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]