Wednesday, February 28, 2007

After Image

Yoo HOO.... I am on a new beady roll!! Check out my latest set, "After Image", starting later tonight on EBAY.

So, you are probably wondering where I got the idea for these beads. I got a few new colors from ASK. One that, I thought, was a yummy light transparent peachy orange. It was in a pile next to some of my streaky coral colors. I pulled out some red and whaaa laaa... new color combo. One problem... that color I thought was "yummy light transparent peachy orange"... well, I found out in the flame it was actually a striking dark red!! Still turned out cool, just different then I expected. Talk about taking a total swing away from the colors I have been working in lately!! These are the polar opposite of my "Apparently" set. I like mixing it up!!

Now, the name, are you wondering where I got that name? Well, anyone take Color Theory in College? I DID!! And one of the visual effects we studied is "After Image". I googled it and got this defination for you: An afterimage is an optical illusion that occurs after looking away from a direct gaze at an image. One of the most common afterimages is the bright glow that seems to float before one's eyes after staring at a light bulb or a headlight for a few seconds. Okay so I took the liberty of changing afterimage to After Image. But the point is, these colors and mod dots remind me of the spots that the sun leaves in your eyes.

This set is HUGE! There are 19 beads and more then 10 inches of beads. Dang! I had fun making a bunch of wonkyish matching disks too. They are out of round (on purpose) to look like the spots on the dots. I liked making them so much that today I made a bunch for tomorrow's Bead Box update!!

YEAH!! You heard that right... BEAD BOX BEADS TOMORROW!! Yoo HOO!! You wanna see a peak at what'll be in the box? Huh huh? Do ya, do ya? Okay... stop twisting my arm, I'll show ya...

I have a bunch of stuff to do in the morning, so don't expect the beads until late afternoon. I have 7 sets, and 2 focals all ready to go :)

Don't forget!! There are TWO auctions ending tonight on EBAY. Use the link in the column to the right to go straight to my seller's page. Or, click these links here... "RUSTIC DOTISM" & "APPARENTLY"!!

Monday, February 26, 2007

I was HIGH

No people... I wasn't that kind of *high*. LOL. For months now, with in an hour of so of sitting at my torch, I get really severe shoulder pain. And it would be even worse when I would try to do really detailed stuff. I really couldn't stand making more then 3-4 "cube" beads at once, for example. My shoulder would scream in agony. I tried taking ibprofen before torching, doing stretches, taking breaks, all sorts of things... nothing really helped.

So, I was at Target the other day and I found this awesome retro style bar stool. It is that vintage sparkling glittery red color that you see classic cars painted. (very cool) It is expensive for just one bar stool but some how my Mom convinced me I should get it. I was sitting on it for the first time yesterday while makign beads. OMG!!! LOVE IT!!! I figured out why my shoulder always hurts... my regular bench was too high and I was hunching over to get close to the details I was making. Now, with this fantastic ADJUSTIBLE stool, I just lowered myself a few inches and NO PAIN!! I literally torched for 3 hours and didn't have a drop of pain. It was like I was out there for five minutes. Just goes to show how important an erganomical set up can be.

Now, speaking of being high.... LOL... I AM ON CLOUD NINE!! (Again, not from drugs... people would ya get a grip) Last week I submitted my "Playground" design to Step By Step Beads. I received a message today that they would love to have me write a tutorial not only for bracelet design but for my lampwork disks too. I am so so excited because I have never been asked to do a lampwork tutorial before. I am so honored. Once I finish writing the tutorial, depending on how big it is, we may turn it into a two part, two issue tutorial. I am just thrilled!! I have had several emails asking if I would write this tutorial. And every bracelet I have made in this style sells the day I list it, so I must be doing something right with the design. I am happy to share it!! I'll keep ya posted on when it'll be available.

Oh, you wanna know about the beads I made yesterday? How did they turn out? AWESOME, yeah that's right, they are turning out really really cool. I am thinking I will post Bead Box Beads Thursday or Friday. I was planning on making more this afternoon, but I had a bunch of errands and I had to get my art show applications put together. But now they are in the mail and my errands are done, so it is back to bead bead beading!! Stay tuned.

This week's FREE BEADS winner is Chrissie K!! YOO HOO CHRISSIE!! Andrew gets so excited when he gets to pick the name, lol. Keep the votes coming in so he can pick again next week. I really really appreciate your support.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Celebrate Your Butt

Yeah, you read that title right!! Celebrate Your Butt!! We are all friends here, right? We can be honest with each other, right? The most fabulous thing happened yesterday and I just have to share. If you have been with me for the past few months, you know that I have been working on losing weight and just trying to be healthier. Okay, so maybe you forgot, cause I mentioned it once more then a month ago and I haven't mentioned it since. But, anyway, if you notice... that "ticker" of the bottom of this blog has gone down almost 20 pounds!! As a result, I have five pairs of jeans that I can literally take off without unbuttoning them. It was starting to get embarrassing walking around with jeans sagging off my backside.

I took the opportunity yesterday to hit my favorite clothing store, OLD NAVY, with the sole purpose of getting one pair of jeans that fit to get me through to the summer. To the summer, when hopefully, I will have lost another 10 pounds and need to buy shorts in a smaller size. You all should have seen me in the store. I was having an internal panic attack. I was full of so much self doubt. I picked out a pair of jeans two sizes smaller then all my ones here at home. And then I wondered around the store, I didn't want to go into the dressing room. I didn't want to go in there and have them not fit. I get miserably disappointed when I shop and can't find things that fit. It puts my in an aweful mood and sours the whole day. Finally I went in and put them on... THEY WERE LOOSE!!! YOO HOO!! I was so excited, I sent my Mom (who was shopping with me) to get the next size down for me to try. Okay, so those were too small, but that is okay... these ones fit great with a new belt and in a few weeks... I'll be in those other ones. And by the way, those other ones, they are the same size I wore my senior year of High School! Go me, go me, go me. LOL. My sister says I am in total denial about my new size and she is probably right. I think I look the same.

So, why did I say "Celebrate Your Butt"? Well, once I got home from my shopping expedition yesterday, I was excited to show Ron my new jeans. I put them on and did a little runway walk for him, lol. He said turn around... then he whistled!! It prompted him to get up off the couch, take me by the hand to the kitchen and he opened up a bottle of wine. He said "we were gonna celebrate your butt" (aka hard work)... he is such a sweetie!! Then it got me to thinking today... I think we all should celebrate out butts no matter what they look like. You all that think you got big booties... YOO HOO! And be thankful cause all the gals out there with flat backsides are wishing they are you! And for all you with the flat butts, YOO HOO!! You get to eat way more ice cream then the rest of us and we are hugely wishing we had your tiny posteriors.

Oh, today's photo... I made myself a new felted purse... isn't it cool!! Gotta love the big black wood oval handles. They are almost as big as the bag.

Time to get myself some popcorn and plant my bottom on the couch for tonight's Oscars!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Trunk Show


I spent hours and hours cleaning the studio yesterday and when I got to my desk, I realized that I hadn't opened the drawers in my "organizer" in months. I did finally open them yesterday and found loads and loads of beads that were just collecting dust. You know, we always change, move, grow... what we like is seasonal or designical (is that a word?). Inevitably we have leftovers from our old ways. Gemstones and pearls are my "old ways". My style has changed so much in recent months that I don't know what I would do with all these. I am sure they would just continue collecting dust.
So, I waffled for a few hours yesterday... do I open an "online" bead store (a real life bead store is a dream of mine), do I put everything in one big lot on Ebay, should I use them as freebies... then it hit me... a TRUNK SHOW!! I bought about 90% of this stuff at the Rings N' Things trunk shows I have been to over the years. So, it just made since. I am going to do this for a limited time only. I don't want this stuff hanging around. Go get what you want now, before I decide to donate it all to something. I am not sure how limited it will be. I will prolly take it down Monday. One of the great things about this is that when you go to bead shows you have to buy big huge strands of stuff when you really only need a couple of those beads to do a project. With my stuff, I put everything in to manageable groupings. Which not only makes it just right for single projects, it makes it oh-so-very-much more affordable.

I dare you to click on this pics and see the larger size of them. I wasn't going to post these but I think I need to embarrass myself into not letting this happen again. Look at the MESS!! It isn't usually this messy, really, I swear. It was just that one project after another that should have been done outside was getting done in here. Ex: painting the trim for Lauren's room make over (which is why there is a paint tray on my desk). Ex #2, refinishing the top of the coffee table Ron wanted to sell (which meant moving that fax machine off the table on to the floor). Oh Ex#3, Ron bought new golf clubs, they got put here... and don't get me started on the laundry situation. I am just shaking me head in disgust at myself. I am totally ashamed, lol. I will keep it tidier this time. Well, at least until I am getting ready for my first Art Show of the summer ;)

This is my favorite new addition to the studio. I know have a packaging station. The shelving is taller then I expected. I thought I got the three shelf one, I was surprised to find that forth shelf in the box. But anyway, you can see all my shipping boxes folded and ready to go. Lots of brightly colored tissue paper, my scale and my favorite black pinstriped jewelry boxes. Now everything gets packed up and I print a quick shipping label off the computer there. Good to go! I have some things to bring in from storage in the garage to go on that bottom shelf. Show bags and stuff.

The kids are all back to good health. Lauren just has a little cold. Thanks for all the well wishes :) We are going to hit the Library this afternoon. Then I hope to get some beadmaking time in tonight. Gotta get all those Bead Box Beads ready!!

Thursday, February 22, 2007


Well, by now you have prolly seen that I was able to get the second auction listed last night... this is "Apparently". Can you see what I mean about needing a break from the other color combo for a bit? Just a day or two to refresh my inspritation. Then I'll be back to those blues, blacks and khakis for beads next week!! Until then, back to these cubes... I imagine these to be a very gossipy bunch of beads. So, watch out!! Don't you just love the word "apparently"? You know you are going to get a good bit of gossip when that word in thrown in... "Apparently the babysitter wasn't just watching the kids..." But, just like these beads, you can see right through those kinda conversations, lol. I hope you all love the beads and go BID BID BID!!

Things are quiet around here. A lot of stress is starting to lift and that is always a good feeling. Ron has been working really hard in this finaly week of his Simulation class. Three major things were do this week, 2 of which are being handed in today. He has been a zombie and in a totally different world for the past couple weeks working on these project, research paper, and tests. I'll be glad to have him back for a few weeks before the next class starts. The boys are up to their usual antics. They flow between boredum and wildness, and when they aren't one of those two things... they are zoned out on a video game. Jacob had a bit of a stomach bug last night. But that could have been from eating too much snow, who knows, lol. Lauren is still under the weather but isn't complaining about her throat, so hopefully it is just a cold. We are about to get hit with a burst of snow. It is supposed to start in just about an hour and with in a few hours after that we should have a fresh 6-8 inches of the fluffy stuff. I should run to Blockbuster and get some new movies to keep up occupied, lol.

I am scared to death of my jewelry studio at the moment. It seems to be in a transition period right now. It is in between a complete diaster and a bomb explosion. It is just a mess!! You might remember last year when I did a bit of rearranging. You can see the revamp HERE and HERE. Well, that area that my desk used to be is going to be a new spot for lighting and tables for my private classes. Right now there are boxes and tables that Ron never got around to going through, for months now (lazy bum). The other half, that is so clean and shiny in the other photos, has an explosion of laundry baskets, mail and packaging boxes, catalogs, camera equipment and there are literally loose beads EVERYWHERE!! You know a room is bad when you can't spend more then five minutes in it without twitching. So... I am thinking today is the day to give it a good cleaning. I mean really good!! I am thinking I might even touch up the paint on the trim down there. I bought some new shelving a few weeks ago too to organize all that packing stuff... it is still in the trunk of the car, lol... time to put it to work!! I'll snap a few photos along the way, if they aren't too mortifingly embarrassing, I might even post them tomorrow!!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Rustic Dotism

A little "Mommy Time" can sure do a girl a world of good!! Check out what I was able to make during my kid-free time yesterday. This is "Rustic Dotism", and the auction will be starting at 9:00pm EST. I decided to mix things up a bit for this set, so I changed the colors of the base beads. Some are turquoise, some are ASK Silver Cinnamon, and some are black like the Mod Dot beads in my "Hip To Be Sqaure" tutorial. It is like getting 3 sets in one!! How cool is that? I also liked the reduction effect on the surface of the Silver Cinnamon (that's their name for the color not mine). It has a wood grain look to it that is awesome. Be sure and come back to check the autcion out tonight when it starts :)

I was sooo productive during my free time that I actually got TWO Ebay sets done!! Can you believe it? The second one is cooling in the kiln now and once I have a chance to clean them up (and maybe etch them) I'll post them too. I am not sure if they'll be up tonight or tomorrow, I'll keep ya posted. Here is a little hint about them... "Apparently" they have been mentioned before. And "Apparently" I needed a break from the colors I have been working in for the past week, cause they look nothing like these ones.

Thanks for the compliments on my cute new profile pic. LOL. I went back to being a dark-haired-diva the other night and had to take a pic to send to my sister. After some cropping and playing with the fresco filter in photoshop... ta da, you have a new pic. I got fed up with the 2 inches of root where the blond streaks were that I my sister put in my hair a few months ago. So, it was time for a change. Now my hair is back to chocolate brown with a hint a warm red. Gotta love bottles of hair dye!! They aren't premanent and they are cheap... you can change your look in 25 mins and for less then $10... why not?

I forgot to mention... Lauren returned from her overnighter with a terrible cold. She is running a fever and is complaining of a sore throat. I will probably be running her to the doctor's tomorrow for a throat culture. If I don't get a chance to list the second set of Ebay beads... that'll be why. For now, the Motrin is helping and she is chillin' watching Blues Clues. Let's hope it doesn't last long!

Oh... FREE BEADS!! This week's winner is Brenda T! YOO HOO BRENDA!! Keep the votes coming people, I really appreciate it!!

Monday, February 19, 2007

See The Snow

A bunch of you in the west and south have sent me emails saying you can't image what 3 feet of snow looks like. Ron was walking around the yard with the camera this weekend and took a couple great pics. I think this one showed the level of the snow the best. The other ones, it just looked like a lotta white. That "shelf" of snow is about thigh high. Ron took this after he had done the snow blowing. Today, there is a big drift behind my car where that snow is the highest. Fun huh?

Well, I sent off my finished article to ArtJewelry today. The editor said everything looked great. My images are clean and clear, my designs work too. Except one little thing... it seems that they have done projects similar to my "Hip To Be Square" links in the past. So, the editor has sent it over to Bead&Button magazine's editor. She'll be taking it to the submission review meeting and considering it for one of their issues. Nothing is for sure yet, but I am excited to think that it might be in B&B. I am going to continue to rack my brain to see if I can come up with another wire design in the next few weeks so that the article has three designs, but for now my brain is on overload. Plus, the editor asked for something less "beady". I don't know what to do with that!! LOL, I love beads!!

The kids are heading over to my parents' tomorrow so I can get in some quality time with my torch. If you are waiting for an order from me, it'll be done tomorrow!! I'll be back to share photos of any new goodies I come up with.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Oh so close...

I am so close to being finished with the ArtJewelry Magazine article!! Yoo HOO!! I am so relieved. It is written, it is typed, it is photographed and now, it is being "tried out"/ proof read by Cindy at Sweet Bead Studio. Cindy knows wire working and is a wiz at finding my typos, lol. THANKS CINDY!! Check out all the photos in this post... you are getting a sneak peak at the projects that the article will feature. For starters, the top pic is "Coiled Connections: Hip To Be Square", with my oh-so-very-cool Mod Dot beads.

This second one is a "Fabulous Faux Ribbon" design. You may remember this style from my "Cosmic Dates" bracelet last summer. The beads in that bracelet were by "Seas of Glass". This time I used my own beads, of course. I went with a warm transparent honey colored glass rolled in raku. In person, you can see pops of blues, greens and browns in the raku... kinda like the Mod Dot beads!! See... it all works together :) You are gonna love how easy this project is, though I did give it an intermediate level rating. Those faux ribbons are three pieces of wire, not a hammered band. Very cool, very delicate, very feminine. Love it!

See how nicely they go together. I love these colors. And now that the article is all written, I can get back to making new Bead Box Beads!! You can bet there are gonna be beads in these colors, and hopefully and Ebay set or two in them too.

Here is the last piece... the "advanced" wire working project for the article. It's the design that prompted the article in the first place. Early in January, I submitted my "Frozen Branches" piece to ArtJewelry for inclusion as a project. The editor's felt it had too much bead work to feature it alone, but asked if I would write this article with several pieces in it's place. I kept the beads to a minimum this time around. There are no spacers or rounds floating in this one. I like it this way. The beads are the ones I shared the other day... boiled enamel beads. All made, again, with the same colors as the beads in the other pieces.

So, do you think I have a lot of diversity or what? Are you gonna want to try these projects when they are in the magazine? I don't know the issue it will be published in, but I will let you know as soon as I do. I would love to hear your feedback on the beads... the projects... the designs... everything!! Lemme have it!!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Boiling Point

You remember last week when I mentioned Cindy Jenkin's book "Beads Of Glass"? Well it arrived the other day, and I have been flipping through the pages. It has some really great eye candy and wonderful tutorials sharing great techniques. I used the "boiled enamel" technique to make the beads I am going to use one of the tutorials in ArtJewelry magazine.

I need a bunch for the design. I think they look like acid washed denim. Very cool, huh? And I used 4 different shades of enamels to get the look, the four enamels that match the four colors of glass in the beads I showed you the other day. Black, turquoise, honey and khaki. The process for making is time consuming but easy. You dust on the layers of enamels then melt them in completely. Once they are all melted in you get them really really really red hot, it boils the enamels. The longer you heat it, the more of the under layers of colors that pop through.

Are you wondering what this cluster of beads is? They are my birthday beads!! Slowly over the past few weeks I have been getting packages here and there with beads from around the country. I love being in a birthday bead exchange!! Now, I was told there were 50 people in the birthday exchange, this certainly isn't 50 beads... so, maybe, I'll be getting some more!!

Alrighty, these two pics are the starts of a cool new necklace design. I have been making glass rings everytime I torch. (I only have one ring mandrel, so it is taking a while.) My order for 16g pure silver finally arrive yesterday, so I got to start to build it today. I was thinking I would float discs in the centers of the rings but decided it would be too busy. I like this look a lot!! I can't wait to get it finished so I can see how it lays. Cool huh?

So, the snow has still been falling and we are up to more then 30 inches of snow since Tuesday night. It is just crazy!! The kids had off school yesterday but thankfully, they went back today. They were driving me nuts!! Plus they were making me really behind in my work. How can I make beads and write three tutorials when three kids are home and they can't go outside and play... come on really now? How can I? Timing couldn't be worse either. I need to get the tutorials written and photographed, Ron has a project, a test and a research paper all due Tuesday, oh, I have to get my summer art show applications in the mail by Mar 1, and to top it all off, the kids are home on winter vacation for the next 10 days!! YIKES!! My hands are really full. I strive under pressure though... I'll get it done... and I'll let you know how it goes along the way.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Snow Fall Update

I just wanted to pop back in and let ya'll know how much snow we got today!! At least 18 inches!! When Ron tried to snow blow the drive way, the snow was higher then the blower. WOW!! We are supposed to get wind gusts of 25-25 mph tomorrow with a high of just 14 degrees. I am guessing it is going to be another snow day!!

Happy LOVE Day!

Sorry, I know this isn't be most lovey-dovey picture, lol. Maybe I should have led with a photo of the more than a foot of snow we have!! Alas, it is just a white out outside so photos were just a big white blur. So, you'll have to settle this little guy. This is that new color combination I have been playing with. Bright bluey turquoise, hints of transparent honey and subtle khaki Moroccan Swirl but ASK, it's all POPPING off a jet black background. These are the colors I am planning on using for the beads in my ArtJewelry article. I would really love your feedback on it. Let me know if I am an ostrich with my head in the sand when it comes to fashionable color combos. I am just a Mom in my winter hermit-ness completely oblivious to what is up in the world of fashion and trends.

Back to the theme of the day... love. Did your honey send you flowers today? Did he woo you with breakfast in bed, chocolates, and love letters? No? Don't worry you aren't alone, mine didn't either, lol. I really wasn't surprised when I was watching the Today Show this morning when they were talking about the high percentages of men who DON'T send flowers or get overly romantic on Valentine's Day. Ron, in the 13 years we have been together, has never once sent me flowers, ever, and I am not kidding. But I really have gotten used to it. And further more, I am thinking I am becoming one of those people that thinks love needs to be celebrated with actions everyday, not just Feb 14th. (Oh who am I kidding, I would really love flowers!) I do want to tell you though, I am very lucky in love. Ron is a wonderful husband and an even better father. He is caring and smart, funny and supportive. I really couldn't ask for more. He doesn't think to buy gifts or send flowers, but he does other things that shows me he loves me. He cooks (outta this world meals) even when he is tired from work and just wants to play video games with friends (yeah, a big kid sometimes). He supports me in my art and passions (not so much in the beginning but once he realized how happy it made me, he caught on). He listens to me when I need to talk, he snuggles me when I am sad, he argues with me when I am being stupid, he pushed me to be the intelligent person I know I can be and most importantly, he loves me just the way I am. Sappy, I know... but hey, it's Valentine's Day, right?

Even though we are house bound with snow falling harder and faster then it has in over 3 years (according to the weatherman), I am going to work my tail off to make an extra special dinner for Ron. (I wonder what balsamic vinegar is for?) Hey, I might even light candles and pretend the snow knocked the power out, lol. I also think I need to use this blog post as a Valentine to let him know I love him too.

Enough drippy lovey gunk... on to beady stuff... first... don't forget "The Painter's Drop Cloth" ends tonight!! Another auction going for a super price!! BID BID BID!! (Oh, and did you see? It was on the Ebay Pulse Page today:) Hmmm... I wonder if I should make extra beads like today's photo for an Ebay set... hmmmm

Second... This week's free beads winnner is MARY L!! YOO HOO MARY!! Thanks so much for your votes and support. I appreciate it so much :) I'll get picks of a new freebie set posted asap.

Finally... if you are into wire working and you wanna be a proof reader for me for my ArtJewelry article, send me an email. I want 2-3 wire workers to have a look at it and see what they think!!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Snow Warning In Effect

Hey Gang!! Thanks so much for all the wonderful birthday wishes you all have been sending today!! It is so great to know how much love there is out there. And I am honored that so many of you were thinking of me today.

These beautiful flowers brightened my day and were sent by my very sweet little sister, Bonnie. There were so many flowers in the bundle, it took two of my vases to get them all in water. :) I love getting flowers... it happens so rearly... it is such a treat!! Isn't this rose spectacular?

These cool toesy warmers were knitted by my good friend Lindsey. She gave them to me at lunch !! I couldn't get the camera to pick up the real color in them. It is all deep purple and dark greens. I love 'em and they feel so different., almost tickely. Very special. Aja Noodle Company was great too. Unfortunately they weren't serving Lindsey's favorite Key Lime Pie (the perfect way to cool your pallet after the spicy Chinese Black Bean Noodle Bowl). So we swung over to Panera Bread after lunch for hot chocolate and chocolate chip cookies. Yummy. After that we hit a great little yarn shop. I picked out some purpley/bluish/pinky yarn for a new felted bag, for myself. I can't wait to make some EDP disk beads to match it!!
So... big news... the weather man says we are getting a big huge storm tonight... 15-24 inches by the end of the day tomorrow. I am guessing we are all going to be home for a snow day... I'll let you know tomorrow AND I'll have bead pics for ya... see ya then!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Hum Drum

Just popping in for a bit of a drive by update. Things around here are as dull as can be!! Yesterday, rather then make beads like I told you, I went and took a nap for a few hours. So I have no beady pics for you. Instead I took a quick shot of the mug I made with my sister at Color Me Mine early last month. I had totally forgot to share the photo with you... oops.

The mug turned out cute. I use it to hold beads and things on my sideboard table in the dining room. I usually have my laptop on the dining table so when I do updates of beads, they are right here and it is just a convient place to put them. It matches this great photo collage my Mom gave me a while ago. Each photo is of one of the kids inside a bright slide at the park. The photo of Andrew on the left is my favorite.

It is nearly time to pick up Lauren from preschool. I did work on test beads this afternoon for a new color combo I have playing in my head. The bead ideas I am thinking of my my ArtJewelry article aren't working the way I want them to, so depending on how these test beads turn out... it may be back to the drawing board with the design. I'll share pics tomorrow of how they turned out.

Tomorrow is my birthday!! I am going to lunch with my half birthday buddy Lindsey to a place called Aja Noodle!! I have never been before, but I love noodles so it should be excellent. Other then that there are no birthday plans. Ron will be at school until at least 8pm so we probably won't even have cake :( I am being a bit of a pouty brat this year. I want a little birthday attention from him and the kids and I am just not getting any. Maybe by some weird turn of events, I will wake up in the morning to breakfast in bed... a big chocolate cake... and loads of presents. Hey, a brithday girl can dream can't she?

Sunday, February 11, 2007

La-TEA-Da Two

Did I tell y'all I was going to La-Tea_Da's today for an early birthday lunch? I am pretty sure I told you. :) What a fun way to spend the afternoon. As I sit here typing my belly is full with the best salad I have every had and the loveliest scone has landed in there like a rock with Devonshire Cream. The salad... I ordered the "Berry Grilled Chicken Salad" with rasberry poppyseed dressing. It was HUGE, covered in sliced grilled chicken, and big plump strawberries all over fluffy salad greens. Yummmmm...

My Mom was treating today and brought along my sister and very pregnant cousin Charity. Charity is now 6 months along the poor thing has had such a rough few months. She has been very sick and can barely keep anythign down. We are all taking bets on if it is a boy or a girl. She had her ultrasound a few weeks ago. The technician wrote the baby's sex on a card and put it in an envelope that they plan on opening on Valentine's Day. I'll let you know what it is late this week :)

Do you notice anythig shaky about my typing? Well, maybe you can't see it on your end but I can here... I am still shivering after a wild and wooly day yesterday!! For quite some time Jacob has been desparate to play football. He begs on an almost daily basis to get to play. He even gave up learning trumpet and the oppertunity to play baseball & soccer... all to get to play football. Yesterday was the big registration day where 80 plus kids were hoping for one of just 16 spots. We had to get in line more then 2 hours before registration started!! The sign ups, I thought, were at the local parks and recreations building. I thought the sign ups were inside at the parks and recs building... that is where I was wrong... the waiting line was OUTSIDE!! Silly me, stupid me, didn't have a hat, didn't have gloves, and wasn't wearign my extra warm jacket... it was about 15 degrees out with 30mph gusts. I froze my tail off. I did get to wait in my car for the first hour or so, thanks to an very smart parent that started an unofficial list of who arrived in what order. Then of course there had to be a parent that wanted to buck the system so we all had to stand out for 40mins in the aweful elements. All the wait was worth it cause Jacob made the team. He is so so excited. I am a little worried about the commitment. It is 4 nights a week for 2 months then it goes to 3 nights plus games on the weekends. I know I won't be the one there in the middle of summer when I am getting ready for an art show, I'll tell ya that right now!! I will be a cheerleading Momma though... J-A-C-O-B Goooooo Jacob!!

Time to bundle up and head out to the torch... I finally had an AH HA! moment on the beads for my tutorial projects. Gotta get movin...

Friday, February 09, 2007

A Feeding Frenzy

Yoo HOO!! That had to have been the biggest Bead Box update I have ever put together!! All but one bead set has sold, but there are still plenty of fun focals left. I really think you all should give the focals a chance. They are really cool and you can make such fun things with them. Things got a bit heated in my email one I did the update. You all were snatching up beads before I even got to send out the email update. One set sold twice, so even couldn't update fast enough. But you gotta admit, the we cart is so much better then the old way of doing things.

Today has been kinda nutty. The kids are off from school for some silly staff training day. I have been doing my best to keep them entertained while trying to do website work at the same time. It has been pretty rough going to tell ya the truth. It is so hard in the winter when they are trapped in the house for days at a time because of the cold. They get on each other's nerves and know just what buttons to push to send each other into screaming rages. Which in turn drives me straight up the wall. I am hoping to escape the chaos later tonight and work on a new EBAY set I have stewing in my mind. I am thinking a completely transparent cube set... how's that sound to you all?

Oh, I should mention, its good you scooped up the Bead Box beads while you could. I probably won't have any new BBB until the first week of March. Why oh why won't you have any beads Kerry? Well, for one, the kids will be on "winter break" the whole third week of February... and second... I decided to do the ArtJewelry article!! I really want to go all out on the beads for these tutorials so I am going to use all my creative energy to get something special made. I'll share photos with your through out the process. And hopefully I can keep up with a few Ebay sets along the way.

I hear more fighting... off to quench the fires.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The Painter's Drop Cloth

I got loads of goodies to share tonight... so let's get started!! First, I am very proud to share with you "The Painter's Drop Cloth". They are my latest Ebay Auction and will begin at the usual time, 9:00pm EST. You may remember beads similar to these in a custom made bracelet for one of my book club gals, Tami. I have been wanting to revisit this color combo for a while but I was waiting for inspiration to strike on how to mix 'em and make them different. When I got my glass order in on Monday there were a dozen or so rods of a color called "Streaky Coral", it was just the thing to get my wheels turning on these beads!!

And boy oh boy did my wheels turn... I was imagining all sorts of things when I was making them. I kept thinking of very bold graphic painting of Western Deserts with their stark blue skys, and warm golden sands. I thought of the painter Georgia O'Keefe and her painting "In The Patio VIII" that I saw when I went to her exhibit at the local art gallery. While making the beads I convinced myself that my spots were drips of paint from the artist's brush and my dusty ivory background for the beads was the drop cloth under the canvas. Pretty imaginative huh? I hope you'll pop into the auction later when it starts and place a bid. They really are a breath of fresh air in these freezing winter months!!

Now, my next couple pics are of the beads that had me excited yesterday.

Watch the progression... the first bead (from left to right) I made my barrel too big and my ring wouldn't fit on so I had to add the other disc and pop it in the kiln. The second one, the barrel was definately smaller but not small enough, the disc got stuck on the end! Third time was the charm!! The disc in teh center there slides from side to side on the barrel. It worked so well, and I had one more disc, so I made another one. These are so fun to play with. I am not sure what you would used them for in a piece of jewelry, but give me time, something will pop into my head!!

I have a little side note anouncement to give you... I am postponing/cancelling my classes at Studio 34 for the next few months. Although my classes have been full and I am loving teaching, I need to work some things out with the studio owner before I start or continue teaching there. In the meantime, I am offering private or semi-private project or techniques classes in my home studio. If you are in the area (or want to plan a weekend trip to Rochester around a class) drop me a line, I can give you pricing details and we can set up convient dates. I already have a few lined up so let me know before I go on break to prepare for summer shows!!

In other news... I was totally unmotivated to make beads this afternoon when Lauren was at school. But that is okay. Lauren is going to have a tea party at my Mom's house tomorrow and I am going to have the whole day to bead!! It's going to take the torch, 3 layers of clothes, a blanket and two space heaters to keep me warm, lol... but I am beading, dang it. All for Friday's Bead Box Update!!

Two last things... "IMAGINARY MUMPS" is ending in just a couple hours and they are going for a super deal!! Go get a bid in on 'em!!

And lastly... YOO HOO!! This week's free beads winner is JULIE V! Thanks for all the votes everyone. Sorry I forgot to draw them name, lol... silly me. I'll get some new beads made tomorrow and post 'em Friday :)

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

More I ♥ Beads

Yesterday at LampworkEtc, artist Suzanne of JustMade Beads, shared a wonderful "Bangle Bead" in the daily show and tell. (I am not sure if the link will work for you to see the bead, but give it a try, scroll down!) Here super cool bead can best be described as a long tube with two large discs on each end, while floating in the center are a couple of loose large hole beads. It looks kinda like a rattle. Artists Jill Symons and Kim Miles also makes them. By the end of the show and tell, it was revealed that there is a tutorial on how to make these in Cindy Jenkin's book "Beads of Glass". The one lampworking book I don't have, lol. But it prompted me to get out and flip through some of my other lampworking books. I can't believe how long it has been since I checked out that eye candy!! In Kimberly Adams' "The Complete Book of Glass Beadmaking", I found an amazing heart tutorial!! I just had to try it on the torch last night. Today's photos are the result. What do ya think?

This one here is my favorite. And it is going to have a nice home on my desk, lol. I am not letting go of it and you aren't going to be able to convince me otherwise. Don't even bother trying. The other three are going to be sent all around the country. See, I joined a "Birthday Bead" exchange on Lampwork Etc. So these are all going out to bead artists that had birthdays in January. (Yeah I am behind.) And I need to make 7 more for the February birthday people. My birthday being next week, I should be getting birthday beads from other people soon. I can't wait to see what I get :D

I was really happy with how this one turned out too. It is transparent ink blue with a dusting of purple enamels and crystal clear "wings". It is just lovely. The hearts are really fool proof. You can't go wrong with them if you follow the tutorial. You have to stick 1 1/2 inch rods to make each bump and it is fun to twist 'n turn the bead getting that blob to melt in. I love making hearts this way. If you'll really really like them, let me know, I will make a couple for Friday's Bead Box update.
Did you hear that? Bead Box Beads on FRIDAY!! YOO HOO!! Since I was playing at the torch last night making these hearts, I haven't gotten much more done for the update. But I will have tomorrow and Thursday to get more done. I am still working on my new necklace design using the very large hole rings too. I am likin' what I am seein'. And as soon as it is finished, I'll share it with ya.
In a backwards turn of events... the kids had school today. It is still only 9 degree is sever windchills but for some reason, they didn't cancel today. Althought, all the schools (that were open yesterday) one county over, are closed. Weird. So with the nut cases out the door to learn some new goodies, Lauren and I will spend the day cleaning all the areas of the house the managed to trash yesterday. (You would pull your hair out if you saw the state of my jewelry studio space right now, eeekkkk) I may even venture to the mailbox, something I didn't do yesterday in the cold!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Snow Day / Cold Day

We awake to a temp of -2 degrees this morning and news that school was closed for the cold!! You can bet the boys were thrilled. Though I have to say I am bitterly bummed out!! I have a glass order arriving today with loads of new goodies to play with. If the gang is home, I won't have my play time :( Oh well, school doesn't get cancelled here very often so I shouldn't complain. Besides, with wind chills of -20 to -30, I can't say I really want to be out in the studio making beads anyway, lol. Even with my space heaters, I don't think I could be kept warm enough. We will have to see what they do with school tomorrow... when today's wind dies down, we are still going to have frigid temps (just not below zero ones) and they are saying will get around a foot of snow!!

Do you love the new Bead Box Beads or what?!? Today's photo is a little sneak peak at what will be posted later this week. I was hoping to post beads Wednesday, but this day with the kids home is putting a wrench in my plans. So, I am guessing Friday if there is school tomorrow for the kids, if no school... I'll have to let you know. It may still be Friday. I may lock myself in the subzero garage just to escape the chaos that is 3 kids cooped up in the house during a blizzard. Goodness, they can get wild!!

I have gotten great feedback so far on the tutorial I posted yesterday. I hope you all try it and send me pics of what you make. I added a link to that post in the sidebar to the right here on my blog so you can find it again easy. I might, (that is a maybe) try to do a few sets of solid sprees for the Bead Box so you'll have some beads to make this design. If you have been with a me a while, we may remember groupings of solid sprees in the Bead Box before, but I just haven't been in the mood for them lately... we'll see. Solids are easy enough to do so you may see a few.

Lauren just dumped a whole glass of orange juice on the living room floor, ugh... anyone know what spring will be here so these kids can get the boot back outside?

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Breeze Tutorial

Attention class... your wire lesson is about to begin. Please gather your supplies and put your eyes on me. Today we will be covering how to make my "Breeze" wire link without using a "Fiskars Right Angle Mandrel".

Make sure you have:
5" piece of 16g dead soft sterling silver wire
3" piece of 18g half round sterling silver wire
Round Nose Pliers
Chain Nose Pliers
Wire Cutters & Files

*Special note: to make my necklace seen in BeadStyle Magazine, you need to create seven of these links. I do not suggest working off a coil of 16g wire. I do recommend that you cut 7 pieces of wire at 5 inches and repeat the steps shown here on each piece as you go along.

To begin, take your five inch piece of wire and file the ends smooth. Make a mark on one side an inch from the end.

Use the widest part of your round nose pliers to start a coil on the end of wire not marked.

Your link should now look like this.

Continue using your round nose pliers to create a large loose coil in the wire.

Your smaller coil should stop near the 1 inch mark on the opposite end of your wire.

Using a 3 inch length of 18g half round wire, wrap the area of the link where the small loop and wire marking meet. You should have enough to wrap the area three times. Make sure both ends of the half round wire are on the same side of your link. Use your wire cutters to trim the ends and file if sharp.

You can you chain nose pliers to gently pinch the area wrapped. This will make sure your ends are tight to the link.

Your link should now look like this.

Again, using the base of your round nose pliers, create a second loop with the 1 inch length of wire on the end of your link.

This is your finished link.

Your finished links should be tumbled in a rotary tumbler to work harden and polish them. Approx 30 mins with water, stainless steel shot and dish soap should work them well.

Any questions?

Saturday, February 03, 2007


EEEEEEKKKKK!!! These beads are SOOOOO AWESOME! I am sorry, I know I shouldn't be blowing my own horn that loudly, but I am really thrilled with this new set of beads!! This is my newest set "Irony" and starting at 9:15pm EST tonight, you can bid on them HERE.

So, before I can tell you the tale behind these beads, I have to tell you how my day started. It began with Jacob calling "Mooommmm, Dad?" at 5:30 this morning. We called back... "what honey", he replied "I think I am going to be sick"... I threw back the covers went to his room while saying "okay, come on, lets get to the bathroom"... to which he said "too late, blllllaaahhhh". Right over the edge of his top bunk bed down to the floor. LOL ( I apologize if this is too gross and graphic for all you childless readers out there... but for those of you that do have kids... you have probably had this same thing happen to you!) Great way to start the day huh? I got Jacob cleaned up, medicated and resting on the couch, then got his room cleaned up and coated in Lysol... then tried, in vain, to go back to bed.

After laying there for about 10 mins WIDE AWAKE, I decided to go make some beads. You know what the best thing about making beads at 6 am is? They are ready to come out of the kiln by 4pm :). I have had this set of beads rolling around in my head for a week or two now. I knew I wanted to do cubes with silver foil, and I knew ivory was the best way to show off the silver. Ivory and Silver are very reactive and I love working them together. I was thinking the combination would be very earthy and organic. How "ironic" that I would do a cubism set that is organic when right angles don't occure in nature. (name influence #1) hmmmm....

As I started to work them and then when they came out of the kiln, I found they weren't very organic at all. If fact, just the opposite. They have a very industrial and steel/iron look to them. (name influence #2) The silvered ivory encased in clear has an incredible amount of depth. The silvered black encased has a cosmic look to it. They are just so rich and they have so much dimention... I think it is pretty easy to tell why I love them so much. I hope you all will go bonkers bidding like with the last cubist set. ;)

As for my bug ridden son, he is doing fine. No fever, just one more bout with the vomitting which was induced by eating a whole bag of candy! Something Ron let him eat while I was working. (moron) Hopefully no one else gets hit by it... keep your fingers crossed for me.

I have a great start on the Bead Box Beads for this week!! I know you are gonna love 'em, so keep checking back to see what I am up to!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Internal Debate

Check out my latest bracelet from my "Playground" series. This one is "Playing with Purple". Isn't it fun!?! I ordered up a bunch of new cording from Fran over at a couple weeks ago and this new shade matched my latest disc beads just perfectly! Rather then add a bunch of solid glass discs to bulk up the bracelet, this time I used a bunch of silver dipped Greek ceramic beads. Yummy. These have got to be my favorite colors!!

I see the fighting over my lastest set on Ebay has already begun. I am so happy to be making things you all like so much. Makes me very proud!! And it makes me nervous about what I can come up with next to meet expectations. Don't worry, I got lots o'ideas. Watch for another set this weekend... think cubes and think organics.

Today was a rather eventful one at my mailbox.

First... I got a post card from Step By Step Wire Magazine letting me know my complimetary issues would be arriving shortly as I am in the Spring 2007 issue!! That was rather exciting. Last I spoke to the editor of the magazine she wasn't sure which issue my "Sandy Lanterns" bangle would be in, now we know. I am still not sure of the "on the shelves" date, but I will let you know when I do.

Second... the other interesting piece of mail I received came from ArtJewelry Magazine. If you have been with me a while, you may remember that I submitted a project to them a month or so ago. The project was turned down, but I was asked if I would be interesting writing a techniques article showing a few "wire connections". I debated things in my head for a few days. I was on the fence because ArtJewelry is an awesome publication, it is jewelry at the next level... but should I be giving up a bunch of "secrets" in one article? I ended up deciding to decline the article. Today's mail included the contract for my article submission. So the debate is back on. Should I or shouldn't I?

I sent an email out to a lampworker/writer I know of to get her view. I think I am leaning towards writing it. One stress though is the deadline... I need it out to the magazine by February 27th. EEKK!! Can I write a 1000 work piece with 7-10 photos in three weeks... I think we are going to find out... who is this for a title "Not your everyday headpins"? ...hmmm... I think I need to pop open a word doc and start typing. I will keep you up on the article writing.

Did I ever tell you all that writing and English was my second choice in college? Senior year I wanted to either become an English Teacher or a Graphic Designer. I won a scholarship to have a full ride to a new Graphic Arts program at a local business institute... so the choice was really made for me. (I had a really crappy guidance councelor, he never even suggested any other scholarships!) But I have always loved writing and I think I have a unique writers voice. Not that you always hear it, lol... sometimes I get lazy with my blog writing, sorry! I really like this side of my "art" that I have been able to get into. Just a little intimidating trying to keep my ideas fresh. Plus, I have been told that I should be submitting my pieces to trade magazines... I should be submitting them to the editors at fashion mags to get them on the models in photo shoots... how awesome what that be?!?

Okay, the kids should be home in a bit... I am going to go play with some wire, gotta get tehse wheels turning!