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Tuesday, December 31, 2013


As we finish 2013, I would like to end on a high note with photos of our annual tour of the Christmas windows in Manhattan.
First was Kate Spade with a crystal-covered cityscape by Kellie Defries.
Next was Bergdorf's windows that illustrated holidays; this window is April Fool's Day.

The Bulgari snake was missing a segment this year.

Jewelry on rooftops at Tiffany's

Harry Winston's decorated the whole building with jewels.

Bendel's did a clever salute to Abe Hirschfeld...

but I was more amused by this little thief.

The Hotel Peninsula always looks festive.

Cartier did it's traditional red, wrapping.  Notice the 2 leopards on the building.

I am not sure what they are, but Fendi decorated with strange, little boxes .

 A close-up.

The light show on the Saks building.

Saks' windows involved an artistic Yeti who moves to New York City to make snow.

The Rockefeller Center tree.

The Anthropologie store always does a nice job of decorating for the holidays.

Who could resist a dragon made of Legos?  This one winds through the store.

One of the lions at the research building of the New York Public Library.  Structural issue have kept them from putting wreaths on Patience and Fortitude in the past but the problems have apparently been solved.

On to Lord & Taylor.

Another window at Lord & Taylor.

The last stop was Macy's.

Snow bunny

One of the fairies made by my friend Zoe Morsette and other theater elves.

So I hope this little tour of New York City decked out in its finery brings a smile to your face as we end 2013 and start another year.  May 2014 bring much happiness and good fortune.


Friday, December 27, 2013


Cupid's Gift wire crochet class

 Now that the Christmas rush is over, I would like to remind everyone that I am teaching Cupid's Gift on Saturday, February 8, 2014 at the Fashion Institute of Technology from 10am-4pm for The Bead Society of Greater New York.  NOTE: we have had to change the original January date to February.
     Why the name?  Ancient Romans believed that the rose got its thorns when Cupid shot an arrow into a rose bloom after being stung by a bee hiding in its petals.  In this class you can combine Bohemian glass spikes from York Beads, wire crochet, size 8/0 seed beads, and crystals to make a modern interpretation of that myth that can be worn as a pendant or brooch.  Students will crochet a flower of wire and add two sizes of spikes and crystal roundels to the center.  Crocheted wire leaves, a bead crochet stem of seed beads and more spikes, a crocheted wire backing, and a pin back will complete the project.  Prior crochet experience is helpful.
     The fee for members of The Bead Society of Greater New York is $65 plus supplies; the fee is $95 for non-members.  Kits will be available in class for $65 or you may bring your own supplies.  A supply list will be provided once a reservation is paid for.
     To register, call Carole Horn at (212) 650-1778 between the hours of 9am-9pm.  Once you have put your name of a workshop list, you must immediately send in your check.  For more information about workshop policy, you can visit Bead Society Greater New York.

Saturday, December 21, 2013


In case you need a short break from the holiday madness, I wanted to share my latest treasures from the bead world.  In between teaching classes at the Innovative Beads Expo in Fishkill, NY earlier this month, I had a chance to do a little shopping with two new vendors and one of my perennial favorites.
The first new vendor (for me) was Ren Farnsworth and her lovely lampwork flowers.  I fell in love with her flower bud head pins,separate flower beads, and flowers on wire.  I made earrings out of the head pins and flower beads and am contemplating what to do with those cute pink flowers.  Ren had much more for sale but I had to limit myself. 
Ren Farnsworth's glass flowers
My second discovery was the lampwork  beads and enameled beads and headpins of Anne Lichtenstein of Gardanne Glass.  I just couldn't resist the bead caps and birds.  The ruffled glass bead is destined for a project that will remain under wraps for now.  You can learn more about Anne through her blog Gardanne Life.
beads by Gardanne
Last but certainly not least, I stopped to visit with my friend Marti Brown of The Dragon's Odyssey.  I fell in love with Marti's new niobium sequins in 2 sizes and just had to bring some home.
Marti's niobium sequins with a few size 8 beads for size comparison
I also met Denise and Diane of 2 Bead Sisters and their mom.  Denise and Diane are actual sisters who live 2 hours away from each other, make glass beads, and come together at bead shows to sell their lovely beads.  I was good and didn't buy anything this time. 
Beads by Denise and Diane of 2 Bead Sisters.  I borrowed this photo from their website because, silly me, I didn't think to take any photos at the show.

So there you have my latest finds.  I can't wait to see what treasures next year brings.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


As promised, here is the report of our trip to the Corning Museum of Glass over Thanksgiving weekend.  The bad news?  There is no easy way to get there from NYC but to drive there.  The good news?  It is well worth the long drive.  The admission is good for 2 days because you would be hard-pressed to see everything in one day.
This is the front of the museum.  Despite is unassuming entrance, treasures await.
The CMOG Christmas tree made of glass balls.

The first part of the museum is devoted to matters of science: Corningware, Pyrex, telescope lenses, specialty glass, fiber optics, and more.  There are also demos on glass blowing, lampwork, fiber optics, and glass breaking.
Here is our friend Stephney standing inside a tower of Corning bakeware. 
Who knew Pyrex was so old?
This interesting piece of glass is identified as a magnificent failure.  On March 25, 1934, 25 glassmakers spent 10 hours pouring 20 tons of molten Pyrex glass into a 200-inch (5-meter) mold in an attempt to make a mirror blank for the Palomar Observatory.  The disk broke but provided valuable lessons and the second attempt was successful.  You can see the cracks, ripples, and other imperfections.  How did they get this monstrous disk into the building?  They didn't.  The disk was already on the site and they built the structure around it.

Then it was on to the pretty stuff as we walked through an exhibit of modern glass.  This plate of giant fruit was one of my favorite pieces.

The Matron and The Shrew by Dan Dailey
Another interesting piece was Rainbow Noir by Kait Rhodes.  It is made of blown canes, cut, and assembled with copper wire.

After that, it was on to the special exhibit Life on a String: 35 Centuries of the Glass Bead.  Stephney and I had different opinions of the exhibit:  I wasn't terribly impressed with the exhibit but Stephney was more charitable.  The museum did have some nice pieces in the exhibit but the items were poorly displayed in low light, so it was hard to see a lot of the exhibit.
For example, wouldn't you like to get a better view of this ancient face bead?  So would we, but it was displayed in a large glass case under low light.
A great beaded bear--Big Bear by Sherry Markovitz--hung high on the wall.  
Here is a lovely beaded basket from 17th-century England.  The red background doesn't help viewing.

The other irritation was that photos of the exhibits were allowed...unless they weren't.  It got confusing to take a photo and find out that the description said "No Photos."  If you want to see more of the exhibit, here is a link to 22 photos taken by the museum staff:  Life on a String.   It turns out that part of the exhibit is also placed among the space with the permanent collection, but we stumbled across that later. 
Next we wandered into an exhibit of studio glass by Richard Marquis.
A piece by Richard Marquis.
Then it was time to be overwhelmed by the pieces from the permanent collection that were on display.  The collection goes from ancient Islamic and Roman glass on up to modern art glass.
A strand of 19th-century, European beads.
This Italian, mosaic portrait from around 1900 was one of my favorite pieces.

Some examples of ancient, Islamic glass.


The museum has a whole collection of lampworked-glass, scientific specimens made by Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka working in Dresden, Germany in the late 1800s.
Detail of an 19th-century lamp that tickled me.
Beadwork egg and drinking glass collars.
Mosaic With Fish by Leopold Forstner made around 1925.  It is glass and enamel in cement.
A  vase by Emile Galle.
There are also paperweights galore.
 One of our favorite examples of art glass: Chess Set by Gianni Toso, made about 1981.  The chess pieces are Jewish and Roman Catholic religious figures.

Then it was time to for the gift shop.  Stephney and I are standing in a small part of the gift shop.

After that, it was time to start the long drive back to the City.  We were a little disappointed that we didn't have enough time to try making our own glass piece but that takes 2 days: you make your glass item on day 1 and leave it to anneal until day 2).  It was a tiny disappointment, though, because the museum is an amazing experience.  If you ever have a chance to visit it, do not hesitate.