December 28, 2007

Many times over the past twelve months I declared that next year will be amazing. An eternal optimist, I can never resist the urge to crack a joke, especially in the worst of situations. The line, “maybe next year”, turned into a running joke early on. This past year, life has taken me on the proverbial roller-coaster ride. At times it felt like a kiddie ride and other times, never ending and out of control.

In 2007, I sent my oldest son off to Kindergarten, started a new website, opened a shop and glass studio, began teaching again, and ventured into tool manufacturing. I took steps to remove myself from bad situations and dove head first into new ones. I followed my instincts even when they scared the hell out of me. I felt intense happiness, great inspiration, grew artistically, and emotionally. I let my heart get pounded like a volleyball, fought to hold on to things I thought were important, accomplished things I’ve dreamed about for years, and realized sometimes you need to just let go and leave things up to chance. I received excellent advice and often ignored it, hurdled obstacles, and dusted myself off when I didn’t quite clear them. I also took time to enjoy simple things, just breath, live in the moment, laugh until it hurt, hug my boys until they couldn’t take it anymore, take walks in the woods, enjoy the warm sun on my face, and a crisp breeze on my neck. The simplest joys are most important to me.

In the past year I learned a lot about myself. I need to surrender to the fact that I can’t control everything, can’t do everything, or be everything… I’m only human. I learned lessons about trust, ambition, following my heart, expectations, forgiveness, and that sometimes there are just no answers. I came to appreciate what a truly extraordinary group of friends I have. I’ve realized that one can never expect to achieve their goals or find true happiness if they’re not willing to take a chance and work at it. For that, I hold no regrets. Time is never wasted when you learn from your lessons, whether they bring you joy or pain. Most importantly I’ve realized how very strong I am and that I’m “capable” of just about anything I put my mind to.

With that in mind, I declare that 2008 may not go according to plan but it is going to be an amazing year! I hope yours is too! Salute!



Snow Day

December 17, 2007

Today unexpectedly turned out to be amazingly good for my soul. I found myself in the rare position of having the house and shop all to myself. The second snow storm of the week promised a peaceful and productive day. My plan for the day was to drastically shorten my “to do list” and clear my mind. I tinkered in the shop to the sweet sounds of Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan, then fired up my torch, and filled my kiln with holiday special orders. In the house I strung berry garlands, hung lights, and readied the Christmas tree for decorating this evening. I checked so many items off my list that I decided I deserved a relaxation reward.

I wandered off for a walk in the snow with my camera and a content heart. The world transforms under a blanket of new snow and seems full of whimsical possibility. It brings out the kid in me, presents the landscape in a fresh light, and infects me creatively. The peaceful quiet fills me up and stirs my thoughts. Walks in the beach side woods as a child, pond skating, the joy of making snow angels… memories of previous ambitions, the heat of a love past, a scent, a touch, a song, of lessons learned, and times in my life when I felt most alive, all crossed my mind. As I made my way back home across the fields, I thought optimistically of the coming new year and of all the amazing things I’ll be capable of accomplishing in it.

Feeling rejuvenated, yet chilled, I decided to sit and warm up with a glass of wine next to my newly lit Christmas tree before heading back to work. Normally I drink red wine but today I opened a bottle of a Long Island Rosé I had been saving for a “rainy day”. Thinking so much of the past and looking towards the future made me realize I should just enjoy it now. I’m not the type of person let a good thing like an extraordinary snowy day or a glass of Rosé under the Christmas tree pass me by.

Seize your joy and have a wonderful Holiday Season!





Finding “Normal”

December 13, 2007

Over the past few weeks my life has been in hyper drive. I’ve written a million blog posts in my head but never actually sat down to type them. Keeping up with normal business and getting the shop ready for it’s grand opening this past weekend didn’t leave much room for slowing down. Now that the big event has come and gone things are finally slowing to the normal fast pace I’m used to.

It’s been fun going to work in my own place everyday. Each day at noon I open the door, turn on all of the display lights, light the candles, hook up the iPod, and then sit and admire my creation. After being a working studio for so long, it’s come a long way from the half empty pole barn it was just a few weeks ago. Over the course of the day my “To Do List” grows at breakneck speed. Laminate flooring and track lighting are at the top of the list, along with buying blue thumbtacks and a new stapler. I’ll tell you why they need to be blue some other time.

Currently there’s work on display from eight Pennsylvania based artisans with several more planning to come in between now and January. We have the most delicious soy candles from Lisa Colyer’s Teaberry Mountain Candles, stunning stained glass pieces by Edwin Jameson, cuddly and stylish knits from Bad Kitty Knits’ Sue Draus, unique hand painted stationary and cards by Kristy Rice of Momental Designs, dichroic fused glass Tree of Life pendants by Jenn Feldman, Blue Violet Designs jewelry by Nancy Lotz, one of a kind handbags by Nicole Cook, blown art glass by resident artist Jeremiah Jones, plus my own line of Thirteen Moons Designs hot glass and lampwork jewelry.

The greatest part of this venture is taking the opportunity to promote and support other artists along with my own work. My biggest challenge is going to be finding “normal” and balancing between creating my own work, teaching, and running the shop. I think my boss will go easy on me until I get the hang of it though.

If you’re in Northeast PA, please support our local artists and take a peek at the beautiful selection of unique, handcrafted gifts they have to offer here at Thirteen Moons.


The Perfect Day

November 28, 2007

Some days I wake up feeling like I’m going to have the perfect day. At 4:50 am I sat bolt upright in bed with ideas and ambition swarming in my head. I snuck out of bed quietly so as not to wake the kids. I got dressed, made a pot of coffee, and went out to the studio to empty the kiln from last night’s torch session. At 12:45 am, my kiln wasn’t full in the quantity sense but in the quality sense it was overflowing. Special orders were completed, new ideas explored, and a few favorites restocked. I came back to the house took photos, edited them, and loaded the new pieces on my website all before 6:30 am.

I finished just in time to grab a cup of coffee and go out to watch the sun rise over the mountains and cut fields. It was a glorious type of sunrise that even at 37° fills you with warmth. The steam dancing from my coffee cup in the warm glow of the new day boosted my mood straight into the clouds. My “To Do List” vanished for a moment and I got lost in feeling good and hopeful. When I came back in, both of my boys were cuddled on the couch waiting for cups of milk and Ego waffles while they watched Bob The Builder. That’s the normal morning routine. I’ll write about the “waffle thing” another time. It’s post worthy.

I still have a list a mile long to check off today, hurdles to jump, and a beadmaking class to teach tonight. Luckily a morning like this better equipts me to do all of it. I know I’ll crash eventually but at least I’ll have a smile on my face when I do.

Take a peek at some of my newest treasures available on Just Beads and the Thirteen Moons Website.

Harmony Butterfly

Crush Sea Turtle

Oh… and I hope you have a perfect day too! 😉

Busy as an Elf!

November 27, 2007

While so many of my friends were out cruising sales and getting their Christmas shopping done this past weekend, I was busy as an elf in my workshop. I got some productive torch sessions in, lots of computer work done, and a few special orders filled. I have several new jewelry pieces available on my website, new beads up for auction on Just Beads, and I’m even working on reopening my Ebay Store.

Here’s a new piece just listed on

Amethyst Mist Hollow Lampwork Bead Necklace

I also spent time aligning my ducks for the grand opening of the studio on December 7th and 8th. Some finishing touches were made to trim, flooring, and displays in the studio. The most exciting thing I got to do was chat with several of the local artists and craftspeople who will be offering their work for sale at Thirteen Moons. Soon we’ll be arranging displays of pottery, candles, handbags, jewelry, leatherwork, handmade cards and stationary, stained glass, and art glass of every kind. In the next couple of weeks I’m going to be profiling some of the artists who’s work will be available at Thirteen Moons. One of the best parts of this endeavor is the opportunity to help support the artists in my community. Everything in the shop will be fully handcrafted by PA based artisans.

We have a list a mile long to complete each day for the next two weeks. The last step will be to haul in the Christmas trees, hang the lights, prepare the refreshments and put out the “Open” sign. Seeing the sign hung and the first customers coming through the door will feel amazing!

I’ll close with a peek at a new heart focal I have up on Just Beads.

Blue Hearted Focal

Under the Gun…

November 18, 2007

Isn’t it funny how as a deadline approaches the days and moments seem to progressively pass more quickly? December is right around the corner and with it comes our Holiday Grand Opening Celebration! We have so many exciting things planned so if you’re in NE PA, please stop by and check out the flameworking studio, hot glass and gifts, and maybe you’ll win some prizes!


Bouncing Back!

November 13, 2007

About four Wednesdays ago I recieved a call from the school nurse to pick my son up early from school. He had a 103° fever and was absolutely miserable. Over the following weeks, my entire family, including myself, fell victim to what seemed to be a super flu. It was not pretty. It got our friends, neighbors, teachers, and even the babysitter. Our lives about shut down for the better part of four weeks. Luckily, my family and the rest of the town seem to be bouncing back now. It’s amazing when you rejoin the world of the living how it hits you… the rest of the world doesn’t stop even when yours does.

After a week of madly scrambling to catch up with normal everyday things of family, home, and business, I’m mostly back on track. I’m torching, shipping, teaching, and auctioning away. I have a full kiln at the moment and a nice big smile on my face anticipating my evening torch session which will hopefully leave the second kiln full. Tomorrow morning I will have some new auctions to list on Just Beads and Ebay. By afternoon I’ll be ready to dig in to the major task of planning the Holiday Grand Opening of our studio and gallery on December 7th and 8th. If you’re in Northeastern PA be sure to come check us out!

Until then take a look at the goodies I’ll have available on Just Beads!

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