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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Interviewed on Macaroni & Glue

I love the title of this blog, Macaroni & Glue.

Kelly is the artist behind Retrocrafted and Freshly Crafted which are really unique paper goods stationary shops on Etsy.

Kelly has posted an artisan interview with me which was so very sweet of her.  There are lots of photos and amazingly fascinating little known facts. (okay, maybe not entirely fascinating, but the latter for sure)

So here's my question of the day for you.  Kelly asked me to describe my work in three words.  What three words would you use to describe your art?  Or, you're always welcome to describe mine.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Packaging and Branding Your Art

Do you ever read's jewelry making section?  I receive an email once a week that includes some how-to's or topics of interest.

The post this week that was of interest to me was about packaging jewelry when selling online.

It seems like I've read a lot of posts where customers have said it doesn't much matter, as long as their purchase arrives safely, but I think a bit of extra care, really can help.

The article talks about this is your chance for branding your product.  If there is something about your work or business that the packaging can reinforce, then it makes a difference.  I agree.

I've included two basic jewelry boxes from Nashville Wraps, which is where I buy some of my supplies.  They're quick, and close to me, so shipping costs are reasonable too.

But I wanted to show you the difference between the two boxes, which both serve the same purpose, but in my mind, would be great for different types of beads.  The 80% recycled kraft paper box is very cool.  It would show that you are aware of current environmental recycling issues and to me, would look great with most beads.  In particular, if you specialized in organic style beads, I think the style would reinforce your look.  

The brown and pink one makes me think of glossy high fashion.  I picture beads with sparkle or detailed designs in these.  Girly floral encased beads or beadmakers who use these colors often would also do well with this style.  There are all kinds of colors for boxes or even organza bags out there to choose from to reinforce who you are and what you are selling.

Don't forget to include a business card in your package, so it's easy for your customer to contact you and tell you how much they love your art.  A short thank you to them never hurts either.

So when you're next ordering shipping supplies, look at your options, while also looking at prices.  See if there is something there that silently tells your customers a little more about who you are.  If you are one of my customers, you'll probably receive a new little box, but there will be recycled packaging materials inside- I guess I'm a combination of both worlds.

See you tomorrow,

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Fire Breathing Art

There's just never enough fire breathing art in my opinion. You know, people who use torches have an affinity for flames. Especially 20' tall fire spewing robots with baby faces.

This is the "Giant Torayan" robot by Japanese artist, Kenji Yanobe. I love it.

This art piece moves in multiple places and has a ship's horn attached for loud blasts, which can be heard miles away. His chest compartment opens up and you can see little doll-like heads lined up inside.

Master craftsman Yanobe, who calls himself a welder, is known for his innovative and futuristic vision of art.

One of the online articles that I read about Yanobe, discussed that his work was part of the "Otaku Culture". Being inherently curious, I looked up that term and this is part of what the wiki said-
"In modern Japanese, the term "otaku" refers to any particular theme, topic or hobby. Common uses are anime otaku, cosplay otaku and manga otaku." Apparently the term sometimes has a bit of a negative connotation in Japan, so don't sling the word around, unless you are sure of yourself.

If you'd like to see more of Yanobe's far out, very cool art, just click here.

As for me, I'll be thinking about large fire breathing beads and how we can make them on the miniature scale. Wouldn't that be a trip?

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

I've Been Puppy Blogged

I've been blogged!  Fellow glass sculptural beadmaker, Louise Ingram included my pup in her Friday blog about making dog beads.  Louise makes wonderful "monkee" beads.  I love the ones in astronaut gear.  Visit her blog and see what she's up to as well as dog photos by a variety of beadmakers.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Teletubbies or Glass?

Just to look at ~ not to eat.
Three new beads listed daily


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Mini Tutorial- Making Mushrooms by Marcy Lamberson

Mushrooms traditionally add a bit of fancy to
to an owners collection, or wardrobe. Often I think of them being appreciated by people who enjoy fairies, and small woodland type vignettes.
I just happen to be one of those people and perhaps you are too. If so, here's a very simple mini tutorial for you, so you can make your own.

Marcy's Magic Mushrooms
(Okay, I grew up in the 60's and they aren't that type, but it sounds good.)

Glass: Light 
ivory, white stringer and color for mushroom cap. Most often it's red.
Tools: marver (I prefer a brass Stump Shaper, but any marver will do.)
1. I work on a 1/16th mandrel, but 3/32 would be just fine also. Starting at the end closest to the hand holding the mandrel, start winding your light ivory into a chubby donut shape.

2. Marver your donut into a stem shape similar to a cone without a sharp point. Keep that end nice and wide to attach the cap, but make it smaller than the base end.

3. Pat yourself on the back.
4. Using your mushroom cap color, make a small donut with about 3 wraps around the mandrel directly next to the smaller end of the stem. This makes sure that your mushroom cap will be smooth at the mandrel. Turn your hand holding the mandrel and point the flame directly at the top of the donut, so it gets warm and smooths out.
5. Gently marver it on a slight angle to slightly spread it out and smooth some more. Please note, depending on how pointed you want your mushroom cap, this is where you decide. Use a sharper angle marvering it, if you want a more pointed cap. If you happen to marver it too much and your glass gets too thin at the top, just sparingly add a few more dots of glass around the top of it and gently melt in and marver again- g e n t l y and not too hot.

6. Now, you should have a band of color for the start of the cap. Heat your rod of the same color and the rim of the small cap and point your flame where the two meet as you apply more glass in circles, widening your mushroom cap. It's like making a disk on a slight angle or a half of a hollow bead. Every couple of wraps, be sure to keep your mushroom warm.
7. Aren't you happy that you didn't make the top of the stem too thin? Because you need this top of the stem to help support your cap and make it more secure and easier to marver. Whoops, that's the next step.

8. Once you have enough mushroom cap on, then you can gently heat and marver it smooth. It will slightly contract and that's okay, because you know how to add more glass. I think getting a nice, smooth cap is more important. Once you have it the way you like it, there's just one more step.

9. Add your white dots. Sparingly. A few seem to work the best. Melt them in gently and marver if necessary. But not too hard, because then they aren't as opaque. Finish fire polishing your mushroom and pop it into the kiln. Or...

10. On my green mushroom below, I added a little bit of sparkle.
 A light pixie dust, (goes with fairy objects after all) or even a few little thin green stringer strands of glass grass on the base of the mushroom stem can add a touch of detail to make it more special.

11. Pat yourself on the back one more time. Enjoy!

Have You Entered?

If you haven't seen this gorgeous book, Frit Secrets: A Flamework's Guide to Using Reactive Glass Frits  by Val Cox, you've missed out.  It's 120 ages with over 250 photographs and has technical information as well pictures to drool over.

You can find it on Val's site, here. can attempt to win one of the two copies that Lori Greenberg is giving away here.

One way is to comment at the bottom of Lori's review.  Let me tell you, there were 90 responses when I last looked.  I've got my fingers crossed on that one.

The other way is to take some great photos of your best bead made with frit and submit it.  The directions and requirements  are easy.

I don't know about you, but perhaps today will be my day to make my best frit bead.  I'm definitely going to give it a try.  Only a few more days in which to enter, so we all had better get going!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

My Quest for Making Cats

I have been trying to find new ways to make kitty cats. I love cats, but for me, they're hard to do.

I can do the typical simple form of the face with the two raised dots for the muzzle, but I'd like to take them another sculptural step farther.

The kitties can be stylized as this photo of Sanders shows, but we all know that most cats don't have van dyke facial hair.

So I joined a cat bead exchange. The other members are all coming up with cute ideas and now I need to get in gear to figure out what I'll be making. I want them to be cute, but a little fancier than what I usually do. I haven't decided whether there should be a full body or just a face.

Got any great links to cute cats that I should use as a model? Thoughts about things I should try? I'm always telling you what I think you should do, so today I'm turning the tables and asking you what do you think?

I have a few more different ones in the kiln right now. It will be fun to see whether any of them are similar to your suggestions. Thanks for your comments.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Have You Heard of

Have you heard of the online selling venue ""?

I read about it on Simply Shiny's blog, (it's a wonderful one), and Kristy always dishes on a lot of info.

You can find them at

It was started by Mathew who makes vinyl toys and is for only handmade. Nothing commercial. It's an International self funded marketplace, with a low listing price and a 2.5% commission.

Check it out. And let us know if you choose to list on it. We all want to know.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Sunday Was For The Birds

For those of you who know me, I love birds.  I have bird feeders and bird baths in my back yard.  However, I was not prepared for this experience.

Yesterday morning I was awakened by a very odd sound.  And lots of them.  I laid in bed and listened.  It sounded like turkeys.

It felt like waiting forever until there was some daylight, but finally my husband and I went outside, armed with our little digital cameras.

About 40 feet up in our pine trees, were five very large wild turkeys calling to each other.  I think they were taunting each other over their flying skills, because when they finally took off, it looked like low altitude very large bowling balls with wings barely skimming the roof tops.

They first landed in the field behind our house.  It could throw you off, because I live in the suburbs of a 5 million + sized city, Atlanta, Georgia.  But we're so lucky to have this little pocket of nature behind us.  A very old half blind horse used to live there when we first moved in.  He used to enjoy munching on our pink cherry blossoms that hung over the fence in the Spring.

So these five turkeys enjoyed their bit of nature in the back lot and we watched for a long time as they strutted, fanned their feathers, made lots of noise and did their little turkey "look at me" dances.

I guess after that it was time to go 
check out the rest of the neighborhood, because they hopped the fence and started down the street.
You can see by comparing them to the mailbox, that these were not your Thanksgiving Day sized creatures, but ones who obviously were larger and far noisier than the frozen variety.

So that was my Sunday morning commune with nature.  I promise, tomorrow I'll get back to creativity, inspiration and glass chat.

I don't think that this gang roaming our streets will inspire any beads from me, but I wanted you to see that not all wild turkey comes in a glass bottle.

See you tomorrow!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

It's All In How You Look At It- Two Artists' Eyes

Last week, fellow beadmaker, Jill Symons (who makes such gorgeous beads) and I had lunch and visited a local art gallery, The Signature Shop.

This gallery has jewelry, wood, ceramics, fiber, glass and other mediums. Well, as two artists viewing other artists' work, you can be sure we didn't just look at every piece and only say, "that's nice."

What was interesting to me, was the way each of us looked at the pieces. Of course now it's a "I should have known it" moment. Jill pointed out that she and I would look at the same item and get something totally different out of it.

I chose two gorgeous functional ceramic pieces from The Artful Home's website to use as examples of what we would have done. The top black and white Viking bowl I would see as- "Can I make this shape?" and start thinking about forming it on the mandrel, which tools would I need, etc. Jill would first see it as the combination of patterns, the contrast in colors, etc.

And again for the Petal Teapot, she would look at the patterns, colors and I would look at the shape first and mentally figure out how I would attempt to replicate it and after that, I'd notice the patterns and colors. (I'm still trying to work out that handle in my mind. It's really cool and would love to interpret that in glass somehow.)

So when you're looking at an object, how do you view it? This eye opener afternoon has caused me to be aware of what I was seeing versus how another artist was seeing the same piece. I am now trying to view interesting art through a variety of "eyes". Tell me about you. What do you see, and how will you look at life a little differently?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Help Pass Artist-Museum Partnership Act

Please note, I quoted information heavily from an email from the
From the American Craft Council:

Artist-Museum Partnership Act Improves Tax Fairness for Artists, Spurs Gifts to Museums.

The legislation proposes to amend the Internal Revenue Code allowing artists, writers, scholars and composers to receive the fair market value tax deduction when donating their works to public institutions or charitable organizations.

Under current law, if a living artist donates their work to a public institution or charitable organization, they are only allowed a tax deduction for the cost of materials.

Please call, fax or email your member of Congress as soon as possible.  You can find their names at   Type your zip code and then click on your US Representative to obtain their contact information.

H.R. 1126 and S.405 will allow the creators of original material to take a tax deduction for the fair market value of donated works.  Currently, the creators may claim a deduction for only the cost of materials, such as paint, canvas, paper and ink no matter the works' actual value.

Please blog about this, write about in the forums and spread the word as best as you can.  It impacts all of us, not only as artists, but for museums and other non profits to have a better venue for receiving our cultural heritage.

Easter Beads - Spring Is In The Air

There's something about Easter ceramics that just makes me smile.

The bright colors and simple patterns tend to be whimsical and happy. Besides, I've always liked bunnies.

Now is a great time to be making Easter egg and bunny type beads, if you are selling online.

If you don't do sculpture, Zoozii's has a great Egg Press which would give you the right shape to start with.

It would be very cool for you to use your usual style, but make it on an egg. For example, if you do "organic", make an egg like that to sell for this season. If you do "layered dots", then show your magic on one. And if you do "surface decoration" that's got to be the easiest of all. I can just picture flowers and vines across a pastel egg. Very pretty and marketable.

These pictures are from Fitz and Floyd's Easter line. It's never good to copy exactly, but don't they look like they could inspire some fun beads?

Their use of multiple styles of patterns- polka dots, lines, zig zags and checkers, would make some very cool springtime lampwork using similar colors. I think buyers are getting pretty tired of Winter and ready for warming up a bit.

So have you changed your beadmaking habits for this season or next holiday? What have you done differently? Tell us about it.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Christian Louboutin Marie Antoinette Shoes- Divine Inspiration

..... sigh. Have you seen the latest Christian Louboutin shoes? There are only 36 pairs made. Each retails for $6,295 USD. They were inspired by and named after Marie Antoinette.

Featuring ribbons, lace and embroidery, they come in yellow, pink and blue. Louboutin teamed up with famous embroider, Jean-Pierre Lesage of the House of Lesage in India.

Each pair has been numbered and comes with a specially designed box and a book that shows the collaboration process.

I'm still trying to figure out which designer I can collaborate with. I'm sure there's someone out there who needs a glass ninja wearing mouse ears bead to accent a red carpet gown, or a can of Spam for the next Coen Brothers movie. But until they discover me, I'll just dream about these shoes. The blue pair for me, please.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What Do You Need To Get Started in Lampworking?

This is a reader participation post.  I would love for you to comment and add to my ideas for what is needed when you're starting out to make glass beads.

One of my friends, who is a fuser, wants to teach herself.  She has a kiln and has decided upon a Hot Head Torch.  I think she has this book by Cindy Jenkins, which is my favorite beginner book already too.

So I asked my facebook friends what do they suggest as items that are needed when starting out and here are the responses, which I've edited for space reasons.
glass assortment bundle
Fusion bead release
safety glasses
how-to books
rod rest
cookie sheet to put under the torch to keep rods from rolling in your lap
tungsten pick
graphite paddle
ear plugs
water bowl
pliers or tweezers
tweezer mashers or barbecue mashers
aloe or burn cream

But now I'd like to ask you for your advice.  What does she need?  What are some pointers that you'd like to add?  Think "beginner".  What do you wish someone had told you, when you first started?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day via SuperPets

Have you ever checked out SuperPets on Facebook?  I'm afraid for me, it's a little addictive.

You choose a pet and then by paying attention to it and other pets, you receive points.  With those 
points, you can buy items for them and  their habitats.

Who knew how creative some of these people could be?  With the same items available, I find such different, creative environments.  I can't help but be inspired for my little glass creations 
by them too.

For example, this little pig wearing a green bowler and a necklace totally amuses me.  I love how all the little stuffed animals and plants are lined up in rows too.

So if you're on Facebook, you might consider checking into this program for a little inspiration.  And please play with my pet dragon, Chambord, if you're in the neighborhood too.

Happy St. Patricks Day to you.  See you tomorrow.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Aretha's Inaugural Hat Commemorated in Glass

I don't know about you, but when I saw Aretha Franklin's hat at President Obama's inauguration,  I fell in love with it.  I looked at it and knew that someday it needed to belong on one of my beads.

That day has come.

I was thinking about who would be the lucky character to get to sport this incredible hat.  When I do something like this,  I love to have a tie in with an amusing story, if possible for my Etsy shop.

Well meet Erica Franklin the mermaid.  (Wait until you hear the convoluted tie in- think tv trivia from days of old)

Erica's mom is named Bonnie, who is red headed, laid back and takes "One Day at a Time".  (if you're old enough, you could groan now)

And although Erica bought this knock off hat on Ebay, she believes it brings her closer to her missing relative, the one she would love to be related to, Aretha.

And of course after I started to write this, I noticed that Aretha's hat is everywhere.  

Well the cool thing about this is that Erica may not ever get to meet Aretha, but at least her mom has ties to Valerie Bertinelli.

Pop culture is alive...and percolating in my brain.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

From Design Pattern to Bead

Well my ongoing creativity workshop, Finding Your Voice (my group is called "people who just won't leave", had an assignment a couple of weeks ago, that I thought might be interesting for all of you to try. I think it relates to other art forms other than just beadmaking.

We had to click on "random" under patterns on the Colour Lovers website that I recently mentioned. Then we had to interpret a bead from whatever design we received.

I was really happy to get this pattern because I've always loved paisleys, but knew it was far too complicated to
interpret the entire picture on one bead. I needed to
simplify and distill the main element out of it. Which of course was easy, because it was the same design made into a pattern.

I had to decide how many paisley elements I wanted and pondered between 1 and 3. It came down to, what would look best? Because I wasn't sure how intricate I would make them and how small I could make them, I chose just one.

I needed a deep green that had yellow in it for the base and a lighter bright green as well as aqua. That was easy too. Unfortunately, I didn't have the original with me and my memory didn't work. (that will teach me), the main teardrop shape should have been aqua and I would have liked it better. As Doris Day used to sing, "Que Sera Sera" (what will be, will be). And if I were ever making it again, (we're only allowed one shot in class), I would add more detail and contrast to my bead. This bead is about .8" tall, so I would stick to between one and three paisley designs on it still. (By the way, I put mod dots on the back- kept it to the 60's vibe)

And again, if I were making the bead one more time, I'd want to reconsider the shape of the bead. Would a flattened bicone be more interesting? If so, how would the paisley design be laid out? What about a large lentil with more of them on it? So the question of the day is, what shape would you make it and how would you interpret this design? I'd love to hear your opinion.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Only Two Seats Left in Julie "Fergie" Ferguson's Class

Our ISGB Chapter, Southern Flames has just 2 more seats left in Julie Ferguson's "Fergie's Reactive Glass Tricks" class on April 23 & 24th here in Atlanta, GA. It's on a Thursday and Friday.

Julie, (aka Fergie) has done extensive research on silver glass and reactions. She's bringing a boatload of that knowledge to teach two day classes on it. Here's her bio and photos of her beads.

Here's the Class Announcement info on it, and I just wanted to mention, that I'm taking that class too. So come join me for some fun. I know Julie from other get-togethers in Asheville and I have to say that she is a born teacher. I am very excited to be in her class and really look forward to her showing me what she does with the different glasses and learn her techniques.

Oh, by the way, included in the very reasonable class fee, Southern Flames is buying the expensive silver glass that you will need for class. How cool is that?

See you tomorrow. Happy Weekend to you.

Friday, March 13, 2009

You Know You're A Beadmaker When...

One of my recent fixations has been joining Facebook, because I've found a lot of beadmakers, as well as friends from the past and relatives too. To me, it's like having an international small town with your best buddies and new friends all in the same place.

(If you join it, please "friend" me, Marcy Lamberson, and if we haven't met, just write "blog" on the note so I know that you're okay to be one of my new friends)

Well, one of the things that one can do on Facebook, is to have little questionaires that you ask your friends to fill out and you get to know them better. Here is a current one for beadmakers. I thought I'd answer it and then you feel free to answer also in the comments.

You Know You're a Beadmaker When...

1. You know you're a true beadmaker when - You look at life as beads. "Look at that child over there, wouldn't she make a great bead?"

2. Your favorite glass- No favorite soft glass, but currently I am loving some of the colors of CIM glass.

3. Your favorite torch - I own quite a few, but right now, I keep going back to my trusty old Minor that I've had for 8 years.

4. Name 1 or more beadmakers who inspired you - There are many who have inspired, but I have to say that Deanna Griffin Dove's early classes, when I was beginning were outstanding. She knows so much and expressed and shared her knowledge so well.

5. My inspiration comes from - Life. Books, people, inanimate objects, photos, fabric, nature, everywhere....

6. When I'm making beads I listen to - a variety of things...always the ka-chunking sound of my concentrator as well as sometimes television, books on tape, music or the birds in my backyard.

7. I love making - whimisical sculptural beads that stretch my abilities. If they make me smile and are a challenge, then I'm really happy.

8. My favorite drink at the torch - homemade lemonade, but I seldom have it.

9. You know when you've been at the torch too long've burned yourself and you finish your bead instead of tending to it right away.

10. I love being a beadmaker because - there is a mild euphoria when I sit down at the torch or when I teach this art form. Stretching what I know through the molten glass makes me feel joyful.

And one that I am adding...
You know beadmaking is in your blood, when you unintentionally buy a jacket that matches your didymiums and then wear it to the Southern Flames demo and you still haven't noticed, until you see the photo a week later. Seeing this photo made me laugh. And don't ask what I was doing. I must have been explaining something serious that required two fists. It's got to be one of the very few photos out there where I'm not smiling or making a goofy face.

And now I'm off to finish adding more beads to my Etsy shop and then take the rest of the day off to see the outstanding American Craft Council Show which is in Atlanta for a few days. Ah, bliss.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Do you love seashells as much as I do? I not only collect them, but enjoy making my shells out of glass- both realistic and very unrealistic ones.

I think my passion for shells has to do with growing up with the ocean a block away from my house. Collecting shells was just one of my past times, but the beach seeped into my soul and still is important to me, even if I don't go very often.

Yesterday, I was able to snag an Etsy Treasury. Usually I happily construct them with members of my Street Teams, but this morning, I guess the seashells were calling to me.

I did an Etsy tag search to see what was out there and then picked some of the pieces that were interesting to me. It might have been that they had a great design element, or their use of certain shells, or perhaps it was they just plain ol' amused me. (I bet you can guess which one). So here is photo of the Treasury I made, and if you click here, it might still be available on Etsy's website.

Perhaps they were on my mind, because last weekend I showed someone how to make a shell and then I came home and made a handful more of them. Also, I've been asked to teach a special class on shells and sculptural beach/ocean related items. I need to mull over what could be good items that will teach my students certain skills as well as the technique for the bead itself.

So what do you think? If you were taking an ocean/beach bead related class, what would you like to learn? Help me out here and give me your opinion. Out of the comments in this post, I'll be randomly choosing someone to receive a seashell from me. (International comments welcomed too, don't forget- I ship everywhere)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Contests and Fun Stuff in the Glass World

This is my "Breezy" entry for Mary Lockwood's Glass Olympics. We are to interpret Spring, as a theme. If you have a minute, could you please go and comment on it? We need to get that ball rolling, so other visitors will do it too. And check out all the entries. There are beauties.

Fire Mountain Gems is hosting their 2009 Beading Contest. There are all kinds of categories, but of course I'll focus on the glass one, which includes lampwork. Here's what it says:
Glass: Calling all glass! Create masterful art and jewelry pieces with Czech fire-polished, Czech pressed glass, opalite, goldstone, rainbow "stone," bumpy beads, lampworked glass, liquid glass, dichroic glass and glass components ... the Fire Mountain Gems and Beads Jewelry Maker's Comprehensive Catalog's the limit! Due by April 15th. Be sure to read all the rules, because there are some. A certain percentage of your jewelry needs to be made from Fire Mountain products, etc.

Due by April 1st, is the Annealer Magazine's "In Time for the Holidays" contest. There are two glass related categories including beads and off mandrel pieces. You'll need to read the extensive, but very easy to understand rules for it. Come on, why not! (and here's the Annealer's facebook link too.

If you know of other contests or call for artists, please post them in the comments section.  I know there are a lot more out there.  Thanks!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Multicolr Search Lab ~ Fun Color Resource

Have you seen this site before, Mutlicolr Search Lab by Idee? It's really fun. I've taken some screen shots to show you and example of what it does.

You start out with a blank grid. See the color box to the right? You click on a color and the grid fills with pictures that are primarily of that color. Next you choose another color, and the grid changes pictures to include that color with the first. So you get a visual blend.

You can continue doing this with up to 10 colors. I chose three. You can see each individual color in a bar shape below the multicolor box. To change colors, you can just click on the color bar and it erases it. If you want the same color twice to increase the amount of that shade in a photo, then just click twice. If you click on the actual square with the photo, it will bring you to the original on Alamy's website..

So how does it relate to beadmaking? To me, quite well. I can see what different proportions of a variety of colors would look like on a bead. I can also see different patterns, (which is a bonus) and switch things around to decide which colors of glass to use. Normally, I just hold the rods together and eyeball them, but this is a fun and creative way to perhaps look at things a little differently.

But I have a feeling that I might use this another way too. I would perhaps use this as a "color chip" to practice my glass color mixing as well. That first color that I tried, we don't have it exactly in our glass. I might just keep a screen of it nearby when I next mix some glass together to make a new shade.

If you go to the FAQ section on this page, there is information on how to work with the BYO Image Search Lab too. I have not tried it, but it says you can upload your own images to do a visual search. If any of you try this, could you please report back and let us know how it works for you?

Now you've got another fun tool to enjoy. Let me know how it might relate to you and the way you enjoy being creative..

See you tomorrow.

Monday, March 9, 2009

It's All In The Snip- Easy Mandrel Cutters

I was recently asked about what tool did I use to cut my mandrels for the bead stands that I make..

Using 1/16th mandrels, I do my share of cutting them. I'm always bending them when taking off my beads, because I use a really strong bead release.

So this particular cable cutting pair of snips works really easily for my 1/16ths as well as my 3/32's. I haven't tried them on anything larger. My husband found this pair at Home Depot, but here is an online source that I found that also describes and sells them. I like these, because the ends cut crisply, so you don't need to take off any rough edges afterward. They also have "hot drop-forged of molybdenum alloy steel unbreakable blades", ergonomic handles that aren't too big for my hands and thick soft grips that are easy on them. Wow, I've always wanted something out of hot drop forged molybdenum. ( I even know how to pronounce it! woohoo.)

Anyhow, just wanted to show you what I use. If you have a great pair of cutters, please feel free to share with us what you use. And how large of a mandrel it cuts. Even a website would be cool.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Arrow Springs' Hot Yellow Flyer- Cool Items

I received Arrow Springs' Hot Yellow Flyer yesterday and am already drooling over some of the items that they have listed.

I've just pilfered two of their photos to show you some of the items.

This first one I would like to buy, but I'm not sure how I'll use it. It either looks like fun or an instrument of torture. Probably a little of both.

It's called a Cross-Link Mandrel and the flyer says its a modified Emiko Big Hole Mandrel with places to add in small parts of mandrels so you can have holes in your beads. They are spaced 1/2" apart, so you can use it as a single if you want. This comes in various sizes and ranges from $10-20. I'm buying it, and will figure out how I'll use it when I can hold it in my hands and imagine better.

The second is the least expensive I've seen these stick on lenses. This is what I use inside of my didymiums. I have tried torching without them and feel like I might as well use braille. I will be buying more of these for sure. I use a higher number than my usual reading glasses. They help me see the tiny details that I like to add. Kate Fowle gave me this tip years ago.

Arrow Springs has other items that interest me too. They have Brent Graber's boro dvd. I took a class from him and loved it. I will put it on my birthday list. Ditto for the Penland book. But back to the sale items. There are two pair of small hemostats for $3.95. I use them with my glass work. I'll check out the ASK glass carefully to see if there are some colors I need before it's all gone. And of course I'll probably get something that I hear saying, "pick me!" too.

While on their website, sign up for their Artisan Advantage Program. It's free. Can't lose with early knowledge about sales, workshops, and members only info.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Glass Olympic Spring Fling Contest- Lots of FUN!

Here's something fun for you to do. Mary "Moth" Lockwood, who makes wonderful beads, is hosting a Glass Olympic Spring Fling.

She is inviting glass artists of all experience to submit up to 3 bead photos by April Fool's Day, April 1, 2009 in the various categories. There will be peer voting, Mary's input and all kinds of factors to decide upon the winners.

The theme is "Spring Fling" which is any interpretation of iconic Spring subjects. You do not need to make a new bead for this. It can be one already existing.

Visit Mary's website for the complete rules and how to upload your photos, etc.

Just from the beads I've seen already, it's going to be a tough competition, but so much eye candy in one place. And while you're there, stop by her gallery and shop too. Her tutorials and beads are wonderful. Oh, and I just found her FREE tutorials too. Here they are.
My entry is complete. I'll be blogging about it at a later date. (after I photograph it!)

See you tomorrow.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Extreme Close Up- Trying Something New

I usually take photos of my entire bead (and lots of angles) when I'm listing them in my Etsy shop.  It just seemed like folks would want to know what's going on- like the big picture.

But I started thinking about some of the jewelry sellers there, and how so many of them take a close up of a section of their work as the main photo and then use complete views for the rest.  And you know what, I'm more attracted to those close up shots.

So today, I'm trying it with my Sock Monkey bead.  (do you love purple and aqua together like I do?)  I think she has a cute little face and it's been a long time since I've made one.  I used to make sock monkeys often to sell.  Besides, how often do you get to use stripes and polka dots together?

I believe in the past, one of the old advertising agency sayings was, "run it up a flag pole and see if anyone salutes." (like Mad Men tv show days).   It sure doesn't hurt to try it and see if there's a response.

So you tell me.  Do you start with a close up?  Do you include one later on in your listings?  If you tried it, did it seem to be good for sales?  I'm sure the bead itself makes a huge difference, but let's just tempt fate and see what happens.  (and tell us what you think, too!)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Glass Puppy Dog Buddies- Postcard Material?

Do you ever make similar items and photograph them together?

Last summer when I was making so many bobbleheads, I had a lot of fun of photographing them together.  They looked like a wacky version of the old band, The Village People.

A few days ago, I took a picture of a few puppies that I had made the day before.  As of right now, only the one on the right is listed, but the others will join her soon.

I'm thinking this would make a fun postcard.  I'm just debating whether I want a different background.  Do I need to make a fire hydrant, or some other prop add a little more whimsy, or do you like it as it is?  I need some opinions please, folks.  How would you style the photo and what would you do for a good marketing postcard photo?

And I'd like to add a big thank you to all of you who reached out to help the family that I posted about below.  I really appreciate it.  I could tell by emails and posts of the forums that our beadmakers and friends are a generous group.  And through tomorrow, for any item sold in my shop, I will donate $5 to the fund.  Please read the post below for additional ways to help.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Etsy Seller Lost 5 Year Old Son- Needs Help

Folks, it's time for a little seriousness.  As a Mom, I can't imagine losing a child.  Especially one that is only 5 years old who was killed when crossing a street.  It makes me teary just thinking about little Zach Cruz.

Well that's what has just happened to one of our long time Etsy sellers, Jodie Cruz of PetalsPurses.  Her sister Jennifer, also an Etsy seller posted a thread about it.  You see, Jodie doesn't have enough to bury him.  

Etsy sellers and buyers are banding together to donate via paypal, sell specific items where the proceeds go to his fund, or even to buy the Etsy items to remedy this problem.

I know it's a tough economic for all of us.  But if you need something that is being sold to benefit little Zachary Michael Cruz, or have a spare couple of bucks to donate, or even have a few minutes to post in the thread, or even have an item to donate towards this cause, I'd sure appreciate it.  As a Mom, my heart hurts and as a human, I know this is one small place we can make a difference.

Etsy Glass Artists-Spring/Easter Challenge & Gveaway

My Etsy Glass Artists (EGA) Street Team is sponsoring an Easter / Spring Challenge for our group as well as a Giveaway for people who comment on our blog.

If you want a chance to win some of our items, just comment on any of the Spring/Easter Challenge Items.  Our blog can be found HERE.  

So this is my item for the challenge and I sure would appreciate some comments on her.  She's wearing Easter Bunny ears and bunny slippers too.  

Actually I always love comments on my blog too or even convos in my StudioMarcy Etsy Shop.  I guess I'm just the chatty type.

Catch you tomorrow for a little glass chat.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009 Addiction

If you are ever stuck in a beadmaker's creative rut, this is a one stop shopping place to find crazy wild color combinations, patterns, palettes and to also design your own.

Caution: you may become addicted. I don't know, but this might be as much fun as Facebook.

I have just become familiar with, because this website is necessary for homework in one of Sylvie's Finding Your Voice creativity workshop, which I'll write about in a different posting, once I do the homework.

But for now, I'd like you to take 10 minutes and
go start familiarizing yourself with the website. It's wonderful. Want a new color combination? Go to the palette section. Inspiration needed for your next set of beads that is out of the box? Click on the pattern section. Want to just scan colors, you've got a section for that too.

There's a lot more for me to explore on it. After I picked up this week's homework pattern, I continued on to see what was there. I was looking to see what related to my sculptural work and it all does, just in a slightly different way.

Look for future blog posts about how I incorporate some of the resources of this website into my own art. Now more importantly, what can you do with this resource, or what have you found on this website that I didn't mention?