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New Lampwork

Saturday, September 30, 2006
I've been at the torch the last couple of days. Lots of experiments, the below is a couple strands that I pulled out of the kiln this morning. Again, the pictures don't do the colors justice.

I finally finished the below strand for a garden style necklace and bracelet. I was missing some spacer beads. The dark periwinkle is a lovely color and it's a smooth flowing glass.
Yesterday I got my order from Double Helix. I had planned to finish up some jewelry designs today BUT the temptation to play with this glass is going to win out. Actually I can’t wait to play with it, so it’s off to start my day.

Have a wonderful weekend!



Thursday, September 28, 2006
NOX (aka Bubba Belly)

Yarrow (aka the Beast)

Sugie (aka the Queen, Texas Toothless Wonder)

Chelsie (aka the Monster)

I'm not sure if I will be working in the studio today or not. The AC folks are coming over again. So who knows how my day will turn out.

Have a happy, creative day!


What I did on my day off

Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Yesterday since I really couldn’t do much work in the studio, I went shopping. There is nothing that gets the creative juices flowing than going to bead or fabric shops for me. Both are places that I really shouldn’t go to…the temptation is too much for me. I have more beads that I need and I have a closet full of fabric. The only self-control I have is that nagging thought, “if you buy it, you have to move it.” So I limited my purchases to bead colors that I ‘NEEDED’.

After a wonderful day of eye candy and feeling up glass beads, I came home. A little rest and relaxation is good for the muse. Things were going well…I’m lounged on the couch, reading. I got up to get the mail and let in a gecko-lizard thingie hanging out by the front door. Nox (young 17 lb cat) and Sugie (little-toothless-older than dirt-Siamese cat) were asleep so I didn’t think much of it. I’d catch it when I got back.

I walked back into the house and was greeted to utter chaos. The sound of breaking glass told me that the cats woke up. The sound of DVDs and books hitting the floor told me that the two dogs got into the action too. It was like a scene out of the movies. They literately were trashing the house in front of me. There’s that blind panic that freezes you, little snap shots of mayhem flash before your eyes…then the crash of pottery brings you back to your senses. It was totally surreal. I felt like I was living in a Salvator Dali painting.

It took them less than 10 minutes to take a neat and orderly three-bedroom house, and turn it into a crime scene. It took me over three hours, and several trash bags, to repair the damage.

I’ve had enough of rest and relaxation…I’m hiding to the studio today.

Have a happy creative day...


Taking a day off

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

I tried doing some beadwork yesterday and my thumb issue nixed that idea. Tried working on the torch...another not so great idea. It seems like I might be taking a little 'vacation' from work for a couple of days.

The above is a color scheme that I really wanted to try. I think I'll be waiting a couple of days before I do.

Off to to errands and get some chores done.

Have a creative day!


UFO Beadwork and Folk Art Lampwork Experiment

Monday, September 25, 2006
Yesterday was finishing up a couple UFO (unfinished object) beadwork and a couple experiments.

The below is a beadwork bracelet that I'm getting ready to add surface design to. I was finishing up the clasps and I had an idea. This would make a wonderful base color for some folk art beads. I've had this vision a while ago of a critter bead necklace in folk art style.

So stopped what I was doing...zipped off to the studio. The below is the ROUGH draft of the idea. They are experiments only.
The above is a floral that I encased stringers to make the flowers and leaf designs. I haven't decided if I like this or not. As a plain bead, no. In a piece of jewelry, maybe.

Side note of the reasons why I got into lampwork is because I found some of the most beautiful beads don't always make up into the WOW, eye popping jewelry. Well, at least they didn't for me. I think a lot has to do with my busy, over done style too.

The below is the critter bead. It has potential...a lot depends if my muse and I can create my vision or not. Again, this is a rough draft of the big picture. My heat control wasn't happenin' because I laid open my thumb on a piece of metal. Making beads because of the needed thumb action and the heat of the torch really wasn't one of my better ideas.

The below is one of those experiments that looked good in the flame. It sure didn't turn out like I planned...I opened the kiln, pulled this puppy out, and all I thought was "what the hell was I thinkin'?"
I finished up a couple UFO beadwork projects. I've got a pile of them sitting on my desk right now. I told myself that I wasn't going to start anything else unless I finished them. Sure, that's going to happen.

The below is a small amult pouch. It's really small and wearable. Nothing great and wonderous but I like the colors.
The below is a beaded bead in peyote and I finished up the bail on. It's ok, nothing to write home about. It just makes me 'feel' fall and pout that I'm not seeing the season change this year. Oh well, we can't have everything. It's in the mid-80's here, I'm going to set on the deck and bead today.
Have a creative day!


Bowl of Pendants

Sunday, September 24, 2006

This how I spent my day yesterday. I'm in the process of gathering up the pieces and parts to make silk ribbon necklaces.

BTW, these pendants look much better in person than in my photography. Here I thought that I was getting better at this. It seems like I need to make sure that the planets are in the correct alignment.

Today, I'm beading and taking it easy. I've got several half finished pieces that I need to tidy up.

Have a great rest of the weekend!



Saturday, September 23, 2006
I just love the colors in this and thought I'd share.


Beaded Beads

Friday, September 22, 2006
More experiments, beaded beads. Why am I doing all these experiments? Well, I've been doing a lot of lampwork the past couple of years. I've finally come to a skill level that I can walk away from the torch for a week or two and not have to play catch up. For the past three years, I've pretty much devoted all my time to lampwork.

Sure I’ve made jewelry once in a while that pays the bills. I just spend at least five hours a day at the torch. That didn’t leave much time for all the other mediums…plus the paperwork, the website, shows, and wholesale.

I spent so much time at one of the lampworking torches that I haven’t spent the time on the other torches. I miss metal…I miss metal a lot. I also miss wire, other forms of hot glass, and beadwork. I really miss making jewelry. So I’m working on my skill bases again. I’m finding that I remember the how and the why, even some of the tricks and finishing but it takes me much longer to complete a piece now. Some of the first pieces are turning out sloppy…not as refined as I like and my OCD alarms are just popping. This is because I’ve neglected a few things.

What is happening is that my design-o-meter is maturing. My skill base is expanding. My focus is changing. My tastes and favor (personal style) is maturing as well. What the end result will be? Only time will tell.

Off to start my day!


Lampwork Focal Experiments

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Working out the bugs...test beads.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006
The above is the test beads for a new lampwork focal bead series. Each bead is about 32mm in diameter. The below is apart of the same test beads, just in a different shape. The concept was for the beads to have an ocean jasper type look. They didn't come out exactly like I planned but I do like the end result. The concept just needs to be refined a bit.
The below was a color test bead; it too is about 32mm in diameter. I was testing the hue of some Lauscha cane (base color) after annealing. I kinda like this color scheme. Ya know, it might of been a better pic if I would of rinsed this puppy after I dremeled out the bead release.

Yesterday, it was beautiful here. I’ve waited months for this type of weather. I sat outside in the afternoon, beaded and pondered for hours. My life is blessed or charmed or whatever…it’s just good. To some it might be a bit boring, to others…it might be a bit strange. I consider my life average. I don’t have the Jerry Springer Show type drama nor is it Wild Kingdom re-runs. I consider the average wonderful at this stage of my life. Sure beats being being a guest star on a CSI show.

OK...back to the beads. I do a lot of the ‘candy’ looking beads style. Yeah, some you need sunglasses to look at very long. :-) Not because they are my favorite; more because of the weather here. When I start feeling like fall, (even when it’s in the 80’s here) my beads start having sort of an earthy type favor to them.

I'm off to start my day...have a happy and creative day!


Flower Beads

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The actual size is a bit smaller than shown. :-)

Have a great one!


Gaia's Mantle series

The below is a focal series that I've completed. I think it has potential but I think a bit of refinement is also in order. I'm not just much of a flower person...but these were kinda fun to create.

Blogger is feeling better today. It let me upload pictures. Well, I'm off to start my day. Got some ideas spinning again.


No Eye Candy

Monday, September 18, 2006
I just finished my Gaia's Mantle series. I will post the pictures tomorrow when Blogger is feeling better.

Off to finish errands...have a wonderful day!


It's been a long day already!

Sunday, September 17, 2006
I just put up 64 lampwork bead strand specials on the website. OMG, my eyes are now crossed. I had forgotten just how much time that takes. First you have to organized all the beads...then you have to label them...then describe them....then take all the pictures.

I'm taking a little break now and hitting the torch. It's time for me to have a little bit of FUN!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend.


The Beads are taking over my studio!

Saturday, September 16, 2006
I’m taking a couple days off to work on my website. It will include a Lampwork Beads SALE!!!!!! I normally do a yearly end-of-season sale. This year I'm having it in September. So please add your name to our Newsletter if you would like notification of when the sale begins.

The lampwork bead sale will be on the lampwork specials page. All beads there will be 40% off and will include FREE shipping via USPS First Class within the US.

I have to do this every year because the beads take over my studio. I swear, if I didn’t know better, that they having litters. It must be bead birthing season or something.

So everyone have a wonderful weekend and I will be back on Monday!


I miss my elves!

Friday, September 15, 2006
The pictures below are experiments. I have the mental representation whirling in my brain. When I create the first one, I set it down (sometimes lose it on my desk), then come back to it for refinements.

The below has been sitting off and on my desk for three weeks. I finally made a couple little changes here and there. I’ve decided that I like it now. It’s a simple piece that consists of a lampwork pendant and a silk cord. Believe it or not, the silk cord is wonderful to wear in hot weather. I picked up the cord from KAS. The cord has several big hold sterling beads and glass rings. That just gives more of a finished look to it. It also keeps the lampwork pendant from sliding all over the place.

The below is a new color scheme in lampwork beads.
The below wired pendant is the real experiment. I've seen a lot of Eni Oken's work. (her website is I've bought her tutorials...great stuff...but I wanted something more freeform. The below is what I came up with. I first made the frame...torched it and tumbled it clean. Then pulled out the wire and went to work. It's mostly sterling with coral, turquriose, and quartz crystal accents.

The next thing I have to figure out is a bail for this puppy. If you think of something, let me know. I've got a couple ideas spinning but nothing concrete yet. I'm not a die hard wire person, I prefer solder and torch involvement. BUT I'm open to all ideas.

Since we moved, these are the times that I miss my elves the most. My favorite elf was Sara Rachels. Currently she is a freshman at Indiana University, mostly likely having the time of her life. She is the daughter of a friend, Susie Rachels. Susie's website is

Clarification here…what is a jewelry elf? That’s a person that wears jewelry for me. Just because I design something doesn’t mean it’s wearable or comfortable. So what an elf does is wear a demo piece and lets me know how it feels…if it snags clothing…takes water well…how it stands up to daily wear. If the piece of jewelry passes all the tests, the elf keeps the piece. If it doesn’t, it’s back to the drawing board for me.

I’ve been making jewelry for so long now, that normally I can just look at a piece and tell. If not, I can feel the work to see if it will pass my tests. There are still some that I have to pass to elves.

Off to run lots to do!

Have a happy and creative day!


New Beadwork Project

Thursday, September 14, 2006
(ABOVE) Here’s the inspiration for my new project. Side note here…you know about all those humorous excuses that kids give about the dog eating the homework or the dog eating their report card? I always thought that the kid needed to use more imagination regarding their excuses. Well I was wrong. I was out on the deck last week drinking my coffee. I spotted one of these moths (or close to it) on one of the steps by the deck. Before I could move to get my camera, Yarrow, the dog ate it.

I swear the dog would eat a rock if you rubbed it on a hotdog. I know at you can’t see me roll my eyes and shake my head here…but that’s what I’m doing as I write this.

(BELOW) This is the gathering phase. This is the part that is both the hardest and the most enjoyable for me. Again, it’s the color! The tubes of seed beads are like liquid color.

Side note…I would show you the sketches of the prelim design but Sugie (the cat) yakked on them. I’ve had a hell’ve week with the critters.

(BELOW) I’ve created sculpt flower cups and the beginning of a herringbone rope. Using Toho 11/0 triangles have made doing these ropes more interesting and much more stable. They are very flexible but also have the strength for many, many years of wear. I’m really impressed with these beads.

I've will have more eye candy latter this week. I'm also working on a couple other projects at the same time. You know me...I gotta keep busy!

Have a happy and creative to start my day! (look out world, here I come)


Here's something that I made for me

Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Not a lot of eye candy today. The above is something that I made for myself.

I'm in the process of starting a larger project. I will have pics of the starting process tomorrow.

Have a happy and creative day!


Lampwork Necklace and Earrings

Tuesday, September 12, 2006
The above are earrings that finish up the set I started yesterday. I love making earrings but they are such a PITA to photograph. I can't think of a what that displays them so I can take a decent picture.
The above is the matching necklace. Again, they look much better in person.

I have another idea spinning...I'm off to start my day and see if my muse is hanging out with me today or not.

Have a happy, creative day!


What were you doing on 9/11/01?

Monday, September 11, 2006
The above is the finished product. It's another one of the mixed fringe bracelets. The photos show the coral more red than it is in reality.

The below is the beginning...I will finish up the necklace and earrings tomorrow. Why do I take pictures of the bead gathering? Well, it's the best part for me...I like the color. :-)

It’s five years after one of America’s saddest days. I remember what I was doing that day when I heard the news. I was in our home in Indianapolis at the time…getting ready to leave to open up our shop for the day. I got a call from a friend, telling me to turn on the TV. The first thing I saw was one of the Twin Towers exploding. I was stunned…then I heard the rest of the reports. I will always remember that feeling…that moment in time.

The days to follow were eerie. No planes in the skies…not a lot of cars on the street. People were very quite…people were seeking solace where they could find it. At the time many emotions hit me like a brick…I was stunned, then afraid, then I was pissed off.

Now as I sit here remembering that day, I’m still filled with sorrow for those that lost their lives and my heart goes out to their families. But I’m still pissed off. I don’t care what dirty little secrets that our government has…I don’t care if the al-Qaida's has it’s reasons. I have been reading about our government’s steps to up security. I also realize that we aren’t safe…we are safer but we aren’t safe. Does that make me afraid? Hell no, it pisses me off. I would rather die than to get on my knees and beg day after day. Big words…no, I’m a realist. I don’t have it in me to live with the constant uncertainty…I’m a spoiled American with a stubborn streak.

It’s been happening in Israel for a while now. All-in-all, I have to give the Israeli’s a high score on their patience. Just how many Americans would of put of with the number of suicide bombers that Israel has? I honestly doubt that most Americans could live in that climate of fear and uncertainly. I also believe that if that happened in the US, I think we’d crack under pressure and come out like snarling dogs. The end result wouldn’t be pleasant…because if we are losing, we’re takin’ the whole world with us. There wouldn’t be a Middle East. It would be a sheet of glass or they would be bombed back into the stone age by now.

I’m not saying that I think it’s right or wrong; that isn’t the point. (I am honest enough to say I’m also not overjoyed of how I think that most Americans would respond.) I’m just saying that patience isn’t one of America’s virtues. I’m also not saying that an American’s life is more important than any other person on the planet. Its just Americans are loud about what they want and how they want it done.

I also believe that the rest of the world thinks that we wouldn’t do it. Again, it doesn’t make me happy to say…that the rest of the world needs to get a reality check and come live with me in Texas. The sad reality is, yes…America would do it even if it meant the destruction of the entire planet, as we know it.

Is that really what the terrorists want…the total and absolute destruction of the planet?

Even if there isn’t a total global destruction…the world economy is based on the US economy. So what that loosely translates to…a US economy crash will result in millions that will die of starvation and disease because Americans won’t be able to pick up the tab.

I’m just one opinionated person with a theory. So far, I can’t come up with a win-win situation regarding the global terrorism. Why, because every win-win situation depends on compromise and honest respect. I’m just one person with an opinion and I’m hoping that my opinion is totally off base.

I am still proud to be an American and wouldn't want to live in any other country; no matter what the world thinks of our faults.


Vine Lampwork Bracelet

Sunday, September 10, 2006
No rants today, just eye candy! I had a bit of trouble with the photography again.

The above is a bracelet made with 'boring' lampwork beads. The bracelet looks MUCH better in person. It's got a great feel to it. The colors just flowed together on this one. The bracelet is a mix of wired and seed bead/thread fringe. It has a different look and feel. I like it better than most of the styles of fringe bracelets that I make BUT it takes all day to make one…not including the time it takes to make the back sterling chain and the lampwork. I normally don’t use handmade clasps on these bracelets. I like the handmade clasps, don’t get me wrong BUT they get caught in the fringe and it’s already a very busy piece of jewelry.

The above is the matching earrings to the vine bracelet. I just couldn't get the lighting right for the pics.

The above is the earrings for yesterday's bracelet. I still like these hues.

Today, I'm working on a black, coral, and mango bracelet. Hopefully it will be a smooth adventure and I can take better pictures.

Well...that's all folks!