Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Lampwork Dreams, Part 2

This week's glass artisan is Deborah of Red Dog Designs. As a dog person, I'm particularly fond of her shop name, and touched by the fact that it was inspired by her long time canine love, Redford.

Deborah has been working with glass since 2001, full-time since 2004. Her love of color, metallic tones and variations in texture makes her beads distinctive. Deborah prefers to work with the inspiration of the moment, and so each of her beads or sets is one of a kind.

She says that ancient designs are a big part of her inspiration, and that's evident in some of her patterns - my particular favorites, in fact.

She works out of her home studio in coastal North Carolina, accompanied by her second red dog, Lucie. When she's not making beautiful glass or covering her kitchen countertop with beads (I'd be happy to come over for dinner and help clean off the counter ;) ), Deborah enjoys fiber arts.

Deborah's beautiful work is for sale in her Etsy shop and once a year at the Bead Renaissance show in Tucson, AZ (February 4-11, 2008). And now I'm off to buy some of her fabulous work myself!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Lampwork Dreams, Part I

Anyone who knows me and my work knows that I have a bit of a "thing" for bright, funky lampwork. It borders on an addiction, actually...I shudder to think how much time I spend browsing around looking at pictures of beautiful glasswork.

I've decided to do a series of features on some of my favorite glass artisans, so that I can show off their work.

Kris of CreationsByKris has a fabulous eye for color and bold, graphic design elements.

Kris lives in Southern California with her husband, two sons and three cats. She's an elementary school teacher, and lampworking is a part-time venture for her, but she says her head is always filled with visions of color schemes and beads.

Kris works in her garage studio, creating beautiful little pieces of art, and she's only occasionally interrupted by a ping pong ball. :)

See more of Kris's beads in her Flickr gallery .

I'm waiting for some lovely cobalt and lime beads from Kris's studio now, and I'll post pictures of my finished work with them when it's complete.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Host a Virtual Trunk Show!

So...I've managed to schedule a couple of trunk shows of my work at some local venues - a paint-it-yourself pottery place, a dentist's office (hey, after digging around in mouths all day, I'd want to treat myself to some fun jewelry, too), and a friend's house. But the bulk of my sales are either at craft shows or online, and I needed to find a way to expand from there.

I've decided to start offering the opportunity for customers to host Virtual Trunk Shows. How it will work, basically, is that the host/ess will invite friends, family, random people on the street, whatever, to shop in my Etsy shop for a given period of time (a week or two), and I'll give the host a special code for customers to enter. Then, based on sales from the virtual show, I'll offer the host some incentives (a certain percentage of total sales in free jewelry, a credit for booking additional shows, etc). Seems easy enough, doesn't it?

Anyone interested? :)

Monday, May 14, 2007

What should I do next?

Thinking about ways to make this blog more interesting...I'm considering a few different ways to feature fellow Etsy sellers. There's so much talent out there, and so many funky things on Etsy. But I need a theme of sorts. Maybe I'll start with the simplest thing and feature artists from my part of Massachusetts (west of Boston). Ideas, anyone?

Sunday, May 13, 2007


I went to a lapidary show yesterday. Quite the experience. Saw lots of beautiful things, lots of not-so-beautiful things. Met some really interesting people, and some unsavory characters. Funny when you ask someone, "What's this stone?" and get answers like, "Oh, that's Eastern European Mashuganite. Very rare." Mmm-hmm. It's so nice to see creative genius like that put to good use to fleece unsuspecting bead buyers. I'm glad to be a part of this highly ethical industry.

I picked up some great new stuff from vendors who didn't scare me, though, and I'm itching to start playing with it. So keep checking my Etsy shop for creations of beauty beyond your wildest dreams (or at least some nice new earrings). I found gorgeous aquamarine and rhyolite, which are among my favorite stones. And while you're shopping, please take a look at the earrings I listed to benefit autism research. It's a cause near to my heart, and while this is a small gesture, it's something.

My 5 year old's musings, in honor of Mother's Day: her preschool teacher asked her what her mom does to take good care of her, and Sarah's response was, "She gives me foods I like that are healthy and also foods I don't like that are healthy." Fair enough. :)

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Designs for Spring

I was up early on this beautiful, cool spring morning - I had all the windows open and was awakend by the sound of birdsong. Cliched, but really quite lovely. :) This is one of my favorite times of year, when the flowering trees are at their peak, the new green foliage is out, and the sun is here, but when mornings and evenings are also still cool and damp and really quiet. May mornings are times when I don't mind so much that I'm not a city dweller any more...

I've got some beautiful new beads from my dear friend Pam (check out her work at and time to play with them today. I have lots of new treasures, too, in muted shades of peach, earthy greens, and blue. I'll be listing more earrings on Etsy this week, and I'm hoping to get some necklaces out there, too, now that people aren't wearing turtlenecks and pulling up their coat collars.

Do you have favorite color schemes or stones that you like to wear? I'm always happy to hear about what my customers like best. Let me know!