Friday, April 18, 2014

Enchanted Beads

A new necklace in the works.

Want the glass recipe?
A barrel shaped base of Cim's 'Crocus' rolled sparingly in 'Enchanted' frit and encased with a hand faceted layer light blue transparent.

* 'Enchanted' frit comes from Val Cox *

Some spring graffiti went rolling by.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Pussy Willows

I know a little pussy - Her coat is silver gray

She lives down in the meadow - Not very far away.

Though she is a pussy - She’ll never be a cat

She is a pussy willow - Now what do you think of that?

-traditional nursery rhyme

Glass pussy willow headpins.

Start with some springtime inspiration - a branch of pussy willows.

I used light pastel gray glass as a base on 18 gauge black steel wire.
The base was rolled that in white frit and encased it in pale transparent gray glass.

Then using the small marver in the picture above I shaped them.
Next a roll in clear glass frit for the 'fuzz.'
Finally I added the brown leaflet, I used Double Helix Echo. Love the iridescent glass.

One little guy hanging out right on my bench as a reference while torching.

Time to make earrings.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Little Birds

Inspiration is where you find it.
While I was torching I looked up to see this rail car parked right below me on the tracks.

I grabbed a new mandrel, a scrap of black glass rod and one of rich yellow and made a bird.

Front and back.

Fun, huh?

The bail is 18 wire that I glued in place with two part epoxy.

The greatest graffiti just rolls by, day after day.

Friday, April 11, 2014

A Quilting I Will Go...

Every spring I go on a 'quilting retreat' with a bunch of fabulous women.

It's the only time I sew but who can resist a long weekend at a posh Finger Lakes resort complete with magnificent views and wine tastings?

A view of the rain-soaked, and still frozen, Canadaigua Lake.

Here's a partial view of the sewing mess - about 35 women each with a banquet table to work on can make a lot of stuff in three days.

I "fabricated" (eye roll) a postcard for a mail exchange.
Of course it's birds.

I also completed my quilt - the one I started six years ago the first time I went to the quilt retreat.

Year one I cut out all the pieces. Year two I laid them out and began stitching them together, year three I finished stitching them together. Year four I left it home, too embarrassed to show the ladies that I hadn't touched it in a year. Year five I backed it and began quilting it on my trusty old Singer - and this year I finished the quilting and bound the damn thing.


Friday, March 21, 2014

the 600

I was a late comer to Pinterest.
It was just tumblr for housewives right, something akin to Farmville with recipes?

Then I figured out it was a great way to save and sort images.
Now I also find how-to information and store all sorts of computer flotsam and jetsam there.

And now I have over 600 "followers."
Who are these people looking in my underwear drawers of computer stuff?

Ok, I get that there are lots of us who adore poodle stuff and I do have a nice folder full of weird poodle pictures, products and trinkets.You can click here to see my horde of poodle crap.

But how many people could share my obsession with red and white polka dot mushrooms, or want to see what I have collected on the subject of rhubarb?

Perhaps you're a glass bead maker like me and looking for free tutorials and technical information?
I have a folder for that - here.

Maybe you just want it all!
Here is the link to my silly Pinterest.

Rod Soup - A Recipe

Making beads is not just about the glamorous times when I play with fire for hours on end.
It's also about taking care of my materials and not being wasteful.

Glass rods come in bundles, and one rod in each bundle has a sticker on the end to identify the color.
It's a real sticky sticker that won't peel off.
But I have a system for getting them off so I don't waste that nice little piece of glass.

I happen to love working with short rods of glass.
It's sad, but true, that many flameworkers hate them.

I buy them from them, sometimes they give them to me, we trade... but I always have lots of short rods around and most of them have stickers on their butts.

Just put 'em in a jar of water overnight and let them soak.
Next day dump them out, onto a towel, on your work table.

And just slip, or unwind, the stickers right off the rods.
The adhesive has dissolved and it literally takes a second, or two, to clean each rod.

Pink is freaking expensive, a gal shouldn't waste her pink.

Now you have a pile on nice clean short rods for making frit, buttons, stringers and twisties, or torching back into long rods.

For this process it's also good to have a tasty bagel on hand.

A reward after a tedious task makes sense, right?

Friday, March 14, 2014

Shoots and Dirt

We're still buried under mountains of snow but I am thinking about the first little leaves pushing up through the cold wet dirt. I am making spring bracelets right now.

I went deep into the bead stash with this one.
Smokey topaz, big white, cloud like pearls, labradorite and amethyst.
I think the big chunky, square one below is galena.

It's all put together with a mess of sterling silver.

The glass beads are transparent hand-pulled emerald and a mix of light and dark topaz.
They were rolled in Val Cox 'Ocelot Spots' frit and heavily reduced for an iridescent shine.

I shaped them with a tool I have to make fish scales.
It's been sitting in the drawer for ages and now I love it all over again.

The clasp is a coiled and hammered 'S' hook in 16g sterling.

Feels like spring to me.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Spring Tulip Bracelet

I am so full of ... anticipation.

I refashioned an old bracelet into a new spring charm bracelet.
The old parts (tulips and some links) were reborn by adding new green leaves, butter yellow freshwater pearls and some little tiny jade hearts.

The whole thing is sterling silver except for the neat brite violet jump rings going thru each leaf.

I love the clasp on this one - it looks like a plant tendril.

Snow Day

First thing to do, just go back to bed.

You know you're in trouble when 'The Weather Channel' is doing a live remote blizzard update from your friend's front yard.

Yes, that's how hard it's snowing.
I can't see a thing outside the window by my desk.

Sunday, March 09, 2014

The Never Ending Winter

Sadly there is no 'forced perspective' going on in this wintry snapshot.
I'm just sitting in a parking lot looking out the windshield at the glacial snowbanks all around me.

Friday, March 07, 2014

Red Apples

I think I may have finished the big oil painting of red apples.

I will need to stare at it for a while before I am sure.
No need to be hasty.
Drop by the studio to see it and tell me what you think.

This is the photograph I worked from.
It was taken it in Williamson, New York, years ago. Somewhere near the lake where all the orchards are.

I had just gotten my first digital camera, it changed everything about my painting.
You can only imagine how many images I have squirreled away that I could make art from.
Flowers, leaves, plants - thousands of them at the ready.
Image hoarder.

A few close-ups - so you can see the paint better.
This painting is extra gooey.

Thursday, March 06, 2014


Meet Henri.
Pet portraits are not my norm but I made this one as a gift.

This paw is my favorite part of the painting.

His furry little butt is fun too.

Henri L. Borek
oil on canvas
18" x 24"