Welcome to A Hot Piece of Glass!

WELCOME to my colorful corner of the world! I write here about the things I make, in glass, fiber, metals, and whatever else I can find to play with!

**And if you want to read more about me, check out Adventures In Living!, my personal blog, or The ScooterMom, where I write about my adventures on two wheels! If you're interested in medieval, ancient and Renaissance glass, check out my history blog, The Medieval Glassworker!**

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Hey everybody...

Just wanted to let all know that we have been without power since Saturday afternoon because of Hurricane Irene. I'm writing this while the generator runs our router so at least we have brief periods of internet. most of my internet time involves Facebook so I can keep up with news and friends, and obsessively refreshing the Dominion Virginia Power outage update pages so I can find out when we might have power back.

Also in the last few days, my oldest daughter turned 13 and I threw a party for her, in the dark (more on that later). Now that that is done, I can turn my attention to other things, like searching the area for power crews working on fixing lines, and cleaning out my fridge and freezer. :)

I'll be back soon!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Bead Soup has arrived!

I love getting packages in the mail, especially when they contain such wonderful goodies as what my Bead Soup Blog Party partner, Elizabeth, sent me!

Check THIS out:
There are SO many gorgeous beads in this Soup!! Beads made from recycled glass in Tanzania, a gorgeous focal from a fellow Virginia glassworker, Linda Campbell, freshwater pearls, shells, glass beads with gorgeous finishes....the minute I opened the box and saw the beautiful goodies, I immediately had about a zillion ideas! I'm working out the logistics on the vision in my head right now.

I certainly hope the Soup I sent to Elizabeth is inspiring to her, too. Here's what I sent:

Elizabeth and I live about an hour apart, so probably by the time she sees this post, her package will have arrived. At least, I hope so!

This is going to be SO MUCH FUN!!!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Puzzles and Works in Progress

First, I want to direct your attention to a wonderful podcast I was listening to in which Rice Freeman-Zachery interviews Sharilyn Miller. The podcast is at this link. She talks a lot about herself and her work, but also offers some really interesting insights. Personally, I love her work, so I am always eager to read and listen to anything I can about her and what she is doing. Someday, I would love to go to one of her Wild Wire Women retreats.

Somehow, today I have been able to get a few things done in the workshop. I have a long (LONG) list of 'stuff to make', and things I want to try out, so whenever I get some time to create, I never feel like I get enough done. Not to mention the fact that I have to shift between workspaces all over the house (metals in the garage, beading in the office, anything with water in the kitchen...). But I did get a few bits of copper enameled, some washers hammered and heat-patinated, and a decent start on some wire wineglass charms.

It's those wineglass charms that have been giving me the puzzling issues. I know in my mind's eye what I want them to look like, but getting there is....well, most of the fun, but still seriously taxing my engineering skills. I'm not even sure how much of a market there will be for them, but there are two wineries that are vendors at the market I am doing, so maybe I'll actually sell some. But first, I have to make some that work right.

But I'm always grateful for some time to make things, even if I wish I could work faster or make more things. :)
What are YOU making?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Bead Soup, Baby!!

Bead Soup Blog Party

It's time for the Bead Soup Blog Party to get going! I got my partner, and I'm pretty excited about it!

Elizabeth Woodford is going to be my partner for this dance!

I looooove what I have been seeing of Elizabeth's work on her blog and Facebook page, and I know whatever she sends me is going to be a lot of fun to work with. I have already been at the torch making a set of beads for her.

Soon, she and I will be posting our bead soups and working on our creations. You'll just have to hang on til September 17th to see what we make with each other's soups!

Monday, August 8, 2011

A Catch-Up Post

The time just gets away from me! I can't believe it's been almost a week since I last posted.

So, let's catch up.....

I will be part of Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Blog Party again! She is an amazing woman, and even more so to put this whole thing together. Over three hundred people are swapping beads and making a jewelry piece with their partner's beads. The last go-around was so much fun, and it's astonishing the creativity that people possess! Stay tuned, because I'll be posting more as time goes on.

I had a dismal sales day at the market this past weekend, which was funny because the market was busy and the weather was fabulous! Oh well. The good part is that I had a great time, chatting with other vendors and talking to folks attending the market. Every day can't be a zillion dollar day.

My enamels order from Fundametals came in and it was like Christmas! Jeanette is a wonderful person to do business with, and I highly recommend her shop for enamel, mixed-media, and metalwork supplies and tools. I got transparent and opaque enamels, and some Klyr-Fire. I had to wait til yesterday (Sunday) to play with everything, but it was SO worth it! I remembered most things from Melissa Manley's Hard Candy class at ArtBliss last year, and I made some nice enameled discs for pendants and earrings.

Apparently, yesterday was a Muse day, because somehow I made five new bracelets, one after the other. Awesome. I love it when that happens! Effortless creativity, using materials that have been sitting there all along, but finally decided to show me how they come together!

Some copper was etched, and this is the unfinished result....starting work on Halloween stuff, too.

Oh, and my shop has been updated with some more pieces. I'm trying to get my stock up before holiday shopping, so look to my Facebook page for updates!

I think that's it for the catch-up....for now, anyway!

Have a great week, everyone, and I hope to have more to show you in a few days!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

One Bite At A Time

This is the message board in my kitchen. I like to change the message from time to time to reflect things we need to think about, post messages to congratulate members of our family, encourage each other, or just inspire someone to do their best.

Lately, I've had quite a lot of GOOD in my life -- good news, good happenings, positive outcomes. I've told you some of it already. I'm so thankful for all of it.

Lately, though, I've also had a lot of NOT-SO-GOOD. In July alone, one of our dogs nearly died and required expensive emergency vet care, the master bathroom shower leaked into the living room ceiling and caused a catastrophic failure of the drywall, resulting in a huge 3' square wet hole in my living room ceiling and the total destruction of my master bathroom, and the air handler for our upstairs heat pump backed up and began leaking into the ceiling of the master bedroom. You can imagine how that went.

The work that I do as my 'day job' has slowly crept up to a level that is overwhelming. I've gotten many parts of it under control, but for a while there, I was seriously stressed and managing WAY too many teeny tiny details. Add to that the kids being home, and getting enough time during working hours to handle everything is nearly impossible. Thankfully, my boss is awesome and trusts me to get the work done.

My middle daughter was having a hard time grasping some of the finer points of appropriate school behavior.

Somehow, I hurt my foot enough that walking is painfully difficult.

We have to choose contractors for the bathroom remodel. I have to pick out tile and cabinetry and paint and accessories for a project I wasn't planning on doing.

It's all been a lot (too much!) to handle.


In all of this, just when I thought the Universe was all about handing me a big bucket of crap, I realized I was also getting handed a bucket of good stuff, too.

People starting coming out of the woodwork with recommendations for tile guys, and drywall people, and plumbers.

The sales guy at the tile place helped me narrow down my choices and choose a selection of really pretty and complementary tile for our teeny master bathroom.

We found out we might be getting a decent refund from a previous homeowner's policy we weren't supposed to be paying on.

I got a raise at work!

Wren had a great day at school yesterday.

My foot pain (that I thought might be a stress fracture) is actually plantar fasciitis. Soft tissue injury, difficult to heal, but not as bad as a fracture.

I got some copper pieces ready for etching.

And my husband brought me flowers on Monday.

So, when I take everything together, there really has been a LOT of good along with the not-so-good. Staying positive is a good thing, and it helps. I'm so grateful for the support of friends and family, including my virtual 'tribe' -- you guys! Sometimes, it's true. When you have a LOT on your plate, you just have to remember to deal with one thing at a time so it all doesn't overwhelm you. Eat that elephant one forkful at a time!

AND, to bring some focus back on art and jewelry, here's my Bead Table Wednesday contribution...

I've moved things to my sewing space to try to keep my kitchen island from becoming a beady, coppery wasteland of in-process projects.

I hope you all have a terrific Wednesday!


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