Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Rust, dust and an aging crust!

I've mentioned before that I'm a big supporter of buying local and an even bigger enthusiast of buying handmade merchandise.  I also make an effort to upcycle odds and ends around the house giving them a second life as it were.  

I was recently introduced to an Atlanta artist named Rodger Thomas of Benclif Designs. Rodger’s creations are right up my alley (literally, in Atlanta) and his use of up-cycled materials is refreshing.  Relics that would otherwise collect dust are repurposed into useful household lighting, giving them a new life, function, and keeping the original designs nearly intact.

From Rodgers Website…

"Rust, dust and an aging crust! That's what I look for when I am out there hunting for my lighting inspiration."

 “My art creations are all about upcycling. I take vintage and antique relics from the past and give them a new purpose.  Chrome percolators, plastic rotary telephones, metal sprayers, lunchboxes, Thermos bottles, vintage tin cans, jars, adding machines, projectors and a myriad of others, all make for some pretty interesting and exciting lighting creations.  Those are things I search for when junking.”

 “Obviously, my percolator lamps are my favorite! But I am always on the hunt for that vintage relic in a basement or closet…that certain thing in which or on which a light bulb will shine new life.  Sometimes, I don’t have a vision for it initially but just a sense it can become a light or lamp. I’m the upcycling guy (or at least one of the upcyclers)!  My passion is lights and lighting, but repurposing and upcycling speak to my sense of efficiency and practicality.”

I love this local artist’s work, you can view his recent designs in his Etsy shop at: http://www.etsy.com/shop/BenclifDesigns

Lori in Atlanta
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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Autumn Arrives.....

 I love Autumn. Many of the great changes in my life, have arrived in the fall. I moved away from home and went to college, I went to Europe and discovered my love of history, I joined a church and made life time friends, and I married the love of my life in the fall.  It is my favorite time of year, the weather turns crisp and I come to life. I love rosy cheeks and brisk weather. I love walking in the woods and carving jack-o-lanterns. The sound of leaves on the wind scurrying across the driveway is music to my ears. And last but not least, Halloween, my favorite Holiday, is just a round the corner.

Today is the first day of Autumn; to celebrate I'm posting some of my favorite pictures of fall here in Georgia. Enjoy!

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

1000 Gifts - Part Three

This is part three of my own journey to list my 1000 gifts; blessings to be thankful for every day.

It really does make a difference in my outlook when I realize how much splendor surrounds me on a daily basis. Whether it's a morning stroll, the sound of my sweetie arriving, or the leafs turning, there are so many things to be thankful for…all the little things that make me smile.

My mission is based on a book by Ann Voskamp titled One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are. I plan to complete this journey by June 3o, 2013. Should you also feel inspired to remind yourself of all the things you have been blessed with (things that make you smile every day), please join me. Add a comment to this post and let me know you’re onboard; I'd love to read about your gifts too.

And so my 1000 Gifts journey continues...
One Thousand gifts I have been blessed with Part Three:

39.  Surprising a co-worker with a special award
40.  Meeting someone you've only spoken to on the phone
41.  A sqeaky clean bathroom
42.  Cooler weather in Atlanta (finally)
43.  A front porch with rockers to enjoy the cooler weather
44.  Marshmellow peeps shaped like Pumpkins
45.  My desk calender that transports me to Greece via photos
46.  Having a full tank of gas to go where I need to go
47.  Finding out that my eyes are in great shape with little change in prescription
48.  Picking out eye glasses just because I want a new pair
49.  Receiving an email from my Sweetie just to say Hi
50.  Putting my favorite quilt on the bed because it's 'chilly'
51.  A purchase in my Etsy shop
52.  The first turning leaf on the oak tree outside the kitchen window
53.  Having my Sweetie at my side when I said goodbye to my beloved cat Beau, RIP
54.  Paws, Whiskers, and Wags making saying goodbye a tiny bit easier
55.  Knowing that I’m loved when I’m having a really bad day
56.  Getting an unexpected $$ bonus at work
57.  Totally disrupting "puppy training" and getting puppy kisses at Petsmart
58.  Count down to Bacchanalia night, my favorite dining spot ever!
59.  Shopping (enough said) :)
Too be continued….
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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Are you happy at work?


Many of you know that my ‘day job’ is with a very large organization here in Atlanta. I’ve been with this company for many years as a devoted employee and I’ve had the opportunity to travel the US and Canada meeting hundreds of dedicated employees.

This week it was wonderful running into someone that remembered me from a training event that I worked on 20+ years ago.  I had made enough of an impression that they not only remembered the event, they even remembered my name after so many years. Was it my great training skills? Was it my outgoing personality? Or maybe it was my quirky fashion sense? Nope, none of the above…it was the chili. No, that wasn’t a typo; it was the Chili I made.  Hmmm….that got me thinking…. 

At that time we were a much smaller company, more of a family than a giant corporate building of unidentified faces. We did things like chili cook-offs, holiday parties, and after work get-togethers. Back in the day we invited co-workers for home cooked Holiday meals and softball games with dogs on the grill. I miss that Family feeling!!!  How do we get that fun family back?

I may be over simplifying the solution, but what do families do to strengthen their bonds? They get together and eat. Eating together provides a way for everyone in the family to share, connect, and bond.  What did all my favorite events listed above have in common – FOOD.

I did a little research on the subject and found that employees in the healthiest companies often eat together, talk about food, and even cook for each other. Certainly, getting employees to eat together more often is not the sole antidote for my organizations “estranged family” issues. But, experts agree that the practice of eating together can have many positive benefits. And if you're not convinced, remember, this all started with a bowl of chili; food was our link over 20 years later.

Anyone out there having lunch with friends today, Save me a seat!  Cheers!

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Monday, September 17, 2012

I care about you…

I believe giving handmade is truly the core of gift-giving. When you give a friend or loved one a gift, you are really saying "I care about you." A handmade gift expresses so much more than something pulled off the end-cap display of a mega store. You are telling the gift recipient that you cared enough about them to seek out something as individual as they are.

Beyond the evident economic benefits of supporting independent artists, buying and giving handmade is a loving act. You are also supporting the future, family, confidence, mind, body and soul of that artist. It creates an amazing relationship between 2 people: the buyer and seller. You are not just a customer; you become a supporter, a fan, a collector of art.

I feel that I’m also getting a gift with each handmade purchase: knowing I have helped someone get one step closer to their dream. Supporting each other is after all the most rewarding gift we can give!

Please consider something handmade when gift giving. Etsy is a wonderful place to find all things handmade.

Here are some of my favorite handmade items on Etsy today….

Lori in Atlanta

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Friday, September 14, 2012

Hot Molten Glass...WooHoo!

Finally, the weekend I’ve been waiting for has arrived. I’ll be attending the 50th birthday celebration for the American Studio Glass Movement at the High Museum of Art.  WOOHOO!

I’m a lampworker; I make glass beads and small glass items. This celebration is a wonderful opportunity to see master glass artists in action.  The Corning Museum of Glass artists (gaffers) will take glowing gobs of molten glass and skillfully shape them into vases, bowls, or sculpture. The Gaffers will be explaining this dynamic process and answer audience questions along the way. Live glassblowing demonstrations and guest appearances by artists Richard Jolley, Johanna Grawunder, and Gyun Hur will be free to the public. I so excited!

If you’re interested in more information about the Studio Glass Movement, continue reading the article below…

A Brief History of the
Studio Glass Movement
by Lynda Olsen Adelson

The American Studio Glass Movement, which began in the early 1960s, is a new phenomenon in the century’s long history of glass as an artistic medium.
For the first time in more than 3500 years, technology allowed artists to make glass alone and unaided, without the necessity of a factory environment. Prior to the 1960s, glass was made only in large scale industrial settings.
At established art glass factories like Steuben (United States), Waterford (Ireland) or Baccarat (France), hundreds of employees work in an industrial environment, mass producing glass objects. These factories produce a large number of pieces each day, and employees are assigned to one part of the multi-stage process involved in making each object. There are designers, glass batchers, glassblowers, cutters, polishers, etc.
American studio glass differs from factory glass in that the individual artist completes all aspects of the creation of a piece, from design through signature. These studio artists generally "batch" their own glass, using sand (silica), ash and metallic oxides to create their raw material. The quantity of work they produce is extremely limited. Most studio glass artists will make fewer pieces in their lifetimes than factories like Baccarat or Waterford will make in one day.
In 1962, Harvey Littleton, professor of art at the University of Wisconsin , and Dominick Labino presented a glass workshop in conjunction with the Toledo Museum of Art. These men are recognized internationally as the "fathers" of the American Studio Glass Movement.
Convinced that it was finally possible for an individual artist to undertake glassblowing by working entirely alone, Littleton and Labino provided information on furnace construction, glass formulas, tools, techniques, etc.
The Toledo workshop was the beginning of the American Studio Glass Movement. In the decades since then the number of American Studio Glass Artists has gone from virtually none to more than 1,000. Internationally, American glass artists are acknowledged as the undisputed leaders in creativity and originality. Dale Chihuly, a Seattle artist who established the famed Pilchuck Glass School , is widely credited with advancing public awareness of glass as an artistic medium.
The Corning Museum of Glass is recognized as having the world's finest collections of glass art objects, dating from antiquity through the 20th century. Each year the Corning Museum sponsors an international juried competition, which attracts more than 2,000 submissions from all over the world, with only 100 pieces selected for inclusion in the museum's New Glass Review and permanent collection of 20th Century Glass. Since the beginning of the New Glass Competition in 1979, American artists have dominated this important award contest, consistently accounting for more than half of the 100 winning selections each year.
See You at the High Museum!
Lori in Atlanta

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Pantone's Color Report - Spring 2013

I've seen color overload in the blogosphere this week and now I understand why. The Pantone Fashion Color Report for Spring 2013 was revealed last weekend.  This morning I finished reading Panton's color report,  some of fashion's biggest stars have used the new color pallet in their designs featured below.

Planning to use these colors for my newest jewelry designs.  "Tender Shoots" is my favorite and I love all things purple so "African Violet" is right up there at the top. What is your favorite?

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Cleaning the closet - It should be easy...

Summer is almost over (yippee). I love all things fall, but this means that it’s time to rearrange the closet… summer clothes squashed in the back, autumn and winter clothes up front.  A recent quote from Martha: “What better time than now to clean out the closet?” Honestly, I can think of a dozen reasons why this isn’t the right time to clean out the closet(s), but alas…it needs to be done.

 I realize that almost no one enjoys cleaning the closet, except maybe my husband. His closet looks like it is ready for the ClosetMaid fall catalog shoot. Every hanger evenly spaced, clothes grouped by color and style, shelves filled with flawlessly folded items. We can never ever share a closet; just peeking in my closet makes my sweetie twitchy. A top priority for this and all future homes: “His and Hers” closets.
"Keep, Donate, or Toss Sorting Bags" This came from Costco, found on Pinterest.
Having watched countless organization segments on HGTV, I know what to do and efficient ways to do it. You know the routine: keep, donate, and toss bins; matching hangers; proper shelving; a place for everything and everything in its...blah, blah, blah….. we get it! I just don’t love doing it.


The Perfect Coat, Pantry, and Linen Closets, Found on Pinterest
 It should be easy, but it’s not – it’s an ordeal. Too many difficult decisions!
While cleaning, my brain talks to me, it says things like: “You should lose weight”; “this was so expensive, you can’t just give it away”; “all you need to do is cut off the remaining buttons and sew on a new set”; and the most challenging to ignore: “you wore that on your first date, (rehearsal dinner, weekend in the mountains, breakfast in Ireland) with your sweetie; how can you let that go”. And so it goes. Amazingly, I can’t remember where I left my keys, but I can remember and associate EVERY piece with an event or justified reason to keep it.

Love this Jewelry Organizer by Black Forest Cottage on Etsy
That is why I hate to clean out my closet . . . it’s a difficult struggle with myself! I’m usually known for my ability to organize things, so this should be easy... Well, would you look at the time; I think I’ve escape cleaning the closet today. I did spent a few minutes hours researching organizers today, a step in the right direction, don’t you agree.  
The pictures above are treasures found on Etsy and Pinterest. ;)

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Friday, September 7, 2012

Fall 2012 Jewelry Trends

I long for the cool temperatures and vibrant colors of fall.  Here in Georgia, the temperature has been in the high 80s with humidity no less than 70% all week.  Not a single leaf has fallen and the acorns are still on the tree. So, to make this muggy day a bit more bearable I’ve been doing some research on fall fashion and jewelry trends for 2012.  Here are three of the jewelry trends for fall…..

The Hopeless Romantic


The runway was full of soft feminine looks for fall; it’s not really what I think of when I think of fall, but it will be one of the strong trends none the less.  Fall jewelry will echo that soft look with feminine colors such as rose, cream, white, and beige.  I’ve always loved romantic vintage jewelry; the trend will be stronger than ever. Look for soft romantic curves, frilly embellishments, and muted tones.

Tribal Inspired

When I think of fall, bold dark reds, warm oranges, natural greens and vibrant purples come to mind. These colors are used beautifully in tribal inspired designs on the runway for fall 2012.  Likewise, burnished gold and silver with a tribal etchings and prints will be worn to match.  You will also see natural components used in tribal designs: wood beads, bone, shell and animal print embellishments will be part of the trend.

The Flower Child

It is predicted that 70s vintage jewelry will make a huge comeback. If I had only known….I had a jewelry box full of Mod chunky jewelry.  Expect to see collar necklaces of soft muted precious metals such as gold and silver; they are reminiscent of the chokers that were so popular. The 70s fascination with all things Native American created a trend for chunky turquoise jewelry set into silver. Then and now, delicacy is not the aim here, the chunkier the better! The anti-consumerism of the hippie society also meant that handmade jewelry was the trend--leather bands or braids worn as bracelets, and handmade bead necklaces will be on trend this fall.

Thanks for stopping by my blog...Happy Fall!

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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Blogging - Who Knew.....

One of many lovely Paths featured on my Pinterest board -

"The Path Less Traveled"

I started this blog to chronicle the opening and evolution of my Etsy shop - LorisGlassworks. My first post was in July 2009 about a month after opening my online shop. At the onset I struggled with blogging, but eventually after some trial and error, mixing articles about my life and Etsy projects became enjoyable. I don’t consider myself a brilliant writer, but I’ve discovered that I can put a few words together and take a decent picture. The unbelievable thing to me is that people actually READ my words. Some of my posts have had hundreds of readers (Yikes). This is truly amazing and a little daunting! I assumed that I would get a few family members, friends, and neighbors stopping by the blog from time to time, but I never thought I would go down this path and actually have a “following”. I promise that I’m going to get more deliberate about making time for blogging and crafting; after all, it’s why I started my blog in the first place. Thank You for making the time in your day to take a peek at my little blog.

Lori D.

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