Thursday, September 30, 2010

Miss Moth and the Glass Fairy

What a tattered beauty she was.

A little white moth died on the sill.

I taught the opening night of 'beginning beads' yesterday - welcoming four new lampworkers into the world. They are a particularly talented and delightful group. Surprise! Three of them are rather handsome men.

It's been a very glassy day here so far - I piddled around and took a quick inventory of my glass stash and then placed a large order this morning. I bought a few really odd lots - sampling glasses with peculiar names like Buttered Popcorn, Whisper, Orion, Martian Strata and Tidepool. I  am also trying out some seeded rods, has anybody out there used them? Finally, with much gnashing of teeth and eyes rolling back into my head, I ordered a couple of bundles of exceedingly expensive silvered glass. Yes I am feeling kind of frisky.

With the indulgent shopping out of the way I have settled down to do a few beady sketches. Working from the jet black berry photos of last weekend I am planning a bracelet of leaves with lots of berry headpins as dangles. Next I will pull out all the rods I need and get ready to torch tonight. I am soooo ready. It's been almost two weeks since I have been able to get my flame on.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


I ate the one on the left.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Jet Black Berries

Next drawing?

Next bracelet?

Hearts & Crafts

I have done two outdoor shows in the past two weeks. Both were great fun and completely exhausting.
This past Sunday was 'Hearts & Crafts' in the Eastman School of Music neighborhood in downtown Rochester, New York.

You know the routine: make your crap, tag your crap, box your crap, haul the crap, set up the whole mess, talk to one million people and collect the money, tear down the whole mess, haul it away, collapse into your favorite chair and whine about how tired you are.

Paintings and drawings (above)
Loose beads (below)

Buttons. Have I told you how much fun I have making buttons?

I have a beast of a button maker from Dr. Don's buttons - the Cadillac of button machines.

This past Sunday I was set up next to Nancy Topolski who makes the greatest hand knits, collages and stuffed toys. When we weren't selling and shivering we were yakking. Setting up next to a friend really makes the day fly by.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Car Crow

Someone gave me a great gift.
It'a a magnetic crow silhouette that was cut from a sheet magnet. I hear you can get this stuff at any good craft store?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Japanese Lanterns

Because I never met a seed pod I didn't adore.

It's a glorious day - record setting warmth here on the North Coast. I had a lovely blog post planned with sculpted glass headpins and a tutorial to go with them. Alas, we spent the whole sunny day goofing off. My husband and I riding around in the big red van, with the windows down like a couple of dogs, going to endless garage sales. Like I said - a glorious day.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Some kids collect baseball cards, mine collects ridiculous vintage sweaters.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Indie Chick or Buzzard?

Can you even be 'Indie' after 50?
We'll find out this Sunday at the 'Hearts & Crafts' show in front of Java's on Gibbs.

This is my first time doing this show - I think I may be too old for this crowd. I will definitely be the oldest vendor. Plus they already had enough jewelry makers and asked me to only bring my handmade glass beads. Barf, because I can never do exactly as I am told, I am also bringing buttons - is being stubborn and contrary an ‘Indie’ sort of thing?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Little Birds and my Little Bird

A small grouping of my oil paintings are hanging at Java's at the Public Market.

That's my little bird Margaret sitting in front of them. She was home for the weekend and everything seemed right with the world.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Flaky Goodness

More earrings.

Center drilled cornflake pearls make the best bead caps.

One at a time, or stack them.

They're perfect when I want to make 'seed pod' earrings.

I wish I could find a strand of green ones.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Earring Soup

I made a lot of earrings today in preparation for a show this weekend.
It's one of my favorite shows all year - 'Artist's Row.'

The event is this Sunday, September 19th, at the Rochester Public Market from 10-4.
Simply everyone will be there.
The show is full of young artists, the parking is free and there is no charge to get in.

There is lots of talent and lots of fun.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Vanquished

A few months ago I was listening to a woman talk about the earliest know forms of jewelry. Jewelry that was a display of trophies from enemies conquered. Like their teeth, bones, etc... strung on bits of cord (probably guts) and worn around the neck to let any potential foes know that you were not to be messed with.

My friend Jacqueline bought her dream house only to discover, in the spring, that the yard was infested with gargantuan slugs. Were talking slugs the size of kittens, hideous plant devouring blobs of gooey terror.

For years, and years, she has been fastidiously, zealously, obliterating them. An all out war - a sluggy genocide. So, to commemorate her victories, I decided to make her a pair of slug earrings to warn the slimy pests that they were in the presence of a powerful enemy and they had better bug out.

They are made of clear borosilicate glass that was striated in an optic mold.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Milk Glass Roses

I found this crusty, old milk glass necklace at a garage sale. It's probably Venetian.
It's rusty, dirty and very inspirational.

Glass bead makers take a closer look. Each of those pretty icing-like roses is made on the end of a headpin.

Here's a closer look at the underside. It's kind of like peaking up someone's skirts to get a look at their undergarments. There's a lot of interesting stuff under there.

Is this not a great idea? I cannot wait to try this out the next time I am at the torch.

Crusty eh? But it looks to me like they were made by tweezing, squeezing the petals from the center out. Or maybe they were formed from the base up. Not unlike making roses for a wedding cake. I wonder if this was someone's wedding jewelry?

Here's another view - see what I mean?
I think we can all have a go at making some of these wee blossoms.

Single ones would make lovely earrings. I will post my attempts if they are successful and maybe even write a little tutorial. If you try to make them, please share your results with me.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Rescue Beads

I go to a lot of garage sales and estate sales, too many to be sure.

One thing I cannot resist is a broken strand of beads, they look up at me from their display tables like a bunch of puppies at the pound. Their big sad beady eyes begging me to take them home and save them from doom.

Alas, my stash is getting a bit out of control. By breaking up these rescued strands and keeping some of the beads for myself and listing the rest on Etsy I get to keep some of these found treasures - and release the rest back into the wild.

Look - there's raw amber, Indian brass, rose quartz, agates, root beer glass, old coral, trade beads...
Check out my Curious Old Things shop and look in the loose beads section.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010


I am completely freaked out. Someone came into the house around 3am and took my cash and an old cd player. Alas, Napoleon and Kiki (our dogs) slept thru it but Dick heard something (the back door) and went downstairs. He found my wallet in the backyard, credit cards and checks still in it but stripped of the cash.

These dogs are apparently useless as watch dogs.

As burglary goes it's not much of a loss,
but the idea of someone searching about the house while we were asleep is beyond creepy.