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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Inspired by the Sea

I think you know that anything ocean and beach related really appeals to me. I'm sure growing up on the Connecticut coast and swimming in the ocean had a lot to do with it. (Remind me to tell you my jellyfish story sometime. Sometimes I was a little bit naughty as a child.)

So you can imagine my happiness at being included in the lovely treasury, "Inspired by the Sea" by Luv2Have on Etsy. (She makes wonderful fused glass pendants!

My lampwork bead is in the upper left corner. I made it using a stainless steel hollow tube and two colors of glass. I'm still working on improving them, but have some listed in various colors in my Studio Marcy etsy shop.

And of course I'd like one of each of everything else too. I just recently bought a bunch of sea urchins. I've been making them out of glass for quite a while in a stylized manner, but would like to make a few that are more realistic too. (mine are a bit "pungent" right now. They're outside.

Don't forget that these treasuries are ephemeral. This one will just be up through 6/1/09. Feel free to take a copy of this photo, if you want it for inspiration.

So now you know that one of my loves is the ocean and beach. Do you have a category that you adore also? What is it? I'd love to know.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Saved By Deb Dunk

Do you sometimes get a bit frazzled when under a quick time crunch? I do. And during one of my more recent ones, artist Deb Dunk of Dunk Designs pulled me out of it.

I received the ISGB's email with the deadlines, and realized that I hadn't printed this year's postcard and it's due by June 30th.

Drat. I knew I had to get going on this project right away. I'll be out of town for a lot of June.

I am not a graphic artist. I barely squeak by on the most minor things. And with my typical adventurous spirit, I chose to try a different online printer, who I had not worked with before. Double drat. I thought all online companies had an easy to use program that allowed the person to add copy over a photo after it was uploaded. I found out otherwise AFTER I had already paid for the postcards. I could handle the front of the postcard with my single photo, but I needed help for the back side. I hear hard lessons learned are the best. Well, this was a good one. Not sure how many new gray hairs and extra consumed calories over this one.

So I went to my favorite resource, and did a search for "custom postcard graphics" and scanned through the results. I immediately was drawn to "DunkDesigns" and her style.
I messaged her and it was so very lucky that Deb had some time available to help me. What a find! She's a delight and came up with this design for the back of my postcard, which was just what I was imagining- but much better.

Deb is an artist. So if you need some illustrations, invitations or other art related help, she seems to do it all.

This blog post has been brought to you as a public service. If you are submitting postcards for the Gathering, get them done now. If you are adventurous and just charge into something without reading carefully first, slow down. Luckily for me, it all turned out just fine. Only three more gray hairs out of it.

See you tomorrow!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Cheaper by the Bakers Dozen Cupcake Glass Beads

I had an inquiry from an online bakery specializing in cupcakes. We discussed a wholesale price for cupcakes.

Now I know that a lot of artists don't do wholesale, but I have a different opinion. If the details are spelled out carefully and agreed upon, then it can be a win/win situation.

But back to cupcakes. Part of the fun for me, was trying to figure out what types of cupcakes to offer. I reviewed her website, and then thought about what would I want to make multiples of at the price we agreed upon. (and decided that I was pretty open as long as the cupcake wasn't too detailed)

Here are four samples of the many that I came up with. I first made a list of what colors cake bases might be. Then I went to frosting colors and then I have a separate column for decorations. By writing out my ideas, it's easier to make an assortment, once I get to the torch, than having to think them up as I go. I'm a list person through and through.

Do you sell wholesale? And if so, do you have any pointers for our readers? And of course the other thing I want to know is...what's your favorite type of cupcake? I think mine would be rum cake with pineapple frosting and lots of coconut sprinkles, I've never seen one, but it sounds good.

See you tomorrow!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Making Your Own Headpins

Do you belong to Beaders Showcase?

I really enjoy that they strongly encourage videos to be posted there. I recently watched one on making your own headpins.

Here is the link to the How To Make Your Own Headpins.

I hadn't realized that it's so easy to do. I'm not sure that I want to make all of my headpins, but there are times in which an extra long one is needed. Or now that I have watched it, I think there are other things I might want to do with fine silver. I just need to think of what they may be. Got any ideas?

Of course it wouldn't be so much fun if a torch wasn't involved. The Creative Jeweler, who made this video, said even a creme brulee kitchen torch would work. I guess that's an excuse to go buy something else that's shoots fire. Woo hoo! I like those tools.

Do you make your own headpins or something else that is really easy? Tell me about it. I'm always interested in acquiring new skills. Especially if they involve just a touch of danger.

See you tomorrow-

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Handmade Chic & Interview Chatter

I was so delighted to be featured on Handmade Chic's blog. It's a fun feature with bead photos and an interview.

It's written by Rachel of Inferno Glass Beads, also a lampwork artist and jewelry designer.

When asked to provide information for an interview, it's always good to think about the audience who reads it. Will the information be too technical or broad enough? Are they fellow glassies who read it, or folks who are perhaps just like to look.

I think a good mix of art/craft information, with a generous smattering of personal detail, is about right. I don't think the reader wants to know too much about me, but perhaps a bit that helps them relate to who I am and why I create my style of art. Sometimes I get a little silly like in this interview, where I reveal something that I have been trying to learn for many, many years, but still have not mastered.

Hope you enjoy it. Please comment, so Rachel knows you stopped by. And I hope your next interview is fun to write and just the perfect mix of information. See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

CIM's New Colors, Frantz's New Blog & More!

Starting today, these five new Creation is Messy (CIM) colors are available through Frantz Art Glass.

I was interested to see them, as I'm a big fan of CIM glass as a supplement to my other 104 COE brands.

Along with the new colors, Frantz has rolled out a blog, which you might have already seen. I like Patricia's beads which illustrate what she's talking about. It gives me a visual which is so helpful.

The top photo is Commando with Triton dots and goldstone swirls by Patricia Frantz. Not only is it a pretty bead, but it shows the variegation in the glass, which is important. A lot of CIM colors seem to do that.

The second photo is Olive with a pink and black dragged design. You know, the top photo with the 5 colors made me think there was more distinction between the two greens. These two colors makes me wonder if they are closer in hue, than they appear. I will probably choose one shade to try first. (and undoubtedly, end up with both at some point.) I already have the deep and lovely olive shade from Lauscha, which I have loved for years. GlassDaddy has been a great source for my Lauscha glass. And besides Frank DeRosa is "dad" to one of my local glass buddies, Jill Symons.

Right now, Admantium is not doing it for me, but the other four have possibilities. I have a feeling I'll end up eating my words about the Admantium too. It's hard for me to find a color I can't find a use for.

So tell me what you think. Which of the five colors do you like? If you were given samples of all 5 colors, which shade would you pick up first? Which would be last. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Happy Tuesday to you.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Podcasts- Another Resource for Learning About Glass

Instead of listening to your iPod or the television while working, have you ever considered listening to Podcasts?

If you're a glass artist, Firelady, Marcie Davis interviews a fabulous assortment of glass artists.

In this particular one, Lisa St. Martin talks about a converted prison changing into Lorton Arts center, the Miami Gathering 09, and she gives you a step by step verbal tutorial about fuming with gold. If you listen carefully, you'll hear my name mentioned too!

View and listen to more of Marcie's (great name, isn't it?)glass related podcasts here.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Birthday Contemplation

It's my birthday.
So this is what it looks like to be 54.

About 360 days of the year, I'm a smiling, happy-go-lucky type of gal. But there are always a few days out of the year in which I need to be serious. Honestly, it generally doesn't last too long. But I need to stop and think about life a bit.

My birthday is one of those days.

Usually, I do my daily serious problem solving in the shower or just as I'm going to sleep. I'm a true Gemini, so thoughts roam freely and often I can't remember what I was thinking about an hour later, unless I write it down. I've tried meditating, but can't seem to master it. I don't sit still well, and my mind seems to keep moving, even when I tell it to quiet down.

But today, I take more time and contemplate life...mine, my family's and friends'. And generally I come up with a similar result. I get sad, missing family and friends who are gone and I'm happy and thankful for my wonderful family, friends and of course my art, which is a large part of who I am.

Whew! Glad that serious side is over for now. It's time to celebrate. I'm really hoping that today brings a coconut birthday cake and maybe a few phone calls. And if I'm lucky, a present or two will appear. My sweet husband hinted that he and my son might have something up their sleeves. I've got my fingers crossed.

If you'd like to help me celebrate, I'm asking my friends to consider donating to the Beads of Courage program, it's a not for profit group which is dear to my heart supporting children with life threatening illness in hospitals around the U.S. Glass beadmakers make lampwork beads for the kids who receive them for specific parts of their treatment. This very long string of beads visually tells the children's story of their journey.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Smile, It's a Real Punk Turtle

Happy weekend, everyone. I couldn't resist posting this photo when I saw it on the internet. It makes me smile.

Here's a punk turtle to brighten your day. I'm not sure what's growing on his head, but he doesn't need hair product to maintain it. It's already alive.

My favorite part is how well he got his hair to match his eyes. Beautiful colors in such a funny looking photo.

Hope your weekend is a good one. I'll be back tomorrow, as it's a special day for me.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Dali Joins The Perspectives Corning Exhibit

I'm so very happy to announce that my Salvador Dali glass bobblehead was juried in to the Perspectives exhibit to be shown in Corning, NY this summer.

It will showcase ISGB (International Society of Glass Beadmakers) members' work. We were asked to submit a bead that best captured our "inspiration, innovation and our personal voice."

The Perspectives' participant slideshow on the ISGB website is filled with amazing beads. You can find it here.

I found creating the famous, not so famous and the infamous as bobblehead subjects was quite fun and rather unique. So that was where I turned when I read about this call for artists.

Dali's unique mustache and dapper way of dressing was unique and easily recognizable. I had wanted to make his mustache 3-D, so that it stuck out, but being so thin and delicate, I worried that it would not survive being shipped across the country twice. So it became surface decoration.

And finally, I wanted him to have a cool beadstand that didn't compete with the form, but complemented it. So I looked to his artwork and chose a color he used often and added a simplified version of the dripping clock that is one of his noteworthy details. Uncomplicated, but you know whose stand it is.

I just had to share my excitement with you and the fabulous slideshow. Have a happy weekend.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

How Would You Use These Flowers?

Flowers everywhere.  You'd think I'd be content with the ones in my yard, but no, always need more.

These two flowers are some of the variety that I carry in my new shop, StudioMarcy'sWhimsy, on Etsy. 

I decided to sell them as handmade supplies, in hopes that artists and crafters might find them there.

You see, I think there are all kinds of places that they can be used.

Made on a medium gauge copper wire, they can be wire wrapped into a loop, so they'd work like large buttons.  I can just picture them as an awesome closure on a cool handbag.

Or jewelry makers could make them into focals or incorporate them easily into wired pieces.  I think pins, broaches or even handmade rings, (that's how I use them).

And of course, wouldn't they be great for brides or a bridal party?  No one has asked me for custom orders on them yet, but they could decorate a cake, be incorporated into bridal headpieces, bouquets, or boutonnieres.  (had to look that one up in the dictionary- my years of French classes didn't help at this hour in the morning).

I know this is a creative group of readers, so I'm opening up the comment hotline for your ideas.  How would you use flowers like these?  

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Officially Mermaid Season

It's official, it's mermaid season.

I love mermaids. I like making them in all shapes, styles and hair colors. And I've learned that brunette mermaids sell better than other colors. I'd like to note that all my blonde mermaids are natural, except for the ones who are out in the sun a lot and have highlights, but that's natural too.

This is Ali the mermaid. She's currently in my Etsy shop, but I'm hoping that she'll find a new home soon.

I make her using a 1/16 th mandrel, so her neck can be small enough. Sometimes using a 3/32 mandrel doesn't give enough room for curvy body definition. It's all in the proportions, isn't it?

And most of my mermaids have a wreath of some sort around their heads, instead of just a single flower. I can't help it. I was around in the 60's (dang, I'm old), and I've always loved the look.

Ali and the other Studio Marcy mermaids live in a category in my Etsy shop called, "Fish/Shells/Beach". They co-habitate with starfish, anenome, sea glass and everything related to "all things beach-y". If anyone can think of a better category name that is under 23 characters, I'd welcome your ideas. Please post them in the comments.

Meanwhile, it's mermaid season. People are thinking about summer vacations, swimming and those wonderful days at the beach. Hope you have your vacation lined up. I'll be going to Miami in July for the International Society of Glass Beadmakers' International Conference, where I'll be teaching whimsical sculptural glass. (sounds rather "toasty", but I know there's plenty of air conditioning). I'm hoping that some of my readers have signed up for that class, as it's not only a really good one, but we have lots of fun too. I'll write a little more about it some other time.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Keeping an Inspiration Folder- What's In Yours?

Keeping a folder with pictures you like is a great way to have a ready jumpstart, when you aren't sure what to make.

Mine is quite large and ranges from cartoons to exquisitely expensive jewelry. I know that I won't make beads that directly relate to each one, but having an assortment helps when I'm feeling low in the inspiration scale.

I literally chose two sight unseen to show you examples of my file. The top one is a screen shot of a cat who sings and dances. I like the body position, which could be used for multiple types of animals. I've been wanting to add more movement in my animal beads.

And the second photo of the turtle intrigued me. I look at the decoration on its shell and think how cool that could be.

Melted in layered dots would be a natural way to show the shell, but wouldn't it be fun to experiment with murrinis placed near each other? (Of course I'd make a test bead before trying it in actuality.) Or perhaps I just want to use a little surface decoration to give a turtle a new look. Even colorful frit could be fun.

So if you don't keep a folder, perhaps it's time. As you can see, I hang onto photos for different reasons. A little bit here, and shape there or perhaps it's just the color combination that you like. It goes a long way when you're contemplating, "what should I make today?"

And of course I know that you've got some cool photos stashed for a rainy day. So what's in your file? What kinds of photos do you hoarde?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Does This Bead Match My Bag?

One of my customers constructed this bag and she is aiming to embellish it a little more. So she contacted me with the bottom photo and asked if I would design a bead to go with it.

Well of course I'd give it a try. I love looking at custom orders a bit like a puzzle. It's good to mentally and physically challenge oneself to figure out how to make something new.

Before accepting the commission, I look at the colors. Do I own rods that match, or can I layer or mix these shades? What about the shape? Is it within my realm of expertise? And technically, can I figure out how to attempt to do least on the first try?

Often it takes more endeavors than just one. And I know that I don't usually charge enough to cover those extra efforts, but to me, the custom orders almost always are worth it.

Each one teaches me and that's one of the elements that I love. Foremost is the customer's happiness, when I'm able to create what they want. It makes me just as joyful. But definitely secondary, is stretching my boundaries in a different direction to practice looking at the 2-D object and interpreting it into a 3-D shape- boldly going where I have never gone before. It's like a mini class for myself.

Do I ever have to call it quits? Sure. Not often, but I have. Once someone wanted me to make a specific NASCAR racing car less than an inch tall with the numbers and some of the intricate details. What was I thinking? Suffice it to say, it didn't work. I imagine if I had chosen to continue on and make enough of them, I'd get it, but I didn't quote a price anywhere close to the hours I was putting into it. That car is still on my bead rack to taunt me.

Some of the more memorable custom orders? Well I delighted in concocting someone's cat dancing on two legs, wearing a pink tutu and a black pirate patch. Creating pets, or the grandchildren face beads, school mascots, special mermaids and fairies or funny requests like Easter bunnies wearing viking helmets makes me grin. Bringing others' imagination to life is very rewarding.

So this swallow, (which matches a tattoo as well as the tote), is ready to be sent. Just wanted to share a portion of my art with you. These custom orders are a pleasing challenge in many ways of almost every day that I am at my torch.

If you have a custom bead you'd like to discuss, please contact me through my StudioMarcy Etsy shop, I'd love to chat.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

My Photo Set Up

With my colorful little beads being a bit quirky, I prefer a very neutral background. I've tried different colors and still resort to them once in a while, but personally, I prefer for the beads to be on a minimalist background.

So here is my low tech photography set up.

Yep, that's right. Two sheets of white paper on my old kitchen table next to a window.

I prefer to take pictures on cloudy days. When it's sunny, I am sure that there isn't any direct sun
coming through the window.

It's that simple.

I check my white balance on my little Cool Pix camera, and make sure it's on macro and away I go.

I do a tiny bit of editing in Photoshop Elements, and voila, I'm done.

I think my hardest part is trying to hold my camera still. Sometimes I rest my hands on nearby boxes or other sturdy items.

That's it. Easy peasy. Now let's hear whether you've got some tips and tricks for our readers. I know I've got a lot to learn.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Looking Out

I seem to need windows and sunlight where ever I am. I thought I'd show you the view from the window next to where I write most of my blog posts.

Gardeners, don't look too closely please. It's my rather "natural" area under the pines that forms a small island, (or is it called a peninsula when it's attached to the side of a property?) In Atlanta, we use pine straw to hold in the moisture for the plants. That's the brown ground covering you see.

Whatever this section is called, it's also where I see the bunny rabbits when they make an appearance. Since this photo, I've planted three colors of impatiens in this extremely shady area, and I'm thinking a hydrangea could look lovely by adding some more color. I want one that turns kind of blue-ish purple, so I'd better get researching to find the right one. Unless one of you gardeners know what I'm trying to find?

And the pine trees have been hosts to our neighborhood wild turkeys, families of opossums and some noisy owls not to mention all the birds who visit. I feel lucky living close to a city of 5 million, but having nature at my door. I joke about it, but "green makes me serene". Tell me about your view from your computer and of course I'm always open to gardening tips and comments.

Your brown thumbed blogging buddy.

Friday, May 15, 2009

T.G.I.F. ~ LOL

I know that I have a lot of readers from other countries, so first let me explain...TGIF stands for "Thank Goodness It's Friday" and you probably already know that LOL is "Laugh Out Loud"

This video makes me grin. I can only imagine what she will be like as a teenager. She will need an unlimited plan for her cell phone. If you can't view the video, click here, and see it online.

Happy Friday my friends, and see you tomorrow.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Introducing Studio Marcy's Whimsy

Introducing my second Etsy shop, "Studio Marcy's Whimsy"

I listened and contemplated all the comments from you. After too much time and thought, I decided on a hybrid name.

Studio Marcy's Whimsy incorporates my other shop's name, thus easier to find, if you already know me. Although I really liked both choices of banners, this funky red one seemed to incorporate best the idea of what I was trying to convey. A shop full of a variety of items...creative supplies both handmade and commercial, vintage goodies, some of my artwork- (did you know I paint watercolors and weave baskets among other things?), and other items that have caught my fancy.

And although I liked the idea of a closet, I didn't want anyone to think it was all clothing. Yes, there will be some cool vintage clothes offered once in a while, (after all, I'm quite vintage myself, and I still have some of the funky stuff from years ago), but I wanted the name to convey more of the big picture. So I changed it to one of the words that often is used to describe my personal style. Whimsy. (I left out "quirky and offbeat" as well as "forgetful" and others I'd prefer not to mention.
So now, I'm rounding up some of my whimsical items (and some not so whimsical- but fun), so I can add at least one new listing every Monday through Friday.

And I'm also trying something new. I have a camera on my Apple computer. I take some silly photos with it. If you are on facebook, the photo of me in front of the Eiffel Tower was taken with my computer. And look closely to what I am wearing as my beret. It should make you laugh. (please feel free to "friend" me on facebook- I'd be happy to add you.) Sorry, I keep digressing.

Anyhow, I cropped a section of my new banner and loaded it as a background for my computer camera. Then I took a quick shot (and a few more), and voila, here's my new avatar for my Etsy shop too. I wanted to include a tie in to give my shop a cohesive look, but make it personal too.

And as a side note, can you see these kicking green ginko leaf earrings that I'm wearing? They're stained glass made out of recycled beer bottles that the artist meticulously consumed, so he could pursue his art. I love them. They were made by my crazy friend Brian of WesternArtGlass on Etsy. If you buy something, tell him Marcy sent you.

So stop by and visit my new Etsy shop. I'm offering a few items so far, but as I mentioned, there will be more added daily.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Sparkling High Heels That Relax Your Feet

Look closely at this gorgeous shoe. Can you tell what it is? It took me a minute, but if you examine the photo, you'll see it's a vessel for relaxation....that's right- a bathtub.

Oh my! Can you imagine luxuriating in one of these? Knowing me, I'd be figuring out what to do with that section that looks like a slide. Whether it would be me or some rubber ducks, something would be tumbling down it.

The gorgeous exterior decoration is a glitzy glass mosaic with either fiberglass or acrylic on the inside. (See, it does relate to glass in some way!) I've seen two other models which are equally as glamorous.

But actually I wanted to bring it to your attention because I was impressed with the designers creating artwork with such a typically utilitarian object. The High Heel Bathtubs are shown by the Italian based SICIS Art Mosaic Factory. Which of course brings me to that question I keep asking all of us to ask ourselves, "What have we done that is unique and makes our product stand out from the others?" Feel free to grab this photo and pin it up next to your desk. This is a great visual reminder.

See you tomorrow with more fun.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Seashells by the Seashore

It's always a delight to see one's glass art turned into jewelry by a customer. I love how each jewelry designer manifests their own point of view.

My friend Debbie, from DG Designs on Etsy has honored me not just by a simple credit, but also including my name in the title. Wow, that means a lot to me.

This is "Marcy made a seashell" which is listed in Debbie's shop. You might have seen this seashell in my previous blog post. What a joy to have it made into this pretty necklace. I'm not sure whether it's the Swarovski crystals that match so well or the little handmade brass sea urchin beads that make me like it so much, but I sure do.

Last summer I was lucky enough to meet Debbie and her husband when they were traveling through Georgia. We had emailed so much beforehand, it felt like we had been friends for years.

So thank you Debbie for the recognition. I am truly touched and so appreciative.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Two Ingredients = One Gorgeous Reaction...Mini Tutorial for Silver Foil Encased Beads

I love the elegant and definite bling to this traditional style encased foil bead.
But I tend to forget about making them, even though jewelry makers often tell me that these really sell.

Blonde moment. Maybe I need a sticky note, so I can remember.

And they're so easy too. You probably already know that the chemical reaction between silver foil and clear glass makes this magic. This combination is so vibrant.

Different brands of clear glass rods will create different shades of yellow/gold with silver foil. This one according to the stories, happens to be a glass of Russian origin, that is an unknown COE. Although it doesn't mix with anything else, I loved the look so much, that I bought quite a few pounds of it. Just so I could make sparkling gold beads. (Maybe it's my inner pirate coming out?) I am now offering a limited amount of this clear glass in my new Etsy shop which has just opened. From what I've seen, it gets the best reaction, but I'd love to hear about your results with your clear glass.

I make my base bead and shape it the way I want it. I add my silver foil and gently marver it onto the very warm base bead without putting the bead back in the flame. While I'm getting that done, I also have the clear rod in the flame and melt a gather to start cover the silver. I lay the clear onto the silver and marver it into place spreading it across more of the silver if possible. (brass Stump Shaper is great for that)

If I have more to cover, I reheat the clear rod into a gather, while keeping the base bead warm where it has already been encased. Repeat until the bead is totally encased. Of course some of the foil will burn off, but it will be minimal, if you keep your torch flame low and follow these steps.

If you are encasing your silver foil and want it to continue to look silver, try using the very pale transparent aqua or blue in the same way. They'll cast a very, very slight shade to it, but it won't be noticeable unless you're looking for it.

So let me know what you find out with other brands of clear glass. I'd love to hear about your results. I haven't tried it on Bullseye or any of the 96 glass as well as there have been new 104 clears introduced, since my last round of experiments. It would be great for all of us to know what you find. When you post, tell us the brand of glass, whether you use silver foil and what kind of torch and oxygen source you used- concentrator or tank. I wonder how much of a difference that makes too?

I'm selling the clear glass by the pound. If you're interested in more than a pound, please feel free to contact me through one of my Etsy shops. You can search by "StudioMarcy" and find me easily.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mothers' Day Indulgence

Happy Mother's Day to all. Whether you are a Mom to humans, fur babies or just like an excuse to celebrate, I'm wishing you a wonderful day. Cheers!

I try pretty hard to keep my personal life minimal on my blog. It's okay when I talk about myself, but my family members are rather private people and just shake their collective heads at me sometimes.

But today is my day of indulgence. Here is an old photo of my two characters. And that's an understatement. Sparky is my world traveling adventure lover and her brother Grant has always had music in his soul. Both of them have a tremendous sense of humor and I'm sure you can tell that I love them dearly.

So pardon me for my Mother's Day indulgence. I'll be back to glass tomorrow with a with a two ingredient glass reaction and mini tutorial all rolled into one.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Quick Fun- Match This!

Happy weekend to you.

Quick fun....

I love the colors in this painting. (By the way, who knows the title of it and the artist?)

Does anyone have any beads, products they sell, jewelry, or pictures of something that go with these colors?

Post them in the comment section with the link/url so everyone can see them. A sentence or two wouldn't hurt either. I thought it would be fun to get some new eyes viewing your work or products. (hey Gaffer girls, go ahead and include links to your lovely glass ).

It's a fun way to start out the weekend. Looking forward to seeing your artful objects complement this great piece.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Noticing Hip Color Combinations

I know a lot of us follow Panetone's color trends for the seasons.  We may or may not use them, but we tend to be aware of what they are.

I look to a few other places to see what I think is really current.  One of the places is the Etsy Treasury category.  We have such a broad spectrum of artists who create these combinations and I'd guess that many of them might be in the 20-35 year old category. (and if you haven't figured it out, I definitely do not fit that age range!)

A lot of the treasuries are based on color combinations.  So I look to see which colors tend to pop up that are different than what I might expect.

This gray and yellow one has shown up quite a few times.  The yellow is one of the Panetone colors, and paired with the gray, it makes it very modern looking.

Will I deliberately make beads using this combination?  I haven't decided yet.  But obviously it must have some buzz going on for it to show up this often.  If I made non sculptural focals, or beadsets, I'd definitely consider at least one.  What do you think?  Will you try it?  
My thanks to everyone who commented on the banner and shop name in yesterday's blog post.  If you haven't yet told me what you think, please let me know.  It's sounding like the red banner has the most votes, but the shop name is still in the air.  I'm open to suggestions.  Some don't like the word "closet" and some do.  Some prefer Studio Marcy Too.  I'm waffling.  Gee, I don't enjoy being indecisive.  I keep hoping that the perfect name is going to magically appear.

See you tomorrow...

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Second Etsy Shop Quandry

I need your help.  I am going to open a second Etsy shop to sell some of my extra cool supplies, vintage items and all kinds of good stuff that needs a new home.  And yes, most of it is coming from my house.  But I need to decide on a name and a style.  Can you tell me which one you prefer?

I picked two ideas and two different banners.   I worked with a really cool Etsy shop, Duke City Mama's, who had these two banners in stock for a GREAT price and so nice to work with too.

Choice A- "Studio Marcy Too"   tagline: Creative Supplies & Vintage Indulgences
~ My thought was that perhaps some of my current customers might recognize my name and know that I'd have some good stuff in it.

Choice B- "Marcys Closet"    tagline: Supplies & Vintage Goodies  
~ A little more casual in appearance and has more of a vintage type of look

••I didn't use an apostrophe on Marcys Closet, because shoppers might remember the name being spelled that way, but Etsy searches don't allow it.  So I am omitting it.

You can tell I'm divided on this name.  I know it's not of world importance, but holy cow, I'm having a tough time deciding.  What do you think?  Which one should I choose and why?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Silver Glass Class 4

I promised to finish up talking about my Reactive Silver Glass Class this week, so here's the last installment. I saved my favorite for last.

To refresh your memory, I told you that the silver glass is divided into two categories: Striking and Reducing. And by far, the reducing is my personal favorite.

Now I've always had a taste of reductive glass. We've had silver blue, silver brown and bunch of others available for a long time. But some of the new ones on the market do make me swoon, at least just a bit.

This top seashell has both cased aventurine as well as "Psyche" which mostly turned purple for me. (woohoo!)
I sure liked the color I got from it. Others in my class also got some blue out of it. I really liked the purple though.

This bottom shell was made using my very favorite reduction glass, Aurae. I love the golden look, (but be careful if you're reducing it- it can easily fume other glass) I also got a little of the multi-hue from it too. This shell looks even prettier in person.

So here are my favorites and they are all Double Helix brands- Aurae & Triton are my top two- after that, I liked Psyche, Gaia and Elecktra.

Now here's what I learned about using reduction don't need to blast it with a bunch of propane. Turn down your oxy a bit and let little bits of small propane rich flame lick the glass. It seemed to work well for me. Just think of a tongue sized (ew gross, I know- but you get the visual on it), flame and just barely have it touch your glass. In and out of the flame for short amounts of time.

I imagine that different oxygen -propane combinations work too. Depending on your oxygen situation- tank versus different sized concentrators, what your settings are on your regulators, etc. And also what you ate for breakfast, the humidity and whether you are day dreaming about the perfect bead. Okay, maybe the some of the last ones aren't quite as important, but you get the idea.

If you can handle details, it would be so good for you to keep some records of what you do with each type of glass. Now I want you to go forth and try things and let us all know about your experiences.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Are You a Superwoman?

Are you a Superwoman?  Or do you have one in your life?

The other day, I was thinking about Mothers' Day and what would I buy for my Mom.  She's a tough one to buy for- has everything she wants and generally I'm limited to tennis related items.  Sometimes when trying to figure out this hard to buy for type, I do a mental "free-association".   The word, "Superwoman" came to my mind.

I won't go into family history and details, but suffice it to say, she's pretty amazing and that was the birth of the big "S" focal bead.  I know there are so many other women out there who are just as cool.   Are you one of them?  

I'm going to make more in different colors.  I'm hoping that women will find their free association in the symbol as well as get a good smile out of it.  Superwomen of the world unite.  Now if we could just get the rest of the super powers.  I'd sure love to be able to fly.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Venus on the Half Shell- Bless Her Heart

I love the painting, The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli. And I am guessing that he's probably rolling his eyes in disbelief right now. But being the adventurous spirit that I am, I had to see what happened when I sat down and attempted a very simplified glass version in my characteristic style.

Well, as my friend said, "she's a little short waisted". Which of course made me burst out laughing. For one thing, my Venus needs longer legs. All I could think of was the Southern way of adding, "Bless her heart", when they are ready to say something unkind. For some reason, that makes it okay to say.

But the problems was, that I made her head first, instead of her body and started working my way down and ran out of room. So that was a big lesson learned. I think I was concentrating to make sure her hair and hands covered every body part, that I wasn't focused enough on the big picture. A little cleavage wouldn't have hurt anything.

And if you look at the background, I was pretty happy with that. I made the colors blend to give it a similar coloration to the original. I know that in the real, gorgeous painting, her skin is luminescent against it. Needless to say, I used pale ivory to try to achieve that.

All in all, I was happy with this first attempt. Sure she is not tall, elegant and gorgeous, but she is a fun characterization of the original, which definitely has always been my style. And I like being able to look at a bead and dissect it to see what I would do differently next time. I made four little sculptural seashells to go with her, so now I'm off to photograph them and upload this bead into my Etsy shop. You'll be able to find her there. Bless her heart.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Three Etsy Treasuries - Hooray!

I always appreciate it when my beads are chosen to be featured in an Etsy Treasury. Currently there are three of them and each one is quite diverse.

Treasury A is titled Forest. I love the diverse products that fit the theme. If you can't tell, my Large Tree Bead is the third row down and second across. I made it either as a very large focal or for customers who like to use them on bead stands.

I have to say, I am quite enchanted by the Summer Felted Handbag by Kokoon. Handbags are one of my vices and this one is organic and beautiful.

The treasury was chosen by JuliaFelt on Etsy. Pop by her shop for some beautiful items. I'm partial to her Autumn Bag.

The next Treasury, UWIB Puts The Fun In Funky, has a great mix of items by Street Team members. The initials stand for United Women in Business. If you're interested in joining, please ask me about it. They do a great job promoting and supporting each others' shops. You can see my cactus in the center of the top row.

This Treasury was created by JMJ Creations. I visited her shop and found a really cool pair of earrings called Diva Drops. And seeing that it's my Street Team, I can't pick a favorite item from this treasury, but I must say that I love robots!

And the final third treasury, (wow, this week was really generous, wasn't it?)... well it's called "Colour"
and these colors really make me smile. I love the light bright ones.

This was chosen by Cynmb. I wish I could show you
her shop, but Cyn is an Etsy buyer and according to her feedback, very much loved. I know my messages with her were so very nice.

Anyhow, Cyn chose my little aqua rocket focal bead with 4 fire power boosters on the bottom. I had fun making it.

And if you've read the rest of my blog today, I bet you can guess which item is singing to me. Go ahead and guess.

Treasury will have disappeared after you click the links after a few days. Treasuries only last 2-3 days and then are gone. So enjoy the photos, click if you can and support my fellow Etsy artists and Treasury makers.

It always is so interesting to me to see what items someone will choose and the themes that go with them. Each of these are so different and yet have one of my beads in common with the rest.

See you tomorrow with some glass chat. I've got a topic that I think you'll like.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Launch Your Line Website

So often we creative types have ideas percolating that we'd love to see come to life. I'm not just talking about glass art, but perhaps it's a tool, a clothing line or an invention.

I saw this website and thought that there might be someone out here, who needs that extra boost to get it off the ground.
Meet  It's a user-friendly interface for starting your own company and bringing your ideas to the marketplace.  And as my photo shows you, it's free.

You fill out a questionnaire to help you figure out where you need help...and this website will even help you make those connections.  From manufacturing to writing a press release, it's got a lot of information that you need.

Now I'm wondering...what have you been day dreaming about?  

Friday, May 1, 2009

Japanese Bento Boxes As Art

I figured you non-glass readers who follow my blog might need a day or two off from my comments about silver glass. What better way to get your attention than to talk about food.

Especially "cute" food. These illustrations show two Japanese Bento Box lunches that are about as artfully arranged, as I've ever seen. ( I have quite a few other photos of great ones too.)

When my kids were little, I drew and decorated their lunchbags, cut their sandwiches into butterflies and other shapes, but believe me, I never put
this amount of energy into it , although, if I had thought about it, I sure would have enjoyed creating some of these fun treasures..

If you aren't familiar with Bento lunches, they can be homemade or purchased as take out. I've seen all kinds of containers- some are beautiful lacquer, and others very nice, but more utilitarian.

But bottom line, (of course a beadmaker feels this way), don't these look like beads with surface decoration? The shaped boxes that contain these little edible works of art, could be bead bases and the the lunch could be decoration on them. I can't help but look at so much life that way.

So if you happen to see Bento Box inspired beads in my Etsy shop in the next couple of days, you'll know where I found my inspiration. I've been making sushi beads for years, so perhaps this is the next step.

See you tomorrow with more thoughts and fresh ideas. Meanwhile enjoy your Friday.