Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Present of $7300 to Myself and My Family

So it has been a little over 4 years since I quit smoking.
I feel better and I smell better.
I am no longer killing myself and everyone else around me. I’ve apologized to my husband and children for being so selfish.
And the money I have saved… Holy cow!

I no longer have the seasonal cough, I no longer stand out in the cold to get my fix and I no longer search for extra change to cover the cost of my filthy habit.

I quit cold turkey. I just said “No more.” Sure it was hard. Once the suet in my lungs loosened I choked for a week coughing it up. It wasn’t pretty. But is smoking?
I watch people who smoke now and wonder if I had looked that desperate to suck on something so harmful.

I guess the fact that I and the ones around me will lead a longer, healthier life is a bigger present.
Now I just have to quit eating all this chocolate… LOL!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Shop Online

Only three more days until this month’s newsletter drawing! Please sign up for your chance to win the fused green glass pendant with 22k gold leaf, Newton’s Spicy Side soap and a very colorful soap sack.
As most of you know, I do an enormous amount of online shopping. I just like too. It affords you the ability to drink a cup of coffee and contemplate your purchases. It also allows you to let your children run around like banshees without anyone becoming upset. Well anyone but you that is. LOL!
Today I’d like to note some of my favorites. Not only do these companies carry products that I love, want, need or can’t live without, they also provide outstanding customer service.

The Children’s Place - Children’s clothing.
Etsy - Vast selection of handmade and vintage items. (And I’m not just saying this because I sell my stuff there!)
Bramble Berry - Huge selection of fragrances, essential oils and soap making supplies.
Ikea - (I always pick up my merchandise.) Everything you could want for the home.
Delphi – Glass supplies and other crafts.
Rings & Things – Jewelry supply.
L.L. Bean – Quality made clothing for the entire family.
Uline – Boxes and gift packaging supplies.

Yep, I shop a lot online. Try some of them out. You won’t be sorry!

Joseph is going to the homecoming dance tonight. I’ll have to remember to post a picture later. He’s going solo. Rebecca is going also and she has a date! She is wearing a beautiful black and white dress. I’ll post a picture of her too. Boy they grow up so fast.
So it will just be me, John and the babies tonight…
Maybe we’ll have a little dance of our own. LOL!
Yummy grilled sausages and chips for dinner.

Monday, September 22, 2008

September is almost OVER!

Hard to believe, eh?
Only 93 days left until Christmas!
I have new beauties in the kiln as we speak.
Our September giveaway (I know, I miss labeled the last giveaway) is a beautiful green fused glass pendant with a 22k gold leaf, an awesome smelling bar of our Newton’s Spicy Side soap (spicy apple) and a colorful Soap Sack to lather up with.
To be eligible to win these prizes just sign up for our newsletter at the right!
We have a new soap called “Red Giant”. It a fabulous cinnamon scented soap. Perfect for Christmas!
I’ll be in Ann Arbor the 5th of October for Etsy @ the Market! I’m so excited to meet some of my Etsy street team! The event is from 11am to 4pm. Please come down and see us!
Mighty Moisturizing sticks are out of stock but supplies are on their way!

Here is a picture of Jake and Johnna after eating chocolate frosted cupcakes the other day. Jake has gotten really good at getting all the chocolate in his mouth. Slow and steady wins the race. LOL!
Dinner tonight is sweet and tangy chicken, mashed potatoes and corn.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

September Giveaway!!!

It’s easy to enter! Just sign up for our newsletter at the right.
Once a month you will receive an email about the happenings of Gazed-Upon Glass and Cosmic Clean Body highlighting new products, special offers only for newsletter subscribers, contests and giveaways and maybe a Collins family tried and true recipe or two.

This month’s prize is a “Smart Cookie” fused glass necklace, Newton’s Epiphany soap (red apple), and a pink, lime green and yellow crocheted cloth with hanging loop.
Perfect for going back to school!

Drawing will be held on August 31st, 2008.

*Giveaway/Contest is only open to U.S. and Canadian residents.
** Winner will be contacted by email. They will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen.
*** Winner’s name and state will be posted in newsletter.
**** You may cancel your subscription to the newsletter at any time.

Monday, August 4, 2008

A Trip to Columbus, Ohio

Johnna checking stuff out at the museum.
A Pitcher plant at the conservatory.
Some Chihuly.
Butterflies that just hatched at the conservatory.

Monday, July 7, 2008

George Miskell Sr.

My grandfather passed away on the 4th of July. I had to sort of chuckle because I could see him saying that he was "claiming his independence" from his wife (not my grandmother).
I was his first grandchild.

MISKELL Sr., George LeroyBorn March 28, 1929, George passed away on July 4, 2008 at 79 years old. He is survived by his wife of 39 years, Mary Lucille; brother William of Michigan; sister Gerri Ann of Florida; sons George Jr., and Thomas; daughters Bethany, Kathleen, and Alice; stepson Gary; and stepdaughter Patricia. He is also survived by 17 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. He was a resident of Sacramento for 40 years and was a carpenter for 37 years. He served in the US Navy on the USS Frasier. Friends are invited to the visitation at MOUNT VERNON MEMORIAL PARK, 8201 Greenback Ln., Fair Oaks, on Wednesday, July 9th from 4 to 8 PM with the funeral services being held on Thursday, July 10th at 2 PM.

Gone but never forgotten. Behave in heaven Grandpa!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Two new soaps right off the curing rack!
"Big Bang" is a spiced pumpkin scented soap.
"Luminosity" is a lovely lavender scented soap.
Both soaps are made with the same high quality ingredients as our others. They produce a nice lather and leave youre skin feeling soft and clean.
(Click on the soap to purchase.)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Jacob turns 3!!!

The birthday pirate...errr I mean boy. ;)
Johnna wearing her bandana not wanting her picture taken.

Eek! Pirates!
Looking for treasure. (See the treasure boxes at their feet at the bottom of the closet?)
Checkin her booty!
Arrr! Pirates on a cake!
Blow me down!
Playing some Guitar Hero after cake and ice cream.
Spinning on the Merry-Go_Round with his cousins.
Taking some of his new treasures to his room.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Back on Track

I seriously take electricity for granted. You have no idea how much you actually depend on it until you are without it.
I missed my microwave. I longed for my dishwasher. But I missed my internet most of all.
I couldn’t type a quick message and email it off to John. I didn’t know if IKEA was having a huge sale. I didn’t know the second I sold something in my Etsy shops… It was very painful!
The electricity went out Sunday the 8th. It came back on Thursday late afternoon. Internet was not restored until this past Monday!
Now I’m trying to catch up with all I’ve missed and need to accomplish.

Jacob’s party is this Saturday. It’s a pirate party! I have bandanas and eye patches for all the kids. The kids are going on a treasure hunt which may lead them to buried treasure (provided it doesn’t rain) and then take a dip in the hot tub. We are having pizza, salad, cake, ice cream and punch. John wants Jello shots. We’ll see…

For dinner tonight:
Lemon fusilli with tomatoes and arugula, white fish and Brussel sprouts. YUM!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Look Where I'll be Next Month!

Click picture to make it larger.
I'm so excited.
See you there!

Perfect Pictures

Awesome hair day!
Caught mid-smile.
It's the pictures that aren't exactly perfect that come out the best.
Today we are getting our new lawn tractor. WOOHOO!
I'm sure we will no longer have to bribe Joseph to mow the lawn.
It's finally sunny out.
We will be spending some time outdoors today. Nothing like fresh air to knock your precious angels out. Hopefully I will be able to accomplish something at naptime.
Have a great day everyone!

Monday, May 12, 2008

New Things

Happy Monday!
And a happy belated Mother’s day!

I didn’t feel well yesterday but I still had a wonderful day. My very thoughtful husband and children bought me the coolest little cart for my gardening tools which you can sit on while you’re working! I also received some new gardening gloves, pruners, spray nozzles for the hose and a new hose.
My oldest bought me two packs of giant Sunflower seeds. I’m so excited to plant them!

It’s a tad chilly and windy here today. The ground is wet from two days of rain. I usually plant my annuals on Mother’s day but the weather had other plans this year. That’s okay; it just gives me more time to plan.
I know I want my usual Morning Glories, Million Bells, Potato vine, maybe some Geraniums, a couple colorful hanging baskets, vegetables plants… The list is endless. I can’t wait to share my plants with all of you this year!

We are working on new things all the time.
I’ve just added some beautiful fused glass soap dishes to They will not only beautify your bathroom but will drain the water away from your soap prolonging its use.
We have new soap scents like Stellar Winds (Pikake) which is a soft floral scent also called Hawaiian Jasmine, Newton’s Epiphany (red apple) and Gravitational Pull (tropical fruit) that is just super yummy smelling!
We also are now offering a soap sampler! It is a great way to try our soaps and decide which scents you like best.
There are always things cooking on the back burner, stay tuned for more!

I’m making pot roast, potatoes, carrots, gravy and fresh baked bread for dinner. YUM!

Monday, May 5, 2008


Meet Nancy!
What are your name, Etsy name, profession and location?
My name is Nancy L. Addante, aka Smokeylady54 or crazy lady that makes
glass beads, and some jewelry.

Married? Single? Do you have children? Do any animals dwell with you?
Yes, I have a wonderful husband Pete, a lovely stepdaughter, son-in-law and grandchildren.
A dog named Smokey and Bandit the cat.
What medium/s do you work with and where did you learn how to do this?
I play with glass, a torch and kiln. I wanted to try torch work because I’ve always loved beads and just wanted to try making my own. Took one class, bought books, and just played with the glass and when I see something I like I keep it. Beads form different in the torch and it is not always easy to make them look alike. Other great lampwork artists can do it, just not me.

Do you have a specific area you work in ?
I work in my basement, in the laundry area. Yep, I would like a separate area.

What inspires you?
Color, I love all and every color of glass rod and frit I can get my hands on.
Is there a medium you haven’t tried that you’d like too?
Yes, Borosilicate glass.

Now some questions from our fellow Etsian’s.
Question by :
Would you rather be a small fish in a big pond or a big fish in a small pond?
Just the small little fish I am.

Question by
If you were trapped in an abandoned cave, and could only have three artistic materials
with you, what would they be, and why?
My colored pens, lots of paper and my husband as he lifts my spirit and
makes me think of what I do.

What is the one item you created that you are most proud of?
The very first beads I made and NO PICTURE OF THEM.
Here is my favorite memory wire bracelet I have made with rainbow colored beads.
Question by
What are five of your favorite Etsy shops?
Oh, wow! How can you only pick five??????
Question by
What is your worst time wasting habit?
Sitting on my swing with a cup of coffee and a smoke and blanking out.
I should be thinking of projects to do.
Thanks Nancy!
<3 ya!

Monday, April 28, 2008


Meet Charity!

What are your name, Etsy name, profession and location?

My name is Charity Hofert and my business/ art name is chARiTy elise designs. Elise is my middle name, and i decided as a teenager that charity elise sounded more arty than charity pabst (my maiden name) and so i began signing pieces with that name back then. My etsy name is also chARiTy elise designs. I currently live in Atlanta, Georgia.

Married? Single? Do you have children? Do any animals dwell with you?

I have been married for almost 9 years to a sweet guy named Dan. We have two small children- a boy who is four and a little girl who is two. They are my three favorite people in the world! We have a mixed-breed dog named "Bean" and my son has some other little pets that live in his room... a betta named Quincy, a hermit crab named Mozart and an ant farm. I don't think that any of them have names.

What medium/s do you work with and where did you learn how to do this?

I work in all sorts of mediums these days; paint on masonite, buttons and cut up credit cards combined with my handmade tiles in mosaic pieces, plaster, canvas, paper mache and clay mostly. These days i am working primarily with clay. I studied art in college and received my BFA from the University of Southern Maine in 1997. My concentration there was ceramics, but when i left school i didn't do much with clay for many years. In the last few years, after taking a few more pottery classes at a local art center, my love of clay has been renewed and i began collecting some of the equipment that i needed to do pottery in my home studio. The house that we bought 5 years ago came with a kiln (lucky me!) and in the last year we have bought a potter's wheel and an additional kiln, making it easier for me to produce a fair amount of work here at home.

Do you have a specific area you work in and how much time per week do you devote to your art/craft?

I have a small studio in the downstairs of our house. I do most of my work in the studio, though i have been known to spread myself and my materials all around the house. Since we have had small children i have needed to be more careful about this.... The potter's wheel is in the garage and so that is where i do any throwing. The kiln and all of our tools are also in the garage/ shop. I generally work about 20 hours a week give or take.

What inspires you?

I am inspired by so many things... this could be a long list... I am inpired by everything around me really; the colors and forms in nature, the ocean and ocean life ( i grew up on the coast of Maine), the patterns and colors that i have seen in the art and handicrafts of people in different parts of the world. I have travelled a bit in South America and lived in Western Samoa for a short time, and i often feel inspired by the spirit of the people and the art that i experienced in those places. Travels to other countries such as China and Israel also effects my work and inspires me. I derive immense inspiration from my children and their creativity, by the work and ideas of other artists, pictures in magazines.... and finally, by my own faith and feeling of connection with my Creator. I am a member of the Baha'i Faith and am greatly inspired by it's teachings and principles- such as the oneness of humankind and the idea that "the earth is but one country and mankind its citizens".

Is there a medium you haven’t tried that you’d like too?

I love quilts and beautiful fabrics and would like to do something with quilting one day. I am also fascinated with glass and glass blowing and watch every program that i can about blowing glass. I don't know if i will ever try it myself, but i am spellbound by watching it.

Now some questions from our fellow Etsian’s.

Would you rather be a small fish in a big pond or a big fish in a small pond?

I think that i would prefer to be an active small fish in a diverse and cooperative school of fish.

If you were trapped in an abandoned cave, and could only have three artistic materials with you, what would they be, and why?

I guess i would have to say paint, canvas and brushes (provided that i already had water to use with the paint). I love the bright vibrant colors of acrylic paints and the many different ways that they can be mixed and applied to canvas ( or other materials) to create so many different types of imagery. I would say clay, but having no way to glaze and fire it in a cave.... i probably couldn't do much with clay with only three materials....

What is the one item you created that you are most proud of?

I don't think that i could decide on one item that i am most proud of. There isn't one particular thing that i think best demonstrates skill or style... i am proud of a lot of things... but more proud of being able to step back and look at the body of work that has emerged over the last few years and to be able to see that i am improving in my skill and that the pieces that i create continue to be fresh and vibrant. I will include a picture of a piece that i love, but i wouldn't say i am most proud of. It is a current piece that i did for the Esty Mud Team's critter challenge, and i am proud of it because i haven't really done a lot of sculptural work, and i think that this piece represents a new direction for me, while also including some of the design elements that are typical of a lot of my work.

What are five of your favorite Etsy shops?

Hmm... tough... off the top of my head.... gosh it will be hard to narrow it down to five. I love ArtOfAndrewDaniel, honeybee, jenmaestre, BirdNerd and joleeromano. Man, that really isn't fair. i have so many favorites!!

What is your worst time wasting habit?

My worst time wasting habit is sitting at this computer! I am a member of the Etsy Mud Team and i spend WAY to much time reading and making comments on our weekly thread in the forums. But, what can you do? i love my team!

Sunday, April 27, 2008


I have been busy!
More about what I’ve been up to later in the week.

Spring has finally sprung. Even though it will be a little chilly here the next few days I am very happy to see things blooming. Yay!

I’ve decided since I make a weekly menu every week I will start posting it on Sundays. Ideas and or comments for new meals are welcome.
This week’s menu:
Sunday~ hamburgers and chips
Monday~ Hungarian goulash over pasta with a vege on the side
Tuesday~ sweet and sour pork over white rice
Wednesday~ white chili and cornbread
Thursday~ hamburger gravy over white rice and green beans
Friday~ tuna mac salad and spicy brats

I’ll be blogging about another featured artist tomorrow. Stay tuned!

Monday, April 14, 2008


Meet Stephanie!
What are your name, Etsy name, profession and location?
I'm Stephanie, but often go by "Nie," and my Etsy name is Izile. "Jill of all trades" is the only way I know to describe my "job" and I live in Brooklyn, NY.
Married? Single? Do you have children? Do any animals dwell with you?
Divorced, no kids, no pets allowed.
What medium/s do you work with and where did you learn how to do this?
I like working with whatever media I can get my hands on. Colored pencils, watercolors, oil paints, polymer clay, wire, rocks, anything and everything that's not nailed down is fair game. I'm almost completely self-taught in all regards. Never had a formal art class, not because I didn't want to. So, I just jump in and muck it out myself.
Do you have a specific area you work in and how much time per week do you devote to your art/craft?
When it comes to my Magic Vial Pendants, which is mostly what I'm doing now, I like to work on the couch, in front of the tv. I'd guess I put about 15-20 hours a week in on a good week.
What inspires you?
Nature, mostly. There's endless variety and change of color and texture and everything else you could want.
Is there a medium you haven’t tried that you’d like too?
Yeah, I've wanted to try PMC (precious metal clay) but between the expense and home-firing difficulties, I'm just not sure if it'd be worth the cost to try a blind leap at it.
Now some questions from our fellow Etsian’s.
Would you rather be a small fish in a big pond or a big fish in a small pond?
Can I be a frog? I don't think frogs eat their own kind.
If you were trapped in an abandoned cave, and could only have three artistic materials with you, what would they be, and why?
Some sort of hard-wearing, durable paint, so I could paint on the walls or even keep a record of events; non-toxic clay, so I could have cups and dishes and containers and pottery in general; and a blow torch, so I can see what I'm doing, play with textures and how things react to fire, and to help fire the clay.

Question by
What is the one item you created that you are most proud of?
That has to be my Unicorn Nebula painting. I had this huge canvas, 24x30, and I just sat down, and in one four hour session with watercolors, just painted and painted until I was done. I loved it. So did my Mother, who immediately took it to hang in her bedroom.
What are five of your favorite Etsy shops?
What is your worst time wasting habit?
I get caught up doing research; and I digress, and while I might have meant to only look up one little fact-check thing, I'll end up reading several pages of unrelated material.
I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be. - Douglas Adams
Thanks Stephanie!