Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halfway Through Halloween

One big party down - last night was an Alice in Wonderland themed 40th Birthday/Halloween party.
Tonight's fests include - "Night of the Living Pies" and "Spirits Open Mic."

Pictures galore - tomorrow.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Basic Beadmaking

Last night I finished teaching my first session of basic glass bead making.

I am proud to announce that after three consecutive Wednesday nights no one had set themselves on fire and everyone had learned basic lampworking.
These are my sample beads from the first night of class.
Yes, everyone had made all these shapes by the end of the first night. Subsequent classes covered things like using and making twisties and stringers, encasing, trapping air bubbles, and lots of different decorating and sculptural techniques.

Will I ever teach again?
I hope so. I ended up enjoying it quite a bit.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Watch Over Me & Listen Up

I have been binging on Little Jimmy Scott.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Vintage Venetians

50's Italian Luxe.
A lovely old Murano glass necklace from a household sale last week.
So simple and perfect - a strand of half inch round beads.

The beads are clear glass encasing coppery flecks of Aventurine frit.
They're sitting in my Curious Old Things etsy shop right now. SOLD
You could wear it and be very glamorous or take it apart and use the 25 beads in your own jewelry.

Monday, October 26, 2009


Almost everything I make is inspired by nature.
I never met a seed pod that I did not want to recreate using either paint, pencil or glass.

So, when I saw the cover of this coffee table book called "Pollen" I was sunk. I trolled around ebay for weeks until a reasonably priced copy came up for sale and I scored it. Scored is the perfect word to describe my shopping behavior with this book. I was consumed with want in the days that preceeded it's purchase.
When it finally arrived in the mail I was not disappointed.
Page after big glossy page of spores that look like beads.

After absorbing it for a day or two I started to sketch out some bead ideas.
You know, you really should keep a bead sketchbook.
Keeping track of your ideas, color recipes, triumphs and failures is very useful.

My first pollen beads.
They're a completely new shape for me.
They start with a round bead. By spot heating and raking both sides of the round base bead they are pulled into an elongated 'pollen grain' shape.
The base glasses were Opalino Carnelian, Light Gray and Cim's Plum. Before starting to shape each bead I added a band of Double Helix Aurae around their middles. They were reduced after shaping.

I am so pleased with these beads. The plan is to make several dozen more and then string them into a strand - sort of like pearls - but pollen.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Geode to Go - That's How We Roll

I looked over at the passenger seat of my car and saw -
A ball of variegated chenille yarn, a big tin of tomatoes, a brown bag of stuff from the hardware store and a geode. My life seems to be a bit random at the moment. I smiled, and wondered what conclusions someone would draw if they stopped to snoop through my car's window.

The geode was for bead making.
I wanted to mimic its combination of soft grays and watery pale opal blue.
I used a base of dark and light Ivory glass and added bands of Double Helix Triton and Aurae. Believe it, or not, there was a wide band of transparent light blue around the middle of the beads. For some reason the blue glass just seems to have vanished.
Next time, a lot more blue glass and maybe some Fossil.

This last bead is the weirdest of all - it's just a light webbing of Aurae over Dark Ivory.
Oh, to get right back at the torch and have another try at it.
Lately, more than ever, I wish I had a home studio for glass. I would love to have more than one day a week to torch, sigh.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Earring Cards

I recently discovered that my earrings sell better if they're on cards.
Has anyone else found this to be true?

Here's Rochester's homegirl Susan B. Anthony sporting a pair of my meteorites.

Same goes for Elizabeth Cady Stanton, she likes the pressed peacock feather look lentils.

A posh pasha with little glass beans and and ginger colored stick pearls.

I don't know who this is... do you? She's wearing a pair of dirty snow lentils.

They weren't hard to make, I designed them in Corel Draw with some free online clip-art that was easily downloaded. Cutting them and piercing their ears was a bit time consuming but shoppers seem to really like the presentation. Yes, that's Walt Whitman - second row, second from the right.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Button It Up

I make lots and lots of big glass buttons.
They're are so fun I get carried away making them.
Lately, I love doing off mandrel work - like marbles and buttons.
The button holes are made with a nifty tool that a friend brought me back from the Tuscon bead show made by Andy Ray called "handy andy tungsten tweezers."
This landscape button and the others were just delivered to the Memorial Art Gallery museum gift shop, and I have a big box that I am taking to the knitting guild holiday sale. I haven't put any in my etsy shop lately, but if you want one let me know and I will pop some in there for you.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Leaf Litter

Clear, bluer than blue skies.
It's chilly out but the sun is shining and I feel well enough to go outside.
Poodles come here - I think a leisurely dog walk is in order.

Yet another new necklace.
This one imitates fall leaves and berries.
The base glass for the leaves is Cim's Commando - which I have used up and need to reorder.
They were decorated with stripes of an Effetre cool color called Relish, some bands of Ocher, big and chunky raku and avocado frits and a bit of black around their middles.
The berries are made mostly with 'peachy persimmon' coral glass.
All the wire work is sterling silver, and the small stone beads anchoring my glass beads are carnelian.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Free Gift & A Fresh Coat of Paint

My banner (see above) got changed up this morning, it now has a more autumnal color palette.
And I added "follow me" to my side bar. I'm very late adding this popular widget but I am willing to give it a go.

I made a little piece of artwork to go with it...
If you would like to use my 'follow me mushroom' in your sidebar please do.
Just copy and save it to your computer and then add it to your sidebar.

Don't even ask how I am doing with the H1N1 flu...
just do everything you can to stay healthy because it's a nightmare.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Vineyard Necklace & the Swine Flu

Another new necklace.
Flameworked glass beads, a big pink moonstone, amethyst nuggets, smokey topaz, rock crystal and sterling silver.
The glass lentil beads each have a core that is a combination of Cim's Commando and Cim's Plum. They were decorated with threads of black and then rolled in large raku frit before pressing.

Inspirational grapes ripening at a local vineyard.

I am delivering it to the gift shop at the local museum this week, unless of course, someone else gets it first. Email me.

Whoa boy, good news and bad news.
My sister called my home Thursday night, while I was out torching, to say that she was tested and indeed she has the H1N1 virus. This was not good news seeing as we had spent the entire day together on Saturday, including sharing a tasty plate of Mexican food at the public market. Sure enough, Thursday night I started coughing while making beads at open torch. By Friday morning I had all the symptoms and am now a miserable, gooey, hacking lump of sick. The good news? My 19 year old daughter, who was also here last weekend did not catch it. Strange how it works, that one of us got it and one did not. Could someone please fetch me another box of kleenex and a bag of Ricola sugar free cough drops?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Autumn Necklace

I made this necklace in anticipation of the fall foliage. It can be so beautiful here when the leaves turn. Alas, we seem to have missed fall this year and have gone directly from "back to school" September to windy and gray early December style weather. Brrrrrr.
The raked and pressed lentil bead on the right is Cim's Ghee and Double Helix Psyche.
The cone on the right is black with raku spots and medium Effetre spiral threads.

This raked and pressed lentil is, again, Cim's Ghee this time with swirls of Effetre medium red, dark ivory and brown.

There are some spacers on this bead that are made from Arrow Springs Caramel Apple - a discontinued color that I miss dearly. Cim's if you are listening - could you, would you, make some of this toasty, color shifting color?

The lake was angry and bitter today. Here on the north shore of America we can get some fearsome weather off our inland seas. In this case - Lake Ontario. Way on the other side of the lake, far over the horizon, is Toronto.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Inside Out

Birds outside.

Birds inside.
In progress - six little birds - oil paintings on board.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Autumn Leaves

Do you see him?
He's looking right at you.

New seasonal earrings.

Hand pressed lentil beads with cores of Cim's Commando laced with intense black and raku frit.

Oh, hello.

I'm Back

I'm back in bloggerville.

New earrings inspired by the emerald city.
A core of pastel grass green grass rolled in sparkly aventurine frit, then encased with transparent grass green glass and finally hand pressed into a large lentil shape.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

What is a Dog?

Iggy Pop - A Machine for Loving

Friday, October 02, 2009

Bird Droppings

In the music business the day a record is available for sale is the day it "drops."
I have dropped a bunch of my bird paintings into my Belvedere Etsy shop, including this small one.
"Audubon Series #256 - Western Icterids"
acrylic paint on archival black paper - 4 1/2" x 5 1/2"

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Tomato Toes

It's so chilly here that I started roasting some tomatoes just so that I could turn the oven on.
Have you ever made roast tomatoes? They're wonderful.

Just chunk up some tomatoes into a big roasting pan, sprinkle them with a bit of salt and a couple of nice glugs of olive oil and toss - then into the oven on the lowest temp and let them slump down all day until you have a rich tomato goo. You can have it on pasta or spread it on toast like jam, which is my favorite way to eat it.

Today I did something way out of bounds.
I went into a store and purchased something brand new.
You can get practically everything you need from garage and estate sales. I live very luxuriously with other peoples unwanted stuff, even their unworn shoes. It's really a sort of green political statement about waste and recycling, my passion for living off of the excess materialism of others. Alas, today I cracked and succumbed to the siren song of these red shoes.

In fact, I will admit that at the craft show two weekends ago I bought a coffee mug - and we certainly did not need another ceramic cup for my morning tea. I must get myself back on the straight and narrow in terms of my possessions (wink).

All I can figure is that handmade pottery must be a gateway drug to sweet red shoes.