This blog is intended to document my journey into the world of handmade artisan lampwork beads.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Big Move

The big move to NC I think is complete. It was hot, long and sad. But everyone has survived. Maggie and Brian's apartment is coming together nicely. They did an awesome job of being organized and resourceful. The apartment is very comfortable and reflects their personalities. Hopefully the parents did not stress the two of them too much. Danny and I are back home and a little sad without her. We are also a lot poorer. Our fairly new car had issues and barely got her stuff down there. The next day it had a major melt down. Due to Danny's diligence we did get it fixed on Monday morning and were able to return on schedule.

On the way home we stopped at a Glass distributor in Asheville, NC, Mountain Arts Glass. Steven was so helpful without being annoying (a fine line with me). He was so enthusiastic. Danny was so patient and supportive also. It was awesome to see all the colors in person. They also had the Puffy mandrel that I have wanted but did not want to pay shipping on. Can't wait to try to make a hollow bead on it. I read the directions and am a little hesitant. It looks like patting your tummy at the same time as rubbing your head. LOL. I think I will try it with my cheapest and ugliest glass and when I am all by myself. The cuss words might be a problem. Karen Johnson Kane has a necklace that has several unique hollow beads on it. It is a beautiful necklace. After seeing it last fall, I have been interested in trying hollow beads. The hollows in this necklace are all different shapes and really cool.

Yesterday, trying to recuperate from the weekend, I needed to mow the knee deep grass. I was making lots of progress, although at a very high setting. Then the oddest thing happened. The blade just fell off the riding mower. What is up with that?

Patrick is getting everything together to spend a year in South Korea. It is hard to try to help him, not knowing what he has done or needs to do. We will be going to Bowling Green this Saturday to try and get a better feel for what he needs. This has been the strangest summer trying to prepare for both of our children to not only live in a different city but different state and different country. How many parents experience that in the same month? Oh well I guess we will adjust, we do not have any choice.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Big Day

Well today is the day we take all of Mag's and my hard work and put it into the U-Haul. It is supposed to be mid 90's to boot. I am excited for her but sad for Danny and me. It really is a joy to have her around. She is great at calling so maybe it won't be too bad.

I am excited for her to start her new adventure. So many new experiences, Graduate classes, Graduate Assistantship, and a part time job as a Personal Trainer, all at UNCG. She also will be moving into her first apartment with long time boyfriend Brian. He is very supportive of everything Maggie does, which is a lot of things.

Your job as parents, as I have always seen it, is to prepare your children for the world. Both of my children are fully engaged in the big outside world. I hope that Danny and I have prepared them well. I think we have. Problem is we will always be parents and can not help but worry. I guess they will not understand that until they have kids of their own.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Last week with my Favorite Daughter

Maggie took the above pictures of the kitten when she came home two different evenings from Brian's house. How she gets up there we have no idea. This kitten is a pistol and full of personality and has the loudest meow when hungry. We have named her so I guess she is a keeper. Her name is marshmallow when clean and when dirty it is toasted marshmallow.

This week has been enjoyable but also a little sad. We are putting the finishing touches on packing and getting ready to move Maggie to NC. Where did the summer go. When I needed the longest summer ever, I got the shortest one since working in the school system. I made some pretty cool wine glass coasters yesterday from some fabric she picked out in Berea. Today I am going to divide the Clivia that my Mom loved and shared with me years ago. It had a baby (rare) so the baby is going with Maggie. I am also going to make her some cloth napkins to go with her (my old) dishes. I loved those teal dishes and got good use out of them. I was just wanting white again. Sad to see them go. I also have got to rework a pair of earrings and mend some items for her before packing the truck.

The above necklace was made by my cousin Vickie Kane Mathieu, it was sent to Maggie as a graduation from college gift. Vickie is an enamel artist from Arcadia, California. It is amazing. A shimmering blue background with a gold heart. She could not have picked a better size or design for Maggie. Maggie was a baby the last time Vickie saw her how could she have known? I do not know if she sells her work or not, but she should.

Maggie and I are going to meet with Stacey Wilhite tonight to discuss Peacock Beads for a project she is designing. I am not sure if I can help her but I sure will try.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Animals, Animals, Animals

I really have had the lick with the pets around here. Topper had a Vet appointment today for some shots. He is deathly scared of storms. At about the time we needed to start the fight to get him in the car, which is picking him up (over 70 pounds) and putting him in a Jeep Liberty against his will, it started to pour the rain. After Maggie, Topper and myself were totally drenched and unsuccessful in getting him into the car, I gave up. Topper ran under the porch. We are going to try this again on Monday. Can't wait. Off to have dinner at a friends. Have to still take some pictures of some beads that I did the other day using some of Avenue Beads Shards. Turned out not bad.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

New Addition to our Cat Population

Well the new cat has been to the vet ($76.00) and has been named (marshmallow). The only issue now to be resolved is it's living quarters. I vote for outside, 3 indoor cats is enough for me to take care of. but the rest of the family vote for indoor. A long haired white cat really doesn't work to good outside. Topper tried to give HER a bath and she looked more like a toasted marshmallow. So I had to give her a bath, she came out of that one a bit better. She does have ear mites and fleas and I did find a tiny tick. The Vet thinks she is in pretty good health, just a little skinny.
I also had a first yesterday. I listed this bead and with in a couple of hours it sold. I was absolutely in shock. So Maggie and I were going to town anyway and we shipped it to GA. I have always been shocked when bead makers say that they list something and it sells so quick. Well I guess that can happen. It was a bead that I had intended to list last winter and just didn't get a good picture of. I have two others listed at this point. Wish they would sell that quick, no such luck.

Friday, July 9, 2010


All of our animals at this time were not planned. They just found us. Well yet another one has just found us. Yesterday, Danny on his way to work got halfway down the hill and saw a tiny kitten (solid white, long hair) sitting in the road. He stopped and almost got to it and it ran into the woods edge and stared at him. Well he was dressed in good clothes that would not have worked with the terrain, so he went on to work and called and told me about his find. I did not go out yesterday so we didn't think to much about it. Obviously someone had dumped it. We live in the middle of the Daniel Boone National Forrest and it is pretty remote. So this happens a lot with different animals. Danny had gone to bed and Maggie and I were watching TV and our dog Topper (also a found dumped animal) was acting weird at the sliding glass door. He was wagging his tail and looking toward the driveway. I got up and didn't turn the light on, looked out the glass door and there stood the brightest white kitten. I opened the door and it let me pick it up. It is very attention needy. We woke up Danny, fed the kitten ( I never saw anything eat so fast) and played a little with it. We put it in the down stairs bathroom, it cried some but eventually was ok. This morning I opened the door to a absolute attention whore (as my son would say). I never have seen a kitten that could not sit still for one second with out looking for attention. Under my feet, up my leg, on my computer etc. I finally had to put it back in the bathroom in order to breath. Maggie got up and we tried again. She did not believe me. She does now. We finally let Topper in because he kept watching from outside. The kitten did not want us any more, Topper was all it wanted. So guess what we put the two of them outside. Poor Topper, the kitten would not let him rest. He basically is a porch dog but not with the kitten around. He even tried to give it a bath. Funny. We have a Vet appointment at 2:30pm today. It may have some health issues?? We will see. This is not what we had planned for today.

I would take some pictures of the beads I made yesterday, but it is overcast and looks like rain. The best pictures lately have been outside. Maybe later.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Yesterday's Beads

The first two beads above turned out not bad the next two pictures are of the front and back of the same bead made with a shard over silver foil on a ivory base. I think I will explore this more maybe even etch this bead. I think it will make a nice pendant or focal on a necklace. What do you think?

Saturday, July 3, 2010

New addition to Studio

A surprise find at IKEA was a sort of rack system for kitchens. Mag and I spotted it and thought it would work in my studio to store frit etc. near my torch but not on the crowded table. Danny installed it today and it works wonderful. Total cost a little over $10.00. They even have colored bins and had purple which matched Mag's old bulletin board that I have hanging there also. I am thrilled.

Today at the torch was just good old fashioned fun, no pressure and lots of experiments. Trying to formulate the next jewelry piece?????

Danny has gone to the hydroplane boat races with a friend from Key Electronics. Hope he has a good time. He doesn't get to do enough of that kind of stuff very often. Mag went to Brian's and I just torched away.

Karen sent me some very interesting beads from California. I have got lots of ideas how I can use them with my glass beads.

My son's fiancee' Samantha wanted me to make a turtle for a very good friend of theirs for her birthday and I did manage to make a decent one. Probably my last one though, not really my thing.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

More Items

I struggle to get the pictures to do what I want them to. Oh well.


I have had enormous pressure to get some jewelry items completed and over to the Sheltowee gallery in Somerset. I had paid for a six month rental of shelf space and it began June 1st. I knew I would not make that date with all we had to do for Maggie and school lasting so long. I did a marathon session and managed to complete 11 pairs of earrings, 3 necklaces and 4 bracelets. I really was tempted to keep a couple of them. I am not a bracelet person but one of them turned out so good I was tempted. I struggled with all of the decisions, display ideas, tags (thanks Mag), bead designs, prices etc. I am one that agonizes over those things, not wanting to redo anything. Sometimes that paralyzes me and I get nothing accomplished. But once I got started, it was tough to not keep going and make the decision that I had enough and they they were good enough. Mag helped me deliver and I still have a few details to take care of. Mag also took the following pictures to help me document what I actually have over there. Let me know what you think.