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Afraid to Ask?

Stained Glass by the Numbers

Piece by piece, these stained glass side lights come together. I almost never stop to count the number of pieces in my designs. Sometimes I think it would scare me to know!

A labor of love, time spent in creation of beauty!

Some studio’s charge by the piece. This is a good indicator of the work’s complexity, given each individual piece will be touched six or more times in the fabrication process. Truly a labor of love in it’s creation. There’s something special about that kind of work – in the doing of it, and in the viewing of it. Both creator and end customer will get joy from the stained glass work. And this joy can last a lifetime. For me, that’s what makes these works meaningful and worthwhile.

Closeup of pattern and petals in various stages of completion.
Detailed closeup of pattern and petals in various stages of completion.
Custom stained glass sidelights soldered and ready for patina.

Devine Inspiration

Had to pass this image along, the beauty of stained glass of old captured near the Art Institute in Chicago. Many early windows, with religious themes, designed to tell stories and inspire those who witnessed the work.

So, ask the artist within: what meaning does your work have? What are you trying to communicate?

It can be as simple an answer as: “I want these colors to make people feel happy”.

I think if we think of our work as a way to communicate, we answer the question “why should I do this,” and we understand why our artwork matters!


Angels Among Us

Stained glass can enhance a room and add ambience. We knew that. But seeing it in action – as completed projects are installed in their forever homes – takes this to a new level of realization.

Nancy has been working with us for several months now, with a mission to enhance their living space and create a bit of privacy while still letting light into their room. Her colors, specially chosen to complement the existing decor, were warm and strong. Her design – classy and regal.

At Gallery’s Choice, we work with students at all levels – from the newest beginner to more accomplished, to help make their vision a reality. I always say I live vicariously through our students works. I definitely could see myself relaxing in this room, with a cup of tea….

But I digress!

Nancy did a fabulous job on these three panels – and just wanted to share her great works with you all!

Set of two side panels.
Imagine yourself in this space!

Gallery’s Choice Events Calendar

Long ago and far away, I had a dream to deliver information and registration to customers in a visual and dynamic way that leverages the technology of the internet for customer friendliness and convenience.

Websites being what they were and schedules shifting like grains of sand on a windy day, building what I had envisioned seemed impossible. But times have changed. And so here I am now, happy to report at least one part of my gigantic vision is here.

Please, a round of applause for our new Events and Class Calendar!

Watch for Events Listings and posts on featured events from now on!

You may have noticed this dynamic event listing as a sidebar on the home page of this blog site. We added feature rich event information so you can get excited about joining in and share information with others you know so they can join you!

Our new events listings include pictures, driving directions, and most often, an online registration button! (Please don’t forget, you can call us too! We love to hear from you!)

Periodically we can call out an event for special focus. For example: There is still time to jump in to the Kid’s Summer Fun Fusing Experience starting Wednesday. (YIKES! That’s tomorrow people!!!!) Check it out below!

10jul(jul 10)11:30 am12(jul 12)1:00 pmSummer Fun Fused Glass ExperienceFused Glass Camp

I want to thank one of my students (Laura) and her husband, who helped me find the technological opportunity. Remembering how I lamented not having the right tools, they took time to look at where we were and make suggestions for a newer platform. At first, I totally rejected their suggestions. (Let’s just say, I was afraid of change!) But after putting my toe in the water of a brave new world of technology, this artist has become a believer! Maybe it’s the MBA in Technology Management coming back to haunt me, but whatever it was, I am so thankful! Just goes to show, it helps to keep an open mind!

I hope you enjoy the new ways we will be communicating what’s happening and be able to interact with us!

Strawberry Lavender Lemonade

Tastes of the Season

Nothing says spring like fresh strawberries! Now at their best, this seasonal delight is a perfect companion to the essence of lavender in a lemonade sure to impress! A perfect beverage for an outdoor party, wedding or baby shower!

Strawberry Lavender Lemonade

  • Servings: 10
  • Difficulty: super easy
  • Print

A fresh, crisp, slightly sophisticated beverage perfect with any spring or summer meal.



  • 2 fresh lemons
  • 1/2 c. lemon juice
  • 5 c. water
  • 8 cups ice (approx. 32 large cubes)
  • 10 to 12 fresh strawberries sliced
  • 4 Tbs. GC Lavender Syrup*


  1. In a large pitcher, mix water, lemon juice, syrup and strawberries.
  2. Add lemon slices, reserving some for garnish.
  3. Pour into ice-filled glasses, garnish and enjoy. (Add fresh lavender sprigs when in season for an extra special touch of elegance!)

Find GC Lavender Syrup at your local farmers’ market or

Stained Glass My Way!

This season the gallery has been bustling with new stained glass students and with all the most recent success stories, I needed to take a minute to share some visuals with all of you. I like to say I live vicariously through the work of others. I also say ‘I never met a piece of stained glass I didn’t like!’ So true. I am sure you will see why!

Congratulations all on accomplishing some great projects!

Always wanted to try stained glass? Now’s the time! Join us for class!

Dreaming of Somewhere Dry

If only captured in glass! This stained glass student captured the beauty of the arid west, with her cacti window.

Hard to believe that this was her first class experience with us. Not your typical beginner project having 71 or so pieces, (we like to have people start at between 20 – 30), one can’t help but be drawn in by the level of detail and beautiful design. In addition, vibrant use of primary colors along with attention to the contrast of light and dark areas bring the piece together.

Congratulations Julie!

For the Love of Salad

A colorful palette of fresh flavors and textures can make a modest salad a delight!

I hear so many people say they hate salads. Quite frankly, I don’t understand. With so many options for ingredients, with such a broad and colorful palette to choose from, how can someone make such a blanket statement? Even the pickiest of eaters should be able to find some combination of modest vegetables to enjoy!

Gourmet chefs know we eat with our eyes. Given that fact one suggestion for those who, like me, want to eat healthy and live well, would be to take care to incorporate a variety of colors and textures. When I prepare a salad for lunch or dinner (it’s almost always on the run to take with to eat at my desk at work or on the go) I can’t wait to eat it!

My second tip is simply use fresh produce! Now I know – in the middle of winter, garden fresh local is not a pure reality! But, even I can see when the lettuce I bought last week is looking like compost fodder.

If you are any sort of adventurous, try growing some micro greens on a sunny windowsill! Check out this website for more info:

Growing under new LED Grow lights

A sunny window can foster these nutrient rich salad toppers!

You will be amazed by the pop of flavor those little guys deliver!

Other ideas: try zesting a lemon on top for a burst of sunshine freshness.

Just a reminder:
Join us at the farmers’ markets: Saturday, 7 am – 12:30 pm in Downers Grove by the Burlington Northern train station AND Sunday, 9 am – 1 pm in Oswego, IL by the library. This Sunday is the first Oswego Market for the season. And, if you are near Naperville on Wednesday afternoons, stop in and see us at St. John’s Market near the clock tower from 3 pm – 7 pm .

Whatever you do, artistically designed salads you make yourself can help you achieve your goals for healthier lifestyle. So go ahead – be creative!

Market Shirt of the Day

Local farmers markets are a great source of local food and handmade goods, and a great place to do some people-watching. One of the most popular spots for the 5-and-under crowd is a covered storm sewer near our DDG tent. Many, many stones have splashed below.

But for me, it’s the shirts and hats. Call it local flavor. So I’m sharing my favorites, and trying desperately NOT to comment. At all. Ever. OK, maybe just a little. (Names have been changed to protect the innocent. Mostly.)

If I can figure out how to just ADD to this post every week or so, I’ll do that. Happy scrolling!

Downtown Downers Grove Market 5-25-19:
Clearly this will be Miss Rose’s favorite of the year. It’s a Texas Roadhouse. And Apprentice Andrew will love the Illinois State Redbirds hat. Great combo!

. ‘Nuff said. Downtown Downers Grove Market 5-18-19.

Water Water Everywhere

Where were you in 2003??

Back in 2003, I spent my days (and many evenings) as an IT Director, installing and maintaining networks and phones across the country. Rose was in Naperville, flexing her MBA as a Marketing Manager at Tellabs. And whilst I was installing a water heater at home, Rose registered Gallery’s Choice. October 31, 2003.

So that old water heater finally rusted through, and I spent a bunch of this weekend reminding myself everything I once knew about soldering. Pipes, not glass. Soldering from the bottom, like I did last time, can damage the plastic (dielectric) inserts. Not too much solder. Clean, clean, clean. Just like our Stained Glass soldering, it’s a process. Plan it, lay it out (dry fit), clean, flux, solder, polish.

But this will never pass for stained glass art, and our basement utility closet shall never be on the house tour. Your stained glass WILL be a tour highlight, whether you make it or just provide the inspiration to a qualified, union, stained glass artist. HA!

So look for the parallels in life – they’re out there. Maybe it’s not the obvious connection between stained glass and water heater replacement, but you’ll find them. Back in 2003, becoming a full-time artist wasn’t the obvious choice for me. But it has been an amazing run, with our art in 34 countries and 45 states; a blossoming lavender business; a daughter turning 25 (she was in 3rd grade when I installed this old heater); and WOW I just scared myself. Sixteen years from a 12-year warranty! So to borrow a line from Apollo 13:

“Farewell, Aquarius, and we thank you.” “She was a really good ship.” (er, water heater – oh, just go with it.)