

Now, where did you find inspiration today?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Susanah Sold!

I'm going to miss her! She's going to a new home.

Can you tell I couldn't think of anything else to blog about today?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

What Are you Going to Do on A Rainy Day?

Now, don't sit around and cry. It's supposed to rain again tomorrow here in Minnesota.
So, what are you going to do on another rainy day?
Here's a list of suggestions for having fun,
even when the weather is bleak!

1. Take a nap. That's number one on my list!
2. Why stay inside? Take a walk in the rain. Can you count the raindrops?
3. Clean out a closet. It's amazing the things you can find when you empty a closet out.
4. Make paper airplanes. Have a contest with whomever is home. See who can fly their airplane the farthest distance.
5. Make popcorn and watch a movie on TV.
6. Turn off anything that makes a noise in your home and listen to the raindrops.
7. Read a book to your children.
8. Better yet, make a field trip to the library with the kids. Spend an afternoon getting acquainted with all the library offers.
9. Turn off the TV and play a game with your children. Give yourselves a chance to make special memories on a rainy day.
10. Pull out old photos or videos from when you were a kid. Share them with your children.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Slavko's Artworld Gallery on Etsy

In my opinion, Slavko Zgonjanin is the foremost and outstanding artist on Etsy. His store is named Slavko's Artworld Gallery! Every time I visit there, I am awed and overwhelmed by the quality of the work that Slavko produces. I am now quoting from Slavko's bio in his profile:
"Slavko Zgonjanin
painter, ceramist, sculptor, teacher....

I create what I like: my thoughts, my visions, my dreams, places in my memory, feelings, that's the freedom of my life and work. Variety, experimenting with different styles and techniques are deep inside of my being. Discovering great joy in sculpture, ceramic creations and paintings made my work wide open to different mediums, styles and techniques.
Ceramic jewelry I make just about 35 years now. Real unique pieces, every time different, real OOAK. My jewelry is sold in more than 70 different countries.
My ceramics, paintings, sculptures and painted furniture can be found in many private and corporate collections in the US, Europe, Canada, Australia and South America."

When you see the work samples from his shop that I will showcase here, and when you visit his shop, you will that this statement only begins to touch the surface of his art. He is fabulous!
This is an ACEO card, a limited edition. I am awed and amazed at this fabulous piece of art.

This pendant is stunning! Words fail me on this work of art!
This oil is called Inner Healing.
I can almost feel the healing process as it occurs here.
I have saved the best for last. Can you image owning this sink? I don't think I'd ever use it. I'd just stand there and admire it all day!
Be sure to visit Slavko's gallery on Etsy. You won't be disappointed.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

This Is a True Story

One day, I had a repairman in my kitchen to work on my dishwasher. I noticed he kept looking up at the sink. He had a puzzled look on his face. I noticed that he would glance at the sink, then look at me.
After the repairman left, I was loading the dishes into my newly repaired dishwasher, I happened to look at what was next to my sink. I started to laugh. I had, approximately, a dozen empty wine bottles sitting there waiting to be soaked so that the labels could be removed. I can only imagine what the repairman was thinking as he looked at all of those empty wine bottles. On top of that, he had come into the kitchen through the garage where I store my extra wine bottles, and they were easily seen by anyone who walks through this entry into my house. When I realized what he had seen, and most likely though, I had to sit on the floor I was laughing so hard.
I only wish he had asked. I use the empty wine bottles that friends save for me. I use them to make glass beads. I put the bottles into a plastic bag. I drop them on the concrete floor of my basement. I take the chunks and use them to make glass beads. They are wonderful! I love making beads this way! Not only am I following the credo of: reduce, reuse, recycle, I am making some beautiful beads.

Friday, March 20, 2009

At last, Spring is Here!

If you are reading this before 6:44 AM CST, you must realized that spring has not yet arrived, and winter is still here.
Then, at 6:44 AM CST,
Spring will burst out in Southern Minnesota!
It's been a long, cold winter.
What amazed me, this year,
is that so many robins stayed. There were huge flocks of them around.
They must like the cold weather we had!
Now, when I look, I see robins with twigs in their mouths.
I see mama robins waddling around as their eggs grow inside of them.
The crows are here in force.
The twigs they carry for their nests are more like branches.
The snow is finally melted.
Today, I looked in my back yard, and, you know what? I saw stubbles of green grass on the lawn.
There's not a lot yet, but it's almost there.
Take a look at this photo. I don't know if you can tell, but there are teeny, tiny bits of green showing.

It's barely there, but, it's there!

Look at these bare tree branches. Do you see the little tiny nubs at the end of the each branch? Yes, the tree is beginning to bud!
Our temperatures have become, almost over night, more mild.
Our days are brighter.
I can hardly wait!
Spring is finally here!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Etsy Blogger of the Month- Designs by Nora

I belong to an Etsy street team called Etsy Street Team Bloggers. Each month a member of the street team is featured, and this month the featured member is Designs by Nora. If you read her profile, you find out a few tidbits about this young woman.
Nora writes,
"Hello, My name is Nora and I live in Los Angeles, CA. I just graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Art, concentrating on Graphic Design. Besides my love for graphic design, I love making cards, jewelry, playing around with polymer clay, reading and geeking around on the computer."
Doesn't she sound like a fun person?

The next thing you have to do is to look at her Etsy shop, DesignsbyNora. Nora is selling some wonderful earrings she makes out of polymer clay and some purses designed and handmade by her uncle Naz. Take a look at these.

This little earring set caught my eye. I love the flowers. Talk about reasonably priced! Wow! Check out Nora's store to find out how great all her prices are!

Here's another pair of stud earrings found in Nora's shop! She really does a nice job with her polymer craft! There are more earrings to see in her shop. Just give it a visit.
Here's one of the purses made by Nora's Uncle Naz. They are awesome!

This gorgeous purse even has a name. It's called Cindy's purse! Wow! Lucky Cindy.

Nora's blog reflects her personality. It's fun to read! She features artisans with beautiful work! Wow! I was impressed. She also asks and answers questions.
"Q: What was your favorite movie when you were a kid? Is it still your favorite now that you're older?"
I had to think about that one! Hmmmmmm. So many to choose from.
"Q: If you could jump in a time machine and travel back to any point in history, where would you go?"
Now, if you want to know what Nora wrote, I'm not going to tell you. Visit her blog to find the answers. They really are interesting.

I think I could write a lot more about Nora. I hope I get to know her through the street team. Check out her store and her blog. You won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Look What Nancy Did with My Bead!

Can you see that weird, little bead in the middle of the necklace?
That's my bead, and Nancy, aka,
on Etsy,
bought my bead and turned it into this fabulous necklace!
I am so impressed!
I knew you'd want to see it!
Be sure to check out Nancy's store on Etsy.
She also made a pair of earrings to go with this fabulous necklace!
Take a look at this!

Wouldn't this make a fun set for the summer!

When you visit Nancy's store, be sure to check out her other items, too.

Nancy does many other things besides making jewelry. She's a very talented artist!
Nancy also makes lampwork beads.

This set is called Off Center. Isn't it great! Those colors are so yummy together! Wow!

Nancy, also, slumps glass to make dishes. Look at this piece called Beams.
Isn't it amazing?

Now, you be sure to visit Nancy's store, SmokeyLady54! You won't be disappointed!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A St. Patrick's Day Memory From First Grade

Yes, that's me.
I was six years old at the time, and I was in first grade.
The activity began at the beginning of March, as we started to prepare for our St. Patrick's Day Feast and celebration.
As first graders, it was important for us to show everyone at St. Mary's Grade School how good we were.
Not only would we perform for the rest of the school, on a real stage, but our parents were invited to the celebration, too.
The pressure was on.

Sister Mary Claudia was my first grade teacher.
I don't remember the name of the good sister who taught music, and would coordinate the program, so we shall call her
Sister Mary Music.

Well, Sister Mary Music came into our classroom to divide us up into groups for the celebration.
Sister Mary Claudia suggested that I go over to the chorus. So I did. While Sister Mary Music began to work with the chorus and the band, Sister Mary Claudia began to organize the dancers.
We heard the first song on a record. It was called "MacNamara's Band." Sister Mary Music asked us, the chorus, to join in the singing. She passed out instruments to the band. How she coordinated everything, at the same time, still amazes me!

Soon, we were singing and the band was playing.
Sister Mary Music started to go around the room listening to everyone play or sing. She stopped in front of me. She walked away and listened to a couple of other singers.
Practice ended.

A couple of days later, Sister Mary Music was back with a couple of helpers.
The band was playing.
The chorus was singing.
The dancers were dancing.
Sister Mary Music began to walk around the room again. She stopped and listened. She walked away, then she came back to me.
After practice, she called me out in the hall.
"Mallory," she said, "Would you like to play in the band?"
Well, of course, I would! Who wouldn't? There were little drums. There were little flutes. There were, yuck, stupid, little triangles.

Well, the little drums were all taken. The little flutes were taken. I know there other instruments in the band, but they were taken. There were still triangles left.
Yes, I got to play the triangle.

I'm not sure if she didn't like the way I played or improvised when it came to the triangle, but Sister Mary Music kept looking at me when I played.
I was having fun making my own rhythm with the band.
I didn't like playing the triangle only once in the song.
After class, Sister Mary Claudia and Sister Mary Music called me out in the hall.
"Mallory," they said, "Would you like to dance with the dancers?"
Of course, I would, and no more stupid triangle.

St. Patrick's Day finally arrived!
We were on the stage in front of the entire school and our parents.
The chorus and the band began the first song.
The big kids and the parents applauded.
Our first grade class was so proud!
We were really showing them how good the first graders were!

Next, the dancers came out.
I wore a skirt that was green and round and that twirled when I circled.
I had a partner, and his name was Arthur.
Well, we began a first grade version of a modified square dance to Irish music.
We were spectacular!
Everyone clapped and stood up for the first graders!
I'll never forget that.

Even though Sister Mary Music didn't think I could sing.
Even though Sister Mary Claudia and Sister Mary Music felt that I shouldn't improvise when I played that stupid triangle.
I think,
I ended up in the greatest place of all!
The dancers were the best!
Everyone applauded, too!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sometimes, you just have to call it what it is.....

If I stood out in the rain and got soaked, I'd call myself WET.

If I lay in the sun way too long, I'd call myself BURNT.

If I walked into a wall because I wasn't looking where I was going, I'd call myself TOOPID.

If I dropped a hammer on my foot, I'd call myself, HURT.

When I play with colors and shapes and frits, and this is the result, I call the bead

What else can I say?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

An Exercise in Creative Journaling

Again, you get to see a photo of my creative journal. What you see on this page is the result of an exercise I developed to help me think out of the box. You can try this yourself, or develop your own creative exercise to help your creative juices flow.

What do you see?
Round 1: Answer these questions using only 1 word.

What do you see
1. When you look at a cloud?
2. When you look at a pattern in a fabric?
3. When you look at a pair of shoes?
4. When you open a closed door?
5. When you look at a blade of grass?

Round 2: Answer the same questions using 2 words.

Here are my answers.
1. white
shapeless mass
2. red
blue paisley
3. pointed
black toes
4. clothes
on hangars
5. green
soft point

Round 3. Draw an image using one of your answers. I chose question one for this.
See #1 in the drawing.

Round 4. Change 3 things in the image.
See #2

Round 5. Change 3 more things in the image.
See #3.

Look at that possibilities for that bead! I plan to make a bead based on the changes in the drawing. I will post that later.

See what fun you can have? Try it and share some of your results. I'd love to see them!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Have you seen this website yet?

It's called
All My Faves.
Click on a box,
and it takes you to that link.
It's so easy to do.
Here's a partial screen shot of the page.
This won't take you anywhere, but go to the homepage,
and the world is there for you!
Everything is listed alphabetically.
The page is much more clear than in this screen shot.
It's a convenient way to put everything you like on one page.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Another Contest!

Now, how fun is this?
Thanks to Marcy Lamberson of
Studio Marcy,
Marcy's awesome blog,
I learned of Mary Lockwood's
Glass Olympics.
has links to other contests there on this page.
Thank you, Marcy.
Now, I looked at the entries already posted there,
and I honestly think that the winner was there before I posted.
When you look, you'll know who I mean.
Just click on the thumbnails at the bottom of the page to see the entries.
Mary states her criteria for judging.
So, please, comment on the photos there.
You can comment on mine, too, but, truly, I don't expect to win.
This was just a great opportunity to have some fun.
Here's what I entered.
I call this one "Spring Bone."
This was just fun to make and an opportunity to use a little tongue in cheek in lampworking.

I call this one Cupcakes in a PeaPod.
This was also a fun bead to make.
I hope to have it put into my Etsy store tomorrow or the next day.
Like I said,
the winner was there before I posted.
Check it out.
I do know who I will vote for.
I think I know who you will vote for, too.
It's okay.
She did a fabulous job!
I love kites, too!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Now this was fun!

I am now, and have been for a while, a fan of Jennifer Heynen's
ceramic beads.
Her store on Etsy is known as Jangles.
In her blog, on February 13,
Jennifer announced the details of
Jangles Creative Celebration.
I decided to enter
because it gave me the chance I wanted to purchase some Jangles beads.
I'm not sorry I did!
They are absolutely wonderful!
Check out Jennifer's Etsy store to see more of her creations!
I just wanted to show you what I entered.
Each person is allowed 3 entries.
This is my first entry. It's a bracelet I made using memory wire, my own lampwork beads, a gorgeous focal bead from Jangles,
and flexible bangle beads from
Now what do you think is my favorite color?
You're right, red!
Just kidding.
Anyway, that's entry #1.
My second entry was a necklace that I made using Jangles beads exclusively and a hand dyed silk ribbon from Deb Batten
The beads and the colors in the silk ribbon
worked well together
to make a beautiful necklace for me to wear!

Love it! Love it! Love it!
Last, but not least, is a pair of earrings I made using Jangles beads and Swarovsky crystals.
Take a peek!
The colors are perfect for spring,
I can hardly wait to wear them!

So, wish me luck!
Even if I don't "win" in this celebration,
I have already won!
I have some beautiful new pieces of jewelry to wear
when I go to the Bead and Button Show
in June
I will get to meet Jennifer there
since I am taking a class from her.
How can I loose?
I've already won.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I thought we were through with winter.

Guess I was wrong. Look what's coming down now as I write. We're supposed to get 1-4 inches. We'll have wind gusts up to 40 mph. We're going back down to below zero tonight. I'm sick of this!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My Weekend Visitors!

And It Was Fun.

Here's Tommy.

Here's Marvin.

Monday, March 9, 2009


On March 3, Louise Ingram of Fireseed Glass, challenged us in her blog to attempt a challenge. She showed the photos of Tom Moore's PotatoFishCar in her blog. To help us come out of our winter blues and to recharge the creative juices, Louise asked us to create something that was animal/vegetable/object using Tom Moore's photo for inspiration. It took some thinking and drawing, but here is the result of this challenge. What do you think, Louise? It's my woman/cupcake/peapod. Now, that is an "interesting" bead. Here it is. By the way, she's hiding behind a flower. What do you think?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Let's make broken pieces of glass--aka--shards, a mini tutorial.

I have become a shards junkie. I love to use shards on beads! If you have read some of past blogs, you've seen some of my beads that have shards. I truly love using them when working with glass. If you are a non-glass person, you might ask, "What are shards?" Simply put, shards are thin, broken pieces of glass. Shards are used to apply decoration and/or texture to molten glass beads. All right, next question, how do you make shards? The answer is: very easily with only one tool.

The tool you need is a hollow mandrel. You can see that mine is well used.

The next step is to melt glass on the uncoated mandrel. The color choice(s) are yours. You can make shards in as many different colors as you like. You can add left over stringers, twisties, enamels, silver foil, silver foil, frit or all of the above.

This is a picture of a molten blob of glass at the end of the mandrel before I blow the glass.

Here I am beginning to blow into the other end of the hollow mandrel. The glass is beginning to expand.

Look how big that little blog became. In actuality, it's a little bit too big, but for the sake of this tutorial, it's just fine. Yeah, right.

I let the shard ball cool in a small aluminum pan that I use only for glass. In this photo, the mandrel is still attached. As it cools, the mandrel just breaks off at the edge. If, for some reason, the mandrel doesn't come off, I simply tap the mandrel, and the glass shard breaks off.

This is the final product--the shards. At this point, I break them. I usually just use my hands. On thicker shards, I guard my hands carefully and use a small hammer. After that, I use the shards in my beads.

For those who prefer not to make their own shards, there are many wonderful suppliers of shards. Google to find the suppliers or enjoy making your own.