Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sweet Necklace Made of Some Bits

My friend Aimee came over today wearing this wonderful necklace she created from my scrap mobile pieces. How great is that! I think the pendant looks like little buddies, and I love it, the little curlie of twist around the black cord... its precious. I am inspired by her creative use of these pieces.

And yes, Aimee came over wearing this necklace and I took it off her neck and put it in my photo setup so I could capture a few shots and share about it in the Garden of Leah. :) Isn't it beautiful!

Images on Glass IV

More colors!

From left to right these little plates show a progression of our color possibilities - Jan and I have been doing a lot of experimenting. I'm loving the green on the right (the ginko leaves).

By the way - these plates are available for sale in Jan's booth at the Portland Saturday Market, and I'm setting up an Etsy shop for our collaborations as well (I'll announce that when its available). The little duck is $9 and the robot and ginko plates are $14/ea.

The small plates are perfect soy sauce size - in fact we could make you a beautiful sushi set (completely dishwasher and food safe) with ginko leaves printed in the glass. yummy.

The little long plate is the perfect functional size (if you ask my opinion) - adorn your favorite spot with a plate to put your keys, rings, change, etc... look how perfectly it holds my glasses (I have this size plate in my bathroom as well as on my bedside table)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Customer Feedback

I love getting pictures of my mobiles in their new homes! Today I received this picture and kind words from Beate:
Wonderful seller, very friendly communication! Opening this package made my day, I LOVE my Mobi! Superfast shipping and great packaging! Thank you so much for the gifts too, and for making my first Etsy purchase such a lovely experience! :)
Comments like this really perk up my day, thanks for the heart warming feedback!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Mobile Earrings

Here are a some new mobile earrings that hit my Etsy shop today.
I've been making more and more mobile earrings - I love them!
My own little earlobes have been adoring them, and I get comments everywhere I go. People seem to really like them. I notice they are smile-makers, and that is a good sign!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Mobile Swap

Oh my goodness I received such wonderful mail today!!!

I am participating in a Mobile Swap organized online by Elsie Marley.

Today I received a mobile from the UK that is made of felt and absolutely scrumptious!

I took a bunch of pictures so I could share with you.

Little felted envelopes with script that say:
To Spring
Dear Summer
For Autumn

...and the envelopes have little fabric stamps and embroidered date marks... oh and the leaves are two sided.

This yumminess is now hanging above my kitchen table.

Its made by Amy of LucyKateCrafts and she really out-did herself!

Late Night Cookies

Late last night I made the best chocolate chip cookies ever! The recipe is from the most recent Cooks Illustrated Issue - I swear this magazine is my ultimate favorite magazine. I've had a subscription since the mid 90's. I love the hand illustrated black and white drawings and the geeky overly thorough investigations into all their different recipes. Its awesome.

Okay - so I made their "Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies". Late night cookies are not good for my belly, but hey, sometimes sh*t happens and this is the kind of stuff that makes me giggle!

They turned out spectacular. The recipe claims the following:
"We set out to perfect the back-of-the-bag classic with a cookie that was crisp at the edges, chewy in the middle, and full of rich toffee flavor."

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Give-Away: FREE Mobile Frame

This frame could be yours!

I am not sure who might want this, but here it is! You could make your own mobile using this wire frame. Its completely assembled, all you would have to do is make things to hang off the ends of the wire (the frame holds 9 things and is approx. 24inches in length).

You could hang photographs or felted things, or pieces of paper or glass things, or bottle caps, wine corks, beads, buttons... who knows! Your imagination is the limit!

If you are curious about the explanation of this wire frame:

Making empty frames for other artists to create mobiles out of is not something I normally do (only a few persuasive individuals have coaxed them out of me) but I have a couple of lonely confused wire frames in my studio for some reason... they once held creations of mine and I must have removed all the little glass pieces and made something else out of the glass and then the empty frame went lonely and ignored.

Post a comment here on the blog and it could be yours. It certainly wants to make friends with someone, and I'll be intrigued to know what it becomes! Spread the word too - this give-away will run thru April 1st 2009 - anyone can win! Its totally free and simply fun.

Snow Shoeing on Mt Hood

Yesterday was due time to take a day off.

heres the breakdown of my Tuesday weekend day off
-Pine State Biscuits for brunch
-drove up the mountain (new car's first trip up Mt. Hood - we took chains just in case, but we didn't need em)
-snow shoeing(there was so much fresh snow, and more fell as we wandered)
-the sun set and we drove home to have lasagna for dinner (re-heated home-made lasagna is always better than fresh)
-lastly my friend Corrie came over and gave me a massage

It was a blissful day... now I must work. My body feels relaxed and exercised and humming with happiness. Next Tuesday we are tempted to go snow shoeing again, this was the first time we've gone all winter (too much snow in town in December, the novelty factor had worn off) and now we want more before it all melts!

Sunshine on the Art at the Portland Saturday Market

The weather finally broke and gave us some sunshine for the first time in March this 2009 season. It was wonderful. Here is my booth all lit up by the sun.

However, the sky turned gray again and Portland became cold and wet for the rest of the weekend.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Great Product Photography

Product photography... what can I say... its humbling.

I just thought it would be fun to pull out an example of good product photography - there is always an element of what kind of camera is used - but there are things we can do with our skillz as amateur photographers trying to sell our work online.
  • the background must make the colors of the item pop
  • the flow of the eye over the picture leads the viewer to the product
  • the message of the image should be crisp and clear, so it can be noticed on a busy page filled with other things
The picture above is really stunning. Danielle you really rocked out with this shot! I like the use of the flower (a good prop makes the picture pop) and the colors (the pink and green drew me to this product on an Etsy page) and the white background... its bright and eye catching and even though the flower pulls my eye to the picture, its the stitch markers that I end up focusing on. That's good flow.

I work on my own product photography quite a bit. Its very time consuming. However I find it completely interesting, the psychological and aesthetically aspects and all.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Good Twin

Thanks for the blog shout out!!


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Finding Balance

As an artist that makes mobiles for a living, balance is a constant theme in my head. I am amused by the illusive nature of balance, and frequently stumped by the humbling nature of the beast.

I think about balance all the time. Its something of a theme in my life. Anyone who knows me knows that I make a LOT of mobiles.

Lets get this straight though - my life is far from perfect - but its pretty darned awesome. I make unconventional choices, seeking out what is good for me, not necessarily what works for someone else or what is expected of me. I embrace the idea of balance and live my life accordingly.

Leah's Top 10 Ways to Find Balance:
1. make art
2. do yoga
3. hang a mobile above my bed
4. work hard
5. take a day off each week
6. share with others
7. wear bright colors on gray days
8. keep a journal
9. laugh as much as possible
10. hang more mobiles

The mobile above my bed reminds me in the morning that balance can be beautiful. The mobiles in my living room accompany me and dance while I do yoga. The yoga is probably one of the best tools of balance in my life - the body needs exercise to be happy. And the mobiles in my garden keep my spirits bright and colorful, even in the fall and winter when natures color palette has become gray and wet. Glass is beautiful and captivating, and I like to be reminded of the pleasant side of life as frequently as possible. Seems to me like the real world can get incredibly depressing, the financial, political, socioeconomic global woes - there is a lot of pain out there in the world... but there is a lot of beauty as well. They go hand in hand. And that is the balance.


Monday, March 16, 2009

Fun with Flickr Stats

green background 1

My friend Amanda tweeted recently about how she was having fun with Flickr Stats. I'm sleepy and feeling unproductive, so I went and peeked into my own Flickr Stats (love me some stats, and I especially like how Flickr presents ours...)

I was surprised to find the picture above has crept its way up to #1 viewed image in my flickr account.

Uploaded about a year ago, I was playing around with printed backgrounds. I titled this one "Green Background 1" and explained how I made the background in the description. Other testers that had the same exact title but neglected to explain my process have about 1/3 the views of this particle flickr file.

Its not really the most interesting or great image, but its process oriented and details are provided, the title is very straight-forward.

The stats say almost 90% of the views on this image come from search engines, ie people typing in "green background" and getting this image.

For a long time now the #1 viewed picture (which is now #2) is this sweet image: (most of the views of this image were direct traffic from websites as this was a promotional image I created for a show)
Trunk Show in Brooklyn!

I really enjoy using Flickr and I love the stats. Fun times with statistics always gets my brain humming.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

the Afternoon at the Portland Saturday Market

It was a cold cold cold rainy day at the PSM today. Whew. My heater ran out of fuel and my toe warmers only lasted 5 hours or so (thanks Maggie for the toe warmers!). It rained rained and rained some more.

But honestly it was a fun day. There were so many friendly faces and wonderful appreciative customers - Thank you!

Mid-afternoon the market became crowded with drunk people running around in themed costumes with decorated shopping carts filled with beer. They were on an urban race called the Idiot-a-rod. This is a play on the Alaskan Iditarod long distance dogsled race. Except Instead of dogs, it's people, instead of sleds, it's shopping carts, and instead of Alaska it's Portland Oregon.

As they ran past my booth I grabbed my handy-dandy camera and took some shots. It was pretty hilarious. I made the video above with my footage. I think it turned out really great!
Regardless, the race is always fun to watch and certainly a bright spot of my rainy cold day.

May I add - a lot of those people had to be cold as shizzy! Most of the outfits were tiny and revealing (what fun!) but they must have froze their butts off in the rain today!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Baby Boy

I am a new auntie - okay, so I'm not actually blood related at all... but none the less I am a very proud Auntie - and officially his Mom and Dad gave me permission to share pictures of the brand new little man on my blog... I've been itching to scream it from the roof-tops so-to-speak... but hes not my child and I just didn't think that was right... but now that I have permission I had to share a few pictures! He was born last Tuesday (3-3-09)

His name is Orson - hes an absolute sweetheart, content and happy.

Here is a little video of him doing the infant thing,

you know, sleeping and making faces and such.

and here is a sweet shot of him yawning. He can do no wrong and I just want to take a million pictures of all his cute facial expressions.
I love being an auntie - and for the record: I am not tempted to have my own. Its much more fun playing with my loved-ones kids!

Friday Favorite

Thanks for blogging about my work!!


Thursday, March 12, 2009

And the Winner Is...

The winner of the mystery box is Amanda!

I am just as curious to find out what is inside as she is!


The Easiest Pie Recipe Ever!

I have recently discovered how easy it is to make Key Lime Pie... drum roll please... its a can of sweetened condensed milk (nummy) some of this key lime juice and some egg yolks. Period. Thats it. A little graham cracker crust and bam - Key Lime Pie. If I had known how easy this pie is to make - I would have been showin' up with Key Lime Pie at any given notice. Honestly, its so easy, and incredibly inexpensive.

Heres the recipe (taken from the side of the Key Lime Juice bottle):
  • one graham cracker crust
  • one 14ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup Key Lime Juice
Combine the milk, juice and yolks until creamy (I simply used a spoon and stirred till it was all combined, didn't take very long), pour into the pie shell and bake at 350degrees for 15 minutes. Allow to stand for 10 minutes before refrigerating.

If you like Key Lime Pie - you gotta try this. Honest. Pick up a pie crust and a can of sweetened condensed milk at the store, or and keep your eye out in the juice section, or the baking section, I forget where I found the special key lime juice... it was cheap too... I think it was the juice section of the grocery store.

Go do it! You'll thank me.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

YouTube Remix Artist Kutiman

This series on YouTube is wonderful! I highly recommend watching the "About" and checking out this article by Merlin Mann on 43Folders


7 Days of Color

Thanks Amy for this blog coverage!


Sunday, March 8, 2009

Translating Etsy Google Analytics

I noticed in my Google Analytics that my Etsy shop had a sudden burst of activity the other day... see the graph in the picture above... see the peak circled in red...

So I started wondering, what caused the flurry? Here is how to figured it out:

First I reduced the information to a couple of days by clicking on the dates on the upper right and selecting a small range around the peak (peak was March 4th so I highlighted March 2nd thru the 5th)

Now that the information was more relevant, I clicked on "CONTENT" on the left side menu.

By clicking on the "Top Landing Pages" I could then see where my crazy site action was coming from... the cryptic "/view_listing.php?ref=fp_feat_4&listing_id=21634564" was my answer (see the image above, you can click and zoom in, I circled the cryptic info in red on the bottom of the image) now the question is translating this.

The code is Etsy source information, the "ref=fp_feat" basically means that this product of mine (#21634564) was featured on the front page of Etsy.

The mystery is solved! I was on the front page of Etsy last Wednesday, and this was really fun to discover! Yeah for Google Analytics making my business statistics sort of accessible! And yeah for Front Page action!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Background Info about Buckman

The Buckman Art Show & Sell showcases Portland’s vibrant and talented art community while raising much-needed funds for the city’s premier public elementary school with an arts-centered curriculum. Initiated by a team of dedicated parents and artists in 1991, this beloved community-wide event invites professional local artists to show their work in an energetic and family-oriented atmosphere. Opening night festivities kick off a weekend filled with artwork and performances by Buckman Elementary School Arts Focus students and artists from throughout the Portland area.

More than 100 established and emerging artists and craftspersons presenting a range of media and styles will be selected for the 19th annual Buckman Art Show & Sell. Artists—both professional and Buckman students—receive 70% of their proceeds, with the remaining 30% directly supporting Buckman’s art education programming. Thanks to the outstanding work of local artists and volunteers, last year’s artist sales grossed more than $63,000!

In 1989, Buckman Arts Magnet Elementary School became Portland's only public school with an arts-centered curriculum. Students attending Buckman receive weekly drama, art, music, and dance classes that encourage artistic and academic growth. The Buckman Art Show & Sell provides an exciting opportunity for students to envision and develop their own creative futures.

Here's a sneak preview of the displays:

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Traditional Thai Massage

Its time to take a breath.

Each week now I either give a massage or receive one.

After a long weekend of work I am so grateful to have the chance to get a massage from my friend Corrie. Years ago I contacted Corri and began the most wonderful friendship. We both are trained in Thai Massage and we worked out an arrangement to trade massage on a weekly basis. There were a few years there where we let the habit slip, but its back in action and such a wonderful part of my life.

Corri is awesome (if you are local and need a massage - she is a practicing LMT - check out her website Splendid Tranquility) and its fun to get together with her and make each other feel good. Last night she came over and gave me a thai massage. My body says a big THANK YOU.

If you have ever had a Traditional Thai Massage you know what I am talking about! :) This type of body work is similar to having someone do yoga to your body. It is an ancient and spiritual art, opening up the energy lines and freeing blockage from our systems. I have lots of knots to work on. I find the world to be very stressful right now, especially financially, and this makes me tense.

I studied Thai massage in Philadelphia at the Druya Network, working on my college buddies (lucky them!) to accumulate the 100 hours of practice I needed to complete the course. Then when I had certification I worked on a handful of clients there in Philly... it was a pretty good job, better than being a waitress (my other college job) although I found that most times I was scheduled to give a massage I felt like getting one! :) Self indulgent me! Also I much prefer working on my close personal friends, its such a pleasure to do so!

After moving to Portland, I no longer could maintain this casual side-job because Oregon rules mandate that I also complete the normal massage therapy training (Swedish Deep Tissue type work and another 100+hours of practice and $$ on courses) and pay for a state license, otherwise it is illegal for me to practice. In Philly my license in Thai massage and completion of certification was all I needed. In Oregon my 3 licenses (pictured on the left) are useless as far as the law is concerned.

While I don't have any passion to become a professional massage therapist (I love being a glass artist), I adore this modality and it fills a wonderful little nook of my life.

I traveled to Thailand in 2000 and took all the certification classes again at the Old Traditional Hospital in Chiang Mai, as well as a course in reflexology and acupressure from a monk at Wat Po.

Back in Philly I was taught this Sanskrit prayer that went along with the traditions. It was a goal of mine to one day make it to Thailand and hear Thai people say this prayer, I craved the glory of the audible experience. And then to finally have this in Thailand a few years later was really funny! I wish I had been able to record it. The Thai people literally sing the prayer, the words are as sing-song to them as it was to me (I had overlooked the obvious fact that Thai people do not speak Sanskrit!!). But they say this prayer at the Traditional Hospital twice a day every day, so they really enjoy the process, some of them belt it out like a Hymn at church. Its awesome.

My study at the Old Traditional Hospital was one of the most indulgent and incredible months of my life. 3 weeks of Thai pampering: great food, massage, ginger tea, sunset get-togethers, late night drinking sessions and early morning prayers before class. It was complete bliss, I'd highly recommend the experience to anyone. I filled a whole little book with delicious stories of the things that I experienced there. It was simply out-of-this-world AMAZING.

pictured below is a poster illustrating the energy lines as the Traditional Thai Medicine describes (its very similar to Traditional Chinese Medicine chi lines, the Thai system simply has 10 where the Chinese system has hundreds)
So today, years later, I still chant the Sanskrit prayer from time to time when I need to get focused, it soothes my bubbling brain. And my massage training has become like this secret skill of mine - I can do the most amazing massage. Seriously, I'm not even bragging, its the massage itself, it takes hours and its awesome. Oh and don't even get me started on the foot massage that I learned from the Monk - its just heaven. Life seems to be so depressing sometimes, but massage is just bliss.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Jurying Handmade Art Submissions Pt. II

Are you curious what it is like to Jury in a new product at the Portland Saturday Market?

For current members of the market, when a new product line is launched, if its completely different from what the seller had juried in initially (and been selling at the market) that member is responsible for submitting a "New Product Line" application.

Heres a little sneak peek to give you an idea of the process:

Applicant: Jan Christine (professional book binder, active member of the PSM for many years)
New Product Line: glass plate settings with traditional prints
above is a picture of the committee visiting Jan last weekend - below is a picture of the application she filled out and submitted to the office last week (you can click on any of these pictures to zoom in and see detail)

In the morning once all our booths are set up, 2 or 3 jurors will pick up the pile of new product submissions from the office and look around on-site for those sellers. The actual jurying consists of a quick friendly visit to take a look at the product. Once accepted the new product is available for sale in that booth. You can see on the form that we use that we use to show if the work is well handcrafted, safe and durable, and either pass or fail the product and sign the form.
Its all very professional and straight-forward - as well as supportive of innovation within our community of artists.

There are many different scenarios and circumstances that involve the volunteer jurying system, new product lines are one facet of a well-oiled system. The most obvious function of the committee is evaluating and accepting potential new artists to the membership, but this is clearly just one part.

for more information about being a volunteer on the jury committee at the PSM:
  • check out this post ( http://leahglass.blogspot.com/2009/02/jurying-handmade-art-submissions.html)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Decor that is Easy on the Eyes (and the Earth!)

Check it out! A little LeahGlass press in the Oregonian Homes+Gardens NW