Stuff moved from my home page to here for posterity...
I picked up a new-to-me silver glass, Aion, and I'm in love with it... It's featured strongly in this week's eBay auctions, launching tonight, and in a bead I'm actually keeping, shown below. (This is rare, most of my beads are here, on eBay, or sent to Beads of Courage.) I'm also working with a new Effetre experimental batch of glass that I have single rods of each colors - testosauruses were a must, but their names are still in Italian. Perhaps I should have translated before posting them...
Thanks for stopping in! New site beads just listed, and eBay will follow with a Christmas theme starting tomorrow!
In an uncharacteristic burst of holiday cheer, I started making ornament lentils... I'm rather fond of them, they'll be hitting eBay tonight as a set. It's also the start of black and white week on eBay, should be a fun time! Thanks, as ever, for stopping by!
I happened to be staying up late to see the time change in with the ghouls and goblins on Halloween... It seemed as good a time as any to set up my eBay auctions (starting tonight at 9pm Nikki time) and site listings - it feels so good to be back on schedule! I'd also like to share a photo of the most recent batch of beads I sent to Beads of Courage, 49 beads and 4 butterflies. If you'd like to learn more, check out www.beadsofcourage.net
Halloween continues on eBay, as shown... Also, I'm working my way through a sample pack of new-to-me colors, and decided that dinos make wonderful critters for sample beads. I'll have a photo gallery of them on my Facebook page starting tonight. (Be a fan! More silliness and random bead giveaways!)
The crew in the kiln decided it was a good time to dress up for Halloween... Silly fellows.
New beads on the site, yay! 8 eBay listings will start tomorrow - here's the promised sneak preview to Pirate Week:
Good evening! Another batch of beads to Beads of Courage...
The year's half over... How did that happen?
While I ponder, here's some beads that are heading to our friends at Beads of Courage. I pray they help give the children and parents in the program strength and bring them peace... Butterflies are for children that are lost, I hope my humble efforts can be of any comfort to the parents who need them...
Annnnd we're live with new beads. On a Sunday. Wow, how long has it been? I'll have some starting on eBay tonight, with the rest to follow. Here's a few pictures of what I've been able to do with the Minor now that we're well acquainted. Thanks so much, as ever, for stopping by.
12 new beads waiting for adoption here... eBay will follow later this week. My procrastination skills went into full effect on the HOPE bracelet project, so I had to finish my promised 100 beads for that before working on site and eBay beads. Here's a picture of what I sent in. I plan to make this an ongoing project like Beads of Courage so I have a better showing next year.
Some of the critters wanted to give you a mini tour of the studio.
This is glass frit - small pieces of glass that add intense color. This particular batch is Leopard Diva by Val Cox. There's some other glass colors and rainbow twisties on the table also.
Dino showing off the garden section of the studio - this one's a curly leaved spider plant. There's also a traditional spider plant, lucky bamboo (which, interestingly enough, isn't actually bamboo) and aloe.
This is just below my torch, on my work surface. It's a glorious jumble of glass color, with dishes of other glass and silver behind it. I love it, but the aliens aren't convinced.
I have a fun collection of studio decorations - Lyn sent me this one, but she probably wasn't expecting the sheep to play on it also...
"...a long December, and there's reason to believe
maybe this year will be better than the last..."
Ah, but isn't that always the hope? That each day starts a bit brighter than the one before, and each week, month, and year follows?
I wish all of you a blessed and peaceful New Year; may you find your own safe spot in this world, as well as hope and love. Thank you for journeying with me on my glass travels, I look forward to seeing where the path leads this year.
Me... I'll be singing a quiet Happy Birthday to a friend who passed before me, as she was the first born on New Year's Day a number of years ago, with a tuxedo'ed doctor and nurse in a ball gown delivering her. I have faith she'll hear me, and I can hear her laugh and see her beautiful smile in response already.
The site's loaded with 12 new beads, and I'm off to work on my eBay listings next. Here's a sneak preview of the one I'm most excited about, he's a lentil sheep.
I've had a very, very good bead week, there will be lots of wonderful fun new critters here on Sunday... I took some size comparison pics for fun - with no random object for comparison, so really they only make a difference if you know what my "average" sized specimen for each bead is. But they amuse me, so here we go - it's also a bit of a sneak preview as some new ones will be here, some will be on eBay.
The green sheep is a "normal" sized one. Leigh Vy is a big lentil...
The mini dino is the pink one, I thought she was tiny until the micro blue one popped out of the kiln.... How small is he?
He's small enough to fit in an alien's mouth with room to spare.
Regular, mini, and micro aliens... I'm debating if the smaller ones should go together...
This is my largest lizard I've made. I liked it so much I kept it.
And the smallest one for comparison...
I've been listening to a bit of Rush... ("A bit" here means "with obsessive glee.") In one of their live concerts, Geddy made a comment to the crowd of, "Oh, you're still here? Thanks for keeping us company!" That sums it up nicely for me, too - thanks for keeping me company, and still being here! Site beads just listed, eBay will be updated tomorrow with some wonderful mini items, a select few are shown below.
I'm putting more beads on eBay tonight, they reminded me of my favorite story about Picasso... When he was in his blue period, his work was analyzed as an extension of his mood - was he depressed? despondant? What could have caused him to paint with all blue? Finally, someone asked the great man... Blue paint was cheaper. Sometimes it is the easy answer... And while light sky blue glass isn't necessarily my first choice specifically because it's cheaper (hey, it's all paid for, use it!) I do like it. A lot. Especially on eBay tonight...
I received an email invitiation to vend at a bead show... I declined, politely - at this point I haven't the stock to even attempt a show, as everything I make each week lands either here or on eBay. But I thought it was a good time to recycle an old MySpace blog post of mine that amused me. Hope it gives you a smile, too. Thanks for stopping by!
...Another issue about shows... *sigh*
No, seriously... When a friend and I did a craft show at a middle school (they're low on the list for actual buyers, but we didn't know that then) we had loads of wooden shapes, hand painted, turned into pins, earrings, etc... Put on cardstock, looked pretty good, if I do say so myself. Our sales for the day? Not including family? Nothing. Not one damn piece.
The lady next to us, on the other hand... Sold sock monkeys. We say we sold things as in we made them, packed them, brought them, unpacked them and arranged them deocratively before we packed them back up, brought them home, and threw them, disgusted, in a corner. She sold things by making them, bringing them, and sending them home with each and every person who came into the craft show. (I may be exaggerating, but not by much.) Along with a bright and cheerful discussion about how long it had been since the buyer had seen one of these - we could say them along with the people by the end of the day...
So... if by chance I do happen to attend a bead show as a vendor... I'll have to request the no-sock-monkey section... Gosh, I hope they have one, otherwise I'll be the only vendor in the bathroom...
P.S. Looking at this again? The Dreaded Sock Monkeys would make an awesome band name.
P.P.S. Please note I have nothing personal against sock monkeys or makers of sock monkeys.
The question was posed in an online lampworking forum I belong to - Are you an artist? A lot of people posted their opinions, some wandered off in a tizzy -the nature of the online beast, I suppose - but it left me with something to think about...
One point of view stated that you cannot call yourself an artist, someone else must dub you with that title. Well... That would lead to some very amusing Monty Python-style discussions.
"So, what do you do?"
"Well... I create things. Works of *nudge nudge wink wink* art."
"So you're an artist?"
"YES! Oh thank the merciful heavens, yes, I am!"
(I'm imagining all sorts of frolicking dances here, maybe the Hallelujah chorus echoing through the background.)
Well... Faulty logic, that. And if it's just being called an artist, I think everyone who's ever brought home a glue and macaroni encrusted piece of misshapen cardboard to a proud Mom has that title.
Also, we're totally forgetting the possibility of being a bad artist. I could name a lot of examples, but... Does Yoko Ono suffice? Oh wait, let me rephrase that for politcal correctness... Disregard the previous comment, take the next one instead.
Being called an artist is still different from being a popular artist, and everyone's tastes are different. For instance, when I go to the Cleveland Museum of Art, I always go to the Modern Art section. Do I like this style? Well... Not particularly. But there's a gigantic white piece of canvas with a grid drawn on it - basically a huge piece of graph paper. For years it had a thick black line on the ground in front of it, with a polite little sign letting you know that if you got too close to the artwork, an alarm would sound. The information posted next to the piece went into detail talking about how each square is a different color, and what this symbolizes. (Each square is white. Just white. Seriously.) Again, do I like this work? Not particularly - but I always had to go see it to remind myself that if someone could sell a museum an oversized portrayal of graph paper so valuable that it needs to have it's own alarm, well... I certainly have no doubts about calling myself an artist.
As a final note, before I even thought of calling myself a glass artist, I was dubbed the Sheep Goddess. I will, as needed, suffer the approriate demotion to be an mere artist.
I was reading a fantastic book about Mother Antonia, a lady who decided to minister to a Mexican jail... Very inspirational, as an understatment. (The title is The Prison Angel, by Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan.) I came across a quote I want to share:
I let no man drag me down so low as to make me hate him.
Booker T. Washington
Yes, yes, yes - I collect quotations, reminders from people past and present for humor and gentle reminders for how I want to live my life. This one was instantly added when I read it.
Thanks so much for your enthusiasm for my work, I am truly blessed.
A few notes about the NLC Beads operation. First, I recycle, like mad. Snowman tissue paper in June? Recycling, through and through. Boxes with labels ripped off and taped over with new? Recycling. I also use what's around, so... Funky address labels with random designs that charity organizations send me? I am so using those up on bubble envelopes heading your way... Second, I don't always have a lot of bonus beads laying around to thank people for their purchases. Everything I make goes here, on eBay, or to Beads of Courage. I try to make up for it with reasonable prices, quick shipping, and fair shipping prices... (And moderately entertaining bead descriptions and random front page updates.) I hope it's enough.
Thank you all, again, for stopping by. I am grateful for each and every one of you.
Here's the routine, so you know... I really don't like empty categories, so I make them inactive unless there's something there. So before I start updating the site, I pull the New Items section down, empty it, reload (and reactivate) any other categories, and as a last step, reactivate the New Items link, all fresh and loaded up. Ahhhh... it's all set for the day now, probably for the week as I usually update with product on Sundays.
New Year's resolutions are like birthday wishes to me... If you speak them aloud, their magic may disappear. So, to simplify, here are my goals for the New Year.
More of the good.
Less of the bad.
Easy enough, no? In lieu of my words, I'll leave you with a poem that I really enjoy - more so in the spoken version - by Taylor Mali.
Best wishes for a peaceful, joyous, and Happy New Year to you all.
By Taylor Mali (www.taylormali.com)
I'm for reckless abandon
and spontaneous celebrations of nothing at all,
like the twin flutes I kept in the trunk of my car
in a box labeled Emergency Champagne Glasses!
Raise an unexpected glass to long, cold winters
and sweet hot summers and the beautiful confusion of the times in between.
To the unexpected drenching rain that leaves you soaking
wet and smiling breathless;
"We danced in the garden in torn sheets in the rain,"
we were christened in the sanctity of the sprinkler,
can't you hear it singing out its Hallelujah?
Here's to the soul-expanding power
of the simply beautiful.
See, things you hate, things you despise,
multinational corporations and lies that politicians tell,
injustices that make you mad as hell,
that's all well and good.
And as far as writing poems goes,
I guess you should.
It just might be a poem that gets Mumia released,
brings an end to terrorism or peace in the middle east.
But as far as what soothes me, what inspires and moves me,
honesty behooves me to tell you your rage doesn't move me.
See, like the darkest of clouds my heart has a silver lining,
which does not harken to the loudest whining,
but beats and stirs and grows ever more
when I learn of the things you're actually for.
That's why I'm for best friends, long drives, and smiles,
nothing but the sound of thinking for miles.
For the unconditional love of dogs:
may we learn the lessons of their love by heart.
For therapy when you need it,
and poetry when you need it.
And the wisdom to know the difference.
The solution to every problem usually involves some kind of liquid,
even if it's only Emergency Champagne
or running through the sprinkler.
Can't you hear it calling you?
I'm for crushes not acted upon, for admiration from afar,
for the delicate and the resiliant and the fragile human heart,
may it always heal stronger than it was before.
For walks in the woods, and the for the woods themselves,
by which I mean the trees. Definitely for the trees.
Window seats, and locally brewed beer,
and love letters written by hand with fountain pens:
I'm for all of these.
I'm for evolution more than revolution
unless you're offering some kind of solution.
I'm for the courage it takes to volunteer, to say "yes," "I believe," and "I will."
For the bright side, the glass half full, the silver lining,
and the optimists who consider darkness just a different kind of shining.
So don't waste my time and your curses on verses
about what you are against, despise, and abhor.
Tell me what inspires you, what fulfills and fires you,
put your precious pen to paper and tell me what you're for!
I'm showing off this simple sculpture - not selling it - but showing it off because I like it enough to keep it. It's a phenomenon that has happened with maybe a dozen of my pieces - first frog, sheep, shragon, etc - and now this beautiful boro sea turtle. My dear friend Sheryll taught me how to make it in a fun torching session where I also learned something wonderful - boro glass doesn't shoot across studios as easily as Moretti does. Whew.
Love at ya, Sheryll, and thanks for everything. Best wishes for a peaceful, or maybe at least uneventful, New Year.
Picture of the big red dog enjoying the snow his way - laying in it until I drag his frozen butt inside again to warm up. We don't have quite that much yet this year, but it's probably on it's way...
I have a thing for rainbows... My Grandma liked them, and she passed away when I was young, so they were always pointed out to me as, "Grandma says hi!" It carried with me these years, and I've been blessed by rainbows at times when I felt like they lifted my heart up with them when it was needed...
It's been a while since I've seen one...Until today...
The day felt glorious since it started, a crisp warm fall day with clouds like brushstrokes against the sky. My eyes kept being drawn to the trees, their turning leaves, the contrast of all the colors from green, yellow, orange, red, brown, and some trees bare skeletons already, set across the backdrop of the vibrant blue sky. Ahhh... Such miracles we take for granted!
Driving, listening to music, singing along (badly, of course, but I was alone) and I noticed a few types of clouds together surrounding the sun starting to set.... And a wisp of a rainbow tucked between layers of clouds, hidden like a whispered secret in the darkness... Delicate, fleeting, and somehow perfect.