Monday, November 28, 2011

Holiday Fair Week

I think this is going to be the busiest week in a while for me. I am doing the annual Holiday Fair this year for the very first time. It has been on my schedule since the spring, and I am having trouble getting my head around the fact that it is actually time now. 

I've been working for weeks, in between other shows and my real job, to increase my inventory for the show. There are still a few things that I wanted to do but won't have time now. I had created quite a few of these little copper enameled bluebirds, but they sold really well at my other shows, and I only have a couple left now. They take a while to create, and so I don't see it happening.

I do have a whole bunch of glass pendants ready - lots of Christmas trees and snow flakes. I have quite a few hand painted and colored glass. 

If you happen to be in Greenville this Thursday, Friday and Saturday, please come by the TD Convention Center (formerly the Carolina First and Palmetto Expo Center). 

My mom-in-law is flying in from Chicago for a visit and has graciously volunteered to help me at the show. I'm excited to see her! I'm cautiously optimistic about the show. I've had vendors from other shows tell me I will do terrible and great...depends on who you talk to and how they did when they did the show in the past.

Oh, I started a new Facebook page for LeisaWorks - if you have time to click over there and "like" the page, I'd appreciate it. I'm having a giveaway when I get 100 "likes", or should I say...if I get 100's looking doubtful. Maybe I was overly ambitious.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Buy It Now...

I've never had a "buy it now button" on my blog before. But, I've been told by some that they see things on here they'd like, so I thought I'd give it a try.

I was at the Anderson County Junior League Holiday Market yesterday and met another vendor who gave me some ideas on how to add this paypal button to my blog. Basically, it will allow you to purchase this pendant even if you don't have a paypal account. So, if you see something you like then go ahead it now!

Season of Shimmers







A Bit of Whimsy









Sea of Turquoise







Buy It Now...

I've never had a "buy it now button" on my blog before. But, I've been told by some that they see things on here they'd like, so I thought I'd give it a try.

I was at the Anderson County Junior League Holiday Market yesterday and met another vendor who gave me some ideas on how to add this paypal button to my blog. Basically, it will allow you to purchase this pendant even if you don't have a paypal account. So, if you see something you like then go ahead it now!

Season of Shimmers

A Bit of Whimsy

Sea of Turquoise

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Holiday Market

This coming Saturday, I will be a vendor at the Anderson Junior League's Holiday Market. I have been very busy working to keep a good stock of inventory for these shows, so I anticipate having a lot of new stuff to put out Saturday, and I'm looking forward to trying a new show. This will be my first time at this one.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Gowensville, SC

Old schoolhouse Gowensville, SC

When I first started creating fused glass work, I realized I needed outlets to sell it. It really started out kind of slowly. I wore my own things, people at worked liked them enough to ask about them, and I overcame my uncertainty enough to bring a basket into work. To my surprise, I sold quite a few that way. The next step brought me to a local gift shop where I rented a space for my things, and I explored the possibility of doing my first outdoor festival. This is where Gowensville comes in.

I really don't remember exactly how I found out about this festival, probably an email from MAC (Metropolitan Arts Council). But, I nervously filled out the application and sent it in with the entry fee. To my relief, I was accepted and began preparing for the show. I had nothing to work with. I borrowed a couple of tables from my dad. They weren't even folding tables, so he took them to the site in the back of his truck for me. I was so nervous about this show that I took half day off work so I could go out the afternoon before to scope things out and set up my tables.

I borrowed a set of red charger plates from my mom to use to display my pendants. I threw together some signage and scrounged up a couple of red tablecloths. Thankfully, my mom came along with me to help out as well. There were just so many details involved in doing a show, from price signs to money for change. It was all so new - kind of scary but fun too!

That first show went better than I had expected. The people there were so nice. The weather on that November day was unseasonably warm. And, I actually sold stuff!

So, this past Saturday, I went back to Gowensville for the third time. After a couple of years of doing shows, I don't get nearly as nervous these days. I don't go out the day before anymore, and I have my very own folding tables. I still rely on and enjoy help from my mom and my husband. I still have lots of details to remember, and I confess to worrying needlessly about having enough inventory...haven't sold out yet.

I enjoyed being there this year as much as the first year. It is always nice to get out and meet people. I enjoy talking to them, explaining the process of fusing and hearing their stories. It is nice to sell a few pieces too! I always feel better about making the money to support buying and fusing more glass.

The tree right above my tent - 2011

My first festival space in Gowensville in 2009.

My booth this past Saturday - 2011

Again with the display...

Yes, I may be just the slightest bit obsessed with my art festival display. I seem to post a bunch about it's development, continued evolution, overhauls, and tweaks. I guess to the casual reader it may seem a bit odd, but it is something of a continuing saga for me.

This past weekend, I did what is probably my last outdoor show until Spring. As I was setting up, I took some photos of my display as I was assembling it. The last change I made was to replace the panels with a light weight, but sturdy foam core board.

Two metal shelves from Hobby Lobby with two curtain rods suspended between.

Three panels clipped to the curtain rod with chip clips that I attached to the foam core with E-6000 adhesive. I created three panels instead of one larger one so I I could store the entire display in one container for easier transport.

I cut and glued thin strips of foam core to create shelves for the pendants. Because of the angle of the panels, the pendant sit on the shelves without falling over or off. It is also easier now for people to see the pendants and pick them up and put them back. In the first draft of this display, the pendants were attached using s-hooks, but it was awkward for customers. They had trouble putting the pendants back on after looking at them.

Friday, November 11, 2011


Freedom is never free. - Author Unknown

Today is Veterans Day, a day when we honor all of the men who have served in our nations military. Hopefully it is a day when we reflect on how blessed we are to live in freedom and consider the sacrifices of all who have served to give us that opportunity.

My husband is a former Marine. Soon after we married, his reserve unit was called to serve in Operation Desert Storm. Even though it's been many years now, it is all vivid in my thoughts especially on a day like today. I remember getting the news that he would be leaving shortly after Thanksgiving, the difficult goodbyes, the anxiety of not knowing where he was or how he was, the long weeks with no news at all...and that was only on my end.

I know conditions were difficult at best for him over there. He doesn't talk much about what happened, but from the photos he brought back and some of the stories he has told us....I can't even imagine what it was really like.

I recall sitting alone on the floor of my living room watching the first bombs begin to drop over Iraq, seeing the grainy images of tracer fire across the sky. I remember friends and family who called (by phone...these were days before email, cell phones and texting) with words of comfort and support.

I believe our best friends broke land speed records to be with me that night, and I know my dad made a trip from Virginia. I have memories of the two of us sitting and watching as war began to unfold. Thankfully, it was over so much more quickly than many of the wars in our past. I remember the great joy and relief I felt when the news came that the war had ended - just six months after he left, he returned home.

I think of how very blessed I felt to have it turn out the way it did. I think of the many long and bloody conflicts in our past. I think of the families of so many that never returned.

Today, I would like to salute him along with all the others who have made the difficult sacrifices necessary to preserve the freedom we all enjoy. Thank You Tim - I love you.

Tim and Ben about 1995

Monday, November 7, 2011

Dance Around the Garden...

wings whispering through the air...

This is a recent glass piece I created. I really need about 10 more pieces for upcoming shows...I need to get in gear!

I'm learning this time of year is extremely busy for festivals and shows. I thought I was getting ahead of things this summer, but maybe not so much : )

I have a show this coming weekend, the next weekend and then the first weekend of December. I'm also open to scheduling more if opportunity arises.

So, I just have to create whenever I have a minute here or there...

I had a great time in Anderson this past weekend. I met some really nice people among the customers and the other vendors. There was an adorable older lady that did these incredible smocked dresses. She told me that the smocking alone took her 3 - 4 hours. Her prices were far too low to even cover the cost of her time. She said people wouldn't pay more...

Friday, November 4, 2011

Friday Night at Mistletoe Market

Tonight was the first night of Mistletoe Market. My mom went down to Anderson with me and helped me set up for the show. She had already taken my big box of pendants home with her this week and spent time organizing them into categories, colors, styles, etc.

This was a huge help when putting them on display...oh, she did that too! Thanks Mom for all your help! I loved having you with me.

We got to the museums about 2:15 and were finished setting up just about the time the first customers came in at 4:00. There was a pretty good crowd there tonight. The event was very well organized. I enjoyed meeting the people who had been sending me advance emails in person.

A colonnade at the entrance of the museum

A fountain outside the museum

My booth

A few new enameled copper pendants

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Mistletoe Market

This weekend I will be at the Eighth Annual Mistletoe Market at the Anderson County Museum. This officially kicks off the holiday season for me as far as shows go, and I am excited to be doing a show I haven't done in the past. If you are planning on going to the MM this weekend, please stop by and visit my booth. I've been working since the summer on Christmas pendants for this and other shows coming up this month. Below is the information for the Mistletoe Market and a few photos of more holiday pendants.

The Eighth Annual Mistletoe Market hosted by the Friends of the Anderson County Museum will be held November 4 & 5, 2011 at the museum. The Mistletoe Market, a juried show, marks the start of the holiday shopping season in the upstate and features artisans and crafters from all over Upstate SC and Georgia. This year’s market is the largest to date with thirty-four vendors. The Friends will host a “Sip & Shop” with refreshments on opening night, Friday, November 5, from 4pm until 8pm. On Saturday, November 5, the Market is open from 10am until 5pm. To allow parents time to shop uninterrupted, ACM will have a program for children under eight years of age at 10 a.m. and at noon. Each program will last approximately one hour. The children will make turkey centerpieces to take home for their Thanksgiving table. For more information about the Market, you can call the Museum at 864/260-4737 or contact Catherine Luplow, Market Coordinator, at

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

November Days

It is hard to believe November is upon us already!

It is a downhill run now to Thanksgiving and Christmas. I adore this time of year! I love the quickly changing season, the chilly air, the bustle of the holidays.

I also love this Robert Frost poem about November. Although, I'm sure it probably has some deep literary meaning, i like the imagery he uses to capture the feeling of November. I've posted it before, but it seems so appropriate today. Maybe I'll post every November first.

My Sorrow, when she's here with me,
Thinks these dark days of autumn rain
Are beautiful as days can be;
She loves the bare, the withered tree;
She walks the sodden pasture lane.

Her pleasure will not let me stay.
She talks and I am fain to list:
She's glad the birds are gone away,
She's glad her simple worsted grey
Is silver now with clinging mist.

The desolate, deserted trees,
The faded earth, the heavy sky,
The beauties she so truly sees,
She thinks I have no eye for these,
And vexes me for reason why.

Not yesterday I learned to know
The love of bare November days
Before the coming of the snow,
But it were vain to tell her so,
And they are better for her praise