Friday, December 28, 2012

Give-away X 3, plus bonus!!

I have decided to end the year with a give-away - actually 3 give-aways and a bonus too!  All you have to do is to make a comment on my blog and tell me which of the 3 items you would like to win.  Then on Jan 1st or 2nd I will make the 3 drawings and the bonus.  Yes, you may enter for all 3 if you like - just let me know in your comment.

NO.1  This focal bead is ready to wear.  Black glass with a strip of silver foil, ivory glass
 and a reactive black glass all melted together and shaped into a lovely oval.

NO.2  This set of beads in pale blue, turquoise and vibrantyellow/green would make a great
 necklace focal or brooch.
The 3 leaves and 2 pods are made so that you epoxy a wire into the hole
 (the hole does not go all the way through).

NO.3  Your choice of either my "Folk Art StyleChicke & Seagull Tutorial"
OR my "Trio of Trees Tutorial".

BONUS - everyone who leaves a comment gets a chance at these beads and the two magnetic clasps.
I actually won these (and a couple of other items that I have plans for) in another
give-away, but I just don't have the time to devote to making a piece out of them.
I feel very guilty about not making something, but figure you (whoever wins this)
can probably do a better job than I would anyway.
Please don't forget to let me know which item you would like if your name is drawn.

Have a great day!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Lots of Hearts

I made these hearts about a week ago, but only just got around to cleaning and photographing them.

They are the kind that is made on the very end of the mandrel, so the hole doesn't go all the way through.  To prepare them for use, you make a double loop of wire with long tails and then epoxy it into the top hole.  Then you can either hang a bail onto the loop or thread the chain/cord through the loop - depending on which direction you glued the loop in.  Clear as mud, right?

These beads can be found in my Etsy shop.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

New Beads

When I was making these beads, I realized that a lot of the decoration had an almost "ocular" look about it. As I was reading a fantasy book at the time that had deep dark forests complete with "guardians", I decided the name fit perfectly - maybe it's all those eyes watching me and keeping me safe. To me, the beads have an almost first nations look about them.
The beads can be found in my Etsy shop.

Many thanks to Wendy M. for the inspiration for these beads.

"Guardians" set 1

"Guardians" set 2
Hope you are having a great day!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Big holed beads for "those" European bracelets

I have been busy lately making the big holed beads that fit on the European bracelets.  Some of these beads may end up being cored with silver and some will remain core free.  They are all made with a raised floral type motif.

European style bracelet beads.

European style bracelet beads.

I will be listing these over the next couple of days in my Etsy shop.

Hope you all had a great weekend.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Seagull bead focal

I made a seagull focal the other day, and I love the expression on his face (or maybe "her" face).  Anyway I am a little disappointed in the murrine on the top left hand side, as it didn't spread out the way I wanted, and the lines all bunched up in the center.  So if anyone is interested in this focal it is approx. 25mm wide by 40mm long and is available for $15.00 plus shipping.  It would normally retail for about $30.00.  Just make a comment to let me know.

Seagull focal side 1

Seagull focal side 2

Have a great day!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Flock of Seagulls

Flock of Seagulls
These are for a good customer of mine - I couldn't resist photographing them all together like this.

Don't forget that if you are a lampworker, you can make your own Folk Art Style Seagulls (and Chickens) by following my tutorial that can be found in my Etsy Shop.

I hope you are all having a good week!

Friday, November 30, 2012

New Pendant

Just under two years ago my mother was in palliative care, and every day my sister and I would go up to visit with her, sometimes together and sometimes by ourselves.  It was a very sad and depressing time seeing our mother, who had been our rock, slipping quickly and quietly away, and knowing that there was not a thing we could do about it.  During that time I found that my inspiration was sadly lacking, however I was very pleased with one design that I made called  "Sunshine On My Shoulders".  I made two of them and gave one to my sister to remind us that there is still some sunshine in our lives.  It was also somewhat of a tribute to John Denver - who was, and continues to be, one of my favourite singers.

I have recently revisited the design, and have the bead pictured below now available in my Etsy shop as a ready made pendant.  Just slip it on a chain or cord and it is ready to wear.

Sunshine On My Shoulders pendant.
I hope you are having some sunshine on your shoulders!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

New Beads

A week or so ago I purchased a tutorial from Gems in Bloom.  It is a great tutorial and yesterday I gave myself a day to play around with it.  I am really pleased with the results, and I will be listing a few of them in my Etsy shop.  They are smallish focal beads of about 25mm in diameter.

Black floral

Blue floral

Green floral
Hope you are having a great day!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Warm Hearts on a Cold Winter Day

A customer recently asked me to make her a heart within a heart or two hearts entwined.  She wanted to give one to a friend who had recently lost her mother - and these are what I came up with.  I wanted to keep them quite simple with the emphasis on the two hearts.  She chose hers and these are the ones that are left.  Unfortunately I didn't get a photo of the one she chose - it was similar to the very dark red one second from the left, but longer and more of a "folk art" style shape. 

Warm Heart Pendants
If you are interested in one of them, please let me know.  They are $20.00 each plus shipping.

Have a great week.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Christmas Show

The cup is actually empty - it didn't take long for me to swig that down!
After 4 days of sitting, standing, writing, wrapping, counting change, etc I thought I deserved a treat - my face feels numb from all that smiling.  A Starbuck's Caramel Machiatto was just what I needed!

The show was a great success, and we had more people through our little space than last year, and my sales were up about 30% - yippee!!!

Here are some photos of our set up.

Part of my set up - we took the doors off the hutch top, and I think I will paint it
sometime before next year - maybe an off white.

Part of my set up.

My friend Vicki's Herb Garden Pottery.

My friend Judy's display of vintage cutlery jewellery.
I am so very glad that I don't have any other shows this year, and I think I may just stick to the one Christmas show.  Perhaps do a couple of other shows throughout the year, one in spring and one in the fall.

Bye for now!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

New Bead Design -" Graphics"

Although these are just a start, I think I am quite pleased with this new design.  I'm looking forward to seeing where I can go with this new style, when I get some time to play - perhaps after the studio tour/show.



Sunday, November 4, 2012

Cool Earth glass

When Effetre first came out with the colour "Cool Earth" #688, I was a bit underwhelmed - I thought "eh", I'm not really crazy about it.  Well, that has now changed - I love it!  A few days ago I was still on my organics, and keep it simple kick, and grabbed a rod of Cool Earth. I am really pleased how they turned out.  A lot of people have been asking me for denim, navy, or dark blue beads - I think these will fit the bill perfectly.  I also really like the little bit of green peeking through the blue.

Effetre Cool Earth pendants.

Here's how I did it.   I made a barrel shape with the Cool Earth, wrapped an irregular shaped strip of silver foil around it, burnished it in, outlined the edges of the silver foil in SIS.  Then I melted in the silver and wrapped a line of dark ivory stringer around it - twice, added a tiny bit of Intense Black on top of the ivory (hair fine stringer), and heated the heck out of it.  Then reshaped the barrel and pressed it with my mashers.  I fire polished out the chill marks and gave it a blast of propane to reduce the silver foil - and popped them in the kiln to anneal.  It is hard to see the shine of the silver foil in the photo, but it is quite sparkly in real life.

Have you been pleasantly surprised by any new glasses lately?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Summer leavings

I'm not normally a fan of dried flowers, but I was glad that I had rescued these from my garden before the rains came.  Dried poppy pods, bluebell seed heads, dried grasses and sundry other bits and pieces.

The colour is a little off because I took the photo under incandescent light, and it turned out much too golden, but it makes me feel warm to look at it on this rainy miserable day.

Dried seed pods and grasses

Monday, October 29, 2012

New Beads

I thought you might like to see some of the new beads I have been making for my upcoming Studio Tour (November 15 - 18th).  The beads aren't new designs, but they are always popular at my shows, and I am just going to wire wrap them into pendants.

Misty Cedars - framed in black.

Organics - framed in black.
Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What to do when your muse takes flight!

It has been several weeks (perhaps months) since I sat with any regularity at my torch.  However, with the one show I am doing this year looming - OMG, only 3 weeks away - it is time to get back to some sort of regimen.  Wouldn't you know it, my muse/inspiration/desire, etc has taken a vacation - not a good time at all.  As I don't have the time to play and see what happens, I decided to fall back onto the old standby - organics.  I can do them without a lot of thought, and my customers seem to really like them.  I also don't feel like making up necklaces, so have decided to just wire wrap them up and sell them as loose pendants.  Maybe I will make up a few chains for those that say "what am I going to hang it on?" - there is always one or two.

What do you do when your muse takes off and leaves you high and dry?

Organic style pendants in earth tones.

Organic style pendants in rusts and oranges.

Organic style pendants in yellows and oranges.
I made the pendants by forming a long oval - refining the oval with the help of the CG Beadroller Large Chunky Oval, flattening with a pair of parallel mashers, and gently fire polishing out any chill marks.  I think this is one of my favourite shapes.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I hab a cod!

Or I guess it should read "I have a cold!"  I am sick and I feel miserable - so there!!  OK, enough feeling sorry for myself - lol.

I finished one of my paintings last week before this bug knocked me down.  At least I think it is finished - but I am not sure how I feel about it.  Looking at it objectively, I feel it is too one dimensional, and I should have made some of the elements larger as they all seem to be about the same size.  I will look at it for a while and perhaps add something later.

"Goodbye Summer"
I hope I am better by next Monday, because I start another painting course with Robert Burridge.  He has been brought in from the US to teach a week long course just a few blocks from where I live - fantastic!

For those of you who are wondering about my beads, just as soon as the plastic surgeon says I can get back to the torch, I will be busy making beads.  I want to wait for her OK before I subject my face to the heat of the torch.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Painting Progress?

Well, we have put many more layers onto our canvases (see the last post).  Friday's lesson was to incorporate black and white into the paintings.  Then to go over some of the areas with translucent, but colourful paint.  I did the black and white today, and will tackle the translucent part tomorrow.

I am fairly pleased with this one so far.  I was definitely channelling our
 teacher, Flora Bowley with the branches and leaves.

This one is my lease favourite, I am really hoping the translucent
washes will help it out. 

This one is my favourite - perhaps because all the elements
came from "me".

I decided to do this one without any red or orange, but that
may change when I do the washes.

Stay tuned for the next painting instalment.

I can't go on the torch just now because I had surgery on my face to remove a basal cell carcinoma - and I don't think the heat from the torch would do my skin any favours right now.  I'm really glad I signed up for this 5 week painting course.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

I'm Taking a Painting Class!

Over the last few months I have become interested in learning how to paint - no not houses, but canvases.   I think it all started when Melanie Moertel blogged about a book she had purchased by Flora Bowley, a painter from the US NorthWest.  I googled the book and subsequently purchased it myself, and have signed up for her "Bloom True: the e-course" painting class.  It is 5 weeks long, and covers many things besides how to paint.  Here is an excerpt from the web site.
 Bloom true: the e-course’ presents a groundbreaking and transformational approach to painting (and living) that celebrates intuition, connects body, mind and spirit and allows unique and expressive paintings to emerge naturally and authentically.

I'm really enjoying this course, with it's credo of  "there are no mistakes".  Randomly splashing paint all over a blank canvas is quite exhilarating, especially when done with the accompaniment of very loud music!
We get 2 painting days a week, and the other days we are given other types of exercises - Sundays off.  So far we have only done 2 layers of paint, and I understand there will be many more layers, with the final painting looking nothing like what we started out with.

This is what I have so far with a first layer of warm colours, followed by a second layer of cool colours.

One of the things I really like is that there are no pre-requisites, and rank beginners like myself can participate and have fun.  The class participants communicate with each other via Facebook, which I found a bit intimidating at first, but am beginning to get the hang of.  There are well over 200 participants - WOW!

I highly recommend this course to everyone interested in painting.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Folk Art Chickens

I have a set of folk art chickens in my Etsy shop.

Side one

Side two

These are so much fun to make!  If you are a lampworker, you could purchase my tutorial from my Etsy shop and make them yourself!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Silver tarnishing?

A friend of mine recently showed me a great way to help slow down the tarnishing on sterling silver jewellery pieces.  Since exposure to the air is what really makes our lovely silver pieces go all black, all we need to do is eliminate air - yeah, sure, right!!  Actually it is quite easy.
I purchased this sealing "thingy" at Home Hardware.  I am not sure where you could get it outside of Canada, but if you googled the brand name, I am sure it would show up somewhere.

Several bags and the pump come in this box.

The pump and one of the small bags.

 I put my silver jewellery pieces in the bag, closed it up, and then attached the pump and pumped out all the air.  The pieces seem to be tarnish free so far.
Extra bags in various sizes are available too.
Anyway, if it doesn't work for silver, you can always store freezable foods in it - lol!

Monday, September 3, 2012

OMG - look what I bought!

Ever since I can remember I have wanted a little motorbike. I even remember wanting one with a side car for my daughter to ride in when she was young. I was always scared to get one and held back because my Dad (who was a surgeon) would always tell me awful tales of the number of people he had tried to sew back together after being in motorcycle accidents.

Well I am nearly 63 and figure it is about time! So now that my parents are both gone, and with my Dad's dire warnings in mind I have made a compromise and I have purchased an E-bike/scooter. It is basically a glorified electric bicycle with bits around it to make it look like a motorbike. It can only go a maximum speed of about 30k/h and has a range of about 30 - 40 kilometres depending on the terrain, weather, driver weight, etc. before it needs recharging. It also doesn't require a motorcycle license or even a drivers license, and best of all - no gas!!

My sister has purchased one too, and we both got burgundy coloured ones. I really wanted yellow or blue, but they were out of those - I think they are selling off the 2012 models, because the 2013 are coming in soon.

Our new electric scooters.
I am a little disappointed  with the lack of power for going up even the slightest incline, which is going to make going to the post office in the village a bit difficult - which is what I purchase it for.  Oh well, it will be good practise for when I get a gas powered one - maybe - lol.  I must say that even though it only goes 30 km/h, even at 20 km/h it seems like you are going waaaaaay tooooo fast!

So far we have only fallen off once each - and thankfully on grass.

Hope you all had a great long weekend.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Blogger not working!!

I am having trouble with my blog - I think the issue is something to do with Google Chrome.  Anyway I can't upload any pictures, and it appears that I am not alone - so until the techies at Blogger get it fixed I am sorry that I can't blog.  Well, I guess I can blog, but I can't upload pictures, and what good is a blog without pictures???

Bye for now.

Monday, August 27, 2012

New Glass and a new Mermaid

I purchased a little bit of new glass the other day at our local glass store "Cheeky Monkey" - don't you just love that name!

Sorry, I can't remember the numbers and I took it out to my studio so it's not here right now.   However here is a picture of the rods and I think I remember the names.

From left to right is button mandrels, Sedona, Dark Pink Alabaster,
Calico, Dark Pink, and Light Pink Alabaster.  
I haven't tried any of these before except for the regular dark pink - I think the others may be shocky and the Sedona may be prone to de-vitrification.  I'll let you know the results when I get around to working with it.
Have any of you worked with any of these - and what were your findings?

I also have a new Mermaid focal bead - she will be in my Etsy shop later today.

Have a great week everyone.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Presents in the mail!

Wow, look what |I got in the mail today.  Lori Anderson from Pretty Things, recently had a give away on her blog, and unbelievably, I won!!

Isn't it wrapped so beautifully?  I actually had to re-wrap it, as I opened it
in the car when I picked up the mail - then realized I wanted to take
a photo of this lovely wrapping.

This is what was inside - beautiful wooden beads and a gorgeous piece of braided leather.
I already have plans for that lovely turquoise braided leather.  I'm not sure just yet what I am going to do with the other beads, but I will think about it for a while.  When the pieces are done, I will post them here.  I probably won't use all the beads, so I will put together a "pay it forward" give away from my blog sometime in the next few weeks.
Thanks Lori!