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Lampwork and Metal a bit of a rant

Saturday, December 13, 2008
I haven’t been on the torch as much as I would like. It’s been a combo account of the lack of motivation and the cold. I knew moving from Austin would take a lot to get used to but…I had forgotten just how cold it get here compared to Texas. I’m freezing most of the time. I physically adjust to the warm, humid weather. Bob really didn't because he traveled so much.

Yes, I know that I will adjust and it just takes time but for right now, I’m still a bit grumpy. The grey skies get to me to. I miss the sunshine. Geez, I miss a lot of the people…the diversity…the educational level of conversations…the shopping (open markets)…the super fast, high speed Internet connections…sitting on my back deck in December without being wrapped up in a coat and long johns.

Now there are lots of things that I DON’T miss about Austin too. Like…the SUPER lousy traffic…all the traffic accidents when it rains…the snakes…drought and brown grass…being so far from my parents...the mongo sized bugs…always getting lost...not seeing the four seasons come into play…not staying in contact with my Midwestern friends...well there’s more. Both places have their pros and cons…don’t get me wrong. It just takes a bit to adjust. I guess I’m in my adjustment phase.

The biggest issue is that I didn’t count for the space I needed for my studio. Yep, you heard it before we moved and now you are hearing it again. What it comes down to is that I made a mistake. So next year, that issue is on the top of my list. More on that later. So once the studio moves (again) out of the house and I get used to the weather...I think life will be fine.

The above necklace is sample...something that I'm working on but not yet complete. It's one of my ideas that hasn't yet come full circle.
On the positive side, it's something that I would wear BUT the leaf is Bali Silver. OK but not what I'm going for. Yes I do metalsmithing but I'm thinking that PMC would be a better option for some of the pendants. I also think that some silversmithing is also in order...handforged clasp...maybe even some sterling tube beads. Then I'm also thinking about some beaded beads as well. Just thought you might like to see what I'm been playing with. If you have any ideas or comments...just get me a shout.
OK...I really am missing the torch so I'm off!
Have a happy, creative day...and stay warm and safe!

Lampwork Pictures...Yay!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008
I've finally got pictures (eye candy) processed. Believe it or not, it's really an ordeal to get all the beads organized (not to mention, cleaned), then the tracking numbers, then the layouts, then the pictures taken, and then the pictures processed. Then after all of that...I upload them to Etsy. I'm not's more to explain the process. Online is just as complicated as doing shows. Not as complicated as doing studio or trunk shows though...BUT each person is different in their tracking system and how they go about things. I've got a couple of friends that dislike doing trunk shows because of the hassle. Where as I enjoy them. I think I enjoy them because it's mostly ol'friends or people that I know that invite it's more of a social thing for me. Where as studio shows give me a reason to clean up the place. :-)

The colors of the above turned out well. The below is from my Dish series. I made several sets, in different sized barrels, because of the requests that I re-visit the series. I have to admit, they are easy to design with. If you like to mixed stone and glass together, they are perfect. They work well in chain or wire designs as well.
The below is a rarity for me...I normally don't make squeezed beads much anymore. I might have to change that. They are great for bracelets...smooth on the wrist with a large canvas area but aren't heavy. This is one of the shapes I use for my own jewelry. (Why it never occurred to make them for everyone else. I guess I normally keep most of them.)

More Color Gizmos...

And more Color Gizmos....this series is just about done. I might re-visit it later but for the current time, it's time to move on.

Ribbon necklace...I got into a huge large (1/8 size mandrel) bead making. What I like about this size of bead is that they work on chain, ribbon, and wire. They also work well with multi-strands of seed beads or again, wire...or as spinners.

Here's another large hole set. The focal on this one is spot reduced and fumed. It turned out perfect...well, perfect for me. What I like about it, is that is has a bit of bronze hue in the design. Great for some of the brown jaspers or bronzite.

Here's another one of the ribbon necklaces. I made six will see three up on Etsy. I decided to keep the other three. :-)

Well that's it for the eye candy....
Right now I'm working on some 'Heavy Metal'...lots of spot reduction, lots of shine, lots of silvered beady dudes, and lots of texture. These won't be ready until later this week. One of the furnace glasses I like so well, doesn't look so well if I leave it in the kiln too long. It turns black. So they have to be made as I'm getting ready to shut down for the session. So I torch these beads for an hour and then they are annealed for an hour...then it's the overnight ramp down of the kiln. So that's how I get the colors that I want on the bead. Like you REALLY wanted to know.
Anyway, it's just a heads up on next week's beads. Yes, my shows and gift making time is over so I'm back in the beady saddle. :-)
I'll be posting on Etsy today...just another heads up. I'd really like to get enough beads up there to send out a Newsletter but...who knows if I well or not. I've been a bit lacking in that department.
Have a happy, creative day!

I've been a bit lampwork pics

Sunday, December 07, 2008
Oh's been a while...but I did include some eye candy. I've just busy as a cat in heat. It seems that I still don't have enough time in a day.

I love the organic design of the above rocks/nuggets. I etched them so they have a smooth feel to them.
More barrels!

I was very focused on the trunk show the past couple of weeks. It was a great opportunity to test market some new jewelry lines and see old friends. What a combo!!!!
It was also a eye opener in several ways. One, finding all the displays. I mean that it's been moved from Austin, then moved again when we had the carpet laid. So everything had to be pulled out, repacked, and then packed again for a small set up. So now I have a trunk show/home show set up that I can pack up in a moment's notice.
I’ve found that I might want to think about changing my design style, if I want to sell locally. My style is bright and bold, which also takes a self-confident woman to wear. Most of my designs scream, ‘look at me’. So I think it’s time that I toned it down a bit. I’m focusing on collections. For example, one is a mix of Bob’s chain maille, my beaded beads, my lampwork, Marti’s excellent PMC charms, and a few other surprises. Then there will be bright lampwork with my wirework. Anyway, I’ve got beads to make…I’ve been concentrating on jewelry for the past couple of weeks that I miss my torch badly.

I’ll have more lampwork bead set pics in the next couple of days…so for now, adios!

Have a happy, creative day!