Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Parker Artists Guild’s 6th Annual Spring Art Show

The is the first year that Dan & I will be participating in the Parker Artists Guild Spring Art Show. We have heard lots of good things about this show. It takes place next month in Parker, Colorado, which is fairly close to us. Dan will have some of his photographs for sale, and I will have my glass work.

It is an indoor show, which will be good for us if the weather isn't kind that weekend. Let's hope we'll have some spring time weather, unlike the weather we've have over the past 24 hours! Whew, spring in the Rockies is not for the feint of heart!

If you are in the area the weekend of April 17 - 18, please stop by and say Hi.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Be Bodacious in Your Self-Care

I subscribe to Christine Kane's blog and e-zines. Her positive energy and thoughts are something I enjoy and this is one I would like to share with you, so here is today's e-zine from Christine. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

9 Bodacious (and Easy) Ways to Practice Self-Care
by Christine Kane

Just as there was a time when "google" was not a verb, there was also a time when "bodacious" was not a word. Bodacious is a blend of "bold" and "audacious" created in British English dialect late in the nineteenth century.

I love this word! Some days we need to be bodacious! And some days, we need to remember to apply it to our own self-care.

No matter how rewarding or noble it is to be of service to others - whether you're a coach, in retail, or taking care of an ailing parent - you cannot leave your self-care out of the picture. If you do, you'll soon burn-out, become ill or angry, and you'll ultimately be serving no one.

Here are 9 bodacious ways to practice self-care:

1 - Flowers!

This is so simple – and yet so powerful. Fresh flowers beautify any space. I always have an orchid on my coffee table. I see it the minute I walk in the door, and it reminds me to take a deep breath and cherish the beauty of my life. Create a Sunday ritual of getting fresh flowers to get your week off to a bodacious start!

2 - Take a nap.

Favorite thing: I climb into bed for a nap in the middle of the day. Within minutes comes the soft ploop of cat paws on the cover. I can almost hear the cat thoughts: Hmm. The human has decided to lie quietly. I'd like to take part. Then the paws walk all around me until they find the very best spot for settling.

Cats know the truth: Naps are bodacious!

3 - Pay full price.

The amount of energy we waste on trying to get "deals" is often not worth it. If you see something you love, then get it. I'm convinced that we'd all be so much happier and wealthier if we just got exactly what we loved without looking at price tags and wasting time looking for sales. (We'd probably have much less stuff too!)

4 - Trampolines and swings.

I was at a cocktail party last year. The adults were up on the deck watching the kids jump on the trampoline. At one point, all the kids ran inside. I kicked off my shoes and ran for the trampoline. Three other women joined me. We laughed and jumped for about 15 minutes. It was the most fun I'd had all week.

Swings are fun, too. And they're easy to find! Who cares if you look or feel stupid? Being an adult doesn't have to mean being boring!

5 - Truncate your To-Do's.

How many items are on your to-do list today?




A day should have no more than two or three mission-critical priorities for completion. The rest are extra credit! Give yourself the gift of completion. It is the ultimate self-care.

6 - Order out.

I love preparing meals. But some nights, it's just necessary to let someone else do the cooking. We have a great delivery service in our town. I don't mind the extra expense if it allows me a night of no clean up, and a little extra time to write or just be with my husband.

7 - Take a long walk with your dog.

Are you one of those people who gets home from work and marches your dog around the block with a grim look on your face? (Another to-do item checked off the list!)

Try this: Take your dog for a long happy walk. Revel in the delight and presence of your dog. It will absolutely lift your spirits.

8 - Read for fun.

Do you relish your days on the beach because it's the only time you'll allow yourself the joy of a trashy novel or some "light" reading?

Why not get a little bodacious and bring the beach to your work-week? Curl up at night and get lost in some fun fiction.

9 - Step AWAY from the computer. (And the phone.)

The challenge of this internet world is that we are "plugged in" 24/7. You are reachable all the time now. No one waits for "business hours" anymore. This is not healthy for your precious creative spirit, my friend.

Take regular breaks from Facebook, blogs, texts, cell phones, and email. (Yes, even this eZine!) Don't include your computer in any of the above activities. And turn off your phone, too! I promise, your computer and phone won't take it personally! (Neither will this e-Zine!)

Performer, songwriter, and creativity consultant Christine Kane publishes her 'LiveCreative' weekly ezine with more than 11,000 subscribers. If you want to be the artist of your life and create authentic and lasting success, you can sign up for a FRE*E subscription to LiveCreative at

See Christine's blog – Be Creative. Be Conscious. Be Courageous – at

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Preview ~ Sunset, Sky-Scape Series

Dan & I are fortunate, we live in a country setting, just outside of Colorado Springs. One of the many remarkable things about living where we do is the wide open space and expanse of sky. This photo is one of mine that I quickly took, just outside our back door, as the sun was setting. I wanted it as a reference for those stunning colors.

I have always been fascinated by the sky. The way the clouds form, drift, take on colors. The glow of a sunset. The somewhat eerie aspect of a summer storm forming. Where we live, we have very little blocking our view of the sky and the colors that nature produces are marvelous. This idea has been taking root in my mind for a while now and when I saw the beautiful colors in this sunset, I knew I needed to capture it in glass. Sometimes I can create a marvelous sky in a stained glass window thanks to the color variations in a sheet of glass. Bullseye, Uroboros, Fremont, Youghiogheny and others create some wonderful glass for depicting skies. But now, I wanted to capture the sky in my fused works. The great thing for me is that I knew I could do this and I wanted to take my glass work in a bit of a new direction.

I'm still working with glass strip construction, but now I'm trying to create abstract versions of those colors in the sky that I see almost every day. The possibilities are endless, I think.

Let me introduce the first in my new series. I call this one Sunset. The name of the series is Sky-Scapes. Sunset is not completely finished yet, but I thought I would be fun to give a preview of where it is, how it was constructed, and its inspiration.

The photo at the top of this post is the inspiration. While I have a great little digital camera, it's hard to do justice to the beauty of nature with it. However, I just wanted to make sure I had this image to refer to as needed.

These sheets of glass are the building blocks for Sunset. All Bullseye; it is my favorite. For this piece I decided to use a mix of opals and translucents. Others in this series are all translucent and some will be all just depends on the effect I want to achieve.

These are the strips I cut from the sheet glass. They are approximately 1/2" thick. I really like the thickness and the weight of the thick plates/bowls I do. They aren't for the feint of heart!

This is the start of the construction. I am improvising with things to hold the glass strips in place. I now have a new tool to help hold things in place and I'll preview that in another post.

It's ready for the kiln. You may notice that I'm changing up the randomness/mixture of glass and going for more of a jagged layer look, which I'm trying to create the effects I see in the sky.

This is how it looks after fusing. I really enjoy how some of the glass changes color a bit once it is fused.

Now Sunset is ready for the coldworking phase. After I complete that, I will slump it in the mold for it to take its final form. The next time you see Sunset, it will be one of Dan's photographs to showcase how it really looks and emphasize its beauty.

I hope you like the preview of this new series.

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

What to do?

One of my Experiments.....

I've been absent, my apologies.

Never fear, I have been working on my glass art and my art jewelry. And I haven't felt I had anything worthy of posting on my glass blog, but then I thought I should share some of what I've been doing with glass that is .... as of yet.... unfinished.

So here it is, one of my experiments, and I definitely consider it unfinished. I mentioned a bit about my experiments back in a January post. I'm not completely satisfied with the result you see here and that is why I have not slumped this piece into one of the sushi plate molds I have. I keep wondering if I should do anything else? It has some imperfections, which I don't think the photo shows (my photo, not one of Dan's), but I can see them. Well, we all know what that's like when our critical eye sees something that isn't right. Maybe I should just set this aside in the small stack of pieces that will be recycled into stringers? As you can tell from all the questions I have about it, I have not decided if I should go through the effort of finishing this or just recycle it.

The inspiration for this piece started with this wonderful book I found at Barnes & Noble prior to Christmas. It was Alponse Mucha Master Works.
I loved the book. The colors, the wonderful art work. Unfortunately, the book is sold out, so I hope you can find a copy if it inspires you too.

Part of what captivated me was Mucha's graceful lines. I wanted to incorporate a bit of that graceful line work in my art, so I tried this little experiment. And ever since I found mica powders, they have taunted me a bit. I know how hard they can be to incorporate into fused glass (at least for me) and so I tried something new. It sort of worked, but not quite. At least I'm not happy with the result.

I used some of my favorite Bullseye Glass, that rich marzipan color I love. And then I used coppery mica powder to form the lines you see, mixed with clear fine frit in my attempt to have the mica fuse to the glass. It sort of did, but not all of it. So I decided I would add a bit of Glassline paint in a rust shade to emphasize the mica a bit more, and then as a contrast I thought it would be nice to have a bit of green in there (provided by a bit-o-frit). Over the top of all of that I added more clear frit to 'seal' the mica in place. After another firing in the kiln, all fused and the mica is in place. But, the surface doesn't look good and I'm back to not being satisfied with the result.

So, I have learned some things with this test and I'm not sure where it will take me. I have other things in the works too, along with shows starting next month, so I will have more to share. I think it helps to know that we all have things that just don't go quite the way we had hoped. All part of the learning process and that's a good thing.

Please feel free to share your thoughts, I always enjoy what my fellow artists think.

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person.