Monday, July 25, 2011

Effetre Dark Pumpkin Revised

A while back I tested out Effetre dark pumpkin and swore I would never, ever use the color again.  I lied.  Halloween fast approacheth and I find myself making pumpkins, and the light pumpkin, while still pumpkin colored, doesn't have the oomph for what I wanted.  So I put on the safety glasses and removed anything remotely flamable from my work area, preheated a new rod in the annealer and held my breath.  Keeping in mind the explosiveness I had experienced in the past, I gennnntly heated the rods and to my amazement, after the end popped off it settled down and was workable.  I did get what I think might have been a bubble in the rod that blew the end off once, but no more raining chunks of hot glass.  Yay!  I might be able to use this color if I remember it needs to be annealed first.  I also took the precaution of running a long soak and a slow cool with the finished beads just in case.  The above pendant is made with dark pumpkin with CiM split pea and Slytherin vine cane.  The set below is the same combination of glasses.  I was very happy with the way both came out.  Will I use dark pumpkin again?  Yes, with extreme caution and not when I'm wearing anything I'm attached to.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Giveaway!

If you'd like to win these lampwork beads, made by yours truly, go to my Facebook fan page, like me, and leave a link or way to contact you on the "I wan't some beads!" topic under the discussion tab.  After I receive 20 entrants or on July 30, I will draw a winner of this lovely set of beads

I'm also running a special sale in my Etsy shop.  I'm offering free shipping for all US orders and reduced shipping to Canada and elsewhere.  In addition, everything in my sale section is at least 20% off.  I've added new items, like

 and my Black Veil lampwork set
and this cute Candy Corn earring pair.

Check it out and take advantage of the savings!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Carl's Bracelet

My friend at work asked me to make him a bracelet to commemorate his time in Viet Nam.  He served as a radio man during the Viet Nam War and the one thing that kept him going during that painful time was hope.  If you read the bracelet from the clasp counterclockwise, it spells "hope" in Morse code.  How cool is this?!

Another friend had sent him a similar bracelet, but it was delicate and feminine and he gave it to his wife.  What he wanted was a manly equivalent he could wear as a reminder.  I hope this does it.  I asked him what color he wanted or style and he said blue and plain.  To him, it's the message that matters rather than the embellishment.  I couldn't resist either the sentiment or the challenge.

When I select a gift for a family member, I try to pick out something that says who they are and who I am and I put a lot into the selection.  Don't get me wrong, I've given my share of ivory sweaters in my time, but I really try to find the perfect gift if I can.  Carl isn't family but because the sentiment is too cool and out of the respect I feel for how he served our country I owe it to him to do the best I can.  I hope this does it.  It's simple and manly and I checked the fit on Joe to make sure a man can wear it without cutting off circulation to his hand.

Here's to a good man and a good thought!  Cheers!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Facebook Giveaway

I'm having a giveaway on my Facebook fan page Fire in Ice Lampwork.  If you'd like to win this set of beads
please like my page and leave a link under my discussion tab "I want some beads!"  Once I've got 20 entries I'll randomly pick a winner.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

New Beads

 I've been making and listing lots of new beads, and here are a few.  My Summer Meadow set pictured above is newest on Etsy here
 or you may fancy my Peacock beads
 If blue's your thing, these Deep Water beads might be right up your alley
 or a quick visit to a tropical beach with Tropic Sands beads.
Finally, the above set of Seashell beads sold but I couldn't help posting them anyway because I am so thrilled how they turned out.

I've got these beads and more in my shop, and with my coupon freeship1 for free shipping and my expanded SALE section there's a little something for everyone!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Product Review: Planet Glass Universal Bead Release

When I started lampworking, a bottle of Fusion Products bead release came with the kit and that was what I used for a while.  It worked well, and suited my needs because I hadn't tried anything else.  Once in a while, I would marver a little too vigorously and the bead would come loose and I'd have to be finished whatever I was doing.  That was when I remembered someone talking about this blue "dip and go" stuff that was so much better.  Nothing I looked at was blue, but there was a product from Milliron Tools called Dip-n-Go Sludge that seemed to fit the bill.  It worked very well and suddenly, flakes of bead release on the beads and having to quit real quick weren't a problem anymore.  It comes in a wide-mouth jar and is a bit of a pain to mix but is smooth, consistant and reliable.  Then a jar of Planet Glass' bead release came with some glass I bought and I had to give it a try.
 I'd like to note the shape of the bottle.  Long and narrow is a good thing.  When it comes to using it, though, there are one or 2 little issues.  Dipping the mandrels results in uneven coverage so often I've taken to dipping them twice.  Also, flame drying this much bead release results in a bit of flaking, which I'm not at all comfortable with.  Assuming that I have the foresight to dip ahead of time and am careful, I have mandrels dipped in release.  It works well.  I didn't have any separation or flaking off when using and the beads are cleaned in a fraction of the time it takes with my standard Dip-n-Go.
Short and squat results in a lot of product that is just sitting on the far and not the mandrels, and I have to combine almost done jars to get enough to use.  It flame dries beautifully and doesn't come loose.  For cleaning either.  I often have to keep scrubbing.

Would I buy Universal Bead Release?  Probably not.  I like my standby, even though I wish they'd come out with a different package.  That uneven coverage thing and having to dip mandrels more than once is a drag.