Saturday, December 24, 2011



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Thursday, December 22, 2011

She Needed To Be Finished

And so she was.  :)  Talk about procrastination.  I must admit that for a while I was looking for some icicles to add to her and wasn't having much luck -  until they put out Christmas decorations at a hobby/craft store.  :)  So without any further ado - here is Ice Princess.

Sorry if the picture is a little dark but in order to see the icicles, I had to leave the background dark.  Using too much light washes out all the white.  Which makes her look like a big glob.  :(  So this is the half way point.  She turned out pretty good I think considering she's my second doll.  I'm happy with her.  I like the icicles quite a bit.  It's hard to tell in the photo but they do reflect colors in the light.  I wish I could say they are glass but they are not.  If they were, this little dollie would weigh a ton !  lol !  Plastic worked quite well.  I hope you enjoy her photo.  

Just below you will see a little "tag" that says "PIN IT".  If you have some extra time to spare, click on it and get ready to spend LOTS of time just looking, reading and pinning.  lol !  Something new I discovered not long ago myself and have enjoyed it immensly.  

Well that's it for now.  Thanks so much for coming by.  Come back again soon and see what's happening.  Hopefully I'll be back at the torch by then.  Stay safe.  :)

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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas Came Early.........:)))

.........and am I HAPPY about that !  lol !  Yep, hubby got me one thing on my Christmas list that I REALLY wanted - a new M-20 concentrator !  Yay !  I played with it yesterday for the first time.  It really added some "umph" to my torch and gave it some more heat.  It's more like using tanked oxy now which I much prefer.  Thing is, tanked oxy is EXPENSIVE.  So, now that I'm all set of course I had to test drive it.  It will take some getting use to all that heat that's for sure !  So the beads I ended up making in the last two days, well, let's just say, I need much more practice time with my "newer" concentrator.  lol !  That's ok, I feel like a newbie beadmaker anyway after being away from it for so long.  

Regardless of how funky my beadies are looking, I'm still going to show what I've done and the progress I'm GOING to make.  :)  It's going to take me some time to come back to where I was when I left it a couple years ago.  

When I started posting on this blog again, I said I'd leave the focals alone.  That just ain't happenin'.  I can't leave them alone.  I LOVE making long beads.  The longer the better.  I had a good one going yesterday when the derned bead release broke off one end and is now adhered to that end of that bead.  sigh.  And it happened with the second bead as well.  That one is still soaking in water and hopefully I can remove it from the mandrel but it's doubtful.  So I did actually get the two long beads nearly completed when all that bead release broke off.  That's what's so frustrating about it happening at the end of making the bead !  All that time put into one bead only to have all that bead release stuck to it or it won't come off the mandrel.  Many a perfect bead has ended up this way by many a beadmaker.  It happens to us all.  

On to the beads.  Here they are in their funkiness/fugliness.  :)  
This one I just picked up a rod of glass and started playing with it.  Turns out, the rod color is similar to the melted color.  I added silver, turquoise, coral and there is some colbalt blue in there somewhere.  
 I always loved making fishies so this one will be added to my collection and eventually go in my fantasy fish tank. The eyes, I made very differently than with the rest of my fishies.  I like the outcome and will continue to play with it.  It involves several steps which I'll explain later.  :)

The blue one above, not what I was going for but hey, it is what it is.  Colbalt blue with silver and ivory mixed in.  I actually began with red copper green but that's another story for another post.  :)  
The yellowish one to the right -  an experiment.  I started with clear and wanted to see what reaction I got with a particular frit would be.  Surprise - no reaction.  lol !  Just turned the clear glass yellow so I added some turquoise, silvered ivory and again red copper green to come up with this little "gem".  lol !  
Again, keep in mind, I am re-learning.  lol !  LOTS to remember or at least try to remember.  Geesh.  I will be doing lots of reading !  

Time to get my day started !  Thanks so much for coming by.  I hope you can come back again and see what I'm up to.  

With the holiday fast approaching, I do apprecitate you taking the time to visit with me !  Stay safe !  

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Update Coming

Sorry for the silence these last weeks.  Will be back to normal very soon with news, updates and more goodies to look at.   

In the meantime, enjoy a few photo's of my Fantasy Aquarium.  Full version first then one from the right side and one from the left side.  The mermaids are made of clay by a wonderful fairy artist named Debbie McCain.  She sells on Ebay.  I'll post her website when I can find it.  :)   The fishies, some clams, most of the shells, various artifacts, tiny critters  and a tiny mermaid on the front right floor were all made by me at my torch some time ago.  I purchased the octopus and crab from a fellow glass artist.  Those pieces are in boro, all of my pieces are soft glass. 


Thanks for coming by and checking in.  I will be back VERY soon.  :) 
ETA  Debbie McCain's Website:

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Time For An Update

Wow, I can't believe it's been so long since I posted anything about making beads.  I had very good plans to keep up with this but life happens and somewhere along the line I got sick once again.   So the beadmaking has been put on hold at least since last Friday.  I did manage to make a few beadies then.  Had alot of fun playing but ended up being at the torch only about an hour.  Still, here is what came out of the kiln.  
All in all not bad for more practice beads.  I started with rounds and donuts but got pretty bored pretty fast.  lol !  It happens.  So I played with another focal.  Shoulda stuck with the rounds and donuts.  :(  It's my bead so no matter the outcome, I love it.  :)   
They are all etched minus four of them.  Those four were a very intriguing subject on a glass forum I belong to.  More on that later.     All in all, I will continue practicing basics as long as I feel the need.  Practicing also gives me time to see what new colors I do have and play with them some.  Like those shiny donuts.  lol !

I have also been playing with my photo tent & lighting set up for taking photo's.  That has been an interesting and frustrating chore.  I will continue working on that though.  So far, this is what my set up looks like.  I've changed it several times already.  It may change again but my space is limited to what I can do.   

The photo below is one taken with this set up as well as the bead photo above.  In my own  opinion I think they turned out pretty good but there is always room for improvement.  The more I play, the more I learn.  I have a new camera and a new photo editing program coming so I'm hoping those will help as well.  The program is the new Photoshop Elements 10.  I have a tutorial using one of the Photoshop programs so I'm hoping it will help.     

Time for me to get busy this morning.  I have a new tutorial to do some hammering on some 14 gauge wire !  :))  Hammering metal is so much fun !  lol !   Oh and yes it'll make something wonderful - I hope !  lol !  At least the tutorial says it will.  lol !   
Thanks for coming by !  Please come back again soon to see what's going on.  :)  

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Here's wishing one and all a very peaceful, warm and Happy Thanksgiving !  

I'll be back at the torch again in the next day or two.  I've been out of town due to a family emergency.  One of my kids needed me to help so of course mom is there with bells on  and ready to do whatever necessary !  :)  Even though they are adults now, they will always be my "kids".
While I was gone the glass I ordered during a HUGE sale arrived so unpacking that box of 16 pounds of glass was fun.  Cleaning it all will be another story.  Wowser is it all dirty !   

Hubby asked what I want for Christmas so here's my list:
- An M-20 or larger oxygen concentrator.  :)))
- A new camera that takes PERFECT photo's ! :))
- More glass is always good !  :)
- Dedicated outlets for concentrators, vent fan, kiln

Now that's a GREAT list !  lol !  

Have a wonderful holiday weekend !  Come back again soon when hopefully you'll see some new beads.  I'm ready to torch !   

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Thrills and Spills of Starting Over

That my friends is the perfect title for this post and what I'm doing.  :)  I feel like such a newbie again with my bead making it's not funny.  Well, it is kinda funny actually.  lol !  I remember when I had it all together - all the confidence in the world when I pretty much quit making beads.  I knew what I was doing even though I certainly didn't know everything.  It takes MANY MANY years to learn it all and then I'm quite sure there is still more to learn.  That said, after a week of no torching, I sat at my lit torch all ready to melt that rod of glass onto that mandrel and just started shaking.  I have no idea why or where it came from but there it was.  So I just continued on, shaking and melted that glass.  lol !  As I finished up putting 3 so called discs the size of Texas on that first mandrel of the day, I decided it was because of the glass I was using.  It is a much more expensive glass than what I had been using.  Not only more expensive but also stiffer and doesn't melt as fast as some of the other brands but it is a GORGEOUS glass.  The color is a luscious Olive Green that I needed and wanted.  The color is PERFECT with all these earth tone colors I've been using and did not have.  Once I figured all that out and adjusted the propane and oxygen, that shaking finally went away.  I felt more at ease - even if the beads aren't all that great !  lol !  I'm still starting over so that's just how it goes.  BOC will be getting a pretty big box of beads again in the future !  lol !

So here is a picture of the group of beads I finished up yesterday.  

I got them etched and I love the colors !  All new colors to me except for the Olive Green.  I'm sure you can pick that one out.  :)  The rest, I've never used before and I really like a few of them.  I needed some orange colors so when I ordered more glass a week ago, I got several different shades of orange and wow, what a difference !  It's so much fun to experiment !  lol !  

So the next photo is one of the two focals I ended up making. 
The photo isn't all that great but at least you can see the beads and the color in them pretty well.  I really like how they turned out.  The one on the right is a little darker than I thought it would be but that's ok.  I know I said I was going to stay away from focals and I intend to do that but sometimes intentional beads turn out to be something altogether unintentional.  lol !  Does that make sense ???  :)

So now I can show a photo of all the beads I did end up making last weekend.  I piled all the beads I made over the weekend into one photo and that's what you see here.  I did etch them and love how they turned out.  All earthy &/or fallish colors.  More beads that will go to BOC !  :)    
Yes, LOTS more practice is coming to be sure but again, I enjoy these very much.  They are all a decent size as I am not one to make very small beads.  Never have been.  I so admire those that make tiny decorated or sculpted beads.  It takes a special hand (and eyes !) to make those tiny pieces of art.  I pretty much don't have the eyes !  lol !  Anyway, I love my beads reguardless.

I'm not quite finished with the disc shape yet.  I hope to make more possibly later this afternoon and add to the group.  I have "challenged" myself to use up any glass on my work table before starting something new.  Since I added the new colors to the table yesterday (that was about 5 rods of glass) I have a little bit of a way to go.  lol !  I was not suppose to add any colors either but I HAD to try out those new colors !  :)  No more adding glass til what is there is gone. 

So now I need to go set my clocks back one hour !  lol !  I didn't do it last night before going to bed so of course when I did get up at 5:00 am, it was actually 4:00 AM !  Great. 
Hope you all have a great week ahead !  Thanks so much for coming by !  Please come back again to see what's happening.  :)    

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Welome Back to My World Of Beadmaking

I am very excited these days !  I'm finally back at the torch and having alot of fun !  :)  It's very funny because it feels like I am starting all over again brand new.  It's just been so very long that I've sat and made beads.  The last time was when I made the beads pictured below that have black, blues and white and are textured.  That was MONTHS ago.  Before that, it had been a minimum of 6 months.  Torching twice a year just isn't going to do it anymore.
So since I feel like a "newbie" again and will need to "re-learn" many things, I've already put to use some of the HUNDREDS and probably THOUSANDS of free tidbits of information on the net and in my own possession.  That said, I've decided I'm just going to take it very slow and start from scratch.

As much as I love bright, bold colors, I also love the muted shades of earthtones.  Since it's still technically fall, those are the colors I've been playing with.  Browns, greens, ivory and so on.  These colors just feel warm & cozy.    
Keeping the shapes simple is important right now.  I need to re-establish that comfort zone between the torch, melting glass and myself.   In this second group of beads there are discs, rounds, saucers or saturns and donuts.  So far, there is one smallish focal.  I'm trying to stay away from focals right now but sometimes a bead just doesn't want to shape itself the way I told it to !  lol ! 

I mention these are the second group of beads I've done so far because the first group just isn't worth even mentioning so I won't go any further with those.  lol !

So, here they are.  What I was able to accomplish in one sitting and I must say I am quite happy with them.  They are far from perfect, they are not consistant in size BUT they are mine and they make me smile.  :>)  

Today I was at the torch again and made more of the same.  I will add those to this group and that is the next photo you will be seeing in the days ahead.  

Thanks for coming by.  I hope you come back often to see what I've been up to.  Not only will I continue to make beads but I plan to explore more hammered jewelry as well.  That's just way too much fun !  lol !     


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Some New Eye Candy

Just a little something I had some fun with.  Hammered links bracelet. 
I hope to make more of these hammered pieces.  :)  

Friday, September 30, 2011

Starting From Scratch

This blog ended up going where I really didn't want it to go so will be starting fresh in the near future.  :)  In the meantime, enjoy a few pictures of beads I've made.  :)

Thanks for coming by.  :)