Monday, October 27, 2008

Odd Lot T-218s and Triton

Here's a set of beads made with Double Helix odd lot "T-218s" and Triton:Double Helix T-218 and Triton Beads"T-218s" was listed as a "light, pastel Terranova2 prototype" by Double Helix. Here's the photo from their website:T-218sThis odd lot is definitely one of my favorites! It is similar to Terranova2, yet the rods looked a whole lot like Pandora to me. In fact, when I made beads from T-218s, they were transparent and milky green, just like Pandora. The color even struck in the kiln. It seemed more like a Pandora odd lot to me, or like a Pandora/Terranova cross. Very interesting and beautiful earth tone colors.

The metallic gold "bead caps" on each end are made with Triton glass. The beads are in my Etsy shop at the moment.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Pandora Spiral Disks

I've made a set of Pandora spiral disk beads. I made a few when I first got my Pandora, and finally I have finished a full set:Purple Pandora Spiral DisksThese are in my Etsy shop right now.

Pandora is the only striking silver glass I've used that I can make nice looking disks with. Because it strikes in the kiln, I don't have to heat the spiral disk a lot to get the colors to appear like I do with other striking glasses. I've made some nice Terra spiral disks in the past, but they were a little too dark brown and the wonderful Terra colors didn't come through very well.

I love the scrumptious purple color of the Pandora disks. These two beads (below) on the mandrels are now part of the set pictured above. The colors look great in full sunlight. Quite a difference between this outdoor picture and the studio lighting!Pandora Disk Beads

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Stone Ground and Pinky Purple Luster

Here's a set I made using CiM Stone Ground and Double Helix "Pinky Purple Luster": Stone Ground and Pinky Purple Luster"Pinky Purple Luster" is the name for Double Helix odd lots M-166 and M-232b. The glass on these beads is the M-232b, but I've also used the M-166 and they seem to be identical. A gorgeous, light, bright gold with pink highlights. Similar to Triton in some ways, but a lighter gold color. One of my favorite glasses!

I love the CiM Stone Ground. It's easy to work with and has nice color. It's similar to the color of ASK Caramel Apple or Effetre Opal Yellow. On these beads you might be able to see that the M-232b fumed the Stone Ground and gave it a subtle purple iridescent sheen. Here's another photo of the set:CiM Stone Ground and Double Helix Pinky Purple Luster These beads were inspired by Hayley Tsang.
Have a beautiful day everyone!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Curse of the Glowing Scimitar

Ok, this is totally un-bead-related, but it is the Halloween season so I thought I'd share a little spooky story.

On the ceiling of my daughter's room the other day, this glowing scimitar appeared. Maybe it belongs to a ghost pirate, since there's a little albatross next to it, too:Glowing Scimitar of Doom[Ok, for those of you with skeptical and scientific rational minds, the scimitar was the result of sunlight coming in her window and reflecting off of a metal music stand.] BUT, the story doesn't end here.

I downloaded this picture off my camera, cropped it, named it, and saved it to my hard-drive. Right after that, my computer started going haywire. File names were coming up as a lot of gobbledy-gook letters and numbers that I didn't write. Then, all of my photos from this month of October, except for the photos I took on October 1st, completely vanished off my computer. I quickly backed up my important files and restarted.

My computer restarted fine, but the hard-drive needs repair, and I need the start-up disk to fix it, which I don't have. At least my computer is working fine and normal now, whatever the problem is. But my October photos never came back. Was it the fault of the evil scimitar? You decide! Mu-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

CiM Crocus and Larkspur Beads

Last week the 10 lbs. of CiM glass I won arrived in the mail. The colors are gorgeous! I haven't found time to play with them all yet, but I did manage to dive in to some of the new opaline purple color "Crocus" and the gorgeous lavender transparent "Larkspur." TDF! These beads have a core of Crocus encased in Larkspur, with Triton scroll designs:Crocus, Larkspur, Triton BeadsThey're in my Etsy shop right now!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Packaging Make-Over

In addition to my new logo, the way cool Moo cards I just got and the matching stickers that are on the way, some other aspects of my image are getting an update. No, not a new wrinkle cream - it's these hand-decorated slide boxes that are now going out to some of my customers:Decorated Slide BoxesThey are decorated using a technique an artist friend of mine shared with me almost 20 years ago. I've always wanted to try it and finally got around to it. I'm a major procrastinator!

To start with, I got some plain white slide boxes from Then I tore up different colored and patterned tissue paper into little pieces. I used an Elmer's spray mount to put glue on one side of each piece of tissue, then quickly laid them on the box. The wet spray mount makes the tissue papers meld together in a nice way. Then I let the boxes dry for at least 24 hours... however, I'm finding that some of the spray mount that leaks through is still tacky after more than a week in the dry Arizona heat. No good. I've tried attaching the tissue with a glue stick, and it works, but I don't get the bleed-through effect like I do with the wet spray mount. Some of the good, dry boxes have gone out to customers but I need to find a better way to make them now.

A small set of beads fits nicely inside the box, looking very chic wrapped in matching tissue paper. The Mini Moo cards also fit perfectly inside.

I got inspiration for this packaging make-over from a post I read on Patty Lakinsmith's blog. Neither Patty nor I are big fans of plastic and non-biodegradable packaging, and don't like sending it to our customers who then have to throw this brand new plastic away - or hopefully find a way to re-use it.

I want to send my customers something that they do not have to throw away, like an attractive and possibly reusable gift box. If they can't reuse it, they can recycle it or throw it onto their compost pile and it will biodegrade. So far I've done away with little zip-loc bags for my merchandise, but I haven't found a good alternative to the bubble wrap and padded envelopes I ship in. The overall idea is to redesign my packaging to be more earth-friendly, reusable and attractive.

Payton Jett of GreenGlassCafe packages her beads in muslin bags which she stamps with her logo. I really like the muslin bag idea, it's my second choice after the slide boxes.

The boxes can be time-consuming, but I love making them. They're a great creative outlet for me, something artistic to do besides lampworking.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


My Moo cards arrived. Yay. I love them! The quality is great, the paper is very thick, the printing is excellent. I can't wait to give them out to my friends and customers.

I designed 50 cards, so the pack of 100 has two of each card design. All of the cards have the same info on the back - my business name, web site, etc.

I'm waiting for matching stickers to arrive any day now.
Here's a photo of the cards and their nifty white PVC box:Moo CardsI will definitely be ordering more of these. I think 100 cards is gonna run out fast.

I also think these would make great Christmas gifts, especially the Moo sticker books. Hmmmm... wow, it's really not too early to start shopping for Christmas. Yikes!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Pandora and Triton

Re-visiting Pandora again, these beads are a base of pure Pandora with Triton scroll designs. I love the purples and magentas in these. I annealed some for 5 hours and some for 3... the 5-hour Pandora definitely got more color, but the 3-hour was nice, too. I'm still figuring out what works best in my kiln. The best way to see the color in these beads would be full sunlight, but here are a couple of studio-lit photos:Pandora and TritonPandora and Triton - Beadabundant

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Etched Cubes

Here's a set I've just finished and posted in my Etsy shop:Black and Terra, EtchedThese beads were made with a base of black, then rolled in Terra coarse frit. After striking the Terra just until dark brown, I formed each bead into a cube. This process took a little while and the heating and cooling struck the Terra the rest of the way.

The next day I etched the beads in an acid etch solution. Terra doesn't etch very easily, so only the black glass etched and the Terra stayed shiny!

I've been teaching myself how to make a cube shape for a few months now. It's kind of tricky! I've found that parallel mashers don't help me very much, I just flatten the sides with my hand-held marver. PPP!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Psyche Scroll Beads

Here's a set of beads I made for a customer this week. They have a base of Effetre transparent brown and scroll designs in Double Helix Psyche:I made a set similar to this for a customer a few weeks ago. She sent the beads to someone to string into a bracelet. When the bracelet-stringer saw them, she liked them so much that she ordered a set for herself! It's fun when things like that happen - you never know how a customer will find you!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Beaders Showcase

I've discovered a great new site called Beaders Showcase. It's a social networking site for lampworkers, seed beaders, and beadists of all kinds. I've set up a gallery there, commented on other people's galleries, joined the Lampworkers group, and made a few "friends"! Here's a widget with photos from my new gallery:

I hope you stop by and set up a gallery of your own! I'm accepting friend requests!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Triton Focal Bead

Here's my favorite focal bead of late, made with Triton, some Kronos frit, and clear. It's in my Etsy shop:Triton Focal BeadI don't often make focal beads these days, but when I feel inspired to make one and it turns out nice I'm really happy.

I think the reason I don't make focal beads much is because of a decision I made about a year ago. I decided that for the amount of time I spend on a focal - 15 minutes to an hour - the same number of minutes could be spent making 2-5 smaller beads. (I obsess over business details sometimes!) With a focal, if something messes up in the design that I can't fix, there goes 20 minutes or more plus all the glass right into the bead orphanage. Instead I could make small beads, and if one messes up, then I've only lost 5 minutes and a tiny bit of glass. Or, I can cover over the top of the messed up small bead and make a bigger bead or focal out of it. It works out that the percentage of good beads coming out of the kiln the next day is much higher when I make small beads.

What I like a lot about making focal beads is the large surface area I have to work with and the possibility of a more complex design. Also an issue is kiln space. If I'm making large focals all day, I always have enough kiln space for the whole torch session. With small beads, I can work for about 4 hours tops before the kiln is full.

This reminds me to check back on Lampwork, Etc., where someone mentioned they have a technique for packing more beads in the kiln. I'd love to know if anyone has any brilliant ideas they could share on this!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Pandora and Terra Sets

I've got two new sets up on Etsy:
Pandora and TritonPandora and Triton Beads - Beadabundant
Terra and Triton Odd(r) (an odd lot from the last Double Helix sale)Terra and Triton Odd(r)I really like the Triton Odd, it seems to have even more rainbow-oil-slick color than the regular Triton!