Wednesday, January 28, 2009

One World One Heart Giveaway

I have entered the giveaways on several people's blogs and I think it is time for me to join in the fun. My giveaway is for one of my handmade beads in your choice of two colors, in addition I will include one of my prints see the prints at my etsy art shop. Your bead can be either a heart or a skull, depending on whether your heart is bright and playful or hides a dark center like my fun skulls. Here are some samples of the beads I made last night. I promise yours won't be smoked like a few of these.
Just leave me a comment and on Feb. 12th one of my granddaughters will draw out the winner. Be sure to visit the other participants. There are tons of folks participating so you can have chances to win lots of great things. Above all else, have fun!!! What a great way to connect with other bloggers.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Success and failure

Here are my latest beads. The gravity heart was fun to make, and I really like the way it turned out. The shell was the result of trying to learn how to do a gravity bead, and deciding my friend Maggie was right when she said if it isn't working she turns things into a shell. This is the first one I have made and not had it lose its lip before I could get it off the mandrel. I guess I heated it right and didn't make the lip too thin!! Yea!!! The diamond shaped one was a test run for my new diamond shaped press. Not too bad considering I hadn't used it before and had no idea how much glass to use. I had one bead crack and fall of the mandrel while I was making it, from not reheating it while I was checking out my frit. I had one that made a cracking noise which fell apart when I tried to remove the mandrel, guess I forgot to flash it before rewarming after trying to dot it. Oh well, live and learn, and learn, and learn . . .
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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Looky what I made

I bought this beautiful bead for my daughter from a dear friend, Pam Brisse, otherwise known as TheBlueBetween on wet canvas and etsy. Her work is amazing, and I knew Tess would love this bead made into a pendant. I didn't know at the time I ordered the bead she would include the heart shaped tie-dye one, too. I love tie-dye. I have at least a half dozen tie-dyed shirts and somewhere I have a tie-dyed jumper, too. I have always loved it, but the brilliant colors you can find nowadays really kick started my obsession with it all over again. (dont forget you can click on the photos and see them bigger) I even bought a tie-dye kit and some white t-shirts. Just haven't dared try it yet. Must get back to bead making later, and see what I can do with my new press. It is a small one in a diamond shape, maybe I can even make a bead with it. I also want to try some different frit combinations, and a couple of simple things in clear glass with frit. I am hoping to get started on my "Dead of Winter" exchange beads. I will let you know what I come up with. You never know what will work out best until you try a few different combinations. Of course I want mine to be "different" and me. I have no idea what that means, but I will if I figure it out!!!

I totally forgot to mention going to a concert Friday night with my cousins Nick and Marty. We saw Creedence Clearwater Revisited, they totally rock!!! Wow, was it ever fun. Of course it didn't hurt we had gone to the seafood buffet first. Great food, great music, and great company. How can you miss!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I got an award!!!

My dear friend Andee, from Duseldorf, Germany, awarded my blog with the Proximade-Award - thank you, Andee! :)

Proximidade is described as follows:
'This blog invests and believes in PROXIMITY - nearness in space, time and relationships. These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes for self-aggrandizement! Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers!'

The rules are: This blog award should be sent to your favorite eight bloggers and they, in turn should forward to eight of their favorites. You should include the text for Proximidade (above) in your announcement blog.

So, now I've got to pass this award to 8 wonderful people, and I choose:

Capt. Elaine

How to win a Cookie Book from Martha

Cindy C. at Laughing Glass Beads is having a cookbook giveaway on her blog. Click on the link and look for the Martha Stewart Cookie Book, read the instructions and enter. You might win. I really hope not because I want the book :D just thought I should give you a chance, too.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Playing with Fire

The first photo is of the group from last night with flash, the second without flash, and then the funny colored hearts (one has a boo-boo next to its stringing hole) and the cute little bat. Click on the photos to see them up close.

What you ask could I be talking about, well, if that is the case you obviously aren't a flameworker, glass melter, torch fiend like me. I discovered last night part of the attraction to the torch has to be the time spent with a really bright light in your face. When I finished last night I felt like I had spent an hour or so in the sun. And this was with special glasses on to protect my eyes. I think the addiction to the torch comes from my pathological need for sunlight. I don't like bright sunlight shining in my eyes, but I love the feel of it on my skin. I think the torch is like that. The eyes need to be protected, but the hands and face love the heat produced by the torch.

I played with another of Lori Peterson's tutorials, how to make a bat. Tess's friend Cori is crazy about them, so I thought it would be fun to make one for her. I just hope its little wings stay on. I also made a couple of hearts with one of Vetrofond's Oddly Odd colors Cosmic Storm - I think they look like wood grain, which is a totally different effect than I was imagining given the name, another black with raku frit, and a big turquoise bead with coral flower which totally lost its shape, oh well. I also did another skull in dark ivory, and a little lt. silver plum shell, which lost its lip right as I was taking it off the mandrel. Oh well, I am not giving up on making shells, I think I just need to make them a bit bigger and make the lip a little thicker next time. All in all I had fun, and that's what it is all about.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A new twist

I decided to try new things in my glass bead making. Since I really like skulls, and one of my daughter's friends is crazy about bats, I got a tutorial for Halloween beads from Lori Peterson. I also wanted to try some colors that have reactions with other colors, like using turquoise for the base color and then decorating with a color that doesn't move around too much, so I practiced my stringer dot placement on one bead, melted it in and then pressed it and added dots of ivory. I think it turned out pretty well since I am so new to all this. I love the little skulls, and even added a bow to the little one. I also thought I wanted to try making a bone bead. I bought some fabulous sculptural beads from my friend Paula, a cat for me and a cute little dachshund for my cousin Nick and had wanted to add a bone or two to a necklace for him. The one you see in the photo here was my first attempt. I think it worked out pretty well, don't you?! I also tried putting a flower on a heart, not so great, huh. Well, I knew I could make a heart of purple for the Beads of Courage. I finished with a perfectly round black bead dipped in raku iris orange frit, reduced and turned into pretty metallic spots. I love the shiny finish, don't you?!! Don't forget you can click on the photo to make it larger, oh, and click on the names of my friends and visit their shops.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

My collected works

I wrote this Friday night.

At about 9:15 pm, after getting dad to bed, the power went out and has not come back on yet. It is 9:40, and who knows when it will be back, if at all tonight. I figured I could at least get a bit of the day on paper, virtual at that. Did some running around before and after work. Got an amazing bead from my friend Debby in the mail today. WOW!!! She hit my tastes right on the head. I can picture wearing this bead as a pendant until I am 102. It is amazing. I just hope I can find the design of pendant that will do it justice. i will add the photo after I remember to take a picture of it. Wonderful and detailed work!!! The other exciting thing that arrived today was some of those cigar box bead boxes from the bead box man on Etsy. Nice. I put all the beads I have made (except the ones that cracked, and the first two days which I can't seem to locate) in one box, and they make a really impressive showing. I actually like a lot of them, and love a few. Yea!!! My dad was amazed when he looked in the box at how terrific they look together.

I photographed last night's beads and they are fabulous if I do say so myself. The tab is kind of funky due to not knowing how much glass it would take, but I like it anyway. The hearts came out great, and the murrini bead is really pretty, too. Yep, pretty happy with them all. A few could have had better dimples, but not too shabby. Better go before I use up all my battery reserve. (click on the photo for a bigger version)

I laid in bed and read until about 10:30 and finally gave up and went to sleep. The power came back on at 12:30 and, consequently, so did all the lights I had left on. so I got up and turned them all off. The light was still on in dad's bedroom and he slept right through it all.

Today I ran around with my daughter and a friend, looking for a cooling pad for the friend's laptop. I knew I had seen one somewhere locally and we finally found it at Rite Aid. Her laptop is now running without overheating, but soon she will be buying a new one anyway. It has had "issues" ever since she was "accosted" during a trip through one of the airport security areas a couple of years ago. The security folks were angry with her over her C-PAP machine showing evidence of "medication" well, duh, she cleans the mask in Listerine and it gives a false reading because of the alcohol. They basically threw her laptop, broke the latch on the case and must have either cracked or dislodged something one the motherboard. Jeez, another case of overzealous security people who really don't give a crap about the people they are injuring or the merchandise they are damaging. They did a strip search on her, and held her purse and all her belongings because of a medical device. Unreal. Sorry for the rant. It just annoys me still, even after two years.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

What else? More beads!!

Here is the latest batch of beads from a couple days ago. I love the little one with the purple poked dots, and the one with the funny little metallic spots is actually cobalt blue, you can't tell unless you hold it up to the light. Funny tiny beads. The big red heart with the goldstone stripes is really much prettier than it looks here, the goofy white one with the stripes and spots started out to be round and changed its mind halfway through the process, so I told it fine, you can be flat as a pancake. The heart on the right is just plain opaque red, interesting how the red has little streaky color changes in it, though. It was my first attempt at a vertical hole heart. Not too bad if I do say so myself!! LOL, I crack me up.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

more beads

Of course I finally got my torching table set up with the new Creation Station in place, which means I had to take it out for a test drive. The first night I made a few purple beads with purple frit, just because I love purple. (Well, duh!!) The only problem I had was the frit got a little more "done" than I like, but they are still pretty. The next night I made a variety of beads, including an experimental wavy bead. You would never recognize it as such, but it was fun to try anyway. I discovered it is much harder than it looks to melt down, and it was easier to place those dots than I thought. So i am sure it won't be my last attempt. I also made a SW bead from the tutorial I was gifted, and a red bead wrapped in silver, and of course a heart. They are what I make when I can't figure out what else to make. Here they are. I plan on making more tonight. Wish me luck.