Saturday, March 31, 2012

Keeping It Simple

All things considered, when playing with these jumbo blown beads, I feel like the designs need to be simple.  The focus is the jumbo blown bead afterall so everything else is secondary right ?    Yes but the secondary part still needs to look good.  :)   I'm not a jewelry designer by any means so anything I make jewelry wise is sorta dumb luck.  I put together what I like.  These jumbo beads pose a special "need" though and for me, that's been the most fun - trying to figure out what the heck is going to make these big 'ole beads look good.  :)  Hence, keeping it simple.  

So here are two necklaces I put together over the past week - give or take a day or two.  

 This is The Blues.  I really enjoy this necklace.  I keep looking at it waiting to actually wear it !  I have these pairs of beaded beads just sitting here on my work table since I made them and as I was putting together this necklace one pair found a spot.  I love the combination of the beaded beads and the lampwork beads.  I will be making more of the beaded beads in various colors to be added to my necklaces and whatever else.  :)  
This reds and black necklace is much longer than any that I've made so far.  I don't know the length yet though so can't say.  lol !  Anyway, I had to wait on the cones to finish it up.  I'm unsure if I like it as is with that second strand of black seed beads.  I'm thinking it might be too much.  Why too much ?  Because of the componets used in the main strand.  All those shapes plus the main bead.  For now it will stay together but  who knows what the future holds for this one.

As of right now, I will keep making these fun necklaces with more jumbo beads.  The pollen continues to be at very high levels so still no opening windows so I can make beads.'ll come.  :)  I am getting quite "antsy" though so I hope it's nearing it's end.  Usually after 3 or 4 weeks.  We are starting on week 3 now.  

Thanks very much for coming by and having a peek at my blog.  I hope you come back again soon !    

Friday, March 23, 2012

Never Say Never

It never stays that way.  lol !  Especially for me when it comes to making jewelry.  More than a  few times I've said I will never make jewelry again !  I always seem to come back to it.  I make beads, I have TONS of jewelry making componets, TONS of all sorts of beads to make jewelry with and the tools to do it.  So yep, the saying is so true - Never, say never.  lol !  

The pollen count is ridiculously high - it set records here this past week topping out at OVER 9,000 one day !  A number that has NEVER been reached before in RECORDED history.  Because of that, I am unable to torch for now.  I needed to do something with some of these jumbo blown beads I've made so back to making some jewelry.  It gives me something to do plus it's fun playing with them.  I promised a friend of mine I'd make her a necklace out of some of these jumbo beads.  Something to go with jeans and a tee shirt she said.  I had every intention of making her some special beads however it hadn't come to light just yet.  The colors she wanted were giving me some trouble for some reason.  I still had every intention of making that necklace I just wanted the beads to be perfectly round.  In the meantime, as I was putting together these necklaces for fun, I sent her a picture of one I had made with beads that I felt weren't so perfect but weren't bad either.  I kinda liked the shapes of them.  She loved it and it's now in her hands.  Nice.  I'm very happy my friend will get to wear this necklace.  I love how it turned out.  

I hope she enjoys wearing this for many years to come.  :)

I've been really having fun making these necklaces.  I have taken two of them apart already to make more.  lol !  I took them apart simply because they were just practice necklaces.  Just to see if using these jumbo beads in a wearable piece of jewelry worked.  It did and so I will keep playing.  :) 

The one thing I've found about using these jumbo beads in jewelry - for myself, I don't want to take away from the focal point of the necklace which is the jumbo beads.  The accent componets need to compliment those big beads, not draw the eye away from them.  So far, the necklaces I've made are simple in construction which does that.  

That said, the next necklace you see below - over the top !  lol !  Does not adhere to that statement at all and yet it all seems to go together quite well.  lol ! 
  This one was a practice piece to see how well all these beads worked together and I think they do.  Because I used only one jumbo bead I was able to go a little overboard with the rest.  lol !  The sparkle and shine of all those silver beads just do not show thru in this picture though.  LOTS and LOTS of that in this piece.  lol !   

Many more pieces to come in the days, weeks ahead until that day comes I can get back to the torch again.  I hope within the next few weeks.  :)  

Until next time, thanks so much for coming by to visit.  Please come back again to see what's happening.  And please leave a comment.  I love to read them.  :)        

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Now What ?

The time has come that the pollen is flying.  It's been in the 80's here nearly all week and the pollen is in full swing.  Especially the icky, nasty, covers everything for weeks yellow pine pollen.  Our gray truck turns a nasty looking yellow/green color from the dusting it takes every night.  I think it's a little early this year due to the warm winter and early spring.  Or so it seems anyway.  So with all that it means no torching til this ick clears up and goes away.  I can't open my window for the replacement air until it's gone.  Even though I can't torch, there will be other things to show coming up soon.  :) 

Just before the pollen struck I was able to finish up a cool "set" done in enamels.  This set really wasn't suppose to be a set as it were but rather testing the waters of a technique which I just happen to really, really like alot !  I saw this technique used not long ago on the glass forum I visit daily and loved it.  From that point on I always wondered how it was done.  I finally found out in a thread and did some further investigation.  The original creator of those beads and another bead artist wrote a series of articles in using enamels in 4 issues of The Flow magazine.  She posted the exact issues they were in so I was able to get all 4 of them.  A wealth of information and the tutorial on the technique for these beads is in one of them.  The original artist was also so kind to post how she made the shape of those beads.  The original artist is Margaret Zinser.  Look her up on the web to see more about her and her art.  

Below is a photo of the set I made before the pollen struck.  It took me a few days to get all those beads done simply because I only torch for no more than 2 hours at a time.  The process for each bead is the same and takes just a little more time and effort than making a simple bead.  My beads look nothing like the original artists beads at all so no copying that's for sure.  lol !  I still love them though and I think they'll look fabulous in a necklace.  I love the look of them and hope to make more using many different base colors.  The black you see in these beads is the base color.  That is NOT an enamel but from a regular rod of black glass.  :)  Such a cool effect.  :)  Also, all of the blue beads are not blue.  Two of them are actually purple but look blue in the photo.  Those are the two closest to the lavender color ones. 

So that's it for now.  Thanks very much for coming by !  Please come back again to see what's goin' on.  

Update Coming Again

Yes, it will be coming today.  My computer was in the shop all week and I've been playing catch up since.  lol !  Do come back later on for some cool stuff though.  :)  
Thanks for coming by !  

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Nothing Like Trying New Things - Enamels

Which seems to be what's on my plate these days.  Always something new and wonderful and fun to explore.  I've been so excited at the torch since starting up again it's almost too good to be true - for me anyway.  lol !  Still so much to explore in this fabulous medium of glass.  Maybe I should say of melting glass.  :)  A never ending learning experience.  

Enamels is what has had my total attention this week.  Just playing with them and seeing what they can do.  Boy, can they do ALOT !  Depending on the look you want, it's amazing what glass in powder form is capable OF doing.  I see lots of experimenting happening that's for sure !  lol !  So far this week, I've tried several methods of using them and my most favorite right now is just rolling a bead in the solid color.  The colors are so intense and when  melted into a bead, oh it's just gorgeous !  Nothing like glass in rod form.  There is even some texture to it which gives a bead a new dimension.    The blown bead just below is one color called Brilliant Blue and ohhh, it's just gorgeous !  The color I mean.  Just one color.  I just wanted to see what a single color on a bead looked like.  Yum ! 
 I will be making many more single color beads, blown and just regular, with these enamels.  I LOVE the intensity of the colors.

I also made a set !  Wow !  That is a rarity for me to be sure !  lol !  I'm just not a set person but this style kinda needed to be a set.  So just below is yet another 2 methods of using enamels.  In stringer form and lightly dipping. 

I'm also not a flower person (can't make them too well) but I wanted to see this method with stringers in person.  It was talked about in a thread on a glass forum I visit regularly.  Turns out, I love using the enamels in stringer form.  On the white base glass, you can see a sort of shading happening and that's just cool.  :)  I made the tiny flowers then randomly dotted green just to fill in.  I should of made a vine cane but I didn't.  Next time.  :)

I will be playing with these enamels alot more in the days ahead.   Thing is, that probably won't be too much longer.........Spring is here.  The Bradford Pear trees are blooming, the daffodils bloomed WEEKS ago, other colorful trees are now blooming as well.  This all means that -  soon - we will be bombarded with YELLOW POLLEN !  ICK !  Which means no open windows - which means no torching until the yellow ick passes.  Sigh.  My intentions are good in that during that time, I'm going to try and make some jewelry with some of the beads I have made..............

Thanks so much for coming by !  I hope you come back again soon to check out what's happening in my little corner of the world.  :)        

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A Whole Lotta Nuttin'

That's not entirely true.  I just haven't been making beads at all this week.  I didn't stick to my thought of making butterfly beads but I have good reasons.  Life just gets in the way sometimes and we have to go with the flo.  :)   It's been one of those weeks where the unexpected comes along and for a change, it's all good !  lol !

I did manage to get some glassy stuff done though.  I tackled twisties the other day.  I hadn't made a twistie in years so it was time.  Besides, I really wanted to see if a bigger sized twistie would work on these bigger blown beads.  The small ones just don't look right.  I did make some pretty big ones too.  Big in diameter and LONG.  Not at all pretty, not at all straight and all of them have different widths in one pull.  :)  What can I say, I tried.  They'll still make pretty decorations.  I might take a picture of them later.  Next torch session that I'm making the blown beads, I'll give one of these twists a try.  

I also finally got some little metal containers for the enamels to go in.  Was short by one container wouldn't ya know it !  lol !  Still, these worked fine and could be used for many things.  May get more in the future.,2260,47776&ap=1

I FINALLY went thru all my loose beads and ended up shipping off a nice box to BOC  Probably about 3 pounds give or take.  Which compared to the last two wasn't much.  lol !  Still, they are in very short supply of the fun decorated beads & BIG beads so that's what they got from me.  And I tell ya, some of those puppies were honkers !  lol !  

Since I didn't make any beads this week, how 'bout a "Blast From the Past" photo ?  Well, it's from my past anyway.  lol !  

Beads made by Anne Ricketts
Bracelet made by me a LONG time ago.  :)

Time to run.  Thanks so much for coming by !  Please come back again soon !