Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Curious Old Things

One of my Etsy shops just passed 200 sales!

It's appropriately named Curious Old Things and it's where I sell all kinds of awesome crap. Vintage jewelry, old beads, stuff for found object jewelry and, of course, anything else I find amusing.

Here's a pile of treasure that I have been busy listing. A Rebajes copper butterfly brooch, a tiny leather change purse (sold), a metal mesh coin purse (sold),a vintage butterfly charm with real butterflies inside, a pair of hand carved wooden mallard earrings, a rhinestone spider brooch (sold), Venetian glass earrings, a Niagara Falls tie bar and a pair of vintage steel French shoe buckles (sold).


Vintage Murrini Earrings

Look at this pair of vintage Venetian glass earrings. They're made with millifiori murrini that have been done in a press. I love this idea.
Somewhere, I have a vial of these flowery little murrini that I bought when I first started lampworking. It's time to dig it out and give this technique a try.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


I succumbed and bought myself a pair of darkly fanciful earrings on Etsy.

"Skullies" by Loreli Eurato. You all know her, she's like, an Etsy jewelry goddess.
And the bonus is - the little skull charms are by Andrew Thornton.
O happy lobes.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Play Ball

We went to the ball field yesterday - a perfect, perfect evening.
Alas, the home team lost. But there were fireworks at the stadium after the game.

My friend turned to me and with a sly smile said "I love the smell of sulphur in the evening."

Monday, August 23, 2010

Ooh Sparkles

A small pair of test beads - just for trying out some ribbons of golden aventurine glass.

I bought a small, thrifty vial of shattered bits of this very, very expensive stuff at the ISGB conference.
It's going to be a lot of fun to use. Just look at the sparkle it has.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Big Big Bug

I really cannot give up the idea of making bugs - no matter how many people say "yech."

They can be worn as pendants but I think of them more as little sculptures. Just something that sits around.

This bug body flipped over on its back.

I wish I knew what I used for the raked body - it might be Double Helix Triton or Psyche on a base of  Fossil or Canyon de Chelly. That's a great glass chemical reaction that caused those nice black outlines. The bead is about two inches long.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Flower Balls

A new style of bead - Flower balls.

Really simple and sweet, perfect for earrings.

Start by making a pair of small off mandrel leaves and set them aside on your marver. Now, wind a round bead on your mandrel (I made these two at a time on a mandrel). Now, spot heat the bead and press the applied leaf into position. Don't forget to romance the leaf into the flame or it will shatter. Finally, add a dot of glass for the blossom and press it with a nail setter. A nail setter? Yes a nail setter, you can get one at the hardware store.

I put a couple pairs up in my Belvedere etsy shop.

Blackbird Singing

Blackbird Singing
Ink and brush on paper - 5" x 5 3/4"

Bronwen Heilman

During the recent ISGB conference, that was held here in my hometown, Bronwen Heilman taught a class at More Fire Glass. I was beyond the moon to be asked to help out during the class - I would not call it assisting but more like being the class gopher.

This is one of her demonstration beads that she gave to More Fire. How cool is that?
If you ever get the chance to take one of her classes by all means do so - she is an excellent, and generous, teacher and a very charming and funny woman. Please, check out her website - gHosTcOw GlassWorks.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Clowns are not Cool

India ink on paper - 4" x 4"

Thursday, August 12, 2010


I dabbled in borosilicate glass the other day and made a pile of glass slugs.

My husband raised an eyebrow and said "well those will be big sellers." Sarcasm is one of his specialties.

It started innocently enough, while playing with a tiny, tiny brass optical mold I made something that inadvertently looked like a slug body. I added the eye tentacles and viola! A glass slug.

My friend Jackie passionately loathes slugs, so of course, this pair is for her. Oh yes, she will wear slug earrings. Other than that I cannot imagine what I will ever do with them. If someone out there is a fan of slugs  leave me a comment and I will hook you up.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Two of Anything Make a Great Pair of Earrings

I don't know about you but I make a lot of earrings.

Flaming big focal beads is great fun - but the meat and potatoes of bead making is cranking out pair after pair of matching beads. Nice little twosomes that I, or someone else, can make earrings out of.

On a day  that is going to be an 'earring day' I like to choose a shape and then torch them in as many different color variations as I can come up. You can make your pairs on the same mandrel - it's so much easier to make them match if you make them at the same time.

Earrings pairs are also a great way to use up some of your short rods of glass.
This pair was made with Cim's plum and Double Helix's Psyche and Aurae.

I have a two shows coming up so I need to get into earring production mode. There are some new designs that are all set and I cannot wait to make the beads for them and then wrap and pound them into earrings.

Lots of people are always hanging around in my booth and lamenting* that my earrings are too big. So, I am struggling to come up with some smaller designs that are still interesting. I mean really, who wants to wear a dangling pair of plain old spacer sized beads?

I've never met a pair of earring that I thought were too big to wear - go big or go home - that's what I say. Can you believe that a lot of women will not wear anything bigger than a pea? What could I make for them?

* isn't lamenting a much nicer way to say that they were whining?

Saturday, August 07, 2010


Details from a new 'Audubon' painting.

There are four new, small ones at the Memorial Art Gallery's museum shop for sale.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Doggie Style

Miss Margaret dressed Napoleon up today - as Kanye West.

Running on Empty

Alas, life is moving so fast that there's barely time to live and breathe, much less ruminate and write.

Oh well, maybe next week.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Raven & Leaf Pendant

Raven & Leaf Pendant

The big black glass bird bead was wound with a base of Cim's Tuxedo black and decorated with heavily reduced swirls of Double Helix Psyche on the surface.

This leaf is my very first piece of PMC.  I need to get set up to make more of this mysterious silver play-doh stuff.  I want more elements like this pendant and to begin making my own clasps will be a relief. Most commericial clasps are sooo dreadful on my jewelry, they're way too machined looking for my tastes.

The back of the piece, because the back should be as nice as the front and have a bit of a surprise.  It's like wearing nice underwear - not everyone sees it but it's still very important - just in case.

The whole piece is about 3 1/2" long.

Frantz Color Palette

Am I the last person to find this amazing thing?

The Frantz Art Glass Color Palette

Just start clicking on the little boxes of color and sample glass rainbows show up along the bottom edge of your screen - I have dreamed of a resource like this where I could compare colors - and search for that perfect, perfect shade..

I met Mike Frantz this weekend. He was at the ISGB conference trade show selling glass and yakking up the bead makers. Charming? Indeed.

Audubon Mystery Solved

Researchers/treasure hunters have found an example of Audubon's long lost first published print.

Fascinating. Read all about it here.
I have been painting again and have a whole new batch of Audubon inspired pieces to post.