Saturday, December 29, 2007

Spring Fairy for Christmas!

My friend D's daughter, S absolutely loves her new tutu and tiara that I got for her on this year. Is she not adorable?!? (Use your imagination here.)
I got her a custom tutu made by LiveLoveDance
in really pretty greens and pink. Plus, I had lots of fun making her a one-of-a-kind tiara with the pdf instructions I got for making a tiara from CrownMeArtisans.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Let It Snow...

While the Midwest is getting pummeled, and the West Coast is getting rained on, the only snow being seen in New Jersey is of the glass variety...

And I am sooooo looking forward to sledding!
Well, all I can do is cross my fingers and hope that it snows during Billy's holiday break, so we can hit the slopes, or rather, the small bumps down the street.

My Mulligatawny Soup Recipe

From Todd:
Thought I would share a recipe I created the other day, that the Mrs. & I thought was so good I had to make it again today. It can be slightly complicated if you don't have the spices handy. You'll need a blender and a sizable soup pot.

1 large Yellow Onion - diced
4-5 carrots - peeled & diced
3-4 stalks of Celery - washed & diced
3 cloves Garlic - chopped
1"- square of Ginger - peeled & chopped
1 serrano or jalapeno pepper - chopped, seeds included
1 large Potato - peeled & chopped (I used a Yukon Gold about the size of my fist)
1/2 c. Yellow Split Peas - picked through & rinsed
1 14.5oz. can diced tomatoes - strained
1 T. Cumin seed
1 tsp. Coriander seed
1/2 tsp. black Cardamom seed*
2 tsp. ground Turmeric
6 black peppercorns
approx. 5 T. cooking Oil
10 c. Water
1 cinnamon stick (optional)
1/4 c. Whole Rolled Oats
Salt and Pepper to taste
Fresh squeezed Lemon Juice
Fresh Cilantro - washed and chopped

For the Rice:
1 c. White Rice (Basmati is preferable)
1 1/2 c. Water
1 cinnamon stick (optional)
Combine and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until done.

- First, chop the vegetables.
- If you have a spice grinder then grind the cumin, cardamom, coriander & peppercorns together, set aside. This isn't completely necessary since you'll end up blending the whole concoction later, but if you skip this step the soup can have coarse bits and pieces of spices in it.
- Heat the oil. When hot add the onions and cook for about 3 minutes.
- Add the ginger, jalapeno, carrots, celery, potato. Stir to coat the vegetables. Cook another 3-5 minutes.
- Stir in the split peas.
- Add the spices, with about 1 tsp. salt. Stir around and cook another 3 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes. Cook another minute.
- Add the cinnamon stick and water; bring to a boil.
- Simmer for about 15 minutes.
- Add the 1/4 c. of Oats and cook for an additional 10 minutes.

- You'll have to blend this whole deal, so a submersion blender really comes in handy (now I know what I could use for christmas). What I do is blend it in batches transferring the blended soup into an intermediate pot and when I'm finished blending I add it all back together in the original pot. If you use a blender be careful!! The steam buildup can blow the lid off the blender. You have to take that plastic percolator looking thing out of the lid and use a dish towel to cover the open hole. Once it's blending you can move your hand off the top to allow steam to escape.
- Taste for salt desirability.
- Put about 1/2 c. of rice into a bowl and ladle the soup on top of it.
- Garnish with chopped Cilantro.
- Squeeze fresh lemon over the soup. This is probably the most important step in getting the soup to taste best. It actually can take a liberal amount of lemon, so keep squeezing until you find the taste that's right for you.
- I think that covers it, I'll read through this post again later on and check to see if I forgot anything. I might even try to add a picture tomorrow.

* You can use cardamom pods, just seperate the pod from the seeds inside.
T = Tablespoon
tsp = teaspoon
c = cup

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Paper Artist Celebrates Christmas...

Definitely check out this blog for some beautiful Christmas inspiration from cut paper and paper mache:


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

My re-worked lovelies...

No! Not those, silly:)

Yes, after a year of sitting in my dressing table drawer, I pulled out this great necklace that I made and disassembled it for re-creation!
Sadly, I don't have a before picture to compare it with, but if you use your imagination to blank out the blue squiggles, you'll have the necklace in its before state.
The fused glass beads would flip over to show the blank side and a peek through to the high temp wire findings - Not Appealing!
So, I refired the pieces with a little Glassline Enamel Liquid Paints.
Such a simple process, but it made all the difference!
I can now proudly wear this bold necklace with my favorite penny jacket and par-tay!!

Recycled Bottle Beads...

January is up and coming and the Creative Glass Guild of Etsy (CGGE) has come up with our newest challenge idea: Recycled!!
So to start the creative juices flowing, I present you with a link to this great tutorial for lampworking with recycled glass bottles to make beautiful beads:,2025,DIY_13762_3972067,00.html

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Win This Free Lampwork Bead Set

From Lloyd over at Burning Scentsations,

How would you like to win this set of leaf beads? This little set if the perfect size for earrings or as pendants. They're decorated with two leaves on both sides in different colors. To see the full information on this set, take a peek in my shop here:

How do you enter the drawing, you ask? Well it is really quite simple. I've donated this set to the Creative Glass Guild of Etsy (CGGE) and everyone who signs up in the month of December for their newsletter is automatically entered for the drawing.
Want to sign up? Just visit this page and enter your e-mail address:

Be sure t0 look around the site at all of the wonderful glass creations from the artists who sell their artwork on Etsy as I do.
If you haven't heard of Etsy, then you need to check it out. It's an on-line shopping mall for unique, hand-made items and supplies. You'll find lots of talented folks who work in all mediums on this site. Come take a look at or follow the link for my shop below.

If you have any questions or would like to suggest topics, I can be reached through this blog or through my web site or shop at:

Monday, December 3, 2007

The Best Weekend Ever...

or The Very Successful Holiday Sale...
Not only did I sell several of my new sushi dish sets, as well as many necklaces and pendants,
I was able to talk to Saint Helena hot glass artist, Ed Breed about the possibility of being a studio assistant during 2008. Turns out that he had been thinking of approaching me to see if I would be interested in helping him out. So, beginning in January, I should be working with Ed once a week, helping him to kick out 1000 pumpkins:

Also, hot glass will be moving into Michele's studio. And we are happy...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Holiday Gift Sale

Come out and support your local artists by buying unique gifts for your friends, family or yourself. This year, we have a full house of artists that will be offering items ranging from glass dishes, blown glass, jewelry, monotypes, fiber art and more.
Some of the artists participating are:
Sharon Ryberg, Carrie Strope, Kaila Inman, Pattii Northsworthy, Ed Breed, Dayna Tauro, Fred Morse, Diane Marie Hammond, Kathryn Jackson, Chris Hartung, Julie Robertson, Gloria Bazan, Tamara Shortt, Christina Williamson, Michele Mitcavish, and we keep adding people everyday.

Want to win something totally cool?!?

I've entered a few drawings on in the past with great success! I won an Autumnal Equinox Drawing with theEclectic Jewelry Artisans's of Etsy, and just recently won the Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt hosted by the IN Crowd! There's always a great game/contest/drawing to be had!
So, why don't you have a go...
Here's a chance to win a little monster iPod cozy from FeltAtHome.
The EJA is having a Winter Wonderland Giveaway and three lucky winners will get a prize package worth $50!
Oh! And, of course, there's always "Your Chance to Win FREE Glass Prizes, drawn Monthly" with the Creative Glass Guild of Etsy (CGGE). Simply sign up for the newsletter here.

Okay, well, that's enough for me tonight. Back to laundry and gift wrapping...
Good night!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Etsy on Wallstrip!

Robert Kalin, founder of, is interviewed by Lindsay of Great interview!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Time to decorate...

Thanksgiving's over, so get out the Christmas Tree!

Well, I actually put the tree up a couple of weeks ago... I had to have a back drop for the snowflakes I've been making recently. Plus, it's easier to get in the holiday spirit and remember that it's almost December if you've got the tree there! It's easy to forget it's winter when the sun's shining and it's in the 70s!
It's still a bit naked, as this is it's first year, but I'm slowly working on that!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Silver Art Clay and Dichroic Pendants

This weekend, I was finally able to take the fabled Silver Art Clay Pendants Clay with Arlene Hildebrand Mornick. She is a wonderful instructor; very knowledgeable, extremely patient and helpful in every way!
I have had all of the pieces from my Dichroic Tile for months, just waiting to learn the fine art of silver clay.
We learned several methods of framing/holding the glass cabochon.
Art Clay Silver is made up of reclaimed silver particles (from items such as circuit boards and photographic negatives) , organic binders and water. After firing, or sintering (bonding metal particles), the leftover piece is 99.9% pure silver.
For our first piece, we used small chips of dichroic glass incorporated into silver clay pieces. We were able to fire these pieces and take them home at the end of the day. I wore the flower piece with a dichroic glass chip to work later that evening!
For the larger pieces of glass that we incorporated into the clay, a longer annealing schedule is required. So, we weren't able to pick these up until the next day.
After firing, the silver has a white coating on it that needs to be removed in order for the silver to really shine through. We used wire brushes to polish the silver before tumbling the pendants in a rock tumbler. The longer the pieces are tumbled, the more they shine.
I think I still want to use Liver of Sulfur on the pieces to add a little depth and make the texture of the silver more noticeable.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Family Affair

While my family was visiting, I was able to get them into the glass studio for a couple of projects. They weren't able to see their projects fully finished before they had to hit the road back to Nebraska (except, of course, for the plate that Uncle Jim is holding up), which means that I have their finished glass pieces. So, I told them that I had their Christmas shopping done already! I was only teasing, of course:)

Now for the Official Unveiling:
Dad's Fused Glass Plate

UJ's Fused Glass Plate
Dad's Kiln Cast Dog - without and then with lights behind it.
A little scary, huh?

UJ's Kiln Cast Sculptural Piece


Monday, November 19, 2007

In the Beginning...

I've finally got hold of the photos to go along with my story, because we all know that a good story needs some accompanying photos...
As witnessed below, the classic Fall 2007 trip to California began similarly to the way it ended. Already, you've seen the poker night that ended it all. But now, the unveiling of the Laurel Street Boys' Club.

Smoking stogies and watching football in HD.
That's what life's all about, right?
I, of course, was at work. Seems to be a theme, huh?

Friday, November 9, 2007

Winding Down...

Working backwards...Dad and Uncle Jim were here most recently, and we accomplished quite a bit. It was definitely a jam packed vacation.
But now that life is getting closer to normal, I have a little time to blog about what's been happening in my personal life lately...
So without further ado, I give you "Winding Down"

Todd decided that Dad and UJ needed a little Guitar Hero.
I mean, come on, who doesn't?

Of course, as you can see, they had absolutely no fun whatsoever.
So, we decided to move on to Karaoke.

Again, no fun had here:)
Meanwhile, I had to rush off to work. Then, Todd, Dad, and UJ cracked open the first of our pale ale homebrew (Yummy-licious!), yanked out the muchies and totally rearranged the living room for Poker Night!
Let's see, so this round let's make Dr. Pepper wild, with Aces, Straights and Flushes, otherwise deuces, wait, I mean, fours, er, no... eights wild for everything else...
Okay, everyone got that?
Yeah, that's what I said!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Add-A-Bead Necklace

I love this new chain that I got from Fire Mountain Gems!
I've had this bead laying around for about a year, and I didn't know what to do with it...
Now it's my favorite understated necklace:)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

EEJA Autumnal Equinox Contest Winner = ME!!

Awhile ago, I signed up to receive the monthly newsletter from the Etsy Eclectic Jewelry Artisans. In doing so, I was entered into their monthly drawings. Well, guess who won their Autumnal Equinox drawing? Yup, you guessed it! I was one of three lucky ladies to wins fabulous jewelry, makeup, and a gift certificate.

Yea!!! And finally, for the unveiling:

Patty of BrokenTeepeeDesigns included a very generous $50 gift certificate that I immediately spent, receiving this gorgeous set of earrings just days later. By the way, the packaging was super cute, too, but in my excitement, I forgot to get my camera out! Oops:(

Ahna of made a beautiful pendant of Sunstone and a Swarovski crystal with 12k gold filled wire.

Lovely earrings by

and a fun necklace from incorporating a Ming/Ching Dynasty porcelain pottery shard, I think...

Thanks again to everyone in the Eclectic Jewelry Artisans!
You made my month wonderful!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Exquisite Corpse Part Two

If you're unsure what an Exquisite Corpse is, this post will get you caught up.
If you have already read that post, then you know that I was waiting for someone to finish the head.

While in Nebraska, I decided to start an Exquisite Corpse in acrylics and pass it along to my crafty friends, D and Lili to finish. After our first craft day, the "feet" were finished by me:

and D still had time to start and finish the body...

but by the end of the afternoon, our corpse was left headless as we ran out of time for Lili to continue. However, a few days later, we were able to go over to Lili's house for another craft day.
Although Lili wasn't fully inspired with this project, we were able to talk her into finishing the head:

So, after unfolding the paper, we can finally unveil "Ever Evolving," by Lili Merritt, DRTD, and Carrie Strope:

The Backbone Campaign

President Evo Morales on the Daily Show

Sunday, September 23, 2007

My Most Popular Plaid Pendant....

was featured again in another treasury on,
curated this time by SmokeyLady54 of the Creative Glass Guild of Etsy.
Thanks, Smokey!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Exquisite Corpse Primer

So, I am home visiting friends and family and have been away from the studio and my art supplies for almost two weeks!!! But, lucky for me, I've got some crafty friends...

On Wednesday, we got together to make art! When I arrived, D, Lili and S were all busy painting on their various projects, and having no canvas of my own to start splashing paint on, I decided to start an exquisite corpse on some paper.

"What exactly is an exquisite corpse?" you may ask...

I, myself hadn't heard of an exquisite corpse until my mixed media teacher introduced it. In that class, we passed around several corpses and worked in collage out of magazines. To tell the truth, I didn't really enjoy it that much, because the selection of magazines was pitiful. However, it did introduce me to a very fun game to play with my artist friends!


Among Surrealist techniques exploiting the mystique of accident was a kind of collective collage of words or images called the cadavre exquis (exquisite corpse). Based on an old parlor game, it was played by several people, each of whom would write a phrase on a sheet of paper, fold the paper to conceal part of it, and pass it on to the next player for his contribution.

The technique got its name from results obtained in initial playing, "Le cadavre / exquis / boira / le vin / nouveau" (The exquisite corpse will drink the young wine). Other examples are: "The dormitory of friable little girls puts the odious box right" and "The Senegal oyster will eat the tricolor bread." These poetic fragments were felt to reveal what Nicolas Calas characterized as the "unconscious reality in the personality of the group" resulting from a process of what Ernst called "mental contagion."

At the same time, they represented the transposition of Lautréamont's classic verbal collage to a collective level, in effect fulfilling his injunction-- frequently cited in Surrealist texts--that "poetry must be made by all and not by one." It was natural that such oracular truths should be similarly sought through images, and the game was immediately adapted to drawing, producing a series of hybrids the first reproductions of which are to be found in No. 9-10 of La Révolution surrealiste (October, 1927) without identification of their creators. The game was adapted to the possibilities of drawing, and even collage, by assigning a section of a body to each player, though the Surrealist principle of metaphoric displacement led to images that only vaguely resembled the human form.

So, I folded a large piece of paper into thirds and began my "feet."
While that was going on, Yola showed up, carting supplies from the farm for bubble wandmaking and bubble solution jars. We (but mostly Lili) were all helping her get some wands made for the South Street Marketplace event that took place Wednesday evening.

After painting for awhile and finally feeling finished, I folded my feet under and handed the page off to Danika, who began working on the torso. Then I hopped over to the kitchen floor to start embellishing bubble wands.

We had an extremely productive day. Yola had a full table at the marketplace, with lots of bubble solution, bubble wands, and dishes for holding the bubble solution. And I had loads of fun being the "Bubble Girl" and making lots of bubbles. I was especially popular with the kids:)

At this point, our exquisite corpse is still missing a head. But, as soon as I find another artist interested in finishing it off, I'll post pictures.


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