Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving and Beads

Ok, so there's really no connection between Thanksgiving and Beads in reality however, that said, I must say I am thankful that I found this wonderful craft/art of making glass beads.  sigh.  It was a long time coming and I just can't give it up. 

I am the first to admit, I am no artist.  There are folks out there that are so creative and artistic in this medium that I just cannot compare.  That's ok though.  I knew long ago when I started I was no artist.  Never tried to be.  I just enjoy being mesmerized by melting glass.  What a joy ! 

So what does constitute being an artist ?  Is it the ability to create new and unique objects/items ?  Here is the definition of an artist, according to Merriam-Webster dictionary: 
a person who creates art :
 a person who is skilled at drawing, painting, etc.
: a skilled performer
: a person who is very good at something
I am none of the above !  lol ! 
It says nothing about creating "new and unique".  I KNOW for a fact there are bead artists that will disagree quite loudly.  lol ! 
Definition of craft according to Merriam-Webster:

 an activity that involves making something in a skillful way by using your hands
: a job or activity that requires special skill
crafts : objects made by skillful use of the hands
That's where I'm at.  A crafter and I love it.  :) 
Since I have no artistic qualities (hehehe) I make simple, uncomplicated beads right now.  I did the complicated stuff in the past.  When I had more energy.  lol !  When I was more ambitious I guess.  I'm at that point in my life where, easy is more fun.  Oh don't get me wrong, I still have PASSION about this craft.  I can't get enough.  I LOVE the choice of colors, the different glasses, the frits, the tools, etc, etc.  lol !   I think about it often when I'm not at the torch & get excited.  I have dreams about it.  lol !  All that passion stuff, I still feel.  I just prefer taking the easy way whenever possible.  Why not ?  And those days when I feel extra rambunctious, I dig in to the tutorials and go for it.  lol !  I have LOTS of tuts I've never even tried due to the complicated steps.  They're fun to read and look at the pictures though.  :) 
Since my last post, which seems ages ago, I have FINALLY just gotten back on the torch in the last 2 days and it feels soooooooooooo good !  I've made simple fritted beads pictured below, more bellflowers which are still in the kiln and a few experimental beads which I won't show.  They aren't worth the time to photograph.  lol !  The second set below is a "re-do" of beads I made previously.  Too big of a set so downsized and made 2 sets.  This one with a focal. 
So enjoy the eye candy for this post and come back again soon.  Time for Thanksgiving dinner is drawing near.  Cracker Barrel has a really good turkey dinner !  lol !  Thanks for stopping in and I hope you and yours had a great Thanksgiving day !   


Friday, November 6, 2015

Since My Last Post...............................

It's been a long few weeks with no torching and still I can't breath out of my nose.  Feeling better, just can't breath.  Ugh.  Since no beads were made, I have no brand new photo's to post - except a few of beads I "re-did".  Photo's below. 

Since my last post, the time fell back and it took everyone a week to fall forward !  lol !  Time for that tired tradition to end.  No need for it to change at all anymore. Leave it at Spring Forward.  More sunlight in the day means healthier people. 

Since my last post, I noticed not as many folks have stopped in here.  I am guessing that has to do with my removing old, outdated posts about Kumihimo.  Can't help it.  That "art" has moved far ahead of where I was when I made those posts.  So, bye bye. 

Since my last post, I got a couple new "toys" to play with.  I did try one out last week and LOVE it.  Can't wait to use it more.  It's a masher that mashes absolutely perfectly  parallel compared to any other masher out there.  Pricey but worth every dime.  Second toy is a press or mold that came from Germany.  Can't wait to use it either.  

Since my last post, I I've cleaned up/out my bead stash.  It was a long time coming.  BOC got a nice box full of almost 300 beads and a nice person overseas got a nice boxfull of beadies !  :)   

Since my last post, the weather is changing dramatically however not like it should be.  Instead of getting cooler and STAYING cooler, we are getting temps in the 70's !  For pete's sake, it's NOVEMBER !  The leaves are covering the ground and still falling and it's still in the 70's !  Very little color in the leaves I'm guessing because we had very little rain all summer.  Yet, we have been getting TONS of rain the past 2 months.  Go figure.  

Since my last post, I've cleaned up my desk, my torching area and my silk cords are better organized.  

Since my last post, I've added OPB's (other peoples beads) for sale on my Facebook page.  Destash Beads For Sale  I've had these beads for MANY years, never used any of them so they need to find new homes.  Send me a message over there if interested in any of them. 

Promised eye candy photo's.  Enjoy ! 

Thanks much for coming by.  I hope you come back again soon.


Sunday, October 25, 2015

Beads - Beads - Sick (you know like, " Duck, duck goose ! )

I know it's the same ole' same ole' but it's what I do and love doing.  Still, the last week and a half it's been no beads, no torching I should say, nada.  Sick and more sick is the way it's been at our house.  Yuck.  Still feeling it but starting to ease up.  What bothers me is within 48 hours of going to the doctor, who INSISITS everyone MUST come in every 6 months whether or not we need to, I was sick.  Yep, went in healthy and 2 days later, sick.  This is just ridiculous.  I need a new doctor.  Hard to find one that's even likable where we live.  Anyway, that's the last time I do that.  It's happened before.  After going to the hospital once for a mammo.  Within 48 hours, sick.  It's crazy.  Doctors offices and hospitals are for sick people.  We need places to go to if we are NOT sick and just need an xray or bloodwork done, we can go and not have to worry about what strain of flu we're going to catch or when will the cold kick in - or worse.  No, I'm not a clean freak or sterilize everything freak, I just want to be able to go into a doctor's office and feel at ease that I won't get sick.  lol !  Yeah, I know, it ain't gonna happen.  Oh well............

I am getting a few things accomplished this weekend.  Finally getting my bead bowl cleaned out.  Have a nice little bowl going for BOC.  It's been a long time I sent in any beads and it's about time to get moving on it.  Back to making at least one bead each torch session for BOC kids.  I know they need them.  They always do.  It also means I'll get back into sculpting a little again.  I love to sculpt the little dino's I've done in the past and teeth.  Those are fun to make.  So that is my mission - at LEAST one bead per session for the kids.  :)  The few photo's below are what I have done in the past for them.  Fun stuff. 

I am anxious to get back on the torch.  So what's new right ?  lol !  Can't help it.  Looking forward to trying something I've never worked with before - gold leaf.  Have used silver foil, leaf and powder many times but never gold.  Mainly due to the cost.  That stuff is EXPENSIVE because it IS real gold.  And we all know how much gold is per ounce these days.  So, will be very careful about using it.  First, I'm going to "build" a little tool that will help me work with it better.  A fellow lampworker posted a free tutorial on how to make this tool on her blog here Hot Glass Chick's Blog .  It will hold the gold leaf in one place in order to make it easier to use.  That stuff just literally flies away.  This tool will keep it from doing that.  So if you're a beadmaker and have never seen this, check it out.   Well worth the pennies you'll invest in it.  :)  Thanks to Shawnette for sharing this.


Time for me to sign off for now.  Thanks for coming by.  I hope you come back again soon !   Have a great week ! 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Cool - Crisp - Autumn Air = Making Beads !

Indeed it does !  Equal making beads that is.  This is the time of year when I can and do make beads ALOT.  At the torch most every single morning.  I love the fall weather leading into winter.  Winter is THE BEST time of year for me.  If only I could live in a snowy area, I'd be in heaven !  lol !  The colors of fall are what inspire me.  When I went to bed last night, all I could think about was making fall color beads.  And that color palette is more wide open than people might think. 

Fall and winter color palette's are truly wonderful with so many deep, rich and vibrant colors to choose from.  Think of the changing of leaves on trees in the fall.  Rich oranges, bright yellows and reds, soft and mutted browns and tans and green in just about any shade you can imagine.  Even purples are considered fall and winter colors.  There is a website that's pretty much indispensable for color combinations.  Here's the link  and as you can tell it's called Design Seeds.  You can get inspiration in your email daily if you choose.  I was doing that for a long time until I took a break from making beads.  I'm starting it up again as there are times I do need that inspiration.  I am one of those people that I can try to make the same color combinations and sometimes I do however I have found that when I do, I get very bored and most of the time the beads just aren't the same.  I am no good at "production" work.  Anyway, fall and winter colors are the prettiest in my book.  I feel "at home" when making them.  Don't get me wrong, I love bright colors too.  Oh and of course blues and reds..........oh brother, I admit, I pretty much love all colors BUT fall and winter colors truly are my favorites.  

So onto some eye candy.  I have been busy at the torch lately but did manage to remove myself from that torch for a few mornings last week.  Life gets in the way of torching mojo sometimes.  lol !  The days I did torch were mostly test beads.  Trying different color combos and playing with my new toys too.  :)   I did get a few sets done along the line. 

         This first set I love !  Made on one of my new toys called the Baroque bead shaper.  LOVE !  This set has 3 graduated sizes of the baroque shape with donut spacers.  The color is actually 2 fairly new glass colors and each rod is a mix of two colors.  A good size set to be sure.  This is available on my Facebook page

This set is quite organic.  With chocolate brown, silver, ivory and turquoise all swished, swirled and twisted about so it has no set pattern . I like that. :)  Sorry but this one is not available but I can make more !  This one I wouldn't mind redoing at all.  This sort of  technique is always fun to do.  You can contact me on my Facebook page here if interested. 

Yes, I'm pushing my Facebook page.  It seems to be the way these days.  So come on over and check it out. 

I am having a sale in my Etsy shop.  EVERYTHING expect the hand dyed silk cords is on sale for 15% off !  Come on over and do some shopping !  The link to my shop is on the right.

Time to start my day.  Thanks so much for coming by.  I hope you come back again soon !

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Cleaning Things Up & Flowers

Yeah, it was time to do a little "updating" to my blog.  Deleted some things and updated others.  It was time.  Still a bit more to do but that's for another time when I actually have some time.  lol ! 

It's torching weather at last.  It's about time !  This was one of the hottest summers I remember since moving to Georgia.  Little rain too but we're getting it now. 

With the great cool weather I am back to torching as often as I can.  Usually in the mornings, early.  The best time of day for me.  I get a lot accomplished then.  I do try to limit myself to no more than 2 hours tops but sometimes I will end up in the middle of something or want to test out just one more color combination.  :)  I've been into making sets these days which is something I never really did liked to do.  Different time- different year.  lol !  Back when I first started making beads, it was sculpting.  Hardly anything but sculpting.  LOVED it.  I still do actually but my hands do not.  I don't remember the last time I actually sculpted anything really.  I really never did "production" work.  Never wanted to so never did.  Sets were an on and off thing.  Made them here and there.  Got into making LONG beads for a long time.  Still love to do that when I can.  So many things you can do with a long bead.  :)  So sets it is for now which is fun and of course can be very frustrating.  lol !  

Since I've had a little time with my new "toys" I have been playing with one in particular, the baroque bead roller.  I enjoy that shape of bead.  Fun to play with.  I don't have any new beads of that shape photographed yet but they're on the way.  I've also been making more bellflowers.  I got some brand new glass and ooooooo are they gorgeous !  Those flowers are in the kiln cooling now.  In the meantime, I managed to "conquer" Rubino !  That is one glass color I used to have fits over !  Hard to work with but finally got it figured out.  Second photo, gorgeous blue and the last photo is pinks and purples.  Some opaque, some transparent and one translucent.  Nice.  Bellflowers are such fun to make.  Having the proper tool is very important.  I use nothing but the best which is the Carlo Dona bellflower press.  A work of art in itself.  There isn't another bellflower press on the market that compares to the quality of the Carlo Dona tools.  They come in a variety of sizes and flower points.  I have and use the 12mm 6 point - 14mm 6 point and the 20mm 8 point which is what the flowers below are.  I will be getting another press when available in the 16mm 6 point size. 

So did I only make bellflowers this past week ?  Nope but again, I need to take photo's of everything.  It's not that I didn't want to get that all done, I just haven't had time.  lol !  Such is the way sometimes.  :) 
                           Stunning cranberry color in these flowers. 

These flowers are done in a wonderful shade of transparent  brilliant dark blue.  Gorgeous ! 

This set of flowers are in purples and pinks.  Quite lovely really. 
It's time to sign off for now.  Thanks very much for coming by.  Please come back again soon.  I'm trying hard to post on a regular basis.  :)  
Come on over and visit my All My Beads Facebook Page.  You can see what's going on daily there.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Lampwork Tools and Toys - It's Time To Play !

It was a really great week at the torch last week - finally !  Yes, it's been cool enough, at least in the mornings, I can get back to doing what I truly love to do - make beads !  And I sure did.  Had a blast.  Got some new tools and toys to work/play with which made it all the more fun.  New stuff requires learning to use the item and LOTS of practice.  With practice comes many failures which end up in the water can.  lol !  So if I made 50 beads, probably half ended up "canned".  lol !  That's perfectly fine with me.  It gets me to that goal of the bead being well done.  :) 

So what did I get ?  A few tools that will help in many ways - these for example.  PHOTO #1 is of what they call "shaping tools" mainly for sculpting but one can find other uses as needed.  I got mine at Harbor Freight (actual store).  Pretty inexpensive really considering all that can be done with them.  PHOTO #2 - I also got a new rock tumbler.  That can be used to tumble glass beads to give them that gorgeous matte finish without using chemicals.  Mix it up with water, silicone carbide (grit), some glass beads like pony beads and a drop or two of liquid dish soap and off you go !  PHOTO #3 - below the tumbler shows just one set beads I tumbled in my new tumbler.  You can tumble as many or as few beads as you want but I prefer more so when I do want etched beads, I'll wait until I have a nice, large group.  :)  I also got new filters for my face mask.  It is all about safety afterall.  While this art/craft is a lot of fun, it requires extreme caution at all times.  You are dealing with gas + oxygen = fire and fumes.  Nasty, deadly fumes.  Along with a powerful ventilation system, a gas mask is a must - at least for me.  I use a 1/2 mask which is much more comfortable. 

Ok so on to the fun stuff !  lol !  I got a few new toys to play with too !  :) Some new bead rollers which are in the photo's below.  I forgot to mention - I did "borrow" all of the photo's you see here EXCEPT my beads.  :)  Anyway, these are the first bead rollers I've purchased in a very long time.  Probably years.  Am having fun with them !  You can see the website address to Donna's online shop - CG Beads in those photo's.  Her bead rollers are great, the original bead rollers and they are made right here in the USA !  Anyway, I had the last bead roller in the photo when it first came out years ago but sold it because at the time I was not into making sets much.  So of course I had to buy another one.  lol !  It would seem I'm into making sets now.  lol !  Anyway, with all these new bead rollers comes a lot of practice using them.  Sometimes it's easy - sometimes not so much.  The key - learn how much glass is needed.  If you start out with the smallest mold and add too much glass, at least you can go to the next size up.  :)  PPP is all it takes.  Oh and your imagination of course.   The last photo is of just one little set I made using the first mold called Baroque.  I really do LOVE this shape !  Just so much fun !  I rarely make anything purple but gotta say, I like this little set.  More to come of this shape to be sure.

Well, that's all for today.  Thanks so much for coming by.  I hope you come back again soon !  Check out my facebook page here  for all the latest including news about my Etsy shop. 




Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Blogging Information Please

I'm overdue for a post.  The last 2 weeks have been tedious but that's not why you come to visit.  :)   Forward I go................ 

If you blog, do you check on who's looking at your blog ?  Do you see where they are posting from ? 
Whenever I log on to my blog the first page that opens up shows posts that folks make that are on my blogs to read list.  Those are blogs I have links to or follow.  I look to see who's made a post and if anything looks interesting, I read.  There are several I enjoy although not regularly.
The other thing that shows up is a chart showing there are visitors to my blog.  I check out this chart each time I log on.  It tells me where the visitors are coming from.  Not any of their personal information, only that someone has clicked on my blog from another website.  For example:  Say I go to a beading website, see someone's link to their blog, click on that link and there I am at their blog. 
You do not see personal info on me nor do I see anything on you.  It's just interesting information letting the blogger know there is someone looking at their blog that came from a beading website.  

Today I noticed of the top 6 websites where someone has visited my blog, 5 of them read posts about Kumihimo.  Some days, of the top 6 websites where I had visits from, they were reading posts about lampwork.  There is one website that is ALWAYS #1 that I get visitors from on a daily basis.  The post they are reading is more than 3 years old !  :)  I find that most interesting.   

The other information these posts give me (and all bloggers) is the country the post is coming from.  It does NOT give any addresses or even the city, only the country.  Truly shows that the world wide web is up and running just fine 24/7.  

Now it's time for a little eye candy.  lol !  Yes, I was able to torch a few times a week or so ago.  Once again, during a brief reprieve from the heat and humidity ! 

I adore this first set !  I love the frit and I love it etched ! 

This is a simple 3 shades of transparent amber barrel beads set with sis and then etched to give them that wonderful soft matte look and feel.  Yummy.

Thanks much for coming by.  I hope you come back again soon !