Friday, March 21, 2014

the 600

I was a late comer to Pinterest.
It was just tumblr for housewives right, something akin to Farmville with recipes?

Then I figured out it was a great way to save and sort images.
Now I also find how-to information and store all sorts of computer flotsam and jetsam there.

And now I have over 600 "followers."
Who are these people looking in my underwear drawers of computer stuff?

Ok, I get that there are lots of us who adore poodle stuff and I do have a nice folder full of weird poodle pictures, products and trinkets.You can click here to see my horde of poodle crap.

But how many people could share my obsession with red and white polka dot mushrooms, or want to see what I have collected on the subject of rhubarb?

Perhaps you're a glass bead maker like me and looking for free tutorials and technical information?
I have a folder for that - here.

Maybe you just want it all!
Here is the link to my silly Pinterest.

Rod Soup - A Recipe

Making beads is not just about the glamorous times when I play with fire for hours on end.
It's also about taking care of my materials and not being wasteful.

Glass rods come in bundles, and one rod in each bundle has a sticker on the end to identify the color.
It's a real sticky sticker that won't peel off.
But I have a system for getting them off so I don't waste that nice little piece of glass.

I happen to love working with short rods of glass.
It's sad, but true, that many flameworkers hate them.

I buy them from them, sometimes they give them to me, we trade... but I always have lots of short rods around and most of them have stickers on their butts.

Just put 'em in a jar of water overnight and let them soak.
Next day dump them out, onto a towel, on your work table.

And just slip, or unwind, the stickers right off the rods.
The adhesive has dissolved and it literally takes a second, or two, to clean each rod.

Pink is freaking expensive, a gal shouldn't waste her pink.

Now you have a pile on nice clean short rods for making frit, buttons, stringers and twisties, or torching back into long rods.

For this process it's also good to have a tasty bagel on hand.

A reward after a tedious task makes sense, right?

Friday, March 14, 2014

Shoots and Dirt

We're still buried under mountains of snow but I am thinking about the first little leaves pushing up through the cold wet dirt. I am making spring bracelets right now.

I went deep into the bead stash with this one.
Smokey topaz, big white, cloud like pearls, labradorite and amethyst.
I think the big chunky, square one below is galena.

It's all put together with a mess of sterling silver.

The glass beads are transparent hand-pulled emerald and a mix of light and dark topaz.
They were rolled in Val Cox 'Ocelot Spots' frit and heavily reduced for an iridescent shine.

I shaped them with a tool I have to make fish scales.
It's been sitting in the drawer for ages and now I love it all over again.

The clasp is a coiled and hammered 'S' hook in 16g sterling.

Feels like spring to me.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Spring Tulip Bracelet

I am so full of ... anticipation.

I refashioned an old bracelet into a new spring charm bracelet.
The old parts (tulips and some links) were reborn by adding new green leaves, butter yellow freshwater pearls and some little tiny jade hearts.

The whole thing is sterling silver except for the neat brite violet jump rings going thru each leaf.

I love the clasp on this one - it looks like a plant tendril.

Snow Day

First thing to do, just go back to bed.

You know you're in trouble when 'The Weather Channel' is doing a live remote blizzard update from your friend's front yard.

Yes, that's how hard it's snowing.
I can't see a thing outside the window by my desk.

Sunday, March 09, 2014

The Never Ending Winter

Sadly there is no 'forced perspective' going on in this wintry snapshot.
I'm just sitting in a parking lot looking out the windshield at the glacial snowbanks all around me.

Friday, March 07, 2014

Red Apples

I think I may have finished the big oil painting of red apples.

I will need to stare at it for a while before I am sure.
No need to be hasty.
Drop by the studio to see it and tell me what you think.

This is the photograph I worked from.
It was taken it in Williamson, New York, years ago. Somewhere near the lake where all the orchards are.

I had just gotten my first digital camera, it changed everything about my painting.
You can only imagine how many images I have squirreled away that I could make art from.
Flowers, leaves, plants - thousands of them at the ready.
Image hoarder.

A few close-ups - so you can see the paint better.
This painting is extra gooey.

Thursday, March 06, 2014


Meet Henri.
Pet portraits are not my norm but I made this one as a gift.

This paw is my favorite part of the painting.

His furry little butt is fun too.

Henri L. Borek
oil on canvas
18" x 24"

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

It's Berry Easy To Do

A novice glass bead maker recently asked me how on earth did I make my charm beads.
Wait? Wat?
On the end of the mandrel, my dear.
The mandrel should be down into the bead about half way.
It's not easy being a newbie.

Ream them out until they're perfectly clean, let them dry and epoxy in a bail - viola!

Berries, blossoms, birds, bugs, balls... try it.

Please Mr. Postman


Look what came in yesterday's mail.
A little something to cheer me up in the dead of winter...

I've had so many requests to make more skull earrings.
Now there will be enough for everyone in no time at all.

I am making a nice selection of these for First Friday.
My studio will be open from 6-9 on Friday March 7th.
#320 in the Hundgerford Building - 1115 East Main Street.

Come and get 'em while they're hot.

Monday, March 03, 2014

300 For 3 Hours

I have a favorite recipe for this dreadful time of year.
Oven roasted tomatoes.
They taste like concentrated summer and you get to have the oven on for hours.

Horrible, hard, under-ripe roma tomatoes are cheap in late February and early March.
On Saturday morning a whole case was $8 at the Rochester Public Market.

Start by giving them a nice warm, soapy bath to remove pesticides and any crud.
You can see that a lot of them are still greenish pink - not too enticing.

Rinse and drain.

Get out your biggest roasting pan.
Lop off the tomato tops then quarter them and throw them in the pan.
I like to use a serrated knife, the tomatoes are so hard and nasty that it's what works best.

Pour on a little bit of olive oil, I am guessing that I used about 3 tablespoons in this monster pan.
You don't need a lot oil, just enough to coat them.

Sprinkle with kosher salt, black pepper and a teaspoon or so of brown sugar.
The little bit of sugar seems to help them start to caramelize.
Stir everything around with a spatula until all the tomatoes are shiny with the oil and good stuff.

Into the oven at 300 degrees for about three hours.
This is what they looked like after one hour - all steamy and juicy.
Times can vary radically depending on how watery the tomatoes are and how many are in the pan.

Here's what you're aiming for - a gorgeous caramel edged tomato goo.
You want lots of brown, but no burnt. Watch carefully at the end.
I cannot describe how good your kitchen will smell when they're done.

This stuff combats the winter blues and can raise the frozen dead.
Spread it on toast, toss it with pasta, eat it warm out of the pan with a big spoon.
Add it to soups, layer it a toasted cheese sandwich, put it in a spinach salad or inside an omelet.

Pack it up and put it in the fridge - it will last for about two weeks because of the salt.
From that huge case of tomatoes I did five pans of tomatoes and made about four quarts of heavenly, concentrated tomato goodness.

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Color Testing : Raku & Sage

Just trying out a new color combination.
I'm looking for something simple to make a necklace with.

These two have a barrel shaped base of 'Sage Green Opaque Pastel' rolled in fine 'Raku' frit and encased in 'Effetre Super Clear.'