Sunday, June 28, 2009

Holly's Folly Kandinsky Project

Holly's Folly Kandinsky Project 2
Originally uploaded by HollysFollyGlass

My contribution to the Art Bead Scene's June project inspired by a Kandinsky painting. Straight sided lampwork lentils in Blue, Purple, Red and Chartreuse.

The bracelet combines hammered silver bead frames, Bali Beads, Silver lined e beads, Swarovski crystals and a sterling toggle clasp.

The bracelet will be available on in a few days.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Still Swollen!

Two more blog mentions! Man, what a week!

I'm the featured Fire Diva of the week on the Fire Diva's blog (up for one week only) and...

Alison has mentioned my pendant donation on her blog.

My swollen head is spinning!

I will be back with my June Art Bead Scene bracelet shortly.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Pardon Me? Is My Head too Big?

Wow! My beads were mentioned in two different blogs today!

My friend Becky wrote about this giant cupcake bead in her Constant Crafter Blog.

And my Pineapple Orange Sherbet I Scream Cone was mentioned in Creative with Clay's Color of the Week blog post. Both are available in my Etsy shop with kissing cousins on the Folly Site under Sweet Treats.

Any more and my head won't fit in the door! And if my sweet tooth keeps showing, my head won't be the only thing that won't fit!!!

Thanks ladies! I needed the confidence boost!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Heart as Big as Texas

Alison is a fellow blogger I've come to admire. I love her spunk, wit, grace and charm. And I love her open and generous heart.

Her dear friend's brother-in-law passed away very suddenly from sarcoma, leaving behind two young girls and huge mountain of medical bills.

I know first-hand the damage that cancer and it's piles and piles of bills can do to a family. And I also know first-hand the aching grief and gaping heart-hole a father's death can lay on a young girl's shoulders. My big ol' heart hurts for this mother and her children.

And in true, let's-git-r-dun Alison style, she and her friends have organized a fundraiser and even launched a website! I know they will bring good things to this family.

While I'm unemployed, I can't donate money but I will be turning one of my big hollow focal beads into a pendant for the live auction they are hosting.

If you can help this family in any way, please consider it...just follow the links in this post. Or if you are in Houston on July 11, the live auction they are planning sounds like a lot of fun for a really good cause.

Close up of tassel detail.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Fighting the Demon

Somedays, I sit at the torch and struggle with everything. Do you ever have days like that?

I just sat and stared at the flame. I had a few things I wanted to try: playing with Double Helix's Aurae and trying to work the those cased flowers I've been so tortured by into my own designs.

It seemed everything just went awry. I loved the Aurae but was afraid of wasting it. It just made me nervous.

And then I just got impatient when, after taking a full hour to shape a heart - very large, layers of color - the flowers I added just didn't measure up. I got impatient and tossed it in the kiln.

I hate days like that. But you know what I've learned? That whenever I do have a torch session like that one, the next session usually yields something amazing! Either a really cool bead or some skill I've been struggling with will suddenly be perfected or greatly improved!

What do you struggle with??? And what do you do to overcome it?

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Many bead artists think of dichroic glass as something to just add sparkle to the inside of a bead, such as this one.

It's true...It really does add depth and incredible sparkle! But there are different kinds of dichro now. Below is an example of what is called Pure Dichro.

To me, it looks more like silver foil that forgot to melt in. The bead above was made by capturing some pure dichro in clear, casing and pulling a stringer. I set that aside and made a small amber bead, rolled the hot bead in the pure dichro and cased. The stringer was used to add a small flower on each side.

The other thing I recently learned about dichro - in a Janet Anderson class at Glass Obsessions - is that dichro can be worked directly in the flame. This bead is not the best example...I'm an impatient glasser! But, by working it far back in the flame and keeping it rather cool, slowly heating to the point the dichro layer melts in, you can create a multil layered effect. Note the dots of clear over the dichro. The exposed dichro feels really neat to touch, not rough, but not glassy either.

And while these are all experimental beads (and for sale for less than the cost of the glass), it is a technique I want to explore further.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Seed of Inspiration

Would you believe this set of beads actually caused a disagreement between one of my closest friends and I? (Her alias on my other blog, if you follow that is Kat.)

They did! You see I named this set Komboloi (kahm buh LOI) which is the word for Greek prayer beads.

I had seen Komboloi for the first time a few months ago when Kat's son had ordered a set of strung prayer beads. They can be used while praying, like a rosary, or as worry beads. But the most important feature is they should be touchable.

I loved the little olive shapes of the beads I saw and I knew I wanted to make beads in this shape. I also knew they had to be of the oh-so-touchable silvered ivory. And when I discovered this new Gaffer glass called "Chalcedony" (Cal SED oh ny) and all the lovely colors it yields, I knew it would work wonderfully filling in the color gaps that sometimes appear in silvered ivory.

The set came out exactly as expected ( a rarity in my world!). The beads roll around and are so pleasing to touch. They are mesmerizing... a little world in each one. It is so easy to see how you could meditate while caressing these babies.

So while this set was inspired by Komboloi, Kat wanted to know why I didn't string them up to be an actual Komboloi prayer strand. I told her I didn't want to. Days later, she was trying to get me patterns for Komboloi. I finally explained, while I do make jewelry...I'm really "just" a beadmaker. I would rather my customers turn the beads into their vision regardless of what inspired me to make the beads the first place.

These guys were part of my recent newsletter sale and will be on ebay in a few more days. I have a couple of sets up there now that need some bid love... Thanks as always for your interest in my work.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Searching for Quality Lampwork on Ebay

Before I made beads, I bought lots and lots of beads. Ebay was in it's lampwork heyday then. It was glorious.

But I must admit, the reason I rarely sell my beads on ebay is the very reason I stopped buying lampwork there (preferring to buy them artist-direct): it was just too hard to weed through all the "bad" listings to find the good ones! And yes, by bad, I mean Chinese lampwork.

This crap is not annealed...making it weaker than the carefully crafted artisan lampwork I prefer (and make). The photo is never of the actual set you will receive and the set that comes is often not a good representation of the photo. Furthermore, the beads are not cleaned. The leftover "mandrel poop" inside the bead wears down and weakens stringing material making the finished jewelry more likely to break. Not to mention, the piece looks "dirty" in no time.

And even though I was searching lampwork US (not even realizing I may be leaving out many talented artisans working in Australia, Germany, Isreal, Canada and the UK out by searching that way), it was taking hours to filter through the "junk beads."

Case in point: The search I did this morning reveals a search results of 28,862! Who wants to search through that???

As I was wailing my woes to a friend on a lampwork forum and describing my anger, she asked me a very simple question: "Don't you have an SRA number?"

"Why, yes. Yes, I do. It's D50."

"Most all of the artists add that to their description. Search "lampwork sra" instead."

It was like a lightning bolt hitting my head. An SRA number stands for self-representing artist. Most lampworkers have one. It means you represent yourself for sales and that your work is made by you and no one else.

So, I quickly went to ebay and did another search and was amazed at the results! Big difference, eh?

And look, instead of there being "junk" at the top of the page, here's a lovely artisan featured set!

Now, I love searching for beads on the bay once again. And I've even dipped my toes in the selling waters again.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

It's a Yart Sale!

Team ESST on Etsy is hosting the Annual Yart Sale. I just did a very quick Yart search and found over 23,000 (!!!!!!!!) items on sale today through June 14th!

First, what is "Yart?" Yard + Art = Yart! Handmade items all on sale!

I'm offering 15% off all Holly's Folly items in my Etsy shop. AND... if you make a purchase on both Etsy and Holly's Folly, I'll give you 20% off! Purchase any three items for FREE SHIPPING!!!

I know that many of my Fire Diva's Friends are participating too! Just go to and search for "Fire Divas Yart."

Come on over to Etsy and check it out.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


I have been desperately trying to improve my cased floral skills. I just adore big (HUGE) beads with lots of flowers and stuff going on inside the layers upon layers of glass. That's one of the reasons I took a class recently with Cynthia Tilker.

Then I came home and kept working. I've been spending about an hour of torch time working on cased florals each torch session. I'm finally starting to like my results enough to show you!

This bead is for sale on the Folly site.

The other thing I've been playing around with layers of dichro. I just love all the colors going on in this black-heart bead (also available on the focals page).

And as always when I experiment, I have a lot of beads I just don't like that much. So I'm having a large sale on focals on my Sale Page. Most are $10 or UNDER...many are $5!... Take a l@@k, won't you?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Moving to ebay

I've moved a few sets to ebay and will be moving more. Here's the first two:

My Ebay is HERE.

And this one is off to Etsy.


Friday, June 5, 2009

Secret Sale! Shh...

06/06 update: Now that my subscribers have had first pick, I'll share the link. This page will only be up for another day... so if you see something you like... The sale is HERE.

I'm having a sale for my loyal newsletter subscribers only. Here's a few items from that sale. You can subscribe to my newsletter for the next sale on the Holly's Folly home page.

I'm having a sale for my loyal newsletter subscribers only. Here's a few items from that sale.

If they haven't sold soon, they will head to ebay and you can get them there.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Art Bead Scene - Water Lilies

My entry for the Art Bead Scene's May 09 contest. Water lily lampwork focal, lentil and lily pads by Holly Dare / Holly's Folly ~ Glass.

The two toned necklace features Swarovski crystals and e beads in addition to the lampwork. The clasp is made of sterline and e beads that fit into the crystal loop.
This will be on Holly's Folly in a few days. Thanks for l@@king!