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How is it even possible August is almost over?

(You can sign up for the Charm Swap until Aug 28th, theme is laughter, you get charms from other artists and also get to help Beads of Courage so everyone wins!)   Can you say WHIRLWIND? Wow... The month started with me in Las Vegas. Where the only jewelry besides my wedding ring was this bracelet I made for the Bead Soup Blog Party reveal:

Bracelet by Jennifer Cameron glass addictions

Oh, and right before we left for Vegas I FINALLY got an iPhone...probably I was almost the last person on Earth to not have one. My husband still has his DroidX (same phone I had) and is still resisting the overwhelming urge to get the iPhone. But I feel his resistance is breaking down as he watches how giddy and delighted my phone makes me. Why is this information important? Well. Because I got Instagram, which means while we were in Vegas I took pictures like this:

Dragon by Jennifer Cameron

Airplane by Jennifer Cameron

Palazzo by Jennifer Cameron

Sugar factory Las Vegas Jennifer Cameron

Crystals Palazzo Las Vegas Jennifer Cameron

Chandelier Venetian Las Vegas

Postrio at the Venetian Jennifer Cameron

The Venetian gondola ride Jennifer Cameron

The Beatles in Vegas Jennifer Cameron

Chandelier Venetian Las Vegas Jennifer Cameron

The best part was that I didn't carry a big honkin' camera around. I could share my photos without hooking up a card to a computer. The photos are great, but made even more awesome by grunging them up and discoloring them like the film was exposed or like using a circa 1972 camera. Awesome. I have almost completely stopped taking pics with my Canon Eos Rebel xti. Sad, but true. Right after we got back from Vegas and the kids home from camp, the crazy started. What does this mean? Well...we tried to cram about 10 appointments/rehearsals/lessons/parties/activities into every single day before the school year started and we had to take our kid to boarding school for high school. The kids bought their own guitars at Sweetwater and got a free lesson. Let me tell you...if for some unknown reason you are in the Ft Wayne area, you NEED to visit Sweetwater. It's pretty freakin awesome. Not only do they have a cafe with free wifi, but also a free arcade and putting green for parents and siblings waiting for lessons to be over. They also have windows overlooking the warehouse:

Part of Sweetwater warehouse Jennifer Cameron

We also did the walk-thru of the lake house on a dreary gray day. We are supposed to close next week, but based on conversations I had with people yesterday, I'm not holding my breath all the ducks will be in a row by then. Sigh. After the walk through, we drove to an area across the bay to take a photo of the house:

View of the side of Lake house from across bay

We celebrated my turning 29 (again!) at Paula's with some of the best seafood I've ever had, and some yummy wine (yes, this is a technical term for wine connoisseurs everywhere)

Birthday wine selection Jennifer Cameron

The kids even dressed up for the occasion, even though they did NOT get any yummy wine.

Birthday dinner at Paula's with the monsters jennifer Cameron

We also had a going away party so we could all cry that my kid was going to boarding school. Except no one cried. Mostly we just laughed and ate. Then the neighbors (good friends of ours) stayed much later and we drank all the wine we had in the house. Which really wasn't that much, but makes us sound like total party-ers. We spent an entire afternoon at a paint your own pottery place because it was one of the things on our summer "to do list," which we hardly made a dent in.

Bisque it Jennifer Cameron

Bisque it Jennifer Cameron

Did I ever tell you about my First Time?

I don't generally like to share this kind of lurid information about myself...let alone show pictures. However, I am taking this very scary step so that others do not feel ashamed of their first time. Today we're covering the topic of first beads. What did you think I was talking about? After having a conversation with a fellow Etsian about her desire to make lampwork beads, and the fear that she might not ever get to the same level of experience and skill as other lampworkers, I decided it would be fun to have a blog hop of experienced component (bead, clasp, etc) makers and jewelry designers hosted at Art Jewelry Elements. I took a few quick photos. My camera is not really behaving itself lately, so these aren't the best. However, they are better than photos I was taking when I first started making beads... First up is my very first lampwork bead ever, wire wrapped into my first piece of jewelry ever. I made it into a ring that I still have to this day. No, I don't wear it. But since digging it out of the jewelry box to take a pic, I'm wearing it now. I had forgotten about it.

First lampwork bead and first ring

It's not the best made ring and not particularly stable. I'm not sure if I followed a tutorial or saw a photo and tried to replicate it, or if I made it up myself. I made this in 2005. I've slept since then so the details are fuzzy. First lampwork bead and first ring Next up is an ugly on the left made at about the same time. You can tell by my use of black, white and periwinkle. Also I encased it. Probably the first encased bead I ever made. Fancy! On the right is a very large, very wonky and off center round bead that I totally scorched. Some first lampwork beads In my first few weeks of lampworking, I tried florals.

one of my first lampwork beads

  one of my first lampwork beads Also, leopard print. some of my first lampwork beads I love my use of color on this one, but it's a very ugly shape. And chunky. Not very nice. one of my first lampwork beads Here are a few more recent beads (all made this year)

Lampwork Glass focal bead jennifer cameron glass addictions

Lampwork Glass focal bead jennifer cameron glass addictions

Lampwork Glass vintage upcycled skeleton key jennifer cameron glass addictions

Lampwork Glass nightmare insomnia series focal jennifer cameron glass addictions

Necklace by Jennifer Cameron

Big hole copper focal challenge and blog hop

2012 Charm Swap Sign-Ups

To participate in the charm swap, you must be willing to make enough charms for everyone in your group (including yourself) AND one extra so that a set of charms can be auctioned to benefit Beads of Courage. This means if your group has 10 people, you will make and send a total of 11 charms. One charm is a "donation" to be auctioned off to Beads of Courage. The last swap we made about $150 for BOC. (I would have to look it up for the exact donation because I don't remember for sure).

Spring 2011 Glass Addictions by Jen Cameron Charms

I will keep group sizes manageable, about 8-10 per group depending on the number of people that sign up. No need to worry about feeling overwhelmed with making 30 charms.

Spring 2011 Charm Swap

Because the extra set of charms will be auctioned off to benefit Beads of Courage and the main beneficiaries of BOC are children, the theme for this charm swap is "laughter". There is no sound as joyful, no medicine stronger, than laughter.
Spring 2011 Charm Swap Please read these other important guidelines BEFORE signing up.
-only submit ART CHARMS. What does this mean? Well, it means you have in some way created the charm through some type of manipulation. It does NOT mean you added a jump ring to a purchased charm and called it done or simply wire wrapped a craft store bead and called it done.
-only submit your best work, something you would be proud to show the world and your fellow artists.
-make sure charms are non-toxic, safe to wear, able to get wet occasionally (for those who use them as bracelets), durable, do not smell bad (smoke, fumes, rotting…).
-no sharp wire ends or other things which can poke and hurt people

Spring 2011 Charm Swap

-no organic bits like bone, feathers, etc unless they have been sealed well or burned off (like kiln or torch fired or whatever).
-you will include $6 (United States swappers, outside of US will have to be determined on a case by case basis) when you ship your charms to me to cover shipping, packaging, etc.
-please make sure you can meet deadlines before signing up so others are not disappointed.
-all art charms need to be in my hands by October 15th. No exceptions.
-Charm reveal blog hop and start of charm auction is currently October 27th (subject to change if we have international charm swappers). 
-you need to have a blog (if you don’t have one, go sign up for one!)
-you need to email me at jennifer. glassaddictions @ gmail.com (remove spaces) by August 28th with your name, your blog address, and your shipping address. I will return your email with more specific guidelines within 48 hours. (my response time will probably be delayed this week, but I will be back in action full time starting the 20th)
-This swap IS open to those outside the United States...just be prepared to send your charms EARLY.
-Bring on those emails!

Spring 2011 Charm Swap

The HTML for the blog button is in the sidebar to the right------->

Glass Addictions by Jen Cameron

Please grab it for your blog. I used to have the html grab box below the button, but every single time I edit the list of participants, it gets all wonky and I'm pretty much sick of trying to fix it every single day.

 One additional note, I may edit this post frequently as questions come up because I am sure I’ve forgotten details. Do not be alarmed. Participants will be added below as they sign up. 2012 Charm Participants:

Jennifer Cameron, Glass Addictions

Erin Prais-Hintz, Treasures Found

Kimberly Roberts, Bahama Dawn

Natalie McKenna, Grubbi

Ginger Bishop, lilmummy likes

Cindy Gimbrone, Lampwork Diva

Perri Jackson, Shaktipaj Designs

Nightmare Insomnia Blog Hop

Click here to see my Bead Soup Blog Party reveal using Lesley Watt's components. AJE Component of the Month July hostess Jennifer Cameron glass addictions Remember all the way back at the beginning of July when I mentioned my Nightmare Insomnia beads were the component of the month for the July AJE design team? The reveal was July 31st. And I was so excited about being in Las Vegas with my honey, I posted about the reveal on Art jewelry Elements and COMPLETELY spaced posting about it here. So here's the list of participants. Please stop by, see what they created using the different varieties of Nightmare Insomnia series beads, and leave a comment telling them what you like about their design.
Beti Horvath: Stringing Fool
Gretchen Nation: Art Food Lodging
Karen Totten: Starry Road Studio
Kathleen Douglas: Washoe Kat's
Keirsten Giles: The Cerebral Dilettante Kristen Stevens: My Bead Journey Lola: Bead Lola Bead
Lori Anderson: Pretty Things
Rana Wilson: Rana Lea Designs
Shannon Chomanczuk: For My Sweet Daughter
And while Audrey was not an official participant of the blog hop, she created a necklace with one of my Nightmare Insomnia beads and wrote about what inspired her to create this particular design. Please stop by her blog and see what she did.

July Highlight Reel

I really haven't been a very good blogger this summer. Rare updates. Hardly sharing anything. Barely taking pictures to share with the three people who might be interested... I decided to do one big update. I already updated you on the lake house last week, so I won't talk about that. This week I need to get my bead soup pieces squared away. So far I've made one piece. However, it doesn't use either a focal OR a clasp Lesley sent and the rules are I must use at least one of each (since she sent me two of each because Lesley is so awesome like that). A reminder of the soup I'm working with: Bead Soup from Lesley Watt A few highlights from July: -Daughter's birthday was this past weekend. While I was busy trying to prep for the family coming over Friday for dinner, cake and ice cream, UPS delivered the copy of Showcase 500 Beaded Jewelry I ordered from Amazon for my friend Ken Rieves. He was the one who took the photos for me to submit to Lark. Showcase 500 Beaded Jewelry You can find the close-up of this necklace on his website under "commercial". You can also get more details about or buy this necklace on Etsy. Page 75 Showcase 500 Beaded Jewelry Funny story about the book. When my daughter saw the page with my necklace, she says "Mom, why did you submit that one? It's not even close to your best work." hahaha! The honesty of children. Except I happen to love this necklace. It turned out pretty much how I envisioned and you can wear as many or as few of the pieces as you want. I made it so each one can slide off the wire. [caption id="attachment_1756" align="aligncenter" width="432" caption="The cake is a handmade ice cream cake with 4 layers of cake and 3 layers of mint chocolate chip ice cream...each with 1.5 qt of ice cream. I had multiple issues this time around and so the cake isn't very pretty. But it tasted good"]Birthday Party 2012[/caption] -Saturday was all about the girl child's birthday. She seems to think her birthday is a week long federal holiday. We shopped (I hate shopping!) went to a movie, ate at Bob Evans, opened presents, watched the fireworks show downtown Ft Wayne that signals the end of the Three Rivers Festival, her aunt (my baby sister who is 21) came over to spend the night and hang out with her, and stayed up until like 3am. -In related news, hubs was one of the pyrotechnicians for the Saturday fireworks show. He loved every second of it. If I ever get the video he took uploaded to the computer, I'll share it. -Sunday we went to Indianapolis for a really cool dining experience at the Palomino restaurant that hubs won at an auction that benefit the March of Dimes. The restaurant was closed to the public, and we had a party of 11 of our adult family members (parents, siblings and their spouses). Chef Amanda (the head chef) gave us lessons on how to cook each of the 4 courses. After each lesson we would go sit down and the staff would serve us that course, plus the wine pairing for that course. It was AMAZING. The people were incredible, the food was over the top delicious (crab cakes, gazpacho, tuscan filet steak, glace potatoes, and individual chocolate cakes with melty chocolate in the center), the wine fabulous and free flowing. It's easily one of my favorite experiences. And it just goes to show experiences trump "stuff". -Daughter is becoming quite the actress. She has acted in 2 films this summer (done by a local filmmaker) in two very interesting locations: She was an elf in Mrs Claus is missing (they are practicing their lines before filming in this picture) filmed at the new home of Mark's Ark : Mrs Claus is missing movie scene Santa's workshop was the Reptile House: reptile house at Mark's Ark She was in another film called Calliope at the International Circus Hall of Fame in Peru, IN. I did not even know this place existed....In this film she plays an instigator and tries to talk her sisters into running away to the circus. The location was really neat.  

circus tent taken by Jennifer Cameron

circus tent taken by Jennifer Cameron

Gift shop taken by Jennifer Cameron

Barn by Jennifer Cameron

You can see more photos in my Flickr set. -She is currently rehearsing as Moaning Myrtle for a Harry Potter spoof play in the park. -Hubs also helped set up and fire the Lake James fireworks. The boy child and I watched them from the deck of our currently being built lake house. All those tiny lights to the right are boats watching the fireworks which are being set off behind the trees. Jul 07 2012 Lake James fireworks -On July 3rd, we had our annual bash for friends, family, and neighbors to celebrate Independence Day. It gives hubs an excuse to fire his own fireworks show and to have the entire neighborhood over to witness. Unfortunately, we have been in the midst of a severe drought. The county issued a fire ban, then a fireworks ban just in time to ruin everyone's fun (hubs was rather cranky about it, but got his fill the next night by helping set up for the city's fireworks display). He came up with an alternative plan. LED lights inside helium filled balloons that everyone lets go of at once.

July 4th Party

July 4th Party

Lake House Update

Remember when I wrote about buying a lake property way back in December? This is what it looked like then:

Lake PropertyThe property sits on the point of a peninsula and we have 270' of lake front and 1/2 acre of land. The view is incredible and is the main reason we decided to spend more than originally intended. However, because we are building, the house is exactly what we want and was designed to have a view from every single room unlike so many other lake cottages we looked at.

We visit the property to check on the building process at least once a week. It helps keep me excited about the process when I have to deal with all the different vendors, the selections, trouble shooting, making phone calls, driving all over the city to meet with people, driving up to the property to meet with people, dealing with the frustration when things aren't perfect (and yes, I expect things to be perfect). When I visited the house today, I was left so completely pumped...more so than ever before because everything is starting to come together. I thought I would share a couple photos with you. And no, I'm not going to show everything because that might be boring. Of course, if you twist my arm.... Front of the house (we will have eggplant colored shutters on the 2nd floor windows)

Front of house

Back left side of the house. The little room jutting off is a 3 season room and is going to be my favorite room. I will probably spend lots of time making jewelry here

back of house, 3 season room

Back "middle" of the house. The 2nd story deck is outside the master bedroom. Below is the door to the kitchen area. back of house

Back right side of the house:

back of house

The house looks much larger than it is. We worked really hard to have very efficient use of space and views. So the house is very wide, but not very deep. I hate carpet and love hardwoods. However, with dogs, kids, and a lake right outside the door, I knew hardwoods would not be practical. Look what I found at the flooring place:

ceramic tile that looks like aged hardwood

It's ceramic tile that looks like aged, worn hardwoods and I am totally having a love affair with it. It's used throughout most of the house except the kids' bedrooms (they wanted carpet), the rec room, and our bathroom where we opted for a different ceramic tile.

The cabinets were just installed today. Counter top coming later. kitchen

In the photo below I am standing in the 3 season room in this photo looking at eating area (blue wall to right) and the great room. The room beyond the great room is the rec room where we will send the kids to play, watch tv, hang out, etc with their friends. There will be a door we can close great room

That's all the house pictures I'll torment you with today. But I do want to share a couple outdoor photos. Remember that barren island thing in the 1st photo that juts out into the lake (it's a protected wetland thing, but we have lake frontage on either side of it)? I literally gasped when I walked outside the kitchen door and saw this today:

Untitled

There was a riot of flowers that had bloomed in the last week. I don't know what they are except gorgeous. Do any of you know what they are?

Untitled

  

flowers

When I told hubs about them and showed him the pictures I took, he asked if that meant he wasn't allowed to clean it up a bit (some areas we can pull weeds, etc). I told him no, probably not if that is what we get to look forward to. ___________________________________________________________

The Bead Soup has Landed

It's a tad nerve wracking having a bead soup deadline in less than a month (actually 3 weeks from today!) and having an overseas partner. However, it is totally worth it...you'll understand when you see what Lesley Watt sent me.

Bead Soup from Lesley Watt

I love the customs tag. It states simply "beads". Yes, I was beyond giddy when I saw it

Bead Soup from Lesley Watt

The bead soup traveled in style inside a gorgeous beaded bag.

Bead Soup bronze components from Lesley Watt

I LOVE the photographic key Lesley sent with the soup. I've placed some of Lesley's gorgeous bronze components next to their picture.

Bead Soup bronze components from Lesley Watt

Here's a better view of the bronze components she sent me. I LOVE them. And she totally spoiled me with 2 focals, 2 clasps, 2 headpins, links galore, charms. I can't even pick a favorite I love them all so much!

Bead Soup from Lesley Watt

And as if that wasn't enough, here is a pile of bead soup with sparklies (I love sparkly stuff!) pearls, jasper, fire agate, seed beads, and more.

Bead Soup from Lesley Watt

Not only was there a key to what Lesley sent, but also this gorgeous card with a photo of a local castle. Inside she explained the significance of this place to her. I have it sitting here in front of me while I type and plan to use it as part of my inspiration for the soup. I could probably make soup for weeks with all the ingredients and I am totally excited to get cooking. Make sure you come back for the full reveal on July 28th.

Bead Soup Adventure

Lesley, my lovely bead soup partner lives across an ocean in a magical place called England. Because of this, I was really trying to hustle to ship her package, but at the same time, carefully consider what I wanted to send...I wanted Lesley to love the soup, but also consider it a challenge. I also want her to get it as quickly as possible. The plan was to send it Friday (June 29th) then all hell broke loose in my city. 60 mph sustained winds, 91 mph gusts. Our patio furniture went halfway across the yard, tree tops were almost touching the ground, our grill was pushed across the deck, etc. It was very scary to watch. When all was said and done, our neighborhood was littered with leaves and small branches. However...we were lucky. Only one tree of significance fell in our hood, and we still had electricity. About 100,000 (about half) of the city was without power. I tried to get to a post office, but street lights were down, the PO close to us was closed and without power. I needed to get a prescription and that place was closed, had to drive past 3 grocery stores before we found an open one. Trees and huge limbs were everywhere. It was crazy. We drove past a couple cars that had been crushed. It took about 5x as long to get anyplace (because every intersection was a 4 way stop). Crazy. Needless to say, I was starting to panic because our Bead Soup reveal is July 28th and it has to go to ENGLAND and pass through CUSTOMS. Half the city is without power and I don't know if I can find an open PO. I calmed down and decided to call around and hope at least one was open Saturday morning. I called. And called. No one was answering phones. I decided that surely the main PO was open even if they weren't answering their phone. So I called again and YAY! Open! Hubs wanted to come with, so he drove me down there and the carnage that short storm caused was just amazing. But we got it done and hopefully the extra $$$ I paid for shipping means Lesley will have it by July 5th with 3 weeks to play with and complete her bead soup. Without further ado, I present the soup I sent Lesley: Disguised Bead Soup for Lesley Watt And yes, it is heavily disguised. If you want to see what Lesley sent me, she posted a photo on her blog. ___________________________________________________________

Copper Big Hole Focal REVEAL

Today is the day and I honestly couldn't be more excited. As a refresher as to what I'm so excited about, the fabulous Kristi Bowman is hosting a blog hop with the single rule that you must use the component of the month...a copper big hole focal bead. (Let's call it a donut from now on to make my life easier).

Here's the one I received:

Copper Focal by Kristi Bowman Design

Keep in mind she put each donut in a package before addressing them so that she didn't know who was getting which donut. Let me just say here and now...I probably got the best one. Enough chit chat. Want to see what I made? I hope so...

Handmade art jewelry necklace jennifer cameron glass addictions

This is on a tiny bust. I wish I had the time and the energy to dig out a larger one because this necklace looks much better than this on an actual neck. I love this thing so much, I've been wearing it since I finished it 30 minutes ago. HA! I will wear it for the rest of the day too. Unfortunately, using photo lights doesn't show the pretty colors Kristi gets on her copper pieces. It's better seen in natural light like the top photo before it was made into a necklace. Originally I planned to use the donut to make a bracelet. In fact, I was dead set on making a bracelet. However, I had a dream Friday night as a necklace. And this is pretty much exactly what my dream looked like. Here's a close up of the dangly bits

Bullet casing upcycled into art jewelry jennifer cameron glass addictions

The brass tube thing is actually a bullet casing. A couple nights ago while I was trying to finish up some orders, I saw the bag sitting on my jewelry bench and suddenly had an AH HA moment. I pulled one out of the bag and made a bead on it. The thing is, brass is a soft metal. I am not sure how this thing is going to hold up...but if it does, I will be making more and offering them on etsy. Anyway, in my dream, I used my lampworkified (yes, it's a real word because I made it up) bullet casing as a tassel.  I drilled a hole in the top of the bullet casing so it could be wire wrapped. Yes, I'm in love with it and I don't care who knows. But there's more! When I was prepping the copper wire to make the bail, I thought to myself..."wouldn't it be awesome if I could change the donuts out for different Kristi Bowman design donuts to fit my mood? So I did this:

Interchangable necklace focal jennifer cameron glass addictions

And now I can do this if I feel like it (although I doubt I will) Interchangable necklace focal jennifer cameron glass addictions This is my very first time using sari silk that I didn't immediately remove it. Usually I hate how I use it...very messy and out of place. This is perfect I think. And if it isn't, I am not ready to hear about it yet. Give me a couple days first. To keep with the overall style of the necklace, I also made my own hook clasp and hammered jump rings.

handmade art jewelry closure clasp jennifer cameron glass addictions

Because this is a blog hop, (and once you've left a comment below...I'm not above begging for attention!) it's time to move along and see what everyone else made.
Jennifer Cameron <----You are here!
  __________________________________________________________________

The Bubble Room

We went on a family vacation that started the last weekend in May to Captiva Island, Florida. I love that place. The last time we went was in 2004 and I've been scheming to get back ever since. However, there are so many places to go and so little time to go. After 8 long years, we finally made it back. The last time we went, we mostly hung out on the beach and didn't really visit any local places except a shell shop and the grocery store. This time, we went to a magical place called The Bubble Room. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="373" caption="my daughter is on the left, a cousin is on the right"]The Bubble Room photo by Jennifer Cameron[/caption] If I were to ever own a bricks and mortar business, I would want it to be like this place. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="My daughter is on the right, cousin on the left"]The Bubble Room photo by Jennifer Cameron[/caption]

When hubs and I took a walk and stumbled across this gem, I told him I would be visiting that establishment whether anyone else wanted to go or not.

The Bubble Room photo by Jennifer Cameron

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="The waiting area"]The Bubble Room photo by Jennifer Cameron[/caption] [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="333" caption="How to control the kids while waiting for a seat...my baby sister is on the left, cousin on the right"]The Bubble Room photo by Jennifer Cameron[/caption] I could have taken a thousand photos inside, and you could probably spend days inside that place and not see all the cool stuff. However, only took a few pics because this year I am mostly about experiencing things rather than photographing things. The first couple pics are from the Christmas room. At the top of the stairs is an opening. You look down upon a very detailed Christmas scene.

The Bubble Room photo by Jennifer Cameron

The Bubble Room photo by Jennifer Cameron While still standing at the top of the stairs toward the counter, you can see this little scene close to the ceiling

The Bubble Room photo by Jennifer Cameron

And if the restaurant doesn't have enough kitch to satisfy your craving, there is also the Bubble Room Emporium

The Bubble Room photo by Jennifer Cameron

Where you can get all kids of fun and crazy things. My daughter's favorite thing was this Medusa hat

The Bubble Room photo by Jennifer Cameron

Because I think this place is so awesome, this month's inspired by challenge at Art Jewelry Elements is Christmas in July, with photos I took from the Bubble Room.
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