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Archive for April, 2010

I’ve been a little scarce this week… website maintenance, taking photos, making beads… So, here’s what you might want to know:

There will be Superstars this Thursday. Wow, that’s tomorrow. Eek. If you’re on my mailing list, you should have received a notification yesterday evening. Don’t forget about the 30 minute preview period that starts at 7:30PM CT on Thursday.

I added two new pages to my 2010 Gallery. Start on page 4. If you see anything you like, make sure to check out the Made To Order policy.

I guess that’s about it. I’ll have some pretty good beads at the sale, so I hope you’ll check it out.

Back to work with me! More photos to take, descriptions to write, and I think I need a bath before I do anything else.  Have a sneak peek at what’s coming, won’t you?

look for us on Thursday!

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Surprise! Etsy today!

Wow, weird, huh? It’s silly. I wanted to add 2 new pages to the 2010 Gallery on my website before next week. There are 10 selections per page. I only had 19 new ones to add when I last counted. So. Here’s something new for YOU, and for ME to add to my gallery, and further enable my persnickety-ness.

Click HERE to visit my shop, or click the individual thumbnails below for each listing.

super DUPER star - click me

peaches - click me

Hooray! Thanks for looking.

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Crack!

Don’t you love it when you make an entire set of beads in a new color combination without a test run, and open the kiln the next day to find something even more wonderful than you could have possibly expected? Of course you do.

ooh, pretty

I do NOT love a crack, glaring at me as if I just kicked its grandma. I do NOT love Effetre 419 Apricot.

bleh

Well, actually, I do really love that color, but it’s been nothing but trouble. It appears to be incompatible with just about everything – unless it just doesn’t like white. But by the looks of the bead in question here, it doesn’t even like itself. The first batch of 419 I bought in about 2007 (when it first came out) seemed to be fine. I think I ordered more within a few months, and the rods I got that time were slightly different – a bit larger and with more canteloupe mottling in the cores. The second bunch seems to be the one I can’t use as a base. I thought I’d be safe with this particular bead because it’s a Toggle – mainly because I am not smooshing any of the layers into the base bead like I would for tabs or pressed beads.  And it’s my favorite bead in this set, it’s dang near perfect – go figure. I used 419 for dots in the layers in several of the other beads in this set, which did get smooshed, and it’s fine. I guess I’ll just stick to using it in teeny amounts, and not directly next to white. I should probably also mention that I’ve had similar problems (but not nearly as many) with Effetre Pumpkin Coral 420 (circa 2003 or 2004), which happens to have a very similar working consistency and color, and the rods are grainy too.

The good news is, I can easily use Effetre’s new Zucca Light 425 to remake the Toggle, because the colors are very close. The viscosity and streak is different, and I love 419 for those particular qualities, but what can you do? Glass has a mind of its own. Zucca works differently than 419 in the flame, so let’s hope the remake is as good.

relief! the zucca bead is fine

(If you have a preference for the lighter side of the 419, try 418 Pumpkin (an off batch of Butter Yellow), if you can find it. It doesn’t have that lovely streak that 419 does, but it’s always behaved for me.)

The funny thing about cracks – sometimes swirls and wind-offs can look like cracks to the untrained eye. Particularly with reactive streaky glass. Generally, you can run your fingernail over the crack or non-crack to check – if your fingernail catches, it’s a crack. In rare cases, you might have been fondling your beads while eating and gotten a little glob of something that your fingernail will catch on, too. With encased beads, it’s much easier to see. Generally, there will be a bright light-catching quality to the crack. I’ve come across a couple that had a rainbow in the crack. (Dang. Rainbows come out of my crack. I must be really special.) In my experience, most cracks, incompatibility or thermal, show up right away. If I’m using a new color, I tend to hang onto them for a few days to see what happens.

I’ll be back later to show you the new Toggle…

UPDATE:

 

As I was making the new one, and as the two cats were brawling across the floor of my bead room, the old one’s two sides literally propelled themselves away from each other with an audible “click”. I guess they’d finally had enough togetherness. In my 12 years with glass, I’ve never witnessed that with any of my beads. Wow, 419 Apricot. You have a way of stirring things up.

Anyway, I guess the 425 Zucca Light will do. Somehow, the new Toggle isn’t quite as perfect as the first (they rarely are), but hey, at least it’s still intact and I am sure it will stay that way.

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Etsy tonight

Check it out!

Click HERE to visit my Etsy shop, or on the thumbnails below for the individual listings. (did anyone notice today that you can now upload all your photos in one swoop? that pleases me greatly.)

oxalis - click me

poppy martini shimmer spikes - click me

Again, I’m sorry I haven’t been posting as much lately. I guess I’ve just been enjoying the lovely springtime weather… opening the windows and letting the cool, rainy air in. We had three days of steady rain over the weekend, and it’s been cloudy all week so far. I LOVE it!

The step-kid and her cat finally relocated to their new home. They both had their moments, but over all, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. Every now and again, I would see something better and more brilliant than “teenager” come out of her, and that gave me hope for her as an adult (or at the very least, that the rest of the day might be tolerable, even good). She now has her own room, where she can set up her sewing machine and have some privacy to chew on her cell phone for 6 hours straight. Believe me, she is just as thrilled. I’m not that easy to live with, either. Tromping about at 3am, cleaning 3 rooms at once, being cranky about ants and picking nit about dirty dishes and wet towels. I demand QUIET during the day when I work on the computer. If nobody’s here, that’s easy, but if anyone didn’t go to school or came home early, well, let’s just say that my allotment of pre-5PM quiet time better be respected, or there will be some mega cranky up in this hizzy.

Also, I’ve been spending quite a bit of time on designing new postcards and business cards. I’m down to about 8 postcards, which I had printed in 2005. It’s about time for new ones, don’t you agree? They’re going to be great. It’s taking forever because I’m too meticulous. Then I have to be sure I have the specs right, and compulsively check and double check. Once I have everything just so, perhaps I’ll show you what I came up with.

Look at the etsy stuff –  not a whole lot, but what little there is, is good! Thanks for checking in.

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sorry, again…

I know it’s been more than a week. 

When I had that bright idea to schedule Superstars sales and orders months in advance, I neglected to schedule myself a day off somewhere in there. Well, I took a day off, several, actually, and of course, managed to fall a week behind on the orders, which pushes any hope for a Superstars sale even further back. So I’ve been working to get caught up, again, and after one more order, I’ll have about a week of me-time at the torch before I pick the orders back up. We’ll see what shakes out of that, whether it will be a few etsy listings or a full-blown Superstars sale is still unknown. I definitely will have a Superstars sale some time in May… maybe two. We’ll see.

Meanwhile, I’ve been keeping a day schedule. I’ll make beads during the day and that has freed up my evenings for jewelry making.

the "current favorites" jewelry box

Ooh, what’s inside?

lampwork, bebeadeds and pearls

I restrung my favorite blue necklace (with an Alicia Abla Bolle Flower and a link, plus blue goldstone and blue labradorite) using (a vague version of) Kate McKinnon’s crimping method, and next time, I’ll do it right. I may even try 4 crimps. Evidently, I’ll need a little practice with this, but since this is all mine, I’m not too worried.

ew, tarnish - but I wear it all the time

Here, I wanted something neutral for a closure for these lemon quartz bracelets, and I had these two button type cufflinks with MOP insets. I contemplated taking the cufflinks apart to use one of the buttons, when I noticed how nicely the two buttons were affixed. So I decided to have a two button bracelet, and if it ended up being too long, I could use the other button farther back for a tighter fit. This is essentially two bracelets looped together for one large chunky bracelet with two different sets of cufflinks.

I guess it's supposed to be lemon quartz

Here, a simple pearl bracelet and an even more simple dainty garnet stone bracelet, both with MOP button closures. These are what got me in the mood to try button closures in the different pieces you see here.

I rarely wear bracelets, so this is about all I can handle for now

This one used to be strung with pearl coated lucite on a three-strand clasp. Over the years, even though it was of a higher quality, the coating began to wear off so I decided to do something completely different, and also, use real pearls of a similar color. This one also has a MOP button for a closure, and a big fat red Bebeaded dangles off of one end. I’m not sure how much I love this one, it’s kind of odd.

I love red and pale golden pearls together

OH, and let’s not forget this little novelty (not exactly little, it measures a whopping 3 inches). Luckily, most of the nickel has worn off. I’d love to buy more, but I’d have to buy 144 of them. Eh. What would I do with 144 gargantuan safety pins? I’m not goth or punk rock or “whatever” enough to make a shirt out of them, so I guess I’ll have to make sure I take care of just this one.

"That's one big old safety pin you've got there" said the clerk at the post office

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Etsy!

Click HERE to visit my shop, or click on each thumbnail below to see the individual listing. 

bubbles - click me

lollies - click me

rococo perfume - click me

pashmina glitter fizz tabs - click me

 

 That’s it for today, kids… gotta take a bath ’cause I’m smelling pretty gamey, and I got to get back on the orders. Have fun looking at the new beads!

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Aren’t these splendidly bubbly?

my first hollow beads in about 8 years

Now, I have to worry about cleaning them out. I knew it was going to be a big pain in the ass, but I went ahead and made a buttload of them anyway. Luckily, I happen to have a Waterpik. Now that I have the hollow thing down, I’ll try adding dots and stuff. That oughtta be nervewrackingly fun…

Etsy later, but perhaps not too much later. Mr. Sarah’s camera takes excellent pictures at 11am, whereas my older Olympus turns everything hopelessly, un-Photoshop-pably BLUE until about 2pm.

See you in a bit…

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Etsy tomorrow.

Just last week, I was thinking about how long it’s been since I had any computer issues. Then I briefly unplugged my printer on Sunday to move some furniture around. BIG MISTAKE. It’s not like unplugging your lamp. It should be that simple, but it isn’t. Luckily, the fix was mostly painless.

Long story short, Etsy must wait until tomorrow. Which happens to be very convenient – since I couldn’t see anything on my computer today, I consoled myself by making hollow beads all day. Hollow beads are so simple, but nervewracking. I hadn’t made a hollow bead since 2002, maybe? I never attempted one on my Minor, and I had only made itty bitty ones on my Hot Head. I was quite surprised at how well it went today, none of them collapsed and I made an entire kilnful (which is about 13 or so.) I guess 8 years of practice and a good handle on heat and gravity really does come in handy when making hollow beads. A few of them are fairly big. I can’t wait to see them tomorrow, and you’ll see some on Etsy when I get them listed.

See you tomorrow…

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Anne Mitchell (at least, I’m pretty sure it’s Anne) is hosting auctions on ebay to help raise funds for Michele Goldstein (and you can read about that here). I had a look myself, and I’m amazed at the wide variety of top notch (everything) that has been donated. You’ll even find a set of my Hana Seascape beads… so please do have a look!  But be warned, you’ll have a hard time deciding since everything is so excellent.

click here to visit the auctions

The auctions run until April 13, so get on it if you’re gonna!

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