February, what???. . . Saturday, Feb 25 2012 

Ancient Ruins Necklace

Can’t believe it’s February already. . .Really, not much to blog about, obviously since it’s been so long since I’ve blogged. I almost forgot that I had a wordpress account until I remembered that I have a wordpress account.

Lots going on in my personal world and that keeps me from sticking my head out of my hole to see what’s going on out here. Hopefully this shiny new year finds you all in a better place than last year. Not so sure about myself though. . .My lampwork career focus is about as fine tuned as the juice diet I can’t seem to acclimate to. The state of the world’s economy doesn’t do much for one’s need to prove themselves, but I think you all know what I mean. I devote most of my time to my personal world which includes my family, (the fury and furless), and when I can, I steal a little time to review the planets to see what kind of bs tomorrow has in store for me. Somewhere in between all of that, I find the gumption to walk the green mile that takes me to my studio in order to bang out the next thing that looks almost just like the thing I banged out last week. I would love it if a new awesome glass or series of glasses would come out to hit the market. I’m BORED!

My favorite thing of 2012 is the Ancient Ruins (series 2) lampwork heart pendant and sterling silver necklace that I made a couple of weeks ago. . .Created from a discontinued glass that I doubt I’ll be able to ever get again. Making the piece made me happy.

2012 is supposed to be a year of consciousness awaking. Someone please come up with a brilliant new line of delicious 104 coe glass before I totally lose interest in trying to rekindle my creative zen. There are lots of great glasses in the 104 line but I can’t seem to get find them exciting. Could be my environment too though. My studio is cold, damp and ugly. It has creepy crawly things and it smells a little like gym socks. On the positive side, it does have a bo-flex that I could use during my breaks if I would remove all of the boxes of Christmas decorations from it’s sleek black weight bench.

Rest in Peace, Jennifer Saturday, Sep 24 2011 

I love you always and will miss you until the day I see you again.. .Till then, rest peacefully, I know we will have much catching up to do later.

Jennifer Workman Barcenas

 July 29, 1969 – Sept 24, 2011

Utopia Wednesday, Jan 19 2011 

Utopia. . .What a nice idea, huh? A world where everyone loves everyone, everyone looks out for everyone and everyone is equal. I don’t think the world we live in will ever be capable of such unity. If a simple biological family can’t achieve utter peace and harmony, who’s to think the world could be capable of such a high ideal? I think as long as the world spins, both love and hate will spin along with it. I know this sounds like a pessimistic point of view, but it does keep my feet on the ground. I have such a tendency to swing between the poles of the Utopian wish and stone cold realism. Often times I find myself stuck somewhere in the middle trying to figure out what it all means. Today is one of those days. . .I want to be productive, but my mind would rather theorize about the many mysteries of human life.

While pondering the elusive ways of humanity, I began thinking about what life on earth as an Utopian society could possibly be like.  What about games? Leadership roles? If everyone is equal, there would be no more competition because one of the drivers of the competitive nature seems to come from one’s need to prove one’s self. In Utopia, I can only imagine that games would eventually be phased out due to their lack of importance. Or, perhaps games would be played without the winner being recognized. . .Everyone gets the same prize for good sportsmanship and participation. Where’s the fun in that, though?? Why compete if you’re not going to be the only one who wins a gold medal?

What happens to the individual spirit in the Utopian society?? Or does it still exist at all? Would anyone have personal freedom? I doubt it. It may seem so in the beginning. . .Everyone doing what they love because it creates a happy spirit, but who’s plowing the fields as everyone sits enjoying their quality “me time”.  Who’s cooking dinner, and doing the chores? And what’s the punishment for not pulling one’s own weight? Well, nevermind that because in Utopia, there would be no punishment because everyone would know just what to do to keep unity, en mass. Everyone would agree on EVERYTHING. No one would have a point of view that would differ from their neighbor because that would cause the disruption that doesn’t exist in such a society. And THIS would be why I love the world and I love reality. . .Although brutal at times, it still has much to offer. In many cultures we think for ourselves, we have the right to our own points of view should we choose to express them. Competition and goal achievement  is a way of life and when we lose, we have the opportunity to decide whether to make peace with the loss or continue training for the next competition.

I love the world for all of its flaws. I love humans for all of their flaws. . I love reality and I love Utopia, but to me, it is only a fantasy rather than a vision and now that I am ending this session of outward mind ramble, I’m beginning to see why I choose reality. It’s the unexpectedness of what tomorrow may bring, the excitement, the emotion, the up, the down and the everything in between. The learning moments, the teaching moments and the quiet moments.

I make beads. . .They are my utopic fantasy expressed in concrete form. Little worlds where if I’m having a good day, everything is beautiful and in perfect harmony. I think this is why I like hearts so much these days. . .To me, they are symbolic of perfect unconditional love. Oh, there I go with that Utopian vision again but as I’ve already stated, it does live in my soul. . .

Romantic Obsession

Happy 2011!!!! Thursday, Jan 6 2011 

Just write something! Gosh, it’s been SO long! So I am writing my thoughts on some stuff while looking back on 2010 and some of it’s personal highlights and how those things helped define my personal goals for 2011. I often jokingly say that I’m going to let 2011 decide, but that’s not true. I’m a builder and one can’t build without a proper blue-print.

I had planned to go back to school, originally for a bachelors, then I decided on a masters. After that, I thought, what the heck, why not a doctorate? I was all ready to go when it occurred to me how much personal freedom I would lose over the next six long and potentially BORING years. Psychology fascinates me. Anyone close to me can well confirm this, but to be  quite honest, I find myself without the ability to acclimate myself in this particular field, even though the idea is really good in theory and I’m sure I would enjoy it. Perhaps it is that I have commitment issues or maybe now is just not the time. Honestly, I’ve found far more personal inspiration and fulfillment through my astrological studies. Most of my “free” time goes to personal readings for friends and the study of worldly and regional mundane events. It’s exciting work. I find it to be time well spent and more emotionally stimulating than any other way that I could find to spend my “quiet time”.  So, at this point, after giving it thought for about 6 months, I’ve decided to go to a specialized school for archetypal astrology/psychological astrology. Funds are the difficult part. . .The education will cost me about 6 grand out of my own pocket so who knows when I’ll get to start. But fantasizing about it, is most certainly rewarding even though it gives me a goal that may be viewed by others as being unorthodox and strange. This field of study is actually what I’ve wanted to do from the get-go but what kept me from taking the idea seriously is the thought that others may not take me seriously, and that in the end, I would be viewed by everyone I knew as yet another eccentric weirdo whose unattached to reality. (I don’t think of astrologers this way, I just know people who do.) My mind is made up at this point. 2010 has taught me that carrying fears based on what others may think of me is hardly conducive to my personal success. I have a strong connection with my own soul and I need no one to validate my goals other than myself. SO LOOK HERE,  2011!. . .I’m jumping on your back and I have every intention of breaking you down and OWNING YOU! Although I may do it quietly, as I have a fear of public microscopes. 😉

For the first time in my years as a career bead maker, I’m going to be teaching group classes. In the past, the idea of teaching has filled me with uncontrollable anxiety. Again, it’s fear.  Such an ugly word it is, but we ALL fear things. Every single one of us. Even the crazy daredevils we see on TV, and the crazy people that walk into our lives who wish to show us that not only are they totally unhinged but that they HAVE NO FEAR. Well, friends, they are the ones who carry the DEEPEST wells of fear induced anxiety, hence their projected unconventional and often times irrational, way of projecting themselves. Their need to prove how crazy they are stems from fear. So, my thought is this. . .If people can publically make spectacles of themselves by doing really stupid and dangerous things all while screaming about how they HAVE NO FEAR, then why can’t I buck it up and teach a few lampwork classes? So I am going to do just that, but not outside of the US or any place that I can’t drive to because as worldly traveled as I’d like to be, I have a strong FEAR of flying. Hopefully one day I can overcome it. . . I’m looking into psychological therapy. Lol

If anyone reading this is interested in classes, please visit this link for further info.

2010 was not a pleasant year for me and the consensus seems to be that it wasn’t for a lot of people. I’ve decided to have faith in 2011, so if you’re in my camp of “2010 TOTALLY BLEW!”, I hope you can find some faith in 2011, as well.  If not, then just try the mindset on anyway, then spin around in a circle in front of your mirror. It’s one size fits all!  I’m sure it’ll look great on you!   

Happy 2011!!!

Look Out “Mid-life”, Here I Come! Saturday, Sep 4 2010 

The emergence of the midlife point can be utterly confusing. Just when we think we know where we are going, someone or something throws a spoke in the wheel and the next thing we know, we are spinning off onto a completely different road. I think this is why so many women and men head back to college, buy a sports car, ditch their spouse or have a nervous breakdown. I’ve chosen college, with the intent of getting my BS in Psychology. I have to admit, the idea is a bit intimidating, but it’s actually a calling that I had always refused to listen to. I shoved my fingers in my ears and sang the Smurf song till it went away. It’s back now and the Smurf song tactic of self avoidance no longer works. lol

My clarity of interest in this vocation came when I began studying the works of Carl Jung, and psychological astrologer, Liz Greene.  Being the skeptic that I am, I had to learn to read natal charts in order to see the connections between natal chart planetary placements and the psychological makeup of one’s personality. This to me was so enlightening that I could not escape the grip of what felt like a crazed obsession to investigate and discover as much as I could about this specialized profession. I began pulling charts on family members, friends and pretty much anyone else who would grace me with their birth information.  This is what I’ve been doing since January of this year and while the period has been relatively short, I’ve learned enough to know that THIS is where I’m going. . .Back to school to earn my psychology degree and obtain my PAC certification.

My interest in astrology isn’t for the purpose of “fortune telling” or the like. I’m not interested in predicting personal or even worldly mundane events. I’m interested in helping to heal the the psychological wounds that result in human suffering.  My career as lampwork bead artist has provided me with a desperately needed transformation of self confidence. This wouldn’t have been possible without so many of you in my corner.  Please know that your acceptance and appreciation of my work is now the solid foundation in which I plan to launch the second phase of my life. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you.

I do intend to continue to make beads for a REALLY long time to come. It will take me at least three years to get my BA and it’s highly doubtful that I will ever abandon my love of glass or the friends that I’ve made through this exciting profession. I would miss you all too much and my soul would suffer the loss. After all, part of the reason that I’m so drawn to this new passion is to help artists who are suffering from severe periods of depression or heavy blocks in creativity, both of which plague the artistic psyche and during those times the emotional pain can be so intense that it’s nearly debilitating. Often through studying the charts of gifted artists, I found that a great deal of heavy suffering took place in the early life of the artist. Their charts reflect watery empathic souls, seemingly almost programmed to expect nothing more than tragedy and suffering. I think that through healing some of the psychological wounds suffered, a transformation of soul and creative clarity can be achieved. I do admit my ideals are high, but I’m willing to throw my coins into the pot to find out  for sure.

Okay, so now that I’ve made my quarterly blog post, I suppose I can go enjoy some beautiful and NON HUMID weather, good music, awesome company (Mark) and a glass of cold Pinot G!

Hope you all have a nice holiday!

Garden of Grace Thursday, Jun 17 2010 


Sometimes when I create a bead, my mind goes on trip through an imaginary world and within that bead, I see what my soul was thinking during it’s creation. Strangely, I’m not always in present mind at the torch. I’m in a different place. As bizarre as it sounds, I feel that I have one foot in the spirit world, and one in material reality. The spirit world side is spinning a tale, while the reality side is listening to audio or watching tv. Thankfully my guardian angel keeps an eye on me during torch sessions, otherwise I might get hurt. 😉

Speaking of angels, that is what I see when I look at the Garden of Grace beads. . .Beautiful angels in gauzy transparent blush garments looking over a blossoming garden of pink English roses. Hal0s of golden sunlight ring their heads, as they sit comfortably on white marble pedestals, gently strumming their golden harps. If one were to walk into that garden, they would not see the angels but they would feel their comfort, grace and harmony.

Sounds like a Victorian scene, doesn’t? I guess is sort of is, but my imagination sees something more magical and mystical and that is the “soul” message in this bead. Normally I wouldn’t share this little story. . .It feels rather strange to do so, for the most part I like to come across in a less personal way as not to appear strange or unusual. This fact seems like a small thing, but it’s not. It’s actually part of what has driven me into seclusion. I think if I share more, I’ll be able to get back into the world again somehow.  I know, I keep saying this over and over and somehow still I stay wrapped up in my little world.

Those of you that consider yourselves to be artists, whether visual or musical, may know exactly what I am talking about.  In early childhood, we are allowed to create art in class and creativity is encouraged, but things change drastically in first and second grade where we become far more focused on left brained development. When a child resists the curriculum due to heavy right brained orientation, their life can become very difficult. Often times they hear, “It was JUST your imagination.” or “pay attention and stop daydreaming!”  by parents, teachers and elders. What happens then, is that child begins to hide or suppress their right brained talents. This happened to me, but it’s not the fault of my parents, teachers or elders. We live in a fast paced world, where technology and intellect rule society. I can’t say this is bad, obviously. Look how far we have come in the past 200 years in terms of technological advancement. Still, for me personally, art is “where it’s at”.  Artistic expression unlocked the key to my soul and learning to just be myself has been a big part of my artistic development.

If someone tells you, “Hurry up! Stop daydreaming!”, ignore them. Just keep right on walking through that mystical, magical world of imagination and bring back with you whatever you can harvest from your journey. That place is where art lives, and if you are an artist, you will find your soul there also.

Taurus Moon Beads Tuesday, May 25 2010 

Taurus Moon

 Between my studies and my time in the studio, I’ve again neglected my blog duties. Of course if those two things were not “in the way”, it would be something else. For example, “I couldn’t get to blogging last month. .. I had to feed my dogs.” Okay, so in the mean time as I’m snagging some spare minutes and forcing myself to write a few lines, I thought maybe you’d enjoy hearing about the Taurus Moon beads. . .How they’re made, and perhaps what inspired them.

The Taurus Moon beads are definitely a recent favorite of mine. Not because I love to wear things with pretty pink roses. In fact, I don’t wear pink, nor do I wear roses. I wear tshirts and blue jeans, pajamas and no jewelry. Still, these little orbs of decedent beauty set my soul on fire when I look at them. I think I may have mentioned that I used to be an avid rose gardener.  This is either a former part of my self or just one who lies dormant until I have time to once again take care of a rose garden. They require a great deal more love and time than I have to give during this phase of my life.  Expressing my love them through glass feeds my soul.

The base can only be described as “ethereal”.  Most of the beads have tonal shifts beneath the clear surface, ranging in tones of pastel pink, mint green and gold with cloudy opalescent striations.  There’s just something magical about it and the pink rose murrini chips are perfectly at home in this opulent environment.  There is no real secret to getting the look either. . .Just a little patience, a rod of pale aqua transparent, Double Helix’s Aurae and some Moretti pastel white.  Even without the rose chips, the base glass has much to offer. The core of the bead is white, encased with Aurea, reduced and then encased with transparent aqua. The rest is careful application of murrini chips and some decorative leaves made of DaVinci and emerald green dots.

Well, off to the torch I go. Have a great afternoon!!!

The Martyr Wednesday, Apr 21 2010 

I am a closet poet.  The poetry lives in my head and rarely do I actually write it down, much less share it with others. It’s an intensely private facet of my personality. One that I’ve never been able to share with anyone as I’ve always had an innate desire for it to remain private.  During my recent quiet period, I started writing and journaling. I had heard many times over that this daily ritual could prove to be very therapeutic. I found that to be true. . .What I didn’t expect to find was that it’s also fantastic way to rediscover things about myself that I had forgotten, or had discarded as being completely useless.   

When I started journaling, I wasn’t having a creative block or anything. . .It was more of a crisis in consciousness. I’m 39, the jumping off age for the proverbial “mid-life crisis” experience.  On or around my last birthday, my days were becoming plagued with the usual questions one asks themselves during this approaching period, “What will I do with the rest of my life?” , “How can I make a difference?”, “Am I set on the right course for full-filling my soul’s purpose?”  I still don’t know the answers to these questions but I think if I keep journaling, the answers may reveal themselves through my chicken-scratch text.  In the meantime, I’ve set some goals for myself.  Topping that list is the sharing of a poem I wrote a couple of weeks ago. At first, I didn’t know what it was about because I wrote it so quickly that it seemed to have a life of it’s own. It poured through my fingertips and onto the paper almost as though someone else had written it.

I’ve studied it a bit since and now I can see exactly what inspired it and where it came from. I won’t tell. . .That’s my secret and the mystery behind it’s writing is some of what I think makes it appealing. So, I’ll leave the interpretation up to those of you who read it. That is the beauty and enjoyment of all things art related. We as the beholder of artistic work can decide what the artist is projecting, right? Having said that, I think I want to use this  amateur piece of poetry as inspiration for a bead that embodies it’s message. 

The point behind this post is two-fold. I want to share what I consider to be a personal revelation in hopes that you will find the inspiration to explore some of the talents or dreams that you’ve abandoned through maturity. Most often, they don’t actually die on the vine. . .They are only dormant and patiently waiting for a change in season. 

The Martyr

by Lydia Muell

Blue cast shadows on dew kissed window panes

radiate from palms that reflect one thousand ancient cities.

A messenger of sacred truths.

New form taken, veiled in silken moonlight. 

Bare feet travel nostalgic moments in time-washed cobblestone.

Duty bound to Heaven’s stars.

Screams not heard through tight clenched lips.

She prays, a hand to heaven a hand to heart.

Radiant glory, a sunken treasure beyond the shores of watery dreams.

On pearly beaches she waits for the tide of luminescent hope.

Crystallized tears eclipse kaleidoscope irises, riddled with fractured passion.

Through birth of morning she stands on shaky knees, in a crown of golden sunlight.

Harmonic Hearts Tutorial Tuesday, Mar 23 2010 

It’s been about a year since I’ve written a tutorial and much thought has gone into the preparation of this one.  Sunset Opal Mandala was the most requested, but with it being such a large bead I decided to go a different route. Right now, love is on my mind and nothing symbolizes the emotion better than the heart’s form. It’s graceful, sentimental, and meaningful and I particularly love working with the shape.

This tutorial will include an inspirational supplement, and full instructions for the Sunset Opal Heart, Plutonic Love Heart and Moonlight Waltz heart. Hopefully, I’ll have it wrapped up in a couple of weeks. Later this week, I’ll post more details and the glass required for each design so that some of you can go ahead and purchase the needed supplies.

Sunset Opal Heart

Plutonic Love Heart

Moonlight Waltz Heart

Moonlight Waltz Heart

 Talk to you soon!! 🙂

And now it’s time for deep thoughts . . . Tuesday, Mar 2 2010 

“And now it’s time for deep thoughts”, by Jack Handy.”  Any of you remember that old SNL skit? It always cracked me up and I wish they still ran that one.

Lately I’ve been stuck in my own world of deep thought. . .The tones in my written communication have been a little deep and a bit strange. . Odd expressions written in watery emotional tones have been showing up in every product listing and email I’ve exchanged since mid January. It all started just prior to my last post and since then, I’ve been living in the depths of my mind, my subconscious exposed and raw. As a result, I’ve felt the need to hide from the masses. I’ve dodged Facebook, forums and in some cases, phone calls and visits. My world has been at a basic stand still, even though the clock continued to progress. 

Given that I’ve received several emails of concern, I thought I might need to address this outwardly. I am okay. I’m not depressed, or sad. I’m just in a very deeeeeeeeep thought process that I am trying to come out of.  I’ve been here before and each time I emerge, things are much clearer and I’m far more optimistic and cheerful. It’s a process for me. . .A self imposed purging of the ugly trash that collects over a long period of being on psychological auto pilot. Because I’m such an isolationist, I disappear from the outward scenes for sometimes months at a time. It’s good to be an artist because “eccentricity” is sometimes expected and easily forgiven. I’ll try not to abuse the cliche too much. 

It’s March, so there’s hope for all of us. I know some of you are sick of this cold and miserable winter weather. I’m looking forward to spring. Longer days, shorter nights and lots more opportunity stretch my legs instead of my brain.

That’s all for now. Hope you all have a great finish to your week.

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