The Black Hole

It's Monday! And we had a fantastic weekend. We drove to Cleveland Friday evening to spend the weekend with our 15 year old son (who chose to, and got outside financial backing to attend a boarding school). I haven't seen him since I dropped him off in August and I missed him so much. We had so much fun...the four of us reconnecting, him remembering what it's like to be part of the family (I taught them the term butt cleavage at dinner), and just being together. While the weekend was jam packed with a trip to Columbus to watch the Crew MLS soccer team, hubs running the Rock n Roll half marathon, shopping, eating, etc. I took exactly ONE photo. Of my drink Friday night: [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500"]Chocolate covered pretzel martini @the chocolate bar jen cameron glass addictions Chocolate covered pretzel martini at The Chocolate Bar Cleveland[/caption]   Fail. What does all this have to do with a black hole? Nothing. But after we got home last night, ate dinner, unpacked, did laundry, got ready for bed, etc, I made the  mistake of walking in the vicinity of my studio door....and was promptly sucked in. Which resulted in an experiment. At midnight. In my pj's. And my darling sending out a search and rescue team to find out what happened to me.

 It may be nearly midnight, but sometimes the studio seems to contain a black hole that sucks me in if I get too close. #thisartistslife #glassaddictions

  I'm using a component Lesley Watt sent me a couple weeks ago. It involves resin, a lampwork bead, a sterling silver bead, and a UV light. I haven't decided if it's finished yet. When it is, I'll show you what it looks like in daylight rather than UV light.

September Component of the Month Reveal

Lesley Watt created these gorgeous bronze components for the Art Jewelry Elements September design challenge. I'm not sure what you would call them exactly. Bead cap doesn't really seem to be completely accurate. I just took a look and Lesley is referring to them as "bursting seed pods." So we'll go with that. They are pretty large. Focal sized really.   Lesley sent the entire lot to me from England, then I shipped them out to everyone in the US. It saves money doing it that way. So I got to choose which color to keep (turquoise). In fact, I got to keep two of them (both turquoise). I thought I would use both in one piece, but as I said, these things are BIG. So I decided against that. The shape is so organic, I wanted to create something to reflect that organic nature feel. So I got a stick from our kindling pile and covered it in resin so that it wouldn't deteriorate on the wearer's clothing. Staying with bronze, I balled up both ends of a long piece of wire and wrapped it around the stick, leaving a loop for hanging the pod and for hanging from a choker length cord.

Component of the month September #aje #artjewelryelements #glassaddictions

Again I took some bronze, balled up one end, did a messy loop wrap, put the pod on there, and made a loop inside the pod. I wanted some lampwork to be "bursting" from the pod. So I repeated the bronze messy wrap thing. Here's where I got stuck. Because the pod is so large, it sits wonky. You can see inside it from underneath. I wasn't really a fan of that look. So I added a little knot of sari silk. I am not sure I like this solution.

Component of the month September #aje #artjewelryelements #glassaddictions

Also, I'm not really sure I like the entire thing. So rather than continuing, I set it aside to think about it.

Component of the Month September #aje #artjewelryelements #glassaddictions

I took the second one and selected one of my lampwork beads that would sort of fit that diameter. I folded the petals down a bit so it would be a little more snug. I decided I wanted this to be a drooping flower and a bit more modern in appearance than the other piece. Trying to get it to balance properly was the biggest challenge. Until I tried holding it up to my chest and discovered that because the pod and the bead are so large, the spiral at the bottom of my flower stem was sticking out in a manner that I did not find pleasing.

Component of the month September #aje #artjewelryelements #glassaddictions

To remedy this, I formed the wire so that the flower portion sticks out and the back side of the pod sits flush with the "stem" of the dropping flower.

Component of the Month September #aje #artjewelryelements #glassaddictions

Originally I tried weaving some Wirelace into some gunmetal chain, but I ended up hating how it looked. By then, I was too tired to figure out how to finish it. More than likely I will do a combination of leather and faceted ball chain or something similar.

Component of the month September #aje #artjewelryelements #glassaddictions

  Thanks for stopping by. Please take a look at the other participants in the design challenge: Guest designers: Erin Prais-Hintz - Tesori Trovati Cate - Fulgorine Claire Lockwood - Something To Do With Your Hands AJE team Jennifer Cameron Kristen Stevens Jenny Davies-Reazor Francesca Watson Melissa Meman Linda Landig Susan Kennedy Rebekah Payne Caroline Dewison Lesley Watt

Customer Earrings Using Glass Addictions Beads

Kristi Bowman, who is a super talented copper clay and polymer clay artist, made some gorgeous earrings using my lampwork beads with some of her polymer clay urchins. If you want more information about them, she posted them at Earrings Everyday today. And you can buy them in her Etsy shop. Although, I'm seriously considering buying them for myself. It's just I rarely wear earrings and they would probably be happier with someone who will wear them all the time.   I don't currently have any of these beads made, but I will take orders for those who are interested in similar beads. Allow 2 weeks before they ship. Each bead is $8. Select the number of beads you want. 

2013 Art Charm Swap Sign-Ups

It's that time of year again! Time for the annual art charm exchange. If you are curious about last year's charm swap, clicking this link will take you to my reveal post with links to everyone's charm swap reveal blog posts. It's very inspiring! I've also sprinkled this post with photos of some of last year's charms.

2012 Art Charm Swap

-To participate in the charm swap, you must be willing to make 10 charms +1 (total of 11 charms). You will receive one of your charms back, plus 9 (depending on the number of participants we get).   -The extra charm (the +1) will be auctioned to benefit Beads of Courage.  The last swap we donated $600(!) for BOC through our auction.   beads of courage   -the theme for this charm swap is “love”. How you make your charm fit into the theme is up to you. It doesn't have to say the word love. Or have a heart. Just represent something that means love to you.   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 add a jump ring to a purchased charm and call it done, or simply wire wrap a loop onto a craft store bead and call 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
-no organic bits like bone, feathers, etc unless they have been sealed well or burned off (like kiln or torch fired or whatever).


-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 25th. No exceptions.
-Charm reveal blog hop and start of charm auction is November 15th. 


-Auctions for the charms will begin the same day as the blog hop. -you need to have a blog (if you don’t have one, go sign up for one!)


Important!!! How to Sign-up:
-read the above guidelines first. Make sure you understand them before you read any further.
-Sign-ups close on September 13th.
-New this year:  Paying for the return shipment of your charms in advance secures your place in the swap. The limit is 60 slots. If you want to swap more than 10, you will need to sign up twice. If you do sign up for 2 slots, I will refund the 2nd shipping charge once I have all 22 charms in my possession.
-Below is a "Buy Now" Button to pay with a credit card through Paypal. You do NOT need a Paypal account to check out. From the drop down menu immediately above the Buy Now button, select either United States ($8) or International ($12) based on your location.
-In the "notes to seller" space, please include the email where you want all correspondence about the swap to go to. If the Paypal account is under a name that is not your own given name, include that in the notes as well.


-Once I receive payment, I will email you to confirm all info and send you a link to the private Facebook group for the swap. If you do not hear from me within 48 hours of signing up, email me at jennifer. glassaddictions @ (remove spaces) so I can make sure I got it.
*Please note...I will look at your blogs and probably your social media links when you sign up. If I see evidence of racism, bigotry, or other forms of hate, I will refund your money and open your spot to someone else. You are free to believe and say whatever you want. However, I will not help anyone promote those ideas. In addition, if I see lack of evidence that you actually make any type of jewelry or beads, I reserve the right to refund your money and open the spot to someone else.*
-This swap IS open to those outside the United States…just be prepared to send your charms EARLY.
Select United States or International United States $8.00 USDInternational $12.00 USD   This post will be edited (several times) to add the 2013 participants to the bottom of the post.  


    If you don't want to participate in the charm exchange, but would love to help Beads of Courage, visit their website to make a donation or find other ways you can help. Or if you would like to be a direct part of the money the charm exchange raises for Beads of Courage, click the donate button below and it will be added to our final total donated to BoC.   2013 Charm Swap Participants:

AJE Earring Challenge

Apparently the biggest challenge of this earring challenge is actually making earrings. I am so far like 27 weeks. LOL! I made an effort to catch up by making 4 whole pairs of earrings.   The first pair I used my murrini headpins and polymer clay charms by Rebekah Payne.

AJE Earring Challenge

These earrings I used my murrini headpins and bronze discs by Lesley Watt.

AJE Earring Challenge

I used some of my spiral headpins and copper ammonite discs by Kristi Bowman.

AJE Earring Challenge

The last pair of earrings use my beads and ceramic charms by Karen Totem.

AJE Earring Challenge

August Component of the Month Design Challenge Reveal

I've got to blog fast today. I left my charger at home and the computer is quickly dying! It's going to be short and sweet. Melissa Meman hosted the Art Jewelry Elements design challenge for August. I LOVE the round Dogwood flower piece I got! LOVE it! [caption id="attachment_2334" align="aligncenter" width="486"]morsels Melissa Meman's fabulous components.[/caption]   My husband and I fell in love with the Dogwood tree when we lived in Winston-Salem, North Carolina...because they were everywhere you looked and spring in WS was just stunning. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500"]Dogwood tree Jen Cameron This is our dogwood tree in bloom this past spring.[/caption] August is also my birth month. And this year was a biggie in terms of round numbers...I turned 40. No, I'm not depressed or anything, being 40 is just a really alien concept when you still feel like you're 27. Anyway, I decided to make this piece really special and keep it for myself. I used some of my stash of Roman glass (I totally hoard it and periodically get it out just to look and touch), some peridot to celebrate my birth month, blue fluorite, and a vintage rhinestone clasp. I used some of my headpins left over from Bead Fest to attach the Roman glass to the sterling silver domed disc.

 #aje #com August reveal

#aje #com August reveal #nofilter

#aje #com August reveal #nofilter

  As you can see, I still need to add a second strand. Originally I was thinking rhinestone chain and/or dark brown leather cord. But now I'm not sure. Maybe I will do a second beaded strand. What do you think? Please visit the other designers to see what they came up with: Guests: Perri Jackson Hope Smitherman Monique Urquhart AJE Team: Jennifer Cameron <-----you are here! Jenny Davies-Reazor Sue Kennedy Linda Landig Kristen Stevens Francesca Watson Lesley Watt - Unfortunately, Lesley's component decided to take a vacation and hasn't shown up at her house yet :( But you can still go check out her great blog! Melissa Meman

Bead Fest Goodies

You didn't think I went to Bead Fest and didn't BUY or TRADE anything? HA! As if...Although I admit I might have done more if my husband hadn't been there with me to hold me back some. I did  most of my shopping/trading on Sunday. However, I was not waiting that long to snag me a Staci Louise Original. I've been drooling over the work she's been showing in the lead up to Bead Fest. I selected this amazing heart. I will be making something for myself with it.

#beadfest #loot from Staci Klinger Smith. I will be making something for myself with this one.

  On Saturday was the big bead swap. My partner was Tracy Bell (Copper, Glass and Recycled Trash). She gave me these darling beads by Diane Hawkey. I LOVE them!  

Bead swap goodies from Tracy Bell. Beads by Diane Hawkey

    Diana P, the organizer of Saturday's swap, also recruited some sponsors to donate door prizes (including me).

Diana P. reading a winner of a door prize

  After she drew my name as the winner of something I donated (and threw it back in), I won these copper and brass blanks donated by Heather Marston.  

Prize won from Heather Marston at bead swap #beadfest #loot

  Diana P stopped by my booth sometime Saturday and gave me this guy. You can't help but smile when you look at him.

#beadfest #loot from Diana P.

I got these lampworking tools from Karen Leonardo, who was across the aisle from me. An oak lead will be coming later. I can hardly wait!

Textures for lampwork beads from Karen Leonardo #beadfest #loot

I traded with Jenny Davies-Reazor for these bunny and acorn oak leaf pendants. The rabbit is for my daughter (she loves it!) and the acorn oak leaf will be included in a piece I make as a silent auction donation for my daughter's school. The acorn and oak tree figure prominently in their school theme and the school even includes the word oak.

#beadfest loot from @jdaviesreazor The rabbit is for my daughter, the acorn and oak leaf will be made into a piece to be auctioned to benefit daughter's school.  Acorns and oaks feature prominently in the school.

  Then I traded with Karen Totten for the following lovelies.

#beadfest #loot from Karen Totten Starry road Studio

#beadfest #loot from Karen Totten of Starry Road Studio

#beadfest #loot from Karen Totten

  It's amazing I managed to restrain myself as much as I did!!! I can hardly wait to start designing with my new yummies.

Home from Bead Fest

I am worn out and it's about all I can do to string two coherent sentences together. But I'm home from Bead Fest 2013. My favorite part? Meeting some of my online friends in person! Except I only took like 3 photos. I will have to snag some from other people when they start posting them online. Today is pictures because I am too tired to write.  

 My "employee" is such a good sport. Except for when he started threatening to quit. To which I informed him he has to give two weeks notice #beadfest


Jen at Bead fest

Jen cameron bead Fest booth display

My dream car (at this moment) is a Tesla. I was super excited when we went to the King of Prussia mall to visit the Apple Store and there was a Tesla shop right next door!!! Unfortunately a Tesla still isn't in the budget...

Sitting in a Tesla wishing I could take it home

Tomorrow I'll share photos of the loot I scored at Bead Fest. I planned on dusting the Etsy shop this week and doing a grand reopening with what I have left. However, I just learned about Soldsie and am thinking about trying that out Thursday evening. It's done on Facebook, so make sure you like my page if you haven't already. You won't have to leave Facebook to go to Etsy and as I'm not overly thrilled with some of the changes Etsy has been implementing, I was thinking I would just start selling directly from Facebook or here. Soldsie is supposed to make it easier for both buyers and sellers. I'm willing to try it out. I hope you are too.

Bead Fest or Bust!

Tomorrow morning I leave for Bead Fest (booth 559...stop by and say hello!) I can hardly wait. Not because I'm ready (I'm not). Not because I have loads of beads to sell (I don't). But because once I walk out the door, there's nothing else I can do. And that will be relaxing. And then I can meet and hang out with some beady people. Right now I am so tired. I wish it was from exhaustion from making so many beads. However, I am trying to make what I can when I have time because life doesn't stop just because you have a show. School supplies to buy, paperwork to fill out, last minute appointments to schedule, orientations to attend. I had to take a day off to turn 40 (like that wouldn't have happened anyway. lol!) One kid had to be driven 3.5 hours away to be dropped off for school.

Dropped off the big bad sophomore at school today. *sniff*

  The other kid started 7th grade yesterday

First day of 7th grade.

  I also had to drive hubs to the airport yesterday at 5am so he can be with his grandma when she has surgery today. I will be picking him up at the Pittsburgh airport on my way to Bead Fest. How crazy is that??? If this bead thing doesn't work out I should get a job as a chauffeur. It would be nice to get paid for all the driving I do (220,000 miles on my car and counting!) I haven't taken any good photos of what I'll be taking with me, but I will take some later today when the light conditions are better. But here are a few quick and dirty shots of beads still on the mandrel:

 This morning's kiln harvest. jennifer cameron glass addictions

This morning's kiln harvest #lampwork #thisartistslife #glassaddictions #artjewelryelements #beadfest

Not my usual style. But the fam says make more #glassaddictions #thisartistslife

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500"]Just popped this one into the kiln. The base color is actually called spring green, but looks orange because i just took it out of the flame. #lampwork #glassaddictions This bead is actually a lime green and not a pumpkin orange. It looks that color because I had just taken it out of the flame and snapped a quick pic[/caption]  

 Design inspired by mercury glass #lampwork #glassaddictions

  Several of my Art Jewelry Elements mates will be vending or shopping at Bead Fest this weekend. I can hardly wait to meet them in person. I ordered a stack of AJE postcards. I would love to increase our readership, because I have some excellent artists/writers/people on my team.

 The huge box of postcards have arrived! We will be debuting these at #beadfest next week. #artjewelryelements #aje

  We (AJE members who are vending at Bead Fest) also decided to take out an ad in the directory, which totally looks amazing thanks to Karen Totten


Kristen Stevens sent me this necklace she made with one of my Nightnare Insomnia series beads to display at my booth. I can't even imagine trying to make something like this

Gorgeous necklace designed by Kristen Stevens using one of my lampwork beads as the focal.

Enough rambling for today. I need to save some rambling for my post on AJE tomorrow :) I will try to update my blog while I'm at Bead Fest. But if I don't, you can always follow my adventures on Facebook or on Instagram.

If the studio is a dungeon, audiobooks are the jailer

I am not particularly good at lampworking before about 2pm. It takes me that long to fully wake up and start feeling the mojo. However. With the current schedule, that will not get a booth filled for Bead Fest.   [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500"]Morning light view of the neighbor's boats with the sun rising in the background.[/caption]   For example, here's yesterday's schedule: 6:30am-wake up. Drag kids out of bed. 7:50am-leave the lake house in Angola for downtown Ft Wayne. 9am-drop daughter off at camp 9:10am-drop son off at bus station 9:35am-arrive at our Ft Wayne house (which is where my studio is located) 10am-ideally? start torching! in actuality? Scan facebook, blog, play with the dogs, do a few chores, look at the veggie garden...etc etc. 3:30p-shut down the torch, bleed the line, put the kiln in ramp down mode, leave the house 4p-get daughter 4-6p-get a snack and wait around for daughter's play rehearsal to start (located a few blocks from camp) 6:30p-meet son and husband for sushi 8p-get daughter from rehearsal and take her to a medieval dancing thing a few blocks away at the main library. 9p-leave library and get dinner for her. 10p-arrive back at the lake house. Do some reading and collapse into bed. As you can see, being disciplined during the hours available to torch is kind of really important. I have found the best way for me to be productive is audiobooks. I'm currently on the second book of the Game of Thrones series

Game of Thrones

It took me awhile to get into the first book in the series, but it has my attention now. And since I only allow myself to listen while working or in the car while driving, it motivates me to get to work.

Using the Audible App on my iPhone has been the best method of listening to audiobooks. I can take my book with me anywhere and listen anytime. The Audible account is mine, but my family has all downloaded the app onto their various devices...phones, iPods, and iPads. We can each download any of the books I've purchased on the account and listen to them when we want. It saves the location where we stopped listening each time. I personally love it. My husband was the last to start using it, but ever since I set it up for him, he listens in the car and has told me how much he loves it (I've even caught him sitting in the driveway listening in his car to "finish a chapter").

If you look at my stats, you can tell when I'm getting ready for a show. My last show was the first week in April. After that I spent the spring and summer as my daughter's minion.

My Audible Stats

I recently made an impulse purchase of an iHome stereo system. I got mine on sale at Target for $60. It's purple instead of boring black. I didn't expect much for the $60 price tag.

iHome stereo system

However, it's been wonderful! It's loud and clear enough to hear over the noise of the torch, the exhaust fan, the oxygen concentrator, and the kiln. Plus it charges my phone at the same time. Not only do the audiobooks help me keep working, but I get to "read" so many more books than I would otherwise. In fact, I would never pick up Game of Thrones to read with my eyes.

Do you listen to audibooks? What are some of your favorites? Or do you prefer music? Television?

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