Playing Together a Free Tutorial

So, Lori told me about her idea to use the rollers and presses together, and it got me thinking.  I have the ribbed roller.  Well, I found a great way to use the ribbed small round spacer roller with my Slim Straight Sided Lentil presses

Finished-BeadsSo, in the spirit of our Playing Together giveaway, here is a free tutorial using them together!

Playing Together Tutorial


Happy Torching!!



It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to… March 28, 2013

My previous post was a bit premature…thinking I was crawling out of the crazy month of March, only to emerge into a state of peace and productivity, to enjoy our Birthday/Anniversary Party with you.  Ah, the foolishness of thinking you see ahead of you…since then the transmission went, inconveniently away from home, of course, in my 10 year old PT Cruiser…which has been making unpleasant engine sounds anyway, and had a couple other fixes on the docket, so this was the nail in the coffin.  Enter car search.  Found a solid used vehicle, that didn’t break the bank.  phew.

A couple other “life happens” events, and here we are at the end of March.  It came in like a lion, with huge snow storms, amidst a storm of busy activity around here…at least the weather is looking a bit more “out like a lamb”.  We had temps in the high 40’s, with sun and clear skies.  In New Hampshire that’s practically shorts weather!

Don Breingan's photo.

So, April.  April is going to be our Birthday party.  Because March was a lousy Birthday month…during which my own little one turned 4,while we were having a huge snow storm, and I had a stomach bug.  It’s a great thing that one of her favorite pass times is cuddling with mama, so she felt she had a rocking birthday, snuggle on the couch, reading books and learning to knit…with cupcakes for dinner.

So this whole post isn’t just all about me, and why March went so poorly, let’s remember that we now have a larger Deco Drop, which is just stunning!  I love using it as a vase of sorts, but it is quite able to stand on it’s own.  The decorating possibilities are endless.  I find this one inspirational.  The shape is very sleek and refined, making a great canvas for elegant stringer work, but oh the fun you could have with bright colors and dots that would juxtapose nicely with the great lines this has.  So yes, inspirational, fun, and on the site, at a discounted price.  So see, we can have a little fun in March!  Don’t forget there is the Deco Drop Duo that has 2 smaller sizes.  Great for earrings, and small pendants.  They are discounted to, because…why not?  No discount code necessary.  The store has the discounted price loaded!  Happy shopping.

Off to ship some orders, and make some beads. I have testers to give my final okay to, so we can all party together, with no tears in April!!!



Fun with the Deco Drop

I had fun this morning!  Using a deco drop, 3 glass headpins, and some additional wire, I made this awesome pendant!  I love it.  I love that it is caged in wire, which is something I’ve wanted to do to the beads since I conceived of this shape.  It worked great.  What do you think?

It would be great done in fun colors for summer!  Would you be interested in a tutorial, telling you how I did it?

Great Time in Virginia!

I had a great time at ArtBliss, followed by a wonderful afternoon with the Virginia Firebirds, and friends, at the amazing studios at Workhouse Arts Center!  Where to start…

ArtBliss is a wonderful event!  The coordinators, Cindy and Jeanette, pay such excellent attention to detail that all the little things, as well as the big things were so seamless.  The teachers they assembled were a wonderful group.  I had fun talking with all of them and was certainly jealous of some of the other folks who took classes that I couldn’t, due to scheduling conflicts.  I wouldn’t have given up Kerry’s classes, but would have loved to have been two places at once!  If you are in the DC area, the event is something to check out, but I did drive 9 hours, and it was worth the trip, so don’t feel limited if you don’t live in the area.

I met many great artists and authors.  Stacie Florer is a talented woman and a delight to talk with.  I would have loved to have taken a class with her!  Maybe next year.  Lori Anderson was there with her book “Bead Soup”.  I received a signed copy and have had lots of fun thumbing through it!  What a fun idea for a book.

Kerry Bogert taught the technique of embossing on metal.  I have been wanting to play with metal for a long time, and just never get around to is, so the class was a great nudge.  We used a cold technique, from her new book Rustic Wrappings, to make a bezel for an awesome cabochon made by Kerry.  Then we used the embossing to finish the metal.  It was a great time.  Kerry is a lovely teacher.  She’s enthusiastic about her medium, and about teaching, and she’s does an excellent job of explaining the steps involved.  If you have a chance to take a class with her, it would be a great time for sure!

I took a second class, also with Kerry.  This was her Snaptastic photography class.  She has this class available online, as an ebook, if you are interested in improving you bead/jewelry photo taking skills.  She gave us her tips and tricks, some of which were the ahhaa moment I needed.  I have ordered some light bulbs and a new lense for my camera with the hope that that will be just what I need to take pictures like this:

The next morning we headed to the Workhouse Arts Center.  What an amazing place!  If you live in that area, it’s a wonderful resource that you should check into.  They have a beautiful gallery with works from the artists in residence.  There are open torch times available, as well. The Virginia Firebirds, a new ISGB Chapter, gather there for their meetings, as well.  Another great opportunity to meet other lampworkers, share ideas and talk about glassy things!

I demonstrated several of the ZooziiTools, presses and mandrels.  We discussed how to approach a new shape, and I shared tips and tricks for adding and removing glass.  It was a great group, and we had a lot of fun!

Torching with a friend

August 22, 2012

Today I went to my friend’s studio to make beads.  She has a great little bead cottage with two torches set up, so it’s perfect.  We chatted and torched, took a lunch break, and went back for more torching.  Oh, and lunch today was awesome!!  She made the best corn chowder I’ve ever had, and I think very highly of my own corn chowder, so that was no small feat.  I brought homemade cornbread.  One might think that sounded like a very fall lunch, but when corn is in season now, we can handle eating a chowder, with fresh corn, even if the weather is a little on this side of warm.

I love getting together to torch.  It’s very inspiring.  Being in someone else’s studio has a set of challenges, like when you forget your favorite glass pushing tool, or think of a glass you left home that would work perfectly with this, but she’s very generous with her glass and tools, so there is no shortage of plan B!

Everything is in the kiln right now, because I put them in the kiln while we are working, transfer them to fiber blankets to come home, and then anneal them properly here.  I did have one big disappointment when I was transferring them to my kiln.  A bead I made using enamels, was set next to a lovely bead made with double helix and they bonded over a little white wine with cheese and crackers…okay I made up the wine and crackers part, but the bonding happened, and the removal didn’t go so well.

It’s very sad, because it came out great, the skinny little string was right where I wanted and the red is crisp and beautiful, and the balloon wraps around the end of the bead.  I will have to do it again, because I love it, but let’s have a moment of silence for this little fella…Thank you.

The back is where the problem came in…

Most everything else looked great when I was putting them in the kiln, so I’m hopeful for what is coming out tomorrow!

Do you torch with, or collaborate in some way with someone else?  Has it inspired you in some way?  I’d love to hear your thoughts on being creative with friends!