Day of the Commentator Monday, Jan 18 2010 

According to the book, “The Secret Language of Birthdays”  which is the single most astonishing and informative book I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading, I was born on the “Day of the Commentator”.  November the 13th, 1970.  How ironic that I should struggle so much with blog postings since it seems that I should be well suited for the task? If you visit the link, be sure to read the reviews. 

My husband has had this book in his possession since right after we met. He’s not really into astrology, nor am I.  I knew I was a Scorpio but really, that knowledge didn’t mean a thing to me.  Somehow, the subject of this book came up one night and I found myself very interested in checking out it’s content. The book has a personality profile for each day of the year that a person is born.  To be honest, I was very skeptical and likened the idea of the book’s foundation to the old school psychic parlor tricks I’ve read about in the past. Still, I was intrigued so Mark and I went to the basement and began digging through old boxes until we found the found the book.

As I flipped through it, reading every birthday of those closest to me, as well as myself, I can only say that the moment was totally surreal. How could these profiles possibly be so accurate? In fact, so accurate it freaked me out a bit.  .  .Although my my personality traits are combo of November 12th and 13th. November 12th has some pretty ugly stuff attached to it so as I read, I had to objectively look at myself and openly admit whether or not those less than flattering things described me. Some did, some did not and this rang true for both the 12th and 13th profiles.

If I only had a few more hours in this day, I would outline both days here in my blog. It would be fun but at the same time, I think I’d feel as though I was hanging upside down from the playground monkey bars with my “bloomers” showing for all to see. Rather, I’ll just suggest you procure a copy and enjoy getting to know yourself and loved ones on a whole new level.  The writer of this book has an entire series devoted to related material. I think I’m going to get the Personology book next.

I should be blogging about beads I guess but my days at the torch are not so productive right now. I’m fighting for evolution within my work. The new year tends to bring this mindset. Most often the desire is fuelled by anxiety and an overwhelming need for change. Each January and February leaves me emotionally and physically exhausted, but a new energy is often revealed by March. So, blog posts will be even more sporadic, I will be much less chatty, far more withdrawn to all who know me and nearly emotionally absent to those I love.

Note to close family members and beloved friends:  The previous paragraph is a heads up of potentially cloudy, but short lived days to come. Please feel free to put your hands on my shoulders and give me a vigorous shake when you need my attention otherwise, I could be too far gone to offer accommodation of your needs. Often this period results in a melancholy state that has the potential of becoming contagious if left unexplained. This is when the old standby explanation of, “It’s not you, it’s me.” is nothing less than appropriate. My phone will be turned off during torch sessions. Leave a message. I’ll be checking those messages during breaks and will call back asap if it’s of extreme urgency, otherwise, I’ll call back after studio shutdown.


Jenny Friske-Baer Divine Spark Designs Saturday, Jan 9 2010 

Speaking of “not a tax evader” artisans, Jenny Friske-Baer of Divine Spark Designs  creates lovely pieces of lampwork beads in many styles and color pallets. Visit her site to enjoy her offerings. . .She can also be found on Etsy.

More info about Jenny:

My name is Jenny Friske-Baer and I started Divine Spark Designs in December of 2002. My goal is to provide beautiful, unique, handmade lampworked beads, glass and jewelry that will reflect the love and good energy gone into their creation and perhaps inspire others to discover their own Divine Spark within.

I started beading over 10 years ago (who can remember?) and I blame the addiction on my sister Gretchen! She got me started and soon after I often couldn’t find that “special” bead for a project. All of you fellow beaders know what I’m talking about – that perfect bead that has to be a certain color or shape or texture to finish off a project (or maybe even start one!). So I decided to try and learn how to make them myself. After sitting at a Hot Head Torch for an afternoon under the expert and patient instruction of my dear friend Kandra, I was hooked! I played for about a year on the Hot Head – saved my money – and now I work on a Bethlehem Barracuda Torch as well as a Lynx Triple Mix torch from Glass Torch Technologies.

Everyday I feel blessed that I am able to sit down at the torch to try and create something that others might find beautiful and full of good energy. And I feel blessed that the love of my life enjoys working side by side with me in our studio (a fancy word for garage!) creating many wonderful fused pieces and stained glass works of art.

Jet Age Studio – Renee William Wiggins Saturday, Jan 9 2010 

Today’s “not a tax evader” post is on the behalf of lampwork artist and maker of unique custom murrini, Renee William Wiggins of Jet Age Studio. Renee’s contemporary style  beads are full of vibrant color and murrini chips. You can view her galleries here  and her murrini offerings here.

A bit more info about Jet Age:

JetAge Studio sprung from the artistic minds of Renee and William Wiggins in 2006 as an effort to promote each other’s art as self-representing artists. We are working artists, and our studio has long been a multimedia studio featuring artworks in wood, steel, glass, and paint as our form of artistic expression. As we’ve grown through our art, so has our studio, and today we find the glass side has taken over the JetAge Studio namesake. The passion Renee feels to give back to the glassworking community in the form of working knowledge and custom artisan supplies has proved to be the right path for our studio.

Artwork By Lori Ramotar Sunday, Jan 3 2010 

Retired professional lampwork bead artist, Lori  Ramotar, continues to captivate her audience of art patrons with beautiful pieces of mixed media paintings and quality hand crafted jewelry.

Lori's Jewelry

Lori's Jewelry

Lori's Paintings

Lori's Paintings

When I was a little girl of only 6 yrs. old, I already knew what my calling in life would be. It was at this age, I first declared that I would be an artist when I grew up. Creating gave me an overwhelming feeling of happiness and purpose, and it still does.
I concentrated on painting in high school and continued to develop my skills and particular style as I went on to major in fine art during college. I attended the University of Wisconsin-Marshfield/Wood County, the University of Wisconsin-Stout, and finally the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. As most artists do, I have dabbled in many art forms, and my love of sculpture led me to jewelry design. I have been creating my own jewelry since 2002, and spent 4 yrs. as a professional glass bead maker (lampworker). I had to retire from lampworking when my husband and I moved to Florida. I have since been concentrating on metalwork in my jewelry designs.
I have never stopped painting though, and my love for texture and layers in my jewelry designs led me down a new path to mixed media paintings. First and foremost, I am obsessed with color, texture, and design. I desire all of my artwork to attract second glances and bring visual and emotional enjoyment to the viewer. I use only high quality materials in my creations, and spend a great deal of time researching new products and techniques.
I enjoy using inspiring or amusing quotes in my pieces. I believe we all need daily smiles and uplifting reminders to get us through difficult times. I hope you enjoy my artwork, as I have created it not just for my own enjoyment, but for yours also!

Lori sells her work on You can view Lori’s paintings and prints by visiting; her inspirational jewelry can be found at

Desa Elliot, Gothic Glass Jewelry Friday, Jan 1 2010 

Hmm. . .What to say about Desa Elliot? Well, I’ll start by saying that Desa is a truly sweet and generous soul who just so happens to be an emerging lampwork artist. She too was “circled and attacked by the U-boat”, “bitten by the U-squito”, “infected by the U-virus”, “stomped by the U-zilla”. You get the picture. So, I just wanted to write a few very kind words about a gal who I am quite confident pays her taxes, just like the rest of us. Desa and her mom Marilyn own and operate Gothic Glass Jewelry. They’ve been lampworking for just over a year and have been having a blast!

Here’s some fun and informative info taken from her website’s “about me” page:

We started out in this chapter of our lives with a class at the Des Moines Art Center over a year ago. Our teachers, Karin and Ferzana, (may their souls be forever praised), were the catalyst for a creative urge that has met its culmination through a media that is both temperamental as it is calming, volatile as it is beautiful.

Do not get the idea that this talent came easy for us, quite the contrary as a matter of fact. The techniques that we have learned, the reactions of glass to oxygen and propane, mineral to heat, are the result of many hours per day of practice. Repeat and redo, critique, and make improvements the next time. Try and try again.

Besides, both my Mother and I love to play with fire, therefore, practice is no real problem. No problem at all.

Gothic Glass belongs to my Mother and best friend, Marilyn Elliott, and me, Desa Elliott. With a strong background in art and a Master’s degree between us, we make a very eclectic selection of wearable art.

Bindy Lambell, Beads you’ll want to lick!! Thursday, Dec 31 2009 

Okay, maybe it’s just me but her sets on this page look like candy!! Look at those delicious pinks!

Bindy Lambell (The Mad Beader), has been in the glass arts for about 25 years. Dipping her toes into the stained glass end first, she went on to learn how to design intricate seed bead pieces, finally to emerge as a talented and celebrated lampwork artist/jewelry designer. Her work has been featured in Bead and Button, Bead Unique, Lapidary Journal and The Flow, (just to name a few).  Visit her site for more “eye candy”. Her passion for glass will radiate off of your LCD screen, as you take in all of her smart and beautiful treasures.

Dawn Ceccacci “Dawn’s Glass Art” Thursday, Dec 31 2009 

Tonight, I’m going to be introducing several lampwork artists who need our help to combat the very sad and petty tax evador Fraud! Fraud! Fraud! blog in googles search rankings. . .

First on the list is lampworker, Dawn Ceccacci. She’s been rockin’ the torch far longer than I have and having the time of her life too. I’m pretty sure she pays her taxes just like the rest of us, so, without further delay, meet Dawn!!

Here’s her quick bio. . .She’s not selling online right now, but plans to in the near future. Please bookmark her site and visit often to see when her beautiful pieces of lampwork will become available.

My name is Dawn Ceccacci and I love to melt glass! I am a “Lampwork” artist. I have been making beads for close to 10 years now. In addition to making beads I test Brass Tools for Mike of Mike makes the most awesome brass presses on the market today for working with glass! Plus, I also test Frit (crushed glass) for As a Frit Tester, I receive the latest glass color blends available on the market to work with and then post my results on the Frit Testing Page of my website.

I have been published in the 2010 Glass Bead Calendar, 2009 Glass Bead Calendar, The Flow Magazine, Gallery of Women in Glass Winter 2008/2009, Bead Review 2 A Year of Exceptional Art Glass Beads, The Flow Magazine, Wigwag Article 2008, 1000 Jewelry Inspirations, Rockport/Quarry Publishers, The Flow Magazine, Gallery of Women in Glass, Winter 2007/2008, Step By Step Beads, Interweave Press, March/April 2007

I am truly blessed to be able to keep busy with my web business and teaching Lampwork classes in my home studio in Howell Michigan.

Happy New Year!! Thursday, Dec 31 2009 

Well, almost. It’s just after 7pm here in NC and we’re waiting to usher in 2010. For the most part, 2009 has been a fantastic year for me, personally and professionally. I have fortunately enjoyed business from a great group of customers. 2009 (and my daughter) delivered two beautiful little boys. I couldn’t make these statements without mentioning Mark. . .As long as he’s in my life, every year gets better and better.

The one thing I dread is knowing that I have to take the worst part of 2009 (a.k.a. “Concerned Citizen”) with me into 2010, but that’s okay. . . Things are rolling along down in TX and if my fellow blogees can hang on, we’ll all get through this together.  In the meantime, she and her infamous defamatory blog continues to scream it’s way through Google’s search rankings. Some of the artisans that she slandered are having to deal with that, and with them having an almost blank existence online, they don’t have a lot of positives to offset the negative content. Over the next few days, I’ll be introducing those artists with links to their sites and a little blurb about their work. Who knows if this will help or not, but it sure couldn’t hurt.

Now, off to get a glass of bubbly. . .Happy New Year!!!

AGLF Lampwork Calender Tuesday, Dec 29 2009 

Good morning bead lovers! It’s been awhile since I’ve publicly touched on this subject, but I guess it’s time for a bit of an update. The suit against Ullja was filed a couple of months back. . .It’s going slowly, as we had expected. In the meantime, we are driving for more funds for AGLF as more plaintiffs will be added to the suit. 

Last month a 2010 calender was developed for the purpose of helping to raise funds for AGLF. It has more than 100 photographs of beautiful lampwork beads, all created by the artisans that had been “featured” on Ullja’s blog.  Currently AGLF still has some of the calenders in stock. You can get your calenders here . . .First you’ll see a donation button, so scroll down a bit and then you’ll see the calender payment button and info.

A special thanks to Besty for all of the hard work and time she put into this project. Big kudos to Holly for coming up with such a great idea!  If there was a lampworker’s best seller book list, I’m pretty sure this calender would be on it. Great job, girls!! 

If I’ve not said it enough, I want to say a huge thank you to all who have helped drive and fund this effort. Hopefully we can get this mess cleaned up and all move on, leaving this ugly issue far behind us.

Happy Holidays! Friday, Dec 25 2009 

It’s Christmas day. With my sporadic blog posting habits I suppose it may seem strange that I pick Christmas day of all days to write a post.  I’m over due for one again and it’s quiet right now.  The yule log went out about the same time that Ashley and Zack packed up the milk-bandits to take them over to nemesis grandma’s house.  So, I sit here looking around at all of the dusting, picking up and organizing that needs to be done to get the house somewhat livable again. Rather than start that task, I’ll procrastinate a bit while letting you all know that I still live and breath. 

We had a very Merry Christmas here at my little house. After not visiting home for three years, Mark flew out last weekend to spend the week with his family. As much as I’d have loved to spend time with them, I chose to stay behind and spend my holiday with the children. They were kind enough to stay here and keep me company during Mark’s absence. The arrangement worked out great. I got to spend a lot of time with all of them, and with twins being such a labor of love, I had little time to be miserable about my husband’s not being here with us. We all miss him terribly and it’s not the same without him, but we did have a beautiful time.

While they were here, I savored every moment, knowing that they pass so quickly. I stored them in a little snow globe inside my head so each time I want to remember, I can shake it up and watch the scenes replay over and over again. . .Sitting around in pajamas with warm cups of holiday totties, sinfully delicious treats, the gentle warmth of a smoldering fire, and the soft white lighting of the tree and garlands. . .All of us tired from 2 and 5 am feedings, but comfortable, warm and smiling. Ah, there’s nothing like nostalgia, is there? They just left and already I’m looking on the past week with the brand of envy that only a nostalgic moment can impose. I’m sure when I start my commute down to Charlotte to retrieve my husband from Charlotte-Douglas airport, in the poring COLD rain, I’ll snap out it. 

Over the past week, I’ve not worked much. I tried but it’s impossible for me to sit at the torch too long knowing that the only thing that separates me from kids is my ceiling and their floor. Breaks were impossible because when I took them, I couldn’t seem to make myself return to the torch. So, I’ll be making up for that over the next few days. I miss the little guys terribly, but I’m sure I’ll enjoy the creative outlet that only bead making seems to provide.

The other night I got to help give Elijah and Legend a bath. They were so cute and I had to get pictures of them.  We gave Eli a bath first. He didn’t care too much for it in the beginning, but after he was in his tub for a minute, he was happy and almost seem to enjoy it. Legend on the other hand was not thrilled at all by the experience. He doesn’t cry much, but he screamed the entire time. He’s not too crazy about being messed with. He likes to sleep, unless he’s either hungry or wet. He’d prefer to be left to sleep in his bassinet with no poking or prodding. Eli on the other hand would physically attach himself to you if it was possible. He loves interaction when he’s awake and he loves to cuddle. Both boys have special little ways about them and as I knew from the first glance of them, they are polar opposites. They look different too. . Eli’s skin is olive, his hair is dark and his eyes are deep ocean blue, while Legend is snow white with sandy blond hair.  I’m not too sure about his eye color yet. Both are equally beautiful and precious though, so they certainly have those two things in common.




Well, I guess I’ll finish watching one of the best holiday movies of all time. . . “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”. I swear, it seems that no matter how many times I see Clark Griswold sled down that hill of snow at 1000 miles an hours as butt catches on fire, it will never get old to me. It sill cracks me up every time! Later tonight, I’ll watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” after I retrieve my worn out beloved Mr. Muell.

Here’s wishing you all a warm and wonderful holiday with your love ones and as Tiny Tim would say, “God bless us, every one.”

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