Saturday, January 31, 2009

Anyone Else Have Your Challenge Photos?

I have two entries for this challenge! Does anyone else have any to send me? Remember, it doesn't have to be glass to be entered. Send me a convo on etsy with your pictures, or I'll convo you back and I'll send you my email address. You can do whatever you feel is best.

Now, I have some more inspiration photos. Guess where I found these?

They were in my kitchen cupboard! These are plates I use in the summer when we eat outside. What do you think?

So, which one is your favorite? Can you use it in a work of art? Let me know. I'm taking these down to my work area. I want to see what will come of these plates.

Friday, January 30, 2009

When life Hands You a Flood


After I finished crying, and as the situation got worse because they couldn't unclog the clog, I started to laugh. The technician was supposed to get here at 8 AM, but because his truck wouldn't start, he got here at 8:30 AM. Not bad. He started to work on the clog as soon as he got here. It's now 3:55 PM. A supervisor is here working, too. I am hoping that the work will be finished soon. I started laughing after the tech was late. Something told me that this wouldn't be easy! Here are the photos. Stay tuned. More drama to follow later!

This is the drain that's clogged. I thought the water was clean. Oooops, I was wrong. This drain leads to the sewer.

This is a closer view of the drain. The water is all over the floor. You just can't see it.

The water spilled over into the adjoining store room. There's only a wall that separates the laundry room from the store room.

These are some of the tools the techs were using and still are.

I don't think you can see the steam coming off of the rug I hauled outside. It's 10 degrees. No wonder this wet rug is steaming.

I dragged the rugs and laundry outside through the "shop." What I didn't realize is that the dripping water froze as it went outside the door.

This is where the water dripped outside of the door. It really did freeze! I had to use snow melt on the ice. I hope I have enough!

Well, that's where this is at so far. More to follow later!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

29 Day Giving Challenge

"Give one thing away each day for 29 days. Why? Because to see your world change, you have to DO something to change your world."

When you go to the home page of the 29 Day Giving Challenge, those are the first words you will see. I read about this challenge on another blog. I only wish, now, that I could remember which blog because I'd love to give that person the credit for sending me to this site.

I started my journey in giving. Today, I gave some of my time. I visited Sister Sharon who is in a nursing home. We both enjoyed the visit.

Tomorrow, I have a bag of beads ready for a friend whom I am meeting for lunch. She's a jewelry designer. I hope that she likes them.

After that, I'm not sure. This is going to be a real challenge.

The community of the 29 Day giving challenge is also very kind and welcoming. It's amazing to read the stories and how lives have been changed. I'm looking forward to the change. Perhaps, a bit of peace will come from this.

Mother Theresa once said, "
God doesn’t require us to succeed; he only requires that you try."

This is one way on the journey to try.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


What do you do with your leftover lampwork beads? I donate a lot of my extra beads to Beads of Courage. No matter what, though, I still seem to have a lot of left over beads that I don't know how to use. These beads, although not always perfect, are beads that I might not use in jewelry, but these beads are beads that could be used in other types of projects.

This is a tutorial that teaches you how to make an easy bookthong (aka bookmark), but bookthong sounds a little bit naughty. You don't need much to make this bookthong.

two lampwork beads
18" of a cord that will fit through the holes on the beads
a pair of scissors
a ruler
fray check
About 10 minutes

1) Tie a knot at one end of the cord. Slide a lampwork bead up to that knot. Tie another knot on the other side of the lampwork bead.

Make sure you've treated the raw end of the cord by using Fray Check or, as I did because I have nylon cord, I burned the end to prevent fraying.

I just do a quick check to see if I need to cut my cord down or not. Usually, I use about 12" in the book itself.

I measure and cut about 15" from the bead to the end of the cord. I use the extra so that I have enough room to tie the knots.

Tie another knot about 2-3 inches in from the other end of the cord and tie another knot on the
other side of the lampwork bead.

Cut the end of the cord and treat with Fray Check.

Your book thong is finished!

Talk about easy, and you are using those beads you might not otherwise use.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Lucy Kaplansky - a New favorite!

Girls' Night Out was great! Until that night, I had not heard of Lucy Kaplansky. I went more to spend time with my friends than I did for the concert. I had no idea of what to expect, but, by the time the concert was over, I knew that I had a new favorite entertainer. Enough said. Ladies and Gentlemen, Lucy Kaplansky!

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Joys of Inspiration

I'm trying to be more creative. That is a challenge for me, so I need tools to help. When I was out shopping the other day, I found a small kaleidoscope. I can understand why children have such fun looking through the eye of this toy. The distortions caused by the lense of this toy gave me a new vision of things I see everyday.

This is Spike's blanket. It has been a great source of inspiration to me. Look at the flower. Wouldn't those colors make a great murrini?

I love the way the artist blended the colors. I was amazed to see colors together that I don't normally use together. All right, I am digressing, but these are interesting ways to
combine different colors.

I thought it might be interesting to take pictures of what I would see through the eye of the lense. Look at this one. I used a flash with the photograph.

You won't see the aura in the next photos. I didn't use a flash. What kind of a pattern could you make on a bead? Look at the trail of flowers and leaves. This could be a flower with a bumble bee in the center.

This is the same section of Spike's blanket with no flash. I can see a murrini in the center with dots around it. Use a twistie of similar colors, and you have a new bead!

Do you know what this is? You're right. It's Spike sleeping--again! Now, look at Spike through the kaleidoscope. What do you see now?

I see a twistie made from red purple and white that is spreading out on a base of black. I see shards in purple red mixed with blue and white. I see a lentil shape. I'd sure like to know what you see and how you'd make a bead from these photos.

There's one last thing. Sometimes, you can see something new by looking a different way.

Here we are looking into the kaleidoscope from the bottom instead of the top. Here's what I see. I see a base of transparent clear with a twistie made from clear and white encased in opaque cobalr blue. What do you see? I'd sure like to know. Even if you don't melt glass, I'd love to hear how you interpret these images in the medium in which you work.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Frost on the What?

I know you've heard the saying, "frost on the pumpkin." Have you heard the expression, "Frost on the INSIDE of the garage door?" Maybe, I should start at the beginning of my story and not at the end of it.

The morning was beautiful! You can still see a touch of the dawn in the photo. It was clear and crisp, very crisp! The actual temperature was 12 degrees below zero! It was COLD!

Isn't that a pretty photo?

This morning, I went out to the garage to warm up my car before I left. In cold weather like this, warming up the car is a necessity, not an option. I'm so glad that I didn't follow my normal pattern. Open garage door. Go out to garage.

Today, I grabbed my keys and walked into the garage without opening the garage door first.
Look what I saw!

The inside of the garage door was covered with frost! I don't remember ever having see that before. Look at the dance of the frost on the door.

Didn't someone say that inspiration is everywhere? The possibilities are endless!

Friday, January 23, 2009

One World One Heart

Don't you just love a give away? I've decided to participate in a project sponsored by Lisa Swifka, A Whimsical Bohemian. Be sure to check out her blog for more information about this great project!

This is a first for me. This give away is open to anyone who would care to participate in it. You don't have to be a blogger to enter. All you have to do is to leave a comment on this blog and a way for me to contact you if you win. I'll draw a name from the list of people who leave a comment. That's it. It's simple. So, if you would like to win a heart, a glass lampwork heart, leave a comment. I'll be drawing the name of the winner on February 12th when this program ends. See OWOH for more information. You might want to participate in this event, too!

So, here's the prize, just in time for Valentine's Day. I'll mail the heart to you as soon as you respond to my email.

Good luck! I hope you win!

Bits and Pieces of Today

ATTENTION: Before I forget, please have photos for the challenge to me by January 31st. That should give everyone enough time to design something special for this challenge. Thanks. If you are confused, see my post on January 17th, I think!

Bit 1: I met Suzanne, my friend, a former special ed teacher for lunch. Suzanne and I used to share an office when we taught. We used to laugh so much that other teachers would come into our office and ask us to be quiet because we were disturbing their classes. We'd end up trying hard to smother our laughter only to be warned again, that we were going to be sent to the office if we continued, which, of course would send ut into more laughter. Anyway, that was how our day often went. I remember all the laughter and how Suzanne helped me to laugh even when I was ready to cry.

Bit 2: Notice we are both wearing lampwork beads. Suzanne's birthday was earlier in January, and she didn't wear any jewelry today, as she said, "Sort of hoping that I'd remember." Right, Suzanee. She loved her vessel!

Bit 3: We met at the Classic Grille and Bar or vice versa in New Prague, Minnesota.

Bit 4: New Prague is a small town that still has the charm of a small town, but many of the amenities of a bigger city. The Classic Grille is one of those amenities. It has a small town atmosphere, with big town qualities, plus it has great food! We had a great time catching up. It's been a while since we have been able to get together. I'm so glad we did!

Bit 5: After lunch, we went shopping and look what I found! Isn't this an awesome watch? It's so garish, but it's so ME! I knew it had to be mine, and it is!!!!! Thank you, Suzanne, for taking me shopping after lunch.

Bit 5: When I finally got home, Spike demanded attention, of course. How could I go out and leave him for so long. I keep saying that he should be a cat. He was finally happy, and I made supper.

Bit 6: After supper, I looked outside. Look what I saw! This was the perfect ending to a fun filled and exciting day.

Isn't that sunset amazing? Some days are just overwhelming with blessings. Today was one of them. I am so thankful.

End of the bits for the day.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I was Once a piece of cake

My name is Oliver, and once upon a time, I was a piece of cake. That's how I always begin my talk at the meetings I attend for critters that once were something else. I know you won't believe this, but it's true. I've been told that my life began with dark brown glass to represent chocolate. That's the rock I'm sitting on, I think. Then came the glass that would be the icing on the cake, literally. It was at that point that something went wrong. I honestly don't know what. Maybe the glass got too hot and drooped, I don't know. I only know that one minute I was a piece of cake, and in the next few minutes, I lost my cake identity, and became and octopus. I don't even like swimming in the water. I don't know why it had to be an octopus. Cake melts in water, doesn't it? The member of my group, CWOWSTE, Critters Who Were Once Some Thing Else, tell me I have to get over this indignity and look to the future. It's tough, though. I still feel the cake inside of me. Oh, well, enough of the pity party. I do have good news.

I have been told that a box of beads is being readied to send to Beads of Courage, and I am going to be a part of that box! If you don't know about Beads of Courage or BOC, please click on the link to read more about it. The basic idea behind beads of courage is to help children who are ill to mark their progress in the healing journey with a bead for each milestone! I am going to be one of those beads! I am so happy. I can hardly wait to see the child who chooses me. I hope I make that child very happy.

Wait! I don't think I'm going to need my group any more! I don't care if I started out as a piece of cake! I'm going to Beads of Courage! I'm going to be a milestone!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Divas are back in Town!

There are two new divas in town! By the time you read this, they should be in my etsy store, I hope. If not then, soon! Most of their stories will be told here, but not all of it. Like most divas, they are somewhat mysterious! I call them Fire and Ice, but they do have other names, and they request that you use those names preceded by the word Miss. (Are they divas or what?)

I would like to present to you the Fire Diva. Her real name is Aimada (pronounced I-May-Da.) Please remember to precede her name with the word, Miss. Her name is Miss Aimada to you.

Aimada is still fairly young, but she's had a rough life. She's been part of a heavy metal rock group for 3 years now, and she's starting to wear out. She's the lead singer, and, by all accounts, does set the audience on fire. That's why the band keeps her around. Rumor has it that Aimada, I mean, Miss Aimada ran away from home when she was 17, and she, honestly now, joined a circus. She was the owner of a reptile act there when the band leader saw her. He heard her sing to the reptiles and calm down an over active alligator with only her voice. Since then, Aimada has been singing with the group, but she's weary of it now. She wants to go on to become an actress, perhaps. She grows weary of discussing her plans with the fans, so Aimada has stated, through her publicist, that she will no longer hold interviews. She only wants what's best for the group, though.

No one really knows if what Aimada has said is true. Now the rumor is that she was never in a circus and that she is, gasp!, ten years older than she claims.
Oh, my!

This is my Ice Diva. She really is cold as ice. She doesn't allow anyone to become close to her. Her name is Esmira. When you speak with her or about her, please remember to precede her name with Miss, Miss Esmira.

Rumors continue about both divas, Fire and Ice. One rumor going around says that they would like to meet someday, but, neither diva has made the effort to see the other diva. I don't think that rumor is true, but I'm not sure.

Miss Esmira's story, though tragic, brought her to the fame she has today, or, at least, she thinks she has. When she was 14, Esmira was driving with her parents to see her mother's older sister. There was a tragic car accident. Esmira was the only survivor, but even though she survived, her face was terribly disfigured. She went to live with her aunt until her aunt died leaving Esmira a person of great monetary wealth. Esmira then pursued her career of writing without fear of needing money to survive or to have to go out and face the public at work.

Miss Esmira's writings became part of the folk lore of the country. Everyone wondered who this woman was. Rumors floated around that she had lost a love in the accident. Most people could not realize how frightened Miss Elmira was until they saw her shaking before she went on a live television show to promote her book. The audience jumped to their feet in surprise when they saw her face. From that day forward Miss Esmira wore a veil over her face. No one was ever able to see her face until today.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Case of the Disappearing Blog

Here it is! The blog that disappeared. I thought I had deleted it by mistake. It just disappeared then never showed up as scheduled. Today, I checked the LEST blog. Guess what, it was there! OOOOOPS! So, now, I brought it home!

Absolutely Worthless Facts about what I can do in a Minute

Have you ever timed yourself to see what you can do in a minute? I did that tonight. Here are some absolutely worthless facts about what I did in a minute. Oh, and here's a picture of my lava lamp.

I did these things in one minute.

1) I clapped 163 times in one minute.

2) I rubbed Spike's ears 107 times in one minute.

3) I wiggled my toes 115 times in one minute.

4) I took 12 deep breaths in one minute.

5) I counted 104 bubbles in my lava lamp in one minute.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Live Your Poem

Yesterday, I featured Shadesong on Etsy in this blog. One of my favorite items in her store is this pendant called "Live Your Poem." Remember this photo?

I thought about this! Live your Poem. So, I wrote my poem.

My Poem

Be kind.
Be good.
Melt Glass.

Now, what's your poem? I'd love to hear.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Shadesong on Etsy

As I was cruising Etsy the other day, I found wonderful pendant at Shadesong's store. By the way, you should visit her store. It is fabulous!

What an amazing way to look at life!

These earrings are called Sassy Denim Shorts Dangle Earrings. These would be fun to wear with those comfortable denim jeans. I just love them! What fun to wear!

This pendant really caught my eye today. With the tough economic times we are experiencing in our world today, this word means a great deal. We all need to laugh more. Thank you, Shadesong, for helping us to remember.

Shadesong has so many wonderful items in her store. She makes pendants, tins, necklaces, and bracelets with photos. This necklace is just an example of her photographic work. The title of this necklace is: Good Night Blue Moon Owl Necklace. It's lovely!

Visit Shadesong's store. Trust me, you won't be disappointed!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

My Challenge to You!

Do you like these photos? They are bright and colorful! I took both of these photos. Can you guess what they are? They are two different pictures of my lava lamp! There was a slight difference in color, but for the most part, they are the same.

Now, for the challenge.

Within the next two weeks, I would like you to use one or both of the photos in your art, and I would like for you to send me a photo of your work. It can be glass, but it doesn't have to be glass. (Did I really say that?) You can use these photos in any medium you would like to produce your masterpiece.

If anyone sends me photos, I will blog about all the works of art that are sent to me in two weeks. So, you have about 14 days to contact me. I hope you do. I would love to see what comes out of this challenge.

Please send me a convo on etsy since I don't want to post my email address here. You can also send me the photos in your convo. Include a little note about why this photo or these photos inspired you and the pathy you took to developing your masterpiece. Be sure to send me a link to your blog, website, and/or online store.

Let's bolt out of the winter doldrums! Take up this challenge. I'm going to have to make something myself! I still don't know what!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Featuring FireSeed Glass by Louise Ingram!

I first "met" Louise on a glass forum called Wet Canvas. We both posted in a thread called the Newbie Thread. When I first joined, I found out that most of the so called Newbies, were anything but Newbies. Louise is one of those people. She wasn't a newbie when I first "met" her, and she continues to develop her art. Now, if you like to "monkey around," I suggest strongly that you visit Louise's shop called Fireseed Glass on Etsy.

Louise talks about her experience with melting glass. I am quoting now from Louise's profile on Etsy.

"I first became inspired to try lampworking (the process) when I saw pictures of beautiful beads that had little glass frogs perched on them - from then the whole thing became an obsession. I keep getting waylaid with different ideas so I haven’t actually made a bead with a frog on it yet, maybe I never will, but I do have those to thank for my decent into the world of hot glass! Sometimes it’s hard to come up for air."

What I thought was so interesting about Louise's comment is that she is not known for her frogs, but for monkeying around with monkeys! Take a look at some of her work!

This bead is simply called "Monkey Bead. Isn't he cute? Wait until you see some more of the her monkeys!

Isn't that a sweet, little monkey? Wouldn't you like to own him! We don't want to "Leaf" him alone. His title is "Leaf Me Alone." We want to own him, don't we?

Now, Louise makes other wonderful art beads. This bead is called "Once in a Blue Moon." Isn't it stunning? Oh, my, Louise! It is awesome!

We're back to monkeys again. This is my absolute favorite monkey made by Louise that's in her store right now, other than the space monkey, but I didn't see him in her store. This is Louise's "Two Faced Monkey." He really does have two faces! How do I know this? Well, I'm the proud owner of one of these adorable monkeys! I was gifted with this monkey in an exchange in which Louise and I were both members. I was soooooooooo lucky! I love this little guy!

So, if you would like to visit Louise's store, you won't be disappointed. Give it a whirl and be sure to monkey around a bit while you're there.