Sunday, November 7, 2010

at least for now

Thanks so much to everybody who was saving bottles for me but you can STOP. I am so done with wine bottles. I had finished some fun mosaics that included wine bottles. The latest is pictured in the Aug 16th post. I'm hoping to also finish a recycled wreath for a donation. The plan was to come up with something fused. I realize that you generally make a lot of crap before you come up with something good. I did the crap part. I will NOT be showing photos. My patience and passion have petered. And I just cannot bring myself to do that flat bottle thing either. I am now falling back on the normal way of recycling. All the stuff I made, the cases of bottles not pictured, and these few left here.....are all going in the recycling bin. We'll have room to walk again!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

more months like this, please!

Yeah, I know you saw this before but I have gotten so much mileage out of her this month. She deserves another post. In the last post I mentioned that Not So Pretty Now was featured in Harrisburg mag. Well today, Alyson Stanfield featured it in her newsletter. Yeah, that goes out to ton-0-people. Woot woot! Stanfield is the art business coach that I keep telling my artist friends to subscribe to! AND the youtube counter for this work is over 4G with about 50 views daily during the end of October!

What a banner month. I won't even remember all the good stuff that came my way in October. I got a feature in Central Penn Arts Guide, an on-line mag. I just got a new canopy for shows. I know, right? That is not what makes normal people happy, but it floats MY boat. The Bethesda show was wonderful. All good in October. I am telling you, November already looks just as rosy. I am going to be starting on two installations that are the kind of thing I dream about. One fused, one mosaic. Ahhhh......loving this life.

Monday, October 11, 2010

more good stuff

Now how did I manage THAT??!! I was asked to submit a photo for possible inclusion in an article that would run in the October issue of Harrisburg Magazine. Well since it was going to be an October issue, I thought I could increase my odds by making the photo Halloween-ish! And there you go! Not So Pretty Now in all its glory. The article is about the Yellow Breeches Chapter of the Pennsylvania Guild, of which I am a proud member.
Not only that, about a month after I got my work home from Brooklyn, I found out that my work was voted "People's Choice" in their show! No kidding. Out of hundreds of artists that showed, I tied with another guy for fave! Woop Woop! Hope people feel that way in Bethesda, Maryland this weekend!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

been a bit busy

Yeah, its been crazy here but I love it. We had out-of-state fam here for a few weeks and then vacation. All good stuff. Ooh, yeah, I had a birthday in there also. So while all this is going on, I haven't blogged. Haven't made too much art either but there are a few little things that I thought were cool. For starters, somebody read my previous blog post and contacted me through my site. He said he is an artist that is also in Art Glass Today. He is a professor in Hungary and was still waiting on his book to arrive in the mail. He asked if I would email him photos of his pages in the book so he could see them. I just thought that it was really fun to be connected with somebody in Hungary!

Someone from Messiah College asked if they could interview me for a school project. Pretty cool that a stranger would want to interview me. I was really honored. She had some really insightful questions so I hope she will email me the resulting paper. Just curious.

I got to work with my niece, Kanoe, in my shop for a few hours. Seriously fun. She had fun too. Her one year old son, Kaliko is pictured here. Wicked cute. Eternal eyelashes! A few other good studio was featured on the Pennsylvania Guild's blog- Just google pa crafts blog if you're interested. I can't copy and paste in here so......sorry. I also had a little feature in the Rt 15's first newsletter. AND I am just about to start the planning stage for another fireplace. Good stuff!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

no FREAKIN way!

This is unreal! I have been waiting for this for over a year now and I finally have it in my hot little hands. I was asked to submit photos to an editor for a book about contemporary glass. They told me they would publish 5 of the 10 photos that I submitted. So yesterday I finally got the book and I am just in awe. I am so unbelievably grateful and happy to be included in this book.

Let me explain it to you like this.....Back when I was at HACC taking the glass blowing class, I was surfing around the web and found Martin Kremer's web page. OK, that is probably where I was hooked by fusing. I had his web page as my home page for quite a while. So now I am in the same freaking book as him and some MORE of my idols! Are you serious??!! Artists from Hungary, Canada, UK, Italy, a lot from Poland....yeah and Hummelstown, Pennsylvania. Woot WOOT!

The book is called Art Glass Today by Jeffrey B. Snyder.

Monday, August 16, 2010

busy with blue bottles

I had wanted to have some recycled glass for the Mount Gretna Art Festival this weekend, 21st and 22nd..... Last blog I wrote took a week to import to FaceBook so I hope you read this PRIOR to Gretna........Any whooo, I sawed up a bunch of blue bottles and melted them. The result is the blue rings. Cutting the little circles of mirrored texture to fit in the holes was a pain but the rest was fun. The entire mosaic is 23 x 16. Pretty sure I will take it to Gretna. I think they are still saying great weather. Fingers crossed!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

snagged a spot for First Friday!

Woot Woot! This is so cool. The Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen has retail space right on gallery row in Lancaster..... 252 N Prince St. They rent it out and it is spoken for till 2012. SO! There was a cancellation and I jumped. I will be there August 6th from about 4p-8p. Joining me will be two of my friends. Christine Goldbeck is a photographer/painter who owns and runs her own studio, Arts on Union in Middletown. Roxan O'Brein makes jewelry and does beading that is unbelievable. We'll be there with other members of the PAGuild. First Friday in Lancaster is hoppin'. There is so much that you cannot see everything at each open gallery in one night.

And yeah, the commission that I finished is where it belongs now so here are two photos of it.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

working on a commission

I've said it before. I'll say it again. I love commissions. I don't understand why some artists refuse them. The one I'm working on is for the cutest couple ever. It is a gift so I cannot even post a photo of it for fear of the recipient seeing it. So yeah, this is a perfect commission. It is so far away from anything I would ever do but there is plenty of room to make it my own. Each time I ask them a question, they say they trust my judgement. Can't beat it! I mean, that is why you pay an artist----for their judgement (or lack of?) So anyway, I can't wait till its done, can't wait till they see it. But I won't be able to post a pic till they've given it away :0(

Friday, July 16, 2010


Seriously, I can't freaking wait till tomorrow. Shaundi and Kaleo are both going along and what could be better than two of my three favorite people with me for this? Dumb question. It would be better with three of three but I'll take what I got.
I also thought this was cool...I found a link to my first video on a stranger's website. Thanks to Intentional for the plug! And, if you haven't yet gone, I will tell you that the Dali exhibit at Susquehanna Art Museum is fantastic!

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Two things: First, the loose definition of a zuzu is this- It's a little doughball that is covered in brown sugar, has chocolate in the center, and is cooked over an open fire by a naked woman. Second- I want to tell all the people who have in the past called ME a hippie that they do not know what a hippie really is.
Tuesday, a friend and her son rode with me to meet Kaleo and Erin at a Rainbow Gathering. We planned on spending two days there. I am glad I went but I can safely say that I would not need to do it again. I had anticipated peace, love and a lot of tree hugging. That is NOT what I found there. We actually left as soon as we woke up on the second day. I think the best way to describe it is that when I expected to see giving, all I saw was taking. Their site said that they leave a park cleaner than they found it but I've done a lot of camping and have never seen a park so dirty. The most disturbing part for me was the great number of dogs and some kittens because most of them were very poorly treated. One dog was beaten right out in the open for no apparent reason. I'll post all my photos on FaceBook but for here I am just going to post the photos of happy people that I think looked like what I wanted to see. I heard next year's gathering might be in Argentina? I'll pass.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Heebie Jeebies

Yeah, this is my new favorite. I made this the way I think all art should be made. I made it for myself. I wasn't thinking about people approving of it. I wasn't thinking about whether or not people would get it or even buy it. I get tired of hearing artists say that they are grinding out what they think will sell.... hence the name for the piece, Heebie Jeebies!
Lately, I have been leaving a white border around my work. I like the look but sometimes I think it is interesting if I can continue the work onto the border and convert into white or clear. I also like my broken shards which have actually become CUT shards because they are easier to control. So the "tape" came about as a way to make sure the shards were really stable. It started out as irid glass but it didn't have the right look. I sandblasted the irid away and it looks pretty much like tape - to me anyway! This is going to NY with me tomorrow. If nobody buys it, I will gladly bring it home to hang in the Billet house. OK, will Rob be happy? That is another story.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


OK, so I get a little tired of the fact that art in PA is only considered art if it is a floral or a landscape. I decided I needed to do a landscape. Hmmm, is it considered a landscape if its an ariel view? The piece is called South Running Brook Farm. SRB Farm was a farm near State College that our cousin owned for thirty years. Anyway, in true down-on-the-farm style, I thought I would even throw in a few cows. They are black angus. I thought I did a pretty good job on them. I have included a close up of the mother and baby cow in the top photo. I love the expression on their faces. Mooo

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Jim Whetstone beat me to Brooklyn

I thought this was perfect timing. I was just getting ready to post the link for the Brooklyn gallery I'll be at and I got an email from a friend, Jim Whetstone. He had just put up a Brooklyn Gallery on his Captured Moments web page. His site features a lot of different galleries from theTetons to weddings to Pittsburgh. The photo above is called "Lower Manhattan at Night." OK, if that's not enough, this guy does stellar woodwork. I'm saying his work is so good -it's state juried! His pieces are so colorful that they almost look painted. Jim will tell you a story for each wood represented by every color.
But anyway, the gallery I will be in, the BWAC in Brooklyn has a 360 camera on their site which is really cool. You can maneuver right up to see any art. I can't wait. And YES, there are directions on the site....... ummm, yeah- directions, and an address.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

I swear its like giving birth.

Some of these pieces take so long and you get SO attached. This took at least twice as long because of the video. I gotta get a camera with a remote before I do another video! I am so flippin' happy with this though.... so happy with the decision to use Kaleo's band's music so crank it up when you watch! I guess you could say I have been working on this for over a decade if you count the time I spent dragging Kaleo to drum lessons.

Here is the link to the video on youtube........ Couple of things about it. Yes, of course it stars yours truly. That was all me. No stunt double for any of those daredevil acts. Basically, I just take thousands of photos and squish them together to make it seem like a lot of interesting stuff goes on in my shop. My hair and make-up people were off the day of the close up but I did put on a clean shirt. The library will have their grand opening July 27th at 4:30. Yup, I'll be there.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I can see the finish line

I wasn't going to post a photo of this till it was done. I don't think my mosaic looks so good till its grouted so I hesitate to show people. But I haven't had a photo of my work in the last 4 posts. I feel like I need to have SOMETHING to show that I don't eat bon-bons and watch soaps all day. This photo is from last week. I have mostly just sky left. I would guess the whole thing would be done by now if it weren't for the fact that I am photographing almost every snip of glass that goes down. Yeah, serious. The video is going to be stop action so there are no mpg's in it, just thousands of pics. On top of that, I might even "dub-step" my own sound to it. OK, that part might be a little too ambitious. Kaleo said I could use his music. I have been so focused on this. Today was my day off and I put in about 8 hours on it. So I'm almost at the finish line.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

made in China?

So every artist has heard stories about someone taking photos of your work and sending them to China to be mass produced. At Reston this weekend, the artist in the booth next to me (a woman from China!) was warning me of this very thing. Honestly, I thought it was an urban legend! Well, I guess I will soon find out. I was talking to someone in my booth when I saw someone else taking pictures of my work. When people ask me if they can take photos, I always say yes. In fact, I generally even give them tips on how to photograph glass optimally. This man was lightening fast. He shamelessly went snapping from one work to the next. He never spoke to me and never even made eye contact with me. Even the other person in my booth remarked about the rude "photographer." He was gone before I could say boo.
OK, so here's what I think. I have always said, if somebody wants to copy my work, they have to figure out HOW first. I mean, I can tell you how to do a sheet of bubble glass but it would still take you some work to get it right. THEN, you can only copy what you see. You cannot copy the five million things floating in my head that I am going to be making in the future. Someone can make a cheap copy of something that will sell at chain store but it is just that---a cheap imitation. There is no way to do what I do and be cost effective enough to sell at Target. The important part of my work is texture and dimension. You won't find that in something molded and painted.

I was just at a class by art marketing guru, Alyson Stanfield. She advised that the only way to absolutely prevent your work from being photographed is to keep it hidden which is not a recommended option. I am not worried. What will happen is going to happen regardless of me worrying. Besides, I'm on to the next thing. Catch me if you can. So wow, in a weird way, copying is a compliment.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

this is why art is important

Wow! There is nothing else to say about her except, WOW! She's gorgeous! Evening Naiad is my new original painting by Rebecca Lesney. I wish you could see her in person because she is just fantastic up close. She's been in my living room a while now and I still stop and stare. That won't end any time soon. Of course, I have plans to rearrange all the other clutter around her but I was just excited to get her on my blog. The reason art is so important is because of the way it makes you feel. That is why I always tell people to buy what they love and NOT what matches their sofa. My carpet needs replaced but I don't even notice any more. I met Rebecca at 2nd Floor Gallery and Gallerie 13 where she currently has work. Check it out when you can!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

yeah, I can manage that

Yesterday was one of those days that only linda billet can manage to pull off. Yeah I did it and I'm owning it! Here's what went down. The PLAN was to go to Brooklyn to visit the BWAC gallery that I will be showing in later this summer. Terry Kennedy went along because he is showing there as well. The gallery was to be open 1-6p. So we arrived at World Trade Center shortly after noon and all we had to do was get to BWAC. Sounds simple, right? Here's the part I cannot explain. We never freaking got there! I was sitting in the tub this morning and replaying the day yesterday and literally laughing out loud. There was a series of weird little things that wouldn't have stymied the trip by themselves, but all piled together added up to mayhem. The hardest part is that when I run into friends and neighbors who knew that I'd be taking this little trip, they will ask me what I think of BWAC. How in the hell will I explain that I couldn't find it in 6 hours??!! I'm trying to figure it out myself! Should-a, could-a, would-a. OK, so then when I got home, I left my dog out and minutes later she was sprayed by a skunk. Perfect end to my day. If I could post a scratch-and-sniff picture I would.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

full circle

When I was a kid, maybe around third grade, I loved sitting and coloring with my aunt, an artist. I had always thought she was the greatest thing since sliced bread. Fast forward a bit----her oldest son and I have kept in contact. He has a lovely family and his third grade daughter, Maya, wants to be a glass artist when she grows up. This is a shot of her when she recently came to my studio to play. We spent hours making pendants. I wonder how my life would be if someone would have told me in third grade that you can do something you love to earn a living?
So, Maya, I'm telling you! Not every kid your age wants to color for hours or has the patience to cut and re-cut snibbles of glass and then meticulously assemble these tiny shards. I think you enjoyed doing it because you're good at it. AND I think you're good at it because you enjoyed it! This is what it means when they say "Do what you love and the money will follow." If you are doing what you love, you put in the long hours it may take to be great. You play all day!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

commissioned work

I am so happy to have photos of this. This was one of the things I have been working on through the winter months. It is all glass grouted in a caramel color. I know a lot of artists won't do commissions but I have to say that I have not had a bad one yet. In fact, I love them. It is not a big deal to do a specific size, color, or quirky detail for a customer as long as they give you enough room to do what you do. To me, art installations are just the greatest thing since sliced bread. It's art that you don't need to worry about dusting.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

that felt good

I have been doing almost exclusively mosaic for quite a while. The library project has been kicking me in the arse. Been hung up on trying to get colored photos of the hotel and trying to find people who remember the hotel. Both are almost non-existing. Who knows what colors should go into this mosaic? I am just going to make it the colors that I WANT to go in it rather than the colors that SHOULD go in it. Isn't that what art is? So while I was temporarily stuck on the mosaic side of my studio, I made my way around to the fusing side. Sure feels good over there. There is a show in 2nd Floor Gallery this month, Music and Dance. Pictured on top is an 8x10- Saturday Night at Union Street. Kaleo has been playing at Union Street blues in Middletown this past week. The lower work is an 11x14- Rain Dance which is just about how happy I am that spring is here. Anyway, now that I am unstuck on the mosaic side, it will feel good on that side too. Back to "work."

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

plugging away

OK, so I am still on the library mosaic. It is a lot more fun to do since I am doing the video with it. This is the National Hotel photo I have been using and it will be fairly close to this. I have gotten a lot of help from friends at the post office so I will definitely stick a little postal reference in it somewhere. Besides, after 16 years in the postal service, the reference is for me too. I found so few pictures of the old hotel to look at so that makes it tough. I've gotten a poster of it (thanks Fazz!) that is actually in color so that is helpful. What makes it harder is that the hotel has changed so drastically that it is hard to decide HOW it should look. In the end, I chose this photo because it best shows the front porch of the hotel that was saved to use in the new library. That is where the mosaic will hang. Because I picked this view, you should be able to stand in the same spot that the photographer stood for this photo, and you (hopefully) will be able to see my mosaic of this photo through the windows! Back to work.....that's hard to do when your dogs keep wandering in your shop to get their belly scratched.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


OK, so I'm working on the library project. It is humungous! I will be on it for quite some time because I have decided to do a video of it which will drag the work out even longer! I don't have any significant photos of it yet so until I do......I'll just put up pretty pictures of my puppies. Celia does not get slighted in the photo department, but geez, she's an old lady. She doesn't do the same funny stuff that Bonsai does. And wow, wouldn't this make a great mosaic!??!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

love my "job"

One of the best things about my job is that I have these guys with me all day. I had always been envious of store owners etc who had their dogs in their work space. Now I have these two crack me up all day. I keep a water dish fresh for them and in weather like we have right now, I keep the door open so they can come and go as they please. Currently, I am working on the mosaic that will hang in the new Hummelstown Library when it opens. I have been putting the substrate together which is a dirty and time consuming job but my dogs and I are happy. What's not to love?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

a little tired of snow

Well we got about three feet of snow dumped on us in February SO FAR. One of my dogs has arthritis and the other has three inch legs. So in addition to shoveling our drive way, we had to shovel off a huge section of the yard so that the dogs could go out. Not to mention, we had to shovel three feet of snow off the top of my studio's flat roof because I worried about the weight!
So during this horrendous weather, of course, I'm thinking I'd rather be in calm blue waters. This piece is a picture of me but the person who buys it can say its anybody they want. Angelina Jolie? Sure! I do see the resemblance in the lips.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

does it get any better?

OK, I just got the BEST news! Back in May I was asked to submit photos of my work for a possible inclusion in a book about contemporary glass. I just found out that, YES, they will be including my photos! One of the photos I gave them was Kiwi Blast. It is an all time favorite of mine.

If that is not enough....I am starting work on a mosaic that will hang in the lobby of the brand new Hummelstown Library. The library should be complete in June and so should the mosaic. The room it is in will have huge windows so you should be able to see it driving by. I should pinch myself.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

blessings in disguise

photo- Andy Dierk-

On Nov 4th I posted about how lucky I was with this van of mine. Now, I have more story. I couldn't plan things this well if I tried. I am telling you-SOMEBODY is looking out for me. My mom and I were driving three hours away to purchase some display panels from a photographer, Andy Dierks. You guessed it. My van died. Sure I could complain that a 6 hour trip turned into 12 hours of driving and 6 hours of waiting. Instead I will tell you how lucky I was AGAIN. First of all, on the day I broke down, I was fortunate enough to have my husband at a meeting about 25 minutes away so I had a ride home. In addition to that, the van decided to quit the second I pulled up in front of Andy's house. My mom and I were warm and dry and served the best tuna melts ever by Andy's wife, Trish! Check out his site (linked above) because not only is he a saint, he's also a great photographer.