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!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Mixing Business with Pleasure

If online shopping has done anything for us, it has made getting the mail so much more exciting. The long-awaited business cards arrived in the mail last week, but it has been so swamped at the Glass by Leona headquarters that I haven't had time to provide a proper update about the fantastic business cards.

After some deliberation, I went with Moo Business Cards. Moo is a printing company that offers eco-friendly 100% recycled green paper. They also let you upload as many designs as you want, which means you can have as many different cards as you want. The company even included a handy little carrier with my order, made completely of recyclable materials. Since I went with the green option, these cards were manufactured using wind power. Overall, I am pleased with the results:

three cards
 The flower one has a bit too much shadow, but I still like the design so much that I decided to use the picture anyway! My favorite of the first three is definitely the middle one. Gorgeous! The color is even better in person.

The next three are pretty wonderful also. The angel one is especially sweet. Which one is your favorite?

Three more cards

The backside
All of the backs are in the same rich blue color. I also ordered some mini-cards, but I don't have any scanned images of those yet. Trust me when I tell you that the mini-cards are incredibly cute!

Of course, it wasn't until after I ordered the cards that I stumbled across this gem over at etsy. If I had known about this partnership earlier, I would have been able to receive a free sticker booklet with my order. Maybe there is some way to remedy this with Moo?

Speaking of etsy, I will be adding some new items to my shop in the very near future. I'm not going to tell you (yet) exactly what those new items will be, but I will tell you that the clues are in the business cards!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Featured Friday: Artist Profile // Michael Garrett Manes

Welcome to another Featured Friday, written by Emily. Today's feature is an artist profile on Michael Manes, an incredibly talented artist and all around funny guy. As a constant admirer of Mike's work, I'm thrilled to showcase his art on this blog. Sometimes it's nice to be able to connect a name with a face, so I hope this picture of Mike gives you an idea of what he's about:

Not a bad looking guy, huh? Okay, okay, here's what he really looks like:

Normally, he wears glasses. Sometimes a hat. Currently an Akron, Ohio resident, Mike studied at the Columbus College of Art and Design where he majored in Fine Arts with a concentration in painting and printmaking. He minored in art history, so make sure to ask him lots of questions to test his knowledge. For the past year, he was the artist-in-residence at Gilmour Academy. He is also currently part of the sales staff at Don Drumm Studios & Gallery At one point, he worked as a security guard at the Akron Art Museum. This means he got to wear a uniform! All of his jobs have involved art, in one way or another. He hopes to pursue a Master of Fine Arts degree in arts education so that he can continue to educate, inspire, and create.

Mike's work encompasses many mediums and focuses largely on social commentary, which involves political, environmental, religious, and social issues. Through his work, most notably his collages and mixed media creations, he assumes the role of a social commentator. Often, he takes familiar images with existing meanings and strips away the original context in order to construct new meanings. The end result is a tension created from opposing forces at work. Maybe this example will help explain:

Speculations, mixed media

A repeated image of a man with a gun. An American flag. We've all seen these things before, so we come to this work with ideas about these images already implanted in our minds. These ideas work together to shape our understanding of the elements at work here. We are able to understand the new ideas that are conveyed precisely because of our relationship with the appropriated images. To see more work like this, check out his portfolio.

MGM (isn't it cool that his initials are already famous?) also does a lot with recycled books, paper, and mixed media. Here are some of my favorites:


The above piece is on display at Don Drumm Studios & Gallery in Akron, Ohio if you want to see it in person. If you get there before August, maybe you can meet Mike before he moves to North Carolina. You should be reassured that he still plans to display his work in Ohio after he moves.

If you want to check out more of Michael Garrett Manes, you should put his website on the top of your to-do list. In fact, maybe you should do it now.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Teen Mosaic GLASS ACT at the library

On Tuesday, I was honored to teach a teen mosaics class at the Ellet Library. This class is part of the Ellet Library Teens program, an outstanding program that enriches the lives of area teens in so many ways. We are so lucky to have such an amazing library system in Akron. This is the second year I have taught this class, and I was happy to have some repeat students this year. It was amazing how much they had grown and matured in just one year. I was also very thankful to have Joe, one of my trusty assistants, teach the class with me.

When we finish the class next week, I will post a more thorough description of the event, along with the completed projects. For now, these pictures will have to tide you over!

Art in Progress

Art in Progress
Working on the mosaic trees

The ever-talented Joe helps out
Picking our colors
Thanks again to the Ellet Library Teens for allowing me to teach this class!

Monday, June 20, 2011


Luckily the rain held off for last Saturday's Farmer's Market. The variety of produce and flowers are ever increasing as the summer season progresses. I love the selection of food at the Farmer's Market , but the people involved with this operation are just as lovely! I am continuously amazed by the honesty of folks that I meet at this market. Each week, for several years now, a potential customer will admire a piece of my glass work but realize they have spent all their money on the culinary delights they expected to purchase.

 I can almost spot the look as they handle the pieces and then return them to their display. We start a conversation, and they explain that they haven't brought enough cash to  purchase an item that they dearly want. And here's the point of this blog post: I offer to let the customer send me a check and take the item, and most of the folks can't believe that I would do this. I am not bragging about myself; rather I'm bragging about how incredible my customers are. I then explain that in all the years I've been offering this option, no one has ever failed to pay promptly. I usually receive a check early the following week inside a beautiful thank you card containing words of kindness and appreciation. 

So actually, I get paid twice: money for pocket and kudos for the soul. And the best part, this little exercise has restored my faith in mankind. We hear so many negative stories from various sources about poor behavior, but the offering and receiving of the handshake credit procedure provides a great balance for me as I examine the nature of our humanity.

To all my customers and to everyone else with good hearts, honesty, and pizzazz:

Friday, June 17, 2011

Featured Friday: Etsy find

Welcome to the first Featured Friday. This post is not written by Leona; instead, you are being treated to Emily, Leona's handy little helper. I hope you don't mind. Leona gets pretty busy making all that glass, so we decided it would be okay for me to handle some of the Featured Friday posts. Two treats in one, basically.

This week's feature can be found on the absolutely adorable etsy shop called truche. Here is the necklace that I'm pining for:

How awesome is that? I heart Ohio and this necklace. The shop owner, Stevie, offers a huge selection of different state and country necklaces. She also has some cute bird earrings. In fact, all of her jewelry is gorgeous. You should really check this stuff out. All of the fine silver she uses is .999 pure. According to her etsy shop, her choice of fine silver is more pure than sterling. I can't wait to order one, but with the heart placed a little closer to Akron. That's where my heart is.

I first heard about this shop after reading an article on Huffington Post about how the popular chain store, Urban Outfitters, quite possibly (and most likely) ripped off this necklace design from the truche etsy shop. Here's a link to an Urban Outfitter's "destination necklace." Pretty similar, right? When I first read the article, it seemed that UO was selling a variety of different state necklaces, but they don't appear to be on their website currently. In the etsy shop product description, the artist tells us to "Wear your love." Urban Outfitters' product description says to "Wear your locale love." Pretty low, Urban Outfitters. Pretty low. I won't lie--I've shopped at Urban Outfitters many times, but not since reading that article.

One thing is for sure: I will definitely be purchasing the handmade real deal on etsy in the near future.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Sneak Preview: Hearts of Glass

Is your heart in the right place?

I haven't had the chance to put my hearts on etsy yet, but I thought I would give you a sneak preview of the next big thing! Do you feel honored? You should. This is totally VIP treatment. I just love these crazy hearts, and I especially love how each one is just a little bit different. By tomorrow, you should be able to order these to your heart's content.
Hearts of glass
I am willing to bet that you will have Blondie's "Heart of Glass" song in your head all day long. You're welcome. And just for fun, here's another extra special sneak preview:
This is one of the pictures that will be on my business cards! The picture is a slightly cropped version of this one, and I can hardly wait for the business cards to arrive. They should be in by sometime next week.

In the meantime, happy Saturday, everyone!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sea Turtles are Hatching

Sea turtles will soon be hatching on Florida's southwest coast, and in my Akron, Ohio studio. Every summer from about May 1 to August 31,  thousands of sea turtles hatch on Florida's gulf coast. Soon after, they make their way out to sea to hang out in mats of drifting algae called sargassum sea weed for a couple of years, then they are on their way to the Atlantic. Once they reach the Atlantic Ocean,  they leave the nest so to speak,  and forge ahead into adulthood.  I guess only about one in a thousand sea turtles mature to adulthood.

Hopefully, my stained glass sea turtles will have a better survival rate, especially since they are much easier to take care of than the real thing. So I thought I would take this opportunity to share some survival techniques to apply to stained glass you may already own, and items you purchase at glass by leona.  Follow these simple steps and your art glass will remain beautiful for years:

Never use corrosive cleaners on your glass pieces.  Window cleaners will corrode the lead or solder that surround the glass.  The best cleaners are wax glass polishers such as car wax.  My favorite is Clarity Stained Glass Finishing Compound, although any glass wax will do.  The other very important fact to remember is to lay your piece flat on a solid surface to rub on the wax.  The seams of the glass pieces are more fragile than the glass itself, and laying them flat will assure that you don't bend or compromise the seams in any way. They will have a much better survival rate. Use cotton swabs to get into corners, or even a toothpick if necessary.  And lastly, take TIME to polish the pieces lovingly.  They will have a much better survival rate.

And if you have any questions regarding care of your pieces, feel free to e-mail me at

Monday, May 30, 2011

Words into Action

Well, it might not look like much, but it's a good start. Especially for a holiday weekend. Here's the finished shelf without anything on it:  

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Getting Organized

Thanks to those who made it out to the Farmer's Market on Saturday. It was an absolute success!  I saw a lot of faces I haven't seen since last summer. In fact, I got to see a whole new face (a tiny babe) that was growing in mama's belly last summer, and got to hold him too.  The little toothless grin was such a precious gift! What a great way to start the summer.

What does this have to do with getting organized? Well after spending several hours in my tent surrounded by my glass creations, I realized that I'd better get busy because I have more shows than I have product. Now don't worry--I do have a lot of great pieces to sell, but I like to give my customers a lot of color options, because for me, that's a big part of getting the piece just right.  So when I returned home to start work on some fabulous sea turtle color choices, I panicked!

As you can see from the picture of my workspace, chaos reigns.  So the first order of the day is to TRY to organize this "hot mess" as Niecey Nash would say. I'm going to do some Internet shopping this morning just to check out prices, then off to the store with the best price on some type of modular cubes.   I'd like to start with just a few to see how they work holding the glass, then purchase more as sales allow. If you have any ideas on where I can find good buys on this type of storage, please share. Or maybe you have a great success story about how you organized your own studio space. I've got to clean up this mess before the "Glass Hoarder Police" come after me. Otherwise, I'll be sitting in the middle of my living room trying to convince the television universe that "I only brought home what I thought I could use in a glass mosaic."

When you next hear from me, I promise, I'll have at least one "color"  under control.  I think I'll start with green, my favorite.  Or is that the wrong way to start organizing?  Help!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Farmer's Market

Just wanted to let everyone know that I will be selling my stained glass and mosaics at the Cuyahoga Valley Countryside Conservancy Farmer's Market  in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park this Saturday. Wow, that's a mouthful; but there are a number of Farmer's Markets in the area, and I want to make sure you can find me if you are curious. Our summer location is at Howe Meadow on Riverview Road, about 2 miles north of the Smith Road intersection. The Market runs all summer every Saturday morning from 9:00 a.m. to noon. This is our third Saturday this season, and we are still getting used to our new digs. Check out their website for detailed directions and a list of vendors.

The Market concentrates on food for the body, but they throw in a little food for the soul too, allowing a small number of artists to participate. Along with fresh produce and meats, you can find everything from honey and soaps to teas, flower bouquets, hand-crafted stationery, and my specialty: stained glass creations.  I try to limit what I take to the Market to nature inspired items, which is fairly easy for me since about 85% of my work falls into that category. I share a booth with my good friend Andrea, who makes crochet dishcloths, baby hats, and other beautiful crochet masterpieces.

Shoppers can gather at the Market to purchase fresh tasty treats--which are amazing, but it's also just a great place to hang out and meet people. There is an interesting and involved diverse group of people to share ideas with and learn from, and I haven't found a fun-sucker among them. So come on out for the fresh air, vegetables, and ideas. Don't forget to visit me in my booth at the Market on Saturday morning.