Friday, July 15, 2011

Pastry vendors are tough cookies

According to a July 14, 2011 article on, a pastry vendor at the Highland Square Farmers' Market fought off a teenager who was trying to steal her money box. Even though we are always advised not to fight off a would-be robber, I am so glad this woman did not let the robber get away with her dough (or her money). Please forgive this horrible joke. Thankfully (and luckily), she was not injured in the process. I hope this incident does not deter anyone from the Farmers' Market; rather, it should make us want to show up in hordes and increase our vigilance. We can show any would-be robbers that there is strength in numbers.

As punishment, maybe this teenager should have to work at the Farmers' Market on Saturdays and Wednesdays. Of course, this isn't actually a punishment, as it is an enjoyable way to spend a Saturday morning or Wednesday afternoon. Would it be different if he had to face the person he had tried to rob? Instead of trying to steal from vendors, he would have to help them sell. If you're wondering, this incident does not make me reconsider my position on trust.

The full text of the article is below, if you're interested in reading.

Pastry vendor, 69, resists teen robber at Akron market - Break News - Ohio

An Akron teen was arrested on juvenile robbery charges after trying to steal cash from a 69-year-old vendor at the Highland Square Farmer’s Market in Akron.
The pastry merchant told police she was leaving the outdoor market about 6 p.m. Wednesday when the 17-year-old boy tried to grab her money box as she was walking to her car. The woman struggled with the teen and yelled to onlookers. The teen fled without the money.
Police located the teen suspect walking on South Portage Path near Grand Avenue with two others. He was identified by the woman and arrested.
Tony D. Smith, Jr., of Akron, was placed in the custody of the Summit County Juvenile Court.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Stitch (and various other crafts) and Bitch

Like a lot of folks who take part in Stitch and Bitch, we take "stitch" to mean anything involving crafts. Last night, we had mosaic crafters, a crochet crafter, a recycled arts crafter, and even a bill-payer! Compared to some past Stitch and Bitch sessions, this one was fairly mild. This helped us finish some projects and stay on task. The evening usually starts with an air of studiousness. Observe:

Leona and Jess
 Leona and Jess were both working on mosaic mirrors. They both are such prolific mosaic artists. Both women sell their pieces at Don Drumm Studios & Gallery. And by now you are fully aware that Leona also sells from her Etsy shop. You probably can't tell from the pictures, but Jess is working on a grapevine design. So far, it's looking pretty gorgeous. Leona's is an abstract pattern, and it's off to an amazing start.

And now for something different:

Sara offers her interpretation of Stitch and Bitch by paying bills
Sara, pictured above, opted to partake in the bitching part of Stitch and Bitch by paying her bills. A lot of very weird things have happened at past Stitch and Bitch sessions, but this might take the cake. Her productivity is certainly to be admired.

Carol and Beth decided to give mosaics a try. Leona was there to help them out and answer questions. Their pieces are not finished yet, but they are shaping up to be some admirable bird baths.
Beth working on a mosaic
Carol tried to trick me when she called this a rose

 Julia uses old Christmas lights to make all sorts of creations. It's a good feeling to be able to make an enjoyable piece of art out of something that would probably be thrown away otherwise. Right now, Julia is working on a much bigger version of her Christmas light decorations. If you're curious, her recycled/upcycled art is also for sale at Don Drumm Studios & Gallery.
Julia, making an incredible creation out of old Christmas lights.

After all of this hard work, it didn't take long for the evening to turn to this:
Leona, demonstrating workplace safety by wearing her gloves all night
The session was of course accompanied by some great food. We had some honeydew melon that tasted like lemon. Pretty fantastic sounding, huh? Give it a try. There was also homemade hummus, some wine, and some sensational carrot cake.

Our next Sitch and Bitch might be next week, but it could also be next month or even two or three months from now! The great thing about it is that you can put one together whenever you want. 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Willoughby ArtsFest

What if Ohio summers lasted forever? Would Ohio art festivals last forever, too? I don't think they would ever lose their allure. Other things, like humidity, droughts, and bug bites, might eventually begin to bother us. I'm sure that over time, we would adjust. We might even start to miss winter. We probably need it to keep us on our toes.

Alas, Ohio summers do not last forever, which is why you should make it a point to check out the Willoughby ArtsFest on July 16, 2011. The event is held in downtown Willoughby, 20 miles east of Cleveland. Of course, glass by leona will be there in full spirits, along with more than 125 art, food, and entertainment vendors. ArtsFest goes from 10-5 and admission is free. In addition to my Etsy offerings, I will also be selling some choice glass mosaics, Queen Anne's lace sun-catchers, some new adorable glass frog sun-catchers, and more! My line of sun-catchers includes mice, turtles, frogs, feathers, owls, hearts, and angels. I am nearly always working on something new,. I am also available to do commissioned pieces, so let me know if there's something specific you would like.

I look forward to seeing you at the 20th Annual Willoughby ArtsFest!

A Teen Mosaic GLASS ACT: Part II

We finished up the Teen Mosaics Class at the Ellet Library about a week ago now, and I'm so excited to finally have time to blog about what a wonderful time it was. If you remember from Part I, everyone was thrilled to come back and mix the grout. I am happy to report that we had a full class of 16 very well-behaved students. I was impressed with their patience and diligence, not to mention their ability to work well with minimal instruction.

For this class, my assistant was Amy, who proved her mastery in mixing grout. It is important to achieve an icing-like consistency to ensure an even application. Some students were very specific in their color choices, which required us to mix in some paint to the grout. This was a risky undertaking, and Amy and I breathed a major sigh of relief when it worked out well. Here's Amy and a student discussing some of the steps involved in mixing the grout:
Amy says "Are you sure you need to mix colors?"

Amy and students deciding on paint colors
She is a task-master for sure! The kids loved having her there to help. I am so lucky to have such amazing helpers and friends. The students showed a great sense of color throughout the whole process. Kids at this age have such boundless creativity, and I think it has something to do with not being afraid. Adults need to remember this. Messing up is not a big deal, so there's no need to hold back just because you're worried about making a mistake.

Working on our grout
A mosaic, as I'm sure you know, is the art of creating an image with small bits of colored glass, stone, or other materials. The small pieces, known as tesserae, are used to create a unified pattern or picture. This requires some planning and a lot of concentration. A common method of making mosaics is called the direct method, which is when the individual pieces are glued onto a supporting surface. The grout, a mixture of water, cement, sand, and color tint, fills in the spaces between the glass pieces. It goes on as a thick liquid, but it doesn't take long for it to harden.

Explaining the importance of an even application
It's such a great feeling to watch a piece take shape as you work on it. The movement and flow of the individual pieces (the tesserae) has a very fancy name: Adamento. Say it out loud--it's fun. 

In the end, the grout colors accented all of the pieces very well. Their finished creations are such a reflection of their personalities. After we finished up, I took the pieces home and sealed them. I hope someone reminds all my wonderful students that their finished artwork can be picked up at the front desk of the Ellet Library. 

Thanks again to the staff at Ellet Library for providing these worthwhile activities for kids.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Featured Friday: Etsy find

First, some romance:

I saw you for maybe a second or two.

I've read missed-connections before and wondered why people just didn't say something then and there. Now I understand... perhaps it's because the moment is extraordinary; containing a fullness of its own... and the thought that this person across from me is not a part of my everyday life, and at any second will disappear, didn't even occur to me... it seemed that we were in whatever it was together, and that sort of connection rarely, if ever, happens between strangers, so my mind was a little slow on registering that there would be no "some other time" if neither of us asked for the others phone or email.

This week's Feature can be found in the Etsy shop Sophie Blackall. Here is a picture of the print that the above text accompanies:

We Passed Each Other When the Sky was Pink
If you've never read the Missed Connections on Craigslist, they can be entertaining, touching, perverted, embarrassing, and everything in between. Likewise, if you've never read the blog missedconnectionsny, you should definitely check it out. This artist, Sophie Blackall, has lived and worked in Brooklyn, NY for the past ten years. I read about her missed connections blog in BUST magazine and I simply have not been the same since. Lately, I've been thinking about the missed connections left on the Akron-Canton Craigslist page. What do you think Blackall would do with this one: "Ok, I'm drunk and im one of thosse moods, all I want is to be happy,,,, I have met so many people in my life, why have I not met you. ( the one) ..... I'm a good guy, I'm cating and super fun loving, I have a great family relationship.... But no one to share it with, did I miss my connection ?...... I have friends and every material poasesion I ever wanted... Why not u? (sorry for spelling/ I'm been drinking and my iPod only correct so much) but in cSs u wanna know
I'm 5"9 brown hair 165lbs w/ job and car, super sexxy blue eyes and my life in order , I love movies and enjoying life,,,, if I'm ur type hit me up, I'm ok w/ 420 but I can't smoke cause of my job, but I can drink 2 days a week or soo "

Will this guy ever find love? Or at least some great artwork to accompany his missed connection post?

Here are some more missed connections ny

  These are some of my favorites. The sooner you check out this blog and etsy shop, the sooner you will have your own favorites, I promise.

Enjoy this overcast day! Look forward to some future posts about upcoming area art festivals and new arrivals on Glass by Leona.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Rain Delay

Today's Featured Friday has been postponed. Happy holiday weekend, everyone!