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 glassbyleona@gmail.com