Saturday, September 8, 2012

American Made ...

Two weeks ago I spent several hours getting together a 'presentation' to enter Martha Stewart's 'American Made' Contest.  I got in under the deadline, and was thrilled to see my story, my photo, and my wearable art on display on the website.   I anxiously waited until the day voting opened.   I knew that the Martha machine would choose the finalists, but  there was a 'wild card' slot called the 'Audience Choice Award'.   I (mis)understood that all entries would be in the running for that slot.  I set my alarm to get up extra early on Sept 7 just so I could know the process and explain it to my friends when I asked for their vote ..... and there I was!!   Right there on Martha's contest site with a big red 'VOTE' box by my name!! 
First, I voted for myself.  Second, I sent emails to EVERYone I know asking for their vote. Third, I posted on FB!   I felt I was covered and had the best possible chances in the contest.  About noon I received the sad email telling me I was not chosen as a finalist.   Well - no worries, I thought - I have supportive friends out there casting their votes and sharing the news.  I have a shot at the wild card slot and I'll be so happy for them to see my entry/presentation. Very soon I started getting emails from friends saying they cant find me.  The URL to my page was re-directed to the main page and my entry had been pulled from the site.   
So, since you didnt get to see it .....
Here's my 'American Made' Story

I chose Brenda Star Studios for my business name so that ALL of my art interests would fall under that umbrella.  Plus, I’m a redhead   my name is Brenda ….. AND I love stars – it just fits me perfectly.   I am a decorative artist, painting everything from baby rooms to   garden walls – and everything in between.  I love to paint Baltimore Screens – because it is a unique folk art only found in Baltimore - and I'm happy to keep the traditional history alive.  Garden art from recycled, reclaimed glass makes me feel good to use items that may otherwise be discarded and  I enjoy the way light breaks into sparkle and shine.  I write calligraphy, and love all forms of beautiful lettering.   The discipline and practice required keeps me focused, while the smiles from happy brides brings much satisfaction.
BUT ….Jeweled Jeans are my most innovative and distinctive expression. 

These are the 'Rock Star' jeans that started it all.
This design is now retired!
JEWELED JEANS will turn YOUR OWN favorite, great fitting, most comfortable jeans into a "one of a kind" work of art. Originally, I designed the first pair of jeweled, sparkling jeans for myself to wear to a Rolling Stones concert and got such an enthusiastic reaction that I've been doing them for others ever since!   


JEWELED JEANS .. Jeweled Jeans light up my world. They add a little 'bling' to ordinary jeans, they sparkle and shine, and they lift my spirits whenever I wear them -- or whenever I create them for someone else. The combination of colors and patterns is endless - I'll never run out of ways to add glitter in my life!  


 As my business grows, I dream of seeing Jeweled Jeans on singers and celebrities. They would look so great on stage.   I envision ‘home party’ events, and neighborhood craft classes, as well as expanding Jeweled Jeans designs to denim in many forms – skirts, jackets, tote bags, clutches and bookmarks.

They say 'variety is the spice of life' -- it cetainly is for me when it comes to my art! Yes, I do like many different expressions --- and No, I dont want to choose just a few. Brenda Star Studios is a broad name.... hopefully broad enough to support the many different ways I want to express my artistic side.

Glass Topiaries

Baltimore Screens
and even though the link below is inactive ... I'm keeping it as a souvenier ...
because I am .....American Made

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Tough Choices

I was thrilled when my friend, Anna, told me about a chance to participate in Harbor East shop windows for the holidays!!   How cool is that?  It would be such fun to have my glass topiaries on display for so many people to see -- never mind the cash prize, or possible sales that may come.

Glass Topiary .. ??  Wow!  “What IS that?” you ask …
Well …. It can be many things – ALL of them fun!
Glass Topiaries are used as:

 · garden ornaments to catch the sparkle of the sun,

· whimsical centerpieces for your table

· unique housewarming or hostess gifts

· something special for your mantle, hearth or bookshelf
and of course, Holiday Gifts!!

Use among your flowers and plants, on your tables or display shelves – with your imagination the possibilities are endless. In the green spirit of recycling, here is a new and interesting way to reuse glass pieces. All topiaries are secure enough to be used indoors and outside – no two are alike!  

But now ..... comes the hard part.   The application only allows for three pictures to show my work! So...... do I send group photos that show as many pieces as possible, or do I send individual photos to show close details of each piece -- and which pieces??  You see my problem.

Here's where you come in --- I've narrowed it down to these few photos .... please help me choose the final three...

Group Photo #1

Group Photo #2



Emerald Eyes




And you thought this would be easy - HA!  Even though I have many more glass creations -- these are the few I'm choosing from -- hoping to be selected for the window display...   What are your favorites?   Seeing them all here together has helped me realize which ones I like best ...

But I REALLY want to hear from you too!!
Comment here, or send an email to

and thanks a bunch!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Market Days

What great fortune to have another wonderful sunny day in the park!!

There was a lot going on ... Earth Day, Mutt Strutt, and
wonderful music!

I was happy that the rains didnt come, and the sun
gave a bright sparkle to my Glass Topiaries!

My newest piece ... the petite bird bath named "Chicadee"

Beautiful spring colors ...

I'm working on new creations ...  Firefly - PolkaDot, and Periwinkle
stay tuned ....

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Day in the Park

There are many good things about living in a small town..
but in Spring, one of the BEST
has got to be the Farmer's Market!

From early Spring ......... to Christmas Eve,
 on Saturday mornings you'll find us in the park..
along with almost everyone else in town -
shopping for fresh vegetables, beautiful flowers,
and ..... yummy taste treats!!

even so,  this past Saturday was a special day ..

I had a chance to be a vendor on the 'Arts and Crafts' side of the market.

Yes ... that's my table - with the Brenda Star Studios sign out front

(I do believe it needs more stars -- I'll work on that this week:)

It was a lot of fun to present my Glass Topiaries to  friends and neighbors in the park...
made me SO happy to see how much they liked them!

I could not have asked for better weather --

many thanks to my husband and my helper...
you made set up and break down so much easier

and, just so you know ....
 this was my first Saturday in the park ...
but ...... it won't be my last:)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

More Furniture Workshop

I'm excited to share with you a few more projects from the 2012 Furniture Workshop with Beth Wagner.   We do this every March in Va Beach - and as you can see from the photos - we have a great time .... AND .... turn out some great results!!

You really have to be there to know just how the energy flows, ideas grow...
there are bursts of excitement as we see each project
coming to life, layer by layer-- until that moment
when you know -- this is IT
it's now FINISHED!

But since you missed it.....
take a peek at the photos here and get just a little glimpse ..

This was the first time Elaine joined us --
she came all the way from Connecticut!!

She started with a tall slender cabinet with 3 small drawers

After sponging on a varigated stripe - here's the fun part --- peeling the tape !

Elaine added an elegant stencil over the stripes, and on the drawer fronts...

but .... she saved the best for the top! Just look at those gorgeous roses!
with a hint of metallics ....

Wow - she picked just the right hardware for this piece
Nice job, Elaine
a treasure for you!!

So, Did Elaine have a good time?
You bet she did - she's coming back next year!!
and I cant wait to see what she brings...

Kathy B. brought a tray table -  and wanted a beach scene...

Her inspiration was a sweet story book ....
she's already off to a good start
I can feel the breeze ...


(that's me taking a nap under the umbrella:)

Here's the top for Diane's table --
she gave it a nice neutral base coat

then .... added a little pizazz for background!

and painted the sweetest hydrangeas
in a very lovely color combination

here she is!!
finished ...
she can hold her own in any elegant room she wants!!

Janet couldnt possibly bring this large cabinet
(ok, she's strong - but not that strong:)
so she brought the inset panels ..
because that's what she wanted to embellish it anyway

this trellis stencil is just the ticket --
it's gonna be a pefect background
(and coffee always helps boost our inspiration:)

ahhhh-- roses!!
the perfect compliment ...
These are almost finished
I know these four panels will be FABulous in Janet's cabinet..


If you want to join us next year - we'll make a space for you!
find registration forms at
or email your questions to


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Furniture Workshop 2012

It's March - that means another Furniture Workshop with Beth:)  

This is no ordinary art class.  Beth has a love of everything creative - and one of her biggest talents is bringing out the creative side in her students.  We all bring a small piece of furniture from home - something we can easily carry.  We tell her about the place we'd like to use it - what the room looks like, our favorite colors, etc and she guides us as we create a 'masterpiece' for ourselves.

and ..... the pictures are fun
BUT.. what can't be captured in photos is the energy in the room

a little idea starts, then builds - grows - and blooms ....

into a work of art - with everyone adding thoughts
and oooooo-ing and awwwww-ing along the way
it's a special kind of fun - and once you try it you ALWAYS want to come back ...

so......Here's just a sample of the 'Before', 'After', and a few 'In Progress' photos.......

This is my 'before' --- a little coffee table I picked up at a yard sale on the morning of class.
(nothing like waiting til the last minute -- I was lucky to find this little gem)

'In Progress'
A good base coat of Caromal Colours
no prep required!!

(Learn more about Caromal Colours here )

more 'In Progress'
some silver foil (for the bling:) -  hmmmm - how to best use this stencil?

All finished!  I'm thrilled -- what do you think?

Ann's little side table -- based and ready for inspiration:)

taped -- ready for a center design

 sweet flowers, interesting center color....
and the cutest little flower on the bottom shelf!!!
Beth suggested a  few more coordinating stripes around the apron ....
 and it's finished!

Kathy's table - side view
(her brother built this little table years ago - now its getting a
place of honor in her home)

hydrangeas, roses, and dragonfly -- WOW - just beautiful!
this will be a family treasure FOR SURE!!

Opal brought a little foot stool - base coat almost finished..

'In Progress' --- a fun little background ...

it needed a few roses....
because our young Opal    (96 and counting) ...   is a rose lover :)

All finished --- how sweet!
and ......she put her name on it so Tamara cant 'borrow' it
(sorry ... inside joke:)

Cindy's trunk - 'In Progress'

more progress - and the inspiration photo

Finished!   Good job, Cindy - it's beautiful!

Shaunna's bed tray 'Before' ---- just wait ....

'In Progress' --- already gorgeous!

Makes me want breakfast in bed!  Every day!!
(or, write love letters to my sweetie?)

 Just so you know ..... it takes a lot of 'spreading out' to put all these creative ideas into action:)
We need stencils, stamps, tape  --- all kinds of supplies!!!!!
but mostly, we need Beth to help us unleash our best creative  ideas!!
Thank you, Beth

Stay tuned -- there are lots more projects to show --- Part II coming soon ...

Registration forms for 2013 class are available at

Come Join Us!!