Saturday, June 30, 2012

Heat Wave

Summer is officially here and making it's presence known !  107 degrees yesterday in the little town we live in !  Wow !  That was the actual temperature !  I have no idea what the heat index was but since we live in the south and there is a lake nearby, I'm guessing the humidity was up there.  It usually is in the summer.  Heat wave will continue all week too.  I will be hibernating as well as doing other crafty things.  No torching in this heat.  

That said, before the heat set in, I was able to get some torch time in this past week.  I'm gearing up for this project I have in the works.  I've only gotten the glass beads part of it done.  I should say, the beads are made to add to the project.  At least I THINK I'm done with the beads.  I could change my mind and want to add more which would mean waiting til I can torch again.  :)  At any rate, I'm working on it.  Enjoyed myself at the torch making these beads which are in the picture below.  I did not make all of these just this past week !  lol !  They've been made over the last two weeks here and there.  Yep, they're flowers, leaves and spacers.  Can you guess what they'll be used for ?  :)\

Part of the reason I mention I might change my mind again about the beads here is that I pulled out some rare glass I have had stashed for years and used some of it only to remember how pretty the color is !  It's called Amber Rose and was a "mistake" made by the glass factory in Italy.  Never to be made again, this glass once went for a pretty penny.  It's still expensive if you're lucky enough to find someone who's selling.  Those beads are to the very far right, on the outside of the circle of beads, under the pink 5 petal flower.  There are 5 of them made of the Amber Rose.  sigh.  Love that color.  I may have to pull it out again and make more.  :)   

       So, since I can't torch right now with the heat & I'm still waiting on componets for the project with the beads above, I have started doing some other projects which I will show in the next post.  It's no fun to show everything in one post is it ?  :)  These new projects sure are fun and interesting.  So stay tuned.  :)

Thanks so much for coming by !  I hope you will come back again soon and see what's happening !  Please leave a comment below.  I love to hear what you have to say.  :)  

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Flowers, Flowers and More Flowers

With all that practice/working with encasing, flowers in particular, I got the "urge" to follow another tutorial on roses.  Sculpted roses this time.  It's been a long time I really sculpted anything and hoped I wouldn't revert back to bad habits.  There weren't many but there were a few that kept me from accomplishing things back then when it came to sculpting.  Plus, I really wasn't sure I wanted to go that route again.  That's what I use to LOVE to do - sculpt with melted glass.  So when I sat down to follow along with the tut, alot of my GOOD insticts kicked in and I started feeling better about it again.  Not totally though.  As I was working on the first rose, I was rather shaky.  Just something I do when I'm trying new things.  The longer I worked on the first rose, the better I felt.  Plus, I had done most of this type of sculpting before.  I had made flowers long ago just not roses.  The whole purpose of buying this tut really was to see how the middle was finished and if there were any other good tips and techniques to learn. 

The only thing that really was no surprise to me is that first rose it HUGE !  I don't know what it is but making small beads just escapes me so often.  lol !  I try but 90% of the time it just doesn't work out for me.  

So far, I've made 2 roses, a lovely blue color one and a cream color one.  Both pictured below with another flower I made that's not a rose and on their own.  Notice the sizes !  lol !  The white  rose is smaller than the blue one though !  lol !  At least I tried.  :)  That blue one measures in at a full 2 inches across at the widest point !  Like I said - B-I-G ! 

Make sure you click on the photo's to see the full size. 

I've also included a photo of some sculpted flowers I made long ago.  Geesh, I think it was back in 2006 or 07.  Can't remember.  Not any particular kind of flowers.  Just plain ole' flowers.  I do remember the whole idea then was the petals and working with a new tool at the time.  I still have that tool and that's what was used in the multicolored flower pictured with the roses.  Making the petals is key to any of these sculpted flowers of course.  With these types of flowers, the petals are made in advance and kept warm on a warming plate of some kind.  Makes assembling the flower so much easier.  The picture is pretty bad because I was using a very old digital camera.  I still have all those flowers so maybe I'll redo the photo.  :)    

So I am continuing on my flowers quest with yet another project I'm working on.  More on that to come later.  I will make more roses over time.  Hopefully, I can get to small !  lol !  

Thanks for coming by !  :)  I hope you will come back again soon.  Please leave a comment.  I love reading them.  :) 


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

More Encasing Fun

Yeah, it's been fun for sure.  The flowers are still a work in progress and I will continue to move forward with those but last week, I decided to try something I've wanted to do for a VERY long time - jellyfish beads.  A far cry from an encased flower bead that's for sure.  Still some of the elements/techniques are the same.  Layering, encasing, elements, dots, etc.  Still, ones an underwater scene and the other is a flower(s).  :)  Anyway, I ended up making 3 of them and two were done following a tutorial by Mary Lockwood whom you can find just below in my list of blogs at Something About Mary.  Her jellies tutorial, as all of her tutorials, is just wonderful !  

The first bead took 2 hours to make, the second one 90 minutes and the smallest one about an hour.  The prep time alone took roughly 90 minutes and that includes making all the canes, stringers and tentacles.  These are intensely time consuming beads to make.  Still, worth all the effort.  The pictures do the beads no justice at all simply because you just cannot see the depth in them.  The two biggest beads have no less than 4 or 5 layers of glass.  In each layer is a different element.  One layer is the start of the bead, the second layer is the sand on the sea bed, and so on.  Each layer is then encased in clear.  Depth.  I wish I could figure out how to get that to show in a photo.  sigh.  One of these days.     
The smallest bead was done completely different.  It doesn't have all the layers of encasing in it.  Only two layers total.  That said, you can still see a little depth to it.  I added nearly as many elements as the bigger ones but again because there is only two layers, it looks totally different.  Plus I added the jellies in a totally different way as well and they didnt' turn out as pretty as in the other two.  Still, some jellies are not all that perfect in shape anyway.  lol !  

Nevertheless, I enjoy all my jellies and am thrilled with how they turned out.  Not sure I'll make any more but hey, you never know.  :)  I do know that if I do continue to work on these, I'll have to figure out how to get all those layers in and still make them the size of the smallest one.  Those two on either side of the small one are HUGE !  My husband made the comment, " Those aren't beads - they're paperweights ! "  lol !  They ARE the biggest beads I've EVER made of this type even when I couldn't encase worth a darned  !   lol ! 

Thanks so much for coming by.  I hope you come back again soon.  Please feel free to leave a comment.  I love hearing what you have to say.  :)     

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Encasing - Wows and Woes

It's been a hectic week pretty much away from the torch but when I was able to get to it, I did some more experimenting.  So much fun to experiement as always.  :)  That makes life much more interesting.  :) 

So here are my experiments :
All encased of course and each one I tried something different. 

Starting with the top row, left to right:  Pink flowers bead was my second try at doing a layered flower.  Hmm, this type of flower will take ALOT of practice on my part.  It became obvious to me right away that I will have to start the flower by adding one more petal making it a 5 petal flower rather than 4 petals.  Makes it easier to center the second layer of petals.  #2 bead is flowers in light blue and a couple with twistie petals encased in some new to me clear glass I think.  I like how the twistie showed in the petals alot.  And the clear glass I used, is AWESOME !  A tad expensive but it's absolutely PERFECT !  If there are any bubbles in that bead it is something I did, not the glass.  #3 bead - I love this bead !  Again I used that awesome clear glass but first I covered the colbalt blue base with silver foil and encased it leaving it silver and gold.  I wanted to see if the new glass would leave the silver - silver or turn it gold like some clears will do.  It only turned it gold ever so slightly in one spot.  The ends on this bead are PERFECT as is everything else !  Wow !  That's a big accomplishment for me still !  lol !  Bead #4 - A white base with orange flowers.  The experiment part here is the orange flowers.  I used a stringer of enamel to make the petals then encased.  I didn't know if enamels COULD be encased so this was the experiment.  I will be digging deeper into encasing enamels.  :)  The last two beads are encased frit beads.  One I just wanted to practice perfection, which I did and the very last bead is pressed which again I was working on perfection. That one is very lopsided.  More glass on one side of the hole than the other. 

So that's it.  To me, they are all WOWS because I am amazed I can still make them !  lol !  I'll keep working on the imperfections to be sure and try improving.  Just getting this far with them is a huge acomplishment for ME.  It might be this is as far as I can get.  Only time will tell.  

At any rate, the experiments were all worth the effort.  Learning new things is always GREAT !   This go round I learned it's ok to encase enamels, the difference in clear glasses is AMAZING, that it takes time to perfect good ends (for me anyway) and slow is always the best way to go when encasing.  :)  Oh and it helps TREMENDOUSLY if the clear glass one is using to encase with - melts like butta !  lol !  

So the second time I was able to torch, I made canes and stringers.  More on that in the next blog post.  Something I've wanted to do for years is coming - I hope !  lol !  

Thanks so much for coming by !  I hope you come back again soon.  :)  Have a great weekend !