Saturday, April 28, 2012

Happy Accident

I picked up a rod of black yesterday to do a color test with some high silver frit yesterday. I thought the black was being "strange" - bubbling and such. But some blacks to that for me... I forged ahead. Suddenly, I realized I had not made that rather large base bead of black but out of an oh-so-pricey silver glass.

I kicked myself a few times as I pondered what to do with that bead in my flame... Well, I was going to experiment... let's see what the two silver glasses do together. Oh, did I squeal as the colors bloomed! I loved that bead!
Hard to believe these beads use mostly the same glass!

So I set out to make a HUGE version only using actual black as my base. I added lots of dots and stringers of that first silver glass and then the frit.... and you know what happened?? NOTHING. I made a big turd! A really big piece of caca... Over an hour in the flame and  I hate the bead....Some people may like it...but I don't... ARGH.

So today will be spent trying to figure out how to recreate the "not caca" bead.

I thought I was show off a pendant I made. I had the bead in my pocket last weekend while teaching wire wrap and one of my students asked about working with larger beads. I whipped it out and made a pendant. This gal will be listed next week in my glass bead jewelry section of the website.

Hope you have a lovely Saturday!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Just For Me

It's rare that I sit down at the torch and make something just for me. I often end up with beads that are not my best - something that is off center or even has a crack (eek!). I make myself a necklace or bracelet and still get lots of pays to be a walking billboard for your business!

But I've always wanted a bobbin bead. And knowing "my customer" so well, I knew it had to be purple. Gaffer's new Purple Rose and Royal purple seemed a perfect fit. Still those are pricy glasses so I used a much cheaper COE 96 for the core since bobbins use a fair amount of glass. I used another Gaffer glass - Chalcedony - in frit form for accents.

Once I had my bobbin, I knew I wanted it to sit on a necklace so I could see the metal so I went back to the torch and made a matching big hole bead. By threading the BHB onto the ribbon first and threading the bobbin over both ribbon ends, the bobbin sits flat on the necklace.

I've always like wearing unusual sized beads this way... this is an old silvered ivory necklace of mine:

Do you have an unusual way of wearing big hole beads??

I'm participating in a Blog hop:

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Finding My Muse Again

I've been slowly finding my muse again after ages away from my torch. In the end, sitting behind the flame and just playing has brought her back! Hey, what can I's been a rough year and it's going to get worse before it ever gets better. For that reason alone, I NEED to torch more!!!

What has come out of the flames this past week has amazed me. Some of the beadies, I knew I would love:
I was squealing with gless when I made the wavy stems on these flowers... And their matching set:

Some beads surprised me... like this color test that I was certain I hated so I failed to shape it as carefully as I should have... and was again squealing at the colors that developed inside the kiln!

Still other beads were just plain strange but still likeable in their strangeness:

And some delighted in their predictability:

I'm still not over my obsession with long skinny beads:

Or what can be done with them:

And finally, I took a little time to make something I've always wanted: A bobbin bead of my very own.

It's been a productive week with lots more to show... The beads you see here (except for MY bobbin) will be available on my glass bead site this week. (I list one or two a day.)

Thank you to those who have stayed with me... I appreciate it!

More wedding how-tos coming....

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Upcyling the Wedding

NOTE: This was written well before our niece's wedding in February but... I realized she had not seen many of the items in this post... hence the delay. (I told you she was not a Bridezilla!)

We're all on a tight budget for the niece's wedding but we're NOT gonna skimp on elegance and glamor! Take the dragonflies one of the aunties has been working on. I mentioned in a previous post that we have dragonfly on the invitation... a symbol of good fortune.
 Our decorative dragonflies are HUGE - about 20" tall!

While out on a  research shopping trip, we found these hideous wire frame butterflies. Don't EVEN get me started on all the butterfly winged tchotchkes out there that have dragonfly bodies or vice versa... they are LEGION! We found 3 very large (the bodies are almost two feet!) ones on sale and after a little manipulation, realized the wings could easily be re-shaped into dragonfly wings!  But it still needed a bigger body. One was carved out of foam core. And then the fun began.

Not wanting to spend a fortune in beads, the artist raided her mom's antique jewelry box for broken or no longer worn pieces.  She raided her button box and her craft box. As the holidays approached, small glitter ornaments were purchased for the eyes and tail. We ended up with three: the red "welcome" on you see above, a white one for the sweet heart table:

 and a most glamorous black and white one for the cake table:

A big part of building these was organizing all those various pieces-parts for ready access as the artist built each dragonfly. Check this out:

She found a couple of old  spice racks at the thrift store and just look at all those organized beads!

Here's a shot of the finished sweetheart's table featuring the white dragonfly. I just love the layers of diaphanous fabric and lights!

We had to do a lot of brainstorming on how to attach that heavy dragon fly to the front of the table. We didn't care if it damaged our sheer tabletop but we couldn't have it damage the under - cloth belonging to our location. We're used velcro and heavy refrigerator magnets to keep it all in place.