Saturday, December 29, 2012


My sister sent over two pounds of glass for a combined birthday and Christmas present! Isn't it lovely?
Glass order

Then we had to play, of course. Here are the first beads with the new (to me) kiln striking Pandora glass:

The heart bead is hers, the big ones mine. Sorry the pictures are sideways.
Can't wait to play some more!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Cat bead!

My husband upgraded my old iPhone to one with a decent camera. Now I can take photos and update my blog straight from my phone. Easy peasy.
Here is a pic of the present I made for my cat-loving mother-in-law. His eyes are a bit wonky, but I still think he's cute! Thank you to Anja Nussbaumer for her super easy to follow tutorial in the Soda Lime Times. (Don't spoil the surprise!)
Happy Holidays.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I'm so inspired!

This past weekend I gave myself a treat: a beadmaking class with Kristen Frantzen Orr. She is awesome!

This two-day class filled me with new techniques and ideas. I have a whole spring line dancing through my head. And I haven't even posted my fall/winter beads on Etsy yet! I love these times when my imagination exceeds my capacity to produce. So thank you, Kristen! And Thank you, Marilynne of Studio 34 for bringing her to Rochester.

Even though the days are shorter and "fall back" gives darkness galore, I'm now happily melting away in my studio.

Keep checking Etsy for new listings and have a happy Thanksgiving.


Friday, August 3, 2012

New Tween Beading Class

Mark the date: Saturday, September 29th, 2012.

That's the next FREE Tween Beading Class brought to you by the Friends of the Brighton Memorial Library!
Heart Necklaces

Class is for ages 9-12 and there are three levels of difficulty: simple stringing, twisted strands or Daisy Chain. Whichever you choose to learn, everyone gets a one-of-a-kind lampworked heart pendant created by me.
Class runs from 11AM-12:30PM and pre-registration is required. To register, call the Brighton Memorial Library at (585) 784-5300.

Want an adult class? Want to take a class at your local library? Call your library and request me!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Competing with China

My favorite: Fat Ass Pear Bead
Borosilicate 2011
We're all talking about how to market our handmade (or artisan made) products in this day of disposable items. Everywhere I look, cheap lampwork beads from China are selling for pennies. No one seems to care that they are probably not annealed and may explode at any moment. I've even had someone pay me a compliment, "if you can make flowers like that, you could work for Troll beads." What???

I've tried to fight back with education, but that always falls flat. Most people just don't care.

Last night I hired my neighbor to help me set up at a local show. She cleared everything up for me: "You have to make things that are different." She pointed to one of my beads, "I can get that at Walmart." Ouch.

Apparently, the style of bead matters. Spacer beads are done to death. Dicro is everywhere. Small and cute has been done. I need to re-stock my supply of organic shard focal beads, and work on creating beads that can't be reproduced in China. Yet.

Now you know.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Being Disabled Sucks

Yep, I admit it. I'm disabled. Doesn't show all the time, but these tent shows are doing me in. For the last three days I've had serious trouble walking. Even after all the cortisone shots and epidurals, my back gave out in Target last night. Had to use the cart as a walker and drag my right foot behind me. Sheesh!

I'm getting stronger, but I seriously underestimated how weak I've become in the last few years. And my coma six months ago sure didn't help. I need to slow down, ask for help and give myself time.

Anyone else out there want to accomplish more in a day than you can?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Ithaca Festival 2012

photo by Aaron Kelly

The Ithaca Festival was a bit wet this year, but people did brave the drizzle. I had one customer who said she came to the festival just to see my beads after reading about me on-line. What a complement!

I'll write more about my experience later; first I want to introduce a couple of vendors I met whose work I absolutely love. (Please forgive my photos - my computer crashed--with its editing software.)

The potter in the booth across from mine hails from Virginia. Kirsten of Kirsten's Clay is a former zookeeper and her line of pottery has imprints of actual animal prints. Way cool. I also love the deep, rich color of the glazes she uses. And her mugs are definitely generously sized. I chose a iguana-print mug that my son is sure to snag.
photo by artist

The next is metalworker Chris Carle. The beautiful lines and airbrushing on his stand alone sculptures blew me away. My favorite piece is this hummingbird. Sadly, my budget was stretched too thin to bring it home. I've saved it for you!

And lastly, I was drawn into Fresh As Paint by a sign that said "We have Plus Sizes." I discovered not only does Jane Miller have plus size clothing (as well as the usual sizes), she also knows how to cut clothing for us slightly larger women. And she hand paints her vests, jackets and sweatshirts too!

This jacket is fleeced on the inside is and so comfy not only did I buy it but I also wore it for the rest of the weekend.

photo by artist
So, even in the drizzle, the trip was worth it.

Monday, May 21, 2012

New Booth

A few weeks ago I bought a trimline canopy, and the investment was well worth it. It's bright, beautiful, sturdy, and not too difficult to set up. I got it because of its durability, but the weather at last weekend's Williamson Apple Blossom Festival was picture-perfect.
Here are the pics:

Notice how the walls almost glow when the sun is out? And notice the vent at the end of the top in the first photo? It lets a nice, cool breeze through the tent. The guys at really know what they're doing!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

It's showtime!

It's almost showtime! I know because I'm racing around attending to all those last minute details in the order they pop into my head. Water in the refrig. Check. Sand bags in the truck. Check. Bead sets priced. Check. 
I probably won't rest until I've set up my booth and realized that one thing I've forgotten (hopefully only one thing!) and that I won't die without it.
Can't wait until tomorrow!
Here's a sneak peek of some new items: organic pendants and hearts.

Come see me at the Apple Blossom Festival, say "It's showtime" and get 10% off!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Thank you to all the Mayday Attendees!

Mayday Underground was a success!
We had a steady stream of attendees and I heard lots of positive feedback on the quality of the vendors. I also received lots of complements on my pendants and loose beads for sale, and better yet had lots of buyers.
Thank you to everyone who came to the show, everyone who commented on my beads, and especially to everyone who loved them enough to part with valuable cash to take them home.

These are now sold! Thank you!

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Pendant Game

Here's some of the new pendant designs I'm working on, bad photography and all:

Somehow I managed to order glass rods that are either too small or too big to make the pendants I originally intended. And the murrini wasn't nearly thin enough. So, perfectionist that I am, I put in an order for yet more glass. Funny, I do the same thing with seed beads. Not the perfect color? Buy more! Good for art. Bad for the wallet.

At least I found out that my little torch will cut through 1" clear rods. Good to know.

My first show of the year is in one week! MayDay Underground - April 28 at The Village Gate in Rochester.

See the NEW Show Schedule section to the right? Now you'll know where I'll be this summer. Just in case you see something you like....


Friday, April 13, 2012

The Countdown Begins!

Are you up for a virtual craft and art fair scramble? I'm not, but I am getting prepped for real this year! Follow along as I try to get all my ducks in a row for my first real-live, three-day, need-a-tent festival.

So where are we going? Not just to any ol' place, but back to Ithaca, NY. Back "home" as it were. I was raised there, graduated college there (Cornell, class of '97 for those that care), got married there, and moved away 13 years ago for sunny Florida. Now I'm back in NY and looking forward to vending at the first art festival I ever went to and thought, "Hey, I want to do that."

So where am I in the process? I have tables and displays, pendants and earrings, and some beading kits based  on designs I made for classes last year, but everything needs a good re-vamp. The table coverings need to be lengthened, glass animals need to be made, lampwork beads, pendants and more beads, and kits need to be put together. A tent, of course, and new signage. My head is spinning.

First up: making murrini for the center of my new "water" theme pendants. Glass is on order and will be here tomorrow! (So happy I found Wale Apparatus, a glass distributor on the east coast. They ship same-day, and it gets here in only 1 or 2 days!)

Here's the pendant I'm making more of:

I sure hope my little Mega Minor Burner is up for the job!

More soon,

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Summer is Coming!

The warm spell that hit the Northeast these last few weeks is gone, but it impressed on me that summer will come again! With that, I got busy applying for summer shows.

This year, I'm targeting the mid-size show scene. For the first time, I'm also applying for shows that require a tent. I don't have a tent, yet, but I do have my eye on the new 10X10 TrimLine that many other artists are raving about. It has a skylight to help light my work, and a vent opening in the front and rear canopy areas to help keep things cool inside.

Somehow, in my mind, you've "made it" when you have a tent full of items you'd keep if you could. Ever since my first festival  in Ithaca, NY--where I was raised--I've wanted to be a part of the festival scene. I didn't know until much later that my love for the little glass figurines my parents collected would turn into a fascination with glass that I could fill a tent with, but now I get it! I've moved my little studio inside the house so I can work in any weather (not the gas tanks, though; they're still outside where they belong). 

So far, I can tell you I'll be at Mayday Underground Crafts & Art Fest on April 28th at the Village Gate in Rochester, NY, and at the Damascus Shriner's Cruz Nights--with their awesome classic cars!--on Fridays on Bay Rd in Webster, NY from May 11 throughout the summer. I'll list more events as I hear back.

Since I can't have a post without a picture, here are some of my new beadwoven rivoli earrings, on sale at summer shows, and on Etsy. (I know, they're not lampwork, but a girl's gotta have more than one trick up her sleeve!)

Happy Spring!

Saturday, January 21, 2012


My latest obsession is nettting. I've always loved the way beaded netting flows: loose, open and silky smooth. But it doesn't come naturally to me.

I'm one of those visual people. Peyote stitch, tubular herringbone, even cubic right-angle-weave all make sense to me; I can see how they're constructed. But netting? It's baffled me for years. Until now.

The book BEADED ALLURE by Kelly Wiese finally presented netting in a way I can follow. (Unlike a few other books I've picked up over the years). The cover promises romantic beadweaving projects - not my usual style - but inside? It's packed with step-by-step instructions to create beautiful netted designs.

My first project:

This is the basis for one of Kelly's more elaborate designs, but I like it as is. As a matter of fact, I'm already trying to visualize an adaptation to showcase some of my lampwork glass beads. I love feeling inspired!

Kelly's book can be found on her website:

Happy beading!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Happy New Year!

I've been busily working behind the scenes to pull together new designs: beadweaving, lampworking (yes, baby, it's cold out there!) and class material. I just don't post! So: One of my many new year's resolutions--business wise--is to post twice a week to let you all know what's going on in my little beady corner of the world!

First up: New Class Announcement
This Sunday, January 15th, I'll be teaching another 'tween class at the Brighton Memorial Library at 1:30 P.M. ('tweens are anyone 9-13 years of age).
Class is FREE, but pre-registration is necessary! Call the library at (585) 784-5300 to register.
The project is a peyote stitch bracelet with Delica beads, fire polished rounds and a clasp by Tierracast. Colors are: Ice Pick Silver, Snowflake White, and Skate Pond Blue. Sensing a theme here?
All materials are provided thanks to the friends of the BML. Yay!

If class is full, leave your name and phone number with the library just in case someone cancels -- it happens more often then you'd think. (Next time I'll try to give you more advance notice.)