Friday, May 20, 2011


One of the factors that initially attracted me to working with glass is the delicate beauty that can be created in glass. I have a strong memory from my childhood of seeing for the first time some of my mother's treasured wedding gifts that she kept in a high cabinet, away from curious kid fingers. Some of the precious items we were never allowed to touch was a set of Venetian wine glasses, each one tinted a different pale color, each one possessing a tenderly twisted glass stem. They made me sigh with pleasure the first time I laid eyes on them. My mom, to this day, still keeps those wine glasses in a high cabinet, never using them. I still sigh when I see them, but mostly out of frustration that they are kept hidden away instead of in view, if not in use. I have a small collection of colored glass objects myself. I place them in such a way that light filters through them, enhancing their jewel-like colors. Some of my favorite pieces in my collection are glass objects made in Murano, Italy. They are exquisitely detailed, oh-so-delicate, bursting with color and movement. The photo accompanying this post is a shot I took of a few of my little Venetian glass perfume bottles. I wish I could add a Venetian glass chandelier to my decorating scheme. They are the stuff of fantasy! Someday I would love to travel to Murano and observe for myself the work of the glass artists there. So much history and beauty. Until that day, I will content myself with my tiny assemblage of prettiness and keep making my glass beads. And I will try not to think about my mom's wine glasses.

"Things are pretty, graceful, rich, elegant, handsome, but until they speak to the imagination, not yet beautiful."- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"I have found that all ugly things are made by those who strive to make something beautiful, and that all beautiful things are made by those who strive to make something useful."- Oscar Wilde

Monday, May 16, 2011


Today I watched a fat fuzzy caterpillar cross the road. Instead of wondering,"Why? Why did the caterpillar cross the road?", I stared in amazement at the speed of the little critter. It was bookin'! About the time I had that thought, my mind began to happily wander. I contemplated that humble caterpillar. A lowly start to life as a furry worm that can be both cute and yet somewhat repugnant, as any of us who have had a caterpillar fall on them from an overhanging branch can attest to! (Though there are some caterpillars that are surprisingly GORGEOUS!) In due course, caterpillars instinctively cocoon themselves for a time. When the cocoon period comes to its end, the chrysalis opens to unveil a caterpillar transformed- a beautiful butterfly. The Hotel Chrysalis is clearly the ultimate spa experience!

There are times in a person's life that tend to resemble the caterpillar. Maybe we feel a little on the roly-poly side, a little too fuzzy for comfort. We may even occasionally cause others to react to our presence with horror. 'Tis unfortunate, but at times like that, a person may instinctively choose to cocoon himself, to seek a place of safety, until it all blows over and things get set right once again. Recently I felt the need for just such a cocoon. I had a few very negative experiences, as we all do at times. I could feel the stress from these experiences eating away at my humanity, sapping me of my creativity and peace of mind. I lost my joy in making art. I figuratively enclosed myself in a chrysalis for a time in order to recover my creativity, to get a sense of balance once again. And gradually I did. As time passed, I took the opportunity to pore over a number of books on creativity and how to stimulate it. I gleaned some wonderful points that were most helpful to me. One suggestion that truly resonated with me was to make ordinary activities extraordinary. For example, when preparing a meal, don't just plop it on a plate unceremoniously and chow down. Make it a thing of beauty, flavor it well, serve it in a beautiful setting on a lovely dish. Light a candle. Make it a special event. Another example: if you are the type who periodically sends a handwritten letter or card, take a little time to personally illustrate the envelope with a colorful drawing (here's one I just decorated pictured with this post. Isn't it purty?). Imagine how the letter's recipient will feel when they open their mailbox! So many good suggestions that truly renewed my creativity and imagination and got me out of my shell.

So what tactics do you use to restore a blocked creative flow? How do you dislodge obstructions to your artistic abilities? And once the flow is restored, how do you keep your imagination consistently moving?

"The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn."- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Creativity is a natural extension of our enthusiam."- Earl Nightingale

"To be creative means to be in love with life."- Osho