Wednesday, December 3, 2014

New Show! Pacifica!

    I thought last weekend's show in Sacramento was the year's end for me, but this Pacifica show had an opening and it sounds like a fun event that I wanted to try.
  Friday night is the big night, I am told. There is wine, hors d'oeuvres, but not sure about music? It's all new to me.
The show is 4pm to 9pm on Friday night, so it sounds like a fun event. All day Saturday until 4.
 So the show is at the Pedro Point Firehouse, 1227 Danmann Way, Pacific.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Sacramento This Thanksgiving Weekend: Stories from the Road

     I will be showing my work this weekend at the Crocker Art Museum fundraiser, at the Scottish Rite Center in Sacramento. The show starts Friday at noon, and ends Sunday at 5:pm. There is an entry fee that of course benefits the museum, and the artists and craftspeople give a hefty commission to them as well, so your dollars are getting spread around.

     I wanted to write about a recent story I heard of a home invasion robbery in the Bay Area. It seems there is a new "run, smash and grab" method of home invasion. The theives smash into the house, run into the bedroom and focus on drawers and of all things, shoe boxes. The theory here seems to be that the valuables are most likely to be hidden in drawers and shoe boxes.  In the specific case I heard of last weekend, there were no electronics or other items stolen, and the speed of the incident seems to be important due to all the alarm systems in the houses these days.

     But the most unbelievable story of home invasion that I heard this year happened 20 years ago. My customer's sister was married to a man in the "gold, diamond, etc" jewelry business, and she had quite an extensive personal collection. They were leaving,  and she didn't want to take it to the safe. ( I am unsure of the details here. Perhaps the safe was in a store, and not in her home?) So she decided she had found the perfect hiding place for her million dollar collection of jewelry. She emptied out her vacume cleaner bag, placed the jewelry into it, and put dirt back on top of the jewelry. I think the jewelry was in a bag of some sort.

     You probably know how this story ends. Of course the house was robbed, and of all things, the vacume cleaner was stolen. Can you even believe it? And in all likelihood, the theives didn't realize what they had, and that full vacume cleaner bag probably went into a landfill somewhere. Who knows?
But this has made me think twice about where a good hiding place is, or is not.

Jasper and aquamarine teardrops. 16". Yes the jasper is not intended to lay flat. I can do that if desired, but this is a " 3-D" piece.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Orinda Holiday Bazaar this Saturday

     Well I imagine many of you are in shock, as I am, that we are looking at the holiday season already. I was at the Sacramento Art Festival two weeks ago, and it didn't really have a holiday feel about it, so the shock didn't really register then. But this show is a HOLIDAY bazaar, so there is no getting around the fact that it is indeed the Season.

     Orinda's bazaar is not a totally handmade event. There will be imports there as well, but a lot of handmade in the "U.S." as well. It is in the Community Center on Orinda Way, and the proceeds funds a lot of Orinda's summer outdoor concerts.

My booth this year is in the front lobby, so it will be hard to miss me as you come up the front steps into the Center. I am on the left as you walk in the front door.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

San Carlos Art & Wine Festival

     My last post I talked about, the work of this work. Here is the good news...

     San Carlos is a very loved town, and a very loved art festival. There is something for everyone here, Crafty Cathies, and fine artists as well. There is fair food, and I think there is music somewhere, and thank the Goddess I don't know where it is.  Music at an art fair is best appreciated from a great distance. I don't get to leave my booth much, so if there is more I apologize for not knowing.

   But more people  mention San Carlos as their favorite art fair than any others, when I ask. It seems to be a real Home Town, and people know that and love that about San Carlos. So this is their Home Town fair.

     I have been feeling like a tire that got punctured last July, and there has been a malicious, slow leak ever since. I am  hoping to patch up that hole after San Carlos.

     This is supposed to be the good news, so blow me a kiss if you see me at San Carlos. I need the air.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Big Mistakes

    I may have made a BIG mistake by writing about all the mistakes I make. Perhaps now they are just coming to the forefront of  my consciousness more often.
   I made several BIG mistakes in Menlo Park last weekend. It was hot, that is the truth. And the three day shows are just getting harder to do. That is the truth.
   All the new credit card processing is great, but only when they work. One day they work, the next day they don't. I had one that worked in the morning, but not afternoon. So in the meantime I am scrambling to process credit cards. When one finally went through, I failed to complete the process, which of course I didn't notice until the customer had left. That could be $149 lost.  I would llike to blame my faulty addition on the malfunctioning credit card thingy too, if possible. I undercharged another customer by $100.
   It will be hot again this weekend at the San Carlos Art & Wine Show, but it is only a two day show, so maybe my brain will stay charged through the entire show. I have no control over these credit card things!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


     Here is my latest Brachiopod piece. I started using these 300-500 million year old fossils last year when I found them at the Tucson Gem Show. I have been shopping for stones and pearls for 20 years, and I had never encountered these beautiful fossils before.  I certainly loved them then, and I love them more now. The rusty grey earth tones of the stone these ancient bi-valve mollusks have become is so beautiful, along with the perfect seashell shape.  I now have a hard time parting with them, since I couldn't find any more like them this year at the Gem Show.
    So I am really hording my stash of brachiopods, but when I saw this one with the peachy, grey and white moonstone, I knew I had to let it go. This is a more diminutive piece, with the small ( for my work ) moonstones holding up the rusty toned brachiopod that is about 1 3/4" long. The length of the necklace is 18" at the shortest, but I always feature a built-in extender so you can make it 2" longer.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Rain Damage?? Menlo Park This Weekend

     This weekend I'll be in Menlo Park for the three day sidewalk art show.
My booth is on the south corner of Santa Cruz Ave. and Chestnut, in front of a bank, and I can never remember which bank! I think it is a Wells Fargo?

      I keep my glass kiln on the deck of my studio, so it doesn't overheat my small studio in the summer. I did a small kiln-load of glass last week, and the next morning it rained (which is a pretty unusual event these days for California) and I didn't have my kiln covered.  I am a little afraid to turn it on to see if there was any damage, but I am thinking of doing one kiln load for Menlo this weekend.  If you don't see any new glass, you'll know it didn't work!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Rest of the Story

In my previous post, I ended with overcharging a customer about $4400, around that amount anyhow. Of course, she was a new customer so I was extrememly worried that she thought this was malicious, so I emailed her like crazy, and found her phone number on the internet, then called her like crazy.
When I finally connected with her, she was so kind and gracious. Amazing!

But here is the rest of the story.....
It was bad timing for the overcharge on her credit card, since she was heading to Washington D.C. for a week of fun. Bad timing for her as well, since it was the week of the federal government shutdown.
She called her senator about visiting the White House, but of course that was shut down as well. Several days into her trip, she received a phone call from her senator, Sam Farr I think it was ( oh those brain cells) who offered her and her friend a private tour of the White House.
She said it was incredible, a small group of people with the Senator, and something very few people have ever experienced. No other tourists were around, so they got to see much more, unobstructed on their almost private tour.
I really thought Sam Farr needed a shout out for this. What a memory! A much better memory for her than a $4400 overcharge on a credit car!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

I'm not proud of this...

I make quite a few mistakes in my work. Sometimes there is an extra bead where there shouldn't be. Sometimes, I forget to put the clasp on. Once in a while, I get to a show to discover that I left the really IMPORTANT piece at home. And this is the really short list of possible mistakes.

I don't like it when I make a mistake with the money, but I will always remember the time at a show I ran to the nearest thrift store, and was so happy to find this neato calculator for $3! I used it all through the show. Batteries must have come with it.

A few days after the show I got the first call. A mistake on the addition on the charge. OOPS. This happens sometimes. But the second call made me investigate, and it seems the calculator was in the thrift for a good reason. I don't remember how many charges were off by a few dollars, but I was able to contact most people. It always amazes me how really nice people can be.

Then, last year, I ran a woman's charge card after the show, and I failed to notice that her $42.78 earrings became $4,278. 00 earrings. I got a notice from the credit card company I think..this was a year ago, so my memory doesn't serve.

She was on her way to Washington DC for a  week, and the credit card that I almost maxed out was meant to finance her trip.
Big Big OMG.
I will have to finish this later. Sorry,but this is too long for one post.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

I have spent an abnormal amount of time this morning fighting with photographs of my work. I would really like to whine about this, but I need t get OVER it, and get to work making fun jewelry.
But since I spent that time, I will post these less than gorgeous photos here. The work is new, and the color relationships between the stones and the glass beads are really wonderful. But the photos don't do them justice.
Listen to me. I know I am right about this.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Thunderstorm at Tahoe

   I always check the weather forecasts before a show, and once in a while I take them to heart. Last weekend was predicted to be on the chilly side, but I am glad I dressed lightly for the heat that was the reality.

     The thunderstorm forecasts for Tahoe were off my radar screen. The lake is so big, I assumed that if there were thunderstorms, the chances that they would be over my head were minimal.
     WRONG. Right over my head, directly over my booth was a big blowing, pounding, hailing, lightning thunderstorm. There was a certain charm to it, that disappeared in about 3 minutes. Mud was splashing up from the pavement and spotting everything under my canopy. Every item on the ground was splattered with mud, and rain. I had a new canopy with pristine white walls. Had of course, now all splashed with mud.

    I had brought an extra sweatshirt dress, so that took most of the rain, and at least I could be mostly dry driving home. Thank goodness for the extra shoes I carry, since my sandals were completely waterlogged.

     Today I should be slowly making my way back into the studio. Instead, I am unpacking the van, wiping the new layer of Tahoe mud off of my booth.

   I leave for Tahoe City on Thursday and of course I will check the weather forecast again.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Homewood This Weekend

I just mailed out my newsletter for the upcoming show in Homewood, and of course forgot right away that I added a link to this newsletter. So when I actually remembered, I sat right down to write this up.

I did a kiln load of hearts last night for Tahoe, and got a mixed batch. A few had great color, and a few were muddy. The muddy ones have their own charms, to be sure, but I prefer the bold color patches sweeping across the body of the pendants. But this is the craft. I can sit down in a few weeks and they could be worse, or they could be perfect.

I went to order some glass I was out of, and discovered that my glass supplier doesn't sell glass anymore. HOLY COW. Another recession victim. I know they relocated, and I assumed it was to a smaller space, but not to sell glass? Who knew. So I hustled around the internet looking for a supplier. Since I never bothered to buy a glass numbering chart, I couldn't produce the manufacturer's item number to order more. So something that had been a relative no brainer for my entire glass making career now has become a serious challenge.

I did find a supplier out of state, so I don't know if I'll have more hearts for this weekend's show.

Tahoe is always fun. Hopefully the wind won't be too bad. My goal for the weekend is to actually put my feet in the lake, instead of seeing it from the car on the way to the show.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Los Altos Art & Wine show this Weekend

I think I forgot to update my blog last week. These back to back shows get pretty frantic.
We got home from Tahoe late Sunday night, and Monday is pretty much a useless day. I remind myself of a dull rubber ball inside a pinball machine. I bounce from object to object, but  never get anywhere.
And of course that is a good Monday, when I can actually get out of bed to bounce at all!
So I wonder what I will have at Los Altos this weekend? I have several ideas floating around in my head, but I surprise even myself with what I actually decide to make for this week's show.
My booth number in Los Altos is 438. I am close to La Bou on Main Street, maybe closer to the Greek restaurant there this year.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Montclair Village Sidewalk Art Show this Weekend

I can hardly believe it is the end of June, and it is time to return to Montclair Village. This is a really darling neighborhood in the Oakland Hills with shops and restaurants. I am close to two clothing boutiques that are good, a great kitchen store, a CANDY store ( that I am thankfully not that acquainted with) and of course bars and restaurants.
My booth is on the corner of Mountain Blvd. @ La Salle, in front of a bank whose name I can never remember.
Sunday is the Farmers Market, right behind my booth. I look forward to the fresh oysters all year! On Saturday, there is a Beer Fest of some kind, but since it is a block away from me, I have no knowledge of it.
The weather looks great, so hopefully this will be a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Berkeley This Weekend

New Work for Berkeley

Two new pieces for Berkeley. The top one is neutral naturals, with ancient looking pewter. The bottom one is the same neutral nuts, with cowbone, pewter accents and a red tibetan bead that also looks really old. Both are on the long side.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Sacramento Art Fiesta is Around the Corner

     The first weekend in June is the yearly Sacramento Kiwanis Art Fiesta. This show had existed, well, forever, at the Town and Country Shopping Center at Marconi and Fulton. Now I hear  a Traders Joes is still there, but almost all the rest has been converted to Big Box stores. I don't think I will drive by to look.
     Art and craft shows are really the antithesis of Big Box stores. Big Box is synomous with "brand" names, and competitive ( cheapest) price on items desired by us all. Art and crafts are the direct opposite of this mindset. One of a kind, or limited production, handmade items seek out the "collector" ( I hate to say consumer) who has a unique appreciation of that item.  Mass appeal is not what the artist or crafts person seeks, but rather a unique expression, or communication in a visual form, from one human to another. Is this the appeal of handmade?
     It is true however that Big Box stores now exist with very arty stuff that gives the illusion of handmade, with a price that is kind to Americans. Often this merchandise has been designed by American artisans, and made overseas. Well what isn't made overseas these days? I saw some mushrooms, cello-packed and very American looking that were shipped from China. I wouldn't eat them.
     I have probably blogged about this in the past. I don't have a lot of time, regardless of what the marketing experts tell me to do, to write a variety of content for this blog. I do make my own work, and that is pretty all-consuming.  But this is a theme that is like a splinter under my nail. I am trying to dig it out,  get a good look at it, and get rid of it so I can move on.
   Oh by the way, the show this year is at the Pavillions in Sacramento. No big box stores, but lots of big names...Williams Sonoma, Talbots, Coldwater Creek.  I am in front of Talbots.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

San Ramon Wind Festival this Sunday and Monday

Wow I am late on this notice. I am running out the door today to set up my booth at the San Ramon Wind Festival that starts on Sunday and ends Monday evening.
It is in the San Ramon Central Park, and it is a really nice family event.
My booth is on the grass, and if I hadn't already packed up all my stuff, I would have been able to give you the number!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Studio Notes

     I am out of oxygen. I don't mean I can't breathe, but I have two oxygen sources in my studio and when one is empty, a lot of processes don't happen. So, last week I unhooked and hauled the empty tank up the hill, and there is still sits. Today is the day, but it should have been The Day sometime last week, to drive to the nearby small town to refill this now useless thing.
    I am also out of shipping tape, but I doubt if I can refill the shipping tape at the same place as the oxygen. At least someone somewhere will ship me the shipping tape.
    If I looked harder, I could come up with a few more things I am out of, but I need to get my newsletter out for the Walnut Creek show this weekend, and go get that oxygen!

Monday, April 14, 2014

OOPS. Missed my Menlo Park Post

Not a good sign!
     It is early in the season, and I forgot to update this blog with last weekend's show in Menlo Park. Holy Moly.
     But it was a beautiful weekend in Menlo Park. The weather was picture perfect, and only a little chilly on my side of the street. The temperature was forecast in the low 70's, so I was expecting things on the warmer side, but it felt a little cold.
     The Bagel shop reported that their business had been a little slower lately due to spring break, so it did seem there was a little less foot traffic than normal. But I enjoyed brisk sales, and several new FUN Girls.

Monday, March 24, 2014

New Booth Location at Belmont - Carlemont Plaza Art Show this Weekend - March 29 & 30

     Belmont is my first show of 2014. I think of it as my "warm up" show, but sometimes it is so cold in Belmont, it isn't a great warm up. I have a new booth location this year, in front of Doc's Bagels  in the middle of the longest corridor.
     This weekend the weather forecast has already changed several times, and now it is predicted to shower a bit on Sunday. I'll bet by the weekend it will be beautiful both days.
     This is a small little show, lining the covered walkways of Carlemont Plaza at the corner of Alameda de las Pulgas and Ralston Ave. in Belmont, CA. There are several nice restaurants there, some stores and a Lunardi's.  If it does rain, the covered walkways keep us all dry!
     There is usually about 30 artists at this show, so it is a much smaller show than most. I will be sending out my newsletter with pictures of new work, so if you are interested please sign up. I send it out before a show, or before any newsworthy event. You'll get about 25 a year or so!
     I just got home from the gym so my brain is completely unavailable right now. Next weekend is another show, in San Francisco, so perhaps by then my brain will have something wildly interesting to say!

About Me

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Calaveras County, California, United States
I love the stones and pearls, and the magic that happens when I combine them, and then again combined with the glass I make. You can find me at an Art show somewhere in Northern California most weekends during the spring and summer. Email me at if you like.