Thursday, December 31, 2009

Do It Yourself Magazine

Well, speaking of magazines...I thought it was cool that a pillow I bought from a fellow artist on appeared in the Winter 2009 issue of Do It Yourself Magazine.

It's block printed by hand onto 100% linen fabric using a carved linoleum design that looks like old vintage wooden type used in letterpress printing. Since I used to be a letterpress printer and love typography, I was immediately drawn to the design.

Check them out at They don't have their website up and running just yet, but there is a link to their Etsy shop from there. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

What is Freestyle Embroidery?

As a member of The Embroiderers' Guild of America I get a quarterly magazine called Needle Arts. You could have knocked me over with a feather when it came in the mail a few days ago! Inside was a fabulous article written by one of my dear friends and fellow freestylers, Nancy Claiborne, titled "What is Freestyle Embroidery?". In addition to the 6 page article, the inside and outside of both covers was also splashed with photos of the Freestyle group's original artwork. It was so fun to see some examples of my own work, and that of my friends as well...published in a magazine for all to see! Nancy, you did such a good job with this article! Thank you, thank you for all your dedicated work! :)

So...enjoy this gallery of original artwork from that article created by a lovely, talented group of ladies that I am so blessed to be able to call my friends. Simply click on any photo to view it larger.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

A Merry Little Christmas Tree

I don't know what happens to me when it comes to picking out our Christmas tree. My husband's family always teases me because I want to cut down and take home the saddest looking tree in the whole field each year. :) Usually we end up with a compromise and it's a rather symmetrical but decoratively "sparse" little guy. This year was no exception.

We've gone without lights for a few years, and I like that old-fashioned look. I can't bring myself to add all those wires to the simple branches I like to look at so much.
I love our eclectic mix of gradually aquired ornaments...both new and old...each with it's own memory. My mom always gets a new ornament for each person in my family every year, and the tradition is still going strong. Plus all the handmade ones too! I have boxes full of cherished ornaments and we are never at a loss for treasures to put on the tree each year.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Beadmaking Class with Brad Pearson

A few weeks ago I had the good fortune to be able to take a class with a very talented glass artist, Brad Pearson. This was my 3rd lampworking class to date, and I really learned a lot in a short amount of time. The demos were very enlightening, and just going through the basics of watching a new person work helped me learn different ways to approach things.

We had 2 days of class where he demonstrated a technique/bead and we would go back to our torch and give it a shot. Here are a few of my decent beads that were a direct result of his demos. I'll spare you the really ugly "learning experiences".

The 2nd afternoon we each got to play with a rod of borosilicate tubing. I'd never worked with boro before, but it was very interesting! It took a little while to get the hang of it, but we "pulled points" and all made some little funky Christmas ornaments. I'm sure that everyone in my family will get a lovely blue handmade treasure from me this year. :)

The class days were followed by another day and a half set aside to experiment with what we learned and/or just play at the torch. Here are some of the techniques I tried again in the first few evenings and during those last 2 days. (If you can't tell...I spent a bit of time trying to get my dots to be really even and the same size.)

All in all, I learned that I could work larger than I thought with my torch...and I have quite a few pages of notes in my journal that will be a resource as I gradually invest in more tools and choose supplies in the future. (It was also just a whole lot of fun!)

Friday, November 20, 2009

New Earrings on

Check out these new earrings I put on yesterday!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Custom Ring from Designs by Candice on

Check out this cool ring I had made with one of my lampwork beads! :) I'm so thrilled with how it turned out!

The artist has made rings like this from her own beads, and I had her make me a ring with one of MY glass beads as the focal bead. It is made from sterling silver with tiny brass hardware. Check her out! Her shop name is Candies64. She was very kind and easy to work with, and she has some really beautiful jewelry in her shop! I'm going to be sending her a few more beads next week so she can make another ring or two for me to show off my (and her) handiwork! :)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Fine Art in the Park, Jonesborough, TN

THANK YOU!!! to all of you who stopped by my booth today at the Fine art in the Park show in Jonesborough, TN! My lampwork glass beads and jewelry should be available on by the end the week. Just click on any of the thumbnails on the right, under "stuff for sale" and you will be taken directly to my online shop to see my available work. I'm still transitioning from letterpress printing to lampworking, so you will find a variety of items available, but everything is handmade by me. :) Thanks for looking! and please drop back by every once in a while to see what new things I've made!

Friday, October 16, 2009

EGA Retreat 2009

Well, today is the first day of a really fun event that I have attended for the past several years. The Knoxville Chapter EGA does an annual retreat, and this year I had the pleasure of being the co-chairman! There have been many late nights recently preparing for this event, but it's finally here and I can't wait for it to start. We will be in Abingdon, Virginia for a couple days at the Jubilee House Retreat Center just stitching, shopping, relaxing, and making new friends.

One of the cool things a group of us did this year was make some wool nametag pouches. They are to be worn around the neck and we made little embroidered names that will be pinned on once the ladies arrive and choose their "pocket".

These are the three I made from recycled, wool sweaters that have been felted. Aren't they fun?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Just Making Lots of Beads

There has been quite the flurry of activity at the torch these days...and I’m loving every minute of it! Unfortunately that means I haven’t had time to post pictures of my new work, but after the show in Jonesborough there will be plenty to go around. :) I’m spending every spare moment creating as many new pieces as I can by the 24th!

Here is a little piece of inspiration I found in Jonesborough a few weeks ago. As a result, I’ve created several soft pink & white beads. I can’t wait to see how they turned out when I check the kiln in the morning! Maybe I’ll try one tomorrow with a little accent of green & burgundy. I just love the contrast of the flower with the leaves in the background!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Embellished Wool Pendants

Here is a recent experiment in fiber jewelry. The beading and embroidery took place on a base of needlefelted wool. Once that step was finished, a piece of ultrasuede was stitched to the back to cover the stitches and make it soft against the skin. Sterling silver rings were then stitched on to allow them to be easily attached to a chain. It is a fairly simple concept with a lot of room for experimenting and possibilities…don’t you think?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Lampwork Bead Necklace

This is a necklace I designed that is a direct result of how I work at the torch. I don’t particularly care for making sets or pairs of beads if I can help it...that gets kinda boring. Instead, I prefer to sit down and just play...making beads that will all be unique but still within the same color palette.

There will be more of these necklaces to come over the next few weeks, in many different colors and color combinations. As you can see from a previous post, I’ve already done a lavender & lime set and started a collection of deep, earthy brown beads. Any suggestions for other combinations I might try?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Freeform Peyote Necklace

Here is a red necklace that I created using freeform peyote. It’s really enjoyable to sit down and just start beading without a pattern, and I think this form of peyote is my favorite. You can do a little here and there and there’s no big commitment to stay with one thing or have to use a particular size or color bead. It's the perfect solution to using up all your little bits of beads, and working in larger accent beads is fun too…can you find my signature ladybug?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Beginning of the Beadmaking Frenzy

Tuesday was a lovely day of beadmaking...very peaceful and quite enlightening. It's obvious that I've found something that I really enjoy, and I'm looking forward to developing my own unique style as I continue to experiment. Here is one of my favorite focal beads from the day's efforts. I wasn't quite sure how it would turn out, but I really liked it when I pulled it from the kiln this morning. (a pleasant surprise :)

One of my goals for the next few weeks is to generate some beads for the art show in October. I will be playing with different color combinations, and this particularly bold set of violet & lime beads is the start of a nice little necklace.
The next set of beads I am working on is an earthy, natural collection full of rich browns & golds. A nice start of something I think...but more will be needed if I want to have enough to make a necklace. A good excuse to get back into the studio and make some more beads tomorrow! :)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Embroidery Exhibit

If you’re in town this weekend, make sure to stop by Farragut Town Hall to check out an exhibit by the Knoxville Chapter Embroiderers’ Guild. I will have two pieces in the show! One is a self-portrait I did earlier this year, and the other is a close-up of a flower where I experimented with using different textures to get variations of the same color.

The exhibit is September 18-20 at Farragut Town Hall in Knoxville, TN.

Friday, Sept. 18th, 8:00am - 5:00pm (reception & presentation at 7:00pm)
Saturday, Sept. 19th, 10:00am - 5:00pm
Sunday, Sept. 20th, 1:00am - 5:00pm

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Fine Art in the Park, Jonesborough, TN

Isn't this a beautiful setting for an art show?

I've been invited to participate in a fine art show in Jonesborough, TN at the International Storytelling Center on October 24th. It is a judged and juried one-day show, open from 10:00am to 5:00pm. Over the next few weeks, I will be creating and posting photos of some of my jewelry, which will be available at this show. Please come by for a visit and take a closer look at my handmade creations!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Royal Studio & Gallery

The Royal Studio & Gallery in Bristol, VA contacted me about selling some of my letterpress stationery in their gallery, and I just got done packing up some stuff to send out to them.

If you happen to be at the Rhythm & Roots Reunion in Bristol this weekend, be sure the check out The Royal Studio & Gallery for some unique treasures!

My Lampworking Studio

Today is a momentous day! I’ve got phase one of my lampworking studio setup so I can begin torching again! The hoses and tanks are hooked up to the torch and everything has been thoroughly tested to ensure no leaks. My dad was kind enough to help me build some divided boxes to store my glass this weekend, and I’ve unpacked all my precious beadmaking supplies. It seemed like this day would never come! I will continue to make improvements as I go along, but the very basic equipment is now at a functional level. Speaking of which...will you excuse me? I gotta go make a bead! :)

Phase two of my endeavor will involve the implementation of a top-notch ventilation system, but for now I will have to make do with a good cross flow of air to blow the fumes away and out the door. I have a bit more research to do, but hopefully in the next few weeks I will be able to implement phase two!

Monday, September 7, 2009

A Clean Desk

Today’s task, be it ever so boring, was to simply clean my desk. It’s surprising how the buildup of physical clutter can bog down my thinking and cause such a roadblock when it comes to creativity...or anything for that matter. I have found that I can be easily distracted from my goals when my life is disorderly.'s to a fresh start for tomorrow...literally. :)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Do you love seashells?

Here is a small collection of original watercolor paintings that I did several years ago. Each one is a separate piece and was inspired by a handpicked seashell from my mother’s collection. I painted each one individually and then had custom pieces of glass cut and the edges ground/rounded as a frame for each shell. The paintings are sandwiched between glass and a 1/8" piece of wood that has been painted white. They are held together with frame clips, which conveniently provide a nice hanger on the back.

I have enjoyed these for many years in my home, but would like to change things up a bit. I’m always making new things, and it’s time to find this seaside collection a new home. I’ve listed them in my Etsy store if you would like a closer look!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Blair-Moore House B&B

My husband and I just returned from a lovely weekend stay at our favorite vacation spot, the Blair-Moore House Bed & Breakfast in Jonesborough, TN. We have celebrated many anniversaries there and look forward to visiting Jack & Tami every chance we get. They are such a treasure!

Jack is, among other things, a very talented woodworker. You can see his shop in the photo behind their house. He restores pre-Civil War furniture and makes Chippendale-style looking glasses (mirrors) in his shop. Many of his pieces are found throughout their home, which the two of them lovingly restored together. It's a wonderful place to stay!

Tami has had some very impressive culinary training, and the breakfast is simply experience that will bring you back again & again. :) Among her many talents is a passion for watercolor, and I had the pleasure of bringing a couple of her paintings home with me on this trip. Ryan picked out this one...and I love it!

And I simply had to have this just spoke to me!

Her work is available at the Historic Jonesborough Visitor's Center and in their own gift shop at their home. Aren't they beautiful! I can't wait to get them framed! :)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Studying Seashells

Well, drilling the shells proved to be a more tedious task that I was willing to undertake. I did get a few holes done after a while, but I broke several shells in the process. It was rather unsatisfying I decided to find another way to use these pretties. For now I'm admiring them in a simple glass vase...cautiously planning my next attack.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Treasures from Florida

I just got back from a trip to Florida, and my favorite thing to do there was walk along the beach looking for interesting shells. Just look at all the treasures I found! :)

I was amazed at the variety of tidbits of coral along the shoreline. My favorites though, are the broken pieces of shells that have been worn down like sea glass in the ocean. I kept finding such interesting shapes in a variety of colors and textures, and I couldn’t stop picking them up!

Imagine the jewelry that I can create with them! Hopefully I can find a special drill bit to make some tiny holes in the shells, otherwise I will have to revise my plan. I’ll post some pictures of my creations as soon as I have a chance to create them. :) Until then...don't they just look lovely all jumbled in a pile?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Smoky Mountain Quilters Sale

Boy did I get some treasures Tuesday night! The meeting was primarily a yard sale where different members of the group were thinning out their stashes. It was really fun!

I got 21 back issues of Quilting Arts magazine or 10 cents each (That’s right…$2.10 total!)

A fabulous little wall hanging named "Morning" that Candace Tucker made in a workshop with Nellie Durand.

I’ve started a collection of little quilts from different artists, and it will be a wonderful addition. I’ve always admired Nellie’s work, and I think Candace did a great job with this landscape. It made my heart smile when I saw it!

I also got some assorted hand-dyed fabrics from Candace. She teaches fiber art classes at the Oak Ridge Art Center, and her work is really lovely. I don’t have a specific project in mind for them, but they were so pretty and they begged me to take them home.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Other Creations from Last Week

There were a couple evenings last week when I just had to do something with my hands that didn’t involve turning a mandrel…so I made 2 different rings on Monday & Tuesday evening before going to bed.

This was Monday’s creation…

And here is Tuesday’s ring…

The other nights I dove into some lampworking books that Marjorie had brought for us to look at. I love books, and they were an excellent source of inspiration & knowledge. One of them I decided to buy when I got home was “Torchworked Marbles” by Drew Fritts. I don’t really have intentions of creating marbles right now, but so much of this book was full of information about setting up a studio and generally working with glass that it is going to be an excellent resource to have on hand.