Monday, July 30, 2012

Flies By Night

By special request, a new pair of fly earrings.

Hand hammered sterling silver ear wires, garnet bead heads, graphite black glass bodies, iridescent carnival glass wings and a jade bead for each butt. They're up in my Belvedere Etsy shop.

If you're a diy sort of person there's also a pair of fly beads available - ready for you to make your own buggy mischief with.

They are not easy little boogers to make. The wings are made off mandrel and then carefully added later to the bead. In this pic I am at the very last step - reducing the glass wings to bring out their iridescence.

Bug ideas from one of my bead sketchbooks.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Cherry Tomato Cobbler

What to do with that bumper crop of cherry tomatoes?
Cherry tomato cobbler.

Halve the big ones and pierce the small ones with the tip of your knife.

This time I added some sauteed peppers and onions that I had left over in the fridge and some minced garlic. Scallions work too, it's not important - this recipe is just a loose what-ever-is-on hand kind of thing.

To the tomatoes (and whatever else) add 3 tbsp of flour, a sprinkle of salt, a couple of grinds of pepper and maybe a pinch of hotness. This morning I used chipotle powder, but pepper flakes or cayenne works too. Toss to combine and coat the tomatoes with the flour.

You can make the biscuits from scratch, but I am a lazy ass on Sunday mornings and used Bisquick.

2 1/4 c bisquick
2/3 c milk
a handful of grated cheese
a couple of grinds of fresh black pepper

Glob the dough around the edge of the pan leaving some tomatoes showing in the center.
Brush the biscuits with a little milk and sprinkle on a bit more cheese, it's not important but it's pretty.
Bake at 375 for one hour.
Don't forget to put a cookie sheet under the baking dish to catch the drips, it can get messy.

I wish you could have smelled it baking.
My husband was having a very hungry nervous breakdown watching the timer tick down.

Serve warm.
A divine Sunday brunch.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Fairy Berries

Building a new summer bracelet of leaves and weird little berries.

The bracelet is made of headpins chained together with leaf charms placed on some of the brass links.

I am almost out of parts - guess I better shower and get my rump over to the studio.
It's time to make lots more leaves and glass berries.

The leaves are such time consuming, fussy boogers to make but I will try and make some extras for all of you who love them for your own creations.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Charmed, I'm Sure

She displayed her abundant charms...

fairy berry


white strawb

little red blossom

blue raspberry


They're all up in my "Belvedere" Etsy shop.

This style of bead is fun to make. They're formed on the tip of a mandrel.

After the bead is shaped and kiln annealed and then removed from the mandrel, the end hole of each bead is meticulously cleaned. The last step is epoxying in a hand formed wire bail. Yes, they're really stuck in there, you'll break the bead before you get the bail out.
Each one is a little over an inch long.

These charms would be great for bracelets.
I am thinking of making myself a Chan Luu style beaded bracelet with a strawberry instead of a button clasp.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Full Moon

There are some new necklaces up in my Belvedere Etsy shop.

This big bead has a base of ivory that was covered in silver leaf, rolled in dark ivory frit (tiny glass sprinkles) and decorated with silvered ivory stringer. There are lots of little dots of fine silver shimmering on the surface.

The moon is hanging on a long cotton cord, a perfect length for fiddling with the bead while wearing it.

The fancy bead caps are nickel silver that I hammered myself - plink, plink, plink.

A Dollar & A Dream

I found this tiny, vintage glass poodle at the flea market for $1.

Now, of course, I think I should try and recreate her in my laboratory - er studio.

I am constantly veering off track.
Now is the time to be making beads for fall and holiday shows, not figurines to amuse me.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Everyday Earrings

I make soooo many pairs of earrings - but keep very few.

Lately I have been wearing this pair every single day.

They're comfortable, lightweight and look like they just fell off a plant.
Everything I desire in a pair of earrings.


Mine are on the left, the original vintage Venetian glass beads are on the right.

I started with an oval core bead of black then wrapped it in silver foil (not leaf) and then carefully added loopy, goopy strands of clear glass.

You have to be careful to keep the silvered bead out of the flame while you add the clear otherwise you'll burn it off too soon. Once all the clear blobs are on the bead put the whole thing into the flame and vaporize the silver off the places without the clear - it's the fun part.

Not a bad first try. I need to use a smaller, thinner rod of clear for wrapping the trails over the silver foil.

I also made one with a base of teal and blue mixed together.

I can't wait to try these with lots of other colors, solids as well as transparents.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Get thee to a nunnery...

I had the most wonderful week last week - at the convent.

No, not like that.
It was an art quilting retreat held at the Stella Maris convent in Skaneateles New York.
Not that I sew or quilt either, but a couple of friends were going and who couldn't use a week on a gorgeous lake?

Everyone got a nice little nun room. Who knew nun's have double beds?

The view from my bedroom window. Heavenly.

Life size Mary at night.

I call this photo - 'Last Supper at the salad bar."

This little wooden sign was in the elevator mounted into the beige shag carpeting walls.
Not sure why silence was required in the elevator, perhaps so that you could better contemplate the "going up or going down" metaphor of heaven and hell?

There are many, many paintings of Jesus at the convent. This one wass my favorite. I affectionately called him 'Neanderthal Jesus.'

Friday, July 06, 2012

Strawberries - Cute as a Button

I was going to photograph these new buttons with a real strawberry - but I forgot to save one berry back at breakfast time. Mango greek yogurt and fresh sliced strawbs? Yes, thank you.

Making these berry buttons is fun but involves a lot of farting around at the torch.
I'm considering making a tutorial for them. Anyone interested?

Look at this little cutie!
It's a tiny wool strawberry.
My friend Nancy Topolski makes them, and all kinds of wooly treats. Check out here Etsy shop here.