Wednesday, January 30, 2008

new on etsy

I made these both last night. Could they be any different...and yet....there's something oddly romantic about both of them.

Oh yeah.
They're hearts, derrr.
my etsy

Monday, January 28, 2008


Isn't this insane???
Ivory glass+fine silver foil+pmc+acid etch+my super secret patina=LORI IS HAPPY!!!

Sorry, I know this is obnoxious, but I can't even STAND how cool this is. Tricky part....making more....

Now the good news for YOU-
I made this for a contest and you could win it for free (FREE!!).

Can't post details yet.
Check back in a couple of days ;)

Friday, January 25, 2008


is the sound of this heart selling in under 15mins of being posted on etsy.

I've been playing around with adding pmc to my hearts for a long time, took a break from it, and just came back last night.
I really really really like how this one turned out.

Want one?
Shoot me an email and I'll let you know when I make more.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

what a difference a year makes

I guess I've been lampworking for about 6 years now. Who can remember?? And what started as a hobby quickly turned into another part of my business. I started selling beads on ebay, probably MUCH sooner than I should have, but OMG people bought them!!! Occasionally I'll come across an old file in my computer, but LUCKILY most of those pics were in my old now completely dead pc so I (hopefully) will never be embarrassed by them again.

Not so!!!

About a year ago I started selling my stitched hearts on the super adorable indie website SHANALOGIC. LOVE Shanalogic. She probably sold about 20 of them for me before I cleaned out my supplier of the gunmetal lock & key toggle. And, oh joy...NO ONE ELSE MAKES THAT TOGGLE IN GUNMETAL. No joke. By the time they got more in I was in the height of my show season and got too busy to do any wholesale. So when things slowed down after Christmas Shana emailed me to see if she could have the hearts again, and since I had just gotten 100 toggles I was happy to be back on her sight. I whip up 10 hearts ("whip up"?? hahaha those hearts are the most difficult thing I make!!) and send them on there way.

Shana emails me to let me know they got there, but then mentions they're much darker than they were last year. Whuh huh??? I know I used the same glass, and they're the same hearts I've been making for the past year so I have no idea what she's talking about. The lighting changes the tone of that red, so I suggest she look at them in the daylight. We go back & forth until she sends me a picture of the hearts she had last year. Oh noooooooooo! Can you even believe how much different they are now??? And sure enough, that red is MUCH brighter. Jeez louise.

Although now I'm excited to see what they look like NEXT year :)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

the long awaited photo tutorial...or how to get a professional looking photo on the cheap

Since so many people have asked me how I'm taking my new pictures I'm going to explain. BUT, I really have little idea of what I'm doing, and this is based on my camera and my crazy set up, so it may or may not help you.
I hope it does!!!
First, a before and after.



See the difference?

Now let me tell you my secret....shhhhhh........the dramatic lighting in the second photo? It has MUCH less to do with lighting and much MUCH more to do with the background.

In photoshop I made a square, I think 8x8, 300dpi, filled it with black, then used the eraser tool to "erase" a spot of light in the middle. Then, and this is important, I printed it on shiny photo paper. Feel free to use the one I made.

I use a ginormous light tent I bought when I was painting glassware, you do not need anything this huge. I have it lit with 3 cheap-o clamp lights from the hardware store and I'm using 100w GE Reveal bulbs.

I'll tell you how I have my camera set, but this was pure trial and error, and your camera will have more or less settings to screw around with. I have a 5mp Sony Cyber-shot. I always use the macro setting (that little tulip). Under "menu" I set the

When I point the camera at my piece I'll see the lighting change dramatically, and I'll just keep moving it slightly until the white spot on my background is bright, but
the piece I'm photographing has enough contrast. I had to play around with this for a while before I figured out what the look for. Use your tripod, and use the timer on your camera.

I've found that most of the time when I shoot this way I only have to do one touch up in photoshop, and generally it's just an auto color correction. For some reason the background almost always comes out an indigo blue, but if I click auto color correction it changes it back to black while keeping the colors correct on the piece being photographed.

I really hope this was worth the wait. And please, if you have questions I will try my best to answer them.

Happy shooting!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


I have no idea where this was taken, or even who some of the people are, but there I am! Right there!!!

Can you see me?

I'll give you hint.....
green has always been my favorite color.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

happy birthday to me

yup, 39 today.
But to celebrate, anyone who buys something from my etsy store today will get e free gift. And I have gooooood stuff!
mmmmm thanks Amy for the virtual cake. Just my taste!!

coming soon!!

Waiting for my promised photo tutorial??
I promise it's coming soon.

Here's some homework to prepare. Go here-
my flickr
and print out the background on shiny photo paper. Be sure your printer options are set for the right paper!

I'll be back.

got hearts??

People ask me, often, if I use a mold or press to make my hearts because the shape is right on.
I just make lots and lots and lots...

This is just some of what I did yesterday.

Thank you if you've ordered one!!!

Monday, January 14, 2008

want to win a bunch of stuff??

Want to win one of my stitched hearts? Plus a bunch of other cool indie stuff??
Scoot over to INDIE FIXX
and check out the Valentine Contest.

new on etsy

"cupcake love"

Curious how I decided to stick a cupcake on top of a heart? Ready??
I've made exactly 1 million stitched hearts in the last few days (YES! REALLY! 1 million hearts) and while I have more to make, and orders to fill (sorry if you're waiting for something from me, it's coming soon I promise!) I seem to ALWAYS come up with new ideas when I really really need to be making other things.

Before I forget, you need to know that my laptop is attached to my hip. It's another thing I have a problem with (problem things also include etsy, and marshmallows), but I have to have the computer near me at all times. When I lampwork I listen to WOXY vintage, being old and all....I've found that I need to listen to 80's music almost all the time. It's sad. So ANYWAYS, since I also have the obsession problem with etsy I often have the front page pulled up and when I was on heart #999,999 they had a whole page of things with birds. Swallows, crows, etc. And I thought "bird love"!, how funny would it be to stick a bird on top of a heart. And THEN, because I lived in DC for so long, "bird love" lead to "cakelove", but I didn't think a cake would fit on top of the heart, so of COURSE that lead to "cupcake love". Funny right?

And oh yeah...tomorrow is my birthday.

Told ya I was old.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

new on etsy


"glam it"

the ladies

hey, the black and one was that fat when she got here
the other one...well....please don't call the spca!!!

Friday, January 11, 2008

all mysteries have been revealed

Today I FINALLY got to take a silver smithing class. It's so much fun! And so much work!!

Who'd have thought it would take SEVEN HOURS to make one little no, I will not be making these for sale any time soon, but I do have plans. Oh yes.....there are wheels a'turning in my tired little mind....just you wait...

You can't really see how incredibly cool this ring is from my awful pictures, but I stamped the top and bottom with random numbers, and stamped the inside with *seemingly* random letters. If you look closely you'll see I've spelled ISABEL. I figured since she's sure to steal all of my jewelry at some point I might as well just make it for her now.

I took the class from the amazing Lillian Jones, go look at her work RIGHT NOW!!! If you live in NC I highly recommend taking one of her classes.

And then, when I got home, totally out of the blue there were a bunch of orders for the stitched heart from etsy. Hmmmm....what's up?? After searching around I found out it's currently featured in a storque (etsy's blog) article called "A Very Jaded Valentine's Day". And now it's on the front page!!

This is kind of a big deal because it means that every person who visits etsy while it's featured will see my heart. It's the best free advertising for my shop EVER.

What a fun day.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

no dogs allowed

For some reason people keep telling me that my 2 yo needs a dog.


We already have a cat who'll eat her lima beans.

Friday, January 4, 2008

new on etsy

"romance of a nightmare"

new on etsy

"happy cupid (black cherry)"

gimme some (etsy) love

I'm obsessed with etsy. It's a problem.
Today they put up a Valentine's Gift Guide and my red stitched heart is the very last item on the very last page.

Want one??

the south, pt1

For those of you who don't know, I moved from the DC area to Raleigh, NC almost three years ago. It was time to "buy the house, have the baby", blah blah blah and the housing market in DC, MD, & Northern Virginia was OUT of CONTROL. For real. We were renting a tiny 2-bedroom "garden" apartment ("garden" hahahahaha, read : the door opens into the parking lot), I think it was 700sq ft, with one parking space and shared laundry. On a 6 lane road. When we left those condos were selling for more than $240k. And they were selling!

My mom lives in Chapel Hill which isn't far from Raleigh, so we decided to look for a house down here. We found a great house, built in '65, it's almost mid-century modern (there are touches, like the odd design element in the front hall of the cut off chimney looking thing. It was filled with the most hideous dust-filled plastic plants. Why??)
bought it from the original owner, move in ready. There are definitely things that need work but all in all it's a great house. Nice neighborhood, family friendly, park right next door.

The park was a selling point. It's 1/2 block away, has a little play area, sand, and a pond. It also has tennis courts, a basketball court, and a soccer field. It seems to also be the perfect place to shoot off fireworks. At 3:40am!!!

I don't sleep well to begin with. Ok, wait, that's not true. I sleep fine until something wakes me up. Sam stealing the covers, the cats fighting on top of me, Isabel having a nightmare, these are things I chose to bring in to my home.
FIREWORKS at 3:40am (!!!!) I did not. And lucky me, living in the south, you can buy fireworks pretty much anywhere, anytime. They had them in Target with the Christmas decorations.

Needless to say I was up at 3:40am, watching the X-files, and missing the street noise from my tiny 700sf "garden" apartment.

Stupid south.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

new on etsy

This is another of the original prototypes when I was still making them flat. Green is my favorite color so this will be hard to part with, but how many of my pieces can I actually keep?? This is my JOB you know ;)
Go visit my etsy store, thanks!
"steer me to spring"

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


I've sold FOUR of the new bezel set pendants in the past three days.

Guess I need to make more.


the beginning of the end

When I was in high school my parents used to take my younger sister and I on all sorts of car trips. Often we'd go to brunch Sunday morning (belgium waffles, danish, sausage, mmmmmm......good job parents! Thanks for teaching me to over eat!!) and then we'd go shopping. A lot of the time we'd go to craft shows. And even though we lived outside of Philadelphia where you'd think there'd be plenty to do and see, we'd sometimes drive HOURS to get to certain shows. Maybe it was because my Dad always referred to Philly as FILTH-a-delphia. And the road you'd drive on to get there (the Schuylkill Expressway, pronounced school-kill) as the SURE kill Expressway.....he was a character. I'm sure I'll tell you more about my Dad as time goes by. You've been warned ;)

So anyways, one of the craft shows we'd go to is called Sugarloaf. There are a bunch of different Sugarloaf shows but we'd go to the one in Gaithersburg or Timonium, MD. Anyone want to mapquest Philly to Gaithersburg??? I'll save you some time. It's a SIX HOUR round trip. And on the way home we'd all be eating the FUDGE we always got at the show. You know the noise Homer makes? That's me and PUMPKIN FUDGE.......drooooool........uh you see a pattern here? Brunch? Fudge?? Nice.

The Sugarloaf shows have been around for a long time. Most of the artists have been doing what they do for ages and we'd see the same people at every show. Somehow I got it in my head that this would be a great way to live. I remember walking through the parking lot, past the trailers and motor homes, and thinking to myself that this was something I'd like to do. Travel the country, spend my nights in a motor home, peddle my art....doesn't matter I had no idea what I'd make.

Fast forward to last night, well really very early this morning. At 12:30am I finished my application for 5 Sugarloaf shows! I probably won't get in, it's almost impossible to get juried in to any show with jewelry any more, my booth shot is atrocious, and my product images are extremely unprofessional, but who knows.

Maybe some of my high school naivete will work for me now.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

new on etsy

"golden compass III"

hidden treasure

It's really funny to me how things come about. Here's how moving a tv lead me to hidden treasure.

I designed the bezel for this piece almost two years ago. The sample the company sent me was perfect so I ordered two different sizes. I spent a ton of money, and when they came I hated them. The beads didn't fit right, I hated how they were finished, they're too heavy for the chain I use, and I couldn't give them away. $1600 down the drain. Into the cabinet they went.

Here's where the tv comes into the story. I swore I wouldn't put a tv in my 2 y/o's playroom. So what happened? The family room was always a mess of toys and she rarely played in the beautiful playroom, that used to be my beautiful glass studio (alright, yes, it was a total disaster but I did have floor to ceiling windows and skylights and a nice brick floor) until I moved into the tiny dining room (where I am now destroying the original hardwood floors with flying pieces of glass) so she could have the beautiful playroom. hummph. Ok, I give in. TV is now in the playroom.

But you know that moving the tv doesn't just mean moving the tv.

First of all, when we moved my studio into the dining room we had to move the dining room table into the living room, which might sound odd but it actually finished the room. Although it did displace two newly reupholstered antique armchairs. We just pushed them into the corners and they've been deluxe kitty beds ever since. So now I decide that those two chairs need to come down into the family room. Which means we need to move the tv cabinet that was in the family into the den where the other tv has been sitting bachelor-style on top of two giant, ugly speakers. It was a good look, let me tell you.

And oh yeah, that means we have to move the PIANO into the family room.

Ok, two big armchairs downstairs, move the couch to where the tv table was, move the tv table to the den, move the piano from the den into the family room. Now we can move the tv into the playroom, right? NO! Now there are two big cabinets still on top of the cabinet where the tv needs to go. Ok, lets empty those cabinets and move them into the dining room..ooops I mean my glass studio.

And that's where I found the bezels. Remember those?? They're tarnished, looking rough....reminds me of the $ I spent....but wait!! What if I oxidize them like I've been oxidizing my dirty silver chain, and string them on the heavy gunmetal chain I've started using. Hmmmmm......let's see.......


I listed the one on the left on etsy. It sold in two hours. Then I listed the top one. Took six hours to sell. Wow.

I'll be listing a few more to see if this was a fluke or if they'll really sell.

Don't you think you should go clean out that drawer now???