Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Glassy Weekend Retreat

This past weekend I got to attend the second annual ISGB Retreat for our region at Frantz Art Glass in Shelton, WA. I had a great time, visiting with old and new friends who share my addiction (ahem!) love of glass beadmaking. There were plenty of demos and mini seminars on topics like silver glass, photography, and jewelry making. My favorite ones were the ones on how to take better photos of our beads and another one where we got to make a Byzantine chain bracelet. My other favorite part of the event—of course—was the shopping! Despite my best intentions, assurances to my family, and threats to friends if they "enabled" me from straying from my little list, I ended up taking home quite a large stash of goodies. *sigh* I swear, I think I'm addicted to the beautiful colors and transparent glow of the glass rods even more than I am to melting them! Maybe someone should start up a 12-Step program for people like me?!?? LOL

This is Brian McLernon, who was the wonderful professional photographer who gave us loads of great tips on how to shoot tricky stuff like tiny, shiny glass beads.

And this is the gorgeous copper bracelet Ellen Harbison taught us how to make. I can't wait to try this in sterling silver!

While I was busy spending Kraig's hard-earned money, he was being the wonderful son he is, helping his mom pick out and install a new dishwasher. His parents and brother live in nearby Lacey, so it was nice for him and our girls to get the chance to visit with them while I was at the retreat. I was bummed I didn't get to visit with his family this time, but am excited to try and make something special for his mom, Dora, for this upcoming Mother's Day. Especially since I have all this new glass just sitting around, calling my name to come out and play!! ;-D

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Beads of Courage

Over the past several weeks, I've been squeezing in time to make beads for a really special charity organization that I discovered about a month ago, called Beads of Courage. My dad passed away from lung cancer about 9 years ago, so any organization that fights to find a cure or helps families dealing with cancer is close to my heart. And when it focuses on helping sick children, well, that's an even bigger emotional bond for me and I want to try and help any way I can.

Check out this touching video that explains what this great organization does:



How those children can face such a terrible illness with such bravery and optimism is beyond my comprehension…I just wanna reach out and hug each and every one of them! My goal is to make and send them at least 50 beads for my first contribution and so far, I have 32 finished. I'll post some pics when I reach my goal, k? For any of you fellow lampworkers out there, I would love to encourage you to do the same! *Ü*

Whoohoooo!!

(doing the Happy Dance!!!)

I recently found out that I have two things that are going to be published later this year! One is a bracelet that will be featured in the September 2009 issue of Bead Trends. And the other is a lampworking tutorial article that will be featured in The Flow Magazine. I'm really excited, and as these were my first submissions to these great publications, I feel very fortunate that they were accepted so quickly. Unfortunately, I can't show any of these projects yet, but I promise I'll post pics as soon as they hit the stands!

I also have reason to celebrate as I finally finished up our taxes and got them filed just in the nick of time. I don't know why I procrastinate so long over them every year—especially when we almost always get a big refund due us. *sigh* But then again, it's pretty nice to get that "surprise" deposit in our bank account! ;-D Next year one of my resolutions will definitely be to get them done much earlier (so I can spend it earlier too! LOL).

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Easter!

I just wanted to wish everyone a very happy and blessed Easter! I haven't posted in a while because I've been busy procrastinating on my tax return, but I'm almost finished and can see the "light at the end of the tunnel!" LOL

Speaking of which, I was thinking of how I love Easter and all that it represents to me and my family. While I appreciate all the pretty flowers, chocolate, and egg dying traditions as much as anyone, this holiday also represents a time of renewal—a celebration that Christ made a great sacrifice just for us, because He loved us so much. And as a result of that sacrifice, He gave us a wonderful opportunity for great hope! I love that part, don't you?

I haven't had much time for photography lately, but I really wanted to share something to help visualize that hopeful feeling. So I went through my archives and found some pics from our family vacation on Orcas Island last May that I thought would do the trick...

This one is of the sunrise right outside of the inn where we were staying. For some reason, I woke up around 5:30 am that morning and decided to wander around the beach with my camera while the rest of my family slept in. I was delighted that my timing was perfect to capture the glorious sun rising though the clouds, reflecting off the shimmering ocean. It was such a beautiful scene and you can't help but feel a sense of wonder and peace surging up when you have a chance to witness something like that! *Ü*
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