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Showing posts from 2014

Fused Glass Ornaments: Fun for Kids

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My little ones have been begging to get in the glass studio with me for quite some time. I haven't felt comfortable with the idea until now. Christmas ornaments seemed like the perfect project for kids to introduce them to the art of glass.


I pulled a bunch of pieces out of my scrap bin and ran any rough edges through the diamond grinder so they weren't sharp. I had amassed a collection of pre-fused frit balls and broke up a bunch of colored stringers and let them create their masterpieces.

Previously I pinned a bunch of cute examples to my Pinterest board, pulled it up on the iPad and let them choose what they wanted to make. It was so much fun watching them design and create with very little guidance from me. I think they turned out fabulous!
 It is almost hard to see them all go to new homes with family, but I believe they will be very much appreciated.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Power Tools: Not Just for Boys

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A girl can never have too many power tools. I know, I know. Most girls are into fashion and makeup and sparkle and glitter and all that jazz. Not me. I could spend hours on end perusing the power tool section at the hardware stores. I can't last 5 minutes in the mall. My husband is the luckiest man on earth.

One of my recent tool purchases (to the delight of my husband) is a drill press. He's been wanting a drill press for as long as I've known him. Apparently he was just waiting for me to suggest adding one to the workshop.

A drill press isn't required to bring my glass work to the next level, but it certainly helps. I tried drilling a hole with a hand drill once. Once was enough. The press makes it much more precise. And I'm less likely to drill through my finger.


I absolutely love the new finish the drilled holes give the pendants. I personally feel it adds another level of sophistication and refinement. With holes I can finish them off with fine sterling silver…

Fused Glass Cabochons

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Considering I haven't been in the studio for almost 9 months [see my previous post] I thought I would get my feet wet with some fused glass kilnwork before lighting up the torch and potentially burning the house down.

I always like to come back to my comfort place to rebuild the confidence when I haven't done something for a long time - even though it is a lot like riding a bike.

These little glass cabochons are cute and fun. There are so many possibilities. They can be turned into just about anything: buttons for sewing, fridge magnets, wire wrapped jewelry, mosaic and craft projects, and anything else you can dream up.

I've decided to list them as cabochons and let my customers decide what they want to do with them. Of course if you want them finished off into buttons, cufflinks, mini pendants, or fridge magnets I am happy to do it for you.

Feels good to create again. The creative juices are flowing and I have a lot of new ideas spinning through my head. Stay tuned for s…

Mid-Life Crisis

There. I said it. I’m having a mid-life crisis. Admittance is the first step to recovery right?

It has been a long, difficult year. The last few winters in Minnesota have been exceptionally cold, snowy, and downright miserable. They canceled school 5 times last year due to ridiculous cold temperatures. Unfit for human inhabitation. That is what it has been.

I began my swan dive off the [crisis] platform over Spring Break. We took the kids to Disney World and also spent a few days ocean side at Cocoa Beach, Florida. I woke up in the morning and drank my coffee on the balcony watching the sunrise over the ocean, and something inside of me just snapped. I couldn’t go back.

But we came back. To more snow. And more cold. Shoveling 16 inches of snow on April 28th will send just about anyone into crisis mode.

Turning 40 in May certainly didn’t help. Of course aging is usually to blame for these type of things. And hormones. I’m sure they aren’t helping either.

Making matters even worse was the de…

Roasted Lemon Basil Cauliflower

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Or as we like to call it in this house "crackflower" because it is so ridiculously tasty you just can't stop eating it.

Even my 5 year old pickiest eater on the planet asks for seconds.

Simple enough you will wonder why you ever bothered to prepare cauliflower any other way.

And so good you will question whether it is healthy or sinful.

1 head cauliflower - chopped into florets1-2 Tbsp olive oilJuice from 1 lemon1-2 cloves minced garlic1 tsp basil1-2 Tbsp fresh grated parmesan cheeseFresh cracked black pepper and sea salt Wash and chop up cauliflower into florets and throw in a bowl.

Drizzle with olive oil (I always eyeball it depending on the size of the cauliflower head but 1-2 tablespoons should do).

Add all ingredients and stir until everything is nicely and evenly coated.


Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil for easier cleanup.

Roast at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes until desired crisp-tenderness. We like it ever so slightly browned and caramelized.

Devour and en…

Hoarding

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I confess I have a problem. I am a collector of crafting supplies and I can't use them. Because I am saving them, you know, for that perfect special project ...

The problem is those words "limited edition". It won't be around forever? I can't get more if I use it all up? Oh the horror. Better save it. And the collection continues to grow.

It's not just a specific craft either. It seems to be all of them. My desk is a fire hazard with the stacks and stacks of scrapbook paper that is just too pretty to use.

My studio glass racks are at capacity because I am hoarding these odd lot out of production glass rods that you will never get again! Because you know glass lampworking cane is a valuable collectible. Um yeah, not so much.

I might be able to fund my retirement with the stash of sterling silver beads and toggles that are just waiting for the perfect necklace. But hey, at least sterling silver is a precious metal and traded commodity so maybe that one isn&…

Focal Mania

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In case you are not from around here (Minnesota), we are having the coldest winter on record in the last 20 years or so. It is so ridiculously cold the governor has canceled school for the entire state on Monday because the forecast HIGH temperature is going to be NEGATIVE 15. That's just plain wrong.

Sadly, this means I am not getting a lot of torch time in. The outside temperature needs to be above 20 degrees or my ventilation system freezes out the whole house and my fingers start to go numb - which doesn't generally help my stringer control.

Since it appears this cold trend is going to be around for the rest of the winter, I have decided to maximize my sparsely precious torch time by only making focal beads. I can usually get 3-4 focals made in a torch session, whereas a set will often take me 2 sessions to finish. By limiting myself to focals I can offer more beads with more variety during this cold snap. Be on the lookout for some new and exciting bead sets come Spring w…