Saturday, August 24, 2013

Handmade Glass Artists, Glass Beadmakers, Lampwork Artist, Etc - Beads Of Courage Needs Your Help

Yep, they need our handmade glass beads !  :)  Seems they have plum run out of stock of these types of beads which are Act of Courage and Long term follow up beads.  Act of Courage beads are special beads the kids get to choose for special courageous act during treatment.

A new e-book of tutorials is now available to anyone that wants one for a mere $20.00 and is chock full of 20 tutorials of beads to make for the kids.  Or just for anyone that wants to try something new or to just look at some fun stuff.  All proceeds go to BOC.  You can order your e-book here which is also a link to Soda Lime Times monthly e-magazine for glass artists.  Which in itself is nothing short of FABULOUS !  :)  For only $5 bucks a month you can't beat it !  Not only do you get great art to look at and read about but also tutorials are included every single month for you to try.  Yes, I said tutorials - with an "s" !  Always more than one !  lol ! 

If I may offer a suggestion.  If you really can't do whole sessions of just beads for BOC, it's really not a biggie but if you could just make one or two or three simple beads each session and send them in when you gather a bunch then it would help TREMENDOUSLY !  Simple bead, hmmmmmm maybe a frit bead with eyes !  lol !  Or a frit bead with a smiley face on it.  Simple and fast.  :)  You know all those pretty and/or fun murrini you bought and have never used - perfect !  Add some frit to a bead and a few murrini and WHA - LA !  :)  The kids really do need beads.  

Ok so here are a few examples of some beads I made using some of the tutorials in that e-book I mentioned above.  I had a blast trying out a bunch of those tuts !  I usually do NOT torch during the summer but hey, I can handle a little heat and humidity which is nothing compared to what these children are dealing with.  

Have fun looking at the photo's and PLEASE - take a few moments of your torch time and make a bead or two for the kids.  Believe me, it's an incredible feeling to know how much the beads will be loved !  :)  

These are from two torch sessions of about 2 hours a piece.  I have more beadies cooling in the kiln now that will be added plus I'll be at the torch again today.  :)  Like I said, I'm having too much fun making these beads !  lol !  The only two beads here that are not in the e-book of tutorials is the little doll bead and the fishie bead.  The little doll bead I learned from Anne Ricketts and she has a tutorial available for that on her website here .
Thanks for coming by !  I hope you come back again very soon to see what's new !  :) 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Photographing a Bead - How Hard Can It Be ?

When we begin to learn all about melting glass into these pretty little gems we call lampwork beads, most of us NEVER guess we need to become nearly professional photographers as well !  lol !  If it does come into our minds, we figure we can get away with taking those shots outside in sunlight or with a zoom lens to take close ups, oh the ideas that come to mind !  lol !  Well, of course it doesn't happen that way.  That's too easy.  So then the research begins.  Eye eye eye !  The camera, the set up, an editing program and of course -  the beads !  lol !  After working with both making beads and photography of them on and off for nearly 8 years, I have come to the realization that no matter what set up one uses, or what camera one uses - it's all in the eye of the beholder !  lol ! 

I have tried every which way one can think of to take pics of my beads and jewelry as have just about anyone that sells online.  The latest version is a couple of light "boxes" with a graduating gradient background.  These light boxes are pretty darned cool and work great !  I got 2 of them thinking these things are going to greatly improve my pics with little work or time involved - NOT !  lol !  That's what being na├»ve about these things can do.  lol !   Long story short, I just don't have enough light according to a professional photographer. Problem is,  I have no room on my table for another light let alone anything else.  Well you be the judge with the photos below.  Good or not so good ?  The first pic is how it starts with the new light boxes and no editing at all.  The second pic is after editing.  The colors in the beads have not been altered at all.  Trying to get that fine silver to shine is a major undertaking and one I have not quite accomplished yet. 

I'll keep playing.  Maybe someday I'll get it right.  :)  Taking photo's can be fun - if you have the right subject !  lol !  To be continued................................  :) 

Thanks so much for coming by.  I hope you come back again sometime soon ! 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Bringing Autumn In

I can't help it.  It's been so hot I needed to think about the cool, brisk mornings and the changing of the leaves and all the color.  Ahhh, my most favorite time of year !  It's not so far off afterall.  :)  That said, I did play at the torch some and went in a whole different direction.  Nothing brand new but something I never spent a lot of time with - off mandrel leaves.  Fun.  I hadn't done an off mandrel anything in a very long time so it was time to give it a go and with fall arriving soon, what better way than with leaves.  :)  

Fall to me is like Spring to others, it gives me a brand new sense of being alive !  The cool air makes me "wake-up" out of the sluggish, hot, humid weather of summer. 

Working with off mandrel anything can be a challenge to those of us that don't do it on a regular basis.  My biggest re-learning was the loop that needs to be added.  No loop means there's no way to hang the pendant if that's the intention of the final object.  That was my intention.  lol !  Too little glass means a thin loop which can break easier.  Too thick and it looks awkward.  I got there but it did take a couple sessions at the torch.  lol !  In the end, it all came together and I really like what I ended up with. 

Pictured below are just a few of what I've made recently.  I think my favorite is the focal leaf at the bottom.  All the leaves shown are a mix of several colors in one leaf.  Fun.  The top set and the focal are in my Etsy shop now as well as leaves from last season.   

That's all for now.  Thanks so much for coming by !  Please come back again and see what's happening.  Next time, I'm pretty sure I'll be showing jewelry !  lol !