Monday, May 30, 2011

Post Weekend Warring

My camping trip and bead sale are done and I'm tired.  It was a busy, successful weekend and I didn't even think to take any pictures until pack-up time.  Thus the swarms of people in their colorful clothes, myriad of wares, and my booth are not pictured.  Next year I remember to take pictures just after setup.
 To get there we had to tote everything in the tired old truck.  Joe is a firm believer in tying stuff down securely.  Thus, this tote is secured by duct tape, a bungee cord, rope, and a cargo net.  I don't think it could get out of the truck if it had legs.

 It's a pretty drive.  I took this on the way back around Scranton, PA.  It does have its hazards, though,
 like this falling rock zone....
 or holiday traffic.  Note it's going the other way.  Yay!
The secondary purpose of out trip:  Scoring Joe some scrapple.  I'm not sure if there is a penalty for smuggling pork products across state lines.  Glad we weren't caught.  I wouldn't want to have to explain a cooler full of forbidden sausage.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Kids Project

We all have a lot of beads, some that we didn't like the look of, some that are a bit funky, or in this case some that were done to test what cool reactions I could do.  I've got mountains of them.  To string them all together in a beaded curtain was the original idea, but Joe came up with a better one.

I'm going camping this weekend with a bunch of my history nut friends and many of them have decided to reproduce fairly recently.  Wouldn't it be fun to let the older ones make their own necklaces/bracelets while Mom or Dad shopped?  Yes, it would.  For me and for them.  I've got a bunch of stretchy cord and it's bead away.  Hopefully I'll have a bunch of pictures of the little tyrants--I mean tykes--doing their thing.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

You gotta be kidding

I had to leave work today because of stomach issues.  I'll get better, but for now I'm looking for any help I can get to make it through my day.  This helped.  Yes, it really is a lawn tractor that someone fixed by bolting on a kitchen chair.  I think we ticked off the guy transporting this tribute to American redneck society by slowing down to take a picture, but we couldn't help it.  If you are going to put this out in the open, people are going to stare.  I have to hand it to him, at least he secured his load properly.  It is on a real trailer and is strapped down.  Not so sure about the plastic shrouding the delicate electronics from the threat of a sprinkle.  God bless America.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Wonderful World of Exploration

 I've been playing around with a few ideas I've had for a while, and my reach continues to exceed my grasp.  In trying to make long beads on my hothead, I am constantly running up against the challenge of keeping both ends warm on a relatively cool flame.  This one didn't turn out too bad, since at least I had a good tank of gas and was able to get some decent heat up.  The base is Effetre apple blush and the ends are Effetre dark matter.  I came up a bit short but that's a design feature because I will be making a hanger to allow this to hang from a belt.  For now I've got a spacer holding its place.
 Got some reduction on the DH Psyche there....
 This is the same bead right after annealing.  I got some color out of the Pandora, but I think I reduced it a little too much.
 I like this aspect...
 This is the same combination of colors on a focal.  I love the colors I got and The fuming from the silver is neat.
 I like the color of the Pandora on this...
 This was my first attempt to make a long bead on a half empty tank and was having real heat control issues.  I'd just get one end starting to melt in nicely, go to reheat the other and pop a chunk off.  Neat striking of the CiM Canyon de Chelly, which is under all that, but not enough development of everything else.
 I finally decided that this turd was not going to polish up any better and gave up.  It's a bead only a mother could love, and strangely, I do like it. 
Finally, my first skeleton key bead.  Must scrub the rest of the bead release out of the teeth, unless I want to hang onto the really aged look.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I hate taking pictures

 My camera stinks and I have no particular talent with it.  Having said this, you would think of the 30 pictures I took I would find more than 2 I could use.  Not so.  This is a pretty little necklace I made with lampwork beads and glass pearls, using pastel colors to pander to my springy mood.  On grey, it shows up pretty much how it looks, although I would like to photograph this as a necklace and not as a string of beads.  I have this neat necklace thing.  Let's try it on that.
Where'd the colors go?  Mind you, this is the best of the pictures I took on the black stand.  The contrast is too much for my miserable setup to handle.  This I got by pulling my lamp up as high as it would go and covering half of it with an envelope.  Bills are good for something after all.  And yes, the first picture did have a light baffle now that I think of it.  The cat was standing in front of the lamp.  Here kitty....

Monday, May 16, 2011


 I would like to get my Etsy shop back on line and am creating stuff to list in it, but once again I face the dilemma of facing parting with my work.  After investing so much time and energy into a favorite piece, I find myself inventing excuses not to list stuff.  The above necklace was a design challenge, since there was so much I wanted to do and try and it is always tough to get what I've got in my head to be something I can hold in my hand.  After achieving as close as I'm going to get, I am telling myself I can't charge what it is worth to me, so I should keep it, knowing that I seldom wear stuff this dressy.
This bracelet is more comfortable to keep.  I love the color combination and would wear this a lot, and I have the excuse that I've never made a wire wrapped clasp and I have to make sure it will hold up under repeated wear.

These excuses sound lame when they are written down, which is why I am doing it.  I can always tone down the necklace for myself and test out the bracelet and make another if it is sturdy enough to sell.

Why am I writing this?  I would like to hear how others overcome their separation anxiety.  Please leave a comment and let me know.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Color Shifting Glass

 Why, oh why, did I order a whole bunch of color shifting glass at once.  Honestly, when I unwrapped the package, they all could have passed as at least one of the other colors.  To keep them straight, I made notes ahead of time, without taking the first rod out of the package, so I would know which was which.  According to these notes, CiM pink champagne is marked with a periwinkle bead, CiM sepia is marked with a dark red bead, CiM blush with a lapis one, and CiM Count von Count with a white one.

In what was left of the watery daylight when I took these, note the color.  Unless there is some sun soon, this is going to have to pass as the "truest" color. 
 These were taken under the supposedly full spectrum fluorescent lamp I usually photograph under.
 These were taken under the only cool fluorescent light in the house, in the sink.
These were taken under the "soft white" compact fluorescent lights in the dining room, where I work.  This is after white correcting.  Without the white correcting, this picture wasn't even close.  It was also taken holding the whole thing as close to the fixture as I could so I could get enough light to take the shot.  The stupid camera has an autofocus lens that simply doesn't work if the lighting is too low.  I have to be very careful about grabbing glass at random.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Miscellaneous Oddities

 I was really taken with the combination of CiM Ephalba with purple and went (foolishly) with EDP.  Not only does a reaction take place, but in reducing it a bit to keep the devitrification down, I greyed out the Smurfy.  Hopefully a bit of a soak in CLR will help.  Interesting what the EDP did to the Ephalba.  In addition to the line, there's some separation of the Ephalba.  Smurfy likes to bleed into Ephalba too, it would seem.
 Note to self:  Make sure you find a way to keep track of the black stringer on the bench.  I thought it was tux, but apparently it's metallic black, which I didn't discover until I was melting it in.  Rats.
Effetre Green Tea.  Very pale aqua streaks.  Will play with this.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

New Glass

Huzzah! I finally got a striking color from Double Helix that worked for me! Following the directions on their website, I wound off a simple bead and popped it in to anneal. The second one was heavily encased in, as it turns out, Effetre whisper instead of the Effetre super clear I thought was on the table. In my lousy lighting they looked the same.... At any rate it's blue and ruby with a little green and looks pretty good by me. Good to know it doesn't react with the whisper, but next time I'd rather do clear. These were garaged for about an hour at 965 then soaked for 2 hours at 1000, then ramped down 100 degrees/hour to 500.

These beads were DH Nyx, which didn't do anything funky and organic, but didn't do anything ugly either. The bottom bead was heated to soup but otherwise left alone. I attempted to reduce the middle one but I don't see any difference other than less striking. The top bead was reduced and encased in whisper again. Now I don't know whether the brownish green streak was my technique or a reaction with the whisper. Further testing will show.

The green bead is CiM Ephalba, just because I like this combination. The bead directly above it is made with CiM Evil Queen, which I was forced to buy because Frantz stopped carrying my fav, Thai Orchid. It is not brown but isn't the rich purple of the Thai Orchid either. The bottom bead is Effetre Sedona, because it was on the table I take these photographs on and I thought it looked good with the other 2.

CiM's new super saturated aqua, Azure. Remains very vividly turquoise transparent over white. I'm not sure whether it is CiM Peace or Effetre Anice White. Definitely not white pastel.

Finally, Effetre Pale Emerald handmade by itself, over the same white and Effetre Uranium Yellow by itself. I wanted to get CiM Appletini but Frantz was out.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Happy Carol

Above is a wildly colorized and enhanced version of my glass bench.  I got a whole bunch of new glass.  I am happy.  The picture is lousy, but I'm on pins and needles waiting to try the new stuff.  On top of the controller box for the annealer are not one but 2 packages of new Double Helix glass.  On my Hot Head, it will probably turn to mud but I'm loving it now.  Bear with me.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Oh, Those Crazy Pinks

 I'm gearing up for summer and it's watermelon bead time.  I usually blend white with CiM cranberry to make the marbled pink for the flesh, but I have quite a bit of Effetre 456 gold pink and I wonder if I could substitute.

Probably not.  My apologies for the mess on the left.  The mandrels are numbered rather than the beads to avoid a wiring diagram of lines.

1--self spacers of my light batch of Effetre 456 on the left and a tiny bead of CiM cranberry on the right.  It was the tail end of a very skinny rod.

2--456 over clear, cranberry over clear, and a self spacer of my DARK batch of 456.  I only have one rod left  but striking this dark I don't need more.

3--dark 456 over clear and white

4--pale 456 on the left and cranberry on the right.  I think the colors over white show off the characteristics of each best.  The light is very pale and streaky, kind of hard to strike.  Making frit with this, it looks like a thin layer of 456 over a rod of clear.  I'm sure this is my imagination.  In comparison, both my cranberry and the dark batch are a uniform color all the way through.  The dark 456 does show a bit of streaking, though.

5--light 456, cranberry, and dark 456 over white all on one bead.  The dark 456 is almost a fuschia.

6--not that you'd ever know, but this is cranberry with dots of light 456 on the left and dark 456 on the right.  Both burned but can't be seen on the dark background.  My camera doesn't do well with a super light background.  This is why I usually use a grey steel dish to photograph on.

7--this bead is half light 456 on the left and dark on the right, with dots of cranberry on both.  It doesn't show up in the picture, but the cranberry actually burned a wee bit here.  This is the only time I've seen this.

Here's a better view of the half and half bead, and while you still can't see the dots of cranberry the line where the light stops and the dark starts is very visible by looking at the mandrel.

Here's a closer view of the cranberry bead with 456 dots.  I don't know that I can see the dots in this light (you can if you hold it up to the light at just...this...angle, which won't photograph at all) but the smudges of slightly burned bits show.
 Here are some watermelon beads I'm working on and some from last year.  I can't see any difference, and the batch of glass is very different.  Pretty decently consistant on CiM's part, I think.
I couldn't remember if cranberry or 456 made halos around copper green so I made a mixed frit of both for these lentils.  The 456 is the light batch. 

To sum up, CiM cranberry seems more consistant, less likely to burn, and easier to strike than 456, but if I want a streaky transparent pink, I know which glass to use.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Tell Me Why...

...I don't like Mondays.  Bonus points for anyone who knows the artist from the 80's who recorded that song.  It's been going through my head all day.

Seriously, it's been that kind of day.  I'm sidelined with a head cold that has made me feel less than my best, and now this:
Can I have a little consistancy, please?  Should I just scrap this idea?  Or am I going to obsess until I can do it again?  Probably the last one.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Now That's Cool

These are pretty simple, but I love the effect I get when I layer the new CiM opals, Rainforest and Atlantis, with copper green.  These are copper green and Rainforest.  There is a little reduction of the copper green and it scums up and boils like crazy, worse if I've marvered it, like I have.  I still am really digging these.  I made them on 1/8" mandrels for stringing on some braided cotton cord.  Now the hard part (for me), deciding what to do with them.