Thursday, December 30, 2010

I Just Couldn't Resist!

I was in Michael's yesterday and bought some knitting yarn on sale, and loved it so much that I had to go back again today and get more!  Don't you just love all the luscious colours?  I'm not sure what I am going to make - I may just put them in a bowl and get inspiration from the colour combinations.

I used a flash to take the picture, so it turned out a little brighter than the actual wool - but not by much!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Building up Stock

I have been working on steadily building up stock for the re-opening of my Etsy shop on January 10.  Here are a few more new items.
Ribbed Terra2 - mini set.

Raku Mosaics

Tropical Rounds - mini set

Thanks for looking!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Few New Beads

I made these before Christmas - getting ready for my Etsy re-opening in a couple of weeks.  I will be going out to the studio after lunch today to make a few more beads.  I have all kinds of ideas rolling around in my head.

Have a great Boxing Day!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Everyone always laughs at our funny little Christmas tree, with it's oversize ornaments and slightly wonky star.  However we love it, and refuse to get another one.  It is actually the top one third of a much larger tree.  We decided one year that we just didn't have the room to put up the whole tree, and so just used the top one third - and that is the way it has been ever since.  At the end of the year, we just put a large plastic garbage bag over the whole thing, and consign it to a shelf in the basement for another year.  Works for us!

I hope you all have a very Happy Christmas with family and friends all around.

Friday, December 17, 2010

A Rare Occasion

Now everyone pay attention, because you won't see this until next year at this time - LOL.  I very rarely bake, but I spent most of yesterday and this afternoon baking.  Cheese crisps (at the top), chocolate ginger cookies (on the left), whipped shortbread (on the right), and 5 dozen spicy oatmeal cookies that are not in the picture.  Phew, for me that is a marathon!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Merry Christmas Charlie Brown!

I love watching the annual "Charlie Brown's Christmas" cartoon each year.  So after seeing it this year, I decided to make a bead with his famous "Christmas Tree" on the front.  I added some sparklies to the inside (hard to see on the photo), and some snow at the bottom.  It is kind of hard to see, but there is a little star at the top, and a large one on the back.  The photos were really hard to take, and this is the best of them.  I'll try and take a photo of the back later if the lighting is better.
I have made one for myself and one for my sister.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Bead Bouquet

I had fun yesterday playing with lots of different silver glasses - trying all kinds of techniques to get a variety of colours.  When I took the beads out of the kiln this morning I thought they looked like a bouquet.

Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Love That Silver Glass

I have been trying out a new technique (new to me) with a couple of Double Helix's silver glasses.  I love the multiple colours that have come out of this "experiment" - I'm off to make more!  These two new sets can be found in my Etsy shop (link to the right).

Monday, December 6, 2010

For Me

I decided to keep one of the "Organic Formations" for myself.  I have wire wrapped two of them in copper, and added a little danglie beach stone which I purchased from this Etsy shop.
 (  Hmmm - wish I knew how to change the words for her shop link to make it look less technical.  I guess I need another lesson from my daughter.
Anyway - I am going to antique the copper and hang it from a lovely copper chain that I have.  I will only keep one, and the other will go into my stock for the upcoming Spring craft/markets that I will be attending.
I have also listed several more organics in my Etsy shop.

Thanks for looking, and have a great week.

Sunday, December 5, 2010


I have been having a lot of fun lately making what is known in the lampwork world as "organic" style beads.  I'm not sure how to define organics, other than to say that they are not flowers, trees, or any other type of decoration that is recognisable as "something" - hope that makes sense.

The photos show the front and back of each of three beads.  These beads can be found (sorry, were) on my Etsy.  However, I will be making more of them, as they are a great excersize for me, as I tend to be a bit anal about everything havng to be symmetrical, and have to work really hard when trying to make asymmetrical beads, necklaces, etc.

Hope you all have a great week ahead!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I am having a sale in my etsy shop starting tomorrow, and lasting for 2 weeks.  Everything will be 40%off.  I was thinking that I would have to get up at the crack of dawn and start re-pricing all my items.  Then I saw a little button at the side of "my etsy", that said coupon.  I followed the prompts, and lo and behold I can make up a coupon that my customers can plug into the appropriate box when they make a sale and they will receive the discount.  Wow, technology sure is great (most of the time).  So, starting December 1st at approximately 8am Pacific Standard Time, just plug in the word "just4you" (not the quote marks though), and you will receive 40% off the sale (not including the shipping).  If you make a mistake, let me know, and I will manually refund the discount.
Brass Monkeys - set of 3

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Etsy Sale starts Dec 1.

I have decided to have a sale in my Etsy shop.  So starting on December 1/2010 sometime in the morning (Pacific Standard Time), I will begin editing all my prices to reflect a 40% discount.  The sale will last for 2 weeks.  This morning I found a box of beads that I had forgotten to unpack after the October Fraser Valley Bead show, so I have posted those items today, and I will look around my workshop to see if I can find some more hidden away.

Hope you have a great Sunday evening!

Friday, November 26, 2010

It's a Penguin Parade!

There are short ones, tall ones, fat ones, skinny ones, worried ones, crosseyed ones, etc . . . .
My dear mother has ordered 16 penguin zipper pulls.  So I have spent the last two days making all these little fellows.  They look like they are wondering just who is going to get to the pile of snowballs in front of them first.  I am not sure what my mother is going to do with 16 penguin zipper pulls, but I am not one to turn down a sale!

Many thanks to Emma Green for her tutorial, and to my friend Gail H. for doing a demo of these cute little guys at a meeting of our glass group - Vancouver Island Fire Flies.

Hope you all have a great weekend.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Snow, Snow, Snow

After working all week getting ready for the 4 day studio tour that started on Thursday, it was quite dissappointing to get up this morning to a white winter wonderland.  Although it looked very pretty, it was not great for customers coming, and the expected flood of people was a mere trickle.  Hopefully tomorrow will be a bit better - although it is supposed to get colder and freeze everything solid.  On the bright side, I will have lots of stock for the spring shows. sigh.

The picture below is from our front porch.  If you look closely at the lower left hand corner, you can see the path to the studio we very carefully made and covered with bark mulch, now has snow shovelled off and looking very messy.   Can you tell I am "ticked off" at Mother Nature?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Studio Tour is on!

Here is a picture of my tables in my studio.  The room is quite narrow, so my tables are against one wall, while a friends pottery and another friends beads are against the other wall.  It is a little crowded, but looks quite nice.  However, I see that I should have ironed the table covers - LOL

The next two photos are of a couple of new pieces I made for the show.  I am having a definate love affair with copper!  I think I prefer it to silver.

Bye for now.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Studio Tour Starts Tomorrow

Well, I think I am nearly ready.  I should be - my husband and I have been working on the studio since Sunday.  We have been putting up christmas lights, christmas trees, making a new path, laying bark mulch, re-gravelling the driveway, putting up ropes, signs, ribbons and numbers, and all the other bits and pieces that come up when you do a studio tour.   Also cleaning, sweeping, washing, tidying, putting in tables, decorations, rugs, shelves, music, etc. inside.  I will try and remember to take some pictures of the inside when I go out there tomorrow.
The tour starts tomorrow until Sunday, and opens at 10 am and goes to 5 pm each day.

The first picture was taken from near the corner of the house, and the second picture was taken from the other side of the trees.

Bye for now!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

And before the bears . . .

Before the bears there was pottery - a line of decorative and functional stoneware.  I had a 10 cu. ft. electric bisque kiln, and a 42 cu ft. walk in gas kiln that my husband and I built.  I "threw" the pots on my electric wheel and then fired them in the two kilns.   I have very few photos of the items I made, but these are a few of the pieces I kept.

I have been out in the studio all day today, tidying and cleaning, and generally getting ready for the upcoming studio tour show next weekend.  I'll take a picture for you when we have it all ready and stocked.

Bye for now!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Re-visiting my previous career

Sorry, I don't have anything "beady" for you at the present.  I am getting ready for my next show, which is  the Cedar/Yellowpoint Artisan's Christmas Tour, next weekend.  This is the first year that I have participated, as I now have a suitable studio that is apart from the house. Here.

I do however, have pictures of some of the teddy bears that I used to make.  I was looking through my photos today, and thought you might like to take a look too.  These bears were made from mohair fabric imported from either England or Germany, they are all fully jointed, and have glass eyes.  They were made as adult collectibles and not suitable for children (because of the glass eyes).  I made all their clothes too - sometimes from scratch, and sometimes for the larger ones I would re-make children's clothes.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Monday, November 8, 2010

So Very Tired!

I have just finished a three day Christmas Craft fair here in Nanaimo, and I am exhausted.  Spending three days smiling and laughing is just too much for me - LOL.  My sister very kindly volunteered to help me for the full three days - what a great sister!  We laughed so hard sometimes that we ended up crying - I think some of the customers must have wondered what on earth was happening.

I am not at all pleased with my booth this year - I think it is the white necklace stands/busts/boards.  They are great for summer, but I think that in winter I need to get more black ones for display.  I also think I need a softer colour than the black top cloth I have been using for the winter shows - maybe a lovely rust, or perhaps a deep plum - what do you think?  I would love some feedback.  Anyway here is a very poor picture of my booth.  The black backdrop is the promoters choice - I wish they would have silver/gray or something like that.

Right now I think I am going to go and make a cup of tea, and sit and read for a while.  Tomorrow I will be out in the studio again making beads for the studio tour coming on November 18 - 22.

Bye for now.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Golden Strands

Three more pendants for the show tomorrow.  I have wired these ones in copper and put them on matching silk ribbon cords - I love the warm earthy look.  I think I am definitely moving over to copper - I love working with it, and I don't feel guilty if I have to cut it off and start again the way I do with the more expensive stirling silver.

Well, I better get packing, as I have to be at the show bright and early tomorrow to get set up.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

New Necklaces

I have been working on this style of necklace for about a year now - ever since I purchased some leather cord and then didn't have any idea what to do with it!   It has taken many "trys" and many "tear aparts" to get to where I am finally pleased with the designs.  The large beads in the middle are hollow, and I posted a picture of some of the beads in a previous blog post.  I think they have a very ethnic or tribal look about them, so now I have to figure out a name for them.  Any ideas?  They are just a tad longer than choker length, and I will provide an extender chain if requested.  These necklaces will be going to the show this weekend - hope they are a success.

After the show season is finished at the end of November, I am planning on making more of this style of bead for my Etsy shop - so let me know if you are interested.

Have a great rest of the week.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween Elf

My granddaughter decided she wanted to be an elf for Halloween.  I think she makes a spectacular elf - but I could be biased!  She did this yesterday for school (grade 12).

She applied fake points to her ears, and blended them in with makeup, then put on really long false eyelashes to just the outer edges of her eye lids.  I love her dress too - I think she looks very "Lord of the Rings".

Have a very spooktacular Halloween everyone!

Friday, October 29, 2010


I really love organic style beads, but I seldom make them.  I met a lady this last weekend at the FVBS who makes the most incredible organic style beads -  Jacqueline Parkes of Gems in Bloom, check out her web site . (I hope the link works - I'm not very good at this copy and paste stuff).

These rounds came out of my kiln yesterday, and I'm quite pleased with them.  The large ones in the middle are hollow, and a lot of fun to make.  I think I will string them up into some fairly short necklaces with lots of other organic type beads, ie: ceramic, copper, gunmetal.  I'll post a picture if they work out.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Little Miss

At the Fraser Valley Bead Show one of the other vendors, Eugenia Chan, purchased one of my Little Missy beads, and turned it into a great pendant.  I took a photo, but I'm sorry, it isn't a very good photograph - it's hard to take photos indoors with poor lighting, and I'm not an expert with a camera, but you get the idea.
I love how Eugenia has wire wrapped Little Missy into a pendant with stirling silver, and even given her a "corkscrew" scarf.  She then put her onto a black cord.  It looks great!

Home Again!

While I enjoy going out of town to shows sometime, I sure do like getting home!  I think I am definately a homebody at heart.
I was sharing the booth with a beader friend of mine, Judy Baun, at the Fraser Valley Bead Show this past weekend, and the sign would be just too large if we put both our names on it, so we call ourselves "Playing With Fire" - I know, not very original - LOL.  Above is a picture of our booth before the masses of enthusiastic bead buyers came through.  We had a great time, met lots of fellow beaders, and purchased way too much stuff!  It was a great show, and I must give Barrie Edwards, the promoter, a big round of applause for doing such a great job - thanks so much Barrie!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I finally managed to upload a picture of my new bead - Oceanica.  I am taking this one to the show, but hope to make more when I get back - now, if only I can remember the recipe for the twistie band in the middle!

Have a great day!

Almost Ready!

Just getting the last minute preparations done for the upcoming Fraser Valley Bead Show this weekend.  The Little Missies are all set on their frame, and I will pack them this way, then I don't have to spend the time hooking up each one when I get to the show.

Hmmm - I was going to show you another bead picture, however I can't seem to get it to upload - I'll try again later.  Oh, I just see a little notice that says the image uploader is down for maintenance.  Oh well, like I said - later.

Bye for now.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Brass Monkeys

I love how these beads turned out!  I was quite surprised when I took them out of the kiln, instead of the fuscia colour that I was expecting, I saw they were a lovely gold/brass colour.  I think it must have something to do with the different clear I used for the encasing - thankfully I remember the recipe I used to make them.

I couldn't resist giving them the name Brass Monkeys.  The first thing that came into my head was the old English saying "It's cold enough to freeze the xxxxx off a brass monkey" - LOL.  Hope no one is offended.

Have a great day!