Happy Year of the Water Dragon!

Gung Xi Fah Cai!    Year 4706!

The Chinese horoscope for a Black Water Dragon during this year reads as follows:

“Although Dragon is the master in 2012, but this period will bring him a lot of problems that need to be addressed on the go. Such confidence of all signs of the zodiacal circle places greater responsibility on Dragon, and he just cannot stay away from affairs, and remain indifferent to common work. A representative of this zodiac sign will be inclined to take upon his mighty shoulders a lot of work, and is at risk of even overestimating his own strength, and not cope with high ambitions and plans.

Under a certain activeness, Dragon will be a winner, he is a triumpher that will pave the hard but right path to success. This zodiac sign will always be in the thick of things, in the spotlight of any company, especially there where creative collective affairs and mass cultural activities are planned.

In the field of communication, Dragon will be able to establish many contacts, make friends and create a partnership, but his extrovert nature may attract around unworthy and dishonest people carefully concealing their true colors. Difficulties in 2012 may be seen as a kind of training simulator for the development of skills, there will be many of them, but they are all of them are not too severe, and are unable to affect the overall business management. With his love for slogans, banners, and carnival masks, Dragon should however not get involved in external attributes, but should try to give maximum attention to depth, the essence of work, its objectives and planning.

Dragon’s wisdom will help him get rid of unnecessary arrogance, aggression, and excessive ambition, while his ability to communicate and be honest can help him find friends and trusted work partners.

In early 2012, Dragon will be full of vigor, his energy will be practically inexhaustible, this will allow him work actively and cope with influx of affairs. But Dragon must remember that at the end, there may come a nervous exhaustion, which will weaken his power and abilities. There is no need to provoke problems – he should be alert, and also take care of his health.

Spring is Dragon’s favorite time. It is during this period that he will take significant decisions and sharply turn his life if this has become necessary. Dragon’s aggression, his dictatorship, excessive arrogance will be a mistake this period for these qualities can lead to conflict and rejection of Dragon in a team.

In summer, Dragon will receive a very handsome dividends for his work started in this 2012. Dragon who is an employee may seek a higher position, while Dragon who is a businessman – not a very active partnership of associates.

The fall of 2012 will be a calm period in Dragon’s life. If a representative of this zodiac sign previously chose the correct direction, then during the fall period, he will be able to afford a vacation, relax, take stock of 2012. In autumn, it is important to correct the errors in his activities and communication that were previously made so that such errors do not become an obstacle in planning for activities for the next 2012.

Dragon who is a spouse, will focus on improving his/her home. He/she would be happy to buy gifts and necessities for the family, helping friends and relatives. In spring, relationship with a partner may be strained because of Dragon’s orientation only to activities, but this time can be used effectively to calm sorting out of his/her relationship with a partner after problems that emerged.

In early 2012, a single Dragon may meet his/her love, and successfully develop and strengthen the relationship throughout the year.”

From http://www.gotohoroscope.com/2012/chinese-2012-horoscope-dragon.html

For your own horoscope for this year, click at the bottom of the website on your animal year.

Health, Wealth, Happiness, and Love to everyone!


"May every breath you take give you a bountiful return!"

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OK, we’re BACK in the US of A!

Erin & Will's wedding

Wow, this one didn’t get posted – catching up now!  Dated June 21, 2011:

This is week 2 since we’ve returned, and are still laptop-less.  We’re using Chris’ OLD, OLD  Dell laptop, the one that’s missing an “h” key, and the “r” key is flaky.  The plus side is that Angry Birds in loaded on it now with Google Chrome for those of you who like games.

This will be a brief post as it’s still a bit awkward to blog directly on WordPress.  I really have kudos for Windows Live Writer.  It did make blogging and posting so much easier.  Not enough plusses, however, to buy MS stock however.

Our return began at the Dusseldorf International Airport – where we headed to the gate and bumped into – of ALL people – the Shelefs!  They were last seen by us in Tel Aviv, Israel a couple of months before!  Amy saw someone who looked like Shir and called out to her (it was Shir’s hair!), and when the girl in pink turned around and looked up – they were in a BFF embrace!  Tzvia, Reuven and Ron were nearby, and it turned out that we were all on the same flight.  The Shelefs were returning to the States, too!  They’d just packed up the week before, and spent their last night doing the final packing!

We were welcomed at the San Francisco International Airport by Chris and Mark, holding

Tzvia, a Friend / Restaurant Owner, and Reuven

a Welcome Back sign as we exited the Baggage Claim, Passport and Customs areas!  Massive noise and picture-taking ensued.  THEN the Shelefs exited!  MORE noise and picture-taking!!!

The first days back, we immediately plunged into — shopping!  Amy had outgrown most of her clothes, and even sadly gave up her favorite purple long-sleeved shirt (dedicated to her good friend Ellie!).  We shopped for fancy clothes to wear to Erin & Will’s wedding (pix on another post), daily wear,  shoes,  and stockings.  Next were the electronics – iPhone, Motorola Flip-Out phone, MacBook (Amy), MacBookPro (Chris), a color wifi network printer, and all the other little gadgets we needed.  Then, the next few days were spent with families, friends, sleepovers for Amy, and working with my mom, a master flower designer, on Erin & Will’s wedding flowers.  It was a truly poignant and fun wedding, befitting the couple very well.  Amy anticipated the colors by dying her hair bright neon purple three days before the wedding (I did the paint job)!

Geoff, Amy and Berlin At Erin & Will's wedding Jun 2011

This week Amy’s Technology and PE camp began (TAPE), and she’s learning about applications to create presentation works on the MacBook.  It goes from 9-noon M-F, and her gymnastics practices are TTh 2:30-6:30 pm.  That leaves me with lots of time to blow glass at PALY, work on my blog (once I get my Vaio back it’ll be easier), drink coffee, meet up with people, and plan out what to do next.  Suggestions gladly taken!

Currently, Amy and I are living at the Mountain View Navy Lodge till the end of the month.  July 1st, the Navy Lodge will close down for renovation, so we’ll be vagabonding again – well, maybe not.  I rather like having a kitchen no matter how small or infrequently we use it!  So, am considering a residence inn like Ramada’s or Marriott’s for the two weeks we have before moving into a 2-bdrm Cupertino apartment.  Yes, it does allow dogs or cats, and not more than two of them, thank goodness!  The Cupertino middle school is ranked and rated by parents highly.

Pros and cons of an apartment –

This one’s on the 3rd floor – a definite Con.

Fitness center in complex – a definite Pro!

A small green park lawn across from front of complex – Pro (green) and Con (small)

Two parking spaces – def Pro!

Smaller than we are used to for a home (1165 sf) – Con

Two bedrooms are on opposite sides of the unit – Pro

Fireplace – Pro (ambiance) and Con (small, cute)

Not much of a backyard – def Con (poor Hodi!)

We tried for a number of days to find something in Palo Alto, but the homes were either too small, run down, or not a great location.  The rents were all around $3,200 – 4,000 / month.  I actually saw one that was as low as $2,350 / month, but included the landlord’s high school son to stay with us.  That wasn’t a problem, since we typically host visiting students anyway, but the house was awkward to get in and out as it was on a main street (Middlefield Road).  Craigslist gave us the most number of hits, but even then it was only four listings at a time.  Real estate and rental agents just didn’t have anything that fit our criteria, though it was pretty basic – 2+bdrms, 1.5+baths, garage or carpark, at least 1,000 sf, and some place for a puppy.

Our Welcome Back party at Kathleen’s house, my sister, who graciously offered and helped us setup.  Alas, it was less than a week’s notice and too soon for most people, but we still got quite an attendance – especially the younger students around Amy’s and Isabelle’s ages!  They asked some really good traveling questions!  We hope to have another Round the World party once we’re settled down in our new place.  Stay tuned!

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Welcome to our new glass website!

Glass pix - For Sale CS3 Cottage in Forest (6)

Alas, it is a simple website for showing pretty much just items for sale, and not much other information!  Well, okay, so there’s also a long About Us on the left side, and lovely pictures of the glass that we have made.

Because you’ve been following us so faithfully, we are offering a 15% DISCOUNT FOR SUBSCRIBERS TO THIS WEBSITE!!!  Type in “VCWS” in your name field with your name, and get 15% OFF! The Amount will be taken off before shipping. (It won’t be reflected in the total amount on the website, but will show on your receipt – sorry for the delay. Remember, simple website…)

If you’d LOVE to see our site, are curious, wish to purchase (yes, please!), and / or want to refer folks to our site, click or forward the link below:

www.wepay.com/www.vitreouscity.com – that ought to take one to the Right Place!

In the meantime, we will be showing and selling during the

Hot Glass Cold Beer Event on

Dec. 3rd, Saturday, 6-10 pm, and on Sunday, Dec. 4th, 11 am-6 pm, at

Public Glass, 1750 Armstrong Ave, San Francisco, California.

Tax only for California residents (8.5%).

Don’t worry about the shipping charge – it’s a place marker as this WePay.com is a — simple site, remember?  We will only charge you the actual amount of shipping and handling.

Glass - For Sale Blue Calla Vase V12 (17) Glass pix - For Sale Bowl B9  (12) Glass pix - For Sale Glass GL12 (3) Glass pix - For Sale GO1 (1) Glass pix - For Sale CS3 Cottage in Forest (12) Glass pix - For Sale Bowl B13 (13)Glass - For Sale Bowl B6 (15) Glass pix - For Sale Bowl B10 (7)Glass - For Sale Cast Natural Springs CS2 (29) Glass pix - For Sale Vase V22 (10)  Glass pix - For Sale Vase V17 (9) Glass pix - For Sale GO5 Wide Goblet (1) Glass - For Sale Coca-Cola Glasses GL4-5 (16) Glass - For Sale Cylinder Wrap Bands V15 (11) Glass - For Sale Gingko Set  S6 (16) Glass - For Sale V1 (1)  Glass - For Sale GL16 (2)  Glass - For Sale Osaka Rabbit S1 (6) Glass - For Sale Osaka Rabbit S2 (6) Glass - For Sale PW6 (2) Glass - For Sale Switch Axis Gold Purple Cane V27 (20)  Glass - For Sale V2 (14) Glass - For Sale V4 (4) Glass - For Sale V13 (5) Glass - For Sale Vase  V28 V29 Scallop Edges (6) Glass - For Sale Vase  V28 V29 Scallop Edges (12) Glass - For Sale Vase  V28 V29 Scallop Edges (8)Glass - For Sale Vase  V28 V29 Scallop Edges (17) Glass - For Sale Vase  V28 V29 Scallop Edges (34) Glass - For Sale Vase  V28 V29 Scallop Edges (37)  Glass pix - For Sale Vase V25 (15) Glass - For Sale Vase In and Out  V16 V18 V19 (10) S5 Punk Rabbit Glass - For Sale Vase V11 (6)   Glass pix - For Sale Vase V20 (2) Bowl - White Blue stringers - Winter (2)Glass - JKL cups (2) Glass - JKL cups (8) Glass - JKL gourd (2)Glass - Luster Blue Aqua Frit  (4) Glass for Sale (60) IMG_5381NZ Wanganui to Christchurch 574 Bowl - Eggplant Gingko (5)

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Come Visit!

We’ve “opened” our new online store!

Red Italianate Classic Vase

Vitreous City Glass Works … is officially open for business!  Check out what we have in stock. 
Items are “Live” and for sale! 

Be one of the FIRST 10 to purchase from our site, and receive a *** FREE  *** gift of a Venetian glass flower (a $25 value) !

Click here:                                                                           


We think it’s a marvelous place to start, don’t you? 

All of our glassware is handmade of hot glass methods – either sweating it out at the 1600-2100 F furnaces, or ladle casting the molten stuff!  The furnace-worked molten glass items are treated in precise and faster ways than other types of glassworks.  Each piece can take anywhere from ten minutes for simple ones, to hours for larger, complex structures. 

A few items might be fused in a kiln that reaches 1400-1600 F, but they start out cold.  This process takes longer than hot worked items because the setup at the beginning is more involved with molds sometimes, hours to ramp UP the heat, hand-honed glass shapes, several heats to fuse all layers, hours of ramp DOWN of the heat to anneal, or hours of cold work afterwards.  For example, a fused plate of three layers may take five to six hours to reach the temperature to fully fuse the layers, hold at the top temperature for ten minutes, and then take another five to six hours to ramp down, and anneal the plate to strengthen it as it cools. 

Fused, or cast artwork has a different feel than work produced from the furnace, but the clarity of the glass is always the goal.  Glass’ transparency is its main appeal – the ability to see through a solid!

Since this is our first online sales site (the last one was an experiment and is currently under remodeling), we would love to get some feedback on its appearance, user friendliness, products, prices, whatever you have to send us that’s constructive and helpful for improving our site!

Take a “walk” through our shop, and enjoy!

Jeannie and Chris
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Open Art Studios – San Francisco – Our 1st Showing and Sales!

Vitreous City Glass Works is appearing LIVE and Unplugged!

At Art Span

… in San Francisco is an Open Studio of over 400 artists in the area!  This is a chance for Art Appreciators to meet directly with the creating artists, learn about the art process, and purchase directly from the artists, thus saving costs of the “middle men!”  It’s a great way to purchase art for much less than through a gallery or a show.  

Come, check out our Vitreous City Glass Works out at Public Glass Studio on

Oct. 15 -16, 2011, Saturday & Sunday

11 am to 6 pm!

We have some pieces shown in the PG Gallery – our FIRST time!
There are nine other artists showing their glass artwork.
Come see, admire, and purchase – support the Arts in San Francisco!

Public Glass
1750 Armstrong St, San Francisco

(3rd St exit off Hwy 101 NB, left onto Armstrong St)

Some works being shown (below) with MANY more!

Glass "Bag" Vase

Filigreed Pineapple Molded Ruby Red Glass by Chris Llewellyn

Amber fritted glass with emerald green glass bits - detail

Hot Glass Casting - "Koi Pond" by Jeannie Llewellyn (2011)

Multi-colored wrap vase

Italianate Tall Gold Red Transluscent Vase

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The further adventures of Hodi!

The Dyson Ball Vacuum Cleaner - specially made for homes with animals

Well, in preparation for Hodi’s coming, I shopped around and found a pet-appropriate vaccum cleaner, in anticipation of allergies (yes, I’m allergic to dogs, but MUCH more to cats – off the charts!).  WOW!  Those vacuum cleaners cost a  heap!  The cost competes with a mortgage payment – well, close enough… We had heard back from the Sri Lankan pet relocation agency, that the doctor had called to let them know Hodi is now 6-months-old (well, I think she’s really 7-months-old now, but, hey, whatever).  That call to World Relocation Services Agency (WRSA) started a pebble falling …

So, I got an email from WRSA, and they asked for the SAME documents I’d already sent them (copy of my US passport, Sri Lankan visa page, letter authorizing Hodi be shipped, addresses, phone #s, points of contact, etc.)!  Feeling a bit discouraged by the lack of continuity from the three month of non-communication, and then receiving a redundant request, I began to wonder if I ought to go through Happy Tails Travels!  At least from them I KNOW the price of their services, whereas the WRSA STILL doesn’t have a clue how much it will cost on their end, pre-flight costs.  Happy Tails quoted us $795 (military discount of $100), not including air fare.

So, the past week and a half, I’ve been receiving emails from the vet (cost of caring for Hodi for the two extra months – Rp48,000 – about $436 (a bit pricey, but it’s really for May to now, which is really more than two months); WRSA asking again for the puppy’s height, weight, measurements to verify what size crate to use; emails from my friend Nayana who is helping me with her Sri Lankan family connections to talk with the vet and help translate when I Skype the doctor!  It’s been amazing how many people have been involved in getting Hodi over to us here.  And I keep wondering how long it’s going to take …

She was expected on May 10th, when she turned three-months-old, then August 10th when she turned 6-months-old, and lastly, Sept 10th, when the doctor said she was ready to go!  So, maybe Hodi will be here October 10th?  In time for Halloween!

We’re SOOOoooo curious what she looks like now, and how big she’s gotten!  We’ve asked several times for a photo of her – especially to verify that it IS her!

Amy wonders if Hodi will be my birthday present – next week…  ha ha.  I’m thankful that the cake below is NOT for me!

Posted in Kids, People, Puppy, Round the World Trip, Sri Lanka & India | 3 Comments

Hodi update

“Beep, beep bahdah beep!”

Dr. T, Hodi and Amy, Feb 2010

Amy and Hodi the day we found her in Kandy, Sri Lanka

Okay, I’ve been getting several inquiries about the disposition of Hodi, our adopted Sri Lankan puppy, who is now just over six-months-old! She is now old enough to be transported as air freight. It’s been a long process, and now we’re really REALLY wondering if she’s coming or not!

Our first attempt to ship her through World Relocation Services, based in Sri Lanka, and referred to us by another pet shipping agency in the States, worked with us until they stopped responding to our emails when they learned the puppy was less than six-months-old. We still haven’t heard back from them. It was a bit squirrel-y working with them as English is not their original language. The vet, Dr. E.K. Thilanakarathna also was not responding to them, which was a concern. Of course, they were contacting him via email, where we have noticed that he does not respond. A phone call did wonders, and the service was able to get a response.

We found another pet relocation agency, Happy Tails Travels, based out of Tucson, AZ, a bit closer to home to work with, and they have been amazingly easy to communicate with. Bridgett Mondane, a former RN, and a major pet lover apparently, began her business with her love of her pets in mind. She also caters to military relocations, and we get a military discount ($100 off!) for their services. Her website is: http://www.happytailstravels.com

BUT, before we got too ahead of ourselves, I thought it prudent to at least CALL and talk with Dr. “T” personally to confirm that Hodi is in fact STILL WITH HIM! So, with the graces of Nayana Jayasekera, an ol’ buddy of mine who worked with me in my Dream Dinners store in Los Gatos, she will help us call the good veterinarian, Dr. T! If Hodi IS still with him, and he hasn’t given her away or sold her, then Hodi and we will be REUNITED in as little as three weeks!

Wonder how BIG she is now – Amy’s bigger, too!

YIKES! That means I really HAVE to get things unpacked the rest of the way and organized! Luckily, our apartment complex allows pets, and is kid friendly, too. The 2-bedroom apartment is like living in some of the places we visited around the world – small, cramped and filled with stuff! That’s going to change, and soon…

Posted in Puppy, Round the World Trip, Sri Lanka & India | 1 Comment