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Yes Virginia, there still is a lawsuit

First and foremost, the board members of, and defendants being aided by, the Artisans and Glassworkers Legal Fund (AGLF) would like to say thank you to all that have supported us with donations, purchases from our store, and moral support.

As we’re so often visibly appearing hat in hand, we wanted to give everyone an update on how the current legal battle is progressing.

We start with some good news, of the original 30 people named as defendants in the lawsuit, 3 have been released from the suit on jurisdictional grounds. One other person has elected to separate from the group and go it on her own.

This leaves 26 people still locked in a legal battle this holiday season. Rather than concentrating on family and craft, they instead are spending time in the defense of their names and reputations.

Special Drawing for AGLF 2011 Calendar Beads

In appreciation for all those who've purchased the 2011 AGLF calendar, I'm doing a special drawing for two of my beads featured in the calendar. All purchases through December 31, 2010 are eligible to win.

The mermaid on the right and the second nautilus from the left are the prizes. The mermaid can have a copper bail added, as the center mermaid shows:



I'll draw a name on December 15, 2010, and one on January 1, 2011. All calendar purchases through those dates get your name in the hat, so if you miss the December 15 drawing you can still win! The December 15 winner gets to choose between the nautilus and the mermaid, and the remaining bead will be given away on January 1. The winner of the mermaid can choose to have a copper bail added, or I can ship without adding a bail if you prefer to add one yourself.

All you need to do to enter is use the contact form on this site to tell me when you ordered your calendar. That's it!

Happy Holidays!

Special Drawing for AGLF 2011 Calendar Beads

In appreciation for all those who've purchased the 2011 AGLF calendar, I'm doing a special drawing for two of my beads featured in the calendar. All purchases through December 31, 2010 are eligible to win.

The mermaid on the right and the second nautilus from the left are the prizes. The mermaid can have a copper bail added, as the center mermaid shows:



I'll draw a name on December 15, 2010, and one on January 1, 2011. All calendar purchases through those dates get your name in the hat, so if you miss the December 15 drawing you can still win! The December 15 winner gets to choose between the nautilus and the mermaid, and the remaining bead will be given away on January 1. The winner of the mermaid can choose to have a copper bail added, or I can ship without adding a bail if you prefer to add one yourself.

All you need to do to enter is use the contact form on this site to tell me when you ordered your calendar. That's it!

You can purchase your calendar from the official AGLF site or from the AGLF Etsy shop.

Happy Holidays!

Mandala Necklace in AGLF 2011 Calendar

The Artisans and Glassworkers Legal Fund 2011 Calendar is ready for pre-orders! I was thrilled to see that the curators chose my mandala necklace for the February spread. The contributed photos and layout make for a stunning and inspiring collection of work.

Proceeds from the calendar go right into the AGLF to help defray the costs of the lawsuit filed by Ullja Kuntze against me and 29 other artisans in the state of Texas over acts of consumer fraud and libel associated with Ullja Kuntze's "handmadeartisanfraud" blog.

Last year's calendar made a wonderful gift, and this year's promises to be just as good. I'm ordering mine!

Check out more preview pages, then purchase yours (or make a donation, if you wish!)

Summer Insanity and Ullja Kuntze v. Yours Truly

I'm in the middle of my busiest summer ever, not because I'm making lots of beads (I've been on sabbatical from torching to take care of family matters) but because somehow I've managed to schedule the most chaotic list ever of summer activities for my kids. And it's great! It's the first year that I've had the freedom to plan things out for them with their wishes and developmental needs at the top of the priority list, so we're doing everything from beginning programming and rock & roll to swimming and martial arts. It's a juggling act, but I'm surviving, and my kids are thriving, so with summer half over I deem it a success already.

I'm also still working on fundraising for AGLF. Within days after the artisans who'd she'd defamed on her blog "Online Fraud Investigation" had to drop their case because of mounting legal fees, Ullja filed her own case against thirty people. Guess who the number one defendant is? ME!

Supposedly I've set out to destroy her by publishing "knowingly false and defamatory statements" about her, and conspired with the other defendants to get them to place links to my "knowingly false and defamatory statements" on their websites. As if that wasn't funny enough (because, you know, if something's true then it's not defamation to talk or write about it, and I find it funny that she thinks it is) she's also accusing me of intent "to use Plaintiff's name and business identities/names and likenesses" for "the sole purpose of destroying Plaintiff's name, both professionally and personally...."

Now, saying a person is using someone's name and likeness sounds like accusing a person of identity theft. That's a pretty serious accusation (I'm still laughing, though). And the complaint drones on from there about how I, along with these twenty-nine other people, some of whom I'd only read in passing on Etsy and Lampwork Etc. forums, are conspiring to destroy Ullja Kuntze's reputation.

Update on Civil Case Against Ullja Kuntze

The artisans who were libeled on Ullja Kuntze's defamatory so-called "fraud blog" have withdrawn their suit against Ullja. I respect and support their decision. Here's a repost of the announcement, and more information about Ullja can be found on ulljas.com:

June 17, 2010 Announcement (permission to repost granted):

The Plaintiffs in the defamation case Liz Putnam et al v. Ullja Kuntze have filed to withdraw their motion seeking relief against Ullja Kuntze for defamation (libel and slander per se) and fraud.

The Plaintiffs arrived at the decision to withdraw after Ullja Kuntze, with much delay, finally complied with court-ordered disclosure and provided documents confirming that she publishes the blog "handmadeartisanfraud.blogspot.com" and has made false tax evasion reports specifically naming the Plaintiffs and many others to the IRS and state revenue offices around the country.

During the legal proceedings, the Plaintiffs attempted settlement with Ullja Kuntze and requested that she remove the blog, but Ms. Kuntze refused. The high cost of pursuing the case to completion has been weighed against the satisfaction of her admission that she is the publisher of the blog and the person behind the spurious reports to local authorities against artisans around the country. The investment to date resulted in obtaining evidence of her acts, an ample and welcome reward.

However, to pursue the case to completion and obtain an injunction against Ullja Kuntze ordering her to take the blog offline would be very expensive, given her lack of cooperation to date. With proof of her wrongdoing, the Plaintiffs and others targeted by Ms. Kuntze have the needed evidence to protect their professional and personal reputations individually.

It's Summer Already!!!??

Yes, I guess it is summer! Today is the last day of school for my little one, and I'm really looking forward to taking a break from the frenetic pace of the past few months and doing some gardening and goofing off with her. I think I'll still get time at the torch, but I think this year I'm not going to worry about whether I'm spending enough time at the torch, and just enjoy the time I do get and try to spend it pushing my limits and improving my skills.

I finally managed to sort my beads after the trunk show at Hotel deLuxe (that was a fun time, by the way, and we're doing it again next year) and got new beads photographed and listed. Mostly simple sets, contrasting pairs, and some sea glass and beach pebbles.

Trunk Show at Hotel deLuxe

I've been madly getting ready for my very first trunk show, which happens this weekend at Hotel DeLuxe in downtown Portland on Saturday May 23 from 10-6, and Sunday May 24 from 10-4.


I'll be unveiling some new designs, including the shells and mermaids shown here. I'm very excited to be selling alongside my sister Kalera Stratton (The Beadwife), Breezy Riggs (Harvest Beads), and ceramic bead artists Joan and Lana (Off Center Productions).


Bello Modo Beads will also be there with a gazillion beads and findings.

If you're local, I hope you can stop by!

Spring Cleaning

It's been a while since I last blogged, I know. We had kitchen construction going on during the holiday season, and my studio was being used for materials storage, and I had bronchitis for two months so didn't torch very much.

I'm back at it though, and excited about the new beads I'm working on. In the photo is a mermaid goddess prototype, which I made into a birthday pendant for my daughter. I have new spacers, beach pebbles and focals that will be for sale shortly... but as part of my Spring cleaning extravaganza, I'm installing a new shopping cart first.

Portland City Sampler

I got kinda busy making some upgrades to my website recently, and almost forgot to mention that the Portland Independent Artisans Cooperative (www.pdxindie.com) curated the October City Sampler at Home of the Sampler, which sends out hundreds of boxes of handmade samples each month.

Our sampler boxes include at least 10 items from among the hundreds contributed by 20 of our artisans. Here are examples of what you might find in a sampler box:
Lampwork beads by skyislandLampwork beads by skyislandMandala window decals by EyePopArtMandala window decals by EyePopArt Dolls by ZeldalooDolls by Zeldaloo



Natural soy candles by Autumn ComfortNatural soy candles by Autumn Comfort Gemstone earrings by rubygirlGemstone earrings by rubygirl Stickers by Lolli-TotsStickers by Lolli-Tots



Other contributions include:
Soap by Cerulea Bath and Body
Organic catnip slugs by Trillium Artisans
Screen-printed Portland Coat of Arms patches by Salmon Street Studio
Hand-etched glass pins by Bread and Badger
Fused glass magnets by Val Kinman
Recycled map buttons by leethal
Crocheted flower pins by Mmm... Fiber!

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