Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!


Lover of Lists

Being a goal-oriented creative, I have numerous to-do lists lying around all the time. They relate to all facets of my life including work, family and home projects. My favorite reason for working from lists is checking completed tasks off and then crumbling the paper up, to throw it in the trash. I rarely allow myself the luxury of lingering to appreciate my accomplishments. Instead, I immediately shift my attention to mapping out my next goal, or stress over items still left undone. 

As the year draws to an end, I find myself thinking about the many things I wanted to achieve this year. It’s with mixed emotion that I admit to having fallen short on seeing some goals, like my novel, come to fruition. My intellectual side takes comfort in sighting the many areas I’ve grown as a writer. I realize that to achieve excellence in any field, you must first invest time and endure unforeseen trials.

It’s on these introspective occasions that I make a different type of list, one that reflects the positive things that warrant appreciation. I’ve found the simple act of acknowledging even the littlest things therapeutic. It puts life in perspective, helps me remember I’m very fortunate and I shouldn’t take anything for granted.  

Topping my list for 2012 was being coaxed, on several occasions, out of my mid-life comfort zone to that thrill threshold which I hadn’t experienced in a long time.

Last spring, friends talked me into whizzing down a zip-line strung high above Freemont Street in Las Vegas. It was the most invigoratingly, sensational ride. You should try it!  

Over the summer my daughter asked me to take SCUBA diving classes with her. After completing the course, we vacationed in the Keys. There we went on two open water dives at the coral reef state park. Seeing the surprise on her face when we swam up on the only creature she didn’t want to see, a huge shark, was priceless. As luck would have it for me, we saw four sharks that day, more than any other dive team on our boat.

 Then my other daughter arranged for me to have my first riding lesson. After some practice and a lot of butt pounding, I can now finally say that trotting is not soo bad. Thanks to her guidance, I no longer feel like I’ve been spanked every time I get off a horse. Just this week she decided it was time for me to learn to canter, another first for me. It was all good while riding in a straight line. But eventually you do have to turn. Oh boy, I lost control and was flopping around like a Raggedy Ann doll while shrieking like a scared little kid on a runaway roller coaster. The good news is I stayed on and was entertainment for the other riders at the barn. My take away from the experience: next time, double up on sport bras.

Another highlight in 2012, my husband, Joe and I celebrated our 30th anniversary. Not only has our marriage stood the test of time but we still laugh often and hold hands.
It’s been a productive year for glass work as well. After years of planning, and the expert talent of a patient web-designer, my website is working in a new, dynamic way. Like so many things, I underestimated the effort it would take to update the site. I’m happy to say it was worth the time invested and is quickly developing into the interactive, user-friendly site I envisioned. In addition, classes have been plentiful. I’ve enjoyed teaching and meeting enthusiastic glass artists all over the country. It’s rewarding to share my knowledge and watch inspired students expand their talent as they perfect their skills. 

A few other accomplishments worth mentioning are I’m now published in fiction and my fourteenth design book is available. I’ve remained active with my critique group all year and therefore have a completed first draft and five polished chapters. I’ve discovered multiple uses for pine nuts and I almost like salmon. 

It’s easy to get disenchanted when you only focus on the future and on goals you have yet to realize. Dreams are good; they motivate us to push forward. But they mean nothing without today and yesterday. Before you make your new year’s resolutions and set new challenges for yourself, take time to appreciate what you have already accomplished. Be grateful for the people in your life and take pleasure in the wonderful journey that got us here.  

Here’s to health, happiness and prosperity in 2013, and crossing my book off the list.


Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy Holidays!

Sharing family traditions passed down from generation to generation are what make the holidays special. Cooking old favorites like bourbon glazed ham and baking Christmas cookies top my list. Its fun to get the whole family involved in measuring the ingredients, mixing the cookie batter and shaping the dough.

We started last Sunday and the baking went on till Thursday! That afternoon, I pulled out my sticky, old cook books and a smudged file folder full of loose papers. While sorting the pages in the folder I came across dog eared and faded hand-written recipes, given to me by my mother-in-law. I couldn’t help but show the kids the browned papers covered with her neat, curly script and share the fond memories I have from years of baking Christmas cookies with her. When the day was done, we had mixed nine varieties including my favorite, Santa’s Whiskers. Santa’s Whiskers are sweet sugar cookie dough mixed with red and green cherries, then rolled in coconut. The coconut coating browns during baking, making a crispy golden fringe that resembles whiskers.

In keeping with tradition, we’re going to share the love and give cookies away to friends and family. In keeping with my inventory reduction plan, they’ll be delivered in decorative vases.

Hearts Take Flight 
FREE pattern download on

My gift to you is simple, but it comes from the heart. The butterfly is a symbol of change, beauty and hope. I offer a pattern, Hearts Take Flight, to you. It’s a small gesture, a tribute to love and compassion and a sign of hope and healing.

The pattern is available free on my website. It’s drawn for fused glass but can easily be adapted to mosaic or stained glass techniques. The small version is intended to hang in a window or on your tree.  

Best wishes for a happy holiday filled with love and laughter.  

Cherish the moment, 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Creative Gifting

Flowers are a passion of mine and I’m frequently given arrangements. The local florist delivers so often they actually wire one dog biscuit per puppy right into each arrangement. And so my office/studio buddies are as excited to see the deliveryman as I am.  The problem was I ran out of space to store all the pretty vases I’d collected.

They were too nice to throw in the trash, so I made it a personal goal to figure out a creative way to share them. I started small by giving a neighbor a vase full of chocolate chip cookies. Another one brimming with crackers was purposely left behind at a party. I admit it was getting out of control when I sent Joe’s uncle home after dinner with a fluted vase full of pot roast. But I was on a mission.

It was about this time last year that the perfect idea came to me. I purchased a variety of colorful, individually wrapped seasonal candy. After stuffing the vases with chocolates, caramels, peppermints and butterscotch, I tied candy canes around the neck with a festive bow. I gave them to neighbors, friends and family. The re-gifting was a huge success. Everyone loved the pretty vases and thought filling them with candy was so clever.

Now it’s December, and again I find myself with an overstock of vases. After some careful thought, I’ve decided that home-made Christmas cookies will be the filler this year. Baking cookies is a family tradition we enjoy every year. And the best part of this new plan is I can bake to my hearts content and the cookies won’t be around to tempt me for weeks afterwards.

Here’s to another triumphant holiday season!  

Website news
New this week on
Art Wear: signed, one-of-a-kind dichroic pendants with leather cord and silver findings. 
Clocks-Form and Function: kiln formed clocks with contemporary style.
Vintage Series: elegantly detailed votives and dishes.
Art and Function you’ll find ten fresh, new botanical themed pieces. 
Endless Summer series has six new breezy dishes.

FREE shipping and handling on all orders shipped in the continental US.

Last week to SAVE $100.00 on class tuition!
For your convenience, you can now register for my 4-Day, hands-on classes Fused Vessel Sinks and More Feb, 5-8, 2013 and Cast Away Feb 19-22, 2013 on the website. Click Shop, then Classes and Workshops.

Now on e-Bay
Two, one-of-a-kind kites are up for auction on eBay
Search: Bird of Paradise Kite fused glass art and
Princess Kite mini fused glass art
Make dreams come true. Dig deep, 100% of the Princess Kite sale will be donated to my daughter’s Interscholastic Equestrian Association team. Bid starts at $10.00!

During this joyous season of giving I wish all the best to you and yours. And if you happen to be in the neighborhood, stop by we’d love to see you. Just be warned, I probably have a vase full of pasta salad with your name on it.

Health and happiness,