Halloween Photo Essay

We left for Indianapolis super early the morning after Halloween and life has been..."fuzzy" since then as the days all kind of run together while sleeping in a hospital room with a post-op cardiac patient who likes to keep me on my toes.
Here is the patient dressed as Dr. Death. Yes, this is what greeted all the little kids that came to our door. One child told Dr. Death he was not scary, so he said "boo!" and the kid responded with "You're still not scary!" Bwahahaha!
Husband getting into the spirit of things
Unknown Trick or Treater leaving the domain of Dr. Death. I would show a photo of my daughter the goth girl, but the neighbor girls are in the photo and haven't asked their parents' permission to post it here.
Unknown Trick or Treater
The hubster thought handing out movie theater sized candy this year was a brilliant idea! The next two photos are of the loot before trick or treating started:
Candy Before Trick or Treaters
Candy Before Trick or Treaters
The loot after approximately one hour later. I SWEAR someone heard Dr. Death was handing out movie sized candy boxes and chartered tour buses to our neighborhood because we don't have anywhere near that many kids that actually reside in the 'hood.
1 hour into Trick or Treating
With everything that's been going on in our lives, I've found it very difficult to enjoy autumn, which is my absolute favorite time of year and this makes me sad. Here is the Halloween sunset view from our backyard. The sunset is my absolute favorite time of day and in autumn it seems more fiery than other seasons. The colors are always so vibrant and vary from day to day that I always take time to study this gift from nature and think of ways to replicate the beauty. But really, you can't replicate perfection.
Hawthorne tree, bridge over creek, lamp, sunset
Halloween Sunset as seen from front yard:
Maple Tree Sunset in the background

Jewelry Designer Using a Glass Addictions Bead in Contest Entry Piece

Sarah of The Beaded Lily created this incredible necklace (although necklace hardly seems like the correct word to use for this piece...) that is DRIPPING with art beads. Some of my favorite art bead artists are represented in this necklace and I am very honored to be included among them. Here is the bead she purchased from my etsy shop:
And here is a mosaic of the various sections of the necklace she created. My bead is shown in the upper right photo.
The necklace is called Final Frontier Collections IV and is her entry into the NASA & Etsy Space Craft Contest: To the Moon and Beyond. I have admired the I Want to Believe cuff by Sarah for a while now and that would also make a fun entry into the contest.

Example of Gorgeous Jewelry made using one of MY beads

I am very excited that Cindy Wimmer of Sweet Bead Studio used one of my lampwork beads made out of the no longer in production Terra in this gorgeous charm bracelet. The bracelet sold very quickly and I can see why because it's beautiful.
Visit Cindy's Autumn Splendor and More blog post to see additional photos and read more about the bracelet. It's a beautiful post and includes information about the book she used as a prop.
I still have a stash of Terra that I pull out when I feel the need to make special beads. I think I might have to pull some out of the stash in the next couple weeks when I can get back to the studio.

Beauty in the Aftermath

What is more beautiful than light transmitting through a group of empty wine bottles after a family gathering filled with laughter, music, food, and apparently lots of wine drinking? I took this photo at about 2am after everyone had left and I was getting things cleaned up. I had kind of shoved all the bottles together and was putting crackers back into the box when I was inspired to grab the camera, use the cracker box as a "tripod" (mostly just to steady the camera in such low light) and capture the memory forever. It wasn't the same as throwing the annual pumpkin party, but in my opinion, it was better because it was more intimate and low key and not the the frenzy of kids and adults trying to get their pumpkins finished and try to win a prize. Of course, that's fun too, just a different kind of fun. The kind of fun that causes me stress.

End of Party #3

Yesterday was a bit crazy and in the midst of a soccer tournament (3 games!), drama class on the other end of town, plus a party and errands that HAD to get done. I managed to get to the post office to mail the Best Little Bead Box to California. That box weighed in at more than 14 pounds! If you want to see the goodies I took from the box, the goodies I added to the box, plus find out why I'm now on the FedEx terror watchlist, you'll want to read the post I wrote over at the Best Little Bead Box Blog (say THAT 10 times fast!)

Best Bead Box Given13

Leafy Love

Take a photo of leafy goodness in a creative never been done before manner? Couldn't pull it off. You'll have to settle for the same old leaf photos. We have a gorgeous maple in our front yard and it is just now in its full glory.

Picture Fall

My first glassy crush was stained glass. To this day, I have a difficult time sitting in a church with stained glass windows and actually focusing on what is going on. I am too busy watching the glass, seeing how it changes with the light, trying to see all the nuances or what the designer was thinking about or why the church wanted that particular design. It's an illness I tell ya! What does this have to do with leaves? Well, I spent several minutes watching the sun stream through the translucent leaves and took a few photos of it. They look almost orange in the light instead of the vibrant red.

Picture Fall

This photo has absolutely nothing to do with the daily picture fall assignments. Rather, it's what happened this afternoon. I was torching away when I heard a loud crack, thud and could feel the ground shake. I ran outside and was just grateful that tree did not hit our home.

Open Heart, Open Mind

The assignment for the day is a commentary on how every minute of every day is full so that there is no room for anything else the universe has to offer and to photograph a visual reminder of openness. We have tons of Shagbark Hickory trees in our backyard. The shells of the hickory nuts tend to open in wedge shapes similar to an orange. I found this particular shell broken in half, ready to hold a teaspoon of...whatever.

Darks and Lights

One photo assignment is to take a photo of something silhouetted against the sky at dusk. I usually love to take photos of the line of trees behind our house as the sun sets because it looks like the world beyond the trees is on fire or a magical ice world (scroll down a few photos). However, I took the camera with me as I ran the kids around this evening and got this one from the parking lot at the library.

Morning Light

One of the Picture Fall Assignments is to catch the morning light in your daily routine. The windows where we spend the majority of our time face southwest (the way I like it quite frankly because of the fiery sunsets we get to watch every night) and we don't get much morning light. Here's the best I could do. eh. Not so great.Housekeeping stuff: Giving away a book and 2 pendants here.I have more reviews and a book or 2 more to give away as soon as I get time to write up the reviews. Also, I should have the Best Little Bead Box in my hot little hands Wednesday. You will probably be able to hear me screaming when I get the box.

2010 Art Charm Exchange Sorted and Shipped and a Bonus Tutorial

Remember this post way back on July 31st? Everyone who participated should have their charms in their hot little hands by now. In fact, I have heard back from several that they were absolutely thrilled with the charms they received from everyone and how much fun it was to play along. I never showed my charms because I didn't actually finish them until the day I shipped them out. Yep. I'm the naughty one in all this. I just can't help but be a last minute kind of girl because I just don't function well when starting or finishing a project early.Without further ado, I present my charms. A lampwork bead using murrini from Lori and Kim (covered in a big ole blob-o-clear), crystals, jumprings and and silver wire. I will give a brief how-to below.

Glass Addictions charms

Because I waited until the last minute, I got to use the deck of the cabin in the middle of Brown County State Park overlooking the forest. It was peacful (except for the single bee that insisted on buzzing around me. Good thing I'm not scared of bees!) and beautiful.

As you can see, I used Chocolate Truffle and Lagoon as my primary colors for the challenge portion of making the charms. I did use a murrini that looked like Living Coral when it was cold, but...ummm...doesn't look very corally after being in the fire. So I kept the oddball one for myself.

Glass Addictions charms

My charms are super easy to make. For each charm you will need: 1 art bead, 3 jumprings, 4mm bicone Swarovski, and 20 ga. dead soft square sterling silver wire (or round or copper or brass or whatever you want to use!)Tools needed: wire cutter, chainnose pliers, flatnose pliers, and I personally like to use bentnose pliers in conjunction with the flatnose for opening and closing jumprings.

Tools and supplies used to make charms

Because I was taking my beading on the road, I didn't have every single thing from my stash available to me and noting I had looked all that great with the beads I made specifically for this exchange. And really, I don't own many spacer type beads or bead caps anyway and sometimes use 3 interlocking jump rings shaped into a rosette type thing as a spacer. I love the way they look and they are a super easy thing to do.
First you need to know how to properly open and close a jump ring. Here is a quickie 1 min. video how to do that. She uses chainnose pliers, but I prefer a flatnose and a bentnose when opening and closing lots of rings.
To make the rosette, you close one ring and open 2 of the same size. Thread the closed one onto one of the open rings and close the ring. Then you push the rings together so they almost look like one ring stacked on top of the other. Take the last ring and thread this stacked ring onto the open ring and close it. Then kind of twist the rings to make a stack of rings that looks a little like a rosette. You will stabilize the rosette shape when you string it onto the wire.
Here is a video if you need a visual of what I just wrote. This person uses 4 much larger rings to create the rosette shape.To assemble all the components, cut a 3" or so piece of wire. Then you will create a spiral on one end making sure that end of the wire is cut flush. Beaducation has great free online video tutorials including one on how to make a wire spiral if you don't know how. And, I just noticed they have a 20 minute video intro to chainmaille that teaches how to open and close jump rings, basic weaves, AND how to do the rosette I tried to describe....
After you have created a spiral you like, string the art bead onto the wire. Then, holding the jump ring rosette in the shape you like, string it onto the wire. Add the crystal to the top so it kind of nestles into the jump ring rosette (and also helps the rosette to keep it's shape if that's what you want, but the rosettes are cool when they are loosey goosey too).
Lastly all you need to do is create your wire wrapped loop. Voila! A simple art charm anybody can make.
I had so much fun hosting this exchange and getting all kinds of new and creative charms from other artists. I am ready to host another charm exchange, probably due to me by late January. Is there any interest? I am thinking something a bit different and having everyone create an extra charm to auction off for Beads of Courage. Please leave a comment if this is something you would participate in and if you have any ideas for a theme or challenge.
Here is a photo mid-sorting of the 100 charms into their respective bubble mailers:
Sorting charms into each envelope to ship

New Bead

I had designated today the day to write about the charm swap, but I am about to crash and burn. So I'll show the new bead fresh from the flame (plus a hot soak in the kiln and a cool cleansing bath) listed on etsy tonight

Tidal Pools and Pearls Lampwork Focal

And if anyone could tell me why I can't load Flickr photos on my blog any more without using html, and how to fix it so I can just grab the link, I would REALLY appreciate it.

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