Monday, August 20, 2012

A Graduation, 2 Weddings, and A Funeral

O.M.G.! My glass studio has been “dark” for about 2 months, except for a few small custom orders. And my online presence has been virtually non-existent! Ugh... I start a blog, post a few times, then disappear… typical, right? Well, this wasn’t an intentional absence, it’s just been a whirlwind summer… and the title of this post explains most of it!

So let me catch you up quickly. Starting with our son’s HS graduation in June, which to be honest we weren’t even sure would actually happen until almost the last minute. Can you say S-T-R-E-S-S?! He did have to re-take a class in summer school before getting his actual diploma, but he was still allowed to go through the ceremony (more of a relief for the parents than the kid!). So we held an open house for him later in the summer… that was just over a week ago... it was wonderful, but I’m still recovering!

There were also a couple of weddings, in June, and in late July. Both were beautiful... I wasn’t “in” either one yet still involved… My husband officiated the June one so I helped a little but that didn’t take too much of my time. For the July wedding, I made the bride’s & bridesmaids’ jewelry (pictured, right). The bride & I designed it together and I think it turned out great! It was a perfect fit for her Bohemian style and black & ivory colors. She ended up hanging her pendant (the all-ivory diamond-shape one) on a set of family pearls in ivory… very sweet!

Sadly, there was also a family funeral this summer. My dear Aunt Holly passed away. She lived a long, beautiful life, but I can’t believe she’s gone. It was so sad to say goodbye. And all the more difficult because she wasn’t even sick… she just had a bad fall that resulted in a head injury that she didn’t recover from. Ironically, her sister (my Grandmother) also passed away under similar circumstances almost 14 years ago. There's something about having a loved one ripped away from us so suddenly, it just leaves a wound that takes more time to heal than an expected passing. I will miss them both.

Outside my own little corner of the world, there’s plenty of stress-inducing stuff too, from psycho shootings to political battles, lots of stuff that goes beyond what my blog is about. Then there's the excitement of the Olympics, and the record-breaking heat & humidity we’ve had in the Midwest... I admit—I made time to watch as much of the Olympics as I could… and I’m not complaining about the heat—I’ll take humidity over sleet any day—but it sure does slow a body down!!!

So that’s my summer in a nutshell. It’s going by way too fast! But now the heat is starting to back off, the big events are behind us, I have some fun new tools in my glass studio that I’m itching to put to work, and I have a few local sales coming up this fall too. So I’ll slowly get back to creating some new glass designs, photographing & listing some online, and of course posting here as often as I can. ONCE A WEEK??!?! Hmmm… it's a nice goal, but I’d better not make promises I can’t keep!

Saturday, May 26, 2012


I have been doing some giveaways lately! And my latest one is ending in just a few days. Check it out here.
This time I'm giving away this mother & child glass pendant in bright blues (it started around Mother's Day so that affected my choice).

This giveaway is part of an "Ultimate Fan Giveaway" and it's a different approach for me, but I thought I'd try it out. It's a group thing, part of Crochet Addict's celebration of reaching 7,000 fans on her blog. Wow, that's impressive!

There are several possible prizes, including mine shown above, and every entry is a chance to win. Go to this link for entry instructions, but the basics are: follow the sites of the artists doing the giveaway (blogs, facebook pages, etc.) and then leave a comment on the original blog post about it.

So, what's the point of doing a giveaway? For me, it's a combination of exposure, networking, and the joy of giving a little piece of my work to a fan or potential fan. I hope they enjoy it and tell others about it... or, give me constructive feedback. And here's the thing, glass is a passion but not a full time gig, so I don't have a lot of time for the promotional stuff, and a giveaway is fairly easy and good for networking. Will I do more giveaways? Absolutely! Follow my Facebook page for announcements about future giveaways and other stuff (don't worry about more clutter in your newsfeed, I only post a few times a week at the most). I hope to see you there!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Art Studio ~ Design & Organizing Ideas

Do you have a craft room that needs sprucing up? Maybe you're putting ideas together for your dream studio. That's great, but where to start? Then once you have the space set up, it can be a constant battle to get - and stay - organized. Believe me, I know!

I admit that I'm super lucky to have an awesome studio space, thanks to Dear Hubby... A few years ago, I had been complaining about always having to drag art stuff out then clear it away so we could eat dinner. Or worse, eat dinner around the stuff! Yup. Chaos. Usually, half my creative time was spent setting up & cleaning up. If you're a creative soul without a dedicated craft space, I know you know what I'm talking about! So DH helped me convert a storage room into an actual studio {squeeeee!}... and it's been wonderful.

BUT... lately that space is in desperate need of organizational attention, and I'm looking for great ways to calm the clutter & work more efficiently. And to spruce up the decor a bit. And ways to STAY organized. So I've been searching for inspiration... LOVE Google & Pinterest for that! Here are some cool studios I found from other people online:

These just might inspire me to get truly organized!

Just look at all those drawers and shelves and cool organizers... and how neat & tidy they all are (can anyone actually KEEP it that way?!)!! Check out my Pinterest boards for more inspiration rooms and actual links to the sites where I found these ideas here.

So, about that constant battle against the organizing demon? Maybe it's just me, or maybe it's the bane of all creative types. I tend to think it's the latter. Or at least that makes me feel a bit better about my own chaos!

When I have my world under a little more control, I will do another post about my own studio space. And maybe even inspire someone else! Until then, happy crafting, and stay organized, my friends!!!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

2 Great Giveaways!

So, there's this other blog I'm involved with: HandmadeMN. HandmadeMN is a "team" or collection of artists & crafters in the Minnesota/Western Wisconsin area. The big thing we have in common, besides geography, is that we all have shops on Etsy. In fact, that's what brought us together, and we formed what's called a "street team" on Etsy. We share ideas & network with each other, have a great blog, do weekly giveaways on that blog, and get together for local sales a few times a year. So that's the skinny on what the other blog is all about, and now to my main point.............

Here's a pic of the
Spring Wildflowers & Dragonflies
necklace you could win in the giveaway:

You have 2 weeks to enter!!! The giveaway started today on the HandmadeMN blog, and it ends on Saturday, May 5th, at Noon. Go over to this blog post to enter: HandmadeMN. Every comment you leave there is an entry. The blog post will also give you instructions for several ways to enter---and be sure to leave comments because each one is an entry!! Oh and be sure we have a way to contact you in case you win!

But wait, there's more! There's another way to win! I'm doing ANOTHER GIVEAWAY at the same time for all my FACEBOOK fans, through Saturday, May 12th, at Noon!! It will be another glass necklace similar to this one, but a little different. Even if you're not a fan yet, you have time---click here and "Like" my page now: GlassGardenDesigns.

The only rules of the extra giveaway are:
1. Be or become a Facebook fan of GlassGardenDesigns.
2. Leave comments on this post and on any Glass Garden Designs Facebook post between today and Saturday, May 12th, at Noon. Each comment is an entry; be sure I have a way to contact you if you win.
3. You can't win both giveaways.

Please feel free to share this with others and enter as many times as you wish! Good luck!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Here We Go!

I have to be honest, this truly IS a work-in-progress... I don't even know how to change my fonts yet, LOL! So, I'll play around til it looks the way I want. In the meantime, I'll try to post interesting bits here about glass, art, and life... maybe a couple times a week. Think I can do it? We'll see!!! ;)

I'll just start at the beginning. I have a husband, a teenager, a house, and a full time job. As if all that isn't enough to fill my days, I have these creative urges too. I'll admit, I'm a typical crafter/artist. That is, I love trying different mediums - and different tools & processes within the medium of choice - and I'm easily distracted by pretty, shiny things... like Swarovsky crystals, gemstones & pearls... and glass. So jewelry making was a logical choice... here are some wedding sets I made a couple years ago:
Like so many before me, I have accumulated lots of supplies for scrapbooking, painting, beading, and more... A good friend & I like to say that we have "Art A.D.D." {squirrel!} ...never really settling on one thing, but always coming back to it.

One thing I've consistently stuck with is GLASS, mostly kiln-fired in a variety of ways.

A few kiln-fired pieces...

So while I can never seem to find enough time to play with all the tools and pretty materials, I make a pretty good effort, and love coming up with new designs, color combinations, and even new processes that I may have once feared (like reaching into a 1700 degree kiln!) then finally tried, then inevitably obsessed on for awhile. And I even still manage to work in some old school beading & scrapbooking!

Why "Glass Garden Designs"? Many of my designs and color combinations are inspired by nature... trees, flowers, sunsets... so it was natural for me to brand my designs with something along those lines... and with Dear Hubby's help, a few years ago, we came up with Glass Garden Designs and set me up a little studio in the basement (oh, that was a happy day!). Then I set up shop on Etsy, and a good friend helped me develop an image and a website too. Oh, and yes, I still have a full time "regular job" too!

So now my glass studio is my "garden," one that I can tend to year-round. That, and my family, give me great pride & pleasure.