Sunday, January 31, 2010

The World's Favorite Food - Popcorn!

Well, maybe not the WORLD's, but I consider popcorn to be one of my favorite meals and/or snacks.

When the kids were little, we often feasted on a supper or lunch meal of popcorn and granny smith apples. Delicious!

I also love to try different things with popcorn. If you go to, do a search, there are a lot of popcorn recipes.

How about making a Popcorn Cake? It's sweet and chocolate. Sounds absolutely wonderful!

Anyone up for Rocky Road Popcorn Truffles? Those sound wonderful, too!

Anyone up for Cinnamon Sugar Popcorn?

Look at these Popcorn Nachos. Who would have thunk?

Now, I have to try this one--Popcorn Salad. That looks very intersting.

Chili Taco Popcorn sounds like it would go great with the football game.

I could go on and on. This is a wonderful site for many different types of recipes, not just popcorn. However, for me, it was worth the tour.

What do you think? What's your favorite way to eat popcorn?

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Shameless Self Promotion SaturDay!

Did you know I carry lampworking supplies in my Etsy store? To see them all on one page, go to the category: Lampwork Supplies
or just use this link.

I carry these shards that I blew myself. I really like them. They are so pretty.
I have two other types of shards. If you like shards like I do, you might like these.

I also carry mandrels.
They are cut and ground with my own hands. They are 316L stainless steel. I use them myself, and I can attest to their quality.

I carry the 1/16" mandrels.
I carry the 3/32" mandrels.
I also carry the 1/8" mandrels.
I am hoping to carry the pandora sized mandrels soon. I need to find a more efficient way to cut them. It takes a long time with a coping saw!

I also carry frit for lampworking.
For my non glass friends, frit is ground glass that you melt into your bead as you make it. I have some that are destash frits. I just have way too much! Or the most popular:
Chalcedony by Gaffer Glass.

Well thanks for looking at this ad. I hope you enjoyed my quick tour of my lampwork supplies. I hope to add more as the season continues.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Three Beautiful Things This Week

The Three Beautiful Things This Week is a result of a wonderful blog by Clare called Three Beautiful Things. Everyday, Clare writes about 3 Beautiful Things that happen each day in her life. It's a wonderful blog! I can only hope to imitate her in a very small way.

1) The weather turned very cold again, and Pixie made me smile and laugh. Rather than wait for me to find her coat, she snuggled under the blankets to keep warm.

2) I experienced, first hand, the power of Nature on the day we had a blizzard. Only 2 inches of snow had fallen, but the winds were fierce. Highways were closed all around us, and I experienced a "white out" as I drove down a residential street. The sun was shining, but below where the winds were raging, we couldn't see to drive.

3) I reconnected with two dear friends whom I have missed terribly this week. They both were gone, but now, we are united again as women and as friends.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

My Love Affair Hate Affair with Chalcedony Glass by Gaffer

Those of you who know me know that I have a love affair-hate affair with Chalcedony glass by Gaffer. Lately, I have to admit, it's been a love affair. Colors are popping. Shapes are shaping. Beautiful things are coming out of the kiln.

I made this necklace--------------->
using components I made with Chalcedony glass. The focal is, of course, Chalcedony. The tube beads and the cube beads are also Chalcedony glass. The head pin was made with Chalcedony glass. This is part of my love affair with this glass.

I made this heart ----------------->
using blue Chalcedony Glass by Gaffer. It's an off mandrel heart.
Chalcedony doesn't like to be sculpted as much as it likes to be made into a bead. I'm very pleased with the colors that popped from this heart. You can see this in my Etsy store.

I love this bicone! ---------------->
The colors really popped from that inner skin. I'm debating whether I should keep it or not. I have to think about it.

I call this bead--------------------->
The colors really popped. I used both blue Chalcedony and Chalcedony in this bead.

This is truly one of my favorite Chalcedony Beads. I love the idea of butterflies and spring! (Bring on spring she said as the temperatures began to dip!) Like I said, Chalcedony doesn't like to be sculpted, so the colors don't necessarily pop. I do think I got some okay colors from this bead. I also think that the okay colors really make this bead look great. It's in my Etsy store.

I have to admit, it's been more love than hate with this glass lately. Woohoooo! Try it. I think you will like it! If not, just send me the glass. I have a love affair hate affair with it, and I will love it, I think!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Presenting Nell Stanley aka Fire Dancer Beads

Can you guess where I met Nell Stanley? On Facebook, of course!
She's a wonderful lampwork artist and jewelry designer! She's also a blogger.

Look at this beautiful bracelet!
I found the photo on her blog.
It was a gift for her mother-in-law who turned a very spry 81. What a fantastic gift! It is so feminine! She must love her MIL dearly! It is beautiful!

I found this pendant
----------------------------------> in Nell's Etsy Store--Fire Dancer Beads. Isn't it lovely? It's a very innovative design, too! I love it!

Look at these adorable earrings!
These are also in Nell's Etsy Store.
She does a great job, doesn't she?

If you are on Facebook, be sure to look Nell up. She's a great friend! I know you'll really enjoy getting to know her.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Bead Soup--Look What Came in the Mail!

This is it! My Bead Soup Mix. My partner in this exchange is Sandra Neights of Marabella Jewelry Designs on Etsy, and look what came in the mail. I'm drooling! The components are so soft and feminine! I love them!

Look at the beautiful clasp and focal! ---------------------------->
The clasp is sterling. Beautiful!

Take a closer look at this focal.
Sandra made this using Precious Metal Clay! Can you believe that this beautiful focal was HANDMADE by Sanrda! It's amazing!

Now, I have to let all the ideas mull around in my head. I want to design something as beautiful as I was given. Woooohoooooo!
Thank you, Sandra!

Monday, January 25, 2010

One World One Heart

Today begins the annual global blog event: ONE WORLD ONE HEART! We will be riding the magic carpet into this blog event. As you can see from the badge, this event begins today and ends February 15 of this year. That is the day I will announce the winner of my give away.

So, you ask, what is she going to give away?

In a previous blog,I asked my readers: Which heart would you choose?
Since the results were about even, I have decided that I will have two OWOH winners. I am offering both hearts as gifts for two lucky winners.

See this heart? --------------------->
This will be the heart that winner #1 will win. I will choose a winner using a random number generator. So, I hope I have lots and lots of posts. Wait, I'm getting way ahead of myself here.

See this heart? ------------------>

This will be the second heart I give away using a random number generator.

Now, how do you qualify to win one of these hearts?

Easy Peasy!

1)All you have to do is to leave a post on this blog.

2)Since I will need a way to contact you, you will also need to leave an email address where I can contact you if you win.

Could anything be easier? Just leave a post with your email address. You might be one of the winners! I will draw the winner on February 14, 2010 (Valentine's Day) and announce the winners here on February 15!

I look forward to getting to know you.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

For Tanya's Heart - Aardvark Silver on Etsy and Artfire

100% for Tanya's Heart

Tanya Boden is an Etsy seller (Aardvark Silver) who is in desperate need of life saving surgery. Where she lives, she must pay for the surgery upfront. Please take a moment to read her story and/or shop her Etsy store.

See this vessel--------------------->
100% of the sale pirce will go to Tanya's fund for her heart. I am also including free shipping for all my vessels.

Tanya's story is told here:

You can also donate directly on her pledge page:
(I think you'll have to copy and paste to get to the link.)

I have 6 vessels in my shop. 100% of the monies from the sales of these vessels will go to Tanya's fund. Please check the causes link in my shop.

Inspiration Found

Everyday I read a wonderful blog called Treasures Found: Inspiration is Everywhere written by Erin Prais-Hintz. It's truly one of my favorite blogs. Erin shows us, as we journey through life, to find treasures everywhere we look and how to gain inspiration from them. This blog is beautiful and informative. I love Erin's writing style, and her jewelry is beautiful!

I have taken her lessons to heart, and I have tried to find inspiration in what I see. In this case, I think I did! Can you guess what I used? Are you ready?
>Here's the answer!

Paper Towels----------------------->

Not just one paper towel, but another one, as well!

Here's how they inspired me!

These butterflies ------------------->
are for Beads of Courage. This paper towel inspired the new wing shape.

This paper towel inspired thoughts of spring and button flowers!

Isn't that wonderful that something so mundane and everyday can inspire a bead or two or three or four?

Erin, thank you for your guidance and helping me to learn to see that there truly are treasures everywhere. With those treasures is inspiration!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Three Beautiful Things This Week

The Three Beautiful Things This Week is a result of a wonderful blog by Claire called Three Beautiful Things. Everyday, Claire writes about 3 Beautiful Things that happen in her life. It's a wonderful blog! I can only hope to imitate her in a very small way.

1) The greyhounds were visiting at Pet Expo today. I couldn't help it. I had to buy Pixie a Valentine's scrunchy to go with her collar. She was the most beautiful greyhound there! No other grey had a valentine's collar. No other grey had a scrunchy! She loves her new collar, too!

2) This morning the landscape was a landscape of contrast. Where the fog floated down the river, the trees were kissed with the softest fur of ice. As we climbed the hill to go home, the trees were black without the white kiss of the fog.

3) I finished my state taxes today! If you don't think that's a beautiful thing, you don't know my organizational system! I'm so happy to be finished with taxes!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Renee Wiggins--Artist, Supplies, and so much more

I made a visit to Renee Wiggins' website called Jet Age Studio. What a treat that was for me! Talk about exciting treats for the lampworking eye! Take a look at this frit------------------------------------------>!
Isn't it beautiful? It's called "Electron." It's a hand blended reduction frit from Jet Age Studio!

Oh, and there's so much more! But before we go into some of the other products featured in Jet Age Studio, I want you to hear what Renee has to say about herself.

"I took my first lampworking glass back in 1993 with Sam Sypolt (the Tucson folks may recognize that name best! ). Glass working became more than just lampworking to me, so soon after the lampworking experience, I started studying other methods to manipulate glass beginning with mosaic art, stained glass, then fusing. Fusing stuck with me for several years (and continues to be a chosen artistic outlet for me to this day), but in 2006 I decided to buy my first bench torch mainly to work elements into my fused work. I got bit by the lampworking bug again hard, and got back into making beads immediately. Getting back on the torch opened my eyes to even more glass manipulation techniques. I now focus on making decorative elements such as murrini, which I use in my own work as well as sell to supply other lampworkers."

Murrini, (I never know how to correctly spell that word!) Take a look at this!

This is only one sample of the many beautiful murrini's available from Jet Age Studio. I'm just drooling!
This one is called "O'Keefe." There are many other types of murrini on the web site to inspire you to greater levels of skill and creativity. Speaking of inspiration, here's what Renee has to say about inspiration.

"I get my color ideas and inspiration from so many sources; nature, the city, the desert, the numerous (too many in fact!) design magazines I subscribe to, and definitely other glass artists. I love to get out into nature; I'm an avid gardener so it's a natural "go to" for me when I want inspiration. My husband is a fine art painter, and his work always inspires me with how he layers his colors. We also belong to a local artist group and often have meetings just discussing art in general. Learning from and seeing how I can "adopt" some of their ideas from their disciplines into mine is always inspiring (and challenging). Knowing I still have so much more to learn about glass always keeps me wanting to 'do more'."

Renee is also a very talented bead artist!
Look at this bead! --------------------------------------------------->
Isn't it amazing?

There are more beads to see on the website. I particularly liked this one.

Now, one thing I have to tell you privately. In an exclusive interview with me, Renee admitted that she is "guilty" of some things. Yes, you heard right. Renee said she is GUILTY of certain things. Here's what she had to say about this. Remember this is an exclusive.

"I'm really guilty of namely wearing my pj's all day in the name of "art"...feeding the neighborhood kitties "unsolicited" table scraps and seeking recipes to "copy" ethnic cuisine."

Well, I tried. Renee is not only a talented artist, but she has a wonderful web site with great items to feed the lampworking soul. When you visit, be sure to visit her e-zine: JATO. It's really wonderful reading, and it's more food for the artistic soul.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Beads of Courage and Butterflies

In my opinion, Beads of Courage is one of the most empowering organizations for children who are ill. Each child in the program receives a bead for each step of their treatment program. Colors are important for Beads of Courage because they are treatment milestones of progress to these young people who are so very ill.

Purple hearts are given to children at the start of their treatment programs. There is always a need for purple hearts.

As treatments progress, and even after treatment is completed for these courageous children, death does happen. I cannot imagine a parent's grief as they loose a child.

Beads of Courage is also here for these grieving parents. Butterflies, a symbol of peace and hope, are given to parents who have lost a child. Please look at the Beads of Courage website. There are many ways to help. Your heart will be touched by the courage of these wonderful children and their parents.

I make 2 butterflies each time I torch. I've started to wire wrap them now, too, but I do know that butterflies are welcomed by this organization wrapped or not.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Do Not Call Registry

If you have a cell phone in the United States, this is important information for you.
(Don't I sound official and important?)

In all honesty, it really is. Cell phone numbers are being released to telemarketers in February. You will be charged for the calls made to your number by them. It is important to CALL the Do Not Call Registry to stop this.

My understanding is this:

1) You can only get your number listed by calling. You can't do it on line.

2) You must call from the phone you want to have listed.

3) It takes 31 days from the time you call to be able to report telemarketers.

I called. The call took about 2 minutes to complete. Here's the number:


Monday, January 18, 2010

Craft Hope - Benefits the efforts of Doctors Without Borders in Haiti

I think we all stood by in hopeless disbelief as the newscasts from Haiti showed the devastation of the 7.3 earthquake there. We saw the dead. We saw the injured. We saw the rubble of what once was a city.

Help was and is on the way. A new store on Etsy, Craft Hope, opened on January 14 to aid the legitimate charity: Doctors without borders. 100% of the donated items to the store will go to this wonderful organization to help the poor and devastated in Haiti. The only monies that will not go to the charity will be the Etsy and PayPal fees.

Artisans on Etsy are donating their crafts and wares. Here are some examples. I can't promise that these will be in the store when you read this blog because in 3 days, the store has had 280 sales and grossed over $4,000 for Doctors without Borders.

When I last checked, my vessel was still in the store. If you choose to buy this vessel, it will come with an 18 inch silver chain so that you can use it immediately. This isn't the only thing in the store. I'm only going to give you some of the samples of what is in the store. If you can, please consider buying something to help those in tremendous need in Haiti.

This print, called Hope Print, is currently listed in the store for $33. It's beautiful! Your money will buy more than this print. It will buy hope for Haiti.

This ring is amazing! It's made from silver and it's priced at $360. Even if you can't afford this beautiful ring, look around the store. There are so many other items to be seen. Haiti needs our help.

These beautiful earrings made from pearls and silver are called : Bloom.
They are gorgeous and priced at $30. Wouldn't you look great in these earrings? If you think you'd like something else, please look all over the store. You might just find that perfect gift for you or someone else.

Just so you, as I wrote this blog, there were 4 more sales at Craft Hope. Please consider adding to the sales totals. I would love to see this store exceed over 1,000 sales in a week. It will help! Please be as generous as your budget allows. Thank you.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

My Bead Soup Partner--Sandra Neights--aka Marabella Designs

I blogged about, and joined, Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Party. This is a virtual experience where we, the participants, are linked with a partner. My partner is Sandra Neights of Marabella Designs on Etsy, Colibri Designs on Etsy, and Sandy's Destash on Etsy! Colibri Designs is Sandra's main store right now. I wanted to who you some of the jewelry that is featured in her store.

These earrings are simply called
"Melon." They have sterling silver earwires, and they look delicious!

This bracelet is called "Butterscotch."
It looks nummy enough to be butterscotch! I'm getting hungry!

These Lovely Glass Bead Earrings are also available in Sandra's store. Aren't they beautiful?

Not only does Sandra make jewelry, but she blogs, too! Her blog is aptly called: Marabella Jewelry Designs. What a treat you find when you visit there.

Now, back to Bead Soup! It will be fun to see what my bead soup will be. I'll show you what I receive, and I will show you the final product! I'm looking forward to this. Thanks, Lori, for organizing this event!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Which Heart Would You Choose?

If you were to win my give-a-way in the One World One Heart activity, which of these two hearts would you like to win?

This is a "Sugar Heart."

Would you like to win
This heart------------------------->

It's a rich, organic, and winged off mandrel heart.

I can't decide. Can you help me?
They will both come with a steel choker so that they can be worn immediately!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Three Beautiful Things This Week

1) As I drive, in the early morning hours, I see wisps of light lifting the darkness on the horizon.

2) We gather together, once a month, to celebrate our retirement from teaching. One of our group has gone back to school to become a designer, and she makes awesome clothing now! Another lady in our group travels the United States. She wants to see our country before she dies. We celebrate each others' joy.

3) In the warming temperatures, my sweet, little greyhound runs around the backyard, counterclockwise, as she did in her racing days!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

My goal to develop and send out a newsletter

was thwarted by a broken computer! My laptop, with my lists, is now on its way to Houston, Texas, where it will be repaired. It won't be back until February, so I decided to use this blog as my newsletter for January and, most likely, February.

I am offering two specials for the rest of January in my Etsy Store.

1) For my returning customers!!!
I love you all! I am offering 10% off of your entire order if you are a returning customer.

a) When you go to the checkout, DO NOT PAY until you receive a revised paypal invoice!

b) To insure that I know you are a returning customer, when you check out, write IMBACK in the note to the seller. I will then calculate your discount and send you a new paypal invoice. Then, you may pay!

And that's not all!!!!

2) This special is for EVERYONE!

All my discs will be on special for 10% off.

a)Again, DO NOT pay at checkout! I'm not going to mark them down in my Etsy store. I will calculate your discount on the revised paypal invoice.

b) In the note to the seller write
DISCS. I will then send you a revised paypal invoice. Then, you can pay.

If you order discs from me, and that's all you order, you will end up receiving a 20% discount on your order. Not bad for someone who comes back for a visit.

So. go shopping! Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Another artist! Jenny Friske-Baer - an Outstanding Glass Artist

There are so many outstanding glass artists in the lampwork community. Jenny Friske-Baer is another of those artists! Jenny works in both soft glass and boro glass. (Boro is the equivalent to pyrex. It's a very tough and enduring glass.) I am going to show you some of Jenny's work using both types of glass. In between, I will let Jenny speak for herself.

This bead------------------------->
is listed in Jenny's Etsy store. It's called Doodle Flower Focal. It's made with soft glass.

is an example of Jenny's work with boro glass. Isn't it beautiful? It's also listed in Divine Spark Spark Designs, which is Jenny's Etsy store.

At this point, I have to let Jenny tell us a little bit about herself. Here goes!

My name is Jenny Friske-Baer and I started Divine Spark Designs in December of 2002. My goal is to provide beautiful, unique, handmade lampworked beads, glass and jewelry that will reflect the love and good energy gone into their creation and perhaps inspire others to discover their own Divine Spark within.

I started beading over 10 years ago (who can remember?) and I blame the addiction on my sister Gretchen! She got me started and soon after I often couldn't find that "special" bead for a project. All of you fellow beaders know what I'm talking about - that perfect bead that has to be a certain color or shape or texture to finish off a project (or maybe even start one!). So I decided to try and learn how to make them myself. After sitting at a Hot Head Torch for an afternoon under the expert and patient instruction of my dear friend Kandra, I was hooked! I played for about a year on the Hot Head - saved my money - and now I work on a Bethlehem Barracuda Torch as well as a Lynx Triple Mix torch from Glass Torch Technologies.

(You can find this little guy on Jenny's website.) ----------------->

Everyday I feel blessed that I am able to sit down at the torch to try and create something that others might find beautiful and full of good energy. And I feel blessed that the love of my life enjoys working side by side with me in our studio (a fancy word for garage!) creating many wonderful fused pieces and stained glass works of art.

Isn't her work fabulous? When you make your visits to her Divine Spark Designs Etsy Store and Website, you won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

How many Ways can you Make a Disc?

I love to make discs when I torch! Recently, I challenged myself to see if I could come up with new ways to make discs. Here are the results of some of my experiments. These aren't necessarily my best work, they are just experiments in discs.

For example:
you have my traditional discs next to a flower disc. I need to work on those a bit.

Scroll down a bit and here's what you see:

I like both efforts.

There are two slightly different techniques, but the results are fun!

disc has a more primitive look to it, which goes to show you that you can change the shape of the disc and still have a disc.

You can also make

Freeform discs!


They don't have to be perfect, and even in the chaos, there is control.

Last, but not least, you can change the shape of a disc and add appendages. This disc clearly needs more work, but I think it has a lot of potential.

So, tell me, what types of discs do you like. What should I work on next?