Sunday, June 24, 2007

Too bad, so sad!

Yesterday I had both my kiln and my digital camera conk out on me. At first my kiln died, so I went to get my handyman sweetheart to fix it. He'd done such a great job changing out the relay in the controller a few months ago.

As he was taking out parts and changing around wires, I decided to take a picture of him in action. When I went to take the picture, the LCD view screen on the back of my camera was black. I could still take a picture, but I couldn't see what I was taking a picture of! Unless I used the viewfinder, which is practically useless on a point-and-shoot anyway.

After getting some wires and parts fixed up on the controller (obviously I have no idea about this kind of stuff), he went to plug it back in and give it a try. Out went all the lights. I did know that was not a good sign!

I'm going to need a new controller for my kiln, and a new digital camera. If any of you are astrology buffs, you can lament with me about Mercury retrograde. Of course the positive side is that I get new tools for my business and soon I'll be back and brighter than ever. Another positive aspect is that I will be spending more time blogging and working on my website. I still have plenty of photos to work on and upload.

Here is a photo of my Toaster kiln made by Brian Kirkvliet and the Paragon controller (which is the small box on the left).

I'm sure that grand things are on the horizon. Have a great day everyone!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Teal and Purple Beads

I've just listed these beads in my Etsy shop. They were made with CIM glass and some Effetre. The colors are the same as the set I have up on eBay right now called "Summer Rain," only with this bead set I didn't use any silver foil.

Here's a photo:

Color Challenged

When I'm designing beads, I tend to gravitate towards darker colors and earth-tones. I love black, blue, purple and the chemical reactions that occur with metal foils and enamel powders. I realized the other day that I haven't even touched a red or orange rod of glass in over a year. Somehow I just don't 'think' in those colors. The clothes I wear are also dark and earth-toned... if I wear red, it's a burgundy or maroon, and even that is rare.

I've decided to challenge myself by making beads in bright colors. I know colorful beads are very popular, and they really brighten up a bead display. I'm doing a bead show in September, so I thought that besides the benefits of a creative challenge, having some bright beads would draw people's attention at the show.

So I picked up my red and orange rods and worked with this challenge for a couple of days. That was last week, and so far I've been uninspired to make any more red beads. I do plan on it, though... it feels good to stretch my creative boundaries, and difficulty is part of the growing process. Below are a couple of photos of my color challenge. I feel like a novice beadmaker with my simple beads because I am still unable to think of any fantastic unique designs in bright colors.

You can also read more about myself and other beadmakers in their creative processes at the Watch Me Create blog.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Set Featured on CIM Website

A set of beads I made recently has been posted on the CIM website, as an example of what can be made with their color Simply Berry. I loved making this set. The CIM colors are really nice to work with. I'm obsessed with their Ginger and Rose Quartz colors, as well as the gorgeous magenta hues of the Simply Berry. Here's a picture of the featured beads. Click on the photo to visit the web page.

New CIM Set on eBay

I have a new set up on eBay this week called "Summer Rain." The eight buttons and large lentil focal are made on a base of Creation is Messy (CIM) Ginger. I then swirled silver foil, Leaky Pen and Effetre Purple across the surface. Here is a photo of some of the buttons and the focal bead.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Big Hole Bead

I've been making some big hole beads this week. This one has an Opal Yellow base and Kronos scrollwork. It was made on a 1/2" mandrel. I've been making a lot of others with 4 and 5 mm holes.

I can't get over the Kronos lately. I love the blue color! The Opal Yellow in these photos came out a lot more yellow than it really is. It's actually more brown. Maybe I have to work on that in Photoshop.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Latest Beads

In the past few weeks I've been doing quite a lot of beadmaking, and I'm trying to do some catch-up with the photography and the computer work. Here are some of my favorite bead sets of late.

This first set uses the CIM colors Ginger, Leaky Pen and Simply Berry, and also the Effetre color Dark Violet Purple.

The second set is made with Kronos on a base of silvered Opal Yellow. They're very metallic, and the photo barely does them justice. I love this set!

New Team Blog

I'd like to announce our new team blog, Watch Me Create.

Come check out works-in-progress by some fantastic glass beadmakers. In this blog we are hashing out our new ideas and posting our experiments as we go along. There's so much background work that goes into a great glass bead or set, and in this team blog you'll have a chance to see all of the broken beads and 'fuglies,' and sometimes the brilliant accidents that happen along the way to the finished product. You'll hear us talking about what inspires us towards a design and how the creative process works for each of us.

Bookmark our blog and visit often... with so many beadmakers participating, the content will be constantly changing.