Monday, February 28, 2011

The beads for the giveaway tonight!

Thanks a lot to everyone who leaved comments on the bead soup party post.

Comments are still trickling in, so I will wait a few more hours for all of you living across the big pond;-)
The winner will be announced tomorrow morning my time ( GMT)

Here is a picture of the beads the lucky winner will get, the colors are a little hard to fotograph, especially because of the frosted set, this is light lavender which is colorshifting under artificial light, as here in the picture to a lightly bluish hue. In reality, it is a very pretty light purple color.
These beads are about 12x10mm each.

The spacer set is made from vintage glass rods from the 1950's from an old german glass factory, the rods are half transparent half purple and the beads have a nice variation of transparency to them. Each bead is about 9x11mm.

The focal is 35x25mm and one of my all time favorites: an organic bead beautifully matching the other 2 sets and with a metallic "wing" on one side.

Concerning my doctors visit this morning: a surgery might be avoided ( keeping fingers crossed)and is not in my near future. I am wearing a very futuristic looking device, see first picture above and have to do a lot of specific exercices. At least I am able to sit down, but I have no idea when I will be able to go back to the torch. Guess is is time to go, take pictures and list some of my huge bead stash;-)
Thanks again to all of you who sent good wishes and prayers! They are still greatly appreciated.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Third bead soup blog party ... welcome!

Welcome to the 3rd Bead Soup Blog Party!
What is a Bead Soup Blog Party?

Each beader was paired up with another jewelry designer and tasked with sending the following:

~ A focal
~ A special clasp (not just a lobster claw)
~ Some coordinating spacers or beads

Using the focal and the clasp was mandatory, but we could use anything from our own stash to round out the rest, and choose to use the coordinating beads or not.

Now you surely want to know what I made???

Well, I have good news and bad news...

First, the bad news : my bead soup ingredients did not make it here in time, they were accidentally sent to a wrong adress and may be lost now or, I hope so, back on their way to the sender.

The good news, and it's really good news: I will be having a bead party thrown just for my bead soup on Lori's blog when my bead soup will finally arrive here *happydance*She is so generous!!!

She even sent me instructions to make a piece of jewelry "beadsoup-style last-minute"out of my own stash...and I will make it and show a picture here. But unfortunately not today, beacuse, ... well thats another bad news: we have been to Switzerland for a few days of skiing fun and on monday I fell and got a rupture of my anterior cruciate ligaments in the right knee. Now I have a huge bandage on and wait till next monday to see the doctor who will decide if I will have to have surgery or not.

But as a little reward for reading all this and to make up for the loss of bead soup pictures, I will be holding a bead giveaway: every person leaving a comment to this post will be entered into a drawing of a bead soup sized set of my handmade lampwork beads: one focal, one set of 10 decorated beads and a set of matching spacer beads.

Please be sure to check back Monday night to see if you have won ... and if my doctor says I do not need knee surgery, I might add some more extras too...

If you want to see what the others made, take a look here:

1. Lori Anderson, the hostess of this wonderful event and bead soup queen,PrettyThings
2. Kitty Durmaj, PerlesandLife
3. Michelle Heim, Life In the Bead Lane
4. Lisa Petrillo, Lucid Moon Studio
5. Anitra Gordy, Leelu Creations
6. Paige Maxim, Paige Maxim Designs
7. Marianna Boylan, Pretty Shiny Things
8. Cheryl Roe, BeadRoe
9. Heidi Post, Ex Post Facto
10. Cindy Wimmer, Sweet Bead Studio

11. Terri Gauthier, Blooming Ideas
12. Rachel Walsh, Balanced Crafts
13. Marian Hertzog, M's Place
14. Mary McGraw, MK's Musings
15. Sarabeth Burke, Chronicles of Sarita
16. Deci Worland, Gem Trails
17. Erin Prais-Hintz, Treasures Found
18. Laura Zeiner, Stick Lizard Designs
19. Kristin Latimer, MJM Jewelry Designs
20. Cathryn Brooks-Williams, Chile Cats

21. Holly Westfall, Silver Rose Designs
22. Janna Harttgen, Palima-Lim
23. Libby Leuchtman, Libby Leu
24. Rebecca Anderson, Songbeads
25. Deb Hunter, Living On Air
26. Diana Ptaszynski, Suburban Girl Studio
27. Jennifer VanBenschoten, VanBeads
28. Margot Potter, The Impatient Crafter
29. Cyndi Lavin, Beading Arts
30. Courtney Breul, Beads by Breul

31. Stefanie Teufel, Stefanie's Sammelsurium
32. Patricia Gasparino, My Life Under the Bus
33. Tari Khars, Pearl and Pebble
34. Kristi Bowman-Gruel, Kristi Bowman Design
35. Jayne Capps, Mama's Got to Doodle
36. Becky Fairclough, Chameleons Designs
37. Evie and Beth McCord, EB Bead & Metal Works
38. Lynne Bowland, Islandgirl's Insights
39. Barbara Lewis, Painting With Fire
40. Lorelei Eurto, Inside the Studio

41. Stacy Hartis, Sissy & Jack's
42. Jennifer Cameron, Glass Addictions
43. Marcie Abney, La Bella Joya
44. Johanna Rhodes, Fire Phoenix Creations
45. Nan Emmett, Spirit Rattles
46. Melissa Mesara, One Eared Pig
47. Amanda Davie, Articulations
48. Cherin Poovey, Lanyard Lady
49. Virginia Joste, ViviBijoux

50. Andrew Thornton, The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
51. Lori Dorrington, Lori's Glassworks
52. Melanie Brooks, Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
53. Kate Gardenghi, Tropical Blonde
54. Serena Trent, PinkIce Jewel's Blog
55. Malin de Koning, Beading by Malin de Koning
56. Shai Williams, Shaiha's Ramblings
57. Francy Inman, 8 Second Studio
58. Amy Freeland, Copper Diem
59. Lisa Liddy, Joolz By Lisa

60. Sandi Lee James, Do Be Do Bead Do
61. Mary Harding, Mary Harding Bead Blog
62. Stacey Curry, Star Hitched Wagon
63. Leslie Gidden, Mad Maggie Designs
64. Elisabeth Auld, Beads For Busy Gals
65. Niky Sayers, Silver Nik Nats
66. Linda Djokic, Lutka and Co.
67. Tracy Bell, Copper, Glass, and Recycled Trash
68. Laurel Steven, Rue's Daftique
69. Ingrid McCue, Wrapped In Silver

70. Birgitta Lejonklou, Create With Spirit
71. Diana Hawkey, Diana Hawkey
72. Norma Turvey, Moonlit Fantaseas
73. Jeanette Ryan, Jeanette Blix
74. Jackie Ryan, Silver Lodge Gems
75. Jean Yates, Snap Out of it Jean, There's Beading to Be Done!
76. Debbie Goering, Prairie Emporium
77. Valerie Norton, Hot Art
78. Jana Trupovniece, Stories of the Secret Garden
79. Amy Severino, Amy Beads

80. Emma Thomas, Fred Beans Nook
81. Karen Zanco, Everyday Gypsy
82. Suzann Sladcik Wilson, Beadphoria
83. Janet McDonald, Singing Woods
84. Dana James, Dana's Jewelry Designs
85. Kristina Johansson, Wild Roses and Blackberries
86. CJ Bauschka, CJ Bauschka
87. Angela Barribea, Re: Angela Rae
88. Marcy Lamberson, Studio Marcy
89. Tanya Floyd, Glass Migrations

90. Lisa Kavanaugh, Beading Bliss
91. Sue Hodgkinson, Hello Gorgeous
92. Jenni Connolly, Jenni's Bead
93. Nally Parfyonova, Nally's Creations
94. Karyn White, Releases By Rufydoof
95. Emanda Johnson, Artemisia Studio
96. Sandy Richardson, Sandy's Coloring Box
97. Cindy Dolezal, Cindy Dolezal Designs
98. Stacie Stamper, Park Avenue
99. Mallory Hoffman, For the Love of Beads

100. Linda Landig, Linda's Bead Blog and Meanderings
101. Nicole Valentine-Rimmer, N. Valentine Studio
102. Jacinta Meyers, Jamberrysong's Creations
103. Charlene Gary, Gray Girl Studios
104. Rubiee Hayes, Glitter and Keys Galore
105. Marge Beebe, Rock Creek Creations
106. Elizabeth Freeman, Turquoise Sky
107. Shelby Foxwell, Sundown Bead Designs Rhetoric
108. Lynda Moseley, Diva Designs
109. Grace Danel, Grace Beading
110. Lois Moon, Que Onda Quitman

111. Agnes Shapiro, Beader Bubbe
112. Terry Carter, Tapping Flamingo
113. Judy Glende, Judith B. Designs
114. Mary Ellen Parker, Bee Tree By Me
115. Barbara Bechtel, Second Surf
116. Charlene Sevier, The Bead Dreamer
117. Alice Craddick, Alice's Beads and Baubles
118. Cory Celaya, Art With Moxie
119. Ronda Adams, The Ravished Heart
120. Sandi Volpe, Sandi Volpe Designs

121. Anna Lear, The Laughing Raven
122. Susie Hibdon, Vintagesusie & Wings
123. Amanda Austin, Sea Shore Glass
124. Jennifer Velasquez, Jen Judd Rocks
125. Hazel Ward, All Those Things
126. Brenda Salzano, Salzanos
127. Dee Gordon, Runako Designs by Dee
128. Anna Denisova, Anita-M
129. Margaret Saari, Mags-Jewelry

130. Genea Crivello-Knable, Genea Beads
131. Penny Neville, Copper Penny
132. Angela Blasingame, Hopemore
133. Helena Fritz, Beadwork by H's Blog
134. Stephanie LaRose, Confessions of a Bead Hoarder
135. Stephanie Haussler, PixyBug Designs
136. Diane Cook, Rosa & Josies
137. Maryse Thillens, Glass Bead Art You are here!!!
138. Jennifer Pride, Jewelry by J.P.
139. Shannon Chomanczuk, For My Sweet Daughter

140. Lisa Godfrey, Bead Happy
141. Heather Pyle, Welcome to My Muse
142. Regina Santerre, Regina's Writings
143. Liz DeLuca, Creative Arty Facts
144. Sig Wynne-Evans, Beaded Bear's Nonsense
145. Loretta Carstensen, Loretta's Boutique
146. Raida Disbrow, Havana Beads
147. Amber Dawn, Inventive Soul
148. Shelly Graves, Stars Dance With Me
149. Jess Italia Lincoln, Vintaj Blog

150. JJ Jacobs, Coming Abstractions
151. Carrie Tahquechi, Carrie T
152. Staci Smith, Staci Louise Originals
153. Katarzyna Kwiatkowska, Quiet Area
154. Ema Kilroy, Ema K Designs
155. Magdalena Sikora, Poranna Gazeta
156. Nicole Keller, Nicki's Reef
157. Ann Rishell, My Critical Eye
158. Noemi Baena, Fire, Metal, and Color
159. Christa Murphy, Adventures of One Beady Woman

160. Barbara Blaszczyk, Labotorium Flory
161. Collette Collins, Firefly Myst
162. Carola Greiser, Polymer Clay Shed
163. Joanna Kopijczuk, Bizuteria z Filcu
164. LeAnn Weih, Summers Studio
165. Cassandra Watsham, Design by Cassandra
166. Anna Motz, Stunning
167. Shea Zukowski, Gr8findings
168. Susan Kennedy, Sue Beads
169. Lisa Boucher, Lisa's Clay Happenings

170. Hope Smitherman, Crafty Hope
171. Alison Crenshaw, Beads by Earth Tones
172. Dorcas Midkiff, Wondrous Strange Designs
173. Melissa Rediger, Sea of Glass
174. Marina Dobrynina, Savon Feutre
175. Julie Nordine, Julie Nordine Credit River Art Glass
176. Menka Gupta, Menka's Blog
177. Patsy Evins, Patsy Evins Studio
178. Cherrie Fick, En La Lumie're
179. Suzette Bentley, Ellie's Bijoux

180. Molly Alexander, Beautifully Broken Me
181. Lyn Foley, Lyn Foley Wearable Art
182. Tara Plote, The Newbie Beader's Blog
183. Natalie Schuetz, Natalie S Perlen
184. Kim Hutchinson, Running on Ink
185. Haley Frank, Wide Eyed Smilin
186. Grace Caputo, Suddenly Last Summer
187. Marie-Noel Voyer-Cramp, Skye Jewels
188. Erin Siegel, Erin Siegel Jewelry
189. Janea McDonald, Organized Chaos

190. Kristi Evenson, Colie Bug & Co.
191. Linda Inhelder, Must Haves Jewelry
192. Hilary Frye, FryeStyle
193. Whitney Lassini, Whitney Lassini
194. Nancy Schindler, The Rabbit Muse
195. Pam Brisse, The Blue Between
196. Beth Bricker, Vintage Sweets
197. Ruthie Stickney, Rose Works Jewelry and Gifts
198. Rose Noble, Lady Noble Designs
199. Karen Williams, Baublicious

200. Claire Maunsell, The Next Bend
201. Christine Damm, Stories They Tell
202. Kerry Bogert, Kab's Creative Concepts
203. Wendy Blum, Sand & Sea Designs
204. Juli Cannon, Julsbeads
205. Jenny Robledo, La Dona Boutique
206. Krista French, French Elegant Jewelry
207. Pam Krinski, Ewa Beads
208. Melissa Meman, Melissa Meman, Art, Life, Love
209. Dana Jones, Dana's Jewelry
210. Shirley Moore, Beads and Bread

The next party's sign ups begin August 1-3, 2011. Don't miss it!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Silver and ivory

Silver and ivory are 2 of my alltime favorite bead ingredients. I am in love with the beautiful reactions the silver leaf makes on the ivory glass.
I especially love the technique I use in my wishing stone beads, where the ivory base bead is encased in silver, then a stripe of transparent glass is added on top and when the bead is all melted in, there is a shiny silver stripe under the transparent glass that has a great sparkle.
I used to be able to make these and get them right almost every time. But for some time now, everytime I use this technique, the silver burns off even under the encasing... they still look beautiful as you can see in the picture above, but it not the effect I wanted to get.
Finally I found the culprit: it's the silver. My old supplier does not sell silver any more and I had bought a lot of books to keep me going for all the last months. Then I ordered from somebody else and the effect is no longer there.
I could use silver foil instead, that would make the silver more resistent to the heat, but it is a lot more expensive too, so I will have to do more tests.
For the next week though, my torch will remain cold. The winter vacation is here, last day of schoool today and if the weather remains cold and beautiful, we might be doing a lot of outdoor activities.

Friday, February 11, 2011

New multicolor beads

I simply cannot stop making these...

Friday, February 4, 2011

A quick glance into my bead cleaning bowl this morning

There you can see several multicolor dark swirl beads, those will go up on etsy tomorrow, and some test beads for spring inspired color combinations, using turquoise,purple and some raku frit. I made some more today using lime green,a more greenish turquoise and again some purple,
can't wait to see tomorrow morning how they turned out...
As you can see in the picture I always make 2 beads on the same mandrel if they are small beads. This way it is easier to get them the same size and the mandrel gets used more effectively. I hate dipping and cleaning mandrels!!!
Sometimes, the release is to thick, sometimes to watery, then it drips of the mandrel and the coating is irregular. Depending on the release, there are some beads that don't want to come off and I have to bend the mandrel and get blisters on my fingers before the bead comes off.
The next dayI forget about the bent mandrel, dip it again and next time I make beads, the mandrel does not rotate smoothly and the bead gets wonky... so I keep trying out each new bead release that comes on the market.
So far, I have 3 favorites. The pink slipper release is great if you want to get transparent bead holes but it does come off a little hard and is best soaked for several hours in soapy water. It stays nice in the consistence and does not get lumpy.
Second is bucket of mud : great for transparent bead holes too, but it has the same problems to let the beads go ;-)....soaking for hours is the solution.
When you make opaque beads and the bead hole does not matter, then, in my humble opinion, the best of the best is the bead separator by Fusion. It has a nice consistence, can be flame-dried without cracking and the beads come off very easy.
For these beads I showed today I used the bead separator.