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Monday, June 29, 2009

Life is Good

First off I have to say- I love you Canadian Government! Thank you for sending me, an American guest in your country, a piece of paper (a full month earlier than expected) that allows me the privilege to get a job like a regular person (except I can only work 20 hrs a week during school). I did a happy dance all the way back from my mailbox.

In all seriousness, I am very excited about it. Pretty much made my day. That and I got to eat spinach from my garden today!

Mmmm hard work (my fiance's) pays off.

Now for the progression-

And a recipe for my Canadian* spinach salad:


more fresh picked spinach than 2 people can handle
2 hard-boiled eggs
bacon to taste
1/4 a cup of each: maple syrup, olive oil, apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper


Cook your bacon in your preferred method. Crumble when cool, or just burn your fingers because you don't like waiting. Clean the spinach in the awesome yellow salad spinner you just bought at Value Village. Peel and dice the eggs. In a large bowl whisk together the remaining ingredients. Add the spinach, bacon, and egg and toss. Eat.

*disclaimer: in no way do I know if this salad is "Canadian" or not, but it does have maple syrup. and bacon. So there you go.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Have a Heart

artist's photo from etsy

Hello friends. I am off for the weekend to go to an impromptu camping trip. Although, since we all live in igloos here in the Great White North, its kinda like regular life but no internet or phone. While I'm gone I'll have you ponder the beautiful works of Canadian Amy Johnson of ehme glass.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Because Learning is fun

So before we get onto the fun learning we're going to talk about math. Over at Mr.Condescending's (usually hilarious) blog we were posed with a math question involving a hip roof. And I won an award (woot). I answered his question in a MacGgyveresque way, however Katie Nowak did a much better job and used much more appropriate method and is the real winner of the award. So- check that out if you want to learn about math, or laugh at Mr. C's whit.

Here we will be learning: What the f@#! is lampworking!?

So I've noticed that most of my readers are not ones who come from a glass art/ or art bead background and I've from time to time blathered on about lampworking like you should know what it is, when really you shouldn't, and its a confusing word to say the least.

Lampworking, lampwork beads, etc, have nothing to do with lamps. Lampworking is a type of glass work that uses a torch to melt clear and colored glass rods. The word lampworking comes from the Italian perle a lume. Perle meaning beads and lume referring to the torch, but also translates to lamp in English, so now we know where the confusion comes from. (This forum about lampworking is the only reference i could find online that was correct.)

I've also heard that its called lampworking because originally oil fueled lamps were used, which may or may not me true, but 5000 years ago the Egyptians used small furnaces to make little hollow vessels, so it is conceivable that an oil lamp could produce enough heat.

Egptian glass vials 18th dynasty Egypt

image from flickr creative commons

Along with little vessels the Egyptians, and also many other cultures, made 'evil eye beads' that one wore to ward off evil. Lots of lampworkers today carry on the tradition of making their own version of evil eye beads including one of my favorites, this velocity evil eye bead by Genea.

Murano glass shop.
image from flickr creative commons

So lampworking has been very big in Italy, particularly in Venice and on Murano island- actually this was around the time that glass-blowing became widely used and all the glass artists were sent to the island because their craft was a fire hazard!

Anyway, during the Renaissance different types of glass working techniques were being used and improved upon all over Europe. The techniques were passed on from father to son, and it wasn't till the mid-twentieth century that lampworking really spread to artists in North America and became popular in China, Japan, Australia, and other countries. If you're interested in reading a more complete history, yet still rather brief, check out the Art Glass Lampwork History Page at (most of my info can be found there) or you can find some info on wikipedia.

If you want some more eye-candy, I highly suggest checking out the Harvard Museum of Natural History glass flowers. In 1886 Leopold Blaschka and his son were commissioned to this project and it currently contains over 830 plant species.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Extreme Procrastion: because if I do something, I do it all the way

So, I've been pretty absent from the blogosphere (does anyone actually say that?) for a variety of reasons...because life got a little crazy for a bit...because I was needing a break from my computer...because my plan to launch my etsy store and more snags in it that these tights from shop bop ...just because

Well in my absence I noticed I got the Honest Scrap Award first from Krysten at After I Do (yes I'm paying attention!) and then from Jen at Uberly Ecstatic (yes this is leading to more procrastination!)

and now I have to post 10 things that my readers may not know about me, and then tag 10 other bloggers. Here it goes:

1. Yesterday I dug up 440kg of sod (stuck in bone-dry clay), then loaded it into my truck and then unloaded it at the dump.

2. I like to sing my own words to different songs. For example I sing to my dog "Shake that rope for me" to the song "shake that ass for me".

3. I'm actually a cat person, but inherited a dog from my fiance and now there is one dog in the world that I actually really like.

4. I have an incredibly strange and sometimes crude sense of humor. Basically I laugh at everything.

5. I've ran a half-marathon (though not very fast!).

6. I used to cut my own hair, but now my fiance forbids it lol.

7. Before I found lampworking/glass bead making I did mostly pastel drawings and some alabaster sculptures

8. I am a big science nerd.

9. I've made my own almond milk, and other hippie-esque foods.

10. I kissed a pig and I liked it.

and now I tag:

Green Beans and Little Things

Deeply Problematic
The Transformation of Kern

I know its only 3, but that's all I feel like doing (you can think of this bit of information as a bonus no. 11 honest scrap).

Also- I would like to give a big thank you to everyone who's added me to their blog roll! I am very honored. If you have added me and I haven't yet reciprocated it's because I don't know (or your blog looks like its run by robots) so let me know and I can add you to my blog roll!

And now onto a post of substance...tomorrow ;)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Tag you're it!

I have a post that I've been working hard on, but I've been tagged (with my very first, and thus far most cherished award) by Jen at Uberly Ecstatic, so now I can procrastinate my post another day (Muhahaha).

Happy Friday everyone- until tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What are you listening to!?

So music is a big thing for me if you haven't noticed. Stuff I make reminds me of songs, or I find a song I'm listening to influences what I make. I am also a former music major and have had the intimate relationship with music only produced by theory, ear training, and scouring the library for info on some obscure French chamber music composed for saxophone (my piece not listed on wikipedia of course) for your program..

I still continue playing music with my college's jazz band, but what I am curious about today is what do you listen to while you work? I've been listening to for a while, because I can type just about anything and there is music with that tag- also because Pandora is not available in Canada (jerks). But since started charging (which I eventually gave in to) I started searching for alternatives and came across We Are Hunted. This site tracks the most popular songs online by collecting info from blogs, Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, forums, and more. So, 1) check it out, 2) tell me what you listen to while you work in the comments, and 3) say why it inspires you!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Find Your Centre

So living in a not-so-populated place you wouldn't expect to find a thriving art community. But not so in Grande Prairie! This was further made evident to me at the Third Annual Art Board Auction and Show where the Centre for Creative Arts here in town invited artists in the community to make a skateboard deck into art for their Healing Arts Program. My board was there along with over 40 others. Check them out on their website (and even bid on one if you are so moved to!)

image from

In other news- I will soon open my etsy shop! I know I planned to earlier than now, but I am not quite ready yet. I am aiming to have it open by Sunday, June 14. Keep your eyes open for a grande opening promotion! In the meantime, here is a pendant that will be for sale in my shop.

It's called Tangled up in Blue, one because it looks like blue string all knotted up, and two because I sang Tangled up in Blue the whole time I was making it- in my totally awesome Bob Dylan impersionation.

Tangled Up In Blue

Early one mornin' the sun was shinin',
I was layin' in bed
Wond'rin' if she'd changed at all
If her hair was still red.
Her folks they said our lives together
Sure was gonna be rough
They never did like Mama's homemade dress
Papa's bankbook wasn't big enough.
And I was standin' on the side of the road
Rain fallin' on my shoes
Heading out for the East Coast
Lord knows I've paid some dues gettin' through,
Tangled up in blue.

She was married when we first met
Soon to be divorced
I helped her out of a jam, I guess,
But I used a little too much force.
We drove that car as far as we could
Abandoned it out West
Split up on a dark sad night
Both agreeing it was best.
She turned around to look at me
As I was walkin' away
I heard her say over my shoulder,
"We'll meet again someday on the avenue,"
Tangled up in blue.

I had a job in the great north woods
Working as a cook for a spell
But I never did like it all that much
And one day the ax just fell.
So I drifted down to New Orleans
Where I happened to be employed
Workin' for a while on a fishin' boat
Right outside of Delacroix.
But all the while I was alone
The past was close behind,
I seen a lot of women
But she never escaped my mind, and I just grew
Tangled up in blue.

She was workin' in a topless place
And I stopped in for a beer,
I just kept lookin' at the side of her face
In the spotlight so clear.
And later on as the crowd thinned out
I's just about to do the same,
She was standing there in back of my chair
Said to me, "Don't I know your name?"
I muttered somethin' underneath my breath,
She studied the lines on my face.
I must admit I felt a little uneasy
When she bent down to tie the laces of my shoe,
Tangled up in blue.

She lit a burner on the stove and offered me a pipe
"I thought you'd never say hello," she said
"You look like the silent type."
Then she opened up a book of poems
And handed it to me
Written by an Italian poet
From the thirteenth century.
And every one of them words rang true
And glowed like burnin' coal
Pourin' off of every page
Like it was written in my soul from me to you,
Tangled up in blue.

I lived with them on Montague Street
In a basement down the stairs,
There was music in the cafes at night
And revolution in the air.
Then he started into dealing with slaves
And something inside of him died.
She had to sell everything she owned
And froze up inside.
And when finally the bottom fell out
I became withdrawn,
The only thing I knew how to do
Was to keep on keepin' on like a bird that flew,
Tangled up in blue.

So now I'm goin' back again,
I got to get to her somehow.
All the people we used to know
They're an illusion to me now.
Some are mathematicians
Some are carpenter's wives.
Don't know how it all got started,
I don't know what they're doin' with their lives.
But me, I'm still on the road
Headin' for another joint
We always did feel the same,
We just saw it from a different point of view,
Tangled up in blue.

The Indigo Girls also did a cover of Tangled up in Blue. Haha- get it? Indigo? Blue?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Blue Raspberry

Ok- so here are a few beads pics that I plan to make a necklace out of.

The color combo is in honor of my love for slushies in the summer.

And a bit closer up...

And a possible clasp...

Now onto making a necklace!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Three things


Miss Jennifer at Uberly Ecstatic is in a crusade to start a new word. I mean if 'Muggle' and 'Grrl' can be added to the dictionary we can certainly think of an equally good, if not better word. I remember when I bought my first dictionary (oh yeah, I'm that cool) in the front section where they had the new words there was "Going Postal". Also- if I haven't become nerdy enough for you, while you're brainstorming check out Charles Hodgson's podcast "Podictionary". He goes through the history of everyday words. Some of them have some pretty crazy origins. So post your creative new words over at Uberly Ecstatic!


I've been tagged!!!

The lovely Krysten and her hubby Dustin at After 'I Do' left me these instructions in my last post (which coincidentaly was related to her picture): Open your FIRST photo folder.Now find the TENTH picture.Post that picture on your blog and then tell us the story of the picture!The tag FIVE friends and have them do the same!

So I kinda cheated because as it turns out there were only nine pictures in this folder so this is actually the ninth pic, not tenth, but what can I say- I'm a rebel.

This picture is just before my first time surfing!
That's me on the end there standing next to my dad, sister, fiance, some random dude, and my little brother, and that's Uncle Brian on the Surfboard (picture taken by my wonderful mother).
We were at the North Shore of Oahu in March and got surf lessons from Uncle Brian (not my Uncle- that's just part of his name), and I have to say that was one of the most awesome experiences ever. The lessons were great- a little expensive- but totally worth it because there was so many pro-surfer instructors around helping that made it really easy. We all stood up on the board a dozen times or so. Uncle Brian is pretty crazy, so that's always fun too :)


Beads!! I know this blog is supposed to be about my beads so I better show some pics eh? Unfortunately a week away from my torch + lack of inspiration= beads that may belong in the bargin bin, but here are some pics:

Ok- now back to torching so I can make some really awesome stuff to post soon!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Just spent a week in my lovely home-state. It is also the birth place of Bob Dylan, Winona Rider, and Prince.

With all the traveling I haven't got any torch time in so I'd thought I'd share some of my favorite Minnesota places.

Glass of course first...

First place where I fueled my glass addiction

My mom also sent me a link to The Studio at Rush Creek in Maple Grove, Minnesota. Looks like they have some awesome classes.

While your in Maple Grove you can stop for some yummy sandwiches where I used to work- CG Ham's

I spent a lot of time in Minneapolis going to concerts at First Ave (In the Movie Purple Rain for all you Prince fans) and the Quest Club, which was started by Prince as the Glam Slam, and is now known as Epic Night Club.

The Cedar Cultural Center is also pretty awesome. It features music from around the world and is a short walk from Hard times Cafe, a grungy vegan-vegetarian cafe where I used to go sit and drink coffee and play chess with some interesting individuals.

I also used to frequent the Weiman Museum.

image from Nerd Girl Blogging

Pretty cool building huh?

The shops in Uptown are fun, and there is an Art Fair there every summer. I also used to eat at Chang Mai Thai there... mmmm pad thai.

And what is a tour of Minneapolis without the cherry-in-the-spoon?
image from