Thursday, September 29, 2011

A great giveaway at Manuela Wutschke's blog!

Head over to Manuela Wutschke's blog - she is giving this bead away as a birthday gift from her to you (maybe you - maybe me - lol).  Here is a link
Good luck to everyone!

......and the winner is.......

In a previous blog post I requested some help with ideas for hanging one of my disc flowers.  Four lovely ladies replied, and thanks to them I have some ideas on how to proceed.  I will post the photos of the results in a future post.  OK, so you are saying "get on with the draw"!  I put the 4 names into a box and pulled one out - congratulations Alice!  I will be sending you the ruffled flower disc and leaves just as soon as you email me with your address.  If you would prefer a different flower (see the photo in a previous post), just let me know.

Once again, thank you very much for all your help ladies!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Arbutus Beach tree beads

Here are two more of my Arbutus Beach tree beads.  As I have mentioned before, the Arbutus (called Madrona in the US) grows along the coast here in British Columbia.  It is always shedding something - leaves, bark, flowers and berries, depending on the season.  I have a definate love/hate relationship with this tree.  I love to see it in the wild, but don't let it anywhere near my property!!

I hope you are all having a good start to the week.  I have to go to the dentist tomorrow - oh no!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Glass shards

I have been playing around with some really neat glass shards that I purchased  This bead starts out with a base of black, then a strip of silver foil, and then the shards.  I love the way they have gone all mottled.  I also trailed a stringer of silvered ivory over the top.  Very simple, but I think it is quite effective.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Help wanted - incentive prize offered!

This is a necklace I made up with one of the disc poppies and leaves I have been making lately for the upcoming bead show.  I made up a sample so that customers can see how I have used it, and to give them inspiration.  However I am not happy with how I have "strung" it.  You can see the back side of the bead in the picture below.  I put a long headpin through a small accent bead, then through the front of the flower to the back, added another small bead and wire wrapped it using what I call "birds nest" wrapping.  Then I bent the loop upwards with my pliers, and threaded it onto a copper figure 8 link - then added a hammered copper washer.  The washer acts as a bit of a ballast and somewhere for the large chain, leaf and bead dangle to hang from.  I have worn it several times, and it does not turn around (I was really pleased about this), and is quite comfortable.  I want to be able to add one of my disc poppies to a rubber tube/cord type of necklace, and don't think this method will work with that, as I want the flower to be centered on the rubber cord.

OK - now for where I need your advice - how should I go about attaching the flower to the rubber cord?  I don't want to just wire wrap it on, as it would possibly cut into the rubber and could flip so it was facing downwards, which is what I want to avoid.  The problem is that this disc is not like a regular focal pendant whose hole is from top to bottom - the hole in the poppy disc is from front to back.  So I am offering an incentive to someone who has an idea that will work for me with either the rubber cord or to streamline the method above.  In about a weeks time I will draw one name from all the people who have given me a suggestion to my problem and that person will receive the ruffled disc poppy shown below. (Or a plain one if they prefer).

Thanks for your help!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Building up show stock

I can't believe it has been two weeks since I last posted on my blog - sorry about that.  I have been busy getting beads made for the upcoming Fraser Valley Bead Show in October - only 4 weeks left.

The beads above are a small sample of the beads I will be taking.  The bead at the top is one of my Pacific Reef beads, and the three florals are a new style I have been working on this past summer.  I know that sunflowers have larger centers and smaller petals - just call it "artistic license".  I thought I might do some in colours other than yellow too - maybe pink, purple or blue (more artistic license).

I am going to post a picture in a day or two of a necklace I made up with one of the poppy discs that I showed in an earlier post.  I need your help with suggestions on how to string it.  Prizes will be involved too!
So keep an eye out for the next post - hopefully some time over the weekend.

Have a great day everyone.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Organics in Abundance

I recently purchased a lampwork recipe e-book from Jacqueline Parks aka Gems in Bloom, and have been enjoying making "organics" with her recipes.  It is amazing how the same glass can be used by so many lampworkers, and each one comes up with a different interpretation -  even if you try to make the beads like the samples that she shows, they never turn out the same.

All these beads were made with basically dark ivory, silver foil, and intense black.  Some of them have a base of a slightly different colour, but more or less all the same.

I was at the Downtown Nanaimo Farmers Market today, and it sure was windy.  I was really glad that my tent back was tied to the outside railing, and that I had weights on the ftont.  Now that the children are all back in school, I sure notice that the number of customers has dropped dramatically - however sales were about the same overall.  Tomorrow - another town, another market!

Have a great weekend all!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Flowers and Leaves - Show Stock

I am busy making beads for the Fraser Valley Bead Show in October, and trying to get some different items in stock.  I love the colours of these poppies, and I have lots more colours I want to try out yet, and I want to do more two and three toned ones as well.  I plan on making about 50 of these, and thought I would sell each one with a leaf bead.  A couple of the first ones ended up with little cracks in them, so I have made one of those into a pendant and will use it as a prop in the show to give the customers an idea as to how the beads can be used.

Unfortunately, I don't think I will be able to sell them in my Etsy shop, as they would have to be shipped in a box, and that means they can't go for "Small Packet Light" international, or "Oversize Letter" within Canada, because to qualify for those the packaged item has to fit through a 2cm slot, and be under a certain weight.  In this case the depth of the box would be a problem, and the price of shipping would be double.

I hope you are all having a great week!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Success and Failure

Well, sometimes things work out right and then again sometimes they don't.  The first two sets are more of the Meditation Pools sets that I listed the other day, and I am really pleased with them.  I love the green set - it looks like a very colourful green Mother of Pearl.  I left the "pools" raised this time just to see if I liked them any better and to see if I could get the colour to intensify, but I don't think it made any difference, and it is a lot easier to flatten them so I will probably do that in the future.

The last set in the butter cream colour I had high hopes for, but for some unknown reason the pink "silver glass" has fumed or splashed pink all over the lovely cream colour.  You can really see it in the bead 2nd from the bottom.  It looks like spilled pink nail polish that I didn't wipe up properly.  I am quite dissappointed in them, and so I think I will etch them and see if that improves the look.  Ah well, best laid plans and all that.

I have listed the first and second sets in my Etsy.

Have a great weekend!