Sunday, November 30, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
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 http://www.SouthernFlames.org, and to see more of my beads, either click on the photos to the right of my blog, or visit my etsy shop, http://www.StudioMarcy.etsy.com
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
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 Everyone.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
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
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.
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
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
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
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
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
Monday, November 17, 2008
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?
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, epicurious.com.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
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||www.weinmayer.at|
|2. Akihiro Ohkama||Japan||www.glassstudio-hand.com|
|3. Milon Townsend||Rochester,NY||www.milontownsend.com|
|4. Nathan Purcell||Philadelphia, PA||www.phillyglassworks.com|
|5. Bandhu Scott Dunham||Prescott, AZ||www.salusaglassworks.com|
|6. Scott Deppe||Bellingham,WA||www.nebulaglass.com/other/9704.htm|
|7. Christian Luginger||Austin, TX||flame-one.com|
|8. Marc Vandenburg||Detroit, MI||www.marcvandenberg.com/torch.htm|
|9. Doni Hatz||Cincinnati, OH||carlisleschoolofglassart.com/WallofFame-DoniHatz.htm|
|10.Hans Godo Frabel||Atlanta, GA||www.frabel.com|
|11.Loren Stump||Sacramento, CA||www.stumpchuck.com|
|12.Brian Kerkvliet||Bellingham, WA||www.inspirationfarm.com|
|13. Karl Ittig||Germany||www.glashaus-wertheim.de|
|14. Darby Holm||Grant's Pass, ORemail@example.com|
|15. Devin Somerville||Milwaukee, WI||Devin@Somervilleglass.com|
|1. Buttereaters||Seattle, WA|| |
|2. Michael Angelo Menconi||Chicago, IL||www.michaelangelomenconi.com|
|3. Peter Bowles||Australia||www.glassmanifesto.com/about.php|
|4. Einar and Jaimex DeLaTorres||Mexico||www.delatorrebros.com|
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
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. 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
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
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
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
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
(And then of course, show me, because I'd always like to see what you do!)
Thursday, November 6, 2008
How would you embellish this handbag? I'd love to hear about it.
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Wednesday, November 5, 2008
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.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
I guess glass artists aren't the only ones who look to famous paintings for inspiration.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
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, www.StudioMarcy.com
Saturday, November 1, 2008
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 flickr.com, 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 etsy.com. 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?