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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Heads Up! Planning Another Trip- Glass Camp

I am so excited to be attending the Appalachian Center For Crafts' glass flameworking class with Fred Birkhill and Shane Fero. (woo hoo!)

I leave on Sunday and will return Friday night. Both teachers are highly esteemed in the glass world and my friends and I have been guessing that there will be minimal beadmaking and more lessons that will take us out of our usual way of working with glass. (she reports with glee!) Rumor has it that possibly we might get a chance to pull our own rods using the hot shop! Sounds rather toasty, but fun.

I am happy to tell you that next summer, I will be teaching a week long class for the Appalachian Center for Craft in July, so this year will give me a little experience to see how classes are set up in advance. (email me for more info about my class)

I will not be blogging about this class as it's happening, because I am not sure of the internet connections there, but I will continue to post daily on my blog. I've been writing in advance, so you'll still get the good stuff. When I return, I'll tell you about class and what I learned.

So, I need to mention, that if you were planning on purchasing something from my Studio Marcy etsy shop in the near future, it's a good idea to do it soon. My last trip to the Post Office will be Friday, as it is closed on Saturday for the holiday. After that, I will be mailing any purchases the following Monday after I've returned.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Mabel Grace- A Sign of Our Time

I'm not sure why Turkey Buzzards amuse me, but they do. I made this female the other day, when thinking about my view of the economy affecting so many people- including artists. It's a tough one out there.

Her name is Mabel Grace and she's wearing beads made from Italian glass. Who knew that a funny looking bird would have such great taste.

Mabel Grace is currently hanging out in my Etsy shop. She has requested that I make a few roadkill beads, as she's a bit hungry, but I'm resisting. I am watching out for the cute little animals like bunnies and mice.

Come back tomorrow for some more fun. See you then.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

AdSense on Blogs?

Does it make sense to use AdSense?
That's what I want to know.

I've been debating whether I want to have ads on my blog. I'm not sure that I do, but it's probably time to consider it.

So my friends, I'm asking you use it? How do you like it? Are the financial returns worthwhile?

Or do you take advertising on your own? Does it work for you?

I know that usually I'm showing you websites or telling you about tools and other things I've found, but this time I'm asking you for your input. I'm really on the fence about having advertising. And even more so, wondering which kind to have if I do so. Please tell me your opinion on the topic.

See you tomorrow for more glass and creativity fun.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Sally Is Selling Shells...on Etsy

I've just recently listed a couple more seashells, because we must be in the shell selling season. (Sally says say that three times fast).

They've been my biggest sellers recently and I know I'm ramped up wearing them as the weather has gotten hotter too.

So I wanted to show you two very different but similar shells. The top one was made with Bullseye Glass which has the COE (co-efficiency of expansion) of 90. So what does that mean? It's a little stiffer to work with compared to my usual glass, Effetre or Vetrofond. I love the color of the glass and how well it swirled together. Definitely, I'll make more out of BE.

My handmade bead is wound from my softer glass, Effetre- light ivory. It's gooey fun to wrap around the mandrel and just oozes where you want it to go. For non glass folk, its COE is 104.

I particularly like the look of the carnelian glass for the inside and ruffled lip. You don't always know what shade it will be or whether you'll need to strike it to bring out the color. Don't forget when striking glass, let it cool quite a bit, before reheating it and then repeat if necessary.

I've got a lot more beach, shells, and other aquatic items in my Etsy shop here.

Hope you're staying cool. See you tomorrow!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Hob Knob Glass Now Open!

My good friend, Rebekah Higgins Husky has just opened her delicious handmade glass drawer pulls shop, Hob Knob Glass on Etsy.

Even if I wasn't already so partial, I would still love these yummy swirly knobs for dressers, chests, decorative boxes or whatever your brain can dream up. What a great way to add a burst of zing to any room.

I like the way they are made, because they install so easily. The knobs come with a screw and that's it! Just like all the others that you've used.

Of course I had to show you my favorite color Tide Pool, but she has so many other colors to choose from too. Stop by, check them out, heart them, and maybe pick up a few.

Bek told me that she will be selling them at The Gathering (International Society of Glass Beadmakers' Annual Conference in Miami) this year too. I know she has more designs that she will be adding as she goes.

See you tomorrow with more fun!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Studio Marcy Hits the Treasuries This Week. Woot!!

Here are three of the five treasuries that my lampwork beads are currently featured in on Etsy

Isn't it fun seeing the color combinations and the diversity of items being featured? Every time I go check them out, I end up spending lots of time checking out the artists' work. (and sometimes buying an item or two also)

Enjoy these and then stop by and look on the left side of the page for Treasury button. Click and have a great time. And don't forget you can quickly check your favorite Etsy shop quickly by going to and typing in the shop's name in their Treasury Search section.

See you tomorrow for a feature on a new Etsy glass shop.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

It's Not An Apple

I've found the perfect present for my favorite geek.

This is called the Chocolap and it's more affordable than most computers. It's a fake cardboard one, with a chocolate keyboard.

Made by a German company, it retails for about $26. You can find it on Amazon here.

I'm half tempted to buy one to fool my Mom, who has one of those love/hate situations with her computer. She calls her laptop, "That g&#$@#%# machine". It's almost worth it to see her reaction, if she thinks she's receiving another one. This might be the only kind of technology she would enjoy.

See you tomorrow for some more lip-smacking fun!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

To Portland and Back

We all feel rather tuckered out, after our whirlwind trip out to Portland Oregon for a family wedding. (This is my niece's baby, Samantha, aka "Sammich" exhausted after an afternoon's activities.

We arrived Thursday night to be with my daughter who flew in to spend a day with just our family before joining up with the rest of the relatives.

I could live in Portland. What a cool city and I know we did tourist things and barely saw any of it, but it embraces glass... and the combination of old buildings, lots of green vegetation, water, a great attitude and plenty of quirkiness suits me just fine. I think I'd have to ponder the sunshine thing though. I need lots of it.

Our party of four checked out Voodoo Donuts and the Velveteria which is a black velvet painting museum. While we were there, the owners mentioned they had paintings from every continent but Antarctica. Well, some of you might know the outcome of this.... my daughter was sent off with a black velvet canvas to have one of her friends paint while down there this year. And as she started the Vanna White Fan Club of Antarctica,
(yeah, my whole family has a sense of humor) that's probably who will be painted on it. Perfect subject for that medium.

We did stop by Aquila Glass in Portland to see my friend and glass artist, Leah Pellegrini. I'll write more about it after I get her photo, so you can see how adorable she is.

This bottom photo is of our family and a niece hamming it up. The wedding was onboard a boat, (complete with singing waiters- that was funny) and instead of walking back to the hotel, my husband decided to rent a one of these 4 sets of pedals contraptions and go for a spin. (We found out that yes, they can do donuts, that younger people tend to have never heard the song "Surrey with the Fringe on Top", and my new handbag from Etsy looks nice in the photo).

We're home now. It takes a lot of airplane and airport hours to travel diagonally across the United States. Atlanta is is three time zones away. But we're home. Tired, but happy. But before a nap, I'm headed to the studio to make lampwork beads and get a few custom orders completed.
I'll see you tomorrow with more glass chat

Monday, June 22, 2009

Graphite Frit Spoons?

I've got to admit, I've never seen one of these before. I found it on Delphi's website. It's a
Graphite Frit Spoon for $14.95.

I can see where folks would think that it could be quite handy. Their illustration shows how you can easily pour the frit back into the container
after using what you need.

I guess I've always used little metal gravy boats that I found at a Cost Plus or one of those types of shops.
You know, the kind where you get about 3 for $5. Sometimes they're a bit awkward, but seem to do a similar job. Little spout at the end for pouring back afterwards.

But this one intrigues me a bit. What do you do for really large beads?

I have to say, that part of me wants one, because I think it would be fun to photo some of my beads inside of the cavity so it would look like a small stage. I know it's not using frit, but I sure wonder what beads would look like with that dark curved area as a background. And how would the curved area work as a marver? Might be fun to try.

Well, I have a post script to this blog. I popped over to Delphi's 20% off sale and put one in my basket. After seeing that the shipping would cost more than half of the item, I decided to wait.

So if you have one, do you like it? Do you use it often? I'd love to hear from someone who owns one and what you think about it. Let's see whether one ends back in my basket, because I've been convinced.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Follow Me Everywhere!

I thought I'd focus on some of the "click to join" areas featured on the right hand side of my blog. Holy cow, there's a lot of stuff to figure out. So here's how I interpret it.

"follow my blog the easy way"- Just a little click on the follow button and you'll get the scoop on my blog on a daily basis. Join the gang for fun and frolic the easy way.

"currently in my etsy shop"- hmmm, now that's a hard one to interpret. I'm pretty sure it means that click on one of the cute photos and you're whisked away to a land of fun, sunshine and unicorns....or something like that. aka Studio Marcy (

"Follow Me on Twitter" (you know that little bird is going to become a bead one of these days, don't you?) It's too cute to ignore. Oh, back to the topic. I think it's hard to avoid the Twitter hubub- I mean, once Oprah started, it became pretty mainstream. I'm just toiling away to stay young, vibrant and in the know. So anyhow, follow me, I'll follow you and I promise to include stuff besides just tweeting about what I've listed in my shop. You'll get a little of the behind the scenes important info like, websites I like, weather comments and the really scintilating news like what I'm cooking for dinner. (kidding about that)

Now for that oh so crazy name, "plurk". What the heck is that... you wonder. I know, it the work kind of reminds me of the sound a fat raindrop makes when it hits an existing puddle. Or the sound my cat made when...oh never mind about that one. Could be TMI. Anyhow, plurking is short bursts of info like Tweeting, but different. I am not sure whether it's the next wave or whether it's an imitation or whether...gosh, to be honest, I'm really not sure. But it has something supposedly to do with Karma and I'd prefer to be in her good graces, so join me there too. What the heck. We'll tackle this technology together- and laugh about it.

So those are some of the items on the right side of the page. I'll focus on the others later in the week. I just didn't want you to miss out on any of the fun. Afterall, won't you be excited to be the first person to hear about some of the wacky stuff that goes on around here.

See you tomorrow!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Summer Sippers

I'm out of town today celebrating my little brother's wedding, so this blog is being brought to you by the Daily Candy Atlanta edition.  I saw these rather unique recipes for summer drinks without alcohol. Now, I personally feel, you can add alcohol to most drinks, but it's hard to find tasty stuff that is different and stands on its own.  I can't wait for someone to try a recipe and let me know what it tastes like....come on, someone.... please?

Lemongrass Fizz
What: Kafir lime leaf, ½ oz. lemongrass-infused simple syrup, ¾ oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice, ¾ oz. pineapple juice, splash of soda water.
How: Chiffonade leaf (that's cut up into ribbons, I think), shake simple syrup and juices, pour over ice, top with soda water.

Mansion Mock Punch
What: Six raspberries muddled with ¾ oz. fresh squeezed lime juice, 3 mint sprigs, 1 oz. simple syrup.
How: Shake with Pellegrino, pour over ice, and garnish with fresh raspberries and mint.

Lady Lavender
What: Two oz. white grapefruit juice, 3 oz. tonic water, ¼ oz. simple syrup, 6 drops lavender tincture.
How: Combine over ice in a Collins glass.

Ginger Rogers
What: Eight to 12 mint leaves, ½ oz. ginger syrup, juice of ½ lime, ginger ale.
How: Put mint in Pilsner or Collins glass, cover with syrup and muddle lightly. Add ice, lime juice, and top with ginger ale. Garnish with lime wedge.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Discovering Details

I don't often do double takes, but I did when I saw this brooch by Dawn Estrin and George Wilson.

At first I thought it was a flower inside of two leaves. Upon studying it closer, I saw the two females in the center. Pretty cool.

This silver pin/pendant, (it's convertible), features a photo montage that has been protected by polycarbonate plastic. Swarovski crystals accent the design.

At first the shape of it drew me in. Flowers and leaves with a graphic shape appeal to me. Upon inspection, the creativity and detail kept my attention. You can find this pin (maybe we should call them "pin-dants" on the artful home website by clicking here.

Now I'm contemplating what could I make that needs a second look because of interesting design that needs to be discovered. The concept gets you dreaming, doesn't it?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I'm On Cloud Nine

I am on cloud nine! (Can you tell, I'm waving from it- love the photobooth on my Mac.)

I've been awarded the One Lovely Blog Award by Diane Norman of Luna Cat Jewels. That's wonderful and thank you so much. You can find her beautiful jewelry here and here, too. And then, shortly after I wrote this, Kerry, from CrazyLadyBeads who makes the cutest little piggies and cupcakes- and here is her blog too) awarded me the same lovely title. Thank you so much! Double my pleasure, double my fun!

Now it's my turn to pass the award to others, so here are the rules:

Accept the award, post it on your blog along with the name of the person who has granted the award and blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award and his or her blog link.

Pass the award to 7 or more other blogs that you love. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

So here is my list of seven One Lovely Blog recipients...check them out and hope you enjoy each one the way I do!
1. Vicki Orion
2. Findings Found
3. Gaffer Girls
4. Leah Glass
5. Unique Women in Business (if you'd like to join this awesome group, please contact me)
6. Shiny Adornments
7. Bead Nerd

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Not the Next Bead Star This Year

Have I mentioned how bad I am at jewelry designing?  I am.  Unabashedly so.  I really appreciate jewelry makers who magically whip these poor little beads and findings into something beautiful.  

So I wasn't really surprised to receive a rejection letter from the Bead Star staff thanking me for my entry of these earrings, but telling me that I was not selected as a finalist.  I thought they were rather sweet in a watermelon-y way.  And I really like the unique leaves, that I built on the wire and used to string the earrings together.

So now I'm debating whether to pop them into my lampwork glass bead Etsy shop, or keep them for myself.  Guess you might need to check the shop and you'll know what I decided.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Need More Smiling Faces for My Gathering Class

Here are my most recent (2) sets of two- day class students. See their smiling faces? They had a good time and so did I.

I need everyone's help to get the word out. As you know, the Gathering's attendance is down a bit this year and I'm a little bummed that my class isn't 100% full. It's not in jeopardy of being canceled, but I'd sure love to fill it up. There are just a couple of spaces left.

I don't just teach sculptural beadmaking. Oh really you ask? Well, there are so many techniques that relate to other styles of beadmaking too. Yes, the beads are sculptural and you learn lots of techniques that relate to being able to make lots of sculptural beads, but it's much more. We work on heat control, shaping, resources, creativity, how to think like me (a bit scary, isn't it?), inspiration, learning how to look at 3-D items and 2-D pictures and interpret them into beads, canes, surface decoration, using tools in non-traditional ways and my favorite part- fun. I'm a big fan of fun for everyone.

And there's more. You see, I don't usually tell you until after you sign up for my class, but I have a special private blog just for my students. It includes photos and step by step tutorials of each of the beads we've made (plus additional info), so that you don't need to take as detailed notes. You can focus on watching the demos so you don't miss a thing, then you can go to the blog and copy or just review the steps. Easy peasy. You can also ask questions on that blog that don't relate to the beads you learned. You see, once my student- always my student. Star treatment for all.

Here's where to find my Gathering class, If you have further questions, please email me at Thanks so much. I've got my fingers crossed that you can help me fill it up. I really want to teach more smiling faces.

p.s. If you're already one of my registered students, thank you so very much.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Hulk Hogan in 10 EASY Steps.

Our Southern Flames lampwork beadmaking group had a monthly challenge to make a "Macho" bead in honor of Fathers Day.

I thought about this for awhile and wondered what I wanted to do. There are a lot of shapes and items that come to mind, but quite honestly, I don't think "macho" both in color or style is really my thing. (periwinkle and aqua aren't exactly macho colors)

Luckily, I was saved by Who knew? There on the front page was a story about Hulk Hogan. Perfect I thought. Here's an overly muscular guy who bleaches his hair blonde, does the fake bake suntan thing, and has bulging muscles. Perfect for my parody style. So away I went. And here's how to make your own Hulk Hogan bead, just in case you've been yearning for one and don't want to buy mine, which is in my lampwork bead Etsy shop.

Hulk Hogan Mini Tutorial in 10 Easy Steps

1. make a wide barrel bead out of dark ivory, or as I used, one of the flesh shades from CIM glass.
2. flatten it, and gently marver in both ends to add a little facial definition.
3. swipe a small band of white where the teeth go. Don't worry about perfection, because you're going to frame it with his moustache.
4. wrap lapis blue around the top part of his head a couple of times and keep it partially rounded for his bandana. (don't add the tails in the back yet.)
5. mix yellow and white to make a pale yellow glass. Heat both ends really hot and keep smushing together and pulling apart and smushing some more. Make sure you get it really hot before you pull it out and gently cool a bit and then pull it out into thick stringer. Don't want air bubbles in it.
6. Using the cooled thick soft yellow stringer, swipe vertical stripes onto the back of his head for hair. Turn the bead over and make an upside down "U" over his white teeth to form his moustache.
7. Add two large dots of black for his sunglasses. While still warm, pull the outer edges up and out to form the glasses. Add a small thin strip around the side of his face for the sunglass arms and heat both dots to the center to bring it across to join the dots.
8. Add a small dot for his nose. Spread it out a bit for nostrils and add two small indentations for his nostrils.
9. Add dots for his ears and indent to shape them.
10. Add two small swooshes to form an upside down "v" with his blue bandanna glass to the back side to show where it was tied.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

12 Tricks

I saw a link on Twitter about 12 Tricks Your Mind Plays On You, which seemed like it might relate to a lot of us, so I'm sharing it.

If you've followed my blog, you'll know that I'm an eternal optimist who tries to find the good in as much as possible. We have a saying in our family..."No stinking thinking". I must say, ridding oneself of as much negativity as possible sure helps.

And I also like the part about being responsible for oneself, one's life and one's actions. Okay, that's my take on it. And here's how it relates to my view of our glass industry in these economic tougher times...

If you aren't selling enough in these tougher economic times, I'm asking you, what are you doing differently to make your glass beads, jewelry or whatever you sell- unique and stand out? What are you doing to market yourself? This is always in the back of my mind. I write down ideas & sketch my thoughts. Some come to fruition and others get discarded. But it's good to think about, nonetheless.

As for my Rabbit in the Hat bead, it's an old favorite that I sold about two years ago. I'll be making more. It was the closest thing I had to the title of the post, and perhaps it will remind me to keep learning a few more tricks and to try to keep some magic in my beadmaking. Visit my Etsy shop for some fun, new lampwork beads that I've just listed.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Fire Up

"A thing of beauty is a joy forever."
........... Mary Poppins

Okay, so perhaps you don't find this little gorilla beautiful, but there is something that gives me joy every time I hold him. You see, he's one of the members of my lighter collection and fire shoots from his mouth when I push the button.

Pretty cool, huh?

And I have a pig that grunts and has flames come out of his snout...and a firebreathing frog that croaks...and those are just a few of my small collection of kitsch lighters.

I know, glass artists technically are supposed to use strikers. And I generally don't use these lighters for my torch. But there are some days, when I just need a good laugh. I found this cow lighter online which might be suitably amusing to add to the collection too.

Some of my favorites came from an Ace Hardware store. If you don't have them where you live, they are kind of an old school general store that has a little bit of a lot of things. That's where I get my copper wire and tiny corks for vessels too.

So if you see a funny lighter, please post or send me a note so I can see it too. Maybe it will get added to the fledgling collection.

Do you collect something related to your business? I'd love to hear about it. Post links too, if you'd like.

And now that I've talked about my lighters, I guess I'd better go find some fuel so they will work again.

Catch you tomorrow and I promise to talk about glass art. I've got some comments about a product I recently used.

Friday, June 12, 2009

CBS Dichroic Coated Copper Foil

I got really excited when I saw that CBS had come out with a new dichro item- coated copper foil. I hoped that this would be my salvation.

Yes, I'm one of those who has not mastered dichro and yearns to join that exclusive club.

So of course I ordered a sheet and brought it with me to bead camp.

I am first to admit, it could have been operator error, but I have to say I was not happy with my results. And before I go into my commentary, I really welcome anyone who has had a great experience to please let us all know about it and what you did to make it so. I really wanted to love this...but at this time, I'm a bit ambivalent.

Here's what happened from my experimenting. I cut up the foil into medium sized sections, so it would be easily accessible. I rolled my warm barrel shaped beads across the dichro so it would adhere. Well, it kind of stuck, but in little flakes. And it took a lot of work to get it. And the flakes looked more like little silver pieces (nice and shiny though), than colorful, sparkling dichro. Darn. I did encase immediately, and that was easy, which was nice.

And my best success, doesn't have photo documentation. I took a hollow tube and rolled a barrel of dark ivory onto my dichro sheet. Some adhered. I encased it and then blew it out into one of my seashell beads. That one was really pretty. One of my friends at bead camp saw it and I gave it to her, so I can't show you. But I'll try it again and will have all fingers and toes crossed that it turns out.

I gave out small sections to others at that get together. One person couldn't get any to adhere to her beads. I gave her a new piece and tried her old one. She was right. It wouldn't come off. Weird, huh? So I'm really hoping that CBS is able to tweak this product into the stuff I dream about. They do such a great job with everything else, so I'm confident it will happen.

If you've had a great experience, I'd love to hear about it. If it hasn't been great for you, it's okay to post, but please just facts about what occured. I want to stay on CBS's good side, so when my dream dichro sheets are finessed, I can buy up loads of them.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Arrrrgh, Act Like a Pirate

Arrrgh, so you like buried treasure, eh matey? How about being the one hiding it?

Please join me for the ISGB's Release A Bead program, either in your area, or perhaps, you could consider sending in a few spare lampwork beads to be released in Miami, FL prior to the Gathering. (These are due by June 30th)

I'm thinking this could be a lot of fun, don't you? I've got a few spare beads that folks might just enjoy receiving. I've included a snapshot of the card that you're welcome to download here to use. (don't forget to sign your name.) And you can go to the website to leave clues too. Just think if each of us released 5 beads. It could be our own way of our industry stimulating the people learning about what we do and forming connections- no harm trying it.

Anyone game to join me in this adventure? You can click on the link above for complete details and the address where to send them, if you want yours to be found in Miami. (not a bad idea, because there will be more PR down there about the ISGB). I'm now deciding what I want to release- probably a few seashells- and what do you think about some bacon and eggs? Margarita drink beads? Help me out here. Visit my lampwork glass etsy shop and let me know what you think. I'll be grabbing some beads from there.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Lamps Make Great Bead Shapes

I love sculptural lamps. They just look like beads to me. You can view them as just the base or the base with the shade.

One of my favorite websites for divine inspiration is Jonathan Adler's. He's a former potter who is huge in the interior design world. He seems to love texture with a touch of humor- my kind of guy.

Adler's entire website is filled with items that could give you great ideas. He has vases, pillows, lights and all kinds of decorative objects. Whether it's the shape, texture, or even color combination, (he seems to favor retro a bit), or if you just want a smile, I suggest you pop by.

Kind of like an elongated melon, isn't it? Pretty, somewhat sinuous, and it would look nice in a single color or multiples.

(how I'd love to see it with a different color in the indentations!)

The bottom two photos include one of his lamps and then a bead that I made using it as inspiration. I actually made a lamp this time, but I would use the lamp base shape probably more often for a bead. I didn't get the pear shape as well as I would have liked. That will teach me to hurry.

But I did have a lot of fun with it. And I'm going to pick another lamp style and make a bead out of it. The aspect of picking a shape and practicing the hand / eye coordination that you need to mimic the shape is good exercise for any beadmaker.

This lamp has already sold. But when I make more, I'll show you all, so you can see it before it is listed in my lampwork glass etsy shop.

So until then, I'd be really happy if some of you take this challenge and then send me a photo. Make a lamp or another item from Adler's shop and send me a photo of the item and your bead. I'd love to show them to everyone else in a blog post. You can write me at my email address. I'd love to see what you do.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Class with Jen

I'm still gathering photos, so I haven't written about my awesome 5 days last week at Bead Camp in Tennessee.

But I did find Jen's website, so I can include this tidbit about two really fun half day classes that I took with Jen, while I was there.

Let me start by saying, that Jennifer Geldard has always been high on my list of wonderful beadmakers. Her unique style and never ending creativity always enchants me. Do you have some favorite beadmakers who just give you a beatific grin every time you look at their work? Well, that's what Jen's beads do for me.

I've taken a 2 day class before from her in Atlanta. But I was lucky to have gotten into her two half days in Tennessee. The first day we did her ornate beads. Here's a link to show you an example. It's a multi sectioned bead with a different design in each section. Jen said it's always popular among students. And the second day, we made birds.

If you've been following my blog, you know that I love birds of all shapes and sizes. I've been making birds for a long time, but not like hers. It was pure delight to learn her style and make a bunch of them while there and trying to add my own "twist", so they weren't carbon copies. The photo shows you one style and we did a second one too. I've already given away a few of the ones I made, but I'll try to get a photo to show you. Here's a link to her very reasonably priced tutorials.

So now comes the second stage of classes. What parts of the newly learned beadmaking do I incorporate into my beadmaking, so it isn't too similar to the teacher, but still enhances what I already do? For me, that's the fun part. Sometimes my "aha" moments are not the bead, but a tool, a technique, or even part of the teacher's philosophy. This is something I'm going to need to mull over a little bit more and get back to you. But meanwhile, I'd love to hear about teachers who you have learned from, where your "aha" moments were not the bead itself, but something else. It could be an online tutorial, a class or even a demo you watched. Tell us about it. I know it will be interesting.

See you tomorrow!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Treasury Hunting

I enjoy creating and being in Etsy treasuries. Putting them together is not only enjoyable, but also gives me a chance to feature my fellow street team members, friends, items I admire, or even to show other viewers a point of view.

I love having my lampwork glass beads featured in treasuries too. Not only is it free advertising and might bring more "eyes" to my shop, but I like seeing the theme of the ones I've been chosen to be in. It gives me a snapshot of what that person is thinking about my work.

Keeping track of when the treasuries will open to snag one, is a bit more difficult. I forget to look, or I lose track of time and then miss them.

Craftopolis has just made treasury hunting a lot easier. The website has pages which show you how many are currently in use and approximately how much longer until they open again.

It also has a search engine for you to submit seller names to see if you're in any of the treasuries or gift guides.

If you are curious, you can check on other sellers too.

With treasuries changing out every two to three days, this can make the process speedier. When I'm in a treasury, I try to click on every photo and make a comment. That helps bring the treasury ranking up to a higher number.

So here's the cool thing. Even if you aren't an Etsy seller, but are signed up with an Etsy name, you can make treasuries too. Kind of a fun way to express yourself and create a window of what you like. Try it sometime. It's a lot of fun. And now you can easily find out approximately when they'll be available again.

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Playing With Paint

I received some new software as part of my birthday present a few weeks back. It's Corel Painter Essentials 4.

I've never used it before, but decided I'd just jump in and start playing.

I learned a long time ago that if I mess with bead photos, it looks far better than if I choose a photo of a family member. The change in colors and varied brush strokes can make someone look like an alien pretty quickly if you've got my expertise.

So I picked a little pup that I recently listed. She's a lampwork bead who needs a home.

Here's my modern art twist. I like the soft effect of the pastel colors blended together. I guess they're colors I would use in glass beads. Now my question is whether I want to try a bead that blends colors and looks like this?

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Flew The Nest

Final baby cardinal update: they've flown the nest.

Darn, I'm going to miss watching the two little birds and their very nurturing parents right outside my desk window. 

But the upside is, I won't spend hours each day acting like an over protective nanny when the parents are out gathering food. 

For some reason, I would spend extra time watching over them, when I'd see the parents leave.  Perhaps it was their ever present loud little chirps, or just the "Mom" gene in me.

I had named them Squeaky Wheel and Elroy.  Squeaky was the loudest and more persistent in pushing away the other one to get to the food.

But seeing that I seem to go for the underdog, Elroy was the one I watched the most.  Concerned that he wasn't getting as much food, I'd look to see that the parents were being relatively fair.

Then one day, both hopped up on the side of the nest and out onto nearby branches.  This is Elroy.  He stood there for awhile and made a lot of noise.  Not quite ready to fly, he hopped around until he got down to the ground and just kept awkwardl hopping, into our undergrowth.  I watched as the parents flew overhead protecting  him.  I wish more human parents did as good a job as these cardinals.

So now the two kids are gone and the nest is abandoned.  I miss them.  They were much better than the nature channel on television and observing them up close was a treat. I guess I'd better get back to focusing on making beads.  Tomorrow it will be about glass again, I promise.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Haven't Lost My Marbles, But I Found Some...

Holy Guacamole! These are some rippin' marbles. And these are just three of the ones entered in the 5th Annual Glass Addiction Alphabet Marble Contest.

Top: Brad Pearson
Middle: Richard Hollingshead II
Bottom: Margaret Zinser

All of the contestants would appreciate it if you go vote for your favorites. The system is a little convoluted, but Brad swears that it works. You can find it here.

For the rest of the marbles, and there are some real yummy ones...visit here.

Of course everyone has their personal taste as
to which one is their favorite. Each of these three draws me in and make me want to think about how they were made and the person's thought process behind them.

As a kid, we used to play marbles. We had a pecking order for which ones were the best and of course favorites. I loved the "clearies" that were transparent colored glass- the blues and greens especially. Once in a while, my mom let us heat some in a frying pan with some water, and then pop them into ice to crackle them. Who knew that would be the forerunner to my glass career when I learned how to make crackle beads so many years later.

So pop over and vote, please. Give these glass artists some love. And if you have a moment,
come back and let all of us know which were your preferences. These were just three very different ones, but I had a lot of favorites that you still haven't seen.

Catch you tomorrow.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Dream Land - Just Fantasy?

I think I'm in love.  I've found a bedroom that suits me to a "T".

I'm trying to dissect what it is that makes me swoon.  It's playful and whimsical, but perhaps the strong nature focus with such peaceful colors brings the tranquility I'd like when going to sleep.  I imagine wonderful dreams derived from this atmosphere.

The tree posts are laser cut ash wood, which is a hardwood.  It's made with dovetail joints and brass fittings.  

So now here's the scoop...I found it on  Can you believe it?  And needless to say,  the price is not in my budget, $9600, which doesn't include shipping across the ocean.

A multi-talented artist in Finland made it, and she mentioned that she can also design additional ones in other materials, sizes and colors.

So I guess for now I'll just *sigh* and enjoy this beautiful room.  I guess I can dream, can't I?

To visit this bed and AttilaDesign's Etsy shop, click here.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Robert Simmons' Wearable Butterfly Bead Tutorial

At our last meeting of Southern Flames in Atlanta, GA, Robert Simmons, cool guy and the National Director of Bead Donations for Beads of Courage, demonstrated one of his versions of a butterfly bead.

These beads are given to Beads of Courage parents, who have lost their child from illness.

And, because Robert is so kind and generous, he has written up a tutorial for making them. You can find it HERE. If you start making them, would you please donate a few to Beads of Courage? You know how near and dear that group is to my heart.

And to see photos of Robert making the bead during our fabulous meeting, check out this page from our Southern Flames scrapbook. (You can also see our two new co-presidents at the same time- two for one!

Enjoy the tutorial. And pay attention to some of the little hints he gives. For example, I love that he says to start with a clear base and to put the opaque over it. The clear makes the soft glass a little stiffer and less floppy. Good thinking Robert. (well, he is a Ph.D too.) Have fun.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Bed & Breakfasts in Asheville NC

I grew up in an old, rambling home in a neighborhood that was full of others of a similar age.
I still seem drawn to neighborhoods with them. When my husband and I visited Asheville, N.C. a few weeks ago, we stayed in a neighborhood that reminded me of my youth. (eons ago!) Each of these three homes were Bed & Breakfast Inns and were among so many more.

The one we chose is named Asheville Seasons and you can see the back side of it in the bottom right photo. We really liked it. My personal taste is old, but not fussy. This one was perfect. The inn keepers were a delight. Great energy, delicious breakfasts, lovely amenities and something near and dear to both my husband's and my heart...wifi throughout the house. (so much for getaways)

I'll tell you more about what we found in Asheville in another post or two. But for now, if you visit Asheville, consider the Monfort neighborhood