Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Day in the Life

I won't go into all the details of my horrible day other than to say that it started at 8 PM last night and has so far involved 2 1/2 hours sleep, 13 hours of day job and work related BS, a major quarrel and many tears.  To top it off, I'm only just now getting to have some time at the torch, which would have allowed me to focus and clear my head of all the fatigue-induced insanity that's threatening to overwhelm me.

I may not produce anything other than spacers, but I will have the satisfaction of seeing the glass melt in the flame and conform itself around the mandrel.  I may even imagine a face in the glass but I've never been any good at that sort of thing so I'll settle for getting my mind off my fatigue and emotions.  A close friend once said that counted cross-stitch was a lot cheaper than a therapist.  Assuming I don't burn the house down, I can use some cheap therapy.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Play it Again, Sam

Ever have to make a bead/set similar to one you've made?  Ever forget what you used to make it?  This one was easy, because only two glasses look like this, CiM Canyon de Chelly and Double Helix Psyche.  I never tried to get such a thin layer of Psyche to reduce but the biggest effort was not to get too much gold/green in the spacers.  Canyon de Chelly is so easy to strike...and unstrike!
 This set, believe it or not, was a little more difficult.  Please forgive the difference in pictures.  As we brace for Irene, the clouds were rolling in faster than I could take pictures.  I was pretty sure I used CiM Smurfy for the base turquoise since I hate that grey thing Effetre does, but I'm not sure.  I decided to go with the CiM anyway, because I hate that grey thing Effetre does.
So what have I been doing?  I'm not sure it's a good practice to get into to list the glass I used for each bead/set in my listing, but when I'm saving to my hard drive and publishing to my facebook album, I'm listing what I made everything of and any special processes.  This way if I ever need or want to repeat something, I can.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What's New?

These are the beads I sent my bead soup partner, Hilary Frye.  Sadly, and embarassingly,  the rust colored leaves wound up being unstable.  The rest arrived in good shape and I can't wait to see what she does.
 I listed this little brown jug on Etsy a day or two ago and heard it was (very briefly) on the front page.  I didn't even get to see it, it was gone that fast. 
 I love working with Effetre mosaic green even though it's both gloppy and sparky and hates being marvered.  The color is just too cool.  Grass green pastel is a (sort of) close approximation but the shade is a little different.  Here's the listing for my black and green set.
 I made this tiny, wee, little acorn earring pair just for fun.  I used Cim Maple, and boy, is it a pain to photograph.  I think it's a little less amber and a little more green, but any changes in my picture I tried just made the color less like the original.
 I was running low on gas (now I'm out) so I decided to keep it small for this set.  The middle beads on the bottom are encased but the rest aren't.
I have a lot more new, but not a lot of space to go on about it.  With no gas for the torch, I'm concentrating on other tasks I've let slide.  I have some polymer clay beads to do the bench work on and turn into earrings, a pair of bog shoes to make for Joe, some sewing I did at Pennsic to reinforce and, oh yeah, I should get on some of the routine things I've been neglecting.

Monday, August 22, 2011

It's Bead Soup!

 My beads from my bead soup partner, Hilary Frye of FryeStyle, have arrived!  I rushed out to catch the last of the sun and have pictures!
Here's the whole set, containing a lovely floral focal and textured toggle clasp and accent beads of Thai silver with some gorgeous lampwork, lucite teardrop beads, blue Czech glass rounds and pale opal pink crystal.
Here's a closeup of the silver elements.  I love the texture.
 Here's a closeup of the lampwork.  The  color shifted a bit here but the beads are still fantastic.
This is supposed to be a challenge and it will be.  I haven't done much with these shades of pinks and purples before and will be putting my thinking cap on. 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

New Beads at Last!

I've been working like mad in my "studio" and have felt like I'm just treading water, so it is with great pleasure that I am sharing the newest beads I've listed on my Etsy site.I've been gravitating toward simpler color combinations and red and black is one that has always attracted me.  I love the intensity of this red, Effetre dark red.  With white or ivory it washes out to a fire engine red and with black it deepens to a bit of a burgundy, almost like it's picking up some of the color it's with but it's nice and saturated at the same time.  For a look at the listing click here

With this set of leaves, I was going for simplicity and complexity at the same time.  At the most basic, they're just black and white.  What makes them interesting to me is  the contrast of milky and metallic and shaped leaves and plain spacers.  To see more views please check out my listing

I love the sparkle on these.  I based the beads on blue aventurine filigrana and for the focal put on an opposing wrap of goldstone and encased the whole thing in another layer of clear.  It reminds me of stardust.  This is the listing for these beads

Finally, I've been thinking of this one for a bit.  It's a warm bottle brown wrapped in handblown silvered ivory shards.  A simple, warm brown for fall.  Here's the listing for this vessel

Please check out my new additions and the other lampwork in my shop.  I've decided to continue my 20% off sale with free domestic shipping through the summer because we all like a bargain.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Week in Review

Joe and I just returned from camping with the SCA at their big yearly event, Pennsic.  This year we finally got a proper entrance to our camp.

Joe relaxing outside our home for the week.

I went for the shopping and it shows.  Most of the pictures I wound up taking were of the market.  The variety of goods was amazing and I was able to make a purchase or two.

I was able to get a little beading in.  This is a friend holding up the Viking necklace I made for her.  Please forgive the informal presentation.  I didn't want to pack the whole photographic kit.  She'll wear this between two oval brooches on each shoulder.

It wasn't all work and lounging around at the camp.  This is the dress I wore to our annual party.  My hair turned out wild that day, didn't it?
This little cutie wound up living outside our tent.  I have the zoom way up.  He didn't like sudden movements nearby.

While we were away the world kept turning and had a good extra spin or two thrown in.  In addition to the Bead Soup Blog Party I'm participating in
Bead Soup Blog Party
Joe's mom wound up in the hospital severely ill.  She's going to be ok now and may be able to progress to rehab/physical therapy in a few days.  I'm also getting my spare room ready for my daughter because she may be joining us in the next few weeks.  Time to have fun playing closet Tetris.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Bead Soup Blog Party

I'm participating in Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Blog Party and would like to introduce you to my partner, Hilary Frye of FryeStyle on blogger.  She has the most amazing and varied talent and I can't wait to see what she sends.  Here is a link to her blog http://fryestyle.blogspot.com/ .  I hope you'll check her out.  Her Etsy shop, FryeStyle, has very cool rayon strips that can be dyed for beading.  Very cool for people with metal sensitivity.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I'm Off

Well, not quite yet.  I do have to get everything in order but here are some pictures of years past...
 Some of the kids couldn't resist recreating the plague
 Plenty of pageantry
 and a really cool conference room
 Of course, this was my usual view, and vacation is a good time for horsing around.