Thursday, December 14, 2006


Ok, ok....
I've had requests to publish this holiday tale! (LOL it is funny) I think the "88 cent sweater story" may become a blog-holiday traditon (somewhat like the movie Christmas Story with it's famous line "you can't have a beebee gun - you'll shoot your eye out" :-)
This story of mine is many years old now, but I admit, it still makes me smile...
I have a funny story for you..
I have a long history of being 'hard to buy for' when it comes to gifts. I'm not fussy and it's not about price at all it's just that I have 'quirky' taste in everything from clothing to dinnerware - maybe it's the artist thing or maybe it's just me, lol.. In fact, after years and years of struggling with my husband (who loves buying surprises) and subsequent returns he finally agreed to pick out gifts for me together - and it's turned into a great tradition of lunch and 'it's all about me' shopping (LOL) for a few hours two times a year.
So anyway, the few hold outs in the family who still determinedly purchase are kind enough to enclose receipts for return allowing me to cater to my quirkiness via exchange. Works well, till last week.... :-)
Last week I happily made my way to the nearest mall (almost 40 miles from here) the item, gift receipt in hand and a bit of 'exchange funds free shopping' lol in mind... I was stoked for several reasons. First, the obvious fact is due to distance I don't just 'swing by the mall' - too far. Second, my lunatic schedule prohibits much time for shopping anyway and if I do actually steal a few hours to shop I'm by nature more interested in odd, one only kind of stores - so the mall is a rare bird trip for me.. But back to my story.....
So there I am standing in the endless 'return line' You know, one clerk who I'm fairly sure HATES her job looking over at the growing line with a deer in headlights expression... (me hoping she doesn't just abandon her post before I make it thru, lol) The line itself, is full of women who are vaguely disgruntled (who enjoys the returns credits department scenario?) There is no happy chattingering, just lots of foot shuffling and sighing.
At last I make my way to the counter. The prize ('free' shopping a la' return credits) is at nearly in my grasp! My tired (from standing in line for half an hour) feet are feeling rather happy-dance-ish...
But wait - I see alarm and or confusion in the expression of the 'deer in headlights' clerk facing me (and mind you the delay is calling the FULL attention of the standees in line as DELAY is not DESIREABLE). The line is now fixated on my transaction as they want to know WHAT the hold up is... The clerk fusses and fusses and calls the manager and then another department head (oh my gawd is the sweater stolen?! lol I think to myself!??) what could possibly cause this kind of three tier management hubbub? The powers that be and the clerk talk as in the background I hear the mob in line plotting my death if this takes much longer. Finally the clerk and assorted management come back towards the counter and the clerk (who's now been abandoned by supervisory staff) clears her throat and loudy announces as if the town crier the following:
"I'm sorry maam, but apparently your gift was purchased at sale price so I can't refund you the full price". I'm relieved - that's ok, just a bit less replacement shopping. I say 'no problem' and smile. She looks at me with great seriousness and repiles (a bit loudler still as she's stressed to the max by now) "you don't understand - your sweater was purchased on sale for ............88 cents.... and I can't even issue a refund for less than a dollar..."
There was an audible gasp from the mob at the line. The clerk is nearly in tears (poor thing). In the retail gift giving world, time stopped...... EIGHTY EIGHT CENTS you say?All eyes were on me, and for me at least (after the initial thump and annoyance of being the receipient of an 88 cent gift) it was just plain funny..
I ran various options thru my mind. It occured to me to say 'call 'The world book of records people'!
I thought of simply giving this sad little 88 cent sweater to someone in the line as I walked by them on my way out.. :-)
I thought of asking the clerk if I gave her 12 cents if she'd give me a credit for one full dollar? (but decided the humor would be lost on her and the last bit of stress would kill her...)
In the end I simply said 'thank you'for your help put the poor 88 cent wonder sweater that had stopped retail time back in it's bag and it's home here with me now...
Acutally I hate to admit it, but I feel sorry for it. And you know me, once pathos enters the picture, the item has a home for life. At least some good came from it all - I didn't shop funds free, so it was a short trip. I was able to morph the planned shopping time into meeting my husband for a rare, unplanned and very enjoyed late lunch.
I've long ago moved past being worried over 'public embarassment' (one of my friends said 'weren't you horrified all those people in the line heard you were given an 88 cent gift?") Actually no, as in the scheme of things it's just not that important - abit of a sting? maybe - but hey in the stream of life, no biggie.
In fact, pitiful sweater saved my life. The mob in line would most certainly have KILLED me for the time the whole transaction took had it not had the 'tragic 88 cent' ending it did - yep, saved by the 88 cent sweater.
You have to be amused by the irony of the entire story, really you do....
So 'sweater' has become one of those bittersweet funny little stories that comes up now and again for a laugh, and will (every time I wear it in all it's not-my-style-ness) remind me of the stolen chinese lunch with my husband that day, the deer in headlights clerk, and the fact that life is too short to fret over things that don't go the way you think they will.
Yep, oddly enough I think pathetic 88 cent sweater (who is now living in the studio with me) and I are going to become good friends....
Hope your day is a good one :-)

Monday, December 11, 2006


I came across this quote in the way one does on the internet - one toe in the sea of cyber leads to wave upon wave of interwoven links. A click from 'here' leads a merry wander to 'there' and unexpected treasures are discovered. My only regret is that my system locked prior to my noting just where I was when I found this quote.......
The reson I found this quote by Kent whispering to me was that it IS in fact the way I feel when at the torch, in the midst of the 'process' of creating and why I find it ever fulfilling.
Tho the quote refers more to the 'appreciation' of art I think it curiously interesting that
the the emotion behind the PROCESS and the emoiton of the APPEAL of the outcome may be more alike than I'd ever thought.......
What do you think?!
(Read the quote below)
"The thing about art that delights and confounds us is that it never happens again. This delights us if we have learned how to look because the esthetic experience allows all of our human faculties to be absorbed in the environment of the present
and for a while to be fully alive without reflecting, without turning back or looking ahead.
Uniqueness confounds us because there are no rules for guides. There can be no science of the particular. In a sense this confounding is a delight because it puts us in touch with that aspect of reality which is described as uniqueness--the fact that nothing ever happens twice in the same way in every respect."
corita kent

Friday, December 01, 2006


I'm always bemused and caught a bit off guard by the oddity of things that trigger 'light bulb moments' for me....
Take red rat dog for example.
How I came to meet red rat dog is a long story, so I'm going to head directly to the interesting part(s). I've never had nor do I at the moment have dog - cats when I was a kid, cat when first married and outside cats now. I'm not 'un-fond' of dogs, just never had one.
As we entered the domain of Red Rubber Rat Dog, I heard barking, but no dog in sight, more barking no dog, louder no dog.
Then, moving at the speed of light appeared an astoundingly energetic daschaund ~ enter "red rat dog"... Tail flying to and fro like a single windshield wiper stuck on high, lol... Once he decided he approved of my DH and I he stopped barking, and after a bit of watching us he vanished, back to his regularly scheduled routine I assumed. But I was wrong. He reappeared in a bit with what was explained to be his prize posession, a red rubber rat chew toy, almost half his size. Most of the middle of the rubber rat's tummy had been chewed out, so it was quite the curious visual, lol...
Red rat dog (not his real name of course but what he'll always be named in MY mind, lol) stood in front of us with his beloved red rat drooping from his mouth, windshield wiper tail going so fast now I felt certain it would fly off his little posterior at any moment.
His owner explained he loves to play fetch with red rat - but there's a trick to the game - 'you'll see' she said and smiled. Sure enough after a few more minutes of studying us, he dropped the rat at our feet and my DH reached out to grab RedRubberRat for a toss.
BUT, red rubber rat dog flew forward and grabbed it first. The process repeated several times (getting a bit funnier with each attempt) till my husband got the timing right and was able to get and toss RRR for a rolicking chase and return :-)
As I watched Red Rat Dogs curious game it struck me how much I had in common with him. He's a contral freak like me, lol.
There's the desire to play, yet the need to set the structure. There's the joy of sharing beloved rat yet needing to be in control of who and when it's released .... A great game, just has to done in rat dogs way.
For me, it's not a queston of contol of a red rubber rat, roflmao, but interestingly, I could see myself in this odd moment of clarity (see I told you gain insight thru the strangest of things!) For me, actually watching Red Rat Dog shone a light on issues such as learning to delegate without too many 'constraints or guidelines...' I had to laugh at both Red rat dog and myself because I do the same thing he does! If something doesn't get done quickly enough or just the way I would do it I snatch it back and do it myself which makes it pretty darn challenging for anyone offering to assist me, be it my accountant, or my advertising rep, my UPS guy, even my DH!
My tail keeps wagging but because I routinely jump in to do the task on MY timeline in MY way, I end up holding the rat most of the time, enjoying the toss and run a lot less often.
My rule, my choice.
I learned a good lesson from RED RAT DOG ...
If the rat sits a moment or two that's ok - there may be more to be said for the toss and the run than red dog or I think. Maybe (just maybe) Red Rat Dog and I should ease up our 'game rules' a bit (grin)... Maybe sometimes life should be less about 'control' and more about fun. A truth that's especially hard for self employed business owner(s) - and perhaps people in general - to remember.
I'll have to get Red Rat Dog a nice treat (maybe a green rubber frog?! lol...)
Hope your day is a good one :-)

Sunday, November 12, 2006


If you are a full time studio artist you spend your days heeding the muttering of your muse....

True happiness washes thru your days because you know how rare it is to derive a living from creating what you love, what you feel and see in your minds eye which appears to you and you alone.

But the zenith for any artist lies in finding that your work 'speaks' to others - that the thought
in your mind, the fancy of your heart, the song of your soul put into a tangible object touches
someone else....

This gift of "acknowledged connection" between your work and those who follow it may be given to you in an email, a phone message, a forum post, a snail mail note, or.......

An online ARTICLE......

However the gift is shared - it is treasured....

Knowing my work and secondarily who I am is carried within and seen thru my work is the gift of lifetime anew - each and any time it is given.
Thank you Christina....... :-)

Saturday, November 11, 2006



Shufffling thru boxes of old images is something I love to do....
The years rest in random order amid each other in the box.

Each frozen moment of time I hold in my hand brings back memories, sounds, feelings.
Places come alive again, adventures are relived, good times, bad times - all there for revisiting.
Some precisely as I remember, some different thru my eyes now decades have passed.

And some ~ some are just too funny for words! Take this one for example :-)
THIS one remind me that I've NEVER been able to tame my hair, roflmao...
(And as you can see I have ALWAYS loved red - some things don't change) !

Sunday, November 05, 2006


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November is restless time for me.....

As much as October brings a soothing joy, November lays the obverse at my feet.
Days wrapped in the lingering darkness & melancholy winds the days of November
whisper of worry ~ as they have since the beginning of time.

Yet I remind myself they give way to the winter, the time to rest, to ponder, to
explore the corners of life (and art) that patiently wait their turn thru the brilliant
bursting of summer and the delirious delectablity of summer and early Fall.

Spring beckons 'come hither' to see life return again - sandwiched inbetween the classes
the torchsong and the software that are my days. She and I steal moments to share
and smile over the return of birdsong and branches laden with unfurling leaves.

Summer is a defiant dance of schedules and goals set under a blazing sun and liquid breezes
Gentle rains and singing frogs in my tiny pond are the backdrop to frenetic energizing days.
"No time no time" is the mantra of summer - no hours for reflection and experimentation
~ in life and in art~

So the winds of November and the restlessness they bring are perhaps just the earth
reminding me it's time to turn my path inward, to replenish and ponder, experiment
and seek.

Art and life both demand a time of rest/renewal if Spring is expected to have the verve to
arrive again...

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


I'm really fortunate to receive emails from so many of my clients and beadmaking students that really 'share' life news and oftentimes attached are ideas or 'clippings' found somewhere such as this one below...

I really treasure these e-notes because they are person to person - not just a forward where the recepients are one of hundred emails on a list. Each of these emails shares a pebble of good news, or troubles, triumph or tragedy, or just a cheery 'good morning!' along with the piece that often promts the letter (again such as this one below).

Each of these emails is like getting a letter in the mailbox years ago! (am I dating myself?! lol)
This is one such e-note from someone, (thank you!) and I thought I'd share....

In a village far away an elderly woman had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which she carried across her neck.
One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water.
At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.
For a full two years this went on daily, with the woman bringing home only one and a half pots of water.
Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments.
But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do.
After 2 years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the woman one day by the stream.
"I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house."
The old woman smiled, "Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side?
That's because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them."
"For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table.
Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house."
Each of us has our own unique flaw. But it's the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives interesting and rewarding.

Saturday, September 16, 2006


4:59 a.m.

I love email ~ and now that I've met blogger I love 'comments' too)!
I sink deeply into reading the content of notes from friends and 'not yet discovered friends' (each email/meeting holds that possibility!) and I'll tell you why I feel this way about email...
Even tho tech-culture has made the world spin faster and made us endlessly available it's also returned to our culture something the phone and fax removed - the art of written communication. Not unlike scripted pen and paper letters of old, WRITING (via email) returns to us the ability to ponder what people say to us and the ability to form our thoughts replied in a way that is (IMO) deeper and more lasting. Don't think for a moment I don't enjoy a rollicking spontaneous phone conversation with a friend or client - I do! But still when it's over, it's done. Admittedly long saved emails don't have the VISUAL allure of a stack of old letters tied with ribbons in a box. Yet I find I go back to my email folders to re-read thoughts people have shared with me. You'd be surprised how often you'll write to me sharing a story or quote or a bit of chat, and within those lines I gain an insight, or a laugh in the midst of an impossible day..... And when I write in return, I immerse myself in the words, able to stop and think as I write. Things I'd like to share come to mind. Perhaps a story from years past that may help - or some insight that I'm hoping may be useful in a difficult time someone's facing.
I'm dismayed at the many things that I wish I'd shared but escaped my mind when I'm on the phone. How often I've thought 'I wish I'd remembered to say/share that!' after I've hung up the phone. But the immediacy of the telephone (as good as it can be) doesn't allow for 'pondering' the way writing does. I don't suppose I have a point to this, aside from the fact that I enjoy your emails/comments tremendously.... Be it a series of missives we share about life, a chat about business, a line or two in relation to vexing moments in life or a quick 'hello! ' from an old friend or client (or a friend yet to be made)!
In my mind the written word still rules because of the way it allows us to REALLY connect!
So do feel free to write ~ any time!.....

Thursday, September 14, 2006


2004-01-13 - 4:48 a.m.
The email exchange that sparked this entry has so many facets, it’ll probably be good for several writings… lol.. But let me begin at the beginning…
As a full time studio artist one of the apsects of my business is teaching. I teach lampwork beadmaking (among other lampwork and marketing classes) on a very regular basis & have for years. I hope to always teach. I’ve been an artist in residence, I’ve done copious numbers of demos, I’ve been invited to teach at some significant events. No matter what the particular situation, teaching is one of my joys. For me there is no greater thrill than working with/teaching someone who is simply curious about glass and seeing them, step by step, fall in love with it as a material, an art, a passion. I consider it a great honor to be part of the ‘time line’ of holding these ancient skills in my head, heart and hands and passing them on as my father passed them to me...
So, I advertise, I have class info on my website, many students arrive by word of mouth reference. I am incredibly pleased that students travel from all over the country to study with me. It’s really and truly wonderful and I watch the progress of every one of my students with fondness and pride.
But this email requesting class info, well when I read it, I just had to laugh out loud! ;-) It started out normally enough, the usual yadda yadda about I see you teach, I’m interested in yadda yadda, can I have further information etc etc… So far very normal exchange. But the last line was the treasure …. It said“and I also wondered, are you (as a teacher, glassworker) famous” ?Hmmmmmm….Now aside from wondering how Emily Post would recommend I answer, (grin) I really had to stop and think…. Just what would qualify me as ‘famous’ in the art glass/bead world? Hmmmmmmm….. And just why would that matter? (I understand wanting to know qualifications, asking for recommendations - for sure!) But famous… hmmmmm…I’d really LOVE feedback on your thoughts on this one guys…. I haven’t a clue what qualifies one as ‘famous’.
But it did make me wonder how/if/why it matters and if so what YOU think of when ‘famous beadmaker' or 'famous lampwork teacher' is bantered about…. So please DO write and share with me your thoughts/insights on this one…But I digress... As it turned out after I”d supplied all the other class info and was at the point I had to respond to her last question of "are you famous", here’s how I decided to reply:
I simply wrote:
"Not Yet" :-)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


One of my fav oldies....
Like the basic black dress
it's a post that never goes out of style
but addresses (lol pun alert)!
Black dress - addresses, lol)
a topic that tortures all artist
established or new....
2004-03-04 - 7:30 a.m.
Fear of failure....
A client (who's become a close friend!) and I were recently discussing
professional rejection - you know the dreaded 'your work is lovely,
we'll let you know...' that ends in a thick envelope of returned slides
generally accompanied by a single limp piece of paper full of check
marks in the 'rejected' column. Speaking for myself I have enough of
these letters to wallpaper a room (or two).
I think it's one of the more difficult
aspects of being in business for yourself ~ this process of
putting your work out in the world for the publishers to publish
and/or for the public to adore and (hopefully) adopt.
You and you alone are 'it' from the first design draft to
the submissions/hopeful waiting to success or rejection.
And you're the only one to deal with the PTRS
(post traumatic rejection stress, lol).
It's something working
in the corporate world spares you.
If 'the company' (fill in the name) loses clients, business,
profits, accounts, employees it's obviously the 'fault' of
management' thereby insulating you from agony and angst on
a personal responsibility level. But the arrows head for
you and you alone when you are in biz for yourself
or are self promoting your art, your dream your vision.
Me, I'm particularly insane, as I do both.
I run my own business which offers
and promotes my art, heart, soul, dream.
But I have a theory (don't I always?! lol)
I think that rejection, a tough form of responsibility, makes
you stronger, makes you sharper, and encourages and forces
you to higher levels of skill in business, marketing, creativity
and emotional growth. All of which are
(IMHO) solid artistic, business and life skills.
Fear whispers
'you'll never be able to succeed on your own'
but I think of a quote
of Dave Barrys (which I edited slightly).....
"Never be afraid to try something on your own.
Remember a large group of professionals built the Titanic".
Dave Barry
Rejection, like pain, confirms you're out there trying and
alive in the midst of the adventure! So my advice to
anyone with a love of art and the desire to sell it?
Simple... just tell fear to 'fluff off'!
(and pick a room that you think will look good
decorated in 'rejection-letter-wallpaper..roflmao).
If you persist the time will come when
successes will outnumber the rejections.
Hope your day is a good one :-)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Remember in the first post when I mentioned
more 'un-serious' than serious? ..... lol....
One of my lampworking students sent me this - just TOO funny!
And for those who've asked, yes I do plan to move/archive
some of my favoriteposts from past years here noted as 'oldies'.
There are far to many from the past years to keep them all,
but I promise to bring over the best (aka my favorites) :-)
Enjoy this giggle (below)
True Friendship(With none of that Sissy Crap!!!! )
Well, here is a series of promises that actually speak
of true friendship.

You will see no cutesy little smiley faces on this card,
just the stone cold truth of our great friendship.
1. When you are sad -- I will help you get drunk and plot revenge
against the sorry bastard who made you sad.
2. When you are blue -- I will try to dislodge whatever is choking you.
3. When you smile -- I will know you finally got 'lucky' .
4. When you are scared -- I will rag on you about it every chance I get.
5. When you are worried -- I will tell you horrible stories about
how much worse it could be until you quit whining.
6. When you are confused -- I will use little words.
7. When you are sick -- Stay the hell away from me until
you are well again. I don't want to catch whatever you have.
8. When you fall -- I will point and laugh at your clumsy ass.
9. This is my oath..... I pledge it to the end.
"Why?" you may ask; "because you are my friend".
And remember.... when life hands you Lemons,
ask for tequila and salt and call me over !!!!!

Monday, September 11, 2006


Such intense pain
Such intense pride
Such passion
It will, for the remainder of my life,
be a date in time that will give me pause
An event that will ever be beyond my scope of reason
A moment in human history that is so ironically shared
by both pointless tragedy and pinnacles of heroism
Irony that shears the heart and mind asunder.
Grief passes
But sorrow deepens.
But ever remembered
By those who loved them
Ever remembered by those who knew them not....

Sunday, September 10, 2006


I confess it fleetingly crossed my mind to begin
with 'it was a dark and stormy nite' or 'if a tree falls in the forest...'

But it seemed wrong somehow to drive you insane on the very fist post
(I'll save that for later, lol)...

So instead I'll just say that those of you who've followed my last
few years of journal a la' cyber
know what to expect, and will hopefully enjoy this new format.
Anyone new? well you'll be amused (or not) at the sometimes serious
tho more commonly not-so-serious ramblings of a
full time self employed artist who is possessed of a muse that mutters....