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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Christmas Ornament & Bead Class at Blue Moon Glassworks in November!

I wanted to let you, my blog readers know first, that my 2 day Christmas Class in Austin, TX at Blue Moon Glassworks will be the weekend of November 19th & 20th.  This is going to be a blast, because I love Christmas and so do owners Jim and Rose Berry.  So we're going to do it up BIG!

We'll be making really fun glass beads and ornaments in which you will be able to put your own special twists on.  Elves, angels, dogs dressed up with hats and antlers are not only a blast, but you'll be working with a variety of sculpting techniques that will give you the skills to make lots of wonderfully unique miniature ornaments, focal beads and special treasures either for others or to keep for yourself.

Of course heat control is one of the most important techniques, but we'll also be working with some silver, reactive glass, setting a CZ or two, canes and other ways to add sparkle and magic to your beads whether wearing them yourself or making them into tree ornaments.

You can email or call Blue Moon Glassworks to register  -  512-380-0770.  I hope you can join me for the fun and holiday magic.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Social Media Propaganda Posters

Aaron Woods and his fabulous Social Media posters crack me up.  Here is a link to his "JustOneScarf" Etsy shop, for your amusement.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Sculpture Mini Class

I want to make better faces in glass.  There,  I said it publicly, so now I have to work on my performance.  Recently, I took an intro to sculpture one and a half hour class at our local arts center and loved it.  Our teacher, Tom Williams (check out that link to his website), was a delight.  He made our quick intro fun, and interesting, while he demonstrated how he teaches and sculpts.  And he gave us each a small chunk of Georgia clay to try a little of what he was showing us.

Bummed that it's only offered on Wednesday nights and that's our Southern Flames night, I will need to wait until summer, when my Flames Board position ends.  But believe me, I'll be in line, once I am free to try it.  I posted a close up of the lips on the bust that he showed as an example.  I have the hardest time forming lips and think this tactile craft form, will be a big help to gaining a better understanding of how to translate it into glass and perhaps into my watercolors as well.  And who knows, maybe I'll be adding clay to my list of top 5 favorite mediums, who knows?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Exquisite Enchanted Doll Website

I am totally blown away by artist Marina Bychkova's Enchanted Dolls.  Beautiful and artistic are understatements.  (fyi: there are also nude doll categories in case that is not your thing)  But to me, they are treasure.  Plan on taking a while to check out Marina's website.  And she has a blog too.


Friday, August 26, 2011

Sign at an Art Studio

This is a sign in the Metals Jewelry room at our Atlanta Spruill Center for the Arts.  It sure made me smile and thought you might enjoy it too.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Spiderman...Artists on Call for Beads of Courage

Spiderman was one little boy's request through Beads of Courage's Artist on Call program.  Where children ask for a special bead to be made just for them and glass artists choose from what has been requested and craft it for them.  Our Atlanta Southern Flames group did a test for this program, at the time called it Dream Beads.  

I have a feeling with the new Spiderman movie coming out, that there might be more requests over the next year too.  So I wanted to show you how I interpreted it, in case you'd like to volunteer with the program as well.  (contact BOC- or me- to put you in touch)

I first found a photo of a spiderman that I thought could be interpreted on a bead in glass. Knowing the child is young, I wanted to do a raised picture on a strong background, to be safe and sturdy.   This is the photo I found to use.

It's a child's Halloween costume.  It simplifies the outfit, yet gives the major details. Just what I wanted.
From there, I transferred the idea onto glass with some changes.  Mine obviously is not perfect, but a child would know immediately by the costume colors and design who it is, which is the result I wanted.

If you think this is fun, I'm hoping you'll volunteer with Beads of Courage too.  And if you think you need a little more practice, this type of interpretation is in my Creative Forces class that I teach.  How to take a 2-D or 3-D (or even words) description, and make a bead from it.  Which, combined with teaching, are two of my favorite things to do!  

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Recent Itsy Bitsy Commission Work

I make a lot of commission work.  I love doing it.  So when I received an email from someone who asked me, "can you make me 20 Christmas bulb lights that are 1/4" long?"  I decided to give it a whirl.

If you are a flameworker, you know that is a pretty tiny scale to be working in.  But always loving new challenges, I got out my tape measure and turned on my torch.

I found that I could reasonably get to 3/8" of an inch using a 1/16th mandrel. (non- glass folk, I know you secretly love tech talk).  And made an assortment of colors for her.

So in case you're wondering what she is doing with them, here's the answer.  She is needlepointing Christmas stockings for her grandchildren with a house that has lights hung from its roof.  She tried the plastic miniature ones for embellishment, but decided that glass would be better.

And I couldn't resist taking a photo of them, so I added my little trailer that I got years ago on Etsy, and one of my new Santa design beads and made a little vignette.  Might just be my Christmas card this year too.

Stay tuned for my next commission blogpost . I'll give you a hint.  It has to do with a Spirit Animal.
See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Kitty's Interview with Me!

Lampwork bead maker Kitty Bozzini recently posted a really sweet interview with me that I hope you will enjoy.  It included a "tip" and even a photo of one of my watercolors, that I usually don't show.
I hope you will check out her blog, right here and after you read my interview, check out some of her other posts too.  I  really enjoyed reading it.

Monday, August 22, 2011

My Glass Seahorse Demo Video

Awhile back I did a flamework glass Seahorse demo for FlameTree Glass.  Well, it's up on their website and you are welcome to take a peek.  (and if you haven't shopped with FlameTree or taken one of their classes, you're missing out.  (I am teaching Holiday Bobbleheads there on November 5th, for one day, if you can join me.  It will be fun.  I promise!

And at this time, also wanted to give a shout out to Brad Pearson who taught me.  I made one in his class and of course changed it up, but you know, it's nice to give credit to our influences.  (Now, if I could just make awesome marbles even a quarter as well as he does!)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Pyrography- Burning Something Sounds Like Fun!

I saw the term, "Pyrography" and immediately thought "More flames?  Oh boy!"  But then I learned that it is a term for what I used to think of woodburning.  How many of us had that little woodburning set when we were little and scratched out some youthful drawings on pieces of wood.  Well, viewing it as an adult, I have a new, and very impressed take on it.

The first photo I found, is Owl, by Russ Garner.  Not only is it technically lovely, but if you read that e-zine, you'll learn how this art form is used for physical rehabilitation and see lots of beautiful examples from various artists.

And this one I found on one of my favorite websites,  This is Sif Pyrography by DebsDen.  You can find it here.

Both of these pieces make me want to find my old set and pull it out to see how it can be used with wood and other materials.  How can I combine this art form with my glass work?  I think there are some wonderful possibilities.  What does this inspire you to do?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Thinking About New Fall Colors in Glass

It's that time of year, that I start looking at Fall colors for glass beadmaking.  I know, I'm a little late. Often I'm starting in July.  But I was noticing this Adobe by CiM glass and thought how pretty it would look in some of my Fall Leaf series that I do each year.  It would mix well with the ambers, greens, oranges and reds.  And I know it would also do as well as the more expensive Red Roof Tile in my hamster beads too.

I was also looking at this Honey Swirl (new from Effetre) that seems like their response to Vetrofond's Honey Crunch.  I wish we could see the end of the rod, to know what it is made up of.  I love this shade for my dog beads- but it too, would look nice in Autumn related beads.  Haven't you seen lots of leaves with this color in them?  It would contrast and yet blend well with the other colors.  I have a feeling that it is a blend of transparent amber and an opaque glass.

Are there any other ones that you are thinking about buying for Fall?  Would love to know which ones sing to you and on a practical level... a link to where to find them.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Mullet Skirts In Style For Fall

I knew you'd jump at anything that has the word "mullet" in it.  These skirts for  Fall are the party in the front and business in the back style that is kind of fun, if you are the right person to wear them.

All I ask is that you do not get confused and think I said "Mullet Hairstyles" are in-style for Fall.  That would be a travesty.  ;)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Folding Jewelry Display on Etsy

Craft show display maker "Wudls" on Etsy makes this wonderful folding angled jewelry box display.  I accidentally found his shop, and spent the next 20 minutes looking through all the different handmade displays.

If you need to pack up your displays like I do, it seems like this makes a lot of sense.  I love the idea of being able to box it up more easily, especially when it's traveling in my luggage on an airplane.

Have you run across some good displays for traveling sellers?  Post a link and share with the rest of us.  And let us know whether you have some other great ideas too.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Artists On Call

So yesterday, you heard about my class, Creative Forces, which teaches my glass students how to translate pictures into beads.

I thought I'd show you the three that I am working on now.  This last one, could be the hardest. Spiderman.  Lots of movement and little lines.

Do you see how I chose the reference photos?  In this case, it's a child's costume.  It simplifies the details, and yet gives me the most important "clues" to the viewer as to what they are seeing.

And more importantly, these beads will go to the special children who requested them, through Beads of Courage.

And don't forget, because these are gifts and not sold, and there will be my "artistic spin" on them as well, I still need to be careful.  I would not sell anything like these copyrighted items.  And I wouldn't be making a bunch to give away either. I know that people ask for this type of thing all the time, but it's not really "our art" if we're making something that someone else already thought up.  And for me, it's important to be respectful of making them even for Beads of Courage children.  I'm probably telling you something you already know and respect already.  But doesn't hurt to say it, once in a while.  (okay, carefully stepping down from my soap box now)...

I'll show you the results next week when they're done.  And I'm hoping you can join me for the class in Florida and whenever I am teaching it in other locations.

Monday, August 15, 2011

From 3-D to 2-D

Talented graphic artist, Arlene Pedersen of Pedersen Design Group, has transformed my little chubby yellow space alien bead that went up on the Space Shuttle, into a cute little graphic for Beads of Courage promotions.  

The 3-D glass bead replicas are sold on Beads of Courage's website to help raise funds for their programs benefiting children with cancer and other life threatening illnesses.  

Beads in Space posters are now available on the website too!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Studio Tip

I saw this studio tip on Interweave's Quilting Daily email and wanted to share it with all my artistic friends who have studios.  I fell in love with it, the minute I saw it.

Quilter Sue Bleiweiss uses these retractable electric cords and hangs them near her ceiling.  Less tripping over cords and clutter.  I like that idea... a lot.

What studio tip do you have that would make all of our lives easier?  Share them here please.  I think most of us are always open to fresh ideas.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Haunted on Bourbon Street

I can't wait to get glass artist and author, Deanna Chase's new book, "Haunted on Bourbon Street" in the mail.  I just ordered it and having read excepts, it sounds like a great read.

I'm going to admit something- I enjoy a good romance novel.  There, I said it.  And this one is a paranormal romance novel which sounds like it will be lively and fun.  And New Orleans is a great location for ghosts, good looking landlords and a great plot.

You can order it HERE  and even get a signed copy.  I did.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Make Everything Okay

Some days, we need this.
I recently found this button and knew life would get immediately better.  I'm sharing it with you.  Please click here to go to the website so you can make everything okay for yourself too.  Life is too short not to have one of these.  ;)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Top Secret

The other day, I was asked about doing an interview for a fellow lampworker's blog.  Of course I am always delighted to do that. (Love the interviews.  They're fun!)  But one of the things she asked me is whether I was willing to reveal some tip that I haven't told someone before.

Being the kind of person who loves "sharing", I had to think about it at length.  Not whether or not I'd do it, but what tip haven't I told someone before?

So today's question you hold some details back when people ask you questions?  Or do you answer just the question?  And most importantly, do you have a lampworking or jewelry making tip that you wouldn't mind sharing?  We always love hearing them.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Announcing "Creative Forces" Class in Deland, Florida

Creative Forces

November 12 - 13, 2011  
Glassic Arts Studio - Deland Florida

(this is a sample of a Beads of Courage young male patient request for a Razorback bead.  I took this picture from the internet...

...and made this bead for him.)  This is a sample of one of the techniques I will teach in the class, although we'll focus primarily on sculpture (and much "cuter" beads!)  Hope you'll join us.

This class will be dedicated to the Beads of Courage.

A portion of the tuition & instructor fees as well as beads will be donated by both teacher- Marcy Lamberson and Glassic Arts, the host studio.

Have you ever looked at a picture or an object and wanted to figure out how to interpret it in glass? Join instructor, Marcy Lamberson to discuss how to build what you're looking at and then create a sculptural bead in 104 glass using easy to understand methods.  These sculptural and viewing techniques will apply to so many facets of your personal beadmaking too. 

We will also work on interpreting some pictures as raised sculptural detail on a base bead.  Sometimes the object (or the potential owner) needs a more solid background... legs on flamingos are a good example.

Come join the fun!   This class is great for the Beads of Courage "Artist On Call" Beads.  We'll practice with one actual Artist on Call bead for a child, and if you choose, you can donate it to the program, or keep it for yourself. 

For reservations: call  Kathi Truba, 
386-738-1008 or email

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Happy Meal Necklace

Saw this amusing fry jewelry by Louise Gray and thought, "this might be the first time I've wanted fries without salt."

Designed as a collab piece, this charm necklace is dipped in 22k gold.  You can find this and other fun food related stories on The Urban Grocer.

Tree Stump Rug- Timberrrrrrrrr

I saw this rug online and was immediately drawn to it.  There's something about seeing wood slices with rings that really draws me in.  And for it to be in a soft, wooly form, makes it just as appealing.  Perhaps it's the tactile quality to it.

Artist, Yvette Laduk crafts these, and even the edges are cut, burned and fixed for longetivity.  You can find them on her website here.

Friday, August 5, 2011

What's Shakin'?

I am really enjoying these photos of dogs- shaking their groove thangs.  The movement and clarity both change the photos from pet photos to works of art...which also happen to bring a smile every time I look at them.  Would these photos appeal to you?

Both photos are by Carli Davidson.  

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Open Torch

One of the features of the Gathering that I really enjoy is watching other people use the torches (or burners, if I'm being correct) in person.  Each person has their techniques and tricks that are fun to watch.  And the Gathering proved once again that to be true.

Amy from Zooziis attracted a lot of attention when she sat down to demonstrate her product.  I enjoyed seeing the large crowd watching her closely to see how it works.

Thanks to Lisa St. Martin and her crew who help make all of that possible for us.  And of course a big thanks to the vendors who bring these for us to use.

Attendees, just wondering....did you feel comfortable sitting down and trying one out?  I have heard both sides to this issue and was wondering how you feel.  I know it took me a few years before I did.  But I do like it when folks make an item or two and then hand off the torch to someone else to give it a whirl.  To me, that's what it's about.  Giving everyone a chance.  I know the torch manufacturers like their torches to stay busy and hopefully encourage us to upgrade to new ones.

Anyone out there buy a torch this year?  I'm still debating that enticing Scorpion.  Or something similar.  we'll see.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Soft Flex's Contest

Soft Flex has announced a fun contest in which you must use both their craft and beading wires to make jewelry out of it.  Grand prize is a $500 Gift Certificate!  There are plenty of other great prizes too.  For all the rules, go to this Soft Flex link.  All entries must be in by Sept. 1st, so you still have time!  Let me know if you enter.  I'm thinking that I might just try this one!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Back From the Gathering

I couldn't resist getting my photo taken with this borosilicate glass artisan who also happens to be on the US Beard Team which competes internationally.  (He's the 4th place winner.)  I met him at the Gathering's Bead Bazaar in Louisville, KY last Saturday.

Of course I needed to know his secrets... when asked what products does he use on his beard, he replied, "Paul Mitchell".

What I didn't tell that of course, he will be the inspiration for a new bead.  I can't resist.  And as those wheels were already turning, I gave him one of my gnome beads that had a pretty cool beard already.

Monday, August 1, 2011

To the Bat Cave!

Stacey Jean makes a lot of brilliant sock monkeys.  Each one has their special twist and some even have super powers.  I love their sweet faces and fun costumes.  Just a thought, but perhaps one is never too old for a sock monkey.  What do you think?