Friday, June 27, 2008


O.K., I'll admit it. I love cupcakes. A lot.

So I made some. They're lampwork beads, of course. I'm better at the torch than I am in the kitchen.

They're on Etsy right now. Come take a look.

Yummy, huh?
More cupcakes and other fun stuff coming soon.

Completely unrelated to anything relevant

Is it just me or is Gordon Ramsay incredibly sexy?


Also, check out the boy-child's golf form. He's barely 6! (yes, it's my kid, but still.....)

Try to ignore the blurriness. A.) My mother-in-law took it and B.) He never stops moving so it's virtually impossible to get a clean shot of him.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Maybe so and maybe no

Have made amendment in post regarding Ullja Kuntze. One of her eBay ID's was definitely gerbera28. The gerbera31 is unconfirmed as possitively being another of her alliases. An Anonymous Someone sent me post stating that this user was from Russia and to be careful about posting false info about people.

In fact, the user gerbera31 is not from Russia but is registered as being from Germany. Ullja Kuntze is from Germany. I don't know where she actually resides. That is not to say that all people in Germany who like African Daisies are potential threats. I'm sure that gerbera31 is known to his/her customers and, if not Ullja, my post should have no bearing and should be disregarded.

At this point, I'm all done with the Ullja deal. I think most concerned parties are now aware of her and her business practices. I am not advising or encouraging people regarding how they spend their money or where they buy their beads. My warnings have been directed primarily toward lampworkers who might need a heads up about how their beads are being represented.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Any ideas?

Wow, how long is summer vacation, anyway? Two weeks in and already running out of ideas for things to keep the kids busy. The problem is that it's just so incredibly hot and humid they don't want to stay outside for very long. Getting cabin fever and I can't get any work done.

Anybody got any suggestions?
Other than locking them out of the house or into their rooms, that is.
By the way, I'm totally addicted to this ColdPlay song that's running right now. I can't help it. I'm a victim of marketing. I love CP anyway, because of their U2-derivative sound, but this song (plagiarised or not) just got into my head and won't get out.
" ....sweep the streets I used to own."

We are going on vacation next week. Usually we go up to Coastal Georgia or South Carolina, but this year we're only going to Sanibel. It's close and we're in economy mode, just like everybody else. I'll post some pics when we get back.

I've been working on some new lampworking techniques lately. I'm not ready to show and tell yet 'cuz I haven't gotten any pics taken, but I will soon.

The LEST sale is still going on at Etsy. Just search LEST or LEST SALE to see all of the great sale items from this talented group. Don't miss it.

I've also listed some new beads on eBay. This is probably all I'll be listing this week since I'll be out of town shortly. I'm still offering FREE SHIPPING on eBay items to all return customers.

I'm feeling very 'purple' these days.

~Fairy Forest~

~Jacob's Ladder~

Friday, June 20, 2008

So, it can be done


O.K., here's the news.

After 4 years of gaining weight for unexplained reasons, I have suddenly developed the ability to lose weight.

Seriously. All of my life I've been not thin but not heavy. Even when I was pregnant, I stayed pretty trim. I was 6 months pregnant with my first baby before I even told anyone and nobody had a clue. I never even wore maternity clothes.

Then, about 4 years ago, I started gaining weight for no apparent reason. I'd go 2-3 months at the same weight and then suddenly gain 6 pounds in a matter of weeks. This went on for years with no explanation. I had all kinds of tests, checked my thyroid, adjusted my fibromyalgia meds. Nothing helped. Then, in the last 3 months, I've lost 20 pounds.

Again with the tests. Nothing seems to be wrong with me. Apparently, my metabolism just restarted itself.
Weirdness! But happy weirdness.

So, here's what I've got new on Etsy for the big LEST sale plus all of my other stuff is marked down as well. Other discounts offered do not apply during this sale. I will be offering a maximum of 20% off listed price. Free shipping on all eBay items for return customers still applies.

Just Beachy 1 & 2

Don't worry, I'll be adding more items. I just haven't had time to edit photos this week. I'll keep you updated.

Monday, June 16, 2008

O.K., Moving on to more important things

All right, enough time has been spent on other topics. Moving along.

My kids are back after a week with their grandparent getting totally spoiled and being terribly missed. Sort of.
Also, we had a party on Sunday for some of my husbands relatives who were in town from Missouri on vacation. It was fun. None of us had ever met any of them, but they were very nice and normal in that Midwestern kind of way. (I am from the Midwest myself, and so can make comments like that without fear of censorship.)

Now, for business. I've got some new listings on Etsy and a set on eBay. I'll be adding another set and a couple of focals to eBay this evening.
As a little 'thank you' for all of your support, I'm offering a special discount to my return customers and Blog readers:

Free shipping on eBay items to any return customers, whether you've purchased on eBay, Etsy or from my website.
15% discount on Etsy items for Blog readers. Just add the item you want to your cart, but DON'T pay for through PayPal. After you've added it to your cart, send me an email letting me know that you're using the discount code:

I'll then invoice you through PayPal, with the discount applied.

I hope you'll take advantage of the sales. Now, a view of what I've got listed and a few of the upcoming items.

These are either on eBay, or will be in the next couple of days.

The bead below is just one of a full set called ~Fairy Forest~ that is destined for eBay
These are - or will be - on Etsy. I have several other new items, but am having some difficulty uploading pics to Blogger today. You can visit my shop to see what else is there.

Thanks so much and have a great day!


Thanks for all the hits. Lots and lots of visitors in the last day or so as related to my previous post. And thanks for all the support! I'm proud to be just one small member of the huge group of jewelry and lampwork artists who stood their ground and made their voices heard on this issue.

To clear up any confusion, this was not about one person copying other people's work. We copy each other all the time, whether intentionally or otherwise. Lampworking is an ancient art and it's impossible not to replicate others at some point in time. Call it inspiration or whatever you want, it's just the way it is and we're all pretty much accepting of that.

No, this was about one person representing other people's work as their own.
It was about shill bidding on auction sites.
It was about misleading buyers with false information.
Practices like that just makes this business harder for everyone. Thankfully, Etsy has stopped it for now.

Good work!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Merlot and email

Did you ever hear that little quip that goes, "Merlot and email do not mix"?

Well, in rereading my last post, I begin to understand that there may be some truth to that. God, what an annoying, aggravating ass I have become. What a bitchy, boring, butthead I sound like sometimes. What a silly, snotty, sourpuss I am. What a whiny... O.K. I can't come up with anything that goes with whiny, but I think you get the picture.

And just so you know - it wasn't Merlot that affected my ability to behave rationally, it was Pinot.

Due to a pact that I made with myself early on in this blogging process, I can't remove the post. I can only apologize, take responsibility for my actions and move on.

Here goes. My name is Laurie and I am a Wine/Blog offender.

O.K., feel better now. And, in the hopes that I can do something kind in return for my pathetic ramblings of a few days ago, I am going to forward some info that I hope you jewelry makers will be able to make use of.

There is a seller/buyer on Etsy who has allegedly made fraudulent claims about the beads she sells. She claims to make her own beads from her studio in Milan. Her name is U*** and her Etsy store is no longer in existence. It was closed by Etsy for reasons related to what I'm about to tell you.

In fact, Ullja allegedly does not make her beads, or at least not many of them. In fact, Ullja allegedly buys the beads of other lampwork artists, using various ID's on eBay, as well as buying directly from individual artist's sites and then resells them on Etsy, claiming that they were handmade by herself in her Milan studio. Allegedly, she is currently under investigation by Etsy and possibly the FBI(?) for fraud. Definitely, she has been permanently banned as a member of the SRA, which is an independent artist's registry.

Just a few of her known eBay ID's are gerbera28 (previously posted as gerbera31, which is actually unconfirmed), cocinella31 and ullja31. Her website is currently only posting her own beads, as far as I know. She has, as mentioned above, been removed from Etsy.

I know these things because, in addition to dozens of my lampworking friends who were allegedly ripped-off by this cow, she purchased my own beads and then allegedly resold them under the Ullja name. I saw them with my own eyes. Allegedly, that is.

Also, if her studio is in Milan, it must be Milan, Texas because Texas is where I mailed her my beads.

I am allegedly finished with this post now. I hope you found it helpful and interesting. Now, on to the Merlot. Er....Pinot.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Block it out

I'm blocked. No, not in a gross, digestive kind of way. But still seriously, totally blocked.
I can't write in this blog. I can't edit my book. I can't make a bead. I can't make dinner for the kids.

Hell, I can't even make a dinner reservation.

I'm having some sort of crisis and I don't really know the way out of it. Part of it is stress, I guess. As you all know, the economy is horrendous and my husband's job is dependent upon an upswing. I worry constantly.

No biggee. It's me and everyone else out there doing the same thing. We'll get through it. We'll all get through it. This is America, after all. The greatest Nation on earth, by gosh-golly!

Please, oh please, do NOT get me started down that path. Don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry.

Back to topic.
Part of it is depression. School is out as of today and I've got a long, hot summer with two kids who fight like Tom & Jerry to spend it with. Two sweet, sweet little angels that are just growing up too fast.
What? Where the hell did that come from?
(Damn, maybe this whole problem is hormonal. Do I seem Hormonal to you?)

And part of it is just frustration. I don't know what else to do. I work hard. I think I make pretty beads of above average quality and list them at a reasonable price. I still can't hardly sell anything. And it's not the g*damn economy, either. Other people sell beads all the time, at outrageous prices.

It's me.

I'm blocked. Creatively blocked and I can't figure it out.

I suck.

Phooey, it is Hormonal. (Notice how I capitalize that word. It needs to be capitalized. It's a very, very important word.)

I do, actually, have two sets sitting in my kiln for the last two weeks that I've been too disorganized to photograph. I'll do that this weekend and then I want to hear you opinions on them. They are a little different from my usual style.

Hormonally different, you might say.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Hello, It's Me

So, here I am. No, nothing catastrophic happened. (In case anyone was actually reading or wondering where I've been!)

My computer died last week. Well, didn't die, but did completely stop functioning. I've never had a computer problem that I couldn't fix myself but I just couldn't nail this issue down. I had to take it into the shop and it took all over a week to get it back. A completely frustrating situation. When I did get it back, it was doing the exact same thing that it was before I dropped it off and I ended up fixing it myself, anyway. Aaaaargh!!!!
During the time it was gone, I didn't make a single bead. I just took the week off and chilled. Probably a stupid thing to do, considering that my kids get out of school next week for the summer and I should have been making beads like a lusty bunny. Production always slows down during the summer just because I don't have a lot of time and I really ought to have been stockpiling some things. Sadly, I couldn't seem to get into the groove.

However, I do have a few things that I made a few weeks ago and I've got them coming up on eBay tonight.
A set of luminous aqua and ink blue hollows.

~Global Warming~
A nice teal and Luna organic focal bead

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