Monday, September 28, 2009

And the Winner is........

The Fall Business Womens Expo was a lot of fun! I want to thank Dee of Runako Designs for sponsoring. There were over 30 vendors that participated and we had a lot of fun visiting each other, although I didn't have time to get to everyone. I'm sorry, but I'll certainly check out the other shops and blogs this next week.

Now is the time to announce the winner of the Blue Willow heart pendant.....drum roll, please......

Pearl a/k/a TheBeadingGem is the winner!!! The Blue Willow pendant is on it's way to Canada and I can't wait to see what type of necklace or other embellishment Pearl will add to it.

Check out Pearl and 4 other artists at The Bead Sisterhood and follow her on her blog ~ The Beading Gem's Journal and her trendhunter portfolio.

Thank you to everyone who visited and posted a comment on my blog and, again, congratulations to The Beading Gem.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Fall Business Women Oline Expo - Booth #23

Hello! Welcome to my blog!

I'll start by telling you a little about myself. I'm a legal assistant by day and manic glass and china artist by night (and weekend). I love working with broken china and stained glass creating jewelry, suncatchers, home and desk items and just about anything in glass/china. I've been busy restocking my Etsy shop and will continue to add new items throughout the weekend. I hope you will stop in and enjoy browsing.

In previous posts, I've shared some of my projects and showcased special pieces. I would love for you to become a follower so you can stay updated on future projects and pieces.

I've decided to have a special giveaway for this inaugural expo!

Everyone who leaves a comment on this post by noon (ET) Monday, 9/28, will have a chance to win this Blue Willow heart shaped broken china pendant! The drawing will be held Monday evening (September 28) and the winner will be announced on Tuesday.

Blue Willow is one of my favorite china patterns to work with and I love how it looks in this heart shaped pattern - also my favorite shape! As you will see in my Etsy shop, I have a variety of patterns and shapes and will also work with you if you would like a special order.

Don't forget, for a chance to win the pendant above, leave a comment here before noon on Monday, 9/28.

After leaving your comment, follow the link above to return to the Expo home and visit the other vendors.

Getting Ready for the Expo!!

Remember, after midnight tonight, we will begin our Fall Business Women Expo sponsored by Runaka Designs and it will end on Sunday. I haven't decided what type of special I'll be having (a discount for my Etsy store or a giveaway) but you can be sure it will be a first for me!! I'll be updating my Etsy shop tonight with new, never before seen items.

Be sure to go to the Girls Night Out blog, visit all the vendors participating in the Expo and leave comments on their blogs. Can't wait to see you!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Fall Business Women Online Expo - Come Join Us Saturday!!

Runako Designs is graciously sponsoring a Fall Business Women Online Expo this weekend, September 26, for a special online girls night out. Please come by and join us for this exciting event and visit all the special women business owners who are showcased in this expo. Just click on the link above and take a virtual tour of the blogs of all these talented and wonderful women.

Remember visit the expo this weekend and visit all the great vendors! See ya then!

Sunday, September 13, 2009


I've been following the very talented ladies over at the Stained Glass & Mosaics forum on GardenWeb. Take a look here to see what it's all about. There are some very creative people here that have loads of ideas and certainly don't mind sharing their secrets!

One of the ladies was making experimental dragonflies using old silverware spoons for the body. They turned out great so I just had to make one! Friday, on my lunch hour, I went to Goodwill to find the spoons. Dadgummit, somebody already grabbed the best spoons. Hmmm, I'll have to improvise a little, so I bought a couple of knives. The handles have great charm and I'm sure I can cut them. (I was so confident, I bought 2!!)

Mr. Man was working late so I knew I could make these before he got home. I rushed home, ignoring my need to workout (hey, it's Friday after all), and started working. I pulled out my hacksaw and started cutting......and cutting.....and cutting. Thank goodness I have a little contraption that could hold the knives steady for me while I cut....and cut.... and cut!
Finally, two handles are cut off and I used a file (probably not one for metal, but it worked) and smoothed down the cut ends a little.

Now, to pick out the glass for the wings, I think this iridized, textured glass scrap will work great!

This is going well and my timing is working out. Now, I have to find my wing patterns........... how frustrating when you are trying to rush to make a project and you can't find what you need.......
Searching, searching, in the world did I collect so many patterns and why are there so many duplicate copies......certainly there are some dragonfly wings in one of these books......

No time to look anymore, I'll just draw some wings. Off to the computer to see what real dragonfly wings look like. Wow, what a variety of wings! Ok, just choose one pic and draw it, copy it, be sure to mark left side top, left side bottom, right side top, right side bottom ...... time's drawing near.

I rush back out to my shop and cut out the wings, placing them next to the body to envision the final creation:

Hmmm, not bad. Ok, I've already decided I would wrap the wings with U-came to make the process go faster, then solder the U-came to the body. I'm doing ok on time right now.

Great! The wing's wrapped and I take it to the soldering station to see if the solder will stick to the knife handle..........AARRRRGGGGGHHHH!!!

It won't work. Now Mr. Man is home and I'm so frustrated at this point that I just have to put it away. I spend the rest of the evening and all day Saturday trying to come up with some way that I can attach those wings. I've seen it done with wire but I've never used that technique. So, I mull it over in my mind and on Sunday afternoon I finally think I have the patience to work on it again.

Of course, I didn't take anymore pictures of the work in progress due to my previous failure. But, I did work with the wire, was able to finally get the wings attached and soldered a ring on it. All in all, I think the experiment turned out pretty well and I will probably make a few more to see how they sell at my uncoming show the end of October.

Now, I have to get back on track and get those business card holders finished and begin working on more items for the show.

~ til next time!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Make Your Own Personalized Photo Magnets

As promised, here are the instructions for making personalized photo magnets. But first a disclaimer ~ I apologize for the quality of the pictures. Not my best, but I was a little rushed and wanted to get these instructions on the blog promptly.

Ok, first is a list of materials you will need:

1. Glass. I went to the dollar store and purchased the $1 8 x 10 picture frames - with glass (some of these actually have a flimsy plastic for the glass). The glass in these inexpensive frames are usually just the right thickness for this project.

2. Glass cutter and oil. You can use an inexpensive pencil cutter for this project.

3. Cork backed metal ruler.

4. Sharpie marker.

5. Photographs, scrapbook papers, pictures from magazines, old greeting cards, dried flowers, vintage lace, vintage or new wallpaper scraps, etc. - you get the idea. Anything that you may want to put between two pieces of glass.

6. Copper foil. I usually use 1/4" foil. For making a decorative edge, I use 1/2" foil. You can easily find this at a local stained glass shop and sometimes at a hobby shop.

7. Pencil.

8. Adhesive backed magnet sheets.

That's it! Now let's get started.

First, decide what size you want your magnets. The ones I demonstrate are 3" x 2", just because that was most economical size for the magnet sheets I bought. Make them any size you want but if you make them much larger than 3" x 2", they may be too heavy for your magnets.

Using your ruler and Sharpie, mark your horizontal lines and score with your glass cutter along the edge of the ruler. Then turn the glass and mark your vertical lines and score those lines. Using your fingers, snap apart the glass.

Now that you have your glass pieces cut to size, gather your photos and embellishment materials:


Using your glass pieces as patterns, cut out your photos and start embellishing:

cut photo embellish

To embellish the old photo above with a scalloped edge, use black construction paper and a pair of decorative scrapbook scissors as follows:

preparing trim photo trimmed

After you have your photos embellished, clean your glass using a glass cleaner and dry well. Insert your photos between two pieces of glass and, using a small strip of copper foil, tape the glass together on opposite sides:

sandwich tape

Now you're ready to foil! If you don't want a decorative edge, use the 1/4" foil and center the glass on the foil and wrap around the edges of the glass:

For a decorative edge, use the same scrapbook scissors, and trim the edge off the 1/2" wide foil. Cut pieces of the trimmed foil to the same size as each edge and lay the foil on the top edge of the glass then wrap around to adhere the foil to the back of the glass:

cut foil lay foil

After your glass pieces are foiled, burnish the foil by using a smooth sided pencil or your Sharpie to smooth and firmly adhere the foil to all sides of the glass (front, back and edges):

After you have burnished the edges of all the foil, cut your sheet magnet and attach to the back of the glass. There you have it ~ beautiful personalized photo magnets!

These could make great gifts for the holidays, new baby, house warming or "just because". Go around your town and take photographs of landmarks to make house warming gifts, or copy photos of the new baby, from the sonogram to birth, photograph your favorite sports team or use old holidary cards. The ideas are limitless!!

I realize some of the materials for this project may be hard to find. I have been considering putting together a kit with all the materials needed except for the photographs to put between the glass. If you are interested in a kit like this, leave me a comment. Also, please leave me a comment and let me know if this tutorial was helpful.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Make Your Own Broken China Jewelry

Am I crazy?!? I create broken china jewelry and now I'm ready to share my secrets so you can make your own. I'm not crazy. I just know there are so many talented people that want to make their own broken china jewelry but don't know where to start. I now have the solution for you. I've created an e-book that will show you step by step how to make your own jewelry and, you still have time to order the book, create your own pendants or ornaments and cross off those hard to buy for people on your holiday list.

In this book you will learn two different methods of cutting and shaping your china. I'll also show you how to foil, solder and finish your pendants or ornaments. This is such a fun art project and can be very personal. I'm sure you have some old china or know of the china patterns that your grandmothers may have treasured. Some of it may be chipped or cracked and is so precious you can't throw it away but there is nothing else you can do with it. Make it into keepsake jewelry or ornaments!

This e-book contains 36 pages of detailed instruction and almost 100 photographs to guide you. Also, I'm always available by e-mail to answer any questions that may come along.

Go to my Etsy shop here to order your copy ~

Also, I am putting together a great tutorial for making these personalized photo magnets.

Check back soon. I plan to have this tutorial up in a few days.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Fourth of July and Family Reunion!!

I know, I know, I'm late in wishing everyone a happy Fourth of July but I have a very good reason. You see, I've been extremely busy. I'm going to reveal a little something about myself ~ I'm a chronic procrastinator. No, I'm not proud of that, but when you find out what I've been doing, you'll see why I'm so late with my July 4th wishes.

My father's side of the family has a family reunion every Fourth of July (well, we just kinda barge in since my part of the family is really a brother of the person the reunion is named after - but if we know there's gonna be good food and we can somehow get invited, we're there)!

Anyway, this was a special reunion ~ the 100th consecutive year it has been held!!! 100 years!!! Can you believe that?

For such a special occasion, I decided to decorate the closest of my female relatives with special necklaces. That's where the procrastination comes in. I've had the idea rolling around my head for several months. I knew I wanted to make something with pictures, and I knew I wanted a necklace with some embellishments such as beads and a patriotic theme.

These pictures are of my parents, grandparents and great grand parents ~ don't you just love those old, old pictures? I just don't understand why nobody ever smiled way back then?!?

Well, I made a list of my closest female relatives and tallied up the number of necklaces I would need to make ~ a total of 15 (including myself, of course). Whew, so I did some more tallying and when I multiplied the number of photo charms per necklace by the number of necklaces - well, that was pretty ambitious! Especially when there's only 2 weeks before the reunion!! I began gathering my materials, cutting the glass, amassing the pictures I would use and, of course, not allowing myself enough time for any glitches. But, I actually got all the necklaces made, put them in pretty little boxes and even had time to make patriotic tags for each little box.
Here's the front and back of the final product!

Of course, some of the necklaces had different pictures, but you get the general idea. They were a big, big hit!
So, now that the Fourth and the reunion is over (we're still rubbing our pudgy little bellies from all those great homemade goodies), and now that I've had a little rest, I'll start working on my next project(s). I'll be taking new pictures and posting more jewelry in my Etsy shop and I also plan to fine tune my "How to Make Broken China Jewelry" e-book and get it posted. Keep watching here so you'll know when I post the new e-book and jewelry!

Friday, May 22, 2009

A Very Special Order!

I was contacted several months ago by a sweet customer whose friend showed her my jewelry on the computer. The customer doesn't have a computer (or even a cell phone), but asked her friend to send me an e-mail and request a catalog. Well, I didn't have a catalog, but I printed out several designs and mailed my little "catalog" to her.

Several months later, I received a call and she was ready to place an order. We discussed the details and she ordered four pendants to be made from her grandmother's china. She mailed two little saucers (one is pictured below) and I went to work!

I was a little apprehensive because the saucers had very little design to them ~ just the white ridges along the edge. My customer asked that each of the pendants have the rim design on them. So, this was quite a challenge!

Here is a picture of my designs drawn on the saucers. As you can see, I was able to get quite a few pendants from just one little saucer! The big circle in the middle reminded me that there was a great back stamp on the bottom of the plate and I needed to preserve that area.

After I cut up that tiny little plate, I ended up with 21 pendants! Here are the finished pieces!

The little pendants without any design were just scraps leftover after cutting out the back stamp and edge pieces. As you can see, with very careful cutting, you can get a lot of pendants from one tiny little plate!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

More Poland Pottery Pieces

I have been working on more of the Poland pottery pieces and here is a sneak preview of some of the pieces I will be posting to my Etsy shop shortly:

I'm also working on a beautiful business card holder made from black and white china - I plan to post that before the end of the week.
Keep checking back to see what's new!!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Poland Pottery Accident - A Whole Kitchen Cabinet???

As I promised in my previous post, here is the story about the Poland Pottery.

A wonderful customer contacted me about a special order. She said that a kitchen cabinet fell off her wall resulting in much of her wedding pottery handmade in Poland crashing to the floor. (Thoughts running through my mind are: What do you mean the cabinet fell off the wall? How does that happen? Do I need to check all my cabinets for possible wall detachment?") Can you imagine walking into your kitchen and seeing this on your floor? What a heartbreaking sight!! If you want to see her blog about the incident, take a look here:

Well, have no fear ~ Broken China Treasures can (almost) make everything right (or at least turn that trash into treasure). Although you would rather have your china or pottery in one piece, once it is broken, there's not a whole lot you can do except ~ call in a professional!

That's exactly what she did!! We worked out an agreement and I made a special souvenir of her precious pottery and got to keep the leftover shards (which was a lot)! To the left is a picture of what I made for her ~ a 5 tile bracelet (plus an extra little trinket)! With a few of the leftover pieces, I have made a business card holder, several pairs of earrings and some pendants. There's plenty of pottery left to make many, many more items and they will be showing up in my Etsy shop very soon.

Wait, there's more to this story!! As I was looking for some props to take photos of the finished jewelry, I opened a cabinet door and pulled out a piece that a friend had given to me years ago. This particular piece is called a "cheese lady". I had forgotten I had it and suddenly a feeling of deja vu washed over me. I mean the chills kind of deja vu!! I turned the piece over and guess what was on the back stamp ~ yep ~ "Handmade in Poland". My cheese lady is the same pottery that I had just cut up and made into a bracelet!! Here she is and, amazingly, she has the same expression on her face as I did when I re-discovered her!!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Happy New Year and Happy New Beginnings!!!

Well, I've decided to get back into blogging. Maybe it's the New Year and the start of a new half century (for me) ~ I really don't like those birthdays that end in "0"....but I have resolved to be more diligent in my blogging efforts. goes!

November and December were extremely busy months for me. A last minute special order for angels for Christmas gifts put me somewhat behind, but I was able to finish everything that needed to be done and all is well.

I was contacted by a very sweet lady who had her Grandmother's collectible plates (which were beautiful, by the way). These plates were blue with white winter and Christmas scenes depicted on them. She wanted to present her family members with angels made from the plates. As I normally do with a special order, I asked her to outline with tape or paper the areas that she wanted for the angel dresses. After receiving the plates, what she had outlined was larger than I normally make for my angel dresses. This only presented a problem because the nuggets I use for the heads usually come in one general size. After I scrounged around in my supplies, I found slightly larger nuggets and made the dresses the approximate size the customer requested. I was glad because smaller dresses would not have done the china justice.

So, here is just a sampling of the 10 finished angels. The customer was quite pleased with the outcome and told me that when her husband saw them he was quite impressed. (When a man is impressed with a project like this, what better compliment could I get)?

I also had some personal projects to complete: For my step daughter, who lives in NYC, I designed and created a stained glass panel of the New York City Skyline including the Twin Towers. I haven't done many design/create projects, so I think this turned out ok. Of course, I would make some changes if I were to make it again. (I'm always tweaking and not quite pleased with the finished product).

A fish sculpture: In my family, among my brothers, their wives and the adult "kids", we draw names for Christmas. I drew my sister-in-law, Deb, and she knew exactly what I would give her. During the summer, she had traveled down south and visited a street fair. She saw a "fish sculpture" that she fell in love with. I couldn't quite duplicate it, but this is my interpretation. Yes, that's real driftwood. My mother and I went to the St. Marks Lighthouse on a balmy and dreary day (actually the Saturday before Christmas) to search for driftwood and we picked up some great treasures. I plan to make some other items with the leftover driftwood.

I had been to the St. Marks Lighthouse only once in the 30 odd years I've lived in Tallahassee. It's only about a 45 minute drive. I don't know why we sometimes travel hundreds of miles to see beautiful sites across this country when most of it is right here in our own backyards. (Oops, that sounded a little like Dorothy, didn't it?) Anyway, while we were at St. Marks, there was a flock of birds sitting on some old pilings and I thought they were quite photogenic. No, I didn't take any pics of the lighthouse - that will be another day ~ preferably a sunny one!!

I made one other very special project for my new granddaughter, Alyx. Another one of my own designs. Unfortunately, I didn't snap a picture of it before it made it's way home to Ohio. But, to give you an idea of what it looked like, here's one I made for a good friend for her son. Of course, the one for Alyx was not blue, but a gorgeous dark fuschia. As soon as the new parents have time, I'll have them send a pic of it in her room and add it to the blog.

So, as you can see, I was very, very busy during December! I think all these projects allow me to excuse myself from blogging for a month!!

OK. From the looks of this post, it must appear I have plenty of time to write. Not so. A very nice Etsian had a whole cabinet fall off her wall and, unfortunately, the cabinet contained her special hand made pottery from Poland that she received for her wedding.

Stay tuned for the results from this atrocious accident.......