Monday, November 30, 2009

Organic Brown and Metallic Beads

I listed this on Etsy tonight. It's a set of 9 beads with 2 that are larger than the others and could be used as a separate earring pair. To me they look like sandstone with metallic ore running through.I'm also going through my bowls of extra beads and making up some 'destash' listings for Etsy. I have so many extras that are perfectly good, I just never made a complete set of them, or else they're a set of the same style but mis-matched sizes. There are lots of reasons nice beads become orphans.
I put up these two destash listings today and they're now sold, but look for more in my Etsy shop during December.
These are made with ASK Blue Bahia and etched:These are Ivory, not etched:

Sunday, November 29, 2009


My kids had the week off from school and we went down to Scottsdale, AZ to spend Thanksgiving with family. Relatives came from Tucson, New York, Connecticut and California. My Aunt Ann threw a spectacular Thanksgiving dinner. There were 23 people at the table!Ann is the woman at the opposite end of the table. She is an amazing painter, and in the picture above she's standing in front of one of her paintings. You can see her website HERE.

We're back home in Sedona now and I'm looking forward to getting back to the torch this week.
I hope you had a nice week too!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Those Pesky Hairs! A Photoshop Tut

Troubled by those unsightly hairs that sneak into your bead photos?

I know the story... You're sure you dusted off the bead before you took the picture - but gasp! There it is, another bead fallen victim to a bad hair day! What's a girl to do? Spend another 10 minutes re-taking the photo? It's too late to pluck with tweezers!Don't shave the bead!
Relax... if you've opened the photo in your Photoshop program, just select the "Smudge Tool"!

Here is a photo of a bead that I dusted with a ridiculous amount of lint for dramatic effect:Lint-infested beadI open the photo in Photoshop and select the "Smudge Tool." I'm using Photoshop CS2 here:The Smudge Tool in PhotoshopStarting with the background of the bead, I'll tackle the areas in the circles first:Circled lint
How to erase the lint:

1. Select the Smudge Tool and make the tool radius small. I'm using the size "7" and the strength "100%" here.

2. With your cursor, place the Smudge Tool just to the left of but not touching the lint you want to erase.

3. Click and drag left to right across the lint to erase it, using the shortest drag distance necessary.

4. For large pieces of lint, only erase a little bit at a time, lifting and moving the Smudge Tool to the next section of lint until the whole piece is erased. This will give you a better looking smudge than if you try and erase the whole big piece of lint in one drag.

Here is the photo now with the background lint removed:Background lint removedNow I'm removing some of the lint from the bead surface. This part is trickier because I don't want to smudge the details of the bead:Some lint removed...And here is the final outcome of the virtual lint removal:Lint B Gone!Not perfect by any means! But you get the idea. If this were a bead photo I wanted to use in a listing, I obviously would have first questioned the unusual level of dust in my house, then re-taken the picture. I must have spent a half-hour in Photoshop getting rid of all that lint.
I hope this helps. Have fun!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Beautiful Jewelry - Katinn on Etsy

Kathy the Bead Lady, or katinn on Etsy, makes the most gorgeous jewelry using Bali silver, Swarovski crystal and lampworked beads. I love this combination. Below are some of my favorites from her shop.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Colorful Metallic Beads

I listed these beads on Etsy tonight, and they've sold now, but I have to show them to you!
Colorful Metallic Textured Beads
One of my customers, Jill, asked me recently to make some beads with Elektra glass for her. I hadn't used Elektra in about two years. I had 3 rods collecting dust on my glass shelf because I could never get anything I really liked out of it. I tried making some simple Elektra spacers for Jill in a seafoam green color, but just couldn't do it! It wasn't working for me at all in the way that it does for some glass artists. I had to tell her that unfortunately I couldn't complete her order.
Here are the greenest spacers I could make with my Elektra, but they're really kind of blue, not the seafoam color I wanted:
Elektra Spacers
In one of our last emails Jill suggested that Elektra and Aurae might look nice together, so I gave it a try. The textured colorful beads at the top are the result. I'm so amazed by them - the color is incredible I think! They are made with an Elektra base and surface texture of Aurae.
I'm headed right back to the torch to make more!

It was actually Jill who bought these beads from my shop tonight, I didn't even email her to tell her I was listing them or anything. And she had no idea that they were made using her suggestion. Thank you Jill!
One more pic of the beads:
Rainbow Metallic Beads
Click on the photos to see a larger view.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

What I've Been Up To!

It's been quite a while since I last posted on my blog! I'm going to jump right in with a few photos of some beads I've made lately.

This is a silver cored bead made with Aurae glass. I gave a light reduction to an Aurae base bead before applying clear dots over the reduction and melting them in. The translucency of the glass gives the bead a pretty inner glow:Aurae silver cored bead

This style I really like, it's a silver cored bead made with Dark Ivory and Aurae scroll designs. Ivory and Aurae mixed together create an incredible 'crackled' look on the bead:Ivory and Aurae Pandora Bead

These next beads are made with Dark Silver Plum. They were made for a customer who wanted beads to match a DSP sculptured bird bead she bought from Jennifer Geldard. These beads mimic the eye of the bird. It was an honor to think that my beads might end up on a necklace with a Geldard bird!Dark Silver Plum Eye BeadDark Silver Plum Beads
If I want to play catch-up, I really have so many bead photos I could post here! The photos above are just a random sampling of some of the things I've made recently. I will be showing more of my favorites in coming posts.

So what have I been up to lately? Life! :-D
In addition to Life, I've been up to my ears in custom bead orders for at least a month. On one day alone I received 6 custom orders which is a record for me. I had to develop a system of index cards to keep it all straight. It's been a real blessing and a great opportunity to talk to some of my customers in more depth, which I love to do. However, I'm so ready to be done with the custom orders now, make beads I 'want' to make, and focus on re-stocking my Etsy shop. I've decided not to take any more custom orders until after the new year.

Now that Life and custom orders are chilling out, I hope to be writing here more often.
Enjoy your weekend!