Saturday, March 31, 2007


Can anyone tell me what a WIP is? No, it isn't a Weapon of Intolerable Pain... No, it isn't a Woman In Pink... Nope, it isn't a Weird Impulsive Practice... okay, you give up? It's the abreviation for Work In Progress. And I have a few to show you today.

This first WIP I mentioned a few days ago. I said there was a color combination that was screaming to be used and this was it. Coral Orange, Light Turquoise and Transparent Teal. I made these on larger mandrels so the holes would be big enough for two pieces of wire. I still need to make 5-6 more of the discs for that the necklace gets to 17 inches in length... but I thought you would like to see it "in progress". Pretty cool design huh? I plan on making one of these in all etched transparents with antiqued wire... you'll just have to wait for that one.

Next up is one I have hinted at before too. This one is taking longer to come together because I only have one really large hole mandrel to make these rings. I did order more but I have been waiting three weeks now for them to arrive, grrr... But I am keeping at it, eventually I'll have enough rings made to make this a full necklace length. It is totallly a WIP... and I keep reworking it. This initial version of it used pure silver 16 gauge double ended head pins. I love the look but it just wasn't practical. It kept wanting to twist and tangle, so here is what I did...

I mixed in some basic solid discs and created a new variation on the classic wire wrapped link style necklace. This one moves and plays so much better. The big rings slide through the loops of wire and can spin in their holes. I will still go back and play with the first design, I know it will work but it just needs some tweeking. For now, this one is going to stay this way... I love it. And aren't these colors just perfect for Spring/Summer.

For today, there are more party festivites going on for Lauren. My parents and sister will be coming by for a cook out and cake. FUN! I hope to get a little torch time in before they get here, but Ron snuck out golfing and I might be outta luck. We'll see.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Beads & Birthdays

Here she is... the girl of the day!! Lauren had a hot bubble bath, put on a new dress, had her nails painted and just had to have a few photos taken. Isn't she a pretty one!?! Gotta love those curls. Just wash and go with those. And I love that my camera can take sepia tone photos. This was my favorite photo of the day.

Lauren was up early to open some presents. She rode around on her new three wheel Barbie scooter for a while. Then we made double chocolate chocolate chip cookies to take to preschool. Of course we had to have her favorite lunch, Chicken McNuggets!! While she was having fun at preschool I snuck home to decorate the house with balloons and streamers. I also made her a butterfly birthday cake. You should have seen the look on her face when she saw the decorations. She said "I just love when it is my birthday!"

Somewhere in there I also found the time to get the Bead Box beads posted. Loads of discs to keep ya busy. And hey, discs aren't just for jewelry you know... if you know any knitters, these make fabulous buttons!! There are loads of bright colors and lots of twisties and matched sets too. Should keep ya busy for a while. And two sets would be enough to make your own "Playground" bracelet. You can grab a couple yards of silk cording over at and while you are there, you can find out about Fran awesome new free beads contest. I got my shirt... did you get yours?

Time to dash back to the festivities!!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Secret Projects Rock

You know how Ty Pennington has a "Secret Project" every week on Extreme Makeover? Well, yesterday I started work on a secret project of my own. I am not ready to reveal what it is yet, but I think it is going to be pretty cool. I am thinkin' I'll give you hints over the next couple weeks while I work on it. That'll keep things interesting. You can send me emails with your guesses as to what my secret project might be. Here is your first clue... It is NOT a tutorial.

I am already to go for tomorrow's Bead Box update. I am up to my eyeballs in DISCS!! And I even did like I said I would and worked on a BB set of myself to make something out of. There was one color combo in particular that was screaming at me, so I made extras for myself with those colors. I am thinking by Monday or Tuesday, I'll have a piece of jewelry to show you.

Today's piece is one I made over the weekend with a set of old BB beads that were in the bottom of my purse for the past three months. The a warm dark red with layers of purple, transparent purple and coral orange dots. This one is called "Contained". I used one of the wire cages from my "Temporarily" necklace and caught a pretty trans purple round inside (looks a little blue in the photo huh?). I like the asymetrical-ness of it.

I need to wrap up a few things around here and then I am off to get Lauren from my Mom. She spent the day playing with her so I could get some quality bead time in. And tomorrow is the little princesses big BIRTHDAY!! Pink pink pink... all she wants is pink. I realized, I haven't had any pics of the kids for you all in a while... tomorrow I'll get a few :)

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Catching Kandinsky

You asked for discs... I am delivering. Check out "Catching Kandinsky"... the auction will start later tonight on Ebay. This is a HUGE set of TWENTY THREE beads. And the inspiration was Wassily Kandinsky's 1913 painting "Farbstudie Quadrate".

For those of you not familiar with turn of the century artists... this dude is considered one of the leaders in the modern abstract art movements. You can see his painting scrolling through the slide show above. It is very bold and graphic... the colors just ROCK, and to think... it is more then 90 years old... the man definitely had vision. Each one of my main 12 discs represents one of the 12 blocks in the painting. I think these would make really cool toggles like in the necklace and bracelets of the previous post... of they would make sweet looking buttons for felted bags... or an outta this world necklace!!

Last night was rough around here. We had big boomer thunderstorms that knocked out the phone and internet service for hours and hours. Plus, I was trying to have Ron take a photo of me for the new magazines and the book thing... you all know how much I hate hate hate hate to have my picture taken. So nothing was turning out. Ron's only advice was that I shouldn't have cut my hair... so he is no help at all... the brat. I think Lauren and I are going to need to take a ride over to my sister's and see if she can get a good picture. The whole thing just put me in a lousy mood. The beads cheered me up though. The colors are so bright... they can't help but make things happier.

FREE BEADS!! The free beads winner this week is BRENDA T!! YOO HOO BRENDA!! Thanks so much for all the votes everyone!! Keep up the good work!

Monday, March 26, 2007

The Results

I thought you might like to have a look at what all those discs turned into!! The top pairing is the new set for my tutorial. The new necklace is lighter then the original "Playground Antics". This one is shorter (17 inches instead of 20 inches) and it has fewer beads (40something instead of 60something). Still clinks together and makes a great sound like the original!! Which is my favorite part of the design :) I had enough beads in red and purples to do the second bracelet in the second photo.

So, you all want discs of your own to play with huh? I have gotten a bunch of email about it!! I was thinking of another color combination, but I suppose I could put it on hold and do more discs this week for Friday's update. What do you think, a mix of simple solid discs and a few fancy layered ones too? I'll see what I can do!!

For now, it is time to get this house under control. When you spend the weekend writing and beading instead of following your wild kids around in circles cleaning up after them... things go nuts. I have loads of stuff everywhere!! This place needs to be dusted, mopped, and all around tidied up... and don't even get me started on the laundry situation!!

I'll pop back in with the new Freebie winner later.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

I Do Discs

Beads, on top of beads, on top of beads... check out what a pile of almost 200 beads looks like!! If you asked me Thursday if I could make this many beads by Sunday... I would have told you NO WAY!! But I guess I was wrong. These are what I made Friday and Saturday. There was enough here for 2 Playground bracelets, a Playground necklace, a set of free beads, and a bunch left over.

I am close to done on my latest tutorial. I wrote it, I photographed it, I made the finished pieces to send in with the tutorial... and now it has been emailed to a friend to proof read for errors. Once she gets it back to me, I will bundle everything up and send it in. Then hopefully I will be able to let you know a possible publication date. (Though, those can change all the time!) I am really happy with how everythign came together writing it this weekend. When I ge tthe urge to write... I gotta just sit down and do it. If I try to do other things when I have internal tutorial dialogs going on the results of whatever else it is I am attepmting to do just turns to mush. I have one other tutorial to write in the next couple weeks then I think I am going take a tutorial break!!

Anyone notice how fast Spring seems to be coming on?!? Before you know it, Summer will be here and with it... ART SHOWS!! I debating which shows I would do this year and if I should add new ones to my schedule. I asked a fellow wire worker in the area which shows she likes the most and she gave me the names of three great shows in Buffalo NY, just a 1 1/2 hours away. This year they won't work out because of scheduling conflicts but I am thinking of expanding to do more shows next year. It is so hard to decide though. Things seem to be working really well online for my business and part of me thinks I should forget the shows and focus my website. But then there is this nagging other side that loves the build up to a show, and meeting all those new people!!

For this year, here is what I decided... I will be doing The Cornhill Arts Festival in July and The Clothesline Arts Festival in September, with a Holiday Open House in the late Fall. Cornhill and Clothesline where HUGE shows for me next year and I think I would just be crazy not to do them again!! Which means I have roughly 3 months to get ready for the first show. Plenty of time!!

Last year I seemed to leave all the show prep until the last two weeks before a show, and I never felt prepared enough. So I never left really ready or like I had enough "Stuff" to show. I am determined not to let it happen again this year (even though I think some of my best work comes out of that "crunch" time). How will I make sure it doesn't happen this year you ask? Well, I am making myself pick at least one set of every bead box update to keep and make something with. I think between that and my usual idea inspired creations, plus the last minute crunch... I will be better prepared. :)

Speaking of the bead box... I plan to make beads Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday... clean and photograph everything Thursday and that leave Friday for a update. Friday is also my little Lauren's FOURTH birthday!! She is getting so big!! I didn't get through the set I wanted to do for Ebay so somewhere in there I'll work on that too. We got luck with a beautiful sunny afternoon and I have been enjoying it and playing in the gardens rather then beading... you understand how it is. Months and months of subzero temps gives way to sudden bursts of 50degree days... you gotta soak them in!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

50 & 300

I know y'all were wondering what 50plus beads look like... well, here you go. It looks like this!! These are what came out of my kiln this morning and this and more are in my kiln right now. I have a feeling that after this weekend I will be all disked out. But for now, I still have loads to do. I counted mandrels again this afternoon and I have about 80 beads soaking in the heat right now. I am finding this is a great way to experiment with color combinations. I found a few that definately need further review... and some that should never again see the light of day.
I pulled all these off their mandrels and got them all cleaned up. Sorted them and then set to work redipping all these mandrels. Took a while to get it all done. And some where in there Ron and I went to see 300. It was a visually spectacular movie. It is absolutely incredible. The story and plot leaves something to be desired, so it isn't "Best Picture" material... but it is definately worth the trip to the movie theater. A word of caution though, it is not for that faint of heart... there is a bit of blood and gore. But nothing worse then Braveheart or Gladiator. Go see it!!
I will have a fresh batch of bead photos for you in the morning... and maybe an Ebay auction too. I have a little "art inspired art" disc set that I think will be pretty cool if it works the way I hope it does. If I can get all the tutorial stuff done this weekend, then I'll have the week free to make Bead Box beads!! I hope for a Friday update... stay turned!

Friday, March 23, 2007

In a Groove

Hot dang, I just have a sweet torch session!! YAW HOOOO!!! I am so excited to open the kiln in the morning. It was just one of those zen sessions where the glass was flowing just right... the colors were working... and the ideas were endless. I counted the mandrels sticking out of the kiln and I made more the FIFTY, yeah 5-0, beads. They are all for the tutorials I am working on right now. Discs Discs Discs.... 50 one of a kind discs. You know what is going to be really cool... getting a big huge group photo of them all.

I saw this auction on Ebay the other day... makes me think I should list a set of discs, huh? Can I have a quiet moment of delusion right now? Okay, here is my delusion... I think the burst of disc auctions is all because of me... yeah, cause everyone wants to make one of my "Playground" necklaces or bracelets... yep, you have me to thank for the disc craze, lol... I hope y'all realize my sarcasm. What did Han Solo say to Chewbacca about Luke Skywalker being a Jedi Knight... "I'm out of it for a little while, and everyone gets delusions of grandeur".

The kids and I had a great day. It was warm enough to ride bikes this morning, then we went to my Mom's house to take her two fat basset hounds for a nice long walk. Then home to make beads and now Ron is cooking a chocolate cake. I don't things get much better then this :) Plus to top it all off... tomorrow my sister is coming over to watch the kids so Ron and I can go out to a movie. And believe it or not, this will be the very first time she has ever babysat her niece and nephews. No kidding. She has never watched all three of them for me. She has taken one or the other for an afternoon outing once or twice... but this will be a first!! Ron and I plan to see the movie 300.

I'll be back tomorrow with new bead pictures and a movie review!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Tooth Talk

"Mom, look at this" has got to be one of the worst phrases ever uttered. Nine times out of ten it is followed by a slimy creature that hops/slithers or by something that's bleeding. Only once in a very rare blue moon is it followed by a beautifully drawn picture or a 100% spelling test. No, no... it is usually something Mom doesn't want to see. Jacob used that phrase last night... and it was in one of those bad ways. "Mom, look at this"... and then picture a weird facial expression and a fingernail popping off my son's crown!!

SHOCK, HORROR!! Yes, Jacob has bad teeth. Not horrible aweful ones, but butter soft ones prone to cavitities. He has had 7-8 (yeah, I lost count), four of which were so bad that he had to have crowns (shiny silver caps). This one in particular was bad, so pad he was supposed to have a root canal treatment on it. My heart just sinks everytime he has a cleaning and they find another cavitity. He is my best brusher, he brushes everyday, twice a day and flosses more then I do. I took him to the dentist today and we were there for over an hour. Turns out he is teething early again and has already started to lose his molars. They did an extraction and removed the crown. And you can see the point of a new tooth popping in.

The dental detour took up my whole day. So any "work" I hoped to get done was neglected. I am going to try and get out to the torch tonight to work on a few things. But I don't think I'll have anything new for you all until Sunday. There is some sort of "staff training" day at school tomorrow so the boys are going to be home (translate that to - I won't be making beads tomorrow either).

I took a quick shot of the finished bathroom just now. The photo has it much brighter then what it is. But I think it is growing on me. Next up... my boys room make over, lol... eventually I'll get every room made over!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Type Type Type

I am starting you off with this cool shot of my "Picasso's Plantation" set. For one it is a really cool picture and two... you need reminding that the auction for these beads ends tonight!! GO BID!! They are going for a super price, at least in my opinion. Someone needs to make something extra special with these or I am gonna be sad I sold them.

I have spent the whole afternoon writing. I want to get my latest tutorial squared away. It is going to be a two part project and it is turning into a lot of work. It is already FIVE pages, and I still have more to write. But hey, that is what an editor is for right? She'll knock it down to a good size. One thing I have to say about writing is it leads to a nasty headache!! I am waiting for the water to boil now so I can have a cup of tea. I am sure that will do the trick.

Tomorrow and Friday I will work on all the photos for these tutorials and then I'll get back to making beads for you all!! I have a new color combo idea, inspired by the bathroom project. Which is totally finish, thank you very much. I haven't gotten a good picture of it yet, but I'll try again tomorrow when the sun is out. But think... blue and white... and a sandy beach.

Kettle is whistling!! I am gonna go make tea... you go check out the auction!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Busting with COLORS

I posted the latest Bead Box beads. The beads a very bright and very fun. They aren't quite what I had in mind for the colors, but they are still cool. Go check them out. There are three sets for bangles, go snatch them up.
I am gonna go paint... check ya later!!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Weekend Warriors

Ever have a spur of the moment remodeling job you just had to do? I do all the time. I told you about Lauren's bedroom redo a few weeks back. Today, I decided that the bathroom had to have a change. When we first built the house in 2000, we got the cheapest, crappiest, dog ugliest flooring imaginable. We would have upgraded but just didn't have the extra cash at the time. So shortly after moving in, we bought some of those 12x12 inch peel n stick floor tiles. Which at first, I loved, but eventually detested.

Why did I detest my flooring? Cause it was about six monthes after installing it that it started peeling up. Grrr.... I delt with it for a while (like 3 years, lol) then peeled up all the times and installed new peel n stick tiles that were twice as expensive as the first ones. They were fancy "beveled" edge ones. (A beveled edge is where there is a "V" between each tile rather then having them butt up to each other. I loved the new ones!!

That was until "things" started growing in those "V" spaces. Grose. No amount of bleach could keep it clean. So, in the back of my head I am thinking... "I really wanna move some...", "if I wanna move, we gotta get the house in "selling" condition"... "to get the house in selling condition, I need to pick a room at a time and give it a total overhauling". All a sudden I got a jolt of energy today that decided today was the day to overhaul the bathroom. Ron and I pulled up all those peel n stick pieces and then pulled up the original nasty flooring... and ta da... installed a NEW vinyl floor. It is one piece, not tiles, and man oh man was it a project. We started around noon and just finished up around 8:00pm.

Doesn't look amazing?!? The first photo is of my hubby, Ronnie, pulling up those icky sticky tiles. Look close and you can see the effects of a house with three boys and only one bathroom. Yeah, talk about discusting. The second was a few hours later with all the layers of flooring pulled up. And last but not least... the almost finished bathroom. Why Kerry, what do you mean it's only almost finished? I need to paint silly!! I picked a really great color called "Farmhouse Blue". I am thinking I'll paint on Tuesday and naturally, I'll be sharing a picture when it is done!

On to beady related things. I was able to make 5 little Bead Box bead sets yesterday. I am going to list them tomorrow but I WON'T be sending an email. So you'll have to watch for them. See you then!!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

With Any Luck

A very Happy St. Patrick's Day to everyone... Irish or not, lol. I was thinking about what I would post about today while I was making my bed this morning (yeah I keep running blog dialogs in my head, it is weird). I started to wonder why we celebrate St. Patrick's Day. I don't really have an answer... I know "why" and who St Patrick was and what he did for Ireland. But I was wondering why some half Italian guy like my husband who has not one spect of Irish blood in him, wants to eat cornbeef and cabbage with me. I don't have an answer. If I come up with one, I'll let you know. I just couldn't find an easy answer like I can for other holidays, (ei - Valentine's day celebrates a couple's love, sappy, I know).

I am a Mutt, how about you? I think it was mid way through High School that I started to realize that there was more to my background then I am tall because my Dad is tall. I remember phone calls with people were someone would say "so what are you?" I did a report once that told me just what I am, lol... I am French, Dutch, Irish, English, and German. I don't know why I identify with the Irish side most, I just do.

I have a funny story about something Ron said once. I don't know if it is relevant but I'll share. Ron comes from a very large Italian family. He grandparents were off the boat Italian and his Mom is one of 9 children. They have a big Christmas Eve get together every year filled with traditional Italian foods. They have lentil soup, deep fried vegetables, squid, cod fish soup and of course sausage after Midnight Mass. Couple years ago, Ron was walking through the buffet of all these dishes with me close behind. He asked "Do you wanna try this, do you wanna try that?" I shook my head no no no no no no, lol. I said "Honey, I am Irish, I don't eat these things"... to which he replied "So you want a crust of bread and glass of water?" I said "There is bread? WHERE? That would be perfect!" LOL... I don't mean to offend. I am sure there are plenty of Irish people that love squid and cod fish soup, lol.

So anyway... that is me in a nutshell today. I am just hanging out, doing chores... waiting for Ron to get back from the store with my cabbage so I can get the cornbeef simmering, lol. I love cornbeef and cabbage. I'll be bumming around the house in my latest $5 Old Navy St. Patty's Day tee-shirt. I am gonna try to make some beads, but we had a sudden cold snap. And we woke up this morning to 12 inches of snow!! So, I might not be in the mood to sit in the freezing garage. But I have plenty of other things to do, so now worries, I won't be bored. I did figure out where my mojo went yesterday. I had been writting my new tutorials all morning then tried switching gears mid afternoon to do Bead Box Beads. I was frustrated cause I was thinking tutorial beads... not BB beads... thus a bad bead day that could not be salvaged. I think today will go better. I think I wasn't "feeling" the latest color combo either... so I have a new one in mind and we'll see what comes of it. Dark Red, Coral Orange, Dark Purple and Lime Green... what do ya think?

Friday, March 16, 2007

Get Me on ETSY!!

I don't know how many of you know about, if you don't know, it is about time you did. Etsy is similar to Ebay in that individual sellers list items available for sale. What makes it different is that everything is listed at a fix price and for 4 months. No bidding, all buy it nows. From what I see, it is mainly artists selling handcrafted goods... which is really awesome!!

It has been mentioned to me several times that I should sell on Etsy. So today, when I couldn't locate my bead making mojo, I started checking out Etsy. The process couldn't be easier!! I plan to list my jewelry on there, still giving my website and blog visiters first dibs on new designs. Then after something has been around for a little while, I'll post it there and see if I can get it some more attention. It is just one more way to grow my (or yours for that matter) business. I have been feeling like everyone buys up my beads really quick, but the jewelry all hangs around until show time (with the exception of the "Playground" bracelets, lol, I can't make those fast enough). With Etsy, I hope, it will get some extra views from unexpecting searchers and maybe it will get moving.

If you think you can't afford a website, but you want to try selling your jewelry (or whatever else you make)... I am thinking this is a good way to get your feet wet. It is very inexpensive, only 20cents a listing and 3.5% fee for the sale. Compared to the huge fees that Ebay levies... I say it is worth it.

I added a link to the Etsy store front in the column to the right or just click to check it out. And hey, you my see something you didn't notice before and have to have!!

Thursday, March 15, 2007


I have been hinting at the fact that my jewelry desk is begging to be used the past few days. I lay in bed at night are hear it calling "Kerry... oh Kerry, come play with some wire...". It has been especially loud since getting back from teaching. While in VA, Cindy of Sweet Bead Studio, shared a necklace that she made out of different wire links. She said she wanted a way to showcase her wire work. The necklace was gorgeous!!

One link in particular jumped out at me. It was an empty "caged" bead link. I teach how to make caged beads all the time in my Totally Twisted wire working classes. Cindy found the link tutorial HERE. I make the cage completely different then in this tutorial, but it'll give you a good idea of how it is done. The thing that struck me was leaving the cage empty. I have always used a small gauge wire and trapped a bead inside. Since seeing a cage with nothing inside, I have had loads of ideas on things to do with them.

I have had at least 3 ideas that just would get out of my head. So since today was a really lazy day. And since Lauren is home it means I can't make beads... I figured I would get a bunch of empty cages ready it use when I can get around to making the beads. I made about two dozen of them... then tumbled them... then tried unjumbling them about a million times!! This design gets twisted up with each other a LOT. So I grabbed a piece of silk cording off my desk and strung the cages on just to keep them from getting stuck together. Thinking I would keep them there "Temporarily"... THEN... TA DA... a cool new necklace.

Sometimes I think the simpler, the better. And I think that is pretty obvious in a lot of my designs. If the wire work is fancy, the beads are basic... if the beads are busy, the wire work is subtle. What I think is really cool about this design is that it so easy to do in any color (this one is dark navy). I have about 20 different colors of silk cording and the silver just rocks with every one of them. So it is super easy to match whatever you are wearing. I took a quick pic of what it looks like on for you too. I know seeing things flat can sometimes look weird. It doesn't need a clasp, I just tie a loose bow in the back... easy on, easy off.

Now don't worry... I won't stop here... I'll make those other ideas in my head too. But in the meantime... raise your hand if you want one of these!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Picasso's Plantation

OH MY STARS!!! Look at these beads!!

I was thrilled when I opened the kiln tonight. They new beads are as cool as I hoped they would be. These are "Picasso's Plantation".

I couldn't resist, I had to clean them and photograph them right away. I am chomping at the bit to hear what you think of these. You can already tell I am really excited about them!! I decided to mix some cubes and plaids. I haven't done plaids in a while and while I was in VA I made one. It refreshed my "plaid" juices and this reactive silver glass was just the ticket. Then testing out a few cubes too. They are "iced" cubes with partical encasing which is a) really hard to do and 2) looks really cool!! I know you all went gonzo for the last set of ice cubes so I hope you find these are thrilling.

Okay, I am missing LOST so I gotta dash... but send me your thoughts on the new beads and go BID BID BID!

Deep Breath, Then Plunge

I finally took the leap today. I took a deep breath, drabbed the phone, and placed the order. I don't know why I have put it off for so long. I place supply orders for more then the cost of this torch all the time. So it couldn't have been the money. It has to be the intimidation of learning something new. In case you haven't figured it out... I am upgrading my torch!! I went with "The Bobcat" from GTT. It is a duel fuel torch using oxygen and propane. It will be hotter and quieter then my current torch so, I should be able to do loads more with it, and work faster. I won't hook it up for another couple weeks. I want to finish off the tank of fuel I am currently useing and I also need to get special hoses and regulators, that sorta thing. But I am really excited about it, and nervous too!!

My precious Hot Head torch came back home to me today and I was blazing away on it with in minutes of it getting back. I am so anxious to see the results that are cooking in the kiln. If they are as cool when they come out as they were when they went in, you all are gonna flip. I think these will be one of the coolest sets I have made!! Sorry if I am boasting but hey it is my blog and I'll bost if I wanna, lol. Here is a hint... the name that came to my while I was making them was "Picasso's Plantation" ;) Do you think you know what I am going to show you??

I had to take a few mins today and actually write myself a list of all the projects I have going right now. I'll be able to get things done a lot faster if I am ticking them off a list. I need to get through an Ebay set, Bead Box Beads, 3 tutorials, a couple special requests, and I have two new necklace designs that need working on. I have gotten through the Ebay set (keep your fingers crossed that they are cool), tomorrow and friday I'll be focusing on the BB Beads... when it comes to the tutorials, I am gonna need to take a couple weeks to really focus on them. I know how much you all like to see new tutorials so I hope you'll understand. I am thinking you have had lots of BB Beads lately anyway so I am sure you all have your hands full of your own projects, right?

Speaking of which... I would love to see photos of the things you all make with my beads!! I would be happy to post them here and share a link to your website. SEND 'EM OVER!!

Almost forgot... This week's free beads winner is KATHY H!!! YOO HOO Kathy!! Keep the votes coming gang! I truely appreciate it and I promise to have a fresh cluster of free beads soon :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Soaking in the SUN

Dang people we are in the midst of heat wave here in NY!! I can hardly believe it. Lauren and I have spent most of the afternoon out in the sun. We went out with light coats and after one walk around the block, we were sweating and had to take them off. About 50% of my yard is still covered in snow but the grass is popping through everywhere. I came inside to check out to see the temp. I convinced myself it was pushing 60 but it's only 42. I guess after weeks of subzero days, 40 feels HOT!

I am still patiently waiting for my torch to return. I am relaxing and sketching out new ideas. I am working on the outlines for a few new tutorials too. I even finished a book and started a second one. I am loving this mini vacation and the sun is just icing on the cake!! You may have noticed too that I finally added a "Classes" page to my website. So if you are in the area and are looking for instruction in wire working, send me a note. I already have a few classes scheduled!!

Time to get back to the great outdoors. I am thinking my torch will arrive tomorrow which means I will be working on new beads tomorrow afternoon/evening. I hope to have a new Ebay set by Thursday/Friday and plan on a Bead Box update Monday/Tuesday. Stay tuned!!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Safe and Sound

I have been home for a few hours now and I am finally getting to the computer. I loaded up a big slide show of photo from this weekend's trip. Check them out!!

Cindy, Chrissie and I had a blast. I arrived Friday evening and I have to laugh cause, the first things the girls said when I came in the door was "OMG, She's TALL!" Yep, for all those out there picture in my a shorter 5ft 2-4ish... I am actually 5' 9". LOL! We went a great restaurant called "Mike's" where I had my first ever crab cake. Another shocker for my girls in Virginia, this northern hick had never had a crab cake. I was pleasantly surprised by how good they were. Next time you are in DC are and can get to Mike's, have a crab cake.

We stayed up late on Friday night, chit chatting away like we've know each other for years. I love those kinds of chats!! I don't get them much up here, cause frankly stay at home Mom's don't get to go on sleep over parties like we used to, lol. Even though we were all up until after 1:00am, we were out to our torches by 9am for our day of beads. Thanks to Cindy's husband Randy for a great batch of pancakes with St Patty's Day sprinkles!! They gave us the energy to torch until around 5pm. (with a little lunch break too)

Technically, this was my first ever lampworking class. It was great having to flexible students. They were more then willing to go with the flow. We ended up working the lessons with me showing a few techniques and beads then the girls would try it. I showed them the way I pull stringers and twisties, how I make me beads oh-so-very round, I made them a mod dot, a plaid, a heart, an "iced" cube, some frit beads... we made lots of beads!! You can see how many in the photos above. I hope the girls got all they wanted out of my visit. They were making great rounds by the time I left :)

After torching for a while we worked on photography. Wait until you see Cindy's website in a few weeks. Her jewelry is gorgeous and she has an awesome style. You'll love it. And Cindy & I are going to keep pushing Chrissie to get a website too, cause her stuff is just as great. One of these days I will post a photo tutorial for you all here, but give me a bit. By the end of the day we were famished and headed out for some Tex-Mex at Austin Grill, yummy. But my favorite part was when we got back. I made the girls one of Ron's famous hot fudge sundae cakes... it is just to die for. It's ooowy-gooy-good. Sitting over big bowls cake with vanilla ice crea, we started chatting away the night again. We made plans to wake bright and early again to make some more beads before my Sunday flight home.

I gotta tell you how sweet the girls were... they made me cry when it was time to go home. They surprised me with a wonderful tote monogrammed with my "Kab's" logo. Inside was lots of goodies, post cards from VA, gifts for my kids, a subscription to Adorn magazine, a Presidential coffee mug, frit and more. It was so thoughtful of them!!

I hope we turn this into an annual bead retreat. I am sure these gals will have something to teach me by this time next year :)

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Camera One, Camera Two

I really really detest taking pictures of myself. But with reason hair changes I had to do it. Hair, weither you wanna admit it or not, says a lot about you. Are you anal, spending hours straightening your hair with a flat iron? Or do you just yank it back in a ponytail befor running out to do your daily errands? When you look at photos from the past... isn't one of the first things you say "look at me hair back then"? I know my hair has a lot to do with how I feel about myself. And I am one of those people that change it constantly. Look through my photos of the past and you'll see hair straight as an arrow down to my fanny, boy style pixie cuts, perms, and all sorts of different colors. More ofter then not, I am one of the people that cuts my hair cause I am totally fed up with the style it is in, then I regrow it out till I can't stand it again and cut it more.

Yesterday was a fed up day!! I hadn't cut my hair since my sister cut it back in November of 2006. It grows fast!! So, since I have no beads or jewelry to show you... I am showing you what I did to it yesterday. The top photo is me, two weeks ago when I took the bog blond streaks out of my hair and went back to my darker color. Below is what happened to it last night. A short bob with layers. I only took pics of myself cause my friends out of state wanted to see what it looked like!! Like I said before, I hate taking my own picture!! It takes forever to try and take on where you aren't making a weird face, you don't look fat, your eyes are crossed, it doesn't look like you have a double chin... it is all just too much work, lol. But these turned out alright. At least you get the idea of the whole hair change thing. Long to short. I'll have more fun taking the photo into photoshop and messing around with it!!

I am almost ready for my trip tomorrow. I have to do another load of laundry and I will be all packed up. I don't think I'll have time to update again until Sunday when I get back, but I'll try!! See ya soon :)

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Nothing But Time

I got a couple of cool things to share with you all today. First is this new wire ring. It isn't "my" new ring, well it is, but it is actually Cassie Donlen's new ring. Go check out the kits on the "supplies" page at Cassie's website, I love Cassie's work and it was her beads that made me want to learn lampworking. Last week when I saw these new ring kits of her's, I thought it was about time I had something from the person who inspired my start. The kit is awesome. It is very well written, actually read it, don't be a dummy like me and think you are some sort of wire pro and figure you can do it without the directions, lol. I had to make it twice to get it right cause I didn't read it the first time! Whatelse is great about her kit is it comes WITH the ring mandrel. And it's a tool I know I'll use over and over. Love it!! She also has a great matching pendant kit too.

In other cool news, I got my advanced copy of SBS Wire Magazine today!! It has a new look to it and it is really great. I love the "pretty" shot of my bangles!! They look so COOL. When I read the intro paragraph, I forgot that I didn't mention where the name came from. Students in the past have said they thought it was a bangle for someone named Sandy. But it isn't!! The name came from both me and my husband Ron. I was experimenting with two new things a while back, a lentil press and raku frit. I had put too much glass on the bead before pressing it and the glass "squeezed" out the ends of the press. I quick had to figure out how to save the bead. I ended up putting glass "caps" on the ends to cover the leak. When the kiln finished annealing, and I showed my new beads to Ron, he said "they look like they are covered in sand"... I said "I think they look like Chinese Lanterns"... thus was born "Sandy Lanterns"... it stuck when I named the bangle. And now you know the bangle name story...

I mailed off all my tools to VA today for the class this weekend. So I am torchless till I get there on Friday. I was sad to send my baby away, but I know I will see it again soon, lol. With all this free time, I don't know what to do with myself. Well, not really today... today I was very busy. It was another "frozen" day. Too cold for the kids to go to school. So they kept me pulling my hair out for hours on end. But after today... I have nothing to busy myself with. I picked up the book "Oh My Stars" by Lorna Landvik a few weeks ago. I think now I'll actually have time to read it. I read the prologue today while Bob the Builder was on, LOL... and I couldn't help but admire the colors in the cover. Green, Purple, and Khaki.... I kept thinking, I gotta make beads these colors. I picked up the book when I saw it in Target cause "Oh My Stars" was a saying I used to use all the time. I have never been an "Oh My God" user. I really don't care for it. I used "Oh My Stars" cause that is what Samantha Stevens always said on Bewitched. I used to love that show.... LOVE IT. I used to watch the black and white ones and the colors ones. It must have been on Nick at Nite.

Time to get back to the family... everyone is piled on my bed watching Lord of the Rings... did you know I read somewhere the LOTR is supposed to represent WWII? Huh? Don't think I agree with that one.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Lemons to Lemonade

This is definitely a two post worthy day. It has been a complete and total rollercoaster ride of a time. I just had to come a share what is going on. You already know how the main part of my morning went. Though I did leave out the bit about the boys waking up almost as early as I did, so they were ready for school too early. Which lead to them fighting for about 45 mins until the bus arrived. I left it out cause I was trying to be positive and focus on the good thing of finishing my fun bracelet. If I am being totally honest though, it was a really really crappy day to start.

Then it got even worse. Mid morning I received an email from the editor of my articles at Art Jewelry magazine. It said that after further review of my submissions, the editors feel my designs are "too beady" for Art Jewelry magazine. I was crushed, I worked so hard on those and they are really great designs. The editor did offer to forward the projects to Bead & Button magazine. I decided to decline the offer. I really think my designs are special and frankly they don't fit with the style of Bead & Button. So I asked to have the designs returned. The editors at B&B are still reviewing "Hip To Be Square" and I should know the results on that in a few weeks.

I stayed bitterly bummed out for a few hours. Then decided to forward the tutorials to my editor at Step By Step Wire magazine. I am thrilled to say that she LOVES both designs. And things got even better from there... I don't actually know if I am ready to tell you my exciting news. I am a little apprehensive to share just in case I jinx things.

Alright, I'll share but just know that things change all the time in publishing and it isn't set in stone yet. And I am not going to tell you for sure what will be were or any other details that would leak too many details. But here is what I will say. It turns out the editor with writing a book (don't ask the subject) and she would like some of my pieces for the book (don't ask which ones). EEEEKKKK!!! Isn't that incredible?!?

I have learned my lesson, I won't get my hopes up too high, and I won't believe it till I have the book in my hands. Things change all the time in the publication process. Dates get changed, projects get moved or cancelled. But it is exciting to think about and work on. I hope all works out. I have really had nothing but great experiences so far with Interweave Press and I am ecstatic about this opportunity.

Needless to say, I was to busy on my emotional rollercoaster to get to make beads today. I, hopefully, will make some tonight. But with the studio at only 20 somethign degrees, lol, I doubt it!! We'll see.

Oh, and I was also told that the Spring 2007 issue of SBS Wire with my "Sandy Lanterns" bangle project will hit newsstands this week. So watch your mailboxs!

This week's FREE BEADS winner is CARE K!! YOO HOO CARE!! Thanks again, as always, everyone for all the support on my beads and jewelry. I really do appreciate your votes!! I'll get some new freebies posted asap.

Circus Rides

I have an early morning update for you today. I was woken before the crack of dawn and couldn't get back to sleep. So, I decided to clean up my beads from yesterday and put together "Circus Rides". Aren't this colors FUN!! I was going to make the bracelet all red and orange. But the first batch of beads I made felt like they were missing something. In the past I have put lime green with red and orange but this time I was drawn to my turquoise rods that I have been using in other combos lately.

I think this has started to turn into a mini challange for myself. What I am noticing myself doing is starting with one color combo, then keeping a rod or two from that pallet and making an new color combo. Wondering what I mean? I'll explain more. When I made my "Imaginary Mumps" I used ink blue, purple, aqua and turquoise with just a little green. Then I did my "Purple Pixie" Bead Box update with was all purples, and turquois. Moving on to "Painter's Drop Cloth", I kept those turquois colors and added ivory and coral. The this latest "Coffee House" update had those turquois colors again, but this time with browns. So far turquois is the color that keeps traveling into the new combo. That is until "After Image", where I kept the coral then added reds. See, one color from a previous set stays with the colors of the next set.

What I am wondering now is how long and I can keep that up. I think it would be a fun personal challenge to continue coming up with new combos that have completely different looks and feels but have some color from a previous set that carries over.

I will continue to try to do that for at least the next few weeks. You all know I don't have a very good attention span and tend to switch things up. So, will see how it goes.

I'll be back this afternoon with this week's free beads winner.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

OH great...

I was just watching the 6:00pm news and it isn't looking good for tomorrow. Would you believe we are going to have record low high temps!! No, really!! Tomorrow we are expecting 30-40mph wing gusts, several fast inches of snow causing white out conditions for the morning drive and sub-zero wind chills. Then for Tuesday it is a high of 10... yeah, just 10. Grrr... I think those of you sending me emails telling me I need some sunshine are totally right!! Send some my way would ya? lol.

So, yesterday, after dinner, I never got around to making beads. I was just too tired and cranky so I went to bed early. Today was nice with my parents and sister here for a filling Sunday morning breakfast. Bonnie is loving my new beads that are on Ebay... she just loves orange. I showed her those auction beads and she grabbed them from my hand saying "lemme see those". That is a very good reaction. Other then that we had a rather boring, I mean quiet, day, lol. I watched an old movie this afternoon while Ron made homemade chicken noodle soup. Then I made beads tonight.

Tomorrow I should have a new bracelet to show you. One of my "Playground" ones. And I am really excited to see how it comes together. The colors just POP. I used oranges, reds and spots of turquoise. Stay tuned for that one!!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Moody Moods

Isn't this new knob swell? You might remember that last year I was commissioned to make 34 knobs for an artist's home in Michigan. Well, as I was making all those knobs, whenever there were messed up ones, weird colors or ones the artist decided wouldn't work with the group, my Mom took it for her kitchen. By the end of my commission she had 8 knobs. She keeps mentionign that she needs 8 more to have a complete kitchen for herself. So, while she was here the other day, playing with Lauren, I made her a new one. It is a lovely lavander color with white, copper green and lite lavander spots. Cute huh? She doesn't have any purple knobs. Maybe by Mother's Day, I'll be able to get the other 7 more done, lol.

I really haven't been in a knob making mood. But doing this one got my gears turning again. I might even make a few for my website too... hmmmm.... I'll keep ya posted.

Anyway, I am being moody this weekend. I am kinda restless and tired. I am not really in a bead making mood either, but I will try and get a few done after dinner. I think it might actually be a case of the midwinter blahs. It actually RAINED here yesterday and by Tuesday it is supposed to be 14 degrees. Weird. My Dad insists that VA, where I am headed next weekend, is near spring!! Do ya think? Well girls, are the crocuses popping up were you are yet?

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Coffee House Collection

So, did you like the Coffee House Collections today?!?

It was a whirlwind of a day. I had a lot of mindless running around today that kept me out of the house till 2pm. Then I had to finish cleaning up the beads, string them, photograph them, edit the pictures, write the descriptions, and get the mailing list note sent out. It took about 2 and a half hours!! Busy busy. I am glad to see a bunch of the sets have already found homes... I am telling ya, the "Aromatic Grounds" set is really really cool. I totally love it!! And "Jazzy Vibes" are really detailed. If you don't scoop them up, I am gonna do something with them, that is for sure.

Other then the new Bead Box beads... nothing exciting going on here. Oh wait, I know what is going on that I have been forgetting to tell you about... I am going to VA to teach next weekend. Several months ago, I got an email from one of my beady friends/bead customers asking if I had any other beady friends/customers in VA where she is. I said there was one. I asked the one if it was okay to give the other one her email... long story short... I got a wonderful email a while back with a photo of the two of them taking a lampworking class together at their local studio!! Turns out they live about 20 mins away from each other. And now they both have someone to go to gem shows with. LOL. Anyway, the girls asked/I offered, to come visit for a weekend. Next weekend is that weekend!! I'll be flying down on Friday, making beads with them all day Saturday and then coming home Sunday afternoon. It is gonna be a blast!! We are having a sleep over party!! I'll be sure to convince the girls to let me bring my camera and take pics of us all in our pj's :)