Thursday, March 31

more stained glass pendants!

I just received a nice comment from fellow stained glass jewelry-maker Chu Ling. She currently has some amazing charms on eBay. They are so detailed and intricate, and I admire her style very much! You have to check them out.

We both share an obsession for buckets of stained glass scraps, and you just don't find someone like that every day, right? She mentioned seeing my things on eBay, which is funny because I have long admired her pieces she has on eBay- so it's great to finally cross paths.

Thanks again, Chu Ling, for stopping by my website!
I've been making lots of silver charms with decorative silver solder these days. The raindrop-shaped charms are my new favorites- they're tall and shiny and so fun to wear with scoop-neck shirts.

Here is a peek at some of the charms I currently have for sale on eBay. If you're interested in viewing the auctions, please click any of the photos below.

Saturday, March 26

I started making jewelry in 2001. On a quest to somehow turn these magical and colorful round glass pieces into necklaces, I asked everyone I knew to please spill anything they knew about jewelry-making.

At some point within my impassioned quest, which included asking my parents, friends, siblings and co-workers a million questions, I bought a soldering iron. Then my dad mentioned that his boss worked with stained glass, and he arranged for us to visit his stained glass studio one day. After a brief tutorial, I found myself leaving with the answer I'd been searching for and a big bucket of colorful stained glass scraps. At the time, I was working a full-time job at a newspaper and working a part-time job at an after school daycare. Some days I'd work from 8:00 am-5:00 pm at the newspaper, head straight to my other job, where I'd work from 5:00 pm-10:30 pm, then would rush home to practice what I'd learned- often staying up until 1:00 am or later practicing.

I had experimented with lots of art forms, having taken quite a few art classes in college, but never found my niche. I kind of enjoyed photography, had fun playing around with paints, and experimented with drawing. When I started working with stained glass, it was felt kind of like you feel when you're first falling head-over-heels in love. If I wasn't actually making something out of glass, I was thinking about my next creation.

Have you ever started something that seems promising, hit a snag, then find yourself taking the easy road rather than persisting? I was thinking today about all the people who have helped me persist throughout my mini journey. Although I have far to go, it doesn't mean I don't appreciate every little step. If not for my dad introducing me to his boss, I may have grown too frustrated trying to learn on my own. If not for the gift of tools that first Christmas, I may never have been had the money to buy the tools that make cutting glass more easy and therefore more enjoyable to work with. After my bucket o' glass scraps grew smaller, my dad bought me scraps from a stained glass shop. He has also used his magical woodworking skills to make me display pieces, and my favorite belonging in the entire world- my tall red art cabinet. If my place was burning down, and I could bring one thing with me, the red cabinet would be it.

I did my first art fair in the summer of 2002. I can't imagine what I would have done if not for my mom, who loaned me $100 for my "cash register" during a time when I was lucky to have $10 in my checking account. She also hung out with me the majority of the day (not only that day, but during subsequent art fairs in the past few years), in spite of me usually insisting that I would be okay spending a few hours by myself. Secretly, I was so happy for the company during my first art fair experience, and during any art fair for that matter. You just can't imagine what it's going to be like being on the other side of the table until you've gone through it, and although my first event was rather uneventful due to small crowds, it was an awesome learning experience and I'm glad for having gone through it.

My sweet sisters have also spent hours out in the sun and wind, helping me with the busier art fairs in the following years. Outdoor events can be challenging, and I appreciate that they take time out of their busy schedules to help, and still love me in spite of the fact that I get really nervous as I'm generally running on 3 hours sleep and am all out of sorts on those days. They were my walking billboards, my encouragement, and my creative advisors.

And speaking of those who have been here throughout my mini journey, my boyfriend has experienced everything from the complete elation after my first big sale, where I was literally doing the happy dance in the living room, to the moments where I'm frustrated, super exhausted, or in the messy midst of art fair season where my things are covering literally every table and surface in our apartment. You know you've got a keeper with a capital K when your twenty-something boyfriend visits you at an art fair, and tells you and your sister to take a break and wander the art fair while he mans the booth full of stained glass jewelry. When my sister and I came back to the booth, he was standing right in the middle of the booth happily chatting with several customers.

Many other friends and family members have been so supportive! I still have a very long way to travel on my journey, of course, but still appreciate the great people I am surrounded with.
Check out the lovely Earthenwood Studio, which features handmade porcelain beads and charms. I stumbled upon this site by accident today- such great stuff! I especially love the ice cream cone, and the vegetable charms are great.

Off to grab a cup of afternoon coffee. I woke up especially early for a Saturday morning, and reached a point today where I decided that I needed either a good cup of coffee or a good power nap.

I choose coffee. And Easter candy. And Jack Johnson.

Monday, March 21

sunshine through the trees

This was the view outside my apartment door right before tonight's sunset. I was taking advantage of the last minutes of today's natural sunlight, snapping some photos of some necklaces outside, and saw the sunlight streaming through the trees and fence in front of my apartment building.

I am obsessed these days with the tree silhouette- I love tree branches and tree branches that are just starting to bloom- so sweet!

Sunday, March 20

I finished some wine bottle glass necklace pendants! I didn't get done with them until after the sun had gone down, so didn't get an opportunity to photograph them today. Will try to get some photos taken sometime this week, though, and hope to put some in the shop sometime within the upcoming week.

I went out for breakfast with my sweet boyfriend this morning. I had a coffee and a breakfast burrito, and I think this is my new favorite breakfast. I wanted to take photos of our view from our table, and was carefully planning on waiting until after our server took our order to sneak a photo of the lovely ornate cream-colored ceiling tiles and exposed brick walls, but they ended up seating a party at the table across from us.

I did manage to snap this photo. There's a train that runs through the middle of downtown Fort Collins. My boyfriend and I were driving in the lane right next to the train, so I snapped this picture from his car.
I live on a street about a block away from the train tracks, so have grown used to hearing the train whistles blowing as the train comes through town many times per day.

Saturday, March 19

Coming Soon: Wine Bottle Pendants

I'm working on some wine bottle glass charms today, hoping to have some finished and up on my website sometime this week.

Saturday, March 12

love for my old, worn Levi's

About 8 years ago, I bought a pair of old worn Levi's at a thrift store. I really did like them at the time, even though they were dark and sans holes and didn't quite have that truly worn look and feel you sometimes find in an old pair of Levi's. Anyway, after 8 years of washing and wearing, they are finally getting that faded look. A few months ago I actually spilled a few drops of white paint on the left knee, so they have transitioned from pants I can get away with wearing to work to my art pants. I love grabbing my old Levi's every Saturday morning, and the little bit of paint makes them suddenly feel like they were just waiting all these years to become my art-making jeans. I love thee, old worn paint-splotched Levi's.

I went shopping today, and got some fruit and veggies and coffee and lipgloss, and for some reason all this makes me happy.

I am off to make some art now. Happy Saturday to you all!

Thursday, March 10

great quote

I'm heading to the store to pick up some art supplies shortly, but just wanted to post this great quote my sister sent me:

"If your success is not on your own terms, if it looks good to the world but does not feel good in your heart, it is not success at all." Ann Quindlen

Love it! Thanks for passing along the inspiring words, sis.

Tuesday, March 8

To Infinity and Solder Sculpting and Beyond

Oh, Kay Weiner. How I love thee.

Kay is the author of a fabulous book called
Solder Sculpting and Beyond. As I do not have room in my starving artist budget for another stained glass book, but do have lots of stained glass supplies on hand, I will make a custom photo necklace charm in exchange for this book.

Kind of a strange thing to put out in the universe, indeed, but I am in love with this book. If anyone is interested in a trade, please leave a comment and we'll chat via email.

Monday, March 7

skipping stone box

I made this skipping stone box yesterday. It reminds me of when I was a little girl. In the summertime, my family would take weekend trips to the river quite often. Sometimes we would go camping, and sometimes we'd just go for the day. Some of my favorite childhood memories include swimming, sitting around a campfire making s'mores, fishing with my dad and brothers, and skipping river stones.

The box has a clear bottom, front, and sides. I am currently obsessed with this clear chartreuse-colored stained glass with a slight texture that makes up the back wall of the box!

I had lots of fun making this, and am trying to determine if these items translate well in photographs and if I should try making more to sell at art fairs and on my webpage. Any feedback is appreciated.

Ooh, and speaking of art fairs- I just got my application for the Sioux Falls Sidewalk Arts Festival today. Receiving that envelope in the mail every year makes my day. It's become such a lovely tradition for me- road-tripping back to my home town every Fall to participate in the Sidewalk Arts Fest.

Wednesday, March 2

Thanks for Signing My Guestbook!

Thanks to all my friends who have left kinds words on my new guestbook. It's so much fun knowing you all have stopped by!

Cheri- although I didn't make it back home in February as planned, I am working on your necklace featuring this sweet photo! Cheri is my mom's sister, by the way- and this is actually a photo of my grandma and grandpa.

And Sonnet- great to hear from you! And thanks for sending people my way. I have noticed some hits from Florida when looking at my website statistics. I'm always curious to know how people are finding their way here.