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

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Guilty Pleasure

I always feel guilty making a piece of jewelry just for me. I probably should do it more often due to the marketing possibilities. Today I made a necklace and earrings just for me. I bought the copper components about a year and half ago. I bought them at the best bead show that I have ever been to in Portland. They have never been put away, they have just sat on my bench with a lot of others waiting for just the right time and idea. I have no idea what prompted me to finally make something out of them. Then designing the piece I felt guilty because there wasn't any beads in the design originally. Well then I started digging through the spacer bowl and low and behold there were two etched spacers that matched perfectly. That is the beauty of being able to make beads yourself and have an abundance of them everywhere. One of the main reasons I got interested in lampworked beads. And believe it or not, I got the design half done and realized, what earrings would I wear with this piece. So I changed it a bit and dug out two more matching spacers that I had to etch, for the earrings. I had the copper chain in my limited amount of chain on hand, and tumbled it to lighten it and then took my butane torch to it to give it some different colors. Since it is Valentines Day tomorrow, I think I will wear it. It amazingly matches a sweater that I do not wear very often, so that is a good thing. What do you think?I also completed several orders this weekend. Several Cat Paw earrings and a pair of cupcake earrings. I also worked on a display idea for the cake testers for my next show.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Snow Again

Big flakes came down fast. Picture does not do it justice.
Big flakes on Topper's back.
Really pretty snowy sunset.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Bead Soup Blog Party

I have not heard from my partner in the Bead Soup Blog Party if she has received her ingredients. It has been a week, so I am assuming she has and it is safe to post a picture. It is amazing to see that her color palette is so similar to the one she sent to me. She had a gold in hers which is not included in what I sent to her. Both have a floral theme. The clasp I have had a while and just could not come up with a design to do it justice. I am sure she will. The flower focals, I had played with this design probably two years ago, I revisited and had forgotten how much I enjoyed making them. I also sent some pink spacers and some etched black with a dragged design that I made to match. The rest are beads from my stash that I thought she might be able to use in the same color palette. Hope she enjoys working with my beads.

I know I have posted pictures of a similar bracelet but I just love it. I have also made two beads this time with two leaves for earrings. I just need to figure out how to handle the top and bottom of the apple. I am going to do the art fair in April and I think this would be a good design to take to that one. I am also thinking about doing home jewelry parties. I need to work out in my head how to compensate the hostess. I think it might be a good addition to the art fairs that I am planning on doing. I could take orders and also have point of sale items. Can't decide if I should teach a jewelry skill to build up a bead clientele in addition to finished jewelry. I could use my same set up that I use for Art Fairs but maybe pare it down a bit. What do you think? If anybody has tried this I would be grateful for any helpful tips.

I also have been struggling to figure out a way to make glass head pins with out using my key mandrel. I think today I figured it out. Hopefully an alligator clip (roach clip) will not melt in the conditions I am going to subject it to. I found some clips that Danny had for models that have a hole in the end and I found in my stash of copper some tubing that just fits in the hole. Wa La . I would like to avoid burning my fingers in this process. I have made a sterling, copper and steel one. There are some design ideas that are running around in my head for these specifically. Maybe tomorrow I can test this new tool. I always love a new tool.