Saturday, August 30, 2008

I don't usually blog on Saturday, but I need to make a tiny blah blah blah entry.

Cofffee today - no, but I could have really used some!

Music today - Star 94 was playing lots of crazy 80s and 90s stuff that made me laugh, so I listened to the radio.

But now, the music is the song in my head. "You're So Vain" - Gotta love Carly Simon... She never did say publicly who that song was written about (but Dick Ebersole paid a lot of money at a charity auction for her to tell him!)


Wasn't going to post anything, but changed my mind.

I just wrote a whole paragraph and erased it which really stinks. I love writing here. I know there are people who like reading it... like my quirky look at life. Do I have to be less authentic because one of the 4 readers here is unhappy? Maybe.

One of my friends this week was upset about some things going on in her life and said, "sometimes you've just got to laugh at it all cuz there ain't nothing else to do with it." I totally agree.

Tiny blah blah blah...

Coffee today - NONE and I could have used some!!!

Music today - Right now, just in my head.... Carly Simon....

You walked into the party like you were walking onto a yacht
Your hat strategically dipped below one eye
Your scarf it was apricot
You had one eye on the mirror as you watched yourself gavotte
And all the girls dreamed that theyd be your partner
Theyd be your partner, and...

Youre so vain, you probably think this song is about you
Youre so vain, Ill bet you think this song is about you
Dont you? dont you?
The posting of 8/10/08 has been removed due to an e-mail request.

I am all about pleasing people and should ANY of you who are reading this EVER have a problem with something I've written...

PLEASE feel free to e-mail me and I will be more than happy to remove any posting that you feel would have a negative impact on your life.

Should you be reading this and feel the need to forward something I've posted to someone else

Friday, August 29, 2008

It's FRIDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I've needed Friday all week long, so I'm glad it's finally here. And it's a long weekend Friday, so that's even better!

The sad part of this weekend is that it's the last weekend our neighborhood pool is opened. It's funny, I've lived in my neighborhood since I was a teenager. I moved away when I got married and then came back and bought my parents home in 2002. When I was a teenager I LIVED at our neighborhood pool. There was not a lot else to do in the summers before I was old enough to drive or work, so during those pre-seventeen years, I spent almost every day with a book, laying out in the sun.

When we moved back to our neighborhood, I just wasn't into the "pool scene" in the neighborhood for some reason. I think I went once or twice all last year, and maybe not at all the year before. My kids don't LOVE the pool, but they would go with friends.

Well, this year was different. A neighbor and I decided at the beginning of the summer that we pay for the membership to the pool every year when we pay our home-owner's dues and that we need to get our money's worth. We thought that a good way to do that would be to have a regular "Friday Night at the Pool" thing with our families. Well, that grew into Sunday afternoons at the pool when my kids were with their dad.

Next thing I knew, I was at the pool almost every evening that the boys were with their dad, just hanging out with friends or reading. I LOVED having this pool a couple of blocks from my house. It became the part of my summer that it was when I was a teenager! And I'm going to miss it!!!

I've always had sort of a "shell" in my neighborhood that I hid behind. I haven't really had a lot of contact with anyone other than my immediate neighbors and a couple of parents of other kids that are friends with my boys... but even that was more of a "hi" "bye" sort of thing.

This summer, I've been Miss Friendly and made sure I got to know lots of people in the neighborhood. I'm going to miss them at the end of the summer, but I'm probably not going to see them much. (we didn't become BEST FRIENDS or anything) So, it's kind of like the end of summer camp. I know I'll see these people again next summer, but I know we probably won't keep up with each other in between now and then.

So, farewell to summer and my swimming pool.

The good news in this is that my "social butterfly" time will now be available for beadmaking. YAY!!! (see? I can tie beadmaking into almost any topic!!)

I'll be back next week with more of my sermon series on the creative process!!!

Happy Long Weekend to Me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

tiny blah blah blah

coffee - mais oui! Cinnamon Dolce Latte with whipped cream

music - I'm currently listening to my long long long playlist called "If I was a Radio Station." It's different from the one on the right which is more mellow songs that seem to flow. This one is totally random (and way too long to list on the sidebar or publish as an imix). I just went through my library and clicked on every song I like a lot, whether it fits or not. So I might get Journey (which is what's on right now.. All Night) or Elvis Costello's Allison (which was on right before Journey). You might get Norah Jones next to T-Pain or Allison Kraus with MC Hammer!!! You just never know!

Its such a long playlist that I played it for 2 days of driving to Oklahoma last summer without repeating a single song. It's my favorite "RADIO STATION" because every song is one that makes me say "oooh! I like that song!" And wouldn't we all love our radios to be like that?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

It's Stress Free Thursday!!! WOO HOO!!!!!!

And time to continue our "lesson" about creativity and finding your voice as a glass beadmaker (or any artist really).

*** if you're not a beadmaker or don't care about my creative process, you can just go ahead and hit "back" now because this is LONG... much longer than I intended!!!!!! But it's my blog and I can talk endlessly if I want to!!!***

When we left our beadmakers yesterday they were tying their creativity to what sells (which isn't really being creative is it??)

Well, this way of thinking comes from CENTURIES of glass beadmaking. Years ago, glass beads were currency, made in Italy (and other places) to trade for goods, land, slaves, other things of value. Beads were money. You can't get any closer to "making beads that sell" than that. When the "secrets" of making glass beads migrated out of Italy, specifically to the U.S. it really caused some shifts in attitudes. U.S. beadmakers were making ART for art's sake. They weren't creating things specifically to sell. They were just drawn to making art out of this "new to us" medium.

By the early 90s there were around 100 known glass beadmakers in the US. (We know this because of the creation of the Society of Glassbeadmakers and its early membership. See ISGB.ORG for more info on that). My point is that these people were not making beads because they had seen other beads sell. They were being creative and making their own thing. Most of them hadn't even seen each other's beads until the first big showing of glass beads that took place in Arizona in 1992 or 1993 (?).

I'm not saying these people weren't selling their work, but none of them were making things PURELY because they sold. They lived in vans, traveling across the country, worked as waitresses, etc. while they sold their work. They were what we think of when we think "starving artist!" They had that DRIVE that pushed them to create, no matter what the financial benefit was.

As THEY began to teach, some of their techniques flowed to other people and became part of their "bag of tricks" and I was one of those people. I started making glass beads in 1995. My intention in taking classes wasn't to sell beads. It was just to make something cool. I did walk away from all the classes I took with wonderful techniques and I'm sure that I was inspired by the work of the people that I took classes from. BUT I never went into a class thinking "I'm going to learn step by step how to make a bead that sells." I don't think anyone back then took classes with that aim. We weren't looking at the instructors saying, "oooh, they're getting rich as a beadmaker. I think I'll quit my job and do that too!!" Hardly.

So, when did things change? I think it started when American handmade glass beads started appearing in publications either in books like Cindy Jenkins "You Can Make Glass Beads" or in articles in magazines or even (as was in my case) advertisements in magazines. Pretty soon after I had advertised, I started seeing lots of beads with the very same structure and aesthetic as my beads. There were DEFINITELY mermaids being made out of glass before I did, but they each had their own look. When I began advertising, suddenly I saw beads that had flowers EXACTLY where mine did (which made me laugh because my flowers were strategically placed to hide the fact that the hands I was making were UGLY! LOL)

So, suddenly there were people who were looking at BEADS for inspiration. Not coming up with something they had inspiration to make themselves, but something they saw out there that already existed. And thus began the "inbred" beads, which took us back centuries, back to Italian beads, where the beads that made "money", the traditional beads were the coveted beads.

I started teaching and had people wanting to know how to make beads that sold. How to make MY beads that sold (and they weren't shy about asking, so I knew exactly what they were after when they signed up for my class). I even had someone come up to me at a show I was doing in California wanting to know step by step how to become a profitable beadmaker. He wanted the "secret" because he had calculated how much time it took to make a bead, subtracted the overhead and materials and discovered that he could make twice as much making beads as he could at his Silicon Valley job. (and for the record, I was doing well at making beads, supporting our family, but not doing THAT well... quit your Silicon Valley Job well!!)

My point is that he was going to become an "artist" just for the money and that made me start to question, was someone like this an ARTIST or just a beadmaker. (ouch! that stepped on some toes I know!!!) And was I becoming "just a beadmaker" since I was doing so much production work... making beads that I knew would sell. (the answer to this is "yes" BUT at least I was looking at my own beads for inspiration and not trying to produce someone else's successful beads.)

This was about the same time that e-bay came on the scene and suddenly everyone shopping for glass beads had one place they could go to find them, no matter where they lived. This was WONDERFUL for those of us who made beads. I didn't have to fly to California to a bead show every weekend (because that's usually where they were). I could stay at home and sell my beads and spend more time in the studio and with my family.

The problem was that those people that only wanted to make beads that SOLD had easy access to images of beads that sold for the most on e-bay. Suddenly there was a "bead du jour." Whatever beads sold for the most one week, you would see TONS of the next week. This trend continues today and has REALLY stymied creativity. Beads inspired by money-making beads.

Sure, there are LOTS of mediums of craft where people don't design something themselves. They follow a pattern (knitting comes to mind immediately). To me (and I'm gonna get hate mail for this if it ever gets out that I said it), this isn't ART. There's a huge debate of art vs. craft that goes on and I'm not trying to start that. I'm just saying that things that are inspired by our minds, things that we CREATE are what can be called ART. There's emotion and feeling behind them... not just making something that you liked that someone else sold.

I can say this from personal experience, just looking at my beads that are "production" beads. Sure, the first ones were inspired and the creativity was definitely flowing, but at some point, it just became "making" and the emotion is lost. It's still FUN and I think I'm still making things of beauty (hopefully), but it's not ART to me at that point. Art is in the eye of the beholder (beadholder) and I'm sure that there are some people who have my production beads who still see them as art. It's my own opinion about my work though.. the pieces that are inspired and those that aren't.

That's why the picture on my homepage right now ( is NOT a mermaid. It's one of the last pieces I made before taking my hiatus. I'm SO proud of that piece. It was a turning place for me and is FULL of emotion. I can look at it and know exactly what was going on in my mind, in my life right then. I tend to make things that represent what I'm looking for in life. I don't usually see it until later when I can look back at my life with some clarity, but my subconscious definitely comes into the studio with me... pulling my emotions out...even the ones that I don't want to admit that I'm having.

The face on that vessel (on my homepage) is so serene... there is all kinds of craziness in pattern going on around her, but she seems content with where she is. That was what I wanted back then... peace in the middle of the chaos. (What's funny, is that's where I think I am personally right now.)

I'm excited to see what my subconscious has in store for me when I get back in my studio!! Just having the "aha" moment that I had in those last sentences (which I hadn't thought of until about 5 minutes ago) is a part of art. I'm in a completely different place mentally today... so what creative journey will that take me on???!! WOW! That excites me!!! Sure, there will definitely be "production" beads... ones I don't see as art. But I'm excited to see what the me I've become over the past 2 years has in store for the world of glass beads.

SO back to the topic... how does someone who started down the path as a "maker" of beads turn into a CREATOR of beads. That will have to wait till tomorrow (or later) because I'm out of time for today.

SEE? I told you I could go on and on forever about this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

tiny blah blah blah...

Coffee today - same old same old. Starbucks Cinnamon Dolce Latte (3 pumps of syrup, stirred, with whip) and I'm going to get a second one SOON! I'm dragging today!!!

Music - Jason Mraz. I LOVE him. His lyrics are full of play-on-words that make you think and make you laugh and his melodies just make you feel good. Love love love me some Jason Mraz. (which is why I'm excited about going to his concert in November!!!!!!)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Well here we are on Wednesday and I have a bunch of people looking for me to actually SAY something. And even though I said yesterday that this wasn't going to have an effect on me (the fact that people are reading this) it does!!! I don't feel like I can say nothing and get away with it!! LOL

Since this is supposed to be my blog about my artwork, I really feel like I have to talk about that now. BUT I know there are people reading this that have no clue what i'm all about artistically, so I feel like I need to keep telling back-stories, but I'm not going to... for the most part. Might have to every now and then, though.

SO, today's topic is creativity.

I received an e-mail from someone who took a class from me in Maine years ago which sparked this discussion. And this is one of my favorite topics, so this could end up being a 14 week sermon series (snicker) so beware!!!!!! The person who e-mailed me found this out because she asked one LITTLE question and the e-mail I sent back was a NOVEL on the topic, which is "finding your own voice as an artist."

I really really miss going and teaching workshops. It was a big part of what i did (do), being able to share what I know and helping people to develop artistically. My very favorite class, however, hardly EVER sold because it wasn't one about learning to make MY beads, but one that helped them find their own voice, begin their own creative journey. One of the highlights of my career was when I was invited to speak about the subject at the International Society of Glass Beadmaker's conference in 2003. I was terrified to stand in front of that many people and speak, but I really believed in what I was talking about, so I hope that someone got something out of it.

ANYWAYS...When I was booked to teach, it was usually one of my techniques classes... how to make MY beads. People who are beadmakers (not ALL of them, but a good portion of them) want to learn to make beads that SELL. In most art forms people don't walk into a class wanting to learn how to paint like a certain painter (or whatever art form) so that they can then go and make paintings just like that artist and sell them. That's what happens with beads, though. People knew that my beads sold. They wanted to make beads to sell, so learning my techniques would give them a new "bag of tricks" to go market.

The history of beadmaking really shows this trend of the connection of monetary value and bead-style which is why I've got to do some back-story telling before I really talk about what I want to talk about.

And that will have to wait till tomorrow.

BUT the main idea for me to take away today is.... I have something important to teach Glass Beadmakers and I need to try to book classes teaching not only techniques but also about finding your individual voice as a glass beadmaker.

More on how to do that and why tomorrow... maybe... unless something totally silly pops into my head and I decide to talk about that instead...

tiny blah blah blah...

coffee today - same ol same ol... Cinnamon Dolce Latte (I have GOT to make coffee at home tomorrow!!)

music - Colbie Callait. Started the morning w/ Crowded House, but it was a little too "dark" and the sun is coming out, so I thought I'd add a little "Bubbly" to my day!!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

It's Tuesday and I've been thinking... (uh oh!)

I don't usually think about what I'm going to say in my blog before I write it (big surprise... if you've read this before you know that!) Today is a little different. I thought about this a lot as I drove to work this morning, for several reasons.

Yesterday I realized that my blog is being linked to from a few different places (one that I put out there , but others that I didn't know about) and it kind of freaked me out a little. I don't usually expect anyone to read this except a few friends and some of my regular customers, so the public nature of the blog never effected me too much. I always figured that if someone who didn't know me (like those people who I've referenced before who were looking for information on flying hampsters or poison ivy and found me in a bizarre google search) would take one look at the blog and quickly click "back" to where they came from.

But what if they don't??? What if they are people who knew me in high school, but haven't seen me since or people from my church who just know me as the girl that sits on the left hand side of the room that they've never talked to? What if the people who mis-spelled hamster (see side-bar) ended up here, but stayed??!!

I can usually guess by how many hits I have who came to read... but yesterday was different because there were so many more of them. I had no idea who all these people were and suddenly it hit me, that PEOPLE might actually be reading this! (that sounds silly, I know!)

My friends and customers know the "me" that's writing these rambling thoughts and can put it into the context of my personality. Most of them say that they can hear me saying the words... that I write just how I talk, so it all makes sense to them. But what about the people that don't??? What does all this sound like to them and should it matter to me?

I had a friend use the word "authentic" to describe me yesterday. I really think that's true. If you have read my blog before, you know that I'm pretty much myself all the time. I do censor things that I say here because it's such a public forum and there are other people involved in my life, but what I DO say is totally "me."

I was scared about that yesterday, though. Do I need to change my tone because other people are suddenly reading this? Do I need to try to make sense? What about all those extra punctuation marks???!!! Should I always make sure to spell-check (often I don't because I have a mom who will e-mail immediately if there IS a mistake) so that I don't talk about hampsters when I mean hamsters??? I thought about it a lot and came to this conclusion as I drove to work...

Even though it's a little intimidating and freaks me out a little that "other people" are here, I'm going to continue to be myself. It's a little scary to be this open and "authentic", but I don't know how to be anyone BUT myself. In my regular life, I have slowly over the years, especially the last two, become OK with who I am. I love this blog. I love the outlet that it is, so I'm going to just take a deep breath, not freak out and just continue to be me.

So back to our show....

Tiny blah blah blah

Coffee today - (maybe this explains things) I've already had 2 Cinnamon Dolce Lattes from Starbucks. I got caught in a really bad storm and ducked into Starbucks to wait it out. HAD to order something, so I got a 2nd latte of the day.

Music - I'm currently enjoying Corinne Bailey Rae on my ipod. I LOVE her version of "Sexy Back" (which I have to admit I downloaded from someone's website... probably illegally because it sounds like it was recorded at a concert. It's not available for sale anywhere but was on her website playing when I looked at her concert schedule and I had to have it!!! I promise that if it ever IS published, I'll pay for it!!!!!!!!)

Monday, August 25, 2008

It's Monday!!!!!!

(I'm trying to be enthusiastic, adding all those exclamation points... but it's not really working for me)

For some reason, the weekend just wasn't long enough this time. Usually I feel like I had a nice long weekend and I'm fine to be back at work on Monday. Not this time. I want a weekend do-over!!!!! I shouldn't complain about rain because we have needed it so badly for the past two years, but I wish it wouldn't rain on the weekend!

So, here we are on Monday... nothing beady to talk about, so I'll talk about something fun I saw on the Internet this morning. My mom is big into genealogy and a site called I occasionally look to see what's going on with my extended family, but not too often.

BUT today I was feeling a little guilty for spending more time socializing with long-lost-friends on Facebook and not enough time with my actual FAMILY, so I logged on and looked at the site.

I saw a posting by my aunt (my Dad's sister Janie) about my Grandma Rose and her twin Sister Edith. It would have been their 88th birthday on 8/8/08! Isn't that cool???!!! (I think so.) My grandma passed away when I was in college and her twin a few years (?) ago.

Here's the picture that Janie posted in celebration of their b-day. What fun girls they were!!!! (fun adults too) I have the best memories of them and hope that my sister and I are as close and goofy/young as they always seemed even into their days as grandparents.

So, here's to you Rose and Edith... you rocked!!! (and I miss you bunches!)

tiny blah blah blah...

coffee today - Starbucks Cinnamon Dolce

music - none so far. I spent my morning listening to Muzak at the Sprint Store. ugh!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday Friday Friday!!!!!!!!

WOO HOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ok... that does it for today's blog entry. I have NOTHING real to say today. Lots to NOT say and let's just leave it at that. I'm on a roll, though and didn't want to neglect my blog just because I'm holding my tongue.

(I know this makes absolutely no sense, but remember it's MY blog and I'll be confusing and vague if I want to!!!)

Hey! It's sort of a Seinfeld episode... a show about nothing... a blog entry about nothing... YAY!

Have a great weekend bloggy world!!!!!!!!!!!

tiny blah blah...

coffee - Starbucks (the usual) but evidently not enough. I need to make another stop. I'm dragging!

music - NONE! Here is the problem!!!!!!!!! Must fix immediately. I'm voting for the Newest "groove tunes" mix with a little Beyonce!!! Perfect for a Friday!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Happy Thursday!!!

A friend and I call it "stress-free Thursday" mostly trying to think positive because Thursdays rarely are for some reason. Maybe it's because you're trying to get everything done so that you can relax on Friday??? Not sure, but in my positive thinking mode, I'm calling it "Stress Free Thursday!" Please feel free to join the trend.

I have nothing beady to report other than the fact that I'm now DYING to get into my studio and work. I'm letting life stuff get in the way (some of it I'm LETTING, others are just necessary, can't help it stuff.) BUT the fact that I'm DYING to get in there is huge. I haven't felt that way in a long time, so it's kind of exciting.

We'll see what happens tonight.

Yesterday evening was spent on computer stuff. I had to go to the Mac store to get a new mouse and keyboard for our desktop computer. I also had wanted to have them take a look at my laptop computer because it's being weird. I can't use it without having it plugged in, which makes the whole idea of a laptop computer kind of moot, huh? PLUS the plug for the laptop is this little magnetized thingy and it is easily UNPLUGGED meaning that as soon as someone jostles the computer user (which is normal in my house... either a kid or a cat or a dog), the computer turns off and you have to start whatever you're doing all over again.

Not fun.

BUT now I at least have a functional mouse for the kitchen computer, so the kids can use it again and I can try to put up with the laptop until I can get back to the mac store on a day that they are not swamped. It was CRAZY in there yesterday. I think all the college students are getting their computers before going away (they're giving away an ipod if you buy a computer... probably that's why they're so busy right now).

SO, I spent my evening doing computer things THEN helped my kids get facebook accounts and send each other "flair." (if you don't facebook, that won't make sense, but they absolutely LOVED it and that made me happy since it was something I introduced them to." I even got an ALMOST unsolicited "my mom rocks!" (ok, it WAS solicited, but they meant it when they said it AND I got a hug from Griffin, so that was pretty huge!)

After kids went to bed I watched Project Runway and THAT is the topic of the blog entry today (not all the assorted nonsense in the above paragraphs! LOL)

Here's what I think...

The guy who is making the shredded wheat outfits just HAS to go!!!!!!!!!! He is SO full of himself and even though he is a little innovative and a couple of his designs have been cool.... the one last night was HORRID!!!!! It reminded me of a black and white version of Sigmund the Sea monster from the Sid and Marty Croft show of the same name!!!!! AWFUL!!!!!!!

And the tan kid? The one who says "licious" after everything... he's only on there for comedic value right now... that is the ONLY redeeming quality he seems to have right now. His Pterodactyl Mardi-gras meets tacky Pinata design last night should have put him in the bottom group. I have no idea how he survived!!!

The guy who got voted out was boring, sure, but those other 2 were just plain AWFUL!!!!!!!

People I do like...

The 2 African American women designers. I can't think of their names off hand (but will have to go look because I really like them.... hold on.... Korto and Terri!) I love them both. Each has a different aesthetic, but they are both SO talented and so NOT weird!!! In the past, for some reason, each season they have had some bizarro African American woman who just didn't represent style to me the way these women do. I have NO idea why. The exception to that would be Kara from the first season.

ANYWAYS both Terri and Korto made really really cool stuff last night for the drag queen costume designs. Terri's was over the top wonderful design-wise, and you could tell she totally expected to win... and maybe should have if the contest had not been about drag-queens. The winner just represented his queen SO well and you could tell how happy she was with the design. I think that's why he won. You could tell Terri was disappointed though. We'll see if that was a little bit of fore-shadowing!

ok... that was totally non-beady, but was what I was thinking about today. I always wanted to be a fashion designer when I was little and that's probably why the show is SO interesting to me. I think I ended up doing something just as interesting and challenging though. If I'd ever get back in the studio and DO it!!!!!!!!

time for the tiny blah blah blah...

Coffee today - totally Starbucksing - Cinnamon Dolce Latte - 3 pumps WITH whip

Music today - NOTHING! gasp! Need to put the ipod in the speaker and listen to something... QUICK!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Here we are... it's already Wednesday!

(editor's note: this is a really goofy entry because I am in a total goof-ball mood today)

And I haven't made any beads this week!!!!!!!!!! aaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!! I should just end the blog entry there since that's all the beady info I have for today. BUT instead, I'm going to do what I always say I'm not going to do and talk about other stuff.

Today's topic is... stupid things suggested by the elementary school...

I went to the Curriculum Night at school last night and while we were there to talk about what the kids are learning and what's expected of them this year, they also talked about some general information stuff for 5th graders. One of the topics was "snacks sent from home."

First, I have to say, that neither of my boys has wanted a snack since 3rd (?) grade. I would put things in back-packs and they would stay there for months. OR I would find them in their desks when I went for a conference. (yuck)

That said, they handed out a "suggested snack list" because they are no longer letting the kids bring "unhealthy" snacks from home. Now, every family has their view of what is healthy and what is not. I think we can all agree that a Snickers Bar is unhealthy (but yummy), but once you get into which granola bar is healthy and which might as well be a snickers bar, it gets kind of dicy. So, they made it clear for us, distributing a list of "approved healthy snacks"

I just about cracked up!! All the normal things were there Fruit, Nuts (although they can't bring nuts because someone might have an allergy), carrot sticks, goldfish crackers, etc. They ALSO had some new suggestions (which is where I started to snicker)

Here are my FAVORITE suggestions...

  • Hummus (every 5th grader's FAVORITE snack!!!)
  • A Can of Tuna Fish (again, a favorite... especially just PLAIN tuna. PLUS I think that a can-opener could be considered a "weapon" and cause them to be expelled)
  • and my very favorite for personal reasons... Hard Boiled Eggs.

Now, I'd like you to imagine my child, who leaves snacks in his backpack for MONTHS, with a hard-boiled egg sent in as a snack! (you getting the picture? or rather the "fragrance" the faint... ok not so faint aroma of WROTTEN eggs????)

Who made this list???!!!!!!!!!!!! Someone who evidently does NOT have a 5th grader! Or ANY kids for that matter. I'm sure the kindergarten moms, whose kids actually DO eat snacks will just be overjoyed at the prospect of their little ones opening cans of tuna for their snacks!

Glad that my kid doesn't want a snack in the first place, BUT I'm very tempted to put a few cans of tuna in his backpack (without the weapon-like can-opener) just for laughs.

What happened to cookies and Kool-aid???? I think I turned out just fine!!! (as we can tell, that might actually be the reason for the changes... look at what happens when you allow your child to eat cookies and koolaid... they have to write a blog that documents their terrible food/drink habits!!)

and on that note... the tiny blah blah blah

Unhealthy Snack of the Day - Starbucks (yeah, i'm totally off the make the coffee at home thing already) Cinnamon Dolce Latte AND (I really was bad today) a slice of their lemon pound cake

Music - My Long Mellow List - Right now I'm listening to "Stay" by Lisa Loeb and Nine Stories. One of the best things about the movie Reality Bites was the music.
This song in particular is one of my favorite things from the movie. (that and Janeane Garofalo's character talking about working at the Gap..."I'm late for a jean folding seminar!")

Oooh! Now Elton John's "Your Song" is on. It's the song that my college roommate said she loved so much that any guy who sang it for her, she would probably marry. (I had my own song...of course no one sang it, but I'm still not going to say what it was. It IS pretty funny in the context of my life AND I should have picked a different one now that I look back. I'll think on what my new one would be.)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

True Confessions Tuesday....

NO! Not THOSE kinds of confessions! I'm not airing any dirty laundry here.... but without really meaning to make that segue this post IS about laundry!!!!! Not kidding!

Here's my confession... I did NOT make beads yesterday. I did NOT clean my studio yesterday. I did laundry. :( Lots and Lots and Lots of laundry. Apparently my children had been hiding lots of dirty clothes in strange places all over the house! Suddenly there were NO clothes to wash and NO clean clothes for them to wear.... so I went on a HUNT! (and found about 4 loads of laundry among all their hiding places!!) If only I could find where they are hiding the socks and underwear!!!!!!

SO, I got all excited for nothing... just laundry. :(

Today is full of other kid-related activities, so it won't be a beadmaking day either (unless I do something nutty and make beads at midnight... which i really don't think is a good idea since I have to get up at 6)

Sorry dear readers that I don't have something exciting to tell you on the beady front, but this is the "blah blah blah-og of a single mom" and her crazy life... and laundry is sometimes a part of that.

My other non-beady activity today involves getting a kid with poison ivy to stop itching!! That reminded me of a blog entry I had a few years ago where I said the phrase "poison ivy still itches" and when I checked my website statistics to see how people found my site, that was one of the google keyword searches that a lot of people had used!!!!!!!!!! They were looking for info on poison ivy and chose the "sylviebead blog" as a site that might have info???? Crazy!

I can't see those stats the same way now that my blog is here on blogger.... which is ashame. That was always funny. So if any of you came here looking for a cure for poison ivy that still itches... i'd suggest going to a REAL medical site OR visiting your local physician. If this is an emergency, please dial 911 or report to a local emergency room.

now back to our "show"........

Tiny blah blah blah...

No coffee this morning! (gasp!!!) I had a Dr. Pepper from the grocery store instead. I had to stop and pick up a prescription for Harrison who has poison ivy (that still itches! LOL)

Music - listening to Dave fm (per Harrison's request) and right now they're playing "There She Goes Again". I haven't heard that song in a LONG time. That's one of the reasons I love that station. (that and because my kids are "radio personalities" on the Mara Davis radio-free lunch show)

Monday, August 18, 2008


Wow, that weekend went by FAST! Too fast!!! I didn't get ANYTHING done in my studio like I'd planned to. BUT I'm not going to let that deter me from getting started in there today. I probably won't get to make beads, but you never know. I might be able to get things together in super-human "comcast high-speed" style (if you haven't seen those commercials, then that won't make sense to you).

ANYWAYS, I'm not going to stress about not having worked this weekend, I'm just going to "get back on the wagon" and go ahead with my plans to be in the studio by today!!!

On a non-beady subject, I'm going to explain why "Midnight Train to Georgia" is the song of the week. I usually pick a new-ish song that I've been listening to and I had a few choices for that, but I just kept coming back to Gladys and the Pips. I have the song on my old Groove Tunes playlist (not the one on the right... an older one) and play it in the car all the time and can't resist singing along AND doing the "woo woo" choreography. (if you don't know what I'm talking about, we'll you're just missing out on a pop-culture "must know")

ANYWAYS (my new favorite word perfect for blog entries that go awry), I play this song in the car and sing along, causing my children to eventually be sucked into the dark-side of Mom-karaoke and to sing along too!!! So, now my children do the Pips part of the song while I mostly do the Gladys (but I like to say "woo woo" too, so I tend to switch). The boys have also started doing the choreography, so it's pretty funny. They EVEN tried to teach one of their friends the song when he had to ride along one day and I had the song playing.

I have been brainwashing my children for years, trying to get them to like all the same music I do. For the most part it has worked. Now they've branched out a little and picked their own stuff BUT I can still get them to sing along with Gladys AND on occasion we can wail to Otis Redding's Tenderness in the car on the way to school. Pretty funny.

I have the coolest kids in the world.

ok... time for the tiny blah blah blah...

Coffee - a disastrous morning! I didn't get coffee made at home, so I cheated and stopped at Starbucks and ordered my regular Cinnamon Dolce Latte in the drive-thru after I worked out (undoing any good I'd done working out again!) BUT after I drove a few blocks and took a drink.... yuck! It was TERRIBLE!!!! No cinnamon dolce syrup and it was just super strong espresso and milk... I hesitate to even call it a Latte. YUCK YUCK YUCK. (so now I'm drinking a tea from Chick fil a.)

Music - "Sylvie's New Groove" - not listed on the right. Maybe later. Right now it's Christina Aguilera's "Candy Man" coming up next Pussy Cat Dolls "don'tcha" I don't claim to be "high brow" in my music tastes!!! (except when it comes to Gladys! You can't get classier than that!)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Quickie Saturday post.

Have a LOT to do today and have been up and going since 7:30 (those who know me well know that this is NOT normal for Saturdays). Cooper doesn't understand that we don't have to get up at 6:15 like a normal weekday, so he was very very insistent that I get out of bed before 7. Ugh.

BUT it did get me going early and I got into the gym and did weights and swam before it got crowded. YAY!!! Ran some errands, including a trip to the glass studio in town (you knew it was going to get around to talking about beads somehow!!)

SO while I was there I talked to the studio owner about teaching again!!!!!!!!! This is something I really really miss, so just as much as having the push to make beads, I have even more motivation if it means I get to teach. It is something that I love love love, and would make me VERY happy to get to do again.

WHOOPEE!!! Happy Dance (although nothing is for sure... I'm still dancing)

off to the other pool... this time to relax with my sister, niece and friends!

OOH! Almost forgot!! Must document the crazy thing I saw today!!! It was "throwback 80s workout man" And you would THINK that I saw this guy at the gym. Nope. He was exercising in... wait for it..... THE KROGER PARKING LOT!!!!!!!!!

He had big big headphones on (and he was not hip enough to be cool doing so), Dr. J sweatbands on his wrists (I can't think of a better way to describe them), TUBE SOCKS and was doing bicep curls with HUGE hand weights. The weights looked like something he bought at a garage sale from someone who stole them from an ancient YMCA. Not kidding!!!!!! Made me laugh. Made me call Denise to tell her what I was laughing at. I'm sure it made Denise roll her eyes. LOL

tiny blah blah blah

music- just a tiny bit on the radio (Dave fm)

coffee - Cinnamon Dolce Latte (I know! I undid all the good I did at the gym! oh well)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Happy Friday to me!!!!!!!!

Nothing beady to report, but hopefully I will soon. The plans are this... go into the studio tomorrow and get setup for making beads by Monday afternoon. THEN Monday afternoon, get home from work, walk the dog and then go to work in the studio for at least 2 hours. I plan to work longer on certain days when the boys are w/ their dad. (I DO plan on enjoying our pool for the next few weeks though while it's open, so maybe no longer hours until after Labor day. We'll see)

I'm getting excited about it, but like I said before still nervous. I was working on the website last night and like I mentioned in another post, re-read some (ok, a lot) of my blog. It's weird to go back and read something that you wrote in the past. I was never a journal keeper before I did it online, so I haven't really done that a lot in my past and I've never really taken the time to go back and read things I wrote online either.

So, it was sort of a surreal thing reading things I'd written. Some of the entries were things I remembered clearly, some not at all. Some made me really blue, but some made me happy. I'm really glad that I wrote a travel-log from my trip to Canada though. It totally cracked me up reading about our trip. I also liked my followup about people moving to Canada. I know I'm the only one who knows what I'm talking about here, but hey, it's my journal.

ANYWAYS, reading what I'd been doing in my studio in the past really lit a fire under me. Made me remember what I've been missing and helped get me in gear. Hopefully this energy will continue as I do my least favorite part of beadmaking... cleaning off my glass table! Oh for the "glass fairies" that used to come do that for me!!

ok... must get to work at "real job"!!!

tiny blah blah blah...

coffee - Bad Sylvie did not have coffee setup last night so that she could just hit the button in the morning when she's a walking zombie. Instead, had to stop at Starbucks. Mmmmmm. Love my Cinnamon Dolce Latte

music - Sylvie's Groove Tunes - Was just listening to Kayne West's Golddigger. right now listening to Jackson 5 - I want you back. It's a very fun playlist of songs that make me want to dance and GO OUT! Perfect for a friday!!! (will try to add it to the sidebar later) OOOH! Now it's "I will Survive" by Gloria Gainor! PERFECT!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

This is my 2nd post of today.

I was taking a break from working on bead website stuff (I do my own site and if I'm making a comeback, I've got to get the site ready) and decided to take a look back at the past for a minute (or 20). Some of it made me laugh, some made me sad BUT this post, that I referred to the other day cracked me up. Here it is...

Monday, February 24, 2003
A new week and I'm back to making head over heels kits...heads and feet heads and feet heads and feet. I'm still working on the future project(s) and took some time tonight to do some beading on those. Someday.....

In other music news...Coincidence or be the judge...

Sylvie listens to Pink...Pink is nominated for a grammy

Sylvie listens to James Taylor...James Taylor is nominated for a grammy

Sylvie listens to the Dixie Chicks...Dixie Chicks are nominated for a grammy (are you following the eerie coincidence here yet?)

Sylvie listens to John Mayer (sp?) ...John Mayer is nominated for a grammmy

Sylvie listens to Nora Jones...Nora Jones is nominated for a grammy

Coincidence or do I have a strange voo doo like power over the music industry???

Whose career will skyrocket this year because I listen to their music in my studio????

Tune in tomorrow when we discuss the possibilities of Sylvie controlling corporate america...

Is Sylvie solely responsible for Starbucks being the multi-million dollar corporation that it is???

coffee today - Sylvie continues to support the Barrista movement by ordering a venti frappucino w/ almond syrup. and Lane Bryant by ordering a molasses cookie

Music today - no...I'm waiting to see whose career I should launch next. I think it's time for a Crowded House reunion tour, so I might listen to them tomorrow.<

I thought that was pretty funny. Sometimes I crack myself up!

more tiny blah blah blah

Coffee - broke down and stopped at Starbucks on my way home from work. They missed me and were happy to make my Venti 3 pump Cinnamon Dolce Latte with Whipped Cream (if you're gonna be bad be bad!!!)
Quickie Post (well it's supposed to be... after yesterday's on and on and on, we'll just have to see)

Not much news on the beady front. I have spent a lot of time this summer at our neighborhood pool and have gotten to know my neighbors fairly well. I had sort of kept to myself in the neighborhood before, other than just a couple of people, even though I grew up in the neighborhood, I hardly KNEW anyone. Well, that changed this summer. I became a social girl and have really talked to and gotten to know the people who live around me.

How does this relate to beads you ask?? Well, it looks like I'm going to be teaching a beginning jewelry-making class at our clubhouse this fall. I think it will be a good thing on a few different levels. I miss teaching AND by then, I won't have seen my neighbors as much because the pool will be closed. This will help keep me in touch with them AND will get me back into the teaching groove again.

SO... that's it. I'm keeping it short and sweet today. I could talk forever about a bunch of stuff, but I need to get to work!

tiny blah blah blah

I did NOT have any coffee today and that is going to have to change on my way home! I guess my 3 days of home-made coffee will be the record to beat because I'm going to get Starbucks on my way home. Can't help it. Need my coffee

Music today - My playlist called "If I was an XM Radio Station" (see a link to the left. It's sort of a "soundtrack" of Sylvie)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Happy Wednesday World!!!!

I don't really have a lot to say today on the beady-front. (editor's note... apparently I did have a lot to say!!) I am SLOWLY getting stuff organized and ready to make a "comeback". I said yesterday that I'm a bit nervous. It's going to be hard breaking my way in again. Ebay sales have been slow for a lot of beadmakers and there is a new site that a lot of them are selling through now. I really don't know how etsy works, so that's going to take a little research. It looks really cool, though and there are lots of different types of artists selling there. I like that. Etsy is actually about art and ebay is about... well just about anything. BUT ebay has been "beddy beddy good to me" (said in my best Saturday Night Live voice)

BUT... I've been out of the picture for 2 years now and bead customers can be a very fickle group. As Heidi Klum on Project Runway says "one day you're in and the next you're out" (I can't type in a german accent, so you'll just have to imagine she was saying that). There have been times that my beads sold for LOTS on ebay and times where I felt I was giving them away.

I don't intend on giving them away. I'm manifesting success (said kind of tongue in cheek - I have been listening to "The Secret" and am TRYING to make all things in my life take a positive spin) in my bead business. We'll just have to see where the best venue for that is.

I'm trying to figure out the best schedule for everything at the same time. I need time to design projects, because that's a big part of what I do every year... come up with something NEW for my beady students/customers, while at the same time making glass pieces that I love AND sell (which can be tricky... not everything I love to make sells). For instance... I LOVE the piece that is currently on my website, but it's not really what people want when they are looking for my work. I made myself into "the mermaid lady" and it's hard for some people to see past that.

I've been so inspired by art, though... paintings, sculpture, ancient glass, etc. and I want to bring those inspirations into my work as well... and that doesn't always mean mermaids, so I'm going to need to make sure I have studio time for myself... just to explore new things that make ME smile.

My my my... I'm very "chatty today"!!

ok... time for the tiny blah blah blah and then off to the dentist! (which isn't so bad... they have laughing gas for people who are chicken like me!)

Coffee - homemade!!!!!!!!! with tiaramisu (I have no idea how to spell that) creamer. First I had hot, then poured it on ice and took it on the road.

Music - my ipod playlist called "Music for a Chick Flick" which is just a mix of stuff that either I know has been in a chick flick OR should be!!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Well, here we are... full circle. I'm at a point where I'm really ready to blog again. It was just about 7 years ago I started this thing. I know!!!!! I can hardly believe how time has flown.

So, since many of my readers might be new due to Facebook (ok... mom and Angie and Blair... I know you're probably the only ones reading this, but my site stats say differently). ANYWAYS... for any of you who wandered in here without knowing what in the heck is going on. Here's the recap...

I'm a glass beadmaker. What this means is that I take rods of glass, melt them in a flame and sculpt them into something that has a hole going through it (which makes it a bead). Most of the pieces I'm known for (pretty cool that I'm "known" for something) are my whimsical girly sculptures of mermaids. These pieces, although they can be used in jewelry designs are usually bought by collectors OR used as ornaments. I also make more basic beads to be used in jewelry.

For those of you who need a bit of a beadmaking education, google "lampwork glass beadmaking" or something similar. I'm sure you'll find some sort of info. You can also look at the books "How to Make Glass Beads" by Cindy Jenkins and her follow up book (that I'm in!) "Beads of Glass" or which is the International Society of Glass Beadmakers.

Wikipedia has a very basic explanation of lampwork glass beadmaking. Click here to read it.

The main question that I hear all the time about my own work is "so when do you paint the glass?" My work is not painted. Every bit of color is applied with molten glass. For lack of a better explanation, I "paint" with molten glass... mixing the colors in the flame ahead of time, making thinner strands of glass that I can use as my "brushes" when applying. This might not make sense, but hopefully it does... a little bit, anyways.

In addition, I design jewelry and beadwork projects which incorporate my glass beads. If you're not a beady person, this probably will bore you to tears... I'm just letting you know that now. Sometimes I have funny stories to tell and I almost always have music to talk about or coffee drinks to review, but the majority of what I talk about is "work" oriented.

Ok... back to the recap...

2001- I start an "online studio journal" to document the things that I'm creating in the studio. Mostly because I was getting e-mails from customers who bought pieces from me in person that were different from others that I was selling online. There were a lot of people who thought there were 2 "Sylvie Elise Lansdowne"s. Crazy, but true. I was getting several emails asking me if I knew there was someone else making beads with my same name!!

2002 - Due to my housefire, I lost the first few months of my blog (by then I knew that what I was doing was called a "blog") and started the new one. It's archived, but not on blogger. For someone feeling the need to catch up with my life (and needing to be put to sleep) there is a link on the right.

2002-2006 - I made beads and blogged about it, along with random entries about my life. At some point, I moved the blog to blogger and the look is a little different, but the substance the same. (It does make it easier!)

2006 - I had some health issues that made making beads very difficult due to tremors and I had to take a break. The leave of absence extended due to my becoming a single mom. I needed some time to devote to things at home.

2008 - I miss beadmaking. I'm ready to come back!!!!!!!!!!!!! (but I'm scared at the same time. It's been a long time in bead-years!!) I plan on setting up my studio again this weekend when my kids are away with their dad. I thought a good way to MAKE me get started would be by making a fresh start with my blog.

So, here I am. I'm taking the blog off "private" again and just putting myself out there.

I'm excited about what's to come!!!!!

and for you newbies... here's the deal with the coffee and music...

I once figured out that i had a horrible day in my studio when I didn't have coffee, so I started always noting whether I'd had coffee or not when I talked about my day in the studio. I also noticed that my work changed depending what sort of music I was listening to, so I decided to document that as well.

So... here's the little blah blah blah of today...

Coffee - made it myself for the 2nd day in a row!!!!! I'm letting go of my daily starbucks habit and have started making coffee in my very own kitchen!!! I'm thinking about getting some of those starbucks paper cups though... so that I can write my drink on them when I "order" and put my name on them in case I get confused which coffee is mine! Today's drink - Coffee with LOTS of milk and a bit of Tiaramisu Coffee Mate creamer.

Music - actually listening to a book on the ipod right now. It's "The Secret" which is a little new age-y for me BUT is full of some really good concepts for positive thinking. I think it's actually made a huge difference in how I'm looking at things right now.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

I'm back. All out. Full force. No holds barred. Ready to take on the world AND I have absolutely no one but myself to "report to."

Nothing that's happened to me in the last 2 years has been really what I would have asked for in life, but I really think I'm a better person for having been "annealed" this way.

The goal for the week...

Get the studio ready for action.

Get the glass OUT of the drawers.

Make beads.

Kick butt.

Take names

coffee today - Cinnamon Dolce latte w/out whipped cream. Not as good. But I tried!!!
music today - listening to a book on my ipod while laying out at