Thursday, July 29, 2010


I've received so many requests for flamingos that I decided it was time to give them a try! Welcome to I Made It Thursday!

I started out with this 1" round glass pendant.  It's a nice size for many designs.  I really liked how this turned out with just the flamingo on the pendant.  It's simple but cute. 

This Flamingo Glass Pendant is on sale at my Etsy shop!
Each pendant will be a little different because they are painted individually. I don't have a template to trace from, just an idea in my head of what I want the finished product to look like.

I also purchased this 7/8" x 1" pendant.  I really like the flamingo on this shape as well.  Now I'm turning my attention to putting in a background so you don't see the bail!  I think these will be a big hit at my holiday craft shows.

Thinking ahead to Christmas...I really enjoy the challenge of painting on both sides of these clear ornaments.  It takes some do-overs when I'm first working on a new design, but that's the beauty of painting on glass.  It's easy to remove the design and start least before the paint dries!

I'm really excited about this new shape I found last year.  Thinking about the view from four sides at the same time was a challenge.  Simple designs work best when dealing with a design you can see through.  Can't wait to get to work on my snowman designs for this year!

Have a great week, everyone! 

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tantalizing Tuesday - BBlonski Designs

Beth from BBlonski Designs is another friend I met through Twitter.  I fell in love with her photography as well as her graphic designs for business cards and am really excited about her new line of children's clothing!  Grab a cup of coffee and get to know another great artist...

How did you get started with your craft/art?
I started out working in a photo lab as a teenager, and really grew fond of pictures. Which then turned me onto taking my own. It only seemed logical to add graphic design to the mix.

What prompted you to set up a home-based business?
I just said, “What the heck, why not just give it a try. What’s the worst that could happen? Nobody’d buy?” and now the income I make from this little business actually helps me renovate my fixer-upper home.

What part of your craft is your favorite?
I love designing. Ideas just pop out of nowhere and I get so excited to start working on them.

How have you changed since starting your business? How has this impacted your craft?
My politics have actually changed. I have to think about what’s best for the business (and in turn best for me financially) when deciding on who to vote for.

What is the most challenging aspect of running your business?
Staying organized. People tell me I’m organized, but boy, I sure don’t feel like it. My work space has pictures and paper EVERYWHERE.

How did you come up with your shop name?
It’s my initials BB for Beth Blonski

Where do you see yourself in five years? Where do you see your business?
I hope to have at least one little bundle of love, and work completely from home in 5 years.

How do you keep a balance between home and business responsibilities?
Yikes, so hard. I literally have to schedule time into my calendar for it all.

If you could give one piece of advice to others who are just getting started with their businesses, what would it be?
Patience patience patience…. You’re not going to sell everything over night. It takes time to build a business since there is just so much that goes into it, so don’t get discouraged and quit right away.

Can you give us some links to be able to follow you?!/pages/BBlonski-Designs/92603441652,

Twitter name:  bblonskidesigns

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sunday's Symbols

1Chronicles 16:29 "Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness."

In a garden full of beautiful and colorful flowers, you can't ignore the sunflower.  As Christians, we can learn a lot from this simple flower. 
  • The sunflower does not blend stands out. 
  • Its face constantly follows the sun and does not look away.
  • It offers shelter and food to others.
 Our strength is not in ourselves or our is found in our faith in Christ.  This week I found some amazing sunflower items that will grace your home with their beauty and remind you that living the Christian life is beautiful!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Summertime Sizzles!

Here are some fun summertime designs that I've been working with this year...I love the beach and the sunsets from when I was a kid inspired a lot of these designs (although we didn't have palm trees!). 

This wasn't a private beach, but it was small and it was rare to see anyone other than the seagulls and king crabs there.  Just a great place to sit and think.

I love how the colors all just blended into each other to create this effect.  Each pendant is painted one at a time so even with the same base design, they have slight variations.

This was a design from several years ago, but it is still one of my most popular. 

I never thought about creating jewelry until my hubby suggested I look into glass pendants and see if my designs could work on the smaller scale.  I'm learning how to wrap wire and use to create something really unique.

Believe it or not, this was a tough design to get right...the enamel paint is fairly translucent and the red wasn't brilliant enough for me.  So I experimented and finally came up with this design. 

Have a great week, everyone!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tantalizing Tuesday - GlassManyColors

If you like all things colorful, you're sure to love my featured artist this week.  Art and Beth - Glass of Many Colors - create beautiful AND affordable stained glass pieces.  They are offering an opportuinty to win a special piece from them--read on to see how.  What an amazing husband and wife on to get to know them and their craft a little better! 

How did you get started with your craft/art?

Before I even answer question number one I’d like to pre-empt this interview with the statement that our business is a husband and wife team. Even though I write in the first person as Art-the husband; Beth is a full half of the team. We work our business together each doing separate tasks and duties and sometimes overlapping too!

Now how did we get started you asked …
About ten years ago my Mother telephoned me and explained that she was going to flea-market her stained glass supplies and would I be interested in the lot. I said yes and two weeks later some twenty boxes and a large wooden glass rack were deposited in our garage! I had no idea my Mother did stained glass. She explained she had joined a group, put together all the needs buying from here, there, new, used, and everywhere and then the group had folded. Well she was joining for the social aspect anyway so it never went anywhere. The boxes sat in our garage for 4 years unopened and untouched. One evening while surfing I happened across a stained glass piece and thought it was cool thinking hey I could do this! Beth added yes you could it’s all out there waiting for you! So over the next week I’d research and then go dig through boxes to see what did this and that and did I have it; I had it all. I began cutting glass at night and learning all I could about this craft. Beth and I are self taught through books, internet resources, and our supplier’s knowledge. That was over 5 years ago.

What prompted you to set up a home-based business?

After my management position was downsized I decided I had had enough of corporate America. I wanted to concentrate on my art full time. Beth was/is working and we can do this if sales bring in just enough. So being unemployed I had lots of time and began the Etsy shop where we transact all online sales and it grew from there!

What part of your craft is your favorite?

I enjoy designing the piece, working with the client, and cutting the glass and soldering it. Beth enjoys cutting glass, foiling the glass, soldering and final treatments like patinas and waxing the pieces. Beth also enjoys promoting the work as much as I do. I am more active on Twitter and Etsy where Beth concentrates on the Facebook accounts.

Our most recent creation of stained glass wind chimes was Beth’s idea. She suggested and I procrastinated and finally folded. Now we always offer them in the Etsy shop. Many people buy more than one. It is wonderful to create something and see it succeed!

How have you changed since starting your business? How has this impacted your craft?

We are both very much into customer service and being able to “feel” what the customer is imagining for their special piece. At first we only did what we liked and it did sell. Now we lean more toward wanting to work with people and bring their imagination to life in stained glass. We still create what we want but less often now. There is a certain satisfaction and well a feel good feeling when someone is pleased with what you have designed and created for them. Also a lot of times someone will see a piece and it just hits home somehow and they have to have it and they will explain why. We take the time to listen now and find enjoyment in that interaction. Listening wholeheartedly to the client has added to our success immensely.

What is the most challenging aspect of running your business?

Marketing to connect with people who will buy pieces. We use Twitter heavily and Facebook too. We are now creating our own website and have bought the domain for ourselves. We have found out everyone; literally everyone, is a potential customer. Additionally our work hangs in a gallery and a beauty shop. Your potential customers really are everywhere but you do need to actively promote to them.

How did you come up with your shop name?

Somehow it just came naturally that many colors of this medium just syncs with the coat of many colors and therefore glass of many colors. We did think about it. People do seem to remember the name and it is catchy! It is an immediate association and it seems to being a smile to people’s hearts. We are blessed to be able to do what we love so it all comes together in the name very well.

Where do you see yourself in five years? Where do you see your business?

In five years we would simply like to not have to worry about next months income flow as much as we do now. We survive on Beth’s paycheck and the studio income to some extent. It is growing satisfactorily and we have hopes of achieving our goals. We will still be designing and cutting glass ourselves for our clients. Our business would be more prosperous.

How do you keep a balance between home and business responsibilities?

Our studio is in our attached garage so we’re home even in business. We work together in the business as much as possible and we do enjoy each other’s talents, skills, and conversation. We’re blessed to be able to have this much time together doing something we both love. Home and business responsibilities just work themselves out and we get it done together. We couldn’t have done this without each other.

What is the funniest/craziest/most touching thing that has happened while having a business?

Beth was on Facebook one morning and out of the blue a guy messages her telling her he sells MaryKay Cosmetics and she probably should look right now at his site and see what she needs. This was in your face now promotion at a near rude level. She kept her composure and messaged back to him, “We create beautiful stained glass here is the link to our site see what you’d like to get for someone special.” He purchased two pieces and then afterwards commissioned a custom piece too! He is a wonderful person and a repeat loyal customer.

If you listen to your clients and know what they are feeling and why your product fits their need you can respond in a much more heartfelt sincere way. Our customer feedback in our Etsy shop seems to say we listen.

Other moments involving memorials for children and loved ones are heart wrenching and yet rewarding once we realized our studio was selected for such an important piece in someone’s life. We try to really put “special” into these pieces.

If you could give one piece of advice to others who are just getting started with their businesses, what would it be?

If you have never been in business for yourself you are in for a rude awakening. This is our third self owned business and its still surprises us how many hours we have to put in to really make it go the way we want it to. Enjoy what you do because you will do it all the time for some time to come. Another thing we would add is that you should be honest and ask yourself if you can afford to go into business. You should have nine months minimum savings on the side to survive on until the business gets going. This is in addition to emergency reserves now! You may make money in fits and starts at first so the nine months reserve should last you a year. So many things will come up you will need to spend money on even with a plan, it happens.

Can you give us some links to be able to follow you?

Our Etsy Shop: http://glassofmanycolors,

FaceBook Art: Arthur.Crouse

Facebook Beth: Marybeth.Crouse



And here's the fun part!  Art and Beth have genereously offered this cute stained glass bear to one of my lucky readers. 

Here are the ways to receive an entry in the drawing for this cute bear.  Be sure to leave your name and e-mail address so we can contact you if you are the winner!  You will need to leave a seperate post for each item you do to receive multiple entries in the drawing. This giveaway ends Monday, 7/26.  The winner will be contacted through their e-mail address, so please be sure to leave it in one of your posts!

1.  Become a follower of this blog (or let me know you already follow).
2.  Visit GlassofManyColors Etsy shop and comment on your favorite item here.
3.  List your favorite item on Facebook and then post here.
4.  List your favorite item on Twitter and then post here.
5.  Follow Art and Beth on Facebook and/or Twitter and then post here.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sunday's Symbols

For the Christian, there is a symbol that is the source of our greatest shame as well as triumph.  Shame because I caused the death of my Savior.  Triumph because His death provided a way for me to have eternal life with Him. 

This week, I stumbled across some great cross items and wanted to share them with you. 

  This pendant is from my friend Donna's shop DH'Elegance.  I own one of her pendants (palm tree) and it has become one of my favorite pieces for casual outfits. 

  This great invitation set is from my friend Beth's shop BBlonskiDesigns.  Be sure to check out her other great designs--she's sure to have something that will fit your occasion!

  This amazing piece is from Art and Beth's shop Glass of Many Colors.  You can find many other amazing stained glass items in their shop!  (And if you like Art and Beth's work, be sure to check back for their Tantalizing Tuesday feature and giveaway!)

  This stunning piece comes from SandisShellscapes, where you can find all sorts of amazing pieces covered with shells.

  This amazing piece comes from Novella.  You can find a variety of crosses and mediums at this shop.

This cross can be found in J Kennard's shop, Desert Resurrections.  Striking reminder of the original cross, isn't it?

  This collage sheet can be found at Dooleys Photos.  It's perfect for pins or labels. 

Monday, July 12, 2010

Tantalizing Tuesday - Ostlund Custom Works

This week's Fab Friday artist feature is Ron  from OstlundCustomWorks.  We met on Twitter and I am proud to say is now a friend.  He and his wife are expecting their first child--how exciting! 

How did you get started with your craft/art?

First of all I want to thank you for choosing me out of the thousands of other artists out there! It is an honor to do this interview. I think I would say I started as a child. We didn’t have a lot of money growing up, so I ended up building a lot of my own “new” toys by taking apart ones that I had and building them into something else. I always seemed to see something else in what I had and tried to craft it into that vision. I just was always building things! My dad taught me quite a bit about building but a lot of it I just picked up on my own.

As I got older I would see furniture that I liked but figured I could build it cheaper and better myself. After doing just that I decided to start a business designing and building custom home furnishings. Jumped into it and then pretty much quit after a few months of not selling anything in the local area. At the time, I didn’t know about places like Etsy and tried coffee shops, garage sales and word of mouth. 5 years went by; I sold nothing and gave up. Then a friend told me about Etsy and it all came rushing back. I just jumped in full steam ahead and decided it was time to make it work. And here I am now with several sales in the past couple of month and a private custom order off the site.

What prompted you to set up a home-based business?

After trying half heartedly the first time in 2005 and getting nowhere my friend Candy got me going. I thought this could be my chance to make and live one of my dreams. Time to see it through and make it a success! As I said I just jumped in and went at it. I listed some pieces on my new Etsy shop that were already in inventory. I then set out to build new designs that had built up in my mind over the years. I must thank Candy for lighting the fire under me and getting me restarted again with a purpose! And with a baby on the way now I have a real drive and purpose to my work!

What part of your craft is your favorite?

Probably my favorite thing is taking a pile of materials (junk to most) and crafting a piece of beautiful and functional art out of it; reusing and recycling anything and everything and making it useful again. The designs just come to me in my day-to-day life as I cycle through all the “junk” I have and what it could be. I am very visual and most often never make plans or sketches of a piece. I just see it in my mind and set about building it. Most of the time it just kind of happens as I go! An original idea might morph into something totally different by the time I am done. I want to make art that myself and others can look at in amazement. The selling part of it is sad and happy at the same time. I am sad to see something I put my heart into go but I am happy that its finding a new home and someone else will love it as well. Somewhere out there my work is making the new owners smile while their friends maybe ask questions, such as “where did you get that?”

How have you changed since starting your business? How has this impacted your craft?

The biggest thing that has changed is figuring out where I wanted to go with this whole thing! I had a dream but it was a rough draft in my mind. Nothing more than a dream really. No details worked out, just an end goal. Well I am having to catch up basically with the details! Had no idea there was so much to learn. Figured I would just casually build stuff and sell it, no problem. Had no clue about marketing and all this social networking stuff. Sure I had Myspace and Facebook accounts but how to use them for business I had no idea. And then came Twitter, WOW! I am still learning about it everyday it seems. I really see a different picture now; it’s amazing and challenging and scary all at once! As far as how it has impacted my craft I think that mostly I am just finding myself more the longer I build. I have ideas all the time and just want to build everything at once! I have found that I really like a lot of metal in my work and wood is becoming the accent pieces now! Glass is also coming into play a lot more because I love the color contrast it brings to the piece. I am even planning on bringing carbon fiber into play at some point as I love the exotic feel it brings. I would have to say that my style is unique its many styles all smashed together in my opinion!

What is the most challenging aspect of running your business?

I think the most challenging aspect at this moment is time. Between my family life, a full time job, and a part time job, OCW time is at a premium! It’s somewhat of a miracle I’m able to get anything done. I get up at 4 some mornings to work in the shop before working at my full time job. My days “off” are started by working at my part time job and later finished with any number of things but it’s usually quality time in the shop. I just do what I can when I can at this time. My goal at the moment is to build OCW big enough to take over for my part time job so that I can focus more time on it.

How did you come up with your shop name?

Came up with my shop name in 2005 when I originally started. Was sitting in my shop I had in the second bedroom of my townhouse apartment and made it up. Wanted to build custom home furnishing for clients so that’s where the custom came in. And, of course, there’s my last name to start it off. Ostlund Custom Works; I like it!

Where do you see yourself in five years? Where do you see your business?

Wow - after doing some business talk to a friend I met on Twitter my dream and vision for the future exploded! It got so big I just never thought about the possibilities that are before me now! In 5 years the business well definitely be a real tax paying business. Where I will be though is a big question. If things go the way that I want them too it will be my only job and I will be a success. I have some big ideas that I want to bring into play. They are amazing and groundbreaking but I have to go through the right process to get there! It’s going to be a lot of work but I want to see this through all the way! I am driven more than ever now especially with a child on the way. I want to provide for my family in a way that I love, not grinding away at a boring job. I can do it with this and I am committed to it.

How do you keep a balance between home and business responsibilities?

Actually this became a problem about 3 weeks in to this adventure. I was doing nothing but business stuff and neglecting family life. Well you can imagine that didn’t go over well with my wife! I have had to work really hard at managing my time properly. Most of it is because of my limited time at this moment. I hope to reach that point of this taking over for my part time job soon. Then I will have more time for family and more time for OCW. My wife and I have things worked out and she is supporting me in this endeavor, as it is a viable future for us.

What is the funniest/craziest/most touching thing that has happened while having a business?

Well at the time of me writing this interview it has been about 2 months since I started. I would have to say that nothing funny or crazy has happened yet but touching yes. About 2 weeks ago my wife and I found out we are pregnant! This is a blessing like we have never experienced. It has brought new drive and motivation to my work. I build everything with the thought of my child at the back of my mind. I am doing this for my family and because I love it!

If you could give one piece of advice to others who are just getting started with their businesses, what would it be?

Well I think I would have to say know what you’re getting into and know where you want to go. Have a plan to start with, you can always change it later but have a plan! I had no plan I jumped in with my eyes closed and that’s not the way to go!

Can you give us some links to be able to follow you?!/pages/Ft-Wayne/Ostlund-Custom-Works/115110605195978?ref=sgm&ajaxpipe=1&__a=5

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Fab Fridays are a-movin'...

Just a quick note to let you, my wonderful readers, know that Fab Fridays are moving to Tuesdays!  Actually it will be called Tantalizing Tuesdays because I'm hoping you'll be as taken with the artists and their work as I am.

So, be ready next Tuesday to meet an artist who takes different materials and creates something useful and beautiful out of what others see as "junk."  Are you curious?  Tuesday's just a few days away!

Monday, July 5, 2010

True Independance

I'll never forget that weekend.  It's one of those events in your life where time seems to slow and you are able to take in and remember details that you usually don't.  It was an answer to prayer, but certainly not the outcome we were asking for.

Monday of that week, Poppop had been taken to the hospital.  He had been battling lupus and a really bad back for years and he just wasn't feeling well.  By Friday, he was getting worse and we were all praying for God to heal him and bring him home.  On Saturday, all the grandkids who did not live close enough to visit earlier in the week were able to make it to the hospital and Poppop was surrounded by the people that mattered most to him in the world...his family.

Sunday rolled around and we knew his homecoming wasn't going to be to the house he had built for Granny so many years ago.  God would honor and answer our prayers to heal Poppop and bring him home--but not here on this earth.  Surrounded by his wife of 61 years, his three children and their spouses, myself and my husband as well as one of his childhood friends, Poppop answered the call by the Master Carpenter to come home. 

It's hard to believe that tomorrow will be seven years since my Poppop was transferred to Heaven.  He had had many heath issues throughout his life, but it never slowed him down.  Farmer, fisherman, father, husband, grandfather, friend...the list could go on.  He always had a smile and a joke and charged you a nickel (but he never collected).

Many people have had a profound influence on my life and have shaped me to become the woman I am today.  But none had the spiritual influence that he had.  And every time I see fireworks, I am reminded of that weekend so many years ago...that there was a celebration in Heaven as Poppop was reunited with family and friends that had gone on before and that one day there will be no more tears and heartache but only joy and peace as we spend eternity together with our Lord.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Williamsburg Vacation - Part 2

On our second day of vacation, we headed over to Jamestowne.  This was an amazing tour because it is the original Jamestowne colony, right on the river.  Archaeologists have been finding out more and more that corroborates with the written  accounts we have from that time.

This is what the fort looked like as we waked on the bridge over the marsh to get to it.

Closer view of the fort wall and skeleton of the large house inside the fort.

It came as a shock to many of the people in our group that the first permanent building that was constructed was the church.  I was shocked at how little some of the people knew about their own history...

Impressive building!  On one of the highest points inside the fort, it naturally draws your attention to it.  You can see a person walking next to it on the right to get a sense of how tall this structure was.

Just to give you an idea of how large this building is...

Inside were two carved stones that were the cornerstone of their faith and the code they lived by...What would they think of us now removing any trace of them from many federal buildings?

These pictures are of the stone that was excavated and is part of the original are looking at the actual stone that was used to build this church.

We didn't plan it, but God knew this was the day for us to be at Jamestowne because they were continuing the archaeological dig and one of the original team members was on hand to conduct the tour. 

One of the unavoidable facts was that this was a hard life and many did not survive those first years.  Many of the graves have been found inside the fort under the houses.  This is believed to be how the colonists acted on the advice of not letting the local Indians know how few in number they were becoming.

Sobering, isn't it?

Of course, there were graves near the church that were reserved for those rich enough to purchase a plot.

One of the big issues the colonists had to face was finding fresh, safe water.  Many died because of the lack of water to drink.

This is a well they found during the dig...what a long way down!

Of course, I took a lot more pictures (so grateful for digital cameras and memory cards!) but I hope this helps you get a sense of Jamestowne if you've never been there.

And I couldn't finish without a picture my daughter took of a dragonfly!