Monday, December 27, 2010

Pretties from the kiln!

Glass is magic! 
But, not everyone has a kiln, or the room for one, or the tools, and I feel so blessed to have the ability to make such pretty things.

I made sooo many of these over the holidays for custom orders and gifts, and I ran my kiln 24/7.  I had about 50 of these left over, and, after seeing the wayyyyyyyy overpriced items on Etsy, I decided to offer these up! 

Have fun!  This listing will be removed as soon as I need these in my own store!  :)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Slam Poetry.

Lashes Of Life

The lashes of life you may not see
Just by looking at me

I have hid the emotional scars deep within
And I have pretended my tears were diamonds

My mother beat me most of the time with an invisible whip
made with hurtful words that cut deep

But no one read the abusive signs
I carried like chains

When she thought I hadn't suffered enough
She beat me with anything close to her hands

And each time when she finally let me go I ran
Hoping to find a way of escape

No matter my childhood age
I was a frightened child

For I lived in the devil's rage
Even now that I am a grown woman

That frightened child lives within me
But I hide her so the world will not see
What a "Mother" did to her

When my mother died

People wondered why I hardly cried
I, and the child within me watched
as mother was lowered in her deep dark grave
And I knew she would never again
Hurt the little child within me.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

What a TRIP!

The long and short of it:  Angels followed us, and let us everywhere.  This trip belonged to mom and I, and I will share some, but not all.  Some of it, I have to keep in my heart.  It's only for me.  I love her so much.

It's alot to tell.  B.B. King sang the entire concert to mom.  He had been tipped off that mom is very ill, and this concert was on her "Bucket List"...long story short...We ended up spending an hour chatting with B.B. King, about this and that, after the concert, on his tour bus.  I only took one picture.  The rest of it belongs to my Mom.  I love you.  Thank you, B.B.  We will never, ever, ever forget you.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Details!

So, we're leaving today!  This afternoon, we'll be in Detroit.  Going to spend the night there, and then we're jetting off to Memphis, Tennessee.  Checking in to the very hoity-toity Peabody Hotel, then a fancy-schmancy dinner at the B.B. King Blues Club, followed by front row seats to see our favorite granddad, Mr. B.B. King. 

On Sunday, we'll tour the Rock and Soul Hall of Fame, and (if we're not exhausted), Graceleand.  We even have a rental car!  Thanks to the people at WMMQ, who offered this trip, and thanks to our amazing luck, we won this trip! 

This is huge.  SO exciting. I'm just...without the words to extend my sincerest gratitude to all the people who made this happen for us.  Time is invaluable.

With love.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Trip of a Lifetime!

This is my husband's mom.  This picture was taken shortly before she found out that her breast cancer had returned, and returned with a vengeance.  This summer, we learned that our time with her would be more precious and valuable than ever.  The cancer that mom beat, years ago, has attacked her bones.  Terminal. 

We were called to her home, where we were given the devastating news.  Sat, sobbing, afraid, so many questions, so few answers. Anger.  Grief. Unwielding sadness.  Frustration.  Fear.  Silence.

Mom got up, and returned with her "Bucket List"...a list of things to do before she "kicks the bucket."  Hard to hear...but then...we realized...we can DO some things for her, we can make memories, we have a JOB!  So, long story short...we're going to Memphis.  Tomorrow.

On mom's bucket list, there was one line: "Go see BB King again".   We've seen him every year for the past few years.  The Universe blessed us, and,well, we will see B.B. Memphis, at The BB King Blues Club, the flights, our meals, everything...paid.

So!  We're leaving tomorrow!  I'll be spending 4 incredible days with My Mama.  The gift of TIME was bestowed onto me.  I love and admire this person so much...she's been more of a mother to me than my own.  And, we'll make memories, because, you see, she's not 

I LOVE YOU, MOM!  Here we go!

Thursday, September 16, 2010


These are the leather cuffs that were left over after my daughter confiscated the ones SHE wanted!  I'm loving the one in front, with the fused glass focal.  Not sure if it's the colors, or possibly all the WORK that went into making it.  Seriously, that one took a WEEK to make, from start to finish! 

She's Crafty!

Yesterday, the house was quiet, the day was absolutely lovely, so I spent my time in my studio, in the company of beautiful glass, leather, solder, frit, and lots of cool tools.  I am IN LOVE with this piece, but it's on it's way up to!/pages/Riverside-Studios-Artists-Kevin-and-Karen-Nichols/62119242312

We have a HUGE show coming up in October, so I'm really pushing creativity to the max, to make lots of art.  My art is usually functional, but this piece, it's just so beautiful, I hope someone loves this as much as me!   

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Ugly Chair / Pretty Chair

One of the many lessons that I try to teach my children is that beautiful things do not come from the mall.  The most meaningful things are those that are given to us by others.  In this life lesson, we took an old chair, given to us by some great friends, and transformed it.  This was our project on Sunday.

This poor old chair needed some SERIOUS attention, so off we went to the fabric store, where we bought all the supplies needed to transform this little jewel into something beautiful.

An hour later, spent talking about "materialism", we ended up with a thing of beauty.  The time spent with my daughter on this project was absolutely priceless, as is this chair.

Hidden within it's new fancy upholstery, is a note, with our names and dates, to be discovered years from now by my daughter and HER son or daughter.  This is now an heirloom, and will be passed from generation to generation.

That's how it works.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Pam's Pantry Dip Mixes!

These are not your "ORDINARY" dip mixes!  We have them at the Lansing City Market, every day the Market is open.

Tues through Friday from 11am-7pm, and Saturday, 9am-5pm.

This is one of our very favorite mixes, called "Kara's Krazy Cukes"...just add the mix, some vinegar and some water, pour over your prepared veggies, and BAM...pickles, overnight.  Not mushy, crisp and fresh and YUMMY!

Come try a sample on your next trip to the Market!  At Bella Harvest! 

Sunday, September 5, 2010

I love glass.

My latest creation, and I am so proud of it.  This is a fused glass, drop-ring bowl, made from "curious glass", by Bullseye.

It's in my boutique right now, but I'm not sure if it'll stay there.  I may have to gift this to someone I love, or, maybe even keep it.  I just love this!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Uhmmm. No.

Today begins a great adventure.  Last week, while at my doctor's office, I told my doctor of my excruciating ankle pain.  It's so bad, especially in the mornings, that I can barely walk.  Some days, I would happily consent to a bilateral amputation (no exaggeration).

So, she ran some tests.  Today, I visit to find out if it's Rheumatoid Arthritis, as the lab tests are indicating.

I'm not going to have that.  Nor, will I have Lupus, also a possibility.  I like "ankle pain" alot better.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Square Peg / Round Hole.

And, so, here we are, at the beginning of August, time for football season to begin.  My son wants to play football, which is a pretty big deal with someone with Autism. 

The simple act of picking up his gear was overwhelming and scary for him, the noises, the coaches, the kids running all about.  The sports physical sent him right into his shell.  He lost his papers.  I became frustrated.  He cried in the car.  I cried in my room.
So, here we go.  6th Grade.  A young adult, who, only a few months ago, learned how to tie his shoes.  BUT...he can solve math equations in his head,  he knows every baseball and football stat you can imagine.  He knows, and charted the weather for four consecutive years.  He wants to play football with his classmates.

Do they view him as a "classmate?"  I don't know, but he is MY SON. 

And, until I take my last breath, I will continue to advocate on his behalf, hold his sobbing body, smile and tell him it will all be ok, mama's right here...

...and, privately, I will sob.

Can he play football in an organized league?  We will try. 

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A human BE-ing.

I have made an important decision.  Today, I was inspired (again) by my gardens, while watering them, I realized, they don't really need me.  Flowers have been around for millions of years before me, and will be here again, after I have left this earth.  Why?  They're just flowers.  They seek the Light.  They ask for nothing, they have nothing, but they render joy.

I am however, A Human Being.  A person.  With thoughts, emotions, love, pain, desires, wants, needs, and all types of other egotistical things that go along with it. 

So, I am going to concentate alot LESS on being a Human DO-ing...and MORE on being a human BE-ing.  I'm just going to be.  I shan't force anything.  I shall not yearn for more "things".  I will let my flowers grow, and feed them with Light, love, and spirit.   Feels better already.

"When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me.  Speaking words of wisdom: Let it be, let it be.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Waterfront Bar and Grill!

Check out today's MENU!  The Waterfront Bar and Grill has OFFICIALLY opened within the Lansing City Market, serving beer, wine, spirits, and an array of AMAZING food, prepared with ingredients from the market.  The patio overlooks the gorgeous river, with a beautiful tiered landscape.  We are SO excited to have this at the Market!  Open till 11am-11pm!  AWESOME!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I Make Things.

I especially like to make new things out of old, unloved, no longer appreciated things.

It's just something I like to do.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


We recently had a FANTASTIC writeup in the local newspaper, The Lansing City Pulse, about our organic farm produce stand, that we own at the Lansing City Market! 

You can read about it here:

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

It's all perfect.

It may not all be EASY, or make any sense, but just a simple morning stroll through my gardens, camera in hand, reminds me that it's all ok.

"Nobody's Perfect".  I don't buy it.  We may make mistakes, we may have our flaws, we may not look just like everyone else.  But, we ARE perfect.

I've learned not to question it, not to force it, not to fight it, or to figure it all out.  I will simply let it flow, like the seasons, like the river in my back yard.  Like water, air, snow falling, petals dropping from my flowers.  Whether we like it or not, it's all going to happen. 
And, while we may not understand it, there's a deeper reason, one that may not make sense to us now, but, fighting it, denying it, rebelling, will not keep any of it from happening.

All in perfect order.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

a tiny little exhale...

We took a little escape from reality tonight to see "The Machine" at Common Ground, a music festival here in Lansing, Michigan.  They're a Pink Floyd cover band, and they were spot-on.  I'm a bit of a purist when it comes to Pink Floyd.  A fireworks display during and after the show made it even MORE rock-star.  Lansing is an amazing place to live.  Monday is tomorrow, and it's back to reality, but tonight, sitting under the stars, having a few beers with some really great friends, and listening to some quality live music was just what the doctor ordered.

Monday begins the "doctors orders"...and we are all going to be on pins and needles, and on our knees, praying.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

...and all changed. did my perspective on many things.  Just one sentence.  And our family will never, ever be the same.

Seeing things from a whole new angle. 


Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Lansing City Market is Beginning TO ROCK

So, tonight was the Grand Opening of the Waterfront Bar and Grill at the Lansing City Market.  I can't begin to describe how cool it is to walk outside of the gorgeous Market, to linen-covered tables, along the river, and watch the boats cruise by, while eating delicious food, and listening to the music at the Common Ground Music Festival.  Pinch me. I'm dreaming.  This is where I WORK.  Life.Is.Good.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Sending love.

‎"Send love in some form to those you believe have wronged you, and notice how much better you feel and how much more peace you have." - Dr. Wayne Dyer

if only they could just feel the love, forgiveness, and understanding that I am sending.
  I have faith in the Universe.

Yes, you.

Of all the things I love, and there are very, very many, a summer rain is on my top 500.  I took this picture in my rose garden a few weeks ago, during a very gently summer soaking.  After a bit of editing, I had just what I wanted.  I just love this picture, and I'm going to have it made into notecards for all the beautiful women in my life, again, there are many.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Coming To My Party!?!??!

If you know us, then you definitely know our awesome Border Collie, Chaser.  We found him at the Animal Shelter.  He was going to be put to sleep the next day.  Kennel Cough.  So, we brought him home, and, after what seemed like an ETERNITY of vet visits, coughing and sneezing fits, lots of love and gentle kindness, Chaser made it, and now he's got it made in the shade.  He loves it here.  You'll usually find him werever I am, just laying at my feet.  He's the smartest dog we've ever owned, and, I truly believe that rescued dogs KNOW that they were rescued.  LOVE my DOGGIE!!!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sometimes, It's Just Not So Easy.

...and, thank God it ISN'T all easy, otherwise, how would we know the difference between our joy and sorrows. 

This week has been very, very difficult.  My Kevin and I have had to make some tough decisions, dealing with a family member with a volatile mental illness.  A dear friend's Grandmother left Earth for Heaven, and Cancer may be revisiting my family.

I don't know anything.  I have no answers, nor do I seek answers.  I simply follow my path, knowing that I have a guiding hand, steering me on my path.  I am blessed to have a loving husband and life partner, abundance in my home, and so very many lovely, tiny miracles around me daily.

From the whiskers on my dog's nose, to the majestic sunsets on the river in my back yard, and all the people and plants and tiny creatures, I have, not everything, but enough.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

SO busy!

Working at the Lansing City Market, our summertimes are delightfully BUSY!  Filled with fresh produce, and excited customers, new recipes, new's all so wonderful, and I take the time to can, freeze, and preserve all of the summer's bountiful harvests.  Unfortunately, it leaves little time to PLAY!  So, our playtime is spent, very often in our own back yard.  This weekend, we are having a HUGE bonfire, and I cannot wait.  Lounging around with good friends, telling stories, with the river in the background, and dancing fireflies in the foreground is a little slice of heaven.  We are blessed.  Exhausted...but blessed.  :)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Upon arriving home, I terrorized Dimondale for an hour or so on my new scooter, Beatrice, or "BEE" for short.

She's not bedazzled YET.  I ordered her stickers today.  She will be gorgeous in a week or so, till then, she's au-naturelle.

Market Day!

Kevin usually works at the Market, but today, I decided to go in for the day.  How lucky we are to have such bountiful fruits and vegetables at hand 24/7.  I paid our good fortune forward today by giving out lots of freebies.  Felt good.  These gorgeous raspberries are from our own back yard.  Magic.

If I ever figure it all out...

This is where it will happen.  This is where I meditate daily, enjoying the silence, which is interrupted by only breezes, the sounds of the geese playing, and the water in the river flowing over the rocks.

I think, and think, and think.  Sometimes, I am quite certain that it's not my responsibility to figure it all out, but to let it just flow, like the water over the rocks.  Namaste.

Meet Beatrice!

Or, "BEA" or "BEE" for short.  My new scoot.  In an attempt to do my part, and, the fact that we live in a tiny little village, just outide a booming city, I've decided to go from 4 wheels, to 2.  Everything we need is right here in Dimondale, and, if needed, I'll drive my automobile to haul big stuff.  But, truly, this is all I need.  I just got her yesterday, and I'm already IN LOVE. 100mpg, baby.  I've already stripped all of the racing flames and skull stickers from her, and they will be gradually replaced with bedazzles!  Stay tuned!

Monday, July 5, 2010

I have become an accidental vegetarian...

Not for any type of animal rights, not for the environment, not for any specific reason, besides, the thought of eating flesh really disgusts me.  And I don't kill things.  Anything.  No, I will not even kill a spider.  SO...gradually, meat has disappeared from my plate.  I've reaped many benefits, one being this glorious grain, Quinoa.  I made this salad for dinner last night, and am enjoying it today for lunch:
The recipe is quite simple, prepare your Quinao (pronounced "KEEN-WA"), add fresh, finely chopped veggies...( I used tomatoes, cukes peppers, fresh basil, and finely chopped fresh garlic), and toss in a lemon juice, olive oil, s&p dressing.  DELICIOUS.  And, Quinoa is a complete protein!  WIN WIN!

We are very fortunate to work at the Lansing City Market, the produce and information there is just so bountiful!  My next "Martha Stewart" endeavor will be preserving, canning, freezing and trying to save as many of these delicious, organic fruits and vegetables, so that we can enjoy them over the winter months!

I RISE - By Maya Angelou

This is a photo that I took in my gardens after a soothing, warm, summer rain, and it made me reflect upon my favorite Maya Angelou writing:

I RISE - BY Maya Angelou:

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear

I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise

Bringing the gifts my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.

I rise
I rise
I rise.



This is a photo that I took on our lastest outing to P.J.Hoffmaster State Park, our very favorite mini-vacation.  There's something magical to me about the beach.  When our lives can be reduced to only sand and water and the big, huge sky, the insignificance of ourselves takes over, and we realize that were are mere Human Beings.  It's such an existential, zen moment, to realize that we all came from one place, and if we could only TRY to simple it up, how much happier we would be.  These seagulls are just being seagulls.  That is all.  With that affirmation, I find it very comforting that all we really have to be is ourselves.  If, and when, we have the courage to do so, life falls perfectly into place, in just the perfect sequence.  Just be.

On The Cover of the ......Business Monthly!

OK,so it's not the Rolling Stone...but we made the cover of the Greater Lansing Business Monthly!  And, don't we look so cute? HAHA!  Someone said that this looks like an advertisement of some sort.  I like it, though...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Teenagers do not require an ipod, nor a laptop, nor Facebook, Coach Purses, pedicures, AIM or a cellphone.  They need gentle attention, guidance, and a place to find complete and utter joy.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I have to snicker...just a little bit.

Anyone want to purchase a piece of 2x4 with a Dollar Store Solar Light and a Flea Market Knick Knack glued on?  Or maybe a Michigan State block?   Please?  It's a "UNIQUE DAD'S DAY GIFT!"
EPIC.FAIL.  Bad crafts!  Go to your room!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Numero Uno.

Annnnnnnnnnd....that's about all the Spanish that I know. 

Monday, January 4, 2010, they say a picture is worth a thousand words...

...and, whomever "they" are, or were, they are correct.

My son is a victim of bullying. You see, my son is different, and, in 6th grade especially, that is a crime.
One week ago today, he was attacked on his bus. He was called a "retard", a "fag", a "homo", a "girl" the "cool kid" in school. When the other kids on the bus saw this, without even knowing my son, they joined in. My son called me, crying, begging me to bring him home immediately.  I tended to his broken lip and his broken heart.

We instituted a plan. We counseled him. We punished the attackers. We now drive him to school. We have supervision at all times. We cannot repair my son.

This morning, he returned to school, after nearly a week at home, with me, complaining of a headache and stomach ache. I drove him to school, all the way, telling him that he is amazing, smart, gifted, perfect. We got to the door, and I said, "Dude...there's some kids. Are those nice kids? Do you think you could go stand with them and wait for the bell?" "Sure, mom!", replied my terrorized son.

He got out of the car, stood near the door, turned around, and looked at me. For 15 minutes. He couldn't see me crying. I'm still crying.