Saturday, June 27, 2015

Heat Wave Continues

 Since it's been so hot, I can't bring myself to turn on the kiln or the torch.  That always adds alot more heat to the torching area plus with the vent system running, that brings in some outside air.  Yeah, I can't do that with the AC running full blast.  I don't know how other folks can stand it.  Besides, who wants to add to the already high electric bill ?

So with no torching comes no new beads.  Other than the few I made before the 100 degree mark was hit which are pictured below.  Those are the last of them til the temps drop a bit.  Again, I used my new mold/press and still love it !  :)  Still simple frit beads but with a little twist added in each one and I actually made a few spacers to go along with the set.  lol !  Will miracles never cease !  A few sets and now a few spacers.  lol !  I haven't made any spacers in AGES.  This press is just too much fun.  Also, more bell flowers.  Can't stop making these pretties.  :) 

So that's about all for this week.  Thanks so much for coming by.  I hope you come back again soon.  :)  

If you see anything on my blog pages you'd like to purchase, just let me know here in the comment section, on my Facebook page or at my Etsy shop convo's.
Check my pages out here:  All My Beads Facebook Page
And Here:  All My Beads Etsy Shop

Saturday, June 20, 2015

It's a Heat Wave In and Out !

Today's blog post will have several topics included.  So much to say, so much to do.  :)

To start, I was at the torch nearly every day this past week and had a blast even though it was hotter than hell !  lol !  Yes, I swore cause that's exactly what it felt like while melting the glass.  You have to understand, not only do we sit in front of a flame, we also have a kiln going and possibly a warming/hot plate going to keep little tidbits of needed additional pieces warm.  So all this heat adds about 20 plus degrees to your torching area if you are inside.  Which most beadmakers are.  Best times to torch are either very early in the morning (me) or late at night after the sun has been down a while and even then, it's blazing !

Second topic - New "toys".  lol !  A good name for new gadgets that are used for making beads.  For me, it is a new bead shaping mold/press.  Yep.  Got a brand new mold/press from Germany that I LOVE !   Typically, I hate molds/presses.  I've never been that good at it and really never had the patience to work with them.  I've got a few and only a few.  I don't typically make sets either but, I knew the minute I opened the box I HAD to play ( no matter how hot it was).   The thing most folks don't realize is that there is a learning curve with each and every mold/press that comes down the pike.  And it takes a little time to get it perfect.  The amount of glass needed, how many times one has to "press", keeping it warm, adding decorations (before pressing or after) and so on.  It takes more than one session to get it right, to get that perfection.  So we put some glass we think might be enough and press.  Hmm, not enough ?  Add more glass and press again, and so on and so on.  It's a process, a learning curve and it's necessary with each and every press, mold, roller, tool out there for making beads. 
The first photo - all of the beads I made using that new press.  Some were just test beads but there are two sets in there plus those two little creatures of some sort.  :)   The second photo shows the sets.  Yes they are simple frit beads but that's ok.  Frit beads are great for practice beside being pretty.  lol !  I have one more set soaking.

Third topic - Burn out - but because I need to get my day started, that will have to be for another day. 

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

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Beads & DVD's

A strange combination I'm sure.  lol !   I've been torching some this week but it was limited and will be even more so now due to the heat and humidity.  Summer has arrived.  
First things first.  Got some leaf headpins/beads made at last and this time, made some that are the biggest I've ever made !  lol !  Just wanted to see how big I could go with no issues.  You see my results below.  :)  The bigger leaf is more like a focal.  The rest are good for whatever one can think of.  :)  All for sale.  Post below in the comments section if interested.  I like this technique I used for all of them really.  It's more "work" than using one color but worth the outcome.
I made lots of bellflowers as well however no need to show them here.  They're for a special project anyway.  lol ! 
The second photo is of the few beads I made.  The 4 similar shaped beads were more or less experiments that "sort of" turned out.  Was testing a bead shaper/marver I got a long time ago and never used.  Not sure I liked it.  It slid around alot while being used.  The other two were reactive colors that I really love using together.  That round bead is HUGE but turned out great.  I only wish I had used the darker cranberry color on top of the pink dots on the sides.  Next time. 

Onward as it were.  I feel the need to bring up another subject here.  The DVD's I've been watching.  Oh brother.  I never thought I'd sit and watch a CURRENT tv program on dvd but that's exactly what I've been doing.  I bought the first season dvd set of Game Of Thrones at Walmart about 2 weeks ago for CHEAP.  I had heard it was a fantastic tv series.  So figured why not try.  I wasn't that impressed after the first 2 "shows" on disc 1 but figured I paid for this set so I'll watch it.  Needless to say - I was HOOKED in such a major way I had to have the other seasons.  Only up to season 4 was available so I bought them all !  lol !  I've never binged watched ANYTHING before Game Of Thrones.  lol !  My husband even got into it and loves it !  He and I both binged watched it last weekend one day.  I just finished up watching the last of the 4 seasons.  Watching up to 3 shows each time I watched.  If you haven't seen it I won't go into details but I have to say - WATCH IT ANY WAY YOU CAN AND START FROM THE VERY BEGINNING !  You will NOT regret it one bit.  I have already pre-ordered season 5 dvd's.  I cannot wait for it to arrive.  The only complaint I have is there just aren't enough shows in the actual season but I can understand why.  It's one of the BIGGEST undertakings I've seen for a tv show.  Revolution was similar but I am quite sure that Game Of Thrones is even bigger.  Amazing show.  HBO finally got it right with this one.  :)   

Ok, time to get my day started.  Thanks so much for coming by.  I hope you come back again soon.  Have a great day and week.  :)

Thursday, June 4, 2015

They Really Got A Hold On Me - Beads that is !

Oh indeed, they do and pretty much have since 2004/5.  Yep, it's been that long.  Yes, I've delved into many other things like Kumihimo, which I LOVE almost as much as melting glass.  Hand dyeing silk cord, making jewelry, new to me making wire trees and also new to me silver clay which I've yet to start but it's melting glass I always come back to.  :) 

I say 2004/5 because my interest started with making beaded jewelry and that began in '04.  I thank Joan Rivers for that as it was the purchase of one of her beaded bracelets that started it ALL.  lol !   It was in 2005 I actually took a class in bead making or lampwork or melting glass.  Whatever one chooses to call it.  lol !  That's when it started.  Over the years since, I have been absent from this art/craft many times.  I never use to torch in the summer months.  In the south, it's just way too hot and humid, for me anyway.  So for about 5 months a year, every year, no torching.  One month of that is during heavy pollen season which I still adhere to.   That brings torching time down to 7 months.  On bad weather days no matter what time of year, no torching.  At one point, I was off the torch for about 2 1/2 years straight.  So that time frame of "10 years" , is a bit misleading.  As you can see, not the case.  lol ! 

After having long breaks I feel like I am starting all over again and sometimes that's exactly what I do.  I go back to basics.  Sometimes, that's exactly what's needed.  Like now.  I'm "sort of" going back to basics even though I'm playing with frits I've never used.   Still, I'm not feeling "pressured" kinda like before when I felt like I had to stock my Etsy shop.  Now, I'm just enjoying what I'm doing and if someone wants to buy something, fine.  The beads I'm making now are LARGE focal size and perfect for necklaces or maybe even bead embroidery pieces, jewelry or not.   It's fun time again !  lol ! 

So what you see below is the fun I had last week.  All the beads I made minus those that ended up in the water can   lol !   There are 2 that didn't turn out like I intended and 2 that were a surprise.  lol !  All good though.  :)  If you see any you'd like to have. just leave me a comment below. 

Time for me to get some work done today.  Thanks much for coming by and I hope you come back again soon !  Stay safe and cool.  It's already getting hot !  lol !

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Back From Vacation and a Few Beadies

I just looked at the date I was last here and it's been too long that I last posted.  Wow !  Since that date, we have taken a short vacation and there was lots happening at home.   Ever find out when it's too hot that your AC is on the blink ?  Anyway, I did have a little torch time in there and even made a beaded braid while on the road during vacation.  No pics of the braid but I did manage some of the beadies posted below.

These two beads are called fire and ice. Taken from a freebie tutorial written up long ago (years) by Mrs. Booger's husband I believe.  I'll have to verify that one.  I never did make these beads until this month and it was pretty much fun.  The only thing I'll do differently next time is make the twistie much smaller.  I have a tendency of making larger diameter twisties.  lol !  Still, I really enjoy the colors in these beads.  Thanks to Mr. Booger !

This very large freeform pressed focal bead is a favorite of mine.  Just frit added to some transparent glass and some of it twisted about.  I do enjoy very much how it turned out !  I will play with this frit some more.  :)  You may see this bead in a beaded braid necklace.  

BIG SIGH HERE !  lol !  This bead is a "What not to do" bead !  lol !  I will show those beads when they happen.  lol !  This one is NOTHING like it started out to be.  Right off hand I don't remember the color I started with.  It was either black or cobalt blue.  Either way, I added some silver foil and other ingredients to the base and it still didn't turn out like I wanted.  So I did the "logical" thing - I mixed it all together, hid that mess with MORE glass !  Dark Ivory, silver foil and black.  Hmmmm, the bead only got bigger and uglier !  lol !   This is the result.  ICK !  Every bead maker has done this at one time or another and usually more than once and most will NOT show them in public.  I think, showing our "what not to do beads" only shows others we are not "know it all's" in this world of melting glass and are willing to experiment !  :)  I mean, experimenting is 90% of this craft/art and sooooo much fun !  lol ! 

My Etsy shop is open again now that we're back from vacation so if you so desire, take a few minutes and have a peak. 

Thanks much for coming by.  Please come back again sometime soon.  I'll be posting back on schedule once again.  :) 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Making Glass Beads - Pure Joy !

 It would seem my muse has made a comeback - finally !  lol !  Not sure the creativity has returned (if I ever had it) but at least the joy of melting glass has returned. :)   It feels wonderful !  I have to say of EVERY craft I have dabbled in or attempted, making beads - melting glass - lampworking - flame working - whatever one chooses to call it, is my first love.  And I have dabbled alot over the years.  lol !

I was able to torch several times over the past week.  Since I am still "recovering" from that long absence of melting glass, I am taking things slow and steady.  Not jumping into sculpting or anything too detailed.  Returning to tried and true color combo's, easy twisties and using alot of frit - which I hadn't done in a long time prior to the absence.  The thing about frit - it's soooo easy to use and make gorgeous beads.  Just a matter of how you use it.

Let's talk about frit.  It is a conversation that has been discussed over and over and on many places on the net.  It's in every beadmakers stash whether they are just trying a bit or have hoards of it !  lol !  There is such a variety to choose from these days AND we can even make our own.  It's easy to do - find what colors of glass you like and either crush them up or melt the rods on the ends.   While still red hot, stick them in a container of water that has a coffee filter in the bottom to catch the glass and wha - la, you have frit.  The color combo's or even single color frit is limitless !

Using frit on a bead is about as easy as it gets.  Just heat up your shaped bead and roll it in the frit and melt in.  Put the frit on the entire bead or on just one section.  Easy. Another way to use frit, heat up a ball on the end of a glass rod and dip it into frit, melt and pull into stringer.  Use stringer on your bead.  Easy.   Another trick, put silver foil on your bead then put the frit on.  Gives your bead a pretty sparkle.  :)  These are just a few ways frit is used to make gorgeous glass beads.  There are plenty more tips and tricks out there but I don't have all day to type them here or the room.  lol !   Do a search on the internet and see what you come up with.  You'll be happy I'm betting.  :)

On to this weeks eye candy  - beads !  Yay !  Simple, basic beads but I enjoyed very minute of making them.  The first photo are all focal beads.  That's what I've been into these days plus some cones.  I got some new cone mandrels and am practicing with them.  As with anything it's a learning curve here.  Anyway, the beads are all frit beads and all have silver foil melted in as well.  My favorite - the upper left.  LOVE that frit and it's no longer being made.  sigh.  Oh well, it happens.  I still have a bit of a stash so that's good.  :)  

The next photo, below, is of 3 frit beads and one twistie bead.  The 3 frit beads are called faux boro because it LOOKS like boro glass but it's not.  It's soda lime glass or soft glass.  Boro is called hard glass.  Anyway, that's for another day.  There is another way to make faux boro but I found some frit long ago that did that in frit form so thought I'd try it.  It's pretty and shows all the blues and greens that come out which is what the description said it would do.  Those beads are also encased.  The twistie bead is a favorite combination of mine and many others.  That color combo has been around for a very long time.  First published in one of Corina's how to books.  Anyway, it certainly didn't start out that way but all beadmakers know, what isn't working can be made into something that does work !  No wasting glass if at all possible !  lol !
 Then of course we have more bell flower beads/headpins.  Still alot of fun to make and still need to make more.  I was trying a couple of colors I've never used before with the flowers and like the outcome.  I have so many now I need to start listing them.  Want any ? If you do, they are $3.00 each with a minimum of 3.  Just send me a message here or in my Etsy shop.

That's all for this week.  I have more beads in the kiln, a necklace waiting on findings, and another project in the works.
Thanks much for coming by !  Please come back again soon.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Beads - That's it - Just Beads ! :)

It's been an interesting past week.  Lots happening (as usual), new and old.  Back at the torch a few days and LOVED it !  Want more.  Still waiting for the heavy pollen to stop.  Drove past the lake the other day and it (the pollen) was just floating around, like oil slicks, on top of the water !  ICK ! 

Torch time is limited for me right now so when I do get to "play" I try to make beads worth using.  Sometimes it works, sometimes not.  Last torch session, on Monday, I made 3 decent beads.  When I was done cleaning them I sat them on a towel to dry them off and forgot they were there.  Sigh.  Yep, you guessed it, I picked up the towel and 2 of the beads went flying, hit the tile floor and broke !  UGH !  See that picture below.  that's what happened.  So yes people, drop a large size glass bead on the floor and it'll break.  I've seen smallish round beads drop and bounce on this same floor but bigger beads, especially large pressed beads, don't stand a chance on ceramic tile.  Sad.  Still, the colors were tried and true so I can make more.  :)  

This is the one that survived.  Not as big as the others but a good size to add to a bracelet.  This one was a surprise when I got it out of the kiln.  Do you see it ?  Yep, a mushroom !  Not planned at all.  lol !  This can happen alot when making this type of bead.  It's always fun to see what comes out of the kiln !  :) 

Then of course, bell flowers.  :)  Had a bunch of fun making all of these !  These were made over a couple days.  These are always fun to make, use or just admire !  lol !  I now have 3 sizes of the presses so LOTS more flowers are coming.  Look at the white flowers to get a good feel for the sizes.  They are all 6 "petal" flowers too.  My flowers are a bit thicker than some you may see online.  I do that because if the walls of the flowers are too thin, they're going to break very easily - especially when used in jewelry such as bracelets.  Also, I have always used German silver wire that cleans up beautifully.  Copper wire is fine to use as well but I've never used it.  This wire shines up beautifully just like sterling silver.   These are great to use as headpins too ! 

If you would like to purchase some of these flowers, just let me know via a convo from my Etsy shop.  Tell me the colors and sizes you want (just say size small, medium or large) and I'll make a special listing for you.  The flowers are $3.00 each.  If you buy 25 or more, I'll give you a great discount ! 

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