Monday, March 31, 2008


These are some polymer masters for a friend of ours, she calls them 'waterstones' and will have them cast in pewter. Both sides are carved, one with a word and the other with an asian character. I used the new sculpey 'studio' clay for these and I really like the texture. I wonder if they make it in translucent.

After I finished the masters we watched Beowulf (courtesy of the Red Box-totally love it) and I liked it quite a bit. I heard less than stellar reviews, but thought if Neil Gaiman wrote half of it...can't be all bad. And it wasn't, I found it very exciting and visually remarkable.

I've had an amazingly productive couple of days, I finished the pebbles, worked on my book and started on a pmc bezel. I have big plans to organize all the beads I got in Tucson, which have been languishing on my beading table untouched since I placed them there when I got home. Its a hard job, organizing, but its fun to look at beads. My horde is getting out of control, of course the best designs can emerge from chaos (I think).

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

back to normal

Asian pears and blood oranges.

Mini chicken dumplins w/star anise and shallots.

Kitsune in Azalea's doll bed.
Hi! It would look like all I do is eat, snuggle the puppy and make tiny food from polymer clay. That would be close, but I snuggle my girl a lot and then I work; really late at night when the whole world is asleep and the only other creatures stirring are the coyotes (which I am afraid of - they are behind the myth of El Chupacabra after all). Its so nice to have my family home, it feels normal. I got tons done on my projects, which is relieving. I love making tiny things so much! So does Azalea, so I'm lucky. She's the only one who will play with me, everyone else is like 'what's that for?' no one gets that its relaxing to make and cute. She's sick right now, so we've spent the day on the couch watching toons and travel channel (Bizaare Foods is my favorite!). Well, I'm back to it!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Hello. Its the first day of me home alone in ages. Greg and Azalea drove up to Ohio to visit family, while I lock myself in my studio to work on my book. It was hard to get started, my mind was scattered, so I spent a couple hours making tiny food for Azalea (she loves serving dessert). Determined to be productive, I ran some errands then came home to clean, which was tiresome. So, when most folks are settling down for the evening, I got to work. Hours later, I wrapped up my work session with a little pencil drawing of my girl. I find drawing one of the most relaxing things to do and try to draw every day. Mostly they are quick sketches, done to capture some idea or moment I don't want to forget. I am really forgetful of important things, like taxes or orders (thank goodness I'm no longer in charge of those!) but have an almost photographic memory of trivial things, like what I've eaten and where or bits conversations I've overheard. I listened to American Gods again and it was all new to me - remember to wear your respirator while mixing resin, protect those brain cells! Well, I have to take the puppy out, which is stressful late at night, I worry about coyotes or werewolves attacking is a full moon.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

rampant silliness

Look at this silliness! My baby girls cuddling in the kitchen. That puppy is growing so fast, lookin' more foxy everyday. She is almost potty trained and nicely calm most of time, except when we go outside, then she's leaping and jumping and investigating everything. Of course, she has Azalea running wild alongside her, eager for fun. Ok, time to clean up the house.


Its rainy and misty today, so we made banana cupcakes with cinnamon honey frosting (recipe in latest issue of Food Everyday) they are really yummy, especially the frosting, which is mostly butter. I generally scrape off the hard, too sweet stuff on most cupcakes, but this is the best. It feels like a string of Sundays lately, sort of lazy, watching a lot of movies and playing with the puppy.
Yesterday, T.J. arrived for a visit from Boston, (many of you know him from the northeastern show circuit Innovative Bead Shows) and has been a huge help in the office. Azalea has already chummed up to him, playing with blocks and her fake food. She likes serving birthday cake the best.
Well, its back to work for me, I'm still sketching for my secret book.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Hi! Lots of spring cleaning around here. Azalea and I had some unexpected company over the weekend, our friends Laura and her mom Naomi from D.C. (owners of Talisman beads) came for a visit and some furniture shopping. We cooked like crazy and I had fun playing food stylist, trying to make everything pretty, then taking pictures. The pic above is rice pudding with almonds and Vietnamese cinnamon (its flippin' amazing and sweet- order some from Penzey's). The weather has been beautiful (see the crocuses Andew planted!), luckily for us as I would have hated to take the puppy out in the cold. We were lucky to have Laura and Naomi over with all of their dog expertise, they showed us some helpful tips to train our little baby. It was nice to see them.
The show season has started, so Greg has been swamped with all the prep work and travel, then the show itself, not to mention all the orders. I've pretty much stepped away from all the business of GGS, I only do a few shows and design now. Which is like paradise. I love spending my time being a mama! It works out, Greg is good at business so I have more time to create new goods. So the book is on the front burner, I've been working on it every spare moment. I keep wondering if I should even mention it, shouldn't these things be secret? Well, I guess this book won't be a secret.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

nice magazine

Look at this! There's an article about GGS in here! And one on the lovely Anne Choi, maker of my most favorite beads of all time history, I love them more than my apple dumpling of a cat Frick, so you know that's a lot! Here's the magazine link. Anyway, Jean Yates interviewed us and it was pleasant and not stressful, because she is just so darn likeable! The interview is very informative, lots of info on shibuichi and makes us sound fabulous. The magazine is strong on whole, some interesting projects to go with in depth interviews. What's not to love? Also, notice the little dragonfly dangle on the cover, yes,yes,yes, this is ours...I think Greg made that one. This one is totally worth buying, I bought like six of them! Can you tell I'm pleased?

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

so awesome....

I want this so bad. It's a hybrid, Volkswagen Westfalia Verdier Solar Powered Mobile I love the idea of being effecient and self suffecient while on the road, seeing the beauty of America. Or the beauty of Hawaii. Its so cute I may pass out right now. The price is steep, in the neighborhood of 65K but it so cute and you can drive it, it doesn't have to be pulled. It goes along so perfectly with my love of surf culture and beach living. Odd because I live in the mountains and can't swim. Well, I could park it on the beach and look at the water. Maybe they will be like dvd players and go down in price, then I could get one and just hang out in the driveway.

rainy day

Hello! Its been rainy, but not cold, so we went out adventuring. Our family tends to hibernate in the winter months. Its natural. Since it was warm, we ran around to the bookstore, so Azalea could play and I could check out the instructional art books. I know I have dozens, but I have to see whats new. I've been tossing around the idea of making my own art instruction book, to show some of the techniques we employ here at GGS. I'm not thinking casting, as there are lots of good books just on that, but more on design (comfortable and timeless), inspiration (to stay unique) , pmc, polymer,resin,mold-making and useful tips to make jewelry that's heirloom quality. That's the idea, anyway and I think there is room for it on the market.

The idea came about a few years ago when my brother Andrew said it would be neat to make a book that encompassed the techniques we've improved on. I think at the time we thought it would have everything from felting critters to sketchbook tips to recipes. The subject came up recently in Tucson when we were approached by the awesome folks at Interweave, asking us if publishing a book would be something we'd be interested in. Of course! Since then two other companies have emailed with the same query. We thought it was extremely flattering and I was embarrassed, yet pleased, because it meant they thought we had something useful to share. I'm curious if folks would buy it. What do you think?

Frick update: Big surprise, the big baby didn't really react, he just looked at Kitsune, gave a deep sigh of disappointment, then went back to eating. I was envisioning a huge fight with lots of hissing and pooping, but nothing of the sort happened. Paddy doesn't mind the new baby at all, watching her from his high perch, he's all love and affection. Frick avoids her, which is easy because he avoids everyone, spending his days in some hidden location, revealing himself only to go out or eat. So its pleasant here, the sweet trilling of LeeLu filling the house, combined with Mochi's charming burble - who needs music? Except, Jack Johnsons new album, which is lovely.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

little family

Doesn't she look like a red panda?

Poor baby kissed so much!

Look at her big black eyes!

Greg looking handsome and charming at the freshly opened Green Sage Cafe located downtown Asheville. Its located where Beanstreets used to be, which I missed terribly, but I have to say this newly renovated organic/green business is really lovely. It doesn't have the eclectic bad art on the walls or mismatched furniture or dirty hippie vibe, so basically I'm pleased as punch. Not that there's anything wrong with dirty hippies. I do live in Asheville, the ultimate land of drum circles and dreadlocks. We had a pleasant day, starting with lunch with our fine friends Tony and Lisa Blackwell, then back home to smooch our puppy, then to our lovely downtown, visiting Malaprops bookstore, the Chocolate Fetish (of course) then to the new cafe.
At thebookstore, I picked up another art instruction book, this one on Felting. I love felting- now that its warm and I begin to put away my cold weather stuff, I can start planning for next winter. I'm excited, there are detailed instructions for making vests, which I'm convinced is one of the most useful pieces of clothes. I have one my sis gave me that I wear constantly(although its a quilted cotton knit), now I have the info to make loads in felt. Hopefully they are just as useful and not one of those things you can only wear to a Renaissance Fair.
Our family has grown! I know it sounds like we are too busy for younglings, but I'm a mama deep down! I like caring for my little family, its one of life's simple pleasures. I'm fortunate to love what I do, so making art isn't a burden and it hasn't lost any of the magic for me. I enjoy being surrounded by life, plants and animals and people. I think its one of the keys to happiness. I've lived alone, with no distractions from my work, no animals to take care of, complete freedom...and was bored. Or, like a rosebush without enough sun, I did not thrive. I got all weird and loopy. Fortunately, I quit my day job and made beads full time, then all manner of good things came my way. Okay, so maybe the key is to be happy with what you do everyday so don't get wacky and miserable. Anyway, I'm basking in the love of my babies, smiling like a fool, happy to be happy.