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Friday, October 31, 2008

Trick or Treat ~ Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

Here is my band of trick or treaters that are in the FlameTree Glass Halloween Bead Contest. There are so many wonderful entries, that I have no idea whether I'll even place. But I'm still glad to have entered.

The three children are miniature bobblehead beads. It's cute when you wiggle the stand and the heads move. I tried to include plenty of details to make each one interesting. The child in the bunny costume is wearing a mask, and bunny slippers. She also has a bunny tail. To make her trick or treat bag, I bent a small piece of copper wire around a glass rod to give it the handle shape. After laying down the "palms" of her hands, I placed the wire and then added the rest of her hands to hold it in place. By swiping the orange glass, I could make the base of the trick or treat bag. If you're going to try something like this, be careful about not holding the copper wire in the flame too long, or it will melt.

The little devil boy is wearing sneakers and carrying his teddy bear and trick or treat bag. I gave him some fake facial hair, because I was remembering the year I made my son an Elvis costume. I used doll hair on peach felt to make an inset for his rhinestone sparkley shirt, so he would have a hairy chest, which was pretty funny on a first grade little boy.

The ballerina big sister is standing on one foot. She was made on a 1/16th mandrel, so her leg could be slim enough for the size she is. Her other leg is bent at the knee and the ballet slipper is resting on her calf.

I placed them tightly together on the green stand for a few reasons. Most importantly, that's how kids always appear at my door. Packed together and in groups. And I also wanted the beads to stay pretty firmly in place. Because they are on an open table to be displayed at FlameTree and not in a case, I thought it might keep them a little safer, so they don't move around as much. Each bead can be removed for packing and shipping and then easily set up again.

The rest of this vignette is made from beads too. The dog, the stand and the little pumpkin (which is behind them, so the back side has a little more interest), are beads as well.

But this is only one half of FlameTree's contest. They have even a bigger one for sculptural glass. Check out their website for the down load-able pdf in that area too.
And don't forget my 20% Off SECRET SALE going on in my Etsy shop, just for my online friends. Come on over and read the details in my Shop Announcements .

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Glass Tidbits, Crazy Stuff & SALE, Because I've Been Tagged Again!

Blind Melon Video "No Rain" 1991

You read it in the title. I've been tagged again. This time by Chatelaine Jewellery who is just the nicest person. I love her tiaras too!

Hang on just a minute and the connection to this music video will show up in my 7 facts about me. I'm trying to keep them glass related, because I bet you're tired of hearing my personal life info. Please post and let me know whether you want more glass related or Marcy related tagging facts, when I get tagged.

Here are the rules of tagging
1. Link to tagger and display these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself - some random, some WEIRD.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by including links to their blog.
4. Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

7 Random and Somewhat Weird Facts About Me and My Glass

1. I just set up a 20% SALE section in my Studio Marcy Etsy shop this morning. Read the shop announcements for the code. It's just being advertised here. Feel free to spread the word, as it's a quick one through Sunday night. Click on the right hand side of the page's SALE section .

2. This morning I received a request to make a bead that looks like the bee girl in this Blind Melon video. I can't wait to try her. She's adorable and her glasses will be quite a challenge.

3. Last night I received another request from a different customer to make a bee that is like a peppermint pink and white one. (I think that will be really fun and very cute) I am wondering whether this flying request phenomenon could be called "The Secret Life of Glass Bees" (saw the real movie and loved it.)

4. I have an International group of blog visitors who stop by regularly- USA, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Canada, Germany, Australia, Netherlands, Italy, etc. But yesterday ...within one hour, I had folks from Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Singapore, Turkey, Argentina and Poland visit. Curious. Anyone have any ideas what might have happened?

5. I'm currently working on a line of greyhound dogs as a custom order for a greyhound related shop. They're pretty hard to do, because they're such slim, elegant animals. I'll be blogging about them when I get the beads just the way my buyer wants.

6. I submitted my miniature bobblehead bead "Trick or Treat" entry for FlameTreeGlass's Halloween Bead Contest. You can go to their site and download photos all of the entries in two pdf.s. Mine are in the bead section. Cross your fingers for me. There are some wonderful entries.

7. And non glass related... I received a fun telephone call this week. It was one of my neighborhood and school buddies 4-7th grade from Stamford, Connecticut. They've been searching for friends and started a yahoo group. I grew up on a penninsula called Shippan Avenue and the ocean was in many of their backyards. You'll often see beach and ocean related items in my shop, and now know that they're there from my much loved childhood roots. And by the way, I moved away after 7th grade, so I haven't been in contact with them for ages!

Here are some of my EtsyBEAD Street Team members, who I've tagged. Enjoy their blogs!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Sad Good Bye to Cori

It is with great sadness that I'm saying good bye to Cori, my fellow Etsy Artisan Beader Street Team member and friend.  

Corinne Portalatin passed away Monday morning, October 27th. 

Perhaps you knew her Etsy shop, ccdesigns 
or followed her blog.

Please keep her family and friends in your thoughts.

Cori, we'll miss you.

"Many people walk in and out of our life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart"-- Eleanor Roosevelt

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Do You Know Beading Color Expert Margie Deeb?

Do you know beading color expert Margie Deeb?

She writes wonderful articles, pdfs, books and does podcasts regarding colors for beaders.

She is busy working on a Spring color forecast and I'm lucky to be making one of the jewelry illustrations for it.

Here is an approximation of the colors that I'll be using but in different proportions.

I was thinking of making a sculptural flower bead with these colors. And as it needs to be finished jewelry for my submission, then use that bead to make a ring. But seeing that it's not due for a little while, I'm open to suggestions from all of you. What would you like to see in these colors? It should be 50% pink, 22% green and yellow- each and about 6% white. I'd love to hear your ideas.
**Don't forget the free weekly give away in the Artisan Beader Gift Guide, please stop by!**

Monday, October 27, 2008

Lost In Translation? Alien Drinking Coffee

You might have read that I'm in an online glass creativity workshop that I love by Sylvie Lansdowne. This past week's assignment was to choose a picture from those offered and translate it into a bead.

I chose the one on the left, which is angular and complex. It was a very tough choice. I was amused by her coffee with the swirling steam, the bacon and eggs on her left, the clouds in her coffee, (think of the song, "You're So Vain"), the Starbucks logo and most of all, the angular lines and the off kilter shape and size of the face.

You can see two of my beady attempts of the art.
The top one was my first and the bottom two are the front and back side of my second bead.

As I want to teach you what NOT to do, as well as what TO do, here are some of my findings.

1. Don't worry if it doesn't turn out beautifully. If you don't stretch yourself and try, you'll never know. I think these are two of the funkiest looking beads I've made, but I'm so happy to have tried them.

2. Simplify as much as possible- patterns, designs and colors. If you have something that needs to be the focal of your focal bead, you need to give it a background so it shows up well. See my second bead to exemplify that.

3. What are the medium's traits?- glass likes to be round, so it's a great exercise in patience and heat control to get the angular lines.

4 .On my second attempt at the bead, I took some of the details and placed them on the backside of the bead to make it interesting and to carry out the interpretation of the original artwork .

5. Don't give up. Try it again to see whether your analysis improves your interpretation a second time around. I much prefer my second bead which is pictured in the bottom two photos.

6. Most importantly, learn from what you did. I know now what I would do differently in that kind of interpretive situation. But these concepts work more than on just Modern Art. If you are making a bead that will remind you of a favorite family photo, or a landscape or whatever you choose. Distill the important parts out and focus on them. Choose your colors wisely and because of size and glass characteristics simplify all of it.

Now I'm going to put both beads up in my Etsy shop. Because one other thing that I've learned over the years is that a bead might not be my favorite, but often times, it appeals to someone else. This will be one more experiment that I'm trying.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I'm On "Watch Me Create"

Have you visited the blog, Watch Me Create?

It's the brain child of Lori Greenberg, which is a collaborative blog written by a variety of bead artists and jewelry makers who write about their creative processes.

I recently wrote a post about baking glass pie beads and how I came up with the changes in this slice of apple pie a la mode with caramel sauce. (mmm...)

I have to say, a major influence is one of my favorite current television shows, "Pushing Daisies". Their creativity and quick banter really hold my interest.

So what are your favorite pies and desserts? What would you like to see as beads? I love hearing your ideas.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

I've been tagged two more times. Kaye of (who is currently showing some lovely Etsy offerings), recently tagged me and so did Lori Greenberg of (here's a huge hint- read everything she writes if you want to be a smarter bead makers!).
Now try to catch me to tag me.

So, here are the rules:

1. Link on your blog to my blog that tagged you.

2. Give your 7 factoids.

3. Tag 7 other blogs by leaving a comment on their blog letting them know they were tagged and list them (and their links) in your own blog.

•••••••••••••••••••• ••••••••••••••••••••• •••••••••••••••••••••

1. I don't like roller coasters- that's one of my computer backgrounds in the photo.

2. I just made a bead based on this piece of art for a creativity group I'm in. I'll write about its complexities in another blog.

3. I used to write a weekly newspaper column as part of one of my old jobs.

4. My very first real job was as a janitor for an art center.

5. I collect children's picture books that have wonderful illustrations

6. I tested out of 24 hours of college credit before entering the University.

7. We used to have an 18 foot tipi in our backyard that had a fire pit in it.

My 7 tagged buddies both current and past Etsy Glass Artists Street Team

Friday, October 24, 2008

I've been tagged again. This time by Brenda of Brenda's Jewelry Box. She makes really pretty jewelry and I particularly like these earrings from her etsy shop.

Okay...this is how it works:

1. Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by including links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs.

1. The photo of me gazing adoringly at my new glass (or actually wondering if I can hold onto all the glass and push the camera button with my elbow), shows what I chose for my first place prize gift certificate from Artistry In Glass. Here's the blog about it and how you can enter their next contest. I chose all CIM glass, Electric Avenue, Elphaba (what the heck does that mean?), Heffalump, Kryptonite, Halong Bay, Stone Ground, Crocus, Ghee and Rose Quartz. I use the Gelly Sty Pink already and wanted to try out more colors. Thank You Artistry In Glass!

2. I won a three hole golf contest and trophy in Slovenia and had never golfed before. Honestly, it was luck. (If you don't know where Slovenia is, google it and look at photos. It's a beautiful country and we had a great time there.)

3. I love a good game of Scrabble and it's one of the few times I get competitive.

4. Tonight I'm joining Southern Flames Board members for dinner with visiting beadmaking teacher, Jeff Barber who is making this year's 2009 Commemorative Bead for the Bead & Button show and teaching for our Southern Flames group.

5. Unique garden gnomes make me smile and I display two 3ft ones.

6. I'm now on the LEST Top 100 List. Please click on my banner!

7. I was the South Eastern Regional Director for the International Society of Glass Beadmakers a few years ago.

Here are my tagged blogs. .stop by and enjoy these fun ones.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

My New Cricket Torch Arrived!

Woo Hoo... It's My CRICKET!

Here's my actual torch taken with my computer's camera.
Please do not notice either the dust or the messy bookshelves behind me.

I know I've been blog tagged, but that will wait until tomorrow, because I have a new torch to tell you about today.

My new GTT Cricket torch arrived and I'm excited. I haven't connected it yet, but wanted to show everyone what one looks like, if you haven't seen one. Mine is pink with lime green knobs. I know the price of this one sure caught my attention quickly. (Introductory sale base price $139 USD, plus color upgrades that I chose.)

I tried this out at the ISGB (International Society of Glass Beadmakers) Gathering this summer while it AND another Cricket were hooked up to a 10 LPM concentrator. It had a nice strong flame and could focus down to a small point pretty well too. My try out time was short, and it was late at night, but I sure liked the idea that I could hook two torches to my 10 LPM Regalia concentrator at home. It was designed specifically to maximize the abilities of low flow oxygen concentrators like a 5 LPM.

If any of you readers out there know whether there is a torch mounted marver that fits with it, please let me know. That's part of my delay of hooking it up. I use my marver so much, I'd like to have one before I switch over. My trusty Minor needs to go get a good cleaning. Once that happens, I'll try hooking both up and see how well that experiment goes and let you know.

Do you have a Cricket? Or a torch that you think is exceptional? Tell us about it. So often people ask for recommendations for torches, but I'm always reticent to suggest, unless I've used a certain model extensively.

Tomorrow will be tag day about me and I'm sure something about glass and beadmaking. Next week, I'll be announcing two 2-day classes that I'm teaching in February and how to sign up for the lottery to get into them.

Until then, happy torching!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Inspiration Monday Part Deux

You saw Monday's frog costume for inspiration, now here is the bead.

Meet baby Abby who is wearing it. She is currently living in my etsy shop and if you'd like more views of this little cutie, just click here.
Of course she would be perfectly happy to hop over to your house too.

I thought if I wrote about inspiration, perhaps it would be a good idea to show you my final translation too. And if you missed Monday's blog, just scroll down to see the original photo.

Catch you tomorrow!


Don't Miss This!

Don't Miss This One ~ Weekly Give Away from Artisan Beaders Street Team
Featuring BrokenTeepeeDesigns This Week

Our Artisan Beaders Street Team is sponsoring a weekly drawing for one of our members' shop items up to Christmas. Woohoo, who doesn't love something that is FREE? And it's easy to enter. The blog will explain it. Of course I'll donate a prize too, but I'm not sure which week it will be. If anyone has a suggestion, let me know.

Each Monday, the blog will feature that week's prize and winners will be announced the following Friday. I'd love it if one of my readers won this pair of prasiolite (green amethyst), mystic blue topaz, and gold filled findings earrings.

So get over there quickly and win a prize. Click here !

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Creativity Class Challenge

I'm in a fun creativity class that Sylvie Lansdowne has designed and is running. She is one of the most imaginative people I know. And her beads are stunning too.

Sylvie gave us each a black and white botanical photo with three colors and we were to interpret it however we wanted. This was mine.

As those three colors are not exactly in my soft glass palette, I had some improvising to do

I loved the photo immediately and thought how hard it would be.
It was. Those arms are too fragile to make in soft glass, so I knew I had to round them up a bit, but still give it a similar look. I could use the three colors however I chose, and I could only make one bead as an interpretation. It reminds me of drawing classes where you do the 15 minute sketch that gives you an idea of the picture, but not the details that practice and more work would give you.

That pink color was a tough one. I tried all kinds of glass to get that original shade, and knew that I needed a different pink to show up against my orange. So I have CIM Gelly Sty Pink cased in their Berry Transparent, (can't remember the name.)

After we made the first bead, (which I call my Tropical Palm), we could make a second one that uses elements of the first, or if someone suggested an idea, we could do that. I saw those little sculptural pieces and they looked like pigtails to me. So I made a face. Having only three colors limits you on facial features, so I used one of my tools to show them. (She is already spoken for, but the first bead is listed here in my etsy shop.)

After looking at my first bead, it was suggested that I make some flamingos out of it. That's a wonderful idea and at some point I probably will.

Have you started in one direction and then changed course because it inspired you to go in a different direction? What did you do? I'd love to hear about it.

And please visit my Etsy Shop. I add a few new beads daily and love doing custom order for you too.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Inspiration Monday ~ And You Wonder Where I Find It?

Halloween Costumes are a wonderful source of inspiration.

Chubby babies in funny costumes always make me smile.
What is nice about babies in costumes, is that they're are already pretty much shaped like beads, and they are always

If you are looking for a character figure, adult costumes work well for those. They're online and a great resource. The thing about many costumes, is that they've already done the simplification and the research for you. If you're making a small glass figure, you can't have too much detail, but want the "essence" of what you're trying to convey. Costumes have narrowed those decisions down for you, and you can take the inspiration and go from there.

If you've used a costume as a bead inspiration, please send me a costume and then bead photo. Let's post them. And if this write up reminds you of some inspiration that you've recently used, I'd love for you to comment about it here too.

See you tomorrow,

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Pumpkin Cupcake ~ Bead on a Bead

Sometimes I make beads just because I want a challenge or the concept amuses me. This one encompasses both.

I was discussing pumpkin bread with someone and wondered if there are pumpkin flavored cupcakes. I thought it would be fun to make a Halloween cupcake that showed that.

For a long time, I've been messing around with stacking objects on top of each other in my beadmaking, so it was natural to add a pumpkin on top of the cupcake. I needed to watch my heat control to keep it nice and distinct between the two and yet make sure that it is totally fused on, so that it doesn't crack off. That sometimes happens if they aren't heated enough together. But I didn't want the pumpkin to look like it was melting into the frosting.

I solved this problem by melting a smaller first wrap into the frosting pretty well, before adding the rest of the pumpkin. This is just one of a couple of methods that I use when attaching a section that needs to look separate.

This delicious pumpkin cupcake is available in my Etsy shop - here. And I've also recently added some other food items to make sure my specialty food shop has plenty of delicacies.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Online Coaching Follow Up with Pam's Witch

Pam sent me these photos of her second attempt at a witch's face, which I think turned out really well.

I see all kinds of improvements that she was aiming for from her first one.
Although I really liked it too!

Pam had said that she wanted to make the black dots on her eyes, and give the witch a pointier and more pronounced chin.  Her hair looks exactly like what I try really hard to keep mine from looking like.  Perfect for a witch.  And Pam added decorations on this witch's hat which wa another goal.

Well done Pam!  I know it's harder to make a second round of a bead after it's been discussed so thoroughly, but it just goes to show how quickly we can make changes and see a big difference.  You can find these witches in Pam's etsy shop.

Next week I'll write a mini tutorial for you and then the following week we'll have an online coaching session.  If you're interested in being a student, please contact me.  

Happy Saturday to you.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I've Been Tagged and the Winner of my bead is...

And the WINNER of my bead is.......  Kim!   Kim, please contact me so I can get your address.
My thanks to everyone who guessed and the answer is Obie Wizzle.  I made up his name, but he was inspired by the Tarot Deck.

I've Been Tagged

Tag is a blogger's game, which is similar to the kids' game we played so many zillion years ago.
Jewelry maker extraordinaire, Vicki of has tagged me. (Visit her blog and Etsy shop for some wonderful info and jewelry!)

Here's how the cyber-version of tag works;
1. Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by including links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs.

The Seven Wonders of Marcy's World (aka Share 7 Facts)
1. I can write backwards lefthanded, so it is mirror writing.
2. I was a DJ in college and had shifts in rock as well as classical music, (which I loved, because I could get my homework done during those)
3. I helped carve race car rain tires at 24 Hours At Daytona, while working in the Pit
4. I can bake an apple pie without a recipe
5. I paint watercolors
6. David Byrne's Rei MoMo is one of my favorite CD's
7. Chocolate and coconut together are the 7th Wonder of the World. Yum.

Here are the 7 Bloggers I've Tagged

I chose a variety of styles so my regular readers might find some new wonderful blogs to read.
Please enjoy their sites and find out a little more about them.
Happy Friday to all....

Translate My Blog- Easy Peasy

Besides all my English speaking visitors, I have many whose English might be their second, third or fourth language. Having grown up in a multi language home, I'm excited and happy to see the diversity of my new friends. Welcome!

So to make it easier, I have installed a little window on the right column as pictured below. It is a translator for web pages or phrases. What fun. You just type in my blog address

(, and choose the language, and away you go

I'm also thinking that this could also benefit my quest to brush up on my Spanish and French from years ago as well as help me learn a little Italian. I still hold the dream of going to Italy to study glass some day.

My top photo is in Dutch in honor of one of my good friends locally who speak it and my friends in the Netherlands.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Adding A "Twist" To Your Beadmaking Voice & A 48 Hour Quick Contest

I'm just going to admit it and get it over with... I like quirky things. I don't like violence or scary, but I like a touch of "off beat" if it has humor or makes you think.

I found this Tarot deck. At the time, I had never had my cards read, but I was amused and interested in the illustrations. They fit my criteria....they look like inspiration for beads, so I bought the deck. I like the contrast of the bright colors with Graham Cameron's
oddball group of characters. So here is one bead I made using this tarot deck.

Often I give them names and stories. Let me introduce to you Heyward the Musician who travels with Cirque de Soleil. He plays the banjo and mandolin. His pet crow is Rasmussen. Needless to say, Rasmussen is always whispering in his ear and telling him what to do.

I have one other bead in my shop that is directly inspired from this tarot deck. I know, others may fool you, but there's just officially one of them. For the next 48 hours, anyone who comments and posts the bead's name, will have their name put in a drawing for one of my beads. (if you are an "anonymous" person, please be sure to let me know how to reach you, or check back on Friday) And if it is too hard commenting in public, I'll count an email sent to me, at

Start looking for it... and good luck!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A Bead Lover's Breakfast

I am honored to announce that some of my bacon lampwork beads have been featured on "The Royal Bacon Society's" blog.

This blog, which totally cracks me up, includes bacon Halloween costumes, bacon recipes, quotes about bacon and even bacon porn.

I am a bacon fan too, and so is my family. One year, my daughter requested bacon band aids for Christmas. If you have similar tastes, you can find them here.

When my son was home on vacation from college, and sleeping really late, I knew that the odor of cooking bacon would wake him up. I admit to frying a little up on more than one occasion.

And here's one of his cooking tips... for pepper bacon, just grind some pepper onto regular bacon before or during cooking. It tastes great!

If you like this bead, check out my Etsy shop for additional delicious breakfast items to go with it. I currently have a fried egg and a little later this morning, will be adding a short stack of pancakes with maple syrup.

Now if they would just come up with a realistic room scent of bacon. I'm sure sales would be huge.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

New Tutorial in My Etsy Shop

I thought about all my online coaching and how much I enjoy it. And perhaps there are some people who would like to take it a step farther than the bits and pieces that I offer in my blog.

So here is my first tutorial that is listed in my Etsy shop. Meet Santa Claus. I go through step by step each part of making this bead as well as the preparation needed and some alternatives to how and why I'm doing things.

Santa would love to come visit you before Christmas Eve and he would make a great ornament, focal or even package decoration.

Stop by my etsy shop and enjoy.

Thor the Viking on Squidoo

Have you seen Thor yet? He's a lampwork glass bead Viking who has been turned into a retractable ballpoint pen on a wood base. Somewhere he read that the pen is mightier than the sword and he's exploring that possibility.

Thor has taken time out from his busy days of pillaging and plundering, because he is one of the featured artisan products in "Uber Cool Handmade or Decorated Pens" on Squidoo.

It's worth taking the time off. He is trying to become more of a chick magnet and if he's working all the time, it's very hard to meet them. The old Viking ways aren't too PC right now.

Stop by and visit him along with other items in my shop. If you aren't familiar with Squidoo and their lenses, spend a little time there too. There are all kinds of interesting topics and you can learn a lot by reading them. Maybe make one yourself too? Lori, who is wordvixen on Etsy wrote this one. Thank you Lori!

Thor is also available in my etsy shop, along with other artisan lampwork glass pens which make great presents for collectors and people with a great sense of fun. Please don't forget, I love custom orders!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Ethiopia, Lampwork Glass Beads & HOPE Bracelets

Each year, the non profit organization, HOPE Bracelet Project asks beadmakers from around the world to donate beads which help residents of Yetebon, Ethiopia.

Bracelets are made and sold in the USA from these beads and funds are raised to make an annual trip to Ethiopia to teach students at the Medhame-Alem School. The school teaches vocational and skills to adult men and women which in turn raises the quality of life for their entire community.

This year, beadmaker extroadinaire, Kim Miles and her husband are raising funds to go to Yetebon and teach beadmaking. It's an expensive trek.

Kim is known for generously working with publicizing and donating to this organization. It is through her website (, that we annually sign up to donate 100 bracelet sized beads for this group. Kim's beads are always in demand, and she donates some of her work as prizes for a drawing for people who participate. I was lucky enough to win one a few years ago. Along with many others, I support this annually.

Kim needs help reaching her fundraising goal to get to Africa. I'm hoping that some of my readers will consider donating to her travel fund. She has some lovely jewelry that you can possibly win, if you help out. Here is her donation page, and more explanation.

And here is the bead donation page, if you would like to help out. You don't need to donate 100 beads, but I'd love it if you joined our group who does. You can find the donation information here.

Not a beadmaker, but want to donate? There are links for that too. They need other bracelet making supplies & cash as well as Kim's blog ( has a wishlist from the organizer, The Cunningham Foundation, for the school including items that are specific for classes in biology, math, chemistry, languages and general items like tape recorders, pens, pencils, sports balls and flash drives.

I hope you take a minute to check out some of the links I've provided. There is more information through and

Friday, October 10, 2008

Artistry In Glass Contest & Fun Website

I've been told by family members that I don't toot my horn often enough, so today I'm practicing.

Hooray, I won first place in the Advanced Category of's most recent contest. My little vampire was my entry.

Because he's rather dashing, I combined his photo with this fun website,, where you upload a photo of yourself or others, and they have some ready made "magazine covers" that go over your photo.
I made some with my own photo too, but those will have to wait for another time.

So beadmakers, check out, for their next bead photo contest. I think it's an every other month type thing, with gift certificates from their online store as prizes.

And I'd like to mention that some of my friends also won prizes. I am so happy for you.
Deronda, Paula & Louise, you all sure deserved winning a prize. Hopefully more of my blog readers will enter and win next time too. (I'd love to hear from you about it.) See the winning beads here...

So, now that you're almost famous, stop by It only takes a minute or two and sure makes you and your beads look almost famous.


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Twins Zelda & Imelda Witch Finally Arrive

Meet Zelda and Imelda Witch. They must be fraternal twins, because their bodies are the same, but their features are different. Each are posing with the family pet, Gerta the owl.

Zelda the first (and she swears that she's the older twin too, but who cares when they're over 600 years old?), has a little spider hanging from her hat. Her nose wart is solid green, so you can compare between the two witches, which style you prefer when making your own.

She also has two-color eyes. Instead of having whites, her base eye color is orange with a black pupil. Red berries and green leaves rest on the orange hatband. A small spider is hanging from her hat. She is attached with a small piece of 1/16th mandrel directly into the hat. I added a small dichroic glass stringer to somewhat camouflage it and add a touch of sparkle if the light hits it right.

Although her head was made on an atypical mandrel so it is concave, I still made it to look rather "bicone" shape. See how the chin looks "witchier" when pointed. Purposely, I left her mouth as a thin line which adds to the effect. Full lips would have made her look friendlier. I added a few extra lumps on her nose and an extra one on her chin which makes it more asymmetrical and bumpier.

Imelda looks closer to Pam's original witch. I wanted to try what Pam did and sure like the effect. I personally prefer the black wart on her nose over the green one on Zelda. She has a lumpy nose and black dots for eyes. Imelda has a very simple flower and two leaves on her hat.

Both witches were made in a sitting position, which I did as a challenge to myself, to see whether I could do it. Next time, I'd do it differently. I made a base bead and then starting extending her legs horizontally and then built them down at 90 degree angles. Problem was, that I didn't measure the stand first, and I made them too short. Now I need to make her a special stand, instead of using my existing commercial one.

The girls are wearing a Victoria's Secret Bustier made for witches. It laces in the front and is a sexy light grape shade. It really shows off their glowing green complexion. They are wearing striped tights from Urban Outfitters and black Baby Phat hip hop shorts. Rather eclectic, but what do you expect from these wild and crazy girls?

If you have any questions about any techniques that I employed, please ask me. You can contact me through my website,, or you can post here too.

Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate having people read what I write.

Coaching Witch Is In the Kiln - Here's A Temporary Substitute

What is that saying about the "best laid plans"?

I finished my bobblehead witch body to show you, and there was a problem. I couldn't solve it by warming up the body and mending it in the flame. So I tried my favorite 2 part epoxy, Epoxy 330, (which I buy from RayDichroic on Etsy). That just didn't make it right either. So I said "adios" and tossed it in the you-know-what.

There's a new one in the kiln and I need awhile longer for the cycle to complete, before I can photo and post it later today.

I noticed quite a few people stopping by to look, so here's a temporary witch for you. She was in my Etsy shop, but has flown to a new home.

Look carefully at her broom handle and you'll see that I just popped one of my canes in her hands and added more of her "hand" glass to adhere it carefully. At this point, you want to be careful not to get it too warm because it will bend. You can see a slight bend in the handle on this one. BUT, you still need to be very careful about keeping it warm, because it's all out there by itself and will lose its heat very quickly.

Think about other ways that you can use pieces of interesting canes or twisties. What are they? Please post and let us know. One of the fun things about seeing my use of them, is for them to inspire you to use this technique in a different way.

So please stop by later today. I'll have Zelda ready and uploaded then. I just want her to be whole and ready for viewing. Meanwhile, feel free to visit my etsy shop and see my latest dessert- Apple Pie with a lattice crust, a la mode with caramel sauce over the top.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Ask Studio Marcy ~ Online Coaching: Witchy Woman Face with Pam of My Cabin Creations

Pam Dansie of My Cabin Creations/Wild Sage Lampwork has offered this wonderful witch who is ghastly green and has a lovely black wart on the end of her nose. Pam's Etsy shop can be found at .

To be honest, I tend to make more "cute" style beads, so this was kind of fun to look at and to see how I could answer Pam's requests to make her more like the Oz Wicked Witch

Here's what Pam wrote:
"Hi. My original vision was the Wicked Witch of the West kinda long mean face. Well obviously I ended up with the shrunken apple kinda face. I wanted a longer nose and chin but didn't want to fool with it more, worrying that I would totally mess it up. The hair is made with white and grey twisties that didn't come out right when I put them on. I wanted to put black where the eyes are and a flower on the hat. I didn't do the eyes because I should have done it before the hat and the flower was just another way to mess it up. So any help is great. I think the wart would have looked better in green maybe. Thanks Pam"

So let's take each of those comments separately.
1. How about starting out next time with a longish bicone type shape for a head? It would start you out with a longer more narrow face, and almost a blue print for adding the other features.
At the bottom, you can add some extra glass for a long chin. Where the bicone gets wider, that's where your nose and cheeks go with room for your mouth.

2 I'm not sure what the problem was with the hair? I thought you did a good job with it. If you want it to look a little more straggly, you can encase your cane with clear, before you twist it. The clear provides a little more separation between strands. I'd love for it to be more visible and stick out more around her face.

3. You figured out what to do with the eyes already. And here's one extra little pointer. If I'm making eyes with a white background and a pupil type eye, then I'll make the initial white dot and wait until almost the end of the bead to add the black pupil. Otherwise, the pupil melts in and doesn't stay where I placed it.

4. A flower on this witch's hat would have added a touch of whimsy. If you're worried about losing control, perhaps it could be done as soon as you make the brim. I'm hoping that when you're doing a sculptural bead, that you aren't rotating her in the heat like a traditional beadmaking style, but moving your hand so that the heat hits all directions of the bead all the the time.

When making a sculptural bead, often you have thinner and thicker areas. This creates problems with keeping every part warm enough, so it doesn't crack. I tend to add the thinner and more fragile parts towards the end, so they have less chance of getting too cool. And because of this, sometimes the order of feature placement doesn't seem as logical to new sculptural beadmakers. But it really is.

5. And finally, let's address the black wart on the end of her nose. I like it. If it were green, it wouldn't have stood out. And because she doesn't have other black features competing with it, this makes it more visible and add a focal point to bring the viewer's attention to her withered face.

Blog readers, what do you think? What would you do differently. Pam and I would love to hear what you have to say. Please feel free to comment.

Tomorrow, I will show my version of this witch face and discuss what I did. To add variety, I've made it as one of my bobbleheads. Stop by for another twist on this subject.

Leopold and Rudolph Blaschka- Glass Artists

Rudolph and Leopold Blaschka were a German father and son team of glass artists who were hired by Harvard University to make glass flowers for their botany department in the late 1800's. They also were known for their representations of invertabrate sea life.

You can see their story on the Corning Museum's video here:

Or you can read about them here:

I saw their Harvard exhibit while attending the International Society of Glass Beadmaker's (ISGB) Gathering in Lowell, MA a few years ago. Their work was magnificent. And thinking back to the exhibit, and now to the changes that have been made in the glass world- tools, equipment, types and colors of glass, it makes their artistry even more astounding.

Often times, lampworkers discuss whether glass is "art" or "craft". This topic will continue to be argued long after I'm gone. To me, I don't know how you can call their glass botany and sea life anything but "Art".

Monday, October 6, 2008

Meet Artisan Beaders Street Team on Etsy

People who sell on, often belong to groups who band together for similar reasons. These are called Street Teams. I belong to a few of them and thought that over the next few weeks, I'd mention each one, so you could see some of the lovely items that they offer.

My Artisan Beaders Street Team, also known as abst, is made up of 19 members. We all work with beads in some way, whether it is jewelry design, bead supplies sales, or as bead makers.

Some of our team members have put together a Holiday Gift Guide, so you can see a few items in each of our shops, read a little bit about us, as well as have direct links to each members' etsy store. If you'd like to search by type of item, look under the top banner, and you'll find jewelry and bead categories.

If you have more time, visit our Artisan Beaders' blog,
which features informative "color of the week" articles and shows items from our shops.

And you can always search for the street team members by typing in "absteam" when visiting

Stop by and visit my friends. Tell them Marcy tipped you off. See you tomorrow!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Off To The Antarctic

Not me, but my daughter is.  I miss her already and she hasn't arrived there yet.  She's waiting for her transport plane from New Zealand.

She'll be working at the American scientific station down there and is quite excited to be going.  I'm really happy for her.  It will be summer, and the temperature will range from 40 degrees above to 40 degrees below O, while she's there.

She brought her banjo and has already mailed a box of hot sauce to herself, in case there isn't enough.  I have a feeling that there will be others who are one-of-a-kinds like she is.  I've been doing my research on her new temporary home and have learned quite a few things.  

1. There are no polar bears, but there are seals, whales and two types of penguins.

2.  Approximately 90% of the world's ice is located in Antarctica

3. There is an area called the "Dry Valleys" region which has not had any rain for at least 2 million years.  Scientists say its conditions are similar to Mars.

4. Antarctica is the best place in the world to find meteorites.

So please indulge me just for today.  I need to be a Mom and wish her the happiest adventure and how proud I am that she embraces life  with open arms.  I'll miss you for the holidays, but know that you'll be having a great time.

Come back tomorrow for more glass chat and inspiration.  Also, there will be more online coaching (Halloween!)  mid week.  

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Artful Color Palettes from Nature

Aren't these photos gorgeous? I love macros of science and plants, but I also love scenery and cultural topics too. Perhaps my influences of painting watercolors years ago will always be with me.

Do you ever look at random photos that appeal to you, and as a personal challenge, make a bead that uses those particular colors or patterns?

I've included some photos that touch me in some way. Whether it's for color, texture or some other
reason. They are all available for sale through National Geographic's Print Store,

The top photo is a relative of a jellyfish, called a Blue Button. What I'm looking at are the different shades of blue, how they look against the very white background, and the very tight inner core pattern, which softens into the undulating lines. I think this photo has many components that could serve as a beadmaking inspirational photo.

For me, the second photo is not only pleasing to
view, but it has wonderful colors for an Autumn palette. I have a hard time working in Fall colors, because they don't speak to me, the way they speak to so many artists. So if I want to challenge myself to use colors that I'm not as comfortable with, then I'll find a photo that I can use as inspiration. I'll even look to see what percentage of each color they have in them, because I know it pleases my eyes.

This third photo intrigued me totally. It uses a variety of green in warm and cool tones with
neutrals. I am always interested in the mixture of warm and cool palettes of the same color in one piece. Watercolor landscape paintings often have the deeper cool shades in the background and the warmer brighter colors in the foreground. Here, nature exemplifies it. I think it would be a great challenge to try some beads where we actively use this criteria. If you have some beads already made, please send me a photo. I'd love to see them.
The final photo is of pigment. They seem to show up better if they have some very light or very dark color with them to help them stand out. And besides, every time I see bright colors like these together, I think of my Mom who never met a bright color she didn't like and is a wonderful artist in her own right. She's the best!

Hopefully you'll be inspired to look around at photos that please you and find some inspiration through them. There are so many online websites that can serve as references. Please be careful to respect the website, if they have rules for using their photos. Or better yet, go take some of your own and send me the photo and the bead that goes with it.

You can always email me- comments, photos, or even questions through my main website, . There's a "contact me" button to click on, which brings up my email address. I'd love to hear from you.

Happy weekend!