Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Grateful for Ornament Thursday

I'm grateful for the opportunity to join and post monthly with a great group of crafty-beady bloggers, Ornament Thursday. You can see all of the great projects we've posted since last December on The Ornament Thursday Flickr Group and here I'm giving a little mini-review of my first few months from the past OT year.

December 2007, Jingle Spiral

January 2008, Spiral Christmas Tree

March 2008, Art Flower Inspired by Brooklyn's National Anthem

April 2008, Modern Glass Links Earrings

Make sure you check out what the rest of the OT Grlzzz are grateful for over on the OT Blog!

Summer's Last Hold Outs

Inspirational color from summer's last holdouts. What would you create
based on these lovely flowers?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Grandma's Jewelry and Kazmer's Staple

I'm going through all of my sentimental bits and pieces to work into jewelry. I spent the weekend working on the pottery shards. So I went back to my treasure box and pulled this out. It was one of my grandmother's - I think my father's mother or my husband's maternal grandmother, not sure which now. It's small, about 14.5 inches - it fits tight to the neck. They're a good example of the "staple" I see in Kazmer's Making Connections book. I'm working on trying to create some as refined as these are - the ones I made this weekend were clumsy. I know - I need to show a picture and I will - stay tuned.

Have you done any metal work? Are you trying a new technique with your work?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Zoo-licious Snow Leopard

The Teen's newest picture - The Buffalo Zoo's Snow Leopard. I LOVE this picture - he's entitled it "Reticence." Perfect name, I think - but don't expect me to be unbiased.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Books I Love: Making Connections

I love this book! I find myself carrying it around the house because I want it right next to me when I sit down for a few minutes. Porque you ask? Well, Susan Lenart Kazmer's, "Making Connections" is not only a comprehensive treatment of cold joins, it's also a beautiful book to look at. Mixing simple, straightforward technical information with lovely photography and drawings, Kazmer's book is a rare find - a treat for the eyes and the mind.

Nine chapters cover materials, tools and every cold join you can imagine. Chapters detail wire attachments; staples, tabs and prongs; rivets, hinges and attachments with movement just to name a few. I'm particularly inspired by the chapter on staples, tabs and prongs seeing new ways to use sheet metal with my glass cabachons or beads.

This is on the top of my pile of books and think it's gonna stay there for awhile.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Score at the Flea Market

As if I don't have enough of my own junk, I made a trip to the flea market before it gets to cold to go. I found a vendor who repairs watches so he has a lot of old watches and small watch parts. He was amazed to find out that people are making jewelry and art out of the old parts. I scored some fabulous antique and vintage watch cases with crystal intact. The square watch case has an amber crystal - sooo cool!

Can't forget the other vendor I found who had tons of old brass hardware and skeleton keys.

It's finds like these that inspire me and make me want to go back!

Do you have a favorite piece of junk or junk store you frequent?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

How Did Open Studio Go?

Drum roll please.....

Amazing, huh? I never thought I'd be able to show a clean studio on my blog! In fact, it was so clean one of the beaders on Sunday asked if the studio was always this clean.

I almost spit out my drink.

You're in on it with me - you've seen the pictures- you know the true story.

It's never this clean!

Sweet of her to make the comment, though.

Here's a quick photo of the beads and jewelry I set out for them:

Weird isn't it that so much work fits on a coffee table?

I bag the beads, label them for The Teen to take a photo and to have ready when someone makes a purchase off the website or Etsy. So hundreds of beads can fit into a little 8 by 10 inch tray. It's a little bit of a let down - seems it should take up more space because it takes up so much space in my life.


it still looks pretty in the little space


it was a quick clean up!


Here are a couple more pictures. The color is a bit different because The Teen had to close the blinds, it was just too much sun shining directly on the display.

It was alot of work to get things ready but it's made me want to do this more than once a year. I think there are alot of up sides and it'd be worth it.

What do you think are the "up sides" of hosting an Open Studio? I'll start with a couple of reasons, you add your own in the comments:

1. I don't have to pack all my beads up and travel to a show.

Now it's your turn....

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sentimental Junk

Guess what these are?

Yep, pottery shards and they look like they came from an early 20th century dump.

You'd be right.

The dump was a garden on my father's family farm. The house I grew up in. The house my father was born and died in. I found these shards digging in the garden one year, readying the ground for planting.

My oldest brother laughed at me. Why do you want those old broken pieces of plates?

It's history, I told him. We know what kind of plates they used, we know where they were made and from what.

I'd like to work these into charms like my ABS colleague, Lynn.

What would you do with them?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Update: Open Studio

Whew! I finished cleaning the studio just in time! The Bead Guild called and wanted to come early AND there were twice as many people than I thought were coming. Tight squeeze but they were all very nice and patient.

Here's the "before" picture - messy studio. I know I know, you've seen THAT one! I took some pictures of the "after" i.e., the clean studio and the display. I'll post those Tuesday when I give the official report.

I'm tired so I'll catch you up later.

Open Studio

I'm at my Open Studio today. I'll give you a report on it later on in the week when I get a chance to write a post on it. Time is tight as you know. Hopefully, all is going well!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Will I be ready?

Do you ever feel like your house is clean enough for guests?

Will I ever feel like my studio is ready for potential buyers?

It's tomorrow!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Dreaming of Wire....

While I'm cleaning and pricing beads for the Open Studio on Sunday, I'm dreaming of what I can make next. I'm dreaming of wire today and the lovely Celtic Bracelet I can make from this book:

Jewelry Studio: Wire Wrapping

It will look great in copper with a nice patina on it and a few lovely art beads!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Believe it or not.....

...these are all classified as the same color, "coral."

Glass is the same as dye lots in other arts, fabrics, seed beads, etc. The "dye lot" phenomenon causes hoarding among glass beadmakers - wanting to make sure you have enough of that color so you don't run out. But there's a down side to hoarding, end of the year inventory otherwise known as counting all of the extra pounds of glass you've bought.

With that in mind, I'm going to start selling off some of my extra glass. I really really really don't want to count some 6,000 rods of glass again this December.

But first, I've got that Open Studio coming up this Sunday, better get back to work putting price tags on my beads!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Nine Days

...until my annual open studio. This year, I've invited the local Bead Guild. But I haven't cleaned the studio yet. You know how I am, organic rather than organized but for open studio I like to present a nice neat studio. Sooooo, I've got to get to work, I've got 9 days!!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Looking for Unusual Design?

There are those of us who design with the glass beads we make so we're always on the look out for new design books as a resource. Stephanie Sersich is a glass beadmaker and jewelry designer so how could she write a book I wouldn't want?

Stephanie has a signature style full of color and fun. She describes her inspiration on her website:

"My own combination of experiences helps to shape my work. My experience of color is from handling textiles, studying art history and from spending time in my mother's garden. My excitement about texture comes from admiring the lush world on the bottom of the ocean, combining clothes and materials and again, exploring the wonders of flowers and the entire plant kingdom."

I've had the pleasure of taking the Spiny Knotted Bracelet class with Stephanie at Beadfest a few years ago. She's very "hands on" and is able to coach students through even the most difficult instructions. Once you learn the technique, each bracelet or necklace using the technique is unique, that's the beauty of the technique.

There are a number of other techniques in the book and profiles of various beadmakers. In the present economy, money can be tight so everyone wants to spend their money wisely. Investing in Designing Jewelry with Glass Beads will be money well spend.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


Continuing to work on hands inspired by mudras, I really like the blue color in the palm and the gold/cream of the fingers. I thought I was using the same color for the hands and the fingers, a happy accident. But I guess I should label each glass rod, huh? Still love the color combo.

Have you had a happy accident lately?

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Dancing Again

I love this bead.

My best buddy has this one.


It's one of the Glyph Series beads I made last year. I'm going to be making these again come the end of the year.

I just wanted to show it in case you didn't click on the link yesterday to see it.

It's a good bead.

Is that like Martha's "it's a good thing?"

Monday, October 06, 2008

Some beads just need to be revived.....

The Glyph Series beads were made during fall 2006 - winter 2007. Sometimes I stop making beads just because I get interested in something else. Looking at this bead, I wonder why. This is a great bead - except it's stuck to the mandrel. I've tried everything to get it off.

Soaking it.

Using denture cleaner to fizz it off.

Even...Freezing it.

Yep, freezing it. It works sometimes because it shrinks the metal mandrel just slightly so you can pull off the bead.

Nothing is worked but I couldn't throw it out.

It reminds me, "remember? You liked this style of bead, make me again!"

Ok, ok, ok, so it isn't really talking to me, but it's definitely a bead that needs to be revived.

Have you made a bead, sculpture or piece of jewelry that you think needs to be revived? Share with me something that you've revived!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

It's a Dark and Stormy Night

This month's Art Bead Scenetheme is a Dark and Stormy Night. Whether you go with a Halloween theme, autumn-inspired or channel your inner goth girl, the theme is open to your interpretation. Pull out your favorite fall art beads and join in this month's challenge! I think the Skele'Bowz are perfect for this challenge.

How to enter the Monthly Challenge:
1. Create something using an art bead that fits within our monthly theme.This challenge is open to jewelry-makers, fiber artists, collage artist, etc.The art bead can be created by you or someone else.The challenge is to inspire those who use art beads and to see all the different ways art beads can be incorporated into your handiwork.

***Beads by themselves and beads simply strung on a chain or cord will not be accepted.***

2. Upload your photo to our flickr group.Detailed instructions can be found here and click here for a tutorial for sending your picture to the group. If you can't upload to Flickr, send your entry and information to Heather.Please add the tag or title OCTABS to your photos. Include a short description, who created the art beads and a link to your blog, if you have one.

Deadline is October 31th.

Photos are approved by our moderators, if a photo hasn't followed the guidelines it will not be approved. You may upload 2 photos a day.

What is an Art Bead?
An art bead is a bead, charm, button or finding made by an independent artist. Art beads are the vision and handiwork of an individual artist. You can read more about art beads here.*** A bead that is handmade is not necessarily an art bead. Hill Tribe Silver, Kazuri ceramic beads or lampwork beads made in factories are examples of handmade beads that are not considered art beads.

p.s. If you have a blog, post your entry and a link to the ABS challenge to spread the beady goodness.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

I'm a criminal....

Yup, I was pulled over in September for "passing unsafely" on the highway. I wasn't speeding but the law enforcement officer told me that I passed in front of him so he said he HAD to give me a ticket. Hmmmm, I wasn't speeding, I passed to avoid the person in front of me who slammed on his brakes to oogle at the cop and civilian car on the side of the road. Sounds like a power issue more than a traffic violation.


I'm not arguing with a state trooper even if he looks like he's 14.

I got the ticket in the mail:

The State versus Cindy Gimbrone it said.

Wow. Sounds like I'm a criminal.

So, while I'm in traffic school, rehabilitating myself, take a peek at Studio Saturday at Art Bead Scene and enjoy!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Bling Link: Dragonfly Pond

Green transparent glass is sooooooooo yummy to work with - it melts in the flame perfectly and never ever gives you a hard time like that stinky boro is doing to me right now!

I embedded two crystals and a copper dragonfly into an emerald "pond" of glass on the oval link. It'll make a nice focal in a beautiful necklace.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Boro Done Bad!

So after the Klown fiasco of yesterday, I decided to pick up the boro to play with. I like boro for sculpture and want to do more than clear. But but but boro is different than soft glass and you have to work it differently in the flame. It can take some getting used to and newbies will get "haze" and creams from everything.


Haze and cream!

Arghhhhh - tomorrow, it's back to soft glass!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Skullz n Klownz???

(Photo Credit)

Ok, so I was at the torch working on a skull bead. I thought skullz with wingz would be cool so I thought I'd try.

I shaped a skull head and added eye sockets, nose and a smile like on the Skully Kidz then added red "wings."


My winged skully looks more like Bozo the Clown than a bad a$$ skull with wings!

The other two attempts still didn't come out the way I envisioned.'s back to the torch!