Wednesday, July 30, 2008

bug beads

these spontaneous and weird little beads have lead to an idea.
don't they look like winged insects or moths?
i can't wait to pursue this at my next torch session.
my butterfly & moth books are out and i am sketching madly.

a lily in the rain.

Monday, July 28, 2008


when feeling overwhelmed, sometimes, the best thing to do is to be obstinately unproductive.
there are so, so many thing i should be doing.
instead i am observing the shadows on the walls and thinking about voodou veve and christmas cookies.
and then photographing my palest yellow marigolds.
and finding little screaming rabbit faces hidden in their folds.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

milkweed - part 5

no matter what you think you want,
i am going to post more milkweed pictures.
i took these several days ago when i noticed that the first pod had begun to form.
my other favorite weed, queen anne's lace is blossoming, and the beautiful blue cornflowers are also blooming. the two together make a beautiful native bouquet.

did you know that milkweed is the only plant that monarch butterfly larva eat?
so, if you want monarchs please stop ripping out your milkweed.


i know a little something about love - we celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary this week. who knows what the traditional 20th year gift is, but it ought to be matching chainsaws.

new earrings.
mrs. valentine
flameworked glass beads, freshwater pearls and sterling silver.
yes, these little bits of glass and pearls are up on etsy.

Friday, July 25, 2008

lilac beads

i love doing encased silver foil.
it is such a simple technique that never fails.
this bead has a black barrel shaped core rolled in silver foil and then encased with transparent light grass green on one end and transparent dark lavender on the other.
*** the trick is after rolling the foil on to the core bead to NEVER let the flame touch the foil, keep your foil coated bead well under the flame while wrapping the colored transparent encasing layer around the core bead. you do not want to melt the foil, only trap it under the glass. ***

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

madame x

a small pair of party dress beads.
these have a black core with an encasing layer of transparent red and a white filigrana ruffle, there is a bit of silver foil between the black and the red but it's really subtle.
the up the skirt view.
perfect for earrings.
i have some nice garnets to pair with these for earrings.
madame x by john singer sargent

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


by my front door.

lily wyatt by milenasong

Monday, July 21, 2008

orange crush

a big tangerine winged heart.
flaming orange transparent glass that is encasing a white, yellow and opaque orange center.
i used a white stringer to twist spirals into the lobes of the heart.
like i said, it's big.

party dresses

i call this style of bead a party dress.
lime rumba

they are like a rum & coke with lime - which is what i was longing for while flameworking one scorching hot afternoon.
they have a black core with a layer of silver foil encased with pea green filigrana, the ruffle is transparent grass green.

here's the view looking up the skirt.

if you are a flameworker this is not a difficult bead to make.

i took some pictures of notes in my bead sketchbook on how i made them and thought i would share. please, feel free to copy them, i lay no claim to anything and will share everything technical.
first you make a simple cone shaped bead.

then add a disk of glass at the top or bottom or both ends - depending on where you want a ruffle on your dress, collar or hem (ahem).

then very gently spot heat the disk and grab it with a fine tipped pair of tweezers, twist the tweezers a quarter turn to the right and let go, keep going around the disk reheating as need be to create the ruffle. flame anneal the whole thing and into the kiln.

here's a close-up that should make that a bit clearer.
i am going to list this set on etsy pronto - they will be perfect for earrings.
click here to visit my etsy shop.

Friday, July 18, 2008

super soakers

i've got beads galore a'soaking.
including some encased silver foil babies & a set of marigold beads.
reaming this evening.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

! milkweed !

i am at it with the milkweed again.
here we see a fat, overly decorative monarch caterpillar.
(again with the milkweed, does she think we find this entertaining?)
and a japanese beetle.

the plants are next to the driveway, and when i get in and out of my car i keep seeing new critters who have taken up residence. milkweed is native to upstate new york which is probably why it's a bug paradise.

pearly cakes

the newly unpacked and organized pearl stash.
pearls and stones sorted on the top shelf, tools etc. on the bottom.
i did, in fact, make some new earrings - pics soon.

baked especially for taco night - devilsfood cupcakes with dark chocolate sour cream frostings and giant sprinkles.
the sprinkles were a birthday gift from a hungry girlfriend.

Monday, July 14, 2008

tiny shiny hearts

a pair of very small winged hearts to make earrings with.
the glittery centers are goldstone chunks encased with clear, the hearts are cherry red and the wings are white.

a nice little love song.

martha wainwright - bleeding all over you

i spent hours yesterday sorting and setting up my jewelry making materials. things at my old studio were so stupidly packed for the move that unpacking is a nightmare - mom was so right - haste makes waste. cross your fingers that tonight is the night i finally give my pearl stash a workout.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

knitting with trash

if you scissor up a gaily colored plastic bag into a continuous 1" strip and then cut up another, and another, shopping bag the same way, then tie the ends of each cut up bag together into one long strand and wind it all into a ball - what do you have?

you have yarn.
and when you have yarn you can knit.
it feels all scunchy and rubbery when it's knit. very gratifying and lots of fun.

Friday, July 11, 2008

weed lovers

apparently, i am not the only creature who loves milkweed.
yesterday's pictures showed the bees humming in the flowers and today the ants moved in.

strawberry blossom

another small blossom bead.

this one has a ruffled bottom.
for some reason i only made one - i wish i had done two, then i would have earrings.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

sea creature

a new bead, which has sort of an underwater vibe.
as you can see am having some issues with tiny bubbles and scumming, it's making me nuts.

the bead has a core of aventurine chunks wrapped in a transparent light straw yellow, the side ruffles are clear turquoise and grass green.
maybe i am melting it too hot. the rods are clean so it's not that...
just another technical mystery to figure out and then overcome.
this is why i love painting - you never get tripped up by some lame technical bunk.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

the milkweed way

milkweed in full bloom.




i <3 my macro lens.

lazy daisy

our heat wave broke sometime in the middle of the night.
so, we're not all lazy, grumpy and sluggish today.
this morning everything in the garden is cool and dewy.

new flameworked beads, inspired by daisies.
no special, or odd-lot glass here just plain old moretti yellow and white. kind of like daisies - nothing rare or special, just beautiful in their happy ordinary way.
they're a pair of tiny blossoms, each one is no bigger than your thumbnail. perfect for earrings.

while i am barefoot, in the wet grass, taking macro daisy snapshots for this blog post who gets her big nose in the way?
miss kiki p. oodle.