Monday, July 30, 2007

What?? Soupie is how old??

Katie and James both thought Aunt Soupie was still a teenager until just recently!
So, when I remind them that today is Soupie's 39th birthday, there's going to be some giggling and knee-slapping going on!
So, let the giggling begin!

Happy 39th Birthday,
Annatte Susan Greer

Hope your day is filled with fun stuff. Hope your year is filled with days filled with fun stuff. We love you lots and lots!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

M-o-m! We Need You to Feed Our Webkinz!

Okay, this is not a Webkinz. . . she is just the last bead I have torched this week. You can see more pics in my gallery at

Then, what the heck is a Webkinz, you ask? Well, just in case you have children who don't already spend too much time online or gaming, why not get them one of these evil little creatures that requires you to take care of them in cyberspace? This last sentence is spoken with Terry and Eileen Bill in mind, precisely because they are the ones who bought the little creatures for our children yesterday. Of course, they were doing me a huge favor and babysitting at the time, so maybe, just maybe, they will be forgiven soon :)
Now, here's what I think about "GorillaMan" and "Kaitlyn" so far:
  • Both James and Katie are taking very good care of their cyberpets. They are feeding the gorilla and the dog good food. They are taking them to the exercise room to jump and run. They are putting them to bed for a good night's rest before they logout.
  • Ricky is going to have a kiniption fit over this gift (however, since T. Bill is sort of his mentor and a good friend, he won't be able to squawk too loudly). He already complains about kids who get too wrapped up in video games, surfing the web, etc. Sort of a conundrum for him, though, since he also tends to make light of liberal arts majors (i.e. me, his wife) who don't have marketable skills for the job world. . . guess ya can't get much more marketable in today's world than knowing about the in's and out's of computers/internet, huh? Hmmm. . . can't wait to see his reaction when he gets home. Hey, the good thing is these pets don't eat any real-life Dog Chow or Gorilla Chow :)
  • GorillaMan and Kaitlyn are kind of addicting, even to a grownup! Katie had Eileen learning to play cyber-miniature golf yesterday, just to help win more webkinz$ to spend on her cute little white terrier Kaitlyn. I don't think I ever saw Terry on the computer when I got back to their office, but he sure was paying attention to everything James did for Gorillaman. Me? How about me? Yep, I have fed them and talked to them since we brought them home. I keep telling the kiddos that they can't take over my laptop, but I do feel a twinge of guilt when Gorillaman hasn't been fed for a while. . .

Well, that's all for now. Oh, wait a sec, Ma and Pop were going to a birthday party for my cousin Jeff's wife this afternoon, so everybody join me in saying
Happy 40th, Kim!

Alright, now, that's all for today! Sorry to be a slacker on keeping in touch the last few days. Talk to ya tomorrow, Ang

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Rats! Can't Spell Ratatouille!

Okay, this might be stretching my "tie everything together with one idea" abilities, but here goes:
  • The kiddos and I went to see Disney's Ratatouille at the movies Monday afternoon.
  • Ratatouille is a French version of stew that follows that time-honored cook's tradition-- throw in some of this and some of that and see what happens when it all blends together in the pot. (If you follow the link, you'll find a whole website about Provence, France, not just recipes!)
  • This Gaia goddess bead is sort of a glass stew, a Moretti ratatouille if you will. Threw my last scraps of Nile green and light turquoise on the mandrel and hoped it would blend well.
Voila', there you have it, the Ratatouille Bead Sculpture!

Okay, that's all for right now. I know it's a meager little post, but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do :) Actually, the kids are still snoozing, and I should try to take a few better pictures of that bead and post them in my gallery at Oh, and thanks to everyone who's been checking out Clara's Strolling Garden! I've got a few more pics that can go online there. Oh, oh, and don't forget to check out Watch Me Create for entertaining posts about how several different beadmakers do their art! Lastly, I'm making a switch from eBay to Etsy, so you'll be able to buy beadalinas without the hassle of watching and waiting on an auction. I hope you'll do me a favor and go ahead and mark my page at Etsy so you can check out the progress there :)

Have a wonderful Wednesday! Ang

Monday, July 23, 2007

Lesson: Play with Abandon

If you're gonna drive a tractor, drive it hard as you can.

If you wanna play on all the pieces on a playground, always remember to run from one to the next.

Hey, hope your Monday is a fun one, jam-packed with so many things you want to do that you want to run to the next one as soon as you finish the first one!

Oh, and let me tell you about some other blogs I ran across because someone left a very nice comment on one of my Watch Me Create posts. You wouldn't believe all the things you can do to improve your online marketing! I'm gonna have to seriously spend some time reading Joe Cheray's blog because she has a whole slew of links to information in just one post. If you follow another link of hers, you'll find this guy who had 10,000 visits to one of his blog posts. 10,000! Geez, I haven't even had that many visits altogether, let alone on one day. Of course, as usual, my timing sucks. I found these just when my hubby has really started complaining that I spend too much time on my "hobby," worrying about it and trying to promote it so I can sell my creations. . . but that's another story all to itself (i.e. he'd never attempt to concentrate on his day's work and take care of the kids at the same time, or he'd have a better understanding of why I try to do work stuff after he gets home and is playing with the kiddos).

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Just the other day, someone at Lampwork Etc. asked the question, "What's on your desk?"
Well, I got distracted and never posted a reply, but I did take a couple of pictures of the front left-hand corner of my humongous desk. These were all the little projects that were on my mind at the time, so you can look for them to appear soon in my Etsy shop. . . well, as soon as I get them done :)
So, what do we have here? Let's go clockwise from the red dragon, shall we? The red dragon is a on a wooden book/treasure box that I'm planning on using as a home for either the Fate in All Her Mystery bead sculpture or for the Hand of Fate bead sculpture (can't link you to that one since I haven't put it in the gallery pics yet). The designs are woodburned on the box, and let me tell ya, I never realized before now how hard it would be to try to follow my sketched design lines with the woodburner. The dragon is a loose sketch of a gorgeously done dragon on a gift book I bought at the bookstore last week. There's an enchanted Tree of Life on the spine, a palm on the front (Katie's traced hand), and lots of spiritual and mystical symbols scattered here and there. I hope when it's done that it will make you think of gypsy fortunetellers and wise old women who see inside your heart.
Okay, the rectangular woodburned box has the symbols for "Om mani padme hum" on the top, front, and back panels. It is just the right size for storing the Prayer Wheel Relic bead from a few weeks ago. I'm thinking I'll just finish it with some tung oil to give it a nice smooth feel.
See the face on the gray rock? Peeking out from behind the edge of that box? That's a rock my mom found last week among all the landscape rocks. Somebody, somewhere, had drilled a hole in it. So, I used one of the bits that came with my cheapo-generic-dremel-tool and sketched a face on it.
Now, the shelf and the beads all go together, but I'm not telling you how just yet-- when I finally figure it all out, it's going to be one of those things that you either "get" or "don't get". . . but if you do "get it," you'll enjoy a good laugh at the finished piece.
Alright, there ya go, that's what's on my desk. We won't even speak of what's on my workbench because that be a tangled mess o' glass rods and stringers and tools.
Have a terrific Saturday!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Of Butterflies and Being

Of Butterflies. . .
Do you see the butterfly pattern in the bark of this tree? I'd never noticed it until about two weeks ago. I'd been worrying about what could be going on healthwise, and my husband decided to tell me to "go downstairs and make a bead and get your mind off of this." So, I went downstairs to the torch. . . and couldn't think of a thing that I wanted to make. I ran back upstairs, grabbed my camera, and headed outside to walk under the trees and look for ideas. This is one of the things I found. It was just above eye level (for a person who's only 5'3"), on the north side of one of the many trees our landlords have behind our house. Isn't it neat, how the bark has grown into the shape of butterfly wings? Who knows what caused it to grow that way? No matter the "how", no matter that there certainly must not have been a "why" on the part of the bark, I think it sends an interesting message to anyone who finds it:

If something halts your growth in one direction, don't let it keep you from growing at all. . .
in fact, why not transform that not so pretty knothole of change in direction into a lovely butterfly in your life history?

. . . and Being

This part may sound strange, coming from a lifelong bookworm who's never felt the urge to be outdoors for any great length of time, so those of you who know me well can just try to bite your tongue and not laugh too hard :) I really like this Elemental Earth goddess statue I made, and she just may mark a shift in my life toward more respect and enjoyment of the earth around us. Now I have this urge to finally find a house, so I can put out lilies and shade plants and hens 'n chicks (the plant, I'm not so sure about having real poultry running around my yard). I wait for the cool breezes so I can sit outside and read my books, hope for low enough temps that we can open the windows instead of using the air conditioning, and am starting to think more about maybe growing my own tomatoes next year (alright, stop laughing, we can all dream, can't we?). The point of all this rambling about an Elemental Earth piece of glass and its effect on me:

Just let yourself "be," let yourself feel the elements, and you will find many things.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Wanna Come Visit Clara's Strolling Garden?

Hey, everybody, I've got a new gallery of pictures for you to see:
Clara's Strolling Garden

I took lots and lots of pictures of all the flowers and plants at my mom and dad's house in Kentucky last week. You know, my mom has flowers planted everywhere! I've started putting my pics into this gallery for her, and I'll be adding some every day until they're all online. . .

Saturday, July 14, 2007

The Web

Isn't this just too cool? Look what we saw this morning when we stepped out the door at Grandma and Granddaddy's. The spiders left webs connecting all of the spikes in the flower pots on the wellhouse. There were also a couple of the usual shape webs, but those pieces of web spun from spike to spike to spike connected all five flower pots in such an intriguing pattern.

So, the kiddos and I are back from our week at my parents' house. My mom and Grandma Vicky brought us home this morning and are on their way back to Franklin Crossroads as I type this. I've found out yet once more that you are never too old to appreciate being loved and taken care of by your parents. I am a very lucky person to have such a wonderful Mama and Pop!

I do hope you are just as lucky in your life and are surrounded by family and friends, too! Have a wonderful Saturday! Get ready for more pics from Grandma's garden. . .

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Hey, What's That Girl Doing in Our Shop?

Hey, there, everybody! I am still "here," but that "here" isn't where I have easy internet access. . . so you could say I'm taking a little vacation from the online work involved in being a lampworker. I'm not taking a vacation from making things, though! Heehee, look out Pop and Bubby, none of your stash of junk is safe when AnFaye is around to scrounge through it! Actually, my little brother has been very nice to me. This past Sunday, he let me try using the MIG welder. Just so you know, I couldn't get a nice even bead of molten metal, but I did try and try until his patience and the gas almost ran out! Then, I told him what I really want to do is cut metal. Wellllllllllllllll, that's really a task for the cutting torch, not the welder, but you can do it with the welder if you set it high enough. Then, you just burn that bead all the way through the metal instead of building it up. That was fun! Bubby suggested that I get Pop to teach me how to use the cutting torch this week. Hmmmm. Pop is more into fixing something upon request, instead of having me play with new (and possibly dangerous tools). We'll see what happens.

On the other hand, Pop is certainly inclined to let me dig through piles of scrap, etc., and he even points out little tidbits that might interest me. This is Bubby's bucket of little scraps. I've been digging treasure out of it. I've also found some really neat pieces off an old mowing machine-- the teeth actually look like a tribal kind of mask in the making if you hold them vertically. Yep, I should have lots of photos and ideas to share with you as the week goes along! Now, I'm off to catch up on some email while I'm here at the bookstore with my laptop. I'll talk to ya soon! Enjoy your week, too! Peace, Ang

Creative Regeneration

Time for a little creative regeneration.
Time for a lot of visiting with friends and family.
I'm taking pics as the week progresses, but I don't have easy access to the internet, so please be patient with me :)
I'll have lots to tell you, though!
Peace, Ang

Friday, July 6, 2007

Elemental Earth

Elemental Earth.
She's got some molten energy flowing from the core of the Earth.
May your day be filled with energy of the molten elemental sort--the stuff that comes from the core of your soul.
Peace, Ang

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Flower RingHolder Bead

You're never too old to want to make (or pick) a flower for your mom! The thing is that I am flower-challenged. I can't grow real ones because I plant them and then promptly forget about them. If I did have a green thumb, I'd have a blast just choosing all sorts of perennials for sun and shade! Hey, here's a very colorful selection of the Creme de la Creme of Perennials 2007 (you'll have to keep clicking on the pictures to get through them, but it's worth the extra movement). So, yeah, if I had a green thumb, I'd be choosing all sorts of lilies and hollyhocks and ornamental grasses and hostas and all those gorgeous bulb plants you might find in your grandma's backyard. Big sigh. . . I just don't even try encased florals in glass, either. Sculpting is my thing because you can just keep on piling on the glass and shoving it around until you get what you want. Unfortunately, the fearless gusto that makes me a good sculptor does not translate to the lighter-handed finesse and patience required for making encased florals beads. My cousin makes gorgeously luscious florals, though, so if you'd like some floral eye-candy, just go visit Oh, and did you know that Sheila Morley has been sculpting some lilies on focal beads lately?

Ummm, yeah, we were gonna talk about my version of florals, weren't we? Well, needless to say, my version involves the characteristics "big" and "functional". This is my first ringholder bead done in a lily petal style. This one is definitely just an experiment in size and shape. I like the size of the bowl part, and I like the size of the petals. Next time, I'll have to try to melt everything smooth instead of going with the layered look. Then, the next step would be adding stringer stripes down the middle of all those bold petals. Until then, Grandma gets this one to put in the window over the sink : )

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

If I Only Had a Brain. . .

If I only had a brain, said the Scarecrow.
Hmmm, I wonder why this attempt at a jester made me think of the Wizard of Oz?
Did I ever tell you that one of the highlights of my high school trip to Washington, D.C., was seeing Dorothy's ruby red slippers on display in the Smithsonian? I'm not a true Wizard of Oz junkie because about the only quote I can get remotely right is, "I'm melting, I'm melting." Still, I did watch it every year when I was a kid. Do you remember those days, the days when black and white televisions weren't uncommon and when movies and specials might only run once each year? Oh, I loved knowing it was fall and that Dorothy and the horse of another color would be on television soon.
Today, I was supposed to be in Kentucky, visiting with everyone at the annual cookout/fireworks at my mom and dad's house. Another thing I look forward to every year, but this year just wasn't happening for me. There's a comfort in knowing that everyone else will be there if they can, though. Just like being a teenager and still waiting for the Wizard of Oz but not being crestfallen if I did miss it. . . because I knew it would come again.
Oh, and the glass jester in the picture? I never did make a turquoise or nile green face for him, but I also couldn't bring myself to throw him away. Guess what? Yet another one of those moon faces that didn't work out for the Moon Glow sculpture works with the jester body in a funny kind of way. Can't wait to figure how to finish that one like I can picture it in my mind!
So, now, I better get going, but I want to give you a few links before I go:
  • Watch Me Create is a team blog about the creative process, and I'm lucky enough to have joined it. My introductory post is the entry for today. I think the next post I submit for it will be about the jester bead sculpture and the train of thought that took me to it. Hope you'll go check out some of the cool artists and their experiments and ideas!
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Website-- this is one I just googled a minute ago, so I can't guarantee what you will or won't find there, but it sure looks interesting! Hey, I got to thinking about the Wizard of Oz, couldn't help it :)
  • has a huge collection of beadartists' individual picture galleries. That's where I usually send you to see my latest glass creations, and it's where over 300 other fabulous lampworkers show their stuff! Of course, I'd love to have you look around my gallery pages while you are there, but the point is that it's a terrific resource for everyone who loves to look at beads or make beads. I try to spread the word about that site as often as possible because it just can't be beat as a place to archive your own work and to look at what everyone else is creating.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Moon Glow!

Moonlight Showers. Moonlit Dance. Luna's Love. Moon Glow.
The name is still percolating in the brain, but the sculpture is finally done! Last night, the moon and clouds cooperated, and I took a few pictures that might give the effect I want. I can't believe I've had the willpower or patience to keep working on this since the week after Mother's Day. One of the things I really like about lampworking is the immediate satisfaction of seeing a figure or face or design take form. Waiting overnight to see if what comes out of the kiln is what you want is taxing on my patience, but not too bad. This! Now this piece is another story! I made four figures one of the first nights of the oxygen tank experiment, and they just seemed to flow effortlessly albeit not perfectly. Since then, I have made at least four different moons to go at the top of the display stand (and at least one other display stand). None of them were quite right, but they all took time and required me to use up ivory rods when I knew I didn't want to have to order glass anytime soon. . . another bit of patience. It finally came together the other day when I realized the moon was the right idea but I was taking it too literally. Aha! The nesting black freeform beads for the top of the display were born. In my mind's eye, what I see are three goddesses standing below a mystic funnel that catches moonlight and pours it down on them. Now, I've got a four hour drive to Grandma's that will give me lots of thinking time and let me put all that in words for the auction listing!
Happy Monday. . .which would also be the day named in honor of the moon, right? So I guess today is a good day to finish up this project!
Peace, Ang