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New Focal Beads

I torched about 4 or 5 hours Monday night (starting at 9pm-it was a late night!) and made about 4 or 5 focals I was super happy about. Here are a couple of them.

Drum Roll Please....

A focal using the new glass I got in the mail last week. And it's listed on etsy even though I considered making something for myself with it.

Dogs Love Jewelry Too!

Being a vendor in the boutique at Tapestry April 24, I did the typical thing I do before every show. Any guesses as to what that is? I stayed up almost all night making new jewelry because I never think there is enough-even though I always manage to overfill my table.However, I do know for a fact that I never have enough earrings. I don't really like making them and usually only have 2 pairs at any given show. Sad, but true. Guess what customers always ask for...EARRINGS! I had exactly ZERO pairs made a week before the show, and ONE pair made 2 days before the show. I made about 7 pairs the night before. Here is one of them:I like to tumble every piece of silver jewelry that is able to be stuck in the tumbler without damage. At 3 am the morning of the show, all the earrings were placed in the tumbler. At 5:30am when I woke up, I took all the earrings out, rinsed, dried, counted, and then placed them in my box to take with me.When I was setting the earrings up on display, I couldn't find the mate for the earring above and thought it was really weird and maybe I left it on the counter.That evening, exhausted, I found something strange looking on the floor with one of my beads attached to it. It was the missing earring! My Golden Retriever puppy (she is one year old now and still very naughty) had stolen it when no one was looking (husband and kids were home with her all day) and loved the earring so much, this is what she did to it:

At one point, that dog eaten earring also had swarovski crystals and a silver ball spacer and a straight paddle end. It's just as well because on closer inspection, those lampwork beads don't totally match because it looks like there is silver foil on one of them but not the other. Like I said, I was up super late and might have been a tad tired by the time these were assembled.

So the moral of the story is, don't get a naughty Golden Retriever...I mean, keep jewelry out of the reach of dogs. Or maybe the moral is don't stay up all night making earrings...

Look at my GLASS

I haven't been this excited to get new glass in a looooong time. I wanted to break it out yesterday as soon as UPS dropped it off. But that whole homeschool thing gets in the way of my playtime and then we had to go to a party. Because my sister in law reads my blog on occasion, she would have known I didn't really have swine flu and made that up so I could torch the evening away with my new sparkly stuff. *sigh* The pretty new glass will have to wait for Saturday.What is this magical glass you ask? It is called Chalcedony and is made by Gaffer Glass. I rarely run right out and buy every new glass that comes out because...welllll...that's expensive and sometimes there is some really crappy glass. I like to let others spend their money first to see what kind of results they get. If it looks cool and gets good reviews, I will probably fork out some bucks for it. Anyway, I can't keep up with all the different glass coming out. But I saw some photos of what people are doing with this glass and WOW!
Admittedly, the glass doesn't look so pretty. BUT it looks like it may be a good replacement for my beloved Terra which is no longer produced. (yes, I always call it beloved Terra. Probably some people think that is the real name. It's only called Terra). It is also a substiture for Raku (R108 Iris Orange) which many lampworkers have a difficult time striking or give up trying because it can be so fussy. This glass is supposed to strike into all colors of the rainbow and I can hardly wait to try it. *sigh*
Wanna see some beads with Terra?

This bracelet uses Raku (R108 Iris Orange-also baby poop brown color in cold rod form)

Stay tuned to see the results!

New Listings!

Shocking, I know. The computer and I spent some quality time together late into the night and early morning and there are now SIX new listings in my etsy shop. The photographer (me) seems to have gotten worse with lack of practice, but hopefully they are good enough to show what the beads look like.
I have a few more listings to get up, and then lots of projects to finish. Don't forget to visit tomorrow for Open Studio Friday!

Pathway Series-Vortex

Vortex was delivered to the Indiana State Museum for the second half of the Off the Walls Exhibit featuring Indiana Artisans. This is one that really needs a model for the photos. I have tried to photograph my jewelry on my neck, but no amount of photoshopping will ever hide the fact that my neck is not photogenic. It's downright hideous. Sadly I didn't know this until I tried to use myself as a model for my jewelry. Now I'm self conscious about my neck. LOL! Lately when I create jewelry, I have had a fascination with movement and danger so to speak. The movement in the neckpiece comes from the beads and the circle and oval links. All move and spin freely.The danger is only an illusion. The sterling silver wire used to make the wavy links is a very large size. Once the silver wire has been work hardened (also called therapy in the form of hammering it to death...) and shaped, it is so stiff, it is difficult to wrap the ends in a manner that they will attach to the rest of the pieces.In "properly" crafted jewelry, all wire is wrapped tightly and the ends tucked in so they are nearly invisible. However, I have been loosely wrapping this heavy stiff wire so that every moves, leaving the ends not only untucked, but sticking out so that they break the plain of the circle links. It really looks like it could all just fall apart. However, I assure you it will not.

Sometimes, because I am a fairly practical person, I wear a design to make sure it is comfortable to wear and it doesn't flip in weird ways or drive me to distraction. I wore this all day last week before tumbling it and giving it a thorough cleaning and it was surprisingly comfortable and easy to wear.

This design excited me so much, there will be more to come! Keep checking back to see what other danger I can cook up!

NIghtmare Insomnia in the Garden

Nightmare Insomnia in the Garden has been sitting on my bench for about a week while I tried to decide if it would be listed online, or taken with me to the Museum. I have a neckpiece for the Off the Walls exhibit that I will deliver Friday. However, the gift shop was also interested in buying some stuff. Then there is that show in 2 weeks...However, I bit the bullet and it is now listed on 1000 Markets. I tried using just natural light for the photos this time. What do you think?
The interesting thing about this necklace is I don't think I have ever used any kind of flower anything in my jewelry. Yet this has SIX bali silver flower charms. I used four of them as a a kind of bead cap for the top of the bead, and then two of them are used as "weights" for the ends of the hand dyed silk ribbon from Cahootz.
I've been playing around with crocheting wire the last couple days. I don't actually know how to crochet, so learning on wire may not be the easiest mode of learning. Maybe I will have something worth showing soon. However, I will be photographing the museum piece and showing it later this week once I get the earrings completed.

Open Studio Friday

Every Friday will be Open Studio Friday on the Glass Addictions Blog. This feature is in the spirit of Where Women Create and also the Cloth Paper Scissors Studios magazine.We will start the tour here at my place in Fort Wayne, IN. My studio is located in our finished basement. I have my own set of stairs that go directly into the garage. When we built our house in 2006, the plan was that when I had projects to fuse in the large kiln, I could just go directly to that kiln from the studio rather than walking through the house to the garage like I did before. I have yet to use these stairs for that purpose...I have been too caught up in making beads.One of these days (maybe this summer) the kids and I are going to mosaic these stairs. Right now my beloved labeler is sitting there next to some glass that needs to be labled. I label about half the rods because I am particular like that. To the left is where I keep the beads and jewelry currently listed online, extra baggies, and other supplies. I asked the builder to leave the area under the stairs open. This is where I store my COE 104 and COE 90 glass rods and COE 90 sheet glass. You can also see my frit storage along the side.
Here is the sink my husband has yet to hook up for me. It currently houses my leather apron and the baby monitor so I can hear what is going on upstairs when I work.
Yes, I painted this entire studio and cabinets by myself. It took forEVER. I painted the upper cabinets with magnetic paint and then painted the blue over it so they can hold magnets. I will eventually get around to making some glass door hardware. It's on my to do list for the year.
Here is the oxy con, gas line, fire extingusher, and press storage. The bag is still sitting where I left if after the Kerri Fuhr class a couple weeks ago. I haven't been able to torch for about 2 weeks because I injured my back and it hurts to sit for more than a few minutes.
WARNING! I did absolutely NO clean-up before taking these photos. What you see is how I actually work. Here is the torch area.
Close-up of torch area. I actually cleaned this up a few weeks ago, so it is much cleaner than it usually is.
This is the bead kiln on a shelving unit on wheels so that it can be moved out of the way when needed. Before you freak out that I have a jewelry findings case and the tv remote on top of it (fire hazard) it is not plugged in. Sometimes I need the extra surface area and I unplug it when I do.
Here is the jewelry creation station. Yes, it is always this messy and yes, as soon as I put something down it gets lost. Very frustrating! It would probably take me half the time to make things if I put stuff away as I worked. I do my hammering in another location because the countertop bounces way too much to function.
Perhaps you are wondering why I didn't close the cabinet door? This is why. I get stuff out and because the door opens to the wall, it's awkward and I end up just leave it on the floor. Then the door won't close. LOL!On the wall next to the jewelry station is a window and that is where the drill press and riveting press thingie lives. That cart is also on wheels so it can be moved as needed.
Here is a close-up of the aloe plants I bought for when I burn myself. I don't generally like live plants in the house. Between 2 kids and 2 dogs tracking in dirt, why would I want to bring dirt inside the house on purpose? Anyway...I crack the window for the fresh return air when using the torch. I don't think the aloe plants like the winter cold. Either that or they needed to be watered...Two more kilns. The one on the wall is used for vitrigraph stringers (glass flows out the bottom) among other things. Both kilns fit on the cart beneath it. The cart is also on wheels so it can be moved when needed.
On the wall to the right of the cart is more countertop and cabinet space. It is also where I keep and make PMC pieces. Most of my 96COE glass is kept in these cabinets. This countertop was clean 2 days ago. But then I went on a PMC spree the last 2 days:
This is the workbench I brought with me from the other house. It is where I would cut and grind sheet glass if I needed to. My fusing molds are underneath the bench and the shredder is sitting there in front with a pile to be shredded and also serving as a book holder while I was working with PMC. The butane torch for fusing silver is on the shelf on top of the bench.
The bench is very solid so that is where I do the hammering and stamping for my jewelry. It's also a bit of a catch all. I weigh packages here too. It also looks like a I drink lots of wine while working. However, those are the wine bottles my mom has been trying to get me to drill holes into for about 2 years now. That is also on this year's to do list.
I hope you enjoyed the tour. Come back next week when we tour another artist studio. Perhaps a cleaner one...
If you have a studio or workspace you would like to have featured on this blog, please leave a comment!

Have Journal, Will Travel

My super awesome husband gave me the best Christmas gift ever-a set of tickets to see the play Waiting for Godot. It wasn't just the tickets though. It was that the play stars Patrick Stewart, who I have had a crush on for at least 15 years. And it wasn't totally about Patrick Stewart either. Waiting for Godot is playing in LONDON. Not London, Kentucky (although I am sure it is a lovely place...) but London as in England, as in across the ocean, as in I get to go on a super cool vacation with the best husband in the world.My friend Kim told me about a wonderful bookbinder named Kristen Crane that makes custom travel journals and has a shop on Etsy. Because we will spend half our time in London and the other half in and around Dublin, Ireland, I had her create a special travel journal for me.Here is the back cover showing a map of England with London in a place of prominence:Here is the front cover showing Ireland:Once I finally decided what I wanted, Kristen completed the journal very quickly. I got it today and it is absolutely gorgeous! The quality is better than anything store bought and it is handmade and personalized especially for my trip. The photos do not even come close to showing how stunning this journal is!If you are traveling, you NEED to get one of these from Kristen! Just convo her to have her make you something special. You will NOT regret it.

This Class Rocks!

We have completed day one of the two day class with Kerri Fuhr. She couldn't be any nicer, or have a more positive outlook. It is so refreshing to hear someone with a positive outlook on lampwork beads and artists in relation to the economy the world is currently dealing with. 
Not only did she teach us her incredible tapestry beads, but she gave us a bonus belly dancing lesson in the middle of the day. I didn't take any pictures of that...but if I did I would wait to post them until AFTER she teaches her dragonfly bead and how to translate anything into glass during tomorrow's class ;-) 
Stephanie Ann is the TA and she should be teaching too. Holy crap she makes AWESOME beads too! I will just have to purchase a bead from each of these talented and wonderful ladies. If only picking a favorite wasn't so difficult...
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