Thursday, January 31, 2008

Ornament Thursday! January 2008 Love Story

Ornament Thursday re-debuts today with the theme, "Love Story." Love comes in many forms as you can see from all of these talented OT'er's:

Art Bead Scene
The designers at Art Bead Scene have two jewelry love stories for you! Elaine Ray links together a little love with her ceramic heart components while Melanie Brooks Lukacs tells a little tale of romance in a Gothic Garden

Cindy Gimbrone Beads
Cindy's Love Story is about a hook and beads.

Earthenwood Studio Bead Blog
What is sweeter than a mix CD for your Valentine? A yummy gift box in which to present it, filled with candy themed decorations, including a cute bracelet and cell phone charm!

Hali's Blog
Hali's flowers of love in Ancient Bulgarian. Two paintings in stylized Cyrillic spell out L-U-V.

Heart Mobile
painted paper pulp hearts

Heather shares her favorite bracelet design in a Valentine inspired color scheme.

Jennifer Heynen of Jangles
Jennifer has made a fun "Ornament" for her neck that looks good enought to eat.

Joolz by Lisa
This "Love Story" will last all year long! Lisa shares how beads and books work together.

Katie's Beading Blog
Here's a happy little heart project for you - use it to embellish a bag or your jeans, or as inspiration for a necklace or bracelet.

Kriss Cramer - Art Interrupted
Grow Love! Nuture and care for your loved ones every day. Use this heartfelt book, you can make yourself, to remind you of all the love you have to give.

Linda Augsburg at Make It Mine magazine

Linda's love story project is a dress she embellished by stenciling dancers and a big band along the hem. Read why and learn how to do it yourself on the Make It Mine blog.

Michelle's Love Story

The band is getting back together again! Ornament Thursday celebrates the story of love...

Savvy Crafter
Candie's love affair with big rings continue...she's making her own now! Love Stories and more over at the Savvy Crafter! XOXO!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!

Ah, Love ! This satirical creation of Jean's immortalizes certain women's profound affecton for their ... handbags!!!

Strands of Beads

Love speaks many languages. Learn how to say "I Love You" in an untraditional way with Melissa Lee's whimsical jewelry project.

Swell Designer
Alexa shares with you her truly swell and punny Valentines!

The Impatient Blogger
Love is in the air at The Impatient Blogger! Margot shares two vintage inspired jewelry designs that are oozing with a good way!

What's YOUR Love Story? Is there one of the OT's Love Story that you like the most? Post a comment and tell us!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

My Love Story: Spirals n 'Shay

January's theme for Ornament Thursday is Love Story. It may bring to mind that sappy '70's movie with Ali McGraw and Ryan O'Neill . Today's project has nothing to do with that. One of the crafts I love is crochet and I'm happy it's back with a vengence. Spirals n shay uses crochet and my flat spirals for a one of a kind necklace.

Supplies you'll need are

Five (5) silver plum flat spirals

Size 8 seed beads in coordinating color

Pearle Cotton size 5 in coordinating color

Two (2) soldered sterling silver jump rings

One (1) "S" sterling silver clasp (I made my own out of 18 gauge sterling wire)


1 big eye needle

1 crochet hook size 2.5mm


Rather than give an entire set of directions, I'm going to focus on what I love most, the crochet. Below I show you how to crochet the beads onto the embroidery floss.

Bead crochet is fast, easy and lovely to look at! See why I love it so much? So go get a hook, a few spirals, embroidery floss and start hooking! While you're at it, you can sing a few bars of my version of Love Story:

Where do I begin?
To tell the story of how great a hook can be?
The sweet yarn stitches that are lo-va-lee to see
The simple truth about the joy 'Shay brings to me
Where do I start?

You know the lyrics now, go ahead - SING!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Sneak Peek: Ornament Thursday continues!

Remember Ornament Thursdays? I'm happy to say it will last the whole year now! YAY! More yay is OT will be new and improved! Double YAY!

How can you improve on OT? By expanding it from just ornaments to how-to projects for all kinds of jewelry, adding a monthly theme to tie it all together and enlisting an awesome group of bloggers to do it! OT will post the last Thursday of the month. The first post for 2008 is coming this week, January 31. A little sneak preview for you: January's theme is Love Story. Stay tuned! It's gonna be a great OT '08!

Monday, January 28, 2008

From my winter workbench

I was talking yesterday about when it's below freezing, I work on jewelry designs and ways to use my beads. I spent Saturday working on designs and yesterday with my budding photographer son, taking pictures. Something about how he photographed the bead inspired me to write a little bit of prose with it. Art beads are about the art and creating something beautiful to enjoy -

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Brrr - it's cold so what's on your workbench?

If you follow my blog, you know my glass studio is unheated so in the winter it can be a challenge to melt glass. I've got heaters and hot kilns out there but since there's no insulation, it loses the heat quickly when the outdoor temperatures are under the freezing mark. So what's a rabid creative person like myself to do?

Make something! Yep, when it's cold in the studio, this Bead Committment Phobe sits down and actually commits to designs! YAY! Yesterday, I spread out all my jewelry making supplies on the coffee table in the family room. A few of the Skully Kidz and Goth Kidz were made into necklaces. One of a kind beads were made into zipper pulls and cell phone charms. I decided to add finished pieces to my etsy shop to expand the offerings.

I've got an eclectic style, the spirals are elegant and simple, the Heartz n Skullz edgey and the one of a kind unpredictable. I never know exactly what's going to come out of the glass - but it's always fun and interesting. Even more so when it's cold outside!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Plug Ur Bud

Today is "Plug Ur Bud" - if you've got a favorite beadmaker you want to shout out to, post a comment and leave some linky love. Today, I want to plug my buds over on ABS. An awesome group of beadmakers in all media! Go on over there and check out the awesome-ness that is ABS!

Which bud do you plug today?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Bead Vegan Introduction

Once in awhile, I'm going to post on cooking vegan. Why? Well, the food's darn good so why not share it with everyone?!? Besides, I sort of like the sassy attitude I see in Veganland, it's fun. So, what's not to like? Good food, fun and laughs, that'll make a great post and oh yeah, I'm a beadmaker so I'm going to call these occasional posts - Bead Vegan! I'll post something vegan-y and a bead-y pix. Cool? Cool!

Last week, I bought Vegan With A Vengence(VWAV). Yeah, I know in the Vegan World, I'm sooo far behind! But Sunday morning, I got up and made Scrambled Tofu. All I have to say is AWESOME! Even better, VWAV came from the show Post Punk Kitchen and the recipe is posted there for y'all to see and try yourself!

So now, on to the bead-y part of the post - Blue Arts and Crafts Hearts. When I'm working at the torch on a series like Heartz n Skullz, I usually throw in one "play" bead which means I take a completely different color and just play - varying the colors, technique just slightly to see what happens - the play beads are one of a kind and that's where you'll find this one on my site.

Valentine Skully

Here's a Valentine for you! Valentine Skully - red Skully Kid with red accent bead. A note about the red glass - you can't work it too long in the flame or it turns a brown red. Just slightly too long will give you streaks in the red - so you have to work it just right, not too hot, not too cool and then the red is just right! (you knew it was coming :-)

Monday, January 21, 2008

Red Beadz White Heartz

Thinking that the Heartz n Skullz series could use some more heartz, I've made some roundish/donutish shaped beads with handmade white hearts outlined in black on the red base. (The flecks of white you see on the beads are reflected light - there aren't any flecks on the beads, I wasn't able to use my usual set up that diffuses the shine.)

More Heartz n Skullz coming this week so stay posted!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Drive-by today

Just a quick drive by this morning....I've got an early sign language interpreting job. Here's a snapshot of another of the Skully Kidz. He's cute, isn't he?

On another note, ArtBeadScene started a new series last week, In the Studio, where all of the editors of ABS will open up their studios and give you a peek at the process of beadmaking in a variety of media, clay, polymer and glass. Prizes will be given out for those who comment. So hop on over there and check out the ArtBeadScene!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Bead Commitment Issues Support Group Unite!

Ah HA! Some brave souls have stepped forward to admit their issues along with me - they too have commitment issues with beads and/or yarn! (see yesterday's comments). I too am a yarn-holic, most of yarn/crochet posts go to hooksandfire. However, it seems bead commitment issues can be similar to the yarn commitment issues - so maybe I need to call the group, BYCISG (bik-izg)? Hmmm.... that doesn't roll off the tongue too well but despite the acronym's unpronouncability - we're here and we're admitting our issue! We have difficulty committing to designs!

Do you have difficulty putting that treasured bead or yarn into a design? While you're making a piece, are you thinking of all the other designs you could choose? If you answered yes, tell us you're here and comment! Join us!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

I have commitment issues....

...with jewelry, not people. I make beads because I used to have certain bead designs in my head. I couldn't buy the designs I wanted so I learned to make beads. Now that I can make beads, I have trouble fully committing them to a design.

Do any of you do that?

I'll think of a design for a group of beads and reluctantly put them into a piece - all the while thinking of the other designs I could do with the same beads. Isn't that why some people never marry? While dating they think of all the other people they could be dating? That's a committment issue and I have it with beads.

I have two finished pieces on my desk now. They've been sitting there for about 2 months. After I made them, I immediately wanted to rip them apart - I could have done a better design. But I'm forcing myself to keep them, to see if I can get over my committment phobia. Not sure it's going to work, I'm eyeing them as I write this entry.

I need a Bead Committment Issues Support Group - and want you to help form one by responding with a comment - are you able to commit or not?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Etsy Showcase

Beads up on EtSy showcase today. I'm having a sale there too - 20% off and free shipping.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

New Year! New BeAdZ series: Heartz n Skullz

It's a new year and so I'm unveiling a new series of beads, Heartz n Skullz.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

WWG! Battle of the Glass! SuperNova vs. Psyche

Striking glass or glass that can display a variety of iridescent colors when worked just right in a flame is all the rage now in the glass beadmaking world. The glass in rod form is very expensive as compared to the average glass rod - a .25 lb costs $25.00 (that's $100 per pound of glass) compared to $5.00 for a .25 lb of an average color like red, yellow or blue. There's a reason for the cost, the iridescent glass is handmade and to exacting standards. I compared two of the glasses, DoubleHelixGlassworks Psyche and Lauscha's SuperNova in a psuedo-smackdown:

Both glasses are purple in rod form
Both glasses reduce in the flame
Which one will yield the best color in the Lampwork Diva's Flame?

Psyche hands down!

I'm not a newbie. I can strike color out of glass - I've struck tongue pink! But Supernova will not strike for me. I'm not the only one who has trouble with it. Oh, once in awhile I will get a few iridescent shimmers but nothing like the DoubleHelix glass. DHG will strike to beautiful shades of iridescent blue, purple,green and cream the moment the oxygen in the flame is slightly reduced. Now that's what I'm talking about! You done good DHG!

No, I'm not bashing Lauscha glass - Lauscha glass is not fussy, not temperamental and comes in gorgeous colors. I'm happy to buy it and use it! I love the purple of Supernova - just don't expect it to be too much else.

(photo of Psyche from and photo of Supernova from

Counted the glass....

Honest, I tried. I really, really, really tried! I tried not to buy any glass last year and to use up what I had but I hardly put a dent in it. Glass inventory for the beginning of 2008 is 4,561 glass rods. That's like 79 rods of glass difference. Ugh. I feel like I failed at my diet - I overate and haven't lost an ounce! But I overate a year ago! Doesn't matter, once the weight - er - glass is in your studio, you have to use it or it's still there come next year's inventory.

Well, the up-side is that it gives me a goal for next year: pare down the glass inventory, don't order new glass. don't order new glass....better yet, don't order any new odd lots,

don't order any new odd lots.....maybe if I keep telling myself that, the glass inventory will be less next year....maybe but I have to make sure I set a goal for avoiding the internet too......

Friday, January 04, 2008

Inventory or time to count the glass.....

It's time to take inventory. Today, I'll start counting all of those glass rods. It's only now that I realize buying glass is an addiction that I need to 12 step program to kick.

In the meantime, there's new stuff up on my website. I'm still in the cute and creepy mode.