Thursday, December 31, 2009

When Inspiration Strikes...

Inspiration can strike anywhere, anytime. For this reason, I "try" to have some semblance of a sketch pad with me most of the time. But when I don't, I've been k nown to sketch on napkins, scratch paper and even my arm!

A few weeks ago, I had to be the substitute host for my friend's karaoke business because her regular host was sick. And suddenly, I "saw" a necklace in my head (two variations even!) and HAD to sketch it out. So there amongst song titles is my would-be necklace.

So what to you do when inspiration strikes? What's the strangest place you've written down those visions???

Well, it's been an interesting 2009 ( the most polite thing I can say about this year!) and I for one can't wait til 2010. Check back next year - er - week for a recap on the ABS projects I did all year long!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Etsy Treasures

I found myself in THREE treasuries this week! A first!!! Mallory put my Silvered Ivory focal in her Winter White Treasury.... I just love this one... Aren't all these beads just elegant together????
I love these pretty white sand dollars in Mallory's shop!

Fellow Fire Diva Janel Dudley put my Sunny Day at the Beach focal in her Flaming Hot Treasury.

I think this focal of Janel's is FLAMING HOT!

And another Diva friend, Lauren included my Green Santa Snowman Set in her Fire Divas Treasury. Her six year old daughter helped choose these... I think we have a SERIOUS bead collector in the making!!!

Lauren, known for her critter beads, has been on a murrini kick and just doing incredible stuff with it. I'm lusting over this heart....Can you read the message???

Give these treasuries some love as they will all be gone by next year!!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Diva Holiday Challenge Winners Announced

The votes are counted, and the results are in. The winner is.....Lauren of Maybeads!

In second place we have this from Lara of Lutrick:

Congratulations Lauren & Lara! Thanks to all the Fire Divas who entered.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Fire Diva's Holiday Challenge

To celebrate the holiday season, the Fire Divas are hosting a Holiday Challenge! We have lots of wonderful beads to choose from; see them below, the go to the Diva blog, pick your favorite to vote for on the right. Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Busy Elf - Part Five

The thing I hate most about shopping for the holidays is that, because I don't go to malls all that often, I suddenly want stuff for myself! And this year, making so many gifts, I suddenly had the urge to make something just for me... a rarity considering I don't wear jewelry all that often!

So this is what I made:
I taught so many earring classes this fall, I had the idea to try one of those Swarovski trees in glass. I love how it came out!

I'm heading back to Cali tomorrow and will be back here on Monday! Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Busy Elf - Part Four

I've always loved taking pictures and with the high heat decals out there, it's so easy to combine photos with glass in the kiln.

Here are the pieces I made:
On the left is another gift for, white and blue this time. The photo is one I took about four years ago. My mom has a very special relationship with her great-nephew...he reminds her so much of her dad. This photo was taken after my mom arrived very late to her own 82nd birthday party. I had made this big cake and had our family and my cousin and his three little ones over to celebrate. But Mom was otherwise occupied (code for hitting big at the casino). We ate. Still no Mom. And these little faces were staring at that cake. So we lit the candles, sang happy birthday (stretching....) and cut that cake....and, in walked Mom! In this picture, she's teasing my little cousin about cutting her cake. I know she will love this piece when she sees it!

The one on the right is one of my favorite dogs in my extended hiking pack. Her name is Sue and she always smiles at me. You should have seen the look on her mom's face when she opened it!

And the bottom on...well, that's the photo of my dog Mabel in my original Creekhiker logo (replaced with an ocean photo this year). Mabel hated getting her tummy wet as a pup and would do these fantastical leaps to avoid deep spots in the creek. To get a photo of her doing this meant sizing up the creek for deep spots that Mabel MIGHT jump over and pray my timing was right! In eight years, I've taken exactly two decent shots of this!

Adding decals to glass fusing is a wonderful way to personalize a gift and I hope to do more in the future! Tomorrow, something else I made for me!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Busy Elf - Part Three

I have a lot of dog lovers in my life. One of my closest friends has everything imaginable but dogs and cats just make her melt. And then there is the waitress at my favorite breakfast joint. She actually saves food for my pup! Poor Mabel rolls on her back and rubs her own tummy after breakfast there!

So, the dog folks got charms this year as well:

I always try to make my dog paws look heart like. Years ago, my sister brought me a t-shirt from Westminster (King of the dog shows!) that read:

When I look at a paw print, I see an upside down heart with four arms reaching out to embrace me. Awwwwww.... I can see a paw print without seeing that.

The bone charms were a big hit!!!

Tomorrow, something for the fusers! See ya here!

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Busy Elf - Part Two

I actually knitted something! I found this luscious suede yarn at JC Penney Outlet and I knew immediately, I would make something for my mom.

Mom is really active in the American Legion but she's not always red, white and blue. So I made a little heart button with red, white and intense black:
- It ALWAYS starts with a good piece of glass, right?

Then I did the knitting on the yellow Knifty Knitter. (K1, P1 for those of you who speak Knit whit.) Since the knitting is so loose, I didn't even bother to drop a stitch for the button hole!

I just wrap it around my neck to get a feel for where the button should be and sew it on. It slips right through the knitting and now Mom will have a really pretty neck warmer for winter!

Here's the whole thing:

Friday, December 18, 2009

Fire Diva's Jewelry Challenge - PRIZES!!!

The Fire Divas First Jewelry Challenge is underway. We have some lovely entries made with artisan lampwork beads already and more to come, I'm sure!

You may find a few Diva jewelry pieces in there. Those are only there for inspiration. No Diva will be in the final voting pool. This is strictly to encourage the use of artisan made beads and expose work of talented designers out there!

There are also several bead photos in the gallery. Why are there just beads in there??? They are some of the fantastic prizes!!! Let's take a look at what the designers are playing for:

Lea of LAJewelryDesigns has donated a $50 Gift Certificate. Winners choice!!!

Lara of Lutrick has also created a stunning focal. I think that's the chalcedony glass that she makes sing featured on this bead:

Our sweet Janel of JanelDudleyBeads is a dichro master! Check out these pretty fireballs:

Lauren of MayBeads is donating one of her famous turtles. Just check out those toes!

Theresa of TeaseBeads is offering one of her "Everything" focals in a rich color palette:

Barb of RiversEdgeGlass has a whole set of her wave beads in gorgeous cool colors:

Jamie of GlasstasticTreasures has created one of her adoreable squiggle focals in purple and pink:

I'm offering a gift certificate for $50.00 to Holly's Folly to allow the winner to pick something they would like.
Ema of EmaKaye has created one of her intense and precise dotted focals.

With all these fantastic beads for a prize, I hope we'll be seeing even more entries before our 1/01/2010 deadline.

See you here Monday with more holiday Elf tales!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Busy Elf - Part One

I thought I would show you what I've been up to for the holidays...Good thing NO one on my list reads this blog!

My day job is manufacturing food safe rubber stamps so that bakers can get neat images onto pastry. And one of my biggest client is an international pastry chain.

With the economy being what it is, it felt very hollow giving gifts to corporate clients this year knowing that some charities are really hurting. So... I decided to make a nice bead donation to Beads of Courage this year (through the real life bead group I belong to, The CA Flame Surfers) in lieu of sending a nice, pricey gift.

But I didn't want my clients to not get anything at all, so I sent them these:
donuts on a charm.

I also created a card based on the Beads of Courage logo, explaining what the charity does for kids:

I'll share more of my holiday prep next week... and there will be a rare Friday blog post tomorrow! See ya here at

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

December Art Bead Scene Entry - Krasner

It must be awfully chilly in Lucifer's lair...My Art Bead Scene entry is done and it's not the last three days of the month! ;-)

The inspiration painting is this untitled piece by Lee Krasner, who may be better known as Jackson Pollock's wife.

I'm not much into this modern squiggle, excuse me but for lack of a better word, crap. I'm more of a landscape kind of girl. And I admit, it's hard to be inspired when you don't really love the painting. But being artists... we can find inspiration in strange places. I knew right away would make some sort of squiggle bead and somehow along the way became obsessed with turquoise and brown.

And knowing I was leaving town so early in the month only added to the pressure. I realized I had never attempted earrings for the ABS challenge and liked the idea of meeting the challenge with a relatively simple piece.

The beads are brown with lots and lots of turquoise frit with a brown squiggle on top. Now looking at the painting again, I wish I had used white!

The earrings are created with hand made sterling silver headpins, turquoise lentils, my beads and Swarovski Colorado topaz AB crystals. They will be for sale on Holly's Folly later in the winter.

DECABS Krasner Earrings by Hollys Folly

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Southern California Marble Show

Any Marble makers out there? Marble lovers and collectors??? I'm sure!

An interesting turn of events in the glass world of So. Cal. Beloved boro teacher and marble maker, Mike Close has decided to work and live in Thailand for several years. What's to happen to the Marble show he ran???

Beloved soft glass marble maker, Rich Shelby has stepped up and taken over. And as of early December, almost all of the booths at the show were sold. With just a few spaces open, Rich says, "I'm not sure if I should be thrilled or frightened!"

I've known Rich for.... decades! I first met him at the INCREDIBLE rubber stamp shop his wife Laurie owned and Rich worked at when not at his day job. He's such a sweet and talented guy - Who wouldn't say that about one of Santa's twin "helpers" who poses for pics at Christmas fairs??? (That beard is REAL!)

Rich was also one of the rare male guests I got to produce on the Carol Duvall Show...Rich made a rubber stamped clock.

And then one day, I was at a glass meeting... and there was Rich. He makes beautiful marbles and is a kind and patient teacher.

And thanks to him, the marble show goes on! It will be held on March 20, 2010 in Fullerton at the Anaheim Park Hotel. For hotel reservations: 714-992-1700.

To see if there is a booth available, contact Rich: richshelby (at)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Got Headpins???

The look of hand made headpins is so pretty. Buying them can be pricey! And I'm always amazed when I see lampworkers buying handmade headpins. Why not make your own???

The down side is the fire scale that occurs when sterling is heated in a flame. You can always use fine silver (.999 pure as opposed to sterling's .925 pureness) but the softness of fine silver can be a turn off if you are hard on your jewelry.

It's easy to avoid fire scale with jeweler's flux. Just cut your wires to the same length - I use 2.5" and 3" of 20 gauge. Light your torch, dip into the flux and heat. Once you have a nice ball on the end, toss it in a jar of hot water. The hot water melts the flux.

After all the head pins are made, I heat another jar of hot water and scrub with a metal brush. Then they are all tossed into a tumbler with a little liquid soap, warm water and mixed stainless shot. In under an hour, I made enough to finish off bunches of holiday gifts!

I'm headed out of town for the holidays but I have several posts scheduled so please check back. Just know that comments may take some time to appear.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Last of the Christmas Beads...

The last of my Christmas beads are now on Etsy. Get them before 12/14 at noon to have them ship before Christmas cause, I'm headed to Baton Rouge!

Santa is an XL focal with gorgeous blue eyes and little "snow" bits on his hat. He would look fab wire wrapped onto a colorful ribbon.

This Christmas cookie set would be great as a necklace or bracelet. I left the "royal icing" raised just like on real holiday cookies.

I have a few post scheduled so you won't forget about me over the holidays. I wish you and yours a Very Merry!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Gifts Ready to Go!

I've spent the better part of the last week getting all kinds of new goodies up on the Holly's Folly site. And not just beads!

I've added several sets of cell phone charms from my show stash:

And this little guy? He's part of a cheese knife set with a matching plate.

But that's not all! I've added a bunch of my earring and pendant kits from my holiday earring classes I've been teaching. You have the choice of buying the kit (instructions included) or I will make them for you!

These kits are from my popular tassel earrings. L@@k at all the colors!

And there's a few new pieces of jewelry. Wouldn't this be pretty on a ribbon?
The site is chocked full of goodies but...I'm going on vacation beginning Monday and won't return til after Christmas. So if you want something for the holidays, order early! Thanks!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Holiday Beads on Etsy

I list all my seasonal items on Etsy and wanted to share a few recent listings....There's still time to make some holiday jewelry.

This XL hollow focal called Big Red would look fantastic for Christmas or any time of year.

I love this little Christmas Tree made out of sparkly aventurine glass. I think it would look great on a bracelet or as a small pendant.

This Snowman Santa set would also make a nice looking bracelet. He has a twin in red too.

Too busy to make jewelry??? This red and green heart is ready to wear!
Another quick project is to make simple ornament earrings with this great ornament pair.

This Hanukkah Light set would make a great pendant and earring set!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Flame Surfers' Meeting

Saturday was our big Christmas So Cal Flame Surfer meeting... our biggest of the year because we always raffle off the best prizes and there are always door prizes for everyone!

As always, we collect beads to be donated to Beads of Courage. And we had some really good eats.

The demo was by one of our members, Charlie Warner and she showed us how she blows silvered ivory shards and then makes her perfume bottles. And the door prize went along with the theme.... we got a small blow tube, a bucket to drop the hot shards into and a small jar of bead release.

The raffle had all kinds of prizes...from gift certificates to Cattwalk, Arrow Springs, The Mandrel, Val Cox and See's Candies to small bundles of TAG and Double Helix glass. And the grand prize??? A 15LPM oxy con!!! Alas, in all the years I've been going, I think I've only won a mug! That oxy con went to our president, Judy Carlson who had the winning ticket... she was so happy, I thought she was going to cry! It goes to a very deserving home! Judy does so much for our little band of glass heads and we all adore her!

Check in tomorrow and we'll see what other glass goodness we can find to chat about!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Calling Lampwork Jewelry Designers!

The artisan lampwork promotion group I belong to, the Fire Divas, are hosting an Introductory Jewelry Challenge! This challenge will be for jewelry designers who use artisan lampwork in their pieces. The winner of the Challenge will receive a beautiful group of Fire Divas' work. This is a wonderful chance for jewelry designers to show off their talents and get exposure!

Now for the details:
This first challenge will allow lampwork from any artisan. We require information about the artisan who made the beads used in the submitted piece, so if you submit something, please be ready to provide that information.

The challenges to follow will only allow Fire Divas' lampwork.

We will allow one submission per person per contest, and a maximum of two photos per submission. Entries may be submitted here ( for approval, no later than January 1, 2010. Please include, in the comments section, the following:
Information about the beads:
Description of the piece:
Inspiration for the piece:

Fire Divas reserve the right to approve or reject any submissions.

Fire Divas reserve the right to modify or cancel the challenge at any time.

Ok, the boring stuff is over - go have fun creating!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Fairy Fellers by Holly's Folly

My November 09 entry into the Art Bead Scene's monthly contest.

I was struck by the idea of an angel or a fairy leaving a wing behind and my art bead is a wing.

I wanted to keep the jewelry simple so the wing is strung on sulfured sterling Figaro chain. At the neck, there are Swarovski crystals wire wrapped and leading to the lobster. Since I made this necklace for someone, I wire wrapped a length of cable chain to extend the length of the piece for different occasions.

Continuing with the wing theme, there is a Swarovski crystal butterfly at the end of the cable, dangling down the back of the neck.

Fairy Fellers NOVABS by Holly's Folly

And here is the painting that inspired this piece: