Monday, May 28, 2012

Where Was That Ah-Ha !

Last Monday morning, as I sat at the torch, trying to get inspired I just couldn’t find my mojo.  Nothing was working for me.  Nothing was coming out like I wanted it to.  I made a couple BOC beads for the kids and some spacers thinking ok, that’s it.  No more torching for the day.  Took a lunch break and thought oh what the heck, let’s give it another try thinking it was all going to go horribly wrong or maybe I’d get lucky and find some sort of inspiration.  Generally, with me, it’s the going horribly wrong !  lol !  So I sat down and thought, ok maybe I just need to do something either brand new or revisit something that for whatever reason I just could NOT get in the past.  I revisited encasing flowers.  Oh brother !  That was always a crick in my side.  I just could NEVER get it right.  The ends were bad, the flowers were smeared, encasing had divets, etc, etc.  No matter how hard I tried or what I did or what tutorial I bought and tried to follow.  Nothing worked, there was always something wrong – until last Monday ! 

At last, it all came together.  How or why I’m not sure.  I’m thinking I just relaxed and figured what the heck !  lol !  Yep, everything worked out just fine.  The first one I just let myself go.  If the ends turned out – great, if not I didn’t care.  My main goal was to keep the “flowers” and everything under the encasing in shape, no smearing.  I did it !  No smearing !  Then the next thing was ok, no divets in the encasing.  I thought surely that was just too much to ask !  I mean there was no smearing afterall.  Wasn’t that enough for the first try ?  Nope.  I had to improve the encasing and I did it !  NO divets !  Two outta three ain’t so bad so let’s see if I can get nice ends.  Done !  J  Needless to say I am very happy !  It was one of those weeks I couldn’t wait to get back to the torch every day just to see if I could make that bead.  There was no “ah-ha” moment when it all came together.  I have no clue WHY it all came together after all these years.  It just did and I don’t think I want to question it.  lol ! 

These are just “beginner” encased flowers, nothing fancy.  The fancy stuff will come later I hope.  Fancy meaning a second layer of petals or putting a crease in the petals or adding a stamen to the center, that sort of stuff.  I did try the layering of petals on one bead – pffft, did’nt work too well so no rushing it.  I did learn something very valuable though that I DID read over and over in every tip or tutuorial out there – take your time encasing.  Slow is better and it’s very true.  
Below is a photo of the flowers from last week. 
Top row, left to right, first two are day one, second two are day two and bottom three are day three.  The very bottom bead isn't encased flowers but I like how the bead turned out so it was included in the photo.  :)  Of course a few did end up in the water can.  It happens.  :(   All in all, I am THRILLED that I can say - I can make encased flowers !  lol !  Wow !  Insert happy dancer here.  :)     

Thanks so much for coming by !  I hope you come back again very soon to see what’s going on in my little corner of the world.  J           

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Today is Tuesday

ETA: Today is Tuesday, May 22 and this entire post is what I wrote up yesterday and kept having problems posting. Seems Google has a few issues it needs to work out for the new format we are to work with. Anyway, I decided to post it even though it's a day late to keep up with what's going on with me at the torch cause something VERY exciting (for me anyway) happened yesterday. So a new post is coming............................ 

Wow, it's time for an update here.  The last 10 days just sort of flew by even though it felt like it kept dragging on and on.  Having a cold, sinus and/or allergy problems really puts a "kink" in things.  Feeling somewhat better now but it still lingers......................

Not much time spent at the torch but was able to get on it a few times here and there.  Was able to try out some more murrini and make a few more beads for BOC.  The murrini - some ok, some not so ok but it's a learning process.  :)  While it can be fun to do, you most certainly need to be in the right frame of mind as it's a long drawn out process to get to the final result.  The more detail, the longer the process of course.  I've kept it simple so far with the smiling face and star or starfish.  Basically simple, no fuss designs.  The picture below is what I made one day.  The yellow star or starfish and another smiling face with blue and green.  The dark blue with clear around it was my first attempt at a starfish but it looks like a little flower.  So it's usuable.  lol !    

The next time I thought I felt up to torching I made a few beads.  One ended up in the water can.  It happens to us all.  One of the colors I had encased, didn't want to be encased so the bead kept cracking no matter how warm I kept it.  lol !  I ended up making two for BOC, the dino and the one with lots of dots pictured below with two others.  The other two are also for BOC but I made those a bit over a week ago.  I made the dino's tail a bit too long but I'm sending it anyway and hopefully they'll still use it.  :)  

I worked hard over the weekend so today is playday at the torch - I hope.  I'm not sure what I want to do yet but whatever it is, I plan to enjoy and have fun !  Sometimes the glass dictates what IT wants to do rather than me choosing what I want it to do !  lol !  If that sounds strange, it probably is a little bit but it's the truth.  I can have an idea in my head and it goes completely out the window once I begin melting the glass.  lol !  It just happens. 

Thanks for coming by and visiting.  I hope you come back again soon to see what's happening.  :)


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Something New & Fun

I haven't been doing much at the torch this week due to life getting in the way but did manage to try a new technique.  Up until a few days ago, when I came down with this icky cold or whatever it is, I was still making beads for the BOC kids.  I got some feedback from a fellow lampworker that after seeing one bead I had made inspired her to get out her murrini and work with it again.  The bead in question had some fun murrini in it and one piece in particular was a smiling or happy face.  The bead is in one of the photo's from a post a couple weeks ago.  Anyway, I got some more of those murrini from the gal that made the ones I used.  Lori of Then I got to thinking, why couldn't I try making some myself ?  I had never tried making murrini faces or anything too technical before.  I had made simple murrini with a few colors in them but nothing of this sort.  So I went looking for a tutorial.  Found a great one with about 5 or 6 tuts in it !  Not that I'll be able to make a butterfly murrini or anything but I got what I wanted - at least 2 murrini I CAN make.  :)
So, I did just that.  On my very first try at a smiley or happy face - here's my result ! 
I must admit I am very happy how it came out !  I got it perfect and THAT was a total surprise !  lol !  I only cut some of the pull into the chips you see.  I did use a couple in a couple of beads.  Only one turned out.  Melted the other ones into the bead too much.  lol !  Then I remembered why I didn't use murrini much in the past - I was no good at actually using them in a bead !  lol !  So I'll keep working on that part as well.  :)  

I did make 3 more smiling faces murrini but managed to do several things wrong.  In one of them, I forgot a step.  In one the colors were too dark and the last one, I used white for eyes and a mouth and they just sort of disappeared into the other color.  lol !  Oh well, that's what learning and trial and error is all about.  :) 

I can't wait to get back to the torch !  As soon as this cold or whatever it is moves on, I'll be on it !  And I really wanted to see the new movie Dark Shadows this weekend !  Drats.  

Thanks so much for stopping by.  I hope you come back again soon to see what's happenin' !  :)    

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Fun With Dino's and More

Yep, still making big, bright and bold beadies for the kiddies.  lol !  Added some more dino beads as shown in the photo below.  Those are fun and pretty easy to make however a bit time consuming.  Still, ALL of these big beads are time consuming and use quite a bit of glass but are so worth it.  I guess I'm on a kick right now with making these types of beads so as long as this kick holds out, I'll keep makin' them.  :)  That said, when I do go back to making "regular" type beads, I'll always make at least one big bead for the kids of Beads Of Courage.

I've been making ALOT of spacer beads during these torch sessions as well.  I figured I better stock up on these little gems while I have the chance 'cause once summer REALLY kicks in, I will be on break from the torch again until it cools off.  We are already hitting in the 90's so I can only imagine what July and August will bring !  UGH !  I'm not a fan of making spacer beads at all.  I don't think many beadmakers are but they are necessary for jewelry makers that use lampwork beads.  I will use them to put together some jewelry while I'm away from the torch.  I've been making between 10 to 30 at each torch session so they are starting to accumulate.  I do have a bunch from years ago that I made and some that I bought but the colors are limited.  There might be only 5 or 6 of one color.  

With the hot weather already here in full swing, it was 90 degrees yesterday, my time at the torch will start becoming much more limited until I can no longer stand the heat.  I'm torching only in the early mornings now for just a couple hours at most.  I don't torch at night when it's a bit cooler simply because I'm nodding out at 10:00 pm as it is !  lol !  I'm an early riser so I take advantage of that.  lol !  Still, I cannot open the window when it's so hot and let out all the cool air.  So I am at the torch as much as I can be every morning taking advantage of what little time I have there.  Soon, I will be on torching hiatus again.  sigh.......that's the way it goes down here in the south !   

Time to get busy.  Thanks so much for stopping by !  I hope you come back again soon to see what's going on.  Enjoy your week !  :)