Monday, April 27, 2009

tweeting twaffle

i twitter therefore i am.

bead bazaar


stop by and say hello!
i will be set up with nancy valle, anne lichtenstein, toby burke, lauralee hafner, betty casey and others.

little bits of handmade glass = big fun.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

chick chasin' gnome

the blooming inspiration above
& beads below
you can't really tell from the photos, but these two big focals are both hollow.
lots of cased yellow, pea green, pale grass green and transparent tangerine.
wee wiggly sprouts, a pod and blossom
all this set needs is one huge transparent hollow orange focal to make it complete.

and this! it's what makes all that junking fun.
a very silly, old red enamel cup decorated with a gnome chasing a little chicken.
i found it yesterday morning at an estate sale. what a perfect treasure, i adore it.
that's where i have been all week when i should have been torching and such - i was riding around in the van buying dead people's stuff. it's the beginning of the season and the sales are breaking out.

imagine that the chick is the antiques and i am the gnome running after them. it was an incredible week for vintage clothes. if you're a record archive shopper it's time to hit my clothing racks hard - there are lots of chic summer frocks and wild shirts galore. maybe tomorrow, if you're good, i will show you the hat crocheted with harvest gold yarn and utica club beer cans.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

wear glass

it's the postcard for the glass jewelry trunk shows at the memorial art gallery!
i am pantspeeing excited.

from the back of the card:
"celebrate GlassWear, an exhibition of contemporary art jewelry at a series of truck shows featuring some of the region's most talented artists."
here's the line-up:
april 23 - 25 - linda lawrence
april 30 - may 2 - nancy valle
may 7 - may 9 - brett pierce & jeanne menafo
may 14 - 16 - julia duax skop
june 11 - 13 - kerry bogert
june 25 - 27 - lucinda storms (that's me)

thursdays 6-9, fridays noon - 4 and saturdays 10-4.
memorial art gallery - 500 university ave, rochester, ny.

i have also added a link in my side bar (over there, to the right) to the glass gala benefit auction for the memorial art gallery. all of the trunk show artists have pieces available for you to bid on.

Monday, April 20, 2009

shopping bag little lady

when we were cleaning out her closet we came across miss mango's "bag collection."
i witheringly said "you can't collect plastic bags."
but she patiently explained each one had a story, this one was from fireworks, this one from paris, this one from rome, etc... so, with her permission, i scissored them up into long ribbons and knit them into a tote bag for her.
the little fluttery bits are the trimmed ends of the square knots where i tied the strips together. i think i knit it on size 11's with about 1" wide strips of sacred plastic bags. the whole thing is lined, with lots of pockets, in space monkey cloth.
it was so much fun to make that i may make myself an up-cycled market sack out of old grocery store bags.

loud flowers

ok, so the tulips haven't even opened up yet and i am thinking about late summer flowers.
a black eyed susan inspired bead
i love them - they're sort of a loud cousin to daisies - arriving late, a little course and very showy.
the bead was constructed using this technique that i recently made dogwood beads with.
looks like a bracelet to me.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

indie girl

hooray, hooray it's national record store day!
cats and dogs living together - mass hysteria.
it may not be a big holiday for you, but here at my house it's been almost like preparing for a wedding.
so, if you're in rochester come on over to the store.
it's going to be a great party with incredible live music and lots of presents for you.
a new button i designed just for my cream ale lovin' husband. he's got pockets full of them.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


i sing the blues.
i really can't sing but it's a metaphor for finally assembling all my blue beads into a necklace.
i made all these cobalt blue hued beads ages ago but felt the set still lacked something. the addition of the large green and blue heart full of silver foil was just what the whole mess needed. the spacers are opals and a few vintage blue crystals salvaged from a broken piece of costume jewelry. all the wire work is sterling silver.
i made the clasp. my little issue with commercial clasps is something that i have been struggling with. i think mass produced clasps just look out of place on my pieces - too modern, too machined, sort of like wearing a tiara and flip-flops, just not a good look.
now that's one necklace down and about a million more to assemble before my trunk show in june.
leon russell - lady blue

who doesn't love leon russell?

Monday, April 13, 2009

silver lining

a large lentil bead decorated with applied petals to look like a dogwood blossom and a cloud shaped bead with an encased silver foil center.

here's the sketchbook page for the floral lentil.
the first thing you do to make this bead is form the petals and set them aside on your graphite marver - be sure to make several extra petals. next you make the lentil base bead. once you have your base bead start to carefully reheat a petal and then apply it to the still hot base bead - this is why you need extras, because they will sometimes explode no matter how slowly you attempt to reheat them. finally, once all the petals have been placed on the lentil add a blop of glass for the center of your flower.
the dogwood petals are white with a bit of cim's pink champagne on the tips and the lentil is cim's french blue, cim's krytonite and transparent pale aqua. the flower's center is pale topaz dipped in a bit of raku frit.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

easter bottom

i always eat the ass end of my chocolate bunny first.
where do you start?

the decrepit duck made of tattered violet lace, red feathers and old paper flowers on the table is actually a very old papier-mache easter bonnet. i found it years ago at an estate sale and it would not be easter, for me, without it.
i wish you could smell this.

Friday, April 10, 2009

gummi blossom

new spring-y beads for a bracelet.
they make me think of gummi candies.

my original inspiration was daffodils. the kind with yellow petals and ruffled orange centers - but the colors are off and the frit didn't act as expected and the transparent orange is too red. so i have to try again for the daffodil thing.
the blossom focal bead was shaped by dragging the molten glass upward with my tungsten pick.

to do this get a bead nice and plumply round and let it cool down and stiffen up a bit, then spot heat one section of the bead and slide the tip of the pick from the bottom to the top leaving a little petal like lump of glass at the top. heat the next section and drag up, continue around the bead until you have a little pod like flower form. it won't take long before you get the feel of how hot the glass needs to be and how hard to push the pick.

i torched, and torched last night and made some really interesting stuff that is soaking right now. with luck, tomorrow i will show you the dogwood bead.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

purple anticipation

soon the lilacs will be here.
in anticipation i have begun working on a set of lilac beads.
here in rochester, new york, lilacs are a big deal.
our city hosts a yearly festival in highland park. hundreds of lilac bushes bloom there hearts out and guests come from all over the world to see, and smell, them.
the glass flowers are a mix of cim's crocus, transparent pale pink and white.
the leaves are opalino green, kryptonite and some sort of green reduction frit.
(i hope i can remember when i look at my frit envelopes which one i used)
i think it's going to be a particularly lovely necklace.
i am preparing for a one-woman trunk show at the museum and i am starting to get a little wiggy about the amount of jewelery i need to make in the next few weeks. by the time the lilacs actually bloom i should be in full freak-out.

it's doin' something

i love it when my glass does something unexpected.
this is a 1 1/4" bean shaped, hand pressed lentil. the base color is cim's ghee -a wonderfully soft and weirdly reactive pale butter yellow glass not unlike opal yellow. the raked, swirly details are double helix psyche - which is generally metallic blue.

in this bead the yellow went all light butterscotch and lightly mottled and the blue came out an oddly lusterous violet grey with edge reaction lines of silvery mother of pearl white.

very pleasing. now, it i can only get it to do it again.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009


a weensie little pair of iridescent metallic blue crows.
they're made with a core of black glass wrapped in double helix psyche.
need them?
i made two sets, one for me and one for you, they're in my etsy shop.

Monday, April 06, 2009

quilt get-a-way weekend

trust me, i am no quilter - but when my friend margaret (the quilt professional) suggested i come on her quilting retreat i figured i could give it a go. especially since the get-a-way was at the beautiful bristol harbor resort in canadaigua, new york.
this is the view from the ballroom where 16 women had their sewing machines set up all weekend. no really, when i looked up from my machine this was my view. it was a typically gray and grim april weekend in upstate new york complete with snow flurries and wicked winds. which in a way was perfect because our hotel rooms were very warm and snug. the bristol harbor inn is decorated in a goofy sort of antlers and adirondack style - with lots of bears, from a stuffed one in the lobby to a wrought iron bear toilet paper dispenser in our bath. every guest room has a gas fireplace that with a flick of a switch made the early spring nights very nice and toasty.
this is my sewing machine, compared to the others it was quite the old lady. most of these women are very serious about their quilting and have brand new, whizbang, computerized with tv screens built in, high end quilting and embroidery machines. my singer was my mother's in high school and it can certainly still do the job even though it is over 60 years old.
here's my quilt all laid out in pieces. it's a kaffe fassett design called red diamonds from his book glorious patchwork. i did it get it pretty much sewn together. i could not believe how long it took to cut up and arrange. this quilting is pleasantly tedious stuff especially with all the wine drinking involved.
it was a lovely weekend and i feel rather renewed.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

blue skies

i don't even know what these little blue flowers are called but they are blooming by the thousands on the sunny slopes of my neighborhood park.

there are dozens of new beads patiently waiting in a vase of water in the kitchen for me to find the time to ream them out. but they will have to wait even longer because i am skipping town tomorrow morning for a weekend away. my husband and the dogs are on their own.

see you (much refreshed) on monday.