Monday, May 30, 2011


Jumping the gun on my Tuesday post with some big news! The Fire Divas are hosting their first ever TEAM AUCTION to benefit Beads Of Courage!!

13 different artisans on our team donated matching beads to the auction. Our leader Lori Bergmann of Ashlyn Design organized the donations into two sets... one set for the auction and... one set for the KIDS!

The collection is SO CUTE! Check it out:
Clockwise from top—Tribal heads: Barb (riversedgeglass); Yellow round: Sonja (SilverRiverGlassWorks); Magic Mice: Lori (ashlyndesign); Multicolor round: Judith (icarusbeads); Blue organic: Rosemarie (spawnofflame);  Shuttle: Lara (Lutrick); Blue nugget: Patrice (Shepherdcreations); Yellow car: Karen (giapet); Blue/brown organic: Susan (susanlambert); Critters: Sharon (rightturnartwerks); Blue cubes: Kathleen (uglyducklingbeads); Cupcake: Holly (HollysFollyGlass); Green inchworms: Abigail (abbielyn)

All of the proceeds from this eBay auction HERE will go directly to Beads Of Courage and make it possible for the brave boys and girls battling cancer throughout the United States to enjoy the amazing outreach and cancer support that this wonderful program provides. Not only will you be helping to put a smile on their faces, but you will receive 19 handmade Collector beads that you will cherish for a lifetime!!!

The beads in the auction include:

     * Lovely free-form organics
     * A pair of Disney inspired "Magical Mouse" ears
     * A sporty roadster car 
     * A Space Shuttle with a monkey (a similar bead from the same artist went up on the last Shuttle!)
     * Fun and festive graphic designs
     * A sweet chocolate cupcake (calorie free, of course)
     * Happy "critter" face beads
     * And the cutest pair of tiny green inchworms!

  • Place a bid (win OR lose...)
  • Make a donation to   Beads of Courage via their website during our auction

Just leave a comment on the Fire Divas original post let us know. You will be entered to win some great prizes like gorgeous beads or gift certificates from more of the Fire Diva members, chosen by a random drawing. How cool is that?!

The additional prizes being offered include:
$15 Gift Cert to Holly's
Michelle will be donating a small bead set
10% Off Gift Certificate from Sonya's Art Fire shop

Please help us spread the word about our first Annual Beads of Courage Auction and don't forget that the bidding will end on Wednesday, June 1st at 6 pm PST. Thank you so much for your support!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Showoff - Large Focals

I've been very busy on the torch lately and I'm loving the new work. I gave you a sneak peek earlier in the week but here are some of them all cleaned up and ready to roll:

Catfish Glass Focal Bead - named by my bestie... Can you see the fish???

Those guys are REALLY huge glass beads so naturally, I had to try the technique on something smaller:
These are all full of magic and sparkle! I hope you like them as much as I do! 

Have a WONDERFUL weekend... I plan to torch A LOT and maybe get some more new beads up. That bead bowl is overflowing!  And... there is no special for the blog this weekend... It's for the Fans!   

Whatever you do... be safe and have fun!!!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

It's My Turn!

The marketing team I belong to, the Fire Divas, all take turns creating treasuries and collections on Etsy / Artfire every week. And as my luck runs... It managed to be my turn on BOTH sites this week!

On Artifre, I focused on Fun Summer glass beads:

On Etsy, I decided to focus on metallic reactions in glass (always a favorite topic of mine!):

'All That Glitters | Metallic Glass Beads ' by HollysFollyGlass

Sparkling Glass Beads by the Fire Divas Team

Lilac Shimmer Round...

Lampwork Boro Bead ...

Sea Shell MOSS Lamp...

Hot Hot Pink Focal

Lampwork Glass Foca...

Sparkle Diva Lampwo...

Gaia Spacers - 8 Ha...

Cave Of Wonders Han...

Celadon - Glass Lam...

Metallic heart Dimp...

Metallic Lampwork G...

Lampwork Heart Rak...

Handmade Artisan Gl...

Copper Canyon Focal...

Granite Ware Bicone...

Jellyfish Handmade ...

Hope you enjoy looking at all these beads as much as I do!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Fresh Glass 4.25.11

I feel like I oughta title this... fresh poop! But since I left out the really ugly beads I made yesterday... I'll stick with my usual title. Don't ya just hate days when the torch fairies don't cooperate???

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Artfire Like Button

Any Artfire users out there remember about a year ago when the handmade storefront installed "Like" buttons on every single item? (Maybe it was only pro shops...)

Anyway, they put like buttons on stuff so our items would appear on users' Facebook feeds when someone liked our stuff. And my glass bead marketing team got the bright idea we should all go around liking each other's stuff.

I don't know if the programming glitch was Artfire's or Facebook's fault...but I'm pointing the finger of shame at Facebook. Instead of treating these incoming likes as a wall post, Facebook created pages for each and every like.

This throwing out and starting over phase I'm in has led me to analyze all my liked pages. I'm tired of supporting artists who don't return the favor. In the process of cleaning out those pages, I discovered all the pages / items I ever liked on Artfire! Hundreds of them!

Did you know that Facebook only allows you 5000 "relationships" as a person (You can have unlimited ones on a Page...but not as a person)? You can only like a combination of 5000 people and pages MAX.... EVER! See the problem???

Since Artfire has removed the like button... you can't simply go to the items and unlike. Add in the problem that many of those items have long since sold which takes you to the seller's shop page or - even worse - a static white page!

Despite sending out pleas for help on Facebook... yeah, like that'll ever happen... it was Artfire that came to the rescue!

Caleb, Artfire SEO Director, taught me a great quick fix... that allowed me weed out all my Facebook pages in one fell swoop!  Here's Caleb's Fix - Just in case you have some "weeding" to do:

Log in to facebook. Click "edit my profile" on the left side next to your profile picture. Click "activities and interests" found on the left side again. Click the "show other pages" link in the bottom middle of the page. From there you should be able to remove liked pages from your profile without having to visit the pages.

I do love to support jewelry artists and other bead makers. If you like my page and want me to like yours... just post or send me a message! 

Friday, May 20, 2011

Another Cupcake to Go

So the special this week sold to a fan which is why it never got posted here... The offer was for free wire wrapping with 18 G. sterling wire and Swarovski crystals.

Here it is just before mailing:

I really like how it came out! I'm also loving the bail making pliers for making the larger bail holes:

My students have been loving them too! I'm almost out of stock!

What's on your agenda for the weekend??? Me?? Teaching another Cookie Class on Saturday. Nice long hike with the pupsters on Saturday night (Hey, I live large!) and yardwork  / torching  a bit on the Sunday.  I do hope you have an excellent weekend.

See you on Tuesday!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Changing Things Left and Right

Funny how one little thing can set off a myriad of changes. I've decided while I'm at to change one more.  My blog viewership responses are never good on Mondays yet I bust my hump to get here and post something Monday morning. No more...

After reading this article, I'm just not gonna bother. According to this, people are kinda busy on a Monday but much more receptive on other days. So... this blog is now a Tuesday - Friday publication.

In other news, that cupcake special I mentioned yesterday sold... so no special this week. I always tell my fan page what I'm up to first... Hint hint.

There are a bunch of new focals on the glass bead website though. And... I guess I'll see you tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Starting Over and Getting Better

Having to start over in more ways than one this week and I'm doing things better and easier. My latest discovery of things that have gone awry is my mailing list. When the computer crashed, I lost the hundreds of emails I had collected at shows!

And while I spent the better part of yesterday trying to figure out if I can salvage any files... I can't... there comes a resolute stillness about starting over. How can I make it better? Since this only affects me - not customers, not would-be customers, what do I really want?

I never liked that my Bravenet allowed advertising in my newsletters so I've switched to Mailchimp.  It's much easier to keep track of all subscribers in one place and I won't run the risk of losing them again. One more thing to make my life easier.

If you were on the old list, please sign up again below... I don't mention newsletters here but I do post them to my fan page.

Join My Mailing List
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There's a special on this guy for the fans only but if it doesn't sell today, I'll tell you about it tomorrow:

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Why I Dare a/k/a I Hate Holly Hughes

WARNING - R RATED POST.... My young friends should skip this!

I caused quite a flurry on Facebook a few weeks ago - setting off a whole mess of emails from confused family and friends because I changed my name on Facebook. I dropped my legal last name. (Re: yesterday's post - Does anyone find it odd that you can change your legal given name on Facebook can't add ONE WORD to your business name???)

And since I still get questions about this change, I thought I would spell it out in one linkable place.
Mystery Focal - My name is a mystery and so is this bead!
Due to the circumstances of my birth, I grew up with a last name that has zero meaning to me. It is not who I am. It makes things convenient for my family...that's all. I'm not attached to it in any way. I had always planned to change it to my father's name when I was 18. But he was long since deceased and I didn't really care for the kind of people my siblings on his side of the family were... it was not a name I wanted to share with them. So I kept the one I had for convenience and the alliteration (always a writer!) despite hating it for years....

I hated my last name because... I've always had a Holly Hughes twin in every facet of my life. And I hate her! All of them! The one I knew in high school... didn't have a good reputation. I was a good girl and hated being associated with her but I knew I was leaving for college. Yet another another found me in college. She was two steps from prostitution in my book. It was then I started using D - my middle initial to set me apart. Luckily she got married my sophomore year and I had two blissful years of being the only Holly Hughes in my life.

I moved to Los Angeles in 1987 and found another. HER - I truly despise. She was a performance artist. She got naked on stage and used toys to satisfy herself! For money! In front of strangers!!! Good grief! I worked for directors who had seen her shows and would pick at me endlessly. I always pointed to my middle initial... No, I'm Holly D.

Then one cold winter night, I found myself on some desolate set of a commercial I was production managing. I had nothing more to do until wrap except keep warm. One of our police officers had me sit in his car. We were bored. He ran my name for warrants as a joke. To my dismay there were 30 some Holly Hugheses in California and six had warrants out for their arrest! I didn't like those odds. I didn't like having to show my co-worker my i.d. so that he could verify that I didn't need to be hauled off to jail that very second!

Finally, I accepted myself as an artist. I was writing a book. It was the first time I was putting ME out there in the world and I simply deleted the last name that caused me so much pain. (Would you believe...the other Holly Hughes wrote a porn book the same year???? I can't get away from her!) When I bought my first business, I had the license put in the name Holly Dare and that's how I've thought of myself as ever since.

But with the advent of Facebook... things got muddy. As customer's became repeat customers and then friends, I would see them talking about my work and list me as Holly Hughes. It was upsetting to me and confusing to them. So I performed a Hughes-ectomy - I lopped it off and it will never return.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Moving the Fan Page

I had to move my glass bead fan page and as I write this...I'm still shaking my head at my own stupidity.

It all started because the one of the colleges where I teach has a new admin. And this new admin insists we create flyers for our own classes (I feel the college graphics program should do this but it affects my income... so...). Since I can't / won't create a crappy looking flyer, I set about looking for high quality photos of my cookie bouquets. Realizing the best ones were in my book, and those photos were on a disk, I spent several hours trying to get both Windows 7 machines to view the disk. Finally, in desperation, I pulled out an old xp computer that I was getting ready to sell on Craigslist. It could view my disk but would only transfer the the myriad of photos one at a time. ARGH.... (It's times like these I swear I can feel myself dying!)
I picked my new favorite focal - Catfish -  for my avatar on the new fan page. 

So what does all this have to do with the fan page???  As I sat there slowly copying photo after photo (literally one every 5 - 15 minutes), I decided to kill a little time on the Windows 7 machine and google my keywords. I spent hours and hours (still transferring pictures) searching and searching and not finding my sites.

This ticked me off for several reasons: 1) I've spent a great deal of the last year studying SEO. (That's Search Engine Optimization) 2) I've attended meetings and seminars on improving SEO. 3) The last time I checked... my numbers were decent... but now they are not.

Basically only Chinese bead sources are coming up first on google... Which tells me someone is way ahead of us in cracking google's complicated ranking code. And terms that I know fellow lampworkers have tried to teach our customers (sra, self representing artist, American (or Canadian, Australian, German, etc) glass beads) don't even come up in the ranking as what people are searching for.

About the ONLY thing that does come up in the search is Facebook. And you know what??? I don't care how people find me... just FIND ME! You would think it would be easy enough to just add a few words to your fan page name... but anyone who partakes of Facebook know that Mr. Zuckerberg and his ilk don't cotton to easy. So... I had to walk away from a fan page with hundreds of fans in order to look at the bigger picture. I feel like I'm moving backwards but I know in the will be much better for the future of my little glass bead business.

So if you fanned be before, won't you follow me to the new page??? 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Planning Classes

All my lesson plans are due this week for summer sessions and since one of my old schools now requires a mountain of paperwork for classes I've been teaching for years (don't ya just LOVE new administrations??).... I'm gonna keep this short.

I've been asked to teach some new classes as well... Basic crochet...which I said yes to only to keep my good standing with the college. But I don't sell that stuff and don't want to set up vendor accounts with places like that... but I've been crocheting since I was 12... self taught. My first project was  a QUEEN sized blanket which I still have! Funny but I always start new things on a HUGE scale and work my way down.

In addition to all the paperwork, I have to calculate materials fees on several new classes and several old ones now that silver is what it is. And I'm going through a battery of computer tests to try and get temp work. I have to redo my resume and my job counselor says that with all my skills sets, he expects I will end up with 5 to 7 versions (!) of the resume I have now! OY! And Bessie the car is in the shop... AGAIN. All this = one stressed Holly.

But I do have one shiny bit of news... I'm Bead of the Day over on the Fire Divas blog...which means this Ice Cream Cone Glass Bead is 10% off until the new Bead of the Day is posted tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Krobo Beads

If you are a total glass geek like me... you just love knowing about all kinds of glassy goodness, right? That's why I was totally fascinated by Krobo Beads.

Krobo glass beads are made by West African tribesman in Ghana. They use glass from recycled windshields to create a glass powder. A flat rock is placed on the ground and covered with a cloth. A bottomless bucket is placed on top and filled with shards of windshield glass. A tribesman sits with his feet on the rims of the bucket and uses a recycled drive shaft to pulverize the glass.

Color is added and the powders are added to vertical molds. A stick is used to create the hole and burns  off during firing. The beads are then hand painted with their version of enamels and fired again. The only time a machine is used is at the very end when the bead ends are ground to smooth out any rough edges. The resulting beads are really rustic and beautiful!

There are several importers here in the states selling Krobo beads. There is a wonderful slide show on the Ananse Village website and here is a video made by Unique African Arts.