Sunday, December 25, 2011

yeah, my kids are weird

So about three weeks before Christmas, Shaundi says to me that she would like a purple and green fairy coat. What 25 year old woman asks for this? Are you kidding me? Three weeks before Christmas? Like that can happen. I'll just go down to the purple and green fairy coat store because I bet they have a large selection. Obviously, it is a safe bet to say that I cannot find those colors in a fairy coat even on Etsy and I doubt I could order and have it shipped in time. I told her there was no way it could happen but two weeks later I was still trying to figure out if I could work out her only Christmas request. A week before D Day, I start buying the sweaters and jackets to cut up and reassemble on a machine that is two breaths away from a sewing machine graveyard. This machine was not built to sew these heavy, stretchy fabrics even when it was new. In the end, I got it done about a day before Christmas Eve, complete with sparkly glass star on the tip of the pointy fairy hood. When I added the buttons, my husband says, "You know there is a point where it is too much." I say, "Not when it comes to Shaundi!" THAT'S my daughter.

Friday, December 9, 2011


All right, it's not the FINAL final picture. It may be January or February till it is done and I can get a finished photo on my site! I can't wait so for now, this is what I got. You can see this will be fantastic when it is done. My part is finished though. The flanking columns will probably be a dark gold. A travertine overhang on top of it will have water raining a curtain of droplets about an inch away from the mosaic. I think I should try to have a boat included in every photograph from now on, right? I hope I can do work like this till I drop.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

my happy dance for the week

Well, I just got some more dance inducing news. Harrisburg Area Community College ( Lebanon campus ) has just purchased three of my works for their permanent collection. Like seriously? For real? Hell yeah! Linda Billet work in HACC's perm collection! Twinkle, He Loves Me and Lime Fizz. Woot WOOT! Now I gotta tell you what is so crazy good about this. When they purchased these works, they were not aware of the fact that HACC IS WHERE I STARTED GLASS! I didn't even know how to CUT glass before I started there! Lebanon today...... tomorrow the world.

Friday, September 16, 2011

no, I haven't been a slug!

This is ONE of the two projects I am working on. That rainbow of glass I showed you in last post? Here is where it went. There are a few changes that have been made on this already and it is a fast dirty photo but you get the idea. The tasty parts are done. Now for the mind-numbing part......the white background. The fun is over but what will keep me going is to see this DONE and grouted. Ten feet of sparkling glass- aaahhhhhh. Love, love LOVE it. There is no way to tell you how exciting that is. Oh yeah, to help you envision this finished.....Picture water in front of it, palm trees behind it. Squeal!

The other project is smaller but JUST as exciting. Fused glass tiles in the colors that I MOST want to work in. Hope to have photos soon after I get back from Baltimore. There's a great show at the aquarium Sat 17th and Sun 18th. Come see me if you can!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

what a ride!

While it is true that this IS a tough economy with a lot of uncertainty, I have tons to be grateful for. The reason I have not blogged lately is because I have been WAY busy. I call that a good thing. While most people just had a three day holiday weekend, I put in six long days last week. This is not a complaint since almost everyday is a holiday in my "job." Look at this photo. Tell me that doesn't look like FUN! I spent Labor Day weekend working with pink glass, Youghiogheny's "bubble gum" and Spectrum's "cotton candy" among many others. What's not to love? I have two mosaic projects I am working on that are so much fun that I will actually be changing up my future work to incorporate mosaic into most everything I do. I often say that I cannot decide which I like more, fusing or mosaic. So why choose? I've done a few mosaics with some fused components and I love them. Why not do both in the same piece ALL the time?.

So I am trying to get all that done and have not blogged but what prompted me to get on my keyboard is some crazy good news that I had to share. Last night I found out that I got into Disney's Festival of the Masters. I have to tell you that Rob and I are HUGE Disney fans. This is SO exciting. Without thinking about logistics, I just wrote my check for my space and will MAKE it all happen. For now, I gotta get busy. As soon as I can, I'll show you what happens to that rainbow of glass.

Monday, July 25, 2011

see what I mean?

In my April 29th post, I wrote about a piece that got into an auction held by Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington. I ended the post saying that this COULD lead to my best news ever. Well, it did. When I opened their catalog link, I saw on page 35, my work is featured with Dale Chihuly and a lot of other artists that I respect....the big guys. Now you may wonder why I think this is such a big deal but think about this. A little over 5 years ago, I could not have imagined this. Sometimes I grumble that things aren't working out because I know I will go to bed tonight and I will not have all of my dreams sewn up YET. But if I really look, I see that things are happening quite fast for an artist who is brandy new. I am def not where I want to be, but the journey to that place is pretty sweet. Keep believing in YOU.

If you friended me on FaceBook, you've already gotten this news. I've been a little behind with K's wedding and then we were on vacation. This mantis is what I finished right before I left for Florida. He's 16 x 23. Museum of Glass has a link to their catalog on their site.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Kaleo and Erin

Wow, this is so hard to imagine. My little boy got married! I mean, it shouldn't come as a shock. They have lived together for a year and a half. They announced their intent to marry a year ago but it still is hard for me to wrap my brain around this. Look at that photo. Kaleo is a man. How did that happen so fast? How did it happen at all? Here are a few things I know. While raising Kaleo, Rob and I def made mistakes as we all do. In the case of this particular boy (who has been a man for quite a while) we can honestly say we gave it 100%. We did the best we could with the experience we had and the situations we were in. Looking back we have a different knowledge. For all the mistakes we made, I wouldn't change a thing because it brought this man to where he is right now......a real good place. Everything unfolds as it should.

Now, that we have done the best we could we can just sit back to watch the rest unfold. My son and his wife will not be doing things our way. They will be making a life that works with how THEY see the world-and believe me, it's a lot different than how we see it. Neither way is better, they are just different. Rob and I grumbled about the wedding being so late. People traveling would be inconvenienced, blah, blah, blah. Kaleo argued that they love sunsets. They were smart enough to listen and start a bit earlier. More importantly, they were smart enough to stick to their guns and have the evening wedding which you can see was the perfect choice- FOR THEM! I will never stop GIVING this man advice as long as he wants it. I will also never stop TAKING advice from him as well. He is one of the people who are helping me along on my journey. Maktub. With their advice I will make decisions that work well for me and respect that they will do the same for themselves. Congratulations, Erin and Kaleo. I love you both.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


I am a scuba diver, not a surfer and I don't really think about being one. So why do I subscribe to a surf mag (it used to be two surf mags!)?? Well, I just love the photos of waves! I mean I just LOVE the ocean. I love making waves out of glass. I love water period!

I'm not sure where I first heard about the Bethany Hamilton story, but I remember driving past a billboard with a motivational message and photo of her standing by her board. When I was up late one night watching Tavis Smiley, he interviewed her for the movie "Soul Surfer." Of course, after seeing the interview and the movie I was so inspired. Even before I saw the movie I figured I would make a wave with Bethany. When I want to complain about something, I stop and think that I really don't have anything to complain ABOUT!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Warrior Run

OMG this is so epic. Yeah, I know I say this all the time but things just get "gooder and gooder!" Don't you get tired of hearing all bad news about bullying??!! There is plenty of great news in that department too and I'm here to tell you about it. OK, so I had mentioned that I would be doing an artist-in-residence project about anti-bullying. I just finished Friday and sat right down with my photos to compile a video. That is why I have not surfaced on FaceBook or anywhere else. I've been SO swamped. Please crank it up when you see it because the music is fab. Ovuca ( Dilnau ) .....a HUGE thank you to Aleksi Perala for permission to use this. to purchase that song.

Here's the deal. This was mostly middle schoolers but it was everyone from 5th grade to 12th grade. That's right, 5th graders working side by side with seniors. This project was kids who have excellent grades working beside kids who felt they might not be passing in the next few weeks. Everyone was able to help so it was also athletes working with us art kids. None of that "stuff" made a difference. Kids who never even cut glass before turned sheets of glass into tiles the size of your pinky nail and smaller. When I see community mosaic projects, even made by adults, I never see the amount of detail that these kids have pulled out.....and in 17 days! I am SO proud of them. For real, look how young some of these kids are!! It certainly reaffirms my belief that you can do anything you want to do. Oh, and let me also say that this was all voluntary. Yup, these kids could come help when they wanted and a lot of them came in at lunch and after school too!

Seriously, what a stellar month. I got paid to play with kids all week. Can you beat that? I think not. We got on the local news and in the local paper. Cool. I know the word awesome is so over used but these kids are awesomely awesome. Fanfreakintastic! A HUGE thanks to Perry County Council of the Arts and Pennsylvania Council on the Arts for the best hook up ever.

Friday, April 29, 2011

art is subjective

I am SO over the fear of rejection. If you are not failing sometimes, you are not trying big enough things! I tried to get one of my favorite pieces, "Quantum Physics," into Pennsylvania's "Art of the State" exhibit but she was not accepted. That worked out perfectly because that left Quantum free for me to enter her into the "Red Hot Summer" at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, WA. They DID accept and I just shipped her out this week. See how things work? You just gotta relax. Be patient! Who knows what can happen in Tacoma??!! This could lead to my next "best news ever!" That's what I'm talking about.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011 da Jungle 16 x 23

The other day I posted a FB status. I said I was waiting on my kiln to open cause I thought I'd be pretty happy. So this is the guy that was waiting for me in the morning. Why a monkey? Well, a friend of mine was working on a monkey. He mentioned mandrills and I said, "You know.....I think I have a photo of one in my to-do list but it is a year or two off." When I went home, I looked up the photo which set the wheels in motion. I had just made a sheet of green stripes about a month ago so everything was good to go. Bungle jumped ahead of about 20 other ideas. Savin' the raisins for Sunday.

Monday, April 11, 2011

back to skoool

I had said I was going back to Boiling Springs to play with glass in one of their art classes. We made pendants and from what I heard, they got pretty cool. Also, I DID end up getting the artist-in-residence program and it already kicked off. I will be at Warrior Run School District for 4 weeks in May but to get the ball rolling, I talked to students in an assembly last week. That's right, I talked to like six or eight hundred kids at a time.......TWICE.
So basically, I am working with a core group of kids on a HUGE mosaic with a theme of anti-bullying. In order to have more kids feel connected to the mosaic, everyone in the high school and middle school will have the opportunity to help out after school and in free periods during school. In addition, all kids will be able to vote on options within the mosaic. Besides that, the coolest thing is that all students will be able to contribute things that can be included in the fabrication of the mosaic. The plan is to do a video too. The people at this school are fantastic. They set up a site that has everything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask. I CAN'T WAIT!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Grandma's Besty

Cleaning out someone's house really sucks...... especially if it is someone you love. You'll find stuff that is really junk but it is something they valued. When we cleaned out my mother-in-law's home, there was a sock monkey. Perfect example. This sock monkey was so ugly I wish I had thought to take a picture of it. But Corrine kept it in her neat tidy living room where everyone could see. It sat on her couch since my son gave it to her over 10 years ago.

Now I couldn't make myself fabricate a monstrousity like HER monkey. But this whole piece was around that "monkey." Corrine used to have a list of people she would call EVERY day. I was on her list. One of our standard conversations was about what I was working on. Generally I would say, "If this works out it will be my best piece ever." Each time I said that she would laugh her ass off. Or when I show her a new piece she would always make fun, "Is this your best piece ever?" Sometimes she would bring a chair in my shop and just hang. Now she is in a home and most visits does not know us. I sure do miss her. Anyway, Grandma's Besty is 16 x 23.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

how do you make Oprah Cola?

You know how it is when something gets stuck in your head?

It is no secret around here that I am a HUGE Oprah fan. Anyway, I was thinking about making something Coke for my brother (coasters?) and I don't just morphed into Oprah Cola 16 x 23. I just wish you could see this in person. A photo of it just doesn't cut it. But the coolest thing is that I made a Youtube video to go with it so please take 3 min to watch. It is my son's music again. I love the song. It's a little sleepy but then around 20 seconds in is the "drop." Oh and please send the video link to 800 friends!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

caffeinated faerie

I just finished this little 11 x 14 faerie and what's not to love. It's purple with just enough blue to make me happy. It is a picture of my friend who is a faerie. If you don't believe me, you'll have to see her in a backless shirt. I added a close up so you could see the teeth. That took a bit of ingenuity considering the entire mouth is about the size of my pinky nail!

Friday, March 4, 2011

see what I mean?

This is how things work. I had just sent a couple of copies of my book to a gallery in Newport. Someone happened to see it just after they had been approached about supplying an artist for an artist-in-residence program. So they give me a call. They want to know how my May looks. Well it just so happens that the two shows I wanted to do in May dusted me. Luck? OK, so I go to a meeting about the artist-in-residence program. It is a dream project but I need to teach a class and be observed first. This is when it pays to have cool friends. I call my teacher friend up and BAM. Next day, I am teaching a class. How do you like me now? So the class was WAY fun. In fact, it was so much fun that they want me to come back so we can make stuff.
The teacher of the class is my friend, Amber Kane. She is a weaver who runs a site, FabricatedEnds. Above is her crocheted, felted wrap. She also gives classes in a lot of different mediums. Right now she is running a class to make wire wrapped cabachons. The class will start March 16th. You can contact her through her site for more information.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Well I sure am not a heart type of person but this mosaic has been percolating in my brain for years. I have been busting my arse on my new video till my computer shut down for 2 weeks. While my video was stymied, I saw something chocolate and it clicked. I am so happy with this that I will happily delete my file of chocolate pictures. I am not saying it is the best art in the world, I am saying I got out what needed to get out. A couple of years ago, my brother gave me this Valentine with a picture of a box of chocolates. The card said something about the eerie feeling you get when you bite into a chocolate and you don't know if it could be that gross one with the apricot center. So when I called my brother and I was talking about how happy I was with this mosaic, he says, "Does it have a gross one that is partially eaten and discarded off to the side?" I'm like, YES! BA HA HA HA HA I stuck it on the frame! You know, I think my jokes are really funny but my family assures me that I am the ONLY one that thinks so.......well.... me and my brother.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

this is the good stuff

OK, this has nothing to do with art .......but it has everything to do with art. Today was pretty epic for a Monday. Kaleo pops in this morning and announces that he's going for a short hike. "Mom, you should go along." Yeah great, except it is 7 degrees outside! First, I tell him all the reasons why his idea was crazy, then about ten minutes later I was as bundled as he was and we are on the road toward the Appalachian Trail. After we parked, we hiked two miles in to see the two vistas that were our morning's destination. The place is called Shock Rock. I don't remember a time that I have ever hiked in winter, especially when it was well below freezing. It was definitely a different view than I am used to. At one point Kaleo realized that he had not brought a container for his dog, Diego, to drink from. So Diego drinks from Kaleo's Camelbak. Then he offers me a drink from the Camelbak. Yum. I've seen some of the places where that dog's mouth has been. When I made a face, Kaleo tells me that he took the mouthpiece off for Diego. I roll my eyes and yeah, I drank it. Tasty.

So what does this have to do with art? Well since the beginning of the year, I have been working on the same piece, Oprah Cola. It is taking really long because I am doing a video of it. Part of the design was a huge palm sized bottle cap. I've already scrapped 7 bottle caps along with a couple hundred dollars worth of materials that the caps were made of, not to mention the time and electric I spent. I now have three small caps that are almost finished. Fingers crossed. So I'm pressing to get this done. I'm so excited to see if the end result is what I have been thinking about for a year or more. While I'm so close to the finish line is when Kaleo asked me to go hiking. The thing is that the hike was SO what I needed. When one works for themselves, especially if they work from home, they really rarely stop working.....especially if they are in love with their job as I am. The hike made me stop and breathe. Kaleo and I always bounce ideas off of each other, usually talking about life. He calls it vibing. It was great to spend the day with one of the greatest people in the whole world. When I started back on the bottle caps, I had new energy which I hope will be evident in the finished work.

At the end of the day, I'm thinking that there may be a possibility that Kaleo is not actually the best son in the whole world. Maybe my dogs are not the funniest, cutest dogs that ever lived. What if my daughter is not really the wittiest or Rob the best husband as I feel they are? Maybe they are just right for me. I always felt that I was a person who saw the glass half full. But now while everyone is deciding between half empty or half full, I'm looking past the glass at the waitress on the way with a pitcher. For me, half full is just the temporary joy ride to full. If you're still reading this sappy happy horse shit, then think of this- How much happier would you be if you just loved what you already have? Nothing wrong with wanting more. I do. But while you are making more happen, just notice what you already HAVE! Today's hike would have been much more enjoyable with another 60 degrees on top of the 7 but it was still freaking fab. There are definitely faults in each of my loved ones, especially the four legged ones. I wouldn't trade any of these guys. I see SO much good in them. The cherry on top of my day was when Kaleo called me this afternoon to say thanks for hiking with him cause he had a great day that also made him do some soul searching. This is the good stuff.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

pretty cool january

2011 is already sweet. I was thinking about how weird it is that I love my job so much. I mean, I put in at least twice the hours of my previous job. I am WAY dirtier. I just finished my part of a mosaic fireplace surround and the top photo is a rough one because the project is not finished. But in the past couple of days I was thinking a lot. The last day of setting tile, I was at it till 8p so I could get the grout done the next day. I knew I needed to get a good sleep on because I was starting first thing in the morning with black grout on black glass....definitely a task wearing my prescription lenses! So at ass-0-clock in the morning my eyes pop open and I zone there in the dark unable to sleep. It wasn't because I was worried or dreading grouting. I knew I already had a few tiny cuts on my fingers and would receive plenty more the next day. Glass cut into thin triangle shards goes right through plastic gloves and skin without you feeling it. It will sting when the grout starts caking in it. But the reason I couldn't sleep is because I just couldn't wait to see all the mucked up mess of glass snips in the bottom photo turn into the result in the top photo. Even more than that, I couldn't wait till the owner of the fireplace saw it. Nothing compares to that high. Everybody has their personal legend that would only be fun for them.
So besides that, Shaundi and I cut out sugar, salt, dairy, alcohol, caffeine, white flour, and really anything processed for 30 days. Think about everything that contains those being eliminated. Mind boggling. But the great thing is that my husband who is NOT doing the same 30 day hoopla (and is absolutely NOT in favor of us doing it) made like the best dinner ever without any of those ingredients. On top of everything else, I got an email from Paris from somebody who liked my youtube video. Thanks, Sanem! Great start in January!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

SO ready for 2011

I know I have so far to go but I am really enjoying this journey. I was just looking through my blog from 2010 and sometimes I forget all the really fantastic things that have been handed to me. I had not even written in my blog yet about my book that Sunbury Press published. How cool is THAT! Search Linda Billet on Amazon and MY book comes up. Crazy! Or how about this.... My friend, Christine Goldbeck, had her Arts on Union Gallery featured on Fox43 and she had me and my artwork on the news! HERE is the link to the segment. OK, so there are signs of growth too. Back in January I wrote about having the good fortune of finding used pro-panels close by in just the color I wanted. Well just recently, Rob decided that we needed a better tent and I swear, within hours, a tent that was used twice went up for sale close by. Is that Universal support or what?!!??
There was the feature in the awesome book, Art Glass Today, a full page photo of Not So Pretty Now in a mag, a newspaper article, an online mag, and at least four blogs featured my work. I made it to Brooklyn (and even got People's Choice in the show) which led to other opportunities in Brooklyn and I hope for MORE. OMG, the library project! Still gushing about that one......AND the video about it with Kaleo's music. The next video will have his music also and it's already started. I CAN'T WAIT till that is done.
So yeah, I definitely took big lumps in 2010. I can truthfully tell you that I am grateful for them all because each provided necessary lessons. I have learned SO much this year. You will see it in 2011, I promise.