Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Other Life....

Melting glass isn't the only thing I do. I mention my other life occasionally but if you've ever seen me at a bead show, like the old Urban Glass Bead Expo, you'll see me conversing in American Sign Language.

It's my other life.

September through May I melt less glass and sign more.

I'm a self employed, freelance certified sign language interpreter hired to facilitate equal access. A fancy way to say I'm there make sure that the deaf people can "hear" and "talk" to the people around them who don't know how to sign.

Why? It's the law. But on a human level, it's easy to understand - no one should be left out.

So, I've posted a video from Equal Access where deaf people can speak for themselves. If you've never thought about the issue, it may come across strong but look beyond that and try to imagine how you'd feel if you weren't included in conversations or you went to the movies and you couldn't understand what was said or if people didn't answer your phone calls and hung up when they heard relay announce.

You understand why it needs to come across plainly. You'd do the same thing.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

It's Academic - Learning to Chain Maille

Happy Ornament Thursday! With the coming of fall, we all turn our attention to academics. I don't attend school anymore but it's always a good time to learn a new jewelry making technique to show off my flameworked beads.

I'm using my Single Glass Links to make chain maille earrings using the free tutorial called Flowers on the Blue Buddha Boutique website. The tutorial is full of great pictures and so it's easy to learn.

Don't forget to pop on over to the Ornament Thursday Blog and see what the Ornament Thursday Girls are up to!

Have you learned a new technique recently? Doesn't matter which media - leave a comment and tell me about it!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Morning sculpture instead of coffee

On the way to sign interpret is this piece of sculpture. Reminds me a
bit of Angela's work.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I'd like to say thank you to 14- 16 people....

G'morning to the 14 - 16 people who read my blog! :-)

Yep, that's what statcounter tells me. I have 14-16 returning visitors a day.

Oh sometimes it's more. Someone Stumbled me once and I got 1000 people to my blog. Wow! but I quickly lost my attraction to The Thousand. I'm back to my 14-16 a day.

Ooopppsss....Maybe I'm supposed to keep it a secret so I can pretend I'm popular?

Ahhh, I don't care - I think of it this way, it's 14-16 people more people than I had when I started blogging!

Thanks, for reading, Fourteen to Sixteen (it's now become your name), borrowing from John Green again, you're made of awesome!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Bling Links: Share Your Heart

You might look at the Bling Links in Midnight and say,"gee those are pretty but what do I do with them?"

Thought I'd give you an idea based on the Art Bead Scene monthly challenge theme, Something to Say. The Share Your Heart Necklace...

What would YOU do with the Bling Links?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

WireHead makes up for yesterday....

To make up for yesterday's dismal performance, I've got a treat - Diane Karg Baron tutorials! I feel as though I've admired Diane's wire work since I was a short piece of wire. Some of the tutorials are free and some are very easy. I love the Stud earrings tutorial the best and I've taken a picture from her tutorial section to show you (so the photo credit belongs to her) - Diane's work shows that wire wrapping doesn't have to be overly "frilly." The studs are modern and clean. Cool.

So cool.

Friday, August 22, 2008

WireHead gets disappointed


Yep, that's how I feel.

I cruised YouTube yesterday hoping to find a cool video on making jump rings but every single one I brought up is mashugana! Either it's too far away and you can't see it, or it takes too long to get the the actual demo or it's good but you have to have the tool they're selling to make the jump rings.

Sigh, guess you can't depend on the internet to offer up a good jump ring how-to video.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

WireHead Gets Color

Want some color in the wire you're using? I love Artistic Wire . It comes in lovely colors and above are two examples (photos taken from the Artistic Wire website) of the silver plated copper wire. I love the peacock blue and used it in The Red Art Flower Necklace. The light blue was a nice pop of color around the painted fused glass pendant.

Artistic Wire comes in a large range of gauges for any project you can imagine and reasonably priced too. Even better, there are jewelry design ideas on the website.

You'll need to order Artistic Wire through a distributor. I order from The Soft Flex Company

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

WireHead Practices Herringbone

Craft ADD or Multi-task Crafting allows me to bounce around in my jewelry work. One day, I'm at the torch, another day, will find me surrounded by spools of wire with pliers and cutters in hand. I'm enamored of weaving with glass and wire. I've wanted to download a few of Eni Oken's tutorials to try. I especially like the Herringbone Weave and it's free! For practice like this, I use an unsaleable bead (in this case, it's the color and stringer on it) with cheap craft wire. Once I get the technique down, I'll try it with good beads and wire. Here's a second try at it.

Not perfect but worth another practice or two then I can move on and use good beads and wire - or better yet, I'll move on to another tutorial!

Have you tried any new techniques lately?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Surprise! New Bead and Winners

Angela wins a the free bead for her suggested name,"Punk'Inz." I'll use her name for the Pumpkin inspired beads.

BUT I'd like to also send a surprise bead to Amanda because I'll be using a slight variation on her name for the Skullz: Skele'Bowz

So, gals, send me you postal address and I'll send out your free beads!

I wanted to do a black skull similar to those I saw for Day of the Dead. Remember yesterday's prototypes? How I mentioned I wanted to place flowers in the eyes? The black skulls cry out for flowers in the eyes. Still working on it. So here is the first generation of black skulls. Skele'Bowz fits both the black and white skulls - Cool!

Stay tuned - I think I've figured out the flowers! YAY!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Heartz n Skullz Namez? Giveaway

Today is the last day to submit a name for the new addition to the Heartz n Skullz series. I'll stop taking names at 6:00 pm EST this afternoon (10 hrs from now). The list of suggestions so far:

Skullz n Crossbowz (Victoria)
Skull Caps (Lynn)
Jackyl Antern (Lorelei)
Skull ooze (Faith)
Dem Bowz (Melissa)
Punk'Inz (Angela)
Dem Bownz (Deb)
Funny Bonz (Faith)
Skele'Bonz (Amanda)

You've still got time today - leave a comment with a suggestion and you'll be entered to win a free skull bead!

In the meantime, I thought I'd take you through the prototype beads trying to come up with a good design.

I wanted to do flowers in the eyes like Day of the Dead skulls and I haven't completely given up on the idea but I've got to make the bead bigger to do it. For two reasons, the 20-25mm (3/4 to 1 inch) size doesn't give me much room to decorate. The other reason is I forgot I have a bigger torch and I'm working too close to the big hot flame - I'm burning my left thumb!!


I forgot I'm not on my smaller torch - my work habits are smaller and closer to the flame, I haven't adjusted for the larger, hotter flame.

I perfected the bows with these but I'm still not adjusted to the hotter flame - I heated one or two of the red petals too much so they get lost in the black.

What made me think that cubic zirconia for eyes was a good idea?


Don't forget to post your suggestions. I'll announce a winner tomorrow morning.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Whazzup with WireHead

WireHead is working today on necklaces but will be back next week with some more insideWire info for you! Meanwhile, I'm over at Studio Saturday wondering who among us is Organic or Organized. Stop over, you could win a free Bling Link!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Lights, Camera!

Last summer, Melanie of Earthenwood, designer Jean Yates and myself collaborated on a piece of jewelry using Melanie's and my spirals. Melanie's necklace calledSunken Treasures is in Simply Beads this month!

This is a picture from my Flickr group from last year but if you want to know how to make it, go buy a copy of Simply Beads, August 2008. It's on page 43 with great pictures and great directions.

The Teen continues to make electronic music. A wonderful artist friend created a album cover where he's become an Anime character. His personality is captured perfectly - the unruly hair (courtesy of Mom thank you very much), his checkered Van's and t-shirt. It's made of awesome!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Haz Got Namez 4 New Heartz n Skullz?

Ya still got until early next week to submit a name for the new Heartz n Skullz beads. So far the suggestions have been:

Skullz n Crossbowz
Jackyl Antern
Skull ooze
Dem Bowz

I'm giving away a FREE Skullz bead to the person whose name I choose for the series - ncluding anyone outside of the U.S.!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I like it BIG! Wire, that is

WireHeads have a favorite gauge of wire to work with. In the U.S., the higher the number or gauge, the thinner the wire. A pair of earring wires are typically made of 20 gauge wire. When I was first learning, all of the pieces I made were from 20 gauge wire. All of these are 20 gauge sterling wire:

The work of Eni Oken uses smaller gauage wire but because of the wrapping of wire on wire, you wouldn't want to start with larger gauge wire or it would be very bulky (although you might want that look for particular pieces or a style).

Now, I like it BIG! Errr, I mean, I prefer heavier gauge wire, 14, 16, 18. I think the heft makes a different statement and it's doesn't look out of place with lampwork beads. I make 18 gauge headpins and clasps such as this Spiral necklace:

I used 16, 18 and 24 gauge in this Collaboration Part Deux: Universal Truth to make the woven part of the pendant, the headpin and the bail.

The larger gauge wire balances the larger beads well.

You can buy craft wire at your local craft store but I suggest the hardware store if you're just wanting to play around with it. You can buy rolls of copper wire at a reasonable cost. Save all the wire that you don't make into jewelry, you can recycle it.

One last note, when buying wire, I purchase dead soft because I work harden it (I'll talk about that later) - but basically the bending and hammering will make the wire stiffer. If you're planning on making earwires, buy the half hard because you won't be bending the wire enough to work harden it.

It's fun to go to the hardware store - there's lots of things there you can incorporate into jewelry - rubber "O" rings, small fasteners and you can pick up a good pair of needle nose pliers too!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

More suggestions, people - Free Bead

Ok, so I go a little crazy when I work out a style of bead - I make them in all sorts of colors. I'm still crazy for the cubic zirconia embedded in the beads - in the middle of the bow.

Victoria offered up an excellent name yesterday: Skull and Crossbows. Which I'd tweek just a bit to fit the series to Skullz and Crossbowz.

I need more suggestions, people!

Ok, maybe I'm sounding a bit school marmish but don't be shy about suggesting a name! Do I need to bribe people? I think yes.

So now I go into shameless plug - imagine the next all capitals word to be glittering, flashing lights


Yep that's what I said. Suggest a name, any name for the beads I posted yesterday and today - and the name I choose will win a free skull bead.

You've got until August 18th. Suggest a name for Heartz n Skullz and if I choose your name, you'll win the bead.

I won't be chasing anyone down to give you the bead, though. I'll post the winner's name and you'll have to email me your postal address.

Oh, and I don't care if you don't live in the US, I'll still mail you the bead if you win. FREE.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Heartz n Skullz: What to call this one

I've figured out how to make bows in glass. So now every bead I make I try to put a bow on it. Heartz n Skullz are perfect for the bows but I don't know what to name them. I have Skully Kidz and Pinz in my Heart now these but what to call them?

Deadz Headz?


Punk Skullz?

I've put that name on the picture but not sure I like it.

Got any ideaz?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Where in the World was Cindy?

Ok, so my pictures were sideways. Whaddayawant? I was taking the pictures from my cell phone camera and to get the full picture in, I had to turn it sideways.

Didja guess yet where I've been?


Here's a few more pictures of places I visited while there.

Ok ok so they're probably not landmarks that are commonly known by everyone so I guess I'll just have to step back and give you the whole picture....

Yup, that's it.

The Windy City, Chicago, Illinois.

The top picture is The Chicago Public Library where we went to see author John Green. He was fabulous and The Teen was thrilled. Yup, we stood in line with all his books for him to sign. His books are banned from The Teen's high school, so of course, you KNOW I had to go and buy up every single one of them! Don't get the banning books thing because most of the books the school bans are the best pieces of literature. Green's work is first class literature. So, we bought an extra copy of one of the books to have him autograph for his English teacher. She's the one who provided us with a copy of all the banned titles at the school - and the one who encouraged The Teen to read John Green in the first place. We hope she'll like her present.

Anyhooooo back to the trip...errr vacation. Which it wasn't really because the whole trip was planned on what The Teen wanted to do. Yeah, I can hear the other parents groan and think WTF, Cindy, why are you planning your vacation around The Teen? You need YOU TIME. Time away from the obnoxiousness of teens, their angst and drama. Unfortunately I've got a good reason why we planned the vacation around him.

We like him.

I know I'm supposed to be ready to kick him out of the house and planning how I'm going to use his room when he's finally gone but it's just not happening that way. Oh sure, I admit during middle school I had signs up around the neighborhood offering him to a good home for free, but not now.

So, we didn't mind driving to Chicago for Wrock Chicago and the John Green talk.

What did I do? I went to the Art Institute and Grant Park. And yes, I went to the Wizard Rock concert. Why you ask? Because I like it. The music is good and if you've read the books, it's fun. What's better than a group called The Moaning Myrtles?

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Studio Saturday!

Check out Studio Saturday at ABS today. It's always a fun look into the studio of beadmakers.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Where in the World is Cindy Clue 2

Have you figured it out?


Here's another clue from the same city. IIn which city can I see this?

Where in the World is Cindy?

I'm on vacation so for fun, I'm sending a picture of something I'm
visiting while on my trip.

Can you guess the city where I'm able to visit this?


Wire Wrap Video....Wire Spiral

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Vacation and Wire-Head

This is gonna feel abrupt as far as posting goes but I'm singing this song this morning. I'm off for a few days but have posted a wire jewelry video tomorrow for the Wire-Head fans. But in the meantime, tease your big hair and sing along with Belinda!

Tease that BIG HAIR and start jumping up and down!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

WireHead Talks Tools

WireHead's gonna talk tools today and I'll start with where to buy the tools.

Rio Grande
Rio Grande
Rio Grande

What? You say.

I know alot of other companies have jewelry making tools but the best selection I've ever seen is through the Rio Grande catalog. Rio Grande is lousy online but is an excellent catalog. On the East Coast, you have a wait a little longer to get the tools but it's worth it - they even have a refurbishing service where you can send the tools back and they'll sharpen your cutters. Cool.

As much as possible, I order from Metalliferous in NYC. It's closer so I don't have to wait as long and their catalog is online. You can download it and they have a massive amount of STUFF!

If we're talking online, Otto Frei has a good selection although I've never actually ordered from them.

So get a catalog and browse through it. What company makes your favorite tools?

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

WireHead Reads

Even an experienced WireHead can pick up new techniques and tips in beginner books. There are some good tips and techniques in the wire books I'm reading lately - a new twist on headpins, clasps and knot rings. I'm bending wire as you read. If want to read about the book a bit more, it's up on BeadLit. I'm going back to bending some wire - do some creating today!

Monday, August 04, 2008


My Rainbow Spiral is in an Etsy Treasury. Cool surprise this morning.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Inspiration from Toronto's Chinatown

If I'm jonesing for some big city excitement, we hop in the car and drive to Toronto. A little color inspiration for you today - taken at a market in Toronto's Chinatown.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Love Links and the other life....

Seeing how far I can stretch the Glass Links. Three links are melted together link by link to create a short 3 link class chain. I'm calling them Love Links because they'll always be together. Wink! Crystal Love Links with cubic zirconia embedded in two of the three links. Purplicious Love Links are partially iridescent reflecting blues and gold along with the purple. I'll put these up on my website tonight or tomorrow.

I'm off to live my other life today - I'll spend a full 8 hour shift working as a video interpreter, signing telephone calls between Deaf and hearing people all day. I'm like an operator except with a videophone. Hard to get going after a nice couple of days at the torch.

Go create something beautiful today - Enjoy!
(Photo Credit)

Friday, August 01, 2008

Meet my photographer and new banner

I'm not staying on the computer very long today, I'm having a flare up of the repetitive stress injury, so it' a quicky post today. I've got a new banner designed by my budding photographer teen. (That's him above.) He prefers to take portraits and not do graphic arts but he feels obligated to keep my photos, banners, website fresh and not go stale. Thank you! He does most of my bead/jewelry photography although I'm still teaching him how to "style" the beads. He's a fast learner and I expect he'll be styling the beads soon.

Wire Head will be back - I'm doing lots of wire lately!