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Sunday, November 30, 2008

BOGO 1/2 Off SALE...Starts Today!

I've been baking cakes, printing bumperstickers and doing just about everything possible to get the word out about the Etsy Glass Artists' BOGO 1/2 Off Sale which starts today.  Of course I'm one of the participants.

Here's the fabulous deal for my shop
Buy a bead and the second bead is half price and you're welcome to buy as many as you want.  Okay, actually, I'm encouraging it.  At checkout, you write "Blog BOGO" in the note to seller.  I'll send you a revised paypal invoice with your discount.  Don't forget, orders over $40 receive Free shipping from me as well.

Here are the other Etsy Glass Artists who are offering a BOGO 1/2 Off also.  Wonderfully diverse items are included- stained glass, lampwork beads, fused glass, enamels, jewelry and more. Check their individual shop announcements for their details.

I'll be adding more beads daily, so check back often.  You can shop as many times as you want.
Don't forget, this sale goes through next Saturday, December 6th.

Hope your week is wonderful.  I'll be showing some of my new style beads and tips for making them throughout this week here on the blog.
Stop by again for a lot of fun.  (and I'll also tell you how to make these fun photos too!)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

My Class In Atlanta Is Now Taking Lottery Sign Ups

My two 2-day February classes in Atlanta, Georgia for Southern Flames is now accepting Lottery sign ups until December 16th. If you aren't a member, you can join for an additional $25 and get in on the lottery. The class is only $135 for TWO DAYS! You supply your own tools and glass, while Southern Flames supplies the torch.

In order to be fair, Southern Flames runs each class as a lottery for every member who has submitted their form and pending check, (checks are returned if you do not make the class). More lottery info and details are here. Then publicly, the names are drawn during the December meeting, and class participants are notified. Lottery form is here.

I'm teaching sculptural beadmaking for two days in a fun and simplified way. You'll learn how to make sculptural beads from simple shapes, make advanced sculptures - like character beads, and how to translate 2-D and 3-D photos and items into beads. (and lots of other tips, tricks, heat control, techniques and other fun stuff too!)

The price is so inexpensive, because I don't need to travel, have hotels or meals bought for me. Although I suggested a 5 star hotel would be great appreciated, I don't think it's happening, but I do believe that they'll buy my coffee in the morning. ;) It will be so much fun teaching my friends here in town.
For more information, visit, and to see more of my beads, either click on the photos to the right of my blog, or visit my etsy shop,

And by the way, if you can't make Atlanta, I will be teaching for the International Society of Glass Beadmakers (ISGB) at the Miami Gathering this year. The class will be similar in content, but priced at typical class pricing.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving Is Over, Bring On Christmas! Ho, Ho, Ho!

With Thanksgiving over, Christmas Season is in full swing. There's no breathing room , is there? And (*sigh*), I'm throwing my hat into the ring to participate in this melee as well.

So, with that said, I'm giving all of you an advance notice of my Buy One, Get One 1/2 Off Sale (BOGO) which starts this Sunday (11/30) and runs through Saturday (12/6). As always, any purchase over $40, receives Free Shipping, even if you live somewhere far, far away. (Okay, I liked the sound of it, but perhaps I should just say, if you are an International Customer).

Just check out as usual and write "BOGO Blog" in the note to seller. Do not pay yet. I will send you a revised invoice through Paypal with the discount showing, and then you just click on the link and pay through it. Easy Peasy.

So save a little for beads this year. All of my sculptural beads make wonderfully unique tree ornaments or even package decorations for someone you REALLY love.

I'll remind you again, once the sale starts, but mark your calendar to shop on Sunday while you sip your coffee and relax . Happy Friday!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone.

I am thankful for so family, my friends, my art, my customers and so much more.

This is a photo of my friend and fellow Etsy shop owner's grandson Daniel, who is learning to string beads.  Isn't he cute?  I'm waiting to see his jewelry in her shop, DG Designs.

Here's wishing you a wonderful holiday if you celebrate this one, and if not, Happy Thursday to you too.

My best to you,

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

One Day Sale ~ All Food Items 20% Off

If it's an edible item, then it's on sale today only.

Anyone else dislike braving the crowds at the grocery store?  I still need to stop by today and pick up my pie ingredients.  

So for all of you in blog land, this sale is for you.  Today, Wednesday 11/26 until 8 am Thursday 11/27 any food item in my etsy shop is 20% off.  And don't forget, free shipping for any order over $40.

Just write "blog" in the note to seller at checkout and don't pay.  I'll send you a revised paypal invoice for your purchase.

Hoping this grocery shopping is a lot more fun.  Now I'd better get my real life recipes out and write out my list.....

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Beads For Food - Lampwork Etc. Street Team Promotion

One of my other Etsy Street Teams, "LEST" is having a month long promotion. It's called, "Beads For Food".

Each participant has committed to donating a certain amount of food or money to their local food bank for each bead sale made during the month of November.

Our LEST blog, has a list of members who are involved and what they are each donating. And I have a photo of one of the current treasuries from Etsy, which shows beads by some of the members. (Recognize my turkey dinner in the upper left corner?- Thanks Vedasbeads for creating the treasury.)

I'm really proud to be a member of a group that thinks of others this way. I know times are tighter for a lot of us this year, and yet this type of action is typical for a lot of beadmakers. It's a sharing group of artisans who support and care about each other and those around them. Thanks everyone...for being who you are.

And if you'd like a bunch of eye candy, stop by LEST's Flickr pages for glass that will make you drool. Members are always adding more photos.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Artisan Beaders Weekly Give Away- Catie's Blue

Oh baby, I love this!

Brandi from Catie's Blue is the etsy shop and street team member who made this week's giveaway.

It's simple to enter the drawing, which ends on Friday. Go to the Artisan Beader's blog, and follow the simple directions from there.

I think it's the aqua apatite combined with the lemon quartz, sparkle and the boro bead that just sends me over the edge. Aqua is my favorite color.

I know I can solve my problem by just contacting Brandi to request a similar one of my own.

Glass Sculptural Interpretation of Magritte's Work and Combining Two Mandrels To Use As One

In an earlier blog, I showed you a chair that was influenced by artist Rene Magritte's "Son of Man" 1964 painting, pictured below.

Paul McCartney apparently is a big fan and a collector. I read that he named the record company "Apple" because of this painting. I do not know if that is true.

I love this painting also. It's a self portrait of Magritte. He wrote about it, and he speaks about what we see is really obscured by what we really are striving to see.

Something to think about.

This is a two piece sculptural soft glass bead. I wear it on a simple interchangeable pendant. Sometimes it's a pendant, but often it is worn as a stick pin instead. When it's a pin, then it can be worn firmly in place and anywhere I want.

The clothing bead was made on a 1/16th mandrel. You can't see his neck, but it's quite tiny and under the face bead. I have it so that if there is some vertical wiggle in the two beads, it still looks connected because the neck will show instead of a blank space.

The head was made off the end of a hollow mandrel. So it is wide at the bottom and then I put a dipped 1/16th mandrel through the hole of the mandrel. It sticks out a bit, so that the hole through his head is small and his head won't move around.

Actually I'm using two mandrels put together to get a wide bottom and and small hole at the top. I use other mandrels that are premade to do the same thing, but I needed a bottom hole a certain size and this fits the need.

Hope this gives you a little something to think about and puts you into the mad scientist frame of mind. There's nothing like finding ways to solve your design dilemmas and have them actually succeed. Have you done something a little bit differently that solved a problem for you?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Are you left handed?

Studies show that lefties have higher IQs, solve problems better and enjoy larger vocabularies than right handed folk.  Here are some famous lefties: Sir Isaac Newton, Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso.   And interestingly, every American President since 1981, except the current one.  Even President-Elect Obama uses his left hand.

I'm wondering what percentage of lefties are lampwork glass beadmakers too?  I know I find a high percentage in my classes.  Let us know.  Post here and let's see what unscientific numbers we come up with.

By the way, Alan Searleman, the researcher who conducted this study also added that righties have much better memories than their left handed counterparts.  I knew I could blame it on something else other than my age!

The photo above is my Albert Einstein bobblehead that I made last summer.  Love the 'stache and fly away hair.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

It's a Beads of Courage (BOC) weekend, here in Atlanta, Georgia.  Our Southern Flames glass chapter is having a beadathon at Beads by Design in Marietta.  Locally, two hospitals have over 600 patients in the BOC program who are children with cancer or a life threatening illness.  Geesh, that's way too many sick kids!

Carl Edwards, NASCAR race car driver and all around cool guy has become a hero to a lot of people in the program. Back in October, Carl visited the Aflac Cancer Center in Atlanta.  He met 5-year-old BOC patient, Dalton Kammer who gave Edwards his bead necklace to wear in his upcoming NASCAR race.  The necklace consisted of Dalton's name as well as special beads that he received for specific medical procedures.  It shows his medical journey through cancer treatment.  Edwards won that race and continued to wear it through the end of the season.  He won his last race and placed second overall for the season.  Each time, he pulled out the necklace from his fire suit and mentioned the Beads of Courage program and Dalton.  How can you not love this guy?

So hats off to the Beads of Courage Program, (donations happily accepted), the volunteers who donate beads and time, the young patients, their families and the wonderful medical providers who administer the program and treat the kids.

If you are a beadmaker and would like some tutorials for a few of the needed beads, visit our Southern Flames pages here.

And if you're in the Atlanta area, stop by and visit us this weekend, as we make beads for our program.  Directions are here.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Blue Bird of Happiness and Karaoke Singer: Focus on Pink Cheeks

Here's a cute Bluebird of Happiness who has such a sweet face. For a change, I added pink cheeks. It's amazing what they do to add some "sweetness" to this bead.

She's joyful because this weekend she's going to be singing karaoke. I know, you don't tend to think of birds doing that, but this is a songbird.

She sings Rockin' Robin and Free Bird. The rest of the birds have a hard time lighting a flame at the end of the song, but now are using their cell phones instead. Three cheers for new technology.

As some of my beads are somewhat autobiographical, I need to be clear that this one
is not. I can't sing note and if you're lucky, you'll
never hear me utter a sound. It will bring tears to your eyes, and those aren't tears of joy.

So be thankful that I make little bluebirds instead. I'm leaving the singing to them.

See you tomorrow,

Thursday, November 20, 2008

An Early Turkey Dinner

I baked my turkey dinner early.  Because my local glass group, Southern Flames had a Thanksgiving glass challenge.

You can see more views of it in my shop, like the stuffing that is overflowing from the cavity.  And of course it has some garnish- lettuce and cranberries to make it look more festive.

I built "the bird" first, and then decided to add the platter.  That was "interesting".  Not sure that I'd do it that way again, but it was fun.  I had the bird made on the mandrel, and then took an ivory rod and made a very large maria, and heated it up as well as the turkey connection and gently mashed them together.  (don't confuse that with the potatoes)
I then burned off the rest of the ivory rod and flattened the bottom, so the platter would sit flat.
And then garnished the plate to add a little color and interest.  Voila!  Now I don't need to cook one.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

There's A Full Moon, Watch for Naughty Gnomes

My friend Kim has been telling me for over two years, that she wanted me to make a gnome bending over and mooning. Kim and I were at Bead Camp together recently, so I crumbled.

Besides pleasing her, I wanted the challenge of making a glass bead in this shape. His "center" where the mandrel went through went up his legs and came out just above his buns. Think of the uneven distribution of weight that adding his upper body would create.

He had to be bead sized and yet include all the important details.

It was rather like doing an on mandrel and off mandrel piece at the same time, because from his waist and higher, I had to add glass and sculpt without the centrifugal force that mandrels provide.

For more views of this naughty gnome and of course a cute little story, please visit "Kimbo" in my etsy shop.

I'm always open for more ideas of beads you'd like to see, or please post about something you've tried recently which stretched your abilities. Add a link too! We'd love to see what you're doing as well.

See you tomorrow,

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Follow Up From Music Video Beadmaking

I wanted to show you my little girl from the Blind Melon video, "No Rain" , which I posted about on October 30th.

She was a little harder to make than I had guessed and this is my second attempt.  

When working in sculptural glass, it's always important to choose the order of sculpting and adding glass to manipulate it.  The most delicate usually goes last, so there's less chance of it cracking.

As you can see, the  bee antennae are pretty delicate and would chill easily.  Then there are the ruffles that will get cool , because they're kind of thin.

But the part that I hadn't thought as clearly about were her glasses, which are so important to the bead.  In the video, the glasses are as much a focus as her costume.

These I premade out of copper wire.  And the ends needed to be tucked under her hair.  So they went on pretty early.  And as my beadmaking readers know, copper melts pretty easily.   On my first bead,  a few flakes of the copper glasses came off on her face and the glasses had a small piece that was melted out of them.  

I had to add her eyeballs after the glasses  and of course her face needed to be warm enough to receive the tiny stringer I was using.  Good lessons learned and now I have my original Bee Girl in my bead box without glasses, with a clean face and so very cute. (A little facial surgery as well as Laskik was performed.)   Still deciding what to do with her next.  I'm rather fond of her.  For more views of this custom order, visit her in my Etsy shop.

ps...and her photo background was one of my experiments gone bad.  Do NOT use white paper towels thinking they'll add a nice "texture" to the photo!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Artisan Beaders Street Team Has Another Give Away

Artisan Beaders Street Team has posted this week's give away. Just click here for all the details. Don't forget, you need to enter before the end of the day on Friday to be eligible.

This week, we have a charming (pardon the pun) cell phone charm from Ainsley of Kaskaad Handmade Jewellery! Bright and sunny, this cell phone charm features a glass bead and Swarovski crystals, and is sure to make your phone cheery. Please note: this giveaway is for one charm; the photo above shows two different views.

A freebie? No strings attached? Why Not?

Photo Tip: Have Your Cake and Eat It Too!

I wanted to show you the difference in a slight change in my chocolate cake bead photo editing that I did this weekend. I think it makes a positive change and wanted to share it with you.

The lower photo shows how the photo was originally edited. I used the aluminum take out lid that I wrote about in an earlier blog. I used my Photoshop Elements 4.0. Please note, I am far from being an expert in this and seem to bobble along and get by.

I posted that bottom photo as my chocolate cake's first shot in my etsy listing. And then looked at it and wondered what would happen if I tried putting a white background behind it instead.

So I tried the magic wand tool with it. Which is often how I remove the background and after clicking a few times, was able to remove the pinkish background. I noticed that I still had the reflection from the aluminum, which was the part I really liked on it. So voila. I went to "edit" and "fill selection" and chose "white." It turned out like this top photo and I really prefer it.

Do you have any little photo tricks that you wouldn't mind sharing? Please let us know.

And until then, enjoy the chocolate layer cake a la mode with dripping vanilla ice cream. Yum.

Just for fun, here is a recipe for a delicious double chocolate layer cake from one of my favorite recipe sources,

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Mark Your Calendars for Glass Craft & Bead Expo

The dates for the 2009 Glass Craft & Bead Expo will be Wednesday April 1st through April 5th at the South Point Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, NV. Classes will begin on Wednesday, April 1st and the show floor will open on Friday, April 3rd.

But that's just secondary to what I wanted to tell you about.

It's the International Hot Glass Invitational that I want you to attend. This is an "omigod- bring your camera" super fabulous room full of glass wizards all in one place, which is part of the Glass Craft show.

"The International Hot Glass Invitational will be held in conjunction with the 15th annual Glass Craft & Bead Expo in the Equestrian Center located next to the exhibition hall. This 30,000 square foot, 4,400 seat arena is well appointed with 4 -72’ flat screen monitors that face all sides of the arena. The goal is to provide the audience with the largest most dramatic glass sculptures and vessels that the timed sessions will allow. We have invited some of the most renowned hot glass flamework and furnace work artists from around the world to compete. Each team will have 2 ½ hours to produce their works."

Here is the current list of the amazing participants posted on their website. Click through to some of these websites and be awed in what they can do.


1. Bernd Weinmeyer Austria
2. Akihiro Ohkama Japan
3. Milon Townsend Rochester,NY
4. Nathan Purcell Philadelphia, PA
5. Bandhu Scott Dunham Prescott, AZ
6. Scott Deppe Bellingham,WA
7. Christian Luginger Austin, TX
8. Marc Vandenburg Detroit, MI
9. Doni Hatz Cincinnati, OH
10.Hans Godo Frabel Atlanta, GA
11.Loren Stump Sacramento, CA
12.Brian Kerkvliet Bellingham, WA
13. Karl Ittig Germany
14. Darby Holm Grant's Pass, OR
15. Devin Somerville Milwaukee, WI


1. Buttereaters Seattle, WA
2. Michael Angelo Menconi Chicago, IL
3. Peter Bowles Australia
4. Einar and Jaimex DeLaTorres Mexico

I don't know about you, but if there's any way I can be out there to witness this 2.5 hour jaw dropping competition, I'll be there. All those greats working in one place would be worth the trip alone.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Chinese Burn Cream- & Yes, I Tried It Today

I know I've already mentioned some wonderful prescription burn cream in another post, but thought I'd mention this non prescription Chinese herbal cream too.

While I was away last week at a glass class, one of my friends, (who happens to be a MD), had some of this cream. She told me a story of how she had really burned herself badly, and a mutual friend had given her some of this and how quickly and well it worked.

So of course, with a name like Ching Wan Hung, I had to get a tube for myself, as she was selling some of her spare containers.

Today, I got to try it out. It was one of those times when you're not sure exactly what you did, but it wasn't a smart move. Somehow, I got a hot stringer jammed between my fingernail and my finger and it singed skin and nail and kind of left a bit of a brown hole. Yuck and ow!

After cooling the burn, (of course after I quickly finished my bead with my finger in my mouth) I opened up my fresh tube and punctured the top. It has a bit of an herbal odor that dissipated pretty quickly. I dabbed a small glob and got it under my nail, popped on a bandaid, and got back to work. A few hours later when I removed the bandaid, I noticed that it wasn't hurting any longer- just a bit tender. I like those kinds of results.

Their website says, "

This is one of China’s major herbal medicines for burns, so much so that it is used for serious third degree burns in hospitals. As a product, it is recommended as a topical first aid for first and second degree burns. It reduces the blistering and pain of a burn, promotes tissue regeneration, and prevents scarring. Burns should be covered to protect the ointment form being wiped off. For serious burns, the ointment is put on, covered with gauze, and then wiped off with dead skin every 24 hours until healing is complete. *

Now I'm not a MD, nor am I an expert, but I am someone who has seen my share of burns. It runs $2.50 for a small tube and that's my kind of pricing. You can get larger quantities of it also. Just wanted to share this nugget of good information. And of course my wish for you is that you never need to use it.

Hope you have a happy weekend and please stay safe.


Friday, November 14, 2008

Hurry! Fabulous Giveaway from Orion Designs

Hurry. Don't miss this one. You have until 5 pm EST TODAY!

Vicki of Orion Designs is giving away this cutie pie pair of earrings. (I love her jewelry) They go with everything and are made from glass and brass. Vicki is a member of Artisan Beaders Street Team on etsy, and this is part of our preholiday promotion.

Here's how you do it. Go to Vicki's etsy shop, (click here) and choose your favorite item. Then go to the Artisan Beaders' blog and leave a comment. (here's the link) Visit the blog first if you want all the links coming from one page. If you hunt around, you might just find a little of my lampwork incorporated in her jewelry, which of course is a wonderful option for your favorite item!

I know you want to win. And besides, you'll be the coolest person on the postal route receiving a package from Chugiak, Alaska. Not everyone can claim that one!

Happy Friday to you, unless you're in the Antarctic like my daughter, who is a day ahead. Anyone else here celebrating the weekend already?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Keely the Peacock & Her Reason For Being

Meet Keely the Peacock. Now before I get emails reminding me that female peacocks are generally called peahens and they don't have the same plumage, please read further first.

Keely is a fashion forward pea-chick and she is wearing feather extensions. She feels it's unfair that in her world, the guys get all the attention and she wants to bring it back to where it belongs...the girls, of course.

I made Keely for a couple of reasons.
1. I had an assignment for my creativity class to make something that would work like a talisman or remind me of something special. Keely was made to remind me to toot my own horn a bit when I'm around people. I tend to downplay what I do when I'm in public and she reminds
me to speak up a bit more.

2. I had some new silver glass to try and I wondered how it would look used as stripes on her and then I added the peacock "eyes" over the top. Because of the colors that I got from the silver glass, I muted the rest of the colors, so she isn't quite as "jewel toned" as most peacock interpretations go.

3. I wanted to try making something I've never made before. I'm not sure what part of my personality makes me like this, but I love trying new shapes and designs all the time. (the Gemini in me?) Repetition is much harder for me. It's the googling for references, thinking about the shapes, and then choosing the colors. Sometimes it works out better than other times.
By the way, the white spots are just photography reflections.

Keely and all her feather extensions are available in my Etsy shop. If you need a reminder to speak up about your art work, then perhaps she's right for you.

See you tomorrow,

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Experimenting With Photography Backgrounds

As much as I love very plain light backgrounds for photographing my glass pieces, once in a while I try something new for a little variety.

Here is blue enamel on a hanging aqua heart lampwork pendant, which is one of my pieces photographed yesterday.  Check out this background.

So here is my latest experiment.  I used the cardboard aluminum foil lid of my take-out food container.   

Some of the things I like-
1. It reflects light and made the darker day natural light shooting a little brighter.

2. It shows up as mostly "gray",  which works well as a very neutral background.

3. (Don't laugh at this one) It will not get wrecked if there are a few drops of water on it.  I'd better explain this one.  I clean my beads first thing in the morning and then I photo them almost immediately afterwards.  Sometimes they haven't dried all the way, and a drop or two of water comes out.  It can wreck the paper I use as the background, due to the water spots.

4. And depending on the item photographed, sometimes it reflects some of the work and adds a little artistic flair to the image.

I'll have more items in my Etsy shop later today and through the week, which use this background so you can compare them.

Do you have any photographic backgrounds that are a little different and you like?  Please comment and share them with us.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Meet Marabelle the Seahorse

Meet Marabelle the Seahorse.  She's a feminine seahorse who has all her curves and maybe a few extra details.

Brad Pearson taught seashorses in his class last week.  His was quite different, and of course, each time we learn something, we need to change it and make it our own. 

So his "boy" seahorse example, which had a black body with white enamel over the stomach and red details, morphed into my girly one with two toned transparent fins and pink lips & cheeks by me.  She also is a bit curvier and was built differently  on the mandrel.  I made her go straight up with the hole going through her head.

What is interesting to me, is that each one fits with each of our personal beadmaking styles.  I would have loved to see his include a little of his masking technique that is so beautifully done.

For another view of her, visit Marabelle and her other friends in my Etsy shop .

Monday, November 10, 2008

Inexpensive & Effective Elbow Rests for Lampworking

There are all kinds of wonderful elbow, arm, and wrist rest items on the market for lampworking. But at the glass retreat this weekend, I saw this style for the first time and got a kick out of it.

Having always used the very posh style of aluminum foil covered rolls of toilet paper and then gently squishing them for my cheap and easy elbow rests for students, I am wondering whether I might make up a few of this style too for my students too. Deanna Griffin Dove is credited for this set. They are socks, (just like my husband wears- whoops maybe the dryer didn't eat ALL of his socks), and they are filled with buckwheat or someone thought perhaps corn. Buckwheat is what so many of the neck rest commercial items contain, so I'm guessing that.

Wouldn't it be nice to add a touch of lavender in the middle or something nice smelling, so when they are slightly crunched, a slight whiff of something aromatic wafts through the air? I just googled the idea and found that Dried lavender, Marjoram, Betony, Rose petals, Cloves, Rosemary all can be used. I like the idea of being able to stack them to the different heights as needed too. As I have students in all sizes, this could be helpful.

These fillings can be microwaved and warmed up for cold winter days that could be used near my feet for a little extra warmth... oh, the possibilities that one can make with some spare socks and a little imagination. I read that uncooked rice, wheat, feed corn, buckwheat hulls, barley, oatmeal, beans, flax seed and cherry pits can be microwaved, although I wonder whether cherry pits might be just a little too large and uncomfortable if used as an elbow rest?

Do you have any inexpensive tips for lampworkers or jewelry makers? Post them here. We'd all like to know.

Later this week, I'll be posting some tips and very new beads from my class and retreat. But today is one of my good friend's birthday, so I'm off to go celebrate it in a little bit. Happy day to all.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Vacationing In Style at Bead Camp

I'm at Bead Camp two hours away from my house and loving every minute of it. A couple times a year, one of my friends, Marjorie Langston hosts instructors and torch time. In her own right, she's a wonderful teacher and I will post another day about her teaching gig (along with Terry Hale) in Ireland this summer.

Her garage seats 12 comfortably and then some of us sleep upstairs in her above the garage studio on air mattresses and sleeping bags. Of course we chat until too late and have a great time.

Thursday and Friday I took a fantastic class from Brad Pearson. He's a not only a wonderful teacher, but so very talented. I like taking his class because he works so precisely and uses techniques that are very different from what I normally do. If you are a regular reader, you'll know that I believe strongly in taking classes that are different from your style. They'll stretch your abilities and you'll find ways to incorporate those techniques into your work.

So greetings from Chattanooga, TN, and I'll be back Monday with lots of info and tips from this weekend.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Inspiration + Imagination ~ Non Traditional Shapes for Your Beads

Feeling like you might be in a bead shape rut? How about looking to non traditional shapes that are right in front of you? There are books all over the internet that would work beautifully, and one of my choices includes books on perfume bottles. Just think of all the gorgeous shapes waiting to happen. Using these beautiful shapes as inspiration doesn't mean that you need to make perfume bottles too, borrow the shapes and see where your imagination will take you.

(And then of course, show me, because I'd always like to see what you do!)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Embellishing Other Crafts

This purse enchants me. I love the whimsy of it, the bright colors, (although I don't tend to wear them), and the pattern. But what I'd really like to do is have this purse, or one similar to it and embellish each of those wonderful dots with a cool lampwork bead. I'm still debating what I would put there. Perhaps some funky disks, or a pocket full of Tera Belinsky-Yoder's fabulous beads, or I'd even love to sprinkle some of my small seashells across it.

How would you embellish this handbag? I'd love to hear about it.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Artisan Beadmakers Have Another Great Item To Win

This week, our Artisan Beaders' Street Team has a lovely pair of green aventurine wavy ovals, faceted jasper briolettes and sterling findings made into earrings to give away.  They were made by Brenda of Etsy's The Jewelry Box.

To enter this giveaway, visit our blog, to get the easy directions.

And don't forget to visit our Artisan Beaders Holiday Gift Guide, which features jewelry, beads and other fun treasures.

Please, please, if you win, let me know.  I'd love to have winners because they read about it here.

And if you really have some spare time, please feel free to visit my Studio Marcy etsy shop.  I'm busy making beads to stock it up for the holidays.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Join Me! : Two 2-Day Southern Flames Classes In Atlanta

I'm excited to announce that I'll be teaching two 2-day sculptural bead making classes for Southern Flames in Atlanta, Georgia - February 19-20 & 21-22 2009.

Easy Peasy Sculptural Beadmaking #1

Day 1 - We will make sculptural beads based on shapes you already know.  Tabs, barrels, bicones etc., get transformed into sculptural beads. You'll learn how easy  it really is and it's so much fun.

Day 2 - We will focus on simple faces and basic figures.  After learning the components, you'll make a face bead and then later on, make a full figurine.

Now here's the great part.... for Southern Flames members, the class is only $135!  If you're  a non-member, then it's $160.  Both prices are so LOW!

But anyone can join Southern Flames and it's a good idea to do so, if you want to take the class.

To be fair and because they fill up, Southern Flames runs a lottery to get into their classes.  Members get first chance at the initial lottery, and then non members get a chance at any leftover seats.  I'm just not sure whether there will be extra seats available at this price.  As a non-profit, Southern Flames works hard to keep class prices low, and because I don't have any travel, hotel or food costs involved, this is rock bottom.

So this is what you need to do.  Click here to become a member and you can pay your $25 dues by Paypal.

Watch on the website for updates about the lottery for my class. (Coming soon!) The lottery will be held at the December 10th meeting.  If you join, you'll need to have your lottery form in by then.  Then one of the Board members will let you know if you've gotten in.  But you need to move on it, if you're interested, because you'll need to mail in your form and check for class in advance. (and don't worry, they don't cash checks until you're actually on the list as a class member.)

If you can't join me in February, I'll be teaching at The Gathering this year in Miami also.  The price will be higher, but it will be right before The Gathering begins in July, so you can combine travel and hotel for that trip.

And if you prefer a more personalized one on one time, I do enjoy teaching private lessons in my studio.  It's just you and me and lots of fun and information.  Email me through my website, to ask for details, or if you have questions about class.

If you'd like to see more of my work, visit my Studio Marcy etsy shop.  Hope to meet you, one of these ways.
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Monday, November 3, 2008

Inspiration ~ From Famous Painting to Modern Furniture

I guess glass artists aren't the only ones who look to famous paintings for inspiration.

This is a chair which was inspired by Rene Francois- Ghislain Magritte's "Son of Man" painting, (below), was designed by Chilean architect, Roberto Sebastian Matta.

I love both the painting and the chair and now want to do a bead that relates to this painting too.  It's just a question of what elements from the painting do I want to use?  Should it be sculptural or not and what do I want to change?

This will be on my list for "when I've got some spare studio time" later this week.  I'll show you when it's done.  

What do you think?

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Visit Me at Watch Me Create

I'm being featured on Watch Me Create where I talk about blending two techniques of lampwork and why encased florals really do go well with sculptural glass. (As illustrated by my little Lori La Rue the puppy) Stop by for a little encouragement and tell me which two techniques you'd like to combine and where you want to go with it.
I have space for another online sculptural coaching session. If you're interested, you can contact me by posting here, or email me through my website,

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Sugar Skulls and a BIG WOO HOO!

Let me start with my big WOO HOO first...
I won first place in the bead section of the FlameTree Glass Halloween Contest. It sure means a lot to me and I appreciate it very much. My prize is one of the many generous donations from GTT- Willy and Wally Horn - a Lynx Torch. This will make it easier for me to try larger stuff and perhaps a little in boro too. I'm thrilled. To see the contestants and other photos, visit FlameTree Glass.

Now back to my daily topic. Sugar skulls. Today is Dia de Muertos, which takes its roots back to the Aztec civilization and Mexico. It honors family and friends who have passed on.

I think sugar skulls look like potentially awesome beads for practicing dots, stringer control, sculpture, surface decoration and possibly murrini application. Wow, that's a lot of potential in one item. I know some glass artists already make them, but it seems like this is an item that would be easy for people to add their own style to.

The photo on the left, I found on, which is a wonderful site for reference photos. This one was by ArtofSkulls You can also learn how to make real sugar skulls through this other website. Or use it for more fabulous reference photos.

This little Frida Kahlo shrine, I found on This is not quite as "upbeat celebratory" or traditional as some of the holiday shrines go, but I thought that the artist must have felt a connection with Kahlo and that this one is hauntingly poignant. The same artist has an "Anima Sola" shrine with a lovely brunette woman in flames. I really like that one too.

So hopefully you've seen some different inspiration ideas through another culture and you'll look to other cultures too. I just ask that before you make something that might be sacred to a group, that you research it carefully to be sure that your interpretation would be appropriate.

What are some other ideas or websites that show multi cultural inspiration to you?