Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Today is my birthday! I was looking for a picture of a birthday cake and found some amazing and creative cakes at Pink Cake Box...if you have an idea, they can make a cake out of it. How about a laptop cake?

Or a butterfly cake? Exquisite!
This one is pretty: But I do like a splash of color: For the price of one of these cakes I could probably fly to Paris and have one perfect macaroon at Laduree.

On an entirely different level of cakey goodness, there is Cake Wrecks. Oh dear!

I made a new business card last week and it was ready the next day! I decided my old plain one was a little dull...nice and simple, but not exciting. I like this one. I loved how easy it was to do!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Toronto Bead Oasis Show

The CN Tower from the very bottom. I haven't been up in years. It's tall.

MMMmmmm, this one is for Chris...yummy gulab jammun and carrot halvah which he wouldn't even try!
Amazing colors and sparkle in a Sari shop. Toronto has a fabulous "Little India". I love it. I wish I could eat there every day. Wearing these clothes.

A steel fish swimming in a concrete river labyrinth, municipal art in the York street underpass.

Fellow lampworkers at the Oasis Show, captured in their temporary habitats! A wonderful group of friendly, supportive, creative and talented people!Fran Davis of Dragonfire Studio, came all the way from Alberta!

Sue Wise of Wise Beads

The fabulous Lezlie Winemaker...one of my teachers. I took a two week class with her a few years back and we had a blast!

Amy Waldman-Smith, beadmaker, teacher AND Regional Director for Canada of the ISBG

Susan Stortini Glass Arts and Jewellery

Erin Maloney of AirWynn Glass Designs
Hey! That's me!
The show was fun, though we were in a different location which was *not great*. Thankfully we will be in our old location next time. The customers were buying, but we missed out on our usual foot traffic and impulse drop-ins.

I enjoyed lots of chatting and visiting, picked up some new colors of glass (thanks to Carolyn for pointing out the good ones!) and some silver spacers at a good price. There were lots of beautiful pearls and gemstones, including more sapphires which I visited and fondled but resisted!

Here are a few pictures of my little set-up, a little corner of home!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Easily Amused

It's true, we could use a few new faces....

This sign has been cracking me up for a while, I'm glad it didn't disappear before I got a picture of it. I pass it on the way to dance class but never remembered to toss my (large and heavy) camera into my bag. I am very easily amused!!


Yes it's true, I have been craving flames for a long time. I love my torches, my sweet little workhorse of a Nortel Minor and my swanky little Blazer torch. A wood fire in the fireplace, a driftwood fire on the beach, a pile of fragrant autumn leaves to burn, beeswax candles, even lighting a stick of incense is a pleasure! Today was the day I acquired some perma-flames!
I won't go into the details of the inner symbolism and personal meaning of these tattoos, suffice to say they are the right symbol at the right time.
When in town I live in an absolutely wonderful 3 storey walk-up apartment building dating from 1932. Not only is the building great, it's full of interesting people! Turnover in this building is very low, it's so great people don't leave! My neighbour Anthony is a fantastic painter, sculptor, theatrical make-up artist, and a tattoo artist as well...so I gave him a call!
Take a peek at some of his work. It's really amazing!

Here is the friendly face of Lindsey at the front counter of True Love.

Anthony's cozy corner!

And the lovely and talented Anthony himself!

Deciding on placement...after choosing from the 30 or so samples Anthony drew up just for me! He admitted he got a little carried away with the drawings! Each one was perfect in it's own way and each one was a little different. The clouds were drawn to match the work on my shoulders and chest.
Clouds shaded and flames outlined:

Both outlines done:

Completed! The clouds will be much paler when healed, they were done with a more transparent ink. Anthony has a particularly light touch but it's normal for the skin to redden up a bit. This will be gone in a few days.
Look at my big goofy grin! Heheheh!
It was a great experience. The shop is immaculate, the staff very friendly and it just has a nice relaxed mellow happy atmosphere. The calibre of art is very high, with an emphasis on custom design. I give it my five-flame rating!

I'm sending out good travel thoughts and bon voyage wishes to two travelling friends...Gail is off to Paris today, and Marilyn is on her way to Turkey. May your planes be on time and all go smoothly! Isn't is amazing, when you think of it, how easy travel is for us? I know, I know, there are lots of niggling annoyances...line-ups at the airport and lost luggage and obnoxious seat mates (not to mention airplane food) but when you think of how travel was even 50 or so years ago...well, I am quite pleased to live in a time in which I could be half way around the world in less than 24 hours.

So and I are off to the Bead Oasis Show in Toronto tomorrow morning. I'll get my set-up done and then we'll head over to Little India for wonderful vegetarian food and a browse through the colors and scents of the shops. The show opens on Friday and runs until Sunday, please stop by and say Hello!!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Almost ready!

A fun little Knobbly ring, fine silver, copper, my lampwork.

I'm almost ready for the Bead Oasis show this weekend. Not completely ready, but almost. I always seem to get ideas at the last moment when I'm out of time, but that's what notebooks are for, right?
The studio has gone from tidy, spider free and almost ready for the studio tour, to a place of complete chaos festooned with spiders and piles of stuff! The studio is in the garage so spiders are to be expected but they have really outdone themselves this year. However I have lots of time after the show to return the space to it's usual only-kinda-messy appearance. It is a workspace, after all. It may not be a polished space full of chrome and glass and bleached wood, but it's...interesting!
My friend Veronica was on the Northumberland studio tour this past weekend and had a really great response to her work. She and a friend moved practically everything in her small but amazing house to turn the upstairs into a gallery space, the studio (fascinating, I could spend hours looking at it) is downstairs. I am SO glad it went so well! Congratulations Veronica!
I'm very much looking forward to Wednesday...something I've been wanting to do for a while...it will be documented, stay tuned!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Some New Pendants

Grape Goddess pendants with brass, copper mesh, fine silver, resin and my lampwork glass.

Friday, September 12, 2008


Here is a nice refreshing picture of a sleepy kitty. Ahhhhhhh!


Pronunciation: \dis-kre-shun\ Function: noun Origin: 1250–1300; Middle English discrecioun
The word has two main meanings:
1-to determine guilt or innocence
2-to determine sentencing.
But also:
1-The quality of being discreet: circumspection; especially: cautious reserve in speech
2-The ability to make responsible decisions, maturity in manner and behavior, requiring thoughtfulness
3-The result of separating or distinguishing

Each of us lives our own story, a rich and incredibly complex tapestry with crossed threads, intricacies and entanglements, knots and snarls. We make conscious and unconscious decisions each moment: we choose our actions large and small and we have a choice, (usually), as to how we exist in the world. Our threads of life are inevitably connected to others, sometimes by choice, sometimes not.

We have a choice, usually, in what our words and actions reveal to the world, in what we reveal to our friends and those we love, and to complete strangers. We have a choice to use our discretion. Often we say things that are regretted...perhaps in anger, in a moment of weakness or vulnerability, or in a euphoric moment when good judgement has taken a momentary vacation. Sometimes these things are not perceived as valid by the listener. We are lucky when those things are said to a listener who has respect, forgiveness, love and understanding. We are not always lucky.

Discretion arises from maturity...the mature ability to not tell all you know, or believe you know. It doesn't mean to deny the truth or ignore the obvious, I think often it means just to know when to shut up. It also means to take time to really figure out if your own truth is valid...just because I believe something doesn't make it necessary to express it, and it certainly isn't always kind to express it. We're entitled to our opinions, but if we seriously want to make the world a better place, then we need to really pause a moment before putting them out there, especially when they can have so much potential to wound. This is a big, big place here, but it's also very small.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

We Remember


there are moments when I wish I was a kitty and could just go under the covers and stay there.
But then I remember that opposable thumbs, reading books, music, chocolate and hot glass are all good things unavailable to kitties, and I get on with myself.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The NEW New Clay!!!!

I've been rather envious of fellow artisans who are trying out the new, new bronze metal clay. The internet is abuzz with talk, experiments and evaluations of this new medium, which has tremendous potential. It's different from silver clay in many ways and it will have a learning curve, but the pieces I have seen are really gorgeous! Weighty and ancient looking.
I felt that I just have a bit too much going on right now take time to experiment with it, because I know if I have some I would want to play with it to the exclusion of anything else. Still, I was feeling a lot of clay envy...so imagine my delight when I discovered this new NEW clay!

This has just been released so I'm not surprised you haven't heard of it. I may be one of the first people to try it out. In fact, I'm pretty sure of it!

Within the familiar packaging is a nice amount of clay. It doesn't stick as much as the silver clay, and doesn't require any oiling as it comes with it's own integral non-stick oiling.

It is rather less amenable to texturing than silver clay. I have heard it comes in two textures, "Smooth" and "Crunchy". This is the crunchy version, with built in texture, which will be a real time saver.

I found it to be very malleable, forgiving and soft to work with. It doesn't dry out quickly, in fact, it doesn't dry out at all.
Torch firing is an option for this as the particles don't need much heat to sinter perfectly. And instead of toxic fumes of any kind, it releases a nice toasty odor! Completely safe!
Before firing:
After firing: As you can see there was no shrinkage and no loss of the fine texture. One issue, however, is that it doesn't take a patina very well. I tried it in liver of sulpher and it simply dissolved. This will require further experimentation.
Finished pieces, one with some lampwork glass.
Well, after this exciting experimentation I felt a little hungry...I wasn't entirely happy with some of these pieces, so I ate them on toast. Can't do that with most clays!

Of course you know I'm just teasing! I love the bronze clay pieces you all are producing! ANd in January, when I am suffering from cabin fever, I'll be trying it out too!