The big group of lampworkers are back from their Italy trip! Be sure to check out Corina's site and Donna's site at Blackberry beads for some awesome pictures! It's a been a long time since my last visit to Venice TOO long but it was so nice to see all the pictures the girls took because that's the beauty of Murano and Venice , it never ever changes it's one of the prettiest and coolest places to visit and everything still looks like it did the last time I was there. On our next big family trip to Sicily I will most definitly reserve a week to pit stop off and spend in Venice. Now I'm itching to see all the cool beads and stuff everyone brought back. Vittorio's glass bug sculptures are unreal! I want one so bad! There was a wonderful venetian glass bead maker from Murano in one of my favorite bead stores right before xmas who did an awesome presentation in the shop I wish I would have brought my camera now because the craftsmanship is unlike anything I've ever seen made here in the US. They use 18 and 24 kt gold encased leaf and work techniques to create pieces without a mandrel and using their bare hands it's the craziest thing I've ever seen. (I love my 2 most favorite bead shops it's always worth the drive!) I think there is a link on Donna's site to see Luciobubaco demonstrate making a woman out of glass. They do these trips to take classes with the masters every year and even more than once a year so I'm sure going to try to schedule my future trips to Italy & Sicily around them and do the giagantic italian family visit and the fun master glass class at the same time! How awesome will that be!? Ok anyhow for the rest of the day I'm planning on working on a custom jewelry order I'm quite excited about it because it's going to include these incredible and fairly arge fuschia abolone tear drop shaped pieces I've never seen anything like them , they have this incredible color shift to them and pairing them up with Swarovski crystals with AB finish in various pinks oh yummy! I'm drooling already so I can't wait to get started! I need to clean the studio up a little bit too while I'm at it all the work from remodeling the bathroom up there has left a lot of dust but the good news is the bathroom is just about done and GORGEOUS! Just a little bit of trim work left to do and a whole lotta dusting before I can add all the accessories! The HUGE back window to the studio is very old and I don't think it's ever been replaced and it has a crack in the framing which Joe has tried to seal with plastic until it can be replaced in the spring so I've been carting bead bins downstairs for working at night because it's chilly in the studio at night. So I'll be cozied up and beading today I'll check my emails again later on and maybe even show you a pic of the progress of the custom order! So I'm off for now! Have a great day!