Wednesday, April 29, 2009

New Beads Today

This morning I managed to get a reasonable start on my day - beads are cleaned and wired into sets, breakfast is finished, bills are paid - yay!  Now I must package up my "Divers" felted vessel and ship it off to its new owner.  Yes, a long-time cyber friend of mine purchased this beauty yesterday so I'll have to say good-bye.  But I'm so happy that it's going to a good home!  Here's the vessel again - thanks Pam for your inspiration!  

And now for some beady things... I've been making leaf beads for about 4 years now - who knew they'd be so popular?!  I hadn't planned on making a career out of leaf beads, but there is such a demand for my leaves that I just can't let it go.  Besides, I really love making them!  Having grown up and lived in New England until the tender age of 22, I still miss the landscape there.  We don't have nearly as many trees here in the San Francisco Bay Area, so I populate my life with leaves of glass.  One would think that after 4 years of leaves I'd be tired of them.  But with all the glass colors available to me, it'll be a very long time before I'm done experimenting with various combinations and techniques.  It's fun getting creative with my leaf colors - who says they have to be the same colors as you'd find in your back yard?

Here are my latest leaf sets - these will be coming with me to the Bead & Button Show in Milwaukee.  First are my "Mardi Gras" leaves.  These happened by accident a few years ago.  I thought I was picking up a rod of amber glass but it turned out to be bright yellow.  When I finished the leaf I realized I had made a blunder, so I only made one.  When it came out of the kiln the next morning I was pleasantly surprised and decided to make more.  They have become one of the most popular color combos I've ever done - go figure!

The next batch has a very autumn feeling.  These are very time consuming to make.  I use 8 different colors in each leaf, so they turn out a bit larger than some of my other leaves.  Here are my "Harvest" leaves.

And now it's time to pack and ship my vessel, then head back to the torch.  So many leaves, so little time...  Have yourselves a happy and creative day!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Another Treasury Roundup

Before I head out to the glass lab for the afternoon, I'm bringing you the Etsy Treasuries in which my work has been featured over the last few weeks.

blingbychristine included my "Flowers At Dusk" bead in her treasury "Beachcombing!".

Thank you, Christine! Be sure to visit her shop for some fun bling, such as this "HEMATITE, SPIDER WEB AGATE and GLASS bracelet".

rosebud101 included my "Night Blooms" bead and my "Soie de la Provence" pendant in her treasury "Team Wetsy".

Thanks, "rosebud"! Be sure to visit her shop for some fun and funky lampwork, such as this "Blessings Handmade Lampwork Blown Vessel".

DoBeadDo included my work in two of her treasuries. First are my "Lush" felted vessel and "Seaside" bead in her treasury "She Sells Shades of the Seashore".

Next is my "Twilight Bouquet" bead in her treasury "April Showers brought May Flowers".

Thank you, Carrie! With the weather warming up, check out her shop for some new summer time jewelry such as this "Beach Glass Bangle".

That's it for this week's Treasuries. And now I'm off to grab a bite of lunch and melt some glass. Have yourselves a happy and creative day!

Monday, April 27, 2009

New Week... Busy Week!

I'm now on a countdown of sorts, getting ready for the Bead & Button Show in Milwaukee.  This is my biggest show of the year and there's so much to do to prepare!  I'll be spending a lot of time in the glass lab, making new beads for the show.  Most of these won't show up in my Etsy shop - not enough time to do it all!  But I'll be showing you pictures out here - and perhaps tempt you to come and see me in Milwaukee, yes?  That would be wonderful!  I'll be in booth 1221.  Hint, hint...

I almost titled this post "Best laid plans...".  In a couple of prior posts  (Roses In The Wet Lab and Old Friends - Redux) I talked about the felted vessel that I made, inspired by Pam Brisse's Rose Garden bead.  After the vessel was dry, I auditioned the "handle" bead that I made as well as Pam's Rose Garden bead.  At that point I decided that the vessel was the wrong shape and size for those beads.  Back to the drawing board!  But not for long... I knew exactly which leaf bead to fetch from my stash and I decided to embellish the vessel with a technique I use for some of my jewelry.  I've turned the entire vessel into a garden.  This is my most ambitious vessel so far - many many hours and lots of glass and stones - and I've just listed it in my Etsy shop.  Come see my Summer Garden!

I've also just listed the vessel that I created using Pam Brisse's "Milky Way" bead.  The entire vessel was created based on this bead, and it's one of my favorites!  Although Pam called this bead Milky Way, I went in the other direction.  Come to my shop to see my Divers Vessel!

And last but not least, here is my Solar Vessel - and wow, is it hot!  These colors will brighten up any spot in your room, guaranteed.

And now I'm off for a bit of lunch and some torch work.  Have yourselves a fun and creative day!

Friday, April 17, 2009

A Few New Beads

My torch time has been a bit limited, but I did manage to make some new beads that I will have at my booth at the Bead Society of Northern California show tomorrow. If you're in the San Francisco Bay Area, come to the Oakland Convention Center and visit me in booth 315. Beads always look WAY better up close and personal! This is particularly true with my "cotton candy" beads. They have a sweetness and glow to them that I just cannot capture in a picture.

I'll have a few more sets of these in different colors. I also created more Seaside beads. One is currently in the kiln, here's the other.

And of course, I had to make more leaves! Here are some new ones - the one on the left is my fave! - and I have more in the kiln.

I also have beads and leaves waiting to be etched - my post-supper activity for today. Talk about last minute - that's me all over!

I'll be starting my de-stash process at this show. I have boxes of lampwork beads that I purchased from other bead makers years ago and I figure that if I haven't used them by now, it's time to say good bye. These are what I call "utility" beads rather than "collector" beads. Good grief, there's no way I can part with my collection...

And now it's pizza time. I look forward to seeing you at the show tomorrow!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Countdown to the Bead Bazaar

Ah, the morning started out nice and sunny. My back yard trees are filling in, the birds are singing, and life is good. Maybe I'll spend a bit of the afternoon out in the sunshine.

I need to put myself in a tranquil frame of mind because this is officially my "crazy week". It's always this way just before I do a show and this being tax week just complicates matters. There's always so much to get done and never enough time. That being said, I probably won't be spending a lot of time here on my blog this week.

If you happen to be in the San Francisco Bay Area this Saturday, the Bead Society of Northern California is having its annual Bead Bazaar. Come on over to the Oakland Convention Center at the Marriott Hotel and visit me! I'll be in booth 315, right next to my buddy Nanette Young-Greiner of Scorpio Beads.

Here's more info about the Bead Bazaar, just click on our logo below - hope to see you there!

Now go have yourself a wonderful creative day!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Catching Up on Treasuries

Awhile ago I had a hard drive crash. During that fiasco, which I wouldn't wish on anybody, I lost some software. Fortunately, my data had been backed up! However, between the time of the crash and my migration to a different laptop I couldn't capture any of the Etsy treasuries that I created or that featured my work.

Well... we're back in action! Here are the treasuries that I did manage to accumulate once I had graphics software again.

mistflowerstudio included my "Embers" felted vessel in her treasury "Denim Sunset".

Thank you, Valerie! Be sure to visit her shop for wonderful mixed-media and mosaic art, such as this "Funky multicolored mixed media mosaic pendant with ribbon necklace".

eclectibles included my "Lush" felted vessel in this "A Vivid Imagination" treasury. Their shop is closed right now, but you can have them contact you when they reopen.

mmarielle also included my "Lush" felted vessel in her "verdigris, rust. metal or not" treasury.

Thank you, Marielle! Visit her shop for beautiful ceramic art, such as this gorgeous "verdigris ceramic sassanid vase" from her Artifacts Collection.

BlueLagoonBeads included my "Maya" felted vessel in her treasury "Here Comes The Sun".

Thanks, Angela! Please visit her shop for lovely hand dyed silk ribbons, handmade lampwork beads, and beautiful jewelry such as this "Washed Ashore" bracelet.

RiversEdgeGlass also included my "Maya" felted vessel in her treasury "Morning Star".

Thanks, Barb! Be sure to visit Barb's shop for great handmade lampwork buttons and beads, such as this yummy "Copper Blue Flower - 4 Hole Lampwork Button".

DoBeadDo included my work in two of her treasuries. First are my "Maya" felted vessel and "Dawn" bead-woven necklace in her treasury "The Colors of Passion".

Next is my "Sonoma Bronze" leaf bead in her treasury "Eye of the Tigerrrr".

Thank you, Carrie! Check out her shop for great fun jewelry, such as this bright and funky "Spiked Coral and Turquoise Bracelet".

Uniqueartglass included my lampwork bead "The Deep" in her treasury "Bubbles Sea".

Thank you, Havazelet! Visit her shop for whimsical fused glass art and jewelry, such as this painted dichroic fused glass "Sisters" ACEO.

TwilightShades included my lampwork bead "The Deep" and my "Maya" felted vessel in her treasury "Touchy Feely".

Thanks, Jerry! Be sure to visit Jerry's shop for aged brass and copper jewelry, such as her Steampunk necklace "Cherish Time" - something I'm learning to do more and more these days.

And that wraps up the treasuries this time around. I'll be sure and keep on top of them barring any more techno-meltdowns.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Old Friends - Redux

In the last week or so, I've been spending some of my torch time revisiting "old friends" - beads for which I was known in the past. My most well-known beads are from my "Bronze Age" series which began with the juried auction "Obsession: A Ten Year Affair With The Bead", held by the International Society of Glass Beadmakers back in 2002. My original Bronze Age bead was accepted by the jury and published in the auction catalog. I continued the Bronze Age series, and in 2004, 3 of these beads were published in Lark Book's "1000 Glass Beads" (see page 296). Prompted by my part-time biz partner Nanette Young-Greiner, I began making them again after a several-year hiatus. This one is currently in my Etsy shop.

But I couldn't stop there - I decided to bring back my "Seaside" beads last week when I made one as a gift for a special customer. These beads are rather labor intensive, but such a joy to create. Since I don't have immediate access to the ocean -- and I've been reading all about Pam's vacation there -- I figured the next best thing would be to bring the ocean to me. Here's "Seaside", and I've just added it to my shop.

In fiber news, the vessel that I worked on last night that was going to have a bug on it turned out not at all the way I had hoped. I learned a big lesson, and I'll have to come up with a very creative way to embellish it. Rather than a vessel, it looks much more like a chiminea for heaven's sake! That one will sit for awhile, I'm afraid. And I'll try a different approach to the "bug" vessel.

Here is my unembellished Rose Garden vessel. I'm much happier with this one, although the colors turned out a lot lighter than I had anticipated. Yep, I'm still learning about fiber...

And now I'm off for an afternoon break with mom and the fur kids. Hope your day has been happy and creative!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Roses In the Wet Lab

This morning I got out early to have some radiology and lab work done. When I left the hospital, it was raining like crazy and I was glad I had worn my REI waterproof hooded jacket. Not that I needed to have a gorgeous hairdo for any reason, but driving home in soggy clothes would not have been so nice... particularly since I was already cranky from not having been able to eat or drink anything since 9:30 last night.

After I had a proper breakfast and a double dose of caffeine I decided to spend the day in the wet lab. I love hearing the rain on the roof out there, it almost reminds me of being in a tent during a downpour. Pam's Rose Garden bead and my coordinating long bead were calling to me, so I finished laying out the fibers for the Rose Garden vessel. It's gone through the pre-felt stage and I'll full it tonight while I'm watching who gets eliminated from the next round of ballroom dancing. Yes, I'm rather addicted to Dancing With the Stars. I took ballroom dance lessons many years ago, and I've always enjoyed watching most forms of dance. So tonight I shall vicariously dance through the rose garden. Here's a peek at the vessel before I pre-felted it, along with the inspirational beads. What do you think - am I in the ball park here?

So now I've got the fiber bug. And bug is right - I'm going to go out and start working on my next vessel, which will have a bug on it. I haven't decided yet if it will be a glass bug that I make or the shibuichi Cicada bead that I bought from Bob Burkett last June. I'll have to spend some time in the glass lab and see what I come up with. But that will be later this week, today is a wooly day for sure.

Have yourselves a wonderful creative afternoon!

Monday, April 06, 2009

From the Bench at Lavender Cottage

I've been making and selling lampwork glass beads for 9 years, and I still get all giddy when I see what other folks do with my beads. It is so much more satisfying to sell a piece of my hand made work to an appreciative buyer than it was to spend countless hours developing software that may or may not end up in the hands of clients depending on the "decision of the moment" of upper management. Ah, but I digress...

What a lovely surprise it was to see the wonderful work of my cyber-friend Cheryl Van Dyck of Lavender Cottage in which she incorporated some of my beads. This is my "Sun Worshippers" bead that Cheryl purchased from my Etsy shop.

Cheryl came up with a brilliant design that I find intriguing. I really admire folks who can do "asymmetrical" so successfully! Here's her glorious finished pendant, which she calls "Spring Celebration".

...and you can read her article HERE. Thank you Cheryl for really bringing these beads to life! I look forward to seeing more of your work inspired by glass beads.

Be sure to visit Cheryl's shops on Etsy and 1000 Markets, she's a wonderful metalsmith!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Semi-Final Report From the Milky Way

I say semi-final because this isn't a very good picture. The sun was almost overhead - a bad time for outdoor photos - but I just couldn't wait to take pictures of the Milky Way vessel. Studio pix will be taken soon and they will show up in the "final report". All that said, here's the finished piece in all of its glory. What do you think?

I've chosen the fiber for the next vessel on which I will use another bead by Pam Brisse, but I haven't come to a final decision on the style. I made a long bead that coordinates with Pam's bead in case I want to put a handle on the vessel. OK, OK - I can no longer keep this bead a secret - here are the beads for the upcoming vessel!

And now I'm off to make some fiber elements for this vessel. I should be doing paper work today but with all the fiber sitting on my table in the wet lab, how on earth can I push a pencil?

Have yourselves a wonderful creative day!
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