Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Another Day in Paradise

It's such a lovely sunny day that I had to take a quick stroll in the back 40, a.k.a. our yard. The osteospermum are loving it - and I think they're going to take over!

Niki loves it too. No matter where she is, as soon as someone opens the back door she flies out to join them. Our little explorer... the back fence is covered with ivy, no matter how hard we try to get rid of it. Niki loves getting between the ivy and the fence, no doubt discovering new smells and awful things to roll in. This morning she headed for her favorite corner where she can poke her face into a little hole in the fence and rub noses with the neighbor pup behind us.

I'd really like to extend my "wet lab" into the back 40, but setting up tables in the grass isn't ideal. Perhaps we can put down some hard scape out there this year. That would certainly help my mom - she's very unsteady on her feet and has a hard time traversing the bumpy grass. And I'd love to be able to sit in the fresh air while doing the bead work on my felted vessels. It would be a bit difficult to do that given our current back 40 situation...

Yes, there's definitely something missing. I had a bit of a shock last summer when mom brought her coffee and newspaper outside to spend the morning in the sun, and immediately came back in with her eyes like saucers and her jaw hanging down. The glass table top had exploded or imploded or... well, it was in a thousand pieces all over the grass. Come to find out, tempered glass tables do this on a regular basis. I had no idea! We still have the frame, but there's no way I'm going to put glass in there. Now that the weather is warming up a bit, it's time to do something about a table.

Until that time, I'll just have to continue doing my bead work in the evening in front of the TV. Last night while I watched Steve Wozniak do his best to get eliminated from the group of wannabe ballroom dancers, I put together the collar for the Milky Way vessel. But I'm not satisfied with it and I'm going to start over again. Here's what "release 1.0" looks like. And anyone who as ever developed software knows that you never put 1.0 into the hands of clients. So once I complete release 1.1, I'll attach it and Pam's bead to the vessel and give you the final update.

Tonight I'm teaching the final session of my 4-week bead making class. I'll work on taxes again before I leave - ugh! But first, a bit of lunch...

Have yourselves a lovely and creative day!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

How Not To Get Taxes Done

Is anyone else like I am? When it comes to organizing all of my tax information, I'll look for just about any excuse to divert my attention. The fact that I haven't updated my blog in a while was today's perfect excuse, so here I am. But first, let me go put my CD player into sequential mode and get some tunes going.

Done! I've got an eclectic mix in there - "Hot Swing" by Mark O'Connor, "Time Out" by the Dave Brubeck Quartet, "Organ Grinder Swing" by Jimmy Smith (with Kenny Burrell and Grady Tate), Vivaldi - Greatest Hits (with Pinchas Zukerman and the New York Philharmonic conducted by Leonard Bernstein), and "Leyenda" by Karin Schaupp. That'll keep me entertained for the rest of the day!

First of all, I've added 4 new beads to my Etsy shop this week. It's about time - seems like I've been spending all my time either teaching bead making classes or doing fiber work. Not that that's a bad thing - but with 2 bead shows coming up rather quickly, I really do need to spend more time on my torch.

Here are the beads I added this week.

Clearing Storm

But of course, I can't leave the fiber alone. No sireeeee! I've been working on the "Milky Way" vessel and I thought I'd give you another update. I added some fiber embellishment and started the bead work. It's looking more and more like Pam's Milky Way bead. I just have to bead the rim, add Pam's bead, and it will be finished! Then I can get some really nice pictures for you to see. This is the first vessel I've created where I've let the focal bead dictate the design of the vessel. I'm already excited about the next one I'll do like this!

That will have to do for today - mom and the fur kids are really wanting to go to Starbucks. Ah yes, Starbucks... another excuse to avoid working on taxes. Tsk tsk tsk! If I disappear for awhile, you'll know that I'm buried in spreadsheets.

OK Niki & Peanut - I'm coming! These girls always know where to find me when they're ready to leave.

Have a wonderful and creative day!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Creating the Milky Way

Well, I couldn't wait any longer. Pam's "Milky Way" bead was calling to me, so I spent the day in the wet lab yesterday. While I was out there, I happened to look into the family room. I guess I wasn't the only person who was in a creative mood. Here's my 85-year-old mom Yvette, crocheting away with our senior citizen fur kid Peanut keeping her company.

Here's a sneak preview of the Milky Way vessel. The body is mostly finished - I just have to add a bit of fiber embellishment after it's dry. Then comes the bead work, with Pam's lovely focal taking center stage. I haven't figured out how I'm going to bead the vessel yet, but I have lots of ideas floating around in my brain. And then I'll create a vessel with the other bead that Pam sent me, which you haven't seen yet. Thanks for all the inspiration, Pam!

After laying out all the fibers and felting the vessel flat, I took a break before I started the sculptural fulling process. I guess Peanut decided she didn't need to supervise mom anymore, since mom was trucking right along.

Now I'm going to switch gears and head down to San Jose to teach my bead making class at BAGI. Have yourselves a wonderful evening!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Tote Bag Progress

Today my arms are done, finished, wiped out, "gumbied". Know why? I just finished fulling my tote bag! I completely lost track of how many times I rolled it, and I also spent a lot of time rubbing it against the ridged mat. But it finally got down to its finished size, and is now drying on the rack after a thorough rinsing and towel-drying. Yay! I haven't decided yet what I'll use for straps or how I'll complete the closure. But I already have the bead that I'll include in the closure - this bead inspired the entire bag.

Here's the front side of the bag - still damp... The colors are a bit washed out in these photos, lots brighter "up close and personal".

And the other side of the bag...

... and here's the bead that started it all. This is from my "Brushstrokes" series.

I'm going to take a break from the tote bag for a bit and conjure up a few more vessels. I really like the beads that I make, but I'm certainly not a bead snob. I just purchased a lovely bead from Pam Brisse of The Blue Between, and I've already picked out the fibers to use in the vessel that her bead will adorn. Here's Pam's "Milky Way" bead:

Lovely, isn't it?! And here are most of the fibers I've picked out for the vessel. I'll add a few surprises as I go along. I just can't help myself... :)

But first... it's time to take mom for a Starbucks break. She and I are badly in need of a capuccino before I carry on with my delectable fibers. Have yourselves a wonderful evening!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Two More Pieces

I completed two more vessels, and they're just about ready to go into my Etsy shop. It's such a nice feeling, seeing these projects finished - the vessels have been on my table glaring at me for way too long! Yes, if I give them personalities and "facial" expressions, maybe I can guilt myself into embellishing them before they give up on me and leave home. Sometimes it takes me quite awhile to figure out how I'm going to embellish them. I started working on another one last night that had me stymied for awhile. As I was looking at it, an image came into my mind and I finally had my answer. I don't want the bead work to overtake the vessel, so I try to come up with an approach in which the two will complement each other. Here is the result of my latest efforts, which will go into my Etsy shop very shortly.

This afternoon was supposed to be a torch day, but time got away from me once again. I'm going to be teaching two new bead making classes soon, and I absolutely MUST make sample beads for these classes. That will be a fun project - perhaps tomorrow I'll get that one finished. After I run the rest of my errands today I just might spend a bit of time in the wet lab. That tote bag is still calling me...

Have yourselves a happy creative day!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Another Work in Progress

I have a love/hate relationship with large projects. The idea of creating something significant is so exciting to me! Why is it, then, that once I start a large project I end up getting sidetracked time after time? This happened with my second nuno scarf, and once again my table is being occupied by a tote bag that's taking up so much room that I can't do any smaller projects until the bag is done. I started this bag several weeks ago. Then I had to get ready for the Stitches West show. Then I was AT the Stitches West show. Then I got sick. I guess I need to kick my butt a few more times, go out to the wet lab, and JUST DO IT!

Here is the progress that I've made so far. I took this picture while I was laying out the 6th layer of roving.

I finshed that layer, put down 2 more layers, and turned it over to work on the other side. Once I wet the whole bag down and get it to almost pre-felt stage I'll be adding a few more elements. I'll also be adding a bead to the finished bag to use on the closure. Gosh, I had the bead picked out before I even started the bag - sure hope they work together once the bag is done!

Here's side two after 2 layers - just 6 more layers to go! Sigh...

I finished embellishing one of my felted vessels a couple of nights ago, and last night while I was watching "Dancing With the Stars" I completed about 3/4 of the embellishment on another one. I'll finish that one up today so that I can get photos - then they'll go out into my Etsy shop.

Tonight I'm teaching the first night of my 4-week series of Beadmaking 1 in San Jose. I'd better get to work on finishing that vessel NOW, or it will remain in an uncompleted state for another day.

Have yourselves a happy and creative day!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Finished Work - Finally!

Well, having spent most of this week being sick with a cold I never made it out to my wet lab OR my glass lab. But I finally added 4 new felted vessels to my Etsy shop! I had them at the Stitches West Show, so those of you who saw them up-close-and-personal have a better feeling for what they look like. Pictures don't give you all the little details that you notice when you hold these creations in your hands.

Here are my latest vessels available at Flames & Fiber. If you go to my shop, you'll see bigger and better pix.

Tomorrow I'll be teaching a torchworking survey class at BAGI. These survey classes give you a taste of what glass beadmaking is all about. If you happen to be in the San Jose area and want to learn about what us lampworkers do, come on by and take a class with me!

Have yourselves a happy, creative Saturday!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Post-show Ups 'N Downs

First, the "Ups" - a great big THANK YOU to all of you who came to visit us at the Stitches West 2009 Show. I had a wonderful time! It was great seeing old friends and meeting new folks. Thank you for your patronage, fun conversations, and great feedback. And I want to personally thank Carin Engen for getting me hooked on roving a year ago. At Stitches West 2008, Carin had a booth kitty-corner to ours and I couldn't stay out of it. I'm a color and texture fanatic, and her booth kept calling to me. I went home from that show loaded with wool roving, silk roving, and a pack of felting needles. Carin, you created a monster! But a very happy one at that.

I had so many inquiries about teaching felting workshops that I'm in the process of organizing materials, procedures, and other logistics so that we can get started. And it looks like I might (not definite yet, still in the very early talking stages) be teaching a felted vessel workshop up in Vancouver, BC later in the year.

Unfortunately, and despite the wonderful chair massage that I indulged in on the last day of the show, I caught a nasty cold. It hit me on Tuesday, so I've been trying to keep a low profile and get over it as quickly as I can. I'm teaching a bead making class in San Jose this Saturday and I don't want to pass out at the torch - yikes!

Speaking of bead making classes, I've been scheduled out to the end of the year! And there are 2 new classes for those of you who know the basics and want to expand your glass repertoire. I've added a couple of "Beadmaking: Working With Metals" classes. These are classes that explore adding metal to the hot glass while making the bead, not metal smithing classes. They're broken down into 1a and 1b - 1a for the folks who have completed Beadmaking 1 and 2, and 1b for the folks who have completed Beadmaking 2. It's a series of classes, so if you're interested you should take Metals 1a before you take Metals 1b. To see my class schedule, go to the BAGI website for the Torch Working classes - click HERE.

And now I'm off to feed my cold a cup of tea and work on my new classes. Let's see, instructions for the felted vessel or samples for the Working With Metals class? I'll let my cold dictate what I can accomplish today.

Have yourselves a happy, creative day!
Related Posts with Thumbnails

Color Inspiration!