Monday, November 30, 2009

Last Day Before Delivery

Holy smokes - where did the time go? I was very happy to have had a 4-day Thanksgiving weekend to work on all the items that I will be delivering to the Olive Hyde Gallery for their annual holiday show/sale. But here it is, Monday, and I still have a ton of work to do before my scheduled delivery time tomorrow morning.

I finished embellishing 3 vessels, made another vessel and embellished it, and made a scarf. And made some beads, which I will turn into jewelry today. Then I must tag everything and pack it up to go. It wouldn't be all that bad, but I have to teach a class tonight from 6 - 10 p.m. so I can't work on it this evening. So I am going to cut my post a bit short today. But I will leave you with some pictures of the work I did over the weekend.

Here are details from the first side of the scarf.

And details from the other side. The wool fibers are on both sides of the silk chiffon.

And here are the embellished vessels. I really went over the top on the sunset vessel - I added my beads to both sides.

Sunset Vessel - Side "A"

Sunset Vessel - Side "B"

Sonoma Vessel - Side "A"

Sonoma Vessel - Side "B"

This next vessel is one that I created last year, but I didn't like the way that I had embellished it. I removed the embellishment, then redid it with a beadwoven collar.

And now I'm off to get a bite of lunch, then work work work! Have yourselves a happy and creative day!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Busy Weekend, Busy Week

I'm in crunch mode now, getting several creations ready to be placed in shows and galleries. This past weekend I spent Saturday making a few more vessels. Here's an in-progress picture of my wine country vessel. I have to embellish this one, but I haven't made the bead yet. It will be a small leaf bead (of course...), this vessel isn't large. It's going to the Olive Hyde Gallery in my home town of Fremont, CA for their annual holiday show/sale.

Here's the second vessel. I finished the beaded collar for it last night, I just have to sew it onto the vessel. I already have the leaf for this one. This one is for BAGI, and I'll be making another vessel for them. One will be for their annual glass auction and one will be going into the BAGI kiosk at the San Jose airport.

I need to finish these soon because they're going out to their respective temporary homes by December 1, and I really want to get professional pictures of them before they depart.

Speaking of BAGI, a few days ago we had our first "Super Sunday", and I was on hand for 2 back-to-back 4-hour torching sessions to answer any questions that came up during the sessions. These are sessions for any of my current and former BAGI students so that they can spend 4 hours of devoted torch time practicing any/all of the techniques that they've learned in my classes. It was nice to see all of these folks again, and wow - we sure had a full kiln! We'll be doing another Super Sunday on December 13, so if you've taken a class with me at BAGI and want to join us for 4 (or 8) hours of creativity, contact Chris at BAGI and let her know.

And now it's time for me to grab a quick bite of lunch, then get back to my tech job. "Making stuff" will have to wait until this evening.

Have yourselves a happy and creative day!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Catching Up Once Again

In my prior post, I showed you a picture of the latest vessel that I made with a promise of better pix of it to come. I never had a chance to get anymore pictures - I sold the vessel over the weekend. But I just about finished embellishing another one and I have plans for a new one roaming around in my brain.

The weekend before this last one, I taught a bead making class on Saturday at BAGI. Here's a picture of me doing a demo as a student watches. This picture was taken by one of my students with her phone (why it's fuzzy...). Not only do I NOT wear fashionable didymium glasses, they're the first didyms I ever bought. In true geek style, the left bow has tape on it.

During that class I showed the students a technique that I've been using for almost 10 years. While they were making their beads, a picture popped into my mind and the following Monday I went out to my studio and started creating my vision in glass. I've had some drawings of petroglyphs and pictographs on my work table for a couple of years but I never did anything with them. I just wasn't sure what the entire bead should look like. I now have 5 of them in my Etsy shop! I brought them all to the bead show with me over the weekend and they were a big hit. Some have new homes. Here's my version of rock art, in bead form. All but 1 have designs on the back as well, but you'll have to go to my shop to see them.

On a completely different note, this week I took the plunge and started a new contract job back in the world of software development. I'm excited about it, and I also realize that my creative time will be that much more precious. I have a gallery show coming up shortly for which I must prepare, I have to create a piece for an auction for the place where I teach bead making, there's a holiday ornament show for which I must make some pieces, and there's another opportunity to put my artwork for sale in a small gallery kiosk at our airport. So now I'm going to take a deep breath and get back to work.

Have yourselves a happy and creative day!

Friday, November 06, 2009

New Vessel... and What Does "Service" Mean To You?

This has been an extremely busy week for me in the teaching department! I taught a class on Tuesday evening, provided a "bead making experience" for a group of about 40 women on Wednesday morning and afternoon, taught a class that same evening, then taught a class again last night. During my "down time" between those classes, I managed to finish this vessel. It's a small one - I don't make small stuff very often - but it turned out very nice. Better pix are on the way...

Regarding "service", I'm a bit irritated (understatement) with my web hosting service. I guess you could say they provide a service. I mean, hey - there's good service and then there's bad service. In which category do you think my recent experience belongs? Here's what happened:

My web hosting service "upgraded" me. This past Wednesday evening, after I got home from a very long day of teaching (started at 10 a.m., finished at 10 p.m.), I went to check my email. I couldn't log in to my web hosting account. I checked my Yahoo email account, and there was an email that I had received at 9:59 pm welcoming me to my new upgraded account. Using the new login information, I got into the new interface and found my email. OK, so I can still receive email - great! There was also information in the welcome email that talked about this upgrade. Isn't this wonderful - they migrated all my email to the new email system, but not my address book. What???!!! So... my email address book is gone. Just flat gone. The upgrade email does tell me, "You will however, have the ability to create a new Address book once the move to our Advanced Email Platform has been completed.". Well isn't that nice?! I mean, gosh, how many email systems are there that DON'T let you create an address book?

So then I go to my website and see this lovely message rather than my splash page:
I thought, "OK, tomorrow this message will be gone and my website will be back up.". HA! - Not. So around 3 p.m. on Thursday I called tech support. I told the guy about this message and asked him how to get my site back up. He started looking at my website (he's tech support, he's got access) and then he started reading the content of the splash page to me. Then he told me to wait a few hours, that my site would be back up. I told him that it had been down since the prior evening and he rudely started reprimanding me, saying, "We upgraded 9,000 sites, what do you expect?!". Huh? Then he said, "Do you want me to read more on your website to prove that it's still there?". OMGosh, this is tech support?

Fast forward to Friday (a couple of hours ago). I go to my site, still not up. I call tech support again and ask them what's going on. This time I talk to "Steven". He tells me that the guy I talked to yesterday didn't know the answer to my questions. Yeah, no kidding! So "Steven" tells me that in order to get my site back up, I have to contact the company with whom my domain name is registered and have them change my primary and secondary name servers. I asked "Steven" why this information wasn't in the welcome email. Response: "Because they didn't put it in the email". (GROAN.....)

I'm hoping that my site will be back up some time in the next few days. In the mean time, perhaps it's time to start looking for a new web hosting service. Although these days, the "service" portion of that expression is questionable, regardless of who the host is.

I'm off to the torch now - go have yourselves a happy and creative day!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

A Little Fiber, A Little Glass

Today I finished a sample piece for a "Join in and Make Challenge" that's part of the online felting community to which I belong. It was interesting and fun, and I learned quite a bit about this technique. I'll be incorporating my sample into a larger felted piece. I wanted to use it on a vessel but it's just too heavy. I may try this again with some refinements. Here's a lousy picture (my own picture... bad lighting) of my sample. Does it make you think of anything in particular?

Later, I'll be working on more of my embellished felt pieces for possible necklaces/pins.

Regarding glass... I got into a discussion with someone last week about flame annealing soft glass beads. I've been making beads for over 9 years and I've been a member of the International Society of Glass Beadmakers for 9 years. All the information I've read and heard on this topic is that so-called flame annealing does NOT properly anneal your beads. If you anneal them this way, they are more likely to break some time down the road than if you anneal them in a kiln. Why? Because flame annealing does not eliminate the stress that is created in the glass when parts of the bead (outside) cool at a different rate than other parts of the bead (inside). The person with whom I was having this conversation insisted that when she took a bead making class many years ago, they did not put their beads into a kiln. They flame annealed their beads, and she still has these beads many years later and they never broke.

So I ask all of you folks out there who are glass bead makers: What is your take on this subject? Is flame annealing sufficient? Would you ever sell beads that you only flame anneal? Would you even bother flame annealing?

And now I'm off for a Starbucks treat. Go have yourselves a happy and creative day!

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Color Inspiration!