Saturday, September 29, 2012

Leaves and Flowers - More Fallish fun

The few days I was able to torch this past week were pretty fun.  Only one day it was a bit frustrating.  More on that later.  I really didn't "learn" anything new.  Just kept playing with colors.  Some new to me but most colors I've known from the past.  I did play a bit more with some heavily laden silver color which is not the norm for me but I was enjoying it so much I just kept at it.  :)  It gave me no trouble at all either which is a good thing because when this particular color first came out, it gave LOTS of people fits, including me.  That glass/color being Double Helix Terra.  Not the original Terra but new batches that match the original. 

Now alot of people much prefer the multiple colors that you can get from Terra but hate the metallic sheen of it when that pops up.  I, on the other hand, like both the lovely colors AND the metallic sheen.  Both have their own place/use in a bead. I guess it just depends on what you are going for in that particular bead.  This past week, I have been going for whatever color shows up and I really like what's been showing up.  :)  In fact, I'm REALLY likin' what's showing up !  :)    

Check it out.  More leaves..............and both sides to show the variations of color and metallic sheen.  Granted, the colors probably have never been seen in "real" leaves but remember, this is glass and as with any art/craft, it is only limited to one's imagination.  :) 

I also made more leaves in other colors and more flowers.  My favorite leaves so far are these
In revisiting colors, I remembered about Opal Yellow and how much it reacts to MANY colors.  Or maybe it's how many colors react to it ?  Either way, the outcome is always wonderful !  I had forgotten just how much I LOVE THIS COLOR !~  And the older the rod, the better the colors that come out of it.  I happen to have just a few little rods of some old opal yellow and you can see it in the leaf to the far left.  There is some hints of pinkish tones in it and THAT'S the beauty of the older rods.  The rods were rich in this buttery yellow and those  wonderful pinkish undertones.  Yummy.  The new rods are lovely as well but nothing compares to the old stuff.  sigh......Still, all the leaves turned out lovely I think with the opal yellow base, encased in silver foil then dipped in a wonderful reactive frit I have.  I WILL be making more of these for sure.  :) 
And last but not least - the flowers.  To date, the ones below are what I've done so far. 
I've had so much fun making all of them that I will continue to make them in more colors.  Except for the red poinsettia looking one.  I'll be making more of those for a particular project.  The roses will all be made using various techniques and lots of colors and sizes.  :)  Eventually, I'll "delve" into making other types of flowers. 
Thanks so much for coming by !  I hope you come back again very soon.  :)  I love to read your comments so please feel free to get your 2 cents in.  :) 


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Fall Is In The Air...........

.......even though it's still over 80 degrees today.  Still, it's been fairly cool in the mornings which allows me to spend a little bit of time making beads.  Yay !  It's suppose to start getting a high of only in the 70's this coming week so more time to play.  :)  The cooler it gets, the better my days will be.  I am a cold weather person anyway. 

I've had a great week at the torch.  Finally feeling like I never stopped for the summer.  Still working on things I have made before but using some new to me colors and experimenting a little bit.  Made lots of leaves, some roses and a couple other flowers.  All pictured below.

First are the leaves - and lots of them and more coming.  What will I do with all of them ?  I have no idea.  lol !  Maybe a necklace is in order ?   

This second set is all the flowers as of today.  There are more but they are still in the kiln.  I had alot of fun making these.  They are done three different ways.  The dark red rose and dark yellow rose on the left, closest to the dime, are done with the mandrel coming up thru the middle of the flower.  The Yellow rose all the way to the right is done with a base underneath it with the mandrel hole running east to west.  The top yellow flower with points on the tips, also done with a base underneath with mandrel holes running east to west.  And the last yellow flower, at the bottom, was made on the end of the mandrel and has no hole that runs all the way through.  There is one more way I can think of that these can be done and that is off mandrel which I want to try as well.  :)  Oh and did ya guess, yellow is one of my most favorite colors. !  lol !     
I also made some other beads but just not worthy of posting them.  lol !  Always a learning experience every time I sit down to melt glass. 
This next bead I made following a tut in the Tonbo Dama book.  I made this bead long ago once and remembered how much I loved it so wanted to revisit it.  In the tutorial, it says to encase it and I didn't.  It would of looked better had I encased it.  Oh well, live and learn ! 
Time to get busy and get some work done.  Thanks so much for coming by and visiting.  I hope you come back again very soon.  :)  Please leave a comment and let me know what you think. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Back in the Saddle Again.....Or I Should Say, Back at the Torch Again.

Yep, I'm back at the torch again !  Finally !  It seems like it's been sooooooooo long !  :(  What a miserable, hot, humid, icky summer it was too.  I'm so glad it's over for so many reasons but this is the biggie. 

When I'm off the torch for so long, it takes me a little time to get comfortable at the torch again.  Nothing serious, just getting to know the flame and the glass again.  I made beads on Sunday and have been playing every day since.  :)  It feels GREAT !  I just can't express how happy it makes me feel to be able to melt glass.  I am still amazed at the whole experience and still amazed I am lucky enough to be able to do it.  I LOVE MELTING GLASS !  I recommend to ANYONE that if you've never tried it, find a place that has classes and go for it !  You won't regret it.  :) 

So because I am back to making glass beads, the jewelry will take a back seat.  I'll still make some things here and there but mostly I'll be at the torch whenever possible.  I'll still make beads for jewerly.  I'm in the process of making a set now for a necklace.  I am terrible when it comes to making sets of any kind so I stretch it out into many sessions.  That way, I don't get bored so fast. 

Once again, I've tried a few new things and of course, having ALOT of fun doing it.  I picked up some dichoric glass at some point and decided it was time to try it.  I had read by many that they had trouble using it and would just give up on it.  I found it to be pretty easy to add to a bead.  I'm not saying I'm better at it, just that I had no problem with the two pieces I tried.  No scumming, no burning off the color, no problem.  The photo below is the bead.  It was the last bead of the day so it's a very plain bead.  I just wanted to see if I could actually add it and encase it as directed.  It worked, I'm happy about it and will be exploring this more down the road.  
As for the rest of the week, so far, I've been making some wing type beads.  I was going in a totally different direction with these when I started them but this is what ended up happening.  :)  Sometimes the glass says, "THIS is what you're suppose to be doing."  lol !  It's good working on these as they are helping me to feel comfortable about sculptural work again.  It's been a while.
Of course, there were test beads and beads that ended up in the water can.  Plus I also did some fusing.  Ugh. That post is for another day.  lol !  All in all, a VERY good week !
Thanks so much for coming by !  I hope you come back again very soon !  Please leave a comment as I LOVE to read them.  :)   

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

How Many Bracelets Can a Person Have ?

lol !  I'm gonna say as many as one can collect !  lol !  Since I started making the kumihimo beaded bracelets, I have added at least 12 to my collection if not more.  Where's the rolling eyes when I need them !  lol !  Anyway, eventually I'll be donating to the small local hospital gift shop. I just need to get over there.  It's a 30 plus minute drive so it's just a matter of doing it one day.  I have enjoyed making them and let's face it, I'll pick a few favorites and those are the ones I'll wear over and over.  Isn't that how we do it anyway with most everything we wear ?  We have those favorite things that we go to just about every time we step out the door ?  Plus I just bought a bracelet from someone that I'll HAVE to wear since I bought it.  lol !  That one I'll keep for sure. 

I have to say for the several weeks my jewelry making mojo just sorta flew out the door.  I do believe it's because I'm ready to get back to the torch but it's still too hot to do that.  In the meantime I did manage to put together  - you guessed it - a few more bracelets over the weekend.  This time, I went in a new direction on three of them.  The sad part is the forth one, even after 3 seperate tries, ended up not coming together at all.  sigh.  It happens and more on that in a moment.  

This is what I ended up making.  I am VERY pleased with the outcome on all three.  
The red one is made with multi color blue beads and my own hand dyed red silk cord/string.  I used a different pattern on it rather than the usual one done on these disks.  The middle/bottom one is made with multicolored hand dyed satin cording I've had for a while and amber colored beads.  There's alot of sparkle and shine in  those beads which is hard to see in the photo.  The last one is done with frosted rose green magatama beads and let me say, the color is stunning in real life !  The photo does them no justice at all !  I really like how they all turned out very much.  
The 4th bracelet I attempted to put together just didn't come together well at all.  I tried making a bracelet that all the strands were completely beaded.  It's a gorgeous look and I've wanted to do it for a long time.  So I tried it - 3 seperate times over the weekend !  I used size 11/0 delica beads too on all 8 strands.  The key is tension.  I have to figure out the proper tension.  If you don't get the tension right, it won't come together well at all.  Also, this is where my bead spinner sure came in handy !  lol !  Still, even using the spinner it took some time getting all those beads on those threads.  So I will not give up and will try this again soon.  I just needed to take a little time away from it before trying it again.  I mean, I didn't want to  have to pick up any tiny seed beads off the floor after I threw them at the wall !  lol !
Thanks for coming by.  I hope you come back again soon.