Monday, November 29, 2010

Emerging from Turkey Day - a few listings

Wake up, it's Monday! I'm just emerging from my turkey and Virginia ham coma, so it'll be a short post today! My Thanksgiving was great, I hosted 16 for dinner. It was a full week of being hostess with the mostest and entertaining in my house. Relatives came from all over the country. It was really good all around, no mishaps, the meal was great, and it was a refreshing change of pace from my usual hermit lifestyle. I'm actually feeling quite energized from the whole experience.

I haven't made many beads in the past 2 weeks because I've been busy with the holiday, but here are a couple of listings from my Etsy shop. These are made with the lovely CiM Sangre and gold leaf:Red and Gold Leaf BeadsI also have two sets of pebble-shaped organic beads. These were made by mixing several different colors together in the flame, pulling the molten glass blob into custom-colored rods, then using the rods to make beads:Organic Lampwork Beads by beadabundantOrganic Lampwork Beads
Hope your Cyber Monday has been prosperous!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Coffee Beads

I've been busy getting ready for the Thanksgiving holiday. I'm hosting dinner for 16! My parents are arriving tomorrow, which means I've been housecleaning! Scrubbing the stove, re-arranging the furniture, scraping the kids' modeling clay off the floor... and I think I've located the dust bunny warren! All of this cleaning just makes me want to relax for a minute with a nice hot cup of cinnamon French roast coffee...I made this set of coffee bean beads and a coffee mug bead last week, it's listed in my Etsy shop. The coffee beans are etched and look very realistic! I thought I had sold the set a few days ago when a customer put it in her cart. She hadn't paid after a day, so I sent her a reminder. She replied that she could not figure out how it got into her cart, and then discovered that her 7-year-old niece had put it in there as a "surprise" for her! :-D Oh well, it's back on the market now!

Also this week, I've made a silver cored bead for a custom order. It has a base of Aurae Light:My customer emailed me about making a silver cored bead for her based on this set of Aurae Light and Kronos frit beads I'd made in the past:When I took this glass recipe and made a silver cored bead with it, the Aurae Light base glass struck to a reddish-orange color, I think because of the heat required for the bigger bead. The Kronos frit and the Aurae fumed nice blue, green a purple colors.


***ETA: My customer for the silver cored bead can't use it because of the orange-red color, so I'll be listing it in my Etsy shop soon. [Not having much luck with the sales of these beads this week, am I? :-D]

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Silver Glass Crystal Beads

Good evening bead and jewelry lovers!
I'd like to share a few beads I've made this past week, but before I do, I just need to say one more time I LOVE MY NEW KILN!!! I look forward to torching just to use it. The old kiln I was using was my very first bead kiln. I bought it in 1998. It was one of the first kilns designed specifically for beads, called the Toaster Kiln, made by Brian Kerkvliet and sold by Frantz. Kiln manufacturers have really improved on the game since then. This new kiln from The Glass Hive is like a luxury Cadillac SUV compared to the old Datsun 210 of a Toaster kiln! If you've never seen a Glass Hive kiln, click on this link --> The Glass Hive and check them out!
And now, to the beads...

These sets were made for a custom order. This first set uses Ekho:Ekho lampwork beadsThese are Luna:Luna lampwork beads by beadabundantThese are Triton and Kronos:Triton and Kronos beads by beadabundantAll of the beads were encased with Aether clear and formed with the crystal press.

My customer had actually asked me to make her some Luna crystals based on this set (below) I'd made for her before, but I couldn't do it for the life of me! The Luna crystals pictured above as you can see turned out dark blue! The difference is that my skills have changed with Luna and I can strike it better now. But is it really better? This older set is actually more colorful. Try as I might, I could not undo my skills to make poorly struck beads. Ha!Luna crystal beads
I have more stuff I could blab on about, but this post is already getting long. I'll have to come back tomorrow and show you what else I've been up to.

Friday, November 5, 2010

New Kiln!

I am so excited! My new Glass Hive "Regular Guy" kiln arrived! Let me share the excitement of opening the box with you...Glass Hive Regular Guy KilnAnd here she is, all shiny and stainless steel and gorgeous:Glass Hive Bead AnnealerThe photo was taken before I screwed on the door handles and the mandrel shelf that comes off the front. Now it's all put together and in my studio and I just love staring at it! I did manage to shake myself out of my love-sick trance last night long enough to fire it up and give it a test run. My beads came out great, with no kiln marks or anything.

It's a very roomy kiln at 20 inches wide. Much bigger than my old kiln. I'm going to be able to fit lots of beads in here. With my old kiln I could only work about 4 hours before it was filled. I think I could get 6-8 hours out of this kiln. Another great feature of this annealer is the handles on the top. It's very heavy and those handles are great for transporting.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Javalina Home Invasion

Last night around 2 am I heard a snorting and a scuffling on my back porch. Javalinas again. Javalinas are like wild pigs, though they're more closely related to rats. They stink pretty bad and they travel through the neighborhood in packs, devouring anything that might by any stretch of the imagination be considered potentially edible. I once saw some javalinas eating an aluminum pie plate.

Tonight, they were after my bird seed and potted plants. I keep the bird seed in a metal pail with a locking lid next to the back door. The lock was child's play to these beasts. At 2 am birdseed was scattered all across my back porch and 10 javalina adults and 3 babies were rooting through it. Two potted plants were eaten down to nubs or less. All that remained of them were tipped-over pots and dirt everywhere.

I tried scaring the javalinas away to get things cleaned up, but it's hard to scare a javalina. All they did was back up a few feet and stare at me with beady eyes. They can be especially aggressive when they have babies with them so I was a little cautious. It took about 1/2 hour to scare them off after that. They'd just hide in the bushes and come back when they thought I was gone. Finally I gave it up and hit the hay.

This morning I woke up and made my sleepy way to the kitchen. Through slitted eyes I could see the bag of cat food had been ripped open. Cat food was strewn across the floor. Hmmm. Now who could have done this? I only have one explanation, and it's not my little sweetums kitty-cat Tony! It was the cute baby javalinas! They're the only ones in the pack that could have fit through the new cat door I just installed! Wow! So javalinas came into my house while I was sleeping?!?! Great!!!!!

I really really do think November is going to be a great month, despite this and the fact that every candidate and ballot measure I voted on yesterday lost. This is McCain country after all. Gotta love Arizona! Javalinas, scorpions, tarantulas, Republicans, it keeps life exciting!!!

Disclaimer: No javalinas or Republicans were harmed in the writing of this blog post.

Peace my friends, hope you had a happy hump day!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

What Is A Memory? [poem]

Something non-bead-related for you tonight...
My daughter Tara is 10 years old and she loves to write. She has written over 40 'books' and countless poems. This is a poem she wrote tonight for my Dad's 70th birthday.

What Is A Memory?

What is a memory?
A memory is a small warmth in your heart
A memory makes you cry
A memory makes you laugh
A memory is something faint in your brain
A memory is a friendship
A memory is a loss
A memory is something very valuable
A memory is something that hangs in your thoughts until the end of your days
A memory is a memory in so much special ways
A memory is a dying flower or a growing weed
A memory can even just be a seed
A memory is a spiral
A memory is a line
A memory is every thing!
Every second is a thought
Every day is a memory!
Jump and dance!
Enjoy life!
Have a ball!
Scuffle across the floor!
Do something no one never done before!
We're headed to Florida tomorrow to celebrate my Dad's birthday. I'm looking forward to the beach!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Bead Pairs and Nyx Spacers

I'm figuring out the loaner kiln I got from the Glass Hive and last night I made a set of Nyx spacers. I really like the oil-slick colors I got on these:Nyx Lampwork BeadsI've also found some nice orphan pairs in my collection of extra beads. They're not exact matches, but either they're close or they go together well. They're listed in my Etsy shop:Lampwork Glass Bead PairLampwork Glass Beads by beadabundantBead Pair by beadabundant

Saturday, October 16, 2010

New Metallic Orphan Beads

I have two new sets of metallic and striking Double Helix orphan beads in my Etsy shop. This set of blue, green and gold metallics:And this set with pink, purple, orange and gold:Pink, Orange, Purple and Gold BeadsJust a quick post tonight, I wanted to let you know about these sets!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Pancakes in the Oven

Pancakes, yum! Love pancakes! Hot on a plate with butter and maple syrup.

I had pancakes for breakfast this morning. Not the edible kind of pancakes though... I'm talking about "pancake beads" in the kiln.

You know when you make pancakes, the first one is usually not that great? Maybe it's pale, it soaked up too much cooking oil, something just isn't perfect about it? Well it's the same thing with beadmaking for me. When I torch for the first time after being gone for a few days, the first couple of beads are always my "pancake" beads. They don't turn out that great because I'm just warming up, like a pancake griddle.

I've been away from the torch for a couple of weeks now since my kiln died. I'm ordering a new Glass Hive kiln, and while it's being made, they've kindly sent me a loaner to use!

Last night I fired it up and made beads. It was great fun, but I was so out of practice after being away for a few weeks that I made a whole kiln full of pancakes. That's all right though. It's kind of a blessing that none were that great, because when I took them out of the kiln this morning, almost every single one had a kiln mark!!!! Kiln marks are those dreadful rough spots that can happen when you put a bead into the kiln when it's still too molten, and it gets the imprint of the kiln floor. I guess this kiln runs a little differently than my old kiln. I'll be back to beadmaking again tonight for another test run.

Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Fall Colors Etsy Treasury

My River Rock Organic bead set is featured in this gorgeous Etsy Treasury by AnotherCountry called "All I Want Is My Fair Share":Etsy Treasury Fall ColorsI love the fall colors, the organic feel and variety of textures and items in this collection. Click the photo to visit the Treasury.

My loaner kiln from the Glass Hive arrives tomorrow, I'm soooo excited! I can't wait to make beads again!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Silver Glass Orphan Sets

I've been going through my collection of metallic and silver glass beads and putting groups of them together. It's really amazing how many orphan beads I have, and some nice ones too. Since I make sets, there are always extras. If I want a set of 7 beads, I'll make 9 or 10 and pick the 7 that match the best. So here are groups of these extras that I've basically put together by color. Some of the sets are still available in my Etsy shop:
Blue metallics:Blue Metallic Lampwork BeadsGreen metallics:Green Metallic Lampwork Beads by beadabundantGreen Metallic Bead Set SRA by beadabundantPinks, purples and gold:Purple and Gold Lampwork by beadabundant SRAPink Purple and Gold Lampwork BeadsI have a pile of beads spread out in front of me now and I'm putting more sets together, so keep checking back at my Etsy shop.

I'm getting a new Glass Hive kiln!!! YAY!!! While my kiln is being made,they are loaning me a kiln to use! That should be here in a couple of days. I'm so excited.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sea Storm Bead Set

While I wait for parts for my kiln to arrive, I've listed a set of beads I made last week before the kiln went on the fritz. I love purple and wanted to have that color in this set, so I started with a base of Psyche. I added Kronos2 frit and layers of clear and swirled the colors together. Psyche tends to lose it's reduction after it's encased and heated a lot, so as I was making these beads the transparent purple color of the Psyche came back.
Here's the set, "Sea Storm" on Etsy:Sea Storm Bead SetRegarding life with a broken kiln...
When you have something you love to do that is your passion, it's torture to be unable to do it! For a couple of days after the kiln broke I sat in my studio and felt sad and lost. I quickly realized that wasn't getting me anywhere. I had to create something! You know that feeling?

I've thought of a few things now that I can do. For starters I've been cleaning out my garage/studio. I've also been going through my extra beads and putting together mixed sets that I'll be starting to list on Etsy today. I have a ton of extra beads that are great quality, they're just odd beads from other sets or experimental designs. It's been fun to go through them and put groups of them together. I like the way these orphan sets are turning out, and I'll have some photos in my next post. Another thing I'll be trying in my extra time is making videos of me at the torch. (I can torch, I just won't be able to anneal any beads I make). I'm going to employ my 15-year-old YouTube-savvy daughter to teach me how to edit and post videos.

The replacement parts I've ordered for the kiln might arrive today, but I'm beginning to lose hope that the kiln can be easily fixed. I think I need a whole new element made, and I can't figure out how to remove the old element from the kiln. Honestly what I need and want is a new, more energy-efficient and better kiln. I went searching for kilns yesterday online and now I'm completely lusting after the GlassHive kiln! I'm totally ruined now that I've seen that kiln. I have to have it. Forget about fixing the old kiln! :-D

Well, I'm working on it, I'm determined, I will have this GlassHive kiln one way or another... just gotta raise $750! And maybe in the meantime I can rig this old kiln to run a few more cycles, if I can get the replacement parts to work.
Peace and love bead peeps!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Kiln Done Broke

Baaahhh waaaahhh boooo hooo!!!Warmed up the kiln the other night, sat down and lit the torch, then noticed the temperature in the kiln was dropping fast!

I shut off the torch, checked the controller, the relay, everything seemed to be working fine, but the elements would not heat up.

When the kiln cooled down, I opened the side to look at the wires. One wire was burnt all the way through!broken kiln wireThe white circle in the photo is a ceramic insulator where the wire connects through to an element. Now I know the source of the burning electrical smell I've been smelling in the studio the past few weeks! Omg!!!

I'm going to blame this on my ex-boyfriend! I'll admit he had the best of intentions last year when he changed an aging wire in the kiln, but he must have replaced it with a standard hardware store wire and connectors, not the special high-temperature wire and stainless steel connectors that a kiln requires. I'm surprised it lasted this long.

Monday morning I'm going to talk to a kiln part place in Connecticut that I found online. I'm hoping they can sell me the parts I need, and I can re-connect the whosie-whatchit to the whatcha-ma-callit. Electronics is not my forte.

One thing my ex told me last year when he opened the kiln, showed me these wires and *so kindly* changed an old one, is that this electrical system is very simple, basic and easy to understand. He was right. There's nothing fancy or complex about this system. I know I can fix it.

Until then, I guess I'll be bringing you more posts about my cat.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Meet Tony Harrison

It's the wonderful pumpkin month of October, I hope it's off to a good start for you! I'd like you to meet the newest member of our family, Tony Harrison:Tony HarrisonA few weeks ago he was a stray, yowling outside our house for food. I'm a total softie, and we love cats, so I easily caved and fed him some tuna fish. Luckily we wanted a cat anyway!
Playful Tony HarrisonTony must have been domesticated before because he's very affectionate, playful, and understands the command "DOWN!!!" when he's caught hopping up on the counters. Of course not many creatures would fail to heed my bellowing "down" command, no matter what the language! He looks very healthy too... sleek coat, not skinny or feral, no mites.

And yes, he's got a people name. Tony Harrison. On reflection, this was a very appropriate name to give him. He might actually be a person in disguise. He sleeps on our beds sometimes, with his head on the pillow and his body laying down on the bed. Some of the poses he strikes are strangely human. And he talks a lot! If he were a person he'd be one of those "loud-talkers." He's a tough guy too with huge paws. He's named after one of our favorite characters, the pink, tentacled, p**is-headed-flying-carpet-riding Tony Harrison on the British comedy TV series "The Mighty Boosh."
[***Video Alert: The British do not have the same rules as the US about all the things you can't say or do on television*** :-D]

Monday, September 27, 2010

Fall is Organic Bead Time

Good morning, good afternoon, happy Monday bead peeps! Fall is my favorite time of year for beadmaking. Not only is the studio cooler, but I get to bring out all my favorite brown, tan, and dirt colors and mix them all together into earth toned glassy goodness!

For starters, I have this bead set made with Effetre Dark Fossil and Double Helix reducing glass, available in my Etsy shop:Effetre Dark Fossil Organic BeadsA fellow beadmaker suggested I try Fossil with silver glass, so I bought a 1/4 pound to try out the color. WoW, I love it! I will need to go back and order at least a pound of this, it's going to be one of my favorite glasses for organics.

I've also been working on a series of organic big hole beads, which I've silver cored and capped with my own handmade sterling silver bead caps. A couple of them are shown in this recent blog post, and here are a few more:
This one has gold leaf in the mix and hammered bead caps:
Organic Bead with Sterling CapsThis one also has gold leaf and a paisley or wave pattern:Organic Bead with Gold LeafThis one is my pièce de résistance - a bead with double caps! It started out as an experiment, I wasn't really sure I could do a double cap on this size bead, and it took a lot of time to get the bead caps to line up just right... but I had a blast making it and I'll probably do some more in the future. I recently bought some design stamps for my new line of charm necklaces, so I used one of the stamps to decorate the outer caps. The inner caps have a hammered texture:Organic Silver Cored Bead with Double CapsI think it's going to be a good week!
Many thanks to all the folks who've started following me on Twitter. I'm still trying to figure out how the whole thing works! I'm looking forward to the new Twitter layout they're rolling out over the next few weeks. Lately I've been tweeting every day, maybe a couple times a day. Click the link in the right side bar to see my Twitter profile and follow me! Thanks!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Two New Scroll Sets

I have two new scroll design bead sets in my Etsy shop. This first set has Triton scrolls melted into an Ivory base. The reaction between these two glasses makes a great organic webbed effect:Ivory and Triton Scroll Bead Set by BeadabundantThe second set is made with a Nyx base and raised Aurae scrolls. I love this glass combo:Nyx and Aurae Bead Set - BeadabundantHere's another Nyx and Aurae set I made a few months ago:Nyx and Aurae Beads by Beadabundant

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Prehistoric Fish!

These really cool, unique "Prehistoric Fish" were made by Mary Van Hoy of Van Olive Lampwork. I love her style, and love the colors... I see some metallic glass! Check out these fish in her Etsy shop:Fish by Van Olive Lampwork

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Fruits of My Summer

Happy Monday bead peeps! I'm back with a blog post after a long summer hiatus. I spent July and August hunkered down in the studio like an obsessed mad scientist, having a great time learning how to make silver charm necklaces. I'm now carrying this new line of custom charm necklaces in my Etsy shop! Here's one example:Sterling Silver Custom Charm NecklaceI have a variety of styles, or you can design your own. The charms can include crystals, pearls, and hand-stamped initials or designs of your choice. They are so much fun to make!
I've also been hammering out sterling bead caps and adding them to my silver cored beads:Organic Silver Cored Bead with CapsOrganic and Metallic Silver Cored Bead with CapsHere's a recent bead set, made with CiM Halong Bay and Aurae, a beautiful combination:CiM Halong Bay and Aurae Bead SetMore photos of my new work coming soon. Have a great week!

Monday, July 12, 2010

New Silver Cored Beads

I have a couple new silver cored beads listed in my Etsy shop today:KA356 Silver Cored BeadOrganic Ivory and Aura Silver Cored BeadThe first bead is made with Double Helix odd lot KA-356 and encased with Aether clear. It looks like a sunrise to me. I love the colors and the soft look. KA-356 is translucent so the bead has an inner glow from light reflecting off the silver core.
The second bead is Ivory with Aurae scrolls. It's a nice small bracelet bead, with lots of crackled Ivory detail.

I have 10 more big-holed beads sitting on my bench waiting to be cored. It's been a while since I've listed any new silver cored beads... that's because my Mom bought the silver Pandora bracelet I have been using as a prop in my photos. She asked me how much the bracelet cost, and I thought she meant how much I paid for it. When I told her the price, she wrote me a check for the bracelet. I froze for a second, suddenly realizing that she was buying my photo prop which I need to photograph my silver cored beads. But I couldn't turn away Mom, right? Mom should have what she wants! And if it inconveniences me, well, I think I've inconvenienced her a few times with things a little more dire, starting with birth. So, I've been saving my pennies for a new silver Pandora bracelet, which has now arrived, and is now pictured in my new silver cored bead photos. Whew! And Mom LOVES her bracelet, and now I get to make her a bunch of beads for it!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Purple Lampwork Treasury

I'm going Treasury-happy on Etsy now. I've created a collection of my favorite recently-listed purple lampwork beads. One of the best things about creating a Treasury is finding new artists and marveling at their amazing and inspiring talent!
You can view the Treasury by clicking on the image or the link below:Purple Lampwork Treasury
Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Pandora Glass Beads

Here's a set of spacer beads I made with Double Helix Pandora glass:Pandora SpacersI haven't worked with Pandora in a long time. It was fun to break it out and play with it again. While the glass is hot it looks transparent green, but after spending 6 hours annealing at 950 F, then cooling down overnight, it develops the streaky purples and blues... if I'm lucky!

Part of this bead batch turned a muddy pale green. I tried making two beads on the mandrel to save kiln space, but that didn't work too well. While laying down the second bead, the first bead would cool and turn opaque light green. They went into the kiln with one bead being opaque and one being transparent. Only the transparent green beads, the second ones laid down, turned nice colors. The beads that went into the kiln opaque, stayed muddy. Lesson learned: Get the Pandora hot only once and pop it in the kiln, don't work this glass too much or let it get cool and hot again.

The Pandora bead set is in my Etsy shop, along with this new mixed metallic set using mainly Nyx and Kronos glass:Mixed Metallic Set
♥ ♥ ♥

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Latest Bead Sets

These two sets are new in my Etsy shop:Metallic SetTerra2 BeadsThe top set is made with a base of Nyx and flattened wraps of Triton glass. I love the colors of Nyx and the industrial look of these beads. The second set is made with (I think!) Terra2 glass and the Double Helix odd lot KA-356. I swirled the colors together, struck and then encased.

Next on the chopping block - perhaps for tomorrow - is a set of mixed metallic beads and a set of Pandora glass spacers, inspired by Gardanne! I'm still working on the Pandora set. Some of my beads from yesterday did not strike. My set is not turning out anything like the pretty earth-tone colors in Gardanne's set, I'm getting more purples and blues, in the beads that are striking anyway.

Visit my Fresh Green Glass Treasury on Etsy to see some lovely beads in various shades of green made by some very talented lampwork artists!