You may or may not know that TideLine.Org is at my parents house – they live out in quiet Oyster River, BC with a huge shop that houses the production of all of the glass… the hotshop, the stained glass, the cold shop, woodworkings and even the welding. I am describing it as massive when really its not – we get super bitchy with each other when we are working in our areas because we have to move stuff into the other areas, etc. Vicki also is known to “borrow” tools and never to return them… Anyways. Then we have the small studio space where we can display, store all of the made up pieces that we proudly share with you all daily – you’re welcome! And of course, thank you for your support! So Yesterday I go to the glass studio in hopes to make – I didn’t. Lately I have had grand ideas but no energy or drive to carry out which isn’t like me… but these times gah! There are no words. #Covid-19 – thank you for making the world stop. I always wondered what it would be like if the world had to stop. I mostly wanted this when I lost my Grandpa and people were posting about their dogs on social media and I remember being so angry because people weren’t recognizing the loss that we just endured. I can be so self centred at times – The world is forced to stop now and really makes you think about things. Where do I want to be? What am I doing? It’s actually a little uncomfortable with all the silence and self reflection you’re forced or I feel forced to face. But at the same time I am thankful for this experience – because it has made me think. So yesterday, not creating my amazing idea that I have had planned out was sitting at the table with Victoria – I call her Victoria when she is just so unruly! She said I don’t like my house. So she convinces me to help her rearrange her furniture, and basically dust… she’s a trickster that way! As I am moving things… suddenly I see a table FULL of glass – some with the price stickers still on them. It took three trips to the tiny studio to put the glass back out for sale. She – yes, Victoria had the nerve to say Hey! I said NO! She’s a stinker that way – Anyway, when I left I think she liked her home again. Maybe tomorrow for Sneek Peek Saturday I’ll post from her living room…
Have a wonderful Friday Friends. Stay home, wash your hands! Much Love to you!
I think this is the first year I didn’t sit in tears with worry anticipating my birthday. I guess I use to measure my birthday as the day to evaluate my success, my achievements, and where I should be.
I had a different vision in my head years ago of where I would be at 40- I wanted normal. And I gave it an honest try, I really did. I pictured celebrating my milestone in Paris with my love but the universe didn’t agree. I don’t feel like I am missing out, or I failed, or at all disappointed which is usually my go to. Something happened a few months ago, I was so unhappy and blind trying to fit the mold I thought I was suppose to fit into when really UGH!
Today I am living my best life. I said “Im done” and the roof didn’t cave in, I took the leap, I jumped, I had no cares left. And nothing to lose. And wow what freedom! I am 40 and not ANYWHERE where I thought I’d be, or where I thought you’re suppose to be but I am happy.
I now live a simple, uncomplicated life blowing glass, running a business with my best friend, going to concerts with my parents, training dogs, studying so many things and learning. I sleep well. I learned to meditate. I read. I make a point to surround myself with genuine and kind people.
So hey, I am Toni and I just met myself a few months ago. I am 40. I wear blundstones and ugly sweaters, I read tarot cards and burn sage. I am a glass blower. I feel so much pride, so much love, so much good energy from the people who follow and support TideLine that sometimes it’s almost overwhelming! So yea, I am a glass blower. I have the most amazing family with nothing but support and love any girl could ask for. I have the most amazing supportive group of friends that accept me, laugh with me, and encourage me. I love dogs and one cat.
So my goals for this year? To continue. To say yes, to experience more. And really to only do what feels right with no guilt. I wish I met this girl sooner –
Before Sheridan, before even discovering glass blowing, before I even knew who I was… or what would become of me I did stained glass. It was during the first few years of opening TideLine Gallery that my mom taught me to cut glass. She would always leave me a list of what needed to be done like sun catchers of star fish or orcas… I would never do it. I guess I was an artist back then too and didn’t know it yet.
This was one of the pieces I used on my application to Sheridan – I Had done a personal series as more of an outlet than anything but the results led me on the most amazing path.
I was the girl in high school that had her plans laid out, I would get married, have some babies, and live the most beautiful magical life possible. And I remember breaking out my duo tang of my wedding plans to my fiancé when he finally proposed at the young age of 20. He was a little shocked at the guest lists, the dress selections, etc and I thought nothing of it. Now I think “wow, red flag”. We didn’t plan for the biggest loss of our life when we turned 24 or the divorce that quickly followed –
The Universe has hardly listened to me, laughed at my plans at best but has laid out a path I am now thankful to have experienced – this piece in the picture I called The Fight. It was the time in a divorce where your partner becomes a stranger and it is survival of the fittest.
What was once sad – is now how I am able to lead my best life! And for that my heart is full of gratitude.
You know who doesn’t get enough credit? Glen… as you all know I am on the social media band wagon and have been participating in the “Throw Back Thursdays” well this actually entails some research. As I was going through my hard drive named Brutus (its from when I was in my early 20’s) and going through pictures when I came across my Seattle trip.
Things were not going well in life. My grandparents both died, my dog died, my cousin died and we closed our retail space uptown. Needless to say it was feeling of nothing. No hope. No faith. Just a bad attitude hosting her own pity party.
In a thoughtless moment, and only a moment I was just that low I put my hotshop up for sale on CraigsList. I broke my parents heart, mostly my Dads I think. He asked why of course and I just said its over – I felt like a failure. Nothing was important anymore. My heart was broken and I didn’t care. Or so I thought.
That morning my dad said “You got your passport kid?” and that day my family took me to Seattle. They took me to the Tacoma Museum of Glass where it all came rushing back. I sat in the hotshop and there was this guy that did a demo at school and he said “hey Toni!” I was home. Not in Seattle but in the hotshop. We spent the day looking at Glass, watching demos and walking around the city.
That is also where Vicki & I bought our first Coach purses… Memories.
Where was I? Yes. My dad. I’d be nothing without him, his love, his support, and his patience. And truth be told, 60% of my pieces wouldn’t be complete without his welding or woodworking skills.
I hope you noticed! So TideLine.Org has been getting a lot of my undivided attention due to my lack of procrastination in completing a Geology Course, the avoidance of housecleaning, the pieces of cold working that require water and a cold shop… So yea! #TideLine.Org is and will be getting a facelift. 2019 was incredible but 2020 I anticipate to be even more amazing! Have you heard of YouTube? What an amazing resource – like seriously I have discovered some pretty cool people, some odd individuals and some great learnings when it comes to the online world when you own and want to promote your business.
You’re all like “well yea, Toni!” but no seriously – So I have been implementing my learnings and let me just say YES! Our Instagram account has grown, our Online sales have grown and our FaceBook Page is heck of engaged! So to you – a huge THANK YOU! And to me well I am pretty proud.
So against Mothers will, I put our faces out there, it’s time people see the people behind the glass. So no more hiding, I pledge to you more action shots, more insight into us and what makes us well us. (Right after my Keto diet starts kicking in…)
So here is my goal for #TideLine.Org over the next few months:
Grow TideLines Facebook Fan Page to 5000 Likes. What does this mean? Grows our fanbase and allows more great people to see what we are up to.
Grow Instagram Account to 5000 Likes. Why? Because we make some pretty cool things and people should see them and like them. Many things have come to us from Instagram like Networking with other business owners and being active in the arts community.
Achieve steady online sales on Etsy. So we will have to maintain our 5 Star review and keep it updated!
Engage the Fans – plan some interesting blog posts (it’s not as easy as I feel it should be), post interesting photos & videos, more CONTESTS!
And as usual – come up with something #NEW & #Unique!
It is Crystal you give for anyone celebrating their 15th Anniversary and guess what! TideLine.Org turned 15 today! What an adventure! What a learning curve! So much glass!
Did you know:
Vicki was working on a stained glass project back when she was making out of her home as a hobby when her and I went into the local glass store in town who at the time was getting out of the stained glass part of the business – she asked inquisitively “Well how much?” At that moment Vicki looked at me and said well do you want to do a stained glass business? I said sure. Vicki produced her Visa and proceeded to buy the stained glass and supplies…
We had the supplies but no store – so we drove around Campbell River giddy with excitement when it hit us that we needed to tell our husbands what had just happened so we went to Save-On to buy steaks.
Glen said “Oh Vicki what have you done?”
I had no idea anything about glass, or the supplies for that matter and lets not get started on the business end of things… but how hard could it be?!??! Our first customer got her glass and supplies at Whole Sale price because well – how hard could it be?
TideLine wasn’t our first choice – we had Seaview Gallery as top choice… Kiss My Glass (Vicki said no). Final Destiny (Glens idea). Above Tide – not the hotel.
We didn’t have a lot of luck with employees until we met our Frannie. She didn’t know how to do stained glass but for weeks would come in and buy sheets of class because they were so pretty. Eventually she turned into one hell of a glass artist and dancer.
We moved four times with less and less volunteers to help us move. We are finally where we dreamed of being – right outside Vicki’s front door.
Dakota was 5. He was our store mascot and every customer was his friend.
Vicki was only taken via Ambulance ONE time. Tiny bit of blood… nothing Tonis dirty hoodie couldn’t handle.
Vicki would do the ordering for the stained glass and would only buy blues and purples… She was replaced.
Toni faked her way by doing mosaics because none of her pieces ever fit together and was featured in the Nanaimo Art Gallery…
Vicki won first prize in the Sooke Fine Arts show the same year Toni graduated from Glass school and didn’t win.
We won New Business of the Year from the Campbell River Commerce – when Vicki Johnson was called to the stage Toni ran up and accepted as Vicki. Vicki was very confused and offered to be Toni. We were excited.
Vicki received the Aboriginal Woman in Business Grant that helped with our expansion and new learnings.
Did you know business is harder than we thought? It’s time consuming, it’s costly, and frustrating to name a few, but it sure makes our gratitude list every day!
An adjective to describe a fear of being attacked or harmed either emotionally or physically – Vulnerable. As an artist I feel vulnerable all of the time, what I make is personal, how I made it I hold personal. I am not the best glass blower out there, I don’t know who the best is – it’s a tough measurement to grasp but I know that I am by far not the best but I am also not the worst. They say it takes 10,000 hours of practice to be an expert. You would think after TLG began back in 2005 that I would get use to showing my work out there and feel the confidence of a professional – but can I just be honest here? I do the “happy dance” in my head and sometimes when you’re not looking when someone buys my cup, or a tidal ball. I feel absolute gratitude, validated, and accomplished when someone falls in love with the Jelly Fish. I truly do.
I wanted to share with you all that this past year, or years have been amazing! I love how everyone has been so encouraging- I read your messages, your comments, your reviews and I cherish you all.
And I know it goes the same for Vicki, she is always surprised almost when someone chooses her drift line, shocked that they see what she sees. And I always laugh because I think of course they love it! Its unique and original. Vicki gets the biggest grin on her face when she hears the etsy order ding on her iPad – like seriously big toothy grin. And it doesn’t matter if it was $5 or $25 or the fact that she has been doing etsy sales for years…. it never gets old.
Vicki and I have been talking a lot about TLG and where we want to venture next with it and in that we talked about the branding. The look. We have always been Yellow & Purple – do you know why? Because it’s our birthstone colors and happen to be opposite colors on the wheel… and we are two very different gals so the colors felt fitting. But we are also two very powerful gals so with the help of a friend and local artist here in CAMPBELL RIVER; Terri Wells we have a new logo we will be working with!
We are absolutely in love with this logo that Vicki is getting it tattooed on her neck, lol I kid but if she was the type I think thats where she would get it. Stay tuned!