Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Pinz in my Heart

Pinz in my Heart were created almost two years ago in response to a particularly bad day with The Teen. I've added fine silver foil to these just because. I like the dark red striations I got from this rod of glass. A designer friend of mine calls Pinz in my Heart "bad a$$!"

Monday, September 29, 2008

Stay the course....

Staying the course - here's the sister of last week's Calaveraz - she's part of the Heartz n Skullz series. Calavarez is pretty appropriate lately since life is so busy I'm feeling dead.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Brewing up Glass and Sugar Calaveras

I've been brewing up new a new addition to the Heartz n Skullz series - Calaveraz. Inspired by the sugar skulls or Calaveras of Day of the Dead, my glass Calaveraz are made of pale ivory glass with a millefiore on her forehead and flames in red and yellow creating a halo around her head.

But glass sugar skulls aren't edible so today's OT project shares a
recipe for Sugar Skulls. Have fun making them!(Photo credit: Make.)

Check out what the other OT Grlzzz have brewed up over on the Ornament Thursday Blog!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

It's Happened....

yesterday. The Bean Counter quit his job. I told you it was going to happen but wasn't sure when. He hates his job and has been miserable for about 5 years. There's more to life than $$ - you can't put a price on being happy.

Yesterday TBC decided it was time to leave and pursue his own business. Seems we've become a 21st century couple because we didn't call, we sent text messaged:

TBC: i think today is the day.

Me: Leap if you need to. I'll catch you.

TBC: i love you.

Me: I love me too and you! hee hee!

(two hours pass)

TBC: I did it.

Me: WOW! Congratulations!!!

It's done. Now we move on to another phase in our life. It's going to be exciting and new - after 26 years of marriage, I thought the new chapters were when our son left home but it's not - we're still writing new stories!


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Resin, Watch Parts and a Naughty Secretary

So you all know I've got a disease - yup, I compulsively buy every bead and jewelry book ever published. What triggers my disease is usually a project in the book I can't resist.

My latest trigger is Jennifer Perkins' the Naughty Secretary Club: The Working Girl's Guide to Handmade Jewelry. I just had to try the Secretary's Delight, a bracelet made out of resin. Well, I had to try the resin - it just looked like fun! (Jenn has a how-to on her blog.)

Resin is harder than I thought, literally. Even though I put three coats of mold release on my mold, I had to use a hammer to get some of my resin pieces out of the mold. Didn't hurt the mold or the resin cabochons. Here's my first try using teeny tiny watch parts:

Only one problem with them (besides having to hammer them out of the mold and that the ripped pieces of paper look like a used tissue) is I can't decide which way should be "up."

I like the depth in the ones above but the first picture is the "right" way. Which way do you like?

Monday, September 22, 2008

A Special Brew on Thursday....

Feels like I just did Ornament Thursday, don't know where the time goes! But the OT Grlzz have another set of fabulous projects brewing. Ornament Thursday has a Flickr so you can enjoy looking at all the OT projects from the entire year! DIY your holiday gifts by choosing a special project from OT. Here are a few of the projects I offered this past year on Ornament Thursday:

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Last week's blog post described my research so today's post is about the re-inventing. Here's my first prototype Buddha Hand - made off mandrel. Instead of a bead hole, it has a glass loop.

A first try is never perfect so I'll make a few more before I'll sell any. But I like it.

Do you think I'm on the right path with it?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Golden Opportunity: Collaboration with Heather and Katie

Last week I blogged about the collaboration with Heather Powers and Katie Hacker. What a golden opportunity it was! Working with two creative people - Heather, a fabulous beadmaker/designer and Katie Hacker, awesome designer of Ask Katie and author of Hip to Bead, was a golden opportunity! I'm so happy they've joined in on today's collaboration.

It begins with three creatives, two beadmakers (myself and Heather) and a designer (Katie). The beadmakers make and send a set of beads to each person. Then we set about creating! We don't share until the day we blog. (Don't forget to check out their blogs to see what they've made with the same set of beads.)

So dear friends, I haven't seen what Heather and Katie have made until today.


Nor have they seen what I have created. I selected the Dandelion Bead in gold, green and white to use with my Ivory Bling Links. Lately,I'm into creating long chains that can be doubled up to wear as a shorter necklace for a dressy look or a long chain to wear with jeans.

In honor of the golden opportunity to work with two talented creatives, I've entitled this piece, "Golden Opportunity." A 38 inch gold plated chain was used to reflect the Dandelion Bead while complementing the ivory and earth tones made by the fine silver melted in the glass links.

For a variation on color, I added anodized aluminum jump rings, rolled glass pony beads and brass yo yo's. I love the jump rings to use as color while reinforcing the necklace in places where I've joined the chain. I don't like things to be too matchy-matchy so I used a brushed metal lobster clasp to complement the shininess of the gold plate and the jumprings.

I'm wearing my Golden Opportunity today around my neck. It will sing against the black sweater I'm wearing today.

Thanks, Katie and Heather for an amazing golden opportunity!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Double Dips

New flamework findings - Double Dips! Made with 18 gauge copper wire with hand wound glass beads on both ends of the wire length. Cut them in two and use as headpins or twist and create a loop or make into a clasp.

Double Dips!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Friday, September 12, 2008


Did you look at something mundane in a new way? Comments say some of you did. Here's an art shot of a vinyl record - yes they're back - YAY. Taken by who else but The Teen.

Cool, huh? I'm proud he's finding amazing ways to express who he is. I'm one lucky parent!

What outlets do your kids have to express who they are?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Seeing the Mundane

Inspiration can come from many places - like seeing the mundane in a new way. Today's inspiration is from The Teen, who saw this everyday object in a new way. Textural isn't it?

What mundane thing have you seen in a new way lately?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Junk Collector

Not only do I keep junk, I collect junk too. Every Sunday, I go to the local outdoor flea market to look through the junk to gain a little inspiration. A couple of years ago, I picked up this religious pendant. Nice patina and color picture. It'll be a good addition to a mixed media piece.

Do you collect junk as inspiration?

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Heather Powers, Katie Hacker and Me

Heather, Katie and I are working on pieces for a Collaboration Exploration. A Collaboration Exploration is when two beadmakers create three sets of beads. One set is for another beadmaker to use, another is for a designer and the last is for herself to use. Each of the three keep their designs secret until an agreed upon date when all is revealed.

I'm thrilled to be working with them on this collaboration. Heather makes fabulous polymer clay beads and is the executive editor and owner of Art Bead Scene. We are both excited to be working with Katie Hacker who is an author, and well known designer.

Here are our beads, I made Silvered Ivory Glass Links and Heather sent an assortment of her beads. Yummy!

Watch for the teaser the day before the big reveal!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Variation on a Theme: Silvered Trio

Variation on the Glass Links theme, a trio of glass links made singularly and then fused together while keeping the organic handmade feel of the links. A bit of silver foil is melted into them creating a golden yellow with silver.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Sculpture and Statue Inspiration

As a student of Buddhism, I study it and as the Dalai Lama has said, use it to be a better whatever you are, I'm always fascinated by the purposeful gestures of the statues and sculptures of the Buddha. These purposeful hand gestures are called mudras and communicate a specific idea or concept. In the photo above, Buddha articulates the Abhaya Mudra, or "have no fear." You see the Abhaya Mudra on many representations of the Buddha. It's the same as the ASL handshape for "9" or "F."

I'm drawn to the concept represented in this gesture - I'm sure this is one of the handshapes I want to create in glass.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Fish Eyes, Comments and Running on Empty....

Fun photos from The Teen's new obsession, a FishEye lens on his Holga camera. I took this picture of him at the Chicago Public Library when we went to see John Green. THAT was a cool space, an atrium with a glass roof and lots of light.

I'm behind with commenting to my readers. Sorry, All! I'll get to your comments and write some new posts today. I can handle the sign language interpreting schedule along with creating but when I add taxi-mom to the equation, I find it hard to juggle all the balls at the same time. This morning, The Bean Counter announced he'd had it with work and he was resigning this week. YikeS! I'm glad he wants to move on and I support it but give me more notice! I've offered to take on the breadwinner role but I'd like to be able to transition a bit better. Oh well, it will work out.

I'm feeling like I'm running on empty but it will be nothing compared to when I take over the breadwinner role - so I have Jackson Browne in my head this morning. If you listen, you will too!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

I can talk French!

I'm still researching hands and thinking about how to re-invent. I'm looking at research from graduate school on sign languages - I studied Japanese Sign Language and Finnish Sign Language among other things.

Did you know American Sign Language is closely related to French Sign Language? When signing, French Deaf signers would understand me better than British Deaf signers.


In 1816, a U.S. educator went to Europe seeking a teacher to help him to teach deaf children in the U.S. The teacher who consented to join him was a deaf teacher named Laurent Clerc from France. Clerc used French Sign Language to teach the U.S. students - however, the students used his signs and mixed them with some of their own and modified some. It became a unique language known today as American Sign Language. Approximately 2/3rds of ASL signs have French origins.

Fingerspelling or using a handshape to represent each letter of an alphabet is also different. British signers use a two handed system while in the U.S., we borrowed the French one handed system. (If you'd like to learn more or see where the photos came from, visit the Gallaudet Archives.)

If you were thinking the opposite, many people do. They think either sign languages are universal or they think signs are derived from the country's spoken language. Neither is true. Sign Languages are distinct languages all on their own.

Fingerspelling makes a good candidate to include in the hand beads. Something I've been rolling around in my head. Still researching but what do you think?

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Pieces of my Heart

Here's a piece of my heart. The left overs of a played with and accidently broken by a little one, a wedding present from my husband, a music box in the form of a bride. I kept the pieces being the saver and recycler that I am, but saving it more because of the sentimental reason.

She wants to be a piece of multi-media jewelry. What would you do with this piece of my heart?

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Research, Review, Renew

Remember when I said I was working on the Skele'Bowz in Black and wanted flowers for the eyes? After trying millefiore in the eyes...

...EWWWW...those are way too big but they're all I have so I couldn't try smaller ones besides, millefiore is the obvious choice and many others use the millis for eyes. So I wanted to try something different.

Copper sheet! Cool, huh how the copper didn't go completely red like it can and stayed orange and shiney! This was such a happy accident, I was planning on using red glass but anyone who uses Italian glass, it's hard to tell the difference between the orange and red transparents in the rod. So, I was using orange instead of red - but it worked out just perfectly!

So, now I'm reviewing some of my previous beads and I really want to bring back the glass hands.I'd like to do more with them this time around rather than just the open palm. So, I've dived into research on hands, the use of hands, language of hands, gesture, religious representation, etc. I'm researching so I can review what I've done and make the hands anew!

Fashions come and go, some styles are a happy accident like the Skele'Bowz in Black above but others are a result of research, review and renew. Have you created anything recently that was a happy accident or a result of the RRR?