Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ornament Thursday: Celestial and Ice Blue

Happy Ornament Thursday! My OT project is this lovely ice blue cashmere neck scarf. I crocheted on my favorite G hook and finished it off with a lovely art button.

So, check out what the OT Grlzz have been up to this month!

Farm Girl Roots, City Girl Style
Linda Augsburg shares her celeste-inspired card.

Uniquely Mine for $20
Cindy Gimbrone hooks up lovely ice blue cashmere into a celestial colored neck scarf. Finished off with an artist made button - it's uniquely hers for $20!


Deanna Chase

Heather Hertziger

Joolz by Lisa

Beading Help Web

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Uniquely Mine for $20

When frozen out of my unheated glass studio, I keep creating to keep the inspiration flowing for when the studio thaws out. Curious about cashmere, I bought a few skeins of Debbie Bliss 100% Cashmere yarn on sale at Webs. I wanted to create a one of a kind piece so I made my own crochet pattern.

Such lovely yarn deserved something special. So I hunted around until I found the perfect finishing touch - a lovely artist made button called A Button Succeeding from Mamacita Beadworks on Etsy.

There's no one with a scarf like mine - created with my own pattern and topped off with a lovely art button. The best part is that it cost me $20!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Gotta Make Ma Own Murrini

Fooling around with millifiori a few years back, I created this pendant for a fundraiser giveaway. It's done in the traditional Italian style but this was fused between two layers of clear glass. The look is one that I love. I've been thinking about how to stretch this look into a modern style, i.e., more my style. I'm not completely modern in my look but I'm spare in my application of technique and color. I like to put in a few things and let those speak for themselves.

Guess it's time to get back to makin' ma own murrini!

What part of your artwork do you make from scratch?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sunday Picture

Posting a picture today and I'm thinking it might become a regular thing on Sunday. My favorite picture for the week. Over the weeks, it'll become a photo essay of my life.

Today, The Teen.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

When to pursue a technique....

Yesterday I showed you the bead designs I'd like to renew and expand upon. Today, I'll show you those beads I rejected and in fact, won't even sell - not because they're poorly executed but they're too much like someone else's signature design.

I created these while playing at the torch - I wasn't trying to mimic anyone else's design. But after I made them, I did what I always do, I surfed around to see if anyone was making anything similiar. I can't possibly see every beadmaker's beads but I do my best to take a good thorough look around. If I find something similiar, I won't pursue that particular style - although I may use the technique itself. Like I did here with the a variation on the Goth Kid:

The ears have an Anime style/Goth look achieved by using the technique above. I'll continue to pursue using the "floppy raised dots" technique in different designs but not on a round bead with multiple floppy raised dots - too much like another beadmaker's design. I want to speak my own voice through my designs.

What techniques have you decided to pursue in your work lately?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Reviewing Bead Designs

Twice a year I take a second look at beads I've designed and just haven't promoted. Here are a couple I designed awhile ago - you can see the 2006 copyright on them - I made them during the winter of 2006 and took them to bead show in NYC that year.

I'm liking them, I think like the Glyph beads, they should be revived. Grouped with the Glyph beads, I can see a whole series like the Heartz n Skullz.

Opinions? Do you like these beads? What would you call them?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Shooting pictures for step by step project.

I'm shooting some step by step pictures today for future article. The tools are out and the camera is ready. I'm going to use the underlighting so the steps and the tools are well light. It will make it easier for readers of the project to see. After the first set of pictures arrived at the publishers, the editor wanted more. So that's the reason for today's photo shoot. Gotta get it all done before the deadline at the end of the month.

Do you have deadlines looming?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Ivory Bling Links featured in Book!

Earrings, Earrings, Earrings, filled with earring projects for every mood and occasion, will be available for purchase in the spring. This picture comes courtesy of Annie's Attic.

Look closely at the earrings above the last, large print "ng" of the work earrings. Yep, that's right! My Ivory Bling Links are making their book debut!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Speaking of Photography....

Since I talked about photography the last time and a couple of you made comments about the underlighting, I thought I'd share with you where I bought the underlighting. It was part of the Bead Photography kit from Prior to that, I had a homemade set up with plastic boxes/ice cream tubs and utility lights. It was ok, but my pictures and lighting are so much better than they were before. I'm less reliant on PhotoShop to adjust the lighting now. I melted the sides of several plastic containers trying to get the light brighter and I don't have to worry about that now.

If you use the underlighting, use it judiciously. I rarely use it with beads as it will give a lovely although unnatural glow to the beads. Underlighting can also darken the subject - making the bead appear darker because everything around it is bright. But this picture of the coral glass bling links looks pretty darn good using it. It was an experiment - so if you use the underlighting, experiment with it.

By the way, I bought a new camera - loved my Nikon Coolpix but wanted a camera that responded a bit quicker. Since The Teen loves Canons, I bought an SX110. The Teen takes most of the bead pictures now but sometimes his schedule is so busy, I have to wait and wait and wait to get some pictures shot - so, this is to fill in.

(Photo Credit from

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Photography Success!

I'm working on a magazine submission and my step by step how to pictures weren't quite up to snuff. So, another round of pictures with underlighting. Underlighting helped to make the pictures bright enough for the editor. The teen took the pictures so this might be his first magazine credit. Cool. The pictures are going onto a CD and out in the mail today.

I don't usually use underlighting - but this was a situation where I needed the light under my hands to get a good picture. You know what they say about photography and film, it's all about the light!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Sitting on my workbench....

Last fall, I was on and saw these Navaho Red Square Beads made by artist Mary Harding. I fell in love with them and bought them the minute I saw them. I knew the "red" matched the "coral" colored glass I have stashed away. Coral isn't an easy color to match it Mary's beads were perfect.

So I made the coral colored glass bling links especially for Mary's beads. They look great together don't they?

I'm working on a design and they're laid out on my workbench. How to connect them - wire? chain? I'm not sure yet.

Any ideas?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Seen it on TV? Interpret it! Rachel's Necklace

Last week, I was watching an episode of Rachel Ray's Talk Show and noticed her necklace. It looked like one of my Bling Links so I couldn't resist whipping up this interpretation of Rachel's Necklace using one of my Bling Links and rollo chain.

I used one of the Bling Links embedded with two crystals - just for extra sparkle. In honor RR, I'm calling it Rachel's Necklace.

What's great about this necklace (other than the fabulous handmade glass by me!) is the finding the Bling Link is suspended from - it opens! You know for me, who likes to have interchangeable - it's fabulous, I can change this out for another Bling Link in Blue.

Whip up one for yourself, the Bling Links are still on sale so you can grab one of these beauties for yourself. It's classic and stylish and goes with anything.


Saturday, January 10, 2009

Living Up to the New Year's Decisions

I talked about Vision Boards yesterday and it's always a good idea to clarify what you have mulling around in your head. Alot of my business woes lie in not getting myself out there or in other words




Yeah, I great at marketing someone else - I can tell you how fabulous someone else is, but like many women, when it comes to me, I shut up.

It's time to speak up.

Easier said than done.

Take it one step at a time.

My one step goes along with my decision to submit more articles to magazines. I made that decision around August - something you'd have to do if you want to get in the issues for the next hear. So yesterday, I worked with The Teen to take some how to pictures for a project that's been accepted (I'm not saying where yet, I gotta submit it first and make sure it's going to press before I say where). I sent this one:

Oops, it a reject. So back to the photo set-up and took another set of pictures. Sent those off but since it's the weekend, I won't know if it's thumbs up or down until Monday.

One step at a time.

Have you taken a step towards your New Year's decisions?

Friday, January 09, 2009

January Mulling it over....

How did I miss it?

Miss what? You ask.

Vision Boards. The hot topic on all the blogs at the end of the year, I somehow missed the flurry of bloggery on it.

I take stock in January - trying to do it in December just ruins the holidays for me. So when everything has calmed down, I evaluate my business and mull over how to improve. After sitting for awhile, I usually come up with a few goals.

I did some reading on vision boards and thought it might be a good way to focus some of my ideas. So I'm working on a "theme" board. I'm not real clear with what I want to do but I'm hoping while I work on this and letting it mull around for awhile, I'll be able to put my finger on it.

Are you taking stock and mulling anything over this January?

Thursday, January 08, 2009

At Work, No Words

Can you hear the music playing in the background? Busy busy busy today!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Loving the Edge

I like edgey fashion and my Heartz n Skullz series reflect my love of all things edgey. But as a mom and living a middle class life, the stereotype says I'm not supposed to like it. But here's where I have everything in common with the edgey crowd - I don't like being stereotyped, I don't fit it. That's probably why some of The Teen's friends think I'm cool. If you look closely at me, you'll find a bit of edgey jewelry among the middle class mom, or you'll see me watching NCIS soley because of the bright, funny, Goth character, Abby. It's the most recent guilty pleasure for The Teen and I.

I'm always fascinated with her jewelry. Above, chains fastened with a lock or below, Goth with a soft side - delicate silver rings joined by a silver bead.

(Above photos from Pauley Perrette Fan Facebook)

Another source of the Goth - Millenium Punk style with the red, white and black color palette are the White Stripes in this photo from the MTV website

All of this percolates in my brain and inspires new pieces like the finished Gothic Lace.....

I'm attracted to alot of different styles and it's reflected in my work - maybe that's why I don't seem to have a "voice" but I've always been that way. I do tend to gravitate to the edgey. Do you love edgey jewelry?

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Working on....

...."Gothic Lace" valentine pendant for Valentine's Day.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

The Cat that Chases his tail in my glass yard

I don't usually write posts about topics other than glass and business related however

when I read Angela's Blogpost about her kitten, I had to post a picture of her kitty twin, Twinkie - my cat. He's the same color and has similiar markings to Momo and hey what's up with naming him Twinkie? He's about the color of that yummy cream filled 1960's lunchbox treat but he's a bit older and likes control (can't you tell by the look on his face?) but he chases his tail around like he's 8 weeks old! Doesn't he know that's his tail?!? I can't quite figure out that one.

So let's take the kitty post challenge - if you have a kitty in your house, write a blog post, link to this post and leave a comment! It'll be fun to see how far this goes, huh?

Speaking of comments and links, go on over to Lisa Lectura Creations' Blog and check out her awesome art. It's nice to get out of the glass yard for awhile and play with some other artists.

Bad Girls of Glass that you gotta have!

As long as we're talking glass and colors we don't need like the luscious ink blue above (thanks for the gorgeous spacer bead pictures in today's post from that ever wonderful beadmaker GemFox.)

Ink blue is mis-named, I think, it looks purple not blue but anyways, ink blue caused quite a stir when first introduced into the glass world. It was one of the the first Moretti/Effetre handpulled colors offered. It melts perfectly, keeps it color, is a real workhorse plus is YUMMY!

But seriously, there are so many variations in hues and each one is slightly different. Just like my other favorite, Coral.

Let's be honest, folks, some of these colors aren't coral at all! In fact there are so many permutations of "coral" I don't know what it's supposed to look like anymore!

C'mon, orange colors are not coral.

I love each color I've bought but will have to count each and every one, one by one in a couple of days.



But who cares about counting the rods when you can have the Bad Girls of the Effetre line?


Yeah, she's beautiful - just look at her in turquoise!

What a babe, huh? So you turn up the heat but then she'll lose her lovely pink color

She might even pop into pieces before you can shape her into the goddess she is.

So yeah, she's bad, she's a b#@$%!! but she's an Alabastro, temperamental and gorgeous.

A Bad Girl of Glass that you gotta have! Who better to sing about a Bad Girl than Donna Summer?

Saturday, January 03, 2009

When Temptation Hits....

January hits and the glass suppliers post their sales. It's a great time to pick up your favorite glass colors and try some new ones.


It IS January and that means INVENTORY.


So when I'm feeling I really need that extra pound of transparent ink blue, I go into my studio and look at my stock of glass rods. I've got to count each and every one of them.

One by one.

It's a good way to resist temptation.

What do you do to resist over-buying for your art?

Friday, January 02, 2009

The Bead Vegan Shares a Favorite....

Occasionally, I write about vegan recipes. I write about it because if vegan food tastes good and is reasonably priced, then others will eat it too. So I share vegan food that I think others might like. Since getting Vegan Express, I've been trying out various recipes. Tofurky sausage is in one of the recipes. Being married to a husband of Italian descent, I crave an Italian sausage every now and then but haven't found any vegan substitute - until now. The Torfurky sausage has a meaty texture and high fiber content (8 grams). It's a little heavy on the black pepper that I need to lessen by slicing or chopping the "sausage" and adding tomatoes or extra vegetables to it. But all in all, it satisfies that craving and is very filling.

Here are a couple of recipes from online blogs using Tofurky sausage:

Vegan Chicks Rock - Breakfast

Veg Blog - Pasta and Sauce

Pasta with "Sausage" and Collard Greens

Grilled Beer Brats

Chipotle Chili


Thursday, January 01, 2009

Resolved: Experiment more with your Glass!

Happy New Year! This new year, why not make a resolution to experiment more with your art? I started early with the frit experiments I started in December.

I have a go to frit - it's Val Cox's Silverlake. No matter what I do, I can make this frit look good. If I'm getting frustrated with my other experiments, I roll some Silverlake with Czech Glass's Capri Blue and it just looks pretty!

Ocean Currents and Butterflies is my favorite Silverlake/Capri Blue creation. This is in a private collection - mine! :-)

Experiments can lead to new work - what are experimenting with in your art?