Thursday, March 31, 2011


It took me several days to recover from my grand adventure earlier this week, but after a nice long bath and a cup of tea I think I am ready.

I started out Monday morning to Wellsboro PA, where I met my friend and co-conspiritor Kathy Riley at From My Shelf bookstore to do some birthday shopping...for me! Now if you have never been to this bookstore it is worth the trip. It is owned by Kevin Coolidge,  managed by Kasey Cox, and overlorded by Hobo, the store cat.

Kasey is a of those intense, intellegent people who is interested in lots of things, including you. She also remembers everything she has ever read AND everything you have ever read. This impresses me because I can't even remember what I have read....I can get 3/4 through a book before realizing I already read it!   She picks books for you if you like and keeps track of your feedback so she can be more accurate in her choices. I love going there just to talk to her for a while, and she totally is up for a good long talk. Or she rolls her eyes when I come in.....but hides it really well!

Kathy bought me a few books and an expansion pack for Gloom, which if you have never played it you should try it. Thank you Kathy!!

From there we went to Madalene Murphy's for some tea and muffins. Madalene has the most beautiful old house, set into a hill with a barn and lots of birds outside, and inside is sunny with neat books and maps and quilts everywhere.  She also has the best tea cups:

The colors were all bluish because I can't figure out how to compensate for too much light....someday I will learn how to use this camera!

Anyhow, she also made yummy pineapple muffins:

Look how shiny her counters are!! I need the name of her housekeeper (or learn to actually clean up after myself.) 
While in the kitchen we also got to say hi to the two other guests there:

This is Terra and Linda. Terra is Madalene's goldendoodle, and I swear she has no bones. When she lays down she melts into the floor like a big goofy rug! She is a sweetheart, and also likes pineapple muffins. Linda looks fabulous here, but I don't think she appreciate the camera. Linda is a graphic artist who makes very beautiful paper doll sets, some which are magnatized and come in a tin, each piece hand designed, cut and put on magnets. I am getting one for my oldest niece, (so if sister Sarah is reading this, don't tell CC.) Linda has many other talents, some of which I will show later.

So once tea is steeped we head into Madalene's lovely little sitting room. Some of her quilts are on the walls:


I LOVE these quilts! Not only are they very well made, but they have an abstract artistry I appreciate but can never seem to manage. I am not doing the colors justice here, and if I go back I will take better pictures.

Since we are talking quilts, Madalene showed us her latest creation:

This is Studies on a Goldfinch, being held up by the lovely Madalene. I told her I did not take her picture so *Jedi hand wave* you do not see her holding the quilt. This piece is just so amazing. Never in a million years could I take a series of arcs and design something that not only looked simultaniously like one bird and a flock of birds, but also like birds in motion and a particular species of bird. She just blows me away. And I am not just saying this because I know she might read it!

Madalene just had a piece accepted into an international juried quilt show, so we are all pulling for her. When she looks at our work she asks great questions, and gives us specific, thoughtful compliments which make us feel great. She makes me want to be more like that, which is a good thing.

Next we looked at Kathy's beads, which are so well done, colorful and intricate I just want to put them all in my pocket! Here are her latest full moon beads:

Dang  the overexposure! I told her these were full moon beads but she didn't appreciate my sense of humor:

 A couple more:

She has boxes of these, just lying around. I am sure if I put some in my pocket she wouldn't even notice!Especially the boob beads. Love the boob beads.

We looked at Linda's latest project, which were lovely fabric flowers:

She painted on the edges of this one...and has a button with polka dots!!  I may have to try to make one of those in glass.

I love this one!

Linda is a hoot. She has the funniest, driest sense of humor and is an exacting perfectionist (I suppose it is good she is so talented or she would drive herself nuts!) I wanted to take a picture of her paper dolls but she said she would have to kill me. Well not really, but she was thinking it loudly. :-)  She made some with Bull Terriers for Silverwood, and they sold like hotcakes! I should have bought one, I am kicking myself. I could be dressing my little bully on the fridge every day, and now all I have is a bunch of year old paperwork and a drawing of Chicken Joe. Ok, the drawing of Chicken Joe is pretty sweet, I won't lie.  

Anyways, Linda is also one of the most productive people I know, since not only does she make these flowers, and paper dolls, but also makes jewelry, many with Kathy's beads. I try to emulate her drive to keep things organized and keep track of what things cost and such, but since I am the opposite of exacting it isn't easy. I try though. 

Even though I just met Madalene and Linda I feel like they are fast becoming good friends.

So after a while Kathy and I decide to head home, and made fritattas with fresh eggs from her chickens, who are led by Little Man. Little Man is my rooster who survived the weasel apocalypse. Here is Little Man in the kitchen at my house:

Ok, I just like chickens. Notice my counters are not nearly as nice as Madalenes. I need help.

Anyways....frittatas.  Artichokes, tomatoes, feta, and farmers cheese....yum!

So nothing much happened for the rest of the night. Some beer, some vodka, lots of gabbing, cuddling with the dogs. Oh, Kathy started teaching Mo to touch the dumbell:

Mo picked it up pretty quickly.

Well, I just noticed how freaking long this entry is, so I will go to bed real time in this story. Tomorrow I will tell the rest, since I doubt anything exciting will happen to me between now and then.

And yes, Rosanne, I realize Murphy will pay me a visit for saying that.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


So what do you get when you mix Queen, a pretty bracelet and glass?

This is one of those Convoluted Kuhn Story, so bear with me.

I stopped into Soulshine Studio, owned by Ann Recotta, in Corning last week to ask about selling my beads and jewelry there. I found this one of a kind bracelet she made, and my first thought was..."I would never have put yellow and purple together!"

Apparently it was an accident involving a cat and a dropped bead box....a happy accident thus the cat was spared. I loved it, so splurged.

 Anyhow, I have had the song Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy by Queen stuck in my head for days, so finally yesterday I begged Dave (the infinately patient husband) to install itunes on my computer. I can't install it on my own computer because I don't have administrative privleges because I might download a with an engineer is a double edged sword.

So that done I download all the Queen we have on the server and pop the ipod in the speaker hoozy-dingus.

If you don't have a speaker hoozy-dingus for your ipod....go get one. Now.

Oh, and there is that double edged sword I was talking about. You didn't believe me, did you?

 So I sit down at the table, look around, and start pulling colors. I am jamming to Queen, dancing in my chair while melting glass, and the the beads just decided to go a little crazy on me. An hour later.....

I think it was during "A Crazy Little Thing Called Love" that I made the pair with the arms.

They are telling me to make them into earrings.

Always listen to the beads. They know what they are talking about.

So here is another Convoluted Kuhn Story, since this post is about sets, plural.

 Months ago, I went to World Glass in Corning and on a whim bought a rod of Moretti Metallic Black (MMB). It was supposed to have a rainbow sheen-how can that ever be a bad thing? I was on my way down to see Kathy Riley, so while there we broke out the new colors and started playing in her studio. I HATED the MMB! It was awful! It wouldn't melt smoothly, it pitted, it bubbled, and it was a nasty matt black finish that just looked like a piece of old licorice chewing gum that had been stuck under a table since 1975.

So when I got home I stuck it in a jar and tried to forget it existed.

I had not labled it, so when making twisties one day I used it thinking it was regular black. I was so upset that I made that mistake I threw the twistie in a jar and tried to forget it existed too.

A few weeks later my friend Kathy Bliss,  who would jump off Niagra Falls if you told her she couldn't, decided she wanted to try MMB, so I gladly went out to lunch with her in order to hand over the blasted thing. I told her it was awful, but ...well...remember the Falls? I was happy to put the thing out of my mind.

So a few days ago I was making a series of tube beads in natural colors, and picked up that nasty old twistie.

What the heck, on it went.

So the bead the furthest to the right has that twistie.

And I liked it. I really liked it.


 So, back to World Glass in shame, where I had to face the owner and tell him I needed another rod, and no, I don't have a rod worth of beads to show him.

So to the point of this Convoluted Kuhn Story, I decided last night to try dots. I was listening to Bare Naked Ladies, so I will blame them.

 I LOVE Moretti Metallic Black! Oh the dots! Oh the hematite sheen!

 Did I ever tell you the reason I will never get a tattoo is because I am so fickle?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Welcome to the studio!

Well, I had laundry to do, a house to clean, a bathroom to finish I created a blog. Procrastination is the mother of invention. Really. You thought it was necessity? Lol!

I have been posting lots of projects on facebook, but thought a blog would give me more room to ramble. Facebook is great, but when you are repeatedly told "you have exceeded the maximum character count" as many times as I have, you need more room!

I turned the fire on in the studio , so as soon as it warms up I''ll go play on the torch.

But that will be a while, so I'll tell you a story. The stove is named Chuck. It is a sad tail involving Mortimer, the kuhn hound in the second picture and unrequited love.

Mo is a foster bull terrier, who spent the first two years of his life in a puppy mill kennel and the next 6 months in a holding facility. He had never been in a home before he came to us. One day I turned on the fire to enjoy a cup of tea in the sun with the dogs. Mo came up to the stove, wagging his tail, and put his nose right on it. OUCH! He leaped back, with the most betrayed expression on his sweet face. He looked at the stove a moment, play bowed, and tried again. OUCH! So he thought hard, laid down, and swam to the stove.....OUCH! There had to be a way! She was so warm, so inviting, so pretty! So he snuck around to the side....OUCH! By now he had red spots all over his nose, and I felt so bad for him but I knew if he didn't figure this out he would never be able to be around a fire. He really looked hard at the stove, for a long, long time. Then he sat as close as he could, and gazed longingly at her, but didn't try to kiss her anymore.

It reminded me of Pushing Daisies, where Ned brings his childhood sweetheart back to life but cannot ever touch her again or she will die. So it is with Mo and Chuck, although in this case... Chuck bites.