Sunday, December 26, 2010

Heather Trimlett Button Class at the Mandrel

If you are remotely curious about how to make a glass button, I cannot recommend Heather Trimlett enough as THE go-to girl and fount of button making knowledge! And - as luck would have it - she's coming to The Mandrel January 8 - 9 to teach button making!

Heather's buttons are to die for!

And, Heather is simply THE best teacher no matter what level you are at! Go check out my class review from last year. Sign ups end this week so don't miss this!! Call the Mandrel to sign up!

Trying to Think Small

I've openly admitted my penchant for LARGE beads... both the ones I make and the ones I (used to) buy. But I recently tried my hand at making a tiny "focal." I feel the need to put that in quotes because to me, if it doesn't fit nicely in the palm of my hand... it ain't a focal!

But that doesn't leave a lot of room for folks who work on a different scale. Every artist I've known has a scale they are comfortable with and as a beadmaker who would love to have many customers - I know it's a matter I need to address. So, I made a tiny little glass focal bead. Whoo Hoo!

This baby measures Measures: 14mm hole to hole x 17mm which is minuscule in my world!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Think Pink

I've always openly admitted to NOT being able to think ahead. It's just now crossing my mind that "maybe I should make some Christmas beads!" Too little, too late, girly!

So I was pleased and amused when I realized I had inadvertently made a Valentine's set. Don't worry! I didn't do it intentionally! ;-) It was shear happenstance!

I was dying to try out the new frits my friend, Donna Conklin, made. And the Berry Liscious (I keep telling Donna, that should be Luscious!) made me so happy watching those pink colors just POP as they were blooming in the flame! I knew it would make a gorgeous heart glass bead set.

I also tried some of Donna's other colors including  Purple People Eater and Wisteria Lane. All gorgeous! Put 'em on your list for Santa!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Tree of Life

I totally forgot to blog about my entry (Yay! I finished on time!) to last month's Art Bead Scene! This was inspired by Klimt's Tree of Life Painting.

ABOUT THE BEAD: I pictured the bead in my head immediately but Klimpt's work inspires me like that. The glass bead came out even prettier than I'd expected!
ABOUT THE NECKLACE: I lucked out and found a bowl full of threaded e beads ready to crochet! I sort of wish the pattern was a bit more random with this bead as the focal but... I wasn't about to restring! The five bead pattern whipped up in under a week.
I knew I wanted copper findings and was THRILLED to find the little tree branch motif toggle in my stash! It's sewn on the ends with copper bead caps.
But that's where my luck ran out. This bead had holes a little bigger than I would have liked and I had no copper molded caps so I tarnished sterling ones which, in the end, matched the metallic limbs of the tree branches.
I like jewelry that can be interchanged... different drops, plain or fancy and I knew I wanted to be able to wear the crochet alone or with other beads. I shaped 16 gauge copper on a sharpie and spiraled it onto the crochet cord.
When I wire wrapped my bead - also on 16 g. copper, I wrapped a tarnished silver giant lobster on to the pendant. This way I can wear whatever pendant strikes my fancy with my crochet necklace!

tree of life1 by HollysFollyGlass

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Just for Me

I have LONG admired one of my own earring designs but, busy dingbat that I am, would you believe I've never made a pair for myself???

My bestie has these in hot pink and they look so good on her. I often start to compliment her when some part of my brain snaps in and says, "Hey! I made those!"  I have another friend with purple ones and still another with denim blue ones. This design just looks so good - if I do say so myself!

But I wanted mine in my favorite color of "mood glass." And when I taught my holiday earring class recently, I decided to demo with a set that I could keep. As my luck goes, I didn't have the tiny crystals I like to use on the sides but I ended up liking the big crystals too.

So what's my favorite color??? It's called Rhubarb and it's made by Bullseye Glass. I adore it because it changes color depending on the light.

If the lighting source is fluorescent, they are green:

In daylight, they are kind of gray:

And incandescent lights turn them pinky peach:

I use Swarovski crystals in cantaloupe as their color mimics the same properties. I just love my new earrings.

I should mention, I have glass bead kits in all sorts of colors and will entertain remakes!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Gotta Vote to Win!

I just had my monthly $50 Gift Certificate drawing and a repeat winner won. She has won several times this year... because she votes and takes the added step of emailing her entry. I have voters that often forget that step.

She also votes several times a week (totally allowed). If YOU vote, YOU could win too!

Here's what my current winner chose for her prizes:

A lovely silvered ivory Kalera shaped focal:

And a focal I call Magic Carpet (inspired by a rug!):

I would love to see more voters in the next drawing!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Beads of Courage Video

I wanted to share the video. This is so amazing!!! If you want to know what all the fuss over Beads of Courage is about, PLEASE check this out!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Special Announcement - Beads of Courage on Sunday Morning

I putting this on both my blogs. Please set your VCRs / DVRs tomorrow to check out CBS News' Sunday Morning profile of Beads of Courage.

I know many of my readers were voting back in the summer to help Beads of Courage win a $25,000 grant from Pepsi (which they are putting to use by starting a new BoC program in Anaheim, CA. I will be helping with a workshop there in April!). I thought you might like to see what it's all about - you are sure to shed a tear.

And... if you are a glass bead head - you can see some glass beads being born!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Truth Be Told

I usually start a post after I've disappeared on you with an apology... but I'm not feeling so apologetic for my much needed time off, so weirdo that I am, I will apologize for the lack of an apology.

I've always been brutally honest with my reader(s??){Is anyone out there?} and this blog is also about the challenges of being an artist and making glass beads so it's time for me to taste the bitter pill of truth.

What sent me off on my disappearing act was the heartbreak of having a "big sale" and no one showing up to buy a damn thing. Truth be told, I am tired.

I am tired of trying to figure out what will sell. I hate thinking that way - the figuring out what will sell way - because, in my mind, what will sell is boring to make and is boring to look at. I never wanted to make beads for boring jewelry designers.

I am tired of tweeting and facebooking and plurking and talking about myself and my business. But I know from hard knocks that just because I built it, doesn't mean they will come.

I am tired of blogging and blithering on and on for... no one. No one comments here so I ASSUME no one is reading a damn thing I write.

I am tired of making quality in a world where people want junk.

I am tired of competing with Suzy Q Crafter for customers; These women apparently have rich husbands or some other means of support and clearly have no concept of what it takes to run a business. I know what materials cost; I know how much time it takes to make what they sell. What I don't get is how they keep a roof over their heads paying themselves less than minimum wage!

I am tired emotionally... the struggle to make ends meet when my two ends get further and further apart keeps me in a near constant state of panic.

I am tired physically - both of my arms are in braces to deal with the constant pain of tennis elbow as I try to type this. I am tired from the twice weekly visits to the Physical Torturer whom I have to pay $107 for the privilege of being tortured.

I'm tired of wondering what the hell I'm supposed to be do with my life.

All that being said, I have a writing project I "hope" to be paid for and I need more time off to continue to heal... so while I have a smattering of posts already in the works... I will post them when it suits me and not on any schedule. Since I'm apparently my only reader - it shouldn't really matter at all, now should it.