Ornament Class Coming!

Hi Everyone,

I often have people ask me at shows whether I teach classes or not.  Right now, I don't teach my reverse painting at my home studio.  I will be in several locations throughout the US next year, however, teaching that technique in a 4 day workshop.  I encourage you to check those dates and locations on my Workshop page.

BUT -- If you are interested in trying out some other glass fusing techniques, I hope you will look at the ornament class I am holding on Tuesday night, November 29th from 6 to 8pm at Junque in Bloom in Bend, OR.

This will be different than other fusing classes you may see around town because of the techniques we will be doing. 

First we will play with paper and glass.  Normally paper will simply burn up at fusing temperatures in the kiln, but we will be making snowflakes from a special fiber paper that will stay white when fired between glass.  They make gorgeous ornaments and you can get  as detailed as you like with your paper cutting.


Second, we will have fun playing with glue and crushed glass (frit).  By simply drawing with the glue and applying different colored frit you can create pictures and words for a fun, colorful ornament.


Lastly, you will have the opportunity to play around with glass paints.  These are tricky sometimes, but worth the effort, I think.  Paint a picture, a snow scene, a dog or cat, whatever comes to mind for you!


There will be some light refreshments so if you need that little kick to get you in the holiday spirit, this is it!  AND, you get to make up to 6 ornaments to keep or give as gifts.  Can't go wrong with that!

All ages are welcome and since we won't be cutting or handling any sharp glass even kids can get in on the act.

Go to to sign up.  If that day doesn't work for you, please submit a request for another day/time that does!

Hope to see you all there!


Twigs Reception

A big THANK YOU to everyone who came out to Sisters last night for the Fourth Friday Art Stroll reception at Twigs Gallery. Kristin and I really enjoyed talking to all of you and sharing our work with you.  Although the reception was last night, the show will continue to hang through the third week in May, so if you didn't get a chance to go up you still have time!

An extra special Thank You to the ladies at Twigs/The Stitchin' Post who did a really fabulous job of hanging the show.  We are so grateful for that!  And, of course, to anyone who purchased a piece of art (or two, or three) - we are happy to share what we do with you and to know that it is appreciated.

Here are some pictures of the display and one of my sister and me with our smiling faces!







Me and Kristin


Sisters Collaboration

My sister, Kristin Shields, is a terrific quilt artist.  She uses a liberated style to build her quilts and they are so much fun.  She was chosen as the Featured Quilter at this year's huge Sister's Outdoor Quilt Show in Sisters, Oregon.

Kristin Featured Quilter OregonThat is her - far left of picture in white shirt and brown hair - and a tiny portion of the folks that stopped by her space on Saturday, July 13th.

So, last year we had an idea - let's collaborate!  Our parents' 50th wedding anniversary is this year and so we decided to make a hanging for them.  I made a reverse glass painting of a tree with intertwining trunks and limbs and little birds all in the favorite colors of each of the family members (parents, kids and grandkids). 

I sent that up to Kristin in January and she ended up making a little quilt the same width of a close up of the two red birds (our parents' favorite colors) on a limb with leaves.  She used almost all fabrics she had died herself.

Kristin had both pieces mounted and framed together and the we presented it to our parents this past Tuesday while I was visiting them all in Oregon.

Glass and Quilt 1

Mom and Dad glass and quilt 1

This was a fun little project and it was exciting just sending off a tile and getting to see the finished project all put together.  Maybe we will try another pairing some time - have a little show of them - that would be fun!

Leaded Glass

I started my glass career many years ago with a community college course that taught leaded glass design and technique.  I loved building windows  - designing, drawing and actually building them.  

However, I really don't advertise any longer that I make windows.  I have simply been focused on my fusing and glass painting as an art form.  Making custom pieces, especially windows, almost feels like an intrusion.  But I do like the challenge. Sometimes customers can get me to do pieces that I never would have though of on my own.

Anyhow, I received a call from John Lyles, owner of J. Lyles Architecture.  His wife owns the store The Lakehouse Collection in Lake Arrowhead where I sell some of my boxes full time on consignment and other items during one of their "First Friday" Events during the year. John had a client who owns a home on Lake Arrowhead and is just about finished with their build.  They "needed" a leaded glass window for one of their exterior doors.  They wanted to emulate the feel of another door in the room with a stock leaded glass panel, but with more color and design work.

From pictures of the existing door, I sketched out a design and met with the clients. They loved the design and, like I said, they wanted color.  The wife specifically wanted to incorporate a feel of each one of their family members.  She had a very elaborate story of their favorite colors, but what it boiled down to was that she chose colors for the window based on the colors of the playing pieces they each always used when they had a family game night.

It was such a fun story and so personal for them. 

I know this picture is not the best.  The window was finished and puttied yesterday and is laying on my work table while the putty dries and sets up a little.  I will need to do a good clean up and deliver it to the contractor early next week.   Hopefully I can get a picture of the window installed.  I am proud that it is going into such a beautiful house and has a very nice prominant positon facing the entry and driveway.



New Year - New Thoughts

I don't usually actually make New Year's resolutions.  I like to make goals for myself all of the time, so it seems sort of redundant.  

But, this year there are a couple of things that I really do "resolve" to do.

1.  I resolve to eat as "vegan" of a diet as I can.  This can be difficult when eating out or with friends.  And reading all of the ingredients on packages is quite tedious.  But I feel very strongly about this in my life and hope that I can make a difference in my health, the invironment and for farm animals everywhere.

2.  Secondly, and I just thought of this today, I resolve to try to live every day as if I am on vacation.  I thought about how I slow down my movements, my thoughts, my interactions when I am on vacation.  I tend to enjoy moments more on vacation.  That could be because I am away from regular surroundings where people and things become mundane chores, but I think it might have more to do with a state of mind. This one will be tough.  I think I am up for it. 

As for goals - those will start soon and continue throughout the year.  I am really looking forward to a very healthy, happy and fun 2012.  Hope you are, too!

IMG_0590New Year's Eve dinner with hubby.  :-)

Finally Pictures!

As promised, here are the pictures of my latest completed ornaments and Christmas lights.  We bought our first fresh cut tree in about 15 years yesterday.  It is sitting proudly in my living room.  We are expecting a snow storm today, so it will be just right for sipping cocoa (with Kalua?) and hanging lights and ornaments!  I am looking forward to it!

Blue Snowflake Ornament

Green Reindeer Ornament 2

Tree Ornament 2

House Lights

Flowers of the Season

We spent a little time this week putting up our Christmas lights outside.  We hung 6 strands of white icicle lights along our short fence that runs along our driveway and for the first time, we put our big colorful bulb strands along the front deck railing.  I just love coming home in the evening to the house lit up like that!

I also trimmed back my rose bushes.  For two reasons - I am hoping it makes them come back full in the spring, but also so that we would not get scratched to death while maneuvering around them to put up the lights.  There were a few gorgeous roses still in bloom, amazingly enough, and I cut those to bring inside.


The little owl card was a Thank You card from my nephew, Ryan.

A couple of months ago I repotted some of my older house plants.  They were quite root-bound and the Christmas Cactus hadn't bloomed in at least 2 years.  I ended up moving the cactus to a different window, also.  I understand they like the west facing sun, but I don't have any good window space on my west side, so they went into a north window.  I wasn't really sure how that was gonna work.  I was going around watering a couple of weeks ago and was so excited to see that it had big, juicy blooms on it again.  And then last week they all popped open!  



And on the glass front, I have sold quite a few of my ornaments at the Mountain Arts Network Gallery in Lake Arrowhead.  I really wasn't sure how well they would sell, so I only made 15 or 20 of the glass ornaments.  I had one woman come in and buy 13 of them in one day!  Well, I don't expect that to happen again, but I did make some more, different ones, and took them up to the gallery the other day.

Unfortunately, I took pictures of them after the clear glass was hand painted, but before firing, but forgot to get any finished pictures because I was in a hurry to take them to the store.  But, you can see the new images I painted - a Christmas tree, reindeer and snowflake.  They were all fired onto a vanilla colored background and I hung glass beads beneath each one.  I will have to get some photos for you. :-)





I like the reindeer, but the red ones are another example of how the red paint can be so tricky. During firing, the red blurred out and became very thin in spots.  I was not able to actually use them to sell.  I am planning to try to repaint and refire them, so we will see how that comes out.

Enjoy the Flowers of the Season!


Gold and Gray 3"Gold & Gray" 

10 Things Artists Should be Thankful For
Passed on from Sylvia White  via Kristin Shields at Stitching Hands Studio

1. I am thankful that I am not one of the majority of people in this world that wakes up every morning, goes to a job they hate, just to come home and do it all over again.

2.  I am thankful that when I am away from my studio, my ideas come with me, they keep me company everywhere I go.

3.  I am thankful for this passion that gives me so much joy (and angst) but mostly joy.

4.  I am thankful that when I have left this earth, I will leave something meaningful behind.

5.  I am thankful that I have a mind that can not sleep, I will never be bored.

6.  I am thankful that there is a part of my life that nobody can control, except me.

7.  I am thankful that no one in the world can ever take this gift from me.

8.  I am thankful that I am brave, it takes courage to pursue my gift.

9.  I am thankful that I am never satisfied, it forces me to move forward and grow.

10.  I am thankful I discovered this list!  Pass it on.

Happy Thanksgiving All!!


Rocks In My Head

It has been far too long since I posted here.  Sorry about that.  In late October my husband and I took an RV trip out to Santa Fe, New Mexico.  We saw so much art and had a great time just poking around the town and surrounding areas.

There were two art highlights for me.  First, we went to Shidoni Bronze Foundry and watched an actual bronze pour.  Pretty hot and scary work.  The grounds are littered with metal sculptures for sale and some were super impressive - some were just plain fun.



In the bronze gallery on the lower back section of the property was where we saw the actual pour and during the week they have more in depth tours of their process studio.  That is where I saw an art piece that has inspired a new thought - but that is going to be much later - probably after the holidays.

We also went to the outdoor Tesuque Flea Market.  I didn't get any pictures, but here we met a fantastic Flea Market Artist - Kelly Moore - doing graphic oil paintings on canvas, wood, etc.  His booth space was phenominal and he does his painting right there.  The ground of the space is covered in puzzle pieces!  You just have to check out his website.  He is also a magnificent poet.

Newsletter_shedImage borrowed from

So much inspiration!  If you want to see a ton of art in a small stretch of space/time, you must visit gallery row in Santa Fe.  

So....the point of the title of this post?  While we were there I picked up some nice, smallish, basalt rocks.  I had seen another artist using small rocks and painting ravens on them.  I thought it would be fun to try some.

I painted with acryilics and varnished with a water base finish.  They came out nice.  I made 9 of them and I actually sold 3 of them at a small art show in Redlands a week or so ago.  




IMG_0469This one's cute, huh?  Mark's idea. Ants with Cut Leaf "Hello"

The Bandit

Raccoons are fun animals.  They are so smart and adorable.  And they are perfect candidates to paint. 

This little guy is painted on a 4" square glass, has a Terra Cotta colored glass background and is framed mounted on a piece of rust/orange fabric.  

The Bandit
The Bandit - 4 x 4" tile

I think the fabric backing really makes this framed piece shine.  The fabric was from a bunch my sister Kristin - a fabulous and fun quilter -  hand dyed and sent to me.  Thanks Sis!!