Friday, September 23, 2011

One Thing Leads to Another

I've been oh, so slowly working my way through Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Blog Party and at the rate I'm going may finish by Thanksgiving.  For a link to my bead soup reveal click here.

Making jewelry was such a challenge and such a rush, I felt compelled to keep it up and have been working on some new pieces I'd like to share.
 This necklace was created at the request of a friend and will be auctioned to benefit the local humane society.  I used a set of matching lentils and spacers I had and made some more spacers, added a few copper accent beads and joined it all together with a simple leaf clasp.

 This bracelet uses one of my tabular focals and some lampwork spacers in black and silvered ivory that I combined with pewter findings, black glass rounds and a cool pewter snake toggle.  It's a drama piece but I love the way it turned out.  It is currently in my Etsy shop here.
I'm having so much fun I've got more in the works.  I'm trying out another asymmetrical design using beads I made with CiM African Gray and DH Psyche, some iris black pearl coins, gunmetal and miscellaneous bits and bobs I've got.  I'll confess I've got this idea in my mind but am having trouble getting it together.  I need something to lighten up the colors visually, or do I?  More to follow, I'm sure as I work this one out.

Monday, September 19, 2011

I'm on the Page!

For a bit of beady goodness on the blog hop, click here.

One of the things I love to do is try out new colors and techniques.  Creation is Messy has been wonderful enough to keep coming up with new colors to keep glass addicts like myself checking our mail boxes and I hope to be able to say something coherent soon about their newest colors.

For now I'd like to share that they've included some of my blog posts on their product pages.  This is so flattering and I can't believe they're so wonderful.  Here are some of the posts and the links to their website so you can see what other folks are doing with their amazing glass.  One point I'd like to make is that I do not prewarm my rods unless I know they're going to be trouble (the Effetre hand-pulleds spring to mind) and CiM colors seem to be super-annealed or something because they simply do not cause trouble.  Just saying.  Really fun to work with.

If you go to the CiM website and look up African Gray (which is sadly sold out) you'll see my beads here.

This was such a surprise.  I was expecting CiM Canyon de Chelly, which is a truly stupendous color but due to a slight error caused by myself not reading my own labels, I got African grey instead.  I so love what the DH Psyche did, but with no more glass available I'm not pushing it.

I got listed as a tester on this one, which I get a little kick out of because every time I sit down to torch it's a bit of a test.

I need to take better pictures.  Or something

OK, I'm stuck on watermelons, but Cranberry is really the only glass to use for them.

Hope you enjoy your stroll through glassy goodness.  I bet you have to check it all out.  I always do...

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Soup's On!

Here's the necklace I made for the Bead Soup Blog Party!  Hilary Frye of FryeStyle sent such a wonderful assortment of beads I was overwhelmed!  The little piles of beads were so pretty together I decided to keep them together to make more of a visual impact.  The decision to make it asymmetrical was a tough one.  I tried a few different things before I decided to go with it.  I wanted something that would look finished and balanced and contemporary.  I got such pretty beads I wanted to use them all.

Most of my stash is earth tones and darker colors, but I made up some transparent pink ruffles, which I thought complemented the lavenders and blues. 

The silver components sparkle so beautifully, I had to keep the look going with more silver and I thought making each lampwork round its own link kept it light and let the silver come through.
 I got a lot of texture with the silver components and ruffled beads and was able to keep it light in weight by spacing out the heavier beads.
 I hope I did justice to the beautiful beads Hilary sent me.  I know I can't wait to wear my new necklace.
Here's a link to Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Blog Party.  Please visit and check out some of the 362 people making jewelry!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Another Weird Reaction

This is one I did quite by accident.  I thought the rod I picked up was CiM Canyon de Chelly (even though it was clearly labeled CiM African Grey) and proceeded to make a twistie of it and Double Helix Psyche.  I went on to use it on a rectangular tabular bead  with matching plain spacers, only instead of the silvered ivory I usually use I tried Effetre intense black stringer.  For whatever the reason, Psyche just came alive!  In addition to the usual reduction rainbow I usually get, the Psyche fumed the African grey and also the Psyche seemed to have struck!  I've got all kinds of wild  color development.
 The bead looks even cooler than this in real life and I'll be using this myself.  To be honest, the spacers didn't turn out to match.  I think I'll use African Grey as a base color.  I can't wait to try it on my other silver colors to see what it does.  I'll also try it with some more intense black just in case, but I really think it's the base glass and not the decoration on this one.
 Unless it's something strange with my torch chemistry lately.  I've noticed some more reduction than I usually get and have been wondering if it's time for a new orifice.  I could be working lower or hotter than usual too.  The speed my poor old hothead achieves is not what I would call breathtaking.  I'm trying out different places in the flame to try to get the d4mn glass to melt and I don't know if this neat effect is a result.  Probably not, but more tests are in order for sure.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Now What?

I usually don't work for an extended period of time at a stretch due to fatigue issues, so kiln crowding has never been an issue before.  This said, I've been stretching my capacity and it's resulted in a couple odd oopses.  The beads below were the result of putting one bead right on top of another.
 Here's the overview.  The green ones were only mildly fused but I didn't catch them and they stayed pretty well intact.
 By the time the turquoise ones happened, I knew what that odd, tacky sensation meant.  I tried to pull them apart, hoping I could at least save one of them, but only made things worse.
 The way the bead release started pulling away, I gave it up as a bad job before I not only had a bead I couldn't use but a cake tester.
I've vowed not to put beads into the annealer before they are well and truly not glowing and hope this at least prevents part of the problem.  Why is it that a half cooked bead I put in will fuse itself permanently to another while an intended decoration I don't cook in long enough will pop off the minute the bead cools?

Friday, September 9, 2011

Spreading the Love

I haven't figured out how to share pictures I didn't create, so my apologies for not giving you any eye candy.  Check out these links and you'll have it.  Dora at Coffee and Paint Drips wrote about the beads I sent her and I'm on cloud nine!  Here's her Etsy page but don't expect anything to last for long.  I nod to the master.  Thanks, Dora!


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Looking at Your Listings as a Buyer Would

I have never had the oppurtunity to look at my Etsy page with a shopper until today, and what an eye-opener it was.  I now realize why it's so hard to sell my beads.  Below is my primary picture.  I felt this showed how pretty each bead was best.  She asked me what they were and how they were used.
 I then had her click the view below and immediately, she got it.  "oooh...I want a pair of earrings in these colors, showing me which ones on the picture.
I've tried very hard to photograph my beads as accurately and attractively as possible, but as a seller.  I'm thinking of how the colors and texture and clarity come out and she's thinking how do I use this?  I'm going to start changing a few things in the way I photograph and props.  She knows what she wants, I have to show her what I have in a way she'll find it.  It was an aha! moment in a dreadful day and the little light it lit was more precious than rubies. 

At my day job we don't have problems, we have oppurtunities.  Personally I think this is a bit of risible spin doctoring but in this case, I see my oppurtunity and I'm going to see where it takes me.
Here's a picture of the finished earrings.  I hope they are what she had in mind...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Natural vs. Artificial Light

I hate dark weather, not only because my pictures come out lousy, but because I'm solar powered and my mental health suffers during periods of prolonged cloudiness.  I've got this light that's supposed to mimic natural daylight but I'm  beginning to find it useless.  Not only does it not portray colors quite right, it does nothing at all to warm up my mood.  Here are a couple pictures to illustrate.
This one's in natural, albeit dim light.

This one's done with my supposedly full spectrum bulb.  What a difference.  The first looks more like the bracelet, but the second was all I could do after I reworked it.  It's a nice, clear picture but doesn't look much like the bracelet.

I'm sticking to natural sinlight when I get it.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Back in the Groove

I'm starting to recover from the debacle of 2 days ago and have some new work to show off.  The leaves are a favorite of mine and I love the way the etched glass looks on them.

 These ruffled beads in transparent fall colors are so sparkling and I love the texture.
I also made a few more critter beads, these in etched clear glass.