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Monday, August 31, 2009

Peacock Feathers Everywhere

Well you've gotta love 'em. Peacock feathers have always had a bit of a mystical feeling to them. The gorgeous colors, the eye in the middle and the way they shimmer, just a little bit.

Thought I'd show you two dresses that incorporate them. (although, just wondering- who would wear the first one?)

The second one seems infinitely more wearable and rather sweet, actually.

Enjoy the fashion trend and I bet you've seen some lovely lampwork peacock beads as well. I know I have. As well as door knobs too.

Have any glass url's that you'd like to share that are of the peacock variety? Add them into the comment section so we can all see your work or that of your friends.

See you tomorrow for more glass chat.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Fired Up

....All I can say is that I hope she uses one of those aloe type shampoos.

Happy Sunday. I'll be back tomorrow with real glass info and more fun.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Fall Colors

Okay, so they are not exactly what Pantone has told us, but I couldn't resist the caption of "Fall Colors" for these folks all dressed up and looking at the shoe kiosk.

I'd toss in a little deep purple & rust and call it my personal list of what people should have for this upcoming season. And just imagine making spacers and posting this photo with the caption, "these colors are what everyone is wearing.". That would make me smile.
See you tomorrow at http://www/

Friday, August 28, 2009

Join Us for Heather Trimlett's Class

Southern Flames, (the Atlanta chapter of the International Society of Glass Beadmakers) has a few openings in upcoming instructor, Heather Trimlett's Marble Beadmaking class on October 22 & 23, 2009..

So here's the low down from my perspective. Heather is a fabulous teacher and although her style, is definitely not what I do, I'm taking her class. If you follow my blog, you know how I feel about learning from teachers who do things very differently than you do. I think it leads you to more interesting options in your glass adventures and opens your mind to new possibilities. And for me, Heather's wonderful deliberate technique provide a counterpoint to my whimsical sculptural style. Besides, I always feel like I "get it", when she's teaching.

So I'm hoping you can join us. If you can come, please contact our class coordinator Margo Knight, And visit our website for more details Southern Flames
And let me know you're coming. The Thursday/Friday class has openings.

I'm in the weekend one, but I'd love to pop by and say hi, if you're in town. We also have a reasonably priced hotel nearby, where everyone stays. If you stick around Atlanta for the weekend, our Southern Flames group has its meeting on Saturday night and we'd love to have you join us.

Hope you can make it. It's a first come, first served, so contact Margo right away for more information.

See you tomorrow for more fun and glass chat at

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Stringers Everywhere!

Oh, I save too much stuff. That includes stringers and little pieces of glass that I probably will never use again. I just hate to be wasteful.

So some days, I just try to use up a bunch of it. One of my favorite methods is to group a bunch of similar colors in one hand and melt them onto a transparent rod of glass. Then I pull it out into a larger stringer that I can really use. (alert: time waster, but fun).

Or I'll lay down a bunch of my less attractive ones to start off a shape of a bead and then add the base color over the top. (alert: time waster once again) This reduce, reuse, recycle thing gives me guilt trips if I don't find a way to use up this spare glass.

So now I'm trying to be mindful of making stringer. Unless it's something that I use a lot, I'm trying to make smaller ones to use up and store less. I find that I use the "emergency stringer" style of pulling it- (small amount off of the end of the mandrel that I'm using), serves me a little better some of the time.

So, this is a before photo of my table. I'm wondering...what do you do to tame the stringer and loose ends department of your glass work? I'd love to know.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Art Studios Out of Recycled Subway Cars

What a cool idea! The Village Underground is a creative area for a mixed discipline of artists in London, England.
Apparently, rescued abandoned subway cars (or Underground tube train carriages) have been turned into low-rent studio spaces for artists.

There's a restored brick Victorian warehouse below them which can be used as a gallery to show of their work. The subway cars are rented for about 15 pounds a week.

I love seeing something old being re-worked into something wonderful. Great idea! It's a win/win situation.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Cookie Jar Bingo

Thanks so much for making some guesses about the cookie jar contest on my 8/21 blog post . I'm so glad you tried. But I have to say, I'm a little disappointed that no one guessed correctly this time. I'll do more of these posts where you can win something, though, promise.

My two cookie jars that I like the best are the pig with yellow pants and the birds on the right hand side. The pig has great sculptural definition, (sounds a bit like a pig body builder, doesn't it?) I like his bow tie, his jowls and definitely the way his cute little piggy feet turn in.

And the birds are....well, birds. If you've ever seen my earlier work, almost every bead had a bird sitting on a head, a shoulder or somewhere.

I continue to feature birds often. My studio overlooks my backyard, which has a couple of bird feeders, and my neighbor calls it Cinderella's garden with the small animals scampering among my feathered friends. I'm just waiting for two mice to start a conversation with me. I have a feeling that as long as my wall of windows open to the sounds and sights, there will always be something flying around my glass beads that I offer.

Check back tomorrow You know I'll have a juicy little post for you.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Rose Colored Glasses

Portuguese industrial designer, Luis Porem designed these RGB Rainbow Glasses so that the wearer can fill the hollow transparent frames with colored inks.

He created them for the Opus Design Award, an international eyewear design competition.

Sounds like fun to me! Did anyone have those clear drinking straw eyeglasses as child? We'd put one end into our colored drink and the liquid would run up one side and all the way around our eyes like glasses to the other end which terminated in our mouth for drinking. I need to poke around. I might still have a pair somewhere. They always make me laugh.

I'm thinking these could hold adult beverages, or even cold medicine- so many ideas...and such fun to contemplate. Now if they could just make them to hold my lampwork didymium lenses- that could be so cool.

What have you done outside of the box recently?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Squirrel is EVERYwhere!

That squirrel is still popping up everywhere.
His 15 minutes of fame should be over by now.

I've told him that this is the last time he can use me for publicity gains.

See you tomorrow back on my blog with REAL glass and creativity talk.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Great Post by Loribeads - Lori Peterson: Fellow Fire Diva

Check out Lori's sweet post about one of my beads! Thank you so much Lori. It means a lot coming from you.
Loribeads - Lori Peterson: Fellow Fire Diva...Marcy!

p.s. I'm sure I'll be back for more murrini from you this week. I love what you and Kim are making.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Vintage Cookie Jars Inspiration for Beads

You know I'm always keeping my eyes open for different types of inspiration.

Have you ever considered cookie jars?
These were purloined from a blog called Retro District, which I enjoy a lot.

Now to be honest, there are only one or two of these which are my style to base a bead on. But the vintage color combinations are always a lot of fun.

I might just look at them a different way. Here I have a variety of eyeballs. (Yep, still on that kick, I'm afraid to say.) But look - there's quite a gamut here. I like the rounded happy face eyes of the man in the bottom right corner, or the "plus signs" for that traditional clown appearance. Both are simple to make and are great reminders that you don't always need to be complex.

So have you guessed which two? I'll give you a clue, they're on the same row. The first person to post on this blog, the correct response, will receive a $15 gift certificate to my StudioMarcy etsy shop. (Please note, if you're reading this on Facebook, the guess must be posted on my blog-

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Chalcedony by Gaffer- Love It!

Oh my, I sure was excited when I received my box with Gaffer Glass in it. I had seen such lovely beads made with it and was anxious to give it a whirl.

When I'm trying out a glass for the first time, I usually make a shape that I've made hundreds of times before...a seashell. You see, it's for a variety of reasons all rolled into one bead.

As a sculpture type person, not only the color is important to me. I want to know the viscosity of the glass and how it moves at different temperatures. This is what a seashell does for me.

I get the feeling of melting the glass and winding it onto the mandrel in a larger than spacer size. Then I feel the stiffness of the glass as I roll it onto my torch mounted marver and later cut into it with my brass Stump Shaper. I also get to heat and squish it for the ruffled lip- again another way to check out its movement. Sometimes my razor blade get used for final adjustments along the top swirl.

Now that I've felt the Gaffer glass and have enjoyed the tactile part of it, color appreciation is next. And oh, what a lot of colors this Chalcedony has. Beautiful, aren't they? I know with practice, I'll be able to coax more out of it. But as this was an experimental seashell, I also tried wrapping some silver foil around the bead to see if the silver reacted in any way to the glass.

I didn't notice any difference, but I did like the additional texture and sparkle that the silver remnants provided.

You can find this seashell in my Studio Marcy Etsy shop.

So next time, I'll be working with the color some more. And I know some of my readers have the magical touch with this wonderful glass, so please feel free to post tips for it. I would appreciate your expertise.

See you tomorrow with more glass and creativity chat.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Headed Back To The Ice...Continuing Saga of Sparky's Adventures

My daughter, aka Sparky, is headed back to "the ice". For those of you who are newer to my blog, that's her term for Antarctica. She works there for about half a year and then her past history is to travel and have adventures the rest of the year.

She messaged me that she's in New Zealand, until her employer is ready to fly her in. You see, the weather conditions need to be right. They're heading out of winter and into spring. And that it's freaking cold is an understatement.

If you look at the bottom right side of my blog, I have reinstalled my Antarctica clock and weather do-hickey. It's my Mom-O-Meter. You know we can't resist checking up on our kids, no matter how old they are.

Okay back to glass and creativity talk tomorrow. Thanks for the quick personal post. I promise, I won't indulge too often.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Mutual Admiration Society

Mutual Admiration Society between Sylvie and Marcy.

It's always a little awkward writing about someone who has written something really sweet about you.

I read the nicest thing about me the other day on Sylvie Lansdowne's blog. You see, Sylvie is a super fantastic beadmaker and friend, who always seems to understand and "get" what I'm thinking about and doing. She is very smart regarding the business and marketing end of this business as well. I always appreciate her opinions.

So the other day, when she asked whether I had read her blog, I scooted over there quickly.
Sylvie and I recently had supper together, and had discussed a gamut of ideas, brainstorms and of course our families.

I would be blushing if I reprinted what she said, so I'm giving you a BIG BOLD LINK HERE to go read it. (lol). Aw shucks. It sure made me feel good.

And I wanted you to see her T-shirt that she designed. I love it. You can find it HERE.
And of course I want you to see her amazing beads and bead kits (oh, you're gonna love these) HERE.

So now that I've sent you all over the internet, please don't forget to come back HERE tomorrow, for more glass & creativity chat.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Turn Glass Into Wood

I love so much about nature. Plants, flowers, birds, cute little animals all intrigue me. (well, except for some weird bugs which give me the creeps).

Sometimes it's fun to give them a place to hang out. Often trees, stumps and vegetation fit into that concept, so what's an easy way to make glass look like wood?

I use some silver glass that is from Striking Color on Etsy. I use it over a transparent base and just encase that glass well, so I don't waste the more expensive glass.

Here is an example. It's my "Owl on a Branch" which is in my Etsy shop. (I know, real original title. I must not have been feeling verbally inspired when I wrote it.

Only two beads make up this piece. The owl and tree are one piece, (boy was that fun to make. Talk about heat control!) and that bead sits on top of a flat stand to counter balance it.

So play around with the glass in a different way and see what you come up with. I like this for wood, but next, I want to make some birch trees, and of course there's this one plant in my yard, and of course the Crape Myrtle bark.....the list goes on and on.

See you tomorrow at

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Just A Quick Grin

.....And I just thought that his human was a glass lampwork beadmaker with a great storage system.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Small Giggle

So do you think they're related?

It's amazing what good hair products can do.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Glass Challenge- Nature's Beauty

The Flow and Profitable Glass & Glass Patterns are sponsoring the current Glass Challenge. It's time to commune with Mother Nature, because the topic for this challenge needs to be inspired by Nature's Beauty.

Beads, sculpture, mixed media and other means are welcome.

Entries will be judged on originality, creativity and whether it relates to the theme.

Deadline is September 30th, 2009.

I've included two gorgeous nature photos to start you thinking about the beauty around us.

To read more about the contest- including seeing what the prizes include, please click here.

And good luck to everyone. I hope you enter, and better yet, hope you win!

See you tomorrow-

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Real and Glass Eyes

I've been looking at eyes a lot recently.
Well, I always look at them, but perhaps the word would be more like "studying" them.

I want to improve what I'm doing on my glass human faces and animals, so I've been looking on "glass eyes" sites to see what others are doing.

And I guess I've been checking them
out for one other reason. As someone who has painted watercolors for years, feels quite comfortable with a color wheel and loves color, I always have a hard time deciding whether to respond blue or green when asked.

So I found this handy glass eye chart, that is much bigger in person, (check it out, it's kind of fun) to help me decide.

The closest I can find is "mediterranean". But my eyes seem to change colors when I wear certain clothes, so I'm not sure. Perhaps I'll just call them Gecko.

I kind of like the pupils on these eyes here and here too. Some of the sites talk about the glass eyes being "mouth blown". I am not sure of the process that they use for that. Anyone here know the answer?

So just wanted to bring up the topic on eyes. For my less expensive beads, the layered dot system works just fine, and on small pieces, probably looks better too. But now it's also time to do some discovery on other methods that can add some depth and presence to my bigger pieces.

Have thoughts? Please comment. And if you have an opinion on my eye color, I'd welcome that too. And don't look too closely...seeing that photo reminds me of the joke that I'm going shopping to find shoes to match the bags under my eyes.

See you tomorrow at

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Cool Jewelry Design ~ Artfire

I just love the cute way Cool Jewelry Design on Artfire has displayed one of my dog beads. This one has been named, Rascal and you can see the entire listing here.

This mother of pearl frame around the lampwork bead gives the jewelry a unique, dimensional look.

Pop by and check out her shop. The designer lives pretty close to me, so I was lucky to have met her in person. She has a cool personal style, which translates well into her work.

See you tomorrow. Check out my blog archives,

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Cakes Make Great Beads

Needing another creativity source?

So you've used the typical Google photos, magazine pictures, fabric from the store, toys and nature around you inspirations and perhaps you are ready for another idea?

Have you thought about cakes? I've written before about the Ace of Cakes which is one of my favorite shows. (I swear, the employees could all be people I know). And I love them for the funky sculptural look.

But what about looking at the more traditional side of cake decorating as well?

Often times I look at these cakes and think that they would make wonderful bead sets or focals on traditionally shaped beads like bicones.

I've used these two photos of cakes from as examples.

I think the dogwood blossoms would be gorgeous on a bead. I would buy something that looked like that.

And the bottom cake with the four layers gives you a variety of ideas for some whimsical ones as well.

One of the similarities of cake and bead decorating is that both require a simplification of pattern and detail. Often, they are on similar shapes as what you would normally use too.

Cruise around the internet and see what you can find.

And if you find a great website, how about sharing it with all of us, so we can have a look too?

Thanks for stopping by See you tomorrow!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Southern Flames' Postcard 2009

I'm so proud of our local ISGB chapter, the Southern Flames.

This is our annual postcard that was designed and printed for the fundraiser postcard collections that are sold each year at our annual international conference, The Gathering.

I really like the back side featuring all of the artist's names, so you can see who made which bead. To find some of the member links (and our guest instructors'), click here. And we have a member gallery here.

Thanks to Shannon, Kristy and Cristie for the fabulous postcard and always a big thank you to Linda, our Southern Flames Web Mama.

See you tomorrow right here, at

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Look What I Can Do
Darn, this photo makes me smile. Who knew that there are flying mops with cute faces? It makes my fingers itch to braid that mane and turn it into a piece of art. Don't you think that it would go well in my StudioMarcy etsy shop?

If you haven't seen this dog before, this is a Komodor whose country of origin is Hungary. It is believed that this breed originally descended from Tibetan dogs that came from Asia to Hungary with the nomadic Magyars around A.D. 900. They're used for herding and pets.

See you tomorrow at

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Space Saving Brilliant Idea

It took a few double takes, until I realized what this is, but I have to say, that I think it's brilliant.

Check out the Shoe Wheel by Rakku. It has 20 expandable pockets that can hold up to 30 pairs of shoes and you can adjust the tension, so it rotates only as quickly as you want it.

It comes in a variety of colors, but I'm rather partial to this pink one. And I keep looking at it and thinking that there are other uses for it. (anything to do with glass or beads?)

It makes me wonder whether it originally was meant to be a fan, but found a new life in this product. The shoes are housed in transparent pockets with elastic holding them in securely.

And I know it's wrong, but I can't help but imagine little hamsters in each of the pockets going around like a carnival's ferris wheel. Okay, I'm working to get that image out of my mind.

See you tomorrow

Friday, August 7, 2009

I'm Miss August, 2010!

Okay, I'm not, but a bee bead of mine is...along with Cynthia Tucker and Chad Trent's lovely pendants.

Have you seen Marjorie Oxman's gorgeous 2010 Glass Bead Calendar that she's just completed?

It has lots of lovely glass in a variety of styles. And of course besides the inspiring photos, it also has a list of the artists at the end along with their websites.

You can find it on Here is the LINK.

I store my working calendar online, but I still think it is fun to own these large photos of pretty glass objects. I like showing my students pictures of what I'm talking about and this I can take to lunch with a friend to look at, or bring to class. It would make a great gift too.

Hope you have as much fun as I do checking out the different techniques and styles.

See you tomorrow...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Devardi Glass

I've jumped off the bridge and have decided to give Devardi Glass (104 coe) a try. And yes, I've read the public forum threads about the pros and cons of this glass, but I'm afraid the $5.99/lb price is just a little too enticing.

So I know that I won't be using silver glass mixed in with the bead, but I might use it as a surface decoration. And I don't normally encase, if that is a problem, (although I can't remember whether it is or it isn't).

I just see some of the luscious yummy colors and they are beckoning. And, I can order by the pound, half pound or quarter pound. If they work out, I've got a great deal. If they don't, I haven't spent too much money.

I know to very slooooooowly introduce the thick rods into the flame. I'll be careful, promise.

I just think that they might work for sculptural glass. So often the colors aren't as mixed in with each other as with other styles of beads, so it might turn into a great experience. My fingers are crossed. I've read the comments from those who don't like the glass as well as those who do like it. I sure am hoping that I join the second group.

Hopefully the glass is enroute right now. I'll let you know how my experiments go. And if you download the chart from this site, I think you can see the color numbers a little better. I particularly like D103, D110, D114 and D124... which colors do you like?

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

GTT's Scorpion Torch for Glass

I was lucky to have had a chance to try out Glass Torch Technologies' new "The Scorpion" torch at the International Society of Glass Beadmakers' Gathering in Miami last month. Unlike its name, I didn't see any sting connected with it.

In fact, it was a blast. I checked out the center fire, which is the same as their smaller torch, "The Cricket" and then cranked it up to a full blast using their jet outer fire. I understand that this surface mix design is to optimize a 10 LPM or two linked five LPM concentrators. Perfect. Just what I own.

The retail price of this baby will eventually be $780, but currently is $650 for GTT's roll out.

Now my biggest question is whether I "need" it. If you haven't read this blog at length, you might not be aware that I already own a few too many torches in my husband's opinion. I'm not using all of them as it is.

But...this one makes so much sense. It works with my current oxygen concentrator, provides more heat and more efficiency than my other larger torches. I must say it's very tempting.

But for now, I'm going to continue contemplating it. And if you have bought one, or have tried it and have comments, I'd love for you to speak up. Possibly you might be swaying me in one direction or another. I just know that I liked what I tried...very much.

Catch you tomorrow for more glassy thoughts.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Murphy Fire Bucket

I don't why, but this Murphy Fire Bucket tabletop glory hole, sure looks enticing to me.

I was checking out this website here over at Fusion Headquarters and noticed how it possibly could fit in my studio. It doesn't look like it takes up much room.

I wasn't able to find other tabletop glory holes to compare with it. So if you know of any options, please list them here. Let me know if you work with one, or something similar. What do you make? Does it heat up the room too much? Is it as fun as it looks?

See you tomorrow with more glass and creativity chat

Monday, August 3, 2009

My Impatiens With Bunnies

I love bunnies. No doubt about it. But I have to say, my resident rabbit has been snacking on my flowers- impatiens to be exact, a little too often.

Sure, I understand that the flowers are lovely in their bright coral, pink and purple colors. And I also know that they're nestled in a nice patch of shade near the bunny hangout. But I just didn't know that they were that tasty.

All summer, they've been disappearing. I get a little sad, because I sure love the bursts of color- almost like exclamation points in my yard. I'm afraid the exclamation is turning into an apostrophe.

So here's my lampwork glass bunny bead named Juniper. Hopefully she will somehow telepath my wishes to the resident living breathing one and my poor impatiens will live through the end of the summer. And if you need help with bunnies in your yard, maybe she can help you too!

See you tomorrow

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Eye Catching Etsy Weekend Deals

I love that Etsy has a Weekend Deals section. This screenshot is just a small portion of what is available for various discounts.

I like looking at it for a couple of reasons. But for me, it's not just shopping on Etsy.

I use these pages to look at colors and designs. One of the first things I do, is to see which photos my eyes are drawn towards and then try to analyze why that is. Usually I try it with eyes wide open and then again when my eyes are somewhat squinted. It gives me two different perspectives.

It helps me make color choices for my beads and photography choices when I'm shooting them. For the photography, I also notice backgrounds, whether there is motion in the photo and my eye moves across it. It's a great cross section to view.

I love the the simplicity of the top left photo. That little handbag makes my eye zero in immediately. And the deeper color background behind the bottom left pair of light colored earrings really makes them pop.

As for color, I'm drawn to the pink and green flowers that are the second row down and second from the right. I need to be careful that I have enough contrast thought. Both colors are medium intensity, so I'll need something to make sure my finished art "pops".

These items are on sale through the end of today. Stop by the link and view all eight pages of fun stuff.

But before you head out to shop, it's your turn. What do you like and why?

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Looking At Life As Beads

Sorry, couldn't resist this fashion photo called "Everlasting Sprout". It just makes me smile.

And when looking at the model with the pink tights I think... "she looks like a bead."

Yes, starting with her legs- slim pink barrel. Her dress is a reverse bicone shape (or two cones facing each other) decorated with black, ivory, medium amber and Gelly Pink stringers and her head is an oval slightly marvered at the chin.

Yep, she's a bead.