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.  :)