Thursday, November 18, 2010

Catching Up

When I started this blog, I swore that I would post a blog at least once a month. Well, bless me Father, it’s been 7 months since my last blog (little bit of Catholic humor). It's been a busy 7 months for Those In Glass Houses… and myself.

April brought on another meaningful piece, “Butterfly & Daisy”. This 12” square piece was commissioned as a memorial to my client’s mother who passed away from cancer. Her mom loved daisies and butterflies.

May was “Rose & Daisy Intertwined”. This piece was commissioned by the mother and father of a soon to be married son. Their son loves roses and their soon to be daughter-in-law loves daisies. Because of them getting married, I intertwined the stems to show these two flowers joining together.

Another client, after seeing the picture of "Rose & Daisy Intertwined" ordered it to give to her mother as a 'just because' gift.

June was a piece I wanted to do for some time. “Butterfly with Geode Wings”, came to be because I too love butterflies and I love geode agate slices. So, it just seemed natural to add geode slices to the butterfly's wings.

July was “Baubles”. I had donated a 2-1/4 square foot custom stained glass window to the Chef’s for Kids Annual Dinner and Silent Auction Fundraiser. The very generous donor who won the bid wanted an abstract design that would fit into the décor of her home. She already had a lot of art that involved circles in colors of reds, turquoises, greens, and blues. Hung in front of her sheer curtains also added to the look of the glass and it's textures.

July also brought on my push to finish all of my geode pieces. First was, “Excavation of Geode 7” (pictured at right), followed by “Geode 20 in Medicine Wheel”. Both pieces, using glass in ambers, browns, gray, and golden colors to compliment the geode slices. Next came the “Disk Series”: “Geode in Three Quarter Disk”, “Geode in Half Disk”, and “Geode in Slipped Disk” (have to add a bit of humor from time to time). These were all done with in a clear glass to almost look like it was floating in the center of the circular pieces of dark blue and gray glass. You can see these on my website as well as in my Facebook Fan Geode Series photo album.

August was strictly a designing month. I was commissioned to come up with 5 “Rustic” designs for a lodge in Maine. My client and I discussed ideas and we decided that 4 of the pieces would have the same background, a pine tree edged lake looking towards Mount Katahdin. One window would have a loon floating gracefully along, another would have a moose taking a cool drink (design jpg to the left), another a bear looking for a fish for his dinner, and the last with a deer leisurely walking along the lake. The 5th window would be of two tall pine trees on the edge of the lake in the evening. These pieces are scheduled to be started in January so watch for photos. You can see the design jpegs for them on my Facebook Fan Page.

September was my month to create designs for the 15th Annual Pomegranate Festival that the Moapa Valley Art Guild puts on every November. After the Spring Art Show I knew that I needed more southwestern and mission designs. “Kokopelli” was the first southwestern design. Other designs such as "Dream Catcher", various pieces of pottery done in glass, and quilt patterns were to be displayed in my example book of design jpegs so that if a person wanted it, I could revise colors and sizes to suit them. You can see these design jpegs in my Facebook Fan Page photo album of Upcoming Designs.

October, I was busy with "Compass" and getting more southwestern and mission designs done for my example book. I was also organizing and planning out a stained glass demonstration that I was going to give at the Pomegranate Festival.

October also brought "Falling Autumn Leaf". It was commissioned as a birthday gift for a daughter born during the fall season.

November’s big thing was the Pomegranate Festival at the beginning of the month. I had pieces made, had my example book caught up and ready, had my demonstration planned out, and even had some polo shirts with my logo embroidered on them. But unfortunately I was not able to attend. My husband had neck surgery done and had 3 vertebrae fused. (I promise not to post pictures for those of you that are weak of heart). For the next month, I became his nurse and chauffeur, which unfortunately the Pomegranate Festival happened to fall towards the end of. I'm sorry for any problems that I may have caused at the Festival with canceling my demonstration. But on a good note, I’m ready for next years festival.

The end of November has had me busy. After a very hot, Las Vegas summer working in my “studio” which is located in my garage, my husband and I decided that it was time to convert our daughter’s old bedroom (she’s very happily married to a great guy and they recently celebrated their 4th anniversary) into my real glass studio. The carpet has been removed and a concrete stain done to the floor. This weekend, I will be bringing in my glass racks, my large drafting table, two stainless steel work tables, and all of my equipment. I'm very excited about this move "up". Who would have thought a year ago that I would have a real, inside glass studio??

Well that catches everyone up on the goings on of Those In Glass Houses… I promise to keep up on my blogging though I won’t promise a monthly blog. And there’s always my Facebook Fan Page. I'm better at updating that regularly. So, check it out from time to time for up to date projects and pictures. If you do not have a Facebook account, you can access my Facebook Fan Page through my website’s contact page. Just click on the “Facebook” button.

On that note, I hope that every one has a wonderful Thanksgiving and holiday season.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Pieces That Touch The Heart

When asked to design a stained glass window for someone, it’s usually to fit the décor of their home, but recently I’ve been asked by two people to design pieces that mean something and will touch the heart.

The first request was by a lady who saw my new logo piece, Those In Glass Houses… and wrote to see if it was for sale. When I wrote her to tell her that it was not, she then wrote me again and told me why the piece was so important to her. Shirl has had a lot of struggles in her life, ones that to a weaker person would make them crumble. But not Shirl, she has persevered. She looks at her life like the stained glass window, a glass house that no stone can break. A glass house that still stands and is proof that she can move into the future knowing that she can survive anything.

When designing her version of the window, I asked if she wanted all clear glass instead of the few pieces of color glass that was in mine. She told me that she wanted it just as I had designed the original piece, with the blue, red, and golden yellow glass. She told me that they also gave the piece meaning to her. The red block of glass signifying Fire which is life (as she learned watching, Survivor), the blue block of glass signifying Water that keeps us hydrated, and the golden yellow glass signifying the light along her path. And adding the golden yellow full moon instead of a geode slice also gives that much more light to lead her along her life path.

When I heard her story and her thoughts on the piece, I felt it only right to allow her to name her piece. She was elated. It took her some time and a lot of thought. She wanted a name that would represent the struggles in life that she has had. To accept them, not let her forget them, and instead use them to move on and allow happiness into her life. She decided on Perseverance. The perfect name for her stained glass window.

Her story and how this piece would help her move on, truly touched my heart. How often can an artist's work mean so much to someone? If I could only did this once with my art, I would be satisfied. But I was lucky enough to have this happen twice and within a week of one another.

I received an email from Pat, a friend of mine from high school. Her mother’s 77th birthday is coming up and she wanted to give her a special gift. One that would give here a good feeling each time she saw it. She thought that a sun-catcher that could hang in her mom’s kitchen would be perfect. When I asked her my usual questions to come up with a design (subject, style, color, etc.) she told me her idea of wanting a full moon near mountains and the beach.

You see, Pat’s brother passed away a few years ago. The night he died there was a full moon. Now, every time her mother sees the full moon, she says, “There’s Bobby.” Pat told me that her mother loves the mountains and that her brother loved the beach. She asked if I could come up with a design that incorporated all of that. An 8” diameter, suncatcher with a huge full moon, sand dunes, water, and mountains in the distance was the first design I came up with. Pat said it was perfect and now I can’t wait to hear how her mom likes the piece. I hope it touches her heart as much as doing it did mine.

I hope that in the future I'm given the opportunity again to create a piece of stained glass art that will mean so much to someone. To know that my work has touched someone's heart is the best feeling there is.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


If you are in the Las Vegas, NV area this weekend (March 12 &13, 2010) and want to have a nice, leisurely day, take a drive to Logandale, NV (approx. 65 miles north of Las Vegas) to the Moapa Valley Art Guild's Spring Art Show.

Dates & Times: Friday, March 12th from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 13th from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Location: Old Logandale School, 3011 N. Moapa Valley Blvd.
Entrance Fee: FREE!! (you can't beat the price)

Door prizes and refreshments will be furnished

There are a lot of very talented people in the Moapa Valley and many of them will have their artwork on display. All mediums will be shown, including paintings, pencil drawings, sculptures, decorated gourds, ceramics, photography, and my stained glass.

Please come out and show your support for the arts.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


When I decided on Those In Glass Houses... as my company name, I never realized how hard it would be to design a logo that could be recreated in glass. I didn't want to just make a simple house of glass but instead, something 'artsy'. I sketched and sketched and kept coming up with these abstract designs that my husband would ask, "So? What is it?"

This went on for a couple of weeks. Then it hit a simple house of glass. Why didn't I think of that before? (Said with sarcasm)

I didn't want it too simple. I wanted it a bit more dramatic. Simple and dramatic said, "Black and clear" to me. I decided to use a variety of textured clear glass for the house and roof and black for everywhere else.

One half of the house would be a 4" square beveled glass with four pieces of "crackled" glass around it, the window from which ideas come.

The other half of the house would be a variety of textured clear glass, the "building blocks", the building of creativity into reality.

The roof would be one solid piece of clear "reeded" glass to tie the two halves of the house together. Bringing ideas and creativity together to make a stained glass piece.

Now that I had the house designed, I wanted to add something that showed even more about my designs. Since I love working on pieces that incorporate geode slices, I decided on adding my favorite geode slice. A piece I bought this past summer while back in NJ for my mom's 80th birthday.

I added this beautiful geode slice to the upper left of the house. It looked as if the moon was shining down on this house of glass. The colors in the geode were perfect for this piece. The outer rings being an amber that just glowed and a crystallized center that looked like clean crackled ice. Again, many thanks to Gary's Gem Garden in Cherry Hill, NJ for having the perfect geodes for my work.

Once this design came to me, it flowed. I sketched it and then recreated it in the Glass Eye 2000 software. As much as it was perfect, there was still something missing. When I find that one of my designs isn't quite "right", I show it to four people, my husband, my daughter, my mom and my friend, Jan. The four of them have a knack for helping me through these "blocks". All four of them said the same thing, "you need some color to showcase the colors you use". I was afraid color would take away from the dramatic look I was going for. But one think I've learned, when you ask for advice and you get it, try it. It might surprise you. So, I tried it.

To add color to such a piece, I needed to stick with the simple. I decided on the basic primary colors of yellow, blue and red. A rough rolled golden yellow, a water cobalt blue, and a wispy red glass. Primary in color but a touch of texture.

Once they were cut and laid on the board with the rest of the glass, I knew that's exactly what my window needed. Thank you Ed, Bridget, Mom and Jan. Love to you all.

To frame the piece, I wanted simple so not to take attention away from the house and the geode. I designed on a simple black and "granite" glass frame around it. It was perfect.

VOILA!!!! Those in Glass Houses... logo in glass.

This logo is now on my website home page as well as going on my business cards. The actual window will be taken with me and hung at every art show or exhibit that I attend. I'm currently working with "Glass Impressions" in Las Vegas to have a piece of the "granite" glass etched with my company name. I will frame it the same as the window and hang it from the bottom of the Those In Glass Houses... window.

Friday, January 1, 2010


Happy New Year to all of you. May it be a happy, safe and prosperous one for you and your family.

I want to start out this entry with an apology for not writing anything since October. It's been a crazy fall and early winter here.

I've started using Glass Eye 2000 software from Dragonfly Software to do my designing as you read in my earlier blog entry. I've become quite proficient with it and while working with my ideas or someone else's, can design the piece, email a jpeg of the design for approval, and have it printed out and on the board and ready for creating in a matter of a couple of hours.

I've joined a few art groups including the Moapa Valley Art Guild, and various LinkedIn art groups including Stained Glass Artists for the World Wide Windows Project run by Jurjen Schuur of the Netherlands. I found that being involved with groups like this, I have met some wonderful glass artists who enjoy sharing their knowledge. I've learned a lot from the people I've met through these groups.

And I've been working with Claire H. of to create my website. Claire has done a marvelous job in creating a beautiful website to show off my glass art. Please check it out and let me know what you think.

I can't help but think that the things that have kept me away from my blog will now give me more things to blog about in the coming year.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


My stained glass art: using my imagination to come up with an idea for a piece of stained glass, sketching it, and creating it. All by hand. Well, up until now.

I love my art. I love paying attention to some fine detail during my day and then turning it into a piece of stained glass as I did with “Falling Leaf”. I love sketching my ideas into my sketchbook. I love picking the colors and textures of glass for each piece. It is all very rewarding right up until that time when I have to take that sketch and decide on the final size of the piece. This is when I have to go to an office supply store and try and get the person behind the counter to enlarge my sketch to the exact size I’m looking for. This takes time, it takes math skills and it takes patients when getting that person behind the counter to understand why I need this sketch enlarged 168% and why 165% isn’t going to work. There has to be an easier way.

There is and Don, a fellow stained glass artisan introduced me to it. It’s software called, “Glass Eye 2000” by Dragonfly Software and I’m thoroughly hooked.

I still sketch my ideas but instead of doing the final drawing and then having to get it resized at the office supply store, I scan it into a .jpg and import it into the software. Once my sketch is in there, I trace it and color it using all of the glass samples in the program (over 2600 different color and textures from 8 different manufacturers) and make it the exact size I want. When I’m satisfied with it, I send it to my printer, it prints out on multiple sheets with match lines that I piece together and I then have my pattern for my piece of art.

At first I questioned whether this would affect my ‘art’ in some way so that it’s not really art. But after much thought, I decided it does not. I still use my imagination, I still do the initial layout in my sketchbook and I sill use my hands to create the finished product. I’m a believer that modern technology has not taken away from my art but just made it more efficient. Same as the architect that uses CAD to draw the plans or a musician that uses a soundboard to get the just right sound. Is it any less art by using modern technology? I think not.

To see more of my designs created by using "Glass Eye 2000" by Dragonfly Software, click on my link: Those In Glass Houses...designs using "Glass Eye 2000" by Dragonfly Software.

Monday, September 14, 2009


While sitting on my patio, I watched a leaf fall from my neighbor's tree and remembered the
e.e. cummings poem,
"1(a...(a leaf falls on loneliness)". Inspiration enough for a simple pattern...

Just one lone leaf.
floating... emptiness to the ground.

The only color in this panel is the leaf. The dark green glass of the leaf with a light green glass being the underneath, curling up onto itself as it falls to the ground. The rest of the glass is clear with various textures and an opening in the middle, void of glass. When hung in a window, the clear glass will allow you to still see nature outside but your focus will be on the lone leaf.

Each piece of glass is hand cut then ground to the perfect shape and size. Each piece is wrapped in copper foil tape and then soldered together. This piece is framed in copper and the solder was given a copper patina rub. There are two hooks at the top for hanging.

Size: 10-1/2" x 18-1/2"
Price: Email for more information