Monday, July 30, 2012

Ideas

Sometimes I don't torch for a while, even as long as a couple days.  I've been working on a couple custom orders and I like them because at least I know what I'll be making.

There are times when I feel like I need something different.  I'm obsessed by rainbows and have been trying to get a bead that combines all the colors, in order.  The problem lies in the fact that yellow and green, next to each other on the spectrum, form a black line where they touch.  The idea crossed my mind of doing wraps of color with a hair's breadth between them on a black or clear base and I still might do it, but then I had one of my custom orders.  It was for a bead combining several transparent colors on a white core, encased in clear.  I made the bead and went to bed.  The next morning, lying half-awake, I remembered that transparent yellow and green don't react.  I had my solution, and here's the result.
 I wound up making it into a necklace for the same customer who gave me the idea in the first place.  The shape is very organic and I love it!
These beads are on the same idea, with no clear encasement.  I never noticed with CiM Sangre and Vetrofond Arancio Perfecto that they retain much more of their transparency if they're encased.  Learn something new every day!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Late Night Insanity

Apparently at 3AM I decided that what I needed to make my life complete was a new BNS.  A BNS is a promotional treasury where you buy into one of the featured shops and in return get your shop featured and have people buy from you.  It's a great tool for exposure and while no one gets rich doing them the participants are wonderful supportive people and great gossips.

For some reason I decided that participating wasn't enough - I needed to run one.  I'm featured in over half a dozen of them at any given time, but I wanted the whole enchilada, so I set one up.  It should be harder than it is.  Pick a bunch of shops and a theme, usually color based (I picked purple -surprise!) and put it out there.  Invite a whole bunch of people and welcome to the party!

Here's the link to mine
http://www.etsy.com/treasury/OTA5MzcwOXwyNzIzMTE3MTM4/open-fireinice-bns-bonus-rounds-its?ref=pr_treasury

As far as glassy goodies go, I'm not sure how well the two will mix.  I've already been dismayed by how much time I spend promoting vs. making, photographing and listing stuff and this isn't helping.

Here are some of the new goodies I've made
 I'm not happy with my pictures lately.  I'v been shooting indoors because outside isn't giving me true color.  I've got to compensate, especially the blue range.  Red doesn't do well indoors, as the beads below (on a base of CiM Sangre) prove.  I only wish I could capture the complexity of the dots and beauty of the beads. They're a bit flat.

 Silver and gold are fine and I love the simple look of silver and gold just plain laid over glass.  Easy to work with.  Easy to wear.  Easy to care for - just either wear it or polish it like your other jewelry.

These were a bit of a let down - I used up my last rods of Effetre light aqua and wound up with beads that weren't the same size.  I'm going on vacation soon and can't afford to order more glass so these pretties are relegated to the seconds section.  Less than 1mm from perfection.  Honestly, I ought to have just kept them for myself and made earrings.  No one will notice a millimeter since my ears are more than a mm different anyway.  I could wear the smaller earring on the bigger ear and no one would know.

I don't know how people list new stuff day after day.  It is either promote what you've got or make it.  I'm having serious issues doing both.  Which is why I was awake at 3AM doing a treasury.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Getting Sucked In

I've been very bad.  It's been a rough few weeks, so I'm going back to some comfortable music.  This one stands out, both because it's a cool song and a cool video.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rOiW_xY-kc&feature=relmfu

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Foodies Beware

I've been shopping lately at the Amish market in Flemington, NJ.
http://dutchfarmersmarket.com/

The selection is awesome and many of the goods offered for sale are hand produced. I read about buying local and organic food and additive free but on a supermarket shelf these words are meaningless.  My local supermarket has produce from my county proudly displayed in the front of the produce aisle.  When I see it, I buy it.  Nowhere do I see meat, eggs and butter that I can point to on a map.  Here I can.  When I buy a pound of cheese I can say it came from here.  The farm is right on the label.  As far as organic goes, I know that the beef, pork, lamb and chicken are raised in what we city slickers call a farmyard.  They don't do the cage thing.  The feed they give their animals isn't ground up who knows what with a chaser of antibiotics and hormones.  Organic is a term that has lost all meaning.  It's good to know that what I'm eating was produced using farming techniques I can trace back through generations of my own family.

A bit of caution:  the fish is brought in daily from the fish market in NY.  Produce is likewise sourced.  Bulk goods such as spices, grains and flours are repackaged quality ingredients.  Many of their candies are also repackaged bulk supplies.  Do try their homemade fudge!  They've got more preserves and pickles, all homemade, than I can even name, including a few family favorites like watermelon rind and pickled peaches.

I'll close with a recipe I made tonight

Green Beans Almondine
2 lb. green beans, ends removed and broken into mouth sized pieces
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. olive oil (optional, but nice)
fresh ground black pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup slivered blanched almonds

Combine the beans, salt, vinegar, oil (if using) and pepper in a microwave safe dish.  Cover with cling film and microwave on high 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, melt the butter and cook until it just starts going golden.  Add the almonds and remove from heat.  Let the temperature equalize and return to a low heat and toast the almonds to a warm, nutty brown.  Toss with the cooked green beans and serve.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Independence Day

There is a bit of glassy goodness at the end but first I want to share this
 If you leave Joe alone for too long, he gets bored and finds something to do.  I love the skull with the pipe and helmet I found in his man cave corner.  The skulls are models he bought at Toys-R-Us, of all places and aged and decorated.  Periodically I'll find one doing or being someplace odd.  Read that part about Joe getting bored.
I haven't been bored.  The set of beads above is some new Val Cox frit (Ocelot Spots) I want to talk about.  The white bead in the middle I'm referring to as my resting state bead.  CiM Peace, with Ocelot Spots frit melted in.  It's pretty in an amber kind of way.  On the right are 2 beads with Ocelot Spots on Effetre super clear.There's a lot of variation in the way the colors distribute themselves....

The beads on the left are Ocelot Spots on a base of Effetre Straw Yellow.  I didn't deliberately reduce them, but on a hothead, everything gets reduced anyway so I might as well run with it.  Notice the greens and blues around some of the frit?  Not present on clear. Present in a lesser degree on the top left bead.  I figured since I was going to get reduction anyway, why not go for a boro kind of look and encase it?  Here are the results - I like it!

Monday, July 2, 2012

What's Up?

I'm always making something.  It's never as much as I'd like but every once in a while a wild idea will strike and I have to try it out.  The set below is an example.  A treasury sparked a color scheme.  I wish I could have made beads incorporating the orange and yellow and green together but they don't play nice.
 This pseudo vessel was one of those beads that evolved.  It started out being a focal until the clear core got out of hand and started to get too close to the end of the mandrel.  It's now a one hole bead.  I love the colors and am pleased with the design.
 You wouldn't think learning how big your lentil press is would be such a challenge but here's proof.  Don't ask how many beads this really is.