Tuesday, December 17, 2013

More new leaves.

I have been working on a new kit that involves these leaf sets.  I hope to have the kit done next month so I will have it for my spring shows.
In the mean time I have just been having a grand time playing with colors and fixing sets like these.
I did put several sets on Etsy for everyone else to have fun with.  Maybe they will insight a new design from someone else.

On another note it is a week until Christmas and I have not thought up a thing to get hubby other than new tires for his Jeep.  And new tires is like buying a new stove or something.  Oh well we did get a great new present this summer when we got the motor home.   I hope everyone is having a great Holiday season and are planning lots of fun times with family.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Some more limited edition spacers.

While I have been working hard in the studio every day sometimes I forget to show you what I have been doing.  These are some of the lovely colors of glass I have had just a rod or two of for a while.
I have made up batches of spacers with it in an attempt to clean up my studio and also lighten the load of my glass case.  (It is never going to all fit in the house on wheels.)
Some of these browns are such pretty colors and I am so tempted to hunt and find more of this glass but I have been holding myself in check.
This pretty blue mix is glass I got while in Tucson about 10 years ago.  It is hand pulled gaffer glass.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Some of..........

..........my favorite glass color combo.  I made more leaves and ....
......some round beads this time.  I just love how this glass combo looks like patina covered copper.
I was trying it out with some of my limited edition spacers that I have listed on Etsy.  The leaves and beads are also listed. 

Speaking of Etsy don't forget my sale runs through the weekend. The coupon code is good from now until Sunday at midnight.  The coupon code BUYHANDMADE will get you a 20% discount on your order from my Etsy store.  If you have never used a coupon code on Etsy before you might want to review Etsy's help page on this https://www.etsy.com/help/article/350?ref=help_search_result

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A new necklace.

Something new.  A very long crocheted rope with some of my fancy new cone beads as the ends.  I just love how this came out as the rope is so soft and supple. I took it to Minneapolis a couple of weeks ago and everyone seemed to like it. 
Of course I had to make a pair of earrings or two to go with it.

I know everyone is trying to get ready for Thanksgiving but I wanted to give everyone a heads up about my SALE.

I was just going to run a one day buy handmade sale on Black Friday but due to my son having a route canal yesterday I have decided to run it for the entire holiday weekend.  So the coupon code is good from now until Sunday at midnight.  The coupon code BUYHANDMADE will get you a 20% discount on your order from my Etsy store.  If you have never used a coupon code on Etsy before you might want to review Etsy's help page on this https://www.etsy.com/help/article/350?ref=help_search_result

Monday, November 18, 2013

We are back from Minneapolis.

We got in from the Twin Cities show a little after 1 am last night.  The weather was kind of yucky out all weekend but it was so nice to us driving home I have to say a big thank you.  This time of year as we all know roads can get pretty nasty and we had nice dry ones all the way home.  The new leaves I showed you last week were a big hit so I get to go have some fun tomorrow and make some more.  That is after I finish a couple of special orders.  These sparkly little guys were also a big hit and I have very few of them left so I will have to make some more before I can list them on Etsy.
I have made these beads with Goldstone in them before but had made none in a long while.  A customer wanted a few with the fun teal center so after getting hers made I had great fun playing with more colors.  These are pretty big beads as you can see and I just love all the glitz.  Goldstone is actually copper filings suspended in glass if you are not familiar with the term.
Since I was playing I just had to make a few lentils with sparkles as well.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

New Fall Leaves

I have been working on some new fall leaves.  I have to say that while I have been thinking fall this past couple of weeks it has really turned into winter around here.  We have had snow a couple of time and while it is mostly all gone there still lingers some white stuff in the shade of the barn.  We are headed out...
... to our last show of the year this weekend.  I am normally done by the end of October but the Twin Cities Bead Bazaar was pushed back into November this year.  If you are in the Minneapolis/St.Paul area this weekend you should check out the show.  It is held in Hopkins and the building is very easy to get to from the expressway. 
These new leaves are big.  They make nice focal beads.  I just had to slip some onto some ball chain for a fast necklace.  Really simple but fun and elegant.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

I won an award.

In September when we were at the Sidewalk Art Festival in Sioux Falls South Dakota I won an award for this piece.  It is called "Jabberwocky" and is part of my Alice's Garden Series.
The award was just an Honorable Mention but it made me feel great because there are about 125 artists and not that many awards.  Each artist is only allowed to enter one piece and I always seem to be scrambling to decide which piece to enter.  This year I had no problem deciding.  Hands down this was it. 
I have to also say that this piece found a new home while we were at the show in DesMoines IA last month.  A fabulous customer fell in love with it and I am sure she will have fun wearing it. 
Sorry that I haven't found time to tell you all this news before, we have just been busy, busy.  Now I get to think about what I might work on next.  What the new big piece will be. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

October Fest Blog Hop 2013

 In the fall we do a lot of this.  Most of the time I try to mow it over and over so we don't have to rake, but this fall has been so wet and the leaves thick.  Frankly 2 acres is too much to take care of sometimes.  I yearn for a tiny little postage stamp of a yard.
 We also do a lot of this in the fall.  Jeff and I were married on the 27th and we did a lot of driving that year too.
 And we see a lot of this.  I have shows every other weekend this year.  In past years October has been my month of every weekend shows.  Some how they managed to spread themselves out this year but we do go later into November.
 It helps when you are stuck in the car for hours at a time to play with the features of the camera in your phone.  I also knit and have already finished a couple of hats for my Halos of Hope project.

Of course I have to make some fall beads and when I think of fall I think of leaves.

Everyone thinks of different things when they think of fall this is just a few of my ideas.

The October Fest 2013 blog hop is sponsored by Toltec Jewels the list of participants is below.  So go have some fun seeing what brings out the fall in everyone.

Andrea Glick-Zenith             http://zenithjade.blogspot.com/
Dolores Raml                      
Karla Morgan                        http://TexasPepperJams.blogspot.com
Susie Harris                        
Susan                                    http://libellulajewelry.com
Mischelle Andrade               http://micheladasmusings.blogspot.com/
Kay Thomerson                    http://kayzkreationz.blogspot.com/
Jean Yates                           
Kelly Hosford Patterson     http://travelingsideshow.blogspot.com
Kathy Lindemer                    http://bay-moon-design.blogspot.com
Liz E                                       
Jasvanti Patel                      
Christie Murrow                    www.charisdesignsjewelry.blogspot.com
Jodie Marshall                      http://marshalljodie.blogspot.com/
Andrea Trank                         http://heavenlanecreations.com/
Dini Bruinsma                       http://angazabychanges.blogspot.nl
Elsie Deliz  Fonseca            http://ladelizchica.blogspot.com/
Karla Morgan                        
Kathleen                                 http://99bobotw.blogspot.com/
Vera Lynn                               http://veradesigns.blogspot.com/
Rana Wilson                         http://ranaleadesigns.blogspot.com/
Catherine King                    
Lily Vincent                           
Janice Hidey (Janimar)      http://drawingthelinesomewhere.com/
Cory Tompkins                     http://TealwaterDesigns.blogspot.com
Candida Castleberry          www.spunsugarbeadworks.blogspot.com
Cynthia Kent Machata         http://antiquitytravelers.blogspot.com/
Alicia Marinache                   http://www.allprettythings.ca
Linda Anderson                   http://fromTheBeadBoard.blogspot.com
Leah Curtis                          
Jennifer Reno (JenRen)     http://jenrenjewelry.blogspot.com/
Robin Reed                           http://willowdragon.blogspot.com/
Tanty Sri Hartanti                  www.tjewellicious.blogspot.com
Lisa Lodge                           
Ingrid A.                                 
Judy Turner                           www.silver-rains.blogspot.com
Gina Hockett                        
Nelly May                                www.smellynelly.blogspot.com
Tanya McGuire                      http://tanyamcguire.blogspot.com/
Sonya Stille                           
Carol D.                                 
Asri Wahyuningsih              http://asribeadwork.blogspot.com/
Ginger Bishop                      http://lilmummylikes.blogspot.com
Shaiha Williams                   http://shaihasramblings.blogspot.com/
Toltec Jewels (Rita, your hostess)  www.JewelSchoolFriends.com

Caroline          http://Carolynscreationswa.blogspot.com

Thursday, October 24, 2013

We are off to Des Moines, IA............

...............for the Des Moines Bead Bazaars second year.  The show is held at the State Fair Grounds in the Walnut Center Building.  The hours are 10-5 on Saturday October 26th and 10-4 on Sunday October 27.  Papio Creek Gems and Gifts are the promoters of the show and you can find more info on their website.  The fairgrounds has an interactive map if you are not sure where the Walnut Center is check it out.  It just so happens that Sunday the 27th is Jeff and my 29th wedding anniversary, so come and say hello.
 I did get a few more end of the day lentil beads ready to take with me.  You can see them in person if you visit the show. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Hollow Beads

 A few weeks ago while at Sidewalk Arts Festival in Sioux Falls, SD I got to see a fellow artist who's name has totally gone from my brain cells.  I knew who it was when I was talking to her but I have been trying to find it for a week.  (If you see this dear you know who you are please send me a message.) Any way to get back to what I wanted to say was she had on the most beautiful necklace of etched hollow beads she had made.  It made me think that I had not made any hollow beads for a very long time and I wanted to play around with some.  Well the first day went very nicely.  They are different sizes but all look fairly round and weighted pretty well.
 The second day did not go so well.  Things got a little wonky and just did not really shape up.
 Some of the second days were very wonky.  One I made into a monster bead and the other I think will need to have dangles come out of it's mouth.
 The third day went so much better that I really wonder what happened on the second day.  I am loving the bright colors.
 A couple of day three's beads are big very big.
But after all three days I like this funky wonky bead the best.  I know I am supposed to make the beads round and even but something about this bead begs to be copied. Like it's wonky shape is what makes it so much fun.  Now to see if I can every do it again.  I know I will be working on my hollows more though as I did not realize just how out of practice I am.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

We are going to Nebraska.........

.........for the Lincoln Bead Bazaar this weekend.  The Bazaar will be held on Saturday October 12, at the 27th Street Conference Center.  The hours are 9-4 and the show is put on by the Nebraska Bead Society.  There is lots of parking and while I didn't get to go last year I have been told it is a great space for the show.  You can check the Bead Society's Blog or you can holler at me if you have any questions.  Do come out and see me if you are around Lincoln.
 I have been working on a new rose bead.  I wanted to have them to take with me to the show but I have not decided if they are really looking like a rose or not.  I do think they look sort of carnation like.  What do you think?
 Of course it does not help that once again my red is doing it's own thing.  This was supposed to be medium red but it is very orange if you ask me.

Monday, October 07, 2013

Free Tutorial on using a disc or flower bead.

So often, when we have a disc or flower lampwork bead we want them to hang where they face the front.  This tutorial is just a little trick to make them hang better and stay facing front and not flipping.
 You will need a lampwork disc bead, a headpin, 2 daisy spacers, wire cutters, and round nose pliers.  I also use a little dot of E6000 glue and a couple of size 11 seed beads.  These two things are not necessary but to me it makes a nicer finished product.
Take the head pin and put on one daisy spacer, (about 2 size 11 seed beads), the lampwork disc bead, and the second daisy spacer.  The seed beads just help to stabilize the head pin inside of the hole of the lampwork bead so you do not want any more than just fill that space.

 If you wish to use the dab of glue (E6000) that I like to use, it is placed just behind the back daisy spacer.  You want to use just a tiny amount and let it dry before going on.

 Once the glue has set, you take your round nose pliers and grip the headpin about 3/8 of and inch above the back of the daisy spacer.  I don't really measure this any more because I use the width of my fingernail.  You will want to make sure that the measurement is very close to the same if you are making earrings.
 You want to bend the head pin at a right angle.
 You are then going to make a loop.
 And wrap that loop.
 What you now have is a wrapped loop that is about 3/8 of an inch above the back of your bead.  I know this sounds like a simple thing but it is important that your loop is made and the excess wire has been clipped before going on.
 The next step is to bend the wire right at the daisy spacer making a right angle.  Or making the wire now parallel to the disc bead.  *** The biggest tip about this whole process is to make the loop and then bend the wire.  If you try to bend the wire first you can not get the wire wrapped around itself because you run into the bead. ***
 You are now ready to add ear wires if you are making earrings.
 If you want to make a pendant you will want to add a large ring into the the loop before you finish wrapping it.
 There you have it disc or flower beads used for earrings and pendants.